Monday, October 18, 2010

New Staff Profile: Dr. Lisa Mulhall

By Bryan Gross

With the start of a new school year come new members to the Oyster Bay school district staff and the Board of Education. Dr. Lisa Mulhall is one such addition filling in the shoes of Dr. Laura Seinfeld as the new Assistant Superintendent. Dr. Mulhall graduated from Rutgers University, and got her masters in teaching and doctorate in leadership at Columbia University Teachers College.

Growing up Dr. Mulhall never knew she wanted to become an Assistant Superintendent. “I always thought I’d go to law school and become a lawyer, but my mom had a huge impact upon my career choice. She always said that I’d love teaching, and once I tried it, I fell in love,” said Mulhall. Mulhall enjoyed teaching so much; it was just a natural step to become an Assistant Superintendent.

Before becoming the Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Mulhall was the Language Arts supervisor in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “It’s an extremely rewarding experience working in a small school where you can get to know everybody. It’s nice to see familiar faces and how close everybody is,” said Mulhall.

Dr. Mulhall decided to come to Oyster Bay mainly because of how much she admires our Board of Education. She loves working with Dr. Harrington because both of their visions are very similar. Mulhall’s two main focuses are teaching and learning. Her belief is that teachers must learn to teach and students must learn to learn. So far Dr. Mulhall loves Oyster Bay. She has talked to the administrators and hears how great the kids are.

Mulhall is a huge football fan. Since there is no New Jersey football team she’s a big Philadelphia Eagles fan. Traveling is also another hobby of hers. She has been to Venezuela, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, Canada, Israel, France, Spain, and Finland. Back in high school, Dr. Mulhall ran cross country and ever since she has been running all the time. Mulhall was part of the Interact Club in her high school as well.

Dr. Mulhall is very enthusiastic about her position here at Oyster Bay and hopes to drive us in a good direction. The small size of our school and the friendly students should help Mulhall adjust nicely and enjoy all that Oyster Bay has to offer.

8th Graders Set to Serve

By Halsey Quinn

Every year there are a few seventh and eighth graders who step up to play for a varsity team. This fall season, this varsity tennis team alone has brought up two middle school students. Josephine Pinnock and Grace McNamara, two eighth graders, are competing alongside the high school students on the tennis team.

Pinnock, who was the manager of the tennis team as a seventh grader, has been playing tennis since she was about eight years old, and she plans to continue through high school.

“It is a lot harder than I expected, but it is a lot of fun,” says Pinnock. Tennis isn’t the only sport Pinnock plays. She plays volleyball, golf, swims competitively, and runs track and field. Like most students who compete on school teams, Pinnock occasionally finds it hard to keep up with academics while participating in sports.

Along with Pinnock, McNamara is also playing on the varsity team. Her mother got her playing tennis when McNamara was just two years old. She took lessons at her house until she was eleven, and plans to continue tennis through high school.

This year, as an eighth grader, McNamara is excited to be a part of the school team. “Matches are long, but I can get everything in school done no problem,” she says. In other seasons, like Pinnock, she is on the school volleyball team, and the track and field team. Outside of school, she also swims and dances competitively.

Being on a varsity team is a big commitment, and is much more serious than any middle school team. McNamara isn’t bothered by the fact that there isn’t a 7th/8th grade option for her, as she enjoys being on varsity. While Pinnock has fun playing on the varsity tennis team, she would still prefer a middle school team, or just a junior varsity team. One thing they both agree on is that playing for the varsity team is fun and exciting, and they both hope to have a good season.

Restoring Honor- Glenn Beck's DC Rally

By Aubri Juhasz
On August 8, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. offered memorable words of inspiration to a divided nation. This past summer on the 47th anniversary of this revolutionary event, another brave man stood tall and spoke from his heart, hoping for the same thing Martin Luther King Jr. hoped for, for his words to be heard. Glenn Beck has a dream too, and on August 28, 2010 he took one more step closer to it becoming a reality. At the strictly nonpolitical rally, Glenn Beck with many other influential people of the twenty first century were there, standing beside him, to support him on three simple beliefs, Hope, Faith and Charity.
Almost everyone that I have spoken a word to about the rally, either had no knowledge of its existence, or had the facts all wrong. I feel that this is the situation that most Americans are in also. This is a result of either two things, being oblivious to the current events of their country, or being misinformed. Following the rally, not a single newspaper to my knowledge had anything negative to say about the rally, but on the other hand they kept their articles short and relatively plain, most not even stating what the rally was really about. The 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally was a way for Americans from all different walks of life states to come together and pledge to restore honor to America. It was a rally to honor those of us who serve our country, and pay tribute to our great nation’s “heroes, heritage and our future”. The rally was centered around three simple beliefs. Each had a guest speaker, who Glenn Beck felt lived a life that best represented that quality.
To speak on the behalf of Faith was C.L. Jackson a Houston Minister, and a dedicated preacher to his parish for 44 years, who exhibits unwavering faith in whatever he chooses to believe in. For Hope spoke Major League Baseball player, Albert Pujols. After emigrating from the Dominican Republic at age 16, he grew up not only to be an all star baseball player, but to launch his own foundation. The Pujols Family Foundation is dedicated to “the love, care and development of people with down syndrome and their families”. He is a man that has always held onto hope. Lastly, Charity was represented by Jon Huntsman Sr., philanthropist and businessman playing a key part in the invention of plastic egg cartons and many other take out necessities. Huntsman has been a lifetime humanitarian, donating to various causes, such as the homeless, underprivileged and the ill. He is best known for the funding and creation of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and has arranged in his will that after his passing, all his money be donated to charity.
Other than those attending to represent the values of Faith, Hope and Charity, there were many other influential people of the twenty first century standing beside Glenn Beck at Restoring Honor. These included Sarah Palin, Marcus Luttrell, and Alveda King. Sarah Palin spoke not as a political leader, but as a mother of a soldier. While Marcus Luttrell one of Americas true heroes shared his inspiring story of his survival, and being the sole survivor of his Navy seal team in Afghanistan. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., who has stood by Glenn Beck long before the rally was conceived, attended with the words that if her uncle were still alive today, he would have attended the rally proudly.
The rally was also supported by The Black Robe Regiment and Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The Black Robe regiment stood side by side, a group consisting of people of all different religions, Pastors, Rabbis and even a few Imams were there to support the message of restoring Honor and Hope, Faith and Charity. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation, worked alongside Glenn Beck to run this rally. The sole purpose of their foundation is to raise money to provide scholarship grants to the children of deceased special operation personnel. People were able to make donations to the foundation while at the event, and in that one day alone, raising over 5 million dollars.
On the morning of the rally, over 500,000 people made their way from all over the country, by plane, train, and automobile, to the Lincoln Memorial, to witness what they hoped would be a day of inspiration and honor. These people were not angry rioters, obnoxious or loud, but kind, considerate Americans yearning for change. At the start of the rally, many could not see the Teleprompters, or were sweaty and tired, but there was no shoving, or foul language, no littering, or fighting or arguments of any kind. The day was sprinkled with random acts of kindness, which showcased that compassion for others still exists. The Lincoln Memorial was swarmed with nothing but true Americans standing together, holding their American Flags up to dance in the breeze. As Glenn Beck sought to take the stage, a perfect v of geese spontaneously flew over the reflecting pool. I looked around into a sea of different colored and aged faces that surrounded me, all with the same look of joyful anticipation at the idea of the restoration of Honor, Hope, Faith and Charity. On August 28th, I saw the good in America shine through.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Livin' on the Bayou

By Ryan Cronin

History Channel has again found a ratings gold mine, this time in its new reality series “Swamp People”. History’s new hit along with new seasons of more experienced shows, such as Ice Road Truckers, and Pawn Stars, caused the network to achieve its highest ratings ever during the month of August. For its last episode Swamp People had 2.753 million viewers 1.7% of households watched the episode as well as 3% of households watching television in the 9pm-10pm timeslot.
The series documents the lives of Cajun “swampers” as they maintain a lifestyle that is over 300 years old. Although many of the men live off of the land for most of the year, the majority of their time is devoted to Louisiana’s 30 day hunting season for alligator. Alligator season is the main source of income for the Cajuns, and they have only 30 days to fill their individual quotas and earn a living.
The show follows seven “master hunters” and their hired guns as they search the famed Atchafalaya Basin for its bounty of alligator. Every Sunday viewers take a trip to Louisiana and find themselves thrust into the action of hunts for beasts that can easily rip limbs off human beings. The filming techniques in the show offer viewers a first person point of view as cameras seem to be on the boats alongside the hunters.
Most people who watch the show have never even heard about alligator hunting let alone know the importance of it on the economy of Louisiana. The men followed in Swamp People live a way of life that is seen and even described by History Channel as “primitive,” but it is a way of life that is all they have ever known and may be all they ever will know. Through Swamp People, History has opened a door to this unfamiliar world to millions of people every Sunday night.

A New Way to Go Green

By Aubri Juhasz
In an ever consuming society, it’s no surprise that many Americans find themselves taking in more goods than their homes can hold. Hence, things such as the garage sale and e-bay have grown in popularity. But for those of us that are too busy or technologically inept for the above options, their old stuff hits the curb at an alarming rate. However, in Oyster Bay, beginning on September 21st, opens a store that holds another option for those of us with a greener perspective.
Mill Pond Consignment, located at No. 9 Audrey Ave., is a convenient option to everyone here in Oyster Bay and across Long Island. They take almost everything you would find in a house such as mirrors, lamps, china and dining room sets, though they do not accept household appliances. In order to arrange your goods to be sold at this establishment, you have several options. Call them at 516-680-3203 or visit them at
Now a days, everyone seems to be attempting to “go green” in some way, whether it’s big things like running a home off solar panels, or simply buying a notebook made of recycled paper. No matter how many people want to cut back on waste there are some pretty obvious areas that we are neglecting. On trash collection night, the streets of a neighborhood may contain at least half a dozen articles of furniture that have no business being thrown out. If some Good Samaritan (or picker) doesn’t take it for themselves, this perfectly fine piece of furniture may eventually find itself rotting away in a landfill somewhere, when it could have been reused in someone else’s home.
In order to get your new or gently used unwanted furniture out of your house and off the curb there are several steps to follow. First contact Mill Pond Consignment by one of the above means. Once you have arranged for pickup, or dropped off your items, they will be on sale in the store for anyone’s perusing. After your item is sold, you will receive a 50% profit cut from the item’s sale price and receive a check of the balance on record by the 15th of the following month. Whether you’re looking to sell your gently used or new furniture, or just go green, you can feel good knowing you’re benefitting your wallet and the environment as well.

Hola, Bon Jour, Hello and Welcome

By Stephen Vlavianos

Mrs. Jackie Luciano is the newest teacher in the L.O.T.E. department. She is extremely well-educated, and well-cultured and will be a huge asset to our school because of the quantity of her life experience.

Stephen Vlavianos: Do you like Oyster Bay High School?
JL: So far it seems great. The staff and students have made me feel welcome.
SV: Did you teach at any other schools?
JL: I taught in the Brentwood school district. I have work experience at Brentwood High School and Brentwood R. Middle School.
SV: What made you choose to come to Oyster Bay?
JL: I was interested in a change of pace and atmosphere, and I am extremely pleased with Oyster Bay.
SV: How would you classify your teaching style?
JL: My main concern in teaching is to get the kids excited and keep them engaged. I am flexible in my teaching style, I just want to appeal to the kids and teach them as much as I can.
SV: Where did you attend college?
JL: SUNY Stony Brook.
SV: What was your major?
JL: Spanish
SV: What inspired you to teach foreign language?
JL: I have a passion for travelling to other countries, and I love the culture that comes with languages…I want to share that passion with my students.
SV: Do you have a background in any other languages?
JL: Well, I studied Italian, and I also taught English in Argentina.
SV: What is one thing your students should know about you?
JL: I have lived and traveled in and throughout many other foreign countries. I have studied art and culture, and I am extremely happy to be at Oyster Bay!

Homecoming Approaching

By Daniel Eng
The biggest football game in the Oyster Bay football team’s season is rapidly approaching. Not only is it the most important football game, but it is also the time for each grade to show off their school spirit. Leading up to homecoming, each grade competes in multiple events to show which grade has the most Oyster Bay pride. Students compete in events such as float building, hall decorating and of course the biggest one of them all, which is lip sync. Lip sync is where each grade creates a dance based on a theme that is chosen by the student council.
According to Ms. Danielle Urtheil, she has not yet had the meeting with the student council that decides the theme and colors. She will hold the meeting with all of student council towards the end of September. Spirit Week will begin on Monday,. October 25 and will run through the week and end on Friday, October 29. She announced that hall decorating will be Tuesday the 26, the pep rally will be Friday the 29 and Homecoming will be, according to Urtheil on the next Saturday, October 30. The winners of lip sync will perform their dance during the half time of the football game. Urtheil also stated that she and the student council plan on having sports events to raise money during the year.
“We are very excited for this year, because we have a bunch of fundraisers planned,” Urtheil said.

Hooray for Hawe

By Diana Vlavianos

With the retirement of an Oyster Bay legend, Ms. Reilly, our school’s English department was at a loss and needed to hire a new teacher who exhibits excellence and is able to leave a mark on our school. Oyster Bay has certainly found that in Ms. Hawe, the new 7th grade English teacher. She is an extremely knowledgeable woman with a passion for her subject and quirks that will make her a dynamic addition to the English department.

Diana Vlavianos: What are you most looking forward to at Oyster Bay?
Emily Hawe: Getting to know the students, and to show them my classroom library which I have been building up all summer. Also, I’m excited to go to all the students’ activities like the sports games, and the school plays and such.

DV: Where did you attend college?
EH: Actually, I am from Virginia but I attended NYU for my undergrad with a major in play writing, and then I attended the Teacher’s College.

DV: What is your favorite aspect of teaching?
EH: Definitely having the opportunity to read more (I am such an English teacher), and also having the opportunity to teach writing to children and assist them in expressing themselves through their writing.

DV: Have you held any previous teaching positions?
EH: I taught at a public school in New York City. The school was smaller than Oyster Bay, and I taught eleventh and twelfth grade English there. I’m happy to be at Oyster Bay because I actually have classroom space! In the city I would have to teach in either the school library or the hallways...I made do.

DV: Being that you have previous teaching experience, what have you found to be the most challenging aspect of teaching?
EH: Hmm, that is a difficult question…teaching is just so rewarding…I would have to say that meeting different student’s needs is difficult. It is challenging to appeal to students who are at different levels, and to explain concepts such as grammar to a group of kids who have different understandings of what I am teaching.

DV: What is one thing that your students wouldn’t know about you?
EH: I’m currently working on writing a young adult novel, and in the past as a writer I have written plays and screenplays.

Hallway Navigation 101

by Paul Savary
It’s a new school year, and of course the hallways are filled with absolute chaos. Learning how to maneuver the hallways is an art which is usually mastered after a semester or two. The biggest problem is the pure obliviousness of students, particularly with the underclassmen.
So for the hallway inept, here is a guide on how to properly walk the halls of Oyster Bay:

1. Hallways are just like streets, you walk with your right shoulder closest to the wall, and this goes for the stairways as well.
2. If you feel the need to spark up a conversation in the halls, be courteous and move to the walls or lockers.
3. If you see a person walking right into your direction, just move and avoid the awkward shuffle when you have to move away from them last minute.
4. When walking with a group of people, condense if you see people coming towards you from the opposite direction.
5. There’s really no reason to run in the hallways, really, most teachers understand if you get to class within 10 seconds of the bell
6. When waiting for a teacher to come to the classroom, stay close to the walls and don’t just conjugate in a massive orb around the door.
7. To make it easier to get to class, know all the hallways and find the shortest route to class.
8. No matter what a teacher tells you, never go for a bathroom break in-between classes, you won’t have enough time to get back before the second bell.
9. Remember the hallway in between the lunchroom and library! It can cut a lot off of your walk to gym.
10. Wait for a clearing before crossing the halls to get to stairs.

I hope these tips can make for a better Oyster Bay High School, and less chaotic hallways. Have a great school year!

Editorial: A New Diploma for a New World

By Alexa Ritacco

For students on Long Island the competition for getting into college is extremely fierce. Most find it hard to set themselves a part from the crowd. Having the high grades won’t cut it, being involved in every activity won’t help as much as you’d think and a service trip to Costa Rica, although an excellent way to make a difference, will not be a deciding factor. So what can students do to gain the competitive edge? A new program called the 21st century diploma can definitely get you on the right track.
The program was just recently introduced to us at our grade level assemblies by Ms. Jill Walther. She has been working exceedingly hard on it for about 3 years. The program allows students to receive high school credit for activities they normally wouldn’t get credit for. Activities range from music lessons to participating in a 5K walk/run to even working a part-time job. All of these credits are then put onto a student’s transcript.
Depending on the class year, students are required to earn a certain number of credits before they graduate. Since seniors and juniors will not have the same amount of time as freshmen and sophomores to fulfill these credits, they will not have to earn as many. Seniors must earn 30 points, Juniors 60 and freshmen and sophomores 100.
In a recent student poll I took, 30 out of 50 students were interested in participating in the program, 5 were undecided, and 10 were a definite no. The main reason for no seemed to be a mix of laziness and “not having enough time.”
“It seems like something that could really help us,” said junior Boyd Warwick Clark, “But my only apprehension is whether it is actually going to make a difference or not.”
I feel this is a great opportunity that all students should take advantage of. Usually most colleges and universities place a lot of weight of the decision process on the high school transcript. Having all these different activities on a transcript would look exceptionally impressive. It allows the admissions counselor to see well roundedness right away.
This program can only help a student, not hurt them. The majority of high schools in the New York Area don’t offer this opportunity. If there’s a student out there who doesn’t take advantage of this program, they’re seriously missing.

New Attendance Policy Clarified

By Mariah Cody

Oyster Bay High School’s new attendance policy was implemented into this year’s 2010/2011 syllabus, but not many fully understand what this new policy entails. A letter was mailed home to every household, meetings were held, but questions and complaints are still lingering with what defines an excused and unexcused absence.
The new attendance policy was implemented because students cannot learn unless they are in their class. According to Dr. O’Hara, Oyster Bay High School is one of the last high schools in the area without an attendance policy. Although the specifications of other school’s attendance policies vary, the primary message to students remains constant: be in class.
The main controversies lie in what distinguishes an excused absence from an unexcused absence. According to the new attendance policy, excused absences include personal illness, illness or death in a family, impassable roads due to inclement weather, religious observance, quarantine, required court appearances, medical appointments, college visitations, alternative educational activities, personal reasons with the confirmation of a parent or guardian, and any other reasons that may be approved by the Commissioner of Education. Unexcused absences include vacation, truancy (absence without proper excuse), oversleeping, babysitting, cutting with parental permission, missing school with parental permission, car trouble, and illegal absence from class.
With every piece of legislation come guidelines and logistics. Early departure or lateness must include a parental note or phone call on the same day of the infraction. According to the new attendance policy, it is the parent’s responsibility to follow through on this twenty-four hour deadline. In the case of a chronic absence or lateness/early departure some form of medical confirmation is need in order to make that violation legal.
The number of accepted absences varies between half-year and full-year courses. For half-year courses the maximum number of absences is twelve and for full-year courses twenty-four. Upon the thirteenth absence for half-year courses and the twenty-fifth absence for full-year courses the student will not receive credit for the course. If there are discrepancies amongst the recorded absences, the student’s attendance record will be reviewed by the panel of teachers.
The new attendance policy follows a tight procedure, beginning with a code imprinted on the student’s record stating the nature of the absence (full day, class cut, tardiness, early departure) and ending when, and if, the student accumulates more than the maximum number of absences with a review from the school board.
If there are any further questions contact either Dr. O’Hara, Mr. Imperial, or Ms. Johnson.