By Cassandra Guglielmo
With the growth of the Music Department, a new program has been added. The class is called Musical Theatre and is taught by Mrs. Buckley. Musical Theatre is offered as an elective along with choir for seventh and eighth graders. One day you have choir and the next day you have Musical Theatre. The students in the class now highly recommend taking the class as long as you are dedicated and want to put the time in to learn your parts after school.
The show they are putting on is called Wanda’s World. It is about a girl who comes to a new school, but has a birthmark all over the side of her face. She has to deal with trying to make new friends, being made fun of by the popular girls, and trying to fit in. “Rehearsing during school has been a challenge! The time limitations make it difficult to achieve my rehearsal goals,” Mrs. Buckley says.
For a show, you would usually audition and rehearse after school, not during school as a class. Eighth grader Sophia Nappa says, “The experience has been a lot of fun for me, because I get to do something I enjoy during school.” The audition process for this show was different due to the fact the show was strictly during school hours. Since it is a class and not an after school activity, auditions were optional for students. “The audition was pretty cool. In lunch, we would go to the theater and sing. That is how Mrs. Buckley picked people for the cast,” explains Lewis Grosso.
Although there have been some struggles along the way, everyone in the production is proud of how far they have come. When asked what she is most proud of, Sara Brazofsky says, “I am most proud of how much our group has grown. In the beginning of the year we were not as focused and now we have matured and become more focused and better performers in all.”
The final performance for the seventh graders is June 11th and for the eighth graders, June 12th. “I anticipate the performance is going to pull together really well and it’s going to be very enjoyable to watch. I think the hardest part was getting cooperation from everybody so that we can use the most of our time in class smoothly working on the play,” says Finli Stripling when asked what the performance will be like.
Because it is an all around fun experience, the current seventh and eighth grade students in Musical Theater encourage next year’s middle schoolers to participate.
Mrs. Lori Groveman’s “Teacher of the Year” trophy, which is inscribed and on display at her residence.
26.2 miles. That is the distance from start to finish of a marathon, and this is also the distance that Chemistry and Environmental Teacher Mr. Falcon ran this past January in sunny Miami, Florida. Mr. Falcon’s journey started long before he ever got to the start line in Miami. His training began by reading books and articles written by Hal Higdon, a famous marathon runner, who gives training tips to prepare runners for this great feat. Mr. Falcon is no amateur to running long distances. In 2009, he ran the Miami Marathon, so for this year’s run; he knew what he must do to be in top physical condition for race day. However, it is not easy to do this when you are teaching eight hours a day. Mr. Falcon found time whenever he could, which included bringing workout clothing to school and leaving to run from there. On the weekends, he would have more time to run, and he would run longer distances along with what he referred to as “track and hill work.”
Halfway between his start of training and race day, Mr. Falcon elevated his training program. He first ran a 10-mile race in Nyack followed by a half marathon in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. When asked if this was the furthest he had run before the 26.2-mile run he replied, “My longest run was around 20 miles long. I used Map my Run [an app] to track the pace I was running, and my time ended up being 3 hours 8 minuets and 3 seconds.” A great prequel to what lies ahead.
Finally, the time had come for Mr. Falcon to pack up and head down to Miami. Check-in was at 5:30 a.m., which created one of the most memorable moments on race day, watching the sunrise. Since the racers are released in groups, it took around 15-20 minuets for Mr. Falcon to get to the starting line. From there he took off to hopefully beat his previous record marathon time. He had been tagged with a chip allowing friends and family to mark his progress along the route.
Around the halfway point, Mr. Falcon realized this was not going to be an easy race due to the 70-degree weather difference between his training and race locations. This was an obstacle he had to overcome in addition to the imminent threat of dehydration. In the end, Mr. Falcon came out on top beating his previous running record and finishing with the time of 4 hours and 20 minutes. I want to congratulate Mr. Falcon on an accomplishment that not many can say they have done. Falcons are supposed to fly but this one definitely took off running.
By David Zdanowicz
High school is made up of many different, diverse groups. Theater groups, sports teams, band groups… it is what gives our school its variety in students. There is one group however, that is pretty exclusive yet is not that well known. That group is a small amount of students interested in economics and they work together to take part in the annual Fed Challenge.
Led by Business teacher Mr. DiLisi, the Fed Challenge is a competition that many schools across the state take part in. This competition takes place at the New York Federal Reserve where teams go through a mock Federal Board Members Meeting discussing monetary policy and how issues involving money impact our nation. It is up to the teams to present a well-written presentation and answer a series of questions regarding the Federal Reserve. If teams succeed in pleasing the judges, they will move on to the next round with other teams to continue the competition. It may sound serious already, but this is just the end product. There is a lot of work that needs to be done before this happens, and that is what the Fed Challenge members do at their meetings after school throughout the year.
There are a total of six students that take part in the Fed Challenge in our school, and they range from seniors to sophomores; although, anyone can join. One of its members, Zach Lucanie, describes what it is like to be a member. “We are known infamously for our extremely long meetings and 6:45 morning sessions. Many schools offer an Economics class or even an AP Economics class as an elective in order to prepare for the Fed Challenge. Since we don’t have an Economics course at Park Ridge, we make up for it on our own, and the responsibility falls a lot on us and the great work and time that Mr.DiLisi puts in to helping us understand everything.” These meetings involve researching about the topics that they must speak about and going through videos and articles that keep them up to date with all the information going on with the Federal Reserve and monetary policy.
Not just another club, this group learns a great deal of what it is like out in the real world in situations where real workers make real decisions. Members of this group get to experience first hand what it may be like to work in the economy and see how it effects how we live. Zach explains the impact that it has had on him. “I can say that I have learned more than I could ever imagine on my own than I ever thought about Economics and the role of the Federal Reserve in the current economy. It has been really fun.” The Fed team recently traveled to the Federal Reserve, but despite performing well and giving it their all, the team was not able to make it to the next round. Mr. DiLisi, the advisor of the team, however, did not look at it as loss. “Everyone learned quite a bit through this process. I am proud of the team members for the work they all did, especially over the past week.”
With all the different groups that exist in high school, it can be difficult sometimes to identify oneself within all the variety. The Fed Challenge is a perfect team to join; a team that accepts anyone, gives a sense of purpose, and works toward a real goal. Why not identify yourself with that?
By Kole Kilmurray
Did you know that Park Ridge has an accomplished diver walking the halls? Senior Christine Kehrli is the only member of the Park Ridge Dive Team. Christine heard of past members of the school who participated in the state dive meets, and knew it was something she wanted to pursue. With the help of Coach Brown, she was able to get into the West Point Dive Club and dive in qualifying meets.
These qualifying meets were held at Montgomery High School, where Christine came in second place for the state qualifiers. She then proceeded to the state meet where she tied for tenth place. Christine is proud of her accomplishments and the fact that she found a way to do something that she loves on a state level. Christine says, “It has been a great experience diving on the state level, and I hope others follow my footsteps and find a way to do things they love.”
Coach Brown says, “Christine worked extremely hard outside of school with her club team to become such an accomplished diver, and we are extremely proud she represented the school in such a positive manner.” While Christine may be a team of one, her hard work and leadership as a diver adds to Park Ridge’s athletic legacy.
By David Zdanowicz
This year the PRE Club participated in an exchange with Sonora High School in Sonora, California. Students were able to experience how people from another part of the country live. The trip to California took place on February 26th, chaperoned by Mrs. Schoenkopf and Mr. Cosgrove. While in California, the group panned for gold in the historic town of Columbia, hiked through the rain in Yosemite, and walked the hills of San Francisco.
Stepping outside the rural area of Sonora and into the suburbs of Bergen County was a shock to many of the California students. The nearest shopping mall to Sonora is about an hour away so many turn to local activities like going to the movies, roller blading at the rink, or bowling at the casino. Once on the east coast, members of PRE made sure to bring our new friends to the Garden State Plaza and show them our way of life.
Although the mall is pretty great, the Californians greatly enjoyed their time in New York City. They were able to eat pastries in Little Italy, see Yankee Stadium, visit the 9/11 Memorial, and walk through Rockefeller Center and Times Square. And on Friday, March 21st, they participated in our annual Dodgeball Tournament. Even though they did not place first, they all had a ton of fun playing in the event.
After exhausting our new friends during the time they were here, it was time to say goodbye. For the seniors in the group, it would be the last time participating in a PRE exchange. It is an amazing club that allows students to step outside their comfort zone and experience things that a typical high school student may not be able to experience. We’ve had the opportunity to share many great memories and hope that in the following years other students continue to join in the fun!
By Kelly McCann
The Park Ridge Emerson Girls Lacrosse team has been impacted with many new things this year. The brand new sport to the school includes two new coaches and players from Park Ridge and Emerson High School. This year the girls have gotten along very well considering they have never met each other before. Kayla Sheridan, who is a PRE lacrosse player, states, “The team has become really close over the past few weeks. We put the school rivalry behind and are becoming more of a team each day. We go on trips to the Diner, plan bonding outside of practice, and have a group text where we are constantly talking.” Friendships on the team are growing very well.
So far with just about two months into the season, the team has come a long way from where they started. Starting a brand new program can be difficult since half the team has never played the sport before. Kassidy Manning, a player on PRE from Emerson states, “Within a few weeks of being together as a team, I have seen major improvements in all of us individually and as a whole. We'll just keep working hard and doing the best we can out there on the field. I'm optimistic and confident in my team, and I can tell that it's going to be a good season.”
The new coach, Coach Courtney Rejent, who is assisted my Rick Eichenlaub, has done very well in starting this new program. Coach Rick is very new to the lacrosse sport, but he is catching on very quickly. Coach Rejent explains, “Although he has limited lacrosse experience, his own athletic experience will be a tremendous help as we grow as a team and as a program.” Coach Rick runs a lot of the conditioning aspects of the lacrosse practices, and he participates in the practices and is an extra eye at the game. You can tell he catches on more and more everyday. Coach Rejent was very excited to start a brand new program, and she has really lifted the program up.
With this being a new sport, not many people have had much experience on the team. Although if you go to a game, you will never be able to guess who has and who has not played before. “We have players of mixed abilities. Every player has made great improvements, and I am looking forward to a positive season,” says Coach Rejent. Everyday Coach is shocked by the response she gets when she asks someone who is doing very well if they have played in the past and they have not. “I think this season is mostly about setting a foundation for the lacrosse program that we can build upon in the future. However, my goal for this season is to learn and improve as much as I can and hopefully winning some games comes along with that,” states player Kassidy Manning.
Good luck to the Park Ridge Emerson Girls Lacrosse team. We hope you do very well this season and make it a good one to remember for the first year of the new lacrosse program.
By Caleb Yu
This spring a new sport has been added to Park Ridge High School’s Athletic Program: Men’s lacrosse. Park Ridge and Emerson— yes, Park Ridge and Emerson are joining forces in this new sport, and they are working hard every practice. Senior Brian Parker explains, “There are no problems with the Emerson kids at all. From the first day, we all got along and everyone is having fun together.” The boys are putting their differences aside to be the best team that they can be.
Since this team is new, they have to play in a junior varsity league first before they eventually move up to a varsity league. New teams cannot go straight to a varsity league with no background. But as Brian Parker states, “Every player is putting in 100%, and from what I can tell, there is a lot of potential and energy on the team.” Therefore, it will not be long until the team reaches the experience to go to a higher league.
The players and coach, Coach Steven Harvey, all have high hopes for the season. Junior Gregory Perez talks about his goals for the season, “My goal for the season is to grow both individually and as a team. If each person grows a little bit each day, we can turn into a very successful team.” The team has already shown their success on March 25th when they had their first scrimmage against Pascack Hills High School and came up victorious with a 3-2 win. The team’s success is just starting and many more victories are down the road for them.
By Julia Freisinger
As the cold weather begins to pass, The Marching Band prepares for new events to come.
By Dan Confreda
Peter Masterson is a senior at Park Ridge High School. He towers over most kids at 6 feet 4 inches tall. He has been playing baseball for almost all his life, and last year, he had a remarkable year with an ERA of 1.15 in 36.2 innings pitched. He had a total of 66 strikeouts and the opponent’s batting average against him was .260. He helped lead the team to a 24-3 season, going 14-0 in league play. With numbers like these, Peter Masterson sticks out in the crowd.
The team last year had a great season, but there are big spots to fill this year as a total of nine seniors graduated last year. Peter is going to have step up this year to fill last year’s pitcher’s shoes, Troy Taber. Peter is looking forward to his senior season and says, “My personal goals for the season are to finish with over 100 strikeouts, make first team all league and either second or third team all county.” These goals seem hard to reach, but if anyone can get it done, it is Peter.
Peter, known as Bubba to his teammates, is finishing up his varsity career this year. This is his fourth and final year on the varsity baseball team. “I'm going to miss a lot playing on the same field I've been playing on for six years, and playing with the same group of people since tee ball,” Peter says. After this season is completed, Bubba is going to Kutztown University on a baseball scholarship. He hopes to have a solid career down the road at Kutztown. He says, “I'm just looking forward to playing baseball there and helping the team.” Peter wants to make his senior year special, and he has spent a lot of time getting ready for the season. Peter says “I have prepared by training all winter with Kevin Herget; whether it was long tossing or actually throwing in the gym.” This is going to a great season for the boy’s baseball team, and Peter is continuing his career after high school at Kutztown, and he hopes he has an opportunity to play pro ball. No matter where life takes Peter, he will always be an Owl.
With Winter sports coming to an end, students, coaches, and faculty are looking forward to the spring sports season.
By Maggie Salerno
As you are walking down the hall towards the library, you may be asking yourself, “Why are there paper cranes hanging from the ceiling?” Art Honors Society is on a mission to spread hope throughout Park Ridge High School with a paper crane installation. In the beginning of the school year, the Club handed out square pieces of paper to each classroom and asked students to anonymously write their hopes for the future. The responses received were amazing. Art Honors Society collected over 600 papers with inspiring words written on them.
The symbolism behind the paper crane is quite fascinating. For centuries, there has been a legendary promise that the folding of a thousand cranes will grant the folder a wish come true. Park Ridge High School Art teacher Mrs. Russo explains, “Traditionally it is believed that cranes bring good fortune and happiness. These cranes are being hung to keep the hopes of the student body aloft and ever present.”
The process to make this installation is not as easy as it looks. The Art Honors Society members have to master the art of origami crane making, threading, and hanging in order to complete the project. The Club meets every Thursday afterschool, and they are working hard to finish the project. Most members have even taken the initiative to bring home papers to fold over the weekend to hurry up the installation process. Joo-ae Bae, an Art Honor Society member, says, “Folding the cranes was my favorite part of the experience. We started the project around the beginning of the year, and it has taken approximately six months to complete. We are trying to make the school aesthetically pleasing while also trying to increase school wide participation/involvement.” Another Art Honor Society member Tanya Chernyak says, “I really enjoyed reading what people wrote, because it is refreshing to find unique goals amongst the pile of, “I want to get into a good college and have world peace,” hopes that were written down.” Overall Art Honors Society is looking forward to completing the installation and spreading hope around the school.
By Zach Lucanie
Coach Awais and Michael Gannaio pose back to back as they exude confidence coming into the Spring Season.
By Jack Lepore
The Park Ridge/Emerson Wrestling team had a season that the wrestlers will remember for sure. The season did not finish with the fairy tale State Championship, but was successful with the final record of 18-4, with a phenomenal 4.5 win percentage. PRE Wrestling has a very bright future with talented freshmen and sophomores wrestlers. I got the chance to interview Senior Julez Grom to see what he had to say on this successful season, as well as his last season at Park Ridge High School.
In our interview, Julez wanted to make sure that everyone knew that this was a hard working and determined team. “The team had the eye on the goal (State Championship) and worked harder each day. We just fell so short,” says Julez. Julez had a very successful senior wrestling season with a record of 17-10, and he went out with a solid winning season. With such a dominant wrestler leaving the mats, how does the PRE team look for next year?
Julez says that the future of PRE Wrestling is in good hands with skilled and many freshman and sophomore wrestlers. “With the seniors leaving, a lot of younger kids are going to have to take new roles and take a role of being the leader. It could be anybody on the team,” says Julez. He continued to stress how important the team works day in and day out.
Congratulations to all of the seniors on their successful wrestling careers with PRE Wrestling, as well as to the team on a very solid season.
By Sarah Kinsey
As winter winds down, the flowers try to come up and awaken spring, and the start of spring sports arises as well. Softball preseason has begun recently and thus creates the atmosphere of fierce competition and the rebirth of a ‘family.’ With the new season starting, the girls are adjusting to the loss of last year’s graduating players and trying to come back together as a team. Captain Alexis Criscuolo expressed her excitement for the new season with very little concern. “Although we have lost some key players, the team has proved themselves to rise to the occasion and become a better team,” Criscuolo says. The team collectively had a goal in mind: championships. Junior Kelly Hansen showed her excitement to start the season and start the road to play offs, “We were one and done in the playoff and this year we want to prove ourselves [that we can win].”
With the new players coming in to start their softball career, the improvements and motivation reached an all time high. Captain Emily Kline was especially excited to start this year’s season. After suffering a terrible injury that took her out of most of the season last year, she says, “This year I hope to play in more games and to improve my pitching.”
The team captains are sharing the position with other seniors Martina McGee and Lindsay Beer. Both Kline and Criscuolo expressed the emotions they felt knowing this would be their last softball season for their high school career. Kline has the opportunity of a lifetime: multiple offers to play college softball. She did express how much she would miss playing with her high school team. “I’ll miss playing against the people I know from other towns and miss playing with the people who aren’t going to play in college. But I am looking for a higher level of playing in college.” Criscuolo expressed how much softball has shaped her as a person and how much she will miss her team saying, “It’s my favorite sport and the team is like a family.” Best of luck to this year’s Lady Owl Softball team! We know you will rise to the competition, and we look forward to cheering you on.
The Park Ridge Owl is an online school newspaper covering the events of Park Ridge High School in Bergen County, NJ