Monthly Archives: June 2015

Two Veteran Staff Reflect on Their Retirements

English teacher, Mrs. Amy Woodward will be missed when she retires on June 30.

English teacher, Mrs. Amy Woodward will be missed when she retires on June 22.

Sylvia Bohan, Veritas Staff

As the school year comes to an end, RHS students and teachers are looking forward to summer vacation to get the rest they need, so that they can  begin another school year in a couple months. Two veteran staff, however, will be extending their vacations as they begin well deserved retirements.

Special Education tutor, Mrs. Sandra Kowalski and English teacher, Mrs. Amy Woodward have decided this will be their last year here at RHS.

Mrs. Woodward who teaches AP juniors, Shakespeare and sophomore English explained her decision to retire this year. “This has been a difficult year, for a long list of reasons. But unlike difficult years I’ve gone through in the past, this time I sometimes felt that my vitality wasn’t equal to the task anymore. When your body starts sending you that kind of signal, you have to listen.”

Mrs. K receives her 30 year plaque from Superintendent of Schools John Retchless and her department chair, Sharon McGonnigal.

Mrs. K receives her 30 year plaque from Superintendent of Schools John Retchless and her department chair, Sharon McGonnigal.

Mrs. Kowalski, known by her students and colleagues as “Special K,” works as a Special Education tutor, and works in a class with regular education teachers in English, math, history, and science. “Day after day I saw her devotion to teaching and her dedication to the students of RHS.  She helped me in my early years here as much as she has helped her students!” Miss Cahill,   English teacher at RHS said.

Mrs. Woodward has been an English teacher at Rockland High School for fourteen years. “Aside from being an excellent English teacher she has organized our Poetry Out Loud competition for the past ten years and also did a fantastic job organizing the school wide Shakespeare Festivals,” Ms. Cahill said.

Retiring has its ups and downs, but one of the ups is what life will bring you now that you’re free.

“I am looking forward to the luxury of time: time to travel, to garden, to play my piano, to read, to be there for a relative or friend who needs my help,”  Mrs. Woodward says.

Spending more time with family is another perk of retirement. “We have a wonderful family which includes six granddaughters.  We will have a lot more time to be with them,” Mrs. Kowalski says.

Of course, leaving the school after working here for so many years will be sad for both teachers. “There are many things I will miss as I leave RHS,” Mrs. Kowalski says. “Working with the students to improve their academic performance  has been the most rewarding aspect of my job.  I love the kids!  I will miss  them the most.”

“I will miss a lot of individuals, but the main thing I’ll miss is the daily company of young people, constantly challenging me to match their energy levels and see the world from their perspective,” Mrs. Woodward said.

Mrs. Woodward’s students will miss her as well.

“Mrs. Woodward was a wonderful teacher to have. Her assignments were always well planned and had purpose and each one taught me something that I honestly believe I can bring with me into adulthood,” says junior Haley Macray, one of Mrs. Woodward’s AP English students, “I feel like I got a lot out of her class. I was well prepared for my AP test and truly believe that I am now a better and more mature writer which I think will only help me in the career I choose to pursue.”

 

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RMS Eighth Graders Gear Up for High School

Natalie Draicchio, Veritas Staff

As summer gets closer and the school year ends, the eighth graders are trying to prepare themselves for what’s to come as they enter high school. Making a big life change from middle school to high school can be hard for some.  Adjusting to a new environment with older kids you do not know, and being the youngest in the school can be stressful for many students. Dealing with new situations can make people nervous. Despite the normal nervousness these three eighth graders Adiza Alasa, Danny Callahan, and Devin Tobin-Rosman feel ready to move into the high school.

three eighth graders

Devin Tobin-Rossman, Adiza Alasa, and Danny Callahan are ready for the transition to high school. Photo by Ryan Palmer

Alasa says she is ready.  “I have been watching both JV and varsity basketball games since sixth grade and I will finally get to be a part of it.”

Callahan says he is most looking forward to “more freedom throughout the day, not getting babied like I did in the middle school.”

Tobin-Rosman is also looking forward to “taking different classes that are of interest to me and that may help me with my future.”

Two out of these three eighth graders explained that they are not nervous to enter the high school for many different reasons. Callahan says, “I am not really nervous about entering the high school because I know most of the kids and they will help me out if I have any problems.”

Rosman explains,  “I am not nervous about entering high school because my brother went to Rockland High School and my sister is still a student there. I also know a lot of students that are there now.”

On the other hand, Alasa feels differently.  “I am a little nervous for high school because it is the last school I will go to before college.”

All of them agree that they are academically ready for high school and the experiences that are coming up in their lives.

Alasa says,  “I think I am ready for high school because my teachers have been preparing me for it and I have outgrown the middle school. I plan on working hard and doing my best academically and athletically the next four years.”

Callahan explains, “I think that I’m pretty ready for high school next year and really looking forward to it.”

Rosman says, ”I am ready for high school.  I am eager to learn and hope to be prepared for college.”

With not much time left as middle school students, these eighth graders appear to be ready for what is ahead of them in two and a half months.

Middle school cafeteria photo by Matt O'Brien

Middle school cafeteria photo by Matt O’Brien

 

Class Officers Announced, Ahern Looking Forward to “Wonderful Senior Year”

Haley Macray, Veritas Web & Features Editor

On Wednesday, June 3, the class officers for the 2015-2016 school year were announced. Each grade has a designated president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer who all play an important role in the running of class events, fundraisers, and other activities with the assistance of their class advisor.

Class of 2016

Senior Class Vice President Matt Kirslis (left) and Senior Class President Mike Ahern (right) before the 2015 Junior Prom have already started plans for next year's big event.

Senior class vice president, Matt Kirslis (left) and senior class president, Mike Ahern before the 2015 Junior Prom have already started plans for next year’s big event.

President: Mike Ahern
Vice President: Matt Kirslis
Secretary: Zach Pransky
Treasurer: Sean Carney

This year, upcoming senior, Mike Ahern, will be President of the Class of 2016. He, along with his fellow officers, have a lot in mind for their class and are ensuring successful fundraisers and a memorable prom.

“In order to help to make prom decisions easy, we as class officers have selected a group of people who all belong to different groups of friends. [These students] will pool together their thoughts and ideas for prom so we can have the best night possible and everyone will enjoy it,” says Ahern, “It is my hope that this prom committee will be the powerhouse behind our fundraising machine. If this works as planned, ultimately we will reach our goals for next year.”

Ahern and the Class of 2016 officers are hoping to decrease the cost of prom tickets by way of creative fundraisers and collaborative work amongst the senior class.

“We are hoping to do about one fundraiser per month to maximize our profits for the year,” says Sean Carney who will be the Treasurer of the Class of 2016 for his fourth year.

Other than working on plans for prom, Ahern is looking forward to some other aspects of the upcoming year.

“One thing in particular that I am excited about involving the upcoming school year is definitely just being a senior,” says Ahern, “Underclassmen look up to seniors and their leadership and it is up to us to set a good example for them, especially for the incoming freshmen who are settling into high school. It is cool to know that people look up to us and our advice means something to someone.”

Finally, Ahern would like to give the Class of 2016 some advice as senior year approaches, “Class of 2016, it is important to remember that when it comes to fundraising we must have an all hands on deck type of approach. If you have any fundraising ideas don’t be afraid to talk to one of your class officers!”

“That being said, I just want to say that I can’t wait to have a wonderful senior year with all of you guys. Remember we still have one full year left of high school so finish strong and don’t slack off because, as [RHS math teacher] Mr. [Craig] Johnson says, ‘the lesson is free here but next year when you go off to college it will cost you thousands of dollars!'”

Class of 2017
President: Kaylee Patten
Vice President: Colleen McCarthy
Secretary: Shawn Ward
Treasurer: Julia DiCienzo

Upcoming junior, Kaylee Patten will be the President of the Class of 2017. Like Ahern and the seniors, Patten already has ideas for next year in the works.

“This is probably a thing many girls say about becoming an upperclassman, but I’m excited to [not only] be able to go to prom next year but also be able to help plan it,” says Patten, “This upcoming school year I hope will be fun and successful, and alongside the vice president, treasurer, and secretary, I plan on being the best I can be for the Class of 2017.”

While making the transition from underclassmen to upperclassmen, Patten hopes to make the Class of 2017’s junior year memorable and involve her graduating class in activities to benefit her grade and the community.

Class of 2018

From left to right: Class Secretary, Izzy Uong, Class President, Aiden Glennon, Class Vice President, Macie Jones, and Class Treasurer, Sean Sugrue have ideas for fundraisers in the works.

From left to right: Izzy Uong, Aiden Glennon, Macie Jones, and Sean Sugrue have ideas for fundraisers in the works.

President: Aiden Glenneon
Vice President: Macie Jones
Secretary: Izzy Gong
Treasurer: Sean Sugrue

Re-elected Class of 2018 President, Aiden Glennon, with both a year of high school and a year of class officer experience under his belt, is getting ready to start off sophomore year strong.

With help from his class officers, Glennon already has the first fundraiser for the Class of 2018 planned and ready to go for the upcoming school year.

“We’re going to sell sweatpants. We already have the design,” says Glennon, “Our goal was to sell them this year but I wasn’t able to get it done in practical timing since I was learning the process for the first time.”

Now that he has the process down Glennon is looking to reach out to his classmates, “My goal for sophomore year is to make more money than we did this year. I don’t know the final totals yet, so I have no concrete idea of how it tough that goal will be. But I want to get everyone fundraising in order to accomplish it.”

Overall, Glennon is more than ready for the upcoming year and is “excited to see the school from a perspective other than being the babies.” He is also looking forward to watching the upcoming freshmen take a similar path as he did and “come out of their shells.”

Don’t Miss Out on RHS SGC’s Annual Leadership Camp

photo 1

Haley Macray, Ryan Sugrue, Ashley Pezzella, Katie DeLorey, and PJ Butler at the 2014 RHS SGC Camp.

Veritas Staff 

The annual Rockland High School Student Government Council Camp will be held August 10, 11, and 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

The camp, now an RHS SGC tradition, is held each year to prepare RHS students of all grades for the upcoming student government year. It allows incoming freshmen and students new to the school to interact with upperclassmen and become familiar with one of the high school’s most popular clubs.

While at the camp SGC members participate in student-run workshops, games, and activities. On the final day of the camp, members divide up into four groups according to the committee they have been assigned to for the year and compete in a colors war themed day packed with scavenger hunts, relay races, and minute-to-win-it challenges.

Upcoming senior Meghan Foster shows off the Committee Wars 1st place trophy at last year's SGC camp.

Upcoming senior Meghan Foster shows off the Committee Wars 1st place trophy at last year’s SGC Camp.

“SGC Camp is one of my favorite aspects of student government,” says RHS SGC President Haley Macray, “These three days allow SGC members to interact, bond, and have fun with their peers all while gearing up for a successful year of fundraisers, community service projects, and other events. Camp really makes planning and preparing a fun and exciting experience for all.”

As for this year’s camp? Macray has a lot of exciting surprises in store.

“Big 5 [SGC’s officers] already has a tentative theme that I personally am really excited about and soon we’ll be starting more in-depth plans,” says Macray, “Other than that we’re looking forward to bringing back everyone’s favorite traditions while also keeping things new and interesting.”

Macray urges anyone interested to give SGC a try and sign up for camp.

“I tell everyone this, but when I was finishing up my eighth grade year I wanted no part of student government because it just wasn’t for me, or so I thought. My friends dragged me to camp and that’s when my life changed. It sounds dramatic but student government really allows you to be yourself completely and will teach you valuable life lessons like working in a group or better public speaking,” says Macray, “As an incoming freshman, camp is going to mix you up with students of all grades so when you walk into school on the first day you’ll know so many faces and I think that helps anyone new to RHS.”

This year’s Executive Board and Big 5 made up of council officers, class presidents, committee chairs, and other representatives spend portions of their summer to make SGC Camp a successful three days filled with fun, laughs, and most importantly leadership.

“The entire premise of SGC Camp is to really build leadership in students and encourage imdividuality,” says Macray, “Student Government is a family and we are welcoming anyone who is interested to join us.”

For those looking to attend this year’s camp. The below permission slip must be completed and returned to Head Council Advisor Kristen Walsh along with either $80 cash or a check made out to “Town of Rockland.” More information about the camp can be found below as well as pricing for families of two or more. Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 12.32.45 PM

Jared Lewis Quirk Memorial Speedball Tournament a Success

Photos by Kelley Reale

Matt O’Brien, Veritas Staff

The first annual Jared Lewis Quirk Memorial Speedball Tournament was held from June 3 to June 5 at Rockland High School.

Speedball is a beloved game and tradition at Rockland High. Following the death of Jared Quirk in April, English teacher Kristen Walsh organized the tournament in his memory.  She explained that RHS alumni Ryan Quirk, Jared’s brother, and his friends wanted to play speedball one more time. The tournament was also a fundraiser for the Jared Lewis Quirk Scholarship.

The tournament involved ten different teams, made up of high school students, teachers, and alumni. Going into the highly-anticipated event,  God’s Children, made up of six RHS seniors and one RHS junior, was the number one seed.

Team NB led by Ryan Quirk, was the other favorite. Team NB was made up of Rockland alumni, two of which are Division II college athletes. Quirk’s team even had a cast of cheerleaders routing them on in every game.

Parents, friends, and fellow students, filed into the gym all three days of the tournament.

Ms. Walsh said, “We didn’t know if parents, friends, or other students would watch the teams play, but there was a strong turn-out all three days, especially for the championship.”

Each game kept fans and supporters on the edge of their seats the entire time as the gym rocked with cheers. The championship was played on a warm Friday night and the game went until 9 o’clock, yet students stayed in the gym waiting to see which team would be crowned champions.

The top seeds, Team NB and God’s Children, made it to the finals, but each team took a different road to the championship. Team NB had to play a handful of games the final day of the tournament, while God’s Children played a only a handful of games the entire tournament. This is because team NB lost early on and had to power their way through the entire losers’ bracket to reach the finals.  God’s Children came into the finals undefeated, suffering their first loss of the season against team NB in the championship.  Because the tournament is a two-game elimination, God’s Children and team NB had to battle through another championship game.

The final game went into overtime and then into a shoot-out. After four misses by each team, God’s Children’s Justin Nguyen lasered a kick right by Team NB goaltender Aaron Ryan who had a tremendous tournament. With the championship on the line, Team NB captain Ryan Quirk had the game in his hands.  He had to score or the game would be over. The gym was silent as Quirk approached the ball and fans were on the edge of their seats. Quirk kicked the ball just outside of the post and missed the net. God’s Children celebrated in victory, but Team NB took the loss well.

Junior Harrison Shields was overjoyed as his team won the tournament that meant so much to him.

“I feel on top of the world since winning, and overall, life is better as a champion. It’s a great feeling knowing that we’re the greatest team to play the game,” said Shields

Not only did the tournament provide a source of entertainment for fans, it also succeeded in raising funds.

“It was a strong fundraiser for Jared’s scholarship and we raised over $1,800,” said Ms. Walsh, who loved the atmosphere in the gym. “I think the tournament was a blast. Everyone seemed to have so much fun, whether it was the alumni coming back or current students getting competitive.”

The Jared Lewis Quirk Speedball Tournament was a special event held in the town of Rockland. People who never had a desire to watch speedball really enjoyed it.  Many people involved with the tournament will remember the event for its action-packed games, quick flashy goals, and tremendous split saves by goalies.

However, everyone will also remember why the tournament was played and the reason why an abundance of people were packed into the gym on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. The town came together to support each other multiple times throughout this past year, but it was truly special that those closest to Jared could play and take part in the Jared Lewis Quirk Speedball Tournament.

Action photos from the tournament were taken by Ryan Palmer, Brianna Starkey and Matt O’Brien.

 

Final Exams Begin Tuesday

Final Exams begin on Tuesday, June 16.  RHS Principal, Dr. Cron has released the following schedule and guidelines.

“Dear Rockland High School Students, Parents and Guardians:

Just a reminder during a busy time that Final Exams at Rockland High School begin this Tuesday, June 16 and conclude Monday, June 22. Regular class sessions are suspended during this time.

If a student is taking two exams in one day, he or she must arrive before 8:00 a.m. and remain in school until the conclusion of the second exam period at 2:15 p.m. If a student is scheduled for only one exam per day, you must arrive on time for that exam and may leave campus when the exam period is concluded.

Throughout Final Exams, the library, cafeteria and computer lab in room 211 and 214 will be open for quiet study. Lunch will be served in the cafeteria from 10:45-11:45.

The schedule of exams is as follows:

Exam Periods 1 & 2              June 16    Tuesday

Exam Periods 3 & 4              June 17    Wednesday

Exam Periods 5 & 6               June 18    Thursday

Exam Periods 7 & make-up    June 19    Friday

Exam make-up (am only)*      June 22*     Monday

* The last day of school, Monday, June 22, is a ½ day (make-up day) for students and a full day for faculty. Lunch will not be served on this day. Buses will run on the regular schedule throughout final exams. 

If you have further questions, please call the RHS general office at 781-871-0541 ext. 1103.

Thank you and best of luck!

Dr. Alan H. Cron, Principal”

Letter, Exam Schedule and Guidelines

 

Major athletic awards given to seniors

The annual year end athletic awards ceremony was held on Tuesday, June 2. The top male and female senior athletes were recognized, celebrating their four years as Bulldogs. Several awards were given in honor of former coaches and athletes at Rockland High. The first annual Charles E. Leverone Memorial awards, given to the two top athletes in track or cross country, were presented to Kara Penney and Ian Welch. For all the award winners see list and photos below.

Awards:

Woman’s Coaches Award (Senior female student/athlete) – Molly McDonough

Vicki Solari Award (Most inspirational female athlete) – Lauren Farrell

Senior Female Athlete Award (Top senior female athlete) – Brianna Starkey

Marion Mansfield Donovan Award (Top female student/athlete) – Julia Matson

John Bell Bulldog Award (Female athlete who plays over and above abilities) – Taylor Reis

John Bell Bulldog Award (Male athlete who plays over and above abilities) – Matt Clougherty

Peter J. Crowley Award (Top senior male athlete) – Justin Nguyen

Joseph Dondero Award (Top male student/athlete) – Dylan Bernache

Louis Cifello Award (Most inspirational male athlete) – Leshon Crawford

Dr. Joseph Dunn Award (Top student/athlete football player) – Dennis McPeck

Warren Najarian Bulldog Pride Award (Female athlete who never gives up) -Kallie Morss

Warren Najarian Bulldog Pride Award (Male athlete who never gives up) – Eddie Yeadon

John Delorey Award (Female athlete who exemplifies sportsmanship) – Natalie Ellard

John Delorey Award (Male athlete who exemplifies sportsmanship) – Mike Leavitt and Ben McKenna

Robert Ellis Award (Top male student / athlete basketball player) – Andrew Frazer

Charles E. Leverone Awards (Top male and female track or cross country runners) – Kara Penney and Ian Welch

Silver Bowl Winners: Eddie Yeadon, Matt Ryan, Dylan Bernache, Ian Welch and Julia Matson.

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