Monthly Archives: February 2021

RHS Top Dogs 2021

Althea Olsen, Veritas Editor-in-Chief

Erin Gardner, Jessica Driscoll, Claudia Abouzeid and Lauren Draicchio with their Top Dog Awards!

Jessica Driscoll

Jessica was selected to travel to Guatemala on a service based trip where she would give dozens of Mayan indigenous people sustainable access to clean drinking water and teach health and hygiene workshops in indigenous communities. Jessica did not let the cancellation hinder her. She was the driving force behind organizing the gift wrapping efforts for the 2nd Annual Giving Tree! Jess came to school during her senior privilege time to wrap books and brought a bright and positive energy with her! Jessica is also a two sport athlete competing on the volleyball and lacrosse teams.  She is an incredibly kind-hearted and genuine young woman and I know that her future holds big things!

Erin Gardner

Erin was selected to travel to Guatemala on a service based trip where she would give dozens of Mayan indigenous people sustainable access to clean drinking water and teach health and hygiene workshops. Erin asked how she could contribute in addition to donating a book to the 2nd Annual Giving Tree. She came to school during her senior privilege time to wrap books! Erin has such a positive way of changing the world in which she lives and I’m sure her future will be impactful! Erin is a member of Student Government Council and competes on the lacrosse team. She also works at Southwood Nursing Home.

Claudia Abouzeid

Claudia Abouzeid is a senior who will be graduating in three years. Committed to her studies, Claudia knew early in her high school career she wanted to graduate early and then attend college to continue her studies. Claudia’s compassion and societal awareness is indicative of her depth as a person. She is enthusiastic and passionate about social justice. She is a kind, dedicated student, and her commitment to greater equality and fighting injustice makes me proud to have her as a student. She plans to study psychology.

Lauren Draicchio

Lauren Draicchio is a four year player of varsity  lacrosse and also serves as the team captain.   She has served as an executive and general  member of the student council, a freshman mentor as well as class president.  Lauren is a youth cheerleading junior coach and a youth basketball referee.  She plans to attend a four year college and major in nursing with hopes of becoming a Beyond Borders nurse, traveling to provide healthcare to less fortunate children and communities. Lauren was selected to travel to Guatemala on a service based trip where she would give dozens of Mayan indigenous people sustainable access to clean drinking water and teach health and hygiene workshops in indigenous communities. As soon as the second year of the Giving Tree book drive was announced, Lauren jumped at the opportunity to get involved and spread holiday cheer. Lauren came to school during her senior privilege time to wrap books. Lauren is a shining star and we know she will continue to impact her community during her next chapter!

Thank you Dr. Harrison, Ms. Kemp, and Ms. O’Brien for coordinating the event and the rewards given, and congratulations again to the RHS Top Dogs 2021.

Virtual Pep Rally Scheduled For Tomorrow, Feb. 12 at 1:15 p.m.

Rockland High School students filled the stands at last year’s outdoor rally that was held in October.

Feb. 9, 2021

Ngan Nguyen, Veritas Staff

  • Jonah Pishkin, Veritas Staff,  also contributed to this report

To raise a bit of school spirit, Rockland High School’s Student Government Council  is hosting a Virtual Pep Rally on Friday, February 12 at 1:15 PM. Even though this is not our traditional homecoming pep rally in October, it will still be fun and spiritually uplifting for everyone. 

 The pep rally will be from 1:15-1:35 PM. Here is the link to watch the rally:

Students in Cohort A will be watching the event in their E block class and Cohort B students will be asked to participate from home through a webinar link. 

To prepare for this pep rally, it’s encouraged that students should wear their class shirt or color to show spirit and pride for their grade.  

There will be time for sports and other school groups’ ‘honorable mentions’,  an announcement of Miss Rockland, as well as drama and band recognitions. Games are also planned for students to participate in during the rally. Some of the games include a backpack quest and two truths and one lie.

Cohort A, make sure to have your Chromebook with you, and Cohort B, the link will be sent through your school email, so be on the lookout for it.

There are varying opinions on the subject of having a virtual pep rally.

Of those interviewed most agreed that making the event virtual was justified, in order to keep students and others safe. Senior Alexis DeFranc explained why making the event virtual, while sad, was the best idea for the event. Saying that she thought it was justified, she responded, “Yes, because it will keep everyone safe and make sure nobody gets sick or be in close contact with those who may have the virus.”

Senior Billy Robinson thinks that the rally even though it is virtual is a great opportunity, considering the tremendous amount of stress taken out of a school day. In his words, “I think pep rallies are good because they are fun, and a good break from the stress of school, bringing the classes together.”

In the wake of the event going virtual, senior Lauren Draicchio also responded to the matter, and how others may feel about the idea. “I know some people may not be as excited about the idea of having a virtual pep rally; however, I believe to even be able to have the opportunity to come together in the slightest way is amazing. It may sway from what a typical pep rally would look like but it’s something to look forward to, and to me that’s exciting.”

Lauren concluded, “During times like these it’s important to stay positive and be grateful for what we can do and the memories we can make.”

With the upcoming February Vacation, it should also be a good way to get students excited about having a week off from school next week!

Here again is the link for the virtual rally.


Boys’ Basketball Team Down But Not Out

Derek Williams against Cohasset this year.

James Tsiantoulas, Veritas Sports Editor

Feb. 5, 2021

The varsity boys’ basketball team as of this past weekend has been shut down with six members of their team testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The rest of the team, who have tested negative, are still responsibly quarantining as they wait to be cleared to get back out on the court. This is a huge blow for the team as practices and games have been suspended for two weeks. 

The boys’ team which began its season on Jan. 8 started out their year red hot, winning their first five games and looking like nothing could stop them.  But no one expected this shutdown to happen. These positive cases have no correlation to the JV boys team shutdown in January as the team was quarantined for the appropriate amount of time.

It is believed this was due to a player from an opposing varsity team testing positive after a game.  With this information all the players, coaches and staff were tested and are now quarantining for two weeks.

The team is  not allowed to practice until Feb. 11, and then they will have a South Shore League playoff game on either Sunday or Monday, Feb. 14 or 15.  In the playoffs the boys will be looking to secure another South Shore League title.

Despite this difficulty, this is a team of tough competitors, and they will not let adversity push them down. “The long break in our season is a little bit of a setback but it’s an obstacle we have to get over in order to win the league when we do get back,” said senior Joey Nguyen who has high hopes for the team once they are good to come back.

Principal Harrison in a letter to the community expressed his pride in the school’s handling of this situation, limiting the spread and not putting any other students in jeopardy.  He said, “Thanks to the hard work of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and families, I do believe this outbreak involving the boy’s varsity basketball team has been contained.  I continue to remain confident in our protocols and believe our learning environment within our classrooms is safe.” 

Hopefully when the team is cleared for basketball activities once again, they won’t miss a beat and will get right to work. 

RHS Top Dogs 2021

Top Dogs from Cohort B were recognized on Thursday Feb. 4. From left: Hannah Makarski, Zachary Solomon, Althea Olsen, Greta Russo, Anthony DiNino and Colin McKerrell. Not in picture: Hunter Wardwell. Cohort A Top Dogs will be recognized next week.

Feb. 4, 2021

Congratulations to the seniors who are Top Dogs for the Class of 2021! On Thursday, February 4, 2021 seniors from Cohort B  were announced as Top Dogs, and rewarded with chocolate, a t-shirt, and a framed picture. Below are the biographies of the 2021 Top Dog recipients from Cohort B.

Greta Russo:

Greta Russo is a member of the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams. She is also a student council executive board member as well as the president of the Massachusetts Association of Student Councils. She has partnered with volunteer work with the Special Olympics of Massachusetts and is a member of the National Honor Society. Greta plans to attend a four-year college majoring in either pre-med or environmental policy.

Hannah Makarski:

Hannah is a three-sport athlete who has participated in soccer, track, and basketball. She is a mentor of the Bulldog Buddy program, a freshman mentor as well as working in our unified gym classes. Hannah also volunteers her time with the Special Ed program in our preschool program. She plans to attend Merrimack College, major in health science, and become a respiratory therapist.

Althea Olsen:

Althea is the National Honor Society Secretary who has been the recipient of achievement awards such as the Science award and English award. She attended the Boston Leadership Institute for Surgical Research. She contributes positively to RHS by writing for the school newspaper, serving as a Freshman Mentor, and competing on the softball and swim teams. She gives back to the community by volunteering. She most recently organized a Magic School for neighbors with young children when the district shifted to fully remote.

Anthony DiNino:

Anthony DiNino has excelled as a student in the Pathways Program. He has connected with his peers within the program and has been an exceptional fundraiser for the Pathways Organization. He has excelled with customer service, working as a highly personable employee at the Dog Depot. He has also been an active participant in the Unified Sports Program, especially as one of the top performers on the soccer and basketball teams. Anthony brings a positive attitude, relentless work ethic, and cares greatly about other people and Rockland High School.

Zachary Solomon:

Zach is a National Honor Society student who has been actively involved in the Concert Band. He is a three-time recipient of the Music Achievement Award. He participated on the cross country team and swim team. Zach has shown an interest as a curious member of the astronomy club as well. Most impressive, Zach is an Eagle Scout. He completed a project this fall in which he cleaned out a messy closet filled with random marching music and built a shelving unit that matches pre-existing cabinets to store the marching music. The second part of his project was building a rolling cart that can store flipbooks for marching band and parade music, so students can easily store their music and keep it organized so it does not get lost. The final part of the project was emptying a storage unit that contained drama props, furniture, clothes, and equipment so he could build a big shelving unit.

Hunter Wardwell:

Hunter is a senior who has contributed significantly to the school’s athletic programs. He is a model student-athlete as he also takes his academics very seriously as an honors student. Hunter is a two sport varsity athlete competing on football and basketball teams. He is a captain, demonstrating exceptional leadership to younger teammates. In his free time, he volunteers as a Rockland Youth Football Coach.

Colin McKerrell:

Colin is an exceptional honor roll student who has been recognized as an AP Scholar with Honor. Athletically, Colin has participated in the wrestling and football teams. As a football player, Colin has been a leader on the team as a captain. Colin works part-time at Dairy Queen in Hanover as a food preparer.

The following seniors will be recognized next week and we will highlight their accomplishments at that time. Jessica Driscoll, Erin Gardner, Lauren Draicchio and Claudia Abouzeid.

Thank you Dr. Harrison, Ms. Kemp, and Ms. O’Brien for coordinating the event and the rewards given, and congratulations again to the RHS Top Dogs 2021.


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