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Denebola » Stepan Houtchens http://www.denebolaonline.net The Award-Winning, Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School, Newton, MA Fri, 17 Jun 2011 02:00:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.2 Wireless system upsets students http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/wireless-system-upsets-students/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/wireless-system-upsets-students/#comments Wed, 21 Oct 2009 09:36:15 +0000 Stepan Houtchens http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=2938 Students working in the library this year no longer have private access to the library’s wireless network.

After head librarian Dorothy McQuillan found the library filled with non-working computers and printers at the start of the new school year, people from information technologies (IT) performed a digital makeover of the entire library computer configuration. IT repaired the computers and printers.
The wireless system is now wired through the ceiling as opposed to being run through hubs located in classrooms.

This change was implemented so that teachers could access the internet from anywhere within the school with a username and password.

Currently, the only way for students to access wireless internet is through the library laptops, which is slow according to McQuillan. Plans to offer students private access the new network have not yet been made.

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Faculty Focus: David Weintraub http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/03/25/faculty-focus-david-weintraub/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/03/25/faculty-focus-david-weintraub/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2009 05:55:11 +0000 Stepan Houtchens http://www.sandbox.denebolaonline.net/?p=2096 David Weintraub, a graduate of Wesleyan University and King’s College, London, is a dedicated English teacher in his fourth year of work at Newton South.

In addition to receiving his bachelor’s degree in English from Wesleyan, Weintraub gained his Master’s in Film Studies from the University of London. “I’m less interested in actual movies than I am in film theory itself. Since I have a degree in the field, I try to keep up with it as best I can, Weintraub said.

Music, however, is and will continue to serve as Weintraub’s most important means of self-expression. He is not bound by any sense of musical conformity, and is willing to listen to all different kinds of music. “I have to say that I’m really glad that I’m past the point in life where what kind of music you listen to defines you as a person, Weintraub said.
Interested in everything from German electro-pop to Nigerian psychedelic rock, Weintraub appreciates a wide range of music. He often relives experiences through auditory input, which gives him a richer sense of fulfillment than a photograph or any other medium.
Weintraub’s experience at Wesleyan gave him the chance to reflect on his philosophic perspective. While working towards his Bachelor’s degree, he unearthed Marxist philosophy, which taught him fundamental aspects of societal order. This allowed him to ask important questions and redefine his attitude towards the world. Social critics played a vital role in his philosophical inquiry as their complex ideas often reflected his own.

Weintraub’s year abroad in London, he felt, revealed elements of his nature that had previously been somewhat stifled by societal constraints. Weintraub’s economic and social observations, writing, and traveling gave rise to an overarching analysis of societal ambitions. He found himself befriending people who were keen on discovering truths and asking questions about society. These new experiences and relationships created a mindset in which conformity and conventionality could now be questioned, disagreed with, and even confronted.

Watching movies, cooking, playing music, and having fun with his new dog are, for the time being, just a few leisure activities Weintraub tends to enjoy. For the most part, however, he has his hands full with work.

Committed to literature like his colleagues, Weintraub models a what he considers an extreme work ethic. He believes that hard work, and the resulting sense of fulfillment, is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. He wants all of his students to realize that the greatest reward they can obtain is knowing that they worked hard on something, and tried their best.

Weintraub hopes that his challenging syllabus will not only educate his students, but also teach them to love learning. “High school education consists not so much in what you learn, but in how well you learn questions that the work addresses, Weintraub said. He wants students to be able to understand and navigate through complex texts and decipher the key questions that the given work addresses.

According to Weintraub, the right and the wrong of a given problem or question doesn’t exist. What does exist is the search for difficult questions, questions that propel intellectuality forward, and questions that spawn more still more questions.

“Answers are besides the point; they are easy, and they are closed. Questions open people up to the complexities, the exhilarating dangers, and true sour joys of life, Weintraub said.
Besides hard work, Weintraub’s ambitions as a teacher are to respect his students as individuals and create positive, obliging friendships. Individuality and the contributions of mental cultivation during class are incomparable according to Weintraub; they cannot be graded or condemned but exist on an entirely other plane.

“This belief in the mutually constructive, mutually supportive relationship between me and my students is what gets me up in the morning, Weintraub said.

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Scandal hits South http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/03/25/scandal-hits-south/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/03/25/scandal-hits-south/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2009 05:01:48 +0000 Stepan Houtchens http://www.sandbox.denebolaonline.net/?p=1993 As of late February, several South parents became victims of a scam perpetrated by a group identifying itself as the School Booster Co. The group disguised itself as being related to the South Booster club and is currently under investigation by the Newton Police.

According to South Booster club president Jonathan Frieze, the authentic Booster Club is a nonprofit organization which “raises money for Newton South Athletics, wellness, and spirit.

Newton North PTO co-president Janet Porcaro was the first to receive a phone call from the alleged company. The call referred to a donation of money toward presumed school benefits.

According to Porcaro, her secretary notified her two days later that an invoice had arrived from the same company that had contacted them earlier that week. The invoice requested that a payment of $89.50 be made out to School Booster Co. The top of the invoice stated “Newton South High School Spring Sports Poster 2009. The payment was to be made via credit card.

Porcaro was surprised at the request and contacted South Booster club co-president Julie Saul. Saul did not recognize the invoice and subsequently contacted the police.

The invoice in question turned out to be phony. School Booster Co.’s alleged collaboration with the South Booster club and with the school itself was false.

According to Newton Police officer John Panica, multiple businesses have been sent the fraudulent invoice. “The school Booster Club isn’t benefiting [from this], he said.

“People who are vulnerable [to apprehending the invoice] might think [the payment] is going to a cause, said Porcaro.

Principal Brian Salzer has confirmed that South is not, in any way, affiliated with the company. According to Panica, the South Booster club’s largest project is sponsoring the upcoming golf tournament.

“People get burnt by a scam like this, Frieze said.

Recently, Porcaro received a second invoice from the fraudulent group.

A PTSO email was sent out in hope of warning as many people as possible about the fraud. The email stated that South has no such fund-raiser titled as ‘ËœNewton South High School 2009 Spring Sports Poster’ and that police have been notified and are investigating.

“The company is using the city’s name, South Athletic Director, Scott Perrin said. Perrin also mentioned that similar scams are not uncommon.

According to Frieze, scams such as that by School Booster Co. hurt legitimate non-profitable organizations and make necessary charitable donations harder and harder to obtain.

“In the economic environment we have now, it’s hard enough to raise the funds needed to support programs that are already cut to the bone. These crooks hurt everyone, Frieze said.

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