The StuCo Scoop: January

By: Andrea Bilton and Jillian Drummy

As 2014 rolls in, Student Council as a whole wraps up and preserves the remainder of it’s Christmas spirit for next year- secret santa, giving tree, gift giving and all, and then whips out  the long awaited plans for a whole new year. Possible new dances coming up, conferences approaching, more volunteer work, and new fundraiser ideas are only a few of the topics brewing within the whole group.

MORE AUCTION EXCITEMENT: As the sophomore class usually does, an auction is being held this spring: it has finally been announced that on Saturday, April 12, there will be a silent auction and raffle display in the center of the Hanover Mall, prizes and items yet to be decided. There will also be an accompanying online auction leading up to the 12th, beginning on April 5.

WHO WILL BE AT M.A.S.C: One of student council’s biggest events approaches- a three day conference in the Spring called M.A.S.C, standing for the Massachusetts Association of Student Council. Student council representatives from all over Massachusetts meet in a Cape Cod location and participate in fun games, workshops, dances and events all while building up leadership skills. Guest speakers and the possibility of new friends are only a few reasons to join the bandwagon- if you’re one of the lucky ones who signed up, enjoy your time, and be sure to support HHS’s own Lauren Murray as she runs for President of the M.A.S.C Executive Board!!

DANCE FEVER: There has been talk this month about possibly holding a 60’s/70’s dance later in the year, where students dressed in garb from those decades and let loose to the music from that time. Surveys were sent around to homerooms to gauge student reactions and anticipation levels in regards to this new idea- the result has not been announced yet as to whether the dance will be held, or if a different dance will be held in its place, but what do you think? Would you get funky at a ’60’s dance or should we keep our events in this century?

LOCK-IN FOR THE WIN: Another cool student council conference coming up is the biennial lock-in, held this time at Middleboro High School. From 7 p.m one Friday to 7 a.m the following Saturday, students will be engaged in fun games and activities that will surely drive away the desire to sleep. It is an opportunity that student council members would NOT want to miss out on- especially if you aren’t quite up to the three day M.A.S.C commitment, but would still like to join in on some conference fun!

Stay tuned for more updates!

***As always, contact with inquiries or ideas

Club Spotlight: Math Team

One of the many clubs at Hanover High is the Math Team. Math Team is back after years of inactivity due to budget cuts. In fact, this year Math Team participation is at a record high with about 10 students on a consistent basis.  They meet every Tuesday night from 6pm-8pm in Doc’s Room (Physics Lab 219). Dr. Defranzo (Doc) is the math team coach (and Physics teacher) and Mr. Plummer (the STEM Director) frequently helps out at practices as well. Math Team participates in meets on the first Thursday of the month. At these meets, Hanover competes against the 7 other schools in our division. So far, Hanover has participated in meets at Rockland High School and Bridgewater Raynham Regional High School. In these meets, HHS came in 6th at Rockland and leapfrogged to 2nd at Bridgewater Raynham.

Competitive math is not the only part of Math Team. In fact, each school can only send 10 people to compete at the meets. The rest of the club simply participates because they either want to get better at math or simply hang out with friends. Many members immediately notice how Math Team compliments their math classes. In other cases, members notice the applications of math that, due to lack of time, cannot always be taught in math class. As an added incentive, Doc orders pizza and soda for anyone who comes to the practices.

If you want to join, just come to one of the Tuesday Night meetings or talk to Doc who is always available in Room 219.


Young Bruins Step Up to Help Team Overcome Injuries

By Kali Heffernan

It’s the midway point of the NHL 2013-2014 season and the Boston Bruins are doing incredible. With a 28-12-2 record, they are first in the division and second in the conference. Lately, there has been an injury plague throughout the team, starting on an explosive game vs. Pittsburgh on December 7th, where 3 players that started the game haven’t played since. Loui Eriksson has been out with a concussion. Chris Kelly has a broken fibula. Shawn Thornton is serving his 15- game suspension. The injuries don’t seem to end. The next game, Dougie Hamilton sustained a lower body injury & Daniel Paille suffered a concussion. A few games later, Carl Soderberg sustained a concussion. Zdeno Chara missed a few games with an undisclosed lower body injury. Dennis Seidenberg will miss the rest of the season with a torn MCL and ACL.

With all these injuries, the Bruins have had to call up some kids from Providence. They called up defenseman Kevan Miller, David Warsofsky, and Zack Trotman, who all made their NHL debuts this season, and for Miller & Warsofsky, scored their first NHL goals. They also called up forwards Ryan Spooner, Matt Fraser, Nick Johnson & Justin Florek. It has taken some adjusting, but the kids are fitting in good with the team.

Right now, the Bruins are in the middle of what will most likely be the toughest two weeks of the season, traveling to California to take on the Anaheim Ducks, who are undefeated at home,  the LA Kings, and the San Jose Sharks. After the California road trip, the Bruins will return home for a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs and then travel to Dallas and, for the first time since the Stanly Cup Final, Chicago.

Even with all the injuries and the young guys having to step up, there is still another half season of hockey left to play. This is definitely a very promising year for the Boston Bruins.

Celtics Rebuilding Year Is Worth Watching

By Callie MacDonald

Going into this season, the Boston Celtics were left with many holes on their team.  Losing players such as Kevin Garnet, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and DJ White, the team needed to fill several places on the court.  Even with the loss of talent forgotten, the team still had a major loss of leadership.  Team leaders Paul Pierce,  Kevin Garnet — and Ray Allen as well, who was traded the year before to the Miami Heat– are no longer on the team.  Their veteran leadership and team-building skills were far greater than their impressive athleticism.  In addition to this, their coach since 2004 has gone to the Clippers.  Needless to say that there were many gaps on the roster.

Although it’s disappointing and frightening to say goodbye to so many well-known faces, it is still a little exciting to get to know the new players.  They received Gerard Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Kris Josephs, Kris Bogans and Kelly Olynyk.  There are also some talented returning players like Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass and, of course, Rajon Rondo.  With all of the team’s leaders gone, Rondo appears to be the one who has the ability to take their place.   Rondo creates so many assists that he is often compared to Steve Nash.  However, he tore his ACL last January, so he has not seen the court yet.

Even though we are nowhere near our former Big Three glory, there have been some notable highlights of the season, such as beating the Miami Heat early in the season.  Also, other players are stepping up to fill the roles of past and injured players.  For example, Jordan Crawford averaging 5.6 assists each game is helpful while Rondo remains on the DL.  They are second in their division, behind the Raptors.  They have 13 wins and 20 losses.

It is no secret that the Boston Celtics are not one of the more impressive teams in the NBA.  However, I still believe they are worth following.  It is a young team with a lot of hope.  There are a lot of possibilities in the years to come.  Most of all, the thing that I love the most about the Celtics is that they are a team.   Unlike other teams in the NBA, they are not centered around one superstar (or a couple in Miami’s case).  Egotistical giants do not dominate the Celtics.  I believe that the NBA right now is too focused on the showmanship of the all stars and barely concerned about playing basketball as though it were a sport that uses the five men on the court to win games.  Even when we had our “all stars” in the big three, they were exceptional leaders more than anything else.  They worked to make the team better.   Right now, we may not have the best team in the NBA, we may not have a shot at the championship for a few years, but we have a hardworking team with a lot of hopefuls and I think that is something worth watching.

Snow Days: One Senior says BRING IT ON!

By Sean Meehan

When it comes to snow, myself, and the rest of the Senior class, for the first time in years, are all down on our knees praying, that’s right, PRAYING for as many snow days as possible. Why, you ask? Simple, the Senior class here at HHS is the one group of individuals in the entire school district that does not have to make up any snow days, regardless of how many we may have this winter. I have waited years for this winter, and now it has arrived. In conclusion, in response to your question “What is your opinion on snow?”, I say….BRING IT ON!

snow day2
The view from Mrs. McHugh’s door on Jan.3, 2014.
Photo by Mrs. McHugh
Mrs. McHugh’s husband shovels out their driveway on Jan. 3, 2014.

Students play Secret Santa to Teachers

By Cate Marchetti

Brightly wrapped gifts and packages with gold ribbons are a common sight around the holidays, but what about when the tag is signed only with the the mysterious name “Secret Santa”? Many a Hanover High School teacher experienced this thrill of mystery as the school’s student council once again organized a student-teacher Secret Santa program for the days leading up to winter break. Office holders, elected representatives, and honorary representatives alike had the opportunity to sign up at the student council meeting in early December as a Secret Santa for their favorite teacher. Having agreed to be a “Santa,” students purchased small gifts of less than five dollars to surprise teachers with on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before break.

“I think the student council Secret Santa is a great way to show appreciation to all of the teachers who dedicate themselves to giving us an education,” said Andrea Bilton, sophomore class president. “The best feeling in the world is knowing that that you put a smile on a teacher’s face by the end of the week.”

And smile they did, as many happy faces could be spotted throughout the halls of HHS when students revealed their identity by presenting their final gift in person. “Secret Santa is a great way for students to get to know teachers, and spread holiday cheer throughout HHS,” said Sarah Ryan, Treasurer for the class of 2016. The program allowed students and teachers to connect on another level. Student council members had the opportunity to give back to the teachers who make school more enjoyable, and teachers looked out as they taught and wondered which face in the crowd was leaving them surprises in their mailbox.

Callie MacDonald, an honorary representative, also enjoyed being a Secret Santa.  “I found it to be a great experience where I could form a closer bond with my teacher,” she said. “Also, it was a good opportunity to celebrate Christmas in the school.”

With the help of this popular tradition, many student council members and teachers alike discovered that not only are the holidays a time of fun and celebration, but also serve to bring people closer together and show how much you value each other.

Gaming Review: Call of Duty vs. Battlefield

By Anders Carlson

In today’s gaming market, first and third person shooters reign supreme. In particular, two franchises; Call of Duty and Battlefield, make huge sales each year. And I’m here to decide which one is best, or maybe just list their positives and negatives.

Call of Duty: Call of Duty has received a bad rap the last couple games for “being the same game but with new maps and guns”, glorified DLC. I feel that new CoDs offers more to the player than just maps and different guns. The multiplayer in CoD games has always been the benchmark for the FPS genre. Fast paced, easy to learn and not prone to lag, it has gained a large amount if players. People also cite the lack of graphical improvement went compared to Battlefield, but Call of Duty has always been made for consoles, so high end graphics are not really attainable on 5 year old hardware. This means that any computer can run most Call of Duty games. In the end, Call of Duty is a fun, easy to play, but very limited FPS.

Battlefield: One thing you can say is that it is expansive, the average Battlefield map is twice as large as a Call of Duty map. It is also more ambitious, featuring usable fighter jets, helicopters, tanks and other vehicles. Up to 32 players are common place. This makes Battlefield a much more varied game to play, with air battles, tank charges and large scale infantry fights all happening on the same map. Battlefield also uses the Frostbite Engine, which produces some of the best graphics in video games however, this also limits the game. I believe that the FPS genre is best played on a PC, and even my PC, which can run most games at the maximum setting, cannot run Battlefield 4 since the graphics card is out of date. It is 1-2 years old, which in terms of a computer is not old at all. Even Battlefield 3, which is 2 years old, I can only run at medium settings. This means that to be able to run it, you really need a high grade computer, which most people don’t have. But when it does run, it is a incredible game.

These two games are extremely different in their appeal, and choosing between them is really up to your needs. Do you want your FPS to be quick, easy and basic, or grand, open and varied? It really is up to you.


Virtual High School: For Independent Students

By Calley Madison

Photo by Mrs. McHugh
Calley works on her VHS course in the library.

Here at HHS, we offer a program called “Virtual High School.” Virtual High School classes are for classes either not offered at HHS, or classes you wish to take in place of classes for school.  There are math, science, English, humanities courses and language courses. There are college level, honors and AP. In the fall, I took a course called “Career Awareness,” which helped me learn about the profession I am interested in, and soon I will be starting “Contemporary Issues in American Law and Justice.”

The class is entirely online and you get one period a day in the library to do the work, but it is not as easy as it sounds. The classes can have a wide variety of work, from barely any to an overwhelming amount, and you need to be very on task and work well with time. You see, each assignment is due by a certain day, and if you post late, points will be deducted. The assignments can be essays, group projects, discussion posts or just word searches but either way, your teachers look for the effort you put in.

If you get behind for some reason, you can let your teacher know — my VHS teacher, Mrs. Allen, gave us her e-mail, cell phone and home phone number — and you can access the course from home. Yes, the VHS website can be accessed from any computer  with just your username and password.

Your classmates are one of the most interesting parts of VHS. Your classmates can be from anywhere all around the world. I have people from Romania, Turkey, England, Washington, Florida and Massachusetts in my class. You can message these people and  learn many things about them, where they live, and how it differs from us here at HHS. You also discuss topics with them and work together on some projects.

I really enjoy taking VHS classes because I am very on-top-of-things and organized, also because it really makes me feel as if I am learning better. The VHS courses are challenging, they expect you to manage your own time, stay organized, and take tests and quizzes like real classes. I would certainly take another VHS class in the future, not because it’s a relaxed atmosphere, but simply because I learn better alone and managing all my own things on my own time.

A VHS class is not for everyone. If you are easily distracted, disorganized, and do not work well with a deadline, you’re going to feel trapped and overwhelmed. In this circumstance, risk is not always the best choice, and you should talk to the librarian, guidance counselor, and parents before trying to enroll in a class.  

Learning Your Teacher: Mr. DePatto

Mr. DePatto
Mr. DePatto

Mr. DePatto, the Earth Science and Environmental Science teacher on the second floor, has been teaching for 34 years. He started out in private schools in ’79-’80, and then taught in public schools from the ’90s to the present. Always a lover of science, he’s taught everything from conceptual physics to oceanography (his personal favorite). Jacques Cousteau, the famed 20th century undersea explorer, inspired him to study ocean life through Couseau’s widely acknowledged television program. “The ocean is a whole new world, beneath the surface lies another world,” Mr. DePatto commented.

However, his initial drive was not to become a science teacher.  One thing that may not be known about Mr. DePatto is that he originally held off going to college, opting to instead head off to the workforce. During that time, he recalled, he felt a pang of envy toward his former classmates and close friends who attended college. In the end, he decided to attend the former Boston State College to earn a degree in education. “As a young person, I was very athletic, played team sports in high school and college, so my first goal was that I was going to be a teacher, a Phys Ed teacher, or a coach,”  Mr. DePatto said. His ambitions changed when he took oceanography electives in college, discovering a new passion. He thus changed his major from a physical education to science.

Earlier in his career, he would consistently volunteer at the New England Aquarium due to his passion for oceanography. “I used to work there behind the scenes, at the GOT, which is the ‘Giant Ocean Tank.’ You could get in there; you could feed the sharks and all the different specimens.  It was just a wonderful experience.” The sharks swam with the fish, he explained, and were specifically over-fed, in case an unfortunate viewer fell in. Moreover, behind the shining and pristine glass tank lies an immense amount of work that many visitors don’t see. “Behind the scenes you see how much work it is to make sure that tanks are clean, that specimens are safe. Water temperature’s important, acidity’s important, making sure that everything’s just balanced is a lot of work. I loved it there, absolutely loved it there, and if anybody wants to volunteer and see a different world, the people are great behind the scenes.”

Advice for high school students? “Kids going to college, it’s hard. Kids might not know what they want to do for college, so they’ll leave high school, they become a freshman in college, and sometimes they do know what they want and it’s great, but you have to stick to it because there’s gonna be bumps in the road, highs and lows.” He said that attitude is important, that if you want something, you have to work for it. “You have to set goals, and don’t let anything roadblock you.” He switched majors in college, and described that it was kind of difficult making a transition due to the extra new courses and more hard work. “But when you believe in something, and you love something, you know, [have] the passion and the desire, you must have the commitment with it, because if you don’t have that commitment before your passions and desires, those goals won’t be achieved.” His advice for high school students would be: talk to people, never say “no,” seek out the older and more experienced, never quit, always be relentless, and know that there’s always a way to obtain your goal. Although things might not happen right when you want them to, it’s important to keep pursuing your goals and dreams. “If you’re determined, you’ll find a way,” he remarked. In essence, if you want something and really aspire toward it, hard work and determination will get you there.

If you’re interested in volunteering at the NEA, a click HERE for a link to their website and information on how to get involved.

Matt’s Declassified College Application Survival Guide

One day during senior year, it strikes you — the real world is drawing closer and closer. The past four years of your high school experience and all of the memories that you made throughout begin to flash before your eyes. The college process is here, and it’s time to prepare yourself; it’s application time. These are a few tips that will help you through the process, whether you’re a senior preparing for college or even a freshman who has just started high school. This is Matt’s Declassified College Application Survival Guide.

After completing my own process of sending out a few applications, visiting some colleges, researching majors, and seeking information from other sources, I can safely say that it can all be done without much stress; time management is key. With all of the stressful and time-consuming activities clogging your everyday life, it is hard to put much thought into college until the last possible moment. I understand that everyone, including the seniors, still have time to figure out what they may want their futures to entail. But I highly recommended you start as soon as possible.  My advice to you is to begin researching what you’re interested in. Begin research as early as you can, I began my research when I was a freshman. Find jobs that may interest you when you’re older, jobs that will fit who you are. The better you know yourself and what you like, the easier the college process will be. If you like helping people, you may go into a medical field. For those more sociable, business may be of interest to you. Another thing I would highly recommend is deciding what type of college best fits you. Colleges cover all sorts of different spectrums — large, small, beautiful city, beautiful campus, sports, clubs, etc. You may also want to keep in mind the distance you would be willing to go for college. For me, I wanted to stay in the New England area. Not only did I want to stay around here because it would be cheaper on travel expenses, but I also wanted to stay closer to home because I’m too much of a momma’s boy. But that’s just me, everyone is different and I want to encourage you to chase your personal college dreams.

When the time is approaching for you to begin sending out applications (either fall for early action or winter for early decision of your senior year), there are a few things you need to keep in mind: Deadlines, The Common App, Recommendations, and your college essay. The deadlines may be the most stressful aspect of the applying process, so procrastinators, take note! To find success with applications you must stay on top of deadlines at all times; colleges don’t want slackers! The common application is also very important, it is more or less your whole high school career on one application. This is the part of the applying process where you list your test scores, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, etc. This is what you will be showing colleges what you have accomplished these past few years, so don’t forget anything important! The recommendations are just a way of letting colleges know what sort of student you are from a teacher’s perspective. You have the ability to choose any teacher or coach that you think knows best what kind of student you truly are. I recommend choosing a teacher who you have shown true determination, well-maintained grades, and have participated positively in their class. The last part of the applying process is the college essay. The essay gives students the opportunity to show colleges both their writing skills and what has shaped them into who they are today. If there is a range of topics, be sure to choose one that best fits who you are as a person. Also, try not to stray very far from the topic at hand; keep your essay focused on what you are trying to prove or the change that you are trying to develop. Only add the necessary details, omitting anything that could distract from your overall purpose.

I hope these tips come in handy for anyone looking to manage the stress of applying to college! College is right around the corner for all of us so there is no better time to prepare than now. So what are you waiting for? Go do some research, visit a campus, and find out what interests you!