Thursday, June 7, 2018



Over the past four years of my high school career at Washingtonville High School, I have been eager to kiss this school, and the rest of my class, goodbye with ease.  Patiently waiting, I thought this day would never come, I sat in class waiting for the very moment in time that I live in now.  Unbeknownst to me, leaving this building would be my hardest goodbye.

Whether we realize it or not, Washingtonville students, we are extremely blessed to call ourselves Wizards.  Growing up in an atmosphere that radiates acceptance, love, and school spirit is something not many students can proudly say they have experienced.  I fell in love with my school, along with my peers.

When walking through the halls of WHS, one’s choice to smile isn't so much a choice, as it is an inevitable action.  Regardless of how your day is going, there will always be at least one person in school, whether it be your best friend, a teacher, or a complete stranger that can crack a smile upon your face.  I couldn't imagine spending the majority of my day anywhere else.  In here, I feel welcomed.  In here, I am accepted for who I am.

Not only do the halls radiate positive energy, but the packed stands every Friday night do even more.  Wizard Nation, all bias aside, has the best student section in the 845.  Our student section stands together, win or lose, and bleeds blue and gold. Coming together as a school, supporting one another is much more important to Wizards than catching the winning touchdown pass or scoring that three pointer.

This is what I admire most about Washingtonville: being a part of a small school where not only students, but teachers and administrators, care about students.  The faculty at Washingtonville wants the best for the students, while also encouraging them to maintain a happy and healthy teenage social life.  To be frank, how many students can confidently say that their own principal goes down a slip-n-slide every year, or that their assistant principal stands outside in the freezing rain, snow storms, hurricanes, tornados, and apocalypses just to make sure that we all drive safely in the parking lot and exit in an organized manner? While we all complain about McGorman's parking lot antics and many other "crazy teachers," we all know that these rules come from the heart.

I have experienced countless life lessons, hardships, and successes throughout my time in Washingtonville; if there is one hope, it is that I may take everything I have learned with me.  Although I may never need to know the Second Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, the hard work, grit, and motivation to learn how to derive differential equations have been lessons I hope to never lose.  Additionally, I truly hope that I can help instill confidence and positivity in myself and those around me, without thinking twice.

Like I said before, I could not wait for this moment to come. Walking across the stage and never looking back has been somewhat of a fantasy for me. However, now that the time has come, I would do anything possible to hold on to this school and the people in it.  Unfortunately, there is no rewind button on high school, or life itself; it is finally time for my peers and I to take our "last" steps as Wizards and our first into the adult world.  As I remove my cap and throw it high into the air, I hope my dreams, like my cap, go as far as they can as I take this next step into the amazing journey called life.



Throughout the small town of Washingtonville lies a community full of Wizards.  What does is it truly mean to be a Wizard? Some might think it is just a mascot for a school while others might consider it a symbol that has no relevance to students, but it is much more powerful than that. Wizards are full of pride, accepting, athletic, artistic, intelligent, willing to go the extra mile, and full of spirit and life.  Wizards are fearless, and up to any challenge that faces them. Washingtonville has allowed the people in it to stand united as one Wizard Nation. 

Being a Wizard is about having pride for the town and school. Washingtonville has shaped and developed everyone that lives in this humble town and will be their roots for the rest of their lives. When someone asks “Where are you from?” Wizards proudly and enthusiastically say that they had the pleasure of growing up in Washingtonville.  

Amy Kristiansen, a senior at WHS, exclaimed, “Being a Wizard means that we are one united school who all support one another. Being a Wizard means showing pride in your school and supporting all Wizards. I wouldn’t want to go to any other school because Washingtonville is amazing. Once a Wizard, always a Wizard.”

At Friday night football games, the feeling of pride, support, and enthusiasm takes over the stands. Every fan there yells, cheers, and dresses up for the team whether the players are close friends or total strangers. The student body does not just support the sports games, support is seen at every event held at the school and community; from the teachers battling it out in a lip sync routine, to the prom runway show, or the Masque & Mime plays. The students that go to the school may have their own cliques, like different activities, and have different goals, but at the end of the day, they are one nation.

Eventually, the Wizards have to say goodbye to their home, close friends they’ve made along the way, teachers that have impacted their lives, and the town that has shaped them. Miguel Dela Cruz , a senior at WHS, expressed, “Being a Wizard means waking up and going to the best school ever, and having the most pride at every event. As a Wizard, we all strive together and respect each other. Lastly, being a Wizard means that you live in the small town of Washingtonville but enjoy it because it is your forever home.”
 These students here at WHS will look back at their high school experience and think of only good memories that Washingtonville, and fellow Wizards, have help them make. After graduation, or even after college, past students will come back to this small town and still feel the sense of unity, pride, and acceptance because the Wizard inside never dies. Once a Wizard, always a Wizard. 



Athletics are just one of the several other extra curricular activities that Washingtonville High School has to offer.  There are a plethora of  talented students within the class of 2018 who plan on continuing their academic and athletic careers at colleges and universities next fall.  With the school year coming to a close, Washingtonville seniors celebrated their decision to play college sports with a signing day on Wednesday, June 6th.  

For those who are unfamiliar with what the signing day event actually is, it is when a student, or group of students, announce where they will be attending college and what sport they will be playing.  Not only is this an exciting event for the student, but it is a proud moment for parents and other family members to celebrate the success of their child.  Senior, Brendan O’Leary’s mom was one of the very proud parents at the signing day.  Mrs.O’Leary stated “It was a very proud moment. Brendan is a great student-athlete and he definitely deserves to play...I’m excited for him to have a new experience, meet new people, and of course get to see him play basketball at the next level.” 

Senior, Lindsey Julian, is on track to continue her track and field career at SUNY Oneonta.  Through her high school experience on the track and field team, she has been successful, all while continuing to excel in school work.  Not only is Lindsey a top competitor on the track, but she also enjoys hobbies such as dance and piano.  When asked how Lindsey manages her time she voiced, “With my extra curricular activities, I actually learned how to manage my time better. Because I have such a busy schedule, I had to prioritize myself in order to get my school work done, along with everything else in my everyday life.”  

The signing day event held students from several different sports.  Senior football star, Brandon Politza, signed his letter of intent to attend St. Thomas Aquinas College.  Politza vocalized “I chose STAC for many reasons. When I went, I knew it felt like home.” He later added “Making my college decision was very stressful. I applied to twentyfour schools...I’m looking forward to playing football again and making new friends and memories.” 

It is an exciting time for the graduating class of 2018.  Senior, Brendan O’Leary, plans to play basketball next year at the College of New Rochelle.  He expressed “I’m looking forward to making a lot of new friends on the team, getting a new experience with being away, and just starting a new chapter in life”.  Lindsey Julian also added, “I feel a mix of emotions. I’m sad that I will be leaving all of my friends but at the same time, I am so excited to start this next chapter of my life, along with being a little bit nervous. College is an exciting experience for everyone and I’m happy that we are all moving forward.” 

It is a time to celebrate the closing of a chapter and the start of a new one.  Signing day was just one of the several other ways to celebrate the seniors playing college sports.  


One month ago, Washingtonville was rocked by the loss of their beloved community member, John West III.  Emotions ran high for not only students, but families in the community as well.  Everyone seemed to be terribly affected by this tremendous loss.  Throughout the town, the memories, laughs, and good times, were the only topics of conversation being had.  While most everyone knew John for his music and outgoing personality, some knew him as if they were brothers.

Miguel Dela Cruz, John Contino, Jon Saltz, Matt Warren, Tommy Gerdin and Vijay Kabaria were the best friends of John West in elementary school and all through high school.  A few days after the passing of John, these were the ones who made a real impact on everyone in Washingtonville.  Jon set up the GoFundMe page to help John’s family pay for the services.  Miguel made t-shirts honoring John’s life and music. Matt and John made crosses to go above the football field, and Vijay set up a couple of memorials for people to honor John.  Needless to say, they were the ones who helped to make the memory of John live on.

Miguel was John’s best friend and considered him to be his brother.  For all the memories the two made together, he says his favorite was “when John and I had sleepovers at my house and would watch leanandcuisine videos until we fell asleep.”  As for John Contino, he agreed with Miguel on the favorite memory, but one thing he won’t forget is “when John was delivering and he called me and asked me to use my bathroom because he was in the middle of a delivery.”  While the memories reign tall for all of his friends, it’s his impression on the school and community that will last forever.

Every student has said what a great kid John was, and that his music was really awesome, but for the people who knew him best, it was more than just that.  John was always the happiest person both in school, and out.  He never had a mean thing to say, and if anyone was down in the dumps, he was there to bring a smile to their face.  His friends say that they want him to be remembered as the greatest kid to ever walk into Washingtonville High School. 

Everyone should live their lives with full enjoyment, but with responsibility.  Take a good look at your life, and remember that this life is sacred.  Remember the important people in your life, and that their lives are sacred too.  John West said it best in one of his songs, “Life’s quick. Slow down, take your time, enjoy the simple things in life.” 



There is no doubt that there is a lot that goes into a well run graduation ceremony.  However, here at Washingtonville High School, the ceremony is always a memorable one.  Between the commencement speech and receiving the long awaited diploma, there is no doubt this year’s graduation will be a memory to last a lifetime. 

Setting up for an event like this is no easy task.  From setting up the chairs, to coordinating the order that seniors will receive their diplomas, to figuring out who will give the commencement speech, it becomes overwhelming and quite daunting.  Lucky for us, Washingtonville’s finest, Mr. Connolly, has done quite a few graduations already, making this process a lot easier and a little less stressful.  Senior, Mason Rickli, talked about how he is “definitely surprised by how the school gets everything set up in such a short amount of time.” It is definitely an impressive process.  

Senior Anthony Acosta talked about how he is “excited to see how the ceremony will turn out” and he “realized how much work goes into an event like this.”  He also talked about how he is excited for the commencement speech which will be given by Ray Romulus.

This year we are lucky to have Ray Romulus to give our commencement speech. He is a previous Washingtonville graduate, and now a Grammy Award winner.  He is a Hollywood producer who helped produce Grammy Award winning song released by Bruno Mars “That’s What I Like” featured on his 24K Magic  album.  He is definitely an inspiration to many and will be to the class of 2018.

Graduation is a time that almost every student looks forward to. It acts as a reflection on the previous years of life and it prepares teenagers for what the future holds. Some seem to be excited and others seem to be sad about it. All in all, the class of 2018 is a great class that will stick together even out of high school. 

At the end of the day, graduation is about sitting, standing, and paying our dues to the senior class by doing our darndest to give them the best graduation possible.   



With summer right around the corner, students at WHS are scrambling to find the perfect summer job.  Although summer is typically the time to relax and unwind from the busy school year, it is also a time for kids to work and save up money.  When the last period bell rings and school is officially out, kids have the freedom they've longed for all year.  However,  in order to keep up with the summer fun, which often doesn’t come cheap, several students find it necessary to take on a summer job.  

A plethora of local businesses are more than happy to hire Washingtonville students, one being Betty’s Country Kitchen.  This local restaurant is the workplace of senior, Richard Silva.  Having started the job in the beginning of his junior year, he has spent countless hours at work.  Silva stated, “I’ve worked at Betty’s for two years and I think having a job for the summer is beneficial because it keeps me busy and is a way for me to save money to spend and save for college.”

To some students, having a job can seem like a chore, but for junior, Marisela Colangelo, who also works at Betty’s, “Working at Betty’s is wonderful.”  She later added, “I like to work with Richard; he is a good coworker.”  Time spent working at the restaurant is not only a way to make money, but it is a fun way for Marisela to spend her time after school.  

In the hot summer heat, it is common for people to hang by the pool and go for a swim. One popular summer job is lifeguarding.  Several students at WHS are certified lifeguards and plan on spending their summer saving lives poolside.  One local lifeguard is Washingtonville’s very own senior, Daniel Luedke.  Not only does Daniel have a job at The Castle, in Chester, but he also decided to become a certified lifeguard because he “...wanted another job for the summer and I thought it would be good to be CPR certified.” He went on to say, “It is a good job to have because you can learn many things that you can use during an emergency outside of lifeguarding.” 

Although parents urge their children to save their money for things such as college or even a car, it is inevitable that kids spend their money on fun activities throughout the summer like bowling, ice cream, and mini golf.  It is easy for kids to slip into the cycle of spending, however, there are ways to balance spending and saving.  Luedke voiced, “With the money I make from lifeguarding, I will probably spend that on things throughout the summer. With the money I make from The Castle, I plan to save for the upcoming year at college.”  

Summertime provides students with the opportunity to spend their free time working and saving money for upcoming events.  Hopefully they can find the time to squeeze in a little fun in the sun!