Thursday, January 26, 2017



The Wizard Indoor Track and Field team did not disappoint during their Division Championship meet at West Point last Saturday. Overall, the boy’s team placed second to Warwick Valley, scoring 133 points. Likewise, the girls’ team grabbed the division victory, once again, scoring an outstanding 160 points to edge off the Warwick Valley girls. This is the girls’ third consecutive year taking home the division title. Although the boys’ team finished in a respectable second, there were two runners that shined individually. 
Senior captain of the team, Paul Catalano, and junior, Josh Mallard, were both triple winners on the boys side, each contributing 30 points to the overall team total. Both boys recently broke the school record together in the distance medley relay running a time of 10:27.60. At the division meet, Paul Catalano ran the 600m, running a personal record of 1:24.7. Impressively, this time is .5 seconds away from the Washingtonville school record for that event.  After being asked how it feels knowing he’s that close to breaking yet another school record Paul acknowledged, “It makes me very determined. Since this is my last year as a Wizard, I want to go out with a bang and do the best I can to become a great athlete.” Aside from the 600m, Paul also ran in the 1000m run, winning in a time of 2:38.8. This time was no personal record for Catalano, but it did give the Wizards 10 points to add to their team score. To finish off his night, Catalano ran a splendid leg in the 4x800m relay, running a split time of 2:01 that would assist the Wizards in getting the first place win over Warwick Valley in that event. 

In addition to winning, Paul enjoys the satisfaction he gains from the leadership role of captain. “Fortunately, I’ve been able to lead my younger teammates to a path where they can succeed but also get better by working hard and not giving up,” Catalano asserted. Two of Paul’s major goals for the rest of the indoor season are to make the state meet in the 1000m as well as the 4x800m relay. 
Josh Mallard also ran a fantastic meet.  Starting off his night by winning the 300m dash in 37.55 was just the beginning. Josh went on to become division champion in the long jump, jumping a personal record of 19’ 3.5” (a PR by ½ a foot). After being asked what keeps him motivated to become so successful he replied, “It’s knowing that I’m so close to certain records, and I won’t let up until I break them… I also have a dedication to my teammates and love having them at my side so we can succeed as a unit.” 

To finish his night off on an even better note, Josh ran the 4x200m relay, running a split time of 23.5, coming out with the win for the Wizards once again. “It feels awesome,” says Mallard, after being asked how it feels to be contributing so much to the team as an underclassmen. “I was always told that I had talent, but every now and then I surprise myself.  I come from a family of speedsters,” he joked.  Two of Josh’s goals for track are to hopefully set a new school record in the 200m by the end of the year, and to break the 300m school record by the end of his senior year. Both Paul Catalano and Josh Mallard were two of the boys who competed and shined tremendously. Leading the girls team to a first place finish were Brianna Lawless and Megan Geary. 
Senior and captain, Brianna Lawless, followed by junior, Megan Geary, both led the girls team to a phenomenal first place win. After asking Brianna how it felt being a captain for a second year, she replied, “It feels great getting a second opportunity to lead and motivate these girls, as well as winning yet another division championship. Aside from winning, it’s always a good feeling having someone there by your side at practice, making you feel welcomed and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be that person.” 

Brianna Lawless opened her night by finishing second in the 600m run, running a time of 1:47.9. Lawless’ personal record in this event is 1:40.8, nearly 2 seconds shy of the current school record. Followed by that, Lawless ran the 300m dash, running a time of 44.7, placing second once again. To top off her night, Lawless finally came home with the win, running a 63.4 split in the 4x400m relay. Some of Lawless’ goals for her last indoor season as a Wizard are to make the state meet for the 300m, as well as either the 4x200m or 4x400m relay. 

Megan Geary’s performance was one to talk about as well. Megan ran the challenging race of the 55m high hurdles in a time of 9.69, finishing second, and finishing 5th in the 55 dash, running a time of 8.15. Geary scored a good amount of points to help the Wizards catch up to the Warwick Valley girls. Being an underclassmen like Josh, Megan mentioned how, “Being an underclassmen is pretty cool. Although,  I have never used my age as an excuse; I just always ran the best I could, and tried to reach the next level. Having girls to look up to definitely helps; they're the ones who keep me going,” she stated. 

To conclude her night, Geary ran a split time of 28.5 in the 4x200m relay. This impressive time would go on to win the relay division title and secure the overall girls’ division team championship victory. Geary mentioned how her main goal of this indoor season is to “finish the season.” She went on to say, “Last year I was unable to finish because of an injury.” Besides that, Geary would like to PR in the 55HH with a time of 9.1, place in the county and section meets, and possibly have the opportunity to run at the state meet.

Paul, Josh, Brianna, and Megan will all run in the OCIAA Championship meet this Friday, hoping to do more great things for the Wizards. All four of them give a big thank you to their coach, Mike White, for motivating them to do their best and helping them achieve. They all contributed immensely to the track and field program and will do their part in helping the Wizards success continue. 




Senior year is a year that contains many different emotions.  Stress is one emotion that can  come about during senior year.  Applying to colleges, getting into the right college and obtaining the perfect SAT score are all things that add to a student’s stress level.  The stress of senior year can build up quite quickly especially when participating in one of the most strenuous after school activities in the school: The Masque and Mime Society.   This particular club here at the high school requires a very high level of commitment. Two seniors who can attest to this fact are David Mosca, who plays the role of Joey in this year’s musical, Sister Act, and Nicole Quinones, who plays the lead, Deloris Van Cartier. 

Theses two seniors know what it takes to handle the stress of school and Masque and Mime but  they were not prepared for the stress of senior year and Masque Mime. When asking David Mosca how hard it is balancing Masque and Mime with the stresses of being a senior he said, “To be totally honest, at first, it’s a bit overwhelming. You just think to yourself, this is three months of commitment I need to be loyal to and it gets pretty stressful at first. But you have to fight off those negative thoughts, because it will ruin your experience in Masque and Mime. After those first two weeks when you get to conquer the negativity, it gets a lot easier to balance everything. Just never doubt yourself and your ability to balance more than one thing in your life.”  

David’s actions are a clear example of how to fight through the stress and be successful. David was also asked if he was planning to continue theater in college and, if so, how different the stress levels might be.  He responded with, “I don’t plan on taking theater as either a minor or major during college, however, I will be participating in extracurricular theater programs for fun. I will always love theater and I would never leave it completely. As for stress levels, I have no idea what college will be like with juggling my schooling and performing, but if I can do it now in high school, I have full confidence in myself that I can do it in college.”

Nicole Quinones, the lead in Sister Act has a lot of pressure on her.  When Nicole was asked how difficult balancing senior year is while being the lead in the Musical she replied, “It is much more stressful this year than in the past year being that I have a huge role, but I try to balance as best I can. I got my college applications done fairly early so I would not have to worry about that added stress during the show. The stress can get to me sometimes, but all I have to do is breathe and push through it.  After that, I can relax.”

Balancing any extracurricular activity and school can be difficult for any student, no matter what the grade.  Come see how the students were able to pull it together for an amazing show!  The Masque Mime Society’s show Sister Act will be March 2nd-4th. Tickets are on sale now in the guidance office.     


Every year, Washingtonville High School gathers many of its greatest writers and artists in effort to create its annual Literary Magazine. The publication showcases some of Washingtonville’s students’ most outstanding pieces of literature such as short stories, poetry, and song lyrics. With genres of literature ranging from horror to comedy, the quantity and quality of writing are sure enough to satisfy any reader. In addition to literature, the artwork of Washingtonville’s talented artists is beautifully placed throughout the pages of the magazine. Some are so grand that the artwork fills an entire page. Even the cover of the Literary Magazine features an exquisite example of student artwork each year. 

Annually, the newest publication of “Lit-Mag” represents one of the school’s best expressions of literary and artistic talent and is incredibly popular, not only among the student body, but the Washingtonville faculty as well. Yet, as the educational members of Washingtonville High School try to spot kids who made the final publication, many students wish to know what they can do to have their own pieces in the magazine. The advisor of the Literary Magazine, Mrs. Martinson, had a couple of suggestions for students who wish to be a part of the club, or the Literary Magazine in general.  

In regard to getting their work in the publication, Mrs. Martinson stated that students  who wish to submit their pieces to Lit-Mag “can turn it into me in hard copy form or put it on our Google Classroom.” The Google Classroom code, if you would like to submit your piece online, can be obtained if you visit Mrs. Martinson in room 140. 

Unfortunately, not everyone who submits work is published in the Literary Magazine. Mrs. Martinson explained the selection process.  “During our meetings, most of the time, we go through submissions for the Literary Magazine. Together, as a group, we read each piece individually, discussing each piece’s strengths and weaknesses.  As deadline approaches, we focus on looking for very strong pieces, as well as piece variety.”

Submissions for the magazine will be accepted in Room 140 until March 6th and the annual Literary Magazine will be released in the spring of 2017. However, if anyone feels that they would be interested in helping to create the Literary Magazine, they are always welcome to stop by and help. President of Literary Magazine, Rebecca Flood, encourages people to come be a part of the Literary Magazine, saying, “Lit Mag meets every Tuesday in Room 140 and we are always looking for new members!”



Today's grading system is designed to determine what students have learned, but the question is, does it fully measure how much students have truly assimilated? Students in this day and age are beginning to wonder if grades are still relevant today. With information one click away, shouldn’t the measure of one’s knowledge be wider than just grades? 

When a student sees his or her grades, it can be a nerve wracking feeling whether it turns out to be a good grade or not.  All that person can think about is what he or she could have done differently:  I should have studied more. Is there anything else I could have done to get a better result?  Students think that these grades that they are unhappy with will ultimately determine their futures. Students may get a class on their schedule that, although they dedicate an enormous amount of time trying to understand the material, they still struggle on tests and quizzes.  Over time, this destroys a student's self esteem.  Things often go downhill from there.

Rebecca Rivera, a senior at Washingtonville High School,  claimed, “Grades in high school are way too stressful! I’ve stayed up all night studying for a test just to fail because I do not understand the subject. It’s not like I don't study. I just get nervous. I feel like I shouldn't be judged based on my grades.” 

Other people feel that grades are still needed to measure one’s knowledge.  Some believe grades are needed to measure the progress of a student. The way this is done is by assigning grades based on the quality of work. There may not be any fairness to the process because every student is different and every student learns in a different way. At times, it may not help one’s self-esteem, but students need to be aware of the fact that they are going to be judged for the rest of their lives. 

Grades may not help all students learn, but they do help some people set goals and motivate students to keep going in order to reach their goals. Students need to have the mindset that grades are just numbers. Rather than abolishing grades, parents and teachers should stress the fact that grades do not mean everything. It is the effort that really counts.



Every Wednesday, a group of 40 or so teenagers get together to play basketball at St. Mary’s CYO.  Even though there are no tryouts necessary to play, it is always a competitive environment between the players. 

There are currently four teams in the league: the Knicks, the Heat, the Lakers, and the Nets. Their records as of now are: Knicks 5-0, Lakers 3-2, Nets 2-3, and Heat 0-5.  This week, the Knicks are playing the Lakers in what will be a very interesting game. The Nets are playing the Heat which should end in a victory for the Nets. The Knicks should be able beat the Lakers this week, as they won the last time they played them. As far as this week, there are no surprising games scheduled. The Knicks would like to continue their undefeated season, and the Heat surely wants to get its first win of the season.
The most interesting game that happened this week was between the Nets and the Heat.  Before this week, the Nets were 2-3 and the Heat were a surprising 0-5. This week, the Heat was able to clinch their first win of the regular season to bring their record to an impressive 1-5. This game was quite a nail bitter, as it came down to the last seconds. As the Nets were trailing by 3, it was up to Kyle Griffin to try and bring the game into overtime. As he shot the ball and missed, the clock expired and the Heat won 48-45. 

The top three players of this nail-biter were Matt Barbookles, Rob DelGuidice, and Dylan Sanchez.   When I asked Rob how it felt to win his first game, he responded, “It feels good to finally get a win on the record and it truly was for the whole team.”  Each member of the team had a smile on his face. Even boys on the Nets, who lost the game, were smiling. 

As for the the Knicks and the Lakers, the game was close during the first half as they had many lead changes. However, at the start of the second half, the Knicks were able to take the game over. The Knicks were led by Justin Godino, John Tecklenburgh, and Joey Delgardo. The Knicks won this game to continue their undefeated season. 

As far as the records stand at the end of this week, the Knicks remain undefeated at 6-0, the Lakers are 3-3, the Nets are 2-4, and the Heat, with their first win of the season, are now 1-5.

Monday, January 23, 2017




This Thursday, at Valley Central High School, the girls’ basketball team played in a league game. This game meant a great deal to the girls because it was a division game which would take the players one step closer to a section run. 

Star player, Victoria Pecovic, returned after missing the last game due to illness. She was quoted as saying, “I was very upset about missing the game but the girls did a great job without me and ended up winning that game. I am excited to be back at Valley Central because it’s a league game and it is very important to us.”

The girls have been putting in a tremendous effort since the beginning of the season in every aspect of the game. Victoria Mirecki claimed, “We have been working really hard all season long and I definitely feel ready for this league game. There is nothing else for our team to work on; we just have to play hard and leave everything on the court.” Although there is always something to work on, Victoria feels very confident going into this league game and hopes to come out with the win. 

Victoria Pecovic, one of the captains of the team, stated, “From the beginning of the season to now, we have improved tremendously with our chemistry and have just been working really well together. Hopefully the chemistry continues to grow so we can pull off more wins this season.” It appears as if both Victorias have the same thoughts about the team's improvement and readiness to beat VC.  

Victoria Pecovic led the team with 18 points. The final score was 60-43 with our own Wizards taking the division win. Good luck to the girls for the rest of the season!

Thursday, January 19, 2017



In 1983, Miss New York Teen USA, a competitive beauty pageant that chooses a face for the state of New York, was formed.  Miss New York Teen USA is an official contest under the Miss Teen USA pageant.  The winner of New York will go on to represent the state in the Miss Teen USA pageant that takes place in the summer.  Beauty pageants are not what they are often deemed to be; they do not focus on the beauty on the outside of a person, but the beauty found inside.  The importance of Miss Teen New York USA is to find the best role model for teenagers all around the state.  The chosen young lady needs to embody intelligence, confidence, passion and humanitarianism.  This year, one of Washingtonville’s very own participated in this prestigious competition. 

This past weekend, Claudian Francis, a junior at Washingtonville High School, participated in Miss Teen New York USA which was located in Westchester, New York.  This was Claudian’s first time being part of a beauty pageant.  When she was first made aware of the pageant, she had no interest in being a part of the organization, but after getting numerous signs to join, she took the opportunity to be a part of it.  

The three day event consisted of her going through three rounds of competition: interview, swimsuit, and evening gown. Although Claudian did not become the teen representative for New York, she did win an award for the best interview out of 60 contestants.  In the interview process,  judges took time to hear about her goals and successes in life along with her aspirations.  She described the process of the interview as, “casual, fun and conversational.”  The judges focused on her communication skills, intelligence and confidence.  

Towards the end of 2016, it was reported that Miss Teen USA would be getting rid of the swimsuit competition and replacing it with an athletic wear event.  This decision sparked controversy from those who support the swimsuit event and those who oppose it.  The 2017 Miss Teen New York USA still continued the swimsuit round.  The swimsuit portion of the pageant concentrated on how physically fit and confident the contestants were with their image.  The last round of Miss New York Teen USA was evening gowns where contestants put on gorgeous gowns that were scored by the judges.

The preparation for the event was not an easy process.  Claudian went through many measures to be ready for the competition. When asked how she prepared for Miss New York Teen USA, Claudian said, “There’s a lot of preparation that goes into a pageant.  From finding the perfect outfits to trying not to over-rehearse interview answers, preparing for Miss New York Teen USA has been a fun experience. In the pageant seminar in December, we had a mini coaching session where I learned the routines for swimsuit and evening gown as well as the opening number dance.  It takes a lot of practice, but it’s nothing short of fun.” 

Pageants are not as easy as they seem.  When people think of these pageants, they only think of beauty and fail to bring attention to the work the contestants put towards performing.  Not only was Claudian preparing for something important to her, but also going through her hardest year of high school.

Claudian was able to share her message to teenagers all over New York.  She believes in empowering girls.  She wants them to know that beauty is not only what is seen but what is hidden.  When asked about her platform and what Claudian believes she embodies, she said,  “Today we are so focused on outer appearances that we forget about the intellectuality and compassion of a person, and the importance of community service. I’ve shown that smart is pretty.  I want to inspire girls to know that they are beautiful, empowered, capable, strong, and worthy.  Just like I did, take the first step towards your goals and aspirations, and never stop until you get there.”  

Miss New York Teen USA has opened many doors for Claudian and her future.  This was her very first pageant, but it definitely will not be her last.  She plans to strive even harder for the tittle in the 2018 Miss New York Teen USA Pageant.  Thank you for representing Orange County and good luck in the future.



For two Washingtonville seniors who have been playing basketball together since the fifth grade, their time on the court is sadly coming to an end.  Varsity senior basketball captains, P.J. Morais (#15) and Billy Aussenheimer (#3), are in the midst of their final season of playing basketball for the Wizards. 

Billy and P.J. have been playing basketball for years now: Billy has played since fifth grade and P.J. since the first.  In addition, they have both been on varsity for two years. The first time they played on the court together was in fifth grade when they started travel CYO basketball. Aussenheimer and Morais have also played on an AAU team, and the B.C. Eagles, now known as The Early Risers. Billy began playing basketball because his friends were playing all the time so he decided to give it a try and ended up enjoying every second that he played.  He says, “It’s fast paced and entertaining to play.”  PJ started playing because he believes it “truly measures one’s athleticism.”  The sport also allows him to compete, which he claims to love more than anything.

The position of captain shows that one has strong leadership skills.  As captains, Billy said, “We lead by example and try to get the best out of everyone on the team.” P.J. added that he believes his role as captain means that he needs “to push people to get better at every practice and to keep everyone in sync while playing the game.”  The boys prepare the team before a game by working hard in practices and keeping teammates calm come game time.  Furthermore, they support the team by pushing each other and staying positive when things are not going their way as a team.  According to the captains, they do not have any pregame routines, except for keeping their heads clear, staying confident and focusing on winning each possession.  

The boys have high hopes for the team this year.  They hope to win their division, go past the first round of the sectional playoffs, and win a section title.  In order to accomplish this, there are ways that the team could improve in their eyes.  Aussenheimer mentioned that he personally could work on his communication. “As a captain, I’m more of a ‘lead by example’ type and P.J. is the more outspoken one.”  They both agree that the team could definitely work on putting more points on the scoreboard and Billy adds, “our defense this year has been a key part to our success.”

As best friends who have been playing together for six years, they have a great connection that helps them as captains.  Morais recognized, “We just know what each other is going to do before we do it and that allows us to make plays.”  Aussenheimer concurred, “I already know what P.J. is going to do before he even gets the basketball.”

Most people have someone who has influenced them throughout their lives.  Billy expressed, “All of my previous coaches have influenced my basketball career but my dad has been my biggest influence. My dad was my coach and mentor for most of my career and he has helped shape me to be the basketball player I am today. He is a big reason to why I started playing basketball in the first place.”  The varsity head coach has influenced P.J.’s basketball career greatly.  He emphasized that all of his past coaches have influenced him, especially Coach Rose. “He pushed me to be a leader on the court and helped me form into an elite player.”  

As the years have passed, both players have improved their performances on the court.  For this season, P.J. acknowledged that he analyzes the game and anticipates plays before they happen.  As for Billy, he takes prior years of playing and uses that experience to better himself.  He pointed out, “This year I have been using my experience as a basketball player to help me perform at my best, game in and game out.”

Their most memorable games are the Warwick and Middletown games. Billy stated, “The Warwick game is my most memorable game because we were down 10-0 to start the game but ended up coming back to win.”  The Wizards won the game with the close score of 48-46.  The Middletown game is P.J.’s most memorable so far, winning the season opener with a nail-biting score of  53-50.  He’s looking forward to making more memories.

As the season is coming to an end, Billy admits, “It’s going to be weird not ever stepping on the same court together again. Me and P.J. have done every step of basketball together along the way. It’s crazy to think that this is our last season together.”  Billy does not plan on playing basketball in college and wants to focus on his academics with his top college being Bentley University. P.J. is mainly focusing on his academics as well, but hopes to play ball at college.  He has not decided which college he will attend just yet.  

Washingtonville wishes both boys success this year as their season comes to a close and in all of their future endeavors.



All at once seniors feel relief and a sense of accomplishment while also feeling sadness and a magnificent weight of stress as it gets closer to June and the thought of graduation. It is one of the strangest feelings in the world: excited to move on with their lives but also not wanting to leave what they have known for their entire lives. These students have grown up together, so it is strange for them to move on.

There is always so much hype about senior year. Some say it is the best year of high school.  It is a year of fun, making memories and soaking in every moment until graduation caps fly in the air. Making memories is probably the most important part of senior year.  Seniors will hold on to the memories of their last year of high school for the rest of their lives. 

Finding out what the next step of life will be is a huge part of senior year. It’s the only time in high school where the following year of life is unknown. Seniors have to figure out which college they will attend, if they will work full time, take a year off, or join the military.  Every student is going to be taking a different path come next year. This feeling is different considering every year before has been set in stone. There is so much stress that comes along with the beginning of senior year, that by the end of the year, seniors are so excited to celebrate finishing this chapter of their lives. 

There are so many exciting activities that seniors have to look forward to these last few months at Washingtonville High School such as spirit week, senior banquet, senior barbecue, graduation and all the feelings that come with knowing that this is the end.  It will truly be bittersweet.

Washingtonville High School’s graduating class of 2017 is going to exceed all expectations. They are so bright and intelligent.  It will be exciting to see where they all end up in life. 




Every Friday morning in room 162, the Washingtonville High School Aspire students host the  highly anticipated Breakfast Bistro. This bistro serves delicious breakfast food and treats from 7:30 through 10:15 in the morning. Students, teachers, and volunteers alike cook the food in Ms. Hall’s kitchen to sell for very reasonable prices. Some of the more popular items on the menu that most people go in looking for are the cinnamon buns, breakfast burritos and fresh baked cookies. Don't skip out on breakfast; come down to room 162 during a free period or before class.  Go quickly before the shop closes!

The Breakfast Bistro started up in September of 2009, about a year after Washingtonville’s Best Buddies Program came into being. Mrs. Girton, one of the teachers in charge of the Breakfast Bistro claimed that it started as a way to give the Aspire students “real world experience.” She also declared that,  “They [students in the class] could sit and do work sheets all day, but this was a better way of teaching them. The students all rotate positions in the room every few weeks so they get to experience all the jobs.” Mrs. Girton also went on to explain how the bistro teaches important job skills such as food preparation, inventory, customer service, and money management which all students should learn before graduating and entering the real world.  The bistro is also another way for the Aspire students to interact with the rest of the school. 

Of course, the Aspire students are not the only ones who benefit from the Breakfast Bistro; many students enjoy stopping in for food on Friday mornings. One of those students, senior Dylan Sanchez, said that kids look forward to eating at the Breakfast Bistro and that “it’s a fun way to contribute to the school funds while eating an array of treats with friends.” Dylan also went on to say his favorite thing to get at the Breakfast Bistro are the cinnamon buns which are many students’ favorite.  Go down to room 162 to see how you can help or simply get a bite to eat.

Thursday, January 12, 2017



Whether it is the first time or twentieth time sitting in the stands at a Washingtonville High School basketball game, spectators are always amazed by the amount of school spirit that our Wizards have.  Washingtonville is an awe-inspiring community where students, faculty and families alike have a vast amount of school spirit and love for our district.

For those who do not already know, a theme is chosen for every home game during the basketball and football seasons.  The themes represent unity for our school.  Senior Jenny Kinsley claims, “It gives us the chance to come out and show the support we all have for our teams. We’re all able to come together and bond over the one thing we love, and that is being a Wizard.”  For the basketball games, Kinsley’s favorite theme is the black out.  It is one of the easier themes to execute since most people have black clothing.  She likes the look of the student section when the fans are all in the same color as it intimidates the opposing team.  Some other themes that have been done are the blue out, white out, American colors, and, of course, Wizard colors.  In addition to themes, students have also participated in a “silent night” where the student section is completely quiet until the Wizards score ten points in the first quarter.  After the team scores ten points, everybody gets loud.  The most recent silent night occurred at the varsity boys’ basketball game on January 6th.

The seniors are an important part of the student section.  They are the ones that lead the students with chants such as “Wizard Nation” and “I Believe.”  According to Jenny, the “I Believe” chant is her favorite.  The seniors also hype up the students to cheer on the teams.  Last year, Chris Kinsley, Jenny’s older brother, led Wizard Nation.  He ran the twitter account and started all the chants.  She says, “He also told me he wanted me to take after him and I just couldn’t say no.” Jenny felt like she could not let his legacy go.

This year, four seniors added a special feature to our student section beginning at the homecoming football game.  They were determined to leave a legacy as seniors and student section experts.  Bella Cosentino came up with the idea and had help from Jenny Kinsley, Kate Annesi, and Aislinn McAleer, to make fatheads of our inspiring principal, Mr. Connolly.  A great deal of time and effort went into making this happen.  Kinsley stated, “A lot of brainstorming went into finding the picture we wanted to use, but then I stumbled upon the picture of Mr. Connolly from his high school days in my sister’s yearbook and I knew we had to use it.”  The night before the big game was when all the construction happened.  Cosentino explained, “The whole idea was to honor the core of Wizard Nation, Mr. Connolly, and leave a memory and  challenge for the underclassmen.”  Jenny pointed out that this homecoming was legendary and no one will ever forget it or be able to top it.  They hope that they will be able to find someone with an equal amount of school spirit to pass them down to when they graduate, making it a tradition for years to come.

Perhaps the best part of being a part of the student section is that when it is game time, everyone comes together; students are not confined to their friend groups.  They always come together to share what they all have in common: the love of being a Wizard.  That is what makes Washingtonville different from other schools. 

For more information about the themes and schedules, check out the Wizard Nation twitter account, @wizardnationwhs. They tweet weekly schedules and outcomes of the games and meets.  Occasionally, they will have polls because it is not just about what the students running the account want, it is about what the majority of the student section would like.  If you would like them to tweet about anything at all, not just sports, do not be afraid to message them.



The Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Program is one of the hardest working programs in our school that doesn't receive enough recognition. The club helps high school students, not only improve themselves, but prepare for future leadership roles. The course of study is taught by retired Army personnel who educate students on stability, military experience and leadership. Students leave the program prepared for adult life that consists of working and going to college. 

At Washingtonville High School, the class is instructed by Chief Brickel and Major Allen who work together to teach their students communication skills while lending a helping hand to model the importance of community, patriotism and leadership. Many people in the building are familiar with the classes going on during the school day but have no clue about the activities they participate in: the after school program.

The JROTC after school program runs from Monday to Thursday. Each day students involved stay after after for different purposes. On Mondays the lead team meets where students practice questions that are similar to ones found on the SAT’s.  On Tuesdays, the raiders meet where they push their athletic abilities. They train for competitions which come with a lot of running, push ups and sit ups. Students also learn how to tie a bunch of different knots, and how to make their own harness for rappelling. They also learn how to make a rope bridge over water so they can get from one side to the other. On occasion, they visit the shooting range to practice their shooting.  

Training for competitions is something that the cadets take very seriously. On Wednesday’s the drill team fills the hallway where they rehearse numerous marching techniques. Four people, known as the color guard, meet on Thursdays to “present the colors.” During this activity, one person carries the American Flag, the other holds the JROTC flag, and the other two carry rifles. They show respect to the country and to the flag. The team does this during a lot of school events and compete at drill competitions against other color guard teams.

The members of Washingtonville’s JROTC program work very hard not only during school hours, but after school, to show their dedication to, not only their country, but their program. At the end of the school year they are awarded with parades, community service, field trips, dances and military balls. 



On Wednesday night the varsity boys’ basketball team had the home team advantage as they took on Valley Central at 6:30pm after coming off of a huge win when they played Port Jervis. 

Quite possibly, the student section was a huge contributing factor to how well the boys played. During this week’s game, the student section participated in what is known as a “black out.”  All of the fans came dressed in black to psych out the opposing team.  Before the game, I asked a member of the crowd, Johnny Poveromo, if the black out would help the team win.  He said, “I definitely feel that we have a great impact on the players. We all get loud and get into the other players’ heads while they’re out on the court.” The Wizard student section has really improved over the years because students have tremendous school spirit and they are proud to be Wizards. 

Jack Zimmer, a member of the varsity team, said, “As a player, it’s nice to know that our student section comes to our games and cheers us on. Having the student section there really boosts  our team’s moral and increases our level of play. The different chants they use are a great change of pace and the other teams have a much harder time shooting through all the noise and colors from the crowd.”

The level of school spirit coming from the stands really showed as the Wizards’ cheers helped the team come out on top with a score of 41-31 There was a huge momentum building throughout the the whole game.  Jack Zimmer was one of the players with the most impact recording the first points of the game to gain an early lead and help the Wizards stay on top.  Another player who contributed was P.J. Morais who recorded the most points with 16.

The Wizards play away in Warwick on Thursday at 6:30 pm. Come out and support the team. Hope to see the Wizard student section there and ready to get the win.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        




For those who are not aware, Washingtonville started its very first junior varsity lacrosse program at the high school in 2016. In addition to the latest Wizard’s team, a new coach was appointed to lead the players: Mr. Gray, a teacher at our very own middle school. If you are an underclassman looking for a new sport, or already play lacrosse, this team may be for you. The tryouts for the second season will start on Monday, March 6th. A meeting will be held after school in the small cafeteria some time in February. Listen to announcements for more information on the sign ups as the exact date is still to be determined.

Upon speaking with Mr. Vyskocil, the director of athletics at the high school, he was able to elaborate more on the junior varsity team by saying, “They are hoping to play twelve games this season opposed to the ten games they played last season.” He also stated that, “The team is a ‘feeder’ team to the varsity lacrosse program, and a way to better the players before they play at a higher level entering varsity.”  The new program is a wonderful way to teach more players the sport of lacrosse because they will get the opportunity to play in more games.  Previously, it was difficult for freshman and sophomores to get playing time as they were younger and less skilled at the sport.  This new team allows the athletes to play at a more realistic level with other athletes their own age and skill level.  Younger players may have otherwise been discouraged to join the varsity team.

With this new program, the entire Washingtonville lacrosse community will have the chance to advance greatly in the near future. Junior varsity adds a new step for the players coming out of their youth.  Instead of having to jump right into varsity and play with athletes older and more aggressive, younger athletes will be able to play at a level where they are comfortable. 

While this is a great opportunity for those younger players who should take advantage of it, it was not always this way for lacrosse players in previous years.  David Carlstrom, a senior and the former goalie for the varsity lacrosse team, said this about not having the program when he played, “We were put in a tough spot going from youth into varsity, and we had to mature and grow quickly into the sport.” If David and the rest of his team had the program available at the time, who knows how there past seasons may have turned out. 

If you’re looking to play lacrosse this year, make sure you get your physical. If you have any questions, contact the Washingtonville Athletic Department or ask a friend who plays. Best of luck to the team this year.