Shockingly, the Protests Continue

Written by Jared Rhodes

Shockingly, the protests continue. The riots in Ferguson, Missouri  still continue from the day of  August 9, 2014. Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson should’ve gotten indicted of killing an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown because he allegedly fled the scene of the store and Darren Wilson claims that Brown attacked him. But really? if Michael Brown steals from a store, he gets shot by a police officer? If Michael Brown was a white teenager he wouldn’t get shot by an officer, probably will just get arrested. But for me as an African-American teenager I would still protest from this day and fight for more justice for Michael Brown because, now former Officer Darren Wilson, resigned on November 30,2014 because the protesting was unrelenting. Some cars and buildings were on fire and National Guard got involved too with tear gassing and arresting many people. Schools were canceled because the town of Ferguson were just a huge mess happening. Of course people in Ferguson would do those crimes is because that was wrong that Wilson shot Brown.

But early on Thursday morning, March 12, 2015, two officers were shot by an unknown person,  after guarding the Ferguson Police Station Headquarters. One of the officers, a 32-year-old with seven years experience in law enforcement was shot in the cheek. The other officer, a 41-year-old from St. Louis County Police with fourteen years experience in law enforcement was shot in the shoulder. Both Officers were released from the hospital later that day.

This happened after the next day, Chief of Ferguson Police Department Thomas Jackson announced that he will be resigning, effective March 19. The reason why he is resigning is because The Federal Justice Department found racist jokes being sent in emails by Ferguson police officers and the chief is taking the blame for that. Of course the chief would resign because he can’t handle the protesting and the officers made racist jokes on their email. They don’t care about Black lives. Really, are you kidding me?  Is it because Michael Brown was Black and everyone thinks that only black folks are bad people. The reason why the person shot the two officers is because since Michael didn’t get his justice, thats the revenged from the protesters. I mean yes this situation was wrong that the person shot those officers, but I would think that was revenged back. But this investigation is still ongoing, Police have now identified the suspect, 20 Year old American- African Jeffrey Williams, His side of the story is the police officers were not his target. There is a big tension across the world between police officers and young black teenager. Ferguson is a small town and this situation was all over the United States.

 

The Amazing Teacher and the Necessary Advocate

By Mariah Meiklem

Naugatuck High School has so many different teachers and administrators who are so, actively engaged in their students’ lives on a daily basis. In and outside the classroom students can find assistance. I know this better than anyone because, I rely on quite a few of them. There is one person who I truly admire and respect for her passion and dedication to teaching, Mrs. Messenger.

I like to think of myself as a self-sufficient student, I am strong and determined once I put my mind to doing something it is almost as if it starts to consume me. That ambition and drive has been built up by the endless amount of support and opportunities Mrs. Messenger has given me.

Teachers give assignments to the class as a whole where in Mrs. Messenger class she allows the students to choose their own topic and express themselves freely. I am currently in her Journalism class, which is a given that she would allow her students to choose their own piece. Yet, I have also been in her Yearbook and English class where she also allowed us to speak freely. A lot of time I can throw any kind of idea to Messenger and it is as if she spins it into gold.

I can go to Mrs. Messenger with a very controversial topic that I do not necessarily agree with and she will give me a completely unbiased perception encouraging me to look more at the opposing sides of things but, also backing up my own personal feelings. To some students that just her doing her job to me that is a life lesson.

Teachers should have high expectations of their students and make it clear of what exactly those expectations are and since my sophomore year of high school Messenger has made hers crystal clear to me. One day she asked me a question that I could not quite wrap my head around to why she would ask me such thing. She asked me, “Would you consider me a good teacher?” This question truly took me by surprise because her I am in the past three years practically idolizing her coming to her every day in class and outside of class constantly asking her opinion which many times I would not consider asking another also coming to her for support with my organization as well and she would ask me of all students such a question. I was shocked and all I could think was great advocates and leaders often need recognition to understand the impact they have made. Which is a big reason why I wrote this article.

Mrs. Messenger you have been one of the most influential teachers I have ever had and being a senior in high school I have had my fair share. You obtain all of the qualities I look for most in a teacher. You are dependable, honest, trustworthy, loyal and honorable. I have never had a teacher who has put their student’s opinions and wishes before their own.

I truly appreciate everything you have done for myself and my fellow classmates and after talking to everyone I know that you’re leaving has impacted us all greatly but, we are all so very proud of you. Even though Naugatuck High School has lost one amazing teacher I know that you are going to do great at your new job and make as great of in impact you have here there.

Someone Deserves a Big Goodbye

Written by Spencer Dreher

I have a job in my town every Saturday during the winter where I score-keep for the youth basketball league.  As I drove in to the middle school where the league holds its games, I was behind a tan-like-colored minivan.  I did not think much of this vehicle at first but when I saw who got out of it, a smile developed on my face.

Out of the minivan stepped one of the players and his father, mayor of my town, Democrat Robert Mezzo.

So why did this make me so happy?

Well, before Mezzo was mayor, Mike Bronko, a neighbor of mine, ran the borough of Naugatuck.  A few weeks after Bronko took office, I no longer saw him come home in his normal everyday vehicle.  Rather, he came home in an FBI-type black vehicle, which was clearly provided to him by the town.

Am I trying to give off a negative vibe on the former Republican mayor?  Absolutely not.  If I were mayor, I would have asked for that car on the first day.

The difference is, however, that Mezzo didn’t.

This may not seem like a big deal to most people, but this tells a lot about Mezzo.  One of the things it tells us is that we all are upset after the announcement that the now three-term mayor made just a couple of weeks ago.

Mezzo said in his personal blog, “…I have decided that it is time for me to begin the next chapter of my life. I will not be seeking a fourth term during our municipal elections this November.”

The way things were going, it looked as if nobody was going to run against Mezzo in upcoming elections anytime soon, and there was a good reason behind that.

Everyone in this town, no matter what political allegiance they take, respects the heck out of Mayor Mezzo.  The man truly loved his town and was involved in many of the community’s events.  I mean, come on.  Even after a full week of hard work downtown, our mayor would come down on Friday nights during the fall and be the press announcer for the high school football home games.  How many mayors, if any, do that?

He never treated himself like a celebrity.  He made himself like a normal citizen and he never acted like he was superior to anyone.  One time, he came up to me to joke about my bold prediction in the newspaper that his Patriots were going to lose the Super Bowl to Seattle.  You don’t need to know him extremely well for him to strike a conversation with him.

This town has gone through ups and downs as of late.  There has been a struggle to sell the lot where the legendary Peter Paul candy factory once stood before moving south.  There has been a struggle to pass a town budget.  Also included is a new education budget that has made cuts towards teachers and even the home economics class in the middle school.  However, Mayor Mezzo has been more than proud to work in his town.

In his blog, Mezzo writes, “…it has always been an honor to serve the only hometown I have ever known.”

So if you ever see that tan colored minivan driving town, do not forget to give a friendly wave to the man driving it.  He deserves it.

And if you ever catch Mayor Mezzo around town, whether it is at a sporting event or at the town hall, make sure to thank him.  Mezzo never asked for much, but there is no doubt that he should go out in style and he deserves a big farewell.

 

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 

IMG_9730

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.

 

Auditorium 5

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

The Experience of a Junior: Q&A with Jenna Massicotte

IMG_8603

Jenna Massicotte working in the art room

The grades that make up high school determine how you feel and the experiences you have. When you are a Freshman, you are at the bottom of the totem pole and have little “rights.” You are the lower classmen to all the other grades, such as tenth through twelfth graders. When you become a sophomore, you are still pretty low on the totem pole and have two grades above you. When you reach junior year of high school, that is when you really can feel the “power” that comes with being an upper classman. When the new freshmen come into the building and need help finding classes, you become the person that teachers without a doubt will ask to help them out, and lower classmen tend to look up to you. Of course, again you are stuck between that strange middle ground of being a lower classman to the twelfth graders, a year above you, and an upper classman to the ninth and tenth graders below you. However, a sense of accomplishment is there when you realize that you have made it through two full school years in high school. To share more is Jenna Massicotte, a junior at Naugatuck High School.

Q: How does it feel to be a junior at Naugatuck High School?

A: It feels good to be older I guess. It feels good to kind have more reign and responsibility and ability to learn and kind of decide your future. It feels really good, it does. I really like the ability that I can decide my future.

Q: What has been the best part of your three years so far?

A: The best part of my three years is probably this year due to the fact that I have more responsibility. I’m not like some under classmen anymore. I have a lot of more opportunities to do sports.

Q: What do you most look forward to?

A: I look forward to the future, I look forward to getting out of high school and starting college and starting my life …

Q: If you had the chance to go back in time, what would you change in your high school experience?

A: I would take more classes freshman year, because right now in the past three years I have had a total of sixteen classes at the most, and that’s just not a lot. I think that I would have more opportunities to be able to learn more, because that’s what I enjoy doing.

Q:What have you liked most about high school in general?

A: I liked the people that I met! You know? I didn’t have to deal with the same trouble kids and I had the ability to take the classes that had kids surrounding me that were like me and had the same life choices, where they wanted more for themselves, and wanted to do something bigger in their community.

Q: What have you disliked about high school?

A: Disliked? There’s not a lot of electives here. There’s not a lot of choices to be a total individual and kind of move through your future.

Q: Has the construction at the school affected you in any way from freshman year to now?

A: It makes it kind of harder to get around but it doesn’t really affect me personally. Besides, I mean I would have been late anyways …

Q: What advice would you give freshman about surviving high school?

A: I would say don’t be afraid and be everything you want to be.

 

Technology Review (Advanvcements in Medical Technology)

Have you ever gone to the doctor’s office or hospital in need of blood work? Have you ever had the pleasure of being poked with a syringe multiple times because your veins seem to be giving false signs of containing enough blood to be drawn? If you have had this lovely experience, then this new laser beam will be more heavenly than music to your ears.

Willis-Knighton Health System has recently started using a new device called the AccuVein AV400 vein illumination system that will be beneficial for all nurses and patients when it comes to taking blood.

The AccuVein AV400 vein illumination system uses a beam of light that is projected onto a patient’s arm. The light will illuminate their peripheral veins, making it easier for healthcare professionals to find the patients’ veins. According to Medical News, ” up to one-third of attempts to access a vein fail[s] on the first time.” However the new light beam will reduce those numbers drastically, Georgia Stephens, MSN, RN and patient care coordinator for staff development, says that, “It illuminates the arm so the veins are easy to see. The AccuVein System does not touch the patient. Its use will enhance the comfort and safety of the patient and increase nursing efficiency.”

With a product so efficient its incredible to think that this new light could help patients and nurses. The ease of taking blood or trying to locate a vein will be so simple and relaxing. Patients that are usually nervous about needles will now have a new distraction that may calm them. The light will most likely fascinate them and take their attention away from any procedure pertaining to having a needle in their arm. The AccuVein System will provide an experience filled with fascination and unnecessary discomfort.

CES 2015: From Food Printers to Mind Controlled race cars.

CES stands for consumer electronics show and there was indeed plenty of electronics there. So as you probably guessed there are tons of crazy things too. The things you wouldn’t find anywhere else like the gaming shoes or maybe even Rocket Skates. CES 2015 was truly a great show that showed me things I didn’t even know I wanted until now.

The tech at CES was clearly the pull of the event, there could be a list pages long of everything that was there, but I have to say some of the highlights had to have been:

food1

“XYZPrinting Announces Two New 3D Food Printers Coming Next Year.” 3DPrintcom. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2015.

XYZ printings food printer, the printer that really brings the future to the present. In your dreams of the future there was always some super cool way of getting food efficiently this is clearly the way. Although it may cost a pretty penny, the printing company says that consumers can start printing food in their homes later this year for under 2000$, but who doesn’t want to print food?

Another highlight would be a distraction to children 10 and under. A recently announced shoe by Sketchers called Gamekicks. The shoe has one model for boys and two for girls (white or pink), featuring six buttons the shoe has a color matching game for kids to entertain themselves with.

And who can forgot racing toy cars… with your mind. Yes, the company Emotiv has come up with a way for your nostalgic RC car to be raced with your mind. Apparently run by positive racing thoughts and the small device placed on your head you too can make your car go. No release date for this yet but we can only hope its soon.

download (3)

“IGN Conversations – Witness the Magical Levitating Bluetooth Speaker – CES 2015 – IGN Video.” IGN. N.p., 08 Jan. 2015. Web. 15 Jan. 2015

If your at CES you also may encounter a levitating wireless Bluetooth speaker. This guy here floats on a small cushion of air and gently spins while you listen to your favorite music. Its run on a rechargeable battery that when fully charged gets around 6 hours of battery life. Clearly one of the coolest speakers around.