The Homecoming dance is one of the most important events you get to experience in high school: It’s a night full of fun spent with your most favorite people.
The dance is being held tonight from 7:00-10:00 p.m and is themed where “girls-ask-guys.” The Sadie Hawkin’s theme was rediscovered four years ago at Branford High School; the theme gives girls a chance to twist things up and ask guys to be their dates in their own unique way.
When I was thinking of ways to ask a guy to homecoming, I looked up ways girls had asked guys to homecoming before. While doing this I saw things like: throwing a football with the statement “Tackle homecoming with me,” poster-making with cute quotes, sticky-noting the guy’s car and even asking through food (my personal favorite.) Nobody could deny that food is the key to everyone’s heart.
This whole week I saw on social media all the ways some of our own classmates asked guys to the dance and I picked out a couple that stood out to me.
As I talked to some of the girls who were brave enough to ask someone, a load of them said that they were nervous prior to asking.
Maddy Rowe, a Senior asked Nick Rosario to Homecoming with a poster that read “You’re the guy that has my eye. Now let’s fly at hoco.” The thing that stood out to me about this proposal was the rhyme scheme.
There were also a couple brave souls who weren’t nervous to ask at all.
Sarah Marsland, a junior asked her good friend, Richie Loftis to the dance in Spanish class.
“I wasn’t nervous because we all kind of know each other and get along in that class, so it wouldn’t of been too embarrassing if he said no,” said Sarah.
Homecoming tickets continue to be on sale today during lunch waves and also at the door for 7 dollars. Seniors are always free, of course!
Over 90 students from Branford High School attended the 26th annual Yale Model Congress December 1st through the 4th. Many of those 90 students were freshmen/newbies with some returnees. Many of the newcomers to Branford’s Model Congress Club learned first-hand how the group works in the matter of making and debating bills in committee and full sessions.
The Branford Model Congress delegates never fail to bring back home some awards. This year a total of 13 were brought back home from YMC. Two gavels and best delegate was awarded to Sean Williams and Solenne Smith; six honorable mentions in committee to Joshua Josephy-Zack, John Perrotti (Full Session), Marguax Lux, Therese Ziakas, and Dalton Childs; best legislation awarded to Victoria Kerstgens, Viktoria Sinani, Jack Nelson, Dylan Campos, and John Perrotti; and Rebecca Criscuolo was given an award for best oral argument from Supreme Court.
Besides conquering the conference the numerous awards won, senior, Spencer Mariotti, was elected president of YMC. Mariotti was join by Ryan McCarthy in the presidential cabinet, side by side they were faced with crisis and took on challenges, such as climate change, that most politicians now will not discuss, let alone solve.
It’s time to get pumped for a fun-filled week leading up to the Thanksgiving Break. The week-long events kickoff on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
In anticipation of Homecoming Week, the hornet will pop into random classrooms Tuesday. The hornet will be going in different classrooms handing out flyers to help distribute the news about Homecoming Week.
Thanks to Student Council, Homecoming week is a week to show our school spirit while participating in different activities and spirit days.
On Wednesday everyone gets the opportunity to have their picture taken with the school’s official mascot, the hornet. The hornet will be sitting in front of a special backdrop in the commons from 5th period through 7th period waiting for people to take a selfie with it.
If you like to play ping pong and are good at it, give a donation and have the chance to play in a tournament on Friday during lunch waves. On Thursday Student Council members will have a table set up in the commons to collect the donations and enter your name in the contest. A couple lucky people from each grade will get their name picked out of a hat and get to participate in the activity. During first lunch, freshmen will play against sophomores and during second lunch, juniors will play against seniors. All money raised supports the Diabetes Foundation in memory of a former coach at BHS, Scott Jenkins, who passed away in July.
On Monday the 21st, students will get to see a couple of teachers get hit in the face by a pie by some fellow classmates during lunch waves. Also going on that day, there is a knock-out basketball tournament happening after school from 2:30 to 4 p.m. If interested, speak to Mr. Hernandez.
The Annual Dodgeball Tournament will be held after school on Tuesday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Also after school, class officers are going to be setting up for a unique event, “Locker Wars.” This event helps boost school spirit while adding a little competition. The class officers of each grade will be assigned a color to decorate grade’s locker bays and which ever grade decorates the best wins. The winners will be announced in school the next day.
There will be a poster party for the Junior and Senior girls who are participating in the Powderpuff Flag Football game from 4 to 6 p.m. in the small gym Tuesday night. The Powderpuff game will be from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Various clubs will be set up in the commons selling food and drinks to raise funds, too. So come out and enjoy the last day before Thanksgiving Break!
Here is the list of dress up days corresponding to each day of Homecoming Week:
At Branford High School, everyone seems to have their own unique outlooks on many different aspects, whether it be politics or favorite teams. This is also true in the aspect of trends; students tend to follow similar trends but put their own twist on them. Last year, the Buzz featured students who had outfits that stood out on Instagram, which is the inspiration for this article. I went around BHS looking for fellow students that I felt captured some of the trends we have been seeing so far this fall.
While waiting before class on the Senior balcony, I noticed Ashley Roding’s ensemble. At the time that this photo was taken, it was beginning to transition from summer to fall. Her outfit stood out to me as a great look for the transitional portion of the season. Her sweater had a the traditional comfy sweater neckline, however, the twist to this was the fact her sweater was sleeveless. Unfortunately, Ashley’s shoes were not in the picture, but they were combat boots that matched her maroon sweater. Both the color maroon and combat boots have made their way into various closets at BHS. While combat boots have been on the scene for awhile, the color maroon has been popping up more this season.
I was in my Precalculus class when I noticed Rebecca Criscuolo’s outfit. She described it to me as her “I just threw this on in the morning” look. Despite quickly “throwing it on,” Rebecca still managed to capture what seems the be one of the ideal fall looks at Branford High School. The pairing of the white sweater and light wash blue jeans definitely made for a color choice; it gave a lighter look as opposed to the darker tones one tends to see in the fall. Of course, she completed the outfit with a fall classic: boots.
Clowns: one of the most popular topic being talked about in Connecticut right now. Clowns are being spotted all over casually walking the streets, through the woods and even right outside multiple school grounds.
According to NBC Connecticut News, this “trend has been growing since August when there were sightings in South Carolina of clowns creeping in the woods and children reported the clowns showed them money and tried to lure them into the woods.”
Although clowns are supposed to be silly and people normally laugh with them, this issue is not something to be laughing about.
A letter sent out by Superintendent, Hamlet Hernandez on Friday, reassured parents that the Branford School District is aware of what is going on involving these clowns. He encourages that parents and students report any suspicious activity that they see to school officials.To read the parent letter from Hernandez, click here.
As all clowns look alike, there is no way in telling the difference between a clown that is not harmful and a sinister clown. There’s no way in telling the difference between a clown who just wants to scare people for fun and a clown that is truly out to hurt people.
Police in several communities and in the state have warned the would-be clown pranksters that there could be criminal consequences to their actions.
There are creepy clown threats roaming all over social media in Connecticut too. There’s even already an Instagram account made specifically for “Branford Clowns.” Fortunately, there hasn’t been any posts or threats made on the account yet. Although most threats elsewhere had already been ruled not credible by local police departments, people should still be aware, police and school officials said.
You thought you’d never find your way around Branford High School. But now you know it’s literally just one big rectangle.
2. “Best friends forever!”
Half the people you talked to freshman year aren’t in your life anymore. But that’s okay – people change. You’re not bitter or anything.
3. “I hate Walsh.”
You were so ready to get out. And now you’re here and you want to go back.
I just really miss recess, man.
4. “I’m never gonna wear sweatpants to school. Or leggings. Or pajamas.”
That plan went out the window real quick. Half the time you feel like you’re asleep anyway, so what’s the difference?
5. “Yeah sure, I can go.”
Nope, sorry – I have two papers due and a test tomorrow, and frankly I’d rather stay home and watch Stranger Things than actually go out and socialize with my peers in someone’s basement. Since when was there this much work?
6. “I’m never gonna do that.”
You judged the older kids for all the questionable things they did (i.e. pulling all-nighters to cram for tests).
But then you did it. And you probably regretted it.
7. “I’m gonna make friends with all the upperclassmen.”
Lol plot twist – they all went to college.
8. “Yeah sure, I can go to the movies/Parthenon/mall/concert!”
But now you’re like
Unless you have a job, in which case you can’t go anyway because you have work.
9. “Vote for me!”
You ran for student body president and had an entire campaign planned out.
But now you’ve gotten lazy.
10. And finally, “I’m so ready to get out of Branford!”
College seemed so far away back then, but now it’s getting closer and you are so not ready to be an adult.
And you’re starting to realize how good you have it here at home.
Because high school might’ve been tough, but you had some fun times, too.
So good luck, class of 2020 – enjoy it while you can!
You know school is right around the corner when you start to see back to school supplies on shelves in stores.
Even though everyday isn’t a vacation day anymore, there are many things to look forward to when going back to school; especially as an upperclassman. At Branford High School, today is the first day of the 2016-2017 school year.
“I’m looking forward to my classes, prom, football games and being with friends,” said Kayla Dolishny, an incoming junior at BHS.
Lee Panagoulias, principal at BHS said that “Right now we are in the process of analyzing the information from the PSAT and SAT’s to identify trends that will affect instructional practices, curriculum, and assessments.”
Within the first month of school, teachers will have the opportunity to review the data sent in from the College Board in collaborative teams.
“It is by far going to be my most difficult year, but it is going to be a good challenge for me,” said Melissa Brennan, another junior at BHS.
As an upperclassman, you also start to see how fast school is going by without realizing it.
“I’m so excited for senior year!” said Rebecca Criscuolo. “The past three years flew by so fast and I can’t believe I’m starting my last year of high school.”
This school year will go by even quicker with Branford being scheduled to get out on June 2nd.
Good luck to all students this school year!
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I’m sitting in a classroom in my high school with a girl I’ve known since middle school, preparing for an interview. We are the same age and we grew up in the same town, but our lives exist on different planes. I’m still just someone’s daughter, but she is someone’s mother.
With that knowledge in mind, I expect things between us to feel strange, but they don’t. Charlene is as kind and easy to talk to as I remembered, and with no baby in the room, it is easy to forget how different our lives are. Halfway through the interview, though, Charlene’s mother walks in with baby Valeria, and suddenly the room expands to fit two new generations.
Teen motherhood is treated like a curse more than a blessing, but to be someone’s parent is still a remarkable joy, as evidenced by Charlene’s mom, who is glowing while watching Charlene, and by Charlene, who is happily holding Valeria on her lap. The presence of her baby has transformed Charlene into a Wonder Woman type, constantly giving Valeria attention while still giving thoughtful answers to my questions.
Why do we reduce these special kinds of teenagers to anything less than they are? Balancing school, jobs, and children and still trying to sneak in something fun that resembles the average teenager’s life is incredibly difficult and should be admired, not put down. But there’s a reason we discourage teens from following this path.
Becoming a mother during the teen years is undoubtedly difficult. Though older mothers are not guaranteed to be more prepared for motherhood, they are more likely to have completed their education and reached financial independence. The burdens of child care and financial support often fall upon the families of young parents while the teens themselves are trying to stay in school or earn an income.
Charlene’s mom, also named Charlene, doesn’t seem like she holds a grudge for the extra burden, but Charlene tells me that she was terrified to tell her mom about her pregnancy. Her mom had had her at the later age of 27, and she had done a lot of things to try to prevent a teen pregnancy from happening. “I thought she’d, like, kick me out of the house or something, but she didn’t,” Charlene remembers. “She would just cry every time she would look at me.”
When she first learned of her pregnancy, Charlene seriously considered other options; she didn’t have a good relationship with the baby’s father, and it didn’t seem right to bring a child into the world into a bad situation. After deciding against an abortion, she considered adoption but then realized, “I didn’t want her to think [that I didn’t want her] because I always told myself if I gave her up for adoption that I didn’t give her up because I didn’t want her, I gave her up because I couldn’t care for her. I was in high school, it was hard, no one was there to help me.”
Of course, she is now happy with the decision she made, and it isn’t quite as hard as she expected, perhaps due to the addition of a new, more committed boyfriend. “My mom is there, you know, my boyfriend’s there for me and everything. And, you know, it’s easy now.”
Raising Valeria on a day-to-day basis may be easier than Charlene expected, but everything that comes along with being a mother could stand in the way of what she wants for herself. Charlene knows that she is going to have to make sacrifices to achieve her goals, and she only hopes that Valeria will come to understand her decisions. Compared to the average teenager whose career goals involve making a lot of money, her motivations really are noble. She knows even more than the average teenager that education is less a rite of passage and more a ticket to a better life.
“I know some teen moms, they just drop out of high school, and that’s the worst thing you could ever do,” she explains, her tone final. “Because if you go to school and get an education, you can give her everything you could want, everything she wants. If you don’t have an education, you can’t get a career, you can’t give her what she wants or what she needs. It’s gonna be hard.”
Either way, it’s going to be hard. For young mothers like Charlene who hope to get an education, the odds are not stacked in their favor. Only 40 percent of teen mothers complete high school, and only 2 percent earn a college degree before the age of 30. Yet the teenage idealism is still there in Rodriguez, who looks at her future the same way that any teenager does. She thinks realistically about what may have to change, but she doesn’t foresee failure in any scenario.
“In all honesty,” Charlene declares, “I think I will be able to finish college because if they have daycare, I can always put her in that. And I have some other people that can help out.” That kind of simple, practical approach may be indicative of her naivete, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work, especially with a mother as dedicated to education as Charlene is.
If many teenage mothers approach education with that mentality, why are so few of them successful in obtaining high-level degrees? It could be that the right support is not there for them; in a country without paid maternity leave or affordable childcare, it is certainly not easy to work, study, and parent all at once. If one out of the three has to go, it’s not going to be the job or the child. There will never be more than 2 percent of teen moms graduating college if nothing changes on a societal level; schools and workplaces should be encouraging young parents to achieve, not making it harder for them to do so.
For her part, Charlene thinks our high school is doing a good job helping her get to graduation. She’s enrolled in a program called Horizons that allows students to attend school for only half the day and follow a different curriculum, and she credits the program with keeping her in school. Still, our high school limits all students to 13 absences for each class period per 90 day semester, and though Charlene has no chip on her shoulder about this, it would be reasonable to be frustrated. 13 absences is fair for a teen who just wants to stay home and sleep, but it seems stingy for a young parent who might need to stay home with a sick child or to give her mom a day off from babysitting duty.
Sadly, a lack of education is harmful to more than just the teen mother herself. Nearly two-thirds of families started by teen mothers will be poor, and the children may not escape this cycle of poverty; two-thirds of children born to teen mothers will graduate high school, compared to 81% of children born to older parents.
As a mother, Charlene expects more for her child. When asked about her hopes for Valeria, Charlene looks down at her and seems to think out loud, saying, “I hope that she does not go the same way I did.. That she goes to school, does well in school, goes to college. I hope she does what she desires. Whatever she wants she should be free to do. I hope everything goes well for her when she’s growing up.” To hope that no obstacles fall in your child’s way is only natural for a parent, but teen mothers have more to be concerned about than any other demographic.
This dire outlook could make one wonder if girls like Charlene have “ruined their lives,” as the oft-repeated warning goes. A baby is a blessing, but a baby born to a teen mom is a crisis- what a strange way to be brought into the world. With big dreams of getting her degrees and buying herself a house, Charlene doesn’t seem to think her life has been ruined, but she is very open and honest in saying, “I don’t think you should be a teenmom because it’s pretty hard for me, and if it’s hard for me, then I guess it would be hard for any other teenager.” She doesn’t regret having her baby, but she wishes the timing had been different.
Though the statistics are not a comfort, Charlene seems confident that she’s on the right path. One day, she hopes Valeria will be grateful and “understand the fact that she has a good mom with her and her mom did everything she could because I’m trying to do everything I can.”
Though that sentiment is the most mature thing I’ve ever heard come from a teenager, I’m reminded that Charlene is really a kid when she compares her journey to something straight out of driving school. “If you get in that right lane, don’t go left, because everything will just go downhill,” she advises. “But if you go downhill, just know if you have the right support, you can get back up there again. Because that’s what happened to me.”
Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published as part of my Capstone project, a magazine called “Introducing…” and has been adapted for The Buzz. It is a particularly prevalent piece in a school with a student body that typically contains 4-5 student parents at a time.
First, you must have noticed that the turf and track at BHS are pretty much… gone. On June 6th, crews began the process of tearing up and replacing the James MacVeigh Athletic Complex’s turf field and track. The $750,000 project should be completed by mid-August, in time for the start of fall sports.
The school year has ended, and so have most of the state tournaments for spring sports. Here’s how the Hornets’ seasons turned out.
The girls lacrosse team lost its first game of the season.. and then won the next 12 straight. They posted a regular season record of 14-2 and were seeded #3 in the SCC tournament, although they lost in the semifinal round to #2 seed Cheshire. The team was then seeded #2 in the Class M State Tournament and beat Brookfield and East Lyme before losing 15-6 to #6 New Canaan in the semifinal round. New Canaan went on to win the championship. Girls lax finished with an impressive record of 16-4.
The boys lacrosse team split its regular season to end up with a solid 8-8 record. This was enough to give the team a berth into the qualifying round of the Class M State Tournament as the #14 seed, but their season was cut short when they lost 4-3 to Pomperaug, the #19 seed. The boys finished with an 8-9 record and some memorable victories.
Led by eventual state champions Dan O’Neill and Miles Conlin and state finalist Matt Sachs, the boys tennis team had a great season. The team won its first 8 matches straight and then finished with a record of 10-7. Matt Sachs was the runner-up of the Class M singles, losing to Guilford’s Evan Powell in the final round. Miles Conlin and Dan O’Neill beat Eric Benninghoff and Ishan Mirchandani of Weston to win the Class M doubles. With many strong competitors from all grades, the team took 2nd place in the Class M State Tournament.
The girls tennis team went 8-9 on the season, posting many great wins along the way. While this wasn’t enough to give them a shot in the Class M State Tournament, they were only one seed away from making it, and it was a great season nonetheless.
Girls Track & Field
The girls track team had a great run this season, finishing with a 10-1 record, and stood out in the postseason. Finishing 4th at the SCC West Sectional Meet, 7th at the SCC Championship Meet, and 5th at the Class MM State Championship Meet, the team also had many individual winners. Etta Hanlon won the long jump at the West Sectional Meet. Notably, at the Class MM Meet, Claira Janover won the triple jump (35 feet 5 inches) and came in third in the 100 hurdles (16:01), Cyrene Nicholas came in third in the 1,600 meter run (5:22:05), and Bridget Wirtz came in third in the pole vault (9-06). Also, Keira Integlia took fourth in the javelin throw (104-10), Issy Bysiewicz took fifth in the 300 meter hurdles (50.85), Taylor Brown took sixth in the pole vault (9-0), and Gerling Daniels took seventh in the 100 meter dash (12.84). Janover, Nicholas, Wirtz, Integlia, and Bysiewicz all competed in the State Open, and some athletes will compete in the heptathlon and other events this week.
Boys Track & Field
Having lost a large group of senior runners in the Class of 2015, the boys team had to work even harder this year, finishing with a 4-7-1 record. The team took 6th at the SCC West Sectional Meet, 17th at the SCC Meet, and 20th at the Class MM Meet. Notable standouts included Kory King and Seraphin Tala in the hurdling and jumping events; at the Class MM Meet, King took 2nd in the 110 meter hurdles (15:48) and 7th in the 300 meter hurdles (42.51) and Tala took 8th in the 300 meter hurdles (42:81). King won the 110 hurdles at the West Sectional Meet and will compete in the decathlon this week.
In girls soccer coach Jen Kohut’s first season as head coach, the golf team went 14-6 on the season and took 12th in the Division II State Meet. Ryan Sember led the team at that meet by shooting a 79 to come in 9th place. Sember shot an 81 to come in 10th at the SCC Meet, while Liam Deane shot a 92. Other frequent low-scorers included Joe Reilly, Mike Annunziata, and Jason Brennan. Sophomore EJ Lee was the lone girl on the team and consistently performed as the No. 6 shooter. Sember was given the honor of being a member of the All-State Golf Team.
Having lost 6 senior starters in the class of 2015, the softball team had some rebuilding to do. Freshman Sophia Araneo stepped in on the mound and finished the season with 5 wins under her belt; junior Olivia Datre threw one game against Cross and won that game. After a rough start to the season that left the squad 2-14 in the middle of May, the team pulled together to win its last 4 games and finish at 6-14. While this was not enough to make the state tournament, the team had an exciting last week, including taking 6-2 win over Sheehan after losing 11-2 to the same team earlier in the week.
The baseball team finished the season with a regular season record of 9-11 and was undefeated in Oronoque division play by beating Cross, Career, North Haven, and East Haven twice each. Also notable was a 3-2 victory over Hand early in the season. Facing the #2 seed Hamden- a team having a record season- in the SCC opener, the team dropped a close 5-4 decision. Looking on to the Class L state tournament, the #30 seeded team faced the #3 seed Wilcox Tech but didn’t go down without a fight, losing 3-2. Still, it’s always an exciting season when the team makes both postseason tournaments!
After the three-year hiatus, the Student Council picnic – or “Salapalooza” – will be returning to Branford High School this Friday.
For those who are not aware of what “Salapalooza” is, it is an end of the year picnic run by Student Council. The picnic consists of games, obstacle courses, and of course, food. The event started back in 1997 by Student Council member, Scott Merrick, with the help of the council’s advisor, Mr. Sal Zarra. It was originally a picnic during an extended lunch period that transformed into a large scale event that included an extended menu and, at one point, softball games. The picnic went on every year until 2013. It was cancelled then because administration said they were unable to properly supervise it.
This year, Student Council has made it a priority to bring back the picnic. Through fundraising efforts, such as the compatibility surveys, they have been able to raise the funds necessary to put on this function.
Salapalooza, which is also called the Student Council picnic, will take place Friday, June 3.
It will be held during the school day for a 70 minute lunch period.
The event will include a 65 foot obstacle course, lawn games, such as: frisbee, washers, corn hole, etc. For food, watermelon will be provided by Lenny’s and the Italian ice from Libby’s; along with that, there will be cold beverages provided as well. Mr. Sal Zarra said that “[he is] happy to bring back this event which is enjoyable for the faculty and the students and contributes to a more caring community. You can never spend enough time or share enough love with the people you care about.” The school community is interested to see that
Mr. Sal Zarra said that “[he is] happy to bring back this event which is enjoyable for the faculty and the students and contributes to a more caring community. You can never spend enough time or share enough love with the people you care about.” The school community is interested to see that
The school community is interested to see that Salapalooza is coming back. The underclassmen have never experienced this event until this coming Friday.Maddie Oberempt, a sophomore, said that she “think[s] it will be fun, but just wishes that it was longer.” Salapalooza should be a great experience for all the members of the school community as they all celebrate together one last time before the conclusion of the school year.
Maddie Oberempt, a sophomore, said that she “think[s] it will be fun, but just wishes that it was longer.” Salapalooza should be a great experience for all the members of the school community as they all celebrate together one last time before the conclusion of the school year.
What do you think about the return of the Student Council Picnic? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter @branfordbuzz.