Posted in Middle/High School

Don’t Miss Out

By: Tyler Hailston

Concert season is upon us and time is running out! There are different genres of music on display in Upstate New York all summer. Good vibes and positive energy is a huge part of the atmosphere at these summer concerts. It’s something most people should experience at some point in their life. Why not experience it with a summer lineup like this?

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Posted in Middle/High School

13 Reasons Why

By: Emily Jackson

It seems like every year there is a new TV show that blows up on the internet. In the beginning of April the Netflix original TV series 13 Reasons Why was that show; everyone was watching it. It was released on Netflix on March 31st. You may not know this about the show, but Selena Gomez is one of the co-producers.  

13 Reasons Why is about a young girl named Hannah Baker, played by Katherine Langford, who was bullied in highschool and she kills herself. A young boy that was in love with her named Clay Jensen, played by Dylan Minnette, finds a box containing thirteen tapes inside. He later finds out that they are tapes from Hannah explaining why she killed herself and who caused it. Each tape is directed at a different person and they each have a connection as to why Hannah did it. Clay goes through many different emotions during the show listening to the tapes. Netflix posted all thirteen episodes at once, some people say they did this so you either had to listen to the tapes all at once like Alex or slowly like Clay. The Netflix series was originally a book written by Jay Asher. There is a second season coming out in 2018.

Posted in Middle/High School

Blood Drive

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On May 24th 2017, Herkimer High School hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross. Krissy VanHorn of the ARC was interviewed to get some more details about the program and her time involved.

Carney : How long have you been involved in American Red Cross?

VanHorn: I’ve been with ARC for 24 years.

 

Carney: What has made you stay for so long, and why did you choose this career?

Vanhorn: I love the mission, we help save lives. That’s a great feeling. We’re always helping people. I have never needed blood myself, but I’ve known people that needed transfusions. People have said they feel like they’ve been brought a new life, when they can finally breathe right.

 

Carney: Do you only stay in this area?

VanHorn: We do travel around central New York, but we originated from the Liverpool

area. Just last week we traveled to Albany, so we don’t stick to just CNY.

 

Carney : What advice would you give to someone who would want to take on this career path?

VanHorn: We are always meeting new people. Everyday is a new place. If you’re a person who likes constant movement and change, you might like this.

 

Carney: You said you’ve been here 24 years, what’s a noticeable change you’ve seen?

VanHorn: Definitely technology. We used to only use paper and now almost everything we do is on computers.

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Carney: Is it easier with the new technology from when you first got into the career?

VanHorn: The computers are a help, I can say It’s definitely more proficient for us.

 

Carney: Lastly, what has surprised you about this career?

VanHorn:  That I’d be here this long! You don’t think about that when you first start. When I got into the ARC, I never gave much thought to the amount of time I’d be here, I was always focused on present.

Posted in Middle/High School

Seniors

By Emily Jackson

The Journalism class asked the senior class what their favorite memory of high school was, and what their future plans are.  The following are the results:

Name: Cassie Pontius
What is your favorite High School memory:
Sub-30-ing for the first time senior year on the home cross country course with a 29:59:99.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.):
Attending Hamilton 4 year college.
Name: Tyler Hailston
What is your favorite High School memory:
Braxton puking in my car.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.):
HCCC, for Business Administration
Name: James Huyck
What is your favorite High School memory: Food fight in 10th grade.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): to become a social studies teacher.
Name: Codi Gay
What is your favorite High School memory: When Shayna body slammed the Canastota vending machine and broke the glass.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): HCCC for accounting/playin volleyball.
Name: Gianna Bambara
What is your favorite High School memory: The waterballoon fights at the end of every year in the parking lot.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.):  I plan to attend the university at Buffalo for occupational therapy.
Name: John Chimento
What is your favorite HIgh School memory: Winning golf sectionals in 7th grade.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Go to college and be a psychiatrist.
Name: Tyler Rood
What is your favorite High School memory: When Devon Everson was being dumb and ran through the vending machine.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): SUNY IT, for forensic investigator.
Name: Gabrielle Tangorra
What is your favorite High School memory: End of the year kareoke in Meininger’s room.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): St. John Fisher College to major in English.
Name: Amelia Whitney
What is your favorite High School memory: Skipping with my friends on lunch and not coming back.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Going to HCCC for two years then moving to Missouri.
Name: Ariana Janes
What is your favorite High School memory: Taking sick days so I didn’t have to be here.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): MVCC for digital animation, continue on in Austin, Texas at the Art Institutes. Hope to animate 3D figures for video games.
Name: Kyle Smith
What is your favorite High School memory: When Anthony Lupino got hit by a car from Jake Wheet
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Go to MVCC for psychology then-transfer somewhere to get my masters then grad school for sports psychology.
Name: Kimmie Buckley
What is your favorite High School memory: This, this paper right now. Just kidding, eating all the foods.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): I am going to Herkimer for Human Services.
Name: James Putecci
What is your favorite High School memory: Everything I love highschool.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Go to law school.
Name: Antonio Aceto
What is your favorite High School memory: Hanging out with some good friends.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): College at HCCC, then transfer to finish my major at SUNY Cortland.
Name: Kyler Ford
What is your favorite High School memory: When the 4×400 team beat Clinton in outdoor track.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): College at HCCC and the SUNY Cortland.
Name: Brian Mula
What is your favorite High School memory: Sophomore year of Baseball.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Attend Herkimer College and major in Business Administration.
Name: Alyssa Felshaw
What is your favorite High School memory: Skipping school with my friends.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Ging to HCCC and then eventually moving somewhere other than here.
Name: Shayana Crandall
What is your favorite High School memory: Fires at Elise’s, volleyball 2015/2016, washington DC
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): HCCC and transfer to St. Rose for Art Education and/or English Education
Name: Antonio Mowa
What is your favorite High School memory: Scoring a halftime goal during a game.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): HCCC for PE/coaching.
Name: Brennon White
What is your favorite High School memory: Bowling season earlier this year.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): HCCC for now, probably transfer to another school after. Work while in college.
Name: Angelica Hunko
What is your favorite High School memory: Hanging out with my friends.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): College.
Name: Katelyn Henrickson
What is your favorite High School memory: Going to the gym, being at the gym, and playing volleyball.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): College.
Name: Morgan Rivers
What is your favorite High School memory: The musicals.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): SUNY Delhi
Name: Gina Baggetta
What is your favorite High School memory: The musicals.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): HCCC.
Name: Maddie Renshaw
What is your favorite High School memory: After winter weekend
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Going to college then getting a job.
Name: Alyssa Miller
What is your favorite High School memory: After winter weekend.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): College and work.
Name: Andrew Boyles
What is your favorite High School memory: Leaving Shayna at weekend for a “lemonade”.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): SUNY Delhi for Architecture.
Name: Elise Davis
What is your favorite High School memory: All the soccer team dinners.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): I’m attending Utica College studying Psychology; child life.
Name: Brandan Parks
What is your favorite High School memory: My favorite high school memory was definitely our choir trip to Toronto.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): My future plans are to attend Nazareth college to major in Music/Business
Name: Jasmine Beach
What is your favorite High School memory: Having art class with Ms. McCutcheon.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Going to HCCC for Fine Arts. No, I don’t know what I want to do yet.
Name: Trey Guyer
What is your favorite High School memory: Petucci, Eating, Mount Markham.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): College.
Name: Andrew Rathbun
What is your favorite High School memory: Going to the final four in Basketball.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Coast Guard then College.
Name: Gio Servello
What is your favorite High School memory: Doubling up as a senior while being a junior.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): General Studies at Herkimer College.
Name: Kyle Long
What is your favorite High School memory:
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): SUNY Poly for Civil Engineering.
Name: Derek Newman
What is your favorite High School memory: My junior year of Basketball, wicked fun season. All the memories I’ve made with my bro’s, you know who you are.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Attending College at HCCC, planning on helping with family car business.
Name: Nick Ferri
What is your favorite High School memory: Winning a league title in Basketball.
What are your future plans (college/workforce/trade school/etc.): Pursuing a Pharm.D at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Posted in Middle/High School

Art Grant

By: Emily Johnson

IMG_6408On May 17, Mrs. McCutcheon’s Art and Sculpture classes attended a special field trip to the Little Falls Canal. In order for Herkimer students to go on this trip, Mrs. McCutcheon wrote a grant proposal and eventually got approved for nearly $3,000 in grant money and the total grant adding up to over $10,000. She came up with the idea of urban sketching, she thought that it was an awesome idea to bring students to paint with watercolor and sketch in their sketchbooks that were handed to them.

The special art guest, Mrs. Shuster, provided sketchbooks to the students, watercolor palettes, and pencils and pens. First, the art students found a nice spot to sit, where they could sketch out the scenery in their sketchbooks at Ole Sal’s.  Mrs. Mccutcheon and her sculpture students worked together with the West Canada art class in a Google Classroom. To do this trip Mrs. McCutcheon needed to talk to and get help from the two art teachers, Mrs. Shuster, Mrs. Wilmarth, and the Mohawk Valley Art Center. They worked together to get an idea, a summary, and a step by step plan with a budget. They had to put down every person’s time that would go into this project. Mrs. Shuster went around and talked and looked at everyone’s art. She was very happy and excited to be here.

One of the many places the group went to was Benton’s Landing. The view from where we were was amazing. Nathaniel Benton came to Little Falls as a War of 1812 veteran and opened a law office here in 1819.

The Journalism students that went on this trip interviewed some of the Art students.

Maria Humble said, “Yes it’s very different than the classroom. You can get more detail when you draw in person. You see everything better and more clearly.” Maria liked the idea of this trip; it was something different and she  got out of school. She was also excited about having to make the drawing into sculptures. She thinks making the sculptures are the easy part.

Maria’s sister, Johanna, said, “Being outside talking real life things and drawing them is a lot better compared to in the classroom.”  Maria finds it easier when going off of a picture then in person, she loved the idea of the trip she liked sitting out in the sun and sketch what she wants. She thinks it’s cool seeing how something goes from a 2D object to 3D.

We also asked James Huyck some of the same questions and he said, “I enjoy it very much, I believe it’s necessary for people to enjoy art in their everyday life.” We asked him what made him decide what to draw. “We were given the opportunity to draw art history at this site in Little Falls. The tree could be here forever but the building won’t be.” We asked him what he usually likes to sketch and which was better drawing or sculpting.  “Mirror Lake is where I usually sketch for scenery. Drawing seems to be easier, but sculpting seemed to help learn/teach easier.”

Posted in Elementary School

The Blocks vs. Period Debate

Written by: Tyler Hailston, Nicole Jordan, James Huyck, Emily Jackson, Eric Carney

Currently, the Herkimer Jr. High operates on a period schedule and the Sr. High School operates on a block schedule. It has been decided that, beginning next school year, we will switch to a school-wide period schedule. This change will affect a high school students schedule by having nine 42 minute classes per day, instead of four 82 minute classes per day, plus lunch. The HHS Journalism Class recently conducted an anonymous survey for students and teachers grades 8-12 regarding the proposed change in our schedule.

 

The following are the results of the student survey:

  • 32 students in grades 8-12, who responded, are in favor of moving to periods
  • 177 students in grades 8-12, who responded, are in favor of staying with blocks.

 

Students were asked to explain why they wanted either blocks or periods.

Those students who were in favor of periods said the following:

 

“I don’t remember what I did two days ago when I have blocks. The day goes faster with shorter classes. I get all my homework done the first day. Sitting in class for 80 minutes is boring.”

“I don’t think I would be able to fully concentrate for 80 minutes.”

“You get to see the same teacher every day.”

“I have blocks and it makes the day go by really slow.”

“When I have homework for more than one day I will be a procrastinator and forget to do my homework. It would be frustrating.”

“Periods are less confusing.”

“I am used to periods. More classes per day. I don’t want 80 minute study halls.”

“Many kids can’t focus on one class for 80 minutes.”

“You could remember more information if you hear it daily.”

“I can’t pay attention in one class for 80 minutes.”

“If you are absent with periods, you have less work to catch up on.”

 

Teachers were also surveyed. Of the 30 who responded, 14 were in favor of the periods.  The following are some of the teachers’ comments, in favor of moving to periods:

“I have been teaching in periods for several years now – student’s attention during the class period and retention in the next day’s class period is better.”

“Seeing students everyday will allow less material to be covered at once and more retention of material will occur. Plus, when a student is out, they will miss less material.”

“Especially for struggling students, smaller but more frequent doses of material is more effective than larger, further apart. 24 hours is long enough to remember how; 48 hours is long enough to remember to forget how.”

“Easier for students to stay focused for entire class –  80 minutes is a long time to stay dialed in.”

“With middle school students, attention span in short periods works better to see them daily and briefly.”

“Periods because we will have every class every single day.”

“Daily contact with students. Fits better with students’ attention span.” “Prefer to see students every day.”

“It works better to see them daily and briefly.”

“Kids more focused. Day goes by fast.”

 

The students who voted for the blocks had many different responses. Those in favor said the following:

“I don’t have to do all my homework in one night and it’s too much info [with periods] for one day.”

“The teachers won’t try to rush through lesson plans and will take their time in class.”

“It gives students the opportunity to receive help on their days off from a certain class.”

“You will have a higher failing percentage due to having homework due every day.”

“Students won’t have any time to see teachers for extra help, and will be overloaded with homework.  If you think failure rates are high now, wait till we switch to periods.”

“In my classes, it provides me the opportunity to complete more work on time, homework is due every other day, and the day goes by quicker with only four classes, making it easier to put forth 100% effort.”

“There is more time per day to focus on each class.  There are two days to do your homework, so if one is busy with sports or other activities they have time to do it.”

“I like to spend a little more time on a unit because we could possibly be studying and then be interrupted [with periods] and have to wait.”

“Periods are too short and unreasonable. The adjustment is not fair to upcoming seniors.”

“More time to learn, can go further in depth.”

“We get more time to talk about what we are learning about.  Also, it’s getting us ready for college.”

“I don’t want to have the same classes every day.”

“We have more time to cover material, also we wouldn’t have to rush through the subject.”

“I’d rather have an 80 minute study hall to do homework. I usually have to help my mom around the house.”

“For longer study halls because I can’t concentrate at home.”

“In my mind, blocks make the day seem to go by faster and after adopting to blocks it will be a tough transition to periods.Periods will negatively affect lab class, all art classes, and some math classes”

“Blocks allow for more streamlined lesson plans and a more attentive lesson. If 5 minutes are spent quieting kids down 2 minutes are spent doing attendance, and 3 getting the lesson/ lab setup then there’s only 30 minutes for kids to learn and comprehend the information. That’s being generous and not taking into account to explain to individual kids the lesson if they don’t understand.”

 

Along with the student comments, 16 teachers were in favor of blocks. Here are some of their responses:

 

“Less wasted time reiterating. Depth of discussions. Exposure time.  Less wasted migration time.  Writing time. Single day tests. Instruct → show → do → fix → do; No time for that in periods.”

 

“Time for me to present info to students and time for students to use that info in their work. Otherwise, they forget by next class.”

“We are supposed to do hands-on, projects based learning.  Periods do not allow set-up time for that many classes in one day or enough time to complete activities.  Many Science labs cannot be done in one period.”

“Blocks allow for more time to dive deeper into the content that is being taught and students to synthesize information with greater understanding.”

“With the classes I teach, art, students need a fair amount for material distribution, practice, application, and clean up of supplies.”

“More uninterrupted time for projects, group work, technology, hands on activities.”

 

According to the survey, students seem more in favor of blocks, but the teachers are almost at an even split. There are many studies regarding block and period scheduling; some support blocks over periods, while other studies support periods over blocks. Our survey indicates the overall preference, but whether the school continues with blocks or periods, we know that student success will be the top priority.

 

Posted in Elementary School

Are 6th Graders Ready for Junior High?

By: Tyler Hailston, James Huyck, Eric Carney, Emily Jackson and Nicole Jordan

The Herkimer Central School District is currently structured with the 6th graders as part of the Elementary School. However, the Herkimer Elementary School is slowly running out of space to fit all of the K-6 students, so it has been proposed that the 6th graders be moved to the High School. The proposal that the 6th graders move to the High School generates many questions, including: Is there enough classroom space? Will the maturity rate of the 6th graders increase? And how will we keep the 6th graders separate from the high schoolers? The Journalism class decided to meet with Superintendent Mr. Miller to discuss the topic.

 

Teachers at the High School also have their own opinions about bringing the sixth graders up the Jr./Sr. High School. Based on a quick survey, it seems that  many of the teachers have doubts about this change.  One teacher expressed concerns about classroom space. When we brought this up to Mr. Miller, he said that we actually have more space in the High School, but it is still undecided as to what part of the school the 6th grade classrooms and lockers will be located in.  Additionally, Miller said moving the students to the High School will also allow the kids to have more opportunities and electives available. For instance, students will be able to join more clubs at the high school than are currently available at the elementary school. Some of the electives that the 6th graders could choose from may include foreign languages, health, art, and even online courses. If the 6th graders do become part of the high school, they will not be able to participate in the school sports teams until they are in 7th grade.

 

One teacher who was not comfortable with the idea said she was concerned that the transition would shorten the 6th graders’ childhoods.  The University of North Carolina School of Medicine says that introducing kids at a younger age to a more mature atmosphere may cause problems including the introduction to drugs, bullying, depression, and possible sexual situations. These problems could have major effects of the welfare of the children. However,  Mr. Miller believes children already grow up at a faster rate due to strong advances in technology. He also believes that the younger kids will be separated enough from the upperclassmen, and that more mature relationships and actions are caused by mixing diverse ages, which will be avoided.
Miller also clarified this is only speculation because many other things need to go into the process to make this possible. He would like to see this transition completed as early as September of 2018.