Thursday, November 29, 2018



Around this time of the year, students all over the world begin to notice a change in their demeanor as the levels of stress and anxiety skyrocket across the border.  The cause:   homework.  The pressure of trying to manage time between school, extra-curricular activities, family life and even jobs is often times an unbearable burden that students should not have to face.

Recent studies have shown that 56 percent of students listed homework as the number one cause of the stress in their lives.  And it's no wonder. During the transition from kindergarten to the final years of high school students see an increase of reading for ten minutes a night to completing hours upon hours of  homework.  

Madison Garcia, a junior involved in three advanced classes, feels an overwhelming amount of stress in her studies. Madison expresses, “I do feel stressed because I have to study on top of my homework to get the grades I want but it takes away from living life and having fun."  Since the start of the school year, Madison felt the need to drop an advanced history class because she already had enough stress with her other advanced courses. 

While trying to balance her education and social life, Madison finds it difficult to be able to  juggle both.  When it comes to homework, Madison expressed, “Per night I’d say I’d have to spend over and hour and a half, usually for AP Biology, about an hour for Pre-Calc, and with the time I have afterwards, I eat and shower and then I spend time studying for English and History."  Before all of this homework is completed, Madison stays after school for the clubs she is involved in for community service and athletics. 

As anyone can see, homework is affecting the lives of a tremendous amount of WHS students. Even though homework is a necessity to refresh the mind and review skills and lessons being covered in class, teachers should really consider the implications the workload may have on their students.  As the amounts of homework evolve and seem to grow over the years, it is becoming the main concern of students, resulting in their forgetting what is truly important in life. 

On the contrary, there are a small percentage of students that noted homework isn’t a concern whatsoever. Hannah Alpert, a senior involved in the Cosmetology Program at Orange County BOCES, expressed the relief of stress she has had after joining the program. Hannah shared that “since it’s a field the student is most likely interested in, the work is more fun than it is a chore."   It appears that Hannah used to dread the piles of homework she received every night. Now that the homework she is assigned is something she is interested in, she does not mind it a bit. 

Stress is a serious issue that goes on in high schools all over the world, and much of this stems from schoolwork outside of the classroom.  Of course, it is good to have a little bit of a refresher outside of the class, but kids can be overwhelmed with the amount of work given, and end up not doing any of it.  Hopefully a compromise can be made to help alleviate some of the stress students are feeling!



New Generation Dance is ready to crack open the Christmas season with their annual Nutcracker show.  The entire dance studio has been working hard since September for this spectacular production. On Sunday, December 2nd, at 3:00, the NGD dance studio will be shining on the Washingtonville High School stage. For just 20 dollars for adults and 15 dollars for children who are 15 years old and under, anyone can watch all the hard work the talented young ladies have put forth at the 11th annual Christmas in New York!

Every year the dance studio puts on a performance for the community to enjoy.  They put many hours of work into the show to make it as perfect as possible.  Usually, the recital takes place towards the end of  December but, this year it had to be pushed forward by two whole weeks!  Due to the fact that Washingtonville High School's play Elf  is also on the horizon, the Mask and Mime Club needed the space on the stage to practice as well. This left no other option but to move the Nutcracker up.

Performing a show earlier than planned is a lot more complicated than one might think.  The girls of NGD, along with their teachers, have been working arduously everyday to get all of the dances and props ready on time. Moving up a big show like this means longer rehearsals and also a lot of stress that comes along with them. 

It was not only the dancers who were stressed out, but the dance instructors were feeling the pressure as well.  Mrs. Danielle shared her feelings about how she dealt with the show being moved up. “We have added more rehearsals and the girls had to come in the Saturday after Thanksgiving when they usually have off.  We ran through all their dances during these classes and they have all been giving me 110% effort each time which is very helpful.”  Even with all the stress and pressure, each of the girls stepped up to the challenge and put in an admirable effort and passionate dedication to make this production the best one yet. 

There are many memorable characters in The Nutcracker.  The main roll of Clara, who will be  performed by Cassie Nimmo, is one that people are very excited to see.  She expressed how excited she is to be able to have the experience of being a lead.  Her favorite part of all of this is seeing how the whole show comes together so nicely at the end and how well everyone bonds during the rehearsals. 

Come out and support the New Generation Dance girls by buying a ticket for the show on  Friday, December 30th after school in the High School auditorium or at the door on Sunday.  There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by watching a Christmas production. 



An athletic contest consisting of swimming, cycling and long distance running sounds like a nightmare for most, but for Owen Rowlands it is something he really loves to do.  While many Wizards know Owen as an extremely talented swimmer, they may not know he has also been competing in triathlons since he was 11 years old and travels to races far and wide in order to take part.  As a nationally ranked triathlete, Owen Rowlands is truly making a name for himself in the world of competitive sports.

Triathlon history dates back to the early 1970s and originated with the San Diego Track Club. The triathlon was designed to be an alternative to hard track training and can be an individual or team event. 

People are not surprised when they discover Owen's passion for the sport.  His friend from the swim team, London Cuevas, has known him since their freshman year and was not shocked one bit that Owen participated in triathlons. "Owen has always been a hard worker in practice so it was no surprise to me that he took it up a few notches by doing probably one of the hardest sports." Owen enjoys this form of competition more than swimming but, sadly, there are only triathlon teams for women in college. 

Once the varsity swim season is over, Owen begins his training. "I have to do at least  two aspects of the race a day.  Usually I swim everyday and alternate between biking and running each day. I train upwards of four hours a day." He claimed that his talents in each category are rather well rounded, however, the running tends to be more difficult. This past summer he competed in sprint distance triathlons. A sprint distance triathlon is a ½ mile swim, a 12.4 mile bike, a 3.1 mile run. Next summer he will take on the challenge of  Olympic distance triathlons which is a 0.93 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run. 

Taking on such a difficult feat may seem intimidating to most and competing definitely takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. Owen shared that his main motivation is “to accomplish his  goals each season and his ultimate goal of competing at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii." With many accomplishments already under his belt, it is very inspiring that Owen continues toward his goals. With a mindset like this, Owen is capable of accomplishing all he sets out to do. Good luck to him in his further competitions! 



As it gets colder outside and snowflakes fall from the pitch black sky, the light from St. Mary’s CYO shines bright through the darkness. High school students walk in the doors of the building with the distinct “CYO smell” filling up their noses.  Although it smells like feet and sweat, this aroma means the most wonderful time of the year is upon us: Rec. Season.

The Blooming Grove Recreational Basketball League is a competitive basketball organization in Washingtonville in which many of the high school students participate.  Games are held once a week at St. Mary’s CYO, usually on Wednesdays.  Almost always composed of four teams, the league consists of about 40 players of junior and senior athletes. Each week, there are two games: the first at eight o’clock and the second at nine.  In total throughout the season, there are about 16 games with two rounds of playoffs where all  four teams compete for the coveted championship. 

At the end of every season, before the playoffs are underway, various awards are given out to the players. Such awards include Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Fan Favorite.  After not having one last year, the Offensive Player of the Year award will be returning this year due to many requests.  One of the leading candidates for MVP and OPOY this year, Kieran Justiniano, explained, “Honestly, I’m very excited for the rec. season to start… last year was a disappointment because my team did not win at all. This year my goal is to be the best player I can be and to win this chip!”

Benjamin W. Sorensen, an experienced rec. veteran, has been looking forward to this season ever since the last one ended.  “For this up and coming, as well as my final season, I have been working every single day to better myself on the court. I have been hitting the weight room frequently and running track to get my fitness up.  This is all the extra work besides what I do on the court. Three nights a week I have professional one on one training to best prepare me for the season.” 

While rec. is a  very competitive league where everyone wants to win, there is no shortage of fun moments and comedy.  Sorensen explained, “My favorite thing about rec. is having fun with my friends and making the crowd laugh.  Rec. is a nice place to spend time with friends and have fun, but in a competitive environment doing what we love to do.”  Now, don’t let his attitude fool you; Benjamin is planning on ending his senior season with a bang. “Personally, I cannot say enough about how well I am going to do this season.  I plan on dropping at least 30 points per game and anything less than an MVP and the league championship will be a disappointment for me. People have big expectations for me, and I am ready to live up to them!"

This season should be an exciting and interesting one as everyone is ready to compete and have fun! Everyone come see the games Wednesday nights at eight and nine o’clock, and follow the official Instagram account, @bgrecball, for information on the league and weekly highlights!



On Saturday November 17th, members from the Community Service Club (CSC) at  Washingtonville High School volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh was founded in October of 1999 by a group of dedicated volunteers who shared a desire to revive the neighborhood's of Newburgh and help local hard-working, low-income families help themselves create stability and self-reliance. Habitat Newburgh is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes.

In an effort to help, students demonstrated their hard-work by demolishing houses. Students and other volunteers were provided with the proper equipment to begin the demolition, and were thoroughly successful.  Volunteers removed flooring both upstairs and downstairs in the home, and  removed old ceilings as well.  The goal of this project is to build and improve places to call home.

Member of the CSC, senior Mary Gannon, volunteered her time on Saturday. She expressed, “Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity was an incredible experience. I think a lot of people feel the need to go to Guatemala and build houses or improve schools in order to make the world a better place, but people don’t realize that they can start right in their community.” She went on to say, “I am happy that the work done through Habitat has an immediate impact on people in our community.” Everyone can do something to make it possible for another family to have a decent place to live. 

Those who volunteered were nothing less than satisfied with their success. CSC member, Julia McNeilly, stated, “I would define my experience volunteering for Habitat Newburgh as inspirational and eye opening.  It made me realize that there are people in our community that don’t have a home, and that I have the ability to help improve their situation.” She added, “The whole experience is awesome and all the people are so welcoming because you get to spend the day with friends giving back to the community.” It is so important for anybody who was the opportunity to volunteer to participate. The experience is exhilarating and helps open the eyes of those who are more fortunate.

There are countless volunteer opportunities through Habit Newburgh where individuals can directly affect those they serve. A decent place to live can remove barriers for opportunity, success, and health that might have been part of a family's life for years, if not generations. Research also indicates that families who own their own homes spend more time and money to improve their neighborhoods and take a more active role in the community.

There will be another opportunity for students to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in early spring. Students must be 16 years or older and have a signed permission slip from a parent.  Parents are welcome to volunteer as well.  A little bit of help will go a long way! 

Thursday, November 15, 2018



If you are reading this article from the comfort of your home, it could be because the long awaited first snow day of the school year is finally upon us. If that is the case, grab your cup of cocoa, sit by the fire, and read about how the day has impacted the student body and faculty of Washingtonville High School.

Mrs. Thirsk eagerly anticipates her first snow day.

While snow days, in the moment, are magnificent most people do not think about the repercussions that taking too many of them might bring.  In the 2017-18 school year, the Washingtonville Central School District used up all of their allotted snow days which, in turn, shortened spring break by one day.  Needless to say, students and faculty alike were not thrilled.

From students to faculty, members of the Washingtonville community are constantly refreshing their twitter feeds for an updated percentage on the delays, early dismissals, and closings of school from an alleged weather specialist: Ben Noll. Ben Noll is an intellect that sends out tweets on his account to inform people about the upcoming weather advisories and his opinion about the chance of closings and delays.  He has become somewhat of a celebrity in the neighboring communities because of his, usually pretty accurate, predictions.

This past week, Ben Noll tweeted that there would be a “40-50% (low-medium) chance for early dismissals Thursday” and this was all people needed to become extremely excited.  That same day, Ben sent out a tweet proclaiming that there was a “60-70% (medium-high) chance for school closures or delays Friday."  To add even more fuel to the fire, Ben updated his percentages which sky rocketed the excitement from his followers. He just recently tweeted, “With a late-week winter storm on deck, #HudsonValley impact %’s continue to slide up."  According to him, “Thursday 35% early dismissal, 90% activities cancelled” and on Friday “70% closing, 90% delay."

As these numbers continue to increase, students are getting more enthusiastic and plan ahead for how they will spend their day watching the snow fall. Vincent Martello, a senior at Washingtonville High School, expressed his favorite part of snow days are “waking up to the phone call from the school, or my mom letting me know there’s no school and then looking outside to see everything covered in white.” Vincent spends his snow days shoveling and snow blowing for two to three hours, followed by resting and watching movies.

Mrs. Thirsk, an English teacher at Washingtonville, exclaimed her eagerness for this snowy day off.  She expressed that she has as much excitement as the students do because, “What’s not to love?” Mrs. Thirsk spends her days reading books by the fire and enjoying her time off while she can.  

Students and faculty continue to buzz about this upcoming Thursday and Friday’s winter weather advisory. Put on your snow boots, Wizard Nation, and get ready for a crazy winter season. Hopefully you truly will be reading this article from the comfort of your home.  Stay warm Wizards!



With the seniors' experiences at Washingtonville High School soon coming to an end, everyone has been looking forward to making memories one last time with the class of 2019, that one last trip to solidify the class as a whole and bring students closer than ever before.  Although June is a long way off, the final year at WHS for these students will be over in  the blink of an eye. Great Escape in Lake George will soon be getting a taste of how fun and energetic the class of 2019 really is. 

On Friday June 7th, the seniors  of Washingtonville High School will be departing the school at 1:00 and heading up to Lake George for one of their last adventures together.  The list of activities during the trip goes on with exciting events planned out from 12:00pm all the way to 3:00 am. The exhilarating plans for the seniors include a foam dance party with a live DJ, the White Water Boy Indoor Water Park, a hypnotist, movies being shown, and an arcade! Don’t worry. Parents will feel at ease because there will be professional security at the hotel during all of these times to ensure everyone's safety. 

Class president, Ben Sorenson, is thrilled that there was enough money raised in the past three years of fundraising to make this trip possible. Ben expressed, “I think that the outcome of the trip will be fantastic.  Great Escape is an awesome amusement park and the park and hotel is restricted to only seniors for the night so it should be a lot of fun.  It will be a huge success and a great high school memory, as long as there are 80 people signed up in order to make it happen.” 

There were a few steps taken along the way to choose a perfect spot for this amazing adventure. The 2019 class advisor, Mrs. Krogslund, along with the class officers, narrowed the choices down of places to go then posted a survey on google classroom to allow the students to vote on which location they wanted visit.  Surely, Great Escape won and the students could not be happier!

Senior, Lindsey Tonkin, explained, “I am most looking forward to being able to bond with, not only my friends, but other classmates I don't normally get to talk to or hangout with. I also am very excited to be able to be there to celebrate my 18th birthday with all the fun activities they have planned.”

With the price of a mere $200 per student, which covers all expenses of the hotel and most food, the class is hoping that 80 people will sign up and hand in their $50 deposit by December 12th. Seniors, spread the word and help the class create amazing memories for one last time!



Although most are dreaming of snow days and Thanksgiving turkeys, some students of Washingtonville already have their minds on set on March: the Masque and Mime crew. Mask and Mime is Washingtonville High School’s drama program. They put on anywhere from three to five different productions that range from straight plays to musicals, as well as talent shows and a catered Cabaret Night throughout the year.

The spring musical is quickly approaching and, despite the fact that the casting board has not yet decided which show it will be, everyone is still very excited. This is the largest production Mask and Mime puts on each year. The full length show involves singing, dancing and acting. Thinking about auditioning? The auditions take place at the end of December, a week after the winter musical. Make sure to listen closely to the announcements and attend the informational meeting on Monday, December 12th. 

The process of auditioning is extremely intense.  In order to audition, students must memorize a monologue and song for the role they would like.  Along with that, students will learn some pieces of choreography that need to be perfected come audition day. Friday, December 14th will be the first day of the auditions, where students will sing their song selection, perform their monologue, and dance for the audition panel. On Saturday, some students may be invited to the school for "callbacks."  Callbacks are when certain students need to be more closely examined for what part they might be right for.  The Masque and Mime advisor, Ms. Denaro, ensures that “everyone who auditions has a part in the show, but callbacks help ensure that everyone is cast in the best possible spot for the show."  She went on to explain that the highly anticipated "cast list will then be posted on Monday, 12/17, and rehearsals will begin after winter break.”

What is great about Washingtonville's Masque & Mime Club is that everyone is accepted.  Ms. Denaro expressed, “I want students who audition to know that there is a place for everyone in Masque & Mime. We are a welcoming group that is eager for more fresh talent, so anyone who likes performing should come out to our spring musical auditions.  She also wants students to know that, "the entire casting board has been in those shoes before--myself and my co-director less than a decade ago.  We know how nerve-wracking putting yourself out there on stage can be. But all of that goes away once you start rehearsing, and the amazing feeling of putting on a show is something you can't top. So its all worth it!”

Alex Lombardo has been in many of the school’s productions and was Miss Dorothy Brown in last year's spring musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie." Her advice to someone new is “Don’t be afraid to show who you are. Performing is an amazing way to do so and everyone in Mask and Mime is so accepting and friendly.  We are all there because we share the same love for the arts.  Never feel afraid to get involved!”

Mask and Mime pro, Richard DiVirgilio, has some good advice for new members. “Plan your time wisely, and savor every moment on stage. Being a part of the spring musical is very time consuming, but it is definitely worth it. It is about growing, learning and performing!”

If the auditorium is the one place in the school where you feel at home, do not miss out on the amazing opportunity to be a part of Washingtonville High School’s Mask and Mime! Also make sure to check out their winter production of Elf Junior on December 7th and 8th. 



Here at Washingtonville High School, an organization called "Safe Homes" has enacted the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program (MVP).  This is an evidence-based, age-appropriate and engaging bystander approach to preventing violence. The goals of MVP include raising awareness, challenging thinking, opening dialogue and inspiring leadership. 

Statistically speaking, roughly 1.5 million high school boys and girls in the United States alone admit to being intentionally hit or physically harmed in the last year by someone they are romantically involved with. Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior.

Safe Homes of Orange County has played a very big role in contributing to the prevention of dating violence and educating teenagers on how to report their violence. The mission of Safe Homes is to work toward the elimination of intimate partner violence, teen dating violence, and trafficking by providing comprehensive support services to victims and their children, and by increasing public awareness about these issues. 

Through the implementation of workshops in high schools, students partner with trained mentors to talk about the importance of preventing and dealing with dating violence, as it is often overlooked in discussions. Workshops include an overview of warning signs, what teen dating violence is, and how to get support for someone who is experiencing abuse in a relationship. 

The advisor of the program, social worker Ms. O’Sullivan, plays a key role in instructing the program at the high school. She expressed, “In teen dating, it is very easy for the lines between what is healthy and unhealthy to become blurred, especially with technology--monitoring someone's social media accounts or going through their phone can be seen as normal behavior, when it is, in fact, very controlling and a red flag for an abusive relationship. MVP challenges students to think about this and to challenge their own beliefs.” In addition, MVP is used to promote setting boundaries, consent, and the knowledge of what keeps a healthy relationship together. 

Another active member of the program, social worker Mr. Saladino, stated, “MVP helps teens define what a healthy relationship looks like. I really like that the program focuses on the ‘bystander’ model, empowering participants to take on leadership roles in their schools and communities. He went on to say, “The ‘bystander’ approach focuses on individuals not as perpetrators or victims, but rather as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers and support abused ones.”  Safe Homes does an impeccable job educating teenagers on how to speak up for themselves, as well as aiding participants in finding the warning signs that may indicate they are in an abusive relationship. 

Safe Homes has not yet released the workshop dates, but it will likely begin in March. The eight week program will be held after school. Students who successfully complete the program get a certificate and community service hours.  Join the program and help make a change! 



“I constantly push myself to do better than I did yesterday,” expressed Tom Maddox.  A senior at Washingtonville High School, Tom is one of the most accomplished athletes to grace the halls of WHS.  Some may even claim that he is one of the best athletes to ever come out of Washingtonville. This season, Tom has a chance to do something very special, something he has been working for his whole life: the chance to be a state champion. 

“My goal for this season is nothing short of a state title,” declared Maddox, a three time all-section wrestler. “Also, [I want] to get my 100th career win and, of course, be a great teammate who constantly pushes and supports my teammates to get better every day, so we can be one of the most improved teams in the section.”  Last season, Tom was one of the most dominant wrestlers in the section.  He had 21 pins, 4 tech falls and 4 majors.  For those unfamiliar with the sport, a pin is when a wrestler puts an opponent on his back ending the match early, while a tech fall is when a wrestler wins by 15 points.  A major is when one wins by 8 points.

One of the biggest parts of Tom’s success is his self motivation and unmatched work ethic.  Each morning he reads a Bible verse to prepare himself for the day: “The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that is coming.” Along with that, Tom sets reminders on his phone to show up on his lock screen at different points in the day to constantly remind him of his goals and what he needs to do in order to accomplish them. 

Brandon Bobe, Washingtonville’s most recent section champion, voices, “Honestly, Tom is one of the very few people I’ve seen with a high level work ethic...” Having graduated in the class of 2017, Bobe was teammates with Tom for the 2016-17 season. “...I’ve personally seen him grow from a little kid into one of the best wrestlers in New York State, and it’s all because of his drive and work ethic.”

Behind every successful person is a support system. Tom’s biggest support system are his coaches and parents, but especially his parents.  Maddox claimed, “Without my Mom and Dad I don’t think I could do it.  They buy me the right things to eat, help me meal plan, as well as drive me around the country for national tournaments, and they help me find ways to get better.” 

Tom also has two coaches that he especially looks up to, one being Coach Lee, the head coach of the Washingtonville Varsity Wrestling team, “Coach Lee has shown me the mental side of wrestling, how to push myself, and he has always been a great role model to look up to. He has given me the ‘dominate all’ mindset,” voices Maddox.  The other is Coach Ricky Scott, the coach of Tom’s club wrestling team based out of Newburgh.  “My club coach Ricky Scott is a great influence in my life, as well as one who will help me with the process of getting ready to compete at a D1 school next year,” revealed Maddox.  With Tom’s talent and attitude in wrestling, it is very fortunate he has found such great mentors and supporters.

So far, all of Tom’s hard work has paid off.  This past week he committed to wrestle at the University of Buffalo, making him the first ever Division 1 wrestler to come out of Washingtonville.  “Honestly, it gives me more confidence and motivation to do better heading into this season,”  explained Maddox, “ has taken a lot of stress off my mind and given me time to strictly focus on the business I need to take care of on the mat this season.” UB has given Tom scholarship incentives, with the state championship being the grand prize,  giving him just another reason to accomplish his mission.

Even with all that Tom has accomplished so far, he is far from finished. His motivation to become a state champion is unmatched, and it shows no signs of slowing down.  With all that said, good luck to Tom and the rest of the Varsity Wrestling team this season!

Thursday, November 8, 2018



As students walk through the crowded hallways of Washingtonville High School, they can’t help but notice all of the unique outfits people put together. Whether it is the attire of a self proclaimed fashionista or that of a student athlete, the student body in WHS is lucky enough to be allowed to choose how they would like to present and express themselves through clothing. 

High school is a place for students to find out who they are and while doing this, experimenting with expressing themselves through clothing might just be the key. Celine Lewandowski, often seen wearing dresses and tall boots, feels that “dressing nice is something I like because it’s a first impression. I’m just really into fashion in general.” 

First impressions are important when people want to express who they are to other people. As Celine walks the halls, she wants to be noticed and wants her peers to be aware of the time and effort she puts into looking nice everyday. Celine is usually dressed to her best ability, whether she wearing the latest shoes, or putting together an uncommon, but classy outfit. When Celine wakes up in the morning, her favorite part of the day is making her outfit better than the last. 

On that note, Joseph Isseks, a student athlete, represents himself a bit differently as he roams the hallways and feels “having the freedom to wear our own clothes allows us to express ourselves and show our individuality.” Joseph feels comfortable because he can, in fact, wear what he wants and be who he wants to be. At the time of his interview, Joseph was wearing athletic shorts and a comfortable long sleeve tee.

Like many students of WHS, Joseph is comfortable on an everyday basis because he is wearing what makes him happy. He is content with his choices and does not feel the need to wear something that will make others notice him. He is always wearing what he wants to and is very diverse; whether he is wearing his athletic clothing or he’s dressed up for the day, Joseph is confident and secure.  

Former student and current fashion teacher of Washingtonville High School, Mrs. Stringer, expressed her view on students' attire by explaining, “As students draw the clothing on their fashion figures, their own personal creativity and feelings about clothing shines through and it is evident what they find inspirational and interesting when it comes to clothing.” Mrs. Stringer consistently brings the creative aspect to children through clothing. She strives to find each and every child’s inner creativity. 

People do not realize the amount of freedom they really have until they witness people that are not so fortunate. Burke Catholic High School, for instance, is a place where students have to wear a uniform to school everyday.  These students never get the opportunity to wear what makes them unique. This is probably why ninety percent of students responded that they would rather wear what pleases them. Students have countered that the thought of school uniforms is less welcoming in a school environment.  

Hopefully, Washingtonville students realize how lucky they are to be able to have the freedom to choose what they wear.



During the holiday season, many people look for ways to help those who are less fortunate as there are so many that do not have enough food or money to feed their families.  The Community Service Club at Washingtonville High School is no exception.  The members of this benevolent club are always looking for ways to better the community.  Each year, without fail, they hold a food drive that helps to make the season bright for so many members of Wizard Nation.

The Community Service Club was created in 2002 by Mrs. Wurster in an effort to introduce her students to Habitat For Humanity in Newburgh.  After this excursion, our Wizards wanted to get involved in making an impact, so they expanded the club.  Ms. Frey joined the club in 2007 as a second advisor as did Mrs. Angelillo.  

The idea to hold an annual food drive was derived in 2009 when many club members started volunteering at the local food pantry on a regular basis; they wanted to help the families that relied on the organization as much as possible, especially during the holidays.

This year’s food drive will begin on Tuesday, November 13th and will continue until Friday, November 16th. There will be drop boxes to collect food to give to the less fortunate. These boxes can be found at the high school in the main office, the athletic office, the library and the front desk. The club will be looking for non-perishable food items and also foods that are Thanksgiving related. 

Once the boxes are collected, the club members will be making full Thanksgiving meals in decorative baskets.  Our school’s social workers will then be delivering them to the families in the school district that need them most.  All donated items that are not used for the food baskets will be given to the County Kids Food Pantry. 

One of the club advisors, Ms. Frey, expressed the joy it brings her being able to help the school and community during these times. “It’s been really gratifying knowing that we are not only helping locally through the food pantry, but that we are helping really locally in the school.”  Mrs. Frey went on to say, “I don’t know who the specific students or families who get the food are, as it is all anonymous, but it is just nice to know that it is students helping students and staff helping students and their families during this time period.” 

Senior, Meaghan King, who is a part of the National Honor Society, is very excited to donate cans of food this upcoming week. Meaghan emphasized why she is so excited to donate. “I plan to donate because I know it’s for a good cause.  This is so important to me because there are so many families that need our help.  Without people stepping up and donating, these families during the holidays will be short of food and I always want to give people all that I can to help out their situations.” 

Another school that is participating in the food drive is Round Hill Elementary. They are collecting non-perishable foods as well during the week of November 5th. Their drive will be ending on November 16th.  To donate food to Round Hill, send food items in with students. 

It doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time to make a big difference in the lives of others.  Every donation counts.  Not only will donating help others and make you feel good, students can also obtain a community service hour for every five items of food donated.