This webpage is written and maintained by the Journalism class at Taconic Hills CSD.
We are in crisis mode
By: Hunter Anderson. Kaya Sindler
Students entering the Junior/Senior High school on April 11th were welcomed back from a three-day weekend, with a banner going across the front of the main building. It read “If You Are Failing 2 or More Classes You Are In Danger of Not Graduating.” Underneath were the numbers of all total class failures for grades 7-12. As to be expected, the students and faculty alike were shocked with this display.
“They could be praising people for positive things rather than doing this,” Senior Trey Hotaling added. “It does not give a positive impression of our school.”
Middle school English teacher, Fred Jaeger was shocked when he heard about the poster. “Some kids may have been inspired to work a little harder, but shame will motivate some, but it will defeat others,” he said.
“It’s not exactly something I want to see walking into my high school,” added Jacob Gellert, who is headed off to Ivy League Cornell University in the fall. “It doesn’t shed a positive light on the good things that are happening in our school, just the negative.”
The journalism class had a chance to dive deeper into what exactly was the idea behind these signs and why someone would want to strike up so much controversial chatter.
Superintendent Neil Howard defended his decision to post the poster and the data, which indicated that there are many students failing multiple courses.
“Research says that kids need to have goals to improve, some instruction...The idea is to make the data...loud and noisy so everybody understands. When I first looked at the data I said…’we’re in trouble, we are in crisis mode’”, he explained. According to Howard there was never any intention to embarrass or hurt anyone. The sole intent was to spark a conversation, create an awareness, and shock some students into improving their grades.
“We need to ask ourselves, why 40 kids are failing P.E. What possible reasons could there be? Are they unprepared? Not getting dressed for the class? Not liking the particular unit?”
“I wanted everyone to be jolted back into reality”, he explained.
Despite Howard’s explanation for the public display, many teachers and students do not believe that posting failures in the entrance of the school achieved the response that school administrators were looking for.
“I don’t think it’s very helpful at all,” said senior Hanan Ibrahim. And one student, who asked to remain anonymous, stated that he believes the motivating factor behind his recent grade improvement, is the fact that graduation is right around the corner. He said, “The poster didn’t affect me too much - my graduation is at-risk, and that is motivating enough.”
The Taconic Hills Drama Club’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Musical Mary Poppins opens Friday, April 28th at 7 PM, with two more performances Saturday, at 7 PM and a Sunday matinee at 2 PM. Admission is $5. Directed by Jeffrey Montague, the cast has been in full swing preparing for opening night, running dance numbers, music, and scenes, as well as practicing quick costume changes.The show stars Junior, Riley Decker as Mary Poppins and she couldn’t be more excited to perform. The cast also includes talents from; Hunter Anderson as Bert, Karissa Payson as Jane Banks, Brennan Clark as Michael Banks, Mason Lowe as George Banks, and Emily Montague as Winifred Banks as well as, Vanessa Scutt, Cameron Miller, Amber Wheeler, Cecelia Stroh, Orion Gagne, Jayden Carruthers, Damion Fuller, Bryan Dellea, Dominic Storm, and Sam Keram, plus many more.
Mary Poppins is a magical musical about the Banks’ family, who has had trouble keeping their family together. Mr. Banks, head of the household likes to run his family with Precision and Order, and is always too busy for his children, because of his job at the bank. Mrs. Banks, on the other hand is too worried about what exactly her role in this family is. At the heart of the family are the Banks’ children, Jane and Michael, two bratty, snobbish children who run Nanny’s ragged to get the attention of their distant parents. At the beginning of the play, Katie Nanna, the children’s current nanny is storming out of the house, as she is “done with this house forever!” The house is thrown into chaos as the Banks family must find a new nanny to fill the position. Jane and Michael have their own idea of a Perfect Nanny, and when Mary Poppins magically enters the room, she fits the position perfect.
Mary Poppins tells the children of her intent to make them Practically Perfect just like her and how a series of games will make them well-behaved and proper children. Throughout the play Mary Poppins and the children meet an array of crazy characters like Bert, Mary Poppins' old friend, a charming man who seems to find himself in every job imaginable, for example a painter, a street cleaner, and a chimney sweep. Bert and Mary help the children see the color in the world as they take them through a magical journey in the park, this Jolly Holiday shows the children how magical Mary Poppins really is.
Not only does Mary change the children, she also has an impact on the family, giving them a change of heart and making the family more whole than they have ever been.
The show is a must see and would be a great event for the whole family.
What's new? Upcoming events listed below...
- Mary Poppins April 28-30 produced by Taconic Hills Drama Club
- Trip to Montreal - Spring Break 2017
- Junior Prom - May 20th, located at Birch Hill in Castleton, NY.