No More Chairs at PCS!
La Famille Addams
The Addams Family
On March 8th and 9th 2019, PCS Drama Club presented The Addams Family musical. Charles Addams created The Addams Family as a comic for The New Yorker in 1932. The Addams Family then became a television show on the ABC network that aired in 1964 through 1967. The show was received well by the public and achieved a large viewership. The TV series then became into a movie in 1991 called The Addams Family, followed by the 1993 film called Addams Family Values, and in 1998 a direct to video film was made which was called Addams Family Reunion. The iconic show and movies was then made into a Broadway musical starting in 2010 that originally starred Nathan Lane as Gomez, and Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia. The Addams Family has had a cultural effect, and it’s popular theme song can now be heard playing at sporting events. Unfortunately, The Addams Family musical closed in 2011 on Broadway.
For 29 years Potsdam Central School has participated in the French Exchange. In 1991, the High School french teachers began this program which set in motion an amazing opportunity for Potsdam Juniors or Seniors enrolled in a french course.
Potsdam students have the opportunity to host their french correspondent for approximately two weeks, providing them with meals and a place to sleep. During the day, the french will travel to different areas, including Lake Placid, parts of Canada, and New York City, while experiencing different food, people, and cultures!
After days full of activities and fun, the exchange normally comes to a close with a potluck dinner with all the Americans and French. The last few days, the students get a different taste of the US and travel to New York City to wrap up their trip and fly from there back home.
After a few weeks of being away, it is time for the students to reunite across the Atlantic Ocean in France! The American students stay with their french correspondent and are fully emerged into the french language and culture. The students visit paris and museums and get to explore some of the treasures that France holds! From cafes to castles, the students are able to form a knowledge of the real french culture.
However unforgettable these excursions may be, the friendships formed will speak for themselves. Regardless of the language barrier or the thousands of miles that separate the Americans from the French, the students are able to overcome these obstacles and create a memorable friendship. It is no wonder that the exchange is still thriving after all these years!
Jake's Good Things
The P2 moment that started over 3 years ago at PCS is now branching out to local businesses. Each month, Jake’s on the Water is giving the Jake’s Good Things Happen Person of the Month Award; a $100 gift card to someone in our school community who has strengthened their surroundings by their good deeds and actions. This is a collaboration with the Positivity Project, highlighting the importance of caring about other people. Students and staff can fill out an application for their nominee using the link below, or by accessing it on the school’s website. So far, there have been three winners: Mrs. Tharrett, Mr. Scordo, and Mrs. Brosell. Lynn Tharrett is a fifth grade teacher who is battling cancer for the third time. However, she never gives up, and considers her students family. Sean Scordo is a gym teacher at the elementary school, and he is a dedicated member of the school community and is a hero to many students. Lastly, Miranda Brosell, the art teacher at the middle school, won the award. She goes above and beyond in her work, and always has a smile on her face. All of these well-earned rewards are for outstanding people in our school community, and set an example that we should all strive to match.
Happy Valentines Day!
Boys Swim Team
This school year, PCS has added a new sports team to it’s repertoire, the CLP boys swim team. This team is shared between PCS, Canton Central, and Lisbon Central School. Boys at these schools previously did not have a boys swim team to join, and many previously swam on the girls swim teams. Kobe Cooper, who started out on the girls team at PCS explains the need for a boys team and the process that occured to start a new interscholastic boys team. He explains that this all started when Canton Central School filed a lawsuit against the PCS girls swim team for allowing boys to swim on their team. This forced the boys swim team merger between Potsdam, Canton, and Lisbon. Despite the initial obstacles of being from different schools, the team of 16 swimmers is now thriving. Kobe thanks the parents and school sports administrators for their support for the team. They now practice and compete at the Canton Central School pool. On Saturday, February 8th they will go on to compete at sectionals. This team may be new, but they are making waves with a season score of 15-2. The CLP Boys Swim Team is just another one of the many great sports teams at Potsdam Central School.
Perseverance at PCS
P2 Project Showing Support for Our Troops
At Potsdam Central School, students and staff members are taking an initiative to support deployed troops as part of a nationwide movement, R.E.D. (Remember Everyone Deployed) Fridays. As part of the Positivity Project (P2), students are coming together in support by wearing red on Fridays. The initiators of this movement at PCS are Mr. Davis, and sophomores Taylor Benda, and Megan Saber. The point of this is to try to show gratitude, and appreciation for the men and women across seas fighting for our country. Students are encouraged to wear red clothing on Fridays for this cause.
In addition to wearing red, students are also able to donate candy. Mr. Davis states, “believe it or not, they(the troops) don’t get the American candy that we’ve all grown up with. So what happens is, there are certain places in the United States where, when the troops come back from overseas they arrive at a certain base. Fort Drum is one of the places where when soldiers come back they are received by their families, politicians, and they are presented candy after they greet their families.” He also mentions how “rewarding” it feels to be able to give back just a small token of gratitude, like candy to returning soldiers for their services. He hopes to take students involved in this moment to give candy to troops next March, and believes it will be a very “humbling experience”. Mr. Davis also talks about the feelings of entitlement among many teens, and believes students should be made more aware of the sacrifices that are made by the men and women in our military. The R.E.D. Fridays movement is a reminder of the soldiers who are deployed and serving the U.S.A. .
Potsdam Varsity Football and Girls Varsity Soccer teams become Section X Champs
On Saturday, October 27th , The Potsdam Sandstoners Varsity Football team played the Franklin Academy Huskies. Although they had previously lost to Malone on October 6th, they were victorious during the championship game on October 27th, and beat the Huskies 2-0 making them Section X Class B Champions. After their win against Malone, they went on to play Beekmantown at Massena High School, on Friday, November 2nd. Although PCS tried, Beekmantown beat the sandstoners 15-0. The Sandstoners football team closed out the season with a 4-5 record ending the PCS Football team. But the football team wasn't the only team from PCS to qualify for becoming Section X Champs.
The girls soccer team also had the chance to compete in the Section X Championships. . The Potsdam Sandstoners girls soccer team played the Gouverneur Wildcats on October, 27th and won in overtime with a score of 5-4 thus becoming Section 10 Co-Champions.The regulation time ended tied 1-1 with Sophia Janoyan scoring the Potsdam goal. During a riveting overtime the Wildcats managed to score, but 8th grader, Kennedy Emerson was able to tie the game again with a goal in the final seconds. With the score still tied the game was decided in a shoot-out. The Sandstoners claimed victory in overtime penalty kicks becoming Section X Co-Champs. The girls soccer team unfortunately lost to Holland Patent 4-0 on October 30th in the first round of the regionals.
Halloween at PCS
The modified boys soccer team showing support for Johnathan.
Modified Boys Soccer Team Helps out a Classmate
Last week on Thursday, the 18th of October, the boys modified team all took the initiative to help a fellow student of theirs, Jonathan Thompson, an eighth grader at PCS in his battle with cancer.
The team all wore matching headbands and socks as a method to support Jonathan, they also helped raised money by holding a bake sale during their home game against Canton on Thursday. They had ended up losing the game 3-2, but there spirits weren’t crushed. With help from the Canton team, who held a bottle drive, and with contributions from their bakesale, they raised around 700 dollars!
Head Coach, Allie Miller, provided the entire team with matching yellow headbands that said, “JT strong”. Each player wore the same t-shirt for warm ups and yellow socks. Yellow is the color that represents Ewing Sarcoma, the cancer that Jonathan is battling. The boys soccer team is just one example on how children, no matter the age, can help make a difference in individual lives.
As a town, Potsdam has proven that it looks after one another, between fundraisers and jamborees, we have been able to help Jonathan and his family. One thing is for sure, although Potsdam may be small, when the community comes together we can make a big impact!
What's Weighing on Students?
As the students of Potsdam High School go to class, there is something weighing on them, their bookbags. Unlike at other schools, PHS allows it’s students to carry their backpacks to class. Although some students find it to be helpful, others see it as a nuisance. Parents worry about back related health issues with the added weight and would like to see a change.
Catherine Barstow, a PHS freshman stated, ¨I find it helpful, then I have everything I need with me.” Many other students share this opinion and appreciate being able to have all of the supplies they might need with them throughout the school day.
On the contrary, some students would prefer to leave their bags in a locker. ¨It's more of an annoyance for me, it hurts my back carrying it around on my shoulders¨ said student Karen Wawrzyniak. She also added, “It takes up too much space.¨ Not only students, but parents and teachers share some of these concerns. Valerie Visser, a mother, expressed her thoughts on the matter stating, ¨I’m concerned about the weight of the backpacks, I see how full they are, I’ve lifted a number of them. They are very heavy. It’s too much weight on their backs.” She continued by saying ¨I’m worried about their health as they get older they could have back problems because of these bookbags.” A number of other parents have a similar apprehension on the matter, and have heard their children complain about it various times. In addition to health concerns, safety is also a matter to consider. The principal at PHS, Mr. Bennett offered, ¨Other schools do have no backpack policies, for safety and health reasons. Canton Central this year went to a no-backpack policy.¨
When asked what could be done to resolve this issue, a large spectrum of individuals have mentioned adding a few minutes between classes. Many students would like to see this happen so they would have time to go to their lockers between classes. This solution would allow them to carry only a few things to each class, and would eliminate the need to carry a backpack. Although this sounds like a simple fix, according to Mr. Bennett it would be more difficult than it might seem. He explains, ¨If we went up to 7 minutes of passing time, that would be 16 minutes onto the schedule.” and continues with, “ You have a couple different options, either we shorten periods and bring them down closer to the minimum amount of time the state will allow, or you have to look at the time of minutes in your day. So what that would mean is, looking at if we would have to extend the school day slightly to accommodate the extra passing time.” He emphasizes, “We would have to have students on board with that pursuit to change to require them not to carry backpacks.” His statements helps to convey the ramifications of this “solution”, and how it would affect the school day.
How to Include People with Autism
As people with autism of Potsdam High School may be going through difficult times, it is important for all to know how to best support these students and include them in all activities and social interactions.
Mrs. Travers, an ABA therapist, has experience working with people with autism and ASD . She pointed out, “I have had experience working with students with varying abilities of functioning between the ages of 7-21 as both a teacher assistant, & a teacher”. People may not understand autism, but Mrs. Travers gave this advice. “Students who have autism are like anyone else. They have the same interests as others, they are very capable of different tasks and they have feelings just like us. As you’re walking down the halls, you may notice that a student may be having a difficult time, it is okay. We all have bad days, they just may express themselves in different ways than us so it may look different to people. I would try to encourage people to not judge people who have autism, but try to take a second to understand what they may be going through or how they may feel”. To help best include students with autism into the school community Mrs. Travers offers this suggestion, “I would try to encourage others to make an effort to try to include people with autism. If they see someone walking down the hall, say “hi”. If they see someone sitting alone at lunch, offer them to come sit with you. If you are in a gym playing a game, ask them to join. Students can also get involved by volunteering as a peer in our classrooms to get to know the students better and to do activities together outside of school”. Potsdam High School offers many opportunities to get to know students with autism.
Students Plan on Buying Agendas
As students of Potsdam Central High School walked into homeroom on the first day they learned that agendas had been cut due to various reasons. Some students were baffled and believed that agendas helped them remain organized, while others felt little to no ramifications from the sudden change.
Mr. Bennett, the PHS Principal had noted that, “One of the biggest reasons that I went this direction was last June during locker clean out I found nearly half of the agendas that we ordered brand new in the garbage cans”. By not purchasing agendas the school has been able to save about $3,000 that is said to be returned to the student body through offering a wider budget for electivies and/or adding new courses such as broadcast journalism or graphic designs.
Some student are persistent however that agendas are necessary for remaining organized for school. “If I don't write stuff down I’ll forget it, so I have to be able to write all my homework down in class,” said Gabi Jones, a Junior. Jonathan Vercellotti, a sophomore, has similar feelings as well, “Yea. I can’t stay organized, usually I forget what homeworks I got. Even if I don’t have homework I’ll keep digging to check if I do or not,” he had also said that he doesn’t use anything now in place of an agenda.
On the other hand, some students never utilized their agendas and found no need for them in the first place. “I never really used it to begin with, most of the stuff is on google classroom. We now have a classwork tab that shows due dates,” Julian Potter, 10th grader, added. Daniela Pena, who is a Junior and bought her own agenda expressed that although she did not write in hers the bell schedule in the front was very useful and she has missed that through our adjustment.
Luckily, Mr. Bennett does have some suggestions for students who are having trouble remaining organized this school year. He recommends that students use google calendar on the chromebooks that were individually issued this year as a form of documenting homework, projects, or dates of tests.