Friday, May 18, 2018

WHAT’S ON THE NEXT TAPE?

An Editorial By BROGAN JOHNSON
BROGAN JOHNSON FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
A little over a year ago, the notorious Netflix struck again with the worldwide release of yet another smash hit, called 13 Reasons Why.  This series was based on the #1 New York Times best selling novel written in 2007 by Jay Asher.  Although the screenplay deviates from some of the book’s original plot, the premise of a young high school student brought to suicide by betrayal and bullying remains.  

Hannah Baker, the protagonist of the series, is a high school girl who went through the ringer: slut shaming, best friend betrayals, cyberbullying and sexual assault just to name a few.  These horrific occurrences ultimately led to her decision to end her life.  While 13 Reasons Why is not the first series to discuss teen bullying and suicide, it was the first show to graphically display this gut wrenching act to viewers.  This raised concern in millions of parents, guardians, teachers and the loved ones of teens all over the world.  The fear was that the show would create copycat suicides or that the content was just too much for young, vulnerable teenagers.  

Even though these worries came from a place of reasoning, I think it was crucial for teens to watch the spiral of events Hannah faced as a result of her peers’ actions.  Seeing how the actions of others affect a person can be extremely enlightening, hopefully resonating with those who have been bullies themselves.  WHS junior, Billy Cronin, stated that watching this series “affected my way of thinking in a way that made me think about others and act more considerate towards them because you never know what other people are going through.”

Fellow junior, Lauren Gregg, was a fan of both the book and Netflix series, but was better “able to understand the person’s character and feel a better connection to Hannah through a screen, than through a book.”  I believe this is why the creators decided not to censor these topics, in attempt to make them as realistic as possible and serve as an eyeopener for teens.

Cronin disagreed with my personal opinion and “thought the show was good for Hollywood and numbers but not for the kids out there struggling with suicide and bullying.”  Although the topics depicted on the show hit many kids too close to home, we both could agree “the way the writers portrayed bullying was as true as it is in high school, as most of the bullying was done online.”

Throughout Lauren’s three years at WHS, “I have never seen or heard of the extreme bullying Hannah Baker went through in the show, yet it still happens.”  The idea of such a ghastly thing becoming so common is unimaginable.  “I feel suicide is so hard to deal with because it is impossible to accept that someone you know could take his or her life any day when you could have helped them,” shared Gregg.  

Hannah’s suicide was by far the show’s biggest controversy as it was shown in its raw entirety.  Cronin, along with many others, believed this scene “was a little too much since it showed how graphic and painful suicide can be.”  Lauren conveyed, “I do understand that the writers wanted to make a series where the viewers could see and understand what Hannah had gone through that led to this, but some of the scenes were harder to watch than others like the sexual assaults and suicide.”

After being on the rollercoaster that is 13 Reasons Why, many were shocked to hear Netflix announce a second season.  Many questioned how the show could go on after all the tapes, but we will soon know what interesting spinoff the producers took with the series return May 18th.   As the second season airs this weekend, I, along with many other fans, am anxious to see what else is in store and hope the second season is as powerful as the first!  

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: DYLAN SPAULDING AND BOBBY EICHNER

By JACK PALMER

Throughout students’ years spent in elementary school, middle school, and even high school, they see themselves grow into the people they will eventually become before entering the next phase of their lives: college.  They might see themselves becoming friends with people they never thought they would, or end friendships they thought would last forever.  For two particular  Washingtonville Wizards, their friendship has lasted through thick and thin, and is still flourishing today. 

JACK PALMER FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Dylan Spaulding and Bobby Eichner, both seniors at Washingtonville High School, have been friends ever since they met in fifth grade.  Through crazy shenanigans and classes together, their friendship has grown bigger than they ever thought was possible. It didn’t take time for the mischief to begin.  Their first experience getting in trouble was in fifth grade when they “cheated on their math test and got caught by the teacher.”  Dylan and Bobby both claim that this event sparked their friendship.

Anyone who has listened to “Krisperiences” on the #WizardNation podcast,  would know what kind of crazy stories the two best friends have created together.  For those who have not had the pleasure of listening, the adventures of Dylan and Bobby include flipping ATV’s, breaking bones and getting attacked by goats.  Naturally, the stories would not be complete without something catching on fire. Both friends say their favorite moment together was “when we went camping outside and lit our tent on fire… with our friend Rylan in it.”  For those who are worried, Rylan is okay.  For two friends who do everything together, it is no wonder that their post-grad plans are quite similar. 

Dylan will be attending SUNY Albany and entering the ROTC program there to become an officer, and then make a career for himself in the Army.  As for Bobby, he will be at the University of Buffalo for the next four years, where he plans to obtain a degree in Biological Sciences.  After his four years and gaining his degree, he plans to join the Marines in the hopes of becoming an officer of aviation. 

Having so many memories together, and not being able to see each other in a few months is not halting  the adventures of Bobby and Dylan.  Bobby said what he will miss most about Dylan is “all the stupid comments and silly remarks he makes in class… not hearing those everyday is going to be tough.”  

Dylan put it quite simply when asked if the crazy antics will continue during breaks from college, after college and beyond.   He emphatically stated, “Of course… best friends forever.”  Find yourself a best friend like Dylan or Bobby, have fun and make memories. But please…don’t light your tent on fire.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

AP TESTING UNDERWAY

By TAYLOR FAGAN

It seems that as of late, advanced placement testing has been taking Washingtonville High School by storm.  Several juniors and seniors have spent countless hours studying and preparing for the big day.  The AP Exams are not like any other test as the grade students receive can effect whether or not students will obtain credit for the course.  There are several different advanced placement courses running within the school and all of these classes are a challenge that hundreds of Wizards are willing to take take on each year. 

TAYLOR FAGAN FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
What is said to be one of the most challenging AP courses is AP Biology.  Senior, Darcy Doelger, has spent hundreds of hours reviewing note packets and textbook passages throughout the school year.  The course has a curriculum that really puts students to the test.  One way the students prepared for their AP test this year is by completing previous AP Bio exams. Doelger was one of many who prepared “...by taking practice tests and reviewing vocabulary notecards that I made throughout the year.” Not only is this a great way to review class material, but it is an even better way to understand the layout and context used for the test itself. 

Another popular AP course in the high school is the AP Environmental Science class, taught by Mr. Williams.  Junior, Vinny Martello expressed, “The best way to prepare is to go over all of the chapter review questions that Mr.Williams assigned us for homework throughout the year.” Homework can sometimes be seen to students as a waste of time, however, teachers always have a reason for assigning homework throughout the year. Martello added, “Each chapter in the textbook is a different subject with over 40 questions in each homework assignment, so you’re looking at 400-600 questions throughout the course of the year.” Ultimately, the chapter review questions in the textbook are modeled similarly to how it would be on the AP exam. 

Overall, the AP tests are unlike any other.  Doelger explained how she “...felt the test was different than other tests because the questions are much longer and many question require you have have a good reading comprehension.”  Another challenge students face while taking the test is the ability to manage your time. Doelger added, “Since everything is strictly timed, you really have to budget yourself and know when to skip a question so you can finish as many questions correct as possible.” 

When preparing for the AP exam, senior, Nick Valentin, explained that the most helpful strategy is to “take previous exams and make sure to complete the part two questions.”  He went on to say, “...understanding the format of questions before the test, will save you time while taking it, so you don’t spend too much time reading and understanding what is being asked.” 

Students spent the whole school year preparing for the AP exam. Whether it is a Science, Math, Social Studies, or English exam, the style and format presents a challenge to those who take it.  Once AP exams are over, a weight will be lifted off students’ shoulders. 

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

By NICOLETTE SMITH 

With the school year rapidly coming to an end and the summer quickly creeping up, events that students have been looking forward to all year have finally arrived. From seniors counting down the days until graduation to juniors frantically, yet excitingly, preparing for prom, and even the underclassmen participating in school functions like Hope Ball, there is so much for students to get excited about at WHS.

NICOLETTE SMITH FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
For the seniors here at WHS, their high school years are coming to a close, but with that, the end of the year events are flowing in as scheduled. Even though the seniors are a bit anxious about moving on to the next chapter of their lives, they are eager for the senior functions to arrive. Dylan Turcott, a senior at WHS, expressed his excitement by saying, “As a senior, we have a lot of events coming up like Senior Banquet, the senior barbecue, senior awards, and especially graduation.”  He went on to say that “something that our class is doing different than the past year is Mr. WHS.”

Certainly, graduation is the most bittersweet event of them all.  Turcott conveyed, “Even though Mr. WHS is one of my favorite events, nothing can overcome graduation and that feeling of relief that we will get knowing that we finally completed high school. Graduation also gives us that feeling that we are free to have fun and spend as much time as possible together over the summer before we leave for college.”

The seniors are not the only students that have enjoyable events to look forward to both in and out of school. The juniors, and the rest of the underclassmen, have a plethora to look forward to with the school year winding down as well. Vinny Martello, a junior at WHS, revealed, “I’m excited to spend the summer with all my close friends, especially to make good memories with my senior friends before they leave for college. I’m curious to see what this summer holds and how much fun we are going to have.” 

The Wizards at WHS have certainly been feeling a mix of emotions with the last few weeks of school approaching. Some are thrilled to take part in their last school functions before they say their final goodbyes to WHS, and others are ready to take on the adventures that go along with summer vacation. Even though some students are looking forward to different events more than others, all students here at WHS are anticipated to create enjoyable memories with all of their friends. 

WASHINGTONVILLE TENNIS TAKES ON COUNTIES

By MATT BENSON

MATT BENSON FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
For people who don’t know much about tennis, teams as a whole do not play in counties.  Throughout the season, team members who win a percentage of matches have the ability to move onto counties and compete on an individual level.  

This year, Washingtonville will be sending two singles players to counties: senior, Gavan O’Brien, and sophomore, Gabe Castillo.  The top eight players from these matches will move onto sections where they will then compete for the three limited spots for states.  Last year, O’ Brien was able to move on to states after coming in third for Section 9.   Unlike O’Brien who has been playing tennis at Washingtonville for years, Castillo moved to the district in the offseason and hopes to make an impact at sections and maybe even states.

The tennis community has a grading system for athletes to find good competition all over the world.  This grading system is called the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR).  The current section champion has a score of 10, while O’Brien has a score of 8 and Castillo an amazing score of 11.  The system is pretty spot on, as Gabe Castillo has defeated the current Section 9 champion twice this season. However, this is Castillo’s first time competing for the title, and stated, “I’m excited. I’ve never really experienced anything like this before.  I just hope I go far.”

Gavan O’Brien will be ending his career at Washingtonville after playing on the varsity tennis team for six years now.  He competed in his first singles match in the eighth.  O’Brien exclaimed, “It’s been a long journey but it is definitely gratifying.  I’ve put six years of work into high school tennis and to be on a stage that only a few in the county and section are a part of is very exciting.  I’m excited for my future because of the motivation and work ethic it has given me.  Tennis has helped me tremendously in all aspects of life.”

Outside of this year, Castillo and O’Brien both have bright futures on and off the court.  The Washingtonville senior will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology to major in biomedical engineering and may tryout for their tennis team in the upcoming season.  Meanwhile, Castillo is currently a four star recruit and ranked 205th nationally.

Make sure to come out and support these tennis players on Monday, May 21st! The matches will be held at Match Point!

WIZARDS RUNNING TO THE FINISH

By MICHAEL DEPAOLO

MICHAEL DEPALO FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Around this time of the year, students begin to overly stress and look forward to the break that is coming their way. From May to June, many students have to deal with a lot of stress such as an overload of work, AP exam’s, extracurricular activities, jobs outside of school, and the list goes on. All of this occurs while teens are trying to make the most out of their dwindling high school careers. These overworked students often feel like they have no down time to relax, recuperate and rejuvenate.  Most seniors at this point just want to cruise through the rest of the year and reach graduation day.

WHS senior, AJ Martinez, is no stranger to the stresses of high school.  He expressed, “Stress is something that everyone has to deal with at a point in their life. It is definitely hard to balance all of the responsibilities of being a student, having a part time job and being a part of multiple clubs or sports.” Between his competitive tennis career and keeping up with his school work, finding the perfect balance is no easy task.  He also mentioned how overwhelming “making a college decision and getting everything ready for the next chapter can be on it’s own.”

One might ask how dedicated students have to be in order to participate in various school activities while maintaining a good GPA.  The answer is simple: time management. Students with packed schedules are time management machines, planning their days down to the second with every task written down in their planner.  If a student is not organized, it can be nearly impossible to do it all, especially to the best of his or her ability.

Another senior at WHS, Anthony Acosta, mentioned how being organized has really helped him stay on top of his work and everything else he needs to do. Although there isn’t much work left to do at this point in the year, it is imperative that students stay focused on the responsibilities at hand.  Acosta believes working while in high school is an extremely important aspect, “Having a job not only makes you money, but it takes your mind off of everything around you back home.”

Hard work and ambition carries students throughout the school year, but for some it becomes too much.  At this time of year, especially, many seniors are only looking to pass and graduate in order to move onto college.  However, those students need to step back and look at their lives. They should ask themselves, “Am I making the right strides in my life that will help me succeed in the future?”  Even though things might seem hard right now, if students stay motivated and finish the year strong the pay off with be worth the stress.

WIZARDS HOPE TO SWING THEIR WAY INTO SECTIONS

By JEREMY GUTIERREZ

With the end of the season approaching, the Washingtonville varsity baseball team is fighting for a spot to advance to sectional play.  Under the coaching of Bob Bauer, the Wizards currently have a record of 8-9 and have a tough schedule ahead of them playing their last three games against Warwick, Kingston, and Goshen.

On Monday, the Wizards faced the talented 12-5 Middletown Middies, but, unfortunately, lost in a cringeworthy game.  Middletown gained the early lead after driving in one run, then with the bases loaded, the number four hitter turned on an inside pitch for a grand slam.  With 5-0 reflecting off the scoreboard, Washingtonville fought back and tallied two runs in the next inning.  The Middletown Middies were able to shut out Washingtonville for the remainder of the game, resulting in a final score of 5-2.  

The Wizards now have three crucial  games remaining in the season.  Winning two out of the next three games will place them in sectionals, but there is also another solution to prolonging their season. 

The Wizards are scheduled to play their last division game of the season against the Warwick Wildcats.  Washingtonville already recorded four division wins: two against Valley Central, and two against Minisink.  With one more divisional victory, the Wizards will advance into postseason play for the first time since 2015.  Due to the rain, Washingtonville is being forced to play the last three games of the season on Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, May 17th, the Wizards will host a double header against Warwick and Kingston, and on Friday, May 18th, the Wizards will face Goshen.  Jeremy Gutierrez is scheduled to pitch for the Wizards for their biggest game of the season against Warwick, and Jack Wilde will pitch against Kingston. 

With a record of 2-0 against Washingtonville this season, the Wildcats are looking to complete the sweep in a three game series.  Warwick is currently out scoring Washingtonville 24-9 on the season.  The last time the Wizards faced Warwick, Jeremy Gutierrez held them scoreless throughout five innings, but then Warwick came back to win 5-4.  The Wizards are looking to get revenge, and advance into the postseason.

Kingston and Goshen both pose big treats to Washingtonville as well.  Senior Jack Wilde stated, “I have mixed feelings about pitching, possibly, my final game as a Wizard.  I am leaving behind a great team, but also excited to go onto my next chapter in baseball.  I enjoyed every moment I was on the mound at Washingtonville.”  Jack Wilde will attend St. Thomas Aquinas College next year where he will become a part of the pitching staff.

Sectional play will begin next week, and the seeds will be picked by Friday.  Good luck to every team participating, or trying to advance to sections.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

DECKED OUT FOR DECISION DAY

By LINDSEY BULLERDICK
Mascots and slogans flooded the halls of WHS on Tuesday, May 1st, as seniors celebrated Decision Day.  Each senior proudly sported an eye-catching T-shirt stating the name of the college they will be attending in the fall.  This day is highly anticipated among each graduating class as it celebrates the achievements that have led seniors to their chosen university.

The tradition of Decision Day goes far beyond WHS and is celebrated nationally as universities across the nation designate May 1st as their commitment deadline.  Seniors all around the United States sport their college merchandise and take a universal sigh of relief as the college admissions process officially comes to an end.  

LINDSEY BULLERDICK FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
For most seniors, the excitement of this day comes from the fact that they can finally share with the world where they will continuing their education. For others, the excitement comes from learning about where their peers will spend the next four years.  Senior Julia Foley expressed, “It was really nice and exciting to see where everyone is going next year.”  

Wizard Nation beamed with pride as the Class of 2018 declared where they would be continuing their education. Each student’s announcement was met with great congratulations from teachers, faculty, and students alike.  “Everyone was really supportive and happy for each other. The whole school day was a lot of fun,” Foley beamed.  

Most seniors consider Decision Day to be the start of their college experience and, therefore, the end of their efforts in high school.  This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “senioritis” and the figurative condition plagues the graduating class year after year.  While many students claim to experience this as early as September, most agree that it only worsens after committing to the university of their choice.  

Following Decision Day, many seniors echoed this sentiment. Senior Michael Lindberg agreed.  “Knowing that I’ve committed to my top school definitely puts a strain on my level of motivation for the rest of the school year, but we don’t have much left and I want to make it count!”  Hang in there, seniors! Decision Day was the first step towards the college experience the Class of 2018 has been waiting for. 




WIZARDS VS. WIZARDS

By SAMANTHA CROUCH
The seats in the high school gym are filled once more for a basketball game.  The fans are wearing jerseys in support and taking pictures with the players right before the game. However, this time it is not in support of the Washingtonville Wizards, but the Harlem Wizards and the faculty of The Washingtonville Central School District.  

SAMANTHA CROUCH FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY

The Harlem Wizards have played the Washingtonville Wizards multiple times, and each year it is with the support of the Round Hill PTA.  Though the event is sponsored by Round Hill’s PTA, the event needs to take place at the high school because of the overwhelming support coming from the community.  As teacher Mrs. Sansone stated, “When teachers participate in PTA events, it helps support the PTA.  We have a very supportive group of PTA parents and I feel it is the least I can do to support them as well.” The teachers who played came from multiple schools to help out, and showed their support as a team.

Overall, the event is lighthearted and fun for all those involved.  While elementary students get to see their teachers do something other than teach, there is also fun music playing and challenges for some lucky audience members throughout the game.  One challenge had two families compete to see who could have every member of the family make a basket faster.  As Little Britain principal (and former Round Hill assistant principal) Mrs. Rudecindo-O'Neill expressed, “The game itself is played in a fun lighted manner since the players perform as well as play.  They do tricks, comedy, and interact with the crowd throughout the game.  The team's comedy routines are sometimes at the expense of the faculty players, but it's all in good fun.” The comedy routines may not have been too much fun for the teachers, but they certainly had the crowd rolling with laughter.  

As the clock ran out, the Harlem Wizards won in a close 80-67 game.  The game was not only fun for the players but every member of the crowd as they flooded the court to meet and take pictures with players.  Once again, the Round Hill PTA has made sure that they not only do a wonderful job with fundraising, but also with making it fun for everyone involved.  

DECISION DAY POTLUCK

By GABRIELLA MARKGJONAJ

GABRIELLA MARKGJONAJ FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
As the end of the year approaches, seniors are faced with many difficult decisions, including where they will be spending their next four years of their lives.  On May 1st, also known as decision day, high school students across the country were frantically sending in deposits to secure a spot at the college of their dreams while others were making the decision to enter the work force, join the military or even travel the world. Here at Washingtonville High School, the Class of 2018 held the second annual Potluck Dinner to help alleviate some of the stresses of the day.

For some the notion of making decisions about their future can be a difficult one.  Some wait until the last second while others have known their choice since the moment they opened a special acceptance letter. To honor the wonderful day, the class of 2018’s advisors and officers organized this potluck dinner for the seniors to kick of the final months of high school.  This event actually originated last year by the 2017 advisors, Mrs. Connolly and Mr. Clough.  This year Mrs. Lynch and Ms. Held wanted to continue the tradition.

After school on Tuesday the class advisors and officers stayed late to set up tables, a buffet and karaoke.   All the students contributed food or drinks for the event; there was a wide variety of foods from appetizers to desserts.  The food options were endless from pizza and pasta to Mrs. Connolly’s award winning chili.

Students and teachers took advantage of the karaoke machine, singing fan favorite songs such as, Sweet Caroline and Uptown Funk.  Tarek Abu-Zeid was eager to get up and sing one of his favorite songs in front of classmates stating, “It was a ton of fun to get up there with one of my best friends and get the rest of the kids singing along and getting the night started!”

The fun didn't stop there; many of the graduating seniors made their way over to Taft to relive their elementary school days, going on the slides, swinging on the swings and climbing on the monkey bars.  Anna Bonventre was one of these students.  She exclaimed, “It was great to see everyone having so much fun pretending they were in elementary school again instead of thinking about graduating in less than two months.”

It was apparent that the dinner was a huge success and, hopefully, a tradition that will continue in the years to follow. 


SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: BRENDAN HOGAN

By JACK PALMER

JACK PALMER FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Students living in New York State, are given the opportunity to experience a plethora of schools. Whether it is a SUNY school, a big city school, or even a private university on Long Island, the choices seem to be unending.  In addition to schools in the state, Washingtonville is home to a multitude of students who will travel outside of the New York for their new beginnings.   One WHS student, however, plans to take a very uncommon route traveling outside the country to begin his college career.  

Brendan Hogan, who is a student in the top 10 of his class is arguably one of the brightest students here at Washingtonville High School.  In the fall, he will be attending Trinity University in Dublin, where he will be studying Middle Eastern and European Culture and Language for the first two years of college.  After those two years have been completed, he will be returning to New York where he will be attending Columbia University majoring in History.

The program Brendan will be entering is a dual BA program that will send him to Trinity for his first two years, and then to Columbia. While he did not have a choice in what school he would attend after Trinity, he did say that “the respect and reputation that Columbia is known for was definitely an attractive piece of this program for me.”

A flight from New York to Ireland is just about seven hours. For some students, that is comparable to a car ride home stuck in traffic on the highway from their school upstate. Brendan does not have any family in Dublin, nor does he know anyone living in Dublin.  As a result, he will reside in the university’s student apartments, where he will be living with five other Trinity students. 

Growing up and traveling the world is one of the most amazing experiences anyone can have, but doing it for two years of a teenager’s life is excitement that can’t be measured. If any student is interested in exploring the world, look for going down a path similar to that of Brendan; you never know what amazing things you will witness. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

WIZARDS WALK OFF

By MATT BENSON

In a tight battle Tuesday, the Wizards edged out the Pine Bush Bushmen in dramatic fashion. The game had been full of offensive firepower as the bats were off to a hot start from the beginning.  The score was 2-2 after the first inning and the girls’ momentum did not waver.   With this win, the Wizard softball team stands at 5-3.

MATT BENSON FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
The Wizards would have fallen behind early if it had not been for senior captain, Emily Nagle.  She has decided to continue her academic and athletic career at SUNY Plattsburgh next year.  The shortstop had a three run triple to tie the game in the first inning, and she didn’t cool off from there.  Nagle ended her day three for four in her plate appearances with two more singles.  She expressed that “every win is a team win… and we win because we play as a team.”  This could not be any truer about their game on Tuesday.  Every player on the team reached base safely at least once. 

Wizards also gained support from their left fielder.  Taylor Connington went three for four with two runs batted in.  The sophomore made a tremendous impact on the game.  Connington hit three singles throughout the game.  Her RBI single in the second inning gave Washingtonville the lead, but the Bushmen came back and took control of the game.

Fortunately, the Wizards had other plans. They were down four runs in the seventh inning when the girls’ team quickly retired the first two leadoff batters in the bottom of the seventh. Then, they rallied and tied the game at 8 after seven straight batters reached safely. With bases loaded and the winning run on third base, senior Lauren Horowitz was at the plate. She hit a fly ball to center field. The game winning run scored, and the team celebrate Horowitz’s walk-off single.  When the senior was asked about how it felt to come through for her team, she responded, “I was so excited for myself, but also for my team. It was a great team win and everyone played their part in winning.”

The softball team’s next game is on May 10th inWarwick at 6:00! Make sure to come out and support the girls!