On Thursday night Nov. 14 at 7:00 in the high school auditorium, the next Mr. Rockland will be crowned.
The annual Mr. Rockland pageant, sponsored by the Student Government Council, is an all-senior-boys contest in which the winner receives $200 in scholarships, a Chipotle gift card, and a designated parking space.
This year seven seniors will be performing in various categories in front of four faculty judges who will determine the winner of the contest.
Some of the categories they will compete in will be talent, lip-syncing, formal wear and question and answer. Last year’s winner was John Ellard.
Tickets are $5 for everyone and can be purchased at the door.
You don’t want to miss this show which is always very entertaining.
Three of Rockland’s fall athletic teams made it to postseason tournament play beginning with the football team which played Greater New Bedford (4-3) on Friday night, November 1 at 7 pm in the Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Dogs (7-0) earned home field by being seeded #2 in Division 6 South. Greater New Bedford was seeded #7.
To no one’s surprise, Rockland came out on top 44, Greater New Bedford Voke 14. Dante Vasquez rushed for 221 yards and 6 touchdowns.
The Bulldogs will now host #3 Ashland tonight (Friday, Nov. 8) at 7 pm. Ashland beat East Bridgewater last Friday by a score of 21-14. They, like the Bulldogs are undefeated. This is the Division 6 South Semifinals!!
Good luck Dogs!
The girls volleyball team with 19 wins and 1 loss were seeded #1 in Division 3 South. They opened their tournament play at home on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1 pm vs. Nantucket (9-8).
Rockland came out with the win and next up was Westport on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in a home quarterfinal match-up. Westport was seeded #8 in the division. They had beat Calvary Chapel in the first round.
The girls had no problem with Westport on Tuesday and came away with a 3-0 win. Next they moved to Brockton High School for the D3 South Semifinals on Thursday at 5 pm where they defeated Fairhaven (13-8) by a score of 3-0. Fairhaven was seeded #12 entering the tournament.
Now the girls will face Case High School on Saturday at noon in New Bedford. This will be the Division 3 South Sectional Final game and it is the first time that the volleyball team has gotten this far in the tournament.
Good luck girls!!
The boys soccer team, seeded at #8, opened up tournament play at home on Monday, Nov. 4 against Apponequet. Unfortunately, Apponequet came away with the win 4-2.
Although they were disappointed that they didn’t advance, those on the team agree that this season marked a turning point for the program. The team finished their regular season at 12-3-3. This was a big turn-around for the team since last year they missed the tournament with a record of 3-14-1.
Senior captain Vitor Santos said on Twitter: “Despite the fact we didn’t ended the season how we wanted this is a little thing that represents how hard WE as a team worked. All this wouldn’t be possible if wasn’t [for] my teammates and coaches!”
Vitor Santos, Renan Santos, Yggor Batista, and Andrew Norton were named SSL all-stars!! Vitor was also named South Shore League’s Sullivan Division Player of the Year and EMASS All-Star. Coach Kimball was named the South Shore League’s Sullivan Division Coach of the Year.
Nov. 5, 2019
The third annual Credit for Life Fair was held at RHS on Tues. Nov. 5 in the high school gymnasium. The fair was sponsored by the Guidance Department who got 30 volunteers to come to RHS to guide sophomores in making financial decisions.
From 9-11 am students circulated through thirteen different tables with volunteers who discussed the many financial decisions that students needed to make as they tried to stick to the budgets they had been given based on a hypothetical salary.
Some of the tables included “Insurance,” “Transportation,” “Savings and Retirement,” “Career Counseling,” “Luxuries,” “Cell Phone Plans,” and “Education and Training.” A popular experience was the “That’s Life” table where students would spin to see if they would receive money or have to pay an unexpected bill.
Sophomore Maddie Murphy said that one thing she learned is that she needs “to start saving now.” She said that it was eye-opening to see how much a monthly food bill is and how much something like insurance costs.
In all, students agreed that the fair is a worth-while event to help them see what “real life” is like.
Below is a video by the Digital Media student Dante Vasquez who interviewed sophomores about the fair.
Photos from this year’s fair.
On Sunday October 27, 2019 from 5 to 7 pm, Rockland High School students and staff members held the annual Project Pumpkin Halloween celebration.
This year, Project Pumpkin had over 400 visitors that came to enjoy activities such as indoor trick or treating, face painting, and games in the gym area. Students at Rockland High School, mainly members of Student Government, showed their support to the event by volunteering and dedicating their time. Students dressed up in costumes to hand out candy to the trick or treaters, and helped organize the gym to allow for safe and enjoyable times for the guests. Some students even dedicated their time to help in the haunted hallway, which gave visitors a spooky experience.
Visitors were also able to receive a discount for one dollar for every can brought in. This fundraiser allowed for Rockland High School to raise canned goods for the food drive this month.
Here is a video and some pictures from this year’s Project Pumpkin!
Oct. 26, 2019
On Saturday, Oct. 26, six new members were added to the Rockland High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Athletic Director Gary Graziano hosted the dinner and induction ceremony that was held at the Rockland Golf Course.
The inductees included: Fran Cook, Class of 1951 for track and cross country; Kevin Klier, Class of 1978 for golf; Peter Foster, Class of 1979 for basketball; Jeffrey Phelps, Class of 1986, for football; Tom Ryan, Class of 1997 for football, and Courtney Burns, Class of 2009, for basketball.
Each inductee was introduced by a former coach, teammate or sibling.
Kenny Klier who introduced his brother Kevin described Kevin’s dedication to golf and his success in high school, college and on the amateur and professional circuit. After high school, Kevin received an athletic scholarship for golf to Temple University where he was then inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2016.
Former boys basketball coach Bob Fisher introduced Peter Foster and spoke about his legendary prowess as a basketball, baseball and soccer player at Rockland High School. Foster went on to play basketball and baseball at West Point Academy, and now works for the Disney Corporation in Florida.
Fran Cook was introduced by John Spinale, his teammate, who spoke about his great success as a track athlete at Rockland high School in the 1940’s where he was undefeated in both track and cross country in his four years at Rockland High School. He held the course record in Rockland, Brockton and Franklin Park for many years.
Former girls basketball coach Mal Lannin-Cotton introduced Courtney Burns. She described Burns’ dedication to basketball, leading Rockland’s teams to three Patriot League championships. Burns played at Rhode Island College, and since then has become the head women’s coach at Mitchell College in New London, CT. She was voted Coach of the Year in the New England Collegiate Conference in her second year as a head coach.
Rick Phelps introduced his brother Jeffrey and spoke about his accomplishments as a football player at RHS under coach Ken Owen. Jeffrey went on to play at Colby College and is a successful businessman in Rockland, taking over the Amos A. Phelps Insurance for his father, Richard Phelps who is a Rockland School Committeeman.
Tom Ryan was introduced by Chuck McDonald, RHS football coach and Ryan’s teammate. McDonald described Ryan’s work ethic as a baseball and football player at RHS. He was a three year starter in football, a captain and an Enterprise all-scholastic. At Springfield College Ryan was a three year starter where he captained the team that reached the NCAA Division 3 Elite 8 in 2000. After several years as defensive coordinator at Tewksbury High School, he has been the head coach at Methuen High School since 2013.
All of the inductees after accepting their plaques spoke about the influence that growing up in Rockland had on their lives. They also described how their participation in sports, and in particular the influence of their coaches at Rockland High School, had put them on the path to successful lives.
Gary Graziano concluded that this is one of the best classes of inductees that he has presided over.
Since 1988, Rockland High School has inducted 78 student-athlete alumni to the Hall of Fame, as well as four former coaches as honorary members.
Nominees for the Hall of Fame have had outstanding athletic accomplishments during and after high school. They also have contributed to their communities, and in some cases have overcome adversity during high school or later on in their lives. They must also be at least five years out of high school.
Hall of Fame Committee members include:Gary Graziano, Kathleen Paulding, Fredrick Damon, Stephen Sangster, Madeline Lannin-Cotton and Nicholas Liquori.
Anyone may nominate a Rockland High School graduate for consideration for the Athletic Hall of Fame. To do so, contact the athletic director at email@example.com.
Rockland High School held its annual Grade 8 Open House and Welcome Night on Weds. Oct. 23 from 6:15 to 8:00. About 120 eighth graders and their parents attended.
Eighth grade students and their parents were first welcomed by Principal John Harrison to the auditorium where they listened to several students speak about the many highlights of the Rockland High School experience. Jordan Cunningham spoke about the many areas of academics and activities that students can explore which he has taken advantage of. Hannah Wyllie discussed her involvement in the environmental club and the Rubik’s Cubers club as well athletics. Maddie Gear talked about her opportunities gained in the Travel Club.
After the presentation in the auditorium, RHS students led tours throughout the building to various “stations” where classroom teachers, coaches and club advisors explained the many offerings available to students.
Principal Harrison said, “I thought the staff did a great job and I think our student helpers made us proud. There was a nice energy in the building.”
6:15 PM Check-In for Grade 8 Students & Families6:30 PM Opening Remarks and Brief Presentation in Auditorium from Students, Faculty, and Administration
7 PM-8:10 PM Tours Throughout the Building
October 21, 2019 Veritas Staff
It’s been a great fall season for the RHS football team. Not only have they won seven straight games, but their coach, Mr. Nick Liquori was recognized as the Coach of the Week by the New England Patriots after their 35-0 win over Medford on Oct.11.
The team has been victorious this year with an undefeated record of 7-0. The defense has allowed only 7.6 points per game while their offense is averaging 30.6 points per game. Combined with the team’s six victories to end the season last year, the Bulldogs have the best winning streak in the area.
Their 14-7 win over Norwell last Friday night at Norwell gave them the South Shore League Sullivan Division title. In that game senior Dante Vasquez rushed for over 200 yards and 1 TD. Tom McSweeney also had a TD.
Now the Dogs will wait to see who they are matched up with in the upcoming Division 6 South play-offs that begin on November 1.
Mr. Liquori’s honor was presented to him by former Patriots linebacker, Andre Tippett, on Tuesday, Oct. 15. The entire team and coaching staff were present in the gymnasium during the presentation. A $1,000 donation on behalf of the Patriots Foundation, was also made to the Bulldogs in honor of Coach Liquori.
The presentation was featured on the Patriots weekly television show, “Patriots All Access,” which aired on Friday night, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV. It is available on Patriots.com. Go to minute 23:54 to see the clip.
Veritas staff reporter, Austin Clarke, sat down with Coach Liquori in our studio to talk about the football team, the season and his honor.
October 17, 2019
Toward the end of the 2018-2019 school year, student government advisers, Joanne White and Jill Delaney announced they would be departing from their positions.
That is when Kirsten Bartoloni, (Ms. MacDonald), a social studies teacher at Rogers Middle School and Greg Rowe, a high school social studies teacher, stepped up to the plate. Since then, even though “Miss Mac,” is a middle school teacher she has put forth her best efforts and is really making an impact on our high school student government.
Mr. Rowe states that he initially said no to the position, due to many other commitments, but with Mrs. Bartoloni’s help he felt he could take on the role.He said, “My favorite part is all the excitement. It really shows that you kids want to make an impact.” A big goal of his, he says, is to achieve gold council status at this year’s MASC conference.
SGC President, Katy Buckley and SGC Vice President, Maddie Gear both agree that the advisers are doing a great job and they both are clearly hard working people. They said that both advisers have done so much for the council already due to their great energy.
With it being their senior year, Buckley and Gear would like to leave a mark on the council such as growing in numbers and becoming more organized.
Buckley said, “I want to make student council the place to be at Rockland High.”
One thing that Mrs. Bartoloni has done is to include the middle school student government members in one high school activity a month. The first one was the fundraising activities and the walk to support breast cancer awareness.
The RHS and RMS fundraisers for breast cancer took place the last two weeks of September and raised a record of $5,750 for the American Cancer Society.
On Sept. 29, 150 students from the high school and middle school went into Boston for the Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.
The next big event for the student government will be Project Pumpkin which is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m at RHS.
The week leading to Rockland’s first Unified Pep Rally and Homecoming dance consisted of a fun filled spirit week with great participation school wide. The following spirit days were:
Monday: Rockland Pride Day
Tuesday: USA Day
Wednesday: Boston Sports Day
Thursday: Throwback Thursday
Friday: Unified Pep Rally Day
On Friday, Rockland High School hosted the first unified Pep Rally, which was a school wide gathering held in the stadium to symbolize inclusiveness within the Rockland community. The Pathways program and the Bulldog Buddies had the opportunity to enjoy fun hands-on activities such as tug of war, a push-up competition, a school wide roller coaster conducted by Owen Shea, and a running through the banner. All students of Rockland High School were highly encouraged to wear white to show unity amongst the community. Here are some photos from the event.
RHS senior Caroline Elie was crowned Miss Rockland for the Class of 2020 tonight at half-time of the Homecoming football game. Principal John Harrison and Athletic Director Gary Graziano presented the crown and a bouquet of roses to Caroline who was accompanied by her mother, Jill .
Six seniors were nominated by the faculty at RHS for the honor of being named Miss Rockland. Each nominee is a positive role model, and a leader in the school and community.
The senior class votes for the finalist.
The six seniors are Stephanie Beatrice, Katy Buckley, Maddie Gear, Lara Glennon, Hannah Wyllie, and Elie.
For biographies and statements from each of the nominees, be sure to pick up a copy of the print edition of the Veritas which will be available next week!
Veritas Staff Report
Each year a group of Rockland High School students, sponsored by the Student Government Council, spends a Sunday morning at the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk” held in Boston. This year, on Sept. 29, Rogers Middle School students teamed up with high school students for the walk. With all their fundraising activities, together they raised a record $5,725 for breast cancer research and awareness programs.
The Rockland group “all decked out in pink” totaled about 150 students and traveled on four busses to the event. Chaperones included Mrs. Kirsten Bartoloni, the advisor of both the middle and high school student government councils, Ms. Jacqui Gervais, seventh grade middle school teacher and asst. advisor, Mr. Greg Rowe, high school social studies teacher and asst. advisor for the high school SGC. Several parents also accompanied the students.
Once students arrived at the Hatch Shell they joined 25,000 other participants and walked around to different kiosks. They also got to listen to cancer survivors who were speaking on the stage along with Boston’s Mayor, Marty Walsh.
Click on the photos below provided by Greta Russo, Kiara Miguel and Olivia Milso.
After students got to the starting line at 8 a.m. they decided if they would take the long walk (6 miles) or the short walk (2 miles). At the finish line, students received snacks and water for free. Students also got to enjoy the beautiful scenery and nice weather along the Charles River before they returned to the high school around 11:15 a.m.
A few weeks before the Walk, RHS and RMS Student Government Councils held fundraising activities to raise money for the American Cancer Society. According to Mrs. Bartoloni the high school students “raised $2,300 through t-shirt sales, penny wars, and donations from the September 27th football game.” This was $800 more than last year’s total. She reported that the middle school “raised $3,425 through t-shirt sales and teacher jean day donations.”
Photos from the high school’s “Pink-Out” Day on Friday, Sept. 27 were taken by Verias Staff photographer, Alana Miller.
Student Government Community Services Chair, senior Zach Webb, along with other SGC leaders organized many of the fundraising events and recruited participants for the Walk. Webb said, “All you really can do is just put the information out there with announcements, flyers, and just talking to people.”
SGC advisors shared many statistics about breast cancer with students. Mrs. Bartoloni said, “This year an estimated 41,760 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.”
According to the Making Strides mission statement, they raise money “to help the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking breast cancer research and provide patient services like free rides to chemo, free places to stay near treatment, and a live 24/7 cancer helpline.”
September 30, 2019
The Rockland Girls Volleyball team breezed through their first eight games this year, not even losing a set. That changed on Monday afternoon as they faced their toughest opponent so far in Hingham. But in the end, in five exciting sets, the Bulldogs came out with a 3-2 win to make it nine wins in a row this season.
The Lady Dogs began the day with a 26-24 win in the first set. But the second and third sets put them in a bind as they lost both, 25-19 and 25-18.
The girls did not fold, however, and came back to win the fourth set 25-17. That tied the match at 2-2.
You couldn’t have asked for a more exciting finish as the Lady Dogs got the win in a 17-15 nail-biter in the fifth and final set to remain undefeated.
Senior Hannah Wylie ended with eight kills and seven blocks while senior Caroline Elie had seven kills in the team’s win.
The girls will look to make it ten wins in a row on Wednesday as they go up against Randolph at home.
The RHS Journalism students interviewed several students and assistant principal Kathy Paulding about vaping and the recent ban by Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker on the sale of vaping products in the state of Massachusetts.
Next week, Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 will be Spirit Week at Rockland High School. Student Government came up with the themes for each day.
Monday will be Rockland Pride Day. Students should wear Rockland apparel.
Tuesday will be USA Day, so break out your red, white and blue!
Wednesday will be Boston Sports Day. Students will wear their favorite Boston team gear.
Thursday is called Throwback Thursday. Students can wear something that will represent past generations.
Last is Friday, the day of the Unified Pep Rally that will be held out in the stadium, weather permitting. Students are asked to wear white to symbolize inclusiveness.
Spirit Week is designed to get everyone pumped up for the Homecoming game on Friday night and the Homecoming Dance on Saturday, Oct. 5.
The auditions will be held on Monday, Sept. 30 at 3:00 in Room 205 or on Tuesday, Oct. 1st at 3:00 in Room 205.
Callbacks are scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 2nd at 3:00 and rehearsals will begin on Thursday, Oct. 3rd.
The play will be performed in December. Just to give you a quick preview, it’s a play made up of several vignettes, some funny, some serious, all having in common the fact that they all take place in cars. Some of the scenes include a couple having an argument, teenage girls who have run over a squirrel and, well, you’ll have to wait ’til December to see the rest.
Joanne White, faculty director of the Theater Guild, said they chose the play because it’s different and allows for a lot of flexibility with the cast. She’s hoping many will try out.
See you next week in Room 205!
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.”