Page 1


Inside this Issue The History of Convocation

Where Does the School Get Its Money?

60 Minutes One Year Later

By The Students, For The Students NOVEMBER, 2017 February 2017 “By the Students, For the Students”


P. 2


P. 6

Ms. MacPherson

P. 8

Mr. Boone

P. 9


P. 11


P. 14

SPORTS Sprint Coaches Join the Hive

P. 15

Gray Bees Change Stripes

P. 17

Varsity Soccer Back on Top

P. 19

THE INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE Eduardo Richa: Benedict’s Grows on Him

P. 22

First Person: The Host This Time

P. 21

Coming to America: Dutch Arrivals

P. 24


P. 27

OPINION-EDITORIALS Student: Looking at Community College

P. 29

Faculty: Finding Meaning in the Everyday

P. 31




plethora of people from the SBP community gathered on the Leahy House field on

August 21 to view a rare, coast-to-coast solar eclipse. Hundreds of people - students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents - came for various reasons: the rarity of the event, the promise of free food, the opportunity to spend time in the company of the community, and the curiosity it aroused within them. Some were looking up at the sky through specially modified glasses, some gathered in groups to chat, others were lined up for food, and the rest were relaxing under the canopy of an oversized tent, left up from Monkfest the previous weekend. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Lucas Guillen, a UD1 at St Benedict’s. “It’s something that I couldn’t miss, simply because it’s so rare.” This was the first time a solar eclipse took place over the contiguous United States in 38 years, according to NASA. On average, there are between 2 and 5 solar eclipses every year. The view of the eclipse was different depending

on the location. In some spots the the moon fully covered the sun, a phenomenon known as totality which caused complete darkness. In others there wasn’t full blockage. In Newark, there was 71% blockage of the sun but there was still enough to make it visible. Most totalities last about 7-8 minutes. Some people who were not completely informed on how the eclipse was going to unfold in Newark were disappointed. Senior Tyler Raymond said, “ The eclipse was

The Benedict News [Page 2]

honestly disappointing. In shows that I have seen the sun was black with a small ring of light around it with the sky being completely black.” Others really didn’t see the uniqueness of the event . It took weeks of preparation for the event to come out as it did. The Science Department, which includes Dr. Dennis Lansang, Mrs. Michelle Tuorto , and Mr. Richard Molina, had taken measures to make sure the event was executed. They ordered 150 special glasses for the participants to view the passing of the moon over the sun. Approximately double that amount of people came out, according to Mrs. Tuorto. An additional step taken to help carry out the event was to raise awareness. Dr. Lansang placed messages about the eclipse on the telescreens

“It’s something that I couldn’t miss, simply because it’s so rare.” and made announcements in convocation. A week before the event Dr Lansang said, “The eclipse will get people interested in looking at the sky because we don’t look at the Earth’s

and hot dogs being cooked, and scores of people all around the H.A.B field viewing the solar eclipse with the glasses provided by the science department. As an additional perk, Mr. Lopina, the director of technology at St. Benedict’s, made a pinhole device, allowing many of the students who were unable to get glasses to still be witness to this moment in history. Other people lingered, enjoying the company of their friends.

beauty enough.¨ There was an enticing scent of burgers

Despite differing reasons for showing up, people

The Benedict News [Page 3]

NEWS/FEATURES came and spent time together.

eclipse, but were happy on his

solar eclipse, even though it

“As I walk around, I see family

behalf. Despite that, they were

was 70 percent coverage it was

and friends all having fun with

excited to know that there will

an amazing experience,” said

drinks, and I could tell this is a

be an eclipse in Sweden next

Mr. Molina. “What enhanced

happy community,” said UD1

summer and he will be present

the experience was seeing all

Greg Anthony Jones.

with them.

of you guys around this astro-

People from outside of

There was also an evi-

the U.S were also interested in

dent sense of joy at the event.

“To have an opportunity and experience that a lot of people won’t have is surreal.”

“I’ve always wanted to see a

nomical event and enjoying it just as I enjoyed it.”

the circumstances of this natural phenomenon. Zaba Bangala, a transfer here at SBP from Sweden who is here on a basketball scholarship, had family back home who were interested in how the eclipse was over in America. In his case, he felt that he was lucky to be in America at this particular time to witness this event. According to him, his family was a little upset that they couldn’t see the

The Benedict News [Page 4]

NEW TEACHERS: The Hive Continues to Grow

The Benedict News [Page 5]



graduated with the class of ‘96 and set off for college, matriculating at New Jersey City University. There he studied business and finance as majors, and computer science as a minor. After obtaining his B.S., he earned a Master’s Degree at Rutgers. From there, he spent about ten years working in the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). At DYFS, he worked with young children and families, many of whom had severe problems at home. He would create blueprints, or plans for families, in order to map and observe their progress, while also visiting them once a month. He would also help families get the resources they needed, whether that was in the form of welfare checks, therapy, or


even drug and alcohol abuse treatment. He also

are added to the St. Benedict’s Hive each year..

He was shot at 27 times. One of these bullets even struck him in the head, yet he lived to tell the story.

he average queen bee lays about 730,000 eggs every year. Though 200 is a substan-

tially lower number, that is how many Gray Bees The new bees are usually students, but a few teachers occasionally slip in. This year, FY Math teacher James Andrews is among the new Gray Bees.

worked with young children who suffered from domestic abuse, counseling them and helping

them make it through their struggles. That is the Mr. Andrews was born and raised in Hill-

side, New Jersey. He went to elementary school in East Orange, and came to St. Benedict’s as a freshman. While at the Hive, he participated in cross country, tennis, and basketball. He

place where Mr. Andrews grew a passion for changing young lives. This year, Mr. Andrews decided to apply


The Benedict News [Page 6]

ANDREWS (CONTINUED) for the teaching position at the Hive in order to work closely with young men. At DYFS, he was limited to visiting them at schools; he did not work with them as much as he wanted to. In addition to that, Mr. Andrews has always believed that “it is a social responsibility to give back.” Coming to St. Benedict’s this year was his way of giving back to the community that fostered his

sitioning from junior high to high school can be difficult; they’re still learning about themselves,” he said. However, Mr. Andrews’ job will extend far beyond the classroom. Teachers at the Hive are tremendously involved in extracurricular activities on a daily basis. While other schools hire coaches, many teachers at the Hive are coaches themselves. Mr. Andrews is looking to start an extracurricular program that helps victims of bullying,

own growth. Mr. Andrews’ goal this year is to transform the way in which students approach math. He wants them to face math with tenacity and vigor, instead of faint determination. He also wants “to see all [his] children pass.” He hopes that none of his students get left behind, and plans on doing everything he can to meet the needs of each individual student, especially those who learn differently.

There is a good in every situation, and that healing requires that one visits their painful past; he will impart onto the freshman those values; in this way, they will learn how to deal with their problems now. So far, his year has been good; he loves

a topic that he is more than familiar with. When he worked at DYFS, he met with many children at schools who were victims of bullying. His inspiration to help others came from his life story. When he was younger, he was a victim of gun violence. He was shot at 27 times. One of these bullets even struck him in the head, yet he lived to tell the story. Although traumatic, he was able to come out of the experience a better man. He became grateful for his life, and a passion for helping others ensued. Mr. Andrews plans on helping the freshmen not just with math, but with personal struggles as well. He believes that there is a good in every situation, and that healing requires that one visits their painful past; he will impart onto the freshmen those values; in this way, they

the challenge that his job poses. “Teaching

will learn how to deal with their problems now,

young men that are still in the process of tran-

instead of allowing them to fester.

The Benedict News [Page 7]



ournalist Kitta MacPherson spent more than

20 years at the Star-Ledger newspaper covering scientific breakthroughs, criminal trials, and murders. Now she can be found in the Publications Room of St. Benedict’s Prep. “It’s really not a long way from the Ledger to here, it’s only a few blocks,” she said. “But then again, it took me a lifetime.”

read about St. Benedict’s, Ms.

privacy of medical information.

MacPherson wasn’t sure how

She won awards for her work

much of the school’s reputation

on both the state and nation-

was deserved. However, when

al level. These award winners

she watched the 60 Minutes

include a series of investigative

piece on the school, she real-

stories about cancer and diet

ized the commitment was real

drugs. She tries to bring her

and the principle of brother-

passion for journalism to the

hood was sincere. At this point


she already feels that she is a

Hive, and is taking on the roles

Good journalism is vital to the future of our democracy

of News Production teacher

part of the family.

Ms. MacPherson is one of the latest additions to the

and Benedict News adviser.

In her journalism career,

She also teaches journalism at

Ms. MacPherson has covered

Rutgers University-Newark and

many exciting stories. She

is an author, working towards

traveled to the Philippines and

her first published book. So

Switzerland to write about a

far, Ms. MacPherson loves the

controversy over genetically

school and the environment it

enhanced Vitamin A rice. She

encourages. “It just seems to

went to Iceland to write about a

be the right place. I love New-

battle between a scientist and

ark,” she says. When she first

a group of activists over the

Ms. MacPherson is very proud of her work and tries her best to help her students become much more comfortable with writing. She believes that good journalism is vital to the future of our democracy, and she loves teaching her students about it. She also insists that good writers are not born that way. Anyone can learn to write well, as long as they are willing to work hard. However, she says that a student should only go into journalism one way: “If you love it.’’

The Benedict News [Page 8]



iddle Division humanities teacher Jared Boone is not often seen by Prep Divi-

sion students, but that does not mean he is not around. He can usually be found in his Middle Division classroom. When he is not teaching a class or giving a student extra help, he is guiding his students in his extracurricular debate activity. Mr. Boone graduated from St. Benedict’s

Prep in 2013. He was the Senior Group Leader, the manager for the back-to-back national championship soccer teams, and an employee of the 520 Corporation. In addition to all of these extracurriculars, he was able to maintain

“The real reason why this place is so special is because it is a family... I went through a lot of hard times when I was here. My mom battled cancer twice throughout my time here. The support I had from Father Ed, Cass, Duffy, and Tuorto was unbelievable.” a 3.4 Grade Point Average. After his eventful St. Benedict’s career, he attended the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. He graduated in 2017, and returned soon afterwards. Many alumni return to the Hive to teach and support the current students, helping them achieve the same goals that they once strove to achieve. Some do so on request, while others return on their own initiative. “Freshman through junior year [of high school], I was not sure what I was going to do after college, or if I was going to go to college,¨ Boone said. ¨I knew that by

The Benedict News [Page 9]

NEWS/FEATURES the time I was a senior, I knew I wanted to come

Boone said. I´m trying to change that with our


guys. I preach a lot of independence and leadThe positive relationships he had with

teachers like Dr. Glenn Cassidy´89, James

ership from the Prep division in the classroom.¨ Much the way it was during Mr. Boone’s

Duffy´H15, and Michelle Tuorto´H15 drew him

time here as a student, he notices that many

back. Seeing people like Rich Molina´06 and

students still call this place a home. ¨Many peo-

Craig White´04, and more recently Elliot McFar-

ple feel this place is special for many reasons,¨

land´12 inspired Mr. Boone to return and make a

he said. ¨The real reason why this place is so

difference at the Hive.

special is because it is a family, not just with

Many changes have been made to the

the students, but especially with the teachers.

curriculum and system of the school over the

I went through a lot of hard times when I was

past few years, offering a learning challenge to

here. My mom battled cancer twice throughout

him. One of his goals is to make his students

my time here. The support I had from Father

more independent, both in the classroom and in

Ed, Cass, Duffy, and Tuorto was unbelievable.

their personal lives. He is preparing his students

Outside of God and my family, no one has had a bigger effect than this school, so I feel like I owe

“Outside of God and my family, no one has had a bigger effect than this school, so I feel like I owe a lot to this school, and that is why I wanted to come back.¨

a lot to this school, and that is why I wanted to come back.¨

for the Prep Division, and then for college. ¨A lot of people say that seventh and eighth graders are too young to be independent in the classroom, and that they need more guidance, and that they need more teacher-led activities,¨ Mr.

The Benedict News [Page 10]



ach morning, young men at St. Benedict’s

For the past five years, both have led the

sing and chant from their respective spots

musical portion of convocation, the most visible

on the floor and benches of the Shanley Gym.

symbol of the thriving community of St. Ben-

The gym rumbles as the students sing their

edict’s and also regarded by Fr. Edwin Leahy,

hearts out. Standing in the center of the room

O.S.B, as the most important part of the day.

are two people: Dr. Lansang and Dr. Fletcher,

In addition to the two working to maintain the

who play the piano and the soprano saxophone,

tradition of singing the songs in convo, they also

respectively. These two men are the harbingers

have strived to allow convo to evolve through

of the joy felt at convocation every day.

targeted changes. Along the way, by being such

The Benedict News [Page 11]

NEWS/FEATURES direct participants in the event, their involvement

the soprano sax and takes it apart. Dr. Fletcher’s

has come to mean a lot to them.

favorite songs in convo are “Don’t Give Up,” and “Miracle.” He likes the song “Miracle” because

“If it weren’t for convo, my day wouldn’t be as good.” For Dr. Lansang, convocation provides an emotional linchpin for the day. “If it weren’t for convo, my day wouldn’t be as good,” he said. For Dr. Fletcher, he believes that the music continues the legacy of the much admired man, Rev. Winstead, who created many of the songs sung in convocation every day. Dr. Fletcher, who is the music director of St. Benedict’s Prep, got involved in convo

it is in the minor key— in fact, in convo it is the only such song. Dr. Lansang, the head of St. Benedict’s Science Department, and the school’s Chemistry teacher, is a man who credits his involvement

When Rev. Winstead sang in convo, he had the ability to move the entire school in prayer. He “exuded happiness” and “would get anyone to smile.”

for a simple reason: Father Ed told him to. He

in convo to God. He is an active participant in

prefers using the soprano saxophone because

leading the music portion of convo because he

it is small and light. Also, the instrument does

believes that he feels God’s presence there.

not take much work to set up and, as opposed

Prior to Rev. Winstead’s death, Dr. Lansang only

to the tenor or alto sax, the soprano’s range is

played a minor role in the music portion of con-

about the same as a woman’s. This gives the

vo. But, after Rev. Winstead’s death, he took the

instrument the ability to be heard over the crowd

initiative to preserve the music by transcribing

and makes it easier to hear as men make up the

it. He did this by using a copy of an audio tape

majority of the crowd. In addition to playing his

acquired from a former St. Benedict’s teacher.

instrument in convo every morning, Dr. Fletcher

Until his death in 2012, Rev. Peter Win-

also takes advantage of the fact that he is in the

stead appeared regularly at convo, singing the

center to illustrate proper handlings of instru-

songs that he wrote. He was an active mem-

ments. Through proper care and work, he cleans


The Benedict News [Page 12]

would like for the students to do in convo, is not to act more enthusiastic because guests are watching; they believe that when this happens, the student are making the interval into merely a place for show for guests. They would like for students to be more genuine in their feel for convo. There is no guarantee that Dr. Lansang

CONVO (CONTINUED) ber of the St. Benedict’s community from 1989 until he passed away. He sang at convo and played musical instruments. He also directed the Christmas program. When Rev. Winstead sang in convo, he had the ability to move the entire school in prayer. He “exuded happiness” and “would get anyone to smile,” Dr. Fletcher said. Rev. Winstead passed away on June 6, 2012. While both Dr. Lansang and Dr. Fletcher

or Dr. Fletcher will be leading the music five years from now. As so much else in SBP is student-run, they foresee a day when students will lead the musical portion of convo. Convocation is a tradition of St. Benedict’s that has evolved from its own beginning. Songs have lives of their own, and as a result, the songs of convo are not the same as played five or even ten years ago. Everyone plays songs in his or her own way. The music portion of convo, according to Dr. Lansing and Dr. Fletcher, will always be dynamic

enjoy leading the songs in convo, both have pet

with new traditions entering, and old ways evolv-

peeves. They are both perturbed when the stu-


dents in convo begin to clap because as many begin to clap, they clap too loudly and eventually get off beat. Another pet peeve of the two is when students hum after a group announces that it has attendance because it prolongs convo. Other than those examples, one thing they

The Benedict News [Page 13]



n September 28, four men, including SBP’s

headmaster and a member of the board of trustees, were

which provides a multi-use

were celebrated for a Star-Led-

space for concerts, games,

ger investigative series about a

and education. John Mooney,

pipeline of international basket-

an award-winning education

ball players in Paterson, N.J.

writer who was present at the

“They were gracious enough to

event, said that Fr. Leahy well

give us an award,” said Politi,

deserved the recognition. “He

a noted columnist who is in his 20th year with the Ledger and

honored by Write On Sports, a He had some advice

New Jersey foundation dedicat-

for aspiring sports writers: “A

ed to enhancing literacy. Lead-

good sports article needs to

ers of the organization des-

take readers to a place they’ve

ignated Father Edwin Leahy,

never been before or didn’t ex-

OSB, New Jersey Devils and

pect to go. Find people who are

Prudential Center President

compelling and can talk about

Hugh Weber, and Star-Ledger

their lives. Engage the readers

sportswriters Steve Politi and

in a way they didn’t think they

Matt Stanmyre as “2017 Lit-

could get engaged.”

eracy Champions” at its 12th

Write On Sports is a

annual celebration and awards

is the hero of Newark,” said

gala, hosted at The Avenue A

Mooney, CEO of the online

literacy and journalism program

Club in Newark.

news site NJ Spotlight, “and

for at-risk middle school stu-

one of the best men in Ameri-

dents. Participants learn how to


write about sports in the hopes

Fr. Leahy said that his students are the true heroes. Fr. Leahy was honored

Upon hearing of Mooney’s assessment of him, Fr. Leahy said that his students

for leading an educational

are the true heroes. Speaking

organization with high stan-

to a group of them at the event,

dards; Weber, who also is a

he said, “You are the ones that

member of the SBP board

are doing it. I just stay out of

of trustees, was honored for

your way.”

leadership of his organization,

Politi and Stanmyre

they will be inspired and encouraged to continue to write. Arturo Rodriguez, a teacher in the program, said students attending two-week summer camps, including one at SBP, act as guest sports journalists,


The Benedict News [Page 14]

LITERACY (CONTINUED) working with and conducting interviews with specially selected athletes. Byron Yake, a former sports editor and senior executive at the Associated Press, founded Write On Sports in 2005. The inspiration, according to the organization’s website, arose from Yake’s interest in sports journalism, and education, and his desire to help students improve their writing

“A good sports article needs to take readers to a place they’ve never been before or didn’t expect to go.” skills. He partnered with Montclair State University’s Broadcast


didn’t remember why he started

t. Benedict’s Prep’s two new

hurdling, but he did remember

Sprint Team coaches bring

how terrible he was at first. He got


passion, drive, and high expecta-

better and better during workouts

tions to their new jobs.

and time trials. During his Junior

ter, and the Montclair school

2012. He ran track and field for

system to launch the orga-

four years during his high school

nization’s first programs for

years. In his freshman year, he

students. Since its founding,

didn’t have any knowledge of

Wilson wants... to support the goals of young men and help transform those who want to better themselves.

the organization has grown to

Track and Field, so he had to

and Senior years at St. Benedict’s

struggle to find a running event

Prep, he was a part of the shut-

that was the right fit for him. He

tle hurdle relay team that began

Department, The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Cen-

include 10 camps serving more than 200 students.

Anthony Smith attended St. Benedict’s Prep from 2008-

The Benedict News [Page 15]

SPORTS making qualifying times for 55mH and 110mH shuttle

Hassan Wilson previously coached at Essex

hurdle relays. Anthony Smith is still currently a part of

Catholic Boys Prep in Newark, New Jersey. He also

the school’s record: 55m Shuttle Hurdle Relay, 110m

led his Newark-based track program RDE, which

His journey was lacking purpose and he thinks it was fear in his subconscious that created the internal conflict.

is currently one of the top sprinting programs in the

Shuttle Hurdle Relay, and also New Balance Nationals All-American for the Shuttle Hurdles. The reason Anthony Smith came back from St John's, Minnesota to St. Benedict’s Prep to coach

Northeast. He played football and didn't realize how well he could run until he competed at the State Championship during sophomore year and received four track scholarships. He went to Vision Academy and Technology during his high school career. During his Junior Year, he lost focus and his attention went toward females, work to make nominal money for nonessential things, and becoming angry with every-

the sprinters, is that SBP was like his home. He was also encouraged by two distance coaches, David Alfano and Marty Hannon, to help out with the team. Anthony Smith is getting help from Senior Kaylan Depas and UDII Isaiah Sanchez to lead the sprint team to prepare for the Indoor Track Season, which starts in December. Anthony and Kaylan’s goals for the sprint team, and probably for the distance guys, are to become national champions, three times Essex County Relay champions, and for the entire team to beat their personal records from the previous years. Their academic goal for the team is to get at least a 2.5 GPA or else members won't be a part of the team, or probably they can get a chance to raise their GPA. If they don't get a chance to raise their GPA, they will be kicked out of the team until they meet the GPA requirements.

Hassan Wilson, pictured left, and Anthony Smith, above, have joined the coaching staff.Photos courtesy of the St. Benedict’s Prep track team.

The Benedict News [Page 16]

TRACK (CONTINUED) thing around him. His journey was lacking purpose and he thinks it was fear in his subconscious that created the internal conflict. This was why

Senior Year, he graduated with


a very high GPA, and that GPA

By Olatunji Adewole

he became a loner. During his

helped him to get scholarships. Hassan Wilson wants to coach in St. Benedict's Prep because he wants to support the goals of young men and help transform those who want to better themselves. He also wants to build strong young men who will eventually find the time, spirit, and desire to do the same in the community. His goal for the entire track and field is to get at least a 2.5 GPA, and to compete in highly competitive track meets.


he St. Benedict’s Gray Bees run out onto the court, with the fans yelling praises of encouragement. They strike fear into

the hearts of the opposing team’s players, racing out as an army of top athletes. They do all this while still looking more than presentable, sporting their new Adidas uniforms. While the Gray Bees’ logo will not be changing, the sponsorship for its sports gear will be. A sports sponsorship is when a business provides resources or services to a client in return for some form of rights and/or associations with the client that may be used to help the business commercially. This could be in the form of a logo on a basketball, slogans on apparel or free advertising in the company or client newsletter. “The contract was signed this past summer, in mid-June,” confirmed St. Benedict’s Athletic Director Thomas Leahy. He is very busy with Adidas being incorporated in many of the sports teams, as the varsity track team will also be wearing the Adidas logo on their uniforms.

The Benedict News [Page 17]

SPORTS As part of the change, the team will be

Many of the players have mixed opin-

switching out its classic black and yellow stripes

ions on leaving Nike Inc. behind because they

for the so called “brand with three stripes.”

assumed that Adidas AG was more associated

Starting at the beginning of the season, the

with the soccer world.

Gray Bees will be sponsored by Adidas AG, the

“I use Adidas all time, but not really for

Germany-based design company. In adopting

basketball. I thought it was like more of a profil-

the company of Adidas, they are leaving behind

ing brand, to be honest,” said sophomore Justin

Nike Inc., the Oregon-based footwear manufac-

Erving. He is a transfer student, who came to

turing company.

the school with a strong desire for basketball,

On the change to Adidas AG, some of the

but says he may run track in the Spring. Erving

players were both excited and confused, while

is right, Adidas AG has built up a sturdy reputa-

others were a little critical. Some of them were

tion for producing profiling apparel. Their most

not even thoroughly aware that Adidas had a

recent releases were the superstar shoe and the

face in basketball. Many of them use and were

Sam Smith shoe, as well as many varieties of

frequent customers of Under Armour Inc. and

crewnecks with the trefoil logo (the second logo

Nike Inc. themselves, as far as they were con-

of Adidas AG).

cerned with basketball. Some of the team is not too excited about

Despite some of the opinions on Adidas AG’s reputation, Adidas ranks fifth in sponsor-

the switch, but the coach seemed very optimistic

ships in professional basketball, according to

about the new partnership. Nike Inc. ranks second,

“They, as players, can play with any brand, it’s them, not the brand they wear on their chest.”

behind Spalding, still making it the most used for

“It’s exciting, Adidas is really working with

son, the St. Benedict’s basketball team manager

sports apparel in professional basketball, according to In looking towards the 2017-2018 sea-

us. We will be the best Adidas high school in the

Brandon Aguirre said, “They, as players, can

country, and we’re excited for that partnership,”

play with any brand, it’s them, not the brand they

said head coach Mark Taylor.

wear on their chest.”

The Benedict News [Page 18]



he Gray Bees are buzzing once again

The shot was deflected off the keeper and

as the varsity soccer team romped

tapped in by Ronald Mafunzwaini to open up

Blair Academy 4-0 to become National

the scoring for the Gray Bees. This led to the

Champions for the 11th time in their history.

next 80 minutes of command by the Gray

Capturing their 28th State Prep champion-

Bees netting a total of 4 goals and conced-

ship in 29 years, it only took 6 minutes for

ing 0.

Jimmy Wandling’s Gray Bees to sting. Cao Chaves led a forceful drive down the left flank, laying it off to Felipe Lucas.

Azriel Johnson, who came off the bench for Thursday’s game, told us how it felt to a take an early lead. ¨I just wanted

The Benedict News [Page 19]

SPORTS coach to put me in,¨he said.

By breaking their 27-year

take out the ‘weeds’” said

He netted the fourth and final winning streak at the State

Felipe Lucas, captain ‘18 in

goal of the game, eliminating

Prep Finals championship,

a video produced by SBP

all hope for Blair to come

the team left many wonder-

students. Last year was a


ing where the legacy of SBP

tough year as a new unit

By dominating Blair, the

soccer was headed.

came in, 18 seniors graduat-

Saint Benedict’s Prep Boys

“The way for us to go

ed from the soccer team. “It

Varsity Soccer Team re-

from the worst team of St.

can’t feel better than it does

turned the State Prep Final

Benedict’s Prep to the first

at this moment, to bring the

Trophy to where it had spent

team from NJ to win The

title back to Benedict’s,” said

the last 27 years prior to last

Dallas Cup, was for us to

coach Jim Wandling after the

year’s fluke. The win also

championship ship game.

reestablished a ranking of #1

The unsuccessful season presented a new challenge:

“It can’t feel better than it does at this moment, to bring the title back to Benedict’s.”

To prove that St. Benedict’s was still on top. This year, that goal was completed. “This team

in the country, according to

this year we had better

Top Drawer Soccer Rankings

chemistry,” said UD2 Azri-

and USA Today High School

el Johnson. “For next year,


expectations are really high,

Last year the boys soccer team left many Grey Bee supporters unhappy.

and we want to do it all over Soccer team captain Luan Lamas holding the State Prep A Trophy. Photo by of Diego Martinez.

again.” We’ll all be looking forward to it.

The Benedict News [Page 20]


The Benedict News [Page 21]


Eduardo Richa: Benedict’s Grows on Brazilian Student By Daron Reyes This story is part of a continuing series on international transfer students


oming from Minas Gerais, Brazil, Eduardo Richa is

slowly adapting to the ways of The Hive. He currently lives in Leahy House, and is a UD2. However, before he was even introduced to St. Benedict’s, Eduardo had a long journey to overcome. Back in his home country, Brazil, Eduardo lived a lot more comfortably and easi-

ly. He lived with his family, had many friends, and loved Brazilian food. Eduardo also enjoyed the different cultures that were present in Brazil. School, on the other hand, was harder for him in Brazil because of the different academic system that is used. The students are required to

take a wide variety of classes

soccer program that the school

with a different grading system

has to offer. Eduardo was not

that is a lot more specific.

accustomed to many of the

When Eduardo first

school traditions such as con-

came to the U.S., he studied at

vocation and the dress code,

a school called Gateway Acad-

just to name two. One thing he

emy, located in Illinois. While

really did enjoy, though, was

there, his friend Joao, who was

the dorm rooms. They were a

also studying at Gateway Acad-

lot better in comparison to the

emy, was contacted by Sylvers

ones they had back in Gateway

“Eduardo came into St. Benedict’s not really knowing much about it.”

Academy. Today, Eduardo has become a little more used to the school’s ways. He is now more comfortable with the new friends he has made but also figuring out ways to help with

Owusu to come attend St.

his time management. All told,

Benedict’s. After Joao arrived

he’s really enjoying his time at

here and saw how the school

St. Benedict’s, and the school

worked, he contacted Eduardo

is happy to have him.

and talked to him about the school and the soccer program. Eduardo was very interested in coming here so he called his father back in Brazil and asked him about it. Eventually, his father approved of his idea and settled an agreement with the school for him to transfer here. Eduardo came into St. Benedict’s not really knowing much about it. He was particularly interested in the elite

The Benedict News [Page 22]


she enjoyed being there just as much as I did. Besides Philly, all the Dutch students and their hosts also went down to Seaside. It was great

By Sebastian Granizo

to see how they appreciated the type of beaches

This story is a follow up-to last year’s first person

that we have. It was also interesting to hear them

piece in which Sebastion wrote about his time as an

observe the differences between our beaches and

exchange student in the Netherlands. This time he

their beaches. The major difference between both of

covers what it was like to host a student at home.

our beaches are that the ones located here typical-


t had been six long months since the last time I saw my Dutch host and friend Nikki Roos. Ever

since I returned to the United States in April, we had been keeping in touch through social media, and anxiously reminding each other about the day that she and her schoolmates would be arriving in the United States: Sept. 22. Therefore, once they arrived and walked into the boardroom, I felt a burst of happiness fill my body. It was great to see all of them, including kids that weren’t a part of the ex-

ly have large boardwalks filled with many activities such as amusement parks, restaurants, and even arcades. On the other hand, when I went to visit the beach at Castricum, there was no boardwalk and just a few restaurants. Therefore, it was great to see that they were already keeping note of some of the differences between both countries.

“I knew this was going to be one of the best weeks of my life.” Although we went on many other trips, I

change the last time. I knew this was going to be one of the best weeks of my life. Overall, this entire experience was very pleasurable. I had a great time introducing Nikki, someone from a different country, to the many things and places that I love about this country. For example, I took her to my favorite city in the Northeast: Philadelphia. Here, I showed her around my favorite landmarks, such as the Schuylkill River and the famous Reading Terminal Market. Since we were in Philly, I even decided to take her to my dream school: the University of Pennsylvania. It was great to see that

believe the best part of this exchange was getting to interact with each other. We would have fun listening to music from both countries and even tell stories about the last time we met. This is why I believe we all became so close during the week. That is also why it was very difficult for all of us when it was time for the Dutch kids to leave. Although some of the kids who were involved in this exchange will have the opportunity to travel back next year, I and some others will hope to see them sometime near in the future.

The Benedict News [Page 23]




t all started with a handshake.

After learning about The Hive on 60 Minutes, academic leaders from Jac P. Thijsse College, a high school in Castricum, The Netherlands, reached out to officials at St. Benedict’s last year. The resulting handshake between Fr. Edwin Leahy, O.S.B., and the Dutch school’s Senior Management Coordinator, René Wellen, sealed the relationship.

“It all started with a handshake.” During the last week of September, St. Benedict’s welcomed 15 exchange students from the Dutch school. This followed an exchange earlier in March, when 15 Gray Bees visited the Dutch school as ex-

change students. Through this

rhyme with “sign”) Gabriels, a

program, these students were

Dutch exchange student who

given the opportunity to expe-

was hosted by Senior Ian Sim-

rience what their hosts hoped

mons, expected to see a much

they would view as the equally

smaller school because of the

illuminating and mind-broaden-

information he had been given

ing experience of The Hive.

by his host prior to visiting. But

Most of the student-visitors

he learned that the community

from the Netherlands had var-

was larger and more diverse

ious expectations of life in the

than he envisioned. One thing

United States.

Tijn noticed and admired about

Tijn (pronounced to


The Benedict News [Page 24]


the Netherlands, and the rules of the school are much stricter. Though it is “noisier” here, he appreciates the culture and diversity of both

the school was the sense of brotherhood. He realized how different our commu-

The Hive and the U.S. He enjoys the reality of life in the U.S. more than the way it is portrayed

nity is compared to his. In the Netherlands, he

in movies about America. On his first train ride

said, there are a lot of different cliques, mainly

with his host, Murphy-Torres, Hielke thought the

“The U.S is like the biggest country in the world and the most important country as well, so I really wanted to see what life was like over here” made up of classmates and peers. But here everybody was together all the time despite their grade or age. Tijn also enjoyed convocation and described it as “ a cool experience.” With this being his first trip to America, he loved to learn

rail car looked very crowded. Although it was an enjoyable experience for him, “doing it every day would be too much,” he said. After visiting Times Square, Hielke was able to scratch this accomplishment off his bucket list. “In Holland you see it on every magazine cover, so it was really nice to see it in person,” Hielke said. Being able to experience convocation, a daily gathering to rekindle our sense of community and brotherhood, was something

about the different cultures. He visited New York City where the buildings were a lot higher than what he had seen in movies. In order to prepare himself before coming, Tijn took bilingual classes and read about New Jersey in a book he received from Ian in Holland. Hielke (pronounced Heel-k) van de Laan, hosted by Senior Liam Murphy-Torres, noted expectations and realities similar to that of Tijn Gabriels. This being his first time out of Europe, Hielke stated that he noticed people value school and their education more than in

The Benedict News [Page 25]


that he admired. “It will be nice to have convocation back home,” he said. Siebe (pronounced “See-bay) Adrichem, hosted by Senior Liam Reilly, was very impressed about life in the U.S.. He expected everything to be as he had seen in movies, but his expectations also later changed after he arrived here. His most memorable experience was his visit to New York, where he visited the Statue of Liberty and many other sites in the city. He described his experience as “amazing” because New York is a very big city and there is no city in the Netherlands comparable to the immensity of New York. “The U.S is like the biggest country in the world and the most important country as well, so I really wanted to see what life was like over here,” he said. Siebe also truly admired the great sense brotherhood of the St. Benedict’s community. “Everyone here at St. Benedict’s is together always and no one is left out,” he said. The students said they had a great time and experienced the life of a normal teenager in the United States. The exchange program is expected to continue next year with a different set of students.

The Benedict News [Page 26]




he highly anticipated iPhone X retails at $999. But is it worth it? In public announcements, Apple has de-

scribed its newest product as the “future of smartphones.” Ever since July of 2008, Apple has been consistently producing stellar products and has unarguably altered the course of modern technology. The new iPhone X will not be any different. The iPhone X includes new features that have never been seen on iPhones before and is “one of the most exciting phones released this decade,” according to a hands-on review by techradar. Apple is introducing an alternative to the increasingly popular fingerprint feature that has been on its last three generations of phones in the form of facial recognition technology, which is expected to be a major hit. A new feature that will be included in the iPhone X is wireless charging, something that is also seen in the Galaxy S8. The iPhone X has an edge-to-edge screen, which is new to Apple. There is no home button and only a small space where the front camera is located. The iPhone X will have the same camera as the 7+ but it is flipped so it is vertically opposed to the two cameras being laid horizontally. Although the

it had in the 4s, using a glass back cover. This brings into question what the durability of this phone will be. Consumers, after all, will not be pleased if they spend $999 on a product and it breaks easily. The iPhone X is dust resistant and is described as water resistant in as deep as about 40 inches of water. Currently, the iPhone 7 and 7+ are outselling the S8, which could indicate that the iPhone X will do the same following its release. Will it live up to all the expectations a tech-dependent society holds for it? If Apple’s track record is any indication, the iPhone X surely will.


X is only marginally bigger than the iPhone 7 and iP-

Samsung has always seemed to be living in the

hone 6, the X has over an inch more screen than the

shadow of Apple. For so long, despite intensive ad-

previous generations. Apple is reverting to a design

vertising campaigns, Samsung has still not achieved

The Benedict News [Page 27]

OPINION the marketing savvy of Apple when it comes to hype or advertising new products. However in the year 2016 Samsung sold 306.4 million smartphones compared to Apple’s 216.06 million phones sold, so hype and marketing may not tell the whole story. Apple seems to be winning the tug of war with Samsung in terms of the anticipation for the X compared to the S8. There were between 40 and 50 million pre-orders for the iPhone X. Still the S8 is a quality phone and cannot be ignored. Though sale figures are not yet available, Samsung reported strong profits in its last quarter. If you remove the marketing cloak, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a quality phone. The S8 shares similar dimensions to the iPhone X and also features an edge-to-edge screen with the best display Samsung has used on a phone. A Forbes reporter said, “The display is as close to perfection as I’ve ever seen.” At the Verizon store at the Short Hills Mall on a recent Saturday, people gathered around all the smartphones on display. The Samsung S8 stood out due to its design. When held, it looks thin and sleek while also feeling solid and durable. The S8 has a fingerprint scanner allowing the owner of the phone to effortlessly unlock the phone without a password, a feature that will not be on the newest generation of the iPhone. If this is something you are a fan of, you may want to take that into consideration. The Galaxy S8 also has a face scanner like the iPhone X but it also has an iris scanner, a feature the X lacks. The pattern a person has in his or her iris is unique to them, much like a fingerprint, and it’s virtually impossible to replicate that pattern. The S8 also has

the same headphone jack it has had, an advantage over the iPhone 6 and 7. In those Apple products, designers removed the headphone jack for aesthetic reasons. Consumers balked because now, instead of attaching any headphone set they wished, they had to use the earbuds provided in the purchase. Otherwise, they had to use a specialized toggle to make the connection. The charger for the S8 is a standard USB-C cord which is the most common charging cord. The S8 is also lighter than the X and is waterresistant. Although the iPhone is currently more popular, the S8 is a quality phone and has many useful features that the iPhone X does not have. Samsung reported strong profits following the release of the S8 on April 21, 2017. We believe that if you were to give the S8 a chance, you won’t be disappointed as it has many useful features. But all in all, the iPhone X will prove to be the superior phone.

The Benedict News [Page 28]


considering that so many graduates are still paying off thousands of dollars in student debt. A study from the University of La Verne in

By Diego Martinez

California provides the statistic that between 50 to

run into a lot of students who laugh when I say

70 percent of students change their majors at least

that I will be attending a community college next

once during their college careers. Most students


year. I get it. The perception among many is that being enrolled in a community college means that your grades weren’t good enough to be allowed ad-

mission to a four-year institution. What I’ve come to realize, however, is that I am not alone. In fact more and more students are choosing community colleges over four-year universities than ever before. There are a few reasons for this megatrend.

In fact more and more students are choosing community colleges over four-year universities than ever before. The most significant of these reasons is the cost. Tuition and fees at public four-year colleges were nearly three times that of community colleges in the 2014-15 school year, according to the website Seeing as academics are not my only priority, and I am not completely sure this is the best way to guarantee my long-term financial success, why would I make my biggest investment into something I’m not 100 percent committed to? This

All this when we may not even be paying for a training in our future careers, but merely financing a detour on our final path. will change majors at least three times before they graduate. I can’t help but wonder if it is really a wise choice for me and some others to matriculate at a four-year institution and ultimately have to keep up with seemingly never-ending increases in tuition rates. All this when we may not even be paying for a training in our future careers, but merely financing a detour on our final path. A lot can change within four years, and I would hate to find out after the fact that I had overpaid for classes I didn’t even need. In a recent New York Times article, Michele Campagna, the executive director of the Center for Advising and Student Transitions at Montclair State University, says many students choose majors they think will lead to to the best jobs. However, four years from now “freshmen will be applying for jobs that don’t even exist today,” she says, as reported by

is especially important to take into account when

The Benedict News [Page 29]

OPINION the New York Times. Community college allows for more flexibility when it comes to choosing a ca-

There are more than 44 million borrowers with $1.3 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone. reer path. According to the website, there are more than 44 million borrowers

ed this application process earlier

eral of my fellow classmates for

with $1.3 trillion in student loan

than many of my peers because I

getting themselves into some of

debt in the U.S. alone. The aver-

felt most comfortable with BMCC

the most elite schools in the coun-

age student in the Class of 2016

based on my own situation. Not

try. While many will be receiving

has $37,172 in student loan debt,

only does BMCC offer ideal finan-

scholarships that will support them

according to an article in Forbes.

cial support and a rare flexibility

in this endeavor and will be in the

How is one supposed to pay this

of schedule, it is also located in

position of receiving an excellent

back? Through unpaid intern-

Tribeca in lower Manhattan. This

education without being saddled

ships? Not very likely.

is four blocks away from Broad-

with debt, this still leaves a group

way and walking distance from

of students who may not be the

the New York Stock Exchange

beneficiaries of such substantial

and the World Trade Center. I can

scholarships. It may pay to ask

only imagine who I may run into

a question some people would

on my daily commute, and what

never dare to utter aloud: Is a tra-

networking opportunities they may

ditional university worth it? When


asked, the answer might point you

I have already begun processing my application to the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) in New York. Due to my residency in NYC, my tuition will be completely free and I can apply for night or weekend classes according to my schedule. I start-

I want to congratulate sev-

in a new direction. Mine.

The Benedict News [Page 30]


venue run by the Archdiocese of New York City. Guests were welcomed there from all walks of


n a world where daily life is loaded with distractions, can Christianity aid humanity in

finding its true purpose? Fr. Julian Carron, a Catholic priest and leader of the lay movement Communion and Liberation, addresses this in his new book “Disarming Beauty.” His outlook is rooted in the Christian tradition; but he is open to engaging with people from all backgrounds, under the premise that all human beings are united by their “religious sense.” By this, he means their infinite desire for meaning and happiness. Concluding a U.S. book tour that took him to cities that included Houston and Washington, D.C., Fr. Carron recently spoke in New York. I had the opportunity to attend his presentation, along with a few students and alumni. During his visit to New York, Fr. Carron spoke at several locations. During a presentation at the United Nations headquarters, he spoke to a gathering that included UN ambassadors, Catholic bishops, and representatives from other religious traditions. Fr. Carron also addressed visitors to the Sheen Center, an event

life. Getting to hear Fr. Carron speak in person about his book was an incredible opportunity, both for me and my students. As the students have been reading excerpts from his work as part of class, the experience allowed us to reflect more deeply on the topics we’ve been discussing. Fr. Carron writes in his book that the the core of our identity as human beings is expressed through searching for the answers to “ultimate” questions about life. What is the meaning of existence? What makes life worth living? Such queries, writes Fr. Carron, “are inexhaustible, and have within them a need for totality.” By nature then, we are never satisfied with partial or temporary answers. If we want to be happy, we need answers that will endure, that will fully satisfy our infinite desire for meaning. During his presentation at the UN, Carron spoke about an experience in which he took his high school class on a field trip to a local planetarium in Madrid, Spain. Afterwards, he asked them to write down their questions about the experience. “Mind you, they didn’t ask ‘How many

The Benedict News [Page 31]


Bryan Pino (from left), Nate Cruz, and Mr Adubato attend a lecture by Fr. Carron in New York City

stars are in the sky?’ or ‘How far apart are the

Technology and social media contribute

planets from each other?’ They can easily find

to what can be seen as a widespread sense of

the answers to these questions. Rather, they

emptiness, he said. It’s so easy for us to get

asked me ‘Who is the author of this beauty?’ and distracted from our desire to search for a mean‘What does the vastness of the universe have to

ing that lies beyond the surface of life, he noted.

do with my mundane daily tasks?’”

When our relationship with reality is reduced

Fr. Carron laments that many modern

to seeking moments of instant gratification and

school systems “suppress” young people’s exis-

mere calculations of data, it becomes more and

tential questions about meaning by limiting the

more difficult to understand what Fr. Carron

scope of learning to merely pragmatic data and

refers to as the “eternal Mystery of our being.”

facts. “Without a proposal of meaning or pur-

I see this when I walk into a classroom where

pose, young people become bored and disillu-

students are more enthralled by Snapchat or a

sioned,” he said. “ Education becomes more of

game on their phone than by having a conversa-

an empty routine than a means to foster one’s

tion with each other.

sense of wonder and fascination with reality.”

Is technology the root of the problem?

The Benedict News [Page 32]

“You can take away the technology, but that won’t solve the problem,” he said. “The real question is whether or not what is happening in the classroom is actually more fascinating than what’s going on on young people’s phones.” Fr. Carron sees technology not so much as an infection but a bandage used to mask boredom and emptiness. “The only true antidote,” he said, “is a teacher who teaches with the certainty that life is indeed full of meaning and that the subject they are teaching is fascinating, beautiful, and worth learning about for its own sake.” The presentation reminded me of what a privilege it is to teach at a school where I am free to search with my students and coworkers for God and for a sense of meaning beyond achieving success, wealth, and pleasure. As a student, I wasn’t allowed to “search” in this way with my teachers in my public high school. I was overwhelmed with gratitude as I sat next to my students at Carron’s presentation. “I’m sharing an experience with them that I could only dreamed of having with my teachers in high school,” I thought to myself. Who could be responsible for giving me such a gift? Fr. Carron’s words about technology and boredom in education have challenged me to deepen my understanding of my vocation as a teacher. While certain policies need to be put in place in order to ensure that we be focused in the classroom, is this enough in itself? Fr. Carron’s words have provoked me to spend more time talking with my students about the purpose of technology and why we use it in the first place. It’s more effective to ask someone what they’re actually seeking on Instagram than tell them to turn off their phone. It’s much more empowering for students to choose to act in a particular way because they believe it’s more fulfilling, than manage their behavior for the sake of following a rule. Thinking through Fr. Carron’s words has also provoked me to start asking myself daily if I’m convinced that what I’m teaching is really worth my students’ full attention. I am driven, more than ever. to communicate with greater certainty and passion that what we are learning is valuable for its own sake. I want every class period to be viewed as an invitation to join me on a journey to discovering glimmerings of meaning. In my mind, it’s a powerful way toward finding God’s Beauty.

The Benedict News [Page 33]

The Benedict News Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief Liam Murphy-Torres Social Media Editor Diego Martinez Photography Editor Jonathan Dulce Design Editor Yannie Lopez

The Benedict News Magazine is published during the academic year by the students of St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, N.J. Our mission is to provide a voice for the students and provide news of concern to them in a balanced and fair manner. The Benedict News Magazine and abide by the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists. The editorials reflect the views and opinions of the The Benedict News Editorial Board only. The Benedict News Magazine and www.

News Editor belong to the Columbia

Hunter Farinhas

Scholastic Press Association, the Quill and Scroll,

Online Editor

the Garden State Scholastic Press Association,

Michael Amankwaah

and the Journalism Education Association.

Sports Editor

If you would like to be a patron of The Ben-

Sebastian Granizo

edict News, please contact Liam Murphy-Torres at

Faculty Adviser Thank you to the entire

Ms. Kitta MacPherson

SBP community for your support.

Assistant to the Adviser Mr. John P. Lodato

Staff Writers: Olatunji Adewole, Chrisley Alexis, Jacob Amaro, Jonah Baez, Arthur Cirino, Nasir Drayton, Jules Gouton, Justin Guevara, Hugo Gutierrez, Ahmad Henderson, Malachi Hinds, A.J. Johnson, Esteban Lema, Isaiah Murray, Alex Oliveira, Tanzeel Rehman, Daron Reyes, Brian Silva, Justin Vasquez, Phil Wilson Staff Photographers: Andrews Angamarca, Anton Fernando, Logisan Lorance

Benedict News Winter 2017  
Benedict News Winter 2017