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South turns 50 – Principals lead the way

Davidson 1960-1965

From an Appreciation by Social Studies chair Wayne Altree published in Denebola:



From a January 2011 interview:

Seasholes 1973-1997

From a January 2011 interview:



From the June 2005 issue of Denebola:

From Stembridge’s “This I Believe” essay presented on September 24, 2010:


[He was] a man whose virtues were those worth having and whose faults were venial. He was the quintessential New Englander – a true-blue Yankee, prideful of his seafaring Cape Cod forebears. He was a great confabulist and his mise-en-scene has to be in the gathering of locals about the proverbial cracker-barrel of a Vermont general store. He was a passionate believer in the American way; and, despite attempts to be broad-minded, he traced its validity to New England roots. Sadly, in his later days, he grew uneasy in a country where Howard Stern, Michael Milkan, and Newt Gingrich waxed large, and Bill Gates became the richest man in history. Davidson emerged from the usual New England hardscrabble background. At the age of eight he lost his father, and his widowed mother was left to rear, without assistance, four young children in the midst of the Great Depression. Don managed a university education, and in the job-scarce 1930s, took a position as a teacher. Thus began a long professional career as a teacher, coach, counselor, principal and university academic. Not by temperament an intellectual, Davidson, nonetheless, respected the life of the mind. He read discursively and knew well the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, and Melville. His hero, of course, was John Dewey, our greatest philosopher. Davidson came to be powerfully affected by Dewey’s vision of the promise of American life and the role of education in its achievement. Davidson’s abiding guiding star was Dewey’s thought. In Dewey’s model school, the student was not an empty vessel to be filled with inert ideas or received wisdom. Life was change and transformation, and the task of the learner and the teacher, together, was to find experimentally and pragmatically the insight and methods of thought to cope with the exigent future in a modern, democratic society. No idea, value, principle was sacrosanct, all was open to rigorous, scientific probing. Survival demanded knowing and wrestling with a real world. The operative terms were growth and development. All this was axiomatic to Davidson. Naturally, neither Dewey nor Davidson did much to change schooling in this country. Education has always been an intractably conservative institution to fortify the status quo. Davidson was saddened by the eclipse of Dewey’s reputation by a new current of “realism” in American thought which questions the possibility of man-made progress. However, he lived long enough to see a revival of interest in Deweyan ideas awakened by Richard Rorty, a Neo-Pragmatist and probably our foremost contemporary philosopher. Donald Davidson was a rara avis, a remnant of a vanishing species. He was not an amoral hustler, fixer, careerist, elitist, zealot, inside dopester, nor meritocrat,

It may seem odd that I came to public school Newton South from a private, boarding school experience. I was raised in NYC, my Father had published Fortune magazine and was part of that early creative group that did Architectural Forum. He had become the vice president of Time, Inc and was also responsible for the influential film, Crusade in Europe. Attending Harvard, I ended up for family reasons working my way, and becoming very interested in teaching young people but took the path of least resistance and accepted a position in English at the boarding school I had attended, Lawrenceville School, near Princeton. *** L a w renceville b e g a n in 1810. Good as the faculty was in many ways it was not all that aware of the s c h o o l ’s h i s t o r y. Like Princeton, it was more southern than it knew or acknowledged. For example. I discovered disconcerting ties to slavery persisting into the mid-twentieth century. The Lewisville Road, behind the school was not a county or township road (only paved in the Sixties), it had been a dirt road since the Civil War with ramshackle houses on the edge of the Lawrenceville campus. Like Princeton where the Southern students’ slaves lived, the people who lived in these little shacks, all black were all employees of Lville. We had a big laundry, black women did the hard work. Their children had no place in the hot summers, so I had the Lawrenceville pool opened for them and taught the kids to swim, despite the usual complaints. *** Why Newton South? Well, I was a maverick from School Year 1– all my life, an odd ball in that sense. I came in the back door to residential education, but my experience there led me to believe with the resources private schools had, with few exceptions, the education they provided was a disgrace. These institutions were not using their resources properly—in my judgment they

How did Newton South High School come into being? Well, Newton High school, a classical high school that went back into the 19th century and had a national reputation, was getting too big, perhaps 3400 students. So the thinking was to build an even larger, a huge, a massive high school. But Newton High was really two schools, Newton High and Newton Technical School. (The latter did what’s called VocTech, these days, but the students who attended and were trained were not just from Newton but came from other communities, and had their own, separate building.) In any event the discussion moved to newer ideas about schools and social

relations, the value of closer, more faceto-face contact in the teaching/learning experience. The argument emerged that one school with perhaps 4500 students would be too big, and there were other pressures for a high school closer to the south side of Newton where the community there had been growing in the post-World War 2 period. The School Committee decided to make the line Beacon Street, which many over the years thought unwise, reinforcing an artificial North/South mentality. *** Newton High School had for each building—1-2-3—administrators but South gave the system an opportunity to re-think that organizing principle. Why not combine what had become separate elements of the educational experience? Put together in a single unit academic, administrative and counseling aspects of student and teachers’ days? If the thinking was vigorous in Newton, the practice had already begun in Evanston, Illinois; those public schools had a “house”

‘If you had told me I was going to be a high school principal some day, I would have said you’ve got to be crazy,’ [Mike Welch said]. He could not deny, however, his interest in assisting youth. ‘I love working with kids,’ he stated simply with a broad smile. Welch was a teacher long before he came to Newton South, and it is a part of his past that he feels is easy for many people in the Newton community to forget. As a physics teacher at Belmont High School, Welch was voted best teacher by the students and in 1998 was a semi-finalist for Teacher of the Year in Massachusetts. ‘I’m more proud of that than a lot of other things I’ve done,’ he said. In the spring of 2000, after being a housemaster at Newton North for about two and a half years, Welch received a very unexpected call. It was Superintendent Jeffrey Young on the phone with a proposition. ‘He called and said, “How would you like to be principal at Newton South?” ‘And I thought, What is wrong with you? Why are you calling me?’ Welch laughed at his initially dubious response. *** ‘I don’t want to say that things were broken when I got here because they weren’t. I think the school, and I still think the school, doesn’t do as well as I’d like in terms of serving all kids well,’ Welch said of a challenge he has faced throughout his time here. He found himself wanting to change the very culture of the school entirely. He was against the attitude that distanced school administrators from students: ‘I want people out in the hallways, and I want people interacting with kids. But that isn’t the way this place operates. It operates like a little college.’ In the first months and years of his principalship, Welch also dealt with a bomb scare, a senior class tradition that got out of hand, and issues around parking. ‘I still have the rocks [seniors] threw through my windows…’ He holds up a Ziplock bag with several large rocks inside and says they pelted his old office for his first three years at South. ‘In

DAVIDSON, continued on page A1

GEER, continued on page A4

SEASHOLES, continued on page A6

WELCH, continued on page A9

50th Anniversary Edition - Why and How


I believe that South is a wonderful school. I also believe that we have some important work to do before our students will proudly proclaim “My school loves me!” During my first year as Principal at South, I did a lot of listening to you - students, faculty, and parents - as you talked about South. I learned that you love many, many things about South: you love the incredible people here; you love the amazing opportunities; you love the excellent programs - from athletics to academics to music to art to theater to clubs to newspapers to traveling abroad; and, you love the respect for differences that we passionately maintain within our school. Make no mistake, this is a wonderful school. No other school that I know supports a Sophomore Speech competition in which every student competes, the Spelling Bee where participants are loudly supported, “Passin’ Time” where the entire school strolls through the halls during a long advisory, Tertulia where students and teachers cocreate an all-day talent show, - and today’s all-school event. But, as I listened to you last year, I did not hear many of you say “I love South.” Although you seem proud to be students here, most of you describe South as full of stress that must be endured in order to get into a good college. And when I push you to explain, you say you don’t want South to lower its standards. You don’t want us to offer you a copper education and pretend that it’s gold. Rather, the main issue seems to be how it feels to be a student at South. You want a South that understands the challenges you face as a student, and a South that actively supports you as you meet those challenges. Well, the truth is that South is us! We create it anew each year. In too many of my conversations with you, South is described as an inanimate object - a thing that merely is. To be clear: the walls, halls, and classrooms do not give South its character. We the people make South what it is - and can be. We create - and can recreate - Newton South. What an institution has been in the past, while informative, does not dictate what it will be in the future. Moreover, a group of people who are focused on a common goal can make a great difference. I’ve seen this happen with teams, theater productions, classes, and clubs. South is a very good high school, but it can be better. I believe that if we, together, choose to act in a way that embodies the South that we want, we can transform our school. I have a couple of suggestions for each of you: students - first, go to a game, play, or concert and cheer for each other; second, say “thank you” to an adult; teachers - first, make it clear each day how your goal is to do all that you can to help your students succeed; second, maybe allow for an extension when a student comes to you with a difficult week; parents first, give the wonderful adults working here the benefit of the doubt, and second, assume that we care deeply about your children; For me: first, I will get into halls and classrooms

STEMBRIDGE, continued on page A11

Fiftieth Anniversaries only come once. That’s why Denebola could not – and would not – miss the opportunity to celebrate Newton South’s, as well as its own. This paper – the 50th Anniversary Edition of Denebola – exemplifies the range of accomplishments that South is known for. The 50th Edition surveys the five decades of our school’s existence; it identifies the trends, commonalities, and evolution of South as both an academic institution and a culturally, artistically and athletically rich community. And it serves to, in the way of the Mission Statement, encourage communication and personal connections amongst not only current students, but also across generations—as our ever-expanding Alumni base demonstrates. Reading this issue, it is useful to understand the three types of content presented: archival content from five decades of Denebola, new content created by current students, and new content contributed by alumni. The combination of these categories results in a 64-page representation of our school community and its history that, admittedly and of necessity, leaves much out. So in no way is this issue a comprehensive or complete history of Newton South. Rather, it is a starting point where we can begin to understand more about our school and those who were part of it. Selection and presentation of printed content was no simple task, but our goal was to provide a worthwhile tool for engaging in investigation and discussion of one of the arguably most “educationally aware” communities in America. In light of this, additional 50th-related content will be posted continuously on our website in Denebola’s 50th Web Exclusive section – – in an effort to broaden our discussion and deepen our understanding of what has made Newton South what it was and is. Please take a moment to read the introductions to each section. We begin in News with a decades-based timeline of the major events affecting South over the last half century.


50 Years of South A2


Sept. 13, 1960 Newton South opens

Aug. 19, 1960 Soviet Union launches Sputnik

Dec. 1961 Ted Kennedy speaks at South


Nov. 7-20, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

Jan. 26, 1962 South produces first musical: Mikado

July 31, 1961 First All-Star game at Fenway


Donald Davidson

“a group of students, teachbut an honest man, un hon- ers, and parents [under Davidnete homme, whose friends, in son’s leadership]…conducted happy memory, cannot imagine a series of Saturday morning him guilty of a cruel or unwor- colloquia on various political thy act. —Wayne Altree, Chair and cultural problems. Many NSHS Social Studies outstanding authorities were “Of the transition from New- invited over a period and in an ton High to Newton South informal setting an excellent Davidson writes, ‘We made exchange resulted.” minor mistakes. We tried many *** new procedures “Davidson and rejected also enjoyed a some, we had strong relationto adapt to the “Davidson also ship with the buildings, and it ‘[They enjoyed a strong faculty, took a while for were] outstandrelationship with ing, grand, dedithe many teachers and students cated people— the faculty.” who had been at during a great Newton High period in eduto dispense cation when we with old loyalfelt that we were ties and to form moving in direcnew ones. tions of national importance Newton [North]…had been, and that we were having an and is, one of the great second- impact on bettering the eduary schools of American and it cational process—and that was not easy to branch off and NSHS was a national leader in leave cherished associations all of this. behind…However, very soon, It was a period of great enwe formed our own identity.’ thusiasm.”

15 February 2011


Aug. 28, 1963 MLK delivers “I Have a Dream” Speech

March 29, 1962 Newton musicians play at White House and Carnegie Hall


Nov. 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy assassinated

DAVIDSON, continued from page A1

South under construction in the late 50’s and early 60’s. The decision to build the school was made after Newton High School had too many students to efficiently handle. While many supported the idea, worries persisted that the city would wind up divided.

18 months of labor pay off: Newton South born

Despite a hurricane delaying construction, school rises from ashes and opens on time The Newtonite, Sept. 1960 The administration and the faculty of Newton South High School took a deep breath and opened the doors of a barely finished school on September 13. “If this teacher puts us in alphabetical order, I’ll die,” commented one of the sophomores, first entrants into the new school. These new high schoolers were more concerned with the size and complexities of high school than they were with the newness of the building. A large group of students was held up in one section of the building while a new pupil stood at the intersection of two corridors tossing a coin. “Heads I go right,” he said, “tails, left.” The hurricane had not only damaged one gym floor, but had also succeeded in damaging the carefully worked out schedule. Wednesday was really not Wednesday at all but Tuesday, and there was no Thursday in the entire week. It was really not so confusing once your homeroom teacher had explained it several dozen times.

“We will not go by Eastern Daylight Savings Time today,” boomed the loudspeaker into every room. “The hurricane

twelve o’clock Eastern Daylight time.” On Thursday, which was really Wednesday, the full load

has set the clocks all back; there-fore it is now 8:35 instead of 9:05 and school will end at 11:35 Newton South High School time, approximately

of students groped their way through the seven buildings of Newton South. Guides stationed at all vulnerable points throughout the school, did not

ridor, go straight through the library, and take a right. If the workmen won’t let you through, take the second door on the right, go outside, and

bear right. If you give up, stand somewhere and holler ‘Help, I’m lost.’ Someone will rescue you.” The juniors and seniors, used to standing in Elm Road and viewing the entire high school, took it hard when they discovered that the South High’s seven buildings can only be seen as a whole from the roof. Though every student was issued two maps, it only took first period to demonstrate how easily one can get tangled in the maze of buildings. “Come on Charlie,” yelled a boy who late for class, “I think we can get to the gym this time. I just got complete instructions.” Little did he know hat the gym won’t be completely there for another month. All was comparison to the juniors and seniors of Newton South the first few days. “The lunchroom is better than the old school’s. The lunch lines are worse. The classrooms are more modern. Passing between classes is just as slow.” But some of the novelty wore off suddenly when the students discovered that homework and calsswork had not been modernly done away with.

By Jane Hogan The Newtonite, 1960 For thirty-nine years The Newtonite has more than adequately fulfilled the purpose of a school newspaper – to inform the student body and to serve as a clearing house for ideas and opinions. Now we have two high schools on opposite sides of the city. The Newtonite can no longer serve both schools and, at the same time, fulfill its

purpose. During the past year The Newtonite has been the liaison between Newton High and Newton South. But the high schools each have separate administrations, extra-curricular activities, atheletic teams, student government, and yearbooks, so separate newspapers logically follow. In September Newton South will have its own newspaper.

The establishment of a newspaper at Newton South is not dividing the high schools for they are two independent schools now. As when a cell is halved by mitosis, each newly formed cell is independent; when the student body of Newton High was divided to form Newton South, Newton South became an independent school. Pertinent, timely news for Newton South students is im-

portant. By the establishment of a newspaper, this need can be more effectively accomplished. It also provides would-be journalists with a chance to develop their talents. Presently only 35 students are able to serve on The Newtonite staff. Two newspapers will provide twice as many positions for interested students. In choosing a name for the new paper, it seems only fit-

ting that the name pertain to the lion, the school mascot. The name of the paper comes from the start which forms the lion’s tail in the constellation, Leo. From this forward, the Newton South High paper will be known as: Denebola The Lion’s Tale May Denebola, like the star whose name it bears, shine brightly in the years to come.

have a moment’s rest. “Could you please tell me where building Five is?” “Turn right at the next cor-

A rooftop view of South on its inaugural day in Septermber, 1960. The school opened amid much discussion.

Newton divided; students split

By Carol Levi The Newtonite, May 1960 How can we keep Newton united while we divide the high school? Now is the time to act! Parents, teachers, students, and all our citizens are faced with the challenge to work together to keep Newton High School one in spirit. June 1960 is he last time that the students from the entire city will graduate as one class. A great deal of thought, planning, and money has gone into the establishment of Newton South High School to make it an effective place to study and learn. Hopefully, with two smaller schools the ratio of students to teachers will be reduced and the pupils will profit from closer relationships than are now possible. Also, twice as many students will get a chance to hold influential positions in the schools. On the other side of the coin, however, is the old saying “united we stand, divided we fall.” A complete split in the schools may tend to give the students alliances to a section rather than a city. The question remains how to avoid the potential problems resulting from division of the high school. Two suggestions occur to me. First, the division should be gradual. There should be only one yearbook, only one graduation; there should be combined extra-curricular activities for at least the nex two years. This would give students who thus far have had a united class a chance to maintain contacts with friends regardless of where they live. One yearbook is important as a record of our common interests. One graduation is important as a symbol of our common achievements. These are class functions which should be maintained. On the other hand, a newspaper is an activity which reflects the individuality of the school. Therefore, separate newspapers should be established immediately. Exchange columns can be used to bind the two schools together, but the news features should be those stories of concern to the particular school. By accentuating common class loyalties and at the same time encouraging individual school support, Newton can enjoy the advantages of two smaller high schools with a common spirit. Second, in the near future, an all-Newton community centre should be built where students from the whole city can gather to share common activities. This the original end in view when Tigerama was inaugurated. Common class functions and a community center can help to keep Newton united. The challenged lies here!


15 February 2011



Dec. 22, 1965 Simon & Garfunkel play at South

Feb. 21, 1965 Malcolm X assassinated

50 Years of South A3

April 3, 1968 South students rally, call for end to Vietnam war

July 23, 1967 Detroit riots

Aug 22, 1966 Beatles land in NYC, last tour of US


Dec. 20, 1967 Noam Chomsky speaks at South on Vietnam



April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated

July 26, 1969 Apollo 11 returns to Earth after sucessful mission


By Marvin Swartz, Volume 7 April 3, 1968

1968 - Students, some from South, march on Boston Common in protest of Vietnam, military draft, and student complacency.

The bomber screams cutting close to the village.The pilot goes down low and the Earth is a mud puddle but children aren’t making mud pies and pretending that dirt and water really make pies. So he drops his package up high where he can’t see who must pay for delivery and doesn’t have to think about it. The warm other must. For as the sirens wail she scurries to get her children in fox holes. But what will happen on the day when one is missing and she frantically searches the now empty childless street, saying “no!” to the tears and to the panic and to reality. The one missing is three and has wandered off to be a three year old and is outside the village near the bridge where at night he hears trucks pass. And he looks above the trees bordering the patties and sees the plane, toylike. And he doesn’t know. He smiles and giggles, waving a light brown pudgy hand at the toy. The toy drops a package and the child laughs. But even at three the reality of toys not being toys is Inescapable.

Students demand end to war and draft

March 16 -“Greater Boston High School Committee To End The War in Vietnam,” rallied in Boston. By Larry Adelman, Volume 7 April 3, 1968 The Committee’s platform is “end the war, the draft, and high school complicity with them.” The Committee’s political position is set forth in its newspaper by arguments for and against the two Socialist Workers Party candidates [for president]. It opposes the war and the draft, and supports Castro and “the colonial revolution” in Vietnam. It favors separate black schools and political parties, and calls Senator Eugene McCarthy a racist, like George Wallace. The Socialist Workers Party and its affiliate, the Young Socialists, directed the marchers. At 12:50, some of the marchers arrived with the signs. Between 25 and 30 people started marching in a circle in front of the Park Street station. By actual count, 25 NSHSers took part, with others looking

on. A Young Socialist girl came over to us and said that the U.S. economy functions only through “exploitation of the masses in foreign countries,” and “by dropping napalm on Guatemala.” We discussed this for about five minutes; she then went back to marching. Present everywhere were distributors of Socialist Worker publications. With about 180 students, the march left the Common and proceeded down Boylston Street, well-surrounded by police, to the Community Church. There were relatively few hecklers, none particularly loud. Inside the church, five speakers discussed “What high school students can do against the war.” The first speaker, Jeffrey Brown (not from South) told the audience that the draft is “just another control over human life in the United States,” and “another step toward 1984.” It is “raising a new breed of people brought up with a guilty

conscience.” Stuart Rose of Newton [North] stated that a) we [the United States] support racist and fascist dictatorships in South Africa, Greece and Latin America, b) we are in Vietnam, as in Korea and everywhere else, because our big businesses need cheap labor and raw materials, c) that a negoti-

By Larry Adelman, Volume 8 October 16, 1968 Dick Gregory, black power advocate and candidate for President, spoke at Newton High on Friday, October 11, and placed the problem of race relations squarely upon the backs of whites, all over the United States. His oratory touched upon many areas of race relations, but had no discernable organization. He led off with a joke: “I love football – it’s the only sport where a black cat can chase a white cat and twenty thousand people get up and cheer.” He then proceeded to describe America as “the most immoral, corrupt, insane nation in the world,” and described American morality as consisting of “a Brooks Brothers suit, a clean shave, and a hair cut once a week.” He compared the hippies in Chicago during the Democratic convention, and the Shriners who were there at about the same time: “Who is more immoral, the hippies and

yippies, or the Shriners who use but excused it as a product of the prostitutes?” Yet, he contin- negro unwillingness to wait ued, the hippies are regarded for freedom. He pointed out as immoral, only because they that the Indians have been the want to change a corrupt and epitome of nonviolence, yet repressive system. have made less progress than Gregory drew frequent their black brothers. Throughparallels between the black out the speech, Gregory told his struggle for freedom and a young audience that “you will similar American struggle in have to solve the problems of 1775. He read a section of the America…problems that you Declaration of Independence didn’t even create.” which states that it is the duty of Gregory made his stand men to overthrow clear on two istheir government sues beside race “Black and if it is repressive He fawhite are not relations. and unresponsive. vors an immediate His parallels were two colors; they withdrawal from convincing, to say are attitudes.” Vietnam, and dethe least. nounced the three Gregory made - Dick Gregory major candidates frequent reference as apostles of reto the Constitution, urging his pression who talk about law audience to read it and discover and order, but will not touch just what blacks want from the crime syndicate. America. At present, he exA question and answer peplained, America is ruled not by riod followed, during which that document but by capital- Gregory was asked of solutions ism, examples being Vietnam for the ghettoes. He replied and the lack of adequate gun that education, welfare, and control measures. job programs were of no use. Mr. Gregory did not openly Equality will not come until to endorse violence by blacks, the white man frees the Indian,

ated end to the war would be bad, as it would force United States domination over the Vietnamese, as it has in Korea, and that we “go to college to help enslave people.” SDS’er Aaron Cohen said that if peace comes, so will widespread unemployment; therefore, the government will not stop the draft. He encouraged students to rebel against high school complicity with the draft in any way they can. He suggested that students start by disobeying the dress codes, which are just school administration attempts to “indoctrinate” people. “The system stinks,” he added, and it, not Lyndon Johnson, produced Vietnam and will produce others. He also stated that we herd South Vietnamese into concentration camps. After two other speakers described Committee activities, the rally ended, and everyone slowly drifted out of the church.

Black power advocate speaks on race

the Mexican-American, and the Jew. Only then will the white man be trusted. He urged people to stop talking about civil rights and talk about the “human rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution.” Gregory observed that “black and white are not two colors; they are attitudes…Youth is not an age; it is a way of thinking.” Gregory wore matching pants and shirt, an army jacket, and a thick beard. He skipped from topic to topic and spoke in casual language, letting the hells and dams fall where they may. His speech was laced with humor and sarcasm. He spoke of violent change, of overthrowing a corrupt society. The evening was concluded when Gregory answered the question most often asked by white liberals: “What can I do to help?” The former comedian replied that whites cannot help and are not wanted by the black unless they are radical. Otherwise, he concluded, they will not be trusted.

1968 - Monitored by police, protesters march down Boylston street.

Letter from Vietnam Wake-up call

To the seniors of 1968: The year is coming to an end; you’re stepping out into the world. I can still remember when I was a senior and the things that I looked forward to. But you are all in for a surprise! Things are not going to work out as you want them too. So I would advise you to PLAN wisely. Some of you may find yourselves over here, in Vietnam. You seniors are the leaders of tomorrow. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? Take a look around you. You’ve got to be kidding, you say. I wish I were. But I’m not. Over here, I’ve seen people die and 18 year olds take over and become leaders. True, combat does make you mature faster, if you live through it. After you’ve been here a while, you look at the world around you, and everything is different. How many of you, I wonder, could take the hysical and mental hardships that are faced here everyday? You’re asking yourself, hat’s he talking about? Just this – SENIORS: You’ve had it easy up to now – be ready for the hard times. And don’t ever get discouraged, for there are people who are having it harder than you. You have all the luxuries that we dream about. What luxuries? A good night’s sleep on a bed instead of in a foxhole, hot chow, a cold beer and a steak. But let me ask you this – is it luxury to you? Do you know the meaning of liberty and freedom? I too used to take it all for granted. But now I’m fighting for those ideals and I’ve come to know what the words freedom and liberty mean. The guys who are here are no different than you, excpt that they are 18 fighting to make 19. You may ask, “What hardships does a guy here face?” Well, he

can break down his rifle in 30 seconds, put it back together in 29, explain ho a grenade and a machine gun operates and use either if the need arises, dig a foxhole, apply first aid to a wounded buddy, march unil is told to stop or stop until he is told to march. He has stood among hills of bodies and has helped to build those hills. He has cried in public and in private and is not ashamed of it, for his pals have fallen in battle and he has come close to joining them. He has two pairs of fatigues, washes one and wears the other. He forgets to brush his teeth but not his rifle. He keeps hi socks dry and canteens full. He cooks his own meals, fixes his own hurts, mends his own rips – material and mental. He does the work of two civilians, draws half the pay of one, and finds ironic humor in it all. He works from dawn to dusk, and often longer. He has learned to use his hands as his weapons and his weapons as his hands. He can save a life and most assuredly take one. Yes, Senior Class of ’68, you’ve got it hard, haven’t you? Are you 19, a veteran, and fighting hard to make 20? Well, very shortly, you just might be. So think over carefully what I’ve just said. Plan your future with care and you’ll make it through rough roads. Best of luck to each and every one of you upon entering the adult world. The responsibilities and obligations are now yours…handle them well.

A 1966 South graduate, now serving his hitch in the DMZ Steve Emmanuel I Co. 3rd Battalion 21st Marines. 1961 - South students pack the auditorium to hear Edward Kennedy, at the time assistant district attorney of Middlesex County speak. Kennedy was greeted with a passionate round of applause. Two years later, his brother, John F. Kennedy, would be assassinated, rattling the nation.


50 Years of South A4



June 22, 1970 Nixon lowers voting age to 18 Oct. 30, 1970 South approves open campus

April 10, 1971 Beatles disband


Oct. 18, 1971 METCO program introduced to South

15 February 2011


April 25, 1972 South students organize first Black Student Union

Aug. 16, 1974 South gets first audiovisual media center


Dec. 19, 1973 Music editor of the “Rolling Stone” speaks at South

Racial issues grasp South; tension in discussions NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: The following articles do not represent the views of the Denebola staff nor the advisor, but do represent prominent racial tensions in the 1970’s. We hope these reprinted articles can serve as an illustration of the progress South as a community has made in the past 40 years.

Right on Corner: Black is a concept By Tony Leonard, Volume 10 November 10, 1970 There has recently been a conflict between black and white students at Newton High School. However this conflict has since died down but not completely. It has become more or less an Armistice, where as one more incident could very well be called the catalyst that would cause an explosion and shake the Newton School system causing almost complete chaos. On the other hand Newton South High has remained in some what of a neutral corner. But I seem to feel a strong sense of unexpressed hostility hovering quietly over me in the faces of most of the white students. To make this clear to myself, I purchased a black fist and wore it to school. The reaction I got was that of a king who was afraid of being dethroned, so consequently he shunned that obstacle, and hid within himself so as not to be

Tony Leonard leads a discussion on race and prejudice at South.

confronted with it anymore. People may be afraid to face me. This is, in a way, a strong “psychological hang-up”. Because the white students have shown that they are not mature enough to realize that your average everyday Newton Negro

is a lot different from a Black person put in Newton. I think it has to be understood that Black is not just a term; it’s a concept. Although Negro means black in the dictionary sense of the word, black does not mean Negro! - Tony Leonard

Hostility Bars Racial Communication By Robert Levine, Volume 10 November 24, 1970 Dear Editor, I am writing this letter in response to the “Right on Corner” which appeared in the November 10, 1970 issue of Denebola. I wish to address my comments to Tony Leonard, the student who wrote the first entry for the “Right on Corner”. In an attempt to understand his article and his intentions, I am going to raise a few questions concerning the points that Tony made. Tony states, “I seem to feel a strong sense of unexpressed hostility hovering quietly over me in the faces of most of the white students.” I am not going to deny that Tony has this feeling, but it should be made clear that this is not general feeling of the white Newton South student toward the black people. There exist ignorant people in Newton South who are bigoted, but there are also concerned students—students concerned enough to work in Roxbury during the summer. T ony states, “the white students have shown that they are not mature enough to realize that your average everyday

METCO students integrated into South

Five years after Newton adopts METCO program, first inner-city students matriculate to South

METCO busing began in 1966 and in 1971, the first METCO students graduated junior high and entered South, integrating the high school.

Volume 11 October 19, 1971 This year Newton South is hosting eleven METCO students. The METCO program, initiated in 1966, is a program designed to offer a viable educational alternative to innercity schools. The initials METCO stand for Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity. According to Mrs. Cathy Jones, “METCO is based upon giving students a change for the best possible education.” The total METCO program began with two hundred students and, in the six years of its existence, has grown to include 1500 students. The Newton school system started out hosting fifty students and presently there are 141 METCO students in grades one through eleven. These students come to suburban schools from Roxbury, North Dorchester, and Mattapan. They represent a cross-section of Boston’s black community and enter the program in a completely voluntary manner. The Newton community was one of the first suburbs to host METCO students. Says Mr. Geer, “I think originally Charles Brown, then superintendent of the Newton schools,

was probably the founder of the their own environs. It is equally program. What he was attempt- important for students who ing to do was to give black have grown up in an isolated parents a viable alternative to suburb to have contact with public schooling in Boston. different ways of life. This is a Many people have seen this as part of education.” a way of creating a cooperative But is busing really the anendeavor between suburban swer to problems of inner-city schools and Boston. This way, education? Those who disagree the suburbs take some responsi- with it argue that it disturbs bility for the problem of educa- youths from the city when they tion in Boston.” compare their own neighborMeadowbrook Junior High hood to that of their classmates. School “I don’t hosts think that “Schools should be real, thirtybusing dealing with real issues. three is a final METCO solution, By having kids from the students I’m inner-city, we are dealing in bnotu t going while reality.” South to conhosts - Everett Freedman, demn it,” o n l y states Mr. Junior High Principal F r e e d eleven. Mr. Evman. “It’s erett Freedman, principal of the the best way we have so far, and Junior High, finds the program at least it attempts to speak to to be a very rewarding experi- the issues of equal educational ence. “Schools should be real, opportunities and experiences. dealing with real issues. By But these kids are residents of having kids from the inner-city, Boston and we cannot expect we are dealing in reality.” them to come here and just Mrs. Jones feels that the forget the problems that their program is as equally beneficial brothers and sisters are facing to the suburban students as it is at home.” to the black students. “It is very Mr. Geer sees the possibility important for kids coming from of the different environments an inner-city, black community causing a problem. “There to have experiences outside of are a lot of students in this

school who may tend to erect very subtle barriers of words between themselves and black students. I think that wealth is a problem; it must be extremely difficult for kids from Roxbury to come to South and take a look at our parking lot with all its cars. These are very difficult things to do.” Mr. Geer continues, “I think that one of the hardest things is that they have to deal with the fact that they are leaving the slums, the ghetto. I mean, last year in particular, when most of the black students in Boston were striking, what was it like for these kids to come to ‘lily white’ Newton South where there were no problems? Black students in Boston felt that they were fighting for their rights and it was a very critical struggle in the schools. What happened to the kids who were getting on the buses and going out to the nice, quiet, peaceful suburban schools? Were they ‘copping out?’” For METCO to be fully successful, the support of the suburban communities is mandatory. Mrs. Jones commented that the Newton community has been “very supportive of the program. As a matter of fact, the people of the community were really responsible for it

Newton Negro is a lot different from a black person put in Newton.” This statement is both condescending to the white students of Newton South and to the black people who do live in Newton. It is a hostile statement and perhaps this expressed hostility is the major hang-up in resolving the problems within our school. Just as Tony feels “an unexpressed hostility” from the white students ,the white students experience an unexpressed hostility from Tony and other black students. These feelings lead to a double barrier between white and black students, a barrier which alienates Blacks and Whites from solving their problems. There is another point which should be considered concerning the communication of ideas between Blacks and Whites. If a Black denounces the entire white community, as Tony denounces the white Newton South community, there is little furor and people try to understand the statement. But if a White should attempt to denounce the black community with a similar sweeping generalization, he would be branded a bigot and his comments

would be swept aside, as they very well should be. But the point is that just as the white person should check himself from making sweeping generalizations about black people, the Blacks also should refrain from the use of sweeping generalizations – generalizations which tend to divide rather than to united. The continual expression of empty generalizations is dangerous and misleading to the interested reader. Tony’s article begins to resemble the standard rhetoric that the concerned, active student is tired of reading. Just the name of the space given to Tony’s article, “Right on Corner”, is representative of a lack of creative thinking. “Right on” has become a trite, hackneyed phrase signifying nothing.Thus, the point of my letter is that I feel that the editorial series, “Right On Corner”, could disintegrate into a meaningless jargon if it does not address itself to the clarification of positions and issues. Within my letter are significant questions which could be considered in the “Right On Corner” and lead to the edification of the Newton South community. - Robert Levine

Vandalism plagues South By Debbie Kraft, Volume 10 January 18, 1971 As we leave the year 1970 behind us, we also leave eleven thousand dollars worth of theft and vandalism done at Newton South High School. The vandalism has been widespread and costly, ranging from broken windows to mutilated clocks, phones, and thermostats. Head custodian Tom Sabetti said that there isn’t re-

ally much that can be done to prevent the vandalism. When kids see it, they rarely report it and there is no way of proving who is causing the damage. The greatest problem is theft. In the last two years bigger equipment including audio visual machines and typewriters have become a problem. The money used to replace the vandalism comes out of a public building fund which is the taxpayers’ money.

getting off the ground. This came from the feeling on the part of the parents that their children were not getting the best possible education because of the limited types of contact they were exposed to. “The black community represents a cutting edge in our society. I think that the needs and concerns of black students, teachers, and administrators have been to include more materials relevant to the AfroAmerican experience, not only

dents as well. We have been miseducated in many areas of Afro-American history, such as the part that blacks have played in the United States history. “Because of METCO there have been attempts to recruit more black teachers and administrators. Also, it has made white teachers more aware of the needs of black students. They have to deal with the subtle racism that comes with growing up white in America.”


15 February 2011



March 1, 1978 Great Blizzard of ‘78 gives students 8 days of vacation

July 4, 1976 America turns 200

April 30, 1975 Vietnam War ends

Feb. 6, 1975 South Orchestra goes to Philadelphia

50 Years of South A5

June 9, 1976 South builds athletic stadium


Aug. 16, 1977 Elvis Presley passes away


1979 March 28, 1979 Three Mile Island, Penn. nuclear plant, has meltdown

Teachers protest through ‘work to rule’, students suffer

By Naomi Sacks, Volume 17, November 2, 1977 The teachers’ policy of work to rule has been in effect for over a month now. Random representatives of the student population were interviewed to find out student reactions. Most students are familiar with the policy of work to rule. When asked whether they supported the teachers, the typical answer was, “I can see their point, but I disagree with their methods.” As one student put it, “It’s not the students themselves that are really to blame, it’s the school committee, and work to rule is only harming the students.” Students were asked if work to rule was affecting them and if so, how. The common answer was yes, because club events were being cancelled and the library was closing early.

Seniors interviewed strongly objected to the teachers not writing college recommendations. The seniors felt that this policy singled them out from the general school population for punishment. Many seniors felt that not writing recommendations might affect the rest of a student’s life. Most students felt that work to rule was not affecting the school committee very much. As one student stated, “If the teachers keep it up the school committee will have to resolve the problem. Otherwise, in the upcoming election the public might see that the incumbents are not doing a good job in solving school problems and with elections coming up…” Students were lastly asked if they thought the teachers had any better alternatives. Several students, expressed a desire for the teachers to strike even though the students were

aware that it would be illegal. These students thought that if the teachers went on strike, the public would have to take notice of them and the problem would be solved in a week.

Volume 17 March 1, 1978 Members of the Newton Teachers Association (NTA) ratified a new contract by a vote of 350-151 on February 16, in

voting delayed by the storm. The new contract provides teachers with a five per cent raise this year, a five per cent raise next year, and between a 4.5 and 5.5 per cent raise in the third year, based on the Boston Consumer Price Index. The ratification of the contract ends almost two years of negotiations between the School Committee and the NTA. Work-to-rule, a job action taken six months ago by the teachers to expedite the negotiations, and under which they performed no activities for which they are not paid, will no longer be observed. At South, that means that activities and clubs with uncompensated advisors can once again begin to meet. NTA members rejected an initial contract offer on December 1 which provided for a five per cent raise in each of the first two years, and between a

Joel A. Rabinovitz, Volume 18 March 21, 1979 The legislators see an alcohol abuse problem in this state; their answer is to raise the dinking age. I, too, see an alcohol abuse problem, but I don’t think that it is limited to teenagers, and, above all, I don’t think that the legislator’s answer will work. The problem is two-fold: 1) to get alcohol away from the junior high and high school levels, 2) to curb alcohol abuse by “young people” (18-?). I will deal with the second problem first. One argument used by the pro-raising people is that there have been more alcohol related deaths in the 18-20 year age group since the drinking age was lowered [in 1973]. Senator Olver of Amherst tore this argument apart: the statistics clearly show that, proportion-

ately, 18-20 year olds get in no more, in fact, less, accidents than 21 year olds. Also, a study shows that in states with higher drinking ages than bordering states, there is a higher percentage of alcohol related accidents within 30 miles of the border than in the

raise a child, but that he is not mature enough to drink. There is no doubt that there has been an increase in alcoholism and the consequences of alcohol abuse, its problems (e.g. vandalism); however, this is true for all ages. As the Boston Globe said in an editorial

Lillian Stroum, a teacher at the Emerson School, casts her vote on the new contract during the balloting at Newton North.

four and six per cent raise in the last year, based on the National Index. The new contract did not include a clause contained in the first offer, which gave school principals the option of not hiring a substitute for oneday teacher absences. There was considerably opposition to this clause, particularly among high school teachers. Minimal changes in the reduction-inforce language and maternity leave clause also distinguish the new contract from the old; the two documents are otherwise quite similar in their provisions. The Teachers Association negotiated the new contract with Newton’s new school committee, elected last November and seated last month. Both sides favored a threeyear contract so that contract negotiations might be removed from the election year cycle.

Principal Students dissatisfied with raised drinking age William Geer

GEER, continued from page A1

were mis-educating youth, providing a very narrow, very uncritical, narcissistic experience. It seemed to me we could learn more if we were helping others. We set up a Ford Foundation project in nearby Trenton, a summer school taking the worst (black) middle school kids and teachers. We brought in interesting people, inspired and supported them. The project later expanded to make a larger summer school project supported by Ford, minority kids, mostly black in 1963 and 1964. We got private colleges like Princeton and Yale and Wes-

leyan to look at kids from inner city schools and poor rural black schools from the South. It was a spectacular faculty – gave them a marvelous summer, read and wrote, gave them exposure they did not have in their high schools; so those Trenton kids hit that first year in college running, they had a chance. The Trenton work got me to Newton because, as it happened, Dr. Charles Brown who had been a nationallyrecognized superintendent had gone to the Ford Foundation, which had supported those Upward-Bound style programs, and when he heard his old system Newton was looking for leadership at South, Chuck had me for an interview.

bt are they really that naïve to think that their daughter, who had the highest alcohol blood count ever recorded, and had already been arrested once for drunken driving, could not, and would not, get alcohol, no matter what? If a kid wants beer or hard liquor, he can get it. If Post-prohibition - Mass. April 10, 1979 - drinking the legislature is truly state drinking age set at age raised to 20. concerned about teen21. age alcoholism, they should toughen up the laws dealing with selling to minors, and then strictly enforce those June 1, 1985 - drinking March 1, 1973 - drinking age raised to current laws. age lowered to 18. standard: 21. Whatever the answer is, raising the age to 20 rest of the state. Most of Massa- “Teenagers should not be the is just not it. Doing so is unchusetts is within 30 miles of a scapegoats for a problem that fairly punishing a segment of state with a lower drinking age. knows no generation gap.” the population. And, if experiThis law is not only useless, but On to the first problem. I am ence teachers us anything, it it is also self-defeating. immediately reminded of the will be that the only result of What is inconceivable to me deaths of those four girls from this law will be more alcohol is that the legislature feels that Reading. related deaths and probably a an 18 year old is mature enough The parents of the driver have return to drugs. Is this what to marry, and nine months later, been pleading for a higher limit the legislature really wants?

Blizzard of ‘78 pummels Newton; South kids help out By Jeffrey Menzer, Volume 17 March 1, 1978 The storm, which is now known as The Great Blizzard of ’78, caused havoc everywhere to everyone. Students were given an unexpected eight days of vacation. Because of the emergency ban, this vacation turned into a monotonous week. Most of us suffered from Cabin Fever. But many students and teachers had interesting experiences which helped overcome the Fever. The storm came at the worst possible time for some of South’s athletes. According to wrestling team captain Doug Washington, the wrestlers were in prime condition and were ready for the tournaments, which were held after the storm. But the storm put everyone over-weight so the wrestlers had to have double workouts to get back into shape. Washington said that all cities also had to cancel practices, so everyone

else was also overweight. Senior Kathy Brauneis did not let the storm affect her training as a shot putter. Concerned about the girls’ state meet, Brauneis threw her shot put across the street into a snowbank. The neighbors thought she was crazy, but Brauneis, who found a way to cope, said she actually improved. Her only problem was retrieving the shot put which sunk into the snow bank. The snow caused lots of problems for science depart-

ment chairman Pete Richter, who lives in Bourne. Richter usually takes the subway into Park Street and then a bus to the Cape, but by the time he got into Boston Monday, the buses had been cancelled. He got a room at the Bradford Hotel and stayed until Friday. Richter did not spend his week stranded in the hotel. He met three Herald American reporters, who were also staying in the hotel, and went to Scituate, Marshfield, 128, and Anthony’s Pier 4 with

them on assignment. He tried everything to get home and eventually went down to MDC Headquarters to see if he could get the buses going to the Cape. After speaking with Governor Dukakis and his aides, Richter was soon able to take a bus to the Cape. Notwithstanding his experience, Richter said that his troubles were “absolutely nothing” compared to those of others. Richter said that one had to be there to realize the massive damage that the storm caused.

Many South students spent their days off helping others. Senior Eric Geisser spent Friday working at MDC Headquarters in Boston. He answered phones, giving callers information and issuing driving permits. Seniors Lee Zalinger, Jeff Rubin, and Steve Hall drove for the Red Cross delivering badly needed blood to City Hall during the emergency. They had no problems driving, for Hall used his four wheel drive vehicle. Raelin Fox and Martha Alt

worked with the Human Services Department at City Hall, answering phones. Most calls were for food or for information about oil deliveries, which were impeded by the unplowed streets in the city. Senior Julie Leitman worked with Civil Defense and the Red Cross at City Hall answering phones and making lunch for the many workers who were at City Hall. Karen Boudrot worked at the Star Market in Chestnut Hill during the emergency. She said that they were really busy and the customers appreciated that the store was open. She felt that some people were panicky, and many were selfish when it came to limiting their purchases of milk. The Chestnut Hill Cinema, where Roberta Wiener worked, was less busy than usually, but Wiener said that many people called to see if the theatre was open, and like at the Star, they were grateful for a cure for the Fever.


Denebola A6



Dec. 8, 1980 John Lennon shot and killed

June 18, 1981 First case of AIDS in the US March 13, 1981 Assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan

1981 of

g at n b i e n: m v Li thr io Bomentt ed Dr. m c r Caldicott n to the stunned au-to e i d t dience. “And those A n x bombs are mere fireu e the crackers compared to what

e g A


By Laura Kaufman and Becca Levy, Volume 21 March 17, 1982 “My God! I have to get involved!” was one student’s reaction after listening to the first guest speaker of Nuclear Education Week, Dr. Helen Caldicott, famous pediatrician and activist against nuclear arms. She began her powerful presentation by showing actual footage of the devastating effects of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “Now you can see we’ve literally harnessed the energy of the stars, and now you’ve seen what happens when people are exposed to the heat of the sun—You turn into steam. You vaporize and you just disappear,” com-

we have today.” She contrasted the events that took place in 1945 with the possibility of what could happen today. If a 20 megaton bomb (four times the size of all the bombs dropped in World War II) were dropped on Boston, it would dig a hole ¾ mile wide and 800 feet deep; within 6 miles of the center all the people and buildings would be turned into radioactive dust which would float around the hemisphere and drop down as fallout across the globe. Within 20 miles from the center, every person would be immediately killed or would suffer and die within a few days. Within 26 miles, every person would be dreadfully burned. The overpressures would be so great that it would popcorn all the windows sending millions of pieces of flying glass into human flesh, causing dreadful lacerations. The heat would be so great that people’s clothes would catch on fire and their eyes would melt. Doctors would be killed and hospitals would be

s n: r e io d d t ke a a Le uc an ed h r h in ut 5t 1 o S By Mark Woodlief, Volume 23 January 25, 1984 Newton South began the fateful 1984 with good news – the school earned a ranking in Parade magazine among the top fifteen public high schools in the nation. Souh was praised for some of its unique programs, including the English-as-asecond-language program, the life-skill center, and the “outstanding” theater arts department. The school’s high percent-

Dec. 1, 1982 Michael Jackson releases “Thriller”, highest selling album of all time

age o f collegebound students was also cited, as well as the nursery school run by the home economics department. The Parade list was greeted with warm, but often confused reaction at South. Many members of the South community “wonder how (the list) was arrived at,” said South Principal Ernest Seasholes. Making this kind of a survey is “not an absolutely precise thing,” Seasholes said. “It’s not a clear thing like an athletic contest. There’s a judgment call involved.” Most people agree being on the list is a positive thing. “It’s a good shot in the arm for morale,” Seasholes remarked. While pleased to be on the

Aug. 1, 1981 MTV launched; Back then they played music and no one knew what a Snooki was

flattened, leaving no one to care for the survivors. Caldicott thinks that fallout shelters are absolutely ridiculous. She says that those who are inside will most likely die of asphyxiation. “It’s like giving a cancer patient an aspirin tablet and saying, “Here—this will cure your cancer!” Even those who survived would not be able to come out for two months without getting a high dose of radiation. Most would die within two weeks from vomiting and bleeding. Anyone still alive would come out to find everything gone— buildings, cars, the world as they know it. Decaying bodies would lie everywhere, and because cockroaches have a high tolerance to radiation, they would be crawling all over the bodies. There would be epidemics of tuberculosis, typhoid, p o l i o , and even the black list, Seasholes claimed the article left out a lot of the other excellent programs South has to offer. “We have a strong Advanced Placement program that kids have done very well in,” Seasholes stated. He mentioned the six-languages-strong Foreign Language Department, Athletics, Enrichment Program, and guidance Department as important offerings left out of the Parade article. Student reaction to the list was mixed. Senior Class President Paul Sherman said, “I was kind of surprised by it. I don’t think [South] is a high-spirited place – a ‘complete’ high school.” Another student quipped, “If South is the best in the country, I’d like to see how bad the rest of the country is.” Sophomore Ilir Topalli was happy over the list. “It was great,” he said. “I’m glad to be at South.”Perry Fergus, a junior, commented, “I love it. That’s a big accomplishment. I think we do pretty good.”

September 29, 1988 - South undergoes renovations. The school received a new roof, paint job, lockers, etc.


Nov. 8, 1982 Students protest lack of NTA contract at city hall.


plague—providing a certain death for anyone who was able to escape the radiation. Caldicott explained that a limited war is not possible. A nuclear war in Europe would spread to other continents within hours; the world would become an “integrated battlefield.” She said that people who say we can recover from a nuclear war are not physicians and are not well informed. The “old men running from Russia and other countries” still think of war as army against army. As Einstein said: “The splitting of an atom has changed everything except the way man thinks.”

1984 The Lion’s Roar founded


South stands firm on nuclear disarmament

analyze the progress of the Ad By Mike Boches, Hoc committees, and attempt Volume 21 to draft a concrete resolution May 26, 1982 On June 12, Newton South regarding disarmament. The goals of the rally are students will join over a million people in New York City in a as diverse as those who atrally for nuclear disarmament. tend it. In Newton, reasons People will be coming from for wanting to go to the rally near and far to participate in are varied. Becca Levy, co-chairman what is expected to be the largof Newton South’s chapter est demonstration in history. It will be held during the of S.T.O.P. (Student, Teacher United Nation’s Second Spe- Organization for the Prevencial Session devoted to Disar- tion of Nuclear War) would and to “show the people who mament, atBy theLaura United Kaufman Nations like Becca Levy, Volume running this country that I Headquarters in Manhattan. The are21 March 17, 1982 re- don’t want to be blown up.” Newton Board of Aldermen “MyJune God! have to get in- believe in spending “I don’t cently declared 12 I“rally volved!” one student’s re- money on nuclear that much at the UN day.” Theywas encourage actiontoafter the fiwhen rst we have so many Newton citizens lendlistening support to arms guest speaker of Nuclearproblems Educa- at home,” says juto the disarmament movement. Helen Caldicott, nior Wendy Bookstein, hopIn 1978, tion due Week, to the Dr. demands famousnations, pediatrician activist to attend the rally. of non-nuclear theanding againstheld nuclear Betsy Subrin, co-ordinator United Nations the arms. First She began her powerful pre- North’s delegation Special Session devoted to of Newton sentation showingto actual New York, hopes the rally Disarmament. This bymeeting footage the devastating “make students aware accomplished threeofthings: it will effects of the bombstodropped that itonis their war.” A studrew international attention and Nagasaki. “Now at Beaver Country Day the questionHiroshima of disarmament, it dent see we’veto literally har-thinks “it will make School created Ad you Hoccan committees nessed the energy thestars, delegates more conscious pursue a comprehensive disar-of the and nowand you’ve seen what hapof the growing world concern mament program, it called pens whensession peopleinare exposed about nuclear war.” for a second special to theupheat the sun—You turnSouth student wants One order to follow theof activities andto “express my growsimply of the first. into steam. You vaporize you just disappear,” ing apprehension about the The second session is ex-commented Dr. Caldicott to the stunned au- problems with nugrowing pected to further international recognitiondience. of disarmament, clear arms.” “And those bombs are mere firecrackers compared to what we have today.” She contrasted the events that took place in 1945 with the possibility of what could happen today. If a 20 megaton bomb (four times the size of all the bombs dropped in World War II) were dropped on Boston, it would dig a hole ¾ mile wide and 800 feet deep; within 6 miles of the center all the people and buildings would be turned into radioactive dust which would float around the hemisphere and drop down as fallout across the globe. Within 20 miles from the cen-

South students walked out of school to protest teachers’ work-to-rule action, forcing negotiations between teachers and school committee to begin.

Ernest van B. Seasholes system. (There had been smaller scale practice of this concept at Meadowbrook Junior High from the mid-1950s.) Newton educators visited Evanston, and a form was planned and partially implemented in the new South. Harold Howe, who was a legendary figure in American education and part of Newton then thought the houses would be independent and autonomous, each would have a House Master, a little principal, students would take all their classes within a smaller grouping of teachers and teachers and masters would really get to know each stud¬¬¬ent as an individual. Well, Howe left for the Ford Foundation, the ideas had a hard time being put into practice, and many aspects sim-

ply couldn’t or didn’t happen. I grew up in a very good public school system, Shaker Heights, near Cleveland, Ohio. It was a three-year place with 750 kids, about 250 in a class. It was a demanding, academically challenging public school. Just to give you an idea of what its graduates were aiming for, in the mid-1950s, my Senior year, 11 were accepted and 11 went to Amherst College, including myself. South has at times been referred to as the “Jewish” high school. Was it, or to what extent has it been? In the early days, the Sixties, for some people it was 110% Jewish. The numbers were less but in that first decade the numbers were well over 50 or 60 percent. It is an important story, part


Nov. 26, 1985 South’s new football stadium opens, named for George Winkler, AD

April 20, 1984 South music students tour and perform in UK

Jan. 25, 1984 - Schoolwide Exodus

SEASHOLES, continued from page A1

50 Years of South A7

15 February 2010

of a much larger and equally important story of American demographics in the 20th century, before and during World War 2. A large group moved out to the south side of Newton from Boston after the war. That fit the stereotypes, and at times was used in very negative ways. Parents would get me to try to say, well, South is much more academic, if their youngsters went to North they might not get this or that. I didn’t see it that way, we had two very good high schools to my mind, each with their strengths.

Oct. 3, 1985 Hurricane Gloria hits much of Newton and North East

By Wendy Meltzer, Volume 25 February 14, 1986 At first glance, Newton South appears to be a normal, wellbalanced high school, with a higher than normal level of academics. Looking deeper, however, it becomes apparent that there is a problem underlying the happy atmosphere of life at South, namely racial issues. The problem may not seem to exist for many members of the South community, but for Guidance Counselor Sandra Alexander, the tension caused by race plays a major part in her everyday life. Part of the problem for Alexander is her double minority role, not just as a black individual, but as a black faculty member at Newton South. According to Alexander, “When I first came here [thirteen years ago], there were three times as many black staff members. The significance of that is important. Because there are so few of us, in this year alone at least seven people have come to me wanting know about black and white dynamics. My role seems to be educator for anyone that wants, anytime they want, on black and white issues. This takes time away from my real job, the counseling of kids. “Faculty members come to me with problems about all METCO students, even though I don’t have their records. They tell me things I don’t have a

By Stacy Modell, Volume 19 February 14, 1980

President Jimmy Carter has proposed a plan calling for the peacetime registration of 18-20 year-old men and women for possible drafting into the armed forces. The registration process is estimated to begin in several months pending the revival of the system and the passage of certain legislation by Congress. Denebola interviewed a cross section of the Senior and Junior Class and several members of the History Department at Newton South on their views on the reinstatement of the draft and their willingness to serve. “I would serve, but I wouldn’t go into combat. I don’t’ think that women are prepared to serve in combat, but women should be drafted if they really want to fight for equal rights. If our country was in jeopardy, I would fight but I don’t know if I’d fight to defend our oil interests.” Jane Freedman, Senior “What has the country done for me that I should go over to Afghanistan or Pakistan to fight?” Tim Hairston, Senior “Without oil, the country wouldn’t run. Yeah, I’d fight for oil. You have to.” Jeff Sugarman, Junior

“The reason for not drafting people over age 26 is that people over that age wouldn’t tolerate it. People over 26 know their rights. They have a sense of self-efficacy they believe that they can affect events. They wouldn’t submit to that kind of authority.” Marshall Cohen, US History Teacher

Marshall Cohen, History Teacher

“If the President wants the draft, let him be the first one to put on a uniform.” Anonymous Senior Boy

Sept. 29, 1988 South has biggest renovation, encompassing all infrastructure

April 16, 1987 South athletic fields renovated

later they said they didn’t want to get involved. It turned out that the teacher had left her money at home, but no one ever apologized to Alexander for making her feel uncomfortable. Instead, she was told she ought to apologize for making the others uncomfortable. Referring to this, Alexander said, “This is what I go through as Students recruit members for the Black Student Union an adult. Now right to know, just because I’m try to think of what the kids go black.” Not all of the problems through. “Teachers tense up when they are student-related issues, however. There are certain things see more than one black kid at that are hard to deal with among once as if they expect a physical the faculty as well. Alexander confrontation. They ask, ‘Why recalls one afternoon in the fac- do they hang out in groups?’ ulty room, when a teacher said and I say, ‘Why not, everyone she had just been robbed of a else does.” Alexander also believes, howlot of money. Then in the same sentence, she said there had ever, that black students aren’t been a group of black students doing all they can to be involved in the room, stereotypically in- in the school. “There are a large sinuating that a black student number of minority students in Curriculum Two classes. By the had stolen the money. Alexander couldn’t believe law of averages, seventy-five that none of the other faculty percent or so shouldn’t be there. members present came to her There should be a normal bell defense; when she asked them curve. The problem is complex.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire

Jan. 12, 1989 Varsity Cheerleading team competes in national competition

Jan. 11, 1988 Newton celebrates 300th birthday


Post-highschool draft:

Web Exclusive - For Dr. Seasholes’ complete interview, visit:


Sept. 4, 1986 South students depart for Beijing, first student exchange to China of any public school

Nov. 9, 1989 Fall of Berlin wall


Placement begins in junior high. I don’t know what happens there, whether because of peer groups or the transition, they [the black students] may be let run undisciplined. People don’t want to confront them. When the kids come here, many are misplaced and they have some anti-social behaviors. They are used to getting away with murder. “The teachers [of the Curriculum Two classes] feel that the seven or so blacks are a preset group, and the energy that goes into discipline is horrid. The kids who don’t belong get bored, need excitement, disrupt the class, start skipping… that is really sad.” This problem is especially sad for Alexander, who believes that the black students can do more than they are doing. “The image they project with music and other things really bothers me personally,” she said. “I expect more than less. I know there is racism, but they can survive and be creative because others have done it before them. When I see kids barely getting out with low deciles and no college plans, or dropping out, or doing just enough to be eligible for a sport, that bothers me. There are people who look at that and ask what is the point of having a METCO program? They just assume that all the kids are METCO and that there is no black population in Newton.”


te n


Ra si pr c sc on ej e h u u oo nd d l e ic

While concerned about the black students in the school, Alexander herself remains a victim of racism at South. “People assume I have no college education. I have to prove myself over and over. In a white setting (like South) I am always on guard. It is very stressful, especially added to the normal stress in working. I need to relax, but I can’t do that. I can’t change rules because everywhere I go I’m a minority. Because of that, I live in a predominantly black neighborhood. That has its problems, but at least there I’m not a minority.” Although surrounded by all this pressure and sometimes hostility, Alexander manages to remain cheerful. She explained this by saying, “Fortunately, I love my job, so amidst the hassle and

li rl e fe ie : s struggle to survive in a community where survival is obviously not for me, I’m hanging in.” She also said, sadly, however, “The minority talent in this school is unbelievable, but it is not being tapped. There could be a cultural exchange here and there isn’t.”

de D an L r ci a d aw si ft O on ,h r im aze de pa lw r ct o : o so d ut h

By Eric Zaff, Volume 27 February 12, 1988 The Supreme Court ruled last month that school officials have the right to censor school newspapers. The decision passed by a five to three vote with the court deciding that the school administration can remove subject matter from school publication. The case was filed when the principal of the Hazelwood East High School in Hazelwood, Missouri, Robert Reynolds, pulled two pages from the school’s newspaper, The Spectrum, because he found the pages that contained articles on teenage pregnancy to be “inappropriate and unsuitable.” The lower courts ruled in favor of the students, citing the First Amendment, but the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment did not apply in this situation because it was a school-sponsored newspaper. In defending the decision, Justice Byron R. White said, “A school need not tolerate student speech that is inconsistent with its basic educational mission, even though the government could not censor similar speech outside the school.” But this decision has met much opposition. “I think it’s a step in the wrong direction as far as overall students’ rights are concerned,” Denebola editor-in-chief Tim Proskauer said. “I think it’s an ominous decision,” Denebola staff advisor, Hal Mason, said. “I think it has the potential to be extremely damaging to students’ freedom of expression. I find the Supreme Court’s decision flawed for several reasons. One, it is too vague in its definition of what inap-

propriate speech is… And, most importantly, it ruled that the mere fact that a student voiced an opinion and viewpoint different from that of the school board and principal was reasonable grounds to censor the free expression of students in school newspapers.” “I certainly do not like the ruling,” Lion’s Roar editor-inchief Adam Peller said. “I think it is dangerous because it gives the administration unlimited power.” In response to Justice White’s defense, Peller said, “Just what is this educational mission? Isn’t it to introduce students to a free democratic society? “As Justice Brennan said, ‘to teach youth to respect the diversity of ideas that is fundamental to the American system.’ If so, why should a principal have the right to restrict students’ freedom based on his personal views?” “I disagree with the ruling,” Principal E. Van Seasholes said, “because it’s a further infringement on First Amendment rights, and I feel that students need to learn about government by exercising these rights.” But not everybody is against the ruling. “I think the ruling was correct,” Lion’s Roar editor-in-chief

Scott Persky said, “because the school is liable as the publisher of the paper and should be able to decide what they want to restrict just like a real newspaper’s publisher has the right to restrict what is written.” But it is the consensus at South that Seasholes will not exercise his right to censor the school newspapers. “I do not believe that Mr. Seasholes would censor the papers,” Denebola editor-inchief Jeff Wishnie said. Seasholes intends not to let the students down. “I feel we’ve operated very well where the student editor worked with an advisor, and that is what we have done. I’ve made it a practice not to read [the paper] before it is printed because it is the natural tendency to think of the school newspaper as a public relations document, especially since it is sent home,” he said.


50 Years of South A8



Dec. 26, 1991 USSR dissolves into multiple nations

Dec. 1990 World Wide Web launched

Aug. 2, 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait, US involved later

March 3, 1991 Rodney King beating in LA


15 February 2011


Dec. 1992 South has its first BGLAD day

April 1992 Robert Parlin forms America’s first GSA at South


Nov. 24, 1994 Newton elects first democratic mayor

March 9, 1993 Wellesley alumni speak on gender inequality at South

War resounds in students’ lives, spurs thought and action

Senior student heads off to war By Sam Lanckton, Volume 30 February 14, 1991 As Newton South students learn more about the horrors of war, concerns about a mandatory draft begin to lurk in the minds of many. One Newton senior, however, doesn’t have to worry about the draft. In December, John Freedland enlisted in the army. E will be a paratrooper. He will learn how to jump out of a plane. He will learn how to maneuver in the desert. He will learn how to kill. His skills will serve him well. Odds are Freedland will be going to Saudi Arabia in four and a half months. Soldiers are often thought to be vicious people, bloodthirsty.

Freedland wished to make very clear that he was not joining the Army to e some sort of vigilante. “I don’t want to kill anybody,” Freedland said. “Tough I suppose I’ll probably have to, seeing as they’re going to try to kill me…I don’t want anybody thinking I’m a psycho or something.” Freedland did not enlist because of the events of the past six months. He made up his mind to join the army before Saddam Hussein’s name was burned in our national consciousness. He decided to enlist at the end of junior year, feeling he didn’t want to go to college just yet. “I didn’t really feel ready for

Women, like this Newton resident, played a critical role in the 1990’s military.

Newton Schools violate civil rights By Rebecca Wand, Volume 31 May 16, 1991 The United States Office of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued its Letter of Findings on Monday, thus closing its investigation of the Newton Public Schools, which found three civil rights violations concerning special education. A parent of several special needs students filed 10 allegations with OCR on June 14, 1990. The complaint alleged that the Newton Schools discriminated against handicapped students in violation of Federal law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-112). This law protects handicapped students from discrimination and ensures they will not be denied a “free and appropriate public education” (FAPE). This education must meet the needs of special education students, as well as the needs of non-handicapped students. The OCR investigated the matter and found the Newton Schools to be in violation in three matters: 1) the relocation of substantially separate classrooms for students with special needs in order to accommodate non-handicapped students due to increased enrollment and lack of space, 2) the grading of handicapped students differently from nonhandicapped students, and 3) the limiting of opportunities for students with learning

disabilities to participate in advanced courses. On March 25, the School Committee voted to adopt the policies correcting the violations cited, and sent them to the OCR, which approved the policies. The Newton Schools disseminated the policies to all administrators, teachers, counselors, specialists, and to the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) for Special Education, and submitted documentation of this. The Schools will continue to be monitored by the OCR. The Letter of Findings states that “based upon this agreement, the District is presently fulfilling its obligations.” According to administrators, the absence of formal policies in the areas of violation caused staff to be unclear on exactly how to comply with the federal law, Chapter 504, and Chapter 766, a state law. “We needed to reaffirm our practice in the form of a policy and to clearly communicate that policy to all staff members so that everyone is fully aware of the appropriate procedure,” Assistant Superintendent of Special Needs Phil Reddy said. “We need to better educate the teachers and help them to have a better understanding. We have to keep disseminating information to all teachers and all staff so they understand the rules and requirements of the law,” Director of Special Education for secondary schools Valerie Ardi said.

college, so I figure I’d join up to see what the army was like. I’ll serve for two years…and after that I can re-up (re-enlist) if I want to.” Freedland will indeed go to college, however, and unlike most South graduates he will be financing his college education himself. Seventy-five percent of his tuition will be picked up by the GI Bill. This was one of the reasons Freedland joined. He didn’t want his parents to have to supply the funds for college. His father served in the Army when our country was embroiled in the Vietnam War. Mr. Freedland was stationed in Germany between 1967 and 1969, a member of the 8th Mechanized Infantry, Freedland’s service in the Army did not, however, affect his son’s decision to join. “It was entirely my idea,” Freedland said. “Once I made up my mind, my father was very supportive, going with me to the recruitment office, but it was my idea.” Freedland is no warmonger. He sees the military not primarily as a war machine but as a deterrent from fighting wars, and incentive to solve problems peacefully. While he made clear that he supports the troops completely, and that, as it is his dutym he supports the war as well., he still wishes that this problem and all problems could “just be solved peacefully.”

Students inflamed by IsraeliPalestinian debates

By Penny Vlagopolous, Volume 31 April 11, 1991 Newton South made history on Thursday, March 14. A major portion of the regular school day was pre-empted so that students and faculty could attend various assemblies and workshops about the situation in the Middle East.One of the largest and most exciting presentations was the debate between Attorney Richard Fraiman, who lived in Israel for eight years, and Professor Nadhim Rouhana, a Palestinian. “The Israeli-Palestinian assembly was interesting because all the fighting caught my attention,” sophomore Rena Shief said. Freshman Adam Shamus was taken aback by all the commotion. “I was pretty amazed and shocked that they were all talking [so passionately] in front of us. It was my favorite period of the day because it was so aggressive.” Some students felt the assembly made things more confusing than before.“The assembly was interesting, but it didn’t really give us a chance to explore the issue. Since both speakers were on such extreme sides, there was no room for working out a compromise,” junior Meri Kropp said. Many agree that a follow-up discussion is necessary. After the Israeli-Palestinian, debate

one teacher began arguing with Fraiman in the auditorium for the entire next block. Because of the large Jewish population in the audience, Fraiman’s comments were often followed with applause as opposed to the one or two times Rouhana’s were. At one point a student stood up and screamed his support for Israel, his homeland. Although the students were the ones participating in the applause, many were ashamed of some students

“We really need less hostility and more understanding, and this indeed was a positive step.” - South student reactions. “I felt bad for the Palestinian. People couldn’t understand him very well and they didn’t really give him a chance to share his thoughts. He deserved [to speak] because he had a lot of courage coming to speak in a community with so many Jewish students,” senior Michelle Arroyo said. “I felt the Palestinian held his ground very well despite the hostile environment. Of course Fraiman did not help with the way he egged on the mostly

Jewish audience,” senior Dimitri Koureta said. Once the assembly was over and audience members cooled their pro-Israel feelings, their thoughts towards the Palestinian and his ideas seemed to change.“Fraiman was full of proaganda, much more than Rouhana. He was comparing what American went through in the Iraqi was to what Israel went through to get affection, and this was wrong,” senior Asaf Mann said. “I spoke with Rouhana afterwards. He agreed that most of the Palestinians throw stones and perform such acts, but he himself is definitely for negotiation between the Israelis and the Palestinians.” The assembly was a huge success in the eyes of most students. One student concluded, “We really need less hostility and more understanding, and this indeed was a positive step.”

Parlin, Brandeis students lead South discussion on overcoming homophobia

Dec. 23, 1992 - On a separate occasion, representative Barney Frank discusses gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues with a recently formed GSA.

Volume 32 December 23, 1992 “I almost cried when I heard their stories,” one freshman said. “It must be really scary thinking that there is something wrong with you, being different than everyone else.” Such were the responses to a South presentation by an organization of Brandeis students, TRISCALION, a gay, lesbian, and bisexual group. They discussed their denial and fear upon realizing they were gay, and their college experiences. Although they usually only visit college campuses, the group agreed to visit Newton South, realizing the importance of educating people of all ages about gay issues. “I was nervous about coming to a high school because I remembered my own high school and my negative experiences with the students. In high school, there’s a sense of insecurity about homosexuality and its generally hard to

address the subject and lead an ing up, he thought that all gay intelligent discussion,” one of people had weak wrists, lisps, the Brandeis students said. and wore dresses. That was After the group, history teach- how they were portrayed on er Robert Parlin led an assembly television. in which he discussed the issue Parlin also shared that as of homophobia. He stressed a student, he thought God that homophobia really isn’t the was testing him, that if he igright word nored his feelbecause it “ I haven’t just come ings he would implies an be saved. innate fear. to grips with my life, I He told of People are how he joined love it.” not born ho- Robert Parlin, t h e f o o t b a l l mophobic, team, went out History Teacher with girls, and he stressed, like one became Class can be born afraid of heights. President, trying to distance Rather, homophobia is taught, himself from his true feelings it is an acquired hatred. and to fit in. Parlin also dressed the ques“When I left high school, tion of whether homosexuality I was a shell of a person. I is a “choice.” didn’t know who I was, I was “Who would choose to be just everyone else’s image gay? Who would choose to lead of what I should have been,” the life of a minority, the life of Parlin said. discrimination, abuse, and op“Now I have come to recogpression?” Parlin questioned. nize who I am and I am proud He talked about his own of what I have found. I haven’t personal experiences. Grow- just come to grips with my life,

I love it.” When a student asked if he could have chosen to be a homosexual would he have, he replied, “Obviously when I was a kid I would have chosen to be just like everyone else; I don’t see why anyone would want to have to deal with the problems. But now that I have accepted my life I wouldn’t change. We as a society need to value differences; people should be proud of the ways in which they are unique.” “The discussion was very personal and I think that having Mr. Parlin speak to us, as someone who we know and see everyday, was much more effective than any statis or other description of homosexualiy could be,” senior Sophie Lefkowitz said. Only seven states have gay rights bills which grant homosexuals protection by law. Massachusetsts has only had a Gay Rights Bill for seventeen years.


15 February 2011




Affirmative Action: Thoughts Volume 35 June 8, 1995 “Affirmative action opens the door to get people in. The diversity piece—how people interact, the environment—overlays on top of the affirmative action piece… you won’t succeed at one without doing the other.” - Digital Equipment Corporation Diversity Merger “‘Reverse racism’ is a cogent description of affirmative action only if one considers the cancer of racism to be morally and medically indistinguishable from the [chemotherapy] we apply to it.” - Stanley Fish, Atlantic Monthly “We must not approach the enforcement of this law in a vengeful spirit. Its purpose is not to punish. Its purpose is to promote a more abiding commitment to freedom, a more constant pursuit of justice, and a deeper respect for human dignity.” - Lyndon B. Johnson, former president “I never liked the idea of lowering standards for anyone. That won’t help black students, to let them in and let them fail. What we need to do is improve the inner city schools from which these kids come so they won’t be disadvantaged and so they won’t score lower on tests.” - Keeana Saxon, senior “To say that the Newton schools are ‘committed to affirmative action’ is an ignorant statement. We should have been working on this for thirty years, and the numbers speak for themselves.” - Louis McDavid, junior “You should get into school based on how you do, not because of your race. We’ve got to leave past discrimination in the past.” - Jamel Green, senior

April 17, 1998 $2.3 million science lab construction begins

Sept. 9, 1997 Oak Hill Middle opens

Oct. 16, 1995 Million Man March

April 19, 1995 Timothy McVeigh bombs gov. building in Oklahoma City

50 Years of South A9

Sept. 30, 1996 Principal Seasholes retires after 25 years, succeeded by Roberta Dollase

Jan. 17, 1998 Bill Clinton / Monica Lewinsky scandal



April 20, 1999 Columbine High School massacre

Sept. 4, 1998 Google founded and launched

Congressman Frank says “legalize it”

By Gabriel L. Nadel, Volume 35 March 17, 1995 Newton’s congressman Barney Frank startled many upon revealing his stance on marijuana legalization, on a Fall River talk show. Frank’s views, which he claims were public knowledge prior to the show, certainly were new to many. “It was a slow news day, and someone from the [Associated Press] got a hold of it, and it went on the wire. It wasn’t a secret, that’s just how the press works sometime,” Steven Robinson, of Frank’s Newton office said. Frank’s stand had been published repeatedly prior to the Fall River incident. In the May 22 Boston Globe, Frank argued against Clinton’s director of drug control policy, Lee Brown, making very clear his desire for a change in America’s drug policy. Frank emphasized the potential benefits of marijuana legalization.The change Frank advocates is not for complete legalization. Frank proposes that citizens over the age of twenty-one should be permitted to smoke marijuana in private and to carry small amounts for “friendly transactions.” Frank does not, however, condone the use of marijuana. “I think smoking pot is stupid, I think smoking cigarettes

is stupid, but just because something is stupid doesn’t mean it should be illegal. If we outlawed everything that is stupid, we would live in a very oppressive society,” Frank said. The sincerity of his condemnation of marijuana use has come under fire in many newspapers, including the February Newton Graphic. A cartoonist depicted

tion “might increase the pot consumption of adults.” He believes the money saved from policing importation could be used for treatment and prevention. Junior Dan Corsetti agreed, “Nobody doesn’t smoke pot because it is illegal, if it is legalized there won’t be any noticeable increase in use. And

Frank as a jolly man with a smoking joint in one hand and a lighter in the other. Frank sports a shirt that says “Pot smoking OK over 21!” This cartoon was placed next to a drawing of “Barney the Dinosaur.” The two were headed “Barney for Kids” and “Barney for Adults”; the dinosaur was saying ‘Hi!’ and the Congressman was saying ‘High!’. Frank admits that legaliza-

besides, by the time someone is twenty-one, they made up their mind [on the issue of smoking marijuana].” Most South students are in general agreement with Frank’s proposal, but the opposition is evident and extremely vocal as well. ‘If you legalize drugs you are going to have more people doing stupid [stuff] like driving stoned, and then you are

endangering people, other than the [users],” one anonymous senior said. A parent said, ‘Pot by itself isn’t so bad, but when you allow [marijuana], you are indirectly pushing people to try new and [more dangerous] drugs.” Frank addressed this common rationale by stating that “marijuana-cocaine-heroin is not unconditional.” On a national level Frank drew praise from The National Organization for the Legalization of Marijuana. Boston Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) public relations officer Jack Kelly reiterated the steadfast advance of the DEA. “The DEA is unequivocally against the legalization of illicit drugs,” Kelly said. Recently, there has been a growing tide of legalization sentiment in the Newton and greater community. “Frank is just the latest in a growing list of public officials who want marijuana decriminalized,” Christopher Walsh of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition said. “It’s about time someone stepped up and spoke publicly for legalization. I believe that plenty of politicians want in their hearts legalization, but are afraid of what it will do to their image,” one South freshman said.

Michael J. Welch - Newton South Principal - 2000-2005

WELCH, continued from page A1

a way, it’s a kind of badge of honor,’ Welch says, smiling. More importantly, he had to try to close the gap between adults and students. ‘I felt that kids were disconnected from school,’ he admitted, thinking of the progress South has made

in that respect. *** …while he may be more strict than many in the South community perceive, he is also better able to let loose when away from work. ‘I’m a lot more fun than I can show. Being a principal means you can’t

always be exactly who you are. You have to have some level of moral authority and presence,’ Welch said. He expressed how uncomfortable it sometimes is for him to know that he must carry himself as a dignitary much of the time.

Feminism: revisited

Female student recognizes reemergence

By Audrey Hong, Volume 34 February 17, 1995 It happened in the 1920’s, when women fought for suffrage. It happedened in the 60’s, with Betty Friedan and the Feminine Mystique. And it may be happening again right now. A third wve of feminism seems to have begun, fueled by Generation X’s renewed desire for the empowerment of omen and men, together. The growth of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the myriad of rallies and protests surrounding the issues of abortion are results of and vehicle for this surge of women’s rights, on a state and national level. The development of Students Advocating Gender Equality (SAGE), the implementation of a twelve week pilot program focusing on feminism in literature in history, and future enrichment programs on family planning and reproductive choices attest to the feminist surge here at South. While the sparks for these flames of feminism remain unidentified, some attribute this newfound interest and awareness to the shifts of power in the national political scene. SAGE president Shirley Zilberstein cited “the Republican

stronghold in government” as the major factor disturbing the sense of peace and safety that women have enjoyed with a liberal, left-winged leadership. “The newly acquired power to the Republican party challenges our future and threatens our safety. Many women and men fear we will return to a pre-Roe v. Wade status with regard to abortion,” Zilberstein explained. While SAGE is the first student club to address feminist issues, for several years South has recognized the importance of focusing on gender equality. In the past, the Faculty Committee for the Respect of Human Differences (CRHD) has been a forum for discussing issues of race, sexuality, and sexual orientation and how they affect life in the class-

Welch, with his healthy sense of humor, downplays the presumed superiority of a principal: ‘Who am I? I’m just a guy who was a teacher who now suddenly is calling the shots here. I’m no better than any teacher in this building…’

room. Two years ago, gender equality surfaced as an item of CRHD attention: however, the committee was distracted by last year’s New England Accreditation process and this year’s stalemate in the contract negotiations. The committee has yet to meet this year. While momentum from the committee’s discussions may have been lost, teaches have still expressed interest in participating in the new women’s studies course to begin this winter. “I have received much encouragement from the female faculty, who have offered their assistance. The many generations of women and men will provide age perspective that will benefit all,” History Department Head Roberta Dollase said.

‘This principal job was a lot harder than [the military pattern of decision-making].’ The community itself proved to be one in Welch had to compromise his favored style of taking quick action and making bold decisions. ‘In Newton, it’s a lot of lobbying

and arguing your point, trying to change decisions that have been made. I realized you had to go around and around, and talk and talk and talk, to make sure everybody is aware of what you’re thinking. And I found that frustrating, but that’s just the way it is.’

Male: feminism tramples men’s rights

By Andy Kirshenbaum, Volume 37 March 21, 1997 There are a lot of smart women in our world who are of equal or superior intelligence to men. The Feminist movement in American has shown exactly how much influence women really have in today’s society. Everyone, however sexist they may be, must admit that women are as intelligent as men. But the situation was not always this stable and, until recently, women were not viewed as equals to men. Women fought in the 1960s for equal rights and their efforts reaped many rewards. A great deal of progress was made through protests, marches and other methods, and these women helped to ensure a more fair world with more opportunities for the women of today. I strongly support the Women’s movement and its ideas and in no way want to criticize the integrity of the movement. However, I feel that the granting of more rights to women has come at an unnecessary cost to men. In a recent study of middle school and high school students, girls were found to linger behind boys in math and science because males inherently have a more aggressive nature

than females. In addition, the study also revealed that males tend to fall behind females in English and writing. The responses to this study in newspapers have completely focused on the deficiencies of girls, while ignoring the problems of males. Even though the problems of both sexes have been documented, society’s concerns have only focused on females, suggesting America’s failure in truly trying to balance the equality of the sexes. We stress the importance of offering girls the same opportunities that we offer boys, en-

couraging them to play sports and strive for positions of power. However, if a boy participates in activities considered to be female activities, such a dancing, cooking and playing with Barbie dolls, he is automatically labeled a “sissy.” The same men and women who fought valiantly for equality in the sixties and seventies are now promoting sexist beliefs on what is socially acceptable according to gender. As we continue to fight for women’s rights, we must now begin to fight for the rights of men as well.


50 Years of South A10


April 2000 First Tertulia performance

Jan. 1, 2000 A new millenium

Feb. 16, 2001 Michael Welch named principal Jan. 20, 2001 George W. Bush inaugurated


15 February 2011


May 1, 2003 US officially invades Iraq

Sept. 11, 2001 Terrorists attackWorld Trade Centers, Pentagon

April 27, 2001 Tragic bus crash kills four members of Oak Hill band, injuring more



2004 Denebola begins printing Broad Sheet Color

Sept. 30, 2004 Construction begins on latest South renovations

11 September 2001 — 8:48 am By Adi Nochur, Volume 41 September 28, 2001 On September 11, 2001, three hijacked airplanes smashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing thousands of civilians and shattering a nation’s confidence. This tragic terrorist attack has profoundly affected the American people. Individuals all over the U.S. have reacted to the attacks in many different ways, and the Newton South community is no exception. Once news of the attack broke, South Principal Michael Welch made announcements over the school’s public address system every hour with updates about the situation in New York and Washington. Welch urged students to stay in their classrooms with their teachers or with a trusted adult and while all afterschool activities were canceled, the day’s schedule continued as normal. “I did not want to hold large assemblies because there is a certain contagious hysteria that occurs [at such gatherings],” Welch said, “I’d rather that teachers and students discuss [the tragedy] in small groups.” Welch’s current challenge as a principal is to formulate a response plan that meets the interests of the entire South community. The tragedy has

had a profound emotional effect on many South students and teachers, and different people are dealing with the tragedy in many different ways. “I’m struggling to find the best way to respond to their needs of the whole community,” Welch said. For now, Welch is planning several optional forums about the tragedy in the coming weeks. These forums are particularly aimed at South students, who internally are dealing with a wide range of emotions ranging from sadness and confusion to anger and disgust. Many suddenly felt insecure and vulnerable upon hearing about the attacks, knowing that they had taken place so close to home. Such emotions will persist as the terrorist saga continues to unfold. Some students were scared and distressed when they learned about the tragedy. “I felt as if my personal safety was in jeopardy,” junior Bryan Young said. “It was very disturbing witnessing an American symbol of defense being partially destroyed.” Others felt disbelief and shock. “I’ve found it difficult to comprehend the scope of the attacks. After growing up in a period of high economic prosperity and stability, it’s tough to accept that the U.S. is going to war,” junior David Tannenwald said.

“This riddle in steel and stone is at once the perfect target and perfect demonstration of nonviolence, of racial brotherhood, this lofty target scraping the skies and meeting the destroying planes halfway, home of all the people and all nations.” Junior Joel Sher shared these emotions. “I was shocked at how fast the news spread, but [the tragedy] didn’t really hit me until I got home and saw my mom watching TV and wiping her eyes,” Esher said. “Since then it’s been scary.”

The attacks have also affected South teachers, many of whom have some sort of personal connection to the tragedy, according to Welch. “All the adults in the building are taking this very hard,” history teacher Bob Parlin said. “Some of us are sad, some are angry,

and some are struggling to understand what happened.” South teachers are also finding themselves in a somewhat uncomfortable position as mediators for class discussions about the attacks. “I haven’t found students to have a difficult time expressing themselves, but I am trying to be sensitive to the wide variety of personal backgrounds that students possess,” Parlin said. Welch was quick to respond to the attacks. At 7 a.m. on the morning of September 12, he called a mandatory meeting of all school faculty and staff. “We met to discuss how to communicate factually and in a supportive manner what currently happening, “ South enrichment officer and crisis team member Donna Gordon said.“Last spring we learned a lot from psychologists who deal with trauma, and we used those strategies to create a supportive, helpful climate.” As another part of the South response, Welch oversaw a student-led forum in the auditorium during J-block on September 1. At this gather, students shared their thoughts with their peers and suggested many ways for the Newton community to get involved with issues surrounding the tragedy, from creating a memorial to planning fundraisers for the victims’ families. The following Monday, Sep-

tember 17, the Peace in the Middle East club held a J-block forum in the lecture hall. This discussion was more intimate and focused on politics and opinions rather than ways to commemorate the tragedy. While the students at the meeting agreed that action had to be taken against the terrorists, they were in a moral quandary about how the U.S. should react. However, most thought that a full-scale war against Afghanistan was not a good solution to the problem of terrorism. Sophomore Kyle Brodie shared this opinion. “One of the key things is that we have justice, not retaliation,” Brodie said. “We’ve begun to declare war against Afghanistan, and Afghanistan has declared war on Pakistan because [Pakistan is] supporting the U.S. This is the kind of thing that got the other two World Wars started. That scares me, and that’s why I think it’s important that we do our best to keep peace.” While many people take different stances on the terrorist strikes, most Americans agree that their general attitude towards life has greatly changed in the wake of the tragedies in New York and Washington. As the American people continue to try and make sense of the attacks, the healing process will take a long time for the Newton South community and the rest of the United States.

By Nate Randall, Volume 41 October 26, 2001 Since the tragic events on September 11, people in our community, as well as people in most communities around the country, have been making valiant efforts to help people whom the terrorist attacks greatly affected. Walking around the city one can find lemonade stands, garage sales, yard sales, car washes, and many other fund-raisers, all of which benefit institutions such as the American Red Cross.

It is amazing to see a fiveyear-old devoting time to the lemonade stand when they could be participating in the endless list of activities that a five year old normally does. Even at South, people are making their best effort to help. There are Turnaround bake sales every Friday and information about blood drives posted on doors and bulletin boards. While our community may not be able to stop terrorism, we are doing everything in our capability to help the people who need assistance the most.

“You can’t go global now”

Superintendent Jeffrey Young cancelled all international trips planned for the entire 2001-2002 school year.

By Emily Concannon, Volume 41 October 26, 2001 Not global now. Like many other schools, public and private, Newton Public School students and teachers will have to stick closer to home for the foreseeable future. In past years, Newton South students have been able to extensively visit the greater world through school trips. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, the 2001-2002 school year will be decidedly different according to Newton Superintendent Jeffery Young. In a recent memo to Newton principals and staff, Dr. Young announced that until further notice no school-sponsored trips outside America would be allowed, and all trips or excursions would be subject to prior review,

Though national and international excursions have long been highly anticipated events at South, major trips to China, Italy and Prague have been cancelled, along with other, smaller trips. Noting he was following a U.S. State Department advisory, Dr. Young explained his decision. The Oak Hill bus tragedy of last spring added an additional dimension of concern, prompting review of travel on weekends and evenings. Young and associate superintendent, Dr. James Marini, now must approve detailed itineraries of all field trips traveling between the hours of midnight and six a.m., at least two weeks in advance of departure. “Trips within Massachusetts will proceed as planned. Outof-state trips, or trips requiring overnight travel, must receive

my prior approval,” Young said. “The overall purpose o the policy is to keep American students out of planes, away from important landmarks and close to home.” Furthermore, Young reserves the right to cancel any field tip (both within Massachusetts and to other states) at any time prior to departure. There is much disappointment around South about the cancellation of the trips overseas. However, most students and teachers seem to understand the risks. “The U.S. Department of State has issued travel advisories for Americans going overseas. Clearly, the main concern is that Americans may become targets of those with terrorism in their minds. More and more districts are following the same policy,” Young said.

Some confusion at South existed about whether previously planned trips to Mexico and Canada will be allowed. In response, Young has confirmed that there will be no trips anywhere outside of the United States. Young hopes that his decision will relieve parents of personal anxiety over whether or not they feel comfortable allowing their kids to journey overseas with school groups. Many parents will be grateful that they do not have to face such a difficult decision regarding the safety of their children. Young felt it necessary to put the policy into effect immediately, so that no more time or effort went into planning. For organizers, it is a demanding task to plan overseas trips for large groups of teenagers and much time has already been spent planning South trips abroad. Officials hope that by the 2002-2003 school year the trips can resume. The South chorus had hoped to travel to Italy later in the year. “A lot of detail had gone into the planning and into an additional curriculum about Italy,” choral director Ben Youngman said. Nevertheless, Youngman and the choral students support Young’s decision to cancel the trip. “When I first found out about the trip, I was so excited. Now I feel disappointed, but I understand why he superintendent thought it unsafe for us to go,” sophomore Ava Shapiro said. Choral student Vered Tomlak agrees.


15 February 2011

2005 Aug. 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina hits Gulf Coast


Nov. 13, 2005 NEASC visits South; succesful accreditation


Dec. 2007 Official beginning of the Recession of 2007

Feb. 2006 Salzer appointed Principal


Dec. 2007 Denebola discovers secret cameras

Community comes together for Darfur By Rebecca Goldstein and Kyra Jae Shishko, Volume 46 February 16, 2007 More than 1,000 people attended the State Radio Darfur Benefit Concert on February 8 in order to raise money for the victims of the Darfur genocide. The local South chapter of the Student Anti-Genocide Coalition (STAND) has worked to provide relief and spread awareness of the effects of genocide, particularly in Darfur. Political conflict and corruption in the region has resulted in the suffering, death, and displacement of millions of Sudanese. “We raised over $20,000 and got the message out to over 1,000 people,” senior and STAND activist Abby Kaplan said. The club routinely holds awareness days in an effort to raise money, and after months of planning, their dream of a large-scale fundraiser became a reality. “I’m very excited. It’s the first time that South has done anything like this, and we’ve been putting a lot of effort and work into making the concert the best it can be,” junior and active STAND member Ki Takenaka said.

50 Years of South A11

The organizers will donate all the ticket proceeds to the Genocide Prevention Network and the Save the Children Foundation. Takenaka met former lead singer of the well-known band Dispatch and current State Radio frontman Chad Urmston at a Darfur Rally this past fall, but had not realized the amazing connections that existed between Urmston and STAND. “Our [advisor], Dave McCoy, went to high school with Chad,” Takenaka said. “We wanted to not only raise humanitarian aid but also to raise awareness of genocide in Darfur. We realized then that we could possibly collaborate with [Urmston].” Local South band Interruption and The McCoy Brothers opened the concert . As soon as the music started to play, the crowd was energized. State Radio’s music, a blend of reggae and rock, made the crowd go crazy. “Some kid was surfing on the crowd…and then they just kind of dropped him,” a nearby boy said laughing. The members of STAND gave speeches before State Radio played to highlight what young people can contribute to making a difference in the wider world. This conveyed

that the event was not an ordinary concert, but an instrument of social change. The spirit of peaceful activism was somewhat tempered by the presence of protesters who believe that the situation in Sudan is merely a violent civil war. They assert that the idea of the Sudanese government committing genocide against its own people is a propaganda campaign supported by pro-Israel groups looking to dominate the Middle East and North Africa. “My view is that the US has been attacking Sudan for 15 years,” protester David Rolde said. “There was a pro-war concert going on at Newton South, and that’s why we went.” Junior STAND member and event organizer avid Fisher was not pleased with their presence. “We’ve actually run into each other twice before; this was the third time I’d encountered them,” he said. “I believe they are sick people who do not understand the nature of activism – they’re incredible offensive.” Overall, however, Fisher thought the concert was a success. “It was amazing beyond words,” he said, “It was spectacular, cool beyond belief.”

Jan. 20, 2009 Barack Obama inaugurated


June 2009 Official end of recession

Dec. 30, 2009 South hosts get up tour

Dec. 2010, Lunch program outsourced


Warren claims historic victory By Adam Goldstein and Ramya Ramadurai, Volume 49 November 25, 2009 Mayor-elect Setti Warren won a tight election on November 3 with help and support from students, and looks forward to instituting educational reforms in the upcoming year. Warren hopes to improve the Newton Public School system by decreasing class sizes, increasing the environmental friendliness of the buildings, and devoting more hours to

the professional development of teachers. “We need to make sure we can find and keep the most qualified teachers in the classroom,” he said. In an attempt to protect the environment, Warren plans to institute a policy that increases the amount of reusable bottles used within the schools. Warren also wants to ensure that the school buildings match the city’s high educational standards. “[Some] buildings are deteriorating and are not conducive

to learning,” he said. Given the budget restrictions in the city, Warren intends to find new ways in which to finance the city and education, such as creating partnerships with nonprofit organizations like Boston College, Mount Ida College, and Lasell College. Warren intends to promote a budgeting approach that would comprehensively view the expenditures of all city departments and attempt to find areas in the city where money can be saved.

Secret Cameras Installed

Principal Joel Stembridge STEMBRIDGE, continued from page A1

more, and second, I will continue to listen. If every person here commits to acting in one of these ways three times each day (that is 6,000 individual acts each day; 1,080,000 acts for the year), we could powerfully transform South into a school that we could confidently say -- we love. So...THIS I BELIEVE: It is our responsibility - yours and mine and no one else’s - to transform South into a school where we can honestly proclaim... WE LOVE OUR SCHOOL. Thank you, Newton South, for the privilege of being your principal.

By Jason Kuo and Nathan Yeo, Volume 47 December 19, 2007 Without notifying the public, administrators in the Newton Public Schools installed five security cameras at Newton South at the beginning of the 2007 school year. According to Principal Brian Salzer, the Newton Public Schools installed the cameras in response to an increase of vandalism and theft last year, in which several boy’s bathrooms were vandalized and items were stolen from locker rooms. The cameras are not yet operational, and Salzer is unsure when the installation will be completed. Technicians recently installed software that would allow his computer to view the camera footage from the past 31 days. Two cameras are located near the locker rooms and are enclosed in black translucent domes. Three others are in halls around the school and are disguised as smoke detectors. They have clear views of bathrooms that school administrators believe are at most risk of vandalism.If a bathroom is vandalized, Salzer could access footage on his computer from one of the three cameras pointed at bathrooms around the school. Similarly, if there is an incident of theft in the locker room, he can review footage from the two cameras outside of the locker rooms. According to Salzer, only he, Superintendent Jeff Young, Director of Public Facilities Mike Cronin, and a small security team were aware of the cameras. They did not inform faculty members, and the Newton Fire

and Police Departments are not involved in their operations. “It’s just us trying to keep the school safe for you, Salzer said. Young and Cronin declined to comment. The School Committee was not informed beforehand of the decision to install the cameras. A few committee members, including Chair Dori Zaleznik and Vice-Chair Marc Laredo, only recently learned of the decision. Contacted by Denebola, they declined to comment until

“I think it’s preposterous that cameras were installed without telling students. Students have a right to know.” - Luckmini Liyanage they had more information. Salzer wanted to inform the South community about the cameras in order to deter future vandalism, rather than catch vandals in the act. “My school of thought is to tell everyone about them, show how they work, in order to discourage vandalism,” he said. “I’d rather have kids know that there are cameras. I don’t like playing the ‘gotcha’ game.” Newton Public Schools administrators, however, chose not to make a public statement about the installation of the cameras. Salzer was not a part of the decision to install the cameras during the summer. Salzer nevertheless believes that surveillance cameras can

be effective tools for administrators. He recalled an incident last year where a custodian found graffiti in a bathroom that was still dripping paint. Salzer believes that if South administrators had access to securities cameras at the time, they would have easily apprehended the vandal or vandals. Staff Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Massachusetts Sarah Wunsch notes that, while the legalities of putting surveillance cameras in schools without notifying the public is a rather gray area, South’s installation is “at the very least, an awful thing to do.” Wunsch questions the effectiveness of surveillance cameras. Wunsch finds that, in deterring crime, surveillance cameras have a poor track record. “Studies tend to show police video monitoring has had little or no effect on reducing crime,” she wrote in a statement for the ACLU. She cited that in Britain, although the government placed cameras throughout the region, there has actually been an increase in the amount of violent crime. South Senator and Sophomore Luckmini Liyanage also expressed opposition to the use of cameras that the public was uninformed about. “I think it’s preposterous that cameras were installed without telling students,” she said. “Students have a right to know.”

Advertisement A12


15 February 2011

Education 15 February 2011


Education B1

Newton South is unique for a high school in that it serves as much more than an academic institution. That said, education is clearly a fundamental purpose of this nationally ranked school, and plays no small part in influencing all aspects of student life. From standardized testing, to grading policies, to the tedious process of applying to college, this section illustrates the wide range of academic and intellectual responsibilties that South students have held over the years.

Decile cut-offs at record high more important than the class rely more on very subjective By David Pemstein, rank. I don’t think that the class kinds of input: interviews and Volume 24 rank is actually that important.” teacher or counselor recomNovember 21, 1984 South’s class of 1985 boasts Herrera is the top cutoff for the mendations. We look for a stuthe highest decile cut-off points second decile; in any other year dent’s potential, creativity, mosince 1971, when the school he would have been in the first tivation, and depth of interest more than class rank,” said began keeping annual records. one admissions official at These usually high grade The grade point average is point averages have become a more important than the class Harvard University. One Tufts admissions source of concern to many secounselor stated that “we niors. However, Dr. Margaret rank. I don’t think that the don’t evaluate by decile, Addis, head of the Guidance class rank is actually that but by the strength of curDepartment, feels that the important riculum and of the acahigher decile cutoffs are actu– Ta Herrera, class of ‘85 demic record. All of the ally assets to the students. academic parameters are Addis believes that any inviewed in an application, plus terpretation of statistical data decile. Herrera believes that “class extracurricular activities… is entirely up to the admissions officers. She hopes that most rank reflects how well you do in There’s a lot of variability beadmissions officers will see that relation to the difficulty of your yond the raw numbers.” At the University of Masthe class ranks represent not a courses and also in relation to poor performance but a supe- the rest of your class. I think sachusetts, too, admission is rior effort in the face of fierce the class rank won’t matter so based more on a “total profile” of the student than on any competition. The situation “is much.” One of his major complaints single factor. However, “a beneficial to all the students, not just those in the top decile, is that a B in an honors course lower class rank could possibly because it indicates the quality is weighted lower than an A in affect admission if other factors of the general surroundings has a curriculum 1 course. “This were down such as SATs or a discourages kids from taking poor transcript.” been improved.” Another member of the ad“The most important thing honors courses because they’re mission staff at Tufts felt that in the transcript right now,” worried about class rank.” This sentiment is echoed by “any anxiety over class rank says Addis, is a highlighted is generated by the students box titled “Two special items other seniors. One was disturbed that some and not by colleges, because re: class of 1985.” The first indicates that the number of students were able to reach the rank shouldn’t have that much national Merit semi-finalists for second decile by “breezing impact on admissions.” From those surveyed, it ap1985 is up 200 percent form the through” primarily curriculum class of 1984. The second item 2 courses, while other students pears that class rank is only states that “The academic level, in the same decile were strug- a minor aspect of a student’s as measured by rank-in-class gling through honors classes. record. While one’s rank might computation, is the highest Many felt this situation to be seem relatively low, the grade since we have been keeping unfair and attributed it to the point average remains the same. annual records, 1971.” Addis overly competitive nature of Rank is not very significant unless it is the only redeeming feels that this information will the environment. Seniors should be reassured feature of a transcript. adequately explain a seemingly that several local colleges surDr. Addis underscored this low class rank. Still, students whose rank in veyed do not feel that class rank fact by pointing out that alclass has been lowered due to is an overriding consideration though decile cutoffs are up, SAT mean scores are down the highly competitive atmo- for admission. “Admission depends on our slightly from last year. “Class sphere are worried that colleges might misinterpret their estimation of any particular rank is only one indication of proportionately lower class candidate as a whole; grade performance, and not the most ranks. Senior Ta Herrera feels point average is a very small important one,” emphasized that “the grade point average is factor in our final decision. We Addis.

The ABCs of the SATs and GPAs By Alex Schneider, Volume 46 April 13, 2006 Pressure. The word certainly does not justify the long hours juniors and seniors spend nationwide applying to colleges in a process that never seems to end. Regardless of the overwhelming odds, the director of South’s college and career counseling resource center, Barbara Brown, explains that, “for the most part, kids get into their first choice of school.” “We have very motivated students here,” Brown said, “and we have an excellent faculty. Our reputation is international and we are well respected.” In fact, according to Jenni King, the director of South’s guidance department, many students from the current senior class will be going to top schools, with at least four going to Harvard, eight going to Brown, and two going to Yale, “which is really good,” King said. When college admissions officers look at students, they take into account a number of factors. The first and most important, according to Brown, is the transcript. Colleges look at the rigor of classes, seen in the weighted and unweighted Grade Point Averages (GPA). While these averages only include grades from tenth through twelfth grades, Brown clarifies that this is “where there are lots of misconceptions. Colleges do look at ninth grade grades, [even though] we don’t compute them.” Moreover, when it comes to the difference between weight-

ed and unweighted GPAs, “what’s most important to them is the level of the challenge,” Brown said. Still, King adds that “maximizing high grades is the best thing to do.” Colleges also look at extracurricular activities. According to King, colleges like to see a strong level of commitment in this area. “Doing a smorgasbord of extracurriculars is not really helpful, it’s too stressful,” she said. Brown also adds that top colleges are looking for “a lot of things and a lot done well [in order] to build a well-rounded class.” The SAT, formerly known as the Scholastic Assessment Test, is another important, yet controversial feature of the college admissions process. Grades are not standardized throughout the country. “SATs act as a leveling agent,” she said. Brown, however is not a fan of the SATs themselves. “They’ve gotten too long and there is too much stress [associated] with them. Kids hate them but they do them. It’s part of the culture,” she said. Brown is also upset at the recently inaccurately scored SATs. “They screwed up,” Brown said. “What I don’t know is why they sat on them. Scholarships may have been affected.” Luckily, Brown has not heard of any South students affected. Newton South’s reputation is also a helpful factor in the admissions process. When colleges receive applications from schools, they receive an infor-

mation sheet about South that helps them compare it to other schools throughout the nation. “Our information is stellar,” Brown said, “They understand us pretty well.” A final factor in the college process, and one that worries both Brown and King is the issue of stress management and pressure. Brown cites the high level of competition at South as a major contributing factor to this stress, she said. “The competition here is quite fierce. You all apply to the same schools.” King agrees. “Kids should apply to no more than six to ten colleges.” Still, compared with last year’s statistics, more students are applying to the same schools. Last year, 63 students applied to Boston University, whereas this year 103 students applied. The same holds for school such as Brandeis, where 38 applied last year and 73 this year, as well as Northeastern, where 42 students applied last year compared to 98 this year. “That is the problem – that’s what makes it really really crazy,” King said. In addition to this setback, King blames parents for the stress associated with the college process. “In communities such as Newton, parents put a premium on where kids go to college. For a lot of parents, it is really just about the bumper sticker,” she said. Still, Brown affirms that regardless of the process, “our kids do very well here. When I see the final list of where everyone goes, I say ‘my god ­– our kids do very well.’”

College Denebola

Education B2

As a high school that offers a wide range of challenging academic opportunities, students face a great deal of pressure each day. Among AP and honors classes, athletics, theatre, journalism, and hundreds of other activities, the average South student has enough on her plate. * With such a high-powered atmosphere that demands great achievement, South graduates leave better prepared – armed with an invaluable skillset – than their counterparts in contemporary schools. * Here Denebola examines how students over the years have coped with the difficulties of applying to college.

Is no college the best?

By Denebola Staff, Volume 18 April 25, 1979 82.3 percent of Newton South’s graduating class of 1978 continued their education. Wellesley and Brookline tied at 80 percent Newton North came in with 68 percent. Apparently there are many adults with no college education at all. If this is true, then why do so many of South’s students react with surprise when a classmate of theirs decides not to follow in everyone else’s footsteps even if only for a detour of a few years? Dr. Margaret Addis, head of the guidance department at Newton South, says that most of the school’s students have never even considered the alternatives to college. She feels that part of her job is to make the students aware of the many choices the world has to offer them. Even if the student takes no more than a moment’s time to consider the alternatives, Addis feels that the student will have a keener insight into his chosen career. She feels that the student who decides upon a different road than the one his companions are taking is “very brave.” A number of South graduates take a year off after their senior year at South. There are many reasons for their doing so. Chris Freeman, a senior at South, decided to spend next year in a nonacademic atmosphere. Chris explained, “I’ve spent 12 years of my life in a programmed academic setting… I want a change.” Many of his peers were surprised by Chris’ decision to take a year off. It was expected that Chris, an academically talented student, would automatically enter a college after high school. “ I don’t like the fact hat everyone accepts college as inevitable.” Chris continued, “Many people end up with a diploma and no practical experience.” Chris’ plans for next year include: studying music with a private tutor and working in a harpsichord factory. He wants a nine to five job for money and experience. Myles Gordon’s reasons for taking

the next year off are similar to Chris’. Myles feels that he has been “tied up in academic life” for 12 years and needs time to decide if “the route which all his peers are taking” is the right one for him. Suzy Whittlesey is taking next year off in order to study dance and to work. “Studying dance at a college wouldn’t allow me to commit myself fully to my art,” she states. “ I would have other work to do.” There are more reasons for taking a year off. Some students feel a need to mature psychologically before taking on the rigors of college life. Some need a year to earn the money to pay the exorbitant cost of higher education. Finally, some students, unsure of what they want in life, need time to contemplate their future. Guidance counselor Earl Pearlman feels that the environment in which South’s students are growing up, is “academically oriented.” He feels that Newton North has a more even distributed population, and is more representative of a “typical” high school. Pearlman’s idea of college is a place to learn and to “experiment” with future careers. He feels that many students don’t know what they want to do when they first go off to college. One such student is senior Jennifer Sawin. She says that, for her, college will be a learning experience and a place to “explore.” She states that if her future job would not require higher education, she would not seek one. But many students, even those aware of the alternatives, feel they have no choice but to continue their education. They claim they have been “programmed for college.” Some feel that higher education means a higher salary, other feel that college means a job. But does it? Bill Yunker, career resource counselor, emphasizes that in the real world, “college does not necessarily ensure you a job.” Many college graduates end up over-qualified and out of work. Often times not going to college is the wisest thing to do after high school.

By Sam Lanckton, Volume 32 December 23, 1992 The disappointing thing is that I’m not bitter anymore. I used to thrive on bitterness, it was what got me through the day. I would wake up in the morning and think about how much I didn’t want to go to school. Then I would go to school and think about how much I didn’t want to live in Newton. Then I would go home and think about how much I didn’t want to live at home anymore. I would go to parties and think about how much I didn’t want to be at them. I would see girls wearing those goddamned things on their wrists and think about how much I wanted to kill them. I would listen to locker room braggings and think about how much I didn’t want to hear it. Now I wake up and I’m happy to go to class, I’m learning what I want to learn. I get into class and see people who four months ago I never met but now are some of the most important people in my life. I come back to

my room and enjoy the fact that my clothes can be littered everywhere and my stereo can be turned up to eleven and no one is going to tell me to change a single thing. I go to parties (go to them, not wander around wishing I could find them off Parker Street) and meet more people. The cops never come in and kick anyone out, the neighbors don’t complain. The neighbors are more college students throwing another party. The girls—ah, the girls. I mean, yeah, I’m still a pig, but I’ve learned something that I had great difficulty grasping in high school: you can be attracted to a girl and respect her mind, too. I’m still a wacky, nutso sort of a guy, but nobody looks at you funny if you want to talk about how you liked that Plato reading. Basically, if college and high school were in WWF, college would be Hulk Hogan and high school would be one of those guys named John Martin or something who always start to win and then get demolished. Take heart,

Does it get any better?

15 February 2011

College hunting causes great stress

By Jonathan Zaff, Volume 29 November 23, 1989 The time has come once again when seniors visit colleges, have interviews with prospective schools, and sit down with their word processors to hack out their many dreaded college essays. At this point in the year, the pressure put on seniors is incredible. Senior Mike Taylor attests, “We [the seniors] are overly pressured by our parents and Newton South to get into the best college possible.” Many of the other seniors at South share these pressures. One source of this pressure is the five-page, pick-seven-of-the-abovetwenty-different-topics-for-your-essay application. Each essay in itself is difficult. Three essays apiece for six

or seven different colleges add up to a very time consuming process. “I feel that there should be one standard application for all colleges because there are so many different types that it becomes a real pain in the nose,” said senior John Fisch suggests. Many students agree that the most troublesome part of the application is the essay. “I’m scared of the essaywriting,” senior class president Odessa Franks candidly admits. But there are others who feel that the tight deadlines are the most distressing. “With extra curricular activities and homework, it’s tough to make deadlines,” senior Ron D’Innocenzo claims. “You have to make time – time that you don’t have.” Another form of pressure originates

in the senior’s own house: the parents. “Parents out more pressure on us than we really need,” senior Dave Greenberg said. “My parents are pretty laid back about the whole thing [college],” senior Matt Mazzotta said. “Many parents pressure their kids but I don’t think that they should.” Some fortunate individuals are blessed with parents who let them make their own decisions and manage their won time. “There’s no pressure from my parents,” senior Josh Lakin exclaims. “They let me do whatever I want.” With all of the pressures heaped upon shoulders of seniors, it is comforting to know that some are receiving help from South. “My guidance counselor is helping me find the type of college that’s best for me,” senior Joy Quinn said. On the other hand, not every senior is pleased with the school’s efforts. “Newton South doesn’t get us aware enough about colleges. We are still kids. We don’t know the way,” one anonymous senior claims. Despite the onslaught of pressures and responsibilities, some seniors have a more relaxed attitude towards college hunting. “There is a college out there for everybody and as long as you get into one that you like, you’ll be happy,” Fisch explains. “No matter what college you get into, you should remember that your collegiate life is an experience that you will never forget,” Franks adds. “Remember that there is a balance of worrying and enjoyment. Enjoy your last year at South.”

Southies: it gets better and better as soon as you get out. I’m not claiming that college solves all your problems. Nothing solves all your problems. There will still be some classes you hate, though the nice thing is that you’re not going to have to sit in detention hall if every once in a while you miss that class. You’ll still find people you really don’t like, but unless you go to a really small college, you’re dealing with a much larger population. The whole clique thing is dead and gone when you get to college. And that’s the worst thing about Newton South. I hate bringing it up because when you talk about the evils of cliques you sound like a cheeseball from hell, or at least somebody who watched “Can’t Buy Me Love” one too many times. The thing about college is, you can hang out with whomever you want to hang out with, and nobody is going to call you a loser because of it. Terms like loser don’t really apply. In fact, people who in high school

were losers stand as good a chance as anyone at making it socially in college. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think college is all about redefining yourself. You are who you are, and who you are was more or less formed by the time you were six years old. You redefine yourself to a certain extent. I traded in my Red Sox hat and round glasses for a ski cap and sleek frames, but I’m still the same person. You learn who that person is. In Newton you stand a good chance of taking the same girl to the prom that you walked to kindergarten with. In college when someone meets you they don’t know your history. One of the most interesting things you learn in college is who other people think you are. Their views aren’t clouded by knowing that you dressed like a loser for a Brown Bash, or that you were unwelcome in Goodwin. Instead, they see you as you are, no strings attached, and so you get to see yourself. I do miss Newton, not much and not often, but I miss it. The diners I

eat at now don’t know the first thing about making an egger. New York City only has six Dunkin’ Donuts, and the closest one is three blocks from my house. There are some Saturday afternoons where I would thoroughly enjoy heading over to a football game and jamming on my xylophone with the Newton South Marching Band. There are teachers I learned from in high school who mean more to me than any college professor probably ever will. And there is a certain unmatchable camaraderie to driving around aimlessly on Saturday nights, looking for the party. But don’t be afraid of missing that. College, at least based upon my experience, is the best thing that can happen to you. It introduces you to new people, it opens you up to new ideas, it teaches you things you really want to learn, it lets you choose how to spend your time and most importantly, it’s fun, fun, fun. So what if I’m not a bitter young man anymore? At least I don’t live in Newton.

graphic from denebola archives

Student rejects rejection: From the desk of Adam Timrud


15 February 2011

Education B3

Plagiarism makes good copy: “No one ever told me it was cheating” By Debbie Andelman and Lani Wishnie, Volume 22 February 16, 1983 Pla-gia-rism (plá jə-ris m) n. The act of stealing and using the ideas or writings of another as ones own (derived from the Latin word ‘plajiarius,’ meaning ‘kidnapper’). As Dorethea Gaudet, librarian at Newton South High School states, “Plagiarism is the greatest crime in the academic world.” Although everyone may not feel so strongly about the issue of plagiarism, the fact is that it does exist, and for many it is a problem. To what extent does plagiarism affect the academic performance at Newton South, and what is being done about it? What can be done about it in the future? Some teachers feel very strongly about the dangers of plagiarism, and make it a point to discuss all aspects of plagiarism and cheating in class. At the same time, there are those who do not address the subject at all, leaving the situation up in the air. Many students believe that unless a teacher formally states his views about plagiarism and cheating prior to assigning the first research

project, the student may reserve the right to plead innocent out of ignorance. Even though in most instances it is obvious that the student is aware of the crime that he has committed, there exists the cases in which the student has simply never been formally educated about the more vague aspects of plagiarism and proper documentation. As one angry student who was falsely accused of plagiarism states, “We were never taught what constituted plagiarism and how to document.” Contrary to popular belief, plagiarism is not merely copying word for word from a book or encyclopedia. The term ‘plagiarism’ also includes such acts as paraphrasing written documents and using others’ orally stated ideas without proper documentation. Many students at Newton South have admitted to paraphrasing and copying from encyclopedias without even a hint of guilt. The greatest difficulty in dealing with plagiarism is its ambiguity. In investigating a possible case of plagiarism, the question arises as to whether the student has plagiarized deliberately or innocently. Although it is harmful for the students who remain unaware of the many elements of plagiarism, those who plagiarize purposely harm not only themselves but others as well. In

many cases, it reaches the point where the honest student receives a lower grade than that of the student who cheats. One sophomore remarks, “It makes me very angry when I study a lot for a test and get a C on it, while I watch kids use crib notes, and they get As. Furthermore, it makes the teacher think that the other students are really smart.” Robert Goggin, English teacher, feels that plagiarism is blatant cheating, and that cheating is comparable to robbery. Goggin says, “I feel that it is my responsibility to protect the honest student.” Since there is no policy regarding plagiarism, the decision as to how to deal with the situation is left up to the teacher. In general, if it is not resolved between the teacher and the student, then the department head, the housemaster, the guidance counselor, and the parents are consulted at a meeting during which a decision is made as to whether or not plagiarism has taken place, and what will be done about it if it has. Many teachers feel that Monarch notes are another form of plagiarism. Although teachers have varying beliefs concerning the usage of Monarch and Cliff notes, the predominant

opinion is that the notes usually prevent the student from expressing his own ideas about the literature in composition writing. Steven Leonard, Newton South English teacher, states, “Monarch notes allow the student to get many different points of view about a novel. The important part is that the student is always thinking. However, Monarch notes should be used in addition to the assigned book, not instead of.” Judith Malone-Neville, Cutler Housemaster, disagreed. “Monarch notes are fine for a summary of a long, hard book; but, unless they are used properly, they are dead wrong.” Half of the problem in dealing with plagiarism is convincing the student that they themselves can do the work, and do it well, according to Social Studies teacher Dr. Philip Burnham. There is no presently enforced policy that deals with the problems of plagiarism at Newton South High School. When asked about the possibility of requiring that something be said in all classes about proper forms of documentation and what can and cannot be labeled as plagiarism, David Youngblood, Head of the English Department, answered that, “yes,” it does exist.

By Michael Fuchs, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 Cheating—all students have seen it, most can say they’ve been tempted to do it, and some may confess to having done it. Regardless of whether students agree with the principle of cheating, many will not deny that taking a peek at a peer’s test can translate into short-term academic success. Science teacher Jordan Kraus, however, sees cheating differently. “I don’t think we’re doing students a favor by looking the other way,” Kraus said. Kraus, like many teachers, has handled several instances of cheating during her career at South. To illustrate, Kraus gives an example. “I had a student a year ago in a class where I gave flexible tests,” Kraus said. “She asked me ‘Could I take it the following week.’ I said sure.” Kraus delves into the story further. “Unbenounced to her, I came into some information. Turns out she orchestrated this with a boy. He gave [the prompts] to her. All of them. She went home and practiced them,” Kraus said. “She came in calm as a cucumber… When given a chance [to admit to cheating], she didn’t

presents unfair advantages. Senior Campbell do so.” The girl in question dropped out of the class, Rogers offers her definition. “I think cheating thereby removing it from her transcript. The is any instance when a student does something boy chose to stay. In Kraus’s class, any student that clearly puts them at a strict advantage from who helps a peer cheat is as guilty as whoever the rest of the class, or that involves somehow cheated. Hence, the boy who assisted the female using information from other students.” Junior Charlie Temkin gives some examples culprit would have, under normal circumstances, of cheating. “Sharing received a punishment. a test while taking the In this case, however, “If you talk to students they have test or if you are talking Kraus made an exception. a different idea of what cheating about the test to someone “I couldn’t go through with is.” who has yet to take it. it. The young man… clearly Also, of course stealing had a crush on her,” Kraus – Jordan Kraus a test from a teacher, but said. “Each case has to be I think that only happens looked at individually.” Math teacher Charles Rooney has also seen in movies.” Kraus worries that many students who witness cheating but has never encountered a case as severe as that of Kraus. “There is a tension cheating will choose to not report it. We have a between wanting students to collaborate and stu- culture that says there is something wrong with dents just copying off each other,” Rooney said. reporting other peoples ill behaviors,” Kraus Kraus thinks that there is no consistent definition said. When asked the question “Would you turn in a of what cheating is. “If you talk to students they student who cheated?” Rogers said, “truthfully, have a different idea of what cheating is.” That said, while students may not see cheat- probably not.” ing like an administrator, most will agree that it “If the teacher finds out and asks me as a wit-

ness I wouldn’t deny it, but I also wouldn’t talk to a teacher about it if I saw it,” says Rogers. “Although I don’t support cheating, I probably wouldn’t say anything unless I saw it happening with the same person cheating on multiple occasions,” Temkin said. “It’s not fair for anyone to get by not studying and working hard when everyone else does.” If Rooney sees a student cheat, he, like many teachers, will report the student. “If I were convinced that cheating had taken place, I would report the student to his housemaster and give the student a zero on that test or quiz,” Rooney said. Kraus, however, sees a loophole in the current school policy. “One of the policies states that there is no punishment for the first infraction. If there is a second punishment they can be suspended. How many times do you think it takes for a student to get caught? By the time it takes for a person to get caught, it becomes a pattern of behavior,” Kraus said. Unfortunately, with present policies in place, combined with extreme academic pressure, cheating at South will most likely endure.

By Stephanie Simon, Volume 25 November 28, 1985 This year, there is only one girl in the Advanced Placement BC Calculus course. There is only one girl in AP Physics, and one in AP Chemistry. There are no girls in advanced computer classes. According to Warren Manhard, head of the NSHS math department, there are many reasons for the paucity of girls in high-level science and mathematics classes. He believes that one explanation is that “girls still see themselves primarily as homemakers. They have a choice- they can either pursue a career or make a home. However, boys have no choice. They are expected to continue their schooling, go to college, and become a provider.” Because of the cultural expectations placed on them, boys tend to be “more accepting,” says Manhard. “If they have to take a hard course, they take it and don’t moan.” Vin Bronson, who teaches Advanced Placement Physics at South, says that he agrees with Manhard. “The culture has the potential of instilling some notokay feelings toward math for girls,” he says. “The boys may be in there (advanced classes) because of the career component for them. They may or may not like it, but if it fits their vision of how to make a living, it is not a bad motivation component.” Both Manhard and Bronson emphasize that their ideas are opinions, not facts based on stud. The degree of interest in science and math that boys and girls have may be another explanation for the small number of girls in advanced classes. “If you really want to do science, it doesn’t matter if you are the only girls in the class,” says Sharnaz Motakef, who is the only girl in AP Physics and Chemistry. However, Ashley Timmer, the only female student in the highest level AP Calculus course, has a different opinion.“Most of the guys in the class are really interested in computers and math,” she says, “and most of them are taking Physics. When they talk about computers or what they learned in Physics, I kind of ask myself ‘Why am I here with all these people?’” Social reasons may form a cycle which keeps girls out of the advanced classes. Timmer believes that “girls are more concerned with who they are associating with in their classes.” If a class is composed mostly of boys with interests different from their own, some girls may opt not to take the course. This in turn may discourage other girls from signing up for the class. Manhard extends Timmer’s theory one step further. He says he thinks that “some girls tend

to worry about appearances and grades, and what parents and friends will think about them more than boys do.” Thus, they may be unwilling to take an honors course when they could be getting a better grade in a less challenging class. Manhard believes that another reason why many girls drop out of science and math classes after meeting the school requirement is that they personalize failure, and drop courses in which they do not experience immediate success. “Some boys would perceive a less than satisfactory test as a result of not having worked hard enough. Some girls tend to see the same thing as ‘I’m stupid.’ They personalize failure and blame it on themselves, whereas boys tend to credit it to not working hard enough. This makes all the difference in the world.” Another reason that girls are not involved with math and science may be that there are not many women role models for them. However, Manhard notes that in the math department, there are as many women teachers as there are men: “It is not an accident. They are excellent women role models.” He adds that the Enrichment Program is helpful, because it brings women who have careers in the fields of science and mathematics in to talk to students about their experiences. Junior Luna Shyr says that having a mother who has a career in science (her mother is a chemist) has definitely influenced here. Shyr, who is taking physics and honors math adds, “It’s wonderful- she inspires me to have a career on my own. My mom gives me a lot of input and ideas on what to expect when I grow up.” Bronson agrees that parents influence their children’s decisions about careers, and adds that in some cases this influence can be negative. He says that parents often “encourage women to be nice, nurturing people and not to make males feel uncomfortable with their own inadequacies” in traditionally male-dominated fields like math. Sophomore Debbie Frieze, one of eight girls in her honors math class, says, “I get the feeling that boys are wary of having girls in the class, because they think math is a boy’s subject. Because of this, some girls are intimidated.” In a subtle and perhaps unconscious way, boys may be reinforcing the point that girls don’t belong in honors math. Some girls who elect to stay in honors math and science courses are eager o demonstrate that girls can succeed in these fields. “I’m just staying in the class to prove a point,” says one junior in honors math. Timmer agrees, saying, “I really thought I couldn’t leave the class without any girls.”

ways in which the American education system in math and science favors one gender over another. “It’s most awful in high stakes testing, like the MCAS and SAT, two tests which reflect male bias,” she said. While these tests often aim to evaluate mathematical reasoning, many of the questions are posed as word problems. Since females have been shown to be much stronger at computational problems, Kraus believes such tests put women at a disadvantage. Roychowdhury has not personally made any concerted efforts to accommodate girls, but she does her best to “encourage all students” to achieve. Senior Charlotte Sall, who is currently enrolled in Roychowdhury’s AP Physics class, was wary of signing up for the class, but for her, having a female teacher has been a tremendous asset. “I definitely feel like a minority. Sometimes I feel like a lot of the material comes innately to other students, many of which are male, that I have to work harder to learn. But Dr. Roychowdhury is an incredible teacher and that is ultimately what has convinced me to stick with such a tough subject,” she said. Math department head Steven Rattendi, on the other hand, has not seen the large gender gap during his time at South that many members of the science department faculty have. “Today at least, the discrepancy is not the case,” he said. According to him, the large shift in enrollment levels of girls in higher level math classes is not due to any concerted efforts or programs at the high school level. “It is more about shifts in societies and overall thoughts,” he said. He does add, however, that there has been more attention paid to learning at the elementary school level “in making sure girls are doing well.” Kraus agrees that making efforts towards gender equality in schools at an early age is very important. “By high school we are unraveling half a lifetime of stuff that’s come from parents and teachers,” she said. While the math and science departments at South have made extraordinary gains towards making sure girls are not at a disadvantage, a gender gap still exists, especially in the more quantitative science subjects. Sall does not, however, attribute it to any gender bias within the department. Hurwitz believes that although the gender divide is not gone, South is on a very positive path. “In certain fields we are not there yet. But we are getting better,” Hurwitz said. “I want every girl not to feel there are road blocks but to feel she has an even chance.”

Academic dishonesty still exists at South

Girls in math and science: do the numbers add up?

Girls in science today: a modern perspective

By Leigh Alon, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 In comparison to his days teaching science in the 70s, science department head Charles Hurwitz has noticed a significant shift in the number of girls taking AP science courses at South. Today, girls make up 53 percent of AP Biology classes, 37 percent of AP Physics classes, and 27percent of AP Chemistry classes, up from about one to three girls enrolled in each of these classes 40 years ago. Jordan Kraus, AP Biology and honors neurobiology teacher, has also seen a dramatic shift from the days when the female captain of the science team had to be persuaded to enroll in AP Physics where she would likely be the only girl in. Hema Roychowdhury, AP Physics teacher of three years, has noticed a significant trend even in her short time here. Her first year only three of her 29 students were girls. “We certainly have a lot of [female] role models in science teaching here and that’s certainly changed,” Hurwitz said regarding what may have sparked the shift. While Hurwitz believes he has always hired the most qualified candidates for jobs in the science department, he has “made a concerted effort to hire women teachers.” He does, however, admit that the shifts in societal views over the years may have just as much to do with why more girls are enrolled in higher level science courses. “High school students now have many women scientists that they can look up to, and in addition to changes in society, more female teachers make a big difference,” he said. Kraus believes that in addition to society’s different expectations of girls, the particular way in which certain subjects used to be taught often affected what disciplines appealed to certain genders. “There is a tremendous amount of research that demonstrates that men and women learn subjects differently with different strengths,” she said. Therefore, material should be presented in multiple ways so it appeals to each gender’s different strengths. “When we talk about individuals there are exceptions, but on population levels there are significant differences [in the strengths each gender possesses],” Kraus said. “Schools have been slow to catch on and adapt to the differences.” As an example, Kraus remembers her daughter’s first grade teacher, who taught reading and writing through fantasy stories, an approach that generally appealed more to girls than boys, which meant many boys did not fare well in this critical stage of learning. Today, though, Kraus believes there are still many


Education B4

15 February 2011

Teachers impact South Faculty Focus: Carrie Hollingsworth

By Attia Alam, Volume 32 May 13, 1993 A new face joined the Newton South Faculty in September of 1991. Carrie Hollingswith entered the South community as an ISI, but in December of 1991, she took over all of Patricia Hourihan’s English classes. Her great teaching skills make her English classes exciting and truly a new experience. But Carrie Hollingsworth is more than just the average, everyday teachers. She is undoubtably a woman of the 90’s. Hollingsworth is an active member of an all women’s theatre which puts on a musical annually. Hollingsworth has participated in the production, whose proceeds go to charity, for almost eight years. This year they are performing “Something Completely Diffferent.”

“I really like to sing, and I love musical theatre. This gives me a chance to sing and support women’s research at the same time,” Hollingsworth said. She also went on a cruise this year specifically designed for teachers. “It was a week long cruise on a schooner. You learned how to navigate, and actually how to sail a boat,” Hollingsworth said. She went on to say that it was a wonderful experience because everybody on the cruise was able to work together. Before Hollingsworth began teaching at South, she was a math teacher at the Windsor School in Boston. She taught English for the very first time at South. “My favorite thing about teaching English was being able to read the students’ papers and hear what they had to say about Dickens,” she said. Hollingsworth loves teaching English and Math equally. Many of you are probably thinking, “Ms. Hollingsworth? An English teacher? I have her for math!” Well, she is a remarkable woman. Several months ago, Hollingsworth took over Joanna Mitchell’s math classes. Apparently, she can teach both classes well.

“The culture at South is focused on academic success” - Thomas Murphy

“I had Ms. Hollingswoth for English last year and she was really cool. She made the class, and Dickens, interesting,” juior Paul Krasinski said.“Ms. Hollingsworth is aweseome. She is a graet asset to Newton South,” Sarah Suzuki, her math pupil,said, Hollingsworth’s hobbies not only include singing, but also camping and backpacking. “I love the outdoors and enjoy activities of the outdoors,” she said. Although you may be shocked to hear this, teachers get stressed sometimes, too. Hollingsworth likes to listen to jazz and other music to relax. She loves walking, and lpaying with her nieces and nephews. Hollingsworth is happy to be a part of the South family, and has met many studtnts as well teachers whose friendships she appreciates. “My favorite thing abot Newon South is the sense of humor that the faculty and students possess. A good sense of humor is important for me,” Hollingsworth said. She plans to teach math at the Newton Summer School this summer. Hollingsworth is definitely an outstanding woman. Newton South is lucky to have a woman like her as a member of our community.

South its particular, quirky flavor, have retired or even passed on from this life. I miss them though I respect and like their replacements.

One year, on the last day, in a classroom filled with wonderful students, I lost it and so did they- lots of tears. I couldn’t imagine not seeing them four Why did you choose to times a week the following year. I’ll also remember the “Rigor and pleasure: class in which one senior mixing the two must be student of mine confronted another who had harassed the primary challenge of her in middle school. No any classroom teacher... I one there will ever forget their encounter and recontake it as my task to make ciliation; it was an honor to be a part of the event. something happen in

I started in the spring semester of 1981. South at that time had but three grades, tenth through twelfth, and it seemed a quiet, almost sleepy place. Adding the freshmen really charged the atmosphere and forced us, at least in English, to generate a more coherent academic program across the four years. The school has lost most of its working-class population over time. Thompsonville and Upper Falls, where those kids lived, have gone upscale. Open campus, surprisingly, has survived though it disappeared long ago from most other high schools. Students here are accorded an almost unprecedented amount of freedom, something they ought to appreciate more. The fa cilities, from the fieldhouse to the auditorium, have improved dramatically. F i n a l l y, most of the old guard, the teachers who gave


become a teacher? I love literature, and I enjoy working with adolescents. I also love everything associated with tennis! What has been your favorite or a particularly notable moment at South?

What is your favorite part about teaching? I love sharing things that I love with people whom I genuinely enjoy spending time with. It’s a win-win situation for me, and sometimes I feel like the luckiest guy on earth. I mean, in my Senior Film Studies class, we get to spend five weeks discussing, debating, deconstructing, and dissecting Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, which is one of the most profound and mystifying films ever made. We get to watch and discuss Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. We get to read Shakespeare’s Hamlet. These are texts that I would be spending tons of time with anyway--as a teacher, I get to really dive in. And I feel so privileged to accompany my students as they encounter these brilliant, mysterious, gorgeous, problematic texts for the first time (even if they don’t always love--or get-them the first time around!). What have you learned as you’ve progressed as a teacher? Have you changed your styles? I’ve learned so much, especially from mentors and colleagues, and, of course, from students too. I think the most important thing that has changed in my teaching is that I try to create student leaders in my classes rather than have students follow my lead--at least that’s the hope. Part of this relates to the way I structure

“We are always trying to improve our education here at South” - Alex Kaplan

Jampol reminisces on teaching, tennis, and life at South

How long have you been teaching at South for? Over the years, what have you noticed in the changes of the school? In other words, what do you find notable in the history of our school?

Weintraub teaches with passion

What have you learned about teaching throughout your years as a teacher? Rigor and pleasure: mixing the two must be the primary challenge of any classroom teacher. The school day, let’s admit, seems pretty dull to most students. I take it as my task to make something happen in class, not that I always succeed. I also h a v e learned that students take a long time to absorb the stylistic lessons I teach, as hard as I try to convey them.

class (lots of group work, collaboration, group thinking) and part of it relates to what kind of questions I encourage them to think about. I’m paraphrasing this from Margaret Metzger (a great English teacher at Brookline High, where I went to school), but my ideal class would help students to realize how smart they are rather than prove to them how smart I am. My style has thus changed accordingly--though I like the sound of my own voice, hearing it doesn’t necessarily make my students better readers, writers, or thinkers!

How has South changed over the years you been here? How long have you been at South? South is the same, but there are more cellphones in the hallways. (Turn off your cellphones, people!) I have been here six years. Is there a favorite teacher you had when you were a student that you aspire to be like? What was he/she like? My favorite teacher was an

English teacher named Mr. Viglirolo, who was a wild ItalianAmerican poet/intellectual who would hurl epithets at the gods and chalk at his students, who loudly hailed Dante and Dostoyevsky, Homer and Harper Lee, and who showed me how rich and vast the world of the mind could be. I think, in retrospect, his pedagogy was not what we’d today call “advanced”--lots of “teacher-centered” activities. But, man, was he inspiring. Taught me to think, you know? (and taught me why thinking was important).

What are some of your passions outside the world of teaching and education?

I try to be a good family man, as in, spending time with my wife and my dog (cockapoo; name: Ricky Nelson). But I have hobbies, too. I just learned how to play the pedal steel guitar (a flat-panelled, high action electric slide guitar that is most commonly associated with Hawaiian music and Country/ Western music--you’ll know it if you hear it). I like eating meat, especially slow cooked barbeque and spitroasted things. Bowling, I try to knock all the pins down. And I do my best to stay current on important films and music (of all types, though my friends Sean Turley and Jamie Rinaldi have a much more esoteric set of aesthetic expectations than I do).

“It’s fun to be around committed individuals who want others to do well” - Chuck Hurwitz

Faculty Focus: Mary Scott

By Shira Gans, Volume 33 December 23, 1993 If someone were to ask you to name the best teacher you ever had, you would most likely remember the glowing mentor who taught you to interpret Dostoyevsky, but in this case, the woman who taught you parabolas will most likely spark wonderful memories. Though math itself may be a most soporific institution, one Newton South math teacher has managed to instill enthusiasm in students lucky enough to benefit from her pedagogical prowess. This teacher is Mary Scott. Scott attended Boston College. After graduation, she moved to California to teach junior high school at the San Mateo School, located south of San Francisco. Upon her return to the Boston area, she taught at the Martin Luther King School in Dorchester and at Bigelow Junior High. Scott has been a teacher at South for seven years and says that she has “no aspirations to go anywhere [else]…” and she is “…very happy here.” Scott has many interests other than ellipses and quadratic equations. She enjoys the theater and often attends local productions in the Newton Highlands. Scott also loves nature and enjoys traveling with her family. Last year she went on a hiking trip with her husband, son, and daughter in Glacier National Park, Montana, and also visited Tuscan, Arizona. This summer Scott plans to go to the Redwood Forest and Crater Lake, Oregon with her family. When she is not

teaching, she is busy “schlepping” to little league and soccer games.Scott’s goal for this spring is to get a dog. When asked her opinion of this humble establishment we call South, Scott had nothing to offer but praise. “I’m very impressed by both the motivation of the student and the teaching staff.” Scott says that she is “always learning something new” and considers herself “a life long learner.” One of the reasons for her contentment at South is that she is constantly learning from her fellow teachers and through the conferences which school funding allows teachers to attend. Scott is also impressed by the new technology available at south and finds the new graphing calculators especially exciting. Though on the whole, Scott rated South as a “really good school,” there re few things she would like to see changed. “I’m a little disturbed by the pressure the students feel,” Scott said. She also believes it is “absolutely a crime that we don’t have math fives a week.” Scott is known by her students for her lively and enthusiastic attitude, yet at the same time she challenges her students and does not tolerate carelessness. The demanding side of her personal-

ity is balanced by the humor and levity she adds to every class. For those who have had her as a teacher, such phrases “hey, look up here it’s educational television,” “hold the phone,” and “who you gonna call?—Pythag!” ring a familiar bell. Her catch phrases and math puns help to make a 50-minute class of equations and postulates bearable. She has been known to liven up class by speaking in foreign accents (chiefly Transylvanian) an on occasion, if you are lucky, breaking out into song. Sophomore Dennis McKinley said, “she’s not boring and monotonous. She has a sense of humor and she’s enthusiastic.” Students who have Scott all find her to be a great teacher, She makes math class as interesting as it can be,” sophomore Shinya Hirayama said. Scott is also known for giving her students the necessary individual attention. If you are willing to stay after to get help extra help. Scott will stay there with out or as long as it takes for you to understand. In fact, she often stays at school as late as five or six o’clock. “I thought she was really enthusiastic and she gave me the attention I needed. I’ve never seen a teacher keep the attention of so many students,” junior Lindsey Carroll said. Many consider Scott to be one of the finest teachers at South. She deserves this title not only because of her ability to explain math in a clear and interesting manner, but also because of her devotion to students and teaching. Junior Mike Stanley eloquently summed up the prevailing sentiment on Scott. “Scott is amongst the best teachers I have ever had.”


15 February 2011

By Elana Epstein, Volume 22 February 16, 1983 In the past two years, the number of students failing classes at Newton South has become a serious problem. Rather than getting “F’s,” the majority of these students are receiving “N’s,” because they are not coming to class. According to a recent Guidance Department study, 336 people (or approximately 24 percent of the school) received at least on “N” in the first quarter of this year; 49 students (or approximately 1 out of every 30) got at least 5 “N’s,”; and 16 of those students are repeating the year. The Guidance Department and faculty are baffled by this phenomenon. “We have always been perplexed by the number of students not going to class,’ stated Guidance Counselor, Sandy Alexander. All of the students questioned offered boredom as one of the reasons for avoiding their classes. “Many of these kids aren’t academically inclined to begin with,” stated Cutler housemaster Judy Malone Neville. “With the open campus accessibility, they are easily distracted.” Alexander added, “a lot of these students can’t see themselves going to college, so they question why they are here.” She explained

Education B5

The problem behind N’s

that “there are so many variables – it’s not just a class or ethnic struggle; it cuts across all groups.” Students and faculty described missing classes as a vicious cycle. “It’s like a disease,” stated one junior. “First you don’t want to face your teacher after having missed a couple of classes. Then, you miss all sorts of tests and quizzes that need to come be made up. When you come back to class, you find out that you are so far behind, and that you are failing anyway, so what is the sense of going?” Students use various methods of trying to skip classes. According to Guidance Department chairperson, Margaret Addis, “Some students walk a tightrope – they aim to come to class the least amount they can and pass – but they system catches up with them.” One junior described his system for missing classes. “First, I ask myself if I can possibly blow this class off and make it. If not, I see if I can forge a note. If I can do either, I skip class. If not, I go. In this manner, I’ve only received one “N: in a year and half at South.” Alexander interjected that, “Attendance isn’t just a curriculum two problems – it’s schoolwide. Honors and curriculum one students play games

with attendance. They get notes that aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. This keeps many of them from getting the “N’s” that curriculum two students get.” Problems at home can trigger a dilemma in school, “If a kid is bummed out, he wants to be with his friends. He gets the attention from them that he is missing at home,” said one junior. Maturity level also seems to play a big part in student’s attitudes. “There are always a few people who seem to fail intentionally at the end of their senior year, “ stated English teacher Dorothy Gonson. Most of the time, it’s unconscious. They do it because they want to do next, and are afraid of life beyond Newton South.” “You can’t see a rate at which people are suppose to mature, added MaloneNeville. A senior who is repeating the year said that, “High school is a tricky time in people’s lives – they want to rebel.” He emphasized the schools highly competitive atmosphere as a negative factor, and added, “every man s out for himself.” Students had mixed feelings about the faculty’s contribution to this problem. As one senior put it, “A lot of teachers just care about student out-

put, they aren’t involved with the kids’ emotional problems. “ A junior added, “If you show that you don’t care, then they won’t. Once they say that, you’re gone – you have to do it on your own.” On the contrary, one student said, “I really don’t think that the problem stems from the teachers: basically it’s in the student’s mind. Obviously, if he is flunking a class, he isn’t going to like the teacher.” Although friends can be supportive, they can also put a strain on a student. A senior humorously recalled his friend’s comment to him about having to repeat a year. The friend declared, “and I always thought that you were so smart.” The senior continued that, “when my college friends came home over Christmas vacation, I felt a gap between us – yet I feel as mature as they. I felt like I was a college student trapped in the body of someone in high school.” The Guidance Department feels that there are many things that can be done to improve the situation. “We try not to make any pattern that fits these kids. We try to see them as individuals, with certain needs unique to them,” stated Addis. She explained that

the hall policy daily sign-in sheets, and teacher’s response to absences b phone all help. She stressed that the most important emphasis should be on students motivation and self-confidence. As one senior put it, “Learning is supposed to be fun. People think that high school is a place to go for four years, and get out of as quickly as possibly – But you should get all that you can out of it.” When asked about discouraging students from dropping out, MaloneNeville replied, “I don’t anymore. I think that for some people it’s O.K. If you’re not in school to get an education, you might as well get it in another way through working. Only in an affluent community like Newton, would people not come to class, yet come to school (rather than working.” An experienced senior advised, “If you start to get into a rut, think honestly why you’re not working – There is always a reason behind it. It is very emotional, so talk to a parent, teacher or even a psychiatrist about it. Avoid talking to a friend – someone your won age hasn’t had the experience.” “All it takes is the first moment of deciding that you’re going to do it. An hour of homework a night is nothing next to repeating a year.”

due to the economy. The test costs money, and not showing up means losing $47. Additionally, many students aren’t able to take the SAT multiple times because of the fee for each sitting. But the SAT and its relative simplicity differ in many ways from the SAT II. Also administered by the College Board, the SAT II is supposed to evaluate a student’s ability in a certain subject area. At South, students are encouraged by their teachers to take SAT IIs after the course is over. Expectations have also gone up— many colleges require or recommend students take multiple subject tests. “It seems to me that more freshman and sophomores take an SAT II at least once than [in] past years,” Price said.

at a university. Another benefit is the chance to qualify as an “AP Scholar.” There are eight variations of this award, all of which include taking a certain number of AP tests and earning above a certain score. According to the official AP information sheet, the awards exist so that “students may cite [them] among their credentials on applications, résumés, etc.” There is no monetary reward, however, so for most this serves as a way to spruce up a college application. The AP exam itself is perhaps the most interesting test in the market, so to speak. A student can take the test without taking the course, so it is possible to take four or five AP tests in a given year without having an overwhelming schoolwork load. Since most of the tests feature factbased material, students who are desperate for a good score have been found cheating. In past years, students who took the test on the east coast could go online and post test questions online. The rise of teens’ use of cell phones in the early 2000s also gave way to an increase in cheating on the AP. The College Board then determined that the tests throughout the country must begin within one hour of each other. These tests, however, may be forcing kids to become two-dimensional learners—grading them on the regurgitation of facts. Or they could be encouraging students to take more challenging classes—with the hope of testing out of their freshman lecture halls. AP courses are growing quickly: more classes have been created, and more students are taking them. At Newton South especially, the number of students taking AP classes has risen in the 20 years since Bryant has organized the testing, and kids at South frequently receive high scores. Some may argue that it is similar to MCAS and other standardized tests in that it pushes teachers to stick to rigid curricula. Does the AP present a danger to the thorough education of today’s youth?

understand the material. Teachers, schools, and entire districts have been punished based on their students’ underachievement, which today is beginning to be considered a product of child poverty and other household and societal circumstances rather than teacher or school incompetency. MCAS and other state-administered standardized tests are being attacked for having unrealistic expectations of public schools, forcing teachers to deny their

In high school, MCAS becomes a measure of whether a student can graduate. Generally a student takes three MCAS sessions as a sophomore: math, English, and science—either physics or biology. According to English MCAS score results updated in September 2010, 46 percent of South tenth graders were classified as “Advanced/Above Proficient” and 47 percent were classified as “Proficient.” Only 7 percent of students were either “Needs Improvement” or “Warning/ Failing.” Compared with the statewide averages, these numbers are very good. For South, Bryant said, MCAS results “[force] the school to look at low performance.” Students who are failing or struggling with the MCAS may have the opportunity to be tutored so that the school can improve its overall scores. In order to raise test scores and compete with students elsewhere in the country, or in the world, Bryant explained that it may be beneficial to add more science and math classes to the course book. This would mean that other, less test-oriented classes may be cut. Regardless of how “well” students perform on these tests, people still argue that children lose out on a good education if teachers are required to always teach to the test. “It is the way it is,” Bryant said on the controversy around standardized tests. “It’s here to stay.”

To education: standardized testing in 2011

By Amanda Sands, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 From the MCAS, a standard proficiency test, to the AP, a test of mastery, students in Massachusetts are subject to a variety of standardized tests that are designed to provide an equal evaluation of students’ abilities. In some cases, the results of the tests are essentially irrelevant to the student herself because her score may only have ramifications for her school’s funding— something to which she may be oblivious. The consequences of some tests however, affect students quite personally, factoring into their college acceptances. Regardless of the consequences, standardized testing has come under scrutiny all over the country.

To College! The SAT and ACT, administered since To Knowledge! 1901 and 1959 respectively, have been Many students South know what it’s questioned as to their ability to properly like to take an Advanced Placement class. determine a student’s intellect. They do The AP curriculum, a fast-paced, factnot require long-term studying because packed year of learning (or “learning”), the idea is that, as a junior or senior in culminates in a tediously long test in May high school, a student has learned the at test centers across the country. techniques he or she will need to perform According to the College Board webadequately on these tests. site, “Through AP’s college-level courses The more popular SAT has significantly and exams, you can earn college credit changed since its first year. and advanced placement, stand out in the One drastic modification was the admission process, and learn from some of transition from two sections (verbal and the most skilled, dedicated, and inspiring math) to three (critical reading, writing, teachers in the world.” and math) in 2005. Another change was While some consider those claims the implementation, repeal, and 2008 highly questionable, the AP does have a reimplementation of Score Choice—a reputation for promoting the memorizaprocess by which a student may see and tion of endless facts, vocabulary, formulas, handpick the scores that colleges may and timelines—and these are beginning to view on the score report. spur dissatisfaction among AP teachers, South students have historically done parents, and students. very well on this test. By encouraging students to know Although some colleges are rethinking their application requirements, and some have already Teachers, schools, and decided to eliminate the SAT/ACT entre districts have section of the application, the number of South students taking the test been punished based has not changed according to Mary on their students’ Ann Price, who has supervised SAT registration at South since 2004. underachievement, The chaos associated with SAT which is beginning to be registration is largely due to the number of students who choose to considered a product of take it each year at South as well as child poverty and other the popularity of South as a testing center. societal circumstances. (About five years ago, Price said, a couple girls from Iceland were told they should take the SAT in order to improve their chances of acceptance to as many things as possible for the test, college, and were recommended South as teachers are forced to keep in line with a testing center.) strict curricula and are often denied the For reference, Price expects about 1,100 opportunity to stray from the material that kids for the June SAT session. will appear on the AP test. If people are worried that the SAT is not More and more kids are enrolled in entirely indicative of a student’s potential, multiple AP courses. This trend has even its consistent popularity is not reflective caused the AP Statistics test to be moved of that. to the second week of AP testing to make What has changed is the way students sure the AP Spanish students have enough register for the test and how many actually time to use the language lab before the show up on testing day. statistics test begins. In the past, students registered for the Taking AP classes is particularly appealSAT on paper. Now, everything is elec- ing because it offers a chance to place out tronic, and Price can consult a website for of many introductory college courses—for all the information about registering or a $89 fee. administering the tests, which she said is But Joan Bryant, who is in charge of “much easier.” organizing AP and MCAS testing (and While the number of kids taking the test formerly organized SAT administration) hasn’t changed much, Price notes that the at South, reasoned that paying for an AP number of no-shows has dropped, perhaps exam is much cheaper than taking a class

To the Test! The more infamous MCAS is “designed to meet the requirements of the Education Reform Law of 1993,” or in other words: to require that all Massachusetts public school students be tested for proficiency to report on the performance of schools and districts. According to the Massachusetts Department of Education website, a main purpose of the MCAS is “to hold schools and districts accountable, on a yearly basis, for the progress they have made toward the objective of the No Child Left Behind Law that all students be proficient in Reading and Mathematics by 2014.” No Child Left Behind was an act set in motion by the second Bush administration in 2001 with the intention of “[closing] the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind.” This act has led to educators “teaching to the test” by not adequately teaching life subject skills and instead just ensuring that their students can pass a standardized test, regardless of whether the children actually

It is time for an approach to education that acknowledges that the United States is a different place than it was fifty, or even fifteen years ago. students a well-rounded education, and ultimately harming more school systems than they have helped. Another debatable program in education today is Race to the Top, a government strategy begun in the summer of 2009 that aims to provide incentive to states reforming their curriculums and standardized testing by awarding funding to top-performing schools. (In August 2010 Massachusetts came in first place and won $250 million in the second phase of the program.) This program, many argue, encourages schools to employ innovative teaching tactics that have yet to be proven successful. Education-related documentaries have also attracted attention from many different interest groups. Waiting for Superman, a movie released last October, argues a strong case in favor of funding more charter schools, primarily for urban youth. The more recent film, Race to Nowhere, depicts the lives of students living under severe stress and supported, among other things, the potential elimination of homework. After years of government action, countrywide discussions, and documentary viewings, one of the main problems that remains is that there are too many moving parts involved in public education— educators, unions, administrators, tutors, government officials, budget committees, psychologists, and more. Interestingly, students have not had a loud voice in the matters than most affect them. (But how is a public school kid to voice his opinion when homework is taking up all of his time?) As a Massachusetts high school senior, the average student will have taken the MCAS at least seven times (assuming the student doesn’t fail). Even the fourth-graders all know the drill: get a good night’s sleep after having done zero homework the night before, come in at 8:00 in the morning to a beautiful breakfast spread set up by the parents, eat your fill of bagels and fruit, and sit down to hear the rules (“Following test procedure your test booklet will be destroyed.”) Teachers tell children that the test will not affect their grades and that the test is designed to “test the teachers.”

To the Future! Students have, and perhaps always will be, subject to more evaluations before they are eighteen than in the rest of their lives. Should the life of a public school student really revolve around homework, extracurricular activities, social expectations, and all of these tests? The public education community has expressed that these sorts of tests may lead to inadequate educational experiences, cheating, and political battles. If the point of a test were to determine how much a person understands, perhaps testing would not lead to so much conflict. Perhaps it would be eradicated altogether to allow for more liberal curricula. But more and more, testing today is designed to determine how much a person knows. Young kids can be taught to solve math problems with a formula—plug it in. Older ones can be told to memorize the presidents in order and one event that happened during each presidency. The oldest can be pressured into taking the hardest classes, into taking the most SAT IIs, into cheating. But kids can’t memorize and cheat their way to a fulfilling education. Education is different than it ever was before—the world is different. Now that these issues have arisen, the citizens have complained, the media has spoken, and the government has acted, it is time for a system that does not simply duct tape the hole and hide the problem. It is time for an approach to education that acknowledges that the United States is a different place than it was fifty, or even fifteen years ago. We have reacted, we have responded, but we have by no means resolved this pressing issue—and if it takes any longer, the education and future of an entire generation will flounder.

METCO Education B6

Denebola sat down with METCO counselor Katani Sumner about the current state of the program, which aims to eliminate racial imbalance in education by busing students from Boston and Springfield to neighboring suburbs. How did you become involved with METCO at South?

What are your goals for the METCO program?

My first experience at South was in September 1997 when I came as interim counselor at South and Brown for a year before grad school.

To h a v e a s m a n y s t u d e n t s on the honor roll and in up per level classes as they are able. Also to support school-wide efforts around race, culture, and diversity. I’m really proud of what we have done recently. Last year, we had the school shut down for a race discussion. We trained 40 students to become advisory leaders for race day. There is definitely a school-wide energy. There are a lot of things happening here like the tutoring program. It started as a METCO tutoring program but now the majority of students [for whom] it is mandatory to come are not METCO students. It can benefit everyone.

What are some of the greatest challenges you face as METCO counselor? Trying to help students become internally motivated in the midst of what they feel as low expectations, lack of role models, and traveling long distances, and distance with local schools. In your opinion, what role does METCO play in encouraging diversity at South? I think it’s essential. Although there are people of color living in the community, it doesn’t necessarily offer any economic or experiential diversity, or sharing of resources. Especially when we lack diversity in the faculty, at least we can have diversity with students. What are some of the major changes or milestones you’ve witnessed at South? I know that since I was here in 1997 to 1998 and in the 2000s, there is a definite school push towards minimizing the achievement gap. It starts at the administration and inseminates throughout the school. There has also been a need to look at curriculum, not just in terms of race but in terms of different backgrounds. We now have an African American literature class, half of which are students of color. Harambee is another new addition, and that is another great example of how we diversify the music department. The success of Hairspray was positive and it was by far the most diverse cast I’ve seen on either side of the city. Never has there been a more diverse cast. This is a testament to our focus to make [the school] more exciting for all students.

What are some advantages of the METCO program for Newton families? Boston families? Faculty and administrators? As we are a part of a global community, the more you commit to working more effectively together the better. There is always an added value in learning how to become a more connected group with people who aren’t like you. It adds to the strength of Newton by being inclusive. Its also important to note that METCO is equally beneficial to the Newton community as it is to students. Is there anything you would change or add to the METCO program? I am looking forward to starting an African American and Latino Scholars program, but it requires more resources [to start up]. It won’t just be for METCO students but for all students of color. I think it would be great. This program will help establish that culture can be cool. You can be artistic, you can be athletic, but you can still be smart. I’m trying to create this sense of culture and reinforce it.


Reactions of the South community

By Abby Posner, Volume 28 June 8, 1988 How does one explain the recent attacks upon METCO? According to history teacher Dr. Ed Jackson, the bottom line is “what it always” According to Jackson, “METCO attacks can’t be explained by the relative weakness of white liberals.” Jackson feels “education, any education, just costs too much for many people, even if it isn’t getting near enough the support it needs to be effective. They jump on METCO because they won’t face up to paying for adequate education for all, white and black.” Jackson is a strong supporter of METCO. “It’s a good meant doing something when nobody was doing anything.” METCO has become even more important, according to Dr Jackson, because the Boston situation has worsened. “You can’t find a parent in Boston, white or black who isn’t concerned for the safety of their child in the Boston schools,” Jackson said. What METCO offers for white students is real contact with “the black experience.” For blacks, it’s “a clear opportunity,” according to Jackson. “Look what they’re offered in Boston: outdated texts or no texts, understocked laboratories and library shortages, staff shuffled around from one school to another every year, sometimes during the year.” “METCO kids vote with their feet,” Jackson said. “If the program didn’t offer clear gain, who would get on the bus so early every day, get home so late, endure the difficulty and disruption in their lives, being away from homes and neighborhoods for so long.” METCO critics are thoughtless, in Jackson’s

Successful METCO program expands to high schools

By David Eldelstein, Volume 10 December 21, 1970

In response to the intensification of some of the problems of the big cities in recent times, the Newton School System has been hosting black METCO students from Boston. Next year, several of these students will be entering South High to further their educational experience in Newton. Since 1966, students from Roxbury have been coming to Newton schools, starting with the elementary schools and working their way up through junior high. Today, there are already one hundred and twenty-seven of these students divided among different schools. In discussing the arrival of black METCO students at South next year, Mr. Geer remarked “This ill give us a more diverse mix of students.” He went on to note tat this would allow South to deal directly with real situations in racism, not just to read about them in books. Mr. Freedman,

the Meadowbrook principal, added that the epresence of these students gives more of an impact and awareness to students about black problems and city problems. The METCO program in Newton, is serving dual purposes. Primarily, it is attempting to offer the METCO students a better education and environment to study in than woud be offered in the old, overcrowded schools in Boston. A less obvious purpose or results, of this program is to offer the pupils in Newton schools a chance to confront new people who have differing backgrounds, cultures, ideas and attitudes. Inevitably, these black METCO students have been faced with various problems. However, Mr. Shelton, the black assistant principal at Warren Junior High, felt that once the black students have a black counselor or teacher to relate to, their problems would decrease. At Meadowbrook there are five black teachers and one black counselor who

15 February 2011

are able to assist these students when they need help. Several new courses have been added at Meadowbrook Junior High to reflect the black interest. These courses, Black Experience, Soul Music, African Cultures, and other student-initiated programs enable the black students to pursue some of their interests. In effect, the life that these blacks from Roxbury live and the “Newton world” are very different. With the general mood in the country for black awareness and identity, sometimes the black students will tend to stay together, although this new contact, this sharing and relating they do with other students, can only be called a positive experience. The METCO students who will be coming to South next year have already been in Newton schools over the past few years. Mr. Geer feels that they will add much to the classes, and momst faculty think that they will add to the general Newton South atmosphere.

view. “They either don’t have kids or don’t listen to them,” asserts Jackson. “METCO kids don’t have to come, there’s no law making them; it’s an insult to common sense to assume they don’t gain plenty from all those years in suburban schools.” The majority of Boston students at Newton South support METCO, and strongly oppose any limitation or threat of elimination. “I feel that inner-city kids really need METCO and benefit from the program - It has defmitely helped me. It gives students a basis for education, increases intelligence, and takes away from drugs and violence. The Boston Public Schools don’t give a feeling of wanting to learn. The METCO system has brought students from a lower level up to a higher one,” sophomore METCO student Jamar Green said. “METCO has done a lot for [its participants’] educations. There are a lot of things that schools in the suburbs have to offer that we would miss out on if they go rid of METCO,” METCO junior Tyra Jackson said. Although other students at South, those who are not part of the METCO program, think that schools in the suburbs have nothing to offer, we would miss out if they go rid of METCO,” METCO junior Tyra Jackson said. The majority still support the continuation of METCO and realize the difficulties that could arise as a result of its elimination. “I didn’t know that METCO might be phased out, but I still think that it’s a really bad idea. If that happened, kids in the city would not have the opportunity to go to good schools like ours and I do not think that that would be very fair,”

freshman Ruth Tsesaye said. Not only would terminating METCO eliminate the opportunities for inner-city kids to get a better education, it would also destroy the education of those who currently participate in the program. “I hope METCO continues - it helps with education, finding summer jobs and gives scholarships. If the program ends a lot of opportunities for a good future would be ruined,” METCO junior Danielle Sutton said. METCO students asked about Boston schools were often strongly negative. “I spent some time in Boston,” said one student. “It was a waste of time, too much violence, and so few materials. I remember we didn’t have books one year, just xeroxes because they couldn’t order the books or couldn’t afford them.” “The teachers push you here,” said one METCO student. “In Boston, they’d let you drift, wouldn’t care if you showed up for class or didn’t. Here’s it’s a pain sometimes, but you know they want you. In my neighborhood school, it’s just the opposite.” Like the students who participate in METCO, parents oppose the termination of the program. “I wouldn’t want it phased out. I think the kids do really well with the program. If the Boston schools were corrected, than maybe METCO would not be necessary, but until that happens, METCO should continue. How would placing my child into Boston schools help the schools? It’s up to the legislature to improve the schools- the burden should not be placed on the shoulders of the kids. And even if Boston schools were up to par, METCO would still be important for diversity in suburb schools,” METCO parent Richard Still said. Sometimes the situation can seem bleak. “Some students are giving up, but others are trying to succeed. A lot of kids are being kicked out, but it’s not the kids that are giving up - it’s the coordinators that are giving up on us. There’s too little support from families in the city, there’s too little funds, and greater support from people at Newton South is necessary too,” METCO junior Saran Still said.


By Denebola Staff, Volume 10 November 10, 1970

The discussion between black and white students Monday, November 2, brought into the open racial problems in Newton South. Newton is largely a lily white community; thus our school offers limited ethnic diversiy. While the suburban attributes of Newton have been described as “the clean, the green and the serene” by one woman fighting against NCDF, students in its high schools realize a dynamic environment is a result of ethnic diversity, not ethnic sameness. For the first time in this school, black students presented their criticism of Newton South and discussed a black history program taught by a black teacher as an idea for the school’s improvement. Although there is a black history course in our school now, it is not taught by a black teacher. Hopefully, as a result of including this proposal in the discussion of broader problems of race relations, enough awareness was created so the Social Studies Curriculum Review Board will consider such a change. However, a more important change

would be to include history from a black viewpoint, as part of the standard United States History course. For it is necessary to consider the history of ethnic groups if current problems are to be resolved through understanding rather than through ignorance and hate. A black studies program involves a recognition of black culture nad history that has too often been suppressed and ignored by a “white racist society.” However, the “white racist society” is in a period of rapid change where roles of society are being redefined. Some people conceive the future as two races separate by choice, while others envision a totally integrated society. No matter which direction the society takes, one hopes that each person will be able to affirm his culture and be proud of it, while appreciating the differences of other cultures which can mold people into unique and beautiful individuals too. One hopes a fundamental change will be for us to realize that beneath labels and epithets which tend to obscure human qualities in others, there are similarities among cultures which bind us together as humans, in one nation, on one planet.

Some people conceive the future as two races separate by choice, while other envision a totally integrated society.

Global Education Denebola

15 February 2011

ume 44, the editors, along with the advisor, decided that because there is so much global cont a c t

stemming from the many programs at South, a separate section in the paper was necessary. Over the years, Denebola has represented the issues of global cooperation and confl ict and explored major disasters and incidents, in addition to South’s place in the global community. Every Global Education editor has been inspired to bring his or her own experiences and develop the section further. And with South’s rich program, there is never a lack of articles to print. South has always taken pride in wellestablished programs and encouraged new ones, offering students a multitude of opportunities. And Global Education, along with Denebola, has been documenting this progress every step of the way.



ed about world issues and student travel programs, yet were scattered throughout the paper. In2004’s V o l -


South has been an active member of the constantly changing global community since its creation through immersion programs and unique experiences all over the world. The opportunities for South students are immense, and there are many options to enhance in-school education in places from Prague to China to Nicaragua. These are not just chances to travel but to experience cultures in the most direct way possible. To reflect this, Denebola created the Global Education section, dedicated to global news relevant to the South community and beyond. The section debuted in the September 2004 issue, but this was not the fi rst time Denebola has covered global events. In such a diverse school, articles were methodically print-




Former student inspired to join Peace Corps

By Jane Hogan, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 By high school I had only traveled as far a Quebec City, but I loved reading books set in foreign countries. At Meadowbrook Junior High I was in the International Relations Club, and at Newton High, I joined a Senior Girl Scout troop with an international focus. My plan was to be selected for a foreign travel/study program. Instead, a high school senior was sent to Switzerland. She went off to college and I was asked to show her slides to younger troops all over Newton. I vowed I would someday have the opportunity to live in a foreign country. At Newton South I was a member of the AFS (American Field Service) Support Club, and my family served as a short term respite

home. I was friends with our AFS students and loved learning about life in their countries, but I never was able to have an overseas experience. On November 9, 1960, I was in my Goodwin House homeroom debating the impact of the Kennedy presidency. March 1961 the executive order which founded the Peace Corps was announced. I dreamed of joining. I used what I thought would make me appealing to the Peace Corps to guide my selection of college majors. At that time, most volunteers were liberal arts majors. Most programs were either teaching or community development. I majored in Sociology/Anthropology, which enabled me to study other cultures. I minored in Education and English. I was trying to cover all the bases.

Learning a foreign language was a worry. Unfortunately, I had not done well in Foreign Language at South. When I had the choice of French IV or Journalism elective, I took Journalism. The time I should have been studying French was devoted to Denebola. I had to explain this in my application letter. I wish I had put more emphasis on good grades in all subjects, not just those I liked! I was accepted to be a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Turkey. I was assigned to be a Community Developer working with home canning. I lived in the village with no running water, no electricity, and no indoor plumbing. It was bitter cold! I spoke Turkish exclusively. I loved the people in my village and realized basic human values trump differences. The Turks loved Kennedy and valued the

Peace Corps as his dream. I volunteered for a second program. I was assigned to teach English and History in Sabah, North Borneo. Now I was on the Equator. I learned Malay but taught in English. I was able to draw on the way I had been taught in Newton. In the Peace Corps I was able to make decisions, write teaching materials, and have experiences a beginning teacher would not have. I had to learn to think on my feet, take risks, amuse myself and make friends with people whose culture and religion was different from mine. My Peace Corps experiences far exceeded my hopes. I believe I gained more I gave. Throughout my career I’ve continued to teach about and work with diverse cultures. The plan I formed in Goodwin House came to fruition.

An extraordinary collaboration between Harvard University and the Newton Public Schools helped create a new school in Nigeria. Newton South took leadership and supplied collaborative teachers and administrators to make this dream-like project possible. The teachers and administrators spent significant time in the African nation to establish a firm foundation for the school. They built curricula on western-democratic educatin, and trained and supported Nigerians to carry on the work themselves. This is the account of former South Principal Van Seasholes’s experiences in Nigeria.

By Van Seasholes, Volume 3 December 18, 1963 This year we have about 130 first formers and about 30 sixth formers. The first form, as you know, is equivalent to our seventh grade, although the competition for places in grammar schools has meant that we have a number of students who are older, having not been admitted to schools previous to this year. And there are a number of students who had to discontinue their studies after primary school because of a lack of funds. We have a real cross section of kids in every respect. Some

are from surrounding farms, while others are from towns and big cities such as Ibadan and Lagos. We have students with a wide range of ability and facility in using English. They are much like junior high students that I have taught before—eager to please, friendly, wiggly, all sizes and shapes and abilities, full of spark and fun, and at times exasperating. The sixth form takes a course of studies roughly equivalent to our advanced placement or first and second year of university work. They concentrate in either the arts or science, although they are all require to take a general

course in English. December As School Year End The school year will be through the latter part of December and the new year will begin in January. At that time we shall get approximately 210 first formers and 40 sixth formers. This will mean that we shall have the largest or one of the largest schools in the Western region—over 400 students. Nance is busy teaching the faculty children at the International Elementary School. At the recent time, she has nine students, ranging in age from five to nine. It takes the combined efforts

Global Education B7

Our role in world affairs

By Denebola Staff, Volume 3 March 12, 1963 One of the increasing concerns of the United States is our relations with other countries. Modern transportation and the Cold War have made us become aware of the necessity of learning to understand other peoples, their cultures and traditions, and similarities and differences. High schools across the country, realizing this need, are fostering numerous programs to further understanding and friendship between individuals of different nationalities. Newton South is an excellent example of a high school’s role in international affairs. We participate in programs such as the American Field Service (AFS), the sponsoring of an International Relations Club, the hosting of numerous foreign educators, aid in starting a school in Nigeria, and faculty exchanges. The AFS program includes sending students abroad, sponsoring students who come here, and hosting students who stay in nearby communities for weekend events. Currently, from Newton South, Ruth Ann Bliss is living with a family in Italy and Yvonne Baginsky is studying in Brazil. Attending school here are Teresita Porzecanski from Uruguay and Andrew Wezeye

from Uganda. In order to raise enough money to continue this excellent program, the AFS Club sells “Shares in World Friendship” at 50 cents each. (Contributions can still be made through your AFS homeroom representative. Do not forget to purchase your shares!) The International Club sponsors seminars with guest speakers to discuss various areas of the world and their problems. Last year, seminars were presented on the Middle East and Latin America. We are looking forward to further programs this year. The club also attends two model UN’s. This year, visiting foreign educators have come to observe Newton South High School as a prime example of a US high school. They have been from such countries as Nigeria, India, Peru, Singapore, Pakistan, Australia, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, and Ghana, among others. We also have an exchange teacher from England here for the year. There is, of course, a great deal more depth to these programs, and a large number of students do participate in them. We must not forget the important contribution we each can make, the experience and insight that we can gain, through participation in and support of these must vital organizations.

Principal Seasholes Describes African Life of Nance and one of the mothers to keep this group of delightful, bright children going. I have volunteered my services as a gym teacher twice a week and have been busy learning or relearning drop the handkerchief, freeze, the hokey-pokey, and other school favorites. The school is using many of the books that Newton sent and are very grateful for them. Our living conditions are more than satisfactory. In fact we feel that they are downright plush (really somewhat embarrassing when communicating with people who feel that we are baring the wilds of darkest Africa). Nigerians Prove Competence Our Nigerian colleagues are a very competent group of people. We hope that we have been able to establish good relations with all of them. We have gotten to know some of them quite well and see them socially fairly frequently. I hope that we can investigate various ways to develop a relationship between South High School and our school here. There are numerous things that might be done that would be beneficial to each of the schools. Some of my random thoughts follow: 1. Have a Newton South student come here to school next summer. Our second term runs until the middle of August and I see no reason why it wouldn’t work out very well to have a mature, interested student spend the summer here. The big cost would be the plane trip, which is about 900 dollars. Perhaps the AFS or some other


student group could help to raise all or part of the fare. 2. Run a scholarship program for a worthy student. It costs a boarding student 60 pounds (168 dollars) to go to our school. This is an impossible burden on our students, so any kind of scholarship help is needed. 3. Get some communication going between students in the two schools. As a starter I would appreciate your having Mr. Nye send copies of Denebola and any information that would help s to get a newspaper started. Dave Robison, our business manager (would any school but an American one have a business manager?) and I are trying to get a paper started. Although Dave has had some experience on school papers, I’ve had none. I think that the idea of communication between schools and individuals could be a valuable one. It would have to be handled with real thought and care, for we’ve had one nasty incident in which an Albany high school paper was inaccurate and in bad taste and has caused some problems here. There are probably a number of other things that could be done. Nance will be trying to establish contact with elementary schools in the area and will write to Angier about possibilities at this level. The above suggestions are ones that I thought might be appropriate for South High. Our greetings to everyone at South, We hope to be better correspondents in the future. With best regards, Van


Global Education B8

15 February 2011

The history of South’s World Language Department By Daniel Fuchs, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 Throughout its 50-year history, South has offered a wide variety of world languages and language-related programs to its students. Currently, in addition to Spanish and French, South offers Russian, Chinese and American Sign Language programs. In the past, however, South has offered Italian and German in response to what was then a demographic and cultural interest, especially in the case for Italian. “There was a significant Italian population in the neighborhood in addition to students who wanted to pursue both of these languages,” World Language Department Head Suzanne DeRobert said. “[These languages were added] in part because of a community need.” While these programs were popular when they were first added, numbers eventually waned, and the Newton Public Schools responded as such.

“The programs were unfortunately removed as numbers of students taking these languages grew smaller,” DeRobert said. “Rounds of budget cuts were made.” Yet language classes are not the only way South students have the opportunity to pursue languages. “Clubs and after-

school programs are one way to demonstrate and interest in another language,” DeRobert said. In many cases, South works in tandem with these extracurricular opportunities. Such oppotunities in the past have included an afterschool Hebrew course, which was once discussed as a possible

language course at South. Part of the reason that new languages are not always offered at South is because there is no tangible community need or interest, as there once was with Italian and German or as there currently is with Chinese. “To create a new world lan-


guage, we would need a distinct community survey to see their interest,” DeRobert said. “There needs to be a significant interest or need, like there is with Chinese.” Additional obstacles include simply how much South can offer, time and money-wise. “We need to be able to offer a

full four-class program,” DeRobert said. In the future, DeRobert hopes to see other languages offered at South, given the interest. “Arabic has grown immensely and is being offered at many colleges and universities,” DeRobert said. “Given an interest or capacity, I would like to see that offered.” Still, while languages have come and gone, learning one language can be the catalyst for future learning. “The more languages one learns, the more equipped they are to learn others,” DeRobert said. “One language can ensure an easier time learning others moving forward.” More importantly, learning a world language displays a world perspective on a student’s part. “Learning world language is about being open and willing to understand the world cultural through a different lens,” DeRobert said. “It demonstrates a world view outside your own culture. It is the first step towards a new culture.”

South’s most popular language: Spanish By Audrey Daum, Volume 13 January 31, 1973 Despite increases or decreases in the high school enrollment in the various foreign languages, the overall interest in foreign languages has remained about the same in recent years. A report released last October by the United States Office of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) includes a section of figures pertaining to the study of foreign languages. The report shows that Spanish is moving ahead of French as the most popular foreign language. Both languages are taught in nearly fifty percent of the high schools surveyed. On the other hand, interest in Latin is continuing to decline and the language is offered in fewer than twenty per cent of the high schools. Enrollment in Russian and Italian are still very small, but the number of schools offering these languages has more than doubled in the past ten years. (Russian is offered at Newton South while Italian is not. Both languages are taught at Newton North.) The NCES statistics do not reflect a decline in foreign language enrollment that has been noted by the Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (CTFL). The Council’s figures show a very slight two per cent drop in overall enrollment be-

By Charley Bandes, Volume 28 June 8, 1988 The students enter the room and calmly take their assigned cubicles. They wear a headset which allows them to hear their teacher’s commands. Every cubicle is fitted with a video screen that enables the students

tween 1968 and 1970, the first decrease since 1958. According to Mr. R. Rocco Petrillo, the Chairman of the Foreign Languages Department at Newton South, “I think that Newton South High as well as most other high schools generally reflects the NCES report. Latin and Russian are definitely faltering, but I want to make it clear that they will continue if there is sufficient demand.” There has been a slight drop in enrollment in the Foreign Language Department at Newton South, which is in accordance with the CTFL’s figures. There was a total of 1,118 students taking a foreign language at South at the end of the first marking period a year ago while the number was down to 1,077 (a decrease of forty-one students) at the end of the first marking period this year. However, enrollments in Spanish increased five per cent from 1970 to 1972, and twentyfive per cent from 1971 to 1972, and are expected to continue to increase. More students are beginning Spanish in the junior high schools and continuing it at Newton South and more students are beginning Spanish in high school. There are now nineteen sections of Spanish at Newton South in two tracks—curriculum I and curriculum II, both of which are college preparatory. Both tracks carry four years of language study. As is the case in many oth-

er high schools, Spanish has moved up in popularity at NSHS and French has dropped about five per cent. According to Mr. Petrillo, the drop in students taking French is mainly in the upper levels, where a student may decide that he really does not want that much of one foreign language. German continues to be a small but strong program, thanks to the efforts of Frau Johanna Leisher, who goes to Meadowbrook Junior High School in the mornings to teach first-year German classes there. Unfortunately, however, Weeks Junior high recently disconnected its German program, and now offers only Spanish and French. “Our system here is simply a reflection of our feeder junior highs,” says Frau Leisher. The slow death of Latin is due primarily to the fact that the junior highs on our side of Newton have discontinued it, while Day Junior High, which feeds into Newton North, has a very strong Latin curriculum. “I think the most important thing in the contemporary world is good communications, and the mastery of foreign languages helps considerably in the realization of this fact,” feels Frau Leisher. “People put up blocks thinking a language is too hard to learn. “I think that there should be a much greater emphasis on the foreign languages despite the drop in college requirements;

they are essential to the time we are in, the places we are going. Whether the students like it or not, they should take a foreign language just because they may find that, later on, they will use it and like it.” Mr. Petrillo as well as Mrs. Leisher feels that the dropping of language requirements by more and more colleges will contribute to the incipient decline in the language electives. Mr. Petrillo has recently been working with aide Mrs. Bernstein to come up with some ways of encouraging students to take another language, preferably Russian or Latin. In the next syllabus of courses, the Foreign Language Department will offer to anyone who is interested a second language on a pass-fail basis. Many students have told Mr. Petrillo that they would really like to take another language, but, because of other heavier subjects plus the demands of already having one graded language, they could not meet the demands of more grade pressure. Mr. Petrillo’s idea may prove to be a viable solution to this problem. Mr. Petrillo emphasizes that the decline in the Foreign Language Department has only been slight. “I wish that the prophets of doom would stop talking about the demise of foreign languages and just let us get on with the job,” he says.

By Denebola Staff, Volume 2 January 22, 1963 What! No homework for Mr. Petrillo’s 1-1 section of Spanish! “You see,” he replied, “The students are learning to speak and understand oral Spanish before they attempt to write or learn the formal grammar of it.” This method consists of listening to tapes in the language laboratory at least three times a week. Each student, among the 13 participating, has a book which shows pictures of the new vocabulary. First they learn the pronunciation of the vowels. Next, several are combined into simple words. After repeating the word, the student uses it in a simple phrase. He has been actively participating all

the time, however, by taping his voice after the teacher’s and replaying the tapes. Starting with one-syllable words, the tapes present questions, answers, possessives, numbers, and other points of grammar. Because each person proceeds from lesson to lesson at his own rate, his is more able to thoroughly grasp each lesson. In this way, the program enables some students to go farther ahead while others are able to proceed at a slower pace. On the fourth day Mr. Petrillo sees the students. During this time they can ask questions and he can check their progress. And, occasionally, the period is used for inviting foreign students to talk to the class about the Spanish-speaking countries and their cultures.

stressed the importance of the video images to the learning process. The old lab consoles were too unreliable to be used in administering tests, according to Earle. However, students had to use the lab for the foreign language AP exams. Using the old equipment often resulted in distracting buzzing noises which have detrimental effects on the testtaker’s comprehension. The new lab not only eliminates the buzzing noises, but is also capable of analyzing multiple-choice exams automatically. Although Earle stressed the importance of the video component of the new lab, she said that it has been excessively difficult to find Spanish videos. This limits the usefulness of the new lab for Spanish students. Many French videos, however, have been acquired, mostly from the public television program French In Action.

The new equipment enables students to create their own narrations for each episode. In this exercise, the tape is played several times, so that the student can gain familiarity with it, and eventually the student is allowed to narrate the program. This narration is recorded on tape, and can be played back simultaneously with the video. The new lab also is much easier for teachers to use. It can be used to create oral exams, in which the teacher does not need to manage the console at all. The exam is controlled entirely by the main lab unit. Earle said that on the whole, “the system was a little hard to learn at first but everyone is basically happy with it.” The new lab is also equipped with many new computers, including fourteen Apple IIgs units and several Apple Macintoshes. The computers are mostly used by entirely classes but are

also available for individual work during J block. Students use these computers largely to drill new vocabulary, although several new programs are also available. Student opinions on the new lab have not been entirely positive. “It looks real neat, but I think that it was a waste of money,” sophomore Steve Finkel said. Finkel went on to say that he felt that the money would have been put to better use in improving the auditorium. However, he admitted that he had never used the video screen of the new lab. He said that his Spanish class did not have access to any appropriate videos. Sophomore Steven Telio, on the other hand, said that going to the lab is “better than class.” He also said that the new lab is better than the old lab because “the teachers don’t have to run around to figure out what they’re doing.”


Spanish Taught New Way: Petrillo Heads Program

Language lab goes hi-tech


to watch as well as listen to his lesson. They proceed to study prerecorded educational tapes. During all of this, the teacher simply maintains discipline. No, this scene does not come from Steven Spielberg’s next movie. Rather, it describes Newton South’s new language lab. The new lab has been

equipped with entirely new tape consoles, along with video monitors. The new lab has been greatly updated and currently utilizes technology greatly advanced over that of the previous lab. Language lab supervisor Betty Earle spoke enthusiastically about the new lab. She


15 February 2011

Global Education B9

South students respond to global crises By Denebola Staff, Volume 7 April 6, 1968 On Saturday, March 16, the “Greater Boston High School Committee To End The War in Vietnam,” held a rally on the Boston Common. The Committee’s platform is “end the war, the draft, and high school complicity with them.” The Committee’s political position is set forth in its newspaper by arguments for and against the two Socialist Workers Party candidates. It opposes the war and the draft, and supports Castro and “the colonial revolution” in Vietnam. It favors separate black schools and political parties, and calls Senator Eugene McCarthy a racist, like George Wallace. The Socialist Workers Party and its affiliate, the Young Socialists, directed the marchers. At 12:50, some of the marchers arrived with the signs. Between 25 and 30 people started marching in a circle in front of the Park Street station. By actual count, 25 NSHSers took part, with others looking on. A Young Socialist girl came over to us and said that the U.S. economy functions only through “exploitation of the masses in foreign countries,” and “by dropping napalm on

Guatemala.” We discussed this for about five minutes; she then went back to marching. Present everywhere were distributors of Socialist Worker publications, and, of course, AVATAR. With about 180 students, the march left the Common and proceeded down Boylston Street,

By Jennifer Heyman, Volume 30 December 21, 1990 Before August 2, 1990, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers was only a topic for World History students at South. But the world has changed tremendously in the last year, and out of the birthplace of Western Civilization comes a new enemy. Students at South are not talking about Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar, but about Saddam Hussein and the Persian Gulf Crisis. Opinions at Newton South have proven to be a microcosm of national opinion. The views expressed run the gamut from absolute isolationism, to favoring cautious negotiation, to advocating immediate confrontation. While there is no consensus, clearly the topic is on everyone’s mind. History teacher Cary Holmes is distressed by our nation’s reasons for getting involved in the Mideast. “If this is being done just for oil and protecting the government’s selfish interests, then these are shallow reasons. I’d like to think this is being done for moral values,” he said. Holmes hopes that the situation will be resolved peacefully. “I’d like to see the nations of the world work together, but that takes a lot of patience, and patience is in short supply in a media-saturated society such as ours.” Foreign language department head Claire Jackson agrees with Holmes’ contention that the United States’ foreign policy in the Mideast should be based on patience. “What has become clear to me is that while Saddam Hussein is mad, he is also incredibly ingenious and intelligent. It seems to me that he has strategized each step of this confict in such a way that is has been difficult for Americans to achieve consensus

on the issue of patience versus non-patience. I hope we’re patient,” Jackson said. Senior Stephanie White’s desire to see this situation settled without our country going to war stems from reasons close to home. “I have a cousin who is in the Gulf, so of course I want the situation to resolve peacefully,” White said. Music teacher Gordon Duckel is not only opposed to war, but opposed to the build up of American troops. “Basically I don’t think we have any business there. I’m not sure the United States is the preserver of the universe.”

Stuart Rose of Newton High stated that (a) we support racist and fascist dictatorships in South Africa, Greece and Latin America, (b) we are in Vietnam, as in Korea and everywhere else, because our big businesses need cheap labor and the raw materials, (c) that a negotiated end to the war would be bad, as it would force United States domination over Vietnamese, as it has in Korea, and that we “go to college to help enslave people.” SDS’er Aaron Cohen said that if peace comes, so will widespread unemployment; therefore, the government will not stop the draft. H e e n c o u raged students to rebel against high school complicity with the draft in any way they can. He suggested that students start by disobeying the dress codes, which are just school administration attempts to “indoctrinate” people. “The system stinks,” he added, and it, not Lyndon Johnson, produced Vietnam and will produce others. He also stated that we herd South Vietnamese into concentration camps. After two other speakers described Committee activities, the rally ended, and everyone slowly drifted out of the church.

By Robert Schlossman, Volume 19 November 28, 1979 On Friday of last week, one of the several Iranian students attending Newton South was verbally and physically assaulted in Cutler house. While the incident was relatively minor, this act shows an insensit i v ity and level of immaturity uncharacteristic of Newton South’s student body. Furthermore, it was unprovoked and a nonconstructive reaction to the current situation in Iran. Unfortunately the attack was representative of a wave of anger that is sweeping the U.S. in response to the capture of the U.S. embassy in Tehran and the subsequent kidnapping of 62 Americans by Iranian students on Nov. 4. The students are demanding the return of the Shah to stand trial for crimes committed while in power. The students have since eased their demands first by releasing three hostages, and than by releasing an additional ten hostages. A major source of confusion to U.S. policy makers was the nature of the support the

students were receiving from the Iranian government. It was later learned that the attack was both supported and encouraged by Ayatollah Khomeini, the recognized leader of Iran. Consequently, President Carter made the decision to hold the Iranian government wholly responsible for the safety of

the United States been more responsible in the past. “I feel the United States should have done something in the seventies about the oil crisis. If American cars ran thirty miles per gallon of gas, we wouldn’t need foreign oil,” Duckel said. “I haven’t been able to figure out why, other than greed, the U.S. never worked to produce quality cars with better gas mileage.” Junior Anne Kimball pins much of the blame for the Gulf situation on President George Bush. “I think Bush is being much too hawkish about the whole thing. We should try to be as non-aggressive as possible and monitor the reactions of the other European nations [who are] our allies.” Sophomore Christopher Riely is also dissatisfied with the way Bush has handled the situation. “I think Bush has to take a firm stand on the matter for the U.S. to gain anything. He’s drifted from an aggressive position to a conservative position,” Riely said. “I think Bush is attempting to warn Hussein that if he doesn’t compromise, we will declare war. If we do conduct war, it should be succinct and orderly, unlike the mess we had when Bush was trying to capture Noriega.” English teacher Ernest Chamberlain advises more aggressive tactics in the Mideast. “I’m usually not a war-monger, but I think we should get it over with. It’s a matter of practicality. We have all those people over there,” Chamberlain said. He does not believe that Iraqis pose a real threat to the American troops. “I don’t think they’re real fighters. Senior Evan Pisick agrees: “I believe that we should just go over there and bomb Iraq. What’s the point of having troops over there if they aren’t going to do anything? This way we can bring the troops home for Christmas.”

By Adi Nochur, Volume 41 September 28, 2001 On September 11, 2001, three hijacked airplanes smashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing thousands of civilians and shattering nation’s confidence. This tragic terrorist attack has profoundly affected the American people. Once news of the attacks broke, South Principal Michael Welch made announcements over the school’s public address system every hour with updates about the situation in New York and Washington. Welch urged students to stay in their classrooms with their teachers or with a trusted adult, and while all afterschool activities were canceled, the day’s schedule continued as normal. “I did not want to hold large assemblies because there is a certain contagious hysteria that occurs [at such gatherings],” Welch said. “I’d rather that teachers and students discuss [the tragedy] in small groups.” The tragedy had a profound emotional effect on many South students and teachers, and different people are dealing with the tragedy in many different ways. “I’m struggling to find the best way to respond to the needs of the whole community,” Welch said. For now, Welch is planning several optional forums about the tragedy in the coming weeks. Some students were scared and distressed when they learned about the tragedy. “I felt as if my personal safety was in jeopardy,” junior Bryan Young said. “It was very disturbing witnessing an American symbol of defense being partially destroyed.” Others felt disbelief and shock. “I’ve found it difficult

to comprehend the scope of the attacks. After growing up in a period of high economic prosperity and stability, it’s tough to accept that the U.S. is going to war,” junior David Tannenwald said. The attacks have also affected South teachers, many of whom have some sort of personal connection to the tragedy, according to Welch. “All the adults in building are taking this very hard,” History teacher Bob Parlin said. “Some of us are sad, some are angry, and some are struggling to understand what happened.” South teachers are also find-

Vietnam War

well-surrounded by police, to the Community Church. There were relatively few hecklers, none particularly loud. Inside the church, five speakers discussed “What high school students can do against the war.” The first speaker, Jeffrey Brown (not from South) told the audience that the draft is “just another control over human life in the United States,” and “another step toward 1984.” It is “raising a new breed of people brought up with a guilty conscience.”

Persian Gulf Crisis

Duckel is opposed to the United States’ involvement for economic reasons as well. “We’re spending billions of dollars a month [on Desert Shield] while people are starving to death on the streets,” he said. Holmes, however, does not consider the Middle East crisis anything to laugh at. “It is a tragedy because we could not prevent this incedent before it occurred. There was nothing any country could do until after it had happened. No one could read Saddam Hussein’s mind,” she said. History teacher Dr. Edward Jackson believes the U.S. could have been more prepared for Hussein’s invasion of Iraq even without the ability to read minds. “Why didn’t our intelligence know what was going on? Why were we unprepared? Why didn’t we listen to the Israelis?...[They] have been warning us about Hussein for years,” Jackson said. Duckel also believes that this crisis may been prevented had

students. Furthermore, Carter ordered all Iranian assets held in American banks to be frozen. This move was in anticipation of a planned withdrawal of these assets by Khomeni. While the reactions were in a large part due to the initial sense of helplessness and outrage, this period is over. Even during adversity we should not overlook the freedoms elaborated in the Constitution. The Iranian students have a right to free speech as do all Americans. It is unquestionable that the demonstrations against the Shah are compounding a tense situation, yet the students have a right to voice their grievances. It must also be kept in perspective that the U.S. supported the Shah’s administration; consequently, the U.S. must face the complications caused by this aid. While the raid was the irrational and ill-advised product of a frustrated people, it has forced the most powerful country in the world to choose between an obligation to a former ally, and to the hostages. Blackmail should not be tolerated, but if a rational settlement of the situation is to be attained, then some sort of compromise will have to be worked out.

Iranian Hostage Crisis

the hostages. This confusion was echoed by the U.S. public with the beating of Iranian students who protested the Shah’s presence in the U.S. and demanded his death. Across the country American citizens responded with flag burnings and other anti-Iranian activities. Last Monday, President Carter ordered the cessation of importation of Iranian oil. This oil accounted for 4% of U.S. consumption. In addition, Carter called for more stringent enforcement of visa violations by Iranian

student-led forum in the auditorium during J-Block on September 13. At this gathering, students shared their thoughts with their peers and suggested many ways for the Newton community to get involved with issues surrounding the tragedy, from creating a memorial to planning fundraisers for the victims’ families. The following Monday, September 17, the Peace in the Middle East club held a J-Block forum in the lecture hall. This discussion was more intimate and focused on politics and opinions rather than ways to commemorate the tragedy. While the students at the meeting agreed that action had to be taken against the terrorists, they were in a moral quandry about how the U.S. should react. Howe v e r, m o s t thought that a full-scale war against Afghanistan was not a good solution to the problem of terrorism. Sophomore Kyle Brodie shared this opinion. “One of the key things is that we have justice, not retaliation,” Brodie said. “We’ve begun to declare war against Afghanistan, and Afghanistan has declared war on Pakistan because [Pakistan is] supporting the U.S. This is the kind of thing that got the other two World Wars started. That scares me, and that’s why I think it’s important that we do our best to keep peace.” While many people take different stances on the terrorist strikes, most Americans can agree that their general attitude towards life has changed in the wake of the tragedies. As the American people continue to try and make sense of the attacks, the healing process will take a long time for the Newton South community and the rest of the United States.

September 11

ing themselves in a somewhat uncomfortable position as mediators for class discussions about the attacks. “I haven’t found students to have a difficult time expressing themselves, but I am trying to be sensitive to the wide variety of personal backgrounds that students possess,” Parlin said. Welch was quick to respond to the attacks. At 7 a.m. on the morning of September 12, he called a mandatory meeting of all school faculty and staff. “We met to discuss how to communicate factually and in a supportive manner what was currently happening,” South enrichment officer and crisis team member Donna Gordon said. “Last spring we learned a lot from psychologists who deal with trauma, and we used those strategies to create a supportive, helpful climate.” As another part of the South response, Welch oversaw a


Global Education B10

Russia Exchange

By Daniel Fuchs, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 The “South-238” exchange, a student exchange between South and School 238 in St. Petersburg, has been a part of South for nearly five years, and has connected students from across the globe. The program, which began in 2006, is an alternating-year exchange program; in 2006, South students hosted, and the following year were hosted by students in School 238. Students remain with their host families for roughly 2-3 weeks. The program was created by Russian teacher Lucinda Leveille, who had connected with the school before arriving at South. “The program is a cultural exploration and home stay,” Leveille said. The groups of students and faculty from both Newton and Russia, generally numbering around six students and two teachers, arrive in their host country and are immediately taken in by a host family. This transition can be daunting to some students, but many are able to adjust to their new situations. “There are no problems with acclimation, though it can be scary when they go to their host family,” Leveille said. “It can be awkward at the beginning, but that passes.” Host families, according to Leveille, are always accommodating, especially when it comes to food. “Families often have snacks and meals available for students,” Leveille said. “They are very careful of allergies.” In fact, the students often grow close with their host families. “They reach a common language,” Leveille said. “People learn to like each other, and often become close friends.” The exchange students attend the opposite high school, either choosing their own classes or following their host. In many situations, South students and students from School 238 will help out during foreign language courses. “The Russian students will help out during Russian class, and our students will help out during English class,” Leveille said. During the afternoon, students will travel throughout their host cities, experiencing the culture firsthand. “We take the Russian students to the museums, like the [Museum of Fine Arts] or Newton History Museum, take them shopping or visit the seashore,” Leveille said. And while traveling across Massachusetts often requires a van, in St. Petersberg the South students do not have the same issues. “St. Petersburg is a very walkable city,” Leveille said. “It is easy to get around.” In the evenings, students may attend cultural events or just spend time with their families. Group dinners at one of the host students’ houses happen often to allow students time to get to know each other in groups. During the program, notable experiences have included student talent shows in St. Petersburg, where South students performed songs they had learned in Russian class Speaking about the future of the program, Leveille hopes it can expand and allow more students and faculty to attend. “I would love to involve teachers of other disciplines,” Leveille said. “The language barrier can be an issue, however.” Leveille takes pride in students on both sides that choose to participate in the program. “I have great admiration for students brave enough to leave home and go where they don’t know anyone,” Leveille said. “It is a brave thing to do.”

15 February 2011

Parlez- vous francais? Moi aussi

By Laura Haime, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 Newton South High School students explore beyond the horizons of our country every year. Even though trips have unfortunately discontinued throughout the years, the France trip continued to offer students insight into another

courage students to travel in school- organized trips. “South started with a lot of student exchange programs, but then there were no trips after 9/11. The travel idea became very taboo,” Merle said. The driven French teacher, however, did not give up. In 2006, he planned the first schoolorganized trip to France since

overseas trips for large groups of teenagers and much time has already been spent planning South trips abroad. Officials hope that by the 2002-2003 school year the trips can resume. The South Chorus had hoped to travel to Italy later in the year. “A lot of detail had gone into the planning and into an additional curriculum about Italy,” choral director Ben Youngman said. Nevertheless, Youngman and the choral students support Young’s decision to cancel the trip. “When I first found out about the trip, I was so excited. Now, I feel disappointed, but I understand why the superintendent thought it unsafe for us to go.” Sophomore Ava Shapiro said. Choral student Vered Tomlak agrees. “We had been looking forward to [the trip] since last spring, but it is better for us to be safe rather than take the risk. It is not the best time for American students to be overseas,” Tomlak said. “I completely understand the decisions of the superintendent, and I support the decision,” Youngman said. Duckel agrees with Young’s decision, but remains optimistic about the department’s trips in the future. “[Young] photo from internet source will postpone ously planned trips to Mexico the trips, but they will be back,” or Canada will be allowed. In Duckel said. response, Young has confirmed Given dramatic daily changes, that there will be no trips any- trips abroad will resume dependwhere outside of the United ing on the world conditions. “A States. specific time is impossible to Young hopes that his deci- predict,” Young said. sion will relieve parents of In a letter written to Newanxiety over whether or not ton faculty, staff, parents, and they feel comfortable allowing students on October 16, Young their kids to journey overseas wrote: “Both the Oak Hill bus with school groups. Many par- tragedy last spring and the atents will be grateful that they do tacks of September 11 have not have to face such a difficult shaken our sense of safety. We decision regarding the safety of are all in this together. Let us be their children. patient with one another as we Young felt it necessary to put wrestle with our personal feelthe policy into effect immediate- ings and strive to create the safly, so that no more time or effort est possible environment for the went into planning. For organiz- children and adults who inhabit ers, it is a demanding task to plan our schools.”

the terrorist attacks. The trip started with 25 students who seized the opportunity to practice their foreign language skills. Not knowing what to expect, the students got on the plane filled with excitement, and returned home a week later with smiling faces and a new appreciation for their effort in French class. Though the number of students has fluctuated over the years, the France trip proves to be a success time and time again. Last year, when the suffering economy forced families to cut back in their budgets, families continued to send their students to France, without regrets. In the past, students have visited Paris, Pau, Talloirs, and Toulous among other cities and suburban towns where host families graciously invited them. “The France trip was a great experience,” senior Jessica Zellner-Kline, who went on the trip last year, said. “We were told that it would be a trip based on immersion, but I didn’t fully picture how immersed I would be.” During the trip, the students attend a French high school with their host siblings. Walking in the hallways of another culture, the students absorb information, and gain a new perspective on education. “I think one of the reasons the France trip has been a success is because it’s unlikely that students will get another chance to go to a French high school,” Merle said. Merle also expressed how he believes the length of the trip attracts students to the program. “(The trip) is short enough that it’s not too daunting, because they have to spend 5 days with strangers,” Merle said. While most exchange trips require students to leave their homes for weeks at a time, the French trip only lasts for the week of February vacation. The trip also assures students of their efforts in French class. After learning French and practicing the language

choose an elective. Mu takes fewer courses at South, but must work hard to understand the teacher and text books which present the subject matter solely in English. Mu gets some assistance each day with his work from his host Dan Rottenberg. The reward of teaching and learning, however, goes

both ways. “At first, I was unsure about what to expect from the experience of housing an exchange student, especially one from such a contrasting culture. However, since Dan-hai’s arrival, we have been able to learn from each other’s differences, and his stay with us has become a positive

culture’s perspective for the past four years. When French teacher Sebastian Merle arrived at Newton South in 2003, he saw the potential for a successful, educational program where students could visit his home country. Unfortunately, only years before he arrived, 9/11 had hampered efforts to en-

“You can’t go global now.”

By Emily Concannon Volume 41 October 26, 2001 Not global now. Like many other schools, public and private, Newton Public School students and teachers will have to stick closer to home for the foreseeable future. In past years, Newton South students have been able to extensively visit the greater world through school trips. After the terrorist attacks of September, 11, the 2001-2002 school year will be decidedly different, according to Newton Superintendent Jeffrey Young. In a recent memo to principals and staff, Dr. Young announced that until further notice, no school-sponsored trips outside America would be allowed, and all trips or excursions would be subject to prior review. Though national and international excursions have long been anticipated events at South, major trips to China, Italy, and Prague have been canceled, along with o t h e r, smaller trips. Noting he was following U.S State Department advisory, Dr. Young explained his decision. The Oak Hill bus tragedy of last spring added an additional dimension of concern, prompting review of travel on weekends and evenings. Young and associate superintendent, Dr. James Marini, now must approve detailed itineraries of all field trips traveling between the hours of midnight and six a.m., at least two weeks in advance of departure. “Trips within Massachusetts will proceed as planned. Outof-state trips, or trips requiring overnight travel, must receive prior approval,” Young said. “The overall purpose of the policy is to keep American

By Jonathan Kay, Volume 27 September 29, 1987 The exchange between students from Newton South and JingShan School in Beijing, China began in 1985 when a group of Chinese students were hosted by students from both Newton South and Newton North. Last year, students from two Newton schools had the opportunity to visit China, and this year, the JingShan School again sent representatives to Newton on September 9, 1987. Mu-Dan Hai, who is living with junior Dan Rottenberg and his family, is South’s only exchange student this year. To participate in the program, Mu had to show that he was capable of making up the work he will miss while in America, and to write why he wanted to come to America: “I want to study English, master English, to learn more about social customs, and see the most modern things, and to

students out of planes, away from important landmarks and close to home.” Furthermore, Young reserves the right to cancel any field trip (both within Massachusetts and to other states) at any time prior to departure. There is much disappointment around South about the cancellation of the trips overseas. However, most students and teachers seem to understand the risks. “The U.S. Department of State has issued travel advisories for Americans going overseas. Clearly, the main concern is that Americans may become targets of those with terrorism on their minds. More and more districts are following the same policy,” Young said. Some confusion at South existed about whether previ-

China Exchange Going Strong develop the friendship between our schools,” he wrote. Once accepted, Mu had to learn more modern English and read books about America. Since his arrival in Newton, Mu has noticed some similarities and many differences between the lives of high school students in the United States and China. Out of school, students in China participate in similar activities as students in America, such as sports, Mu said. However, the JingShan School itself and its course requirements contrast with South greatly. The JingShan School consists of only two buildings and the students are placed in one class with the same group of people for all of their courses. There is only one level for each subject. Furthermore, students take more courses at the JingShan School than their counterparts at South. Last year, Mu took math, physics, chemistry, history, English, Chinese, politics, and physical education. He was also able to

photo from denebola archives

photo from denebola archives

in a more artificial setting, the students had the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a real-world scenario. “The family I stayed with was very nice and because they spoke little to no English, I was forced to use everything that I had learned in class,” Zellner-Kline said. “By the end of the week, I was thinking in French and even dreaming in French.” “It gives (them) a great sense of achievement,” Merle said, as he commented on the noticeable boost in the students’ self confidence in the classroom. The transformation that Merle observes amongst his students encourages him to continue running the trip. “There’s definitely a before and after,” Merle says, remembering the impression that the experience left on his students. Although the resolute teacher looks forward to future trips, the exchange program is put on hold for a year, as Merle preserves energy for more trips to come. He does, however, urge students to apply for the trip in the future. “So many French families want to host (American students),” Merle said. He further encourages students to sign up for the program regardless of financial difficulties, as several scholarships are within close reach. As one of the most successful exchange trips that Newton South has to offer, the France trip opens doors for students. “It was a very fun trip and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!” Zellner- Kline said. The gratifying memories of past participants and the alluring opportunities of the program continue to incite participation from students.

experience for both me and my family,” Rottenberg said. “One thing I am impressed with,” Rottenberg added, “is his ability to try new things.” Mu is eager to eat American food, and really wants to “put his heart into learning English.” Outside of school, as well, Mu has been busy since his arrival. He has even attended a Saturday morning soccer practice with the Newton South team, participating fully in both the playing and the running. Mu is happy with what he has seen and done in the short time he has been with the Rottenbergs. “Here the people are friendly and enthusiastic, and especially give me a very warm host family— like my home. I have gratitude,” Mu said. Mu also said that he enjoyed a warm welcome. “‘My room is your room,’ Mr. Rottenberg said when I came here, and they give me more opportunity to understand America and see more and taste more.”


15 February 2011

By Laura Haime, Volume 50 Febuary 15, 2011 The highly international student body and staff at South encourage global awareness amongst the school. Over the years, principals have displayed their determination to expand the boundaries of the school, creating opportunities for students to learn outside of the building’s walls. Joel Stembridge, the current principal, has a vision for the future of global education. “We already provide great programs,” Stembridge said, “and my goal is to maintain, develop,

By David Gabriel, Volume 47 June 7, 2007 In an interview with South Principal Brian Salzer, Denebola asked him his opinion on global education and his experience on Prague Spring and with the Fulbright Scholarship Programs. Denebola: What got you interested in Global Education? Brian Salzer: That’s a good question! The truth is I have been a big supporter of global education all the time I have been a teacher, but when I was principal in Wisconsin and was awarded the Fulbright Exchange to the Czech Republic several years ago that sealed the deal. Going abroad, working with students, colleagues, and a new community, you can built lifelong relationship that can make a difference not only for you and your community, but, in order to make a difference in the community you have been a part of – the world’s a better place for your exchange. People say I am silly when I say that global education can help international relations, but it seem so obvious to me that it how we can bring about world peace. The more people you really know, are friends with, the less likely you are to drop bombs on them! Just looking at your experience, David, you visited three countries over a short but intense period. In the course of your life it is likely you will visit more, and get to know more people. It’s also likely you will put into action the exchange, the leadship skills you have developed. You may be a teacher, scientist, doctor, or businessman; you may become a Congressman or Senator. Why not President? Your relations in all those areas with all those people are more likely to be positive because you are informed, and because, no, you have a personal relationship with those you’ve just read or heard about. Hopefully by the time you’re in this role or that and have had these global experiences, you will have also learned that you do not solve your problems with other by killing them. D: Can you tell use of two or three past global education experience with students? BS: One particular global experience remains vivid to me although it differed from several programs here at Newton South. Students and I studied and the visited the Hawaiian Islands. Now as you know, Hawaii has its own culture, a complex interweaving of both indigenous and immigrant groups. The environment has a large influence upon those groups and their development and our program had a geology focus to a greater extent than your history and literature focus. We studied volcanoes, for example, alongside the culture of native Hawaiians. From our studies beforehand we were prepared to observe and distinguish. We knew, for example, there were two dif-

Global Education B11

Global education; a look into the future

and foster these programs.” Since Stembridge joined the community in the fall of 2009, school-organized trips have taken students to several countries like Peru and China. As he continues to work with the staff in providing opportunities for the students, Stembridge hopes to create guidelines for global programs; the “Newton South High School way,” he said. Tired of seeing only certain students benefit from the global programs, Stembridge seeks ways to include all students in the experience. “I want to develop ways to bring back

learnings of how things work elsewhere,” Stembridge said “so that students can learn from the programs whether they are there, or here.” Stembridge envisions the potential that exist within the foreign exchange programs at South. “We can’t have everyone go to Peru, but we can have Peru come to us,” Stembridge said. His plans include presentations and activities on students’ experiences in other countries that could be accessible to any classroom.“I want to see us build exchanges into lesson plans,” he said.

As he explores ways for students to share their experiences with the schools, Stembridge also considers the possibility of using twenty first century technology. Skype, for example, would allow students who were unable to participate in trips to benefit from the relationship Newton South has with international schools. Although our school already offers many exchange programs, Stembridge shows determination to take full advantage of the global education at the school. He has an open mind for suggestions, and high hopes for success.

ferent types of eruptions; one that explodes, and the other – Hawaiian word aho – which flows, like Mt. St. Helen’s in Washington. Words for different types are important, for one that flows gently, is perfectly safe, even though lava is flowing and you have the odor of sulfur. Nevertheless, exploring around that kind of volcano is pretty safe. Mount St. Helen’s, by contrast, is never likely to have a slow flow. Volcanoes stick to the same pattern and you learn to make other kinds of discriminations, like what is happening or perhaps can happen by the kinds of rocks around you. Some will be jagged while others are smoothers. Each has significance. We learned about volcano tunnels and tubes, what happens to the soil as a consequence of volcanic action current or in the distance pats, and how rock in fact becomes soil. So what the students and I experienced was a great trip but it was a trip and different from what I am seeing here in Newton.

a chance, and for whom that chance might make a greater difference than if I had been in another place. When I taught in Pardubice, for example, I was the first American those Czech students had ever met, and America was something students and teachers wanted to know about first hand. Roman, the student who met with those from Prague Spring in April, he couldn’t get enough speaking to me; like his friends, they had never heard an American English accent. If I was walking around Pardubice and they called a parent, the boy or girl might say, I’m with the American. Everyone in Pardubice knew who I was: the American who was visiting from the Middle West. So to work in Prague for six weeks, thousands of visitors from everywhere in the world, what you had to give would not be as much of a gift in Prague, would not make the difference I believe I made in the lives of many, perhaps hundreds outside in Pardubice, besides, of course, the gifts I was given.

D: You took your Fulbright Scholarship to a town 40 miles from the historic city of Prague. Why Pardubice and not Prague? BS: Why pick Pardubice rather than Prague as the center of my Fulbright experience? That’s so easy it’s embarrassing to say – Prague is a city, a great city, a historic but international city. How do you experience a culture and a people in an international city? By going to a city or a village, you will encounter real people and their everyday lives. Life in Prague is no less real than in Pardubice but it is far less filtered and far less overlaid with elements not part of past Czech experience. When I read Dominika Dery’s memoir of growing up a little girl twenty miles outside Prague, I recognize people I was friendly with in Pardubice. The same would be true with someone from Central Europe comparing here, what would they learn of America if they came to New York City or Washington? Neither would be a good lens through which to view the United States. Now, I can’t say I came to that perspective in a vacuum. My first experience living outside this country was in Costa Rica. I was working in a hotel. The main office was in a large city; the roads around the main office were like Boston’s, there were none like that around the hotel. In San Jose everyone spoke English, and there were shopping centers. That wasn’t the Costa Rica where I was working, where everyone spoke Spanish, where people with my color of skin were rare or never seen before. You can imagine that it made me think. When I had the Fulbright opportunity, I knew my visit and working with colleagues and students would mean sharing certain opportunities I had that they might not have. I wanted to give what gifts I had to those who might not have

D: What global education opportunities did the Newton Public Schools seem to offer when you applied to be Principal? BS: The Newton Public Schools did not offer anything in the sense you are asking; they did not highlight some of these programs throughout the system that are taking place, and that have taken place--some of them I now understand-- for decades, some of them unique and models, like the Jingshan Exchange or Newton North’s Russia and Italian exchanges,

latter, much like any vacation, you go to Rome and you have no idea what it is like to live as an Italian in 2007. The hotels, tours, and meals are packaged and rigidly run, you are surrounded by other Americans and if you have time to yourself, it’s shopping. As part of a program, you first study the people, their language, their history, and their economic development and relation with other peoplesother nations. You may listen to music, look at their arts, try out words or phrases, and work your way through the city and country maps. When the program goes into its travel phase, you aren’t reflexively shocked by what you see and hear; you are confirmed to some extent by what you’ve studied but what you know is altered by the actual encounter. It’s adjusted by real people- think of meeting the students from Pardubice, the two hours with Dominika at Charles University, and the question and answer with Dr. Munk at Terezin concentration camp. Remember your conversations over dinner in Berlin with Martin Z, the man who actually filmed the film you saw, Good Bye, Lenin. One kind of experience is limited, programmed, the other is planned and leaves room for spontaneity and real learning.

Salzer goes global; broadening horizons

D: You choose to participate in the Prague Spring 07 program—why that program? BS: Two reasons. Because I knew that Mr. White organizes and directs Prague Spring like an educational program, and

photo by denebola archives

the trip to India, or South’s Prague Spring. D: Speaking before the School Committee recently, you made the distinction between programs and trips. What’s the difference? BS: This is an important distinction and one that often gets blurred or missed entirely. A program is built upon an educational curriculum and is meant to give you an educational experience in the richest sense, whereas a trip is a vacation. With the one you are a student in the fullest sense, with the other a tourist. With the

because, as I said, I wanted to build upon my previous experience in the Czech Republic. Continuity is important, and I have continued to stay in touch with both colleagues and students I came to know in Parbudice, and Mr. White and Mr. Rinaldi- in their February planning visit- continued to strengthen these relations. I have emailed those students and continued discussions with them and with the teachers but you cannot kept those connections alive, nurture the relationship, entirely by long distance, by machines, and bytes.

D: What elements of Prague Spring seem to you most valuable for students? BS: Safety is and must be the chief concern. You can’t learn in an unsafe environment, so teachers have the responsibility of making experiences as safe as possible. I think having a well-constructed program that gave you educational opportunities, in a safe environment, guided, led, cared for by well-informed and experienced adults. You as students have some understanding now of what went into making your time in Cnetral Europe as positive as it was. You are also aware, you now understand how well taken care of you were, to make it so positive. Adult leaders took away certain challenges— which they judged unacceptable risk—so you have more positive, lasting experiences.

D: Are there any particular resources you see as important to strong global education programs you would like to develop? BS: The biggest weakness of any global education program is our commitment from teachers to make long-standing program commitments. It’s exciting to dream of taking students to the Czech Republic, but taking another group the next year, the next ten years, that’s a commitment, and perhaps less exciting for those who must begin their planning the week after the last group has returned. For Mr. White to continue this kind of work for ten years in a row and to change the program with the changing conditions, to provide new challenges and experiences means a different sense of learning for him than for you. Teachers aren’t all that different that students in the way new experience excite and enthuse them. Do you see another level of challenge occurs when a program gets past the initial newness? That is to maintain and deepen the program; it’s another level of challenge that is demanded, and must be met if the program is to renew rather than just repeat. It’s easy for a teacher to get excited, “Hey, lets do an Australian trip!” A bigger step, a greater commitment is “Hey, we’ve exchanged a decade, let’s continue and keep making it fresh.” Not everyone wants to give up their February or April break, not everyone pushes to recruit others who have a passion for this kind of education, creating valid global experiences and keep them going twenty years all around the world. D: What are some elements in global education programs you know about- outside Newton- you would like to see the Newton schools emulate? BS: Let me shift the question by underscoring some dangers. A school or a system must be careful in its global education planning. Global education is expensive in many ways. It tends to attract, by its costs, a certain demographic. Saturating any given landscape with one

graphic by leigh alon

global program after another, then, only touches one area. I mean, you must develop global programs thoughtfully so they meet the needs across the broad academic and socioeconomic spectrum; everyone, in short, should have an opportunity to learn by traveling beyond their own, limited environment. Prague Spring is several thousand dollars for nine days and can touch only a few. Tanzania we are talking about, that’s five thousand. My question is whether we can envision and develop programs that are global, and can do this for $800 or $1000, without compromising the quality of the experience. You can’t have the same, and just more of it.

D: Some have talked about a college or university relationship around global education, with Newton schools as global education sites for curriculum and degree? BS: Any partnerships with local institutions must serve all parties. Planning must be thoughtful and purposeful before putting anything into place so that the school as well as the university, so that the students as well as the graduate students, benefit. We do not want to create or agree to ‘exciting’ global experiences that are ad hoc, global programs that cannot live beyond those who have put them into place for limited purposes. It’s one thing to have a relationship with the JFK school in Berlin, or Charles University in Prague, as points of contact, as places for students-teacher conversations, joint tours, actual teacher exchanges. It is another thing to agree to a BA with a local college that ends with the student or students who came to put it into place, for their Honors Thesis.

D: What have you personally taken away from global education programs? BS: Meeting and getting to know people, and not only those we meet when we get off the plane. I mean what happens between participants, whether they are teachers or students. David, you and I had a brief interaction with one another last fall about a schedule change. That was an important but personally slight encounter before our traveling together for nine days. As a consequence of our time with the others, learning to depend on others and one another is a wholly different contexts, I feel you and I know one another really well. Good global programs allow time for that to happen between teachers that, which happens between students. Getting to know one another is the kind of relationship I want most as a teacher who must, in the course of a day like my colleagues, see to many kids one minute, so many five minutes later, solve this problem, work on that problem… and in the end not know one another as well as we would like...but now, we know one another.

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15 February 2011

Lifestyle 15 February 2011


Lifestyle C1

Did you know that the Chevy Camaro used to be the “it� car at South? Or that there used to be an arts festival every May? Lifestyle at South has changed a lot throughout time, yet there are some things that have stayed exactly the same. We have selected articles relating to ten broad themes central to South’s culture: friends and relationships, technology, the social scene, arts, diversity, drinking, drugs, music, and fashion. Our choices are geared toward demonstrating the similarities, differences, and trends in these areas over the past fifty years.

Friends and Relationships Denebola

Lifestyle C2

15 February 2011

As we go on, we remember all the times we shared together. And as our lives change, come whatever, we will still be friends forever.

Promiscuity versus a long term relationship

By Stacy Safran, Volume 30 May 16th, 1991


Inside scoop on cliques at South

don’t even think of them as cliques. By Jason Ravenel, They are there but people shouldn’t Volume 24 The American Heritage dictionary think they are private and shouldn’t defines a clique as “an exclusive group be afraid to get into them,” freshman of friends or associates. However, Mike Goldberg said. According to students, cliques have most people at Newton South feel that the definition goes much deeper different effects on school life. “Because friends in the same clique than this. The majority of students inter- usually have the same academic skills, viewed felt that a clique is a group of there is a lot of peer pressure concernpeople who have similar interests and ing grades,” sophomore Lily Weitzman said. who purposefully exclude people not “A clique depends on different facalready part of their group. Opinions varied as to the effects cliques have on tors which different people consider school life. Science teacher Charles Hurwitz defines a clique as “a group “Compared to my old school, formed by some non-natural ocSouth is not a cliquey school. currence, such as the way people dress or act. That choice [to be I don’t have trouble meeting new in a clique] not only keeps the people and making new friends” group together, but keeps other -Jay Swartz, out of the group.” Hurwitz went on to explain how cliques cause problems with people classifications and stereotypes. “Because of cliques, people don’t gain new friends. IF kids don’t investigate stereotypes, there is more or less important. For example, no way of telling whether or not they grades, financial standings, sports, and music interests, physical appearances, are true.” “A clique is a really tight group of and general popularity all contribute friends who don’t like newcomers to to the formation of cliques.” According to French exchange their group. Being a new student at South, compared to my old school, teacher Annie Barrat, cliques in the Wayland High School, South is not Unites States are far less obvious than a cliquey school. I don’t have trouble cliques in France. “I’m not too aware of cliques in meeting new people and making new this school, but in France it’s obvifriends,” senior Jay Swartz said. “I am so used to seeing cliques and ous. Because students have the same consistent groups of friends that I kids in each class they take, stronger

cliques tend to form. Kids in cliques dress alike, eat together, listen to the same music, and even speak different dialects of French. One clique’s dialect is often incomprehensible to kids not a part of the clique,” Barrat said. People find both positive and negative aspects to cliques. “Cliques often serve as a form of security for its members, since the group can tackle an awkward situation as a whole. Cliques can also be helpful if people are unsure of their own importance and feel they need to belong,” senior Emily Katz said. “Unfortunately, cliques can deny one of his or her own self importance. I find that people who rely solely upon their group, instead of upon themselves, often do not feel that their individualistic opinions are important, and thus the members are too reliant upon others and do not think on their own,” Katz said. Cliques are a large part of life, but they should not be the end all be all. As one senior put it, “cliques are generally unavoidable and in most cases are okay. But kids, as well as adults, should branch out and not just associate with one particular group of people.” “Kids are identifying, testing, trying to figure out who they are…it’s natural for people who are alike to be together,” South history teacher Peter Bates said.”

Adults voice the dangers of dating

By Matt Baker, Volume 30 May 16th, 1991

High school is an introduction to many aspects of life that students must face in the future. For many, dating is an important part of teenage life. Very often, adults’ perceptions of high school relationships differ from the views of adolescent involved. Parents’ and teachers’ views are generally the same, feeling that relationships between boys and girls could be helpful to the development of the individual. However, if the relationship becomes too involved and limits the student’s opportunities to explore new interests, it can be harmful. It is difficult to make generalizations about relationships because each one is unique. “So much depends on the particular involvement. It is impossible to make valid statements, and it would be useless to categorize all relationships under one opinion,” one parent said. “I think relationships can help the individual grow socially,” science teacher Charles Hurwitz said. “However, it can become detrimental if it conflicts too much with the student’s life. Teenagers haven’t had enough experience to exclude themselves from other types of people. I think students can broaden their experiences with other people in high school yet still maintain one special relationship.” “I think a relationship can be very supportive, and can provide stability in certain situations,” Harvard University student-teacher Sherry Howard said. “The relationship may be harmful when it starts to affect the person’s life too seriously. In many cases it begins to define a lifestyle. Also, a relationship can cut out many op-

portunities, especially for women. One conflict in a relationship is the balance of time. Often the two people involved spend so much time together they neglect other activities such as sports and academics. “I think that time conflicts can be food,” one parents said. “It prepares the students for problems that they will have to face for the rest of their lives. Sacrifices are going to be made; this is a good time to learn about them. Opinions about independence and choice often vary considerably

between parents and teenagers. “I feel adolescents should be granted as much freedom as they are ready for. With choice comes responsibilities; teenagers have to be able to live with the result of their decision [about relationships],” one junior said. Parents generally responded by saying that independence is a privilege, not a right. “Parents should set certain standards and rules. The ability of a teenager to make wise choices comes with maturity,” one parent said. Another controversial topic is exactly what the benefits, drawbacks, and differences are between steady relationships and dating different people.

“Dating provides greater variation and a chance to get to know more types of people. That can help to tell yourself what you like and where your interests lie. If you confine yourself to one person for too long without experiencing relationships with other people, you may regret it later,” history teacher Cary Holmes said. Sex is another major issue concerning relationships. There is a lot of pressure and responsibility connected with the choice. Of all the parents interviewed, not one thought that high school students were old enough to handle the responsibility. “Sex in a relationship at this age is dangerous both physically and emotionally; it can stifle and hurt the relationship as well as the individuals,” Williams said. Howard, closer to high school age, had a different view. “I don’t think that sex is wrong in a relationship if given careful thought. I also think that birth control and information PHOTO BY SAMMIE LEVIN should be more readily available. If people can be more open about it, sex creates less risks and problems,” she said. “It appears that males and females experience and deal with adolescent sex in different ways. Experiences sex before the individual is ready can be emotionally damaging, especially to females,” one father said. Finally, there are alternatives to relationships or dating. Science teacher Joyce Leary supports this idea. “If the individual feels comfortable dating, then I think it can be positive. But if not, friendships and other interactions are beneficial in understanding them and broadening the amount and type of people you meet.”

Teenagers are faced with an age-old romantic dilemma: whether to “play the field,” or to find a one and only love. This choice depends upon factors such as personality, personal preference, or even just plain luck. Dating many people provides diversity and enables individuals to discover traits that are important in future relationships. “Commitments aren’t fun for young people,” freshman Ellen Fein said. “I want to be able to meet a variety of people without feeling trapped or married.” “Playing the field is good for people not mature enough to have a serious relationship. It gives them a chance to discover what they’re looking for in the opposite sex. However, I also believe that when two people are ready for a commitment and enter a serious commitment, it will help enrich their lives,” senior Penny Vlagopolous said. “For me, it’s not about maturity,” one male student said. “When I look at relationships, I almost always see a one-sided deal, usually with the guy calling the shots. In the end, the guy gets bored having some servile companion, and the girl resents being ordered around. “Besides, we’re usually attracted more to the challenge of getting someone than actually being in a relationship with him or her. Once you get your partner, you’re bored because the challenge is gone. I’m a strong believer in high school romance. It’s high school relationships with their passionsuppressing rules that I cant handle. “Sure, if I’m attracted to a girl, I like spending time with her, surprising her with

some gift, taking her out places. But I don’t want to feel that if I don’t call her every night I’m not being a ‘good boyfriend.’” Others feel that any relationship, whether food or bad, is just not important to them. They prefer to be recognized as an individual and stand out as their own person. “I don’t have time to think about dating. I’m too worried about getting into college,” one junior said. There is, however, a sizeable number of students who enjoy commitment-based relationships for various reasons. “A serious relationship helps you care for someone other than yourself,” senior Sean Sacks said. “Being a part of a couple enables the adolescent to feel as if they have an ally—someone who will be there when the going gets tough.” “Having a serious relationship with someone makes you more responsible and helps you recognize your own true qualities along with your partners,” sophomore Erin O’Shaughnessy said. “While dating many people you’re always worrying about how you look or making sure you say the right thing. In a steady relationship you know they’ll love you just the way you are.”

How one South relationship blossomed into marriage Former South students Susan and Jeff Davidson dated when she was sophomore and he was senior. Several years later, Jeff’s brother saw Susan at Fridays on Newbury street with her friend the summer after she graduated college. His brother called him and said she looked good, so Jeff went to meet them at Fridays. He walked in and pretend he hadn’t known she was there. They started talking, and then he asked her out and they went on a date. And now, twenty two years later, they are happily married with two kids, both current South students. We talked to them to find out how relationships now compare to relationships when they were at South. Below are exercepts from the conversation. Susan: -Dating was very different back then. People actually went out for long periods of time. First of all there was no ninth grade. Seniors routinely went out with sophomores (the youngest) and it wasn’t considered awkward or weird. Older guys always went out with the younger girls. Everyone knew everyone, so it was not unusual for a senior boy to take a sophomore girl to a party. -There were a lot of Newton South couples. Everyone had girlfriends and boyfriends…there were many more relationships. -There wasn’t a lot of hook ups…you wouldn’t just hook up with your friend. -When Jeff and I dated we would go out on a Saturday night. We would go out for dinner just us or on a double date. -It seems like nowadays girls will hook up with someone at a party, and then they will hook up again and again and they don’t know where they stand. Then maybe eventually they will go out. Back in the day, you would make it known you were interested and you would go out. There was no pregaming to dating like there is now. Now it’s like you’ve given him the cart before he’s asked to pay for the milk -Things happened much quicker. Guys were more like guys. If they likes a girl, they went after her. It was simple as that. Jeff: -It was much more relationship driven. It is not like we would hook up at a party and then be a couple. It was a lot more premeditated then than it is now -The school was a lot more connected since there were only 3 grades. There was not so much separation between the classes -It was a lot more face to face. There were no computers, cell phones. If you wanted to get to know someone, you had to talk to them. You couldn’t friend them on Facebook first

Drinking Denebola

15 February 2011

Lifestyle C3

photo from internet source

Students go to Congress to fight legislation raising drinking age

By Peter Rubin, Volume 18 March 21, 1979

On Thursday, February 15, Massachusetts High School students got involved in the dispute over raising the drinking age. The State Student Advisory Council (SSAC) held a press conference at the offices of the State Department of Education to announce the position of the council with regards to the pending drinking age legislation. Below are their five main reasons opposing the raising of the drinking age. -18 year olds should be entitled to the every legal right and privilege of all other citizens -Raising the drinking age will be difficult to enforce and will prove to be ineffective as prohibition -This legislation is an overly simplistic approach to the complex problem of youth alcohol abuse. The solution to the problem is increase guidance and counseling in the area of alcohol abuse. Banning alcohol will not eliminate alcohol abuse. -Making liquor more difficult to obtain will merely force youth to use more dangerous drugs. It has been documented that when the drinking the dirnking age is lowered, the drug abuse among youths is also lowered. -This legislation could lead to a loss of jobs and revenue in Massachusetts. Consumers in the age bracket of 18-21 will frequent businesses and purchase goods in the staets bordering Massachusetss. It is ironic that an eco-

nomically minded governor would advocate a policy that would drive business out of Massachusetts and into states such as New Hampshire. The decision to hold the press conference came in the wake of the House of Representatives passage of a bill to gradually raise the drinking age to 21. Many of the members of SSAC felt that while the college students opposing this legislation were unorganized, the existing machinery of the Student Advisory Council might be effective in lobbying against the raising of the drinking age. After the press conference, Azzarito answered some questions for the television crews, and the Council proceeded with its regular business, until word was received that the drinking age bill which had been expected to be referred from the Senate floor to the Ways and Means Committee for debate, a process which usually took at least a day, had completed the circuit in, as Azzarito put it, “about fifteen minutes,” and was back on the Senate Floor for final debate and passage. T h e meeting was adjourned e a r l y, a n d about half of t h e fortyodd

members present trekked to the State House to lobby against the House. Wearing Student Advisory Council buttons, the council members, from as far away as Sutton, Mass. and as near as Newton South, were met by a Northeastern University student, a representative from M.I.C.A (the college student group opposing the raising of the drinking age). The representatives of the SSAC went into the State House where they were met by more television cameras. The Senate was in session, the tiny spectators’ galleries filled. A paper outlining the five reasons for not supporting the bill were distributed to the offices of all State Legislators. At the bottom it read, “This is a position of the SSAC. It represents the opinion of 500,000 high school students in the Commonwealth.” While many could not stay, some of the SSAC members waited in line for two hours to get into the spectators gallery for a look at the action on the Senate floor where the debate was going on. In the end, after each house of the Legislature had passed a different version, a conference committee made up of thee members of each house of the Legislature decided on a twenty yearold drinking compromise. Last Tuesday, Governor King announced that the change would take effect on April 16. Despite the efforts of Massachusetts students, King has kept his campaign promise to raise the drinking age. photo from internet source

Denebola poll, published 1997

South students, March 1970

A nondrinker’s view

Volume 38 December 23, 1998

It is a well-known fact that teenagers drink and smoke. As much as teenagers and adults like to think that it is only the “bad” kids who drink and smoke, most of us at Newton South are aware that the majority of us, by our junior years, have, if not gotten smashed at some party, at least become a little tipsy off champagne at a holiday celebration. I, on the other hand, do not fall into the norm. Not only have I never gotten drunk, but I have also never had even a sip of alcohol (besides a little at a Passover Seder or two). I’ve also never smoked anything. And the thing is, it’s not that I’m not exposed to drugs and alcohol—my best friends get drunk all the time and I’ve made appearances at numerous parties. There have been plenty of people who totally questioned my decision not to drink or do drugs. One guy told me that I shouldn’t be against something until I’ve tried it. That’s a

valid point, but a lot of my decision is based on the fact that I just don’t feel like it. Also, there have been times when, if I hadn’t been there, my drunk friends would have been left without out a safe way of getting home. I would rather sacrifice a decent experience getting drunk or stoned than let the people most important to me be in a dangerous or even lifethreatening situation. Maybe I’m scared of how I’ll feel or what I’ll do. Maybe I’m afraid of getting in trouble. Maybe I want to stay healthy and safe. Maybe in a world where it seems like a lot of what happens is beyond my control, this is the one thing I can control. But whatever my reasoning is, this is the way I’m choosing to live my life, and I think that it’s important to understand that there are people going to Newton South who are not naïve but also don’t want to drink or smoke.

“Not only have I never gotten drunk, but I have also never had even a sip of alcohol. ”

Boozing & cruising: drunk driving persists over the years There have been numerous articles published in the last fifty years of Denebola about students drunk driving and how the community has responded to specific incidents and the issue overall. Featured below is an article from the 70s, an interview from the 80s, and a recent article--all pertaining to “boozing and cruising.” By Steven Epstein, Volume 17

September 27, 1977

In the last two years, four Newton South students have been killed in driving accidents while under the influence of alcohol. Four young adults have lost their lives needlessly due to carelessness combined with the effects of alcohol. Alcohol abuse, described by South’s Driver Education Director Norman S. Swerling as, “the absolute number one health problem in both the schools and society today,” is clearly increasing among the 1620 year old age group. This problem has been apparent at South. In addition to the irreplaceable loss of four members of our student body, many other students have been injured (one to the point to partial paralyzation) due to the accidents cause by drunk drivers.

Students driving under the influence:

Denebola poll, published 1977

Drunk driving is certainly a difficult problem for every city in the country. There seem to be two key reasons for the overall alcohol abuse that leads to drunk driving. First, is the availability of liquor. There are package stores in every part of the city, which will sell alcoholic beverages to customers under 18. Secondly, many parents in Newton, remembering their adolescence, feel that alcohol abuse by their children is far better than another possibility, drug abuse. Many feel that because they drank when they were in high school, it is all right for their children to do the same. The difference is that twenty years ago, the average high school student had little access to a car. However, in Newton of 1977, the accessibility of a car by the majority of motor vehicles has been, and will continue to be a deadly one. Of the four accidents that resulted in student fatalities, two occurred in Newton- one in front of the school. Both drivers had been drinking. One was extremely drunk, the other was not legally drunk. One accident occurred on Beacon St., just beyond Four Corners. The driver was killed, and two of the three pasangers were seriously injured. The other accident involved a borrowed motorcycle. The young driver was attempting to pass a car illegally at an excessive rate of speed, was hit by the car, and killed by the impact of the crash.

Norm Swerling is looking for answers that will stop these unnecessary deaths. He is concerned and upset over the alcohol problem but is optimistic. “Although more people are drinking,” he commented, “more people are drinking intelligently.” Swerling feels that there are preventive measures that can helpt. “I feel it’s foolish to end a kid’s education before he’s a licensed driver, and before he really knows what it’s all about,” said Swerling. He advocates that the 30 hours of classroom study in Driver Education be distributed differently. He believes the Driver Education should be modified to allow 20 hours of study before licensing and 10 hours after the driver has been driver for four to six months. This is so that the students and instructor can, “talk as equals”. Mr. Swerling feels that there are two other steps to the elimination of drunken driving at the high school level. He advocates raising the legal drinking age to 19 to, “get it at least out of the high school.” Finally, he feels that a misconception should be cleared up. He says it’s not only high school juniors and seniors who have alcohol abuses problems. Says Swerling, “The problem of alcohol reaches through and beyond the high school and junior high. It is even touching some within the fifth and sixth grades.” Clearly alcohol abuse is a problem. When it takes to our highways, it is a nightmare.

By Denebola Staff, Volume 27

January 14, 1988

A drunk driver describes past experiences: the following is an interview with an ‘80s South student who admits to having driven while he or she was drunk. Has a friend ever physically stopped you from driving when you were intoxicated? No, but some have made attempts. Once, he stood in front of me but I ended up driving anyway. Usually, they just say “don’t do this,” and leave it at that. If you know you’re going to get drunk before you go out, do you make provisions beforehand so that you won’t be the one driving? If I go out with my car, there will be stipulation that if I get rip-roaring drunk, I will not drive home. If I have had a couple and am over the limit, I will drive. I’ve driven to places besides home when I was over the limit. If you’re at a party and you’re hungry or want to get cigarettes, you just go out and get it. You’re already drunk, so you don’t have to worry about it. I’ve never been completely incoherent while driving. Is there a moment of indecision before you take the wheel under the influence? If you’re stupid enough to actually drive drunk, you don’t hesitate. You just don’t care.

By Jesse Zhang, Volume 48 October 29, 2008

A community-wide open forum will take place at South in response to the three Columbus day weekend car accidents involving South students driving under the influence. South Prevention and Intervention counselor Rich Cantrambone feels it is important to have dialogue about setting limits and using a family strategy. “We want to offer concrete suggestions,” Cantrambone said. Salzer wants to design a “program for parents” and promote the discussion about teens, drinking, and driving, Salzer would like to discuss how parents could help their kids deal with difficult situations in which responsible young adults hold a party beyond their control. He also wants to talk about kids violating the terms of their junior operator licenses. “What I hear happens is some of the adults turn a blind eye to it, as long as the kids are safe and don’t drive. I think the culture of the community is—we know you’re going to do it, so let’s be smart about it,” Salzer said.

Drugs Denebola

Lifestyle C4

15 February 2011

“Newton South students are offered a wide variety of drugs, ranging from marijuana to speed and acid.” -Denebola Staff, 1979

South’s cannabis culture on the rise By Ben Diamond, Volume 32 March 19th, 1993

South addresses drugs through symposium

Classes were cancelled for two days at South to examine the problem of drugs, in hope of giving greater insight and knowledge to both students and parents concerning drug use. By Marvin Swartz, Volume 7 February 14, 1968

Despite the Drug Committee’s deliberateness, the Drug Symposium was not a symposium. It was a slick one way moral-legal bombasting. It resembled the school lunch package program, in this case where the committee wrote away to Washington and were sent a neatly dressed narcoagent with a prepared speech. To round out the program, they tossed in an incredibly slick radio interview which just might bring back radio soap operas. The tragedy of the Symposium was not that there was not enough time to refute the narco’s inaccurate statements, nor was it the hypocrisy by which the school pretends to be liberal. Rather, the tragedy was enacted by the parents during their program. Dr. Charles E. Brown commented before the parents’ program that the attendance was a genuine response to

the drug problem. Ironically, the parents got bored by discussion of the legality of the law and pro-pot arguments. They had come to hear their convictions reinforced. Reflecting their unrest, a Newton parents ran up to the microphone and said, “we didn’t come here to hear about he legality of the law, we came to find out what to do when our kid comes home with marijuana in his pockets.” He didn’t want to know the emotional reasons for drug abuses; he wanted to know how to catch his kid. There is a remarkable corollary between this parent’s desire to catch the kid rather than understand him and a recent story to come out of a mid-western university. A freshman away from home for the first time was lonely and depressed. He was offered pot and took it to relieve his depression. Still depressed he relayed the story to his parents. They wrote to the dean of the university to have him disciplined. The tragedy is generations feeling they must play cops and robbers destroyed the lonely boy who smoked a reefer.

“Hey, you wanna go smoke? I’ll match you.” Not an uncommon question to be heard at a Newton South party. As with most high schools in the country today, Newton South High School has its share of drugs, particularly marijuana, and drug users. Although pot’s popularity has been increasing across the country lately (evidence being the new brand of “potwear” available—hats and shirts—at stores such as Newbury Comics), it’s no match for the eternal teen party favorite: beer. Beer is cheap. Beer is plentiful, and beer is easy to obtain. The keg will probably always be the center of a Newton South party while pot smokers are relegated to the backyard or their cars to smoke their joints. Perhaps it is due to the nature of being high but pot smokers do not resent thi, and there are few smokers who don’t drink a few beers at parties as well. There are distinct, noticeable differences, however, between those who focus their inebriation on alcohol than those who’d rather get high. Simple observations show that beer drinkers are louder and more boisterous than pot smokers who tend to be more understated and mellow at parties. “Drunk people are just loud and obnoxious,” comments senior Viola Tietz. “I’d much rather be with people who are stoned.” “People who get high will overanalyze everything while drunks don’t use their brain at all, and they’ll usually end up doing something stupid,” senior David Siroky said.

Since the effects of marijuana are more subtle on the mind and body than those of alcohol, it is easier for one to develop a pot-smoking habit during the week. Although no school is immune from drug addicts, many perceive Newton South as a school chocked full of pot smokers. “There is definitely a group of kids, a ‘clique’ if I must say, who are

Denebola poll published in 1976:

extremely frequent pot smokers,” one senior said. It has been conservatively estimated that at least 60% of all South students will try marijuana before graduation. Percentages for juniors and seniors who have tried pot and/or smoke at least occasionally (once a month are thought to be much higher. “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting baked occasionally; it’s no worse than drinking, and it helps you see the world from a different perspective,” says another senior.

While some might argue that the effects of occasional pot smoking on academics, no one seems to disagree that frequent marijuana use is detrimental to school work. “As with anything that turns into an obsessions, pot will distract from school, but I don’t think it’s pot itself,” said a frequent user. Others disagree, claiming that frequent use diminishes the motivation necessary to succeed in school. Regardless of the specifics, there is no question that pot is adversely affecting a number of students at our school. Even within the athletic program, marijuana has made its mark. I would definitely say there are lots of athletes who smoke during their seasons,” said an undisclosed captain of an undisclosed team. “Hell the athletes are the ones smoking the most pot.” When asked about his knowledge of South’s pot scene, varsity lacrosse coach and school disciplinarian Alan Rotatori declined to comment. While this article might paint a frightening portrait of the school, it in no way implies that our students are run by drugs. When asked what she thought of the South pot scene, freshman Anne Grinell simply answered, “I don’t really see anything go on. I guess I’m just naïve.” Others, notably seniors, are more aware of the presence of frequent marijuana users. “I think they’re just despicable,” Siroky said. “They’re giving a bad name to a potentially wonderful substance and a bad reputation to occasional smokers.” While their presence might be felt, Junior Scott Zimmerman summed up most attitudes by saying, “I know they’re there but I just try to ignore them.” photo from denebola archive

HiGHdeas: what did past students think about drugs?

“A lot of people smoke pot when it’s available. I also think there’s a little LSD and mushrooms” -student Mike Africk, published 1991

“Drug use is an ingrained problem in society. We have to change society before we change Newton South.” -student Ollie Rando, published 1991

“It is easy to get cheap weed at South if you want it.” -anonymous student, published 1986

“Once we got caught smoking pot in the parking lot of the Chestnut Hill cinema. The cops took my name and address, but only on a scrap of paper. They took all our stuff, but they never did anything. They probably went and smoked it themselves.” -anonymous student, published 1986

Rumors spread that South’s drug scene captured on camera

By Greg Walsh, Volume 18 March 21, 1979 Rumors and allegations have been spreading throughout the student body at South this past week, regarding the alleged photographing of NSHS’s students by officers of the Newton Police department. The alleged photographs are being collected as evidence and information on suspected drug users and dealers. Other allegations made by members of the student body include that the NSHS administration and the Newton Police Department have made a list of suspected drug users and dealers

photo by sammie levin

that undercover narcotics officers are posing as substitute teachers, teacher aides, or maintenance men, and that busdrivers are being used to spy on and inform the NSHS administration of suspected drug users. Denebola, upon investigation, learned that a busdriver voluntarily came to a house office and turned in a description of a group of students he believed to be smoking marijuana on the grate. At least one student was questioned by her housemaster, and was told to be careful. Denebola investigated these allegations and others by interviewing officials both in the NSHS administration

and in the Newton Police Department as well as members of the State Attorney General’s Office and students who frequented the suspected areas. The “grate” (outside of the gym) and the “hill” (behind the cafeteria) are just two of the probable areas where police are suspected of having photographed students who are allegedly in the act of using or dealing drugs. One anonymous source said he had learned that a NSHS student had had a conference with his housemaster and Officer Robert Braceland. At this conference, Braceland told the students about the photos. Goodwin housemaster Paula Mealy said she had “no direct knowledge” of any pictures. Judy Malone, Cutler housemaster, said she had heard that Braceland had pictures, but had not seen them, and at that time she had not talked with Braceland about their existence. Denebola called Officer Braceland and his only comment was that there in an “on-going drug investigation” in the city of Newton. This investigation includes surveillance which could include photography. When asked for either lists or users of undercover agents, Braceland replied, “no comment,” saying he “could not be specific” in regard to any on-going investigation. At the NPD’s Public Relations

Office, Lieutenant Charles Feeley told Denebola that though he had no specific knowledge of any police photography at either high school, that photography was a commonly used method of investigation and surveillance. Pictures, he said, in this type of situation are used to build a case, not necessarily prove it. Feeley added that anyone has a right to take pictures on public property, especially on the outside. The students of South feel strongly about the issue of surveillance and photography. “Yeah I think the police has pictures and I think it’s an invasion of privacy, said one student who hangs around the gate during her free blocks. She added, “sure sure some kids toke (smoke marijuana), but there’s a lot of kids who just go to relax in the sun and have a cigarette there during their free blocks. The grate is a hangout, just like the jock-corner or the cafeteria.” Another student said, “If they’ve got pictures and use them, I don’t think they could tell the difference between a cigarette and a joint (marijuana cigarette) which could get innocent people in trouble.” “South is becoming more and more like a jail,” said one student who believes she has been photographed, “with teachers on the inside and cops on the outside. But still, kids are go-

ing to toke. They’ll find a way, or turn to harder drugs like pills which they could pop in the bathroom.” Malone attributes the suspected increase in police surveillance to a reaction to the increase in vandalism and also she said there is increased pressure from the neighborhood residents who drive by and see many students just relaxing outside, or worse. They wonder why they are paying such high taxes for schooling and see so much ‘decadence’ in the area. They become upset and call the School Committee, the Mayor, NSHS, or even the police. The awareness of drug-related problems at South seems to be increasing. This year, approximately 10 students have been caught possessing narcotics. Wicks and Mealy have had a number of student-parent conferences based on just suspicion or circumstantial evidence, such as marked drop in grades, aberrant behavior in class, and increase in skipping class. Regardless of the increased awareness of drug issues and heightening suspicions about police and administrative activity, it does not appear that drug use is going to stop at South. As one student said, “I don’t believe there’s pictures. It’s just to scare us and it has….but it won’t stop us from smokin’ somewhere else.”

Arts Denebola

15 February 2011

Senior Alex Caron (Macbeth) lunges across the stage in 2009 during a joint Shakespeare production of Macbeth.

photo by jason agress

North/ South Theater

By Stephanie Simon, Volume 24 March 13, 1985

The existence of two high schools in one city might be expected to produce student bodies, which are divided by dramatic rivalries. In the case of Newton North and Newton South, however, the students are about to be united by a theatrical project. Approximately 40 students from the two high schools are collaborating in the production of a student –run play. The idea of producing a North/ South play originated with Jo Simon, the director of the Newton Arts Center. She asked South English teacher Patricia Kempton and METCO counselor Florence Turner I they would be interested in writing a proposal for a grant for a student-run play. “Pat and I were excited about the idea. We thought it feasible to use this opportunity for addressing racial and ethnic adolescent group concerns and feelings. We also wanted to unite students (from the two high schools,” says Turner. Last summer, the Massachusetts Arts Council decided to fund and support the project. After receiving the funds, the next step in making the play a reality was

to find interested students to begin researching and writing the script. At Newton North, English teacher Inez Dover agreed to be the faculty director, and Jay Cradle, a physical education teacher, volunteered to oversee the choreography. Together with Kempton who would oversee the writing aspect of the play, and Turner, who would oversee the musical development, thy began to advertise for interested writers. In late October, a group of thirteen students (eight from Newton South) got together and began to brainstorm. Pamela Karp, a Junior who helped write the play and is currently acting and singing in it, thought writing the play was a very good experience. “We (students from North and South) talked about things that bothered us, like Cliques, and problems with parents,” she says. “We wrote and rewrote the scenes. It’s been a lot of work, but now it’s beginning to come together.” Several students who helped to write the play have recently come to America from foreign countries. Seymour Beckford, a junior whose roots are in Jamaica, and Ilan Marcoschamer, who moved here from Israel 1-1/2 years ago, contributed their experiences and feelings about moving. In fact, the play centers on

three families who move from their native countries of Jamaica, Israel and Korea. It also includes problems that the kids have in adjusting to American life and dealing with pressures and prejudices. “I really enjoyed writing [the play] because I could express my feelings,” says Beckford. According to Marcoschamer, “It’s supposed to give a message to American kids to accept people from other countries.” In addition to the three families, there are characters from Central America, as well as METCO students and black students living in the suburbs. But basically the play is about teenage high school life. “It deals with feelings and problems… from a student’s point of view,” states Turner. “It is filled with everyday situations.” Auditions for Fitting In were held in early January, and by the end of the month the North/South cast began working on the production. Collaborating with the actors were “behind the scenes” workers who developed a very important part of the play—the music. All music is being composed and arranged by students for every instrument in a joint North/ South orchestra. These students also put lyrics to music for the play’s vocal background. All choreography is also original student work. The play, which runs about two hours, will be performed April 26th at Newton South and the following evening at Newton North. There will also be a matinee production at the Newton Arts Center, the date of which will be announced later. From the program’s inception, the play has had the full support of the principals of both high schools, This encouragement has helped to bring the two groups of students together. According to Dover, “This theatre project will help bridge the gap between North and South.” In doing so, it may help students to understand and appreciate people from different backgrounds, and may bridge the gap between prejudice and friendship.

Lifestyle C5

South celebrates the arts with Tertulia

Since 2000, Tertulia has been a yearly and highly anticipated event in the spring, taking the place of the annual May festival in previous years. Denebola had the chance to interview Tertulia Advisor, What exactly is Tertulia?

Tertulia means “a gathering of the performing arts.” The Tertulia was designed to create a school tradition that would be an annual and ongoing vehicle for the appreciation of the arts. The Tertulia takes place one day each spring at Newton South, and since its inception, has increasingly evolved as a showcase for the many talents of Newton South students. How did Tertulia start? It was conceived in memory of Maxine Celeste Chansky, a Newton South student, and in celebration of her joyful spirit, delight in the arts, and love of cultural diversity.   When did Tertulia start, and has it been running every year after that? It started in the Spring of 2000 and it has been running every year since then.   In what ways it Tertulia important to the community at Newton South? It is a day of celebration of the arts and of the many talents of this community. It is a day in which our school pauses, listens, and rejoices in hearing so many beautiful voices that form our community. It is a moment that we share, and is a tradition that we

What is art: A visual display By Rachel Knight, Volume 34 December 23, 1994 Art takes many forms. There is art in the blazing swirl of blue paint across white canvas, art in the tremble in a singer’s voice and art in cooking a gourmet meal. Art in the tight spin of a ballet dancer and in the scrawl of a pen across paper. Art in acting and art in medicine. Art in music and art in sculpture. Art is inseparable from existence – civilization is both created from art and creates art. Art defines culture. Art imitates nature and its natural processes. But while nature can only do natural things, art takes over where nature leaves off, fundamental about human nature: the purpose of art is to give expression to the universal element in human life. Art is the result of mankind grasping those similarities of experience in view of which many separate experiences become a unified whole. Art is self-contained and complete in itself. For this reason it can be judged aesthetically, a judgment peculiar to it alone. Living is art. Even if all someone does is sit and watch television, he is doing it in his own special, personalized way. Art is a dialogue between artist and medium. The artist does something, the art responds, and then the artist listens to that response and makes a change in turn. For example, a musician creating a piece of music may write a few chords, play them in succession, listen to how they sound, modify a few notes and then listen again. Art is communication between all people. It comforts me – it keeps me going through the day like a cup of coffee. Art transmits a message to its audience. No matter how crude or morally bad a subject, if it is handled by a talented artist, the result is a work of art. Because art has an emotional appeal, it entices the irrational part of a man’s soul. Art is the stylization of human experience. Art, in theory, can achieve truthful, honest expression. And for this reason the artist is destined to fail, as no other dare fail. The traditional artist strives to give his art the illusion of life, to seduce his audience into a “willful suspension of disbelief.” Art is the juxtaposition of emotion, which is formless, and form, which must struggle every step of the way to capture emotion and make it stay. Art is intensely personal. For me, art is the only way I can express myself. My art comes completely form my thoughts and feelings, and from society’s impact on my conscious and subconscious. Through art I can convey pain, sadness, anger or joy that I feel inside so much or as little as I want to. Art, unlike conversation, presents no limits for me. Art is the communication between all people. Art transmits an idea from being a mere idea to being tangible, real. Art is the result of constant interplay between contending components in the creative life of man: the destruction of individuality and the interpretation of individual existence. By constant opposition, each stimulates the other to further effort. The result is the growth of art. Art can unite all people, knocking down the boundaries between individuals, while at the same time aiding man to see within himself. Art is an uninhibited, free and direct communication with the deep mysteries of nature which defy normal understanding. In true art, pain and joy blend into one. One of the most incredible moments to be experienced, for me at least, is when art guides me to understand some huge piece of myself. Like when I write poetry: sometimes my finders will be typing practically ahead of my brain, and all of a sudden I’ll stop and go back and read over what I wrote, and I will find fragments of feelings that I never before knew existed within me. Art is the elevation of the soul through beauty. Art is timeless – it transcends the boundaries of time by immortalizing an object, person, concept or idea. A moment of happiness, when painted upon a canvas, is no longer a moment; it is forever. Just because something is in a museum doesn’t mean it is necessarily art. For example, a box pained lack and titled “My Soul” is no more art than going to the bathroom. Because art is not only idea, it also requires talent to express that idea in an emotion-inducing way. Art takes effort and talent – it might be a good idea, but if it is crude and gross, then it is worthless. The intrinsic process of making art is more important than the final product. Art is like dreaming – it is the interpretation of life through images and sounds. These images aren’t perceived by the intellect, but by the artistic sense. An essential part of the art experience is the ever-present realization that the images are not real, but illusory. True artists do not create art because they want to; they create it because they have to. An artist can no more stop himself from creating than a starving person can stop himself from eating. Artists are haunted by demons, and art is, in effect, an exorcism of those demons. Through art the artist can gain relief from inner pain. Art is an attack upon a society’s preconceived ideas and predetermined good sense. Through art one can perceive events without the inner connection that usually links cause and effect. Art encompasses all, every single shred of conscious and unconscious thought, blossoming like flowers into eternal form.

create together.

Have there been any memorable acts in the past few years?

Many. Every year is really great, and to me they are all memorable. Do you have any personal favorite acts in the show?

I have many. I like the dance pieces a lot, Maxine was a dancer and dancers often don’t have the same opportunity to perform. The best part for me is to “ discover” a talent in someone that I wouldn’t have expected. I love to see the passion, the energy, the beauty that our students can create on stage and offer to our community. Are there any teachers that preform in the show consistently?

Mr. Jampol has been in every Tertulia, other teachers have performed in the past. Mr. Jampol has always created a performance with students. Ms. Popp has also performed with students. How do students enjoy the show, and how has it changed over the years?

One student told me that Tertulia is the best school day. Tertulia has grown, there are many performers and club members that help with the production of this day. I feel that there is a lot of support for Tertulia and it is a community day.   Many people want to participate and help and they do  in  so many different  ways. I feel very fortunate to have met Maxine. I am still sad when I am thinking that she has gone but I am glad  that she left Tertulia behind.


Lifestyle C6

Lifestyle C7

15 February 2011


Race Racial tensions mounts in schools By Janice Kaplan, Volume 10 November 10, 1970 “Members of the black community are obviously disturbed by the actions of some whites, which are demeaning to the black community,” stated Superintendent of Schools Aaron Fink. “We share their concern. It is legitimate.” In the above statement, Superintendent Fink was discussing the incident which at Newton High School when thee was allegedly a confrontation between a black girl and a white boy. Racial incidents have been burgeoning throughout the city and are causing much concern to the school administrators. William D. Geer Jr., principal of Newton High School feels that the schools are in the midst of a potentially dangerous situation. Fortunately, up to this time, difficulties have been handled well and there have been no “blow up” incidents. The first major sign of racial tension manifested itself on October 8 when a black girl was believed to have been insulted by a white boy. A physical confrontation ensued in which the girl’s lip was cut. The encounter remained generally unknown and unsettled until a week later when several black students from Roxbury were allegedly seen at Newton High School. About 10 students were ready for a showdown. A large crowd attracted the attention of the administration, who quickly tried to calm the students. At this time, a police car, which was cruising the area as part of a regular patrol, approached the school grounds.

Mrs. Davis emphasizes that the Black Union was not formed so that black students would be set aside or become segregated from the rest of the school community, but mearly so that they could “have a place which the can call home.” Noting possible trouble the police officers stopped. Some of the students mistakenly assumed that the school official shad telephoned the police. A few black students were later questioned by police officers and their parents were immediately disturbed. Rumors quickly circulated about a riot squad and police action. The false conjectures served to arouse more attention than the alleged confrontation. A subsequent meeting of

black parents with Superintendent Fink revealed that he had been incognizant of the situation. The parents demanded that they be immediately informed of any incident involving black students. Mr. Fink firmly stated that the police department acts entirely independent of the schools. At no time has Newton High School Principal Richard W. Meechem called the police, nor do they inform him of their actions.

English teacher Mrs. Davis became the Faculty Advisor to the first Black Student Union in April 1972

Superintendent Fink continued to state “We feel that the problem of relationships between black and white students and between various ethnic groups requires our attention.” …Results in Unity Day Demands Black students at Newton South have suggested the implementation of a black studies course with a black teacher. This idea came out of a Black Solidarity Day seminar on Monday, November 2. Tony Leonard and Weldon Rodgers discussed black issues before a crowd varying from 10 to 50 students. Rodgers explained that black people all over the nation observed the day. The point was to “give blacks a sense of unity.” The discussion was focused on black issues and problems that black students in Newton face. Demands from Newton High have not been formally stated and they remain somewhat nebulous. They do include all black courses, the Afro-American center, and admitting sophomores to a black history class. They also want black studies. Black parents have insisted that in the future, parents of black students must be notified of any racial tension. The black students plan to continue making collective statements. Principal William D. Geer Jr. said that any school the size of Newton South will have racial tension. He was pleased with the discussions held on black unity day. Principal Geer noted that if the conflict is not handled openly, incidents will occur underground.

South must confront racism By Justin Chen, Volume 30 November 22, 1990 Racism is when a person is harassed physically or mentally, ridiculed, or treated differently because of his/her race or ethnic background. To many people at Newton South, racism is a synonym for ignorance and the misunderstanding of a different culture. To others, racism is defined solely as misdirected hatred or anger. But no matter how differently people choose to define racism, we can all agree that it is an important issue at South that some neglect to face. “Racism is definitely present at South. While we neglect to face the issue, there is a hidden part of us that favors some people over others. At South, we tend to associate with individuals of the same race. Racism is not intended to hurt others here, but is simply an ignorant and naïve stereotype. I think the most prevalent source of racism at South is apparent in cliques,” sophomore Isaac Cheng said. Senior Crystal Brantley agreed. “I do think that racism exists at South…Even though people may not show it, and maybe they don’t know they feel this way, many try to adjust to cer-

tain groups of peoples going by stereotypes. I feel that racism is really a big problem in the school because if one person is not racist, but their friends are, then they feel they have to act that way [racist] to communicate with others.” Junior, John Harper agreed adding that South may actually

South aren’t racist; it is a very tolerant society here,” English teacher Ernest Chamberlin said. “From what I see, in terms of peoples’ actions, people aren’t racist at South. Racism is when one puts down another group to compensate for their own insecurity, and I don’t think many people are like that here,” junior Kahlil Hogan said. “ I think racism could be decreased a little if people took more action when racist comments were made,” Brantley said. Some students feel that education is the key to diminishing racism at South. Brown agreed, saying that the issue of racism should be made known to students, “If you talk about racism, and bring up the issue more often, then it can help prevent racism, but, I think there will always be a little racism at South,” Brown said. “In some cases, I do think racism could be prevented through class discussion or literary discussion. But I think in a way, that racism is insidious. It serves as a most embarrassing situation,” Chamberlin said. “I think an easy thing to do is to have more interaction with other racially different people in the school. The more interaction there is, the greater chance there is to make friends and understand each other on a personal level,” Harper said.

“I think the most prevalent source of racism at South is apparent in cliques,” -Isaac Cheng, class of ‘93 have an advantage over some schools because of the variety of students that attend South. “We have exposure to the city and to the Boston students who commute here. I think we’re more racially mixed than other schools like Acton-Boxboro or Concord-Carlisle; they’re pretty bad. I think they’re really racist there, and kind of antieverything. We’re lucky enough to have a chance to interact and socialize with students that are of a different background,” Harper said. However, some disagree, taking a more optimistic view of the racial situation at South. “In general, I think people at

South has a long-standing tradition of diversity. The students that walk the halls bring a variety of perspectives and cultural backgrounds to the school, making for a unique community. Here is a brief sampling of the issues of the past and the progress we have made.

S.T.A.R.T. hopes to Parlin forms GSA break down barriers

By Mike Gottesman, Volume 30 November 22, 1990

S.T.A.R.T. (Students and Teachers against Racial Tension) is a student organization at Newton South that is dedicated to help fight the battle against racism. This group of over thirty students has some new ideas on how to develop better understanding between the various races South. The student head of this group is sophomore Rachel Gans. She feels strongly about doing more activities as a group rather than just discussing the problems. “Instead of the issue being ‘We’re going to get rid of racism by talking and talking about it,’ the idea is to ease racial tension by working with people,” Gans said. Some of these activities planned are a dance for the members, watching the movie the work of dedicated students and teachers. The organization was created by two South graduates, Jeff and Eric Sigel after an assembly that had caused controversy. This year, out of seventy students that signed up, at least

thirty seemed strongly interested and committed to the group. Although many agree that there is a problem with racism, others seem to have a hard time discovering where it actually emerges. The issue is more subtle and hidden behind everyday school life. Much of it starts because of where the students live. The students who come in from Boston stick together because they already know or can relate with each other, while people from different parts of Newton tend to remain in their own groups. At South it seems that few of the groups are willing to open up, so misunderstandings occur. This environment and the lack of communication can lead to racism, and S.T.A.R.T is trying to put an end to it. If within this organization people from different groups can come together, then maybe the invisible walls within the school can finally be broken. S.T.A.R.T. has high hopes from Newton South, and hopefully it can make a difference. As Gans stated, “It’s time for action and S.T.A.R.T. is going to start making a change.”

In the spring of 1992, history teacher Robert Parlin formed the Gay/Straight Alliance at South, the first one in a public school in the country. Denebola was able to speak with Parlin about his experiences with LGBTQI at South.

What changes would you like to see at South in the coming years? I wish we could dig beneath the surface of politeness. I would like to be more informative instead of fighting hatred.”

Mass makes progress with gay Civil Rights Law

By Audrey Hong, Volume 33 December 23, 1993

Governor William Weld signed a Gay and Lesbian Student Civil Rights Law Friday, December 12. This new law adds sexual orientation to the categories included under the nondiscrimination law. Previously, the law protected all public students from discrimination due to race and gender. With the passage of this Bill, Massachusetts has become a pioneer in the protection of Gay youth. Many South students, along with History teacher Robert Parlin, played an active role in getting the Bill passed. Before the passage of this bill, Parlin, as a co-chair of the

Do you feel the increased availability of information about homosexuality has increased tolerance and acceptance? Hatred comes from ignorance. The more awareness there is, the less hatred. How do you feel about creating the first public school’s GSA? It’s cool to see South do what people thought it couldn’t do. How have attitudes at South changed towards sexuality? Homophobia is a non-issue. South might be the most progressive public school in the country. For me, the fear was worse than the reality. You can’t guide your actions by fear, and if you’re invisible and closeted you’re totally alone.

Six students and two teachers, Michael Kozuch and Robert Parlin, fought for LGBTQI rights by participating in the 200,000-person National Equality March at the Capital Building in Washington D.C. on October 11, 2009

By Erica Neufeld, Volume 27 May 5, 1985

The Newton South High School Enrichment Program hosted an assembly entitled “Women for America, for the World,” on Friday, April 8. A movie featuring women giving their opinions on nuclear disarmament was shown. The women explained that if the arms race continues at its present rate, then a nuclear disaster will be inevitable. They claimed that funds for nuclear arms detract from education, jobs, and housing. In 1986, for example, the average household paid approximately $5767 in federal taxes. Of that amount, $3103 went to military spending, while only $138 was allotted to education, and $115 went to housing. The women in the film believed that women had more of an incentive to fight for nuclear disarmament than men because they are the ones bringing new life into the world. In order to begin making changes, they felt that they needed to get ore involved in the federal government. They

hope to elect more women tot public offices; currently women comprise only five percent of the United States Congress. After the assembly, speakers Fay Kelle and Naila Bolus from “Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament” began a discussion with the four attending classes. Kelle explained that many children would be spared if less money was used for nuclear arms and more for the poor. She stated that “over a five year period of time, more children die from poverty than the total number of American battle deaths in Vietnam.” She also stated that 80 percent of the poor in the United States are

adult women and children. Furthermore, she stressed the importance of the education system; the education of kids determines how effectively the country will be run in the future. Therefore, with so little money going to education, now, one may begin to wonder what will happen to this country in 30 or 40 years. Unfortunately, because of the limitations on time, the discussion did not have a chance to develop. However, the program stressed the necessity of involvement; people must make noise to be heard to stop the arms race and change how the government spends our money.

Wellesley scholar Dr. Susan McGee Bailey spoke on her gender equality study entitled “How Schools Shortchange Girls” at the South auditorium on March 9, 1993. “Girls are encouraged to sit quietly and listen, while boys are expected to speak up and defend their positions,” Baily said. “... There has to be a system-wide response, and we need to pay careful attention to gender equality.”

Addition to PSAT creates bias

By Andy Kirshenbum, Volume 37 November 27, 1997

On Saturday, October 18, 1997, thousands of students across the nation took the newest edition of the PSAT: the writing section. According to the New York Times, “…the writing section was designed to raise the test scores of females taking the PSAT.” The article went on to say that males have consistently scored slightly higher on math and verbal sections of the PSAT in comparison to females. In an attempt to raise the scores of females, ETS (Educational Testing Service) has added a writing section. Why do we continue adding new sections each year to improve test scores? For example, California accepts and teaches Ebonics as an English Dialect. Should ETS create an exam for Ebonics or add an Ebonics section to the

PSAT? Where do we stop? Since our society believes that males score higher in math while females score higher in verbal, will we eventually have two separate tests for two separate genders? Where do we draw the line? The PSAT and the SAT were designed to test and compare the aptitudes of high school students. But our aptitudes are based significantly on the school that we attend, and that school’s ability to teach its students. If a particular group is scoring lower on exams than another, the school must be held accountable. Public schools were designed to offer every person to succeed in society. Therefore, gender statistics serve practically no purpose. When judging whether or not the new writing section is appropriate, one must remember that the point difference between males and females is slight, a marginal difference of about 50 points. The point difference between blacks and whites is exceedingly greater than the difference between males and females. Why is it that the ETS seeks to close the gap between the two

really exciting. Hundreds of people, gay and straight, from all places gave a wide range of support,” Tattenbaum said. “The two rallies I went to were both crowded with lots of members from different schools. Everyone was cheering and the speakers were dynamic,” Rothman said. “I think the most important thing about the rallies is that there were mainly students there.” Members of the Gay-Straight Alliance here at South and other members of the Newton South community shared similar sentiments over the importance of the Bill. “[The bill] is an important piece of legislature because it is important that schools provide for the safety and protection of students,” Acting Principal Roberta Dollase said. “For Gays and Lesbians, it makes you feel like a legitimate minority. Nothing is wrong with us and we deserve the same rights as everyone else. Homosexuality exists. It’s not a psychological disease. I think this law will have an impact on everyone because it states a fact: that Gay and Lesbian youth exist and it makes people aware,” Tattenbaum said. Many feel that the law will not have a direct impact on Newton South, which is generally considered very tolerant, and even supportive of homosexuality. “I don’t think it will affect our school. South is pretty open and liberal. I don’t sense much prejudice against gays. Now that the law is passed, it will help other schools and the kids there being harassed will get help,” Hose commented. Parlin feels that our policy regarding issues of discrimina-

tion and homophobia already includes the new Civil Rights Law. However, Parlin “hopes this law will encourage other schools to do more to make their schools safe for gay and lesbian students.” “I think this bill will reinforce what we have already been working on through Mr. Parlin, the Gay Straight Alliance and the Faculty Human Differences Committee,” Dollase said. Although Parlin has played a significant role in advocating equal rights for students regardless of sexual orientation, he holds himself in a modest esteem. He reminds us that students dedicated themselves to the cause and should receive all praise. “This law was passed by students and I was tremendously impressed by the dedication of the students who spent long hours at the State House proving that democracy can work,” Parlin said. “I think Parlin has taken an amazing leadership role at South. He has raised our level of consciousness about issues of sexuality. He is first and foremost an excellent and respected teacher. He happens to be gay. His role has been important in helping us learn about attitudes toward homosexuality and heterosexuality in the school,” Dollase said. The passage of the Gay and Lesbian Student Civil Rights Law opens the door for the development of a more just environment for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Other factors will also aide in this goal, such as workshops to be provided by the State Department of Education. These workshops will provide training and discussion for faculty, students and parents.

port groups for gay and lesbian students, and family counseling for the families of gay and lesbian youth. History teacher Robert Parlin and the Newton South Gay/ Straight Alliance have displayed much courage and initiative in fight-

about issues of sexual orientation. In addition, we wanted to help educate other members of the South community on these issues, while also providing support for students that are gay and lesbian,” Parlin said. ABC NEWS chronicled Newton South for its uniquely progressive efforts that have helped to already implement some of these programs. During the filmed meeting, students informally discussed and shared experiences pertaining to homophobia and other gay issues. “I thought the meeting was very open, even with the TV cameras there, and we discussed a lot of important issues we don’t usually touch on,” senior Jennifer Tattenbaum said. The Gay/Straight Alliance meets every Monday J Block in room 4202. In addition to meetings, the Gay/Straight Alliance hopes to sponsor a school-wide Gay and Lesbian Awareness Day in the near future, as it has done in past years. “This year, we are hoping that we can expand Gay and Lesbian Awareness Day into Diversity Awareness that will include discussion on race, class, and religious related issues,” Parlin said.

Good Morning America visits Gay/Straight Alliance

Gender Women rule the world

Gay/Lesbian School Teacher network, gave a speech at the State House calling for Senator Bulger to release the bill from committee. Parlin was one of twenty speakers who spoke at the State House, until the bill was eventually released. As well as the speeches, students and teachers alike rallied at the State House. Students lobbied individual senators for the passage of the bill, visiting their offices and waiting until the senators would listen to their reasons for passing the bill. Senator Jennifer Tattenbaum and junior Joel Rothman, two members of Newton South’s Gay Straight Alliance, both participated in some of the rallies at the State House. “The big rally I went to was

genders but ignores the significant difference between races? ETS has no obligation to help any group succeed, and it should not do so. The PSAT is a straightforward standardized test, no strings attached. It tests basic skills that an average student is expected to know. ETS does not design its tests to benefit one special interest group, and it should not give any particular group an unfair advantage. These groups must conform to the test to improve scores. There is no need for ETS to design a special writing section to benefit females. ETS is sending the message that if we as students collectively do poorly on the test, they will provide ways to make it easier. The PSAT should serve as a way of measuring academic success and test-taking ability; making the test easier is not the way to handle the problem. Instead, ETS and society need to work together to encourage both males and females to excel in math. ETS must not give an advantage to either gender.

By Kirstin Shu, Volume 33 October 28, 1993 ABC news correspondent Michele Norris, along with an ABC camera crew, came to Newton South on October 25, to film and interview members of the Gay/Straight Alliance. This footage will be a part of t h e netw o r k ’s series on gay and lesbian violence and suicide prevention. Within the next week, the series will be aired during one of the news segments on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” show. Governor Weld and the state of Massachusetts have been distinguished as pioneers in the dialogue and proposed recommendations concerning gay and lesbian issues. The Massachusetts State Board of Education is looking forward to the implementation of policies that will include having non-discrimination and sexual orientation classes in school, having teachers trained in gay/lesbian youth violence and suicide prevention, sup-

ing homophobia and other gay issues. Their efforts have thrusted Newton South into a well-deserving national spotlight. Newton South was the first school in the state to form a Gay/Straight Alliance. Parlin, along with other students, created the Gay/ Straight Alliance in the spring of 1992. “We realized that South needed to provide a forum where students and faculty could talk

Music and Fashion Denebola

Lifestyle C8

South’s dress code in the 60s By Stephanie Simon, Volume 24 December 19, 1984 Imagine a school where students don’t wear jeans or shirts. All the boys are wearing slacks, and the girls are outfitted in skirts or dresses. This school is not imaginary. It is not a parochial or even a private school. It is Newton South in the 1960’s. Until approximately 1970, South instituted a formal dress code. It was unheard of for girls to wear pants or boys to wear jeans while in school. The rationale behind this code was that if one dressed sloppily, one’s mind was sloppy as well. However, these standards of attire became hard to maintain. Manufacturers began making denim clothes, and these were so popular that it was impossible to ban them. When administrators at South realized that jeans were here to stay, they tried to impose some regulations to keep students dressed neatly. Girls were still restricted to skirts and dresses, and boys were only allowed to wear jeans with slash pockets. It soon became too distinguished between different kinds of jeans, and the dress code began to fall apart. Robert Wicks, who has been the Wheeler housemaster since the “dress code era,” believes that the policy was absurd. “Mothers would come to school wearing pant suits and it didn’t make

that a student’s attire is either totally inappropriate or distracting to other students, action can be taken. If a student’s motive for choosing to dress in a certain way is to provoke others, he or she could conceivably be sent home and asked to change his clothes. However, this is a very rare occurrence. Most teachers believe that students have a right to express themselves through their clothing. According to Wicks, “(dressing individualistically) is tied to the adolescent process of trying to break free from the authority of elders.” An example of this occurred a few weeks ago, when a student wore a dress to school. This dress would have GRAPHIC BY DENEBOLA ARCHIVES formal outfit was deemed inappropriate been acceptable under the old dress and distracting by a teacher, who sent her code—except that it was worn by a to her housemaster to be suspended for boy. However, Wicks believes that as violating the dress code. Wicks did not long as people are doing reasonably feel that there were adequate grounds well in school and are not intimidating or distracting anyone with their clothfor suspension. At this point, he says, “A tweed pant ing, what they wear is up to them. At one time, many people suit was not acceptable, but a six inch mini skirt was fine.” It soon became believed that “clothes make the man,” evident that the dress code was impos- Today, however, many people believe sible to enforce and the policy dissolved that clothing should be an expression of personality rather than a determiin early 1970’s. Now, almost anything in the way nation of behavior. Most of us are of clothing is acceptable at South, pleased that South can concentrate its which has not formal rules regarding energies on education rather than on dress. However, if a teacher feels haberdashery. sense to keep the kids from wearing them,” he says. Wicks remembers the first girl to actively dispute South’s dress code. According to him, she came to school wearing “a very nice, well-designed, tweed pants suit.” However, this semi-

Prom throughout the years

15 February 2011

Lennon’s death shocks and saddens By Alex Atwood, Volume 20 December 19, 1980 The death of John Lennon was, for me and many people, the saddest and most upsetting news event we have experienced. Almost all people born in the 60’s, like me, do not remember the assassinations of Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy. Thus, when a man like John Lennon is brutally, senselessly murdered, it should come as no surprise that we are profoundly grieved as we have never been before. In this letter, I would like to share some of my thoughts concerning the killing. John Lennon, as probably most know, was no ordinary rock star. He was the primary artistic and intellectual force behind the greatest musical group in history. Led by his tremendous creative talents, the Beatles were rock’s first great innovators, the first to extend their repertoire beyond what the public demanded and work as musical artists. Lennon himself wrote three books of very clever poetry, and the lyrics he wrote with Paul McCartney, like “Eleanor Rigby” and “Across the Universe” were exceptionally mature and complex songs. Lennon’s solo work, again, showed great wit and imagination. In particular, his LPs “Plastic Ono Band” and “Imagine” described the search for truth and the rewards of self-discovery with the lyricism and sensitivity very rare from a pop musician. Always, he was a man of enormous talent and admirable values. One of the most frustrating aspects of Lennon’s assassination was that he was on the brink of a true re-birth of his career. Unlike Elvis Presley and other pop stars who died overweight, isolated and with their former talents all but depleted, Lennon was killed only weeks after releasing an excellent new album that marked the end of a five-year semi-retirement. In an interview the day before his death, Lennon, projecting radiance and vitality, spoke of his work on yet another album and possibly embarking on a world your. The music world could hardly wait to see what our old friend John Lennon held for the 80’s. Then suddenly—he was gone. At 1:00 A.M., a friend called me from New York to tell me of the killed that had happened only two hours before. Both of us were devastated. I almost cried. The following day, at Boston University, my classmates told me that dozens of students were sobbing in their dorms when they heard the news. That night, two classmates and I went to a candlelight vigil on the Common. We felt as though we were at a wake. The next day, I telephoned Denebola’s faculty adviser because I was interested in knowing what the newspaper was planning to print on the matter. The editors were still tossing around ideas, Mrs. Gonson told me. But I was greatly

dismayed to hear that there was no consoling message given over the PA system that morning and, on the whole, there was a rather casual attitude toward the killing among South’s teachers and administrators. I am writing from second-hand information, I know, but this scant attention struck me as a failure of leadership at a critical moment on the part of South’s administrators. Perhaps the shock that students felt was not understood by people of older generations because they did not think Lennon was so important a figure, or that his assassination was quite as important a tragedy as the assassination of some other figure might be. But suppose Jimmy Carter of Ronald Reagan were killed tomorrow. Certainly, almost all of us would be shocked and saddened. But for millions, the death of John Lennon would still be a different matter. Two days after his death, as I wrote this letter, I still felt a numbness, a deep sadness. But also, I felt very angry. Lennon’s assassin, a born-again Christian from Georgia, walked into a gun shop, bought a .38 caliber, traveled to New York, and killed Lennon. The next day, Reagan said the assassination was a “great tragedy” but that he believed fun control would not have helped. Reagan, evidently, supports the easy availability of instruments designed specifically to kill people. If handguns were banned in this country, any person wishing to buy a gun would have to resort to the black mark, which would surely form upon such a ban. But a black market gun would undoubtedly be many times more expensive and difficult to obtain than a legal gun. Probably, the cost alone would put the .38 caliber out of reach of Lennon’s financially-strapped assassin. If handguns had been banned, Lennon might well be alive now. In fact, if handguns were banned now, a lower murder rate would be statistically unavoidable. Still, there is a fundamental question. Can we call ourselves civilized while permitting – and thus condoning—the use of handguns? In Europe, people are saying the Lennon killing could only have happened in America because only in America are guns so easy to obtain. I fear they are right. When will our legislators defy the gun lobby and stand up for what Americans support— meaningful gun control? Until they do, we cannot be safe from the violent urges of maniacs like Lennon’s assassin. John Lennon has been killed, and life goes on. But, more than just eulogize the slain Beatle, we should recognize that this senselessness was clearly the result of the easy availability of handguns. Let’s give peace a chance, and control them.

South radio livens By Jill Priluck, Volume 28

January 12, 1989

The Southside is a weekly 15 minute radio show that discusses the news, sports, arts, and entertainment of Newton South and the Newton community as a whole. The show airs on 1550 AM, WNTN, at 7:45 on Saturday mornings. Senior Lisa Bernard is the director of the Southside radio show. She began as a freshman, working at the station as a reporter, working with former Southside director Doug Randall on documentaries. Randall taught Bernard how to use the controls and run the program. “Broadcast communications interest me, so I was fascinated that South had a radio show. It was an opportunity that I had to take advantage of,” Bernard said. Bernard has made several changes to this year’s Southside such as the format of the show, making it less rigid by changing the introductory music and by adding junior Josh Weintraub’s Top Ten List. Bernard also plans to make public service announcements regarding AIDS and suicide. In the past, Bernard has made docu-

mentaries covering topics, such as the graduating class of 1988 and pressure at South. Last week Southside featured a documentary concerning school attendence. “I enjoy investigative reporting. I like being able to plan a show that involves many different aspects,” Bernard said. Bernard works with junior Adam Bernard, who is in charge of Southside Lion Sports. “I have to find out scores of sports events, highlights of all the games, and anything that happened in the Athletic Department during the week,” Adam Bernard said. Seniors Carrie Ansell and Ilana Marcus are GRAPHIC BY ARIEL RIVKIN in charge of Southside’s Arts and Entertainment section. “I love everyone I work with. I wish it were easier for me to get people involved but I never know who is interested. Anyone can get involved if they approach me,” Lisa Bernard said. “It’s a lot of fun and it gives you experience with radio,” Ansell said. “It’s a good experience because it helps you overcome shyness and it’s a relaxing atmosphere,” Harris said.

Social Scene Denebola

15 February 2011

Lifestyle C9 “Hey Tommy, where should we go tomorrow night?” “Gee, Johnny, I don’t know. Where should we go tomorrow night?” “Beats me, Tommy. I just don’t know.” More and more South students have been coming to the same conclusion as Tommy and Johnny: there simply aren’t any places to hang out on the South side without driving for an eternity or being requested to leave by the boys in blue. -Robby Silverman, Excerpted from “South weekends lack excitement while North parties on,” 1995

Back in the day...

you had any other intentions before going in, you may find the atmosphere a little too stuffy. If the Newton South kitchens do not suit your culinary tastes, there are still means of satisfying your taste buds, Where you choose to go for your lunchtime meal depends on your present financial status, just how hungry you are, and most important your sense of adventure. Remember—you have to be back in twenty-five minutes unless you have been blessed with a lunch block study. Cappricio’s is the most popular place to get your lunch. In fact, the first thing you see as

you come in is a sign saying “Students Welcome.” The directions there are pretty easy to follow. Exit through the front door, and follow the path through the woods to Dudley Road. (The threat of poison ivy is greater than the threat of punitive action on the part of the faculty). Anyway, for 60 to 95 cents you can get a sub and a drink. The 10 or 15-minute walk can prove to be quite relaxing. If

photos by denebola archives

your sense of adventure will permit it, and you are lucky enough to have taken a car to school, Giovanni’s in Framingham has a menu to satisfy the most demanding gourmet. If you make all the green lights, you should return to school just as the last block is beginning. The only hang-up you may run into is a large group of businessmen who undoubtedly will be served first. For a wide variety of menus, Route 1 offers several small restaurants that specialize in 15-second service, at 15-cent prices. There is one last place at Newton South that serves stu-

dents who are looking for somewhere to go. The woods in front of the school are an ideal haven for almost any purpose you have in mind. The spot is truly a beautiful one. The trees, the quiet, and even the few animals you may see running by offer real serenity and a peaceful refuge from the cacophony of bells, daily announcements, and obscene remarks that make up a normal school day. I talked with one frequenter of this place. Donned in purple striped bell bottoms and hair brushing the nape of his neck, he remarked, “You’ve got to admit it’s one of the nicest places around.” And I did. This article may seem like a handbook on how to avoid school. But that is absurd. If you are that intent on skipping a few classes, you may as well just stay home. In the midst of the many “illegalities” mentioned in the article, there may be some thoughts, which we would do well consider, if we are really trying to make the hours spent in school meaningful and even relevant. Is spending time in an area away from the school such a frightening thing to ask for? Teachers might do well to ask how their students would react to a class held in the peace of the woods, instead of the stuffy atmosphere that four walls and wooden desks may create. After all, the woods are the closest thing to nature that South has to offer. Thoreau seemed to fare pretty well there. It would be naïve to think that education is the basis for every student innovated deed that does not fail within the school policy. But, maybe we should find out.

Tonight’s gonna be a good, good night

By Rachel Knight, Volume 32 March 19, 1993

It’s Saturday night. There’s a huge party that you’ve been looking forward to all day. You shower, you get ready to go, and then head downstairs and out the door. But something stands between you and the door, something that is separating you from a night with your friends, a night of fun and adventure: your parents. Every weekend all over America, teenagers go to parties. Some aren’t allowed to go to parties where there will be drinking, drugs, and no parental supervision. Yet, there they are, partying just as hard as the next person. And all of this is usually facilitated by lying to parents. At South, about a third of those people interviewed confessed to lying to their parents. The rest said that their parents let them do whatever they want, as long as they are honest about where they are going. However, whether they lie or not, most students insisted on being quoted anonymously (parents, after all, read Denebola).

One common method of weekend deceit is “I’m going to sleep over at a friends house.” “When I’m going out with my boyfriend I tell my parents we are going to the movies and then we just go back to his

noises. I made this ten minute long and played it over and over on my computer. Then I put a couple of pillows under the blanket and went out for the night, “Franklin-Ross said. For the people that are hav-

Party Advice

Excerpted from Jason Green and Lucas Walker’s View From The Top, 2010 -If your mom comes home and finds that you are throwing a party don’t try and run away.

-Don’t get dropped off at a party by your mom—you may ruin a great weekend and have the senior class hate you.

-Having twenty people in a basement is not a throw down, or a party, and should absolutely not be compared to legitimate parties.

-Arbitrary comments such as “I should be Biggest Party Animal because I have people over” should not be made.

house,” senior Lori Coburn said. “I tell my mom I am going to my dad’s house,” one male junior said. One inventive Ferris Beuller’s Day Off- ish deception was created by senior Jeremy Franklin-Ross. “In junior high, I used my computer to sample breathing and snoring

ing the parties, lying is sometimes more difficult. “When my parents go out, I don’t plan to have a party, I just invite a few kids over. Then it will get out o hand because Newton is such a gossip city,” senior David Temkin said. “All of the sudden, there will be 40 to 50 kids at my house. When my parents come home and find out, I get

no car for the week.” Despite the large number of teenagers who do lie to their parents, just as many are truthful about their weekend plans. These students have found that if their parents trust them and their judgment, they will be allowed to go to most parties. “My parents let me go anywhere I want because they know I’m a good kid, and I’m too afraid to do anything too wild,” a female sophomore said. Many students don’t even bother making up lies. “I just tell my mom that I am going out to get drunk and she just accepts that,” a male senior said. “I am really honest with my parents because if I lied to them they would never trust me again, sophomore Laurie Chan said. “They are pretty lenient with me because they trust me. Why would I throw that away?” “If there is no communication then it means that there is something going on in the parent-child relationship,” English teacher Francis Moyer said. “Kids need to trust their parents.”

What were popular hangout spots around town? A lot of my friends would go to Tahiti Chinese food restaurant in Dedham, Friendly’s and the Cape Cod ice cream place in the Chestnut Hill Mall. Newton Centre definitely was a hang out place but I didn’t hang out there. We also took the T a lot to Harvard Square and Newbury Street. What was the average weekend like? What were popular activities to do? At night people would hang out in the South parking lot in front of the breezeway. People would gather there in their cars to see what was going on. Primarily seniors and some junior because they could drive, but sophomores and seniors went out a lot so most people had access to cars. A lot of my friends sopho-

Was there school spirit?

Not really. There were cheerleaders and they were popular, and the football players were popular, too, but there wasn’t much spirit. We r e t h e r e a l o t o f cliques?

South was more homogeneous, so there weren’t that many different cliques. It was more traditional high school cliques like “jocks, rich kids, intellectuals.”

How did South’s social scene compare to North’s?

The feeling I got was North was more grittier, tougher, cooler, and they had more parties.

Modern hangouts photo by jenna marks

School: an institution devoted to the propagation of reading, writing and arithmetic. Does this “code of learning” fit in with your theory of education? If not, there are a variety of other ways to supplement your curriculum. It is up to you to choose the one that will make your school hours the most relevant and meaningful for you. There are some students who are so dissatisfied with the order of the school day that they take it upon themselves to incorporate their own changes, legal or otherwise. Whether or not these changes are relevant to one’s education is left for the reader to decide. For many students, the hours eight o’clock in the morning until two in the afternoon become somewhat of a hardship. To ease the oppression of the long day, a variety of ways to avoid classes seem to be familiar to those who seek it—a sort of oral code. One old favorite is a visit to the nurse (to help ease that 11:00 headache). This is usually good for one class. Or, if you happen to miss homeroom, your name would appear on the absent list, thus relieving you from any unwanted class for the rest of the day. If you want a leisurely break from trigometric functions and the nagging urge for a drag overcomes you, the Newton South restrooms should offer you the ultimate in security. Just knock three times and ask for Joe. That will gain you entrance into one of the notorious smok-

ing spots—alias ‘Girls Room’ or ‘Boys Room.’ One student rationalizes “If we can’t do it in the open, we obviously don’t have any choice.” One person, who sticks to Cutler House for convenience, adds “It’s a good place to meet people…you can talk about anything there without worrying who may be listening.” Now you know what the signs “Girls” and “Boys” means. If

Goodwin House commons was where popular kids hung out; [the] jock corner, which was at the end of the Goodwin office hallway, was for the more “tough guys.” People who smoked cigarettes hung out in the breezeway and people who smoked pot hung out at the “rock” which is now behind Goldrick. And a lot of people would play cards in Cutler commons.

more year had senior boyfriends so one guy would drive a lot of girls and we all went out together. People wouldn’t do anything illegal there at the parking lot; they would just go to find out where a party was then they would leave. Parties were at people’s houses when their parents went away. And they weren’t like parties today with 20 people. If there was a party, everyone was there. People wouldn’t always go in, sometimes they would just park their car at the house and hang out. I also went to the drive in movies, which was where Home Depot is now.

Wheeler (Senior) Commons

photo by sammie levin

By Denebola staff, Volume 10 September 29, 1970

What were popular hangout spots in the school?

Field House

photo by jenna marks

Where to go, what to do: Students escape from intellectual atmosphere


photo by jenna marks

Library’s second floor offers refuge to music-lovers in 1970

We talked to Jim Marks, class of ‘79 and parent of one current and one former South student, to find out what the social scene was like when he was at South.

Arts Hallway

Theatre Denebola

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15 February 2011

Hairspray, 2011

Urinetown, 2007


of the

House Usher, 2000

English teacher and former Director of Theatre Jim Honeyman has served South’s theatre program - now known as South Stage - since 1979. Honeyman has led the development of South’s theatre program and wrote to Denebola about his experiences. South Stage has had four directors since the sixties: Mr. Ernie Chamberlain, who directed dozens of shows in the decade leading up to 1978, Ms. Anne Lucas, who served for two years; myself, from 19792005; and Mr. Jeff Knoedler, our current director.  South Stage has changed greatly over the years. For one thing, it wasn’t even called South Stage when I was hired at South in 1979; it was just “the theatre program,” doing three plays a year - a musical, a full length play, and a student directed spring Shakespeare in a beautiful outdoor courtyard which has since been covered over by our current cafeteria. At that time, South was a three year high school with just 1200 students. When South became a four year high school in the early eighties, we began to expand the theatre program, eventually reaching our current model of eight productions a year.  As Director of Theatre, I initiated a number of projects:

Damn Yankees, 1993

Fireman, Save My Child, 1987

In 1983, I approached Shakespeare & Company to explore the possibility of their directing a Newton South production. Their fee was high enough that I approached North, and together we produced Romeo and Juliet - performed both at North and at South in the same year - under the direction of Kevin Coleman, Shakespeare & Company actor and director of education.  We quickly discovered the benefits and fun of collaborating with North on Shakespeare, and we have been doing so now for almost three decades. I entered Newton South in the Massachusetts High School Drama Festival for the first time.  We were variously successful depending on the year, reaching finals at John Hancock Hall on a regular basis and winning the state championship in 1989 with a melodrama called “Foiled By An Innocent Maid.”.   After our theatre was ren-

Anastasia, 1962

ovated in the mid nineties, South became a regular host site for the preliminaries and semi-finals of the state drama festival. As a result of our high placement in the 2002 finals, South Stage was invited to bring a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the world’s largest performing arts festival.   In 2004 we wrote our own political satire based on the “living newspaper” productions of the old Federal Theatre Project called “Free, Adult, Uncensored” and spent two weeks in Edinburgh performing, watching shows from all over the world, sightseeing, and having the experience of our lives. 

High Button Shoes, 1968

Our theatre curriculum has expanded, as well. In 1979 there was only one theatre c lass. I gradually expanded that to three, and Mr. Knoedler has further expanded it to five.   For many years we never had a technical director supervising stage crew.  That changed, after much lobbying, in 2001. In 1998 South Stage’s sister program, Speech Team, was formed with the support of South Stage.  It has gone on to offer performance opportunities above and beyond the South Stage eight play season and has become a well known fixture of life at Newton South. In the mid-eighties, the Chairperson of the Music Department, Ms. Helen Taylor, and I teamed with a large focus group of parents to lobby the city for a renovation to our auditorium, which at the time was a far less comfortable performance space than it is today with poor  acoustics and primitive lighting equipment.  Ten years later, our auditorium and library were overhauled, although not as completely as we would have liked.   Further improvements came in the second round of renovations when the new Wheeler/ Goldrick building was added to the school. 

Pippin, 1980

Antigone, 1971




Arts Denebola

15 February 2011

Senior Alex Caron (Macbeth) lunges across the stage in 2009 during a joint Shakespeare production of Macbeth

photo by jason agress

North/ South Theater

By Stephanie Simon, Volume 24 March 13, 1985

The existence of two high schools in one city might be expected to produce student bodies, which are divided by dramatic rivalries. In the case of Newton North and Newton South, however, the students are about to be united by a theatrical project. Approximately 40 students from the two high schools are collaborating in the production of a student –run play. The idea of producing a North/ South play originated with Jo Simon, the director of the Newton Arts Center. She asked South English teacher Patricia Kempton and METCO counselor Florence Turner I they would be interested in writing a proposal for a grant for a student-run play. “Pat and I were excited about the idea. We thought it feasible to use this opportunity for addressing racial and ethnic adolescent group concerns and feelings. We also wanted to unite students (from the two high schools,” says Turner. Last summer, the Massachusetts Arts Council decided to fund and support the project. After receiving the funds, the next step in making the play a reality was

to find interested students to begin researching and writing the script. At Newton North, English teacher Inez Dover agreed to be the faculty director, and Jay Cradle, a physical education teacher, volunteered to oversee the choreography. Together with Kempton who would oversee the writing aspect of the play, and Turner, who would oversee the musical development, thy began to advertise for interested writers. In late October, a group of thirteen students (eight from Newton South) got together and began to brainstorm. Pamela Karp, a Junior who helped write the play and is currently acting and singing in it, thought writing the play was a very good experience. “We (students from North and South) talked about things that bothered us, like Cliques, and problems with parents,” she says. “We wrote and rewrote the scenes. It’s been a lot of work, but now it’s beginning to come together.” Several students who helped to write the play have recently come to America from foreign countries. Seymour Beckford, a junior whose roots are in Jamaica, and Ilan Marcoschamer, who moved here from Israel 1-1/2 years ago, contributed their experiences and feelings about moving. In fact, the play centers on

three families who move from their native countries of Jamaica, Israel and Korea. It also includes problems that the kids have in adjusting to American life and dealing with pressures and prejudices. “I really enjoyed writing [the play] because I could express my feelings,” says Beckford. According to Marcoschamer, “It’s supposed to give a message to American kids to accept people from other countries.” In addition to the three families, there are characters from Central America, as well as METCO students and black students living in the suburbs. But basically the play is about teenage high school life. “It deals with feelings and problems… from a student’s point of view,” states Turner. “It is filled with everyday situations.” Auditions for Fitting In were held in early January, and by the end of the month the North/South cast began working on the production. Collaborating with the actors were “behind the scenes” workers who developed a very important part of the play—the music. All music is being composed and arranged by students for every instrument in a joint North/ South orchestra. These students also put lyrics to music for the play’s vocal background. All choreography is also original student work. The play, which runs about two hours, will be performed April 26th at Newton South and the following evening at Newton North. There will also be a matinee production at the Newton Arts Center, the date of which will be announced later. From the program’s inception, the play has had the full support of the principals of both high schools, This encouragement has helped to bring the two groups of students together. According to Dover, “This theatre project will help bridge the gap between North and South.” In doing so, it may help students to understand and appreciate people from different backgrounds, and may bridge the gap between prejudice and friendship.

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South celebrates the arts with Tertulia

Since 2000, Tertulia has been a yearly and highly anticipated event in the spring, taking the place of the annual May festival in previous years. Denebola had the chance to interview Tertulia Advisor, What exactly is Tertulia?

Tertulia means “a gathering of the performing arts.” The Tertulia was designed to create a school tradition that would be an annual and ongoing vehicle for the appreciation of the arts. The Tertulia takes place one day each spring at Newton South, and since its inception, has increasingly evolved as a showcase for the many talents of Newton South students. How did Tertulia start? It was conceived in memory of Maxine Celeste Chansky, a Newton South student, and in celebration of her joyful spirit, delight in the arts, and love of cultural diversity.   When did Tertulia start, and has it been running every year after that? It started in the Spring of 2000 and it has been running every year since then.   In what ways it Tertulia important to the community at Newton South? It is a day of celebration of the arts and of the many talents of this community. It is a day in which our school pauses, listens, and rejoices in hearing so many beautiful voices that form our community. It is a moment that we share, and is a tradition that we

What is art: A visual display By Rachel Knight, Volume 34 December 23, 1994 Art takes many forms. There is art in the blazing swirl of blue paint across white canvas, art in the tremble in a singer’s voice and art in cooking a gourmet meal. Art in the tight spin of a ballet dancer and in the scrawl of a pen across paper. Art in acting and art in medicine. Art in music and art in sculpture. Art is inseparable from existence – civilization is both created from art and creates art. Art defines culture. Art imitates nature and its natural processes. But while nature can only do natural things, art takes over where nature leaves off, fundamental about human nature: the purpose of art is to give expression to the universal element in human life. Art is the result of mankind grasping those similarities of experience in view of which many separate experiences become a unified whole. Art is self-contained and complete in itself. For this reason it can be judged aesthetically, a judgment peculiar to it alone. Living is art. Even if all someone does is sit and watch television, he is doing it in his own special, personalized way. Art is a dialogue between artist and medium. The artist does something, the art responds, and then the artist listens to that response and makes a change in turn. For example, a musician creating a piece of music may write a few chords, play them in succession, listen to how they sound, modify a few notes and then listen again. Art is communication between all people. It comforts me – it keeps me going through the day like a cup of coffee. Art transmits a message to its audience. No matter how crude or morally bad a subject, if it is handled by a talented artist, the result is a work of art. Because art has an emotional appeal, it entices the irrational part of a man’s soul. Art is the stylization of human experience. Art, in theory, can achieve truthful, honest expression. And for this reason the artist is destined to fail, as no other dare fail. The traditional artist strives to give his art the illusion of life, to seduce his audience into a “willful suspension of disbelief.” Art is the juxtaposition of emotion, which is formless, and form, which must struggle every step of the way to capture emotion and make it stay. Art is intensely personal. For me, art is the only way I can express myself. My art comes completely form my thoughts and feelings, and from society’s impact on my conscious and subconscious. Through art I can convey pain, sadness, anger or joy that I feel inside so much or as little as I want to. Art, unlike conversation, presents no limits for me. Art is the communication between all people. Art transmits an idea from being a mere idea to being tangible, real. Art is the result of constant interplay between contending components in the creative life of man: the destruction of individuality and the interpretation of individual existence. By constant opposition, each stimulates the other to further effort. The result is the growth of art. Art can unite all people, knocking down the boundaries between individuals, while at the same time aiding man to see within himself. Art is an uninhibited, free and direct communication with the deep mysteries of nature which defy normal understanding. In true art, pain and joy blend into one. One of the most incredible moments to be experienced, for me at least, is when art guides me to understand some huge piece of myself. Like when I write poetry: sometimes my finders will be typing practically ahead of my brain, and all of a sudden I’ll stop and go back and read over what I wrote, and I will find fragments of feelings that I never before knew existed within me. Art is the elevation of the soul through beauty. Art is timeless – it transcends the boundaries of time by immortalizing an object, person, concept or idea. A moment of happiness, when painted upon a canvas, is no longer a moment; it is forever. Just because something is in a museum doesn’t mean it is necessarily art. For example, a box pained lack and titled “My Soul” is no more art than going to the bathroom. Because art is not only idea, it also requires talent to express that idea in an emotion-inducing way. Art takes effort and talent – it might be a good idea, but if it is crude and gross, then it is worthless. The intrinsic process of making art is more important than the final product. Art is like dreaming – it is the interpretation of life through images and sounds. These images aren’t perceived by the intellect, but by the artistic sense. An essential part of the art experience is the ever-present realization that the images are not real, but illusory. True artists do not create art because they want to; they create it because they have to. An artist can no more stop himself from creating than a starving person can stop himself from eating. Artists are haunted by demons, and art is, in effect, an exorcism of those demons. Through art the artist can gain relief from inner pain. Art is an attack upon a society’s preconceived ideas and predetermined good sense. Through art one can perceive events without the inner connection that usually links cause and effect. Art encompasses all, every single shred of conscious and unconscious thought, blossoming like flowers into eternal form.

create together.

Have there been any memorable acts in the past few years?

Many. Every year is really great, and to me they are all memorable. Do you have any personal favorite acts in the show?

I have many. I like the dance pieces a lot, Maxine was a dancer and dancers often don’t have the same opportunity to perform. The best part for me is to “ discover” a talent in someone that I wouldn’t have expected. I love to see the passion, the energy, the beauty that our students can create on stage and offer to our community. Are there any teachers that preform in the show consistently?

Mr. Jampol has been in every Tertulia, other teachers have performed in the past. Mr. Jampol has always created a performance with students. Ms. Popp has also performed with students. How do students enjoy the show, and how has it changed over the years?

One student told me that Tertulia is the best school day. Tertulia has grown, there are many performers and club members that help with the production of this day. I feel that there is a lot of support for Tertulia and it is a community day.   Many people want to participate and help and they do  in  so many different  ways. I feel very fortunate to have met Maxine. I am still sad when I am thinking that she has gone but I am glad  that she left Tertulia behind.

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Congratulations Denebola

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Reprinted from Volume 17 January 23, 1977

The College Game: The race from application to acceptance

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15 February 2011

Denebola Denebola

No chronicle or celebration of Newton South would be complete without its official newspaper. Denebola was established near South’s beginning by Editor-in-Chief Jane Hogan. It continues today – in print and on the web – as a monthly, award-winning, color, and broadsheet product. More than an account of Denebola’s history, this section presented Volume 50’s editors with the opportunity to learn more about Denebola as an institution; a tremendous legacy that has played a role in thousands of students’ lives, as well as throughout the South community. The following pages are about something that, for us, is quite special. They contain the words, pictures, memories, and sentiments of Denebola editors past and present. They exemplify the accomplishments and highlight the 50year continuous process behind Denebola – Newton South’s Official Newspaper.


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What is Denebola? “A lesson in life: Ethics, communication, writing, interpersonal relationships, business, common sense. Without what I learned from Denebola, it all falls apart.” -Alex Schneider ‘08

“What’s not to love?” -Gabe Schneider ‘10

“At Denebola, you can be anything you want to be, and you are always happy with what you become”

-Mark Leibovich ‘86

-Hisham Bedri ‘07

“Late night paste up, labeling...just what I needed after all!”

“Denebola was the beginning of my career”

-Niki Gerber ‘06

-Marcy Goldberg Sacks ‘92

“Learning how to maintain a sense of humor in the face of a daunting deadline!” -Nadia Alam ‘97

“Denebola is where I found a voice, if not a megaphone”

“Denebola wasn’t just what I did in high school, it was who I WAS”

“Family” -David Han ‘10

-Olivia DaDalt ‘08 “I feel like everyone I know knows how great my experience on Denbola was. I even talked about it during my job interview!”

“The second brightest star in the constellation Leo” -Oxford American Dictionary

-Bora Panduku ‘02

“Not a kiddie newspaper, a Mickey Mouse operation, or a locker room...Denebola is a way of life” -Jason Agress ‘09

“Denebola taught me the power of teamwork, focus, and late-night snacks -- the invaluable tools for a job well done” -Nina Gold ‘05

“Denebola was a blast!” -Roger Goldberg ‘96

“Denebola is like a bad BM; you think you’re gonna die while it’s happening, but afterward you feel great” -Dan Friedman ‘09

“Denebola gave me perspective; fostered talent; and taught teamwork and persevarence” -Jesse Zhang ‘10

“A cool place to get lost in the 9000s” -Mr. Frookie

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The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do, well. -Henry Longfellow

Mark Leibovich ‘83 Sr. Staff Writer, Volume 22

Denebola is where I found a voice, if not a megaphone. It was admittedly a Dark Ages notion of “voice” -- back in the primitive early-80s, before anyone could find “voice” via blog, Twitter or Facebook. I was one of the privileged kids who was allowed to say something publicly. I wrote for Denebola. I was an unremarkable student, unsure of my place in a big school and solidly back in the achievement pack. (My SAT scores are probably in the bottom rungs of any reporter now working at the New York Times.) For whatever reason – maybe because my friends were the editors – I wrote a few Denebola stories. My first story was a recap of our soccer season: a disappointing campaign and forgettable article. But I will never forget the thrill of writing something for publication; seeing my name on top and having others read it and not because it was their job to read it. Maybe it was only a few readers, and maybe they only read a few sentences, or maybe they were just being polite and saying they read the whole thing. But it was a start. And it was a spark. The editors let me keep writing. When I was a senior, they gave me my own column, ostensibly a “humor,” column. “On the Mark,” it was called, a not-that-brilliant play on my first name. They are painful to read now, the columns, but pretty good (I thought) at the time. They gave me confidence. I took risks, tempted miserable failure – achieved it at times – and over time developed a voice. My first writing mentor, Mrs. Gonson, the Denebola faculty advisor, encouraged me to be bold. Risk-taking was the essence of distinctive writing, she said. The lesson stuck, and so did the spark. The thrill of public writing has endured in me through 22 years in the news business – four newspapers, two coasts, thousands of bylines, hundreds of tortuous deadlines, countless reporting adventures and systematic upheaval in the industry. One constant has been the gift of absolutely loving what I do. I will always feel a twinge of disbelief that someone is actually paying me to do this for a living (and undying gratitude to whoever talked me out of applying to law school). As I get old -- and I’m now at an age where I start more and more sentences like that – vintage songs on the radio tend to awaken long-ago memories. There’s a schlocky Classic Hits song, “Who’s Crying Now,” by the band Journey, which was popular back in my Newton South years. I will always associate that otherwise blah tune with driving home from Belmont on Friday nights with my Denebola colleagues. That was the first time I heard “Who’s Crying Now.” We were returning from “paste up,” a pre-computerized exercise in which we would literally “paste” and lay out the pages of the next issue of Denebola onto boards at a printing company. It was boring work, but I am nostalgic for those nights, for the smell of ink and paper; for fleeting youth and old friends. I still feel that spark every morning when I pick up the paper (yes, still paper for me). I feel it when I go in to work, or head out on a story or hear “Who’s Crying Now” on the radio– that feeling of loving what I do and knowing that the journey was worth taking.It all started with Denebola.

It is hard to believe that it has been over three years since I retired from the Seacoast Media Group Company (aka Seacoast Newspapers; Rockingham Country Newspapers). In my 35 years of working at Seacoast, one of my most favorite customers was Newton South High School – and, most of all, Denebola. I have to say that, through some guidance and patience, the Denebola staff was always very professional; they always met every deadline; and they always followed the proper formatting instructions. Most of all, it was always a pleasure to just sit back and read Denebola, enjoying a well-written and well-designed newspaper! Throughout my career I have seen the various

Andy Cohen ‘76 Editor-in-Chief, Volume 15

When asked, would you write about how your experience editing Denebola affected your life? He wants me to knock out 400 to 500 words or so, in short order. Well, I thought I’d just say No…that was a long time ago and while I have distinct memories of the bunch of us kids cutting paper, applying paste and arranging articles on stiff paperboard for our mockups, how did it affect me? I dunno. Pizza and carpools were involved. Someone’s basement and cookies. Long ago paste ups. Sigh. Well, I thought, I have no idea. But, would I mind writing something? I suppose so. As you can imagine, I’ve not given too much.

Rebecca Wand Ben-Gideon ‘92 Editor-in-Chief, Volume 31 Right now, it’s late—at least for a 36-year old with three kids asleep upstairs. I’d like to go to sleep myself, but I know that Denebola’s deadline approaches. Fortunately, I learned at a young age how to deal with just this situation. Everything I needed to know in life...I learned at Denebola paste-up. Plus, I feel very motivated, because Denebola’s big birthday is a unique opportunity to celebrate all of the learning that goes on in putting together an award-winning, thoughtful, and sometimes provocative school newspaper. So with that in mind, and a tip of my reporter’s cap to GAW, my compatriots Ben and Dan, our

Jane Hogan ‘62 Editor-in-Chief, Volume 1 Denebola was integral to my experience at Newton South. In 1962, if asked who I was at Newton South, I would have answered the Denebola Editor. The cycle of putting each issue to bed, structured my week. I learned to set and meet deadlines. The students I interacted with most closely were the members of the Denebola Editorial Board. We came from different neighborhoods, different religious and social backgrounds. I learned to value people based on their work ethic, intellectual abilities and their talent. I learned both faith in my own abilities and the strength of a team. Without the contributions of many people there would have been no paper. I had the privilege of representing Newton South at student press conferences. I became aware and respectful of regional differences and the constraints other editors faced. I learned to value the trust and freedom I was given on Denebola when I realized this was not the norm and that few of my fellow editors worked in as supportive publishing environment. As editor I met regularly with the High School Principal, Dr. Davidson, and the paperís adviser, Mr. Nye. I learned to respect the parameters of the roles we each held. I learned the skill of presenting a cogent argument to support the editorial position Denebola wanted to take, which began with arguing why Newton South deserved its own paper. The plan had been for the Newtonite to serve both high schools. I learned when to advocate for

my point of view and when to pull back. I learned the art of strategizing. I learned how to write clearly. I learned how to organize an argument, with the 5Wís and an H, with the most important points up front. Writing fluently has been a prerequisite for my professional career. As Denebola’s editor I had the opportunity to meet people from various walks of life including the editors of the Boston papers, government, and show business. Interviewing Senator Ted Kennedy and the Kingston Trio were highlights of my senior year. I can’t believe I had the courage to ask the Kingston Trio for an interview when they performed in Boston with their new trio member. Denebola needed a coup to increase our circulation. I stood in an autograph line and gave them the interview request written as a parody of their hit song about Charlie on the MTA. Then later, I realized none of the major Boston papers got an interview! I find it hard to isolate my Denebola experience from the impact of the Newton South High faculty. At Newton South I was challenged to be a creative and critical thinker in a climate that fostered creativity and the examination of evidence. I was encouraged to grow. I was expected to frame and ask questions. The Newton South teachers who supported me became my role models and mentors. I hope I have been able to pay them forward in my interactions, the climate I fostered, and my support of those who I have mentored.

It is interesting to imagine the next Denebola— how does it stay relevant?—a microcosm of the tough times the printed news industry faces. I’ve certainly seen that, as I read the new issue of the Daily on my iPad. (Yes, I know who publishes it, but what can I say, I’m a tech junkie, and I digress.) Well, Denebola. It’s got to be quick, timely, and lively. Yet, its strength, your best experiences, are often found in those long stories that sometimes fill the pages. Hmmm. Still, let’s face it, current readers have been trained to jump around, some move laterally, some drill down, but few stick around long in one place. There’s just so much to see; never enough time, either. So, paper is out; all electronic. Has to be. Can you update your stories? What about breaking news, sports and weather? (Don’t you guys all carry around instant access to the latest mode of communication and gossip? Text any friends, lately? Maybe left a note on someone’s wall? Checked your own? Often?) And interactive, that’s the future too. Of course, you’ll need a pipeline for your readers to comment, participate in a poll, maybe even promote an article or two a la digg or Reddit. And, let’s not forget the moving images in the Daily Prophet. How about some video, people? (Maybe a live feed from one of those cameras that not so secretly keeps an eye on you.) How many of you posted something to YouTube, today? Whew. Now, not saying that’s all appropriate for Denebola, but I’ll bet you can post something from a ballgame, class, ski trip, interview…well, you get the idea. Confession: I don’t even have a Facebook presence. Surely, one of you probably has a far better idea of where this high school paper could go. And, I hope, you’ll dive in and help it get there. It needs you. Good Luck.

principal Van Seasholes, and the entire team of classmates that lived through our exploits, here is a list of key life-skills that I learned, not in class, but in front of the Macs (each named for a Marx brother), inhaling the spray-mount (look it up, kids), with my friends at Denebola. Words Matter. Reporting, writing, and editing Denebola challenged me to have an opinion, to talk to people I didn’t know, and to expand my ideas about how words on a page can prompt reflection, jumpstart change, and shift public conversation. I’m still proud of our centerfold stories on condom distribution in schools. Passion Matters—and it helps to be a little crazy sometimes. I learned by example that passion and zest for the task at hand can make life exciting. Later, as I thought through my career choices, I knew I wanted to find something that would enable me to recapture the passion and empowerment that I felt when I edited Denebola. (I’m a rabbi now.) People Matter. As David Brooks recently wrote, “Negotiating group dynamics, understanding social norms, navigating the distinction between self and group — these and other social tests impose cognitive demands that blow away any intense tutoring session or a class at Yale.” Denebola demanded all of these things, and was a true laboratory for teamwork and leadership development. Everyone Makes Mistakes. Sam, I’m sorry I censored your column. Sometimes we made mistakes. This was a good thing, it meant we had the freedom we needed to learn and to exercise responsibility and judgment. On a good day, we erred, we apologized, we strove to do better next time. I use all of these ideas everyday. Really. May Denebola have many more birthdays, so that hundreds more students can sense the possibilities, feel the power of their voices for the first time, and produce one fabulous student paper. Mazal tov, Denebola!

Stephen LaBranche Commercial Printing Manager (Retired) Seacoast Media Group Stephen LaBranche was the Commercial Printing Manager at Seacoast Media Group, where Denebola has been printed each month for over a decade. LaBranche was a friend, colleague, and teacher to Denebola’s everchanging staff. Notably, he was a key part of the newspaper’s move to broadsheet format and full color.

Alex Schneider ‘08 Editor-in-Chief, Volume 47

I can write quite a bit about Denebola. I spent countless hours learning the process of newspaper production and countless more passing on that knowledge to the next members of the paper. If there’s one thing I regret, though, it’s that I was editor of Volume 47. Jealousy doesn’t begin to explain how I wish I could have had the chance to put out this fiftieth issue of Denebola’s fiftieth volume. Working on the newspaper was an invaluable experience. I honed my own skills while having the chance to oversee the production of a publication that constantly grew and improved. We increased the size of the paper to twentyfour pages, added color throughout, introduced InDesign, and brought the paper out of debt through reinvigorating advertising.I learned what it means to be both a creditor and a debtor, what it means to break a news story and then deal with the aftermath, and what it means to oversee a staff with an array of views, ideas, and needs. I cannot write this letter without mentioning what – for me and my fellow Vol47 editors – was a defining part of our time on Denebola. In December 2007, we published a nationally recognized story about the surreptitious installation of security cameras at Newton South. This monumental article garnered attention from newspapers, blogs, and TV stations (I have the DVDs to prove it)!. Given the way this one story turned into a defining moment of my high school career, I feel obligated to say how it has impacted my life. Above all, it taught me the power of Denebola as a serious medium. It became clear that the official newspaper was not a Mickey Mouse operation, and its content was not only significant – but also impacted the local and distant community-at-large. Denebola was also an introduction for me to the concept of real world competition. At Newton South, there are two varsity newspapers: The Lion’s Roar and Denebola, each bringing a unique voice to students. Some question the duality of purpose of two newspapers, but I think the success of the two represents only benefits. On Denebola, we read Roar and we learned from it.  We learned the value of producing a product that we believed was better; without competition, we would have put out a paper that forced itself on students. Journalists have a tendency to think that they know what their readers want; at Newton South, we had a real-life laboratory in which we continuously found out. Ironically, I now work on a newspaper at the college level that faces similar competition. And, even more ironically, I now work with former Denebola and Lion’s Roar editors. We bring various perspectives to the table based on our journalism background from Newton South, and that allows for a strengthening of our newspaper. But this letter isn’t about me.  It’s about the future of a newspaper that has won a series of awards over the years and continually represents what is possible for students to accomplish at the high school level.  The difficulty that the newspaper faces is how to continue to put out such a product when resources drain, leadership moves on, and questions of duality of purpose keep reappearing with changing editorial leadership. I think that the answer lies in stories of alumni, and I hope that readers recognize that Denebola has a history that can provide direction for the paper and journalism at Newton South.

transitions experienced by newspapers. It is still amazing to me that Denebola was always in the forefront of innovation. Some of my best moments were Denebola’s annual visits when its staff would tour the Seacoast print facility and spend time in the computer workshop – seeking questions and answers to the latest technology. I hope – and know – that past Denebola editors remember my anecdotal stories; I could talk for hours about newspaper production, newsrooms, editorial boards, advertising departments, and business management. It was always my pleasure to serve Denebola and its dedicated students. I wish to congratulate the newspaper on its 50th anniversary!


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Denebola DUMMIES



#3 “The Wheel”

Copy was either written or typed; keys struck a ribbon and then put letters on the paper. Some student newspapers cut out those columns of words and pasted them up directly. Denebola didn’t. Instead, sent edited copy to the Printer who “set” the type professionally on a typewriter.


A huge beast of a machine that had a smoking “pot” that actually melted lead, which was poured and then “cast” into the matrices (individual letters) – or little type molds – that fell down slots, when you touched typewriter-like keys. The “line of type” was a cast lead “slug” or line, then added to other lines, on a tray, and the tray taken to a “form” where individual lines were set into place, and then edged by wooden blocks. Voila, a page!


A flat cardboard or heavy paper surface. Whether you are using “hot type” or “cold type,” the content of the paper needs to be on a surface that either makes an impression from the “hot type” or can be “shot” with a camera, to make a film image, which makes a negative that, in turn, is shot onto a plate to make an anodized surface from which ink prints to paper. Boards were different sizes, depending upon whether the final paper product was tabloid or broadsheet.


Assignment sheet

Apple SE

Photographs took a certain skill to print. You could not “shoot” them with a digital camera— like we do in 2011—but had to work out their “proportions” on a circular device that had two interlocking, sliding columns in order to make a “line cut.” When you “sized” the photograph for the line cut, the wheel worked out for you the “per centage” (usually written on the back of the photo) and photo was stuck, temporarily, on one of several “red squares” on the “board.” Of course, it would come out black and white— who could afford the more complex color?


Spray Mount

Technically, a commercial product that stuck or “fixed” the columns of type with its adhesive – usually printed out on 8.5 x 11 pages called “tiles.” But the Real Deal was the smell, wafting through an otherwise odorless Paste Up room. Some claimed this sticky stuff was one of the ten “reasons” for attending Paste Up; others just went away trying to find a good solvent to get the junk off their fingers.


Biz Book

Floppy Disc

Long before Spreadsheets, Denebola kept track (in its own funky way) what little money it had by way of a hand-written account book. Looking back, it’s amazing how cheap the ads were but, then, it didn’t cost as much to print, or mail. Desktop Publishing was made possible by two items, actually, three: the personal (small but powerful) computer; an equally small (less than a ton) printer that generated a sophisticated image or complex typeface; and, software that allowed “pages” to be “composed” not with wooden forms and lead type, but electronically, magic on the screen. Apple was on top of two of these, Adobe provided the third; the SE was one of the earliest and most powerful — an SE30 was often used as a Server, the LaserWriter also a kind of magic. Seventeen-year-old students who knew how to put all three together had more power than a five-story traditional print shop.t


After AI (article ideas), writers and contributors got their assignments. The sheets took different forms – before shooting an email or sending a task on Facebook.





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Whoop-Ass Paddle

Certain paste up evening “entertainments” took gender forms. Anticipating a more sophisticated form, perhaps, of Animal House, Denebola boys/men created numerous games, including details of which are, regrettably, lost to History.

Information in the form of “bytes” was encoded into circular discs that resembled even smaller 45-rpm records, which were inserted into a computer’s “disk drive.” They were flexible, hence, “floppy.” By today’s standards – and needs – they held next to zero data but in the Old Days, lotsa Denebola pages.




The Waxer

Early and late, tiles were placed on boards with a variety of adhesives. Andy Cohen ’76 claims his Volumes used wax, but a “serious” waxer was put into place by 2004. Again, more than one App received responses that “warm” wax was the thing that brought them to Paste Up.

Programs like InDesign create images and newspaper pages hundreds of times larger in terms of pixels and bytes than even five years earlier. Our newer computers measure storage capacity in gigabytes (GB); a typical hard disk not only runs unimaginably faster but routinely may be 160 or 250 GB.


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A History of Denebola: 50 years of excellence By Hattie Gawande In an age in which newspapers are failing almost daily in favor of online news, Denebola is a bit of an anomaly. Guaranteed, one day a month every month the halls of Newton South are filled with students toting copies of the latest issue—and this is despite the fact that the paper went completely online in 2005 in addition to being distributed in print. Granted, Denebola is just a high school newspaper with a readership of under 4,000. It’s official and looks formal but it’s not exactly The New York Times. The point is that the tradition of reading the school paper every month developed in the first place. It’s hard to believe that high school students would endure 50 years of a typical school paper that only writes about school board decisions and lousy school lunch. Except that Denebola is a lot more than a typical school paper. With five decades of coverage of everything from the Vietnam War, to Newton South’s drug problems, to the infamous discovery of five hidden security cameras at South (none of which faculty or students were aware of), it has a long and solid history—a story well worth telling. Denebola didn’t open in 1960 when Newton South opened. It was born a year later thanks to the determination of one Jane Hogan, then a junior. What happened? From 1960-1961 Newton North High School (then Newton High School) ran Newton South news in its 1927-founded school paper, the Newtonite. Hogan, arguing that South needed its own paper, convinced then Newtonite advisor George Nye to assume advisorship of this new paper, Denebola. Thus, in 1961, began the first phase of Newton South’s official school paper. In a way, it was the stereotypical Sixties, as we ignorant 21st-century teenagers like to believe. Boys wore shirts and ties and girls’ A-line skirts and circle pins, and there was a school-wide passivity when the administration was always believed to be right. Yet it was also a decade heading towards Big Change. A President was shot to death in his own country, Civil Rights struggles soon erupted across the South and nuclear fears were coming to a head even while rumbles were heard from a small, far away South East Asian country called Vietnam.

And yet, Denebola missed much of this. The writing was good, sure, and the paper on the whole had several clear sections for a fledgling newspaper—but there was little to no real reporting on the sit-ins exploding throughout the South, where African-American students and their few white supporters sat at whiteonly lunch counters and refused to leave until they were either served or arrested. Nor was there an article to be found on the growing controversy over the handling of the U.S.’s nuclear weapons arsenal. In other words, Denebola’s view of the world was relatively narrow and insulated. Then, in 1966, five years after Denebola’s start, that tiny S.E. Asian country stood Newton South—and America—on its head. Everywhere, students in colleges and then high schools became more and more incensed over the Vietnam War. Where some parents supported the government’s case, many stood behind their children’s protest. It was a period of glorious civil disobedience, with students demonstrating, organizing protest after protest, even going sofar as to walk out of school in dissent. Suddenly South students were conscious of and cared about what was going on in the wider world and took politics seriously. And, they were determined to express their opinions. Newton South programs began to invite status quo and then controversial speakers (Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky turned up the heat). Denebola reported on Vietnam Discussion Week (although it did less to educate students and more to infuriate them, as pro-war speakers were held in pretty much universal contempt). And Denebola? They wanted in, too. Suddenly there was excitement in reporting on The War, both on what was happening internationally and what was going on within Newton South. The Editorials section of the paper was filled with angry articles against the war and

about who was getting drafted, and the news section didn’t go an issue without mentioning it. This was the transition into Phase Two of Denebola, around 1966 and 1967, when the paper suddenly began to reflect more directly and painfully what was going on in the world. Both Newton South and Denebola tried to find their respective identities in a turbulent and chaotic time.

Students displayed this confusion in two ways. First, they maintained the wave of awareness of current events and civil disobedience that began in 1966, what with the continuance of the War and a growing awareness of women’s rights (among others). Articles in Denebola were well written, creative, and emphatically political, and they reflected more and more the state of mind of Newton South on the whole—which was agitated like never before. Second, and decidedly more provocative and scandalous, there began a parallel sometimes non-political era of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. Boys were growing their hair longer than girls, and girls were walking around with very short skirts and without bras. Someone streaked at graduation; the “courtyard” became a place

of music and suspect activities. The general music scene at South moved from folk to heavy rock and roll, Joan Baez to Jimi Hendricks, and Denebola movie reviews reflected the increasing interest in and valuation of film. And all the time drugs became more common than aspirin, it seemed. Suddenly it seemed that everyone was getting high in his or her free time. The school invited speaker after speaker, doctors and professors, to lecture students on the evils of drugs. Denebola never seemed to tire covering both supporters and critics. Denebola’s stories suggested how prominent drug use was at South, a problem the school—like too many others—struggled with from the late 60s through the 70s—and beyond. Thus Denebola’s Phase Two spent considerable ink exploring the mixed social identity of a nationally-recognized high school rocked by many of the same negative social issues hitting less resourced counterparts. Denebola was there every step of the way. It ran four straight centerfolds on marijuana, and many of the Letters to the Editor discussed drugs. Phase Three began photo by brittany bishop with the arrival of the third advisor, Dorothy Gonson, in 1976. Gonson was an outstanding English teacher, well read and highly respected by her students and colleagues. Like her predecessors, she encouraged independent and critical thinking, and student editors finding their own direction. This was a period of some of the best writing Denebola ever printed. Gonson inspired students to write about what interested them but also to write well. Yet the paper also seemed less a newspaper than a journal of features and opinion. It had a newspaper form but not format; news was not, for example, consistent. A lot of attention was paid to women’s rights (deservedly so) but much less, for example, exploring U.S. foreign policy or what an increasingly diverse school was

doing. Another issue with the reins very much in students’ hands was that accountability could blur; to whom were students responsible? To themselves, to their school, to their families? “Denebers” took liberties discussing students and even teachers. The “humor” issue, Nebulus, which appeared every April for April Fool’s Day, frequently crossed the line with attempts at humor that in the eyes of some faculty was cruel. By 1989 when History and Literature teacher George Abbott White, Denebola’s current advisor, took over, a rapid process of restructuring took place. Relations also had to be managed with an independent newspaper created in 1984, The Lion’s Roar, which had become a strong counterpart. Principal Van Seasholes appointed White, noting White was the first advisor with previous experience at a newspaper (The Michigan Daily), experience that included both the print process and the “business side.” He set about his task by reorganizing Denebola along the lines of the better college papers (Wisconsin Daily Cardinal and The Yale Daily News), adding a Managing Editor position, sections and beats on the “news side,” and creating Business editors who would assist the staff in more structured advertising canvas. Straight news was pushed, Opinions joined Edits, Sports was more carefully monitored, and a Book Review, with student and teacher authors, was added. A last phase occurred in the autumn of 2003 when Editor-in-Chief Jon Scherr brought Denebola, at least technically, into the 21st century by introducing no less than four major innovations – and all at once. The paper had stubbornly maintained its traditional black-and-white status. Scherr introduced color, moved from tabloid to broadsheet (Globe size), had pages created entirely on screen, and sent the newspaper 72 miles to Portsmouth, electronically, by creating PDFs. What’s next? Organizationally the paper is moving to re-involve parents to reduce stress and strain on both students and the advisor. Technically, an evolving balance between a tighter (and less expensive) print version and a (maybe) more frequent web version will not only involve newer technologies like iPads, but other ways of gathering and presenting “the newz.”

“Blood, toil, tears, and sweat” – Denebola’s “fearless” leadership

While all advisors cared about the By Jason Yoffe Glasses now off, George Abbott printed page, their emphasis remained White leans back in his chair, trans- as much on the students as on the porting himself back to 1989, the first printed product. For the past 50 years, of twenty-two years as Denebola’s South’s staff members overseeing production contributed “fearless” advisor, aka, to an environment The Fan. “I have always Editors confront in which each Denparticipant thought of my role as dilemmas, develop ebola graduated knowing newspaper advisor as someone who provides intellectually, and more about him or herself than about skills but also new exestablish moral producing a paper. periences,” he said. Just as heirlooms Evident by merely values by making a transfer from genexamining the presspaper. eration to generaroom walls, one can tion, so does balsee White provided ancing the needs his students with sometimes rare and certainly extraordi- of students, school, and community nary opportunities: meeting Bob disseminate from advisor to advisor. Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the Each new teacher fuses some of his journalists who broke the Watergate or her values into the ever-changing scandal, interviewing Massachusetts environment that is Denebola’s culGovernor Deval Patrick, and visiting ture. The process may vary; the aesthetic Washington, DC to see The Post. For White and his four predeces- qualities may vary, but any newspasors, Denebola’s advisor promotes per advisor requires a certain kind of two goals: students’ personal develop- person. “While the advisor must fulfill ment and service to the community. Editors confront dilemmas, develop pedagogical and administrative obintellectually, and establish moral ligations as faculty of the school,” Volume 49 Editor-in-Chief David values by making a paper. The advisor has encouraged his or Han said, “he or she, who has invested her staff to make difficult decisions more time into the publication than independently and to be responsible any other member of the paper, cannot help but also be a colleague and for the consequences. “I’ve seen a lot of [students] really friend.” Some Denebola staff adopt their blossom in a way because of Mr. White and the responsibility that he’s advisors as parental figures, others as given them,” Executive Secretary friends, or mentors, and, considering Bette Lupo said. “I’ve seen a lot of the countless hours spent “moving right along” in room 9202, it is difkids come into their own.”

ficult not to relate with the teachers in teacher union struggles, followed by a way that extends beyond the generic Dorothy Gonson, who, for another pupil-educator interactions. decade, fostered superior writing and The close relationship with the acute critical articles and editorials. advisor creates a “Denebola family” For two years, Hal Mason bridged the characterized by the Volume’s staff gap before White became Denebola’s and advisor. advisor 22 years ago. The camaraderie between classOn November 5, 2008, White mates and the supervising teacher stepped into the Main Office as he did builds a tight-knit, community that every day. At her desk, Lupo asked serves as a home for each Volume’s White how he was doing. He was Denebers. exhausted, but elated. “At Denebola, many of the differHe had just flown back from Chicago, ences between students are down- where he stood near the Grant Park stage played or disappear,” White said of snapping pictures of the newly-elected students who have led Denebola for President, Barack Obama. Despite the the last two decades. “For me that’s many flier miles, White taught all of just the best. It doesn’t matter if it’s his classes that day, and then of course a boy or a girl, or somebody’s black followed up his supervised Denebola or white, or has a big house or a in the evening. small house. A good process makes “He’s a positive whirlwind of ena good product. That is what staff ergy,” Lupo said. “This school system remember.” is very lucky to have somebody to In the newspaper’s 50-year history, have the passion and the energy that the five advisors he has.” have helped the Amassing countstudents do the less hours at South work under often In the newspaper’s 50- past the last bell, hectic, even chaWhite’s longevyear history, the five otic conditions. ity as Denebola’s The advisor advisors have helped the longest standing during Deneboadvisor has moved students do the work la’s inception, the organization to G e o r g e N y e , under often hectic, even new places with spent a turbulent broadsheet, color, chaotic conditions. decade at the and wholly onhelm, complescreen menting his post composition. in the English F o r “ G AW ” Department. (George Abbott White), Denebola’s In 1973, Ron Adams took over accolades serve only as a complement, during a period punctuated by sharp as his tenure as Denebola’s advisor has

been more about his interaction with his students than about his ability to produce a perennially reputable and award-winning publication. “I was able to be a teacher because I became interested in kids’ thinking,” he said. “I was studying psychology and was just fascinated with how kids solved problems.” White has developed an atmosphere in which learning by engaging and not avoiding mistakes is not only tolerated but encouraged, and in which understanding the basic lessons of leadership, business, and teamwork are central to the writing and publication process. He has made the Denebola experience unique for all those who have contributed by concerning himself with preparing his students for the “real world” and its broader, global issues rather than with just producing a newspaper. “What Denebola helps teach its staff is writing, organizing, and working with others to achieve a common goal,” he said. “Those skills are useful anywhere – as a teacher, a surgeon, a corporate CEO. “If I’ve done anything that’s valuable as an advisor, it’s seeing these young people use these skills, grow up, and then use their relative privilege to help others.” From Nye to White, the guidance of Denebola’s advisors not only resulted in a broad window into a tumultuous and exciting half-century; it provided the organization’s alumni with the ability to flourish within and beyond the changing world of media.

Volume 50 Denebola

15 February 2011

Denebola E7

“Give it to me, yeah; No one’s gonna show me how”

It was a dark and stormy

night. As we prepared for bed, we tried to forget about how long we had waited for this evening and the news it would bring. But this proved impossible as we heard car doors slam followed by the sound of a doorbell. Our hearts stopped and we opened the door to find our outgoing senior editors’ smiling faces greeting us with an expertly constructed paper crown (one of which had a Madonna photo; 3 guesses whose…) with cheerful bubble letters indicating our future position: “Editor-in-Chief”. And now we come to the part of our tale where our experiences diverge. *** As Leigh was confronted with the ominous bubble letters, signifying an even more ominous position, she couldn’t believe her eyes and was - of course - overjoyed. But, at the same time,

Writing about how she came to write her award-winning account of a spunky little race horse and America during the Great Depression, Laura Hillenbrand said of Seabiscuit, that she became intrigued “how history hides in curious places.” The story wasn’t lost, Hillenbrand said, “it was scattered... tucked in back pockets and bottom drawers.”

completely terrified, unable to fathom how she would handle the enormous responsibility. Justin always believed he could do it. Yet as the doorbell rang, his overt confidence was questioned, but ultimately confirmed. He knew it would not be easy, but he was ready for the challenge. *** Upon hearing the news, we called each other immediately in excitement. Not only did we just hear about our new positions, but in about three hours we would be on a plane headed for Nicaragua. Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Our trip was postponed yet that

Over the past five weeks, I have been surprised—and pleased to be surprised—by how the Editors and Staff of Denebola put aside the hours every past volume has looked forward to as a respite in January. Instead of not making a paper and instead of resting, they rose to the challenge of making something no Volume had ever made before...a 50th Edition.

failed to damper the excitement we felt. Sitting here, we are quite experienced in talking about our time on , thanks to the copious number of college interviews we have endured. But there are some things that we have left unsaid. First of all, there is no question that for every minute a student spends reading our paper, we spend hours interviewing, writing, editing, and laying the pages. But if we let that bother us, we’d be missing the point. We have gotten as much, if not more, from making Denebola as the South community gets from reading it. Denebola has been an integral part of South

At first tentatively turning the pages of those 50 blue bound volumes, Editors, then Staff, started showing up after school, then later in the day, then evenings. Lists and notes began to appear around the Section cubbies of 9202. Little stuff initially, then long lists, then underlined and colored ones. Post-It notes began to bristle around blue edges and the loose yellowed pages.

Jason Agress, Technical Advisor school community and interacting with current students. Though no one says it, they all feel a special connection to this community; they feel at home. For Denebola, this is especially relevant. This 50th Edition is more than a material history of South; more than a 64-page masterpiece; and more than a celebration of the school. It is all of that, but behind this product is a process that engaged 50 years of Denebola alumni, bringing together a diverse group of people working toward a common cause. While Volume 50 beneficently led the planning and production of this issue, its pages are filled with the work – both archival and fresh – of writers and editors back to Volume 1. The historical perspectives of alumni were sought from the beginning of the process behind this paper, their presence and contributions through Facebook, in person at Article Ideas and Paste Up, and by their legacies in Denebola’s archives.

the school into the paper. When leaders say they could never do it without their staff, those who helped them along the way, it sounds cliché. And yet this farewell letter feels incomplete without thanking the many hardworking, creative, and determined members of our staff who have put in as many hours as we have to make our volume, Denebola, and especially the 50th Edition, what they are. There is no feeling like the one we get when an editor shows us a flawlessly completed section, especially a couple days ahead of time. And there are those who solved the problems that we could not. From midnight

phone calls regarding picture formats, to tearful panic attacks about lost files, we owe our lives to those who cared enough to help in moments of desperation. Now, our time as Editors-inChief of Volume 50 is winding down to make way for Volume 51. While we certainly won’t miss the late nights and lastminute issues, we will miss the community Denebola has provided us and so many other students. Just as Denebola will always be strongly linked with South, we will always be strongly linked with Denebola. So many talented people have been a part of our newspaper and we are honored to join this history as we watch Denebola continue to excel. Every moment has been worth it and we’ve immensely enjoyed sharing them together with the South community.

pressure of SATs and college Applications had all but crushed to powder and scattered to the four winds. Now, despite this wonderful flowering in chilly New England, all is not perfection. Having discovered or recovered some history of where they have lived and learned, the realization dawns that history is not static but dynamic; they – we – have

recovered but a part. And recovered this history for the time —more (not the rest) a task for the future. Time and tide (and 64 pages) being what they are, much could not be included. The oldest news story is that of death. Denebola published a dozen or more Obits, thousands of pictures, and, once a month a book review—some 400 Web Exclusives, as we now say.

A Note from “The Fan”

“Let me help you out” Last week I was talking to two other South grads – each of us having graduated over 10 years apart from each other. We have little in common but our connection to Newton, yet somehow we instinctively agree and anticipate each other’s moves. We’re not close friends, but it feels natural to get along. Why is this the case? We shortly came to a unanimous conclusion: It’s the “Newton thing.” There’s something about growing up in Newton that intangibly impacts you. Wherever you go, it’s in your blood; it permeates your personality and shapes your relationships with others. It’s certainly not negative – but it is unique, and something that few without childhood memories in this city truly understand. Given the 50th anniversary of this school, the “Newton thing” has become increasingly visible. Renewed interest in South is bringing alumni back into the

for the past 50 years, and we are proud to continue the tradition. Being Editors-in-Chief involves so much more than simply writing and editing. Never have we understood how differently other people think and view the world. Never have we understood how difficult it is to keep track of 60+ high school students, hear their concerns, and take into account their perspectives and ideas. Overseeing the paper has forced us to put our needs second. Not only by sacrificing countless hours of sleep, but also by integrating the voices of our contributors, editors, and ideally those of every student in

Their participation was significant and their impact evident. That “Newton thing” came alive for Volume 50, and the editors began to understand the community they are part of – 50 years of shared experiences and making a paper. While each volume of Denebola is unique, it became clear that editors past and present must not take for granted the work they’ve done as an institution, nor its legacy as it continues growing. The extended community created by Denebola – a subset of South’s – is tremendous. Not just in size, but also in the range of skills, personalities, and cultural diversity encompassed within it. With 50 years come a lot of people – a group bonded together by a common passion for Newton South and its official newspaper. Together, this group made The Fiftieth Edition. Congratulations to Volume 50 on leading the effort. Job well done.

Like the ancient carrels at Widener Library, small stacks of blue volumes, little piles began to dot the room where young scholars were...reading. They were reading about their school and their community – and, in effect, about themselves. By finding their history—no tests, no grades—pretty much on their own, I was reminded of a kind of learning I thought the



EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Leigh Alon and Justin Quinn MANAGING EDITORS Ashan Singh and Jason Yoffe EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR Alex Gershanov DEPUTY EDITOR Brittany Bishop COPY EDITOR Andrea Braver


Founded in 1960

FACULTY ADVISOR George Abbott White TECHNICAL ADVISOR Jason Agress Denebola enacts a two-fold role in the Newton South community: responsibility to the larger Newton community and the school itself, and responsibility to the individuals who contribute to its pages. This tradition extends back to Newton South’s inception in 1960, and the first issue of the newspaper. As Newton South High School’s official school newspaper, we are engaged in every facet of the school community, which means fair and equal coverage of South’s sporting events, enrichment and art programs, school organizations, and all other aspects of school life. Additionally, Denebola feels it important to stimulate as well as inform discussion on the essential issues of the day. Denebola is written, edited, and published by Newton South students. Its publication is entirely supported by advertising; the newspaper receives no funds from the PTSO or similar organizations. Contributions are neither soliticted nor accepted. Unless stated, opinions are those of the individuals under whose by-lines they appear. Letters from students, faculty, or members of the Newton community should be addressed to the Editors-in-Chief.
















VOLUME 50 2010-2011




Advertisement E8


15 February 2011



15 February 2011


This section chronicles, highlights, and commemorates the greatest moments of South’s Athletic Department. From facilities, to programs, to players and coaches, Newton South has experienced some remarkable sports seasons, and Denebola’s Sports Section selected some of the more memorable moments from the last half-century.

Sports F1

Half-century of athletic history revived through Hall of Fame

gural class of the new Hall of Fame. The class also included six former South athletes. “All of the people we picked were more than deserving,” Athletic Director Scott Perrin said. According to head of the Booster Club Jon Frieze, 50 years of South’s athletic programs have produced a large group of Hall-worthy alumni. “There have been a lot of deserving people,” he said. Perrin and the other members of the Hall of Fame Committee will primarily focus on three-sport athletes, with multiple All-American honors. “What some athletes today don’t realize is that playing multiple sports makes them a better athlete,” Perrin said. Athletes become induction-eligible five years after graduating. Perrin did say that student-inductees do not have to be captains to join the Hall of Fame. The athletic department joined the Booster Club to organize the Hall of Fame, which they held at the Newton Marriot. The Village Bank contributed to the efforts with a sizeable donation to the Booster Club. Despite being the eve following

Thanksgiving, the crowd almost doubled from the estimated 80 people to 160 attendees. “It was so successful,” Frieze said of the turnout. “I wouldn’t be surprised if [the Hall of Fame] was every year now.” Perrin and the Committee expect to convene over the winter to decide plans for the Hall of Fame in future years. The inductees of the Class of 2009 were dominated by gridiron stars. Four of the six athletes, and half of the coaches were a part of high school’s most revered sport, football. Leading this group was Seth Hauben, a graduate in 2001. “Seth was one of the best athletes to ever come out of here,” Perrin said. Playing basketball and lacrosse in addition to football, Hauben received nine varsity letters and seven Dual County League (DCL) All-Star nominations. The accolades extended to a national level. Hauben was a basketball phenomenon, a McDonald’s AllAmerican, a member of The Boston Globe’s Super Team, and a member of The Boston Herald’s Dream Team during his senior year.

By Rutul Patel, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 Walking towards the Field House today, one sees banners and trophies proudly decorating the walls. Some of the awards, won by the boys’ teams, have been around since the school first started; however, many other awards, those won by the girls’ teams, are relatively new. Out of the 19 sports presently offered to girls at South, only three were originally played and accepted as varsity sports. “It started out with basketball, tennis, and field hockey. These were the only sports available to girls in the 1960s,” former girls’ coach Judy Kennedy said. Kennedy led various girls’ teams for almost 40 years at South before she retired in 2005. Beyond the three sports mentioned above, many other athletic opportunities were not presented to girls. Sports like girls’ gymnastics and volleyball that weren’t considered varsity sports, but more like clubs or after school activities. It wasn’t until June 23, 1972 that gender equality was brought to the public school system. On that day, the United States Congress passed Title IX. This amendment to the US education policy stated that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” After this amendment, drastic changes occurred in the school’s athletic programs. The walls that divided genders had been virtually torn down. If a girl had wanted to play on a boys’ team and there was no athletic equivalent for her, she could try out. The opportunities were available, but according to Kennedy, no one capitalized on the new legislation. “After Title IX the whole landscape changed. Girls had more opportunities than ever before, but people were still skeptical. It wasn’t until the Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Rigs tennis match that people believed in gender equality on the sports field,” Kennedy said. The Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Rigs match was a world-famous

HALL, continued on page F6

TITLE IX, continued on page F6

countless hours of preparation to take the field—and I wonder: what was the real curriculum for me in high school, the venue where I was really set up to learn and ultimately to achieve my goals? Was it in the classroom or on the athletic field? During my years as a student at Newton South, sports were a lifeline, an organizing principle that helped to focus my scattered teenage mind, a means for showing my friends and loved ones that I was capable, a gage of my own qualities as a contributor to a group goal, and most importantly, a vehicle for me to discover the truest self that lay within, the self that only emerged in moments of pure anxiety and challenge. My tenure on the staff of Denebola served much of the same purpose, pushing me to effectively handle stress and lead my peers in moments of critical challenge. But it was the athletic field where my purest training for life took place. I had always loved to play; I was somewhat of a gym-class hero in my early years. In middle school, I put on a lot of weight, and as a result my budding athletic career became increasingly proscribed—I was seen as no more than a pudgy offensive lineman with a below-average penchant for running full-tilt into other heavily padded kids. After two summers of dedicated weight loss at a specialized summer sports camp, and thanks to a healthy early-teen growth spurt, I entered Newton South a somewhat insecure, gangly and confused “football player”

without much of a sense of himself on or off the field. And in the midst of that freshman year, I found lacrosse. Well, to be fair, lacrosse found me when my Freshman Football coach E.A. Morgan passed me in the hall one day and said, “Mirsky, you play a spring sport?” “Nope.” “Good, take this lacrosse stick and learn how to use it—you’ve got two months before the season starts.” I was not really a sophisticated exchange, but I took this simple charge from an adult whose respect I desperately wanted to earn, and I set out to become the best lacrosse player in my grade! The only problem was that I wasn’t very good at it, and I certainly wasn’t considered one of the “elite” athletes in my grade; I was more of a coach’s afterthought, really. I also felt as a ninth grader at South that I wasn’t ever going to be a star in the classroom. At age 14, I couldn’t really explain why this was, but it seemed like I struggled more with school work than a lot of my classmates did, not to mention the fact that my brilliant older sister had set an academic bar so impossibly high that I felt I had no hope of fulfilling my parents’ and teachers’ expectations. But nobody had any expectations of me as an athlete, and in sports I saw my shot at excellence, my chance to show the world, and myself, that I could truly succeed on my own merits. All I needed to do was work my tail off. Three-plus years and thousands of practice hours later (really, ask my

Wellness develops life skills By Maarten Van Genabeek, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 As South has gone on and evolved over the past 50 years, the Wellness program has been an important part of the South community and curriculum. In the early history of the school, however, the program only focused on one aspect of wellness: physical fitness. This was used to help train students for the military to help the war effort.This course continued for 30 years until former Athletic Director Bob Chrusz reformed the physical education program by adding a more complete wellness curriculum. Chrusz added ideas of trust, community building, and social skills to the program. In 1998, the Wellness program expanded even more to include a wider variety of subjects including community building, verbal skills, life choices, and decision-making. The idea of total wellness, both a physical and an emotional state, was also introduced to the staff and students. In addition to an expansion to the wellness classes, sexual education was integrated into the wellness program and focused on smart decision making, rather than abstinence. “We wanted to give them all the information they needed so they could make the smart decisions on their own,” Wellness teacher Bill Fagen said. This was a very progressive step as South had one of the few Wellness programs in the state, if not the country, to include a model of complete wellness. “We used to go to wellness conventions 10, 12, 14 years ago and teach other schools about what we were doing; before that, it was completely unheard of,” Elwell said. Eight years ago, under Mike Walsh, the Wellness program was changed to add variety to upperclassmen’s classes after finishing their core wellness classes. This variety included the global games, yoga, stress management, and the recently added project adventure. The program has also adopted the idea of total inclusion. “Back in the day, the only goal was to teach fitness, but that was a problem for those who had limited physical ability,” Wellness teacher Amy Aranski said. “We’ve adopted a new approach in the past 15 years to include everyone and promote community building.” Despite the effectiveness of the wellness curriculum, the Wellness Department hit a major roadblock in 2009 when the school, faced with large budget cuts, decreased the number of wellness teachers in half, from eight teachers to four. The program, however, is looking towards the future, especially since it received the Carol A. White Physical Education Program grant and the newly installed Project Adventure course. “The grant saved us,” Fagen said. “It has allowed the wellness program to experience a revival in midst of budgets cuts.” With the high elements course and the possible inclusion of an anti-bullying curriculum, the Wellness program looks to expand and add more staff members to cope with the workload. “We think the wellness program is experiencing a revival,” Aranski said. “People are starting to see how important the wellness program is.”

photos by jason agress

By Jason Yoffe, Volume 49 December 23, 2009 “Stick to the ground! Passing has ruined the game,” former South Football and Wrestling Coach Art Kojoyian, a devoted supporter of running the football, shouted to the crowd. An uproarious laughter followed his bold statement. Kongie, as he was called by his former wrestlers and football players, had once again evoked the same pleasure he had during his 18-year tenure at the school. His acceptance speech was completely in character, reminding those who played for him why he was one of the greatest coaches in South history. Kojoyian was one of four former South coaches who was honored on November 27 as part of the first inau-

Title IX opens sports

Former South star praises school’s athletics

This is a reflection by Dan Mirsky, Managing Editor of Volume 31, about his experience with South sports.

By Dan Mirsky, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 Athletics are most often seen, in the eyes of teachers, administrators, and even parents, as an “extra-curricular”: an activity a student might choose to indulge in when the demands of the “curriculum” have been satisfied, when exams and MCAS scores have been tallied, and “core requirements” have been met. As I navigate my second decade as an educator and coach, I look back at the lessons I learned through numerous on-field challenges—and in the

photos contributed by dan mirsky

parents or teachers—they’ll vouch), I was captaining a Varsity Lacrosse team and looking ahead to playing lacrosse at the collegiate level. I still had much to learn about myself as a college student and an athlete, valuable lessons I would learn first at UMass and later at Wesleyan University. But it was the formative years of sports at Newton South that provided me with my first insights into my own potential, my own ability to rise up and face challenge, and the secret I held close to my heart: the best way to succeed in the face of adversity was to preview what might come, and to subject myself to the worst I could think of in hopes that it would render the real challenges ahead less formidable.

MIRSKY, continued on page F7


Sports F2

15 February 2011

Athletic Directors: The men behind the sports

George Winkler: 1966* - 1985

Robert Chrusz: 1986** - 2003

Chrusz, considered by some to be the most influential Athletic Director in South’s history, has many great accomplishments, among which is the beginning of the current wellness department at South.

Ron Lanham: 2003 - 2007

Chrusz also promoted workshops for teachers, coaches, athletes, and average students about sportsmanship and leadership and in doing so influenced the entire state, which has earned him the honor of having the Bob Chrusz Sportsmanship Award named after him.

photos from denebola archives

After spending time working in the National Football League, Winkler was hired as a football coach for South in 1962.

“He is by far the most compassionate, understanding, supporting human being I have ever worked for. [The Field House] should be the Robert Chrusz Wellness Center,” – Todd Elwell, Wellness teacher

In 1966, Winkler was named Athletic Director and contributed greatly to the school, adding four sports to South’s athletic program: Wrestling, Lacrosse, Gymnastics, and Swimming.

Throughout his time at South, Lanham had high standards of personal conduct, which he enforced, for how athletes should behave, not just on the field, but also off.

The current football stadium is named is his honor for his accomplishments. “He did what I would call wonders for Newton South athletics, and women in particular. He is a very ethical and caring person. He really helped Newton South athletics grow at a time when a lot of others weren’t dong that,” – Judith Kennedy, former Wellness teacher * There were no official Athletic Directors prior to Winkler

Showing a never-ending connection to athletics throughout his time as Athletic Director, Lanham served as the announcer for Football and Basketball games, even while serving as Athletic Director.

“He has a very big heart, he is very passionate for athletics. You have to give Ron Lanham partial credit for the Sports Illustrated award, [naming South the best high school athletic program in 2009],” – Todd Elwell, Wellness teacher

** Warren Bechtold acted as interim Athletic Director between Winkler and Chrusz

Current Athletic Director Scott Perrin: 2007 - present

photo from regulus archives

A former South Varsity athlete who always put his best foot forward and kept a positive attitude, Scott Perrin is now his alma mater’s Athletic Director (AD). Scott Perrin was a student in the 80s and participated in Freshmen Football and Lacrosse, and then played Varsity Football and Lacrosse for the next three years. Perrin was a talented two-season athlete who played on two Varsity squads for three years each. According to other student-athletes who were Perrin’s teammates, he was well liked and had a can-do attitude. Denebola tapped into his unique perspective on South’s athletics.

Denebola: You have an interesting perspective on South and its athletics, considering you went from student-athlete, to teacher, to now Athletic Director. Perrin: I went from student-athlete to 10 years in the corporate world first. So, I spent 10 years in the technology business, and then opted to get a master’s in education. And then I landed back here at Newton South and I taught special-ed for four years and helped coach lacrosse. I was a Varsity assistant and coached JV, and then I became the AD. Denebola: Did you ever think that you would wind up back here at South? Perrin: When I was studying education, I knew I wanted to come back to Newton. I knew

that I wanted to be a high school teacher, and I was really drawn back to South because it is sort of a unique school, and having gone here gives me a little bit of a perspective on what you go through every day. Denebola: What is it like to be at a school and work with the teachers that taught you? Perrin: That’s been a lot of fun. It’s definitely a weird experience because it definitely takes a while to break that mold of teacher-student relationship. A lot of these people I still look up to. Dr. Jackson is no longer here but he was my favorite teacher and served as a mentor of mine while I was here. So being able to walk down into his office and get advice was an incredible experience. Denebola: How long did it take you to call your teachers by their first names? Perrin: Dr. Jackson will always be Dr. Jackson. Living right around the corner here provides a unique perspective; because I get to watch South kids grow up, and that’s a really great experience. To see the complete growth of a child from when they were eight, nine, and 10 years old to 17, 18 years old is pretty unique, considering I see the kids here sometimes more than their parents do. Denebola: When you were here at South, what did you think the position of Athletic Director meant? Perrin: The AD was just this authority figure that you just didn’t want to get upset. Now this was Mr. Chrusz, and he was just a gentle man; he was just a great guy. That’s why I tried to take an approach much like him and be friendly with the kids and to understand that we’re all in this together. Denebola: You were involved in lacrosse as a student–athlete. So other then lacrosse games you participated in, what was probably the most exciting game that you’ve played in as an athlete? Perrin: My senior year Thanksgiving Day Football game. We beat Lincoln-Sudbury eight to seven. I was a cornerback; I was starting cornerback for three years actually. My senior year I was starting defensive end as well. Denebola: You played for Kojoyian? Perrin: Yeah, I played for Kojoyian. In my freshman year, I played Freshmen Football and Freshmen Lacrosse, then I played Varsity Football and Varsity Lacrosse for the next three years. My junior year I wrestled until I got a concussion. I got knocked out by a kid by the name of

Ronny Vashon, who I still see to this day. I was probably unconscious for about 10 seconds. That was the end of my wrestling career. Denebola: Does he still mess around with you for that? Perrin: No, no, Ronny is a great guy. It’s funny, though, that the young man I saw when I woke was Brad Walk, who since passed away. He was standing over me, and I actually mentioned this at his funeral, he’s standing there over me saying, “you’re a Hindu from Tibet, or you’re a monk.” I was so disoriented and confused. But my Thanksgiving Day Football game was probably the most exciting game I was ever in. Denebola: Why was it so exciting? Perrin: Because it was a game that we really shouldn’t have won. Then in my senior year on the Lacrosse team, we were the first Newton South team to beat Newton North. We were the first Newton South Lacrosse team to beat Lincoln-Sudbury, so that was a great year. We actually went on a tremendous run; we were 13-14-0 and then the bottom sort of fell out and we lost in the state quarterfinals. But it was a very talented group of kids. Denebola: You guys were state champions once when you were here, right? Perrin: We were Division-II State champs in ’85. I was a part of the program, but I was not on the team. That was our second consecutive state championship. They won it in ’84. Denebola: What’s one thing that stands out to you in athletes today that is similar to when you were an athlete, like if you could pick one thing and it’s like, wow, they still do that?

photo by laura glick

Perrin: I’ve seen a change in kids; some kids see it as their right to play. It’s not a right; it’s a privilege. It’s an honor to wear the uniform. It’s incredible to have that type of experience, and I think that’s lost on kids today. Denebola: But what about ruggedness? I don’t know if it was your generation, but if you watch some of the old football tapes you see these guys go out there and just whack each other and get right back up. Perrin: Yeah, the games have changed. You kids are better in my opinion. You guys have the lighter stuff, better training equipment, and better protection. It’s more modern, you know? But there was a different level of ruggedness back then; kids just went out there and killed each other, and somehow they just seemed to get back up. It was rack’em sack’em football. I mean, these kids killed each other out there. Denebola: How has the role of student-athletes changed, in your mind? Perrin: Today, kids have 101 other things that they could be doing. You guys have more homework than is humanly possible. It’s unnecessary too. You’re just overloaded with this academic pressure. Denebola: How does the approach of an athlete today compare to that of one from other generations? Perrin: The one major difference that I see is that there are not as many multiple-sport athletes. You don’t see that football-basketball-baseball player around. Very few are around, and all the kids in the ‘80s were three-sport athletes. They played football, they wrestled, and then they played maybe baseball or lacrosse. Or they played football and lacrosse. There were very few kids who just did one thing. Denebola: Do you think that’s partially a product of the coaches telling their players they have to play year-round. Perrin: It’s a product of a bunch of things. Now unfortunately, coaches do encourage work in their own sport, but the pressure comes from all over the place. The pressure comes from the AAU circuit; the pressure comes from the parents; the pressure comes from the “oh I think my kid can get a scholarship.” Denebola: Why choose sports? Why be an athlete, a coach, and an AD? What attracts you to athletics? Perrin: I love athletics simply because they are purely raw.

This is an abbreviated version. Read the full version on our website:


15 February 2011

Sports F3

all time dcl champs Girls’ Gymnastics Golf Boys’ Cross Country Boys’ Basketball Girls’ Tennis Football Girls’ Cross Country Girls’ Volleyball Softball Boys’ Tennis Girls’ Outdoor Track Boys’ Volleyball Baseball Boys’ Outdoor Track

2007, 2010 1992, 1993, 2009 1991, 1992, 1996, 1999 1978, 1983, 1984, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2000 1967, 1975, 1977, 1995-1997 1984 1992-1998 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001 1993 1970, 1971, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1995-1998 1996, 1998, 2001-2004, 2007, 2008 1988, 1990, 1992-1994, 1999 1971, 1973, 1985, 1988, 1994, 1995 2007, 2008

all time sectional champs Girls’ Cross Country (East MA Class B) Girls’ Indoor Track (East MA D1) Boys’ Volleyball (D1 South) Golf (D1 North)

1992-1999, 2008 2009 2009, 2010


all time state champs Girls’ Cross Country Boys’ Lacrosse (D2) Girls’ Indoor Track Girls’ Outdoor Track

1993 1984, 1985 2009 2008

Centerfold F4


Centerfold F5

15 February 2011

ERNIE Senior custodian, Ernie Peltier, has worked at South since day one. To this day, Peltier is the longest serving Newton South and Newton Public Schools employee. Now, after 50 years of work, we recognize the unseen warrior who keeps us afloat, as well as the custodial employees who fight by his side.

Over the past 50 years, Ernie Peltier has served as a teacher, mentor, colleague, and inspiration to South’s diverse community of students, staff, parents, and alumni. Always cheerful and willing to help, Peltier is a living cornerstone of Newton South. For Denebola, especially, Peltier’s contributions are both significant and appreciated. With late night visits to paste up, constant offerings of wisdom about the topics we cover, and his overall unwavering support, Denebola owes Peltier more than it can describe. In light of this, Denebola – for the first time ever – is appointing Peltier as an “Honorary Advisor.” This appointment is not only unique in that it is a first, but also special given Peltier’s important place in our lives.

Thank you, Mr. Peltier – for everything.

Denebola: Why did you come to South in the first place? Ernie Peltier: I was a new man when I came; I was 29 years old. … This was a new school, so that’s where they put me. I had no choice in the matter. But then when I got to work here, I liked it and I stayed. I guess I did stay, huh… he laughs. D: What was it like in the first few years of the school? EP: It was a different era. Things were altogether different from now. We had our problems in them days. Now we have drugs; then we had liquor. It’s a different problem, different stage; nothing stays the same. D: Do you think the atmosphere itself was different between the students and teachers? EP: Teachers were more strict and more aggressive. The respect was a lot better in them days than it is today… and the appearance was a lot different. Even the teachers—they always wore a suit mostly--and the women wore dresses. And then slack suits came in for the women. It’s all together different today. Different culture. D: Do you think the strong school cultures that currently exist are the same? EP: Yeah, I think it’s always strong. And music was always

strong, all the time. Theater was always strong. And athletics it’s always been good here. They weren’t the best here. It was good athletics. I mean the opportunity was there.

doing. I always had a force in me. It took me a long time when I reached the time of retirement. I’ve seen people retire 6 months, 7 months and then die. Is that a way to go? That ain’t life.

D: How would you compare the 1960s Newton South to the 2011 Newton South? EP: This is kind of a tough question to ask because the times have changed so much. I think the kids are more aggressive today than they were in those days. Today—with computers and everything, everything is ahead of time. I remember when they built the first computer here. The thing was bigger than this room. It was unbelievable. Things have changed over time. You’ve got a phone; you’ve got a computer. I’m one of the fortunate people that is old that keeps up with that. I’ve got an iPad; I’ve got an iPhone. I’ve gone with it.

D: What’s your favorite change between the 1960s South and now? EP: It’s more modern… and the different education, I guess. I think it was much harder in the old days to get through school. But with the moderness with the computers, everything’s so fast. We used to spend hours and hours in the library. Today, you just get up on the Internet and it’s there. You know that! I don’t have to tell you that! You can look anything up! My wife ain’t a computer person, and she tells me, “look that up will you?” It’s unbelievable. It’s the times. The times have changed.

D: Do you miss the old way the school was? EP: I miss the respect. The way kids talk today is unbelievable. There’s no respect. That’s why I don’t have too much to do with kids because they don’t respect you. I know there’s a group of kids today that is good. I can name them. But there’s a couple of people that I can think off the top of my head that are excellent students and good athletes and respectful, and I’ve spoken to their parents and told them so. That’s the times, I guess. D: Do you think the rapid pace of today’s South is the same as it was before? EP: Well, I think everything’s fast today. Life is faster today. People are living longer today. Everything’s faster today. If I told you how many custodians have died that I knew, you wouldn’t believe it. Almost 600 since I’ve been here. I mean system wide. Quite a few in this school too. It’s a lot of people. Cause I’ve been here a long time. No, the average person wouldn’t be here as long as I have. But it’s my choice. I could have retired 17 years ago but I want to be here. I enjoy coming every day. Some days you get upset. And I say, what are you doing here. One of my neighbors, he couldn’t believe how old I was and still work. He says, are you out of your mind? But that’s my personal

D: What is one piece of equipment or technology that makes job easier? EP: I think computers have made everybody’s life a lot easier. You can look up your bank accounts; you can look up anything on a computer. You can email. Sending out letters is almost… I mean, whoever sends a letter? I mean, you do occasionally, but most of it is done by email. D: What is one thing you’re glad that hasn’t changed? EP: Well, I don’t think I’ve changed that much over the years. In my younger days I used to be stricter with my kids like everybody else. Now today, I got grandchildren… you let them do almost anything they want. This standing in the corner... you never had that in my day. But you can’t do that anymore; that’s how things have changed so much. The living of life has changed. The bringing up of children has changed. And you go with the times. D: What are some of your most memorable moments at South? EP: Just people in general who were good. Some of teachers here were unbelievable at times. I remember that. And I remember some of the kids. Kids I didn’t even know that did some things. You don’t forget things like that. A lot of these parents today-- now their kids are graduating today. You spend 50 something years… here that’s what happens. Some are in government; some are

famous doctors. It’s unbelievable, you know. I have seen that; I have enjoyed it. It’s you know, unbelievable. Not many people have that luxury of seeing that. I’ve seen some good teachers; I’ve seen some bad teachers. That happened in the old days… that’s happening today. Not every teacher’s perfect. And you’ve got some good ones… D: Can you think of an event outside of school that has had a large impact on the kids in this school? EP: I think athletics have a lot to do with a lot of the kids here. They do great. Usually a good athlete is a good student, usually. I’ve seen it a lot. I’ve seen poor kids that didn’t have a good grasp on education, but were good athletes. That made their life good. I’ve seen a lot of kids who’ve done very well on their own. They never were great students, but they did a lot… You don’t always have to be a good student educational wise to get ahead in life. Just be a good person. D: The building has changed considerably over the last 50 years. Is there any aspect of the older building that you miss? EP: When this building opened, it was one of the best buildings in the U.S. They came from all over just to look at this. It was very unusual to see a campus like this. It’s like college style buildings. They were all separated; they still are. It was very unusual in those days. People from all over used to come. Japan, China, even Germany; I think we had some Russian people come here. This school is standing all these years and it’s the same. All they did was add buildings and modifications, which only happened in the last 10-12 years. For over 40 years without any modifications, it’s a long time for a building without any modifications. It is a good building. D: Is there a room or part of the building that is your favorite? EP: I have a soft heart for the old auditorium. I know things changed—the acoustics are different, but it sort of was a nice auditorium. It held a lot of people. It always was a show place and it was good. We had a lot of nice productions here. In fact, Ernie Chamberlain, who taught theater for a lot of years, just passed away. Nice guy, English

teacher. D: Are there any secret or hidden passageways in the school? EP: There’s space underneath the building but they’re not walkable. Some of them are, but they aren’t secret; they’re just where the pipes are. D: If you could anything about South or the community, what would it be? EP: I think respect. I’m an old timer. That’s what I think. I think kids should respect their elders, respect their teachers. What you give, you get back. My mother used to say that. All the trouble you’re giving me, you’re gonna get it back twice. It’s an old saying. And a lot of kids laugh, but when they get married and have kids they have the same problem. D: When would you want to be a high school student? EP: When I was in high school, it was different, and I didn’t care for school. So be careful what you wish for. I said I would never ever stay in school. Once I leave, I’m gone. Be careful what you wish for because sometimes it turns right around and hits you. D: Are there any cool activities? EP: I was part of the senate. Could you believe they wanted me to be president of that? The reason was I was involved with unions… I was president of the union in Newton for 15 years and vice president for even more, maybe 30. So I knew when we started the senate here; I knew how to organize parliamentary procedure; I knew how you should start. And the teachers were great: they really supported me, and the students did too. They respected the knowledge I had. That was a great thing I did for many years. I did it when it first started. They asked. It’s quite a few years. It was during Van Seasholes time here. He’s been gone quite a few years, but he’s still alive; we’re good friends. He was here for almost 20 years. D: What’s your favorite graduating class? EP: They’re all good. But I had two kids graduating from here. My youngest never even went to his graduation. My oldest both did. And it sort of touches you when one of your own graduates, which was in 1977. D: How have you changed

South and the students here? EP: You know, we just had a reunion of the 1965 football team here. And it was quite an honor for me to be an honored guest at that. And George Winkel—he wasn’t the first football coach; you know the field is named after him. We were the two honored guests. And to see all these guys who played football in them days getting to retire, and I’m still here! It’s quite an honor. It was quite an honor. D: What was your favorite South sport to watch? EP: I like football and basketball. I work a lot of them games and I spent almost 10 years in the athletic department; I was a custodian over there. D: Like the new field house? EP: Yeah I like it; it’s a great thing. It was something that was way overdue; they needed it. It’s gonna save the school system a lot of money, instead of renting Boston College. Graduation is nice. In the old days, we used to have it outside. And when we first had them, we used to have them in the front of the school on a Sunday. We used to close Brandeis Rd. It used to be closed 4 or 5 hours on graduation. That would really stop traffic! Well these days it would. But back in the ‘60s it wasn’t too bad. I think we had it out there 4 or 5 years, then we went in the back of the building where they had multiple fields. But that’s originally where graduations were. D: How has the school changed physically? EP: 5 or 6 renovations. They’ve done modifications. They’ve put a new building. They’ve modified the office; it was never there it used to be upstairs. Where you people are that was where the office was in the 60s. In fact, where you people are that was where the business office was. And the other offices: that was where the principal, the bursar, and the drafting room used to be. The last room by ramp goes down there. That was the drafting room in the old days. D: What strikes have you experienced at South? EP: You mean the custodian strike? We had a number of them. We can’t strike because we’re civil service employees. We can’t strike under the law, but we can picket; we’ve done

that. Recently, we have done it too. You know when we had the lunch girls, which I’m in charge of, we had a problem. We went to the school committee, we did picketing; we were on television. D: Who is someone you have worked a lot closely with? EP: Most of them are dead. D: What about Seasholes? EP: Yeah, I worked with him for almost twenty years. Yeah, we’re friends. We’re very good friends. He’s a very, very thoughtful man. He’s a great guy. You know when my daughter died, he called me, and he said, would you mind if I came over your house? And I said come over. He spent the whole afternoon talking about the school and all the things that we did together. He’s a great man. He’s a very smart man…very smart. I respect him and I’ve known him for a lot of years. I really enjoyed the years he was principal. D: Who was your favorite teacher? EP: Now? Now or before…. It’s pretty hard to say a favorite teacher. I’ve known so many teachers that I’ve really liked. And I did mention one and I mean Ernie Chamberlain. He was just one, and I could name hundreds of them that I liked, and I think when they have a reunion, 25 or 30 years, and all the teachers come back, they were all my favorite teachers. They were good people. They would come back to a reunion. It’s the ones that are dead or don’t care that don’t come back because they like the kids of that particular time and they come back and take the time. And they chat and talk about old times. That means a lot to people. It does to me, as a person. And as you get along in life, that means a lot. D: How has south influenced your life? EP: I think it’s part of my life. When you work in a place so many years, it’s a part of your life. It seems funny. My boss—I went to his wedding! His mother and father were very good friends of mine! I mean it’s like my wife says to me, “You love this school more than you love me!” “You’re always there; you’re always doing” It just becomes part of your life.


Sports F6

15 February 2011

Legislation affirms gender equality in national sports

TITLE IX, continued from page F1

photo by jon goose

Football attempts the impossible

By Steven Gun, Volume 24 September 19, 1984 How does a team improve on a “best ever” season? Fulfilling the goal will be quite the task; the less room for improvement, the more difficult to improve. The ‘83 Lions checked in with a noteworthy record of 8-1-1 including a Thanksgiving Day victory over Lincoln-Sudbury. During the season, South routinely dominated its foes outscoring them 205-117. Most significantly, the squad captured its first Dual County League championship. There is no doubt that the South gridmen will rely heavily upon the their running game. The backfield lost the talent of Chris Kiah to graduation, but strong and quick Kevin Rollins will make his presence known once again this year. Rollins, among the leaders in scoring for Division III in ‘83, was the Lions’ top ground gainer with 761 yards. Complementing Rollins in the backfield will be Darvell Huffman. Both Huffman’s mobility and his versatility proved to be tremendous assets to the squad last year. Besides scoring eight touchdowns and averaging more than five yards per carry, Huffman led the team in number of receptions with 28.

The speedy senior looks to continue his role as short yardage receiving specialist this year. Rounding out the explosive backfield will be quarterback Steven Altman. Altman will bark signals as the starter for his second consecutive year. The year of experience will be a definite plus as Altman will try to raise his already commendable completion percentage of 57 percent. The Lions’ defense is sure to raise eyebrows while lowering its opponents’ hopes in the coming season. The South “D” can be best summed up with one word . . . solid. Coach Kojoyian will reveal one of the biggest front lines in Division III football. The line will include bruisers Brian Burlingame, Gary Collins, and Tommy Rogers. The defensive backs also promise to give opposing quarterbacks trouble. Derryck Harell, who picked off seven passes last year, will be accompanied by Huffman and rangy Leroy Rollins as the deep backs. Improving on last year’s Cinderella season will be a difficult assignment. Hoever, with the talent and experience that the ‘84 edition of South’s football team possesses, anything seems within its grasp.

Danny Mendelson: 1951 - 1968

South’s Danny Mendelson award honors a senior athlete whose athletic abilities and devotion to the school are unparalleled. While the award carries the legacy of some of the best studentathletes in the past 50 years, the story of the life of Mendelson himself is moving and tragic. In 1968, the junior passed away on the last day of school. He had just been elected captain of the Varsity Football team; he had a letter for the Varity Wrestling team and was an All-Star centerfielder for the Varsity Baseball team. His involvement in much of South’s extracurricular offerings and leadership abilities suggested that had an undoubtedly bright future. The article below was published following Mendelson’s death and offers invaluable insight into the short but influential life of a South legend.

By Denebola Staff, Volume 8 September 25, 1968 Love. Love is an emotion rarely transmitted among casual high school friends; certainly it is less common between a student and his or her teachers. Danny Mendelson meant many things to his numerous friends and teachers. The dominant, emotional response to the name Danny Mendelson is love. Let those who knew him and loved him speak for themselves: Social Studies teacher Warren Priest eulogized, “What was yesterday’s promise is today’s memory. “Danny lived by a principle that remained strong with him. He hated sham, pretense. He saw much about him in his young life. He could not walk in the ways of other people. He had to find his own way. His way was different.” Praised English teacher Slater, “You enjoyed his special summertime that we so seldom dare embrace in our lonely, cautious little worlds. “To teach him was to accept his challenge, to reciprocate with enthusiasm and conviction—to give the best you had to give.” Coach Winkler said, “Danny’s radiant personality, his wit, enthusiasm and unselfishness as a member of all athletic teams, were qualities admired

by all his teammates and coaches. We were most fortunate to have a young man of Danny’s calibre in our midst.” Principal William Geer stated, “There are many kinds of success that a 17-year-old boy can achieve.” Mr. Geer added, “And Danny Mendelson attained most of them. He was a gifted athlete, he was noble and warm with his peers, and he was bold and honest in his judgments. Yet these were not his real successes nor his remarkable gift. “Danny waged a brave, gentle and innocent struggle with all the negative forces of status and cool. “He was no clever tactician of success who calculated the amount of cool to be had in any act. He charted no grim and self-centered course for success and he seemed oblivious of the grim struggle for cool and status that surrounded him. He was never oblivious of the feelings and qualities of those with whom he came in contact, and so he succeeded in freeing all from the harsh and barren cool. “Yet, in his youth Danny Mendelson gave this gift to us and asked for no return.”

tennis match in 1973. Bobby Rigs, a World Champion mens’ tennis player, challenged King, the women’s leader, to a match. He boasted proudly that “women could never be the players men were, they were simply too weak and they were just women.” King accepted the challenge and trounced Rigs. “Her victory proved to the [world] that women are legitimate athletes,” Kennedy said. “After Title IX and the King vs. Rigs match people started to look at women’s sports differently. And with the help of George Winkler we began to expand.” Winkler, the Athletic Director at the time, began programs of integration in the school. The two genders had separate gym facilities. The current Fitness Center was the girls’ gym and Gym B was the boys’ gym. Winkler also fought for funding for the girls’ sports and brought new athletic programs for girls to South. By the end of 1973, instead of having three sports in total, girls had a couple sports every season. Soccer and volleyball ran in the fall, gymnastics and basketball in the winter, and tennis and softball in the spring, for instance. “I was really lucky to have someone like Winkler. Many of my colleagues in the coaching field did not get the support I did. [South] was given liberties that were uncanny back then, and

that really helped keep us ahead of the curve,” Kennedy said. Kennedy is regarded as one of the pioneers for South’s girls’ athletics program. Coaching teams like Field Hockey, Basketball, Volleyball, and Gymnastics, she helped lead the charge for equality. Equality wasn’t clearly defined between two genders in a category likes sports. Boys were often considered dominant in sports because of supposed physical advantages. Although there are exceptions, girls competing in predominantly boys’ sports was not something seen everyday. But strides like Title IX gave girls more opportunities to shine. “In spheres like academics, the two genders are equal. And even though they are equally good in their own right, you have to compare them

individually in sports,” Girls’ Tennis Coach Robert Jampol said. And compared to the standards and codes of 50 years ago, South has come a long way. “I’ve noticed much more acceptance of girls. There isn’t a huge difference between the level of competitiveness between the two genders anymore and more girls are coming out to play,” said Kennedy. With the past changed and the present at peace with itself, not much has to be changed. “[I think the next step] would be to get girls more familiar with the sports. If there are more girls willing to do certain sports like powderpuff, then teams can start up. It’s a lot of fun being a part of something, and many girls miss opportunities to experience that fun,” Junior Chloe Jackson-Unger said.

By Denebola Staff, Volume 2 October 23, 1962 A new sport for NSHS has recently gotten under way. Fencing is now offered to both boys and girls, under the instruction of Miss Barbara Hall. In “foil” the legs are held together with feet at right angles in the “attention” position. Next comes “engrade” when the feet maintain their 90 stance, the legs spread apart while a sideway, bending stauch is held as the right arm proceeds to contract in true weightlifting fashion. In this case, the arm is used for balance. The “engarde”

position is maintained throughout the entire match except for the lunge, which scores points. It occurs when the tip of the sabre bends against and opponent’s body. Naomi Corman and Sandy Gay, co-captains, help the Tuesay practice sesson while girl’s gym instructor, Miss Barbara Hall, leads the group during a 2.5 hour period. Miss Hall is well practiced in fencing having won the New England Women’s Fencing Championship in 1960. The former champ stressed the sport in likeness with boxing, where

each participant endeavors to out-think his opponent. It is a psychological, intellectual sport requiring not brawn, but brains; thus, it is specifically suited for a co-educational basis. Matches with other secondary schools are difficult to schedule because very few public high schools offer fencing in the eastern part of the nation. Last year’s sole match was won by the Cambridge School of Weston. A moderate turnout on October 9 showed a total of 15 girls and 12 boys.

Engarde! Swords clash at South

photos by jason agress

Former athletes and coaches honored at first Hall of Fame

HALL, continued from page F1

photos by denebola staff

photo from denebola archives

This past summer, Hauben played on the US Men’s Basketball Team at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel. There, he led his team to a Gold Medal, with a double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds) in championship game. Katrina Antonellis, currently part of the faculty at Charles E. Brown Middle School, was the lone female athlete in this year’s class of inductees, with 12 varsity letters in soccer, basketball, and softball. Antonellis is currently the South’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, with 1,436 points. She was awarded with the DCL Most Valuable Player Award her junior year. In a game that season, Antonellis racked up 28 points, which amounted to more than half of the team’s baskets. Bruce MacLean was the only inductee to continue his athlet-

ic career at a professional level. Major League Baseball’s Saint Louis Cardinals drafted the graduate in the 1966 inaugural draft. He spent five years in the Cardinals’ minor league system. MacLean posted a solid 2.29 earned run average in 78 appearances in Class-A. The coaches however, were not acclaimed for their accolades as much as for their impact on their players. Some of Kojoyian’s athletes lost their fathers at a young age. For Frieze, who was one of those players, Kojoyian played a greater role than just a coach. “Kongie was a strong, disciplined, tough guy,” he said. “He was a great role model for us as kids.” Although the coach had some success during his 11-year tenure at South, he netted a losing record overall. “It’s not every day that you see a coach that has a losing record in a

Hall of Fame,” Head football coach Ted Dalicandro said. Dalicandro especially admired the fact that Kojoyian held his players “accountable and responsible” and used “tough love.” Kojoyian was not the only coach to extend his or her influence beyond the fields. “You see a caring for kids that goes beyond wins and losses,” Dalicandro said of the coaches inducted. Football coach and former Athletic Director George Winkler initially established a dominant girls’ athletic program after the advent of Title 9. According to Frieze, the Hall of Fame may continue to expand its reaches from just single athletes and coaches. There is a possibility that the Hall could honor entire teams in the years to come. “There’s no shortage [of potential inductees],” Frieze said. “There’s a great history at Newton South.”


15 February 2011

Sports F7

Mirsky’s mind: The impact of Lions athletics

photo contributed by dan mirsky

MIRSKY, continued from page F1

This homegrown philosophy imbued my off-season training regimen, motivated me to seek out the most competitive summer leagues and camps where I could play “over my head” and hope to survive, and groomed me for any challenge the game might present. The fundamental decision to actually embrace the challenges and struggles, rather than avoiding them, made sense to me as a young athlete in a way that no reading of Nietzsche in high school ever could have. In college I really began to understand what the philosopher meant when he opined that “what does not kill you makes you stronger,” but in high school it was my time as an athlete that taught me to seek out challenge and channel the lessons learned from it into my larger life. I didn’t really appreciate the impact

my coaches had made on my life until I myself became a high school teacher at age 23. The boarding school in the mountains of Colorado where I worked had no formal Varsity teams—its student population of 73 was there because they came from the most severe “at-risk” environments and had not yet tasted success, either in school or out. Nonetheless, in my moment of greatest challenge with a difficult student, I found myself recalling my high school lacrosse coach, Alan Rotatori. For three years, Rotatori had been the single-most stable adult influence in my life, emotionally constant and at times infuriatingly “concrete.” He was always demanding and yet fair, and, in that combination, he was ultimately caring and nurturing at a time when I needed it so badly in my life. Here I was a few years later as the

adult in a volatile environment with potentially explosive kids, and it was the calm, even-handed demeanor and unwavering high expectations of my old coach from Newton South that helped me to effectively connect with these students. In the years that followed, I taught at other schools, assisted and eventually ran my own varsity athletic programs, and with every year fell more in love with the kind of impact I could have on students as a coach on the field and, just as often, a coach in the classroom. Some of the teams I coached contended for, and even won, championships, and some of the players I had the good fortune to work with continued their athletic careers in college and beyond. The lessons I took with me from the practice fields of Newton South permeated through my own classrooms and practice fields, infused my approach to “coaching up” my players and students to succeed in the face of all kinds of challenge. I teach seventh grade now at a newlyestablished urban charter school in the Boston area. We work with traditionally underserved kids who must create their own good fortune and find their own internal motivation if they are to transcend their environmental obstacles. We are in the nascent stages of developing an athletics program for our students, and I am leading that charge in large part because I know firsthand just how integral sports can be in creating a successful, meaningful school experience for a student. Last week, in talking with my students about the steep climb they face as they strive for success in college and beyond, I referenced one of my former players from my days teaching and coaching at a high school in

Brooklyn. Broncos, and is officially the first pro Eric entered high school as a fresh- athlete I can say I actually coached. I man that, thanks to his natural gifts am equally proud to say that I taught of uncommon size and speed, was him History in both tenth and twelfth already slated to play big-time college grade, and pushed him at least as much football in a few years. in the classroom as on the field. He took on lacrosse as a curiosity, I reached out to Eric recently to a nice distraction from weight room congratulate him on his success, and workouts, a hobby that actually might to share with him that I had used him bring some additional agility to his as an example in my work with my massive frame. current seventh graders. He responded He struggled early on with the hand- with a warm reminiscence about his eye demands of lacrosse, and rightly time in the classroom and on the field suspected that the refs were unfairly in high school, and reflected on one of penalizing him simply because of his the clichés his old high school lacrosse potential to injure an opponent (Eric was coach used to invoke repeatedly: 6’2” and 280 lbs as a ninth grader.) “The quotation ‘true character is He stuck with lacrosse for all four shown in times of adversity’ has been years and went from being a novelty burned into my brain. I don’t know if on the field to one of the dominant you made it up, or where you found offensive players in the league his it, but it’s so relevant in so many ways senior spring (at which point he had (not just in sports).” already signed to play football at Notre Eric is a professional athlete signed Dame.) to a multimillion dollar contract, and He captained the lacrosse team as a I teach middle schoolers in a beat-up senior, and when old building next the team faltered a cemetery in I know first-hand just to midseason and Jamaica Plain. seemed on the how integral sports can be But we are simiverge of collapslar; we both share a in creating a successful, ing on itself, Eric continuing passion had the courage to meaningful school experi- for athletics (I still call a team meetplay in an overence for a student ing and address the 30 men’s lacrosse problems he and league), and we his teammates were experiencing. both embrace that essential axiom that Though they mocked him for his ultimately “true character is revealed in warm and fuzzy handling of the crisis, times of adversity.” he pushed his buddies to confront each When faced with challenge, we have other’s emotions and attitudes honest- both learned over the years to bear ly, and in doing so showed the kind of down and welcome the opportunity off-field leadership and depth of char- to step up and shine. acter that motivated his teammates to Thanks to that lesson and the countseven straight wins, capped by an epic less others learned in our years as come-from-behind overtime victory to athletes, passed down to us by our win a state championship. high school coaches, we are both in Eric was drafted last year to play our own distinct ways succeeding in professional football for the Denver fulfilling our dreams.

Newton South’s fields of dreams not always dreamy By Zach Pawa, Volume 50 February 15, 2011 Throughout the years, South students have seen the facilities change. From the dangerous football fields of the 60s, to the state-of–the-art complexes built in 2009, there has been the addition of the new fields, the Field House, and the tennis courts. South was built in 1960 with the athletic fields already there. Then, the old layout of the athletic complex was one giant complex that fit roughly two fields in addition to a football field with bleachers. In 1962, the land beside the school, where the baseball, softball, and soccer fields are, was swampland. A contractor was hired to fill the swamp and create usable fields. To fill it in, the contractor used swamp fill, a cheap alternative composed of dirt and glass shards, rather than clean fill, which was safe to use but was more expensive. “[The fill] really became a problem,” Jon Frieze, Head of South’s Booster Club, said. “The glass resurfaced and began cutting athletes.” Originally, the area where the football stadium currently is was also swampland. In 1977, former Athletic Director George Winkler worked to fill in the swampland and create more fields for the school. These fields, fortunately, were filled correctly. Not only were South athletics affected, but other organizations, such as Little League, Newton Youth Soccer, and Newton Girls’ Soccer, were also forced to cancel games. According to Frieze, the complex

was not ideal for athletics because of its uneven and mushy surface. While the modifications to the fields appear the most prominent adaptations to South’s outdoor athletic facilities, the indoor additions shaped the current layout of the fields. Most winter sports had to cram in two small gymnasiums, Gym B being the larger of the two, before the major renovation in 2003. Along with Gym B, there was an upstairs gymnasium where the current Dance Studio and Fitness Center are situated. The two gyms provided minimal seating for South’s loyal spectators compared to the seating in the current arrangement. The most beloved and greatest glory for the Athletic Department, the Field House, was built in 2003, and since its construction, it has become the center of South athletics, assemblies, and graduations.With the current complex, most programs now have the space and resources needed to compete with the high-caliber competition in the Dual County League (DCL). Athletes love the new fields. Alex Foner, a two-sport Varsity captain, was thrilled with the new complex. “I found with the old fields that the outcomes of the soccer games were affected by the field,” Foner said. “With the turf, the only factor affecting the games is the talent of the players.” With the old fields, teams would usually have to go off-campus to play. The new baseball and softball fields allow both Varsity programs to relocate to the home turf, attracting

noticeably larger crowds. By having a field to call their own, the teams had more flexibility with practice time than they had when they were sharing recreational fields around Newton. We have come a long way from the dangerous swamp-filled fields of our past to our beloved pristine facilities of today. Two state-of-the-art turf fields, baseball and softball fields, and a 1,000-seat football and track and field facility are the pride and joy of today’s South athletics. This addition has been the final step, along with the brand new ropes course, in creating a beautiful and useful complex for South sports programs. Prior to the 2010 – 2011 academic year, an adventure course was installed near the practice football field outside the Field House. The 19-piece course was funded by a Carol A. White Physical Education Program grant. The course is used for a new class, Project Adventure, in which students work on team building and trust. The students eventually move onto the adventure course and use both the high and low elements. Over the past 50 years, South has seen many changes in its facilities. In the near future, there are no renovations to the current athletic complex. And why should there be? The schools, namely the Athletic Department, created a slew of facilities designed to not only keep programs at the top of the Dual County League, but to also provide the resources to propel them to perennial success.

South’s offense looks to pass in the first game played on the new turf field on September 26, 2009.

photo by jenna marks

photo by mark siegel

Laxters go for two in a row

By Phil Leibovich, Volume 24 Ranen. The two incidentally lead the Division II in scoring. June 5, 1985 The Lions gained another imporIn any sport, winning a championship is not an easy task, but repeating tant victory when at mid-season they as champions is even more difficult. travelled north to meet lacrosse powThe 1985 edition of the Newton South er St. Johns Prep. A strong defensive boys’ lacrosse team is faced with the effort gave the Lions a 7-5 victory. challenge of duplicating their cham- The close checking of defensemen pionship season of a year ago. So far Mike Neiberg and Scott Katz secured everything has gone as the 1984 Divi- the win. Other Lion victories included a 9-5 sion II Coach of the Year Paul Murphy drubbing of Division I power Needhas planned. Despite the squad’s rocky pre- ham, and a late-season whitewashing season, (an embarrassing 0-3 record of Waltham. Ipswich, Hingham, and in the annual Lions Tournament), the Burlington also succumbed to the veteran team showed their “never say Lions. The abundance of victories can be attributed to the die” attitude by rebounding to win The 1985 edition of the Newton outstanding depth on the team. Also, an unprecedented South boys’ lacrosse team is the team’s ability 11 games in a faced with the challenge of to not suffer a letrow. Many teams would have giv- duplicating their championship down after a big win shows their en up after such season of a year ago. experience. With a disappointing an 11 game winstart, but the team showed with its comeback that if noth- ning streak, and a 13-3 overall record (5-0 in their league) the first seeded ing else, it had heart. During the lengthy winning streak, Lions enter the state tournament in there were many key wins by the Li- fine shape. If the playoff system remains the ons. Their first Division II win of the season came in their first league game same as last year, the Lions will reagainst arch-rival Acton-Boxboro. The ceive a first round bye and will then two teams had met in the state semi- have to win to straight games to be finals last year when the Lions eeked crowned championship once again. With all the essential pieces of out a one-goal victory to propel them a championship team present: mointo the finals. This year, the Lions asserted them- mentum, confidence, experience, selves early and went on to blow and talent, the Lions are favorites out Acton-Boxboro 12-4. Standouts to win the Division II State Lacrosse included senior tri-captain midfielder Championship for the second year David Kowal and attack-man Matt straight.


Remembrance F8

Editor’s Note: Sue Fisher was an exemplary history teacher; in fact she was an exemplary teacher of many other things, large and small, significant and (seemingly) trivial, obvious and obscure, conventional and outrageous. She had considerable and palpable intelligence, coupled with seemingly unbounded curiosity. Educated in the Phoenix, Arizona, public schools and at the University of Chicago, Ms. Fisher earned her doctorate in education at Harvard University, exploring the European influences on 19th century education under the direction and with the praise of one of America’s most respected education critics, Joseph Featherstone. Ms. Fisher had taught in Beverly and Arlington before being called the Newton Public Schools, beginning at Bigelow Junior High and in the early 1980s joining Newton South’s History Department. Ms Fisher taught successfully-and memorably-at every level until her retirement in [ ] but, like all of us, she had a secret life—in her case, lives. A seasonal cottage at Gun Point, Great Island, Maine, and baseball were two—especially Red Sox baseball. Denebola and Newton South were fortunate beneficiaries of the latter. For nearly two decades Ms. Fisher wrote more than a dozen thousand-word “baseball” review/essays for our Book section, usually appearing after Opening Day but not later than May. In her memory—and because the writing is so worth having—Denebola presents excerpts that demonstrate her deep and wide-ranging knowledge, deft wit, engaging style and the skillful balancing of context with apt detail and telling quotation. From Ty Cobb to Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax to the Cuban leagues, “literary” baseball and down-and-dirty stats, Sue Fisher was always on her game. Reserved and somewhat formal at first approach Ms. Fisher was wonderfully open and informal with students and friends. Similarly, after dispensing (or dispersing) with this annoyance or that false move, her baseball reviews were often punctuated by colorful and engaging personal asides. She was funny, she could also be deadly serious, even lethal, particularly when issues of race and class were concerned, inevitably the case with “America’s national pastime.” Sports was a game, rarely only a game. The Newton schools have lost an invaluable public treasure, Denebola a valuable— and responsible—columnist, Sue Fisher never missed a deadline, including this last. **** Ms. Fisher had her opening moves— Another spring: pollen, hayfever, mosquitoes, black flies, college rejections, the inevitable slide of the Red Sox, and killer tornados. (Pride of Havana, May 1999)

Spring is here so brace yourself for another idiosyncratic baseball review. Major league baseball is with us again, after that long pause, and the Sox, in the endless interim, have managed yet again not to acquire any decent relievers or bunters or base runners. Same

15 February 2011

In Memoriam: Hersha “Sue” Fisher Moren 1938 - 2010 old Sox, playing the brand of baseball detested by me—and by Ty Cobb. (Cobb: The Life and Times of the Meanest Man Who Ever Played Baseball, May 1995) Cobb? OK, Ms. Fisher on baseball personalities— [Cobb]…there’s nothing remote or antique about Cobb… Perhaps it’s his feisty, pugnacious personality, his “me first” attitude that makes him seem so contemporary. Certainly he’s no loveable, flaky Babe Ruth, eating forty hot dogs at a crack and wearing a wet cabbage leaf under his Yankee cap to beat the New York heat… Cobb was a smart, scheming, nasty racist who treated few men gently in life and went into ‘that good night’ in a rage, clutching a million worth of securities and Lugar in a brown paper bag. He was also0 one of the finest players baseball has ever seen, setting records that have stood for sixty plus years. * Cobb was more than a record setter, however. He was one of baseball’s great innovators, introducing the drag bunt and any number of squeeze plays. He believed in percentage baseball, scorning the long ball style… * Cobb was one of the first men to make money out of PLAYING baseball, willing to take on the owners, challenge the reserve clause, and organize a players’ association. * …author Al Stump still had a few scores to settle with him…he had to endure several months with the half-crazed old man. Chief cook, chauffeur and drinking buddy, Stump camped out in various houses that had no telephone or electrical service because Cobb was convinced that his phones were tapped and Pacific Gas and Electric was overcharging him. Cobb, in 1960, was dead for all practical purposes, given his bad heart, worse kidneys, cancer, and diabetes. But he was still drinking a quart of Scotch a day and making life difficult for all those around him. Or, Ted Williams— …baseball is intrinsically elegant, all dramatic pauses and 3-2 counts. Face it; the problem with the return to Fenway [each year] is the team itself, those ‘rely-on-the-long-ball’ Sox, who have sorely tried the patience of baseball fans for at least half a century. Come to think of it, the same can be said about that ultimate Sock, Theodore Williams. …Linn paints a dusky picture of young Ted in his Depressionera San Diego backyard swinging, and swinging and swinging the bat, waiting for his mother to come home from her efforts for the Salvation Army. On the whole, however, don’t look for grand adventure here. Most of Ted’s time on Earth has been devoted to swatting a little leather covered sphere (is it still leather?), dropping a fly in front of an angry trout (or fan), or proclaiming the wonders of Nissen bread. The turmoil is better stuff, much of it centered on Ted’s feuds with the press, reminding us of simpler times when every city had a lot of newspapers, and a lot of sportswriters (not commentators): the time when baseball was the professional sport. [Here follows a brief history of Boston newspapers, then Ms. Fisher sketches the background to Globe sports writer Dave Egan who covered Williams, working his

way through Harvard and Harvard Law…and a bout with alcoholism, “he was rescued by Sam Cohen, sports editor of the Record who knew how to use him drunk or sober,” Ms. Fisher dryly observes. ] When Egan was off on a binge, drying out at Dropkick Murphy’s, or had come in too drunk to type, one of the other writes would be called upon to whack out a rough imitation [of a Williams drubbing]. *** So much for the window dressing and the fun of the bad old days. Hitter is really a baseball lover’s book at rock bottom and, of course, its focus on statistics, wonderful weird statistics, selected mainly to prove what an extraordinary offensive player Williams was. *** The most interesting chapter in the book for me is Linn’s comparison of Joe DiMaggio and Williams. Who was the premier player of his time?...Linn supports the Boston boy, while I, a lifelong Yankee hater, do not. The hitting percentages that favor Ted are miniscule, while Ted’s flaw is monumental. Can he field? (Important, given that half of a player’s time is spent defensively.) Answer-NO. Can DiMaggio? Answer-YES. End of argument. I finished Linn’s book feeling that Ted Williams’ story was the story of the Red Sox writ small…Just once, I want the Boston newspapers in February to be filled with stories of the Sox acquiring a string of first-rate, shot-term relievers. Or an infield. Perhaps a bunter or two…(Hitter: The Life and Times of Ted Williams, May 1993) Don’t look back, except on America’s greatest pitcher, Satchel Paige?— What did we know of Paige in 1946 [when she was living in St Louis and rooting for Cardinals]? He was the greatest black baseball player of all time. He was maybe the greatest pitcher of all time, period. He was somewhere between fifty and seventy years old, and began pitching around 1915. He could spot pitches over a handkerchief or a matchbook. He had beaten Dizzy Dean and Bob Feller in exhibition baseball, and these were pitching names that made strong men tr4emble in 1946. Satch had an invisible fastball and a pinpoint curve. He was the best—and baseball was the poorer for its color line. * So why should you read this book? It’s worth unscrambling the sometimes Byzantine sentence structure just to get a look at life in black baseball in the 1920s and 30s. Paige not only survived, he prospered in a cutthroat world of con artists, Banana Republic dictators, and characters out of the Godfather. Paige was no Marcus Aurelius of St. Francis, but he had an easy humor about himself and his failing. [Asked by the Indians’ owner about Box Office tickets for “Mrs. Paige” and his not being married Satchel replied, ‘I’m not…I’m just in great demand.’ * And was he as good as I heard he was when I was a kid?

In 1956, when he was at least fifty, Satchel Paige pitched a season for the Miami Marlins of the Triple-A International League. He won 11, lost 4, and his ERA was 1.86. Yes, 1.86. He struck out seventy-nine batters in 111 innings. That’s pitching. (Don’t Look Back, May 1994) **** All athletes die two deaths, the natural one we all owe and for them the body’s aging. “Tony C,” the Sox Golden Boy of 1967, Ms Fisher notes, endured a third— The vernal heroics of this year’s [1998] Red Sox are bound to remind the faithful of the legendary team in 1967. The team of ’67 did not bloom until midsummer and their pitching staff was typically Redsoxian, they had one good pitcher and an odd collection of gentlemen who could throw a tough strike occasionally. Even if the teams are mercifully not identical, the reflowering of New England sets the stage for a retrospective look at one of the heroes of thirty-one years ago, Tony Conigliaro. As I write, Tim Wakefield has a no hitter going and I feel as if I have fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole: the Sox actually have some good pitchers! ** The Conigliaro legend lingers on as the local boy making it big, then suffering a terrible injury, and dying young. It is certain that [authors] intended to praise Tony C. What they actually wrote is a sad and cautionary tale, about those who are obsessed by sports and spoiled by too much too soon. *** It is difficult to imagine how appalling the Sox were in the early sixties, tied as they were to the notion that the long ball was everything. There were players such as first baseman named Dick Stuart who just stood there like a cigar store Indian, sticking out his glove. Then why was he on the team? Because he could hit the long ball… [Conigliaro was local boy, Lynn. After operations and failed comebacks a Boston sports casting career beckoned.] He would be back in baseball, and maybe, he could put

his life back together. We will never know because that week, barely thirty-seven years old, he had a heart-attack. His body did not die, but his brain did, and for the last eight years of his life he existed in a nearly vegetative state. (Tony C., May 1998) She nails a bad book, yet sings the praises of a remarkable pitcher, Koufax— Remember this year’s term paper from Hell? The one that you wrote on Sunday and turned in on Monday. The one that came back with a “C-“ on it and lots of red comments along the lines of “you often repeat the same material” and “poor organization.” Wait, don’t deep six it in Newton recycling. Send it to Taylor Publishing of Dallas, Texas, which seemingly approves of repetitious and disorganized material, judging by Mr Gruver’s little volume, Koufax, and you may find yourself in print. ** If you really want to appreciate the effect that [Sandy] Koufax had upon even the casual spectator, get a copy of the [Roger] Angell book…turn to the chapter called “Taverns in the Town.” Angell decided in 1963 to view the [World] Series on television in various small New York bars…first game pitted the Dodger’s Koufax against the Yankee’s Whitey Ford. O’Leary’s was jammed now: no one had left and those who wandered in stayed to watch Koufax. By the bottom of the ninth, Koufax had fourteen strikeouts and three shots at the record. Howard lined out, and Boyer hit a fly to Willie Davis. Koufax’s last chance-a pinch hitter named Harry Bright-came to the plate. The count went to two and two, and there was a mass expulsion of held breath when Bright hit a bouncer that went foul. Then Koufax stretched and threw, Bright swung and missed, and the young men in O’Leary’s burst into sustained applause, like an audience at Lincoln Center…(Koufax, May 2000). In, 1967, 1975 and for sure in 2004, Sue Fisher’s faith— like that of many, was redeemed— [first quibble about Walkoffs, Last Licks, and Final Outs, May 2008, the authors’] failure to say a few words about that

photo by denebola staff

extraordinary ’67 series. OK, it’s been described ad nauseum, but it’s still worth a paragraph or two. The St. Louis Cards blew into town Boston, saying they were the best team in the majors and would sweep the Sox in four. They became so despised on the East Coast that they almost needed police protection. My husband, bless him, gave me his only ticket to the first game. I settled in with my Fenway frank, doused with dear old Gulden’s mustard, and decided afar two innings that the Cardinals were not just the best team of ’67, they were the best team I ‘d ever seen. The Sox would be swept. Funny thing, though. Boston continued to patch things together, and the series went to seven games. If Longborg had been a bit better rested, Gibson less dominating, the Sox might very well have beaten those amazing Cards. In the 70s and 80s, Boston had good teams, but not quite good enough. Yet the sixth game in 1975 was clearly one of the greatest games every played. *** I know many of you are thinking, ‘So what? None of this stuff means much to me.” Fifty years from now, however, you’ll have your own baseball stories to bore (or charm) younger folks. You can begin with the absolutely greatest, most unbelievable, most extraordinary piece of trivia in the whole baseball canon: the 2004 American League playoff, and, World Series. Who hasn’t memorized it? Schlox, just the wild card team, were down three games-zip to the Yankees and just about to give up the ghost for the year, one run behind the Yankees… when Mariano Rivera walked Kevin Millar the leadoff hitter of the ninth inning. Dave Roberts sent in to run for him, STOLE second, something the Red Sox rarely do. Then, Bill Mueller singled Roberts home, and the game went into extra innings. Then David Ortiz hit a two-run homer in the 12th… [After rounding out the epic, Ms. Fisher concluded] I envy you kids. (Walkoffs, Last Licks, and Final Outs, May 2008).

The complete set of Sue Fischer’s baseball reviews will be available on a special section of Denebola’s website,


Denebola 50th anniversary edition


Denebola 50th anniversary edition