The Martha's Vineyard High School View
Young brothers help families in need
By Sterling Meacham
Photo by Dylan Brockmeyer
Members of Young Brothers to Men solicited donations in the cafeteria last week to fund their Thanksgiving food drive.
| Thirty turkeys, $1,000, and 25 Thanksgiving meals were collected for donation to families last week by students through the high school’s Young Brothers to Men (YBM) group. Business department chair Leo Frame founded the organization to bring together male students of all races to partake in philanthropic programs.
Junior Doug Andrade encouraged Mr. Frame to start a food drive through high school homerooms. Doug has always been donation-oriented, having donated to many causes throughout his elementary school years. Together, special needs teacher Will Hunter and YBM members asked students to donate food and money during homeroom and lunch in the cafeteria. A large basket was given to each classroom to be filled by homerooms.
Mr. Frame found a grocer to donate turkeys. Steve Bernier, owner of Cronig’s Market, supplied 30 turkeys to the cause. Said Mr. Bernier, “Let it come from our heart and not from greed.”
Mr. Frame wanted the student organization to give to the members of families of high school students who may not have been able to purchase food for their Thanksgiving meals.
“It was great being able to help people who couldn’t afford a Thanksgiving meal,” said senior Kunal Datta. “When Doug first organized the plan he didn’t think many people would help, but was surprised when so many did. There’s no better feeling than when you know you helped somebody.”
By Katie Johnson
| Photography teacher Chris Baer and history teacher Kate Holter are collaborating with educators from South Korea, Oman, Uganda, Russia, and Yemen to share methods of teaching. Some of the teachers share ideas by creating videos describing everyday life in their countries, as well as some of the insights gained from teaching in places that are culturally diverse.
“Reflecting on what other teachers do forces us to reflect on how and why we do things the way we do. These presentations offer a great shift in perspective,” said Ms. Holter. “In Uganda, for example, the classes were very service-oriented and hands-on.”
“The discipline is strict and if a student uses a cell phone or is late to lunch, they must sit under the punishment tree in front of everyone,” said Mr. Baer of Ugandan teaching methods. “In Russia, on the other hand, they focused mainly on test taking.”
This month, Mr. Baer and Ms. Holter held a conference with Ehsan Bashareef, an English teacher in Mukalla, Yemen. Her video portrayal of her teaching methods included footage of her students in class and some of her likes and dislikes about teaching. “We need more English books and English labs. English is the language that bridges countries. In one class there are 57 girls trying to learn English,” said Mrs. Bashareef.
Because Skype is not permitted in Yemen, Ehsan was forced to call Mr. Baer, Ms. Holter, and the other teachers sitting in on the conversation using a non-video computer-based chat program. Next month, Mr. Baer and Ms. Holter hope to hold a conference with a teacher in Senegal, Africa.
Photo by Tova Katzmen
Before the activity was banned, students riding on the Vineyard Haven school bus would often raise their hands and pretend they were on a roller coaster.
| Junior Cord Bailey’s daily roller coaster ride on the school bus ended last week when the driver asked him to stop due to safety concerns.
The afternoon make-believe simulation used to take place as the school bus approached the hill at the end of the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. For almost a year, Cord and many other students on the bus ride to Vineyard Haven liked to throw their hands up and scream as if on a roller coaster ride. The tradition began last year when Cord was on his way home. “I decided to put my arms up in the air and yell,” said Cord. “I kept doing it and in time, supporters of the hill joined in.”
“It brought excitement and joy to an otherwise lonely and boring bus ride,” said junior Lucy Benedetto.
Cord felt that the hill was a 10-second tactic to relieve the stress of the day. “The Hill was a morale boost for students,” he said.
This year the driver, George Gamble, asked Cord to stop the activity. “It became a distraction,” said Mr. Gamble. “It was a safety issue.”
“I thought the driver and I really had an understanding about it,” said Cord. “We had done it so much sophomore year and we’d been safe, but this year he basically said no more.
Mr. Gamble told Cord that the activity was becoming a distraction both to himself as a driver and also to some of the students on the bus.
While Cord did as the driver had asked, he tried to get ofﬁcial permission from the school administration to resurrect the ride-even submitting a petition with the signatures of other students.
The roller coaster bus ride may have been a fun way for students to relieve stress after a long day of school, but it is an event of the past.
“I want the ride to be immortalized,” said Cord. His
dream may have come true, since students carry the
memory of the ride home every day.
By Skylah Forend and Emily Cimeno
| Blood spatters and broken bones can tell stories more gruesome than any horror film. This year, students have the chance to explore this sometimes macabre field through a new forensics course and club.
Both the class and club were developed by science department chair Elliott Bennett. “I teach both earth science and biology,” she said, “but forensic science is my passion, and I hope to share that with the students.”
As co-presidents of the forensics club, seniors Allison McAndrews and Celia Mercier aim to create a stimulating atmosphere for academic exploration. “Essentially, you can design and conduct your own experiment on anything you want related to forensics,” said Celia. “The club is tons of fun, and it’s a great learning experience for anyone interested in the topic.”
In the classroom, students engage in activities that serve to highlight the many applications of forensic science. Labs are a common class activity, often based around serial killer projects, experiments with different types of evidence, and actual crime scene investigations.
“Forensic science was an amazing addition to the school’s class choices,” said senior Kyle Altieri. “It’s so cool to be able to analyze deaths and evidence on such a close-up scale. It can be gruesome, but things like this happen all the time.”
Junior Dana Jacobs said, “This was my first year becoming involved with forensics. I chose to take the course because I’m interested in CSI television shows. I thought it would be a wonderful experience to see how the whole investigative process actually works.”
Kyle said, “If someone asked me what my favorite part of forensics was, I wouldn’t be able to choose. I love it all. Not only is it a great hands-on practice, but there are a lot of potential careers in that area. It’s very exciting.”
The forensic club meets every Thursday after school in Ms. Bennett’s room.