Monthly Archives: January 2022

Poetry Out Loud Held on Jan. 18 at RHS

The six POL contestants after the competition: from left, Callie Gillan, Corinne Medford, Emilly Goncalves Costa, Anabelle MacDonald, Nicole Cedrone and Maria Pala. Photo courtesy of Ms. Walsh

January 21, 2022

Nicole Cedrone, Veritas Editor-in-Chief

The Poetry Out Loud competition, a national competition in which students recite two poems, was held on January 18th at 7 pm in the RHS/RMS lecture hall. 

Six contestants competed in the lecture hall on Tuesday night. These included Callie Gillan, Maria Pala, Emilly Goncalves Costa, Anabelle MacDonald, Corinne Medford, and Nicole Cedrone.

Each contestant had to memorize two poems and compete in two rounds of recitation for each of their poems. Mrs. Kendra Donovan is the English department head and the coordinator of POL.

There were three judges who all judged in 5 categories for each competitor.
The categories are:  1. Physical Presence. 2. Voice and Articulation. 3. Dramatic Appropriateness. 4. Evidence of Understanding. 5. Overall Performance.
Each of these three judges used the same scoresheets for each poem recited.  There was also one Accuracy judge who only focused on errors/omissions.

Senior Callie Gillan was voted the winner by the judges and will be representing Rockland at the Regional Competition.  Corinne Medford and Emilly Goncalves Costa placed 2nd and 3rd. 

In past competitions, we have had nine students attend regionals, five students went to states, and two have gone to nationals in Washington DC.

Mrs. Amanda McDonough, an RHS English teacher, believes that this organization provides a great opportunity for students. She states, “The process of memorizing and reciting a poem is extremely challenging, but once a student has accomplished the task, he or she should feel pride in this accomplishment, an accomplishment many teachers would shy away from quite honestly.”

Watch the performances on WRPS Youtube.

Here are links to past Poetry Out Loud competitions.  To see more use the search tab on the Veritas’ Home page.

January, 2020

March, 2017

March, 2015

March, 2014

Savers Fundraiser: Check It Out

The Rockland High School Travel Club is running a Saver’s Clothing Drive.
The actual drop-off day is Tuesday, January 25, but the club is accepting bags of donations any day before that in Room 121.
The club will also be having a community drop-off next Saturday, January 22, in front of the building between 9-12. Feel free to pass this information along to anyone looking to do some winter cleaning/donating.
The goal is to raise $1,000 by collecting 278 bags of clothing and household textiles.  This will help the students in the Travel Club tremendously.

Covid Cases Increase

Graphic from

January 12, 2022

Veritas Editors Shannon Gustin, Nicole Cedrone, Cameron Babcock and Hailey Christianson contributed to this report

After the winter break, and the start of the new year, COVID case numbers in the Rockland school district have risen rapidly among students and staff. On January 9, Dr. Cron released statistics of the COVID cases in our commuitiy. In total, 94 students and 34 staff members among all the schools were infected at that time.  At the high school, 34 students were infected and 6 staff members tested positive. 

COVID has affected many people in our community. Sophomore Cameron Babcock said, “Many classmates of mine have contracted the virus.”  He went on to say, “This is the worst the virus has been at school, as it has taken classmates out of school because they have the virus, and even more because of the contacts.”

Almost every student at Rockland High School has had a firsthand experience with COVID-19, whether they had it, someone in their family had it, or someone they know had it. Shannon Gustin, a freshman shared, “From my experience about 10 to 15 friends and family members have been infected by this virus.” 

Even though the virus is widespread, it hasn’t affected others.  Hailey Christanson, a junior, said,  “None of my family or friends or anyone I know at the moment has been infected with COVID.” 

 Students have different opinions on whether or not we should have gone from in-person school to remote school after the holidays. Freshman Nicole Cedrone says, “With the increase in cases and students and teachers being absent I feel as though the school should shut down and go remote for 2-4 weeks. WIth hitting record high cases, safety has to be the most important thing. If the school shuts down now we are preventing the rise in cases and ensuring the safety of others. Safety has to be the priority.” 

Christanson had an opposing opinion of remote schooling, saying,  “I would say the school department has done a fair job. Going back to remote should not even be in question considering that the new [Omicron] variant is less deadly and it’s almost like a cold.  Most teachers are vaccinated, as well as a lot of students, meaning we should be over even having to think about going remote.” 

Even if our school board wanted to go remote, they wouldn’t be able to easily. According to an article on, Governor Charlie Baker said, “We count in-person days as school…they can use snow days until they run out of snow days, but they do need to provide their kids with 180 days of in-person education this year.”  This would mean if the schools decided to go remote they would have to add in-person days at the end of the school year. 

In conclusion, many students have been affected by the spike of COVID cases after the break, and with numbers rising many students had different opinions on whether we should go remote or not. But in the end, if the schools decided to go remote they would need to add more days to the school year. 

At this point, in-person school is the path Rockland Public Schools will stay on. As long as everyone stays safe and takes the needed precautions, the surge in cases will flatten. But until then, we hope everyone is safe and healthy.

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