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The Vol. XXXVII, Number 4 February 2010

Student voice of the Westhill community “The test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.”

Responding to crisis

In the face of tragedy, Westhill comes together

4 10 14 21 See pages 36-38

A Midsummer Night’s Dream director fired

Should curving be standardized school-wide?

Interview with Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal

Supplement: Secrets of the Hill unveiled



Westword 2009-2010 Staff The

Editor-in-Chief Shivali Khetan Associate Editor Alexandra Lewis Print Managing Editors Stacey Rupolo, Jackie Schechter, Erin Stanton Online Managing Editor Jaime Manela Ombudsman Jake Sabbah Photo Manager Lizzie Hart Copy Managers Sam Lagasse, Kara Lewis Photo Editors Greg Cinque, Alana Kasindorf,  Elissa Miolene News Page Editors Nikolai Anerud, Annie Cohen, Skyler Ross Feature Page Editors Claire Mahoney, Elizabeth Quartararo Supplement Page Editors Rebecca Savransky, Katie Zabronsky Viewpoint Page Editors Keben Perez, Anna Schlessinger Scatterbrain Page Editors Ross Alter, Mallory Hart Limelight Page Editors Dan O’Brien, Daniela Rumlova Sports Page Editors Matt Frederick, Zac Krowitz, Lainey Sidell Express Page Editors Marissa Friedman, Danny Tehrani Special Section Editors Alex Glenges, Anjali Khetan Las Noticias Editors Andrea Lopez, Alba Vega-Ruano Alternate Page Editor Anika Advani Online Content Editors Stuart Farber, Caitlin O’Brien Online Photo Editor Kim Blasnik Online Technical Manager Richard Zheng Print Technical Manager Ronak Mehta

Copy Editors Jon Arditti, Jon Berman, Josh Friedman, Joanna Koczuk, David Markowitz, Joely Mass, Samantha McNichols, Christina Sanon Verification Managers Brian Barr, Sam Colon Head Pollster Michael Conetta Pollsters Kevin Ferri, Sara Mandel, Christiana Provenzano, Naomi Sabbah, Brianna Skorvanek, Marissa Skorvanek, Jackie Tofano News Reporters Hayley Siegel, Terrence Smith Sports Reporters Peter Dawson, Steph Domond, Jack Grafstein, Andrew Krowitz, Kaloy Miller Staff Reporters Katie Beauleau, Spencer Evans, Rachna Mehta, Yazmin Pacheco, Brian Pollack, Lauren Pollack Head Illustrator Laura Eber Illustrators Jackie Avellar, Blair Haden, Josh Thomas Photographers Amanda Barkin, Mike Bodall, Sarah Ehrlich, Zach Eisen, Stephen Emerick, Kelly Farrell, Ashley Guy, Peter Markham, Gerald Morgan, Andrew Newman, Jennifer Osher, Vanessa Reyes,  Samantha Rushovich, Augusta Sagnelli, Lizzie Van Name Online Videographer/Photographer Will Hart Distribution Managers Katie Mandel, Martha Masiarz Business Managers Jon Arons, Elianne Estevez Professional Consultant Dave Ruden Las Noticias Adviser Ms. Mendez Co-Advisers Mr. von Wahlde, Mr. Wooley

Westhill High School 125 Roxbury Road Stamford, CT 06902 (203) 977-4894

Commendable community response to Haiti earthquake

On Tuesday, January 12, Haiti was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, leaving the already fragile nation devastated. The earthquake struck the most densely populated area of the country and left three million victims behind. Many nations were quick to come to the rescue, with the United Sates and Israel being among the first to respond. Similarly, Westhill saw an almost immediate reaction in lending aid to the Haitian population abroad. Dean of Students Ms. Obas has witnessed first hand the effects the earthquake has had on Westhill students and staff. Ms. Obas has relatives in Haiti, and when asked how she was first affected by the disaster, she said, “Aside from the fact that I couldn’t eat or sleep properly for week, I have been left feeling like I did after 9/11. I have such a great feeling of fear and just an unsettiling feeling.” She currently has four cousins in Haiti, all of whom are unharmed and living under one roof. Ms. Obas said that she has worked with many students who were dealing with the crisis, and that all of them came together during the week after the quake. She praised the efforts Westhill students made for the Haitian relief, saying, “The school support was positive. It didn’t surprise me because at Westhill, when there’s a crisis, we all come togther. When it comes down to it, we put our heads and we put our hands together, which is what makes Westhill so great.” At the time of this interview on February 5, Ms. Obas was registering junior and senior Janahel and Oliver Gabriel, two students who had just moved to Stamford from Haiti. More on their story can be found in the Special Section on page 36. According to English teacher Mr. Celcis, Stamford has the highest Hatian population of any city in Connecticut. Ms. Obas said, “The first week after the earthquake happened there were a lot of kids from Haiti who were unaware of the status of many of their family members. The first two days were really difficult. We worked a lot with the guidance counselors, who were an amazing help.” Guidance Department head Ms. Deluca said, “We went into crisis mode. We notifed all the teachers

of what was happening. We set up rooms for kids to come to and took turns supervising the rooms and running activities to allow kids to alleviate some of their feelings. We found emergency numbers for kids to call to see where their relatives were and got faxes from Haiti with that information. We jumped into it right away and found the resources and used them immediately.” Many of the efforts made at the school to help the people of Haiti have been inspired by the large Haitian population at Westhill. As a school, we have made various ef-


forts to reach out to the earthquake victims. Organizations at Westhill, including the Haitian Club, Young Men’s Council, National Honor Society (NHS), Interact, buildOn, Student Government and the French Club, have been fundraising and lending helping hands wherever possible. The winter formal on February 5 is being organized by the freshman and sophomore classes, who plan to donate part of their proceeds to the Red Cross for Haiti relief, according to freshman class advisor Ms. Tobin. When asked about how he thought clubs and organizations were responding to the crisis in Haiti, senior Yves Victorin, who is Haitian, said, “I feel like Westhill and multiple clubs and organizations at Westhill have tried their best to help support the country of Haiti. It is truly a great gesture.” Interact advisor Ms. Berkeley spoke about the readiness of Interact members to become active with the Westhill Haiti relief efforts when necessary. “Everybody is ready, willing, and waiting [to help out], but we didn’t want to step on toes,” she said. Interact is planning to help out the Young Men’s Council and the Haitian Club, as Berkeley believes they will know how to handle the situation best. Interact does not want to create any competition by starting its own fundraiser. Plans to cooperate with any pre-existing relief efforts are already taking place

at Westhill. NHS has taken an initiative to support the Haiti relief as well. Members collected and gave monetary donations throughout the week of January 27 to February 2. When the donations that the students brought in reached a total of $100, both English teacher Ms. Wheeler, advisor of NHS, and another sponsor each matched the amount. Mr. Celcis has become extremely involved in Haiti disaster relief. The tragedy hits very close to home for Celcis, as he lost a cousin to the quake and has relatives living in Haiti. Celcis began collecting money in a donation box that he placed in his classroom. Donation boxes were also placed in English teacher Mr. Wooley’s room, English teacher Ms. Walden’s room, and in the Career Center the day after the earthquake hit. He has been able to raise over $500 just from these boxes. But his efforts don’t stop there. Mr. Celcis, adviser to the Young Men’s Council, lends his and the club’s help to the Haitian Club by providing a place to meet and generally contributing to the clubs. He and Mr. Wooley also organized and dedicated an “Enter the Cypher” event to collecting money for the Haiti relief fund. They were able to raise $100 from this event on January 27. What we must understand as a Westhill community is that support cannot end with simply planning and donating money. The Westword commends the student population and student organizations for their help in its response to the Haitian crisis in the previous weeks, but this effort must continue as long as necessary. As Mr. Celcis said, “A school is a place where the community should go to after a tragedy. Students should feel connected and invested in the school enough to come here for comfort. The school should be the hub of the community, offering direction, leadership, and support.” The Westword asks all students to offer both emotional and physical aid to all those who have been affected by this natural disaster and to keep up the incredible effort that has been exhibited over the past few weeks.

Front cover photo by Someone. Back cover photo by Augusta Sagnelli

Pearl Harbor forgotten Dear Editor, On December 7, 1941, The United States fell victim to one of the most tragic catastrophes of human history - Pearl Harbor. On this day, our nation lost over 2,000 soldiers and 57 civilians. It is known as “a day that will live in infamy.” Yet on December 7, 2009, I went through a six-hour school day without hearing a word mentioned about Pearl Harbor. For some reason, people seem to think that the attack on Pearl Harbor was minor compared to other tragedies such as 9/11. However, not only did the attack kill over 2,000 of our troops, it sent a shockwave which resonated throughout the century and prompted our entry into World War II. Would it really be so hard to make an announcemen honoring the fallen victims of this tragedy when we are bombarded with so many other more trivial announce-

Letters to the Editor

ments throughout the school day? I can’t speak for everyone but my and my friends’ history teachers did not say anything about Pearl Harbor on its anniversary. I understand that teachers must adhere to a strict curriculum, but I am sure that it would not be a problem to take ten minutes to educate students about the importance of Pearl Harbor. At the very least, it should have been mentioned. It is unfortunate that this day has been forgotten by today’s youth. If we contunue to ignore the importance of the attack of Pearl Harbor, this unfortunate piece of history will be sure to repeat itself with a vengence as payback for our ignorant forgetfulness. Sincerely, Kevin Ferri ’10

Problematic parking Dear Editor, On Tuesday, February 2, walking to my car after a tiring day of class and rehersals, I was greeted

with an obnoxiously pink notice tucked under one of my windshield wipers. It read, in a nutshell, that my car was “illegally parked” and that further violation would cause it to be towed. I looked around the senior lot and noticed that these papers were strewn across the ground and that some cars even had large orange sickers placed on their windows. So what’s my gripe? For one, the school is actually not allowed to tow cars off the property since it is public, city property. Second, who’s complaining to the extent that administration feels the need to spend time and energy on such a task? Administration definitely gave off the idea that they didn’t care much about who was parking in the lot earlier in the year, when I changed cars. I went to the office, requesting to change my information in whatever file they had. The response I received was “don’t even bother with it, we’ll know it’s you.” So you can imagine my sur-

Table of Contents Editorial..................................................................2-3 News...................................................................4-9 Viewpoint..............................................................10-13 F e at u r e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4 - 1 7 Las Noticias.......................................................................................................................18-19 S u p p l e m en t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1 - 2 8 Limelight..............................................................................29-32 Express..............................................................................34-35 Special...........................................................36-38 S c at t e r b r a i n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 9 - 4 1 Sports.........................................................................42-47

December Issue Corrections The Westword apologizes for the following errors: News (page 8): The photos for the news briefs were credited to Lizzie Hart but were actually taken by Kelly Farrell.

News (page 9): In the article regarding the POD mock AP English exam, English teacher Mrs. Wheeler was misrepresented in a quote saying that she agreed it was unfair to pull students out of class for this test. Her actual sentiments are that it was out of her control whether students were pulled out

of class or not for the exam since it was POD policy. Supplement (page 26): In the worst songs of 2009, the number five song was titled “Empire State” by Jay-Z when it should have been titled “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys.

The Westword will be guided in the publication of material by a concern for truth, for human decency, and for human benefit. It is published during the school year by the Journalism and Communications students at Westhill High School, along with the Late Night Staff. Letters to the Editor, advertising requests, comments, criticism, or suggestions are always welcome. The views expressed in Viewpoint may not necessarily represent the opinions of The Westword. Editorial Board consists of Annie Cohen, Stuart Farber, Shivali Khetan, Alexandra Lewis, Jaime Manela, Keben Perez, Skyler Ross, Stacey Rupolo, Erin Stanton, Jake Sabbah, Jackie Schechter, Alba Vega-Ruano, and Katie Zabronsky.

prise when I found out this week that they did not know it was, in fact, me. I choose not to keep my purple and gold parking tag in my car because my rearview mirror is awkwardly situated in regard to my windshield, so the tag does not fit. But regardless of this fact, I have been parking in the same spot since the beginning of the school year. If I find an orange sticker one day after school, I will most certainly request a can of WD-40 and a scraper from the school to remove it. After all, with the small size of my windows, this sticker actually becomes an obstruction to my driving. What bothers me the most, though, is that apparently there is nothing else that the school sees as more fit to spend their time on. Here’s an idea­—put the orange stickers on anyone that throws garbage on the floor of the bathroom. Sincerely, Vicki Rybl ’10

Editorial February 2010


Please send your opinions to The Westword. Place letters in Shivali Khetan’s mailbox in room 224 or e-mail them to westwordwhs@


Apparently, someone in the Art Department is trying to save on the expenses of keeping a pet. What better way to banish loneliness than with a feline or canine wall clock? (The Westword would love one for its birthday as well.)


N ews The show must go on

Midsummer continues despite director firing Alex Lewis Associate Editor On Thursday, February 4, Stamford Public School employee of four years, Andy Knapp, was fired from his position as director of the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. According to Superintendent of Stamford Public Schools Dr. Starr, Mr. Knapp is no longer allowed to direct the production nor is he allowed on the Westhill campus, a direct response to an email sent out by Mr. Knapp. The email and firing were the latest developments in a back and forth between the Board of Education (BOE), the school, Mr. Knapp, and involved parties. The events surrounding Mr. Knapp’s firing can be traced back to December, when he served as director, producer, and set designer of the All-School Musical Fiddler on the Roof. While acting as director on the show, Mr. Knapp allegedly made comments to one student concerning another student that were interpreted as inappropriate. According to Principal Ms. Figluizzi, after being made aware of the alleged incident, the decision to fire Andy was made from the central office at the BOE on January

student involved.” Ms. Figluizzi also mentioned that at that point, the school did not plan on using Mr. Knapp for any other productions. However, the mother of the student involved, whose name is being withheld, disagreed with the rehiring of Mr. Knapp. She said, “[My daughter] should be able to participate in drama in a comfortable setting. The school system should make sure that the school is a safe place.” On February 3, according to an email sent out by Mr. Knapp to students involved in drama productions, their parents, administrators, and BOE officials, the Superintendent informed Mr. Knapp that following the conclusion of Midsummer, Mr. Knapp would not be allowed to work on another Stamford Public School production. In the email, Mr. Knapp admitted to making comments, not citing specifics, and stated that although he had apologized to the student, he did not feel the apology was deserved. Mr. Knapp also stated that he felt his firing was unjustified, but that he would finish Midsummer to preserve his integrity as a director. On February 4, Mr. Knapp sent an email to a group of students and parents announcing that

Dr. Starr said, “I agree one hundred percent that this is unfair. When I was originally made aware of the situation, it did not have to be this way. I made accommodations for Midsummer to continue, but based on the email, I am unable to do so going forward.” 15. At this point, Mr. Knapp was no longer working on Fiddler, and was in the middle of the A Midsummer Night’s Dream production. According to Ms. Figluizzi, the BOE came to the realization that the production of Midsummer was too far along to find a replacement, so Mr. Knapp was then rehired on January 18 through Dr. Starr to finish out the show. Ms. Figluizzi said, “I think we looked at what was going to benefit the most students, and found ways to be protective of the

he had been fired, removed from the production of Midsummer, and would no longer be allowed on the campus of any Stamford Public School. Following this announcement, Dr. Starr met with the students involved with Midsummer before their afternoon rehearsal. Along with Ms. Figluizzi, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Hamilton, and Ninth Grade Administrator Ms. Arase, Dr. Starr explained the reasons behind Mr. Knapp’s firing. Dr. Starr said, “I agree one

Alana Kasindorf / Photo Editor Junior Sam Wise rehearses for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which has undergone many changes over the past few weeks. The play will continue under the helm of Mr. Vollano, who is the director of the Spring Musical. hundred percent that this is unfair. When I was originally made aware of the situation, it did not have to be this way. I made accommodations for Midsummer to continue, but based on the email, I am unable to do so going forward.” He continued to say, “I am left with no choice but to suspend interaction by Mr. Knapp with anyone in the Stamford Public Schools immediately. While it may be tough, my responsibility is to ensure we protect the safety and well-being of each and every student in this school system.” Dr. Starr’s comments were not met well by many of the students in the room, some of whom began arguing with Starr and crying. The same evening, Dr. Starr held a meeting in the small auditorium for parents who wished to better understand the situation. Approximately 100 adults and students attended the event. The atmosphere in the room was tense as Dr. Starr proceeded to explain the situations surrounding Mr. Knapp’s removal. Dr. Starr said, “Directives were given to Mr. Knapp by Dr. Hamilton, and follows of

these directives could have ended the situation. Either he misunderstood or didn’t follow through with these directives, because this didn’t happen the way we wanted it to happen.” He continued, “We could have immediately removed Mr. Knapp, but we decided to let the production go forward and directives were put in place, so all seemed well and good.” Dr. Starr said, “There is one victim. The victim is a student. And it is my responsibility when someone is victimized to ensure that all steps are taken to minimize the possibility that this ever happens again.” When Dr. Starr opened the forum up to questions from the parents, many parents aggressively questioned Starr’s decision. At one point, when Dr. Starr made the claim that he wanted to protect the drama program, one parent argued, “Andy Knapp was the drama program!” followed by a round of applause. Midway through the meeting, one parent asked if the original situation where Mr. Knapp made the comments could be further

explained, as he didn’t understand how Mr. Knapp had “harmed” the children. Immediately following the question, the father of the student involved stood up, and began loudly defending his daughter. After the father was escorted out by Ms. Figluizzi, the mother of the student stood up, and gave a speech while crying. She said, “If this was your daughter who was victimized, you would not be supporting [Andy Knapp].” The meeting was cut short, as Dr. Starr had to attend a budget meeting. However, Dr. Starr agreed to requests by the parents’ to schedule a longer meeting concerning the subject, tentatively to be held the week after February recess. Performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will still be held on Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6. The shows will be directed by Art Department Head Mr. Vollano. Mr. Knapp will not be allowed to attend any of the performances, despite requests by the students involved. Mr. Knapp did not respond to requests to comment.

5 Clarifying the costume controversy News

February 2010

Shivali Khetan Editor-in-Chief

There has been an undercurrent of discussion about race relations at Westhill sparked by three students’ Halloween costumes. The response to their costumes and difference in interpretation has created an ethical dillema as well as put into question student awareness of historical issues, creating tension in the Westhill community. In order to clarify the issue to the Westhill community, The Westword asked Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joshua Starr, English teacher Mr. Celcis, and Principal Ms. Figluizzi about their initial reaction, their biggest concerns, and what the progress has been since the incident. What follows is a synopsis of those responses contextualized in related events. On Friday, October 30, 2009, these students dressed up as three different Westhill security guards for Halloween. The students bor-

rowed clothing from each security guard they posed as and even replicated their hairstyles and mannerisms. But two of the white students also applied brown paint to their faces and arms to further impersonate their corresponding security guard. This last step is the reason why the costumes have still been the center of several discussions more than three months later. While the students did not have malicious intentions, Mr. Celcis, along with others, found the paint to be offensive. “I was shocked and offended. I was also very disappointed that they were allowed to wear the costumes in school,” said Mr. Celcis. On that day, Principal Ms. Figluizzi did not have the students remove their costumes with the contention that the students meant no harm. “My initial reaction was that I was happy to see how thrilled the girls were to be standing next to the security personnel that they were posing as,” said Ms. Figluizzi.

That same day, Mr. Celcis filed a complaint at the Stamford Government Center with Deputy Superintendent of Schools Dr. Winifred Hamilton. “I didn’t see the actual costumes until recently. I fully understand Ms.Figluizzi’s response, given the ambiguous nature of them. I also understand Mr. Celcis’s reaction, as any portrayal of an African-American by a Caucasian can be considered offensive, regardless of the intent,” said Dr. Starr. The Advocate has become a forum for articles, editorials, and letters to the editor regarding this issue over the last few months. The amount of coverage this issue has received allowed the discussion to escalate. The first article published on December 22, “Westhill teacher discouraged by response to student blackface,” brought the issue into the larger public. However, it was the editorial, published on December 24, “Educators who let

us down,” that triggered a more pointed discussion. Since then several letters to the editor and articles were written explaining the different responses. and defending both Ms. Figluizzi and Mr. Celcis. It was this disparity between the interpretations of the costumes that has been central to the discussion since the incident. “It’s important that people realize the difference between impact and intent. Just because someone found offense at something doesn’t mean the offender meant it that way. Both perspectives have validity and need to be discussed in a productive way. Ultimately, Westhill and the Stamford community need to learn from this experience and move forward,” said Dr. Starr. “There are still many things that we can learn from this, but that involves the admission that something inappropriate happened, that it involved blackface, and stop trying to rationalize and explain it away. I am concerned about the

messages that are being sent to our students by the way things are being handled. I am especially worried about the lack of awareness, among many of our students, about our nation’s past,” said Mr. Celcis. Ms. Figluizzi intends to address the event in history during the month of February as well as look for programs that make the Westhill community more sensitive to the differences that we have in the community. “The situation has become more than it should have been, because it was not handled in a responsible, respectful, and appropriate manner. I waited patiently for proper action to be taken, and it was not. Therefore, I had to do the right thing, as uncomfortable and difficult as it has been for me,” said Mr. Celcis. “I believe that Ms. Figluizzi is addressing the situation appropriately. I’m encouraged by the thoughtful steps that are currently being taken,” said Dr. Starr.

prised by the extent of the crime. “It is upsetting that someone would feel the need to steal so much from this store that is trying to help the Westhill community, especially when [the student] could buy plenty of clothing from the shop for only a few dollars,” she said. This is not the first time, however, that a PTO-run shop has been broken into. Earlier this year and multiple times last year, the PTOrun concession stand was broken into, and soon after Off the Rack opened last year, it was broken into, as well. Although this is the second time Off the Rack has been broken into, the PTO and Westhill are determined to continue to promote the store because of all it does to benefit the Westhill community. All of the proceeds from Off the Rack are given to Principal Ms. Figluizzi, who donates the money to different organizations. The funds are focused mostly on Westhill’s lunch program to assist students who cannot afford to buy their own lunches. Head Custodian Carlo Buccino replaced the destroyed lock on the store and created a new key that is in the possession of only very few people. Ms. Figluizzi and se-

Erin Stanton / Managing Editor Signs hang outside the “Off the Rack” consignment shop to discourage kids from stealing merchandise in light of a recent break-in. curity are currently in the process Ms. Figluizzi is not the only “While I am disappointed that of figuring out who broke into the one disappointed in the students such a good shop was broken into, consignment shop. However, Ms. for breaking into Off the Rack. I’m not surprised because stealing Figluizzi has little hope that she ”It’s a shame that when Wes- is pretty big problem at Westhill,” will catch those who broke into thill students are given such a nice said senior John Wilson. the shop. “I am frustrated with the opportunity, they abuse it by doing Although the break-in has crelack of operative security cameras such an awful thing,” said senior ated many problems for the PTO in the building,” she said. She also Danielle Bachar. “I think this shop and the administration, Ms. Figluexpressed her disappointment in was an amazing idea, and I hate izzi and the PTO are optimistic the Westhill student body stating, that anyone would take it for grant- that Off the Rack will be up and “It is shocking that anyone would ed or do anything to ruin it.” Upon running again soon with plenty of break into anything at Westhill, es- learning of the incident, Bachar new merchandise and better secupecailly a space that serves such a plans to donate some of her gen- rity in order to keep serving the special need.” tly used clothing to Off the Rack. Westhill community.

“Off the Rack” clothing store robbed MARISSA FRIEDMAN Express Editor

On Tuesday, January 12, volunteers found that the Westhill consignment shop, Off the Rack, had been broken into. Off the Rack, started by the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) last year, sells men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. The items are in new or gently used condition, with each one priced at $1. The shop is open every Tuesday during all three lunch waves and often has a moderate flow of students browsing the collection of apparel donated by the Stamford community and stores in the area. According to Lisa Hilsenrath, president of the PTO, when volunteers from the PTO arrived at the shop on Tuesday a few minutes before first lunch wave, they were horrified to find that the lock had been ripped off the door. Upon entering the shop, the volunteers found that everything was a mess. According to Mrs. Hilsenrath, no money had been left in the shop and thus was not stolen, but all girls’ jeans, tops, and sweaters in sizes small and extra-small were missing. Mrs. Hilsenrath was very sur-



February 2010

Good Month Bad Month A Column by Alex Glenges and Katie Beauleau

Good Month for...

Pirates of the Caribbean fans, who recently were told that the fourth movie of the Pirates of the Caribbean series will be filmed in Hawaii this summer. The newest film will be called Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and released in the summer of 2011. It will start filming in Kauai and Oahu beginning this summer. Ahoy maties!

Elvis, who the Smithsonian Institute is showcasing in their exhibits in Washington and Los Angeles to celebrate his 75th birthday. The original pieces from the 1992 Elvis stamp design competition can be viewed in the exhibit as well as the 1993 Elvis stamp that became the most popular U.S. stamp in history. Other pieces include a golden bust of Elvis portrayed as Julius Caesar and the only portrait the king of rock and roll ever posed for.

Radiohead, an English alternative rock band who held a benefit concert at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles to raise money for those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. The concert was held on Sunday, January 24, with tickets priced as high as $4,000 and as low as $475. The band raised over $500,000 for the Haitian relief effort. The proceeds went to Oxfam International, an organization that helps developing countries.

Bad Month for...

Toyota, the world’s largest car manufacturer, which has voluntarily recalled and stopped the production of five of its most popular car models; the Highlander, Corolla, Venza, Matrix and the Pontiac Vibe. The reason this is happening is because the accelerator pedal was sticking to the floor sending the car into an uncontrollable speed. This has contributed to 2,000 incidents, including 275 crashes and 18 deaths. Props to Toyota for doing the right thing.

Samantha Rushovich / Photographer Members of the Debate Team practice after school. These practices paid off as the team fared well at the at Columbia Invitational, held from January 22 to January 24. Jets Fans, although their 2009-10 football season started off great. Since the Jets had their first playoff win since 2004 this year, it seemed to be a promising year for die-hard Jets fans. But like every good thing, the winning season came to an end when the Jets lost to the Colts in the AFC Championship on January 17. It must have been too good to be true. Better luck next year, Jets.

John Edwards, who has admitted to an affair with his formerassistant, Rielle Hunter. Edwards also admitted to fathering a child with her as details of their secret relationship emerged from a book written by his former aide, Andrew Young. Young now claims to have a sex-tape of Edwards and a pregnant Hunter. Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, who once faithfully stood by him after learning of the affair, has finally had enough, and now they are separated. Alana Kasindorf / Photo Editor

Debate team competes at Columbia Invitational Hayley Siegel News Reporter

On the weekend of Friday, January 22, 15 members of the Debate Team travelled to Columbia University in New York City for a debate competition called the Columbia Invitational. The competition took place in multiple buildings on the Columbia campus. Five Westhill students participated in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate and five teams of two participated in the Public Forum. “This is one of a handful of national competitions that the Westhill debate team participates [in] in addition to our Connecticut Debate Association schedule. The beautiful campus gives our students an opportunity to take in the energy and aura of an elite college experience,” said Debate Team advisor Mr. Hoffman. The Lincoln-Douglas debate topic was on whether economic sanctions should be used in foreign policy, and the Public Forum topic

was if President Obama’s plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan was in the United States’ best interest. “[The Columbia Invitational] was more serious than previous debates we’ve attended in Connecticut,” said junior David Katz.

quarterfinals, and received second place speaker in the entire novice division of the debate. This is the first time in three years that a Westhill debater went to the quarterfinals. “I would like to say overall it was a very successful tournament

“This was a great weekend. I am very happy to have many sophomores on the team gaining national competition experience. This will allow our team to continue to grow and compete at a very high level for years to come,” said Mr. Hoffman. Westhill was one of many schools that attended the Columbia Invitational. Other schools that came were Regis, Byram Hills, Scarsdale, Wippany Park, Berkley, and Hunter. All of Westhill’s teams earned at least two wins. Sophomore Skyler Ross won four out of five rounds, went to the tournament’s

for us,” said senior co-captain John Grosso. “This was a great weekend. I am very happy to have many sophomores on the team gaining national competition experience. This will allow our team to continue to grow and compete at a very high level for years to come,” said Mr. Hoffman.


February 2009

Will it be a snow day?


An in-depth look into school cancellation policy SCOUTT JONES Staff Writer Although students would love for there to be a snow day every time a single snowflake falls, there are certain requirements that must be met before schools can declare a snow day. Ultimately the final decision belongs to both the Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joshua Starr, and the bus companies. Although road conditions play a big role in determining whether or not school is called off, there are other factors considered when making the decision.

“Many Westhill students are inexperienced drivers, and they can be a danger to themselves and others [in bad weather],” said sophomore Alex Siebert.

According to the Stamford Public Schools Transportation Office, when five inches of snow accumulate, the office begins to watch and start to make decisions about whether or not there may be a snow day. After six to eight inches accumulates a snow day must be called for safety reasons. However, if only a few inches accumulate but the roads are dangerous due to rain, ice, or other conditions, school will be called off. There may also be many days where school is called off due to an extremely cold temperature. If outside temperatures are zero or below, school will be called off.

There is no specific formula that makes a snow day. It all comes down to whether it is safe for buses, students, and parents to be on the road at the beginning of the day and throughout the day when students would normally be heading home. It is no secret that students love snow days, but they do interfere with lesson plans and the daily procedure in a classroom. Snow days can sometimes be frustrating for teachers whose projects, tests, quizzes, or general lesson plans have to be delayed because of a snow day. However, teachers do enjoy a day off every now and then. “I’m not going to lie. I don’t sit at home on snow days wishing I was at school. Days off can interfere with lesson plans, but as long as there are not a lot of snow days in a row, it does not affect my classroom too much. I think that if the roads are dangerous school should be called off. I live far away and have a long drive, and safety should be number one,” said English teacher Mrs. O’Neill. On January 28, several inches of snow accumulated, yet school was not closed. “Many Westhill students are inexperienced drivers, and they can be a danger to themselves and others [in bad weather],” said sophomore Alex Siebert. If Westhill has over six snow days, days will be added onto the academic year. Overall, it seems that snow days are like anything else and should be used appropriately. No one wants to spend extra days in school over the summer if it is not necessary, but school should not be held if it puts people in danger.

Above: Stacey Rupolo / Managing Editor. Below: Samantha Rushovich / Photographer Students had a difficult time getting to school in the snow, which covered the Westhill parking lot. Stamford Public Schools were still in session as snow fell outside on Thursday, January 28.

What is your opinion on keeping school open despite severe weather? “It’s kind of dangerous because the kids [that drive to school] are still inexperienced drivers.” —Kathleen Abouzeide ’12

“Of course no one wants to go to school. But I had a lot of friends tell me that they skid in their car, and even though nothing bad happened, it’s definitly a risk.” ­—Vincent Hope ’10



February 2009


The Interact club currently is beginning a new project called “Wake Up Westhill.” The new program involves fixing up hallways and classrooms, removing graffiti off walls and desks, as well as cleaning up bulletin boards. According to Interact advisor, history teacher Ms. Berkley, Interact’s goal with this program is to increase student involvement at school. “We live in a community where we are not involved. Interact’s goal is to create an environment where everyone wants to be, as well as create student involvement at school,” said Ms. Berkley. Many other clubs and sports, including the football team, National Honors Society (NHS) and all the student governments might join Interact in its mission to make Westhill a more desirable and better place to be, according to Ms. Berkley. “Wake Up Westhill” started February 1, and will continue until April. All students are welcome to join and get involved. “Wake Up Westhill” meets Mondays and Wednesdays after school in room 407.

NHS is now collecting school supplies for the School Supply Bank in room 220. The Supply Bank opened for a short time in September and is now reopening for the second semester. Binders, notebooks, loose leaf paper, pens, pencils, and more are collected through donations from students and teachers. “[The supply bank is open] for any student who needs supplies and for any reason cannot afford it. No questions are asked, you can come in and take what you need,” said English teacher Ms. Wheeler, the NHS advisor. The supply bank will be open for approximately one week from 7:00 to 7:20 a.m. and from 2:05 to 2:20 p.m. Students can also visit Ms. Wheeler to obtain supplies. Supplies or cash donations are welcome all year round and can be delivered to Ms. Wheeler at any time in room 220.

Erin Stanton / Managing Editor Sophomore Billy Silk interrogates freshman Natalie Carroll during Mock Trial practice. The Mock Trial team will be traveling to Western Connecticut State University on February 27 for its first competition.

Court almost in session for Mock Trial team JAIME MANELA Online Managing Editor

The AgriScience Program is running a Valentines Day flower sale. The sale will occur on February 11 and 12 in the cafeteria, the Finch lobby, and the Ag-science building. Roses and mixed bouquts of flowers will be for sale. Prices will range from $4 to $25. According to Agriscience program coordinator Mr. Lisy, special arrangements can be made upon request but must be made at least one day in advance and they may cost more based on the arrangement. Mrs. Lisy and her floral art class will be making the bouquets. “The procedes go to senior scholarships for students in the Ag-science program pursuing a college degree in an agricultural field,” said Mr. Lisy. Briefs Compiled by Annie Cohen and Nikolai Anerud Photos by Greg Cinque and Stacey Rupolo / Photo Editor and Managing Editor

Every Thursday after school, 14 students meet in room 417 to discuss the court case of Jessie Chandler, a young female who has been accused of stealing $2,700 and was charged with aggravated robbery. The students are by no means involved in any sort of legal trouble, but rather, are examining a fake case for the Mock Trial team’s upcoming competition. The team, which usually competes annually at a tournament at Yale University, has opted for something different in its place this year. On February 27, the Mock Trial team will be traveling to Western Connecticut State University for its winter competition.

“The tournament at WestConn is a first year competition, it’s brand new and we wanted a new experience,” said senior co-captain Martha Masiarz. “A new competition always brings new challenges, and that will make our team stronger.” This is not the only new challenge for the team. Mock Trial has had to spend a large part of its agenda rebuilding the team, as many of its key members last year were seniors who have now graduated. “It was hard to start up again this year from having such a strong group of lawyers and witnesses last year,” said senior co-captain Ellie Brain. Brain is not worried though, as she is enthused about the fact that the team has been, to her surprise, inundated with a large number of

new and talented members. “We got really lucky,” she said. “We’re expecting great things, especially from [sophomores] Billy Silk and Sarah Lepis.” Advisor and history teacher Ms. Loesch agreed. “There are a lot of new people and lawyers [this year]. This is a year of learning and building. [Even though] there are a lot of freshmen and sophomores, you never know; a young team could surprise you,” she said. Aside from this hurdle, the Mock Trial team is, according to Mrs. Loesch, “status quo.” “Despite this, whether on prosecution or defense, we have all been working hard after school and at home to perfect our case,” said sophomore lawyer Austin Wentworth. “We are looking forward to having fun while subsequently attempting at a win.”


February 2010


POD session overlap benefits students KATIE COSTELLO Staff Writer On Saturday, January 30, both the Advanced Placement (AP) Math and AP English Project Opening Doors (POD) review sessions were scheduled for the same date and time at Wilby High School in Waterbury, CT. According to POD lead teacher for Ms. Wheeler, who is the coordinator and organizer of Westhill attendance at each POD session, 20 out of the 129 students who attended the session take both AP English and an AP Math, meaning they were forced to chose which workshops they were going to attend for either of their subjects. “I went more for the math one than for the English, but it was nice to have the English one available,” said junior Peri Shapiro, who takes both AP Statistics and AP English 11. POD funds each workshop and divided Connecticut high schools

into three regions. Each region is offered three workshops in English, math and sciences making a total of nine sessions given for the year. Although there was an AP English session prior to this one, AP Math sessions are only offered between January and May. Directors wanted to make sure students

“It’s unfortunate, but I’m not surprised that the POD Master Schedule created an overlap with the remaining 27 Saturdays they had. In an ideal world, of course, it wouldn’t have worked out like this, but now it could make things more interesting,” said Ms. Wheeler. Ms. Wheeler had each of her

Westhill, but then was switched to Wilby. The schedule mishap now allows convenience and better logistics because transportation will only have to be paid for one day. “I’m glad that both the math and English workshops were at Wilby High School on the same day. They had originally been

“I’m glad that both the math and English workshops were at Wilby High School on the same day. They had origionally been scheduled at different schools and that would have caused a problem for me. I would have missed out on the math session by attending the English one,” said senior Nicole DelMazio. had a good amount of basic skills before proceeding with additional information. Because these workshops must be given before the AP tests in May, there are only so many Saturdays to work with, especially with the delayed start for math and the SAT, SAT II and ACT test dates.

students say whether they’d be attending English, math or both subjects. She believes that because of this option, a few more students attended than originally anticipated. “They’re there anyway, might as well knock them both out on the same day,” she said. Initially, the January 30 English session was scheduled at

Greg Cinque / Photo Editor Sophomores Allie Souza and Jess Thibault, two of the founders of the new discussion club, Heart to Heart, make signs during one of the club’s first meetings.

scheduled at different schools and that would have caused a problem for me. I would have missed out on the math session by attending the English one. Since they were held at one location, I was able to benefit from both workshops,” said senior Nicole DelMazio. The confusion also didn’t severely interfere with students’

workshop selection because every English class, whether it be AP Multiple Choice or Rhetorical Device Instruction was offered throughout the whole day. Not one of the 20 students missed the workshop they intended to go to because the same class was offered every hour. “I was initally upset because students would have to choose one or the other, but once I got used to the fact that it could not be changed, I saw the positives of the situation. It [allowed] flexibility for the student’s needs. Student’s should choose what’s most important to them and take advantage of the knowledge of other people,” said math teacher and POD lead teacher for math at Westhill, Mrs. Khetan. “I attended three Calculus sessions and an English session on saturday,” said senior Lee Gordon. “I would be more inclined to go to another AP session if it were closer.”

‘Heart to Heart’ warms students Dongdong guo Staff Writer

There is now another choice of afterschool activity that students can attend. The Heart to Heart club, which started two weeks ago, was founded by sophomores Jess Thibault, Allie Souza, and Jackie Nelson. According to Souza, the purpose of the club is for students to talk about their personal problems, problems in society, or problems in the world. The Haiti earthquake was the first problem in the world that they chose to tackle. Heart to Heart’s first service was the “Crutches for Kids” initiative. Crutches for Kids is an organization that helps collect crutches for people that have being injured by the devastated earthquake in Haiti. It is a national organization, and Westhill is the second school in Connecticut to participate in its effort. Right now, the club is trying to collect as many crutches as possible, store them and then send them

to Haiti. “Students in Westhill can donate their crutches in the Career Center or in the main office starting now to help those in need of crutches. There are a lot of crutches people can send to Haiti if everybody put some effort. If you have some crutches or if you know somebody that has crutches, please donate them,” said guidance counselor Ms. Levin, adviser of the Heart to Heart club. The overall goal of the Heart to Heart club is to provide a safe environment to find ways to help others. “We started Heart to Heart with a goal of helping in any way possible. Whether they are students in our school, or victims of Haiti, we just want to help,” said Souza. “Our expectation for this club would be that we hope it will be successful, and that it will keep on going. Everyone is welcome to come to Heart to Heart,” said Ms. Levin. Heart to Heart meets on Tuesdays in Room 116.



Shifting the standard

Should school-wide criteria be set for curving? You take a test and everyone in the class does poorly. Another teacher's class takes the same test, with similar results. However, that teacher chooses to curve it. Do you think that there should be a standard for curving throughout the school?

DANIELLE SCHWARTZ Staff Writer I believe that there should definitely be a standard for curving instituted throughout the entire school. Classes of the same level should have the same standard for curving even if they are taught by two different teachers. I do not think it is fair for one teacher to curve a test for his or her class, while the teacher down the hall, who gave the same test, does not curve. Many teachers within the same department


tend to give the same test to their students. While I fully support sharing tests, the grades from the test should either all be the actual grade, or they should all have the same curve, no matter what class the test was given in or which teacher gave it. Of course, each teacher has his or her own individual way of getting the material out to his or her students. However, all the objectives that are on a single test should have been covered within that lesson. Therefore, no matter how the material is taught, as long as it is taught, the tests should be fair. For that reason, there should be a curve that

is fair for the test. Additionally, I do not believe that a teacher should decide a curve once they see the students’ grades. I believe that the curve for that particular test should be decided before the exam is given. Teachers should anticipate how well their students are going to do, based on the difficulty of the test, and then plan a curve accordingly. Then, when the tests are graded, teachers should stick with the same curve that they first decided on, even if the grades are better or worse than expected. All teachers using the same test

“Every test should have a specific curve. That is the only way that it will be fair to the students who are taking the test.” —Jeff Jecrois ’11


should use the set curve. If multiple teachers have disagreements about the weighted curve on an exam, they should then take the test to the department head who will make the final agreement as to how much the test will be curved. Science teacher Ms. Moore said, “Everyone is competing against each other in GPA’s, and every class is different. I believe that each test needs to be fair and that grades should be fair. I would grade a test the same way another teacher would if we were to use the same test.” If one class performs poorly on a test, while another class,

“Yes, I do think there should be a standard curve because personally, it does benefit me. For example, in my CP Physics class, there was a 20 point curve, but in honors physics I heard there was a much greater, more significant, amount of points distributed. If the curve was the same for both classes I would have gotten a higher grade.” —Michelle Aristizabal ’10

taking the same exam, performs extremely well, I think that the curve should still stand. I would deem that if the students in the class received lower grades, the teacher had not taught the material fully, or did not explain it enough to his or her students. In this case, the curve should not change because of the teacher’s mistake, but the teacher should re-teach the material to make sure that his or her students fully understand it for midterms and finals. While some may disagree, I truly stand by my decision to support the idea of a standard for the curving of each test.

“If it’s the same course, the curving should be standard. If everyone in both classes learns the same material and does the same amount of work, then there is no reason that one class should have an advantage.” —Jessi Gerowitz ’12 ­­

Poll conducted by Elissa Miolene and Amanda Barkin Illustration by Laura Eber

“ MOLLY SPITZ Staff Writer

Many teachers make a habit of curving their tests after many, or all, of their students do poorly. However, this policy is sometimes viewed as unfair because not all teachers curve in the same way. In fact, some teachers do not even curve at all. Putting a regulation on curving would be just as, if not more, unfair. For example, if the regulated curve for quizzes across the school was three points, then many students would feel fine with leaving questions blank, not trying, or just doing the minimal amount of work, knowing that they would just earn the three points back. The same goes for any type of regulation in testing; it diminishes all of

the hard work done by most of the students. The idea of regulated curves also goes against a teacher’s style of teaching. While some teachers do not use the curving method, others rely on it due to difficult testing. If there was a curve regulation, many students would use this to take advantage of those teachers who choose not to curve. It would be the common argument against poor grades, and many teachers would feel compelled to change their methods. Also, junior Brittany Daniels said, “A standard curve for a test would be bad because it gives all of the students the same amount of points. The students who did poorly would not benefit from the curve as much as they would with a bell curve.” The same can be said for the


Not only should it not be allowed, but it would be nearly impossible to regulate curves. Every teacher has a different view of what is okay and what is not. teachers who do choose to curve. Many Advanced Placement classes do have a curve due to the amount of material that is on a test, the level of difficulty, and other factors. If this curve was limited and regulated, then it may not help many of the students who try and still receive a poor grade. Many rely on this curve, though they do put in the maximum effort in the class. Many students do not realize that an entire class failing a test reflects badly on the teacher as well. Teachers dislike watching their class fail a test, or a quiz, as it tells them either their class doesn’t care, or they’re doing something wrong. This is another reason there is a curve, and this would be impaired by a regulation. If a teacher is giving the class a test and every-

one fails, they should realize that they are doing something wrong or the test was too hard, and curve the test to account for the level of difficulty. Many people do agree with curving, and many disagree, but a regulation on the curving will tip over the system and make it much worse. Freshman Abby Hubert said, “I don’t agree with curving. Students should have to earn their grades. Instead of a curve, why not make the exams simpler?” Whether it be regulating a certain amount of curving points or any other type of regulation, it will greatly affect teachers and their teaching styles, as well as students who try, or rely on curves in their harder classes. Not only should it not be allowed, but it would be nearly impossible to regulate curves. Every

Viewpoint February 2010


O teacher has a different view of what is okay and what is not. This is just a teacher’s preference, and curving actually goes along with this. Regulating every single teacher and telling them to use an entirely new grading system would be completely ineffective. It is better to have teachers with different teaching styles: maybe one doesn’t work for a certain teacher, but works for another. If everyone had the same curving standard, it would diminish the teaching quality at Westhill.

Erin Stanton / Managing Editor


Viewpoint February 2010


A Column by Zac Krowitz

You have been NAILED Supreme Court, for your recent decision to allow unions and corporations unlimited spending on campaigns. The case was decided by one vote, 5-4, with all liberal judges voting against the decision and all conservative judges voting for the decision. The court voted this way because the case of Dartmouth College v. Woodward said that corporations have the right to do this based on the Fourteenth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. According to The New York Times and The Washington Post, the judges also inferred that because of this, the corporations are also guaranteed the rights of the First Amendment. By this logic, the judges decided that the corporations have the right to free speech, and therefore the amount of money that they spend on campaigns cannot be restricted. This is one of the most dangerous Supreme Court decisions that I have seen. In essence, this decision allows corporations to completely control entire campaigns and candidates by spending endless amounts of money on them. We already have a severe problem in our country with politicians being controlled by corporations and Wall Street. There are already candidates that, because of special interests and lobbyists, are thinking in the best interest of the corporations they represent, instead of the American people. With this new decision, these corporations will be able to run wild. They will be able to spend as much as they want on certain candidates to ensure that the candidate represents their best interests. As President Obama put it, “[the decision is] a huge victory to the special interests and their lobbyists.” The last thing we need, especially after Wall Street destroyed the economy for the benefit of

business executives, is for Wall Street and corporate America to control our politicians. With the regulations before this decision, corporations still had more than their fair share of influence on our politicians. With this new decision, they will have unlimited influence, and we may see our government make a turn towards solely representing the large corporations of America and their CEO’s instead of the American people. As an American citizen who has seen the destruction that Wall Street and corporate America has caused modern politics, this decision scares me. Keith Olberman compared this decision to Robert Taney’s Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, when the Supreme Court decided that black men could not be citizens of the United States. Aside from the case’s clear immorality, it had a disastrous effect on American ideals. It established the idea that enslaved blacks were merely property, and that though free blacks were “free”, they were not citizens of the country. Therefore, they did not have the same rights that other citizens had. Now, I believe that this comparison is highly dramatic. But, it is important to realize the terrible consequences that can result from this decision. How can a politician value the wishes of the people if they are being fed endless amounts of money from corporations to do what is best for them? In a democratic nation such as the United States, the government is in place to protect and serve the people, not the country’s corporations. As we look to the future, we must realize the dire effects this decision could have. Suddenly major foreign corporations could be a major player in the American political scene, along with domestic corporations, which will have a largely negative effect on the nation.

Greg Cinque / Photo Editor The difficult to remove notice of violation was placed by the administration on the windows of juniors’ cars, which were parked illegally on school grounds.

Stickering causes outrage ANNIE COHEN News Editor

I left school Monday, February 1 exhausted and ready to get home. When I got to my car I was shocked to see a big orange sticker on the window of the driver’s seat and a hot pink flyer on my windshield. The flyer and sticker told me that I was parked illegally and that if I parked there again I would be “assigned a consequence,” and maybe even have my car towed. I tried to peel the sticker off but much of it remained stuck on and I drove home angry and confused. Junior year is, undoubtedly, a rough year. One perk, however, is being able to get your license and driving to school. I got my license in November and have been driving to school since then. I have been parking in the “junior strip” and it has never been a problem until now. No one told me I wasn’t allowed park in the lot, so why didn’t I receive a warning before my car was defaced? The hot pink note stated that only seniors with parking permits were allowed to park on campus. Since when? The lone strip of spaces adjacent to the senior lots has been known as the “junior strip” for years now. Even though some of it has been converted into “senior” parking there are still many unused and unassigned spots open each day. After I calmed down, I sent

Principal Ms. Figluizzi an email. I explained that parking on the street was unreasonable especially for those students staying late for school sponsored clubs and that it was dangerous to be walking down Roxbury Road in the dark. I also explained that no warning had been given before these huge, bothersome orange stickers were placed on cars. Ms. Figluizzi then called me down to her office and asked me to explain the situation. She told me to bring my license, registration, and insurance to the office and I would be given a tag. However, the next day I heard from other students who also got stickers that they had been told different things. Some were told the same thing as I was, some were told that there would be a lottery for spots, and some were told that no juniors were allowed to park on campus at all. Junior Atisha Vaghji has been driving to school since September. She received an orange sticker in October and Twelfth Grade Administrator Mr. Rodriguez told her that there would be a lottery for juniors by November. “After getting a second sticker on my car I decided to talk to Ms. Figluizzi. She told me that a junior parking lottery was going to be put together within the next few days, and that she would announce it on the intercom. On Wednesday, [Febru-

ary 3] she announced that all drivers other than seniors [with parking permits] were to park on the street,” said Vaghji. According to Mr. Rodriguez a lottery will be held after February vacation for student drivers without spots. He said that he has not done a lottery yet because many seniors have been getting their licenses late and the seniors have first priority. Students are not allowed to park in the back near the softball field because this area is unsupervised. Seniors parking there were then assigned spots in the “junior strip.” Those students found that juniors were parking in their newly assigned spots and complained to Mr. Rodriguez. That is when the orange stickers were first put on the cars. “We are a school and we can’t direct all our attention to parking but I acknowledge that we should’ve given a previous warning,” Rodriguez said. Westhill needs to keep the “junior strip” open to the junior class. I believe that the only fair way to allocate the spots in this lot is by first come first serve on a daily basis. This way, a motivated student will get a spot on campus. I do not think a lottery is the way to go – do you let only currently licensed juniors in the lottery? In that scenario the juniors who do not get their licenses until later in the year don’t have a chance.

13 A midwinter night’s tragedy Viewpoint February 2010

STUART FARBER Online Content Editor

Alana Kasindorf / Photo Editor The Midsummer Night’s Dream cast rehearses for opening night, which inconveniently conflicts with Winter Formal.

After working for five months to put on Westhill and Rippowam’s production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we will finally be opening the show Friday, February 5 for all our families and friends to see. Well, at least those friends that don’t attend Westhill. Unfortunately, the Shakespearean comedy will not be the singular event of the evening at school. Clashing with our opening night is Westhill’s Winter Formal. “I feel that the [opening night of] Midsummer clashing with the dance is negative for [everyone],” said sophomore Miiko Valkonen, who plays Peter Quince in the play. “The cast members that wanted to go to the dance can’t go to the dance, and the people going to the dance that wanted to see their friends can’t. It’s a lose-lose for everyone; nobody benefits.” It is rather sad that students will have to choose between one or the other. The fact of the matter is that it’s challenging enough already to attract a high school student to a

Around the World

You know it’s football season when you see guys rushing into the TV store to buy a high definition TV an hour before the game starts and when moms go to the grocery store to buy nothing but chips and soda. While many in America prepare for this momentous occa-

sion, one has to think, what in the world is the rest of the world doing right now? Is everyone preparing for the Super Bowl like we are, or are they looking at us like we are crazy? I asked the question “what is your opinion of American Football” and received many interest-

Shakespeare play. Realistically, I believe it will be hard to expect a big turnout from the Westhill student population. Given a choice between a dance party and a play, most will choose the former. The dance has more drawing power, even if one’s friends are performing in the play. And while there are second and third performances Saturday afternoon and night, the fun of opening night is still lost. “This is unfair and unjust to the work, time, and money that is spent in producing such a play that teaches understanding of human culture and human behavior,” said senior Jeremy Bellows, who plays Nick Bottom. It is also important to note that these productions aren’t free. The play does need to turn a profit so that it at least breaks even in terms of ticket sales versus production costs. Without this money, the school wouldn’t be able to put on the great shows it usually does. So not only does this dilemma take away our audience, but also the financial lifeblood of the school’s theatre productions. Now, I am aware that the per-

formance dates for Midsummer were pushed back to this weekend, and by the nature of that change, it was bound to clash with the planned Winter Formal. I also know that the dance is a benevolently planned event and that portion of the proceeds will be donated to a relief program for Haiti. I do not fault the school for this dilemma; it is essentially the consequence of a scheduling mishap. But that doesn’t explain why the dance couldn’t have been rescheduled, or at the very least pushed back until after the opening performance ended. “They changed [Midsummer’s] date, but maybe [the date for the dance] could adjust,” said junior Talia Robinson, “Maybe they could at least not play the music so loud [at the dance] so we don’t hear it from across Westhill.” While I hope you all enjoy whichever event you choose to attend Friday night, I think I speak on behalf of the cast and crew when I say you really should come to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not only do we deserve a good audience, but it’s actually really funny and you’re sure to enjoy it.

A Column by Claire Mahoney

ing responses, ranging from an acceptance of football to an outright disdain. Some appreciated football while others considered football to be nothing less than barbaric. However, as most Americans will agree, the Super Bowl is close to a national holiday. Regardless of

what your personal Super Bowl traditions are there is no doubt that football for many is part of the American Identity. It is something that we hold on to and cherish separate from the rest of the world.

What is your opinion of American Football? Shanze Naseem Ashai, Karachi, Pakistan 14 years old

Personally, I never really understood American Football (AF). I just don't get it; you don’t use your feet! So the name is just an oddity. Football has so many complicated rules. But then again, that could be because I am much more brain than brawn. I have never been to a Super Bowl, but TV teaches one so much about a culture that I know all about it. On a side note, I am genuinely concerned for the sanity of those AF loving men who make it a point to paint their bellies and shout like barbarians. Still it seems like great fun and I would love to go to the Super Bowl one day! At least for the barbeque and free entertainment. Pakistan isn't really much for AF, most people don’t care for it.

Stephan Fojtl Vienna, Austria 15 years old

Roberto Martinez Hernandez Monterrey, Mexico 14 years old

“I’m really not very interested in American football. I don't know its rules and I don't care. When I see it on TV, I think of it as a violent game. The whole game is a bunch of people running around pretending to be smart with a couple of plays when all they do is see who can run faster and who gets tackled.”

“American football is great. I saw both championship games, and both my AFC [American Football Conference] and NFC [National Football Conference] teams lost. We have Mexican commentaries on the games on two different channels. On direct TV, you can watch it in Spanish on ESPN or Fox Sports. I really want[ed] Sanchez and Favre in the Superbowl. Plus I really hate the Colts. I hope, just for the sake of football, that the Saints win!”

If you have any ideas that would be interesting for future “Around the World” topics, please contact Claire Mahoney at


F eature Talking politics with Blumenthal

Attorney General discusses run for Senate Jackie Schechter Managing Editor

On January 23, The Westword interviewed Richard Blumenthal, the current Connecticut Attorney General and recently-announced Democratic candidate for Senate. Blumenthal, a longtime Stamford resident, covered topics ranging from his career in public service to his hobbies. Additionally, he told us why he’s running and what he hopes to accomplish in Washington. The Westword: I read that you grew up in Brooklyn and attended high school in the Bronx. What do you remember from your high school experience and what were your goals in high school? Richard Blumenthal: I was the editor of the school newspaper, and I was also president of the student body. So writing and learning how to lead were very much goals. And I also was involved in some athletics. I was on the swimming team and the tennis team, so that was a big part of my high school life. TW: So the activities that you did in high school were almost the foundation for your career in public service. RB: Very much so, because in college I then went on to be an editor of the newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, and after college I

A & Q Fast Facts with Richard Blumenthal

was a reporter for The Washington Post for a while. My initial inclination was to go into journalism, which obviously came from my interest in high school. But the public service or governmental interest, also beginning in high school, attracted me. TW: You have a long and varied career in public service. You served as a Marine sergeant, Pat Moynihan’s assistant in the Nixon administration, a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, and an administrative assistant to Connecticut Senator Abraham Ribicoff. You also served in the Connecticut House and Senate, and were the youngest U.S. attorney ever. In which position did you feel you made the greatest impact, and which did you enjoy the most? RB: That’s a tough question. I guess being U.S. attorney, which is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I loved being a prosecutor, which is very much what I have done as Attorney General…My role as U.S. attorney was to enforce criminal law—I [took on] organized crime and drug trafficking and all kinds of criminal law cases. But I enjoyed tremendously as well working for Harry Blackmun as a law clerk on the U.S. Supreme Court, which gave me a vista and a perspective on courts and legal issues.

What do you do as Attorney General?

“I enforce the law in a wide array of areas, [including] environmental laws, [and] consumer fraud. Our largest unit involves child abuse and neglect. We have formed a campaign called Men against Domestic Violence, which shows how there are opportunities to use [law enforcement] as a platform to talk about [issues].”

TW: You’ve been Connecticut’s Attorney General since 1991. What would you say was your landmark case? RB: Well probably one of the most important cases and maybe one of the most interesting from the standpoint of your audience was the tobacco case where we took legal action against tobacco companies. We forced them to stop [publishing] misleading and deceptive ads and to pay the state literally billions of dollars, $3.5 billion to the state of Connecticut, and more than $400 billion to all of the states. [In addition, we forced tobacco companies to] eliminate cartoon characters, enforce stronger supervision [so that there would be] no sales to minors, and a variety of other measures. But it was really historic and groundbreaking. TW: So this was beyond just Connecticut, this was against tobacco companies across the country? RB: Right, and frequently we sue national corporations. For example, we’ve sued some of the mortgage lenders that have engaged in predatory practices. [In the tobacco case,] we formed a group of states that then sued the tobacco companies, and I helped to lead all the states. TW: Why do you want to run for Senator? RB: I feel it’s another opportunity to fight for people and advocate

for them, the people of Connecticut, to battle against special interests or powerful forces that may seek to exploit citizens here. My feeling is that Washington often just doesn’t get it, and we need change in Washington. And I want to fight as tenaciously in Washington for the people of Connecticut as I’ve done as Attorney General. TW: Do you have any specific ideas as to addressing the War on Terror or economic recovery? Do you support President Obama’s measures or do you have any new ideas? RB: Well, I think there needs to be more targeted use of the stimulus money, [which I think] has been spent without sufficient regard to job creation. I also think there needs to be tax credits targeted to specific industries and jobs where people will have employment opportunities in the technology areas. I’m developing more detailed plans and proposals and positions on all these issues; I’ve only been involved in this race for about two weeks, so we have a lot of work to do. I support the president’s position on Afghanistan, and I think we need to do better not only in our offense against the terrorists, but also our defense—better sharing of intelligence, [for example]. Continued on page 15

If elected, what are your top priorities? “I think Washington fails to understand the need for action on jobs and economic recovery. We need to focus on the war on terror, and I want to see more done to enforce our environmental laws. [I would work on] behalf of individuals...if they were denied proper treatment by retailers or the federal government itself.”

Feature February 2010

Continued from page 14 TW: What do you think your greatest campaign challenge will be? RB: Well, I’m going to continue doing my job as Attorney General, and so I think there will be challenges in how I use my time, but I will be having a conversation with the people of Connecticut and listening to them about what they think is important. One of the lessons, I think, from the Massachusetts election is the need to listen. And another lesson is the need to avoid complacency; take nothing for granted and take no one for granted. TW: As high school students, we were curious about your views of the American education system. Is there anything about it you would want to change, and how would you do so? RB: I have four children, so education is a major interest and priority. I sued the federal government on behalf of the State of Connecticut because of the unfunded mandates in the No Child Left Behind program. The federal government imposed mandates for testing and other re-

quirements without providing the money, which in my view violates the law. We’re still fighting it in court. But my hope is in the meantime the federal government will do the right thing and provide the funding. I believe there has to be more financial support from the federal government for education. TW: Is there anything you would like Westhill students to know about you? RB: I am very dedicated to helping young people seek opportunities in whatever careers or professions interest them. One of my most satisfying tasks as Attorney General has been to help young people with recommendations and advice. I believe one of the most important things I do is interacting with young people. I spend a lot of time going to schools. I guess what I would like them to know is that public service is a great calling; people should want to give back to their communities, particularly in a place like Stamford. I lived here for a long time before we moved

to Greenwich. I regard Stamford as sort of my hometown; I’ve lived here longer than any place else in my life, and think it’s a great community. TW: How can high school students get involved in your campaign? RB: Well they can go to our website I haven’t checked it lately, I hope

RB: If I’m lucky enough to have this job, my greatest strength is that I listen to people. My best ideas have come from listening to people, often folks whom I encounter on the street or in meetings or in public forums where I have an opportunity to talk but most importantly to listen. And I have a lot of experi-

I lived here for a long time before we moved to Greenwich. I regard Stamford as sort of my hometown; I’ve lived here longer than any place else in my life, and I think it’s a great community. it’s working smoothly…It’s going to be greatly improved in the next few days. But we would welcome volunteers; we’re going to have an office on the first floor of this building [777 Summer Street]. It will be a walk-in office and people can come right in. TW: What do you think your greatest strengths and weaknesses would be as Senator?

ence in public service…I have a 20-year record in the Attorney General’s office of using the law to make people’s lives better. And maybe most important is my independence. I listen to people and I decide what’s best for the people of Connecticut, and then I stand pretty strong to what I regard as the public interest without somebody else in power tell-

ing me what to do. I’m not going to Washington to be an Obamaally or a representative of anyone but the people of Connecticut. TW: What do you think your greatest weakness would be? Or something you could improve upon? RB: Umm…my greatest weakness? I’ll have to think about that. (laughs) TW: This is a bit of a lighter question—what do you like to do in your spare time? RB: Be with my children, first and foremost. I do a lot of running and swimming to stay in shape. I love to read, although I have less time for it than I would wish. TW: Okay, I think that’s it, unless there’s anything else you want to add? RB: I’m just delighted to be included in the interview and I hope to visit the school again. You know, I have visited Westhill quite a bit over the years. In fact, I spoke at the graduation ceremony, maybe actually two graduation ceremonies, so I hope I’m invited back.

The Fashion Insiders A Column by Sylvia Chun and Katie Mandel Senior Tyler Schmidt keeps his look very classical and casual with a simple tee, a pair of jeans, and sneakers. Schmidt pulls off his basic look with a striped tee that can be worn with a pair of medium washed jeans (such as these), cords, or even a pair of khaki pants. Rather than a striped tee, try a cool graphic tee or a regular colored tee. As the cold weather comes and goes, a basic colored cardigan that goes with the tee that can be thrown over it to complete a more sophisticated yet chill look. To stick with the idea of a basic, simple look, keep the sneakers on and do not replace them with any brightly colored sneakers that will take away from the “simpleness” of the outfit.


Playing with this erratic winter weather, sophomore Kassandra Montenegro incorporates key pieces from each season in a stylish combination. Her blue cardigan and brown boots are staple pieces for the fall and they dress down her bright blue belt and orange printed skirt, which are part of her spring look. Montenegro's blue cardigan compliments the matching belt, bringing the outfit into unison without adding too many distractions. By omitting this season's infamous stockings, she dresses the look down. Keeping it simple with a plain white v-neck tee brings the outfit completely together and allows it to be easily worn in the spring with sandals instead of boots. Like Montenegro, you can play around with different seasonal items in your closet for an outfit that is both versatile and stylish.



Junior Elianne Estevez plays with different shades of brown, which makes her outfit simple but chic. The scarf is dark brown, light brown, and tan, and has a multicolored interwoven print that is the key element in her look. Estevez wears a pair of light jeans and a dark brown hoodie, playing with light and dark colors. She adds a light brown belt and a pair of tan Minnetonka moccasins (also popular this season in flats and boots). Rather than opting for different colors to match her scarf, Estevez sticks to brown, a neutral color, and uses it to bring her whole outfit together. Like Estevez, you can take a key piece, such as a scarf or a cool pair of earrings, and try to build your outfit from there. Make sure that you wear similar colors that match your key piece rather than going for wild colors.




Introducing the interns February 2010

A deeper look into their responsibilities SYLVIA CHUN Columnist

At the beginning of the year, it may not have been completely evident that Westhill was expanding its staff with interns. Now that half of the year has progressed, these fresh new faces are easily recognizable and friendly relationships have been formed between the interns and the students. There are currently five interns working at the school: David Constant, Jackie Pia, Janos Rizo, Jessica Drake, and Christian Badini. Students may have seen one of these interns sitting in their classes, walking around the building, or substitute teaching. As part of the process of becoming a teacher, one must first be an intern and a student teacher. It is a requirement for interns to student teach for 12 weeks in their selected subjects while they are observed by a supervising teacher. All of the interns are currently working towards their master’s degrees in education while interning at Westhill. There are both parttime and full-time interns, but they all have already made friendly relations with the student body and faculty members. Mr. Constant, the English intern, previously substitute taught at middle schools. He has seen a large difference in environments between the middle schools and Westhill. “The students are diverse and more mature; it is easier for me to connect to them because of my age,” he said. However, he had never intended education to be the final answer to his future. He double majored in English and Journalism but decided to pursue a career in education after he realized his passion for teaching. He will be the student teacher for English teacher Ms. Anderson during the 2010-2011 school year between September and December. Mr. Constant is currently working towards his master’s degree at Sacred Heart University and is enjoying his experience interning at the school. History intern Ms. Pia is a former Westhill student who graduated from Northeastern University in 2004. She has worked with history

teachers Mr. Mazza and Mr. Hoffman during her internship, experiences that have given her a better understanding of the history classes. “The one thing that I noticed at Westhill is the amount of kids there are; there are more kids than before [when I was a student here],” said Ms. Pia. Her future plans are to follow through with the 10 to 12-week process of student teaching. She also would like to coach a sport at Westhill while finishing her master's at the University of Bridgeport. Business intern Mr. Rizo previously interned in a professional environment; this is his first time interning in an educational atmosphere. He has his bachelor’s degree, and currently, he is finishing his master’s degree at the University of Bridgeport. He was able to land his internship through the teacher preparation program at UBridge. “My experience here so far is tough. I come from finance and I have learned to adjust to the students [despite having previously] worked with adults all the time,” said Rizo. His most memorable experience has been the Halloween parade, which is not something normally seen in a professional setting. The guidance interns, Jessica Drake and Christian Badini, have a different process than the other interns. Student teaching is not required but a Connecticut law states that a student must be an intern for an entire year if they have not been a teacher before. Ms. Drake and Ms. Badini have the opportunity to participate in workshops, rather than classroom teaching as their main focus as an intern. Ms. Drake, the organizer of the Success Program for tutoring, has interned at two high schools in New Jersey and at an outpatient psychiatric institution prior to coming to Westhill. Drake was encouraged by her professor at Fairfield University to take the internship and she is currently receiving her post-master’s degree. “My experience so far has been very good here at Westhill. Everything’s really hands-on and there is never a dull moment,” said Ms. Drake. She has had many memorable experiences but her favorite was the Harlem Wizards Game, a fundrais-

Stacey Rupolo / Managing Editor English intern Mr. Constant assists a student while substitute teaching in the Art Deparment. er for the Success Program. The game was a big project for Ms. Drake that she enjoyed taking on. She said she would proudly take a job as a guidance counselor at Westhill if a spot opened up. In January, Ms. Badini joined the Guidance Department as another intern. She completed her practical internship at Ridgefield High School before coming to Westhill. Having recently started, Ms. Badini has been adjusting to the community but has felt welcomed by the entire student body and faculty members. “It has been a short time, but I already feel comfortable. The students are friendly and my experience so far has been wonderful,” said Ms. Badini. She is currently receiving her master’s degree at Fairfield University and will be returning to Westhill next year until December. Her future plan is to be a counselor at a high school level and would take the job at Westhill if the opportunity arrives. All of the interns mentioned that the students are a large part of their experiences at Westhill. They will continue interning, substitute teaching, and observing the students and faculty during their time here while on their way to becoming teachers.


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Surviving it solo

February 2010


Valentine’s Day for the single student

Have a boys night: Let’s face it guys, a lot of us don’t have girlfriends; that’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it seems to be the much cheaper road to take. That being said, there is no reason we should have to fend for ourselves this February 14. Have a bro night! Invite some of your boys over and do what we do best: be loud, messy, and competitive over things that we shouldn’t. You could play some Xbox, order too much pizza, watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and talk about how you could “totally take that guy in a fight.” With your boys by your side and girls out of the picture, the night is yours.

For the Guys:

Throw a slumber party: Invite all of your friends over and kick it middle school-style at a slumber party. Paint your nails, watch bad movies, gossip your hearts out, and remind yourself just how overrated guys can be. Take time to drown your sorrows with the two most important men in your life: Ben and Jerry. This is a great way to strengthen your friendships in the middle of this stressful season.

For the Girls:

Have a gourmet night: Get a bunch of kids together and chip in to cook yourselves dinner. Pick five courses of crazy recipes and have fun bonding as you journey through the preparation of the meal. After your hard work, enjoy your homemade dinner and the inside jokes that will be sure to come out of the experience.

Harass those with plans: Now I’m not condoning anyone who actually does this, but why not confront the 800-pound gorilla in the room? While some take this significant other-less night in stride, there are always a few, or possibly many, with a bit of resentment for those having a nice night. If you really feel like you can’t enjoy a night on your own, try to have fun with others who don’t have to. Are a lot of couples going to Kona Grill? Then it’s your job to rent out the entire restaurant for the night. Are some people planning on relaxing at home with their date while watching a movie? Guess who just rented every romantic comedy at blockbuster? You did. You the man.

Make a difference: Take this often depressing day and turn it into a bright one by performing community service. Volunteer at a nursing home, serve food at a soup kitchen, or rally your friends to clean your neighborhood. Helping others on this day will remind you to appreciate all that you have.

Pamper yourself: Take this night to appreciate the most important person in your life: you. Take a bubble bath surrounded by candles, catch up on a book you’ve been dying to read, and put on your favorite pajamas and curl up by the fireplace. Putting aside time for yourself will remind you just how much attention and care you deserve.

Move: If all else fails, you could always flee the country. Granted this is a tad drastic, but getting away from those who are getting you down doesn’t sound like the worst idea. If you leave, though, make sure you really get away. Traveling to a different country only to find a similar Valentine’s Day celebration will not only be counterproductive but, depending on your fluency in other languages, can leave you tragically alone. Try traveling to Bosnia this February the 14. I hear that Sarajevo is all the rage in that hemisphere.

Big Apple Bite A Column by Danny Tehrani

New York’s fashion and art are forms of beauty that I have documented well in my column. However, I have neglected to expose the point where these subjects meet: perfume. Perfume is an overlooked art and science that melds complicated chemistry and vibrant beauty to transform its wearer. New York City is a perfume-fiend’s paradise; department stores and boutiques catering to fragra-holics’ needs are in great abundance. Recently, however, perfume has fallen from its high pedestal and lost its place as a form of art, perhaps thanks to those horrid celebrity fragrances—synthetic and cheaply made body sprays with a hussy-celebutante’s name slapped on a frilly pink bottle.

A trip to one of New York’s fragrance boutiques puts perfume back on its deserved pedestal. These stores offer only exclusive, niche fragrances, perfumes that are sold only in a limited distribution and are generally of incredibly good quality at an incredibly high price. Bond No. 9 (9 Bond Street, New York) is a perfume house that creates scents inspired by certain areas of New York City, so it is pretty much the perfume version of Big Apple Bite. Brooklyn is a fresh unisex summer spritzer, Fire Island is a Coppertone-scented beach vacation in a bottle, while Chinatown, the brand’s most renowned fragrance, is a mix of sweet peaches laid atop a chypre base, a perfumer’s terminology meaning a classic green/

Cry: Sometimes being single can be kind of pathetic. Embrace the moment and let it all out so you can put on a smile the next day and pretend you had an awesome day alone. TIPS COMPILED BY ALEX LEWIS and JAMES FORDE / Associate Editor and Staff Writer Photo by Alana Kasindorf / Photo Editor leafy scent. New York is crowded with department stores, each with its own perfume department, but head to Bergdorf Goodman (754 5th Ave) and Henri Bendel (712 5th Avenue), which have arguably the best perfume counters in America. Both offer niche brands that Macy’s could only dream of. Bergdorf carries the line of Serge Lutens, who I believe is the master of modern perfumery whose Feminite du Bois, a modern mix of fruity and woody notes, changed perfumery forever. Also Bergdorf’s carries the By Kilian line. The line was start-

and key, the By Kilian line is a bit pretentious but thankfully makes up for it with gorgeous and unique fragrances. My favorite from the line is Liaisons Dangereuse, a delicious rose jam scent that is perfect for men or women. I managed to snag a sample and relish every drop. Bendel’s, which just cut its clothing department and is soley a beauty store now, is set apart by its Memoire Liquide counter, a bespoke perfumery that allows you to create your own personal fragrance. With a selection of over 150 essential oils to mix and match, the perfume possibilities

Perfume is an overlooked art and science that melds complicated chemistry and vibrant beauty to transform its wearer. ed by the heir of the Hennessey family, a part of the luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH, which stands for Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. Incredibly expensive (over $225 a pop), and packaged in a black velvet box with a lock

are endless. Visiting the places above are quite fun for sniffing and sampling, but in reality, what student is willing to cough up upwards of $200 for perfume? My advice is to head over to Sephora, with lo-

cations all over Manhattan and with one locally on Greenwich Avenue, you’ll find my favorite fragances. As an avid perfume collector, I’ve sniffed far and wide to find the best of the best, and I’ve found it. Angel by Thierry Mugler is my signature scent, well known by all of my friends because it always trails behind me. The wonderfully odd mix of indulgent chocolate and masuline patchouli caused a sensation in the fragrance world. Since 1992, it has been copied widely and even topped the most iconic perfumes of all time, Chanel No. 5. Although Thierry Mugler may sound unfamiliar, you’ve seen his designs worn by Lady Gaga in the Papparazi video and Beyonce on her I Am Tour. The variation for men, A*Men, is incredibly similar and just as appetizing, adding vibrant peppermint to the sweet and pungent mix. With prices below $80, Thierry Mugler’s creations are attainable masterpieces for any student or budding perfumista.


Las Noticias

La Carrera a Senador Entrevista con Fiscal General Richard Blumenthal Jackie Schechter Editora Gestora

El 23 de enero, The Westword entrevistó a Richard Blumenthal, el Fiscal General del Estado, y, recientemente proclamado candidato Cada año en el mes de marzo, los estudiantes del decimo grado to- Demócrata para el Senado. man el CAPT (Connecticut Academic Performance Test).  Este año, el Blumenthal,  orador en dos graduCAPT tendrá lugar el primero de marzo hasta el 5 de marzo. Este ex- aciones de Westhill, cubrió varios amen sirve como una herramienta para evaluar los logros de los tópicos tales como su carrera hasta estudiantes. sus hobbies. Sobre todo, nos contó Los estudiantes deben de tomar este examen para graduarse de la por qué se está postulando  y que secundaria. Si los estudiantes no aprueban el CAPT, tendran otra opor- espera traer  a  Washington. tunidad para tomarlo de nuevo en el grado once. Si no aprueban el TW: Leí que usted creció en CAPT en su tercer año, tendran que tomar la clase “CAPT Review” en Brooklyn y asistió a la secundaria su ultimo año de secundaria. en el Bronx. ¿Qué recuerda de su Los estudiantes del decimo grado vendrán a la escuela a la hora experiencia en el colegio y cuáles habitual, mientras que los estudiantes de los grados  nueve, diez y once eran sus metas? vendrán a clase mas tarde. RB: Era el editor del periódico del colegio y también era el presidente del cuerpo estudiantil. Escribiendo y aprendiendo como ser un líder en su momento fueron mis metas. También, participé en varios deportes, estuve en el equipo de natación y de tenis, que formaron gran parte de mi vida escolar.  TW: ¿Por qué quiere ser candidato a senador? RB: Porque siento que es otra oportunidad para luchar por la gente y defenderla, para pelear contra intereses especiales o fuerzas poderosas que explotan a los ciudadanos de Connecticut. Mi sentimiento es que Washington a menudo no lo entiende y necesitamos  un cambio en Washington. Quiero pelear tenazmente en Washington por la gente de Connecticut como lo he hecho El club Interact inició un nuevo proyecto llamado “Despierta como Fiscal General. Westhill” (Wake up Westhill). El proyecto comprende la limpieza de los TW: ¿Si fuera elegido, cuales sepasillos de la escuela, como también  las aulas, quitar el grafiti de las rian sus prioridades más altas para paredes y limpiar los tablones de anuncios. este cambio? Deportes, clubs, y otras actividades después de las clases estarán  RB: Bueno, creo que Washington uniéndose con Interact en su misión de hacer  de Westhill un lugar dese- falla en entender la necesidad  de able para todos. acción para trabajos y la recuper “Despierta Westhill”comenzó el primero de febrero y continuara ación económica. También pienso hasta mediados de abril.  Todos los estudiantes son bienvenidos a par- que tenemos que enfocarnos en la ticipar. El club Interact se reúne todos los lunes y miércoles después de guerra contra el terrorismo, y quilas clases en la aula 407. ero ver más hechos y hacer cumplir “La idea detras de este proyecto es hacer de Westhill un lugar agrad- las leyes ambientales. Generalable para profesores, facultad, y estudiantes,” dijo Lee Gordon del gra- mente, mi pensamiento es que do doce, presidente del grupo Interact. “Vamos a limpiar los escritorios mucho de lo que yo haría es trabay ordenar los libros de la biblioteca y las aulas.” jar en defensa de los individuos Jackie Schechter / Editora Gestora que tienen problemas. Mucho de lo


que hacemos en la oficina del Fiscal General es pelear por la gente individualmente, si fueron negados por el seguro medico o propio tratamiento por minoristas o por el gobierno en sí. Muchos veteranos vienen a mi oficina y los ayudamos. Así que, esta posición me daría la oportunidad en una escala más grande. TW: ¿Hay algo que le gustaría que los estudiantes de Westhill supieran de usted? RB: Soy muy dedicado a ayudar a los jóvenes a buscar oportunidades en cualquier carrera o profesión que les interese. Uno de mis trabajos más satisfactorios como Fiscal General ha sido ayudar a jóvenes con recomendaciónes y consejos. Creo que unas de las más importantes cosas que realizo es interactuar con los jóvenes. Dedico mu-

estoy familiarizado con el proyecto, tendré que examinarlo. Yo pienso que se necesita una reforma migratoria, que desafortunadamente es probable que sea aplazada hasta después de las elecciones, pero el sistema actual necesita mejorar. Creo que hay un amplio acuerdo y consenso sobre este tema, pero para tomar medidas específicas, estaré hablando sobre esto durante la campaña. TW: ¿Tiene ideas sobre cómo ayudar a la comunidad hispana? RB: Pienso que debe haber más esfuerzo para involucrar la comunidad entera, incluyendo la comunidad hispanohablante en las escuelas. Las escuelas más exitosas son las que involucran a los padres. Los padres son absolutamente la clave a la calidad de la educación para sus hijos y, más ampliamente,

He vivido aquí durante mucho tiempo antes de mudarme a Greenwich. Considero Stamford como mi ciudad natal, yo he vivido aquí más tiempo que cualquier sitio en mi vida y creo que es una gran comunidad. cho de mi tiempo visitando escuelas. Creo que lo que me gustaría que ellos supieran es que el servicio público es un buen llamado; la gente debe de ayudar a sus comunidades, particularmente una ciudad como Stamford. He vivido aquí durante mucho tiempo antes de mudarme a Greenwich. Considero Stamford como mi ciudad natal, yo he vivido aquí más tiempo que cualquier sitio en mi vida y creo que es una gran comunidad. TW: ¿Cómo se siente sobre el proyecto de reforma de inmigración del Senador Charles Schumer, que planea asegurar nuestras fronteras mientras garantiza la ciudadanía a los 12 millones de indocumentados que están en el país? RB: Sabes, tengo que decir que no

para la calidad de las escuelas. Así que haciéndolos participar generalmente ha sido la causa mía. En Stamford, la comunidad de habla hispana es enormemente importante. Hablo un poco de español y lo utilizo para hablar con grupos hispanos. Mis dos hijos mayores hablan español y han vivido y trabajado en países de habla hispana. Creo que hay enormes contribuciones que pueden ser realizadas por la comunidad hispana. Pero es una buena pregunta y tendré que pensar más en ella. Sabes, muchas de estas preguntas son excelentes - inmigración por ejemplo - y voy a estar escuchando y aprendiendo de la gente… TW: Como parte del proceso de la campaña. RB: Exactamente. Traducción por Andrea Lopez

19 JROTC celebra un año exitoso Las Noticias febrero 2010

Carlos Passuni hace brillar a su equipo

de la temporada. En la competencia pasada hubo tres ganadores, Josh Gonzales,     Los cadetes de “The Westhill Judy Acosta y Cedric Nogueras.  En JROTC Viking Battalion” partici- el primer evento que se realizó sin pan en una serie de eventos lleva- rifles, Josh Gonzales y Judy Acosdos a cabo a nivel del condado y ta quedaron entre el grupo de los estatal.  La escuela está represen- últimos diez.  En el segundo eventada por cuatro equipos que com- to, el cual se llevo a cabo con rifles, piten en diferentes torneos.  Cedric Nogueras y Judy Acosta Nuestros equipos son: “Unarmed también se clasificaron entre los Drill Team,” “Facsimile Drill últimos diez.  Acosta fue la única Team,” “Color Guard” y “Raider doble ganadora en la competencia Team.” aquel día. El pasado 9 de enero, el “Un-   El “Drill Team” de Westhill armed Drill Team” dirigido por JROTC tuvo mucho éxito en la Fatima Sy compitió en el Southern última competencia. “Mi posición New England Drill League.  Di- en el “Drill Team” es ser el comanrigió su equipo de tal manera que dante del equipo. Yo he estado en el ganaron dos trofeos; el primero de “Drill Team” por tres años.  En mi ellos al ocupar el segundo  lugar en tercer año,  he demostrado que esInspección y, el segundo, ocupando toy calificado para tomar esta ocuel tercer lugar en Regulación. pación. Yo tengo que asegurarme Carlos Passuni, comandante que todos estén haciendo su trabajo del “Facsimile Drill Team,” com- y estar pendiente de ello. También pitió en este mismo torneo y, con tengo que dirigir el equipo en cada su equipo logró obtener el primer competencia llamando a los colugar en las dos modalidades.  El mandos,” dijo Carlos Passuni. “Color Guard” es dirigido por Erik Este año el FAC’s ha hecho Bonilla, quien con su equipo ocupó muy buen trabajo. En su primera el tercer lugar.   competición bajo el comando de Al final de cada torneo, hay Passuni, consiguieron el primero y dos eventos en donde los cadetes segundo lugar, sín embargo, ahora compiten entre ellos mismos con sólo obtienen el primer lugar en el fin de eliminar a sus contrin- los torneos a los que asisten.  La cantes y, así, los últimos diez ga- meta trazada por Passuni es mannarán medallas y competirán en tenerse en el primer lugar mientras las diferentes categorías al término este en el comandado. Valentina Suarez Reportera

Foto por Judy Acosta El Facsimile Drill Team, dirigido por Carlos Passuni, gano segundo equipo del año en la competencia en Springfield, Massachusetts el 30 de enero. “Carlos Passuni ha sido miembro del “Drill Team,” “Color Guard” y “Raider Team” por tres años y, ahora es el comandante del Drill Team. Carlos ha estado involucrado en cada evento que hacemos, él es el que sale adelante, él más dedicado de todos, también tiene muchas responsabilidades y por ello se ha convertido en el líder de nuestra organización,” dijo Sergeant Major Lance Finick. Passuni ha tomado el liderazgo del equipo por su sentido de responsabilidad, siendo un ejemplo

para los demás. Además, da lo mejor de sí para que su equipo salga adelante y continúe en el primer lugar en todas las competencias. Para Passuni es importante ser responsable de sus acciones y hacer un buen trabajo. “Yo creo que nuestras metas para nuestro equipo es dar el 100% de lo que tenemos pero también tener un poco de diversión y tratar de ganar más trofeos. Para el año entrante mi meta es corregir los errores que cometí y sacar mi equipo adelante para que sea el mejor,”

agrego Passuni. “Carlos siempre va a todas las competencias que realizamos, tiene varias medallas y siempre es muy puntual; su uniforme siempre está en orden y el siempre muestra disposición para dar lo mejor de él,” dijo Mathew Charlotten, del grado once. El 30 de enero en Springfield, Massachusetts el FAC’s gano segundo equipo del año. Cesar Vanegas, Aanash Maholtra y Cedric Nogueras ganaron el Individual Drill Regulation.

School Transformation). Declarando que el deber de toda escuela pública de Stamford es preparar a todo estudiante para sobresalir en la universidad, el Dr. Joshua Starr manifestó que estudiantes de sexto

programa también dedicará más tiempo a materias fundamentales, como matemáticas, y lectura.      Como parte de la reforma educativa, también se ha creado un periodo de consejería (“Adviso-

académico permanentemente, sin la oportunidad de superarse en áreas donde necesite o no ayuda. Los padres y la comunidad tienen como deber recalcar lo importante que es trabajar duro para sobresalir en la escuela y en la vida. “Los padres forman una pieza importante en el rompecabezas,” subrayó Dr. Joshua Starr. Aunque algunos padres latinos no entiendan inglés, ellos pueden ayudar a sus hijos de diferentes maneras, como apagando el televisor, hablando de la universidad, y estando al tanto de quiénes son sus amistades. El Señor Eugene Campbell, director ejecutivo del Yerwood Center, dijo que necesitamos estar activos e involucrarnos en la comunidad.  “Es tiempo de expresar nuestras necesidades.”

Superintendente Starr habla de la educación ERIK ALVAREZ Reportero

El 14 de enero de 2010, el Dr. Joshua Starr, superintendente de las escuelas públicas de Stamford, visitó el Yerwood Center para hablar con la comunidad hispana sobre las iniciativas educativas de Stamford. El Yerwood Center es un centro comunitario comprometido por un mejor futuro para los jóvenes. El Dr. Joshua Starr habló del nuevo método de aprender matemáticas, “Everyday Math,” por el cual los estudiantes de primaria podrán aplicar conceptos de matemáticas. En una visita a una clase de primer grado, el Dr. Joshua Starr observó el trabajo de un equipo de estudiantes. También se han implementado nuevos programas de lectura en cuatro es-

cuelas primarias. El Dr. Johua Starr recalcó la importancia de un curriculum que exija libros estimulantes para niños y a través de los cuales puedan aprender de maneras diferentes con cualquier texto.  Además, hubo un incremento en el número de cursos avanzados ofrecidos en las escuelas secundarias así como la implementación de premios monetarios para aquellos estudiantes que sobresalgan en dichos exámenes. Aún cuando hubo cambios en lectura y matemáticas, las clases de música y arte no han sido afectados por estas iniciativas.       El Dr. Joshua Starr explicó detalladamente los cambios curriculares implementados recientemente en el sexto grado, conocido mejor como “Transformación de las Escuelas Medias” (Middle

“Los padres forman una pieza importante en el rompecabezas,” subrayó Dr. Joshua Starr. grado desde ahora en adelante no serán asignados a cursos que limiten su potencial y desarrollo académico. En las escuelas medias, se han eliminado los dos niveles académicos más bajos para que de esta manera existan más oportunidades para estudiantes minoritarios—y de esta forma poder disminuir la diferencia de logros (“achievement gap”)  que existe entre los estudiantes. El nuevo

ry”) en las escuelas intermedias para que los estudiantes puedan relacionarse mejor entre ellos mismos y con sus profesores. Durante este tiempo, los estudiantes se reúnen para hablar de diferentes temas y ser encaminados al éxito escolar.       En general, el Dr. Starr habló de los efectos dañinos del “tracking,” o el sistema por el cual a un estudiante se le asigna un nivel


Advertisement February 2010

Supplement Westword


The Westword has scoped out many of the spots, programs, and underground organizations at Westhill that still remain unknown despite their considerable membership, size, or daily use. Although many students may consider themselves well acquainted with the general workings of our school, it is time we reveal the truth about what happens behind these closed doors.



Caught on Tape February 2010

Exploring the tech crew’s domain

Have you ever wondered what is really behind the curtains of the auditorium stage? Do you know where the costumes are stored, the sets are built, and the lights are worked? Areas most students won’t even glimpse during their four years here are the natural habitat of a certain club—Tech crew.

To the left of the stage, through the backstage area, one comes across a large room filled with wooden planks, broken down sets, paint cans, and all the tools imaginable. This room is referred to as the Woodroom, and is the central construction area for shows. Here, the Set Construction Crew assembles the set for different productions. However, the Woodroom is not just for work. There have been several band jamming sessions before shows, and even a small birthday celebration once. The walls are decorated with student graffiti. One section


is dedicated to “The rules of the Woodroom,” such as “no talking about the woodroom.” There is even another section for the and different names of old Westhill students. Although the Woodroom is the perfect place for building, painting, and repairing different sets, it’s also a place of gathering and fun.

^ Over the years, the auditorium has built up a large collection of clothing from different productions and various donations. All of this clothing is kept in a small room at the top of a spiral staircase on the right side of the stage called the Costume Closet. Recently, it has been cleaned

out and organized by the Costume Crew, but in previous years, it had been almost impossible to walk through it without tripping over a wedding dress, pair of cowboy boots, or top hat.

One of the most useful and unknown spots in Westhill is “The Cove.” The Cove is a small balcony in the ceiling of the auditorium where many of the lights for different events are used. To get to the Cove is truly an expedition. After going up a small spiral staircase to the right of the theater, walking through the costume

closet, and climbing a ladder approximately 20 feet tall, one finally can walk across the small balcony. Even some of the tech students have not had the opportunity to go up to the Cove. “When I first went up there as a freshman, I was a little scared, but it’s awesome knowing that you’re in the ceiling of Westhill,” said junior Sound Crew Head Josh Anker. “It’s cool being somewhere where not many other students have been.”

Descriptions and photos by Alana Kasindorf / Photo Editor

Supplement February 2010

Under Surveillance

Jennifer GuEvAra and catIlIn o’brien Staff Writer and Online Content Editor

As one walks into Westhill High School, one may notice surveillance cameras placed in several places around the school, which leaves a student to wonder where the surveillance room is hidden or how the administration uses these cameras to find out what students do. According to the Head of Security, Nick Wright, there are approximately 37 cameras all around the school. The most visible cameras are those that are in the cafeteria. However, there are also cameras that are not as visible, such as those in the corners of the hall-

ways. The camera feed is checked regularly by security staff who watch the monitors in the surveillance room in the Raynor Building on the second floor. Having these cameras placed in almost every location around the school can be very crucial, especially when fights occur and students deny any action. For example, on Wednesday, February 3, there was a food fight during first lunch wave in the cafeteria. This secretive aspect of Westhill security cameras was crucial in finding out who was behind the food fight. Had it not been for the surveillance room, the security members would not have been able to figure out this problem and it would make other aspects of security’s job much harder.

But there are other uses of the cameras than solely catching students who started fights. One of the most common uses of the surveillance room is to find items stolen in the gym or Media Center and return them to their rightful owner. Senior Lexa Eliades had her backpack stolen on Thursday, February 4, and when it was returned to her, she realized her car keys and wallet were missing. She said, “It was really lucky that [the security guards] had the cameras there. [They] were able to find the person right away. If they didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have gotten my keys and wallet back.” Another primary use of the cameras is to find students who leave the school grounds, most

commonly during lunch. In fact, there was a dumpster at the end of the senior parking lot that was removed so the cameras could have a clear line of sight all the way down the parking lot. According to security, action is taken against all offenses caught on camera. When a student is spotted violating school rules and the violation is picked up on the cameras, the nearest security guard is notified and given the student’s physical description. If a student is skipping, his or her license plate number will be recorded. The student’s name is then acquired after they are picked up by a security guard. The student’s grade administrator is also notified and then the appropriate punishment is given.


Wright feels that the video surveillance room is a great asset to the Westhill security staff, helping them to solve problems throughout the school quickly and efficiently. “Only security people and the school administration have access to the surveillance room, no one else,” said Mr. Wright. He also said it is very important to keep information received from the surveillance cameras confidential, or else it could jeopardize the security that already exists in the school. Although some information must remain confidential to protect the privacy of Westhill’s security department, the security cameras keep a close eye on the every move of Westhill students, and are a crucial part of keeping Westhill safe.



Supplement February 2010

February 2010

Future Farmers of America Elizabeth Quartararo and Michelle Greenman Feature Editor and Staff Writer

Many students are unaware of the inner workings of the Agricultural Science Program that operates on the Westhill campus. The program, which is coordinated by Dr. Lisy, allows students to study agricultural subjects that are not available to the general Westhill population. The Future Farmers of America (FFA) exists to encourage students to explore their dedication to agriculture, providing them with opportunities to exercise the skills they have learned in the Agricultural Science program. Founded in 1928, the FFA is an organization that is dedicated to agricultural education. According to, the FFA motto reads, “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.” Although the oficial name only alludes to farming, the program encompasses much more than that. A variety of agriculture’s many aspects, like the veterinary field, are heavily focused on in Westhill’s program. The only requirement for participation in the organization is to be a part of the Agricultural Science program at Westhill. Both this year and last, every student in the program, which consists of 86 students, was in FFA. FFA President, senior Sara Halm, said, “FFA is great for leadership. You can continue it in college and get an American Degree and get an Alumni Degree.” Halm plans to study environmental science in college. Participation in FFA provides a wealth of opportunities for members, including scholarships and the ability to become an officer and hold leadership positions. Last year, members participated in the Veterinary Career Development competition and placed fourth in the state. This is

particularly impressive considering it was their first year competing. Dr. Lisy, Agricultural Science program coordinator, said they are thinking about participating in the aquaculture and natural resources areas this year. FFA Secretary, junior Patricia Ochonski, said, “FFA members are presented with many different opportunities. One of these is participating in Career Development Events. This can be anything from a public speaking competition to a floral design competition. In addition, FFA members are able to go on field trips that focus on different aspects of agriculture.” FFA members meet once a month and make good use of their time. They often bring in people from a range of agriculturally related fields to discuss job opportunities in the students’ areas of study. They have had speakers from the Greenwich Canine Union, Animal Embassy, the Maritime Aquarium and Designs by Lee. Dr. Lisy said, “I think it really helps kids to think about what they want to do post high school graduation. FFA exposes the members to potential career pathways in agriculture.” Students who circulate Westhill’s main buildings may have heard of the FFA through their fundraising efforts, including their flower sale throughout the first week of February. Halm said, “We do a lot of fundraising, plus community awareness. We’re planning an event in the spring with Animal Welfare and Doggy Day Care.” From guiding students through career decisions and providing them with access to handson experience in their fields of interest, FFA is a great organization for participants in the Agricultural Science program.

A look inside the Ag-science building Many of you may pass the agriscience building each day on your way into school. But how many of us actually know what is brewing behind those closed glass doors? The Westword has decided to enter this building of mysteries. We have investigated various programs that are conducted within the building and disclosed their ongoings to you, our fellow student body.


Aquaculture: A School of Fish ANIKA ADVANI Page Editor

Although many aspects of the agriscience program remain a mystery, a new class has sparked interest in many students—the aquaculture class. The aquaculture class is one of the most unique classes offered in Westhill to juniors and seniors. As part of the agriscience program, students apply the science they learn to raise tilapia in special tubs in the Ag-science building. So why tilapia you may ask? “Tilapia are very easy to work with and are an important source of food,” said Dr. Lisy, head of the aquaculture program. “We integrate science into the discipline of aquaculture.” The 12 students in the class feed the fish each day and check the water’s pH, nitrite, and nitrate concentrations from the time the fish are born until they are fully developed. Dr. Lisy even hopes that the kids will be

able to eventually eat the fish, although the process of cleaning the fish and their environments in order for them to be edible is quite complicated. “I like taking care of the fish. We do a lot to take care of them, and even clean the filters and tanks of the fish you see in the halls of [the Ag-Science Building,” said junior Sophie Trusty, who participates in the aquaculture program. “It’s hard work to maintain everything.” Not only do students learn how to take care of tilapia, they also learn about the biology associated with care-taking. “Not only are the students learning to work in an aquaculture facility, they are learning many different skills to start their own aquaculture labs or pet stores in the future,” Dr. Lisy said. “I’m interested in plumbing, and it’s great because I get to do things in this class that I don’t in many of my other classes. I get to work with PVC pipes and animals at

the same time. I like to learn about the fish and plumbing techniques at the same time,” said junior Stephanie Corney. Dr. Lisy hopes the program will continue to expand. “What many people don’t realize is how great this program is. The most important thing about the aquaculture program is the appreciation [that we give students] for the science behind what we’re doing. We teach the kids a respect for life, and that is my first and foremost goal for them,” said Dr. Lisy. Dr. Lisy has been promoting the many aspects of the agriscience program, including the aquaculture class, through The Advocate and is even trying to get in touch with News 12 for coverage. The students who chose to participate in the program really enjoy it. “I’m so glad that I’m taking this class this year,” said junior Tim Gerson. “It’s nice to be around others who are interested in the same things as you are. This is definitely the best part of my day.”

Students get veterinary experience Kara Lewis and andrew masi Copy Manager and Columnist Upon walking into the Ag-science Building, it is not hard to notice the multitude of various fishtanks and other caged animals lining the halls and classrooms. You may be surprised, however, to learn that the Agriscience Program also boasts a Doggy Day Care. The Doggy Day care program is available mainly to Westhill teachers as an alternative option to leaving their dog(s) at home while they teach. Dogs enrolled at the Doggy Day Care program are taken on walks and played with, in addition to having time to play with other dogs in the program. Dogs also get a complimentary brush out, and dogs that have already had previous command training will receive refresh command training,

or in other words a review of the commands that they have already learned. The regular price of the Doggy Day Care program is $20, but there is a reduced fee of $15 for faculty and staff. In order to be eligible to partake in these services, dogs must have documented proof of rabies vaccination and exhibit a friendliness toward people as well as other dogs. Doggy Day Care has an array of updated equipment including new bath tubs, kennels, and general grooming supplies. However, unlike most professional grooming facilities where dogs are kenneled for most of the day, the program allows permitted AgriScience students to play with the dogs outside their cages. Students are benefited by the extended educational opportunity and the dogs always enjoy their company. Some students have even volunteered their time after

school to train for a future related business. These students gain knowledge of dog breeds, their unique personalities and the challenges of running their own business. They form valuable friendships with the animals and other students assisting the program. Doggie supervision begins between 6:45 and 7:10 a.m. when the dogs are dropped off in the morning. At the end of the day, owners come to pick up their dogs between 2:05 and 3:30 p.m. Most dogs are exhausted by the end of the day. When asked about the success of the program, Ms. Croll states, “It is the type of program where all parties benefit; student, owner, and of course, man’s best friend.” For more information, as well as dates and requirements, contact Ms. Croll at Lizzie Viggiano and Lizzie Van Name / Photographers


Supplement February 2010

Unconventional paths to success Alternative programs offer new learning environments Dan O’Brien & Sam Rushovich Limelight Editor & Staff Writer

Everyone has seen the mysterious building located near the freshman wing and the track. However, few people know that this building hosts two different programs that are not part of a traditional Westhill education. Both the Respect, Excellence, Attitude, and Leadership (R.E.A.L) program and the Academic Routes to Success (A.R.T.S) program occu-

py this building. Both programs are run by former Assistant Principal Mr. Joseph Mancusi, and offer new opportunities for students who are challenged by standard educational institutions. Half of the building belongs to the R.E.A.L. Program, which is designed to help students with developmental differences transition into the work world and find the help and support they need after high school. It provides a life skills program that helps kids prepare for life outside of school. The R.E.A.L. Program has established The River Hill Café, which provides food to staff and students. Food orders are placed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and The River Hill Café staff will deliver the lunch directly to the student or teacher during all three lunch waves on Thursdays or Fridays. “It’s a great program for students. It allows them to order lunch from a variety of items, and

when we cook [the food], it is nice to see the students enjoy it,” said one anonymous River Hill Café cook. Maintaining the café takes time and dedicated preparation. Every Tuesday, the students of the R.E.A.L. program go to Costco and other stores to purchase everything they will need for the week’s meals. On Thursdays and Fridays the actual food is made and delivered. The other half of the building is reserved for the Westhill A.R.T.S program. This program takes in students who have difficulty in standard school settings. Students from Westhill, Stamford High School, and the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE) enter this program if they are experiencing behavioral issues, attendance problems, or emotional complications that cause problems in a standard school system. The A.R.T.S. program helps

students work out everyday problems with their classmates and advisors. The Westhill A.R.T.S. program currently contains 26 students. Mr. Mancusi, head of the A.R.T.S. Program, said, “The smaller learning environment provides a stronger parental attachment between students and staff.” This program is designed to help satisfy the extra needs of these students. Both the R.E.A.L. program and the A.R.T.S. program provide alternative sources of encouragement and education for high school students who need it. Although this building often goes unacknowledged, it has brought many students hope and opportunities for the future. “In this school I relate to people and aid is always there for me when I need it. I can say, throughout my time here, this program has helped me greatly,” said A.R.T.S. student senior Nickson Alexander Bron.

Lizzie Viggiano / Photographer


Not your average class

February 2010


Although many students are taking run of the mill core curriculum classes, there are those of us who push the limits of an ordinary education in pursuit of skills which can be applied outside the school’s walls. LAINEY SIDELL Sports Editor What may be classified as a “cooking class” in schedule books is in fact what unified arts teacher Mrs. Packo calls a “food and nutrition class,” where cooking is not the primary concern. During this half-year course, officially titled Introduction to Culinary Arts, students are taught about foodrelated viruses and cooking tools, along with the methods to prepare various dishes. Mrs. Packo puts an emphasis on teaching food safety and sanitation in her class. She devotes several lessons to studying five types of foodborne viruses. “Sanitation is a big thing [in this class]. A lot of kids think they have the flu but it is actually food poisoning,” said

Mrs. Packo. Food nutrition is also covered in the curriculum, which teaches students about making healthy choices when it comes to eating. Mrs. Packo reiterates cleanliness as often as possible. The classroom has to be as spotless when the students leave as it was when they entered. A part of maintaining tidiness is having all of the cooking tools in the correct places. There are several different cooking stations in room 209. Every kitchen has a designated color that matches the tools belonging to that station. This is an easy way to keep track of what belongs where. Dishes are also designed according to the current season and any upcoming holidays. The food that students cook in class varies, encompassing differ-

ent food groups each time the students fire up the stove. The recipes start off easy at the beginning of the course and progressively become more difficult. “You don’t need any prior experience [to take the class]. I benefited [from the class] by learning how to cook properly and about food safety,” said sophomore Kamil Kowalczyk. Mrs. Packo gives demonstrations on how to cook the food before students are asked to make it themselves, and quizzes are given upon finishing a unit. Mrs. Packo also tries to incorporate as much news that is relevant to the class as possible, making the topics relatable to the students. “I want the students to understand [the things taught in class] are something they will use for the rest of their life,” said Mrs. Packo. Suzanne Cohen Staff Writer

rk o w od

Wo Ashley Guy Staff Writer

Deep down in the basement is room three, which holds one of the most unique classes out of the electives offered at Westhill— Auto Tech. Auto Tech has been offered since Westhill first opened and increased in popularity over the years. “I enjoy that its hands on, different from any other class, and actually useful.” said senior Mike Suchocki. For the 2009-2010 school year, Auto Tech is offered every day fourth and sixth period with Mr. Jordan. It is a half year class where students are able to learn about

the basic components of a car as well as some maintenance skills including changing the oil, fixing the brakes, and learning about the system of a car. “This class deals with the inside of cars, which makes it a very ‘hands dirty’ class.” said Mr. Jordan. Many people, including teens, do not know much about their automobile. Mr. Jordan likes that he can educate students about how some mechanics are able to make business deals with people who are ignorant about how a car works. Auto Tech covers in-depth each part of the car and how to react if something goes wrong while driving. Teen drivers in the Westhill

In a corner of the school basement lies a room many students don’t know about—room four, the woodwork room. Not only are many students clueless about the location of the room, but many do not even know that the class exists. Woodwork is a unified art, which fulfills the art requirement for graduation, and is taught by unified arts teacher Mr. Jordan. Occasionally, students are seen around school carrying wooden objects, such as chairs and tables. These are just some of the products that can be made in woodwork class. “I made a mini-table from pine with a working drawer and a door knob,” said senior

Intr odu c Cul ina tion to ry A rts

Steph Domond. If you venture down to room four, you will observe things you won’t see anywhere else at Westhill. The floor looks like a woodshaving snow storm swept through the room, and the smell indicates the same. Various students surround the tables as busy students measure wood and glue wood pieces together. Students in the class say that you frequently get dirty, but it is great being able to create your own projects. Domond said, “It is fun to see the end result of a project that might have taken a few weeks to complete.” A typical day in woodwork involves receiving an assignment for a project, cutting wood, and getting started. Some projects

take months to complete. The practical benefits of learning the techniques of woodworking and how to operate the various tools are obvious. According to the Stamford Public Schools schedule book, in the class, students learn about woodworking machines and power tools. After completion of the course, they should have an understanding in basic woodworking, planning, design, and wood finishing. Next time you see a student walking around the school with a piece of wood furniture, know it came from one of the talented woodwork students who put in a lot of effort and probably gained a few splinters from their hard work and effort.

community may become more aware of issues relating to driving after taking this class. When asked what makes him happy about teaching this class in particular, Mr. Jordan said “getting the four or six kids who really love the making of cars and who are not afraid to ask questions [about] why a certain part reacts the way it reacts.” Auto Tech is a class that gets everyone involved and working together. It helps teens learn how to deal with certain events that may occur in a car’s life. “Now I have a chance to learn about the cars and how to work on them.” said senior Mike Lizzie Viggiano & Stacey Rupolo / Photographer & Managing Editor Suchoski.

ch e T o t u A


Supplement February 2010

Try your own! See if you can find the following objects within the Supplement section.

Can you find the... Cane Basket top Bag

Walkie talkie


Safety goggles Paint bucket Answers: cane - page 21; camera - page 23; walkie talkie - page 23; science goggles - page 27; basket top - page 22; bag - page 26; hat - page 23; paint bucket - page 22



Behind the curtain with the cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

After several weeks of preparation, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is set to premiere on Friday, February 5. Performances continue until Sunday, February 7. The cast includes students from several schools in Stamford such as Westhill, Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE), Stamford High, Rippowam Midlle, and Newfield Elementary.

Junior Talia Robinson Senior Will Strong Sophomore Miiko Valkonen as “Helena” as “Quince” as “Oberon” and “Theseus”

The Westword: How has it been working a TW: How has your role as the character Hel- TW: How have rehearsals progressed? show that also incorporates a middle school? ena been? MV: “It’s been a really long performance and WS: “It works pretty well. Middle schoolers TR: “Its been great. Playing Helena is really there have been a few rough spots. There were put lots of energy towards the show, and work melodramatic and its fun to play a character times where it seemed all hope was lost, but it hard to make it work.” like that in the show.” has gotten a lot better than I expected.” Information Compiled by Danny Tehrani AND David Markowitz / Express Editor and Copy Editor

All Photos by Alana Kasindorf/ Photo Editor


Limelight February 2010

Sound Off A Column by John Hoo and Ivan Arias

Animal / Ke$ha

Ke$ha, a well known iTunes favorite whose lyrics are frequently quoted on Facebook, made her Billboard debut with Animal, which was released on January, 2010. Ke$ha’s influences range from Beck and Queen to Fugazi and the Beastie Boys, which makes her music amount to that of a B-rated Lady Gaga. Ke$ha’s image can be easily defined as low brow as evidenced by her raunchy lyrics. Be that as it may, Animal is meant for fans of the poppy-electro along the likes of Uffie, Amanda Blank, and to a certain extent Lady Gaga. For those not familiar with Ke$ha’s sound, the best place to start would be “TiK ToK,” “Blah Blah Blah (feat. 3OH!3)”, or “Animal.” Photo Courtesy of MTV’s Jersey Shore has become one of the most popular shows on TV. However, the message it sends about Italian culture has brought controversy to MTV and has offended some viewers.

Jersey Shore proves controversial Amanda Barkin Photographer

MTV’s Jersey Shore, which was named one of the best shows of 2009 by Westhill students in The Westword’s last issue of the Best and Worst in 2009, is an extremely popular TV show. The hysterical nature of Jersey Shore swept the nation bringing in thousands of viewers Thursday nights at 9 p.m. for the past few months. The show takes place at Seaside Heights, on the New Jersey Shore. It follows six Italian American young adults as they work at a souvenir shop on the Boardwalk, go out clubbing, and interact with one another in their rented summerhouse. The hilarious nature of the show is embedded within characters that the housemates portray. Jersey Shore provides entertainment for those who follow the characters, such as Mike Sorrentino, who calls himself “The Situation.” However, as enjoyable as the show may be, it has recently offended Italian-Americans, and non-Italians alike. Some fear that the viewers will assume and generalize the way the cast behaves as typical of all Italian-Americans. Naturally, some viewers are unable to make the distinction between the lifestyles of the cast and those

of other Italian-Americans. Senior Andrew Masi, a student of Italian heritage, said, “Jersey Shore epitomizes an extreme subculture within the Italian ethnicity. Obviously, not every ItalianAmerican resembles the characters depicted in this show.” Jersey Shore has not only angered Italian-Americans, but violated the law of State of New Jersey. The characters in the show have broken state laws such as “Hate Crime Law” by targeting Italian-Americans through the show. In addition, the tax status and work practices of The Shore Store are being investigated according to The key, in my opinion however, is to appreciate the humor. Many student say that despite the controversies surrounding it, the show is just plain entertaining. “Its a funny show that [gave] you something to watch on Thursdays. The characters are hilarious and something exciting always happens,” said sophomore Kayla Bratton. “The show is hilarious,and you just need to keep in mind that not all Italian-Americans do not behave like they do on the show.” All in all, despite the stereotypical nature of the show, it has been a huge hit in the Westhill community.

Rating: 2.5 dollar signs out of 5

Contra / Vampire Weekend

Exchanging New England references and northeastern prep culture for more experimental and adventurous worldly influences, Vampire Weekend returns in full swing with its sophomore effort, Contra. Fans of its first album should stop reading now and go buy this album. For those unfamiliar with Vampire Weekend, its music can be described as indie pop with clear African influences which create the band’s unique sound. Contra has more variety than the band’s self-titled debut and is sure to appeal to all listeners. Standout tracks include “Cousins,” “Horchata,” and “White Sky.” An unexpected addition to the album is by M.I.A. who is featured on “Diplomat’s Son.”

Rating: 4.5 Oxford button-downs out of 5

The State vs. Radric Davis / Gucci Mane Despite his many run ins with the law, Gucci Mane has managed to release six mixtapes and one full-length album over an eight month period. Despite lapses of judgment in terms of lyrics (“I move chickens, I move chickens shorty” and “I’m grinnin’ so hard it look like it’s a picnic”) Gucci Mane is fully capable of creating solid, and at times, amazing hip-hop. The State vs. Radric Davis features an energy rare to major label releases and a rotating cast of supporting players such as Lil Wayne, Cam’Ron, Usher, Soulja Boy Tell’Em, and Juelz Santana. The album starts off with the grandiose “Classical” featuring opera singers and a full orchestra which eventually leads to standout tracks “Lemonade” and “Wasted.” All in all, Gucci is unlike a typical rapper. He is a modern-day Socrates, lyrical wordsmith, and straight-up visionary.

Rating: 5 ice-cold glasses of lemonade out of 5

Illustrations by Laura Eber Photos Courtesy of,, and

Limelight February 2010


Box office hit Avatar draws attention

Photo Courtesy of The new blockbuster Avatar has created some controversy because the movie may suggest that non-whites are not able to support themselves.

Writer and Director James Cameron has done it again. After the record-shattering Titanic in 1997, some thought it wasn’t possible for him to soar any higher. But he has captured the film industry’s attention once again with Avatar, an epic movie that can be described as a mixture of 20th Century Fox’s FernGully and Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves. Avatar tells the story of a crippled former marine, Jake Sully, who goes to the moon, Pandora, in a solar system that is five lightyears away from Earth. His mission is to take the place of his late brother in controlling genetically engineered bodies that can tolerate the Pandoran atmosphere, which is toxic to humans. Sully learns and grows as he interacts with the Pandoran natives, called the Na’vi. Ultimately, he saves the natives from potential destruction at the hands of human colonists. “We’re telling the story of what happens when a technologically superior culture comes into a place with a technologically inferior indigenous culture and

there are resources there that they want,” said Cameron. This movie has become the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing over $564 million according to the Internet Movie Database. But all great movies are not without their fair share of controversy. According to Discovery News, the blogosphere has been ringing since the movie’s release on December 18 with comments calling the movie “a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people.” This small, but vocally active minority is declaring the movie racist claiming that it reinforces “the white Messiah fable” which suggests that non-whites are incapable of helping themselves. According to Moviefone, critics have said that this movie is one of many “Hollywood films in which a tribe of people of color depend on a white protagonist, who’s immersed himself in their culture, to save them from their oppressors.” Cameron refutes these claims by commenting that the theme of the movie is about respecting others’ differences. “The point of this movie is to inform people about opening their eyes to truly see others, respecting them even though

agement, and coping. “Although I do draw inspiration from my own life, I find that I’m often inspired by other people’s stories. My goal is always to express universal feelings through my music, because the most important thing to me is that my listeners can emotionally connect to my songs,” said Occhino. Occhino performs all of the lead vocals, harmonies, and piano on her album. Her 11 years of passion and dedication to music have led to an invitation to showcase her talent at New York City’s oldest and most famous rock club, The Bitter End. She will perform on May 30 on the very same stage that has been graced by superstars such as Miles Davis, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, and Lady Gaga. “This was a goal I set for myself as a musician, but I never thought it would happen so fast,” Occhino said. The news of Occhino’s the album release is clearly creating a buzz within the Stamford community and beyond. Within only

two weeks of hitting the web, Occhino’s Facebook page racked up over 300 fans from all around the world. But for Occhino, it’s not just about recognition, but how she can give back to others. Occhino plans to donate 20 percent of her physical CD sales to the Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic (SYAP) Outreach music program that serves all families, regardless of their ability to pay tuition. “We at Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic are delighted to have Lisa join in our efforts to raise awareness of our long-standing commitment to music education and outreach into the community. During these difficult economic times, every donation goes a long way toward the continuation of scholarship help to those in need,” said Executive Director Joyce DiCamillo. To listen to tracks featured on Occhino’s upcoming album, and for more information about the SYAP Outreach program, you can join Occhino’s Facebook fan page or head over to

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Occhino Senior Lisa Occhino’s debut album, Discovery, will be available on iTunes on February 20. Discovery features jazz, reggae, and pop styles that express elements of Occhino’s personal life.


they are different, in the hope that we may find a way to prevent conflict and live more harmoniously on this world. I hardly think that is a racist message,” said Cameron. “Just because Cameron chose a caucasian actor does not mean the movie is racist,” said sophomore Tucker Jepsen. His sentiments are shared by many. “I didn’t pick that up at all. I though [Avatar] was just like Pocahontas, only futurized,” said junior Doug Weissman. Regardless, Avatar has been praised for its developments in cinematography and special effects. New motion-capture animation technologies were created to film the movie and convert the facial movements of the actors into digital animations. Thus, certain parts of the film seem like they are filmed from a normal camera, while others contain awe-inspiring vivid colors. According to BBC News, the virtual world of Pandora occupied over one petabyte of digital space, equivalent to one million gigabytes. This amount of storage space could occupy more than 20 million four-door filing cabinets full of text, according to

Occhino’s album to debut on iTunes Brian Barr Verification Manager

You may have seen senior Lisa Occhino walking to class or at one of her afterschool activities, but did you know that soon you will be able to find her music on iTunes? On February 20, Occhino will officially debut her first album, Discovery, on iTunes, Rhapsody, and in local CD stores. Although Occhino classifies her album as pop, it’s filled with everything from jazz to funky reggae jams that are sure to be a hit with all audiences. “I thought Discovery would be an appropriate title for my first album because as a musician, I’m currently in the process of discovering my sound and my style,” said Occhino. “But I also titled my album this because I really wanted to relate to my audience. I think everyone goes through their lives trying to discover who they are as a person.” Occhino’s songs are loaded with strong emotions and powerful messages of inspiration, encour-

32 Upcoming Concerts Limelight February 2010

For those who love the thrill and excitement of a live show, here are a few of the many upcoming concerts in the tri-state area. If you are interested in any of the concerts listed below, visit or for more information.

The Used

Starland Ballroom 2/14

New Found Glory

The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza 2/18

The Pop-Con 2010

Nassau Coliseum 2/20

John Mayer

Mohegan Sun & Madison Square Garden 2/19, 2/25, and 2/26

Black Eyed Peas

Madison Square Garden 2/24


Madison Square Garden 3/2


Madison Square Garden 3/5

Allman Brothers Band

United Palace Theater 3/11

Alicia Keys

Madison Square Garden 3/17


Prudential Center 3/21

Bon Jovi

Mohegan Sun 3/26 and 3/27 Compiled by Lindsey Simon and Lindsey Morgulis / Staff Writers

Photo Courtesy of Jenny Alpert Kid Cudi performed at The Fillmore at Irving Plaza in New York City on Friday, January 22. Many songs performed were from his 2009 album Man on the Moon: The End of Day. There were also guest performances by hip-hop artists Chip Tha Ripper and Asher Roth.

Man on the Moon reaches new heights

I were. As we walked around to the back of the line on that cold FriAs I thought about how I day evening, I could not help but should start this Kid Cudi concert notice that a large majority of the review, a few different approaches people I passed wore plaid shirts, came to mind. I could tell you wire-rimmed glasses, skinny about the hip-hop artist, born and jeans, or some combination of raised in Cleveland, who made it these hipster accessories. on his own in Brooklyn, and soon By the time everyone had enstarted selling out concert halls in tered, the hall was tightly packed New York. I could tell you about with hundreds of people rangthe same artist who was the open- ing from 16 to 30 years old. Soing act for Lady Gaga’s The Mon- clearly, Cudi was able to attract ster Ball tour, until he was recent- a varied group. Shortly after evly kicked out for punching a fan. I eryone had entered, there was a could even write a whole piece on performance by the up-and- comhis plans for the next few months. ing hip-hop artist Chip Tha RipBut instead, I have decided to per. He performed a few original tell you exactly what happened pieces and really got the crowd that Friday night at the concert be- energized. cause the experience itself topped Shortly after, there was a guest any story I have heard about him appearance by Asher Roth, known yet. for his hit single, “I Love ColAs my friends and I reached lege.” The crowd was definitely the venue for Kid Cudi’s perfor- starting to warm up. mance, The Fillmore at Irving But nothing compared to when Plaza in New York City, we saw Cudi took the stage. He walked the line to enter wrapped around out casually, with a drink in his the block. Even though I knew it hand as if he were at home rather was a sold out event, with ticket then on stage. There were no fancy prices starting in the high 40s, I lights, no drum rolls, just a roaring imagined far fewer people would applause. be there as early as my friends and As he started with his first few Shivali Khetan Editor-in-Chief

songs, I was pleasantly surprised with how similar his performance sounded in comparison to his recordings. Everything came to him with such ease on stage. He was constantly interacting with the audience members while they swayed and jumped to the beats in unison. About halfway through his set list, which was comprised of songs from his 2009 album Man on the Moon: The End of Day, Cudi took a chance to speak to the audience. He said some words about how he does not go to the recording studio with the intention to make money, but rather to produce music that makes him proud. It was clear that the crowd loved him. He then continued to finish off the evening with performances of “Day ‘n’ Nite” and “Pursuit of Happiness.” Kid Cudi was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 2010 for his singles, “Day ‘n’ Nite” and “Make Her Say,” but he did not win any. He will also be starring in the upcoming comedy series from the producers of Entourage, called “How to Make it in America,” which will premiere on Sunday, February 14 on HBO.


February 2010


EXPRESS submit to

From Da Vinci to Dada a Column by Josh Daube

The first impression I got from Zürcher Studio, located on Bleecker Street in New York, was that of a warehouse. Completely empty except for the art on the walls, this gallery is hardly an inviting place. Two exhibitions are currently there until February 14, one by Esther Tielemans, and another by Eun Jin Kim. Tielemans’ current exhibition is essentially mixed media. While paint is the dominant medium used, the smooth, glossy painted panels interlock with rough canvases, defining the sharp edges. These give the artwork a very three dimensional, pan-

oramic feel. The paintings’ edges also are suspended off the wall, adding to the surreal feel of the art. Tielmans is most successful at establishing contrast throughout her work through these smooth and rough elements. All of the paintings are minimalist and abstract, but the subject is still clear to the viewer. All of the paintings are either landscapes or a cityscapes, and not a single landscape or cityscape is colored. Instead, it is the surroundings that are full of rich colors, including shocking greens and blues. Again, the emphasis here is on contrast, by juxtaposing the bright green and blue tie-dye of the sky to the stark white of the cityscapes themselves. As great as the images themselves are, Tielemans’ use of sculpture enhances the exhibit tenfold. Every work draws the viewer into this mixture, and I consider it revolutionary. I expect to see more of this in future works by Mrs. Tielemans. These contrasts are as poignant as they

are aesthetically pleasing, and Mrs. Tielemans has done a superb job with this exhibition. Eun Jin Kim’s sculptures were distorted and occasionally grotesque. Much of her work is drooping, sagging, and surreal. I, for one, certainly did not enjoy it. The sculptures were rough and not very pleasing to the eye. One thing that can be argued in defense of her body of work is that it is all intricately made. The patterns and textures of her sculptures are rough but carefully laid out. However, in my opinion, a pattern and a design is worth little if it is devoid of commentary or beauty. Most of the images depict the human form, especially that of females. Breasts, faces, heads, and torsos twist and melt in a absurd manner. While it is not my favorite kind of art, it certainly has its merits. If you see this exhibit, which I recommend, you will no doubt notice the detail of Kim’s pieces. They are so meticulously made that I feel it is a shame that she twisted them in such a way. However, they are certainly a trip. Such realistic, intricate shapes being bent in this way are definitely worth a look.

From Top to Bottom: Illustrations by Brianna Nash ’10, and Augusta Sagnelli ’10. From Left to Right: Illustrations by Zoe Devito ’10, Jackie Avellar ’11, and Anastasia Michalowskij ’12.

Artist of the Month

Express February 2010


Nicole Taylor

The Westword: What kind of media do you use to express yourself? Nicole Taylor: I love to sketch, especially portraits, and I like to design t-shirts with spray paint and stencils. I also play around by melting crayons (as shown in the third image from the top) or using pastels and paints. TW: When did you first become interested in art? NT: When I was younger, my uncle got me into art because his apartment was filled with interesting pieces that intrigued me. In elementary school, I especially became interested in art. It’s funny, actually, because in elementary school, they asked us all one day to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote down artist, and I remember [senior] Steph Domond wrote down president. It’s funny how things haven’t changed.

Senior Nicole Taylor’s artwork is extremely varied, ranging from painting to t-shirt designing. Her artwork can be seen all around Westhill, as Taylor takes several art classes and sells many of her t-shirts to students. Since she plans to continue with her artwork and to further develop her style, The Westword decided to talk with this multi-talented artist to learn more about her unique art. TW: How did you start making your own t-shirts? NT: I’m not into wearing brand names, and I really wanted to make clothes for me to wear myself. My first stencil was of Brody Dalle of the band The Distillers, and it sparked many future random stencils. I kept making more because the stencils looked good, and I liked being able to make the shirts that I couldn’t buy anywhere. I made one stencil of a movie I liked, Nosferatu, because I couldn’t find a t-shirt for the movie. My t-shirts have really progressed as I’ve experimented, from white shirts with black stencils, to white shirts with neon stencils, to colored shirts designed with bleach. I also like stenciling because I wanted something I could replicate easily. I can make so many of them. Quick and

clean, I like that. TW: Which pieces of art are you most proud of? NT: I’m really proud of my stencils because they are so unique. I also have this one canvas where I just spray painted it and created a geometric design. I have a few favorite sketches, most of which were just spur of the moment and completely random. I drew this one portrait of my cousin while driving in the car with her leaning on her hand, and it came out perfectly, especially the details in her knuckles. I also did a sketch in pen of [senior] Matt Santagata while he was sleeping with the covers pulled up really high. I like that one a lot. TW: Who are you favorite artists and artistic influences? NT: Hayao Miyazaki is my favorite. I love him. I also am influenced by Salvador Dali and Stanley Kubrick.

Photo by Alana Kasindorf / Photo Editor Interview conducted by Marissa Friedman / Express Editor

Special Report:

As Haiti falls, Westhill unites Earthquake abroad devastates students Erin Stanton Managing Editor

Although the earthquake in Haiti struck over 1,555 miles from Stamford, it hit much closer to home for many of those in the Westhill community. On Friday, February 5, junior and senior Janahel and Oliver Gabriel registered as students at Westhill. The siblings had recently arrived in Stamford from their hometown in Haiti. The two students had experienced the earthquake and explained that the incident was incredibly hard and disastrous. Janahel said, “To see everything you knew collapsing was very hard. There were people lying in the streets dead. Some were covered by sheets, but most weren’t even covered.” When asked where he was during the earthquake, Oliver said, “I had just gotten home from school, I was going to my room when I saw everything shaking. I knew it was an earthquake and I went to my mom and sister.” Janahel said, “We lost a cousin and her daughter. It’s hard getting calls saying that someone you knew is dead. It’s one of the hardest things we’ve dealt with.”

The siblings and their mother are currently living with their uncle and aunt in Stamford. Their father is still living and working in Haiti. They plan on buying supplies to send to Haiti to aid with the relief. Junior India Pierre is also originally from La Plaine, Haiti, and her grandmother and sister still live there. Pierre’s grandmother’s house, which serves as her grandmother’s and sister’s permanent home, collapsed and is totally destroyed. Pierre’s father is a school teacher, and was visiting his home in Haiti when the earthquake occurred. Fortunately, Pierre has heard from her father, sister, and grandmother, and they are all okay and still in Haiti. “Westhill has been really helpful. I really appreciate it and I want to thank everyone. Everybody really pulled themselves together,” said Pierre. Sophomore Abigail Jules moved from Delmas, Haiti to Stamford when she was 14. Now, at 15 years old, she occupies the same terrible position of losing loved ones that countless others in Haiti are in. According to Jules, her uncle, grandmother, and cousin, all from

“It affected me because we aren’t able to communicate with people in Haiti. I have a family member that we aren’t able to locate... People are telling us the news and sometimes it is wrong. It makes you more worried about your family and friends.” —Agnes Zephir, ’10

Delmas, are all ok, and have gotten in contact with her to let her know of their status. They are living in their car in what used to be their driveway because their house is destroyed. However, it has been confirmed that three of her childhood friends have died as a result of the earthquake. Despite the losses she has experienced, Jules agrees that Westhill has done its best to help. Many members of English teacher Mr. Celcis’ family resided in Jacmel, Haiti. According to Mr. Celcis, although Jacmel is a coastal town, it sustained a good amount of damage from the 7.0 earthquake. Out of all of the family Mr. Celcis has in Jacmel, he has yet to hear from anyone since the incident. Mr. Celcis also has two cousins who live in Carrefour, Haiti. One of them is a teacher whose school building collapsed from the impact of the earthquake. According to Mr. Celcis, there has been no confirmation, but it is presumed that his cousin died in the school building, along with his students. “The way they handle the bod-

Greg Cinque / Photo Editor The club Heart-to-Heart set up and decorated trash cans around Westhill in order to collect crutches for Haiti. ies, you won’t know whether your relative survived or not. The only way to tell is really if you just see them around,” said Mr. Celcis. “I’ve been very impressed by the outpouring of all the different

How were you affected by the earthquake in Haiti? To find out how the earthquake has affected Westhill students personally, The Westword asked members of the Westhill community to share their stories.

ethnic and religious groups,” said Mr. Celcis. “I’ve even seen people of different groups and color who would not normally talk to each other put everything aside to help.”

“I really was devastated. I have family there and I did not know how they were doing. My friends were all crying and we were all in grief because most of our families are in Haiti.” —Rose Lubin, ’10

Compiled by Anna Schlessinger / Viewpoint Editor

Special Report: Crisis in Haiti February 2010

World helps with fundraising efforts LAURA EBER Head Illustrator The earthquake that took place in Haiti was a horrific event that altered the lives of thousands. Earthquake victims have been left severely injured, starving, homeless, and many are dead. Many buildings and homes have collapsed. There are countless organizations and online fundraisers that are providing aid to those victims experiencing the aftermath of the earthquake. The Haiti Foundation of Hope is an organization that has been providing victims with amputations and treating their injuries. Not only do they supply the victims in Haiti with medical care, but they also aid with food distribution. This has been a focus for the Haiti Foundation of Hope and will continue to be as they help and care for the victims of the earthquake. Another nation-wide fundraiser for Haiti survivors was called “Hit for Haiti.” This fundraiser for the earthquake victims was held in Melbourne, Australia on January 17, the day before the Australian Open. Professional tennis players Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewit, and Samantha Stosur participated in the event. The fundraiser raised $185,000. In addition, many celebrities, including actor George Clooney, participated in a telethon to aide the devastated victims in Haiti. This telethon was called Hope for Haiti. It aired commercial-free on

January 19, across many networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT. Clooney spoke on air in Los Angeles, musician Wyclef Jean aired in New York, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper was in Haiti. The event was two hours long and featured musical performances and many surprises celebrity appearances. Also, according to OK! and People Magazine, celebrities Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated $1 million to the group’s emergency medical operation. Another fundraiser that took place on January 28 was the Rebirth and Rebuild Haiti Fundraising Event. The Art Village Gallery, located in the Historic South Main Art district, hosted an event to aid in the salvage and rebuilding attempts in Haiti. There are many organizations that you can donate to and volunteer for. Some organizations are the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and Yele Haiti (Wyclef Jean’s charity). “I have a collection box in my classroom for donations to Haiti. Although it was not popular to a lot of students, I contributed several of my own clothes. I think Verizon had a great program affiliated with the Red Cross that allowed an easy $10 donation towards helping Haiti,” said English teacher Ms. O’Neill. Junior Lauren Kaplowitz stated, “I think the fundraising is great and has been extremely productive in the efforts in providing aid towards Haiti relief.”


Photo courtesy of wikipedia commons The above map shows how close to the capital the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti.

The earthquake in detail CASSIE MICHELOTTI Staff Writer

On January 12, at 4:53 p.m. a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti just 10 miles west of its capital Port-au-Prince. After the earthquake, there were three million people in need of emergency medical care in a country of less than 10 million people to start off with. This is the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti since 1770, before it was independent from France. There have been over 50 aftershocks of a 4.5 magnitude or higher since the initial earthquake on January 12, and in a country where there are no real construction standards, the damage is very severe. “Early reports suggest hundreds of buildings have collapsed in Port-au-Prince, including the presidential palace, the World Bank local offices, hotels, a hospital, the University and the UN headquarters. Hundreds of other buildings have also been destroyed or sustained severe damage. Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to be made homeless,

however this is a very early estimation.” said Neena Saith, senior catastrophe response manager at Risk Management Solutions, according to All 18 members of the government’s cabinet have survived and they are now working out of a national police building near the Port-au-Prince airport. “What we did was to go to every neighborhood to evaluate the damage and we feel that what was important was to right away to bring some help to the people,” said President Rene Preval, according to CNN. Before the government can go forward, they want to make sure everybody gets the necessary food, water, and shelter, and that all needs are met, and reconstruction can commence. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80 percent of the population living under the poverty line, according to the CIA World Factbook. Organizations all over the world are contributing to the relief effort, and donating has become as easy as

sending a text message, making a phone call, or downloading a song. Social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter have played an important role on updating the situations in Haiti while many of the official lines of communication were down. News organizations like CNN have been relying heavily on things like Twitter feeds to supplement the lack information from Haiti. “We immediately moved someone supervising social media and our iReports (a section of the website where users can upload video and contact information) to the Haiti desk,” said Nick Wrenn, of CNN International Digital Services. Social networking was one way people found out about the earthquake almost as soon as it happened. “I saw [the news] in a status on Facebook before I saw it on the news,” said Senior Bilkis Islam. After having a couple weeks to organize, Haiti is starting to get some of the help it needs, but is still far from having all the necessary aid.

Haiti by numbers

$8 million: Roughly the amount raised through the American Red

Photo courtesy of wikipedia commons A Red Cross doctor checks the health of a Haitian woman.

Cross text messages. $1 million: The amount JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs have each pledged to donate. 200,000: The pounds of prepackaged and freeze dried meals the Salvation Army has provided to survivors. 8,000: The number of people the U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) feed daily. 6,000: The tons of food salvaged by the WFP from Haitian warehouses.

Information from

38 Westhill lends Haiti a helping hand Special Report: Crisis in Haiti February 2010


A distinct strength of the Westhill student body is its ability to respond to a crisis in a concerned, accommodating, productive, and enthusiastic manner in my opinion. Westhill’s reaction to the recent earthquake in Haiti has consisted of many efforts by students to organize relief efforts within the school. Both individuals and groups have successfully raised funds and gathered supplies to send to the victims of the natural disaster. One student heard about the tragedy and, on her own, took the initiative to begin a campaign to assist victims. Junior Yasmeen Moss is not associated with any Westhill club or school organization, yet she still managed to organize a food drive. She used the Yerwood Center (a youth and community center located in downtown Stamford) as the base for the drive. The collection ran from January 14-21. Her motivation for beginning the

drive is apparent. “I was watching television one night, and seeing the live feed of all of the madness that is going on in Haiti, it made me want to do something. I decided to jump on it. I was really just hoping to get all of the food to Haiti,” said Moss. Moss spread the news of what she was doing through Facebook and word of mouth. Just days after she began, cans filled the Yerwood center, ready to be sent to Haiti to help victims of the earthquake. “I told everybody I knew about it. I used Facebook, and the next day there was tons of stuff at the Yerwood center. I was surprised at how many students participated in the drive,” said Moss. Moss’ surprise at the efforts made by students was soon to be echoed around Westhill. Her initial drive was followed by an influx of fundraisers and plans for events to aid Haiti victims. The response of the student body was enormous, and many students became involved. Several different projects were initiated.

First, the Young Men’s Council and the Haitian Club, in association with Interact, National Honor Society (NHS), the French Club, and the senior class student council hosted a Hip Hop Open Mic and Showcase, also called Enter the

Council, again with the assistance of Interact, NHS, and the French Club, have begun planning a carnival to raise funds for the relief effort in Haiti. The Haitian Club met on January 27 to start preparing.

“I was watching television one night, and seeing the live feed of all of the madness that is going on in Haiti, it made me want to do something. I decided to jump on it. I was really just hoping to get all of the food to Haiti,” said Moss. Cypher, which was held on Friday, January 29. Donations to benefit Haitian Relief were encouraged. “I think that the turnout could’ve been better, but those who showed up really were in a positive mood and there was a spirit of activism that definitely filled the event,” said Mr. Celsis, the Young Men’s Council advisor. In addition to this event, the Haitian Club and Young Men’s

“It’s a broad idea. We just put it out there. We’re trying to do it in February, one day before winter break. All of the clubs want to help us. It will show people who we [Haitians] are, and what we do,” said club president, senior Agnes Zephir. The carnival is not only intended to raise funds. It also aims to unite the student body under the common goal of helping Haitian

victims, and a mutual understanding of the different societal customs and values present among Westhill students. “The idea is that they are going to bring together all of these cultures,” said Haitian Club advisor Ms. Viela. In light of the disaster in Haiti, it seems appropriate to unify the student body under these two goals. Yet another fundraiser to support the Haitian relief effort is this year’s Winter Formal, which will be hosted by the freshman and sophomore student councils on February 5. One of the changes made to the formal is that instead of the proceeds going solely towards the freshman and sophomore classes, a fifth of the ticket sales from the dance will be dedicated to helping the victims of the earthquake. According to freshman class advisor Ms. Tobin, this amount could be up to $1,200, a sum that would be sufficient in aiding the relief effort.

Stacy Rupolo / Managing Editor Left, a student sells ribbons to support Haiti relief efforts. Right, Mr. Wooley and Sketch tha Catalysm perform at Enter the Cypher on Friday, January 26.



A fun yet informative reflection of the Westhill student body

Let’s see how far we’ve come... SKYLER ROSS News Editor

Opened in 1971, Westhill has emerged over the years as the largest high school in Stamford, complete with its own community and school culture. Each decade that passes marks a new chapter in Westhill history, and this past decade was no exception. Between the year 2000 and 2010, Westhill has changed in more ways than one would expect. “The walls were yellow, and we wore a lot of flannel, Gap sweatshirts, and flared jeans,” said Ms. Tobin, who was a member of the graduating class of 2000 and now teaches tenth and eleventh grade English classes. School culture and student activity has definitely changed since 2000. Tobin added, “Everyone went to the diners in town after school. Stamford had a lot more of them back then. People didn’t stay after school as much because there were fewer clubs.” However, the community service club, Interact, was still active. One of its main programs back then was the “Christmas in April” volunteer project, which sought to re-

pair and renovate homes that were in serious need of help. Technology has changed too. “Most teachers didn’t have computers in their rooms,” said Ms. Tobin. “They didn’t give out their email addresses. Instead of SMARTboards, teachers used overhead projectors.” According to Head Media Specialist, Ms. Benedict, the Media Center had 30 computers in 2000. Now it has 70, and all of the old ones have been replaced. She said, “There are 30 more computers in the new building’s computer lab alone. Also, most ninth grade classrooms have two computers each.” Ms. Tobin said she first started using PowerPoints in class in 2000. She said, “The Media Center got its first laptop/projector system around that time. PowerPoints became the big thing.” Westhill athletics have also changed. “The girls’ soccer team was definitely not as good. We just didn’t have good footwork,” said Ms. Tobin, who was a girls Varsity soccer player in 2000. In the past decade, Westhill has certainly expanded. According to Mrs. Barkin, the student population for the 1999-2000 school year was 1,524 students. For the 2009-2010 school year, Westhill’s student population is 2,296 students. Since 2000, the freshman building has been added to accomodate larger grade sizes. Furthermore, due to the Project Opening Doors grant, more students are enrolled in AP classes. Ninth grade administrator Ms. Arase commented that “Westhill was easier to manage with fewer kids.” Also, the student to teacher ratio has increased along with the increase in student population. In 2000, Westhill students took five classes and a block schedule was used, according to history teacher Mrs. Loesch. Students had four periods per day, and one subject was dropped each day to then be picked up again the next day. “I

liked it better when we had more creative schedules,” said Mrs. Loesch. However, when asked about in what ways was Westhill different, she replied, “overall, there are no major changes.” “Instead of swine flu, everyone was afraid of walking pneumonia,” said Ms. Tobin. “If someone walked down the hallway with a slight cough, everyone would be careful to stay away from him [or her].” Although Westhill has grown, its demographics have remained steady. “The student population of Westhill has always been diverse,” said history teacher Mr. Kovacs, who has been teaching at Westhill since 1972. Ms. Tobin commented that, “Westhill’s diversity is probably equivalent.” Ms. Tobin also hinted that the senior prank in 2000 involved flushing toilets all over the school at the exact same time. Regardless, Westhill has undoubtedly evolved as a unique addition to the Stamford community, with its own school culture and behavior. Ten years from now, Westhill will not be the same place. Rather, Westhill will continue to develop as we enter the next decade, which marks the newest chapter in the school’s history.



Westhill’s differences over the past decade

Top Photo By Alana Kasindorf / Photo Editor. Bottom Photo Courtesy of Saga 2002.

The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer. There are over 58 million dogs in the US.

February 2010

Seen on the hill:

You’d Only Believe It If Your Mother Told You A Column by Andrew Masi

ball, made a fool of himself testifying before Congress, and demolished his legacy as a respectable athlete and honorable human being. On January 2, 30 runners in China were disqualified during a marathon after they reportedly used multiple types of public transportation and hired trained runners to cheat their way into the top 100 winners. Almost 50,000 runners took part in the event. The “brainiacs” who came up with this genius plan believed that placing high in the race would grant them extra points on a collegiate entrance exam. Now I’m no expert on the Chinese equivalent of the SATs, but really? Was this idea actually supposed to work? On January 24, John Edwards finally admitted to having an affair with Rielle Hunter. This affair occurred while Edwards was a possible Democratic presidential candidate for the 2008 election. Recently released reports claim that Edwards is the father of Hunter’s child. He even let his former aide take responsibility of the paternity for the child as he competed for the democratic nomination. As a result of this embarrassing issue, Edwards’ wife filed for legal separation days after his confession. It’s no wonder that this dimwit is no longer a United States senator. The last few months have proven that lying has become the newest component of the First Amendment. For some reason, many individuals feel that they can simply say and do whatever they please whenever they want. Quite frankly, it’s obvious why society hates liars and cheaters. They are irresponsible, foolish, and worst of all arrogant.

Commemorate your favorite children’s author, Dr. Seuss, on his birthday, March 2, by rereading some of his classics, such as The Cat in the Hat or Oh the Places You’ll Go.


Senior Brian Barr & Art teacher Mr. Defeo

Junior Jerry Lafortune & Bow Wow Music teacher Mr. Curri & Justin Timberlake Science teacher Mr. Aibinder & Grandpa Pickles (of Rugrats)


: o h d t n To mo t x ne Although sophomores are forced to wake up at the usual time during CAPT week, the rest of the school can look forward to sleeping in or going out to breakfast from March 1 to March 5.


Photos courtesy of,,, Teacher and student photos by Jackie Schechter, Erin Downey, and Mallory Hart

National Pi Day is on March 14 (3/14). Make some pie for your math class and suggest to your teacher that you have a party.

Make sure to gather all of your favorite green clothing, accessories, and face paint to ensure a festive St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.

Daylight Savings Time begins on March 14, so don’t forget to turn your clocks forward. Although you’ll lose a little sleep, at least it will stay lighter later at night.

Beware of the Ides of March on March 15, when Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by Brutus. This day is also the day in which the Roman New Year is celebrated.



Westhill look alikes


If I had a nickel for every time a human being lied or cheated in the past month, I could single-handedly bail out Wall Street, pay the New York Yankees’ salaries for the next 20 years, and replace every toilet and sink in Westhill with new ones made of gold. I’m just kidding. But seriously, lying and cheating has become way too popular in modern society. On January 11, Mark McGwire finally admitted to using anabolic steroids, human growth hormones, and other performance-enhancing drugs when he broke baseball’s single-season home-run record in 1998. The confession was reported after he signed a deal to become the St. Louis Cardinal’s hitting coach. In 2005, Congress met with McGwire and several other baseball sluggers accused of using steroids. Although Sammy Sosa suddenly forgot every word in the English language and Rafael Palmeiro turned bright red when asked about steroid usage, no one looked more ridiculous and out of place than Mark McGwire. When asked if he had ever used performance-enhancing drugs, he replied, “I am not here today to talk about the past.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t think there was any other purpose to the meeting than to answer what Congress was asking. McGwire recently released the following statement to the Associated Press: “It’s very emotional, it’s telling family members, friends, and coaches, you know, it’s former teammates to try to get ahold of, you know, that I’m coming clean and being honest.” Although it’s a very touching statement, it doesn’t change the facts that he cheated in base-

The well-known pancake, everyone’s favorite breakfast food, is having its birthday on March 25. Take a trip to your local pancake house, and order some of these famous breakfast treats.





Prepare for the spring season, beginning on March 21, by purchasing some new spring clothing and accessories and anticipating the warm weather to come.

Compiled by Rebecca Savransky / Supplement Editor

Your odds of being killed by space debris are approximately one in five billion. Rats are incapable of puking.

Scatterbrain February 2010

Page of Fun


Can you name the Westhill events? • Write the name of the Westhill event from this and last school year on the line below its picture. • If you need help, ask some of your classmates. • How many events can you name in three minutes? • Check your answers at

All photos credited in previous issues of The Westword

Orangutans warn other animals to stay out of their territory by belching. Butterflies taste using their feet.



Swimming to success

Boys dive into a promising season

MARTHA MASIARZ Distribution Manager

This year, our boys are going strong with a firm 7-2 record so far and only one meet left in the regular season. There are many factors that go into this new and improved team. According to Coach Rick Lewis, the team has greatly benefitted from the addition of a lot of younger talent. “Although we lost our stopper [Ryan Cutter], we added 10 new players who are all capable of scoring,” said Coach Lewis. These 10 players are surely making a big splash in the pool, especially with the addition of two new divers, which doubles the

number of Westhill-Stamford coop team divers. Yet there is also something else that adds the improvement to the team. According to captain James Forde, one of the four seniors on the team, “The team is working harder than ever, but we’re still having fun.” So far, the team has been able to hold on to many wins, most memorably against New Canaan. Last year, New Canaan swimmers were the Class M State Champions. However, this year, Westhill-Stamford defeated them by 10 points for the first time in several years. According to Forde, both teams had equally matched players, but Westhill was able to take advantage of the other team’s slip-

ups and swim faster. The last relay, swam by juniors Ion Cebataru, Igor Stynyk, and sophomore Kareem Saleh, was able to guarantee the win for Westhill-Stamford. According to Coach Lewis, some of the best swimmers include junior Andrew Hendrickson, who set the Westhill record last year for the 500-freestyle, sophomore Jeff Anderson, Cebataru, and Sytnyk, who happens to go to Stamford High. James Forde is also a top swimmer and was named the News 12 Connecticut Scholar Athlete. In addition to that, News 12 announced that the WesthillStamford swim team to be the team of the week for the week of January 24.

Seniors Forde, Brian Sachs, and Gary Carriero are all valuable backstrokers. They are one of the reasons why the team has been able to have such a successful year and prevail in backstroke races. For next year, the team has already predicted that there are two current eighth graders who might be able to take over the backstroking spots on the team. The two boys are Mark Hendrickson, brother of Andrew, and Chris Bittle. One of the losses that WesthillStamford has sustained this year against Greenwich, was also a very important meet for the swimmers. Although it was an upsetting loss for the team, it was a very close score (103-83).

Westhill still swam very well and team member Saleh was able to perform exceptionally, according to several teammates. “We haven’t beaten Greenwich in a long time, and this time it was a lot better,” said Hendrickson. This loss clearly isn’t going to hold Westhill back. The Westhill-Stamford team is ready to come back strong so that it can effectively compete against Greenwich again during FCIACs and States. As FCIACs and States are around the corner, it is clear that the Westhill-Stamford team will surely be in the competition. With talent, hard work, and endurance, it seems as if the team has a winning combination to capture the gold.

Augusta Sagnelli and Elissa Miolene / Photographer and Photo Editor


February 2010


Wrestling fights for a better record

rival Stamford High on Wednesday, January 6. Westhill defeated the Black Knights in a tie breaker after 14 bouts of even match play, with the final victory coming in the eighth category. “It was a roller coaster ride,” said senior captain Cosmo Iadanza. The team was proud after its victory. “This was

the first time we beat them in 23 years. It was an uplifting moment, and I hope the attitude we had will continue throughout the remainder of the season,” said senior Alec Sottosanti. Coach Pereira was also pleased with the victory. However, he also said “though [the win against

Stamford High was] a positive moment in the season, it’s just not enough. We have high expectations this season, and beating a city rival is one thing, but to win a State Championship would really make it a memorable year.” For the remainder of the season, the team has more expectations and goals ahead of it. “We have had an up and down season and we’ve been really good and not so good at times. There is great potential and talent on this team, and we have the ability to succeed,” said Pereira. He also said that the team’s goals are to be one of the top three teams in the FCIACs, top eight in the LL Class Tournament, and top eight in the State Open. Pereira and the team have made these goals clear by writing them on a big sign in the wrestling room. Iadanza believes that his team has a lot of talent but fails to show it on its record. “We are a better team than what [our record] shows, and if we are more aggressive on the mats, we should end up successful this season,” he said.

said junior Doug Graves. So far this season, McManus and Phillipson have each made 100 saves. With the goalies playing at the top of their game, it has been significantly easier for the rest of the team to excel on offense. The team has worked hard to prepare for the season and make the necessary improvements. “Between last year and this year we made huge changes. Before the season, we had off-ice conditioning and did many other things to prepare ourselves for the season ahead and so far it is paying off,” said Valenzano. The team has won numerous important games so far this season. In just the second game of the season, they defeated the powerhouse Wilton in a close matched game, with a final score of 5-4. Two games later, the team proved themselves against cross-city rivals Stamford High School, winning 8-4. This win was the first of a four game winning streak. They’ve also had other impressive wins against Staples, McMahon, and Fairfield’s Warde/Ludlowe composite team. In the beginning of the season, Westhill’s hockey team was con-

sidered an easy win by most opposing teams. However, from the start, they have proven they are a force to be reckoned with. The work has paid off with an impressive record, and a berth in the State tournament. The captains have had leadership support from Bakis and Butler, who were named assistant captains for this season. As captains, Valenzano and Rich have also stepped up to the plate, leading the team in goals and assists and trying to get the other players to perform at their fullest potential. “The captains have been really good this year. They are all strong hockey players and great leaders. They set a good example for the team on and off the ice and have really led the team off to a great start this year,” said Graves. The start to this hockey season has looked very positive so far. “Most things are clicking right now. We still have a lot of work to do to [become] the team we want to be, but we are on our way to it. We hopefully will hit full stride when the FCIAC tournament starts and maintain it throughout States,” said Valenzano.

Kelly Farrell / Photographer Hockey captain senior Tyler Rich (right) battles hard in a game on January 16 against Staples-Weston.

Alana Kasindorf / Photo Editor Frank Conti grapples with Cosmo Iadanza at practice in an effort to get the team back to .500. MIKE MASIARZ Staff Writer

The Varsity wrestling team currently has a 6-11 record, and it still has plenty of tournaments and matches left in the season. The team had one of its biggest victories against cross-town

Iadanza, senior Michael Blanco, and junior Marquis WeaverHart, have been some of the leading wrestlers this year. All have come up with over 20 pins, and Pereira expects a victory from these athletes almost every match. “I enjoy having them in my lineup,” said Pereira. Iadanza has also shown great leadership as a captain, along with senior captain Orrette Douglas who goes to AITE. “Cosmo has done a great job this season, always keeping the team motivated and ready to go,” said Sottosanti. “He has also been great on the mats and has helped the team a lot this season.” Another aspect that makes this wrestling season different from others is the number of wrestlers in the program. In past years, Westhill was sometimes short of wrestlers and would have to forfeit matches. However, this year there are about 30 wrestlers, all whom have the opportunity to compete. This leaves a positive future for the program, as well as a lot of potential for the team.

Hockey pushes for dramatic turnaround KYLE STURROCK Staff Writer

After a disappointing 4-16 record last year, the Varsity hockey team, led by senior captains Scott Valenzano and Tyler Rich, is back with a vengeance. The team currently stands at 8-3, which is a significant step up from its previous season. This year, the team is more multi-faceted, with many different playmakers that can change the game. Valenzano and Rich have been important assets to the team, contributing 10 and 18 goals respectively this season. But players such as seniors Tommy Butler, Morgan Williams, and Will Bakis and juniors Todd Brown and Brian Rotkewitz have also stepped up as key players on the rink. The players between the pipes have been extraordinary this season as well. The two main goalies, junior Zach Phillipson and senior Wade McManus, have kept the team in a couple close games this season. “The goalies are playing well. There have been several games where they have played incredibly and kept us in the game,”



Picking up their sticks Stamford girls hockey team to form February 2010


High school girls ice hockey has finally come to Stamford. The new team is currently being organized by Westhill parents Stephen Ehrlich and Phil Miolene. According to them and some of the other parents involved, the most important step right now is to get a list of girls who are interested in playing hockey for Stamford. One parent, Sue Malozzi, said, “We are willing to fight for support from the City of Stamford to get a team started.” The parents’ ultimate goal is to put together a combined city team with girls from Stamford High and Westhill that would compete in the FCIAC. Phil Miolene discussed the hardships accompanied with bring-

It is widely acknowledged that extreme sports are, well, extreme. They can be dangerous and can produce injuries that transform an arm into a Frankenstein-looking creation. Fellow senior and former Westhill student Carl Marsh recently encountered this rough side of extreme sports in a nasty experience with some unforgiving pavement. Carl is an amazing skater—hands down one of the best I’ve seen in person—but that doesn’t mean that the best don’t fall. He was ripping the skatepark in downtown Stamford this past September and was traveling really fast when his wheel caught an edge, shooting him off the board. He landed on his hand, completely breaking his arm in half. Carl had metal rods put in to heal his mangled arm. He also missed nearly a month of school. Sometimes I wonder how some of the activities and sports that are enjoyed the most can cost the most and be the most dangerous. For example, a brand new stock snow-

ing girls ice hockey to Stamford. “What we are doing is going against all the odds. The main issue is a tight budget. But we believe it is only fair that Stamford girls be given the opportunity to play ice hockey at public school. Right now they are forced to go to private school if they want to play high school ice hockey.” The team is still in its early stages of creation. Anyone who is interested in playing can email Malozzi at smlozzi@optonline. net. The parents are hoping to have a list of players by March, 2010. Although ice hockey has never been a popular sport among high school girls, many students in Stamford are overjoyed with this new opportunity to play ice hockey. Junior Kirsten Eriksen said, “I’m really excited to play. Its not

really a sport that you would think a girl would play which makes it that little bit more challenging to

When asked about the Stamford league she said, “Finally! I used to have to drive two hours every day

Stamford High School junior Rachel Tierno said, “I used to figure skate when I was younger, but I gave it up in the eighth grade. Both my brothers played ice hockey and it always seemed like a lot more fun than figure skating...However, now that there is [a team], I fully intend to go out for [it] this season.” prove that we can be good at that sport too.” Many students who never thought they would join an ice hockey team are now considering trying out for the upcoming season. Stamford High School junior Rachel Tierno said, “I used to figure skate when I was younger, but I gave it up in the eighth grade. Both my brothers played ice hock-

Going Big A Column by Luca Casinelli

mobile can cost up to $11,000, not including gear, gas, and parts. When it all totals, it can really burn a deep hole in one’s pocket. I’ve even seen mountain bikes costing $4,000! Yes, a bicycle can go for as much as a used car. Furthermore, after getting your ride, there is no escaping the fact that you need to use it safely, even though that can create a large financial divot. For example, you can use a Leatt Brace, which is a neck brace created by Dr. Chris Leatt that acts as a helmet for your neck. These revolutionary neck braces are not only used in mountain biking, BMXing, and motorcycle racing, but they are also mandatory in all car racing. The brace prevents paralysis by restricting “extreme ranges of movement,” according to Dr. Leatt. However, this $400 piece of safety equipment is costly for someone who can only ride once or twice a week. They have since come out with lower end products that only cost $250, but that is still a hefty chunk of cash for the week-

ey and it always seemed like a lot more fun than figure skating. Unfortunately there was never a team

end warrior to dish out. On February 7, 2009, Jeremy Lusk, the Transworld Motocross’s “Rider of the Year” of 2008 and the most successful freestyle rider of 2008, was riding at a friendly competition in Costa Rica. With almost zero seconds left on his run in the finals, Lusk hit the last ramp and attempted a Seat Grab Flip, a trick where the rider grabs the cut holes in the side plastics and backflips while hanging off the back of the bike. For Lusk, this could be done in his sleep, and he pulled it on the daily. But that night, Lusk came up short and was violently ejected over the handlebars, snapping his neck and smashing his head onto the Costa Rican dirt. Just milliseconds later, the 250pound bike followed him down, crushing his whole upper body. Jeremy broke his neck immediately and had extreme swelling in his brain. He was taken to a local hospital for emergency surgery on his head. The doctors opened up his cranium but were unable to close it due to the swelling.

I could join...I fully intend to go out for [it].” Girls who participate in other ice hockey leagues often have to travel a couple of hours to their practices. This league makes things a lot easier for these players. Sophomore Emma Hart is one of these many students who currently travels outside of the Stamford area for the chance to play ice hockey.

just to get to practice. I am definitely joing the Stamford League. Now it will be so much easier to juggle school and hockey. I can’t wait for this season to start!” Girls are excited about this new team and are already signing up to play. They finally have chance to hit the ice and show Stamford exactly what girls ice hockey is all about.

Jeremy died a few days later. He was wearing top of the line gear and one of the best helmets in production but no neck brace. Even though his bike had trampled him, some hypothesize that if he had worn the brace the impact would have differed and the machine would have missed him. But unfortunately, Lusk was not destined to live past 25. While some sports can be safer than others—Ultimate Frisbee, for example, is less dangerous than Indy Car Racing—bones can still be broken regardless of the

activity. Catching some gnarly waves out in New Jersey can result in a loss of limbs due to nasty sea creatures, while riding your skateboard can leave you needing a skin graft. So to those out there doing any sport, take all of the safety precautions available. Don’t leave your helmet in the car because it looks dumb. A trip to the hospital is only a slip-up away and stupidity is not cool in any way, especially when the correct safety measures could have prevented an injury.

Photo Courtesy of Luca Casinelli Luca gears up in his safety equipment before going riding.


February 2010


Winter sports wind down

As the winter season enters its last few weeks, The Westword spoke with coaches and captains who reflected on their teams’ achievements, hardships, and goals.

Girls Basketball

The girls Varsity basketball team began the season determined to overcome the tough schedule it faced. The girls knew they would have to fight hard against teams such as Ridgefield, St. Joseph’s, and Trinity Catholic, and consequently, they put forth strong efforts in every game. So far, they have come up short of their original expectations with a 4-12 record, despite strong play all around. The team has had close losses against Ridgefield, Fairfield Warde, and McMahon. “We’ve had a really hard time scoring. It’s been something we are working on in practice, and hopefully by playing more and more we will improve for the rest of the season,” said coach Mr. King. However, the girls have shown some positive signs in their games, including a solid 39-30 win over Plainville in the David Rybiski Holiday tournament during Christmas break, in which the Vikings finished in second place. Futhermore, on February 2, the girls beat Trumbull 43-32 in their first win of 2010. Junior captain Suzanne Cohen was pleased with her team’s effort in the tournament. “It is important that we build off of wins like that,” she said. Other hard-earned wins include games against Norwalk and Harding. “We are hoping to turn it around for the second half,” said Cohen. Heading into the latter part of the season, the girls will continue to look to Cohen and senior captains Jen Joseph and Ginny Lafauci, a student at AITE, for leadership. Zach Eisen / Photographer

Boys Basketball

The boys Varsity basketball team was unable to follow up on its strong start to the season and has struggled thus far to recover. Starting out with a record of 2-1, there were many promising signs in the team’s play. However, when the team reached the brunt of its tough schedule, it faced defeats at the hands of some of the FCIACs top talent, coming up just short against Staples and Brien McMahon. The team also lost to city rivals Stamford High and Trinity Catholic. Its current record is 3-10. “We are not playing to our full potential, and we just need to play harder. We need to keep our heads up for the rest of the season,” said senior Marvin Leveille. However, the team’s win against Fairfield Ludlowe and its convincing victory over Wilton at the beginning of the season proved that the players have the talent to turn their season around. The team has received standout performances from sophomore point guard Tony Dobbinson and junior forward Tim Simmons and hopes to continue to receive their strong play. Senior captain Jordan Meyer is optimistic about the second half of the season. “Although our record doesn’t reflect it, we really have developed positively over the first half of the season,” he said. “We must stay focused and hardworking to reach our pre-season goals of the State and FCIAC tournaments.” With the season winding down, it will be a difficult task for the Vikings to accomplish these goals, but they will put in the necessary effort to succeed. Zach Eisen / Photographer


The Varsity gymnastics’s season is entering its last few weeks, yet the girls are still hopeful about the season’s final outcome despite having a record of 1-5 in the FCIAC. The team graduated several seniors last year and this year lost senior Ashley Daniel to injury. With one senior remaining, the rest of the team is made up of mostly sophomores and juniors. Even with such a young team, the girls are doing fairly well according to new head coach Ellie Southworth. “So far we’re not doing that badly; we have gotten second in both of our tri-meets,” she said. Westhill competes against New Canaan in almost every tri-meet. In the team’s first meet, the girls lost to Greenwich and beat New Canaan. In their second meet, the girls were defeated by Darien but won against New Canaan. The team scored 89 for both of these meets. In a recent meet, Westhill was defeated by Pomperaug and Nonnewaug, but beat New Canaan once again with a score of 92. “Our expectation for the end of the season is to try to at least reach 100 points,” said DeCarlo. There is always room for improvement, and Coach Southworth emphasizes the team’s need for more floor and vault routines. “We’re expecting to get stronger and hopefully fall in the middle of the FCIAC league,” said Southworth. Senior captain Jordan Schechtman has been on the gymnastics team for four years and she sees a lot of potential in this year’s squad. “We didn’t have a variety of competitors last year. A lot of new girls are going to start competing in future meets,” she said. Katie Zabronksky / Supplement Editor

Indoor Track

Indoor track is unlike all other Westhill sports because it has no real record. The only way to measure the team’s success this season is through qualifications for FCIACs and individual wins in competitions. “The indoor track team this season has a great group of kids in all grades. Despite being one of the smaller teams compared to some teams like Danbury and Staples, we have done pretty well this year,” said junior Will Cook. Runner and sophomore Sam Lagasse said, “Everyone has worked very hard this season in order to meet qualifying standards. I’ve been extremely impressed with both the effort and spirit expressed by our team this year.” This season, “[The indoor track team] lost many of [its] best athletes due to gradation and now [has] a young team,” said Coach White. The team’s goals for this year are for the veterans to make the Division Championship, County Championship, and State Championship qualifications and for the younger players to make improvements on their times. So far, the girls have been leading the team with the most qualifications. Western Divisionals took place on January 30, where the Westhill girls came in fourth place overall while the boys came in sixth overall. The meet was a qualifier for the FCIAC championships, which will occur on Thursday, February 4. “This season has been amazing. [We have] an awesome group of kids who are determined and work exteremly hard,” said senior captain Ashley Daniel. Andrew Oakes / Staff Writer Photos by Elissa Miolene, Mike Bodall, and Zach Eisen

February 2010

Pierre aspires to outrun records

Athletes of the Month



Lizzie Hart Photo Manager

Senior Nahama Pierre has been on the winter indoor and spring outdoor track teams for her entire high school career. Pierre is also one of the indoor track team’s most promising runners. She is a sprinter who qualified for States in the 50-meter dash, sprint medley relay, and the 4x200 relay at her meet on January 23. The 4x200 relay is when each runner of a fourmember group runs 200 meters. Pierre’s record for the 50-meter dash is 7.2 seconds. In Western Divisionals, which occured on January 30, Pierre came in first place for the sprint medley relay along with her partners sophomore Julia Busto, junior Paris Johnson and freshman Nicole Ambroseccio. She also came in third place for the 4x200 event. “I thought my team did re-

ally well,” Pierre said. “My hopes for FCIACs are to beat Danbury, come in first place, and have a good time.” Teammate and captain, senior Ashley Daniel said, “[Nahama] is a great person to have on the team. She is always laughing and encouraging everyone. We had Western’s this past Saturday and we placed fourth out of six with 52 points. Nahama was a big help in the relay teams” Pierre loves spending time with her teammates and getting to know them better. She has also made a lot of friends on the team. She says the best part of track is “spending time with the team and getting closer with them.” Teammate and junior Michelle Greenman said of Nahama, “Besides from being a great athlete, Nahama is an excellent addition to the team because she encourages other runners and is a lot of fun to be

with.” Nahama’s goals for the season are to beat her records, try her hardest, and push herself. She hopes to break the school record for 50, 100, or 200 meter races. Academically, Nahama is interested in business and finance and hopes to pursue those subjects in her future. For college, Nahama is applying to Sacred Heart University and Mohawk Valley College. She was accepted to Indiana University, though she thinks she wants to stay closer to home. She would also like to continue running in college. To stay fit outside of running, Nahama plays double dutch with her friends. She also maintains healthy eating habits and does a lot of weight training. Indoor track coach Mr. Page said of Nahama, “She is a very strong athlete and is very fast. She is a wonderful team member who is reliable and positive. She is a great person.”

Photo Courtesy of Will Cook Senior Nahama Pierre competes in a race at a regular season meet.

very motivated...This year he has become very competitive... He has been doing a much better job strategically as well. He has his sights set on FCIAC and State titles as well as AllAmerican status,” said swim coach Rick Lewis. However, Hendrickson is not just a talented swimmer. He plays water polo and lifeguards during the summer. Hendrickson is also focused on academics and takes AP English and AP U.S. History. History teacher Ms. Loesch said of Hendrickson, “Not only is Andrew an accomplished athlete, [but] he is a committed student that passionately cares about learning.” Hendrickson has high aspirations for the future. “My plans for swimming in the future are to swim in college,” he said. “My future academic goals are to attend the U.S. Naval Academy for college.” Of his work ethic, Hendrickson said, “I have been successful because I work really hard in practice. Without a strong work ethic, you can’t be successful. Practice makes perfect, so the harder you work,

the better you’ll get.” Swim captain senior James Forde agrees that Hendrickson’s hard work pays off. “Andrew is the kind of kid who works very hard in practice and it really shows when he races. He epitomizes what hard work can do for an athlete,” he said. Hendrickson’s hard work has definitely paid off. This year, he won first place in the Tough Pentathalon, a series of five events—100 yard butterfly, backstroke, freestyle, and breaststroke and a 200 yard individual medley. Hendrickson was also rated one of top 16 swimmers in the state of Connecticut. Last year, as an individual swimmer, he came in third place in FCIACs, sixth place in the LL Class Championship, and sixth place in the statewide Open Meet in the 500 yard freestyle. Hendrickson was also the State Champion in the mile swim last summer. Hendrickson is eagerly anticipating this year’s championship meets in March. “The thing I enjoy most [about swimming] is swimming at the championships,” he said.

Alana Kasindorf / Photo Editor Junior Andrew Hendrickson comes up for a breath after a lap during practice.

Hendrickson laps the competition


Swimming is a sport that requires strength, endurance, and most importantly, commitment. Junior Andrew Hendrickson is an athlete who has shown all of these qualities. He is admired by his teammates, teachers, and coaches alike. “He works hard at practice and is very talented. The way you treat your teammates is what makes a team, and Andrew is always very nice to all his teammates,” said fellow swimmer and sophomore Misha Yeremeev. Hendrickson has been swimming competitively since age four. Although this seems young, Hendrickson’s years of experience may be part of the reason he is so successful. Over the years, Hendrickson has never stopped working to be the best. He has also learned many important lessons that will be sure to benefit him in the future. “Swimming has taught me self-discipline and how to push myself,” he said. “Andrew has been working very hard all year. He is


February 2010


Cheerleading jumps into FCIACs As the cheerleading squad’s competition season starts up, the girls practice for their FCIAC competition on February 6. The cheer squad, led by senior captain Janna FuechselWinfrey, junior captain Nicole Dastoli, and coach Ms. Tintle, has been cheering at boys Varsity basketball games throughout the season. Alana Kasindorf / Photographer

King of the Court

Being a professional athlete not only takes great skill in your sport, but it requires maintaning a good reputation “off the field.” This reputation is more important than any technical skill an athlete may have. There are not too many coaches in the world who would want a player who is extraordinarily talented but has a bad attitude and a troubled “off the field” record. As sports fans, we hold our athletes under a close microscope and watch for any flaws they may have. We want them to be perfect and errorless, not only during the games but more importantly, after the games. Many athletes are role models for students, whether they take satisfaction in what the athlete contributes to the sport or if they dream to one day have the player’s athletic abilities.

A Column by Jordan Meyer

We put a lot of added pressure on the shoulders of our favorite athletes, sometimes more pressure than in the heat of game. Highprofile athletes know that they are being watched closely, and they need to make the right personal decisions in order for fans, coaches, analysts, and teammates to loosen the reins. It is a shame that almost every day when Sportscenter is on, you hear about another athlete in jail, on probation, or involved with drugs, gun possession, or sex scandals. Whether an athlete is breaking the law or breaking a team rule, there will be consequences. A major influence on an athlete is his or her friends and family. Not all athletes come from nice, rich neighborhoods that are crime free. In many cases, their neighborhoods are poor and infested with crime. There might be

a parent or guardian who has a past criminal history and raised the future athlete. There might also be a brother, sister, or close friend who was troubled growing up. All of these factors can negatively affect someone once he or she becomes rich and famous. Many professional athletes grow up in an environment that does not prepare them for a lavish lifestyle, and this often leads to mistakes when they are given a life of rapid travel, end-

never drawn negative attention for their “off the field” issues. Rodriguez started off the controversy by reportedly being linked to the use of anabolic steroids, which are on the banned substance list in Major League Baseball. Rodriguez has been one of the best players in baseball for the last decade and now an asterisk has to be put next to his name for breaking the rules. For all of his records and great accomplishments on the

Tiger will be forever remembered for his dramatic finishes, mammoth long drives, and the ice in his veins putting on the 18th green, but what he has done ‘off the field’ can ruin all he has accomplished on the course. less money, and the idea that they are on top of the world. Recently, there have been numerous occasions where an athlete was involved with drugs, guns, or sex. The most notorious scandals have involved Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez. Both of these athletes are at the tops of their sports, and both have, on countless occasions, been acknowledged for their greatness on the playing field. Until the recent scandals, they have

field, his “off the field” actions will forever taint his reputation. Tiger Woods is another athlete under a lot of heavy scrutiny for his recently-uncovered sexual affairs. It is bad enough to even think about cheating on one’s spouse even just one time; cheating numerous times and with numerous women does not look good for anyone, especially a professional athlete. Tiger will be forever remembered for his dramatic finishes,

mammoth long drives, and the ice in his veins putting on the 18 green, but what he has done “off the field” can ruin all he has accomplished on the course. Although there have been numerous occasions this year where an athlete or team has demonstrated poor conduct, Westhill athletes have shone as role models throughout the school. Though not many people are around to witness it, the wrestling team puts hard work and determination into every practice. There is an old saying “practice makes perfect,” and the boys wrestling record of 6-11 is well deserved from the effort the athletes give during practice. One hundred and ten percent at all times is what makes this team succeed. The boys swim team is another team in Westhill that has athletes that a lot of people look up to. They go quietly about their business, practicing at odd hours in the basement of Westhill, and their results are an exact reflection of how hard they work. A year after they lost one of their best swimmers, Ryan Cutter, they have had a strong season season with a winning record of 7-2, showing no signs of regression.

Viking Sports

Making waves

Westhill-Stamford co-op team boasts successful season See page 42

Athletes of the Month

Andrew Hendrickson and Nahama Pierre



See page 46

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February 2010  

The February 2010 print edition of The Westword