From High Schools to Hospitals: Other People Matter

Grace Evans

Staff Writer

Jamesville-Dewitt High School students are going above and beyond to help others this holiday season. Many students spend their time volunteering, specifically at hospitals. These volunteers are what define our school, and contribute to the theme that J-DHS couldn’t possibly stress more: “Other people matter.”

Two students who volunteer at Saint Joseph’s Hospital are junior Pranathi Adhikari and freshman Nate Bourcy. Adhikari and Bourcy are mainly positioned in the lobby, greeting new patients and visitors. “It makes you want to be a better person because you see that a lot of people are less fortunate than you, and people are dealing with a lot of things that you are lucky to not have to deal with,” said Adhikari. “Giving back is a big part of volunteering, but I am also interested in the learning experience offered,” says Bourcy

Saint Joseph’s Hospital isn’t the only hospital where J-D students volunteer. Sophomore Lucas Bort volunteers at Upstate Surgery Center. At the hospital, Bort helps put together anesthesia kits and do other small tasks. Although spending free time surrounded by sick people may not seem ideal, Bort loves it. “I can tell they’re in a lot of pain, but it’s nice to kind of to brighten their day,” said Bort.

Sophomore Neel Patel volunteers at Crouse Hospital. Patel transports both patients and equipment. He agrees that giving back is one of the best parts about volunteering, and enjoys learning about the patients and their histories. He also says it will look very good on his college application, especially because he’s looking into going to med school. “You get to see the high intensity and pressure systems that they face, it’s truly amazing,” said Patel.

Although this article shines lightly on only a few that volunteer at hospitals, there are many more who spend their time helping others. From Helping Hounds to the Samaritan Center, many organizations receive additional help from J-DHS students. With J-DHS students going above and beyond to personally grow through their volunteering experiences, it plays into the motto “other people matter.”

J-DHS Adds a New Staff Member

Steven Baker and Tarky Lombardi

Staff Writers

Officer Tiffany Pienkowski began her experience as a member of the Jamesville-DeWitt community on Sept. 18 2018.

Officer Pienkowski has a “great background” according to principal Paul Gasparini.  This is her first time being a Student Resource Officer. Officer Pienkowski was first stationed as a Town of Dewitt Police Officer. She has been an officer in New York City and outside of DeWitt.

Officer Pienkowski works 7:30 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday with weekends off. Sometimes if there is a specific event or game, she may provide security to that on the weekends.

Being an SRO consists of many tasks. Some of these include patrolling the hall, making sure that everyone is behaving, checking doors, and making sure everything is secure . “First and foremost the safety and security for the students,” said Officer Pienkowski.  

The administration is excited with the acquisition of Officer Pienkowski to the staff. “She has a nice personality, she is very interested in working with the students… and she has already made some connections with kids” said Mr. Gasparini.   

So far Officer Pienkowski has had a great experience for her first few weeks at J-D. “ I love it, I have started to develop relationships with the student and staff, and people are starting to come to me with questions and concerns” said Officer Pienkowski.

“I have always wanted this position…I think every school should have an SRO,” said Officer Pienkowski.

Usage of the Lockers at J-DHS

Max Fagelman

Staff Writer

Back problems are often related with old people, turns out it starts off young. Only 25.4 percent of 181 interviewed J-DHS students claim to use their lockers. Everyday people complain about their heavy backpacks and their achy backs. However, we are all supplied with lockers, given time before and after school to use them yet as shown in the survey only a fraction of us do.

Locker used everyday v.s. locker used once a week

One reason given over and over again by interviewees is that there is simply not enough time in between classes and that lockers are not situated in locations that are in a decent time distance away from people’s classes. Junior Dylan Sweeney said “I don’t have enough time in between classes and it is really out of the way.” Sophomore Evelyn Tao stated that, “Lockers are too far away from everyone’s classes, that's what all my friends say.” Unfortunately the school has to place lockers in the blue hall and other inconvenient spots to make sure all students have them, even if they aren’t all used.

As J-DHS students venture through high school the number of students who use their lockers in freshman year to the the number of students who use their lockers senior year drastically decreases. 27 out of 51 interviewed freshman use their lockers compared to three out of 41 seniors using theirs. Senior Sophia Liaw, who does use her locker said “I found the balance between what to keep in there and what not to,” when talking about balancing what to keep in her backpack and what to keep in her locker.

But even if you have the time to get to you locker before and after school wouldn’t it be better if there was time in between classes? At J-DMS, between most class periods there was sufficient time to visit your locker and retrieve the items you needed. While that building was considerably smaller wouldn’t it make sense for students at J-DHS to go to their lockers and lighten their load as we have farther to walk and more weight on our backs? Freshman Lucy Ferrick stated “I’ve got binders and textbooks every day. At least one textbook per day. It’s terrible.”

Back pain and chest pain appear to be ailing many J-DHS students. Tao said her doctor told her she had mild scoliosis from carrying around her backpack. When asked if the school should start addressing this problem she said “They should take into account that it is kind of affecting health.” For now, if you have the time, the best thing you could do if back pain and a far to heavy backpack are plaguing your life, use your locker, in the morning or the afternoon. “ It really doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day and it helps you a lot.” said Ferrick. So it really comes down to one decision. Use your locker or don’t, the choice is up to you.

A New Twist on A Classic Disney Movie

Tracey Edson


With only months to go before the big shows and being without an auditorium, the Jamesville-DeWitt High School musical cast is working hard to ensure their production will be ready for showtime.

For many years, Beth Quackenbush has been the director of the play at J-DHS. However this year, Quackenbush has passed off the duties to Brian Marcum, Justin Bird, and Brenda Neuss. Marcum is the Head Director and Choreographer, Bird is the Vocal Music Director, and Neuss is the Producer. Although Quackenbush will not be directing the musical, she will continue to teach Chorus at J-DHS.

Under the leadership of Marcum, Bird, and Neuss the cast at J-DHS will be performing “Freaky Friday.” Freaky Friday is a Disney movie that is both funny and full of surprises. The daughter, Ellie and her mom Katherine have switched bodies for the day. During this day the two discover the daily challenges that each face and strengthen their mother-daughter bond. Katherine will be played by senior, Hayley Quackenbush and Ellie will be played by Rebecca Fitzgerald.

With the construction of the auditorium at Jamesville-DeWitt High School, the musical cast will relocate to the Red House, located in Downtown Syracuse (400 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202). This venue hosts many different types of shows over the course of the year as entertainment in Syracuse, NY. The Red House staff have welcomed the J-DHS cast into their place while the auditorium is being renovated.

Despite the shift in leadership and without sufficient practice space the cast will put on the play in Feb. The dates and times of the play will be announced as the production gets closer.

Meals with Momo and Paige Update: 11/9/18

Hi Welcome to Meals with Momo and Paige- brief lunch update. On Friday November 9, Domino’s pizza will be served along with a garden salad, seasoned broccoli and fresh fruit. On Monday, there will be no school because of Veteran’s Day. Make sure to thank those you know who have served or serve our country today. We wouldn’t be here without them. Tuesday, there will be french toast bites with some sausage, a hash-brown, fresh fruit, and juice. Then on Wednesday, fish sandwiches on whole grain rolls will be served. That will come with sweet potato bites and baked beans. Finally, on Thursday, another preview of Thanksgiving is hitting the lunch trays! There will be hot turkey with gravy and biscuits. That will also include mashed potatoes, seasoned corn, fresh fruit and a frozen juice cup. Enjoy your lunches!

Music Department Stays Positive Amidst Construction

Johnny Keib and Marcus Payne

Story Editor and Assistant Producer

When you walk into Jamesville-DeWitt High School, you may notice several changes. The cafeterias and bathrooms were redone and the large group room is still being remodeled. But possibly the biggest change is the auditorium. The whole auditorium has been gutted and is in the process of being reconstructed. The reconstruction of the auditorium is affecting the music program in many ways.

Due to the loud construction noises, the classes in the chorus room have been disrupted. “Sometimes the noise gets pretty loud during classes,” said chorus teacher Annie Park. The band has an entirely different problem. The practice rooms are part of the reconstruction, so if a group of people need to practice, there is nowhere for them to go without disrupting another class.

The reconstruction of the auditorium also affects the Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School. The middle school chorus, orchestra and band performances are usually in the auditorium, so they will have to find a new venue to perform as well.

One of the biggest questions raised about the construction was where the where the band, orchestra, and chorus would perform. Instead of altering schedules, the school was able to find an alternative. The performances will be held at the Redhouse Arts Center in downtown Syracuse as well as Eagle Hill Middle School in the Fayetteville-Manlius District.

Although it will have taken a year for the construction to be finished, Mr. Blumenthal thinks it will be worth it. “It’s going to be a lot nicer,” said Mr. Blumenthal. Despite having to overcome numerous obstacles due to the construction, the music department remains optimistic about about the end result.

How One Malicious Computer Affected 135,000 Students

Evan Blust

Staff Writer

J-DHS has had more network outages this year than the past 25 years combined. They happen sporadically and are disruptive to every student and teacher.

In April, what seemed to be a mishap to everyone turned out to be something much bigger. The network outage in April was a cyber attack on the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM-BOCES). BOCES took immediate action, implementing a new system to defend against future attacks.

After months without an attack, the BOCES administration was convinced they had fixed the problem. However, in September, J-DHS had another outage. This was due to a different kind of attack on BOCES -- a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack.

After the DDOS attack, security specialists from BOCES were assigned to analyze it. They found that this was a direct attack on BOCES. This is why the attack was more effective than most DDOS attacks targeting multiple random networks through a broadcast or the use of a tool found on the dark web, just to cause chaos. Furthermore, since this was a DDOS attack, there is no way to block these attacks from happening in the future.

Education Manager Phil Luckette said around 135,000 students, 50 school districts, and hundreds of schools are being affected. He does not know why someone would target BOCES, especially because the last attack was described as “volumetric.” This means the attack happened rapidly with so many requests that the network shut down within minutes. Unless someone has a grievance with a BOCES, there is no motive for the attacks. There was no financial gain, no data loss, no compromised passwords.

Map showing the 8 counties affected by the DDOS attacks

Map showing the 8 counties affected by the DDOS attacks

How does a DDOS attack work? As mentioned above DDOS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. DDOS attacks start on one computer. The attacker will download/write a program to send viruses to other computers. This virus will be hidden from view and will not harm the computer. Any computer receiving the virus will distribute it out to others. Also, each computer with the virus will send requests to a designated network. The network then receives too many requests, becomes overloaded and shuts down.

Math and computer science teacher Jay Lang described a DDOS attack in a useful way. He suggested imagining you own a pizza shop. A rival pizza shop sends millions of customers into your building. It would become so crowded that you would not be able to move or fill any orders. This is what a DDOS does to a network.

Since the network outages can bring lesson plans to a halt, our administration has brainstormed ideas to make us more flexible. One possible idea is a backup network hosted locally with an internet provider like Spectrum. The school would not be able to access email or financials, but access to the internet would not be interrupted.

Education Manager at Jamesville-Dewitt High School Phil Luckette

Education Manager at Jamesville-Dewitt High School Phil Luckette

These network outages have affected many teacher’s and student’s abilities to get work done. Both Lang and English and Public Speaking teacher Diane Rushford described the attacks as “crippling.”

The network outages have put Rushford’s class two full periods behind. Moreover, without internet service, she also could not contact students, other teachers, or parents through her email.

Many teachers post their homework on Google Classroom. Sometimes the actual document is posted, or they just post assignments for absent students. Along with this, teachers could not post grades online. They could grade papers but since the network was down, they couldn’t move any further. Students aren’t able to complete their classwork either. Many teachers have gone paperless, posting the actual assignments online.

Band, Orchestra, and Music Theory Teacher Daniel Blumenthal explained the music department’s struggle with the network outages. This year, J-DHS is renovating their auditorium. The music department needs to communicate with each other and other high schools to see where they can hold their concerts. Blumenthal said, “It throws a wrench in the way you’ve planned your day to go.”

Homeroom suffers significantly from the outages as well. Without internet service, teachers cannot submit attendance efficiently. Neither can they present the Positivity Project slideshows or access Ramfeed.

October Club Update

Janis McPeak

Staff Writer

Take Time to Breathe and Smile With The Happiness Club

Happiness club has had more interest from students in the 2018-19 school year than in the past years. The club’s main goal is to help students manage stress and overall improve their mental health. Painting rocks, hiking and yoga are some of activities taken place during the club’s meetings.

The Power of Unity -- Girl Up

Since starting in 2015, Girl Up teaches girls about the reality of gender inequality around the world. The club creates fundraisers for the Girl Up foundation, sends letters about girls rights to representatives and keeps up to date with what is currently happening in the Girl Up community. “Girl Up gives a very worldly perspective of what other people are going through,” said senior Chloe Butler.

Making a Difference, One Dance at a Time with Bust-a-Move

“Bust a Move is basically a play on words,” said senior Mia Antonucci. The club donates the proceeds of many dances including the semi-formal to a breast cancer foundation. The meetings consist of planning out roles and tasks for each member in order to benefit the foundation. “The club teaches leadership and gives leadership opportunities because everyone in the club has a big role and responsibility,” said senior Chloe Loewenguth.

Key Club’s Keys To Volunteering

Key club shows students how they can impact their local community by volunteering and raising money. This includes bake sales, collecting money for UNICEF and volunteering at places like the Samaritan Center or the Ronald McDonald House of Charities. “We want to show students the importance of community service and how it can be a fun thing,” said senior Ana Dieroff.

Spreading Culture Awareness with French Club

“Our goal is to encourage the spread of french culture and language through various culture activities,” said senior Sofia Liaw. Playing games, listening to French music and talking about seasonal French events and holidays are some of the ways their goal is achieved. The club also takes a trip to Québec City, Canada where students engage in a new environment and culture.

The Positivity Project Brings Perspective to J-DHS

Jakaija Ware

Staff Writer

Here at Jamesville-DeWitt High School, many students and teachers are not afraid to put themselves in another person’s shoes. They understand the importance of looking at a situation from all angles before rushing to judgment.

J-DHS social worker Will Hartley often uses the ability to look at a situation from a different perspective. Every day, he puts himself in a student’s situation and really thinks about what it would be like if he actually was that specific student. “I think you sort’ve figure it out, as you go through life. You just realize that everybody has something going on, and it doesn’t make sense to be judgmental.  It doesn’t serve a purpose,” said Mr. Hartley.

Many J-D students have put themselves in the shoes of another person. Senior Escince Hines says that, to her, “perspective is the way you look at things.” She uses perspective very often: “I try to think about how other people would feel.” As a captain on the cheer team, Escince uses perspective often to be a good teammate and leader.

Sophomore Hayden Gladle says that, to him, perspective is “the way you look at things-- everybody has a different perspective.” To Gladle, perspective and empathy go hand in hand. He tries to take time to understand how certain things make people feel the way they do and why they feel that way.

J-DHS Students Open Their Minds to Open-mindedness

Maddie Schnorr

Staff Writer

The Positivity Project defines open-mindedness as “the willingness to actively search for evidence that goes against one’s favored belief, plans, or goals.” People who are open minded do not jump to conclusions. Instead, they look at all situations from every angle before making a decision. Open-minded people are mainly described as being understanding and willing to take chances.

Whether or not someone is open minded has a strong effect on relationships. Jamesville-DeWitt High School Guidance Counselor Amy LeStrange said, “If you’re not open minded your friends probably know that and those friends are gonna be a little less likely to share than if you were open minded.” Therefore, if one were to judge everyone they meet before really getting to know them, then they are going to miss out on opportunities to make new friends and keep friends who feel comfortable confiding in them.

“People who are open minded are more likely to have a more rich and full life compared to others who aren’t,” said English as a New Language teacher Kristine Wisnieski. Being open minded comes with the willingness to take chances and explore new opportunities. If someone is closed off, they will not get the chance to experience new ways of culture and learn new things.

Being open minded is an important quality to have, especially in a school so diverse. J-DHS has students from many different cultures and backgrounds, but being open minded does not come easily to everyone. “Everyone is on their own journey and has their own path and respecting the experiences we all have leads us to the perspectives that we have currently,” said Mrs. Lestrange. Being able to understand that there is more than one way to do something will help people listen to the opinions of others and learn something new. “Deep down everybody has their own sense of judgment, and we all need to work on being not as judgmental about things,” Mrs. Wisnieski said.

“The better we understand each other, the better and richer our community will be,” said Mrs. Lestrange. Being open minded affects everybody, no matter what environment they are in or where they are in their life. If everyone in society became open minded, our community would be more well rounded and a better place to live.

The Positivity Project Turns Up The Teamwork

Georgie Paparo

Staff writer

Teamwork is a key character trait practiced in the classroom and on the sports teams at Jamesville-Dewitt High School. “When we have teamwork, good things happen, and we want good things to happen,” said senior football captain, Kelvin Huynh.

Teamwork is shown through each team working together in their own way to achieve a goal. Senior swim captain, Chryssanthi Tzetis described teamwork as “trying to achieve success as a team and not individually.” Senior volleyball captain Liam Kaplan added how he and his teammates “definitely work more towards winning as a group than personal stats.”

Teamwork is important to achieving success, but the traditions and bonds of a team play a big role, too. “Our traditions are what bring us together and help us win as a team,”  said senior boys cross country captain Alan Gao. Gao explained their tradition of a stick that the team found during the season. “We found a stick, and this stick is very special to our hearts. At first we thought we lost him, then he walked himself back into our lives after we lost to Central Square and we have been undefeated ever since.”

Though teamwork is a big part of sports, that is not the only place it is demonstrated at J-DHS. Teamwork is also shown in the classrooms. The Corporate Communications class at J-DHS is a half year, senior elective, business class run by English teachers, Mrs. Eaton and Mrs. Gallivan. The class does not focus strictly on academics but focuses more on reading writing, speaking and group work. “Teamwork is a part of life...they have to learn to work together whether they’re friends or not,” said Mrs. Eaton. “Teamwork means not only being able to work with others but to actually listen to them and to let go of what just you are wanting,” she continued. Teamwork is a group effort, as the Positivity Project claims, and it is shown in all aspects of J-DHS.

New Ninth Graders Fit Right In

Macie Militi

Staff Writer

Jamesville-DeWitt High School has done a great job of welcoming new freshman students. This year students have entered the halls of the high school from not only the middle school but from being homeschooled and from as far away as Russia. These new students had to find where they belonged at J-DHS. With the help of students and staff, the new ninth graders feel very accepted at the high school. “The people here are very nice and welcoming and that’s pretty cool,” said Emma Velardi.

The new freshmen all have different impressions about coming to J-DHS. Brianna Fay is thrilled for the upcoming years. At first she was terrified to come to this school environment because she was homeschooled previously. ”I’m just excited to try something new” says Brianna Fay. Although it is very different, she has found a way to get used to it.

Jonathan Lyndaker on the other hand was confident from the start about coming to a new
school from a school not too far away. Although he is a new 9th grade student, it is his 3rd time moving. Jonathon is very hopeful that this year is going to be great.

Gregory Burenin comes to J-DHS all the way from Russia. He has spent half of his life going between Russia and the United States. He has been to school in the United States and Russia, and was also homeschooled at one point. Gregory says that it is hard to come to a new place all the way across the world.

Emma Velardi moved here from Connecticut at the end of August. “I was really sad to leave my friends and my old home, but I knew the academic system here was good, and that’s why my parents chose to move to this area.”  She has felt very accepted at this school. “Everybody’s being super nice, just letting me sit with them, and hanging out with them in class,” she said.

J-DHS is a place where people can come from all different places and be accepted in a community. While the new freshmen all had different degrees of confidence in the beginning, they have settled in nicely to Jamesville-DeWitt.

Freshmen Familiarize To Their New Environment

Shiela Phoha

Staff Writer

Many can agree that the change from Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School to Jamesville-DeWitt High School is difficult. The school is bigger, there are more people, and the work is harder. People react to change differently than others. Some prefer the new environment and others resent going to school everyday. When Jamesville-DeWitt High School freshmen got interviewed, they told how they’re adjusting to the big change.

A majority of the freshman say they like high school a lot more than middle school. Many say the biggest difference between the middle school and high school is the block scheduling and the 80 minute periods. When asked about how he deals with the long classes, DeMarco Lopez says, “I try keeping myself distracted because most classes can be boring.” Freshman Class President Josh Aitken says, “I always do my homework the night that I get it,” when asked about how he adjusted to the block scheduling.

Throughout high school, many freshmen hope to keep their grades up to their standards and achieve other academic awards. Kate Dorazio says, “I hope to be a club president someday and I hope to get all A’s by the end of my senior year.” When asked about his goals, Evan Jaglal says, “Mainly keeping...98+ average. I’m also doing creative writing as an elective so I was hoping to earn a key or an honorable mention in the Scholastic Competition or any other writing competition.” To get good grades, one has to work hard for them, and sometimes that’s not easy. For Gregory Burenin, a transfer from Russia, his aid said his biggest challenge will be to learn English, because of how fast the switch from Russian to English is. Students know the work is tough and starts to counts now, so many stay after school when they need help from their teachers.

All of our J-D students are highly motivated and have many hopes and aspirations. Kira Pawletko and DeMarco Lopez say they may want to pursue a professional music career. Kate Dorazio and Luke Renaud are very serious about sports and are looking to continue throughout college and hopefully play professionally. When asked about if plans for the future have changed since coming to highschool, Bobby Diel says, “Since I’m taking DDP I’ve been really interested in a career in engineering now and I never thought that I’d like it that much.” Claire Huyck agreed with Bobby; she said, “I’m taking AP Computer Science and it’s kind of the same thing. I’m finding that it when I didn’t think I would.”

Overall, the freshmen are liking the high school a lot more than middle school. Of course, there are some things that they need to adjust to, which is expected with a big change. High school can be a scary place, but most ninth graders are looking forward to the rest of high school.

Students Stay healthy this season

Lizzy Smith

Staff Writer

This fall season has brought an outbreak of the common cold and some cases of mono at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. The best treatment for the common cold is to get enough sleep and drink lots of water, but not much can be done to help it other than just letting it run its course. Students with the common cold should still attend school even though they may not feel well.

Heather Cavalluzzi, the school nurse at J-DHS says students should stay home from school if they have vomited or had a fever in the past 24 hours. Students should also stay home for 24 hours after taking a new antibiotic. Other than staying home, one way to prevent others from getting sick is to sneeze into an elbow instead of a hand. Washing hands is also important, especially after Christmas break and before February break. Ms. Cavalluzzi said that is the time most students get sick.

The nurse’s office does not only deal with common illnesses.  Students can go to the nurse’s office about anxiety, depression, sports injuries, pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, and more. Ms. Cavalluzzi said, “Anything that has to do with the body, I’ve probably dealt with it.” The nurse’s office is always open during school hours so students can stop by whenever they do not feel well or have questions.

J-DHS Learns the power of integrity

Miriam Zoghby

Staff Writer

The Positivity Project defines integrity as “being honest and speaking the truth while presenting yourself in a genuine and sincere manner.” People with a strong characteristic of integrity tell the truth and have the ability to control their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. They are described as honest, authentic, and trustworthy.  

Integrity is vital for growth and helps individuals to embrace hard work and achieve their goals. “Being able to make the right decisions in situations even if it is the harder choice shows integrity,” says Jamesville-DeWitt High School guidance counselor Amy LeStrange. Integrity is also a base for teamwork, organization, and a positive society. People with integrity are more likely to be trusted by others and achieve their own goals because they are honest and real.

Integrity contributes to a positive working and learning environment at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. “It is important to have integrity in school because when your teachers, friends, and yourself have integrity, it makes for a better community,” says Jamesville-DeWitt High School social worker William Hartley. Many adults just like Hartley feel that having integrity helps students grow. Hartley also explained, “Integrity isn’t something you see in the halls or the first time you meet someone. Once you get to know them and learn about who they are the characteristic shines through.”

Students at Jamesville-DeWitt High School also feel that integrity helps them make the right decisions and leads them to success. Freshman Isabella Essi said, “I feel having the characteristic of integrity helps me to be honest with myself, my teachers, and my classmates. It also helps me to be a better person and be there for anyone who needs me.” Integrity is a trait that people can portray now, but also in the future. Sophomore Madi Ancone added, “Integrity will definitely help in the future, from work to relationships. It will also help me to make the right decisions in the future. “

People with integrity can decipher what is right and wrong and are true to themselves and everyone around them. These people help teach others how to act in a honest and truthful manner. Integrity is a very important characteristic in the Positivity Project and can help many people achieve their goals and lead them to success.

J-DHS Students Get Curious

Anna Doughty

Staff Writer

Curiosity is the strong desire to learn something new. The Positivity Project includes curiosity as a key character trait to building a positive outlook and school culture.

“Curiosity has everything to do with education.” says Ms. Panek, the librarian at J-DHS. If students are curious about something, they want to learn more about it, and learning is education’s goal. “I think it’s really important to show students that you’re not just learning to pass a test or getting into college, that you’re finding things so you can have your own interests and hobbies,” said science teacher Mr. Adler. What this means is that students can be distracted by the idea of a limited, boxed-in education when, in actuality, education can do so much more if students engage their curiosity.

Sometimes students need helpful resources to guide their curiosity. “Adults are experts in their subject area.” said Ms. Panek. She strongly believes students should reach out and talk to the faculty here at J-DHS regarding their curiosity. “Communicating and being a good listener is always important when learning new things,” said Mr Adler. He strongly that students should go outside their boundaries to learn something new and positive.

“The Positivity Project is trying to express that people who are different aren’t bad. They may not be great, but they could be interesting people, and so curiosity is great to have. Someone may seem different but you may be similarly curious,” said Mr. Adler. The Positivity Project wants to bring people together, and that is exactly what curiosity can do. It expands perceptions and connects people in new and exciting ways.

Positively Creative: How creativity impacts us

Charlie Miller

Staff Writer

Creativity is something people cannot live without and makes them unique. This trait saves lives, helps people to come up with ways to make tools that protect them, and build sturdy shelter that gives them more survivability. Creativity also adds zest to their lives, by allowing themselves new, fun activities all just by them using their brains to make something new.

There are many examples of creativity in the everyday lives of students. New, hip dances; rockets; songs; clothing ideas; Fortnite; and other popular trends are all from the form of creativity. At Jamesville-DeWitt High School, students and staff utilize creativity throughout their days. Creativity is displayed in the arts, sports, assignments, and programs at J-D.

“I love the arts here. We have an outstanding program here in J-D… I think creativity is the key to bringing an organization alive,” said Principal Paul Gasparini. J-DHS studio art teacher, Jacob Brodsky, found creativity to be one of his top five character traits. “Creativity is a very complicated thing, and is not something that emerges out of nowhere,”said Mr. Brodsky.

J-D students also demonstrate creativity. “I think creativity should be influenced in every class, and used throughout the day… I feel creativity fuels me throughout the day,” said freshman E.J. Crabbe. “,” resumed Crabbe.  “I think it’s powerful and it can go a long way,” said junior Sydney Baker.

Creativity is full of opportunities for all to enjoy. From implementing it into the arts programs the students do, to improvising in a project when the guide was lost, or even in the sports field when the other team knows your strategy. Creativity is influential and prevalent in J-DHS which creates a unique environment, making it positively creative.

New Junior and Senior Red Rams are off to a Positive Start

Theresa Grosso

Staff Writer

Jamesville-DeWitt High School has done a great job helping new students from other schools feel welcome. This year, five new juniors and seniors have joined the J-DHS community. These new Red Rams agree that the other students and staff at J-D have made them feel like they have support and are not alone. “The teachers have been very nice to me,” junior Jeffrey Winwah from P-Tech said.

Winwah is one of the five students that is now a Red Ram. Prior to going to J-D, he went to P-Tech Syracuse. Winwah said the most positive thing that has happened for him at J-D is meeting the other students and having really nice teachers to help him.

Senior Kyra Filighera is also a new student at J-DHS who previously attended Westhill High School. Filighera agrees that J-DHS has a very welcoming community. “Kids were coming up to me and trying to get to know me,” Filighera said, while describing how Westhill and Jamesville-Dewitt differ.

Senior Meghan Pilger went to Carthage previously and also agrees that J-DHS is a very welcoming and positive school. Pilger explained that joining the J-DHS Varsity Volleyball team was the most positive thing that has happened to her so far at J-D. The players have made it easy for her to feel like active member of the team.

Andrew Goldberg used to attend Christian Brothers Academy and is now a senior at J-DHS. Goldberg, like Winwah, plans to join one of J-DHS’s various clubs.   Goldberg said “meeting new people” is his favorite part of becoming a Red Ram.

Henninger was Daymarc Smith’s school before coming to J-D as a senior. Smith’s favorite part about J-DHS is the students and everyone he has met. He is most impressed with “the positivity they give out.”

All seems to be going well so far for the new juniors and seniors. Moving schools can be tough, but obviously the Jamesville-Dewitt community has given the new students a very warm welcome.

New Sophomores To The J-DHS Scene

Nina Dermody

Staff Writer

Just a year ago, some new faces at Jamesville-DeWitt High School were hustling through the halls of a different school. Starting a new school year can be intimidating for most students, let alone starting one in a different school, but these new sophomore arrivals make a tough transition look easy.

Almost all of these new students have gone to school in the J-D district before. Katharine Bennett started at J-D, moved to Maine for seven years and then moved back to the high school for her sophomore year. Sidra Jawed went to Tecumseh Elementary School, Fayetteville-Manlius until eighth grade, Maryland for a year and then recently moved back to the J-D district. Hannah Brooks went to Holy Family School and Christian Brothers Academy for three years and then moved to J-DHS. Although she had not been at J-D before, she did stay very close, with CBA right across from Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School.

One might think that transitioning into a new school would be difficult, but when asked if it was hard for them, these sophomores replied easily that it was not. “It was not as hard as I thought it was going to be,” Brooks said. Jawed also said, “Not really, because I’m a tenth grader, so I had that [high school] transition last year.” Bennett added, “Not really because I knew people here from before.”

In terms of differences between J-DHS and her previous school, Brooks said that her old school, CBA, did not have block scheduling. “I like [the block scheduling] a lot because it gives me time to prepare for my tests,” she said. Jawed and Bennett added that there were only minor changes in the way J-D does some things as compared to their old schools.

Moving to a new school is not easy, but these sophomores have handled it like true Red Rams.

J-DHS Welcomes New School Resource Officer

Steven Baker and Tarky Lombardi

Staff Writers

Officer Tiffany Pienkowski began her experience as a member of the Jamesville-DeWitt community on Sept. 18 2018.

Officer Pienkowski has a “great background” according to principal Paul Gasparini.  This is her first time being a Student Resource Officer. Officer Pienkowski was first stationed as a Town of Dewitt Police Officer. She has been an officer in New York City and outside of DeWitt.

Officer Pienkowski works 7:30 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday with weekends off. Sometimes if there is a specific event or game, she may provide security to that on the weekends.

Being an SRO consists of many tasks. Some of these include patrolling the hall, making sure that everyone is behaving, checking doors, and making sure everything is secure . “First and foremost the safety and security for the students,” said Officer Pienkowski.  

The administration is excited with the acquisition of Officer Pienkowski to the staff. “She has a nice personality, she is very interested in working with the students… and she has already made some connections with kids” said Mr. Gasparini.   

So far Officer Pienkowski has had a great experience for her first few weeks at J-D. “ I love it, I have started to develop relationships with the student and staff, and people are starting to come to me with questions and concerns” said Officer Pienkowski.

“ I have always wanted this position…I think every school should have a SRO,” said Officer Pienkowski.