Page 1

Commencement Issue

Poker ‘11

Kaufman ‘11

by Michael Chernin It is significant that many of us knew who Mr. Poker was at least a few years before we had him. Older sibling’s friends and families who had him raved about this AP Calc teacher. The name came up in various conversations, or in passing about the continued on page 14

by Tabitha Lumour Mensah Mr. Kaufman is a priceless asset to our school, and we are sad to have him leave. After this school year, Mr. Kaufman will be teaching fifth grade at an international school in the Dominican Republic. He said that he was “really excited” about this opportucontinued on page 14




Inside.... News How the Internet Has Changed Activism, p. 4

Sodexo Struggle p. 2


one-acts review p. 9

Something is Coming…


Letter from the Editors p. 15 Senior Survey p. 11

Prom Spread Pages 12-13

Sports An example of the homes rising above Johnson Park

Tennis wins state championship p. 23 Track, Softball, and Baseball wrap-ups pgs. 21-22

by Oscar Lee Something people can live in. Pulte Homes, a Michigan-based construction company, is building a housing complex called Overlook in Highland Park by Cedar Lane. (Because it overlooks Johnson Park. Clever, right?) Mary Churchill of Pulte described High-

land Park as the ideal location for new homes because of their “[proximity to] Johnson Park, the second largest park in Middlesex County with 498 acres, walking and jogging trails, tennis courts, and a zoo; two NJ Transit stations – new Brunswick and Edison – convenient commute to NY City; ex-

cellent access to highways – Route 18, Route 1, NJ Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, I-287; a real walking downtown; Rutgers University, Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, and excellent schools.” So, to answer the burning question in everyone’s mind: how many houses will there be? First of all, Pulte is not just building normal homes—they are building manor homes, townhomes, and affordable housing homes. There will be 16, 57, and 9 of each, respectively. The manor homes have 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths, a basement, 2-car garages, options for decks and Florida Rooms, and are approximately 3000 to 3800 square feet of brand new space. The townhomes have 3-4 bedrooms, all with 2-car garages (unusual in this area), decks, recreation rooms, oversized kitchens, master baths, and are over 2000 continued on page 3

Volume LIX, No. 10 ~ Highland Park High School ~ 102 North 5th Avenue, Highland Park

2 News

Another Kind of Bully

HP resists contracting Sodexo Inc., accused of labor violations by Charlotte Finegold

a year, a salary below the federal poverty line for Charter schools, choice school applications, and a family of three. These low wages prevent emcustodial contracts have caused some tough de- ployees from receiving adequate health care sercisions for the Highland Park Board of Education vices for their families. In Highland Park, Sodexo has been nethis year. For a number of years, Highland Park’s contractor for service needs, including food and glecting to pay its employees money allotted to janitorial services, was Sodexo Inc. However, them by the Board of Education for wages and the Board decided to cancel their contract with health care insurance benefits, and has silenced Sodexo earlier this year, after numerous com- workers, after a case in South Plainfield, NJ. The plaints were filed by Highland Park Sodexo em- Occupational Safety and Health Administration ployees. Now, Highland Park’s contract is up for (OSHA), responsible for enforcing workplace safety and health regulations, fined Sodexo for bid. Despite the nine safety hazards in South Plaincontract cancelfield. The worker who reported the lation, Sodexo violations was fired. Sodexo then crehas put in anated a rule which prohibited employother bid for ees from reporting concerns about the new contheir working conditions to OSHA or tract, and is the labor union representatives. Highland lowest bidder. Park Sodexo employees have filed Highland Park complaints with the National Labor service employRelations Board about this rule, but so ees and comfar, no progress has been made. munity mem Highland Park Sodexo workers bers are trying have brought their case to local and to dissuade the state legislators. In October 2010, emBoard from reployees lobbied for unionization and contracting the went on strike, aided by the Service company. Employees International Union. They Sodexo marched by Borough Hall and on the Inc. has been acfront lawn of HPHS. Also, for the past cused of many year, Sodexo employees have been labor violations A Highland Park protest for union rights attending Board of Education meetincluding disings, trying to convince the Board to crimination. In a 2005 case, thousands of black choose a responsible service provider for the new employees sued the company for barring them from promotions. The company had to pay $80 contract. They were not alone; at the June 6th million to settle the suit. The company has alleg- Board of Education meeting, several community edly forced employees to work extra hours and members expressed their solidarity with the Sohas denied workers their jobs after their return dexo employees. Wendy Saiff, the former board from sick or maternity leave, an illegal practice president, said, “Sodexo has violated workers’ under the Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA). rights repeatedly and has intimidated employIn one case, the U.S. Department of Labor found ees…The community will not stand for this comSodexo guilty of illegally firing a West Windsor pany. There will be petitions, demonstrations, food service worker after she requested leave un- and whatever kind of ammunition necessary to keep this company out.” Sodexo is the cheapder FMLA to care for her sick father. Sodexo has been charged with underpay- est option for the new contract, but community ing workers and wage theft. Some workers earn members have shown that they are willing to pay as little as $8.70 an hour. This amounts to $18,096 the price for a responsible employer.

All’s Fair at the Fair by Saskia Kusnecov The annual Highland Park street fair has once again fallen on a day where the cold nips at your bare arms, and the street vendors are all guarding their posts in tentative anticipation of the rain. As my friend and I walked down to the venue, I looked up at the murky sky with my hands hugging my chest and consciously lowered my expectations for the turnout for this Highland Park tradition. I was pleased to say I was wrong. This year’s street fair featured the traditional fire fighter/police station representatives, the blow-up bouncers for kids, and the Art Academy’s human canvas stand. I caught up with Dmitri Zorren, a junior who was working as a human canvas. “You have no idea how cold I am right now,” he had said, damp in a rainbow of wet paint on his canvas suit. Further down the street you could see some novel features, such as Nighthawk Books’ open reading room and book sale. There was also a plethora of jewelry stands, where you could purchase some classy hand-crafted necklaces and bracelets for a price that only mildly exceeds the allowance money burning a hole in your pocket. As we all get older (and arguably more cynical), the concept of the street fair seems less and less enticing. The age gap in the attendance seemed more noticeable than in recent years; a few sophomores and juniors strolled in towards the end of the fair, and two or three sentimental seniors (that weren’t in Virginia) could be seen savoring their final days of childhood. Yet for the most part, Raritan Ave was packed with alumnus, visitors from across the bridge, and local families. It made for some delightful reunions between busy mothers and old friends- little reminders of the small town charm we overlook in our frustrated state as high school students. This year’s street fair proved that once again, community and tradition triumph rain pellets and chilly legs. Hopefully, next year’s street fair might bring with it some more springfriendly weather.


By Steve Zheng The cllass of 2011’s Senior Awards took place on Tuesday, June 14th, at 7:00PM in the evening in auditorium. Spectacular performances by Amandala and the Jazz Ensemble, as well as the near-constant clapping after each awards presentation, warmed the chilly auditorium. It was quite a memorable night. About eighty awards were presented that evening, many of which were in memory of specific people. The rest included awards from classes in Highland Park High School’s history, such as the Class of 1931 award! Teachers, advisors, and counselors all helped give them out. Numerous non-staff

members came this evening to hand out awards as well, including Mrs. Patricia Davidson, who presented the Mayor Samuel J. Kronman Memorial Award, and Mr. Dakelman, who presented the Jay H. Dakelman Memorial Awards. At the end of the event, Mr. Williams announced a rare three-way-tie for the salutatorian award: Sam Finegold, Shruti Sharma, and Jack Yang. The Valedictorian award went to Xiaoling Yu, who modestly replied, “It made my dad happy”. She added that the triple salutatorian award was “amusing”. “I’m very happy for everyone who received an award,” she continued, “everyone deserved it.”

The Highland Fling

Fake Crash, Real Lessons by Elana Segal An alcohol-related car crash killed three Highland Park students on Wednesday May 25, 2011, and another student was arrested for manslaughter and driving under the influence. This emotional event was just a simulation provided by UP (United and Prevention) and the Highland Park Teen Center to help the school understand the disastrous effects of drinking and driving. Today, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, and, “In the United States, 12.8% of all fatal traffic crashes were alcohol-related, and 40% of that number involved teens driving while drinking alcohol.” The prevention assembly stressed these facts, but UP also emphasized that getting into a car with someone who is under the influence is just as dangerous as driving drunk. The assembly was part of the National Every Fifteen Minutes Organization, an organization working to prevent driving impaired driving tragedies by providing students with information about drunk driving and tools to make mature decisions. This was Highland Park’s fifth year of participation. The assembly is shown every other year, to juniors and seniors only. Underclassmen do not witness the crash simulations

and memorial services because the program is geared toward students of driving age. Freshmen and sophomores are by no means invincible, but young drivers are more likely to have experienced these types of situations. May twenty-fifth began as a normal 4-day of school. But as first period began, the Grim Reaper and police began taking students out of their classes and reading their obituaries at intervals of fifteen minutes. Students were pulled from their classes and returned with their face painted like a corpse, forbidden to speak or interact with any other students. Midmorning, juniors and seniors were called to the front lawn where a T-bone crash was set up with cars from a real accident. The police came, blocked the road off, and took the responsible driver to the police station. Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to pry open one of the cars, the first aid squad took the accident survivor to the hospital, and coroners took the “deceased” victims to the morgue. After the demonstration, students went to the auditorium and watched a follow-up video on the aftermath of a car crash. In the video, the drunk driver went to the Highland Park Police Station, where his blood alcohol content was measured. He

News 3

was read his rights and was put in a holding cell. The survivor was in the ambulance when his heart stopped beating. The driver would later be charged for killing three people and driving under the influence of alcohol. After lunch, there was a memorial service for all the students that were “killed” throughout the day. The students who participated shared their experiences: some shared part of letters that they wrote to their families, others mentioned how it was Officers pretend to clean up from the wreckage. an experience that realStudents look ly made them think about their own safety, and for the devastating effects of drinking some, the situation was too surreal and driving. Students learned that for words. A woman from Moth- driving is not a matter of right and ers Against Drunk Driving came wrong, but rather a matter of life and shared her story of her daugh- and death, and as Mrs. Ketofsky ter being hit and killed by a drunk agreed to, even sober drivers must driver. Parents of participating watch for the other drivers on the students also shared their worries road. The point of the assembly about their children’s safety. was to encourage safety and smart Mrs. Ketofsky of the Teen Center decisions, and hopefully, lives will was behind the Every Fifteen Min- be saved from the information stuutes program at Highland Park. She dents learned. was satisfied with the program and thought that students understood

Something Coming (cont.)

Examples of the homes to the left, the real estate office devoted to selling them on the right

square feet of brand new space. And the affordable housing homes are for, as she phrased it, “deserving people, like police, firefighters, and school teachers.” Because there are so many new homes, 82 in total, we should be ready for an influx of new people to the community. Ms. Churchill told me these two very “cute” anecdotes about the people who have already purchased homes: “Two families moved here together because they were neighbors—and wanted to be neighbors again. (How adorable.) [And another] man bought a home for himself—one for his daughter, and one for his son.” (Three? Yes,

you counted right; three.) Other homeowners include Rutgers professors, a professor from UMDNJ, Rutgers medical students, IT professionals, lawyers, and businesspeople, among many others. In her opinion, public reaction to Overlook has been overwhelmingly positive, despite the dismal economy and a gloomy real estate market. In fact, almost 50 homes have already been sold since the opening back in August 21, 2010. Pulte sold so many homes that it even had to increase the construction management staff! Ms. Churchill attributes the success to the picturesque location and the elegant home styles.

June 2011

“There isn’t any new construction in Highland Park, so people were really excited when Overlook opened. The model homes opened 2 weeks ago, and, believe it or not, all but two of the buyers purchased without ever seeing a model home! The community is approved for both conventional and FHA financing, and we have a wonderful mortgage subsidiary that makes it very easy to finance. The very first homeowners will be moving in June 16. Overlook at Highland Park has been a huge success and will soon approach sellout.”

4 News Future of RutgersFest Extinguished After Violence by Aidan Kusnecov Despite RutgersFest’s success, the university administration will no longer allow students to have this celebration. Most Rutgers administrators believe that this annual spring event gave a bad name to the university when it welcomed big-name music artists such as Pitbull to attract unfamiliar crowds from throughout New Jersey. Despite the cold and dreary weather on April 15, masses of university students and festival-goers huddled excitedly around the stage set up on a Busch campus field to listen to the performers. To keep themselves warm, concert attendees gobbled down gyros and hamburgers, bought from vendors stationed nearby. RutgersFest went from 1:00 PM to 10:30PM (running two and a half hours later than last year’s Fest). In those nine and a half hours, an estimated 40,000-50,000 people were present, participating in activities that were set aside from the concert, including multiple moon bounces, a large slide, and an inflated dodgeball court.. The concert began with the Rut-

gers-native rapper Dirty Mac who warmed up the crowd for the anticipated band 3OH!3, who played their most popular songs “Starstrukk” and “My First Kiss.” Pitbull chimed in to the program, habitually counting to four in English and Spanish in his song “I Know You Want Me.” After each act there were breaks of about one hour to spare the fans time to purchase RutgersFest souvenirs. These now serve as nostalgic memorabilia for this discontinued event. Social media gradually increased the popularity of RutgersFest, attracting more people each year. Unfortunately, this year’s festival not only welcomed Rutgers students, but also brought in potential gang members from New Brunswick. It was these people who were responsible for the violence that took place in the streets outside the campus. As though the combination of college students and gang members was not enough, a large number of high school students also attended. Freshman Cesar Avila who went to RutgersFest remarked, “As the day went on, the police seemed to give up trying to prevent people from drinking and smok-

ing.” Police, indeed, were patrolling around the field on which RutgersFest took place, but did noticeably dissolve within the large crowds of people as the festival progressed. The absence of Rutgers Police at the festival could be blamed for the involvement of the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) when several shootings were reported, including one in which a man was shot in the buttocks. In response to the violence, former Rutgers President McCormick permanently cancelled RutgersFest, because he did not want to further risk the lives of Rutgers students due to a university-sponsored event. McCormick recently resigned as president, raising a possibility that the tradition could continue if the presidential replacement allows it. However, the issues which led to the lack of security need more than a new president to resolve. Though the festival successfully pleased Rutgers students, whom it was meant for, the hype surrounding the concert also brought in dangerous people from outside the university who took away the treat from college students.

How the Internet has Changed Activism By Lucia Schnetzer “Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop the anti-gay politics!” Shouted by a man now identified to be Nick Espinosa, the phrase was coupled with a ceremonious dumping of glitter onto GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and Gingrich’s wife on May 17th at a Minneapolis hotel. The demonstration was, according to Espinosa, a way to confront Gingrich and express his disapproval of his supposed anti-gay policies. Despite the recent attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an event which could have meant an increase in paranoia of suspicious activity around politicians, Espinosa was only forced from the room and not charged with any crime or arrested. Thanks to the constant presence of cameras and recording devices that surround politicians

HPTV: A Blank Face by Greg Burdea To the surprise of many Highland Park residents, an HPTV “scare” came just this month. The channel HPTV is run mainly by Gary Leslie, who volunteers to keep it running. The channel, for those who are unaware, provides helpful information regarding the weather, news, traffic, board meetings, and more. With money Gary Leslie received from a grant, he has continued to improve the channel and purchase new technology. Some of his most important pieces of technology used for the channel are Telvue™ “boxes” which give information to the channel, which WEBUS™ streams. These organizations have served the channel for years. A situation revolving these boxes occurred just this month. For several days the Highland Park community channel has shown viewers a blank black screen. Rumors have spread saying that the

today, the incident was captured on camera. With the quick, easy methods to spread information and events over the internet, it seems that more and more people can be involved in these sorts of rallies. This previous February, the Fling reported on another protest. The infamous Westboro Baptist Church had planned one of its notorious demonstrations in response to Hastings High School’s production of the Laramie Project, a play about the murder of a gay youth. In response, many LGBT groups, allies, and others opposed to the controversial practices of the Westboro Baptist Church rallied for a counter protest. Thanks to Facebook, the counter protest became widely known in the area and the rumored numbers of attendees increased.The Westboro Baptist Church apparently became fearful of the large number of people expected to arrive, so they cancelled their protest. Those

that attended the planned counter protests instead listened to speakers that spoke in support of the gay community. Espinosa’s ability to become a mini-celebrity and the retreat of the Westboro Baptist Church both came about as a result of an increased use of the internet. People or groups planning to make public appearances can either be made fools of or driven away be a few angry people with an internet connection and a camera nearby. While both of these events, Gingrich’s momentary humiliation and the retreat of the Westboro Baptist Church may seem like victories for the LGBT community at the moment, there remains the concern that one day, these same sort of events might be used by “the other side”. As anyone who has spent any time at all online can attest, the internet is far from a perfect solution to all problems.

channel will discontinue serving Highland Park, or that it has gone offline. An interview with Gary Leslie helped explain the event and future of the HPTV. Gary Leslie revealed that problems like this are not uncommon.The machinery involved in keeping HPTV up is in constant need of attention. The Telvue™ “boxes” mentioned earlier are a common example of the channel’s faulty machinery. Leslie said that, “those [Telvue™ boxes] are not stable. Those go down once a month.” The largest cause for the boxes’ failures as Leslie identifies are power surges. After a power surge, one of the three Telvue™ boxes shuts down. When the boxes are shut down, the outside information about weather

and traffic cannot be streamed, and the only thing visible is a live streamed show (such as a Board of Education Meeting.) Gary Leslie has faced many problems with keeping the channel working, most of them coming from the boxes. The usual remedy to any problem with a Telvue™ box as Leslie states is to “reboot it.” By turning one of the boxes off and on, he can automatically reset the other two HPTV has. This month, Highland Park experienced another power surge that affected one of the Telvue™ boxes. The reason why the box wasn’t rebooted immediately was because of two facts. As Leslie describes, “[He] was kind of occupied [at the time.]” The other reason was that he was told the box wasn’t working days after it broke down. For any students interested in monitoring HPTV to prevent such an event from occuring and dealing with it quicker, Leslie said anyone interested should contact him at Tune in to channel 15 to enjoy the renewed HPTV channel.

The Highland Fling

News 5

This Season’s Hottest Fashion Accessory: A Ruler

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by Justice Hehir Summer’s here, and so are Hollister’s latest shipments of denim underwear…er, shorts. With the thermometer spiking, girls are finding it harder and harder to adapt to a dress code which prescribes for shirts with straps at least 1 inch in width and “shorts, skirts, and culottes” that are “no more than 5 inches above the knee”…a length nearly impossible to find in a store cut out for teenagers and all those under the age of ninety. Bermuda shorts extend to the knee, and regular, “inappropriate” shorts hover mid to upper thigh… but shorts in between are seldom found. Discontent with school policy has risen with the heat, as students complain that the shorts the school allows for are practically fictitious in commercial, American fashion. From Wal-Mart to Urban Outfitters, Target to Anthropologie, stores catering to the young and powerful demographic of girls “who totally don’t have any shorts and need to go SHOPPING seriously!!!!!!” have reduced their hemlines to boost their profits… and created an unfortunate paradox of acceptable versus available clothing in American public schools. When a regular school day was reduced to a half-day due to rising temperatures in the first week of June, many girls were left puzzled that school could be shortened due to temperature, yet the minimum length of their skirts must stay the same. Scores of girls have been sent home to change due to shorts that are too short (10 inches above the knee? Whoa.) or straps that reveal too much scandalous shoulder skin. What do students have to say when asked to comment about the dress code? Let’s take a look. “If you’re not going to have air conditioning in the building, then we’re not going to suffocate by wearing long clothes that are going trap body heat.” –Shannon Donaghy, senior “I recognize that there’s a sort of standard they have to uphold; but I fell as if it’s sometimes overly strict.” –Lucas Marin, freshman “You should be able to wear whatever you want. We need air conditioning.” –Darrin Corbin, junior “If you had air conditioning, you wouldn’t have to worry.”—Mariah Ivey, junior



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June 2011

6 Arts&Entertainment

Lack of Thunder by Daphne Szeles Awesome. Intense. Epic. Cute and Romantic. Funny. That’s what I thought “Thor” would be as I was looking through the trailers on IMDb. It’s based off of the Marvel comic, which was derived from Norse Mythology. Thor is one of the Norse gods that live in Asgard, a “fantastic realm” located somewhere in the universe. Thor explained where to Dr. Jane, played by Natalie Portman, after he was kicked out of Asgard for putting it in danger due to his crazy anger management issues and aggressiveness. Thor’s cool hammer, Mjollnir, was thrown down to Earth with him, except Thor’s dad, the guy who banished him, said it wasn’t his anymore. Before throwing it down he whispered to it, “Whoever wields this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Sounds like a good movie, right? But I was wrong. It was not good in its own way. For the most part it was Lame. Stupid. Disappointing. The Norse Mythology readers were right. Thor had these little minion buddies. One really liked to eat and burp. There was a

Battle hammer -weilding Thor (Christian Hemsworth) stands ready for battle

woman, and she was supposed to be a sort of Xena-Wonderwoman type, but fell quite short. Really, they all fell short of being anything other than ridiculous. These weren’t the only unnecessary characters in the movie. Dr. Jane’s scientist friend Darcy was kinda funny, but that’s it. She was flat, empty, and unnecessary. I also felt that Dr. Jane herself was strangely 2D, being Natalie Portman. I felt that some other characters had more depth although they had less of a role. But I’m not here to judge. Just kidding!! This is a critique - unconstructive criticism! The guy who played Thor, Chris Hemsworth. He was not unnecessary. It’s not that I thought that he was incredibly hot.

(Though, he is goodlooking.) It’s that he was perfect as Thor. He looked so much like that blonde Norwegian god, and he played the role with such intensity and charisma. That was the best superhero/God casting achievement I’ve seen in any superhero movie (Tobey Maguire as Spiderman made me quite sad. ). The gatekeeper. I will not say more. If you watch the movie, which is still playing in most theaters, you will see why I wrote “The gatekeeper.” in such an incomplete sentence. You will see that the gatekeeper completes the sentence without it needing to be grammatically complete. Sayonara!!

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The Highland Fling

Arts&Entertainment 7

Trains, Monsters, and Zombie Flicks

The two families, divided during the movie, stand in awe and unity at the end

by Elena Weissmann If you want a good idea of what “Super 8” will be like, just check out the movie poster. Rather than featuring an action-packed image, it shows two very large names: J.J Abrams as the writer/director, and Steven Spielberg as the producer. Although putting these two talented directors together might seem like an excellent idea, the finished

product definitely doesn’t live up to any of the previous work of the two men. The movie begins innocently enough, with young preteen Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) hanging out with his mischievous pack of friends during the summer of 1979 in Lillian, Ohio. His mother recently died, and his father constantly ignores him. Joe’s overweight, nerdy

friend, Charles (there’s one in every movie about preteens), decides to create an amateur zombie romance film, and he wants Joe to help with makeup and costume. These first 50 minutes of “Super 8” are extremely endearing and absolutely entertaining. The characters are very charming, and the plot appears to be mildly complex and clever. Joe’s pack of goofy friends radiate an innocence that definitely isn’t present in today’s preteen generation. There’s just something about the free spirited, adventurous group that makes you slightly nostalgic. However, the movie goes downhill from there. While filming in a train station, the group witnesses a train crashing. Now this is where the exciting action begins… and the emotional aspect ends. There’s an intergalactic “creature” that’s let loose from the train, and it starts to attack the townspeople in surprisingly violent scenes.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Dying Franchise”

A bunch of sinister military men show up, and people start to go missing (as well as dogs for some odd reason). Add a love story between Joe and Alice (Elle Fanning), a 14-year-old girl acting in Charles’ zombie film, and the whole thing becomes a little confusing. The addition of a clichéd monster and the structured fighting scenes makes the movie all too predictable. Imagine the action clips in Cloverfield spliced into E.T (which just so happens to be directed by Spielberg). The hybrid movie that emerges would be “Super 8” in a nutshell. Nonetheless, it just isn’t as good as the famous film E.T. The visual and emotional poetry never quite blossoms, turning it into a simple summer blockbuster. What could’ve been of the film might have emerged if the script weren’t so obviously based off of old Spielberg films. Abrams imagination, as it turns out, only goes so far.

Orchestral Excellence by Max Zandstein

Penelope Cruz as Angelica

by Rucha Phadtare

“Pirates of the Caribbean: on Stranger Tides” did not follow the storyline of the previous three movies in the series-and for the better. Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann’s (Kiera Knightly) story was not continue and, instead, the focus of the story was on Jack Sparrow’s (Johnny Depp) attempts to discover the Fountain of Youth. There were many new concepts introduced as well: deadly mermaids, Spanish conquistadors, and the famous pirate, Blackbeard (Ian McShane). A love interest for Jack Sparrow, Angelica (Penelope Cruz), was also introduced for the first time. At first, I was worried that this would ruin the character as Captain Jack Sparrow is supposed to be an unanchored, do-as-he-please sort of character. This personality type is accentuated by his multiple flings with bar wenches and the like. Fortunately, the relationship was well portrayed with not too much romance and Sparrow’s reputation was preserved. While these new additions kept the movie fresh and engaging, many other aspects were similar to the previous movies in order to keep the theme of explorer pirates at sea. The

Johnny Depp plays the famed Jack Sparrow

soundtrack, composed mainly by Hans Zimmer, played a big role in connecting this movie to the others while still keeping it separate and new. New pieces like a haunting mermaid song were added and some of the music was Latin-influenced. However, the soundtrack also consisted of songs very similar to the well-known themes, “The Medallion Calls” and “He’s a Pirate.” Some scenes in the movie seemed to have been repeated from the previous movies as well. Near the beginning of the film, Jack Sparrow engages in a sword-fight with another pirate while balancing and jumping around on the beams holding up the ceiling in a bar. In the first movie, Jack Sparrow fights Will Turner in the exact same manner: by sword, on beams in a small building. Repetition does occur in this film, but it is not so significant that it decreases the quality of the movie. Those who are fans of Pirates of the Caribbean would definitely enjoy this new installation. For those who are not, but still enjoy adventure and pirates, the fourth movie is not as similar to the other three movies as one might think. The new additions combined with the familiar theme make for a decent, action-filled pirate movie.

June 2011

On May eleventh Highland Park High School’s Philharmonic Orchestra performed their spring concert. The concert started with the Middle School Sinfonia performing a vibrant selection of music in which they later performed, earning them “First Place Superior” in a competition, adding to their previous and consecutive awards. In one piece, ‘Rhythms of Africa’, the string players used their feet and hands to create the percussion section. Promptly after, the Advanced High School Philharmonic performed a collection of music which very appropriately gave each section a chance to share the best of the respective instrument’s tone colors. The violin’s shined in Soon Hee Newbold’s ‘Iditarod’, the cellos and basses created an exciting bass line in ‘Warrior Legacy’, another piece by Ms. Newbold, to which the section was ended with ‘O America’, an arrangement for orchestra in which Tess Erickson and Nina Xue were soloists for a beautiful finale. The most advanced orchestra, Chamber, which consists of Highland Park’s most advanced and motivated string players came next to the stage. The group played ‘Air and Simple Gifts’, a piece composed by John Williams which was played at President Barack Obama’s inauguration by the cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, and violinist, Itzhak Perlman. Annually, some members of the Band and Philharmonic comes together to form Full Orchestra. The concert ended with the Full Orchestra playing a brilliant finale of Believe and Miss Saigon.

8 Arts&Entertainment

A School Full of Talent and Surprise by Stefana Voicu This year’s talent show displayed renowned talent and also unanticipated skills. The expected acts included singing performances by Amandala and A Ccapelic’sAnonymous, and the illustrious dancing performance performed by Lexus and Tanaya. What made this talent show unique amongst others in previous years, however, were the numerous unforeseen acts. One of the big shockers of the night was Felicia’s superb opera song from Carmen. “I started singing opera in 7th grade, and it is now my favorite type of music to sing. I will never stop singing opera. It is my passion,” stated Felicia when asked about her newly-revealed talent. Jacob Choi’s “Billy Jean” singing and dancing performance was an unprecedented highlight of the talent show. Inspired by Michael Jackson’s remarkable career and marvelous singing and dancing talents, Jacob decided it was his time to shine on stage. Although nervous at first, Jacob gave a splendid performance imitat-

ing Michael Jackson’s intricate dance moves to Billy Jean in addition to singing the song. Other surprising, yet fabulous acts included the performances of “16 Tons” and the “Sophomore Generation”. The night ended with the most unexpected of the unexpected performances, performed by Alex Vanarthos, Christian Penafiel, Hunter Delaney, Abdul Jalloh, Ben LeibowitzLord, and Donald Wen. While this performance got the audience roaring with adoration and added some “pzaz,” as Alex calls it, to the talent show, it was an unpleasant surprise to others. Alex admits, “At first, we were denied entry to the exclusive project that is the Highland Park Talent Show. However, with great determination, my group members and I finagled our way into the last act.” When asked if his group deserved the punishment that came afterwards, he gave examples of great men, such as Isaac Newton, who went against the beliefs

Above and left: Breaded Fish performs, led by Luke Miller. Center: Amandala led by Shanna and Riley. Directly above: Michael Jackson Jacob Choi of the rest and are now famous and explained, “Should any individual/group receive repercussions for their bold acts necessary on their path to greatness? I didn’t think so.” Aside from the controversy arising from the last performance, the talent show was an overwhelming success.

Summer Songs by Jess Nolan

“Stereo Hearts” Gym Class Heroes (feat. Adam Levine) “Reggae In My Head” Ziggy Marley “Should’ve Kissed You” Chris Brown “The Modern Age” The Strokes “I Do, But Do I” Katie Armiger “Islands” The xx “Never Forgive Never Forget (Black)” The Dear Hunter “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” Katy Perry “Pieces of Me” Ledisi “Party Rock Anthem” LMFAO (feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock) “Vegetable Car” Joshua Radin “Man Down” Rihanna “Uprising” Muse “Senior Skip Day” Mac Miller “Dance Without You” Skylar Grey “The Long Way Around” Dixie Chicks “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” Coldplay “A-Punk” Vampire Weekend “Speed of Light” Florrie “Super Bass” Nikki Minaj “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” Florence + The Machine “Lights (Bassnectar Remix)” Ellie Goulding

Amandala performs with a percussion component

Making Children Visible through Female Empowerment and A Capella by Michael Chernin On June 16th, at the reformed church in town, Amandala held their first “benefit” AAA (A Capellics Anonymous and Amandala concert). In past years, AAA has been held in the high school auditorium. However, this year, AAA was hosted at the Reformed Curch on Second Ave, at a small entrance fee to be sent to the Invisible Children foundation. Five dollars at the door enabled audiences to see Amandala, AA, the Chernin-Miller Jazz-Funk duo, and a special combined AA and Amandala set of songs. Volunteers brought food, set up rows and rows of chairs, and Luke Miller (HPHS’s winner of the Jerome B. Feinberg Memorial Award for Excellence in Technology) set up equipment. Said Charlotte Finegold, ’13 “The concert was a great way to combine the tradition of AAA and a cause which a lot of us in Amandala are very passionate about. Jackie Watters organized the

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whole thing.” Amandala opened with favorites such as “Pata Pata”. AA performed their first set including “Disturbia.” AA and Amandala alternated between sets, with a 15 minute “mini-concert” by Michael Chernin (drums) and Luke Miller (piano). The duo played various jazz standards, as well as an original composition entitled “57-3-9,” named appropriately for the song’s constantly shifting time signature. As the event drew to a close, there was noticeable anticipation for the last two songs, which have typically been performed by both Amandala and AA. AA traded “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and Amandala traded“Akanamandala” with AA. Both groups sounded wonderful together; it was refreshing to hear AA joined by such solid female voices, and in turn, Amandala was benefited by a beatboxer (Aaron Gartenberg) and male voices on “Akanamandala.”

Arts&Entertainment 9 Highland Park Showcases Its Drama Talent at One-Acts

Breianne Eanes ‘12 and Jess Nolan ‘12 perform a duet from “Rent”

by Sam Finegold One-Acts, the third of the three major productions of the HPHS drama department, normally feel like a let-down after the excitement of the musical and professional nature of the play. The motivation to spend a Friday night in the ridiculously air-conditioned auditorium normally consists of desire to support the drama department, not expectation of fantastic production, direction, writing, and acting. The audience was therefore pleasantly surprised. Sophomore Riley Ernest and Junior Justice Hehir blew the audience away in On the Edge, by Craig Pospisil. Hehir and Ernest, under the direction of senior Jaclyn Watters, used a simple arrangement of five chairs along the edge of the stage to simulate a fence along the edge of an apartment building. Ernest stood in front of the chairs, still sweating from the previous dance number, and acted out the part of Gene, a dramatic teenage boy trembling at the prospect of ending his life. Ernest’s sweating brow added to the effect. Sammy (Hehir), a much more rational girl startles Gene. In a nonchalant and comic conversation, the two explore Gene’s motivation for jumping and Sammy’s own troubles as a lesbian under the care of two resentful and verbally abusive parents.

Watters described how ourselves that we had “character development” made some sort of progwas her principal focus: “I ress.” had to help them rational The final Faculty Sketch ize their roles and bring paid tribute to eight of out the motions to make it the Highland Park facrealistic,” said Watters. ulty. The cast of seniors The three songs used four years of expesung by three duos moved rience to create painfully past the realm of “last accurate representations minute talent show”-like of Mr. Kruger, Ms. Klimoperformances. All were wicz (K), Ms. Marionni, audible, despite the abMs. Barca, Mr. Roche, Mr. sence of microphones. The Esteban, Mr. Lassiter, Ms. choice of three duets proFinklin, and Mr. Nobles, Seniors Jackie and Camila tackle a tough duet vided opportunities for harhighlighting those traits from “West Side Story” monization and interplay that make the teachers between the songs’ characters. lovable, such as Lassiter’s dancing, Roche’s The remaining sketches, (Almost) Ham- monotone, and Esteban’s secret love for Amerlet and Faculty Sketch, testified to the drama ica. department’s creativity. (Almost) To go with such a bang completed a sucHamlet, written by Justice cessful year for the drama deand Maddie Hehir and perpartment. For one, One-Acts formed by the members of did not feel like the limp Breaded Fish, could have ending to a year of profesprobably used more paussional production, like an es since the audience excuse for seniors to have laughed so hard the one last go. Although most whole way through. clubs and activities tail downJustice Hehir spoke of wards towards the how she and her sisy e a r , ter broke the play into drama bits, having only a few peaked. of the 12 members of Breaded Fish act on the stage at any one time. “This allowed relatively equal parts for everyone.” An original, 30 minute long script was the product of a month’s work by the Hehir sisters, who said they spent some “Saturdays on the couch until we could convince

School Concert Crescendo By Charlotte Finegold The members of the HPHS Concert Band showed off their talent and hard work at their concert, held on May 18. The impressive and varied program kicked off with “Empire” by Julie Gurioux, which mapped the course of the Holy Roman Empire with eerie melodies and intense percussion. “Children’s March” by Percy Grainger was lilting and filled of ‘oom-pa-pas’ from Jasmin Robertson , senior, on the bari-saxophone, and Julia Dougherty, senior, on bass clarinet. Soaring notes and rain stick-percussion effects followed in “Kyoto” by Quincy Hilliard and “As Summer Was Just Beginning” by Larry Daehn. After giving Mr. Colmon his farewell gifts, featuring a blond wig and fake gold, the senior band members donned leis and the band finished with “Rough Riders” by Karl King. Despite the small audience, the concert was a success. Mr. Colmon has taught this

group of seniors since they were in seventh grade, so for him, the concert was particularly important. He said, “It’s a joy to see them grow up and I think the concert was a great way to end our run together.” This year has been a rebuilding year for Concert Choir. The large number of senior choir members who graduated last year and those who did not re-enroll in the program this year were dearly missed. At their winter concert, the choir was a little shaky. However, at their spring concert, the choir demonstrated significant progress, making the evening quite enjoyable. Vocal Ensemble opened the night with “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line. Although the microphones could have been arranged better to capture the entire group’s sound, the song went pretty well. After “And Wherever You Go” by David Wagner, Breaded Fish took the stage to play a game of “Location, Occupation, Death,” drawing many laughs

June 2011

from the audience. Next, it was Concert Choir’s turn. Their repertoire was varied and featured talented soloists, senior Jessica Lapelosa, senior Shannon Donaghy, and senior Luke Morgan. Two groups who had been absent at the winter concert came up next. A Capellics Anonymous performed a mash-up of “Rhythm of Love” by the Plain White Ts and “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love Again” by Usher, featuring soloists Hannah Weaver, sophomore, and Jess Nolan, senior. Amandala performed “Freedom” and “N’kosi,” the national anthem of South Africa. Instead of the traditional, “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” this year’s choir ended with “Oh America,” and was accompanied by the HPHS orchestra. At the concert, the choir, Vocal Ensemble, Amandala, and A.A. came together and were able to display HPHS’s musical diversity and talent.

10 Feature&Opinion

Where to Next for the Class of 2011? Abdullah Aziz - Middlesex County College Gricelda Baez - Middlesex County College Natalie Benetis - Montclair State University Ariel Brown - Montclair State University Latisha Brown - Middlesex County College Yoanna Castanos-Reyes - Kean University Zachary Chen - University of New Hampshire Michael Chernin - Brandeis University Alvin Choi - Rutgers University Dan Cohen - Middlesex County College Shanna Cole - George Washington University Tanya Cruz - Montclair State University Simon Davis - New York University Shannon Donaghy - The College of New Jersey Julia Dougherty - Brandeis University Breiann Eanes - Middlesex County College Peninah Elmekies - Middlesex County College Evan Farmer - Kean University Luke Finaldi - Montclair University Samuel Finegold - Harvard College Eve Gabel-Frank - University of Pittsburgh Rebecca George - School of Visual Arts Gabriela Giovannetti - Rutgers University Chris Green - Lackawanna Maria Grigorov - Brandeis University George Heibel - University of California Berkley Tanya Hepburn - Middlesex County College Adbul Karin Jalloh - Rider University Reuben Kuchinsky - Rutgers University Saskia Kusencov - Rutgers University Anthony Lanni - Middlesex County College Mary Laurano - Middlesex County College Rose Laurano - Rutgers University Ben Leibowitz-Lord - Rutgers University Nysheemah Liley - Francis Marion University Sam Lobel - University of Pennsylvania Michael Long - Muhlenberg College Camila Marcone - Columbia University Vesva Miletic - Rutgers University Luke Miller - University of Wisconsin Itzcel Mireles - Middlesex County college

Shir Miretzky - Rutgers University Luke Morgan - Rutgers University Dahlia Moyal - Montclair State University Tariq Nabe - Middlesex County College Yu Hua Ni - Brandeis University Jessica Nolan - University of Miami Joseph Oriti - Middlesex County College Christian Penafiel - Marine Corps Stefanie Perez - Rutgers University Andrew Perry - Middlesex County College Emily Randall-Goodwin - Johnson & Wales University Yaritza Recinos - Middlesex County College Jasmin Robertson - Rutgers University Jennifer Rojas - Middlesex County College Elizabeth Rondos - Middlesex County College Gitty Rubin - Middlesex County College Rosalind Schick - The New School - Eugene Lang Alexis Schickner - Rutgers University Aiden Schore - Brown University Ilyssa Schwartz - Pennsylvania State University Shruti Sharma - MIT Joo Young Shin - Boston College Niashia Southerland - Middlesex County College Sarah Stern - Rutgers University Dimitrius Stoupas - Farleigh Dickinson Jocelyn Summers - Conneticut College Lucas Vanarthos - Rutgers University Jose Villeda - Middlesex County College Chenyuan Wang - NJIT Jaclyn Watters - University of Texas, Austin Jaclyn Welsh - Rutgers University Donald Wen, Jr - Potomac State College of WV Lamar White -Middlesex County College Jonathan Winter - Rutgers University Yuxing Yang - University of Pennsylvania Xiaoling Yu - Amherst College Max Zandstein - Rutgers University Dmitri Zorine - Rutgers University Asa Zuberman-Liebman - Davidson College

The Highland Fling

Feature&Opinion 11

Senior Survey

interviews by Liz Murphy, Maddie Hehir, Grace Chong and Lucia Schnetzer

Finish this sentence. Never... -“Let senioritis get to you in Marionni’s class.” -Jack Yang -“Get on the wrong side of Ms. Martin’s glare.” -Maria Grigorov - “Friend seniors on Facebook that you don’t know.” -Max Zandstein - “Kill yourself over homework.” -Sarah Stern - “Give up sleep.” -Julia Dougherty - “Not be yourself.” -Dahlia Moyal - “Leave your ID at home on the day of your SAT because I did that and was in the reject room!” -Saskia Kusnecov - “Moon a werewolf!” -Jaclyn Watters -

“Ever get into absent trouble senior year.” -Ilyssa Schwartz -“Disrespect your mother because she brought you to the world and she'll ALWAYS love you no matter what she does, your mother should always be #1 in your life, and people should be t h a n kful to have a mother to take care of you because some children go through their childhood without one.” -Tariq Nabe Who influenced you the most? - “I would say Mrs. Barca because she created a very safe and understanding creative class and a very inspiring one at that.” -Max Zandstein. - “Mr. Colmon, I’ve had him for six years so he’s seen me improve and grow as a musician.” -Luke Finaldi. - “Ms. Martin because she’s passionate about her job and what it is she teaches.” -Shannon Donaghy. - “Ms. Rockman because she has a really touch attitude and I’m not putting

up with this bull crap type of deal.” -Nysheemah Liley. - “Charlotte Finegold definitely influenced me the most!” -Camila Marcone.

at One-Acts.” -Jaclyn Watters -“When me Julianna, Kaitlin, and Gab were driving around Edison at night and Firework by Katy Perry came on and we started blasting it and singing along and What was your favorite moment of it made me realize how much I'm gohigh school? ing to miss them - “Winning spirit hall.” -Vesna next year but evMiletic. ery time that songs - “When Ben dropped his ligacomes on it makes ture off the stage during a band me think of that concert and then when he atmoment no matter tempted to retrieve it, he fell of where I am.” -Ilyssa the stage taking his chair and Schwartz music stand down with him.” -“Getting along -Camila with multiple peoMarcone. ple in this school.” - “Singing Backstreet Boys -Tariq Nabe

songs on the way home from Senior Trip.” -Shanna Cole. - “Winning at the pep rally.” -Sarah Stern. - “The bus ride back from Senior Trip.” -Shir Miretzky. -“Having my Bar Miztvah at Philadelphia Model United Nations (PHILMUN)!” -Sam Lobel -“Track practices and meets.” -Joo Young Shin -”Tennis!” -Shruti Sharma -“All the field trips, like Model UN and senior trip.” -Simon Davis -“Well I fall a lot... so a funny moment recently was when I fell down the steps like two weeks ago, and it was pretty funny, but my arm still hurts!” -Saskia Kusnecov -“Uhh.. hanging with my friends and like going on the roller coasters with them I guess.” -Reuben Kuchinsky -“Singing “A Boy like That” with Camila

June 2011

Favorite Quote: - Ms. K: "Ya so full of crap it's comin out ya ears!'' -Saskia Kusnecov -Werner Colmon: "You gotta play it like it's a thick, juicy steak." -Jaclyn Watters -“What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.” and “Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.”-Ilyssa Schwartz -Kanye West: “If you have the opportunity to play this game of life you need to appreciate every moment. a lot of people don't appreciate the moment until it's passed.” -Tariq


Prom & Jun

The Highland Fling


nior Prom

June 2011

14 Feature&Opinion

Kaufman ‘11 (cont.)

The two halves of Kaufman’s life: soccer and tennis

nity because he enjoyed working with this age group in Bartle. However, one of the main reasons behind Mr. Kaufman’s excitement about the new job opportunity is the opportunities for his fiancée. She is an aspiring author and it will be much easier for her to stay home and focus on her work in the Dominican Republic which has a significantly lower cost of living than the United States. Though the Dominican Republic is a great place for Mr. Kaufman to be he will be greatly missed as a teacher, coach and mentor. He coached the junior varsity squad, which did very well this year. He also picked up the boys tennis team and took the boys further than any team in Park history. By relentlessly working his boys and emphasizing a sense of teamwork and responsibility, Mr. Kaufman created a team with a mission. Sophomore tennis player, Thulani Hove says of Kaufman, “He made tennis mean something. It wasn’t just a push-over sport. He pushed us all to succeed.” Sophomore, Barry Holmes says, “He’s just one of those really cool teachers, he helped me a lot.” Mao Ma, one of the students and tennis players that Mr. Kaufman inspired: “He is a great coach, he was really devoted to the team and he passed that down to us and enabled us to win the state championships.” Mr. Kaufman’s dedication was a huge benefit to all of the students of Highland Park High School, whether he was a teacher, coach or influential adult in our lives and we should all wish him the best of luck.

Poker, ‘11 (cont.)

Poker’s into Magic...literally

high school math curriculum. But to know of him is certainly not to know him. Put simply, Mr. Poker is probably the most interesting man many of us (myself included) have ever met. What makes Mr. Poker such an excellent teacher is his ability to accurately gauge what his students need. He knows the only way to maintain a solid grasp of new math concepts is to understand the reason why sometimes seemingly arbitrarily chosen principals are in place. I have never met a man who knows his Polish ancestry’s coat of arms, who can describe to you in detail the literary conventions found in Canterbury Tales, the most efficient ways to time travel, psychological theory, mathematical paradoxes, read and speak Middle English, complete an AP Language multiple choice in twenty minutes without sacrificing accuracy, explain ancient Byzantine religious history, can speak to you in English, Spanish, and German, can teach history lessons about Latin word derivatives and developing computer programs, and can play the guitar, flute, and clarinet. According to Jess Nolan ’11, “Mr. Poker is a dedicated teacher; his love of math and teaching in general is apparent every time we have class. Besides his commitment to his students, he’s a funny guy too. It was a blast having him on senior trip and at prom, and he’s definitely one of the great teachers I will remember after we leave.”

The Highland Fling

Said Joel Howard ’12, “Mr. Poker teaches math with unparalleled enthusiasm; every question he fields as if on the brink of a new discovery, granting his students a unique view of how math can be genuinely exciting.” Selina Garcia, ’12 said of Mr. Poker, “Mr. Poker is one of those teachers that you will just never forget – partly because of his obvious passion for math, and partly because of his crazy antics and stories. I’ve enjoyed listening to him speak in other languages (like Old English), and learning about his childhood/adolescent stories. He will be dearly missed.” I was, along with multiple peers, at first reluctant to take AP Calculus. How difficult will the material be? How fast paced will the course be? Speaking for myself, I am beyond happy that I was able to have him this year. Through teaching with both in-depth content and a curious mind, Mr. Poker has helped myself and others to truly enjoy Calculus. Taking his class has been one of the best choices I made in high school. From senior trip to senior prom to junior prom to student congress, Mr. Poker’s love for his students and Highland Park is beyond obvious. We prefer to think of him as not “leaving,” but rather graduating with the Class of 2011. We wish Mr. Poker the best of luck in the future, and we hope he finds an academic family who appreciates this Renaissance man as much as we do.

Feature&Opinion 15

Letter from the Editors The Fling is serious stuff. It involves trying to keep a staff over around 40 students organized, writing your own articles, learning how to use software, and organizing other events. Leading and editing the newspaper has not been easy. But we wouldn’t want it to be easy anyway: by putting in the long hours, we’ve learned to love the Fling and appreciate all that it stands for. For the past few years, the Fling has experienced a “plateau” of very similar articles and an admittedly exclusive nature (articles written by Fling staff, about Fling staff members, interviews by Fling staff members...). We have tried to raise the level. This year, we established several new elements to the Fling to make it more accessible, professional, and interesting to read. After all, the Fling is produced for its readers, not for its staff. First, we have established a partnership with The Mirror, Highland Park’s town paper. We have worked with its editor, David Younge, to encourage young writers to elevate their writing. Throughout the year, Mr. Younge has included noteworthy Fling articles in the Mirror as both a form of recognition and incentive. Secondly, we have sold advertisements to local businesses into the Fling. This process took some getting used to, considering the Fling has never successfully established a long-lasting advertising system. We have been able to generate revenue, and promote synergy between the owners, businesses, and townspeople. With our entrepreneurial efforts, we collected over $600. With this money, we hope to be able to enter our paper in competitions. We used the advertising revenue from the year to fund a wonderful trip to the Columbia Students Press Association (CSPA) Conference , hosted by Columbia University. The confer-

ence serves as a type of Mecca for high school newspaper and yearbook staffs from across the country. For three days, Columbia’s campus was populated with high school students walking to “workshops” run by industry professionals which focused on the various aspects of producing a publication. Sessions examined traditional components, such as mechanics of writing and editing, as well as broader and more modern components, such as designing a website. The conference was especially valuable for next year’s editors, who benefited from the workshops and seeing the types of papers other high schools produce. A long term goal we began with was to bring the Highland Fling online. After reviewing different options, Carl Lin discovered “WordPress.” In the 20112012 school year, Carl Lin, ‘12 will edit the online portion of the Fling. With this program at our disposal, the Fling will be shared with the town, other high school papers, and most importantly, open the Fling up to commentary (much like a Facebook comment on a picture). Anyone who knows us most likely remembers our grouchy faces at 7:48 a.m. after pulling ‘Fling all-nighters.” Many asked, “Why does the Fling take so much time? Why is it so much work?” To this, there are multiple answers. We could say it is because every month, we must start the entire process from scratch, and set a staff meeting date, editors meeting date, write articles, edit articles, return edits, gather pictures, create the layout, copy edits, proof read, and send to the printer. But the real reason the Fling takes


by Mao Ma

June 2011

so much work it, simply, we think it should be this much work. We want the paper to look aesthetically pleasing, and we want content that appeals to a variety of readers. Although the Fling is a student-run club, we have many adults to thank. First an foremost, thank you to Ms. Marionni. From driving us up to the CSPA in the blue Quest, to handling finances. From yelling at us when we referred to Ms. Barca as “heavily pregnant” to vacating her room at a moment’s notice for a last-minute Fling meeting, she has restrained us just enough so that we know our bounds, but also put us on a long enough leash so that we could test our abilities. Thank you to David Younge for continuing to support the Fling by working as our partner in journalism. Thank you to the administration and the Board of Education or funding and supporting our paper for another year and allowing us to expand online. Thank you to Mr. and Ms. Dewhirst for helping the Fling in the technological department. And lastly, thank you to our entire staff. Without you, out paper would be nothing. We are proud of the improvements many of you have made as writers, journalists, and team members. Thank you for dealing with our, at times, short tempered emails (“Where the heck are those edits?”), and our strict deadlines. Over the course of this year, we have grown close to many of you. Our rushed lunch meetings, us asking, “Where the heck are Carl and Steve?” and Marionni asking, “What the heck are you all doing here?” form meaningful memories that make all the hard work worth it. We appreciate all your efforts. Lastly, join the Fling. There are many elements to the Fling; it’s not just a writing gig. Photographers and media experts are also need. And you never know? You may make a career out of it. And now, a quote that has been on our Gmail Fling signature for as long as we can remember: “Journalism largely consists of saying “Lord Jones is dead” to those who never knew Lord Jones was alive.” -Michael and Sam

You might like a fling with her more than our Fling...

But let’s be realistic. Ours isn’t so far flung. So join the Fling.

16 Feature&Opinion

Are You R U? Year

Students Attending R U

2009 2010 2011

by Belle Gabel-Frank

For college-seeking HP high schoolers, New Brunswick’s Rutgers University has always been a painfully obvious choice. We are surrounded by its graduates, professors, and students around town, and for many, at home. Ominous red “R”s are stuck on every store-front window, and the Rutgers Stadium lights can be seen from most of our homes. One might even say scarletand-white is in our blood. Then why, you may be wondering, would anyone choose to spoil their first shot at independence by going to school so wellknown and close to home? Why don’t the seniors want the

16 14 19

freedom and adventure of a whole new life in a whole new city? According to 2010 graduates attending Rutgers, the town is “so much different than [we remember it] in high school.” Apparently, there is a side of New Brunswick that can only be unlocked by a Rutgers student. “Back then I thought of it [New Brunswick] as just like the cooler place to hang out than on Raritan in Highland Park...[but I see now] that there is a whole community over here separate from H.P....” Another former HPHS student, upon being asked about the close proximcontinued on page 18

by Sam FInegold When you return from the summer, what will make Highland Park High School in the years 2011-2012 different? Obviously 100 students left and 100 entered, but what else changes? In school: Faculty changes: Next year, expect new faces in computer science and business. Mr. Poker, who teaches AP Calculus and Pre-Calculus, and who also runs the improv group Breaded Fish and directs our student government will journey down south, following his wife who secured a job at a small college in Alabama. Poker’s departure saddens all those who have had him, and also worries those expecting to have him next year. Mr. Kaufman, who teaches Race, Gender, and Ethnicity, US History I, and US History II Honors departs this summer for the Dominican Republic. He also follows his fiancé, who plans to write. He will be missed b more than just his history students: his junior varsity soccer players and entire tennis team will sorely miss him. The Hebrew Choice: HPHS becomes a choice school in 2011-2012. The “Hebrew-Language” option offered next year hopes to reel in students from neighboring districts interested in Highland Park’s community service emphasis, large Jewish population, and soon-tobe-offered courses in Hebrew. As of now, few students from outside the school district have expressed interest (although more might during the summer). Including a choice option in the high school requires another faculty hire.

Students in Grade

88 99 94

% of class attending

18% 14% 20%

Lexi and Jon will attend RU in the fall

HP in 2011-2012 Therefore, new faces from other schools and rently ranked number four in New Jersey and 24 a new face on the teaching staff should be ex- in the country for his age group. Track will miss pected next year. Dan Brown, who specialized in the triple jump, hurdler George Heibel, and long-distance runMiddle School eats in HS cafeteria: The ce- ners Zack Chen, Jon Winter, and Sam Lobel. mented rotating schedule in the middle school Tennis will also change on the other end. means that the entire middle school eats at the Mr. Kertes is going to depart from Girls Tensame time. The change has also resulted from nis, after a lengthy stint of coaching, and Mr. efforts to conserve food. Next year, the middle Kaufman from boys after a spectacular year. school will flock to the high school on a daily ba- Kaufman’s departure marks the fourth change sis. Expect loud noises from Ms. Barca’s to the in five years, paralleling the Defense against Health Room midway through the day. the Dark Arts teaching position in Harry PotResurfacing: The grimy, yellow tile outside Mr. ter. Kaufman’s success as a coach will be hard Girvan’s office will be replaced. Mr. Williams to match, seeing as he guided the team farther says the finished result will look “excellent.” than it has ever gone this year. Hopefully, inThe carpeting which extends from the cafeteria coming Maverick Lin will push HP tennis even to the door of the weight room will be replaced. further. Permanently Stranded: Study Island will of- Club-wise, Model UN will probably take ficially replace Carnegie Tutor as the learning the hardest hit. Around 17 seniors will leave software for several math classes. the club. Mr. Mladnick commented at the end of this year’s Eighth Grade Model UN that the Sports and Clubs: gap left by these seniors will be hard to replace, and urged the eighth graders to step up at try Sports and other clubs will miss departing se- outs. Singing groups Amandala and A Capellics niors. Girls Soccer, Girls Tennis, and Football Anonymous will also require sizeable replaceare lucky, but most teams will lose many core ments to make up for departures. The drama players. Boys soccer will miss all-county Dimi- department will also feel the loss of seniors in trious Stoupas and All Blue Division players Asa the orchestra pit and on stage. Star singer Jess Zuberman-Leibman and Jose Villeda, among Nolan and male leads Ben Leibowitz-Lord and other strong seniors. Girls Basketball will suffer Luke Morgan leave lingering questions as to without Niasia Southerland, Jocelyn Summers, who will fill next year’s spots. Ariel Brown, and Jasmin Roberston. Wrestling There are but a few of the changes to be will lose Anthoni Lanni and Sam Lobel, and Boys expected, and they are important to note. It is Basketball will no longer have Chris Green and the differences in circumstance, achievements, Michael Long. The boys tennis team will lose and experiences which make each year of high two of its starting seven, but hopes to acquire school worth the ten months. a talent, Maverick Lin, from Edison. Lin is cur-

The Highland Fling

Feature&Opinion 17

Club Wrap-Up

•Hosted many guest speakers such as Rutgers professors Hopes for next year: •To get more members and to generate more interest in the club •To host a philosophy event at school •To obtain a special philosophy section in the Fling •To get more professors visiting the club

by Sylvia Marks Breaded Fish (Improvisation Group): supervisor: Mr. Poker Highlights: •Able to experiment more with a larger group than in previous years •Highly successful One-Act play written by Justice and Maddie Hehir •Consistent attendance Hopes for next year: •To continue the tradition of performing in One-Acts •To expand by performing at more events

Game Club: Adult Supervisor: Mr. Roche Juniors Elana Segal and Lucia Schnetzer Highlights: entertain in Breaded Fish •Members were able to learn to play “Magic: Highlights: The Gathering” •Bake sales for Japan Relief DECA (Business Club): •Using statistics on slips of paper to spread in- •Consistent attendance Adult supervisor: Mr. Weiner Hopes for next year: formation about domestic violence Highlights: •To get more members and interest •The Invisible Children assembly •Went to Florida for the national competition •Were able to fundraise for causes such as Hopes for next year: Step Team: •To help more people!! Breast Cancer Adult supervisor: Ms. Mitchell •Won many awards at competitions this year Highlights: Philosophy Club: Hopes for next year: •Pep Rally Adult supervisor: Mrs. Asamoah •That the team will do well, even though Mr. Hopes for next year: Highlights: Weiner will no longer be advising the group. •Were able to discuss a great deal of philosoph- •To become more of a ‘dance’ team •To become more diverse ical topics this year GAG (Global Awareness Group): •Were also able to go over many important fig- •To perform half-time shows for football and Adult supervisor: Ms. Marionni basketball ures in philosophy

Welcome to Highland (Theme) Park HP Board of Education selects “Global Citizen” as choice district theme by Charlotte Finegold After years of being buffeted by diminishing state aid and worries of charter schools, the Highland Park Board of Education took a proactive step and voted to apply for the New Jersey Interdistrict Choice Program in February 2011. Now, the Board of Education has taken the second step and has chosen a theme for its choice program. The NJ Department of Education implemented the choice program “to increase educational opportunities for students and their families by providing students with the option of attending a public school outside their district of residence without cost to their parents.” Ten school districts in Central Jersey have already applied for this program, including Bound Brook, Franklin, Lambertville, and South Hunterdon. As a choice district, Highland Park would open itself to a predetermined number of students from other districts to generate revenue for its schools. The program has advantages and disadvantages, financially and academically. Financial Advantages: When choice students enter Highland Park, the district would receive $12,000 per student. Also, sending districts are responsible for providing transportation services for schools up to twenty miles away, so Highland Park would not be burdened with that financial cost. This state aid could provide opportunities to finally put money back into old programs. Financial Disadvantages: Applications are due October 2011. If Highland Park’s application were approved, the district would become a choice school in the 2012-2013 school year.

However, no state aid would be given until the 2013-2014 school year, so a disadvantage would be struggling through a year of extra students and their costs without state compensation. When a district or a school accepts choice students, they do so under the conviction that students from other districts would be attracted by their school(s). Currently, Highland Park High School is ranked 37th in the state and first in Middlesex County. Dr. Frances Wood, superintendant of Highland Park schools, said: “Our rankings, plus our awards, strong athletic and arts programs, and our small class sizes, all make Highland Park a very attractive package.” Academic Advantages: Revenue from choice students would allow us to secure our successful programs and even expand. The Hebrew language program beginning next year is only one example of Highland Park’s academic opportunities. Academic Disadvantages: As of now, the Board of Education would hold no control over which students would come into our schools. Admission to choice schools is determined by a random lottery system, and once a student is admitted from another district, they are required to stay until graduation. This is potentially risky. Highland Park’s high rankings currently distinguish it, and if kids came into Highland Park who would lower test scores, then they could negatively affect the schools’ rankings. Wendy Saiff, former president of the Board of Education, summarized this predicament: “Once you open up for school choice, you’re completely open for school choice.” One way to go about this possibility would be to make only the high school a choice school; then the only requirement would be to see choice students through

June 2011

a maximum of four years. The first step was deciding to apply; the second was deciding what educational emphasis our school choice option would take. In March 2011, a Board of Education taskforce researched and discussed possible themes. The chosen theme is called “Global Citizen.” According to Wendy Saiff, this theme represents the diversity and values of both the town and the high school. The high school’s strong Model United Nations and Congress programs, as well as its successful language programs, were important factors which played into the decision. However, the final determinant for the Board of Education was Highland Park High School’s Global Awareness Group (GAG), which fundraises for disaster relief and social causes through booster sales, bake sales, and awareness campaigns, and brought Invisible Children to the high school on April 12. Justice Hehir, a junior, and president of Global Awareness Group said, “The prospect of having students coming to this school who are coming because of their specific interest in Global Citizenship bodes well for GAG initiatives, possibly leading to increased GAG membership and a more receptive student body.” Highland Park is taking a few risks in this application: financially speaking, choice students must choose HPHS to offset the costs of new programs; academically, Highland Park could be receiving students who lag behind our standards; socially, a new program is being created which has supporters and opponents in the town. However, as another H.P. character (Fred Weasley) once said: “Where’s the fun without a bit of risk?”

18 Feature&Opinion


Dear Michael Chernin

Your stunning ability to live so fully in every moment is awe-inspiring. Thank you for sharing your outstanding accomplishments and experiences with us. With love, pride, and joy, -Mom and Dad

Dear Shannon Donaghy, Watch for your mother in your cereal bowl next year Love, -Dad

Dear Luke Miller, To the best musician we all know, keep playing! When we become rich enough, we’ll pitch in and get you a Rhodes. And maybe some lessons from Robert Glasper... -your music buddies

Dear Esteban, Gracias para todo. Usted me ha inspirado desde el principio. -Finegold

Are You R U? (cont.) ity to her family responded, ”It’s actually really different than you would expect...I’m just far enough to have a life of my own, but just close enough so mom can still do my laundry!” Out of five interviewed seniors who will attend Rutgers next year, four mentioned finances as part of their decision to attend Rutgers. Three of the four were children of Rutgers faculty, while the other one was receiving an academic scholarship. Max Zandstein mentioned how the savings from choosing Rutgers would allow him to study abroad, as well as attend a topstanding medical program. Many of those interviewed mentioned concepts similar to those told by the current attendees: the proximity allows for easy access to their family, while still permitting the typical

freedoms of college life. “I love my family, and I want to be around to see my younger brother grow up,” confessed one senior. While not all motives were as heartwarming (one interviewee attributed his choice to his dream of one day beating the Grease Trucks’ Fat Sandwich Challenge), all were certainly heartfelt. This article, while not an advertisement for Rutgers University (I personally a,m a big PITT fan), should serve as a friendly reminder not to judge a book, town, or college by its cover. Congratulations to our nineteen seniors who will be moving just across the bridge, as well as our other 65 departing seniors who are moving on to careers, universities, and beyond!

The Highland Fling

Feature&Opinion 19

June 2011

20 Feature&Opinion

To the Editor

We all know about the unofficial war our school’s administration had declared on shorts. Along with thin-strapped tank tops and displayed midriffs, the shorts have brought a seemingly endless stream of girls into the main office. Maybe some shorts are too short, maybe shoulders have proven distracting and inappropriate somewhere at some time, but the question we should all be asking is not “why shorts?” but “why girls?” Large numbers of boys walk around our high school every day with their pants hanging down, showing off their underwear. The fashion, officially known as “sagging pants,” was developed in imitation of pants worn in US prisons, where belts are banned. Not only is it far from interesting (come on, at least wear a cool pattern or something), but it should be equally, if not more, inappropriate than the supposed inch or two missing from a pair of shorts. I have tolerated my fair share of plummeting pants and hanging hemlines. It’s time the battle for

longer shorts extended to one for higher waistbands. The dress code explicitly states that “visible undergarments of any kind” are unacceptable. In addition, “pants should be securely fastened around the waist. (see page 16 of any 2010-2011 school agenda). Girls are sent home for showing their bra straps. If a bra is considered underwear, shouldn’t this rule extend to boys? It is unfair to punish girls for showing a part of their bra that barely differs from the strap of a normal tank top while letting what is clearly underwear show every day. According to school policy, around ¼ of the male population in our school would be sent home daily for inappropriate exposure of underwear. And yet, the influx of student into our office for violation of the dress code remains primarily, if not solely female. - anonymous

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Chinese: A Rising Language by Nicky Rawlinson

HPHS is now offering Hebrew. Advancement in any area of academic education should be celebrated, and the addition of this historic language is no exception. However, ignoring the obvious pressures to create a Hebrew language program at HPHS, I cannot help but lament this missed opportunity. It is not Hebrew, but Chinese, for which our school should be creating a new language department. It is easy to get lost in the seemingly infinite array of statistics confirming China’s new, dominant role on the world stage. There is also ample evidence that Chinese superiority in a plethora of fields, not only limited to business, will be cemented in the years to come. The addition of Chinese as a language offered to HPHS students would be an opportunity to gain a skill that would aid the future careers of many current students. Learning Chinese is an investment in tomorrow, and it is disappointing that our school, like much of the Western world, wishes to ignore this fact.

Sports 21

Packing up their Mitts By Sam Trub As the school year wraps up, so does another season of sports. This year the baseball team finished about as close to the Gold Division title as you can get without quite taking it. Despite this, the baseball team had a promising season, ending with a 13-8 record overall. The season started with the baseball team trading loss for win going 2-2 through their first four. That fourth game helped them en route to a 4-game winning streak, putting them at a 6-2 record. Things were looking up even with Dunellen delivering a crushing 13-2 defeat, as the Owls bounced back and won the next game against Cardinal McCarrick. After yet another demoralizing loss to South River, the Owls came alive and won five straight games putting them at 12-4 on the season, although they lost their last

three games, they show promise for next year’s team that has star players like 1st baseman Jason Potts, and Pitcher Benny Vietze. This year also had its fair share of surprises with freshman Andy Powell coming up to play outfield on varsity. Powell commented “It was a fun learning experience to be able to go out there and play with the older kids. I felt privileged to be on the varsity.” When asked about the season, he remarked, “I felt the season went well, because everyone contributed big or small, and we were able to figure out what the strengths and weaknesses of each player, and who were the leaders on this team.” Closing out this baseball season,we look forward to the next one, which appearss to be even brighter, with a core of great players returning along with incoming freshmen and other hidden talent. When asked about next season Powell said, “The future is

bright because we have great team chemistry, everyone gets along, and the addition of new talent will help to bring this team to the forefront.” As the Owls look towards the next baseball season, they look to c o n t in ue to grow, and to better themselves through practice, hard work, and motivation. The Owls look back on a well-fought season, and though they didn’t bring home a title of any sorts, they will use that as more motivation to win it next year and go above and beyond the Patrick Ambrosio at the pitcher’s mound expectations.

One Last Wind-Up

By Carl Lin

careers. Passing on a legacy of diligence and determination, next year’s rising athletes have a lot to live up to. For this year’s team, no matter the end result, they were proud to say that they went out fighting each and every game. Though the pitches were faster, and the batting harder, great challenges also foster greater rewards. Both captains Dahlia Moyal and Jasmin Robertson earned a spot on the All-Star game, composed of the best players from all around the county. Both seniors were also awarded All-Division Best Catcher and Best First Base respectively. If the team continues to defy the odds, they can only expect more of the same success in years to come.

The best never sit complacent with their accomplishments. The fact that first-rate competitors always remain at the top is no coincidence - the drive to always improve and seek harder competition pushes and sharpens their abilities to the pinnacle of human potential. After a remarkable season last year, the HPHS softball team climbed to the Blue Division. For tiny Highland Park, the experience resembled the movement from a fish tank to the ocean. Don’t be decieved, however, for even the biggest fish have the most humble of origins. “The girls handled the new challenge very well they stepped up to be real competitors in the tougher division,” says Coach Syentgyorgyhi . The team showed dramatic improvement throughout the season, holding its own against bigger schools and more powerful players. Despite a rough start to the season, the team boasted wins against tough schools like Mother Seaton and Middlesex, finishing the season 7-10-1. The five Seniors in the starting lineup, including the four senior captains Ilyssa Schwartz, Dahlia Moyal, Jasmin Robertson, and Lexi Schickner, held the team together through all its trials. “Because everyone was competing on a higher level,” Robertson asserts, “the first team to make a mistake was the team that lost.” The captain then went on to admit that one of the most disappointing aspects of the season was also one of the most easily preventable - attendance. When every point, much less every player, counted, Robertson believes that some games could have had more favorable outcomes. “In almost every game we lost we had one or more starters missing,” she admits. “The team is losing five Seniors next year, five starting Seniors in key positions” says the coach, “but the Juniors will no doubt step up to fill those big shoes.” For many of the seniors, the season represented Junior Kaitlin Kovalchik on the field the perfect way to cap off their high school

June 2011

Illyssa Schwartz winding up for a pitch

22 Sports

Track Round-Up By Jacob Choi

sprinters Joo Young Shin and Evan Farmer ‘12

Charlotte Finegold and Sylvia Marks ‘13 finish a 400

In the majority of sports, measuring improvement is virtually impossible. Skill has no unit of measurement that can be determined by a scale, yardstick, or tapemeasure. In track and field, however, everything is measurable, and the measurements from this year show miles of improvement. During this season of track, the majority of the runners, throwers, and jumpers achieved new personal records, and several managed to run competitively in States.. George Heibel placed 9th in 400m hurdles, with 63 seconds. Evan Farmer got 34 feet in triple jump, and Harry Landis threw 119ft, beating his previous javelin record by 12ft. “This year, especially in long distance, we have a team packed with Seniors who are strong and healthy, commented Coach Davis. Several of the athletes, however, struggled with injuries or sickness, impeding their rate of improvement. Joo Young Shin, a senior joining track for the first time, was out due to illness for a while, hindering his chances at doing well in States. Valued shotput thrower and sprinter Dierra Doyle injured herself early in the season, and Patrick Thieringer suffered a major injury while practicing, just weeks before States. Even though “the long distance runners were affected by the heat and the pressure a lot,” said captain Zack Chen, they showed their perseverance and completed their race. Sam Lobel, one of the seniors, expressed his aggravation when the official failed to display the time. Had they mounted a time display, Lobel might have pushed the last 100 yards and broken his 4:46 PR. As it was, Lobel ran a 4:47. Jon Winter also struggled with timing, going out too fast in the beginning and struggling towards the end of the race. While some players had a hard time of developing on certain skills, some realized their weaknesses and could develop more on it, which improved the records. Additionally, the Owls produced an incredibly strong girls 400m relay team this year. Coach Roig accurately predicted the placing of the girls 4x400 team, including freshman Grace Chong, junior Mande Younge, sophomore Charlotte Finegold, and junior Tynaria Carpenter. As Coach Ruck pointed out, “They were consistent, had great work ethic, and depth,” which was demonstrated by the grueling afterschool practices in the blazing heat to prep for the tournament. Alongside the four girls, Zack Chen attended every practice to prepare for his 3200m race, which he qualified for in States. In addition to running in the 4x400 relay, Grace Chong ran the 400m with some of the top girls in the division. Every player worked hard, and the results showed their efforts. The members of the 400m relay team each broke their personal record, and Grace matched her personal best in the 400. Zach wasn’t able to beat his PB during the tournament, but ended his last season of track having set a new PR in each of his events. The team will be losing a group of extremely gifted and dedicated seniors, but based on the measurements from this year, there’s plenty of hope for the future.

Zack Chen runs just in front of fellow milers Sam Lobel and Jon Winter ‘11

The Highland Fling

Sports 23

Any More Challengers?

The team poses with their trophy By Phillip Gianolio-Falk The Tournament of Champions. Sounds epic, right? Almost as epic as a Rafa Nadal vs. Roger Federer final in any major tournament. Although the Highland Park Boys Tennis team didn’t win the Tournament of Champions, they were able to win States, beating Palmyra (5-0), arch-rival Metuchen (3-2), Bound Brook (5-0), New Providence (3-2) and Leonia (3-2) in the final to advance to the Tournament of Champions. “Impossible is nothing,” said junior Steve Zheng, “while we knew we were a top team in our division, I didn’t expect us to win States, but we “I knew going into the season that we would be competitive. I knew that we were better than our division and group as well. We could have been competitive in the White with a chance to win the division, and we could have finished in the middle of the Red.” – Coach Michael Kaufman did it.” Coach Michael Kaufman also knew that they could compete in their division. Although that might sound a bit overconfident to some, the tennis team knew that the hard work they were putting in everyday during practice would pay off in the long run. Lin stressed the “individual improvement,” saying, “Coach Kaufman was a great coach and worked beneficial drills and fitness routines during practice.” Zheng was even “looking forward to the grueling and challenging practices next year.” Coach Kaufman had

his players confident and focused during the entire season, allowing Highland Park to finish with a 17-2 record, winning the Blue Division. Coach Kaufman attributed their success to “hard work, focus and good chemistry,” but Carl and Steve attributed their success to the team’s veteran leadership. “Everyone is going to have to step up the effort even more, now that we’re losing two of our best players and captains,” commented Zheng, referring to seniors Sam Finegold and Asa Zuberman-Liebman. “Losing Finegold and Asa will be hard. They were great leaders and held the team together throughout the year,” agreed Lin, adding wisely, “Leadership is key to success.” Hard work, leadership and good team chemistry have all played a significant role in the success of the tennis team this year. Seniors Asa Zuberman-Liebman, Sam Finegold, Alvin Choi and Mike Chernin will all be graduating this year, and the tennis team will surely lose their veteran leadership which has brought them so far. However, the tennis team could possibly inherit the player ranked 3rd in the state. Coach Kaufman says, “There’s a good chance he’ll come to Highland Park,” so the future seems to be bright for the Owls Tennis Team. The next time you bypass tennis because it’s “not interesting enough,” just remember that hard work and dedication really do pay off in the long run, proven by the glittering trophy which will soon be placed alongside HP’s other Thulani Hove throws up a serve athletic accomplishments.

The Highland Fling Editorial Staff

Writing Staff

Editors-in-Chief: Sam Finegold and Michael Chernin

News: Oscar Lee, Justice Hehir, Elana Segal, Charlotte Finegold, Aidan Kusnecov, Lucia Schnetzer, Greg Burdea

News: Justice Hehir Feature: Nicky Rawlinson and Charlotte Finegold Arts&Entertainment: Simon Davis and Xuewei Ouyang Sports: Mande Younge Business Manager: Steve Zheng Online Editor: Carl Lin

Feature: Sylvia Marks, Amy Wang, Sam Finegold, Liz Murphy, Lucia Schnetzer, Tabitha Lumour-Mensah, Michael Arts&Entertainment: Elena Weissman, Stefana Voicu, Sam Finegold, Charlotte Finegold, Xuewei Ouyang, Jess Nolan,

Photographers Lilach Brownstein, Dan Padgett, Simon Davis

Sports: Sam Trub, Jacob Choi, Carl Lin, Mande Younge, Phillip Gianolio-Falk

Questions? Comments? Interested in contributing as a writer, photographer, or media specialist? Contact us at

June 2011

24 Sports

Player Profiles Name: Spencer Irvine Age: 17 Grade: Junior Sport: Tennis By Mande Younge The boy’s tennis team made it remarkably far this year, earning their place as Central Jersey Group One champions. In a tournament like that, every game is crucial. The Owls would never have taken home that trophy if they had fallen short in the first game. And that first game, unfortunately, was scheduled during Junior Prom. On a day when several of

“Towards the end of the first set, he looked at me and said, “We want it more than them - it was beyond confidence” -Coach Kaufman

his varsity teammates chose to go to prom, Spencer Irvine stepped up to carry his team on to victory. “He was the only person supposed to go to prom who didn’t,” remarked Coach Kaufman, “which really speaks to how hard he works.” Irvine, who partnered with Joon Ko for the first time, had his work cut out for him. Tied 2-2, the pair stepped onto the court with no previous ex-

Name: Grace Chong Age: 15 Year: Freshman Sport: Track

perience working together, yet holding the weight of the team on their shoulders. Highland Fling: How did you decide to go to the match instead of Prom? Spencer Irvine: Finegold and Asa convinced me that if we lost, that feeling would be much worse than that of missing prom. Since several players couldn’t go, I was the only one left who had varsity experience. I anticipated a quick victory and decided I wouldn’t miss much of prom anyways. HF: What was it like partnering with someone you had never played doubles with before? SI: Having never played together before, we knew we had to communicate well and start early. We talked after each point and motivated each other for the next one, quickly developing the rhythm two partners have. HF: Was it stressful? SI: I was nervous for the first set and the last point of the match, but in between I stayed focused on each point and never got ahead of myself. HF: How did you feel after you won? SI: To be honest, I was a bit relieved, but mostly it was just an amazing feeling and full of excitement. We knew we accomplished something great and gave our team another chance to continue our season, which turned out to be the best season in history. Everyone jumped on each other in excitement after we won. It was definitely worth missing prom. Spencer smiles at the state championships

Events: 200 meter, 400 meter, 800 meter, 4x400m relay

By Sam Trub

PB (personal best): 200 meter : 28 seconds 400 meter : 63 seconds 800 meter : 2 min. 31 seconds

With her generally small build, Grace Chong doesn’t look like a runner. She seems at first glance like an optimistic freshman with encouraging words to give, but once the gun fires on the track, she takes off. Having proven herself extremely versatile, Grace ran cross country in the fall, and has now switched to sprinting and mid-distance in spring track, focusing her sights on the 400m race. Her perfect pacing generally worked, blowing away the competition with consistent 64 second 400s, and buying her 5th place in the States competition. She competed with some of the top runners in the state, flying around the track at 63 seconds, and matching her personal best. The Freshman wrapped up the perfect first season by winning MVP.

GC:They are different every day. Some days are harder then others. The practices on most days are deathly hard, and everyone struggles with them. As a cohesive team, we are able to pull through. An example of an exercise that we might have to do is to run 200 meters ten times. HF:How do you feel before a meet? GC:I always feel nervous before each meet, but I overcome this by telling myself that I can do it and to have fun and enjoy the experience. God reveals His glory through my running, and I embrace and appreciate that. HF:Where do you see yourself as a senior on this track team? GC: I want to be a captain, and a leader who is always there to encourage others no matter what. I am a very energetic person who likes to see people succeed. I hope to be able to teach other kids what I have learned and taught myself.

Highland Fling: How often do you practice? Grace Chong: I run outside everyday, whether it be with the track team or not. I am very dedicated to the team as it stands, because I love running and I love being part of a team. HF:What are your practices like?

Grace finishes a tough four hundred

The Highland Fling

June 2011  
June 2011