Eastside: December 2019

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Vol. 53 No. 2

Cherry Hill High School East: 1750 Kresson Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

December 2019


Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor


Decorated houses get into the holiday spirit Community, Pg. 9

Gift exchanges honor spirit of giving Culture, Pg. 21

Mulberg shows his spirit for Team Israel Sports, Pg. 24


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December 2019

District’s hacker situation is now under control ■ By Lauren Smith (‘20)

Eastside News Editor

In the beginning of October, an outside threat caused the district to shut down its online server. All district employees received the same message: “the investigation continues until the source of these issues can be determined.” “The district has hired an independent investigator that is still researching what happened,” said Mr. Ted Beatty, East Assistant Principal. The district’s technology team, which includes Mr. Marc Plevinsky, had worked for close to 11 days straight to address the issue; however, for every new problem they encountered, they had to find an entirely different solution. “We have mostly come out of the issue, but there are still some wifi [problems]… some systems are still a little finicky, but for the most part everything is in the clear,” said Beatty. Fortunately, all data has

been restored. “Although we were without the ability to send and receive emails at the time, it was only because [our email system] was taken offline. Once the technology department put everything back and gave us access, everything that was t h e r e is still there,” said Eas Principal Dr. Dennis Perry. Chromebooks were also updated, which has caused additional problems for the Cherry Hill Public School District. “The wifi outage happened to occur at the same [time]…[but] it’s unrelated

to what is going on,” said Perry. The board plans to release a statement concerning this incident within the upcoming weeks. “They are being cautious with information that the district provides because of the investigation,” said Perry. Further garding technology changes, East is moving towards a new email system, Office 360, a cloud-based email system. The district planned to implement the new system in December; however, since they had already begun working around in the technology department,

the decision was made to move to Office 360. “With this new system, we are able to greatly expand the number of emails we can keep without having full storage,” said Beatty, adding that the previous system had a small memory bank to store emails. “[It] is great for the staff from a storage perspective... we were quite limited given the amount of emails we received with pictures and graphics,” said Perry. “Emails are much larger files than they used to be so our mailboxes would fill up quickly and once they filled up, we wouldn’t be able to receive other emails, and now with this cloud system it seems to be unlimited.” Perry described the ease of the transition. “I think everyone has switched over and it’s seamless,” said Perry. Staff members have also changed their passwords to ensure their privacy. Art by Melissa Vital (‘23)/ For Eastside

Administration implements new study hall changes ■ By Max Gaffin (‘22)

Eastside News Editor

As the school year continues, Cherry Hill East has changed the way common school procedures run. One of the largest changes is in the study hall procedure, which was also updated last school year. The new study hall procedure has students meet in the Library Annex to check in with their teachers. Then the students have the option to go into the library for quiet study or to stay in the annex, where students can meet up with their friends. Dr. Dennis Perry, East

Principal, described the annex as an area to decompress from the stressful school day or collaborate with peers in a social or academic manner. Perry said he has heard mostly positive feedback from the East students about the new procedure, as it allows them to have more freedom in school. Of course, no system is without its flaws. One of the main issues with the new procedure is attendance. Last year, students signed into study hall with the Genesis turnstile system, which is now mostly used for after-school activities, homeroom sign-in and

signing in and out of class to use the bathroom. “Turnstile helps [East] keep track of where students are going and where they are, but it doesn’t fill in whether or not a student is present in the attendance system,” Perry said. “So the teachers would then have to transfer the students who signed in into a different system so they would be marked present.” Now, students find a teacher and sign in with them every day. This theoretically allows for more of a relationship between the teachers and students as a way to fix to the attendance issue. However, be-

cause of the class schedule, the same teachers are not always going to be in the study hall at the same time day-in and day-out. The annex, where most students spend their study hall time, contains many large group tables, a snack kiosk, Chromebooks for students to work on and two MacBooks where students can print their work. The annex recently received protective film over the windows and the balcony, and metal shelving was removed. During the second semester of the 2018-2019 school year, students were given the option to spend

their study hall time in a traditional classroom setting. However, based on low demand, study hall has now been limited to just the use of the library and the Library Annex. “Before [the new study hall procedure], the Annex wasn’t used much during the day… Classes would come down to use the media center [which had] virtual reality, and sometimes the librarians would teach a lesson,” said Perry. Perry also said that he spent a six-day cycle in the library area to make sure that everything ran smoothly and the attendance issue was resolved.

Mr. Lou Papa, Department Supervisor of Building Security, described the increased efficiency of the new policy.

would have to dial 911 and articulate what was going on in a timely manner. “This policy takes any human time factor out of it and is much more ideal,” Papa said. Papa also noted that if administration is conducting a drill, they must first call the police before pushing buttons in order to avoid confusion. Papa and Perry have created a PowerPoint that outlines all of the drill policies. Papa plans to have the new PowerPoint presented to every health and physical education class each marking period this year in order to teach the new policies to students.

■ By Jessica Levin (‘22)

have an audiotorium doesn’t diminish the show in any way,” said Gambino. The actors and actresses have been working hard on the play. They practice 4-5 times a week and sometimes have rehearsals or events on the weekends. Additionally, the stage crew has been hard at work, trying to make the sets as detail-oriented as possible. As is East tradition, the play is double-casted, so students who want to participate and perform will have the opportunity. “There are 63 actors and actresses and they are all [the] stars [in the play],” said Gambino. One of the lead actresses and President of the Thespian Society, Alicia Cosenza (‘20), expressed her excitement about the play and her role this year. Cosenza plays Olivia Darnell, a girl who moves to the big city of Hollywood to fulfill her dreams of being an actress and lands a role in the upcoming production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “The audience will most definitely leave feeling glad that they came to see the show,” said Cosenza.

Drill policy alters East’s lockdowns Drama readies for fall play

■ By Bella Levin (‘22)

Eastside News Editor

As of this year, East is changing its Lockdown policy in order to easily contact help during an emergency situation. The drill policy for Shelter-in-Place and Lockouts remain the same, as an individual from administration will announce when one is occuring. However, during lockdowns, there will now be an automated announcement that read


over the loudspeakers. In case a student is unable to hear the automated message, there are blue lights that flash throughout the school. Another aspect of the new drill policy is the three buttons located discreetly around the building. These buttons are accessible to administration and staff and, if pressed, automatically alert the police. The buttons were installed to quickly notify the police in the event of an active shooter in the building.

“The buttons make everything a whole lot easier,” Papa said. Papa also emphasized that the old policy was less efficient due to the time component. A staff member

Art by Jordyn Swarbrick (‘21)/ For Eastside

Eastside Business Manager

Cherry Hill East’s fall play this year is “Shakespeare in Hollywood” and will be performed from December 12-15, with both matinees and nighttime performances. Mr. Peter Gambino is directing this show and working with the whole cast to make this the best show yet. Gambino said the show is nothing like they have ever done before, which was his inspiration. The play is more modern than East’s previous fall plays. “Shakespeare in Hollywood” is a contemporary piece mixed with a comedy. His purpose for staging this show was to have a fun and educational experience. “It is just a delight and a lot of fun, the play is very whimsical and enjoyable,” said Gambino. The show is also a first for East in that practices cannot be held in the auditorium; the Drama Department must use the old auditorium at West or the Little Theatre. Gambino, however, is not worried. “The fact that we don’t


December 2019


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Students celebrate this season’s homecoming dance

Allie Rosen (‘20)/ Eastside Staff

From right to left, Abigail and Sophie Fleischmann (‘23), Amelia Canzano (‘23), Allie Konchar (‘23), Sami Bloom (‘23), Jake Weitzman (‘23) and Uma Mawrie (‘23) pose before lighting up the dance floor at Homecoming.

Allie Rosen (‘20)/ Eastside Staff

Jillian MacHenry (‘22), Megan Wheeler (‘22), Belle Wilson (‘22), Alexa Mailman (‘22), Scout Pullano (‘22), Julia Coen (‘22) and Alexandra Dela Torre (‘22) take a quick break from dancing.

Allie Rosen (‘20)/ Eastside Staff

Justin Shapiro (‘20) and Oliver Adler (‘20) recreate their annual “loco for hoco” pose at their final Homecoming.

Allie Rosen (‘20)/ Eastside Staff

Nicole Benson (‘20) and Sean Coen (‘20) pose and celebrate with their fellow members of the Homecoming Court after they are announced as East’s first homecoming king and queen.

Don’t see yourself pictured? Scan the QR code to see all of the photos from Homecoming 2019.

Allie Rosen (‘20)/ Eastside Staff

Homecoming Court member Shrey Dalwadi (‘20) has a fun time at Homecoming as he crowdsurfs over a mosh pit of students.

Allie Rosen (‘20)/ Eastside Staff

Kartik Pejavara (‘20), a member of the homecoming court, shows off a few of his best moves.


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December 2019

Blood drive a smashing success, chairpersons say

■ By Asa Williams (‘20)

Eastside Staff

On November 12 and 13, the Rock and Roll themed blood drive took place in the Library Annex. Around 290 students donated blood this year, collecting around 200 units of blood, which is estimated to help around 600 people. Not only were East students able to donate, but people in the community of Cherry Hill on November 12 were given the opportunity to donate b l o o d after the school day was over until 8 p.m. Cherry Hill citizens, including for-

mer Eagles wide receiver and the inspiration for the 2006 film “Invincible,” Vince Papale, came out as well. According to Mr. CJ Davis, the committee had met its blood donation goal this year. “Numbers were up significantly and we beat all three b l o o d

dy Wang (‘20) and Michaela Kennedy (‘20). “The chair[persons] play an important role in organizing the blood drive, calling [for] food and money sponsors, getting everyone to sign up and decorating the shirts [posters, and promotion designs],” said Cherfane. The chairpersons asked for donations from local food places like ChickFil-A, PDQ, Vito’s Pizza, Playa Bowls, The Kibitz Room, Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Pats Pizza, Ponzio’s, Primo’s Hoagies, Duck Donuts and Manhattan Bagel. The chairpersons chose the theme of Rock and Roll this year after each chairperson presented an idea to the board. “We try to pick themes

that are current, like movies [or] TV shows, but this year we decided on Rock and Roll to do something different,” said Austin.. This year, the Blood Drive was honored at a Red Cross Philadelphia event for being the best in the region. E a s t had the most donors and lives saved of larger schools in the area. Between the November 2018 and March 2019 blood drives, East collected 362 pints of blood and saved 1,086 lives. “It was rewarding in the end knowing that my blood donation would help someone,” said donor Oliva Kusza (‘21).

Vicki Kahn (‘20)/ Eastside Staff

drives this year,” said Davis. Defusals — when people are denied the oppertunity to donate blood — also decreased this year, but the chairpersons added incentives for those who were able to donate. “This year we added a raffle for donors,” said Blood Drive Chairperson Nicole Benson (‘20). “When they checked out, we wrote their name on a ticket and they got to pick if they wanted a Ticketmaster, a Wawa, Dunkin, or Starbucks [gift] card or the Moxie Blue Hair basket.” The blood drive committee head chairpersons are Nicole Austin (‘20) and Benson. The chairpersons are Mary Cherfane (‘20), Josh Manders (‘21), Justin Whitney (‘21), Kristen Eng (‘21), Molly Phillips (‘20), Jeffrey Kaminer (‘21), Cin-

East. Board members Akshita Sharma (‘20), Hannah Miller (‘20) and Naomi Abrams (‘20) described their hopes for the party and the importance of having a holiday event for children with special needs. “This year we want to have a couple different activities outside of the ballroom for the kids to enjoy in case they get overwhelmed inside with the music or just need a little time to themselves,” said Sharma.

“There will be arts and crafts, and a beanbag toss, bubbles, candy and a bunch of different things so that they can have fun alone with dancing and eating!” Abrams and Sharma emphasized the reward of spending days prerparing during the holiday season. “When you plan for this party, you don’t feel the impact,” said Abrams. “But we are the first ones to see them [and] when you’re there and see the faces of

the kids... there’s just this magic that happens. They smile and have so much fun, it is just this crazy experience and it’s kind of amazing.” Sharma has a similar experience. “When I saw the impact it had on these kids, I realized that this is something that I really want to do every year and I want to do it to the best of my ability because it makes me so happy to see that even the

smallest action like making a table decoration or dancing with the kids can make their day,” said Sharma. Mr. CJ Davis, who has been an adviser for the club since 2007, said that FOP “is truly a service club. You are putting together a party for kids who have severe physical and mental handicaps and it’s a day for them to just feel cared for and feel the excitement of the party and our kids provide that.”

Art by Ali Koenig (‘20)/ Eastside Editor-in-Chief

Fortieth FOP holiday party is the talk of the hallways ■ By Lauren Smith (‘20)

Eastside News Editor

As the 40th anniversary of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) holiday party approaches, East has begun preparations for the celebration, which will be held on December 16 at the Crowne Plaza. Elementary schools from the area will be in attendance. With over 300 members, FOP holds court as one of the most popular clubs at

East program gives students a voice Barr leaves the Mime ■ By Bella Levin (‘22)

Eastside News Editor

For the third year in a row, East organized the Student Voice Program and conducted a schoolwide survey to allow students’ voices to be heard and recognized. Dr. Russell Quaglia, author of a series of books regarding student voice, trained various personnel within the district in order to successfully run a student voice program. The purpose of the program is to ensure that students have a larger role in initiatives throughout the district. For the intial part of the program, a survey was posted on Google Class-

room asking students how they felt about various aspects of and issues at East. From the survey, students were randomly picked to participate in the program and Jiseon Lee (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor reflect on the Student voice members meet with Mr. data collected. Marc Pierlott and Mr. Aaron Edwards. Mr. Ted Be“The real goal of this proatty, Assistant gram is to have students Principal of Grade 10, exvoice [their] opinions and plained how the survey provide solutions,” Beatty administered to all East said. students allows both adBeatty said an imporministration and teachers tant part of the program to hear what the students is having students assist have to say. in coming up with alternatives for existing policies at East. For example, both the study hall changes and cafeteria redesign were a result of the program. Due to students voicing their concern, study hall now has a new method of signing in, in which students are assigned to a specific teacher every day. In the cafeteria, the tables are laid out in a new way and additional tables have been added to create more seating for students. The Student Voice Program allows students to share their insight which administration can then attempt to take into account when making decisions. “You guys as students do have a voice in our school Emily Collins (‘20)/ Eastside Staff district,” Beatty said.

Company speechless

■ By Ziva Davis (‘22) Eastside Staff

Ms. Deborah Barr, Secretary of Activities at East, is the new advisor of the Cherry Hill East Mime Company after Mr. Tom Weaver retired last school year. Barr decided to take over Mime Company because she was involved in the program during her sophomore, junior and senior years at Cherry Hill East, before she graduated in 1998. Barr did not want Mime Company to disappear after Weaver retired, as she thinks Mime Company is a unique form of theater that is not offered at many schools. As their advisor, Barr helps the students direct the skits which they produce and perform, while sticking with the fundamentals that Weaver brought to the company. She hopes to add more skits and she really wants to work on the details with the students. “I am trying to teach the students that being bigger is better in mime. The student’s facial expressions and body language need to be exaggerated,” Barr said. Barr wants her students to learn that being over the top is preferred in miming.

It is common in acting to teach students that less is more, which is the opposite of what is needed when acting as a mime. Jackson Feudtner (‘20) and Liam Reilly (‘20) are the company managers for the Mime Company. They said that Barr is very energetic, interactive and has brought back some old traditions and skits from when she was a mime in high school. “She knows what she is doing because she’s done it before,” Feudtner said. The Mime Company members have a big year ahead of them following their pumpkin festival in October, which Blackwood township hosts. The mimes perform, doing skits such as scenes from Charlie Brown or pretending to pumpkin carve. Additionally, they are going to perform at four local elementary schools and the FOP holiday party in December, at Congregation Beth El for preschoolers in January and their annual Ice Cream Social event where they raise money for the upcoming school year in April. Barr is excited for what Mime Company has in store this school year and said that “there are so many opportunities that you won’t have later in life, so take advantage of all that East has to offer.”

December 2019



The Score tells Everything!

2018 Y2 Students' College Board SAT Test Scores

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December 2019

Rood plays a key role in the Yang 2020 campaign ■ By Defne Alpdogan (‘20)

Eastside Features Editor

At the age of eleven, Aiden Rood (‘23) overheard his parents’ discussion of the 2016 primaries and election. With access to his town’s media center, Rood immersed himself into the world of campaigning. Using the equipment from the media center, Rood began his broadcast, which ended up on multiple cable television stations. Interviewing his state representatives, senators and candidates for local offices and getting a press pass to the Boston Women’s March in 2017 was only the beginning for Rood. “I was interested in politics. I like to talk about politics, so I said, ‘I’m gonna start a politics show.’ So, I contacted my state representatives…[be]cause he [one of the state representatives] was running for re-election and I contacted his opponent, as well,” said Rood. While Rood’s 11th birthday marked the beginning of his political broadcast career, he recalls his first interaction with the political world — knocking on doors to encourage individuals to vote for a representative. Taking the same passion he had when he was seven, Rood joined the Andrew Yang Presidential Campaign this past summer. Starting off as a volunteer, Rood soon rose through the ranks as he continually showed his effort and his vigilance in the

tasks that he was assigned. “I started making calls to early state voters because that is something we do a lot and then I did

According to Rood, Volunteer Outreach makes calls to individuals who already identify as supporters and then try to organize those

the Social Media branch and helps to reach out to students, as well as being on the board of the National Events Support Adminis-

Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor

Decked in Yang merchandise, Rood works on the campaign. some texting to early state voters. And I just got really involved with that. I think on the first week of volunteering, I made the fifth most calls of anyone in the country,” said Rood. Gaining attention from the national campaign, Rood was offered various positions within the campaign. He first was offered a position in the group called Volunteer Outreach.

supporters. Rood does not fill this role anymore but instead runs the Communications Team for Youth Freeing. “[Youth Freeing] is a branch of the campaign, so it’s a part of the official campaign, that focuses on mobilizing and organizing and engaging youth and students,” said Rood. Rood’s work does not end there: he collaborates with

tration Team, which plans events and helps make sure the events run smoothly. Rood’s current role is to support the Yang campaign through phone calls, texts and getting Yang onto ballots in states where he is currently not. “I also am the Congressional District Lead for New Jersey’s first congressional district, which is where we live, so that means I am,

day. “I need to play every piece once. And my pieces are usually seven to ten minutes long. I play five pieces total for my state and big national [competitions]. So it’s really tough balancing [school and piano],” said Shin. “I have to practice three to four hours a day on average in order to

nior Piano Performance Competition, winning first prize at the 2019 Global Music Partnership (GMP) International Young Talents Competition and being invited for a 2020 Solo Performance at the Klassik Konstantz Chamber Music Festival in Germany. Recently, Shin competed in the preliminary round of

“So I’m really praying I get that and I’m working hard,” said Shin. “I also won the GMP International Competition last year, which is [on a] much smaller scale. But they gave me the opportunity to play a concerto in Carnegie Hall in February.” While Shin continues to enter into competitions, he

like, the go-to person for this district for stuff that specifically concerns the Yang administration,” said Rood on his positions both in the community and outside it.. Rood works on his multiple tasks outside of school via group conference calls with other branch leaders across the US. Some tasks include running the local “YangGang,” sending delegates to the Democratic National Convention if Yang wins them and making sure ballots have Yang’s name. With the long conference calls and the tasks at hand, Rood emphasizes that while it is a struggle to manage his time, he is glad that he can raise awareness and work alongside Yang. Additionally, his favorite part of the entire process is introducing new individuals to the campaign process. Rood’s enthusiasm for the upcoming year continues growing day by day. He is optimistic about Yang’s campaign and he views the polls with a sense of accomplishment. He knows that change takes time, but Rood still is in it for the long run. “Also just to think, the first Andrew Yang events were Andrew Yang just talking to a small group of people, probably less than fifty people. We have gone from zero to one percent to two to three, now we have seen polls at five percent, another poll at seven percent. So, like, we have really grown this movement,” said Rood.

Piano talent propels freshman to international acclaim ■ By Samantha Roehl (‘20)

Eastside Editor-in-Chief

Chris Shin (‘23) is many things: a freshman at East, a trumpeter in the Jazz Band and a winner of multiple national and international piano awards. Ever since he was little, Shin enjoyed music. He would listen to jazz, classical and anything else he could get his hands on. “My parents told me I liked rhythms when I was young,” said Shin. “I remember in third [or] fourth grade, I started listening to massive symphony orchestras. And I’d sit there and stare at the screen in awe.” Shin started playing piano when he was six, but he began competing in third grade, entering small county competitions. After he moved to New Jersey from California, Shin entered the New Jersey Music Teachers Association (NJMTA)’s Young Musician Competition, in which he placed first in 2016, 2018 and 2019 and second in 2017. “I won the big state competition when I was ten and that kind of started everything,” said Shin. “After that, I [changed] my teacher to a professor at Rowan University, Veda Zuponcic. And after that I started entering a lot of competitions.” In order to compete, Shin practices for hours every

Yena Son (‘22)/ Eastside Staff

Shin practices his concerto for his national and international competitions. just keep up.” the Gina Bachauer Internahas also used his talents In the past couple years, tional Piano Competition, a for other purposes. ToShin has entered around prestigious international wards the end of May 2019, 30 piano competitions. His competition in which the Shin and his friends raised accolades include placing 24 finalists will compete in money for their National first in the MTNA/NJ JuSalt Lake City in June. History Day (NHD) trip to

Washington D.C. To raise funds for the event, Shin organized and played at a mini-concert. “I love spreading my music to others, and I thought that creating the NHD concert was a great way to do this for NHD. It was also a great moment because I didn’t only share my music alone, but the [other members of the club] also pitched in to support the cause,” said Shin. In terms of competition, this is Shin’s last year in the younger age bracket. When he turns 15, he will be entering the senior bracket, complete with harder competition. “This year, [I’m] looking more at national and international scope while still maintaining state [competitions],” said Shin about his plans for the upcoming months. “Going up into the higher divisions is my goal. Because once you’re up there, you’re up there.” Though Shin’s piano competitions take a lot of hard work and time management, he feels that it is worth it. “[The best part is] the moment when you play musically perfect and you’re not thinking about the notes or being on stage. You’re just in the moment, in the music, and more focused on that… and when you’re done, you realize ‘Oh, I was on stage,’” said Shin.


December 2019


Semus joins SAT Math 2 committee ■ By Liam Reilly (‘20)

Eastside Staff

Mr. Bill Semus, a math teacher with 17 years of experience at Cherry Hill East, has taught various levels of math including AP Calculus BC, Algebra 1, Multivariable Calculus and Pre-Calculus. Now, outside of the classroom, he will be designing questions for the SAT Mathematics 2 Subject Test. For the past couple of years, Semus has worked on the AP Calculus BC exam, going from an AP grader to a table lead, which reviews the other graders’ work. While he was in Maryland grading the exams, Semus made connections that landed him an internship with the Educational Testing Service. “In the summer of 2013, I was invited to apply to an internship at the ETS in Princeton, and I spent four to five weeks in the summer learning test writing; what makes a good question, and what makes a good distractor,” said Semus. Before selection, each member of the SAT Development Committee had extensive work with ETS and had previously built up trust with the College Board that they can keep sensitive information confidential.

In the actual writing of the questions, Semus met with other high school teachers and college professors at Princeton to go over the questions and write new ones for the upcoming year. Semus said they must make sure “there aren’t multiple interpretations to a question... [that] questions don’t show any bias to a group” and that the distractors “aren’t random numbers, but highlight common student mistakes.” As for the process of creating a question, Semus outlined the length of time spent on each question for the 2019-2020 SAT Math Subject tests. “In terms of creating a multiple-choice question, sometimes an idea strikes and I can write it down in five minutes. Other times, I will rewrite a question four or five times,” he said. The process for the SAT Development Committee as a whole started with a professional development meeting with the nine members of the committee: three high school teachers, three college professors and three college board officials. Semus said members of the committee looked over “items that had been newly submitted, items that were about to be put on tests and items that had just recently

been on tests to see how effective problems were in the past.” In the creation of the test, Semus explains that there are a set of regulations that help keep the tests secure until they are released. When information is sent to Semus or others on the committee, they have to be signed off for and kept in a locked storage container when they are not actively being used.

In addition, each member of the SAT Development Committee has to sign a non-disclosure agreement. In this agreement, the individuals agree to keep everything confidential regarding the questions that the committee reviews and edits. Semus says the tests are beneficial not only for bettering his own teaching abilities but also for all his students.

Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor

Semus practices his skills for the Math 2 Test.

Everything you need to know to compete at DECA ■ By Jacy Dickstein (‘22)

Eastside Features Editor

The term “nerve-wracking” takes on a whole different meaning as one embarks upon DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America). As the competition season starts up once again, a few East DECA experts gave tips on how to succeed as a participant. DECA is a business convention in which over 300 East students participate annually. They strive to demonstrate their understanding of different categories to judges while offering strategic and creative solutions to the given prompts. There are individual and team events that students compete in within 22 areas of business. Some of these events include sports and entertainment marketing, business growth plan and marketing communication series and can involve tests or even role-play. While East students love to partake in the convention, what separates those who stand out to judges and those who are forgotten as soon as they walk away? East business programs strive to prepare students for the convention by creating a Google Classroom that updates students on the best way to prepare, and keeps them in the loop with new information. The business teachers also created a DECA homeroom during Lunch Break One, in which students may come in and take practice tests and get feedback on sample role-plays. “As corny as it sounds,

practice makes perfect. For role-play, winners know how to read the instructions and apply their answers to fulfill the things judges are looking for,” said Mr. Greg deWolf, a business teacher. “With more experience at it, shockingly, they are more calm and mature,” deWolf added sarcastically. Another East business teacher and past DECA judge, Mrs. Leanne Shine, stressed the importance of leaving something behind with the judge as a little token of remembrance amongst the loads of competition. “It’s all about presenting with enthusiasm and not being robotic,” said Shine, “Oh yeah — and pizzazz! People sometimes choose to make a name plate or business card.” Both business teachers agreed that other strategies aside from the typical ways of preparing could be to create Quizlets with terms related to your topic and talk to those who have done well with the competition. Alexa Budman (‘20) made it to the national level her first year participating in DECA and shared her tips for success with Eastside. “I think a secret tip could be to do research about

what’s going on in the world that you could relate to what you’re saying. Talking about something prevalent in the world shows more than just textbook knowledge but a l s o

knowledge of the outside world,” said Budman. Budman also said that a common mistake is people forcing themselves to incorporate certain words rather than speaking naturally. “While studying and preparing is important, over studying could make people feel less confident in their speaking abilities,” said Budman. Recent East graduate

Emily Saidel (‘19) shared her experience about making it to the national level of competition two years in a row. She competed in entrepenuriship team decision making and franchise business plan. She stressed the importance of picking a topic that is interesting and you feel knowledgeable about. “Definitely learn how to do a proper handshake because it’s the judges’ first impression of you,” said Saidel. “And be sure to be professional always — even after the roleplay, as your judge could be looking at you from afar.” The DECA website says that DECA “prepare[s] emerging leaders and entrepreneurs to be college and career ready.” Saidel agrees. “I had an interview last week, and I think DECA honestly prepared me in that I wasn’t nervous going in at all,” she said. “I didn’t know what I was going to be asked, but I was still confident I could answer the questions on the spot, just like I managed to do at DECA.” Despite the overwhelmingness of a huge convention such as the regional or state DECA event, following these pointers from East leaders at the competition can help combat the nerves.

Art by Lily Cohen (‘20)/ Eastside Art Director

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■ By Emily Mahaffy (‘20) Eastside Features Editor

December: a time for cold weather, w a r m clothes and dropping your monthly income on expensive holiday gifts. As the holiday season approaches, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the frenzy that is gift shopping. It’s hard sometimes to find a gift for everyone on our lists, so we resort to some last-minute perfume set from the clearance rack of a department store. Now I’m not shaming these gifts — who doesn’t like smelling nice? — but take a moment to think about it. How many odd knick-knacks have you acquired over the years? How many relatives have passed off a pair of fuzzy socks that you never even took out of the packaging? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans throw away about 25% more trash during the holiday season, and if we wrapped just three presents in reused materials, we could save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. So here’s a few tips to make your holidays a little more green: Let’s tackle gifts first. Consider giving re-gifted or pre-loved gifts. No, this does not mean that you are “cheaping out” on someone’s gift; if you think that the receiver will appreciate the present, then it is definitely worth re-gifting for the holidays. There are other options, as well: You can purchase gifts that benefit your community, such as concert tickets or gift certificates to local stores. You can also directly benefit local companies by buying gifts from antique, thrift or fair-trade stores. These gift options can reduce waste and give new life to different products. To wrap your gifts, reuse materials lying around the house, such as baskets, bags or fabric wraps. Look for gift wrap made from recycled content with plantbased inks. If all else fails, use this issue of Eastside as gift wrap. But who could forget all the big holiday meals? Despite the tons of food you think you’re eating, there always seems to be that post-holiday fridge full of leftovers. Throwing away food also means that you’re throwing away the land, energy and water used to make said food. So this year, consider freezing the rest for later or finding holiday leftover recipes online. While we’re all hoping for some snow this upcomming year, let’s all try to make the holiday season a little greener.

Art by Lily Cohen (‘20)/ Eastside Art Director


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December 2019

Alumna represents the youth of America at the Y7 ■ By Emily Mahaffy (‘20)

Eastside Features Editor

Every year, seven leaders from the world’s largest nations meet at the G7 Summit. Representatives from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States meet to discuss economic policies as well as other prominent issues faced by the host country. The Y7, or Youth 7, Summit runs parallel with the G7. Youth delegates from the G7 nations are elected to represent their nation at an international conference held a month before the G7 Summit. The delegates submit proposals to the G7 on how to solve the issues they find most important in the world today. This year, East alumna Nikita Shukla (‘13) was elected to attend the Y7 as the US’s head delegate in the economic growth sector. Shukla’s job involved managing her group to ensure that all members followed one mission: elevating the voices of the American youth. Shukla emphasized that the U.S. delegation of the Y7 Summit is not affiliated with the government. “We’re not focusing on the American government. We’re not focusing on international policies. We’re focusing on how the American youth feels, what information they want to get out to the public and how we can bring their voices to the table… Making sure that all walks of life… were being represented in our proposal,” said Shukla about the Y7’s purpose. After receiving their nominations in April from the Young Professionals in

Foreign Policy organization, Shukla and her team had until June to prepare for the summit. In order to best represent America’s youth, the team first had to understand what economic

vey showed that American youth face different economic issues than those of the other Y7 nations. “The issue with the U.S. is that it’s so different as compared to the other G7

when we were negotiating at the Y7 was this general idea of redistribution of wealth… That is an issue that is affecting all of these countries, where the rich — the one percent — are get-

Courtesy of Nikita Shukla (‘13)

Shukla (second from the left) speaks at a meeting with other Y7 delegates. issues were most concerning to young Americans. As a Cherry Hill native and Tufts University graduate, Shukla recognizes the privileges she has had in life; therefore, she used surveys to learn more about the issues faced by different groups in America. “It was really important to me... that we were hitting a lot of demographics, especially for economic growth…” said Shukla. ”As we know this, it affects the vulnerable populations of the U.S. way more than what I would call the ‘coastal elites.’” She added that Cherry Hill residents fit the mold of these “coastal elites.” The results of the sur-

countries. So it was really hard to generalize a lot of the issues that the youth felt in America,” said Shukla. “The number one thing for economic growth that I can speak to that the youth really were struggling with was crippling student debt… It’s just very difficult to generalize that because that isn’t the case in European countries. People aren’t coming out with the absurd $37,000 on average student debt that the US youth are.” As a result, Shukla and her group had to find a way to argue these specific American issues as significant international issues. Therefore, “a lot of what came out of the proposal

ting richer, and the income inequality between the rich and the poor keeps getting bigger and bigger,” said Shukla. Shukla added that this inequality leads to other issues, such as the housing crisis, the high price of education and minimum wage, all issues revalent to the G7 countries. In terms of the actual summit proceedings, Shukla said that the process of collaborating with other delegates “was a great experience” because she was “listening to other people’s perspectives from different countries.” “It was interesting to just be there at a time when the U.S. and China trade

wars were happening, and so that was interesting because that wasn’t the exact perspective that the youth were taking. Obviously they don’t want consumer tax to go up, which was happening because of the trade agreement, so it was just an interesting balance that we were trying to [maintain],” said Shukla about meeting with different delegates. But Shukla does not forget her roots. She was Secretary General for East’s Model UN. “Model UN was such a huge part of my life… we used to be really competitive in the area with Eastern and other schools, so I was very much in the circuit,” said Shukla. “So because of that — because I loved public speaking, I loved debating, I loved negotiating — I decided I wanted to do International Relations and that was a switch I made my senior year [at East.]” Now, Shukla still uses the skills she learned in high school. While representing the U.S. youth at the Y7 Summit, Shukla is also a Global Schools advocate. “[Global Schools] is an organization to get students, community and teachers involved with the [UN’s] Sustainable Development Goals… The point of these advocates is to go to these schools and advocate to the teachers and principals and superintendents to start teaching these goals at a younger and younger age,” said Shukla. From the halls of Cherry Hill East to the meeting rooms of the Y7 Summit, Shukla hopes to inspire a brand new generation of informed, involved American citizens.


December 2019


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Cherry Hill houses get lit for the holidays Miller House

■ By Ali Koenig (‘20)

Costello House

Eastside Editor-in-Chief

Photo courtesy of the Miller family

Inflatable and light-based decor adorns the Miller family’s lawn.

■ By Sami Bell (‘21)

Eastside Community Editor

In 2007, Jordan Miller and his wife moved into a house with a lawn big enough to put up a few decorations. They started small with a few lights and an inflatable, but they have since expanded to become a house that children beg their parents to stop at so they can peer out the car window to admire the festive lawn. The Millers not only entirely decorate their lawn for Christmas, but for Halloween as well. The Millers begin decorating for Christmas as soon as they can haul out and disassemble all of the Halloween decorations. Jordan Miller personally prefers decorating for Halloween, having always loved haunted houses and wanting to emulate that in his lawn. His main source of motivation for winter decorating stems from his wife, Jessica’s, love of Christmas decorations. After removing all the Halloween decor, they must put in the work to create a beautiful setup for Christmas. “There is a lot of prep work to get our lawn ready for Christmas. First, we have to mow the lawn because it is overgrown from the Halloween decorations. Then, I have to rake all the leaves before the lawn is ready for the next season,” said Miller. “Our basement is filled with decorations: one half is designated to Christmas and the other half is

designated to Halloween.” The Millers always want to up their decoration game and buy new things every year. “We buy new things every year after the holidays because the decorations are 25 to 75 percent off,” said Miller. “Which is great because the cost of all of the decorations adds up.” The Millers try to mix up their decorations between light and inflatables because they never want to be pinned down to a singular design. The best part for the Millers is definitely the results. “Sometimes I just stand across the street and look at it in awe. When I come home from work, I see the spectacle in front of my house. It is a very rewarding feeling,” said Miller. During the holiday season, Miller’s brightly lit house stands out from his neighbors. “None of our neighbors go as full out as we do,” said Miller. “And I love in my neighborhood being the center of attention.” The community definitely takes notice of their lawn. “One time one of our neighbors who we never really talk to left a beautiful thank-you note at our door. The card said how wonderful [the decorations] are and how it puts them in the holiday spirit and we should never stop putting our decorations up,” said Miller. “It is things like that which makes it all worthwhile.”

Everyone knows that one house. From Halloween to Christmas, it is decked out for all to admire. For most, this house is simply a sight to see, a place to stop and observe the glittering lights and bobbing blow-up inflatables. But for Maddy Costello (‘20) and her family, that house is home. The Costello family began their decorating tradition years ago, when a neighbor famous for decorating was raffling off some of his most notable decor pieces. “After they bought the decorations, my parents got really into it,” Costello said. “Not a lot of people in our neighborhood actually decorate, so a lot of people liked it, and they complimented it.” And with that, a tradition began. “We have this running joke when we pull into the driveway,” Costello said with a smile. “We all say ‘wow, whose house is that? They decorate so well, it’s crazy.’ But seriously, it’s just so nice, especially during Christmas, to just see the entire house lit up. It snows, and it’s so cool.” Now, decorating the house for Halloween and for Christmas is a family affair in the Costello household. “My brother likes to set up his own graveyard area, so he puts the gates up and everything by himself,” said Costello. “And for Photo courtesy of the Costello family Christmas, we all put up the lights to- Neighbors love the Costellos’ decorations.

Viola House

■ By Sami Bell (‘21) Eastside Community Editor

The Viola family does not just put up a few lights outside their house and call it a day. Every inch of the Viola lawn is covered with snowmen inflatables, homemade arches and festive lights. The family spends months planning, buying and creating the ultimate Christmas experience on their front lawn for all members in the community to admire. Husband and wife, Mike and Cathy; their daughter Missy and their sons Michael and Matt come together to celebrate the holiday spirit. “It all started when we bought a gingerbread house, then we bought a Frosty the Snowman inflatable and from then on our collection kept

expanding,” said Michael Viola. Their other son, Matt Viola, is always trying to create unique decorations to set their house apart from the rest. Credited by his mom as “always hammering and building something,” last year he created an arch made of PVC lights that went around their driveway. They also try to keep up to date with all the new decorations: last year, they got an Eagles inflatable to show their Eagles pride. The most difficult part of the whole process is finding a weekend when the weather is cooperative so they can set up. “If we can get one nice weekend, we have to take advantage of it and start building because who knows when the weather will be good enough again,” said Matt Viola.

gether. We take a weekend, usually the first or second weekend of the month, and we all help out to decorate.” In a sparsely decorated neighborhood, the Costellos’ house stands out, and neighbors admire up close just as much as from afar. “Little kids come up, and they love to look at it. We let them walk through, and it’s just so fun,” Costello said. Though decorating the house can take time — and even requires climbing onto the roof — Costello firmly believes that the work put in pays off. Though they all feel sad when the lights come down, they then scour the clearance racks to prepare for the following year. All in all, the Costellos certainly prove that it is not just what is on the inside that counts: the outside can make an impact, too.

The day after Christmas, their focus switches over to the upcoming year. Mike Viola goes out to buy new decorations that are on sale. Throughout the year, he searches for new inflatables, materials and supplies. He surprises his wife with his findings during the year and puts them away for safekeeping in the attic. “Our entire attic is filled with Christmas decorations; we can’t put anything else up there,” said Cathy Viola. The Viola family’s in-laws live across the street from the Viola family, and they have also stepped up their game when it comes to decorating their house. Their in-laws focus more on lights whereas the Viola family focuses more on inflatables and buildings they created.

The Viola family spends countless hours each December putting up festive decorations.

This became a regular occurrence and community members started to recognize both of their houses. “One year, even [radio station] 98.1 came out and promoted it by calling it ‘battle of the brothers,’” said Cathy Viola. Not only did they show off their lawn, but they also collected toys for Toys for Tots at their house. Each year, the family accumulates more and more decorations, but their neighbors are understanding, as they have had to ask their neighbors if it was okay to place decorations on their side of the lawn because the Christmas decor kept spreading past their property. Overall, though, the Viola family hopes that their lawn will be able to spread the holiday cheer from their lawn to others.

Photo courtesy of the Viola family


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December 2019

Professional Santas confess the truth behind the suit ■ By Karissa Murray (‘20)

Eastside Community Editor

Every December, the jolly old man in the red suit is omnipresent. He can be spotted in practically every advertisement and mall in the United States. But what does it mean to truly embody this iconic character? To find out, Eastside spoke to two professional Santas, Kevin Chesney and Steven Pettit. For Kevin Chesney, dressing up as Santa Claus has been close to four decades in the making. Chesney first donned the red suit at 17 years old, and 38 years later, it has become his career. He wasn’t always a professional Santa; up until just about 5 years ago, he used a fake beard for the temporary gig. It wasn’t until he had one very impactful interaction with a child that changed his perspective on the job. “What kept me going all these years was the smile on a little boy’s face. He was terrified to sit with Santa and get his picture taken and get a gift, but afterwards when everything was said and done and saying goodbye, I felt a tug at my suit. I looked down and there was the little boy. I asked him ‘What’s the matter?’ and he said ‘My dad made me come up here and let you know that I was

scared.’ I was like ‘I will let you know a little secret, even Santa is scared… I always get scared, there was seventy little boys and girls here today, that’s scary!’ His dad just like played along, [the boy] said ‘Can I get my picture now?’... He crawled right up on my lap and he got a picture and his present… I looked over and at that point my wife and my friend, they were crying their eyes out. They were like ‘How did you come up with that?’ but it just came. Sometimes things aren’t scripted and it just comes to you. That was the moment that I knew I had to continue doing Santa,” Chesney said. Thanks to publicity on Facebook, he was put into contact with The Party Authority, a company that rents out professional Santas. He decided to abandon the fake beard and grow out his real one, officially committing to the role. Steven Pettit is a lessseasoned Santa Claus. He started his career in entertainment as a magician at the age of 11, and he has been doing it ever since. It began when Pettit was asked to do a magic act in a Santa costume, and the show was very well received. His wife gave him the idea that he could grow out the beard and get the best of both worlds as a wizard or Santa Claus, and the venture was born.

Courtesy of Kevin Chesney

Santa Kevin Chesney spends time with his reindeer.

Marc Celine Nicholas (‘21)/ Eastside Staff

Pettit says he only starts growing out his beard in October, but for Chesney, there’s year-round upkeep — and that comes with year-round responsibility to the character. “I grew the beard out and that’s when I became a professional. That first year I was like, okay, ‘Let’s have some fun with this,’ but after that season I was pretty much Santa 24/7, 365. It wasn’t like I walked out there all the time [in character]. But people recognize you and they look at you. Parents always point and say ‘Oh you better be good, there’s Santa over there,’ but I hate when they do that,” Chesney said. “But if I’m recognized by the little ones I’m going tell them ‘Yes, I’m one of Santa’s helpers.’” Chesney recognized that sometimes it can be draining to be in the character the whole year because it makes December less special. “As the season would come upon, the first couple of years I was really psyched to put the suit back on and go out there.” Chesney said. This past year I became Kevin again in January, because you kind of lose track of Kevin in Santa [if you don’t]. But in doing that, coming up to this time of the year I’m super psyched, I can’t wait. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Although both Santas may have differed in how they found their way into the job, the reward they get from the joy they bring to children is the same. “Kids are either gonna really love you, or they’re gonna really hate you. I really like kids a lot and I enjoy hanging out with them and talking to them, but some kids are gonna burst into tears. It’s just scary; you’re meeting this guy in a whole red suit and a white beard. Most of the time the kids really love you,” Pettit said. Unfortunately it’s not completely uncommon to walk into a room full of kids and have them all burst into tears. Normally, the Santa will just leave in that worst case scenario. (Don’t worry, they’re still getting paid.) But there are other times, too, when the pressure can be high, especially when it comes to saying the right thing to a child who really needs to hear it. “One kid one time asked me if I could keep his parents from getting divorced, and I thought about it, and I used Mrs. Doubtfire, and I said I am very powerful with magic and I can do a lot of stuff, but my power only goes so far… What you want to remember is that even though your parents are in two different houses and they might not love each other anymore, they always love you,” Pettit said. “[Another time] a child asked me if I saw his

dog, and I could tell the kid was going through pain with the loss of an animal, so I said I did see your dog and he’s happy and he’s remembering you when you used to play with him and you used to pet him a lot and he’s unhappy with you being sad and he would like you to be happy again.” It’s not a job that just anyone can do; kids can be ruthless. Pettit attributes his ability to talk to kids to his “inner child.” He recommends that the best thing to do is to remember what you were like as a child and talk to the children how you would have wanted to be spoken to. Chesney recommends when you speak to a child, you talk to them at eye level just “like one of their friends on the playground.” He always understood talking to a child and talking at them are much different things. Despite the unpredictability and sacrifices they both make for the job, they wouldn’t change a thing about it. “If you do like kids, this is the perfect job for you,” Pettit said. “I notice that people will sit next to me and on several occasions they’ve said that ‘we had so much enjoyment just watching the kids with their smiles…. you must have a great job and you really love doing what you do because you get to see that all the time,’ and you do, it really is a great job.”

Infographic by Karissa Murray (‘20)/ Eastside Community Editor

December 2019


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The Victor Café serves food and song to customers ■ By Sophia Sitnick (‘20)

Eastside Community Editor

More than 100 years ago, John DiStefano immigrated to America with hopes of sharing his passion for grand opera and classical music with local community members. In pursuit of that dream, DiStefano opened his first business, DiStefano’s Gramophone Shop on Dickinson Street in Philadelphia. The shop soon became a well-known gathering spot for music enthusiasts to discuss music, sip coffee and socialize. In 1933, at the end of the prohibition, DiStefano had the opportunity to purchase a beer and wine license. Shortly afterward, the gramophone shop on Dickinson Street reinvented itself as an Italian restaurant and transformed into its current form: The Victor Café, “Music Lovers’ Rendezvous.” Memorabilia fills the walls, ranging from DiStefano’s early days in Philadelphia to the present. Artifacts in the restaurant provide a glimpse into life in South Philadelphia throughout the years. Look around and one will discover photos of politicians, newspaper clippings, generations of family photos and old records. One can also find artwork that pays homage to Victor Café’s short stints as the site of the fictional “Adrian’s” restaurant in the Rocky franchise movies, Rocky Balboa and Creed.

During slow points in the day, DiStefano enjoyed listening to records while working in the back room of the restaurant. “He had this enormous collection of vinyl records, rare, out-of-print discs, all of these neat things that people would come to listen to,” said employee and op-

played records, DiStefano decided that music would become a regular part of the dining experience, thus molding the restaurant’s unique identity. Early on, patrons who shared a passion for music would spontaneously stand up from their meal and perform a solo for all the guests to

was born. From that point on, DiStefano began employing professional singers to work as waitstaff in the restaurant. This gave talented singers a venue to perform their beloved music while making a few bucks, and DiStefano had a successful, niche business. It was love at first song.

Jessica Celani (‘21)/ For Eastside

era singer Robyn Muse. After discovering that more customers came to the restaurant when he

enjoy. In 1979, an opera student working at the cafe began singing for his customers, and a new tradition

Currently, the restaurant is operated by Gregory DiStefano, John’s grandson, and the restaurant

staff is composed of about 40 formally trained opera singers. While dining, one can expect to enjoy various performances, including soloists, duets and small choirs that seem to shake the walls with bold, acoustic energy. To signal the start of a performance, waitstaff rings a gold bell that sits on a shelf in the dining room. Performances occur every 20-30 minutes. With a shared passion for opera, the talented employees have a close bond with each other and enjoy performing their music for an audience. “We’re all friends, so every now and then something funny will happen,” said Luciana Piovan, who is also a professional opera singer and employee. Piovan said that they have fun, sometimes adding unexpected twists to enhance the characters or to get a rise out of their fellow singers during performances. Videography and photography of performances are not permitted, but applause is always welcome. The cafe also tries to make special celebrations hit a high note. Staff perform memorable renditions of typical celebration songs and have been known to clear tables from the dining room to allow space for couples to dance. Victor’s Cafe has appealed to opera fans and those who like Italian cuisine for 100 years, and there are no plans to rest.

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley talks politics at local event ■ By Jakob Silvert (‘20)

Eastside Opinions Editor

“There have never been lines to the women’s bathroom at any job I’ve ever had,” said Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. On November 13 at Temple Beth Shalom Synagogue in Cherry Hill, the first ever female governor of South Carolina spoke to a sold-out crowd of 1,200. Haley spoke about her role in the Trump administration, foreign policy and the difficulties she has faced as a woman in politics. Haley has received wide praise for her critique of longstanding corruption in the U.N. Perhaps most prominently, she is known for holding up the photographs of the children killed from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical attacks upon hearing a Russian ambassador deny the severity of said attack. Haley is also known for her Teddy Roosevelt-esque resolve and refusal to back down on issues often neglected. Haley, although a career politician, seems to stray from the overly partisan political bias many believe is too common in politics. When asked by the interviewer how she handled being surrounded by powerful men in meetings, she responded easily with “Well, I’m powerful, too.” The former ambassador has fought for

human rights around the globe, specifically condemning the despicable practices surrounding the Human Rights Council. Haley spoke of being barred from discussion of Venezuela’s human egregious violations on the “Human Rights Council” due to a Venezualean ambassador sitting on the council. Haley later lamented how countries “get on the council to make sure they’re not called out.” To remedy this long standing issue, Haley removed the U.S. from the council. This decision reads poorly in a headline but will hopefully begin a process of reevaluating how the global community prevents and remedies tragedies. “We can fight for human rights, we don’t need a human rights council to do that,” said Haley. Haley, originally a critic of Trump, spoke highly of the president from her first-hand experience with him, which many on the left see as shameless opportunism. Whether Haley acted advantageously or made the best of a bad situation is up for interpretation. What we do know is that Haley went from accountant to governor in the matter of a year. Love her or hate her, Haley’s rise to prominence will not be forgotten once the 2024 election rolls around. Haley’s build of traditionalist conservative, and her voice as a moderate Republican may become increasingly loud as both parties look to realign their scattered bases. Who knows, maybe in a matter of years we’ll be calling Haley ‘Madame President.’

“When asked by the interviewer how she handled being surrounded by powerful men in meetings, she responded easily with ‘Well, I’m powerful, too.’”


Jeffrey Kaminer (‘21)/ Eastside Art Director Ali Koenig (‘20)/ Eastside Editor-in-Chief Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor



December 2019

◄In borrowed bikinis, senior boys “drop it like

it’s hot” during their final Spirit Week Dance Competition. The seniors’ summer-themed dance scored first place in the competition. Yena Son (‘22)/ Eastside Staff

December 2019


Page 13

Aayinde Smith (‘20) drops to the floor just after Mr. Greg Gagliardi slides into the chair, eliminating her from the competition of dancing musical chairs. Alex Tang (‘20) leads the drumline during the East Marching Band’s performance at the Spirit Week pep rally.

Jiseon Lee (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor

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Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor

Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor

Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor

East’s coaching staff yells to the Cougar offense to spike the ball as time expires in the first half of East’s Homecoming game against the Cherry Hill West Lions.

Shrey Dalwadi (‘20) and Shana Chen (‘20) high five as they are introduced as members of the Homecoming Court during the Spirit Week pep rally.

Chloe Lehrfeld (‘21), left, and Jillian Drumm (‘21) flip out during the juniors’ fall-themed dance during the Spirit Week Dance Competition. The juniors placed second in the competition. Yena Son (‘22)/ Eastside Staff

Coach Andrew Daley talks to the Cougar offense before East’s Homecoming game against Cherry Hill West.

Christian Aiken (‘23)/ Eastside Staff

◄ Quarterback Seba Miller (‘21) throws the ball downfield during East’s Homecoming game against Cherry Hill West. Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor

Ben Adler (‘21) leads the juniors to victory against the sophomores in tug-of-war during the Spirit Week pep rally.

Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor

Yena Son (‘22)/ Eastside Staff

From Wednesday, November 20, to Wednesday, November 27, the East community participated in the annual schoolwide Spirit Week competition. The chosen theme was seasons, with summer, fall, winter and spring represented by the senior, junior, sophomore and freshman classes, respectively. Dress-up days included “Dress to Unimpress,” during which students wore sweatpants, pajamas or other comfortable clothing, and “A Day in the Woods,” when students either dressed for a camping trip or donned this year’s charity T-shirt. Proceeds from sales of the charity T-shirt, a forest-green design, benefitted Camp Kesem, an organization that operates free summer camps and year-round support for children impacted by a parent’s cancer. The sophomores won the booth-decorating competition, the seniors came in first for the Spirit Week dance and the freshman class collected the most cans for the can drive. Final Spirit Week standings: seniors in first, followed by the juniors, sophomores and freshmen.

Freshmen open up the Spirit Week Dance Competition. Their springthemed dance received fourth place later that night. Crimson the Cougar keeps the seats warm before musical chairs. Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor

The sophomores’ winter-themed booth won first ◄ place in the Spirit Week booth judging, followed by the seniors, juniors and freshmen. Scout Pullano (‘22)/ Eastside Staff


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December 2019

Eastside Earl Goes Apple Picking by Braden Schwartz (‘21)/ For Eastside

Latkes by Katrina Veltman (‘23)/ For Eastside

Don’t Worry Aboat Canada by Esther Levine (‘21)/ Eastside Staff

Snow Good by Amanda Merovitz (‘22)/ Eastside Sports Editor

Want to draw for Eastside? Join our Google Classroom for more information. Come to F087 to get the code.


December 2019


Editorials represent the views and opinions of the Eastside Editorial Board.

Long-term substitute system needs adjustment In the past, when it was necessary for a teacher to take an extended leave of absence, the hiring of a long-term substitute would occur within the district and the substitute would receive a district salary. Yet, when the federal government passed legislation requiring districts to afford these substitutes benefits, the district switched its policy and began using a contractor called Source4Teachers, which pays its employees a nominal daily wage. Now, when the district needs a long-term substitute, Source4Teachers provides it with a list of all of its teachers in the area that are qualified to take over the absent teacher’s classes. The district can then select which teacher it would like to come in. Eastside believes that the Source4Teachers system for hiring long-term substitutes has failed both substitutes and the students they teach. The main issue with Source4Teachers that concerns Eastside is the fact

that at such a low wage, there is no incentive for good teachers to apply. This is not to say that a betterpaid teacher is a better teacher, rather that in order to attract quality longterm substitutes, a competitive offer must be put on the table. This simply has not happened under the Source4Teachers system, and thus, Eastside encourages the district to abandon it completely. Eastside’s primary issue is, naturally, the quality of East students’ education. Long-term substitutes hired through Source4Teachers, while theoretically qualified, generally do not have the experience to handle classes at the highschool level without help. This aid usually falls on other teachers in the department, who must worry about their own classes, and even then, it only goes so far. Additionally, under the Source4Teachers system, many substitutes do not have the opportunity to experience an East classroom — which can be

a challenging environment, especially for a new teacher — before being called in to teach. Eastside finds this unacceptable; no one should be expected to effectively teach a class at East without being acquainted with the school and its students. Substitutes should be able to sit in on at least a few classes at East (preferably taught by the teacher for whom they are taking over) before they start. Eastside, however, is also concerned with the welfare of the substitutes employed by Source4Teachers. The contractor’s substitutes – both long-term and short-term – earn less than $90 per day on average, according to CareerBliss, even though long-term substitutes do more work. This wage is currently two dollars above the minimum wage and, in January 2020, will be only one dollar above. This wage amounts to about $24,000 annually, less than two times the average annual mortgage payment in New Jersey and a whopping $53,922 less than

the median salary for a fulltime teacher in the district. Eastside believes it is inhumane to make someone who works every day to provide us with an education live on such a low wage. There is some good news, thankfully, on this issue. The district has made the switch back to an internal hiring process for long-term substitutes in cases of maternity leave and illness starting this school year. For the cases where that does not apply, though, the Source4Teachers system remains in place. In sum, the issue of how the district hires long-term substitutes is a matter of great concern, both to the quality of our education and to the well-being of those who are selected to provide it. Eastside believes the district has a simple solution before it. It has already taken a commendable step forward in removing Source4Teachers from the equation in certain cases, Eastside stresses that it just needs to go the rest of the way.

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Eastside won its 11th consecutive New Jersey Distinguished Journalism Award by earning the highest number of points in 12 total print categories. Eastside editors and staff members took first place in ten of the twelve categories: Photography – Andrew Maier (‘20); Newswriting – Aine Pierre (‘20); Editorial Cartooning – Danny Kahn (‘19); Sports Writing – Sophie Levine (‘19); Editorial Writing – Eastside Editorial Board; Opinion Writng – Samantha Roehl (‘20); Artwork/Illustration – Kahn and Samantha Dayton (‘19); Column Writing – Julia Langmuir (‘19); Review Writing – Sophia Liang (‘19); In-Depth Reporting: Sophia Liang (‘19), Eli Weitzman (‘20), Giana Maccarella (‘20), Henry Nolan (‘19), Dakota Rosen (‘19), Pierre and Roehl. In the online portion, Eastside won three additional first-place state awards: Broadcast Features – Liang and Sarah Zheng; Multimedia News – Liang, Nafessa Jaigirdar (‘19) and Pierre; Multimedia Features – Defne Alpdogan (‘20), Maddy Cicha (‘19), Sam Grossman (‘19), Jaigirdar, Karissa Murray (‘20) and Gregory Rothkoff (‘19). In total, Eastside won nearly 70 state awards, a new record. On the national level, at the National High School Journalism Convention in November, Maier was named runner-up to National Student Photojournalist of the Year, earning second place in the Photojournalist of the Year competition. Maier also won second place in the country for a sports action photo and fifth place for a sports reaction photo. The sports multimedia package published online last year that took a closer look at the school’s trophy case also won a topten National Scholastic Press Association award. The Quiz Bowl team of Alpdogan, Jacob Graff (‘20), Harry Green (‘20) and Pierre qualified as the #1 overall seed. The team of Jacob Kernis (‘20), Ali Koenig (‘20), Emily Mahaffy (‘20) and Jakob Silvert (‘20) qualified as the #2 overall seed. In the NMSC contest held at the convention, four Eastside editors earned the distinction of superior, joining 150 other students nationwide. Green earned superior for Press Law and Ethics; Maier for Sports Action Photography, Pierre for Broadcasting Newswriting; and Nate Pullano (‘20) for Broadcast Sports Reporting. Over ten other editors won awards as well. For a complete list, please see our Twitter feed. Benefactors


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Page 16


December 2019

ANSWERING AMERICA’S QUESTIONS Should America maintain an interventionist foreign policy? ■ By Harry Green (‘20)

Eastside Opinions Editor

■ By Jacob Graff (‘20)

Eastside Opinions Editor

It might seem high and noble for America to parade into foreign countries with “logistical advisors” and pretend to be there out of necessity. Remember how Saddam Hussein supposedly had weapons of mass destruction which forced the United States to invade? Remember how it was something we had to do as the world’s police? The Deputy Defense Secretary at the time, Paul Wolfowitz, explicitly told Vanity Fair back in 2003 that, “for bureaucratic reasons we settled on... weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.” It was a sham from the beginning, and everybody knew it, too. The Iraq War is just one example of how a jingoistic foreign policy condemned upwards of a million soldiers and innocent civilians to death. Worse, it has all been for naught. “Oh thank you America, thank you for making our country safer by invading it and invoking the wrath of dangerous, multinational terrorist organizations,” said no one, ever. But that’s not the worst part of American foreign policy. America has also sent military members to repair infrastructure in Afghanistan, assisted disease-fighting efforts in Liberia, and aided natural disaster relief in Indonesia.

While these are noble efforts, and our military members should receive the utmost respect for dedicating their lives to service, these “extracurricular” missions are equivalent to a poor family paying the bill for another poor family’s steak dinner. Remember Flint? U.S. citizens in this country’s poorest cities still don’t have potable water and yet, according to Rand Paul (RKy.), the US government has spent tax dollars on an Argentinian clown college and welfare in Brazil. What kind of backward logic is the U.S. government using? We need to ensure the welfare of our neighbors before we do so for people in the Middle East and South America. Why should federal dollars go to supporting poverty-stricken Brazilian citizens when just over six percent of Cherry Hill’s population is sitting below the poverty line? The US military should not be involved in infrastructure repair in Afghanistan when our government can’t fix our own broken roads. The U.S military should not be involved in disease-fighting efforts in Liberia when the country is in the midst of a national opioid-addiction disease crisis. The US military should not be involved in natural-disaster relief efforts in Indonesia when FEMA is perennially underfunded. American citizens come first. The days of the United States acting at once as the world’s police and bank need to end.



Iraq. Afghanistan. Pakistan. Somalia. Syria. These are just some of the countries with which this country has become entangled since the United States’ initial invasion of Iraq almost 30 years ago. Whether it has been in defense of democracy, a country’s people or more selfish motives, America has been committed to military conflict in the Middle East for decades. Since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, this nation has spent trillions of dollars, lost tens of thousands of service members and contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians fighting the “War on Terror,” one many have since deemed unwinnable. Despite the tremendous losses incurred, the United States’ involvement in the Middle East and beyond remains crucial to the stability of the civilized world. America, since before World War II, has branded itself as the world’s police. In times of famine, in times of conflict and in times of general suffering, it seeks to improve the situation in foreign nations. In many instances, this strategy has succeeded, whether it be helping to liberate concentration camps during World War II or providing aid to Haiti after its earthquake in 2010. However, others have not

taken kindly to what they viewed as invading forces attempting to impose their values on others. In 2003, The United States’ military believed that it would receive a hero’s welcome after deposing a brutal dictator in Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi people, however, responded as many other civilian populations have since – violently. Although America invaded Iraq in 2003, it did not declare the conflict over until 2015. In Afghanistan, 18 years after declaring “war,” US troops remain. It may be tempting for some to hear such information and resolve that the harm of staying in such tense environments, especially the Middle East, significantly outweighs the good. That is certainly understandable. Perhaps it is harmful to remain deeply-rooted in areas of conflict, especially as the effects of poverty, drug addiction and homelessness, among other ailments, plague our own country. However, that does not mean that the alternative — to pack our things and leave — is any better. If not for America and its allies’ presence in the Middle East, groups like Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban would continue to incite violence wherever they could. Not many believe that America should have grabbed the tiger’s tail with which to begin. Seeing as she already has, though, the question remains: does it really make sense to let the tail go?

Impeachment of Donald Trump: Is there validity in the initial inquiry? ■ By Maia Venuti (‘20)

For Eastside


For Eastside

President Donald Trump has made many mistakes during his time in the White House. However, this does not justify the partisan impeachment efforts conducted by the Democrats. The Democrats are not doing this for the good of the country, nor as a means of trying to uphold the Constitution. They are not over their loss in 2016 and have been searching for a reason to impeach Trump ever since. If the Democrats wish for Trump to be gone, they have a very simple solution: vote him out in 2020. The only reason the impeachment inquiry is occurring now and not immediately after Democrats took the House after the midterm elections is to ensure impeachment proceedings occur, conveniently, right before the general election next November. There are several examples of potentially impeachable or questionable things the President has done. With regard to such actions, I agree: they need to be investigated. Nevertheless, the emoluments clause (designed to shield federal officeholders of the United States against corrupting foreign influences) is one issue the Democrats chose not to impeach him over, supporting the notion that Democrats like Pelosi truly don’t care about the good of the country or standing up for the Constitution. Instead, Democrats only take action on what is politically advantageous based on what polls well and

how far they can push a blatantly false narrative until the bubble inevitably pops. Trump acted foolishly when it came to the call with the President of Ukraine, there is no doubt about that. The words he used in the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky allowed Democrats to set a spark that led to the current investigation. Nevertheless, whether the act was impeachable is far less clear. Should it be discouraged to investigate corruption if the subject of said investigation is the child of a prominent politician? The fact that Hunter Biden was being paid thousands of dollars by a Ukrianian company and then the US government lobbied to stop a Ukrainian prosecutor from investigating him is suspicious, to say the least. Trump used poor word choice; however, he said there was no quid pro quo, and as the aid was eventually released without the Ukrainian investigation that Trump implied he wanted, the quid pro quo was nothing but a Democrat fantasy. Additionally, there is a long-standing history of corruption between their government and major gas enterprises like Burisma, the Hunter Bidenaffiliated gas corporation. The Democrats picked the wrong fight. Trump will not be convicted by the Senate and this will be a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. Pelosi began with a slam-dunk argument for corruption, but instead turned it into an ugly mess. The quid was provided without the quo; no kangaroo court hearing can, or will, repudiate that. Therefore, the impeachment inquiry has never been justified, nor will it be.



Recently, with the ever-evolving progression in President Donald Trump’s impeachment case, there has been much debate between the Democrats and Republicans if the impeachment inquiry is just. There shouldn’t be — it is. The call that Trump had with Ukraine President Vlodymyr Zelensky where Trump asked Zelensky to conduct a probe on presidential candidate and former-Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter forced Speaker Nancy Pelosi (DCalif.) to announce an inquiry. A sitting President had offered a quid pro quo with the Ukraine: $391 million in military aid in exchange for an investigation into the Democratic front-runner for president and, at the time, Trump’s perceived “biggest rival.” The Democrats are only pushing the inquiry at such a fast pace in order to show the public that what the president did was in violation of the Constitution, and they are just trying to present the facts to us in a clean and organized manner. Trump himself, along with Republicans in Congress who are against the impeachment inquiry, are pressing for the name of the whistleblower and demanding the whistleblower to testify. However, the attempts made by the GOP to out the whistleblower’s identity could violate the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, which protects federal whistleblowers who anonymously report the existence of an activity violating a

law, rule or regulation. If the GOP successfully outs the whistleblower, which they have attempted to do throughout the public hearings in an attempt to distract the public from focusing on Trump’s obvious violations of the Constitution, they will be in violation of federal law. The illegal attempts made by the GOP and Trump to identify the whistleblower is truly what validates the need for an impeachment inquiry. They know that ever since this individual came forward and reported the infamous phone call, the allegations posed against the president have proven to be true. Trump has also unethically pressured his Cabinet for public support, such as Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. However, the idea that a quid pro quo didn’t exist according to Trump and his allies was exposed as a blatant lie when Mr. Mulvaney said that withholding aid is something that “we do all the time” in the United States, and that sending it was dependant on a Ukrainian investigation into Hunter Biden and his former company, Burisma. Every day, the public learns more. Gordan Sondland, the star witness of the impeachment inquiry, stated that “the answer is yes” in regards to the question of whether there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine, which is the very thing Trump and his allies vehemently decline. Under sworn oath, a Trump-donating Republican, appointed to his post by President Trump, overcame his party loyalty and told the truth. The only question that remains is, can the Republicans do the same?

December 2019


Page 17

To solve student debt crisis, we need major changes ■ By Jakob Silvert (‘20)

Eastside Opinions Editor

Some problems are more important than College Board exams. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of the 2016 high school graduating class enrolled in college. Around the same percentage of college students took out student loans; their debt averages just under $30,000 after graduation. As a whole, Americans owe over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, more than triple U.S. credit card debt (certainly not as concerning as scantron results). While high schools may not be able to affect rising tuition costs, they should do everything in their power to help mitigate this growing student debt crisis. An important and clearly overlooked step in this is ensuring that students enter college in the major right for them. The Education Department’s National Center for Educational Statistics finds that 33% of those in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree change their major at least once within two years of entering college. One in ten of these students change their major twice. What can high schools do to limit this indecision that pushes back college graduation dates and dangerously increases the

n e e d number for and of those volume w h o of stuchange d e n t majors loans? and conA n d sequenth o w ly may c a n t a k e h i g h on adschools ditional m o s t student expediloans. ently Cerimpact tainly, t h e s o m e greatwill say e s t t h a t number such a of stucourse dents is not possifeasiAndrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor ble. How ble? Enter: College Board testing muddles educational priorities. could a College teacher B u s i possibly ness 101. chain, accounting, inmanage to cover so many The reason for this formation systems, operadifferent topics and their course is simple; students tions management, etc. If vast subject matters? The need a course that delves high schools were to proanswer: they don’t have into the most common mavide such insight into the to. Save the deep dives for jor… you guessed it: busicollege business subject college; this course simply ness. Over 19% of college matter, students could see hopes to introduce each students have business as what, if anything, interests topic — to cover the basics. a major attached to their them in the business world, This will not teach for an course sheet. Unfortunateenabling them to make AP test and therefore does ly, over 30% of these busisounder, experience-based not need to be extraordiness majors change the decisions when choosing narily specific. It serves to focus of their education at their major (the most exfish for interest. Similarly, least once. pensive choice they will some might argue that inThis business course make as a high-schooler). dividualized classes for would teach some of the This class has the poeach discipline would best most commonly studied tential of placing more stuserve the student body. disciplines within business, dents in majors right for While this may be true, such as finance, supply them, therefore limiting the adding such a large number

of classes would not be possible for most schools; along with this, finding teachers with in-depth knowledge in each subject would be a near impossible task. Overall, high schools such as East do a great job preparing students for college classes and AP exams. East’s AP exam scores prove this year-in and yearout. While this is admirable, to say the least, East cannot focus too closely on such topical material. Tests pertinent to college applications should not have priority. Subject matter important to potential majors and career-needs to come first. With a business department so loosely related to options of study at the college level, how can nearly 20 percent of our students possibly be expected to choose the right business major, or even business for that matter? This curriculum almost encourages the choice of “undecided” and creates the need for extra credits, classes and semesters, all piling on to the debt that is dragging down this nation’s youth. If East serves one purpose, it is to put students on a path for success. Failing to limit student debt may be the most egregious violation of this mission. So, how much longer must this irresponsibility continue?

Targeted advertising creates a net benefit for consumers

paper. This information is used to craft a message that the customer will find agreeable. In essence, it is Imagine you are on a showing you what you want shopping trip with your to see and in the manner parents at your local Tarthat you want most. get. They walk in with a Similar to the benefits short shopping list for customers see with tarthe day — an assortment geted campaigns, both of all the items they small and large, busithink they need back at nesses become more the house. profitable when using “It’ll be short,” they behavior-based adverclaim, “only a 30-minute tising methods. trip. In and out.” In Jianqing Chen and Fast forward to the Jan Stallaert’s groundend of their hour-and-abreaking study, “An half-long shopping spree. Economic Analysis of You look down in the Online Advertising Uscart and see the various ing Behavioral Targetproducts that are about ing,” they found that to end up in the cabinets revenue could double throughout your home. for online publishers by One look at your parents’ switching away from list tells you that they traditional ad camdidn’t originally intend paigns and specializing to exit the store with per-customer. The study six times the number also found that the level of items they “needed” of social welfare, the when they entered. One quantity and quality of look at their faces, howprograms designed to ever, tells you they don’t provide assistance to feel at all guilty about disadvantaged groups, the size of the bill they’re was greater for the tarabout to pay. Photo illustration by Eli Weitzman (‘20)/ Eastside Webmaster gets of specialized adAlthough personalized After searching the web to buy a new phone, users start to see phone-focused advertiseadvertisements are not ments on their screen as a result of their search history and targeted advertising practices. vertising compared to those who don’t particiused in stores, products world. Clearly, it works. tion is scary, but the notion two distinct sets of inforpate in data sharing. The are designed by compaCustomized advertisethat this is an intrinsically mation: demographics and data shows that targeted nies to effect positive reacments online rest on the bad thing is mistaken. Few psychographics. The former advertisements increases tions in potential customsame foundation of appealteenagers pay attention to you are probably familiar people’s well-being. ers when they come across ing to customers’ tastes, as the obnoxiously large billwith already: your sex, age, None of this is to say their product in the hopes all physical promotion does, boards promoting diamonds socioeconomic status, edudata privacy does not matthat it will lead to a sale. but people tend to be more and casinos plastered along cation, etc. The latter is relter, but strong protection The packaging and prowary of the former than the the sides of the highway beatively new and comes with of your information does motional angles (e.g. fair latter. cause they so rarely fit with the onset of artificial intelnot mean that it cannot trade, organic, non-GMO, The Cambridge Anatheir interests. They’re ligence and data analysis. or should not be utilized etc.) are created by using lytica scandal — in which geared towards adults. It is founded in creating a for your benefit. Targeted metadata on what the pubtens of millions of users’ However, if they showed profile of a person based advertising is rooted in a lic values in their products Facebook data was harthe newest Adidas items on on “search and purchase win-win ideology; businessand finding and applying vested — exemplifies why sale, teenagers would take history” that includes “a es are more efficient with the greatest common factor people might seem hesitant note: everyone else, maybe consumer’s values, persontheir dollars, while conthat will appeal to the highto embrace the type of data not so much. ality, attitudes, opinions, sumers see ads for products est number of potential cussharing that culminates in This presents a conunlifestyles, and interests,” that they actually want to tomers. ultra-individualized adverdrum for advertisers but a according to a 2012 Penn buy. Everybody benefits, so You may well have altising campaigns. For exgood problem for customState University research what’s not to like? ready seen examples of this ■ By Jacob Graff (‘20)

Eastside Opinions Editor

in food packaging. Have you bought a Coke because it had your name on it? Did an adult in your family bring home Eagles-branded Bud Light bottles on Sunday? That’s personalized advertising in the real

ample, the data in question was mined by Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign. The fear of online breaches is valid; there’s no doubt that hundreds of companies knowing your informa-

ers. Businesses need to know as much as they can about you so that they can show you what you want to see. The only way to do that is to personalize advertisements. To do this, companies use


Page 18


December 2019

China’s human rights abuses deserve more attention ■ By Harry Green (‘20)

Eastside Opinions Editor

Within the past century, the world has faced innumerable atrocities, spanning across countries, continents and cultures. Between the years 1914 and 1923, the Ottoman Empire systematically expelled Armenian citizens from its territory, leading to the deaths of millions in the Armenian Genocide. During World War II, Nazi Germany attempted to eliminate the world’s Jewish population as well as other non-Aryan “undesirables,” leading to the deaths of nearly 10 million people in what is referred to today as the Holocaust. More than 70 years later, society is still plagued by egregious violations of human rights. In developing nations like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone, violent leaders have been accused of enslaving and/or murdering their citizens as recently as 2019. Fortunately, such barbaric practices are often recognized and eventually resolved. Since the Armenian Genocide first took place, thirty countries around the world, including the United States, have acknowledged its signficance in history and condemned its orchestrators. In 1947, the Allied forces held the Nuremberg Trials, where nearly 200 former Nazis were tried and convicted of war crimes. Just last month, former Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda, nicknamed “The Terminator,” was sen-

tenced to 30 years in prison for committing crimes against humanity. In the majority of circumstances, human rights violations are identified and addressed promptly. Groups like the United Nations Human Rights Council, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch ensure that is the case. However, there remains a country responsible for some of the most egregious human rights violations in recent memory that has somehow been able to avoid such high-profile scrutiny. Whether it is due to political influence, economic leverage or a simple fear of retaliation, said country’s transgressions are not taken nearly as seriously by the American public as they should be. This country is China. Before delving into the plethora of examples wherein morality seemingly holds no place in the country, it is relevant to describe how its current government, the People’s Republic of China, came to be. In 1949, Mao ZeDoang led the Chinese Revolution, which oversaw the toppling of the country’s pro-democracy establishment. In time, the country’s leader sought not only to establish a communist nation, but a new culture entirely. Until his death in 1976, Chairman Mao enacted a series of laws designed to revolutionize Chinese society; these laws described how people could behave in public, which religions and political ideologies to which they could subscribe,

and even how people should structure new families. Though Mao briefly allowed citizens to openly protest against government policies through the Hundred Flowers Campaign, the program’s true purpose was to identify and properly silence government dissenters. Just a year after it began, Mao ordered an end to the program and actively sought to quiet those who initially participated in such protests. In total, nearly 500,000 Chinese citizens were detained, many of whom were eventually imprisoned, committed to labor camps, or simply never seen again. Unfortunately, China’s vice on its citizens’ rights has not loosened in the years after Mao Zedong’s death. If anything, freedom in China has only been further restricted. In 1980, the Chinese government introduced the “one-child policy,” which limited the number of children one nuclear family can raise. Families who violated the policy by raising several children were subjected to fines and generational shaming. Some women were even forced to have their pregnancies terminated to keep the number of people in their family to the standard three. In 1989, pro-democracy students staged protests in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. These protests, and the government’s militarized response to stop them, led to the capturing of the famous “Tank Man” photo, where a lone protestor confronts a line of tanks, effec-

tively denying them entry into the Square. However, almost no one has seen the picture taken of Tiananmen Square just minutes after the photo was taken — a scene of utter carnage as protestors’ bodies litter the streets, a signal to Chinese citizens that views opposing the Communist Party will not be tolerated. While the Chinese government since banned discussion of the 1989 protests, it is estimated that as many as several thousand Chinese citizens were killed that evening. However, the abuses of power have not ceased. Since 2014, the Chinese government has reportedly sent hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims, an ethnic minority in the country, to concentration camps in northwestern Xinjiang. As a consequence, several protests across the region of Xinjiang have taken place, with many demonstrators adorning blue masks covered by a red hand to symbolize China silencing Uyghur Muslims. Nevertheless, oppression in the region persists. While officials validate the camps as effective measures against terrorism in the country, the Uyghur population has claimed people have been detained without being charged for a crime and without the ability to defend themselves in court. Some women are being forced to sleep in the same quarters as the government officials who maintain the camps. According to the China Council, who reported their findings to the United Na-

tions Human Rights Council, there is even evidence to suggest that the Chinese government is harvesting Uyghur Muslims’ organs in said detention camps. Sadly, the list of instances of moral corruption does not end there. China is guilty of far more than the morally-debased actions described earlier. One could go on about examples of degeneracy for quite some time: the 1995 kidnapping of the successor to the Dalai Lama, implanting Chinese citizens into foreign governments, using commercial companies like Huawei to spy on Chinese and international citizens and attempting to silence pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong serve as just a few more examples. Nevertheless, people either don’t seem informed about what is going on in China, or don’t seem to care. Perhaps people are silent because China maintains the world’s largest population, largest standing army and second-largest economy, and would react negatively to foreign powers speaking out against it. Perhaps people are silent because they themselves are Chinese, and find it difficult to criticize a nation they or their loved ones consider, or once considered, home. Whatever the case, as the information in this piece demonstrates, anyone not upset about what is occuring, or at least not concerned, is probably not paying attention. Art by Jeffrey Kaminer (‘21)/ Eastside Art Director Italian Mar k e t B Y O B 910 C h r is t ian S t r e e t P h ilade lph ia, P A 19147 215- 574- 1599

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Relive the past decade of Spirit Week Dances


December 2019

Netflix is losing

■ By Remy Abrams (‘21)

Eastside Culture Editor

“Friends” superfans believe that the show will always be there for them, and this is true, though it won’t be there for them on Netflix. In sad news, Netflix announced that one of the most popular TV shows will be removed from its streaming service by next month. However, this announcement has been heard before,


and each time, the nightmare was avoided. Netflix reportedly paid $100 million to keep “Friends” on its service for 2019, as fans went into panic-mode with the release of information regarding the show’s possible removal in December 2018. Millions of “Friends” fans angrily spoke out and tweeted against this idea, trying to make Netflix pivot from this decision. Could fans be any more annoyed? Sadly, this is not just a break, as Rachel Green would say. Despite the nowofficial removal from Netflix, this does not mean the


end of “Friends” altogether. Though Netflix is currently the most used streaming service with over 151 million subscribers, it is not the only service available. Contrary to hardcore “Friends” fanatics beliefs, the show will not be moving to 15 Yemen Road, Yemen. “Friends” will be saying “How You Doin’“ to HBO Max, which is WarnerMedia’s up-andcoming streaming service. “Friends” will be joined by other popular TV shows, such as “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” as more and more content moves away

in 2020

from what was once a flagship streaming service. Netflix has allowed a new generation of fans to experience the warmth and laughter that the show brings, and gave pastviewers the opportunity to regain the happiness that “Friends” had once provided them on cable TV. That being said, the glorious six-year-reign of “Friends” on Netflix is sadly coming to an official end. It takes about 85 hours to rewatch the entire series. You have one month. Sadly, this is the One Where Netflix Officially Removes “Friends.”

Holiday gift edition: money or physical gifts? Physical vs. Money gifts ■ By Lily Lazarus (‘22) Eastside Sports Editor

T h e holidays are rolling in, and the shopping carts should be too! With joy and celebrations all around, holidays are the perfect time to buy a friend or loved one the ultimate gift to show your love for them. Although there is always an easy way out, a genuine and thoughtful gift always outweighs the ordinary “gift of cash.” The holidays are filled with excitement and joy, and what better way to celebrate than receiving or giving a wonderful gift! I can never decide exactly what it is that I want. So, when someone gives me money for the holidays, that decision just becomes harder. Personally, it’s not just about receiving a new phone case or a pair of socks. The excitement of receiving a gift and knowing someone put time and thought into the gift is just as important as the gift itself. In my own experience, there is nothing better than the sight of presents waiting to be unwrapped on the holiday morning. I know for sure I would never be as excited to see a small envelope stuffed with cash waiting to be spent. I also love the excitement of seeing what gift someone else got you and the excitement of seeing how happy your own gift can make someone else. Huge gifts or even the smallest gifts can say a lot more than an envelope of cash. Although it can often be difficult to find the “perfect” gift, many people just appreciate the time and thought put into a gift, but when given cash it almost comes across as little to no effort. The personal aspecct of receiving a heartfelt gift is much more exciting and heartwarming than a handful of cash. If you woke up on Christmas morning (or any holiday that you celebrate)

and saw a tiny card with cash inside, would you be happy? I would rather see a cute, bow-tied present perched under the tree than a card. When it comes to buying gifts, there is never a right way to do it, but it certainly isn’t easy, as personal preference plays a role in the process. From homemade gifts to items bought online, there is nothing you can’t buy, so why resort to giving cash? With the amount of gifts on Amazon or even in malls, there is always a gift out there for everyone: all it takes is some thought and time. When trying to satisfy others, it’s difficult to decide the right gift for them, but cash is not the best alternative. Cash can leave you with endless options, but nothing shows

care and thought like a gift from the heart. Holidays are the perfect time to show someone just how much you care and appreciate them, but you should do so with a simple and thoughtful gift. Cash cannot always get that point across.

■ By Sarah Zheng (‘20) Eastside Video Editor

Picture the classic scene of opening gifts. For the purpose of this scenario, let’s say it’s a pink fuzzy sweater. Perhaps the giftgiver absolutely loved the sweater and may have assumed that you might feel the same way. However, as you unwrap the present, you don’t actually want it. Yet, you pretend to love the present you received anyway, just for the sake of not hurting their feelings. Now, as the holidays are approaching, we don’t want to be that person who bought t h e

pink sweater. Thus, the best gift one could give is simple: cash and a handmade, thoughtful card. Though many might argue that it is the thought that counts, it is essentially

more thoughtful to give the recipient more freedom to choose what they actually want. Moreover, the most heartwarming component in this choice of gift-giving is the handmade card. Receiving a card filled with kind words about how much this person means to you can be cherished for years to come. Many of us are most likely to agree that reading these genuine words from a friend or family member makes us feel appreciated, as the card is unique, personal and meaningful. This card augments the value and worth of this gift approach to the recipient, all while they are able to use the money to buy whatever they may desire or allocate it towards something that is personally meaningful to them. Though we have the best intentions when shopping for others, our values often differ from the values of the person receiving the gift. For example, perhaps the person who bought the pink sweater thought it was worth $40, so they were willing to pay that amount. However, since your values differ from theirs, you would have maybe only spent $20 on it. Economically speaking, this destroys $20 worth of value. Giving cash and a thoughtful card allows the recipient to spend it on something that is worth a greater value to themselves. In addition, they receive a handmade card that can be cherished forever. These two factors create the perfect blend of thoughtfulness, sentimental value and desirability. Nonetheless, I’m not arguing that you should never purchase an item as a gift. However, it can be stressful to guess and try to find the “perfect” gift when you are unsure what to buy. Therefore, using this gift approach can be the easiest approach while maintaining an equivalence of thoughtfulness and desirability. Art by Jeffrey Kaminer (‘21)/ Eastside Art Director

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■ By Eli Weitzman (‘20) Eastside Webmaster

At the time of writing this, I’ve been going through the same, crazy process as many other seniors around the country during this time of year: college applications. And I have quite a few issues regarding college applications that I think fall into the spectrum of technology that I’d like to rant about, if you don’t mind. Firstly, college applications are annoyingly inconsistent. There’s about 200 different websites you have to use to apply to colleges, and each college uses a different one. Some use Coalition, others use Common App and some (the much more annoying ones, in my opinion) use their own application system! Most use the same information, though, regardless of the system used. So that means I have to manually enter my entire transcript an insane amount of times, then contact information and personal info. It’s frustrating to repeat steps multiple times, when it’s really just the same information over and over again. In addition, every other supplementary item requires additional digital systems. We have to use Naviance just to submit our letters of recommendation and transcripts to every school. Then, we also have to use College Board, and pay 12 dollars for every SAT score we send to a college. Plus, if you want to send AP scores, it’s a totally separate process. Want to send dual credit? Another one as well. FAFSA? That has its own site. CSS? That one, too. No wonder seniors are so stressed out and overwhelmed trying to submit college applications, on top of keeping up with their normal schoolwork. There are just too many websites we have to manage in order to apply to college. Now that I’ve ranted, here’s my semi-realistic solution. All colleges should be centralized into a standard application. It’s simple and not hard to conceptualize. Common App, for example, is a system that supports almost all colleges. All colleges need to join into one system. Secondly, this theoretical system must support native College Board score submissions, as well as teacher recommendations, transcripts and FAFSA. It seems so basic, yet it apparently is really hard for all the colleges to get together on something. If the colleges and companies can get together on that, then the application process just might get a little bit less stressful, and benefit the millions of high school seniors applying to college this year.


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December 2019

Seven fishes feast swims into the homes of students ■ By Giana Maccarella (‘20)

Eastside Culture Editor

The holidays are here! For some that holiday is H a n u k kah, for others it’s Kwanzaa, for me and most Christians, that holiday is Christmas. Specifically, for my ItalianAmerican Christian family, though, the main event is actually Christmas Eve. In my family, the night before Christmas is more anticipated than Christmas Day itself, not because that’s when Santa comes, but because that’s when all of my father’s side of the family comes together. We come together for our annual Feast of the Seven Fishes, or Festa dei Sette Pesci in Italian. The tradition started in Southern Italy — where both my mother’s and father’s side of the family is from originally — because Catholics were prohibited from eat-

ing meat until Christmas Day Feast. So, the night before, they would feast on fish instead.

dren in her home. As her children had children, and their children had children, the dinner moved from a

to my grandmother. Cooking for well over 50 family members cannot be done by just one woman. My grandmothe r , along with h e r t w o sisteri n laws a n d m y great aunts, have cooked o u r family’s Feast of the Seven Fishes f o r Giana Maccarella (‘20)/ Eastside Culture Editor o v e r 5 0 After preparing the meal, the women who cooked finally sit down to eat. years n o w , My family’s participahome to a hall, where it is with each woman respontion in this tradition startpassed down to the chilsible for a specific fish. ed with my grandfather’s dren, too, from my great My grandmother cooks grandmother cooking fish great grandmother to my the Baccala, which is salted for her husband and chilgreat grandmother and now cod fish and my personal

favorite. Another staple at our table are Smelts, which are small baked fish. These are two of the more traditional fish dishes. Other traditional dishes include anchovies, calamari, puttanesca (a fish with red gravy), sardines and whiting. These dishes are complemented by vegetables and pasta with gravy -- and yes, it is called gravy, not sauce. For dessert, homemade cookies: Anginettis, biscottis, mostaccioli, pizzelles, and my absolute favorite, ricotta cheese cookies, all adorn dessert plates. There is one other dessert that is served, but it’s not one of the traditional ones. This dessert is relatively new to my family’s Feast of the Seven Fishes, and that is a cake: my birthday cake. I was blessed enough to be born on December 24, and despite everyone’s assumption that I lose out on gifts because people combine the two, I actually receive the greatest gift of all: enjoying this generationold tradition with my family.

String lights shine as year round decoration ■ By Aine Pierre (‘20) Eastside Editor-in-Chief

There’s always one. That one house that leaves its Christmas lights up too long, so long that as cars drive past it in mid-March, there is an almost existential type of wonderment: “why on Earth are their lights still up?” According to Smithsonian Magazine, over 100 million sets of Christmas lights — or string lights, their most common secular name — are purchased each year by American consumers, and these lights account for six percent of the United States’ energy consumption in the month of December. Since mass-proliferation of string lights began in the early 20th Century, they have become a symbol of Christmas. Many, however, take a different route with string lights that is unrelated to Christmas altogether, finding inspiration and joy in using them to craft displays to decorate year-round.

A popular way in which string lights are used for decoration are in college dorm rooms. String lights can provide a warm, yet quirky ambiance to a relatively small space, making them ideal for that setting. The trend seems to be incredibly popular. On the website Pinterest, 72% of the first 25 “pins” found under the search term “dorm decor” included string lights. Even in East’s English classrooms, B235 and B247 both don string lights over whiteboards. On the domestic front, results were less overwhelming: under the search term “teen girls’ rooms,” just under half of the first 25 results included string lights. String lights were entirely absent from the first 25 results for “teen boys’ rooms.” At East, many students have string lights in their bedrooms, as well. One such person is Theo Rudderow (‘22), who has had string lights in his room for two years.

“I think they’re really... pretty and comforting, more than a lamp…” said Rudderow. Despite the growing popularity of string lights as room decoration staples, some use string lights for year-long seasonal decoration (or even just because they look pretty) on the exterior of their houses. The large mansion on Springdale Road, for example, uses string lights to line the trees in its yard, illuminating the long path to the front door. One Cherry Hill resident, Wendy Smith Gumpper, has hung up lights on both the inside and outside of her house for over 30 years, since the birth of her son. The lights outside remain purple for the most part, but certain seasons provoke inspiration for more extreme displays, which have become possible as lights have become multichromatic in recent years. “We decorate for when the Flyers, Eagles or Phillies are in the playoffs…” said Gump-

per. “I had a Christmas tree up in May — it was a Flyers tree,” she added later, laughing. With this extreme commitment to lights, Gumpper, a self-proclaimed “light freak,” orchestrates impressive displays in her backyard, as well. “My backyard... has baseball lights and dragonflies and solar lights…” she said. “I actually have a garden that’s dog statues and that’s got all kinds of different lights. These lights cannot stay up year-round, though, because they are not designed to withstand colder winter temperatures.” With the growing popularity of string lights, perhaps the annual tradition of pointing out Christmas displays in March — whilst groaning exaggeratedly — may finally be coming to an end, perhaps to be replaced by marvelling at the creativity of some nonNoel string light displays. One can only hope.

Border by Ali Koenig (‘20)/ Eastside Editor-in-Chief

Infographic by Angelina Witting (‘22)/ Eastside Culture Editor


December 2019


Elves and mensches mark holiday tradition ■ By Liam Reilly (‘20)

Eastside Staff

With the popularization of Jolly Old Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) in the Christmas tradition, families have begun to employ his elf helpers to ensure they make the “nice list.” This prompted the creation of a Jewish counterpart: Mensch on the Bench. Both traditions have caught traction across the country. The concept in both holiday traditional toys is simple; a doll in the form of either a Hassidic rabbi or elf is hidden around the house in order to watch children to make sure they’re behaving and being faithful to the values and behaviors of their religion. “Mensch” is a commonly used Yiddish word that describes a person of honor, kindness and integrity. Similarly, an elf can be described as a helpful companion to Santa. The Elf On The Shelf became popularized in 2005 when the author and mother of two, Carol Aebersold, published the story of the elf. Authors Neil Hoffman

and Rob Foster published the Mensch On The Bench in October of 2013. “It started with the book and they would have to find [the elf] in the morning, and

being adapted into Judaism, Costello expressed her support by saying the tradition does not manifestly belong to one religion. The elves and mensches,

Maddy Costello (‘20)/ Eastside Staff

The Elf On The Shelf sits on an illumintaed tree. every once in a while they however, are not the only would leave it a gift. Then, examples of tradition-bendthe next day [her brother ing. Hannah Miller (‘20) and her] would have to said her family blends both find it again,” said Maddy Christmas and Hanukkah Costello (‘20), a participant traditions, despite growing in the tradition. up in a Jewish household. When asked about her Such tradition that exhibthoughts on having the idea its the blend is through the

Hanukkah bush, the equivalent of a Christmas tree, where Hanukkah presents are left beneath. Miller said her family started the tradition of the Hanukkah bush “when she was five because [her] grandfather is Christian so [her] dad has a Christian dad and a Jewish mom. When he would come for Christmas, he would want a Christmas tree, so [they] compromised with a Hanukkah bush.” Due to the blend of both religions in the household, Miller said “they sometimes put [the bush] up for Hanukkah presents and they would use it at their house for their grandfather when they celebrated Christmas.” As exposure to different religions through social media and popular entertainment continues, and as more and more households have an assortment of religions, traditions are started and merged together so that each family can practice its faiths however (and with whomever) its members would like.

Gift exchanges spread cheer and affordability ■ By Angelina Witting (‘22) Eastside Culture Editor

The holiday season is known for many things: its festive lights, jolly melodies and heartwarming family traditions. Perhaps most notable, however, is its hefty price tag. This begs the question: how does a typical teenage budget fit into this holiday equation? The solution is relatively simple and quite common: Secret Santa. Also known as Pollyanna, Secret Santa is a game played within a group of friends or family where each member selects a name anonymously and has to buy a gift for the person they chose. While only a meager three participants are necessary for this game, the total number of participants is limitless. These gift exchanges have become a rather extravagant event, including festive sweaters, holiday movies, hot cocoa, singing of holiday songs and gingerbread making. The tradition of Secret Santa first began when philanthropist Larry Dean Stewart, credited as the original Secret Santa, began giving out anonymous gifts during the holidays. For over 25 years, Stewart mysteriously donated $100 bills to Kansas residents. It wasn’t until 2006 when Stewart finally came forward as “Secret Santa,” officially solving the decadeold holiday puzzle. Stewart’s holiday tradition developed into a widely popular annual gift exchange in which teens

across the country and right here at East participate. Since seventh grade, Isabel Andino (‘20) and her four friends have participated in their own Secret Santa exchange. Andino

prefers Secret Santa as opposed to getting gifts for all her friends for a few reasons. “It forces you to get to know people in your group in a different way. When you’re trying to figure out

what gift to give, then you pay so much attention to everything they have,’ said Andino, who noted that Secret Santa “has to be with a friend group you are close enough with where you know what everyone wants

Lydia Cheng (‘23)/ For Eastside

and what everyone is into.” Olivia Greco (‘22) and Carley Bird (‘22) will be beginning their own Secret Santa exchange within their group of around 10 friends this year. They prefer Secret Santa because

they feel it makes gift giving more entertaining, and they hope they will get more people involved from their group. “I think everyone will participate as long as it’s kept under a certain price limit,” said Greco, again leading to the point that Secret Santa provides a realistic solution to holidays on a budget. Secret Santa, though immensely popular, is not the only type of anonymous gift exchange popular among teens. White Elephant is another example of a popular holiday gift exchange. Known under its many aliases, like Yankee Swap, Machiavellian Christmas, Dirty Santa and countless others, the gameplay for White Elephant is quite complex. All players must buy a gift and wrap it, then gameplay begins when one player picks a gift. The next player can either unwrap another gift or steal that player’s gift — though one gift cannot be stolen more than once per round. The process continues until every member of the group has a gift. White elephant is common among big groups who prefer a more riveting game than a sentimental gift exchange. These gift exchanges provide the perfect solution for teens who cannot afford sentimental holiday gifts for each and every one of their friends, as only one gift is necessary. So, keep an eye out for these costeffective, yet cheerful exchanges at lunch tables and hangout spots around East.

Infographic by Angelina Witting (‘22)/ Eastside Culture Editor

Page 21

Holiday Classics

December and sometimes even November can be characterized by the holiday tunes. We, Eastside Culture ditors, have chosen our top ten holiday bops:

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Mariah Carey “Mistletoe” Justin Bieber


“Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande “The Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Dean Martin “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Elmo and Patsy “Last Christmas” by Wham! “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” by Dean Martin “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms

Scan our QR code to listen to our Spotify playlist!

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December 2019

Ermey displays love for tennis on professional circuit ■ By Meghna Thomas (‘20)

Eastside Online Editor

It is no secret that Mrs. Grace Ermey harbors a fascination with the human mind. As one of Cherry Hill East’s psychology teachers, she devotes her career to the study of human nature, the mysteries of the brain and impact on people’s everyday lives. However, Ermey does not solely hold court on matters of the mind — she has shaped an essential part of her identity on the tennis court. For the majority of her childhood and well into her adult life, Ermey had never explored the idea of joining an athletic community. “There were not many [sports] teams that girls were on,” said Ermey. However, Ermey’s journey as a tennis player slowly began to unfold during her junior year at Wake Forest University, during which she lived in an apartment complex. This opened up new opportunities that allowed her to develop deeper relationships with many students, several of whom played on the tennis team. Although Ermey initially could not play tennis, her athletic friends established the foundation of the

game and helped her to deessential role in shaping her life because, she says, velop basic skills. Ermey’s her identity that she took “it is one of [her] main forms husband, whom she was on the role of assistant varof exercise.” She dedicates a dating at the time, particusity coach at East for six consistent amount of time larly inspired her with his years. However, while Eron the courts, typically tennis skills and his pasmey hoped that this would playing three times a week. sion for the game. cultivate her journey as a On a more emotional level, As Ermey started to extennis player, she found however, tennis fills Ermey periment on the court and its effects counterintuitive. with an inherent sense of develselfop her confiskills, dence she bea n d gan to gratipursue ficatennis tion, as one a n d of her s h e p r i finds mary h e r interathests. letic In her purmidsuits twenn o t ties, only she dephyscided icalto take l y , Courtesy of Mrs. Grace Ermey tennis b u t lessons Ermey (second to the left on top) poses with her team. mena n d tally play on teams competitiveFeeling that her position as rewarding as well. ly. Primarily, she played a coach had consumed time “I’ve hit tens of thouwith teams through the that she wished she could sands of tennis balls in my United States Tennis Ashave developed her personlife... I’ve spent a lot of time sociation (USTA), which al growth as a player, she developing my game,” Erenabled her to move up the decided to resign as coach mey said. ladder as her technique ripand redouble her own efErmey believes that her ened. forts on the court. love of tennis connects with Ermey’s involvement Ermey considers tennis a her love of psychology as with tennis played such an fundamental component of well. She relates her enjoy-

ment of tennis to her neural reward pathway. “Besides the exercise of it, and the endorphins when you play, it also makes me happy… it’s something I enjoy and that I’m good at,” she said. Ermey enjoys applying her love of tennis to her psychology lessons and creatively linking concepts to better reinforce her students’ understanding, such as making connections between hitting the ball with depth perception and procedural memory, which can make class more engaging. Since tennis has shaped her identity and made her the person she is today, Ermey plans to continue cherishing it as an important aspect of her life. However, her deeply rooted ties with the sport don’t limit her from exploring other athletic possibilities. Although Ermey refrains from exploring these options at the moment to keep her tennis game strong, she has considered joining a pickleball team in the years to come. For now, though, Ermey remains dedicated not only to teaching about the human psyche but also to cultivating her passion for tennis.

Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country teams finish successful seasons on one of the hardest courses,” said Corey. “However, this year our avEastside Sports Editor erage at the beginning of the season was already below a 17:00.” Placing second in the Olympic At the Olympic Conference Conference Championships, just Championships, East held four of behind state-ranked Cherokee High the ten top spots, including Adler, School, falls right along the lines of Eyre, Rodriguez and AnCherry Hill East’s Boys’ derer holding the 2nd, 6th, Cross Country goals for 7th and 9th places, rethis season. The team’s spectively. The difference coach, Mr. Christopher between Cherokee (first) Corey, set the team’s and East g o a l s (second ) high, as was 18 he hoped points, t h e y w h i l e c o u l d the difplace in ference the top between five spots East and at secthirdtionals placed in order Washto adington vance to Townthe state ship High m e e t , Schoolwhich was exwould actly 100 eventually lead Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor points. At Secto the The boys pose for a team picture. tionals, Meet of Champions. the boys made history by having “We have to go into the season the 15th fastest team average ever. knowing that we must go against Adler, Bruce, Groff, Eyre, Anderer a team [Cherokee] that is arguably and Hagan all finished with their one of the top in the state, but that new personal best. has never changed my goals for this Despite this success, they placed team,” said Corey. second in their race, with Cherokee Corey was blown away by the talplacing ahead of them. ent that has arisen from the sophoCorey praises Adler for his sucmore and junior class, who earned cesses and his dedication to helping the three open varsity spots, which guide and motivate his teammates opened up after last year’s seniors towards victory. Adler has broken graduated. numerous records and was the sec2019 varsity squad comprised of ond person ever to beat the 16:00 Oliver Adler (‘20), Paul Bruce (‘20), mark on one of the hardest courses Aidan Groff (‘21), Aidan Eyre (‘21), in the state. Gabe Rodriguez (‘21), Ethan AnAs a team, they look at each derer (‘22) and Dylan Hagan (‘22). other as equals, and certainly do Anderer, Hagan and Groff filled in not abuse the privilege of holding a the spots left by Kyle Krell (‘19), varsity spot. Jack Quarry (‘19) and Andy Zhong The boys proved their talent and (‘19). Corey was a bit wary going hard sport towards the sport after into this new season knowing that placing in eighth at the Meet of these sophomores and juniors had Champs tournament. Their season big shoes to fill. has been nothing but successful “To compare with last year, last and rewarding for Corey and all his year, last year at the end of our searunners. son, our average was around 17:20 ■ By Lalitha Viswanathan (‘22)


The Cherry Hill East Girls’ Cross ibly successful this season, as they Country team raced through the developed unique bonds within the 2019 season and thrived, earning team. They have fun traditions first place at the Olympic Conferthat they look forward to each seaence Championships. The team deson with each other, between Sefied the odds and beat nj.milesplit. nior Day, cookie competitions, “secom’s expected winners Cherokee cret sisters” and ther activities that High School and Shawnee improve their team High School. spirit. “Going into the season, During a meet, they I thought it was going to try to run as a pack— be difficult; we lost our and it pays off, as it best rung a i n s ner, Sarm o r e ah Pierce points for ( ‘ 1 9 ) , ” their tosaid Head tal scores Coach Mr. instead Anthony of havManiscalco. ing them Last seas c a t son, Pierce tered. was named Their Eastside’s d a i l y Athletes of t e a m the Year. runs imMary Kate proves McCurdy their suc(‘21), howcess rate; ever, has they all risen up feel more Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editor comfortand filled P i e r c e ’ s The girls pose for a team picture. able with shoes and each othmore. McCurdy already surpassed er, which helps with their strategy Pierce’s times in one of the first of running in packs at meets. meets of the season. All of the seniors are captains, Along with McCurdy, the varbut Kotzen is perhaps the most ensity team consists of Maddy McNiff couraging. She wants to take any (‘22), Aliza Kotzen (‘20), Lexi Tepstress or anxiety off of the runners per (‘23), Isabel Slimm (‘21), Sabriboth in and out of the heat of comna Rounds (‘21), and Jane Chi, who petition. is filling in for the injured Emily “[Kotzen] used to be very timid, Volin (‘22). as a sophomore, and she would be “Everyone who is on our varsity the one that needed to relax. It’s squad is a minute faster than last been fun to watch her use that exyear,” said Maniscalco. “It was very perience as a younger teammate to exciting to see them improve so help her own younger teammates,” greatly as runners.” Maniscalco said. The girls earned one of the top Another new adjustment that spots at Sectionals and qualified for Maniscalco tried was really listenStates. They placed in third with ing to the girls; he did not want 98 points; the team was not far to push them to do anything that off from Cherokee. who ws only 15 would potentially end up in an injupoints ahead of them. ry. Not only did Maniscalco strongThey faced a heartbreaking loss ly support the girls as runners, but at the state championships after he often looked out for their overall coming in 12th place. health and conditions to help them Regardless of their placement at with each and every stride, on and states, the team has been incredoff the track.


December 2019


Page 23

‘Tis the season for winter sports at East

Girls’ Swim Team prepares for winter season

The Girls’ Swim Team is ready to approach the upcoming winter season head on. Coach Ms. Anita Bowser hopes to train and guide the girls to a victory at States this year through diligent work in the weight room and outstanding strides in the water. “This is probably the strongest team we have had in many years,” said Bowser. With many incoming freshmen, Bowser is sure their strengths will shine and provide them new opportunities this season. The swim team consists of many different swimmers, including many girls who often swim outside of school, making their weight room and pool time even more crucial. “This year, our team has a lot of depth and a lot of outstanding swimmers,” said Bowser. There is a lot of hard work and dedication going into this season; the girls are looking towards success and hope to achieve every goal ahead of them.

Boys’ Swim Team hopes to repeat as champions

The Boys’ Swim Team is ready to dive into the 2019-2020 season with huge wins. Coach Mr. Joseph Cucinotti is very optimistic that they can retain their state title. “We have a very talented group returning to the team, I’m very excited to see all of the successes that we end up achieving,” said Cucinotti. The Boys’ Swim Team has earned three of the past five state titles. Cucinotti believes the key swimmers on the team are Jackson Brookover (‘20), Alex Volin (‘20), Bobby Irwin (‘20), Nick Short (‘22) and Nick Pezzella (‘22). He is predicting that these teammates will boost their team rating. Cucinotti’s overall goal is to have an undefeated season. He wants the team to be ranked number one in New Jersey, as he believes it would give this group of boys the recognition that they deserve.

Girls’ Basketball sets a game plan for upcoming season

The Girls’ Basketball Team is very excited to jump into the winter season. With every sport, there is sometimes a struggle when trying to accomplish a long term goal; however, nothing can stop these girls. “Throughout my four years as a girls’ basketball player, we have not won a varsity [conference] game, but I really believe in this team and know we can do it,” said Maggie Balderstone (‘20). Although the senior class is a strong component of the team this year, Balderstone said she is “really excited about the sophomore class as well because I know they are going to be impact players. I hope to see Marisa Rappaport (‘22), Devyn Levin (‘22) and Caroline Perry (‘22) step up to the plate and fulfill [the roles of] some of the seniors we lost last year.” Yanelli Villegas (‘20) said, “With our first meeting we had a big turnout so I believe hard work, dedication, and teamwork will help us accomplish our goals. It’s not only a ‘me effort’ it’s a ‘us/we effort.’” The girls may have a long road ahead, but with the right mindset and efficient practices, nothing can ruin their game plan.

Boys’ Basketball looks forward to a great winter season

As fall winds down, the boys’ basketball players are ready to get their heads in the game. Although every team faces the difficulty of losing last year’s seniors, this team is excited to get the younger players involved and some time on varsity in this upcoming season. “We are going to focus on player development and concentrate on younger players’ varsity experience,” said Assistant Coach Mr. Connor McVeigh. Looking into the upcoming season, they hope to defeat their biggest competition, Cherokee. With three-hour practices every day after school and determination, the boys hope to see success in every way possible. A key aspect they hope to focus on is allowing the underclassmen to step up and make their mark on the team. “[The team as a whole] is extremely young and ambitious,” said McVeigh, who hopes to see a lot more from them this year.

Winter track sets goals for new season

Wrestlers ready to tackle new season

The Winter Track Team is sprinting into a new season, hoping to be as successful as last year. Their coach, Mr. Anthony Maniscalco, said that the team’s ultimate goal is to advance to States and recieve a state championship. “I think my hope is that we can send one athlete from each domain to States,” said Maniscalco. Winter track consists of running, jumping, throwing, hurdling, vaulting and so many more events that athletes can compete in. In the 2018-2019 season, Cherry Hill East sent three athletes to the state championships: Oliver Adler (‘20), Sarah Pierce (‘19) and Nicholas Kokolis (‘20). Maniscalco hopes to send Adler, Kokolis and hopefully many others this year to states as well.

The Boys’ Wrestling Team is ready to attack the winter season, and Head Coach Mr. Michael Brown has high hopes for his wrestlers. “Just like last year, I really hope we set the school record for wins. Also, I’m hoping to send at least seven people to the regional tournament. Also, one of our goals this year is to make the playoffs. We haven’t made the playoffs [in over ten years],” said Brown. Not only is Brown expecting great things from the athletes, but also he wants to become the all-time wins leader as a head coach, which would be a huge honor. The team this year is made up of many seniors who have been working hard for many years, so Brown is excited for a successful season. “All the seniors on the team this year have been working hard for six years and are excited to show that. I think this is one of our best teams to date.”

Some key athletes to look out for this season include: Oliver Adler (‘20) - Distance Runner

Some key wrestlers to look out for this season inclue:

Mary Kate McCurdy (‘21) - Distance Runner Lucas Tran (‘20) - Jumper

Joe Ingrassia (‘20) Jesse Keesler (‘20)

Lauren Abrams (‘20) - Jumper

Antonio Valentine (‘20)

Ethan Smith (‘21) - Sprinter

Aidan Weingrad (‘21)

Paula Sawan (‘21) - Thrower

Nick Brown (‘21)

Bowling team looks for lane to success

East’s bowlers are ready for the 2019-2020 season. Their coach, Mr. Ken Smith, is very excited about this upcoming year, as he has high hopes that the team can make it far. “There are a lot of bowlers returning, so it will be exciting to watch them bring back their records and hopefully even more. We have a lot of talent,” said Smith. Anthony Mathis (‘20) is the team’s best bowler, and Smith already knows that his season will be great. An additional key bowler who is returning is Aidan Landis (‘22). Smith is hoping to place better in their division this year, as they placed third out of five teams the previous year. Smith, however, has a plan to bring East bowling into the forefront. “This year we need to focus on being consistent with our matches,” Smith said. “If we can get people to consistently win games, I think that would motivate the team to also do that.” The bowling team plans on making this season their best season yet.

Cheerleaders show spirit for sports The cheerleaders are ready to tumble their way into the winter season. There will be many new team members and a brand new coach, Ms. Amanda Farrell. Not only is she excited to start her new journey as the East cheerleading coach, but she has many goals in mind for the upcoming season. “I want East Cheer to continue building a strong presence in the school community in order to boost school spirit. However, I also want the team to develop its own brand,” Farrell said. Also, Farrell is looking to build a cheer dynasty and fill 2020-2030 seasons with championships. Farrell says that it’s pretty nerve-wracking to be a brand new coach for basketball cheerleading, but she already has lots of confidence in her new team. “Anything new is always a little nerve-wracking, but I’m confident in my team and I know they will give each performance their all,” she said. Farrell and the cheerleaders are excited to jump into the upcoming season.

Photos by Jiseon Lee (‘20) and Andrew Maier (‘20)/ Eastside Photo Editors Stories by Lily Lazarus (‘22), Amanda Merovitz (‘22) and Lalitha Viswanathan (‘22)/ Eastside Sports Editors


December 2019


Page 24

Alum hopes to lead Israel to Olympic baseball win

Nate Mulberg (‘10) assumes a batter’s stance as he comes to the plate for the East Cougars. ■ By Alexa Atlas (‘22) Eastside Online Editor

Nate Mulberg (‘10) was never the average high school student. He played baseball, ran cross country, served as a sports editor for Eastside and ultimately was recruited to play baseball for the University of Rochester. So it was not surprising when Mulberg was offered an opportunity of a lifetime — to coach the Israeli National Baseball team. Under his leadership, Team Israel achieved the unthinkable: going 4-1 at the Olympic Qualifier in Italy and securing a spot in the 2020 Olympic Games. After years of playing and coaching college baseball, Mulberg will live out a lifelong dream of his in Tokyo this July. At Cherry Hill East, Mulberg played on the freshman baseball team for one year and the varsity baseball team for the next three. Not only did Mulberg play multiple sports, but he was also a member of the Cum Laude Society and a member of the FOP holiday party planning committee. He was later inducted into the East Senior Hall of Fame. The culmination of Mulberg’s achievements, leadership and involvement at East combined with hard work and many years of baseball paid off when Mulberg was recruited to play college baseball. “I was recruited by a bunch of Division III schools, but I chose University of Rochester because I really liked the fit and connected with the head coach,” said Mulberg. “I liked the kids on the team and the school [itself]. Rochester is also known for being a highly academic school with a very structured and driven sports program.” At Rochester, Mulberg started at shortstop for all four years. He ranked top ten in school history for sacrifice hits, assists, double plays turned and most times hit by a pitch. He was a two-time CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) First Team Academic All-District pick, and was named to the Liberty League/UAA All-Academic team three times. Mulberg was honored by the Rochester Athletic Department with the John Vitone Sportsmanship Award in 2014. In his final season as a Rochester Yellow Jacket, Mulberg batted .359, was awarded Liberty League All-Tournament honors and finished as the sixth toughest batter to strike out in Division III. “I was very realistic about my abilities, which helped me [in the

long run]. It was evident that I was not good enough for that [professional] level of baseball, which is exactly what motivated me into coaching. I wanted to work with kids and teach them about life through the game,” said Mulberg. After college, he decided to do whatever it took to become the best college baseball coach he could be. On his journey of becoming a coach, he always kept in mind his past coaches, especially Coach David Martin, who was the head coach of East Baseball at that time. In 2015, Mulberg began his coaching career at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and continued with the Bucknell Bisons in 2016. Currently, Mulberg is an assistant coach for the University of Richmond Spiders and one of the assistant coaches of the Israeli National Baseball Team. At the University of Richmond, Mulberg is the assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator. In this role, Mulberg travels all over the country looking for the best high school players he can catch.

tional Baseball team and deemed a huge asset. According to Mulberg, the team would not have made it as far as they did without de Marte’s stellar pitching. He was one of Team Israel’s top pitching standouts, and when it really mattered, de Marte rose above the rest. He led his team to victory by pitching nine shutout innings. De Marte was so thankful that Mulberg got him the position on Team Israel that, ultimately, he returned the favor. The word on the street was that Team Israel needed a new coach. After Team Israel went a perfect 6-0 at the European Championships in early July, de Marte recommended Mulberg to Holtz. Holtz loved the idea and thought Mulberg would be the perfect fit. Mulberg helped lead Team Israel to success and was greatly appreciated by his co-coaches and his athletes. For Team Israel, Mulberg coaches first base, warms up the players pregam and helps with overall administrative duties. Unlike most coach and player relationships, Mulberg and his ath-

As a matter of fact, Mulberg has recruited many players from the South Jersey area, including two 2020 graduates: Chase Conklin, a shortstop from Bishop Eustace, and Josh Willitts, a pitcher from Seneca, are committed to playing baseball for the Richmond Spiders next year. In his short time coaching at Bucknell, Mulberg developed a connection with Eric Holtz through Holtz’s son, Jordan, which greatly helped him in landing the coaching position for the Israeli National Baseball team. Mulberg coached at Bucknell a few years after Jordan Holtz had graduated, but they still managed to keep in touch and helped each other out when they got the chance. Around the time when Holtz was selected as Team Israel’s manager, Mulberg and Holtz had a conversation where Mulberg made a key recommendation: Jon de Marte for a spot on the team. De Marte was one of Mulberg’s athletes and a talented pitcher at the University of Richmond. After graduating college, de Marte was placed on the Israeli Na-

letes are similar in age, which creates a unique dynamic. “Some players were younger than me and several players were older than me… For the older players, I tried not telling them what to do. They have been playing baseball for a long time and they know just as much, if not more than I do. [When coaching them], I try to suggest things that I want them to fix,” said Mulberg. Mulberg will be entering his sixth year of coaching and only has one big regret. “If I could do it all again, I would not take the game so seriously. I was always so hard on myself. The best players are the ones that can let things go and never get too upset when things go badly,” said Mulberg. While his true passion has always been, and will always be, baseball, he originally considered careers in sports journalism, sports broadcasting or even becoming a teacher. His love of the game has brought him great fulfillment and happiness; however, his career choice, so far, has not been so lucrative. His

Courtesy of Nate Mulberg (‘10)

first coaching job at Franklin & Marshall earned him very low pay in return for working 70 hours a week. His next job at Bucknell was voluntary — he received no pay at all. Mulberg’s hard work eventually paid off when he was offered a full-time, paid coaching position at Richmond. Mulberg has a strong commitment to his baseball players and is always filled with the strong desire to help them and to see them succeed. Matt Mezansky, a former player from Franklin & Marshall, said, “Coach Mulberg is very reliable. He would be there for me to hit me grounders, throw batting pitches or just to talk. It didn’t matter what time, for how long or what was going on in the world.” Mulberg credits much of his baseball career to Cherry Hill East’s baseball program and the myriad coaches that supported him. During the four years he spent on the freshman and varsity baseball teams, he was continuously inspired by his coaches, Mr. Jason Speller, Mr. Erik Radbill and Martin. “If I hadn’t developed as much as I did at East, I would not have played in college, and I would not be a college coach,” said Mulberg. Mulberg’s adoration for his coaches is mutual. “[Mulberg] was an instant leader and was always on time. He tried to make the team better and did everything we asked him to do. The other players all followed Nate because he had such a natural ability to lead,” said Speller. In addition to the coaches, many of Mulberg’s teachers also left a lasting impact on Mulberg and his career. Two of these teachers include Mr. Greg Gagliardi and Mr. Joseph Dilks. “I am not surprised that Nate has found this kind of success in his future because he always had a strong passion for baseball and the desire to do well in life,” said Dilks, who taught Mulberg in mathematics. Although Mulberg has yet to hit a homerun in his 28 years of baseball, he continues to aspire to be a D1 Head Baseball Coach. On the way to that, though, winning the gold at the 2020 Olympic games would be his home run. “I got to where I am today simply because of my love of the game and how important it has always been to me… I always worked hard to [excel] at baseball,” said Mulberg.

“If I hadn’t developed as much as I did at East, I would not have played in college, and I would not be a college coach.” - Nate Mulberg (‘10)

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