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Chieftain —the chief source for all the news you’ll ever need.

Sewanhaka High School a 500 Tulip Avenue • Floral Park, New York 11001 a

2010 Volume 22 Issue 1

The Homecoming Issue

A special welcome to all the new teachers and students of the school from The Chieftain

Editorials: Clashing opinions on the mosque being built near Ground Zero Pages 8-9

The Chieftain The Chieftain

Student Government By Courtney Balgobin

Editors-in-Chief Armaghan Behlum Courtney Balgobin Mary Jane Dumankaya SEWANHAKA HIGH SCHOOL 500 Tulip Ave.- Floral Park, New York 11001 Greetings from the Editors: The Chieftain staff hopes that the entire school had a fun summer and is looking forward to the new school year. Join a club or a sport and do well this year. Be a part of YOUR school. Be a part of YOUR Chieftain!

NEED ADVICE? Want someone to talk to? Write to askanna.sewanhaka@, The Chieftain’s Advice Columnist

CONTENTS Monthly Update………………………………….……...3 Homecoming.................................................................4-5 New Teacher Feature………......…….……….…….....6-7 Editorials………………………………………………8-9 World News…………………………………….………10 Entertainment....…………………………………..……11 Student Feature…………………………….………......12 Homecoming Pictures.....................................................13 Sports………………………………...……………...14-15


Input Editors Katrina Simon Rory O’Reilly Layout EDITOR Shahrukh Khan Staff Suzette Narinesingh Prisceilla Harsham Anna Harsham Jevin Varghese Elissa Sanci Michael Zunno Nicole Freitag Krishanthi Devendran Kevin Wang Jesus Duque Andreas Pavlou Khazedea Uddin Nancy Agyeman-Duah Elsa Gimenez Jaclyn Wisniewski Advisor Mr. Alfino

The Student Council has kicked off the new school year with two new executive board members; Karim Lahlou is the new President and Sidrah Usman is the new Secretary of Student Council. The Vice-President, Courtney Balgobin, and Treasurer, Mary Jane Dumankaya, are returning members from last school year. The executive board worked along side their advisor, Mr. Tesoro, and the director of student activities, Ms. Amaris, to help organize the fall pep rally and homecoming, which were both great successes. Two general student council meetings open to the entire student body have already taken place. The general meetings are held for students to attend and learn about the activities happening throughout the building. It is advised that board member from clubs and classes attend these meetings to support the school and spread information about their activities. Currently, the student council is working on a script for the elementary school holiday children’s play, a play that the student council puts together for children from the local elementary schools such as Stewart Manor, Clara H. Carlson, and Covert Avenue. Everyone is welcome to help out with the children’s play and take part in the wonderful experience. To sign up to volunteer your time for this event, see Mr. Tesoro or come to the next student council meeting on November 12 at 3 PM in room 301. Get involved!

Chieftain meets Thursdays, 7:20 A.M. in Room 237. All new writers and cartoonists are welcome! Chieftain - October

Monthly Update The Faculty Corner By Mr. Alfino

On a cold winter night, in 2004, in a dorm room at Harvard University a group of students changed forever the way we interact socially . Mark Zuckerberg, and his cohorts, did not have the right pedigree, financial status or physical stature. They were not the kind of people who were asked to join the “right kind of clubs,” or dated the “right kind of girl.” So they created their own fraternity, one where anyone could join, and they called it Facebook. The plan was masterful and they become extremely rich and famous. The movie, The Social Network, based loosely on their true story, was just released and has made over $20 million. In today’s virtual world of cell phones, iPads, Kindles, and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, we communicate more with a friend we have not seen in 20 years than we do with the people who live in our own homes. Last week’s Modern Family addressed how serious the issue of selfengrossing technology has become. Just yesterday I was driving home from Montauk, (well actually my wife was driving, I was texting) and “I-spy”” a girl using an iPad as her father was driving with the aid of a visible navigation system. We were next to them for quite awhile and I noticed her mother on the phone, and her brother was playing a video game–I think. My eyes are not that good anymore, but he definitely was in his own bubble. The point is, an entire family was within the same 5 foot radius and not one word past between them. But I bet the mother was talking to someone miles away; the father did not need to communicate with mom as to where he was supposed to go and the daughter was reading book she did not go to the library with mom to pick out. Chieftain - October

To be clear here I love technology. I use it all (well not Facebook, bad idea for teachers) but my question is, has technology made us a better society or a worse one?

St. Vincent’s Feast Canceled! By Nicole Freitag and Elissa Sanci

Voices all around the Sewanhaka halls have been asking, “Why is there no St. Vincent de Paul feast this year?” The St. Vincent de Paul feast, a long running tradition dating back to 1973, has been a way for the community to join together and kick back every year. Unfortunately, due to the lack of volunteers, it has been cancelled. Father Drew, a pastor at St. Vincent’s for two years now, is filled with sorrow about the situation at hand. The feast, which usually offers food, games and rides takes about three to four weeks to put together, which requires leadership that is just not there. “The feast is a great tradition, but due to the aging population, families had no energy and no time to put together this feast,” Father Drew stated. “The feast was starting to die down. Everyone’s growing up,” added Sabrina Orologio, grade 11. “Is there going to be a feast next year?” asked senior Paul Melchione. Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered just yet. “In November, I’m going to start asking if anyone wants to volunteer to run the feast next year,” says Father Drew. “Hopefully someone will be willing to take on the leadership.” St. Vincent de Paul church relies heavily on the income from the feast. Last year, more than $18,000 was raised. Because of the absence of this years feast, St. Vincent’s will fall even further into debt. “We’ve already had to cut back on services and employees.” Word going around the halls is that one of the many reasons the feast was cancelled was because of the unfortunate passing of Frank Ragona, an extremely loved, involved community member. Each year, a large portion of the work needed to be done for the feast was tackled by

Mr. Ragona. “He was very involved and went out of his way to find volunteers,” says Gina Ragona, grade 11, of her uncle. “It’s a shame how the feast isn’t going on anymore. I think my uncle had a huge influence on the success of the feast. He, along with the volunteers, was very dedicated to helping make it fun for both kids and adults.” The students of Sewanhaka are disgruntled about the discontinuation of this community event. “Not having the feast makes our town boring,” states freshman Kaeli Groenert. “There’s nothing to look forward to now,” adds junior Nicole Klein. Even students new to the school have heard about the cancellation of the long-time feast. “I heard that the feast was really fun, and I’m kind of bummed that I can’t go,” Celine Jolicoeur, a junior new to Sewanhaka said. Even Mr. Sakowich, a teacher in the Social Studies department, is disappointed about this situation. “The fact that the fair will not exist this year is just another sign of the changing times. It’s upsetting to me because I remember going to the feast as a child, and now my daughter won’t be able to share the same experiences.” The St. Vincent de Paul feast was a great way for children, teenagers and adults alike to get together as a community. “The feast was a great opportunity to rally parish and community spirit. I hope it returns soon,” says Father Drew. “It was a community thing. Everyone from Sewanhaka, in all grades, went every year, just to hang out,” adds Gabriella Zapata, grade 12. Elmont hopes for the quick return of the traditional St. Vincent’s feast.

Please all students remember to pay your dues! Dues can be handed in to your class advisors. 3

Homecoming Class of 2014 By Krishanthi Devendran

Class of 2012 By Kevin Wang

“Give me your tired, your poor, your Two years, two victories! The Class of humbled masses…” Creating a replica2012 won first place once again, beating tion of the Statue of Liberty for the 2010 the rest of the school for best HomecomHomecoming parade, the Freshman of ing float. The juniors pulled together to Sewanhaka received praise from everyone. work on their New York-themed float, Their hard work and effort paid off, be“ The Brooklyn Bridge.” Displaying the cause they won second place, edging out same heart and soul that won first place the seniors and sophomores. The Class of 2014 would like to thank their advisors Mr. Renart and Ms. Herbert for helping them through their first float building. They also appreciate the help of Mr. & Mrs. Mazzeo for opening up their home, so the freshmen could build their amazing float. All who watched the parade saw the Statue of Liberty rocking green shades, and of course, holding a purple and yellow torch showcasing SHS spirit. Taking 2nd place as freshmen is a great start and who knows what the future will hold for these ambitious chil- This year’s winning float by the Class of 2012 . Photo by Katrina Simon. dren!

Class of 2013 By Shahrukh Khan

The Class of 2013 participated in this year’s Homecoming parade with many expectations. They worked hard and placed 4th in the parade. As advisor, Mr. Quinn said that if he and the 10th graders were given a few more days they would have done much better. He was very disappointed as many students were given tasks, but only a few had done their jobs. He did say, however, that a few 10th graders put their full effort into the float. Mr. Quinn said that “Without the effort of these young children I could not have done anything and I thank them greatly for it.” He expected much, much more from the Class of 2013 and their head class official and hopes that they can achieve higher goals in the coming years. 4

Class President Rory O’Reilly thanks the Class of 2012, as well as the other classes for their role in making Homecoming a success, “without the help of the class of 2012, and especially Mr. Mewhinney and Ms. Leventelis, we would have never been able to cross this bridge.”

Class of 2011

By Armaghan Behlum

Homecoming this year was graced by the presence of King Justin Marquez and Queen Dylan Riccardi. Dylan, who is also the President of the Class of 2011, said that she enjoyed the day and the football game. She, along with Justin, started the day off a little nervous about carrying the responsibilities of King and Queen, but as the day progressed, things got much better. Things were going smoothly, until they found out that the Class of 2011 had received third place for their float. Though they felt aggravated and frustrated because of the loss of their hard work, they still wish to thank all of the Class of 2011 for their hard work and time. They also owe thanks to their class advisors Ms. Maratto and Ms. Prucha, who kept them focused throughout the entire float building process. Though they may not have done as well as expected in the float competition, they both look forward to all the upcoming events in senior year.

last year, the Class of 2012 gathered after school and on weekends to fold and fluff papers. Their time and dedication certainly paid off, but the amazing float could not have been completed without the devotion of class advisors Mr. Mewhinney and Ms. Leventelis. Ms. Leventelis acknowledges the team effort needed for a win as she says, “this could not have been completed without the perseverance and teamwork of each and every person.” Vice-president Sam Robeniol adds, “the junior class of this year worked extremely hard and most definitely deserved the recognition they received at Homecoming. It was a pleasure to work with everyone else who participated and I am that much more excited to see the Veterans march along with Sewanhaka’s principal, things we’ll do in the upcoming Mrs. Lidowsky, and the assistant principals. Photo By Armaghan Behlum months.”

Chieftain - October

Homecoming Seventh and Eighth Grade Banners

By Andreas Pavelou and Khazedea Uddin

This year’s extravagant homecoming parade theme was “New York State of Mind”. Some banners that were displayed in the march included the Radio City Rockettes, Tribute to NY Teams, The Big Apple and the Statue of Liberty. The 8th grade banner was China Town and the 7th grade banner was Times Square. The Class of 2016 gives thanks to their advisors, Mrs. Fitzpatrick and Ms.Ruvel, for making this parade possible for them! The banner required creativity and long hours of hard work to complete. The banner consisted of famous buildings and landmarks. It also included streetlights, and everything else existing in the harmony of New York City. When asked if the advisors enjoyed working on the banner, they replied, “Absolutely! There were a lot of students helping out this year, and they did a really nice job on it. We even got 1st place in the homecoming banner competition!” Eighth graders had the famous China Town as the subject of their banner. The Class of 2015 worked extremely hard on this banner. Led by their advisors Mrs. Morrison and Mr. Lotowski, the 8th graders put together a banner consisting of a glimmering purple New York City skyline, a yellow fire breathing dragon, and real Chinese writing. As the parade progressed, 8th graders handed out takeout boxes filled with fortune cookies to spectators. The class of 2015 would like to give a special thanks to King Wah restaurant for donating a box of fortune cookies for the parade. The students who worked on the banner thought of it as a fun, enjoyable experience. Both the 7th and 8th graders enjoyed creating and displaying their banners for the homecoming. The 7th grade banner placed 1st and the 8th grade banner placed 2nd. Congratulations to the class of 2015 and 2016 on their accomplishments! Chieftain - October

Homecoming Pre-game Report By Michael Zunno

After a 6-3 record in 2009, the Indians return for the 2010 football season after losing in the first round of the playoffs to Hewlett in the previous 2009 season. As head coach, Mr. Kasimatis says, “everyday on the practice field we try to just get better.” The intense vibe in the locker room was as clear as day, as the Sewanhaka Indians prepared for the annual homecoming game. Still hyped from pep rally the day before, the Indians looked to take yet another homecoming win against Great Neck North upon returning to the field sitting on a 3-1 record after a huge win against Plainedge the week before. Sr. Captain Reemy Cobb, who is, as he calls it, “playin’ with swag” has already scored 5 touchdowns this season. He says “I would like to see the team improve on passing attempts and increase the number of turnovers on defense.” Coach Kasimatis feels that his offensive line has really come a long way, “they’re obviously a good unit as everyone can see.” When asked what he would do to improve from last year’s team, he says, “Nothing really to improve on, I loved those kids. As long as we feel we get better every time we step on the field, everything else will fall into place”. Sr. Captain Anthony Waite, who plays center says,” I would like to see the team

improve on run blocking on defense “as the team and coaching staff would agree. When Jr. Offensive lineman, Kareem was asked about what to improve on, all he could say was,” going hard every play and playing consistent.” Coach Kasimatis summed it all up by saying, “There’s always more left in the tank for the Indians.”

Marching Band By Nancy Agyeman-Duah

While September passed by filled with tryouts for fall sports such as field hockey, football, soccer, volleyball and cross-country, another group filled with Sewanhaka Sprit also made their way onto the fields; the Sewanhaka Marching Band. Long preparation took place for the current Marching Band season which includes the home football games and their wellknown performance at the Newsday Festival at Hofstra University on October 20th. They performed this year’s theme “Marching in the Shadow of Motown” featuring the songs “Get Ready”, “My Girl”, and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” With the assistance of the Rockettes lead by Ms. Pantorno, and the Color Guard lead by Mrs. Keating and of course band director Mr. Doherty, this year’s Newsday Festival once again demonstrated to all of Nassau County the enthusiasm and dedication of our young musicians that attend Sewanhaka High School

Sewanhaka High School’s Marching Band hype up the crowd during the Homecoming Parade. Photo by Katrina Simon. 5

New Teacher Feature Welcome to Our New Teachers

By Jevin Varghese , Shahrukh Khan, Anna Harsham, Armaghan Behlum, and Rory O’Reilly

Mr. Bradley Mr. Bradley is a new English teacher that teaches the 9th and 10th graders in the building. Before Sewanhaka, he taught at MacArthur High School for 2 years and at Carey High School for 8 years. Aside from his career, he loves sports and is currently a wrestling coach. Mr. Bradley adores reading and his most beloved book is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. When asked about his first impression of Sewanhaka and how he likes it here he replied “The kids are great and I am really having an enjoyable time here so far. It really looks like a fun place to teach.”

Ms. O’Bryne

The Foreign Language Department has a fantastic new teacher Ms. Susan O’Byrne. She teaches French and Spanish to 7th and 9th graders. Ms. O’Byrne majored in French and went abroad to Switzerland in her junior year of college. One of her favorite sports is tennis and she s played it with much ambition throughout her life. Before coming to Sewanhaka she taught in Baldwin and Catholic schools in various places. When it comes to what she thinks of Sewanhaka she said “So far so good and I am very happy here. My colleagues have helped me get used to the school customs and my students are wonderful. ”

Mr. Dalton

Mr. Dalton is the new assistant principal and in charge of overseeing the many complex career tech programs that Sewanhaka has to offer. Before coming to Sewanhaka he had worked as a Principal at a middle school in Queens. He also worked at Chaminade High School for several years. When asked why he likes to work in the educational field, he replied that he “enjoys seeing kids learn and simply get the material.” Some of his favorite things to do is to spend time with his family, and be an assistant coach for his child’s soccer team. Mr. Dalton says that “he feels at home in Sewanhaka and really lucky to get such an exquisite opportunity.”

Mr. Hernandez

There’s a new Spanish teacher in town, and his name is Mr. Hernandez. Prior to working at Sewanhaka, Mr. Hernandez was involved in teaching and business. In his free time, Mr. Hernandez likes to ski and play tennis. When asked what he likes about Sewanhaka, Mr. Hernandez replied that he likes how dynamic it brings. When asked what he would like to say to Sewanhaka, Mr. Hernandez replied “habla español,” or in English, “speak Spanish.” If you happen to see him in the hallway, throw him a “Bienvenido señor Hernandez.” 6

Chieftain - October

New Teacher Feature Mr. Chen

Jack C. Chen grew up in Bayside, Queens. This ambitious teacher has earned degrees from Cornell University, Case Western Reserve University, Georgetown University, and Bard College. After spending time working with General Electric and Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Chen became Sewanhaka’s new Instrumentation and Automation teacher as well as the AP Physics C teacher. His hobbies include running, biking, fixing cars, and even flying. Mr. Chen has traveled around the world and even lived in Taiwan for a year.

Mrs. Heyword

Sitting in the chair of the head of the Guidance Office is Ms. Heyward. She attended Andrew Jackson High School in Queens during her early years and attended graduate school at Hofstra University. She has several degrees including a BA in Psychology an MA in Education with a concentration in counseling. She also received an SAS and a SDA in Administration. Her favorite thing to do in her free time is to read. Her first impression of the school was that she immediately felt like this school was a family orientated atmosphere, everyone was friendly and kind and she hopes to help the students of Sewanhaka as much as she can in the future.

Ms. Amazon-Sassie

Ms. Amazan-Sassi a new addition to the foreign language. She was born and brought up in Hati. After coming to the United States she started her college education. She took her bachelors degree in French at Hunter college. She worked in Brooklyn at a high school in Crown Heights where she taught French, Spanish, ESL and native languages arts to grades 9 -12 for 12 years. One day she got a phone call from Ms. Acevedo who was impressed by her resume and interview and voilà, she got the job at Sewanhaka High School where she fits in perfectly.

Ms. Psaros

Ms. Psaros is a new Social Studies teacher to Sewanhaka, but she has been in the district for a while now. She is a Sewanhaka High School District alumni as she graduated from H. Frank Carey High School and she has taught at New Hyde Park High School for the past few years. She is split between New Hyde Park and Sewanhaka High School as she starts off her day teaching Government and Economics to the seniors here before going to New Hyde Park where she teaches American History to 8th graders and also coaches JV Cheerleading. She says “it’s nice working at both schools and the teachers of both departments are really nice.”

Mrs. Dreyer

A new secretary sits in the seat of the front desk in the Guidance Office. Her name is Mrs. Dreyer and for one thing she is not new to the district. She graduated from New Hyde Park High School. She attended Molloy College and received a degree in sociology. While working in the Guidance Office, she gets chance to meet many students and has familiarized herself with them.

Chieftain - October


Editorial Park 51 : Dispelling Islamophobia By Armaghan Behlum

I am absolutely biased on this topic. I am a Muslim who was not even born in this country and came here when he was two years old. That being said, I stand in support of this community center as an American that has spent the last 15 years of his life in this country and believes he owes a debt to this country he can never repay. I am more shamed as an American by Newt Gingrich’s comparisons of Muslims to Nazis than I am insulted as a Muslim by these comparisons. I stand in support of Park 51 not only because I want my fellow young Muslims to have a community center where they can have fun and be kept away from evil influences, but also because I support Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf ’s mission to develop an interfaith center where Americans can see that they have Muslims in their country that believe in peace. I support his mission, but more importantly I wish to defend his right.

rorist, and to say that opposing this community center and forcibly moving it is the patriotic thing to do is akin to damaging our own Constitution. Government officials are only one side of this argument, but along with them are also the peaceful citizens. I support their right, and their decision, to stand against this community center, though I do not support them all. I support the ones that believe that this mosque might be too close to Ground Zero and that it would stir emotions in the families of victims. Their’s is the logical argument, the one that sensible people should and can stand for. However, I do not believe all the protesters that are against the community center disagree only with the location. If that were the case than new projects to create mosques community centers in Staten Island, Tennessee, and California would not be met with such violent opposition. Construction machines would not be set on fire by arsonists in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and men would not be planting pipe bombs outside of mosque during prayer time in Jacksonville, Florida. These events make some people wonder how far from Ground Zero is far enough?

“We are at war with the extremist, the terrorist, and to say that opposing this community center and forcibly moving it is the patriotic thing to do is akin to damaging our own Constitution.”

As written by the framers of the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This amendment protects every citizen’s right to peacefully practice their religion and it also protects the protester’s right to peacefully protest the community center. Rick Lazio, a man who was running for the Republican candidate for New York State governor though he lost the Republican primary, brought into his campaign a promise to forcibly move the community center if he was elected . There are two problems with his plan. Firstly, any sensible judge on any state or federal court that would be presented with deciding whether this action was legal would obviously strike down Lazio’s plan as unconstitutional. Secondly, such an act would give birth to very dangerous precedent. If the governor of a state is able to move a worship community center of one organized religion, what will stop him from moving any other religion’s worship area community center? Where does his power end? Very simply put, government officials should not attempt to move this community center by force because it destroys a foundation upon which this country stands. Like former President George W. Bush said “America is not at war with Islam.” We are at war with the extremist, the ter8

This rampant spread of “Islamophobia” across the country is wrong, as wrong as anti-Semitism and racism. Islam is neither a political machine set on overturning the American government nor a cult of violent barbarians, no matter what the media says. It is a religion, one that involves regular prayer throughout the day, every single day. Park 51 cannot be moved because its prayer section must be used daily by Muslims. Now, understandably they can go to the other mosque near Ground Zero, Masjid Manhattan, which is about 4 blocks away from Ground Zero in the other direction or they could continue using an abandoned coat factory as a prayer space, but does that honestly sound fair? The proposed community center will look like any other building in New York City and it cannot even be seen from Ground Zero, yet the mere presence of it is enough to cause uproar. The protesters of Park 51 should ask themselves if they are against the place because of its location or because they harbor an intense dislike for anything Islamic? Chieftain - October

Editorial It’s Their Right, But Is It Right? By Courtney Balgobin

“When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place. A mosque would violate that obligation.” - Charles Krauthamme It is not debatable whether we all deserve religious freedom or not, simply because we all have had that right since 1791 when the first amendment gave everyone the freedom to practice their own religion without restraint. The Islamic community is certainly within their constitutional rights to build a mosque wherever they desire. However, the question arises whether they ought to build it just a few steps away from the place where the militant Islamic group, al-Qaeda, killed three thousand people. Building the mosque, more formerly called the Cordoba Initiative and now known as Park 51, just two blocks away from Ground Zero is an issue of propriety, not religious freedom.

cause and reason, the pope understood that Aushcwitz was not a place meant for them and it was best to “let silence reign” no matter how innocent the attempt. The same goes without saying, no one would object to a Japanese cultural center, but if one went up at Pearl Harbor, it would be insensitive and not a matter of silence. So why is it absolutely necessary for the Mosque to go up in that exact location? Is the big issue to simply move it really a battle of pride? When the Twin Towers fell, the United State’s pride took a stab right in the stomach. By refusing to move the mosque, the Islamic community is absolutely disregarding the feelings and sentiments of not only those who suffered great deals from the September 11th attack, but the entire country. The question again rises, by taking no notice of the hurt that this country feels, are they trying to make a statement by not moving it?

To some, the wound has not started to heal and the bandage is already being ripped away.

The basic issue at hand is the matter of sensitivity. After all, it’s been less than a decade since the devastating terrorist attacks on this country. The people affected by the September 11th attacks are still shaken by the tragic memories of that horrifying day. Why select a location that has so much emotional heartfelt pain attached to it? To some, the wound has not started to heal and the bandage is already being ripped away. A point to remember is that majority of Muslims are honorable and respectful individuals, who are just as nauseated by the attack as the Americans are, so all that we are asking is to show some sensitivity and compassion to the survivors and the families of the victims. This situation is no different than the situation in 1993 when Pope John Paul II’s command of the Carmelite nuns out of their convent in Aushcwitz. He wasn’t trying to diminish their rights or limit the prayers for the dead; he was teaching a lesson of respect. Even though the nuns had good Chieftain - October

The Cordoba officials claim that they want to improve the relations between Islam and the West, but at what cost are they willing to do this? Time has not yet healed the wounds and America just is not ready for this. If the Cordoba officials actually want to improve the relations, they are not getting off to a great start. The Cordoba Initiative might end up separating this country even more and that will be an utter disgrace. In the end, actions do speak louder than words. Even though the terrorist attacks have been denounced, this is a chance for moderate Muslims to support their non-violent rhetoric. By picking an alternative location for the Cordoba Initiative, it would really prove to the United States their understanding of the heart wrenching pain that was caused by the devastating attack and this so called harmony that the Cordoba officials are striving for could possibly be established. 9

World News Prayer Room

Zero. There is also the problem of calling the plans for 45 Park Place a mosque. This is a misnomer because the building By Mary Jane Dumankaya would only contain one prayer hall called There has been much controversy a musalla which would not meet the rules about the proposed building of a Mosque to sanctify as a mosque. This prayer hall at ground zero. It has been a plight for would be in the basement of a 15 story the American people; one of freedom of building on 120,000 square feet which rights, sensibility, and the general chaos would also include a restaurant, a theater, that surrounds religion. a day care center, a gym, a pool, as well a The media has over the past few months 9/11 memorial. gone on explicitly about this Ground Zero The project has three organizers; the mosque, one that is to be built at Ground imam behind it is Feisal Abdul Rauf who Zero. This is incorrect, it is a way for the has been the imam of a mosque in TriBeCa media to get the peoples attention. In for over 20 years. He is the center visionactuality the supposed mosque would be ary; he previously tried to build a worship built at 45 Park Place, a previous Burlingcenter in the 1990s but failed to raise the ton Coat Factory store, two blocks away necessary capital. His wife is also involved from the actual Ground Zero site. The in the project; Daisy Khan, Executive Dichoice of preposition has an enormous rector of the American Society for Musimpact as the proposed building would lim Advancement. The final organizer is be near Ground Zero but not at Ground financially responsible, Sharif el-Gamal, a young New York real-estate investor. He is Brooklyn born and bred, the 37 year old son of a Polish mother and Egyptian father. Mr. Gamal has discretion on the location as his real estate company owns and leases the properties where it is to be built, 45-51 Park Place. Mr. Rauf and Mr. Gamal met in 2006 when Mr. Gamal began attending Masjid al-Farah, the mosque which Mr. Rauf presides over. When asked if they would consider moving the “mosque”, as many find it insulting to the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11; the organizers have refused though for different reasons. Mr. Rauf has said “The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack. And I’m less concerned about Park 51 is about 600 feet away from Ground Zero the radicals in America than I am about the radicals in 10

the Muslim world.” He believes that this would prove the intolerance and hate of Muslims by America, which would be a recruiting frenzy for Muslim extremists around the world. Mr. Gamal has other reasons for denying the move; he, as an American, knows his Constitutional rights. He has adamantly declared, “I’m an American, I’m a New Yorker. I don’t hold my faith responsible for 9/11.”

Why Bully? Rory O’Reilly

The ever pervasive problem of bullying has once again hit national headlines. Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers Student, committed suicide last September after two of his peers videotaped and released a video of Tyler and his partner. Billy Lucas took his own life last September, after being harassed by his peers. Hope Witsell committed suicide last December after pictures of her were circulated around school. Phoebe Prince committed suicide last January after being stalked and harassed. These instances only name a few out of the thousands of victims of bullying. Here are the facts. The American Medical Association estimates that “approximately 3.7 million youths engage in, and more than 3.2 million are victims of, moderate or serious bullying each year.” Now, bullying isn’t something that only students partake in. Teachers hold a responsible role; their role is to stop bullying every single time the see it, but “25% of teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and consequently intervene in only 4% of bullying incidents.” (American Medical) Students of Sewanhaka High School ask yourself, do you do anything that could be interpreted as bullying? Could you be contributing to the misery of another student? Could you be putting that child’s parents through hell? Every person you bully has a story. Every person you bully feels pain inside. I call upon you my peers, to cure this disease. Stop infecting the world with hatred. Chieftain - October

Entertainment Inception Review By Kieran O’Reilly

All the secrets in the world can be found in the dreams of man. The question is, “How does one access these dreams?” Last July, Christopher Nolan’s movie Inception opened in theaters everywhere. Inception’s fascinating concept, and overseas thrill add a new twist to the otherwise average movie. In this movie an acclaimed cast invade corporate executives’ dreams in order to discover their business secrets. Using this same method of dream invasion they attempt to manipulate the thoughts of a business executive. The cast literally goes into people’s dreams. It is all fun and games until problems will arise in Dream Land. Our heroes soon realize they are playing for more than corporate secrets. These unexpected twists make Inception a unique movie. Viewer beware: nine years of development resulted in this complicated and long (2 hours and 28 minutes) film. Overall, Inception Rates an 8 out of 10. Unfortunately, there is too much drama in Inception. Much of this drama is pointless and could have been edited out. Additionally, even though Inception is a thrilling action packed movie, it gets tiring. All of the actions packed scenes and the plot is hard to follow. Many times you are told what is going on by the actors explaining it to one another. It is clear that a story like Inception is not realistic, taking away from the

movies appeal. If you do manage to follow Inception your mind will bobble. Inception brings to life new ideas about the vulnerability of a person’s mind when they are dreaming. One has to see it to fully grasp this concept. Nevertheless, Inception is still an interesting movie that will make you question yourself as you dream.

Selena Gomez By Priscilla Harsham

We all know her from Disney Channel, and we all know her for her newest hit song, “A Year without Rain.” Selena Gomez has been one of the biggest rising teen stars of today. From her comedy show, “Wizards of Waverly Place,” Selena relates to her audiences, whether they are eight years old or 16 years old. Since she is a likable character, as shown by the many teens that have her new album, “A Year without Rain” a chance. From this album, we can see Selena’s full expression through her songs. Songs in the album such as “A Year without Rain” and “Round and Round” were even produced into music videos. This shows the potential of Selena’s music. This new album could change her future music career. Selena is portrayed as elegant and classy on the cover of her new album, which says a lot about the songs on the album. The album “A Year without Rain” is fun and exciting, especially be-

cause we get to see a different side of Selena Gomez. Give the album and chance and pick one up at your local F.Y.E.

Linkin Park By Priscilla Harsham

Linkin Park has truly made history in the last 10 years. Linkin park formed in 1996, and their first debut, Hybrid Theory, went multi-platinum in other countries in 2005. They were named the sixth greatest band of music video era in 2003 by MTV2. Linkin Park is influenced by different music style and genres. Versatile in their music styles; their songs can go from Rock to Hip-hop, to Rap to Heavy metal, thus pleasing many groups of music lovers. In the action packed hit movie of 2007, Transformers, Linkin Park sang the ending theme song for the movie called “What I’ve Done,” which received huge publicity, making them a well known band in the United States. Transformers became such an immense movie that there was a sequel made, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. This major movie premiered in 2009, also promoting the band Linkin Park again with its theme song throughout the movie, “New Divide.” Clearly, Linkin Park has come a long way over the years. It doesn’t matter if you’re into heavy metal, or hip-hop, because Linkin Park makes music of many different styles, making it very hard not to like their music.

Horoscopes By Katrina Simon

Aries- Reaching a goal has you extremely proud. Celebrate your victory to it’s fullest extent. Leo- Being open to new activities helps you live a balanced life and make new friends. Sagittarius- Be careful of influential people. They may take advantage of your vulnerability. Taurus- Looking to others for inspiration and advice always leads to good things Chieftain - October

happening. Virgo- Organization always helps when you’re looking for something you have lost. Capricorn- Your instincts have a history of usually being right, so follow them when you have doubts. Gemini- Patience is always a good thing. If somebody doesn’t get what you’re saying at first, it may take some time. Libra- You’re long overdue for some

fun. Taking one day off to have fun never hurts. Aquarius- Making new friends is always fun, and people will enjoy your spontaneous nature. Cancer- Your friends have been clashing lately, for peace, you need to call everyone together for a talk. Scorpio- You should save your high energy for days when you will really need it. 11

Student Feature Isaiah Pollack By Katrina Simon

Imagine one day going to church, as a six-year-old, and being asked to play football. From that moment, your love and determination for the sport increases day by day, season by season. This is how Sewanhaka quarterback Isaiah Pollack began his football career. Truly finding his talent a gift from God, he says “I try not to think of it as stress but instead I turn it in to a positive aspect as in doing this will get me further in life and make me a successful young man.” Living by this self-quote, Sewanhaka Indians quarterback Isaiah Pollack works hard on the field and Little Isaiah Pollack poses for a family picture. in the classroom to balance academics and sports performances in order to make himself the best he can be. Born on February 12, 1993 in Jamaica Medical Hospital, Isaiah was destined to be an important part of the Sewanhaka Indians as his love for the sport began when he was just 6-years-old. As he plays the pivotal position of quarterback, Isaiah finds meaning in the game; his favorite aspect of it is “how it is so much in comparison to life.” He strongly believes of the sport’s potential to teach discipline, pride, integrity and perseverance, “because Isaiah Pollack with his family after the homecoming game. when you think its over but you good student, and overall a good perstill push that extra inch, within a split son.” second everything is in your favor.” Isaiah is considered by his teammates After graduating high school, Isaand coaches to be a strong and dediiah plans on attending college; his top cated player, putting in everything he three choices are Hampton University, has whenever it is needed. Coach KaWaynesburg University, and Southern zimatis finds Isaiah an inspiration as Connecticut State University. While he says, “he is a good football player, a he aspires to continue football, his 12

educational plans include one day being able to work in the fields of business administration or sports marketing. Showing his leadership not only on the field but in extracurricular activities, Isaiah is a member of FBLA and holds the position of the Manager of Production for the Sewanhaka Gems. Of course, Isaiah would not be who he his today without those who influence him the most. Not only do his parents play a very influential part as his supporters, but his nephew has made a tremendous impact on him as well. Hoping that the team continues to be strong after he graduates, Isaiah tries his best to be a leader and an example for his team. He believes that with their strength and determination, the team could go even as far as the Superbowl. He has faith in his secondary team members to “keep the Hoka Hay in their team.” All in all, Isaiah has been an integral part of the success of our varsity football team this year. Describing himself as “calm, cool, funny, and intelligent”, he is an appreciated and respected student, team player, and friend to many people. He will be missed on and off the field next year. Chieftain - October

Homecoming Pictures

Chieftain - October


Sports News Boy’s Varsity Soccer

Girl’s Varsity Volleyballl

The boy’s varsity soccer team has exhibited great courage on the field. Sewanhaka is often seen as a “small” team by the other schools, but it has proved them wrong by coming out and playing with their heads held high. With Mr. Anderson as coach, the team is dedicated in practice; working hard everyday after school as well as Saturday mornings and Holidays. The leading captains this year are junior Miguel Cifuentes, and seniors Islam Yousef and Asad Khokhar. They have worked hard to keep the players motivated and focused in practice and in games. With a rough start in the season, the Sewanhaka Indians have been able to come back in the second half of the season. Coach Anderson believes that “with five starting underclassmen, the future of Indian soccer looks bright.”

Serve it! Spike it! That’s the way they like it! This year the girl’s varsity volleyball team welcomed a new, vital member; Coach Brennan. The team includes seniors Christina Johnson, Veronica Ponce, and Captains Amanda Torres and Kaitlyn LaTorre. Even though their record is currently down, Veronica says “I wouldn’t change a thing.” Captains expressed that they were very proud of the girls, since most of them were new members. The girls continue to work hard in every game and practice, striving to be the best they can be and to obtain the win. Captain Amanda Torres says, “the best part is at the end we have become a family.”

Cross Country

Boy’s Varsity Volleyball

The Sewanhaka Cross Country team has begun this year’s season with a strong start! The boys hold a record of 5-3, while the girls team holds a record of 4-4. Both teams are currently working toward divisions and maybe even counties. When team captains Dio Rodriguez and Krishanthi Devendran were asked about their team’s progress, accomplishments, and their opinion on the team, girl’s Captain Krishanthi responded by saying, “The team has done an amazing job at working together and pushing each other to strive to do their best during the season. We really worked as a team and helped each other get where we are now.” Boy’s Captain Dio states “Cross Country is a fun group that continues to grow in strength as they show their Sewanhaka Pride. “ The team as a whole has put much effort into doing well this season. They all hold high hopes that many of their teammates will make it far. Coach Fanning is very proud of his team and states that “the most he can do to motivate them is to keep on encouraging them to never stop or give up because every second counts.”

Bump Set and Spike. The boy’s varsity volleyball team is a tight unit resembling a family; having become stronger through the hardships they’ve faced. The change in season for Boys’ volleyball from spring to fall has affected the team greatly, and most of all it has affected the number of boys trying out. The small yet mighty varsity team was able to utilize this minor change to become a fierce opponent to all challengers. With Mr. Sorace as coach, and Amritpal “Armystrong” Singh as leading captain, the Volleyball team is having a successful season. “We are small but strong,” says captain Amritpal about his team. The coach, Sorace, also stated that “they’re a growing team, very close together, and gaining strength.” The team’s setter, Justin Kallickal, hopes “for more people to come out next year for another awesome season.”

By Jesus Duque

By Suzette Narinesingh


By Elsa Gimenez

By Jesus Duque

Chieftain - October

Sports News Girl’s Varsity Soccer

Varsity Football

The Girls Varsity Soccer team has been hard at work since the early weeks of the fall season. With the mix of conferences and the new competition headed toward the Indians, the girls have high expectations and enough confidence to help give them the drive they need to grow as a young team. With many new additions to the team, stopper Rachel Wisniewski quotes, “Although we are still getting to know the feel for each other on the field, we are beginning to form really strong bonds as not only a team but a family as well.” With heart and dedication on and off the field, the girl’s varsity soccer team has high hopes for finishing the 2010 season on a high note, and setting the bar for the 2011 season.

After winning their last two games, the Sewanhaka Indians set out for another win at Homecoming on Saturday, October 9, 2010. As the cheerleaders cheered and the band played, pride and confidence easily spread to the fans and players. Before the game started, the senior players were introduced with their families. The homecoming game featured the Sewanhaka Indians playing the Great Neck North Blazers. The Indians started the game off on the right foot. Brian Wint and Shireem Cobb found holes in Great Neck’s defense and were able to score touchdowns, making the score 12-0. In the second quarter, Brian Wint and quarterback Isiah Pollack ran into the end zone for two more touchdowns. Mesiah Morrision would later make a great catch, and make a 34-yard run to score yet another touchdown for Sewanhaka. The Indians solid defense kept the Blazers from scoring for the whole first half of the game! In the third quarter, Great Neck North was able to score a measely 2 points. However, Sewanhaka would pull away even further in the fourth quarter. Kareem Are made a great play by recovering a fumble in the end zone with 9 minutes remaining, extending their lead to 38-2. The Blazers scored two touchdowns late in then game, but it just wasn’t enough. The Sewanhaka Indians would win 38-14. When asked about the game, Coach Kasimatis’ response was “The offensive and defensive line did a great job.” “Linebackers Anthony Waite, William Pokorny, and Christopher Jean really contributed to the game.” Another win, especially at homecoming, really was icing on the cake. The Indians also beat Plainedge last weekend 21-7 for the first time in years. The next game for the Indians would be a tough one, facing the second ranked Hewlett on the Bulldogs field with both teams sharing the record of 4-1.Coach Brancato had high hopes for the team, knowing they could get the win if they played without any slipups. The Indians proved they could do it, beating Hewlett 20-14. The Bulldogs which normally average 40 points a game were held to only 14 by the mighty Indians. The Indians ran an extraordinary 500 yards of offence, as coach Roeslar exclaimed “Our offensive line played outstanding. Shareem Cobb had 21 carries for 168 yards and a dozen tackles.” The Indians won their last home game against the Manhasset Indians, 46-21 and now have a record of 6-1. Their final game of the regular season is October 30th against Lynbrook.

By Jaclyn Wisniewski

Girl’s Field Hockey By Mary Jane Dumankaya

The girls field hockey team consists of girls from Sewanhaka as well as Carey High School. This special blending of the Indians and Seahawks has led to the emerging of a team, a family of sorts, known as the Indahawks. The program has grown from a few girls in junior high in 2005 to those same girls plus more as seniors in 2010. Sewanhaka High School had not had a varsity field hockey team since 1976. The program was built with the dedication of Coach Kelly who helped the program to grow to such a level that there is now a varsity “Indahawks”, jv “Indahawks” coached by Ms.Gallagher, and a junior high team coached by Mr Gagnon as well. The varsity team proves the interest in this sport; with a roster of 17 seniors and 4 juniors. Senior captain Michelle Mongiello plays forward, with senior captain Gina Cangelosi and senior Stephanie Mendez on midfield with the support of juniors Jessica Santoli and Gabby DiPierno. The defense is made up of four seniors; Christi McLarney, Danielle Lukas, Courtney Balgobin, and Mary Jane Dumankaya. Coach Kelly is very proud as she exclaims “These girls started a tradition that I hope will continue for years to come.”

Chieftain - October

By Matthew Salzarlo


“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.�- Abraham Lincoln American Scholastic Press Award

newsday H.S. journaLISM AWARD

Hank Logerman Award 2009 and 2010 Quill YOUNG PEOPLE PRESS award

Mr. Warren A. Meierdiercks, Superintendent Of Schools

Board of Education Jean Fichtl - President DavidT. Fowler - Vice President Joseph Armocida David Del Santo Laura Ferone Lorraine Ferrigno Michael Jaime Joan Romagnoli Mrs. Debra Lidowsky - Principal Sewanhaka Central High School District A Nationally Recognized District of Excellence

Chieftain Volume 22 Issue #1  

Sewanhaka High School's school newspaper. First issue of the school year 2010-2011