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April 2008 Issue

Colleges turn to feared wait list

By Rebecca Penzias | Published: April 2008
Instead of being accepted or rejected by schools this year, an unusually large number of Newton South seniors are in the most dreaded sort of college limbo: the wait list. According to South's College and Career Councilor Barbara Brown, a combination of record high numbers of applicants and a high number of applications per student is behind the waitlist phenomenon. As the numbers of applications grow, colleges fear that they may enroll more students than they have capacity for. Because applicants are considering more and more colleges, however, schools also fear undershooting. This all makes it increasingly uncertain for colleges to know just how many students will show up in September.

Growing emphasis on global economy

By Denebola | Published: April 2008
By Alex Tolkin One of the more surprising issues to emerge in the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign has been the debate over free trade agreements. Barack Obama has strongly criticized Hillary Clinton over her support for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, only to be caught in a scandal when a Canadian diplomat revealed that Obama secretly promised to keep the treaty in place.

South welcomes new Housemasters

By Denebola | Published: April 2008
By Roxanne Glazier Replacing the soon to be retired Kathryn Daviau and Dr. Edward Jackson, Josepha Blocker and Henry Turner will take up the roles as South housemasters at the start of next year. Blocker will replace Daviau as Wheeler Housemaster. She is currently the Dean of Students at the nearby Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Previously, Blocker worked at Newton North as an assistant housemaster and as a computer science and math teacher. While at North, Blocker was a part of the NEASC Committee and worked as the advisor for the Class of 2006. Blocker holds degrees from Tufts University and Simmons College.

South students praise teacher

By Rebecca Goldstein, Nathan Yeo and David Han | Published: April 2008
After teaching at Newton South for seven months, English teacher Brody Lipton had a profound impact on many of his students. Following his resignation on April 9, students reflected on the teacher who many felt inspired them. English department head Fran Moyer stated in an email statement that Lipton resigned for “personal reasons. Lipton's leave was unexpected. “When we got the news¦it was a complete surprise, sophomore William Lind said.

The face-off begins

By Denebola | Published: April 2008
By Jeremiah Davis Facing rising costs, the City of Newton has proposed an additional $12 million in taxes via an override. Two organizations, the pro-override Move Newton Forward (MNF), and Newton For Fiscal Responsibility (NFFR), which is against it, are currently the main players in the outcome of this vital vote.

News Analysis: Will it pass?

By Denebola | Published: April 2008
By Jesse Zhang and Nathan Yeo A trend of successes and failures for override votes in other Massachusetts cities this year indicate serious challenges for Newton lawmakers seeking a $12 million override. Newton is not the only cash-strapped city in Massachusetts to seek an override in the last few months. Many other cities have sought approval to raise taxes in order to continue spending increases. A declining housing market and a probable recession, however, have resulted in taxpayers voting against overrides in many of these communities. In Chelmsford and Holbrook, voters rejected two $2.8 million overrides on April 1, resulting in the elimination of varsity sports and staff cuts next year in both cities' schools.

Mock Trial is off to Nationals

By Denebola | Published: April 2008
By Roxanne Glazier The Mock Trial team defeated the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School (PVPA) at Boston's Faneuil Hall on March 28, winning State Championships and qualifying to compete at Nationals. South also received $2,500 and the Silver Bowl for their victory. Attorney Coach Elliot Loew is very pleased about winning the state championship and going to nationals. “South has never come close to a state championship so far¦This is where all the other teams in the state want to be, Loew said.

Speech team wins States

By Denebola | Published: April 2008
By News Staff For the first time in its 10-year history, the Newton South Speech Team won first place at the Massachusetts Forensics League State Speech Championships. Newton South received 247 “sweepstakes points, beating out Natick High School by 15 points.  While Speech and Debate tournaments are mostly individual competitions, sweepstake points are awarded to the teams depending on how well their members did. Strong showings by all team members, as well as three first-place finishes, led to South's victory.

Madrigals and Symphonic Band capture medals at MICCA

By Denebola | Published: April 2008
By Roxanne Glazier Winning gold and silver, Newton South's Madrigals and Symphonic Band captured glory at the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) festival on Saturday April 5. Madrigals won the gold medal, the first any Newton music group has ever won. Their impressive win qualifies to perform at an event in Symphony Hall on May 3. The band took home silver, but came within one point of gold.

Genocide experts,survivors speak for Days of Remembrance

By Denebola | Published: April 2008
By Chris Erspamer Newton South students gathered together to view presentations about past and current genocides.  These presentations were organized by schoolteachers and administrators and took place in April during the annual Holocaust week, also known as the Days of Remembrance. Students heard from speakers describing genocides in Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.  Over the course of the week, a total of 16 presentations took place.  Among those speaking were survivors of the killings in Cambodia and Darfur as well as the Holocaust.  A grandson of an Armenian survivor was also present. He was an expert on the Armenian genocide and a member of the non-government organization Physicians for Human Rights.  An award-winning documentary film on Darfur, The Devil Came on Horseback, was also shown.

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