Thursday, May 31, 2018


One of the many privileges of public schooling is being able to wear whatever you want… well, kind of.  The majority of schools, including Washingtonville High School, incorporate a section in their Code of Conduct that specifies what students are not permitted to wear.   This list, however,  is never altered to keep up with modern day fashion trends.  

This being said, many dress codes run into similar problems: they are outdated, not followed and only occasionally enforced.  WHS faces all of these issues daily, especially when the weather reaches high summer temperatures.  

Mike Lindberg, a senior at WHS, feels that “dress codes are needed, but to a certain extent; there’s a line between self expression and disrespect to the school and others around you. If they’re expressing themselves in a professional way that’s non offensive to anyone, then, by all means, wear what you want. However, if it’s inappropriate,  it’s just common sense to not wear that during school.” 

While this may be easy to say for a boy who has never been dress coded, fellow senior Lauren Merchant disagrees.  After being stopped in the hallway by a teacher and told to pull her off-the-shoulder top over her shoulders, Lauren became enraged.  She stated, “I think some of the things in the dress code in our school are ridiculous.  If I would feel comfortable wearing an off-the-shoulder shirt to church, I can wear it to school.”

Although the two seniors may disagree on the main idea of dress codes, both can agree these guidelines are mainly tailored towards women.  Mike believes dress codes include more rules for girls because “they tend to take more risks with fashion and clothes than boys do, therefore, girls present more reasons why rules need to be made.”  While this may be true, Lauren believes “dress codes are centered towards females simply because our clothing shows more.”

With various opinions of what is and isn’t appropriate, it is understandable how difficult enforcing a dress code can be; however, I think there needs to be a basic standard agreed upon by teachers and administration.  It is extremely unfair to have one student be dress coded while another wearing the same thing to go by unscathed.  

I also believe it is vital for dress codes to adapt to modern day fashion.  While shorts longer than your fingertips may be deemed as appropriate, they are also almost impossible to find for teens.  When the fashion market is swarmed with specific trends, it can hard for students to find the clothes that are perfect combination of trendy and appropriate.  

No matter your opinion on dress codes, it is imperative to always dress for the occasion appropriately! 



Throughout the years at WHS, students have witnessed more than a handful of presentations, assemblies, and guest speakers. Some presentations leave a lasting impression on the students that leave them wanting more. On Tuesday, May 20th, a fan favorite guest speaker returned to WHS to give another fascinating and informative presentation. 

Tom Smith is an NYPD detective, but not just any detective; he is assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and has been on the job for 28 years now. With those years, comes an immense amount of stories and experiences to share. Tom Smith has come in to WHS numerous times to discuss his life on this crazy job where anything can, and does, happen. 

There are many reasons why Mr. Smith wants to share his wisdom with the students of Washingtonville High School.  He expressed, “I come in to speak in classes to give people the opportunity to hear my experiences in law enforcement and to talk about present issues going on in the country that I can maybe answer. Also to give kids who are interested in law enforcement the opportunity to speak to someone with the experience that I have.” 

Smith also feels that, “it is important for kids today to realize that their opinions and thoughts matter, but to also understand that it should be their thoughts  and no one else influencing the way they think.”  He goes on to say that students should “have a dream for the future and never  let anyone get in the way of obtaining it.” 

Tom Smith’s presentation does not only leave students in awe, the stories and experiences he shares leaves students more knowledgeable about what a job in this field really entails.  Senior at WHS, Nick Valentin, expressed, “What I took away from Mr. Smith’s presentation was that being in the police force requires dedication, and you need to have a love for the job in order to really enjoy it and be able to do your job.  The most memorable thing about his presentation was when he told the story about him in Afghanistan and the close encounter he had where he had to take drastic measures in order to stay alive.” 

Presentations and guest speakers have come in and out of WHS throughout the years, but Tom Smith’s presentation about his job and experiences is like no other. His dedication and drive for his job is uncovered through the discussions he has with the students and leaves them speechless, astonished, and all around thankful for having a man like Tom Smith serve and protect this country. 



Most of the future graduates of the Class of 2018 at Washingtonville High School have been fortunate enough to see each and every one of the amazing events and shows that the student council has miraculously been able to pull off.  Endless gratitude is owed to the four students who have helped make the 2017-2018 school year one full of laughs, smiles, and memories.

Maya Diaz, the president of the Class of 2018, has been the ringleader of all of the fun.  She was the driving force behind all of the senior class events that brought smiles to the faces of everyone lucky enough to be part of the school.  Maya stated, her greatest memory as President is “having the chance to create all these amazing shows for everyone here at Washingtonville.”  It takes more than one to do the job, and Maya wouldn’t be able to pull off all of these amazing activities without help from the rest of her council. 

Alexa Siciliano, Maya’s right hand woman, has been there to give a second approval on all of this year’s events and presentations that have given enjoyment to all of the students this year.  Alexa’s favorite part of this year was, without a doubt, “serving under the greatest President that Washingtonville has ever seen and being a part of the greatest class Washingtonville will and has ever seen.” 

Tony Witte, the money man, also known as the treasurer, made sure that all the events were paid for and fully funded.  Tony tried his best to ensure that students could enjoy all of the events and that everyone would go home happy and with a full wallet.  Taking part in some of Washingtonville’s fun filled activities, Tony exclaimed his all time favorite was none other than “being able to host the Lip Sync Battle this year and perform up on the stage one last time.”

Last, but certainly not least, Lauren Merchant is the one who keeps everyone in check.  Lauren makes sure that the rest of the members of the council stay on top of things, while also staying on top of her own duties.  While Lauren does not have one favorite moment from her senior year, she expressed, “Whenever we are all together, it shows how the Class of 2018 truly is a family and how we can all come together to be one WizardNation.”

When asked what the four members of the student council wanted to leave as a lasting memory here at Washingtonville, they all agreed, “We want to leave behind this feeling of togetherness.  The school pride that the class of 2018 has is something that needs to be continued and hopefully become bigger.  We are all Wizards at heart, and that is something that will never change.”  For the classes that come after 2018, be sure to come together as one, and make memories that will last a lifetime.  The Class of 2018 sure did.



Many Wizards try out to be on a sports team at one point in the year, but only a handful decide to play on two varsity teams.  Senior, AJ Martinez, participated on the boy’s soccer team in the fall and on the boy’s tennis team in the spring at Washingtonville High School. 

Martinez started playing soccer at a young age, but then took a temporary sabbatical until sophomore year.  In his second year of high school, Matt realized how much he loved and missed the game and decided to rejoin the team in his junior year.  

The majority of Martinez’s playtime was spent as a striker and in midfield.  The senior continued this trend on varsity in his final year of high school soccer.  When asked what his favorite moment of his soccer career has been thus far, Martinez responded, “It has to be senior night because this was our last time being together as seniors on the field, and I’m glad I was able to have that moment with my family.  I was happy I could show them that all my hard work paid off.”

Martinez’s tennis career was a bit more spontaneous.  He joined the varsity tennis team this year, and it was his first time playing organized tennis.  He played doubles this spring and helped the team end their year with a winning season.  It was the varsity tennis team’s first winning season in over five years.  Martinez’s teammate and tennis captain, Gavan O’Brien, expressed that, “AJ is an upstanding kid.  From his countless hours of on court practicing to the numerous hours of off court training, AJ has proven to be nothing but a help to the team.  His leadership, grit, and work ethic were some things that held the team together and made all of us better players.”

Martinez will be attending SUNY Brockport in the upcoming fall. He doesn’t plan on continuing tennis in college, but he does say that he may potentially tryout for the soccer team.  We wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.



As the school year comes to an end, the upperclassmen are filled with the anticipation of the many end of year events.  During the ever stressful junior year, students use the excitement of their prom to keep them motivated while the seniors use the banquet, senior BBQ, and graduation.  Even though students use these events as motivation to finish the year, teethe question always arises: Which is better,  Senior Banquet or Junior Prom? 

Although Prom and Banquet are both formal events, the attire is completely different.  For the girls, Prom is the time to wear the nicest dress possible while Banquet is a little more casual.  Many fashion trends will carry over between the two events, but the most basic difference is dress length.  Prom dresses are typically floor length while banquet dresses are usually on the shorter side.  As students, it is important to know the difference between the desired attire to avoid buying a costly look that is not appropriate.  

As for the boys, tuxes are a must at the prom.  When attending the banquet, however, the guys can go for a more casual and comfortable look.  Mason Rickli, a senior at Washingtonville, gave his outlook between the events and stated, “Prom is like an overrated sweet 16 in a sense, while banquet is just go and have fun with your friends.”  

Due to the more formal nature, Prom can be extremely stressful especially for girls.  WHS junior, Celine Lewandowski, expressed she is “definitely excited for prom, even though it is such a stressful process due to finding the perfect dress, hair, and makeup.”

Another discussion among students is the overall cost difference.  Prom can be extremely expensive due to ticket prices, tux rentals and dress purchases, limo rentals, and flowers.  On the other hand, Banquet is more affordable due to the fact that the most expensive part for many is the ticket itself.

Whether you prefer Prom or Banquet,  it all comes down to having a good time with your friends and making as many memories as possible. 



With the end of the year approaching, most seniors are getting ready to pack their bags and move on to the next phase of their lives.  While some students are continuing their education within the state, several students are migrating out of state to their dream schools.  For the underclassmen, they are going to have big shoes to fill once the senior class is gone.  Although the seniors are excited for their next venture, they are looking forward to making memories and savoring the last few days of their high school careers.

There have been many fun filled memories for Washingtonville High Schoolers this school year.  From the homecoming football game in the beginning of the year, to the hopeball tournament at the end of the year, there have been many unforgettable events.  One of the most exciting weeks of the school year, senior week, will start next week on Monday, June 4th.

The schedule for this year's highly anticipated senior week is officially locked in. Senior week is when the senior class coordinates different themes for each day of the week.  The themes are chosen by the students, many of which include: celebrity day, character day, twin day, national/international pride day, beach day, senior shirt day, favorite sports team day, and everyone's favorite, rave day. 

On Monday, June 4th, the first event of senior week will be celebrity day.  In the past, celebrity day has always been a fun way to lead off the week.  Students can choose any celebrity of their choice, or they can even wearing a sports jersey. 

There will not be any classes on Tuesday, therefore, Wednesday is national/international pride day.  Wednesday is the perfect opportunity to show pride for any country, however, this is not an excuse to make fun of any other culture, or promote a negative stereotype.  

Thursday, June 6th, WHS will host the infamous rave day.  Rave day has been a tradition here at Washingtonville High School, for many years.  Rave day is not always considered  a success, particularly if you ask the administrators; last year’s event resulted in a broken lunch table.  Due to this incident, the staff at Washingtonville was shaky about allowing rave day, but they decided to trust the Class of 2018.  It is important to not take this trust for granted and ruin this spirit day for the underclassmen.

Arguably, the most festive day of the week is beach day which will take place on Friday, June 8th.  Beach day is always a fun day with people dressing in beach attire and bringing beach activities, even though there is no sand, just school. Beach day always comes with a surprise and lots of fun in the sun!

When asked what day he was looking most forward to, Brandon Robles replied, “Rave day is my favorite day because I like to jump up and down with my friends.”  Brandon, along with many other students are excited for this particular day.

Senior week is a fun tradition for the seniors t0 celebrate with their friends one last time.  Every senior should participate in each activity next week to make sure they enjoy their last week at Washingtonville High School.

Friday, May 25, 2018



Every year families travel all across the world as an escape from the mundane routine of their daily lives.  While many families schedule their vacations around the school year to avoid having their children miss important lessons and homework, some take advantage of the cheaper airfare and hotel rates and pull their children out of school.  


Missing school always sounds like a good idea to overworked students at the time; however, playing hooky comes with a price.  Being absent for multiple classes can cause your workload to pile up extremely quickly, especially with WHS’ block scheduling.  The never-ending workload leaves students with two options: ask your teachers for assignments you will miss while away or wait until you get home to deal with the stack of papers.  

Art teacher at WHS, Mr. Strommer, stated, “The longer I have been teaching, the more lenient I have become with families vacationing during school.  I find traveling to a new country or city gives you the best learning experience and in the whole scheme of school, what’s five days anyway?”  While I believe traveling provides you with the most opportunities to learn, I do understand the concern of teachers and missing assignments.  

Gavan O’Brien, a senior at WHS, believes, “Whether you are sick or go on vacation, missing school is not an issue because you can always make up the work you missed.”  In such a technological world, the majority of missed assignments can be found online or if you have any questions on the assignment, you can contact your teacher within a matter of seconds.  O’Brien also shared, “Regardless of when you ask for your work, it will still have to be completed so you might as well enjoy your trip without worrying about work.”

Unlike Gavan, I would highly recommend talking to your teachers at least a week prior to your trip and see what you will be missing.  It is important to check in with teachers because many, like Mr. Strommer, “will be more than happy to give you assignments but refuse to extend deadlines.”  You may not be able to receive all the work you will miss, but having a jumpstart will be extremely helpful and should shorten your workload tremendously.  
Whether you travel to the Caribbean or the Jersey Shore, it is imperative you determine a way to balance the workload you will miss while also enjoying your fun in the sun.  No one wants to return home from a week of relaxation to a week of stress! 



On Monday, May 21, seventeen of the fiercest dodge ball teams in Orange County came together to battle it out in order to be crowned the 2018 Hopeball Champions.  Some teams were hungry for the win and determined to make it far in the competition yet, others just couldn’t come together as a team and were eliminated almost immediately. 

Hopeball is an annual dodgeball tournament that every student at WHS has the opportunity to participate in.  When teams face off against each other, the team that wins the most games out of three advance to the next round of the competition; the losing team is  immediately eliminated and kicked out of the bracket.

Darcy Doelger, a senior at WHS and the mastermind behind this operation, informed, “Basically, all I had to do was get the permission slips to people ahead of time so they could get the word out.  Since we changed the date we had more time to get as many teams as possible.” Darcy also added, “It’s an easy fundraiser to get together, but the day of the event, I had to make the bracket, get the dodgeballs, set up the sound system and make sure everything ran as smoothly as possible.”  

At the end of the tournament, there was only one victorious team: The Lucky Lads. The team members that contributed to the big win were Darcy Doelger, Taylor Fagan, Brendan Hogan, Tim Curtin, Quinn Doelger, and Ryan Johnson. Every person on this triumphant team pushed hard and was determined to obtain the win from the start. 

Quinn Doelger, a junior at WHS, stated, “It feels rewarding winning the whole tournament. We put the team together relatively quickly after leaving my old team. I had a good feeling going in. I can honestly say that I had high expectations, especially because teams were really sleeping on us. I knew that we had something to prove; winning was the only thing on our minds from the start of the first game.” 

Hopeball was not only a lucrative and lively event, it raised money for charity while giving the students of WHS a chance to duel against one another to see who the real champions truly are. 



With the school year quickly dwindling down, there are several “lasts” occurring for the seniors at Washingtonville High School.  Numerous students performed their favorite show tunes during their final performance of the year this past Tuesday night at Masque and Mime’s annual Cabaret.


Students at WHS are talented in a plethora of areas, one being musical theatre.  From the numerous musical productions to the unique Cabaret, every participant expressed their talent and love for musical theatre.  Senior, Hayley Knips, indicated that, “Cabaret is different because instead of one cohesive storyline with related songs, it’s a collection of different songs from multiple musicals.”  She later added that, “Since everyone gets to pick their own song, you can get a glimpse of everyone’s individual tastes.”  Cabaret makes the students feel special, as they go up on stage and have their own spotlight.  For those who aren’t always the lead roles, “Cabaret gives everyone a chance to be featured,” said Knips.  

Hayley Knipps has been actively involved in Masque and Mime since her freshman year.  Hayley can be recognized from her lead role as Millie in this year's spring musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie.  At this year’s Cabaret, Knips decided to sing “Me and Ricky” from the show The Theory of Relativity.  When asked what inspired Hayley's song choice she informed, “My sister actually helped me choose the song because her school had just done the show The Theory of Relativity, which is the musical that my song is from.  I also liked how it was more obscure than some of the basic musical theatre music.”

Justine Sanchez, is another senior Masque and Mime member who is not shy on the stage.  She performed a song from Anastasia called “Journey to the Past.”  Sanchez voiced, “ I chose this song because I love the passion sung by the dynamic character in the show.  At the beginning of my senior year, I knew I wanted to end the year with this song.”  Not only does Cabaret allow singers to belt out their favorite tunes, but the participants also serve a meal to the tables in the audience.  Sanchez added, “My favorite part of cabaret is welcoming my assigned table and serving them their entrees.” 

Musical theatre gives students the chance to express themselves through song or other characters.  Senior, Kathryn Finnigan, stated, “I love musical theatre because it allows me to take  a break from reality for a little bit and have fun…”  Sanchez also uttered, “When I perform, I want to inspire the audience and send out a message to change their lives. When I was a freshman, I was inspired by the older kids and I want to pass it on to the next set of kids.”

Cabaret gives Masque and Mime students one last time to perform and show their passion in a more intimate setting.  Although this may be the last time many of them will have an opportunity to step on stage, seeing students give their all is a unique and show stopping experience!


At Washingtonville, there are students who are best friends, but then there are the ones who consider teach other family.  There is no shortage of students at WHS who spend their time together, but then there are students who spend all of their time together.  For these two best friends, Wizards will see them together at every turn of the head, whether it’s in the school parking lot every morning, or at each others’ houses on the weekend.  

Ryan Gil and Tom Cudmore are inseparable. Anyone who parks in the senior lot can see a Dodge Challenger: that would be Ryans.  Look right next to him and you’ll see Tom in the passenger seat.  If you take the time to look closely enough, you will see that Ryan is actually  sound asleep.  The early morning naps started this year, according to Tom.  “If Ryan doesn’t have any homework due that day, he just passes out for a half an hour.  The best part is waking him up and seeing his facial expressions.”  

Their friendship started in 7th grade when Tom moved down the street from Ryan.  The two say that their first memory together is when Tom had to sit on the bus next to Ryan, and he barely even knew him.  From that moment on, “it just took off,” reminisced Ryan.  It only took a year for the two to become best friends.  They have endless memories together, each with their separate own favorites.

For Tom, it was setting up a scavenger hunt for Ryan’s eighteenth birthday, using none other than eggplants. The end of the scavenger hunt led to a rather unsavory gift which will not be mentioned. For Ryan, his favorite memory with Tom was “everyday in Mrs. Frey’s AP U.S. History class, just laughing and making memories.”

Any student who knows Tom, also knows that he is the biggest AriZona Green Tea fan in the school, perhaps even the entire 845.  Ryan explained how Tom’s love for Green Tea started “sometime last year; he wanted regular iced tea, but I got him Green Tea, and he's loved it ever since.” 

Never be afraid to branch out and find a new friend. Never tell someone he can’t sit with you on the bus; that person just might turn out to be a best friend, and the memories created just might last a lifetime. 



It’s never too early to start planning for college. For high school freshmen and sophomores the process may seem far off, but before they know it, they will be facing the end of their junior year. If students haven’t prepared, there will be a lot of work ahead of them.  Don’t get me wrong, getting into college is hard work even if you’ve planned ahead - but the burden can be a lot easier toward the end if students are proactive throughout high school.  With over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States alone, the possibilities for higher education are endless. 

By doing ample research, students are sure to find schools that are perfect academic, personal, and/or financial fits.  With the average amount of student debt reaching $33,000 for the graduating college class of 2014, it is important for families to do their due diligence to find institutions where their children will have the best chance to graduate within four years with a minimal amount of debt. 

Washingtonville does a fantastic job of preparing their students for the next chapter of their lives. They even have an after school program where students can set up their FASFA, Common Application, and their college essay. In doing this, students feel less stressed about the college process being that someone is there to help them along the way. 

Senior Skyler Allen talked about how he was  “lucky enough to have my mom help me out with a lot of the college process. She really pushed me to be where I am today.” He also feels that as stressful as the college process is, “it’s all worth it in the end when you get into the school you want.”

When it comes to competitive admissions, it’s not enough to have a great junior year. Colleges will look at all four years of grades and activities, so students need to make good grades, identify their interests, and get involved as soon as possible. That said, it’s never too late to improve. Colleges look for upward grade trends; so if freshmen and sophomore year grades were not the strongest, focus on getting the best marks possible junior year. A dramatic improvement can signify maturity and academic preparedness to an admissions committee. Keep track of grades from day one of high school, and know how to spot red flags and when to ask for help.

Junior Celine Lewandowski stated that, “As the end of the year approaches, more and more of us are starting to feel more confident about applying for college.” This is due in part to the fact that a lot of the juniors  have already taken the SAT or even the ACT.  With senior year quickly approaching for them, Celine feels as if she is “ready to take on senior year” with a confident state of mind.



Washingtonville’s varsity tennis singles players have made it to the semi finals of sections.  After multiple wins on the counties level, both Gavan O’Brien and Gabriel Castillo have made it to sections and found themselves in the final four for singles players in Section IX.

Castillo and O’Brien have made a gigantic splash in the tennis community of Section IX.  Castillo, a sophomore at Washingtonville High School, was matched up with the defending Section IX Champion and senior, Lucas Arora, at counties.  He came out with the victory in 6-0, 6-1 match. With this win, Castillo has earned himself the number one seed at sections.  The sophomore has been able to steamroll over the competition while only losing one game throughout counties.  A match is won by winning two sets.  A set is won by winning six games, and a game is won by earning four points.  He has not lost a set.  Castillo has yet to be put in a position in which he was down in a set. 

Meanwhile, Castillo’s teammate has not lost a set at sections either.  O’Brien earned himself a spot in the semi finals with an 6-0 set over 1-star recruit Daniel Feigelson from Millbrook.  It was a good match with a 6-3, 6-0 result, but Gavan O’Brien ended up on top.  The senior will have to play Lucas Arora to get himself into the section finals where he could potentially see Gabe Castillo.  When asked what it is like to play with a competitor like Castillo, O’Brien responded, “It’s amazing.  To play someone who can beat you day in and day out is unbelievably helpful to my game.  I’d rather play someone like Gabe and get beaten down because in the end; its’s going to make me a stronger competitor and a stronger person in general.”

These two tremendous athletes have made an incredible impact on their team as a whole throughout the season. Castillo and O’Brien played first and second singles for the Wizards this year. Castillo ended his regular season undefeated and has continued his winning streak through sections.  They helped the team end with a winning season, but they also helped their teammates. Senior teammate, Ryan Gil expressed, “It’s really beneficial to have these two great guys on the team because they’ve helped me become a better player.  Gabe and Gavan have taught me a lot about the game, and they’re always great teammates and friends, who support me in everything I do.”

If O’Brien and Castillo win Thursday, May 24th at MatchPoint Tennis, then they will play next Thursday at Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing, NY.  Good Luck to both of these talented Wizards!



The Section 9 varsity baseball season has come to an end, and the playoff seeds are out.  Naturally, the Wizards played must win games against Warwick and Kingston on Thursday, May 17th.  Both Warwick and Kingston have already clinched a spot in the postseason; Washingtonville is not going up against easy opponents.  The outcome of last Thursday determined the Wizards’ birth for a playoff run.

Washingtonville faced Warwick for the first, and most important game of the day.  The Wizards got the early lead putting up three runs in the first inning thanks to Myles Passley who drove in two teammates.  What would seem like a dinger derby for the Wizards, eventually turned into a pitching dual.  Jeremy Gutierrez, the pitcher for Washingtonville, limited Warwick to one run over six innings, as Warwick held the Wizards scoreless for the remainder of the game.

With a score of Washingtonville up 3-1 in the top of the 7th inning, the Wizards were looking to close out the game.  Jeremy Gutierrez went back out on the mound seeking to pitch a complete game, and lead the Wizards to sections.  After a 1-1 count, the leadoff hitter for Warwick turned on an inside fastball for a solo home run.  The Wizards were hanging on by a thread with the score 3-2 in the last inning.

The save opportunity was then passed down to senior captain, Jack Wilde.  Jack started out successfully retiring the first two batters of the inning.  With one out left in the game, the next batter slugged a fly ball over the right fielders head for a triple.  The next batter was walked, resulting in runners on 1st and 3rd with two outs, in the top of the 7th inning.

The outcome of this at bat would determine the Wizards’ fate for the remainder of the season.  An out would result in a sectional birth, but a base hit would result in the Wildcats tying up the game and possibly spoiling Washingtonville’s plans of sections.  With the season on the line, the pitch was thrown, and the ball gets cracked 350 feet over the fence.  The final score ended up being 6-4, Warwick.

The Wizards fought all year and just came short of making history.  Game two of the double header against Kingston did not make a difference in the advancement of the team, and Washingtonville fell short, yet again, with a final score of 3-2, Kingston.  With six seniors graduating this year, the Wizards have made many unforgettable memories while trying their very best to make a name for themselves.

Only time will tell what will come for the Wizards varsity baseball team in the future.  With the team gradually getting better each year, Washingtonville is on pace to make sections next season.  Even though the Wizards couldn’t advance to sections this year, the team has still showed great progress and made many memories throughout the season.  They certainly have a lot to be proud of.

Friday, May 18, 2018


A little over a year ago, the notorious Netflix struck again with the worldwide release of yet another smash hit, called 13 Reasons Why.  This series was based on the #1 New York Times best selling novel written in 2007 by Jay Asher.  Although the screenplay deviates from some of the book’s original plot, the premise of a young high school student brought to suicide by betrayal and bullying remains.  

Hannah Baker, the protagonist of the series, is a high school girl who went through the ringer: slut shaming, best friend betrayals, cyberbullying and sexual assault just to name a few.  These horrific occurrences ultimately led to her decision to end her life.  While 13 Reasons Why is not the first series to discuss teen bullying and suicide, it was the first show to graphically display this gut wrenching act to viewers.  This raised concern in millions of parents, guardians, teachers and the loved ones of teens all over the world.  The fear was that the show would create copycat suicides or that the content was just too much for young, vulnerable teenagers.  

Even though these worries came from a place of reasoning, I think it was crucial for teens to watch the spiral of events Hannah faced as a result of her peers’ actions.  Seeing how the actions of others affect a person can be extremely enlightening, hopefully resonating with those who have been bullies themselves.  WHS junior, Billy Cronin, stated that watching this series “affected my way of thinking in a way that made me think about others and act more considerate towards them because you never know what other people are going through.”

Fellow junior, Lauren Gregg, was a fan of both the book and Netflix series, but was better “able to understand the person’s character and feel a better connection to Hannah through a screen, than through a book.”  I believe this is why the creators decided not to censor these topics, in attempt to make them as realistic as possible and serve as an eyeopener for teens.

Cronin disagreed with my personal opinion and “thought the show was good for Hollywood and numbers but not for the kids out there struggling with suicide and bullying.”  Although the topics depicted on the show hit many kids too close to home, we both could agree “the way the writers portrayed bullying was as true as it is in high school, as most of the bullying was done online.”

Throughout Lauren’s three years at WHS, “I have never seen or heard of the extreme bullying Hannah Baker went through in the show, yet it still happens.”  The idea of such a ghastly thing becoming so common is unimaginable.  “I feel suicide is so hard to deal with because it is impossible to accept that someone you know could take his or her life any day when you could have helped them,” shared Gregg.  

Hannah’s suicide was by far the show’s biggest controversy as it was shown in its raw entirety.  Cronin, along with many others, believed this scene “was a little too much since it showed how graphic and painful suicide can be.”  Lauren conveyed, “I do understand that the writers wanted to make a series where the viewers could see and understand what Hannah had gone through that led to this, but some of the scenes were harder to watch than others like the sexual assaults and suicide.”

After being on the rollercoaster that is 13 Reasons Why, many were shocked to hear Netflix announce a second season.  Many questioned how the show could go on after all the tapes, but we will soon know what interesting spinoff the producers took with the series return May 18th.   As the second season airs this weekend, I, along with many other fans, am anxious to see what else is in store and hope the second season is as powerful as the first!