Thursday, February 23, 2017



The tradition of the “All Night Party” is one that students have looked forward to every year at Washingtonville High School. The All Night Party is a night of everlasting fun and a chance for the senior class to come together one last time. 

Run by parents of current seniors of Washingtonville High School, The All Night Party is something almost everyone has heard about. Originally, the party was created to take place at the high school, giving the students a plethora of fun and interesting things to do throughout the night.  It was intended to keep kids from going to parties where alcohol might be served, potentially getting drunk, and then driving afterward. From food to games, the parties seemed to be a lot of fun, but some people are starting to believe that the All Night Party tradition is slowly, and sadly, fading away. 

The graduating class of 2012 had a very memorable All Night Party that was very different from recent years including the one being planned for this year. One of the major issues that has caused confusion, and sometimes even confrontation, is the price. The price of the class of 2012’s All Night Party was $0. Hosted at our very own high school, the party lasted from 8pm to 8am, and many fun activities were offered to the seniors.  From a green screen to take pictures in front of, to laser tag in the cafeteria, inflatables, hypnotists, carnival games and trivia, this All Night Party was truly one to remember. Megan Quinn, a member of the graduating class of 2012, said just that. After being asked what she thought of the night she responded, “Honestly, it was really fun. I can't complain.” 

There were multiple raffles throughout the night, which everyone seemed to enjoy. In the beginning of the night, there was a smaller prize raffle which included prizes such as a T&M gift card.  Later on in the evening, there was a bigger raffle that included prizes such as a television. Previous All Night Parties have been really successful and enjoyable.

The All Night Party of 2017 is scheduled for June 24th. Different from the 2012 event, this party will be held at the Castle Fun Center in Chester. The doors will open at 10pm, and everyone is required to be in the building by 11pm. Once students are signed into the All Night Party, they are not permitted to leave. The doors will close at 11 and students will not be permitted to leave unless there is an emergency situation.  In this case, the student may leave with a parent or guardian. 

The price is of this year’s party is $150, and checks should be made payable to ‘Washingtonville All Night Grad Party’.  The price has been a major debate for many seniors.  Senior Emily Young proclaims, “I feel like it's too much money, but I hope it's a good time.” Many of the seniors do not realize all of the things this party has to offer but, again, these events do not seem to be attracting interest. Some of the events are going to be laser tag, mini golf, and go-carts. Although there is a great deal to do, many of the seniors look back at previous All Night Parties and question why theirs can't be at the school, for free, and still have fun events. 

The tradition of the All Night Party has been around for a long time. Many believe that this tradition is slowly starting to become something different than what was originally intended, consequently causing a lack of interest from the senior class.   Hopefully the All Night Party will regain momentum so that the tradition continues for many years to come.



It’s that time of year when the hallways of Wizard Nation are abuzz with excitement about everyone’s favorite springtime topic: prom.  The class of 2018 is already starting to make decisions about the things that will make this night magical such as the theme, colors and music.  All juniors can take a part in these decisions by taking the survey located on the class of 2018’s Google page. 


The word on the street is that the student body seems to be most concerned with the food selection as well as the type of music that will be played.  Amber Ramos, a junior here at the high school, claimed, “Hopefully the food selection is a wider range than last year.” Many of her friends are upperclassmen so Amber was fortunate enough have the opportunity to attend prom last year as well as this one.  Amber went on to say, “Besides the food, music is something that needs to be good. That means looking into a DJ that has experience to make it a night to remember plus keep that energy going!”  

Students, especially the girls, began the planning process early in order to find the perfect dress. When choosing a dress color, the selection is endless. Girls don’t only worry about the color,  but also the fit as not every dress is for every body type. Amber explained, “Choosing a dress is really stressful.  Certain parts of my body don't fit into many dresses which means I need to start at the beginning of the process again.”  When one does finally find the perfect dress,  tensions run high when making sure no one else has that particular dress. Finding the coordinating shoes, handbag and jewelry also proves to be a challenging and costly part of the process. Many students at Washingtonville have decided that they are cutting the cost of prom by having someone they know do their hair and makeup. 

Prom is also something that boys look forward to each year. It is the one time that they are able to ask a girl they have been crushing on to go on a date.  Junior Brendan Gileo claimed, “I'm stressed because I don’t want anyone to ask the same girl as me to prom.” He is looking forward to attending prom for the first time and wants everything to be perfect. He already knows exactly what he will be wearing on this special night.

Prom is something that everyone looks forward to because it leads to the end of junior year while also marking the beginning of senior year.  Don’t let the stresses of prom ruin the occasion.  Just have fun and remember every moment!

Thursday, February 16, 2017



Valentine’s Day is a day commercially signified by roses, hearts and chocolate. Genuinely, however, Valentine’s Day is a day for showing and sharing love with a special someone or someones.  This past week, in honor of the romantic occasion, members of Washingtonville High School’s Literary Magazine sold their annual Valentine’s Day plushies to students who wanted to spread the love to their special someones. 

The cotton-filled koala bears were a big hit with students, as most of the 285 stuffed animals were sold during a matter of only two days. With the purchase of one koala for three dollars, or two koalas for five, students were also given the choice of one of five tags to attach to the cuddly creatures that each contained different Valentine’s Day pickup lines. 

The Vice President and Treasurer of Literary Magazine, Emily Kocienda, expressed her feelings towards the special occasion, explaining why selling and delivering the koalas meant so much to her. “It’s nice seeing all the teachers that I don’t normally get to see and all the people’s reactions when they get the koalas. Some people don’t like Valentine’s Day, so it felt good to brighten their day.”

On Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, the koalas were passed out in the morning to many unsuspecting students and teachers. During the first forty minutes of first period, students from both Mrs. Martinson’s Creative Writing class and members of Literary Magazine split up and delivered the two hundred and forty purchased plushies to all three floors of the high school. 

One of the student deliverers from Mrs. Martinson’s Creative Writing class, Olivia Soto, also stated that giving out the plushies was “fun,” furthermore stating that, “it was a great experience.  I enjoyed seeing people’s reactions when they found out that someone cared about them and bought them the sentimental gift.  It warmed my heart to know that there are still great friends out there who care so much.”

Hopefully everyone in Wizard Nation had a magical Valentine’s Day.  Faculty and students alike look forward to discovering how the Literary Magazine plans to spread love and joy next year!



This past weekend, Brandon Bobe, captain of the Washingtonville wrestling team, won the Section 9 Wrestling Championship in the 145 pound weight class.  Brandon Bobe wrestled against Pine Bush’s Shaun Burgos and was able to defeat him with a score of 11-0.  Being that this was Bobe’s first section title, one can imagine the emotion that emanated from him after he won.  In an interview, Bobe described it as “mind-blowing.”  It truly was.  Brandon Bobe, who is a senior, has been training for this section title for four years and, while this is the second year he has made it to sections, this is the first year he has actually won.  

The road to sections was difficult for Bobe, but it was well worth the struggle.  Brandon Bobe’s season this year is 38-3.  Two of those losses were forfeits due to an injury at Eastern States and, unfortunately, Bobe had to drop out of those two matches. Thankfully, he was able to come back from that injury better than ever.  His opponent, Shaun Burgos, was a junior at Pine Bush High School, and his record for the season was 28-8.  
Not only is this Bobe’s first section title, but he was able to come back this year to win it all after a loss in the section finals last year to Evan Barczak.  Brandon explained in an interview, “After last year, it really hurt because I was so close.  Barczak is an amazing wrestler; all respect to him.  It just crushed me.  I was definitely motivated.” Although this loss was a painful one for Bobe, it gave him the motivation to come back and win this year.  

After Brandon's high school career comes to an end, he will continue his wrestling career at The College at Brockport where he is sure to accomplish great things!

Monday, February 13, 2017



Betty’s Country Kitchen is a diner like no other. Kevin Radday, the owner of the restaurant, says he named the eatery after his beloved mother, Betty, who unfortunately passed away shortly before the restaurant opened in 2014. Kevin believes that through his restaurant, his mother’s love, warmth and hospitality will live on. Mr. Radday is also a  longtime resident of the area, and on numerous occasions, has been complimented for his kind heart and patronage. One of Kevin’s most notable acts of kindness, however, has been supporting a former Washingtonville student towards a very special cause. For the past two years, the owner of Betty’s has been helping the young man advertise and sell hand-crafted, multicolor bracelets to raise awareness for childhood cancer. 

These bracelets were created back in the spring of 2014, when Washingtonville resident, Richie Cipher, was homebound after being diagnosed with brain cancer. “I made them all through my chemo and radiation,” Richie explained. “I used the bracelets as a way to relax.” Richie began selling his bracelets at a deli in Sugar Loaf, as well as various festivals to help raise money for childhood cancer research. 

In the summer of 2015, Richie contacted Mr. Radday about his bracelets and the cause behind them.  Since then, Mr. Cipher’s wrist bands have been on display in Betty’s Country Kitchen for people to not only purchase, but to aid with bringing awareness to childhood cancers. The proceeds from the bracelets are donated to multiple foundations such as the Inactive Advanced Cancer Research Foundation, The Carolyn Sullivan Foundation and the Hudson Valley Cancer Resource Center. 

Betty’s Country Kitchen is located on 32 West Main Street in Washingtonville right next to the Washingtonville Middle School. Inside, the bracelets are being sold in two sizes, small and large. Come on in, buy a bracelet and support a good cause!



On Friday, February 3rd, Taft Elementary School held an art show with the help of Washingtonville High School’s National Art Honor Society.  The night was filled with awe and laughter as the students showcased their breathtaking work while participating in fun activities. 

The Taft Art Show is run not only by the elementary school, but the High School’s National Art Honor Society as well. Mr. Affeldt, advisor of the National Art Honor Society, likes to call the event an Art Expo, rather than an Art Show, simply because there is so much more to do besides walking around and admiring the children’s work.  

Before the night began, members of the NAHS set up a variety of stations including face paint, free draw, and watercolor, as well as live demonstrations for the children to enjoy themselves. “This is the real fun part, and it's also what makes this not your typical art show. We can showcase the kids’ artwork and then have the kids go to stations where they can create things, and get their faces painted,” Affeldt mentioned. 

President of the honor society, Rebecca Flood, was not able to attend, but some of the other leaders did.  Lauren Merchant, secretary of the honor society, as well as the leader of the face painting station stated, “I’m really happy with the turnout.  The kids seemed to really enjoy it. It’s always a fun experience.” Lauren was helped by approximately ten other NAHS members to paint the kids faces which made the night that much more memorable. Whether it was pirates, lions, butterflies, or dragons being painted on their faces, all of the children who attended the art show seemed to have an amazing time. One kid even shouted, “I love the face painting station!  I come to it every year!” 

The Taft Art Show, along with showcasing the elementary students’ art, has really benefitted the high school students as well. The art show has built “an amazing community service project for the National Art Honor Society kids,” Affeldt made known. Helping out at the art show is a really fun and easy way to obtain needed community service hours for any honor society.  Mr. Affeldt adds how it’s “more like a connecting circle” when high school students go back to their roots because they want to give back to their community. 

The Taft Art Show was, yet again, a huge success for both Taft Elementary School and Washingtonville High School.  Mr. Affeldt, as well as The National Art Honor Society, are very excited for next year and can't wait to see what they can improve or add to the event to make it even better. 



It’s that time of year again. Parents and teachers dread it and students can’t escape the terrible disease that sweeps the nation every February. Countless teenagers worldwide between the ages of 17 and 18 are afflicted with this baffling ailment. This  lethal disease is known as “senioritis.” Symptoms include carelessness, lethargy, as well as decreased motivation, punctuality and willingness to learn.  College applications are complete and many lucky boys and girls have already been accepted to schools.  After a particularly grueling first and second semester, nothing else seems to matter.

I’m sure students get enough criticism from their teachers, but sometimes hearing it from a fellow senior really does matter.  It’s important that students treat what remains  of high school the way they would any other semester of any other year. There could be vicious consequences to the contrary.

Keep in mind these often overlooked possibilities as the year comes to a close.  Colleges reconsider their admission decisions if a student’s GPA falls below a certain point, especially if there are financial packages involved with their acceptance. Absences not only cause unsatisfactory grades which can prevent students from passing, but they also look terrible on a transcript. In addition, too many unexcused lates or absences might affect one’s ability to receive a high school diploma at all.

If that’s not enough to frighten students, remember there are only about four months left before graduation.  Students should apply some of the non-academic lessons learned in high school to this period of their lives. Teens need to appreciate their parents; one of the biggest roles they will play in their children’s lives may be funding their future. They will shell out tens, possibly hundreds, of thousands of dollars for the education of their children, so students should consider showing them gratitude. Work at helping minimize those costs by applying for scholarships.  Every dime helps.

This is also a chance to become a better you. A fitter you. A more interesting you. A worldlier you. Rather than spending free time watching movies or scrolling through Instagram all evening, take that kickboxing class you always wanted to try. Start writing that cooking blog you know you can succeed at.

You’ve only got a few months left before this chapter of your life ends. Start the college chapter on good terms by controlling what you can now, because you honestly never know what lies ahead.



Social Media is a big part of the 21st century. It is also a big part of Washingtonville’s recreational basketball league. Tucker Cergol, a junior at Washingtonville High School, has created a Blooming Groove Rec. Instagram page that updates the world on the games that take place every week. 

The Instagram page, @bgrecball, gives all the updates on what is going on in Blooming Grove’s basketball league. The page began last year, and has only gotten more popular since its inception. When asked how he came up with the idea for the page Tucker replied, “I came up with the idea for the page when I noticed how much everyone loves recreational basketball. I realized that if I could take highlights and post them onto a page, it would encourage more people to play rec. and grow the rec. community as a whole.”  Tucker went on to articulate how the idea came about to help kids gain the courage to come out and play.  Tarek Abu Zeid, another junior here at Wizard Nation, also expressed how he felt about Cergol’s creation. “It is my favorite. Every week I look to see if I made the page,” Tarek revealed.

The page is quite informative, giving updates on the standings, highlights, and injuries among players.  This takes up a lot of time, according to Tucker.  He explained, “I try to update the page once a day throughout the week. I crop videos from my phone and post highlight reels almost every day. Then, I'll post something like the standings or something related to that time in the calendar year.  I mostly do this for everyone that plays so that everyone is recognized.”

Improvements can be made everywhere in the world of social media, but Tucker is confident that his page is doing well.  He expressed, “There really isn't anything I'd like to add to the page. Maybe some interviews will possibly be added with playoffs coming up. I would also like to do what it takes to make this page something that even people outside of recreational basketball will enjoy. I want it to be something that everyone follows for pure entertainment.”  Anyone who is interested can follow Tucker’s Instagram page @bgrecball.  Prepare to be informed and entertained!

Thursday, February 2, 2017



Whether it be the crispy crust, the stringy cheese, or the flavorful tomato sauce, pizza has become a well-known household delicacy since its introduction in the United States during the early 20th century. For almost thirty years, Washingtonville has been the location for two popular pizza places: Brother Bruno’s and F&J’s. Both Italian eateries have dominated the village, splitting the loyalty of Washingtonville’s citizens in half. With both pizzerias being located in the town’s most heavily populated spots, F&J’s is located in the center of town and Brother Bruno’s is in the town’s main shopping plaza, both restaurants have a very heavy following of the famed “Italian Pie.” But the question is, which restaurant is Washingtonville’s official “fan favorite?” 


In order to answer that question, we decided to look into the age group that tends to eat the most pizza: high schoolers.  I asked a few questions on the matter to two of our very own Wizards.  Here is what students Marco Lopez and Sam Pryde had to say on which pizzeria reigns supreme:

On the subject matter of overall pizza, whose pizza do you prefer? Brother Bruno’s or F&J’s?

Marco: I prefer Brother Bruno’s.
Sam: I like F&J’s better.

What is your earliest memory of eating at that pizzeria?

Sam: My earliest memory of eating at F&J’s was when I was younger. It meant a lot to me because my dad would take me there on Tuesdays after Girl Scouts. Real father-daughter bonding time. The pizza made the experience a whole lot better because it was amazing.

Marco: My earliest memory of eating at Brother Bruno’s was when I first moved to Washingtonville in first grade. When my family moved into our first house, we heard about Brother Bruno’s and decided to try it out. It was the best slice of pizza I’ve ever had. Period.

Is there any specific pizza you always order? Why do you like the way that specific pizzeria makes it?

Marco: I just order an entire pie with half being plain, and the other half being pepperoni. The pizza never disappoints, and it always tastes as good as it did the last time, sometimes better. I always find myself coming back because of it.

Sam: I love getting the Mushroom Pizza. I have a soft spot for mushrooms. Actually, I’m a mushroom freak and I love those things to death. Mushrooms on a pizza? When I heard that, I knew I had to try it, and it was absolutely delicious.

Obviously, to both Sam and Marco, pizza is very near and dear to their hearts, and the memories made throughout the years at their favorite pizzerias made the experience for them a whole lot better. With both Brother Bruno’s and F&J’s surrounding the village of Washingtonville for almost forty years, they both have brought their unique flair of Italian cuisine to Washingtonville’s residents. Even though the Washingtonville population may be split on the matter, their love of Italian food, and especially pizza, is never-ending. But the question remains, “Which Washingtonville pizzeria is the fan favorite? F&J’s or Brother Bruno’s?” The answer may be that the only way to know is to try them both.  You be the judge.



As some may know, the Blooming Grove Recreational Basketball League has been going on for about two months now.  About mid-way through the year, the standings are pretty clear and are as follows: in fourth place are the Miami Heat, coached by Michael Barbookles, with a record of 1-6; in third place are the Brooklyn Nets, coached by Matt Poveromo, with a record of 3-4; in second place are the L.A Lakers, coached by Mr. Waaland, with a record of 3-4; rounding it off in first place are the New York Knicks, coached by Paul Nienstadt, with a record of 7-o.

The Knicks have already locked in the number one spot for the playoffs with their undefeated record, while the other slots are still up for grabs. The team that everyone seems to be talking about is a team that does not have the best record in the league, but seem to be on the rise: The Miami Heat. The 1-6 Miami Heat are the come up, winning their last game against the Brooklyn Nets. The Heat are only 1 game out of the first place position and is looking to move up in the standings. Miami has lost 5 games by 10 points or less. When first year coach, Michael Barbookles was asked what the problem with the team is, he replied, “I think that it is our bench play that is killing us.  I would take our best five over any other five in the league but, they are not allowed to play the whole game, so when they are not on the court, we get killed.” The Heat is led by Rob Delguidice, Matthew Barbookles, Dylan Sanchez, Kevin Roman, and Josh Mallard. Together, these five players are pretty good at putting together many fourth quarter comebacks, but, unfortunately, can not complete these comebacks.

On Wednesday, Miami took another loss to the 7-0 Knicks, but the Heat is coming together nicely, only losing by 5 points in a 62-67 game. Rob Delguidice and Matthew Barbookles led the way in scoring combining 40 points, but that was not enough to beat out the Knicks.  After the game, when Dylan Sanchez was asked how the team is coming together, he replied with, “I believe that several of our star players are starting to heat up at the right time.  With the playoffs right around the corner, it is really a good time for that. Even though we have only won a singular game, I believe that we will make some heads turn in the upcoming weeks and hopefully we will come up big in the playoffs.” Miami can do some great things, they just have to put their minds to it and come together as a team. 

The Miami Heat are heating up as of late and hopefully will continue their great play right into the playoffs. The Heat have just as good a chance as any other team in the league. Nothing matters until the playoffs. Come out every Wednesday at 8 and 9 o’clock to see if this team on the rise can rise above all.   




The idea of Mr. WHS has been wandering in and around the hallways of Washingtonville for quite some time.  Mr. WHS was originated in 2010 by the All Night Party Committee. The idea was for the whole school to come together for a night of comedy, entertainment, and talent that would raise money for both the Student Coalition Club as well as the senior class. The event last took place in 2015, hosted by Stephen Lynch and Hannah Sheboy. Unfortunately, due to a lack of participation, Mr. WHS did not occur in 2014 or 2016. With a strong sense of school spirit and a very exciting senior class, many are starting to believe that Mr. WHS could come back this year and might even be better than ever.

The concept of Mr. WHS is closely related to what one might see at a beauty pageant.  The difference is that it has a comedic twist and is made up solely of senior boys from Wizard Nation.  It consists of a talent portion, question and answer segment and an opening number that is always sure to entertain.

When Mr. WHS first started in 2010, Ms. A. said, “It was an amazing, phenomenal night, and so was the one in 2015!” Both the class of 2010 and 2015 raised a lot of money that helped cut down the cost of many events such as senior banquet tickets, the price of the all night party and even the senior barbecue.  Mr. WHS is a unique school fundraising event because, while it raises lots of money, students of all grades are involved and able to let loose and have a good time with their friends. The only way we can make it happen again is with the “boy participation,” Ms. A. added. Seeing that many of the boys of this senior class are outgoing and very talented, coordinating the event should not be a problem.

Mr. WHS could possibly be an annual tradition here at Washingtonville. Courage, personality, and effort from a few senior boys is all it takes. If the class of 2017 can pull off an awesome event, there is a possibility that they will begin the annual tradition of Mr. WHS and the grades below them just might want to follow in their footsteps.



Young people aren’t always ready for college. They are unprepared for the college-level coursework, financial responsibilities and freedom that they've been granted almost overnight. Most students don't have their “stuff” together as freshman in college and many don’t get it together until their junior year. This means that tens of thousands of dollars can be wasted because  students wind up partying or paying for classes they will not need because they have yet to decide on a major.  There are so many stories of kids going into debt for degrees that do nothing for them all because they can't think of anything else to do when they graduate from high school.

What some students don’t realize is that college is not mandatory.  Not everyone has to go to college right out of high school. Teenagers who are unsure of their futures might contemplate other options.  

Students might want to consider taking some time off altogether to discover what they are passionate about.  If money is not an option, traveling is always a great way to discover oneself.     Backpack across the country.  Travel abroad.  The possibilities are endless.  High school graduates could also work for a few years to save money for when, and if, they do decide to go to college.  This can alleviate some of the financial burdens that students often find so stressful. 

Another option that students often overlook is volunteering for an organization such as The Peace Corps.  Students could also consider looking locally to make a difference in their own communities. If one has an interest in a particular trade, he or she should be on the lookout for jobs in that trade that will not only provide valuable experience, but also allow for opportunities to obtain certifications or licenses needed to succeed.  It is never too soon to get involved in networking. This can sometimes be just as important as going to college. 

Many students enter college and struggle being away from home where they were completely reliant on their parents.  Most professors like to emphasize that they are not their students’ parents. Mr. Davis, a college professor, mentioned, “Professors are there to teach the material and help students with their understanding of that material. They are not there to tell them that they are special, or to spoon feed them answers.” If this is a huge concern, one should consider going to a community college for a couple of years so as not to have to leave home before being ready.

When, and if, you decide that college is for you, remember that it isn’t easy. Don’t let yourself get down.   Keep working hard and you will be successful no matter which path you should choose.