Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Natalie Reichman is Awesome

By: Christyn Binder

Natalie Reichman, a current senior, is excited to begin a rigorous BOCES art program. She feels her full Monday through Friday routine of portfolio prep, costume design, graphic design, and art history as well as sculpture will give her an edge when it comes to art school college preparation

“The whole experience is amazing.” She even goes so far as to compare her substantial BOCES college prep to the necessity of our college essay writing class here at Oyster Bay High School.

“I wanted to fully immerse myself in art and with people as dedicated as I am,” claims Reichman. Reichman feels that BOCES is a more realistic experience in preparation for college; as well as an opportunity for more studio time to prepare her portfolio.

Getting into the BOCES program has been one of Reichman’s desires for the past two years, since she found an advertisement for it in the OBHS “Little Shop of Horrors” playbill.

“I knew that this was an important step in the right direction” says Reichman. She asked around and found that some of her fellow cast members had been involved in BOCES programs. Reichman did her research and wrote to the superintendant in her junior year but she was denied the opportunity to apply.

However, Reichman did not give up; she applied again this year and succeeded. After going through the process of trying to get the school to comply with her request for BOCES Reichman does not regret her decision at all. In fact, she believes that BOCES is an extreme asset to our high school community and therefore should be more readily accessible and better advertised. She learned she needed to advocate for herself and feels that any student interested in taking advantage of a BOCES program should embrace that same necessary sense of self promotion.

A New Era in Oyster Bay Athletics

By Alessandra Puccio

Along with many new teachers in our school building this year, we also have two new administrators joining the staff of Oyster Bay. As of July 1st, 2010, Len Kies is now the new Athletic Director in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District.

Our previous Athletic Director, Dawn Cerrone, was a physical education teacher for 23 years before becoming an athletic administrator in Oyster Bay. Kies, on the other hand, has never taught a physical education class, and in fact was a social studies, a fifth grade, and a sixth grade teacher for seven years at Rocky Point Middle School, prior to his job here at Oyster Bay.

Thankfully, Kies has plenty of experience with athletics, from being a student athlete in both high school and college, and being the Athletic Director in the Rocky Point School District for six years. Ironically enough, Kies played baseball at St. Johns and Oneonta during college, two schools which have recruited baseball players from Oyster Bay in the past few years.

Kies did not always plan to have the athletic driven career he has today. In fact, after graduating from Syosset High School, he planned on becoming a lawyer, until he realized his passion for coaching and athletic administration.

As the district’s new athletic director, Kies is planning on making some changes to Oyster Bay. At his previous district, Rocky Point, the cheerleading squad won six straight regional championships. “I’m on the state committee to legally make cheerleading a sport, an incentive that should be passed by fall 2011,” said Kies. “Whether or not it has the official title, I still call cheerleading a sport.”
In fact, over the next few years, Kies is planning to enter the cheerleading squad in competitions. He also would like to develop a Physical Education elective, like a Strength and Conditioning Class.

Kies has also spoken of an athletic probation policy for student athletes. “A probation policy has been talked about, but on a very low level. I have been in a district that has a very formal policy, with an appeals program, and no loopholes,” said Kies. By loopholes Kies means, if a student does not do well the fourth quarter, they cannot play in the first quarter of the next year. “I don’t know why students feel they can slack off in the fourth quarter of the school year, but maybe if we threatened their playing time in the next fall season, they would shape up a bit,” said Kies.

Other staff members of the Physical Education department think that the idea of an athletic probation policy is a good move for Oyster Bay. “Playing on a sports team is a privilege, and student athletes should be expected to behave and act a certain way,” said physical education teacher, and basketball, softball, and volleyball coach, Erin Egan.

Despite his tough guy demeanor, in his spare time Kies is really just another average, college football watching, Taco Bell eating guy. He, like any other standard man of this era, cannot be without his cell phone. In fact, when asked what three items he would need on a deserted island, instead of answering with necessities like food and water, Kies first asked if there was a cell tower with good reception for his smartphone.

“Although I haven’t gotten a chance to really speak with the new athletic director, from my position, I feel he really wants every team to win, and go as far as they possibly can,” said senior and girl’s varsity soccer captain, Mariah Cody.

Enjoyable School Lunches

By Bryan Gross

Generally school lunches have always been looked down upon by students. Nevertheless Oyster Bay offers up many hearty choices for students to choose from. This year students get to try macaroni and cheese, twin tacos, pasta with meatballs, chicken calzones, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, philly cheese steaks, salads, and sandwiches.
“School lunch really isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. The best is calzone day,” according to senior Ryan Maier.

For the past few years the system of ordering lunch has changed. Now students must scan their school IDs then pay for their food. This new system has caused a number of problems. The primary problem is wait time. Scanning your ID takes longer than just buying your lunch with money alone which causes huge line buildups.

Pat Burke, senior at Oyster Bay High School stated, “Although the lunch lines are usually large, it is worth the wait!” New additions have been added to the school lunch menu, frozen yogurt has made an appearance. The Oyster Bay lunch staff puts a lot of effort into their menu. Each year new items have been added to keep things fresh and up to date.

According to senior Chris Kulis, “Although I am big on running I love to eat; the school lunches keep improving and getting better!” The majority of students at Oyster Bay are happy with the school lunch situation. There is always new food to choose from and the staff is friendly.

Oyster Bay Cell Phone Use

By Bryan Gross

All the school districts on Long Island have placed strict rules on cell phone use in class. In today’s society cell phones have become widely used and popular amongst all people. Back in the day you’d only see adults having cell phones, but nowadays almost every student in Oyster Bay has one.
The use of cell phones in class has caused many issues between students and teachers. It can be frustrating for teachers when they are trying to teach and a student is texting rather then paying the slightest bit of attention. The use of cell phones has become an epidemic. According to Ryan Maier, “I’ve seen cell phones being used in pretty much all my classes. Everyone texts.”
The problem is students are getting yelled at by teachers for getting a text message, but it turns out it was from one of their parents. Taylor Zinman, senior at Oyster Bay High School said, “My mom always texts me during school. She just loves checking up on me.” Parents now take part and text their children for quick and easy responses, but they do not realize that they are distracting their child’s education. Cell phones are a great invention, but they cause a myriad of underlying problems as well.
In Oyster Bay there have been many restrictions placed upon cell phone use. If a student is caught using a phone during class time they will receive a warning. If they are caught again then their phone gets confiscated by their teacher. Cell phone strictness at Oyster Bay really depends upon the teacher. Certain teachers have placed signs around their classroom restricting cell phone use, while others are more lenient. According to Chris Kelly, “I couldn’t imagine texting in my AP Gov class. Mr. Levorchick is not a fan of cell phone use during class time at all.”
According to Mrs. Perullo, “I think it would be okay if cell phones are restricted to a certain area, just not in my class room.” Cell phones have become an increasing problem in Oyster Bay. Strict policies have been placed upon use, but are they enough? Only time will tell.

Baymen Accept the "Challenge"

By Alessandra Puccio

A new challenge has slid into Oyster Bay High School. On November 8, five seniors from Oyster Bay participated in the Long Island Challenge, a teen Jeopardy program for the high school students in Nassau and Suffolk County.

Representing Oyster Bay High School were seniors Mariah Cody, Diana Vlavianos, Joey Heaney, and Joe LaCorte. Leading the team was captain Claire Bouchard, also a senior. Although participating in the Challenge program is an honor, two of the five seniors chosen were not necessarily excited to be chosen for the prestigious television show.

When first asked by Pontillo to be a part of the Challenge, Cody said, “My original thought was, how am I going to be able to answer trivia questions with so many people watching?” Vlavianos, on the other hand, said that she felt nervous when first approached by Pontillo about participating, but was ready for ‘the challenge’, so to speak.

While on the Challenge, the Oyster Bay High School students were asked questions from a myriad of topics, ranging from math and science, to history and literature, to current sports and pop culture. Prior to November 8, the five students practiced answer trivia questions after school every Friday, along with practicing “buzzing in”.

The team’s episode of The Challenge will be airing in January on MSG Varsity. “This was a great opportunity to be on television and compete. I think it will build up much school spirit for students to see their peers on The Challenge,” said Pontillo.