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The Newtonite v Monday, Sept. 23, 2019 • Volume 98

Newton North High School, 457 Walnut St., Newtonville, Mass. 02460

New absence rules Tiger values come through target ‘unhealthy’ in Designs’ hallway mural culture of skipping David Feng When tests, quizzes, and essay deadlines rapidly approach, students feeling unprepared for class might be tempted to ask their parents to call them out of that single dreaded block. However, a new policy now requires students excused from a single block to have a doctor’s note to prove their whereabouts. The new policy, which went into effect with the start of this school year, applies to all students called out of a single block other than the first or last block of the day. If a student does not provide a doctor’s note for the single block absence, the absence will be marked as unexcused. “There was an unhealthy culture that developed,” said Adams House dean David Turcotte during the senior assembly Tuesday, Sept. 10. “But we’re not looking to revolutionize our absence policy.” According to Beals House dean Scott Heslin, faculty brought up the new policy idea last year after many teachers noticed students being excused, or excusing themselves, more often to finish an incomplete assignment or prepare for an assessment. “A lot of seniors would call the office themselves, because when you’re 18 you can dismiss yourself,” said Heslin. “I would be walking around the halls and I would say, ‘hey, you just called the office and said you’re dismissing yourself, what are you doing here?’ And they would say, ‘oh I need to get ready for a test I have next period.’ That’s not okay.” The faculty reported an increase in students being dismissed for a single block in the middle of the day in order to avoid an assessment, according to Turcotte. by

“The faculty expressed concerns to the administration that they had observed that on days when they were giving tests, absenteeism increased greatly,” he said. Turcotte added that the house administrative assistants who take phone calls from families also described an increase in the number of students who were excused from a single class in the middle of the school day last year. Senior Orest Ormenaj said he was upset with the new policy because of how it may affect the relationship between teachers and students. “I don’t think the new policy is that smart of an idea because I get the teachers want validity with what their students say and don’t want them cutting class, but if they’re over 18, I feel like there should be a mutual trust between teacher and student,” said Ormenaj. He added that many teachers already have a policy for cutting class on a test day. “I’ve had friends of friends that have done it, and it’s definitely present, but there’s a reason why teachers have on their syllabi that if you cut class on the day of a quiz or test you would get a zero on it, which I think is a fair policy,” he said. However, Senior Kaiwen Li said that although the new policy will likely create problems for some students, it’s still a good idea to help avoid cheating. “It might be bad if the person needs to go somewhere other than the doctor’s,” Li said. “But other than that it shouldn’t really be an issue, since it’s not that hard to get a doctor’s note if there is an actual appointment.” Junior Oscar Pontiff agreed that the rule will help teachers and the administration minimize the op-

Sophia Zhou Seniors Michael Coscione, Daniela Divo, and Sophia Wax stroll past the new 2D mural prototype on Main Street Tuesday, Sept. 17. The project began in 2017 when principal Henry Turner asked for an art installation symbolizing North values. Members of the design Major II and III classes have spent the last two years working on the mural. Although originally set to be finished last year, the concept for the project became “bigger and stronger” than expected, said Design and Visual Communications teacher Sue Brooks. She added that work for the 3D prototype is currently underway. portunities students have to avoid a deadline. “I think it’s fair. Kids shouldn’t be able to bend the rules and have their parents assist them so that they can choose when they want to take a test,” Pontiff said. “It’s a lot easier to convince your parents to assist you academically than it is to ask a doctor.” English teacher Peter Goddard shared his frustration regarding unprepared students missing class.

“It just felt to me there was an unwillingness to face things that you don’t always want to face,” said Goddard. He added that students in every grade seemed to be following in the footsteps of older seniors. “It’s trickled down to younger grades, so now you have people who aren’t 18 who are calling their parents and saying ‘can you call me out of this class?’ And they’re doing it,” Goddard said. “It’s been a

growing problem, its gradually gotten bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and I’m glad they’re addressing it,” he added. According to Turcotte, the new policy is meant to brace students for life after North. “Sometimes you aren’t as prepared as you want to be for the important things in life,” he said during the senior assembly. “That’s the why. We want to prepare you for life.”

Shorter first term aims to tackle seniors’ college stress Sophie Murthy and David Ren Minimizing stress on seniors filling out college applications is the reason term one, which will end Oct. 25, has been reduced to eight weeks, according to school administrators. After studying the problem for the past year, the administration decided to end the first term a week earlier than in previous years to benefit seniors applying to college Early Decision or Early Action. The early date also ensures that the main office is able to send transcripts to colleges before the deadline. Vice principal Amy Winston said, “We have received feedback from seniors, and they have mentioned that having the last week of the term coinciding with the week by

that college applications are due is extremely stressful, particularly because at the end of the term they would have taken a bunch of tests.” In addition, Winston said that the fall no-homework weekend is moved to Columbus Day weekend, “which is two weeks before the end of the term. This gives seniors a weekend that they can focus on their college applications.” Senior Emily Pan said that the administration should put seniors, many of whom are in the throes of the college process, first. “I think it makes sense for them to prioritize seniors because it’s such a stressful time in the fall,” she said. “I feel like many other grades have different stressful moments, like sophomores have MCAS, and we respect that space. I feel like it’s

reasonable to give seniors a little extra breathing room around the most important decision of their life,” Pan added. As a junior, Kaylee Carson said she felt that for juniors and underclassmen, term one being so short makes for a bigger workload in many classes. “I think it’s unfair because the students are the ones who have to do more work,” she said. “They have had the term longer in the past, so if it worked before, why can’t it work now?” Winston acknowledged that the quarter ending early could make term one more difficult in classes with only a few graded assignments. “There’s definitely a drawback, which is that term one grades are

going to be based on very few grades,” Winston said. “For some students, that could be a detriment.” She added that although term one is shorter this year to benefit seniors applying early, teachers often want the opposite. “Term one has been pretty stable for a long time,” she said. “If anything, teachers wish that term one was longer. Teachers would tell you they would rather term one end November 10 but we really can’t do that because of the college process.” Science teacher Naomi Berg said that she would prefer all the terms be the same length in order to minimize the workload put on students. “As a teacher, having only eight

Check inside for this year’s club listings!

weeks puts a lot of stress on trying to organize your curriculum so that you have more than just one or two units to go on for a grade in the first term,” she said. “You’re putting a lot of pressure on just only one or two big assignments in a shorter term, whereas in a longer term, there’s more assignments. So if a student doesn’t do well on one, it won’t impact their overall term grade as much.” Winston said she hopes that the changes will reduce stress levels for all students. “Student stress is something that we are trying to address, and this is one strategy, both ending the term early and doing no homework over Columbus Day,” she said. “So I think we look forward to seeing how it goes.”


2 v The Newtonite, Newton North

Monday, Sept. 23, 2019

Tackle world problems by Murray made the wrong choice joining club communities James Dun Rappaport On April 25 Kyler Murray was drafted into the NFL by the Arizona Cardinals with the first overall draft pick, changing his life forever. by

Back-to-school means new teachers, new classes, new friends. In the newness of the year, however, one routine remains the same: school safety drills.

editorial Every year, students muster and file outside for fire drills. We also practice lockdown drills: turning off the lights, locking the doors, huddling on the floor. In the past, some students joked in whispers about the possibilities. Now, the routine garners a chilling respect as students reflect on the reality of what has recently occurred to their peers at other schools and in other locations. As students living in Newton, Mass., one of the safest towns in the state, in a state with one of the most stringent gun policies in the nation, the chances of a mass shooting seem slim. But Columbine was supposed to be safe. Marjory Stoneman Douglas was supposed to be safe. Santa Fe was supposed to be safe. Supposed to be does not mean is, and a nagging sense of unease has only grown with the many mass shootings this summer. In the year following Parkland, there was a nationwide movement to stop gun violence led by March for Our Lives. To the more than 1.2 million people who marched together at over 800 events in one day, it seemed that change was inevitable. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have passed Red Flag laws which would allow guns to be temporarily taken from individuals who may harm themselves or others. States have also passed laws to restrict domestic abusers’ access to guns. Collective efforts have led to progress despite the continuing gun violence. Yet, the increase in shootings that brings about our unease paradoxically creates a numbness to both the tragedy and

these efforts. The eagerness for change that followed Parkland has died down. As we deal with the day-to-day of our own lives, it is hard to sustain the necessary outrage and concern. Each shooting garners less interest than the last, to the point that it is even hard to name the most recent. Three have occurred in September since Odessa. Our surrounding community, however, can provide the encouragement we need to remain involved. At North, students and teachers organize events regarding various issues and cultures. The Center for Civic Engagement and Service helps students become involved in volunteering and activism. Teachers wear their red shirts every Tuesday to demand a new contract. The opportunity to take action with others lies in the hands of every North student. At Club Day today, many featured clubs focus on careers, hobbies, or mutual interests, all of which build an important sense of community. Some clubs also use this sense of community to fight for change in the world. The Kindness Club encourages compassion and thoughtfulness at North. The TigerUnicef club raises money for charity organizations locally and nationally. The newly-formed Climate Advocacy Club promotes student action against environmental degradation. While these clubs appeal to specific interests, they all provide a way for students to engage with the world around them. Our school is full of people thinking about and mobilizing for change. Collectively, we share the burden of the problems of the world. It’s essential to work together to motivate, inspire, and keep each other grounded in reality. As we continue to face that reality, looking to each other for support can bring about the change we desire.

The Newtonite The Newtonite, founded in 1922, is the news source of Newton North High School, 457 Walnut St., Newtonville, Mass. 02460. Editors-in-chief — Jake Forbes and Sophia Zhou Managing editors — Jacques Abou-Rizk, Zoe Goldstein, Carolyn McDonald Arts editors — Sophia Fredberg, Arjun Shatkin, Amy Xue Features editors — James Dun Rappaport, Kathy Mitchell, Helen Xiao News editors — Dea Cela, Maya Demissie, David Feng, Sophie Murthy, David Ren, Yesha Thakkar Sports editors — Griffin Bond, Emily Dhadly, Jeremy Frankel, Nichol

Weylman-Farwell Graphics editors — Ruchik Trivedi Photo manager — Ian Dickerman Business/advertisements manager— Isaac Tang Advisers — Tom Fabian, Derek Knapp, Amanda Mazzola Photo staff — Ella Bailey, Kai Kilburn, Kaela Krieger, Joel Schurgin Social media coordinator —Amy Xue Graphics staff — A.J. Chau, Jai Khurana, Kayley Somers

The Newtonite staff does all its reporting and photography to post content to its website, Sign up for The Newtonite’s weekly email newsletter on its website. In addition to the club special, The Newtonite publishes a midyear special, a spring special, a graduation special, and a first day of school special. To place an advertisement in the online or print version of The Newtonite or to contact us by phone, please call 617-559-6273. Readers can also reach us at

The Newtonite serves as a designated forum for student expression. Readers are invited to submit guest articles and letters to the The Newtonite reserves the right to edit all letters, which must have the writer’s name, grade, and homeroom.

column In college, Murray was also an elite baseball player. On the diamond, he played as an outfielder. At Oklahoma he posted a .296 batting average, while racking up 56 hits, crushing 10 dingers, and stealing 10 bases in the 52 games he played in 2018. In fact, Murray was such a stellar baseball player that he was selected by the Oakland Athletics as the ninth overall pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft. As a football player, Murray was under center for the Oklahoma University Sooners and won the Heisman trophy his senior year. During his impressive Heisman campaign, Murray threw for a jaw-dropping 4,052 yards, and 40 touchdowns. Murray had the option to play professional baseball or professional football, and decided to play professional football. “I was raised to play QB,” said Murray in February, when he officially chose football over baseball. What makes these accomplishments even more impressive is the fact that he is only 5’10. While highly successful at the college level, Murray’s small frame could make playing NFL football dangerous for Murray. By choosing football, Murray has a much higher risk of injury. Even with new rules and equipment to ensure the safety of players, the NFL is an incredibly dangerous sport. This especially holds true for smaller players like Murray who face 6’5, 300-pound

linemen that are trying to sack on him. Some think Murray is not as prone to injuries as other players because he is a quarterback. Yet, the average NFL quarterback is 6’3.5, and weighs in at 225-pounds—far larger than Murray. It will be more difficult for him to handle the hits than it is for an average quarterback.

The Arizona Cardinals have one of the weakest offensive lines in the NFL, which meaning Murray is subject to more hits. Last year, the Cardinals’ quarterback, Josh Rosen, who is 6’4, 218-pounds, was abused by opposing defenses, suffering several concussions. One can only imagine what will happen to Murray. As is now common knowledge, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a frequent occurrence, if not common in retired professional football players due to all of the repeated blows to the head that most players receive. The majority of NFL players affected by CTE are linemen, as they are charging into each other every single play, and sometimes lead with their heads, and quarterbacks don’t receive this kind of head trauma.

Murray does have one key incentive to play football: cash. He just inked a four year, $35 million deal, with an additional $23 million signing bonus. This dwarfs the deal the Athletics offered him: $4.6 million, with another $14 million guaranteed. Murray will definitely make more money right away in the NFL, but he could make more in the MLB in the long run. The average NFL career last 3.3 years. Now this statistic obviously isn’t perfect, but it shows that generally, the career of an NFL player is relatively short. On the contrary, MLB careers last far longer, with the average length of a players’ career being 5.6 years. Recently, in the 2018 MLB offseason, there were a few monster deals. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels signed a 12-year, $430 million contract, Bryce Harper signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for $330 million for 13 years, and Manny Machado signed with the San Diego Padres for $300 million for 10 years. These deals far exceed Murray’s football contract. And, Murray could have had a longer career and serious financial security for the rest of his life, if he lived up to his MLB expectations. It is atrocious to see so many young lives cut tragically short from CTE, and while sometimes football players need to risk their health for the money the NFL provides, it is sad to think that Murray could end up with the disease, all while he could have played in the MLB instead. In order to make more money over time and protect his body, Kyler Murray should have stuck with baseball. Unfortunately, he chose short term profit over long term security. Hopefully, he’ll be okay in the NFL.

Hong Kong struggles for freedom by Isaac

Tang All I could see was a sea of black. Men and women, old and young, all dressed in black chanting “Free Hong Kong! Free Hong Kong!” and holding signs saying “No China Extradition” and “No Rioters, Just Tyranny.” Hundreds of thousands of protesters had converged into Causeway Bay, one of the busiest shopping districts in the world.

column For months, Hong Kong has been embroiled in civil unrest over a law that would allow for people to be extradited from Hong Kong to face trial in China. Hong Kong was a British Colony until 1997 when it was handed over to China, and it maintains its own legal system under the policy of “One Country, Two Systems.” Courts in China are controlled by the ruling Communist Party and yield extraordinarily high conviction rates, sparking fears in Hong Kong that Beijing’s political opponents could be extradited to China under this law and that it would effectively erode Hong Kong’s autonomy from China. When I arrived in Hong Kong in mid-July, the mood was already tense in the city, with police having fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters. Little could I imagine what I was getting into. One day, I followed the parade of protesters with my fami-

ly through Causeway Bay to the march end point in Admiralty, the main financial district. Along the route, I was awestruck by these people fighting for their future so peacefully and calmly. Without the ability to vote, the people of Hong Kong have to resort to marching to receive attention from the government. I wanted to stay to observe more, but that night, I was supposed to have dinner with my extended family in Yuen Long, a rural part of Hong Kong. When my family and I exited Yuen Long Station, we saw a sizeable group of shady looking men wearing white t-shirts, many of whom were sporting tattoos and heavy gold chains. My dad said they were pro-government protesters. We hurried to meet the rest of our family. After dinner, we were walking back to Yuen Long Station when my uncle offered to drive us to my grandma’s apartment. When I got home, I turned on the TV and nearly dropped to the ground in shock. Hundreds of masked men, members of Hong Kong’s feared triads, or gangs, wearing white t-shirts stormed Yuen Long Station, using bamboo sticks to beat anyone they saw. These were the same men that I had walked past. Had I gone back into the station, I would have been among those poor people attacked by the thugs. It was then that I realized how righteous the protesters’ cause was. At the station, the police were no-

where to be seen for 39 minutes, allowing for civilians to be attacked by the gangsters. Later, riot police questioned the attackers, who were still clutching their weapons and at the scene, but the police made no arrests. If the government is not going to protect the people, the people would have to fend for themselves. My realization was confirmed the following week, when I witnessed thousands of people protesting in Yuen Long against the government’s inaction during the train station attack. The sea of black streamed peacefully through the streets of Yuen Long until suddenly, I heard a loud “Pop Pop” followed by screaming. Tear gas. This was not TV. This was not a news report, a story, anymore. This was real life. This whole experience taught me something that could never be learned in school. The protestors I saw were willing to defy their government, to be tear gassed and shot at, and even die to preserve their fundamental human rights. I considered how lucky I am to live in the United States, where I have freedom of speech and do not need to worry about submitting to a police state, where any dissent can result in a lengthy prison sentence. You can learn about freedom and democracy in the classroom, but you will never realize just how important these values truly are until you see people who are deprived of them.


Monday, Sept. 23, 2019

Newton North, The Newtonite v 3

v Club Listings 2019-2020 v Academic Decathlon

What: Students study and compete in an academic competition about a designated topic in 10 different skill areas. When: Friday after school, location to be determined. Goal: “To study different aspects of a specific topic and to compete in state competitions as well as to have students focus and master a topic they are passionate about,” said junior Dea Cela, an officer. Officers: Cela and junior Sophie Murthy. Adviser: Math teacher Charles Rooney. Contact: —Carolyn McDonald

Anime and Manga Club

What: Students watch TV shows and play games to learn about and celebrate Japanese culture. When: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday after school, location to be determined. Goal: “To make a safe environment where students can enjoy anime and manga with students who also enjoy it,” said senior Abby Lau, an officer. Officers: Lau and juniors Ella McCreary and Kyle Zhao. Adviser: English teacher Mike Schlegelmilch. Contact: —Sophia Fredberg

Archery Club

What: Students practice and improve archery skills. When: Wednesday after school outside the SOA next to the track. Goal: “To improve students’ skills in a non-professional setting,” said sophomore Nancy Zhang, an officer. Officers: Zhang, senior Abby Lau, and junior Max Goodwin. Adviser: History teacher Jamie Bal. Contact: —Sophia Fredberg

Asian Culture Club (ACC)

What: Students eat, watch movies, discuss current events, and talk about what it means to be an Asian-American citizen. When: Monday X-block in 353. Goal: “To create a space where you can talk about Asian-American culture,” said senior Dian Dian Jonas-Walsh, an officer. Officers: Walsh, seniors Andrew Shi and Jenny Huang, juniors Kyrene Sugianto and Shivani Shah, and sophomores Natalie Taw and Rose Giroux. Advisers: English teachers Charlene Beh and Michele Leong. Contact: Facebook group “NNHS Asian Culture Club.” —Grace Beecher

Badminton Club

What: Students play badminton and have the opportunity to try out for the badminton team. When: Monday and Thursday X-block in the SOA. Goal: “To gain new members and hopefully do better in the Massachusetts badminton competition,” said senior Mei Molinari, an officer. Officers: Molinari, seniors Amy Li, and Jonathan Liu, and junior Fin Belson. Adviser: Scheduler Meghan Smith. Contact: —Grace Beecher

Bike Club

What: Students go on bike rides together and

promote biking at North. When: Friday after school in 470. Goal: “To get more kids biking to school and have more students understand that it is a viable form of transportation,” said senior Dina Gorelik, the officer. Officers: Gorelik. Adviser: Math teacher Adam Peloquin. Contact: and Facebook group “NNHS Bike Club.” —Griffin Bond

Black Leadership Advisory Council (BLAC)

What: Students discuss problems involving race and organize B.LAC Day. When: Monday X-block in A111. Goal: “To educate the community of Newton of the everyday struggles POC deal with and to also celebrate black culture as a whole,” said senior Amar Skelly, an officer. Officers: Skelly and senior Leyla Davis. Advisers: METCO Counselor Elvin Cardona and English teacher Pam Pistiner. Contact: —Ella McCreary

Book Club

What: Students read and talk about a chosen book. When: Friday after school in 318. Goal: “To read, eat snacks, hang out, and meet new people who share the same interest as you,” said junior Hannah Langenfeld, an officer. Officers: Langenfeld and junior Mannie McBride. Adviser: Special education teacher Melynda Meszko-Cameron. Contact: —Anika Bwahwalkar

Business Club

What: Students learn about and rotate through fields of business such as economics, entrepreneurship, and accounting. When: Tuesday after school in 319. Goal: “To provide financial literacy to the majority of the students,” said junior Ben Ronell, an officer. Officers: Ronell and senior Eli Richmond. Adviser: Business teacher Robert Kane. Contact: —Arjun Shatkin

Celtic Music Club

What: Students learn traditional Celtic jigs, reels, and polkas. When: Friday 6 to 8 p.m. at an officer’s house. Goal: “To perform at school events, such as the student talent show and Sustainability Festival,” said senior Sara Manning, an officer. Officers: Manning and sophomore Nathaniel Simpson. Adviser: English teacher Valerie Young. Contact: —Carolyn McDonald

Chess Club

What: Students play chess and learn strategies for the game. When: Monday X-block, location to be determined. Goal: “To attract new players to practice and play chess, and eventually to compete in tournaments,” said history teacher Kathryn Codd, the adviser. Officers: To be determined. Adviser: Codd. Contact: —Anika Bwahwalkar

Jacques Abou-Rizk Juniors Emma Larson and Kevin Wu practice their briefs for mock trial Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Christian Club

What: Students discuss Christianity and how to apply Christian values to everyday life. When: Thursday X-block in 121. Goal: “To raise awareness about Christianity as a religion and how it factors into people’s daily lives, and to promote actions that align with the values of Christianity,” said senior Esther Choi, an officer. Officers: Choi and sophomore Ashley Tan. Adviser: Design teacher Sue Brooks. Contact: —Zoe Goldstein

Classics Club

What: Students participate in activities that help expand their knowledge of Roman culture and mythology. When: Wednesday after school in 254. Goal: “To encourage interest in the Latin language and Roman culture,” said senior Hannah Shahrooz, an officer. Officers: Shahrooz and juniors AJ Chau and Ella McCreary. Adviser: Latin teacher Timothy Lesinski. Contact: —Carolyn McDonald

Class of 2020

What: Students raise money to fund class events. When: Monday during third lunch in Adams house office. Goal: “To raise money and bring the class together,” said senior Gabby Gilpin, a vice president. Officers: Gilpin, president Anabel Marré, and vice presidents Jayden Farquhar, Colin Foley, and Serena Jampel. Advisers: Librarian Erin Dalbec and Compass Program teacher Joanna Gualtieri. Contact: Facebook group “NNHS Class of 2020.” —Mica Brabander

Class of 2021

What: Students fundraise and plan social events for the class of 2021. When: Monday during third lunch in the Barry House office. Goal: “To raise as much money as possible while still making all class events accessible and enjoyable for all,” said junior Emma Larson, a vice president. Officers: Larson, president Kevin Wu, and vice presidents Bruce Burba, Tara Ersen, and Helen Xiao. Advisers: Special education teacher Eileen Perruzzi and administrator Aaron Sanders. Contact: —Emma Burns

Class of 2022

What: Students raise money for the class. When: Tuesday morning before school. Goal: “To raise as much money as possible for

proms and other class events,” said sophomore Peter Dukakis, a vice president. Officers: Dukakis, president Angel Wan, and vice presidents Inez Baxter, Elis Kristo, and Ethan Situ. Adviser: History teacher Caitlin O’Rourke. Contact: —Anderson Free

Climate Advocacy Club

What: Students talk about climate strikes, learn about climate issues, and plan different projects within the school, city, and state. When: Tuesday after school in 312. Goal: “To harness the power of students and put students in a position to fight for what they care about,” said senior Maggie Needham, an officer. Officers: Needham and senior Stephanie Frankel. Adviser: History teacher Jennifer Devlin. Contact: —Jacques Abou-Rizk

Computer Programming Club

What: Students work on computer programming-related projects such as web development, game design, and 3D Modeling. When: Thursday X-block, location to be determined. Goal: “To learn and collaborate on creating something that is useful,” said junior Jacob Chang, an officer. Officers: Chang and juniors Veer Gadodia and Andrew Lee. Adviser: Math teacher Adam Peloquin. Contact: —Purusha Shirvani

Creative Writing Club

What: Students share their work and play writing games. When: Friday after school in 368. Goal: “To share our work and to improve writing skills,” said senior Shumita Littlefield, an officer. Officers: Littlefield and senior Eliza Huntington. Adviser: To be determined. Contact: —Mica Brabander

Debate Team

What: Students research, discuss, and make cases for monthly topics, and also compete at a range of tournaments. When: Monday and Thursday after X-block in 467. Goal: “To get more comfortable with political topics domestically and abroad. In addition we want to make sure that our members gain confidence in public speaking and presentation,” said senior Cecilia McCormick, an officer. Officers: McCormick, senior Douglas Williams, and junior Aram Brunson. Adviser: History teacher Kathryn Codd. Contact: —Kathy Mitchell

Monday, Sept. 23, 2019

4 v The Newtonite, Newton North

Club Day Directory


Goal: “To get students ready to succeed in WGBH’s quiz show program,” said history department head Gregory Drake, an adviser. Officers: To be determined. Advisers: Drake and history teacher Albert Cho. Contact: —Kaela Krieger

Hiking Club

What: Students go on hikes in the New England area. When: To be determined. Goal: “To have people unplug and see nature,” said senior Sophia D’Alleva, an officer. Officers: D’Alleva and senior Roxanne Lau. Adviser: To be determined. Contact: —Kaela Krieger

History Team

Sophia Zhou Members of the boys’ varsity cross country team push to the front of the pack during the beginning of their race against Weymouth Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Digital Bridges Club

What: Students fundraise money to donate to schools that cannot afford laptops and other technology. When: Thursday X-block in 164. Goal: “To help other communities that aren’t as privileged and to help bridge that digital divide,” said senior Aneel Chittilappilly, an officer. Officers: Chittilappilly and senior Anton Koenig. Adviser: Music teacher Richard Labedz. Contact: —Kathy Mitchell

Distributive Education Clubs of America Club (DECA)

What: Students prepare for the DECA competition and learn business management skills. When: To be determined. Goal: “To work on presentation skills and thinking on your feet,” said junior Bruce Burba, an officer. Officers: Burba and junior Emma Schwartz Adviser: Business teacher Robert Kane. Contact: —Yesha Thakkar

Dreamfar Marathon Club

What: Students train to run the Providence Marathon in May. When: Monday and Thursday after X-block, Wednesday at 3:15 p.m., and Saturday at 8:00 a.m. in 152. Goal: “To work together as a team with the goal of running the Providence Marathon in May, and to have fun while doing it,” said math teacher Colleen Crowley, an adviser. Officers: To be determined. Advisers: Math teacher Colleen Crowley, English and special education teacher Amy McMahon, and math teacher Ethan Peritz. Contact: —Emma Burns

Entrepreneurship Club

What: Students teach and learn about starting and managing a business. When: Monday and Thursday X-block in 319. Goal: “To provide a less committed business club so it can fit more people’s schedules,” said senior Samuel Kutikov, an officer. Officers: Kutikov and junior Steven Landry. Adviser: Business teacher Robert Kane. Contact: —Zoe Goldstein


What: Students prepare for and compete in an environmental science competition. When: Monday X-block in the library. Goal: “To learn more about the environment and how to not ruin the earth,” said senior Abby Lau, an officer. Officer: Lau.

Newton North, The Newtonite v 5

Adviser: Science teacher Anndy Dannenberg. Contact: —Anderson Free

Film Club

What: Students share their love for film by watching and discussing movies. When: Tuesday after school in 316. Goal: “To provide a space for students who love film and give students the opportunity to watch films they might not be able to seek out by themselves,” said senior Tommy Richmond, an officer. Officer: Richmond. Adviser: History teacher Albert Cho. Contact: —Helen Xiao

the LGBTQ community. When: Thursday X-block in 249. Goal: “To educate students in our school about gender and sexuality and to help and support anyone having trouble with these two topics,” said junior Emma Pinch, an officer. Officers: Pinch, senior Alex Kolodney, and junior Kayley Somers. Adviser: Special education teacher Lisa Goldthwaite. Contact: Facebook group “NNHS Gender Sexuality Alliance” and @newtonnorthgsa on Instagram. —Purusha Shirvani

Girls Achieving Leadership through Service (G.A.L.S.)

What: Students prepare and arrange songs for allfemale a capella performances throughout the year. When: Sunday evening at a director’s house. Goal: “To invite more girls into the group and create a supportive and professional environment that spreads the love of music,” said senior Amanda Redmond, an officer. Officers: Redmond and senior Ella Bailey. Adviser: Theatre Ink director Adam Brown. Contact: —Helen Xiao

What: Students discuss feminism, current events, and organize service projects for the community. When: Monday X-block, location to be determined. Goal: “To be more involved in the Newton North community and try to have more involvement in the club with underclassmen,” said senior Kendra Abbott, an officer. Officers: Abbott and seniors Lucy Bronstein and Casey Weaver. Adviser: To be determined. Contact: and Facebook group “NNHS G.A.L.S.” —Mark Hemment

French Club

Girls Coding Club


What: Students speak French, eat French food, and participate in activities. When: Every other Wednesday in 264. Goal: “To have a space where people can practice French in a lowkey environment where there are no stakes,” said senior Dina Gorelik, an officer. Officers: Gorelik and seniors Zoe Goldstein, Elena Manzella, and Isalia McIntyre. Adviser: French teacher Alieu Jobe. Contact: Facebook group “NNHS French Club.” —Jacques Abou-Rizk

What: Girls learn computer programming and work together on coding projects. When: Thursday X-block in 330. Goal: “To encourage girls to learn more about coding and STEM because it is a mostly maledominated field,” said junior Karen Tong, an officer. Officers: Tong and senior Yesha Thakkar. Adviser: Science teacher David Bennett. Contact: —Purusha Shirvani

Future Business Leaders of America High School Democrats (FBLA) What: Students work independently and with the What: Students learn business skills and apply them to competitions, volunteer work, test preparation, and activities around the community. When: Every other Thursday X-block. Goal: “To expose high school students to the business world through competitions and to build their sense of leadership,” said senior Christina Zhao, an officer. Officers: Zhao, and seniors Jasmine Duong, Della Munier, and Kayla Rigoli. Adviser: History teacher Isongesit Ibokette. Contact: @nnhsfbla_ on Instagram or nnhsfbla1@ —Mark Hemment

Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

What: Students learn about current events affecting

national High School Democrats organization to pursue political projects locally. When: Monday and Thursday X-block in the art room. Goal: “To pass legislation, lobby, campaign, and much more,” said senior Rachel Spetter-Goldstein, an officer. Officers: Spetter-Goldstein and senior Mariana Gubert. Adviser: Art teacher Eileen Gagarin. Contact: —Zoe Goldstein

High School Quiz Show Club

What: Students learn and share trivia knowledge in preparation for a quiz show. When: To be determined.

What: Students prepare to compete in regional history competitions. When: To be determined. Goal: “To qualify and perform well at the national competition,” said junior Skyler Bohnert, an officer. Officers: Bohnert, and juniors David Genis and Isaac Tang. Adviser: To be determined. Contact: —Arjun Shatkin

Improv Club

What: Students play games that improve their improv skills. When: Monday and Thursday X-block in the Little Theater. Goal: “To get people interested in improv,” said senior Daze Purcell., an officer Officers: Purcell and senior Noor Shoresh. Adviser: Theatre Ink director Adam Brown. Contact: —Kate Larson

International Crisis Club

What: Students discuss how to raise money and awareness for international crises. When: Monday X-block in 324. Goal: “To raise awareness about international crises and inform students about what they can do to raise money,” said history teacher Subheen Razzaqui. Officers: To be determined. Adviser: Razzaqui. Contact: —Jacques Abou-Rizk

International Students Association (ISA)

What: Students learn about and celebrate the diverse cultures of North students. When: Every other Thursday X-block in 409. Goal: “To unite different cultures and bring all types of students together,” said junior Kyrene Sugianto, an officer. Officers: Sugianto, seniors Emi Aleksanyan, Hefi Jiang, and Brianna Spiegel, and junior Shivani Shah. Adviser: English Language Learning teacher Kristen Durocher. Contact: Facebook group “NNHS International Students Association.” —Amy Xue

Italian Culture Club

What: Students learn about Italian culture by sampling Italian foods, listening to Italian music, speaking the language, and watching films. When: To be determined. Goal: “To bring together students who feel an affinity, passion, or interest in the Italian culture and language,” said Italian teacher Justin Evans, an adviser. Officers: To be determined. Adviser: Evans. Contact: —Dea Cela

Jewish Student Union

What: Students participate in activities and discussions about Judaism to educate community members about the historical and cultural meaning of Judaism. When: Every other Monday X-block in 129.

Goal: “To have a safe place for Jewish students at Newton North and educate members of the community about Judaism,” said Dina Gorelik, an officer. Officers: Gorelik and seniors Dina Grossman and Or-El Ankori. Adviser: Ceramics teacher Cindy Massoff. Contact: @nnhs_jsu on Instagram. —Yahel Tamir

Kindness Club

What: Students volunteer in fundraisers. Goal: “To help students become involved in upcoming fundraisers and events,” said senior Hallie Zenga-Josephson, an officer. Officers: Zenga-Josephson and senior Sophie Wax. Adviser: Math teacher Tracey Stewart. Contact: —Sophia Fredberg


What: Students learn about robotics, make robots for competitions, and work to sustain their small business. When: Monday 6:30 to 9 p.m. at North in 148 and Thursday 6:30 to 9 p.m. at South in 9170. Goal: “To become the leaders of project-based learning and to teach everyone skills they can use in the future,” said junior AJ Chau, an officer. Officers: Chau and seniors Carolyn McDonald and Maggie Needham. Adviser: Administrative technology specialist Phil Golando. Contact: —Katie Larson

Math Team

What: Students hone their math skills to participate in team and individual competitions. When: Wednesday after school in 470. Goal: “To do the best we can, and to qualify for New England’s meet,” said senior Kevin Li, an officer. Officers: Li, and juniors Helen Xiao and Kevin Wu. Adviser: Math teacher Elisse Ghitelman. Contact: —Maxwell Lu


What: Students sing a cappella covers of pop music. When: Sunday 4 to 6 p.m. at a director’s house. Goal: “To learn music and perform at gigs,” said senior Jai Khurana, an officer. Officers: Khurana, senior Anna WeylmanFarwell, and junior Adair Nolan. Adviser: Music director Todd Young. Contact: —Jacob Zalis

organization. When: Wednesday once a month from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Newton City Hall. Goal: “To help students’ voices be heard in the community,” said Director of Youth Services Quinn Etchie, an adviser. Officers: Seniors Aneel Chittilappilly and Brianna Spiegel, junior Coral Lin, South senior Christina Bednarzh, and Winsor School junior Reethika Digumarthy. Adviser: Etchie. Contact: —Arjun Shatkin

Next Generation Voices

What: Students work on projects such as promoting legislation, organizing marches, and making posters. When: Monday X-block, location to be determined. Goal: “To help students become civically engaged,” said junior Calvin Mamis, an officer. Officers: Mamis and junior Coral Lin. Advisers: Co-directors of the Center for Civic Engagement Claudia Wu and Terry Yoffie. Contact: —Arjun Shatkin

Northern Lights

What: Students practice and perform a capella songs. When: Sunday at a director’s house. Goal: “To just come together and arrange a capella songs and bring joy to people’s lives,” said senior Lasya Thavanati, an officer. Officers: Thavanati and seniors Dagny Griggs and Josh Lev. Adviser: To be determined. Contact: —Ruchik Trivedi

One Night Out

What: Students play games, cook, and make art with disabled students ages 2-14. When: The first Saturday of every month at the Boston Abilities Centre in Natick. Goal: “To give the parents of children with disabilities a night out and give their kids a fun experience with highschoolers,” said senior Kate Rooney, an officer. Officers: Rooney and senior Leah Stonehill. Adviser: Special education teacher Brian Rooney. Contact: —Ruchik Trivedi

Peer Mentoring Club

What: Students help orient new students that are

2020 *Meet the new club adviser!* Meghan Smith

Goals: “I am hoping to create a strong management structure around our clubs. Included in that effort is to check in with all students and officers regularly on club activities and share with the school community the great things the students are doing. There are so many clubs, and I want to increase awareness of the opportunities there are for students.” Excited about… “seeing the students return, and the spirit the students bring to school.” Fun fact: Smith is a life-long Newton resident and is currently raising 25 chickens.

Ian Dickerman photo

transferring from other schools by giving tours and helping them find their classes. When: Usually once a term, location varies. Goal: “To welcome incoming students that are transferring from a different location or school district,” said senior Sadie Winton, an officer. Officers: Winton. Adviser: Guidance counselor Kyra Slawski. Contact: —Griffin Bond

When: Varies based on the upcoming competitions, at team member’s houses. Goal: “To help people either find some sort of passion or interest in STEM, or with people who already have an interest, to give them a space to grow,” said senior Emily Pan, an officer. Officers: Pan and junior Skyler Bonhert. Adviser: Science teacher Heather Haines. Contact: —Maya Demissie

Russian Culture Club

Ski and Snowboard Club

What: Students learn about Russian culture through cooking, making art, playing games, watching movies, taking field trips, and more. When: Every other Thursday X-block in 444. Goal: “To provide a fun, relaxed environment to experience Russian culture. You don’t have to be Russian to join. We welcome everyone from any background,” said senior Brianna Spiegel, an officer. Officers: Spiegel and senior Emiliya Aleksanyan. Adviser: Science teacher Tatyana Osipenko. Contact: —Zoe Goldstein

Science in the News Club

What: Students discuss prominent science topics in a small group. When: Wednesday after school in 415. Goal: “To have a group of kids come and learn a little something new about the world because science is impacting the world around us a lot,” said senior Douglas Williams, an officer. Officers: Williams and senior Yesha Thakkar. Adviser: Science teacher Peter Hamel. Contact: —Jacques Abou-Rizk

Science Team

What: Students prepare for and participate in competitions such as Science Olympiad, Envirothon, and Blue Lobster Bowl.

What: Students ski, snowboard, and spend time with friends. When: Two times each winter at Sunday River Resort. Goal: “To get students outside and doing something fun with friends,” said special education teacher Melynda Meszko-Cameron, an adviser. Officers: Seniors Mia Connors and Jessica Lipchin, and juniors Keshav Desibhatla, Maja Duchnowska, and Veer Gadodia. Advisers: Meszko-Cameron and history teacher Caitlin O’Rourke. Contact: and —Lily Siegelman

South Asian Student Association (SASA):

What: Students gather and participate in community events to enjoy South Asian culture. When: Thursday X-block in 326 and during some lunch blocks. Goal: “To share South Asian culture with the community by raising money and catering lunches,” said senior Jai Khurana, an officer. Officers: Khurana, and juniors Keshav Desibhatla and Veer Gadodia. Adviser: History teacher Subheen Razzaqui. Contact: —Jeremy Frankel

Mock Trial

What: Students compete in academic competitions acting as lawyers and witnesses in simulated trials. When: Wednesday 7 to 9 p.m. in 356 and Sunday afternoon at a team member’s house. Goal: “To get as far as possible in the State tournament,” said senior Claire Gardner, an officer. Officers: Gardner, senior Sonya Gelfand, and junior Kevin Wu. Adviser: Latin teacher Timothy Lesinski. Contact: —Maxwell Lu

Model UN

What: Students simulate the United Nations and discuss pressing global issues. When: Tuesday 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Film Lecture Hall. Goal: “To help students become more informed about global politics and current events, and to understand them from multiple perspectives,” said senior Sara Manning, an officer. Officers: Manning, senior Amit Vallabh, and juniors Isabella Rizzo and Max Goodwin. Adviser: To be determined. Contact: Facebook group “NNHS model UN 2019-2020” or —Sophia Fredberg

Newton Youth Commission

What: Students advocate for change and help solve community problems as part of a city-run

Ian Dickerman Sophomore Camille Kouroiez shakes off a defender as she runs down the field during a game against Brookline Thursday, Sept. 12 at home.


6 v The Newtonite, Newton North

354. Goal: “To talk about current events and work on opinions pieces,” said junior Coral Lin, an officer. Officers: Lin and junior Parisa Ghavidel. Adviser: English teacher Beth Cronin. Contact: —Dea Cela

Tiger Friends

What: Students participate in activities such as games, art-making, and wellness activities, as well as cook and bake in the International Cafe. When: Monday X-block in 315 and Thursday X-block in the International Cafe. Goal: “To create bonds and friendships between students with and without disabilities,” said senior Sadie Winton. Officer: Winton. Adviser: Special education teacher Lisa Goldthwaite. Contact: —Zoe Goldstein

Tiger Reads

Maya Demissie Sophomore Rialto Janairo prepares to steal the ball from a Brookline player Thursday, Sept. 12.

Stage Crew

What: Students help design and build sets and lights for Theatre Ink performances. When: Everyday after school in 185. Goal: “To create sets and make sure the shows go smoothly,” said senior Stephanie Frankel, an officer. Officers: Frankel and junior Ethan Rensing. Adviser: Theatre Ink teacher Michael Barrington-Haber. Contact: —Jeremy Frankel

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) What: Students participate in experiments that are related to both science and art. When: Every other Monday X-block in 458. Goal: “To enable students to explore the intersection of science and art with engaging experiments and speakers, enabling students to see how connected these two disciplines are, and how together they both create a unique balance of creativity and discovery,” said senior Julia Davis, an officer. Officers: Davis and senior Ellie Karniadakis. Adviser: Science teacher Brian Gagne. Contact: —Nichol Weylman-Farwell

Student Library Advisory Club (SLACers)

What: Students help librarians with daily tasks and organize guest visits. When: During available free periods and one Monday a month during X-block in the library. Goal: “To keep the library organized and a fun place to be for anyone who loves books,” said librarian Erin Dalbec, an adviser. Officers: To be determined. Advisers: Dalbec and librarian Kathleen Kennedy. Contact: —Lily Sieglman

The Monologue Project

What: Students write about and express their identity as students of color at North in preparation for a showcase or magazine project to share with the North community. When: Thursday X-block in 356. Goal: “To create a space for any form of expression, to teach black and brown students that they have a voice, and to string together pieces written throughout the year into a showcase or a magazine,” said senior Sasha Espady, an officer. Officer: Espady. Adviser: English teacher Pamela Pistiner. Contact: —Zoe Goldstein

The Newtonite

What: Students write, design, and take photos for The Newtonite’s online and in-print newspaper. When: All day every day in 273. Goal: “To serve as a reliable news source that informs and educates the North community,” said senior Sophia Zhou, an editor-in-chief. Officers: Zhou and senior Jake Forbes. Advisers: English teachers Tom Fabian and Derek Knapp and television and film production aide Amanda Mazzola. Contact: —Arjun Shatkin

Theatre Ink

What: Students explore theatre, whether acting in productions, participating in stage crew, or engaging in other aspects of theatre. When: Every day after school in the theatre wing. Goal: “To expose students to the arts,” said Theatre Ink director Adam Brown, an adviser. Advisers: Brown and Theatre Ink teachers Michael Bar rington-Haber and Ruth Talvacchia. Contact: —James Dun Rappaport


What: Students create a magazine twice a year containing student-produced literature and art. When: Tuesday after school, location to be determined. Goal: “To seek out the numerous talented people in our school and give them a platform to spread their words,” said senior Henry Minsky, an editor. Officers: Minsky, and seniors Colin Foley and Noor Shoresh. Adviser: English teacher Neil Giordano. Contact: —Yahel Tamir


What: Students learn about the medical field and listen to guest speakers discuss their experiences in medicine. When: Every other Monday X-block in 414. Goal: “To get students more familiar with different medical professions so they can figure out if the medical field is something they want to be involved in,” said senior Sonya Gelfand, an officer. Officers: Gelfand, senior Maya Lobel, and sophomore Tia Joseph. Adviser: Biology teacher Albert Calderone. Contact: —Kathy Mitchell

Tiger’s Eye Magazine

What: Students voice their opinions on an online opinion magazine. When: Every other Tuesday after school in

What: Students read books, drink tea, and have the option to write book reviews for The Newtonite. When: Last Friday of every month in 271. Goal: “To create a fun environment where people can discuss books that we read monthly,” said senior Maya Lobel, an officer. Officers: Lobel and seniors Zoe Goldstein, Carolyn McDonald, and Sophia Zhou. Adviser: English teacher Tom Fabian. Contact: —Kathy Mitchell


What: Students organize fundraisers to raise money for UNICEF. When: Every other Monday X-block in 265. Goal: “To educate the student body and broader Newton community about the pressing issues that children in developing countries face today, and to raise awareness through school-wide events, fundraisers, and projects,” said senior Sonya Gelfand, an officer. Officers: Gelfand, senior Christina Zhao, and

Monday, Sept. 23, 2019 junior Haley Ireland. Adviser: Chinese teacher Ming Lu. Contact: —Carolyn McDonald

Ultimate Frisbee

What: Students practice the sport through drills and warm-ups, and attend a tournament. When: Cabot field every day after school or after X-block on Monday and Thursday. Goal: “To recruit more kids because it is a fun sport to play. Many kids think they would not be good, but if they already play a sport, then they have an advantage because they are used to running around,” said senior Rose Gordon, an officer. Officers: Gordon, seniors Timothy Chango and Michael Shriver, and junior Evan Hoch. Adviser: Physics teacher Matt Anderson. Contact: —Carolyn McDonald

Unicycle Club

What: Students of all levels practice riding unicycles. When: Monday X-block on the tennis courts. Goal: “To teach people the basics of riding a unicycle,” said senior Jo Graham, an officer. Officers: Graham and senior Julia Bosco. Adviser: To be determined. Contact: —Carolyn McDonald

Women in Business

What: Students prepare for Women in Business Day and learn about women in the business world. When: Every other Monday X-block. Goal: “To put on a successful Women in Business day and educate students about the importance of women being visible in business,” said senior Christina Zhao, an officer. Officers: Zhao and senior Kayla Rigoli. Adviser: Robert Kane. Contact: —Carolyn McDonald kCheck out our most updated list online at If you do not see your club listed, please email us at k

Monday, Sept. 23, 2019


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8 v The Newtonite, Newton North


Monday, Sept. 23, 2019

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