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CHS Graduation Speeches 2017 06/19/2017

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At Collingswood High School, seniors submit speeches to be read during our Graduation Ceremony. This year, we had some spectacular examples of narratives that moved us to tears, laughter, and introspection. Rarely are young people able to paint the pictures that these students have presented to our community. Enjoy!

Zena Saifo

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About 15 years ago, my parents were in a position similar to where we all are today. They, too, were bracing themselves to leave behind all that they knew and begin a new part of their lives. However, my parents were not preparing themselves to enter a new school or job. They were instead preparing themselves to enter a new country.

My parents were born and lived their whole lives in Syria. We were living a comfortable lifestyle in the country, but when my mother found out that she had another baby on the way, our family decided it was time for a change. Because the economy and lifestyles in Syria changed so much compared to when my mother and father were younger, they decided that they wanted the best for my brothers and me and were willing to do anything to make sure of it. My mother and father knew that they would not be able to provide our family with opportunities if we remained in Syria and they wanted to ensure that we would have successful futures ahead of us. They decided that it would be best to risk it all and move to the United States, the land of freedom and opportunity.

If you all think that moving into a college dorm is difficult, just imagine the struggles my parents experienced when moving all the way across the world. My parents left behind the comforts and contentment of their homes to come to the U.S. They left behind their country, which held their spirits and souls. They left behind their mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins, the people they shared not only their blood with, but also the people whom they shared a deep bond with. They left behind their culture, the one thing that they were so accustomed to since they were children. They left behind all that they’ve ever known and began a completely new life for our family.

My mother and father took a huge risk and were brave enough take on the role as first generation immigrants and leave their homeland for our family. My parents did not care that they had to abandon the lives they had created for themselves in Syria. My father did not care that he basically had to start over and go from place to place, begging for a job in this country. My mother did not care that she had to face the prejudice and bigotry from others by defying societal norms and wearing a headscarf. Their compassion and love for us has been evident as it has been portrayed through their actions and characters. My parents learned that they always must do what is right, and that is a significant lesson that they have taught me. I learned from them that I must remain selfless and prioritize others’ needs above my own.

My parents have always been such great role models to me and have shown this many times throughout my life. I remember when I was 7 years old, our family went down to the shore for the very first time. We were walking down the boardwalk when two men approached us and immediately started screaming insults at my mother for wearing a headscarf. At the time, my parents did not know the english language perfectly, but they definitely knew what the word terrorist meant, especially when it was being screamed at us in such a demeaning manner. Instead of allowing this incident to affect the rest of our trip, my father politely told the men that we bring nothing but peace and asked them to leave us alone. As a child, I was so confused on what had happened. I was so appalled that people could be filled with such hate and easily attack strangers. My parents explained to me that we can not allow incidents like this to bring us down and we must learn from them instead. I learned that day that I must be strong and stand up for myself no matter what the situation is.

As we all go off to college next year, there are going to be times for all of us that are going to be difficult and distressing. There are going to be plenty of times that we will want nothing more than to come back to our home, Collingswood High School. My parents wanted nothing more than to go back to Syria. However, just like the Collingswood class of 2017, they realized they could not return to their homes. They had to go forward. As students in college, we must be brave and face every challenge with courage and with our heads held high. Even during our darkest times next year, we must remain strong. We all must remind ourselves that things will become overwhelming and the world is going to change. Tragedies happen and things definitely do not always go our way; it is all part of life. However, we can not allow the fear of what is yet to come and what has already happened define us. This was a powerful lesson that my parents taught me. No matter what happened, they did not allow their apprehension to consume their lives. Instead, they kept moving forward. They kept moving forward and never looked back. We must face every situation with courage and no matter what occurs, we can not allow the negativity to define our characters. My mother and father gave me the opportunity to strive to become my best because of their sacrifices, selflessness, courage, and hard work. I am beyond grateful for the lessons my parents have taught me. Without them, I would not be the brave woman I am today, and I certainly would not have the strength to stand up here while wearing this hijab, especially after fasting for 16 hours today. Mama, Baba, shookran la kilsha bil heyati, bhibkon kteer. Mom, Dad, I can not thank you enough for your love and support. I can never truly repay you for all that you have done for me.

Carolina Reyes

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Once Upon a Lifetime

My mom has always been there for me and I learned this absolutely in a small town in the Dominican Republic. Fifteen years ago, I was playing with my mom in the comfort of my home, giggling with guileless joy as I slid face down on my couch, my mom catching me. Each time I slid down a little more until my face went under the couch: what I saw completely terrified me. Less than seven inches away from me loomed a gargantuan, ink-black tarantula. From my angle, I could see the tiny hairs raised among its dark geometrical legs, and could tell that the menacing spider was bigger than my tiny palms hoisting me up from the floor. I immediately yelped in fear and begged my mom to pull me up so I could escape the creature. Seeing my panicked expression, my mom quickly pulled me up, rescuing me from the hairy monster. No matter the circumstance, my mom has always been with me through every step of the way, to pull me up from whatever obstacle I face.

From an early age, she has taught me to never give up. She went back to high school at 33 years old and then did the impossible, attending college in a poverty stricken village as a single mother taking care me, a little child of only 4 years old. Without a babysitter to take care of me, my mom would take me to her evening college classes, heavy books on one arm and me on the other arm. Whenever I come home upset after a game or upset over a poor grade, she is always there to remind me to keep working hard. She reminds me that the impossible is simply a limit waiting to be broken and that every dream is achievable through hard work. Although it was difficult to work full time, take care of me, and attend college, she never gave up. Even while performing a simple task such as washing the dishes, she always reminds me that once I start something I should always finish it. With school clubs, AP courses, and sports, I sometimes get overwhelmed, but then I remember the woman holding the heavy books and her child, and I find the strength to keep going and give it my all. Every day she emphasizes that I should always put my best effort into everything I do no matter what it is because she has done the same throughout her life.

In 2010 my mom sacrificed everything to come to the United States leaving her job and lifestyle to ensure that I had every opportunity to succeed. She left behind any security she had to become an unemployed woman surrounded by a language and culture that was unfamiliar to her, besieged by a sea of unfamiliar faces; bewildered in America.  I was only 11 years old at the time, and completely unaware of how drastically my life would change. My mom saw past the hardships and struggles of being an immigrant in an alien country and saw that I could be successful here. The adjustment was hard to make, and there were many, many moments when I wanted to go back, but my mom always encouraged me to continue working hard in every situation, and to always love family unconditionally.

Growing up as a young child, my mom always showed me the importance of family and the virtues of helping others. She has shown me how to be kind, and to always be helpful to others. Even when we lived in a small town in the Dominican Republic, my mom and I often volunteered and participated in clothing drives for people that needed them, regardless of our own lack of money.

   My mom has shown me that even though there will always be obstacles to hinder us, the only thing that really stops us from succeeding is ourselves. She has shown me that the impossible is possible and that I should face the unknown without fear because if I work hard and do not give up, anything is possible. And just like she saved me from the frightening spider, I know that she will always be by my side to help me face the tarantulas of the world.

Alexis Arnold

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I’d like to address not only my peers on this momentous day, but also our parents, guardians, family, and neighbors. Everyone at this ceremony is here because they are part of a thriving community, one which we celebrate today.

To my peers: I know that, as you decide where to go next, you’re somewhere on the spectrum between mostly secure in your plan, and crumbling with terror. It can be overwhelming to leave what you know. But my friends, family, and teachers would say, if you asked them, that I’m not very worried. There’s a good reason for that: I hope that by sharing this, you can find some peace in the change as well.

I always assume the best. Maybe I’m a little gullible, but I give others the benefit of the doubt and think that however things turn out, we’re better off that way. No matter how bad things get, I believe that I will be a better person in the end and along the way I’ll do what I can. I don’t let stress, resentment, or pessimism slow me down. Just look at the club I’ve led in my years here, the Gender Sexuality Alliance: when we hit a road block, we amp up our passion and find another way. We’ve done good things, contributing to this community, without being stymied by stigma or fear. We strive to help others and not let challenges hold us back. That’s the attitude you need to achieve not only success, but personal peace.

I know that change is scary, and it can be bad. But I promise every one of you sitting here very patiently awaiting the delivery of your diploma, that this change is not bad. You’re now past balancing appeasing others and exploring autonomy; you’re over the hurdle of the frantic scramble for college; you’re going to learn who you are and what you need, and that’s wonderful. I’ve seen enough of change to know that this change isn’t the kind that takes all you have. It’s doesn’t drain you – you’ll grow and learn. You won’t be stranded in the quote-unquote “real world” – you’ll have support. It’s not the daunting dive into the dark unknown that your anxiety says it is. I know that kind of change, and this is not it.

Even bad changes make you who you are. I am who I am because of the challenges I faced. My parents are better people for having fought their demons to have me in their lives. My friends who have lasted through years of instability are my best friends. No matter what happens next in your life, whether you go to college, join the military, find a job, or take time to recover from 12 straight years of learning, you will be fine. You’ll be better than that – you’ll be radiant.

That’s thanks to everyone in the risers. Every single person who is here to see us graduate is the reason we made it. We love you for everything you’ve given us. And on top of support at home and around the neighborhood, we got the best teachers and staff to help us along the way. Mr. Genna always stands in the hallways and greets us, willing to listen to any concerns and give his feedback… and somehow he’s also always in his office or visting classes, running things smoothly and checking in on us. He is everywhere at once and never overwhelmed.

Naturally, I can’t speak for every student’s experience, but the teachers I’ve had have been professional, sagacious, kind, patient, and forgiving. By the way, thanks to every teacher who forgave a zero, it meant a lot, I promise.

And you know that a school is high quality when you receive love and support from all the staff. The custodians, secretaries, technicians – there’s a contagious sense of congeniality and helpfulness around Collingswood High School. Mrs. Willis never makes fun when you need her to print your schedule halfway through the year because you forgot your combination. Mr. Newman is so friendly, he just might know every student individually. That’s the kind of atmosphere you’ll find invariably in this school.

That atmosphere, one of support, community, and belonging, is one that has given all of us a rich experience as well as a safe place to grow. Outside our bubble, things like turbulent politics, instances of violence, and periods of disquiet can make the world seem tiresome and distressing. But that’s the point of growing up: we leave what we’re comfortable with to face the quote-unquote “real world”. It is different, and maybe a little unstable, but it also holds great beauty and experiences we can’t yet imagine.

In short, to everyone here, I am immensely grateful. I had an unforgettable time here alongside classmates and teachers, in the pursuit of not only learning about the world, but also learning about my place in it.  Whether you’re graduating or attending in support, you’ve worked hard and put your heart and soul into what you do. We did it together, and nothing on this world can change that.

Emmah Evangelista

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High school is hard.

We have to be here at 7:30 every morning, and we are expected to somehow learn and comprehend things that early in the morning.  Then of course there is an obscene amount of homework, tests that we definitely forgot about, assignments where the teacher says “You can’t do this all the night before,” and for some reason we take that as a challenge.  And on top of all our regular schoolwork, standardized test like to join the party too, and yes I am talking about the PARCC.  We all hated it, it happened, and I feel as though we need to acknowledge that pain before we can move on from it.  Then of course, junior and senior year hits and we had SATs to prep for and then colleges to apply to, and just when you think you’re done scholarships pop up to make you stressed out again.  To any underclassmen here, they lied, with everything else you have to do, senior year is not any easier than junior year.

High school is hard.

And despite this, this class remained resilient.  Which if you had Mrs. Rothwell freshmen year, you know is a great buzzword to throw into essays.  In all seriousness, we survived a lot in our four years, like Hurricane Sandy.  Or, this election season, the first of which many of us could vote in and threatened to tear the very fabric of our community apart.  We even survived that weird time everyone got sick sophomore year, so many of us got sick that Mr. Genna said if you were absent these two days they just don’t count.  We made the news for that.  It was so bad, people called it ‘Cebola’.  We went to school through that.  And still, even through all of stranger things that have happened, we came, determined to succeed.  

 

High school is hard.

We can all admit that.  There were plenty of difficult moments in the past four years, but there were some pretty amazing ones too.  We’ve been to Spain, France, and Germany.  We sang at Carnegie Hall, we became slam poetry state champions, we became the only co-ed swim team to make playoffs, we won districts in wrestling for the fifth time in a row.  We were the ones who taped Mr. Swern to the wall, we started the Social Justice Club, we changed the dress code.  We won Powder Puff- twice, we won spirit week- twice, we tied (beat) the staff in Reindeer Games.  We helped bring gender neutral bathrooms to our school, we started clubs and service projects, we made this school feel safer and more inclusive. We made this school a little easier to navigate for those behind us.  We have done incredible things while at this school, and I am sure we will do incredible things in our future.  And that future is exciting, but it’s also scary. Because if high school was this hard, then what the heck is the rest of life going to be like.  That wasn’t a rhetorical question, if you’ve got the answers, please, let us know, we’re going to need it.

High school is hard enough, so I can’t imagine what college must be like. Despite this, despite how overwhelming high school sometimes felt, I can’t help but be grateful.  I am a nervous wreck about my future, but I feel prepared to greet it, and I’m sure many of my classmates could say the same.  Our high school challenged us, forced us to be better.  Our teachers taught us to see who we wanted to be, and then be more.  When we were avoiding the very ideas of SATs and scholarships, Mrs. Wister popped up in our classrooms, on the announcements, on Remind, and refused to let us sell ourselves short.  She, like many of the other faculty at this school refused to let us overlook our potential.  Additionally, the people that sit in front of you today ready to graduate, made this school better.  They changed this school, we changed this school, and I think we leave behind a legacy that is fairly impressive.  You have all have challenged me, have forced me to be better.  Not just the teachers and administrators and faculty, but my peers as well.  You, as a class, have made me comfortable here, and it makes it that much harder to leave.  So although high school was hard, and I complained as much as anyone, you have made it fun. So, thank you to my classmates for giving me an experience I will remember fondly. I hope you can say the same. Good luck in whatever you do, I’m sure you will find your brilliance, just like you did here. So congratulations Class of 2017, the hard part of high school is finally over.

 

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CHS Baker’s Dozen 06/16/2017

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The Guidance Counselor’s got together and picked out their top thirteen seniors who they felt exemplified a willingness to excel, try new things, and represent CHS as great ambassadors.

Daniel Downing

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Accomplishments

Captain and first singles player of the girls tennis team

Cast member of every school musical and lead role senior year

Student council VP

NHS president

Member of concert choir and madrigals

Highlights of CHS Experience

Mr. Levin’s class sophomore year and taking AP psych.

Going to every homecoming dance and senior year prom and practicing my dance moves. Being in Shrek the musical and playing a wooden boy.

What makes CHS Special

CHS is special for so many reasons because of its amazing staff. The teachers here really care about the students and it completely changes the learning environment when you know you have at least one teacher who you can always go to for help. Our staff makes school fun and progressive, making sure that with each school year, we are more accepting of others than we were the last.

Andy Lu

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Accomplishments

Collingswood Tech Crew Senior Student Advisor/Tech Director.

NATAS Student Emmy Nominee

Boys Tennis Varsity Third Singles

Highlights of CHS Experience

My favorite memory is being part of the 2016 Boys Tennis Team as we went to Semi-Finals in the state playoffs for the first time in a long time. Everyone was great to be with, not just competitively as teammates but just as friends. The next biggest thing is when I was nominated for a student Emmy out of hundreds of other New Jersey and Pennsylvania participants. The one thing I won’t forget at CHS was Mr. Eboch’s retirement my junior year. We were all saddened to see him finally retire but I was happy for him because being with him for the last 7 years I saw how much everyday was taking his toll on him. I’m so happy to see him enjoy the rest of his life but I’m so sad that he, who has been such a huge cornerstone of Collingswood, is gone.

What makes CHS Special

What truly makes CHS special is just the quality of people who work and learn here. Some of my teachers were just great friends and helped me learn what I never would have understood by myself, and some others were just such “parents” that gave me so much advice on my problems both professionally and personally and a few have even became practically family. The students here are all such diverse but accepting people and that allows CHS to be a true cultural melting pot that I am proud to have been part of.

Elise McDowell

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Accomplishments

President of the TV Production Club

Completed CHAMP Gear Up Program 6th-12th grade

Won many awards this year

Won many medals running Cross Country

Highlights of CHS Experience

Getting to know all of the classmates I hadn’t graduated from middle school with (I used to be antisocial)

Participating in all of the activities-Paws Tv, musicals, etc.

Growing as a person here.

What makes CHS Special

All of the creative, unique classes.

The vibe throughout the whole school, it’s as if we all hold love and respect for each other.

The different opportunities CHS provides.

Jovon Allie

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Accomplishments

Football, Basketball, Beatmakers Club

Highlights of CHS Experience

Reindeer Games every year, Homecomings, and Prom. I will always remember the “Friday Night Lights”. Playing every Friday night was special to me. Being able to perform and show out for my school was always a great feeling.

What makes CHS Special

The atmosphere of the school is great. The support and help that we receive from the teachers helps make this school special.

Sydney Rathbone

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Accomplishments

Playing volleyball for 4 years, being selected for the West Jersey Interscholastic Volleyball League 2nd Team All-Conference, being inducted into the National Honor Society

Highlights of CHS Experience

Volleyball, GSA meetings, winning Powder Puff TWICE, dominating in spirit week, bonding with my class at reindeer games, and swimming with the fishes at prom will always be some of my favorite high school memories.

What makes CHS Special

CHS has opened its heart to me in more ways than one. Colls has something for everyone and has created such a wonderful and accepting high school environment that makes it really special. I have made relationships with teachers and friends that will impact my life forever. I’m so grateful to have been able to be a part of so many extraordinary things thanks to CHS.

Amber Scirrotto

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Accomplishments

My High School accomplishments include excellence in art, the GSA club, winning the poetry slam Louder Than A Bomb with the LTAB team, getting an award for most improved in my class, and ultimately just getting through these four years of high school.

Highlights of CHS Experience

The highlights of my high school experience for me were being a part of the LTAB team and winning in 2016, all of the trips for the art classes with Mrs Lange, Mr King and Mrs Winkler, The Disney trip that I have had yet to go on but I’m sure will definitely be super fun, prom at the aquarium, and Graduation! Although I love it here I’m especially excited to graduate!!!

What makes CHS Special

What makes CHS so special is the teachers and staff. We have some pretty exceptional teachers that go above and beyond their duty of teaching. They are not only great teachers but great people who I will always appreciate for making my high school experience better. The acceptance they have with the LGBTQ+ community is amazing and their overall treatment towards us as students has really made high school special for me and for all of us.

Easton Aron

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Accomplishments

I accomplished breaking notorious school records of playoffs droughts. For example, ending a 21 year old drought of not winning just 1 playoff game. Same with soccer which was a 28 year old drought. I also accomplished being a 3 sport student athlete all 4 years of high school while being in many clubs such as Interact club and Student Council. But most of all, I accomplished finishing high school.

Highlights of CHS Experience

Some highlights are winning playoff games, going to sporting events as a Colls Crazies, and making new friends.

What makes CHS Special

I think the diversity of the school is so special, due to the fact no matter who or what you are everyone is excepted I feel like and everyone is kind towards each other. It’s like one big family.

Ethan Wright

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Accomplishments

First Team All Conference

Lineman of the week for the South Jersey Touchdown Club

Captain of the football team

Coaches Invitationals qualifier

Panthers Choice Award

Highlights of CHS Experience

Some of most memorable moments of my time at Collingswood High School include playing football with my childhood friends, attending the senior promenade, and helping to create a mural my junior year with Mrs. Lange. I also enjoyed taking the design tech course and trying out track this year.

What makes CHS Special

Many people don’t know that I grew up in Collingwood for 11 years, then suddenly moved to Georgia after the 5th grade. Starting off in a new school where I didn’t know anyone was tough, and I never once thought that I would move back to my hometown. Lucky the opportunity to move back appeared the summer of my sophomore year, and I was able to finish my high school career at Collingswood. What makes Collingswood high school special is the family. Everyone was so welcoming, it was like I never left! The football team felt more like a brotherhood than my previous team in Georgia. It was awesome to reunite with my childhood friends, and make new friends through the swim team and track. Lastly, the staff at Collingswood high school is one a kind, and they’ve taught me so much these last two years.

Meghan Rydzewski

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Accomplishments

I have been apart of Cappelli Crew, National Honor Society, Beat Makers Club, Interact Club and the French Club. And I played Soccer and Softball.

Highlights of CHS Experience

Everyone here at CHS made my experience unforgettable and it is something that I will cherish forever. The highlights that made my years so special were, Choir Concerts, winning powder puff two years in a row, Prom at the aquarium and of course Senior Trip.

What makes CHS Special

What makes CHS so special is the incredible staff who works so hard every day and is so selfless. Without them we wouldn’t be who we are, they shaped us into who we are today and I can’t thank them enough for all of their help and support. I will miss them all so much.

Zach Bille

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Accomplishments

Work: building supervisor, physical therapist aid (My Major), town gardener, pizza delivery

Volunteer work: mission trips, 5k helper

Extracurricular: Model UN, Toastmasters, Latin Club, NHS, Swimming, Soccer, school musical

Awards: Outstanding academic achievement(9), 2nd team all conference swim(11), 2nd team all conference soccer(11), 1st team all conference (12), paws for vets (scholarship, 12)

Highlights of CHS Experience

Senior trip, Reindeer Games, Winning a playoff game in soccer, being the captain of the soccer team, and the musical (Beauty and the Beast)

What makes CHS Special

The loving and caring staff and the good friends I have made over the years.

Ta’Quawn Watts

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Accomplishments

Being on Honor Roll for all of sophomore year and being on Principal’s List for the entirety of junior year. Beating my PR in Cross Country multiple times.

Highlights of CHS Experience

Seeing all of my friends at Homecoming and Prom. Cheering our school on in Football and Basketball games. Reindeer games, especially the donut eating contests. Talking to Woodlynne students on what to expect at CHS and my freshmen.

What makes CHS Special

The amount of people willing to accept something that is new to them. The diversity of CHS allows for people to easily form or join groups of friends without having to change themselves.

Zena Saifo

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Accomplishments

Student Council Executive Board, Student Council President, Board of Education Representative, Field Hockey Unsung Hero, Field Hockey Captain, NHS, Valedictorian

Highlights of CHS Experience

There were so many amazing experiences at CHS that I will never forget. A few events that that I really loved were all of our field hockey championship games, the senior citizen prom, reindeer games, prom, and senior trip.

What makes CHS Special

The bond between the staff and students at Collingswood is like no other. Students are always met with open arms by their teachers and everyone can rely on each other for help when it is needed. The atmosphere in this school is always positive and supportive.

Dylan McGowan

1Q02010

Accomplishments

Theatre Arts Award

Film Award

Choir “Spirit” Award

Highlights of CHS Experience

All theatre productions, all of my TV classes, and choir.

California TV trip,Prom, and Carnegie Hall.

What makes CHS Special

All of the arts programs are excellent and well respected. The tv program is also amazing program and opportunity to learn college-level classes.

Vinyl Music Making a Comeback 06/15/2017

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By: Chris Baldwin

vinyl

Why collecting vinyl music is coming back and becoming collected by people of all ages. 

In a time when everyone is glued to their phones and earbuds are practically stuck in everyone’s ears, vinyl music has began to make a comeback.  People of all ages have began collecting the rather of antiquated form of listening to music.  In the early 2000’s vinyl had practically disappeared from society and CD’s and digital music were all the rage.  Now it seems as though CD’s and CD players sit on shelves as people have been breaking out the vinyl and turntables that they used in the 90’s.  Record companies like Erika Records are having a hard time keeping up with demand due to the sudden increase in vinyl. Since 2009 there has been a 260% increase in vinyl production.

Record stores have been popping up all over America selling old and new pressings of vinyl.  There are even a few in the area, including InnerGroove Records in Collingswood and the Haddonfield Record Exchange.    While many people buy the new pressings to collect, others like myself, prefer to buy originals from the 60’s all the way up into the 90’s.  Whether one prefers the new pressings or old, vinyl is still making a comeback.

People prefer vinyl for a number reasons.  The number one reason is that the quality of sound is better through vinyl and has more “warmth” when listening to music.  Another reason for collecting vinyl is the art.  People think that album covers are a lost art and that the revival of vinyl could bring back that lost art.  Whatever the reason for collecting vinyl, it is a great hobby for anyone to take up.  No matter what the taste of music there is vinyl for all with pressings old and new in Rock n’ Roll, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Pop, and Alternative.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Color Guard Member’s Last Wildwood 06/15/2017

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By: Eva van Laar

Prism Winter Guard loses 5 senior guard members after 2017 season.

The Prism Winter Guard finished their indoor color guard season at Wildwood, New Jersey. Making it to finals with a score of 85.55 in seventh place. The competition to Finals was extremely tight with the sixth place score being 85.83 from True Colors Independent and the 8th place score being 85.25 going to Rockville winter guard. The Prism Winter Guard continued to the finals and performed their last show of the season and for some their last show ever in a convention center at WildWood. The Seniors include Mia Paltrow Murray, Madison Davis, Abigail Kriel, Emily Henry, Lance Stock.

The most senior member was Abigail or more commonly known as Abby. She spent six years in the program and for the last two seasons completed her dream of acting as Guard Captain. Her duties include making sure information was distributed, setting up extra practices, hosting group activities and teaching newer members. Abby according to one color guard member was “ … a great teacher, leader, friend, speech maker, cheerleader and captain.” However she wasn’t alone Madison more commonly known as Maddy and Emily both joined the program a year after Abby. Emily for the 2017 Wilwood show had the spotlight with her role as the main soloist. Maddy worked hard with Abby to perform a difficult partner toss on her prefered weapon, rifle. According to many junior members they inspire to become like their seniors over the next few years.

With five seniors leaving this year the Prism Winter Guard is in need of new members. So earlier this month on May 3rd both guard and band programs invited people to watch and participate in a practice to recruit new members. The turnout for both was quite high, and one member stated that they had high hopes in the prospective members.  The outdoor season will begin soon after the summer begins but this time the guard will be without their 5 seniors and the new members as well as the old members will have to learn to become the best they can be without their support.

 

Final Farewells 06/15/2017

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By: Sena Amuzu

The 2017 Track Season Comes to a Close. Collingswood High School Seniors Were Given Heartwarming Speeches at Their Last Home Meet.

On March 11th, 2017 the Collingswood High School girls track team competed at a home meet against their rivals, The Audubon Waves, on senior night.  So far the girls have only had two losses, making it a solid season for them this year with only three meets remained.

The meet began with several speeches, which gave coaches the opportunity to thank the senior runners. This year the team said goodbye to Morgan Mcconnell, Zena Saifo, Jabria Evans, and Crismary Saldivar Camarena. One of the most memorable speeches was given by Mr. Swern in complete Spanish to Crismary. Afterwards, at about four o’clock the field events started up and points were beginning to add up. One pole vaulter Josie Cook even hit her Personal Record at seven feet. However, when the running events began the team was already four points behind their goal. The events started off with the 400 hurdles, and went on to the 100 meter dash. This provided Collingswood with a few extra points from Emily Wallace, Taylor Perkowski, and Morgan McConnell. Maddy Giordano, Quinn Basewitz, and Mackenzie Wilhelm also performed well in their mid-distance and distance races.

The meet finally came to a close with Collingswood sadly losing to Audubon by several points. However, the team went home proud of their accomplishments that day, and planned to end the season swimmingly.             

Colls Tennis Loses Playoffs 06/15/2017

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By: Nick Eimer

Collingswood is eliminated from the playoff bracket.

On Friday, May 12th, the Collingswood High School Boys Tennis Team was eliminated from the group one, Central New Jersey playoff bracket.  Collingswood, the 14th seed, suffered an 0-5 loss to Bound Brook High School, the 3rd seed.

Bound Brook easily defeated Collingwood, the aforementioned 14th and last seed.  In the closest match of the day, Bound Brook’s Eduardo Vargas won the first singles match, winning 6-4 in both sets.  Collingswood’s Nate Draper played a close match, but was ultimately unable to take home the win.  Collingswood’s Mark Moser lost to Lesly Cruz-Munoz in the second singles match.  Moser lost 2-6 in both sets.  At third singles, Collingswood senior Andy Lu was defeated by Camrin Cronheim.  Cronheim had a score of 6-1 in both sets.  Hank Piper and Jake Rossi lost the first set 6-1 and the second 6-0, during the first doubles match.  Finally, Victor Zou and Joe Buthusiem lost the second doubles match 6-1, 6-0.

This loss was no shock to the Collingswood team, many of who expressed surprise that they had even been placed in the playoff bracket.  Collingswood had a rough season, winning only two out of nineteen games.  The team speculated that they had been placed in the bracket because of the success they had the previous season.  The majority of the previous season’s talent had graduated though, leaving a severely depleted team for the 2017 season.  Collingswood was also plagued by injury and other hardship this season.  Their original first singles, senior Matt Siv, was injured in the first match of the season, and was unable to participate for the rest of it.  Two more of the team’s four seniors were unable to play for most of the season as well.  This left Andy Lu as the only senior who could play in the playoff match.  Mark Moser was also forced to miss several matches, due to a sprained ankle.  Additionally, assistant coach Jerry Cabnet missed a large portion of the season from an injury.

The Collingwood Tennis team is not without hope, however.  The team’s four freshman, Hank Piper, Tim Clark, Nick Eimer, and Victor Zou, were forced to play varsity because of absences for a good deal of the matches.  This has left them all with lots of experience for future years. There is also a long list of recruits for 2018 season, who will hopefully bring even more new talent to the team.  Because only one senior that played all season is graduating, the team views itself as having nowhere to go but up.  Even though they may have lost this playoff match, the team is confident it will go different next year.

Is the New Sliding Rule Ruining the Game of Baseball? 06/15/2017

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By: Paul Maienza

Lately, Major League Baseball has been adding various different rules that have changed the way baseball has been played. The latest rule deals with sliding and has players and fans questioning if this rule is changing the way baseball “should” be played.

In the past, runners were given wide latitude coming into second base as long as they were close enough to touch the bag. But under the new rule, a runner will have to make contact with the ground before reaching the base, being able to and attempting to reach the base with a hand or foot, being able to and attempting to remain on the base at the completion of the slide (except at home plate) and not changing his path for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder. This issue came up the during the 2015 postseason when Chase Utley broke up a potential double play in Game 2 of the National League Division Series with a controversial slide that ended up injuring Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. “I love it as a fielder but I hate it as a runner,” says Rangers’ shortstop Elvis Andrus.

This rule was mainly made to avoid injuries at second base when runners try to break up a double play. Pirates shortstop, Jung Ho Kang, said “I’m all for it,” who is still rehabilitating after a serious injury last season in a collision at second base. “It’s safe for the players who are in the double-play situation. It’s for the players, to protect the players.” While others like Cubs pitcher, Jon Lester, says “We’re out there playing with a bunch of pansies right now. I’m over this slide rule.”

This new rule and many other rules has many baseball fans and players, worried about the changes that the game will undergo. This makes it a very controversial topic that has the game of baseball divided. There is no real talk on whether or not these new rules will be removed, but there could very well be new rules that will either anger or excite the people of baseball.

 

The 2017 Prom 06/15/2017

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By: Aidan Stanton

Prom is the last hurrah for seniors. One last night together as a class before we graduate and go our separate ways in the next stages of life. Prom was an amazing experience for anyone involved, from the amazing weather, to the stellar menu, to the fantastic playlist. The Camden Aquarium served as a great venue that provided both a unique atmosphere, and plenty of good places for pictures. The aquarium boasted a perfect sunset view of the Philadelphia skyline as the night began, setting the scene for the night that was to come. Dinner was served buffet style with a menu of delicacies, complete with an ice cream bar. Then came the dancing. The class crowded into the dance floor, and for a few hours, it didn’t matter who was friends with who, instead, we were all one family spending one last night together.

As the night came to a close, there were a few orders of business to conduct. Firstly, was the matter of choosing prom king and queen, which was done by the staff of the Aquarium. After the senior parade, it was decided that Ashley Riley and Jack Hastings would be the 2017 Prom Queen and King to much applause from those in attendance. The ensuing slow dance gave couples one more chance to be together before the night came to a close. It was an amazing event, that was capped of with classic “Come On Eileen.”  As the class began to sing along to the last song of the night, it was apparent how much of a success the night was, and how it would truly be a night to remember.

Also, we have fanny packs as reminders of the night, and fanny packs are the best.

Moon Jae-in President 06/15/2017

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By: Noah McAllister

Moon Jae-in Elected President of South Korea. Replaces impeached former President Park Geun-hye.

Liberal candidate Moon Jae-in was elected as the President of South Korea on May 9, 2017.  He replaces former President Park Geun-hye, who was impeached on bribery charges.  With his victory also comes victory for the Democratic Party of Korea, a leftist party, who has not seen the presidency since the election of Roh Moo-hyun in 2003.  Moon’s policy towards North Korea advocates for talk between the two countries, a change in policy from his predecessors.    

Former President Park Geun-hye was impeached as president for bribery and corruption charges.  The corruption charges centered around her and her relationship with Choi Soon-sil.  She became good friends with Choi after her mother (wife of dictator Park Chung-hee) was assassinated.  Choi used her friendship with Park to have large companies given million dollar donations to her own “charities”, which she used to funnel money to Park.  (Samsung was even a company listed that gave money to Park.)  Park was impeached on the 10 March 2017 by the Constitutional Court of Korea.  During Moon’s campaign, he claimed that he would try to put an end to “chaebol”, or dynastically run companies giving money to the government.   He was supported heavily by the young liberal bloc, who are unhappy with South Korea’s high unemployment rate and government corruption.  Even though the majority of young South Korean are highly educated, they are having a harder time finding work after they graduate.  

The Collingswood High School Annual Amazing Race 06/15/2017

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By: Dira Venable

On Thursday, May 25, five teams from all grades of the middle and high schools came together to compete in the annual Collingswood High School Amazing Race. The competition is based off of the real life television show where teams of 2 run around the world looking for clues to get to their next destination. Instead of traveling around the world, each team had to solve clues and perform tasks that would help in leading them to their next destination located somewhere on Haddon Avenue. Some locations included our very own PopShop, Wawa, police station, and even the Collingswood Manor. Tasks included having to chow down on an ice cream sundae as fast as possible, locate a certain brand of soda, take a picture behind bars, and do a dance for the members of the manor.

The overall experience of the race was fun, and I would one hundred percent recommend it to anyone who may be interested in doing it next year. It’s a great bonding experience for friends, and teaches the importance of communication and teamwork. It’s also cool to see new shops on Haddon Avenue that you may have never seen before. Additionally, the winners of the race get cool prizes like gift cards to PopShop. If none of this sounds enticing enough, there is free pizza and drinks too!