Around the School

Book Fair coming to the hub

The Hub will host a Scholastic Book Fair from Monday, June 3 to Friday, June 7. The fair will be open during school hours from 7:30-2:30, except on Friday when it will be open during Celebration of Learning -- which is a half day for students. Parents can visit the library during Celebration of Learning to purchase books. Teachers are encouraged to book times for students to shop for books during the week. The fair features books for all readers and will include some of the summer reading choices.

Summer reading

The middle school librarians in conjunction with the ELA Department and Memorial Hall Library have come up with a list of 12 suggested summer reading books for each grade level. Students must pick one book to read this summer. The final list will be posted on each school’s website and flyers will be available for students to take home. Any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mrs. Downs.

MCAS Thoughts

By: Lisa and Madeline Shin

We all love MCAS. Totally. Last week, all the students at Wood Hill Middle School had to complete the ELA MCAS on the school’s chromebooks. Everyone did one session per day and each session contained numerous questions and writing prompts. These writing prompts were thought provoking and challenging. For example, some prompts forced one to see through the perspectives of fictional characters or compare two article’s main ideas. Using inference and their own writing skills, students had to choose which answer was the best and write beautiful essays based on the passages given. Although the MCAS can get challenging, once the students finished, they were able to do whatever they wanted to do.

After the grueling hours of testing, the students were rewarded for completing MCAS with a movie. All the 6th, 7th and 8th graders gathered in the Wood Hill auditorium to watch some of the greatest animation films of all time: Incredibles 2. Highly acclaimed by movie critics, this movie cruised to earn $1.2 billion at the box office. Better, it’s been dubbed the Best Animation Film of 2018 by the National Board of Review. The movie was definitely great and many students laughed quite often.

Next week, students will have to do Math MCAS. This will obviously bring forward some hard struggles and stress to the students. Luckily, since they have started ELA MCAS, they will be prepared to face this test.

Join Our Team

Wood Hill will be participating in the Out of the Darkness Phillips Academy - Andover Campus Walk on Sunday, May 5 to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025. Join the team and help fundraise.

Wood Hill students research teen depression through speaker panel

By: Mrs. Downs

On Friday, April 5, Wood Hill Middle School hosted seven speakers as part of the seventh grade Crew Service Learning Project. The speakers served as a way for the students to research how to answer their essential question -- How can students at Wood Hill create a school community that can help reduce teen depression? -- by listening to and asking questions from a panel of experts on the topic. Each Crew group was able to listen to and interview three different speakers during the hour-long panel. Speakers moved from classroom to classroom to speak to students from 1-2 p.m.

Speakers included:

  • School social worker Hillary Brooks and Andover High school STAR program advisor Amanda DeGenova and AHS students and Wood Hill alums Chiara Holton and Becca Nash. STAR is a student-run club which stands for Students Together Are Resilient. They discussed this unique peer-to-peer support model.
  • Andover Police Community Support Sergeant Steven Gerroir and Community Support Coordinator Sobhan Namvar discussed local statistics and community supports.
  • Director of Digital Learning Joanne Najarian & Assistant Principal Linda Croteau who discussed teens’ digital life and social media.
  • Health teacher Lisa Chu who talked about making healthy choices through diet and exercise.
  • School nurse Elizabeth Canavan who answered questions on how depression affects students during the school day and how that presents itself through various symptoms.
  • Michele Lee, associate area director of eastern Massachusetts for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, who discussed suicide warning signs, how to reach out for help, and ways to start a conversation around mental health.
  • Director of the Banyan Treatment Program Matt Ganem who discussed how depression can lead to self harm and drug abuse and misuse. He shared his story and how to get help. Ganem is also a author and poet and performed his poem, “Miracles.”

Service Learning is a method of teaching and learning that challenges students to identify, research, propose and implement solutions to real needs in their school or community. After a grade-wide vote of five topics including wasting food, gun violence, the environment, tired students and teen depression, the seventh grade class chose with a 38% majority to investigate teen depression. Students said, “We chose this topic because it is a serious matter affecting teens today now more than ever and you never know who is being affected. We, the seventh grade class, want to improve the lives of students at Wood Hill. Inside many teens are struggling with sadness and stress that can lead to self harm or even suicide. It’s relevant because it affects us all.”

Some of the questions students want to learn more about include how teen depression leads to other medical problems, who it affects and how it affects people, related statistics, and how to support people suffering from it. They work on this project during their weekly Crew period on Fridays. Crew is a weekly time for students to meet with their teacher-leader in a small group setting (typically 10 students to one adult), which allows for open communication about topics of adolescent concern.


8th Graders Learn about a Variety of Careers

By Madeline and Lisa Shin

On March 15, Wood Hill eighth graders got to experience an annual special event because it was Career Day! As the eighth graders move on to high school, they are beginning to mature and start to prepare for which career path they want to experience. Career Day is meant to show students what exactly they will experience and what they need to know when they finally decide which job they might want to take.

The event was split into four sections of career opportunities: software engineering, marketing, social work, and law enforcement and justice. Parents who worked in these fields and other volunteers came to discuss about their jobs and answered questions that students gave them.

In law enforcement and justice, there were two police officers from the Andover Police Department and PAC President Ursula Furi-Perry, a family lawyer. The policemen talked about how they patrol streets and handle jobs like social media to talking about ALICE drills in schools. Ms. Furi-Perry specialized in divorces.

In social work, school social worker Mrs. Casey - who was once a juvenile probation officer - spoke to students. She explained how her job required her to help those improve their quality of life by overcoming disabilities and mental issues. She gave examples and how much she enjoyed her job. Mrs. Casey, as a juvenile probation officer, would go to court to present evidence to prove that the defendant needed help and could not function in society without intervention.

In marketing, there was a software manager and a person who worked in real estate who discussed their job and how economics work. They mentioned how their jobs allowed them to be able to connect their favorite things into a salary. These people had to learn how their customers think, so that they could earn good money. The software manager showcased a virtual motorcycle that he created on his iPad.

In software engineering, there was two software engineers who talked about how their jobs made other people’s lives easier. They talked about the pros like salary, travel, and how it was able to combine math and creative thinking together.

Career Day was an exciting day for eighth graders and for some, it was a life changing experience. It was a great time to look on job options and what each job requires.

Wood Hill supports Autism Awareness through bracelets

By: Tatum Ahearn

At the last Community Meeting, students were informed that students in Mrs. Contois and Mr. Hinckley’s classrooms would be selling autism awareness bracelets to raise awareness for autism. The sale of the bracelets will fund the SAIL group’s white water rafting trip in June.

To addition to buying bracelets to support autism awareness, students are encouraged to wear blue on April 2, Autism Awareness Day. Many students represented their dedication to Autism Awareness this Tuesday and wore their bracelets and blue clothing. In Crew, the seventh grade made t-shirts for autism awareness and many students wore them on Tuesday.

In SAIL, students can sign up to help children at Wood Hill during gym class eighth period on Mondays. Students work on the same units as the gym class during the regular day. Anyone is free to join and can mentor. SAIL is a program at Wood Hill where students help challenged students in P.E. and build friendships. Mrs. Collins and Ms. Govoni help out as teachers. You can talk to Mr. Hinckley about signing up and visit his room for a form. Right now the the program is full but next year at the beginning of the year you can sign up if you are interested.

Donate to Cradles to Crayons

By: Emily Flanagan

If you look down by the first floor landing there are three giant purple boxes. These boxes are there to collect new or gently used clothing items for kids up to age 12 or size 18. Cradles to Crayons is a non profit organization that provides homeless and low-income kids living in our states with things they need to thrive.

Matthew Webber is working with Project 351 and Cradles to Crayons for his spring service project. Project 351 is an organization that is involved in every public school district in Massachusetts. They work with the principals of the schools to choose one ambassador (one 8th grader) from one school and teach the student how to be a leader. (It's sort of like what WEB Leaders do.)

Matthew has decided to turn the donations into a competition. Each grade has a different box and the grade that donates the most clothing gets a movie with popcorn. This program will run through April 5, so donate soon!

visiting teachers bring new experiences

By: Emily Flanagan

Recently some new teachers have come to Wood Hill as part of the Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (Fulbright TEA); one of them was Maestra Jenny from El Salvador. Maestra Jenny came into Sra. Villarreal’s Spanish class every Monday. Maestra Jenny is part of the TEA Program which brought teachers from 21 different countries to UMASS Lowell this year. They all met and took teaching seminars, part of the six-week course was to get some hands on experience on teaching in America.

Maestra Jenny said that there are many differences between the classrooms here and in El Salvador. Here there are roughly 20 students to a class, in El Salvador there are around 40-60 students per class. Instead of having the students switch classrooms, the teachers move from classroom to classroom. There is also only one classroom per grade. Can you imagine having to take all of your classes with the entire grade in one room?!

The other big difference is technology. Here we use technology frequently. Every student has their own laptop and most students have phones. Teachers also have their own laptops and a projector in each room. El Salvador has none of that. Students and teachers don't have their own computers and there are no classroom projectors. We are very lucky to be able to have technology that is available to us during class times.

Spanish class takes on Don Quijote

By: Emily Flanagan

Don Quijote is a well loved book written by Miguel de Cervantes around 400 years ago. Don Quijote de La Mancha is credited as being the first ever fictional novel. This year Senora Villarreal’s eighth grade Spanish classes will be putting on an original production of Don Quijote. Sra. Villarreal and Mrs. Murray chose Don Quijote because it is a fun book and still relatable today.

Students will be writing and producing this original play -- this is both exciting and a challenge for both teachers and students. Another challenge is making the magic of the book come to life. Don Quijote is crazy (muy loco) and often sees things differently from everyone else. For example he sees windmills as 100 armed monsters. The play will be performed in mid-March and the whole school will be invited.

To kickoff the play the Spanish classes got together and built prototype statues of the famous Picasso painting. They also interpreted famous quotes and made their own kennings. Kennings are a compound word used to describe a person place or thing. In this case they either described Don Quijote or his chubby sidekick Sancho Panza.

Throughout the year students will be practicing like crazy and learning more about Don Quixote's world. They will do this through different types of media such as the Don Quijote cartoon, artwork, and different songs in music class. There are many options for the classes to read.

Don Quijote has been translated into 145 different languages, has been made into a graphic novel, junior reader books, songs, and a tv show. The students have even read a page from the original novel. The students learned to play Gordon Lightfoot's Don Quixote and then wrote parody ballads of it that they will play in the show. Below is a link to the song.

Gordon Lightfoot's Don Quixote

Students take on staff in basketball game

By Lisa and Madeline Shin

This basketball game pairs the students against the teachers. Six student teams with boys, girls and a mix battled teachers for the win on Friday, Feb. 15. During this annual event, like the Turkey Bowl, the teachers always win and have never lost. Although some periods of the basketball tournament looked opportune for the 50 plus students participating, they lost a crushing defeat to the teachers.

The game was held after eighth grade lunch and kicked off February vacation. The PE teachers chose basketball because they are currently teaching the sport to students, explained Mr. Saalfrank and Mrs. Garabedian.

Students also helped out with scoring the game and Mr. Saalfrank served as the referee. Around fifteen staff members participated.

“We all love basketball. It’s a fun sport to play. It can be intense; you’re working together as a team,” said the PE teachers.

WHMS Yearbook coming together

By Lisa and Madeline Shin

Who doesn’t want to remember a year of hanging out with friends or watching yourself eat lunch? With a yearbook you can. Led by WHMS teacher Mrs. Veznaian, the Yearbook Club is a group of hardworking students who hopes this yearbook will be as impressive as it was last year and the year before. Currently Wood Hill yearbooks are on sale for $35.

Q: Do you use any apps to create this yearbook?

A: Yes, it's the app the yearbook company provides. They call it their online creator. I am not sure if it has a name. This app allows to format pages, backgrounds, and select pictures. This helps with designing too.

Q: Are there are any funny bits?

A: Everything is funny, well, not everything, some of them are. Some of the candids are really humourous to see.

Q: How much will a yearbook cost?

A: It will be 35 dollars for one yearbook.

Q: When will it come out?

A: The last week of school is when it will come out.

Q: How many pictures go into a yearbook?

A: I would say about 1200 to 1500 pictures. In order to get enough good pictures, you need at least 5000 pictures. This is because some of them are duplicates, blurry, or feature the same kids over and over. You need at least four times the regular amount to get quality photos.

Q: How much effort goes into making a yearbook?

A: Tons of effort, really a lot. We have about six kids who come regularly every week and that starts at the last week of September and to April. I do lots of work when they are not here, so it's really a massive effort, I would say. “The most challenging things is to try to get an equal representation of everyone in this school. It’s hard to not leave someone out because you might not know who they are and there are a lot of kids,” said Mrs. Veznaian.

8East students take on Capstone projects

By: Lisa and Madeline Shin

This year is quite special, as the Capstone Program has come into Wood Hill Middle School. Mrs. Veznaian, ELA teacher on 8East, is heading it and thanks to her the program has taken great strides for the six participating students. Capstone is about researching a problem or a topic that one may really enjoy in the world and making a final product from it, like a paper or video.

Q: Where did the idea of Capstone come from?

A: Steve Chinosi, who is the Director of Strategic Innovation at Andover. He brought that idea into the school. They’ve been doing it at the high school for a while.

Q: What is the importance of Capstone?

A: It's important in designing and researching something that you are passionate about. Basically, it is a research topic that you feel really content about.

Q: How are the kids?

A: I think they are great and they are motivated. They are taking a logical approach to their research, and one of the best things is that everyone involved is doing this voluntarily without having a grade attached to it.

Q: Could you describe the Capstone blog?

A: The Capstone blog is my favorite part of Capstone so far. It is a Google Classroom devoted to the sharing of ideas of each student’s project. It also gives the participant a chance to bounce ideas ideas off each other.

Q: What is the ultimate goal?

A: Well, to me, the ultimate goal is to learn something new, well the final product is important, but the paramount thing is really what you are learning on your own.

Q: What has been your favorite moment so far?

A: I think my favorite part so far was when I saw that the students were committing to Capstone. I was excited to see six people that were excited to do it.

7 East visits downtown Andover for fieldwork

By: Madeline and Lisa Shin

Students on 7 East are giving back to their community. This project was inspired by the book Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. The book is about a diverse cast of characters as they transform a bad place into a blooming and vibrant garden. They also change too as they go through character development. The 7 East Fieldwork will ultimately change its participants as they learn how everyone is involved in the community.

Students are going to be interviewing different people in the Andover community and get an appreciation of how everybody in the community is connected and paramount. The project began Monday and is being led by ELA teacher Mr. Wood and Principal Mr. Bucco. The students started developing questions.

“Well, Mr. Wood and I were talking, and it's something that is passionate and appreciation from the community, which I didn’t get from growing up. I wanted out of the town Newburyport, which is located in Massachusetts,” said Mr. Bucco.

Winter Concert coming Thursday

By Sharayu Josh and Emma Capaldi

The Winter Concert is coming Thursday, Jan. 31, at 1 and 7 p.m., and will be held in the Wood Hill Auditorium. This is the second concert this year, featuring Band, Orchestra, and Chorus. Orchestra teachers Ms. Elliot and Mrs. Diehl, Band teacher Mr. Wright, and Ms. Bobson and Mrs. Pratt, Chorus teachers, will be conducting. The concert is open to Wood Hill students, performers and their families. Attending is free, so if you have some time, you may want to come and end your day with some music!

Into the woods jr-Update

By: Emily Flanagan

A lot of things have changed this year when it comes to Wood Hill’s musical…from the teachers running it, to the actual play, to even the theme. Mrs. Rey and Mrs. Murray ran the play every year for a very long time. Now however, Ms. Bobzin and Ms. Govoni will be running the play. Originally the plays used to be more classic type plays. For example two years ago they did Grease and last year they did The Music Man. This year the teachers are changing it up with a play you’ve probably heard of, Into the Woods Jr. This show based on Grimm’s fairy tales premiered on Broadway in 1987 and was turned into a Disney movie starring Anna Kendrick and Meryl Streep in 2014.

Ellen Pechinsky (Narrator): “I get to connect with my fellow castmates through fun theater games. And it doesn't matter what grade or age you are because every role is important.”

Lauren Mahoney (Cinderella): I like that we are doing Into the Woods Jr this year. It is one of my favorite musicals. I am excited to play the part of Cinderella. The whole cast is working very hard and have become a close family. Ms Bobzin and Ms Govoni are excellent teacher and we are sure to put in a great show. Hope you come and see it!”

Madison Dutily (Cinderella's Mother): “I think the play is really fun and it gives you an opportunity to branch out, make new friends, and discover your talent.”

Ellie McGrath (Witch): “I love the story and the fun characters that come along with it.”

Canada Trip!!

Wood Hill French students heading to Canada

By Sharayu Josh and Emma Capaldi

If you take French or even if you don’t, you may have heard of the upcoming Canada trip! This trip will be led by Wood Hill French teacher Mlle. Cabaret and 8th grade teachers Mrs. Driscoll and Mr. Govoni from April 13-17. This will be Mlle. Cabarets’ second trip to Canada with students. The trip was open to 7th and 8th graders, and there will be 22 students going. We did an interview with Mademoiselle Cabaret about the trip:

Q: Why are you going?

A: Because I believe that middle schoolers should be able to travel and experience the culture. Most trips like this are in high school, so most middle schoolers don't get a chance to go on big school trips.

Q: Is the trip designed to help kids learn more French in the real world?

A: Yes. Quebec City speaks all French, and the official language is French. Quebec is very close to France, and they don't want/speak English.

Q: How should the students going prepare?

A: Speak French! They should also prepare to write a comparison of Canada to U.S.A once we come back. They will be able to bring a phone and/or a camera, some money to buy souvenirs, and most students are bringing a diary or a sketchbook. You should also bring warm clothes! In April, it will still be cold in Canada.

Q: How are you going, and how long will the trip take?

A: We will go by bus to Quebec City, and it will be about 7 hours plus the rest stops.

Q: What are they going to see?

A: A lot. They will be going, as you may have figured out, to Canada, and will be staying in both Quebec City and Montreal. In Quebec City, the students will be going on an Old Quebec City Tour, as well as seeing the Château Frontenac, (where the students will be given a fancy breakfast), a maple sugar shack tour, and will see the Montmorency Falls. In Montreal, the students will tour the Olympic Park Observatory (which was built for the 1976 Olympic games), which holds a record for being the tallest leaning tower in the world, making it taller than the leaning tower of Pisa. They will also see, (not attend!), McGill University, and see the Bell Center, the Notre-Dame Basilica, and a shopping center that is completely underground! They will be able to enjoy the local delicacies, such as poutine, maple syrup, and Tim Horton’s tidbits, (which are much like McDonald’s munchkins).

You can see some pictures in the Photos page.

Bringing winter cheer through song

By: Tatum Ahearn

Wood Hill seventh graders performed singing telegrams to students and teachers at Wood Hill and High Plain Elementary last month. The students play instruments while delivering holiday cheer through song. All students in Mrs. Murray’s music class perform and play various instruments; some sing, play piano, guitar, and even the bells!

The singing telegrams usually get delivered before winter break in late December. Some of the songs included are about spreading love and cheer, and others are about relatives and family.

It is nice to celebrate the holiday season and spread holiday cheer, and in a music class the best way is delivering joyful winter songs. Mrs. Murray has made this a tradition and has been doing it for the seventh grade for many years.

Students bring a cart around the school with the heavier instruments like the drums and amplifiers for the electric guitars. Then they go caroling door-to-door with holiday songs and cheers. Students from the classroom stop their class to come watch the seventh graders perform. Then, they are off to their next class.

Seventh graders attend A Christmas Carol at NSMT

By: Tatum Ahearn

On December 5, the seventh grade visited North Shore Music Theatre to watch A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens. This story is a classic and one of the greatest books ever written. Believe it or not, it was written in six weeks.

Charles Dickens wrote it because he was very poor and needed the money. His father was just put in prison and his family wasn’t doing too well without him. Charles was sent to work in the factories at a very young age and he wrote this book since his family needed the money.

To watch the play gives students a better understanding of the novel. Mr. Wood and Ms. Desjardins organize the event. This field trip is an annual trip and many students enjoy it.

A Christmas Carol is about a greedy man named Scrooge, who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. He was first visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, then the Ghost of Christmas Present, and lastly, the Ghost of Christmas Future. The job of the ghosts is to change Scrooges’ snotty attitude into a pleasant one and showing him how his behavior has affected those around him. The book has won many awards and is one of many classics written by Charles Dickens.

KNITTING CLUB

By: Christina and Abinaya

One of the most recent addition to the after-school activity list is the knitting club. The knitting club is run by two seventh-graders; Christina Ilie, and Abinaya Ganesh. Knitters of all experience levels meet every Thursday, from 2:15-3:15 in the Hub. You can learn how to knit or work on your own project! The plan for the knitting club is so that we can be able to knit scarves as a community service project for those in need. And no, knitting is not just for grandmas. It can be a fun, relaxing hobby and pastime.

Teachers win the turkey bowl (again)

By: Emily Flanagan

Every year, right before turkey day, the eighth grade plays a flag football game against the Wood Hill staff. And every year, the eighth grade loses, and no I am not joking! In 16 years, the eighth grade has lost every year. Unfortunately, this year was no exception, the eighth grade lost 18-0. The flag football sporting event was created to bring students and staff together and create a fun school tradition. The annual event has been held since 2002.

Some years the eighth grade has lost by as many as seven touchdowns during the Turkey Bowl. This year the eighth grade only lost by three, so that's the good news. The bad news is the teachers scored the only three touchdowns of the game, the students scored 0.

It was a chilly but bright day on Nov. 21, and after so much rain and snow the field was very slippery. It had snowed the day before and the field was covered in it. That didn't stop the rest of the school from cheering on from the sidelines. During the first quarter there was plenty of diving and sliding and face planting. All in all though a great showing and a super fun day!

Math Counts! AFTERSCHOOL CLUB

By: Emma Capaldi

Math Counts! is an after school club run by Mr. Xu, a parent of a student at Wood Hill.

Math Counts! is open to all grades, and is great for people who really like math. Math Counts! is a competitive club, meaning you will be competing, (if you pass the test), with people from all over the town, county, state, and country! WHM last year, got to state competition, and would like to get there again this round. Math Counts!, contrary to some belief, is not the same as math team.

Math Counts! has much harder problems,(about the average 8th grade level), as well as staying much later than most clubs. Math Counts! is on Fridays, from 2:15 to 3:40 on full days. Materials needed are a pencil, (necessary), and a calculator, (optional).This club does have homework, ranging from 25-40 questions, all multi-step problems.

Dia de los muertos at whms

By: Emily Flanagan

Dia de los Muertos, or day of the dead is November first. The day is celebrated in many Spanish speaking countries as a day to remember their dead loved ones. People visit cemeteries, bake food, and build altars. This year the Spanish classes worked to create an altar for Wood Hill. It included everything an altar in Mexico or Ecuador or Spain would include. There was a variety of food, flowers were spread out around the table. There was also papel picado, literally cut paper. Papel picado is paper that is cut into elaborate designs that many people hang around Dia de los Muertos altars.

The seventh and eighth grade classes chose a family member that had passed as recently as two weeks ago to many years ago and wrote a paragraph about them. They also included a picture of the family member. These pictures hung on the wall behind the altar, the students made these so they could honor their family members in a very traditional way.

Who wants a Cookie?

By:Emily Flanagan

Everyone loves cookies! I mean, seriously, the average American adult eats 19,000 cookies in their lifetime, according to the Daily Mail. During the beginning months of the school year, Wood Hill students sold cookie dough, to their family, friends, and neighbors. The homeroom that sold the most cookies got to have a pizza party and got to enjoy having bragging right, until the next fundraiser, of course…

The homeroom that sold the most cookies was Mr.Wood's with a total of 81 boxes. That's seven more than the winning homeroom last year! The sixth grade won the grand prize with a total of 167 boxes. The seventh grade came in close with a grand total of 163 boxes. The eighth grade came in dead last with a total of 76 boxes. The whole school sold 435 boxes, which is 25 more than last year, way to go! The students raised $2,958 for the school! Way to go Wood Hill!

After Schol Activity: Meet the GSA club

By: Emily Flanagan

A lot of kids around school have been wondering what the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) club does. A while ago an anonymous student was interested in getting the club going. They went to Mr. Bucco and Dr. Croteau who gave their full support and got it up and running. As for what they usually do at meetings, that is not certain. They don't even know what they are going to be doing, but hope to build a welcoming community at Wood Hill. Mr. Bucco called it a very organic club, meaning they are open to all options. The members are going to talk to the GSA club at the high school to find out more of what they do. During one of their meetings the GSA club came up with a list of novels to add to The Hub’s collection. They want novels that represent the LGBTQIA+ community with characters that represent all kinds of people.

What does LGBTQIA+ stand for? The plus at the end stands for everyone. The other letters stand for other sexualities and genders. The L stands for lesbian, the G stands for gay, the B stands for bisexual, the T stands for transgender, the Q stands for queer, the I stands for inter-sex, and the A stands for Assexual.

The GSA Club meets at 2:15 in the conference room in the office, all are welcome to join!

Music of the Night at the Collins Center

By Sharayu Josh & Emma Capaldi

Music of the Night was held in the Collins Center on Monday, Oct. 29, and it was a big success! The concert featured performances from all three Andover middle schools bands, orchestras, and choruses. All performers were dressed in their Halloween costumes.

The orchestras played Legend of Dark Mountain, Theme from Symphony no. 1, and Danse Macabre. The bands played Mission Impossible, and Highland Cathedral. The choruses sang an old religious hymn and Double Double, Toil and Trouble, from Macbeth. Ms. Elliot, the orchestra teacher, said that this year we had the “largest audience ever,” compared to past years, and she was “really pleased with the way all the choruses, bands, and orchestras played.”

Many community members attended and the Collins Center was packed. A big thank you goes out to Ms. Elliot and Mrs. Diehl, the orchestra teachers, Mr. Wright, the band teacher, and Ms. Bobzin and Mrs. Pratt, the chorus teachers. Also thanks to Mrs. Bickford, for taking some of her time to come to the concert and play piano to go with the chorus songs.

7th grade returns from Camp Kieve

By: Tatum Ahearn

As you may know, the seventh graders just got back from Camp Kieve! If you don’t know what Kieve is, it’s The Leadership School at Kieve Wavus, a leadership sleepaway school for four nights. Camp Kieve is in Nobleboro, Maine and it takes around 3 hours to get there. The school teaches students how to be good listeners and speakers, and to work with a team, and maybe even to lead one!

At Camp Kieve they have an indoor and outdoor ropes course. At both courses, they have one student climbing and one student belaying. Belaying is when you are attached to the climber by a rope and as they climb higher, you walk backwards. When they are ready to fall they say the special commands.

Climber: “Ready”

Belay team: “Ready”

Climber: “Falling”

Belay team: “Fall away”

And they say the same thing when they are starting to climb, but substituting falling and fall away as climbing, climb away. Students are challenged to climb high into the sky, they also have to trust their teammates and always stay positive.

Everyday the students have three meals and three snacks. The schedule goes a little like this, breakfast - snack - lunch - snack - dinner - snack - bedtime. Every meal students measure ort. “Ort” is an old english word that means food waste. They weigh food waste from each table and for breakfast and dinner, if your table didn’t have any food scraps, you can do a chant or song about your cabin being ort free.

Students have multiple blocks throughout the day. Some of them are environmental, solo, ropes, and free period. For environmental, you do things that involve nature and the world around you like tree tag or fort building. For solo block, you sit and relax. It is a time for self reflection and just a way to chill. Ropes, is obviously the ropes course. There are so many cool obstacles, but this reporter’s favorite was the 50-foot telephone pole. Pretty much how it works is there is a counselor at the bottom belaying you and you have to climb a 50-foot telephone poll and then you have to stand up on the top and jump to a trapeze about 5 feet away. If you miss, the counselor will catch you and you will slowly fall to the ground, but if you make the jump, you will say your commands and let go of the bar. And last but not least is free period. How this time works is you have a choice between like 10 or so activities like recess, gaga ball, tie dye, chill, fishing, frisbee, soccer, basketball, floor hockey and more! You get to chose your activity. You have to free periods or choice times in a day.

Camp Kieve was such a fun experience and everyone learned so much.

Want to see more pics?

Wood Hill staff put together a website of pictures from this year’s trip.

Access ramp opens

The Athletic Field Accessibility project opened on Friday, October 5 at Wood Hill Middle School and High Plain Elementary schools. The access ramp will connect the schools' playground area to the lower fields and includes a walkway and slides.

The project was championed by parent Carlene Bell-Flanagan, whose son Liam is a seventh grader at Wood Hill. Students watched construction progress on the ramp last spring and even studied its construction in Engineering class. Mrs. Flanagan wanted all students to be able to use the athletic field and have fun with their friends. Her main concern was that some students were unable to use the fields and she didn't want their friends to have to chose, so she had a dream, and she worked for it to become a reality.

Architecture firm Lemon Brooke created the design. Construction work was performed by Cella Construction. Andover’s Plant and Facilities Project Manager Ihor Raniuk oversaw the project.

After School Activity: Rec Room

In Mr. Wood's room there is ping pong and lots of fun activities!

The students are having a blast at the after school activity of Rec Room. There is ping pong tournament there.

After School Activity: Remote Control Cars Club

By: Emily Flanagan and Tatum Ahearn

On Tuesdays you can join the Remote Control Cars Club in the engineering room. The club was started by eighth grader Tyler Drummey and seventh grader John Croll, who have a passion for racing and fooling around with remote control cars. The pair make their own cars, replace broken parts, and buy pre-made cars. As a note to those who may want to join you might want to bring you own car. The club occasionally will have an extra but not that often. If you show up without a car you run the risk of not having a car to drive.

The club uses transmitters or remote controls. Some equipment that is necessary to run the cars is batteries, transmitters, and obviously the car itself. The remotes have a toggle which controls the direction, speed and other cool features. This club is a fun after school activity that all are welcome to join, you might even find yourself a new hobby!

After school activity: Debate Club

By: Elisabeth and Madeline Shin

Are you nervous speaking publicly? Eighth graders Elisabeth and Madeline Shin are here to help. They want to teach students how to speak articulately and no longer be nervous speaking publicly. Students can practice those skills at Speech and Debate Club, held after schools on Mondays in the orchestra room in The Hub.

Back in 2017, one might have noticed that the Speech and Debate club did not exist. Luckily, one student, Sophie Chen, had a big passion for debate and wanted to share it with others. She knew how paramount public speaking was to one’s esteem, while realizing that debate improves civility in others. Last year, she ran the club as a scholar, leader, and a moral guide.

Unfortunately, she had to move to high school this year and for a time, the Debate Club looked like it was lost forever. Late into last year, the Shin sisters decided to continue the club for this year. They plan to teach the basics of debate and public speaking to those who attend the debate club. They believe it is important to know how to counter against another in an argument and have a moderate pace, but loud tone while speaking.