Page 1



The Holiday Season of Giving - page 9




The Chariot Staff List Print Editor-in-Chief Andy DeGrand Web Editor-in-Chief Manny Al-Nsour Graphics Editor Luanni Ford Social Media Editor Bridgette Scott Business Editor

Staff Reporters Raneen AlRammahi Praneetha Ankisetipalli Maddy Hiser Rory Knauss Kayla Marquez Emma Mertz Varsha Penumalee Katelyn Peaslee Anjali Sanil Avril Yu

Vanisa Kumar Source Editor Lola Pinneo

Adviser Katelyn Carroll

PG. 2

The Chariot Mission Statement The Chariot is a student-produced news publication that publishes information relevant to the times as well as material that is essential to the overall wellbeing of its readers. It is The Chariot’s responsibility to cover school, city, state, national and international events and issues that affect the concerns of the campus, its students and its readers. The Chariot operates as a designated public forum for student expression. The Editorial Board, consisting of student editors, is the sole decisionmaking and policy-setting body of The Chariot and has final say over all content decisions. Opinions expressed in letters to the editors represent those of the author. Letters to the editors should be typed, double-spaced and must include the author’s name, signature and class or position. Names of individuals may be withheld upon request, pending a vote of the Editorial Board. Letters may be submitted via email at All letters are subject to review by the Editorial Board. Letters will not be edited except to fix space limitations. Should the Editorial Board deem a letter to be potentially libelous or containing content inappropriate for publication, it will be returned to the author with an opportunity for corrections. The Editorial Board is solely responsible for these decisions. The Chariot’s purpose is to be the voice of the school. Its purpose is to shed light on groups and people that are not often discussed while bringing news that is important to the community. THE VOICE OF TROY HIGH. WE SEE YOU. WE HEAR YOU. WE GET YOU.

A Word from Our Editors


PG. 3

Dear Readers, In our first letter to you this year, we mentioned that we were going to experiment more with other media types, specifically podcasts. In this unit, we did just that. In previous years, our main focus was writing in physical newspapers, so we never had the chance to explore other media platforms. Because we’ve already had to make so many changes to how our newspaper runs due to the pandemic, we decided now is time to also change the types of media we offer to you. For the past month, our staff has been working hard together in small groups on finding a topic they’re passionate about: writing scripts, recording interviews, and piecing together their podcasts for this month’s issue. In this newsletter, you will see our cover art and a link to our podcasts. Either pull out your phone and scan the QR code, or type in the link on your browser to hear Troy High students and staff perspectives! Podcasting has given us the opportunity to explore the different facets of journalism, as well as giving us a break from a more traditional, written article style of journalism. It has provided a great learning experience for our staff and opened new doors for The Chariot in the future. Thank you for sticking with us, and we hope you enjoy this month's issue of The Chariot. Thanks for reading,

Manny Al-Nsour Website Editor-in-Chief

Andy DeGrand Print Editor-in-Chief

"There's an Impostor Among Us" ENTERTAINMENT

PG. 4

By Andy DeGrand // Print Editor in Chief and Praneetha Ankisettipalli // Staff Reporter

In this podcast, staff reporter Praneetha Ankisettipalli and Print Editor-in-Chief Andy DeGrand discuss their favorite video game, Among Us. With interviews from seniors Katherine Ni and Amy Yang, The Chariot takes a look at the many possibilities of what a video game like this can be. Make sure to get comfy, grab some snacks and listen to "There's an Imposter Among Us." Thanks for tuning in!


Click here!

Social Media and Activism

By Vanisa Kumar // Buisness Edior and Bridgette Scott // Social Media Editor

In this podcast you will hear from all sides of the story. Featuring interviews with junior Malachi Nix, junior Breah Marie Willy and senior Mya Hersback, this podcast expresses how we feel and how we don’t want to feel in the future. It’s about real change that we can truly make at any age. With tools like social media our dreams can become a reality.


Click here!


History of Sitcoms

PG. 5

By Luanni Ford // Graphic Editor

Graphics Editor Luanni Ford talk about the evolution of sitcoms and how they became what they are today using clips from interviews and shows like "Parks and Rec," "I Love Lucy" and "The Big Bang Theory. "


Click here!

Coloring Outside the Lines By Anjali Sanil, Varsha Penumalee and Avril Yu // Staff Reporters

Staff reporters Anjali Sanil, Varsha Penumalee, and Avril Yu speak to sophomores Aamina Farooqi, Faye Guan, and Sanjini Rajkumar, as well as Troy High School English teacher Erin Fischer in order to discuss the movement for racial diversity in literature, and why it’s important to color outside of the rigid lines of society.


Click here!

The Asynchronous Push



By Emma Mertz // Staff Reporter, Lola Pinneo // Source Editor and Manny Al-Nsour // Web Editor in Chief

In this podcast, staff reporters Emma Mertz, Lola Pinneo, and Manny Al-Nsour discuss the benefits of asynchronous learning with guests senior Luna Samman, sophomore Matilde Rabajoli ,and physics teacher Sydney Barosko. The Chariot looks at the different opinions of asynchronous days from a student and teacher point of view.


Click here!

Swamped Students

By Maddy Hiser and Raneen AlRammahi // Staff Reporters

Staff reporters Maddy Hiser and Raneen AlRammahi discuss the struggle of the excessive workload given to students like sophomore Sabreen Sais and sophomore Vidhi Kamat during online school and the negative effects it has on their mental health, grades, and overall motivation as they try to juggle both home and school life.


Click here!


PG. 7

"WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH MIDTERMS?" Students express how they feel about midterms coming up, and teachers share their plans for midterms in a virtual setting.

By Andy DeGrand // Print Editor in Chief

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are over 130,000 K-12 schools that are currently 100% virtual in the United States. Regardless of how students feel about their district's virtual learning plan, they can't avoid that January, the month of midterms, is approaching. Graphics by Andy DeGrand

“My friends and I haven’t heard any news on how midterms are gonna be like this year, or if we’re even having any,” senior AJ Joseph said. “It’s hard studying for something us students are out of the loop on.” Although many students like Joseph are confused or unaware of what their midterms will look like, English teacher Val Nafso shares how she is preparing her 9th and 11th grade literature and composition classes. “For midterms this year, I'm working with the other 9 LC and 11 LC teachers to figure out how to adapt our midterm to fit a virtual setting,” Nafso said. “The midterm for both classes is going to look more like an assignment, where students can use their resources to complete it; it is going to do a good job of wrapping up the semester.” Nafso also explains how her midterms have been and what she plans on changing to adapt to the virtual setting. “I have always made my finals only worth 10-15% of the grade, and it will definitely be on the lower end this year so that the rest of the work students did this semester counts for the biggest percentage,” Nafso said.


PG. 8

Though many students have a wide variety of classes on their schedule, others have multiple classes of the same subject, like Joseph. “I am currently taking 3 science classes, a math class, English, and Computer Graphics, so most of my midterms are likely to be structured similarly,” Joseph said. Math teacher Margaret Slankster shares how the math department is also preparing for the upcoming exam season. “The midterm plan is that teachers will have an end of the semester assessment, whether it is formative or summative,” Slankster said. “Teachers or groups of teachers will decide what is the best form of assessment for their students.” Like Nafso, Slankster shared what she has planned for her math classes. “I plan to have midterm exams similarly to what I have done in the past,” Slankster said. “In my classes, the midterm (or quarter assessment) will have questions like previously seen ones on unit assessments. The reasoning is that this is what students are accustomed to in my class and what we have practiced.” Slankster also made sure to assure her students that she will not be giving an essay question in her Algebra classes. Since midterms (whether students want to admit it or not) are coming up, Slankster wanted to share some advice to help students prepare. “Find time each day to practice math problems and review previous assessments,” Slankster said. “And if a teacher ever gives a ‘hint, hint, wink, wink’ to a problem, write it down.”


PG. 9


Students talk about their preference of receiving gifts or cash for the holidays.

By Lola Pinneo // Source Editor

Whether it’s Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa, or the many holidays during the winter season that involve giving and receiving gifts. The question then becomes, what kind of gift is best? Senior Olivia Rosati reflects on her favorite gifts to receive for Christmas each year. “I prefer gifts, [because] if I do receive money it goes right into my savings account or my Starbucks account,” Rosati said.. “But if I receive a gift then everytime I see it, I think of that person.” Meanwhile junior Brandon Nguyen has a different opinion then Rosati. “Regarding gifts, it really depends but most of the time I would rather have cash,” Nguyen said. “I really like gifts that have utility, so most of the time I’d rather buy my own stuff. I appreciate any gift though.” The holiday season is not always about gifts. Many people have found memories of time spent with their family. Junior Maddie Markiewicz has a memory surrounding the holiday season. “One of my favorite memories is playing white elephant at a family Christmas party and receiving a gift that entailed just an old banana taped to the box,” Markiewicz said. “It was meant to be the art piece with a banana taped to a wall.” All the games and gift buying can sometimes get overwhelming, so some may need to take a step back and look at the importance of the season and what makes it special, like Nguyen. “Around Christmas, I look forward to being able to take a break from work and also being around family since it’s kind of rare everyone is at home.” Though so many of us will not be able to have the “traditional Christmas'' or whatever holiday you celebrate, I think most can agree that during this holiday season it's not always about what kind of gift or if we are even fortunate enough to receive anything. It’s about giving to others, which is something the world really needs right now.


PG. 10


As COVID-19 numbers increase daily, hope emerges in the form of a vaccine.

By Manny Al-Nsour // Web Editor

With the total number of COVID-19 cases rising higher and higher each day, the race to create a viable vaccine nears its end. The Food and Drug Administration met Thursday, Dec. 10, and voted in favor of Adam Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Although the vaccines have been through extensive testing and approval, many people are still skeptical. The most common concern is that the vaccine was rushed, coming out in just nine months. The vaccine was indeed developed in record time, but it was still put through every single test necessary and still had to pass every FDA regulation.

Graphic courtesy of Isabella Weedon

Although it may seem as though the COVID-19 vaccine was hastily thrown together, the research for messenger RNA reliant vaccines actually started decades ago. Much of the blueprint for the vaccine had already been developed. For the vaccine to be most effective, everyone who can safely be vaccinated needs to do so. Herd immunity, which is when a large percentage of a population is immune to something, is absolutely crucial in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Getting vaccinated not only protects you from getting sick but can help protect others around you. With hundreds of people dying of COVID-19 each day, a vaccine is a huge step toward stopping the spread of this deadly virus. Scientists are confident that the new COVID-19 vaccine will save lives.


PG. 11

Poll by Bridgette Scott // Social Media Editor

Graphics by Anjali Sanil // Staff Reporter

What holiday activity is your favorite? 24%





26% From 105 Responses

Winter Holidays

Graphic by Lola Pinneo // Source Editor

Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.