Page 1

Spring 2017

on THE RIGHT track Extracurriculars offer opportunity

WORTHY OF DEBATE Club skills to fill any Career Criteria


MUSIC TO MY PEERS Making a musical Making friends


Meet the Talent


A Word to the WHY’s


A+ Extracurriculars




Making a Musical


Unity in the Community


Worthy of Debate


It’s an Experience



14 Pocono Mountain West High School 2017 Spring HYPED Edition

Photos provided by West Digital Photography Students


From Athletics & the Arts to Academics-All get A+’s in this Book

Thank you to our Proud Print Production Sponsor


behind the

of our magazine

Jamie L. Conlin, Class of 2020

Looking to the Future at a Career In... Visual & the Performing Arts, Sciences, and/or Writing I really enjoyed working with my editor and fellow writers on this digital magazine. Writing has always been a pleasure of mine, so I was more than happy to take up the offer to join the HYPED team. Next year, I plan to go around to my friends to ask them if they would like to make a contribution or to aid me in my next article, because I had such a pleasurable experience writing for HYPED. This was my first time working with a professional on my writing, and I received lots of great feedback and advice that helped to mature my style. I think other students can get a lot out of this program like I did, especially if they are considering a career in Journalism or they just want to heighten their writing ability.

Paige Krause, Class of 2020

Looking to the Future at a Career that... Makes Me Happy, Successful and Able to Travel My experience with HYPED has been very interesting and a fun time. I’ve met new people who have also been very helpful along the way. The reason I joined HYPED was because I was recommended by a teacher, she noticed my talents and how much I loved to write. My advice to another thinking of joining HYPED is to be prepared for the work it takes but, it is well worth it!

Latisha Griffith, Class of 2018

Looking to the Future at a Career In... Computer Science I enjoyed the process of writing my article, especially when I had the chance to sit down and speak to the person I interviewed. I also learned new editing skills and improved writing skills. I had a lot of fun writing my article because once I started I could not stop. It was really cool to create my own narrative. When I joined HYPED, I was looking for another afterschool activity and to learn something new. I accomplished both of these goals. If you want to learn about your community, take your work seriously, or are interested in writing, join HYPED. You will be treated like a professional.

Kim Mancini

Paul Steinruck

Rose-Marie Brophy

ELA & Broadcast Journalism

Digital Photography Instructor

Graphic Design & Digital Media

Working with the HYPED team has been a rewarding experience filled with great learning opportunities for all involved.

I enjoyed working with the students to complete the story with pictures. HYPED is a great way to get involved in the West Community.

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with fabulous & talented students throughout the years. HYPED’s a great opportunity to give our students real-world experience & enrich their learning.

PMSD High School Students interested in writing, photography, or graphic design, are invited to join HYPED! You will earn real-life experience, work with a dedicated team of professionals, plus gain the knowledge & skills needed to take you into your future prepared.


Kim Mancini


Spring 2017


to the did you pursue your doctorate did you study economics did you become an educator Dr. Mark Wade–principal of Pocono Mountain West High School and educator for 23 years, brought his talents to Pocono Mountain in 2008. His background in economics and business technology, along with education, give him the unique ability to approach his responsibilities from a multifaceted viewpoint. An intense desire to gain new knowledge is one of his professional drives and with this passion for learning reflected in advice for students he recites, “Realize you need to take control of your learning by taking advantage of all that [Pocono Mountain] West High School has to offer.” A reminder to faculty, “Students are children learning to live in this world and they will make mistakes,” he stresses, “As educators we need to help and guide them.” With great emphasis on the importance of family, he credits his grandfather with helping forge a love of sports and education. Raising his own children, Briana and Brandon, he considers his greatest accomplishment. Set aside a moment to simply speak with Dr. Wade as you will soon learn that it’s clear he lives his life worthy of a favorite Tyler Knott Gregson quote, “Say it to yourself over and over until it’s echo becomes the lullaby that lulls you to sleep, the chimes that wake you–There is nothing I cannot do...there is no one I cannot be...of this fact you have always been the only one that needs convincing.”

Say it to yourself over and over again, until its echo becomes the lullaby that lulls you to sleep, the chimes that wake you: There is nothing I cannot do. There is no one I cannot be. Of this fact, you have always been the only one that needs convincing. Tyler Knott Gregson Spring 2017



Ever tried learning something new about yourself? Pocono Mountain West High School has a variety clubs and activities for all students. This very diverse group is what some consider a wide-range family. Associations include opportunities from 3P Club and Reading Olympics to SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions); which are all very different from one another.


Every student is unique. PMWHS wants to make students feel welcome and included. No student could possibly say there is nothing for them to join or do. Pocono Mountain School District cares about all its students. These West High School groups provide a wide range of options providing help if needed. Clubs teach students things to use in and outside of school, as well as later in life.

Hearing responses by teachers and students, illustrates how important having clubs is. In regular everyday school, students learn the basic necessities; in clubs they learn that there may be things to be enjoyed outside school, how friendships can develop in many different ways and discovering new things about themselves every day!

the athletics

Athletic Clubs serve as a segway to sports. With Baseball and Softball, Soccer, Swim Team, Basketball, Cheerleading, Field Hockey; as well as Track and Field taking time to appreciate healthy lifestyles.

Track and Field meets throughout the week after school and Saturday mornings. Typically any student who is trying to get in shape joins, but anybody can participate. The team is run by Brianna Palazzi, Jonathan Holland, Nick Roughan, Will Berry, Shaun Below, and Connor Nugent. Helping students achieve fitness in multiple aspects allows them to carry these skills outside and after high school.



Spring 2017

the academics


Academic Clubs include Speech and Debate, Scholastic Scrimmage, Odyssey of the Mind, Reading Olympics, SADD, ELA Tutoring, National Spanish Honor Society, The Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science and Student Council. Student Council is run by , Jennifer Paul and Neil McGovern. The club helps the school, students and community by serving as a voice for the students; while also providing events for the school and community. Made up of a wide range of different types of people with talents and personalities, it “connects” students with the community.

extracurriculars By Paige Krause Photos by Pocono Mountain West Photography Students

the arts

An assortment of clubs that fit under the category of the Arts offer outstanding options. They are: National Honor Art Society, Yearbook, Anime Club, 3P Poetry, West Flames and Broadcast Journalism. Yearbook Club coordinator, Debby Merino describes the program’s ideal candidate to contribute as, “Motivated, creative, driven, outgoing, and goaloriented.”

Get on the right track by exploring all West has to offer... Find out how you can grab an extracurricular opportunity today go to

Spring 2017



imagina Garrett James—Ceramics Art teacher extraordinaire with Pocono Mountain West, enjoys working with students. Admitting other exciting things include mermaids, sculpting, and physical fitness; he considers his favorite out-of-state place, the “Happiest Place on Earth”...Disney World! Tasked with directing school plays, it’s only fair to say some preferential opinion worked it’s way into the spring’s sureto-be show stopper, Beauty and the Beast.

Indicating a variety of poignant themes in musicals that strike a chord with today’s social issues, a common thread remains. With New York’s Broadway box office hit, Ms. Saigon, portraying struggles immigrants face, he noted current headlines reporting travel ban issues for immigrants in the United States. Calling the performance, “eye opening in how history repeats itself,” he turns to an alternate form of acceptance as illustrated in Beauty and the Beast. Adding, “It is okay to be different and we should accept people on who they are and not how they look.”

A part of the arts community since childhood, he explains, “My parents really pushed the arts on me and my brother, so I was exposed to it at a very young age.”

Applauding the tremendous talent flourishing throughout West, he reasoned as why the story was selected. Sharing the relatable show with a community as point for the choice, it’s recent release in movie theaters proved to be a bonus in stirring interest.

Recalling with a smile, “When I was in first grade I was in my first play, and that was the Wizard of Oz,” adding, “I was a Munchkin.”

Considering humor and the knack for taking a lighthearted look at situations parallel in With parents involved his own approach to life, he urges in the arts, dad an art teacher others to try the same with theater and mom often introducing students fortunate to be a part of an plays, enthusiasm about theater was important experience. Explaining time and Art T G a r r e t t J a m e s ctor e eminent. Participating in plays, including e a ch e r r dedication devoted to the presentation is a means i & Musical D as lead in high school performances all four learning to master obligations, he reminds all that fun is years, he believes is an important experience for others. still essential to any and all performances whether on stage or in front of life’s audience. “There is no feeling that compares to being on stage and performing,” he says, adding, “It teaches them [students] valuable skills such as public speaking, socialization, hard work, and dedication.”



Spring 2017



it’s a st

By Jamie Conlin

There is

no feeling

that compares to being

on stage &


Nicole Rescigno plays the role of Belle

Spring 2017



making a In Pocono Mountain West High School, there are a variety of extracurricular opportunities a student can be involved in. Included among these are options amidst the Music Department, consisting of: Concert Choir and Band, Marching Band, Show Choir, Jazz Band, Urbane, and many more illustrious programs that run all year long. However, the most inclusive of all the activities and clubs in this department is the musical! There are many different elements and parts that work together to bring about this masterpiece of artistic novelty and performing astuteness, not to mention the technical minds that make it all possible. School dramas require performers who are tasked to sing, dance, and display their acting prowess upon the stage passing through a series of auditions to even be considered part of the ensemble. From the nailbiting anxiety of auditions, to expressing a character’s personality acting during practices with fellow cast mates, to finally putting on the show for an audience with spellbinding talent, there isn’t anything like it. Forming bonds with the people you work with, creates an ability to be drawn into the tale you are telling. While all of that is fascinating, it’s not the only ingredient necessary to make this dish a delicacy. Artists bring the set to life utilizing a myriad of colors to paint scenes, build sets from scratch, and make costumes to complete characters. They make the performance truly believable in the sense that in order to play the part, we need to look it. Without the audience even being aware, they’re brought into the world of the play just from the atmosphere that is devised by these artisans.



Spring 2017



By Jamie Conlin

Then there is a stage crew, participants that make sure everything is where it needs to be at the right time. This team encompasses the technical elements to the musical to a “T”. Organization is necessary in the chaotic realm known as backstage, and a stage crew is impeccable in both timing of opening the curtain, bringing on the next scene, running props to characters and common sense. If anything goes wrong, like a costume malfunction, they are prepared putting minds at ease. Finally, an important part of the ensemble includes live musicians performing during the course of the show. The “pit” as it is referred to can be likened to the cherry on top of a delectable cake. Student volunteers perform all the music of the show doing a spectacular job. The overall atmosphere is perfected with this. Admiration runs high as these musicians are willing to undertake playing at times up to 28 numbers in a musical totaling an exhausting hour and thirty-five minutes! Showing every component that makes a musical possible is important as they are equal in impact, all vital to creating the final product. A school musical is intended to be this way, enabling all sorts of kids to have a hand displaying their talents in numerous ways. There will always be an audience to watch the magic come to life.

(From Left to Right) Jesus Avila as Lumiere; Michelle Opromollo as the Wardrobe Madame de la Grande Bouche; Regina Madejczyk as Cogsworth; Dorrella Noel as Mrs. Potts; and Kate C. Martin as Chip.)

Spring 2017

With the many elements that go into making a performance, the most important component is the students. Go out there and get involved in your local music program. Anyone of any age can assist with their school’s production in a variety of ways, so find your own personal method to make your next musical a show stopper!



by: Latisha Griffith Photo by Pocono Mountain West Photography Students Spring brings about a time for annual fundraising across the region, district, and at Pocono Mountain West High School. Putting forth a lot of noticeable effort in meeting fundraising goals, Jennifer Paul, a Make-A-Wish fundraising advisor, shares more about the organization and the school’s involvement.

Why Make-A-Wish? Ms. Paul Make-A-Wish is an organization that grants wishes to seriously ill children. Kids can have any kind of illness and are

recommended by a family member, a friend or even a doctor. The Make-a-Wish foundation then grants wishes to the best of their ability. The reason for granting wishes is because they give kids something to look forward to other than another hospital trip or more medication. Often, parents say the kids are then a little more cooperative about going, or taking the medicine or surgery, a little bit better once they’ve had their wish. It makes the child feel good in a time when they are not feeling so great about themselves.

How did Pocono Mountain West High School get involved with Make-A-Wish Foundation? Ms. Paul A lot of people do not know Pocono Mountain West started to work with Make-A-Wish over fourteen years ago. The first year that Pocono Mountain West opened in 2002; there was a tenth grade student named Steven.

Steven had leukemia and, with his family, had gone on a Disney Cruise as recipients of Make-A-Wish. He was actually one of my students while I was advising Student Council at the time. Steven would come to school while going through treatment. He was a brilliant student. He actually was the one who asked about Student Council doing fundraisers for Make-A-Wish. Explaining that he got a “wish” calling it “Really awesome,” he said would really like to do something to give back. As the end of the school year approached, they agreed to talk more about the suggestion.



Spring 2017

Ms. Paul Sadly, that summer Steven passed away. Steven made a lot of friends who were on Student Council. In the next year, they decided to do something that he would have wanted. In his honor and they’ve continued efforts every year since.

Have other students been an inspiration? Ms. Paul There have been a lot of kids in school that have received wishes. For example, one year there was another “Wish

Recipient” on Student Council. She had bone cancer on her left leg and her wish was to go on a shopping spree. It was nice to have her on the committee to have her account first hand of things.

How does Pocono Mountain West’s Efforts Echo Beyond the School? Ms. Paul Pocono Mountain West has helped two local children before. We helped a little boy whose parents and him wanted sensory play items. He needed a lot of sensory stimulation with lights and sounds. Last year, we helped a girl who had a Disney wish.

Can you share more about this year’s recipient? Ms. Paul She’s five years old and from the area with a wish to receive a Pop-up-camper. She doesn’t want to go anywhere or do a one-day thing. Her wish was to receive something she and her family can do over and over again. This was really nice. The Community Service Committee planned a camping themed Wish Party for her at the school with s’mores, hotdogs, games, and crafts. They try and do little things along the way for them to build the excitement, this was something new and fun.

Which is the Most Successful Method of Fundraising? Ms. Paul Out of all the efforts contributed, one of the most successful methods is bake sales. Homeroom collection is fairly successful because that gets a lot of students, teachers and staff members involved.

Are There Any Challenges with Fundraising? Ms. Paul There’s always challenges with fundraising. I wish more people would get involved and donate. Public awareness is

important. A lot of flyers and announcements are broadcast around the school, yet some will still say they were not aware of an event. Make-A-Wish is one of the many organizations the staff, especially homeroom teachers, have really accepted, helping to get the word out around the school. Students know when those familiar yellow stars appear, it’s Make-A-Wish fundraising time of year. As deserving organizations share a spotlight in fundraising coordination; students, faculty, and administration also consider this as a time to reflect on the learning situation involved. From teamwork in planning, calculating goals and efforts; to understanding how volunteering is an important part of developing socialization skills and building enthusiasm to help those inside and outside the West community.

To Learn More About West Unity in the Community Visit the Student Council website Spring 2017






The Pocono Mountain West High School Speech and Debate Team has had yet another successful year. Under the direction of coaches Maryann Harrington and Rose-Marie Brophy, not only did the team bring home a State champion, but for the second year in a row, three team members qualified to compete in the NCFL National Tournnament in Louisville, Kentucky. We took a few minutes to catch up with these three amazing students and asked them what Speech and Debate means to them.

I believe Speech and Debate has allowed me to value the importance of perspetive, and truly understand that there never is one opinion that is more correct than the other. My participation has granted me the privilege and opportunity to hear the diverse arguments from our competitors that have truly broadened and challenged my ability to think critically. The success that Patrick (LaBella) and I have had is only a testament to the many indescribable positive impacts that Speech and Debate have had on our education; and moreover, our lives. Nick Opromollo 2016 & 2017 National Qualifier



Spring 2017


theroadto nationals

This is my second year on Speech and Debate. I compete in Oral Interpretation, which is having a small black binder and acting out what is going on in the piece that I’ve chosen. This year I chose a poem called, ‘Weather.’ Competing isn’t easy and it’s a lot of anxiety, because you can’t always tell what place you are or what score you’ve gotten in a round. You just know that you did everything you could. After knowing all of that, the victory is amazing! Abigale Brown 2017 PA State Poetry Champion 2017 National Qualifier

Speech and Debate has made a rermarkable impact on my life. Debate has allowed me to expand my critical thinking skills, improve on extemporaneous speaking ability and create lasting relationships with competitors from schools all over the state. By qualifying for Nationals in both my Junior and Senior year, Nick (Opromollo) and I were able to travel across the country and compete with some of the best debaters in the country. Patrick LaBella 2016 & 2017 National Qualifier

Photo from left Nick Opromollo, Abigale Brown & Patrick LaBela

Spring 2017



Ask yourself...When did you realize what you wanted to be?

Was it as a Junior in High School...your Senior Year...maybe after a year undeclared in College?

How did you realize what was right for you?

Pocono Mountain School District sponsorship not only supports outstanding programs in the district, helps with continued fiscal responsibility over property taxes, as well as shares recognition for area businesses and organizations; it structures opportunities to share professional insight about careers encouraging high school students to pursue a professional they’ll enjoy as contributing members of society thereby aiding in the economic growth of a community.

Thank You to BRC TV13 News Journalist Nicole Walters Professional Videographer Tom McIntire Sharing in HYPED’s Behind the Scenes Career Experience in Television Broadcasting 16


Spring 2017



Spring 2017



ha ppy to ha ve



Through the generosity and support of these sponsors, we are proud to present our first edition of West High School’s HYPED magazine made by student participants.

Interested in HYPEing? get connected

50+ LOCATIONS ALONG THE EAST COAST Find us nearby in Dickson City, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, Hazleton, and Williamsport.


design insTALLATiOn MAinTenAnCe

W MTnLAndsCAPing.COM O 570.646.5335



make sense Financial literacy, defined as the ability to understand how money works in the world, is a concept First Keystone Community Bank considers crucial in preparing today’s youth for tomorrow’s independence. With a strong commitment to sharing the fundamental basics, seminars and classroom collaborations by banking professionals introduce the ABC’s of checking and savings accountability. The skills acquired during the sessions enable participants to maintain records, master mathematics for making wise decisions based on balances, and understand why it’s important to set aside funds for living expenses. Learning how to make responsible credit decisions helps build scores that will eventually turn the dream of investing in a home into a reality. As First Keystone has established a presence throughout the Pocono region with branches in Swiftwater, Mountainhome, Stroudsburg and Brodheadsville, its commitment to providing confidence you can bank on will continue. After all, helping dollars make sense is a smart way to secure the financial stability of a community and its residents…our friends, our neighbors.

Yesterday’s Traditions. Tomorrow’s Vision. MEMBER FDIC

S ’ A C I R E AM




Join Our Team! Apply at: