Friday, January 26, 2018



The past couple of NFL playoff games have definitely been memorable.  Whether fans thought the New Orleans Saints would hold the lead the entire game, or the Jacksonville Jaguars would somehow take down Tom Brady and the Patriots, fans were probably in shock and awe at the outcomes.  The upcoming matchup is one that was very unexpected, but has the potential to be a great one.

This year’s matchup between the Eagles and the Patriots could be another shocking game with endless possibilities.  Nobody expected the Minnesota Vikings’ star wide receiver, Stefon Diggs to haul in a 61-yard touchdown as time expired to beat the Saints, or for the Jacksonville Jaguars to blow a 20-10 lead against the Patriots.  This just goes to show that anything is possible when it comes down to playoffs.

For star quarterback, Tom Brady, this game will be nothing new for him as it is going to be his 8th Super Bowl appearance.  Out of eight games, Brady has only lost twice so, naturally, the odds are already in favor of the New England Patriots.  It’s not like he can’t back up those odds.  At 40 years old, he has had one of his best seasons of his career, throwing for 4,577 yards and 32 touchdowns while leading the Patriots to a 13-3 record.  If there is anyone that knows how to win a Super Bowl, it’s obviously Brady and New England head coach Bill Belichick.

Coming into their third Super Bowl appearance ever, the Philadelphia Eagles are looking to take down, arguably, the most hated team in the NFL while looking for their franchise’s first Super Bowl victory.  Coincidentally in 2004,  the last time the Eagles were in the Super Bowl, they lost to the Patriots 24-21.  

Enough dwelling on the past.  The Eagles faced a huge obstacle late in the season, losing their young star quarterback Carson Wentz to an ACL tear in fourteenth week.  It was up to veteran backup quarterback, Nick Foles, to get the job done in the playoffs and he made it look somewhat effortless.  In the NFC championship game, Foles threw for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns.  The Eagles managed to destroy a powerful Minnesota Vikings defense, beating them 38-7.

Now let’s take a look at this from some fans’ perspectives.  Some people believe Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are “Cheaters who use their talent as a way to get the refs on their side,” which was angrily stated by Giants’ fan Daniel Luedke.  On the other hand, lifelong Patriot fan, Jack Palmer, emphasized, “Brady is clearly the best football player this world has ever seen and people dislike him due to how good of a player he is.”  Most people at WHS either hate Brady or love him- there’s no inbetween.



It seems as if “challenges” have been taking society by storm.  Sometimes this means people have been known to put their bodies to the test for the greater good of humanity or simply just for humor.  Often, the outcomes of such challenges are unlike anything participants had expected.

Over the past couple of years, social media has been able to spread different types of challenges all over the world.  Some of these challenges were created to spread awareness of different causes and are beneficial to society.  For instance, the ALS ice bucket water challenge was originally a fundraising campaign that actually changed into a viral internet sensation. This sensation raised more than $15.6 million for the ALS Association to research Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

This challenge had hundreds of thousands of people nominating friends and family to pour a bucket of ice water on themselves.  If one did not complete the task, they had to donate money to the foundation.  Once they completed the task, they would then nominate someone else.  This started a chain reaction.  Not only did this challenge raise money, but it also shed light on a terrible and debilitating disease.

Unfortunately, some challenges are not designed for the betterment of society; some are just for humor and eliciting attention.  Challenges such as the cinnamon challenge, the chubby bunny, the salt and ice challenge and, most recently, the tide pod challenge, are among the many that are strictly for humor and/or attention.  Challenges such as these have resulted in the injuring of many and even death. 

The cinnamon challenge, for example, is a challenge where participants put copious amounts of cinnamon on a large spoon and eat it.  This can result in coughing, choking, and vomiting.    While onlookers might find this funny, it is actually quite dangerous.  According to, doctors claimed, "Given the allure of social media, peer pressure, and a trendy new fad, pediatricians and parents have a 'challenge' of their own in counseling tweens and teens regarding the sensibilities of the choices they make and the potential health risks of this dare."

Jamie Smith, a sophomore at WHS, has taken part in the cinnamon challenge because her friend dared her to.  She confessed that “It was funny, yet scary because it makes you feel like you’re choking in a way.”  Jamie’s challenge resulted in coughing and a huge cloud of cinnamon dust that filled the air. 

Many more challenges have resulted in medical attention.  Currently, there is a challenge called the tide pod challenge.  There could not be a more ill-advised challenge.  Tide pods are laundry detergent put into a handheld pod made convenient for consumers to pop into their washing machines.  Some say that due to the bright colors and small fun size, the pods resemble a sweet treat.  Someone out there in the world decided,  “Wow, let me put this into my mouth and see what happens.”  Spoiler Alert… nothing good can come from consuming laundry detergent.  So far, the death toll is ten and will continue to rise if this challenge does not cease to exist.  

A spokesperson for the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), Edward Walrod, told TIME Magazine, “Thirty-nine reports of teenagers intentionally misusing laundry pods came in during the first 15 days of 2018 alone, according to data from the AAPCC.  For context, there were 39 cases of intentional misuse of these pods among teenagers in all of 2016, and 53 in 2017.”  Tide has made statements regarding this challenge urging teens not to consume the product and, if it is consumed, call their poison control or see a doctor.

Chelsea Marseille, a junior at WHS, feels that this challenge in particular “is very unsafe and it is ridiculous that people would eat detergent.”  As the challenge continues to be reported, people are becoming more and more curious.  

It is a good thing that some of society’s youth, like Jamie and Chelsea, are still sane.  Jamie expressed, “The tide pod challenge is probably one of the most ignorant things I’ve seen people do on social media. I would think common sense would tell people not to put detergent pods in their mouths, but with our generation, I am not surprised.”  Both students stated that they would not be participating in the challenge. 

This challenge was created for humor and attention, but it is costing people their lives.  Become aware of the dangers and not curious.  Before taking part in any challenge, ask yourself,  “How far is too far?”  A person’s worth is not measured by views, likes, or laughs; life is far more important. 


There is no shortage of local businesses in the town of Washingtonville.  From restaurants, to sporting shops, to even pet groomers, Washingtonville has it covered.  Small businesses are very important to towns because they bring growth to the community.  

One of the most popular  businesses in town is Brother Bruno’s pizzeria.  They do not only sell pizza; they sell a wide range of Italian foods as well.  According to their website,, “From the Italian classics, to our one-of-a-kind specialty dishes, all of our offerings are handcrafted from the finest, freshest ingredients available.  Brother Bruno’s has something for everyone.”  

Senior Ian Lynch works at Brother Bruno’s, and has been working there since his sophomore year.  Lynch decided to work there because, “It wasn’t a hard job to fulfill and it’s always nice to go in there and see familiar faces.”  During the football season, Brother Bruno’s has specials for the team and Ian said his favorite part of working at the restaurant has been  ‘Wednesday Wing’ nights. He even believes that he was the team’s good luck charm when he worked that special before the big game.  There are so many options on the menu, and Ian said that “the top hit for high schoolers are the wraps.” 

There are two separate areas in Brother Bruno’s:  the pizzeria and the elegant dining area.   At the pizzeria, food options include different types of specialty pizzas, including fried pizza and a fan-favorite, chicken bacon ranch.  There are very few toppings not found on a slice of pizza here.  They also sell wings, with nine flavors to choose from, garlic knots, calzones, heroes, and various salads.  

The pizzeria side of Brother Bruno's has been given a fresh look.
Angelica Tripodianos is a freshman at Washingtonville and she eats at Brother Bruno’s quite frequently.  Angelica expressed that she enjoys going there because “their food is great and it’s a really fun place to hang out.”  She added that she loves “going with friends and family to get either pizza or chicken parm and having fun.”  Angelica also mentioned that the people who work there are “always very sweet and easy to talk to.” 

On the restaurant side of Brother Bruno’s, the menu displays meals such as veal, pasta, seafood, and pretty much anything else that comes to mind when someone says ‘Italian food’.  This part of the restaurant has a fancier setting, but still has the same cheerful energy that is found throughout the entire building.  

Since next Sunday is the  Super Bowl, Brother Bruno’s is running deals and specials to celebrate the big game.  They will have a total of eight specials, ranging from buy three pizzas and get a dozen wings for free, to purchase a two foot hero, two dozen wings, a dozen garlic knots, and a two liter soda for just $48.  Brother Bruno’s also delivers their food to customers who don’t feel like leaving their houses but still have the urge to eat some Italian food.  

Small businesses keep the economy strong in every community, and it is always very important to support as many local businesses as possible.  Brother Bruno’s is a very popular business in the town of Washingtonville and is loved by many people in the community.  People craving Italian food should check it out; Brother Bruno’s never disappoints.

Thursday, January 25, 2018



No matter the season, the Village of Washingtonville has something for everyone.  Whether it is the 9/11 Memorial Park remembering those who have fallen, a newly renovated library or even a delicious and classic home cooked meal from Betty's Country Kitchen, there is never a dull moment in the ‘Ville.  The best part is that this is just the beginning as Washingtonville has big plans for the future. 

After the events of 9/11, the Village of Washingtonville created a park dedicated to those who have fallen.  It stretches nearly four acres and is one of the town’s most prized possessions.  The park includes the memorial itself, a playground and beautiful grassy lawns.  This area is open 24/7 and is for everyone to enjoy.  It is truly the perfect place to remember those we lost as  the lights are always on and the American flag is always flying.

The flag is always flying at the 9/11 Memorial Park.
Another one of the town’s treasures is the Moffat Library.  This past fall marked the opening of the newly renovated attraction.  The library originally opened for the community in 1887. Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene caused the library to close for six years, but now its a “hot spot for students,” informed WHS senior, Patrick Kenny as he walked into the library. “It’s just the perfect spot to study and read.”  Patrick is a regular guest of the Moffat Library visiting at least twice a week. 

Anyone looking for a hot, home cooked meal would be remiss not visiting Betty's Country Kitchen.   Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this establishment can satisfy anyone’s appetite.  Betty’s is always jam-packed with people looking for a great meal, particularly on the weekends.  “It’s a family tradition; my family and I have to go there every Sunday after church,” informed Ian Lynch, a senior at the high school.  He gave insight into his favorite meal.  “It’s called the ‘Farmer’s Breakfast’ and consists of 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, bacon, sausage and even home fries.”  

Moffat has become a popular place for students to hang out.
Mayor of Washingtonville, Joseph Bucco, has major plans for the betterment of the village as well.  He plans to open a new park across from the Middle School.  The building is already in progress as the houses that once stood there have now been removed and the ground has been leveled.  The construction of the park will start back up in the spring when warmer weather arrives.  This park will prove to be the ideal place to hangout with friends, families and even pets.  

The Village of Washingtonville has something to offer no matter the season.  The best part of all of these hot spots is that they are open all year round.  From the past to the present and now looking  into the future, Washingtonville has something for everyone to enjoy.



Rumor has it that Washingtonville High School is overflowing with budding entrepreneurs.  The students taking Economics and Government showed their business skills in this year’s highly anticipated Shark Tank project. Each year, seniors pitch their startup business ideas to a sometimes skeptical panel of judges.  This project is loosely based off the television show called Shark Tank and some of the judges included Mr. Bruscino, Mr. White, Mr. Sale and Mrs, Secreto.   
For those who have never seen the show, Shark Tank is a TV show currently airing on ABC.  The concept of the show is this:  entrepreneurs pitch an original product or idea to potential investors.  These investors are referred to as sharks due to their reputation of attacking those whose ideas are not up to their standards.  At Washingtonville High, the sharks are actually teachers in the building who also have a reputation for attacking sub par projects
The Shark Tank project is organized by teachers, Mrs. Secreto and Mr. Bruscino.  It was designed to give students in their classes a chance to experience the various facets of presentation and salesmanship that they study in the class.
The project was originally started by Mrs. Smith, who is now teaching at the middle school, and over the years it has really taken off.  It went from a three page packet to multiple packets, excessive planning, presentations, creating websites, and even sometimes prototypes for products.  All of this takes place over the course of an entire marking period.   Students who decide to put little to no effort into it, fail the marking period. This is why it is crucial to make this project a priority. 
Mr. Bruscino explained, “I really took this project from Mrs. Smith and all of the other Economics teachers and I made it into something much bigger.”  Each year the teachers talk about how excited they get when this time of year rolls around.  The ideas and products the students come up with are very creative and inventive. 
This year, one of the groups came up with the idea to have a diner right here in Washingtonville with a bit of a twist.  The diner would have trained dogs for servers.  They also came up with the clever name of K9 & Dine.  Senior Tarek Abu-Zeid stated, “My group and I thought this would be a cool thing to do especially here in Washingtonville.  It gives people something more to do.”
There are so many other inventive products and businesses that WHS students have come up with over the years.  Many of the underclassmen are already talking about how they are looking forward to this project and cannot see what they and their classmates come up with in the years to come.



There is a disease currently plaguing Washingtonville High School.  This disease is something that all seniors will experience at one point or another during their high school careers.  It is often classified with symptoms of laziness, skipping school, and not having a care in the world.   The only thing that can cure this horrific and extremely contagious disease is graduation.  This disease is known as senioritis and it is not to be taken lightly.

With the school year being nearly half over, senioritis seems to be at an all time high for many Wizards.  What these students need to take into consideration before completely checking out is the fact that it is important to keep grades and attendance up.  This is  especially crucial for those students who have yet to send in mid-year transcripts to colleges, or for students who are still waiting to hear back from schools.

At this point in the year, students are at different stages of the college application process:  some are committed, some are still waiting to hear, and some may not have applied yet.  As tempting as it is to slack off, it is essential for those students to continue to work hard and try their  best in school.

Mikela Butler, a senior currently afflicted with senioritis, revealed,  “I have been accepted to a few schools which has affected my motivation... I feel like if I am already accepted, the work I put in does not matter as much.”  Being accepted to schools can make students feel as if they  are in the endzone, even though there is still so much more that needs to get done before receiving their coveted diplomas.

Even students ranked in the top of their class can be affected by senioritis.  Brendan Hogan, a senior and well known scholar at WHS, stated, “Yes, senioritis has affected me. When the end is in sight, it is easy to lose focus and kind of coast by.” 

Senioritis is spreading quickly and aggressively, as it is highly contagious.  As students are entering the last two semesters of their high school careers,  it will continue to be a struggle for seniors to keep up with their work, particularly with the warmer weather on the horizon.  As a warning to the faculty and staff:  the school year will begin to wind down, and so will the students.  



Technology has been taking over many of the classrooms at Washingtonville High School.  From chromebooks to smartboards, there is usually some type of technology being used allowing students to learn at the push of a button.

Technology is something that people use on an everyday basis.  Whether it is in the classroom, or on cell phones, people use technology to help them with almost anything.  According to  The Independent, an online British newspaper,  “There are officially more mobile devices than there are people in the world.”

In the classroom, technology has certainly proven to be a dominant force. In a study done by EdTech magazine, it was noticed that “74 percent of educators surveyed said that technology is key to helping them expand on classroom content; the same percentage said technology is a motivational tool; and 73 percent said it helps teachers respond to different learning styles.”

For the past week or so, an extraordinary class at Taft Elementary School has been using technology to enhance their knowledge on arctic wildlife, but more specifically, penguins.   Led by their teacher, Mrs. Yager, this first grade class has been using endless amounts of technology, allowing the children to learn even more about the whimsical creatures.  While studying wildlife, students used programs such as Zearn, Google Slides, and HyperDoc.  Lauren Stone, a first  grader in Mrs. Yager’s class, stated,  “I learned that a penguin’s wings are like boat paddles, which makes them super fast.”  

Because of all of the research being done, the students in Yager’s class are now able to distinguish between nonfiction and fiction, especially because they learned about a cartoon penguin named Tacky right before they started their technological expedition. 

Students read a story about Tacky the penguin
It is no surprise to learn that technology is only beginning to expand.  Mrs. Yager believes that “using technology helps students learn skills that they will use their whole lives and be ready for real life situations.”  She goes on to discuss how, “the students are gaining knowledge from instructional materials created by me so they can take more responsibility for their own learning.” 

Technology is not only helping out classrooms around the world, but also students of all grades inside the Washingtonville community.  There is an unlimited amount of possibilities when  it comes to technology, and classrooms are truly taking full advantage of that. 

Friday, January 19, 2018



Students entering a new school knowing they will be the youngest in the building can be quite frightening.  New experiences, new friends, more freedom, and false expectations are on the horizon.  Freshman year could possibly be one of the hardest transitions a student will have to face whether heading  into high school or college.  Change can be scary, but it is important to remember one thing:  you are not alone.

There are many rumors that fly through a freshman’s mind before entering the high school:  Freshman Friday, getting stuffed into a locker, not fitting in, the impossible workload, and the dreaded upperclassmen.  Many stigmas attached to freshman year actually turn out to be false.  For current WHS freshman Amanda Murphy, her biggest concerns were getting lost, not knowing how things worked, and the aforementioned upperclassmen.  In addition, she had heard rumors of Freshman Friday, a myth that the upperclassmen bully all of the freshmen on Fridays.  Emphasis on myth

In reality, Murphy, along with most of the 2021 class, has come to realize that Freshman Friday does not occur; no one is cruel enough to shove someone in a locker.   Besides, our lockers are too small to fit an actual human.  In fact, the underclassmen have learned that high school isn’t as scary as they thought it would be.

Starting out as a freshman in September is a lot different compared to being a freshman for nearly half a year.  Murphy expressed, “My opinion of being a freshman now is that I really enjoy it and it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I have met a lot of new incredible people and made new friends through sports.  Having the opportunity to have certain classes with upperclassmen like my health class for example.”  She went on to say, “Also being a freshman now, I have more freedom and am open to more opportunities than just being in the middle school.  I don’t have to worry about getting lost anymore and I know the school pretty well by now.”

The fear of being a freshman is not only for incoming ninth graders, but also for seniors about to become freshmen in college.  Brianna Lawless is a WHS graduate and current freshman at SUNY Brockport.  When it comes to college students, more factors play into the fear.  For Lawless, being a freshman the first couple of weeks was the hardest as she was five hours away from home and greatly missed her friends and family.  However, Lawless now enjoys being a freshman. “It’s really nice meeting new people and getting involved with the community at Brockport,” she expressed.

Both Murphy and Lawless are involved in athletics.  “At first, joining a team was a little terrifying because I didn’t know the coaches and I wasn’t sure how the upperclassman were going to treat me because I was a freshman.  They ended up being super nice, helpful, and supportive.  I had a great cross country season and I met so many new incredible people from the sport,” Amanda shared.  In Brianna Lawless’ opinion, “Joining a team as a freshman is probably the best thing that can happen.  You’re automatically given friends that welcome you onto campus and really make you feel comfortable.”

Elizabeth Allegro is a current junior at WHS who thrives each and every day.  Allegro’s advice for future or current freshmen would be, “You have a chance to start all over in the high school.  Join clubs, go to sporting events, study, make new friends and don’t let being nervous keep you from great opportunities.  Also reach out to people that you would never normally talk to.” 

Get involved with whatever your school has to offer.  They say that high school and college will be the “glory days” so don’t waste them with fear.  Embrace your year!



Here at WHS, there are many superior athletes that stand out across Orange County.  These certain athletes put in endless amounts of time and effort into perfecting their craft while also having to maintain the high academic standards.  Senior, Victoria Mirecki, has excelled in both categories throughout her high school career.

Scholar athletes take pride in managing their workloads, and Victoria has certainly done her part both on and off the court.  This is exemplified by her grade point average, which is more than 100 percent, placing her in the top 4 of her class.  In addition, she has greatly impacted the girls’ varsity basketball team who are ranked in the top 25 in the state for class AA.  Victoria is currently averaging an impressive 15 points per game as the team’s senior captain.

Excelling in athletics and academics is nothing new for Victoria as this has been a trend for a while now.  Off the court, she is actively involved in the school and community.  This includes volunteering and being a part of such groups as peer tutoring, the WHS Wind Ensemble, and the Math, Science, Foreign Language, and National Honor Societies.  Achievements on the court include being named to the local Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) tournament team and recently committing to play basketball at NCAA Division III Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

December was certainly a special month for this scholar athlete.  The senior co-captain helped lead the team to a record of 4-1 throughout the month and was even named Varsity845 female athlete of the month by the Times Herald Record.  Mirecki even proudly expressed, “It was a great honor to be recognized for what I have accomplished throughout my career and I thank everyone who helped get me to this point.”  

Victoria is just one of the many scholar athletes who set the high standards of WHS and are true role models for the rest of the school.  All of this comes with hard work and effort, which Coach Jim Steeves agrees with in an article by Ken McMillan explaining, “It’s a pleasure as a coach to have your best player be your hardest worker.” 

Be on the lookout as Mirecki continues her academic and athletic career where she is looking to pursue a degree in Science, Math, or Technology while playing basketball.  Great work Victoria and good luck on your next chapter!



Some of the biggest contributors to the success of Washingtonville High School are the teachers who inspire their students each day.  Throughout the years, many teachers have come and gone, all leaving a major impact on the Washingtonville community.  This year, Washingtonville welcomed the newest addition to the English department, Ms. Giampaolo, with open arms.

Ms. Giampaolo was born and raised in Newburgh, NY.  Growing up, Giampaolo always enjoyed learning and going to school, so her choice in careers was no surprise.  As she explained, “It took me a while to settle on this career path, but I was always headed in this direction.”

Ms. Giampaolo, or Ms. G. as her students often call her, attended SUNY FIT and SUNY Orange, but ended up getting her BA in English and Masters in Teaching from SUNY New Paltz, where she graduated this past May.  Last spring, Ms. Giampaolo was actually a student teacher here at Washingtonville working with Mrs. Connors, one of Washingtonville’s most revered English teachers. 

WHS was not the first official teaching job for Ms. Giampaolo; before coming to teach at Washingtonville, she taught 8th and 12th graders in Chester’s school district.  “I was there as a leave replacement teaching English.  I started in September at Chester and then transitioned to Washingtonville in December,” informed the new English teacher.  Not unlike most schools, Chester does not follow a block schedule, which made Ms. Giampaolo “very nervous about switching from 40 minute periods to teaching 84 minute blocks.  However, I’ve found that I enjoy the block scheduling much better.”

Changing jobs and shifting one’s daily life is a difficult challenge for anyone.  However, the love and support that she has received since returning to Washingtonville has made the transition a whole lot easier.  This is evidenced by the number of students that stop by to visit her just to say hello every day.  

Ms. Giampaolo has made a significant impact on her students, even with the short amount of time she has been teaching here.  Danielle Poganik, senior at Washingtonville High School, described Ms. Giampaolo as “a very compassionate and dedicated teacher. She has taught me skills that I never thought I would learn in English.”

A poem hanging in Mrs. G.'s room
A fun fact about Ms. G. is that she is a huge sports fanatic.   She was pleased to discover that some of her students are on the high school’s basketball team.  Due to this, Ms. Giampaolo explained, “I’m hoping to go to a game or two, and finding opportunities to see what Washingtonville is all about.”

Ms. Giampaolo is very excited to be teaching in Washingtonville and her ultimate goal is to “secure a full-time position here next year.”  In addition to working on that ambition, Ms. Giampaolo proclaimed, “I look forward to immersing myself in the Washingtonville community and all it has to offer.”

Washingtonville has nothing but high hopes that Ms. Giampaolo will succeed as a member of the community.  We welcome her and look forward to getting to know her even more in the years to come!



There is no shortage of diversity when it comes the clubs offered at Washingtonville High School.   These clubs are meant to bring like minded students together.  They get students involved in causes and activities that they are passionate about.  The ski and snowboard club is no exception.  

The ski and snowboard club is run by advisor, Mrs. Kirk, and chaperone, Mr. Cerar.   These two dedicated teachers take approximately 60 eager students to Mountain Creek in Vernon, New Jersey every Thursday.  These excursions start in January and continue once a week for six weeks.  This is not a huge commitment and, therefore, even accommodates students who play sports or are involved in other extracurricular activities.

These weekly trips to Vernon are not mandatory.  Mr Cerar, explained, “The ski/snowboard club is not something you have to make a total commitment to.”  If members miss one or two trips, it is really not a big deal at all.  This club is designed to work around students’ schedules making it a stress free option for anyone desiring to hit the slopes. 

Joining the club is simple.   If interested, one only needs to talk to Mrs. Kirk to discover the process.  Alexa Neybold, senior and member of the ski/snowboard club, expressed, “The club is very organized and all the seniors love helping out new members in making sure they have everything they need to enjoy their trip.”

The club is always open to new members and is a great way to make new friends while doing something enjoyable and exciting.  Kids from all grades are welcome and encouraged to check it out.  



With the winter season in full swing, the weather is getting colder and the road conditions are becoming more treacherous.  Even the slightest bit of rain can freeze on the roads rendering it unsafe.  Of course, students at Washingtonville High School love the winter weather because it means snow days and delays.  What they sometimes fail to realize is that the roads in these conditions can be extremely dangerous.  

Although some students might not need to drive far to get to school, the parking lot can be just as dangerous as the roads since there are so many people compacted into a limited amount of space.  Finding a parking spot can be very stressful when taking these factors into consideration along with the slippery conditions.  

It is very important for students to be extra cautious during the winter season because there are features that could make the roads more slippery and dangerous to drive on.  Extreme weather conditions can make a difference in motorists’ normal driving habits.  These conditions mostly affect one’s ability to see, which is very limited in adverse weather conditions such as rain, fog, ice, snow, and dust.

Among all weather conditions, fog is probably the most dangerous which can happen very often during the winter months., a website that teaches online lessons for driving and also writes articles about safe driving, informs, “If you are driving in foggy weather, lower your speed and turn on your low-beam headlights.  If the fog becomes so thick that you can barely see, pull safely and completely off the road.” also warns, “You should slow down at the first sign of rain, drizzle, or snow on the road,” because this is when many road surfaces are most slippery.  The slippery roads can reduce traction which causes people to be more at risk of losing control of their vehicle which accounts for many accidents that occur in the winter months.
Parents frequently question whether or not to hand over the car keys on days when the weather just won’t cooperate.  James Fico, father of a senior at Washingtonville High School, claims, “It is very nerve wracking to allow my kid to leave for school under these conditions.  That’s why I make sure I get a text when they get to school in the morning and when they leave at the end of the day.  It’s my way of knowing they made it safely.  I do it wherever they go so I’m not worrying about them all day.”  

Mikela Butler, senior at WHS, drives herself to school each day.  Mikela feels that “driving when the roads are icy and snowy is dangerous and scary.”  Some tips she has for students and all other drivers who are battling driving in these harsh winter conditions are to “make sure your car is in four wheel drive before leaving your house and always make sure you have a snow/ice scraper in your car for when there’s ice covering your windshield.” 

Safe driving is always important no matter what the season or the conditions of the roads.   Whatever the condition, it is always important to be aware of what is happening within the environment, not only for one’s own safety, but for the safety of everyone else.   It is very important to always be alert when driving on the roads and remember: slower is better when it comes to wet, icy roads. 



There are many talented students at WHS, some of them excelling in sports or athletics, and some in academics.  Perhaps one of the most rewarding high school accomplishments is being inducted into the one of the Honor Societies.   There are many different honor societies at WHS including the Art Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Foreign Language Honor Society, just to name a few.  Being inducted into any one of these is an honor in itself, but some students have the pleasure of being in more than one.  A favorite among students at the high school is the Foreign Language Honor Society.


Membership in the Foreign Language Honor Society is open to those students who have displayed excellence in the study of languages other than English. Students may apply each year in order to gain acceptance.  If academic requirements are met, the students take part in an induction ceremony where they pledge to continue to master their language and expand their cultural awareness.  Community service is an integral component and inductees must complete community service requirements in order to maintain their status, be eligible for scholarship opportunities, and be honored at graduation. 

This club is organized and run by Mrs. Alemany along with the Co-Presidents, Kendal Lascar, and Brendan Pardo, Vice-President, Hayley Jensen, Secretary, Sid Bhagirath, and Treasurers, Alex Cestari and Kathryn Finnigan.  However, it is no easy task to be inducted into the society.  First off, one must fill out an application with two recommendation letters, maintain a 90 or above in Foreign Language and have a GPA of at least an 85.  Students are also required to participate in a pie selling fundraiser which will contribute to a scholarship for a lucky student at the end of the year.

There were over 50 students that applied for the society in September.  Senior Maya Diaz was inducted into the Foreign Language Honor Society this year.  “I think that this club is a great opportunity for all students that have a passion for another language.  Not only does it drive you to have better grades, but also driving yourself to learn more,”Maya stated.  Senior Anthony Acosta talked about how “it really helped me become a better student. I feel like it has also helped me get into college.”  

The ceremony took place on November 9th.  During the ceremony, the Pledge of Allegiance was read in seven languages, including English, French, Spanish, Latin, Albanian, Russian and Bengali. Symbolic candles were lit, each representing a characteristic of the new inductees: scholarship, leadership, character and cultural awareness. In addition, three inductees each read selections from their application essays.  After the ceremony, a reception followed.

Being inducted into this prestigious society is not only a huge honor, but also a commitment. The students, parents, and teachers are all very proud of what these Wizards have accomplished.