The CGHS Newspaper "Where panther pride meets publication" Tue, 05 Jun 2018 17:25:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The CGHS Newspaper 32 32 Summer Movies 2k18 Tue, 05 Jun 2018 17:13:35 +0000    This summer is filled with movie releases after movie releases. Luckily we have some of the top movies coming out. The Summer list of movies starts s on  June 8th, with the very awaited thrilling and terrifying Hereditary. It is about the matriarch of the family has passed. After her passing, the family begins to unravel the cryptic ancestors left behind. The family begins to run from the sinister past but can they escape?. Many people say it is going to be the scariest movie of 2018.

   June 15th the long-awaited sequel to Incredibles will be released. Fans all around the world have been wanting one since the first movie ended and the producers have answered. This movie will be mostly focused on elastigirl and Mr. Incredible trying to raise the super kids. While Jack jack will be trying to figure out his power.

   A rebirth of Jurassic Park, in 2015 to a sequel being released June 22, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It takes place four years after the destruction of Jurassic World. Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island, Island Isla Nublar. They have come to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcanic eruption. Upon return, they find new species of dinosaurs and new secrets that could ruin the world.

   Everyone thought that the Purge series would be over after their last one in 2016. Little did they know that July 4th, 2018 there would be a new Purge released, The First Purge. This purge will show how it all started. It will start with the founding fathers planning and creating the idea of the violence once a year. It starts ina trial city and when they test it, it spreads to other cities soon the whole country.  

   Viewers have been waiting three years for the sequel of Ant-Man and on July 6th, Ant-Man and Wasp. Scott Lang is still struggling with the fact he is a superhero now and a father. He is needed to put the suit on once more and this time he has a sidekick, Wasp. She helps him fight and watches out for him. As usual with every Marvel movie, there is humor mixed with action.

   This summer is filled with action-packed movies. There is never a dull moment this summer for movies. The summer movies start on June 8th and don’t stop from there.

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Prom Pressure? Mon, 04 Jun 2018 18:45:06 +0000 Though it is known to be a night of magic and fun, sometimes prom and the necessary preparation for it puts some stress on the average high schooler.  We asked some seniors a couple of questions to get both the male and female perspective on the event.

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Student activism in the wake of tragedy Mon, 04 Jun 2018 18:28:32 +0000 On February 14th, a gunman opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. There were sixteen students wounded, and seventeen who were killed. The weapon used in the attack was a legally purchased Smith & Wesson M&P 15 .223, which is an AR-15 style weapon. From this shooting, there has been an unprecedented response from the survivors and community of Parkland, Florida.

Unlike most of the other recent mass shootings, there has been a huge wave of activism in its aftermath. Most school shootings do not get the same press as the Parkland shootings has gained, just because they were not “mass” shootings. We often rate how bad shootings are by the body count, but in reality we need to look at the lives affected. Even though only a few students may have been killed or injured, the survivors’ lives are affected forever, and that should be enough to mobilize people before something tragic like Parkland happened. This activism after Parkland is similar to what happened after the 2016 Election. The election had two highly divisive candidates, with Trump sparking resistance from the younger generation and Clinton being seen as untrustworthy. This divisive election mobilized millennials and turned young people into activists.  

The most visible sign of this organized resistance were the walkouts across the country on March 14th. Cedar Grove and our surrounding towns are certainly not an outlier, as us, Verona, Montclair, and even Passaic Valley High School saw a protest or vigil. All of these were student-led, with permission being given by the administration so they could properly protect the students. Everything was organized by the students, and the administration took a backseat for most of the process.

Verona had one of the most organized demonstrations in the area, and was able to get their message across clearly. They communicated through social media, primarily Instagram, and held meetings at various points throughout the school. The main thing that set Verona apart from other schools was its involvement in the process, selling shirts, pins, and baked goods to raise money for different organizations. Montclair did something similar to Verona and most other schools, holding a huge rally to honor the victims, where their names were read and various people gave speeches. Passaic Valley had something similar to Cedar Grove, with a memorial service being held in the gym at PVHS and the auditorium here at CGHS.

One of the common denominators of most of the students that led this were that they are very new to political activism. “I went to Occupy Wall Street back in 2011, and I’ve seen other protests like the Women’s March and LGBT rights groups succeed,” said Andre Papasavas, the leader of the Passaic Valley High School vigil. His minor experience with politics was not uncommon, and the student leaders from Verona, Chloe Mathewson and Anna Konrad-Parisi, have been politically informed for a long time, and Chloe even volunteered with a candidate running for office. In our own school this was true too, as Hunter Romanko, the main organizer for the vigil, volunteered with the Jim Johnson campaign during the 2017 Gubernatorial primaries. Though they have all had some experience with the country and state’s political systems, many were new to activism, especially in such a public fashion.

The one problem that lies in all of these movements is in what happened after the walkouts ended. We live in an age where being a political “activist” can take only the click of a button to donate, retweet, or share something. By showing up to a walkout, it may seem like enough to change things, but in reality it is not. For these walkouts to be effective, it takes bringing the desire for change felt in the auditorium or outside the school into the “real” world. Verona is a prime example of this, with Chloe Mathewson wanting to initiate a voter registration drive to get students involved in the political system: that is what other schools should be doing. To affect real change, what was started after walkouts and vigils needs to continue, and unfortunately it has not. Students need to look for candidates that share their views, campaign for those that they believe in, and register to vote and actually go to the polls on election day. Until those things happen, nothing will change.     

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Spring Concert Recap: Senior Highlights Mon, 04 Jun 2018 18:16:28 +0000 On May 15 the Music Department here at CGHS again showcased their talents with their annual Spring Concert. Under the direction of Mrs. Jessen and Mr. Savino, the orchestra, band, and both choirs performed a variety of pieces, ranging from traditional to South African music.

Each group had their own chance to perform, and the orchestra began the evening with Telemann’s “Concerto in D” and ending with the epic “Conquistador” by Deborah B. Monday. The choir set was much longer than orchestra and band, as both Concert and Select Choir had their moments. Their set began with “Fly Away Home” by Pink Zebra which featured Lizzie Niemiec ‘18 and Peter Corso ‘19 as soloists. Peter Corso also student conducted “Lift Thine Eyes” by Felix Mendelssohn, which is an all girls piece. Corso received recognition for his conducting skills by the judicators on their recent Boston Trip, and has honed in on this hidden talent as he is one of only two boys in choir. Katrina Abedini was also featured as a student conductor in the traditional German piece “Alle Meine Kleider.” She also helped to teach the Concert Choir the words and pronunciations, helping to get them to step out of their comfort zone. One of the major undertakings of both choirs is Vivaldi’s major work the “Gloria,” which was a work commissioned for Mass in the 1700s. Cedar Grove partnered with Passaic Valley High School, and they are undertaking the work together. The last group to perform was the Jazz Band, and at some point throughout all of their pieces each member was featured in their own regard. The concert ended with the band accompanying Danielle DiPietro as a soloist in “Feelin’ Good” by Roger Holmes.

A rock of the Orchestra at CGHS for the past two years has been Karim Homsi ‘18, an accomplished pianist. As one of the most accomplished pianists in the school, Karim is excited to perform challenging pieces, so the entire orchestra can grow together. This has been one of his favorite experiences at the high school, as his favorite experience in the music department was performing in the difficult Schubert’s “Mass in G” last spring concert. He is excited that the choir and orchestra are attempting difficult pieces because “we should be playing this level because we have a really nice choir and players.” Karim is upset to be leaving, but he is encouraging freshman to join the orchestra, especially a piano player that will be able to fill his shoes next year.           

The choir is losing many talented seniors this year, and one of the most dedicated musicians has been Lizzie Niemic ‘18.  She has done both orchestra and choir, playing the violin all four years and singing for three years. When it came to performing difficult pieces, she just smiled and said it was fun, and that her past choral experience has helped prepare them for it. Though they are able to tackle hard pieces, she acknowledges that the choir has had its own obstacles, like having the girls significantly outnumber the boys in choir. Her favorite memory has been the Florida trip her Sophomore year, and she was excited to perform at Universal Studios in front of a new audience. Being in the music department has been, “one of the best experiences I’ve [Lizzie’s] had in high school and getting involved in it is really good.”   

For band, one of their rockstars, Mac Cunnif ‘18, will also be leaving the CGHS music department. Mac has been in the band since Freshman year, as well as performing in the musicals where he was featured as a dancer in many of the productions. Mac was a little nervous for his solo in the concert, and the band wanted to be able to master their difficult pieces, especially “Feelin’ Good,” where the band needed to stay in time with their singer. Like many of the other groups, band has struggled with membership, but he noted Mrs. Jessen was able to make the small band work by making musicians play parts not written for their particular instrument. Mac’s favorite memory was the music department’s trip to a school in Vermont every other year, where they are able to perform for a new community at a school where a colleague of Mrs. Jessen teaches. Mac admits that his last concert will be emotional, but that students should, “definitely stick with it throughout high school. [Music] is not something you should just take once; it’s something that you should stick with.”

In addition to the Spring Concert in May, Passaic Valley will return on June 11th to perform the full Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with Concert and Select Choir. The piece, which itself lasts around a half hour, has many instrumental parts, and professional musicians are playing the various string parts. However, Karim Homsi and Owen Posnett ‘20 will be playing the piano parts. Posnett was not able to fit band into his schedule, and was put into Concert Choir instead, so he has been their accompanist for the year, as well as playing in the band when he can.
Another spring concert has come and gone, and all the seniors in the music department have said farewell to a program they gave so much to. The staff of the Pride would like to congratulate all the seniors in the music department and wish them good luck in their future endeavors!  

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Dave and Busters Thu, 31 May 2018 16:30:57 +0000 Taking over half of the old Willowbrook Mall Sears building, a Dave and Buster’s has been built in the old store. Many people have gone to the new location, and there are are a lot of mixed opinions about it. Some say that the opening it was a bad idea due to the fact that Willowbrook would become overpopulated, yet others say that the arcade and restaurant was a very good move and that the mall needed a new place for teens and young adults to hang out while being entertained.

Over spring break, many Cedar Grove High school students visited the new attraction and reported that they loved the experience. There is one common concern that many people are worried about and that is if you are under the age of eighteen you cannot get a walk in alone. High school student Brianna Candino 20’ reported that she “was able to get inside of the building with an adult over the age of eighteen” and that the adult accompanied them the rest of the night. Senior Brianna Weiling 18’ had also stated that she tried to get into Dave and Buster’s but was not allowed to due to the fact that she was not old enough.

After talking to members of the Dave and Buster’s staff about this, they claimed that “it is just part of procedure” and that “it was to keep everything under control” with all of the different things going on inside of the premise. Considering that there is a bar inside the complex, it is very important to keep everyone entering under control at all times. One major reason why Dave and Buster’s is very strict with their age rules is because they do not want to have anything illegal happening like underage drinking.

Even though many teens may think that this is unfair and that this should not be the rule, they may not know that this is the rule in all Dave and Buster’s establishments. Manager of the Willowbrook Dave and Busters said that these rules were made to keep everything going on in building illegal and safe at all times.

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Best of the fest Mon, 07 May 2018 16:59:16 +0000 The annual Best of the Fest is being held at Cedar Grove High School at 7 o’clock on May 11 in the Marie McGuire Auditorium. Last year’s outcome was satisfactory for the first year but this year they are hoping for a more enticing amount. Each year the Film Club looks to expand its program. The Film Club has doubled in size in the past two years, having thirty members this year, including people in the school and performers outside of the school.

Last year Cedar Grove had two films of their own in the program: Break a Leg and Rain. There also had been six films from the Garden State Film Festival. Improving from last year, the Film Club went down to Asbury Park to watch the films in the Garden Film Festival, along with presenting their own film, 47 Years. This year the Best of the Fest is featuring four Cedar Grove films, written and directed by Cedar Grove students, along with six from the Garden State Film Festival.

This year the club has many underclassmen who will help the club for the years coming. The seniors this year, like Julie Steckel ‘18, have helped to teach the younger students for when she graduates. Students such as Abby Warkentin ‘20 and Jillian Muszynski ‘20 have directed films that will be shown at the Best of the Fest. Julie Steckel ‘18 said that last year the seniors had taught her everything that she needed to know to take over the club and that she had tried her best to teach the underclassmen everything they need to know.

The films being shown by Cedar Grove students are 47 Years, which was shown at the Garden State Film Festival and directed by Abby Warkentin ‘20 and written by Julie Steckel ‘18, The Day the Wifi Died, which was directed by Julie Steckel ‘18 and has a story by Jake Brancato ‘20, Liminal, which was written by Rebecca Potters ‘19 and directed by Jillian Muszynski ’20, and This Horse Walks into a Mystery, directed by Julie Steckel ‘18 and written by Hunter Romanko ‘18.

To support the Cedar Grove High School Film Club please come to the Marie McGuire Auditorium on May 11th. Tickets for adults are ten dollars, students and senior citizens are seven dollars, and children are five dollars. You can purchase tickets at the door or at the link listed below.

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A Look Into: Free to Be… You and Me Wed, 04 Apr 2018 16:59:49 +0000 Cedar Grove High School’s production of Marlo Thomas’ “Free to Be… You and Me,” a show focusing on what kids can be rather than that what they should be, was performed Wednesday night at CGHS. Wednesday’s performance bookended previous showings to students at both South End and North End Elementary Schools and Memorial Middle School earlier in the week.

The show follows an ensemble cast of students acting as children who, from birth, learn through interactions and conversations with each other many different lessons about emotions, inclusivity, and understanding. With props, singing, and dancing, the show addresses topics such as traditional gender roles and loneliness as the children learn not only to accept themselves and each other, but that they can be anything they want to be.

As a light-hearted performance geared towards children, the show maintains an upbeat and welcoming tone throughout despite the mature topics being discussed so that children of any age can easily learn from its message. Parents were also encouraged to view the performance so that they might share an understanding of this message with their children.

Before the show began, music teacher and director of the performance Jennifer Jessen-Foose explained the idea for producing this show at CGHS and the importance of “Free to Be… You and Me’s” message for children and young students. Later, history teacher and producer Chris Cannella asked members of the cast their personal connections to the themes of the show and opened the floor to the audience though no one asked any further questions.

After the performance, the cast and audience member reconvened in the cafeteria for refreshments and as an informal place for people to discuss the show. Here, senior Alex Qassis who played a large role onstage explained his thoughts on the unique production aimed towards children.

“Children’s theater is a lot different,” Qassis admitted, “you have to exaggerate more so the kids can be excited and keep that energy up.”  When discussing the lasting effects of this performance, he explained that “it can show kids that they can be who they want to be.” He clarified, “if someone tries to bully them, they’ll know ‘I’m going to be who I want to be,’ and that alone will help kids as they grow up.”

Looking forward, Qassis closed by explaining the importance of continuing to spread the message of the show even after it has ended. “Now that the theme, the message, is out there in every school, having that — showing kids they can be themselves — it can keep spreading; and you’ll have all these open-minded and amazing, unique people in the future.”

Dylan Giacobbe

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Roll Tide Rolls Over Competition Tue, 27 Mar 2018 15:53:56 +0000 Last Thursday night, Joseph Cardinale’s sports management class hosted their second annual Orange Invitational Volleyball Tournament. The event, managed by and serving as a final project for current sports management students, pits ten teams consisting of students and faculty members against each other in a tournament style bracket to determine who the true volleyball champions of CGHS are.


Increasing the scale from last year’s successful inaugural debut, Thursday’s event provided more than just intense action on the court. With pizza provided by local business, small sports games for prizes, and many raffles throughout; the night provided entertainment and incentive to spend money, all of which is to be donated to the Progeria Research Foundation on behalf of Team Zoey.


But the true draw of the event, and all the talk leading up to it, is seeing who will beat the competition and become the champion. And after last year’s faculty team victory, players were eager to take down the talented teachers and students to watch their defeat.


Of the nine other teams competing to dethrone the aptly named team Faculty Varsity, there was one able to undergo the feat. Team Roll Tide was one of two senior teams in the tournament, comprised of varsity volleyball players Karen Raum, Micaela Kennedy, Jamie Lynch, and Tara DeCorte; with the help of Alex and Nick LoPresti, Dominick Costanzo, and Spiro Derbaly.


After securing decisive wins throughout their side of the bracket, Roll Tide met with the previous champions who made their way to the final match for the second year in a row. Though their skill is undeniable, team Faculty Varsity was no match for Roll Tide as they served, set, and spiked ball after ball at them.


In the end, Roll Tide dethroned the former champions, taking home the first place trophy for the Orange Invitational Volleyball Tournament. Roll Tide’s Alex LoPresti ‘18 was promptly named MVP and shared a few words on receiving the prestigious title as well as what it took to overcome such an intimidating opponent.


“It feels incredible, it’s good to beat the faculty,” he spoke, “I know they were the big shots coming into this but we kept our heads and got the W.” LoPresti explained that he and his team drank a lot of fluids and came prepared to win. “I gave it my all, my team gave it everything they got — I’m excited.”


With another successful volleyball tournament in the books, it is clear the Cedar Grove High School has a long future of fierce competition, rivalry, and teamwork ahead of them with this unique and exciting event that only serves to grow bigger and better each year.

Dylan Giacobbe
Roll Tide wins the final match

Roll Tide fights for victory

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CGHS Particpiates in National Walkout Tue, 20 Mar 2018 06:21:41 +0000 In light of the one month anniversary of the recent shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that took the lives of 17 students and teachers, Cedar Grove High School students held a memorial to honor each of the victims on Wednesday..

Senior Hunter Romanko and the peers who helped organize the memorial worked together with the administration to create a safe environment for students participating. Stressing a diversion from being a political event, Romanko and involved students encouraged others to participate in the memorial.

The event began at 10 a.m. with students going to the auditorium instead of class at the beginning of the period. The memorial began with a speech by Romanko explaining the nature of the event — that the original goal was to organize a protest, but that through discussion with principal Rick Mangili they decided on holding a vigil instead.

“I’d like to thank the administration for giving us the opportunity to express our first amendment rights,” Romanko spoke. “We are allowed to stand up for what we believe in in this school,” explaining his gratitude for the environment the school has provided through organizing this event.

Lasting seventeen minutes for each of the seventeen victims of the shooting, the memorial had volunteer students read one victim’s name and a short passage about their respective life followed by a moment of silence for all seventeen victims.

After reading all the names, baskets were put at the entrance to accept donations for Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that funds gun reform within communities and public policy, though the donations were entirely voluntary. Students, upon leaving the auditorium, were allowed to stop and give money before returning to class.

With nearly 200 students present as well as other Cedar Grove school administrators including superintendent Michael Featherman, students were able to safely and freely remember the victims of the deadly shooting together.

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February Student of the Month, Kathleen Sickinger Mon, 26 Feb 2018 17:42:13 +0000 Congratulations to our Social Studies Student of the Month, Kathleen Sickinger ‘18!!! From her tremendous work ethic to her contributions outside of class, Sickinger has proven herself to be one of the most deserving students of the title. Starting off her 4 years in Cedar Grove High School, she has taken up Global Studies Honors freshman year, APUSH sophomore and junior year, and finally GOPO as a senior. “It’s rewarding and it’s nice to know that all the hard work has been recognized throughout the years,” states Sickinger.

Along with her work inside the realm that is Social Studies, Sickinger has an impressive list of extra curricular activities behind her. This year, adding the title of February SOTM, Katie Sickinger is also the captain of the soccer team, co-manager of the basketball team, President of the National Honor Society, and Vice President of the Interact club. I know, impressive right? Not only was she good at the subject, but it was something that truly fascinated her. “I’ve been interested in it for a long time,” Sickinger says, “and to have two teachers that are really good at it and care, I just really enjoyed it.”

After her departure from high school, Sickinger plans on going to college for secondary education-English. When asked by The Pride why she wishes to take this course, Sickinger replied, “Both of my parents are teachers, so I grew up around it. I really enjoyed it and I think it’s something I’d be really good at doing.”

All we can say from here is that we wish Sickinger the best for the future. With all that she has said, it is clear that she is confident that whatever happens, she will overcome anything. Congratulations again to our February Student of the Month, Katie Sickinger!

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