New Classrooms at Naugatuck High School

New English Classroom

New English Classroom

Written By: Jared Rhodes & Samantha Sbat

The construction has changed everything for the Naugatuck staff and students. The new classrooms in particular have drawn the attention of teachers, as well as students. Many teachers have wondered what the new classrooms would look like. Now that most of the new classrooms are done we sought out teachers in new classrooms to ask about how they feel the new features. Teachers, including Assistant principle Eileen Mezzo, have many positive things to say about the new rooms and offices, but also have a few concerns.

We went around to many different hallways, and first sat down with Jose Sendra, a Spanish teacher at the school. He had positive things to say, “My favorite thing is the counter. I’m being serious; it keeps me organized.” However he also had some negative feedback, saying, “The new interactive system has been downgraded, we went from a Mercedes to a Chevy”, he said. All in all he loved the bright color, desks, and chairs including his. “This is great for students.”

Gena Spiller, chair of the science department, also had positive things to say as well. When talking about her favorite part of the new classroom, Spiller said, “The technology, and the interactive projector. I like the interactive boards better than the old smart boards. Because it allows you to do more things, and there’s so much more room.” Talking about the new faculty room made Spiller even happier, “Love it, allows my entire department tocometogether, and allows for the teachers to get out of their rooms instead of staying there for lunch.”

Michele Russell, math department chair, really liked the roomy storage of the new rooms. “I like all the storage cabinets; they’re nicer and neater. I like the interactive board, but I’m still learning.” Although she misses her old smart board, “I love the old ones, if they gave us a choice it would be the old ones.” When we asked about her least favorite part of her new classroom she replied. “The size of it, and how there’s only one window. I used to have two windows and it felt 

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brighter. Other than that I love my new room, it’s a nice classroom environment.”

Carolyne Dymond, an English teacher at the school, talked to us too. Dymond’s room isn’t quite finished yet, but she had some positive feedback. “The storage, I love the storage, and the air conditioning.” Although Dymond had those beneficial things to say, the interactive boards concerned her. “I prefer the old one, these are difficult and sensitive, but maybe I need training.”

 

Eileen Mezzo, vice principle at Naugatuck High School. Loved her new office, “I love the new furniture, I love how spacious it is, I’m way more organized.” Mezzo had certain concerns, “I don’t like that I’m not near the kids, I used to be in castle where kids would stop by all the time. I feel that I’m isolated; I chose to work at a high school full of kids. Other than that I wouldn’t change the terrific job they did on my office.”

 

The new classrooms had some concerns, some teachers were satisfied with interactive boards and some weren’t. Although, with time many teachers will learn and be taught how to use these interactive boards. Other concerns teachers had were the classrooms being smaller, and not having an extra window or no window at all, like the Math and Spanish hallways. In the end there were a lot of positive attitudes about the new classrooms. Many of them loved the colors, the English teachers loved the brightness of their rooms, the storage cabinets, desks, and chairs. These classrooms have become a very good working environment for students as well as teaching environment for teachers. Naugatuck High School is becoming an even more great school for everybody.

 

 

 

But It’s Just a Study Hall!

Written by Nicole Healy and Ashley Roberts

“Students who know the worth of their education are the ones who consistently come to class,” said Mrs. Stewart, Naugatuck High School’s English department chair. So why are some students skipping class?

After polling 20 students at Naugy High we found that 65% have skipped class before. When asked what classes they cut, they said study halls, math and English classes.

Does the fact that the class is required rather than chosen by the student affect whether or not they skip the class? Dr. Kobylenski, one of the art teachers at Naugy, said not a lot of people cut his class because they choose to be there to pursue their love for art. He believes students would want to come to class more if the school offered more classes and gave more freedom to choose what students want to  take. “Money is what keeps it from happening,” Kobylenski says.

Elective teacher, Kevin Wesche, said he doesn’t get many cuts either. But when he does, he says, “It is very hard to make up a hands on class like CADD.” He believes to keep students in their core classes teachers just need to make class more enjoyable and make students comfortable in the class. “Why did you become a teacher of something if  you can’t make it interesting?” he says.

On the other hand, Mrs.Saam, the principle of Naugatuck High School, says she does not decide what classes are graduation requirements. It is in the hands of the state of Connecticut to decide, she just follows their guidelines.

Saam said she understands sometimes students have bad days or go through emotional issues at home and can’t handle going to class sometimes, but wandering the halls instead is not acceptable. The school has guidance counselors and social workers to help students through personal issues, but that option is not often used.

So, how exactly are we are we supposed to keep kids in class? We can’t change the curriculum, money isn’t exactly available, and our counseling services  aren’t always being used.

Mrs. Stewart suggests,“Let the kids know it matters they’re there.”

The Legacy Won’t End Here: Auditorium in Progress

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck High School’s (NHS) auditorium is the setting for traditional annual events. Out of commission due to renovations, the loss of the auditorium begs the question: will NHS be able to deliver the experiences seniors have come to look forward to and expect?

Auditorium 2

Auditorium in Progress

The auditorium had originally been scheduled for full renovation to be completed on April 1, 2015, but is now confronted with delays. The architects and O & G had at first intended to use and work off of the auditorium’s original design, meaning that it would require major structural overhauls. However, the auditorium’s construction contained major issues, and they needed to be addressed in the renovation. With that, new materials, such as the steel that had to be completely reworked, was ordered and the job’s completion was delayed. According to Naugatuck High School Principal Jan Saam, the auditorium will be ready in the Fall.

Some of the high school’s programs and shows have faced cancellation, while the others had to compromise.

 

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Auditorium in Progress

NHS’s “Mr. Greyhound” is no longer scheduled for 2015. “It’s unfortunate that the show won’t happen and that means we won’t be able to donate to the PMC,” said Sophomore English Teacher Mrs. Dunn, who has been the initial adviser since 2005. The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) is a non-profit organization that donates 100 percent of their proceeds to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “I wanted to see it,” said Senior Elijah Glidden. “It would have been awesome. I would have done it.”

“Rip the Runway” adviser and marketing teacher Mr. Reilly still remains optimistic. “The kids need these things. They’re legacy events.”

Reilly had met with O & G, seeking to negotiate the auditorium meeting its safety requirements and fulfilling all necessary codes to make the building safe for people to be in it for just one night. O & G has yet to make any promises. Reilly is still very confident, intending on the event taking place within the auditorium on June 11. Traditionally, auditions and rehearsals would be held in the auditorium, but are now being relocated to the cafeteria. “Failure is not an option” he said. “We will have ‘Rip the Runway.’ Guaranteed.”

Auditorium

Auditorium in Progress

“I’m disappointed,” said Saam, “but, I understand that when you take on a project of this magnitude, it’s hard.”

And seniors have taken the loss of certain events to heart.

“It will be sad for students who won’t get a shot at it. I think in life we are always going to have disappointment, but we overcome it. I hate when kids have to lose out, but we’re trying the best we can to make things happen,” Saam said.

Seniors are still struggling to understand.

“I don’t understand why it’s not finished,” said Senior Theresa Towne. “It’s not fair because every other class before us had most of these opportunities.”

Senior Pedro Santos agreed, adding, “A lot of students have creative ideas, but they’re going to waste.”

Other events and ceremonies have been relocated, entirely. According to Saam, Honors Night will take place at City Hill Middle School. Spring concerts for NHS’ band will also take place at City Hill. Spring concerts for choir will be held at the Congregational church downtown and the Jacket Ceremony will be moved to the high school’s gymnasium.

Auditorium 4

Auditorium in Progress

Renovation at the high school broke ground in April 2013, but construction on the auditorium began in March 2014. The entire project was set to take 30 months and is expected to be completed by October 2015. The auditorium is anticipated to be complete before the new school year opens in September.

Unfortunately, students of 2015 must cope with the unforeseen complications that have occurred during the renovation process, but these legacy events are surely expected to carry on through the following years.

 

Written By Tony Lacerenza and Anthony Angiolillo