The Wire We connect students Thu, 27 Feb 2020 14:52:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Television shows can provide a welcome break from studying Thu, 27 Feb 2020 14:52:30 +0000 You have been up all night working on that five page research paper that’s due in English class tomorrow, and all you want is a little break. You turn on the TV and go and find your favorite show. Next thing you know, it’s four hours later, you haven’t done any of your project, but you have watched 12 episodes of Friends. We usually turn to TV if we want a little break, but the only tough part is deciding what to watch and where to watch it.

According to the data and statistics website Statista,  “Netflix, a popular streaming site, had only 7 million subscribers in 2007, when it started to gain popularity. As of 2019, Netflix had reached an audience of 167 million paying customers.”

Cable TV is also used by many people in the U.S., according to Statista. In 1952, cable TV had 14,000 users. As of 2017, cable TV served 51.77 million households, 

Amanda Krocian, a freshman, said that her favorite TV show to watch is Shameless on Showtime.

“I found it when I was scrolling through Netflix, and now I watch it whenever I can,” said Krocian.

Shameless is about a family of six kids and their alcoholic, drug-addicted father. The eldest daughter Fiona has to raise the rest of the family on her own and they do what they can to get by.

Freshman Kaylen Tenemille said that her favorite show is MasterChef on FOX.

“I love cooking and I love watching Gordon Ramsey yell at people,” said Tenemille.

MasterChef is an American competitive cooking reality TV show open to amateur and home chefs.

“My mom got me into it and now we always watch it on weekends together,”said Tenemille.

Even teachers need a little break from their work. Ms. Stewart, a Spanish teacher, said that her favorite TV show is This Is Us on NBC.

I found out about the show because a lot of people recommended it to me. I didn’t start watching it until the second season came out. I had to go back and catch up, but then I was hooked. I try to watch new episodes within a week if I can,” said Ms. Stewart.

 This Is Us is about the lives and families of two parents and their three children, across different time frames.


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Sports can help students learn skills, make friends and get fit Thu, 27 Feb 2020 14:43:57 +0000 Monroe-Woodbury offers many programs and opportunities for students to participate in after school.; one of the most popular activities that students choose to do is sports. 

Athlete Sydny Centeno is part of the girl’s bowling team and she has been playing for two years. Centeno and the bowling team practices and plays at Colonial Lanes. 

“When I get home from school, I have nothing to do,” said Sydny Centeno. 

She heard about the bowling team and was interested in joining. Centeno enjoys bowling and she said she is glad that she found out about the sport.

Students also participate in sports to learn skills, to make friends and to get fit. According to an article from Sutter Health, a medical organization in California, “Playing sports helps you stay in shape, teaches you how to organize your time, boosts friendships, and builds relationships with your peers and adults.” 

Coaches are a huge part of a sports team and they play an integral role in instructing and training athletes.

According to Topend Sports, an informative website about sports and fitness, “Sports coaches assist athletes in developing to their full potential. They are responsible for training athletes in a sport by analyzing their performances, instructing in relevant skills and by providing encouragement. But you are also responsible for the guidance of the athlete in life and their chosen sport.”

Mr. Vero coaches the girl’s varsity tennis team in the fall, the boy’s and girl’s varsity bowling team in the winter and the varsity baseball team in the spring. He has been coaching at Monroe-Woodbury for 17 years.

There are many qualities that coaches look for in student athletes. Vero said, “What we look for in a student athlete is work ethic, somebody that is willing to put in the time and work into their athletic endeavors.” 

Also, Mr. Vero mentioned that he looks for teamwork and the ability to balance sports and academics. 

Being a coach also comes with difficulties and obstacles. Many student athletes have many activities outside of sports, for example, working, spending time with friends and family and school work.

Sports are a big part of our school and community. Athletes and coaches make up a part of the demographic of students and staff that are in our school district.

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TikTok gains popularity among Monroe-Woodbury High School students Mon, 24 Feb 2020 19:11:02 +0000 Four girls are huddled in a circle on B-floor just before lunch with their eyes glued to their phones.  After 30 seconds of viewing they attempt to recreate the latest dance performed by other teens in the video they just saw.  Across the hall, two sophomore boys are hysterically laughing because of a comedic skit put on the same social media app as the dancers.

The hottest app to capture the hearts and minds of Monroe-Woodbury teens is TikTok, a thriving social network designed to showcase dances and talents of teens from all over the world.

“TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy,” reads the home page of the social media app. The home page states that TikTok is trying to “build a global community where users can create and share authentically, discover the world around them, and connect with others across the globe.”

According to their website, “TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video.” 

“TikTok is an app where you can post lots of different types of videos,” said senior Madison Groff. “It’s kind of like the old app vine.”

Unlike Vine’s six-second videos or YouTube’s longer format videos, TikTok content can last from fifteen to sixty seconds.  

Groff’s friends told her about the app, and now her favorite thing to do is watch their videos. Videos about dancing, comedy, magic tricks, and fun challenges are the subjects for most videos.  

Groff uses TikTok to watch internet trends and also make her own videos. 

Some trends include slow-mo videos, the use of hashtags, and celebrity videos. For some students, the amount of content can distract from other things they should be doing.

Junior Taha Malik logged 13 hours and and 35 minutes on TikTok in one week.

“It’s fun, but don’t use it when you have important things to do,” Groff said.

However, with all the fun she has on the app, she said, “It affects my sleep schedule and studying time because [she] watches TikTok, when she should be doing [her] homework.”

Ninth grade student, Faith Welsh, has TikTok downloaded on her iPhone as well. 

In the videos she posts, she is doing dance moves that her and her friends have memorized — which is her favorite thing about the app. 

She memorizes the dances from famous “Tik-Tockers”, like Charlie D’Amelio– who got famous from the hundreds of videos she has uploaded of her dancing.

The dance moves include frantic movements of the arms, simple gestures and facial expressions. 

Welsh said TikTok “definitely interrupts” her studying time.

It takes Welsh roughly 15 minutes to learn a dance.  She also spends a lot of time watching videos. On January 25, Welsh spent six hours on TikTok.  The time she spends on TikTok depends upon whether she “has a soccer tournament on the weekends or not.”

Freshman Ella Silber estimated that she spends an average of one hour on TikTok a day.  Silber sets a screen time limit when using TikTok in order to study. This way, TikTok won’t affect her grades negatively.

Silber thinks TikTok is so popular because “they’re short videos, so you don’t need a large attention span.”

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Extracurricular activities challenge students, provide rewards Fri, 21 Feb 2020 13:31:44 +0000 Many high school students are involved in extracurricular activities throughout the school. Some students are a part of sports teams, some are invested in the music and art programs, and a handful of students juggle being a part of both. Balancing extracurricular activities and schoolwork can be challenging and very stressful, however, when done successfully, there is much to gain.

The Monroe-Woodbury school district’s music and sports programs are rated very high in the Hudson Valley and students taking part in extracurricular activities have to overcome many challenges in order to be successful. There are many obstacles that are challenging, but these help to create skills that will stay with students for the rest of their lives.

One of the major challenges in participating in an extracurricular activity is keeping up with schoolwork that is missed. However, when the student shares concerns about this problem with the teachers or coaches, it can be fixed.

“When they miss class for lessons, they can be stressed out. But as long as they communicate that, we can try and fix that between orchestra and classes,”  said Mr. Champlin, the symphonic orchestra teacher at the high school. Being able to communicate with others about challenges, and how to solve them, is a great skill to develop.

Time management is another skill that needs to be sharpened by students in multiple activities 

“You make a schedule. At this time you do school work and studying, and at another time, you practice,” explains Alexis Leone, a freshman, who is also a violist in the chamber orchestra. 

Tessa DeCeglie, also a freshman and a member in the wind ensemble band shares a similar routine with Leone.

“I view it as one of my first priorities. It is almost at the same level as schoolwork. Homework and studying come first, then practicing for a half-hour,” states DeCeglie.

Stress can be a challenge to overcome when participating in activities, such as music and sports. 

“I see, on the low end, low-grade depression through the middle range of decisions. Stress can cause many side effects. Students aren’t sleeping enough because they are studying, not eating right, and they develop nervous habits, like picking out their hair. Some problems can even become psychological, which can even lead to suicide,” said Mr.Williams, a guidance counselor and guidance department chairperson. 

Mr. Williams also gave some coping techniques that people can use.

“Dealing with stress is different for each student. Common coping skills are listening to music and practicing breathing techniques. You have to know what works best for you. Index cards and re-reading things for school help some students with stress,” said Mr. Williams. “Some students like silence, or watching a comedy. It all depends on what works best for you.”

Despite all the stress and obstacles, there are countless benefits to being in a larger group or team.

“Students become time-managers, they receive more responsibility, they develop friends and a family, and they even act as a team,” said Mr. Champlin.

“Extracurricular activities are huge pluses. They are not just a stress reliever, but even social benefits. For example, unpopular kids with no friends can develop brothers and sisters through the track team, and they all support the student,” said Mr. Williams. “These activities can also connect the students to the building. The track team helped my son develop time management skills. Being on the team forced him to be organized with his time.” 


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The importance of actively preventing illness in winter Thu, 20 Feb 2020 19:12:34 +0000 As winter continues, so does the onset of different types of illnesses. Some common illnesses people get this time of year are strep throat, the flu, and the common cold.

Every year around 100,000 people get strep throat, which can be easily spread from person to person. A common place for strep throat to spread is school. Schools take many precautions to stop the spreading of germs, including instructing their students to avoid those who are infected with strep throat and other illnesses. For students that are already sick, the best way to prevent spreading disease and get better is to stay home. 

Another way schools try to prevent illness is telling students not to share food and drinks with others. Parents already share this information with their own kids.

Parent, Rebecca Ragland, said that she tells her children “to use their water bottle” and “not drink after other people.”

If you don’t share food with others then it’s less likely to get infected.

Schools also encourage students to wash their hands regularly. Hand-washing doesn’t just get rid of strep throat, but it can also get rid of other germs and bacteria, too. 

Another way schools attempt to prevent illness is by emphasizing the importance of covering your mouth when you cough. 

When a person with strep throat coughs or sneezes, germs travel throughout the air. The people around them are more likely to be infected.

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Hudson Valley students turn to New Zealand meteorologist Ben Noll for good news during bad weather Fri, 14 Feb 2020 18:53:50 +0000 In his downtime, you can find him panning for gold, taking aerial videos with his drone, or exploring the New Zealand countryside. It’s not surprising then that some people think meteorologist Ben Noll has been on a perpetual vacation since he moved to Auckland three years ago. Yet, he will be the first to tell you that this is far from the truth. 

By day, Mr. Noll works as a meteorologist, forecasting the weather and climate of New Zealand to provide critical information to emergency responders. And by night, he forecasts that of the Hudson Valley, from the opposite side of the world.

“Many meteorologists are blessed (cursed?) with the ‘weather bug’ from a young age,” said Mr. Noll, who works at The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research.“It is a beautiful thing if you can harness it, because who doesn’t want their hobby and main interest to become their career?”

Ben Noll’s Twitter account allows the meterologist to give up-to-the-minute updates to his followers.

Known as “The Weatherman” in his middle school and high school days, Mr. Noll was no exception.

Mr. Noll’s passion for meteorology was influenced by his father, who was a routine viewer of The Weather Channel. Mr. Noll also found meteorologists like Jim Cantore and Elliot Abrams (who Mr. Noll later worked with) whose love for their work inspired him.

The rapid rise of Twitter and Facebook gave Mr. Noll a natural outlet for his predictions. Since making his Twitter account (@BenNollWeather) in December 2013, his followers have grown to over 42,000.

Teachers and students alike appreciate Mr. Noll’s predictions.

“It’s nice seeing the percentages and knowing what to expect,” said global teacher Ms. Bleakley.

“I heard about him from other students, people talk about him a lot,” said Dan Winters, high school student. In 2018, after the success of his Twitter account, Mr. Noll decided to make a website. With a logo and apparel designed by his sister, Mr. Noll continues to expand his brand. For $21.99, you can buy a Ben Noll Weather t-Shirts on his website. Backpacks, socks, hoodies and other merchandise is available, too.

Mr. Noll has used the immediacy of social media to his advantage.

“I like that his twitter is really fast, it gives a lot of quick updates,” said sophomore Luke Milem.

According to Mr. Noll, time is the largest factor keeping his website afloat. Mr. Noll spends time monitoring Twitter and Facebook for the latest information, creating and updating the forecast, reporting on school decisions for closings, and much more, all while having a full-time job in New Zealand.

“His predictions are very accurate,” said English teacher Ms. McAssey.

The responses I get on Twitter and Facebook are pretty remarkable and make it all worthwhile. I know the effort I put into my predictions is appreciated by the community.”

— Ben Noll

“I do it because it’s enjoyable and the community can’t seem to get enough of it,” said Mr. Noll, “The off-season (spring, summer, and most of fall) is the time to recharge the batteries, think about what I can do better next year, and spending time with my fiancée.”

With Mr. Noll’s snow day predictions being a driving factor of activity on his Twitter account and website, his account and website change during the off-season.

“During the summer, I turn into ‘Ben the climate scientist’, tweeting about more technical topics that don’t necessarily apply to the Hudson Valley…” 

One of these technical topics is global warming, an issue that affects far more than just the Hudson Valley. “The idea that our Earth is warming is indisputable. And its 7.442 billion inhabitants are very likely the main cause for that change.”

Mr. Noll said that global warming is not an issue to take lightly, and that it will directly impact future generations.

“For the Hudson Valley, I’ve run the numbers,” said Mr. Noll, “both minimum and maximum temperatures have increased with time.” 

While the effects of this may be difficult to notice, extreme heat and humidity during the summer will increase noticeably over time. “This could increase the risk for flooding or heavy, disruptive snowfalls,” said Mr. Noll.

Issues such as global warming are both a large concern and a large motivator for meteorologists like Mr. Noll: “This is why weather/climate can be such a fulfilling career. We are at the forefront of a global issue and new research is emerging all the time- though much more is needed.”

Mr. Noll finds fulfillment in his career via his favorite part of social media: his interactions with the community.

“The responses I get on Twitter and Facebook are pretty remarkable and make it all worthwhile,” said Noll, “because I know the effort I put into my predictions is appreciated by the community.”

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Monroe-Woodbury Varsity Diving wins invitational and county competitions Wed, 12 Feb 2020 14:43:40 +0000 The Monroe-Woodbury Varsity Diving Team has been on a hot streak for the past month. The Crusaders won at an invitational on Friday, January 31 at which 24 divers competed. They then continued this trend by receiving 1st place at counties, on Thursday, February 6th.

Caleb Kimbrell, junior, has had some tough times swimming in the past.

“The last two years at the Dive Carnival I’ve had terrible meets. One year I got disqualified for hitting the board and failing two other dives and the other I placed 6th for over twisting on one of my dives costing our team the victory.” But he wanted to make up for his past: “So this year I went into this with the mindset that I was going to do really well.” He accomplished his goal by placing 2nd in the Invitational and the same at Counties. 

Sean Kirk, junior, placed eighth at the invitational and fourth at counties. “I’m glad that we collectively scored up enough team points to win the Invitational and Counties, which was our main goal, but it would have been nice to hit a couple dives a bit better,” stated Kirk. With his perseverance and hard work, he was able to qualify for states at the most recent meet.

Omer Mosker, sophomore, didn’t place at the invitational, but was able to place tenth at counties.

“Both meets went very well, with many ups and downs, but we managed to pull through and get a 1st place plaque both times which is spectacular,” said Mosker. Even though he didn’t make it this time, he still has a dream of making it to states. “Hopefully I can get enough points to join the rest of my teammates in Long Island.”

“I’m proud of the diving team. This is our fourth year in a row, I’m so glad I can call on my teammates,” said junior Taha Malik.

Next, they will be competing on February 21st at Sections in Valley Central. 

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Senior Art Majors Participate in Human Rights Exhibit at SUNY Orange Mon, 10 Feb 2020 18:45:12 +0000 On Sunday, January 27, Monroe-Woodbury senior art majors had artwork displayed at SUNY Orange in Middletown. This exhibit was a part of Orange County Human Rights Commission, An Artist’s Response to Human Rights. 

This included artwork from juniors and seniors in high schools all over Orange County. The pieces the students made were based on the 30 articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Created in 1948, the document was written in response to human behavior during World War II.

Students chose their own articles from the document and portrayed it through art. Some articles include humans’ rights to live and the right to vote. The project took the artists about three weeks to finish. 

Most students submitted visual artwork, but others created poems or literature.

“All the senior art majors were assigned a human rights project and we had to select one of the articles of our choice and try to portray that however we wanted and the art word was displayed at the exhibit. So we were assigned the topic and everyone’s work was presented there,” said senior, Maria Spagna. 

“My article was number 26 and it basically stated that everyone has the right to receive free education,” said Spagna.

“In college I plan on studying elementary education and I always felt that education is the most important thing that you could receive,” said Spagna. “I wanted to portray the growth of a child’s learning with the growth of a butterfly to symbolize that because it is important to me and teaching is what makes me me.”

Certificates to the seniors were awarded on December 8 and the art was also displayed later in December at SUNY Orange in Newburgh. The event was held at the Orange Hall Gallery in the SUNY Orange Middletown Campus.

Art was created to reflect specific articles of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and attached to each piece was a paper explaining the art’s relation to its article. Photo by Nolan Semprivivo

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Musically-oriented students inducted into Tri-M Music Honor Society Fri, 07 Feb 2020 17:13:03 +0000 On Thursday, October 17, 2019, the Tri-M Music Honor Society held its induction ceremony. The ceremony was opened by the Voice Ensemble students singing the national anthem.

The Tri-M Music Honor Society is an international honor society that allows students to be recognized for their hard work, talent and dedication. Students involved in the Tri-M Music Honor Society are responsible for performing and assisting at different events throughout the year.

The first meeting was held on Thursday, October 10. To be accepted, students must be juniors or seniors and are required to have a GPA of 93 and an overall average of 97 in a music class such as band, orchestra, or chorus. They must also have participated in the NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) Solo Festival at least one year and earned a score of 21 out of 28 or a 90 out of 100.

The ceremony included several musical performances as well as the induction of new members. 

At the ceremony the student officers were announced and sworn into their positions. The chapter officers are President Julia Wilkinson, Vice Presidents Jason Pearson and Emily Wong, Secretary Jennifer Song, Treasurer Isabella Friedman, and Historian Meghan Jezik. The chapter advisors are Dr. Crone and Ms. Buono.

¨I’m really excited for this year, and to give back to the music community after everything its done for me,” said junior Meghan Jezik.

The names of new members were announced one by one as they walked across the stage to receive their certificate and a membership pin. Returning members were also called onto the stage to be recognized for their continuation in the chapter.

After the ceremony, there was a reception in the large cafeteria with refreshments for the members families and friends.

“Music is my life; it’s so nice to finally have an honor society for it,” said senior Alana Kim. “It makes my resume look better and I can’t wait to get another graduation cord.”

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Sign Language Club promotes awareness of American Sign Language Thu, 06 Feb 2020 19:14:13 +0000 The Sign Language Club is a student-run club that promotes awareness of American Sign Language and deaf culture. The club meets every other Thursday in room 416 at 2:15 p.m.

Members of the club do many activities that help reinforce their understanding of sign language. Caitlynn Chanat, a member of the club, said that they pick a topic for the week from words on the internet, for example, colors, question words, animals, etc. Then they create slides and present it to the class, who have to sign the shown word. 

“Other activities that the club does are bingo, Kahoot!, vegetable jeopardy, creative sentence making, Hedbandz, ‘signman’ says, spelling competitions, coloring, and memory cards,” said Alana Kim, the president of the club.

According to Mr. Rodriguez, the adviser of the club, the sign language club hosted a movie day where they sold snacks to help the club and showed A Silent Voice, which is an animated film about a deaf girl who gets bullied and later on tries to become friends with her tormentor. 

Learning a new language can be challenging and difficult. “American Sign Language is not a language that can simply be learned overnight. There are way too many phrases and words to be memorized, it would take years of practice to reach fluency,” said Kim.

American Sign Language is not a language that can simply be learned overnight. There are way too many phrases and words to be memorized, it would take years of practice to reach fluency.”

— Alana Kim

When asked a similar question, Chanat responded, “It’s just as hard to learn sign language as any other language in this school.”

According to the World Health Organization, “There are 466 million people in the world with disabling hearing loss. This is over 5% of the world’s population; 34 million of these people are children.”

“I guess a common misconception is that American Sign Language is useless unless you know a deaf person, but just think about how you can make someone’s day by learning a little bit of sign,” said Kim.

According to Lead with Languages, “Being proficient in ASL allows you to communicate with a wide range of hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf individuals—including students in mainstream and deaf school or university programs and deaf or hard of hearing residents and business people in your community.”

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