Category Archives: Clubs / Activities
Summer Reading Has Many Benefits
June 21, 2022
Shannon Gustin, Veritas Features Editor
This summer at Rockland High School, the RHS library is hosting a summer reading program, directed by Ms. Kemp, the librarian for RHS and RMS. Even though it is optional, students are encouraged to participate in the event.
Ms. Kemp says, “I made this optional since so many classes assign work, and being required to read would only make people want to read less. I want the students to enjoy reading and not see it as just another assignment.”
This year Ms. Kemp put together a list of books that she hoped people would resonate with and be interested in. The books students can choose from are, Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman, Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski, The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge, I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys, The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku, Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer, How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray, The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, The Grapes of Math: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life by Alex Bellos and The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa.
“I want students to be inspired and want to read, so I chose books that reflect differences in people’s likes with many different genres” Ms. Kemp stated.
Some of the books that she liked the most and the ones she recommended are Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Crzerski which is about how ordinary objects relate to problems like Climate Change and energy crisis. Crzerski introduces Physics in a way that many can understand and makes it less daunting.
Another favorite was, Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer, which is about Irena Sendler, a hero in World War 2, she saved 2500 Jewish children from the horrors of Auschwitz but her story went unnoticed, and 60 years later three students want to learn more about her why she is not heard of for a research project.
After the students pick and read their book they would complete a project where they would redesign a book cover that shows their interpretation of the book they chose. The design would include:
- Visual representation of a theme within the book
- Meaningful quote that reflects an important aspect of the book. Students should be able to explain why the quote was chosen during our RHS Library Takeover in September.
- Students will use Canva to complete their projects. Completed covers should be emailed to email@example.com by September 9th.
Then at the beginning of the year, students will be called down on September 23, during G block to participate in The RHS Library Takeover. During the takeover, there will be a book chat, serving of refreshments and a display of students’ redesigned covers. Ms. Kemp is hoping that through this takeover students would make connections with new people and celebrate reading.
Our school hasn’t hosted summer reading since 2019 before COVID-19 hit our community. But before the virus each year the number of students who participated varied. Ms. Kemp as well as many RHS teachers are encouraging students to participate in the event.
“Reading strengthens literacy skills, promotes empathy, heightens English skills, a celebration of works, and reading is good for the brain, so I think all students should make an effort to participate in summer reading this year” explained Ms. Kemp.
A few students have mentioned that they like the idea but do not think they have the time for it. Freshman Melia Olinek thinks that summer reading is a cool program but doesn’t think a lot of students will be doing it because of all the work they have already.
She states, “I will not be doing it this year. I am taking honors English next year and I have to read a book for that. I think it is important and I love to do it but also I want time to relax and not think about school. ”
Sophomore Meghan Gustin says, “I won’t be doing the summer reading this year because I already have many assignments from other teachers, and with work, I don’t think I will have any free time if I do the reading.”
Sophomore, Thomas Enman, had an opposite opinion on summer reading. “Over the summer reading has been easy and isn’t even bad. I honestly find it kind of fun when I get to do it on my own time.”
But some students don’t feel they will have enough time, especially since many teachers at RHS are assigning other work to get ready for their classes in the fall.
Some students have expressed that if it was mandatory or graded they would do the reading. But since it’s not they don’t feel it’s as important as other activities this summer.
The book options have been sent out to every student and if parents or students want additional information they can visit Aspen / X2 in the announcements section to get the link to titles and descriptions for each book.
Nicole Cedrone and Cameron Babcock also contributed to this report.
Rockland Welcomes Back the Arts Festival!
May 2, 2022
Shannon Gustin, Veritas Feature Editor
This year on May 4th and 5th the annual RHS Arts Festival will return to the high school. The event will run on both days from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. The Arts Festival hasn´t been held since 2019. This year will be the 49th year of having the festival.
Rockland High School art teachers Kata Medeiros and Cheryl Thompson both expressed their excitement for this event after not having it for 2 years because of COVID-19. Mrs. Thompson said, “The Art Dept. is excited to bring the Arts Festival back after a two-year hiatus. We are so happy to see so much involvement from students, staff, and members of the community.”
Ms. Medeiros added, “We are very excited to have the Arts Festival running again; the Art Department loves showcasing all the work our talented artists create.
Artwork from all grade levels throughout the district will be displayed along with many other exhibits and activities. On Wednesday, The Blue Dog Cafe, an open mic event, will be hosted in the RHS/RMS library. On Thursday night the chorus and band will be performing in the auditorium.
There will also be activities such as a a community Unity String Art Project run by Daring Discussions on Thursday night in front of the middle school, along with a GSA face-painting table, and a Student Council scavenger hunt which will be running throughout both days of the festival. Exhibits include K-12 Art, Preschool and Daycare art, as well as projects by Woodshop, and Robotics, along with activities such as hands-on STEAM projects, and interactive science and art projects.
Lots of planning goes into this event over the course of the school year. The Art Department started planning this event in early November to be ready for the large event. Ms. Medeiros explained, “We have had several meetings with people who are participating in the Arts Festival. We have had members of Reimagine Rockland, Rockland Recreation, Rockland Farmers Market, and much more join us to help plan the event.”
The Arts Festival has returned to Rockland after 2 years. Many students and staff are excited to see this event come back. Both teachers, Mrs. Thopmson and Ms. Medeiros are hoping to see a large turnout as in years past.
Here’s some photos from past festivals
Shrek the Musical gets great reviews
April 12, 2022
Nicole Cedrone, Veritas Editor in Chief
On Friday, March 25th, and Saturday, March 26th Shrek the Musical came to Rockland High School. The Rockland Drama Club mixed with middle and high school students worked extremely hard to put together this amazing performance.
The whole process took about 3 months to pull it all together. RHS has not been able to perform a musical in the past 3 years due to COVID. The last musical that was planned was Mary Poppins in 2020 but it was never performed.
About 400 people came to support the cast and crew each night of the show. The band, crew, and cast did a phenomenal job and deserved to have that many people come to see all their hard work.
Mr. Steve Bergman, the new head of the drama club, and his family helped bring Shrek the Musical to life. Mr. Bergman was the musical director and played the keyboard throughout the performance; his wife was the director, and their daughter, Emily was the choreographer. All of them helped guide the students into their roles and made everything possible. In the past, Mr. Bergman has been involved in many theater productions and he found Shrek to be “a wonderful way to present a wide variety of stories to audiences.”
Mr. Bergman states, “There can certainly be days when everyone is a little tired, which can cause people to become grumpy, not the character, during a rehearsal. However any time there appeared to be a stressful situation, those involved would talk it out, and the situation would calm itself down, to go on preparing the show.”
Allyson Leary played the character Pinocchio. She has been a part of drama club for some time now and loves being able to showcase her musical talents. She said that she loved when the Bergmans took over the drama club and is excited about their new theater view.
Allyson states, “The most exciting part of being in the musical was getting to work with the new directors and choreographers. They were all pleasures to work with and I can’t wait to work with them again next year.”
The actors/actresses had to overcome many obstacles such as learning the songs and routines on time. Songs like “I am a Believer” and “Freak Flag” were crowd favorites. During “Freak Flag” the crowd was waving their flags to be a part of the show.
Senior Ngan Nguyen, was the fairy godmother and also performed ensemble roles. With this being her last performance opportunity she was glad she was able to pursue her theater dream.
Ngan states, “Over the months, I was able to meet and know some of the most wonderful and amazing people and cast/crew I could ever ask for. Throughout the process and on the show we laugh, smile, and cry together. We all share some of the memorable and wonderful moments. I like to believe that this production brought people together and created wonderful and unforgettable friendships and memories.”
With it being 3 years since RHS put on a musical it was well worth the wait! Great job everyone!
Here are photos courtesy of the Yearbook. Click on one photo to start the gallery.
Shrek the Musical Opens Friday Night
Ngan Nguyen, For the Veritas
March 23, 2022
At 7 p.m. on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26, the students of Rockland High School are presenting a performance: Shrek the Musical!
Throughout the show, you will laugh, smile, and may even be a part of our show. The cast members are constantly learning, reviewing, and improving their choreography, steps, and songs.
Everyone has tirelessly worked for months to make the performance fun and enjoyable. The cast of Shrek are very excited to be able to put on a Spring Musical for everyone.
In addition to individual roles and performers, there are mulitple ensemble roles which has given many students an opportunity to be a part of this fun show.
Tri Nguyen and McKenna Maher are playing Shrek and Fiona. Come to the show to see who else will be playing the other roles!
Both shows begin at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on-line at Freshtix.com.
Mr. Bergman, the director of the musical said, “Rehearsals are going well. Only one week until showtime!”
Student Government Participates in Polar Plunge
March 1, 2022
According to Student Government Adviser, Kirsten Bartoloni, eight Rockland High School Student Council members braved the elements and plunged into the ocean on February 26th. Students attended the Polar Plunge event at Nantasket beach to raise awareness and raise money for Special Olympic programs. Several area schools took part.
This has been a long standing tradition that is sponsored by the Special Olympics of Massachusetts (SOMA). It was put on hold last year with the pandemic. The RHS kids pictured above were among the hundreds of plungers on Saturday. They collectively raised $440 for the cause! The Nantasket Plunge raised a total of almost $140,000!
Polar Plunges are held in several locations.
Congratulations to the students in their efforts to support Special Olympics of Massachusetts.
SEMASC Conference a Success
February 18, 2022
The Rockland High School Student Council received this message below from Linda J. Francis, Executive Director of SEMASC about the successful Winter Conference hosted by Rockland High School on Thursday, Feb. 17. Rockland’s Student Government along with the SEMASC executive board worked hard to make the conference a success!
“Congratulations to Rockland High School Student Council and their advisors Kirsten Bartoloni and Kara Penney for hosting the SEMASC Winter Conference on February 17, 2022. We were 235 Delegates and 28 Advisors from 20 SEMASC schools STRONG celebrating and learning leadership training skills through Student Executive Board member led Workshops.”
“During the conference elections were held for the SEMASC 2021-2022 President-Elect/ 2022-2023 President which was won by Adam Halperin from Plymouth North High School. A fun dance, a delicious dinner, a spirited display of school flags and many energizers brought student leaders together to once again celebrate in-person student leadership training conferences.”
“Thank you to motivational speaker Dan Dufour for his entertaining, inspirational messages and Paul Branagan for sharing his heartfelt reflections of success through storytelling. Words of wisdom shared from the heart!”
Rockland SGC Advisor, Kirsten Bartoloni said, “It was great! RHS students were terrific getting the event mobilized, they were welcoming and engerenic. Underclassmen participated in leadership workshops. All was awesome.”
The SEMASC Executive Board
Carolayne Lage, President – Rockland High School
Hannah St. John, Vice President – Middleborough High School
Kaitlyn Murphy, Secretary – Foxborough Regional Charter High School
Aislinn Campbell, Publicity Coordinator- Taunton High School
Carly Quill, Webmaster – Middleborough High School
Jacob Lustig, Delegate-Quincy High School
Conor Kelleher, Delegate-Middleborough High School
Adam Halperin, President- Elect, Plymouth North High School
Linda J. Francis, Executive Director – Marshfield
Dining for a Cause TONIGHT (Feb. 17th)
This is to benefit the Rockland Drama Club and its production of Shrek the Musical on Friday March 25 and Saturday March 26 at Rockland High School. In fact tickets are on sale now!
Both shows begin at 7pm. Click the links below to purchase your tickets!