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Mar/Apr 2012

MEMORIAL TAKES ON THE MUSIC MAN By Marissa Parinello News Editor

In keeping with a great Jackson Memorial tradition, this year JMHS put on the famous musical, The Music Man. The musical first came out in 1962, and then was again remade in 2003. Now despite how well known the musical is, not too many people around school knew what the show is all about. The Music Man is about a cunning con man, Harold Hill, trying to scam a small town in

Iowa into supposedly making a marching band. Things get a bit more complicated though, when he falls for the town librarian. The cast and crew worked on perfecting the show for months, tirelessly practicing for hours a day. They all have lived and breathed this show for months. Sean Dickinson, who plays Harold Hill, knows that it was all totally worth it, “The hardest part of do-

ing the musical is probably putting it all together. Learning songs and dances seems easy enough, but putting it all together can sometimes be challenging. However, it always works out in the end!” Their efforts were not wasted. The entire cast fell perfectly into the role of a close knit, stubborn town in Iowa. The two leads, Dickinson and Kellie Hoyt (as Marian Paroo) were excellent to-

gether: whether bickering or falling in love, they had such an excellent relationship that the entire audience was able to feel what they were portraying. The show was jam-packed with extensive dance numbers that left the audience in awe. The Music Man definitely lived up to its name with the high caliber of musical performance clearly evident in this show. Of course The Music Man

is a story centered around the marching band, so it is only fitting that the big finale of the show included members of the Jackson Jaguar Marching Band. It really made the show come alive, and was able to get the audience on its feet. It was also Ms. Allaire’s first year as director; she previously was in charge of creating all of the beautiful sets Memorial is famous for, but

now she is overseeing everything. Her first impression on the stage was fantastic. The musical exceeded everyone’s high expectations, and most people who attended were quite happy that they gave Iowa a try.


Nightmares. Insomnia. Panic attacks, mood swings, depression, trouble learning. These are only a few of the many effects stress may have on the body. According to the American Psychological Association, somewhere around 47 percent of Americans are worried about stress. As a topic that worries almost half of the nation, and one that causes such terrible symptoms, don’t you think that schools would teach students how to handle stress? Many students are constantly staying up late doing homework, studying for the big test, and doing extracurricular activities; these are the students who stress themselves out. They often get higher GPA’s because of their hard work, but at what price? Since many students are stressed out over school, and will need to deal with stress their entire lives, our school should have a class or a program that teaches students how to handle stress. Why is stress important for students to handle? It causes difficulty in concentrating, trouble in learning, forgetfulness, disorganization, and confusion. Often times, a student will be stressed out, and do poorly on a test or an assignment. This causes them to stress out about the assignment, thus amplifying the stress’s effect. There can be no expectations of a student with high stress levels to be doing his or her best in school. If a straight A student

is highly stressed out, it is not unreasonable to assume that they would be a straight A+ student with less stress. These students, with less stress, can help a class, help a teacher, in getting through a lesson. T h e y might be able to put the concept in words another student c a n u n d e rstand e a s ily. By teaching students how to handle stress, you are helping them improve their focus, and by improving their focus, you can help improve their grades. Stress’s effect is not limited to logical processes and concentration. Often, stress affects students emotionally. With hormonal imbalances, struggling to fit in, and trying to find “the one”, students are already walking the tightrope with emotions. Adding stress is like adding an annoying clown throwing pies at you as you try to balance yourself. Stress can cause increased anger, mood swings, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and social with-

drawal. These aren’t things that students can, or should have to, handle. The school needs to understand how drastic the effects of stress are. If Bobby and Suzie are having relationship issues

and Bobby is getting stressed out, it is unlikely he will be able to fix things efficiently and express his feelings comfortably. High school isn’t just about making students smart. It’s about making students happy and teaching them things they will need later in life. Stress management will help improve our students’ social lives, and hopefully their overall mood. Students who feel better can also learn better. Our school needs a stress management program. Imagine a school where students are stressed out half as much. Students getting bet-

ter grades will allow teachers to teach more, helping to improve the state testing scores of our school. Teachers will be less stressed out with students who are feeling and doing better. There

are more likely to be in a good mood. With students in a good mood, teachers would be hard pressed to be in a bad mood. With teachers in a good mood, they would be better able to communicate with supervisors, helping things run more smoothly in school. A program on stress management would require more money and teachers to run it. It is understood that this is one by Danielle Singer of the main reasons may be a drop in the amount that no such program exists of disciplinary action need- in our school. But think of ed as well. Students are less the bigger picture. You don’t likely to cause problems if need to have a class for stress they are in a good mood and management. It could be an are doing well in school - less afterschool program. It can likely to turn to drugs, less be a workshop during the likely to take out anger on school day, twice a week for others, less likely to smoke a month at the beginning of in the school bathrooms. each school year. That would A student body with stress be eight classes, which would management skills will be be sufficient for students to more involved in activities learn how to handle their and volunteer programs, no stress. Yes, money is tight, longer stressing about not especially with the budget having enough time to do getting voted down every homework or study for a year, but our school needs a test. Good moods are conta- program like this. The bengious. Teach students how to efits to our student body, handle their stress and they to our teachers, and to our

school are too great for us to not have this program. Less stress means students will stop doing irresponsible things in an effort or a failure to handle their stress - less bullying, drugs, fights, anger, depression, and failure. More success, happiness, passing grades, accomplishment, relief. I will not pretend to know if we have enough money to have this program, but I can only assume that there is a way we could run it. Schools prioritize their budget based on students’ needs. Stress management is one of the greatest needs our students have. Help our students become better learners, better friends, better people. Our school needs to know that we want a stress management program. Tell your teacher, tell your coach, tell the principal. Lower stress means higher grades. Less stress means more happiness. No stress creates a better school. A stress management lesson is a lesson that applies to every class a student takes as well as all of their extracurricular activities, and it will continue to help them throughout their entire lives. Get the movement started towards a stress management program. Help remove the weight of stress from the shoulders of our students and help them feel better, do better, and be better.

The Results are In!

My Hidden Disability By Lindsey Michelle Williams Staff Writer

By Tom Kluxen

Features Editor

In the previous issue of the Jaguar Journal, the debate over online versus print publication was addressed. Students, teachers, and parents were offered an opportunity to have their voices heard via an anonymous online questionnaire. Well, with 38 responses, the results are in. According to the online poll, 50 percent of people who responded said that they prefer the online version of the Jaguar Journal, while 18 percent said they would prefer the paper to be online with a few printed copies. Thirty-two percent of people said they only want printed copies. A comments section was included in the online questionnaire, and those who responded voiced their concerns, opinions, and experiences. One person explained, “I never used to read the paper, but I’m on the computer all the time so it’s much more convenient now that I can

access it online”. Another concern by readers is that some people do not have computers. “This needs to be printed, I don’t have a computer,” said one reader, adding that an online and print edition is preferable. Others were happy to see that the school had taken an environmentally conscious approach to the publication. One reader enthusiastically explained, “It’s about time JMHS conserved some paper!” Another person added “It’s a step in the right direction to make the school more ‘green’”. We also asked our readers to rate their experience with the online publication versus older print editions on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being great, 1 being poor). Of those who responded, 66 percent of our readers rated their experience as a 4 or 5, while 16 percent rated the publication as a 1 or 2.


Interact Club Raises Money for Mrs. Veni, Goetz Teacher

Across the room a student is shaking his leg to concentrate on his test. The almost silent swish of one pant leg against the other, over and over, is unrelenting. It’s unbearably distracting and making it impossible for me to concentrate on my work. I try to ignore it, to no avail. The swish only seems to grow louder. I ask him to please stop. Then he, and everyone else in the class for that matter, looks at me as if I’m crazy, overreacting. The swish stops for a moment as he acknowledges my request. Then it promptly resumes. I clasp my hands over my ears as you wonder how such a tiny noise could possibly be so distracting? But it is. The bell rings and I turn in my test, yet again, unfinished. I have ADHD-PI (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Predominantly Inattentive), and recently it has been affecting my life more than ever. I’ve always thought that ADHD was just a diagnosis for kids who were hyper, who couldn’t concentrate or sit still. However, as I’ve grown up, I’ve realized it’s so much more. I’m actually lacking in the amount of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters that my brain needs. Neurotransmitters are basically what connect one neuron to another to create the quickest pathway for messages to get around the brain. These three specific neurotransmitters deal mostly with managing stress and feelings of depression. Also, they deal with regulating mood, circadian rhythms (sleep patterns), appetite, body temperature, and namely cognitive processing. Statistically speaking, individuals with ADHD have a brain that is developmentally like that of someone who is two to three years younger. Even with the help of medicine, the levels of these chemicals in my brain will never be quite what they should be. People are often annoyed with the amount of questions that I ask and how

much I interrupt with “wait, can you say that again?” But no one understands. No one understands that my auditory processing is significantly slower than the average student without ADHD (because of my deficit of neurotransmitters). I have to write everything down or it just doesn’t make sense to me whatsoever. As a student with ADHD, I can’t make the logical leaps that most students my age can. I have to go through every cognition in between to get there. That’s why my notes are so meticulous. They have to be. I have to explain to myself every single small step within or I will not understand the big picture. One small gap in knowledge sends my brain into a tumult of absolute confusion and frustration. One difference between me and most students with ADHD is that I have been blessed with the ability to organize. Since I was little I’ve always loved patterns, order, and shapes. There is just something so soothing about repetition. The clothes in my closet are in color order, my notebooks are color coded, and everything must always be organized. (The floor of my bedroom, however, has magically escaped my need for neatness.) Anything out of order or different from my usual routine stresses me out. For example, if someone hits my hand when I’m writing my notes and it makes a mark, or if someone puts a blue item in the green sec-

this, that, turn in this paper on time, make it to practice, remember your lines in the play, prepare for the SAT’s, take the SAT’s, schedule for retaking the SAT’s, apply for colleges, visit colleges, remember my house key, have time for friends, remember to eat, and maybe, if there is time after everything else is done, sleep. Take how you feel with all of that going on and multiply the overwhelming factor by like 5 billion. That’s how I feel, all the time. I sometimes have to remove myself from by Danielle Singer a situation or area because there is too much tion of my closet I find it stimulation. A brain hard to fight back tears. I re- with the normal amount of alize that this sounds child- neurotransmitters can proish, but it’s just me and how I cess all of the information am. There is a lot of overlap and sensory details coming in the symptoms of ADHD in with minimal stress. My and Autism. In fact severe, brain, on the other hand, just ADHD and high functioning freaks out. Whether it be Aspergers (low spectrum Au- too much noise or light, too tism) are sometimes indistin- many people, or too many guishable as far as symptoms conversations or activities go. My response to disorder going on at once, I just comis an example of a shared pletely zone out to avoid a symptom. complete breakdown. SomeI am often described as times I just want to cover awkward. I grew up always my ears and eyes and scream looking at other girls, trying because everything is just so to mimic how they acted, overwhelming. I just want to spoke, and reacted (another run away. symptom overlap). I never What I want is for people knew what to say when it to understand not just me was my turn to talk or when but anyone that has a learnI needed to let others speak. ing disability, acts a little difNow that I’m older, I have ferent, or maybe just can’t learned to cope with these grasp pre-calculus. Everyone attributes and they don’t af- is wired differently. Everyfect me as much. But they one thinks, feels, and proare still a part of me that will cesses differently. You never ever completely go away. I know what is going on in still don’t instinctively know someone else’s head. Don’t what is “socially acceptable” make assumptions. Get to behavior, but I’ve learned know someone because how to act in certain situ- I know that if you got to ations. I’ve become a very know me, really know me, good actress when it comes you would find that I am to hiding my disorder. Social nothing like how I am peranxiety is a large part of the ceived. Contrary to the typiADHD disorder, especially cal ADHD stereotype, I am in more serious cases like not just some hyper kid who mine. Meeting new people is can’t sit still in class. I am a one of the most stressful and teenage girl with a disability overwhelming things ever. that makes her a little difI feel bombarded when I’m ferent. All I ask is for underwith a large group of people standing. Next time, before that I don’t know. you question my motives, In high school, even for anyone’s motives, just ask. I’d the non-ADHD student, be happy to explain them to sometimes everything going you and I am sure that they on is just too much. Study for would be, too.

Which Campus RU? By Sarah Freyre

By Sarah Freyre

Managing Editor

         March 2nd marked the date of the community service-based Interact Club’s annual Volleyball Tournament Fundraiser. In a last second spike, Team Trentless was able to secure a win over Taste the Rainbow, earning the championship title. Everyone who went had a wonderful time. Freshman Billy Mitchel stated, “It was a lot of fun and there was some good competition.”           But the event did serve more purpose than being just a source of entertainment. Every year Mrs. Maria Holm and the Interact Club donate a large portion of the tournament’s profits to a local cause. Last year the donation was made to the victims of the Jackson Green fire. This year it will be going to the family of Mrs. Christine Veni, the beloved Goetz teacher who

sadly succumbed to breast cancer on February 4, 2012.           Over $560 was raised that night and the club members could not have been more proud. Executive Board Member Kevin Doherty said, “The turnout was great, and everyone had fun with it. It’s always nice to have something that helps the club and that students can enjoy”            Mrs. Veni will be missed dearly. The 7th and 8th grade English and History teacher made a positive impact on the lives of all her students. The Interact Club gives its donation as well as its thoughts and prayers in hopes that it will help ease the pain of the Veni family, especially her husband Joseph Veni and two sons Nico, age 2 and Sergio, 11 months.

         Many have heard of Governor Chris Christie’s proposal that will merge the campuses of Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden. However, many do not understand the reason behind it. This proposal came about with the intent for Rowan to acquire Rutgers-Camden, namely its business and law schools, thereby attaining the much sought after designation of being a “research university”.             It is not unknown that Rutgers has a widely acclaimed reputation for research. According to Governor Christie, the merging of the two South Jersey campuses would give Rowan’s nearly-completed medical school the ability to attract additional grant money, topquality doctors, and a talented collection of graduate and undergraduate students. Without the merger, Rowan would be the only certified medical school in the country devoid of an association

Managing Editor

with a research institution. Additionally, the merger will add more prestige to the Rowan name, giving more weight to those graduating with degrees from this university.            Yet, there will be some gains for Rutgers as well. In accordance with the proposal, Rutgers-New Brunswick will receive two branches of the Newark-based University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey: the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as well as UMDNJ’s school of public health and cancer institute. State Senate President Steve Sweeney has also promised that “anyone

who went to Rutgers, who is enrolled in Rutgers, should graduate with Rutgers degrees”, which helped assuage some students’ fear that the merger would not allow them to graduate with Rutgers degrees. Rowan’s Interim President Ali Houshmand reaffirmed this claim stating, “Every current student of Rutgers University is entitled to, and will receive, a Rutgers degree. Every Rowan student already here will receive a Rowan degree. The only group we’re trying to figure out is the class we’re currently trying to recruit. I myself am of the opinion that they should receive the degree for

the university they intended to apply to.”            However, many RutgersCamden students and faculty are rightfully upset. Contrary to what Christie is saying, they believe that the merger will actually lower the academic standards. The love they have for their school was evident in the rallies that took place Wednesday, February 15th at the Rutgers Board of Governors’ meeting, protesting the combination of schools.             Despite these protests, along with disapproval from the Rutgers Board of Trustees, it does seem that the merger will take place as of now. But there is still a long way to go in terms of details and figuring financial costs. Officials believe that it may be some time before this plan is made official and put in motion. In the meantime, Sweeney is urging everyone to “take a breath and get the details.”




Dribbling to New Records By Lindsay Wellington Sports Editor

After long practices and tough games, our Lady Jags accomplished something no other girls basketball team at JMHS has before: Group IV State Champions! With Coach Rachel Goodale, the girls continued their determination into the postseason. Led the team was Junior, Hannah Missry. “The entire team worked so well together,” said Coach

Goodale, “Each game was played with all their heart and it showed with the wins.” The environment for these games, as well, were incredible. Even with playoff games that were out of Jackson Memorial’s comfort location in distance to travel, students traveled to them to support their ladies. With this accomplishment, the 2011-2012 Lady Jags have



After high school Veronica plans to attend college during the fall semester. At the moment she is unsure about which college she is going to but has a strong feeling that she will be attending college near or in New York City. For the time being she wants to major in Communication and Science Disorders. With a degree in Communication and Science Disorders she hopes to become a speech pathologist. Working with people of all ages to improve various speech problems and anything else dealing with the anatomy of the throat is something she sees herself doing.


set the bar for next season. With the seniors graduating this year, the new seniors of next year, such as Hannah Missry, will mentor the new varsity players and strive for a new level and surpass the already-amazing Group IV State Championship.





Josh LaCalamito

Managing Editor:

Sarah Freyre

News Editor:

Marissa Parinello

Features Editor:

Tom Kluxen

Photography Editor:

Olivia Gomez

Sports Editor:

Lindsay Wellington

Layout Editors:

Billy Bates Danielle Singer Josh LaCalamito Ryan Bender

Photographers in this issue:

Billy Bates

Staff writers in this issue:

David Montgomery Lindsey Williams Sam Notaro

Advisors: Ms. Kathleen Regan and Mrs. Paulette Shavel Send all comments and questions to All layout and design done in-house by Jaguar Graphics.




March/April 2012  

The Jaguar Journal presents its March/April 2012 edition.