Category Archives: News

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.” 

The Travails of the Turkey on Main and Plain

By Norah Kelley, ’24

Staff Writer

Stan, the turkey who has been hanging out on Main Street and Plain Street for the past few weeks, has been causing traffic and making a scene. Almost every day around the time that school gets out, Stan likes to stand in the middle of the road and stare down cars. He was a pain when we first saw him, but he seems to have grown on everyone and become part of the community. 

This turkey has gotten a lot of recognition on town Facebook pages, but not as much as he gets while he stands in the street. Many people on Hanover Connect have mentioned this turkey, and he was even suggested to be the new school mascot! (Sadly, he lost out to the more regal and intimidating hawk) Community members have suggested a few other names for the turkey, including Joe, but it seems like Stan is sticking. 

I have seen Stan many times because he is normally right in front of my house, or on top of my dad’s pickup truck. He even has been seen on the power lines like a tightrope walker. 

People have beeped at Stan, and even gotten out of their car to shoo him away, but he keeps coming back. The beeping and yelling don’t get him out of the street, but seem to encourage him. I think this weird turkey loves the attention. Police officers have driven down Main Street and put on their sirens to try to get Stan out of the road, but that doesn’t work either. Many have pulled up just inches from Stan, but he stands his ground and won’t budge. The only thing that seems to work is to get out of your car and run at him until he moves into the safety of someone’s front yard. 

Many in Hanover have grown to love seeing Stan when they are driving home from school or work. At first, he was a pain to everyone, standing in the middle of the road annoying drivers who just wanted to get where they needed to be. But now whenever he is seen, at least for me and my family, we smile. He brings a little humor into some long COVID-19 days.

Please, don’t hurt Stan. This strange turkey just wants some attention, so please drive around him. And remember, beeping doesn’t get him out of the street, so if you’re in a hurry, you’re going to have to get out of your car and chase him away – or wait for another brave person to do it!

Pet Adoptions Soar During Pandemic

By Norah Kelley, ’24

Staff Writer

Every year in the United States, about 3.2 million pets are adopted. At the start of March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit our nation, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reported that pet adoption rates went up 58 percent. By the end of that month, adoption rates were up 85 percent. Time magazine named rescue animals as 2020’s pet of the year. People who felt isolated due to the pandemic, or who found themselves at home with time on their hands, adopted millions of dogs, cats, and other pets.

Here in Massachusetts, inquiries to adopt pets have been higher than they have ever been. At the Scituate Animal Shelter (SAS), 399 pets were adopted between January 1, 2020, and February 1, 2021. While that is a little lower than past years, Amanda Eddy Baker, the shelter’s Intake and Adoptions Manager, said, “The amount of inquiries and people looking to adopt has been a record high!” 

Jamie Mackinnon, a college student at Roger Williams University, adopted a puppy named Winston in September. She already had a dog, Lola, and decided to get another during the pandemic to keep Lola company. 


“The decision was not directly COVID-related,” Mackinnon said. “But the timing worked out because my mom had been working from home during the pandemic.” 

Like many others working from home, Mackinnon’s family had the time to devote to training and caring for a new pet. They also found their new pet cheered up what could be lonely days. 

Due to COVID-19, animal shelter operations have changed a lot. SAS, for example, cannot allow visitors without an appointment, so people cannot browse for an animal that catches their eye. “We do really miss having people come in just to tour the shelter and look at the animals,” Eddy Baker said. “We hope to get back to that soon!” 

Not only has the amount of visitors changed, but the number of volunteers has gone down. In the past, the shelter would be bustling night and day with staff and volunteers, but now only one volunteer is allowed in at a time. “Our volunteers have shown incredible dedication and hard work!” Eddy Baker said. “Sometimes the kennels are full of very messy dogs or there are 20 cats who need care. That is a lot of work for one person!” 

But SAS and other shelters are making the best out of a hard time and getting a lot of animals new homes during the pandemic. Every year, SAS adopts out more cats than dogs, and that trend has continued in this unpredictable year. There is still a worry that people will have to surrender their pets once everything is back to normal. When people are not working from home any more, will there still be enough time to take care of an animal? But if such unfortunate circumstances arise, Scituate and other shelters will be there to help those animals in need.

Pet Statistics | Shelter Intake and Surrender | ASPCA

Rescue Animals Are TIME’s 2020 Pet of the Year | Time

Students Voice Concerns with Back-to-School Plan

By Caris Mann, ’22

Staff Writer

On February 1st, the Hanover School Committee announced that high school students will be returning to school in person for four days a week starting March 8th. Grades K-2 were the first to make this transition, and other grades will resume between Feb. 22 and March 1. New guidelines such as desks being placed three feet apart, instead of six feet, and weekly pool testing of students will be implemented in order to accommodate the plan. The transition may require some students’ schedules to be changed to ensure there are no classes that are too large for their classroom. There are also new guidelines regarding Zoom, where teachers will no longer be required to livestream their classes for any students at home. This means students who are quarantined or have COVID will not be able to virtually attend; instead, teachers will post or send home assignments for students to complete on their own. 

Students who don’t want to return can opt into the Virtual Academy, the high school’s fully remote program. In that program, students take all of their classes through online platforms, with HHS teachers facilitating the program. The School Committee asked that parents make this decision by February 5.

In a statement released Feb. 1, School Committee Chair Leah Miller said this plan allows for “students to resume as much academic normalcy as possible in a safe environment.” The plan will be implemented safely with the help “of the collaborative support of our teachers and families along with our school health, public health, and public safety departments,” the statement continued. 

Students at HHS have formulated their own opinions about the School Committee’s decision. In a survey, The Hawk asked whether or not students wanted to return full time, if they had any concerns, and if they had any other thoughts about the plan. Most of the respondents said they do not feel comfortable returning to school full time because of the reduced social distancing and lack of Zooms for quarantining students. However, the students seemed the most upset about the fact that they were not asked their opinions about returning back. 

Do you agree or disagree with the plan, and why?

“I agree with the plan because I think kids need to get back to school for their mental health and for their education.”- Ashley Stracco, ‘24

“I disagree because the coronavirus is getting worse and by letting us go back all four days, there will be no social distancing and even more quarantines. The chances of getting COVID from being in school will also increase.”- Anonymous, ‘23

“With the corona numbers higher, I don’t think that we should go back full time.”- Jay Champagne, ‘23

“I strongly disagree with the plan to reopen on the current day chosen. I disagree because changing the schedule again will do nothing other than cause more stress, anxiety and confusion to the students and teachers.”- Anonymous, ’22

“I don’t agree with it. While I believe we should go back at some point, the carrying out of the plan doesn’t seem well thought out at all, especially because there won’t even be an option for Zooms. Kids don’t social distance outside of school, so that just means more kids who could’ve been exposed are in the building at the same time and even closer together than six feet.”- Julia McGillivray, ‘22

“I personally strongly dislike this plan. I think that largely it was pushed forward by parents who are not in school and don’t understand the students’ concern. I want so badly to go back to school and to return to some bit of normalcy, but now is just not the time. Case numbers are extremely high and sending us back after February break and after everyone has traveled and gotten together is just poor timing. I really don’t think it’s a good idea.”- Callia Gilligan, ‘22

“No, I don’t agree at all, it was way too early to go back to school. We still have many cases in Hanover and many people are constantly quarantining. Teachers not providing zooms will also be a big problem because that will put kids weeks behind everyone else and just create a lot of stress. Also when we are in school during this hybrid model, we can’t even properly social distance six feet, but now with everyone back, we won’t be able to social distance at all. We will be mere centimeters away from other people. The CDC and medical professionals are still recommending everyone stay six to ten feet apart, but now there’s no way we can do that, especially during situations like lunch.” – Andrew Corbo,’22

“I was kind of surprised to hear that we are returning to fully in-person school. I think it will be beneficial to return to some normalcy. However, I think there are still many questions that students have about the new plan.”- Paige Dillis, ‘22

“I don’t think the plan to go back four days a week on March 8th is safe at all. Coupled with getting rid of the zoom option, it’s not fair to students. Our classes are already as full as they can be. … Band, and probably chorus as well, wouldn’t be able to have classes either. The regulations for music classes are much different than normal classes because we can’t wear proper masks while playing an instrument. We already rehearse in the auditorium and to be able to space everyone out ten feet apart and fitting up to 30-35 students in there, is a stretch. Trying to fit 65 students in there isn’t safe at all. It’s either one cohort wouldn’t be able to play for a day while the other cohort does, or the entire music department would have to wait until the spring, when there isn’t snow on the ground, to rehearse outside as a full ensemble. It’s not fair to the entire music department that because the district wants to be the first in the state to try this out, that it comes at the expense of the classes that are the only reason that some students even want to go to school anymore.”- Anonymous, ’22

“I can see why people are upset but I also think it’s a good idea to try to go back because we can’t be at home forever and we need to eventually go back and one school needs to be the first to find out if this is a possibility, so why not give it a try?”- Joseph Campo, ‘22

“I do not agree with the plan. Although it’s a nice idea in theory to go back to fully in person school, now is just not the time. Walking through the hallways, a majority of students I have talked to are all quite upset with the news for a variety of reasons. One that stands out to me is that the largest group of people in the school (the students) weren’t asked about whether or not they would feel safe going back now. Also, schedules at the school were not made for fully in-person schooling. I along with my friends, have classes that are already close to max capacity and with the addition of students from the other cohort we won’t be able to fit, let alone stay socially distanced.”- Christopher Manning, ‘22

“I don’t really agree with it for a few reasons. One is we are the town with the third most cases in Massachusetts and there are only three months left of school, so why change it?”- Anonymous, ‘22

“I would like to go back because high school isn’t just about learning, but it’s also a social outlet, and we’re missing that outlet by not being there as much as possible.”- Mike Losordo, ‘22

“Back in November, I wrote a very long email about coming back to school to our superintendent and principal of HHS. For context, from October to November my entire family tested positive for COVID-19, all except for me. During their quarantine, they were bedridden and very sick but thankfully recovered well and are okay now. Since I had tested negative multiple times, I had to quarantine another 10 days after my last exposure. My total quarantine was 24 days. This was weeks of not being in school, weeks without going to work, and weeks without leaving my room. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.  People who know me know that school is my second home. It’s where I’ve developed into my own person and found success even in the hardest times of my life. People who know me know that I, probably more than anyone, want to be at school full time again. I miss normalcy, I miss my friends and teachers. I miss the resources at our school. . . . Most of all, I miss feeling successful and accomplished and organized. However, I would give this all up, I have been giving this up, for the safety of everyone. I would rather struggle, and go through the trials and errors of remote life, which I’ve found very difficult, than potentially put the livelihood of our students and staff at risk. With the emergence of the vaccine we could be so close now to beginning the journey of healing this country, and expelling COVID-19.”- Anonymous, ‘22

“My thoughts on this is that the return back to school is being rushed. I feel like we need to wait until the vaccine goes to the teachers. I also wish that the school committee turned to the CDC guidelines that explicitly state that we need to be six feet apart.”- Anonymous, ‘22 

What are your concerns about the plan?

“My concerns are the classrooms are already filling up with one cohort. I feel that there will be too many people in a classroom at a time.”- Jay Champagne, ‘23

“No option for Zooms makes it so kids will either come to school sick because they don’t want to miss classes or kids in AP or Honors classes would miss two entire weeks of school and be expected to catch up.”- Julia McGillivray, ‘22

“My biggest concern logistically is how everyone is going to fit in the school. Hallways, classes and lunches are already full and I don’t know how some of my classes are going to fit, even at a distancing of three feet. In addition, I’m concerned about how teachers will not be required to Zoom with quarantined students. I had a concussion at the beginning of the year and missed around four days of classes and it took me about a month to catch up on all my outstanding work and learn the material I had missed in lessons. If a student is quarantined, through no fault of their own, I find it really unfair that they will be expected to teach themselves and won’t have access to lessons.”- Callia Gilligan, ‘22

“Yes, the classrooms are very small, about the size of my basement/living room, and some of my classes have up to 30 kids. It’s a terrible idea to bring all these kids back, it will cause a lot more stress and it just will not go well. “- Andrew Corbo, ‘22 

“I think one of the questions would be about how all of the students will fit in the classes while still maintaining proper social distancing. The majority of my classes are very large, so I am just curious how the guidelines will be with so many people. I think another concern would be about how students will continue to learn if they have to quarantine. Since there will be no more Zooms during the school day, I think it will be even more difficult to stay caught up in a class if a student had to quarantine.”-Paige Dillis, ‘22

“I’m concerned for the safety of our teachers, students, and staff. I already don’t feel that safe in school under the actual regulations and precautions that we’ve taken, so I know that most students, and all teachers, will not feel safe or at all comfortable with this plan. We would have to break regulations to physically fit every student in each classroom, and I know that goes directly against the Board of Health’s advice and regulations. If the district’s, specifically the school committee’s, method to having us all go back “safely” four days a week is to break regulations and go directly against the advice of actual professionals and doctors, then they clearly do not have our safety or our best interests in mind. I don’t feel comfortable putting my entire family, many of them who have health problems, at risk.” – Anonymous, ‘22

“How are lunches going to work and what about classes that have a large amount of people in them?”- Joseph Campo, ‘22

“My only concern is that the school committee is just rushing into this to look good to groups of parents who don’t want their kids to be at home anymore during the school day instead of actually thinking about the people who would be going to school in this new environment.”- Christopher Manning, ‘22

“I feel as though people are only saying they don’t agree with going back four days because they just don’t want to and not because they think it would be best to be there only two days. I think once we go back four days, people will become accustomed to it, as they already did with a two day schedule.”- Mike Losordo, ‘22

“I have quite a few concerns as to what is going to happen with the classes that are already large in size and now have to combine with the other cohort because I would not like to be taken out of my class in the middle of the year but I think that is something that they just might have to do. Also, it is really concerning that teachers will no longer hold Zooms because if we are going back, more cases are going to be inevitable but, those students will have to catch up on work after the fact rather than attending classes virtually.”- Anonymous, ‘22

“My main concerns are falling behind due to no more Zooms, having to quarantine more often, the lack of social distancing, and the higher possibility of contracting the virus. As with the Virtual Academy, I’m concerned about the level of education, learning the new programs if I do switch over, if I will still get honors and AP credit for courses I’m already taking, if I’ll be learning things that I’ve already learned, and missing out on things due to a different curriculum.”- Anonymous, ‘22

Is there anything else that you would like to say?

“If this plan was thought out better and I felt safe, I would have agreed with it.”- Julia McGillivray, ‘22

“I appreciate the sentiment of the school but this feels rushed  and now just doesn’t feel like the right time.”- Callia Gilligan, ‘22

“The only reason we are going back so fast is because of the politics of it all. If the school committee actually cared, they would seriously consider the input of students and teachers who are actually in the schools and will be the most affected by it. But the school committee only cares about pleasing the parents because they are the largest voting block in Hanover and they want to help their reelection chances.”- Andrew Corbo, ‘22

“I think we are all trying to be optimistic about this plan, but I think we all still have a lot of questions about it too.”- Paige Dillis, ‘22

“I think that since students in other Hanover schools have already had success with going back four days, then every other school should be more than able to pull it off; especially since the high school holds students that are both physically and emotionally capable of protecting themselves during this time.”- Mike Losordo, ‘22

For more information about the new plan, please click the link below:



Year In Review: Top News Stories of 2020

By Callia Gilligan, ’22

Staff Writer

2020 was a tumultuous year, to say the least. The news cycle seemed to be one of the greatest sources of stress for the global population, with one major story after another. Here are the top 10 news stories of 2020:

  • Australian Wild Fires

A year ago in a major climate crisis, wildfires raged their way through the Australian bush, killing much of its vegetation and animals. They first started burning in July of 2019 and continued into March of 2020. Scientists believe that nearly three billion animals were affected by the fires. However, the Australian people, government, and most importantly, firefighters showed great resilience in combating such a devastating loss. 

  • Assassination of Qasem Soleimani 

On January 3rd, an American drone targeted and killed Iranian military general Quasem Soleimani near the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Subsequently, the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution to expel all foreign troops, while Iran moved toward abandoning the 2015 international nuclear deal. The attack greatly increased tensions between the United States, Iraq and Iran. 

  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Give Up Senior Royal Title

What came as a shock to many, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down and gave up their position as Senior Royals of England. This came less than a year after the birth of their son, Archibald. The former Duke and Duchess made it clear that they wished to give their son as normal a life as possible, shielded from the public eye and scrutiny the royal family often faces. The family then took residence in Montecito, California!

  • Trump Impeached, Acquitted 

 At the end of 2019, President Trump faced the Articles of Impeachment of Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress from House of Representatives Democrats for his actions during a phone call with the Ukrainian President. Trump became the third President to be impeached and the first to have a fully partisan impeachment, as not a single representative from the Republican party voted to convict. His Senate trial carried into 2020; however, the Senate with a Republican majority voted to acquit him, the Articles were dropped and he was not removed from office. 

  • Coronavirus and Stay-At-Home Orders

Of course, this would not be a 2020 list without mention of COVID. Outside of politics, the Coronavirus was probably the biggest news story in the early months of last year. However, it all culminated locally the week of March 13th when stay-at-home orders from almost all 50 states was officially put in place. Schools were canceled, businesses were closed and masks were required everywhere we went. For the remainder of the year, COVID-19 was the centerpiece of the news cycle.

  • George Floyd Murder and Black Lives Matter 

On May 25th in Minneapolis, an African American man named George Floyd died after a police officer suffocated him by kneeling on his neck for eight minutes. Just a few weeks earlier, video footage of the death of Muhammed Arbery, a Black man murdered by two white men while he was jogging in Georgia, came to light as well. And thus erupted mass protests in all 50 states and many other countries against racism and police brutality in America. While many reflected and educated themselves on the issues in our country during this time,  others emerged spewing extreme hate and bigotry. The long-brewing divide in this country grew worse amid many occurrences of violence. 

  • The Biden-Harris Ticket

In August, in what became a rare glimmer of hope in a difficult year, Joe Biden officially announced his Vice Presidential pick, Senator Kamala Harris! The choice made Harris, a senator from California, the first woman of color to be included on a major party ticket. In April, when Senator Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race to be the Democratic nominee for president, Biden was the presumptive nominee. However, he was officially nominated in  August during the Democratic National Convention. 

  • Ruth Bader Ginsberg Dies

The notorious RBG, a longtime justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, passed away on September 18th. The American public mourned her death. As a lawyer, Ginsberg was a champion for equality in reproductive rights, workplace discrimination, and criminal procedure. She emphasized the need for men and women to have equal rights and in the 1975 Weinberger v. Weisenfeld argued that fathers who are widowed should be entitled to the same benefits as widowed mothers. Her fight continued after her appointment to the Supreme Court during the Clinton administration. She was a beloved woman and a feminist icon. After her death, her vacancy on the Court was filled by conservative justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

  • The 2020 Presidential Election 

It dominated the news for all of 2020 – from the debates to the party conventions, to the endless political ads. But on November 3rd, Americans cast their ballots for either Joe Biden or Donald Trump. For four days, the election was all anyone talked about. Due to coronavirus, many voters cast their ballots through the mail. This led to what felt like an excruciatingly long ballot-counting process. It was a very close call, resulting in recounts in Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia. But on Saturday, November 7th, Democrat Joe Biden was officially declared the winner of the race. This meant vice-president-elect, Kamala Harris, would be the first woman, Black and South Asian person to hold such a high office. On December 13th, electors cast their votes, certifying the election result. Joe Biden was able to flip many swing states that had voted for Donald Trump in 2016 including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Michigan. In addition, Georgia flipped to blue (even on the Senator level after the January 6th runoff election) for the first time since 1992. Republican Donald Trump and his supporters refused to accept the results, fighting for months in courts across the country and continuing to insist the election was rigged even after the new president was inaugurated in January 2021.

  • COVID-19 Vaccine 

What felt like the longest year in existence was brought to a happy close with the hopeful news of a vaccine in the near future. In December, Pfizer announced a vaccine with a 95% efficacy and Moderna followed soon after. Almost two weeks later, the first doses were administered. While there have been some hiccups in vaccine distribution, we are all thankful to know that hopefully soon COVID will be a memory of the past!

While 2020 challenged us all in many ways that we were unprepared for, hope is not lost. While battling racial injustice, extreme civil unrest, and a global pandemic, we have all proved that as a society, we have the ability to persevere, through even the darkest of times.

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Year in Review: Comfort is the Top Trend

By Grace Van Duyn, ’22

Staff Writer

The past year proved to be quite a unique one. Even though people had different experiences during the pandemic, I think most of us can say that we saw the cultural trends of our lives – and those of the world – change drastically. 

When schools and office buildings shut down in March 2020, we found ourselves doing all of our work online. Millions of people were meeting over video calls with teachers, bosses, friends, and family. Many of us had never heard of Zoom before and had never worked or studied remotely.  Most of us started off with great intentions of bringing our best selves to this new situation. Even though we may have gotten dressed in the first stages of zooming, it wasn’t long before a lot of us decided to stick with wearing pajamas. Comfort quickly became a priority. People who used to show up to work in formal suits had no need for those types of clothes when working remotely. In fact, stores found that pajamas sales experienced a 143% increase in 2020. Comfort was a big priority for many during 2020, and if we weren’t sleeping in blankets, we were wearing them. The Comfy was originally featured on Shark Tank in 2017, and due to its popularity – especially during 2020 – it has become one of the most successful products that has ever been on the show. There is no doubt that this cozy and one size fits all combination blanket and sweatshirt was the perfect 2020 uniform for remote work and school.

Along with trying to stay as comfortable as possible, many people wanted to eat good food. Food is a source of comfort and people were trying to find good food options while stuck at home. Instead of eating out at their favorite restaurants, more people were eating at home. People were looking for familiar and comforting foods to get them through their time in quarantine. Grubhub made a list of its top 10 most popular orders of 2020. The top five on the list were a spicy chicken sandwich, a chicken burrito bowl, chicken wings, waffle fries, and cold brew coffee. 

After getting comfortable with being comfortable all the time – and after too many takeout orders, many people next found themselves working out at home. With gyms and workout studios closed or severely restricted, people tried to find easy ways to exercise at home. People found themselves buying workout bands, weights, and even thousand dollar stationary bikes. Even people who didn’t have access to equipment found workouts on YouTube. As more people set up in-home gyms, stores across the country sold out of weights.  Bicycles were also almost impossible to find over as people tried to get outside and exercise.  

Music was another way we kept ourselves sane during this time. Some of the most listened to songs of 2020 were Blinding Lights, Dance Monkey, and Before You Go. Artists like Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, and Dua Lipa came out with multiple songs that were extremely popular during this time.

Many of us found some of our favorite songs in 2020 on the popular app called TikTok. While it became popular in 2019, the pandemic pushed people who had long resisted it into joining. Some of the top TikTok trends of 2020 were what I eat in a day, NYU quarantine meals, whipped coffee, election memes, and anything with pets. People of all ages joined in.

Sources :

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Year in Review: HHS Staff Finds New Ways to Unwind in 2020

By Ashley Stracco, ’24

Staff Writer

In the year of Coronavirus – also known as 2020 – we all had a great deal of time on our hands that we did not know what to do with. Some of us watched TikToks, reels on Instagram, and shows and movies provided by multiple streaming services. Others spent their time gaming and sleeping. Some people obtained a new skill. I, for one, started baking and cooking for my family. My specialty: banana muffins. 

Our HHS staff was no different. In between mastering remote teaching and dealing with other pandemic changes, they needed something for stress relief or entertainment. Some rediscovered a hobby they used to love, while some picked up an entirely – and sometimes surprising – new skill.

Mr. Henderson, an English teacher, has taken up scootering and skateboarding with his family. “I’m terrible at it – truly, terrible – but I find it gives us all a good laugh together,” he said. “I’ve also been playing more video games, mostly with my daughters, with some of the pandemic time. If it goes on much longer, I’m hoping to pick up the guitar again.”

Ms. Tarkanian, a special education teacher, worked on improving her skills baking and decorating sugar cookies. “I make the cookies and royal icing from scratch and then put my skills to work.”

Mrs. Youngworth, a French teacher, started doing puzzles. ” ‘Crazy, drive you a little bit insane, all the pieces look alike’ puzzles,” she said. “I found it very calming to sit there away from a screen and sort through the colors and shapes.” The puzzles were something that everyone in the family could help with as much, or as little, as they wanted to, she explained, and they framed several to hang in the family room when they were done. “Everyone signed and dated the back as we finished each one, so we will have a record of the craziness that was 2020 piece by piece.”

Mrs. Gately, who teaches Spanish, also got hooked on puzzles. “I had forgotten how much I liked to do puzzles as a kid,” she said. “I can’t believe how it completely frees my mind from the outside world and helps me to focus on the simple task of matching shapes and designs. Very satisfying!!!  Now, we always have a puzzle in progress on a table.”

Mr. Decie, who teaches science, rediscovered a role-playing game that he enjoys called Dungeons and Dragons. Created in the 1970s, the game allows players to create characters and go on adventures, all designed by the player known as a Dungeon Master. His games often included fellow science teacher Mrs. Emerson, who also got into TikTok during the pandemic. “Watching Tiktok makes time fly by and makes me feel like all my crazy isn’t crazy,” she said. “I love the parents acting like their teens.

Guidance Secretary Mrs. Gallagher tackled a few do-it-yourself furniture painting projects. “I found these few projects a great distraction from the stress of the pandemic that I could not control,” she said. “They helped take my mind from the negative worries.”

Mr. Sprague, a special education teacher, built a treehouse for his kids.

It’s probably no surprise that Mrs. McCusker, a history teacher and former school librarian, spent her extra time during the pandemic reading. 

Ms. Johnson, a special education paraprofessional, rekindled her love of art. “Because of the pandemic, I have been able to spend more time painting and drawing,” she said. “I especially enjoy painting on beach stones and writing inspirational messages on them.” 

Ms. Rapalje, the school adjustment counselor, also enjoyed rock painting. “It is very calming and meditative,” she said.

English teacher Mrs. McDonnell used her time during quarantine to get back to yoga and take more walks. “These activities allowed me daily to mentally refresh during a stressful time,” she said. 

Baking bread and taking up cross-stitch have helped Mrs. Stukenborg, assistant principal, through the pandemic. Mrs. Parry,  a science and math teacher, also started making sourdough.

Cooking became a passion for Mrs. Coates, a history teacher. “It allowed me the opportunity to use a creative flare as well as serve up some new and delicious recipes!”

Math teacher Mrs. Thompson has been having dance parties with her 3-year-old son during quarantine. “Dancing is a hobby of mine, and I haven’t been able to dance much during the pandemic,” she said. “We talk about how to move our bodies, how different movements can portray feelings, and it’s just been so much fun for us!”

Drama director Mr. Fahey returned to writing music, plays and poetry. “It was great to get back to writing and express my ideas during a difficult time

Mr. Rodday, a special education teacher, has been riding bikes with his family. 

In an effort to cut back on screen time for her and her youngest daughter, paraprofessional Mrs. Mann began making chalk signs and other home decor items. “It is very simple and can be very relaxing,” she said.

School nurse Mrs. Davis developed the skill of contract tracing for COVID-19 – something she’s put to good use this school year.  She also helped provide for the elderly over the summer with little to no contact. 

Mrs. Nixon, a special education teacher, learned to crochet. “I always wanted to learn how, so with the additional time at home, my sister taught me.”

Creating music playlists helped special education teacher Mrs. Fraser. “When I was younger (high school/college years), I used to make playlists for family and friends and it would relieve a lot of stress.”

Mrs. Curtis, a Spanish teacher, learned how to cut men’s hair and how to do embroidery. 

Math teacher Mrs. Turocy enjoyed geocaching. “It  is like treasure hunting . . . following GPS to a location on a trail to find someone else’s ‘cache’ they hid there.”

Coping with the Pandemic: HHS Edition

By Caris Mann, ‘22

Staff Writer

On March 13, Hanover High and hundreds of other schools across the region sent their students home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. For the first two weeks, students were basically off while school officials figured out how to continue with classes. And even once classes resumed, sports, clubs and pretty much everything else were cancelled or closed. With all of this free time, students had to find new ways to keep themselves occupied. Here is what students at HHS did to cope:

“Played video games and did group calls” – Anthony Mann and Austin Parker, ‘24

“Watched new TV and played video games until restrictions were lifted. Once restrictions were lifted, I played baseball.” – Anonymous, ‘24

“I baked, danced, and watched The Crown on Netflix.”- Julia McGillivray, ‘22

“I watched a ton of Netflix, went on walks, and listened to podcasts.” – Katie McGillivray, ‘22

“Walked 8-12 miles a day” – Luke Hoyes, ‘22

“I walked my dog.” – Paige Dillis, ‘22

“I exercised, kept my room clean, and went on daily walks. Tik Tok kept me going!” – Molly McGlame, ‘22

“I did a lot of baking.” – Kylie Campbell, ‘22

“I exercised, kept my room clean, went on walks, and baked.” – Libby Hutchins, ‘22

“I took walks with my dog and worked out. I also went outside when it became warm and I just liked being in the sun.” – Natalie Mowbray, ‘22

“I went outside a lot when it wasn’t too cold and I worked out.” – Sydney Patch, ‘22

“I slept till 1pm everyday and exercised. I also redid my room, read, and watched a lot of TV.” – Ava Toner, ‘22

“I slept a lot, exercised, went outside, and baked.” – Meghan Enos, ‘22

“I made a bunch of friendship bracelets, went on long walks with my dog, and watched tons of Netflix!” – McKenzie Bottomley, ‘22

“I did a lot of self care whether that was meditation, yoga, face masks, reading a book, or having quiet time. I made time to speak to my really close friends and family on Facetime because I couldn’t really see them. I also found that when I created a schedule everyday, it felt a lot more normal.” – Kelsey Delprete, ‘22

“I got a dog which pretty much occupied most of my time. I also read a lot of books and did crafts” – Anonymous, ‘22

“Over quarantine, I started working out three days a week by doing home workouts that I found online. I watched all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls with my mom during the first two weeks we had off in March and I watched Outer Banks as well. I Facetimed my friends to keep up with them since that was the only way to talk to them. When I was bored, I’d learn how to sing a new song or I learned a new dance.” – Elise Falvey, ‘21

“For me, I’m a senior so going about the whole college application process was much more difficult than I expected it to be but colleges and guidance were able to provide a lot of helpful resources. Also, there are a lot of events and activities that our class missed out on so I’m hoping that we can reach some sense of normalcy for events such as prom and homecoming. I’m president of the student council and the secretary of our class so both boards have been working extremely hard to provide new opportunities. It’s been very hard for every grade but I think for our class especially. We have missed out on a lot so we’re relying on our friends a lot for support. My main mode of coping with the pandemic has been through finding things to work on so that I can feel accomplished. Also, something that has made it alot easier has been finding safe and healthy ways that I can spend time with my friends.” – Sean Dever, ‘21

Unique Freshman Year for Fully Remote Students

By Norah Kelley, ’24

Staff Writer

Zoom. Edgenuity. VHS Learning. These are the ways that the dozens of students in the high school’s Virtual Academy are learning in this unpredictable, crazy year. For those who are freshmen, it’s even crazier. The freshmen who are a part of the Virtual Academy have had to start their high school career… all online.

Freshman year is supposed to be filled with new opportunities, making new friends, and trying to figure out what high school is going to be like. None of those can happen when you are sitting in front of your computer screen at home alone

Ashley Stracco, who misses the social aspects of going to school, has mixed feelings about waiting until next fall for her first chance to walk the halls of Hanover High.

“I don’t know how I feel about starting my high school career for the first time as a sophomore,” she said. “It seems exciting, but I wish I was starting it as a freshman.”

Freshmen that are in the Virtual Academy do not get to interact with many other students throughout the school day, unlike their counterparts who are a part of the hybrid model. Except for the Zoom meetings that happen twice a week for virtual students, these students often don’t feel very involved in school. 

“I have not participated in any school activities this year,” said Baylor Speckman.

Virtual Academy coordinators have done a great job trying to get these students involved in school, making sure announcements get to the fully remote students and that events like the Student Council’s recent Clash of the Classes strive to include them. But with many clubs not running this year and activities very limited even for hybrid students, the virtual freshmen are missing their chance to try new things – something that freshman year is all about.

“If the pandemic disappeared, I would go back to school tomorrow,” Baylor said. “But for right now, I think the best option for myself is to stay home.” 

Though going to school virtually has been a huge adjustment for all students, there are some freshmen who are enjoying it.

“If I could go back to school tomorrow, I wouldn’t because I really like being remote,” said Bridget Sanders. While she is missing out on new friendships, she likes remote learning because, “… it allows me to form my own schedule and learn at my own pace.”

Student Newspaper Set to Resume Publication!

After months of shutdown due to the pandemic, where we only managed to publish occasional updates on Twitter, The Indian is back in business and looking for writers and photographers. If you are interested in writing about school news, current events, arts and entertainment, sports – or like telling stories through photographs – please email Mrs McHugh by Dec. 9 at We will hold meetings and publish virtually, with the hope for a print issue before the end of the school year. No experience is necessary. All students are welcome!