Althea Olsen, Veritas Editor-in-Chief
March 17, 2020
Until April 7th, Rockland Public Schools will be closed in order to contain the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Beginning in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus rapidly spread throughout China’s nation, and quickly spread throughout Europe and the United States. As a response to the now declared pandemic, the United States has declared a national emergency and with each day that passes, the U.S. is issuing stricter guidelines to “flatten the curve” of the virus’ spread. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has ordered all private and public schools to be closed for three weeks in order to contain the spread of the virus within Massachusetts. Along with the closing of schools, the MIAA, or the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has decided that the beginning of spring sports will be delayed until April 27.
One of the major ways to keep personal hygiene and protection from the virus is washing the hands with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds. Hand sanitizer with sixty percent alcohol is a great alternative for when soap and water are not applicable. The CDC recommends that individuals do not rely on hand sanitizer to keep them safe, and to wash hands when possible. The CDC also recommends to clean and disinfect surfaces often, and stay home if one is feeling unwell. Wearing a medical mask will only help if the individual wearing the mask is sick. Medical masks will prevent the spreading of illness, but will not prevent the gaining of it. Most importantly, cover the mouth when sneezing or coughing, and keep a six foot distance from individuals who appear to be sick.
Individuals over the age of 60 are most prone to more serious related illnesses from the virus. Those who are immunocompromised, including individuals with heart and lung disease and diabetes are in the most danger. In our local community, grocery stores such as Market Basket and Stop and Shop have established specific time frames within their store that are dedicated for those aged 60 and over. This creates a safer and more comfortable environment for those who are at larger risk for the virus. Check the websites of grocery stores for more information.
Individuals under the age of sixty with healthy immune systems will often have no severe cases of the virus. COVID-19 within younger, healthier individuals is compared to having the cold or the flu. In order to decrease the spread to those who are in greater danger, everyone is urged to keep a distance of six feet, called social distancing, and practice healthy hygiene.
Due to the possible cancellation and delay of spring sports, many seniors fear they will be unable to share their last memories on the field. Yesterday, the MIAA announced that spring sports may be able to begin on April 27.
Schools across Massachusetts have also cancelled important events such as their proms and fundraising opportunities. The RHS music and theatre department’s Mary Poppins that was scheduled on March 27 and 28 has also been cancelled. The College Board has cancelled the May 2 SAT testing. Juniors should check their website for future testing dates. For juniors and seniors AP exams are still scheduled. For more on AP tests, check here.
Here’s a small sampling of how Rockland High School students feel about all of this.
Junior Robert Ivil said, “Everyone and the media are making a huge deal about an evolved cold, but I am worried for my grandparents since they are a part of the high risk age.”
Billy Robinson, also a junior, believes that society is treating this as if it is the Black Plague, but believes that having no school is a positive step, since so many aspects of the disease are unknown.
Zachary Solomon says that he is very bored without school, and is worried for his grandparents since they are in the high risk age and have experienced past illnesses. Most of the students in Rockland believe school cancellation is a positive in order to contain the virus.
It is strongly advised that individuals follow quarantine rules to the best of their abilities.
During the school closing, Rockland High School will have free grab and go lunch available Monday through Friday 11:30 am to 12:30 pm at the “Mainstreet” entrance of the high school.
Dr. Alan Cron has also announced that administration and teachers have worked “to develop a district-wide, comprehensive ‘work from home’ plan for all students and parents. Also, the district will provide laptops or Chromebook computers to those who only have a phone to connect to the internet. Dr. Cron said those that would like to borrow a laptop should email their building principals.
If you are without internet service at home, Comcast is providing a 2-month free internet package for families. Information on the program can be found at http://internetessentials.com/.
Please help spread this information and check the RPS website for updates.
March 8, 2020
The girls basketball team, for only the second time in 20 years, will be playing in the Division 3 State Semifinals. The game will be on Weds. March 11 at TD Garden in Boston at 2 p.m. Due to the timing, RHS Principal Dr. John Harrison has scheduled Wednesday to be an early release day at 12 p.m. so that students and staff can attend the game and support the girls. Busses will be provided for all who wish to attend the game. Principal Harrison said, “I feel this is a special moment for our school community.”
The girls advanced to the state semifinals by defeating Archbishop Williams on Friday night by a score of 53-37. That game gave them the Division 3 So. Sectional title and a chance to continue to the State Tournament where they will face another private school, St. Mary’s of Lynn. St. Mary’s played in the State Championship game last year. They lost to the West Champ, Hoosac in that game.
Captains Caroline Elie, Hannah Murphy and Hannah Wyllie led the girls in the game Friday night as the team looked to avenge their loss to Archbishop Williams in the semifinals last year. The team took care of business right away by going out to a 10-0 first quarter lead and continued to dominate the Bishops with suffocating defense and precision offense.
Coach Diana Newcomb said, “We followed the game plan exactly.” Expect the team to be ready for another great game on Weds.
Information about busses will be available and the schedule for Weds. is below. Go Dogs!!
8:00-8:41 A Block
9:28-10:09 C Block
Lunch and Class Time D Block
1st 10:56 – 11:16 Class 11:16-11:56
2nd 11:16 – 11:36 Class 10:56-11:16; Lunch; 11:36-11:56
3rd 11:36- 11:56 Class 10:56-11:36
**F will not meet!!
For students who have third lunch, they will be dismissed from the lunch room.
Photos from Friday night!
Feb. 14, 2020
Today is not only Valentine’s Day, it is also Kindness Day in the schools and in the Town of Rockland.
The Veritas asked a few people about Valentine’s Day to help celebrate and the Student Government Council posted notes to every student at RHS to BE KIND to all on #KindnessRockland2020.
So, pass on the love and the kindness today and everyday!!
Forty RHS students were recognized on Tuesday, Feb. 11 with a special luncheon, catered by Chipotle, in the media center. The luncheon was in recognition of the students’ achieving high honor grades in term 1, term 2 or in both terms. Principal John Harrison and Asst. Principal Kathy Paulding as well as Guidance Coordinator, Margie Black, and the RHS Guidance Department were the hosts.
Mr. Harrison congratulated the students saying that being one of 40 students achieving high honors was a special accomplishment since they represented less than 10% of the student population of Rockland High School with an enrollment of 600.
Students received certificates after lunch!
The students included:
Terms 1 and 2: Melyssa Almedia, Monalisa Almeida, Jad Bendarawi, Sydney Blaney, Kathryn Buckley, Olivia Golemme, Patrick Hitchcock, Toni Hawe, Tyler Johnson, Matthew Medford, Petr Quinn, Oliver Reera, Julia Yeadon,
Term 1: Stephanie Beatrice, Riley Cadogan, Shane Daly, Julia DeLima, Robert Ivil III, Kayla Mantell, Tyler Gambon, Colin McKerrel, Isabelle Polvere, Emma Radzik, Nathaniel Rivas, Aaron Steeves, Troy Therrien, Hannah Wyllie,
Term 2: Michael Caron II, Nicholas Cedrone, Esabella DeFillippo, Callie Gillan, Lara Glennon, Nicolle Ligia Gudiel Winter, Olivia Jones, Mary Kate Leoncavallo, Victoria Murray, Lina Nassif, Ngan Nguyen, Cullen Rogers, Emilie Scannell
Alana Miller, Veritas Staff
January 31, 2020
All good things must come to an end and so on Friday, Jan. 31, Rockland High School had to say goodbye to Mrs. Jane Ellis who is retiring after 32 years as the principal’s secretary at RHS.
In those 32 years Mrs. Ellis has seen many classes come and go through Rockland High and she was responsible for coordinating each graduation and senior awards ceremony that took place each year. She was secretary for five principals: A. Scott MacKinlay, James Kerrigan, Steven Sangster, Dr. Alan Cron and the present principal, Dr. John Harrison. In the many years that she has been here Mrs. Ellis said that she “was very fortunate that she was able to work with all of the great principals because they were awesome to work with.”
Dr. Harrison who has been principal for four years said that she taught him “most of my position. She has also given me a wealth of information about everything such as this job, helping with tasks, and she does everything with a sense of humor and patience.”
Reflecting on her retirement, she said she is sad that she will be leaving people she spends every week day with, but she also has a good feeling about it, saying she will now be able to enjoy more free time and also cherish all of the memories that she made with her coworkers.
Mrs. Ellis also said she is going to miss “all of the activities that happened in and around the office” with all of her coworkers and the students. Also, she added that she will miss “telling kids what’s on the ‘yummy lunch menu’ every morning over the loudspeaker during announcements.”
Mrs. Susan O’Brien, secretary of the general office, will be taking over for Mrs. Ellis.
We wish Mrs. Ellis the best in her retirement and thank her for all she has done for RHS over the years.
For profiles of both Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. O’Brien check the February issue of the Veritas!
January 28, 2020
Senior Mat Bruzzese came in first last night in the annual Poetry Out Loud contest held at Rockland High School. His first place award enables him to move on to the Poetry Out Loud regional competition in Yarmouth in March.
Bruzzese was one of four contestants in the poetry recitation event. Sophomore Kathleen Nee came in second while freshmen Anabelle MacDonald and Emilly Costa shared the third place prize.
English Department head, Carol Cahill hosted the event in the lecture hall and congratulated all the students for their poetry recitations. Each student recited two poems, one in each round of competition.
Students choose their poems from a library provided by the National Poetry Out Loud organization. A list of the students’ poems is below.
The three judges of the contestants included Karen Bonn, Bill Boyer, and Danny Bolton.The judges evaluated each student’s performance on physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding and overall performance. Accuracy scorer was RHS English teacher, Kendra Donovan.
Congratulations to Mat and to all the contestants.
Kathleen Nee – “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and “Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser
Annabelle MacDonald – “Broken Promises” by David Kirby and “I Remember, I Remember” by Thomas Hood
Emilly Costa – “I Am Offering this Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca and “I heard a fly buzz when I died” by Emily Dickinson
Mat Bruzzese – “The Days Gone By” by James Whitcomb Riley and “Sweet Tooth” by Russel Edson
January 24, 2020
Six RHS students are preparing for the annual Poetry Out Loud competition to be held on Monday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in the RHS lecture hall.
This year the six students will compete for the honor of representing Rockland in the Regional Competition to be held in March.
They include: Kathleen Nee, Mat Bruzzese, Abigail Procter, Annabelle MacDonald, Emilly Costa, and Abby Moran. Each student will recite one poem in two separate rounds of competition.
More than a competition, the night will feature the opportunity to listen to poetry dramatically presented. Each student has chosen their two poems based on the Poetry Out Loud catalog. One poem must be from pre-20th Century.
Come support this year’s six Poetry Bulldogs on Monday night in the lecture hall!
Below are photos from last year’s event.
January 10, 2020
Students attending a service trip to Guatemala in April are encouraging students, staff and community members to clean out their closets for the New Year.
As a fundraiser, the group would like to collect 800 bags of clothing, shoes and soft accessories which would earn them approximately $2,000 toward their travel expenses.
Donations can be brought to the high school on Saturday morning, Jan. 18 between 9 and 11 am. The bags will then be transported to Savers in Hanover.
Melissa Shaughnessy, RHS Spanish teacher and one of the trip’s coordinators, says that this fundraiser has been successful in the past with 600 bags donated in one year. For every 400 bags, the service learning group will earn $1,000.
The service trip to Guatemala gives students the opportunity to help people who live in poverty. Through the organization Worthy Village students team up with other service workers and provide families with water filters, hygiene products and other materials to help improve their lives.
Senior Alyssa Patten went to Guatemala with the RHS group last year and is returning again this year. She explained her reason for going back again this year. “Traveling down to Guatemala with the school and Worthy Village has truly made such an impact on my life. After returning home last year I immediately wanted to continue to make a difference and wanted to go back and help out more. I am so excited to be able to travel again this April.”
Patten described the experience that has meant so much to her. “Seeing the faces on the families in Guatemala when we arrived with water filter systems changed me for the better. It showed me how much we truly take for granted here and how the littlest things make them so happy.”
She says that she is going back not only to “change more lives,” but also she said, “I get to go back and have my life changed for the better. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity and am so excited to see what this group of students will do!”
Senior Lara Glennon will also be returning to Guatemala in April. She said, “I’m going back to Guatemala because the trip last year truly changed my life. While in Guatemala I was able to change so many people’s lives while also bettering myself by understanding parts of the world outside of my own and what I can do to make a difference.”
Glennon added, “I’m so thankful I’m about to go again with RHS and help bring the same experiences I had to more students.”
To help out students with this fundraiser, bags of clothing can be brought in on Friday, Jan. 17 or on Saturday, Jan. 18. Donors will receive one hour of community service per three bags.
On Thursday, January 16 at 6 pm, Morissa Vital, program manager from the Southeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership will speak to parents about vaping and nicotine addiction. The presentation will be mainly focused around the high school vaping epidemic. Morissa Vital will specifically address ways to prevent secondhand smoke, ways to help individuals quit nicotine and tobacco, along with helpful ways to prevent youth members from starting nicotine and tobacco products.
Parents deserve to be informed about the harmful impacts a high school social norm can induce. 20% of Massachusetts high school students report currently using e-cigarettes and vape pens, and 41% have tried them at least once (see attached flyer). As a generation, students and even parents are being exposed to toxic and harmful chemicals. Parents are encouraged to attend the presentation in order to raise awareness for themselves and their children.
A table representing Rockland Cares will also be available to visit on the night of the presentation. Rockland Cares is a community organization that provides information and support for individuals and families who suffer with addiction.
Both the presentation delivered by Morissa Vital and the Rockland Cares table are extraordinary steps the town of Rockland is taking in order to raise awareness about the dangers of nicotine and addiction. As a community, Rockland thanks everyone for their undivided support and commitment in hopes to make a difference.
If you have any questions please contact Freea Leahy, Director of Adjustment Counseling, at email@example.com or call 781-871-8406.
We hope to see everyone there on January 16th!
December 20, 2019
Rockland High School alumni from the Class of 2019 visited RHS and spoke to students about their college experiences in an assembly in the auditorium. Alumni had a chance to visit with students and staff in the cafeteria after the assembly. The visit was organized by English teacher, Kristen Walsh and RHS Principal, John Harrison. Thank you alumni!!
December 20, 2019
The RHS band and chorus under the direction of John Piazza and Victoria Allen visited the elementary schools this morning as well as the Rockland Rehab. Center and the Rockland Senior Center. This is an annual “holiday stroll” that the band and chorus have taken part in annually to spread some holiday spirit and music in the schools and the town.
They played and sang several holiday tunes at each location and involved their audience in a few songs as well.
Back at RHS they gave a concert during the last block.
Emily Gaboriault, Veritas Editor-in-Chief
December 12, 2019
On December 5th, 6th, and 7th, the RHS Theater Department put on “Marcus is Walking.” The show featured various scenes all based around a car; for instance, running over a chipmunk, a car accident and a night trick or treating.
When asked about the show , director Julia DiCanzio stated, “I love directing the fall play and seeing each student take risks, grow in confidence, and become part of the wonderful community that was formed around the play…The performances showed the commitment and effort that each student, cast and crew, put into the play.”
When asked how they thought the show went, actors Katy Buckley and Jordan Cunningham stated that they thought it went really well! Buckley states, “It was so awesome to hear such great reviews!” Cunningham also adds, “I loved the amount of students who attended to support the theatre department!”
The Rockland High School Theater Guild’s fall production “Marcus is Walking: Scenes from the Road” will be performed beginning tonight (Thursday, Dec. 5) at 7 p.m. in the Rockland High School Auditorium. The play is directed by RHS teachers, Joanne White and Julia DiCanzio.
The show features several short stories all revolving around a car or driving somewhere. But there is more to the stories than just an automobile and the members of the cast (see below) do a great job of creating memorable characters in a short amount of time. There is a great deal of humor, sometimes for mature viewers, and the audience will surely be entertained.
The play will be performed Thursday, Dec. 5, Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7 in the Rockland High School auditorium at 7 p.m. The cost will be $8.00 at the door but you can get tickets on-line at showtix4u.com for $5.00.
The play by Joan Ackerman is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service Inc. New York
December 5, 2019
Yani Soares, Veritas Staff
On December 2nd, at a Special Town Meeting, Rockland residents joined together in nearly unanimous approval to appropriate funds for a new elementary school to be built in the district. The school, an entirely new, state-of-the-art school for first to fourth graders would be funded by both Rockland and the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). The School Building Committee, along with the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent, have been working with the MSBA in order to approve the project for this new school since February of 2017. (See Project Powerpoint below).
The town’s work with the MSBA has been done in order to receive a grant for the project, which will provide roughly $36 million of the project costs, leaving approximately $51 million that the town would have to pay.
December 7, 2019 marks the day that residents will vote in a Special Election on a temporary debt exclusion under Proposition two-and-a-half. This is needed to raise property taxes (see ballot below). As a result of this contribution, Rockland’s residents will face some changes in how they are taxed. For 30 years, the average property taxes per year will be raised by approximately $412, based on a home’s value.
Rockland Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Alan Cron says that a new, comprehensive elementary school in Rockland’s district will bring various benefits, such as an easier way to react to population changes in the town. This addition will also bring a more streamlined education experience, better control of supplies to schools, the enhancement of teaching practices and curriculum. The superintendent also says that this new method of organizing a single building will be simpler than having to organize three, which lightens the burden of administrators.
Dr. Cron also says failing to approve the project would leave the town facing approximately $40 million in future costs for renovating the aging elementary schools without adding the upgrades a new state-of-the-art school would provide.
A new school containing every elementary student should also provide each student with an equal beginning to the fifth grade, as separating elementary classes by building can lead to an inequality in their learning experiences. In a newly built school, paths towards innovative methods of modern teaching and creativity will be improved, as technology that is vital for later years will be introduced. This will make students’ transition into middle school easier.
Following the construction of the new school, the buildings that are currently in use will be repurposed for various goals. Esten School will become an early childhood center with free preschool and kindergarten education. Memorial Park will be torn down and replaced with a turf field per the project, and Jefferson School will be taken down and turned over to the Parks Department. In the future, the land at Jefferson may also be used as a playing field.
When the new school is finished, the elementary students in Esten, Memorial Park, or Jefferson at the time will be transferred to it.
Dr. Cron says, “If realized, a new, combined 760 student Rockland Elementary School would provide a world-class, state-of-the-art education for ALL Rockland children grades 1-4 for decades to come, allowing all of Rockland’s children the opportunity to maximize their unique potential and to become whatever their imaginations and talents will allow them to become.”
Nov. 30, 2019
As Rockland tradition, the Holiday Stroll will return the Saturday after Thanksgiving in order to get ready for the Christmas holidays. This community-held event that began over 25 years ago holds activities and demonstrations that satisfy everyone’s interests.
Community members of all ages are encouraged to attend to enjoy activities such as Joe’s Crazy Critters, a meet and greet with Santa and Ms. Claus, character meet and greets, hayrides, and much more!
Businesses and churches along the route also participate in the event by providing accommodations such as clam chowder, cookies, and face paintings.
RHS students will also take part with the Chorus caroling and seniors decorating Santa hats at Mountain One Bank.
The stroll this year will occur on November 30th from 4pm to 7pm. All are encouraged to attend!
Althea Olsen, Veritas Editor-in-Chief
Thanksgiving is a joyful holiday used to celebrate friends, families, and of course the food that it set out onto the table during the celebration. In communities such as Rockland, some families struggle to find ways to give thanks during the holiday. Even something as simple as setting the dinner table can be a daunting task for some. During this Thanksgiving season, in order to give thanks back to your local community, here are some ways that you could make a difference and give thanks this holiday season.
- Donate nonperishable goods to a food pantry
Rockland High School is currently running a Turkey Trot to raise food for families during this Thanksgiving season. Until November 21, students were encouraged to bring in canned goods and nonperishable items to donate to the local food pantry. The class with the most items will receive points towards the class cup!
- Go through clothing and textile items at home and donate anything that is no longer needed to a local clothing bin or Salvation Army
- Participate in volunteer work at places such as the senior center
- Support the troops by creating care packages and letters
- Simply give thanks to an individual in your life; someone at school or a member of your family
When asking around the high school, students and faculty frequently respond that they are thankful for their friends, family, roof over their heads, cars, school, and the access to food. Below is a video made by WRPS and The Veritas asking students for their feelings about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
November 25, 2019
Last Thursday night, Nov. 21, the Class of 2020 won the annual Powderpuff game against the Class of 2021 The score was 30-8.
For the seniors Lydia McWilliams, Hannah Wyllie (2) and Maryn Monett scored touchdowns. For the juniors Hannah Rich had their only touchdown.
Even though the score was a little lopsided the game was competitive and the event was a success! The juniors with this experience will be able to get a victory next year against the Class of 2022.
Nov. 22, 2019
The Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association (MSAA) Fall Cheerleading State Championships will be held on Sunday Nov. 24 at Worcester State University. The RHS Cheer Team will be competing in Division Four and will be hoping to land a tenth state title!
They qualified for the state tournament by coming in first in the South Regionals held at Plymouth North last weekend. Also qualifying in the D4 South were Abington HS, Bellingham HS, and Archbishop Williams. Hull HS and Case HS received at large bids.
Rockland is scheduled to go on the floor at approximately 11:30 a.m.
November 20, 2019
Spirit Week began on Wednesday, Nov. 20 with “Workout Day” as the theme. The Student Government Council established the following “days” for Spirit Week:
Wednesday, Nov. 20 Workout Day
Thursday, Nov. 21 Beach Day
Friday, Nov. 22 Groutfit Day
Monday, Nov. 25 Neon or Tie-Dye Day
Tuesday, Nov. 26 Class Colors Day for the Pep Rally
Junior Grace Henry, the Unified Spirit Chair said, “Spirit Week is designed to unite all grades of the high school and spread Bulldog pride!”
She also explained that she, along with the SGC Spirit Committee and the Eboard came up with the ideas for the days. Individual class officers decide on the class colors which “generally stay the same for each grade,” according to Henry.
So, get your spirit on and check back to this post to see photos for each day. Look for a Veritas photographer to get you and your friends on the website!!
November 18, 2019
RHS senior Zachary Webb was crowned as Mr. Rockland on Thursday, Nov. 14. He was one of seven seniors who competed in various categories such as talent, lip synch, school spirit, formal wear and question and answers. Senior Student Government Council members Lara Glennon and Maddie Gear served as emcees for the contest and the faculty judges were dean of students, Fredrick Damon, math teacher, Steve Casagrande, math teacher Kathy Hoffman and science teacher Julia DiCanzio.
The judges said that it was a really difficult decision to narrow the seven to down to three. Coming in third in the judging was Joey Messier while Owen Shea came in 2nd place.
Webb assured his win with a unique talent but most of all with his musical lip synch and dancing duet with Bruzzese. (see photos below!)
The Mr. Rockland contestants were Jake Benson, Jordan Cunningham, Joey Messier, Zachary Webb, Owen Shea, Mathew Bruzzese and Phil Pattinson. All the seniors had a lot of fun and the audience did as well.
Congratulations to all the contestants, the emcees and the Student Government Council advisor, Kirsten Bartoloni who coordinated the event with WRPS.
Veritas Staff photographer Arianna Esposito got some great photos of all the contestants!
The volleyball team will play tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 16) at Worcester State University in the Division 3 state volleyball finals at 12 p.m. Their opponent will be the champion of the Central and West semifinals, Frontier High School from Deerfield, MA.
Their appearance in the State Final was assured with their convincing win on Wednesday night at Newton South High School where they defeated the North Champions, Ipswich in a fairly lopsided game, 3-0.
The entire team contributed to this win with superlative serving, and very good teamwork between the front and back lines. The four seniors Hannah Wyllie, Caroline Elie, Jessie DeMarco and Hannah Murphy have provided strong leadership every step on the road to this last game on Saturday.
The girls had gotten to the state semi-finals by virtue of their win over Case High School for the South Sectional title on Saturday, Nov. 9 in New Bedford. The South Sectional title was one major goal that the team had, having never advanced that far in the tournament.
But they certainly are not satisfied and are now focused on completing their mission to bring home another State Championship banner to the Rockland High School gym.
The fan support of the team has been excellent and it is sure to be a loud group that accompanies the team to Worcester. Don’t miss it!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (email@example.com) 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.