September 6, 2019
As the new class of freshmen arrived at Rockland High School they were greeted with a new program designed to welcome and assist them. The HYPE Program (Helping Your Peers Excel) consists of twenty-three RHS juniors and seniors who will be mentors to the freshmen. The junior and senior mentors, selected after an in-depth application process, signed a contract in which they agreed to commit fully to checking in with their assigned freshmen at least once a month and also to respond to any emails, or texts they receive from their mentees.
The mentors went through training on August 14, a week before the Freshmen Orientation Night on August 21. In the training they learned what they should expect with the program. They also went through multiple scenarios to practice and improve their leadership skills. At the open house freshmen met their mentors and accompanied them on a tour of the building.
Mrs. Adrienne Donovan, Family Consumer Science teacher at Rockland High and the faculty advisor to the mentor program, explained the initial reason for instituting the program. “We wanted to provide a sort of bridge between junior and senior high, so that people could have a ‘familiar face’ when they enter their freshman year.” Mrs. Donovan compared the mentoring program to a “group hug that has many benefits.”
Mrs. Donovan says the need for a program that provided guidance to the freshman class has been talked about for almost two years. With the help of staff and Principal John Harrison, it finally became a reality in this 2019-2020 school year.
Dr. Harrison said, “The Freshmen Mentoring Program is an opportunity for us to create a more supportive community where our upperclassmen are taking care of our new students.”
Along with the benefits to the incoming freshmen there are many positives to the program for the mentors. Senior Tyler Johnson said, “So far, this program has been beneficial to me as well. I have learned so much about how to be a better leader and I have met a lot of the new freshmen.” Johnson explained, “I feel as if I have just the right number of freshmen to mentor. Although I am mentoring eight freshmen, I am able to do group and individual conversations or activities with my mentees. It also helps them feel comfortable talking to me, knowing that they have their peers there as well.”
Senior mentor, Elizabeth McGaffigan described how Dr. Harrison came to her last year and encouraged her to apply. So far she’s very happy she did. McGaffigan says she is looking forward to continuing to help the freshmen through their first year and preparing for sophomore year.
Mentors will be contacting their mentees at least one time per month. They are also encouraged to have informal conversations with their freshmen and create a friendship with them to make them feel welcome. Freshmen can contact their mentors any time with questions or issues they need help with.
Dr. Harrison said, “My hope for the program is that each freshman feels connected to an upperclassman student.”
The first meeting for the Veritas after school club will be on Weds, Sept. 4 at 2:35 in Rm. 124. We are looking for an editor-in-chief, a sports editor, and a website editor, along with photographers and reporters.
A team approach will be used to get the newspaper and website together but you can come up with your own ideas and work on them at a pace that fits your schedule.
Editorial positions are open to everyone who would like to apply. Those who have written for the paper before will receive preference as editors, but anyone is welcome to apply to be an editor.
All students can write or take pictures for the paper, including freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.
We hope to see you on Wednesday!
Many high school groups are gearing up to hit the ground running when school opens on August 26 with camps, sports practices and freshmen mentor trainings.
Here’s a list of some of the dates.
Freshmen Mentor Training – August 14
Band Camp August 14-17
Football Workouts Begin- August 16
Student Government Camp August 19-22
New Student and Freshmen Orientation Night -Weds. August 21 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Fall Sports Begin / Meet the Coaches Night 6 p.m. – August 22
The Freshmen Mentor training for upperclassmen on August 14 was held in preparation for the New Student and Freshmen Orientation Night that will take place on Weds. August 21 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Principal John Harrison and teacher Adrienne Donovan conducted training sessions for the students who were selected to be mentors.
At the orientation on August 21 freshmen and their families will get an overview of what to expect in high school from the the students’ point of view. Freshmen will meet their mentors and will be able to tour the building and ask questions about various aspects of high school life. Check back to the Veritas website for more details about this new and exciting program that will help freshmen to have a successful first year at RHS.
Band Director John Piazza is leading the way at Band Camp which goes from August 14th to the 17th. The camp prepares members for the many activities of the upcoming year, including their half-time shows at the football games.
New advisor of Student Government Council, middle school social studies teacher, Kirsten MacDonald and assistant advisor, high school social studies teacher, Greg Rowe will be coordinating with the council leaders, Katie Buckey, Maddie Gear, Miku Yoshioka, Tyler Gambon, and Greta Russo, to get things ready for the many activities that the SGC does throughout the school year. SGC camp will be held from August 19-22.
The football team began work-outs on Friday, August 16 while all the fall sports will get underway with their try-outs and practices on August 22. Athletes, make sure that all the paperwork is in so that you’ll be ready for the first day! Check with coaches for the schedule of practices for your team.
There will also be a Meet the Coaches night on August 22 at 6 pm at the high school. This night is for parents to meet the coaches, learn their expectations, and get the practice schedules. Mr. Graziano will start the night off in the auditorium and then teams will break up where coaches will address parents.
Click here for the fall sports schedule.
June 11, 2019
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief
RHS Principal John Harrison and the RHS staff are promoting the new summer reading program. With the new program, you may choose a book from the list and then complete a Photo Essay Prompt (see below). You can then submit your thoughtful and complete photo essays in September and you will be considered for Bulldog prizes!
Beyond the prizes is the benefit of reading which RHS teachers and administration encourage students to continue to do over the summer. Gabriella Gambon who is going into her sophomore year sees the benefits of reading during the summer. She said, “I think that it helps me keep my brain thinking when I’m not in school.” Her brother Tyler, who will be a senior and taking four AP courses, also sees the benefits. He said, “It’s beneficial because it keeps us engaged.” He added, “This year I like that it is optional since many of us already have summer work for AP.”
Photo Essay Prompt:
In each novel, characters triumph over adversity to find and define their own sense of community. In a photo essay, show what you define as a community and relate it to a conflict or character within the book you chose.
The photo essay should have a minimum of 5 photographs with notations. The purpose of the photo essay assignment is to allow you to express your reaction to an essay prompt through visuals. Notations should only be one sentence long and can be in the form of a question or comment about their image. Completed photo essays should be emailed to Mr. Harrison (firstname.lastname@example.org) by September 3, 2019.
Here is an example of a completed photo essay provided by Mr. Harrison
In addition to selecting one of the summer reading selections below, don’t forget to complete any additional summer homework assignments that you have been assigned for Honors or Advanced Placement courses.
Here are the choices for summer reading!
The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es is an astonishment, a deeply moving reckoning with a young girl’s struggle for survival during World War II, a story about the powerful love of foster families but also the powerful challenges, and about the ways our most painful experiences define us but also can be redefined, on a more honest level, even many years after the fact. A triumph of subtlety, decency and unflinching observation, The Cut Out Girl is a triumphant marriage of many keys of writing, ultimately blending them into an extraordinary new harmony, and a deeper truth.
Please Stop Laughing at Me, author Jodee Blanco tells how school became a frightening and painful place, where threats, humiliation, and assault were as much a part of her daily experience as bubblegum and lip-gloss were for others. It is an unflinching look at what it means to be an outcast, how even the most loving parents can get it wrong, why schools struggle, and how bullying is often misunderstood and mishandled.
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman. After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in Hed, take in that fact. Amidst the mounting tension between the two rivals, a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach. Bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez – After their daughter Maribel suffers a near-fatal accident, the Riveras leave México and come to America. But upon settling in Delaware, they discover that Maribel’s recovery will not be easy. Every task seems to confront them with language, racial, and cultural obstacles. At Redwood also lives Mayor Toro, a high school sophomore whose family arrived from Panamá fifteen years ago. Mayor sees in Maribel something others do not. But as the two grow closer, violence casts a shadow over all their futures in America.
Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Warm – Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.
Cape Verdean Blues by Shauna Barbosa– The speaker in Cape Verdean Blues is an oracle walking down the street. Shauna Barbosa interrogates encounters and the weight of their space. Grounded in bodily experience and the phenomenology of femininity, this collection provides a sense of Cape Verdean identity. It uniquely captures the essence of “Sodade,” as it refers to the Cape Verdean American experience, and also the nostalgia and self-reflection one navigates through relationships lived, lost, and imagined.
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffiin– One photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, entangles and changes the lives of two families: the Brownings and Volpes. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame. At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green –Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship, April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new life brings.
Educated by Tara Westover – Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. Lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt – Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.
**Please note summaries are courtesy of GoodReads.
Accessing Summer Reading Books:
Most of the books are accessible in digital format from Boston Public Library. Register for an ecard to rent the digital copy.
Once you have registered, search for the title you’d like to read at the Boston Public Library website. If there’s a waitlist for the book, fret not! There are multiple copies so the book should be available soon. Simply sign up for the waitlist at the beginning of the summer, then you will be notified when the book is yours to read.
Have a great summer everyone!
June 11, 2019
Underclassmen were recognized on Weds. June 5 at the annual awards night. Following is a list of the award recipients.
National Leadership Award (formerly I Dare You Award) – Madeline Gear
Rensselaer Medal Scholarship Award – Mathematics and Science – Tyler Gambon
High Honors Three Terms This Year: Grade 11 – Jad Bendarkawi, Kathryn Buckley, Julia Yeadon; Grade 10 – Cullen Rogers; Grade 9 – Ngan Nguyen
St. Michael’s College Book Award – Tyler Johnson, Hannah Wyllie
Academic Excellence Certificates and Academic Letters:
Juniors: Sean Belmonte, Nicolle Ligia Gudiel Winter, Bryce Taylor
Sophomores: Jared Allen, Devin Cavicchi, Julia De Lima, Gianna Gervasi, Grace Henry, Bridget Hughes, Robert Ivil III, Chloe Jones, Russell Jones, Ann Kelley, Alexxys MacDonald, Joseph Nguyen, Althea Olsen, Cullen Rogers, Zachary Solomon
Boys State – Tyler Gambon, Mathew Bruzzese
Girls State – Kathryn Buckley, Nicolle Ligia Gudiel Winter
Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Award – Nijaya Oehlschlagel
Mass STAR Youth Leadership Award – Grace Henry
RHS Global Ambassador Program Award – Madeline Gear
Academic Achievement Awards
Gr. 10 Rebecca Killion
Gr. 11. Lydia McWilliams, Bryce Taylor
Gr. 9 Grace Condon
Gr. 10 Damon Welles
Gr. 11 Oliver Reera
Gr. 10 Mariana O’Connor
Gr. 11 Erin Kearns
Gr.9. Emilee Scannell
Gr.10. Cullen Rogers
Gr.11. Lara Glennon
FAMILY CONSUMER SCIENCE
Gr.9. Victoria Crowley, Julia Elie
Gr. 10 Beatriz Quirino, Thorn Annis
Gr. 11 Jason Sahn, Lauren Buker
Gr.9. Leah Leonard, Maria Pala
Gr.10 Julia De Lima
Gr. 11 Kathryn Buckley
Gr.9. Abigail Spengler
Gr.10. Hissam Dubois
Gr. 11 Kerin Dalton
Gr. 9 Skyler Hitchcock
Gr.9. Olivia Jones
Gr.11. Caroline Elie
Gr.9 Kathleen Nee, Ngan Nguyen
Gr. 10 Zachary Solomon, Emily Gaboriault
Gr. 11 Philip Pattison, Haley Nee
Gr. 10 Allison Whitman, Nicholas Leander
Gr.11. Mia Comeau
Gr.9. Jordan Stec, Kevin Matos Donorato Soares Campos
Gr. 10 Jonah Pishkin
Gr. 11 Madeline Gear, Rachel Spano
Gr. 11 Jacob Willis
Gr. 10 multi-winners
Gr. 11 multi-winners
Gr.9. William Maynard-Pimentel, Max Huggins
Gr. 10 Patrick Moriarty, Thomas McSweeney
Gr. 11 Vitor Santos, Joseph Murray
Gr.9. Ava LaBollita: English, World Language/French, History/Social Science
Ramzey Youssef: Mathematics, History/Social Science
Callie Gillan: Art, Health
Gr. 10 Althea Olsen: English, Science
Jared Allen: World Language/French, History/Social Science
Russell Jones: Mathematics, History/Social Science
Devin Cavicchi: World Language/Spanish, Mathematics
Gr. 11 Tyler Johnson: English, Mathematics
Tyler Gambon: World Language/Spanish, History/Social Science
Nicolle Ligia Gudiel-Winter:World Language/French, History/Social Science
Owen Shea: Physical Education, Pre-Engineering/Robotics
OVERALL OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC ACHIEVER
Grade 9. Monalisa Almeida
Grade 10 Ann Kelley
Grade 11 Jad Bendarkawi
WRPS video from Hall of Fame Induction, June 5, 2019
The inductees were Elizabeth Damon Beecher- Class of 1942, Steven R. Magoun – 1984 and Leeza Connor Desjardins – Class of 1987.
Congratulations to our RHS Hall of Famers for 2019!
June 6, 2019
Last night three alumni were inducted into the Rockland High School Academic Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place before the annual Underclassmen Academic Awards presentations.
First to be recognized was Elizabeth Damon Beecher, a 1942 graduate of Rockland High School. Beecher, now 95 years old, was an honor roll student at RHS. She became a nurse after she graduated and trained at the Massachusetts Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Boston. When President Franklin Roosevelt created the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps in July, 1943 to quickly train new nurses after most of the nation’s registered nurses were sent overseas following the attack on Pearl Harbor, she was one of 180,000 women who enlisted. Beecher described these cadet nurses as the youngest and largest group of uniformed women to serve during wartime. Beecher served from 1943-1945 at public health service marine hospitals on Staten Island and in Boston, caring for wounded Coast Guard and Merchant Marine servicemen with head injuries and loss of limbs.
She credited her teachers in Rockland, including the school nurse and her junior high principal for inspiring her to follow her dream to become a nurse. Still active, Beecher is now working with U.S. Senate leaders to pass a bill that will give the Cadet Nurses veteran status and benefits.
Second to be inducted was Steven R. Magoun – Class of 1984. Magoun is a computer software entrepreneur. At RHS he was a member of the National Honor Society. After graduation, he went on to Northeastern University where he studied in the Khoury College of Computer and Information Sciences. He graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science along with a minor in business. While at Northeastern, he did a co-op with the Boston Police Department and designed a computer software system that automated the department’s records. At the time the Boston Herald called him the “whiz kid” for his computer coding work.
While still a student at NU he started his own computer company called Softcode Inc. Softcode is now affiliated with Tyler Technologies, the largest software company in the country that focuses solely on computer systems for the public.
The third inductee was Leeza Connor Desjardins – Class of 1987, an art teacher at Nonnewaug HS in CT. At RHS Desjardins was active in many clubs and sports such as softball, cheerleading and the Volunteers in Peer Service. She received her degrees in art education from the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art College and the University of Southern Connecticut.
During her 25+ years as an art teacher. her students have won many awards for their art work. Desjardins has also won many awards for her teaching. Most impressively, in 2018 Desjardins received the 2018 Connecticut Art Education Association’s Secondary Art Teacher of the Year and the Association’s Art Teacher of the Year for the State of Connecticut. Desjardins credited her former art teachers at RHS, Donna Rossetti-Bailey and the late Pat Isaac for giving her the passion for art and for teaching art.
The Academic Hall of Fame was established in 1988 by then Guidance Director, Joseph Waisgerber. In the first “class” were astronaut Brian Duffy and author George Higgins. With last night’s inductees the Hall of Fame now has 98 members. Nominations for the Hall of Fame can be made by sending information to Assistant Principal Kathy Paulding at Rockland High School.
Each of four spring teams won their first round MIAA tournament games this week. Softball takes the field on Thursday hoping to make it five.
On Monday, the boys tennis team, in its first tournament since 1983, opened up at home with a 4-1 over Bishop Connolly. Tyler and Adam Beatrice, John Ellard and doubles team of Jake Harris and Olivier Reera all won their matches. The boys head into the quarterfinal round on Friday against the winner of today’s Dover-Sherborn vs. St. John Paul II match. The time and place will be determined. Rockland is seeded #8 in the tournament with its 12-4 regular season record.
On Tuesday, June 4, three teams got wins as the girls tennis, girls lacrosse and boys lacrosse teams all won their first round games at home.
The girls tennis team is seeded 5th in Division 3 South with a 14-3 record. They swept #12 St. John Paul II 5-0 in their first round match. They will now go up against Sturgis West on Thursday, June 6 at Cape Cod Community College at 4 pm in the quarterfinal round.
The girls lacrosse team played in the stadium at 6 pm against league rival Abington and came away with a 12-2 victory, their first ever tournament win! First year goalie Amelia Dalton played well in net. Rockland goals were scored by Flaherty(2) Blonde(4) Burns (2) and one each from Tsiantoulas, McSweeney, Rich, Gormley and Jones! The girls team is seeded 6th in Division 2 South with a regular season record of 13 wins and 3 losses. The girls will play the winner of Cohasset vs. Old Colony RVT on Saturday at a location and time to be determined.
The boys lacrosse team defeated Monomoy in the stadium by a score of 12-5. Rockland is seeded 8th in Division 3 South and will now take on #1 Norwell who are 17-1 in the quarterfinals at Norwell on Friday, June 7. According to the Patriot Ledger Evan Gormley and Lucas Leander led the offense while Cam Ryan,Mike Dutton, Nick Leander, Owen Shea and Mark Sprague played great games.
The girls softball team will open up their tournament run on Thursday June 7 at home. With a record of 14 wins and 4 losses, the girls are seeded #6 in Division 3 South. They will play #11 Rising Tide at 4 pm. Michaela Bruno, Ariana Pelletier and Molly Grass will lead the way for the Lady Dogs softball team.
May 28, 2019
Jasenia Cuocolo and Arianna Esposito, Veritas Staff
History teacher, Amanda Lanigan, is setting off on a new journey. This summer she is traveling to Sweden to earn a master’s degree in peace studies and conflict resolution at Uppsala University. She was nominated for the opportunity by an area Rotary Club after she addressed that group about her work with Worthy Village in Guatemala. For the past few years, RHS has sent students to Guatemala with Worthy Village to work with Guatemalans and help teach about hygiene and water filtration.
Part of her studies will be spent on an internship in another country putting what she has learned into action.
After her two years in Sweden, Ms Lanigan hopes to take her knowledge and apply it to everyday conflicts. “There’s lots of conflict in the world, so I’m sure I’ll be able to find somewhere to use it.”
She says she will miss her students during her leave of absence and has received cards from a few. She confesses, “It hasn’t really hit me yet, but when I start cleaning out my classroom I’ll probably start to get sad.”
After her two years in Sweden, Ms. Lanigan will return to RHS. She says, “I hope to apply what I’ve learned in Rockland and to be a better educator.”
June 4, 2019
At 7 p.m. on Friday May 31, 122 members of the Class of 2019 received their diplomas at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Class President John Ellard III first introduced Melissa Shaughnessy, the guest faculty speaker. Next, Ellard who is also Valedictorian of the class, gave his remarks to the class.
Principal John Harrison then addressed the class and the crowd before announcing the Citizens’ Scholarship awards to individual members of the class. The awards amounted to a total of $133,000.
Abigail Condon next presented the class gift to the school. Mathew Bruzzese, president of the junior class, accepted the gift of a new hydration station for the second floor of the high school.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Alan Cron and School Committee Chair JIl Maroney then addressed the class before the presentation of diplomas by Guidance Director Margie Black and Maroney.
May 30, 2019
The Veritas interviewed a few seniors on Wednesday, May 29 after they returned from visiting all the elementary schools. Those interviewed explained what their favorite moments or memories were at RHS and then left some advice for those remaining at RHS.
Arianna Esposito and Jasenia Cuocolo conducted the interviews.
The Senior Academic and Athletic Awards Night was held on Thursday, May 30. Highlighting the night was the awarding of the Valedictorian Award to Senior Class President John Ellard III. Ellard has been at the top of his class for four years at RHS.
Also honored were academic award winners in each of the disciplines as well as several multi-discipline awards.
Prior to the academic awards, scholarship awards were presented including the Patrick J. Sullivan Scholarship Award presented to Tyler Beatrice, and the “Good Guy”, Jared Lewis Quirk Memorial Scholarship presented to five seniors: David Castro, Sean Morrissey, Marissa Smith, Carolyn McCarthy, and Amelia Dalton. Castro also received the Christine and Robert Biggins Award presented by Daniel Biggins. Biggins, recently retired Rockland school committee chairman, encouraged all the seniors present to follow the Latin phrase, “per ardua ad astra.” He explained that his mother had often cited this to encourage him. The phrase means “through adversity to the stars.”
Highlighting the many athletic awards presented by athletic director Gary Graziano were the Silver Bowl winners including Tyler Beatrice, Evan Gormley, Madison Blonde, and Nicholas Blonde. A silver bowl is awarded to those who have won ten or more varsity letters in their high school careers.
All the academic, scholarship and athletic award winners are listed below.
The evening ended with the yearbook dedication to social studies teacher, Ms. Sandra Lombardi, read by class president John Ellard III.
The Woman’s Coaches Award a top female student-athlete – Ashley Murphy
The Vicki Solari Award for the most inspirational female athlete – Jenna Burns
The John Bell Bulldog Award for the female and male players who play over and above abilities – Taylor McSweeney and Peter Kohler.
The Louis Cifello Award for the most inspirational male athletes – Anthony DeCecco
The Warren Najarian Bulldog Pride Award recognizes the female and male athletes who never give up: Nicole Blonde and Sean Morrissey.
The John Delorey Awards for the female and male athletes who best exemplify sportsmanship: Angelina Vuong and Tyler Beatrice.
The Charles E. Leverone Award for the top male and top female track or cross country runner – Dylan Cleaves and Sarah Pollard.
Senior Female Athletic Award: the top senior female athlete – Madison Blonde.
The Peter J. Crowley Award: the top senior male athlete – Evan Gormley.
The Marion Mansfield Donovan Award for the top female student athlete – Madison Blonde
The Joseph Dondero Award –John Ellard in recognition of being the top male student athlete.
The Dr. Joseph Dunn Award, awarded to the top student athlete and football player – Matthew Markaski.
The Silver Bowl Winners -Tyler Beatrice, Evan Gormley, Madison Blonde, and Nicholas Blonde.
The Patrick J. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship – Tyler Beatrice
The Good Guy Scholarship in memory of Jared Lewis Quirk – David Castro, Amelia Dalton, Carolyn McCarthy, Marissa Smith,and Sean Morrissey
The Robert J. and Christine J. Biggins Courage Award – David Castro
The George and Betty Domigan Memorial Scholarship – Rebecca Mullen
The Specialist Matthew Pollini Memorial Scholarship – Justin Sherlock
The Rotary Club of Hanson/Rockland –Madison Blonde and Marissa Smith
The Skarbeck Bober Teacher Scholarship –Kaitlyn Diver
The Jimbo Award-Antonio Gilstrap
The John Mahoney Memorial Award- Kevin Jean-Poix
The Ed Sokolowski English Award –Leah Drago
The Reuben A. and Lizzie Grossman Foundation Award – Caitlyn Cameron and Tyler Beatrice
Mr. Rockland Scholarship – John Ellard III
The Share the Spirit Award –Alexa Coulstring
National Honor Society –Tyler Beatrice – Vice President, Madison Blonde, Caitlin Cameron, Abigail Condon, John Ellard, III, Elizabeth Kelley, Sean Morrissey – President, Jasmin Morse – Treasurer, Rebecca Mullen, Alexis Nastasia, Francisco Oliveira, Michelle Ramoska, Justin Sherlock, Marissa Smith – Secretary, Giovan Soares, Kara Sullivan
Receiving cords for future military service -Michael Norris – United States Air National Guard, Sean Daly – United States Army, Eric Ellsworth – United States Marines, Joseph Walls – United States Marines
Senior Academic Letters for Excellence in Education – Isabella Burns, Carolyn McCarthy, Jacob Nunn, and Angelina Vuong
Community Service Awards – John Ellard, III and Angelina Vuong
Global Citizenship Distinctions– Alexa Coulstring and Kaya Kelly
High Honors the First Three Terms – John Ellard, III
Advanced Placement Scholars:
AP Scholars – Caitlin Cameron and Declan Rogers
AP Scholars with Honor –Michelle Ramoska
AP Scholars with Distinction –John Ellard III
The Phoenix Award – Victoria Hurley
Ann E. Phelps Make a Difference Award – Marissa Smith
Senior Academic Awards
Art Department Awards:
Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition – Kaili Dummot Hill
2nd prize for the Pre-College Scholarship award at South Shore Art Center, Honorable Mention for her photo at the Scholastic Art Awards, and a Special Congressional Recognition for participation in the Congressional Art Competition – Elizabeth “Emmy” Kelley
$500 scholarship for her pen & ink drawing from Remax Deluxe in Norwell, and was Awarded Honorable Mention in the Drawing Category of the Congressional Art Competition – Jailene Escalera
Digital Media and Communications Department
Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor of the Veritas – Jasmin Morse
Veritas Reporters – Megan Diver, Bonnie Gasdia, Giovan Soares, Ariana Boostrom, Ashley Murphy, C. J. Armstrong
Digital Media and Journalism Awards – Jasmin Morse and Molly Grass
English Department Awards:
Spellman Oratorical Awards -Katie Houde, 1st place, Emmy Kelley, 2nd place, Fran Oliveira, 3rd place, Marissa Smith 4th place, Justin Sherlock 5th place, Jake Nunn, Caitlin Cameron, and Tyler Beatrice, 6th, 7th, and 8th places
Outstanding Scholarship in English Language Arts – Fran Oliveira
The Family and Consumer Science Department Academic Awards – Jenna Sullivan and Matthew Karoutas
The Social Science/History Department Academic Award – Mariana de Oliveira
The Excellence in Mathematics Awards to this year’s senior Mathletes – John Ellard, Matthew McPartlin, Tyler Beatrice, Michelle Ramoska, Katie Houde, Angelina Vuong,and Giovan Soares.
Mathematics Department Academic Award – Michelle Ramoska
Construction Technology Award -Michael Norris and Dylan Cleaves
Physical Education Department Award – George Selados III
The John Philip Sousa Band Award – Mireese Wilson
Senior Music Department Awards – Mireese Wilson and Leah Drago
Science Department Awards –
Seniors in the Environment Club – Michelle Ramoska and Morgan Wahlstrom
Science Department Academic Award –Alyssa Antoniewicz
World Languages Department Awards – Katie Houde for French and Caitlin Cameron for Spanish
Multi-Department Award recipients.
Tyler Beatrice- Mathematics and Physical Education
Elizabeth Kelley- Art & World Language (French)
Marissa Smith- English & World Language (Spanish)
Giovan Soares- Science & Computer Science
Overall academic achievement award – John Ellard III
The Principal’s Award – Caitlin Cameron
The Superintendent’s Award and the Valedictorian Award – John Ellard III
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
On May 29, with graduation two days away, the Class of 2019 marched through the halls of their Rockland past. After a breakfast and yearbook signing in the RHS cafeteria, members of the class put on their caps and gowns and journeyed through the halls of Memorial Park, Esten, Jefferson, and the Rogers Middle School.
The purpose of this procession is to inspire the younger kids in the community to strive for graduation, and also to let the seniors reminisce in the halls of their youth while visiting the teachers that helped shape their education.
All in all, it was a great day for all in the Bulldog community! The teachers were able to send their best wishes to the graduates. The students were able to go back to class inspired by their elders. And of course, the Class of 2019 got to walk away solidifying the memories of their past and friendships with their classmates.
The boys’ tennis team came up with a 5-0 win on May 21 over Carver. With the win they qualified for the post season tournament for the first time in a “long time” according to athletic director, Gary Graziano. The Patriot Ledger reported that it has been 36 years since the boys’ team has qualified for tournament. The team’s record now stands at 8 wins and 3 losses.
The team still has a few matches to go but this was a great way to celebrate “Senior Day” as first year head coach Chris Beatrice congratulated his seniors Tyler Beatrice, John Ellard and Brandon Gallagher before the match. Beatrice won his match today 6-3, and 6-1. Ellard won 6-1, 6-4 and Adam Beatrice completed the singles sweep 6-1, 6-0. The doubles teams of senior Brandon Gallagher/junior Matt Griffin won 6-2, 6-3 and junior Jake Harris/junior Oliver Reera completed the scoring 6-1, 6-2.
The team joins the girls’ tennis team , the girls’ lacrosse team (12-3), the boys’ lacrosse team, and the softball team, (12-3), as teams that have qualified for tournament so far this year. For more information about all the teams’ progress this year, pick up a copy of the Veritas print edition that is available at all lunches this week.
Jasmin Morse Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
Yesterday on May 20, the Class of 2019’s last full day in classes at RHS, the class decided to go out with a bang with their senior prank. Seniors arrived early on Monday morning, some even as early as 6:30. To kick off the day a few seniors had taken photos of the teachers who graduated from RHS’s senior pictures and made copies of them and hung them up all over the halls and by their classrooms.
Additionally, students hung up streamers in the hallways and in the staircases as other students set up tents by the auditorium. After it was all set up, the students had a party in and by the tents and danced to music that a student provided on a speaker.
All in all, this year’s senior prank went on hitch- free and everybody in RHS got a good chuckle out of it
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
Another year, another Pentelic Chapter of the National Honor Society Induction. Last night’s induction consisted of 2 senior inductees, 20 junior inductees, 2 honorary inductees, and 16 departing senior members.
The night was kicked off by a dinner provided by the RHS cafeteria for the inductees, the members, and their sponsors. Here, 2018-2019 NHS President Sean Morrissey welcomed the guests and invited tables up to get their food. This was also where the members and inductees exchanged gifts with their sponsors thanking them for their company at this event.
Following, the group made its way to the auditorium where they were met by their friends and family who came to watch the ceremony take place. As tradition, the seniors made their way to their seats on stage while the juniors took their spots in front of the stage. Here, they recited their pledge to the National Honor Society.
To start the ceremony, Morrissey led in the Pledge of Allegiance and then welcomed, the members, inductees, sponsors, and families attending the ceremony. After that Vice President, Tyler Beatrice and Treasurer, Jasmin Morse read speeches and awarded this year’s two honorary inductees. Beatrice first awarded long time Bulldog fan and one of Rockland’s most familiar faces, James “Jimbo” Cahill. Following, Morse awarded long time school committee member and one of the town’s most known Rockland supporters, Richard “Dick” Phelps.
As the night proceeded, Morrissey acted as the host. Secretary, Marissa Smith then called the roll and announced the future plan of the senior members of the Pentelic Chapter. Next, the four NHS virtues were explained by members. Justin Sherlock spoke about character, Francisco Oliveira explained scholarship, Caitlin Cameron definedleadership, and John Ellard discussed service. At the end of each speech, a candle was lit to represent each of the virtues.
After that, Beatrice recited the Exemplification of the Torch speech that he had to memorize while holding a burning candle in hopes the melted candle wax didn’t fall onto his hand or wrist. Then, RHS Principal John Harrison presented the National Honor Society certificates to the graduating members. As the members receive their certificates, the formed a receiving line at the exit of the auditorium for guests and sponsors to walk through and congratulate the senior members and newly inducted members.
At the close of the event, guests, members, and sponsors were welcomed to congregate in the RHS cafeteria for desserts and beverages. All in all, the event was a huge success as always and was the start of a new year of the Pentelic Chapter of the National Honor Society.
Nicolle Guidel Winter
Departing Senior Members:
President- Sean Morrissey
Vice President- Tyler Beatrice
Treasurer- Jasmin Morse
Secretary- Marissa Smith
May 7, 2019
The annual Arts Festival of the Rockland Public Schools was held on Wednesday and Thursday nights last week, May 1 and 2. With lots of displays and activities going on in the gym, the auditorium, the library and on Main St. visitors had a variety of visual and auditory creations to catch their interest. In all, the creativity of all the school children was on display and showed once again the diversity of experiences the schools have to offer in the arts and technical areas to the children of Rockland.
Below are photos that give a sampling of the activities and artwork on display.
In all, each of Rockland’s elementary schools and the middle school along with many of the high school’s disciplines, including music, family and consumer science, wood shop, science and robotics, English, tech ed, digital media, and of course, art showed off their students’ work.
RPS Art Director Cheryl Thompson summed up this year’s event thanking all those who were involved. “The displays looked great and all of the activities ran very smoothly. Thanks again for all of your hard work and continued dedication to the Arts Festival! I look forward to #ThisIsHowWeArtsFestival2020!”
Jad Bendarkawi and Hannah Wylie for the Veritas
The RHS Environmental Club is once again participating in the annual Massachusetts Envirothon in late May. The Massachusetts Envirothon is a statewide competition where high school students compete in hands-on environmental explorations, and also present research they have performed throughout the school year on a current issue topic. About the upcoming Envirothon, RHS junior Tyler Gambon says, “I enjoy the competition day as I like to talk to other students that have been researching the same topic and I can share what I have learned as well.”
The students have worked extensively to research this year’s topic, Healthy Abundant Affordable Food, and have focused on two main issues: food waste and food insecurity. They have talked to and worked with members of the community to gain an understanding of these issues and have begun to take action.
The group of students, Michelle Ramoska, Morgan Wahlstrom, Hannah Wyllie, Lizzie McGaffigan, Jad Bendarkawi, Tyler Gambon, Zach Webb, Matt Bruzzese, Caroline Elie, and Oliver Reera, have gathered data from various members in their community concerning the issues of food waste and food insecurity. They spoke with Rockland High school resource officer, Frea Leahy, who provided useful insight on the topic of food insecurity in Rockland.
The group discovered that at Rockland High School approximately 50% of the student population is on free/reduced lunch, which indicates a high percentage of food insecurity in the town. Additionally, Ms. Leahy brought to light the organization, Shane Gives Thanks, which provides free meals for children to take home for the weekend. The organization works with administration at Jefferson Elementary School, one of three elementary schools in Rockland.
In addition, Ms. Leahy told the group about resources outside school such as St. Vincent de Paul, run through Holy Family Church that provides families with food in emergency situations, along with the Rockland Food Pantry which provides food to families in need one day a week. Gambon summed up the group’s reaction to the issue. “Talking to Ms. Leahy gave me so much insight. I never realized how much of an impact food insecurity had on us here in Rockland.”
The group also reached out to Adele Leonard, Director of Food Services for Rockland Public Schools, who is knowledgeable about food waste, and she shared her experiences owning a small scale farm. Ms. Leonard believes that food waste, from the production side, is not a great issue in our schools. She said, “Most of the food that is prepared is bought and hopefully eaten. When food is not prepared or used, we try our best to compost, if possible.”
On her small farm, she said that she grows a small variety of plants, and when she has a surplus she sells them at a farmers’ market. Recently, she has found that farmers’ markets are charging for farmers to sell their goods, which is discouraging for small scale farmers such as Ms. Leonard.
Lastly, the group reached out to Norwell Farms, a small farm that recently made the transition from a commercial farm to a community based and educational one. The farm co-chair, Mari Creatini Bell, discussed the sustainable agricultural methods that the farm uses such as, low/no till agriculture, cover crops, organic fertilizers, mulching, as well as close monitoring and testing of the soil to ensure its health. Bell said they have used this information in their community action, and continue to plan more ways to foster these ideas in their community.
For their community outreach, the team has focused especially on educating and informing the community about the prevalence of food waste and food insecurity on both local and national levels. Through their podcast, The Green Tea, produced with the cooperation of WRPS radio, the team has been able to communicate to locals about ways they can remediate the issue on an individual level and how everyone has a role to play in the grand scheme of resolving food insecurity.
By discussing topics related to food waste and insecurity and relating back to the local community, citizens of Rockland are not only more informed, but are also more apt to participate in efforts to solve the issue as it is affecting their own town. Jad Bendarkawi says, “I love working on the podcast; I feel like I am more deeply involved in the topic.”
If you have not had a chance to listen you can find the podcast at http://bit.ly/greenteastitcher.
Also, the team manages RHS compost in the hopes of creating a viable resource for the school’s garden. In the near future, the team plans on extending their focus on education into the middle school as well as volunteering at local farms to fully immerse themselves in the process of agriculture and food distribution.
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
On Wed. April 24, RHS seniors and juniors taking Spanish or French level 4/5 had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Here, students had the chance to view artworks from the Spanish and French artists they have recently been studying in class.
During the trip, students were split up in groups ranging from 8-10 kids with a total of five parent chaperones. In charge of planning this event was level 4/5 Spanish teacher, Melissa Shaughnessy with the help of French teacher, Julie Dore.
The museum had pieces from Spanish-speaking artists: Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Francisco De Goya, Diego Velazquez, and Pablo Picasso. Students taking French saw exhibits including: Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, and Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec.
During their visit, each group had assigned galleries that they had to visit during specific time slots. After visiting all necessary exhibits, the groups were allowed to roam and visit whichever galleries and artists they wanted to see.
Jasmin Morse, Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
As part of Rockland tradition, last night on Wed., April 24 the RHS English Department had their annual Spellman Oratorical Contest. The contest is open to all seniors in the graduating class who may enter an essay/speech based on a stated prompt. Eight students are then chosen from the essay and speech entries to compete for $4,000 in scholarship money. The contestants are judged based on content, delivery, diction and poise. The prize money is made available from a trust established by the late Francis Cardinal Spellman of Whitman in memory of his mother, Ellen Conway Spellman, who resided in Rockland.
This year’s topic was Art as an Agent of Change. In the end Katie Houde took first place winning herself a total of $1,200. RHS English Dept. Head, Carol Cahill noted, that it was a “great night” and all the students “did a wonderful job.”
Below are the students and their awards:
1st Place: Katie Houde, $1,200
2nd Place: Emmy Kelley, $1,000
3rd Place: Francisco Oliveira, $700
4th Place: Marissa Smith, $500
5th Place: Justin Sherlock, $300
6th, 7th and 8th Places: Tyler Beatrice, $100, Caitlin Cameron, $100
and Jacob Nunn, $100
Judging the contest were: Karen Bonn, Sue Doherty, Steve Waisgerber, and Laura Whitaker. Bonn and Waisgerber are RHS graduates.
Congratulations to all the contestants.
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
As the 2018-2019 school year starts to wind down, so does senior Caitlin Cameron’s presidency of the RHS Student Government Council. Last night marked the SGC’s last meeting for this school year and here, the club elected their 2019-2020 president. They also nominated members for Big Five positions, including vice president, treasurer, and secretary.
At the meeting juniors, and best friends, Maddie Gear and Katy Buckley gave their candidate speeches; afterwards council members voted for whom they saw best fit for the role of president. After counting all the votes, in the end Katy Buckley won by a very close margin. After winning Buckley explained, “I am beyond happy; this has always been a dream of mine since freshman year!”
Current SGC president Cameron noted before going into the election, “I had no clue who would win, but knew the council would be in great hands either way.” After the vote, she explained her excitement to see what Katy has in store and what new elements she plans to bring to the council this upcoming year.
After the president election, council members nominated others for the positions of vice president, treasurer, and secretary. Elections for these positions will be held at the June meeting. the nominees for each position are:
April 12, 2019
April vacation will begin for RHS students today at 2:35 p.m. After a long March of cold, rainy weather, students are probably looking forward to getting some rest and relaxation and maybe even some sun on their nine days off.
Some students like junior Phil Pattison are heading south to get some sun. “I’m going down to Florida with my family,” he said. He will be visiting Disney World in Orlando.
Most however, will be staying relatively close to home and doing some things that they don’t get to do while going to school.
Our principal, Mr. Harrison says that he will be celebrating his daughter, Peyton’s first birthday! Happy Birthday to Peyton!
Sophomore Emily Gaboriault says she will be “chilling at home and doing some cleaning and painting.”
Senior Mercedez Johnson says that she will be “going to my aunt’s house, inviting some friends over, and sleeping.”
Senior Meaghan McDonough is going to take a short trip during the week. “I am going to be taking a road trip with my teammates to a soccer tournament in Connecticut.”
The RHS girls lacrosse team will be going to Bentley University in Waltham to watch the Bentley Falcons play against Merrimack.
The RHS baseball team is playing a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 16 against Hanover in Rockland. All the other teams will be getting back to playing games after vacation.
Some students will be using the extra time to catch up on school work as well as sleep.
Senior Rebecca Mullen says she’ll be “sleeping, working on psych essays, working a little, but mainly sleeping”.
Senior Jailene Escalera says she’ll be “doing psych and college essays, sleeping, and going to appointments.”
Sophomore Bella Seaton says she will be “going out with friends and just sleeping.”
Many RHS juniors and seniors along with three chaperones will be going with the Travel Club on their long-awaited trip to Europe. One of those is senior Bonnie Gasdia who is excited, she said, to visit Germany where her family is from.
Those RHS students like sophomore Becca Killion who say they are doing “nothing” might want to take an opportunity to get some community service hours at the annual Rockland Clean-Up Day to be held on Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 12 at the Town Hall.
Some RHS teams like the lacrosse team participated last year but anyone can sign-up to do it.
Christine Flaherty of the REiMAGINE ROCKLAND organization explained how the Clean-Up Day works. “The clean up will begin at Rockland Town Hall, 242 Union Street, and will bring the community together to improve and beautify the Rail Trail, Union Street, and other areas in town. Refreshments will be available for volunteers to enjoy.”
You can sign up by contacting REiMAGINE ROCKLAND at email@example.com for information regarding volunteer opportunities. Details of the event are available online at www.rockland-ma.gov and www.facebook.com/REiMAGINEROCKLAND.
When seniors get back to school on April 22, they will have only 22 more school days to get through and the underclassmen won’t be far behind!
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in Chief and Web Editor
At the start of April vacation, 34 RHS juniors and seniors are venturing abroad with the RHS Travel Club. For most of the kids going, this trip has been 2-4 years in the making and after many payments and fundraisers has become a reality.
On Saturday, April 13 the students will be loading onto a bus with chaperones English teacher Kristen Walsh, science department head, Samantha Hoyo, and science teacher Julia DiCanzio. From there, they will ride the bus to Logan International Airport, make it through security, and spend nearly 14 hours in and out of airports and the air before they reach their first travel spot in Vienna, Austria.
In Vienna, some of the main attractions they’ll see through tours are the Hofsburg Palace and the Parliament Building. After two nights in Vienna they’ll travel by bus to Prague, Czech Republic.
In Prague, the group will visit St. Vitus Cathedral, the Charles Bridge, and other historic and cultural locations. After spending two nights in Prague, the group will wake up and travel by bus to Munich and Dachau, Germany.
In Germany, among the sites they will visit are the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, and the Munich Olympic Stadium. The students had the option to pay an additional fee to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle. On Day 8 of the trip, they will travel from Munich to Zurich, Switzerland.
There, they’ll take a walking tour of Zurich’s Old Town and visit a local business. On Day 10, the group will head home.
Their exhausting return flight is scheduled to land in Boston’s Logan Airport at 9:03pm and all students and staff on the trip are required to report to school Tuesday, April 23 after their long, fun-filled April break.
For further information on the Travel Club’s itinerary, check out EF Tour’s page on the Central European Quartet. And to keep up to date on your child or friend’s trip follow advisor Walsh’s Travel Club pages on Instagram and Twitter @rhstravelwalsh
Megan Diver, Veritas Staff
April 10, 2019
The Rockland High School Music Department’s production of the musical “Annie” debuted to a full house on Friday, April 5, in the RHS/RMS auditorium at 7 p.m. The play concluded with another large and enthusiastic audience on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. The cast, made up of high school and middle school students (and one canine), lit up the stage with a wide arrangement of musical and dance numbers including favorites, “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” “Maybe,” “N.Y.C,” and “Easy Street.”
The director of the play, high school and middle school chorus director, Victoria McComb, and asst. director, RPS elementary music teacher, Michelle Booth, who choreographed the dance numbers and coached the singers, got the most out of their diverse and talented cast.
The cast included: Mikayla Andre (Annie); Jordan Cunningham (Warbucks); Emily Gaboriault (Miss Hannigan); Bonnie Gasdia (Grace Farrell); Olivia Janis (Lily, Lt. Ward)); Neleh Dunn (Rooster).
Also in the cast were Terell Wright (Bundles, Drake, Announcer), Leah Drago (Perkins, Apple Seller, Mrs. Pugh), Kerin Dalton (Dog Catcher, Morganthau, Boylan Sister), Julia Yeadon (Ickes, Asst. Dog Catcher, Boylan Sister, Star to Be), Leah Leonard (Annette, Kaltenborn, Boylan Sister), Jonah Pishkin (Roosevelt), Hannah Ivil (Homeless Person), Callie Gillan (Cecile, Orphan), Phil Pattison (Bert Healy), Morgan Wahlstrom (Judge), McKenna Maher (Pepper), Liliana Berquist/Kelly Hamilton (Tessie), Emily Gillooly (Molly), Anabelle MacDonald (July), Kyara Williams (Duffy), Emily Holbrook (Kate), Kelly Hamilton (Orphan) and the lovable, Sadie (Sandy).
The N.Y.C Ensemble included: Shylyn Boulter, Saige Clauss, Victoria Foley, Lindsay Gillan, Mary Kippenhan, Kaitlyn Kulikowski, Aleah Meade, Corinne Medford, Matthew Medford, Ngan Nguyen, Hailey O’Brien, Helana Plouffe, Rose Ripley, Ana Clara-Santos, Cailin Sullivan, Anya Voci and Morgan Wahlstrom.
Before the show, Rockland Music Department Head John Piazza thanked everyone for their part in pulling the show together, including parents, teachers and students who contributed behind the scenes, and including those who played in the orchestra.
Seniors involved in the musical, Bonnie Gasdia, Morgan Wahlstrom and Leah Drago, had two highly emotional nights as their last play concluded. They can all surely agree they ended their dramatic careers at RHS on a high note. Gasdia, who played Warbucks’ secretary, Grace Farrell, said that this was her favorite role.
Director Ms. McComb said, “The musical was a huge success- very well attended and extremely well performed. We are very grateful for and proud of everyone who was involved in putting this production together.”
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
The final gathering of the 2018-2019 Student Council year took place as the 2019-2020 year was kicked off yesterday on Wednesday, April 3 at Pembroke High School.
Nine of Rockland’s Student Government Council attended the annual Spring SEMASC Conference. Here, the 2018-2019 year was put to bed while the 2019-2020 year was kicked off and celebrated. The upcoming year’s delegates, vice president, and secretary all presented speeches, were voted upon, and were announced. Workshops also took place and the seniors were given recognition of their graduation from 4 years of SEMASC.
Amongst the seven delegates one came from Rockland to better impact our region. Sophomore Greta Russo campaigned with her theme of “The Garden of Leadership” and after giving her speech was elected one out of the three delegate positions on the 2019-2020 SEMASC Executive Board.
Along with celebrating Russo’s victory, SEMASC’s 2019-2020 president and Rockland’s own junior Jacob Leahy was passed the gavel yesterday marking the start of his time as SEMASC president.
At the very end of the conference, seniors from across the 36 SEMASC-participating schools were acknowledged for their commitment to Student Council and their participation in these conferences for the past four years.
SEMASC Graduating Seniors:
John Ellard III
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in Chief and Web Editor
This weekend the RHS Music Department welcomes you to come and watch the spring musical production of Annie. For months, many RHS students have been rehearsing tirelessly for the show.
The musical will debut on Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. A second show will be put on the the following day, Saturday, April 6 at 1 p.m. The show will take place in the RMS/RHS auditorium.
Starring in the play is freshman Mikayla Andre as Annie and junior Jordan Cunningham as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. Additionally, senior Bonnie Gasdia will play Grace Farrell and sophomore Emily Gaboriault takes the role of Miss Hannigan. The show also features junior Neleh Dunn as “Rooster” Hannigan and junior Olivia Janis as Lily. The girls from the orphanage will be played by several middle school students.
The show is directed by RPS teachers Victoria McComb and Michelle Booth. A complete cast list will be available tomorrow and of course, you will see Annie’s dog, “Sandy” at the shows!
Be sure to come support the kids of the Music Dept. and enjoy the RHS take on this classic. Tickets can be purchased for $7 at any of the RPS schools or by using freshtix.com/events/annie-.
April 3, 2019 (updated April 4)
The RHS spring sports season has gotten underway this week after two weeks of preseason preparations.
The line-up this year of spring sports teams includes boys and girls tennis, boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls track along with baseball and softball.
On Tuesday, April 2, the lacrosse teams both opened up against the Abington Green Wave in Abington and both were successful. The boys came away with a 16-4 win while the girls outscored Abington 17-10. For the girls Maddie Blonde had six goals and one assist. The lacrosse teams will be back at it on Friday against Archbishop Williams.
Also on Tuesday the baseball team traveled to Pembroke. They were not as fortunate as the lacrosse teams, losing to Pembroke 3-1. The Dogs got solid pitching from Declan Rogers and Robert Ivil. Cullen Rogers scored the run with a double and Ricky Glavin’s RBI single.
The softball team traveled to Whitman-Hanson on Thursday after a rain-out on Wednesday. They came up with the win 9-4. Michaela Bruno went 4 for 4, with a hit and 3 doubles. On the mound she pitched 7 innings, allowing 5hits and striking out 7. Macy Grass went 2 for 3 and Shannon Murphy had a 3 run home run. They will be playing Plymouth-North tomorrow (Friday).
The boys and girls tennis teams went against Randolph on Thursday. The boys won 5-0 and the girls got the win 4-1. Both teams play Mashpee tomorrow (Friday).
The track teams will have their first meet next week on Weds. April 10 at Abington against Cohasset/Hull. The track teams always have to play away because Rockland does not have a suitable track for meets.
Good luck to all the teams as they begin their seasons. Here’s hoping the weather gets a little warmer!
Giovan Soares, Veritas Staff
Although many of you may not have known, earlier this year there were four monthly competitions, held on the first Thursday of every month from November to February between Rockland High School and many other towns on the South Shore. These were the Division five Math Team meets. On these four occasions the RHS Math Team faced off against Hanover, Bridgewater-Raynham, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Abington, and Whitman-Hanson.
At a math meet each school is broken up into two teams with five members on each team. Then each team from each school competes in each of the five rounds with three students each; each student may compete in no more than three of these individual rounds. Then upon the completion of these five rounds there is a short break before a team round where all five members of each team work together.
Each round, including the team round, has three questions and students have 10 minutes to answer those questions. The first question is worth one point, the second is worth two points and the third is worth three points.
This year the highest that the RHS Math Team placed was fourth in the final meet. At this meet RHS had three members competing on each team which was two less than each of the other schools had per team, yet the RHS Math Team was still able to beat the teams from East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater and Abington.
However, at earlier meets the RHS Math Team was less fortunate, placing seventh in the first two meets of the year and they were unable to attend the third meet. A significant cause for their low placing, and lack of placement, was a lack of students who were able to compete. Throughout its season the RHS Math Team struggled to fill its teams. Another problem is that the teams may not have more than two seniors each. This is the reason that in their second meet, even though there were six members willing and able to compete, only five of them could as five of them were seniors. There is a strong chance that the RHS Math Team will struggle with numbers again next year which would undoubtedly be a tragedy.
When asked for comment the current Math Team advisor Mrs. Mulready said, “I was disappointed this year that we didn’t have many kids, so next year I’m hoping to recruit more… This year really killed us.”
It’s important to note that the team is first and foremost about the fun and enjoyment of all its members. While there is certainly an air of competitiveness between the schools and among the members of the team, that is always put aside to make sure that each person has as much fun as possible. For example, not every student is a big fan of geometry. Luckily, each of the five rounds is about a different subject, round one is arithmetic, round two is algebra one, round three is geometry, round four is algebra two, and round five is advanced math or calculus and trigonometry for the most part. So, even for those among us who are not mathematics fanatics, there is likely at least one round in which you would enjoy competing.
Math team is also a great place to meet new people with whom you share something in common. When asked about the math team, senior John Ellard said, “Math team is great. It’s a cool place to talk about math and it’s nice to meet other students from other towns who have a similar interest.”And for those who are not interested in competing, there are special positions for alternates, who may compete in every round, however, their scores are not counted with either team. The RHS Math Team offers many options for students who are interested in giving it a try and will welcome any comer with open arms.
Math team is a fun activity for all students who are involved and it would be a great shame to see it go away. Any students who are interested in joining the team are encouraged to speak to the current advisor Mrs. Mulready about joining next year. As senior Katie Houde said, “Math team is fun and a great thing to do on a Thursday, and you get pizza.”
I joined the math team myself in my sophomore year. I attempted to join in my freshman year, but I could not figure out when the meetings were and so I was unable to. Throughout my 3 years as a member of the Math Team I have had a great time. Every meet brings a new opportunity to try my hand and each time I score a new personal record for points in a meet I’m excited. I’m really happy that I joined the math team and it gave me an opportunity to make new friends and acquaintances in both my school and others.
For those of you who may be on the fence, Mrs. Mulready had a piece of advice, “[At math team meets] everyone has a good time and we get to eat pizza!”
So, even if you don’t love math, you still have a reason to take part in the team. In all seriousness, Math Team is an amazing club filled with amazing people and each of the four meets are a blast whether you come in first or last.
Good luck to the RHS Math Team next year.
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
Many classes have come and gone since Rockland High School’s last 10 year accreditation in 2011 when today’s high schoolers were still in elementary school. This year RHS is meticulously going through the initial steps leading up to being re-accredited in 2021. To accredit a school the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) sets up a painstaking process of self-reflection and evaluation for the school community.
NEASC has been accrediting schools since 1885 and today is helping to improve over 1500 public, private, and international schools all over the globe. As an accreditation agency they aim to help schools self-evaluate their systems at the same time helping ensure schools meet and exceed the standards they set to be a well accredited school. NEASC looks for schools to complete three “R’s: reflection, review, and renewal. Accreditation is a process that ensures a school is meeting NEASC’s “Standards for Accreditation” that focus on five key areas:
- Learning Culture
- Student Learning
- Professional Practices
- Learning Support
- Learning Resources
The re-accreditation process takes place every 10 years although the process begins every 8 years after being accredited. This 8 year mark acts as a preliminary assessment of the school and reassesses the goals set from prior accreditation. In the end, RHS will reach the end of this cycle’s accreditation process in 2021.
Taking the lead of the 2019 re-accreditation process has been social studies department head, Richard MacAllister, social studies teacher, Gregory Rowe, and RHS Principal, Dr. John Harrison. Together they have worked to set up guidelines based on NEASC protocols, and to organize the self-evaluations conducted by teachers and staff throughout the school.
Through the school year, teachers, staff and some students have been busy preparing for the intense process of re-accreditation. During the year-long process, the staff has been looking at the school’s strengths and weaknesses and discussing how best to ensure our students are well equipped for life after RHS. This information is a part of the school’s self-analysis that will be presented to the NEASC visiting team.
The purpose of this preliminary step in 2019 for the 2021 accreditation is to establish what needs to be improved as explained by Mr. Rowe, “NEASC looks at all aspects of the school – from administrative roles, how teachers teach, facility functions – and student work.”
NEASC officials will be visiting RHS next week on March 28 and 29 for a Collaborative Conference. For the students, this means certain ones will be leading officials on tours of the facilities. On the tours, students will be guiding the officials around the halls of RHS pointing out all the features that make RHS unique.The NEASC officials will also ask questions along the way regarding the effectiveness of the school environment, compliance with local fire, police, and safety regulations as well as the cleanliness of the building.
Students have also been selected to participate on a panel where officials will ask them questions regarding the school environment. Mr. Rowe explains, “NEASC is looking forward to talking to students to find out what they feel are the strengths and weaknesses of Rockland High School.” Here, they can better assess what goals need to be set and what needs to be prioritized for the 2021 accreditation.
To complete this process teachers have been asked to provide samples of student work. Mr. Rowe continues, “They are looking for what kinds of exemplar work the students of Rockland produce.” Additionally, selected teachers, administrators, parents and community members have been selected, like students, to participate in panel meetings with the NEASC officials.
On the day the four NEASC representatives arrive, they will be served lunch by RHS’s Pathways Grille. Every Thursday teachers are given the option to buy lunch from the cooks of the Pathways classroom: so, on the Thursday of the visit, NEASC officials will receive a meal as well.
While the process of self-evaluation is time-consuming for administrators and staff, Principal Harrison noted that it is highly beneficial because it allows for self-reflection, which in turn identifies areas of needed growth. This leads to the formation of an improvement plan, and allows for collaboration among staff. Overall, Dr. Harrison said that it is an opportunity to “celebrate everything RHS has to offer.”
For more information on the accreditation process, go to the Rockland Public Schools website.
Yani Soares, Veritas Staff
March 20, 2019
Have you ever walked around the Town Hall? Think back to what you saw while you were there. You may think that the area isn’t a very colorful place, which isn’t helped by the recent cold winter months. Knowing this, a well known group in Rockland is committed to a new project that will bring more residents to the area, while also letting us know that spring is just around the corner.
In January, the REiMAGINE ROCKLAND organization called upon the RHS IMAGES Club to assist in a program that will bring a strong sense of animation to the Town Hall. Their objective is to place six butterfly-shaped benches in the area, which would be assets to the Sole of Rockland project. To improve upon the benches even further, the IMAGES staff was asked to voice their ideas and assist with this decorative endeavor.
For the design of the benches, the members of REiMAGINE ROCKLAND would be decorating each bench with shoe prints obtained from the Sole of Rockland event in the fall of 2018. To further the artistic beauty of the benches, the organization called upon members of IMAGES to decorate the benches with short poems and works from the students of Rockland High School. By doing this, REiMAGINE ROCKLAND believes that the benches will be given a new flair that is completely unique to our town.
Throughout the next few months, the IMAGES club will be holding a competition that will accept short poems to add to the butterfly benches, which will all focus on the theme of transformation.
The motivation behind the placement of the benches around Town Hall is that it will make the town more attractive to residents and visitors alike. To express the idea of the benches further, a representative from REiMAGINE ROCKLAND, Carolyn Lewenberg, had a conference with IMAGES staff to think of ideas as to how these benches could improve the Town Hall area.
Multiple students pitched in to say that these benches could bring new energy to the area, attract tourists to the benches, and provide residents of every age with a place to rest and admire the town’s scenery. The main focus of the benches is to attract people to the Town Hall, and encouraging others to see the area as a welcoming, enjoyable location that isn’t used exclusively for serious purposes. The addition of the benches is meant to bring a sense of vibrance and new life that would greatly align with the hopes of REiMAGINE ROCKLAND’s aim to improve the town and give it a taste of some new, colorful beauty.
RHS teacher and Images advisor, Chad Bigsby also advocated for the benches by saying, “I’m glad to see young people involved in this reimagining, and excited for IMAGES to be branching out into new endeavors.”
One of the most important features of these benches is the fact that their designs will be a unified effort made by the entire Rockland student body. Students from the middle and high schools will be encouraged to write short poems for the IMAGES staff to publish for addition to the benches, allowing their creative voices to be displayed from the center of town. By submitting a piece of writing that is about the length of a haiku, the students that enter this competition during this year will be immortalized as a permanent contribution to the spirit of Rockland’s transformation and growth as a community.
These butterfly benches are expected to appear in the Arts Festival, and will be placed in the Town Hall around May. When the spring rolls around, REiMAGINE ROCKLAND will allow Rockland’s residents and neighbors to find a refreshing seat in the heart of our town, allowing them to appreciate the many things that the we have to offer as a community.
For more information on the IMAGES Club or REiMAGINE ROCKLAND, learn more here:
March 20, 2019
In their first time competing, Triple Threat, a team made up of guidance counselor Chris DeVine, senior John Ellard, and athletic trainer Emily Gray, captured the 2019 Nets for Nets three-on-three basketball tournament championship. The tournament, held on March 19, is an annual Student Government sponsored event that raises money for the charity, Nothing But Nets, an organization that provides bed nets for families in Africa.
Sixteen teams competed for the coveted golden basketball trophy with Triple Threat defeating the Kekambas in the finals. The Kekambas, a team made up of Transitions teacher, Dan Kimball, junior Hannah Murphy, and junior Derek Williams, assured everyone that they would be back next year for the rematch.
Last year’s championship team, Three-Peat, featuring physical education teacher Mike Doyle was unseated partially due to an injury to junior girls basketball all-star, Caroline Elie, that kept her out of playing. Her sister, 7th grader Maggie, did a great job filling in. Also on the squad was Aneuris Quezada.
Losing in the semifinals to the Kekambas was the Bulldogs, that included senior Ashley Murphy, junior Dante Vasquez and Rogers Middle School teacher, Matthew Vincenzi.
Principal John Harrison’s team, the Green Eagles, included junior girls basketball all-star, Hannah Wyllie. They had their very creative t-shirts designed and made by teammate Anthony DiNino.
A complete list of teams follows:
- Beatrice Clan: Stephanie, Adam and Lynn Beatrice
- Tres Amigos: Eric Barber, Kyle Lenihan, Mrs. Melissa Shaughnessy
- The Denominators: Jake Dunham, Michaela Brun and Mr. Nick Liquori
- Three-peat: Maggie Elie, Mr. Mike Doyle and Reese Quezada
- Elite Crossovers: Alan Wright, Jarius Thomas, Ms. Shelley Coulombe
- Nets for Nets Champs: Tyler Beatrice, Antonio Gilstap, Ms. Julia Dicanzio
- The Units: Own Shea, Mr. Pete Harrison, Molly Callahan
- The Kekambas: Derek Williams, Mr. Dan Kimball, Hannah Murphy
- The White Mambas: Bella Seaton, Jake Wells, Mr. Greg Banks
- The John bLOCKErs: Maddie Gear, Marissa Smith, Mr. Rich MacAllister
- Triple Threat: John Ellard, Mr. Chris DeVine, Emily Gray
- The Green Eagles: Principal John Harrison, Hannah Wyllie, Tony DiNino
- The Ubiquitin Destroyers: Zach Webb, Matt Bruzzese, Mrs. Angela Armstrong
- Deep Treble: Ms. Lindsay Crook, Jordan Cunningham, Kathleen Nee
- Los Ballers: Adrian Fuecada, Josiah Durand, Ms. Jacqueline Tabares
- Bulldogs: Mr. Matt Vincenzi, Ashley Murphy, Dante Vasquez
It was a fun way to get a little March Madness into the high school scene and also to raise money for a good cause. Each of the sixteen teams contributed a $15 entry fee.
Joanne White and Jill Delaney, Student Government advisors kept track of the brackets and awarded the golden basketball trophy to the winners. Junior Katie Buckley, Community Services Committee Chair, organized the tournament for the SGC.
Ms. White said that she was pleased at the turnout of teams and thought the tournament was a great success.
photos by Veritas photographer, Ashley Murphy
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
At 10:45 a.m. on Friday morning the Rockland world was shocked to see on the “The Real Rockland” Facebook page an alarming (and not sourced) post remarking how the 2019 graduation may break the long tradition of being held in the Veterans’ Memorial Stadium, and instead may have to be held inside RHS.
The “news” spread rapidly through “The Real Rockland’s” Facebook community as well as the senior class. The post sourced this breaking information to a “little birdie” who was not the poster’s child, and instead to a member of the senior class who had spoken to Principal John Harrison. However, regarding the “little birdie” who had relayed the information to the Facebook poster, Principal Harrison confirmed to the Veritas, “No student talked to me.” He also said, “No student contacted me, no parent called or emailed” to verify the validity of the rumor after it had been posted.
One of 55 comments to the original post, citing the “fake news” in the post, referred to a press release from Interim Town Administrator, Marcia Birmingham sent to the media that states, “The project (the stadium) is expected to be completed in the springtime, in time for Rockland High School’s graduation ceremony May 31.” But responses to that comment said that “expected to be” is not a confident reassurance for its completion in time.
Realizing that social media is not the place to get the facts, the Veritas contacted Park Department Superintendent, Peter Ewell and Commissioners of the Park Department, Richard Furlong and Joe Reis who helped the Veritas to dispel the rumors.
Mr. Ewell, in response to the Veritas’ inquiry and after all the buzz on Friday, claimed his phone had been “blowing up” from citizens reaching out frantically about the post. In response he assured, “Yes, the stadium will be ready. We had a meeting with the owner of CSI company yesterday and told him no if’s, and’s, or but’s, and he assured us no worries. It [the stadium] will be ready before graduation!!!!”
Additionally, Mr. Furlong in his email response to our question said, “Work is going to start up again next week.” He added that weather will play a role in the project.
In his response, Mr. Reis said that he wanted to “put the rumors to bed.” He explained, “The company will be on site starting Monday the 18th to start finishing the work. Game plan is to get the top of the stadium done first waterproof, paint and finish the top side and the backside.” He too indicated that the work is weather related, saying, “Let’s hope for good weather.”
Once again to reassure the Rockland community, Park Superintendent Ewell’s reply indicates that the stadium will be ready for the May 31 Class of 2019 Graduation “no if’s, and’s, or but’s.”
Photos by Arianna Esposito
The Rockland High School band and chorus presented a highly successful Broadway Night on Thursday, March 14 to a loud, appreciative audience. The band opened up the night with “And All That Jazz” from the musical Chicago, setting the stage for individual performances by chorus members of selections from several Broadway plays including Les Miserables, Jekyll and Hyde and Finding Neverland.
RHS Band Director John Piazza introduced each of the soloists and provided a little background about each of them, complimenting them all for their passion and commitment to their music, and in many cases saying how pleased he is to see how much their talents and confidence have grown through the years.
Chorus Director Victoria McComb said on Twitter, “So proud of all my kids for their Broadway Night performances! What a wonderful night full of beautiful music!”
In his weekly newsletter Principal John Harrison said, “Congratulations to the chorus and band students involved in the production of Broadway Night on Thursday, March 14th. Our students did a phenomenal job and we are fortunate to have so many talented students who perform for the school community.”
Kayla Mantell was the first soloist to perform and explained that she had always wanted to perform “Once Upon a Time” from the musical Brooklyn, ever since her mother sang it to her. Megan Diver, Julia Yeadon, Leah Drago, Jordan Cunningham, Emily Gaboriault, Bonnie Gasdia, Olivia Janis and Kerin Dalton also performed as soloists, and each were given loud cheers and applause as they concluded.
The full chorus performed “Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story” from Hamilton to conclude the show.
A list of the performers and musical selections follows:
“And All that Jazz” from Chicago– RHS Band
“Once Upon a Time” from Brooklyn– Kayla Mantell
“Morning Person” from Shrek the Musical– Megan Diver
“I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables– Julia Yeadon
“Journey to the Past” from Anastasia – Leah Drago
“This is the Moment” from Jekyll and Hyde– Jordan Cunningham
“What Baking Can Do” from Waitress– Emily Gaboriault
“All that Matters” from Finding Neverland– Bonnie Gasdia
“I Can Hear the Bells” from Hairspray– Olivia Janis
“I’m Here” from The Color Purple– Kerin Dalton
“Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story” from Hamilton– RHS Chorus
The Music Department’s next event will be the full musical, Annie, to be performed on Friday, April 5 and 7 pm and Saturday, April 6 at 1 pm. Tickets are available at all the schools or online at https://www.freshtix.com/events/annie- $7 General Admission.
March 13, 2019
When the high school basketball season ends, it is time for one more game: the annual Unified Basketball game. In the Unified game Rockland High School players join up with their Pathways teammates to take on arch-rival Abington!
This year once again there was plenty of action, many made and missed shots and even some defense. But more importantly, there was a lot of fun as Abington and Rockland went back and forth until Abington pulled ahead, getting the win this year.
On hand were RHS athletic director Gary Graziano who emceed the game along with Brenda Folsom, RHS Physical Education Director who organized Rockland’s unified team. The RHS students and basketball team members who assisted the Pathways players included: Ashley Murphy, Caroline and Julia Elie. Also assisting were Jenna Burns, Nicole Blonde, Hunter Wardwell, Rashaad Jean, Pierre Comeau, Deiontay Kelley, Pierre Kelley, Antonio Gilstrap, and Patrick Moriarty. Maggie Elie ran the scoreboard. Refereeing were Dante Vasquez, Tyler Beatrice and John Ellard.
Rockland’s Pathway players were: Jake Swanson, Justin Pendleton, Nick Cara, Luci Pumphrey, Saige Clauss, Cailin Sullivan, Emily Grandmont, Anthony DiNino, Alex Anzivino, Dillon Doyle, Brianna Conley.
Abington’s players included: Christopher Hagerty, Eddie Holmes, Kim Oberlander, Gretchen Wronski, Dylan Spring and Declan Burns.
Rockland’s varsity girls basketball player, Ashley Murphy explained why she likes to play in the unified games. “It gives kids the opportunity to participate in a real game. It provides the experience of competing with their friends, and have fun.”
March 12, 2019
It was a long day this past Sunday (March 10) at Tantasqua Regional High School but the Rockland High School cheerleaders performed a “flawless routine” according to asst. coach Kim Reardon and came away with another, back to back, MSAA State Championship in Division 4.
On March 3, the cheerleaders had competed in the Division 4 South Regionals in Natick, and to no one’s surprise placed first, giving them another shot at the State Championship on Sunday. For senior Bella Burns, this is her sixth State Championship in four years.
The cheerleaders have been so successful that many forget how hard they work to perfect their routines.
Athletic Director Gary Graziano said that the girls are successful because despite the fact that cheerleading is not considered a “sport,” the girls work as hard as any RHS athletes for their team’s success.
How much do they owe to head coach Jeanine Reardon who has been the coach for nine State Championships since 2012 when she began coaching? Mr. Graziano said, “She treats them like athletes.” He explained, “They do all kinds of conditioning. Coach Reardon pushes them hard.”
Coach Reardon said that they do focus on conditioning in addition to practicing their routines. “We do hold them accountable and they train for 10 hours a week.”
Mrs. Reardon also credits the girls’ work ethic, their pride and commitment, and the support they have received from numerous people. Assistant coaches are Kim Reardon and Krystin Killion with Tyler Lewis’ additional support.
Now it’s on to the New England Championships next Saturday, March 16 at Worcester State University. They will be competing during the second session.
If you haven’t seen these girls compete maybe you should! You have one more chance!
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
Each year, the RHS Student Government Council selects 15-20 outstanding leaders to attend the annual Massachusetts Association of Student Councils (MASC) conference that takes place at the Hyannis Conference Center for three days in early March.
This year 20 students embarked on this journey with SGC advisors Joanne White and Jill Delaney on March 6-8 where they encountered remarkable keynote speakers, attended beneficial workshops, and collaborated with people all over the state to better their councils. Additionally, free time was taken as a council to bond and grow a better connection to one another, making for a more communicative and understanding council.
Each year, RHS participates in the annual Polar Plunge to support the Special Olympics. Despite the weather being a balmy 26 degrees, five of the RHS MASC-goers dove into the icy Atlantic after RHS donated money to support the cause. Plungers were: Justin Sherlock, Maddie Gear, Jasmin Morse, Francisco Oliveira, and Carolyne Lage.
Later on in the day, RHS participated in the annual MASC Lip Sync competition. Originally the group thought they would be unable to participate because they were put on the wait list due to a delayed sign up. To their surprise, four days before the conference they were notified by MASC officials that a team had dropped out. In turn, this gave them a small window of time to put together a lip sync and routine.
But as usual, with the challenge presented, they decided to take a chance and put in all the time and effort they had to throw together a routine. In the end, they were named second place champs in the competition with a magical Harry Potter themed routine.
On the last day council awards were announced, and RHS won the Top Ten Award that honors a council’s work in a school-specific project. Rockland received the award for their work in making SGC Summer Camp such a success.
Additionally, officials from MASC ask all councils to provide excellence books that mark indicators of the councils’ success and participation in projects in the school and statewide events. When looking through each book they mark down by points if a council meets the criteria and then names them a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Council of Excellence. Rockland’s council was named a Silver Council according to these requirements.
All in all, it was three days filled with fun, leadership, and learning that the students will bring back to better the RHS Student Government Council.
March 11, 2019
On Thursday, March 14, the RHS Band and Chorus will present their annual Broadway Night show. This event will be at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
The chorus and band individually and together will perform cabaret-style from selected Broadway productions. The chorus will be performing “Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story” from Hamilton. Victoria McComb, chorus director said, “This is the ending of the show and the message of the piece is that you have to do your best to tell your story and let time take care of the rest.”
Ms. McComb also said, “The solo performances in our program are very varied and come from musicals like “Anastasia,” “Shrek the Musical,” “Waitress,” “Jekyll and Hyde” and more!”
John Piazza, band director, said that the band will begin the show with an overture that will feature “All That Jazz.”
If you like Broadway musicals, this will be the place to be on Thursday night. Plus, support for our band and chorus students is always appreciated.
The Rockland High School Student Government Council will once again be hosting the Nets for Nets tournament. This year the tournament will be on Tuesday, March 19. The tournament is a popular one that started in 2016.
Nets for Nets is a 3 on 3 basketball tournament comprised of teams made up of teachers and students. Each team is required to have at least one female player AND one faculty or staff member (a female teacher counts as both).
Last year’s championship team was made up of physical education teacher, Mike Doyle, Zach Sharland and Caroline Elie. Mr. Doyle and Caroline have won two championships now, the first in 2017 with Andrew Starkey. With Zach’s graduation, Mr. Doyle said, “We picked up Aneurise (Reese) Quezada to replace Zach. Caroline and I will be going for 3 in a row.”
Sign-ups are being held now. To sign up you need to get a sheet from Ms. White’s room (205), and sign up your team.
The money raised is donated to Nothing But Nets, an organization that provides bed nets for families in Africa. The nets keep out mosquitoes that transmit malaria in warm climates. According to the group, every two minutes somewhere in the world, a child dies from malaria. For more about the organization and what they do, go here.
Hurry and sign up to help this worthy cause and have fun at the same time. Slots are filling up fast!
March 7, 2019
Rockland High School’s Advanced Art students were recently invited to create an art exhibit of their works by RE/MAX Deluxe of Norwell.
Eleven RHS art students, under the direction of Rockland Art Department head, Cheryl Thompson, assembled their works and helped to create the exhibit on Wednesday, March 6 at the real estate office of RE/Max Deluxe at 293F Washington Street, Unit 1A in Norwell.
According to RE/Max, the public is welcome to come in, and vote for their favorite art piece during normal business hours, including Saturday March 9th.
On Saturday, March 16th voting will be open from noon until 2:00 pm when the winner of a $500 scholarship will be announced based on the student with the most votes. The scholarship money is donated by the South Shore Youth Foundation.
The foundation’s goal is to help fund youth programs in the area that struggle with funding. REMAX donates $500 to the foundation from the purchase or sale of each home.
RE/MAX hosted a similar event with Norwell High School’s art students last October and the event was a huge success, so they wanted to spread the opportunity to students in other towns. Lisa and Michael Garner, the owners of the real estate company and founders of the South Shore Youth Foundation, are both from Rockland and Michael attended Rockland High School.
February 28, 2019
The most exciting time of the year for RHS athletic teams was in full swing this week as the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams and the hockey team began tournament play. Two out of the three teams were able to win their opening games and will play again on Friday night (Hockey) and Saturday afternoon (Girls Basketball).
Tournament games began on Tuesday night as the boys’ basketball team traveled to Old Rochester to open up their Division 3 South tournament bid while the boys’ hockey team stayed home to take on Middleboro/Hull in a preliminary round of the D3 South tournament.
The RHS Boys’ Basketball Team and Old Rochester both had 11-9 records as they entered the seeding, but ORR won the tie-breaker and got the #8 seed, meaning that Rockland would have to travel as the #9 seed. The closeness of their records though hinted at how close the game would be, as ORR with the home court advantage, pulled off a one point win, 54-53, thus ending the boys’ season.
The take-away though is still a plus for the boys’ basketball team that ended the regular season with four straight wins, including an exciting tournament championship in the Shawn P. Cotter tournament in Abington during February vacation. All but one of those late season wins were needed to qualify for tournament, an outcome that seemed all but impossible early on in the season.
About the game, Coach Damon said in the South Coast Today report: “The kids played hard. We didn’t quit. We fell behind by 11 or 12 and we battled back.”
Hunter Wardwell and Tyrae Worrell led the scoring with 13 points apiece.
Seniors Rashaad Jean, Dan Callahan, Peter Kohler, Mike Ebersole, Anthony DeCecco and Worrell ended their careers with the Bulldogs.
The RHS Hockey Team had an even closer game as they opened up tournament play at home. This was a preliminary game as Rockland, seeded 14th with a record of 11-8-1, had a preliminary round, play-in game with #19 Middleboro/Hull. M/H’s record of 9-8-3 included two losses to the Bulldogs during the regular season.
Regular season records though are not important when it comes to tournament and the game’s back and forth play was punctuated by terrific goaltending at both ends. Rockland’s Tom McSweeney had 30 saves and Middleboro’s goalie probably played his best game of the year, turning aside many of Rockland’s scoring chances.
However, senior captain, Evan Gormley led Rockland, scoring two goals, including the overtime winner, and adding an assist.
Coach Flaherty told the Patriot Ledger: “Gormley has been our guy this year. He shows up and does what’s asked of him, and sometimes that means putting the team on his shoulders and he did that tonight. He’s a big leader for us.”
Also contributing for Rockland in addition to McSweeney and Gormley were 8th grader,Joey Salamone with one goal and sophomore Nick Blonde with two assists.
Student fans in black-out clothing were in full force at the Rockland Rink and spectators were three deep and wall-to-wall surrounding the rink.
The hockey team will go for a first round win on Friday at the Canton Ice House at 6:30. They will take on #3 see No. Quincy.
The Girls’ Basketball Team opened its tournament play on Wednesday night at home against Bishop Stang High School. The girls with a record of 14-6 are seeded #5 and Bishop Stang got the #12 seed with a record of 12-8 going in.
The girls got off to a quick start, but then the offense and defense sputtered. This allowing Stang to hang in and the Lady Dogs only took a 2 point lead (19-17) into the locker room at half-time.
The second half was a different story as the defense tightened thanks to great efforts from senior Maddie Blonde and junior Hannah Murphy. The Lady Dogs only allowed Stang two third quarter points and seven 2nd half points in all for a 55-33 win.
Caroline Elie, Ashley Murphy, Hannah Wyllie and Julia Elie took care of the scoring with Caroline Elie leading the way with 16 points. Ashley Murphy, Wyllie and Elie chipped in with double figures as well and the two Elies and Wyllie also recorded double figures in rebounding.
Fans dressed in white-out also provided a spark for the girls in their second half outburst.
Now the girls will play in a quarterfinal round on Saturday at 4 pm in Norwell. Norwell (the #4 seed) and Rockland split their two league games with Norwell taking the first game in early January in Rockland and Rockland countering in Norwell with an exciting one point win.
It should be a great game on Saturday.
February 21, 2019
Each of the winter sports teams had successful seasons, and three teams are now preparing for their postseason tournaments. Each of the teams honored their seniors on their senior nights and below are links to a page of photos for each of the senior nights.
Veritas photographer Ashley Murphy took photos of the seniors on the wrestling and hockey teams.
Girls Basketball photos were taken by Janet Guenet and Chris Burnieika and Mr. Graziano provided Boys Basketball and Swimming photos.
Congratulations to all the seniors who participated in RHS Winter Sports!
Click on any of the group photos to go to the individual photo gallery.
Swimming Seniors 2019
Megan Diver & Ariana Boostrom, Veritas Staff
The Music Department is presenting the hit musical Annie written by Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin this spring.
Annie is the story of a little orphan girl who believes her parents left her behind by mistake, and are still coming back for her. Unexpectedly, Annie (Mikayla Andres) ends up in the lap of luxury with depression-era billionaire Oliver Warbucks (Jordan Cunningham) who decides to have an orphan live with him to promote his image.
After a while, Warbucks decides he wants to adopt her. Instead, Annie asks him to help her find her real parents and he agrees. So, Warbucks announces a whopping reward to anyone who helps to locate her parents.
This attracts the attention of many con artists like Rooster (Neleh Dunn), Lily (Olivia Janis), and Miss Hannigan (Emily Gaboriault), the “caretaker” of the girls in the orphanage Annie is from. They all hatch a plot to kidnap the little girl and take Warbucks’ $50,000 reward.
You are in for a real treat because you may or may not notice that a scene is missing seeing how this is the musical and it’s not on Broadway. However, don’t fret; this classic family musical has a happy ending for Annie and Daddy Warbucks and the whole gang.
Victoria McComb, middle school and high school chorus teacher, and Michelle Booth, elementary school music teacher, are the directors of the musical.
Ms. McComb said they chose Annie because “it is well known and well loved; the music is great and we have a good group of students to portray the roles well.”
The production is set to be performed on Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 6 at 1 p.m. in the RMS/RHS auditorium.
Students at Rockland High School will be enjoying a nice, long, well-deserved vacation starting today! After all, in an unusual winter, no snow days have been called and students have had no real rest since the holidays!
Most students will be far away from the high school, many getting much needed rest, many working extra hours to try to save money for their savings accounts, and many actually doing some school work without worrying about next-day deadlines! Some will be heading south on family vacations to Disney or other tropical locations; some will be going north to snowboard, ski or do some tubing, especially since our area has had no real snow this year (so far).
A large group of students will be playing in vacation tournaments, including the boys and girls basketball teams who will both be participating in a combined tournament hosted by Abington. For the boys they will still be in the hunt to wrap up a tournament spot, while the girls will be polishing their record to earn a home game and the highest seed possible in the postseason tournament that starts after vacation. Those games are on Monday and Wednesday. Check our website Events calendar for specific times.
The hockey team will also be involved in games over the holiday and they too will be looking to come out of the regular season ready to do well in the postseason tournament.
Two other groups will be participating in school-related activities.
The Service Learning trip to Guatemala starts on Saturday, Feb. 16. Fifteen students and three chaperones will be traveling to Guatemala and working for the week to help provide needed services and supplies to villagers near Panajachel where they will be staying. See our Veritas story on the trip here.
Another group will be heading to Boston to participate in the Harvard Model Congress program. This will be a four day conference held at the Boston Sheraton hotel conference rooms, involving multiple schools. The purpose is to foster familiarity with the government process. The Harvard Model Congress is the largest congressional simulation conference in the world, providing high school students from across the country and abroad, an opportunity to experience American government firsthand. This years’ HMC participants from RHS consists of Jordan Cunningham, Terika Crooks, Paige Donnelly, Michaela Sugrue, and Nicolle G. Winter. Ms. Adrienne Donovan is the Club Advisor. The Veritas will be reporting on the students’ experience when they get back in a week.
Whatever it is that you do, enjoy your vacation, Bulldogs, and be safe and rested, and ready for the final months of the school year!
Students were treated to a special luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 12 right before their early release due to the impending snow storm.
Congratulations to the following students who achieved high honors for one or both terms so far this year. Achieving high honors means that students have gotten grades of 90 or better in all of their academic classes.
Terms 1 and 2
Robert Ivill III
Congratulations Bulldog Scholars!!
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
With last Sunday’s New England Patriots victory against the LA Rams by a whopping score of 13-3 at Super Bowl LIII, yesterday, Tues. Feb. 5, called for a Boston tradition: a Super Bowl Victory Parade.
This occurrence almost seems to become annual: the parade takes place in Boston and people from all over New England come to celebrate the Super Bowl victory of their beloved hometown football team, the Patriots. The last parade was actually two years ago, in 2017,
Yesterday, people crammed onto the streets of Boston and Boston Common to celebrate their favorite players, coaches, staff, and cheerleaders as they rolled down the streets in duck boats and were welcomed home with the Lombardi trophy as their souvenir from Atlanta.
This year was one of the highest attendances ever for a Boston sports parade. The MBTA noted that they saw the highest total of riders on the trains ever. Furthermore, the Boston police estimated about 1.5 million people to have attended the parade. (boston globe.com)
As for Rockland, many teachers planned for their class attendances to be lower than normal on the day of the parade as many students noted that they would not be coming to school. In total, RHS noted nearly 200 students to have been absent on parade day. Whether these absences were parade-related or due to it being flu season is not specified.
All in all, with unseasonably warm weather, the crowds flocked to Boston to show their love and support for Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and all the New England Patriots. People young and old celebrated their outstanding year and all the accomplishments the team had as a whole. Whether seeing Brady was your favorite part of the day, going out into the balmy spring-like weather, or simply absorbing Patriot pride, everyone who went to Boston yesterday is sure to have had an unforgettable day.
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
After months of preparation and hard work, RHS’s Mock Trial team finished off the season on Mon. Jan. 28 after winning the trial’s verdict against Norwell.
At the beginning of this year, the team and advisors, history teachers Greg Rowe and Randal Grimmett were faced with the task of filling the team with fresh new faces after a majority of the team graduated last year. Thankfully, several underclassmen came to some meetings and decided to commit to the club.
On Fri. Jan. 18 the team kicked off the season on defense at the Hingham District Court where they faced Hull. The following week on Fri. Jan. 25, they faced Thayer Academy on prosecution at the Brockton District Court. Finally to close out the season they won as defense against Norwell at the Brockton District Court.
At the close of this season, yet again the team will be losing some key seniors including Giovan Soares, and captains: Jasmin Morse, Caitlin Cameron, and Elizabeth Kelley.
- Jasmin Morse
- Elizabeth Kelley
- Callie Gillan
- Ashley Galliger
- Giovan Soares
- Maria Pala
- Makayla Andre
- Caitlin Cameron
- Annie Kelley
- Ngan Nguyen
- Ashley Galliger
- Brynn Dempsey
For more information about the Mock Trial Team’s season see the print edition of the Veritas on Feb. 14.
January 25, 2019
Students are gearing up for the annual Poetry Out Loud competition to be held on Monday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. in the RHS lecture hall.
This year six students will vie for the honor of representing Rockland in the Regional Competition to be held in March. They are: Jillian Mitchell who will recite, “Self Portrait” and “Then and Now,” Maria Pala who will perform “Lazy” and “Life,” Kathleen Nee whose poems are “Song in a Minor Key,” and “The Ocean,” John Ellard who will perform “Caged Bird,” and “Invitation to Love,” Megan Diver who will recite “Kubla Khan,” and “Megan Married Herself,” and Paige Boggs whose poems are “A Rabbit Is King of the Ghosts,” and “Grief.
Ms. Carol Cahill, English Dept. Chairperson, says that this year students have selected interesting and diverse poems that are sure to inspire those in the audience. She encourages all to attend, not only to support the students, but also to be entertained by the poetry that they will hear.