January 10, 2012
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Russian Students Visit Portland High
Twelve Russian Exchange Students treked all the way to Portland, Maine to find a very welcoming and diverse school.
By BECCA RUESCH (‘13) From November 4th through the 16th, Portland High School was fortunate to host twelve exchange students, a school principal and an English from Arkhangelsk, Russia. Each exchange student was assigned a local host family with whom to stay during their time in Maine. While the exchange students were with us here at PHS, they attended classes and learned about environmental issues, visiting the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and Ecomaine. The exchange students attended a meeting for Portland’s Waste Reduction Group, and they traveled to the University of Southern Maine to learn about the sustainability program. On November 13th at Portland High School, each exchange student delivered a presentation about an acclaimed scientist from his or her home country. The exchange program is part of a
A beautiful view of Arkhangelsk, a city not much different from Portland. (Wiki) multi-year collaboration between Portland High School and an English-speaking high school in Portland’s sister city of Arkhangelsk. This relationship has been fostered for more than thirty years. Sarah Shmitt, a social studies and English teacher at Portland High School, is head of the PHS Global Studies Program. Ms. Shmitt visited the city of Arkhangelsk, Russia in 2010 as
part of Portland High School’s endeavor to explore the important relationship between education and the environment. Kate Suslovic, a Portland High School junior, became very interested in the exchange program and was part of one of the Please see RUSSIANS, page 2
In This Edition
PHS Ballet Students Amaze, Page 9 English Class Studies JFK Intensively Page 3
Both schools’ students participate in the Veterans’ Day Parade in Porltand. (PPS)
Along with “Poetry Out Loud”, Page 5 “Anatomy of Leadership”, Page 5 “New Guidance Counselor”, Page 9 “Semester by the Sea”, Page 6 “2011 Frosh Elections”, Page 7 “Teacher Has Talent”, Page 13 “Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 Review”, Page 11 “The Ides of March Review”, Page 11 “PHS Drama Club’s The Curious Savage Preview, Page 12
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host families. Miss Suslovic said, “It always seems obvious that people are people, but it’s easy to forget how alike teenagers across the world are”, when asked about what her experience was like hosting and getting to know the Russians. The experience for the Russian students was especially exciting, and one that they will never forget. “It was a really interesting experience for me because I saw many new things, I understood many differences, and I met various people”, commented Nastya Tyukina, a seventeen year old girl participating in the exchange program. One might imagine what the differences in terms of the schools are. Mikhail Bjork, one of the Russian students involved in the program said, “The atmosphere is a lot more formal, and we have to wear a uniform (just a no jeans and no vivid clothes rule). We write more, but speak less”. Mr. Bjork also mentioned how the classes at Portland High School were extremely enjoyable and how cheerful and friendly the teachers were. “It’s a pleasure to me that this program was started again, and lots of Russian and American stu-
dents can know something about each other and see the differences between life in the United States and life in Russia”, said Bjork. It was an honor to have such amazing students visiting Portland High School, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to have them with us. Though they were only here for a short time, our Russian counterparts made a lasting, positive impression.
All 12 Russian students with their host families. (Kate Suslovic)
New School Board Representative
Newly elected school board representative for Portland High School, Chip Weber, stresses the importance of communication.
By ANTHONY LEWIS (‘14) Last month, students at Portland High School cast their votes for who should represent them in the coming year at the local School Committee Meetings. Once the votes were all counted, Chip Weber came out on top, and he will be this year’s student representative for Portland High. For those of you who don’t know him, Chip, a junior here at PHS, plays baseball and soccer and participates in the math team and photo club. He grew up in Portland and attended Lyseth Elementary and Lyman Moore Middle. I recently had the chance to sit down with Chip to talk to him about his plans for representing the student body
on a higher level of politics. Q. What made you want to be a student representative? A. As I’ve been through Portland High, and as I’ve met all the awesome people that come here, I’ve grown to love it. I really just adore the school, and I’m glad I go to Portland High rather than any other high school around here. So I want to represent everyone at Portland High to the best of my ability. I also feel that recently there was a bit of a lapse of communication between the school board and the school, and I want to make sure there’s a link, and sort of an open conversation between our school and the school board. I want to make sure that nothing “huge” goes over our heads without a comment. Q. What kind of power does a student rep have? A. Well, the official title is the ‘school
board student representative’, and each high school has one. When you’re a student representative, you’re a normal member of the school board, but you don’t have the ability to vote. I mean, you are encouraged to vote on decisions, but your vote won’t be counted in the final tally. You act kind of as a full-time consultant to the school board, proposing ideas, weighing in on issues...basically informing them of what the school thinks, and what you think, and how you predict their decisions will affect the school. You attend the Tuesday night meetings that are held, and you participate in discussions there. Q. Communication with the school board is obviously important to you. Besides that, did you have any primary goals you set out to achieve coming into the election? Please see BOARD REP., page 3
Weber will be helping the Board to develop policies to help more of the district’s students lern to succeed. (PPS)
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A. One thing that I’ve heard from many teachers and students is that they’d like to see the improvement of technology, mostly revolving around the Netbooks. I feel as if we need to make a full commitment to getting good Netbooks and a strong IT department to keep them up and running. Either that, or just hold off for a while on the Netbooks and focus on the little things we don’t have, like nicer textbooks...Even this year, as school started out, I felt as if there weren’t enough books for everyone, and we had to wait awhile for the funding to come through. You know, there’s no middle ground between the new technology and the older stuff. In these tough economic times, we can’t afford to stay in the middle, between technologies. We need to make a decision, and I hope to help make that decision. Q. In the past, have you ever had any connections or interest in local politics or the school board? A. I’ve always been interested in the school committee meetings, mostly because my family has always been involved. My brother is three years older than I am and has been through the same system...
Bulldog Edition, Winter 2012, Page 3 You know, there are always decisions to be made, and my family has always been really into helping to make them. My dad, especially, speaks at the council meetings during the public comment segment, which got me interested, I think. The decisions made at the school committee are big decisions, and they affect the education of everyone in the school system, so that’s really important to me.
If you wish to email Weber about school issues, you may reach him at weberc@ portlandschools.org. (Quinn Lavigne)
Q. What would you say is your political affiliation? A. I’d say I’m pretty much an independent. I tend to lean more towards the liberal side of things, but I also wouldn’t say that I’m completely against conservative ideals. Q. Whom do you support in 2012? A. I support Obama, and not just because...well, a lot of people are saying that the only reason to support Obama is that the Republican candidates are all sorry saps [laughs]. I, personally, think that Obama is a very smart person, and he’s put a lot of people where they need to be in the White House and in the Cabinet. He avoided what could have been a much bigger recession that Bush sent us towards in 2007-2008, and I feel as if he’s put a lot of effort into doing what needs to be done. It’s just a matter of compromise in the Congress and getting everyone behind the decisions that are made. Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we end here? Anything you’d like your readers and supporters to know? A. Well, I just want to say that I hope I am able to represent Portland High effectively. I’m going to work my hardest to do represent PHS because I love the school and the people so much, and I believe that it’s my duty to do my best because they’ve elected me, and, you know...I don’t want to let my friends and teachers down.
AP English Students Visit the JFK Library in Boston
Some Juniors who are enrolled in the AP Language and Composition class were fortunate enough to be able to travel to study President John F. Kennedy at the JFK Library and Museum.
By KRISTINA GLANVILLE (‘13) In the months of November and December, Junior AP English students have immersed in learning about the presidency of John F. Kennedy and the people that were involved with his life. Students were split up into several groups, each with a different focus on an aspect of Kennedy’s time as President of the United States. Whether the focus of a group was on the Cuban Missile Crisis or on how Jacquline Kennedy changed the role of the First Lady, a visit to the JFK Library and Museum offered new information for everyone. Undeterred by the early departure from PHS, students began their time at the museum with a class where they learned about the history leading up to the Kennedy administration. Nina Tisch, one of the museum employees, led the students through analyzing Please see JFK, page 4
Junior Elin Roland stands beside some artifacts pertaining to Jacqueline Kennedy, the President’s wife. (Kristina Glanville)
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several speeches, such as Governor Ross Barnett’s “Proclamation to the People of Mississippi,” and President John F. Kennedy’s radio and television report to the American people on Civil Rights. The rhetorical analysis of these primary documents revealed the attributes that characterize an effective public speaker while helping students to learn what exactly makes a candidate successful. Overall, valuable information was garnered from both the analyses and Tisch’s lecture, which aided students in a better understanding of the era which they were researching. After the class had ended, students were granted free reign to explore the different exhibits of the museum. The exhibits provided an in-depth look into many aspects of the life of the Kennedys, which students
greatly enjoyed. From these exhibits, students were able to take home valuable information that they otherwise would not have been able to find through internetbased research. This experience will, no doubt, not only help to add another dimension to the different projects, but also it will help students to learn more about American history from one of the most important sources available to them. Another worthwhile opportunity presented itself to a select few students who expressed interest in perusing the documents found only in the library’s archives.
The process to even enter the archives was a daunting one; it took almost an hour for a small group of students to fill out paperwork that stated their intended purpose there. However, their time was limited, and sadly, students left the archives before they were able to scratch the surface of the information that was before them. Many students expressed their disappointment and wished that they could have spent a longer amount of time reading through the actual memos and memorandum that were used by Kennedy himself. When the day ended, and the AP English scholars were seated on the coach back to Portland High, all reflected on the worthwhile trip on which that they had just embarked. The information that the students discovered there was invaluable and would hopefully stay with them for longer than the duration of their class projects. The life of John F. Kennedy and his family proved to be more fascinating than any of them had initially expected.
Top and inset: The beautifully designed library and museum at day and night. Above: President Kennedy delivers his famous inaugural address. (jfklibrary.org)
Poetry Out Loud Review
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One of the school’s most popular contests involves students in a fun as well as enlightening activity. By HANNAH CARLSON (‘13) The Poetry Out Loud Competition is held every year in January in classrooms across the country. This year, the Portland High competition was on January 10th. The judges included teachers from subject areas other than English. Ms. Shmitt, an English teacher, is in charge of the competition. She said it is “hard for English teachers to grade their own students.” Each school can choose to participate. After winning the school competition, last year’s winner Munye Muhamid went all the way to the regionals in Biddeford, placing first. The state competition will be held in Lewiston, and in April all state winners will compete in Washington, D.C. The prize is a $20,000 scholarship, and the winner’s school receives $500 for his/her library. However, the competition can also lead to other opportunities. Winners are often recognized in other ways, such as “being able to perform at the White House,” says Ms. Shmitt. Last
This year’s school champion, Kiana Sawyer feels as if her life has changed since winning the competition. (Charles Weber)
Anatomy of Leadership
Leaders from Portland and Deering High Schools have been coming together for the past several years to learn more about leadership as well as themselves. By CHARLIE GAUVIN (‘14) Anatomy of Leadership is a program made up of students from Portland and Deering High Schools. This program is an opportunity for students, who are nominat-
National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud 2012 year the winner was hired by NASA. This year was PHS’s second year in the competition, and any student from any grade or English level was able to volunteer to participate. Students had to choose a poem from the website and memorize it. They were scored based on their physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, and overall performance. Ms.Shmitt likes the competition because, “it is a wonderful way for students to be exposed to poetry, and there isn’t enough time to do it in class.” She found that, “many students were pleasantly surprised by doing it.” Last year’s second place Portland High winner Bianca Abdalla read Elegy on Toy Piano by Dean Young. She said about the competition, “I really like it. I write poetry myself, so getting the chance to recite even if it wasn’t my own was fun. I’m doing it again this year.” When asked if the poem choice affected her placement in the competition, she disagreed, saying, “It’s all about the way you say it- It’s all you.” By the afternoon on January 11th, the results were in, and sophomore Kiana Sawyer had won the competition. With her outstanding interpretation of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Time Does Not Bring Relief, she was able to edge out the second place winner, senior Devon Miller. Miller read Stephen Vincent Benét’s Difference. Ms. Sawyer will now go on to the Southern Maine Regionals in Biddeford which will take place on February 8th.
ed by their teachers and peers, to participate in a variety of projects and exercises designed to develop their skills as leaders and to help them to learn to work as a cohesive team unit in problem solving situations. In order to train and test these skills, each year the program teams up with a local business to help solve issues with which the company is confronted. This experience is beneficial both for the students, who see what it is like to use their leadership and problem solving skills in real-world situations, and for the company, which explores thinking input on their challenges. This curricular structure is very effective in showing students what qualities constitute an effective
leader and how to obtain and use these traits with confidence. This year, Portland’s Anatomy of Leadership program has teamed up with IDEXX Laboratories. IDEXX is a company that researches and develops progressive new veterinary products, built to improve well being of domestic animals, livestock, and even humans. IDEXX is currently engaged in conducting diagnostics, collecting data, manufacturing products, and continuously adapting in order to not only ensure safety and welfare in everything from global water quality to Please see ANATOMY, page 6
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health care for horses, but also improve the business and services it provides and be a dynamic cutting-edge company. Although IDEXX is based in Maine, it has manufacturers, distributors, and customer service branches located across North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The participants of Anatomy of Leadership are very excited to have an opportunity to work with IDEXX Laboratories this year. Margaret Adham, Eleanor Altholz, Emily Burton, Spencer Cohen, Annette Denekas, Eliana Finburg, Paul Foster, Laura Frank, Charlie Gauvin, Amanda Gould, Anthony Green, Acy Jackson, Clare Kenny, Boutavee Kim, Jesse LupicaNolan, Ruby Murdock, Marlina Phan, Katharine Shambaugh, and Ebonie Stevens are the Portland High students participating in Anatomy of Leadership this year.
Bulldog Edition, Winter 2012, Page 6 The program kicked off November 13th when the participants from both Portland and Deering traveled to Camp Kieve in Nobleboro for two days. While there, the students were divided into groups, and participated in a variety of activities based around bonding and team building, some of the highlights of which included making full use of Kieve’s excellent ropes course, as well as their indoor rock climbing walls, and a cooking competition similar to the television show “Iron Chef”, which was particularly trying in the aspect of teamwork. In the cooking competition, the students were split up into groups of six, each group including members of both schools. There were two aspects of the contest: concocting both a main course and desert out of a few, seemingly random ingredients; and creating a themed presentation/ advertisement for the meal. Both of these were to be presented to a panel of three judges, consisting of Kieve counselors, who judged the food based on edibility and aesthetic appeal, and the presentation based
on creativity and humour. In the end, the competition produced some interesting culinary outcomes along with some entertaining skits and jingles for each group’s meal, but above all, excellent teamwork and performance under pressure. Overall the trip to Camp Kieve was a great success, and when asked about it, Spencer Cohen said, “We were all pushed to our physical and mental limits in multiple rigorous challenges. The challenges we as a group overcame in this two day field trip allowed each and everyone of us to grasp the concept of how the world works and how to deal with the ensuing problems that are laid out each and every day.” Obviously, the trip produced a beneficial outcome for many and will serve as an excellent basis for the upcoming tests that the motivated and promising Anatomy of Leadership participants will confront.
Above and left: “Iron Chef teams comprised of a combination of PHS and DHS leaders show off their eatery ideas.
Semester by the Sea
Sophomore Kagan Schmidt spent her fall semester doing something not many other Bulldogs even think about. By CHARLIE GAUVIN (‘14) & KAGAN SCHMIDT (‘14) Kagan Schmidt is a sophomore who decided to do something a bit different with her fall semester this year. She is currently attending Coastal Studies for Girls, a small semester boarding school that offers a curriculum that focuses on intensive marine sciences and leadership skills. It is located
on Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, in a scenic area that is located directly adjacent to Casco Bay - an ideal location for such a school. Kagan grew up in Palmetto, Florida - also near the ocean - and has had an affinity for marine science since an early age. When presented with the idea of attending Coastal Studies, Kagan began researching the school and soon began to work on applying. After having applied and having waited for the results, she was accepted to the school. She then began to take into consideration the reality of attending and what it would mean for her studies at Portland High. After sorting out the logistics that would enable her to receive credits for her time at Coastal Studies and continue her study of Latin independently, she made the final decision to attend.
After having spent three months there and still thoroughly enjoying it, Kagan was able to answer questions about her time at Coastal Studies for Girls. Q. How did you initially find out about Coastal Studies? A. Last year, my mom attended a Portland Please see SCHMIDT, page 7
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Trails Gala, which included a silent auction that supported local businesses, and bid on and won an informational lunch at the school. We ended up attending the culminating events from last Spring’s class. Seeing presentations done by the girls there really gave us a great insight into what it’d be like if I were to attend the school. I left that presentation knowing that attending Coastal Studies wasn’t an opportunity to be passed up. Q. What was the most attractive aspect of the school for you? A. I really loved discovering how much field work is done at CSG. The thought of being immersed in Marine Sciences was a huge attraction for me especially since most of the learning would be done through our own experiences out on the water instead of through a textbook reading. Q. Do you have a favorite experience so far there? A. We take trips every weekend and almost every science and leadership class, so it’s really tough to pick a favorite experience. I have to say, though, that the down time that I’ve had with the girls here has been the most memorable. I’ve grown really fantastic bonds with everyone here, and the time that we have just with each other is so fun. Q. What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome this semester? A. The workload, for sure. Assignments here are really in-depth and because we’re always out on trips our schedule’s pretty tight. I have an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening available for homework, and everything else is booked. However stressful it is at times, though, we’re all really learning how to balance and prioritize work which is a skill that I’m thankful to be gaining. Q. What would you say the most valuable skill set or knowledge that you have gained there is? A. I feel like I’ve absorbed so much this semester. Probably, through, I’ve grown the most through our Leadership class. It has been extremely productive in our internal growth as aspirational
2011 Freshman Class Election
This year’s Freshmen Class Election was filled with numerous fervent candidates. By CLARE AULD-BROKISH (‘15) The class of 2011 held its election at 10:15 in the PHS John Ford Auditorium on Friday, November 18. This year there were a total of 16 freshmen running for a class office. The process of becoming a candidate is a taxing one even before speeches are written. Students must collect twentyfive signatures for each position they are seeking as well as an approval from their
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students, and after experiencing this semester I feel really great about my ability to lead and make constructive decisions. Q. What do you miss most about Portland High? A. I especially miss the wide range of classes that Portland offers. The courses offered at CSG are fantastic, but because it’s a small school and schedules are already packed, we only have time for core classes, Marine Science, and Leadership. Although I’ve kept up with my Latin class at CSG throughout the semester, I’ve missed being involved in it and other programs that Portland offers like ASL and Global Studies. Q. How do you think your time at Coastal Studies will influence your academics in the future? A. CSG has already influenced my plans for the future so much. It’s the same with the other girls here, too. At the beginning of the semester, we all weren’t really thinking much about the future, but now we’re all applying to boarding schools and semester schools everywhere, looking for more opportunities to expand our education and our experiences. After CSG, I have a more clear work ethic and a stronger aspiration to expand in my future. It’s easy to see that Kagan has benefited greatly from her time spent at Coastal Studies, and she will undoubtedly return to Portland High filled with new knowledge and academic vigor.
The CSG campus located on Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport. (coastalstudiesforgirls.org)
academic teachers. All the candidates delivered compelling speeches on the topics they thought most needed addressing at Portland High. Lucy Wanzer and Natalie Veilleux rand for the positions of Secretary. For the position of Treasurer, Gulad Hussein Ali, Meggie Parker and Ellis Linsmith were hopefuls. Candidates for the class of 2011 Vice President were Brianna Frank, Joanna Quinn, Patrick Sheils, Hannah Smith and Jessica Tran. Those wishing to hold the office of Class President were Margot Andreasen, Leo Hilton, Harry Linfield, and Gabe Walker. All of the candidates read from prepared speeches. Some highlights include
Lucy Wanzer who used her time at the podium to promote her ability to “keep the Executive Board organized and efficient” by citing her previous experience in middle school where she served as the director for the school play. As Treasurer, Miss Wanzer promised to attend all scheduled meetings and “to lead PHS to success”. Standing tall on the stage, Mr. Guled Hussein-Ali projected enthusiasm and honesty in running for Treasurer. He stressed the importance of community at PHS. Mr. Hussein-Ali also stressed the importance of fiscal responsibility stating that if he were to be elected, “some of Please see ELECTION, page 8
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the money will be used [this year], some [funds would be] saved for next year”. Vice President Candidate, Brianna Frank, told the class of 2011, “I believe that everyone has a voice and they all deserve to be heard”. Vice President Candidate, Hannah Smith shared her opinion of the role of a good leader saying, “[The Vice President should serve as] a voice that will speak for you loud and clear”. Class President Candidate Harry Linefield projected waves
Bulldog Edition, Winter 2012, Page 8 of self-confidence while delivering his humorous speech. He drew many laughs from the audience with his declaration, “I’m pretty sure that even if you don’t think I know you, I know you”. Mr. Linfield also referenced the musical group the Beastie Boys, citing the lyric “we have to fight for our right to party”. On the other end of the spectrum, Presidential Candidate, Margot Andreasen, focused her remarks on making the Freshman Class more financially secure. Miss Andreasen outlined the fund-raising proposals she would put into action if she were elected president. Miss Andreasen also emphasized the importance of an effective leader to be open to hearing
Presenting the PHS Photography Club
One of the school’s most popular clubs has quite a few things on its agenda this school year pertaining to photography. By CHARLES WEBER (‘13) The PHS Photography Club currently has around 20 die-hard photographers participating in the club advised by Ms. Deborah Keyes. Their biggest event of the year is their annual First Friday Art Walk Gallery where each club member displays three of his or her best works. This year’s gallery, which takes place in April, will feature photography concerning “water.” But as the New Year is brought in, the club also sells its very popular yearly calendar. This year’s calendar is titled “A Taste of Portland” as it features some of the most delectable shots the club members had to offer of food in Portland. These calendars work perfectly in kitchens as well as in Portland High classrooms, and they also are perfect gifts for friends and family. They are priced at $18 for one and $30 for two. See Ms. Keyes in room 123 or any other club member to get your hands on one of these quick because they are selling fast. A community service project the club has embarked on is taking senior pictures of those who cannot afford to have them taken by a professional photographer. When asked about why the club took up this project, Club president, Quinn Lavigne (‘13) responded, “We try to help some of the less fortunate students at our school
because in this economy, we recognize that not everyone can afford professional photography shoots. We also want everyone to be featured in the yearbook, especially in their senior year.” Club Vice President, Chip Weber (‘13), also said, “it is easy to give back to your school when you’re doing something you love, like taking photos.” The club has been recognized by Superintendant Morse for its work with the seniors. The club meets regularly after school on Fridays in room 123 and welcomes any fervent photographers who would like to become members. Top: Chip Weber selling calendars during Parent-Teacher Conferences. (Quinn Lavigne) Right: Just two of the 16 fantastic photos you can find in the PHS Photo Club 2012 Calendar. (Top two: Quinn Lavigne, Bottom: Charles Weber)
all ideas from classmates. Miss Andreasen remarked, “If everyone gives a little, [we] will get a lot” she said. The winners of the election were: Freshman Class President Harry Linefield, Vice-President Joanna Quinn, Secretary Natalie Veilleux, and Treasurer Ellis Linsmith. Elected to the student council are Joanna Quinn, Gabe Walker, Curran Clere, Aren Kilajian, and Ellis Linsmith. When asked about what he hopes to achieve, Mr. Linfield said, “[I hope to] make a lot more money than last year. They only made $400 last year, and [I] want to make $1400”. He plans to fund raise to achieve this goal. Congratulations, to all.
PHS Ballet Students Amaze
The student body was treated to a unique and amazing performance this past November as several of their peers danced on the stage in John Ford Auditorium. By ELEANOR ALTHOLZ (‘14) On November 17th, 2011, the students of Portland High were treated to an unexpected and unique performance when students from Portland School of Ballet’s pre-professional CORPS Program, including Portland High’s own Jane Howard, Eleanor Altholz, Kayla Bobalek, Abby Menard, and Julia Conley, came to the school and gave students a taste for the art of ballet, as well as a inside view into the demanding work that goes into putting on a show. For most of the students this was the first time that they had ever seen ballet, but teachers and students seem to agree that it was a cool and interesting experience. The Portland School of Ballet’s CORPS Program is a preprofessional level ballet training program, in which the students dance three hours every week day and usually have rehearsals on Saturdays. Mr. Sasha Yapparov, who was a professional ballet dancer in Ukraine and Russia before moving to the U.S. and beginning to teach, directs the company. One of the most difficult parts of the program for dancers is balancing schoolwork with time at the studio. “Balancing my school life with my dance life is difficult, but it is definitely worth it,” says CORPS student Quincy Slobod, currently a junior in high school. “I’ve had to make sacri-
Bulldog Edition, Winter 2012, Page 9 fices, but the CORPS program has been a great experience for me. I have received wonderful training and made awesome friends.” The main reason the Mr. Yapparov wanted his ballet students to perform for school kids, other than to introduce them to the art form, was to help them to understand that ballet is not just flexible girls wearing tutus, rather it is hard work that happens over years and years that enables ballerinas to perform as they do. The kids at school were certainly surprised at the physical strength and mental concentration of all of the dancers. These disciplines are the most beautiful aspects about ballet. Now, when fellow Portland High Students leave school early to attend dance class, other PHS students are able to appreciate the difficult work and commitment the dancers are putting in each day.
PHS dancers join with other dancers from all over the state (Eleanor Altholz)
New Guidance Counselor
The PHS Guidance Department takes on a passionate and experienced member this year. By JI WON SONG (‘13) Ms. Heathco is a new PHS guidance counselor coming to us from Morse High School in Bath, ME. She has been working as a guidance counselor for the past 17 years. As a new bulldog, she enjoys Portland High School’s student body, faculty, urban location, and the students’ high school spirit. As a guidance counselor, she has lots of works that need to be done, and she is trying to make sure that students choose the right directions. However, she loves working with students and listening to them to help their future aspirations. She decided to become a guidance counselor when she was a sophomore at Josiah Quincy College in Chinatown, Boston
thorough an internship program in which she worked with 5th graders. Because she realized her dream through a job experience, she recommends a job shadow to the students who may have a plan for being a guidance counselor. She also added that she encourages these future counselors by reminding them that they should, “love kids, be able to be supportive of their dreams and aspirations, and understand that their job is to teach students about the tools that will help them to achieve those aspirations”. When asked what she wishes the students to know about guidance counselors, she said, “I want students to recognize that guidance counselors have the responsibility to help all students with career development and college research.” She also said that she wished students would be able to maximize their use of a guidance counselor, so that the counselors would be able
Ms. Heathcoe looks forward to helping students. (Charles Weber) to help them to explore the different paths that might lead to the realization of their aspirations.
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PHS Musical Theatre Workshop Presents “Bye Bye Birdie”
With the abundance of talent at Portland High School, the 1960 Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” was featured as the 2012 Portland High musical and was sure to be a hit.
By ELIANA FINBERG (‘14) While students in most classes were cramming for midterm exams, the cast of Portland High’s musical “Bye Bye Birdie” was preparing for something quite different than the usual class assignment. Directed by Mr. Smith, Mrs. Guerra, and Mr. Chipman, this year’s musical was a huge success. Students put in many long days of work, with rehearsals until 7 o’clock every night in the week before the show went up. There were lines to memorize, dances to learn, and costumes to organize; all the work was worth it to achieve the finished product of a glowing and heart-warming performance. Will Chapman played the very popular, handsome, charming and talented rock star Conrad Birdie who has been drafted into the army. In an attempt to make some extra money, Albert Peterson (Owen Carten) sends Birdie to Sweet Apple, Ohio to sing to and kiss a randomly selected devoted fan farewell. Led by Ursula Merkle (Silvia Baxter) all of the teenage girls, and even some of the mothers (Sarah Hesselink, Elizabeth Bull, Quinn Bouwens and Elizabeth Langworthy), swoon when heartthrob Conrad Birdie comes to their small town of Sweet Apple.) The fan chosen to be serenaded to and kissed by Birdie is Kim, played by Michaela Boissonneault, who has just been pinned to her sweetheart Hugo Peabody (David Bliss) and he is not too happy that she is going to be kissed by a rock star hunk. In the end, Hugo and Kim become engaged, along with Albert and Rosie (Rachel Grindle), and the story all ends happily ever after. With strong vocal leads like Rachel Grindle, Michaela Boissonnealt, Owen Carten, and Will Chapman, the entire cast was extremely talented. The performance was full of energy and the audience appreciated how much work the students put in to the show. The cast sang, danced, and shrieked its way into the audience’s hearts!
Carten dances with the girls of Sweet Apple, Ohio during his song, “Put On a Happy Face”. (Eliana Finberg)
Chapman’s silhouette just before his signature song, “Sincere”. (Eliana Finberg)
Chapman dances with the young rebellious teens during the song, “A Lot of Livin’ to Do”. (Eliana Finberg)
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Thanksgiving Day Rivalry Alive and Well After 100 Years
Possibly the most anticiapted sporting event of the season for the Portland High Community had plenty of big hits, awards, and moments that will never be forgotten. By CHARLES WEBER (‘13) The 100th Thanksgiving Day Game between Portland High School and Deering High School was played on 24 November 2011. Many friends, families, fans, and former alumni flocked to James J. Fitzpatrick Stadium in downtown Portland to witness the 100th Thanksgiving Day Game between the city’s two public high schools. The game would also be the 200th time the two teams had played each other in any formal football game, including regular and postseason games. Beginning in 1911 where PHS won 100, the rivalry was leaning toward PHS as the Bulldogs have won 54, lost 38, and tied seven of these matchups. The only time the Thanksgiving Day Game could not be played was in 1920 because of inclement weather. Although the game does not count in the high school standings, the winning school has bragging rights until the next football season.
Nick Volger (‘13) is taken down after a huge gain. (PPH)
A program from a Thanksgiving Day Game 50 years ago. (Peter Gribbin)
At this milestone game, a particular emphasis was put on bringing together former players, coaches, and cheerleaders to share their memories of past years’ games. The national anthem was sung by former PHS graduate Peggy Mooers (’75). Commemorative knit hats and baseball caps were sold as well as special programs. Halftime also featured a parade around the field of former alumni who had played, coached, or cheered at one of the past games. The oldest alumni in the parade graduated in the class of 1945. The Bulldogs (2-6) went into the game looking to avenge their 28-7 loss to the Rams (6-4) in the regular season. Both sides of the field were lined with energetic spectators despite the fact that the winter storm which occurred a day earlier caused slippery conditions for spectators. Sunny skies created a picture-perfect environment for football that morning. The game would feature plenty of penalties and turnovers, but the Rams would ultimately dominate the game. Deering senior quarterback Matt Flaherty passed for two touchdowns on the way to Deering’s 33-0 shutout of Portland. Senior Seamus Kilbride of Portland received the Vinnie Allen Trophy for Porltand’s MVP at the end of the game. Please see THANKSGIVING, page 12
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Although Portland lost, the players realize that the result of the game is not the only thing that matters. Tate Gale says that, to him, the game is about, “being thankful for being able to play a great sport like football and in such a storied rivalry.” Portland High historian, Peter Gribbin, who has been the Public Address Announcer at the games for the past six decades, was presented with a plaque before the game as the public address booth would be named after him. Gribbin, whose father Watson Gribbin has a North Deering area Little League field named after him, says, “It’s a wonderful honor, I was really surprised. Most of the time I feel as if I know what’s going on at Portland High School, but I didn’t see that one coming. I was fooled. It was a wonderful day, would’ve been nice if we won the game, but you can’t have everything you want.” The PHS community is fortunate to have Mr. Gribbin as the
The Ides of March: A Portrait of Modern Politics By KRISTINA GLANVILLE (‘13) The title, The Ides of March, is more than just a blatant Shakespearean reference made to boost the star power of a film. The title is artfully given to a brilliant film that illustrates the tragedies found within modern American politics. The Ides of March, which features a heavyweight cast, is a thrilling political drama that follows the life of Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling). Meyers, an up and coming campaign manager, manages the Democratic campaign of Gov. Mike Morris (George Clooney), whom he believes can make a legitimate positive change for the United States. However, the less liberal viewers need not worry for the film creates too bleak a mood for anyone to truly to emerge as a hero. The film follows the presidential campaign which is plagued by many different scandals. Gov. Morris works to keep an affair that he had with a young campaign worker, Molly Stearns (Evan Rachel Wood) secret from the mudslinging opposition, yet Myers discovers the tryst when he begins to have a relationship with Stearns and learns more than he ever wanted . While dealing with this blow, Meyers is
school’s historian because he can always be consulted for information pertaining to the school. Commonly known for “The Gribbin Point,” a famous free throw from his high school days on the school’s basketball team, Gribbin may also be found announcing at home basketball and baseball games. Current Athletic Director, Mike McCullum says, “[Gribbin] is a wonderful man, and he is always helpful when we are looking for information about Portland High’s past. It is certain that the Portland High community appreciates and is thankful for its history and for Mr. Gribbin’s commitment to PHS.
A refferee shovels snow from the field before the game. (PPH)
also given a glimpse into the world of dirty politics when he is given enticing offers to join the opposing campaign. These scandals are slowly attempted to become uncovered by a nosy reporter of the New York Time, Ida Horowicz (Marisa Tomei), which adds another layer to the film in its already successful attempt to illustrate the shady business that is American politics. Tomei plays this deceptive character flawlessly, nicely rounding out the all-star cast. Ides is a thrilling drama that is sure to engage audiences of all kinds with its brilliantly acted plot, laden with shocking twists. Though it may not have been as politically savvy as it was intended to be, The Ides of March is a political drama that is sure to entertain.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 Review By ELEANOR ALTHOLZ (‘14) Many people are predisposed to dislike the newest movie of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn - Part 1, because it is related to the somewhat trashy book series by Stephanie Meyer. Putting aside these criticisms, however, I thought that the new movie captured the tense mood and eerie setting of the story perfectly, and that the characters were well cast and believably portrayed. Please see TWILIGHT, page 13
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Breaking Dawn - Part 1, is based on the first section of the final book in the Twilight series of the same name - the second section, Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will be released in theaters later in 2012. The movie begins with Bella Swan’s (Kristen Stewart) marriage to the love of her life Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) right after her high school graduation. Edward is a vampire, and Bella has made the decision to become a vampire herself after their wedding so that she can become immortal like Edward. Edward tries relentlessly to talk her out of this transformation because he doesn’t want her to turn into a monster like himself, but she will not be shaken from her choice. Bella’s former best friend, Jakob Black (Taylor Lautner), who is a werewolf, also tries to change her mind but to no avail. Werewolves and vampires are enemies, and Jakob separates himself from Bella after he hears that she will marry Edward. There is an undertone of werewolf-vampire enmity present throughout the film, and Jakob is an outcast from his pack because he also is in love with Bella although he knows that she will never love him back. Everything goes terribly wrong when Bella becomes pregnant while still a human with a baby that is half human-half vampire, and the baby begins destroying her from the inside. This crisis culminates in a bloody scene where the baby
Students Take the Stage in “Curious Savage”
Bulldog Edition, Winter 2012, Page 13 must be ripped from her womb if she is to survive the birth. With Bella on the edge of death, Edward makes the ultimate decision to turn her into a vampire by injecting her with his venom, and the movie concludes with Bella’s transformation. As Bella, Ms. Stewart portrays her internal suffering and dilemma about choosing an immortal life in a realistic and subtle way, never being overly dramatic. She has often been critiqued for being too flat and unemotional, but that response fits perfectly in this case where she is playing a character who is suffering greatly on the inside but trying to stay strong and not to show her pain. Edward is a similar character. Since he is a vampire, he is cold and not easy to read, which Mr. Pattinson shows with his stiff movements and tight voice, but behind his eyes there is a fear for Bella’s safety, which shines through effectively, especially in the more dramatic scenes. Mr. Lautner also shows his true colors in the film, the most dramatic and emotional revelation yet for Jakob, being strong and angry one moment, and then being brought to his knees in agony and despair the next. I think all three of these actors, who were nothing special in the first three movies, have improved their game greatly in Breaking Dawn - Part 1. As the Twilight saga continues, the plot becomes more and more dramatic. This development seems to be suiting the actors as well as they step out of their shells and begin to show true, raw emotions. I hope, and expect, these higher quality performances to be met, if not surpassed, in the next and final installment of the Twilight movie series. Savage affirms this view. “The cast is a great group of people, and every rehearsal we not only get to work on this cool production but we also get to hang out with a hardworking, crazy fantastic cast - which is obviously just a blast”. Kelli, who plays the selfish and typical rich girl Lilly-Belle, adds, ““Curious Savage” is really interesting. It’s funny and entertaining and has a lot of heart to it.” This small group of actors and actresses has a great mix of freshman, seniors, and everything in between.
Following a fantastic play in “The Mousetrap” last winter, the drama club will have to outdo itself once again to compete in the thriving drama community at Portland High School.
By ELIANA FINBERG (‘14) The winter play, directed by Mr. Smith, will be performed sometime in February. The cast consists of David Bliss, Owen Carten, Kelli Dolan, Harry , Christian Hodge, Eden Dyer, Kate Hull, Eliana Finberg, Mackenzie Marles, Gabe Walker, and Jyllian Lizanecz. The main character, Ethel Savage, is a wealthy and kindhearted widow who gets a thrill from harassing her three greedy step-children; when she won’t give them the large family estate, they bring her to an insane asylum. This play, as Owen who plays Jeffrey says, “has something for everybody. It has an old fashioned feel, and it definitely has that humor sense, and it’s full of ridiculous characters. It has ‘friendshippy’ appeal and everyone wants to help everybody.” The cast works diligently at rehearsals, and Mr. Smith thinks the show is coming along very well. “I really felt as if I had the right mix of people this year”, he says. Kate Hull who plays Ethel
Look for this sure-to-be-hit in John Ford Auditorium by February.
Teacher Has Talent
Mr. Smith may be mainly known around Portland High School for his work in the audio/visual booth in the John Ford Auditorium, but outside of school, he enjoys being on stage too. By KATHERINE MILLER (‘15) Who knew that Mr. Smith, a Portland High School English teacher, was so involved with Community Theater? This fall he played the part of Mr. Alonzo Smith, the father, in the Portland Lyric Theater’s production of “Meet Me in St. Louis” directed by Michel Donovan. “Meet Me in St. Louis” features a family living in 1903. The World’s Fair is about to begin, and during all of the chaos of thinking the family has to move to New York, the two older daughters are looking for their love interests. Auditions were in September, and rehearsals started the end of the month. Rehearsals for this play were very intense. They ran from Monday through Thursday 6:30-9:30 pm. They did not practice lines because the cast was expected to do that on their own time. Mr. Smith said that it was a lot of work. He has been in a lot of community theater because he believes that it has so much opportunity and because it is fun. Being in a production helps him direct the school musical because he gets to see what other directors do. He can bring their techniques into his teaching. Mr. Smith has been acting since third grade; he loves it. He likes acting because being involved in theater gets him out of the house and makes him stretch. BRAVO, Mr. Smith! Top: Mr. Smith the teacher. Bottom: Mr. Smith as Mr. Alonzo Smith. (Charles Weber)
Bulldog Edition, Winter 2012, Page 14
Important Notice about Photos and Videos Taken at School Events
We know that parents and friends enjoy taking photographs and video footage at school events to record their children’s performances and presentations. However, we are asking you not to post such photos or footage online or to publish it in any way. As a school system we are required by law not to post your child’s photo to protect your children. No such law exists to guide parent(s) and/or guardian(s). However, we are asking you to apply the same high standard so we can work together for the safety of all Portland students. State law says that parents must give written permission to the school before their child, his or her work, name and other information appear on the Internet. In order to honor parents’ decisions about web posting, we ask that you do not post any photos or footage. Events such as concerts and sports games that take place outside of regular school hours and are open to the public are the exception. You are free to photograph and/or videotape those events. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact Shoshana Hoose, Communications Coordinator, at 874-8173.
Questions? Comments? Want to Write? Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Editors-in-Chief - Eleanor Altholz, Eliana Finberg & Charles Weber Staff Writers - Eleanor Altholz, Clare Auld-Brokish, Hannah Carlson, Eliana Finberg, Charlie Gauvin, Kristina Glanville, Anthony Lewis, Katherine Miller, Becca Ruesch, Kagan Schmidt, Ji Won Song & Charles Weber Staff Photographers - Quinn Lavigne, Kate Suslovic, Charles Weber, William Weber Graphics/Layout - Charles Weber Advisors - Amanda Pendleton and Maryann Pendleton On behalf of the entire staff, thank you for reading this issue of the Bulldog Edition.