Throughout his years at South, Cao has exhibited exceptional leadership, beginning with positions in Class Office, including two Vice Presidencies and the seat of President his senior year.
According to his teachers, Cao’s impressive natural leadership abilities have led him to succeed and stand out amongst his peers.
“Chen is a leader in so many facets of school, but certainly his role of class [President] is his hallmark, British Literature teacher Corrine Popp said. “[He] loves helping his fellow students and his unifying presence has made such a difference in our school.
Math Department Head Steven Rattendi shares similar sentiments, admiring Cao’s leadership qualities as well. “My first experience seeing Chen in action as a leader was during the pep rally earlier in the year. I was amazed at the way he was able to interact with a large crowd of students, Rattendi said.
Cao is extremely involved in other aspects of the South community as well, such as being a member of the Band, and the web editor of Denebola.
“Chen is an excellent musician, band teacher Lisa Linde said. “His discipline shows in his playing.
Cao combined his talent for technology and passion for music by creating a website for the school’s band.
He continually updated the website, each time accommodating the band’s needs. Cao’s determination and tendency to exceed expectations is what makes him such a beloved member of the senior class. He is valued for his friendliness and approachability. “Students seem comfortable talking with him, Popp said, “He is always smiling and laughing.
Cao is able to balance his extracurricular activities, the pressures of high school, and added stress in his life. “When all the seniors seemed to be at the end of their rope and beyond stressed, Chen remained consistently calm and composed, French teacher Sebastien Merle said.
Cao is also a hardworking and dedicated standout student who “always goes beyond the expectations of the assignment, Popp said.
Next fall, Cao will be attending Boston University.
Ariel Kirshenbaum, a talented student, athlete, and artist, exhibits admirable qualities. She was an integral member of both the Varsity Girls’ Soccer and Gymnastics teams since her freshman year. Kirshenbaum became a captain of both of these sports during her senior year.
Kirshenbaum’s gymnastics coach, Greg Beaupre, could not say enough about her.
“She is incredibly talented, yet incredibly humble, Beaupre said.
When she initially joined the gymnastics team her freshman year, Kirshenbaum knew nothing about the sport; however, she was extremely athletic, dedicated, and quick to learn, which resulted in her rapid success in the sport. In fact, her athleticism was a contributing factor in her team’s tremendously successful season this year.
Kirshenbaum is a phenomenal student and person as a whole.“Ariel puts 100 percent into everything she does, Beaupre said. “She is very gifted, kind, and supportive of people academically and athletically.
Kirshenbaum’s Journalism teacher, Alexander Kaplan, agreed. “She is an academic star, but you would never know it by sitting in a class with her, he said.
She does not openly exhibit her intelligence; “Ariel tries not to stand out from her peers, Kaplan said.
Kirshenbaum demonstrates exceptional skill in art. She was one of three recipients of the annual Newton South High School Drawing and Painting Award.
“Ariel never settles for mediocre results in art and life. She faces challenges head on, grappling until she can come out on top with the best possible results, art teacher Megan Leary-Crist said.
Along with her talents in a plethora of different activities, she was also the Sophomore Speech winner.
One can hear her laugh across the halls; she has a vibrant countenance and a winning smile. Along with a stellar personality, Kirshenbaum has an incredible sense of humor.
Many were left in hysterical laughter after reading her monthly column in the Lion’s Roar.
Next fall, Kirshenbaum will be attending Yale University.]]>
A multitude of students at South who take AP classes for the first time assume that after they finish taking their AP tests, their teachers will assign them hardly any work.
If a teacher assigns you to research a Blue-Footed Boobie or find a current events article, for example, don’t complain about it just because you have taken the AP already.
I really hate to break it to you but taking an AP test doesn’t mean you have aced the test of life, thus deserving a long- standing break consisting of, well, no work for the rest of the school year.
In fact, some’€dare I say idiotic’€students who are enrolled in four or five AP classes not only believed, but altogether broadcasted that once they took their AP exams, they would have no classes.
These ignorant children would go around declaring that come mid May, they would have “like nine-thousand free blocks and only one class for the remainder of the school year. Now, to clarify, this is simply a blatant lie.
One can wonder where these kids even got that idea from. To any upcoming juniors or seniors reading this who have yet to dip their feet in the sparkling waters of Advanced Placement classes, I will repeat myself.
No, you do not get to roam the halls of South, chill in the Goldrick Commons, or even whip out your car keys and head to Starbucks to pick up a Carmel Macchiato come June.
After taking an AP, you still have to attend class. Your teacher will continue to do what they do best’€teach.
You will continue to attend class and complete assignments¦ but I mean, hey, that’s only if you want to pass the class.
Consequently, your life after AP exams will be virtually the same. The work load should decrease a bit, but that is all.
Due to the fact that if you are enrolled in an AP class, you are a child of at least moderate intelligence level, your life will not become this “joke that everyone speaks of.
What even is this illustrious joke? For some reason, I’m not in on it.
In my opinion, one should never expect post-AP classes to either a) cease to give out homework once the AP is done, or b) CANCEL ENTIRELY.
If there were no essays, homework, or projects assigned after the AP, students taking APs would receive no fourth term grades.
Imagine that; the slot on the report card where students’ fourth term grades are supposed to go would not include a simple letter grade, but the statement, “This student was enrolled in an AP class¦no need to worry, he/she slaved away studying for the test for the other three terms this year, so we simply didn’t feel inclined to assign him/her any work after the completion of it. Hopefully, you can understand.
Conversely, while after taking their AP tests, students are still expected to study hard and put adequate time into their assignments, it is not to be said that there should be superfluous amounts of work assigned to them at that time.
It is completely fair for students, following their completion of a three hour exam, to look forward to a slight decrease in school work in that particular class.
After all, following the completion of the test, logically speaking, there shouldn’t be a tremendous amount of material to still be learned in that class.
What one should expect from their teachers is assignments such as projects and essays that sum up what was learned in the class throughout the year, or extra chapters that the College Board didn’t feel was significant enough to be included in their exams.
It would be appropriate for AP classes to, during the time elated from mid-may through the end of June, review and learn fun and exciting portions of their particular subject that were left out of the original curriculum.
For example, there are still a multitude of battles, revolutions, and ideas that are prevalent to American History that the College Board or even Newton Public Schools didn’t see fit to teach its students and further more, test them on it.
Post-AP testing would be an opportune time for teachers to show their students different perspectives and ideals, to review the entire year, or fill in the holes from the curriculum, not to overwhelm kids with more tests and meticulous essays.
However, with that being said, the majority of AP classes that exist at South do just that. Despite what a plethora of students regularly complain about, teachers are not assigning excessive amounts of work and forcing arbitrary facts down their students’ throats’€they are finding an appropriate balance of assignments on the more tedious side and those that are simply fun and dare I say, “a joke.
It is about as fair as it gets here in the halls of South, so do us all a favor and quit complaining and actually use those ever-increasing brains of yours. Go research the cute bird whose feet in are in that dazzling shade of blue. After all, your teacher didn’t pick that particular bird for kicks. At least probably not.]]>
The software called ParentConnect is a supplement to the online-based software produced by Pearson, which Newton Public Schools already use, thus being provided to Newton at a low cost.
It may appear unjust at first; however, after careful thought, one will soon come to realize its true importance. South, which many of its students refer to as an excellent school, is substantially dropping in the rankings state’€and of course nation’€wide.
The reason behind this is the following: students have been cutting class more often than ever, trekking to Dunkin’ Donuts or Bob’s instead of attending class. Students have also been not completing their homework, as they should.
ParentConnect will allow parents to see when their children have been skipping class or not completing homework assignments on time.
Now, keep in mind that this is simply a pilot program’€if it does not work or seems to be unbeneficial to the masses, the program will labeled a failure and consequently dropped from the Newton Public Schools.
This program is not an automatic recipe for success. There is no guarantee that it will serve as the sole factor in increasing the success and excellence of South; however, this is not a valid reason for us to not give it a try.
For the vast majority of students at South, who regularly complete homework assignments and attend class, the installation of this software into their parents’ computer should change nothing in their lives. After all, if one isn’t doing anything wrong, nothing will appear on his/her parents’ software.
Due to the fact that many students are achieving well, this program will not be affecting them at all.
Conversely, however, those students at South who consistently skip class or don’t complete their homework on time’€or ever’€will be in for a rude awakening. The parents of said students will indeed be notified via ParentConnect every time their child fails to attend class without an excused absence or completely their homework on time.
This software will allow parents who may be unaware of just how often their child is skipping class or not completing his/her homework to get an idea of what is going on with their child.
While the school does notify parents when their child skips a couple of classes in one day, the system is deeply flawed.
Due to the fact that secretaries or housemasters are the ones informing parents when their child has been skipping classes, miscommunications between teachers and these housemasters/secretaries are inevitable.
This new software will take the middleman out of the system of informing parents; teachers have access to the program and thus can update each student’s status regularly. Along with facilitating and correcting the system of calls to parents, this new software makes the lives of housemasters/secretaries much easier.
Another great thing about this software is that parents are by no means obliged to download it and accept it onto their e-mails. For examples, if the parents of a phenomenal student do not wish to proctor their child’s success and schooling, they simply do not need to sign up for the program.
If this is the case, for these parents, it will be as though the software doesn’t exist, thus mirroring the old ways of South’s student tracking system.
Setting up this software was definitely a very smart move of the Newton Public Schools Committee. The system will allow concerned parents who are currently boxed out of their children’s life to delve into their grades and assignment results.
If nothing else results from this new system, a majority of students will at least be more motivated to try harder in school and attend class due to the fact that their parents are now watching their every move.]]>
If you haven’t heard, the world is coming to an end. The day is December 21, 2012. That is the day in which the Earth will spontaneously combust, blowing up into tiny shreds, right before your eyes. Nah, just kidding. You wouldn’t actually have eyes to see this atrocity due to the fact that you will be blown up into shreds as well.Â Consequently, your soul will be no longer and life as we know it will cease to exist.
Does anyone actually believe that?!?
There is legitimate scientific proof showing that December 21, 2012 will be just like any other day. Initially on May 27, 2003, a planet discovered by the Sumerians, called Nibiru, was supposed to align in its orbital pattern with that of Earth’s, resulting in the end of the world. This occurrence, however, didn’t happen. All that hype was for nothing and on May 28, 2003, thousands of gullible, ignorant human beings were left dumbstruck and simply looking foolish. With nothing left to say, people on Earth commenced reading the Mayan calendar and came across the next day in which a catastrophe was set to occur. They had to scroll through nine and a half years on the calendar to come across the day which was seemingly arbitrarily selected as End of the World: Take Two.
Now, what new, legitimate proof is out there that truly validates December 21, 2012 as being as official a date for the end of the world as Denebola is our school newspaper? None. The answer is none. According to NASA, every December, the Earth and sun align with the center of the Milky Way Galaxy; however, as previously stated, this event occurs each and every December, and the December in 2012 will be no abnormality or exception to the norm.
The Mayans claim that the planet Nibiru or Planet X is approaching our planet at a rapid pace. This, however, can simply not be true, seeing as if there were such a planet in close proximity to us, not only would it be visible to the naked eye, but it would be visible to astronomers who track our solar system and galaxy for anything out of the ordinary.
If this planet were really headed for Earth, it would be obvious in our records and there wouldn’t even be a debate over whether or not it exists.
To further validate the fact that the world isn’t ending, Mayan elder Apolinario Chile Pixtun revealed the truth about the mythical doomsday.
“I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff, Pixtun said. He claimed that the whole idea wasn’t even that of the Mayans, but the Western World.
Mayan archaeologist, Jose Huchim, backs up Pixtun’s claim that the Mayans weren’t even the civilization to assert the idea that the world would end in 2012.
“If I went to some Mayan-speaking communities and asked people what is going to happen in 2012, they wouldn’t have any idea, Huchim said. “If I told them that the world is going to end, theyÂ wouldn’t believe me. We have real concerns these days, like rain.
The fact that even an archaeologist studying Mayans believes that the Mayans themselves knew nothing about the claim that the world was going to end validates Pixtun’s assertion that it isn’t the Mayans’ claim. Furthermore,Â if the Mayan calendar really does state that the world may end in 2012, why would the Mayans not have knowledge about it or believe it?
Also, as stated by Huchim, rain is more of a catastrophe for us humans to have to deal with than the notion that the world could end in 2012 is. Rain. When rain is described as a “real concern, you know have entered period of legitimate distress. A true crisis.
The only chance that the world would end in 2012 is if it were solely minuscule raindrops that managed to bring about the demise of our beautiful planet Earth.]]>
Morales initially made the decision to surround himself with different monochromatic Under Armor brand sweat suits during the fall of his sophomore year. He was inspired when his aunt bought him his first navy blue polo and hoodie. Morales felt that the Under Armor brand was “comfier than other brands he tended to wear.
“I figured I could just go crazy with color matching, Morales said. Before he knew it, he was starting a fashion revolution.
While sporting those monochromatic Under Armor sweat suit outfits is a passion, Morales does own other brands and forms of clothing. “I do have jeans in my closet, I just don’t typically wear them¦they’re not the most comfy thing ever, Morales said. Comfort level is clearly an utmost priority of his.
Morales has definitely exploited his Under Armor apparel. “I wear this clothing year-round, regardless of weather, he said. In addition to wearing his Under Armor clothing to school, Morales also wears it to his gymnastics practices.
Morales has gone through lengths to attain his wardrobe of vast numbers of pricey Under Armor apparel.
Morales, who has six Under Armor sweat suits, 13 t-shirts/polos, and six pairs of shorts, realizes that he has spent a solid chunk of money on clothing alone. With each article of clothing ranging from $40-$50 a piece, his wardrobe costs an estimated grand total of $1200.
Although spending $1200 solely on clothing may seem a bit extreme, Morales has no regrets. In fact, Morales did not go out and buy all of it himself nor was it necessarily all at full price. Morales received a few hoodies, polos, and sweatpants as gifts from relatives, such as his aunt and brother.
Morales buys his gears online on the Under Armor website, and at the Under Armor retailer stores’€such as the Natick Collection, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Modell’s, and last but not least, the Under Armor Outlet Store. Purchasing clothing from the outlet has allowed Morales to save money on his apparel.
Unfortunately, Morales’s shopping sprees for Under Armor are coming to a close.
“Once I get brown pants, I’m done¦I don’t need anymore, Morales said. “I’ve run out of colors on the website.
Besides the fact that Under Armor has no other colors left for Morales, his parents are not advocates of his obsession.Â Both parents want him to change up his wardrobe.Â With that in mind, Morales is no longer completely opposed to buying new and unique clothing brands.]]>