Monthly Archives: March 2019
Need Something to Do Next Year? Join the Math Team!
Giovan Soares, Veritas Staff
Although many of you may not have known, earlier this year there were four monthly competitions, held on the first Thursday of every month from November to February between Rockland High School and many other towns on the South Shore. These were the Division five Math Team meets. On these four occasions the RHS Math Team faced off against Hanover, Bridgewater-Raynham, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Abington, and Whitman-Hanson.
At a math meet each school is broken up into two teams with five members on each team. Then each team from each school competes in each of the five rounds with three students each; each student may compete in no more than three of these individual rounds. Then upon the completion of these five rounds there is a short break before a team round where all five members of each team work together.
Each round, including the team round, has three questions and students have 10 minutes to answer those questions. The first question is worth one point, the second is worth two points and the third is worth three points.
This year the highest that the RHS Math Team placed was fourth in the final meet. At this meet RHS had three members competing on each team which was two less than each of the other schools had per team, yet the RHS Math Team was still able to beat the teams from East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater and Abington.
However, at earlier meets the RHS Math Team was less fortunate, placing seventh in the first two meets of the year and they were unable to attend the third meet. A significant cause for their low placing, and lack of placement, was a lack of students who were able to compete. Throughout its season the RHS Math Team struggled to fill its teams. Another problem is that the teams may not have more than two seniors each. This is the reason that in their second meet, even though there were six members willing and able to compete, only five of them could as five of them were seniors. There is a strong chance that the RHS Math Team will struggle with numbers again next year which would undoubtedly be a tragedy.
When asked for comment the current Math Team advisor Mrs. Mulready said, “I was disappointed this year that we didn’t have many kids, so next year I’m hoping to recruit more… This year really killed us.”
It’s important to note that the team is first and foremost about the fun and enjoyment of all its members. While there is certainly an air of competitiveness between the schools and among the members of the team, that is always put aside to make sure that each person has as much fun as possible. For example, not every student is a big fan of geometry. Luckily, each of the five rounds is about a different subject, round one is arithmetic, round two is algebra one, round three is geometry, round four is algebra two, and round five is advanced math or calculus and trigonometry for the most part. So, even for those among us who are not mathematics fanatics, there is likely at least one round in which you would enjoy competing.
Math team is also a great place to meet new people with whom you share something in common. When asked about the math team, senior John Ellard said, “Math team is great. It’s a cool place to talk about math and it’s nice to meet other students from other towns who have a similar interest.”And for those who are not interested in competing, there are special positions for alternates, who may compete in every round, however, their scores are not counted with either team. The RHS Math Team offers many options for students who are interested in giving it a try and will welcome any comer with open arms.
Math team is a fun activity for all students who are involved and it would be a great shame to see it go away. Any students who are interested in joining the team are encouraged to speak to the current advisor Mrs. Mulready about joining next year. As senior Katie Houde said, “Math team is fun and a great thing to do on a Thursday, and you get pizza.”
I joined the math team myself in my sophomore year. I attempted to join in my freshman year, but I could not figure out when the meetings were and so I was unable to. Throughout my 3 years as a member of the Math Team I have had a great time. Every meet brings a new opportunity to try my hand and each time I score a new personal record for points in a meet I’m excited. I’m really happy that I joined the math team and it gave me an opportunity to make new friends and acquaintances in both my school and others.
For those of you who may be on the fence, Mrs. Mulready had a piece of advice, “[At math team meets] everyone has a good time and we get to eat pizza!”
So, even if you don’t love math, you still have a reason to take part in the team. In all seriousness, Math Team is an amazing club filled with amazing people and each of the four meets are a blast whether you come in first or last.
Good luck to the RHS Math Team next year.
What NEASC Accreditation Means for RHS
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
Many classes have come and gone since Rockland High School’s last 10 year accreditation in 2011 when today’s high schoolers were still in elementary school. This year RHS is meticulously going through the initial steps leading up to being re-accredited in 2021. To accredit a school the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) sets up a painstaking process of self-reflection and evaluation for the school community.
NEASC has been accrediting schools since 1885 and today is helping to improve over 1500 public, private, and international schools all over the globe. As an accreditation agency they aim to help schools self-evaluate their systems at the same time helping ensure schools meet and exceed the standards they set to be a well accredited school. NEASC looks for schools to complete three “R’s: reflection, review, and renewal. Accreditation is a process that ensures a school is meeting NEASC’s “Standards for Accreditation” that focus on five key areas:
- Learning Culture
- Student Learning
- Professional Practices
- Learning Support
- Learning Resources
The re-accreditation process takes place every 10 years although the process begins every 8 years after being accredited. This 8 year mark acts as a preliminary assessment of the school and reassesses the goals set from prior accreditation. In the end, RHS will reach the end of this cycle’s accreditation process in 2021.
Taking the lead of the 2019 re-accreditation process has been social studies department head, Richard MacAllister, social studies teacher, Gregory Rowe, and RHS Principal, Dr. John Harrison. Together they have worked to set up guidelines based on NEASC protocols, and to organize the self-evaluations conducted by teachers and staff throughout the school.
Through the school year, teachers, staff and some students have been busy preparing for the intense process of re-accreditation. During the year-long process, the staff has been looking at the school’s strengths and weaknesses and discussing how best to ensure our students are well equipped for life after RHS. This information is a part of the school’s self-analysis that will be presented to the NEASC visiting team.
The purpose of this preliminary step in 2019 for the 2021 accreditation is to establish what needs to be improved as explained by Mr. Rowe, “NEASC looks at all aspects of the school – from administrative roles, how teachers teach, facility functions – and student work.”
NEASC officials will be visiting RHS next week on March 28 and 29 for a Collaborative Conference. For the students, this means certain ones will be leading officials on tours of the facilities. On the tours, students will be guiding the officials around the halls of RHS pointing out all the features that make RHS unique.The NEASC officials will also ask questions along the way regarding the effectiveness of the school environment, compliance with local fire, police, and safety regulations as well as the cleanliness of the building.
Students have also been selected to participate on a panel where officials will ask them questions regarding the school environment. Mr. Rowe explains, “NEASC is looking forward to talking to students to find out what they feel are the strengths and weaknesses of Rockland High School.” Here, they can better assess what goals need to be set and what needs to be prioritized for the 2021 accreditation.
To complete this process teachers have been asked to provide samples of student work. Mr. Rowe continues, “They are looking for what kinds of exemplar work the students of Rockland produce.” Additionally, selected teachers, administrators, parents and community members have been selected, like students, to participate in panel meetings with the NEASC officials.
On the day the four NEASC representatives arrive, they will be served lunch by RHS’s Pathways Grille. Every Thursday teachers are given the option to buy lunch from the cooks of the Pathways classroom: so, on the Thursday of the visit, NEASC officials will receive a meal as well.
While the process of self-evaluation is time-consuming for administrators and staff, Principal Harrison noted that it is highly beneficial because it allows for self-reflection, which in turn identifies areas of needed growth. This leads to the formation of an improvement plan, and allows for collaboration among staff. Overall, Dr. Harrison said that it is an opportunity to “celebrate everything RHS has to offer.”
For more information on the accreditation process, go to the Rockland Public Schools website.
Providing New Life to the Rockland Town Hall
Yani Soares, Veritas Staff
March 20, 2019
Have you ever walked around the Town Hall? Think back to what you saw while you were there. You may think that the area isn’t a very colorful place, which isn’t helped by the recent cold winter months. Knowing this, a well known group in Rockland is committed to a new project that will bring more residents to the area, while also letting us know that spring is just around the corner.
In January, the REiMAGINE ROCKLAND organization called upon the RHS IMAGES Club to assist in a program that will bring a strong sense of animation to the Town Hall. Their objective is to place six butterfly-shaped benches in the area, which would be assets to the Sole of Rockland project. To improve upon the benches even further, the IMAGES staff was asked to voice their ideas and assist with this decorative endeavor.
For the design of the benches, the members of REiMAGINE ROCKLAND would be decorating each bench with shoe prints obtained from the Sole of Rockland event in the fall of 2018. To further the artistic beauty of the benches, the organization called upon members of IMAGES to decorate the benches with short poems and works from the students of Rockland High School. By doing this, REiMAGINE ROCKLAND believes that the benches will be given a new flair that is completely unique to our town.
Throughout the next few months, the IMAGES club will be holding a competition that will accept short poems to add to the butterfly benches, which will all focus on the theme of transformation.
The motivation behind the placement of the benches around Town Hall is that it will make the town more attractive to residents and visitors alike. To express the idea of the benches further, a representative from REiMAGINE ROCKLAND, Carolyn Lewenberg, had a conference with IMAGES staff to think of ideas as to how these benches could improve the Town Hall area.
Multiple students pitched in to say that these benches could bring new energy to the area, attract tourists to the benches, and provide residents of every age with a place to rest and admire the town’s scenery. The main focus of the benches is to attract people to the Town Hall, and encouraging others to see the area as a welcoming, enjoyable location that isn’t used exclusively for serious purposes. The addition of the benches is meant to bring a sense of vibrance and new life that would greatly align with the hopes of REiMAGINE ROCKLAND’s aim to improve the town and give it a taste of some new, colorful beauty.
RHS teacher and Images advisor, Chad Bigsby also advocated for the benches by saying, “I’m glad to see young people involved in this reimagining, and excited for IMAGES to be branching out into new endeavors.”
One of the most important features of these benches is the fact that their designs will be a unified effort made by the entire Rockland student body. Students from the middle and high schools will be encouraged to write short poems for the IMAGES staff to publish for addition to the benches, allowing their creative voices to be displayed from the center of town. By submitting a piece of writing that is about the length of a haiku, the students that enter this competition during this year will be immortalized as a permanent contribution to the spirit of Rockland’s transformation and growth as a community.
These butterfly benches are expected to appear in the Arts Festival, and will be placed in the Town Hall around May. When the spring rolls around, REiMAGINE ROCKLAND will allow Rockland’s residents and neighbors to find a refreshing seat in the heart of our town, allowing them to appreciate the many things that the we have to offer as a community.
For more information on the IMAGES Club or REiMAGINE ROCKLAND, learn more here:
Triple Threat Gets Nets for Nets Win
March 20, 2019
In their first time competing, Triple Threat, a team made up of guidance counselor Chris DeVine, senior John Ellard, and athletic trainer Emily Gray, captured the 2019 Nets for Nets three-on-three basketball tournament championship. The tournament, held on March 19, is an annual Student Government sponsored event that raises money for the charity, Nothing But Nets, an organization that provides bed nets for families in Africa.
Sixteen teams competed for the coveted golden basketball trophy with Triple Threat defeating the Kekambas in the finals. The Kekambas, a team made up of Transitions teacher, Dan Kimball, junior Hannah Murphy, and junior Derek Williams, assured everyone that they would be back next year for the rematch.
Last year’s championship team, Three-Peat, featuring physical education teacher Mike Doyle was unseated partially due to an injury to junior girls basketball all-star, Caroline Elie, that kept her out of playing. Her sister, 7th grader Maggie, did a great job filling in. Also on the squad was Aneuris Quezada.
Losing in the semifinals to the Kekambas was the Bulldogs, that included senior Ashley Murphy, junior Dante Vasquez and Rogers Middle School teacher, Matthew Vincenzi.
Principal John Harrison’s team, the Green Eagles, included junior girls basketball all-star, Hannah Wyllie. They had their very creative t-shirts designed and made by teammate Anthony DiNino.
A complete list of teams follows:
- Beatrice Clan: Stephanie, Adam and Lynn Beatrice
- Tres Amigos: Eric Barber, Kyle Lenihan, Mrs. Melissa Shaughnessy
- The Denominators: Jake Dunham, Michaela Brun and Mr. Nick Liquori
- Three-peat: Maggie Elie, Mr. Mike Doyle and Reese Quezada
- Elite Crossovers: Alan Wright, Jarius Thomas, Ms. Shelley Coulombe
- Nets for Nets Champs: Tyler Beatrice, Antonio Gilstap, Ms. Julia Dicanzio
- The Units: Own Shea, Mr. Pete Harrison, Molly Callahan
- The Kekambas: Derek Williams, Mr. Dan Kimball, Hannah Murphy
- The White Mambas: Bella Seaton, Jake Wells, Mr. Greg Banks
- The John bLOCKErs: Maddie Gear, Marissa Smith, Mr. Rich MacAllister
- Triple Threat: John Ellard, Mr. Chris DeVine, Emily Gray
- The Green Eagles: Principal John Harrison, Hannah Wyllie, Tony DiNino
- The Ubiquitin Destroyers: Zach Webb, Matt Bruzzese, Mrs. Angela Armstrong
- Deep Treble: Ms. Lindsay Crook, Jordan Cunningham, Kathleen Nee
- Los Ballers: Adrian Fuecada, Josiah Durand, Ms. Jacqueline Tabares
- Bulldogs: Mr. Matt Vincenzi, Ashley Murphy, Dante Vasquez
It was a fun way to get a little March Madness into the high school scene and also to raise money for a good cause. Each of the sixteen teams contributed a $15 entry fee.
Joanne White and Jill Delaney, Student Government advisors kept track of the brackets and awarded the golden basketball trophy to the winners. Junior Katie Buckley, Community Services Committee Chair, organized the tournament for the SGC.
Ms. White said that she was pleased at the turnout of teams and thought the tournament was a great success.
photos by Veritas photographer, Ashley Murphy
Fake News Gets Real in Rockland
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
At 10:45 a.m. on Friday morning the Rockland world was shocked to see on the “The Real Rockland” Facebook page an alarming (and not sourced) post remarking how the 2019 graduation may break the long tradition of being held in the Veterans’ Memorial Stadium, and instead may have to be held inside RHS.
The “news” spread rapidly through “The Real Rockland’s” Facebook community as well as the senior class. The post sourced this breaking information to a “little birdie” who was not the poster’s child, and instead to a member of the senior class who had spoken to Principal John Harrison. However, regarding the “little birdie” who had relayed the information to the Facebook poster, Principal Harrison confirmed to the Veritas, “No student talked to me.” He also said, “No student contacted me, no parent called or emailed” to verify the validity of the rumor after it had been posted.
One of 55 comments to the original post, citing the “fake news” in the post, referred to a press release from Interim Town Administrator, Marcia Birmingham sent to the media that states, “The project (the stadium) is expected to be completed in the springtime, in time for Rockland High School’s graduation ceremony May 31.” But responses to that comment said that “expected to be” is not a confident reassurance for its completion in time.
Realizing that social media is not the place to get the facts, the Veritas contacted Park Department Superintendent, Peter Ewell and Commissioners of the Park Department, Richard Furlong and Joe Reis who helped the Veritas to dispel the rumors.
Mr. Ewell, in response to the Veritas’ inquiry and after all the buzz on Friday, claimed his phone had been “blowing up” from citizens reaching out frantically about the post. In response he assured, “Yes, the stadium will be ready. We had a meeting with the owner of CSI company yesterday and told him no if’s, and’s, or but’s, and he assured us no worries. It [the stadium] will be ready before graduation!!!!”
Additionally, Mr. Furlong in his email response to our question said, “Work is going to start up again next week.” He added that weather will play a role in the project.
In his response, Mr. Reis said that he wanted to “put the rumors to bed.” He explained, “The company will be on site starting Monday the 18th to start finishing the work. Game plan is to get the top of the stadium done first waterproof, paint and finish the top side and the backside.” He too indicated that the work is weather related, saying, “Let’s hope for good weather.”
Once again to reassure the Rockland community, Park Superintendent Ewell’s reply indicates that the stadium will be ready for the May 31 Class of 2019 Graduation “no if’s, and’s, or but’s.”
Band and Chorus Members Show Their Talents at Broadway Night
Photos by Arianna Esposito
The Rockland High School band and chorus presented a highly successful Broadway Night on Thursday, March 14 to a loud, appreciative audience. The band opened up the night with “And All That Jazz” from the musical Chicago, setting the stage for individual performances by chorus members of selections from several Broadway plays including Les Miserables, Jekyll and Hyde and Finding Neverland.
RHS Band Director John Piazza introduced each of the soloists and provided a little background about each of them, complimenting them all for their passion and commitment to their music, and in many cases saying how pleased he is to see how much their talents and confidence have grown through the years.
Chorus Director Victoria McComb said on Twitter, “So proud of all my kids for their Broadway Night performances! What a wonderful night full of beautiful music!”
In his weekly newsletter Principal John Harrison said, “Congratulations to the chorus and band students involved in the production of Broadway Night on Thursday, March 14th. Our students did a phenomenal job and we are fortunate to have so many talented students who perform for the school community.”
Kayla Mantell was the first soloist to perform and explained that she had always wanted to perform “Once Upon a Time” from the musical Brooklyn, ever since her mother sang it to her. Megan Diver, Julia Yeadon, Leah Drago, Jordan Cunningham, Emily Gaboriault, Bonnie Gasdia, Olivia Janis and Kerin Dalton also performed as soloists, and each were given loud cheers and applause as they concluded.
The full chorus performed “Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story” from Hamilton to conclude the show.
A list of the performers and musical selections follows:
“And All that Jazz” from Chicago– RHS Band
“Once Upon a Time” from Brooklyn– Kayla Mantell
“Morning Person” from Shrek the Musical– Megan Diver
“I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables– Julia Yeadon
“Journey to the Past” from Anastasia – Leah Drago
“This is the Moment” from Jekyll and Hyde– Jordan Cunningham
“What Baking Can Do” from Waitress– Emily Gaboriault
“All that Matters” from Finding Neverland– Bonnie Gasdia
“I Can Hear the Bells” from Hairspray– Olivia Janis
“I’m Here” from The Color Purple– Kerin Dalton
“Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story” from Hamilton– RHS Chorus
The Music Department’s next event will be the full musical, Annie, to be performed on Friday, April 5 and 7 pm and Saturday, April 6 at 1 pm. Tickets are available at all the schools or online at https://www.freshtix.com/events/annie- $7 General Admission.
Rockland vs. Abington Unified Basketball
March 13, 2019
When the high school basketball season ends, it is time for one more game: the annual Unified Basketball game. In the Unified game Rockland High School players join up with their Pathways teammates to take on arch-rival Abington!
This year once again there was plenty of action, many made and missed shots and even some defense. But more importantly, there was a lot of fun as Abington and Rockland went back and forth until Abington pulled ahead, getting the win this year.
On hand were RHS athletic director Gary Graziano who emceed the game along with Brenda Folsom, RHS Physical Education Director who organized Rockland’s unified team. The RHS students and basketball team members who assisted the Pathways players included: Ashley Murphy, Caroline and Julia Elie. Also assisting were Jenna Burns, Nicole Blonde, Hunter Wardwell, Rashaad Jean, Pierre Comeau, Deiontay Kelley, Pierre Kelley, Antonio Gilstrap, and Patrick Moriarty. Maggie Elie ran the scoreboard. Refereeing were Dante Vasquez, Tyler Beatrice and John Ellard.
Rockland’s Pathway players were: Jake Swanson, Justin Pendleton, Nick Cara, Luci Pumphrey, Saige Clauss, Cailin Sullivan, Emily Grandmont, Anthony DiNino, Alex Anzivino, Dillon Doyle, Brianna Conley.
Abington’s players included: Christopher Hagerty, Eddie Holmes, Kim Oberlander, Gretchen Wronski, Dylan Spring and Declan Burns.
Rockland’s varsity girls basketball player, Ashley Murphy explained why she likes to play in the unified games. “It gives kids the opportunity to participate in a real game. It provides the experience of competing with their friends, and have fun.”