Thursday, June 7, 2018



Over the past four years of my high school career at Washingtonville High School, I have been eager to kiss this school, and the rest of my class, goodbye with ease.  Patiently waiting, I thought this day would never come, I sat in class waiting for the very moment in time that I live in now.  Unbeknownst to me, leaving this building would be my hardest goodbye.

Whether we realize it or not, Washingtonville students, we are extremely blessed to call ourselves Wizards.  Growing up in an atmosphere that radiates acceptance, love, and school spirit is something not many students can proudly say they have experienced.  I fell in love with my school, along with my peers.

When walking through the halls of WHS, one’s choice to smile isn't so much a choice, as it is an inevitable action.  Regardless of how your day is going, there will always be at least one person in school, whether it be your best friend, a teacher, or a complete stranger that can crack a smile upon your face.  I couldn't imagine spending the majority of my day anywhere else.  In here, I feel welcomed.  In here, I am accepted for who I am.

Not only do the halls radiate positive energy, but the packed stands every Friday night do even more.  Wizard Nation, all bias aside, has the best student section in the 845.  Our student section stands together, win or lose, and bleeds blue and gold. Coming together as a school, supporting one another is much more important to Wizards than catching the winning touchdown pass or scoring that three pointer.

This is what I admire most about Washingtonville: being a part of a small school where not only students, but teachers and administrators, care about students.  The faculty at Washingtonville wants the best for the students, while also encouraging them to maintain a happy and healthy teenage social life.  To be frank, how many students can confidently say that their own principal goes down a slip-n-slide every year, or that their assistant principal stands outside in the freezing rain, snow storms, hurricanes, tornados, and apocalypses just to make sure that we all drive safely in the parking lot and exit in an organized manner? While we all complain about McGorman's parking lot antics and many other "crazy teachers," we all know that these rules come from the heart.

I have experienced countless life lessons, hardships, and successes throughout my time in Washingtonville; if there is one hope, it is that I may take everything I have learned with me.  Although I may never need to know the Second Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, the hard work, grit, and motivation to learn how to derive differential equations have been lessons I hope to never lose.  Additionally, I truly hope that I can help instill confidence and positivity in myself and those around me, without thinking twice.

Like I said before, I could not wait for this moment to come. Walking across the stage and never looking back has been somewhat of a fantasy for me. However, now that the time has come, I would do anything possible to hold on to this school and the people in it.  Unfortunately, there is no rewind button on high school, or life itself; it is finally time for my peers and I to take our "last" steps as Wizards and our first into the adult world.  As I remove my cap and throw it high into the air, I hope my dreams, like my cap, go as far as they can as I take this next step into the amazing journey called life.



Throughout the small town of Washingtonville lies a community full of Wizards.  What does is it truly mean to be a Wizard? Some might think it is just a mascot for a school while others might consider it a symbol that has no relevance to students, but it is much more powerful than that. Wizards are full of pride, accepting, athletic, artistic, intelligent, willing to go the extra mile, and full of spirit and life.  Wizards are fearless, and up to any challenge that faces them. Washingtonville has allowed the people in it to stand united as one Wizard Nation. 

Being a Wizard is about having pride for the town and school. Washingtonville has shaped and developed everyone that lives in this humble town and will be their roots for the rest of their lives. When someone asks “Where are you from?” Wizards proudly and enthusiastically say that they had the pleasure of growing up in Washingtonville.  

Amy Kristiansen, a senior at WHS, exclaimed, “Being a Wizard means that we are one united school who all support one another. Being a Wizard means showing pride in your school and supporting all Wizards. I wouldn’t want to go to any other school because Washingtonville is amazing. Once a Wizard, always a Wizard.”

At Friday night football games, the feeling of pride, support, and enthusiasm takes over the stands. Every fan there yells, cheers, and dresses up for the team whether the players are close friends or total strangers. The student body does not just support the sports games, support is seen at every event held at the school and community; from the teachers battling it out in a lip sync routine, to the prom runway show, or the Masque & Mime plays. The students that go to the school may have their own cliques, like different activities, and have different goals, but at the end of the day, they are one nation.

Eventually, the Wizards have to say goodbye to their home, close friends they’ve made along the way, teachers that have impacted their lives, and the town that has shaped them. Miguel Dela Cruz , a senior at WHS, expressed, “Being a Wizard means waking up and going to the best school ever, and having the most pride at every event. As a Wizard, we all strive together and respect each other. Lastly, being a Wizard means that you live in the small town of Washingtonville but enjoy it because it is your forever home.”
 These students here at WHS will look back at their high school experience and think of only good memories that Washingtonville, and fellow Wizards, have help them make. After graduation, or even after college, past students will come back to this small town and still feel the sense of unity, pride, and acceptance because the Wizard inside never dies. Once a Wizard, always a Wizard. 



Athletics are just one of the several other extra curricular activities that Washingtonville High School has to offer.  There are a plethora of  talented students within the class of 2018 who plan on continuing their academic and athletic careers at colleges and universities next fall.  With the school year coming to a close, Washingtonville seniors celebrated their decision to play college sports with a signing day on Wednesday, June 6th.  

For those who are unfamiliar with what the signing day event actually is, it is when a student, or group of students, announce where they will be attending college and what sport they will be playing.  Not only is this an exciting event for the student, but it is a proud moment for parents and other family members to celebrate the success of their child.  Senior, Brendan O’Leary’s mom was one of the very proud parents at the signing day.  Mrs.O’Leary stated “It was a very proud moment. Brendan is a great student-athlete and he definitely deserves to play...I’m excited for him to have a new experience, meet new people, and of course get to see him play basketball at the next level.” 

Senior, Lindsey Julian, is on track to continue her track and field career at SUNY Oneonta.  Through her high school experience on the track and field team, she has been successful, all while continuing to excel in school work.  Not only is Lindsey a top competitor on the track, but she also enjoys hobbies such as dance and piano.  When asked how Lindsey manages her time she voiced, “With my extra curricular activities, I actually learned how to manage my time better. Because I have such a busy schedule, I had to prioritize myself in order to get my school work done, along with everything else in my everyday life.”  

The signing day event held students from several different sports.  Senior football star, Brandon Politza, signed his letter of intent to attend St. Thomas Aquinas College.  Politza vocalized “I chose STAC for many reasons. When I went, I knew it felt like home.” He later added “Making my college decision was very stressful. I applied to twentyfour schools...I’m looking forward to playing football again and making new friends and memories.” 

It is an exciting time for the graduating class of 2018.  Senior, Brendan O’Leary, plans to play basketball next year at the College of New Rochelle.  He expressed “I’m looking forward to making a lot of new friends on the team, getting a new experience with being away, and just starting a new chapter in life”.  Lindsey Julian also added, “I feel a mix of emotions. I’m sad that I will be leaving all of my friends but at the same time, I am so excited to start this next chapter of my life, along with being a little bit nervous. College is an exciting experience for everyone and I’m happy that we are all moving forward.” 

It is a time to celebrate the closing of a chapter and the start of a new one.  Signing day was just one of the several other ways to celebrate the seniors playing college sports.  


One month ago, Washingtonville was rocked by the loss of their beloved community member, John West III.  Emotions ran high for not only students, but families in the community as well.  Everyone seemed to be terribly affected by this tremendous loss.  Throughout the town, the memories, laughs, and good times, were the only topics of conversation being had.  While most everyone knew John for his music and outgoing personality, some knew him as if they were brothers.

Miguel Dela Cruz, John Contino, Jon Saltz, Matt Warren, Tommy Gerdin and Vijay Kabaria were the best friends of John West in elementary school and all through high school.  A few days after the passing of John, these were the ones who made a real impact on everyone in Washingtonville.  Jon set up the GoFundMe page to help John’s family pay for the services.  Miguel made t-shirts honoring John’s life and music. Matt and John made crosses to go above the football field, and Vijay set up a couple of memorials for people to honor John.  Needless to say, they were the ones who helped to make the memory of John live on.

Miguel was John’s best friend and considered him to be his brother.  For all the memories the two made together, he says his favorite was “when John and I had sleepovers at my house and would watch leanandcuisine videos until we fell asleep.”  As for John Contino, he agreed with Miguel on the favorite memory, but one thing he won’t forget is “when John was delivering and he called me and asked me to use my bathroom because he was in the middle of a delivery.”  While the memories reign tall for all of his friends, it’s his impression on the school and community that will last forever.

Every student has said what a great kid John was, and that his music was really awesome, but for the people who knew him best, it was more than just that.  John was always the happiest person both in school, and out.  He never had a mean thing to say, and if anyone was down in the dumps, he was there to bring a smile to their face.  His friends say that they want him to be remembered as the greatest kid to ever walk into Washingtonville High School. 

Everyone should live their lives with full enjoyment, but with responsibility.  Take a good look at your life, and remember that this life is sacred.  Remember the important people in your life, and that their lives are sacred too.  John West said it best in one of his songs, “Life’s quick. Slow down, take your time, enjoy the simple things in life.” 



There is no doubt that there is a lot that goes into a well run graduation ceremony.  However, here at Washingtonville High School, the ceremony is always a memorable one.  Between the commencement speech and receiving the long awaited diploma, there is no doubt this year’s graduation will be a memory to last a lifetime. 

Setting up for an event like this is no easy task.  From setting up the chairs, to coordinating the order that seniors will receive their diplomas, to figuring out who will give the commencement speech, it becomes overwhelming and quite daunting.  Lucky for us, Washingtonville’s finest, Mr. Connolly, has done quite a few graduations already, making this process a lot easier and a little less stressful.  Senior, Mason Rickli, talked about how he is “definitely surprised by how the school gets everything set up in such a short amount of time.” It is definitely an impressive process.  

Senior Anthony Acosta talked about how he is “excited to see how the ceremony will turn out” and he “realized how much work goes into an event like this.”  He also talked about how he is excited for the commencement speech which will be given by Ray Romulus.

This year we are lucky to have Ray Romulus to give our commencement speech. He is a previous Washingtonville graduate, and now a Grammy Award winner.  He is a Hollywood producer who helped produce Grammy Award winning song released by Bruno Mars “That’s What I Like” featured on his 24K Magic  album.  He is definitely an inspiration to many and will be to the class of 2018.

Graduation is a time that almost every student looks forward to. It acts as a reflection on the previous years of life and it prepares teenagers for what the future holds. Some seem to be excited and others seem to be sad about it. All in all, the class of 2018 is a great class that will stick together even out of high school. 

At the end of the day, graduation is about sitting, standing, and paying our dues to the senior class by doing our darndest to give them the best graduation possible.   



With summer right around the corner, students at WHS are scrambling to find the perfect summer job.  Although summer is typically the time to relax and unwind from the busy school year, it is also a time for kids to work and save up money.  When the last period bell rings and school is officially out, kids have the freedom they've longed for all year.  However,  in order to keep up with the summer fun, which often doesn’t come cheap, several students find it necessary to take on a summer job.  

A plethora of local businesses are more than happy to hire Washingtonville students, one being Betty’s Country Kitchen.  This local restaurant is the workplace of senior, Richard Silva.  Having started the job in the beginning of his junior year, he has spent countless hours at work.  Silva stated, “I’ve worked at Betty’s for two years and I think having a job for the summer is beneficial because it keeps me busy and is a way for me to save money to spend and save for college.”

To some students, having a job can seem like a chore, but for junior, Marisela Colangelo, who also works at Betty’s, “Working at Betty’s is wonderful.”  She later added, “I like to work with Richard; he is a good coworker.”  Time spent working at the restaurant is not only a way to make money, but it is a fun way for Marisela to spend her time after school.  

In the hot summer heat, it is common for people to hang by the pool and go for a swim. One popular summer job is lifeguarding.  Several students at WHS are certified lifeguards and plan on spending their summer saving lives poolside.  One local lifeguard is Washingtonville’s very own senior, Daniel Luedke.  Not only does Daniel have a job at The Castle, in Chester, but he also decided to become a certified lifeguard because he “...wanted another job for the summer and I thought it would be good to be CPR certified.” He went on to say, “It is a good job to have because you can learn many things that you can use during an emergency outside of lifeguarding.” 

Although parents urge their children to save their money for things such as college or even a car, it is inevitable that kids spend their money on fun activities throughout the summer like bowling, ice cream, and mini golf.  It is easy for kids to slip into the cycle of spending, however, there are ways to balance spending and saving.  Luedke voiced, “With the money I make from lifeguarding, I will probably spend that on things throughout the summer. With the money I make from The Castle, I plan to save for the upcoming year at college.”  

Summertime provides students with the opportunity to spend their free time working and saving money for upcoming events.  Hopefully they can find the time to squeeze in a little fun in the sun!

Thursday, May 31, 2018


One of the many privileges of public schooling is being able to wear whatever you want… well, kind of.  The majority of schools, including Washingtonville High School, incorporate a section in their Code of Conduct that specifies what students are not permitted to wear.   This list, however,  is never altered to keep up with modern day fashion trends.  

This being said, many dress codes run into similar problems: they are outdated, not followed and only occasionally enforced.  WHS faces all of these issues daily, especially when the weather reaches high summer temperatures.  

Mike Lindberg, a senior at WHS, feels that “dress codes are needed, but to a certain extent; there’s a line between self expression and disrespect to the school and others around you. If they’re expressing themselves in a professional way that’s non offensive to anyone, then, by all means, wear what you want. However, if it’s inappropriate,  it’s just common sense to not wear that during school.” 

While this may be easy to say for a boy who has never been dress coded, fellow senior Lauren Merchant disagrees.  After being stopped in the hallway by a teacher and told to pull her off-the-shoulder top over her shoulders, Lauren became enraged.  She stated, “I think some of the things in the dress code in our school are ridiculous.  If I would feel comfortable wearing an off-the-shoulder shirt to church, I can wear it to school.”

Although the two seniors may disagree on the main idea of dress codes, both can agree these guidelines are mainly tailored towards women.  Mike believes dress codes include more rules for girls because “they tend to take more risks with fashion and clothes than boys do, therefore, girls present more reasons why rules need to be made.”  While this may be true, Lauren believes “dress codes are centered towards females simply because our clothing shows more.”

With various opinions of what is and isn’t appropriate, it is understandable how difficult enforcing a dress code can be; however, I think there needs to be a basic standard agreed upon by teachers and administration.  It is extremely unfair to have one student be dress coded while another wearing the same thing to go by unscathed.  

I also believe it is vital for dress codes to adapt to modern day fashion.  While shorts longer than your fingertips may be deemed as appropriate, they are also almost impossible to find for teens.  When the fashion market is swarmed with specific trends, it can hard for students to find the clothes that are perfect combination of trendy and appropriate.  

No matter your opinion on dress codes, it is imperative to always dress for the occasion appropriately! 



Throughout the years at WHS, students have witnessed more than a handful of presentations, assemblies, and guest speakers. Some presentations leave a lasting impression on the students that leave them wanting more. On Tuesday, May 20th, a fan favorite guest speaker returned to WHS to give another fascinating and informative presentation. 

Tom Smith is an NYPD detective, but not just any detective; he is assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and has been on the job for 28 years now. With those years, comes an immense amount of stories and experiences to share. Tom Smith has come in to WHS numerous times to discuss his life on this crazy job where anything can, and does, happen. 

There are many reasons why Mr. Smith wants to share his wisdom with the students of Washingtonville High School.  He expressed, “I come in to speak in classes to give people the opportunity to hear my experiences in law enforcement and to talk about present issues going on in the country that I can maybe answer. Also to give kids who are interested in law enforcement the opportunity to speak to someone with the experience that I have.” 

Smith also feels that, “it is important for kids today to realize that their opinions and thoughts matter, but to also understand that it should be their thoughts  and no one else influencing the way they think.”  He goes on to say that students should “have a dream for the future and never  let anyone get in the way of obtaining it.” 

Tom Smith’s presentation does not only leave students in awe, the stories and experiences he shares leaves students more knowledgeable about what a job in this field really entails.  Senior at WHS, Nick Valentin, expressed, “What I took away from Mr. Smith’s presentation was that being in the police force requires dedication, and you need to have a love for the job in order to really enjoy it and be able to do your job.  The most memorable thing about his presentation was when he told the story about him in Afghanistan and the close encounter he had where he had to take drastic measures in order to stay alive.” 

Presentations and guest speakers have come in and out of WHS throughout the years, but Tom Smith’s presentation about his job and experiences is like no other. His dedication and drive for his job is uncovered through the discussions he has with the students and leaves them speechless, astonished, and all around thankful for having a man like Tom Smith serve and protect this country. 



Most of the future graduates of the Class of 2018 at Washingtonville High School have been fortunate enough to see each and every one of the amazing events and shows that the student council has miraculously been able to pull off.  Endless gratitude is owed to the four students who have helped make the 2017-2018 school year one full of laughs, smiles, and memories.

Maya Diaz, the president of the Class of 2018, has been the ringleader of all of the fun.  She was the driving force behind all of the senior class events that brought smiles to the faces of everyone lucky enough to be part of the school.  Maya stated, her greatest memory as President is “having the chance to create all these amazing shows for everyone here at Washingtonville.”  It takes more than one to do the job, and Maya wouldn’t be able to pull off all of these amazing activities without help from the rest of her council. 

Alexa Siciliano, Maya’s right hand woman, has been there to give a second approval on all of this year’s events and presentations that have given enjoyment to all of the students this year.  Alexa’s favorite part of this year was, without a doubt, “serving under the greatest President that Washingtonville has ever seen and being a part of the greatest class Washingtonville will and has ever seen.” 

Tony Witte, the money man, also known as the treasurer, made sure that all the events were paid for and fully funded.  Tony tried his best to ensure that students could enjoy all of the events and that everyone would go home happy and with a full wallet.  Taking part in some of Washingtonville’s fun filled activities, Tony exclaimed his all time favorite was none other than “being able to host the Lip Sync Battle this year and perform up on the stage one last time.”

Last, but certainly not least, Lauren Merchant is the one who keeps everyone in check.  Lauren makes sure that the rest of the members of the council stay on top of things, while also staying on top of her own duties.  While Lauren does not have one favorite moment from her senior year, she expressed, “Whenever we are all together, it shows how the Class of 2018 truly is a family and how we can all come together to be one WizardNation.”

When asked what the four members of the student council wanted to leave as a lasting memory here at Washingtonville, they all agreed, “We want to leave behind this feeling of togetherness.  The school pride that the class of 2018 has is something that needs to be continued and hopefully become bigger.  We are all Wizards at heart, and that is something that will never change.”  For the classes that come after 2018, be sure to come together as one, and make memories that will last a lifetime.  The Class of 2018 sure did.



Many Wizards try out to be on a sports team at one point in the year, but only a handful decide to play on two varsity teams.  Senior, AJ Martinez, participated on the boy’s soccer team in the fall and on the boy’s tennis team in the spring at Washingtonville High School. 

Martinez started playing soccer at a young age, but then took a temporary sabbatical until sophomore year.  In his second year of high school, Matt realized how much he loved and missed the game and decided to rejoin the team in his junior year.  

The majority of Martinez’s playtime was spent as a striker and in midfield.  The senior continued this trend on varsity in his final year of high school soccer.  When asked what his favorite moment of his soccer career has been thus far, Martinez responded, “It has to be senior night because this was our last time being together as seniors on the field, and I’m glad I was able to have that moment with my family.  I was happy I could show them that all my hard work paid off.”

Martinez’s tennis career was a bit more spontaneous.  He joined the varsity tennis team this year, and it was his first time playing organized tennis.  He played doubles this spring and helped the team end their year with a winning season.  It was the varsity tennis team’s first winning season in over five years.  Martinez’s teammate and tennis captain, Gavan O’Brien, expressed that, “AJ is an upstanding kid.  From his countless hours of on court practicing to the numerous hours of off court training, AJ has proven to be nothing but a help to the team.  His leadership, grit, and work ethic were some things that held the team together and made all of us better players.”

Martinez will be attending SUNY Brockport in the upcoming fall. He doesn’t plan on continuing tennis in college, but he does say that he may potentially tryout for the soccer team.  We wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.



As the school year comes to an end, the upperclassmen are filled with the anticipation of the many end of year events.  During the ever stressful junior year, students use the excitement of their prom to keep them motivated while the seniors use the banquet, senior BBQ, and graduation.  Even though students use these events as motivation to finish the year, teethe question always arises: Which is better,  Senior Banquet or Junior Prom? 

Although Prom and Banquet are both formal events, the attire is completely different.  For the girls, Prom is the time to wear the nicest dress possible while Banquet is a little more casual.  Many fashion trends will carry over between the two events, but the most basic difference is dress length.  Prom dresses are typically floor length while banquet dresses are usually on the shorter side.  As students, it is important to know the difference between the desired attire to avoid buying a costly look that is not appropriate.  

As for the boys, tuxes are a must at the prom.  When attending the banquet, however, the guys can go for a more casual and comfortable look.  Mason Rickli, a senior at Washingtonville, gave his outlook between the events and stated, “Prom is like an overrated sweet 16 in a sense, while banquet is just go and have fun with your friends.”  

Due to the more formal nature, Prom can be extremely stressful especially for girls.  WHS junior, Celine Lewandowski, expressed she is “definitely excited for prom, even though it is such a stressful process due to finding the perfect dress, hair, and makeup.”

Another discussion among students is the overall cost difference.  Prom can be extremely expensive due to ticket prices, tux rentals and dress purchases, limo rentals, and flowers.  On the other hand, Banquet is more affordable due to the fact that the most expensive part for many is the ticket itself.

Whether you prefer Prom or Banquet,  it all comes down to having a good time with your friends and making as many memories as possible. 



With the end of the year approaching, most seniors are getting ready to pack their bags and move on to the next phase of their lives.  While some students are continuing their education within the state, several students are migrating out of state to their dream schools.  For the underclassmen, they are going to have big shoes to fill once the senior class is gone.  Although the seniors are excited for their next venture, they are looking forward to making memories and savoring the last few days of their high school careers.

There have been many fun filled memories for Washingtonville High Schoolers this school year.  From the homecoming football game in the beginning of the year, to the hopeball tournament at the end of the year, there have been many unforgettable events.  One of the most exciting weeks of the school year, senior week, will start next week on Monday, June 4th.

The schedule for this year's highly anticipated senior week is officially locked in. Senior week is when the senior class coordinates different themes for each day of the week.  The themes are chosen by the students, many of which include: celebrity day, character day, twin day, national/international pride day, beach day, senior shirt day, favorite sports team day, and everyone's favorite, rave day. 

On Monday, June 4th, the first event of senior week will be celebrity day.  In the past, celebrity day has always been a fun way to lead off the week.  Students can choose any celebrity of their choice, or they can even wearing a sports jersey. 

There will not be any classes on Tuesday, therefore, Wednesday is national/international pride day.  Wednesday is the perfect opportunity to show pride for any country, however, this is not an excuse to make fun of any other culture, or promote a negative stereotype.  

Thursday, June 6th, WHS will host the infamous rave day.  Rave day has been a tradition here at Washingtonville High School, for many years.  Rave day is not always considered  a success, particularly if you ask the administrators; last year’s event resulted in a broken lunch table.  Due to this incident, the staff at Washingtonville was shaky about allowing rave day, but they decided to trust the Class of 2018.  It is important to not take this trust for granted and ruin this spirit day for the underclassmen.

Arguably, the most festive day of the week is beach day which will take place on Friday, June 8th.  Beach day is always a fun day with people dressing in beach attire and bringing beach activities, even though there is no sand, just school. Beach day always comes with a surprise and lots of fun in the sun!

When asked what day he was looking most forward to, Brandon Robles replied, “Rave day is my favorite day because I like to jump up and down with my friends.”  Brandon, along with many other students are excited for this particular day.

Senior week is a fun tradition for the seniors t0 celebrate with their friends one last time.  Every senior should participate in each activity next week to make sure they enjoy their last week at Washingtonville High School.