Freshman Experience the “Real World”

By: Kailee Smith and Dominique Devivo

During the freshman career unit each year, ninth graders are prepared for the reality of a job interview, practicing skills and developing a portfolio that will help them pursue a career path that best fits their personal strengths and aligns with their interests. Freshman English teacher Mrs. Allen and computer applications teacher Mrs. Whiting recently joined forces with the guidance department to help students visualize what future employers may require of them.. All the assignments prepared and educated each student for the normal job interview requirements they will face in years to come.

“In English class, we tackled multiple facets of developing a career portfolio.” said Mrs. Allen. “We brainstormed and planned out resumes, and we also prepared for possible questions that students would be asked during their mock interview.” In each class, students completed a Pizza Joes application and prepared to answer interview questions.  Clear communication is important in an interview, so English class alone helps and prepares students as much as possible for the oral part of the project.  Mrs. Othites, school counselor, supplemented with instruction on soft skills, helping students plan for and develop resumes that reflected their best qualities and extracurricular involvement.  

Mrs.Whiting’s Computer Applications class further constructed their resumes to use during their mock interview. They put their computer skills to use, formatting their resumes and perfecting their cover letters.Organization was a key factor for the successful interview. “We helped them keep their folders organized so they knew what was coming for them to prepare for the interview.” explained Mrs. Whiting.  Students were required to have a cover letter, their job application, their resume, and their Strengths Explorer assessment results in their portfolio, which they presented to their interviewer.  Dr. McCormick, Mr. Sumner, Mrs. Othites, Ms. Garda, and Mr. Heath comprised the interview panel.

Prior to the interview itself, students expressed their concerns with their strengths and weaknesses.  Ashley Graziani’s preparation helped her., “Confidence helped me. I was so nervous and I kept assuming things, but when I got in there, it was nothing like what I expected.”

Once the interview was finished, there were numerous statements regarding how the entire unit was such an eye-opening and helpful assignment to the students. “It gives you a little look at what it’s like at a job interview for the future,” said Alex Pagley. “Afterwards, the interviewer can tell you what you did wrong so you don’t do it in the real world.” It is not a surprising fact that interviews can be nerve-wracking to individuals, especially young teens, although preparing and practicing for a task like this is a very beneficial activity for students.

Students also expressed what they discovered within themselves, recognizing how hours spent involved in numerous activities will reap benefits in the job world.   “I would say that some benefits of this project was that it really showed me that I have many extracurricular activities I did not acknowledge,” stated student Rocco Avena.

It Gets Better

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By Zoey Angelucci and Molly Medvit

My name is Zoey Angelucci. I am 17-years-old and a junior at Shenango High School. Recently, 7th grader Molly Medvit came to assistant principal Mr. Sumner and expressed a desire to share her views on the difficulties of peer relationships in junior high, especially bullying.  Mr. Sumner, who saw an opportunity to use the school newspaper, Pawprints, as a platform for sharing this idea, then approached Mrs. Allen, our Graphic Journalism teacher, and requested an article about bullying. Molly and I met and discussed different topics of bullying she sees as a junior high student. Molly’s main concern is other students talking about their peers and making fun of them. “People are talking about you and they’re calling you names. I don’t get how people just can’t be nice. I know people can be mean sometimes. That doesn’t give them the right to talk about them to their face or behind their back,” shares Molly. Molly’s concerns aren’t the only bullying concerns. In today’s 21st century world, cyber bullying is often at the forefront of the bullying epidemic, with social media serving as the medium for meanness.   

Hopefully my perspective as a junior, and as a survivor of the tumultuous junior high years, will give Molly and those like her hope.  Personally, I believe once you get to the higher grades, bullying isn’t really something that happens anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure people my age get bullied every day. I just believe it begins to settle, and people kind of find themselves. When I was in Molly’s grade, I went through a friend crisis. My advice would be to find your group of friends and stick with them. Always be kind to others, and if you see someone being bullied, stand up to it.

Similar to my advice, Molly says, “Some advice is to not let it get to you. That’s all bullies want. They want you to feel bad about yourself. If you have bad thoughts, you can’t let it get to you. Ignore them.”

As much as we try, bullying will always be an issue. No matter if you are getting physically, emotionally, or cyberbullied, bullying is no joke. If you are being bullied or see someone being bullied, tell an adult. Stand up to the bulliers. Everyone is going through something, so choose to be someone who is helpful, not harmful. Always be kind to everyone, even if they aren’t kind to you.

Joining me, my fellow classmates have put together few words on their experiences, letting students like Molly know that it really does get better.

 

“Don’t wish away your childhood.  You must find the good in all the bad you deal with. If you get through one bad day, it’ll make you strong enough to get through them all. None of these little bad things will matter in a few years. Stay positive, and you’ll get through it.” -Kailee Smith

 

“Everyone’s opinion is irrelevant. Worry about bettering yourself.” -Isabella Cionni

 

“Be respectful to your peers and fellow classmates. It will benefit you later in high school.” -Alex Steighner

 

“In reality, no matter how hard you try to please everyone, people are still going to find a reason to pick on you. The best advice I can give you is to ignore all the comments and be YOURSELF. Do not change for anyone.” -Carlie Cardella

 

“No matter how rude people are, always be kind. Being nice to people will pay off in the end and you will go much further in life when you are nice to everyone. But through everything you do you and don’t let anyone change you.” -Addie George

 

“Focus on you and bettering yourself. Anyone or anything that is causing you trouble or stress won’t matter in a few years. Anyone who makes you feel lesser or worthless is below you.” -Annalise Ginocchi

 

“Time heals all. At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is your own. The people around you will go away. You come in this world alone.” -Angela Prestopine

 

“Find something that you enjoy and pursue it with all your heart. This will keep your mind and body always doing the right thing.” -Ty Kent

 

“You have people who love you. Don’t ever think otherwise.” -Anna Bupp

 

“Listen to others. Stop talking, stop worrying, and listening to the world around you. Look good, smell good, be nice, be AWESOME!” -Nadine Buckley

 

OshotheCreator

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By Nadine Buckley

In today’s day and age, new types of entertainment are springing up all over the place. While traditional books are not going away, young eyes are often attracted to dazzling movies, TV shows, web-comics and last, but certainly not least, video games. And while the hand-controlled devices may be looked down upon by some, that has done nothing to quench their popularity, as they have started a whole new form of entertainment…Youtube Gamers.

What happens with Youtube Gamers is that people will film themselves playing the game and explain the gameplay while adding commentary of their own. Teens will watch them to understand how to play the game better, or so that they can still enjoy the storyline even if they can’t afford the game itself. No matter what the reasons for watching, Youtube Gamers are quickly becoming popular to the point of celebrity status, and Shenango’s own Osho Thomas is well on his way to achieving that status.

Under the channel name of oshothecreator, Osho Thomas started making his own Gaming Videos to be posted to Youtube. It originally began as a Dropbox for interesting videos that he found, but soon, using a simple Playstation camera and headset, he started recording the gameplay and adding his own witty comments. When these videos were posted, he found that people took a liking to them. His channel was getting attention! With more videos came more followers, and with more followers came more videos.  Now he can’t be expected to be doing these videos on his own, so occasionally Osho’s good friend Aaron Sarvo will make a guest appearance as Player 2. Despite the substantial amount of subscribers, Osho says that the making the videos is still just a hobby for him, but hopefully the channel will be home to his own comedy skits, and the young man certainly has the creativity to make that happen.

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Shenango’s Season of Giving

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By Angela Prestopine and Kayla Suber

The holidays typically bring on a spirit of giving, but this spirit has been alive and well at Shenango School District all year round. The number of charities and service projects that together the elementary and high school have supported so far this school year should make Wildcats of all ages extremely proud.

“Generosity is a core characteristic of the Shenango community,” noted Dr. McCormick.  “I frequently see an overwhelming altruistic tendency, whether it is with individual students and families reaching out offering help to a student or family experiencing hardship, or across our various clubs and teams coming together to make a positive impact on families and the community.”    

One example of this generosity is the continued support of the Shenango Community Education Foundation’s 5K Run/ Walk.  The money raised from the project is put towards further improving classroom instruction for teachers as well as supporting graduates’ future endeavors.

“The Shenango Community Education Foundation (SCEF) hosts many annual events such as the 5K/ Kids Carnival, our Reverse Raffle Dinner each February, and McTeacher Night,” explained elementary teacher Mrs. Cox.  “The money raised provides funds to purchase classroom materials or technology such as novel sets, iPads, Chromebooks, sound equipment, and other teacher resources.”  This year alone, the 5K Run/ Walk Carnival raised an outstanding total of $8,900!

During The Veterans Day Collection initiative, the 5th grade collected over 1,500 items and $250 to support and recognize our veterans. “We wanted to expand our annual Veterans Day program and use it to take learning outside the classroom,” noted Miss Koprivnak and Mdrs. DeCaprio.   “We hoped that by collecting items for Operation Troop Appreciation, students would gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the sacrifices made by our veterans, deployed troops, and military families. The donation drive gave students the opportunity to put “The Wildcat Way” into real life practice by working with the Shenango community to gather these supplies,” they said.

Yet another powerful example of the willingness to help others was demonstrated by the kindergarten food drive.  “The food drive, which is led by the Kindergarten classes, is done annually each year around Thanksgiving. During this special week, students from the entire elementary building are encouraged to make donations of non- perishable items to help families in need,” said Mrs. Piccirillo. Kindergarten classes spread the word of collecting canned goods for the less fortunate, and their passion to help resulted in a total of 18 full boxes of canned goods!

The Shenango staff also got in on the action and helped serve the public during the popular and anticipated McTeacher Night.   “I love to see the community come together at McDonald’s to raise money for school scholarships and grants,” Mrs. Cox recalled.  “Many Shenango teachers come out to help serve food and drinks to the kids. The kids enjoy dressing up in costumes and watching performances by some of our high school groups” said Mrs. Cox. McTeacher Night raised over $1,100 and aided many people before the holidays.

Other charities have also taken place this school year. To support the victims of the catastrophe of Hurricane Harvey, Mrs. Montgomery and Mrs. Palladino raised approximately $1,000!  Peer Leadership collected 162 blankets and Student Council donated myriad boxes of canned goods to help those in need during Thanksgiving. .Girl Scouts did their part as well, gathering 22 large bags of coats.

Kudos to the spirit of the season, which permeates Shenango School district not just during the holidays, but the entire year long!

Santa Claus is Coming to . . . Kindergarten!

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By: Chaslin Hoover and Jordyn Morosky

Remember when you were six years old and worried about nothing more than receiving a letter back from Santa after your list of most coveted presents was mailed off to the North Pole? Even if those days seem so far in the past, everyone remembers feeling a sense of joy and happiness when they recieve that gift they have been asking Santa for. Shenango freshmen are making the little ones’ days extra special this season. These students keep the holiday spirit up for themselves and the kindergarten classes of Shenango through a school assignment.  

Composition teacher Mr. Mayo and kindergarten teacher Mrs. Montgomery collaborate on this project that pairs her kindergarteners with his freshmen.   The kindergarteners write to  the freshman class stating the top three items they want from Santa and sharing a little bit about themselves. The responsibility of the freshmen students is to then act as Santa and write back to them as a graded assignment.

As the freshmen typed their letters, they seemed to be full of joy and had fun with the assignment, too. “I think the ninth graders enjoy it and the kindergartners enjoy it from what I hear, so I think it’s definitely something we’ll continue doing,”  Mayo said.  It is wonderful feeling when you know you are making someone happy, especially when it is young children.

Freshman Rena Shaffer couldn’t agree more.  “I enjoyed writing to the kindergarteners because I knew they would be excited to open the letters,” she said. Another student, Jake Deal, also responded enthusiastically about this project. He said, “We enjoyed writing letters to little kids as we sipped on hot chocolate.” The evidence proves this is a success for the kindergarteners, ninth graders, and the teachers alike!

“I think their favorite part about it is that it reminds them of when they were younger and they were as into Christmas as these six-year-olds..” In all honesty, who wouldn’t want to be reminded of their childhood happiness by making another child happy?

Community Comes Together at Craft Show

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By: Geanna Forster and Izzy Champ

On Saturday December 9th, Shenango High School hosted the third annual Winter Craft Show. This event was run by the drama club to benefit the spring musical, Crazy for You. Vendors, singers, and dancers filled the hallways of the high school for this anticipated event that not only benefits Shenango students, but celebrates the joy of the holiday season.   

Mrs. Leali, choir director, began hosting the craft show as a way to fundraise for the musical in a fun way that would appeal to the community at large.  She loves seeing shoppers pack the hallways in support of Shenango.  The craft show hosted 73 wide-variety vendors. These vendors sold food and items such as kettle corn, coffee, clothes, and Christmas decorations. Senior Mia Albanese jokingly said, “I loved working coffee and making change.”

Students in the musical have to work three-hour shifts to pay off their dues to the club. Any additional hours worked benefit the students as community service. Through this event, just enough money is made to purchase costumes and cover other expenses. “It was a lot of work, but it was worth it in the end. We all had a lot of fun!” exclaimed junior Paige Seitam. 

AP Students Share Veterans Day Highlights

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By Danielle Groves and Taylor Reed

Mr. Cooper’s Advanced Placement Government class takes on the noble task of organizing the high school’s yearly Veteran’s Day assembly, which is most definitely a favorite of both students and staff.  From the flags that line the roads to the student-written and delivered speeches to the multimedia presentations, these AP seniors complete countless hours of behind-the-scenes work to make this assembly a success.  More than that, though, these students themselves are powerfully affected by this assembly. “It is an important tradition because it honors our Veterans and teaches the students the importance of this day,” shared Cassie Tillia.

Seniors Hayden Carpenter, Lydia Anderson, and Matt McMillen spoke at the assembly. All appreciated the opportunity and embraced it. The three seniors took their time so they were able to show the immense gratitude felt toward the sacrifices veterans ahve made.  “Whatever we can give back to people who risked everything for us, it is more worth it,” affirmed Lydia Anderson.  

For some, the playing of Taps by freshman trumpet player Jacob Benson at the assembly’s beginning tugs at their heartstrings.  “I believe when the trumpet started to play and the veterans.  Matt Salem shared his sentiment.  “My favorite part of the assembly is when all the veterans stand while Taps is being played.  It’s really powerful to see how much they respect our country.”

After the assembly, the AP Government students attended a bruch where they personally spoke with veterans and their families. Some of the government students had their own veterans attend the assembly, like Matt McMillen.   “My favorite part of the assembly was being able to spend time with my grandpa.”   

SADD Continues to Impact Shenango Lives

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By Addie George and Haley Earl

Students who are a part of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) are always  working to raise awareness for different causes. Their most recent project was “Wipe Out Smoking.”  The SADD organization has a different theme to raise awareness for each month, and recently the members took pictures of students of all ages in the high school holding up a sign that read “Wipe Out Smoking”.

The advisor of the club, Ms. Shields, planned the activity and explains why it is important to bring notice to destructive decisions.  “In the teenage years, it’s a good message to get across, especially if it’s something they come across in their life.  Today it’s often  a social norm to smoke, but it’s not a good thing to do. So we start sending the message young.”

Shields plans on working on other projects in the future. She would like to have an activity for the members and other students at least once a month, some of them bigger than others. “We might do little activities,” Shields says, “like we did for Wipe Out Smoking month or something like an all-school assembly.” She is very determined to get messages across to students and members of all ages.

Not only does SADD’s work reach the student body of Shenango, but the students who are a part of SADD are positively affected as well.   “I think for them,” said Shields, “they are advocates themselves, but I think them actually going out there and physically taking part in the activity and seeing how many people were willing to take pictures with the frame that spoke to them shows them that SADD is an organization worth being a part of.”

What is even better is that Wipe Out Smoking was such a success. A big question that could be asked is, “Do students receive the message when their peers deliver it as opposed to when teachers or parents deliver it?” The students of SADD believe that their ability to relate to their peers is a critical component to the success of their message.   “It seems like from the pictures I got, there were some 7th graders that did it and 8th graders, but there were a lot of high school students as well,”Shields said,  which is evidence of the power of positivity spreading school-wide.

Trebuchet Physics Project

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By Michaela Unrue and Brooke-Ellynne Waters

Fall is a season full of people scurrying around worrying about all of the different holidays. Everyone is so worried about preparing for their special get togethers that they never really notice the beauty of education.

In Mr. Bender’s physics class, the specialty is not beauty; it is physics. This class is not the usual pencil and paper class. He encourages his students to use hands-on techniques to delve deeper into their knowledge of physics. “I think my students can learn more effectively with their hands performing a task rather than jotting down notes and possibly doodling on the side of papers,” stated Mr. Bender.

One example of this hands-on philosophy is when the class recently created an ancient Chinese catapult called a trebuchet. The purpose of the trebuchet is to demonstrate the motion of projectile, velocity, and acceleration. The students were able to make a trebuchet out of popsicle sticks.

The scientific and mathematical background of the trebuchet was explained by Mr. Bender, “One of the techniques the students had to use was mechanics. They had to be able to understand the conversion, lengths of the actual trebuchet, and working with gravity,” he said. “The main goal with the trebuchet is to use complex equations that we learned and put them into work with our trebuchet.”

Certain changes occured with the trebuchets in order to enhance their capabilities. The students were able to work in groups of two or three to increase the likeliness of the success of their  project.  “I learned how to use certain measurements and to maximize the trebuchet’s velocity. We used certain ratios and equations, such as the Pythagorean theorem, because our trebuchet is in a right triangle. The easiest thing about the trebuchet is just the structure, but the hardest part was the weights and the swing arm,” explained senior Matt Mcmillen.

 

The Bruce Siblings Give Back

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By Carlie Cardella

One of many scholarships Shenango provides is the Bruce Scholarship. Since 1997, the Bruce siblings have awarded this scholarship, making this year the 21st award. The Bruce siblings are a committee comprised of four or five people  named after J. Howard and Elizabeth Bruce.

Certain criteria needs to be met in order to be considered for this scholarship, which includes having completed one year of higher education as well as majoring in a science field, and, of course being, a Shenango graduate. The application just recently switched to being completely online. The scholarship is advertised locally, but Shenango staff reaches out to recent graduates who they know are majoring in a field of science. The applications must be submitted by May 31st.

This year, Elizabeth Dess, class of 2016, was the lucky winner who received the scholarship. “Elizabeth was a very strong student academically, so I was not surprised when she was awarded the scholarship,” said Dr. McCormick. Elizabeth attends Temple University.

The Bruces most definitely embody the spirit of “Learning for a Lifetime” that Shenango promotes. Dr. McCormick noted that “they have always been very supportive of Shenango education and the Shenango community through their business and scholarship program.  The Bruces have donated tens of thousands of dollars just to support our graduates and programs. They are extremely generous in a variety of ways and make sure to help improve the quality of education that Shenango kids receive.”