Tuesday, February 27, 2018



Each year, many students at Washingtonville High School participate in a tradition that not everyone is familiar with: Chinese New Year. While many people believe that this ancient tradition is just a hobby, that is not the case.  It is actually a holiday that has been celebrated since as early as the 14th century B.C. 

A long time ago, it was an ancient tradition for lions to come out to scare evil spirits away and bring luck to the new year.  These were no ordinary lions; they were crafted lions made of colorful bamboo paper, wood, fake fur and pom poms.  People would wear these beautiful lions and create lots of noise with drums, cymbals, a gong and firecrackers.  “The lions would go through the village trying to scare away anything bad that might be to come while welcoming in the new year with a clean slate,” informed Jan Lee and Kevin Tom, members of a Chinese lion dance club called the Chinatown Community Young Lions.

Every year in Chinatown, located in Manhattan, there are new year celebrations that consist of lions parading through the streets of Chinatown while blessing every store and establishment to cleanse them for the new year.  Sam Garcia, a senior at WHS, stated “I’d say it’s super unique compared to other cultures and traditions.  Everyone who participates in it celebrates it in a way that’s full of such life and energy.  It’s great to be able to witness something so spirited and distinct to the Chinese culture.”

This annual tradition consists of several steps.  The ornate lions bless each store by bowing three times conjointly with the drums, cymbals and gong.  Garcia has participated in Chinese New Year celebrations for the past three years and claimed that it’s “definitely the most memorable and exciting experience I’ve ever taken part of.  My favorite memory would be listening to the powerful music and watching colorful confetti rain from the sky.”  

Another fun tradition is the use of confetti poppers that replaced fireworks after they were banned in New York City in 1996.  Firecrackers are still an important part of the tradition elsewhere and, when used, all the bad spirits leave with the smoke of the firecrackers, according to Tom.  Many in Chinatown have been petitioning to get this important part of their culture back.

Kayla Diliberto, a junior at WHS who has grown up participating in this tradition, reminisced,  “Growing up with a background that most people didn’t have is an incredible experience.  Our traditions and cultures are so distinct, and it’s really cool to be a part of something like that.”  Maya Diaz, also a senior, grew up following the traditions of Chinese culture as well and “always looks forward to this every year.”  Maya traditionally celebrates the new year by watching the parade and having a new year’s dinner with her family. 

Those who grew up immersed in Chinese culture, are no strangers to yet another yearly tradition that consists of receiving red envelopes.  According to Tom, the red envelope is “a gift given from married couples to children filled with money or candy for good luck and prosperity.”  Kayla says that the “Hung Baos (red envelopes) are one of the best things about new years” and it is her personal favorite aspect of the tradition.

A colorful lion wards off evil on the streets of Manhattan.
Many are awestruck when they learn of the emphasis of these unique traditions.  Brendan Pardo, a senior at WHS who experienced Chinese New Year for the first time this year, claimed, “to think that a parade as huge as this goes on every single year and I never even considered witnessing it before, blows my mind.  Chinese communities such as the Young Lions, are so good at what they do and I am very grateful that I had this opportunity.” 

Chinese New Year only happens once a year, but the celebrations span over the course of approximately two weeks. “Being involved in the culture and traditions of Chinese New Year is something I’d definitely do a hundred times over if I could. I loved every second of the environment and I really enjoyed seeing all of the beautifully crafted lions,” stated Brendan.  

These celebrations happen every year in Chinatown and everyone is welcome to enjoy the festivities.  For more information, visit the website to the Chinatown Community Young Lions at http://www.cyounglions.org/.

Thursday, February 22, 2018



Two of the most important aspects of living a happy life are eating healthy and being active.  At Washingtonville High School, when these two aspects are combined, the result is a class called Food and Fitness for Life.  Evident by the name, students partaking in the class get the chance to learn how to make food with a healthy twist, while also making workout plans to reach their personal goals. 

The class initially started in 2015 as part of the evening academy curriculum.  Although, the class did not take place in the 2016-2017 school year, it did make comeback this year.  Taught by Food and Nutrition teacher, Mrs. Campbell, and Physical Education teacher, Ms. Brouty, the course has been a huge success.  The two teachers, who are also great friends, come together to teach students skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. 

The class is aimed at teaching students how to reach and maintain an optimal level of health and wellness by combining proper nutrition and fitness.  Ms. Brouty explains, “Students assess their current diets and fitness levels, set goals, and learn how they can achieve these goals.  The class enables students to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to develop fitness programs and nutritional recipes/diet plans based on individual needs and desires.”  This also entails assessing one’s cardiovascular strength, flexibility, muscular endurance and strength. 

Additionally, Mrs. Campbell elucidates, “We also practice healthy food preparations, reading recipes, making healthy choices, understanding nutritional guidelines and reading food labels.” The class makes foods such as healthy chips and dip, protein peanut butter bites and cauliflower pizza.   Along with reaction time tests, sit ups, push ups and tons of fun, this class is ideal for any student who wants to be healthy and fit.

Food and Fitness for Life is a class that is overlooked by many. However, students who get the chance to sign up for the class in the beginning of the school year with their guidance counselor, will receive an extra credit.  Next year, dedicate one day a week to taking one of the best classes offered at WHS! 



As the well known Nelson Mandela once expressed, “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate then they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally than its opposite.”  Students at Washingtonville High School are given the opportunity to explore their rights and the rights of others in the Human Rights course taught by Mrs. Wurster.  This course has a way of educating students on the power of being open minded and making the world a better place. 

Naturally, like any other class at WHS, the Human Rights course follows a curriculum.   However, since the course is an elective, the dreadful common core does not hinder that curriculum.  Mrs. Wurster expressed, “Sometimes we need to stop and talk about the now.  If I were a science teacher and I had a plan to teach a lesson on earthquakes, but there was a hurricane going on outside, I need to address the effects and causes of that hurricane; the earthquake lesson will have to wait.”  

One of the most anticipated and talked about portions of Wurster’s class has to be the mural project.  Halfway through the school year, the students are given the task of creating and displaying messages through murals painted on the walls throughout the high school.  The soul purpose of the murals is to emphasize the importance of Human Rights.  Senior, Hannah Yarber articulated, “As a group, we chose to paint Tupac with the quote, ‘Is it a crime to fight for what’s mine?’ to display a message of power and history. We believed it was the  perfect combination,  shining light on the past and educating the future.”

This class is a forum for deep discussion which, in turn, can lead to some extremely sensitive topics.  Mrs. Wurster voiced, “Topics like these are always going to be hard to talk about, but the first step to change has to start with conversation.”  A rule of this class is that, “What’s said in here, stays in here,” Mrs. Wurster expressed.  This rule was created to ensure that her students feel safe and protected in a place where they can also be heard.

Students who are currently taking the Human Rights course this year have already learned so much and readily admit that it has impacted their lives in a meaningful and memorable way.   Senior, Ryan Waaland stated, “One thing I found so eye opening has been the sheer quantity of violations of Human Rights in our world today.  We need to do more to spread the word and fight with such attacks on fundamental Human Rights.”  

The Human Rights course helps expand students’ knowledge on how Human Rights have been used and abused over time.    All students are entitled to an opinion, and this class is the perfect environment to express those opinions with others who want to listen. 



In the beginning of each school year, elections occur for the student council.  Each class has a group of four students who are the voices of their graduating class.  For the class of 2018, the four students involved in student council include: Maya Diaz, president; Alexa Siciliano, vice president;  Anthony Witte, treasurer; and Lauren Merchant, secretary.  

While rewarding, being a class officer can be a tremendous amount of work.  Although student council may seem like an overwhelming responsibility, Siciliano expressed, “Aside from the jobs associated with our titles, we all work together and divide tasks equally and work as a team.”  With each other’s help, they are able to “organize events and fundraisers to make money for the class, as well as make basic decisions as a group on behalf of the class,” explained Diaz. 

Being involved in student council provides students the opportunity to become involved with planning events such as prom, senior banquet, and the annual lip sync battle.  According to Merchant, “Student council is the best way to contribute the most to the school and your class specifically.”  Witte also voiced, “Knowing that I am a part of a family that helps put memorable events together throughout my high school career will always have a positive impact on me.” 

For any student who is interested in getting involved, Siciliano advises to remember that officers will never be able to please everyone and that “as long as you’re happy with the outcome and you know you put your all into something, than you should be proud of it.”  Being held at a high standard and representing your class may be a challenge, but at the end of the four years, it will be  worth it. 

Being involved in student council is just as rewarding as it is challenging.  Having the chance to contribute to the school not only looks good for college applications, but is a fun way to spend the high school years.  The “core four” of the Class of 2018 will always cherish their time spent in high school, thanks to the opportunities given to them by student council.


The National Art Honor Society is always creating and trying to inspire its members in some way, shape or form.  For the second time this year, NAHS is taking a trip into New York City to explore the unimaginable amount of culture and art history available to them.  This will be an all day trip filled with fun, adventure, and learning.

On March 10th, NAHS will take a bus to Manhattan to visit the Guggenheim Museum, followed by lunch at the amazing Jasmine Restaurant.  The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling its legacy, which is to “...collect, preserve, and interpret modern and contemporary art, and explore ideas across cultures through dynamic curatorial and educational initiatives and collaborations.”  The Guggenheim Foundation has museums set up around the world in major cities such as Venice, Abu Dhabi, Bilbao and, of course, New York. 

For years the society has been hoping to take everyone on an experiential learning trip.  Vice president of NAHS, Victoria Stone, explains how “we’ve always tried to do field trips in the past and we finally were able to go on one in the fall and begin to plan another.”  The number of people who attended the MoMA trip in the fall was pretty impressive but, “...we’re hoping for an even better turn out and hope the members have a fun trip at the Guggenheim!”

Treasurer of National Art Honor Society, Kayla Henriquez, has been looking forward to this trip since the club’s last visit to NYC in October.  She is most excited to “be able to see all of the artwork and spend time with all of the NAHS members.”

Throughout the year, NAHS has been fundraising and saving up to ensure that this highly anticipated trip would come to fruition.  The funds from their holiday craft sale and the Valentine-o-grams went towards the cost of the trip.  They did such an amazing job with the sales, that the cost is only $35 per member! This covers the museum entrance fee, lunch and bus transportation. 

There are over 1000 pieces of art at the Guggenheim, and so much to learn about.  Anyone who goes on the trip is sure to have a great time and will hopefully gain a little inspiration along the way. 


 By Bobby Eichner

Adolescence is a time where many struggle with body dysmorphia, weight issues, and perception.  Many teens and young children in today's cruel world  are criticized for the way they look by their peers and are constantly being body shamed.  This leads to over 60 million Americans having eating disorders.  As a direct result of these disorders, one death every 62 minutes and the highest mortality rate of any mental illness occurs, according to the The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.

Aside from eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, obesity is plaguing our society as fast food is becoming more and more accessible to minors substituting for wholesome food.  In New York City, for instance, there is a McDonalds within a mile radius at all times.  Prices at fast food franchises often drive families to non-nutritional food rather than more expensive nutritional food.  According to personal trainer Gaudi Rosa, “The average family cannot afford to eat healthy everyday on the average salary for New York.”

As these epidemics root themselves across the nation, students from all walks of life and sizes are banning together to live healthier lifestyles in order to steer clear from the line of sight of bullies.  Many are doing this by acquiring monthly gym memberships, becoming active athletes in their school districts, or crushing bad eating habits at the source.  Here in Washingtonville, there are several gyms in the vicinity.  Perhaps one of the most sought after establishments is Santer Fitness, owned by Washingtonville alumni, Matthew Santer. 

Located at 3 Locust Street,  Santer Fitness is only a short drive from the center of town making it easily accessible to most residents.  The gym features a full dance and fitness studio, locker rooms, various lifting equipment, treadmills, ellipticals, step machines, and stationary bikes.  In addition, the gym boasts extremely knowledgeable personal trainers who are always willing to answer questions and offer valuable advice.  There truly is something for everyone at Santer Fitness.

Not only does this family owned gym provide a way for many young teens and adults to live a healthier lifestyle, it can also occupy their time with a healthy habit.  “Instead of sitting at home wasting my life away, I found an interest in becoming a happier and stronger version of myself,” explained senior Ian lynch. Living a healthier lifestyle can “mentally make you happier while building up a confidence and self-esteem that wasn't existent before,” WHS student and bodybuilder Neftali Gomez expressed.  

Matt Santer, a former Washingtonville High School baseball player, knows the impact that sports can have on students and is no stranger to giving back to his former high school.  He established connections with the school and runs a fitness camp for football and lacrosse players where agility, strength, and hand-eye coordination is improved upon. 

Healthy habits start in the early ages of life.  As 77% of adults are overweight and ⅓ of children are obese,” according to the National Center for Obesity, Americans need to come together as a whole to combat unhealthy eating habits today.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018



Using the front parking lot at Washingtonville High School is a privilege for all seniors who complete the required assignments to obtain a parking pass for the year.  Seniors are thrilled to discover that they get to park in the front of the school for their last year of high school.  Unfortunately, with limited spots in the lot, some students feel the need to park in spots that are prohibited.  These spots come with consequences- and not good ones. 

Every year, there seems to be a problem with students bending the rules to fit their own needs as far as parking is concerned.  The majority of people who do this are the ones who have late arrival.  This is when students get the chance to come into school a period or two late.  Since the parking lot gets filled by around 7:15 every morning, the late arrival students have to battle it out for the final spots. 

Interim Assistant Principal, Ms. Diamond-McGorman, is in charge of the class of 2018’s parking infractions.  In other words, when students try and park in illegal spots, such as the bus garage, handicap or visitor spots, she is the one that deals with the situation.  McGorman explains, “The first offense of parking anywhere other than in student spots in the senior lot is a lunch detention, a phone call home, and moving the vehicle.”  She also adds, “The second offense is a call home and central detention.  Any subsequent offense will result in the loss of your parking pass and parking privileges on campus.” 

In the beginning of the year, McGorman points out, “We had a handful of problems and then again when the semester changed.  It never completely goes away, and there are at least 1-2 violations a week.  I would say it remains a steady problem but most students are not repeat offenders.”  Furthermore, many violations include driving too fast in the parking lot, pulling through spaces to exit and driving the wrong way through the lot all leading to consequences that could be avoided in the first place. 

Students parking in illegal spots.
In  January, senior  Sydney Fernandez, decided to park in the staff parking lot because it was a cold day and she was going to be late to class.  As a punishment, Sydney got central detention after claiming, “I parked there three times and instead of telling me the first time to move my car, they waited until my third offense to give me CD.  It was a lose-lose situation and now I’ve learned to get up a little earlier to get a spot.”  Sydney, among many other students at WHS have realized their car misconduct and plan on fixing it in the future. 

Since seniors are halfway through their last high school year, drivers should be mindful of where they park and the way they drive.  For the rest of the year, students should learn from their mistakes and drive responsibly and resourcefully.  Remember- parking is a privilege! 



Students of Washingtonville High School have always felt a tremendous amount of pride for their building.  It is no surprise to learn that this pride also extends to the Middle School and all three elementary schools.  Victoria Stone, a senior at WHS, stated, “I miss those days; I’d say elementary school was the best.”  Here at Washingtonville, there are three incredible elementary schools and much debate over which one is the best. 

Taft elementary, the biggest of the three schools and currently boasting 785 students, is often believed to be the best, particularly by former students.  Victoria Stone, a Taft graduate stated that “my school was the best because the teachers were the nicest, [and] I liked everything about my elementary school.”  Taft was beloved by all their students.  Michaela Warren, also a senior at WHS and Taft graduate, claimed,  “The best part about Taft was the people I got to grow up with.  There isn’t a single thing I didn’t like about Taft.”  

Taft Elementary got its name from the 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft.  Michaela’s favorite part of Taft was all of 5th grade particularly when they got to shoot off bottle rockets that took weeks to make.

Former Round Hill students have different opinions about which school is the best.  Ryan Waaland, a senior at WHS reminisced, “I used to go to catholic school until 5th grade and I hated catholic school.  When I moved over to Round Hill, I began to love school and still do to this day.”  Ryan is currently ranked 5th in the class of 2018 and is a Round Hill graduate.  Round Hill Elementary, which was founded in 1968, currently has 540 students according to niche.com. Many students at Round Hill remember playing a game called mumball every Friday and it was an “absolute favorite,” according to Kate Rocke, also a Round Hill graduate.

Little Britain Elementary, although the smallest of the three schools with only 468 students, is also believed to be the best, according to alumni.  Abby Evans, now a senior at WHS, claims, “My favorite memory from elementary school was spending recess with my friends.  Little Britain is the best because the teachers are also kind and enthusiastic, so classes were always fun.”  

Elementary school is often remembered with nostalgia. Abby stated, “When I was in elementary school I enjoyed it; the structure of it made learning fun and when you’re younger you get less homework.”  Although growing up has its perks, nothing compares to being in elementary school.



The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is one of the most dedicated clubs in the school.  President of Washingtonville’s GSA, Kaitlyn Metichecchia, describes the club as, “A safe place here in the school, open to all students, particularly those who are looking to create change.”  Their goal is to improve the school and community environment through education, while creating a safe space for all students regardless of sexuality or gender expression. 


Last year, the Washingtonville GSA hosted the fourth annual LGBTQAI+ Youth Conference for all of Orange County.  The turnout for this event was the largest ever seen and all of the members were proud to educate the community and other school’s GSAs about bullying and stereotyping. 

On top of hosting such an amazing conference, members also participated in “No Name Calling Week.”  All of the members created boxes which were supposed to be representations of themselves; all of the boxes were different and creative.  The outside of students’ boxes showed how they present themselves to the world, but the inside expressed how they really feel about themselves. 

Once the boxes were created, they were then sent to Hyde Park to be displayed in the FDR Presidential Library and Museum by GLSEN, (An organization dedicated to improve the education system that allows LGBTQ+ students to be bullied or left behind).  They also teamed up with Jewish Family Services of Orange County, which is an organization that welcomes all members across the county, and connects them to resources and services that can provide support and comfort.  Jewish Family Services explained that the point of the projects are so “...the local teens have a chance to work individually, with a group, and then have the experience of being part of something larger.”  Proud of their work, the club visited the museum to see their boxes on display. 

Masks to be displayed at Hyde Park.
This year, the members continued to participate in No Name Calling Week, but did something a little different-- they created masks instead of boxes.  Kaitlyn stated that “ the mask project was mainly focused on spreading kindness” but some members “...took it as an opportunity to express themselves through art.” 

Sophomore and second year member of the club, Jenna Saporito, was proud of both projects’ impacts because, “It was a good way for us, as a community, to convey how others impact the way we portray ourselves to the public eye with the stuff they say.”

On March 19th, the Washingtonville GSA will return to Hyde Park after school to admire their masks being displayed, along with anyone else in Orange County who would like to see them.  All of the members are proud to have worked on something so important to them and are excited to see what is in store for next year.



On February 2nd, also known Groundhog’s Day, Chuck the groundhog predicted an early spring this year.  Much to the dismay of teachers across the district, students have been infected with the dreaded disease known as spring fever.  As it continues to spread at an alarming rate, athletes are gearing up and getting ready to rumble.  

All athletes experience that “first and final” feeling.  This season, some Wizards will pick up a sport for the first time; for others, it will be their last.  Seniors, Ally Beck and Erin Wilson, are two scholar athletes at Washingtonville High School eager to begin their final season while having positive outlooks and extreme optimism. 

Many people are unaware of the proven fact that the off-season makes or breaks an athlete.  Some might even say, “The grind doesn't stop.”  Indeed, it doesn’t stop as practice makes perfect, and there is always room for improvement.  Beck, a year round softball player expressed, “I played in travel tournaments almost every weekend over the summer, and to assure that I wouldn’t rust over the winter, I practiced a few times a week with my travel team, along with at home drills.”

Senior, Erin Wilson, currently holds the Washingtonville High School hammer throw record.  She voiced, “I am actually working towards beating my own record in my final season, as I have been lifting more and have been working on my speed.  It truly would be an amazing feeling.”

Although this is their final season as Wizards, Beck and Wilson will both be continuing their athletic careers in college.  Earlier this year, both athletes committed to colleges:  Ally Beck will be attending the University of Hartford, and Erin Wilson will be attending Monmouth University in the fall of 2018.  

Perseverance led these athletes to have future careers in the highest level of competition for college sports.  This goes to show that simple hard work and dedication will make dreams become realities.  Good luck to all Wizard athletes in the upcoming season!



According to FeedingAmerica.org, a non-profit organization lifting American citizens out of poverty, “41 million Americans struggle to feed themselves and their families” each year.  It is no coincidence that this statistic is almost equal to the 40.6 million Americans living below the poverty line with just over $9,000 in annual income. 

Poverty and hunger go hand in hand, and are often a direct result of several other issues that make access to food quite challenging.  Demographics, unemployment, and physical disabilities can make acquiring nutritional food an unimaginable luxury for so many.  Perhaps the most devastating notion is the fact that ⅓ of the 41 million Americans in poverty are children.  This epidemic is often swept under the rug resulting in rising statistics; something must be done.

Here in Washingtonville, St. Mary’s Church, in conjunction with the community,  has taken up the task of  helping to provide food and other necessities to the less fortunate in our area.  The Country Kids Food Pantry is a nationwide organization coming to communities like ours and setting up food pantries for anyone in need of nutritional assistance.  John Flores and his team of volunteers and church members help feed over 125 families.  This is an impressive average of 400-600 people every month.  They provide canned assistance instead of financial assistance to take starvation at its source.

The food pantry provides its services every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month and is open for 6-8 hours each day in order to serve as many people as possible.  Volunteer, Matt Nieves, describes the experience as “an opportunity to give back to the community in one of the most genuine and personal ways possible: nutrition.  The gift to continue life is endless and will never be forgotten.”

Volunteering is not the only way to help continue the mission.  Every community member can help by supplying the Country Kids Food Pantry with financial and canned donations or the precious gift of time.  The organization will never turn down volunteers as the hunger epidemic continues to grow.  Food is a necessary part of life and should not become a luxury for any American.

There is hope in sight as unemployment rates have “steadily decreased to 4.9 percent which is extremely low considering 2014’s rate of 6.6 percent,” according to the National State Conference Of The State Legislature.  As for the 4.9 percent who are still unemployed,  “We will continue to help and provide assistance to any that may be in need in our community,” proudly informed Max Kissack, president of the Community Service Club at the high school. The Village of Washingtonville is prepared to fight the war on starvation to make sure not one man, woman, or child in our community goes hungry.



Washingtonville High School is filled with opportunities for students to learn and make new friends.  One up and coming club within WHS is The United Cultures Club.  This club is run by everyone’s favorite gym teacher and wrestling/football coach, Mr. Lee, along with Ms. Constable and Foreign Language teacher, Mrs. Matias. 

Students of Washingtonville High School may be wondering what the purpose of this new cub actually is.  Coach Lee informed, “The whole club is trying to make sure that every culture in the school is represented fairly and basically have some type of exposure.”  Members of the club also hope to “...make sure that everyone has a voice and that every culture is appreciated,” stated Lee.  

Students involved in The United Cultures Club are immensely passionate about making Washingtonville High School a better place for every individual.  Senior, Abigail Charmant, claimed that the club’s mission is to “Integrate multiple cultures and dive into diversity and to learn and appreciate the different backgrounds and traditions of our peers.” 

The United Cultures Club has big plans to create a better environment for all students.  Having a voice and standing up for what one believes in is a big part of The United Cultures Club.   Each and every student participating has the desire to have their voice heard.  

With the assistance of the club advisors, club members have the ability to change the school climate for the better.  Anyone interested in becoming a member of The United Cultures Club should see Mr. Lee, Ms. Constable or Mrs. Matias.  Everyone is welcome.

Thursday, February 8, 2018



Love is in the air as Valentine's Day quickly approaches, and what better way to spend the holiday than smooching pooches at local pet shelters and humane societies? Well, this February, the Blooming Grove Humane Society is giving community members the opportunity to do just that when they host their Love a Pet supply drive from Monday, February 12th to Friday, February 16th.  

The Humane Society has many support systems and volunteers that assist them throughout the year.  For instance,  the Washingtonville Middle School collects supplies year round and hosts their own supply drives and fundraisers.  These drives help support the animals in the shelter by providing a more comfortable lifestyle. 

Luigi the cat still needs a home.
The volunteers at the Humane Society are trying their very hardest to showcase some of the animals that are in need,  Joanna Ogrodnik, a volunteer at the Blooming Grove Humane Society expressed, “Hopefully our methods will bring in lots of supplies and make the lives of the homeless animals as comfortable as possible.  There are many ways the community can lend a helping hand!”

As a whole, the Humane Society hopes to gain a large response from the drive.   Ruthie Gannon, another volunteer at the shelter, articulated, “My experience makes me feel like I am making a difference to the lives of these animals. I feel like this will really bring a lot of positive attention to the shelter which will put a spotlight on the great needs of these loving animals.”

The Humane Society is not only in dire need of supplies, they are also looking to obtain more volunteers to help out on a daily basis.  Volunteer hours are Thursdays through Sundays, from 9 am to 12 pm.  All volunteers must have a signed permission slip that is available to pick up at the Humane Society at 2741 Route 94, Blooming Grove.  Volunteers under the age of sixteen must be accompanied by an adult over the age of eighteen.  Maintaining and caring for thirty cats and twelve dogs is no easy task so, the more volunteers they have, the better!

Piggy found her forever home.
Headed by Joanna Ogrodnik, and Ruthie Gannon, Love a Pet is the first supply drive organized by Washingtonville High School students through the Community Service Club.  There will be drop boxes located in the main office, the front desk, room 229, room 231, and room 154 of the high school. 

Supplies and volunteers are always welcomed outside of the drives.  Donations and help are needed year round.  This benefits the Humane Society drastically and gives these animals a more comfortable environment to live in.   This Valentine’s Day, show some love to those who need it most.  Let’s help find these animals their forever homes. 



This year in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, the 2018 winter Olympics will be taking place.  This is one of the most well known events in the world.  It takes place in different countries every two years, alternating between the summer and winter games.  The Olympic Games consist of the best of the best in each sport.  From Michael Phelps, to Usain Bolt, all athletes have one goal in mind:  bringing home the gold. 

According to history.com, “The Olympic Games, which originated in ancient Greece as many as 3,000 years ago, were revived in the late 19th century and have become the world’s preeminent sporting competition.”  The first modern Olympics took place in Athens in 1896, and since 1994, the winter and summer Olympics have alternated every two years. Both Olympics consist of different sports, such as skiing, ice hockey, bobsledding, and figure skating in the winter, and swimming, soccer, fencing, and mountain biking in the summer, just to name a few. 

The symbol associated with the games is iconic and one that just about everyone recognizes:  the Olympic Rings.  The Olympic Rings consist of five colors- blue, yellow, black, green and red- that symbolize the, “union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games,” as explained by olympic.org.  Since 1913 when the first rings were created, they went through some slight changes, but in 2010 they were returned to their original design, as will be displayed this winter. 

The Olympic Games are always a special time for families to get together to cheer on their country.  Mrs. Connolly, an English teacher at WHS reminisced, “Watching the Olympics with my family was a tradition we looked forward to all year.”  She also added, “I loved the figure skating and the gymnastic events the most.  They were so much fun to watch and my sisters and I would spend hours pretending to be Olympic athletes ourselves.”  Mrs. Connolly still continues this tradition with her family to this day. 

Although the Olympics have been around for what seems like forever, senior Kristen Boerke has a different view.  She explained, “Nowadays the Olympics are something that I watch if nothing else is on.  I don’t really go out of my way to watch it.”  When she does watch, she really enjoys the bobsledding, hockey, and figure skating events because, “They are the most interesting and I have done the bobsled track in Lake Placid with my family.  It was where the 1980 Olympics were held.”

This year, there are 92 countries participating in this Winter's Games.  It will not be one to miss, as the next time the winter Olympics come around will be in 2022.  Viewers can watch the opening ceremony on Friday, February 9th at 6:00 AM. The official games started on Wednesday, February 7th and will continue through Sunday, February 25th where the closing ceremony will take place.  Tune in to watch your favorite athletes compete, or to start a new family tradition of your own.