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The award winning…

Rome, NY

Volume 34, Issue 3

April/May 2012

Rhapsody takes gold in Florida Holmes wins prestigious Maestro Award By Anthony Parker ‘14 This spring break, RFA’s show choir, Rhapsody, traveled to Orlando, Florida. Under the direction of Mr. Meiss with vocal direction from Ms. Rushford, the choir took part in the World Strides Heritage Festival held at Universal Studios. They received two very high honors for their performance. This remarkable feat is even more impressive, as this is the first time RFA had participated in this event. In fact, this is only the second year of the group’s existence. Rhapsody members began their journey to Florida on Wednesday April 11 at eight in the morning. After that they experienced a daylong bus ride to Florida. On that bus ride, according to senior Dan Goewey, “We really learned a lot about each other.” Once in Florida, the group stayed at the Double Tree Hotel. When the time came to perform, the Rhapsody group presented the songs “California Girls”, “Just the Way You Are”, “Crazy”, and “Somebody to Love”. When they weren’t performing, Rhapsody went to Adventure Island, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Coco Beach, and Universal Studios, as well as other places. Senior Jake Loson said that

RHAPSODY MAKES GREAT “STRIDES”— The Rhapsody crew gathers around their award for their performance at the World Strides Heritage Festival at Universal Studios. Quiana Holmes was recognized as one of the best female soloists during the competition and was awarded the Maestro Award. — Photo by Kirsten Impicciatore it was “one of the best trips that success over.” speechless,” she said, “I just Rhapsody wrapped up their Lauren Impicciatore, Anna I’ve ever taken.” He explains: And carry over it did. Rhap- got on stage and received my year on Sunday, April 29 by Morris, Gracie O’ Connor, “Being with thirty of your best sody was awarded a gold rat- award. It didn’t hit me until I performing at the Capital The- Taylor Uvanni, Kylee Weissfriends in a great state like Flor- ing for their performance, the got home what I had won.” ater for the Rome Arts Hall of muller, Connor Butters, Aaron ida doing what we love- that’s highest award that a show choir Sophomore David Deeley Fame Induction Ceremony. Hernandez, Callahan Hughes, just awesome.” could get in the competition. didn’t expect the level of sucThe members of Rhapsody Jake Loson, Alex Martin, Joey Then, the time came to Also, another honor was cess that the group received. “I this year were: Andrea Barrios, Mastraccio, Joe Trips, Ryan recieve their awards. bestowed upon one Rhapsody knew we would win something, Carly Bovi, Rebecca Coffman, Vinci, Kyle Coia, Xavier Cruz, “Last year, we had a good member in particular. Junior but I didn’t expect us to earn Quiana Holmes, Krista Mac- David Deeley, Dan Goewey, year,” said Mr. Meiss in regard Quiana Holmes won the Mae- their highest award.” Donald, Linda Martin, Jasmine Evan Griffith, Devin Kilpatto Rhapsody’s success and stro Award, which is given to The group returned to New Millner, Jordan Willson, Devyn rick, Jake Pohl, Kobie Reed, award potential, “I thought that the best female soloists in the York on Sunday April 15 after Arredondo, Emily Canarelli, and Kevin Utter. this year’s group could carry entire competition. “I was another daylong bus ride. Nicolette Darois, Sarah Fleck,

Top Ten Announced at RFA

CLASS OF 2012 TOP TEN — New signs around Rome Free Academy showcase RFA’s top ten students of the Class of 2012. The top ten include Valedictorian Randy Linderman, Salutatorian Mike Verostek, and alphabetically, Carly Bovi, Nicole Campbell, Emily Closinski, Steve Eychner, Luke Parzych, Sam Shields, Elizabeth Sylvester, and Mike Tamburrino. —Photo by Brooke Cole ‘12

Summer Youth Employment Program information available

By Brianna Moselle ‘15 Every year middle schools and high schools give kids who don’t have jobs a chance to earn money in the Summer Youth Employment Program. The program lasts five weeks; however, students are only required to work for ten days during this time period. To participate in this program, students have to be at least fourteen years of age, and will need documents such as proof of

identity, residency, income, and work eligibility. The work sites of this program are located in all parts of Oneida County. There is a wide variety of jobs for students to participate in at all locations of the program. Students will earn $7.25 per hour. One of the most important aspects of the Summer Youth Employment Program is that it provides young men and women with a summer-long adven-

ture that is more than just a job, but a true learning experience. While on the job, students will learn lessons about how to obtain a job, how to keep a job, and how to turn any job into an investment of time and effort for the future. Applications for the Summer Youth Employment Program are now available for students outside of Mr. Fister’s office, near the entrance to the 2200 wing of the building.

everyone. They are certain that this class will accommodate that by providing credit-worthy physical activity in a more personal and relaxing setting. This class will improve graduation rates with more opportunities for struggling seniors to gain credits, and add more variety for the choice of P.E. options for all students. This idea is not entirely new. Although the class has just been approved for next year, Britton and Gaesser have been forming ideas for a while. “I’ve been wanting a wellness program for about 6 years,” says Gaesser, P.E. instructor and girls’ basketball coach. Using techniques like journaling and incorporating techniques to bring into every-day life, Gaesser has been coming up with ideas for a while. Mr. Britton has also had his share of experiences that brought ideas for this class to the table. While still teaching physical educa-

HEALTH NUTS — Coach Gaesser and Mr. Britton are preparing to start a new Wellness Class at RFA starting in 2013. —Photo by Brooke Cole ’12 tion, Britton had the pleasure of Students at RFA are already teaching a majority of the same signing up to take this course students who alternated from next year. When asked if they health to physical education were ready for the amount of class every other day. He found work and adventure ahead of he was able to more effectively them, Britton says “It’s going to teach and reinforce what they make a very challenging year. were learning in health class in I’m up for it though. Bring it the gym setting. Both Gaesser on.” Gaesser comments, “I will and Britton finally teamed up be, when fall comes. I’ll get my and collaborated on ideas. boxing gloves on.”

Gaesser, Britton to start new wellness class By Brooke Cole ‘12 Debuting next year at RFA is a brand new class that essentially prepares and trains students to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Personal to their own needs in order to achieve their own goals, this proposed wellness class will be a combination of health and physical fitness and will be an alternative choice to traditional physical education class. The class will be a full year class, ½ credit for physical education and ½ credit as an elective. The class will be every day, alternating between classroom and “lab” settings, where the students will meet in the gym area. As a prerequisite, students will have to take the standard health class before entering this wellness class. The aim of the class is to make health and fitness more specific to each individual student. Mr. Britton, one of the constructors of the class says, “We’re trying to personalize health.”

Too often, students do not take away what they should from both health and physical education classes. There is a disconnect between the classroom setting and the student’s life when it comes to the objectives taught in health class such as nutrition, exercise, and maintaining one’s body. General lessons about wellness and the human body taught in health class become more arbitrary than useful in the traditional classroom setting. Students are not being directly taught how to apply these concepts to their every-day lives. With this wellness class, former Physical Education and Health instructor Mr. Britton and current physical education instructor Coach Gaesser have solved this problem by devising a plan for this class that will incorporate physical activity and classroom activity to achieve one result from students- wellness education and lifetime fitness. The class will first provide

BULAWA BACK Page 2 — RFA students win at regional science fair!

students with education on what is a healthy perspective of their bodies with lessons on mental health, self-image and managing stress. Each student will then be required to create a healthy and achievable goal for themselves, one that they will be working to achieve for the rest of the year. So if students want to lose weight, gain weight, get faster, build muscle, etc., this class will help them achieve those goals in a healthy way. Other elements of wellness which are incorporated into the course, such as information about nutrition for specific needs, incorporating more in depth lessons on how the body works, and family health history. In addition to connecting classroom lessons to lifestyle choices, this class will also improve the failing rates for physical education classes. Britton and Gaesser acknowledge that the traditional physical education setting is not for

SOCIAL ACTION Page 2 — An RFA club donates to the Humane Society!

JUNIOR PROM 2012 Page 3 — Photos from the 2012 Junior Prom!

SPORTS Page 4 — Mariah Mays performs nationally!


Page 2 April/May 2012

Bulawa and Olney create winning Regional Science Fair project

YOUNG INNOVATORS — Sophomores Ben Olney and MaryAnn Bulawa stand proud in front of their award-winning science fair project on algae growth. —Photo by Lindsay D’Aiuto ‘12 By Mike Tamburrino ‘12 ence Fair, the pair’s acclaimed tions to the processes of water When it comes to sopho- project has now emerged as the purification and the producmore scientific partners Mary- winner of the New York State tion of bio-fuels. The project’s Ann Bulawa and Ben Olney, Regional Science Fair. aim was to use a mechanical one can certainly say that sciTheir project “Optimizing device to “grow the algae to a entific success has started to Algae Growth” has achieved thicker density,” and create a grow on them. After winning both local and statewide large number of algae cells per this year’s annual Rome Sci- acclaim for its possible applica- sample.

Bulawa and Olney came up with the idea after a lifelong fascination with the process of water purification. “My first science project ever was involving water purification,” Bulawa said, “and I really wanted to create bio-fuel… The project evolved from that.” Together with her partner, sophomore Ben Olney, who handled much of the technical construction of the apparatus that would produce the algae, the pair began the experiment. “I wanted [the apparatus] to look very cool,” she said, “but it also had to be very efficient.” “We pretty much shared responsibilities during the project,” Olney said. “Neither one of us did really one thing in my opinion.” The duo produced the algae substance for seven months, resulting in a sample of algae that “burned with just a single match in about 20 minutes.” They took their findings to the annual Rome Science Fair, where they took first place in

the “Partner’s Division.” This gave one person in the duo the opportunity to take the project, and his/her findings, to the Regional Science Fair. Olney graciously offered for Bulawa to present their findings there. Olney said, “We decided she should go because she is able to really explain the project to people much better than I can.” One of the youngest of about 50 participating presenters, Bulawa was at first intimidated by the competition, especially when many of her competitors were high school seniors presenting computer science and engineering projects. But Bulawa was well prepared. “Sometimes it isn’t about what you’re doing, it’s about how you do it. After a couple years of going [to visit Regional’s], looking at the projects, and seeing what they really wanted, I was able to isolate what the best process would be.” Ultimately, Bulawa won second place in her division,

RFA Knight Times

but first place in the overall regional science fair. Each individual division and category is typically overseen by different judges, which leads differences in division and overall standing. “I was shocked,” she said. “When I went up there, I was shaking… I had no idea!” Bulawa credits her mom with inspiring her to her level of scientific success. “When I was in sixth grade, [we] always did small projects… I didn’t like it originally, I thought it was annoying, time consuming.” Once she realized that she could formulate the projects herself and reach her fullest potential, science projects took on an entirely new meaning for her. Bulawa believes that anyone can achieve success in science if they are willing to put in the time and effort. “Go out and do it! Make sure you find something you’re interested in. Don’t just do a project to win something; make sure you really love it.”

Humane Society receives large donation from small club

By Brooke Cole ‘12 RFA’s club Social Action Corps. gave a generous donation of $300 to the Rome Humane Society on April 19. The club raised the money by holding a morning concession stand on Wednesday’s this winter. The club of about PROUD DONORS — Social Action Corps. members, from left to right, Amanda Nouvong ‘13, Kadeem fifteen students sold hot chocoJoseph ‘13, Gabe Filipini ‘13, Stephanie Dibert ‘12, Emily Beach ‘15, Kevin Cross ‘13, Brooke Cole late, donuts, and iced tea to ‘12, Jen Decker ‘12. Kelsey Beach ‘12, Mike Martino ‘12, and Ashley Armstrong ‘12 give a check to hungry students before class the Rome Humane Society. —Photo by Rome Humane Society started.

SAC also gathered donations of pet supplies such as food, toys, and old blankets and towels from faculty and staff of RFA. The club then visited the Humane Society to present the supplies and money they had gathered. Members played with all of the cats and walked the dogs during their visit. With permission from the club, the $300 will be going towards much needed medical

funding for the animals. When asked what her favorite part of the trip was, club member Amanda Nouvong says “Definitely walking the dogs and seeing that all of our hard work paid off.” Social Action Corps. officers are president Brooke Cole ‘12, secretary Kelsey Beach ‘12, and treasurer Jennifer Decker ‘12. Club advisors are Mrs. Neiley and Mrs. Pugliano.

Meet the Dean: Dr. Quest joins MVCC By Mike Verostek ‘12 Mohawk Valley Community College welcomed its new Dean, Dr. Richard Quest, on February 27, 2012. RFA students will be happy to hear that Dean Quest hopes to continue MVCC’s longstanding tradition of providing a superb education to students of all ages at an affordable price. Dean Quest attended Binghamton University where he studied anthropology. In fact, he originally intended to become an archaeologist. However, after graduating from Binghamton University, Quest changed paths and went to SUNY Cortland to obtain a teaching certificate. Dean Quest started his career at Candor Central Schools as a high school social studies teacher. However, he eventually realized his desire to go into administration. He went back to Binghamton University and received a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences and also received an administrator certificate from SUNY Cortland. Quest returned to Candor as a high school principal and then as the elementary principal/assistant superintendent. However, after experiencing every level of education K-12, he again changed paths and set his sights on higher education. Quest then applied and was

accepted at the University of Pennsylvania. He was afforded many unique opportunities at UPenn including a trip to New Zealand, where Quest was able to start working for Duffy Books in Homes, a non-profit company dedicated to providing free books to underprivileged youths. Over the course of four years, Quest has worked to provide sixteen school districts in the United States with over 120,000 books. He is currently researching the possibility of bringing this program to the Utica/Rome area. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Quest was hired at Corning Community College as an associate dean where he supervised the honor and dual credit programs. Then, after a three year stint at Keuka College as Associate Vice President for the Center of Professional Studies, in November of 2011 Quest applied for the position of Dean of the MVCC Rome Campus and officially began his new duties in February. “I’m so thrilled to be Dean of the Rome Campus. There is an outstanding staff/faculty here, and I am still getting to know the students. There are some unique programs that we offer here such as our Airframe and Power plant program,”

said Quest. He then went on to state what an honor it is to work at the first community college in New York State. He feels that MVCC continues to lead the state in providing accessible education, and he is excited to be a part of that. He has called the community college system “the most democratic form of higher education in the country... [it] provides high quality, accessible, affordable education. Anybody can be here.” When asked if he had a message for the RFA student body, Quest responded by saying “You have a great educational opportunity in your backyard at a very affordable price, unmatched anywhere, which gives you college credits that will transfer to any SUNY school and to most private institutions across the country. Why not take advantage of it? Why not take dual credit MVCC classes in high school? Community college educations offer the same benefits as every other college. English 101 is the same everywhere, whether you’re at MVCC, UPenn, or Binghamton. Take those classes at a place that’s affordable. If students want to feel like they’re away from their parents, there are residence halls in Utica. If students want to save on gas, they can stay in Rome. It makes

By Emily Mumpton ‘12 Mr. Shields’ ninth period Algebra class is doing something that has never been done before at RFA by integrating math and technology. With a 40-day trial that started on April 16, students are using iPads and Macbooks to do work on different math apps. Mrs. Mazzafero the Director of Information Technology started working with Mr. Shields on a grant that would help students test apps. Using

iPads and Macbooks these apps would help students understand certain subjects. The Tech Department includes: Mrs. Manti and Mr. Magnaro who also work with Mrs. Mazzafero and Mr. Shields. With teaching the students on how to use the apps for their own learning, and for the benefit of future students. Brianna Parks, a student from Mr. Shields’ Algebra class, thinks that being able to work with the laptops and iPads

“makes math more fun and easier. It helps with studying for quizzes it’s easy to use.” While working, students are able to listen to music on the laptops and the iPads, as long as they turn off the music and pull off the headphones. As participants of a pilot program, this class has been selected to develop ideas for future Math classes. They are 21st Century developers who WORKING HARD— (From left to right) Freshman Josh bates, sophomore Steve Marasco, freshmen are molding technology into Tristian Robinson, Courtney Stone, and Eli Edwards, working hard in Mr. Shields’ ninth period class. our Common Core. —Photo by Emily Mumpton ‘12

Math class integrates with new technology

economic sense.” Furthermore, Quest welcomes any RFA students or parents who would like to learn more about MVCC to contact him and he would be happy to personally give tours and information about the campus. He also encourages prospective students to come to one of the college’s many cultural series events. Dr. Quest is extremely enthusiastic about his new position at MVCC. “We already do a great job, but we want to do an exempla- NEW DEAN IN TOWN — Dr. Richard Quest stands outside of his ry job,” states Quest. new office at the MVCC Rome Campus. —Photo by Mike Verostek ‘12

CEAL Leadership offers education on teamwork By Josie Emmanuele ‘14 You hear about C.E.A.L. Leadership all the time, but you might not know what it is. C.E.A.L. stands for Character Education through ‘Adventure Learning.’ C.E.A.L. Leadership students learn about life skills. They apply these skills in class and teach others what they have learned. C.E.A.L. students get assigned different elementary schools to go to. The schools they go to are Denti, Gansevort, and Bellamy. For example, C.E.A.L. Leadership students will take elementary school students to Lake Delta and teach

them how to put up a tent, how to mountain climb, how to bike, and how to “geocache.” Geocaching is using a GPS to find different objects. C.E.A.L. Leadership students get evaluated by their teachers. They are evaluated by how well they teach the elementary students and how effectively they work together. Wherever the field trip is, there is always a teacher there to supervise C.E.A.L. students to make sure they are teaching the right techniques. Other than that, C.E.A.L. students have lots of freedom teaching the students. C.E.A.L. Leadership is

also known as Camp C.E.A.L. C.E.A.L. has two big field trips. They go to Lake Delta and hiking. They take forth graders and teach them all of the skills they know. C.E.A.L. Leadership meets every other day first, second, and ninth period in the cafeteria to learn leadership skills and plan their leadings at the elementary schools. They also stay after school sometimes on Mondays and Wednesdays. If you like the outdoors, teaching others, and being a leader, then C.E.A.L. Leadership can fulfill your interests!

Page 3 April/May 2012


RFA Knight Times

Juniors Kenny Adams and Andrew Ross

THE COURT — The 2012 prom court Jake Pohl, Alicia Madonia, Michael Mellace, Epiphany Storey, Maya Nelson, Aaron Hernandez, THREE TIER CIRCUS — In lieu of the traditional prom cake the Queen Abbie Nickles, King Nic Gonzalez, Kenny Adams, Quiana Holmes, Kyle Dombrowski, and Tanya Lombardo. juniors opted for a three tier cupcake display. —Photo by Melissa Carrier

Scan this QR Code to see more Junior Prom pictures! Juniors Josh Metzger and Jessica Gallagher

Photos by Lindsay D’Aiuto ‘12

Benjamen Salloum ‘13, Linda Martin ‘14, Nicolas Cheri ‘13, Sarah Fleck ‘14, and Spencer Kahler ‘13

Sophomore Allie Hawkins and Juniors Lexi Bravo, Sarah Canarelli, Teira Hawkins, and Alyxandra Durso

Juniors Krista Anken, Kayli Smith, Pat Giardino, McKenzie Guy, Zach Warren, Jordan General, Alex Singletary, and Erik Winberg

THE LAST SUPPER — Jesus, played by senior Dan Goewey, holds his last supper sorounded by his apostles. Because of this year’s gender blind casting, the apostles are played by both boys and girls. —Photo by Mike Verostek ‘12

SENIOR ACTORS — (Left) Mary Magdalene, played by Carly Bovi, shares a moment with Jesus, played by Dan Goewey. (Right) Alex SHOUT IT OUT — Judas, played by junior Quiana Holmes, belts Martin as King Herod, and Connor Butters as one of Herod’s dancers, bring down the house with an extravagant tap dance number. out her solo in the climactic number, “Superstar.” —Photo by Mike Verostek ‘12 —Photo by Mike Verostek ‘12

THIS JESUS MUST DIE!— (From left to right) Priests Elizabeth Sylvester ‘12, Aaron Hernandez ‘13, and Tom Draper ‘13, plan to bring the rebellious Jesus to justice. —Photo by Mike Verostek ‘12

March 29-31

Page 2012 Page 44 April/May XXX 2012


RFA Knight Times

Track star Mays makes Nationals at age 14 By Josie Emmanuele ‘14 Freshman Mariah Mays has recently qualified for nationals for outdoor track in discus. This is her first year qualifying for Nationals in outdoor track. Earlier this year, Mays attended the indoor Nationals track meet in New York City. Mariah Mays has been doing track for two years now. She started in eighth grade, and made the Varsity team that same year. She explained that at first, she didn’t want to do track, but her father and Coach Swavely convinced her. In the beginning, Mays didn’t want anything to do with track, but now she can’t live without it! When Mays started throw-

ing, her distance was farther than was typical of someone who had just picked up the sport. She explained that she worked very hard to get where she is today. She would stay after with her coaches and teammates to learn the proper techniques and how to improve her throwing distance. Mays explained that that she was a visual learner. Whenever her coach showed her the right way to throw, she would try to copy his movements. Mays said, “I would never be here today if it wasn’t for Coach Swavely!” A big part of her learning also came from other sports she has played. Mays said that

soccer helped her a lot with her footwork. Mariah Mays prepares yearround to improve her throwing distance. She does this by conditioning, agility, and lifting weights. She explained that she’s always in the weight room over the summer preparing for her next season. Mariah benches 145lbs and squats 275lbs. Mays said that her life revolves around working out, soccer, and mainly track! She feels as though she has improved “120%” from when she started in eighth grade. Mays has her expectations set and her main goal for this year is to beat the overall school record. Currently the record

is held by Kayli Williams who threw 125 feet. This year, Mays has thrown 120 feet, only five feet off of the school record! By senior year, she explained that she wants to throw as far as the guys throw. She wants to throw 150 feet or higher by the end of her senior year. Mays’ last goal for track is to try and receive the prestigious Black R. From outdoor Varsity track in eighth grade, to indoor Varsity track as a freshman, Mays has earned various awards. She has received “Outstanding Rookie of the Year Award,” two “Sectional Track Patches,” her “Varsity R,” one “Service Bar,” two “Runners Shoes,” a “Nationals Emblem,” four

First Place ribbons, one Second place ribbon, three Third Place ribbons, one Sixth Place ribbon, one First Place medal, one Third Place medal, indoor “Most Improved Performer Award,” and “Copper City Classic David Washington Discus Champion.” As well as discus, Mariah Mays also competes in shot put and weight throws. Her favorite events are weight throws and definitely discus! Mays will be competing in this year’s National Track Meet in North Carolina on June 13th, 14th, and 15th. Finals for the Nationals track meet will be held on the 15th of June. Mays said that she was very excited to

TRACK STAR — Mariah Mays ‘15 attended the Nationals track meet after only her second year on the RFA track team. —Photo by Brooke Cole ‘12 be qualified and compete with the best in the nation.

The road to recovery

Running home with the W’s!

By Lindsay D’Aiuto ‘12 Like many senior Rome Free Academy students, Jenna Gillen was enthusiastic about her first week back to school. However, she had no idea of what that week actually held waiting for her. Gillen has been a member of the RFA Varsity girl’s soccer team since her sophomore year. On the morning of September 10, 2011 Gillen participated in her soccer team’s bottle and can drive. That afternoon the Lady Knights faced Whitesboro. During a race for the ball between Gillen and a Whitesboro player, Gillen’s leg was broken.

By Alexa Sanzone ‘13 Both the RFA girls and boys track teams have been having fantastic seasons with 6-0 records. The girls’ team, coached by Coach Couchman, has a tremendous amount of talent this year. From senior standouts like sprinters Nicole Anken and Megan O’Connell to underclassmen like junior high-jumper Dana Husband and sophomore sprinter Mariah Johnson, the team is diverse in age and in ability. The boys’ team is led by Coach Mays. It also boasts an elevated skill level encompassed by many ages. Some senior all-stars from the boys’ squad include sprinter/distance run-

“The surgery was a blessing in disguise...” Gillen was rushed to St. Luke’s hospital in Utica, where she was told that her leg had been broken in two places. “The hospital was terrible. I was in hysterics and kept slip-

BEFORE AND AFTER — (Above) Jenna Gillen sits in her wheelchair as the 2012 Homecoming Queen. (Below) Jenna has made a full recovery from her broken leg, which she suffered while playing soccer, and now happily walks the halls of RFA. —Photos by Mike Madonia ‘12 (Left) and Lindsay D’Aiuto ‘12 (Right) ping in and out of conscious- off of her leg for ten weeks. She ness,” Gillen said. attended physical therapy three Ten days later after her times a week for six weeks. break Gillen was told that her “In the beginning it seemed leg had not set the way her doc- like the end of the world, but I tors would have liked. Gillen came to realize that it was only was scheduled for surgery 11 a temporary setback.” days after her injury. She is now successfully walkGillen was repaired with a ing on her own through the rod stretching from her ankle halls of RFA. While the recovto her knee that was supported ery process was long and gruelby four screws. ing, Gillen said, “It made other “The surgery was a blessing stresses in my life pale in comin disguise, going from a full leg parison.” cast to a simple splint and ace Gillen will be attending Ithabandage that I stayed in for 2 ca College in the fall to study more months” health sciences and human perGillen was required to stay formance.

Hand off — Nicole Anken ‘12 hands off the baton to Jessica Gallagher ‘13 during a meet. —Photo by Betsy Bamford ‘15 ner Jeff Brown, shot putter Sonny Caruso and distance runner Connor Butters. Like the girls’ team, there is also a remarkable amount of talented underclassmen including junior sprinter/long jumper George

Brown, junior distance runner Eric Winberg and sophomore sprinter/long jumper Leroy Brown.

RFA Lacrosse honors 10 seniors By Lindsay D’Aiuto ‘12 The RFA Boys Lacrosse team is currently ranked 19th in the state with a current record of 11-5. “Overall we have done pretty well! We have all just really been connecting on the field and it’s been working” said senior Drew Hinman The Black Knights senior night was held May 11 at the RFA turf. The team gradu-

ated ten players, RJ Ferruci, Jake Gulla, Randy Linderman, Mike Perkarski, Drew Hinman, Corey Hanson, Dylan Sbarglia, Conner Richie, Lloyd Parkmond, and Rich Stapleton. “We’ve come really far but we’re still not there. We need to keep clicking on offense. We couldn’t have done this good this year with out our defense there the backbone of our team,” said senior Jake Gulla.

The team currently has four players who plan on playing lacrosse in college. Rich Stapleton plans on attending Canisus College (DI) in Buffalo NY. Dylan Sbarglia will play for Stony Brook University (DI) in the fall. Jake Gulla will attend Brockport to play Division III lacrosse. RJ Ferruci plans on attending Utica College, as a goalkeeper for the D3 Pioneers.

KT Opinion: Videogame and Book Reviews

Mass Effect 3 By Mike Verostek ‘12 Bioware’s final installment of the Mass Effect videogame trilogy is a masterpiece. Its elegant storytelling mixed with pulse-pounding combat situations make this RPG a truly revolutionary gaming experience. Although I felt that Mass Effect 2 had strayed away from the RPG genre which the first Mass Effect had encapsulated so well, several of Mass Effect 3’s in-game elements such as collecting weapon modifications make it a nearly perfect role playing experience while simultaneously providing players with fantastic combat mechanics. When players first turn on Mass Effect 3, longtime fans are met with familiar menu sounds and graphics. When a new game is started, players are given the option to create a brand new character or to import a Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2 character. I was able to import my Mass Effect/ Mass Effect 2 character when I began the game, which offered me an innovative experience unlike any other. It was fun to see some of the decisions made in the first game impact the second game, but many of the visible changes to the second game seemed minor. In Mass Effect 3 however, shockwaves from decisions made in the first and second games are felt throughout the story. Former squad mates and other recognizable characters are constantly reconnecting with Shepard, The storyline of Mass Effect 3 is fairly simple: the Reapers, an ancient race of machines capable of extinguishing all organic life in the galaxy, are invading and they have to be stopped. However, as the opening cinematic so vividly illus-

trates, this task will be very difficult. The story of Mass Effect 3 is consistently dark, and a theme of despair is palpable throughout. Despite the fact that the Reapers are quickly dismantling the universe, Commander Shepard still finds the time to complete various tasks familiar to veteran players such as shopping on the citadel, changing

Rating: 10/10 the colors of his armor, and conversing with squad mates on the Normandy. Regardless of what Shepard is doing, he (or she), looks great doing it. The graphics are phenomenal in both cut scenes and normal gameplay, although one of very few complaints I have about the game is that some facial animations look awkward. As far as sound goes, the voice acting is probably some of the best I have ever heard in a videogame and the sound effects are fantastic. The bass produced by the Reapers is literally enough to shake the foundation of your house. The combat remains largely unchanged from Mass Effect 2 which is definitely not a bad thing. Still, some controls feel somewhat clunky such as when vaulting over objects or taking cover. However, the combat of Mass Effect 3 remains at the top of the list for RPGs and is even better than some shooters. The leveling system has also been modified in this game so instead of simply choosing a skill to level up, Shepard is able to pick between specific benefits that he will gain with each new level of that skill. Instead of simply leveling up Armor Piercing Rounds from level 4 to level 5, players can now choose to

either receive Armor Piercing Rounds which do extra damage or to receive Armor Piercing Rounds which give extra ammo capacity. Perhaps the most prevalent addition to Mass Effect 3 is its multiplayer mode. This co-op mode is a fantastic addition to the game and coexists with the single player campaign. Players work online to collect war assets which are used to defeat the Reapers. Although the online mode, which bears a striking resemblance to the Horde mode in Gears, does not allow players to directly share the Mass Effect 3 story with a friend, it is very helpful when players try to get the “best” Mass Effect 3 ending. Although it is sad for me to conclude the Mass Effect trilogy after putting in hundreds of hours crafting Commander Shepard’s story to my liking, I am glad that it ended with a game as awesome as Mass Effect 3. The Reapers, who went from being a myth in the first game to a potential threat in the second to a full-fledged army in the third, offered one of the most beautifully crafted enemies in videogame history. Bioware’s series has revolutionized the landscape of Role Playing Games forever, and I’m very excited to see what the fantastic developer has in store for us next.

-Rating: 10/10 -Concept: Bioware concludes the Mass Effect trilogy with one final, epic gameplay experience. -Controls: The controls of Mass Effect 3 are terrific. Some combat is a bit clunky, but for the most part controls are smooth as silk. -Graphics/Sound: Amazing. -Creativity: Mass Effect 3 offers players a unique gameplay experience unlike any other.

Before I Die

By Jessica Fazio ‘13 Before I Die by Jenny Downham is an outstanding novel that will keep you coming back for more. Sixteen year-old Tessa is suffering from leukemia and isn’t denying the fact that she will be facing death soon. Despite her weak body and family’s wishes, she plans on completing everything and anything she has ever wanted to do. In order to ensure that everything is completed, she generates a list of adventurous and risky things to do before she dies.

Tessa embarks on the journey of a lifetime accompanied by her best friend Zoey. Both learn more about life in a few short months than they had ever imagined possible. When Zoey becomes pregnant and Tess’s absentee mother decides to make an appearance in her life once again, she realizes how challenging losing her loved ones may be. She eventually falls in love with her next door neighbor Adam who has his own share of complications in life as well. Adam ignites strength in Tess that carries her through her final days. His presence gives her confidence to complete everything on her list. Without his participation, her number one and most impor-

tant goal would not have been accomplished. But when Tessa grasps the fact that Adam will be excelling at life while hers is ending, the reality triggers a rush of passionate emotions she can’t bare the thought of dealing with. Tess’s remarkable journey of love and strength is compelling and inspiring. Dying is truly a character-defining moment that presents obstacles and heartache and the way someone copes with it determines the memory of them that will be left behind. Tessa’s moving story earns a well-deserved four out of five stars.

Cryer’s Cross By Yakira Hutchinson’15 If you like mysterious and addicting stories, then Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann is the perfect book for you. Lisa McMann is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Wake trilogy. If you have read the Wake trilogy and you want more from Lisa McMann, this is a great read for you. Cryer’s Cross is a small town that is stricken with terror after a quiet freshman girl goes missing without a trace. Kendall Fletcher, who wasn’t the closest to the girl, is still shaken, and it only adds to the stress of her OCD-addled brain. Later, a second student goes missing, someone extremely close to Kendall. The town is filled with angst and fear in the search for the second missing person in only a year. As Kendall starts to hear whispers from her lost friend, she only feels

more lost and starts to wonder if she’s lost grip with reality. When she finds messages carved on to a desk, messages that could have only been from the missing student that once sat there, she realizes that she would never forgive herself if she didn’t act on her suspicions, crazy or not. Kendall’s on a search for the truth and is determined to get some answers. Cryer’s Cross is a thrilling story with a jaw dropping ending

Principal - Mark Benson Faculty Advisers ?MVLa?I\MZ[Œ2MVVQNMZ6MT[WV

Editor-in-Chief Michael Tamburrino

Layout and Sports Editor Michael Verostek

Website Editor Emily Mumpton

that will leave you haunted for days. You can find it in the RFA library. I would read it over and over again. I give it four out of five stars.



Published by Rome Free Academy High School, 95 Dart Circle, Rome, NY 13441, courtesy of the Rome Sentinel Company. E-Mail:


Knight Times 3rd Edition  

The final edition of the award winning school newspaper, the Knight Times.

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