Category Archives: News

Support the Seven Days of ‘Students as Santa’ Challenge!

Raising $40,000 for charity in seven days? That’s the goal of several Hanover High School groups who have joined for an ambitious fundraiser this holiday season.

The National Honor Society, Student Council and Class of 2025 are collaborating on the Seven Days of ‘Students as Santa’ Challenge, which officially kicks off today. Each member of these groups is tasked with getting at least 10 donors to contribute $20. The proceeds will benefit organizations distributing toys to local families, the Visiting Nurses Association, and the Hanover Food Pantry. Donations can be made to a GoFundMe campaign or given to students directly.

On the GoFundMe, donors are requested to select the school “team” they are supporting by choosing the student representative: McKenzie Bottomley for NHS, Caris Mann for Student Council and Catherine Reinhart for Class of 2025. While the event officially started today, the link went live yesterday and raised $1,000 in less than a day!

The fundraiser came together when student leaders realized the three different groups wanted to hold similar toy drives, said Mrs. Coates, who advises NHS along with Mrs. Collins. They believed, she added, that “we could make a bigger – huge, in fact – impact on local South Shore charities if we worked together.”

While the fundraising goal is ambitious, student leaders believe it’s within reach. “It’s a large number, but we did the math and with the number of people in these groups, it seems possible,” said McKenzie Bottomley, vice president of NHS. “It’s very exciting to think we’re going to have such a big impact on the community.”

To donate: https://gofund.me/de5f8f3c

Speaker Series Focuses on Tech Careers

By Natalie Mowbray, ’22

Staff Writer

The second installment of the STEM Speaker Series, launched this fall by HHS senior Isma Saleem, focused on careers in technology and computer science. The “in-school field trip,” which took place Nov. 19, featured Matt Mastrangelo, Brian Converse and Jim Calabro.

All students at HHS should be familiar with the Aspen X2 Portal used for posting grades, attendance, and other important academic information. Matt Mastrangelo is a founder and creator of Aspen, used by countless schools around the country. Previously, he studied computer science at Northeastern University and started off as an education technology consultant. In addition to creating Aspen X2, Mr. Mastrangelo is a cofounder of Halix.io, a technology platform that helps businesses build websites, process payments and more.

Brian Converse is a software developer who creates technology to assist Hanover Schools students, parents and staff in a variety of tasks. When parents sign up for teacher conferences, for example, they’re using a program built by Mr. Converse. He earned an applied mathematics degree from SUNY Polytech Institute.

The final speaker was senior software engineer Jim Calabro. He works in the booming field of computer science at Cogo Labs in Braintree. He got his degree in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was a part of the marching band there.

Isma began working with administration last year to bring in these monthly speakers, who she hopes will “give students the opportunity to find their passion.”  While it can be difficult to find speakers at times, she said, she is glad that students can be introduced to unique professionals within multiple industries. In September, students heard from health care professionals. Next up, likely in January, will be careers geared toward helping people recover from injuries or illness, such as a pharmacist, nutritionist, physical therapist and sports medicine specialist. 

Featured image from https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/can-studying-mathematics-and-computer-science-be-as-creative-as-the-arts/93425/

COVID Couldn’t Stop the Music, But Band is Joyful for Return to Normal

By Jake Faghan, ’23

Staff Writer

Drum majors . . . is the band ready?”

It’s often said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. And as members of the Hanover High School band felt the crisp air of a recent Friday night while standing silently in formidable formation on the field, those words rang true. There’s magic in band, and what makes it truly magical is how the HHS band has pulled through the challenge that has been COVID-19. With pride, we stand. With strength, we return.

“Please welcome back to the field, the Pride of Hanover!”

With Thanksgiving break wrapping up Autumn 2021, the marching band will finish its season with one final performance at the Hanover-Norwell football game on Thanksgiving Day. But before the band leaves in the early morning to perform that day, members will likely reflect on the  hours and hours of sacrifice and strife that have led to the day’s opening notes. It all started back in March 2020, which may be scary to realize was around a year and some change ago: the era of no band.

The band takes the field at a football game this fall.

Well, no tangible band. Band continued through remote school in spring 2020 as most of my classes did, with students turning in assignments and becoming dangerously independent. While it wasn’t the best, it was something that should be respected given the quick thinking. Our assignments from Mr. Harden focused on practicing sight-reading or even fun games like plotting a field show. However, we weren’t together, it wasn’t the same. So by the end of that year, my first of high school, I was able to see what band was like, but not get the full experience.

Coming into sophomore year, things were different, and that became clear very quickly. No band camp, and just half of the band together during outdoor classes, was a lukewarm welcome into the year, but something we took with a smile. When it got colder, our cohort moved inside to the auditorium, where there was just enough room for us with ten feet spacing. While we were spread out, we played together but we were distant. We recorded separate parts to come to a whole, played over video for virtual audiences, but we were never whole in the first place. Band 2021 was a more normal year, we had our groups, but still were stranded.

Excited for Band Day at UMass Amherst!

Until the calendar announced the start of the current school year, that is. This year has brought so many good opportunities. This year we were able to practice during band camp, and it was perfect. We were able to play in the band room again, together. It took what felt like ages, but we were able to perform for a crowd again with the return of Friday night football, a trip to Band Day at UMass Amherst in October, and a cabaret showcase in the HHS caf.

Our field show this year has a theme of love to it, and also a message to love life before it flies by. I believe that our show illustrates through music how we as a society can finally come together again. 

That also shows through our formations for the opening song Can’t Help
Falling in Love. At the start, everyone is scattered, much like the beginning of COVID life. Then as we play, we march into sections of our instruments, similar to how we were last year, together but not whole. We found a group, but not a united family. Then moments later, the small groups unite and march together with pride. Not only is it cool and a powerful moment of the show, it also has its symbolism. Now that we march together, we do so striding forward with strength. We as a band made it through a long period of confusion, and now as we prepare for the Thanksgiving game, there is a lesson I have learned: Pride is a feeling, and it’s a magic.

To view a recording of the Cabaret showcase from October 21, which features the HHS band and a variety of student talent, click here.

Music, Hilarity, Canned Meat Coming to HHS Stage

By Norah Kelley, ’24

Staff Writer

The HHS Drama Department is excited to announce that this year’s main stage musical will be Spamalot, The Musical! Spamalot is a comedic show based on the 1975 movie Monty Python and The Holy Grail, which was adapted for Broadway in 2005. This show twists the legend of Camelot and King Arthur’s journey to find the Holy Grail, a mythical cup said to grant eternal life. Arthur looks for knights who can join him on his quest, and along the way, finds groups of hysterical characters. HHS drama and music teachers – Mr. Fahey, Mr. Wade, and Mr. Harden – are looking for talented vocalists, actors, dancers, and crew members to help make this show a success! 

“We chose to do Spamalot this year for a few different reasons,” Mr. Fahey said. “Spamalot has a decent size cast with flexible casting opportunities, great opportunities for technical elements, and many hilarious characters which the audience may, or may not be, familiar with. We love Monty Python and we’re very excited to bring this wacky, fun show to life this year! “

Auditions for Spamalot, The Musical will be held November 16 from 3:30-6 pm in the HHS auditorium. Callbacks will be November 17, 3:30-6 pm. Rehearsals will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6-8 pm and will increase as the performance date nears. Mr. Fahey expects the show will be staged in February.

For any questions or for more information, please reach out to Mr. Faherty, Mr. Wade, or Mr. Harden.

Spirit Week Unites Classes in Fun Events, Friendly Competition

By Callia Gilligan and Caris Mann, ’22

Staff Writers

The 2021 Spirit Week has come and gone with great success! Thanks to the hard work of the Student Council, students were able to enjoy a great series of events Oct. 18-22, leading up to the traditional Friday night Homecoming football game!

Spirit Week started off strong with America Monday. Freshmen to seniors could be found decked out in their red, white and blue. It was a great indicator of the participation that would come throughout the week! 

This year’s Tuesday theme was Hawaiian Day, and students certainly did not disappoint! Despite the cold weather, it was a tropical climate inside the school with Hawaiin shirts and leis. 

On Wednesday, HHS took a trip out west with our Western Wednesday! Hanover saw many cowboy hats, boots, lassos and sheriffs arrive, transforming students into cowboys! A new theme for this year, Western Wednesday had some of the highest numbers of participants for the week. 

Stay gold HHS! Thursday’s theme was Outsiders’ Day where students could dress up as either a Greaser or a Soc from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. Everywhere you looked, students were dressed in leather and jean jackets, bandanas, and even some letterman jackets for Soc representation. This was another new theme that the Student Council tried out this year with the belief that it connected everybody since it was required reading for all students at Hanover Middle School.

Blue, black, white, and yellow were the only colors seen in school on Friday for the traditional Class Color Day. After a vote taken among teachers, the senior class was awarded the prize for most school spirit and best class representation.

Continuing with Homecoming Week tradition, HHS had its annual pod decorating contest on Friday. Each class decorated a hallway of the school in the theme selected by their class representatives. The freshmen went with a baseball theme as “Fenway Freshmen.” decorating with bases, baseballs and their very own Green Monster! The sophomore class delighted as “Spaced-Out Sophomores” with astronauts and aliens covering the hallway. They even added the special touch of writing the names of the members of the Class of 2024 on golden stars. The juniors took us to the tropics with their Jungle Juniors theme. Monkeys and parrots could be found hanging from the ceiling with an abundance of green leaves covering the hallway. Finally the senior class stayed in true October fashion and decorated the senior pod as “Spooky Seniors.” The hallway was filled with Halloween decorations and was reminiscent of a haunted house. While all classes certainly did a great job, the Seniors ultimately took the win for this year’s pod decoration contest. 

The Spirit Week Pep Rally, cancelled in 2020 because of COVID, made its triumphant return on Friday. This year, the rally was held outside on the turf as opposed to being in the gym. It was a fun alternative and a lot of students were fans of the change. Before the rally, the senior class gathered in the courtyard and listened to Taylor Swift’s Lovestory before running onto the turf. After the senior class made its debut, the Student Council E-board announced that the seniors had swept the Pod Decorating Contest and Most School Spirit prizes, as well as the award for the loudest cheer during the rally. Then the games began with the rock-paper-scissors hula hoop game where the underclassmen beat the upperclassmen. Next up was a new game, Dizzy Bat Penalty Kicks, where students had to spin around ten times in a circle and try to kick a soccer ball into a net guarded by varsity soccer goalies Mia Pongratz and Garrett Arnold. It was hilarious to watch when people would either fall or miss the goal entirely. The next game was dodgeball with the senior and sophomore classes vs the junior and freshmen classes. The seniors and sophomores took home the win. The final game was students vs teachers tug of war with the students ultimately winning in the end. The pep rally was a lot of fun this year with new games and excited participants.

The excitement of Spirit Week carried over into Friday’s Homecoming game against Pembroke. Band, cheerleading and football seniors were recognized for their sustained dedication over the last four years. Students continued to show their school spirit and came to the game dressed in all white. At halftime, seniors Danielle Tilden and Nick Plahn were crowned Homecoming King and Queen. The football team beat Pembroke 42 to 15 and the team celebrated with the singing of “Hey Baby.” It was an excellent game and a great end to Homecoming Week!

It had been over a year since HHS saw a Spirit Week and a Pep Rally. Overall, the week was a success with lots of participation to celebrate school spirit. Until next year!

Photos from Homecoming game and dance by Mr. Ryerson

Staff Join Unified Sports Team for First Game of Year

By Norah Kelley, ’24

Staff Writer

After a year and a half without games due to the pandemic, the HHS Unified Sports Team resumed play on October 21. In the fall, the team plays soccer, and for this first match, school staff was invited to take part. Teachers and students played hard and showed great teamwork and sportsmanship. Family and friends came to support the Unified Team and watch the game. Even some dogs came to watch! 

“I am so proud of the Unified Soccer team. They played with so much heart and our faculty players did a fantastic job!” said Mrs. Gately, HHS Spanish teacher and the program coordinator. “It was a great day for everyone.”  Mrs. Gately thanked Ms. Nixon, Mr. Decie, Ms. Doyle, Mrs. McHugh, Mrs. Bostwick, and Mrs. Cotter “for playing with so much gusto!”

Students are eager for another game soon, hopefully against another Unified Sports Team. Other local districts including Abington and Marshfield have Unified Teams as well, and HHS has played against them in the past. For now, practice continues every week. Later in the year, the team will switch to volleyball or basketball in the winter and kickball in the spring. 

Unified Sports is part of a national program that is a branch of the Special Olympics. Its goal is to bring together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to compete on the same team. I look forward to our Unified Sports practices every week. The team is so supportive, and everyone loves to be there. If you are interested in joining, please reach out to Mrs. Gately or me for more information! 

Get in the Spirit for Homecoming!

By Ben Freedman, ’25

Staff Writer

Hello Hanover High School students! This is Ben Freedman from The Hawk to inform you on everything you need to know about this year’s Homecoming.

Spirit Week will be held at HHS Oct. 18-Oct. 22, capped off by the Homecoming football game on Friday night and the Dance on Saturday. The Student Council and Senior Class officers have organized a week of fun with the following theme days:

  • Monday: America Monday
  • Tuesday: Hawaiian Day
  • Wednesday: Western Wednesday
  • Thursday: Outsiders Day:
    • Dress as a Greaser or a Soc from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders
  • Friday: Class Color Day:
    • Freshmen – yellow
    • Sophomores – white
    • Juniors – black
    • Seniors – blue

During 7th period Friday afternoon, students will gather on the football field for our first pep rally since COVID. Students from different classes will compete in games during the pep rally for fun and bragging rights. That night, the Hawks will take on rival Pembroke for what’s sure to be an exciting football game. Kickoff is 7 pm, and during half time, the Homecoming Court will be crowned. It will also be Senior Night for football, cheer and band. Make sure to be there!

The Dance will be held from 6-9 pm in the HHS cafeteria and courtyard. Tickets are $40 and will be on sale Monday, Oct. 18; they will not be sold at the door. Dinner will be in the cafeteria and dancing will be outside.

Now I’m sure that the number one thing students and parents are thinking about is whether we will have to wear masks. Yes, masks will be required for every HHS student attending the dance. Most students probably feel irritated by the mask mandate, but if everyone does a good job during the dance, it will help ensure we are able to have other events for students this year.

I wanted to go over a couple of points that students and parents are probably wondering about. The first is food. The food served at the Homecoming dance is still being decided, but it is usually a buffet where students can grab what they want when they want it and sit in the cafeteria to eat. Second is dates. You’re not allowed to bring people from other towns or schools, so most students go with a group of friends. Third is the dress code. Students should wear business casual clothing, which means gentlemen should wear slacks or khakis with a dress shirt or a blouse, and for ladies, the ideal attire would be a dress or skirt.

The Student Council and Senior Class officers have been planning Homecoming festivities since the summer and encourage students to take part. You only have so many opportunities in high school to meet people and get involved. As a freshman myself, something I like to keep in mind is to get involved because I only have four years of high school, and if I miss out on opportunities I know I cannot get them back. The same goes for any other student at HHS. 

Featured Picture: Homecoming Court 2019

Mr. Mattos Brings Focus on ‘Connected Student’ to Hawk Nation

By Callia Gilligan, ’22

Staff Writer

You’ve seen him in the hallways and you’ve heard him on the morning announcements talking about “Mission Monday.” From the first email he sent this summer, everyone has been dying to know more about our new principal Mr. Mattos and his plans for Hanover High School. 

Matthew Mattos joins us from Taunton High School, where he served as principal for 16 years. He is enthusiastic about being a part of the HHS community, which he affectionately calls Hawk Nation. 

Born on Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, where his father was stationed, Mr. Mattos graduated from UMass Amherst and earned his master’s degree from Providence College and took Ph.D. classes from Lesley University. He initially majored in journalism, but switched to social studies when he decided he wanted to become a teacher. He was inspired by working with teenage campers during his summers of high school and college. The camp experience was full of energy and engagement, which he tried to carry into his career as an educator. “When I became a teacher, I tried to incorporate a lot of those lively, enthusiastic and energetic lessons,” he said.

While Mr. Mattos eventually became a principal so he could have a greater impact on the student population, it’s evident that this energy and enthusiasm were not left behind in his classroom. He’s committed to making the school environment a positive one and is excited to contribute to a better education for each student. “I like knowing that when people get out of their cars or off the bus, that they’re in a good mood,” he said, “because you need to be in a good mood to elicit proper learning.” 

Mr. Mattos not only values the education of a student but wants them to be an active participant in it. He smiles as he remembers his own teacher, Mr. Phenix, who kept the classroom conversational and encouraged the students to stay engaged. Mr. Phenix was “just a nice dude,” he recalled. “He was very relatable, he was very rational and he involved the students.” 

Mr. Mattos also cares deeply for his students as individuals. He said that his favorite part of the day is standing out in front of the building and greeting every student. “The students are so nice. They’re so friendly and polite. I love being a part of it and I look forward to being a part of it in the future,” he said.

In fact, one thing he misses about being a teacher is getting to know every student personally. “I strongly believe that every student should feel comfortable inside the building,” he said. “They should be embraced by the Hanover High community for the individuals that they are.” 

Our individual personalities are what make up the Hawk Nation, Mr. Mattos said. While this new term for our school population, and the big banner in the office, have been met with some curiosity, Mr. Mattos says school spirit and involvement are vital for a successful student. He jokes about how often he says that “a connected student is a better student.” When students find enrichment outside of their academics, he explains, it enhances their involvement and their love for the school, contributing to a better overall environment. This can look like anything from being involved in clubs or sports teams to attending art shows or performing in concerts. 

“If a student embraces the Hawk Nation and the Blue and Gold, and the pride that comes from being a contributing student to the building, it just elevates your mood and makes you feel like you’re involved and connected and you’re a part of something,” he said.

This sense of community is a way to derive purpose from coming to school every day which can feel tedious, repetitive, and absolutely boring at times. In an even greater sense, Mr. Mattos said, academics and involvement lead to the true purpose of high school, discovering yourself. 

“High school to me,” he said “is where the child finds themselves” and begins to become “an adult and a citizen.” It’s a chance for students to say “This is the person who I now want to be.” 

Mr. Mattos and his wife, Sheri, a third grade teacher, have two daughters who are teachers as well: Jillian and Samantha. They also have a granddaughter named Averie. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, vacationing and sitting around the backyard firepit with his family – even in the winter.

Senior Starts Speaker Series to Help Students Plan Careers

By Adrian Nickerson, ‘25

Staff Writer

Do you like science, technology, engineering and math? Do you dream of someday working in the STEM fields? Or are you like many students, unsure of what you want to do after high school?

Then you should check out the speaker series organized by HHS senior Isma Saleem! Thanks to Isma, we will have guests come in during the day to talk about STEM and other careers about once a month. Administration calls these presentations “in-school field trips.” Teachers can bring down their classes or students can request a permission slip from the main office so they can attend.

Isma came up with the idea for the speaker series last year. “Coming into high school, I stressed a lot about not knowing what I was going to do in the future,” she said. “I didn’t like the lack of security I felt from that.”  After taking Internship class at HHS and talking to others about different careers, Isma had an idea. She approached Mr. Plummer, the HHS Curriculum Director, about organizing speakers she hoped would help others figure out their future plans.

The first presentation was Oct. 1 and featured folks from the medical field, including nurses and acute trauma surgeons. 

One of the guests was Patrica Smith, the Director of Health Services for Hanover Public Schools and a registered nurse. As a nurse, she did great things like working on the cardiac surgery floor. She was also a school nurse before becoming director for the district. She talked about what it has been like since COVID-19 emerged locally in March 2020. She also explained the test and stay program, where students considered close contacts to someone with COVID-19 are tested at school each day instead of sent home for long quarantines. Some advice she had for anyone thinking of becoming a nurse was to work hard, and strive to work even harder.

Another speaker was Dr. Gustavo Bauza, an acute care surgeon who focused on trauma, emergency and critical care. He said his job requires teamwork and a desire to serve your community. No two days are ever the same, he added. If you want to pursue this career, work will become your life. You may miss holidays and family events, he cautioned, so in order to be happy in this profession, you’ll have to really enjoy doing it.  

The next presentation will be Nov. 10 and feature speakers from the computer science and Internet technology industries. If you’re interested, talk to your teacher about bringing your class or, when the date is closer, stop by the main office for a permission slip.

Dr Gustavo Bauza

Banned Books Week Highlights “Dangerous,” “Offensive” Titles

By Mrs. McHugh

HHS Librarian/Advisor of The Hawk

Who gets to decide what you’re allowed to read?

That’s the question the American Library Association asks each year during Banned Books Week. A national group of school, public and university librarians, the ALA started the program in 1982 as more and more books were being challenged by parents, religious leaders, or politicians who believe those titles should be removed from the school or public library. The challengers argue that readers, especially students, should not have access to this “dangerous” material.  

What are these “dangerous” books? Why are they being challenged? According to the Banned Books Week website, the book George by Alex Gino was the most frequently challenged book in 2020. The story of a transgender student seeking acceptance in school, George comes under fire for its LGBTQIA+ content and because, critics say, it conflicts with religious or community values. In fact, books about LGBTQIA+ issues have long been among the most challenged. The picture book And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, about two male penguins who adopt a chick, was among eight books on the 2019 top ten list cited for homosexual content.

In 2020, the ALA noted, challenges shifted toward many books dealing with racism and police violence. Among the 10 most challenged were Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds, All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, and The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. The books were criticized as being biased, political and anti-police.

Other arguments that critics have used to launch challenges are that the books promote witchcraft (the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling), disruptive behavior (Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey), profanity (The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood) or sexual activity (Looking for Alaska by John Green). Books that deal with rape, sexual abuse, alcoholism, drug use, suicide or other serious issues are often called too mature for students. 

Librarians, book sellers, publishers and readers fight these challenges, sometimes in the courts. But the fear is that frequent challenges will result in self-censorship, making authors think twice before tackling sensitive topics, or librarians and teachers wary of including controversial books on their shelves.

Many of the books mentioned in this article can be found in the HHS library which, like all libraries, sets selection policies for choosing books. There are many factors considered when adding books to the library, including the age and social/emotional development of students, the needs of the curriculum, and the quality of the book. But isn’t choosing just some books for a library a kind of censorship? Librarians say the difference is that their focus is on including the varied interests and viewpoints of their communities, rather than excluding topics that are controversial or sensitive. 

Some books that have been challenged end up being accepted as problematic, requiring honest discussion and reflection before being used in a classroom. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, for example, uses racial slurs that, while appropriate for the setting of the book, can be upsetting to readers. It also has been criticized for promoting the idea of a “white savior,” where the white characters are the heroes who rescue the African Americans who are incapable of saving themselves. Educators in recent years have begun asking what other books might better address the issues of racism and discrimination. Is this the same as banning a book? Or is it an evolution of our cultural norms? 

Who gets to decide what is appropriate? That’s the question at the heart of Banned Books Week. If a book upsets you, should you have the power to keep others from reading it? If you find it offensive, can you demand it be removed from the library or classroom? The American Library Association says no. By commemorating Banned Books Week, which was  held this year from Sept. 26-Oct. 2, the group argues that students and adults alike should be free to read whatever interests them — no matter how dangerous somebody else thinks it is.

For more information:

https://bannedbooksweek.org/

https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10