Author Archives: jasminmorse

Travel Club Says “Hallo” to Europe

Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in Chief and Web Editor


travel posters

Ads hanging up in RHS cafeteria for past and future EF Tours sponsored RHS Travel Club trips. photo by Jasmin Morse

At the start of April vacation, 34 RHS juniors and seniors are venturing abroad with the RHS Travel Club. For most of the kids going, this trip has been 2-4 years in the making and after many payments and fundraisers has become a reality.

On Saturday, April 13 the students will be loading onto a bus with chaperones English teacher Kristen Walsh, science department head, Samantha Hoyo, and science teacher Julia DiCanzio. From there, they will ride the bus to Logan International Airport, make it through security, and spend nearly 14 hours in and out of airports and the air before they reach their first travel spot in Vienna, Austria.

In Vienna, some of the main attractions they’ll see through tours are the Hofsburg Palace and the Parliament Building. After two nights in Vienna they’ll travel by bus to Prague, Czech Republic.

hofburg palace

Picture of the Hofburg Palace, Vienna.

In Prague, the group will visit St. Vitus Cathedral, the Charles Bridge, and other historic and cultural locations.  After spending two nights in Prague, the group will wake up and travel by bus to Munich and Dachau, Germany.

In Germany, among the sites they will visit are the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, and the Munich Olympic Stadium. The students had the option to pay an additional fee to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle. On Day 8 of the trip, they will travel from Munich to Zurich, Switzerland.


Picture of the option Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.

There, they’ll take a walking tour of Zurich’s Old Town and visit a local business. On Day 10, the group will head home.

old zurich

View of Zurich’s Old Town in Switzerland.

Their exhausting return flight is scheduled to land in Boston’s Logan Airport at 9:03pm and all students and staff on the trip are required to report to school Tuesday, April 23 after their long, fun-filled April break.

For further information on the Travel Club’s itinerary, check out EF Tour’s page on the Central European Quartet. And to keep up to date on your child or friend’s trip follow advisor Walsh’s Travel Club pages on Instagram and Twitter @rhstravelwalsh



The Garden of Leadership is Blossoming at Spring SEMASC

Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor


The final gathering of the 2018-2019 Student Council year took place as the 2019-2020 year was kicked off yesterday on Wednesday, April 3 at Pembroke High School.

Nine of Rockland’s Student Government Council attended the annual Spring SEMASC Conference. Here, the 2018-2019 year was put to bed while the 2019-2020 year was kicked off and celebrated. The upcoming year’s delegates, vice president, and secretary all presented speeches, were voted upon, and were announced.  Workshops also took place and the seniors were given recognition of their graduation from 4 years of SEMASC.

Amongst the seven delegates one came from Rockland to better impact our region. Sophomore Greta Russo campaigned with her theme of “The Garden of Leadership” and after giving her  speech was elected one out of the three delegate positions on the 2019-2020 SEMASC Executive Board.

greta russo

SEMASC 2019-2020 Delegate Greta Russo campaigning before being elected

Along with celebrating Russo’s victory, SEMASC’s 2019-2020 president and Rockland’s own junior Jacob Leahy was passed the gavel yesterday marking the start of his time as SEMASC president.

Jacob at the podium

SEMASC President Jacob Leahy on stage with the rest of SEMASC Executive Board

At the very end of the conference, seniors from across the 36 SEMASC-participating schools were acknowledged for their commitment to Student Council and their participation in these conferences for the past four years.

SEMASC Graduating Seniors:

Caitlin Cameron

Francisco Oliveira

Justin Sherlock

Jasmin Morse

John Ellard III

Tyler Beatrice

Marissa Smith

seniors SGC

SEMASC graduates at annual MASC Conference this past March

“It’s a Hard Knock Life” at RHS

Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in Chief and Web Editor


This weekend the RHS Music Department welcomes you to come and watch the spring musical production of Annie. For months, many RHS students have been rehearsing tirelessly for the show.

The musical will debut on Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. A second show will be put on the the following day, Saturday, April 6 at 1 p.m. The show will take place in the RMS/RHS auditorium.

Starring in the play is freshman Mikayla Andre as Annie and junior Jordan Cunningham as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. Additionally, senior Bonnie Gasdia will play Grace Farrell and sophomore  Emily Gaboriault takes the role of Miss Hannigan. The show also features junior Neleh Dunn as “Rooster” Hannigan and junior Olivia Janis as Lily. The girls from the orphanage will be played by several middle school students.

The show is directed by RPS teachers Victoria McComb and Michelle Booth. A complete cast list will be available tomorrow and of course, you will see Annie’s dog, “Sandy” at the shows!

Be sure to come support the kids of the Music Dept. and enjoy the RHS take on this classic. Tickets can be purchased for $7 at any of the RPS schools or by using




What NEASC Accreditation Means for RHS

Dr. John Harrison, Rockland High School principal, along with the staff and faculty at RHS are preparing for the 10 year re-accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). photo by Jasmin Morse

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:

  1. Learning Culture
  2. Student Learning
  3. Professional Practices
  4. Learning Support
  5. 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.


Fake News Gets Real in Rockland

After a Facebook post many were afraid that the stadium will not be ready for Class of 2019 Graduation. photo courtesy of Park Department

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.

post on real rockland

Screenshots were emailed to the Veritas by a follower of this Facebook page.


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.


comments and responses

Veritas received screenshots from an adult follower of the Facebook page.

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.

Work is resuming on the stadium this week. photo courtesy of the Park Department

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.”

RHS Student Gov. Attends Annual MASC Conference


Top Left to Right: Tyler Gambon, Lara Glennon, Matt Bruzzese, John Ellard, and Jacob Leahy. Middle Row Left to Right: Miku Yoshioka, Katy Buckley, Maddie Gear, Kate Burke, Marissa Smith, Jasmin Morse, Francisco Oliveira, and Tyler Beatrice. Bottom Row Left to Right: Emily Gaboriault, Carolyne Lage, Greta Russo, Lauren Dracchio, Justin Sherlock, Grace Henry, and Caitlin Cameron.

polar plunge

RHS MASC-goers participating in annual Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics.

RHS seniors attending their final MASC Conference. Top Left to Right: Kate Burke, Caitlin Cameron, Marissa Smith, and Jasmin Morse. Botton Left to Right: John Ellard, Justin Sherlock, Francisco Oliveira, and Tyler Beatrice.

Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor


Each year, the RHS Student Government Council selects 15-20 outstanding leaders to attend the annual Massachusetts Association of Student Councils (MASC) conference that takes place at the Hyannis Conference Center for three days in early March.

This year 20 students embarked on this journey with SGC advisors Joanne White and Jill Delaney on March 6-8 where they encountered remarkable keynote speakers, attended beneficial workshops, and collaborated with people all over the state to better their councils. Additionally, free time was taken as a council to bond and grow a better connection to one another, making for a more communicative and understanding council.

Each year, RHS participates in the annual Polar Plunge to support the Special Olympics. Despite the weather being a balmy 26 degrees, five of the RHS MASC-goers dove into the icy Atlantic after RHS donated money to support the cause. Plungers were: Justin Sherlock, Maddie Gear, Jasmin Morse, Francisco Oliveira, and Carolyne Lage.

Later on in the day, RHS participated in the annual MASC Lip Sync competition. Originally the group thought they would be unable to participate because they were put on the wait list due to a delayed sign up. To their surprise, four days before the conference they were notified by MASC officials that a team had dropped out. In turn, this gave them a small window of time to put together a lip sync and routine.

But as usual, with the challenge presented, they decided to take a chance and put in all the time and effort they had to throw together a routine. In the end, they were named second place champs in the competition with a magical Harry Potter themed routine.

On the last day council awards were announced, and RHS won the Top Ten Award that honors a council’s work in a school-specific project. Rockland received the award for their work in making SGC Summer Camp such a success.

Additionally, officials from MASC ask all councils to provide excellence books that mark indicators of the councils’ success and participation in projects in the school and statewide events. When looking through each book they mark down by points if a council meets the criteria and then names them a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Council of Excellence. Rockland’s council was named a Silver Council according to these requirements.

All in all, it was three days filled with fun, leadership, and learning that the students will bring back to better the RHS Student Government Council.

Students show support for the Patriot’s Super Bowl victory

Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman at the parade on Monday, Feb. 5, 2019. Boston Globe photo by Barry Chin.

Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor


With last Sunday’s New England Patriots victory against the LA Rams by a whopping score of 13-3 at Super Bowl LIII, yesterday, Tues. Feb. 5, called for a Boston tradition: a Super Bowl Victory Parade.

This occurrence almost seems to become annual: the parade takes place in Boston and people from all over New England come to celebrate the Super Bowl victory of their beloved hometown football team, the Patriots. The last parade was actually two years ago, in 2017,

Tom Brady holds the Lombardi trophy as he rides a duck boat through the crowds lined up for the Patriots Victory Parade on Feb. 5, 2019. USA Today photo

Yesterday, people crammed onto the streets of Boston and Boston Common to celebrate their favorite players, coaches, staff, and cheerleaders as they rolled down the streets in duck boats and were welcomed home with the Lombardi trophy as their souvenir from Atlanta.

This year was one of the highest attendances ever for a Boston sports parade. The MBTA noted that they saw the highest total of riders on the trains ever. Furthermore, the Boston police estimated about 1.5 million people to have attended the parade. (boston

As for Rockland, many teachers planned for their class attendances to be lower than normal on the day of the parade as many students noted that they would not be coming to school. In total, RHS noted nearly 200 students to have been absent on parade day. Whether these absences were parade-related or due to it being flu season is not specified.

All in all, with unseasonably warm weather, the crowds flocked to Boston to show their love and support for Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and all the New England Patriots. People young and old celebrated their outstanding year and all the accomplishments the team had as a whole. Whether seeing Brady was your favorite part of the day, going out into the balmy spring-like weather, or simply absorbing Patriot pride, everyone who went to Boston yesterday is sure to have had an unforgettable day.


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