Arlington High School alumni reunite after 60 years

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Nancy Price
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Arlington High Alumni
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Arlington High Alumni

By: Isabella Scopetski

The Arlington High School classes of 1951, 1954, 1960, and 1967 recently had a reunion in the Villages in Florida of about 40-50 Arlington High alumni. The reunion was organized by Ms. Nancy Price, who was a proud member of the class of 1954 at Arlington High School. “I thought I was going to be the oldest,” she said.

Price grew up in Arlington and went to the Junior High West for middle school and the Locke School for primary education. She lived on Paul Revere Road and Newland Road during her childhood and took the trolley to the Arlington High School because there was no other public transportation.

During Price’s high school years, Raymond Morrill was principal. Teachers included: Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Dow, Mr. Charles Downs, Mrs. Forsyth, George Fusco, Mrs. Kelly, Mr. Kroll, Mrs. Manning, Mrs. Mathews, Mr. Petratrala, Ann Willard, Mr. Toner, and Mary Thompson. Price said she had “Frank Kotchin [for drivers ed]… and the yearbook was dedicated to Doc McCarthy [the track coach]”.

Many people who live in Arlington have lived here for generations.  Nancy Price said, “My mother and aunt graduated from Arlington High in 1930 and 1932.” After Price was born in the Walnut Street hospital, which she believes was just a house, her family built their life in Arlington Massachusetts. Price said, “My father owned a taxi cab business in Arlington Center by the drug store, and my Mother worked at the Regent Theater.”

During her junior year at AHS, Price was a “drum majorette” in the school marching band. She was the female leader of the band who lead the group with her twirling baton.

Price recalled, “Polio was bad in the 1950s and one of our friends came down with Polio.” She described him as an “iron lung”. Price could only visit her ill family friend if she “wore a long gown and didn’t stay too long”. The family friend recovered for a short time until the Polio returned, causing the friend to take his life.

Like many high schoolers, Price endured the troubles of her teenage years, while proudly attending and thriving at her high school. Price encourages the students at Arlington High School today to “enjoy your school; it is one of the best”. She adds, “Have fun, work hard, and go to college!”
“We cheer today the red and gray. We know our boys will shine,” says Price, recalling what once was the Arlington High school cheer.

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Safe Zone stickers disappear

By: Claire Kitzmiller  

 

In early April, several teachers came into school and immediately noticed their safe zone stickers were gone. It appeared that someone had come in the nights before and scraped the stickers off of the walls and doors.

Most stickers were taken from outside of classrooms, but some were from the inside. The teachers’ main concern was not the damage to their property; it was the hateful statement that was being made.

Drama teacher, Michael Byrne, was very concerned because he believes, “It’s a simple but really clear statement that almost every teacher has made that their classroom is a safe zone.” He knows it is an important validation for students who are unsure.

The incident also worries Byrne because “it’s a statement to students and faculty that it’s not as safe as maybe we thought it was.” The school responded immediately and gave all teachers new stickers.

The GSA also held a discussion with the freshman class about the issue and safety through the school.

In an email sent to the AHS community, Dr Janger stated, “The administration realizes that the secret removal of safe zone stickers has caused many within the AHS community to be upset and concerned for their own and others safety and well-being.  This matter is being taken very seriously and that a thorough investigation by the  administration, the town and the Arlington Police Department is well under way.”

This has been a concerning time for many students and staff at AHS, but the administration is doing everything it can to make AHS a more inclusive and accepting school.

 

 

AHS students take a stand

 

DCCF4CC2-CDA9-4392-909B-2F88B5491B80By Maya Pockrose

The 45th United States Presidential Inauguration took place January 20, 2017. One day later, protesters flooded the streets of Washington, D.C. to participate in the Women’s March on Washington.

AHS sophomores Claire Kitzmiller and Lily Snyder DiCesare are among many students who attended women’s marches. AHS Junior Tyler Dyer attended the March, too – as well as Inauguration.

Dyer and his mother won two tickets to the Inauguration, hoping that Clinton or Sanders would take the win. However, the pair still opted to attend the Trump Inauguration because Dyer felt he “has as much right to be there as a Republican does” and acknowledges the historical nature of the event.

The experience was “interesting” for Dyer, who describes being somewhat “scared” at times. He wore an outfit displaying his dissent, a shirt with the (rather politically bold) phrase “I’m A Gay Russian,” featuring plenty of rainbow patterning, and a telltale pink hat.  He received “plenty of looks” from others at the event, but nonetheless enjoyed the experience, noting that it was “empowering to be there”. Other than these looks, Dyer reports that he did not receive any negative reactions.

For Dyer, the experience reminded him that “things do change,” that “you shouldn’t be afraid,” and that “if you disagree with somebody, you have every right to speak” your mind.

Dyer also attended the Women’s March the next day. He was motivated to attend because “women’s rights are very important”.

His experience at the March was “way more positive than Inauguration”. The march, by contrast, had a vibe of togetherness and positivity, which Dyer described as “quite empowering,” noting that the sheer amount of people in attendance was “extraordinary”.  He mentioned, also, that “cis people had…huge representation,” which “they have the right to,” while there was a lack of “trans inclusivity.” Overall, however, he notes that “there was a lot of LGBT acceptance.”

Claire Kitzmiller, sophomore, attended the Women’s March in D.C., as well. She, like Dyer, says she was hesitant to go at first, being “a little worried about what would happen” and prepared “in fear of pickpockets and violence” when she did decide to go. She decided to attend because she “started to see the effect Trump has had on so many people.” She says she “knew how important it was to go”.

The experience was “amazing” for Kitzmiller. As previously mentioned, Kitzmiller had prepared for the worst, but “got the opposite”. “If anyone even dropped something,” she recalls, “someone would pick it up for them.” The attendees were kind and all “came together for the same important cause.”

The march was a learning experience for Kitzmiller, as well. She says that “the only way to make a change is to forget our differences and petty problems and work together peacefully to fight for what we believe in”.

Lily Snyder DiCesare, also a sophomore, attended the march in D.C, also. She “felt motivated as a gay woman to defend [her] rights,” adding that “as a white person of privilege, [she] wanted to do what [she] could for those…less privileged” than herself. Snyder DiCesare “found the experience very empowering”.

Banners color community

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Isabella Scopetski’s Banner hanging in Arlington Center

By: Claire Kitzmiller

Beautiful banners will wave on Massachusetts Ave. in May to greet pedestrians and drivers. The banners were created  by students in Arlington. High school art teacher, Annie Rebola, describes them as “a really nice burst of color”.

In January ninety-five students from all over Arlington, submitted art to be hung around Arlington center. Of the ninety-five, twenty submissions were chosen to be turned into banners six feet tall and four feet wide. Students were encouraged to use any media as long as it stayed two-dimensional.

The theme this year was Compassionate Community. Students, ages 12 to 18 living in Arlington, were asked to submit art encompassing this theme. Rebola commented, “It couldn’t have been a better theme for the climate right now.”

Art director, David Aditto, said, “It ties into the communities response to hate…Arlington won’t stand for that.”

The contest began in memory of Gracie James. Gracie James was a student at AHS  years ago, when she died in a car accident. Her family wanted a way to celebrate her life. In remembrance of Gracie’s love for art, the banner competition began.  The bottom of each banner  will read “This project was funded by the Gracie James foundation”.

When asked about the projects and its origin, Aditto, said, “It’s a wonderful way to commemorate her life.”

Martina Tanga has been the key organizer of the project for the past two years. Tanga spoke at a reception for all of the artists who submitted to the project. Matina helped to chose the theme.

The judges of the contest were Selectman Joseph Curro, Graphic Artist Jill Manca, and the chair of the Public Art Committee Adria Arch.

 

AHS shows off talent

By: Eveline Ho

Arlington High will be having a talent show Friday, March 3rd. This will be held inside the Lowe Auditorium. This event will present the public an opportunity to check out the gifts AHS students have to offer.

Doors will open at 6:30 PM, and the show will begin at 7 PM. It is expected to last around 2 hours.

Tickets are $10 and will be sold at lunch. They will be $15 at the door. Tickets for kids 12 and under are $5 at the door. The child should be present to confirm purchase.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

There are expected to be about 14 acts this year.

This event was organized by Mr. Amirault and the Junior Class Officers – Nat Heitman, Olivia Graceffa, Laura Kirchner, and Gayatri Sundar Rajan.

Money profiting from this event will go towards the Junior Class to fund events.  

 

Gymnastics Team Falls Below Radar

unnamed-1By Lilah Vieweg

The Arlington High School gymnastics team is often overlooked by students and teachers alike. Because their meets are rarely announced or their triumphs published, many students are totally unaware of the team’s existence.

When asked about this lack of knowledge about the gymnastics team, junior team captain Emily Smith-Kaufman replies, “I think maybe because there aren’t a lot of people who do gymnastics and because the team is really small, people don’t pay as much attention to it.”

“We are a lot better than people think we are,” says Smith-Kaufman. “ Last year, I wish people had come because we broke the school record, and we have done a lot that people don’t recognize.”

Says sophomore team member Karenna Ng, “I think what we do is pretty cool. I wish more people at AHS knew about us, because we work just as hard as the other teams.”

Sophomore team member Katja Ampe explains, “It’s an American tradition to watch football. It’s not a tradition  to watch gymnastics. I think generally more people attend the other sporting events, but also, that’s mainly because people don’t know that we have a gymnastics team.”  Unlike other sporting events at AHS, gymnastics meets are free.

“I really like the sport, because it’s physically hard, but it’s also mentally hard,” comments Ampe. “I mean, some sports are nice, but they aren’t as scary. In gymnastics, you have a four-inch wide piece of wood, four feet in the air. That is scary, and half of it is knowing that you can do it.”

Unlike other sporting events, gymnastic meets are free.

 

Chengdu Students Experience Arlington High

By Eveline Ho

Students from Chengdu, China visited Arlington High on January 24th. This event was the result of a collaboration of the two parties involved in China and Ms. Ritz at AHS. The mandarin students led the 32 visitors around for a full school day to learn about what Americans study and shed some light on our culture.

The program helps “promote an understanding between two very different cultures”, notes Ms. Yuen, the Mandarin teacher at Arlington High. The foreign exchange students are a part of the Chengdu Foreign Language School. They are the only school who are permitted to tour AHS due to the large quantity of students. They spend their vacation to come to America.

They are quite surprised when they find many differences between our schools.

“An American’s student life is more relaxing and follows their heart because they choose the courses that they’d like, but in China, we can’t actually choose the courses that we like. We must learn all the courses, nine courses a day… When I saw you guys playing the violin, I was really surprised because we don’t have these kinds of classes in China,” said Jane Kan, a Chinese foreign exchange student.

“I think that the biggest difference between China and America is that the people here have more freedom. We have to follow teachers, parents, and do homework,” voiced a male student, Sherlock Li.

These students  were quite happy to see the different foods in the cafeteria, the free time in Old Hall, and the many different classes here.

The freedom of speech in America is often taken for granted. These foreign exchange students greatly value their time in America, especially seeing the ability of students here expressing what they feel in public.

“You can’t always live in one atmosphere; you have to change and see the world. Because China and America have a lot of differences,  it is important to see where the differences are from,” said Kan.

Ruby Xu, a supervisor for the exchange students,  shared, “I think now we must get to know  the culture of the East and the West due the diversity of the world.”
This program is expected to continue. Students from China will visit every two years.

Hockey team honors Catherine Malatesta

 

unnamedBy Anna Hinkel

On Sunday, February 12, the Arlington varsity boys’ hockey team took on Hingham at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena in a game to honor Catherine Malatesta.

The game started out fast. Cully Curran, assisted by Drew Malatesta and Kevin Ouellette, scored the first goal during the first period.

Throughout the rest of the first period, through the second, and into the beginning of third, the score remained the same. Both teams were playing hard and the game was close.

Then John Piggot, with an outstanding pass from Michael Curran, scored the second goal for Arlington. The fans cheered and the stadium came alive again.

Desperate to somehow come back, Hingham pulled their goalie in favor of putting an extra player on the ice. This sealed the deal for Arlington, when Kevin Ouellette scored on an empty net, assisted by Cully Curran and Michael Curran.

At the end of the game, Drew Malatesta was named Player of the Game, chosen for his assist of Cully Curran in the first period.

Arlington finished the game with a 3-0 lead, making their record 10-0-1.

Art Raises awareness

By: Lauren Murphy

Ian Miller, a junior at AHS, is using art to battle mental health issues within our school. He is organizing young artists to come together and create a mural that will offer support to students struggling with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

Andrea Razi and Jessica Klau are the social workers at the high school who are available for students in need of extra support with mental health issues. The guidance department is another resource which can help students.

Miller wants to present the resources of AHS in a visual way that will inform students as well as promote creativity.

The inspiration for this project came during a student council meeting back in the fall. Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition discussed the mental health issues students often battle  and how the community can better support them. As the discussion wore on, “we found that  awareness of resources in the school and throughout the community were severely lacking,” Miller says.

Trying to find a way to effectively inform students of the mental health resources available, Miller says the group “tossed around a few ideas and the mural is the one that stuck”.

From there, the project has been put into motion. If all goes according to plan, the mural should be executed in the Links hallway by April vacation and “feature resources in our community that can help students [with] a variety of issues”.

Miller is hoping that this mural can be a positive and engaging way to promote dialogue about mental health while creating a piece of art for all students to enjoy.