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November 2013

LXXXI • Issue 2• 11 Farm Road, New Canaan, CT, 06840

Also inside 5 New radio station to be started for news and music

10 The Long Haul: NCHS has been in session for 12 straight weeks

15 An opinions piece about the smells of the school

Preschool program builds relationships The NCHS preschool provides a basis for learning as child development students interact with local toddlers



6 Electronic Cigarette use increases Students turn to electronic cigarettes, known as “e-cigs,” as an alterntaive to regular cigarettes

16 The music behind Julian Hough

Senior Julian Hough worked his way to be chosen to play in the National Band as a clarinetist

FCIAC round-ups: Check out how the Rams did this fall season

19 Football begins yoga sessions

The undeafted varsity football team has incorporated yoga into their training sessions this season


NCHS Courant | November 22 2013

Courant introduces new 2013-14 Staff Photo by Emilia Savini

Co-News Editors, Carly Risom and Sarah Maddox help reporter Matt Riley with layout planning for the November issue of the Courant.

Emilia Savini Reporter

The four new Editors-in-Chief (EICs) Emily Brand, Tyler Kendall, Isabel Lawrence and Bryn Pennetti lead the Courant. A new set of section editors are also being welcomed to the Courant staff, as well as two new positions, photo editor and social media editor. As a reporter for Teen Kids News for FOX, Isabel is looking to bring her past experiences to the table this year. Eager to take on the responsibility of EIC, Isabel is conscientious of her new leadership role. “My main role as EIC is to oversee the paper, try to organize what stories we are doing when they come out and contacting the publisher of the paper and printer,” Isabel said. EIC Emily has learned from her past experiences and roles in her Journalism 1 and 2 classes. “Last year as a section editor of News, I think that I really learned to manage smaller sections and to see how the smaller aspects of the paper worked to contribute to the main goal,” she said. “What we are looking to produce this year is an excellent paper, and having been a section editor, I have learned so much about how each member of the class contributes.” EIC Tyler is looking forward to working with her fellow EICs, and knows what skills are essential in order for the whole staff to coordinate. “Communication between the four EICs has been essential this year and is something we are striving to continue,” she said. “I’m really excited for this year because of both our new

staff and new layout.” As the EIC focused on the visual components of the paper, Bryn is working on a new layout for the Courant. “I want the layout to be more relatable to the school; that’s why it’s more colorful and fun,” she said. “Also, I want it to be classy and streamline, which I think will grab people’s attention more so than the red and black issue produced in past years.” With a new year comes a fresh start, and the Courant introduced three brand new positions.

There is a lot of talent in the class. I feel that we can accomplish a lot. Emily Brand, ‘14 Junior Hannah Kirkpatrick, photo editor for the Courant, has experience in photography which has given her a foundation in photojournalism. “Over the summer, I went to Haiti for a photojournalism expedition,” Hannah said. “Also, doing a photojournalism class at Georgetown University definitely improved my skill and knowledge in preparation for this year.” Hannah wants to improve the quality of the media this year, an aspect of the paper that the

Courant staff has set out to strengthen. “My goal is to have better quality photos in print and online issues that will enhance the writing and appeal to the reader.” Senior Page Jones is also taking on a newly introduced position as social media editor, a position which uses social media to keep the readers up to date and informed of behind the scenes action as well. The Courant’s Instagram is one of the newest additions to the Courant’s social media outlet. According to Page, “My past experience has helped me stay connected to social media and knowing what is going on in technology.” Page is focusing on refreshing the print issue by integrating social media. “I plan to take on this role with a fresh outlook on what we can make the Courant into by incorporating social media. I want to work on creating the bridge between the student body and the paper,” she said. Senior Emily Wood is taking on a the position of Centerfold Editor this year and is excited to bring this format back to the Courant. “With Centerfold being reintroduced this year, I think it will be an interesting component to the newspaper, because every month will be something completely new,” she said. Junior Features Editor Casey Manzella learned a great deal from section editors before her, and she’s looking to incorporate her knowledge into the Features section this year. “Last year the section editors really served as role models for me and I worked really hard to strive to be like them,” Casey said. “Tyler Kendall did an excellent job of running the features

section last year and I hope I can do the same.” Senior Keaton McAuliffe, Sports Editor is setting out to teach the Journalism 1 students the in’s and out’s of journalism. “I hope that through this new role I can not only improve my leadership skills, but help teach the younger students about journalism and give them the skills they need to take on leadership positions.” Junior News Editor Sarah Maddox is looking to incorporate the information she learned as a Journalism 1 student into her position this year, “I learned how to use InDesign, write quality articles, conduct good interviews, and find media that adds to my stories all last year,” Sarah said. “It all took a lot of practice, but it was worth it because now I am confident in my journalism work and am able to help others which makes me feel great.” Junior Carly Risom works alongside News Editor Sarah as well. Similarly, Carly learned a great deal of knowledge from her past year in Journalism 1. “Not only was I learning from incredibly talented writers, but I was making every mistake that I could have imagined,” Carly said. “It was in making these mistakes, however, that I was conditioned into the kind of writer I am today.” Senior Opinions Editor Lizzy Burke hopes to incorporate topics students are buzzing about into her work, to ensure the content is interesting to the student body. “This year, I want to get a lot of contributed pieces and tackle topics that the student body and staff will really want to read about,” she said. If you are interested in writing an opinion piece for the Courant, contact Lizzy Burke at elizabeth.burke@ncps-k12. org. With media being a major component to the Courant this year, Web Editor, junior Charlie Sosnick must keep the website up and running in order to maintain the online presence of the Courant. “Its a balance of technical and interpersonal roles,” he said. “I try and make sure the website is always running smoothly so everybody can do their jobs.” Arts Editor, junior Chloe Rippe has prepared to take on her role as section editor by thinking about the reporters, and making their job easier with some guidance, “My planning mostly just revolves around how I as an editor can ease the work of the reporters and sort of guide them to let them learn on their own how to become better writers and interviewers,” Chloe said. As the new Courant staff is taking on this year differently than in past years by slowing things down at the beginning of the year, Emily Brand sees promise in the group. “We definitely took a little more time at the beginning of the year to teach everyone the full process of journalistic writing, and from what I’ve seen so far that has really paid off,” Emily said. “There is a lot of talent in the class, and even though we have a smaller group this year I feel that we can accomplish a lot.”


NCHS Courant

November 22 2013

Veterans and students connect for Library of Congress project

Photo by Hannah Kirkpatrick

Declan O’Connor and Kenon Lysenko interview a World War II veteran.

Isabel Lawrence Editor-In-Chief

Veterans from the New Canaan community participated in a series of interviews on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at NCHS as part of a Veteran’s Day project headed by social studies department chair Robert Stevenson. The project, which is comprised of veteran interviews conducted by juniors in American history classes, was filmed by NCTV in hopes of submitting the tapes to the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project. In the past, NCHS has held an annual Vet-

eran’s Day assembly, in which the student body listens to veterans come in and talk about their experiences during their service. However, Mr. Stevenson was inspired to celebrate Veteran’s Day in a new way this year. “Mr. Webb last year gave a Veteran’s Day speech at the town Veteran’s Day service, and it was awesome. It was personal, heart felt, he talked about his family, he talked about people he’d met, it felt very personal,” Mr. Stevenson said. “And it got me thinking about how could we get kids to not only hear the speeches, but take it to the next level of thinking from a historian’s perspective.” Mr. Stevenson decided that this next level of

thinking could be achieved through participating in the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project, a collection of videos, speeches, and personal stories of American veterans. Instead of the traditional assembly, this year two students from each American history class co-conducted a 30 minute interview with a veteran. These interviews took place every period of the day for the whole day, and were filmed by NCTV in the Wagner room. NCTV will now edit and produce the interview footage for submission to the Library of Congress. According to Mr. Stevenson, because of NCTV’s facilities and capabilities, the interviews conducted will be valuable additions to the Veterans History Project. “Although there’ve been tens of thousands of interviews done, when I look at the material that’s online, the quality of the videos online is limited,” he said. “I think the TV Broadcasting students here have the ability to produce high quality video, so it’s kind of a real world application. I think we can do it as well or better than most of the stuff that’s out there.” Before any filming could happen, the student interviewers, who volunteered or were selected from their American history classes, had to undergo preparation. Social Studies teacher Amy Rothschild, who has three classes of American History, helped guide her students. “We provided them with a list of questions that had been recommended by the Library of Congress, to

whom this project is ultimately going, and we told them to select questions that they think are pertinent,” she said. “They should then streamline or focus their questions appropriately. The other instruction that I gave them was that they should absolutely work with each other in terms of coming up with the questions.” Social Studies teacher Michael Staffaroni saw how this whole process was a learning experience for students, from preparation to execution. “The [interviewing] skills are the same, the skills of being comfortable enough with your subject to be prepared with the person you’re going to interview, to kind of understand what the point is and what do you want to get as an interviewer, what do you want to get out of the interview. These are all important skills for the students to learn,” he said. “We’re not just practicing and learning content, the content being the veteran’s story. The students will be learning these skills that can be developed and improved over time. The skill of oral history.”


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Students discuss American justice system at CDA debate tournament Carly Risom News Editor

With a newly set record for the most attendance in the tournament’s history, NCHS was recently filled with 245 students from high schools in the western region of Connecticut. On Saturday, Nov. 16, the NCHS debate team competed against other FCIAC teams in the state’s largest tournament to date. At 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, the debaters received their topic assignments, including a packet of comprehensive research intended to prepare the students for the debate. After gathering ample information, the competitors met to debate at approximately 10:00 a.m. In the hour between topic assignments and the beginning the first round of debating, the students were expected to prepare both pros and cons for each topic. Debate coach Kristine Goldhawk described the ambiguity of the argument, “The topic is selected ahead of time, but the only thing that the students can really do is stay up to date on current news,” she said. “Whatever the topic, it is always a statement, and is regarding anything involving foreign policy or domestic policy.” According to Ms. Goldhawk, this debate’s topic was about the American justice system, and which crimes constitute jail time, while past topics have included whether or not the Federal Government should provide funding in disaster-prone areas, according to Ms. Goldhawk. After the topic is assigned and research packets are distributed, competitors construct an argument for the pros and cons

Photo by Carly Risom

Members of the NCHS debate team exchange handshakes. of the issue from roughly 9:00-10:00 a.m. Ms. Goldhawk noted the importance of each student preparing adequate information on both sides, “Every debater is going to be taking both the affirmative and negative side at one point, either in Round 1 or Round 2,” she said. “Therefore, they really have to be well-versed on both sides of the argument.” At 10:00 a.m., the schedule is released and the students are assigned either the affirmative or negative side of the topic. From there, competitors debate in extemporaneous style from 10:00-11:30 for their side in Round 1. Afterwards, 11:30-1:00 is the designated time for Round 2, in which debaters argue for the opposite side they discussed before.

Besides the routine extemporaneous style of debating, debaters occasionally argue in parliamentary style as well. The team’s senior tri-captain Gita Abhiraman finds the parliamentary process an opportunity to demonstrate both intelligence and creativity, “In parliamentary debating, debaters typically get fifteen minutes to prepare a case without the use of any resources,” she said. “You have to be creative and think on your feet, I find it challenging and therefore rewarding.” The hour for lunch, from 2:00-3:00, is when debaters are allotted time to discuss strategy, “Normally, at lunch, the New Canaan team gets together to debrief,” Ms. Goldhawk said. “They discuss what’s working, as well as what’s not working so that they can fix things before the third round.” When lunch is over, the third round commences and teams are under pressure to give it there all, “The most exciting part of debate is the last round and knowing that there is a lot of pressure on you to qualify for states,” the team’s junior secretary Steven Singer said. Besides from the stress of the third round, Gita considers the rebuttal as another one of the most entertaining aspects of debate, “My favorite part of a debate is the rebuttal,” Gita said. “This is where we get to refute our opponent’s case and show how our arguments clash.”


NCHS Courant

November 22 2013

Innovative approaches to advisory change the mentoring experience for all student should be able to have a stress-free discussion with a teacher as a friend, not as a student. “We want students and teachers to get something out of it,” he said. As for the development of the program, Mr. Bloss explained how the system has been refined from last year’s debut. “Some faculty members like to have a script, while others like to do their own thing,” He said. “What we’re trying to do is give faculty members an opportunity to do what is most comfortable for them in order to provide the lessons.” “What we’ve told them is ‘Guys, if you want to work from the script, go for it, and if you want to Mr. Bloss work off the cuff, go for it, as long as you stay on task in terms of meeting the goal, we’re fine with that,” Mr. Bloss said. He encourages creativity in the lesson plan and freedom for teachers to run their classes as they please. As Mr. Bloss mentioned, some teachers have certainly shaken things up a bit. English department chair and teacher Heidi D’Acosta decided to cook pancakes with her advisory class. Ms. D’Acosta said she was actually inspired by other advisors who were similarly changing

the way they delivered their lessons. “ [It was] definitely the inspiration of Mr. McAteer,” she said. “One day there were all these guitars that appeared in the English office, and he told us that in his advisory, somebody was going to teach the other kids to play guitar,” she said. “So then I talked to my advisory group, and we were brainstorming things that we could all do when food came up, and we decided to go for it.” Ms. D’Acosta even felt that she was able to fully implement the advisory lesson into her class’ cooking. “Because I felt some obligation to at least address goals, and we used the breakfast to help set up a goal, we planned it by having everyone bring something,” she said. “We didn’t actually end up making breakfast on the second day. You can set a goal and plan for it but unless you follow through the plan doesn’t happen,” she said. “I asked the kids what they learned from this and they said ‘that we’re really bad at this?’ I said no, that we need to try again.”

As long as you stay on task in terms of meeting the goal, we’re fine with that

Photo By Matt Riley

Junior Erik Burns plays acoustic guitar during an advisory class in Mr. Mcateer’s room.

Matt Riley Reporter

The Mentoring and Advisory program was implemented into our school routine late last year, and has continued to develop and change. Advisors have begun to implement new strate-

gies into delivering their lessons to the students. Math teacher Anthony Bloss discussed the main purpose of the program. “Our goal is to provide an opportunity for every student to have a relationship with at least one adult in the building who is not either in a supervisory or evaluative position, so that they don’t feel judged,” he said. Mr. Bloss stated that every

CBS News President, Evening News Anchor inspire the Courant reporters

Photo by Tyler Kendall

The class enjoyed a tour of the CBS Evening News Studio, inluding a surprise encounter with Anchor Scott Pelley. Mr. Pelley talked to us about his own experience in the field as well as the importance of the future of journalism.

Photo by Lizzy Burke

The journalism class got a tour of CBS Studios, including one of the busy offices in charge of online media. Pictured here is one of the lobbies the class saw located outside of the main CBS offices.

Photo by Lizzy Burke

During our tour, we traveled from the 60 Minutes offices to the CBS News Studios building across the street. 60 Minutes Coordinating Producer Alison Pepper helped lead us throughout both of the offices.

Photo by Lizzy Burke

Chairman of CBS News and Excecutive Producer of 60 Minutes Jeff Fager talked to us about the impact he has on the CBS News organization. We were shown a highlight reel of 60 Minutes broadcasts from the past year.

5 News

NCHS Courant

November 22 2013

Up-and-coming radio station brings news and music to our school

Photo by Hannah Kirkpatrick

A member of the St. Luk’es radio show edits an audio piece for an upcoming broadcast.

Emilia Savini Reporter

While most radio stations are broadcasted from high-tech studios, Roman Cebulski is looking to have NCHS students run their own station out of the school’s hidden underground. Journalism and TV Broadcasting teacher Mr. Cebulski hopes to expand the broadcasting horizons of NCHS by starting a student-run radio station. “The Career & Tech Education (CTE) department is always looking for ways to expand our offerings and our courses,” he said. With students attending classes and hav-

ing minimal free time throughout the school day, Mr. Cebulski plans on reaching listeners through mobile devices. “If we’re streaming all the time then anytime that students are free, they can tune into the radio broadcast on their phone,” Mr. Cebulski said. “Or if they are at home, on their computer, and also at school during a free period through a computer as well.” Mr. Cebulski believes the school station will appeal to the student body over regular radio stations because of the mutual connections between students and their interests in music. According to Mr. Cebulski, “I think that having a

wide variety of students with a wide variety of interests, that they will get to hear more music that they associate themselves with, more so than a regular radio station.” Not only will the radio station play music, but it will also provide information to the student body. “This will provide students with what they need to know like announcements or the weather or what’s going on after school or on the weekends,” Mr. Cebulski said. Moreover, Mr. Cebulski hopes that the students will get a hands on learning experience and be able to independently decide what goes on the station. “The same way that NCTV is student run, I would really like them to make their own decisions about programming and content.” With this potential course coming into place next year, the efforts of Mr. Cebulski and his TV Broadcasting students have been geared towards preparation. “We are just in the infancy of it, and what’s going to happen right now is that our broadcasting club will start meeting,” Mr. Cebulski said. “We are going to use this year to develop the radio station and build it from the ground up.” Not only does this plan require the support of both students and teachers, but the Board of Education must approve the proposal as well. “Once we feel that we have our basis we will propose it as a course to the Board of Education and hopefully get their support and make

it an actual course that students can take,” Mr. Cebulski said. The Record Club, a group of music enthusiasts at NCHS listens to their latest music favorites every Friday in Mr. Gallo’s room. According to senior Alex Rose, a member of the Record Club, the radio station’s purpose would be to bring the members of the record club and other students together in their appreciation for music, “Music benefits the school by bringing people together from different grades and groups and creates a deeper understanding and appreciation of music,” she said. Sophomore John Bemis, another member of the Record Club, agrees with Alex, and also sees how important music can be to students. “I think without music a lot of students would lose an important form of expression,” he said. In order to gain insight into the workings of a student-run radio station, Mr. Cebulski has turned to St. Luke’s School. Their radio station, WSLX, has been up and running for 40 years. “I am certainly looking at existing programs at other schools and taking things that they do and figuring out how it works best for us,” he said.


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Google Hangouts provide opportunity for student interaction Sarah Maddox News Editor

Google Hangouts, a new service by Google Plus, is a tool that the NCHS media center staff highly encourages students to use. Students can access Google Plus through their school email account in order to chat, send pictures, and video call with peers. Google Hangouts allows you to access other features of Google Plus while talking with peers.  “It’s convenient because you can work on projects in Google Drive while video calling at the same time,” Senior George Herde said.   Library Media Specialist Michelle Luhtala understands that other means of communicating for school work can easily turn into distractions.  “Facebook groups are breeding grounds for unconstructive conversation,” she said.   “Google Hangouts helps conversations be more constructive and creates positive conversations about learning.” Google Hangouts, a new service by Google Plus, is a tool that the NCHS media center staff highly encourages students to use. Students can access Google Plus through their school email account in order to chat, send pictures, and video call with peers.

Google Hangouts allows you to access other features of Google Plus while talking with peers. “It’s convenient because you can work on projects in Google Drive while video calling at the same time,” Senior George Herde said. Google Hangouts can not only be used by students but also by teachers. Ms. Luhtala and other teachers to provide individual help that may be difficult to provide during class. According to Ms. Luhtala, “The more ways that you give the to reach out the more likely you’ll reach their needs along the way.” Ms. Luhtala is even considering being available to chat on Google Hangouts from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on school nights, depending on how popular the service becomes. She sees a need for improvement in virtual interaction, which is becoming such a huge part of the work world. Many students are looking for any opportunity they can get to use a new technological tool to aid them with their work. “Google Hangouts seems really cool and convenient for group projects, especially for my senior year, which is jam-packet with difficult courses,” Senior Spencer Lambdin said. “I like the idea of having everything in one space.” However, some students disagree, finding the

Brian Williams discusses the first responders with Tyler Kendall

Photo by Johnny Osterndorf Photo by Hannah Kirkpatrick

Ms. Luhtala initates a videochat on her laptop in the library using Google Hangouts. amount of technology that is encouraged overwhelming. “The school gives us many resources, but at some point it’s too much. We need to figure things out ourselves,” junior Grace Stryker said. The use of Google Hangouts will not be required, but the service is accessible for all students. “The goal is to facilitate learning and

minimize frustration,” Ms. Luhtala said. For more information on Google Hangouts, watch the how-to video on Ms. Luhtala’s YouTube channel: loots1964.


NCHS Courant | November 22 2013


1 E-cigarettes on the rise 1 Jillian Gould Reporter

Sophomore Elizabeth* got hooked on cigarettes in eighth grade and has been trying to quit ever since by using electronic cigarettes, also known as “e-cigs.” However, this new, modern cigarette has not provided the benefits Elizabeth had hoped for. “The e-cigs worked for some time,” she said. “It would alleviate the stress of even wanting to smoke but then after awhile they would run out, and it would make me want to smoke regular cigarettes again.” More and more kids seem to be turning to this product. “Nationally, I just heard that e-cigarette use is up and that kids that might not have smoked before are using them,” Assistant principal Mr. Rothman said. Peer pressure has contributed to electronic cigarettes popularity. “All the cool kids did it, so I thought that maybe it would be cool,” sophomore smoker Blair said. Yet, according to Mr. Rothman, e-cigs have not become a problem at school. “I haven’t seen anybody using them,” he said. “I know there has been a couple instances where a single student has had one, but when asked to put it away, they put it away. It has not been an issue here at school, other than within a couple isolated instances.” Students have found different things appealing about e-cigarettes. “It’s kind of a stress reliever because you just feel better and more relaxed,” freshman John said.

Some students believe electronic cigarettes are healthier than regular cigarettes. “They’re fun and they’re not bad for you, so it isn’t like anything would happen,” sophomore smoker Ann said. Elizabeth agreed. “They’re healthier than cigarettes, and there are different flavors that you can have,” she said. “So there’s a different taste to each single one of them.” According to health teacher Steven Bedard, however, e-cigarettes still have negative health effects despite what some students may think. “They still deliver as much, if not more, nicotine to the user,” he said. “I think some of the health consequences Blair, ‘16 of using e-cigs are still undefined because they are relatively new. So that is worrisome that people are using something they think is safe, when they’re still becoming addicted to nicotine and they are unaware of the consequences of using them long term.” Although some students smoke ecigarettes instead of cigarettes, sophomore smoker Alex feels they do not provide the same feeling. “They don’t work all the time, they aren’t a good alternative,” he

said. “They don’t give you the same buzz.” Senior Thomas uses e-cigs as well as regular cigarettes. “I use electronic cigarettes because while you’re in an enclosed area where smoking is not allowed, such as my room, you’re allowed to use an electronic cigarette,” he said. “But outside, with friends and other people, cigarettes are more common, and you smoke those. That’s why I smoke both of them.” The hazards of electronic cigarettes are similar to regular cigarettes. “Potentially, I think they are just as harmful,” Mr. Bedard said. “Although you may not be getting the chemicals that we know are in cigarettes, you’re still getting a large amount of nicotine, which is still very addictive, and vapors that we don’t know a whole lot about.” Although electronic cigarettes are different, many students regard them the same as regular cigarettes. “I smoke e-cigs with my friends who normally smoke regular cigarettes because they’re used to being around it,” Elizabeth said. “It is a lot easier than being around people who don’t normally smoke because some people don’t like smoke blowing around in their face, even if it is just water vapor.” Although e-cigs are illegal for minors to

All the cool kids did it, so I thought that maybe it would be cool


During 2011-2012 the amount of high school students who admitted to having tried an e-cigarette increased from 4.7% to 10.0%, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Photo by Jillian Gould In 2012 over 1.78 million students in grades 6-12 tried e-cigarettes, according to CDC. Photo by Jillian Gould

purchase, students have found ways around this obstacle. “I can get them online from amazon, or from people who sell them,” Elizabeth said. “I normally get them from the people who sell them. It is really easy to do.” Even after reading the Student Handbook, students at the High School may still be confused because it forbids only tobacco products. “Even if it is not a cigarette, per say, it is still violating the rule of tobacco use or tobacco type products,” Mr. Rothman said. Many parents follow a similar policy, condemning smoking both cigarettes and e-cigarettes “My mom would kill me if she found out I smoked e-cigarettes,” Elizabeth said. “She is against all of that.” Some parents are not only against it, but may take it personally as well. “My parents have no idea that I use either, and I think they would be really upset and not approve, due to other family members’ poor decisions,” Walker said. Mr. Rothman supports this strict policy at home. “I would hope that any parent would discourage any use of e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes,” he said. Mr. Bedard feels it is important that students understand the health consequences if they are going to smoke. “The message that I would give students is that they’re still using a product that delivers a large amount of nicotine and it is still harmful to the body.”

*All names have been changed

7 Features

NCHS Courant

November 22, 2013

NCHS preschool teaches valuable lessons to child development students

Photo by Hannah Kirkpatrick

Sophomore Cameron Devitt captures the attention of preschool students during the class. Madeleine Gertsen Reporter At 8 A.M. Amanda Stirgwolt, NCHS Child Development teacher, meets with her high school students, brings them to the preschool located within the high school, and they greet the preschoolers who come pouring in. The Child Development classes and AP Child Development classes pair up with their “buddy” and the learning begins. Each preschooler is assigned to an older NCHS “buddy”. “Having a buddy is a really cute experience because it’s someone that you get to know on a really personal level,” junior Veronica Ma said. “It’s this friendship within

this mentoring experience that can be really special with the buddy.” In the preschool program, high school students learn the basic stages of development as well as the developmental characteristics of children. This class teaches high schoolers why children do certain things at a certain age, making it easier for them to identify specific behaviors. “I think the class has made it easier to interact with them and understand where they’re coming from because there’s not really much to say to them,” sophomore Alexandra Whitaker said. “So it’s kind of like speaking their language and acting like them.” These studies expose the high school stu-

dents to family relationships that can be observed during the class and also teach them how adults can help or inhibit the growth of their own children. “Because most people are going to go on and raise a family, you learn a lot of valuable skills,” Veronica said. Each student at NCHS can go through the course with the understanding of how their parents felt when raising them. “I think Child Development for a high school student allows them to experience kind of a different side of their own development,” Ms. Stirgwolt said. “They get to see what it was possibly like for their parents when they were that little.” According to Ms. Stirgwolt, the idea that high schoolers can apply what they learn in class to their everyday lives is a unique aspect of the course. “Now that they’re in high school it kind of gives them a different perspective on where they’ve come from and where they’re going in the future,” she said. AP Child Development student, junior Brigid Stanley, felt that taking these classes helped her notice more about children in her every day life. “Once I started learning about what their actions meant, everything made more sense to me when I was babysitting or just seeing kids in town and what they were doing,” she said. In addition to knowing these skills, Child Development students are also providing a business for the town. “It’s a really convenient

way for people around town to actually have a place to put their little kids,” Veronica said. “It’s really awesome for all of the students at New Canaan High School to learn about how children develop. It’s a really amazing and unique program that we have.” Ms. Stirgwolt agrees that the preschool is beneficial for both parents and students. “They’re running a business for the town, so they can practice leadership skills,” she said. “They also have a chance to be a leader as they get buddied up with their preschool buddy.” These mentoring skills familiarize high school students with all the details of a child’s growth in a thought-provoking way. “It gives you a whole new perspective on what a preschooler is like, the complexities of development and just in general how you can be a better mentor and supporter of child development,” Veronica said. Ms. Stirgwolt believes that the program provides many benefits for its high school students. “They’re a mentor, they’re an encourager, they’re a learning coach,” she said. “They’re inspiring the little kids to learn new things.”


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Students develop appreciation for diversity through Wilburn Fellowship Danny Konstantinovic Reporter Seniors Gita Abhiraman, Alexandra Klapper and Jessica Kao won the Wilburn Fellowship award in 2012, for their project, ‘Widening The Scope’, a documentary film following the lives of students around the world. “Once we decided to create a documentary film, we started to look for collaborators overseas who were willing to send us video diaries about their cultural life,” Gita said. According to the Wilburn Fellowship’s website, their mission is “to foster the understanding of humanity’s differences, whether of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion or culture, such that those differences can be respected, learned from, embraced and celebrated.” This program encourages high school students to contribute towards its goal of global understanding, and offers a stipend to finalists so that they can pursue their project. “Without the framework and support of the Fellowship, I don’t think our documentary would have been possible,” Gita said. “The fellowship gave us the funding to purchase cameras and send them overseas.” Senior Stephen Mettler has applied for the fellowship for a second time this year, having applied once before in 2013. “I saw the project that Gita, Jessica, and Alex did and I thought that was really cool,” Stephen said. “Several months later I had the idea of doing something similar to that myself. I just felt like I wanted to make it happen and I started working with the Wilburn

Fellowship.” Like the 2012 winners, Stephen’s project promotes communication between cultures, albeit in a different way. “Studying from the American point of view doesn’t give you the full picture,” he said. “You need to be able to see things from another country’s point of view. Kids like us from other countries have completely different view points.” “I contacted kids I met in a summer program after sophomore year from Pakistan, China and Columbia. My plan was to create an archive of information and of points of view from each of these countries and how they saw the United States or international issues from within their own countries,” he said. “Now I have a website set up for communications between kids in our high school and kids in their high schools, which I think is a lot wider than what I had before.” Senior Sam Kramer’s essay “Peace through Pluralism in the Muslim World... A Historical Validation,” won him the 2013 Wilburn Fellowship. “I’m mostly a research person,” Sam said. “My project simply lent itself to an essay form more than a multimedia version. I like to change things around and decided I would try my hand at something a little different.” Sam spoke favorably of the Fellowship and its mission, encouraging all students to participate during the upcoming cycle and supporting its mission statement. “Anyone who has an interest in our world, no matter what you’re interested in, should consider applying,” he said. “Even if you’re a math person, even if you’re a science person, there’s plenty around the world that lends itself to unity and diversity.”

Photo by Danny Konstantinovic

Senior Sam Kramer’s essay titled “Peace through Pluralism in the Muslim World... A Historical Validation,” won him the 2013 Wilburn Fellow award.


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NCHS Courant

November 22 2013



High school students raise awareness about breast cancer

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Alex Hutchins Reporter

In 2010, Connecticut was recorded as one of the top 12 states in the United States in terms of breast cancer cases. With so many families affected by the disease, there are several breast cancer related charities in Connecticut; however, until this year, the high school was without a club that specifically focused on raising awareness for the disease. This lack of awareness in addition to personal experiences in the family with the disease is precisely what lead Juniors Sami Marcus and Fiona Risom to found the Breast Cancer Awareness Club (BCAC) at NCHS in August. “Most families in the country have at least one or two people affected by breast cancer,” Fiona said. “We were kind of surprised by the fact that there wasn’t a Breast Cancer Awareness Club at the high school so we decided that we might as well start one.” Since the founding the club, BCAC has held several events in support of breast cancer awareness, including pink clothing days, 5-Kilometer runs, yoga classes, and bake sales. At their most recent bake sale BCAC broke the school record with revenues totalling over $220, “Since we are the Breast Cancer Awareness Club we’re looking to spread awareness, especially during last month, which was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we had a bake sale that made about $220 which got the word out about Breast Cancer,” Fiona said. Sami and Fiona noted that holding these events at school helps get the word out about

their club and further spreads awareness for versa. The good of the club really depends on breast cancer. “Everyone knows about breast people who are driven to support the cause cancer but we wanted to make New Canaan even if it might not be in your best social interHigh School pretty prominent in the Fairfield est.” County sector of awareness,” Fiona said. “We The BCAC spreads awareness about a also developed and gave out stickers to have disease that hits home with members of our people wear at the club fair. I know that people school community. For example, Sami Marput these stickers on their phones, on their com- cus’s mother was diagnosed with breast canputers, etc. It’s just a fun little reminder about cer when Sami was in sixth grade, and though breast cancer and supshe was initially shocked porting awareness for it.” and saddened by the news, The funds the BCAC Sami believes that her exraises are either directperience with her mother’s ly donated to charities condition was eased by the or put towards funding compassion of neighbors other awareness events. and family friends. “People “There are two charities would bring us dinner two that we like. One global, to three nights a week and which would be Susan through that we sort of G. Komen and one logrew closer to those people cal which would be the who showed their support,” Breast Cancer Alliance in she said. “It helped show us Greenwich,” Sami said. that people cared about our “Also, my family friend family.” is a doctor at Stamford Junior David Giusti, Hospital so we’re going whose mother suffers from Fiona Risom, ‘15 to try to tie in with them Multiple Myeloma and in some way.” is the founder and CEO With the success of the Multiple Myeloma of their bake sale and a Facebook group with Research Foundation knows firsthand what it over 100 members and growing, both Sami and is like to be a high school student living with Fiona hope their club will inspire other students a family member with cancer. “When I first to start clubs about topics that matter to them. heard about my mom’s condition I was in the “Definitely work with someone that you trust,” third grade,” David said. “My parents sat me Fiona said. “I trust Sami a lot and I know that down and said that my mom was going to have she pulls just as much weight as I do and vice to go away for a little bit because she was going

We wanted to make New Canaan High School prominent in the Fairfield County sector of awareness



BCAC co-founders Sami Marcus and Fiona Risom sell baked goods for a BCAC bake sale at the top of the stairs of the lounge. Photo by Lauren Joneja Colorful stickers created by the BCAC were handed out to students at the club fair. Photo by Hannah Kirkpatrick Fiona Risom discusses the BCAC’s role in the NCHS community. Photo by Hannah Kirkpatrick

to the doctor’s. At the time I didn’t really think of the doctor’s as a terrible place so I just asked my mom if I could get an ice cream sandwich and my mom said yeah and that was really the extent of our conversation.” As time passed, David’s mother’s condition increasingly concerned him because of the unfavorable survival chances. “As you grow older you worry more and more because you learn more about the disease and survival,” he said. “When I first knew what was going on the odds weren’t very good so my family was looking at how we could live our lives without a mother.” Despite this, David feels his mother’s condition has inspired him to live a better life. “I definitely think it has a positive influence on how I live my life since it makes you always want to live life to the fullest because you never know when it’s going to end,” David said. Although many people in Connecticut can relate to Sami and David, Sami and Fiona believe that the mission to raise awareness is not over yet. At this point, Sami and Fiona are looking forward to the future of their club and how it can make an even greater impact on spreading awareness both in New Canaan and around the world. “I think that spreading awareness helps solve the issue because once people are aware of the facts about Breast Cancer, the fact that both men and women are at risk, and that someone they know will have breast cancer or has had breast cancer they will be able to be more proactive about finding a cure,” Fiona said. “So pro-activity is what we’re trying to sponsor here in the community.”


NCHS Courant

November 22 2013

NCHS Science Research Course


1 A cutting-edge experience Casey Manzella Features Editor

While most students spent their summers relaxing, senior Jack O’Rourke spent five weeks as an intern at Cornell Medical College, sequencing cell lines of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patients that aided in the discovery of a mutation in 87% of the patients’ DNA. “Pending further investigation it could be a hallmark of this cancer, which would be pretty huge in terms of possibly figuring out a treatment for it,” Jack said. “It’s still a long way off, but it could be important.” Although he did not make this discovery on his own, as an intern he participated in many steps along the way. “One day I might to a qPCR, where I would quantify how much DNA we had,” Jack said. “Some days we would extract DNA out of a cell-line so that we could sequence it. Some days we would shear the DNA so that it would be ready to be sequenced.” “I was exposed to a lot in terms of both the research process and biology during the past few summers,” Jack said. “This summer I learned in more detail about Hodgkin’s Lymphoma than I have about anything else.” The experience inspired Jack to pursue more scientific opportunities in the future. “Ideally, next summer, I could work in a lab where I could actually design my own research project, which I know others have been able to do through other programs, but I haven’t been able to find one.” Senior Gita Abhiraman was afforded the opportunity to design her own research project. This summer she completed her second year researching Toxoplasma gondii at Albert Einstein

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College of Medicine. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that causes the disease toxoplasmosis. “Toxoplasma gondii affects one in three worldwide,” Gita said. “The research I accomplished has medical potential because it can be used to help identify drug targets and possible treatments that can stop the parasite from reproducing or affecting humans.” Gita decided to spend the past two summers interning in a science lab to fulfill her

In the classroom we learn everything in a way that interests me, but doesn’t seem as purposeful as I would like it to be Gita Abhiraman, ‘14

curiosity about science in the real world. “I’ve always been interested in seeing how science can really be applied,” Gita said. “I think that in the classroom we learn everything in a way that interests me, but doesn’t seem as purposeful as I would like it to, so being in the lab helps me see how it directly affects human health or human life. For me the long term effects, or the bigger

Senior Gita Abhiraman discovered two transcription factors in Toxoplasma gondii. Photo contributed by Gita Abhiraman Interning in a professional science lab allows students to learn about new aspects of science. Photo by Casey Manzella

vision is what’s more important.” This summer Gita identified two transcription factors in Toxoplasma gondii, which will potentially help discover drug targets and develop parasite inhibition techniques. Gita values her experiences from the past two summers. “Being in the lab made me realize that this place where curiosity is encouraged and innovative approaches to finding answers is really valued, is the type of community I could see myself in.” Senior Henry Greer also spent his summer interning in a lab. He worked at Rockefeller University studying the addictive effects of oxycodone by injecting mice with the drug and then observing their locomotor activity. “The idea is that we want to find a better drug that counteracts the addictive effects of oxycodone to help with withdrawal,” Henry said. Overall, Henry enjoyed the experience and plans to go back next summer. “It was really interesting and I learned so much about science just in general, and scientific research,” Henry said. “I really got a whole, broad range of skills.” “With the results from last summer, I’m going to go back next summer and extend it and use what we learned with oxycodone on different drugs, like cocaine and heroine, on the mice,” Henry said. Like Jack, Henry’s experience working in a lab has influenced his outlook about the future. “This summer made me really interested in neuroscience, biology and neurobiology,” Henry said. “It definitely opened my eyes to the possibility of a career in science and made me far more interested than I ever have been.”

Photo by Sarah Klearman

Casey Manzella Features Editor

The Science Research course at NCHS allows students to learn about different areas of science typically not addressed in their regular science courses. “Selected topics in science will be covered in mini-seminars that are conducted by the instructors or outside speakers,” according to the course description on the high school website. “Students get an opportunity to explore areas of science that they wouldn’t get to in regular classes,” Science Research teacher John Barone said. In order take the class students must be recommended by a current science teacher and complete an interview with one of the Science Research teachers. “You don’t have to be the best person in your science class,” Mr. Barone said. “But if you’re truly interested in science, or there is a particular area that you want to explore in more detail, that’s the kind of person we’re looking for: someone who is going to be dedicated to the class.” Science Research students are also encouraged to complete an internship either during the school year or during the summer. “Doing the internship gives them the opportunity to actually work in a real laboratory with real scientists and make a true contribution,” Mr. Barone said. “They truly do learn what science is about in a real nuts and bolts way.”


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More Online @ Keyword: Science Research



Executive Council Emily Brand Tyler Kendall Isabel Lawrence Bryn Pennetti

Arts, Entertainment & Technology Chloe Rippe

Features Casey Manzella

News Sarah Maddox Carly Risom

Opinions Lizzy Burke

Sports Keaton McAuliffe

Centerfold Emily Wood

Photo Editor

Hannah Kirkpatrick

Social Media Editor Page Jones

Editor of Online Content Charlie Sosnick

Reporters Sean Davidson Katie Donovan Maddie Gertsen Hayley Graham Jillian Gould Alex Hutchins Sarah Klearman Danny Konstantinovic Jenny Levine Mackenzie Lewis Kate McMahon Abigail Neugeboren Matt Riley Kaitlyn Sandvik Emilia Savini Finley Walker


Roman Cebulski Michael McAteer

12Editorial Will this school year’s first break be a vacation? As Thanksgiving break approaches, it feels like we’ve been in school for an endless amount of days; 67 weekdays as of Thanksgiving break, to be exact, totalling 12 straight weeks since our last day off. Right now, as each five day week passes, the wear that sleep deprivation has on teenagers who haven’t had a full day off since early September is more than apparent. We are struggling through the ‘long haul’ so that we can end school, and graduate, by June 6, a victory for public schools. Not only have we gone to school for 60 plus consecutive weekdays, but we have gone without the fluff or fun that something such as an assembly would bring to break up our grueling schedule. After speaking with Principal Dr. Bryan Luizzi, we found that in hindsight, he would have broken up the usual routine. “This is the first time any of us have been in a calendar quite like this... but we had so many consecutive weeks in a row,” Dr. Luizzi said. “When I look back at it, had we known what it would be like to go through it all we would have done something like an activity once a month to break things up. But, we didn’t know

THE ISSUE Is it unreasonable to ask for a break after 12 straight weeks of work?

what it was going to be like.” Unlike many adults who work, students rarely even have their weekends off. To those students with ‘two jobs,’ school work and athletics or theater, the demands are virtually never ending. This has led us to question not only the purpose of these endless school and work days, but also the purpose of our break. The calendar on the district website marks the period beginning November 28 as ‘Thanksgiving Vacation.’ For anyone who is unsure of what a vacation is, Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines a vacation as, “a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel.” Because the school district has labeled this break as a “vacation,” it should indeed be deemed a time for students to relax, meaning teachers have no right to as-

sign homework over vacation. Dr. Luizzi sees that it is fair to ask teachers to respect this limited vacation time, since we haven’t had days off thus far. He did, however, see why it would be necessary for some teachers, whose classes are in the middle of a project, to continue these assignments over Thanksgiving. But, if teachers can go without giving homework, then he would encourage them to do so. And if teachers can’t afford to let their students rest, then maybe they should have planned better. Thinking about the last three months of school from the perspective of a senior who hasn’t had Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, or Election Day to work on finishing applications, it is unreasonable to ask us to continue working through the few, much awaited days we have off. There will be three more weeks of school before Christmas break, and then applications will all be due. With all of the work that students are trying to complete while in school, and out of it, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask that we have a few days off over our vacation to rest and disconnect from our demanding school work.

Courant modernizes to arrive in the digital age

No Courant until November? What has the journalism class been up to for the past three months? Well, we have been equipping our staff with the skills necesary to bring the Courant into the tech age. Although we’ve had a website in the past, it relied on select staff members with the technical know-how to produce online stories. This year, all staff members are learning to use our state of the art cameras, photo and video editing software, and other digital production tools to publish

THE ISSUE Trying to stay current with the changing times of journalism

new content quickly. nchcourant. com has become as important a part of the Courant name as the monthly, in-the-mailbox version. As we work to redefine our online presence, we also take on the field of social media, not only using Twitter (@nchscourant)

and Facebook (Nchs Courant), but expanding to Instagram (courantinsta) and our temporary Tumblr (NCHS Courant). What does this mean to you? It means the Courant is more interactive than ever, and that whether dialogue is created through comments on articles, retweets, or friend requests, you have the chance to hear and be heard. Journalism ensures that people have a voice in order to maintain democracy. is there - it’s up to you to use it.


NCHS Courant | November 22 2013

Hey Y’all,

I’m Lizzy Burke, the Courant’s Opinions Editor for the 2013-14 year. I thought that I should introduce myself before you hear what I have to think. This will be my third and final year with the Courant. I’m super excited to be writing for the Opinions section, but I have some news - you can too! The Courant welcomes guest writers, and if anyone is interested in writing an Opinions piece, feel free to contact me at We want to hear from you!! Photo by Miki McKinley

Making it through the day to day school grind

The struggle is undeniably real for students and faculty at NCHS. The days have melted into one another and each morning seems impeccably similar to the last. In case you don’t know the specifics about the lack of days off, let me throw some stats at ya. We have been in school for 52 consecutive days. Lizzy Burke Opinions Editor Plus an extra 22 days for weekends, since I know that with the amount of homework we’re given, Saturdays and Sundays aren’t exactly free time. So 74 days, and yes, that number is correct. Our last day off was September 5, back when the weather was warm and Thanksgiving break was just a glimmer in the distance. If you didn’t catch any students from neighboring towns Monday night party pics, you may not have realized just how much free time we DON’T have. All the freedoms students once enjoyed; Columbus Day, Election Day, Veteran’s Day; are now days spent under the fluorescent light bulbs of NCHS classrooms. What does this mean for us? One part of me wants to complain every second of every day spent in school. The monotony of waking up every morning to sit in a desk for 7 hours with the occasional 48 minute break, usually spent in the quiet section or lounge doing homework, has become a little too much to handle. It’s almost inhumane for us to go through such an extended period of time without any real break in the action, toiling over assignments and tests. The constant all-nighters can take a real toll on the student’s body, and for many NCHS students, there’s no room for a “mental health day” that we used to love to take in middle school. There’s little room to breathe when every day revolves around school, and even as I sit here during my free writing this, 40 pages of Euro notes are still calling my name. NCHS students are exhausted. It isn’t just the students who are weary from this change. Teachers are feeling the heat from the lack of days off - doling out assignments and tests left and right that need to be graded and evaluated. The work piles up for them on the weekends, too. Although you may forget your teachers have lives outside of school, they also have families they would enjoy spending time with on these days off. Especially if they live outside of New Canaan; their family stays home to relax on days such as

Election or Veteran’s day while they schlep to school where they work for 7+ hours, only to return home with a pile of papers to be looked at. The lack of free days is tough on everyone. However, I’m confident that the administration didn’t make this decision to torture us. They have to come to school, too! When I begin to think about how rough it’s been for these last 74 days, I know that it will help us in the long run. You can’t predict the weather, and a super-storm could hit us at any moment now. The New England forecast doesn’t permit for a bunch of snow days and an early end-of-year dismissal, two things the students always strive for. As of right now, graduation is Friday, June 6th, and the last day of school is Monday the 9th. Last year our last day of school wasn’t until Friday, June 21st. Let that sink in. If we keep up a good track record with school cancellations (cross your fingers we won’t get another rainy Sandy or snowy Nemo), we will have an additional full 2 weeks for summer - including weekends.

In short, even though it’s tough now, this daily grind is worth it in the long run. This stretch of continuous school is like ripping off a band aid - you just gotta do it. You’ll be happy when the rest of Fairfield County students are sitting in school for those 2 weeks while you’re tanning out by the pool or enjoying gelato in the hot summer air. And, let’s be honest, what would you really have accomplished on those days off? There’s no denying that one day off holds little possibilities, but a longer summer means more vacation and more time to relax. Most importantly, we’re already a quarter of the way done with this year, making that end-of-year date all the more promising. On top of that, Thanksgiving break is just around the corner with Christmas and New Year’s following shortly after - and before you know it just a few quick months later, you’re awaiting your schedule for next year. Try not to stress too much about this crazy consecutive school-day schedule, and remember, it gets better.

Cartoon by Page Jones

NCHS Courant


November 22 2013

Sniffing out the truth: the olfactory model of education at NCHS

Elliott Cottington Senior

Have you ever thought about what you smell everyday? Our noses are bombarded with so many different scents that sometimes it’s hard to remember each individual one. Shampoo, deodorant, perfume, clean laundry; all of these can all blend into one forgettable scent because of their fleeting and commonplace nature. However, not all smells are created equal, and few are as pleasant as those wafting out of that. As I’m sure most students are aware, NCHS is home to a wide variety of aromas, ranging from the downright delicious to the seriously stanky, and many of them stand out above all. Let’s start with the place where every stu-

dent goes at least once per day: the lounge. Depending on whether you enter the cafeteria first thing in the morning or later in the day, you will be subjected to a different sensory experience. At 7:15 AM, the lounge is home to a pleasant combination of croissant and cinnamon roll, mixed with a hint of chocolate chip cookie. Nothing says good morning like the scent of the lounge before classes start. However, as the day progresses, the cafeteria can be pretty hit or miss with its smells. When Rosa and company are experimenting with a new hot lunch option, such as seafood, you might want to stay back. I’m sure whatever they have been cooking tastes great, but my nose would beg to differ. On the other hand, the days where breakfast is for lunch can be some of the most rewarding to your sniffer, as the smell of bacon, waffles and syrup permeates the room. Food aromas are pretty neutral territory, as something that smells foul to me could be a tantalizing scent of someone else’s favorite

food. However, there are certain stenches that are pretty much universally displeasing. Exhibit A: locker rooms. Although I can’t speak for the girl’s locker room, I can say with relative confidence that the boy’s locker room is one of the reasons why I dread going to gym. As soon as you open the second door of that room, you are hit with an almost indescribably terrible odor, which can best be described as a mix of dirty socks and sweat. If you are like me, you try to limit the time you spend changing as much as possible, lest you pass out from holding your breath for too long. Thankfully, NCHS’s team of domestic goddesses, Ms. Stirgwolt (formerly Langlais, or just Ms. Amanda), Ms. Sapienza, and Ms. Kearns, help to provide some relief on your walk back from gym class. Nothing compares to when the Foods & Nutrition kids are cooking and the scent of freshly baked pastries fills the entire hallway next to the fitness room. After a prolonged period in some of the stinkiest

Mmm, like music to my nose

What is that stanky stench?

parts of our school, it’s pretty great to walk past what is basically a bakery and take in the sweet, sweet aroma of cookies, cakes and other desserts. Even if they aren’t making something sugary and delicious, the smell of food is always preferable to sweat and unwashed clothes. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has noticed the...unique scents that can be found in our school, as anyone with a Twitter will recall the Marine Bio squid dissection incident which left the third floor reeking of under cooked fish sticks for a solid week. Whether good or bad, the smells we experience at school are something we typically get used to, that is until the fateful day when some freshmen go too hard in gym class and leave the locker room smelling extra ripe, or that new fish entree smells more appalling than appealing. Thankfully, there are certain areas where you can find relief from our schools more funky odors, which I’m sure you will now be much more aware of.

Satisfactory sniffing!!

“Locker room culture” is no excuse for NFL bullying scandal instigator, Richie Incognito, left voicemails on without a flinch between teammates. But when Martin’s phone that included racial slurs and someone’s mental health is in question from death threats. Since the incident, many have a barrage of insults and mistreatment, how sided with Martin and believe bullying is a huge can you question their decision to walk away? issue, but many also see Martin in a negative In a league that brain-trauma is constantly light, some calling him soft, or that he picked linked with, is it right to ignore a case of menthe wrong profession. tal health right in front of To athletes, the our eyes? Jonathan Martin locker room is so much wasn’t looking for publicity, more than a sweaty he was looking for safety. changing room. It’s the He didn’t step away to have nucleus of a team, where every NFL player call him every member interacts a pansy, he stepped away in some way or another. so he could treat whatever To an outsider, it’s difhe had that was wrong with ficult to understand the him. In the NFL, where Beau Santero, ‘14 mentality that coincides there is an irregular tenwith a locker room, dency for retirees to end and the culture that the their own lives (Junior Seau, locker room brings. Paul Oliver, Jovan Belcher), As cliché as it may sound, if the team is a someone’s manhood is questioned when he family, the locker room is the dinner table. steps away from the game because of psychoJonathan Martin had been around the game logical abuse. Is it manly for someone to ignore for his whole life. You don’t end up in the NFL depression? Is it tough to pretend like there isn’t without being in a few locker rooms from time a mental health issue going on in the NFL? Are to time. He knew how dirty some peoples’ the same tough guys the ones calling Martin a mouths are, and how slurs are tossed around pussy and mistreating the players around them?

The brain is just as much a body part as the knee is

Beau Santero

Senior, Offensive & Defensive Tackle

In a touchy subject of bullying, hazing, and racism, the Miami Dolphins have been under a lot of scrutiny for the way their locker room has been perceived since Jonathan Martin, their starting offensive tackle, left the team for personal reasons. Martin, a second year lineman, claimed he was mistreated by teammates and the emotional toll was too much to bear. The main

Mental health is taken too lightly in the NFL, and the old “play through the pain” mentality is leaving players with debilitating brain injuries later on in their lives. The emotional part of your brain is your brain none the less, and when injured, it’s completely reasonable to step away from the game. Jonathan Martin’s absence is looked at as cowardly, but why isn’t an ACL tear, or a concussion looked at the same way? The brain is just as much a body part as the knee is, and when something is hurt, rehabilitation is necessary. So for all the tough guys in the locker room who decided to look past the actions of Incognito and question the manliness of Martin, were you too tough to step in and have Martin’s back, or not tough enough?

We want to hear from you! Leave a comment and tell us what you thought of Elliott and Beau’s Opinions pieces on

15Arts, Entertainment & Technology

NCHS Courant | November 22 2013

Artist Snapshot: Jessica Dantas


Julian Hough: national clarinet prodigy Photo by Mackenzie Lewis

Senior Julian Hough, one of the 670 students chosen nation wide, practices for his national performance in the NCHS band room.

Mackenzie Lewis Reporter

On Monday, October 27th the National band, sponsored by the National Association for Musical Education (NAfME), performed in a concert in Nashville, Tennessee. After years of practicing and dedication, senior and clarinetist Julian Hough, was among the 670 high school musicians chosen to be a member of the AllNational Honors Band. Since middle school, the clarinet has played a large role in Julian’s life. “I started in fifth grade. It was just on a whim. I didn’t really have a set decision why I chose it, and now it has become a huge part of my life,” he said. “Julian has developed a very high level of success because he practices diligently and sequentially,” NCHS band teacher Scott Cranston said. “He has a very high level of technique which comes from practicing the scales and patterns on the instrument that are required to play beautiful music.” Julian has qualified and played for the Connecticut All-State band in the past three years and has also attended the Western Regional and All-Eastern festivals. “The best concert I’ve performed in would have to be last year in the All-Eastern festival where I played “Pines of Rome” as my solo. There was a whole page dedicated for my solo.” “He sent in a tape against other people across

the country and was selected to be in the AllNational band because of his participation in past festivals,” Mr. Cranston said. “I did this myself in 1986 in Anaheim, California. I know that it was really life changing for me, this is the first time I have had a student do it too.” NCHS band members also said they recognized Julian’s distinct abilities. “Julian has always been a great musician, and his acceptance to nationals is another great opportunity that he has received because of his phenomenal playing,” senior and band member Brian Huff said. “I know Julian performed excellently and represented NCHS well.” After helping with Julian’s preparation, Mr. Cranston said that Julian was in good condition to perform at the national festival. “I think he did very well. He is always very well prepared,” Mr. Cranston said. Julian and the rest of the chosen musicians from across the United States performed as ensemble leads by the top conductors on Wednesday, October 30th at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. “I’m glad this opportunity will add on to my experience as a musician. Nationals were an amazing experience where I could perform with the nation’s best high school musicians,” Julian said. Throughout the school’s band history, Julian was the first to be recognized by the NAfME, and his participation in the band gave him the opportunity to perform for four of the top con-

ductors in the United States, including Dr. Peter Boonshaft, Miriam Burns, Rollo Dilworth, and Rodney Whitaker. “A memorable part of nationals would have to be when the conductor called up Rossano Gallante, a famous composer, who listened to us perform his piece,” Julian said, “Finishing that play-through made everyone in the band realize, that not only did we play it, but we performed it the best.” Sophomore and band member, Claire Conley said she admired Julian’s skill and ability to perform at the NAfME nationals. “Not only does the pool of kids increase in nationals, but so does the level of playing,” she said. “The amount of dedication and practicing that goes into this is immense. Julian is truly a musical prodigy.” After returning from the national performance, Julian said the experience left a profound impression on him. “The professionalism produced from everyone was at such a high level that made the experience much more special. I will never forget playing with these musicians who were eager and ready to play at any time.”


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WATCH VIDEO @ Keyword: Julian Hough

Photo contributed by Jessica Dantas

Chloe Rippe Arts Editor

Some may know about sophomore Jessica Dantas from her recent Facebook post of her singing “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. However, her artistic endeavours go further than her ten second videos. How long have you been singing? I’ve been singing my whole life really, but I think I started taking it seriously when I started playing the guitar which was last year. What music are you inspired by? I am super inspired by Jake Bugg, Lily Allen, and Regina Spektor. I listen to rap and hip hop too, J Cole, Eminem, and others. How did you learn to play the guitar and sing? I did teach myself, the guitar part was just looking it up on Youtube which was difficult. But the singing was just trying to hit the notes I could by singing along with songs. In what other ways do you enjoy expressing yourself? Right now singing is not the biggest part of my life because my biggest concentration right now is drawing and filming. But I always try to fit music in on whatever I do, like studying, drawing, and on the bus.

16Arts, Entertainment & Technology

NCHS Courant

November 22 2013

(E)motion Art Gallery showcases student made artwork this week

1 Kaitlyn Sandvik Reporter

On Thursday, November 21st, the Gallery Committee will open this year’s second art gallery entitled, “(E)motion”, which will showcase work from artists of all grades and provide a collection focusing on motion and emotion. The concept of this gallery encompasses ideas that students have learned in school art classes. “This idea of movement is something that art teacher Ms. Windman has been trying to incorporate into our projects, which means there will be a wide range of pieces people can submit, it’s a very broad category,” junior Corrine Vietorisz said. Sophomore Innes MacKenzie, an artist and member of the Gallery Committee, agreed.

“The art teachers had an idea of what they wanted; feeling, fluidity, and character,” she said. “We took a vote and discussed it in Gallery Committee. We have a say and if we don’t want to do something then it won’t happen.” Senior Ryan McMahon, a photographer who has been featured in previous galleries said he encourages students to participate in this professional setting. “Students should submit because it’s an opportunity to display some of their artistic talents.” Corrine also said that the gallery is a great opportunity for student artists who are eager to show what they work on. While some students work in class, others work on their own time to be able to exhibit their pieces for a period of around one or two months.


Junior Abby Geanakos said that she works extensively on accumulating enough pieces to submit to the gallery. “I like to submit multiple pieces to the Gallery Committee so they can have a taste of what my work is about,” she said. The theme of this show is relevant to both the artist and the audience. “The word ‘emotion’ hits home to everybody and we all move throughout the day. Why not show your side of it?” art teacher Ms. Sinski said. “Bring yourself to the show, it can be in a very subtle way. Showing in an art gallery is a way to show yourself without actually being there.”


1 2 3

This photo was done by Abby who has an AP concentration on black and white photography. Photo by Abby Geanakos Miki used Abby Herman as the subject for a photo that she felt brought emotion and motion together. Photo by Miki McKinley Riley took this photo with the task of using fast shutter. She decided to use a simple editing process. Photo by Riley Durkin

Stepping Out taps its way into the NCHS theater on November 21 Jenny Levine Reporter

Dancers have been tapping and vocalists have been singing their hearts out in preparation for the upcoming play. But this is not practice for a musical, this is rehearsal for the upperclassmen fall drama, “Stepping Out”. “People will think if there is singing and dancing it can’t be a play.” said senior Rachel Guth, who will be playing Mavis. “ A musical is where actors can’t express their emotions through words so they sing and dance, while in Stepping Out it’s used as a plot point.” Junior Elizabeth Koennecke, who will be playing Maxine, agreed. “A musical has songs because once you can’t act anymore you sing, once you can’t sing anymore you dance, it’s a progression.” The play revolves around a group of novice dancers in a tap dance class. “The people that play the students in the class have to dance as their character would dance. It’s really interesting to see these great dancers dumb it down for the role,” Rachel said. As the play progresses, the characters’ tap talents improve. “Every Wednesday we have a tap workshop. Since we are upperclassmen we have done tap shows, so we are aware

Photo by Jenny Levine

Performers practice their tap moves during a rehearsal session of how to tap, but it’s all about catching up as quickly as you can,” Rachel said. In order to better understand their characters, the cast did some of their own research before practice started.“We had to look up our characters and find their horoscope and color that best described them, so that color we picked is our costume color scheme,” Rachel said.

Elizabeth said that this research was helpful to her acting. “Now I have this great understanding of my character that I really hope to bring to the show.” Members of the cast are also actively involved in backstage duties.“The crew’s job is to make the play look like magic,” senior and stage manager Rachael Mathis said. “This play occurs in a span of eight months, so it’s the crew’s job to make the lighting change in according to the season and time of day. It’s also the crew’s job to change the set and bring out another location.” “For this show the audience are sitting on the stage, so our stage is confined to about a third of what is normally the size. It’s our job to build a stage on a stage,” Rachael said. Senior Emily Chalon said that this different stage set-up changes the actor’s methods. “You don’t have what actors call the fourth wall which is where you are suppose to play out to, you’re much closer to the audience so you try not to get freaked by the stares,” she said. “We worked really hard on the play, everyone put a lot of time into it,” Elizabeth said. “There are serious moments, it’s heartfelt, it’s a crowdpleaser but it’ll make you think too.”

17Arts, Entertainment & Technology

LXXXI • Issue 2 • 11 Farm Road New Canaan, CT, 06840

Photography students spend day at the Philip Johnson Glass House

Photo by Ryan McMahon

Light shines through glass panels inside the sculpture gallery at the Glass House

Abigail Neugeboren Reporter

On October 29th and 30th, the AP Photography and Documentary Photography classes visited the Philip Johnson Glass House complex in New Canaan. “The trip was great because most of us had never been to the Glass House, and it is such an inspiring piece of art in our town,” junior Emma Rosenstein said. “We were able to basically go anywhere on the grounds and it was cool to see how everyone used their creativity in different ways to capture the house and area.”

Photography teacher Jeanne McDonagh said that the students were instructed to have a ‘color shoot’ when they visited the Glass House. “The students were supposed to focus on fall foliage, because this week was the peak of the season’s colors.” Ms. McDonagh said. “The Glass House provided me an unparalleled satisfaction due to the balance between nature and architecture.” said junior Zach Seger. Some photos on display at the Glass House were taken by NCHS students in the past. This was made possible by the high school’s educational partnership with the Glass House. “The

Glass House will give the students credit and they’ll publish their photos on their website or they might even make them into postcards,” Ms. McDonagh said. After walking through the complex and galleries that were opened especially for the NCHS tour, students were able to visit the adjoining buildings including the Painting Gallery, the Sculpture Gallery, Glass House and Da Monsta. “There is so much inspiration within the different buildings, and the sections of the property let everyone get really creative with the different shots,” junior Grace Gowdy said. “The Glass house trip was an extraordinary opportunity to see one of the most famous landmarks in the Northeast at such a great time for the blossoming foliage. Not only did we get to see beautiful modern art, but we were also able to view what art was like during Philip Johnson’s life.” said junior Cooper Manchuck. “Its a landmark in itself,” Ms. McDonagh said. “It reflects some aspect of the past in terms of a visual idea.” Students agreed that the trip provided a great opportunity to take good photos. “It was interesting to see such great modern art in a beautiful location within my very own town,” sophomore Katharine Freiberg said. “The Glass House trip was a great experience that made me learn about the different artwork featured at the house and take pictures of our own.” said sophomore Meghan Egan.

Photo by Savannah Shephard

Senior Ryan McMahon poses in the Pavillion.

Kelsey Duncan, professional sculptor, visits NCHS art students Chloe Rippe Arts Editor

On Friday October, 18th, a table full of observing high school artists witnessed sculptor Kelsey Duncan mold a life sized arm out of red clay. He had previously demoed a model bust, also life sized and created just that morning. “I demo like every day, several times a day for classes, and sometimes they end up being finished halfway through, so you get see the process at mid point,” he said. “I do it for the long term happiness.” Kelsey attended the University of Montana, where he received a Bachelors of Fine Art. He now has a residency in Port chester, New York at the Clay Arts Center, where he teaches classes on sculpting and portrait. Students of art teacher Ms. Floryshak-Windman’s classes were able to observe Kelsey’s artistic process in action. “I’m just developing the face, It’s funny, there are so many subtleties,” he said. “There are no universal features that apply to the sexes, that’s the hardest thing in separating and defining.” Students were also given the opportunity to ask Kelsey questions about his sculpting techniques, and about his life as a professional artist. When you glaze, do you just use one color? “I use different tones and yellows and browns, I never do just like the whole thing one color, it’s too flat. The nice thing about glazes is that they inherently have depth…I used to do yellow, like really bright ridiculous colors. It was just incredibly emotive, very stylized.”

Photo By Chloe Rippe

Kelsey Duncan demonstrates sculpting on a life-size model of a human arm in front of a group of high school students. What is important to consider when submitting pieces to calls for entries? “If you submit images, your images have to be awesome, so take the extra time, spend extra money on good images. That’s all you got in the end, if you have a good picture, the piece sells.” Why didn’t you go to specifically an art school? “A lot of art schools aren’t really focused on ceramics, and if they are, they’re really just interested in the idea that they can accomplish out of ceramics, but the technical stuff they really just don’t know…Some are more focused on the commercial ap-

proach, I think that the totally relevant thing to be interested in, and you get a lot of great schools in New York to go to, is commercial design. I don’t really make the kind of work that you would market.”


NCHS Courant | Novermber 22 2013


No such thing as beginner’s luck 1 Sarah Klearman Reporter

When senior Alex Dobbin moved to the U.S. from Sweden as a sophomore, he had no idea what football was. He had never seen a game, much less played the sport. However, this season Alex is one of the top defensive players on the team and has become a magnet for college recruiters. The concept of the game was completely foreign to Alex when he first moved to New Canaan. “There is no American football in Sweden or in most of Europe,” Alex said. “Before I moved here, I’d never actually watched a game of football.” His inexperience didn’t stop him from trying out for the team. “My dad is American and he’s always talked about playing football in his high school years,” Alex said. “I’ve played basically every other sport; this was one I hadn’t tried, and I wanted to find a sport that I really liked, so that’s why I decided I was going to play football.” Alex is not the only athlete that started a new sport later in his high school career. Senior Nathalie Deney decided to try out for the girls ice hockey team as a junior last year. She became a star player, leading the girls to win the state championships in a 2-0 shutout of the Hall/Conard girls hockey team as the starting goaltender. Nathalie never thought she’d end up as the starting goaltender. “Early last year, a defense

man on the team came up to me and said they were looking for another goalie,” Nathalie said. “She told me I just had to play and that she remembered when I used to play house league in middle school. I was like, ‘Yeah sure, why not! That sounds fun.’ So I just went.” Sophomore Catherine Granito also decided to pick up a new sport her freshman year after being persuaded by a then-current team mem-

I wanted to be the player that helped the team accomplish their goals. Nathalie Deney, ‘14 ber. “Bea Eppler (former captain) and I are good friends, and she had always joked about me playing field hockey,” Catherine said. “Colleges like to see three sport athletes, and going into high school I already played club hockey and lacrosse year round. It was the week before tryouts and I decided I was going to play.” She was pulled up the varsity team after a matter of weeks into her first season. This season, Catherine is a starter and a leading goal scorer on the varsity team. “My motivation was

3 definitely to just not give up,” Catherine said. “I was going to give 110% just to at least learn and build some skill playing the sport.” Alex also found motivation in his desire to keep learning and bettering himself as a player. “I’ve never allowed myself to be a quitter,” he said. “Football was hard when I didn’t start and I had very little idea about the rules and the way that the sport worked, but instead of giving up I wanted to conquer football and get good at it.” Lou Marinelli, head coach of the New Canaan football team, said he was impressed with Alex’s progression as a player. “When he first came out for football, there was definitely a learning curve, and I know that was frustrating,” he said. “But Alex really picked it up, learned the rules and has done a tremendous job.” Coach Art Brown of the girls cross country team was similarly impressed with junior Emma Rosenstein, who made a name for herself as the team’s top runner in her first season this year, coming in 16th overall in FCIAC finals. “I think her improvement was due not only to the conditioning, but more understanding of the sport. Cross country is tactical, strategy-based,” he said. “As the season went on, she definitely gained confidence in her ability, and that was extremely important to her development.” Nathalie was also determined to keep playing, and found motivation in the hockey team itself. “I realized the history and the reputation behind the team - how much every player was putting into it,” she said. “After that, I wanted


Senior Alex Dobbin waits for a call during the St. Joe’s game. Photo by Hannah Kirkpatrick


Senior Nathalie Deney makes a save against Hall/Conard in the state championship game. Photo contributed by Ben Patch


Junior Emma Rosenstein runs in cross country FCIACs. Photo contributed by Linda Gordon

to support the team. I wanted to be the player that helped them accomplish their goals.” Richard Bulan, the coach of the girls hockey team, said Nathalie’s development as a player was incredible. “I think the team really accepted her and in turn she adapted far better than I could have imagined,” he said. “She figured out that she had a solid team behind her, that everybody was pulling for her - that even on her tough nights we were going to go out and score goals and play well and pick her up. It was amazing to watch.” In turn, Nathalie said she was grateful for the confidence and mentality playing hockey has granted her. “I know now that I can do anything I put my mind to,” she said. Emma was also inspired by her team - not only to keep running, but to better herself as an athlete. “You try to be better as a team, and you push yourselves as a team,” she said. The thing about running is that you never want to get worse - you want to keep getting better times every time you run.” Alex said that his life now is very ‘footballcentric.’ “Playing football really teaches you how to adapt to new environments,” Alex said. “My life in America and my entire experience here would have been entirely different if I didn’t play.”

19 Sports

NCHS Courant

November 22, 2013

Football implements new yoga routine into their weekly workouts

Photo by Tyler Kendall

Senior Mike Donnelly and Junior Matt Dematia display a tree pose.

Tyler Kendall Editor-in-Chief

On Sunday evenings in the NCHS wrestling room, the 10-0 varsity football team can be found doing yoga; the latest addition to their training sessions. “I thought it was ridiculous,” senior Beau Santero said. “But once our first yoga session happened we realized how beneficial it would be.” The once a week yoga sessions are a new component for this season’s training. “Well I think as a coach you’re always trying to look for something to get an edge and make your players better,” head coach Lou Marinelli said. “For years we’ve always looked at something other than football training to make our guys better.” These sessions have been smoothly implemented into the teams’ training despite some hesitations at first. “When we first started doing it, people kind of laughed, like ‘why are we doing yoga?’,” senior captain Michael Root said. “But then we we’re told the college teams do it and it’s good for you.” The influence of yoga’s popularity in col-

lege training has been one reason for the addition. “In our research in the off season, I talked to a lot of college coaches, and they seemed to all be going toward yoga,” Mr. Marinelli said. “So then I also talked to Sue Root, who does yoga herself, and she knew a yoga place and that she could get someone to come in.” Knowing that yoga is being used in college sports has had a positive effect on some players’ attitudes toward the sessions.“We kind of thought [Marinelli] was joking, but then we realized it’s actually a big deal,” Beau said. “I think it’s been helpful at the end of the day.” Mr. Marinelli agreed. “I think the feedback has been good,” he said. “You know, it’s one of those things where it’s extra. If guys are going to make fun of it, I’ll throw them out, just say ‘go home, you don’t have to be here.’ But I haven’t had to get rid of anyone yet.” The yoga sessions have been implemented once a week and are typically the last component of the teams’ weekend practice. “The sessions are either on Saturday or Sunday, for about 45 minutes to an hour,”

Mr. Marinelli said. “It’s usually two days after a game. So if we play Friday night, then on Sunday afternoons we’ll do yoga.” The timing of the yoga classes is related to the game schedule. “We do yoga a couple of days after games just to get out the soreness, stretch out, and help prevent injuries,” senior Mike Donnelly said. “It’s a great way to recover from a big game.” Beau agreed. “Football games are really physical, so there’s wear and tear,” he said. “With yoga we get to recover after 48 minutes of pretty serious physical play.” Since starting yoga, the football team has experienced less injuries. “We’ve definitely have had a lot less injuries than normal,” senior Ryan Mckenna said. “Last year we had a good amount, and since we started yoga this year we’ve cut that down.” The reduction of injuries was one of the original reasons for the implementation of the sessions. “Ultimately we’re going to hope it’s going to help prevent injuries,” Mr. Marinelli said. “Now I don’t know if it’s whether because of yoga or it’s just a good year, but so far we’ve been really good with injuries.” Yoga has provided additional benefits other than just helping to prevent injury. “Yoga increases flexibility, and it also just calms their minds from the stress that they’re under from being these athletes,” yoga instructor Julie Pryor from Pryority Fitness in New Canaan said. Ms. Pryor is one of the yoga instructors who works with the team. “Yoga just helps in all aspects of their physical fitness.” Ryan agreed. “I think yoga has been good because it makes us more flexible, that way we can move faster and easier,” he said. A recurring favorite of the team included relaxing poses at the end of the sessions, called the shavasana. “Corpse pose is a favorite,” Ryan said. “It’s when you lie on your back and it’s really relaxing. Everyone loves it.” Ms. Pryor also noticed the popularity of the more relaxing poses. “They all seem to like the shavasana, which is also called corpse pose,” she said. “It’s at the end and it’s an opportunity to just let go and have a chance to just be quiet.” Other players favor poses that specifically target commonly sore areas. “The poses where you stretch out your back and your legs are really helpful because that’s where you are usually the most sore after a game,” Mike said. The yoga sessions are something that will continue into the future. “Certainly, with the success we’ve had, not that I’m superstitious with the success we’ve had, but I might continue yoga all through the year,” Mr. Marinelli said. “It’s great not having to just watch a video, but have a person come and make instructions. They really know what they’re talking about and I think it’s really helped.”

Strike A Pose

The boys show us some of the moves that make up their weekly yoga routine

The team begins with stretches at a Sunday night yoga session

Matt bends in a modified side angle, called parsvakonasana.

The Rams lie on their backs in the corpse pose


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Find out more@ Keyword: Football

All photos by Lizzy Burke

20Sports Athlete Profile: The first place winner at the Head of the Charles, Mary Campbell NCHS Courant

November 22 2013

Keaton McAuliffe Sports Editor

It had been a regular regatta weekend for senior Mary Campbell, until she found herself standing on the stage of the world’s most well-known rowing race with her hands held in the air and a first place medal around her neck. On October 20th, Mary took first place at the Head of the Charles regatta, which took place in Cambridge, MA and hosted both national and international participants. She finished with a time of 21:34.82 minutes with her younger sister, freshman Claire Campbell, taking a notable second place with a time of 22:07.19. “It’s pretty cool to win the Head of the Charles because it’s such a well known regatta,” Mary said. “You tell someone, even people that don’t know a lot about rowing, ‘I won the Head of the Charles’ and they kind of know what’s up.” Although this race is the largest in the world, Mary said that she did not do anything differently to prepare. She kept up her normal workout routine, working out six days a week and doing double workouts on two of the days, balancing strength training with cardio. Mary’s mental preparation also doesn’t change from race to race. “I try and not think,” she said. “I almost try and ‘unthink’ if that’s possible because if you think too much about something then you’ll psych yourself out.” However, Mary admits that she often doesn’t need to think; she has people to do that for her, “Literally my dad does the thinking for me,” she said.“He really makes sure I get from point A to point B.” Mr. Campbell isn’t the only family member that

knows the ropes of crew. It was Mary’s family who encouraged her to even try the sport. “ The family was going in the same direction so I was like ‘Oh, I’ll just do middle school crew,’ Mary said of her rowing family, “and then all of a sudden I found a liking to it and it stemmed from there.” “It’s also nice that the whole family does it because we get where everyone’s coming from and speak the same language when it comes to rowing,” Mary added. With her recent Head of the Charles victory, Mary has secured her spot as one of the top female rowers in the country. The journey wasn’t always so smooth though, as Mary admits that she only just recently found her right state of mind for racing, “Last spring I kind of figured things out,” she said. “There comes a time when you kind of get your mindset right and get in the right zone. I learned to do that this spring and this summer so I was able for all the fall races, which is why I’ve done significantly better this year than in the past.” Her improvements have earned her the title being one of the top five fastest girls in the nation. They have also helped her in the college recruitment process. Mary has officially committed to Brown University, “[The win] definitely got me more attention,” Mary said. “Coaches who had been talking to me for a while were coming back up to me right after the race and I was a little bit like ‘What?!’” Going forward into the spring season, and onto the college team, Mary hopes to simply keep improving consistently. “Rowing is something that creates this challenge and is something that I can put all of my energy towards,” she said. “In the future my goals are to keep building upon this foundation that I have worked so hard on creating.”

Photo by Mary Campbell

Senior Mary Campbell wins Head of the Charles Regatta

NCSD runner up finish in State Open highlights fall post season success Katie Donavan and Kate McMahon Reporters

The Rams fall teams wrapped up their seasons with high placement in both FCIACS and States. Both Swimming and Cross Country had notable performances in each tournament In Cross Country, the Rams had a successful run at FCIACS, placing 6th out of 17 for the boys and 6th out of 14 for the girls. The Girls Cross Country team also had a solid performance at States, placing 11th overall out of 20 teams. Junior Spencer Lyman and junior Emma Rosenstein showed strong performances in both races. In FCIACS Spencer Lyman placed 16th and in States took 15th place. Rosenstein placed 16th in FCIACS and made all FCIAC second team and in States Rosenstein nabbed 41st place. On Friday November 8th the Girls Field hockey team traveled to Greenwich for the State quarterfinals. The Greenwich girls scored in the second half at 10 mins. The game ended 1-0 Greenwich which knocked the Rams out of States. Senior Emma Baul showed a strong performance, with only allowing one goal

Photo by Linda Gordon

Photo by Jenna Egan

The girls start off strong at FCIACs

Jenna and Meghan Egan placed runner up

in against the third seeded Greenwich team. The girls swimming and diving team placed 4th out of 13 schools with a score of 259.5 points at FCIAC Championships on Wednesday, November 30 at the Greenwich High School pool.They were led by strong performances by senior co-captain Alex Aliapoulios, sophomore Katie Colwell, senior co-captain Jenna Egan, junior co-captain

Kylie Towbin, and sophomore Meghan Egan. On Tuesday, November 13, the Lady Rams found even more success at the Wesleyan University pool, placing 2nd in the CIAC Class L Championships with 611 points. Senior co-captain Jenna Egan and her sister, sophomore Meghan Egan led the victory, collecting three golds each. Junior co-captain Kylie Towbin had a good performance, tak-

ing the top spot in the diving competition. The girls soccer team just missed the cut for making FCIACs but were able to qualify for States. The girls fell to New Milford in the first round of States with a 5-4 loss in penalty kicks, making the final score 4-3 in favor of New Milford. The New Canaan goals were scored by senior Azadeh Amir-Aslani, junior co-captain Courtney Overacker, and sophomore Abigail Farley. Sophomore goalie Katie Donovan contributed with 18 saves. The Rams Football team is still in their FCIACs and States. With a 10-0 streak the Rams are an clear contender for both titles. They will play the final game int the FCIAC championships, with the Rams facing Trumbull on November 22md.


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October-November NCHS Courant  

The October/November 2013 edition of the Courant.

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