All posts by The Hawk

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.    

Life’s a Beach (and Ocean) for Ms. Emerson

By Ashley Stracco, ’24

Staff Writer

Ms. Shayle Emerson teaches college prep Biology, Marine Biology, and honors Anatomy and Physiology at Hanover High School. Her favorite class to teach is Marine Biology because she loves to take students on field trips to explore the beaches and to see the aquarium in Boston. You can find her in room 215!

Born in Salem, NH, Ms. Emerson graduated from the University of New Hampshire. She played intramural sports including field hockey. One summer, she was able to take a scientific diver course at the Isle of Shoals for two weeks, and it was an amazing experience.  She became a teacher because she wanted to teach students about the ocean and the animals that live in it.

Her favorite television show is currently “WandaVision,” but she also likes to watch YouTube. Her favorite book is The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, a true story about a swordfishing boat that gets trapped in the storm of the century.

Ms. Emerson’s favorite memory from high school is playing the trumpet in the band because it was huge and she had a lot of friends in it. They participated in many marching competitions, and tons of parades. Her band marched in the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, and also went to Disney!

She loves to travel, and has been to Paris and, recently, the Dominican Republic. She also visits Anchorage, Alaska, frequently because her twin sister lives there. She has three daughters, ages 11, 8, and 3.

In February 2020, Ms. Emerson launched a school trip to the Dominican Republic – and she’ll be doing it again next year! On the trip, students work with local organizations to clean beaches and restore coral reef. Each day begins around 7am, and you will not go to bed until after 11pm. The people in the DR were very kind and caring and the country was perfectly safe, she said. There is music playing everywhere you go there. It was an amazing experience, so stop by to see her or send her an email if you’d like to learn more.

Girls Basketball Reigns over League, Pandemic

By Ava Toner, ’22

Staff Writer

Photo by Robin Chan, Patriot Ledger

She shoots … She scores!!! The girls’ basketball team won the Patriot League Championship this season despite the uncertainty this year has presented. The tournament run, capped by a 50 – 43 win over Whitman- Hanson in the final, was a massive turnaround from last season when they got knocked out in the first round of playoffs. For junior Dani Tilden, the success could be attributed to “changing positions of starters this year” and “being more committed.” She was at the gym twice a day to shoot.  Mckalah Gaine, a junior, said the team’s increased “preparation before each game” and “drive because we all wanted to win” led to this season’s major success. 

Due to COVID, only minor details of game play were altered including no coin tosses, tipoffs or passing the ball in from underneath the hoop. However, the pandemic had a huge impact on the social impact of the sport. There were no team dinners or locker rooms and seats were assigned on the bus trips. But the girls managed to overcome these obstacles and still maintain a connection on the court, which became apparent as their games grew more competitive. Group chats and joking at practices helped the team bond, Gaine said. The girls’ commitment and teamwork was able to completely transform the squad from underdogs to champions. 

HHS Athletics

This season included a milestone for Coach Brian Fisher, who on Jan. 25 racked up his 200th career win. He and his father, Bob, have more than 860 wins between them.

Sadly, the team will be losing many key seniors, including captains Emily Flynn and Clare Connolly, but they are hopeful that they can adapt to their changing lineup and are excited to see what new talent will be coming next year.

 

Featured image: https://goccusports.com/news/2020/10/1/sun-belt-releases-mens-basketball-conference-schedule.aspx

Hanover Soars into New Era with Hawks Mascot

By Abby Van Duyn, ’24

Staff Writer

School and professional sports teams that use Native American mascots have grown more controversial in recent years. After years of criticism that their team name was offensive, the Washington Redskins of the National Football League retired their mascot in July and spent the season known as the Washington Football Team. In December, the Cleveland Indians pro baseball team announced plans to phase out its name, its logo featuring a red-faced cartoon chief, and the “tomahawk chop” often used as a rally cry by its fans.

The debate came to a head in Hanover last year when the community began to look at its symbol, the Indian, which has represented the schools for decades. Some people in Hanover argued that the Indian mascot was disrespectful as well as historically inaccurate, while others believed that it was a long-standing town tradition that honored our local Native American heritage. For many, the symbol – rendered in recent years as a blue and gold H with a Native American headdress – was a source of pride that united generations of students. When people thought of the “Hanover Indian,” they thought of so many winning athletes and sports teams over many years. 

After much debate, the School Committee voted to retire the mascot in August of 2020. The change to team uniforms and school logos has been estimated to cost up to $100,000, but district officials stated that they were persuaded after hearing from local Native Americans and students who felt that the old mascot was problematic. The decision kicked off a months-long effort to choose a new mascot that included more than 400 submissions such as the Anchors, the United, the Hornets, and the Huskies. On New Year’s Day 2021, the school district announced the new selection: the Hanover Hawks.

After a couple of months to get used to the change, many students approve. 

“I definitely like the new mascot,” said freshman Izzy Maclellan, “and it makes me feel better that we have a new mascot that isn’t offensive to a culture.”

“I like the Hanover Hawks because of the alliteration,” said Maeve Sullivan, a sophomore. “I think it sounds nice.” 

“I wish it was the Huskies but I’m glad we changed from the Indians because I never realized how offensive and disrespectful it was,” said Sam Curtis, a freshman.

Other students aren’t happy with the change.

“I think that with everything that happened last year, the (George Floyd racism) riots and stuff, that our mascot has just been a positive representation of different races,” said freshman Abby Smith. “We represent the Indians who lived in Massachusetts, and it feels wrong to change it because we were representing someone in a positive way.” 

COVID Infects Favorite TV Shows

By Kylie Campbell, ’22

Staff Writer

After the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, the world came to a stop. That included the filming of many fan-favorite TV shows. As people’s lives around the world changed dramatically, families spent more time indoors. People watched a lot more television, increasing their anticipation for new episodes of their favorite shows. Finally last summer, with social distancing and daily testing, many television shows and movies resumed filming. New seasons of popular shows came back this year including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “This Is Us.” These two shows, like many others, surprised fans by incorporating Covid-19 storylines. Fans had differing views on whether or not they liked this approach.

As a long-time supporter of “Grey’s Anatomy,” I was disappointed to see the virus incorporated into the show. I usually watch TV as an outlet from the real world. Especially since Covid-19 has increased stress and anxiety, I would have preferred a show that didn’t remind me of our world’s current situation. Although “Grey’s Anatomy” is a medical show and wanted to try to depict the lives of health care workers, I was disappointed to see the depressing cycle of death caused by Covid-19 to be portrayed in my favorite show. 

I also have been a strong supporter of the show “This is Us” throughout the last couple years but I have shied away from the very realistic season they have created for 2021. I feel as though incorporating the virus takes away from the intense storylines about the Pearson family which have built up over the past seasons . Although I believe real-world issues are an important aspect to be addressed, I feel as though they now have taken away from the original plot of the show. 

Even though I disliked Covid-19 being brought into these shows, some people found it reassuring to find their favorite fictional characters coping with the virus as well. And some good came from it. In “Grey’s Anatomy,” beloved characters who had left earlier in the show were able to come back due to Covid-19’s existence. 

New Library Books Offer Great Stories, Diverse Perspectives

Mrs. McHugh

I’d need at least a million dollars to buy all of the books I’d like for the library. Each month, I read reviews of the latest releases, and I add to my ever-growing wishlist the titles that I think students might enjoy – or might benefit from. But even though the Hanover High library is thankfully well-funded, there’s never enough money for all of them. When I buy new books, I have to prioritize, and I’m usually drawn toward ones that are not just good stories or sources of information, but also shine a light on diverse perspectives. In recent years, I’ve purchased a lot of titles about African Americans, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and refugees. Reading can be an escape from real life, but it also can be a great way to learn about new people, places and things you haven’t experienced  If I find a book that broadens a reader’s world, while also keeping them engaged, I consider my mission accomplished. These five very different titles fit the bill.

Sadie by Courtney Summers is a thriller about a teenaged girl who seeks revenge on the man that killed her little sister. As you learn about her quest, told from her point of view and that of a journalist investigating the case for a podcast, you see the dark impact of poverty, drug use and child abuse. It’s a mystery that highlights the dire circumstances many Americans are mired in. If you read this, let me know what you think of the ending. I hear the audiobook is pretty cool too.

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi is a fictional story about a teenaged boy fleeing Syria after years of civil war. Written by a journalist, herself a refugee from Afghanistan as a child, the story makes real the news stories we may read – or pass by – about the thousands of people displaced by violence.  These refugees lose their homes, possessions and loved ones only to trek to other places that may not let them in. If a country does accept them, they still struggle to find jobs, homes, and their place in a foreign land. This story is partially told by Destiny, similar to how The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is narrated by Death. It’s an interesting way to make one boy’s experience more universal.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo is the latest novel from the highly popular author who wrote The Poet X and With the Fire on High. She focuses on the experiences of Dominican teens in the U.S., often torn between the traditions and expectations of two very different cultures. They also face stereotypes and obstacles that come with being immigrants and people of color. Even if a reader can’t find the Dominican Republic on a map, they can still relate to teens who feel pressured to do well in school, fulfill their parents’ expectations and struggle with relationships.

The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais is about a deaf teen who transitions back to a traditional school when her mom’s job moves them across the country. A senior with big dreams of college, Maya struggles to fit in with her hearing peers who don’t understand that while she’s limited, she’s also very capable. This novel gives a glimpse into deaf culture, a community that relies on its own rich language (American Sign Language) and believes being deaf has qualities and benefits worth celebrating – and certainly not just fixing. It’s an enlightening perspective for many of us unfamiliar with the experiences of the hearing impaired. 

Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri is a quirky and wonderful book that I hope finds its audience. Based on the author’s life, the novel follows Khosrou and his family as they flee religious intolerance in Iran and end up in Oklahoma. The boy, highly influenced by the Arabian Nights and other stories from his homeland, spins tales for his new classmates about who he feels he is (smart, worldly, brave) versus what he seems to be (poor, smelly, weird). As a narrator, Khosrou is informal and irreverent, flipping between the present and past, with frequent tangents that have you feeling like you’re sitting beside him in conversation. Through his stories, you get a sense of his rich, complicated life in Iran, the strangeness of becoming a refugee, and the resilience needed to live through both.