Tag Archives: 2021-2022

Student Club Spreads Easter Cheer

By Ashley Stracco, ’24

Contributor

Have you ever wanted to give back to the community, but you just did not know how? The Outreach Club found a way. They made it their goal to spread as much Easter cheer and love to the community as possible, by acting as assistants to the Easter Bunny. This past weeked, members of the club, along with some friends from other schools, put together 43 Easter baskets for children in Friends of the Homeless shelters and for the Hanover Food Pantry. In addition, they created 100 Easter treat bags for senior citizens in need.

The Outreach Club previously completed a Valentine’s Day service project for the Hanover Senior Center, in which they made 100 treat packages full of candy, gift cards, and essential items. Those involved say the project made them feel like they were making a difference, and they wanted to get further involved, so they volunteered to help with the latest endeavor. 

The Easter project involved a great deal of organization, effort, and generosity. Supplies were very costly, and the club raised more than $2,000 from the community, which led to the project’s great success.

Hanover students who helped with this project include Ashley Stracco, ’24, founder and president of the Outreach Club; Brody Leibfarth, ’24, vice president of the club; Baylor Speckmann, ’24, treasurer of the club; Nunzio Minasi, ’24; Caden Fly, ’24; Thomas Perkins, ’25; Trevor Leibfarth, eighth grade and Chris Stracco, fourth grade. Students from other schools included Jack Faggiano, a junior from St. Sebastian’s; Anna Sheppard and Gabby Bethony, sophomores from Notre Dame Academy; Ciara Leonard, a freshman from South Shore Tech; Finn O’Gara, a junior from Marshfield; and Tommy Scully, a freshman from Norwell.

Hundreds of people benefited from this project, including the volunteers.

“It’s always great to help out those less fortunate than I am,” O’Gara said. “I was lucky enough to be blessed with friends and family in my life so I wanted to help out. It is truly humbling to make a difference in so many people’s lives.”

Brody Leibfarth, vice president of the club, was a great help to the project, which he said have been very rewarding.

“They make me a better person,” he said. “I’ve made so many great friends by doing these projects, and I truly have fun while helping the community at the same time.”                       

Treasurer of the Outreach Club, Baylor Speckmann, said he’s inspired by how the community comes together for these projects.

“It amazes me how many great people there are that donate their time, money, and effort into creating a better community for all,” he said. “It inspires me to try to be the best person I can and try to do my part as a citizen.”

Participating in projects like this is a great way to earn community service hours, and club members are already thinking about their next event. New members are always welcome, as helping the community truly has more benefits than you can imagine. If you would like to donate to, or participate in,  future projects, please email astracco24@hanoverstudents.org.

Ms. Doyle: World Traveler Who Calls HHS Home

By Sarah MacDonald, ’23

Staff Writer

How long has Ms. Doyle been a teacher at HHS? Ms. Doyle is in her fifth year.

What is Ms. Doyle’s  favorite part of teaching at HHS? Her favorite part of teaching at HHS is the people and the students. 

Keeping things Lit in the classroom

Where did Ms. Doyle go to college? Needless to say, Ms. Doyle is a smartie pants. She graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2010 with her bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in secondary education. She earned her master’s degree in physical sciences (MAT), and is currently finishing ANOTHER master’s in English at Bridgewater State University. 

If Ms. Doyle was not an English teacher what else would she want to teach? If Ms. Doyle was not an awesome English teacher, she would like to be the librarian. 

Who is Ms. Doyle’s  favorite Disney Princess? And why? Ms. Doyle loves Belle from Beauty and the Beast because she is a reader, is nice to the beast and sees potential in everybody. (Note: Ms. Doyle wanted to choose the 101 Dalmations but I made her pick a princess). 

What inspiring words would you like to give to someone at HHS? “Never be afraid to be yourself. Your vulnerability, authenticity, and individuality have the power to inspire others to be themselves too.”

What is Ms. Doyle’s proudest achievement? Being an English teacher, which was her dream since 7th grade, and seeing her name on a classroom door

What is Ms. Doyle’s favorite book? The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot 

How would Ms. Doyle describe herself in three words? Quirky, compassionate,  lifelong-learner

Sasha the one-eyed cat

What is Ms. Doyle’s favorite thing to do on the weekends? Snuggle with her one-eyed cat named Sasha

If Ms. Doyle was given a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would she go? Austria

What is a fun fact that no one knows about Ms. Doyle? She is a world traveler, to say the least, having been to France, Germany, Ireland, UK (Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Ireland), Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Canada 

If Ms.Doyle was not a teacher what else would you be doing? She would be a travel blogger! 

Who is someone Ms. Doyle looks up to and why?  “I admire anyone who brings love and kindness to the lives of others and who makes people feel comfortable being themselves.”

Does Ms. Doyle have any special talents? She is a talented gal who has never lost a donut-on-a-string contest. 

Any last words? “Every pizza can be a personal pizza if you try hard enough and believe in yourself.”

Next time you see Ms. Doyle, give her a high five and a thumbs up for being so awesome!

The author with Ms. Doyle at Junior Prom

Famous Horror Figures Inspire Teen Thrillers

By Mrs. McHugh

HHS Librarian

Mary Shelley is often considered the mother of horror stories, having published Frankenstein in 1818 when she was just 20. Lizzie Borden is famous for another kind of horror; she was accused of killing her parents with an ax in 1892. She was found not guilty, but the verdict has been debated for decades. These famous figures inspired two recent young adult thrillers that are fast-paced, exciting reads.

The Mary Shelley Clubby Goldy Moldavsky – After surviving a traumatic attack, Rachel moves to a new home and school. But her emotional scars and her scholarship make it hard to fit into the elitist Manchester Prep. Soon she stumbles upon a group of classmates who are as obsessed with horror movies as she is, and she thrills to join in with the pranks they compete to pull off. When someone starts targeting their group and people begin getting hurt, Rachel must confront her dark past if she hopes to survive. This engaging novel pays homage to many horror movies and has the high school vibe of TV shows like Gossip Girl.

It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh – The author says Borden’s story led her to imagine what could lead someone to commit such an awful crime and this novel explores those possibilities. Two teenage sisters lose their mother and begin to fear their father and his girlfriend actually killed her. Their grief and sadness spiral into suspicion and paranoia, and the consequences are deadly. The depiction of their grief is raw and realistic, the climax is exciting and the reader is kept guessing until the end. I felt there were some flaws with the story, so I’d love to discuss it with other readers. But it was still a page-turner.

Featured image: Credit: Creative Commons Zero – CC0

Boys Hockey Season is One to Remember

By Ben Freedman, ’25

Staff Writer

Congratulations to the Hanover boys varsity hockey team who won the Massachusetts D3 state championship at the TD Garden on March 20. Led by their five captains Coach Abban, the team claimed the title after an exhilarating playoff run, and an awesome 5-3 win over top-seeded Marlborough. Freshman phenom Michael Munroe scored two goals, senior Max DaSilva had one and senior Robbie Hanna added two, including an empty netter to clinch the win.

“It’s awesome,” DaSilva told HNIB News after the game. “It’s always been a dream to end my career this way.”

On their playoff journey, third-seeded Hanover won four games prior to going to the championship, two of which were very suspenseful.  They started the playoffs March 5 with a 5-0 win over Old Rochester Regional High School, ranked 30th. Next they overpowered 13th seeded Dracut with an 8-0 win on March 8. For the round of 8 on March 12, Hanover topped 6th-ranked Medway 2-1. In the semifinals on March 15, the Hawks beat second-seed Scituate 2-1. Throughout the playoffs, the team showed its depth, with scoring from seniors Tyler MacDermott, Quinn Brown, Nate Curtis, Charlie Cataldo and junior Ben Lines. Junior Liam Monahan was solid in the net.

Hanover won D3 state titles in 1997, 2001 and 2016 at the Garden, as well as a D2 title in 2007. The team rallied this year behind the slogan “unfinished business;” their last trip to the Garden was canceled due to COVID in March 2020; they were declared co-state champions but wanted the full Garden experience this time. And they got it, in front of a huge cheering section of fans.

Best of luck to the seniors on the team who are graduating this year, and best of luck to next year’s team!

Pictures from the championship game

Drama Club Shines at METG Festival

The Hawk Staff

The HHS Drama Club received rave reviews for its performance in the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild’s Drama Festival at Duxbury High School on March 19. Presenting the one-act play Badger by Don Zolidis, the cast and crew performed brilliantly with individual awards going to stage manager Karen Bell, actors Ben Manning and Morgan Gentile, choreographer Callia Gilligan and musical composer Jacob Asnes. While the show will not be moving to the next round, the cast and crew did a fantastic job representing HHS.

the 2022 METG logo designed by Jashia Sikder of Brockton High School

The METG Drama Festival is an annual theatrical competition. Schools gather together and each presents a 40-minute one-act piece, with just 5 minutes to put together and strike, or take down, their sets. At the end of the day, each play is scored and three winners are named. Drama Festival is a wonderful and exciting day, an event that HHS Drama annually participates in. 

In the past, HHS has presented shows such as The Scheme of the Driftless Shifter, an over-the-top comedy. In 2019, the club advanced to the semi-finals with its production of At the Bottom of Lake Missoula. Last year, due to the pandemic, the festival was moved to a virtual presentation. Hanover still participated with 4 A.M. by Johnathon Dorf, submitting a video of the performance. 

This year’s play Badger focused on four women working in a munitions factory during World War II and the challenges they faced as women in the workforce. It is both a heartbreaking and uplifting story that paints a strong picture of the hardships of domestic life during the war. 

The cast was led by Sammy Burke (‘22) as Rose, Gentile (‘22) as Irene, Lauren Casey (‘22) as Grace, and Caris Mann (‘22) as Barbara. Manning (‘22) played Tim, another factory worker who takes an interest in Rose, and Rose Giordani (‘22) played Barbara’s husband, John, who is overseas fighting. The Chorus included Erin Shea (‘23), Kendall Sherwood (‘22), Mary Longueil (‘22), Paulina Leskow (‘24), Addy Potter (‘24), Bella MacDonald (‘24) and Kaya Biunculli (‘23). The Chorus is the backbone of the show, taking on various characters and roles within the factory. 

Rehearsals began before the fall musical was even complete, under the direction of Mr. Fahey and the stage management of Bell (‘22) and Paulina Leskow (‘24). Asnes (’25) composed original music for the play. A performance for the HHS community on March 17 served as a final rehearsal before competition.

A New Epidemic Strikes Seniors

By Callia Gilligan, ’22

Staff Writer

As winter rolls into spring here at Hanover High School, the mysterious disease known as “Senioritis” has officially fallen upon the Class of 2022. 

Scientists are unsure if Senioritis is a virus or infection, but common symptoms are lack of motivation, fallen grades, tiredness, and overall apathy for all things school-related. Usually, Senioritis falls around the spring and has been known to only increase in symptoms as Graduation comes closer. 

Senioritis can manifest in different ways. 

Tiana Wakefield said that she suffers most from a lack of motivation. “I can’t bring myself to do work anymore, and I think that’s everyone too.”

McKenzie Bottomley doubted the existence of the sickness when she was an underclassman, but now says, “Senioritis is real, I’m literally just staring at this paper right now. I literally can’t bring myself to even read my notes.”

Jack Dolan couldn’t even give me a quote because “that’s how little I care right now.” 

Even the projected valedictorian and class brainiac, Bella Kelley, has taken ill. “I feel like I’m feeling it,” she said. “I feel like I’m still keeping up with all my classes but we’re definitely getting closer to the end.” 

Senioritis, interestingly, seems to be in direct conflict with the work of teachers, who have frustratingly taken notice of the widespread symptoms plaguing the Class of 2022. 

“Late. Absent. Tardy. Missing. Is there anything else to say?” Mrs. Curtis stated. “Senioritis”

Mrs. Galotti noted in her sixth-period Calculus class that the disease was “definitely affecting this class” but stopped to tell talking students to “do some math.” She added, “this is not my favorite time of year.”

Even teachers who do not teach seniors like Mr. Perry said, “From what I’ve heard, Senioritis is a problem. It seems to start earlier every year.” 

Clearly many teachers are frustrated by the yearly apathy that strikes the Senior Class but some aren’t too concerned. 

“I think we should wait nine or so weeks and it will all blow over,” said Mr. Henderson. Coincidentally, in nine weeks, the seniors are done with school. 

https://www.metroparent.com/education/school-issues/symptoms-cures-senioritis-high-school-seniors/

Many are connecting the Senioritis plaguing the high school to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“I’ve had senioritis since COVID started,” said Emma Talbot. 

Could Senioritis really be pandemic fatigue? Mr.Fahey doesn’t think so. “Senioritis is a disease that gets contracted by students the very first year they come to high school and meet their first senior,” he said.

If you find yourself feeling ill with Senioritis, doctors recommend prioritizing assignments that you might actually like, so you can bring some enjoyment back into your schoolwork.  If you feel yourself still struggling with motivation, doctors also recommend reminding yourself that colleges can revoke your offer of admission if you fail your classes. If even this doesn’t work, you should cut your losses and enjoy your nap. 

With college applications completed, Graduation looming on the horizon, and the weather warming up, can you really blame seniors for wanting to take a break? As Mr.Fahey put it, “Senioritis is earned.” Seniors have worked hard to get to this point, so as long as we keep up the good work (or at least some work), we deserve to slow down and enjoy this last stretch of our high school career. 

Featured image: https://www.scholarships.com/news/tips-for-curing-senioritis

Memoirs Bare Trauma of Childhood Poverty, Abuse

By Mrs. McHugh

HHS Librarian

Rex Ogle’s memoirs may be deceiving. With cartoonish covers and less than 200 pages each, the books might seem easy or meant for younger readers. But the subjects he deals with – extreme poverty, homelessness and physical abuse – are for mature audiences. While his younger school self narrates the stories, readers in high school or older may be best equipped to handle the content. This isn’t meant to warn anyone off. It’s just to make clear that what may look like a short or easy book from the outside in fact deals with some pretty heavy stuff.

In Free Lunch, Rex struggles to fit in at the start of sixth grade. With his mother and stepfather unemployed and prone to fits of violence, Rex is desperate to hide signs of their poverty: he can’t sign up for football because there’s no medical insurance if he gets hurt; he sleeps on the floor in a bedroom with no furniture; he often skips breakfast so his younger brother can eat; he wears threadbare clothes and sometimes the same outfit two days in a row. Rex doesn’t understand why his parents can’t provide. By telling the story from his younger point of view, Ogle exposes not just the experience of poverty that is all too common in this country. He also reveals the confusion and anger of a child whose adults are unable to care for him.

Punching Bag follows Rex into high school, focusing on the physical and emotional abuse that were paired with his family’s poverty. Since he was little, Rex’s mom has blamed him for the death of his stillborn sister, although his stepfather’s violence is really to blame. While his parents wage war against him and with each other, in scenes often brutal to read, Rex struggles with the darkness rising inside him. Does he give in, resigning himself to repeat the cycle in his future relationships? Or does he break ties with his toxic parents? He reveals the answer in an afterword that provides hope and resources for others suffering from violence. 

These books are similar to the series by Dave Pelzer, which begins with A Child Called It: difficult topics, honest and moving writing, incredible stories of resilience. Reading these types of books may be heart-wrenching, but they can also build compassion for others and understanding of the issues that many people face, often invisibly, in our communities.

Featured image: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dad-kicked-me-out-gay_n_5b33b23ae4b0b5e692f38ab7

HHS Group Takes Long-Delayed Trip of a Lifetime

By Paulina Leskow, ’24

Staff Writer

After a year of delay due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, a group of Hanover High School students finally got to take the trip of a lifetime: visiting the mysteries and wonders of Peru. Led by Spanish teachers Mrs. Gately and Mrs. Aborn, seven other students and I were able to experience the extraordinary Lima, the mountainous Cusco, and the mesmerizing Machu Picchu. 

The trip began February 18th, with some unfortunate mishaps. The plane from Boston to Miami, which would connect us to a flight from Miami to Lima, broke down before taking off, so we were all forced to deplane until it was fixed. This delay, which was expected to last about two hours, lasted 11 hours! We used that time to walk around the airport and buy snacks and beverages. Mrs. Gately and Mrs. Aborn remained calm through it all, figuring out how to get a new flight to Lima once we eventually arrived in Miami. 

At the gate for the flight to Lima, Peru

Once we landed in Miami, we had dinner in the airport since there were four more hours until the new flight to Lima. When we made our  way to the check in gate, we discovered another problem: the Boston airline messed up the tickets and ended up not buying all the necessary seats for the upcoming flight. After another 45 minutes trying to figure out ticketing, we were finally set and had to run to the gate, just barely catching the flight to Lima at 1 in the morning. 

After 27 hours in various airports, we finally met up with Boris, our tour guide, and arrived at the Lima hotel about an hour before our first tour. When we thought nothing else could go wrong, it was revealed that our checked luggage was stuck in Miami and would not arrive for another two days!

Despite all of the travel struggles, we were ready to enjoy our trip. During a guided tour of Lima, we were fascinated by the beautiful museums, catacombs (containing the bones of Fransisco Pizarro among others), and the President’s house, which was so close to other buildings that it didn’t even seem like his house.

Senior Daniel Leskow in front of the Presidential House, home of Pedro Castillo (current President of Peru)

The people indigenous to Lima are very friendly, however they did as much as they could to make the travelers buy their products. Although that seems a little stressful, the crafts and other items were fascinating and the people were very willing to negotiate. Overall, Lima is a beautiful place filled with rich Peruvian culture. 

The next day, we took a flight to the wondrous mountains of Cusco, where luggage was waiting for all but two members of the group. Cusco has an elevation of 11,000 feet so many can suffer high altitude sickness. Mrs. Gately and I were among the unlucky ones, forced to miss a day of the tour but fully recovered the next day. During our two days in Cusco, we hiked some of the beautiful mountains, explored the ancient ruins of Incan Civilization, and ate some of the best meals we’ve ever had (including the famous sweet Chicha Morada beverage). At one marketplace we visited, the local people were so happy to see tourists that they invited us to join in a traditional Peruvian dance. It was so much fun singing and dancing with them.

New friends at the marketplace in Cusco

Next, the group boarded a train to our final destination and the climax of our journey: Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The train took about two hours and followed along a river and through incredible mountains. We were fascinated by the views we had from the glass ceilings of the train.

Señora Aborn smiling at the top of Machu Picchu!

Machu Picchu is a beautiful village, and it takes a 20 minute bus ride to reach the Incan ruins. The route consists of many twists and turns all along the mountainside. Once the bus reached the top of the mountain, we were in awe at the gorgeous scenery of Machu Picchu. This was my favorite part of the trip.

After a day exploring the ruins, which date to the 15th century, we took a train and flight back to Lima for our trip home. Our final night consisted of one last dinner and dessert, a workout at the gym, card games, and lots and lots of packing, trying to fit all their souvenirs in the luggage. 

The flight home went pretty smoothly, at least better than the trip to Lima. Although we were happy to come home to our families, all of us wished that we could have stayed in Peru just a bit longer.

Señora Gately with a local vendor at a Cusco marketplace

“Peru was more than just a vacation for me – it was an adventure, a check off my bucket list and the trip of a lifetime,” said Mrs. Gately. “I was not only awed by the truly magnificent beauty of the Andes Mountains and its surroundings but also the mathematical and engineering geniuses that were the Incan people.”

Dan Leskow, a senior, said his favorite part of the trip was visiting Machu Picchu. “I was just in awe of how incredible it was,” he said. “I was additionally thrilled to be able to try unique Peruvian foods such as Ceviche, alpaca meat, and of course Cuy (Guinea Pig). It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.”

Senior Andrew Corbo created a video of the experience using some of the hundreds of pictures he and the other travelers took.

This really was one of the best trips I have ever taken. Thank you to everyone who made this trip so wonderful and memorable. It is an experience I will never forget.

Seniors Andrew Corbo, Ray Tschudy, Dan Leskow and Sophomore Paulina Leskow in front of the LIMA sign.

Graduating Senior Offers Tips for College Application Season

By Natalie Mowbray, ’22

Staff Writer

Although the fall of a new school year typically brings excitement and new beginnings, it can also be a time of great stress for seniors. As many of you know, this time of year sparks the beginning of the college application season. Between narrowing down lists, filling out applications and working on essays, it can seem overwhelming. As I just finished this process myself, I’m sharing some advice on how next year’s seniors can make this time of year less worrisome and more enjoyable.

For the majority of high school students, summer vacation is seen as the time of year with the least amount of responsibilities and stressors. But if you’re heading into senior year, take advantage of the opportunity that summer offers! As fall approaches, many seniors face the most rigorous course load of their entire high school career. To avoid an overlap between applications and school work, summer is a great time to get started on your application to-do list.

  • Begin writing your college essay over the summer. During the fall of senior year, you will spend your English classes editing and finalizing your essay. For the best results, come into senior year English with a pretty solid draft. You can get topic ideas and sample prompts from the Common App and writing tips from online sources such as Khan Academy.
  • The Common App opens on August 1st. Used by more than 900 colleges, the common app is a must for most students. Creating an account is straightforward and the majority of the information can be completed prior to senior year. This way, it will be faster to apply to all of your colleges. Your guidance counselor will hold senior workshops to help you complete the common application, so don’t forget to check your email!
  • Finalize your college list. To make the application season smoother, finalize which colleges you’re interested in attending. Don’t forget to include a range of schools, from those where you’re likely guaranteed admission to those that may be a reach. Although there is nothing wrong with including schools that might be out of your range, it is important to include schools that you should be admitted to and would attend. To sense which schools fall into these categories, the admission scatterplot on the platforms Naviance or Scoir will help. This data is limited to only HHS applicants which gives better and more personalized information.
  • Secure at least two letters of recommendation. One should preferably be from a STEM teacher and the other teacher should be a humanities teacher. Additionally, try to find a teacher that taught you during your junior year of high school. Although it is best to ask in person before the end of junior year, it is also acceptable to ask over the summer. Just ensure that the teacher knows your first college deadline – often. November 1st for many early applicants – so that you can apply on time.
  • Keep your grades up! It is a common misnomer that senior year grades are not important. However, poor senior grades or grades that have declined from your usual performance can negatively impact your chance at admission. Sometimes, you can be deferred from or are a borderline candidate for some colleges. Having exceptional grades during terms 1 and 2 can give you the boost needed to be accepted.

Although this portion of high school can be especially stressful, try not to be discouraged or overwhelmed. The guidance department is always available if you have questions or need help with applications. Speaking for myself, I went to guidance on numerous occasions to help me narrow down my list and write my college essays. Just remember you are not alone in this stressful task. Senior year is often cited as people’s favorite time at HHS, so don’t forget to cherish the last memories of high school while focusing on what will come next!

Featured image: https://www.collegetransitions.com/blog/college-application-season-is-here