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A newspaper that delivers a voice for the students of Somers High School


A Somers High School Student Newspaper

Advocate Somers High School

June 2008

Volume 3 Issue 3

Go Green: Who Does it Affect? by Rachel Goodman As the green trend catches on and people create compost heaps, recycle obsessively, and avoid plastic bags like West Nile virus. But suddenly, it occurs to me, who do these drastic changes affect? What will happen to the plastic bag factories? They likely employ thousands of people... Do these people get free plastic bags to take home to the family? Do they have plastic bag wallpaper, plastic bag purses, plastic bag curtains? Imagine how society will ostracize them when they discover

their excessive use of these evil items! Moreover, if the trend of disuse really catches on, these sad employees will be out of a job. Where will they work in this job-hungry economy? How will they feed their children? Plastic isn’t edible! Consider also environmentalists. If everyone jumps on the bandwagon and starts cleaning up their acts, what will they have to complain about? No more irony of wasted paper telling people to recyle, no more holierthan-thou struts in their burlap outfits because it will be impossible to tell the trendoids from the die-

World View: Darfur

hards. What then? Will it be PeTA’s day to shine next? Will the next ecofriendly slogan be: “Go Veg”? These questions plague me each time I open my reusable cloth sack to accept yet another clearance-rack purchase. Never mind the consequences of living in such a consumerist society within which the only way to reach people is through their pockets (like with a plastic bag tax). But then, I begin admiring the periwinkle, Victorianinspired design on my bag and think: Who cares?

By Karen Arakelian

The countless genocides in Darfur have hit the world news fro many years. Everyday the prospect of peace becomes more minimal. The U.N. fears that there will be another cycle of conflict in Darfur, the confrontation between the two political parties in Darfur could leave many refugee’s dead. An attack on Khartoum last weekend by the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement worsened the conflicts in Darfur. It is therefore feared that there will be more confrontation because of this large scale of violence. Sadly trying to keep the peace between the people in the Sudan has become increasingly difficult. The question is not when but how to stop the chaotic environment. U.N. officials estimate that as many as 300,000 people may have been killed in the five-year-old Darfur conflict. Khartoum says the figure is only about 10,000. That’s a good chunk of the people living in Somers. Hopefully the upcoming peace talks may help the people stuck between all the violence survive.

Underage Drinking - Problems and Solutions come from either news reporters or our beloved administration. Who we haven’t truly heard from are the students themselves, the ones being judged and discussed. I talked with groups of seniors, juniors, and sophomores to find out how the people in the center of this matter really see it. First of all, it was agreed amongst all ages that Somers High School may have a drinking problem. Obviously anyone coming into school and getting drunk would leave

Renaissance Somers High School | Student Recognition Program

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them to believe so. But the students recognized that there were other problems with the situation. Only the sophomores spoken to by this reporter believed that the incident was handled properly by our school. The seniors this reporter spoke definitely felt that they were being unfairly singled out as they were the only grade subjected to the breathalyzer. Kelsey Walton, a junior, sympathized with both the school and the students saying, “Everyone should have been breathalyzed, but at the time the administration probably didn’t know what to do.” The idea that each student should have been breathalyzed was agreed by everyone, who supported this notion with the knowledge that some underclassmen were under the influence that day as well.


By Alex Altieri Underage drinking has recently become The Issue in Somers, as well as in Connecticut. I’m sure everyone has read the articles, heard the gossip, and even argued with their teachers about the controversy. I know that everyone from our school is familiar with the incident during the March Madness pep rally, when all of the seniors were breathalyzed after it was discovered that some of them had been drinking. However, most often the articles and statements have

Editorial While the students felt that single incident was not managed very well, the juniors and seniors believe that our school is handling the drinking problem as a whole much better. Senior Jim Lucey approves of the strategy of warning SHS students before dances that they will be breathalyzed upon admission, as it is most effective and less isolating. Still, some sophomores think our administration needs to find a new approach, as the problem seems to be getting worse. By far the most controversial topic of discussion was the athletes who were caught drinking but not kicked off their teams. Many students have pointed out that athletes with bad grades get removed from their teams, and feel the punishment should be equal for drinking, whether or not it is a Somers High School policy

News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3, 5 Senior Awards 08 . . . . . . . . . . 4

(the grade policy is a state one). Sophomore RJ Welch stated his feelings best when he claimed, “They probably should have been kicked off; they obviously aren’t getting the message.” RJ brings up a good question: Will these students, or anyone else, learn from this situation? I think we are all still getting used to the prevalence of breathalyzers at our school. However, what everyone needs to realize is that underage drinking is illegal, and our administration can’t just let it slide as they may have in previous years. Even if you don’t think you have a drinking problem (I believe you have an impressing people problem), the only quick and easy solution is to leave your alcohol at home, it clearly has no place in Somers High.

Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6,7 Somers Education Foundation An organization making a realitiy for the students of Somers.


June 2008 • The Spartan Advocate


About the Candiate: John McCain By Alex Berger

was helping another pilot exit when a bomb went John Sydney McCain III off, sending shrapnel deep was born on August 29, into his legs and chest. The 1936 in Panama Canal fire slew 134 sailors in all, Zone, Panama to Admibut McCain didn’t let the ral John Sydney McCain, wounds stop him. He then Jr. and Roberta (Wright) volunteered for the USS McCain. He had attended Oriskany. As McCain was many different schools as a flying his A4E-Akyhawk child. Growing up he was over Hanoi on his 23rd always considered a born bombing mission, he was leader and many times shot down by a VC missticking up for bullied kids. sile. Both his arms and a McCain graduated from leg broken, he parachuted the United States Naval down, nearly drowning in Academy in 1958 and pro- Truc Bach Lake. When he ceeded to pursue a 22 year regained consciousness, career as a navy aviator. he was ambushed by a He requested for a combat Viet Cong mob that shatassignment and was given tered his shoulder with one in December of 1966. their rifle butts and brought He was assigned to an airhim to Hoa Loa Prison, craft carrier and flew A-4 “Hanoi Hilton”. There he Skyhawks. In summer of was viciously beaten and 1967, McCain, at 30 years interrogated, his wounds of age, finally entered untreated. The North the world of combat. His Vietnamese announced his carrier, the USS Forrestal, capture and moved him to was sent on a bombing a medical ward only after mission in Vietnam. On discovering that his father July 29, McCain, then a was an America admiral. Lieutenant Commander, With marginal care, Mcwas nearly killed when the Cain lost 50lbs and his hair Forrestal, including his lost all pigment, turning it jet, burst into flame. He white from malnutrition.

He was then sent to a different camp in the outskirts of Hanoi in December 1967. In March 1968, he was placed in solitary confinement where he would be housed for two years. That following July, as his father became commander of Vietnamese theater, McCain was offered early release from the prison camp he was confined in due to the VC trying to portray themselves as forgiving and merciful for the public. John McCain turned down the offer with his only explanation being that he would only accept leave if and only if every man that had been captured before him were to be released as well. Following that, severe torture began to be performed on McCain in August, 1968. At that same time, he was suffering from a terrible case of dysentery. Nearly dead, he was forced to recite an anti-American “confession”. The years of torture and inhumane treatment resulted in the inability for McCain to ever be able to lift his arms above

his head again. Many other POWs also endured this same treatment, some even worse. After being held for five and half years, McCain was finally released on March 14, 1973 and was reunited with his wife and children in the United States. After several more years in active duty, McCain finally retired from the navy in 1981 as a Captain and headed to Arizona. He tried to run for the Republican candidate for a seat in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District but was attacked for being a newcomer to the state. McCain responded to a voter with what would come to be considered one of the most “devastating responses to a potentially troublesome political issue” with, “Listen, pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My

father was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.” In 1983, he was elected to the house and easily reelected in 1984. McCain started his first senate term in 1987 and remains an Arizona senator to this day.

Spartan Advocate 2007 - 2008 Staff Mr. Phil Goduti Advisor Rachel Goodman Geno Bologna

Anthony Duarte Andy Yau Ricky O’Donnell Kristen Gebhart Madison Zachary Sarah Goodman

Alex Berger Zach Sutherland Matt Berger Karen Arakelian Gina Welch Alex Altieri Melissa Perry Catherine Machnicki Sydney Altieri

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Features Summer Movies 2008 By Ricky O’Donnell Every year, at the beginning of May, a rush of blockbuster films begins and does not cease until mid-August. Last year, many big sequels were released, some good (Bourne Ultimatum), some that were absolutely horrible (Pirates of the Caribbean 3). There were many surprises too, as movies like Superbad and Transformers were hits that came out of nowhere. This year, though we are already in mid-June, the Spartan Advocate would like to help you sort through which movies will be worth your $10 admission, and the millions of dollars in gas it might cost to get you to the theatres. 5 Films to See during the Summer of ‘08 The Dark KnightThe sequel to 2005’s fantastic Batman Begins, The Dark Knight is a nobrainer this summer. In this film Christian Bale returns as Batman, who must fight the insane Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger. Batman also has his hands

full with the aftermath of bringing down the mob of Gotham City. All signs point to this film being 2008’s big winner, but you can judge for yourself when the movie arrives in theatres July 18th. Wall-E- The people of Pixar, creators of such films as Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc. and Toy Story are back again with a film about a robot who lives on the abandoned planet Earth in the year 2700. It sounds silly, but there has never been a bad Pixar movie, so give Wall-E a chance, and on June 27th you may be pleasantly surprised. Hancock- Will Smith is enough to bring anyone to the movies. Especially when he plays a superhero who is hated by his city, and can do nothing right. A spoof of the comic book genre, Hancock looks to be a safe-bet for some good action and a laugh or to. Catch it in theatres July 2nd. The Pineapple Express- Judd Apatow, director of Knocked-Up, Superbad, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall brings us

another film to laugh about and quote for months on end. If you want to laugh this summer, your best shot is catching this film on August 8th. The Incredible Hulk- Hulk run. Hulk jump. Hulk smash! Though this film may not have the best script of movies coming out this summer, it is sure to have a fantastic monster v. monster battle and many scenes of that not-so-jolly green giant destroying New York City…again. Have more time on your hands? Take a chance on these risky films… Get Smart- Steve Carrell attempts to remake the classic television series. I guess it can’t be worse then Bewitched…6/20. Wanted- Could be this year’s 300, or just another bad action movie. 6/27. Kong Fu PandaJack Black as a lazy panda who takes up kong fu is enough to make me excited for a film… as long as it doesn’t get to child-oriented. 6/6.

The Spartan Advocate • June 2008


Concert Preview By Sydney Altieri Here are some local concerts in CT that you may want to check out DODGE MUSIC CENTER Tim Mcgraw - 6/8 Tom Petty – 6/11 Dave Matthews Band – 6/13 and 14 Pearl Jam – 6/27 Projekt Revolution (Linkin Park, Chris Cornell) – 7/20 Rascal Flatts - 8/22 MOHEGAN SUN ARENA Eric Clapton - 6/2 Billy Joel - 6/13, 6/1, 6/26, 6/28, 7/3, 7/5 Poison - 7/29 Boston - 8/6 Nine Inch Nails - 8/7 Journey - 8/17 Motley Crue – 8/24 WEBSTER THEATRE Rock of Love Tour with Bret Michaels – 6/11 Mindless Self Indulgence – 7/2 All Time Low – 7/21 XL CENTER (HARTFORD CIVIC CENTER) Americal Idols Tour - 8/8

Underclassmen Awards 2007/2008 Art Art Stacy Fahey Business Intro/Business Elizabeth Tarbox English Grade 9 - English Sarah Goodman English Grade 10 English Elizabeth Tarbox English Grade 11 English Justine Falcone Health Junior Health Taylor Bidmead Health Junior Health Matthew Jones Math Algebra A Andrea Reutter Math Algebra 1 Austin Portal Math Consumer Math Jillian Soucy Math Algebra 2 Lauren Silvis Math Discoveries in Geometry Josh Panto Math Computer Programming Kevin King Math Geometry Jeffrey Cooley Math Honors Geometry Alex Andersen Math Honors Algebra 2 Camille Thomas Math Honors Algebra 2 Stacy Thomas Math Trigonometry Nathan Fisher Math Elem. Functions Nathan Fisher Math American Math Competition Nathan Fisher Math American Math Competition Stacy Thomas Math Capitol Area Math League Chad Zawistowski Math Capitol Area Math League Christine Lesniak Math Capitol Area Math League Matthew Hocking Math Capitol Area Math League Sarah Hocking Math Capitol Area Math League Shannon Cooley Music Gr 9 Choral Lee-Ann Percoski Music Gr 10 Choral Richard Welch Music Gr 11 Choral Robert Mulak Music Jazz Choir Award 9 Andrew Thomas Music Jazz Choir Award 10 Elizabeth Tarbox Music Jazz Choir Award 11 Paul Lietz Music Gr 9 Band Ryan King Music Gr 10 Band Peter Bezzini Music Gr 11 Band Kevin King

Phy. Ed. Grade 9 Female-PE Elizabeth Poitras Phy. Ed. Grade 9 Male-PE Daniel O’Grady Phy. Ed. Grade 10 Female-PE Jillian Blauvelt Phy. Ed. Grade 10 Male-PE Adam Foster Phy. Ed. Grade 11 Female-PE Ashley Locke Phy. Ed. Grade 11 Male-PE Brandon Marszalek Science Freshman Science Thomas Gay Science Freshman Science Richard Lees Science Biology Daniel Madden Science Biology Daniel Henderson Science US Army, Navy & Air Force Junior Science & Humanities Symposium Matthew Hocking Science US Army, Navy & Air Force Junior Science & Humanities Symposium Sarah Hocking Science Chemistry Stacy Thomas Social St. Social Studies Grade 9 Samantha Zawistowski Social St. Social Studies Grade 10 Anthony Furnari Social St. Social Studies Grade 11 Beth Bardsley Technology Communication II Chelsea McCallum Technology Construction Zachary Anderson Technology Intro Drafting/CADD Jonathan Schiessl Technology Advanced CADD Moriah Brockway Technology Manufacturing I Scott Kloter Technology Manufacturing II Taylor Atkinson Technology Intro toTechnology Christopher Mashiak W. Lang. Spanish 2 Lauren Astone W. Lang. Spanish 3 Elizabeth Tarbox W. Lang. Spanish 4 Nathan Fisher W. Lang. French 2 Georgia Burke W. Lang. French 3 Daniel Henderson W. Lang. French 4 Benjamin Thompson Honors Academic Bowl Team Benjamin Thompson Honors Academic Bowl Team Sarah Hocking Book Award BayPath Book Award Danielle Rose Book Award Cornell University Book Award Kathleen Powers

Book Award Gettysbury Book Award Patrick Duffy Book Award Goodwin College Taylor Bidmead Book Award Middlebury College Book Award Julianne Auman Book Award Holy Cross Book Award Lauryn Falcone Book Award Mount Holyoke Book Award Samantha Dumas Book Award Student Sage College Award Sarah Hocking Book Award St. Anselm College Book Award Katelyn Austin Book Award St. Michael’s Book Award Mary Waters Book Award St. Michael’s Book Award Robert Mulak Book Award Trinity College Book Award Justine Falcone Book Award University of Rochester, Frederick Douglas/ Susan B Anthony Humanities/Social Sciences Award Ani Kerr Book Award University of Roch. - Bausch & Lomb Science Award Morgan Zachary Book Award University of Roch. Kodak Young Leaders Timothy O’Hearn Honors American Citizenship Award Alan Roberts, Andrea Reutter, Arianna Bliss, Ashley Anderson, Ashley Wright, Bianca Krzynowek, Brandon Roberts, Brian Coope, Brianna Herbert, Elizabeth Poitras, Kaily Jones, Kathryn Squillace, Kayla Stetson, Keisha Morales, Luke Cassarino, Mary Rockett, Matthew Benoit, Millicent Sawtelle, Molly Regan, Ryan Donovan Honors American Citizenship Award Samantha Zawistowski Honors Rensselaer Medal Nathan Fisher Honors Lions - Grade 9 Lauren Astone Honors Lions - Grade 10 Camille Thomas Honors Lions - Grade 11 Justine Falcone


June 2008 • The Spartan Advocate

Senior Awards 2007/2008

_*SCHOLARSHIPS*_ Beta Club Award Jessica Estanislau Big Y Award Louis Piscottano Gary Bonini Memorial Scholarship Ted Berger Paul Bowers Memorial(Somers Lacrosse Association) Alex Murdoch Paul Bowers Memorial (Somers Lacrosse Association) Lucy Keeney Pat Bowles Memorial Scholarship Ann Waters Sean Brown Memorial Scholarship Sterling Dunn Catholic Daughters of America Scholarship Adam Hurwitz David N. Drake Memorial Scholarship Matthew Meisterling Gengenbach/Domain Scholarship Lauren Heagie Deb Grenon Memorial Scholarship Ann Waters Deb Grenon Memorial Scholarship Ashley Winter Kristen Hammond Scholarship Jennifer Dufraine Joan Hayes Memorial Scholarship Sarah Garlick Johnson Memorial Scholarship Mikaela Elia Keeney Foundation Adam Hurwitz, Jessica Estanislau, Louis Piscottano, Mikaela Elia Keeney Memorial Lucy Keeney, Nicole Prince, Rachel Goodman, Tess Plotkin, Veronica Andersen National Honor Society Scholarship Jessica Estanislau National Honor Society Scholarship Lucy Keeney National Honor Society Scholarship Mikaela Elia North Central Conn. Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Tess Plotkin Francine Orton Memorial Kristen Gebhart Gerald Perreault Memorial Bryan Thresher Gerald Perreault Memorial-Tobacco Valley Teacher’s Credit Union Scholarship Juliana Castro Postmasters Scholarship Kara McGuane Rockville Bank Academic Scholarship Ashley Winter Rockville Bank Vocational Scholarship Ryan Egan Robert Sheehan Memorial Scholarship Jennifer Dufraine Shenipsit Striders/Cross Country Scholarship Nicholas Braica Somers Beautification Adam Hurwitz Somers Beautification Ryan Egan Somers Booster Club (Athletic/Leadership Award) Chelsie Merone Somers Booster Club (Athletic/Leadership Award) Melville Thorne Somers Cultural Commission Visual Arts Scholarship Amber Pascoe Somers Democratic Town Committee-Willard Pinney Good Citizenship Award Derek Burd Somers Education Association Amber Pascoe Somers Education Association Lucy Keeney Somers Education Support Association-Barbara Bushnell Memorial Jessica Estanislau Somers Lions-Macie Grace McCloskey Memorial Adam Hurwitz Somers Lions-Macie Grace McCloskey Memorial Amanda Stanton Somers Lions-Macie Grace McCloskey Memorial Ashley Winter Somers Lions-Macie Grace McCloskey Memorial Brittany Bastarache Somers Lions-Macie Grace McCloskey Memorial Christopher Frey Somers Lions-Macie Grace McCloskey Memorial Gina Welch Somers Lions-Macie Grace McCloskey Memorial Melissa Regan Technology-R & D -Team Phoenix -Alex Murdock, Andy Yau, Cal Nutbrown, Chris Hardy, Devin Gowash,Devin Wakelin, James Clark, Matt Meisterling, Rob- Somers Lions-Richard Weingarten Courtney Gacona Somers Music Patrons Loralee Bingham ert Cammilleri, Ryan Egan, Thomas Minor, Yasper Sandberg, Zach Sutherland Somers Music Patrons Tess Plotkin Somers Music Patrons - Christine Taft Memorial Molly Driscoll World Language -Spanish 5 Derek Burd Somers PTSA Scholarship Andy Yau, Eric Chartier, Louis Piscottano, Scholarship Sarah Garlick World Language -French 5 Louis Piscottano Somers Rotary -Contributions to School and Community Adam Hurwitz _*Honors and Recognition Awards*_ Somers Rotary -Contributions to School and Community Andy Yau Connecticut Association of Boards of Education - CABE Award Louis Piscottano Somers Rotary -Contributions to School and Community Jessica Estanislau Connecticut Association of Boards of Education - CABE Award Lucy Keeney Somers Rotary -Contributions to School and Community Lucy Keeney Congressional Certificate of Merit Lawrence Felix Somers Rotary -Peter Chipouras Memorial Heather Parker Secretary of State Excellence in Citizenship Andy Yau Carol A. Dion Memorial presented bySomers Senior Center Melissa Regan Herff Jones Principal’s Leadership Award Louis Piscottano Carol A. Dion Memorial presented bySomers Senior Center Courtney Gacona Presidential Award for Academic Excellence Veronica Andersen, Nicholas Braica, Carol A. Dion Memorial presented bySomers Senior Center Jessica Estanislau Mikaela Elia, Jessica Estanislau, Sarah Garlick, Rachel Goodman, Adam Hurwitz, Carol A. Dion Memorial presented bySomers Senior Center Louis Piscottano Lucy Keeney, Brewster Knowlton, Andrew Lariviere, Louis Piscottano, Tess Plot- Carol A. Dion Memorial presented bySomers Senior Center Lucy Keeney Carol A. Dion Memorial presented bySomers Senior Center Mikaela Elia kin, Nicole Prince, Ann Waters Somers Nurshing Association - Melissa Regan Somers Soccer Association Scholarship Derek Burd Presidential Award for Academic Achievement Timothy Charette, Eric Chartier, Somers Soccer Association Scholarship Melissa Regan Jennifer Dufraine, Christopher Frey, Gina Welch, Molly Driscoll, Katelyn Trask, Somers Village Players Tess Plotkin Matthew Shaw, Laurie Longtin, Lindsay Goodenow, Sarah Varnauskas, Brittany Somers Women ‘s Club Adam Hurwitz Bastarache Somers Women ‘s Club -Connecticut Federated Women’s Club Chelsie Merone Somers Women ‘s Club -Connecticut Federated Women’s Club Kyle Gallaway U.S. Marine Scholastic Excellence Award Chelsie Merone Frank & Charlotte Stopa Scholarship Lorelee Bingham U.S. Marine Scholastic Excellence Award Geno Bologno National Honor Society Student - President Lucy Keeney, Adam Hurwitz, Jessica Estanislau, Mikaela Elia, Ann Waters, Danielle Andrzejewski, Veronica Andersen, Geno Bologna, Derek Burd, Brian Academic Bowl Team Anne Kohler, Jessica Estanislau, Louis Piscottano, Team Coughlin, Lawrence Felix, Sarah Garlick, Kristen Gebhart, Rachel Goodman, Brewster Knowlton, Nick Russotto Anne Kohler, Andrew Lariviere, Louis Piscottano, Tess Plotkin, Thomas Powers, Nicole Prince, Sarah Varnauskas, Melissa Regan Continuous Honor Roll Achievement Veronica Andersen, Adam Hurwitz, Lucy .SALUTATORIAN Mikaela Elia Keeney, Louis Piscottano, Sarah Garlick, Sarah Varnauskas, Rachel Goodman, Ann Waters, Melissa Regan, Mikaela Elia, Tess Plotkin, Jessica Estanislau, Brews- .VALEDICTORIAN Louis Piscottano ter Knowlton, Nicholas Braica _*ATHLETICS*_ Millerick Award Brewster Knowlton National Merit Letter of Recognition Louis Piscottano Millerick Award Chelsie Merone National Merit Letter of Recognition Samuel Thomas Wendy’s Heisman Award Lucy Keeney National Hispanic Recognition Board Scholar Rachel Goodman U.S. Marine Athlete Award Mackenzie Vita University of Connecticut Academic Excellence Scholarship Adam Hurwitz U.S. Marine Athlete Award Melville Thorne University of Connecticut Academic Excellence Scholarship Geno Bologna CIAC Scholar-Athlete Brewster Knowlton Principal’s Award (Leadership Service) Loralee Bingham CIAC Scholar-Athlete Mikaela Elia Principal’s Award (Leadership Service) Ryan Joseph CIAC Sportmanship Award Adam Hurwitz Principal’s Award - Greatest Personal Growth Chritopher Frey CIAC Sportmanship Award Tess Plotkin Principal’s Award - Greatest Personal Growth Lindsay Goodenow Art-Ceramics Ann Waters Art-Excellence in Art Laurie Longtin Art-Drawing & Painting Chelsie Merone Art- Exellence in Art Lucy Keeney Art-Excellence in Art Kyle Gallaway Art-Faith Ferguson Art Medal - Amber Pascoe Business -Business Law Adam Hurwitz Business -Accounting 1 Sarah Garlick Business -Entrepreneurship Thomas Powers Business -Marketing Thomas Powers Business-CSCPA Outstanding Accounting Student Thomas Powers English-Grade 12 - Academic English 12 Achievement Award Amy Harrington English-Grade 12 - English-Outstanding Writer Rachel Goodman English-Grade 12 English -Outstanding Student Louis Piscottano Food Service Award Heather Parker Food Service Award Samantha Army Health-Senior Health Kristen Gebhart Health-Senior Health Andrew Lariviere Math-Calculus Mikaela Elia Math-AP Statistics Ann Waters Math-AP Calculus Brewster Knowlton Math-Capitol Area Math League Lawrence Felix Math-Capitol Area Math League Ted Berger Math-Jets Team- Varsity- Participation Anne Kohler Math-Jets Team- Varsity- Participation Jennifer Dufraine Math-Jets Team- Varsity- Participation Jessica Estanislau Math-Jets Team- Varsity- Participation Lawrence Felix Math-Jets Team- Varsity- Participation Louis Piscottano Music - Senior Choral Award Amanda Polak Music- Senior Band Award Tess Plotkin Music- Sr.Jazz Choir Award Louis Piscottano Music-U.S. Marine- Music Excellence Alex Hayowyk Music-U.S. Marine- Music Excellence Kelly Desso Music-Wall of Fame Award Loralee Bingham PE/Health-Grade 12 Female-PE Molly Driscoll PE/Health-Grade 12 Male-PE Zachary Mandirola Science-Physics Louis Piscottano Science-Science Lifetime Achievement Award Katelyn Trask Social Studies -Student Advisory Council President Lucy Keeney Social Studies-Career Social Studies Christopher Frey Technology-Senior, Outstanding Achievement in Technology Education Andy Yau Technology-New England Institute of Technology Andy Yau Technology-New England Institute of Technology Christopher Frey, Devin Gowash, Ryan Egan, Thomas Minor

Rotary Award for Outstanding Service Lucy Keeney Lions - Grade 12 Louis Piscottano

Milk Dud

All you can eat advice! Dear Milk Dud, My friend smells like death! He doesn’t ever shower or wear deodorant. Unless he starts to smell better, I’m going to stop hanging around him. What should I do? -Can’t stand the stench Dear Stench, There’s nothing that comes between a good friendship like B.O. I’d give it to him straight. Tell him that as great a person as he is, he needs to get his hygiene in order. If you think this would offend him, trying spraying some Axe on him when he’s looking the other way. Dear Milk Dud, I’m a new student this year. And still, I haven’t made any friends. I try really hard to impress people and even memorize jokes to tell. They always laugh, but not at the jokes.

Features What can I do? -- Giant Loner Dear Loner, Quit it with the jokes. You’re trying much too hard to get friends. Just be yourself and people will see who you really are. Think about joining an after school club or sport—this is a great way to meet people. It’s difficult for people to really learn who you are during school hours alone. The important thing is that you act naturally though. Dear Milk Dud, I’m going to the movies next weekend, and I can’t decide which candy I should buy. I really like snow caps and milk duds, but I only want to buy one. What should I pick? - Candy Lover Dear Candy, The choice is obvious. Nothing beats the incredible caramel crunch of a milk dud. These bitesized chocolate delights are the perfect snack for anytime, anywhere. In the future, please don’t bother me with such blatantly obvious questions.

Dear Milk Dud, I just got my SAT scores back, and am very unhappy with the result. I could never get into the colleges I’ve dreamed of with my low score. I’m very worried. -- Feeling Stupid Dear Stupid, Don’t be alarmed. The SAT’s are like any other test—you just have to study. A tutor can do wonders for your score, but is by no means the only option. Prep books are fairly inexpensive, and can be just as effective. If you really want to raise your score though, you have to be willing to put in the man hours and work hard. And if at the end of the day your score isn’t quite what you wanted, that’s OK. The SAT’s are important, but they’re not the only criteria colleges look at. Dear Milk Dud, I’m a level 65 night elf and having trouble defeating the jungle trolls in the cave of Zul’Gurub. I’ve equipped myself with the blade of Azzinoth but am afraid that this won’t protect me against enchantment spells. What should I

The Spartan Advocate • June 2008

do? - Noob Pwner Dear Pwner, I’ll be right with you as soon as I’m done watching Battlestar Galactica. Dear Milk Dud, All of my friends get to go tanning, but my mom won’t let me. I know it can be dangerous, but I was the only one who looked like a ghost during prom. All she does is worry about the risks, and never pays attention to how I feel. Any suggestions? -- Still Pale Dear Pale, I hate to say it, but your mom does have a point. Tanning does significantly increase the chance of skin cancer-- an easy thing to forget about when you’re concerned with looking good. Spray tans and lotions can be a good alternative to tanning booths, and I’m sure your mom wouldn’t have a problem with these. And if you absolutely need to hit the booths, explain to your mom that you’d only a go for a couple sessions for a minimal amount of time. She was in your shoes once


and may understand. But she does care about you though—better pale skin than cancer. Dear Milk Dud, I have a big problem. My English teacher’s giving a test on this book I never read. Not only this, but the book’s not on Sparknotes and there was never a movie made about it. Is there anything I can do? -- Flunking English Dear Flunking, Looks like your grade won’t be rising anytime soon. You could pull an all-nighter and try to read through as much of the book as possible. When you get to class, though, you’ll probably be exhausted and still get an abysmal grade. I recommend that you approach your teacher beforehand and explain that you’re unprepared. If you normally get good grades and turn in quality work, the teacher could cut you some slack this time. They do occasionally give extensions to honorable students. Unfortunately, having read none of the book, I don’t think there’s any chance that you’ll be let off the hook. Try actually caring about school next time.

Paula Abdul: Crazy, Awesome or Just Crazy Awesome By Sydney Altieri I don’t care whether or not you watch American Idol, but if you don’t know who Paula Abdul is, then you should seriously stop reading or watching the news and start paying attention to what really matters. Recently, Abdul has been put in the spotlight for her strange behavior on America’s Most Watched Show. Though she started out as one of the favorites on Idol, this soon changed as she displayed strange antics and her sanity (and sobriety) was questioned. When American Idol first started, Abdul was labeled the “nice” judge who always supported the contestants and never gave negative feedback. She

was more often cited for her wardrobe choices and euphemisms than anything else. However, as the seasons continued, I, and possibly the rest of America, started noticing something very strange was going on with her. First, there was her applause. Abdul likes to clap for the contestants using only her palms. I noticed that her fingers never touched when she was congratulating the singers, and she held her hands away from her as if she might hit herself by accident if her hands weren’t on the other side of the judge’s table. Why can’t she clap like normal people? Because she isn’t normal, she’s Paula Abdul. Other than the

strange applause, I noted that Abdul had become increasingly sloppy on the show. She may have been perfectly coifed, but when Abdul opened her mouth, it was apparent that she was under the influence of something. She slurred her words when critiquing the contestants, and even when you could make out what she was saying, none of it really made sense. Abdul claimed that she used painkillers for cheerleadinginduced chronic pain, but the only chronic that could be going on with her is the illegal kind that makes you spacey during television interviews. To show people how “real” and “sane” she was, Abdul starred in her own reality show called

Hey Paula. It was supposed to prove that she wasn’t a crazy drug-addict, but it only supported claims that she was truly nuts. Every episode had a different meltdown where Abdul would scream and cry at her assistants and say the darndest things with a straight face. Instead of hoping that she would act outrageous twice a week when Idol came back for another season, I could see Abdul being crazy multiple times a day on Hey Paula. I loved every moment of it. The most infamous “Paula-Being-Crazy” moment happened recently during an episode of American Idol. She judged two of Jason Castro’s performances when he had only done one. This had many

people questioning: “Is American Idol scripted?” and myself asking: “What’s really in that plastic Coca Cola cup?” Abdul’s bizarre behavior entertains the masses and adds much needed fuel to the giant Hummer that is the American media. She had a music video in which she sung and danced with a cartoon cat, but people think she’s crazy because she acts weird on camera. Honestly, I have never enjoyed watching anyone’s train wreck as much as Abdul’s. In short, Paula is crazy. Paula is awesome. Paula is crazy awesome.


June 2008 • The Spartan Advocate


Spring Sports at Somers High School

Clockwise from above: Alex Harrington, Melissa Regan, Evan Woicik, Tom Powers, Nick Braica and Adam Hurwitz. Photos by Andy Yau

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The Spartan Advocate • June 2008



At long last, Somers gains competitive tennis program By Alex Berger 2008 marks the beginning of Somers High School’s new varsity tennis team. Well, technically it won’t be a varsity team until next year—for now it’s registered as a club. And, technically, it’s not just Somer’s program. The “club” is being run in conjunction with Ellington. Still, it’s something to get excited about. Somers hasn’t had a tennis program since 19XX. It’s about time this worthy game was resurrected. Until the club’s advent, the school’s tennis players haven’t had an opportunity to play competitively with their high school. “It’s given me a better appreciation for the game,” says, Sam Plotkin, a member of the club. “And now that I play everyday instead of just in the summer, I’ve gotten a lot better.” The program is separated into a boy’s and girl’s team. The boy’s team is coached by Richard Wil-

lis, who attempts to create a varsity atmosphere to lay out the foundation for next year. There are typically 5 practices each week and roughly 2 games. Willis explains how he has two goals in mind. The first is to mimic a varsity environment as closely as possible in preparation for future years. The second is to refine individuals’ tennis skills so they can be “the best they can be.” Coach Willis has years of competitive tennis experience. He played division 3 tennis at Western New England College, and has aspirations of coaching at a college level some day. Speaking of his idol Jimmy Connor’s “tremendous, tenacious attitude,” he explains how there is no secret to excelling at the game. Simply, tennis is an “extreme precision game,” requiring serious concentration and consistent, well-placed shots. “It’s important to play a highpercentage game,” he says. Essentially, if one can hit

the ball back just one more time than his opponent, he can guarantee the victory. Willis believes the club has been largely successful this year. In addition to setting the framework for next year, he and the team have become familiar with the fundaments of the particular league they have joined. Nevertheless, Willis notes

that the level of player commitment has not been as high as he anticipated. He hopes that this issue will be rectified once the team gains a varsity status. What’s important, however, is that this incredible, lifelong sport has become part of the community again. Currently, the program operates on a pay-to-play basis, requiring

$150 from each player. Jim Maitland, who heads the program, approximates that $8,000 is necessary to finance it each year. To raise funds, a used cell phone collection drive and a car wash have been conducted. Maitland hopes expenses will be absorbed by the school budgets in upcoming seasons.

Best Rivalry in Sports By Ricky O’Donnell It is June now, and we are almost halfway through baseball’s regular season. Both the Red Sox and the Yankees have shown their strengths and weaknesses, and once again the whole league is ready for another Boston-New York Fall Showdown. Since their epic 2004 playoff season in which the Red Sox won 4 straight games and later the World Series, the Yankees have not made much noise in the postseason. The Sox, however, have won another world series last year, and are one of the favorites to take the trophy in 2008. However, this season could see the Yankees make their return to past glory as they have a new manager and younger pitching. Every season, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry never ceases to amaze, and

in 2008 another close race for the American League East is likely. However, I see neither time going to the World Series this fall. For all the hitting the Yankees may have, and all the experience the defending champion Red Sox have gained, I see the Tigers winning it all this season. So if you want to pick a team close to home to root for this October, you may very well have to pick the Mets. Even if we do not get another Red Sox-Yankees October match-up, you can be sure that at least one of these teams will make the postseason. You can also be sure that come next school year the Red Sox Yankees feud at Somers High will be as heated as ever, no matter the records of the teams.

Jessica Estansilau making the play.

Photo by Andy Yau

The Spartan Advocate Staff woud like to thank the Class of 2007 for their conrtibution to the Newspaper. We appreciate their commitment to keeping the newspaper a part of the Somers community.


The Spartan Advocate • June 2008


Renaissance Somers High School | Student Recognition Program

The mission of Renaissance at Somers High School is to acknowledge the educational achievements and outstanding contributions of students and staff members through a process of reinforcement, recognition, and reward. Renaissance improves performance, promotion, and partner-

ships with the community, while celebrating the academic achievement of all students at Somers High School. Introduction Somers High School’s Renaissance program rewards students who show improvement in a va-

riety of school related activities. Renaissance has developed many ways to recognize students who have accomplished specific goals and helped other students become actively interested in Somers High School. We want to show our students that the staff always cares about them and will do their best to recognize each student’s

contributions. “If you can believe it, you can achieve it!”

This group is comprised of teachers and students that looks at all aspects of life at Somers High School and makes suggestions and recommendations to the

principal. The five committees formed thus far are: Students of the Month, Student Birthdays, Staff Birthdays, Academic Recognition Cards, and Improved Student Performance.

Principal’s Advisory Group

Student / Staff Recognition Programs Student of the Month

Student Birthdays

Academic Award Cards

Most Improved Student

Staff Birthdays

Teachers and staff will be asked to nominate a student that has shown outstanding effort. A selection committee composed of staff members will receive the nominations and select one student from each grade level as “Student of the Month.” These students will receive a gift card for their recognition.

Each morning student birthdays are announced. Each birthday student is given a specially decorated pencil, a happy birthday note, and a coupon for a free ice cream in the cafeteria.

These cards are given to students who have shown an excellence in academics and behavior for each marking period. The cards will allow students to get discounts at school, local merchants, and national chain outlets.

As the name implies, we will be recognizing those students who show overall improvement in academic grades from one marking period to the next. We will also be recognizing students who demonstrate behavioral growth within the high school setting.

Each staff member is recognized on his / her birthday. A birthday balloon and gift card will be given to the staff member in order for them to be honored on this special day.

A message from the Principal

Finance and/or Other Finance

Renaissance relies on the support of local merchants, national companies, and parents. Please contact Somers High School if you are interested in supporting or contributing to our efforts. We have also attached a donation card which can be used to which





can be sent to us along with your donation of support. Our newsletters and mailings will proudly display the names of all those who help make our program a success.

Somers High School began the Renaissance Program in September of 2007. Renaissance is a national movement that is currently implemented in 4,000 high schools in the United States. The basic tenant of the renaissance program is “What you respect, recognize, and reward gets accomplished.” Somers High School is

truly recognizing and rewarding the positive accomplishments of our students and staff. Renaissance provides an excellent opportunity for the adult community to support students and staff in their pursuit of academic and social achievements. Renaissance works for both the school and business community. The most significant accom-

plishment a business can provide for a school is the knowledge that their commitment does make a difference to the lives of high school students. I hope you will consider joining our team to help students continue to be the best they can be! Gary Cotzin Principal


The Spartan Advocate would like to thank the PTSA for spondsering an issue for the 08/09 school year. Your continued support is appreciated - Thank you

PTSA Contributions 2007-2008

- PTSA Scholarships ($500 each) awarded to: Eric Chartier, Louis Piscotanno, Sarah Garlick, Andy Yau - Granted $250 to freshman class for improvements they want to make to the taco stand for the Four Town Fair. - Granted $500 to SHS to establish a hardship fund to assist students in being able to participate in school field trips who could not normally afford it. - Organized the college forum that took place on June 3. SHS graduates of 2007 came back and spoke to seniors and juniors about their first year experiences at school or in the service. - Donated $1,000 to SHS for purchase of non-budgeted items – (still deciding on recycle bins for classrooms, supplies for new alternate education program or new chairs for Perrault Center.) - Provided access to PTSA agendas and minutes on SomersNow website to assist in communication between the high school, students and parents. - Provided refreshments for the Alcohol Forum that was held in May. - Conducted a new member drive in January, 2008. All members were put in a hat and two people, one staff and one parent were presented with gift cards. Staff – Edna Smith and Parent – Joy Squillace. Thank you to all the 2007-2008 PTSA members for your help this year. We look forward to working with you, and hopefully others, in 2008-2009. - PTSA provided the staff at SHS during Staff Appreciation week in May by providing a luncheon as well as other “treats” throughout the week. - Sponsored the Safe Grad trip to Boston for the graduating class of 2008.

A newspaper that delivers a voice for the students of Somers High School

Spartan Advocate June 2008  

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Spartan Advocate June 2008  

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