Category Archives: News

invention, curiosity Are formula for success

By Ashley Stracco, ’24

Staff Writer

In a year dominated by science and its efforts to fight a new deadly virus, Hanover High School revealed a few of its own budding scientists while having one of its best Science Fair performances in recent memory.

HHS sent three students to the Regional and State Science Fair. They were  Freshman Ashley Stracco, Junior Jamie Parry and Sophomore Daniel Nguyen. Dan went the farthest that an HHS student has gone in a very long time, winning the third place Moderna award, a huge accomplishment. 

Dan’s project was called “The Implementation of Independent Finger Movement in Forearm Prosthesis.” He worked on creating a 3D printable design that was practical as well as affordable. Electromyographic sensors detect electrical signals from muscle contractions in the forearm and send those signals to the Arduino microcontroller, which actuates the servo motors in order to move the finger mechanisms. In other words, flexing muscles in your forearm controls the prosthetic hand’s fingers. Dan thinks that competing in the fair was a valuable experience for him because he developed his skills in CAD design and 3D printing. He also was able to implement his knowledge in programming. In regionals, he won second place and in states he obtained the Modern Award for third place. 

Ashley’s project was the effect of Vitamins A, C, D, and E on E. Coli bacteria. She grew cell food in Petri dishes and put the liquid bacteria on the plates. She then added drops of liquidized vitamins onto each of the plates, making sure to keep track of the control plates. She plans to continue her project next year and experiment with things like antibiotics versus vitamins. 

Jamie’s project was called “The Effect of Goggle Tint on Light Transmission.” Jamie explained that goggle lenses vary in both tints and colors. His experiment was designed to test the difference in light transmission between different tinted lenses. He set up an apparatus that held a goggle lens tightly around a light sensor. This ensured he would receive accurate data and no light could enter the sensor. The results of the experiment showed that the best goggles were those with either a blue or blue/red tint.

All three students said they had great experiences with the Science Fair, advised by Mrs. Emerson. We look forward to seeing what they, and other HHS students, come up with next year.


students reflect on covid changes, including some they’ll miss

By Natalie Mowbray, ’22

Staff Writer

With all the new measurements adopted this year to stop the spread of Coronavirus, students and staff at HHS have had to acclimate to a lot of changes. Now, students do things at school that were previously unheard of, such as taking mask breaks and eating lunch with plexiglass barriers between them and their friends. From one-way staircases to socially distant seating, there are many things that students cannot wait to bid goodbye as this unprecedented school year comes to an end. But, perhaps surprisingly, there are some provisions that students would like to see carried into the fall.

One of the most common complaints was about the bathrooms, which have been restricted and monitored to keep groups of students from gathering in small spaces.

“I don’t like how there are now only two bathrooms open to the entire school,” said Rachael Meehan. “I have to figure out which ones are open and it ends up taking a lot of time and wandering around to figure it out.”

Molly McGlame agreed. “I can’t wait for all of them to be open,” she said. “I can’t stand never knowing which ones are open and having to walk around the arrows to figure it out.”

The arrows, dictating which ways traffic can flow in the halls and which stairs can be taken up or down, were another thing students can’t wait to get rid of.

“I feel like it’s going to be a huge improvement once the arrows are gone,” said Libby Hutchins. “There’s nothing more frustrating than walking around to get to class just to find out that you are on the wrong stairs, especially for the upperclassmen who have been in the building already and have seen the normal flow of students. It’s definitely something that we all want to go away.”

Ava Toner won’t miss the plexiglass in classrooms and the lunchroom. “Nobody enjoys talking to someone through a screen,” she said. “It can be super hard to hear people talking and the glare makes it hard to keep a conversation going. I just want us to be able to go back face to face.”

As much as students disliked many of the new implementations this year, there are some changes they would like to make permanent. Many grew to enjoy the mask breaks twice a day, which gave them a chance to get outside. As the weather warmed up, the mask breaks became like a quick recess, a chance to play wall ball or cornhole and stretch your legs.

“Before, we would be stuck in the building all day even when the weather was beautiful,” said McGlame. 

Meehan seconded that, saying she believed the mask breaks helped students stay more focused. “In the morning, just getting some steps in and fresh air has helped me stay awake and alert.” 

Since the doors in the cafeteria have been opened, people also have liked using the courtyard more frequently.

“Eating lunch outside is a lot better than eating in the cafeteria sometimes,” said Hutchins. “The fresh air on a nice day out and being able to step outside of the crowded cafeteria can be really relieving on a stressful day.

grateful for Final(s) break

By Grace Van Duyn, ’22

Staff Writer

As HHS students entered the final stretch of the school year, one of the main topics of conversation was the issue of finals. With so many students and teachers being in and out of school due to quarantine or switching between remote and in-person learning, would the usual end-of-year exams take place? In the past, students would take two exams each morning and get dismissed after, so the last week of school would be half days. Many students liked this plan, especially since they wouldn’t have to come in for some days. Others were stressed by having to take a series of big tests to finish the year.

Recently, the administration decided to eliminate traditional final exams this year. Instead, students will follow a full-day class schedule through June 17th and have a half-day on June 18th. That being said, teachers still have the option to give their students some sort of final exam in class if they choose to do so. 

This challenging year was experienced differently by everyone in HHS, and no matter how you were impacted, it was something none of us have seen before. Many students applauded the decision to cancel finals.

“I am glad we are not having finals because I have never liked finals,” said junior Morgan Taylor. “I am so happy to finish this year on a happy and more relaxed note than usual.”

“We all deserve a break after this year,” agreed Ian Sullivan, a senior.

“It’s less stress defininitely,” added sophomore Connor Mansfield.

Sophomore Maeve Sullivan is taking an AP class with a late exam this year, so she’s glad she doesn’t have to worry about exams for her other classes. “I feel like I would be too stressed if I had to study for the AP test and take finals too.”

Freshman Ashley Stracco spent the first half of the year fully remote and had a big adjustment  when she returned to in-person classes. She also was grateful that finals were cancelled.

“When I came back it was like I had transferred schools for some of my classes,” she said. “If we had finals, I was going to have to learn the entire school year for all of my classes in a month. That would have been awful.”

McKenzie Bottomley, a junior, had been looking forward to a week of half days to end the school year. Since she had taken several AP classes, she wasn’t going to have many finals.

“I am happy that we don’t have finals this year. But, I am kind of bummed that we don’t get the finals schedule and have classes until the official last day,” she said.

Personally, I agree with the decision to cancel finals since students had such unpredictable and uneven learning experiences this year. I am happy that we can all get a more relaxing end to this year than we experienced at the beginning. I think that even though we won’t be studying for finals this year, there is no doubt that we have all learned so much about ourselves, our classmates, our teachers, our school, and our community this year.  

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Students react to state’s mask rule changes

By Paulina Leskow, ’24

Staff Writer

After about a year of COVID restrictions, Governor Charlie Baker announced that the mask mandate and other emergency rules would be lifted on May 29th. These rules included limits on the number of people in stores or restaurants, and the requirement that masks be worn indoors and out. Schools, hospitals, doctor offices and train stations must keep the mask rule, but many indoor businesses including Target and Walmart will no longer require them. Massachusetts schools dropped the mask rule outdoors and during sports just a couple of weeks ago. State and federal officials still encourage non-vaccinated people to wear masks, but there is no requirement to show proof of vaccination.

Some HHS students are relieved to take off their masks, while others expressed doubt about the decision. 

“It’s a little more normalcy,” said Connor Mansfield, a sophomore.

“I’m excited about not wearing masks, but there is some hesitancy,” said Olivia Campo, a freshman. Although the lifted rules will bring the community one step closer to normal life, she said, she worries whether COVID-19 has been contained. “I just hope we don’t go back into lockdown.” 

Junior Daniel Leskow also has mixed feelings. Although having no masks would be great, he said, he is not sure if it is the safest option as the virus continues to spread in some areas. 

“I feel like it’s a really big step, it’s a huge jump and I don’t know if the world is ready to remove masks,” he added. “But a lot of people are getting vaccinated so the risk is going down.” 

The world is fighting back the Coronavirus but some wonder if it would be best to keep the restrictions in place for a while longer. This new lifting of masks and other restrictions will change our daily lives. Will it help us return to normal faster? Or will it only give the virus another chance to surge?

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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!

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.”

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!

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.