Performing bands included Vitamin Seed, Pajammin’, The Delta, Phinale, and Krazy 8$. 160 students attended, surpassing the clubs original goal for attendance.
25 percent of profits earned from tickets and donations will go to Haiti. 75 percent of profits will go to Invisible Children.
Originally, the club planned to donate all proceeds to the Invisible Children cause, which helps Uganda children that are kidnapped, abused, and forced to work as child soldiers. After the earthquake in Haiti, however, the club decided to give some of the money to help with recovery.
“With a natural disaster, no one is at fault, sophomore and club member Eric Davis said. “We feel that Haiti is depending on donations and help from foreign countries. We want to be help the world, not only Invisible Children.
Money sent to Haiti will be matched by a donation from Needham High School senior Ethan Nectow’s father.
The rest of the money will benefit Invisible Children, but the club has not yet officially decided where specifically it will donate. According to Davis, money can either be donated to the Invisible Children Organization base in California and distributed from there or it can be sent to a specific school in Uganda.
“We know exactly where our money is going [if we get matched with a school,] Davis said.
“[I hope to] communicate with the school we donate to, club Co-President senior Sam Hyun said.
In addition to raising money, club members hoped to raise awareness for the topic of kidnapping and child soldiers in Africa.
“If [the child soldiers] die in the field, they are invisible to the world. Our main goal is to raise awareness about these children. We can raise a thousand dollars, but it doesn’t mean anything if people don’t understand why we are raising the money.Â We hope that enough people will realize what these children are going through and try to help end this brutal war, Davis said.
According to South senior Cora Visnick, who attended the benefit concert, Invisible Children was successful in achieving this while also hosting an entertaining event.
“I love what Invisible Children is doing, and they pulled off a fantastic Friday night while reminding people that its not that hard to be socially aware, Visnick said. “The bands set up in a small corner and everyone gathered around them. My friends and I love Pajammin’, but to see them play with other bands was different in a really fun way. As my friends and I were leaving, we said, ‘ËœHey, we haven’t had that much fun in a while.’
Earlier this year, Invisible Children held a presentation during school to raise awareness, and they hopeÂ to have a movie screening of the documentary, “Invisible Children Discover the Unseen, in the near future to teach more students about the topic and get more community members involved.]]>
According to Norton, “those cement pylons are actually meant to breakaway on purpose to lessen the impact when a car hits them.
Norton brought the pylon destruction to the administration and campus officers’ attention; however, no one knew who crashed into it. Although the pylon was fixed, a crumpled front bumper of what seems to be a black Honda SUV remains as a reminder of the accident.
“It’s a mystery, Principal Joel Stembridge said. “We called the town and they fixed the telephone pole but left the bumper.
While this year, there have not been many severe accidents, this incident reminds students of the importance of driving carefully and at the speed limit.
“Once in a while I see other kids rev their engines on Brandeis [Road] and I’m like ‘ËœWhoa!’ Senior Tanny Kang, who does not yet have his license, said.
According to Norton, students who drive like this on campus are always reported for speeding. In addition, teachers who see students speeding will inform the campus aids.
Senior Hannah FÃƒÂ¼rgang makes a deliberate effort to drive within the speed limit, but sometimes feels herself wanting to speed. “I’m kind of a goody-two-shoes, which is why I actually try to follow [the speed limit], but I do often feel inclined to drive faster, FÃƒÂ¼rgang said.
Norton wishes that students would slow down when driving for both their safety and the safety of others. “Kids drive way too fast around campus, Norton said. “They can’t tell if somebody stopped until they’re right on top of that person…[and there are] always students walking around.
Senior Michelle Chin thinks that speeding rates could be lowered if driver’s education classes spent more time teaching about and showing videos on common consequences of speeding rather than just consequences of drunk driving.
Kang, however, doubts that teenager’s driving habits could be changed.
“Kids will be kids. They like to go fast sometimes, Kang said.
Another problem is that students tend to allow their friends to speed by letting the problem go unspoken.
“I rarely feel comfortable telling my friends to slow down, FÃƒÂ¼rgang said.
Chin, on the other hand, would definitely tell them to slow down. “If I was in their position I would want someone to do the same for me. Half of the time while you’re driving, you don’t realize that you’re speeding, until someone points it out, Chin said.]]>
Instead of photocopying, mailing, and signing several forms, teachers can now log onto Naviance and upload their recommendations and forms directly on the website. From there, forms can be sent to any of the 350 colleges that use the Common Application or the 700 other colleges connected to the system.
Although Naviance has been available for a few years, the difficulty of setting the system up has prevented South from using it until now.
According to College and Career Counselor Barbara Brown, not many high schools have begun using it yet.
So far, 35 teachers have sent recommendations online, and 50 percent of seniors have requested an online recommendation.
“It took a while to get started, but the teachers who are using it are telling me that they love it, Brown said. “It’s much faster.
Many teachers feel that sending recommendations through Naviance has been very effective.
History Department Head Marshall Cohen worked with Guidance Department Chair Robert Pomer to test out the system. According to Cohen, at first there were a few minor glitches, but they fixed them without major problems.
“With any kind of computer system you’re going to have small problems, Cohen said.
Teachers must take time to learn how to send recommendations online, but Cohen believes that “down the line, it will be easier.
Science Department Head Charles Hurwitz sent his recommendations by mail this year, but plans to try the new system in future years.
“The students told me about their recommendations before Naviance was all set up, so I had already done them, Hurwitz said.
Cohen sent the majority of recommendations through Naviance and was very pleased with the system. According to Cohen, once everything was set up, the process was more efficient.
“You can email students directly from the Naviance site if there are any problems, Cohen said. “One school didn’t take the Common App [so I emailed the student right from Naviance].
With the new online method, students no longer need to prepare envelopes. Although students now only need to approve the recommendation release online, some still prefer the paper method.
“I prefer that recommendations be submitted by mail, senior Lily Strassberg said. “If the electronic system proves to be easier, then that will be great for next year’s seniors. I just don’t want to be the one to pilot it for them.
Senior Isa Geltman agreed with Strassberg. “[The] new system has great potential to make process a lot easier, but I didn’t want the system to mess up, she said.
Pomer, however, believes that submitting applications online will decrease the number of mistakes.
“Sending recommendations online reduces the likelihood of paperwork getting lost in transit, he said.Â
According to Pomer, recommendations sent via mail go from the teacher, the main office, postal service, the university mailroom, and the admissions office before finally arriving simultaneously with hundreds and even thousands of other pieces of mail.
“It is amazing that they are as accurate as they are, but the electronic delivery is seamless, directly from the teacher to the student’s application file, Pomer said.
As of this year, only teacher recommendations were set through Naviance; however, in the future, transcripts and counselor statements may also be sent online.
Although South is technically able to send these things online now, it will probably be another two to three years before the school tries the program, Pomer says.
“The transition is slow, but it’s the way of the future, Brown said.]]>
The junior Class Officers changed the location of the semi independently of the Hyatt Boycott, a movement to boycott the hotel corporation after it laid off several longtime employees for new workers that could be paid at lower wages.
“We booked it at the Newton Marriott to make it more affordable, junior Class Advisor Alyssa Cifuni said. “It is a beautiful room overlooking the Charles River.
According to junior Class Advisor Joanna Vrouvlianis, the Marriott is “nicer, cheaper, and closer.
The semi-formal will take place on May 21.
When Stembridge arrived at South and began asking people how decisions were made, he received a variety of responses, leading him to the conclusion that no standard procedure currently existed.
“[I] want to try and draw a clear picture for students and parents and teachers so everyone knows how decisions are made and how to enter that process, Stembridge said.
The new process, though not yet finalized, will most likely include several groups including South Senate, Faculty Council, the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO), and the Committee on Program, a group comprised of administrators, teachers, and student representatives. Each group will have the opportunity to suggest new and review potential policies.
Groups will not be able to veto or approve any legislation; however, they will be able to voice their opinions and send reviews to Stembridge and the School Committee members, who will make a final decision.
By attending School Council meetings and emailing Stembridge, parents would also have the opportunity to comment on new policies.
Stembridge wants to make sure he’s hearing the voices of teachers, parents, and students before making a final decision.
“Taking the time to go through this process can be seen by some as inefficient, but on the other hand, we will do better making sure that we include all those voices in decision making, Stembridge said.
Junior and South Senator Dan Sazer looks forward to a new system that grants South Senate and students more influence on school policy.
“I feel that the South Senate is nothing more than an adviser to the administration, Sazer said. “We need more power to get things done, seeing as how we represent every single student at South.
Because so many groups will review ideas and policies will still take many months to create, Stembridge will use his discretion in making quick decisions.
Stembridge will not be willing to change the policy of safety decisions, but he will be open to hearing suggestions on how to deal with the rule afterwards.
For example, Stembridge will not retract the new food policy prohibiting students from eating in the hallways, but he hopes to consult the South Senate on ways to provide comfortable, safe, positive, and informal alternatives to eating on the floor.
Junior and South Senator Jaclyn Horowitz feels that the current system is democratic and effective, and a new system, which may be unnecessary, would support “a more effective method of admistrative contact.
Stembridge hopes to have a basic structure for the long-term policy creation method in the upcoming weeks.
“I don’t think that this change [in policy making] is one that’s going to be felt in the daily lives of anybody. This is about long term policy decisions, Stembridge said.]]>
According to Principal Joel Stembridge, custodians lack the numbers and equipment to clean both the cafeteria and hallways after each lunch. The food policy came out of a conversation between concerned faculty, housemasters, and custodians.
“Accidents happen, and food gets spilled [in the hallways], Stembridge said. “We want to provide sanitary areas for students to eat.
According to Custodian Scott Perella, the food is now located in one area, eliminating a lot of extra work for the custodians. Perella recalls how a repairman last year could not believe how students were tossing trash into the floor and the hallways.
“[We'd] have extra hours of work just cleaning up the front of [the auditorium]. Just making it presentable for the parents, Perella said, noting how the custodians are responsible for student-made messes.
Perella believes that expending extra time and energy to clean up hallways makes cleaning other areas of the school more difficult. He feels that the school is the students’ “home away from home, and students should treat it as such.
Under the new food policy, custodians have received more help in keeping the cafeteria clean. Housemasters, teachers, and campus aides are making sure students play their part in providing each other with a cleaner lunch area.
“With the cooperation of students picking up after themselves, we can get to things that we normally can’t get to, Perella said. “It let’s us use our time more efficiently.
Custodians also noted how food left in the hallways could easily end up under the carpet and breed bacteria, resulting in possible health and safety concerns.
According to Goldrick Housemaster Henry Turner, the hallways have been significantly cleaner this year.
“Last year [there were times when] it looks as if kids left their entire meal on the floor, Turner said.
Stembridge and housemasters are aware that students may not be comfortable eating in only the cafeteria, and Stembridge hopes to work with the South Senate to find safe alternatives such as setting up picnic tables outside the building.
Wheeler Housemaster Josepha Blocker, however, is somewhat concerned with how areas outside the building may look if students regularly ate there. According to Blocker, the halls have become more hospitable under the new policy, but outside areas have become somewhat less sanitary.
“It’s not appropriate for an educational institute like South, Blocker said, regarding food messes.
According to a survey done by Denebola, students, for the most part, have not been supportive of the new food policy.
“Although I never ate in the hall, it was nice walking through the halls during lunch and seeing tons of smiling faces, senior Liza Barnes said, recalling a “more friendly environment.
Barnes believes that lunchtime was the one time during the day when students could hang out with friends and worry less about classes. Senior Suzanne Lau agreed, stating that lunch should be a time to unwind and relax, which may be more difficult to do so in louder areas such as the cafeteria.
“The front of the building provided a place for me to quietly eat and study at the same time, something I could not do anywhere else in the building, Lau said.
Sophomore Elliot Seidman, however, supports the new policy and its effects on South.
“The hallways have been much cleaner this year, Seidman said. “It bothered me a lot seeing the main entrance covered in trash.]]>
“It was a privilege to represent the parents and in a way the students. It was a very thorough and fair process, Wanger said.
Advertisements for the job opening were printed in newspapers across the country, and the SAC discussed the qualities they valued in a new principal. The committee drafted a series of questions and after reviewing resumes, selected the top candidates to interview.
Interviews took place from March 16 to March 18.
Although the general process remained similar to the one used in 2005 to select Principal Brian Salzer, the SAC decided to use new interview questions, including ones regarding long term commitment, that are more suitable for the South of today.
“[The long term commitment was] one of the many questions that we discussed. It’s important to select the candidate who could best serve and best lead the Newton South community, Wanger said.
South Intervention and Prevention Counselor and SAC member Rich Catrambone felt grateful to be involved in the selection process. “I really felt it was important. It starts with leadership. We already have a great student body and faculty, Catrambone said.
SAC members, for the most part, seemed pleased with the search process and its results.
“This was a very fair process during which the advisory committee took a great deal of time to review all application materials and to fully discuss the degree to which each candidates’ leadership skills were (or were not) well matched to the South community. I have full confidence in the finalists, Deputy Superintendent and SAC member Paul Stein said.
According to both Stein and SAC member and Assistant Director of Human Resources Gil Lawrence, the new principal must be flexible. Finding a perfect match for South would be impossible, so rather the principal must be able to adapt.
“The challenge is to put forward candidates that have strong leadership and management skills, Stein said.
Each of the three finalists has experience working in administrative positions at other schools in Massachusetts. Dawson currently serves as the Assistant Headmaster the Brook Farm Academy in Boston. She holds degrees from University of Wisconsin-Superior and Harvard University and is studying for a doctorate from University of Pennsylvania.
Goldberg currently works as the Assistant Principal at the Westford Academy and has previously worked in the guidance department in the Weston Public Schools. He holds both a bachelors and master’s degree from University of Massachusetts.
Stembridge is the Headmaster at the John D. O’Bryant School of mathematics and Science. He previously served as assistant principal at another school in Scituate. Stembridge holds degrees from University of Chicago and Willamette University. He is studying for his doctorate at Boston University.
Stembridge also worked as a drama and math teacher, coached soccer and baseball, and directed various theater productions.
“I am interested in serving as the principal of Newton South because of its reputation for excellence and the community’s longstanding commitment to meet the needs of all students, Stembridge said. “I am passionate about music and the arts, and Newton South has wonderful programs in these areas.
Stembridge hopes to “develop a shared vision for the future direction of Newton South, and then make changes to the school.
Part of this “shared vision includes school spirit, as he believes that spirit must be defined by students rather than forced by the school. “[Spirit] develops organically from meaningful endeavors of the school community, Stembridge said.
Goldberg is a Newton South alumnus and he only applied to this job opening hoping to return to the school as principal.
Goldberg hopes to become principal and provide a constant leadership for the school. “South has had three principals in the past five years. That’s a lot of transition. I want to provide stability and long-term leadership and not immediately rush into a series of decisions. I am not going to enter the community with a laundry list of things to change, rather a laundry list of people I want to talk and listen to, Goldberg said.]]>
“The faculty supports it. The administration supports it. The students support it, Senate president Bill Humphrey said. “It’s a fairly basic policy. [Creating it] is our responsibility to the students.
Unlike last year’s sophomores, who gained free blocks after winter break, the class of 2011 sophomores were originally required to spend cancelled classes under faculty supervision in the lecture hall for the whole school year.
The Committee of Programming, a diverse group of people that discusses school policy and possible school improvements, had brought up various lecture-hall complaints during weekly meetings from both students and faculty. The lecture hall policy discussion also involved housemasters and department chairs.
Goodwin Housemaster Charlie Myette believes that South needs to find a more permanent solution to replace the substitute teacher program, which was removed last year due to budget cuts. The program had covered the majority of cancelled classes last year for underclassmen.
The administration would feel more comfortable releasing students from lecture halls if the “culture of the school catered more to this need and if there were more “student friendly areas, Myette said.
Some sophomores argued that free blocks should replace lecture halls just like they replaced directed studies.
“A lot of people don’t go to the lecture hall when there’s a cancelled class, sophomore Amit Yehuda said. “If I get a free block, I deserve the free block. I shouldn’t have to go to the lecture hall.
According to Department of Education (DOE) requirements, each student is required to have 990 hours of education every year, which includes directed studies and lecture hall. While the DOE does not keep track of each student’s personal record, the school might be audited if many students appear to be falling short of the 990 hour requirement.]]>
Warren’s campaign recently released a “10 in 10 list of priorities for the city of Newton and is currently in the process of developing more detailed plans and descriptions for each goal.
Education is placed at the top of the list, followed by public safety and maintaining city infrastructure. Other items on the list include “excellent and efficient city services and making Newton cleaner in terms of energy.
Warren believes that good schools rest in the hands of strong, inspiring teachers.
He believes that while we must work to strengthen the schools we must also work within the constraints of the budget and finances.
According to Warren, “Newton and other communities around our country will need to continually think creatively about how we can prepare our students for the global economy in the face of difficult economic times.
Warren plans on holding a meeting for all of Newton, but there will also be smaller discussions for individual neighborhoods and communities. Warren hopes to hear Newton residents’ opinions on the “10 in 10 priorities.
“This is not just my campaign for mayor, but a collective effort of citizens across our city to have their voices heard about their own hopes and dreams for our city, Warren said.
In the past Warren has held a variety of political positions in the local, state, federal governments, which he believes “give [him] the experience needed to bring our city together, make the tough decisions that need to be made, listen, be transparent and accountable, and deal with the unexpected [situations he would face as mayor.]
Warren’s past experience in Newton include working for the Newton Foundation for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Harmony, the Newton the Economic Development Commission, and the Newton Community Preservation Committee.
“Each gave me a good understanding of how the city works from different perspectives, Warren said.
On the national level, Warren has worked for the Clinton administration in the Departments of Justice and Treasury and FEMA.
In 2000, President Bill Clinton selected Warren to be the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As director, Warren controlled a multimillion-dollar budget and nearly 100 workers.
Starting in 2004, Warren worked for the state of Massachusetts under Senator John Kerry. His position involved helping several cities in Massachusetts with their “economic development issues and small business issues.
Most recently Warren spent a year in Iraq as a reservist. He served as an intelligence specialist for the Navy.
“The experience [in Iraq] strengthened my ability to make decisions and provide leadership under pressure and¯in difficult circumstance. It has also made me appreciate the wonderful, world-class city that we have here in Newton, Warren said.]]>
The cracks not only change the way the ball bounces on the courts but also cause concern about players twisting ankles and unnecessarily injuring themselves.
“I’ve definitely twisted my ankle once or twice getting my foot stuck [in the cracks], South boys’ tennis co-captain and senior Julian Albert said.
According to South girls’ tennis team coach Robert Jampol, “grass is growing [in some cracks.]
In addition, the trees are growing too close to the court so sap drips onto the playing field. Untrimmed bushes are tangled in the fence. The courts, built on a swamp, are also sinking.
“We feared that the courts would soon be unplayable, Jampol said. He asked Mayor David Cohen for funds to repair the courts.
According to Jampol, fully redoing the courts would cost approximately $600,000 but Cohen agreed to fix the courts for $80,000. The city committed to contributing half the money if Jampol could raise the other half.
Jampol responded by creating a nonprofit organization called “Friends of Newton Tennis, through the Newton South Booster Club.
“It is something that in reality the city should take care of on its own. There really should be a regular maintenance schedule…so Newton residents are not having to lobby and fundraise when the courts are deteriorated to such a condition that they be unplayable, boy’s tennis Coach Patrick McFarland said.
The Zuker family agreed to donate $20,000 if the organization could raise the remaining $20,000. The donation was made in memory of late assistant coach Linda Zuker.
Other members of the family were also active tennis players in the Newton community. Linda Zuker’s daughters Lauren and Danyel, were captains on the girls’ varsity tennis team and her son, Bobby Zuker, played on the boys’ junior varsity team.
According to Jampol, “If all goes well in the next two or three weeks, the city [will] allocate funds, secure a contractor, and arrange for work sometime next spring, Jampol said.
The courts, however, will likely not be finished in time for this year’s tennis season.
For tennis courts to be repaired, there must be a one to two week period of time that the temperature is above fifty degrees and it is dry outside. There is a slim chance that this will happen before spring sports.
According to McFarland, the uneven courts will make the season more of a challenge. “It’s not that it will change our abilities to succeed…[but] it makes practice more difficult. Reliable bounce for drills is important. McFarland said.
New courts will last a minimum of three years but because small cracks can easily be repaired, the courts should last longer than that.
“It’s not the ideal job, but it’s only one tenth of the cost…we hope that when North gets it’s new courts the city, in better times, will consider repaving ours, Jampol said.]]>