Foran Key Club Helps Out At Spring Blood Drive
Today, on April 5, Key Club is successfully running their spring Blood Drive where students, faculty, and staff decide to donate blood that will go to the Red Cross. Key Club is known to hold two blood drives every academic year; one in the fall as well as one in the spring. Anyone the age of seventeen and older was welcome to donate. This included students, teachers, and any other member of the school staff who all took the initiative to donate blood to the Red Cross due to both their willingness as well as eligibility to do so. In the fall, the Blood Drive consisted of over 30 students, teachers, and other staff members who chose to donate blood to the Red Cross. This year there is also a large number of participants who donated blood. Mrs. Ganun, who is the advisor of Key Club as well as one of the gym teachers, expressed her thoughts on this event by stating, “The Blood Drive is awesome because it shows a great community and it also shows that we are so willing as faculty and staff as well as students to donate blood to those who need it most.” The members of Key Club are helping throughout the day, taking time out of their study halls to go down to the auditorium and help with anything that they can. Thanks to those who decided to donate blood, help out, and everyone else involved, the Red Cross has gained a surplus of donations to help further their program.
International Women’s Day
Over the past few centuries women have gained more and more rights. Coming up in March is International Women’s Day. In some third world countries women have fewer liberties than women who live in developed areas.
Louise Fernandez agrees that women’s rights vary per race. This International Women’s Day, Louise will remember that other women around the world have to work harder for what they want. She says that she’s grateful that the only problem most women in America currently face is the wage gap.
This day was created to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. The first International Women’s day was actually observed on February 8 opposed to March 8. It was originally made to honor the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York, where women protested working conditions.
The United Nations signed an international charter agreeing to the equality of men and women. Today, women in America rarely experience inequality except for the wage gap. But women across the world are experiencing so much disparity due to their different customs.
A world renowned woman has set the bar high for working towards woman’s justice. Malala Yousafzai was just a 14 year old girl and was fighting for girls her age to be able to attend school to receive an education. On her way home from school one day she was walking home with her friend and members of the Taliban shot her in the head. Malala survived her terrible wound and is alive today to share her inspiring story. Ethan Skuches read a book about Malala over the summer and thought it was a brilliant insight of the political instability of the Middle East, in most cases.
This day is all about recognizing women are equals and should be treated as such. Instead of pitting women against each other, we should try to build them up and encourage them to keep achieving great things.
Hillary Clinton promises to try to bridge the wage gap to achieve women’s equality in the work space. Clinton is a very promising presidential candidate for bringing about change when it comes to women’s rights.
Speaking of the wage gap, Sophia Troanska says to the wage gap issue needs to be dealt with. She also said she didn’t realize International Women’s Day was created, but she’ll definitely celebrate it by lobbying for legislators to deal with more women’s rights.
The New SAT
With the required SAT rapidly approaching on March 2, juniors are finding themselves in a frenzy to ensure that they are prepared to tackle this nerve racking test. Although most would argue that taking the SAT is not a pleasant task, it is incredibly important that one performs to the best of their ability by diligently studying/preparing prior to taking this test.
The SAT has changed from the score ranging from 600-2400, to 400-1600. The scoring has been reformed, along with the duration of the test. SAT takers are allowed 3 hours (50 minute optional essay.) The new SAT used to have critical reading and writing, but now that section has become evidence-based reading and writing. The essay used to be required and included in the writing score, but has now become optional and separately scored. However, it is encouraged that students take the essay because many colleges either prefer, or require it in their application. A positive feature is that there is no guessing penalty, which means students will not be penalized for incorrect answers. The math section has been dramatically revamped as the no-calculator section is now only 25 minutes, and there is a 55 minute calculator section. They have allowed more of the questions to be completed with use of a calculator, which most students prefer. The scoring range for each category has remained at 200-800 amidst all the other changes.
Foran librarian Mrs. Pellegrino provides numerous resources to help students prepare for the S.A.T. “We offer our students a test preparation database called Testing & Education Reference Center (TERC). TERC contains three full-length practice SAT tests as well as online study guides.” Mrs. Pellegrino also mentions how practicing on Khan Academy can benefit students’ math scores. Mrs. Pellegrino says,“There is also a database at the Milfod Public Library’s website called Learning express library online. Utilizing TERC, Khan Academy, and learning express library online, will help prepare students immensely.” You do not necessarily have to purchase a prep book, as there are endless websites and sources that Foran offers to help ensure students’ success on the SAT!
Conversing with someone who has experienced taking the SAT, and has survived the daunting time of waiting to receive a score, can be extremely beneficial. Senior Erica Hanson provides some realistic insight and advice for all students embarking on this test. Hanson says, “The advice I would give is to study from an SAT prep book/online source and do practice problems, sets, and tests on collegeboard.org. It helps a lot more than people think.” It is commonly stressed that practice books and SAT prep materials are effective in improving one’s score. Although this may be time consuming, it’s certainly worth it when students earn a score they are content with. Hanson also discusses her personal opinion to assure students’ understand that the SAT is a test they will conquer and survive. “It is not as scary as people anticipate it to be. It is a long test, but as long as you go into it focused and ready it is not that bad.” Hanson shares how she prepared for this test by taking the prep courses offered at Foran, and studying from the sources and materials that college board offers.
Most juniors are able to agree upon the fact that taking the SAT for the first time is frightening. With people constantly emphasizing the importance of this test, the pressure to do well is on. Junior Sydney Taylor expresses her fears and thoughts on taking on the SAT for the very first time. “I am mostly worried about the length of the test, and ensuring that I’m able to stay focused for each question. I am especially worried about not missing anything important.” Taylor has been practicing SAT material in a prep book and has started reviewing questions that are expected to be on the exam. Taylor expresses her attitude going into this test, “It is incredibly important to do well, or at least to put your best effort in. I would suggest not getting too caught up in exact scores but really your ability to tackle the types of questions you will be seeing on the test.” She also conveys the idea that eating a good breakfast and getting enough sleep in the days before hand is crucial-when your physical health is properly cared for, your mind is able to perform well.
For all juniors: take a deep breath, get some rest, and make sure to work with an SAT prep book, or log onto one of the listed test preparation websites.
Give The Dog A Bath
Deb Coelho, a widow six years, has created her own business to cross ‘being her own boss’ off her bucket list. Originally, she was going to move to Massachusetts after her son was set in school, but as she went to look around she came across a do it yourself dog washing center. She became inspired to create her own business called Give the Dog a Bath. The center is a dog washing center where an owner can wash their own dog using the available shampoo, conditioner, eye and ear wipes, and doggy blow dryers. Even considering the small dogs that need a bath, there is a tray that can sit on the side of the tub so that the owners don’t have to bend over. She says the reason she did this was because, “I’m a people person — and about bringing the community of dog owners together… Dogs and kids are the best.” The business has opened Tuesday February 16th at 284 Boston Post Road in Milford, CT. Coelho has been a part of the PTA and has served as a board member of the Literacy Center of Milford for years, giving her great connections for customers and for the business to spread by word of mouth. Each time is $29.99 or a membership for $199 for ten washes. Come support with a cat food donation and get %10 off your wash on Tuesdays or Fridays with a dog ready to be washed.
Students Get Involved With Helping Hands
Foran High is home to numerous clubs and activities that are filled with entertainment, as well as being provided with an excellent learning opportunity. Many students are unaware of these clubs at Foran, but the ones who chose to participate with these groups gain an excessive amount of information including learning about regions around the world and how to interact themselves with others. One of those fun-filled clubs, available to all students, is Helping Hands.
This organization at Foran is headed by world language teacher, Mrs. Sheppard, and run by students including seniors Samantha Bennett, Barbara Shehata, and Alexa Newall.
It all started two years ago, when this club was first introduced to Foran. As a sophomore, Barbara Shehata founded this organization and plans on continuing it for her remaining two years at Foran.
Shehata says, “Helping Hands is a community service club that helps the less fortunate or those who live in places with poor conditions. We are helping the kids who live in the Northern hemisphere; those who live close to our own home.”
Last year, the Helping Hands club consisted of 15 members. This year, 35 more students joined; a grand total of 50 students.
Shehata adds, “Last month we helped out with the Special Olympics team, and this month we are introducing a project called the Pulsera Project.”
Last month in December for about two weeks, the Helping Hands club sold bracelets made by children in third world countries. The club members add, “We are helping to raise money for these countries by selling these bracelets to students at Foran. The money will be used in the countries for education and occupational purposes, as well as attempting to better their countries’ community.”
The Helping Hands club at Foran is not as large as a normal organization would be, Shehata explained. “It is rather small, but we still do a lot of helping out in the communities located in other countries.”
Helping Hands club meets in Mrs. Sheppard’s room, 338, which is located in blue hall. Meetings are held on “F” days, unless otherwise noted of change. The teachers administered in the club will give out notices or email the students regarding the changes made.
Model UN Gets Snowed Out
The Yale Model United Nations (YMUN) weekend conference that fell from Thursday January 21 through Sunday January 24 was a success. Although it was cut short due to inclement weather many of the students said that they still had fun and learned better skills from the conference. For those who do not know what model UN is, it is a replication of the real United Nations committee in the world. Students are placed into panels of issues for example global warming, or ISIS regime. Then those students have to choose a country or organization to be represented as and argue on behalf of that entity (with similar views as that country or organization) to find a solution to the problem. The Teacher advisor is Mrs. Gilman and she brought 20 students with her to this Yale Model UN conference. Chris Flynn who is a model UN student said, “ It was great to have a chance to debate on really in depth issues with really knowledgeable people, and it was really disappointing that it was canceled halfway through”. Molly Flanagan also stated “I’m really glad I was able to be a part of Model UN. Despite the unfortunate series of events that occurred due to the inclement weather at Yale, the conference as a whole was very exciting. I met a lot of people from around the world who put aside their own cultures and beliefs to pass lasting resolutions that would better the world. My favorite part of YMUN was visiting Yale and exploring the campus., such as the Gallery of Arts.”
Key Club Gives Back
Key Club has an endless list of achievements donating and helping members of the community, including their latest generous donation to the Salvation Army. During the weeks leading up to the Holidays, Key Club members volunteered their time to ring bells and stand in front of Stop and Shop and Walmart to raise money and collect donations. The students not only raised over 4 thousand dollars during their bell ringing events but are also donating 500 dollars to round out the sum to a 5 thousand dollar donation. The club has always pushed to give back to Foran and those who need it but this time they have pushed themselves further. Key Club advisor and leader Mrs. GaNun presented the check to Salvation Army at the beginning of this week. Salvation Army Member Lesley Darling came and picked up their check and spoke to members of the club about where the money will be going towards. She wanted to let everyone who donated to their time or money, “all the money that was donated goes back directly towards Milford communities and families in need. We use the money for heating bills and other living expenses like groceries all to Milford.” Lesley appreciated the volunteers and understood their dedication in collecting the money saying, “All the volunteers for Salvation Army have other full time jobs.” This fundraiser is the only one that the Salvation Army does throughout the year so everyone in the club and Mrs. GaNun are proud of the money raised. Mrs. Ganun added that it’s nice to be able to provide a good amount of money and to be proud of Foran’s volunteers for, “going above and beyond.”
Foran High School was lucky to have Daniel Trust, a Rwandan genocide survivor, visit on November 5. He was born and raised in Rwanda and now lives in the United States, where he is a motivational speaker who tells his incredible story.
Although his life may seem perfect now, it wasn’t always this way. Growing up, he dealt with hardships that no five-year-old should ever have to deal with. He watched his mother get killed right in front of him. His mom was a Tutsi and his dad was a Hutu. When the President was killed; all the Hutus thought it was the Tutsis, which was the start of the Rwandan Genocide. More than one million people were killed.
Both of Trust’s sisters and father were killed as well. Even though his dad was Hutu, their house was set on fire, destroying everything, including all of their belongings. After he lost his family he went and lived with his adoptive family who abused him for breaking plates by accident and not sweeping before leaving for school.
Trust came to the United States in 2005 when he was 15 years old, and his life changed forever. Not knowing any English, he was very timid and shy at first. He was bullied in school because of the odd uniform he wore and the people he hung out with. As a result of this, he performed poorly in school. He relied on the people around him, like his teachers and peers, to help him get through his hard times. He always hoped that one day he’d go to a place where there is peace.
Trust constantly thought about ending his life but found comfort in his friend Zanis, who told him that he would always support his decisions in life.
When Trust came to the United States, he became very involved in his high school, Bassick High School in Bridgeport. He was captain of the volleyball team for his junior and senior year and vice president of his senior class. This all happened because he pushed himself. He also got a part time job at Old Navy during high school and rewarded himself for his hard work by buying his first car, a 1989 Ford.
Trust graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 2013 with a degree in business management. His mantra is, “Love is greater than hate. Hate destroys but love heals.”
Trust thinks it’s important to not be afraid to tell people how you feel and to always work hard because someday it will pay off.
4th Republican Debate
Last night’s fourth Republican presidential debate reinforced our perceptions of the GOP field’s best debaters (Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio); it probably stopped the bleeding for Jeb Bush, and it mostly hurt the two frontrunners (Ben Carson and Donald Trump) because of the heavy policy discussion. It did not provide the drama and excitement that the first Fox News debate and the CNBC debate two weeks ago offered, but it was hardly dull.
Let’s go through each candidate; Donald Trump, the leader in the Republican polls, came across as a forgetful and uninformed candidate. More specifically, his opinions on foreign policy on the Russian and ISIS conflict in the Middle East were not viewed as completely accurate. Trump vigorously sells Russian intervention as a way for the US to not get involved. He insisted; No, the U.S. should not be the world’s policeman, and “Yes, the federal government should deport all undocumented immigrants and build a wall”. Overall the Republican frontrunner is still at the top, trumping the competition in the polls.
Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, is sticking with what works: offering supporters more of the same mild-mannered, reserved demeanor that has shot him into a strong race with Trump. He was not very active in the heats of the debate but in the last couple of minutes he stated, “In the two hours of this — of this debate, five people have died from drug-related deaths, $100 million has been added to our national debt, 200 babies have been killed by abortionists, and two veterans have taken their lives out of despair.
“This is a narrative that we can change, not we the Democrats, not we the Republicans, but we the people of America, because there is something special about this nation, and we must embrace it and be proud of it and never give it away for the sake of political correctness,” he continued.
With this statement he is still standing strong, the candidate that’s set on morality and honestly.
Perhaps Mark Rubio’s most shining moment in this debate was his argument with Senator Rand Paul over military spending, stating “We can’t even have an economy if we’re not safe,” Rubio argued. “Yes I believe the world — I don’t believe, I know the world is a safer and better place when America is the strongest military power in the world.” This got him a lot of notoriety and showed the crowd that under pressure, Rubio stands strong. His polls are steadily going up and he is catching up strong in third place.
Ted Cruz showed off his amazing debating skills that go back to his time at Princeton. Those skills may keep him in for the long hall but will not give him the win. He hit one snag, reminding people of a memorable 2011 debate moment when Rick Perry forgot the name of the third agency he would eliminate. Cruz, naming five federal agencies he would abolish, named just four — twice naming the Department of Commerce, leaving the Department of Education off of his list.
Jeb Bush did much better in this debate than the lasts, but once again seemed to confirm the notion that no one wants another Bush in office. Bush forced his way into more speaking time, got his points across more clearly and concisely, and perhaps most importantly didn’t pick a fight he wasn’t going to win against Rubio.
Carly Fiorina gained more footing in this race after this debate. She shined specifically in the conversation of foreign policy, skipping from country to country in the Middle East after laying out specific steps she would take to bolster the U.S.’s standing in the face of Russian aggression, Fiorina came away breathless, over time, but very successful.
Lastly we have John Kasich and Rand Paul. John had a great argument with Bush over immigration reform, while Rand Paul targeted Rubio over his non conservative views about military spending. They both got great points across but seeing that they are in the lower single digits of the polls, timing is wrong for these senators.
Overall the debate was a success in getting the candidates’ views out on economy and foreign policy.
Foran Alumni Lends a Helping Hand for Schools in Dominican Republic
Foran graduate, now attending UConn for premed, Valerie Pozdnyakova, has contacted the faculty of Foran High school to help her collect school supplies to help the students and schools of the Dominican Republic. She’d like for the Foran Key Club to host a drive to collect unused school supplies such as pencils, pens, crayons, markers, notebooks, and paper. Alyssa Giacobbe, President of Key Club, says that “we strive to help people, especially children, in need not only in our community but all around the world, as well. With that said, the Dominican Republic School Supply Drive is a perfect fundraiser to help our students achieve the goal of helping people in need”. Pozdnyakova says, “I understand that for most it may be difficult to see the impact of bringing in a box of pencils and dropping it off in a box at the Foran library but, in reality, what they are doing is opening an enormous door of opportunities for a boy or girl who can now go to school and get an education.” The drive will be from December 14 through December 22 and there will be collection boxes in the media center. After all the supplies are collected they will be hand delivered by UConn’s Premedical Society in January. She will be leaving to go to healthcare and mobile clinics in La Piedra, a part of Santo Domingo, and in between will be going to small schools and teaching young children English. There is a donation website on YouCaring.com for UConn Premed society. She wants to make an impact and says, “It must feel so suffocating not being able to respond and have your opinion heard because you cannot write or knowing there’s a story encrypted in letters that you could never know simply because you cannot read. As cliché as it may sound, that is how far a box of pencils can go.”
Mathewson Science Night
On November 12, 2015, a gathering of students in Milford was conducted at Mathewson Elementary School, called the Mathewson Science Night. A teacher at Foran High, Mr. Czarnecki, helped to administer this organization, and also displayed the Technical Education program held here at Foran.
At this convention, students get to walk around and look at the selection of science-related projects, some of which are hands-on. This primarily serves for the kids to have fun, but also introduces their curiosity to the world of science and marine biology. The main attraction at the science night was Chris Greene from an outfit called Hands-On Science Enrichment. He is a tall, goofy guy, and plays a mad scientist, and had a lab set-up with many sensory experiments, in which the kids were mesmerized by.
Another participant was Bridgeport’s Aquaculture School. Four students from this school attended Mathewson and displayed tanks of live creatures found in Long Island Sound. This station helped children learn more about organisms, many are familiar along the Milford shoreline. Families get more introduced to this college-preparatory program, which is also open to Milford students when they reach high school.
Familiar faces were seen at the Mathewson Science Night. Suzanne Thomas from the Milford Public Library appeared, and brought a magnet balancing activity. Meanwhile displaying her science experiment, she promoted the Library’s new makerspace, The Brain Station. Fourth grade science teacher, Cara Seward, challenged students with a force and motion activity where the object that takes the longest time to reach the end wins. Team Trashasaurus, one of Milford’s three First LEGO League robotics teams also made a showing to this event. Four out of nine members are students at Mathewson. The FLL program challenged kids to work together to build a LEGO Mindstorms robot and made it compete against other teams.
Mathewson Science Night was organized by Mathewson parents Augie and Emmeline Harrigan. They had helped organize this event for the past three years at Meadowside Elementary with the help of teachers, Hope Pardee and Corinne Macdonald. The idea for this night was constructed off the basis of how fun and educationally enriching the subjects are.
Everyone has heard of Foran’s Unified Sports Club, and now news is spreading about the new Unified Arts. Unified Art is run by art teacher, Mrs. Plude and math teacher, Mrs. Jones. The club meets every Monday in room 122 and the very first meeting was Monday, November 9th. This club is based off of the same idea as Unified Sports, of people getting to know other people and teaching new skills to students of all different skill sets. Both of these clubs have an atmosphere of friendship and unity as students of all different levels of capability work together in activities whether it be painting or tossing a football. Mrs. Plude says, “The artist partnership cultivates a greater understanding of oneself, and of others. Working collaboratively leads to new friendships, improved self-esteem and positive changes in attitude, behavior and performance”. The club focuses on artistic activities and as Mrs. -Plude said, “The Unified Art Program provides a forum for positive social interaction for all students.” Anyone in grades nine through twelve can join the club and it benefits everyone. This club will teach students valuable skills and as Mrs. Plude says, “This program fosters an inclusive school community where the values of tolerance, patience, and sensitivity are cornerstones.” Overall, anyone interested in being a part of this group should not hesitate to join.
The Hour of Code
This month Microsoft has teamed up with Code.org. This is a non-profit corporation that offers free programming tools for kids interested in the world of computer science. The popular game Minecraft is now an addition to the Hour of Code; an hour introduction to the world of computer science to anyone who wants to learn the basics. Now that Minecraft has been added, kids will be able to go to Code.org to find tutorials in 14 levels of the game. Just last week Star Wars was added to the new line up of games to the website. The Hour of Code uses games like “Flappy Bird” and a game based off of the popular Disney movie Frozen, to have students and teachers participate in the Hour of Code during Computer Science Education week, which is December 7th to the 13th. I asked Mr.Czarnecki about how this hour of code would benefit students rather than learning it a more traditional way. He responded with, “Hour of Code is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour in a fun interactive way. Students will learn the fundamentals of technology that they interact with every day and how vital it is to our daily lives. Think of an alarm clock, Lights, Computers, Smart phones, gaming systems… somebody had to program that.”
No Shave November
No Shave November is an annual event in the month of November in which participants forego shaving. It is a web based, non-profit organization devoted to cancer awareness and raising funds to support cancer prevention, research, and education. Many of the foundations that support “no-shave November” encourage people to donate money that they usually spend on shaving towards prostate cancer and other types of cancer as well.
The Movember foundation mission statement is: “The Movember Foundation is a global charity committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. Since 2003, millions have joined the men’s health movement, raising $650 million and funding over 1,000 programs focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.” They want to encourage men, women, and everyone else to put in their efforts and reduce gender inequality when it comes to men’s health. The foundation’s website claims that the state of men’s health is in crisis because men have a drastically lower life expectancy compared to women.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the number of cases expected to almost double to 1.7 million cases by 2030.
The Movember Foundation states on their website that, “gender-based inequality in health has received little national, regional or global acknowledgement or attention from health policy-makers or healthcare providers. This is exactly why the Movember Foundation focuses on men’s health. This is why Mo Bros and Mo Sistas from across the globe become a united voice every Movember, bringing vital funding and attention to the hidden men’s health crisis.”
In order to tackle this widespread issue, we need to take action by foregoing shaving or donating money. We can also spread awareness and educate others the importance of cancer screenings and physical/mental health. Kyle Lang, junior, states that he is participating “in support of Men’s health. Guys don’t get the proper care they need and they don’t always go to the doctors. I believe in supporting it because it’s important for guys to take good measures to stay healthy.”
Shea Phelan, Eva Knudsen
Pope Francis Visits NYC
Pope Francis visited New York City on Thursday, September 24. He stopped by St. Patrick’s Cathedral for an evening prayer, and then went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum for a multi-religious service. The Pope began his speech at the memorial by saying, “I feel many different emotions standing here at Ground Zero, where thousands of lives were taken in a senseless act of destruction.” Mr. Cesare, a history teacher at Foran, said, “Anytime a world leader visits a memorial it helps people realize the trauma others experience and that there are people that care.”
The Pope also took the time to meet guests that had paid for tickets. The city was more than delighted to have Pope Francis spending time there to enlighten their people. It was his first time in the United States and he was pleased with his visit. Julia Astram, a student at Foran High School, says, “It was really cool to have the Pope here and I wasn’t too surprised to see how humble he was.” She explained further how he drove around the city in a Fiat and not in a stretch limo, as expected. He also went for a morning stroll without his guards, which made them angry. Needless to say, the Pope is very modest.
While at Ground Zero, Pope Francis prayed at the site. He also met with local representatives inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum for a multi-religious meeting for peace. The peace meeting took place at the Foundation Hall inside the museum. During his speech, he mourned he thousands of lives lost on September 11th, 2001. Pope Francis also delivered to those that were present and several prayers were said at the memorial site.
While speaking, he touched on many different topics about the tragic day. Pope Francis said, “I feel many different emotions standing here at Ground Zero, where thousands of lives were taken in a senseless act of destruction. Here grief is palpable. The water we see flowing towards that empty pit reminds us of all those lives which fell prey to those who think that destruction, tearing down, is the only way to settle conflicts”
Seven years ago in the month of April, Pope Benedict XVI was the first Pope to visit ground zero. He prayed where the World Trade Center was once standing on April 20th, 2008. On the same day, Pope Benedict met with 24 selected guests to talk to about the grief of 9/11. Since his visit, the museum is now finished as well as the official memorial; this made new visiting places for Pope Francis to see.
Kayleigh Paskiewicz, Joel Kozek
Editor / Staff Writer
STEM Kick Off
Last weekend, 8 different STEM teams from across the state have traveled to the Chester Airport. The Sikorsky STEM Kick Off kicked off with a demonstration including a Black Hawk and a challenge to be done by all the students. Although the members tried their hardest, they fell behind cross town rivals Jonathan Law. Foran tied for 5th in the overall results. The competition itself was rather challenging. Team members had to move a tennis ball suspended on metal ring and 8 ropes across a rope and place it on a pedestal on the opposite side. The teams had to ensure that the rope was taught at all times, and that once the ball was placed on the pedestal and the string dropped, the ball and ring stayed on the pedestal.
STEM members also had a chance to learn about a man made plane that was built from scratch. They were able to see the plane as well as the constructionist. The Vans Aircraft RV4 is a homebuilt airplane that can be assembled using a building kit. The plane itself has a tandem type seating for a pilot and passenger.
The team will be completing another task in the future to construct a hypothetical harness that will be suspended from a “Jolly Green Giant,” a rescue helicopter produced by Sikorsky from 1967 to 1970. This harness will be used suspended from a model helicopter and used in a search and rescue mission from a crashed corsair in the middle of the ocean from an objective last year.
“It was a great time for students to learn about the history of the corsair plane used during World War II, start to develop ideas as engineers, and to come together in order to complete a mission.” said CJ Conner, senior.
Although the whole project is hypothetical, it will get the team to think and work like engineers. Best of luck to the STEM team with their future missions!
French Club Meets
Bonjour tout le monde! Do you have an interest in French Culture? Then the French Club is the place for you! Led by President, Hannah Buckley, Vice President, Sam Giesman-Ginter, secretary, Molly Flannagan, and Madame Kosenski, French Club meets every other Monday in room 330. Contrary to popular belief, students are not required to know French or take a French class to be in the club. The club started out as a small one but has grown over the past couple years. In French Club students can explore culture through movies, food, games, and etc. “It’s a good time to learn about French culture and make friends with people who share the same interests as you.” Says sophomore member, Jessica Intelisano. We also do fundraisers. A big charity that we donate to is Doctors Without Borders. Doctors Without Borders is a French organization, originally named Médecins Sans Frontières that gives emergency medical attention to countries in need of it. Last year the club had a bake sale and donated the money they earned from a bake sale to the American Red Cross to help victims of the Earthquake in Nepal. Right now, the club is gearing up for French Week which begins on November 4.
This week on October 5 Key Club ran another successful annual Blood Drive. Teachers, faculty members and students donated their blood to American Red Cross. Over twenty Key Club members also helped during the event by bringing snacks for the people donating after they gave their blood. This year, similar to last year, there were over 30 people donating. There was also three people who have given their blood repeatedly to the event including our Dean of Students ,Mr. Zywocinski, math teacher, math teacher, Mr. Kaplavka, and librarian Mrs. Pellegrino. Head of Key Club, Mrs. Ganun encourages all students over the age of 17 and all teachers to also donate their blood at the next blood drive which will be this spring. Key Club officer, Alyssa Giacobbe also strongly supports and recommends donating at the next drive. According to Giacobbe “blood transfusions are so common someone you know most likely has had one and would appreciate you giving your blood for those who need it.”Giacobbe learned through volunteering for the Blood Drive that when you donate you are giving the Red Cross an opportunity to save three lives. Three lives can be saved through a donation that only lasts eight minutes. Mrs. Ganun and Alyssa feel that this is the perfect way to feel good about yourself while helping someone else. Alyssa says, “If anyone is ever looking for a way to help people in need or make a difference, donating blood or even just volunteering to help run a blood drive are some of the best ways to do so. This is why it is such an amazing opportunity to be able to hold a blood drive right in our own school so students and staff can easily help a great cause.”
Shea Phelan and Eva Knudsen
June 26th 2015 was a life-changing day for the gay community in the United States. The rainbow colors, representing the legalization of gay marriage, lit up the Supreme Court House.
About 60% of Americans support gay marriage, and in U.S. Obergefell v. Hodges, a ruling has now legalized gay marriage so that in the 14 states where it was illegal, lesbians and gays can now legally get married.
At Foran High School, there are many clubs to join and even create. One of the clubs here is the GSA Club (Gay Straight Alliance Club). The club is a group of both gay and straight teens who are supportive of the alliance between the two. They help create a trusting environment for everyone around them by fundraising and doing events. The advisor of the club at Foran is Mrs. Voss, and she has wanted to help kids with this issue since she was in high school in Arizona.
When asked about the issue today and about the club, Voss said, “I’ve been aware of the discrimination and marginalization experienced by the LGBT community for many years. When I was in high school, there was no GSA club—no support of this kind within the school community.” She wants to do what she can do to offer the support to her students. She wants to help them since she didn’t have the help in her teenage years.
Kim Davis, a clerk from Kentucky, refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses and was sent to jail. Davis’ lawyers thought she would just get a fine. People that supported Davis rallied outside of the courthouse Labor Day weekend.
Nicolette Simone said, “I think it’s a great thing that we are slowly but surely reaching equality for all people no matter what race, age, gender or sexuality. This is just one prime example of how the world is becoming more accepting of the people around them.”
Simone supports the legalization of gay marriage and was “genuinely upset” because of the mass amount of attention it received when Davis was ultimately breaking the law.
Despite Davis’ claims, several officials and the governor said that the recently issued licenses are valid. Davis broke a law that day and deserves more repercussions. She went back to work unscathed after spending five days in jail.
Julia Kopstein said, “She should keep her personal beliefs out of her work.”
Cats get rescued from Milford home
Recently this week in the Milford community, a house was found on High Street that was being condemned because of filthy conditions was found to have 69 cats inside. The police department was informed of complaints about ‘odors’ coming from the house. Inside there were feces and hoarding conditions in which the owner was warned to comply with the demands to clean up the house or to no longer live there. The Health and Animal Control departments have transported all the cats to the local animal shelter on 664 East Broadway in Milford. The police department has yet to release any details but one officer has said “we have some cats” for homes. The New Haven Register received an email Wednesday asking for help from people to provide these cats with homes. The house has recently been cleaned up and taken care of by the owner and is now be improved for living conditions. The cats are said to be very friendly, although some are feral, all they need is human contact and affection. The email sent to the Register said, “Please don’t let these cats die because of the ignorance of some people. If anyone can take at least one cat that would be very helpful.” The cats are found at the Milford Animal Shelter, taking just one cat can make a difference.
New Creative Writing Class gets Started
Advanced Creative Writing is a pilot program new to Foran this year. The class of 11 is led by teacher Rick Raucci.
The students, all seniors, have been handpicked by Mr. Raucci to participate in the program. The class has received a grant from the Board of Ed for $2,000. During the year the students will be writing several short stories of about 12 pages each. In the spring they’ll have to choose which of their stories to publish.
The class is teaming up with the AP Art students, who will be illustrating their stories. There will be a panel of teachers to determine what stories and what artwork goes in.
Most of the grant money is being used to publish the book of short stories. The book will be sold on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. The group is allowed to learn both the creative writing curriculum as well as the publishing process that authors have to go through.
“It’s a great and exciting experience opportunity to be a part of,” said Caitlin O’Halloran.
During the month of September the students have been focusing on learning what elements of creative writing should be included and exaggerated in order to make their pieces authentic. The class has an exciting atmosphere to it because of the fact that they’re writing a book.
The students are extremely excited to become published as authors at such a young age.
The idea came about when Mr. Raucci felt that the half year of Creative Writing Foran offered wasn’t enough to go into as much depth as he’d like to with the class. However, he loved teaching creative writing. He spoke with the supervisor downtown who headed the entire English program for the Milford Public School System and they drafted a class together.
“I love the class. It’s a great group of kids and I have high expectations for their writing. I know they’ll all be able to rise to the challenge and create work that hundreds of people will be able to enjoy reading.” said Mr. Raucci.
One student said she likes the class because it’s exciting and there’s a lot of engagement rather than lecturing
“Mr. Raucci is the perfect person to be teaching this,” a student said. “It’s nice to be in a class where everyone is comfortable sharing their personal feelings and the things they write with each other. It helps us to not only grow as writers, but people as well.”
Foran Welcomes New Staff to the Lions’ Den
Ms. Gagne, Ms. Love, Ms. Cassell, Ms. Casuccio, Mr. Pawelzik, Ms. Graham, Ms. Leining, Mr. Kochiss, Ms. Potter, Mr. Wasik, and Mr. Vrooman are all new teachers at Foran.
When asked what they like about Milford, Ms. Gagne, English teacher, said, “I love the sense of community Milford has as a town and a school district. The city is known for all its festivals, which demonstrates how much coming together means to the community. Also, Milford is an interesting place because it has parts that allow for city life, but other parts allow for the picturesque beach life. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Gagne also shared that when she is not teaching, she loves painting. “My apartment looks like an art gallery, and I have spent hundreds on command strips. I love to paint scenes of the beach or just nature in general. I love Thomas Kinkade.”
She also shared her love for her students. “I love that my students are respectful and grateful. I put my all in every day and they show me that they appreciate that.”
Before coming to Foran, Gagne said she taught at Wilby High School for three years in Waterbury, where she taught journalism and creative writing. This year, she said, “I hope to participate in a competition called Poetry Out Loud. I want to work with a group of students and train them for the semi-finals in February. The competition is all about reciting a famous poem with the proper intonation. It is a statewide competition that Milford as a district has never participated in so I am excited to bring this new experience to the district.”
Next up on the list is Ms. Love, who is also an English teacher. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but she said she has always dreamed of living in a state with all four seasons, hence her moving to Connecticut.
“I like new adventures, and Milford seemed like it would be a good fit for me.” When she is not teaching, Love says she enjoys going to the beach, spending time with her friends, talking to family on the phone, and watching Netflix.
Love said, “I love how unique my students are in and out of the classroom. Getting to know them is so interesting and I’m excited to watch them succeed in my classroom this year.”
An especially interesting fact about Love is that this is her first teaching job. Love graduated in May from Siena College in Albany, NY, where she majored in English and completed the Secondary Education Program. She also competed for Siena’s D1 swim team. Interestingly enough, she says her goal for this year is “…to successfully navigate my way around Foran by June. I also hope to create a classroom that interests students in literature and prepares them for future success in and out of the classroom.”
Next up in the English department is Ms. Cassell. She said she wanted to work in Milford because it is such a great system and a wonderful community. “I grew up around this area and I thought starting my teaching career in a place I was familiar with would be a great experience,” Cassell said. When she is not teaching, she loves being with family and friends and being outside. “Traveling is one of my biggest passions, other than teaching, so I love finding new places to go and see.”
She said she admires her students’ positive attitudes in and out of the classroom. “They’re always ready to participate in the activities I have planned. There is never a dull moment.”
Before coming to Foran, Cassell worked at Cheshire High School in Cheshire finishing student teaching. This year, Ms. Cassell hopes to have a great first year of teaching, and is excited to see what the year brings.
Moving along to the Math department, Foran welcomes Ms. Casuccio. She worked in the Wallingford area as a long-term substitute before coming to Foran as a full-time teacher. Casuccio said she instantly enjoyed talking with other Foran faculty members, saying that “they were a welcoming, friendly group that I instantly wanted to be a part of. It was clear they were passionate about their respective professions within the school.” Casuccio said she’s excited to make lasting connections with her students, while also showing that math doesn’t have to be boring, contrary to popular belief. “When you are doing math, you are learning how to problem solve and think critically.” she said. “I strive to teach students these logical analysis skills that they will continue using long after they graduate. If I can do that, I will consider my first year at Foran High School a success.” Positivity is key.
Also new to the Math department is Mr. Pawelzik! Before coming to Foran, Pawelzik taught at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, CT. “I heard about Milford Public School system through a close friend of mine. Both of her parents went through the Milford Public School system and had nothing but outstanding things to say about it.” said Pawelzik. When not teaching, Pawelzik enjoys hiking, playing sports, and hanging out at the pool. He as well would like to form a strong bond with his students as well as teachers, and wants to adjust and be a part of the Foran family.
Our third Math department teacher is Ms. Graham! ‘I was fortunate enough to have been able to work in the Milford district starting with my internship in January of 2014.” Graham said. “Having grown up in Milford, I was excited to begin my teaching career in a very supportive and welcoming community.” When not teaching, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and also enjoys reading and does so every day. One thing she says she enjoys about her students is being able to see them use skills they have learned in the classroom and apply them to real world situations. “I think that is a vital skill and is something I try to tie into my curriculum.” said Graham. Before coming to Foran, she worked a yearlong internship at East Shore Middle School. Not long after, she applied for a job as a long term substitute for eighth graders at Harborside Middle School. “I have definitely enjoyed working with all of the dedicated people and support that the Milford School District has to offer and knew I would have another great experience teaching here at Foran High School,” said Graham. A goal for this year, she said, is, “to be able to form a positive relationship with my students and that they will be able to continue through life and apply these critical thinking skills.”
Last but certainly not least in the Math department is Ms. Leining. She said she chose to teach in Milford after tutoring at Mathnasium for two years. “I knew I wanted to be in a place that had students that would enjoy learning as much as I enjoy teaching them.” When not teaching, Leining said she enjoys painting, reading, and spending lots of time by the water. One thing she said that she loves about her students is how they are respectful and very eager to learn. “So far I have had nothing but positive interactions with my students and look forward to an amazing year with them,” she said.
Before coming to Foran, Leining was a long term substitute in Glastonbury, and was also a student teacher in Rocky Hill and an intern in Meriden for a year while getting her master’s degree. As a goal for this year, Leining hopes that her students will see math differently than when they entered the classroom. “I hope they don’t see it as endless problems; but rather as training their brains to think and problem solve.”
Moving to the world of science, Foran welcomes Mr. Kochiss. He heard nothing but great things about Milford, and about Foran specifically. During free time away from the clutter of papers and clusters of students, Kochiss said he enjoys playing tennis, jamming on his guitar, and riding his bike.
Before coming to Foran, Kochiss taught at the Aquaculture School in Bridgeport and even had some Foran students in his classes. This year as a goal, he said he hopes to inspire every single one of his students in science, and also hopes that they all leave the classroom better than when they entered.
Next, Ms. Potter is a new Special Ed teacher at Foran. She said that Milford is a wonderful community, and that “it is apparent that the students, parents and faculty value their education and are committed to allocating resources to help all students and staff succeed.”
When Potter isn’t teaching, she said she loves to travel overseas during the summer.
“Every summer I go away for several weeks. My favorite adventure so far was to Morocco,” Potter said. She also said she admires the way that her students are extremely kind and caring toward her and other students alike. “I admire the way they interact with each other, never seeming to judge.” she said. Before coming to teach at Foran, Potter worked in New Haven and upstate New York. As a goal for this year, she said she hopes that she can create a fun learning experience for all of her students.
Last but most certainly not least to the list of new teachers is Mr. Vrooman, a Spanish teacher in the Language department. He comments that while driving for Uber during the summer, he drove many Milford inhabitants, and had the chance to see the city up close. “This is the kind of city ‑ a great downtown access to big stores, waterfront areas ‑ in which I’ve always wanted to live. I checked the job boards, found an opening at Foran, and here I am,” Vrooman said.
While not in school, he said he is an avid traveler. “I love to drive for Uber because the job takes me all over Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. I’m also working on my first novel for publication,” Vrooman said. He said his students are fantastic. “It’s obvious they look out for each other. With that kind of dynamic, I can do a lot in each class because I know they have each other’s backs.” Before coming here, Vrooman worked at Rippowam Middle School in Stamford, at AECI Charter School in the Bronx, and shortly at Avon High School. As a goal for this upcoming year, Vrooman said, “My main goal is that each student in each class learn enough Spanish to feel comfortable carrying on a conversation in Spanish on several topics. My wider agenda, perhaps, is that each student learn that he or she is capable of so many things, that, with a little confidence and courage to face the unknown, almost anything is possible.”
Foran is also welcoming Mr. Wasik to the teaching team, but he will not be teaching here until October.
Kanye for President 2020?
Kanye West accepted his award by giving an erratic speech and at the end he announced he would be running for President in 2020. He told the audience, “And yes as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.” For now it’s just a pretentious rumor started by Kanye, himself. If Kanye runs and wins that means Kim Kardashian would be the first lady of the United States. Yikes. At least she’ll be famous for a good reason.According to sophomore Jared Hubler , “He isn’t qualified to run our country. He’s never really held a political position and his wealth doesn’t involve anything our country has to do with.”
The candidates for the 2016 election are campaigning right now. As we know, Donald Trump is in the running. He has been talking about his “great plans for America.” He hasn’t given anybody much detail on his plans except for the idea of making a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants, which is just insane. Even though Trump is a successful businessman, he wouldn’t be the ideal person to run our country. Would you rather Donald Trump be president or Kanye West?
Reilee Barron, Julia Silvestri and Kayleigh Paskiewicz
Reporter on the Street: 9/11
We asked a few teachers and administrators to respond to the following questions regarding 9/11.
Where were you when you initially heard about the 9/11 attacks?
What was your initial reaction?
Why are you proud to be an American?
“I was teaching at Bunnell High School. I was social studies department head, and I was teaching one of my classes. It might’ve been a foreign policy class. One of my friends, who was another teacher, came into my room and said, “A plane just hit the World Trade Center.” I was pretty shocked, obviously. Initially nobody knew it was a terrorist attack. I was obviously concerned, saddened. I’ve been to New York City, I’ve been to the Twin Towers; it was scary. I’m proud to be an American because we have freedom in this country that a lot of people don’t have the chance to enjoy around the world. A lot of Americans unfortunately take freedom for granted. I feel like we have the right to free speech, free religion, a number of rights that people don’t have throughout the world. And that’s something that’s pretty precious when it comes to being a human being and being able to speak your mind freely, and worship freely. I think freedom and liberty are the reasons that I’m proud to be an American.”
“I was too young to realize what was happening on September 11, 2001. I remember sitting in my classroom and being angry that we weren’t allowed to go to recess that day. My mother came to pick my brother and I up from school, but I still couldn’t understand what had happened to make everyone so upset. It wasn’t until hours later that I began to connect the dots: something terrible had happened with planes and my father was a commercial airline pilot at work that day. Furthermore, my aunt was in Washington, DC on the same day and was going to tour the White House. Reality set in and I finally understood the magnitude of the situation. We couldn’t get in touch with either of them for nearly the entire day. The news stations didn’t release which airlines had been affected for several hours. Both my father and my aunt ended up being completely fine, although they didn’t make it home to Florida for several days following the attacks.”
Mr. Derosa ( Spanish teacher)
“So I have a different perspective as most, I was living in Salamanca, Spain with my host family. At the exact time it happened, I was taking my siesta. My host sister woke me up and told me the news. As soon as I got up I went to the television and saw what was happening. Interestingly enough, I saw the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower. Like everybody else, I was in complete shock. My sister happened to be in Washington, D.C. at the time she was living down there going to law school. I initially thought about my immediate family, and them living so close to New York; my mom, my dad, my brothers and sisters, but also my other sister that was down in D.C. Luckily, she was fine. For all the freedoms that we have, for the individualism, the acceptualism. If we as individuals are allowed to do what we do best without government interference and limited government, I think anybody will have the possibility to rise up and do what they really wanna do.”
“We were on a different schedule at the time, we were in between classes and I had a sophomore rush in from his history class and tell me about the attacks. Apparently they had the television on, and he came into my classroom terribly upset. Before that, I hadn’t heard anything about it. My initial reactions and emotions were shock, disbelief, terror; couldn’t believe it. It was too much to absorb. I’m proud to be an American because this is the land of opportunity; our wonderful beliefs, traditions, the courage we have that many have given their lives to.”
Mr. Baldwin ( English teacher)
“I was in the media center at East Shore Middle School. When I first heard, I was in disbelief. It was on the television, and I saw the first building coming down. I remember Peter Jennings said, ‘There’s a really big cloud of smoke and we don’t really know what’s happening.’ I guess I am proud to be American because we have the freedom to question why things are the way they are, and we have the power to change them.”
“When the planes crashed I was at Fairfield University in my dorm as a sophomore. No one knew what to do but slowly students started to make their way to the campus chapel where strangers hugged each other and cried. Many students had family members who worked in the city including my own sister. We couldn’t get in touch with her for hours and it was frightening. Being an resident assistant, one of the girls living on my floor wanted to do something immediately. Together, we went from dorm to dorm collecting socks for firefighters which news reporters stated were needed. Firefighters had been standing for hours with no relief in soaking socks. It was such a small act but necessary. Students emptied whole drawers of socks without even thinking. We dropped off the bags the morning of 9/12 to the Fairfield fire department where already supplies had been collected and we were asked to escort the police and firemen down to Ground Zero. The highway was empty as a motorcade led the charge. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw that day; it was a scene from a horror film. The silence was eerie, only the sound of fire houses. Rubble and dust everywhere, flames still being put out. Firefighters from different towns and states stood shoulder to shoulder. Despair hung heavy in the air.
In that moment, I realized what it was to be an American. To put yourself before others, to defend your country. All over there were stories of people saving others’ lives with no regard for their own. Several years later many first responders died from cancer, and the impact of 9/11 can be felt across the country as families have now been ripped apart. I don’t take my freedom for granted, and am blessed to know people who put their lives on the line every day for the rest of us.”
Ms. Plude ( Art teacher)
“When I first heard I was in my sophomore year of college. I was sitting in my ceramics and pottery class, and one student from another class ran in and told us. My professor dismissed us from class and told us to go call our families. My family is from New York and worked in the World Trade Center. My cousin was late to work that day, thank God. I immediately thought about them. I’m proud to be American, because at least I know I’m free! I have my freedoms and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all of the wonderful veterans.”
Mr. Walker (Security)
“I was in green hall when I first heard. I was in more disbelief and shock more than anything. I’m proud to be American because this country allows me to live out the life that I feel is right for me, and gives me the freedom to do so.”
Officer Taylor (SRO)
“I was actually at the gym when I first heard. I lifted weights there in Upstate New York. I first thought that a plane malfunctioned and crashed into one of the towers. I remember seeing the footage as it unfolded. I thought it was mechanical failure of some sort. Why am I proud to be American? Good question. There are so many answers. The biggest thing is a sense of security and knowing that we have all of the rights under the constitution. Not many countries have that. I feel privileged.”
Mrs. Brown (Business Teacher)
“I was at work and we had a little portable T.V. on for the news, but we always did. We always had a T.V. on in the background. When we first heard about it, everyone thought it was a small plane; a private, single engine plane that hit. Our first reaction was, ‘how could somebody miss a building that big?’ I feel like we still have the ability to lead the world. Not only in technology, but also in charitable giving and philanthropy.”
“I was teaching at a high school in New Jersey when I first heard about the attacks. I was shocked and confused because the high school had asked us not to put on the news on to scare the students so I was hearing bits and pieces of rumors. I think our government may have its problems, but it gives great freedoms that other countries have to fight for. Overall, I think American people are generous and good people.”
Mr. Williams ( History Teacher)
“I was teaching my level four Modern World History class. Somebody came to my door and just said, ‘someone flew a plane into the World Trade Center.’ I was shocked because this was my first year out here from Ohio. I thought it was an accident. I love this country. You can be anyone you want to be. You can go anywhere you want to go and learn anything you want to learn. The ultimate goal of this country is happiness.”
Mrs. Skuches ( Guidance Assistant and Swim Coach)
“I heard about the attack on 9/11 when I was on a business trip in Houston, Texas. It was my first trip away from my son since he was born. was talking to my husband who was going into New York City that day. He had told me it was a small plane that hit the building. About twenty minutes alter, he called me saying it was a bigger plane and he was heading out of the city. I wrote a letter to my son because I was stuck in Texas. All the planes and trains were shut down so I was there for five extra days. I still have the letter. I never gave it to him but I read it every September 11th. My initial reaction was disbelief. Being in a different part of the country, there was a different reaction because they didn’t understand the proximity of everything up here. I’m proud to be an American because no where else do you have the freedoms and the patriotism. Out of such sadness came so much patriotism and freedoms because of people who fought for our freedom.”
Mrs. Ramsey ( English teacher)
“I was upstairs in the last room of blue hall. Our initial reaction was that it was contrived or an accident. We were in a room where there was a TV and another teacher had turned it on and we watched the second plane crash into the building. I.m proud of our continuing acceptance to strive to protect other countries.”
Mr. Tupka (History Teacher)
“I was in school in Mr. Erikson’s class. We were just about to start a novel when my science teacher came running down the hall, shouting to turn the TV on. My initial reaction was shock and disbelief that this was happening. It seemed obvious that it wasn’t an accident, but you don’t expect it to happen in New York City where my classmates and I have been. I’m proud to be American because there is no other country in the history of the world that fought so hard to protect people’s natural rights.”
Mr. Kochiss ( Science Teacher)
“When 9/11 happened, I was in fifth grade so they didn’t really tell us much in elementary school. I didn’t hear what really happened until my mom picked me up from school. I normally took the bus, so I knew something was up. A lot of kids had also been called down and left early because they had family who worked in New York City. I actually wrote in my journal what happened on that day. My initial reactions were sadness and fear, because when you’re young you don’t understand things of this level and I was confused by politics. I’m proud to be an American because I have the freedom to do what I enjoy. I had the opportunity to become a teacher. I have the opportunity to go home and play tennis and do the hobbies I enjoy.”
Ms. Cassell (English Teacher)
“When I heard about the 9/11 attacks, I was in sixth grade Spanish at North Haven Middle School. I was 11 at the time, and I wasn’t sure about what happened. I knew what the Twin Towers were, but never heard it be called the World Trade Center. I was confused and didn’t understand the significance. I didn’t realize it because I was at that point where I thought everything revolved around me. This was the first time that I was worried about something and so was everyone else because this was so much bigger. There are a lot of reasons why I’m proud to be an American. It’s hard to see, but we do have everyone’s best interest and we’ve overcome so many things as a nation and as individuals. We live in a place where you can be who you want to and you’re proud of that. You respect others for that. I love being American and I love America.”
“When I first heard about the attacks, I was in Foran High in the art room when it was on the third floor. On my computer it said a small plane had hit the World Trade Center, then as more information wasreleased, everything went crazy. The truth came out about what exactly happened. Teachers were trying to contact family members in New York City. Mr. Nelson, a teacher who retired from here, had a TV in his room so we all went there to watch it. One of my students, Michael Miller who had graduated, was lost in the destruction. He was very popular and really nice. He was a great guy. My initial reaction was that I had thought it was an accident, then anger, and then I began to pray. My relatives were near the sight in Pennsylvania where another plane had crashed and I was able to visit that sight. I grew up in the 50’s and would sing ‘God Bless America’ every morning at Calf Pen Meadow. My dad was a World War II vet who raised all of us as American citizens who love this country. My whole neighborhood was built for returning veterans so there was always a sense of patriotism.”
Mrs. Svogun (History Teacher)
I was sitting in Dr. Raebeck’s 10th grade English class when the twin towers were struck. Shortly after the incident,our principal made an announcement over the loud speaker that there had been a terrorist attack on American soil. Our class rushed to the media center where a TV was already playing the live footage from the event. I was in disbelief that America, the most powerful nation in the world, would ever be successfully attacked.
Growing up on Long Island, it didn’t take more than a couple of hours for the smog to reach my town. School was released with an early dismissal and all afternoon activities were postponed. My parents, who both taught in the same high school I attended, drove both my brother and I home in silence. I remember feeling for the first time scared, helpless, and vulnerable. Due to our proximity to the city, we knew countless people who either worked or had family members who worked in the city. I have had close family friends lose loved ones due to this tragic event.
I was later shocked to learn that evening that Major League Baseball had decided to suspend all games scheduled that evening out of respect for those who were either lost or missing due to the events of the day. This was seen as controversial because many Americans believed this would have been a positive distraction from the destruction and devastation we faced while others believed it would have been seen as disrespectful to not give our country the appropriate time to grieve. However, when games did finally resume days later, I can vividly recall our president, George W. Bush, throwing out the ceremonial pitch in Met’s-Yankee’s Subway Series and how despite our local rivalry, we were truly Americans joined in spirit for a GREATER cause and our great country. It was incredible to recognize the NYC police and fire department members who were tirelessly working to bring NY back to it’s feet. With tears in our eyes, we listened to the national anthem and enjoyed an incredible game where NY Met’s catcher, Mike Piazza hit a game winning home run at Shea Stadium. I will never forget that game and how proud I was to be an American at that moment. This game meant so much more to me and to our country. It gave us hope, demonstrated our resilience, and made me believe our country would become even stronger than we were moving forward.
And, we did just that.
American flags were hung on the front porches of every home and local shops, people committed acts of kindness to complete strangers, our military went off to fight a war on terrorism, a new world trade center even taller than the PREVIOUS ones has now been completed and we have since created a beautiful MONUMENT to commemorate those who lost their lives.
I am proud to live in a country where education is valued, where hard-work is rewarded, where women are seen as equals, where individualism & creativity is encouraged, and where I can speak freely without consequence. Where people can pursue their passions without being told what to do or censorship limiting how they do it. Where my children can grow up to be whoever they want, vote for whomever they feel is most fit to do what’s best for our country…all while enjoy certain rights that protect us on a daily basis from foreign and domestic harm. There is no other place I’d rather spend my time on Earth THAN right here in the United States of America.
Earthquake Hits Nepal
Another earthquake hit Nepal recently and at least 42 people have died and another 1,129 suffered injuries. The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.4 and a U.S. Geological Survey stated that it struck at a depth of about 15 kilometers (9 miles). At least five smaller aftershocks were recorded after the quake.
The center of the quake was “located in an isolated area approximately 11 miles from Kodari, a border crossing from Nepal to Tibet, and 47 miles from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu.” Many buildings collapsed and there were more landslides. Some believe that another may come at any time, big or small.
It isn’t clear how much additional damage has been caused to the “thousands of buildings destroyed and mountain villages flattened” during the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that happened in the mountains west of Kathmandu on April 25 — which killed more than 8,000 people and injured 17,000. It was reported that people in parts of northern India also had feelings of a tremor and the ground also shook strongly in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital.
In a town of about 6,000 people, roughly 90% of its buildings damaged or destroyed in last month’s quake. Sindhupalchowk suffered the greatest number of casualties in last month’s tremor because of several landslides. “It isn’t immediately clear if the landslides caused new casualties.”
Teacher of the Year Continues to Succeed
For the past 17 years, Foran has been lucky to have Mrs. Tummins in the Child Development wing. Mrs. Tummins teaches all the child development courses as well as interior design. Throughout her tenure here, it is apparent what an impact she has made on our Foran community.
Inspired by many of her own teachers, Mrs. Tummins graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh with a Science degree in education. She taught English at Derby High School for four years and then took time off to raise her children. When she decided to come back to teaching, she came to Foran to work with the Child Development program. Not only does she teach the courses, she has also been the director of the Child Learning Center for the past fourteen years.
One of Mrs. Tummins’ goals as a teacher is to “make a connection with her students.” She feels it is important to listen to her students and make them feel comfortable in order to maintain a good learning environment.
This past year, Mrs. Tummins was named Foran’s teacher of the year. She has made a difference in students’ lives and continues to spread her positive attitude by making class a fun experience for everyone. Senior Sal Tuozzola says, “Mrs. Tummins is the type of teacher that goes above and beyond. She does not only teach her students, but builds positive relationships with them. Due to her love and compassion for education and her students, she has had a lasting impact on myself and others.”
Personally, I have had the pleasure of having Mrs. Tummins for Child development two and child care lab. Mrs. Tummins has taught me great skills in and out of the classroom. I am going to school to become an elementary school teacher next year and hope to be even half the teacher Mrs. Tummins is. I have learned so many skills that will get me ahead in my classes as well as life skills for when I become a parent in the future.
Mrs. Tummins has been such a great asset to Foran and it’s no wonder why she is 2015’s teacher of the year recipient.
-Fill out and return to Mrs. Farrell by April 18 and win a $25 VISA gift card-
1) How many years has Mr. Vitelli been a teacher?
2) According to a 2007 survey, what percentage of teens are suffering from a mental health illness in Connecticut?
3) According to the CNN, how often do school shootings occur?
4) Who is the author of Gone Girl?
5) Who performed at the Star 99.9 Music for Maren concert?
6) How many pepole were on the lost Malaysian flight?
7) What is the most recent flea index in New York City?
8) What is the national ratio of kids who live under the poverty line?
9) What is the manuel parents are given to help train their children for ISIS called?
10) Where will Emily Sabo be attending college?
Katie Buckheit and Ethan Hanna
Sports Editor and Guest Writer
In the rapidly growing world of video games, it is not uncommon for celebrities or professional video game players to be seen with crowds of people wanting to meet them.
South Korea, for example, is one of the biggest markets for up and coming professional players, coaches and teams. This community is so large that a world championship might house 40,000 physical attendees and tens of millions watching at home.
Teams will prepare all year for their one chance at possibly a million dollars or more. Skills and team camaraderie are built through living in a house together and playing different strategy games for around 18 hours a day. Possibly winning the grand prize of a million dollars, each player of the winning team may walk away with a $200,000 salary for the year, not including merchandise sales and endorsements.
The biggest game of all is League of Legends, which also has its close counterpart, Dota 2. Each of these games would be called a MOBA, or a multiplayer online battle arena. Each team member in the five-versus-five game will pick a champion or hero in order to destroy the opposing team’s most valuable structure.
Aside from the professionals that play for money, amateurs might practice their skills at home or at a “PC bang.” A PC bang, in more common terms, might be considered an internet café, or lounge for people to go play video games. In South Korea, these lounges are accessible for an hourly fee and are found everywhere.
Being one of the most quickly growing “sports” in the world, some countries, specifically South Korea, are limiting exposure to said games, given the negative effects. While most negative effects occur through very excessive gaming, in South Korea, computer addiction is considered a mental illness. Once a person is “addicted” he or she might undergo “treatment” in order to stop the urge to play all the time.
Some call this new hobby a sport, while others describe the up and coming superstars as professional video game players, instead of athletes. This topic is still debated, as the lack of physical activity might stunt the acceptance as a sport, like basketball or football.
Regardless of what its title is, many people say that this growingly popular profession will soon be ubiquitous around the world.
Some information courtesy of Vice News
Lion Donation Den open for Prom Season
Prom is May 2 this year. Between prom dresses, suits, shoes, accessories, hair, and makeup, it is easy to pay more than originally planned. The Foran High Prom Closet is open for business and ready to help.
The closet has been run for a few years through Student Life. Now, Ms. Bier, school counselor and varsity cheerleading coach, has taken over. “I am very excited to get the closet running and advertised to the community. It is a terrific resource for our students to have. It is so nice to see our students donating their belongings to help their peers,” Bier said.
The closet is located in green hall and is open to any student. It lends special occasion attire to students for events such as prom and banquets. Those who run it are always accepting dresses, suits, and dress clothes. “Although we have designated March 23-27 as our collection week, students, faculty and staff can bring in items at any point. I am happy to collect items throughout the school year,” Bier said.
The closet is open for browsing by appointment on Wednesdays 2:00 to 2:45 with Ms. Bier.
Along with fancy attire, the closet, newly named The Lion’s Donation Den, offers regular, day to day clothes for students in need.
“Many students don’t know that the dresses and formal clothes are lent out, but if they need clothes, the regular clothes are theirs to keep,” said Dr. Goleski. “Students often don’t know they can even ask.”
Ms. Bier said the closet is a great resource.
“Specifically, it is special to see the section of the closet we call the ‘Prom Closet’ grow with selections. No student should have to choose not to attend their high school dance because they cannot afford proper attire,” she said.
Many styles and sizes are offered in the Donation Den, for every girl. For an appointment, contact Ms. Bier at email@example.com.
Malaysian Flight Anniversary
Sunday, March 8 was the anniversary of the missing Malaysian airlines flight 370. The search continues to go on in the vast 23,000-square-mile priority zone in the southern Indian Ocean.
On the day of the anniversary, a report revealed that the battery for the locator beacon on the data recording black box had expired a year before the plane had begun its journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and then mysteriously vanished on March 8, 2014. Family members of the missing 239 people assembled and organized a public remembrance with prayers, message walls, and video links for overseas relatives. Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement, “Today, we stand united in remembering and honoring the 239 people, including 50 Malaysians, our prayers are with them and their loved ones left behind — whose sorrow we share.”
Exactly a year from the day the plane went missing, an independent investigative group released a 584-page report detailing what’s known about the missing plane, which was not much. The report stated, “The sole objective of the investigation is the prevention of future accidents or incidents, and not for the purpose to apportion blame or liability.”
With little to no leads on the disappearance of flight 370 and its passengers, Malaysian airlines and relatives of the passengers are growing concerned that the plane may never be found. Chinese relatives of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 pray at the Thean Hou temple in Kuala Lumpur.
Chinese families are still awaiting approval to hold a commemorative event in Beijing. Possible event venues include Beijing Capital International Airport, Flight 370’s destination the Yonghe Temple, a well-known Tibetan Buddhist monastery also called the Lama Temple, and the Malaysian embassy.
Family members have applied to have events held to commemorate the lives of the passengers of flight 370 yet they have still not gotten a reply.
Dai Shuqin had three generations of her family on the plane. “This is the one-year anniversary. It is very important to us. We have to do something for our relatives; we cannot be cold and not care. We can’t be like that. So we will go to the embassy. Some will go to the Lama Temple,” Shuqin said.
Drew Lenz, a senior here at Foran High School, said, “It’s unfortunate that there is no hard evidence or proof as to what has happened to the flight and I wish there was more funding towards this cause and my heart goes out to the families of those lost.”
In late January, a representative for Malaysian airlines officially reported the incident to be an accident and to this day, the location of Malaysian Flight 370 remains unknown.
The Nationwide median household income is 53,291 while the Silicon Valley median household income is 94,572. In California, Apple and Google grew out of garages, yet now garages in California are being used to house kids. While this area is known for such wealth, child poverty consumes the area.
One family, according to CNN, states, “We had to turn the living room and garage into rooms in order for everyone to fit.”
One in three children are at a huge risk of hunger due to the extreme poverty in Silicon Valley. The GDP is $16.8 trillion resulting in the second highest rate of child poverty. CNN states, “Nationally, one in five kids lives below the federal poverty line, which is $23,834 for a family of four.” CNN also said it would take $60,000 to $100,000 per year for a family of four to escape life in poverty.” This shows that childhood poverty is nearly impossible to escape.
Not only does poverty strain the physical needs of a child due to under eating, but poverty also takes a huge toll on the child’s emotional stability. The toxic stress from the poverty literally changes the brain chemistry, having a huge impact on the child. Poverty is a huge problem throughout the entire United States.
A great way to make a difference with poverty in America is to donate to a foundation. Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity, with network members supplying food to more than 25 million Americans each year. This network secures and distributes more than 2 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually.
If people are looking to get more local, they can reach out to the Beth-El Center of Milford. The Beth-El Center website states, “The Beth-El Center’s mission is to alleviate homelessness and hunger in the Milford area through shelter, support services, advocacy and community education in partnership with the faith-based community and public and private organizations.”
At this organization you can donate or volunteer. The Beth-El Center is always looking for soup kitchen volunteers, office volunteers, and handyman/maintenance volunteers.
Giving back to the community can be very beneficial. Your donations and/or time can have a huge impact on someone’s life.
New York City Plague
Most people think about bright lights and a world of opportunity when they envision New York City, but what most do not think about is the garbage and filth littering the streets, especially in rats.
Rats are one of the top animals to spread disease in the city and because of that the New York City Health Department keeps tabs on more than 95,000 rats.
Although the last known plague outbreak was back in 1925 in Los Angeles, the country is trying to maintain its plague-free streak by monitoring the rats that roam New York City every day.
In order to catch these rats and figure out what diseases and lice they are harboring, traps were set up in various locations throughout the city.
Rats are very cautious and aware of their environment, which makes it hard to catch them in traps. If they are trapped, many rats figure out how to get out and then never go near one again. So for scientists it was a patient waiting game for a sample of rats to test. Finally, after 10 months of searching, scientists caught 133 rats to test for disease. They literally had to comb through every rat with a fine tooth comb to discover the 6,500 fleas, lice and mites that lived on the rats.
According to an article on wired.com, some lice and mites include tropical rat mites, spiny rat mites, spiny rat lice, and oriental rat fleas.
The thing that alarmed scientists was the oriental rat fleas which are the ones that transmit plague and murine typhus. Thankfully there was no threat to the rats or people in New York City. A calculation called the Flea Index is used to calculate risk to humans of plague. It’s basically the average number of fleas on a rat. If the Flea Index is below 1 (1 flea/rat), then there is minimal risk of a disease establishing itself in a population.
In 1925, the calculated Flea Index for New York was 0.22. In the newly published study, the flea index was 4.1. That number is alarming to researchers and people living in New York City.
One thing they are trying to figure out still is what bacteria in or on the rats is causing the potential for plague. It is important to know that while right now, the rats pose no threat to the people in New York City, the tests are a precautionary measure used to gauge the amount of threat these rats pose to society. Of the rats sampled, not all rats had fleas and not all areas sampled have rats, so the distribution of rats and disease varies greatly throughout the large city.
One bacterium found was Bartonella, which causes trench fever and several other diseases, but there are many antibiotics around now to cure any disease that someone may contract.
Something that people need to consider now that there is a potential for an outbreak of disease in New York City is to control the amount of litter on the city streets and to try to rat-proof the neighborhood.
People worried about the rats infesting the city will be asked to do their part to make life unpleasant for the creatures. The more difficult they make it for rats to live near humans, the less people will need to worry about a spiny rat louse snacking on their ankles.
A “Monumental” Addition to America’s Treasures
Since 1906, presidents have used the Antiquities Act to expand national parks and historic sites in order to maintain American nationalism and establish landmarks that epitomize American beauty, culture, and history.
President Obama has done the same as presidents before him, using this act to introduce three new national monuments: Chicago’s Pullman Town, Honouliuli National Monument, and the Browns Canyon National Monument.
The Pullman National Monument is in Illinois and was America’s first planned industrial town. Situated in present-day Chicago, the Pullman district is home to factories and buildings from the Pullman Palace Car Company. Dating back to 1867, the Pullman Company manufactured railway cars when America first began expanding its borders further west and when steel companies were gaining momentum and popularity.
Working in such an industry were white Americans and immigrants who found homes in Midwestern cities such as Milwaukee and Chicago. Whites were responsible for the making of the cars while African Americans who made up the Great Migration found jobs working on the cars during service. The African Americans who worked for the Pullman Company helped advance civil rights in the nineteenth century and fought, as did many workers, for fair wages, working conditions, and working hours.
During the depression in the 1890’s, the Pullman Company helped spark America’s first industry-wide strike which eventually was one of the foundations for the creation of Labor Day. Throughout its history, the Pullman district of Chicago has kept its rich history in its streets and has rightfully deserved a national monument as Pullman town epitomizes American success and toil during the nineteenth century.
Hawaii’s Honouliuli National Monument is one that represents America’s darker history, as it operated as an internment camp in 1943. It was the largest and longest-running internment camp in Hawaii which held thousands of Japanese-Americans, European-Americans, and citizens of Hawaii during this time of war.
Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii said that Honouliuli will “memorialize the strength and bravery of the many people it held who faced discrimination” and will remind people history’s mistakes cannot be repeated. Finding its doors close to Pearl Harbor, Honouliuli will be operated by the National Park Service, a federal agency backed by former President Wilson in 1916.
The last of the new national park inductees is found in Colorado. Located in the upper Arkansas River Valley, Browns Canyon is 21,000 acres and will protect the diverse wildlife and flora that inhabit the mountains, canyons, and cliffs of this breathtaking site.
Managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Agriculture’s National Forest Service, the site will promote outdoor activity as it stands as one of the most sought after parks in the nation.
The new national monuments will properly memorialize and protect the history and nature of America that have contributed in teaching about America’s success in the nineteenth century and remembering prisoners of war all the while saving endangered species in the canyons and mountains of the Midwest. Other national parks/monuments that have been established under the Antiquities Act include the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty.
Foran Congratulates Essay Winners
The Daughters of the American Revolution is a national society of women who have relatives that are veterans. According to the DAR website, they are “…dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children.”
The history of the organization is described on their website. “The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded on October 11, 1890, during a time that was marked by a revival in patriotism and intense interest in the beginnings of the United States of America. Women felt the desire to express their patriotic feelings and were frustrated by their exclusion from men’s organizations formed to perpetuate the memory of ancestors who fought to make this country free and independent. As a result, a group of pioneering women in the nation’s capital formed their own organization and the Daughters of the American Revolution has carried the torch of patriotism ever since.”
“Each year the Daughters of the American Revolution sponsor an essay contest along with the National Italian American Foundation in honor of Christopher Columbus. The topic this year asked the students to imagine they have been chosen to join Christopher Columbus’ crew as he sets out for the New World,” said Mrs. Svogun, AP Euro teacher.
Lyric McVoy and Bobby McGinnis, juniors, both received honorable mentions for their essays they wrote for the DAR prompt.
“The prompt was from the perspective of a sailor who was going across the Atlantic with Columbus. The competitors had to write about what their hopes and worries were, and whether or not they believed the trip would be successful,” said McVoy.
The essay was written for the AP Euro class taught by Mrs. Svogun.
“The contest was open to all students in grades 9-12 in Milford. The essays were judged for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation and neatness. One winning essay from each participating chapter is submitted for judging on the state level. The state winner will move on to compete at the national level. The national winner is invited to read their winning essay at the National Columbus Day celebration in Washington DC,” said Svogun. “Lyric McVoy and Bobby McGinnis, both juniors in Mrs. Svogun’s AP/ECE European history class will be honored for their accomplishment at the local Milford Freelove Baldwin Stow Chapter in February of 2015.”
St. Patrick’s Day Celebrated Around the World
What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green. St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and people around the world are preparing for this celebration.
This holiday began in the early seventeenth century and commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations involve public parades, festivals, and wearing green or shamrock-decorated clothing and accessories.
It is said that Saint Patrick returned to Ireland from several years of slavery to bring Christianity to the pagan country. He used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish. Saint Patrick was born around 460 and by the 600’s, he was already known as the Patron Saint of Ireland
Heavy drinking is expected on St. Patrick’s Day: one reason is thought to be the Catholic requirement to fast from drinking during Lent. People also celebrate by dying water and beer green. Chicago dyes its river green, and many bars serve green beer. The White House fountain is also dyed green. Those who celebrate the holiday in a religious context may also hold a feast. Outside of this context, overindulgence tends to revolve around drinking.
Feasts on St. Patrick’s Day traditionally feature Irish food, including corned beef, coffee, soda bread, potatoes, and shepherd’s pie. Many celebrations also include an Irish breakfast of sausage, black and white pudding, fried eggs, and fried tomatoes.
Emily Hartnett says that she will be going to her grandmother’s house to eat corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day. “I am very Irish,” she said. Chloe Poroslay said, “I’m going to eat a lot of potatoes.”
Even though it has been celebrated in the US since the late eighteenth century, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a legal holiday in the US. However, it is still recognized and observed throughout the country. To celebrate, there is a prominent display of green, lots of eating and drinking, religious observances, and numerous parades.
It isn’t just the US that celebrates this day. Many countries – Switzerland, South Korea, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Great Britain, Canada, Argentina, and obviously Ireland – also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and have festivals and parades.
Many large cities in the US hold big events on St. Patrick’s Day. In Boston, celebrations bring more than 600,000 visitors to the city, which has a large Irish-American community. The city has one of the largest parades, and events are held in the large number of Irish pubs in the city.
NYC has the oldest civilian parade, which boasts over 150,000 participants. Scranton’s city parade is one of the oldest and largest. Since 1862, this parade has been one of the most popular. Chicago’s parades have been growing larger and larger, whereas in New Orleans, celebrations are typically held at the community or neighborhood level.
Joseph A. Foran: Then and Now
It is hard to believe that our well-known Joseph A. Foran High School was once a patch of trees before it was built in 1973. Before Foran was built, the two high schools in Milford were, our now cross town rival Jonathan Law and Milford High, which is now known as the Parsons Government Complex located in the center of downtown Milford.
The reason why Foran High School was built is because the two other high schools were overcrowded. Before Foran opened there were actually two shifts of school at Milford High. A group of students came in the morning, went to school and went home, and then another group came in for the afternoon.
Foran High School is named after Joseph Anthony Foran who was the superintendent of the Milford School System from 1945-1967. The Foran Lion Mascot is named Brutus in honor of Joseph A. Foran’s grandfather, Brutus P. Foran. Joseph Foran was born in 1906 in Meriden, Connecticut. He was born the son of John Valentine Foran and Anna Marie O’Connor. Along with being superintendent, he began his career as a high school civics teacher. Mr. Cummings, Assistant Superintendent of the Milford School District, was among many people who Joseph A Foran had an impact on. Mr. Cummings said, “I knew Mr. Foran only slightly and that was after he retired. He worked hard to build a school system that created opportunities for students. In that way his work has had a profound impact on my work in Milford.” Joseph Foran was an educator dedicated to doing the best for students.
In a way, when Foran was first built it applied different trial tactics by the Milford school system to see the benefits of certain programs. For a number of years all of the high schools were open campuses. This meant that the students came to school and left as they wished, whether it was for lunch or other reasons.
Mr. Cummings, who started at Foran High in 1976, said, “Sadly there were some accidents and students were hurt, so the open campus was abolished.”
Also, Foran adopted a new modified schedule when it first opened. This meant that classes ran at different lengths of time. This gave the students a lot of options. Mr. Cummings added, “There were study centers with coaches in all of the main lobbies of the second and third floor.”
Foran High School has changed and improved throughout the years since 1973 when it was built. Our school will keep improving and will definitely “Strive and Thrive”.
ISIS Poses Threat to National Security and the World
Terrorism has been no stranger to the world’s history. We are faced with a new threat today: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The group also brands itself as ISIL and IS. It controls territory in Iraq and Syria, and controls a good portion of the oil assets in both countries. The oil has been a product in the black market and could be making ISIS up to $3 million every day. The money they make through human trafficking also contributes to this sum.
The goals of the group include the formation of an Islamic Caliphate, in which one religious leader (the Caliph) controls the entire Muslim community. They contain radical beliefs, and promote violence in the name of religion. ISIS declares that anyone who does not follow the strict Sharia law (the moral code of Islam), do not need to be treated fairly.
ISIS has implemented restrictive laws and harsh consequences for violations. In schools, the curriculum is banned from teaching art, national history, music, literature, and Christianity. Women are required to completely cover their face. There have been many executions carried out for false violations like renouncing Islam.
The group claims control over all Muslims, but their horrific treatment of citizens of Iraq, Syria, the U.S., England, Jordan, Egypt, Japan and other countries prove otherwise. They have publicized beheadings and burnings of innocent people. American victims include Kayla Mueller, James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and Peter Kassig. They have also conducted mass beheadings, seen the execution of Egyptian Christians. They demanded ransom from Japan in exchange for the lives of Haruna Yakawa and Kenji Goto Jogo, but like any country’s foreign policy, negotiation with terrorists is unacceptable.
America has responded to these actions with airstrikes, which have been successful in killing the key people of the group. After they burned Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh alive, Jordan waged its own airstrikes on the group.
ISIS has committed many other human rights violations. The group advocates the trafficking of women who don’t follow the faith of Islam, and most of their victims are Christian and Yazidi faith. They have also groomed children to follow their violent treatment, and there have been brutal beheadings orchestrated by kids. There is also evidence to prove that they have been harvesting the organs of the religious minorities and anyone against ISIS.
ISIS has been able to expand its reach with propaganda, and they have used social media as an outlet to spread their messages of hate. ISIS has been able to reach a contemporary audience through Twitter.
President Barack Obama has asked Congress to utilize military force to end this atrocious group. It is crucial that we stay aware of what’s going on in the world, and fight for the people who have been subject to such horrific treatment.
Milford Arts Council Hosts Their Third Annual Oscar Gala
On February 22, the Milford Arts Council hosted its third annual Oscars Gala. Members and non-members of the community were encouraged to attend. Black tie affair was encouraged, as many chose to don fitted suits and sparkling gowns. With a cash bar and an abundance of appetizers ready for consumption, the event will remain a hit for many in the city of Milford. Complete with a red carpet for guests, it was a night to appreciate and remember the great films of 2014.
With tickets being $30 each, some may wonder if the event is worth the money. However, they are not aware of the many opportunities to receive free gifts and food. For example, there were three drawings to receive a bottle of wine provided by local stores. There was also a silent auction for prize packages, titled respectively by motion picture companies like Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers Entertainment. Some of the prize packages included gift cards to local restaurants like Bin 100 and Fratelli’s as well as a vouchers to a nearby spa. Appetizers and dessert are included in every ticket. Food scoured one long table, ranging from pita bread with hummus to chocolate chip cookies, with golden-starred plates to match the general theme of the event.
The event celebrated the 87th Academy Awards. With fan favorites like American Sniper and The Grand Budapest Hotel nominated, many anxiously waited for the results. A ballot was completed with a pool of money in a basket to be given to one lucky winner at the end of the night. Many guessed Birdman and Boyhood to win coveted awards like Best Director and Best Picture. Each table had its own famous actor or actress to represent the table. Amy Adams and Robert Duvall were just a couple of the examples. To coincide with that, there were two rounds of trivia about previous Oscar-winning films and stars. Table decorations included cups full of chocolate in the shape of masks and “Action!” clips, confetti, and programs about the event.
Beauty and the Beast Comes to Shubert Theater
The Shubert Theater in New Haven is bringing the 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast to stage this coming March. It is an international production that has performed to over 35 million people worldwide in 13 countries. Performances will be on March 5 at 7:30, March 6 at 7:30, March 7 at 2:00 and 7:30, and March 8 at 2:00. This performance puts Terrence Mann as Beast, Burke Moses as Gaston, Susan Egan as Belle, and many others to the spotlight. Songs include “Be Our Guest,” “Human Again,” “Gaston” and the title number. This production was nominated for many awards since it first started in 1993, and won for Best Costume Design in 1994. People gave this production 4.5 stars out of 5 and named it fantastic. Others said that it was “unforgettable” and a “beautiful production of the classic movie.” It is about two hours long with a 20 minute intermission. Ticket prices start at $20 and can only be purchased through the Shubert Box Office or Ticketmaster. Event details may change at any time, so always check with the event organizer when planning to attend this event or purchase tickets. If you’re looking for a great production, you should definitely attend!
Towering far above its competition for years, the performance of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. has all but flummoxed investors.
Fighting other fast food venues – including McDonalds, Panera Bread, Quiznos, to name a few – for the support of a middle-aged, fast-paced consumer base, the grill and its CEO, Steve Ells, have combined signature tacos and burritos for astonishing results: a budding revenue stream of $3.21 billion and a net income of $327.4 billion.
Valuations are surging, and investor confidence is strengthening. Despite recent stock slides, Chipotle seems to be at the apex of its life – with its signature guacamole leading the way.
Yet one factor is throwing this paradise toward malaise: tumbling oil prices. The common perception is that tumbling oil prices, making gas as low as it has been in 10 years, is the best thing that can happen to a post-recession economy. Paying less for gasoline lends itself to encouraging out-of-pocket spending. That extra $20 it cost to fill one’s tank can now be spent on necessities or luxuries; this spending would subsequently pour money into the private sector, helping the U.S. economy get back on its feet. Though this thought is viable, it’s quite fleeting.
Over time, in the most macroeconomic sense, the whole world would feel the tremors of mark-up. Consumers will feel the need to purchase the intensely lowered gasoline – why not; it’s the most logical of choices. Supply of the gasoline would therefore diminish and, with an exorbitantly large demand, the price of it will raise twofold; or even threefold.
What does gasoline, then, have to do with guacamole? The answer lies in the consumers: the teenagers in their Acuras, Sedans and Fords.
The teenage world is obsessed with the Chiptole. Four out of five students interviewed at Foran High School (with a sample size of 50 people; generalized for the sake of a succinct economic modeling) say that the restaurant is their favorite place to dine. “You can’t say Chipotle without guacamole!” senior Ray Hofferman said over a bite of his burrito.
Adding to this mantra, a plethora of phrases has been forged to signify Chipotle pertinence: What’s guacin’? Guac blocked! Among these, the most common utterance can be found masquerading lyrics in Machine Gun Kelly’s song “Wild Boy”: “I’m a guac boy, Imma Imma guac boy.”
This guacin’ subculture has found its way across the country, stretching from Connecticut to California. However, people don’t walk to the grill unless it’s close, right? Here’s where the vehicle comes in.
Guacamole at Chipotle will be deemed insignificant in the future; and cars will be the remote cause. Amid enlarging gas prices consumers won’t have enough money to fill their tanks, leaving the trip to Chipotle for another day. Even if the tank were to be filled, the consumer probably will have more important places to go: the gym, their house, Hollister. This will cause Chipotle to lower the price of its guacamole to substandard levels, with the mindset of reeling in jolted consumers. If this ploy works, Chipotle will barely make profit. Thus, a price increase is expected.
Sadly, the most revealing attribute of Chipotle’s guacamole – yes, just Chipotle! – is that it’s abnormally elastic, meaning that consumers react strongly to a change in price. Unlike a luxury product such as a watch, a car, or a boat, Chipotle guacamole is considered a necessity next to food, water and shelter. Even if the price of the guacamole raises a cent, consumers will react in the most textbook of ways, staging protests with the aim of price reforms.
The incentive to buy Chipotle guacamole would be lessened too. Consumers would consider other prospects to delve into – which are mostly made up of ravenous competitors.
Adding further tumult to the most ardent of guacer’s most feared lists, the sacred avocado is also declining. The avocado, due to climate change and with it hotter weather, will be on a 40 percent decline, say scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. This fact will lead to an increase in the demand of avocados and its product, the Chipotle guacamole.
Prices will rise and consumers will whine on Twitter and Facebook. Yet one fact remains: You can talk the talk, but you can’t guac the guac.
Foran Investment Club
Mr. Czarnecki, technical engineering and communications teacher, recently applied for a grant to fund his new club, the Foran Investment Club.
As a graduate of the financial guru Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, Czarnecki is well versed in how to manage finances and savings. Mr. Balestriere will be joining Czarnecki in founding the club, which will focus on how to become debt free in high school.
Ramsey has high school courses that provide tools for educators to teach students about financial responsibility. Programs are offered on Ramsey’s website, and while valuable and worthwhile, they are expensive. “Foundations in Personal Finance”, the program of choice for the club is approximately 650 dollars.
“I was told to go to a local bank and inquire about a grant. I went to the Milford Bank and asked. We got lucky in that the Milford Bank was having its annual give back for community groups. They gave us 500 dollars for the club, which was great,” says Czarnecki. “However, that still left us with 150 dollars to cover.”
The Milford Public School System picked up the rest of the tab, and the finance kit was ordered soon after.
In total, the Milford Bank has contributed a total of $13,350 to several community groups, including the Foran Investment Club, Disabled American Veterans, Get In Touch Foundation, Literacy Center Of Milford, Rape Crisis Center, and the Young Parent Program. All of the groups that received grants can be found on the Milford Bank website.
The club will run Thursdays from 2-3. All are welcome, and no experience is necessary to participate.
Martin Luther King Day
Join Mayor Benjamin Blake and Dr. Elizabeth Feser, Superintendent of Schools, at City Hall Auditorium on Thursday, January 15 at 10:30 am as Milford celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy! Milford students and residents are encouraged to participate or volunteer in one of the many community service organizations in Milford. Everyone is invited to attend the event; it’s a great opportunity to honor Dr. MLK and to give back to the community at the same time!
It took 15 years to make Martin Luther King Jr. day a federal holiday. After MLK was assassinated in 1968, a congressman from Michigan John Conyers first introduced the legislation. After years of debating, the legislation was passed in 1983, and signed into law by Ronald Raegan.
Remembering King is important, because of his role and impact on society today. We took to the halls and asked: “How has MLK influenced society?”
“He has advanced our ideas on race and equality.” – Jon Brennan
“He is the reason for no legal segregation.” – Zac Cleary
“It made us more connected and united as a society.” – Anthony Labozzo
“I aspire to be like him because he took a stand and fought for his beliefs.” – Sam Mitchell
“It is a tremendous significance because I’m a history teacher and it was important to be passionate about beliefs even if there are consequences.”– Mrs. Svogun
“He has proven the power peaceful protest and how it can change people’s lives.”-Ms. Condin
“He is wonderful role model men especially in this turbulent time. Many could take a page from his life and emulate it.”-Ms.Uchaczyk
“He kick started the civil rights movement, a lot of which wouldn’t have happened without him. He managed to do so in a non-violent way, which was needed.” Mr. Palumbo
“He was the forerunner for equality. If it wasn’t for him, it would be totally different today.”-Ms. Hart
Problems in Paris
If you are someone who has any concept of what’s going on in your world today, then you have heard about the recent and very tragic shootings in Paris, France.
The main suspects in the first incident are brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Saïd Kouachi, 34; another suspect is 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, whom officials later said turned himself in.
The Kouachi brothers allegedly stormed the offices of a French satirical news magazine, called Charlie Hebdo, Jan. 7, killing a total of 12 people in their path of terror. Among those twelve was Officer Ahmed Merabet, who was killed after confronting the Parisian terrorists.
A US official claims to have evidence from a French intelligence agent reporting that Saïd Kouachi traveled to Yemen and met with an Al Qaeda affiliate and spent a few months training in small arms combat and marksmanship.
This incident was not the only thing happening in Paris on this particular week; the next day, a man named Amedy Coulibaly killed a female police officer in Paris.
The next day, on Jan. 9, police cornered the Kouachi brothers at a printing business, and later shot and killed them. A hostage they were holding was set free.
Also that day, Coulibaly held up a grocery market with 19 hostages. He allegedly had ties with the two Charlie Hebdo gunmen. Anti-terrorist forces stormed into the grocery store and killed the gunman., but in the siege, four of the hostages were killed.
At the end of the week of terror, three of the terrorists were dead, but a fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, the partner of the supermarket gunman, is still on the run.
French officials have suspicion that Boumeddiene may hold the key to knowing whether or not the Kouachi brothers and the supermarket shooter are part of a bigger terrorist group forming in France. Updates on this event can be found on bbc.com
Ferguson, Missouri has been the subject of many news headlines recently. Since the conflict between the teenager, Michael Brown and police officer, Darren Wilson, the town of Ferguson has been at the forefront of news stories. The shooting initiated protests that shook the area for weeks.
On November 24, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury decided not to accuse Mr. Wilson of shooting without being threatened. After this announcement the entire country erupted with protests.
The protests and nationwide walkouts have been changing school life for students across the country.
Specifically, the students in Missouri want to take part in marches and other forms of protests during school and with their classmates. This has become an issue for these schools and the children because their freedom is being restricted.
Sophomore Hannah Pouliot said, “The change from middle school to high school gives you much more freedom. The level of independence that a student receives increases as they go up in grades.”
In Ferguson students are not given as many freedoms as at Foran. A student told the Huffington Post “At lunch there are officers at every exit, and you can’t leave class to use the bathroom without a police escort.” Police are worried that riots and protests will emerge in the schools if they do not take immediate action and place police in the schools.
Earlier this month when high school students in the neighboring Ferguson school district took part in the nationwide walkouts, their protests were treated more like a field trip on free speech and public dissent.
The shooting sparked controversy about racial views in the criminal justice system and the country as a whole.
Songs and other media have been created in response to the shooting and the resulting unrest. The song, “The Game Don’t Shoot Dedication track to Mike Brown,” featuring Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Curren$y, Problem, King Pharaoh, and the group TGT was one of many songs dedicated to Brown.
The shooting has stirred up the nation and has brought more attention to racial issues.
The protests that erupted have impacted the way of life in the Ferguson school districts and the nation as a whole, and protests will continue to occur. This will be a difficult thing to stop because many people feel that justice was not served.
Establishing valuable school atmosphere has always been one of the most important factors in Foran High School. Many actions have been taken to strengthen school climate, but there are always ways to improve. A few select students and teachers decided to take initiative and find new ways to create this positive school atmosphere. Juniors, TJ Stuart and Julia Silvestri, attended a conference at Newington High School ran by the anti-defamation league and found ways to improve on this issue.
Stuart said, “The goal of the conference was to raise awareness of how to increase school climate. We learned how to improve school pride, be an ally to people, and how to create a good atmosphere so students can enjoy coming to school.” Stuart says one of the most important things they learned was how to use social media to spread light about certain causes and fundraisers. Millions of people, especially high school students, use twitter every day to find out world and local events, sport updates, and also just to see what friends are up to. Though, some of the down sides to social media are that some of the information that is put out there can cause conflict between students and therefore can cause bullying. Silvestri says, “By creating accounts that promote school pride and events that students can attend, it will build a stronger atmosphere and a more helpful and positive way to use social media. Mr. Brennan, Dean of Students at Foran High School, also attended the conference. Brennan was able to collect useful information in order to help the school climate and increase teacher and student relationships. Brennan states, “Foran High is a great school with many great students. The goal of us attending the workshop was so that students and teachers can work together to bring us to the next level.” The students, who attended the conference and Mr. Brennan, thought of a perfect way to do so. They created the, “Foran Climate Control Club” in which its purpose is to create a connection between students and teachers and to make sure school is a place where everyone wants to come. The goal of the club is to increase school spirit but also to help solve student concerns and create an overall positive atmosphere.
Another very important concept that was taken from the conference was how to be an ally to everyone. At Foran we have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. Decreasing the negative energy in Foran and forming strong relationships with students, peers, and teachers will not only help to create a better school climate but will also provide a helping hand for people who have experienced or are experiencing bullying.
Stuart and Silvestri both share that, “Going to this conference was remarkably helpful and the information we learned is only going to help make Foran a better place for not only the students, but everyone as a whole.”
Not Just Cookies
Mhmmmm!!… is the sound you hear as students walk by the school store. That rich aroma of chocolate chip cookies fills the air and makes your taste and smell senses go wild. This is what students think of when they hear the words, Foran School Store. However, the school store has another side to it that not many students don’t see. The Foran School Store offers a variety of Foran apparel. From Hoodies and Sweatpants to Toddler clothes, the Foran School Store meets all needs.
Students are able to come with creative ideas for t-shirt designs and the Foran School Store will try its best make your creation come to life.Students are able to submit designs for a custom shirt and the Foran School Store team delivers it to you as soon as the shirt is completed.
The holiday season is coming soon and many students have a tough time picking out a present for a loved one. Well, the School Store has the answer with its new item,Holiday Gram. These special stockings include a stuffed bear and are only here for a limited time only. They contain candy and a special gift certificate to the School Store which allows you to get 2 free cookies. So, surprise a loved one, friend, or teacher with a special gift from the Foran School Store. It will make their holiday season even better.
The Foran School Store has become a very popular stop in the hallways at Foran over the years. Students love the School Store and believe that it is a vital part to what makes Froan such a great school. Hannah Pouliot, a sophomore, said “I love the school store, the cookies, the people, and the clothes are the best parts about it.” Even teachers love coming to the school store. Mr. Noyes, a Social Studies teacher, says “It makes red hall smell yummy” and Mr. Connors also said, “The ovens should be closer to the 4th floor and that delivery would be a great addition to the store.”
Many people have asked, “How do I join the School Store?” Well its very simple, all you have to do is sign up for Retail Marketing with Mrs.Brown. The class teaches you the ins and outs of management and marketing. The best part is being able to go down to the store and help sell cookies and Foran apparel to students and teachers of Foran. Its a really fun class and will help anyone who is looking to go into business or start their own store. The school store is open everyday and all the hours are posted on the front of the store.
Ébola es una enfermedad fatal. Esta enfermedad es transmitido por animales. Murciélagos de fruta son las animales que llevan Ébola. El primer caso de Ébola fue descubierto en 1976 en Nzora, Sudán, Yambykh, y la Democrática República del Congo. Ebola se apareció en West África en marzo de 2014. Ha habido muchos muertos en West Africa este año. Guinea, Sierra Leona, y Liberia tienen muchas personas que están contaminados con esta enfermedad. Ellos tienen muchas personas con esta enfermedad porque tienen una sistema de salud débil. Ébola está introducido con contacto de sangre, secreción, y otras cosas. Personas que han ayudado las personas con Ébola se han infectado de esta enfermedad.
Para ser conscientes de esta enfermedad, las personas necesitan saber las síntomas de esta enfermedad. Las primeras síntomas de Ébola son una temperatura alta, dolor de los músculos, dolor de cabeza, y dolor en la garganta. Es difícil distinguir esta condición fatal de otras enfermedades. Para aliviarlas desde esta enfermedad las personas deben cocinar las carnes bien. También las personas no deben a tener contacto con los animales que tienen esta enfermedad. Por ejemplo, las personas no deben tener contacto con los murciélagos y los monos para evitar las posibilidades de consumir Ébola. Las oportunidades de consumir Ébola está bajando también si las personas lavan sus manos bien. Si vas a ayudar a una persona con esta enfermedad es bueno que las personas se visten con ropa apropiado para reducir las posibles de llevar esta enfermedad. Si alguien tiene esta enfermedad o tiene las síntomas ellos necesitan ir al hospital rápidamente. Las personas necesitan tener una salud buena para eliminar las posibilidades de consumir esta enfermedad. También las personas no deben viajar a los países que tengan esta enfermedad. Es bueno que sepan que esta enfermedad está en Los Estados de Unidos también.
La primera persona que contrajo Ébola en los Estados Unidos fue un hombre. Se llaman Thomas Eric Duncan. Él es un liberiano que entró en este país en septiembre. La segunda persona que contrajo ébola es una enfermera que ayudó a Thomas. Desde entonces, más casos de Ébola han ocurrido. Este ha causado pánico en los Estados Unidos. En el noreste, ha habido falsas alarmas de la enfermedad. Por ejemplo, hay muchas alarmas falsas en estados como Connecticut. Pero ahora, Ébola ha llegado a Nueva York. Desde el 4 de Noviembre 2014, ha habido 13,628 casos de Ebola. Más o menos 8,168 son casos confirmados y 4,960 han muerto en África Occidental.
Ahora, el gobierno a prohibido la entrada de los Africanos a los Estados Unidos. Las personas que vengan del África y tienen que estar en aislamiento por 21 días para estar seguros que no tienen síntomas de Ébola. Hay mucho cuidado con eso enfermedad. Y muchas personas están trabajando mucho para encontrar una cura para Ébola. Ojalá que encontramos con una cura.
Have You Done the Hour of Code?
Have you seen those posters for Hour of Code near the main entrace hanging up? To date, 70 million people have done the Hour of Code, twice as big as last year! Across 180 countries, these people are learning new skills. The Hour of Code welcomes everybody – both students and adults – interested in computer science. People learn how to code on everyday technology during the week of December 8 to the 14 for its second annual event. Mr. Czarnecki wants more students to participate; even if you might not be experienced in coding, you can still learn the basics if you’re interested.
There are many supporters such as Mike Zuckerberg, one of the five co-producers of Facebook, President Obama, Ashton Kutcher, and Marissa Mayer, the president and current CEO of Yahoo, and others. Czarnecki teaches the Mobile App class, where students learn how to build mobile apps using MIT’s App Inventor 2 that will be on the Google Play store, hopefully be the end of the semester.
Students are encouraged to go on the website, http://www.code.org, to learn more information to be involved and learn more about new technology. On the website, there are several different links that can be used that include online tutorials and videos on the Hour of Code. There are videos introducing the several ways that computer science and coding can have on everyone and many activities.
Last year, Czarnecki explains that the Hour of Code went well in his classes. Czarnecki said, “If teachers want to do it, I’d love for them to do it or try it out. But if they can’t I understand.”
Czarnecki enjoys watching and listening to videos from top business executives around the world. He said “They give such great tips and it’s interesting to see that even they had to start of with the basics at some point.” Yesterday the site was down due to the large amount of people going on the site, but the Hour of Code can be done anytime within the next two weeks. Their goal is to reach 100 million people and is only hoping for the best!
The crowdfunding campaign is also setting their own goals – to raise $5 million. These funds will be used to bring computer science to 25,000 new classrooms by 2016. “For each dollar you give, one student will learn.” Please support their work.
Keep Calm and Nina Strong
Seymour student, Nina Poeta, passed away peacefully at the age of 17 on November 1 due to an inoperable cancerous brain tumor.
She was born on May 9, 1997 in Seymour. She always enjoyed keeping up with her big sister and older cousins. As a child, Poeta enjoyed playing soccer and did competitive gymnastics for nine years before being urged by friends, family, and coaches to try cheerleading.
She loved cheering so much that when she entered freshman year, she gave up both soccer and competitive gymnastics to pursue cheerleading full time for Seymour High.
Poeta had always been a bubbly person and had an infectious laugh. Poeta won many superlative awards throughout her schooling. Some awards included, “Most Likely to Brighten Your Day,” “Most Outgoing,” and she had recently been elected “Prom Queen” in May. Poeta also spent a lot of time fundraising for annual mission trips with her youth group. Friends and family describe Poeta as “kind and generous, beautiful from the inside out.”
Poeta was diagnosed with brain cancer just one year ago and told News 8 that it would not stop her from leading a normal teenage life. From the start of her illness, the town of Seymour rallied together in support of the young teen. A Facebook page was created called “Poeta Strong” where friends, family, and strangers could leave get-well wishes to Poeta and her family, and to also update readers on Poeta’s health and well-being.
One very notable thing the Seymour community did for the Poeta family included buying a wheelchair accessible van to transport Poeta to doctor appointments and various other activities. The van was decorated with pink decals saying “Keep calm and Nina Strong.”
Along with buying the family a new van, the Seymour community organized a benefit dinner and silent auction in Waterbury on November 21. Many people also created shirts and bracelets in honor and support of Poeta and her family.
Those that knew Poeta say that she truly left a mark on everyone she met. She was an outstanding student and athlete. James Freund, principal of Seymour High School, says she was “always smiling and had a lot of friends. She was an awesome kid.”
Reading the many articles about Nina Poeta’s tragic story also showed there was a silver lining in her situation and many other situations similar to hers. Although the end of Poeta’s story was heartbreaking, she was able to inspire residents from Seymour and several other surrounding towns to create a very strong support system. She taught people to never take life for granted and to appreciate life and live to the fullest no matter how much time you may have left on Earth. Poeta kept a positive attitude until the end, which is a truly admirable trait to have, especially for someone who had every excuse in the world to give up. Nina Poeta was a truly outstanding person who will be remembered dearly and fondly.
YAG Takes the UN
The Youth and Government Club went on a trip completely new to Foran. This was a mock United Nations trip at Fairfield University. Students had to become a whole new person or organization and argued for the political views of these people or organizations. The mission was to solve a problem currently happening in the world including the conflict in Egypt and the child trafficking in India. Many students became different personalities including Pierce Klein as Isis and Amber Frank as Indian Cabinet Member Kalya Malik. “It was a whole new experience,” Amber (Youth and Gov. Vice President) stated, “I’m glad that our club is spreading to new activities and areas. It was exciting to learn all about the United Nations and how it works.” For the youth and government club, the United Nations Conference was a great warm up exercise for the state congress conference in January and March. Mrs. Gilman stated “All the students had a great experience. They engaged in high level negotiation and listened to experts in the field of international relations.” This United Nations conference will loosen up the nerves and get people comfortable with the process. In fact Matt Downing won the most outstanding delegate for the mock U.N. conference. The Youth and Government Club will get started on the process of making bills with the leadership of Mr. Tupka and Mrs. Gilman. Mr. Tupka stated “Model UN was a great way for student to engage and use their higher order thinking skills.” They restarted the club after a one year break. It is truly a greatly inspired club to mold leadership and grow the youth of today.
Foran Helps Heroes
Recently, in accordance with the Veterans’ Day celebration, Foran High School reached out and helped the organization Homes for the Brave. Social Studies teachers, Mr. Tupka and Mrs. Gilman organized a collection to be sent out to those in need. One of the many Homes for the Brave is located in Bridgeport, Connecticut on 655 Park Avenue. This organization provides housing and services essential to aid homeless veterans and citizens and help them return to a productive and meaningful way of life. Not only does this organization provide safe housing but it also provides occupational training and helps them find stable jobs. They also help improve life skills, as well as mental health and provide addiction services for people involved. The collection at Foran started on November 3 and came to an end on November 14. Foran was very successful in aiding the organization and was able to fill a whole van full of food and supplies. There was an estimate of 1,300 items. Olivia Ellwanger, Development Associate for Homes for the Brave, said, “I have been with Homes for the Brave since July of 2013. This was my second year working with Foran High School and we are very grateful for the continued support!” Mr. Tupka said, “It is a fantastic organization that not enough people have the privilege to know about and we are very proud that through the efforts of Foran High School we are able to support those in need and get the word out.” Junior, Joey DellaMonica, felt great that he could have an impact on the life of those in need. He has heard about the organization before due to his father being a veteran of the United States Air Force. He would definitely participate in another collection and would urge his peers to do the same.
While we did not have the day off on Veteran’s Day, the school was filled with many amazing ways to honor our Veterans. Within our school community we are holding a Homes for the Brave drive where Social Studies classes are collecting items for the association, Wounded Warrior Ribbon sale, an English Poetry Contest, a banner displayed in the main lobby from the Art department, and all were asked to wear red white and blue on Veteran’s Day. Meanwhile, many classes had lessons geared towards Veteran’s Day. We also had the honor of hosting multiple veterans the day of and the day after. Students and faculty had the pleasure of hearing from a World War 11 Veteran, Foran’s Dave Doyle who served our country in Vietnam, and also a current US Army member John Davis.
My Journalism class had the pleasure of meeting John Davis who enlightened us on many details of what it is like to be a part of the US Army. Davis currently lives in Connecticut with his wife; they are expecting twins in June and are both enlisted in the Army. Davis describes himself as open minded, extremely humble, very friendly, enjoys meeting new people, loves music, and simply loves everything, everybody, and experiencing different cultures. One of the main reason he loves the Army so much is because the Army is a brotherhood and sisterhood of all different people around the country, creating a melting pot. Davis stated “You get to meet tons of people that are there for the same reasons as you and to protect the country you love.” He has been deployed 3 times, twice in Iraq and once in Korea and has been enlisted for a total of 14 years with 6 more to go reaching him to his goal of 20 years in the Army. While Davis admits he at first struggled with some major adjustments, now he states with pride “The Army is for some people and some people not, but for me I love it and enjoy the emotional high it gives me knowing I am protecting my brothers, family, and all of you around me.” Davis likes to remind us that Soldiers are everyday people and enjoy blending in, they’re not robots, they pay their bills, drive normal cars, and have kids and relationships just like many of us. Today Davis hopes to receive his associates sometime in January after he completes three more online classes, then he is after his next goal of a Bachelor’s degree. The entire class really appreciated a fellow solider taking time out of their day to come in and speak to us; it was a very eye opening and memorable discussion.
Many students and faculty have plenty to say about Veteran’s Day and really appreciated how well the school paid their respects for the holiday. Junior, Sam Kopatch, said “I was so happy with how well Veterans Day was celebrated, it’s a big day to give thanks to the veterans who fight for our freedom that many other people around the world do not have!” Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Gilman, stated “The best possible way to show our appreciation is donate to Homes for the Braves. That way we can support our vets that are struggling.” Senior, Josh Mixie, said “Veterans Day means a lot to me, therefore I am so appreciative to how above and beyond the school went to truly recognize and honor our heroes.” Sophomore, Dezi Lazo, exclaimed “I watched a video in my survey class that I will simply never forget; we watched millions of soldiers having to leave their families and entire life momentarily to go out and risk their own lives for the safety of mine and many others all around the country. Everyone should really be aware to the sacrifices they make daily and truly appreciate what they do for this country.” Our principal, Mr. Berkowitz said “The day was simply a great day, there were projects to help our Veterans. In total, between Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 veterans visited our school and went from class to class. Also, all teachers did something to show the importance of honoring our vets which was a very nice tribute. I hope Tuesday and Wednesday made students realize how much of an impact Veterans have made on this country, and how truly thankful we should all be.” Many teachers and students were awakened and reminded to how lucky they truly are to live in America and have our veterans, everyday people, fight for our safety. Veterans Day reminds us that we should not only value and acknowledged our soldiers for this holiday, but that we should continually be so very grateful for them.
This past Saturday, November 1, was the second annual Vicki Soto 5K. This idea was formulated after the tragedy in Newtown. Soto is being remembered as a hero during the Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy, when she protected her class full of first graders.
Soto had a true passion for education which is why her family decided to open up the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund. The money raised for this fund will be used to support students that desire to go into the field of education. Since she was in high school she knew that she wanted to go into education and help out students.
Cassie Bennett, Freshman at For a High School said, “I ran the race because my family and I thought it was a great cause and a good idea to do it all together. What motivated me to run the race was that it was such a good cause. I ran the race with my mom my dad and my younger sister. This race was important to me because I wanted to show Vicki’s family how much people care about her and that she won’t be forgotten. This 5k was different than others I have ran because there were a lot more people. Also some people were dressed all in pink.”
This 5K is only one of the fabulous tributes to this woman. They are building a school after her which will be made in place of the Stratford Academy. This will hopefully be open for the fall of 2015.There is even a petition going around to name the street Victoria Soto Lane.
Mrs. Farrell, who also ran the race said, “This is my second time running the Vicki Soto 5k. It was emotional last year and this year. Every day I try to live by Vicki’s motto, “Live. Laugh. Love.”
Even though it was stormy and pouring rain last Saturday, the terrible weather did not stop the 2169 participants. To find out more about how to sign up for next year’s 5k, donations or simply more information about fundraisers please visit.
Ebola Outbreak Plagues the United States
The threat of Ebola encroaching upon the mainland United States has come true as six people contracted the illness domestically while one of the six, Thomas Eric Duncan of Texas, succumbed to it.
Ebola has been transported elsewhere to the United States through places such as Sierra Leone and Liberia, which are overflowing with hundreds of cases of Ebola – these countries are representative of a crucial hotspot where supplies and care are urgently needed.
Because of the dire demand for personnel and equipment, a multitude of countries have stepped in to help the embattled continent of Africa: The United Kingdom, France, and the United States, to name a few.
The calling for support brings forth problems for technologically advanced countries such as the United States, however.
Ebola is easily transmitted through bodily fluids, which is why aid workers have intensive step-by-step procedures to avoid contamination; albeit even with carefully monitored steps the disease is still very dangerous.
Therefore, the likelihood that a health care worker will unknowingly contract the disease increases; the worker infected would subsequently shuttle it into the United States.
This is why five United States airports – Washington Dulles International, O’Hare International, Hartsfield-Jackson International, Newark Liberty International, and Kennedy International – have implemented temperature checks to ensure the absence of a fever.
“We have to keep our guard up,” said Tom Friedan, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Travelers who have recently traveled from Africa to the United States are the prime targets for screening.
The FCC has also put into place a system that addresses varying levels of risk: A traveler is high risk if he or she had been in contact with bodily fluids; low risk is associated with being around someone with symptoms – an airplane, for instance.
Over the past few days, however, safety precautions have stirred up intense controversy, stemming from the use of quarantines.
Kaci Hickox, a nurse who had returned from West Africa, was quarantined in a hospital located in New Jersey, yet she tested negative for Ebola.
“This is an extreme that is really unacceptable, and I feel like my basic human rights have been violated,” said Hickox, who scorned Chris Christie’s handling of the situation.
This situation brings to light the question of a volunteer’s proposed health condition when he or she returns to the United States. Aid workers like Hickox have wondered how they will be treated when returning home, and if they will be immediately deemed contagious.
“This protective measure is too important to be voluntary,” said Pat Quinn, governor of Illinois.
Due to outrage Chris Christy has released Hickox from the hospital, although questions concerning the state and the national government’s ability to handle the situation are still under scrutiny.
Malloy, Foley Battle for Governor of Connecticut
The race for governor draws to a close, and after watching countless political ads and months of campaigning, we will finally find out the governor of Connecticut on November 4. Incumbent Dan Malloy, a Democrat, was challenged by Tom Foley, a Republican. It really is anyone’s race, and has been one of the closest in the country. Many New England states, which are traditionally Democratic, have elected Republican governors in the past years. Malloy was the first Democrat to hold the seat in two decades. According to polls, Foley has had an advantage over Malloy in suburban areas, while Malloy is favored in urban areas.
Foley and Malloy had previously competed for the seat in 2010. The election was close, but Malloy won by 6,404 votes. Foley challenged his previous opponent again, and beat Republican John McKinney in the Republican primary.
Both men have impressive resumes. Foley has a degree from Harvard and was the Ambassador to Ireland from 2006 to 2009. He founded the NTC Company, a private investment company, in 1985, and served in Iraq in order to encourage the growth of the private sector within Iraq.
Malloy attended Boston College and was the mayor of Stamford for 14 years, making him the longest serving mayor for the city. Prior to that, he was an assistant attorney general in Brooklyn, NY, and a member of many notable groups such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Stamford Cultural Development Organization, and the president of the Connecticut Council of Municipalities.
As governor, Malloy’s legislation has been subject to mixed reviews. After the Sandy Hook tragedy in December 2012, he revamped the gun laws, making them one of the strictest in the country. They required background checks on private gun sales; put forth a ban on magazines which can hold more than 10 rounds; and expanded the list of guns on the assault weapons ban list. This has been subject to much scrutiny by those who abide by the Second Amendment, including the National Rifle Association. In addition, Malloy has signed legislation which will increase the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017, ban the death penalty, and decriminalize marijuana.
If elected, Foley plans on making Connecticut more hospitable toward businesses, some of which face burdening regulations and paperwork, which can discourage the growth of businesses and jobs. He also plans to fix underperforming schools and give kids the option to go to the public school of their choice.
If reelected, Malloy plans to allow college graduates and students to refinance student loans at lower rates. He also hopes to grant $10 million in school security infrastructure grants to make public schools safer.
Connecticut will make its choice known at the polls November 4. (Courtesy of tomfoleyct.com, danmalloy2014.com, balletpedia.org)
Youth and Government Club might seem like a bore but it is just the opposite! I’ve been a member as a freshman, junior and am now the Vice President as a senior. Starting off I didn’t know much about government or politics and I wasn’t sure I was interested either. YAG, our nickname for the club, changed that. I learned all about writing bills, debating and the process that comes with trying to pass a bill in the senate. The club died out recently but has been revived by two of our awesome history teachers Mr.Tupka and Mrs. Gillman. We have the great opportunity to go to two conferences in Hartford over the school year, one being an entire weekend in March. A bunch of different schools from all over CT come together at these conferences and get into heated debates over bills ranging from serious to silly. These conventions give each delegation the opportunity to voice their opinions and connect with peers from many different cities. On the weekend we go away they even hold a social for all us teens on Saturday night so we can hang out and get to know one another even better. A direct quote about our club from Dylan DeStefano, my fellow YAG member. “Youth and Government is definitely a lot of fun. I believe our Foran Delegacy is very successful, we got one bill passed and one vetoed. The more members we have, the more bills we can get passed. I highly recommend this club to anyone with strong political beliefs or even anyone who is interested in learning about the government.” I foresee awesome things for this club in the near future; I’m very excited for this upcoming year. I highly suggest joining this club!
New York’s Climate Rally
Before the United Nations summit, New Yorkers and others across the United States rallied to oppose global warming in the People’s Climate March. The goal of the march was to push a reduction in carbon emissions. The parade was in conjunction with The United Nations Climate Summit that took place on September 23rd to encourage a climate control treaty that will hopefully be instilled by the year 2015. More than 300,000 people marched two miles through the city. Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DeCaprio, famous actors, and Jane Goodall, a famous primatologist, participated in the effort to decrease carbon emissions. Mayor DeBlasio of New York, General Ban Ki Moon, and Al Gore also marched in the parade.
More cities, such as Melbourne and London, participated in their own climate marches as well. Approximately 2,000 other protests were taking place on various days. At the climate summit, countries are expected to explain how serious they are about solving climate change. Eventually, it will lead up to the climate meeting next year in Paris. The United States and China need to act fast considering they are the biggest producers of fossil fuels and carbon emissions. At a Major Economics Forum, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “We all know exactly what it takes to get the job done. The solution is energy policy … every one of our countries has the technology to do this. It’s about getting the political will to make the decisions.”
Many Americans are in support of new climate procedures. Victims of Hurricane Sandy and California wildfires were a part of the parade to seek justice. A poll from the LA Times claims “two-thirds of Americans say they support laws that would promote the use of renewable energy to wean the country from fossil fuels, and two-thirds also support setting limits on carbon-dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.”
Overall, the climate march was successful for New Yorkers and others across the United States. With a record number of people, it set the standards for climate change. Supporters of the weaning of fossil fuels can look forward to the conference in Paris next year.
As the United States began bombing runs on ISIS – or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – on the 24th of September, many wondered whether the U.S. was stepping straight into an all-out war. The departure from Iraq also left many Americans questioning if the Hawks would stay in their nest; although recent developments have said otherwise.
By beheading American Journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, the ISIS militants hoped to dismiss any notion of American aggression towards Islamic expansion, with the group warning that “We will drown all of you in blood.” ISIS insists that their violent actions correlate directly to American intervention.
Yet, if left alone, the group will accumulate a mass of connections, weaponry, and funds that will threaten the West. Therefore, the idea of isolationism, present during the Cold War era, is dismissed.
The idea of another homeland threat galvanized the president into taking considerable action. President Barrack Obama, appearing at the 69th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, said the group “must be degraded, and ultimately destroyed.” Furthermore, the president voiced that allies will “come together to reject the cancer of violent extremism.”
Worldwide unity also came at a head on the 24th of September when an ISIS regimine, Jund al-Khilafah, abducted and killed French tourist Herve Gourdel. ISIS stated that the reason was, once again, due to airstrikes. The genuine evidence of the tourist’s death was made clear by the video of the beheading, distributed by the SITE Intelligence Group, which is a terrorism watchdog.
Not only is the United States bombing areas in Iraq, but the country is arming and training 5,000 Syrians to fight the well-equipped terrorist force, who have tanks, grenade launchers, and a multitude of light and heavy arms.
Secretary of State John Kerry, an instrumental figure in the fight against ISIS, stated that the U.S. was in fact not in a war, but in a counter-terrorism operation. “What we are doing is engaging in a very significant counter-terrorism operation, and it’s to go on for some period of time,” Kerry said.
This operation may take a while, though. So far, the U.S. has launched 150 air strikes into Iraq. With anywhere between 20,000 and 30,000 armed fighters, ISIS will be quite a tough target to defeat. Thus, significant intelligence will need to be obtained in order to locate ISIS strongholds; this will hopefully lead to the elimination of central planners.
Some information gleaned from Time.com and thehill.com.