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Pride Time #LoveKnowsNoBorders Emely De Le Cruz // 8

Finding Your Inner Peace Angelika Kyrkos// 11



Grace O’Malley & Hannah Towey// 4,5

Magazine Staff Lexi Ravetto Senior Editor

Hannah Towey Senior Editor

Myah Simms Senior Editor

Emely De La Cruz Senior Editor


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Laura Demee Abigail Dressler Melanie Fuentes Angelika Kyrkos

Cover Story

Embrace Diversity: Features #BlackLivesMatter, The World’s his Canvas, Cultural Connections, Lost in Translation



#LoveKnowsNoBorders PrideTime Podcasts

Break Expectations:



#63 On the Field, #1 In Our Hearts, Lets Kick It

Darren Battle Eric Day

Don’t Panic:

deal Tips to ear’s is y with th ups! break



Seize Change: Entertainment Finding Your Inner Peace, Broadway’s Up and Coming Star, The Money’s Been Acting Out

Dorran Ladouceur Justin Louis Grace O’Malley Bryanna Perez Cynthia Perez Brenda Sanchez Harmony Smith Ahjunae Williams Mariana Perales Aaliyah Crasty


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Embrace Diversity: Features


The World’s His Canvas

Erica Lopez and Yanira Matute

You’re walking down the art hallway texting your friends about last Saturday, but for a quick second you look up and see someone staring straight at you. His eyes follow you from left to right and never blink. Instead, he purses his lips like he knows all your secrets, the ones you aren’t even quite sure of. Then you turn the corner and he disappears. Even though that mystery man was just made of paint, it’s equally mysterious creator is made of flesh and bone. Jarold Eastman, McMahon’s newest muralist, is a Venezuelan artist who started attending Brien McMahon just last year. His love for art started when he was young, partly due to his artistic family. His mother was an interior designer, his brother is in a band, and his father are photographers. But it was Jarold’s uncle who really inspired him to keep pursuing art, and at age 12, the young artist really began to take his work seriously. His dedication proved worth it when his work was recently selected to be presented at the Sono Art Gallery, making him the youngest artist there. Like many artists, Jarold doesn’t know how to explain his art, stating that “art is hard to explain.” In other words, it’s really up to the person looking at the art to define how they feel. But he knows one thing for sure: In art, you are able to express yourself.

Grace O’Malley Calen Razor, a BMHS Junior, couldn’t stand by and watch as African-Americans throughout the United States endure fatal police encounters. Instead of retweeting tweets and sharing posts on Facebook, Calen decided there needed to be a more meaningful way to spread awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. Thus, Calen Razor and Shaniya Francis created the #BlackLivesMatter club here at McMahon. Calen Razor emphasizes that all races can join this new club, and says “I remember asking someone if they would want to join my club, and they responded, ‘Why? I’m not Black!’- even though that has nothing to do with the club; it doesn’t matter what race you are, it’s about making a change in society.” In Room 1029 on Thursdays, the club will be watching movies, organizing fashion shows wearing African and Caribbean clothing, cooking ethnic meals, and talking about issues that affect the African-American community. Recently in Charlotte, North Carolina, there has been an association of violence with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, but by celebrating black culture and creating a welcoming environment for students, this club counteracts the hate that has been dividing America. Calen and Shaniya are both excited for what lies in the near future for this club, and reminds you this: “If you want to make a difference, you have to start by spreading awareness!”

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Don’t Panic: Cover Story

Grace O’Malley & Hannah Towey Every morning, Gaby Duran (‘18) wakes up early so she can catch the 6:34 train from Bridgeport to Norwalk. After a 45 minute commute to school, Gaby studies Arabic- her fourth language. Gaby has studied abroad, learned about Middle Eastern and Italian culture, and formed friendships across the globe. She remarked that “all of these things wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for CGS.” Established as a magnet school in the 90’s, CGS has transformed into an environment where students from all socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds can be brought together to learn about language, history, and literature from countries around the world. In September 2016, Connecticut Judge Thomas Moukawsher ruled that the state’s funding was unconstitutional, and that each of the state’s districts, regardless of economic status, need to be budgeted an equal amount of resources. The hope was to increase the quality of education in Connecticut’s poorer districts. Judge Moukawsher gave the school districts 180 days to construct a new funding formula. As the state began to analyze the state’s current funding formula, they saw a previously unknown flaw in the design of several magnet schools-- including McMahon’s shared school: Center for Global Studies. CGS director, Ms.Parham, first informed the Language Ambassadors (CGS Juniors & Seniors) about the changes that the school might have to face starting in the next couple of years. Here’s what we learned: The new requirement for magnet schools in Connecticut is that students must accumulate at least 900 hours of instructional time every year. This amount translates into about seven classes a day; a dramatic increase from the current 300 hours of instructional time, which is only 2 or 3 CGS classes a day. In order to meet this demand, the CGS Administration is currently planning how to convert classes such as Math, Science, and History into sections with only CGS students, so there can be additional instructional time achieved. Ms. Parham stated that the goal of these new developments is “to



Everything You Need to Know About create a plan that we like, that we think is reasonable and realistic, that we anticipate the state will like, but then with the full knowledge that this is a working first draft and may be subject to many revisions.” The draft for future scheduling consists of what Ms. Parham called “sequences”. These sequences will create a path of CGS classes for current and incoming students, leaving one period available for a BMHS elective. This is a drastic change from what recent CGS schedules look like since the only required classes are a CGS language, CGS history, and World Literature. Ms. Parham said that the redrafting of the CGS curriculum aims to “expand the CGS focus, while trying to preserve the awesome opportunities we currently get through Brien McMahon.” Expanding the CGS focus essentially means that all core classes have to be taught with global themes in mind. Science and Math department heads Mr. Seuch and Mr. O’Neill have said that the plan sounds good, and it all depends on the enrollment in the classes. It is possible that CGS will see these type of changes next year, but realistically, it may take longer for the state to approve any proposals. The possibility that students won’t be able to take classes if they can’t generate its own CGS section has been



CGS’s Possible Upcoming Changes. Connecticut’s Funding Debacle Laura Demée

Here’s a draft for a sequence for science courses.

been the root concern for a number of students. For example, upcoming seniors and juniors are worried that they won’t be able to take enough AP classes to meet the academic rigor that colleges expect. In response to these fears, Ms. Parham confirmed that CGS won’t be lowering its academic standards, and instead will create a more intensified program that would give students a new array of classes that focus on a global theme. This would be achieved through streamlining classes in a college prep track, which is made easier through the implementation of the International Baccalaureate program. She also stated that the new scheduling won’t affect lunch, sports,

or afterschool clubs. And, yes, Juniors and Seniors, you don’t have to worry about not going to Prom with the Brien McMahon students; we’ll still be dancing together next year. Brien McMahon and the Center for Global Studies have been quite the power couple for the past twenty years, both attracting a diverse student body that makes both schools so unique. However, it’s time for CGS to take a break and find out who they are. After a little soul-searching, both schools will come out even stronger than before. Like all breakups, it’s going to be rough

in the beginning, but don’t worry, they’ll still be friends.

Norwalk is nestled between some of the richest towns in the country, but it always makes do with what it has. The city often tries to provide our schools with healthy school environments, extracurriculars, and the appropriate staff. Despite all this, there is no doubt that Norwalk is less fortunate when it comes to providing funds to our public schools. This problem resides in the inequality of income that is dispersed across the state. On September 9th, 2016 Superior Court Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher made a ruling on the 11 year-old case stating, funding Connecticut school districts unequally was unconstitutional. Until now, students from needy districts have been at a disadvantage. The State has failed to provide the same level of education for all public school students based on the Department of Education Funding per Pupil. The current system divides funds for public schools into two categories: State and Local sources. Schools receive approximately 39% of all funds being provided by the State, while 57% is made up on a local level, and under 5% is received from the federal government. The majority of the money, which is allocated to put into the budgets of CT public schools, is derived from the incomes of those towns. Since the family median household income is significantly higher in tows like Darien ($250,001), compared to Norwalk ($93,577), they are able to provide their schools with a heftier budget. The ruling made by Moukawsher reads the State of Connecticut has 180 days to propose a plan to equalize the funding across all districts.

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Embrace Diversity: Features

Cultural Connections: McMahon to Haiti


Hannah Towey Just 838 miles from the US lies Haiti, a struggling nation devastated by the events of 2010, when a 7.0 earthquake killed about 316,000 civilians. Just a couple weeks ago yet another natural disaster hit the island, which was already ranked as the poorest country in this hemisphere. Recent statistics show that Hurricane Matthew, a storm that barely grazed Norwalk, killed almost 900 people in Haiti and left tens of thousands homeless.

Though the distressed nation seems worlds away, this tragedy hits Brien McMahon particularly close to home. Norwalk residents Jen Bouzy (‘17), a student at McMahon, and Louis Elneus, a past soccer coach of many McMahon students, felt more than just strong winds on that rainy October morning. Louis Elneus is widely known throughout Norwalk for his involvement in the youth soccer programs. Louis has coached kids in Rowayton for over 13 years, many of which have been Brien McMahon students. What Louis’s players may not know is that their longtime coach is from Portau-Prince, Haiti and is the founder of Haiti Lumiere De Demain (HLD), an 18 year old non profit organization. HLD’s mission is to provide education to the country’s youth through the provision

of textbooks, scholarships, teacher training, mobile libraries, and after school enrichment programs. Louis was in La Gonave (a town in the southern part of Haiti) during the hurricane, and luckily escaped most of the severe damage the country’s urban areas faced. In concern with how the high schools in partnership with HLD were affected, Louis stated, “The town’s only public high school suffered the most damage. The roof was blown away causing extensive water damage to interior.” Outside of the school, “People lost their farms or livestock. The impact of this will be felt for months to come. The roads, which were already in terrible shape, are simply im-

passable at the moment.” Brien McMahon senior, Jennifer Bouzy, also has familial and cultural roots in Haiti. Just six years ago, her cousin , Romie Desrogene moved to Norwalk from the island after the earthquake forced her family to live out of their car. Wasting no time, Romie finished her freshman year at Brien McMahon and graduated in 2013. Romie was then admitted into Princeton University, where she is currently a senior majoring in International Studies. Jennifer’s mother, Jeanne Bouzy, told her daughter, “My experience during the 2010 earthquake is something I’m never going to forget. It’s terrible. I can’t believe it. Each time I think about it I cry,” she stated

that the country has not improved its preparation for natural disasters since, as her relatives and friends that still live in Jacmel, Haiti “lost everything, but thanks to god they are okay.” Many McMahon families have worked hard to secure an education, and it is imperative in chaotic times such as these to hold on to these roots. Luckily, the diverse student body at McMahon facilitates this cultural gratitude more than most schools in the area, as the school is connected to countries across the globe through its students wide array of cultures. To understand tragedies like Hurricane Matthew, it is necessary to look beyond just the physical effects and remember the country’s culture, its families-- and our students.


Embrace Diversity: Features

Lost In Translation

An ELL student’s journey to America • Hannah Towey & Emely De La Cruz Approximately 1,700 students attend Brien McMahon High School. 473 of these students were once or are still “English Language Learners,” generally meaning they come from non-english speaking homes or backgrounds. One of these students, a Sophomore at McMahon, chose to speak to us about his journey. Due to sensitive content we have changed his name to Oliver. Oliver was born in Honduras and moved to Norwalk last year, and began learning English just five months ago. In Honduras, Oliver lived with his grandparents. Before he came here he hadn’t seen his parents or four other siblings in twelve years. Below is his story and how he feels about the recently elected President of his new home. Q: Did you travel here alone? If so, can you explain the process? A: Yes, for every person it is a different situation and experience. In my case it was a bad experience because I was alone and I didn’t have a lot of money. There is a lot of lack of sleep and food, It’s horrible.

to shoot me and my grandfather but the gun got jammed or something. She was in a gang, and her gang wanted to kill me which is why she did what she did. That is one of the reasons why I came to this country because this is a country that is secure. Q: Why did she kill your grandmother and try to shoot you? A: Because her boyfriend was the head of that gang and he gave her the gun and gave her drugs. He brainwashed her and she was high off of some drugs which led her to do what she did… She was 15 years old. Challenges such as the experience described above seem unreal, and yet Mrs. ODonnell, an ELL teacher at McMahon, told us that stories like Oliver’s were much too common. She went on to say that many of her students suffer from emotional distress, have more than one job, and deal with family issues- all on top of learning a new language, making new friends, and adjusting to a completely new environment. The recent months have been particularly strenuous, with immigration policy lying at the forefront of the 2016 Presidential campaigns. Oliver commented that he felt an increase in discrimination against Latinos during Trump’s campaign, and told us about his current thoughts and fears in regard to his new home’s President Elect.

Q: Do you have a particular story that you think represents your experiences up to this point? A: I do have a story, and it’s about what happened in Honduras that made me move to this country. I lived my life with my grandparents, so to me they are my parents. One night I was with my grandmother watching TV and then my sister came out Q: What was your initial reaction of her bedroom and she shot to the election of Donald Trump? my grandmother. She wanted A: When I heard the news, I felt

“The kids often teach me a lot about caring and about how important seeing the whole person is. It’s not just about grades and it’s not just about what you do in and out of the classroom, it’s about what you bring to the surprised and confused. table.” Q: Do you know what DACA is? If so, how do you feel about the possibility that DACA could be taken away under Trump’s presidency? A: Yes, I have heard it is a form of help for immigrant students. That is very bad. It is something that provides the Latino community a lot of help, and if it is taken away then it would be really bad for us. Q: What is your main wish for you personally, and for the country? A: I would like to graduate and go to a university and just follow my dreams. For the country, well to help out with global warming and I hope to see the economy get better. Q: If you had one thing to say to Donald Trump what would it be? A: Before you talk about the Latino community, I know there are some Latinos who are bad because they steal and kill people, but that doesn’t mean that all Latinos are all the same. He cannot say that we are all the same because some of us come here and we have a goal and a dream and we only come here to be better for our family by working hard. I know that because I work and I go to school. What I could say to him is that before he starts talking about us Latinos he should first get to Follow us @BMHS_pride_time know us.


Respect: News #LoveKnowsNoBorders Emely De La Cruz

About 42.4 million immigrants are living here in America illegally. They come here for a better life, but mainly for their children. How much would it hurt not to see your parents everyday? That is the fear of 42.4 million immigrants. Due to deportation, families have been separated . On November 1, 2016, over 200 families went to the U.S. / Mexico border to meet with their loved ones briefly. This was made possible by the Border Network of Human Rights (BNHR), who hosts an event called Hugs Not Walls. The Border of Network of Human Rights created this

Let’s Get in the Spirit As everyone knows December 25th is a day full of joy and cheer. We start the day off with ants in our pants as we run to the living area and sit around our gifts. Or is that only for Grade 1-5? If I still celebrate Christmas, like I am “5 years old” then how are others.

August 10, 2016 and the second event was held November 1, 2016. U.S. participants and organizers wore blue and black t-shirts, while Mexico participants and organizers wore white and red. At the border you walk down to the mud and the three minutes begin. event as a way to ask the U.S. government to stop deportation and the separation of families. Families were able to meet each other for only three minutes. It’s a short time, but it means so much to everyone who hasn’t seen their loved ones in a long time. The first Hugs Not Walls event was held on

Want to participate in Hugs Not Walls? You can sign up by emailing the communications director, Gabriela Castaneda (gcastaneda@bnhr. org).

Old Love Vs. New Love

Kneeling: Protest or Disrespect?

Although teens may not recognize the changes in today’s love, many adults around them have. We may be use to liking our crush’s picture on instagram to show affection, but to our parents that’s weird. What’s the deal between old love and new love?

Currently, The United States is in a state of chaos and the value of minority life, especially African Americans, has been squandered. Is peaceful protest smart or is it disrespectful to our country and those who fought for our freedom?

Want to find out more? Check out to listen to the rest of the podcasts!

Break Expectations: Sports #63 On the Field, #1 In Our Hearts. Bryanna Perez

Despite McMahon football’s 0-10 season, Jamie Taylor , on October 15th, in a game against Darien ran for a memorable and monumental 60 yard touchdown. “Jamie scoring completely changed the mood of the game. We were down some and the vibe was kind of weak, but as soon as Jamie started running everybody was clapping and cheering for him. We had always practiced the play, which is called ‘ice cream,’” explained Cameron Kelly (‘18) .

“He was always so excited to practice it, but to see him do it in the game against a state championship team was a different feeling. It made me really proud to be a senator and to know that Jamie fulfilled his dream.” After scoring, Jamie gave the football to the referee and immediately ran to coach Albano. “He didn’t say anything to me. He ran to me and gave me a big hug, lifting me off the ground.“ Coach Albano stated. Jamie Taylor will be graduating with the class of 2017 as this year was his last year playing football for high school. “Jamie deserves a lot of credit and sets a great example of just being a great teammate. He shows up to practice every single day, works hard, and does whatever is asked of him.” Giggling, Coach Albano also explained, “Jamie tells me he loves me about four to five times during practice, so I’m definitely going to miss that about him.” “They made me comfortable because those are my friends.” Jamie tells Pride Time as he is moving on to college and is going to miss playing football with his teammates.

Let’s Kick It! Justin Louis

The Girls Soccer team at Mcmahon made states for the first time in 9 years. This year the team finished with a record of 7-8-1. What thought to be a rebuilding season, turned into a success as the girls proved doubters wrong. Bella Bean (‘17) captain, proclaimed that this was the best season that Girls soccer had in awhile. “My favorite moment this sea“I believe this was due son, and I think this will go for to the extremely good a lot of the girls on the team, team chemistry and the was beating Newtown in the skill from underclassmen first round of states. We were we had on the field. The the 24th seed and they were the underclassmen were not 8th. It’s a memory that I won’t afraid to step up and even ever forget. We worked hard teach the older girls new the entire season and at that things, and that’s why the moment we proved all the peoteam worked so well tople that said we couldn’t do it, gether,” said Bella Bean wrong” said Bella Bean (‘17). (‘17).


2016 College Committements

Meredith Pellegrino Rider University

Ajax Diamandis Columbia University

Roman Fillyaw Pace University

Chris Giordano Concordia University

Tatiana Chermayeff Harvard University


10 Thomas Purvis: Broadway’s Next Star Angelika Kyrkos


akuna matata. To most it means “no worries for the rest of your days,” but to one talented senator, those words are a reminder of how he fell in love with performing. Thomas Purvis (17’), who got his start on Broadway in 2nd grade playing in The Lion King, is McMahon’s most recent winner of Most Talented Senator, and for good reasons; he’s in band as well as chambers choir, he has been both brass and field captain, as well as head drum major for the marching band. Thomas has also played Lefou in Beauty and the Beast, Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde, and the Baker in Into the Woods. Being the music expert he is, it only took Thomas about 2 days to arrange his talent show piece. He chose to do a spin on Todrick Hall’s song,Water Guns. To Thomas, Water Guns represents police brutality, “After the election I saw what everyone was going through and I decided it was a meaningful piece, it means life or death. Everyone should come together.” His goal was to do a live piece and show off the talent that all of his

friends have that most people do not get to see. It was recognition for everyone. He was humbled to see all of his friends get to be on stage and the crowd cheering for them. McMahon’s biggest star will forever be grateful for all of the opportunities he has had. To everyone who has supported

him through his musical journey, Thomas would like to say, “Thank you to for being there for every little step and for liking to be involved in things like this with me, and there is so much more to come. Everyday is a new page.”

The Money’s Been Acting Out! Bushra Farook & Kerrin Massey “We need funding!” While it is not only the drama department that needs money, Mr. Arcari and Mr. Benson acknowledge that there are other programs that are in the same situation. It is not a sports versus arts type of deal; every program needs funding, but some, like the drama department, have to work for it. “You name it, we’ve done it,” says Mr. Arcari, who has done everything from selling ads, coupon books, coffee and bake sales, and restaurant percentages. There is no need for the music teachers to spend money out of their own pocket, Mr. Arcari and

Mr. Benson can say that, “band gets $85,000, the Marching Bears get $90,000. They’re given a per pupil allocation. The musical should be included within the music program.” To put on a good musical, there would need to be roughly $50,000 raised to get things like costumes, lights, scripts, and sets. As of now, the drama department has started a GoFundMe page and raised $17,160, passing their goal of $15,000 in just 18 days. The show must go on!

Entertainment Entertainment

Finding Your Inner Peace

Angelika Kyrkos In 2013, the American Psychological Association concluded after conducting a survey with 1,018 teens that 31% felt overwhelmed, 30% felt sad or depressed, and 36% felt tired or fatigued. The percentage of teens who say their stress has increased in the past year is double that of percentage of teens that say their stress has declined. High levels of stress have been connected to heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, weight gain, fatigue, procrastination, weak immune system, and anxiety. But what benefits does relaxation have? Relaxation allows you to slow down your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, increase blood flow, allow you to make better decisions , and help the formation of new brain cells. A majority of students at McMahon agree that school is the most stressful part of their life, and believe it continually gets more stressful as you go up in grades.

Take breaks: No need to cram everything into one day. Space things out and take mini breaks in between activities. Food breaks are always a must.

Get your beauty sleep: By getting around 8-10 hours of sleep, you’ll feel energized in the morning and ready to take on the day ahead. The more tired you are, the more stress you’ll have.

Don’t mourn mistakes: Needing to be perfect will only make you more stressed. The goal is to relax, so sit back and remember that everyone makes mistakes.

To aid with the stress of high school, Pridetime has searched long and far to find the best tips for to get you through these tough years.

Use any one of the tips on the right to find your inner peace.



Plan ahead: Organize, organize, organize. Make a weekly schedule and include everything from homework, extra curricular activities, chores, and showers or baths

Laugh more: surrounding yourself with the positive energy of others will always put you in a good mood. Show off that smile because those braces cost a lot of money.

Do what makes you happy: if you enjoy drawing, do that. If you’re more of an athletic person, take a trip to the gym or run around your neighborhood. Or simply lay down listening to music or reading a book.

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Profile for Eric Carroll

2016 BMHS PrideTime Magazine  

2016 BMHS PrideTime Magazine