‘Most likely to take over the world’ exits with flare

By Olivia Bonardi

Photo taken by David Gordon Caption: Jacob played at a community tree lighting in December.

Arlington High School senior, Jacob Deck, was crowned “most likely to take over the world” by the senior class this winter, and he continues to exhibit the unique spirit that had him recogni

zed in the first place. In his last months of high school, Jacob has embraced new opportunities, challenges, and passions, all the while creating an unmistakeable reputation for himself. I caught Jacob backstage at the school’s musical, Hello Dolly, on of the busiest weekends of his year. Between costume changes and dance breaks he chatted with me about his past, present and future.

Olivia: Is this the first musical you’ve ever been in?

Jacob: Yes, it is. I’m kind of surprised by this fact. I was in the band in  A Christmas Carol, and I had so much fun with everybody then, being around the theater people in their natural environment, I felt like I had to come back.

Olivia: What has been your favorite part about being in the musical?

Jacob: Every day when I come home, I have a new story about what happened that day. Honestly, everyone here has started to feel like my family up on stage. It’s been really special and now I’m thinking, ‘Where has this been all my life’?

Olivia: What other extracurricular activities have you done this year?

Jacob: Well, pretty recently I won the South Shore Folk Music Club youth ballad contest. I sang a Scottish border ballad called “Jock O’ Braidislee”,  and I played my harp. It was fun.  There’s a video of my performance somewhere on Youtube.

Olivia: When did you learn to play the harp?

Jacob: Well, I wanted to learn for a while, but last summer I actually got a job, so I was able to make enough money to buy one that I found at Wood and Strings in Arlington Center. One afternoon in October, my parents looked out the window and saw me and my friend, Nate Wright, hauling a harp up our hill in a wagon. I’m not the best player, but I’ve been teaching myself with things I found on the internet and from books. I’m lucky because it’s really hard to sound bad on a harp. I’m so glad I picked it up.

Olivia: Do you see yourself pursuing music as a career in the future?

Jacob: Yes, right now I’m looking at small liberal arts colleges with music programs.

Olivia: Are there any that stand out to you at this point?

Jacob:  My top choice is this place in Appleton, Wisconsin called Lawrence University. I’m visiting there soon. It’s going to be a great time.

Olivia: What is the biggest draw for you at that school?

Jacob: The music culture. It’s not completely a music school; no one has to do music 100% of the time; you can still have fun, but there definitely is an emphasis on it. Over 50% of the people there are official involved in some sort of music.  When I go, I’ll be visiting the Lawrence Fiddle Club.

Olivia: I know you play harp, but around school you’re more well known for playing recorder in the hallways. When did that start?

Jacob: I’ve always really liked the instrument. I picked it up because I needed something to play for a LARP (live action role play) event. I started playing it, then I figured out I really liked playing it. Also it seemed to make people happy. I kept playing once I discovered Irish music,  Scottish music, and  Breton music, leading me to realize I love it all to bits.

Olivia: It seems like since your recorder is so portable, you’ll play anywhere. Where’s the craziest place you’ve played?

Jacob: Oh, this is a really good story. I was just coming back from this event called “Pipes in the Valley”, which was substantially lamer than it was cracked up to be. It was just a bunch of bagpipe enthusiasts gathering around and listening to people playing really bad covers of electric pipe band songs. It was so lame that my dad found another pub, and we went there instead. I walked in, and I was wearing a checkered vest. I had two little tin whistles in my belt. Someone pointed them out and said, “Oh, you were at pipes in the valley,” and I said, “Yes! yes, I was.” I got into a place where people were asking, “Can you play something?” I said,“Yeah, of course.” There was this girls’ soccer team that had just come off of a game. I think they’d won, and they were really hyped, so when they heard me play, they started clapping and cheering. Someone even tried to step dance. Eventually, I was asked to leave the restaurant to thunderous applause, which I did. That evening was the source of my motto: Why just leave anywhere when you could be politely asked to leave instead.

Olivia: You’re so outgoing, Jacob. To me, it seems all your charisma definitely makes you a good candidate for “most likely to take over the world”. Why do you think you won that?

Jacob: I think it’s because they put the people they don’t know what to do with in that category. I’m kind of surprised; I don’t see myself taking over the world exactly, but I can see myself in a position of that flavor.

Olivia: I could see you taking over the world.

Jacob: Perhaps, we’ll see.


AHS filmmaker works on next masterpiece

By Tommy Barvick

Young filmmaker and high school senior Lorenzo Rugiero is working in his next film entitled The Great Robbing of Randall Cobb. Asa Minter, helped with filming and sound. This will be finished and released through Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) on May 15th, 2016.

The plot of The Great Robbing of Randall Cobb, according to Director Rugiero, is, “A couple of high school underachievers set out to rob a teacher’s pet when they discover that he’s selling illegal substances.“  

The Great Robbing of Randall Cobb will feature Rugiero in a lead role, along with Minter as a supporting actor.

Rugiero and Minter have been working together for much of their teenage lives on movies and other projects.  Films such as The Witness, a tale depicting a humorous and dark side of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Far Gone, another dark, yet humorous tale, in the vain of Fargo, won over crowds at the Arlington Teen Film Festival in 2014 and 2015, respectively.  

I’ve always found the concept of mugging very bizarre and kind of fascinating. At a high school level, depending where you grow up and who you hang out with, it’s not an uncommon occurrence. I have friends, high schoolers, who have been “jumped” by their classmates for things as ridiculous as sneakers and articles of clothing. I, for one, could never see myself doing this to another kid no matter how desperate I was for money or clothing accessories. Even if I wanted to, I don’t think I could ever do it successfully. I thought it would be interesting to make a film (comedy) about two otherwise good kids who decide to commit such an act, merely to see if they’re actually capable of doing it and getting it right. This was my inspiration for the film,” says Rugiero.

The film will be debuting on May 15th at the ICA in Boston.  The film runs approximately 15 minutes, and the screening is free to the public This is not a movie to miss, as Rugiero and crew never fail to impress with their dark humor on the screen.

Hello, Dolly wows crowd

Photo taken by Carla DeFord  Caption: Students of AHS performing “Hello, Dolly”.

By: Salome Lefort

As the lights grew dim and the auditorium filled with people, the red curtain, with a light  shining brightly opened slowly and the band began to play.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the students of Arlington High School Gilbert and Sullivan Club, performed their rendition  of  Hello, Dolly!  by Michael Stewart. The director of the school’s musical was Michael Byrne the drama teacher here at AHS.

The story revolves around a socialite matchmaker named Dolly Levi. She is recruited by Horace Vandergelder to find him a wife, although the audience soon learns she intends to marry Mr. Vandergelder.

Rehearsals for the musical began in January, and the performance was the weekend of April 8-10.

Sixty- eight students participated in the musical itself, and five other students worked on the set and managed the students backstage.

The musical this year was in honor of Catherine Malatesta, a student who passed away last summer. She had always been part of the musicals, and this year was the first year without her.

To honor her, a fundraiser called “Catch a Star” was put in place. The goal was to raise money for her scholarship. By paying 20 dollars, audience goers would obtain a star with a prize in it, which varied from a gift card to a discount for a store.

The set was wonderfully painted and built, and the costumes were beautiful and popped with color and variety. The singing and dancing was fabulous, and everyone seemed to leave the musical happy and joyful.

Nick Beutler, junior, said; “It was awesome. I especially liked when Adrian [A performer in the musical] did a cartwheel, very impressive.”

Owen Record, who was in the cast, shared, “I was on the tech crew. I saw all the shows, They were incredible.”

Junior, Will Christmann stated, “It was really good. Best musical I’ve seen at AHS!”

Ian Spreads Positivity


Ian proudly poses with his guitar (above).

Photo taken by Olivia Jones

By Julia Gydus

Every morning one walks through the doors of the Media Center, still half asleep, dreading the day ahead, one can count on seeing Ian Miller. Ian, or as most people know him, the guitar playing prodigy, is a 16-year-old sophomore with the incredible gift of optimism.

For many, being happy all the time seems nearly impossible, even pretending to be happy is a difficult task. For Ian, being happy is a way of life, and he hopes to spread this message to the rest of the AHS community.

Ian plays guitar in the morning, because “it seemed like something that would be good for the AHS community. People look so down and out when they come in in the mornings so I try to cheer them up”.

Ian’s warm welcomes have become a routine in the mornings and his smile can change the outlook on the day ahead. Seeing Ian can immediately change the mood of a bad day.

He says the key is to “stay positive, think of positive things and find solutions rather than more problems”. He says, “I didn’t get my dream summer job working at a camp, I decided to volunteer instead because if I couldn’t get the paid position I would still be able to have the experience. I just pretended money wasn’t a factor, so I could still make the most out of it.”

It can be difficult to find solutions to problems when it seems nothing is going the right way, but Ian is a prime example of how each is all in control of his/her own happiness, and the way one looks at situations determines emotions.

Ian hopes to impact the AHS community by teaching them that by “having a positive impact on the community around you, the good vibes will eventually come back to you. What goes around comes around”.

Junior, Olivia Jones says, “He can really brighten my day. It’s so nice to know that there is at least on genuinely nice person in this school. He adds such a great element of happiness to the environment.”

Ms. Slade also appreciates Ian’s presence saying “He’s awesome. I love to have him here in the mornings. Also, he’s always on time, so it motivates me to get here on time too so I can open up.”

His life hasn’t always been so positive as some would imagine. Difficult things have happened in the past that have helped shape him, and he uses the bad memories as motivation to not repeat the past and move forward to make the most out of life.

“The key to life is to have a positive outlook,” he says. “You learn and you move on.” Ian, like 70% of other adolescents, has struggled with depression in the past and it is something he still struggles with today. Along with depression, he also struggles with ADHD, OCD, and Aspergers, all of which make everyday life more complicated, socially and academically. He uses the extra energy from his ADHD and Aspergers to “run, work twice as hard, and kick butt to prove to the world I can do just as much or more with my conditions”.

Ian’s struggles have helped him learn “to appreciate the people in my life, because I didn’t always have them. I love school, because I see people smile and wave and I look forward to that and being able to spread kindness. Life is all about making connections with people and the world around you and acting on these connections”.

“I have a lot stacked up against me that I struggled with and still struggle with today, but I try not to let it slow me down. He says he looks up to Bruce Springsteen because he can relate to his past. “He beat a lot of odds to get to where he is and he did it cleanly without abusing drugs or alcohol like most rock stars; he works hard,” Ian shares.

He hopes to attend college for outdoor leadership and education, because he loves spending time outside and working with kids.

Currently, Ian is training for his second marathon, an accomplishment most people will never achieve let alone at the age of 16. As a short term goal, he hopes to get an A in honors biology this year.

Ian is an imperative asset to the student body of AHS. He is a daily reminder to everyone here that no matter how bad things may seem, there is always hope. Ian’s optimism is honorable in many ways, especially considering his past. Ian says, “Most of us are more lucky than we think to have been gifted with the lives we have. We should take advantage of every day to remind ourselves and the people around us that positivity and kindness are such easy things to accomplish, yet they can greatly improve our lives and the lives of everyone around us.” Ian also play guitar and frisbee and likes to read and hike.


Roels creates unique art

Piglet plush sewn by Roels (Photos by Megan Roels)

By Lilah Vieweg

Arlington High School has become a hotbed of artisitic talent, with students lining up to audition for the spring musical, attending the Mount Vesuviana arts camp in Italy, and rapidly filling the many art classes offered.

One such talented student is freshman Megan Roels who sews amazingly detailed and well made stuffed animals in her free time. She began sewing at age seven, taught by her aunt, and lately she’s been working on some big projects. When asked about her most difficult project so far, she described making “an eight foot long [dragon] plush. It is a stretchy, fuzzy, fabric that was really difficult to sew. In the long run, it took me a few months.”

The average stuffed animal takes about a week, and the supplies cost between twenty and thirty dollars. Of her process, she says, “Sometimes I’ll use a pattern that’s already existing and adjust it, other times I’ll make my own pattern and sew from there.”

Her skill has not gone unnoticed. Friends and family, even strangers, have begun to ask for commissions. “I’ve had a bunch of people ask. My art teacher wants me to make a stuffed hippo for her child,” says Roels. “People I don’t even know, like my neighbors have asked me to make them patterns.”

Currently, Roels is working on a quilt and hopes to begin learning to sew clothes. But she also paints, draws, and sculpts.