Thursday, March 22, 2018

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: JACK WILDE

By JACK PALMER 

For most seniors, there comes a time when choosing a school to spend the next four years of their lives becomes one of the most challenging decision they will have to make.  Here at Washingtonville High School, there are plenty of students who have a wide variety of talents that many colleges are looking for.  Whether it be sports, music or the arts, there is no shortage of talent throughout the halls of WHS.  Jack Wilde is one of these talented teens as he is truly making his mark as a pitcher of the baseball team here at the high school.

Jack, who has been playing baseball his whole life, recently chose to play baseball for the next four years at St. Thomas Aquinas College.  For someone who has been all about baseball his entire life, he says that, “Baseball means always having fun while improving my game. It means forming lifelong bonds with my teammates.  The best part about baseball is all the great memories made over the years with my friends.” 

JACK PALMER FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
While baseball was a huge factor in his decision to choose St. Thomas Aquinas, there were also other factors that led to his decision.  For him, the choice was simple when he announced his decision and that “St. Thomas Aquinas is only forty-five minutes away from home, so it is local.  I wanted to stay in the Northeast to be close to my family and friends so I can visit them.  When I was given a tour of the campus by the coaches, I felt at home.  I wanted a smaller campus so I would be a name, not a number in the classroom.”  

Baseball was not the only reason for Wilde’s decision.  Jack also chose the school because of what he wants to study: business.  When he saw the business school, he felt that it was the best out of the schools he had seen.  He also thought it was his best chance to get the education he wants while also being able to continue his passion of playing baseball. 

Being a student athlete is something some might take for granted; for some, it is a choice they will cherish forever.  As for Jack, he described being a student athlete as “balancing schoolwork and baseball. We practice six days a week for around two hours.  It is important for me to designate time to study, do my homework, and maintain good grades during the season.”  For student athletes, not just here at Washingtonville, but all over the country, the responsibility of juggling school work and practice is truly one of the hardest tasks any high school student can take on.  

Teachers are some of the biggest supporter of student athletes. When students get overwhelmed with work, practice and games, talking to teachers about having some extra time for work is always a good thing, as they are the backbone for success.  For Jack, however, his success comes from many different sources.  “I owe a lot of my success to my pitching coach.  I have worked with him for over six years developing into a Division II pitcher.  My varsity coach has also helped me get to this level of play by constantly pushing me out of my comfort zone.”  He goes on to inform, “My family has always believed in me and supported me. My dad would always take me to the field and we would practice for hours.  My mom would always support me no matter if I was pitching in a little league game or a varsity game.” With all of these people supporting him, he has been able to accomplish what he has worked towards, and he has never given up on his dreams. 


For anyone looking to become a student athlete, Jack reminds people to “keep a competitive mentality, which will help you get to the next level.  Always tell yourself that you can improve.” During a student athlete’s career, he or she will sometimes have to accept failure and learn from it in order to not only become a better player, but to have success in what he or she loves.  

BOOK FAIR FUN

By SAMANTHA CROUCH

SAMANTHA CROUCH FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Each year, in an effort to spark excitement in English classes across the globe, Scholastic hosts a book fair in schools throughout all fifty states, as well as other countries, including Canada, India, Australia, and many more.  During this weeklong event,  students get the chance to explore new genres they may not have seen in the classroom, and immerse themselves into a world filled with stories they may not have had access to beforehand. 

The company hosts over 127,000 fairs in partnership with schools.  This week, Taft Elementary School took full advantage of this book fair and students were thrilled to be given this opportunity.  Alan Boyko, the president of Scholastic Book Fairs, proudly claims, “The more kids read, the better readers they become, and the more successful they’ll be in school, in work, and in life.”   

When walking into the book fair, the most noticeable aspect is the buzz in the air as kids go from shelf to shelf, talking to their friends about what books they have found, and of course, sorting through the small toys and posters.  The room is sorted by grade level to help students find a book they will be able to comprehend and enjoy.  All of the books are sitting with the cover forward and at eye level to spark the interest of kids as the walk by. 

The everlasting effect of the book fair is noted, not only by teachers, but also students looking back on the event.  Alex Lombardo, a current high school junior fondly recalls her experience at the Taft book fair.  “I remember going to the book fairs when I was little and I would only be allowed to pick one, so I had to make it good.  It definitely helped my love of reading continue.” 

The social aspect of the book fair which allows children to be excited about reading is unmatched.  Kids not only get to share new books with their families at home, but also with their friends in the classroom.  “I liked looking around and getting books with my friends,” recalls high school senior Mia Juliano. “It made English fun.”  Many kids have mixed memories of school in general, but those surrounding the book fair always radiate positivity and enjoyment. 

English is not the only subject with which the book fair helps.  Students who excel in English tend to see their success bleed into other subjects as well.  Their reading comprehension skills and writing abilities give them the ability to understand course material more easily.  While such a small event may not seem too important in a child’s overall education, the joy of reading is indeed unparalleled. 

TENNIS TEAM IN TRAINING

By MATT  BENSON

With the avid support for our football and basketball teams, many other sports tend to be overshadowed and not given the attention they deserve.  One of these teams is the tennis team, which began training for their upcoming season last week.

MATT BENSON FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
The Wizards are looking to improve on last year’s season, which sent their captain, Gavan O’Brien, to states.  When the 6 year player and captain was asked about what the team wants to accomplish this year, he responded, “We want to improve on our overall record as a team and take down Cornwall.”  Cornwall has formed a dynasty of sorts.  Their tennis team is undefeated for the past 7 years, but Gavan O’Brien and company plan to change that this year.

The team also gained some solid talent over the off season.  Gabe Constillo, a sophomore at Washingtonville High school, joined the team this year with hopes of playing singles for the Wizards.  He is full of talent and competes in many high level competition tournaments.  For instance, he is currently playing in an international tournament in Puerto Rico.  His competitive nature should bring another source of intensity to the team and change it for the better.

Some of Washingtonville’s underclassmen are looking to become bigger roles this year.  One potential future captain, Andy Godfrey, is playing exceptionally well and plans on playing top three in singles for the Wizards.  The captain hopeful expressed, “I want to improve the team by practicing hard with my teammates and pushing myself to be the best I can be.”

With many skilled underclassmen and a senior captain, this should be one of the most successful seasons in recent history for the tennis team.  Come out and support our tennis team on April 4th during their first match against Port Jervis at 4:00pm.

SENIORS AND SUITS

By GABRIELLA MARKGJONAJ

This year, the beloved Mr. WHS competition will hopefully be taking place here at the high school for the first time since 2015 with the help of the student body.  This competition is an opportunity for the senior boys to show off their talents while raising money for charities that are near and dear to them.

Mr. WHS is an end of the year tradition at the high school, but much to the dismay of the student body, over the last three years, students have been unable to make it happen.  This year, senior Ian Lynch is determined that the show will, in fact, go on.  Teaming up with Student Coalition, he is working with advisors, Mrs. Angelillo and Mrs. Polo, to begin the planning process.  The first meeting was held on Tuesday, March 2oth.  The turnout was impressive with many senior boys and girls eager to begin planning the event for May. 

GABRIELLA MARKGJONAJ FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Ian has been thinking about planning Mr. WHS for quite some time now.  His brother, Stephen Lynch, who organized the last Mr. WHS, “encouraged [him] to bring it back, to plan ahead, be one step in front of everyone else, and to take charge.”  

It is known to be a fun and exciting night for not only the participants, but for the audience as well.  The night of the event consists of performances, a talent portion and even guest appearances from fan favorite teachers.  Alumni and a past participant of Mr. WHS,  Alex Markgjonaj, encourages boys to  “go out and have a great time; it doesn't matter if you win or lose, it’s just a great way to end off your senior year with all of your friends, and something you will always remember!”

Ian believes that the class of 2018 has what it takes to bring Mr. WHS back.  He expressed,  “The class of 2018 never backs down or rejects a given opportunity.  I think that with the help of as many seniors in our class that we can get, this will not only be a successful night, but a night full of memories that will last for the rest of our lives.”

This event is open to any senior boys who would like to participate and any senior girls who would like to help out.  Anyone who is interested should see Mrs. Angelillo or Mrs. Polo in room 154 for information about future meetings and important deadlines.  They need as many people as possible in order for the event to be successful.  Be sure to come see Mr. WHS on May 24th.   Half of the proceeds will go to a charity chosen by the winning contestant.  

FORTNITE FRENZY

By JEREMY  GUTIERREZ 

One of the most popular video games of the year is coming to Washingtonville High School.  Washingtonville hosts an E-Sports club that will hold a gaming tournament which is already drawing a lot of attention.  On March 4th, anyone who plays Fortnite on PC, Xbox, or PS4 will be invited to compete in tournament gameplay.

Fortnite Battle Royal is a survival game where the last player standing out of 100 players is crowned the champion.  The game starts off with everyone in the “Battle Bus” which is a blue flying bus connected to a hot air balloon.  The bus flies over the map which is the same every game.  All 100 players have 30 seconds to skydive off the bus and land anywhere on the map.  Once a player has landed on the map, it’s open season.  

Players often land in big cities such as “Tilted Towers” or “Retail Row” in order to find the most loot to eliminate other players.  Battling against other players is not the only object of the game.  It also incorporates a building component which allows players to build forts (hence the name Fortnite) for protection, or for any other reason a player might need a safe haven.  Fortnite involves many strategies that the ordinary video game does not.

JEREMY GUTIERREZ FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
When WHS senior Brandon Robles was asked how often he plays Fortnite, he stated, “I am a daily Fortnite player; I play five times a day.”  When asked if he will be competing in the Fortnite tournament he responded with, “I will be participating in the tournament and I am going to win it.”  Brandon is definitely ready and confident for the school’s upcoming tournament.

Mr. Calderin will be hosting the tournament for anyone interested in participating.  Students are allowed to bring their Xboxes or PS4 controllers to hook up to the computer if they do not normally play on a PC.  The tournament will run in squads, therefore, contestants need to sign up with a group of four people if they would like to participate.  The winners will get a prize that has yet to be determined, but the word on the street is that it will be worthwhile.

Fortnite Battle Royal has been storming the nation and will soon storm WHS.  Mark the date in your calendar and don't forget to make your way down.  If you would like to know any extra information talk to Mr. Calderin in room 240.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

UNITED WE STAND

By EMILY NAGLE

On Wednesday, March 14th three students at Washingtonville High School organized a school wide optional assembly.  This assembly was intended for students to take time to remember the 17 lives that were lost in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14th, 2018.  It was also to acknowledge the 13 other school shootings that occurred as well.  That number will only continue to increase, unless students take a stand in hopes for change.


EMILY NAGLE FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY 
There have been approximately 14 school shootings in the United States since the start of 2018.  That is about 1.5 school shootings per week, and so far, there have been as many as three in a single week, according to cnn.com.  School shootings are the most unexpected tragedy to happen within the learning environment, and statistically speaking, there will be almost double the amount of school shootings this year, than in 2017.   

Initially, the administration was not involved in the notion of allowing a walkout to occur as walkouts are prohibited according to the school's code of conduct.  However, when student leaders approached Mr. Connolly, the high school principal, and expressed their desire to inspire change, they put their heads together and created what became known as an "optional assembly" where students who wanted to walk out could as long as they had parental permission.  

Like any other student, Ryan Waaland, a senior at WHS was shocked when first hearing about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, but soon found himself no longer surprised.  “When I heard the kids in Parkland speak, I was inspired by their strength in such hard times and began with creating a remind and started spreading the word of the walkout all across social media,” expressed Waaland.  

The assembly began at 9:45 am, and ended at 10:17 am.  Within this time frame, the participating students were given many statistics about previous, and anticipated school shootings.  In addition, another senior, Maya Diaz, read short descriptions of each individual whose life was taken on that fateful day.  Finally, senior, Nathaniel McIntyre, introduced the moment of silence where students paid their respects to the lives that were lost. 

A great deal of planning went into making sure this event ran as smoothly as it did.  According to Mr. Connolly, "It was one of the most supervised events that we have ever held at Washingtonville High School. "  He went on to inform that permission slips were required for students to participate.  In addition, there were two meetings held with the staff to educate them on the procedures necessary to ensure student safety.  Mr. Connolly expressed, "Our goal was to give our kids the opportunity to express themselves, but our top priority was keeping them safe at all costs."

Over 200 students participated in the optional assembly proving to be a success.  Senior, Victoria Stone, a proud participant, expressed, “I walked out to show that there are students in Washingtonville that want change.”  Bringing awareness to such a tragic event is the first start towards change.  “We live in a soft, little town where nothing ever happens, but from what we’ve seen with school shootings, they could happen anywhere; they could even happen here,” voiced Stone.  

Nathaniel, Maya and Ryan read from the press box overlooking the track. 
All of Washingtonville’s students have, and are entitled to, their own opinions on the matter.  There were many Washingtonville High School students who chose not to walk out on March 14th.  Sophomore, Christopher Sheboy, expressed, “I had a feeling people were going to make it political.  I didn’t want to get into any arguments, so I figured I just wouldn’t participate.”  Sheboy, like other students, decided to “honor the lives of those who died in my own way.”

Every day there are students who fear going to school because of how dangerous it has become.  Change is necessary, but what matters most is the security of the learning environment, and keeping the students safe.  Change is a big step towards preventing, and hoping that this happens #NeverAgain.

THE MADNESS BEGINS

By TAYLOR FAGAN

With college basketball season in full swing, students at WHS have been preparing for one of the biggest sporting events of the year: March Madness.  To those who are unfamiliar, March Madness is an annual basketball tournament, where 68 different NCAA college basketball teams compete against each other.  Teams are placed into matchups on a bracket and whoever wins, moves on; whoever loses, is cut from the remainder of the tournament.  

To many, March Madness is not new.  In fact, the tournament started in 1939, according to ncaa.com.  The annual tournament has attracted millions of viewers since then and has turned into a competition for the viewers as well.  A plethora of people fill out a bracket and they compete to see who has a near perfect one.  

The bracket is split into four sections, Midwest, South, East, and West, based off the region of the United States that each University is in.  For example, this year in the East Conference, Villanova University and Radford University will face off in the first round and the winning team will move onto round two. 

TAYLOR FAGAN FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY 
The hype of March Madness has taken Washingtonville High School by storm.  There are several different ways to make a bracket.  One technique is for fans to observe as many NCAA basketball games as they can before March Madness begins in order to see which teams are the best.  Senior, Devin Lewis, is a firm believer that in order to have a successful bracket, it is pivotal that one keep up with college basketball and pay attention to statistics.  He expressed, “I love joining leagues to see if my bracket can prevail over the rest.  Keeping up with the season can help a little bit, but ultimately it is all madness when it comes to these games.  Any given team can win on any given night.” 

Another method of creating a March Madness bracket is not highly recommended:  guessing.  This is a strategy where one simply makes his or her best guess on which team will win in each matchup.  Senior, Sabrina LiVolsi, is another participant in bracketology.  During the 2017 March Madness tournament, LiVolsi won bragging rights by having a near perfect bracket.  Although she is not the biggest fan of basketball, she beat all odds and created a bracket that was better than most.  LiVolsi stated, “I randomly picked the teams based on their ranks.  I didn’t watch any college basketball up until the tournament last year, so I was just really lucky”.  

Whether participants study each basketball team or they randomly make guesses on who will win, the odds of having a perfect bracket are practically slim to none.  According to DePaul University professor, Jeff Bergan, the odds of having a perfect bracket are as high as one in one hundred and twenty-eight billion.  To put that into perspective,  an individual is more likely to become President of the United States than having a perfect March Madness bracket, stated on ncaa.com.  

Although the odds of having a perfect bracket are not likely, students continue to participate in creating a bracket and hope to be the lucky person to reign supreme.  The March Madness tournament is set to continue through April 2nd where the final two teams will battle it out for the national championship.  

SSA DELETES BULLYING

By MELISSA NOLAN 

Safe School Ambassadors is a club within WHS that helps promote a safe environment for students.  They promote safety in our schools by reporting any signs of negative actions or signs of bullying.  Without them, our school wouldn’t be the safe and secure place it is today. 

MELISSA NOLAN FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY 
Next week, starting on March 19th, SSA will be hosting what is known as Delete Week.  This is a very important week for our school and the community.  The objective of this week is to promote kindness, respect and love while attempting to remove negative actions or comments towards peers.  With this said, students are expected to contribute to this week event by being aware of how actions speak louder than words.

SSA has been around for about ten years, helping to inform teachers and students about the dangers of cyberbullying, or bullying in general.  Senior Ally Beck exclaimed, “The goal of SSA is to make students aware of the harassment and prepare them for the the mistreatment they’re bound to see in high school and in life.”

Not only do SSA members have to go through rigorous training, they also have to apply to be come a member. Senior Michaela Warren explained, “In training, we go through all different kinds of harassment and how to deal with each.”  This is just one of the reasons why Safe School Ambassadors is one of the most important clubs among WHS. 

Delete Week is sponsored by SSA once a year to raise awareness of cyberbullying.  The reason SSA holds Delete Week every year is to remind people that what you post matters, and to always think before you hit send.  In other words, if someone knows that what they are about to send will be hurtful, they should delete it!  Nobody deserves to be upset or put down. 

In the past, Delete Week students and teacher faculty members have worn pins to support awareness.  This year, all SSA members will be wearing black on the Friday of Delete Week to remind others how powerful cyber bullying can be.  SSA encourages everyone to wear black as well in order to show your support.

Delete Week is one of the most important weeks in Washingtonville as it always leaves people with something to think about before they send something they will regret in the future.  Hopefully this event will keep making more positive changes.  With the help of Safe School Ambassadors and Delete Week, WHS is becoming an even better place! 

ODYSSEY OF THE MIND TAKES HOME THE GOLD

By SAMANTHA PRYDE
Odyssey of the Mind is an international, creative, problem-solving competition that engages students by allowing their knowledge and ideas to come to life in an exciting, productive environment.  This past weekend, Washingtonville High School’s OM team competed at regionals. That night, they placed first for their skit and are headed to states.

Being a member of Odyssey of the Mind is not simple by any means.  There are five problems that are given to the team in the beginning of the year.  The team then selects one problem, and works all year to make sure they meet all the requirements in their seven minute skit.  The script, storyline, and set must be entirely original and student created.  The coach is only there for guidance, not physical help.  If the team fails to meet all the requirements, or goes over the time limit, they risk being disqualified. 


This year, the high school’s team decided to take on problem 4, “Animal House."  One of the requirements was that the members had to turn their balsa wood structures into animals.  The wooden structure had to have its appearance transformed and explained during the performance.  Since animals must eat, they must feed the structure, and it must hold the team-created food while it supports weights.

Senior and seven year member, Alexandra Completo, explained how this particular competition day was a little different than previous ones.  “Competition day was a little crazy this year, I’d say we were a little more nervous than normal, but our team really came together and overall we did great.  The judges loved our costumes and our set!  It felt so good when we heard our name called for first place!”

Arya Chareonlarp is a ten year member of OM, but this is her first year participating in the Balsa Wood Challenge. “I’ve been on both classical and vehicle problems before, but this is the first year that I’ve participated in a Balsa structure problem.  It was a weird shift from problems that were more script and conceptual based, to structural based problems.  Arya also added, “However, my team made it easier for me to adjust.  We were able to use our strengths together and not only create a great structure, but a great story and characters alongside it.”

Alexandra is going to miss everything about OM.  “As this is my last year, I’m going to miss the competition and the excitement of the whole day.  I'll even miss all the nerves and seeing everyone in their colorful shirts representing their teams.  But what I will miss the most is working with my teammates and being a leader.”

Alexandra went on to discuss, “Odyssey has really brought out my leadership skills and taught me to plan ahead. Plan like crazy, plan for anything, and practice over and over.”  The challenges that Odyssey has put forth, has helped shaped the members of the team into wonderful people. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

SNOW MANY QUESTIONS

By MELISSA NOLAN 

Turning off the alarm, sleeping in, and waking up to a beautiful white landscape is just one of the many reasons why students and teachers alike love snow days.  There is a feeling of excitement that comes from knowing that the whole day lies ahead with endless possibilities.  But while we are all sleeping, what happens behind the scenes to determine this blissful day of freedom?

When snow days do occur, students absolutely take advantage of the day off.  Many sleep in, watch television, or hang out with friends.  Senior Sam Crouch exclaimed, “I like to watch Netflix, specifically Stranger Things.”  She also pointed out, “I also stay in sweatpants and make cookies after I come in from being outside.  Snow days are my favorite days because I can catch up on sleep.”  It is definitely a well needed day off for everyone. Well, almost everyone.

MELISSA NOLAN FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Mr. Sullivan, Executive Director of Operations, is one person who is not able to sleep in on these glorious days.  Along with Superintendent Roy Reese, he ultimately makes the decision to close, delay opening or remain open.   Since the district is only allocated a certain amount of snow days each year, administration always needs to be extremely careful when doling them out.  

The cancellation process is an extremely complex one.  It all starts at four in the morning,  where administrators closely follow weather forecasts from places like accuweather.com and Ben Noll (@BenNollWeather) on Twitter.  Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Reese, along with the other superintendents in the area, talk amongst themselves, deciding what is best for the safety of the students.  Meanwhile, the Washingtonville School District mechanics drive the area and give a report back to the operations department, adding to the factors that determine snow days. 

Sullivan expresses, “The safety of the students is our top priority.  If the buses can’t transport the kids safely, then we can’t have school.  It also depends on how much the school has cleaned up the sidewalks and parking lots.”  The grounds crew and custodians do as much as they can to make the school as safe as possible.  This whole process is thought out logically and thoroughly. Talking to other school districts about what they will be doing due to the inclimate weather makes this a county wide effort.

Snowman building on the day off.
With the amount of snow we have been pummeled with this winter, many have been wondering how many snow days we actually have left.  As much as most people love a good snow day, no one wants to lose vacation days as a result.  Sullivan beings to explain, “We start with eight snow days for the year.  As of right now, we do not have anymore left.”  Going over the snow day limit, first takes away the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, and then starts chipping away at our spring break, starting with the Monday after Easter Sunday.

Although these white wonderlands may look like a perfect picture, sometimes events are affected and do not go as planned disappointing members of the community.  For example, Washingtonville High School’s Masque and Mime Society put on their spring play, Thoroughly Modern Millie on March 1-3rd.  Kaitlyn Metichecchia, president and four year member of Masque and Mime, explained how the snow day affected their last and final show of the year.  “We had a snow day on Friday, so the show got moved to Sunday.  Because of this, we had a smaller audience because not all of the people could come on the other day.  It got all messed up and we had to move the show to the day we were supposed to have off.  It was messy.”  This, along with many other sporting events, have been moved around due to the many days off throughout this winter season.

While most people will not deny that snow days are a really nice surprise,  when they affect vacation days and wreak havoc on scheduled events, they can be a nightmare.  Hopefully Mother Nature will start to comply and bring on spring!

A SPECIAL TREAT

By KELLY TOM

Every Friday at Washingtonville High School, something magical happens.  The smell of cinnamon buns fill the hallway and students know exactly what that means: It’s time for The Breakfast Bistro.

The Breakfast Bistro is a business run by the Aspire class in room 154.  Mrs. Angelillo, one of the teachers in charge of the business, stated that, “The bistro first started in the 2009-2010 school year and it’s amazing because it’s good for the kids, the building loves it and everyone looks forward to it so that’s why we keep it going every year.”

KELLY TOM FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Not only is the bistro fun for everyone, but it is especially fun for the students in charge.  “I love that the students in our class get to interact with the general population.  Then they make lasting friendships.  When they’re in the hallway or the cafeteria, they see the kids that they’ve met at the bistro and they can socialize with them,” Mrs Angelillo claimed. 

The bistro is open to all students and the staff is always looking for volunteers.  Senior, Erin Wilson, stated, “I always love helping out and trying to do some volunteer work. When I was told I could help out at the bistro,  I automatically took advantage of it.  I love the teachers and the students involved.”

The Breakfast Bistro is a convenient way for students to make friends and get a snack that they can munch on in class.  “I just love waking up and going to bistro all year round.  It’s an energetic way to start my Friday mornings with the best people.  I know so many people who love going to the bistro every single week and it’s just amazing,” claimed Erin Wilson.  

The teachers, administration and students alike love the bistro, and it is a great way to interact with with the Aspire students running the show.   Stop by every Friday; you might just make a new friend.

THE ROAD TO VICTORY

By EMILY NAGLE
With a record of 17-6, the Wizards girls’ varsity basketball team had an outstanding season.  The team played in the Section IX Championship at Orange County Community College on Sunday, March 4th, against Kingston.  Unfortunately, their season came to an end after a heartbreaking defeat of 84-50. 

The Wizards played their hearts out on Sunday as evidenced by the halftime score of 33-32 with Kingston barely in the lead.  The second half of the game was not as close as Kingston scored 51 points over the Wizards’ 18 resulting in Kingston earning the Section IX Championship. 

EMILY NAGLE FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY 
Although their season ended earlier than Wizard Nation hoped, the Lady Wizards had nothing to be ashamed of and hope to have many more victorious seasons in the future.  Junior, Dyana Budakowski is thrilled for the upcoming season and expressed, “Next year we are expecting to make it even further.” Her teammates share the same sentiments and are confident that the future will be bright for the next few years to come.

Upon making it to the Section IX Championship, individual players accomplished some personal goals as well. Junior and co-captain, Victoria Pecovic, has achieved her goal of reaching 1000 points.  She scored in the first quarter of the championship game with a three pointer bringing her to 1001 points.  It is impressive for a basketball player to achieve this goal within her senior year, but for a junior, that is truly leaving a mark.  Pecovic has set her new goal to “try my best to motivate the team, and help us get better each and everyday.”

Going to the Section IX Championship was a milestone for the Wizards.  “I expect our team to make it just as far, and with all we accomplished this year, the incoming varsity players will be motivated to achieve the same goal,” expressed Pecovic.   There is no doubt that this defeat is going to motivate the Wizards to work harder towards their team goals.

The basketball players were not the only Wizards to show up on Sunday.  The student section never fails to impress.  Wizards from all over the district came out to support the varsity team in their fight for the chip.  Even with looks of defeat, chanting “Wizard Nation” gave the girls the support they needed on the court.  Good luck to all the players on the girls’ basketball team next season!  


THE PERFECT MATCH

By TAYLOR FAGAN
The process of finding a roommate is comparable to online dating, and with the May 1st Decision Day quickly creeping up, Washingtonville seniors are beginning to feel the stress of finding the perfect roommate to live with for their first year of college.  Each and every person has a different list of requirements for their potential roommate.  Luckily, in this day and age, there are a plethora of ways to find a roommate.  

There are several different opportunities for students to contact students who will be attending the same college.  Thanks to modern day technology and social media, finding the perfect match is actually a lot more simple than one might think.  One of the more popular ways to meet new people is through Facebook.  Almost every college has a Facebook page available for prospective students to join. For example, senior, Mike Lindberg, joined the ‘SUNY Cortland Class of 2022’ group after he received his acceptance letter.  “The Facebook page is a great way to meet new people.  All you have to do is post a short paragraph about yourself, along with a few photos,” exclaimed Lindberg.

TAYLOR FAGAN FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Another interesting social media app several students are using to connect with each other is GroupMe.  According to groupme.com, GroupMe is described as “A private chatroom for your small group.”  With this app, users are able to have a conversation, much like a regular text thread, with other people in the group chat without having to give away phone numbers and other sensitive information.  Tarek Abu-Zeid, a senior at Washingtonville, stated, “I enjoy GroupMe because it’s an easy way to have a conversation with others and find people who have similar interests.”

On the flip side, seniors sometimes do not need to look too far to find their perfect match.  Case in point, seniors at WHS and best friends, Anna Bonventre and Michaela Warren, plan to room with each other next year at SUNY Plattsburgh.  According to Bonventre, “We decided to room together because it was easier than finding someone that I could be compatible with and I’m excited to  go through freshman year with my best friend by my side.”  Having a roommate that you have known for years could be a fun opportunity, particularly for those teens with a fear of being homesick.   Being comfortable and familiar with a roommate can be a significant advantage.  

Everyone has different interests and requirements for their potential roommates.  For another senior at WHS, Darcy Doelger, she “aimed to have a roommate who is also majoring in nursing; that way we can study together and be on a similar schedule.”  Lindberg added, “It is important that the person has similar interests as you such as music, television shows, and sports.  You’re going to be spending almost everyday with them, so you want to make sure you can hold a conversation and enjoy the time you spend with them.”

Finding a roommate can be a stressful experience for so many seniors.  The fear of reaching out to unfamiliar people can make seniors nervous.  It is important to use the social media available in order to find the best roommate.  And remember, you are not alone in this endeavor.

AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE NIGHT

By SAMANTHA PRYDE

Washingtonville’s Foreign Language Honor Society is dedicated to uniting the community’s many different cultures through education and experience.  After many years of not hosting “International Night,” this year’s members hope to re-start the tradition, and give the community a memorable learning opportunity.  After the initial decision to hold the event, the club has worked non-stop to leave a legacy.

Members of the Foreign Language Honor Society decorate the school to get ready for the big event.
At 6:00 pm on Friday, March 9th, the event will begin in the High School Auditorium.  There are two main parts to the event; the entertainment portion and food portion.  Co-President of FLHS, Brendan Pardo, explains how, “In the first part, our primary goal is to showcase the many talents in our community…”  There will demonstrations of the community’s various cultures through dancing, music making, and other cultural traditions.

After this part of the night is over, there will be foods from all over the world set up around the large cafeteria.  A majority of the foods are going to be made by the FLHS students, and they will be at the table giving a brief description of their families’ cultures.  Also, the cafeteria windows have been painted with the quote, “Languages lead us on a path to understanding other cultures”, as well as flags from different nations.  The National Art Honor Society has also decided to help out and will be conducting a face painting booth for the children. 

SAMANTHA PRYDE FOR THE WIZARD WEEKLY
Co-President, Kendal Lascar, is looking forward to what people will take from the night and hope that they have a great time.  “We’ve always had a great community in Washingtonville.  The town continuously shows up for events and supports our schools.  I hope the community will come together and embrace all the cultures and nationalities that the town has.”

Brendan Pardo and Kendal Lascar have been working diligently all year to ensure that this is a meaningful event for the community.  Pardo explains how, “We initially came up with the idea because we wanted to do something bigger and better than before.”  Lascar believes that the biggest thing people will look forward to is, “... we will get to learn more about the people we see everyday and their family background.”

There will be no charge to attend the event, but there is a suggested donation of $2 to help fund the Foreign Language Honor Society, and allow them to continue this worthwhile event for many years to come.  This will be an extraordinary night filled with food, culture, and will be an excellent learning opportunity for the members of the community and FLHS.  There will also be some surprise activities, but the community will have to come out and discover what they are for themselves!