The Show goes on for HHS drama

By Caris Mann, ’22

Staff Writer

After an unexpected year that provided many plot twists and turns, HHS Drama is ready to present its newest one-act play: 4 AM. The play by Jonathan Dorf is a “dramedy,” meaning that there are some dramatic and comedic moments throughout the piece with a varied cast of characters. There’s Frankie, the radio DJ, and Jane, the girl writing a letter to a knife company about why their product has failed her. There are two pairs of friends at sleepovers: Anne and Monica and Simon and Hale. The Monster Under the Bed runs into trouble with some Police Officers who storm a sleeping kid’s bedroom. The play also has a kid who witnesses a fire and a teen out for a morning jog. To top it all off, there’s Romeo and Juliet, two teenagers in love with each other but are afraid to make the wrong move. However, this odd group of characters all have one thing in common and that is the fact that they are all awake at the dreaded hour of 4 am. The play provides insight into how different people lead their lives during that last hour of darkness before sunrise and it does so with many comedic and heartfelt moments along the way. 

The play will be entered in the annual Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild Drama Fest. This year, with COVID guidelines, the Drama Fest had to be conducted differently. The process began with Zoom auditions and callbacks in January. This was quite different from the in-person auditions of the past. Students had to select a scene or a monologue to read and perform it over Zoom. After the cast list was announced, rehearsals began the following week — once again on Zoom. For a month, rehearsals were conducted via Zoom as it was the safest way to practice. Then, in March, it was announced that rehearsals could be conducted in-person and in the auditorium. This was a huge step forward because now the actors could have a space to work in and be able to interact with each other. However, guidelines were still implemented with actors having to work within their own set boxes on the stage and remain six feet apart. Google forms were also filled out for contact tracing before every rehearsal. In addition, the entire cast was not able to be in the theater together so different groups of actors were brought in at different rehearsals to work on specific scenes. For two months, rehearsals continued in person, with the cast unsure whether the final performance would be in-person or virtual. In the end, Drama Fest officials decided upon virtual performances, and cast members performed separate scenes that were filmed and then edited together. With the hard work of the cast, crew, and HHS Drama Teacher Mr. Fahey, recordings ended on May 12th with the video set to premiere next week.

By far, this has been the craziest year in HHS Drama. But even though this has been a long and unusual process, the end result is something to look forward to. This has been the first production in over a year, which is truly something to celebrate.

“At the beginning of the year, we were all missing the element of performing as a group,” said  Stage Manager Maggie Godin, a senior. “Getting to come in every day and seeing people in the theater again, building sets after school, and rehearsing scenes together has been really great.” 

Mr. Fahey shares the excitement, noting that many school drama programs were unable to perform at all this year. Pulling off 4 AM, though, took a huge commitment from everyone involved. While in typical years the Drama Fest one-act play comes together in about a month, this one took five months.

“We have spent this extra time creatively trying to figure out what to do and hitting roadblocks and trying to adjust,” he said. “We have also spent this time nitpicking every scene which is extremely important in theater. I am excited for the community to see it and I think that those who are involved are excited and believe 4 AM to have been a good experience.” 

However, 4 AM is a bittersweet moment for some in the cast such as senior Elise Falvey because this is her last show. “I’m extremely grateful that we were able to at least put on one show this year, even though it’s being done in a more nontraditional or unconventional way than usual,” she said. “I’ve had so much fun rehearsing and I’m really happy to finish senior year out with such an incredible and touching show.”

Make sure you tune in to watch 4 AM when it streams on Youtube!

My experience with remote school

By Norah Kelley, ’24

Staff Writer

In this unexpected year, sometimes it feels like everything has changed, even the one thing I thought would never change – school. Instead of going back in person for the 2020-2021 school year, my classes were completely online. It was a big adjustment at first, but Virtual Academy has turned out to be a great experience for me. There have been ups and downs, but it all worked out in the end. 

About 60 students were part of Virtual Academy at the high school this year. Some, like me, started from day one, while others went remote or returned to in-person learning at different points in the year. The fully remote program used two online platforms: VHS Learning and Edgenuity. With VHS Learning, you have a teacher and classmates somewhere in the world who you work with in discussions and projects, but everything is asynchronous. You get a schedule of assignments each week and can work anytime you want as long as you meet your deadlines. Edgenuity classes are more individual and self-paced. Lessons are delivered through videos and reinforced through assignments and assessments, some graded by the system and some graded by Virtual Academy teachers. The system estimates the time needed to complete assignments, but if you fall behind one week, you can make it up the next.

Taking some classes on each platform worked really well for me. At the beginning of the year, making sure that all the assignments got done was a little difficult. But as the year went on, I got into my swing and figured out the perfect schedule for me. Each day, I made sure to do all of my classes for at least 50 minutes, with scheduled breaks throughout the day. Balancing screen time with the work I needed to get done was a struggle. I did not prefer one platform over the other, since they were both very different. With Edgenuity, I liked that I could work at my own pace, but I liked that VHS had a teacher and deadlines that kept me on track.  

One challenge for Virtual Academy students was taking AP tests. Since VHS Learning classes started a week later than usual, lining up with our mid-September return to school, the classes ran into AP testing weeks. Luckily for AP students, many assignments were exempted, so there was more time to study. AP students taking Edgenuity classes could take advantage of the flexibility that system provided; if they needed time to study, they took some time “off” from their course and made it up later.

While VHS Learning had a more rigid schedule than Edgenuity, its classes ended much earlier. Our last day for VHS classes was May 19th, giving those students a head start on a well-deserved long summer break. Edgenuity classes will run right through June 17. 

Next year, I’m excited to go back into school, and see everyone again. I have enjoyed my time in Virtual Academy, but going back to school in person will be exciting! I will miss not having as much flexibility in my schedule, and it will be a challenge going into high school for the first time as a sophomore. For me, Virtual Academy was a great decision giving me a great freshman year, but I am hopeful for an even better sophomore year!

class, community come together for Senior prom

By Callia Gilligan, ’22

Staff Writer

The Class of 2021 is finally having a prom! After a Junior prom cancellation last spring, months of hybrid learning and a sometimes-bumpy return to in-person classes, the seniors are capping off their final year at HHS with a long-awaited prom on Saturday, May 15th. 

The event will look a bit different this year, taking place in a tent outside the school, the trees in the courtyard decorated with lights. Advisers Mrs. Mia Gallagher and Mrs. Kathy Gallagher have been working hard with the class officers to preserve the traditions, which will include dinner, dancing and even red carpet photos. Everything will take place outside, and the weather is expected to be beautiful.

That the prom is happening at all is a grand accomplishment in this year of uncertainty. Planners had to navigate frequently changing COVID rules, but pulled it together with tremendous help from the community. That community, according to Mrs. Kathy Gallagher, includes:

  • Class officers Fiona, Shamus, Sean, Nick, Jack and Caroline, “who sold their vision of the night to the classmates”
  • Mrs. Curtis, Mrs. Curley and the Dirty Works Club, who spent “hours getting their hands dirty cleaning and planting the flower beds”
  • Mr. Faria, Mr. Amonte and the engineering students, who have been “integral” in building ramps, a giant decorative wall and more
  • The prom chaperones for the evening:  Mrs. Collins, Mrs. Aborn, Mrs. McHugh, Mrs. Curley, Mrs. Parry, Ms. Doyle, Mrs. Keefe, Ms. Corbett, Mrs. Mann, Officer John, administration and our class advisors
  • School nurse Roz Davis and the HPS health team for conducting several rounds of COVID testing over two weeks to ensure the event could be held safely
  • Parent volunteers Brenda Maver and Daryce Morris, “our resourceful and creative prom decorators”
  • Grill 43 and HHS parent Joe Hiffa, for catering dinner
  • Mr. Steve Ryerson of HPS for capturing the memories of the evening, including on the red carpet
  • The Hanover DPW Facilities and Maintenance Departments, for mowing, weed-wacking, moving tables, and getting everything into place – including the giant wall!
  • The Senior boys who literally picked up that giant wall and the other numerous decorations – “too many to name, but a big shout out to them!”
  • Principal Mr. Paquette “for everything”

Due to the lingering pandemic, there are several regulations that students will have to follow in order to ensure that prom can operate safely. In addition to requiring COVID testing, the event has been limited to just HHS seniors, no dates from other grades or schools. Students must wear masks at all times except when eating or drinking and stay socially distanced during dancing; that means no slow songs this year. Finally, students have been advised not to gather in groups of more than 10 people before or after the dance.

“It’s going to be pretty nice,” said class secretary Sean Dever. “We could really only start planning two to three weeks ago, but I’m happy with how it all came together.”

For Class President Fiona Hutchison, the prom is a much-needed way to bring together a class that lost many of its milestones and was even split in two for half of the year.

“Everyone is starting to get excited and it’s making me so happy,” she said. “It means the world to me. The seniors have something to look forward to and a way to come together as a grade. It’s a great way to reconnect and celebrate our senior year.”

Mrs. Hughes shares her love of lit with students

By Ashley Stracco, ’24

Staff Writer

If you had known Mrs. Hughes as the HMS assistant principal, you might have been surprised to see her in a classroom this year at HHS. But Mrs. Hughes has returned to teaching English, a subject she has loved since her own time in high school.  

As an English teacher to freshmen, sophomores and juniors, Mrs. Hughes teaches many different pieces of literature to her students. Her favorite book to teach is “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, a collection of stories about soldiers in the Vietnam War. She loves how the stories can connect to people in subtle ways and how the author describes how we all live through stories. However, she does not have a favorite book to read herself. She says that would be like choosing a favorite child!

While Mrs. Hughes does not have a favorite book, she does have a favorite TV show and favorite place to travel. She really enjoys the improv comedy show “Whose Line Is It Anyway.” Her favorite place to travel is Poland. She has a 13-year-old son.

Mrs. Hughes wanted to become a teacher after she took an education class at Brandeis University and found it instantly interesting. She loved her foreign language and English classes in high school. She says her teachers were both challenging and fun. 

In a year many students and teachers have found challenging, Mrs. Hughes says her students have had a great impact on her. One of her favorite moments this year was seeing a student who was extremely shy overcome her fear of public speaking and give one of the best student speeches that she has ever seen. Another was coming back to school after being very ill for a few weeks; one of her classes made her a giant card with all of their names and many get-well messages. She still has the card!

Hawks Don’t Fly in Baseball Season Opener

By Carson Butler, ’21

Contributor

It had been 700 days – and a new school mascot – since Hanover Baseball had said the words “Play Ball!” Since that day, ten spots had opened on the varsity team, which meant that one thing this year’s squad would not have was experience. The team’s four captains – Ryan Pelish, Brendan Poirier, Carson Butler, and Ian Kirby – all have some varsity time under their belt. And one thing this team has shown in practice is the ability to compete for their jobs and bring the energy day in and day out. The boys had not yet played together on a team for the high school, but had developed a great chemistry throughout the summer and fall seasons of 2020. That chemistry and energy would be tested as the Hawks took the trip up north to Quincy for the season opener May 7.

Adams Field is a great venue for any fan to catch a game and is player-friendly with the well-prepared infield ready to go on game day. In years past, Hanover has enjoyed playing Quincy, ensuring they reach the top of the Patriot League by winning the games they need to win and beating the teams they need to beat. The same situation would need to occur Friday. Pelish pitched five strong innings, allowing only two earned runs with plenty of support from his offense. Poirier, Wes Bryan, Jack Fish, Tim Porter and Carter Zielinski all added hits to the box score. The players with no varsity experience stepped up, an encouraging sign for games to come as the captains’ bats will heat up as well.

With a 5-2 lead heading into the 6th inning, Hanover sent out Butler to shut the door and attempt a six-out save. Coming in from shortstop, Butler struck out two of the three batters faced to make it a 1-2-3 inning. While still holding a comfortable 5-2 lead heading into the 7th inning, the wheels started to fall off. With Butler unable to get ahead in the count as he faced the 7th, 8th, and 9th batters in the lineup, the base runners snowballed into four runs in dramatic fashion. Quincy walked it off and won by a score of 6-5. 

Butler reflected on his outing. “I need to be better out there. I owe it to my teammates and especially to Pelish after a 5-inning gem,” he said. “It sure is a tough pill to swallow, but with all of the work I have put in this offseason mentally and physically, I can live with the results knowing my teammates have my back. Believe me, I will be back. The commitment and the understanding of being all in will be prevalent in games to come.”

Surely a disappointing loss, the team looks to move on as the Hawks take on North Quincy, Scituate, and Plymouth South in the week ahead.

HHS reflects on When the virus became “real”

By Natalie Mowbray, ’22

Staff Writer

For most of us, the Coronavirus pandemic seemed surreal at first and it was a difficult concept to grasp. It prompted unanswerable questions about when it would end and what would happen next. More than a year since cases hit the region and we went into lockdown, we have grown accustomed to this new way of life. We no longer question the new guidelines and restrictions to our past way of life (although we eagerly embrace any signs of a return to normalcy). As this shift has occurred, many people had a singular moment in which they realized that this coronavirus was going to be a bigger threat and have a larger impact than any of us could have anticipated. For many Hanover High students, that moment was tied to the shutdown of school and sports in March of 2020.

“I was getting ready for Spanish class when I remember hearing about everyone saying that their afterschool sports were cancelled,” one student recalled. “I couldn’t believe it.” 

The reality hit home for another when school was shut down for two weeks. “Once we went into a quarantine, I had a feeling that we would not be going back,” she said. That two weeks became four weeks, and then, as the student had feared, the rest of the year.

The HHS boys hockey team can collectively agree when they realized the virus was a big deal. It was the day their state championship game at the TD Garden was cancelled. First, they’d heard there would be no fans allowed, but when the entire game was called off “not only was it a huge disappointment,” one player said, “it was a wakeup call that this new virus was going to change our way of life.”

HHS teachers had their own moments of realization. For many, it was during the staff meeting March 12, 2020, when they learned the evening session of parent-teacher conferences would be cancelled. Teachers were instructed to take home what they might need in case the shutdown lasted a few weeks.For others, it was the first time they used Zoom and glitched through an awkward conversation with a class they hadn’t seen in weeks. 

Some students and staff say the moment happened outside of school, when they saw all the empty shelves at the grocery store or first picked up takeout from a deserted restaurant. 

At this point, most students have gotten used to walking into HHS with their masks on and socially distanced from others. But it’s interesting to look back on our thoughts as the pandemic descended upon us. Reflecting on these moments of fear and realization, it’s easy to understand how hard it was to fully fathom such an unprecedented and scary situation.

Guess Who?: the results are in!

After a week of speculation, we have the winners of The Hawk’s Guess Who contest. Congratulations to student Kacey Hillier and teacher Ms. Nixon for leading with eight correct matches. They each will receive a $10 Dunkin Donuts gift card. More than 50 staff members and students entered, and the wrong answers were more fun than the right ones! See the correct matches below. Thanks to all the teachers who submitted photos and participants who joined in the fun.

Enter ‘Guess Who?’ Contest to support The Hawk

The Hanover High School student newspaper, recently rebranded The Hawk, is running a free contest to raise interest and gain followers. The aim of “Guess Who?” is to match the baby picture to the HHS staff member. Get the most right and win a $10 gift card to Dunkin Donuts. If there’s a tie, the winning entries will be put into a raffle and one will be picked at random.

It’s easy to enter. Visit our table during lunches April 12-16, follow us on Twitter (@HanoverHSHawks) and Instagram (@hanover-hawks-newspaper), or use the link below. It’ll take you to a Google form with pictures of the 10 teachers today and then 10 baby pics to try to identify.

The contest ends 3 pm April 16. Good luck!

https://forms.gle/op4vTV58VVgLYCiu8

Dread Nation: American History, with Zombies

By Mrs. McHugh

Zombie plagues have been the rage in TV, movies and books for years. But setting a Zombie plague during the American Civil War? Now that’s something new.

Justina Ireland turns historical fiction on its head with her two-book series Dread Nation. Titled Rise Up and Deathless Divide, the books explore the racial, social and economic impacts of the ‘War Between the States’ and give new meaning to the term Reconstruction, the period of rebuilding and reunifying society after the war’s end. While no book involving zombies can be historically accurate, the stories build on the real people, events and issues of the time to highlight the brutality of slavery and the inequality that remained as the country moved forward – and westward. As the author explains in her notes, she wrote the books to give voice to characters often left out of history.

The books focus on Jane and Katherine, two Black teens taken from their homes after the dead begin to rise during the Battle of Gettysburg. Like other children of their race, they are deemed inferior – and therefore expendable – and sent to boarding schools that train them to protect rich whites from the undead. (These boarding schools resembled the facilities that Native Americans were sent to in the 1800s, when the U.S. government stole their land and forced their assimilation) The girls excel in their training, but before they can be assigned to protect society ladies, they uncover a sinister plot to build a “utopia” to replace the Eastern cities falling to the zombie plague. This new community is founded on the principles of Jim Crow, the discriminatory laws that rose to continue the oppression of Blacks after slavery was abolished. This means Blacks have no rights and are assigned the most dangerous jobs and the worst living conditions.

Tough-hearted and quick to temper, Jane resolves not just to survive, but to find an escape. Light-skinned and able to pass as White, Katherine plays along with the cruel society in order to help Jane’s plan to secure their freedom. There are tense battles, sorrowful deaths, cruel betrayals, heart-wrenching romances and epic friendships. And that’s just in book one. In the second book, the main characters venture west. Alive but forever changed, one seeks safety and peace while the other pursues vengeance.

The books are a unique way to explore the issues of American history including slavery and Reconstruction, the government’s treatment of Native Americans, the cultural clashes that came with waves of immigration, expansion of the western frontier, and the search for the “American dream.” But if you aren’t really interested in the history, the books aren’t slowed down by it. The series provides enough action and adventure for any reader.

New Stores Offer chance to volunteer, shop for a good cause

By Grace Van Duyn, ’22

Staff Writer

With the pandemic, many of us have felt the extreme consequences that come with all of this isolation and change. We have had to alter our lives in numerous ways as parts of our normal routines have become impossible. But, as this pandemic progresses, we are finding new ways to ease back to normalcy. As we begin to do things like open up schools and resume sport seasons, I think it is also important that we try to get back to doing community service too. 

In normal circumstances, Hanover High School requires all students to perform at least 10 hours of community service per year. With the requirement waived for this year, pretty much everyone I talked to has not been volunteering. But according to my guidance counselor, any hours we perform now can be counted toward next year. So, if you find yourself wanting to get a head start for the upcoming year, or if you’re interested in finding new ways to get involved in the community, check out the Cardinal Cushing stores.

In December, Cardinal Cushing opened up its new storefronts at 405 Washington Street in Hanover. The marketplace is the result of a five-year, $10 million building project that expands the Cardinal Cushing campus and provides the students with new opportunities. I have volunteered there before, and I asked them about the opportunities they are offering during the pandemic. While the students at Cardinal Cushing continue to work through the pandemic, they stay more behind the scenes. The school relies on volunteers to be up close with customers during business hours. If you are interested in volunteering, this might be something to pursue further.

But even if you are not interested in volunteering, buying anything from the Cardinal Cushing shops goes to an amazing cause, and helps them to build upon what they like to call their “neighborhood.” The Cushing Cafe is known for its delicious coffee and scones, and is open from 9 am-1 pm Monday through Friday. In addition to coffees and drinks, it is also a great place to stop in for a quick lunch. They often have special meals and treats for holidays like their delicious cookies at Christmas. The Unique Boutique, a gift shop filled with one-of-a-kind jewelry and art, is open weekdays from 10 am-2 pm and is a great place for anyone looking for unique art pieces. They also have many seasonal items that make great gifts. In addition, there is a thrift store called Take 2, also open weekdays 10 am- 2 pm. With thrift shopping being trendy, especially among our age group, many thrift stores can seem picked through. But the Cardinal Cushing thrift store is a hidden gem that anyone who likes thrifting should check out. Lastly, they not only are sustainable by refurbishing old clothes in their thrift store, but they also have a greenhouse too. 

Cardinal Cushing’s new storefronts offer both shoppers and volunteers such a great variety of ways to get involved with things they are passionate about or want to explore.