Will You Escape from the Science Lab?

By: Chaslin Hoover and Addison George

The junior high softball team has not only been busy preparing for the season, they have also been working on a project unlike any Shenango has ever seen. The girls, along with their coaches, are diligently working at putting together an escape room at the high school as a fundraiser for the team. The escape room will take place on Saturday, April 14 at Shenango HIgh School from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m..

Head coach Rob Heath and assistant coach Allisyn Shields are the masterminds behind making the event a success. One of the teams 8th graders, Leyna Mason, has taken the lead in getting the rooms organized. A group of 7th graders consisting of Madi Iwanejko, Janie Natale, Ashley Decarbo, and Angelina Melillo have also been brainstorming and learning how to get the rooms set up.  

On the day of the fundraiser, “It’s going to take all morning to the get all the rooms ready,” noted Mr. Heath, “but then it should only take about 10 minutes in between groups to reset the puzzles.”

Being that this idea was the “most unique,” according to head coach Heath, the team expects a good turn out. They are hoping to have at least 20 different groups consisting of four to eight people. For each group, the cost will be $25.

“All proceeds go to the junior high girls softball program and will be used for purchasing pullovers for the girls,” said assistant coach Shields.

“The different rooms will consist of the same difficulty level,” Heath explained.  The softball team and coaches had a group of seniors and Mr. Vecenie run through the puzzles to ensure everything runs smoothly.  With a lot of difficulty, they needed hints to get to the end, so “I can tell you it won’t be easy,” said Mr. Heath. The puzzles should take about 45 minutes to complete.

Teamwork with this event will be the key to escape. “It is a team building experience and no one can escape the room easily by themselves, so you need to work together,” advised Heath.

Nearing the Finish Line

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By Michaela Unrue & Brooke-Ellynne Waters

Each senior class is required to develop a senior project portfolio and complete an exit interview as part of their graduation requirements.  As juniors, students compose a letter outlining their future goals and proposing job shadowing and community service ideas. Once approved, students take action, and their final portfolio reflects community service, job shadowing experiences, several career and personality assessments, and a political ideology reflection.

“We continue to consistently hear from recent graduates how valuable the job shadowing experiences are in shaping their post-secondary plans in positive ways,” Dr. McCormick said. “The senior projects are also valuable in continuing to develop graduates’ presentation and interviewing skills. They provide a unique opportunity for students to merge their academic achievements with career pathway pursuits and other community service based qualities.”

“The most valuable thing I took from my service experience was giving back because it was a great feeling and it meant a lot to me to help others,” noted Maxwell Reamer.  Maxwell, along with multiple seniors like Jaret Alexander who “liked helping the community out for the greater good,” took advantage of the summer to begin work on this year-long project.  

The job shadowing piece of the project is meant to help students determine whether a career they may be considering for their future is a good fit for them.  Andrew Handley embraced this opportunity, noting that “the ability to explore my passion in depth through job shadowing increased my interest in my chosen career path.”

Patrick Othites agreed.  “Before my job shadowing, I really didn’t know what an average day was like for an architect.  It gave me something I could never find online.”

Many members of the class of 2018 confessed that the most nerve racking part of the project was the anticipation of the exit interview. The interviews are facilitated by a committee of teachers from both the elementary and high schools. During the interview, the students recap their community service and job shadowing, discuss their future plans, and address questions posed to them by the interview team.

High school and elementary teachers alike were extremely impressed with the work ethic and professionalism shown in the interviews. Second grade teacher, Mrs. Piper stated, “I was very impressed by the genuine responses made by the students.  It was evident they prepared and thought about not only what Shenango has done for their educational career, but how they could give back to the community in the future.”

Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Cox shared her sentiments, especially “the quality of the senior project presentations given by the students.  Not only was I overwhelmed with the amount of hours the students gave back to the community, but I was also inspired by their motivation to change the world for the better.”

Izzabel Champ offers this advice to the class of 2019 as they begin preparing for their project.  “It’s okay to not know what you want to do with your life.” One of the goals of the senior project is just that, to help students plan for the future.  

 

An Eggs-celent Easter

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By Haley Earl and Nadine Buckley

On  Saturday, March 31st, the sun was shining warmly despite the chilly wind. It would have been perfect weather for an Easter Egg hunt, if only it hadn’t rained for days before, soaking the ground. That didn’t dampen the spirits of egg hunters who moved indoors to look for plastic eggs instead.

The idea for the egg hunt was first proposed to Student Council in the fall by Student Council leader, Mrs. Othites, simply because of her love for the holiday. Then around mid-winter, it was discovered that Shenango Township was also planning a similar egg hunt. Plans were made to combine the two events into one fun-filled day.

Student Council and members of Shenango Volunteer Fire Department hid the eggs in places around the school: the auditorium, room 100, the courtyard, and the hallways.  Sophomore Student Council member Caitlyn Ollinger said “Once we found out that there was no way we were going to be able to hide all of the eggs in the courtyard and room 100 alone, we just started scattering them in the hallway,” she said. “It looked a bit like a little ball-pit. The kids didn’t mind at all. They loved it.”

“Student Council bought eggs and so did the township,” said Mrs. Othites. “The township also provided candy to fill them. There were a total of 3,020 eggs and they were all filled!”To ensure each kid got a fair share, egg hunters were limited to 25 eggs each.

Aside from the egg hunt itself, there was plenty more to make the kids’ day enjoyable, including a fire truck for them to sit in. Chalk of every color was supplied for them to create their own works of art on the sidewalk outside, or they could be works of art themselves and have their faces painted. Raffle drawings were held for various prizes, and the Easter Bunny himself made an appearance! Mrs. Othites said that her favorite part was seeing the kids get excited and have fun while hunting the eggs, and she looks forward to making this a Shenango tradition.

A Test for the Band Students

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By Zoey Angelucci and Carlie Cardella

The concert band students were recently tested on their abilities. Every year, the senior high concert band attends an adjudication to be judged on their performance. This year, the junior high concert band joined.  

“Adjudication is an event where the band performs and they are judged, usually by a panel of three judges,” director Mr. Butchy explained.  “They are judged on things like intonation, tone quality, rhythmic accuracy, musicality, things like that. Then they are usually given a rating. This year we did an adjudication without a rating. We got judged on our playing, but then the judges had a chance to work with us. They tried some different concepts with us.”

Mr. Butchy and the bands attended Thiel College a few weeks ago to be judged on two pieces of their choice. “We took the Junior High and Senior High bands this year. It was the first time the Junior High band has gone,” noted Mr. Butchy.  “Each group played two pieces and then the head judge, Andy Erb, the band director at Thiel, spent about 40 minutes working with the group on some musical concepts and other things that he heard. The other two judges also shared their comments with the group and gave them some suggestions for improvement,” said Butchy.

This is Mr. Butchy’s 7th year taking students to be adjudicated. In previous years, the students have gotten a number score on their performance. This year, they received extra personal help with one of the judges and comments on how to improve.

Junior Anna Bupp appreciated this change.  “It helped us entirely as a band, especially with dynamics. It was nice playing for different judges and having them help us become better musicians.”

Mr. Butchy agreed.  “It is a good experience for them to have some other people listen to them that are also music teachers. To get some feedback from them, I think, is really important. Plus it’s kind of nice to go somewhere else and perform besides here at our home building.”

 

A Taste of Reality

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By: Dominique DeVivo, Danielle Groves, and Taylor Reed

A Reality Fair took place on March 23 for both juniors and seniors. The purpose of this activity was to learn to properly manage money with a budget that students were presented with at the beginning of the task. Several stations were set up around the gymnasium that gathered the student’s money for certain necessities crucial for living. Every student had a different occupation with a monthly different starting rate.

With this initial money, each student had to save wisely and efficiently.  With limited time, the students went to every station and further decided what was the best option for them financially. Keep in mind everyone had different decisions that stemmed around the money presented at the beginning of the task, their credit score, and their family composition. By the end of the reality fair, some had extra funds while others had none. This put financial reality into perspective for the students, such as when to know a good stopping point for purchasing items.

Junior Chaslin Hoover noted that, “It was very helpful, especially since some of us did not know how to properly go about spending our money wisely.” Even though everyone had to participate in this event, some kids had a prior knowledge regarding money management. These students were able to give advice to others that may struggle with knowing where to start.

“I learned that maybe I should put off having kids for awhile,” laughed Alex Pherson.  

School counselors Ms.Garda and Mrs.Othites were two major influencers in arranging this exercise. They brought in several different stations from Utilities to Banking, Insurance, Food and Grocery, and many more, all of which raised students’ financial awareness.

“I think the program is great and also an eye-opening experience to the students,” said Mrs. Othites. “As I was talking to the students, it was interesting to see how they handled situations like an additional child, a refrigerator that broke, or a tax refund. It was much like ‘real life’ and all unexpected things that come your way. It seemed to me that the students also enjoyed this experience.”

“I thought that it was a great interactive way for students to put their knowledge into practice as they worked through a monthly budget, complete with ‘curve balls’ that life can throw at you,” concluded Ms. Garda.

AP Students Travel Through Time

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By: Annalise Ginocchi and Isabella Cionni

Mrs. Sherry’s AP biology students have been studying the earth, how it came to be, and how old it actually is. It can be hard to imagine how long ago everything actually happened and the time spans between major events. , Mrs. Sherry thought it would be helpful to not only have her advanced students construct a timeline for better understanding, but then to have them interact with it.  

“While planning for the chapter in AP Biology about the history of life on Earth, I was trying to think of a way to impress upon the students how long the EArth has been in existence compared to how long animals, including humans, have been here,” Mrs. Sherry explained.  “I decided to create a timeline that is to scale and wraps around the classroom.”

The timeline spanned the entire back half wall of the classroom. Mrs. Sherry gave each student an event in history and then had them try to figure out where it belonged on the timeline. For example, the origin of prokaryotes occured 3.5 billion years ago. Once they were all correctly placed, they were taped to the timeline.

“The history of the Earthy is a total of 23 meters long, and humans have existed for .1 centimeters of that time,” Mrs. Sherry noted.  

After checking the timeline, Mrs. Sherry went through it with the class. She explained all of the events in depth to help the students get a better understanding of the Earth’s evolution.  

“The activity gave me the ability to visualize the Earth’s timeline in a way that I could not see with just learning from the notes,” stated Zoey Angelucci. A few other students added how the timeline activity helped them to better understand the time gap between important events.

Now that the timeline is assembled correctly, it serves as a great visual reminder of the vast history of life on Earth,” summed up Mrs. Sherry.

 

Annual Tradition Continues

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By:Geanna Forster and Izzy Champ

“Valentine’s Day with a gym full of sweaty teens and donkeys? Best day of my life!” exclaimed senior Alliya Allwine.

On February 14th, students and faculty filled the gym for an evening of laughs at the expense of those brave enough to attempt to ride a donkey.  This is the sixth year for Donkey Basketball, a game where juniors, seniors, and some teachers play basketball while riding donkeys. The player must be touching the donkey to be able to have the ball or score points.

This experience was a great opportunity for students to get together and have fun. Senior Terrell Young said, “I remember watching Seitem (Andrew) get thrown off the donkey and that really made my night.”

According to Coach Othites, the idea for this event was found on the internet. There are only two companies that offer this service. They are in Florida and Ohio.

“I had a lot of fun! I was just so excited when I actually got on the donkey that I didn’t pay attention to the ball or the actual game…. We still won, though!” senior Britney Georgia laughed.

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Launching Mini Clouds

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By Taylor Reed and Danielle Groves

Seventh grade science students recently made marshmallow catapults for their science class.   This project, which encourages students to think independently and critically, has been part of Mr. Flood’s curriculum for the past several years.  

Before beginning the project, the students learned about levers. There are three different types of levers: first class levers, second class levers, and third class levers. Once equipped with this knowledge base, the students were able to pick which lever they wanted to use for their project.

“The students had to apply what they had learned in class,” stated Flood.

This was considered an “open-ended” project, which means the students were able to test and fix their project so they were able to launch a marshmallow.  
“My group and I thought we were going to fail at first, but we got the furthest distance in our class,” said Julia George.

“If one can’t do it, two can,” added Andrew Demkco.

Gearing Up for the Musical

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By Zoey Angelucci and Carlie Cardella

It’s that time of year again… musical season! This March, Shenango Drama Club is putting on “Crazy for You.” Students have worked diligently the past couple of months for the upcoming show.

If you’re wondering what “Crazy for You” is about, vocal director Samantha Leali explained like this: “Boy meets girl. Girl doesn’t want anything to do with boy. So boy comes up with a plan to steal her heart.” Add many, many tap dance numbers and a few songs, and that’s the show.

This show is a perfect fit for this year’s cast. “We picked this show for several reasons,” noted director Paul Angelucci.  “It is a large ensemble cast show with lots of dance numbers to feature our talented dancers. It was also a good fit for most of our returning veteran actors and actresses. It’s a show we’ve been wanting to do for a few years, and this year seemed to be a good fit.”

There are only three short weeks left until opening night. “Things are progressing FAST! There is so much going on right now that time is just flying by,” shared Mr. Angelucci.

Many of the cast members agree. Senior Shaina Vitale admits, “The show coming up can be very overwhelming at times, but in the end, it pays off to perform on the stage for everyone. It’s such a fun time and a great bonding experience with all of your friends.”

The average person may not understand how often these students practice for a production of this magnitude. Because the show is so heavy in dance, especially tap, it is a challenge to learn and perfect all of the numbers. It is especially difficult when boys, who have never danced before, are learning to tap dance.

“People don’t realize how much time and effort goes into the process. The hours are in thousands if you add up all the time the cast members, directors, support team and volunteers put in to put a show together,” explained Mr. Angelucci. All cast and crew members have been working exceptionally hard to get the show ready.

There’s no question in Mrs. Leali’s mind that the show is worth seeing.  “It’s definitely our biggest show to date. You will be amazed by the diverse range of students on stage that are all able to work as one. They all come from different walks of life, but we can all come together as one.”

The show opens Friday, March 16th, at 7 p.m.  Additioanl performances are Saturday, March 17th, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 18th, at 2 p.m.

 

Retiring Number Three

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By Kayla Suber and Angela Prestopine

On Sunday January 28th, senior Morgan Hill was given a surprise she will never forget. During the Shenango Girls Volleyball banquet after the players received rewards for their accomplishments, Morgan was asked to stay standing. This is when Coach Greg Dugan announced he would be retiring her jersey, an honor that no volleyball player in Shenango’s history has ever received.  

This year alone Morgan broke five of nine school records including Highest Service Percentage (94.93), Most Service Points (298), Most Aces (98), Highest Kill Percentage (.379),and Most Kills (391). Although these records show amazing athletic accomplishments, Dugan’s decision had just as much to do with her athletic accomplishments as it did with her character.  “This was the easiest decision I have made in my 27 years of coaching,” said Coach Dugan. “It was how she treated her teammates, her work ethic, her academic achievements and just the way she proudly represented Shenango High School.”

Morgan’s teammates admire her hard work ethic as well. Freshmen Kelsey Campbell said, “I look up to her so much.” describing her as caring, determined, and athletic.

Every year, the Shenango Girls Volleyball team assign each other “sisters.”  Seniors and juniors are normally assigned a freshman or sophomore, giving them a teammate to look up to and mentor. Sophomore Angel Klein had Morgan as her “big sister” this past season.

“Anything I needed help with, she would be right there,” Angel noted.  “Morgan would always make practices and games very fun and energetic, keeping the mood high spirited.  She respected the coach and other players, she was confident in her own abilities, she communicated with everyone, and feared no one.”

Senior Ally Rubin and Morgan have been teammates and friends for years.  “It has been an absolute privilege playing alongside Morgan throughout the years.”  She agrees Morgan “has proven to earn her jersey being retired. She was always helping her teammates with their skills on the court as well with their personal problems off of the court.” This is just why Coach Dugan made the decision he did.

Although Morgan has not officially reached school criteria to have her number retired, Dugan will no longer let players choose number three for as long as he coaches SGV. Morgan has proven to everyone, including teammates, coaches, school administrators, peers, family members, and many others, that she deserves this honor. She has worked hard nonstop throughout her volleyball career and has been nothing but a joy to be around.

“Retiring her number is an honor for her, but just a new way for me to count. 1-2-4-5-6-7. I will forever only have one #3- Morgan Hill,” Dugan said.