Home Tags Posts tagged with "Jubilee"

Pamela Pistiner

         You imagined an elaborate senior prank that would live in infamy. You imagined senior skip day filled with the reckless abandon of doing something “wrong” but knowing you won’t get in trouble for it.  You imagined prom, dancing wildly among the kids you’ve known since kindergarten. And you imagined graduation, walking proudly across the stage as the friends, family and teachers who love you scream unabashedly on your behalf. You don’t have any of these things. There’s no sugar coating it. I respect you too much to presume that I could convince you otherwise.  But, here are three things you do have:

         You have deep reserves of resilience. There have been emotions we’ve all had—grief, anger, sadness. You’ve looked to the adults around you for answers when we do not have any. We’ve never done this before. (In fact, that’s what a lot of adulting feels like.) And yet, you’ve found moments of laughter, moments of connection to each other, and moments of beauty in nature that continues to grow and thrive around you, just like it always does. 

         You have strength that has carried you through this time period despite not knowing what the future holds. There have been days when you didn’t want to get out of bed, when you didn’t want to talk to anyone, when you didn’t want to look at one more template. And yet, here you are. You made it.

         You have the last four years, filled with all of the wonderful highs and lows that come along with learning, growing, and finding your place in this world. The heartbreak of the last three months can neither erase nor diminish the years that led you to this moment. 

         These are not small things. These are the things that last beyond one night, one day, or the last months of your senior year. These are the attributes that you will be able to draw upon when life challenges you time and time again. You will use these traits to stand up for what you believe in and to fight for what you know deep within you to be true. Your hopes and dreams will be that much sweeter as you accomplish them because you, more than any other class I’ve ever known, will appreciate opportunities as they unfold in front of you. 

         And one day, you will have the chance to look back and marvel at what you accomplished, despite what the world threw at you. You spent the last four years becoming the type of person that can take a blow like this and persevere. 

         I think back to five years ago, when I told the eighth graders on the Shamrock team at F.A. Day Middle School that I loved them so much I would be following them to Newton North. Entering this school with the ninth grade four years ago, myself feeling like a scared freshman on the brink of the unknown, I felt comforted by your familiar faces in the hallways and eager with the anticipation of getting to see the class of 2020 from your first day to your last. Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of this is that I’m a hugger in a time in which hugs are impossible from six feet away. I followed your class to Newton North; I hope you come back one day to hug me goodbye.

Margaret Stassen

by Sophie Fredberg

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Audrey Prager

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Leslie Meyer

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Judith Kelleher

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Anndy Dannenberg

by Dea Cela

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Sophia Zhou

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Jacob Teszler

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Raghav Kadambi

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Taylor Bailey

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Nichol Weylman-Farwell

         Congratulations everybody! We made it! Well, sort of. I know this is not the ending we would’ve wanted for our high school careers, and it really does suck. Living in my bedroom for the entirety of two months while a global pandemic unfolded was not an ideal way to spend “Senior Spring.”

         I want to reflect on my high school career, and give a few tips to the underclassmen. It’s been an interesting, mostly enjoyable, and somewhat stressful ride, from our first day as Tigers, to that fateful day in March, where our journey was cut short.

         I would like to give a shout-out to all of the teachers and staff who have supported and guided me over the past four years. Thank you all so much, as without y’all I would not be the student or person that I am today. And of course, I want to thank all of the friends that I’ve made through classes, clubs, lunches, and of course, the all-you-can-eat sushi nights in Brighton (How the waiters there still let us in after each commotion-full meal baffles me). I am so honored to have your support and friendship over the last couple of years, and I am eager to see what comes next for all of us. Lastly, I am deeply grateful for my family, who have helped me and pushed me to grow in countless ways during my academic journey.

         Now for the advice part.

         – First, use your time inside and outside of school wisely. Join clubs and extracurricular activities. They are both great ways to meet new people. Also, commit yourself to studying and completing assignments, but also find time to do things that you enjoy.

         – Second, use your resources! That means going to X-block if you need help, and/or using your free blocks efficiently to get work done.

         – Third, this a minor pet peeve of mine, but please recycle/throw away your trash at lunch. There have been too many instances where my friend group’s table has been littered with food and napkins from the prior lunch. It’s a small thing, but it’s really annoying to clean up, plus the janitors shouldn’t be forced to deal with that.

         – Lastly, take pride in being a Tiger. Attend sports games, theater shows, debates, culture days, etc…Newton North is so much stronger and unified when we all find ways to connect with the community and the people within it.

         Alright, that should wrap it up. To all of the seniors going to college next fall, good luck, and hopefully you all get the chance to start on campus. If that’s not in your plans, I hope that you all find purpose and joy in whatever you are doing.

         Go Tigers!

Carolyn McDonald

         At Newton North, there exists a separate world that even I forget about sometimes. The Connections classroom on the third floor is home to kids with moderate to severe disabilities, including my twin brother, John. These kids have challenges that are different from the typical challenges of North students. Their challenges include learning how to read, count, and communicate. 

         I have often felt relieved that my high school world was separate from my brother’s. Still fresh in my mind is the incident in elementary school when I watched a group of kids push my brother on the playground, telling him he was “stupid.” I remember feeling overwhelmed and confused, wondering how people could push a friendly boy with orthopedic braces on his legs and a severe intellectual disability. I never wanted my brother to experience that again. 

         While I believe the substantially-separate classroom is the best option for my brother, it is important to integrate special needs kids into our community as much as possible. It makes me sad when I pass my brother in the hallway to go to a school event, and he is going back to his classroom on the third floor. When school ends, and most students are off to sports or clubs, John goes home. 

         I have enjoyed the many music performances, sporting events, and culture days I have attended at North. My classmates are the future of music, athletics, and education. Kids like my brother want to listen, play, and learn, too. Their eyes light up when people engage with them. In my brother’s future, I hope there will be people who strike up conversations with him. I also hope they will listen to what he has to say. 

         The culture of helping special needs kids exists at North. I know people who have taken time out of their day to assist special needs kids, and there is now a mentor program at North that includes special needs children. When I reflect on my high school experience, I wish this culture of helping would have been more of the norm instead of the exception. 

         I understand the world of special needs is sometimes a difficult one to navigate. I’ve spent my life with John, and I’m still learning how to help him, often having to try new methods when I fail. However, I promise these kids, their families, and our community will appreciate your reaching out. Go to their classroom, bring your knowledge and enthusiasm, and make a difference in these kids’ lives.

Yesha Thakkar

         When I came to Newton North as a freshman, I started baking my first sourdough bread. I made the dough, my foundation, with challenging classes, extracurriculars, and a social life. Kneaded, knocking air into the dough, giving it the texture and complexity it needed to weather the uncharted territory of my upperclassmen years. Gave it room to grow and develop as I accommodated to unseen obstacles and tasks. Now that I am at the end of high school, my first sourdough is fully baked, cooled, and ready to be eaten.

         We all bake sourdough in high school. Each of us follow a different recipe – some conventional, some “shortcuts,” some with a myriad of extra ingredients, some vague, some oddly specific – and end up with distinct outcomes, equally delicious in their own way. When I came to Newton North as a freshman, I expected my sourdough to taste not good, not even great. Perfect. I made a step-by-step guideline with the likeness of a scientific procedure – precise measurements, timings, and instructions.

         But my recipe was, in some ways, more limiting than it was liberating. There was no room for error – or creativity. I couldn’t imagine taking specific classes or joining certain clubs because they would fall too far out of the range of a “perfect” result. I pushed off spending time with my family and doing the things I loved to do in my spare time – they weren’t part of the recipe. The idea of perfection is one that I chased for so long, I ended up forgetting to add a few extra ingredients to make my recipe especially creative instead of perfectly standard.

         We’ve become accustomed to the idea that there is a specific recipe, or set of guidelines, that we must follow to be successful. And yes, at the most basic level, you can follow all the steps to a tee and bake delicious sourdough. That’s what we might prefer to do – the risk of failing due to an extra ingredient or altered measurement may be too high for us to attempt venturing. But more often than not, risk leads to reward. And even if it isn’t everything you’d hoped for, don’t fret. There are many sourdoughs to come after North, and you’ll know what not to do next time.

         Now that I’ve baked my first sourdough, I’ve realized that it’s worth it to take the risk. When you look at the final product that you have tirelessly worked on throughout high school, you’ll realize that the ways in which you changed the recipe will be uniquely meaningful. You’ll relish those imperfections instead.

Helen Wong

         Class of 2020, you are my first full four years with students, and each of you is unique and special to me. My belief in each of you is that you are stronger for all the challenges you have faced since coming through the doors in 2016. You have worked hard to get to the end of your high school academic years, and this last challenge may be your biggest yet. Your goals may shift somewhat as you adapt, adjust, and move forward through more uncertainty in the days ahead.

         You will hopefully look back at the extracurricular clubs you joined, assemblies and performance you attended, and sports and games you played or attended. Cherish the connections, experiences, and memories. Focus on the good and release the bad; that too will be an accomplishment that you can all be proud of. Continue to be kind and positive as you journey onward.

         Stay the course (along with the curves and bumps), forge ahead, and rise to conquer the obstacles. Keep with you the important lessons and values learned, and continue to support one another. Take a chance to stand out, take action, and make a difference!

         I am so grateful to have been a part of your high school experience. The connections made will be a lasting memory for me. Wishing you much success and happiness in whatever path you plan to take!

         Cheers to the amazing Class of 2020 – Congratulations!

         And grab a mint on your way out.

David Turcotte

         Congratulations, Class of 2020! It was a privilege to work with you and your families.  One of the greatest joys of being a dean is watching the class evolve. The collective growth of this class is impressive.  You acquired skills and knowledge in the classroom, and you’ve contributed so much to this community through activities outside of the classroom. Many of you have increased your self-confidence and self-awareness, improved your ability to advocate for yourselves and your beliefs, and learned to cope with life’s difficulties. These skills will serve you well as you embark on the next chapter of your lives. I really wish we were all able to conclude the year together under much different circumstances. I imagine many of you feel a sense of accomplishment about graduating but are also deeply sad that the year ended with our community being physically apart from one another. Although it may be hard to stay upbeat in our current reality, please know that your presence made Newton North a better place.  You persevered, and I wish you all the best!

Samuel Shoutis

To the Class of 2020:

         First and foremost, congratulations! You have spent the past 13 years of your lives growing, learning, and striving to reach this milestone of life—and you deserve to be celebrating this achievement. The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed or canceled the traditional events, big and small, that recognize the achievements you have all made, but I hope that in lieu of these events, your teachers, friends, and family–the people that form your communities–have let you know how important you and your graduation from high school are to them.

         Community is a basic human need. Wherever we live, we find communities – be they of faith, of shared interest, of sport, of art, or of myriad facets of our lives. COVID-19 has done its best to tear our communities apart. We cannot gather with our classmates and closest friends, see loved ones, or engage with the activities that we love in groups. I have missed working with all of you and my colleagues, and seeing my daughter play with her grandparents.

         But this social distancing has not been enough to sunder our ties to our communities. We still connect—in Zoom classrooms or social lunches, with Facetime, with TikTok, with Discord, or, in one of my favorite cases, with a class Minecraft server. We have been physically distanced, but we are still socially connecting and supporting one another.

         Our ties to our school have also been strained by the cruel acts of those that attack individuals (or groups) for differences of race, gender, or orientation. In the face of these challenges, our larger school community has been bolstered by many groups acting to build new ties between our community or to strengthen those already existing. Confronted with the use of racist language on social media, our BLAC club gathered together to both support each other and also to demand the support of our school communities as well. In response to the recent racial incidents in our digital learning spaces, student leaders spoke eloquently about ways that we can build bridges in our community and support each other. 

         These responses are important in creating a sense of belonging, but perhaps even more important are all the small acts of kindness and inclusion that we take every day. To paraphrase one of my students’ thoughts regarding supporting classmates of color, “This doesn’t have to be a hero moment—just check in and affirm that what happened wasn’t right,” when someone is attacked. We still have work to do to ensure that every student, faculty member, and staff member can feel that they belong to the North community, but you, the class of 2020, have been models leading us in the right direction.

         As our year comes to a close, you all are preparing for your next phase of life in what will certainly be a changed and changing world. COVID-19 will have left its mark on us. My hope for you all is that, whatever your next step is, you find and build diverse communities, and that these communities offer you support, friendship, challenge, and growth. Most importantly, my hope is that you continue to lead these communities in ensuring that every individual feels accepted and valued.

         Congratulations once more, and good luck!

Nick Pfeifer

Dear Class of 2020,

         Congratulations on graduating from Newton North High School! You should be proud of the grit, passion, and creativity that you have demonstrated along the way. Graduating from high school is an important stepping-stone and you should not take that achievement lightly. Now comes the next chapter of life, and obviously it is not starting the way you had planned.  

         It’s important to plan, but it’s equally important to remain flexible. In life, we are often challenged by unforeseen obstacles, which require us to adapt. During this time of division and uncertainty, remember that you, more than most, are prepared to handle life’s challenges and unanticipated obstacles. You have excelled at a high school that does not teach you what to think, but instead, how to think for yourself. Use this skill with confidence even when faced with adversity and uncertainty. Learn from the mistakes of those who came before you—and never be afraid to question the status quo.  Do not blame others, but work collaboratively to create a world that is more just, more manageable, and safer for everyone—not just those who look or think like you.  

         I have been so impressed by the Class of 2020. I started my professional career at Newton North High School when you entered the building doors for the first time as freshmen. I have watched you transform from immature 14-year-olds into compassionate, intelligent and humble young adults. I witnessed students struggling in the classroom—who now feel confident to use their voice to advocate for themselves and others. I am certain that you will make our society a safer and more just place for all because I have seen your ability to organize peacefully and stand in support of one another. It has truly been an honor to work with you on the football field, in the classroom, and on the lacrosse field. You will be successful if you learn from those who came before you. Utilize the useful lessons and learn from mistakes while focusing on ways to improve yourself and the world you are inheriting. Make no excuses, remain reflective, be open to continuous learning, and don’t be afraid of failure that inevitably comes on the road to success. Above all, take ownership of your actions while remaining flexible during uncertain times. 

         Best of luck, and don’t be strangers!

Bradley Mayer

         Pythagoras of Samos, one of the great Greek Philosophers, is known today for the Pythagorean Theorem. Math majors, please hold. Pythagoras discovered that to find the height of a pyramid, you take half the base, multiply the height where the right angle has been formed and continue on in the extremely rote equation: a2+ b2 = c2. Come on back math majors. Now, knowing how to find the height of the pyramid, let us talk about the stability of the said structure. Architecturally speaking, to the highest degree, one of the longest standing objects on this Earth are The Great Pyramids of Egypt, and there are other great nations and civilizations we continue to learn and be taught from. These are structures that have withstood rises and falls of empires, thousands of years of climate changes, erosion, and even invaders who attempted to desecrate their beauty, but they still stand strong with their original intention: the symbolic idolization of someone great to that empire.

         Your first block in your pyramid of life was crafted while entering Newton North High School—whether that was four, three, two years ago or even if this is the culmination of your first year at this great institution. Take a moment, not now, but while this is fresh in your mind and look back at your high, low and in-between moments of your Newton North tenure. Each of these moments—albeit some were not the easiest to navigate through—created a block to the base of your pyramid. Each moment is an expansion to and of yourself: lessons of perseverance, rising against social and racial injustices, time management, artistic ability, building relationships, and many more that you have yet to create. With each moment, again some easier to navigate than others, you lay a block to your ever expanding structure. As life takes you on your journey continue to build and lay your blocks to the base of your pyramid.

         As the next space for your block begins, sharpen your tools again, look back at the skill that helped you apply the previous block to your base, and ask yourself, “What did I learn from this block?” Then, go back and make way for a new block. If you do this consistently, with relentless vigor and passion, the height of your pyramid, the symbolic structure of your empire, will be miles high and millions of people will stand in awe of what you have created. But remember, the wider the base, the greater the height, thus the longer the distance to travel to your “Meaningful Specific” or the pyramidion, also known as your capstone. Therefore, do not look left, and do not look right because then will you see others at their relative top during your building process and become a “Wondering Generality.” So I say to you: stay focused on your specifics, reflect from each block you have laid, build your base wider than anyone else’s, and understand your time to lay your peak will be longer and harder than most. Then, when the time comes to set your pyramidion, you will look not back, but rather down at the other pyramids around you. They will be smaller, less stable, and have less intrinsic value than what you have built.

         As your final chiseling and refining come to a closure today, look forward to what space you have in front of you to create something great for yourself.

         To the Newton North Class of 2020, I send the biggest of congratulations to you and your family, friends, and loved ones. May you remember this day with joy, admiration, and positivity. CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2020!

Sally Brickel

Newton North PTSO Co-President

Dear Class of 2020, 

         I was very moved driving along Commonwealth Avenue in Newton recently and seeing hundreds of signs—one for each graduating senior—impressively lining the road in an eye-catching testament to your accomplishments during this time of quarantine. I am honored to join the chorus of those wishing you success as you continue on your journey to adulthood.

         You have had the good fortune to spend almost four years in a striking new building, with many courses and activities to choose from. Hesitant at first about finding your way around and making new friends, you have gained confidence during your high school years. 

         Since March, you have had to adopt a growth mindset and finished your coursework in a new way—online. You have missed certain traditions cherished by both students and parents/guardians. I share your disappointment, and I hope you will learn from these setbacks and gain flexibility and inner strength.

         Newton North has been enriched by signs of your civic engagement; your participation in clubs, athletics, academics, volunteer efforts, theatre, art, and music, among other activities, has strengthened the school community and set an example for younger students. Thank you for your energy and innovation! 

         I hope that you have also grown in your ability to make good decisions through your friendships and through guidance from parents, guardians, teachers, coaches, and counselors. I also hope that the “Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices” expos and events have helped you realize that your community supports you and wants you to thrive. 

         I wish you well in the future beyond the walls of Newton North High School.

         You have made your community proud. 

         Congratulations!

Ruthanne Fuller

Mayor of Newton

         To the Class of 2020—This is not the graduation ceremony we expected, but the unexpected and uncertainty seem to find you. 

         You were born during the uncertainty of 9/11, and your class is graduating amidst the uncertainty of a pandemic.

         Your script has not followed the expected storyline. You had no group hugs after finals, no senior prom, no group photos with friends in caps and gowns.

          I think about that second Thursday in March. When you left school the day before Friday the 13th, none of us knew that would be the last time you walked out of a classroom as a student in Newton. Indeed, that moment was unexpected and uncertain.

         But your Class of 2020 is defined by much more than your final day on campus and these final days as 12th graders. 

         Uncertainty finds you, but it does not define you.

         In chaotic times I’ve seen you rise up to find ways to come together for each other; to force the adults around you, including myself, to be better; to write a new story. I’ve seen you use your voices to call for equality, for social justice, for schools safe from gun violence. I’ve witnessed you use the changing world of social media to marshal good works. I’ve heard your call for action to clean our environment, so your children and your grandchildren don’t also face the uncertainty of climate change.

         As we celebrate your accomplishments and the imprints you have left on our city, on your friends and your teachers, and as you take this leap into an uncertain world, I know with certainty that your Newton community will always be here for you.

         I know with certainty that you will not be defined by this moment in time. I know with certainty that you, the Class of 2020, will lead the way into a new, better, more certain future.

         I’ll be following your lead. We all will.

      

Anabel Marré

         In the finale of The Office, one of my generation’s favorite tv shows, Andy Bernard wistfully remarks, “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.” The quote stuck with me long after finishing the series, but little did I know just how true they would be.

         Newton North is famous for its “Senior Spring”— for four years, students look forward to the dozens of special events that take place in their final few months, and alumni always refer to memories from that time when reminiscing about high school. I always thought of Senior Spring as one of my biggest motivators—no matter how hard high school life could get, Senior Spring was a light at the end of the tunnel.

         On March 12, 2020, I attended a normal Thursday at school, went to Newtonville for lunch with my friends, as I had done so many times before, and the rest of the senior class and I thought the best was still to come. Little did we know that we would receive a call later that night that would end our high school experience, without so much as a goodbye or an opportunity to clean out our lockers.

         When I first heard the news, it didn’t seem real. I couldn’t fathom that my senior season as a Girls Tennis Captain was gone, or the senior prom that the class officers and I had spent almost a year planning was canceled, or that I would never get to sit under the blistering sun in a polyester straitjacket, waiting to walk across a stage on the turf and collect my diploma. But my feelings of numbness and grief eventually led to an epiphany about the time leading up to that life-altering phone call—I had been enjoying the good old days all along and hadn’t even realized it.

         After over two months in quarantine, I grieve the thousands of lives that have been lost from COVID-19, and I grieve for the families of victims of police brutality. But I don’t grieve my Senior Spring because I know that every day you are alive and healthy is one to be unbelievably grateful for.

         So I encourage anyone reading this to recognize the nostalgia and the memories in every single day of their lives. You never know when your whole world will be turned upside-down, so whether you’ve been trapped at home for months or are just counting the days until high school is over, live purposefully. Make every day a good old day.

Sara Manning

         In a moment where heroes are stepping up everywhere, saving lives, putting themselves in harm’s way, it’s important not to lose sight of those who make a difference in people’s lives by being kind and generous in small ways every day. I’ve met a number of the latter at Newton North.

         The first was the cross country captain who ran with me in the woods and chatted with me during summer practice. I was much slower than she was, but she still made sure I didn’t run alone. Though perhaps she didn’t want me to get lost, she could have run at her own pace when we reached the second lap of the course, as I was accustomed to the course by then. But she chose to run with me instead, which made me feel welcomed.

         More people like her revealed themselves throughout my freshman fall: the upperclassmen who patiently answered my questions and eased my concerns about high school, the cross country girls who would wait to go inside and would stay outside, cheering, until I finished the run several minutes after everyone else; the people who came up to me to chat when I was alone at social events; the people who always smiled at me in the hallway. To a freshman, those gestures meant the world. They still do.

         Then, freshman year ended, and the nice thing is that throughout my time at Newton North, those people, generous of spirit, kept appearing in my life: the classmates who would send me text messages to clarify what the homework was—even late at night; the classmates who read my papers and allowed me the privilege of reading theirs, exposing me to new perspectives about books I thought I knew; the teachers who would talk to me outside of class, challenging me, pushing me, guiding me, inspiring me; the older students who talked to me about the nitty gritty of high school, supported me, encouraged me; the people who supported me if I was having a hard time and always provided a listening ear.

         To make a long story short, people who are generous of spirit are everywhere, and they make a difference in others’ lives. This doesn’t take anything away from the more conventional heroes, the ones we read about in the paper; they are, simply put, heroic. But I am also grateful for the people who make their contributions through small, seemingly innocuous gestures that truly add up.

         Take the routine “How are you?” “How are you?” is really a way of saying, “You matter enough to me that I want to know how you’re doing, or at least wish to extend this courtesy.” “How are you?” has the capacity to make someone feel cared for, and that feeling is special, especially to someone who may feel lonely. You never know how much your words, however routine, can mean to someone. They sure have meant a lot to me.

         So please don’t underestimate little gestures. Please place care into the ones that you put forth and please show gratitude for the ones that others extend toward you.

         So thank you to all the quiet heroes who, through their simple humanity, help so many others every day. I do see all that you have done and truly appreciate you.

Serena Jampel

         The breaded cutlet of poultry was way more than a chicken nugget. The mac and cheese had the perfect ratio of artificial flavor to al dente pasta, and the broccoli, albeit a little overcooked, complemented the ensemble nicely. This was school lunch on a whole new level. Folks, I ate at the Tiger’s Loft. Some of you probably frequent this establishment, but if you were like me in High School, you popped into the student-run restaurant for a scone or a cookie, but never committed yourself to a meal. Do it. Hyperbole aside, the food is decent, and despite what people might say, or the great options in Newtonville, the Tiger’s Loft Bistro is a must-experience for any NNHS student.

         Like eating at the Loft, the greatest advice I can give is to fully take advantage of everything Newton North has to offer. It is easy to skate by, counting down the days to graduation (RIP) and involving yourself at the bare minimum. Do not fall into this trap. Newton  North costed $200 million to build, and there is plenty to squeeze out if you know where to look.

         1. Use the college and career center. I’ll say it again for the kids in the back. USE THE COLLEGE AND CAREER CENTER! Not only do they sometimes have free cookies and most of the time have candy, but they will do everything an expensive college counselor can do for free. You can take any of the SAT/AP/College Essay prep books from their library for free. Save yourself the headache and some money, and sign up for a meeting.

         2. Use your guidance counselor. Befriending your guidance counselor not only gives you a sounding board for any decisions and a person to rant to in the building (a definite bonus) but those wonderful individuals are your inside scoop on the school. When it comes time to get a recommendation for college, or if you need advice on scholarships and career paths, having a relationship with your guidance counselor makes all the difference.

         3. Go see the shows. Musicals, art morning, culture nights, concerts, games, and meets. This school’s greatest assets are the students. I am always amazed by my talented, insightful classmates, and going to observe what fellow classmates have produced is always gratifying (or at the very least, entertaining in one way or another).

         By now we have all lost a chunk of our high school careers. We have learned that everything we have taken for granted can disappear without warning. Now is the moment to enjoy everything that high school has to offer, because the next moment is not a given. Make connections. Celebrate your peers’ accomplishments. You’ve worked hard, now make this school work for you. Seize as many opportunities as you can, and if you’ve read to the end of this, go eat at the Tiger’s Loft.

Henry Isselbacher

         I’m sure that by this point, hearing the word “unprecedented” used to encapsulate the entirety of the last three months of your senior year drives you crazy. Take a moment, however, and think about each time you have tried something new or put yourself out on a limb or decided to act spontaneously. Maybe like when you joined that club you knew nothing about, or when you stayed up until 4 a.m. to work on an inconsequential English project because… why not?

         Think about the plans you have decided to make for yourself for your time after Newton North High School. These ideas are, in essence, a representation of your personal journey through high school—a journey that cannot possibly model that of any other high schooler once each tiny moment has been integrated.

         When I first arrived at Newton North at the beginning of sophomore year, I felt like a fish out of water. It was overwhelming to be in a new environment that was so fundamentally different than what I was used to, one in which there was so much variety and a novel sense of autonomy. It had never really been in a position where I had to vouch for myself, rather than having others look out for me. Frankly, I had never experienced quite a bureaucratic system in which, again, others could only do so much to help me. It would have been easy to make such a big school feel small and to just to stick to what I was used to and what I had known as “normal” before coming to Newton North.

         Now, I’m no fortune teller, nor can I look into the past, but I am pretty certain that if I had tried to make my time at Newton North fit into some preconceived notion, whether what I thought my high school years might have looked like if I hadn’t transferred to Newton North or simply how the lives of other high schoolers looked like from afar, I would not have gotten as much as I have out of my time in high school. The same goes for you, too. If every student walking through the doors on Tiger Drive tried to model their own four years after what they thought of as the “quintessential” high school experience, no new returns would be realized.

         There would be no reason for new clubs and fresh lineups and performances. Friend groups would be static. Everything that makes high school special and formative would be lost. Take a moment again to think about the past four years of high school. What I hope you are able to realize is that you’ve faced challenges time and time again during your time in high school. You have been preparing every day—whether or not you’ve realized it—for the past four years to make the next big transition—a major life change involving new, unprecedented situations—in your life. These strange days offer the perfect opportunity for you to figure out so much you don’t already know about yourself. This situation is the time to try new things and move out of your comfort zone. Now is the moment to realize a journey free from the ones of those who have come before you—vestiges of a different time.

         I implore you to embrace an unprecedented beginning to an adult life in which you will find that the situations without precedent are the most fulfilling of all.

Dina Gorelik

         In the 2019 hit movie Booksmart, Molly and Amy, two academic overachievers, decide to finally go to a high school party the night before graduation. They go through an emotional evening and arrive late to their graduation the next day, not regretting their choices to work hard and, ultimately, play hard. I first watched this movie at the end of my junior year, and I saw myself in Molly and Amy. I had worked so hard, and I decided that, come Senior Spring, I would allow myself to have fun and relax.

         Senior year began, and it was even more stressful than junior year. Every night that I stayed up late, every weekend that I spent doing homework and writing college applications, I reminded myself that Senior Spring would come soon. The grind would eventually stop, and I would be able to live a little.

         March came, and it was brutal like March always is. I told myself to just get through March, hold out until the end of term three, and I would finally get my reward. I would stop caring about my grades and do what makes me happy. I would spend all my free time with my friends, savoring our last memories together before college. I would free myself from the standard of excellence I have for myself.

         We all know what happened instead. We are isolating at home for over two months now, and term three was extended through the end of the year. Anything that was supposed to happen this spring was canceled.

         Several weeks into quarantine, I rewatched Booksmart with my friends. It hit different. Instead of hopefully fantasizing about the future, it was a painful reminder of what could have been, of plans gone awry.

         Looking back on my high school experience, I realize that I did not have fun nearly as much as I should have. I passed up opportunities that I would have enjoyed because I was scared to miss school. I did not go out on school nights for fear of not finishing my homework.

         Nevertheless, my friends and I are making the most of the situation. Through Zoom calls, movie nights, and even socially-distanced surprise birthday parties, we are making our own Senior Spring memories. However, nothing can replace the feeling of being together, in person, closer than six feet.

         Freshmen, sophomores and juniors: do not make the same mistake I did. Let yourself have fun. Don’t wait until Senior Spring to enjoy yourself; you never know what will happen.

Zoe Goldstein

         About two months ago, I turned eighteen in quarantine. It was a strange day, for a few reasons. Firstly, it was snowing, which is abnormal for late April. It was also the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, which meant I spent much of the day on climate-related webinars and Zoom calls. Finally, it was the second month since school—and almost everything else—had closed in mid-March due to coronavirus. I turned eighteen quietly in my kitchen with slices of homemade cake and a bottle of hand sanitizer as a present.

         Around 2 p.m., as the cake baked in the oven, my sister and I decided to go on a walk. We grabbed our coats and our masks and walked out into the blustery and cool day. I immediately burst into tears.

         Arrayed on the street, standing six feet apart, was a group of my friends. It was the first time in over a month that I had seen them in person.

         They yelled “Happy Birthday!” and I ran down to join them in the circle—six feet away, of course.

         For about an hour we stood there together, teeth chattering, as cars drove between us and passersby stared. By the time I went inside, I was frozen to my core. But that one hour was the best hour I had spent in quarantine.

         As school winds down for the year, I’ve found myself spending countless hours connecting with friends in creative ways—over Zoom, on Netflix Party, at a socially-distanced picnic. Whether we are watching trashy TV shows, discussing our worries about the future, or hosting book club, my friends are always there, even if we’re apart. In fact, I’ve come to realize that I’ve probably been spending more time with my friends during quarantine than I did during the regular school year, when my main priority is school.

         They say that in your hour of crisis you discover what is truly important to you and those who will stand by you. While this is certainly not the end to high school I imagined, this time has shown me what’s most important: the people around me. In the thick of essay-writing or flashcard-flipping, the late night panicking about GPAs, the queasy fear before an oral presentation, it’s easy to feel alone. Especially as an introvert who needs solitude, I’ve often felt distanced and disconnected. So much of my high school experience has been about individual hard work and individual success. But what these past few months have shown me is that my friends are only a click or two away. That we all crave connection, especially when apart. That the only way to solve this thing is to stand together.

         To everyone in the North community, I would counsel you to reach out. To anyone, to everyone. The people around you are your safety net, and if you build a connection with them, they will catch you when you fall.

         Looking forward, while I hope that the Class of 2021 will be able to graduate in person and that I don’t turn nineteen in quarantine, I know that no matter what, we will have strong enough bonds to hold each other together. We’re building them right now.

         Congratulations Class of 2020!

*headline*

 

example – winterfest

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Posuere morbi leo urna molestie at elementum. Tortor aliquam nulla facilisi cras fermentum odio. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Vitae tortor condimentum lacinia quis vel. Nec sagittis aliquam malesuada bibendum arcu vitae elementum. Consectetur adipiscing elit duis tristique sollicitudin. Vitae purus faucibus ornare suspendisse sed nisi lacus sed. Ut lectus arcu bibendum at varius vel pharetra vel. Egestas dui id ornare arcu odio ut sem. Read more about Winterfest here.

 

example – jubilee concert

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Posuere morbi leo urna molestie at elementum. Tortor aliquam nulla facilisi cras fermentum odio. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Vitae tortor condimentum lacinia quis vel. Nec sagittis aliquam malesuada bibendum arcu vitae elementum. Consectetur adipiscing elit duis tristique sollicitudin. Vitae purus faucibus ornare suspendisse sed nisi lacus sed. Ut lectus arcu bibendum at varius vel pharetra vel. Egestas dui id ornare arcu odio ut sem. Read more about Jubilee Singers’ Annual Winter Concert here.

*headline*

 

example – hello, dolly!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Posuere morbi leo urna molestie at elementum. Tortor aliquam nulla facilisi cras fermentum odio. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Vitae tortor condimentum lacinia quis vel. Nec sagittis aliquam malesuada bibendum arcu vitae elementum. Consectetur adipiscing elit duis tristique sollicitudin. Vitae purus faucibus ornare suspendisse sed nisi lacus sed. Ut lectus arcu bibendum at varius vel pharetra vel. Egestas dui id ornare arcu odio ut sem. Read more about “Hello, Dolly!” here.

 

example – nitrous oxide

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Posuere morbi leo urna molestie at elementum. Tortor aliquam nulla facilisi cras fermentum odio. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Vitae tortor condimentum lacinia quis vel. Nec sagittis aliquam malesuada bibendum arcu vitae elementum. Consectetur adipiscing elit duis tristique sollicitudin. Vitae purus faucibus ornare suspendisse sed nisi lacus sed. Ut lectus arcu bibendum at varius vel pharetra vel. Egestas dui id ornare arcu odio ut sem. Read more about Nitrous Oxide here.

winter sports wraps

 

Boys’ basketball

         Boys’ basketball, 16-6, played up to the second round after qualifying for the MIAA South Division 1 Sectionals for the 31st consecutive year.

         Despite not making it as far into the tournament as they had hoped, they “still matured and grew together to play better” throughout the season, according to senior Tom Andreae, a captain with seniors Tyson Duncan and Grayson Hargens.

         For Andreae, one of the highlights of the season came during the game against King Philip Regional High School because “the team played well, and there were a lot of North fans present to support the team.”

         While there was no decisive turning point of the season, the team “progressively became closer and tighter,” added Andreae.

         Andreae and Duncan were named Bay State Conference All-Stars, and senior Khalil Lofton earned an honorable mention.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the boys’ basketball season.

 

Boys’ gymnastics

         Boys’ gymnastics, 10-0, won the MIAA Division I State Championship for the sixth consecutive year.

         According to senior Jacob Forbes, a captain with junior Matthew Hassan, the standard for the season was domination, which they achieved, not losing a single meet all season.

         Forbes added that the highlight of the season was a narrow 3/10 of a point victory over Attleboro. He said, “The confidence really kicked in, and we managed to get a win.”

         The team’s hard work was rewarded, both by the state championship trophy, and the accolades accrued by the members. South junior Jonah Henderson was named gymnast of the year, while Forbes and Hassan were both Boston Herald and Boston Globe All-Scholastics. Forbes also won senior gymnast of the year.

         Next year’s captains are Hassan, Henderson, and South junior Adrian Michael.

Read more about the boys’ gymnastics season.

 

Boys’ ice hockey

         This is a fall wrap and will be replaced asap. Cheer placed 13th in their first State Championship appearance in many years and fourth in the Regional Championship.

         According to senior Izzy Day, a captain with seniors Christina Giglio and Danielle Nicolazzo, “Our goal as a team was to make it to States this year and we did it.”

         The team, made of 33 members, also placed third in the Bay State Conference Championship. Placing third in Bay States was a highlight of the year, according to Day. She added, “it was a really good season for us.” 

         Day and Giglio earned Bay State All-Star honorable mentions. Nicolazzo was awarded the sportsmanship award.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the boy’s hockey season.

 

Boys’ indoor track

         Boys’ Indoor Track, 5-0, continued their 23-year undefeated streak in the Bay State Conference, placing first in the Bay State Conference Championship and second in the MIAA Division I State Championship.

         “Keeping up that 23-year streak was a huge deal for us,” said senior Raghav Kadambi, a captain with seniors Jack Fitzgerald, Alex Ivanov, and Otis Love. “As a team, I think we did really well.”

         Kadambi credited the successful season to the guidance of the coaches and the growth of the team.

         “The work ethic of the team was something that was so admirable,” Kadambi added. “Everyone stepped up this year and you really saw the growth as the season went on.”

         Fitzgerald, Ivanov, Kadambi, Love, senior Ian Horsburgh, and juniors David Bennett, Bruce Burba, and Alex Sherman, and sophomore Max Klein were named Bay State All-Stars. Senior James Regan earned an honorable mention. Additionally, Bennett, Burba, Kadambi, and Sherman were named Boston Globe and Boston Herald All Scholastics for the 4×400 relay.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the boys’ indoor track season.

 

Boy’s swim and dive

         Boys’ swim, 5-5, placed 9th at MIAA Divison 1 South Sectionals, and 14th at the MIAA Division 1 State Championships.

         “Overall, one of our main goals was to be a more serious, put-together, and motivated team,” said senior Colin Foley, a captain with seniors John Ryan Byers, Max Schaefer, and Xander Van Alstyne. “By the end of the season, I think it was clear that we definitely achieved that goal through a lot of hard work and determination to win.”

         Schaefer added that the team had a very good postseason. “The team qualified for all three relays for States and we had some amazing individual performances,” he said. SophomoreWill Ayinon placed third in the 200 Individual Medley and Byers placed second in the one meter dive.

         “I’m very excited to see what Coach Manning does with our great underclass for their upcoming season,” Schaefer said. “There is a lot of young talent on the team, and Manning is a great coach.”

         Byers, Ayinon, and Vanderpool were named Bay State All-Stars.

         Next year’s captains are juniors Elliot Alberts, Austin Chen, and Benjamin Ronell.

Read more about the boys’ swim and dive season.

 

Girls’ Basketball

         Girls’ basketball, 14-7, advanced to the MIAA South Division 1 Sectionals before narrowly falling to Needham in the Semifinals. According to coach Mo Hamel, the team had great confidence and grew a lot throughout the season.

         Hamel added that the team is grateful for the excellent leadership from the team’s captains, seniors Caroline Alexander, Taylor Bailey, Adriana Reilly, and junior Michaela O’Neil.

         According to Hamel, some of the tangible goals the team had were to make the tournament and win more than half of their games, as well as play a home playoff game, both of which they achieved.

         During the season, O’Neil was injured and unable to play, but the team stepped up and made up for the loss. “After we won against Natick, I think it gave them the confidence and realization that they really could win if they pulled through together, even though we didn’t have one of our players,” said Hamel.

         Bailey, O’Neil, and sophomore Thalia Shephard all were named All-Stars, and freshman Abigail Wright earned an honorable mention.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the girls’ basketball season.

 

Girls’ gymnastics

         Girls’ gymnastics, 5-3, had a season of rebuilding after losing a couple of talented seniors to graduation, according to senior Izzy Day, a captain with senior Heidi Matt.

         According to coach Jessica Morrison the senior’s leadership helped to keep the team focused and motivated. She added, “I don’t think we would have even been able to have the record we have known without their assistance.”

         Although the team did not make it to Sectionals, the team rallied around each other at important moments in the season, according to Morrison, “We went into our meet with Framingham, knowing that we were probably going to lose, but the girls were awesome.” She said, “They were cheering each other on and they knew that it wasn’t necessarily about winning or losing the meet but it was about how well they could individually do.”

         Despite not qualifying as a team for the tournament, three members qualified for the state individual meet. Day qualified for uneven bars, sophomore Sivan Danziger qualified for all-around, and sophomore Kathy Mitchell qualified for uneven bars.

         Day, senior Olivia Mooradian, Danziger and Mitchell were all named Bay-State All-Stars. Senior Heidi Matt earned an honorable mention.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the girls’ gymnastics season.

 

Girls’ ice hockey

         Girls’ Ice Hockey, 5-13-2, had a long season of growth in the co-op team’s second year running, according to senior Lila O’Neil, a captain with seniors Lydia Mastroianni, South’s Taylor Paterson and Zoe Verdone.

         Made up of both North and South students, the team aimed to meld students from both schools into one cohesive team. “Our goal was to promote a positive attitude and environment for the team and to just try and get closer and build the program,” said O’Neil.

         According to Beals House dean Scott Heslin, the coach, although the team did not make it to the tournament this year, the players still came together and gave 100 percent. “One of our goals was to play hard every game and skate hard and I would say we definitely accomplished that,” he said.

         A highlight of the season came against Medford, according to Heslin. “The team just played hard until the final horn and we got a win in that game because of the effort from everybody on the team,” he said.

         Junior Olivia Slywa earned an honorable mention for the Bay State Conference All-Stars.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the girls’ ice hockey season.

 

Nordic skiing

         Nordic skiing placed 12th for the boys and eighth for the girls at the MIAA Nordic State Championships, in a successful season filled with improvement and collaboration, according to head coach Jeff Parker.

         Junior Evan Hoch, a captain alongside seniors Ella Bailey, Jo Graham, Serena Jampel, Ali Lee, Bergen Nelson, and Griffin Steele, placed eighth at States for the boys, and senior Sophia Wax placed 18th for the girls, which were the two highest finishes.

         In addition, the girls won the Mass Bay East (MBE) Title. The win was led by Jampel, Bailey, Lee, and Wax, who according to Parker, were dominant against the other competing schools.

         Hoch added that the team’s culture matched the competitive success they had this season. “What we’re really known for as a team is our community,” he said. “A lot of days we’re just out on the snow playing games and having a good time.”

         Jampel, Bailey, and Lee were named MBE League All-Stars.

         Next year’s captains are Hoch, and juniors Emma Ball, Matthew Dagostino, Hannah Price, and Kate Silagi.

Read more about the nordic season.

 

Wrestling

         Wrestling, 10-8, had a successful season, filled with positivity and a focus on establishing a family atmosphere, according to campus aide John Staulo, the head coach. Junior Declan Griffin, a captain with seniors David Koo and Isaac Krieger, placed 6th at the New England High School Wrestling Championships.

         According to Staulo, the team had a “high interest level” throughout the season, enabling each athlete to train hard.

         Griffin added that the team community and chemistry improved this year. “In comparison to past seasons, it felt a lot more than a team this year,” he said. “We had a lot more team bonding events.We made an effort to be together outside of the room, as well as inside.”

         Griffin added that the many sophomores displayed drastic improvement from last year. “An extra year of maturity definitely helped them both physically and mentally,” said Griffin. “They are a lot more competitive.”

         Griffin was named a Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic. Griffin and junior Nate Chandler were named Bay State Conference All-Stars.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the wrestling season.

fall sports wraps

 

Boys’ cross country

         Boys’ cross country, 5-4, placed 15th in the Eastern Massachusetts State Championships but failed to make it to the MIAA Division 1 All-State Championship. “We wanted to try and make it to All-States this year but were unable to because our top two runners got injured in the last meet of the season,” said Louis Pearlman, the coach.

         Despite falling short, Pearlman said that “the team had some great wins and some new members who definitely helped throughout the season.”

         He added, “The team ended the season with a winning record thanks to the outstanding top freshman Tyler Tubman and Alex Hrycyszyn.”

         A highlight of the season came when the team defeated Brookline 29-26. According to senior Ian Horsburgh, a captain with seniors Sean Evans, Alex Ivanov, and Sam Strymish, “The Brookline meet was a turning point when we finally came together with a number of outstanding performances.”

         Horsburgh and Ivanov were named Bay State All-Stars.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the boys’ cross country season.

 

Boys’ soccer

         Boys’ soccer, 7-6-5, qualified for the MIAA Division 1 North Sectionals, and beat Boston Latin and South Boston, before finally falling to Framingham 3-1 in the quarterfinals.

         The team went into the state tournament as the 15th seed. After defeating Boston Latin 4-0, they went on to upset second-ranked East Boston 1-0. “It was great to upset a 2 seed,” said math teacher Samuel Shoutis, an assistant coach.

         Led by seniors Max Johnston, Toby Lowe, and PJ Membrino as captains, the team achieved their goals of making it to the tournament and winning “One or more games in the tournament,” said Shoutis.

         Although the boys did not accomplish their goals of winning the division, or ambitiously to win the state tournament, they look forward to improving and growing as a team.

         Johnston and sophomore Will Rooney were named Bay State All-Stars.

         Next year’s captains are junior Jay Sharma and Rooney.

Read more about the boys’ soccer season.

 

Cheerleading

         Cheer placed 13th in their first State Championship appearance in many years and fourth in the Regional Championship.

         According to senior Izzy Day, a captain with seniors Christina Giglio and Danielle Nicolazzo, “Our goal as a team was to make it to States this year and we did it.”

         The team, made of 33 members, also placed third in the Bay State Conference Championship. Placing third in Bay States was a highlight of the year, according to Day. She added, “it was a really good season for us.”

         Day and Giglio earned Bay State All-Star honorable mentions. Nicolazzo was awarded the sportsmanship award.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the cheerleading season.

 

Dance

         Girls’ dance won first place in three out of the four competitions they attended, and placed second to Framingham at States, which was the teams’ greatest accomplishment, according to senior Maya Waldor, a fall captain with fall captain senior Ladi Roach, and winter captains .

         This season brought many new challenges due to the team competing using pom-poms for the first time ever, but according to coach Caroline Nunberg, “they really rallied for each performance; they wanted it.”

         Nunberg added that the team overall had higher scores than in the past, which is a result of how hard they worked during practices.

         Waldor said that a turning point in the season came after the first football game performance. “That’s when everyone realized what we’re working for. We all became close friends which was really great,” she said.

         Emily Flekel and senior Olivia Tocci were named Bay State All-Stars. Junior Dani Imperato won the sportsmanship award.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the dance season.

 

Field hockey

         Field Hockey, 7-8-4, qualified for the MIAA Division I State Tournament for the first time in six years.

         According to senior Gabby Gilpin, a captain with seniors Jen Buras, Yunah Jang, and Darcy Rougeaux, making the state tournament was the primary goal of the team throughout the season. “We all worked incredibly hard together as a team to achieve this,” said Gilpin. “When we realized how real and possible the goal was, we became more focussed, and took practices more seriously.”

         One of the main highlights of the season came in the Senior Day game against Weymouth. According to Jang, the team’s 3-2 victory enabled them to make the state tournament. “We knew the game would be pretty evenly matched going in, and it was 2-2 throughout most of the game,” said Jang. “Then with three seconds left in the game, we scored and we couldn’t have been more excited or happy in that moment.”

         Coach Kristy Moore added, “I am so proud of everyone, the team dynamic, and how well everyone bonded and worked together.”

         Rougeaux and junior Mary Williams were named Bay State All-Stars and Gilpin earned an honorable mention.

         Next year’s captains are Williams, junior Isabelle Magré, and other players who are to be determined.

Read more about the field hockey season.

 

Football

         Football, 3-4, qualified for the MIAA Division 1 South Sectionals but fell to Brockton 48-14 in the first round. “We had some untimely injuries to some key guys,” said head coach Mike Coppola.

         Coppola added that the team was really proficient in bouncing back from the multitude of setbacks and injuries throughout the season. “I was impressed with their ability to keep working and grinding,” said Coppola.

         “There was a lot of hype going into the season,” said senior Michael Coscione, a captain with seniors Nolan Boyer and Andrew Landry. “We were projected to be a pretty high seed.”

         According to Coscione, while the team was unable to achieve the amount of success it had hoped for, there were still positive takeaways. Coscione said he was proud of the second team players for stepping up, which prevented the team’s injuries from stopping the Tigers’ season. When it came to playing the younger second-team players, according to Coppola, “At the time it wasn’t good because they were getting their experience on the run. But now, they’ve got the experience and it is good for next year in terms of these guys coming back.”

         Landry was named a Boston Herald All-Scholastic. Landry and seniors Alessio Calcagni, Tyson Duncan, and junior Evan Thompson were named Bay State All-Stars.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the football season.

 

Girls’ cross country

           Girls’ cross country, 5-4, placed 4th in the Eastern Massachusetts Championship and 14th in the MIAA All-State Indoor Track Championships, showing drastic improvement from last year’s 2-7 record..

         According to senior Sonya Gelfand, a captain with seniors Kendra Abbott, Lucy Bronstein, and Helena Teixeira DaSilva, “The growth that every individual player showed was a real turning point. Everyone grew as a runner and we all grew closer together through meets and practices.”

         The team’s goal was to be “as competitive as possible in the Bay State Conference, which is always a challenge. Certainly, on the girls’ side, we are the strongest conference in the state,” said math teacher Brandon Mogayzel, the coach. He added that after setting out to reach the State Championships at the beginning of the season, the team was happy to achieve that goal.

         While cross country is an individual-based sport, according to Gelfand, the team’s ability to come together took the spotlight this season. “People think that cross country is an individual sport. But the reality is that it is very team-oriented,” she said. “As captains, one of our main goals was to bring the team together.”

          Teixeira-Dasilva, sophomore Vivian Kane and sophomore Charlotte Kouroriez, were named Bay State Conference All-Stars. Senior Katherine Benninger earned an honorable mention.

          Next year’s captains are juniors Audrey Boucher, Jessie Coomber, Lila Kritzer, and Isabella Rizzo.

Read more about the girls’ cross country season.

 

Girls’ soccer

         Girls’ Soccer, 4-9-2, continued to improve throughout the season despite many tough games.

         Much of the Tigers’ perseverance was due to their team community and support. The team’s culture was exemplified by their slogan: “United we play, United we win.”

         A highlight of the season came on Senior Day against Wellesley. Earlier in the season, Wellesley defeated the Tigers 7-1, but this time the Tigers triumphed 1-0.

         “It was a really tough game, but we really turned it around and everybody had a really great performance,” said senior Kate Rooney, a captain with seniors Chessie Chinitz and Leah Stonehill.

         The team’s improvement was in large part due to the coaching of English teacher Alicia Carrillo, the head coach, alongside special education teacher Brian Rooney, the assistant coach.

         Some younger blood made a difference for the team this year as well. According to Kate Rooney, sophomore Lilly Ranalli, who didn’t have a huge impact on the team her freshman year, was very aggressive and scored many of the team’s goals this year. Kate Rooney added, “A lot of the time it comes down to speed and physicality.”

         Although the team did not make it as far as they wanted, according to Kate Rooney the team was very united.

         Kate Rooney was named a Bay State Conference All-Star.

         Next year’s captains are juniors Jessica Minkin, Catalina Powderly, and Malia Sung.

Read more about the girls’ soccer season.

 

Girls’ swim and dive

         Girls’ Swim and Dive, 4-5, placed third in the MIAA Division I Swim and Dive State Championship with 199 points and fourth in Swim and Dive South Sectional with 228 points.

         The team started the year strong with two consecutive wins but faltered losing the next two meets. James Saidnawey, the coach, said that this start humbled the team. After finishing out the season 2-3, they went on to place fifth in the Bay State Conference.

         “They all had personal bests,” said Saidnawey. “They were all getting better throughout the season.”

         Saidnawey added that a number of North athletes qualified and competed in states, including senior Anna Rahilly, a captain with seniors Bella Donovan, Rebecca Longo, and Ella McNally.

         “The team definitely came together,” said Saidnawey. “They were always positive about it, really optimistic. Definitely the captains helped lead the team that way.”

         Sophomore Honour Dufresne was named a Bay State All-Star this year.

         Next year’s captains are juniors Alex Filipova, Katherine Kett, Daisy Proskauer, and Karen Tong.

Read more about the girls’ swim and dive season.

 

Girls’ volleyball

         Girls’ volleyball, 16-2, finished second in the Bay State Conference, but fell short of winning its second straight State Championship, after Needham defeated the Tigers in the MIAA Division 1 Central/East Sectional Semi-Finals.

         The team’s goal was to defend their State Championship according to senior Liisa Halloran, a captain with seniors Caroline Alexander, Christina Butera, Anna Gately, and Kayla Rigoli. While they were unable to achieve their goal, Halloran said, “more importantly than winning I think is that our program stresses becoming a well rounded confident player.”

         Coach Richard Barton praised the leadership of the captains. He said that they stepped up after a lot of strong players graduated last year.

         A highlight of the season came on Senior Night against Wellesley. The team won, and according to Halloran, “Senior Night is always memorable and the underclassmen did a great job with their speeches and decorating the gym as well as getting a lot of people to show up.”

         Overall, Barton said the team’s strengths this season included defense, setting, attacking, and serving. “I don’t think I could name any of the leading scorers on the team because every single one of the 16 players play at the varsity level and I’m very proud of them,” he added.

         Junior Tessa Lanfear was named a Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic. Butera, Halloran, Lanfear and junior Makayla Marucci were named Bay State All-Stars. Lanfear and Marucci were named to the Massachusetts Girls’ Volleyball Coaches Association All-State team.

         Next year’s captains are Lanfear, Marucci, and juniors Emma Larson, Sofia Landry, and Giulia Morgan.

Read more about the girls’ volleyball season.

 

Golf

         Golf, 7-4, qualified for the MIAA Division 1 North Sectionals for the second year in a row after starting the season off strong with three consecutive wins, which allowed the team to qualify for playoffs halfway through the season.

         Although the team “didn’t do as well as they had hoped at sectionals,” according to senior Jake Forbes, a captain with senior Pete Delmonico, under the coaching of health and wellness teacher Robert MacDougall, the team did still well at the Bay State Championships.

         The team’s main goal, according to Forbes, was to qualify for the State Championships, something the team hasn’t achieved in about ten years. While they didn’t qualify, many team veterans, including seniors Theo Sox and Jacob Teszler, stepped up in the second half of the season.

         According to Forbes, one of the season highlights was beating top-ranked Braintree at Brae Burn Country Club, the Tigers’ home course. Forbes said that the win was due to good individual performances.

         According to Forbes, overall, “the team really came together to create a memorable season.”

         Teszler was named Bay State All-Star.

         Next year’s captains are to be determined.

Read more about the golf season.

 

Unified basketball

         Unified basketball, 1-4, added more team members this year and worked to foster new relationships between students at North.

         The co-ed varsity basketball team is a unique program that allows students with disabilities, partnered alongside their peers, to experience playing on a varsity sports team at North.

         Since it began last year, the team has grown from 10 to 30 athletes. According to math teacher Keith Whelan, a coach, “That is the number one thing that stands out: how interested the students at North were in joining the team.”

         Whelan added the number one goal of the team is to “foster connections or relationships between different students in the building and to increase inclusion in our school.”

         While the team wants to win, “it is not really about how many games you win or lose, but it is about the feeling you have when you are with those people,” said Whelan. “It’s the relationships that are built as we go and that sense of team.”

         According to senior Brendan Whalen, a team-member, “My favorite part of the season for unified was being with my friends and the coaches. I am so happy that I am a Tiger.”

Read more about the unified basketball season.

Robert Greenfield

         Congratulations, Class of 2020! I know this is not what you envisioned for the last few months of your senior year.

         After getting through the ups and downs of high school, you deserved better than a lockdown quarantine with no senior spring, no prom, and no in-person graduation. 

         The pandemic has put a strain on all of us, and we have all experienced this unforeseen stress in the back half of this year. Social isolation has been unnerving, and some of us have no doubt been confronted with the burden of health issues related to the pandemic.

         However, through conversations with many of you, I have been inspired by your resilience and your optimism in the face of such adversity. If there is a silver lining to this unthinkable situation, it is what many of you have pointed out in the last couple of weeks: that we may have a renewed appreciation for the little things that we took for granted just two months ago. The daily conversations with friends. The family gatherings. The road trips. The traveling. Spontaneously seeing a familiar face that makes your day a little better.

         Since we went into lockdown in March, I have seen a newfound gratitude for these things that we took for granted before the pandemic hit. Through this experience, we can regain perspective on the things that truly matter – our loved ones and their health, our relationships with our friends, how we treat each other.

         Let’s not let the pandemic define our experience and memories, but allow it to transform our perspective for the better.

         Let it rejuvenate your friendships and relationships. Let it give you the confidence to know that you can get through anything. Let it sharpen your focus on what you truly want in your future. No one knows what the future will look like in the fall or beyond, but know that you can handle it, whatever comes.

         Congratulations again, and see you down the road!

Katie Connolly

Dear Class of 2020,

         It has been a great pleasure to learn alongside you at Newton North High School during the last four years. Your class is dedicated, kind, talented and strong. Congratulations on all your accomplishments. You did it!

         In Psychology, I teach about a concept called learned helplessness. Learned helplessness occurs when one is repeatedly subjected to a harmful or aversive stimulus that they can’t escape from. In time, animals will just give up and begin to behave in a helpless manner when they have no control over their situation.

         Throughout the last couple of months, I’ve thought about this concept often. I’ve felt frustrated, stuck, and uncertain about the future. But despite these uncertain times, I’ve come to realize learned helplessness does not define this class. Instead, I’d like to focus on learned resilience.

         Although this probably isn’t how you imagined your senior spring, you have displayed strength. You have cared for yourself while checking in on friends and classmates. You have spoken about gratitude and thanked essential workers. You have supported your community and have performed acts of kindness for your neighbors. You have spoken out against racism and hatred. You have kicked away the senior slump…mostly. You have smiled and laughed on Zoom calls. You have continued to learn. You have made us proud. You have confronted a pretty terrible situation head-on, and you will come out of this tougher.

         If and when you experience difficult circumstances again in the future, it is okay to be upset. As I tell my own children, it is okay to stop and “take a yoga breath.” But know that you are strong, and your drive can’t be extinguished. When you reflect on your years here, I hope you find that the good times have far exceeded the bad, and the good memories have far outweighed the bad. I challenge you to remember that you have learned resilience and have taught us a little about it as well. There are so many moments of happiness ahead.

Amy Winston

Vice Principal

         You can probably guess that I am a “planner.” Both at work and at home, I have always been considered the ultimate planner. Even in high school, my friends counted on me for my planning skills. For example, when I was a senior in high school, we took a senior class trip to Disney World. Going on that trip was my first time on an airplane (from PA to FL), and I was determined to be as well-prepared as possible. I bought a travel book for Disney World (the internet wasn’t yet widely available), and I planned out every detail of our time in each park for me and my friends. While on the airplane, I didn’t sit back and relax with my friends; I re-read that book and finished our planning. When we went to the park, we had an awesome time. We knew where we were going and which rides to hit when (there was no such thing as FastPass back then either.) All of that planning really paid off. But what if I had done all of that planning, not enjoyed the time on the airplane with my friends, and then had been unable to go to Magic Kingdom for some reason? This is one of the lessons I am trying to take away from our time and experience this spring: planning is good (I’ll never say that planning is a bad idea) but not at the expense of experiencing the current moment. 

         This idea, of living in the present, shows up throughout history from many of our great thinkers. For example, Henry Thorough said “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.” As I think about late February and early March, I wish I had been living more like Thorough suggested. Instead of looking ahead all the time, planning and planning and planning for the busy NNHS spring, I wish I had enjoyed more moments with friends and family. Enjoyed more time playing in the snow with my daughter in Vermont during February vacation. Enjoyed more time chatting with students on Main Street and staff during lunch at North. To do my job, I have to do lots of planning, and to be successful in school or work, you too will need to sometimes plan too. The key is to ensure that that planning focus doesn’t impede your ability to enjoy and participate in the experiences of the present. I challenge you to find the right balance between reflecting on the past, planning for the future, and experiencing the present. Happiness, relationships, and community are all built in the present moment and this spring we have seen the importance of each of these essentials to our existence. I wish you caring relationships, strong community, and happiness as you move forward into our unknown (and pretty unplannable) future.

Henry Turner

Principal

         Congratulations Class of 2020 for graduating from this outstanding high school. We share your disappointment that you were not able to celebrate this spring together. Your resolve and resiliency during this crisis are admirable and a lesson to all of us. For me, this spring was particularly disappointing because you have been such an incredible class and because most of you entered Newton North with me in September 2016. I would have really enjoyed celebrating with you!

         After these four years you are leaving Newton North better than when we began. In addition to excelling in the classroom and extra-curricular activities, your leadership has helped to expand community service opportunities for Newton North students, and time and time again you provided an example by standing up for your rights as well as the rights of others. The celebration of your accomplishments is well deserved.  

         As you head into the next stage of your life please keep in mind these few lessons.  

        – Prioritize being selfless instead of self-interested.  Use your talents to improve your community.

        – Celebrate our differences. Find solutions that fit the needs of people from all walks of life.

        – Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Our greatest lessons come from our failures.

         Thank you for your leadership over the past four years, and thank you for your commitment to your school. I wish you all the best in your endeavors, and I hope that you stay connected to North. Go Tigers!

Jake Forbes

         Walking into the Newton North building was intimidating as a freshman. We were small (some smaller than others), had no idea which entrance we just passed through, and faced many unknowns about our future. On the first day of school, Mr. Turcotte told the Class of 2020 that our high school careers would be what we make of them. High school could either be four miserable years, or an enriching and fulfilling experience. In order to achieve the latter, we needed to find our niche. In the first month of school, opportunities were thrown at us, left and right. Many of us signed up for twenty clubs to receive free candy at Club Day, and then only to send nineteen emails to the “trash” inbox. The other email, however, we opened. Little did we know, that one email, whether it be from Animé Club, Spanish Club, or in my case, the Newtonite, would shape the course of our high school careers. Such groups and clubs at North have allowed each student to find their niche, and make every student’s high school experience unique.

         Almost four years later, and we are completely different people. We have received a well-rounded education, picked up new skills, and forged new relationships, many of which we will hold onto for years to come. Sometimes we still don’t know where we are in the building, but at least we know the secret exit to Newtonville (sorry Mr. Turcotte). It’s been a long time since we’ve had to sneak out using the Newtonville exit, but every time we leave campus, our heartbeat speeds up just a bit, worrying that Nicole might stop to question us.

         When superintendent Fleishman announced a two-week closure of Newton Public Schools, many of us were relieved to have an extra break. Even though we were trapped in our homes, the idea of more Netflix time and no school work was very appealing. But after binge-watching Tiger King, All-American, and Outer Banks, we were all Netflix-ed out. When Governor Baker extended the shutdown to May 4, and eventually through the end of the school year, the break no longer felt like a blessing.

         Missing out on our Senior Spring has been difficult, to say the least. Prom, assassins, senior skip day, senior pranks, awards nights, countdown, and in-person graduation. These events are important to us because they provide closure and keep us connected before leaving on our own paths. We have been working our way through the Newton Public Schools system for up to 13 years, dedicating thousands of hours to our academics and extracurriculars. We have been taught that senior traditions mark the end of our academic career in Newton, and allow us to celebrate these endless hours of hard work.

         In these times of crisis, however, we are forced to turn to other ways of celebrating our accomplishments and connecting with one another. For the last three months, we have been doing this via FaceTime and Zoom. We continue to celebrate and reflect on our accomplishments with a modified graduation today. But do not let the celebration end here. Make the next couple of months a “Summer of Celebration.” As our country moves towards its new normal, we must continue with safe practices such as good personal hygiene and social distancing. In the coming months, smaller gatherings will be allowed again, and we will be able to connect with one another in-person. Once government officials permit, we should all take advantage of the next couple of months we still have together in Newton. Improvise and find ways to modify the events that we were supposed to attend this spring. Host smaller, outdoor proms that allow for social distancing. Have a beach day with friends as if its senior skip day. Maybe form a game of assassins by buying top of the line water guns that can hit your target from at least six feet away. The ways that you to chose to reflect on and celebrate your high school career should fall in line with your idea of the perfect way to wrap up high school.

         In an age where we are so used to being connected, quarantine has been a foreign concept. The term social distancing is commonly used, but the truth is that we are physically distancing. Instead of letting physical distancing divide us, we must stand together, united against this crisis. We have done incredible things the past four years at North, and I know every single one of us can take our talents into the world, bringing light to these dark times. Class of 2020, congratulations, and let the “Summer of Celebration” begin!

Kendra Abbott

         During cross country preseason of my junior year, I said to my teammates, “This year is a really long race that I don’t want to run.” I was used to running a 5K every Wednesday, but I didn’t think I could manage a year-long academic marathon in which the only goal was doing well in school in order to get into college. I don’t need to explain the stressors of the infamous junior year of high school, but it ended up being a lot more manageable than I was expecting. 

         I attribute my ability to avoid insanity to the fact that I didn’t let school or any other activity consume me. Sure there were nights throughout high school where I pulled near-all-nighters to finish an assignment, but those days were few and far between. What I did do was always find time to hang out with my friends or spend time with my family. The key to staying sane was to leave time for myself and my interests. Striking a healthy school-life balance was integral to my success and mental well being. I paired hard work with an ample amount of time spent doing things l love, like exploring the wilderness, going on adventures, and drinking way too much bubble tea. Enjoy the time you have with the people you love. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to cherish time spent with others. 

         This is certainly not the finish line I expected for my senior year. I, like every other senior, am leaving high school without a sense of closure. Although we missed out on a lot of end of year activities, I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with the wonderful people in the Newton North community over the past four years. Congratulations Class of 2020! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.