Wednesday, November 30, 2016



The Washingtonville Wizard’s varsity boys’ basketball team is back on the court.  The first thing the team did during Tuesday’s practice was apply their press defense. “When we went up against Class AA’s Shenendehowa during a scrimmage in the summer, we knew they were going to press us as soon as they got off the bus,” said Wizard’s Coach Todd Rose. “It was great competition for us, and I thought we absorbed a large sum of information as a result.”

Washingtonville finished last year with a 10-11 record, including a Section IX Quarterfinal loss against Kingston. With seven players from last year’s team returning for the Wizards, along with talented players coming up from JV, there is good reason for excitement this year. “I’m excited about our two juniors, Brendan O’ Leary and Ryan Johnson, who were on the varsity team last year as sophomores,” Rose exclaimed. They  appear to be sharp, and look ready to take a bigger role on the team this year.

Billy Aussenheimer and P.J. Morais have been friends since their travel basketball days in elementary school. Now being the two captains of the Wizard’s basketball team, their ability to communicate together will impact what happens on the court. “Being captains together is great because we’re comfortable playing with each other, and it will create many opportunities for our basketball team,” Morais passionately said. “I have to prove that I can be a good leader,” he added. “The way I’m going to do that is getting everyone in the same winning mindset so we can work together and beat whoever is put in front of us.”

The three returning forwards from last years’ team, Stephen Shute, Jack Zimmer and Sean Dunnigan, are crucial to the teams’ success this year. According to Coach Rose, “They are our paint protectors and their ability to play in the post, control the glass, and win the ‘rebounding war’, as I like to call it, will be a big   factor in games this year.”

“One of the biggest surprises on the court this year will be Mickey Urso,” Rose boldly stated. “I have been impressed by his point guard skill-set, and his defensive abilities, but what I have been most impressed by is his work in the classroom.” He has made tremendous strides academically and, as a result, will be playing a big role for us this year.”

The Wizard’s team philosophy is play hard, play smart, play together. “Our season’s expectation is like a pyramid; there is no one expectation for our team,” Rose assured. "To compete in the Class AA Division II Championship, you have to qualify for the Section IX Tournament. To qualify for the tournament you have to win ten games, and to win ten games you have to start with one game, and that one game will be the result of how you practiced the previous day.”

The team starts each day with a famous quote.  The Wizard’s quote of the day was from Michael Jordan. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”. And if the Wizards execute a combination of the three characteristics above- the sky is the limit for this year’s team. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016



This past week was the start of a brand new season for our Washingtonville wrestlers. For the next two weeks, the boys will be working very hard to be ready for their first meet on November 29th.  The game is at home against Monticello at 7 pm. 

A wrestling match is non-stop movement with opponents trying to overpower and outlast each other.  The sport takes a great deal of heart, hard work, and a tremendous amount of dedication. Making weight every week and keeping up with physical condition and overall performance is quite possibly the most difficult part of being a wrestler. 

                                       JOHN POVEROMO FOR WIZARD WEEKLY
Upon sitting down with Varsity Captain Brandon Bobe, I discovered how the wrestlers have been getting ready for their meet and the upcoming season. Brandon responded, “We’ve been doing a lot of pre-season lifting and running as well as wrestling all summer long.  We work hard every day and remind each other that our hard work will pay off.” 

As a team they’re looking forward to achieving great goals, “Our goal as a team is to get over 22 wins because that is the best record in Washingtonville history so we are trying to break that. We also want to win Wizard Duals (an annual tournament Washingtonville holds for towns to come and compete) and also place in the top 4 in the section this year as team. My personal goals are to get my 100th varsity win and be in the top 3 all time wins for Washingtonville.  I want to be a 4 time Section 9 placer, become a 3 time varsity captain and become a Section 9 Champion.”   

We hope the boys can achieve their team and personal goals as their season officially starts in two weeks, so come out November 29th at 7 pm to show some support for our wrestlers.  Good Luck Wizards!



As a senior in high school, it’s getting to the tail end of discovering favorite classes and favorite teachers. Psychology is an elective offered in the High School, and in my opinion, it’s one of the best. 

Mr. Reil is the psychology teacher at WHS, and he strives to show his students what psychology is really like. His class is based around thinking and discussing opinions and situations. Mr. Reil does a fantastic job when it comes to getting beneath the surface of his students’ minds, and his class is a safe place to discuss challenging topics. Psychology is definitely a highly recommended elective at the High School. 

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context. During an everyday psych class, there’s usually some reading, critical thinking, and lots of discussion. Many students believe that the discussion is the best part. It’s very interesting to hear other classmates’ stories, points of view, and opinions. A big part of psychology is finding out how the mind works, and the best way to do that is hearing the opinions of other people.

Mr. Reil has been teaching psychology for 12 years, and some students in the building may know him as also being a Global 1 teacher. Reil states, “In 1999, there was an opening to teach Psychology at WHS, and they pretty much told me that’s what I was going to teach.” Funny how sometimes the things we get thrown into turn out to be what we enjoy doing the most. When asked, “What’s your favorite part of teaching psychology?” Mr. Reil responded, “I really enjoy the contrast of teaching about real issues with juniors and seniors, in comparison to teaching Global 1 with freshmen.” 

Psychology is different than the core subjects in that it is based off the viewpoints of the students.  That is what makes the class so interesting. It’s not just reading from a textbook and taking a quiz on what was just learned; it’s more about listening to the people in the class and gaining an insight into how others view the world. It may even help  some students figure themselves out.  As someone who has studied and now teaches  psychology, Reil proclaims, “I think everyone should study psychology. It’s helpful in almost every area as it prepares people to deal with other human beings, and it can give you a better understanding on why people do what they do.” Mr. Reil is most definitely experienced in this area.

Washingtonville High School offers many electives, and each of them is unique and fun in different ways. High school flies by in the blink of an eye, and all high school student should follow their dreams and take whatever classes they believe will interest and benefit them the most. Psychology may not be for everyone, but how can you know if you don’t try? It may be the best class you ever take, or it might even inspire you to further your knowledge of psychology and study it in college. Washingtonville is blessed to have such a friendly and welcoming guy teaching the course, so in reality, it’s a win win situation. If you would like to figure out for yourself how interesting psych is, do yourself a favor and sign up for the class. 




Did you know that one out of every three teens experience dating violence before the age of 18? In addition, one out of every four teens has been harassed by a dating partner via text or social media. Safe Homes of Orange County is holding a Mentors in Violence Prevention Program for parents, teachers, administrators, and teens. This workshop is six consecutive Thursdays from December 1st to January 26th at 2:15 in room 130. 

The Safe Home’s Workshop is one that educates teens on healthy relationships, warning signs of an abusive relationship, how to help a friend experiencing an abusive situation, and learning how to respect individuals of all backgrounds. This program’s goal is to raise awareness, and empower teenagers to be the change in preventing violence in relationships. 

No one should feel uncomfortable in a relationship and no one should have to suffer through an abusive relationship. Dating violence happens in all communities and it impacts everyone. If you want to talk or help out, join Mentors in Violence Prevention and be the change you want to see in your community. Visit Mr. Saladino in attendance or Mrs. O’Sullivan in Room 124. Be a part of the solution.



Washingtonville’s annual Turkey Trot is back this year and ready to make a statement in the community. Each year, the village of Washingtonville comes together in support of the Varsity Wizards  Cross Country/Track and Field teams. The race takes place on Thanksgiving Day  each year at 8 o’clock in the morning. 

The trot is approximately a 2.75 mile run that will take place on Washingtonville High School’s scenic cross country course.  Anyone can get involved in this event, as it is a great way to contribute to helping out your fellow community members. On the day of the event, you may sign up with a $5 donation and an encouraged canned good. All canned goods received at the event will be donated to Washingtonville’s Country Kids Food Pantry. 

Michael White, coach of the varsity track and cross country teams at Washingtonville, is someone who has looked forward to these races for many years now. “It’s perfect if you want to burn some extra calories before all the festivities of the day begin. It’s a great way to get some exercise while bonding with the people in your community,” stated White.  Coach White is hoping for a great turnout and donations which will help not only the teams but, more importantly, the families of the community who are in need. 

All are encouraged to come out and show support at this year’s Turkey Trot. Start off your Thanksgiving Day with some community building, donating, exercising, and fun. You’ll feel much better eating that turkey knowing that you made such a difference in your community!

Thursday, November 17, 2016



Last year's World Series was exciting for a majority of New Yorkers because it featured the ever-so-unlucky New York Mets. Although there are no local teams in the World Series this year, the 2016 MLB finale means a little bit more to a certain teacher in our own high school. 

If you had Mr. Affeldt as an Art teacher, you know he's a diehard Wisconsin fan. Whether it’s Packer football, Badger basketball, or even a little old school Bucks basketball, Mr Affeldt knows all about it.

All that being said, Mr. Affeldt has a favorite baseball team.  You would think since he's a fan of everything Wisconsin that he would be a Brewers fan. Wrong. How about a Chicago Cubs fan?

“When the Braves left Milwaukee in 1965, the closest National League team was the Chicago Cubs and I didn't mind because Wrigley was an hour away from our house in Wisconsin,” Affeldt recalls. “The American League was the less-superior league and I would never root for the rival Cardinals, so the Cubs found a special part in my heart.”

Affeldt’s favorite Cubs player is Ernie Banks, or as the fans calls him, “Mr. Cub”. 
“Theres been a lot of great players who have left the Cubs, but for someone to play their whole career with one team, and to look as happy as he did out there, thats something special,” Affeldt said. “Theres a reason they have a statue of him outside of Wrigley. He is a Cubs legend.”

What makes the Cubs an amazing story is their rise to success. When Sam Zell sold the Cubs to the Ricketts family in 2009, the Ricketts were determined to bring a ring to Chicago. Signing manager Joe Maddon to a five-year-25-million-dollar contract was considered bold, but the other two managers being paid more aren't in the World Series currently. Former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was plugged in as the general manager with the Cubs. As a result, the two have proved to be dynamic game-changers without even playing.

We all know that the atmosphere at Wrigley will be special. But how special will it be? “Not a soul in Wrigley will be sitting. Whether you’ve been a fan for 15 years or 50 years, you’ve seen the suffering and we all want that 2016 banner,” says Affeldt. The Cubs have played 172 games to get to this point, including Division and Conference rounds. I believe it is time to end the streak.




On October 20th, Masque and Mime will be putting on their first performance of the new school year. Every fall, Masque and Mime puts on a breathing taking performance of a Disney musical.  Last year, they put on High School Musical 2, which attracted a huge audience.

This year’s fall show is called Through the Looking Glass. Through the Looking Glass, is basically the story of Alice in Wonderland with a twist. In Through the Looking Glass, Alice has to make her way through a chessboard to become queen. Meanwhile, in Alice in Wonderland, this is not the case as she just is in Wonderland.  The leads in the play include Olivia Soto, who is Alice, Marisa Ambrosio, The White Queen, and Ally Wolf who is playing the Red Queen. 

In this Masque & Mime production of Through the Looking Glass, Mrs. Davis made sure to keep the main characters from the original Alice in Wonderland. She did this by having the Troubadours as characters from the original film. For example, the ump is White Rabbit, the catcher is the caterpillar, the vender is the Mad Hatter, and the pitcher is the Cheshire Cat. These roles are played by Brianna Poole, Celine Estrada, Matt Martinez, and Danielle Warn. 

So come out on October 28th at 7pm and October 29th at at 11am and 2pm to come see an amazing performance of Through the Looking Glass. See Mrs. Davis in the guidance office for more details. 



On October 21st, Washingtonville High School’s senior class thought it would be a creative idea to throw a scary movie night for the younger children in our community. The night consisted of two movie choices- Hotel Transylvania and Hocus Pocus, along with crafts and snacks. Many children of all age groups showed up to enjoy a fun night and get into the Halloween spirit. The event was a smash, and it’s all thanks to the amazing senior class for throwing the event along with class advisors Mrs. Connolly and Mr. Clough. Washingtonville’s family orientated community makes every event spectacular.   

This event was thrown for the elementary school students, and it was a great way for the younger kids to come out and have a good time with their friends while watching a movie, eating snacks, and doing Halloween themed crafts. The kids really seemed to enjoy the crafts and with the help of all the senior volunteers, everything seemed to flow smoothly. When asking a few elementary students what movie they came to see, Alexis responded, “Hocus Pocus”, Christopher responded, “Hotel Transylvania, and Karoline and Kayla responded, “Hotel Transylvania.” All the children who came to the event were very excited to be there and seemed to be having a good time. During crafts, the children were all over the place and were acting very rambunctious but as soon as the movies came on they were all very intrigued by the movie that was playing in front of them. The movie night was a big hit, and I hope all of the children who attended the event had an awesome Halloween filled night. 
It’s not new that each class holds fundraisers to help support their grade. All the money that is raised goes to bettering the class, and cutting down on the price of events for the class. $5 is a cheap price to pay for movies, snacks, and crafts but the profit can be a big one. Scary movie night is a good way to get your siblings out of the house for a little while, or maybe it’s something to do with the kids you babysit on a Friday night. The event started at 5:30 PM and pick up was at 8 PM;  it was two and a half hours of spooky fun that the younger kids enjoyed. This night was an awesome way to get the younger kids in the Halloween spirit, and get them pumped up about all the candy they will gather on October 31st. 

The class of 2017 thought it would be a great idea to throw an event that is not only high school student friendly, but an event that younger kids and siblings in the community can enjoy. Having it at the high school gives high school students a chance to gain some community service hours. The community of Washingtonville is very people friendly, and as a school district we are very connected and considered a “family”. This event was a great way to give younger people in the community a chance to see what it’s like inside the High School, and to participate in a fun filled night of spooky flicks. 



The start of the 2016 fall sports season has been quite a time for the Washingtonville Wizards. Multiple sports have been shining showing why Washingtonville as a whole should not be taken lightly this year. 

The varsity football team’s recent 14-0 win over Minisink moved them to 5-0, and helped them clinch their division championship. They now have a buy week for the first round of the playoffs and home field advantage. I got to sit down with the four varsity captains and ask them about their current success. When asked why the team is doing so well and to what does  he attribute this success, Captain Joey DelGardo stated, “I would say practice is where it starts and we've been doing great. We are getting better and better each day. Our defense is also playing lights out as we have given up the least amount of points in section 9.”  

Boys soccer also has a great record of 9-0-1 and has been dominant throughout the season.  The players are looking to keep it going. After conversing with Captain Bill Aussenheimer, it was clear that the team is hardworking and has the respect they need to accomplish big things. Bill told me, “We’re not a team of egos. We value and respect each and every player. We push each other to be our best on and off the field, but most importantly, we take one game at a time.” Bill also expressed that the boys have great chemistry and they always stick together. 

The girls soccer team is also doing extremely well.  The girls have a record 8-2-2 and have also been making their mark for Washingtonville. When talking to the captains, all had the same feel for their success. “Our hard work in pre-season” and “Our hard work supporting each other” were some positive comments from the captains that they feel attribute to the success of the team. 

The girls swim team is just another one of Washingtonville’s success stories. The girls have worked hard for their 6-1 start. Captain Amela Bajramovic’s comments on her team's success was no different from the confidence of the other fall sport captains.  Amela said, “I think that everyone's dedication to the sport and constantly keeping each other motivated to work hard has made us successful as a team. It gets tough with practices, especially during pre-season, but having 40 other girls on the team to offer motivation is awesome.” 

Participating in a fall sport myself and seeing all my fellow Wizards around me doing so well, makes me extra proud to be a Wizard and represent Washingtonville as a whole. 



After years of struggle, the Wizard's varsity tennis team is finally reaching success. Tennis in Washingtonville throughout the years has typically not been known to stir up much talk; however,  this season, the girls tennis team is looking to change that, and they’re doing a pretty good job so far. The Wizards’ record this season is 7-3, which is the best record that Wizards tennis has had in several years. Recently, the girls have beaten their long time tough opponent, Valley Central, making a statement to the rest of the league. 

There are a lot of players contributing to the success of this team, and the abundance of young players provides hope for the future of Wizards tennis. Senior Colleen Garwood, who has been on the team since her freshman year, stated, “The youth of the team adds to our drive to win… looking towards being ranked second in the league, I am amazed at how much we’ve all grown.” One player in particular, eighth grader Jalynn Balleste, is a force to be reckoned with on this Wizard team. Although only 12 years old, Balleste has been close to unstoppable, beating out players who are four or five years older than she. Balleste, along with first doubles team, Alyssa Jin and Colleen Garwood, and second doubles team, Samantha Phillips and Alexa Muratore, have all qualified for the county tournament coming up this Thursday. Washingtonville tennis has never sent this many players to the county tournament in the past. This will be each of the player’s second time at counties, where Balleste finished fourth overall last fall. Alejandra Rivera, a senior on the team told me, “In the past years, Washingtonville has only been represented at the county tournament by the one wild card spot, so to have so many girls now qualifying for their spots is such a boost.” 

The Wizard's final match will be today against Valley Central. If the team  wins this match, the Wizard’s tennis team will finish their season in second place overall for their division. Not bad for a team who once went 0-13 for their season years back.