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Madison Calloo// 5

STAFF Trey Newcomb Senior Editor Grace Luppino Senior Editor Chris Lea Senior Editor Madison Calloo Senior Editor Scooter Snedaker Junior Editor Jack Coulter Junior Lexi Ravetto Junior Jahmerikah Green-Younger Senior Terry Cecil Coleman jr. Junior Amari Brown Junior David Bonaney Senior Brenda Luna Junior Ivan Avalos Senior Nathaly Hernandez Senior Carlie Rizzo Senior

By using the Hashtag #BMHS16highlights tweet one of your favorite/funny moments of this 2016 school year to possibly be featured on our Instagram @bmhs_pride_time



Farewell Ms. Gaber, Hello Liotta... Grace Luppino Brien McMahon employee of 18 years, head of the English department, and advisor of the National Honor Society, Mrs. Gaber, abruptly resigned from her job on October 30th leaving many people asking “why?”


s an active teacher and employee of McMahon for almost twenty years, Mrs. Gaber’s retirement came as a surprise for her colleagues and students as to why she was leaving and why it happened so suddenly. An announcement was made to her AP Language students approximately a week before her leave, it was news that came completely out of left field. Mrs. Gaber said that she felt as though she wasn’t into her job as much as she used to be and that her husband picked up on it before she did. After being a part of the profession for so many years, she felt as though her job involved more extra and unnecessary aspects as opposed to actual teaching. “I won’t miss the constant change for the changes sake, without evaluating the change.” Gaber says, “...or the constant interruption of teaching.” Although she is sad to leave her students, she still believes that she’s doing the right thing for herself. “Once you’re a teacher you’re always a teacher…” she remarked, “you never truly stop.” When it came to who would take over her AP classes it was a huge concern for her students; however, she turned to her friend Mrs. Liotta to pick up

where she left off. Mrs. Gaber spent time working with Mrs. Liotta trying to give her as much information about the class as she could in the short amount of time they had to make the transition. “I have a lot of faith in Mrs. Liotta,” she said. “After I got over the initial shock of Mrs. Gaber leaving, I was really excited when asked to take over her courses.” Liotta said, “It did not take a lot of convincing, I knew it was the right move for me...I was ready for a change.” Mrs. Liotta has been working at Brien McMahon for 13 years; however, after her children were born, she switched over to part time. Up until this year, she has only been teaching the first three periods of the day, so taking over Gaber’s classes was a big change for her.

vous about not having enough time to prepare adequately. However, she was excited about teaching seniors and bringing something of her own to the class. On the first day of class with Mrs. Liotta, students were taken back when Mindfulness was brought up; for most, it was a concept that they have never heard of before. “In the beginning I wasn’t too sure about it. I didn’t think it would be helpful and would just be a waste of time...” AP English student Nicole Gallagher (‘16) commented, (countinued on page 4)

This is the first time she has ever taught the AP course and because of how sudden the situation was she was nerFollow us @BMHS_pride_time

Farewell Ms. Gaber, Hello Liotta... (Continued) “Now in times of stress I often find myself practicing mindfulness and I feel it really works.” Mrs. Liotta has been practicing mindfulness for a while now and believes that mindfulness allows people to look at things, and at life in a different way. She made the decision to bring mindfulness into the classroom to help relax her AP students who are under constant stress. “It was my husband’s idea that I bring it into the classroom. He had a few teachers during his high school career that incorporated mindfulness and meditation into the classroom” she says. “He shared some articles with me about how mindfulness is being practiced in law firms, banks, Fortune 500 companies and the military. It seems only logical that schools would follow suit and many of them are. I wanted to be part of that.” Liotta firmly believes that everyone in the world can benefit in one way or another from practicing mindfulness. Whether it be a high school student, a toddler, or an adult everyone has the ability to look at life in a new way as mindfulness guru Jon Kabat-Zinn explains in his definition, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

Cover Story

One Class, One Color Madison Calloo 5


Ms. Liotta Takes On AP Grace Luppino 3 The Heart of A Hustler Brenda Luna 6 Mr. Albert: Everywhere & Back Trey Newcomb 7

Opinions Hallway Hassles Jack Coulter


The Brien McMahon Bathrooms Emely De La Cruz

Entertainment Festival Tips Chris Lea 8 Unleash Your Inner Beauty Lexi Ravetto 8

Sports Abby Wambach Scooter Snedaker 10 High School vs Academy Ivan Avalos 11 Meet Eric Van Der Els 11

One Class, One Color The

The change that caused an uproar... By Madison Calloo


n Friday, February 26, seventh period in the cafeteria,

we voted for, was one of the main people behind this

an announcement was made by our student council that

new idea. Calderon opted to not comment at this time.

confirmed the rumors about the graduation gown colors being

However, Zaria Azor (‘16), a senior at Mcmahon, did feel the

changed. This decision put a stop to girls wearing a white gown

new change would provide a voice and consideration for a mi-

and boys wearing blue, while attempting to cre-

nority group of transgender students at Mcmahon.

ate a new tradition of everyone wearing one color.

“As long as I get my high school diploma, I really don’t care what color I’m in,

This started an uproar of angry senior students as some

but I also believe that we should be more consid-

didn’t agree on the idea of one color. When the rumors

erate of that small percentage because it may be-

first came out, seniors took their opinions to social media

come greater in the future,” said Zaria Azor (‘16).

using the hashtag, “#BMHSGraduation” on twitter. Students even started a petition expressing their disinterest in

Ms. Koroshetz did address these concerns later

the change of colors; it was signed by over 300 students.

during the week meeting with all of the senior English classes in order to put the rumors to rest. The

Image of Online Petition: Some students were clearly frustrated about

main reason she gave was that it was “time for a

how the decision was made and finalized so suddenly.

change,” and that she wanted our class to stand united in one color.

“A choice should have been given of what color they want to


wear,” said Kiara Velazquez (‘16) “They should have went


about making the decision to change this tradition differently.”

of our student council to come up with such an idea.








behind how

a proud





However, Ms. Koroshetz did express her apology to the senior class Keily Calderon, president of our student council, whom

for how the information was given out and how the decision was made. Follow us @BMHS_pride_time



me, but for my kids, that I would do everything in my power to achieve that. I would prove everyone wrong and show a new side for all teenage mothers.” Kari and her husband both graduated college and she is now a nurse and her husband is the manager of a Rings End Lumber Company.

Heart of the Hustler Brenda Luna

Kari Lucero’s life changed when her now husband, Adrian Stanley, took her virginity and got her pregnant at age 14. Her parents kicked her out of the house as soon as she had her baby.“I felt so alone.”

vidual, however, did not find the conviction that Kari would eventually find.

Kari wanted to move in with her husband but his mom wouldn’t allow it. Adrian lived here in Norwalk still, but he would try to call Being a teen mom, I thought my parents her everyday on a pay phone. They both had would have stayed and supported me even to become independent and get a job. Being though my parents weren’t like that, but I 14, Kari worried that she would not be able knew I was going to get through this,” Kari to adequetly care for her new born child. recently reported to Pridetime. Kari, now 29 years old, describes herself as “kind of a Kari lived in the shelter for three years with rebel” but was a typical teenager where she no help from any family members.”They was raised in Southside Jamaica, Queens. would serve breakfast, lunch and dinner However, after the incident, she moved here there. I woke up early every day to go school to Norwalk looking for a place of rescue. and would leave my baby in the daycare that the shelter provided.” After school, she then “I was so hungry for a good had to go to work and try to get back in belife, for not only me, but for fore 7:30, which was the curfew. “If I was late, this lady that worked there named Brenmy kids, that I would do da would always sneak me in.”

everything in my power to achieve that.”

Sadly, Kari is not alone in this issue. In a report produced on January 27, 2010, looking at the Norwalk/Fairfield County area homeless shelters, showed that there was over 180 individuals who were homeless. Even worse, that number has only gone down 1% over the past five years. Many of these

When she was 17, Adrian rented his first space to be able to live with his new family somewhere “stable.” Because of the daycare programme at the Norwalk shelter, Kari was able to still attend her school, Norwalk High, and also attended night school so that she was able to graduate. “I was so hungry for a good life, for not only

“My daughter is almost 16 years old right now. She’s an Honor student and she’s been working and helping to support us since she was 14 years old,” said Keri. “She’s a cheerleader and soccer player. She never let the fact that she grew up struggling and having young parents get the best of her. I’m so proud of her.” Kari says her goals for the future are to genuinely be happy, and to one day buy a nice big house in NYC. This is truly a success story as there are not many former homeless people in Norwalk who have managed to break the cycle. One must be determined and have as much ambition as Kari did to make it through the hard times in one’s life.

Newsweek’s Graphy Depicting Teenage Homelessness in America.


Mr. Albert Takes On America


Trey Newcomb

In just 23 days Brien McMahon’s newest science teacher drove over eight thousand miles, traveled through more than fifteen states, and visited eight national parks. And was alone. Having lived along the East Coast for his entire life, Mr. Albert decided it was time to head west in the hopes of seeing different parts of the United States. For about the first half of the trip the physics “All the national parks that I went to were awe-inspiring. The geoloteacher journeyed by himself, the only thing that accompanied him gy of the Midwest is something else.Yellowstone National Park, eswas electric music. pecially the solitude and the wilderness, were some things you don’t get to experience out here on the east coast.”The trip that Mr. Albert “Being alone, you don’t have to deal with any other people. All I have took may not be everyone’s ideal vacation, however he had plenty of to worry about is that I’m safe on my own, that I have enough food, inspiration behind the adventure. and the needs of another person aren’t clashing with my own.” He “What inspired me to take this trip were my desire and my interest in seeing more of this country. I’ve been on the East Coast my whole life.” Albert continued, “I saw lot of interesting things that I had never been able to see before.” Albert grew up in New City, New York before attending Villanova University in Pennsylvania. Upon graduating from Villanova he went to Hunter College in New York City, where he found his first teaching gig. After a year of teaching biology and physics in the Big Apple, Mr. Albert now hopes to make a positive impact at McMahon.

added, “When I was alone I was able to do exactly what I wanted, when I wanted.” Mr. Albert took pleasure in the fact that he was able to wonder on his own.Coupled with the fact that his journey took him through parts of the United States where people are far and few between, being alone let him truly be one with nature.

While Mr. Albert certainly doesn’t mind marching to the beat of his own drum, he’s looking forward to making a positive impact on the McMahon community. ​ “In this giant, giant universe we have been blessed to be able to live on this earth, and experience the love and the unity that we have as a human race, and I look forward to trying to embody that unity here at McMahon.” Follow us @BMHS_pride_time



Unleash Your Inner Beauty

Music Festival Tips

It seems that these days almost everyone is focused on physical beauty, even I’m guilty, but someone’s intelligence, personality, or status should not be perceived by their outward appearance. So where does inner beauty fit in? We all have inner beauty. However, whether or not we’re aware of or utilize it, it’s up to us. Inner beauty is something that’s profoundly more important than physical. It’s something that you must nurture and cherish, and something that plays a huge role in building up your sense of self-esteem.When you develop your inner beauty, your self-confidence seems to miraculously improve as well. Here are some strategies that can help you discover and develop your inner beauty:

Going to your first festival? Here are some of my top tips regarding music festivals and how to be prepared for an amazing weekend.

Lexi Ravetto

Chris Lea


Festivals take place in very sunny and hot weather. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you bring sunscreen. At the Governors Ball, there was little shade, so you’re exposed wherever you go. And even if the day is hot, the night will come and it gets chilly, so bring something to layer on your outfit, 1. Make an “I Love Me” list. This isn’t a conceited or arrogant like a thermal, cardigan, or Music festivals, wherevthing to do at all, it can be used as a powerful tool to help you kimono. er you are, are going to be very discover your inner beauty. Write down all of your good qualities expensive. At Gov Ball, a slice of pizza that don’t relate to something physical. Are you genuine? Sin- was $7 and eight fluid ounces of blueberry cere? Loyal? The process of writing out your strengths gives you lemon soda $6.50. Save your money so that actual evidence of your great inner qualities that you might not you don’t go broke. And after a certain time, have even been aware of. most or all food distributors took only cash. There were ATM’s all over, but it’s best to bring cash. The Governors Ball has an estimated capacity of 80,000 people. Because of this, it’s easy to get lost among the crowd. If your favorite artist is And because your phone is most likely performing and you want to be at the dead or service is weak, you need to front of the stage, get to the festival early, find your friends. Before splitting up or go to the stage they will later take early. or getting separated, establish a One of my favorites, Lana Del Rey, was per2. Surround yourself with those whose inner qualimeeting place to later find ties you admire. Of course, they may also have physical forming, so my friends and I went to her stage each other at. at 2 o’clock, when she didn’t come on until beauty, but the reason you’re drawn to them is because 9:15 that night. We had a great view, they’re caring, loving, gentle, or otherwise admirable. and it was because I got there When you surround yourself with these kinds of people, at a good time. your own inner beauty tends to shine through as well. They While you might love may even point out your inner beauty to you. your phone and love updating 3. Avoid negative people and talk. This is so important; your Snapchat story, unless your The Governors Ball had gossip and negative comments about others only breeds more battery lasts 12+ hours, your phone will two completely free things; negativity. Instead, focus on the good in people. Rather than die. Bring that baby charged, and only 7-Eleven provided Slurpees all saying an off-color comment about someone’s appearance, put use it to take photos or contact people weekend, and Camelbak refilled a positive spin and focus on a point of his or her inner beauty. you are with in case you get lost. Focusing on the positive qualities of others brings out the best in water bottles with cold water. So Bring portable chargers and/ stay as hydrated as possible. you and helps cultivate and develop your own inner beauty. or charging cases. Always have water on you.






Your inner beauty is unique to you. Don’t be afraid of it; celebrate and honor it. Unleash your inner beauty to the world.



I Can’t Go Without a Door! Emely De La Cruz

In Detroit, on January 11th, 2016, public schools teachers protested what they felt were horrible work conditions by taking part in a sick-out, a day protest where teachers call out sick, forcing schools to close. More than half of Detroit’s 100 public schools were forced to close that day. Teachers have stated that there is mold in some of these schools and some even have rat and mouse infestations. If teachers, paid to work, can protest the unhealthy working conditions of their schools, why can’t we protest the unhealthy bathrooms for which we all use. McMahon bathrooms have countless problems with the doors; some don’t even close. Windows are broken; stalls are out of order. There is no better example of the horridness of our bathrooms than the girl’s bathroom in the Science Wing. All of the stall doors don’t close, and one doesn’t even have a door. The mirrors are all messed up and dirty. That bathroom is just disgusting. I cannot believe that the school is allowing us to use this bathroom and expect us to be okay with it. I would really like to use a bathroom that has stall doors, especially ones that close and lock.

List of Repairs Needed: Science Hallway (Girls) - One stall that needs a door and one door stays closed but doesn’t lock. History Hallway (Girls) - Four stall doors that need to be repaired Health Hallway (Girls) - One stall door doesn’t open and one stall door doesn’t have door. Downstairs near the Main Staircase (Girls) - Three stall doors that need to be repaired

Hallway Hassles Jack Coulter

You exit your previous class and enter the hallways of Brien McMahon as you attempt to avoid couples trying to give each other mouth to mouth, CPR. People move around you at the equivalent of a hare and tortoise race. This and much more is the common occurrence for many during our five minute walk between each period. Here is a list of all that which you might find walking these halls.

The Over the Top Couples: They are the people who don’t care how many people

are behind, yet feel the need to play out something seemingly out of The Notebook with each other at every moment. ​No matter who you are, in the back of your head you are thinking, “I don’t want to see this.” I don’t mind PDA when it is off to the side, but when you look like a baby bird being fed, it becomes an issue.

The Slow Walkers: They take their time thinking they are on a nature walk through

an open field, totally oblivious to anyone attempting to pass them in the hallway. The worst thing is, they often travel in groups, making an impassable line of people traveling at the speed of a turtle.

The Runners: These people think they are at the 100 meter time trials, competing in

the Olympics. Similarly to the slow walkers, these speedsters are unaware of their surroundings, bumping into anything and everything without any remorse. Though they won’t hold you up in the hallways, they will just tick you off for slamming into you.

The Overzealous Birthday Celebrators: These people think that the other students actually care that it is their friend’s or their own birthday. Meanwhile everyone is thinking I wish I had scissors to pop your huge balloon. Everyone has a birthday, so yours is nothing special.

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5-11 9-11 Sophmore Goalie Peter Rippinger had 163 saves for boys’ lacrosse.

2016 season is the baseball team’s first playoff birth in 3 years


MVP of the year, Isabella Bean (‘17) had 40% of the girls lacrosse team’s goals

2-18 5-5-1

Senior co-caption Danielle Bonis of girls’ softball was named second team All-FCIAC

Track is 7-0 in the division and 7-2 overall, finishing 3rd overall in the FCIAC

Champions of the World James Snedaker

Abby Wambach refuses to be ordinary. Ever since she scored 27 goals in 3 games for her youth girls team to her 184 international goals, the most in soccer history, she always defied the impossible. This ability has gained her, and the women's game, a massive following, yet only two decades ago, the condition of the women's game was in stark contrast to today’s global popularity. In early October, Primetime got the opportunity to interview her while she was promoting a product called SIM-P. This small chip made by a company called Triax Technologies “measures all head impacts during play by calculating it's G-force,” according to their official website. The device “gives the information needed to make smart decisions that keep players safe, now and in the future.” Wambach gave her support for the product saying, “I’ve partnered with a fantastic group of people and a company that I wholeheartedly believe in.” Along with this product, Abby has used her global fame to promote products for companies like Gatorade and Mini.

When the Women’s National Team won their first world crown in 1991, there was very little media attention. Granted the event took place in China, but there was very little interest in America, and across the world. Many of the group stage matches in the tournament had fewer than 12,000 attendees, compared to the 50,000 fan attendance for many of the matches during the 1990 Men’s World Cup in Italy.

This summer, the United States Women’s Team, co-captained by Wambach, won their third World Cup crown. This success has been accompanied with growing esteem for both Wambach and the women’s game. In the last decade Abby Wambach has become a household name, revered by both Americans and opposition alike. “Obviously winning the world cup was huge and we just have to keep growing on those fanbases that we garnered this last summer.” She commented during my interview with her.

However in 1999, the Women’s World Cup came to the United States, and with the tournament came an enormous amount of excitement. This unprecedented popularity for the women’s game was shown in attendence numbers averaging 37,000 per match and was capped off with over 90,000 people attending the final. Victory for the team against China cemented their place in American sports history and inspired millions of girls across the nation. (Continued on next page)



Academy vs High School Ivan Avalos

Every year, as high school soccer season begins, players have to decide whether they want play for their high school or go off and play for an academy team outside of school. Academy is a league created by U.S. Soccer that, “hopes to improve education, resources, and support to impact everyday club environments that will develop world-class players,” as stated on One way they hope to improve the quality of training is by not allowing the players that are in academy to play on any other teams. Unfortunately, this affects many high school programs as some of their best players leave to play academy. This season, Brien McMahon had five players play academy, meaning they couldn’t play for Mcmahon. “Players tend to choose club over high school because the club/program promises them better scouting opportunities to go pro or colleges,” said Helmuth Iraheta Jr (16). Kids that play academy usually end up going to Division 1 colleges and some end up going professional because many professional teams have youth teams in an academy league. This means that there is a really high quality of soccer being played, which attracts college coaches. Eduardo Vargas (19) told us, “the reason I chose academy my freshman year was for the traveling, and playing against MLS Academy teams. But also getting noticed by college coaches and MLS scouts.” Eduardo, who played for Everton FC academy, is one of the players who will have to make the decision between playing for academy and high school. “There’s a lot of pressure on me when it comes choosing between my friends and representing my school or playing academy and trying to go as far as I can with the sport I love.” “I think people forget how competitive high school soccer is,” said Helmuth, “we play against tough teams like Darien, Greenwich, Ludlowe who did well and there are players in the FCIACS that could be playing Academy.” Many people choose high school because they feel a certain pride that comes with representing their school and wearing the school’s name across your chest. “High school soccer is a time to make memories and present your high school with pride that you don’t get from playing Academy,” said senior captain Stathi Panagiotidis (16).

Despite this popularity, the women’s game is very small outside of the international scene. The final of this summer’s tournament was watched by 20 million Americans, yet the NWSL, the National Women’s Soccer League, can rarely be watched on TV. Since its creation in 2013, the league has had attendances of less than 10,000 for most games while even matches between smaller teams in the MLS see attendances of twice that number. Wambach feels that the women’s game has come a long way, but help from the sponsors is needed to reach the level of popularity that is enjoyed by their male compatriots: “Part of it is making sure that corporate sponsors are wanting to get involved, like they did this last summer.” The Women’s World Cup in Canada was sponsored by massive global companies like Adidas and Coca-Cola, but these entities are sponsors of FIFA, not just of the women’s tournament. FIFA has shown its part in supporting the Women’s game through their campaign, Live Your Goals, which Wambach has participated in. Wambach thinks the issue is bigger than just women’s soccer, but spans across women’s sports. She feels that the women’s sporting community needs much more attention in the media than it is currently getting.“The other part of it is media, people...continually trying to [create] a space for women’s soccer,” she said in our interview, “I looked at the USA Today yesterday and there was not one single word written about a female in the entire sports section.” Despite these issues, it is undoubtedly true that women’s soccer is growing. With growing support and excitement surrounding the sport, the possibilities are endless both on the international scene, and for women across the world.

Eric Van der Els Trey Newcomb

Brien McMahon’s Eric Van Der Els was named the Ruden Report Fall Player of the Year this past December. Van Der Els beat out Greenwich soccer player Nick Bartles, New Canaan quarterback Michael Collins, and Darien defensive end Mark Evanchick for the honor. Although winning awards is nothing new to Van Der Els, this one holds a special place in the cross country phenom’s heart as it was won thanks in part to the his supporters. Four male athletes and four female athletes are nominated for the award, the winner for each gender from that point on is based solely on public voting. Van Der Els beat out Bartles by over 100 votes. “Winning this award is a great honor especially with all the talented athletes we have in the FCIAC. I’m lucky to have such great supporters, including friends and family that helped me achieve this award.” Said the McMahon senior. It’s been a busy fall for Van Der Els. After winning the FCIAC 1,600 (setting the FCIAC meet record in the process), he won the 1,600 and 3,200 at the Class LL meet, the 3,200 at the State Open, and finished second in the two-mile New England Championships. He also committed to the University of Connecticut to continue his running career next fall.

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Profile for Eric Carroll

2016 BMHS PrideTime Spring Magazine  

2016 BMHS PrideTime Spring Magazine