Juniors Receive College Book Awards

by Nicole Sklitsis

On Tuesday June 7th, fourteen IHS juniors received College Book Awards from a number of prestigious institutions.  The College Book Awards are given to students who have been both  top scholars and talented participants in extracurricular activities.

Students received the following awards:

Emma Castiblanco –Mount Holyoke College

Ryan Meng Killeen –Harvard University

Evan Pickar-Brandeis University

Clara Montgomery –University of  Pennsylvania

Riley Conklin-George Washington University

Yuri Sugihara-Wellesley  College

Dorian Barber-Dartmouth  College

Emma DeRose-Dartmouth College

Bradley Goldsmith-Cornell University

Lydia Pak-Columbia University

Zoe Mermelstein-Yale University

Hope Gray –St. Michael’s College

Gabe Siegel –St. Michael’s College

Atsuyo Shimizu-Smith College

Therapy Dog Visits the Irvington Bulldogs

by Nikki Kandler

On Tuesday April 7, Eli, certified therapy dog, visited the Irvington High School Explorations program.

Explorations teacher Mrs. Sewalk found Eli through the Good Dog Foundation, a certified organization that provides registered therapy dogs to those who would benefit from it. She

invited the canine and his handler to work with her class because she feels “therapy dogs help the kids out a lot, and having the therapy dog come to the classroom is a great way to have them learn in a safe environment.”

Pet therapy has many benefits for children with special needs. According to Paws for People, a leading pet therapy organization, pet therapy “lessens depression, decreases feelings of isolation and alienation, encourages communication, and helps children overcome speech and emotional disorders.”

Mrs. Sewalk says the kids loved the experience. “The kids really enjoyed playing with the dog, they were super excited because they got to pet Eli, feed him and play fetch with him.”

Before the visit, Mrs. Sewalk checked with families to ensure that students did not suffer allergies to canines or their saliva. In the past Mrs. Sewalk had instituted a program where therapy animals visited, but it was stopped as soon as a student with canine allergies came to her class. With the help of Irvington High School English teacher Ms. Ippolito, who introduced Mrs. Sewalk to Eli’s handler, Mrs. Sewalk was able to reintroduce therapy animals to her classroom.                                                                                    

Mrs. Sewalk felt the program was a great success, stating,  “Some of the kids who were very scared of Eli at the beginning of the session, ended up with Eli on their laps by the end.” Mrs. Sewalk hopes that in the future  she can introduce pet therapy as a regularly scheduled activity for her students.

IHS Art Show 2016

by Jack Silverstein

Student artwork of all types will be exhibited at the 2016 Irvington High School Art Show this Thursday and Friday.  

Works displayed include photography, paintings, architectural drawings and handmade clothing, to name just a few.  Junior Gabe Siegel was among the students who personalized his display space; he built a room to showcase his artwork.

The opening reception will begin on Thursday at 6:30 PM, before the band concert at 7:30. For the first time this year, teachers can sign up to have their classes tour the show during the school day, with art students acting as guides. Art teacher Patrick DiBenedetto says that the art students are there  “to make it more intuitive and to let people see the artists behind the work.”

High Prices Don’t Suit Students

By Andres Picon

With prom less than two months away, many students are beginning to make their plans, including what to wear and who to go with. But behind all the glamour there is a huge price tag. In fact, the excessive cost of prom is making some students think twice about attending in the first place.

Senior Henry Green exclaimed, “The prices of prom tickets are absurd!” He and Joelle Herbert, among others, actually considered not going to the prom because of the expenses. Herbert said, “One night of my summer is not worth $600.” She says that if she were to not go to prom, she would attend a concert instead, where she would pay less and have more fun.

The average price for a tuxedo rental (including shoes) ranges between $100 and $200. The bouquet of flowers used for the “promposal” can cost between $20 and $40 and the corsage costs about $30. Tickets themselves cost about $85 each, so if the guy were to pay for himself and his date, he would have to pay at least $170. In total, the average guy could easily end up paying more than $400.

For girls the cost is often even greater. Prom dresses can cost around $200, the shoes alone can cost $100, a professional hair-styling costs around $100, getting one’s makeup done could cost around $75, a pedicure and manicure can cost up to $40 together, and the price of jewelry varies depending on preference. The total cost could end up being more than $515, not including the price of the $85 ticket, which would make it at least $600.

But the IHS student council has recognized the fact that going to prom can be quite expensive. This year, Bryce Deziel, a senior member of the student council organized a fundraiser that would pay for improvements to the prom, while keeping the price of the ticket the same. More than half of the staff at IHS purchased black long-sleeve t-shirts that said “Irvington Staff” on them, raising more than $400 to pay for a photographer, flower centerpieces, and balloon decorations.

Senior Brandon Hirsh, who will be going to the prom, said “I’d be mad if the expenses made the school a profit, but I understand the reasons for the cost.” Hebert has also decided to go despite the expenses. “It’s easy to bargain shop and spend less,” she said. She plans on spending around $130, allowing her to have a good time without draining her wallet.

Narayan Twins Named Valedictorian and Salutatorian

As the first semester of the 2015-2016 school year came to a close, many seniors awaited the results of their final calculated grade point averages. After the calculations were complete, Sweta Narayan was named valedictorian alongside sister Swati Narayan, who was named salutatorian for the class of 2020. The Irvington High School staff and student body would like to congratulate the Narayan twins for their academic accomplishments! The two will speak at the graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 in June.

IHS Staff Dresses Down to Dress Prom Up

by Rachel Gideon

At this year’s Color Wars,  students represented their grades in a sea of yellow, blue, red, and green for the final day. Among the rainbow of colors, it was impossible not to notice that the staff was unified in sporting black long sleeve shirts. The shirts were sold in order to raise money to fund a professional photographer and decorations  for the prom.

Senior Julia Crespo designed the popular shirts that were bought by over half the staff and raised a total of 400 dollars. Senior student council member Bryce Deziel, who organized the selling of the staff shirts with the help of Senior class advisor Ms. Julian, thought “it was a good idea to raise money for the prom, so it can be more fun and enjoyable for the student body this year.”

The money will be used to fund flower centerpieces, balloon decorations, and a photographer. The student council wanted to improve the quality of the prom without raising the price of the ticket, so they are exploring fundraising options like this T-shirt sale.

About a week before Color Wars, every teacher received an email from Deziel offering T-shirts at a cost of twenty dollars. The profit of each shirt was roughly eight dollars, after taking into account the cost of the product and printing.  Ms. Julian stated, “I was thrilled how quickly the teachers responded. The shirts flew off the shelf.”

With the addition of the professional photos and classic decorations, the student council hopes that the 2016 Prom will be a memorable night for all who attend.

Go Fro-Yo

by Edwin O’Neill

Recently TCBY frozen yogurt has taken the cafeteria by storm. An overwhelming majority of students are avid fans of the creamy dessert, although some are critiquing the consistency and flavor.

The frozen treat is available in five flavors: chocolate, cake batter, cookies and creme, strawberry and vanilla. The chocolate flavor seems to be the most sought-after, as most days the classic flavor is sold out by the later lunch periods. The sales for the product have been incredibly strong, selling over 500 units during the first two days they were available.

Student reaction to the frozen yogurt has been incredibly positive. Many students have already tried all of the flavors and chosen their favorites.  Tyler Jones shared, “My favorite flavor is the original vanilla.”

Senior Kody Morris expressed his love for the birthday cake flavor, because “everyday’s my birthday when I have it.”

Senior T.J Heying gushed that he loved how real the yogurt tasted, stating, “The strawberry tastes like strawberry”.

However, some students are harsh critics of the popular dessert. Andrew Sahawneh, a sophomore, is not a fan, stating, “It’s not the yummiest froyo I’ve ever eaten that’s for sure!”

    According to Mr. Alberts, the director of Aramark food services, the school started offering froyo because it is a  “smart snack compliant product” suited for warmer weather. In regard to complaints that the yogurt is too hard, Mr. Alberts commented that he is working to adjust the refrigerator system.

Sophomores Dominate 2016 Color Wars!

For the first time in years, the senior class was dominated by the  younger grades placing them in third. The sophomore class surprised Irvington High School students as they ruled the relay race, tug of war, knock- out, and the shirt design contest. Congratulations to all grades for a very successful and spirited Color Wars!

Color Wars Final Results:

1. Sophomores

2. Juniors

3. Seniors

4. Freshmen

Selenow Leaves Lasting Legacy for IHS Theater

by Luke Selenow and Ian Reilly

Diana Selenow is going out with a bang with her final production as head of the Irvington High School Drama Club. The spring production of Shrek! the Musical featured a talented cast including Nick Panjwani, Grace Webber, and Jared Egloff.  

Selenow has directed 35 shows in 20 years at Irvington High School, including Grease, Damn Yankees, and Babes In Arms. These shows are personal favorites of Selenow’s, and were each staged multiple times in her two decade run.

The Shrek program dedicated space to final words from Selenow, who declined an interview request stating she stood by her notes in the program.   She wrote, “It’s almost impossible to believe that it was nineteen years ago when I was asked to jump-start a theater program that had been dormant at IHS for over three years. That first year, Dames at Sea had thirteen kids onstage, two backstage and my friends Sue Kafer and Thom Johnson in the pit. I was hooked.”

Selenow believes that the positive effects of school theater are far-reaching. She noted, “Participating in educational theater is valuable because whether they want a professional career, or just decide to be there because their friends are, it’s something they can do purely for experience. An experience that includes getting to know and respect kids who wouldn’t otherwise be a part of their lives.”

One thing that IHS Drama Club members  agree on is the sense of family between cast members. “I actually call Diana, ‘Aunt Diana,’” explained five-time cast member Jake Staropoli. “It’s almost as if my family is literally in Shrek with me,” said senior Michael Sagan, “It’s all because of Diana, too. She makes us feel like we’re all her children.”

“[Diana] really knows what she’s doing. She’s a professional,” shared IHS science teacher Gerri Winterroth. She added, “having had children in the high school, I think she knows how to handle them.” Ms. Winterroth has been playing piano in the pit band for the musicals the past six years, and is a close friend of Selenow’s.

One member of the IHS Drama Club whose name has remained part of the drama club’s culture long after his 2003 graduation, is IHS alum Norm Quach. Quach has since become a mascot of sorts for the group. As the only male twelfth-grader in his senior year production of Babes in Arms, Quach became the centerpiece of a pre-show chant coined “quaching.” Before opening night, the male cast members gather into the fire exit stairwell and call Norm Quach. The cast members circle around the phone and start chanting “Quach” at low repetitions but they get much louder and faster until it ends with screaming and banging.

“I’ve ‘quached’ over a dozen times,” shared senior Adam Segreti. “It’s not even really about Norm anymore,” added Segreti, “It’s all about bringing [the cast] together as a family, and getting us hyped for the show.”

 

In addition to ‘quaching,’ there’s another peculiar tradition that has lived on through the years. “Before every show, we take lipstick and write ‘Johan’ on the wall of the makeup room,” explained junior Bradley Goldsmith. Johan Buchen, a member of the class of 2014, was a lifelong member of the IHS Drama Club. “It says ‘Johan’ fifteen different places in the makeup room,” shared freshman Julia Moss.

The district has not announced Selenow’s replacement.