Tag Archives: 2013-2014

Five on Track Team Place in State Meet

The HHS track team sent 13 competitors to the MIAA Division 4 state championships at Durfee High School in Fall River. In the long jump, senior Elijah Abi-Kheirs placed fourth and junior Sarah Miller finished sixth. Sophomore Stephanie Flynn finished sixth in the mile run. Freshmen Niamh Kenney finished eighth in the two-mile and Emma Buckley was sixth in the 200 meter run.


Poetry Bash an Unabashed Success

On Thursday May 29, a new tradition was started here at Hanover High School. The Literary Magazine (www.hanoverlitmag.com) sponsored a night of poetry in the Multipurpose Room.  Over 100 students attended this event. The fact that the English Department offered extra credit for attendance certainly helped in achieving that goal. The MC of the night was senior Joe DeFerrari.

Starting off the night were performances from two of the English teachers here at HHS: Mr. Hopkins and Mrs. Hughes. Both of them presented original poems and were met with rave reviews.

After Mr. Hopkins shared his performance, Jamele Adams took the floor with great gusto. Jamele’s day job is the Dean of Students at Brandeis University but by night he is a slam poet. Everybody loved Jamele’s performance. All of his poems centered around a theme of equality. In today’s world it was truly refreshing to hear those uplifting pieces. Mere summary cannot do justice to the impact of Jamele’s performance.

After Jamele’s performance was an open mic session. Several students shared their own original works of poetry for everyone to enjoy. It was truly amazing the talent of many of the students right here at HHS.

Litmag wants to thank the Classes of 2015 and 2016, National Honor Society, and Hanover House of Pizza for helping to sponsor this event.

Young Softball Team Has Winning Season

Going into the spring it looked bleak. Losing seven out of nine starters to graduation in a game where experience is so important was not a good sign. With only three upperclassman remaining, it was their turn to provide some serious leadership to the mainly freshman and sophomore team. For the underclassman, myself included, it was our turn to prove something. We needed to prove that our work ethic and dedication could match the experience and age of the other teams in our league.

By attending  pre-season practices led by team captains Morgan Delaney and Angela Katsikis, it was hard to gage how our team was going to end up. With only three juniors and seniors to demonstrate how it’s done, the underclassmen approached the practices timidly. The team had great attendance and quickly understood the drills, yet anyone could see that something was missing. Whether it was not being used to each other, being cooped up inside in a long winter that bled into the spring, or just rustiness, we were missing the cohesiveness that we had last year.

However, this gap disappeared as soon as we stepped on the field for our first game. We went all the way to North Plymouth for opening
day. It was clear in this game that we were not just a “developing” team. We got hit after hit, including two homeruns from freshmen Lindsey North and Abby Harrison.

Our first game was a strong victory. We hit the ground running and didn’t stop for seven games straight. These wins included an extra inning win against Plymouth South, where Emma Hardy got the RBI single to put the game into the eight inning. Also, in a game against
Rockland, Morgan Delaney hit a triple to give Hanover the lead after being down in the fifth. In the same game Linnea Martin got two doubles.

The freshmen more than stepped up as the season progressed. Lindsey North hit so well, she was moved to the leadoff position and became a permanent starter at second base. Additionally, Alyssa Tofuri had several key hits, including a double against Hingham. Sophomores Emma Hardy, Caroline O’rourke, and Joy Replogle worked their way into the starting lineup and more than held their own. Upperclassmen Angela Katsikis, Stephanie Spitz and Morgan Delaney displayed their skill and leadership throughout the season.

Sadly, this glory did not last when we took our game to Silver Lake. Not only is this team a division above us, but they are probably ranked among the very best teams in the state. With a knockout pitcher-catcher combo and an incredible hitting team, they provided quite the match. To put it delicately, we lost. As the pitcher I am especially sorry to say we gave up nine runs. We scored no runs of our own.

After this, we carried on with a few successes, but played shakily. We even lost to Hingham, providing them with their only win of the season. Thankfully, we regained the luster we had prior to Silver Lake, with a win against North Quincy to enter the tournament. Sadly, we lost to Quincy’s superior pitching to miss the league championship by one game. The Quincy game was a sad way to end the season, but the season was a success overall.

Teens Must Look Beyond Media’s Narrow Definition of Beauty

As an American society we are constantly being pounded with media. It is in front of us, on our laps and in our pockets. The problem with this is that we are provided with examples of what to buy, how to live, how to treat others and one of the most important, how we should look. Although this is difficult pressure for all of America, I believe that this pressure is increased for the high school population. This portion of our country is trying to find out who they are and are seriously susceptible to the media messages that are surrounding all of us. Teenagers frequently are being told what beautiful is, and this beautiful is something only attainable to a miniscule portion of the population.


This leaves the rest of us on the outside, with the terrible belief that whatever we have isn’t beauty. Body image can be a problem for both boys and girls, but I’m going to focus on how it affects teenage girls in particular because that’s the experience I have lived.

It truly is everywhere. On television, the pretty, thin girls play the love interest. They are the leading ladies that we root for and, quite honestly, wish we were more like. The non-supermodel girls
are typically the ones that play the quirky best friend. Sometimes they will get the leading lady role.  However, this is just about always in a comedy or a story about how the boy looked past how the girl
looked on the outside. So what’s that supposed to tell us? Our only hope of that dream guy falling for us is that he may somehow choose our plainness over the other girl’s beauty? Basically, this is just
reinforcing the idea that we are not beautiful.

In a similar manner, the fashion world has plus-sized models. These women, despite their beauty, are placed into a separate group from the other beautiful women. So separate, that they need to have their own magazines and stores. I don’t know about you, but when I walk through a mall I only see stores with skinny girls advertising clothing. It is rare that I see a store that has plus-sized models. This is once again showing teenagers the correct way to look.

I can clearly see how this is affecting the girls at Hanover High School. I frequently hear girls complaining about their (perfectly healthy) weight. Even more, I see girls questioning why they can’t look like someone else. From personal experience I can say that seeing oneself as inferior to the next girl is one of the worst and most painful ways to lower your own self-esteem. I can remember this feeling. It gives a deep pain in the back of your stomach that lasts all day. All day, through the hunger from refusing to eat lunch and it later accompanies the overwhelming guilt when lunch is made up for
with after school snacks.

Plus-size model Robyn Lawley
Plus-size model Robyn Lawley

This needs to stop and this can be stopped, thanks to plus-sized model Robyn Lawley, who is breaking many barriers by being the first curvy model to appear in several major magazines such as Vogue, GQ, and Elle. Through her work and that of several other models, including Mia Tyler (daughter of Aerosmith singer Steven and actress Liv), the media can perhaps one day change to show that there is more than one kind of beauty.

Mia Tyler

Until that day, it is up to us teenage girls to fight against these predetermined definitions of beauty. If there is anything certain about beauty it is that it is subjective. No one has the right, or the true ability to rate the way we look. That job is up to ourselves. We need to have faith that we are absolutely, unquestionably, utterly,
stunning, because we are. I promise.

Hail Chariot Racers! Event Engineered by Students

Hanover High students got a taste of ancient Rome on May 16 when engineering classes built and raced chariots and competed in other ancient games. Spectators, happy to be out of class on a beautiful day, surrounded the field in front of the school. The teams of students competed in several events, including driving a chariot blindfolded, guided only by the passenger’s instructions, and using student-made catapults and slingshots to hit a target.  Doc DeFranzo played the part of Caesar, dressed in full Roman toga, crown and sandals. The HHS band played rousing music to accompany the games.
As Engineering teacher Mr. Faria said in announcing the event, “Rome has not seen excitement at this level since the last invasion of the barbarian hordes.”

photo 1(2)
Caesar (also known as Doc DeFranzo) leads the opening procession in a modern chariot, driven by senior  Gerard Wynn.
Racers made a grand entrance by circling the field before the start of the games.
Racers made a grand entrance by circling the field before the start of the games.


photo 4(1)
A chariot team navigates the obstacle course blindfolded while spectators cheer them on.


Teams used medieval-style slingshots and catapults that they built to try to hit a target.
Sydney Lambert and her team used ancient slingshots and catapults they built to try to hit a target.


Caesar waves to the crowd.
Caesar waves to the crowd.

Mrs. Katsilieris Loves Languages, Dreams of the Beach

Mrs. Katsilieris, also known by her students as Mrs. Kats, is one of the foreign language teachers up on the third floor. She started teaching 20 years ago in Boston Public Schools and came to Hanover High School in 2002. She went to Emmanuel College for her bachelor’s degree and ENC for her master’s degree.

While she was in high school, her favorite subjects were always the foreign languages she learned. Mrs. Kats’ favorite language is Italian because of the “beautiful sounds, and every word ends in a vowel.” She can also speak and teach Spanish and Greek

Shipwreck Beach, in Greece, is Mrs. Katsilieris' favorite.
Shipwreck Beach, in Greece, is Mrs. Kats’ favorite.

Mrs. Kats loves cooking, gardening and going for walks on the beach. She has been to beaches all over the world, but her favorite is Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos, Greece. She plans to return there this summer.

Once Mrs. Kats retires, she wants to open a European cafe. Her favorite country to visit is Greece, and she visits all the time. Her favorite food is lobster.

She has been married for 35 years and has three children




Critiquing The Critics: The Cinema Snob

Well, I’m advertising a lot of “That Guy With The Glasses” producers, aren’t I? This man is certainly worth speaking about. Brad Jones created this character back in 2007, wanting to speak his disagreements with Roger Ebert, another movie critic. Roger Ebert was going into a large rant about a “slasher” film and “nothing more,” as Jones claims. So, he created “The Cinema Snob” out of his love for  Ebert’s and fellow critic Gene Siskel’s works, and to say what he thinks about all the films he’s watched.

The Cinema Snob, surprisingly, goes over exploitation films that were all directed and made in the ’60s-’80s. There have been a few ’90s movies put in there, but those were special occasions. He goes over exploitation films about these subjects: murder, sex, African Americans (when he does, he mainly makes fun of the white people acting in the film), gross-out humor, and plenty more.

Many watchers of his show claim it to be very crass and offensive. In each of his reviews, the delivery of his jokes are all deadpan, and they’re in NO WAY dead. The jokes are usually a homerun with me, and I enjoy watching every second. Also, I think people don’t like him because he tries to act pretentious, which doesn’t work some of the time. His fans urge him to do most of his reviews in the cynical and snarky sort of manner . . . So to see them sort of lose their minds in the comments posted in response to the videos makes me laugh sometimes.

Also, “The Cinema Snob” doesn’t usually do requests, which amuses me. He’ll do whatever he wants, and this proves that he doesn’t need his fans telling him what to do . . . Unlike “The Nostalgia Critic” (Doug Walker), who does practically everything his fans request.

Brad knows what makes a good show, and that’s being himself. He’s usually snarky, but is nice in real life. So, when he edits the episodes, he will usually throw out a hint as to what he’s going over. Also, he knows how to entertain. Brad gets in front of the camera, with the review script mostly memorized, and does whatever he thinks will get a laugh . . .  Which, most of the time, works out just fine.

Sure, some of the jokes can be rather offensive, but that’s his thing. After all, you have to offend at least 10 people to make at least 100 people laugh, right? That’s Brad’s philosophy, and it’s mine too. One day, I plan to make a review series, so I look to Brad and many other reviewers on “That Guy With The Glasses” for whatever I need (humor delivery advice, what content I want to look at, etc).

Overall, I think that “The Cinema Snob” is really funny, which is crucial for a series like his. You need to have a sense of humor when reviewing movies that people don’t know all too well, unless they have an “underground” following, in order for the movie to “leave a mark” that everyone can remember.

I give him a 4.5/5. I think that he could put a little more emotion into the delivery, but I think (in a way) that it’ll kind of mess up the show for him, so  it’s a 50/50 point.

“Through The Victim’s Eyes:” Play From the Heart

Recently, as a part of my Senior Humanities project, I wrote an original play portraying what it feels like for the average kid who is bullied either on a daily basis, or to the point where he breaks and loses all rational thought. Yes, this is somewhat common among children. I have read that at least 14 percent of kids end up committing suicide because they cannot handle the animosity that comes with their bullies. Think about that for a moment. I was shocked when I read that statistic as well.

The play itself wasn’t a total burden to write, but I just felt exhausted at one point. Saying that I didn’t want to write it anymore, seeing as how it sucked almost all of my positive energy out of me. But, obviously, I didn’t let this get to me as I continued to write it. Most insults that I used for one character, I found online. And they were all incredibly hurtful. Reading them to myself before I placed them into the character’s dialogue made me sick. What was worse?

Studies show that 58 percent of bullying happens out of revenge, or the bully thinks that the victim deserves it. That made me lose a bit of sanity inside of myself, as I ranted for at least a half hour about how angry it made me. Who deserves the animosity that comes with some people? The vicious hatred? No one. But, apparently, in this world, people think that others need to be bullied. And you know what? It made me reflect as well. I was bullied before, and I never chose to do anything about it.

Yes. I have been in this sort of position. Not to where I would want to commit suicide . . . Not even close. But, to where I didn’t want to go to school? To where I hated looking at myself? Yes. Last year was the worst for me. Because I was different (and had a pretty cool low voice), people called me all types of things. Each of them made my self esteem crumble down. But then, I realized . . . What do their petty words matter to me? Absolutely nothing.

It’s a horrible experience, and I commend you if you’re staying rather strong through it. No one wants to be bullied, but people think that you might deserve it.

Why did I call this a play from the heart? Well, like I said, I’ve been bullied. So, in a way, I can connect with the character in my play. Again, nowhere near committing suicide, but hating myself day after day. So, do me a favor before you bully somebody . . . Think about how much your words could really hurt someone else.

Sticks and Stones? That’s a lie. Words are etched in forever.

Sophomore Class Silent Auction Raises $2,000

Every year, the Hanover High Sophomores put together an auction to raise money for their collective class funds, and 2014 marked the start yet another auction endeavor. It was the Class of 2016’s turn to step up to the plate and plan an auction of its own. The respective class always does their best to put new twists on the auction to make it their own, and this year, the current sophomores decided to take a step in a new direction and hold a silent auction at the Hanover Mall for the first time ever. The auction was held in the center of the mall on April 12th, and in addition to the silent auction, the class also designed an auction website, where their auction items were available for bidding online from April 5th-12th.

On April 12th, all of the Class of 2016’s dedicated student council members gathered at the Mall and proudly displayed all of the items they had collected to auction. All afternoon, they greeted bidders, showcased items, and walked the entire length of the mall distributing flyers. The most popular aspect of the auction was a special wheel borrowed from the mall’s event department- the wheel was labeled with many different kinds of candy and gum, and for a dollar, someone could spin the wheel and win the coordinating prize! Class members even spent their own time creating custom Easter baskets filled with candy and stuffed bunnies, placing them in a raffle where tickets only cost one dollar. The auction ran from 12 until 7 pm, and caught the attention of many of Hanover’s citizens and mall employees. The afternoon proved to be both successful and fun, for the class’s members took great enthusiasm in encouraging mall customers to visit the auction, even writing out advertisements and placing them in plastic eggs to scatter around the mall, luring both children and adults alike to the auction site. The class advisor, Diane Turner, joined in the fun, calling out to all of the passing families and directing them to the auction tables and “Candy Wheel of Wonder.”

At the end of the day, the sophomores packed up their supplies with satisfaction, for they had rounded up over $2,000 in winning bids and had put smiles on the faces of dozens of children, parents, bidders, and even simple bystanders throughout the day.
But it took intensive planning to pull off such an event, and student council spent an extensive amount of time designing flyers, writing letters, planning details, designing the website, meeting with a Hanover Mall event coordinator, and even visiting, emailing, and calling countless businesses on their own time outside of school. The members of the Class of 2016’s StuCo worked extremely hard to get their items donated from some of Hanover’s generous businesses, and even some of the students and families. A few of the Class’s proudest accumulations was a Fender Guitar, donated by Crossroads Music, Celtics and Red Sox Tickets, acquired by John Carroll, and a round of Golf at Harmon and a Calloway Golf Bag, both donated by Austin Beringer. And these are only a few of the generous donations acquired by the class! Not only were the donators of the auction items very generous, but the bidders were, as well. All of those who bid were clear supporters of Hanover High and it’s Class of 2016, sometimes placing bids even higher than the item’s initial value.


Walk For Hunger Nourishes the Soul of First-Time Participant

Sunday May 4th dawned sunny and mild, perfect weather for for a dedicated group of Hanover High School students planning to complete Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger. After meeting at the Braintree train station at 7 o’clock sharp, the various student council and National Honors Society members participating wiped any remaining drowsiness from their eyes and boarded the train which would carry them to Boston Common, the starting and ending location of the walk. The route itself was 20 miles and wound through the surrounding towns of Boston, Newton, Watertown, Brookline, and Cambridge. This year was the 46th annual Walk for Hunger, and an astonishing 43,000 people came together to participate. Project Bread’s aim in the walk is to raise awareness for the issue of hunger in Massachusetts and raise funds for their continuing anti-hunger work in the state. Shockingly, the food insecurity rate in Massachusetts rose 80 percent from what it was in 2000, and there are 200,000 children in the state who have parents earning less than $11 an hour, making it hard for many families to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Thankfully, this year’s fundraiser raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, including $450 contributed by the Hanover High School team. That money will be put toward educating local students about healthy choices, providing reduced-price school lunches to children of struggling families, staffing school kitchens with nutritionists and health-conscious chefs, and connecting local farmers with school lunchrooms.

This was my first time participating in the Walk for Hunger, and I really enjoyed being part of something so significant. People had traveled from all over the state to participate, and many walkers sported stickers proudly labeling them as veterans of 20 or even 30 walks. It was really interesting to read the signs posted along the way bearing information about hunger in Massachusetts, most of which came as a huge surprise to me. Walking through the suburbs of Boston gave me a chance to see a part of the city I had never visited, and the Boston College and Harvard University campuses provided a beautiful backdrop to portions of the route. Project Bread’s volunteers cheered for walkers at street corners all along the way, and helped keep me motivated with their megaphones, signs, and catchy songs. I considered myself to be in pretty good shape being in the midst of track and field season, however, in all honesty I was feeling pretty exhausted by mile 19. Thankfully, the sun broke through the clouds and everyone’s mood lifted when we saw the balloon arch finish line in the distance. I picked up the pace and when my feet crossed the finish line I was filled with personal pride. We had walked almost an entire marathon and in the process raised awareness and funds for an important cause. That night, as I rested my aching limbs, I knew I would be returning for my second walk for hunger next year.