Through DECA Donuts, various business classes, and a progressive and positive attitude, Park Ridge High School’s new DECA adviser Mrs. Chestnutt has joined Park Ridge’s chapter for the club, and has done a fabulous job leading DECA students to success this year. With her first year teaching at PRHS, Mrs. Chestnutt couldn’t have done a better job leading the chapter, and directing the students to triumph.
From DECA Friday’s to the various fundraisers and field trips planned, Mrs. Chestnutt hit the ground running her first year at PRHS, motivating ones around her to work harder because of her incentive and work ethic that she has shown her first few months. Mrs. Chestnutt has worked hard to prepare the DECA members as well as possible, completing role play’s with her classes every Friday, keeping an open door for all questions students have, and continuously thinking of new ways to improve the programs. Different activities and programs are constantly being thought up to help increase success from PRHS DECA members at the regional, state, and national competitions for the club, “I have very high expectations for the DECA state competition this year! Various members have worked endlessly to attend the state conference, and hopefully their dedication and perseverance will pay off!” Although humbly giving credit to the students, Mrs. Chestnutt worked very hard as well to get students to attend the state conference.
Mrs. Chestnutt has also given students fantastic opportunities and experiences, one of which being the field trip to MetLife stadium, where students were able to walk around the stadium and locker rooms, and ask questions to the management. The feedback from the trip was all positive, with great enthusiasm from students about the fun time they had, learning more about business.
During Entrepreneurship week, Mrs. Chestnutt did not hesitate to work her hardest to inspire and encourage students. From posting daily entrepreneurship quotes on the schoology site, to have guest speakers talk about their experiences in entrepreneurship, and even giving students fun challenges and activities to complete, Mrs. Chestnutt worked hard to make the week memorable and exciting.
With an impressive history with DECA, it’s a no brainer that Mrs. Chestnutt was chosen as the DECA advisor. Being in DECA for three years in high school, and attending regionals and states all three times, as well as nationals twice is impressive. She also served as a New Jersey State Officer for a term, and has judged events, organized competitions, and co advised,” Of these various DECA roles, I am most enjoying being the PRHS DECA Advisor!” On top of her DECA experience, Mrs. Chestnutt has worked in business, holding a real job and teacher students with her real world experience, which is extremely important.
Mrs. Chestnutt has done a truly amazing job these past few months, and will continue to help the chapter grow. It’s safe to say that she means business.
Author: Amanda Mulligan
A goal of the 2015 girls soccer team was to win a state sectional title for the first time since 2007. Unfortunately, the team was knocked out in the second round of the state tournament. When the team lost 8 talented seniors from the 2015 season, many people had their doubts about the success of the 2016 team. However, the girls proved them wrong when they brought home a state sectional title after a very successful year. The Owls finished the season with a record of 19-4 under first time head coach, Molly Jaffe.
On November 11 the soccer team played Kinnelon in the championship game. The team was led by freshman, Hannah Hanson, who scored two goals to defeat Kinnelon 2-0. Hannah started the season as a “swing” player, meaning she played on JV primarily, and would occasionally attend the varsity games. However, she never got a real chance to play in front of the coaches. When the JV season came to an end, Hanson practiced with the varsity team, and demonstrated her talent and determination. Hanson got her chance to show what she was capable of when Coach Jaffe, told her to get in the game. Playing on any talented varsity team as a freshman can be intimidating- especially during the championship game. Hannah explained that, “It can be too much pressure if you think about being a freshman going into a playoff game, so I just went out there and ran as much as I could”. Hannah exceeded expectations when she scored the first goal of the game within minutes of her playing, and continued to impress when she scored again in the second half.
After such a successful season, many people have questions about the success of the Owls next year. Sophomore Julia Manning, a varsity player this season, says, “There is great potential for the team next year. It will be difficult losing such skillful seniors, but our team has talent of all ages coming up to fill their shoes.
We can’t wait to see the success the Park Ridge Owls will bring next year!
Author: Chloe Collister
Do you think that one day the girls Varsity basketball team will bring a trophy home? Park Ridge Girls Varsity has not won a state championship longer than 15 years. Last year the team had made goals to help them be successful in their quest for a trophy. Coach Dennis began working with the team in 2015. He continues to keep working with us to make us better everyday. The coach thought we were good last year but he thinks now that we will be even a stronger and a competitive team with the new upcoming girls.
Perspectives on the 2016-2017 season:
“What do you think is going to be the biggest challenge this year?”
Haley Raspanti (Point Guard) - “I think our biggest challenge this year will be the Garfield tournament. We have lost in the past and the teams are very good but I am confident that if we work together and have the right mindset, we can win it all.”
“What do you think about the new upcoming freshmen?
Olivia Criscuolo (Guard) - “The team this year will be good especially with the new upcoming freshmen.” “We have really good upcoming freshmen that will be a big benefit to the team. They are very competitive and have a lot of talent. We are going to have a good season with them.”
“Do You think this year we are going to make it to states or maybe win a state championship?”
Alyssa Sansone (Forward/Guard) - “I have a very strong belief that we will make it to starts and maybe even state championship. We have a lot of new good players and have our previous players as well. Last year we accomplished so much and I think we can do even more. Our opponents lost a lot of players as well which gives us an advantage to beat them also. I have a good feeling of what’s going to come.”
This season is going to be a good season. We have new upcoming freshmen and previous players that are very good. We are ready to give it all and accomplish all the things we are looking to do. All of my teammates and even me believe we are going to have a great season. If we either, make it to state or not we did it together as a team. We lose together or we win together.
by Grant Nunberg, PRHS student
Film: The Thing
Rating : R
Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David
Summary: It's the first week of winter in 1982. An American Research Base is greeted by an alien force, that can assimilate anything it touches. It's up to the members to stay alive, and be sure of who is human, and who has become the Thing.
Why I recommend The Thing: The Thing is not only one of my favorite horror films but one of my favorite films in general. The alien in the film can be anything, so you are constantly on the edge of your seat wondering to yourself who is the thing and who isn’t. The cast is also fantastic. Before the alien shows up, the characters are all introduced. You have a sense that they have been at the base for a while and they have a bond. But once the alien shows up, they all quickly turn on each other and choose sides. The movie then becomes a whodunit, because the alien can shapeshift into any of the crew. It also has one of the best musical scores to any horror movie ever. But the main reason I absolutely love this film is for its practical special effects. They are incredible and some of the best I’ve ever seen. The alien in this film looks more real than most horror movie monsters today.
Trailer for The Thing:
Film: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Rating : R
Director: Wes Craven
Cast: Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp
Summary: Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.
Why I recommend A Nightmare on Elm Street : A Nightmare on Elm Street is a classic staple of horror. I’m sure a lot of you people reading this know who the killer of the movie is and that is none other than Freddy Krueger. Freddy is different from most serial killers in movies. Many of them are slow walking mask wearing mutes. But not Freddy. He has a personality. He cracks jokes and is a little silly. He’s not in it just to kill you. But to also mess with your mind and have fun with you before your untimely death. Also the lead of the film, Nancy (played by Heather Langenkamp) is a very smart, relatable, and likeable main character. The kills in the film are also very creative and unique. If all that is not enough to convince you, the film also stars a young 20 year old Johnny Depp in his first feature film role. If that won’t convince you to watch the film, I don’t know what will.
Trailer for A Nightmare on Elm Street:
By Giselle Carino, PRHS Student
On Saturday, October 15, the Park Ridge Middle School/High School Marching Band competed at the Yamaha Cup held at Metlife Stadium. After working for several months on their 2016 show, “The Horror Show”, it finally came together for this performance. For all this was a wonderful experience, however for the seniors it became a nostalgic one.
The Yamaha Cup is the pinnacle of the marching band season, thus causing tension among the band members. “I found myself going back and visualizing myself at my first competition and how I
felt,” expressed Drum Major, Melissa Papirio. She continued, “It’s crazy to think that it was only six years ago.” For many of the seniors, this would be the last time stepping onto the field in a competition.
“It is still such a surreal moment: waiting anxiously in the tunnel preparing to step out there and give my best performance of the season” mentioned Drum Major, Lauren Sum. The night before the Yamaha Cup, October 14, was the senior recognition night for the senior members of the marching band which made all of the seniors feel nostalgic when thinking of their overall marching band experience. “It was bittersweet and we, the seniors, were emotional as we stood there together in a group hug for the last time.”
Many of the senior marching band members have been a part of this band since middle school. Throughout the years marching band has not only had an impact on their musical career but also their personal life. “Marching band has prepared me in so many different ways – from responsibility, to respect and leadership – to take on the real world,” shared Sum.
Seniors are a huge component of the marching band given that they bring such enthusiasm to the band, so they will definitely be missed for the 2017 season. However, the season is still not over for this year’s marching band. In fact, the marching band still has many performances left, including football games, parades, and the North Jersey Band Festival held at Montclair State University.
By Valerie Moran, PRHS student
Over the summer of 2016, the students of Park Ridge High School ventured out of the realms of Park Ridge and vacationed all over to experience new and exciting things.
Brenna O’Connor, a junior at Park Ridge High School, traveled to Wyoming for the first time on June 25th and came home July 3rd. She got to experience nature in a different kind of way and got to take it all in. She got the chance to hike at Jenny Lake, go A.T.V. riding at the Elks National Refuge, visit Yellowstone National Park, and got to paraglide at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. “My favorite part of the trip had to be going to Yellowstone National Park because it was so beautiful. I found the history behind it so fascinating and loved the ability to see wildlife in its natural habitat,” explained Brenna.
Every other summer, students and staff from Park Ridge have the chance to travel as a group and explore new places. This summer, students had the chance to go to England. One student in particular, Riley Layne, a Junior at Park Ridge High School traveled with the school all the way to England for five days. Riley covered a lot of ground and got to explore new places everyday on this trip. She, along with the school group, visited Big Ben, the Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, Oxford University, Stonehenge, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Buckingham palace and Windsor Castle. “Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle had to be my two favorites, I liked them because they were the two places where the Queen lives, and it was really cool to see it in person since I always hear about them,” Riley explained.
Another student, Claudia Segovia, a freshman at Park Ridge High School went to Ecuador for the fourth time. Claudia goes roughly every four years to visit family that lives out there. She visited Salinas and Guayaquil. “My favorite place is always Salinas because it's located right on the beach and I always stay there the longest because it's so beautiful and relaxing”, explained Claudia.
A junior at Park Ridge High school, Jacey Zeug, got the chance to explore a new country and help other people while doing it. Jacey went to Athens, Greece and had an unforgettable experience. She explained that it was a church mission trip and she got to visit Acropolis and Corinth. She says, “Acropolis was my favorite because it was really pretty and there was a ton of cute shops and restaurants you could go to.” Since it was a mission trip she got to help at a refugee center and meet incredible, Afghanistan refugees and hear their stories and help feed the homeless in Athens.
Even in a small school, like Park Ridge, students travel the world and expand their horizons to experience different things and create fascinating memories.
by Tommy Morgan, PRHS Student
Immediately after the fantastic 2015 Park Ridge Owls football season there were questions about the next year. The 2016 Owls knew that there would be drastic differences in the season; they knew hard work was going to have to lead.
“How are the Owls going to fill the positions of the incredible graduating class?” was a common question. The most common, however, was who the quarterback was going to be. From coaches to players to spectators, nobody knew. How could anybody replace all-county quarterback Evan Matthews? Valid question.
It was not until a rising senior, Jack Lepore, stepped up to the plate that the question was answered. It was hard for anyone to know how this would turn out. After all, Lepore had never started in a varsity game. Lepore’s hard work and dedication on the practice field and in the weight room helped him to become a better quarterback everyday.
As the season neared, everyone waited to see what Lepore had up his sleeve.
When asked what he was feeling before the Becton game, Lepore stated, “I was nervous. It was a big game and I didn’t know what to expect because it was my first varsity start”.
The Owls ended up losing, but Lepore gained a great deal of both knowledge and experience. “The outcome wasn’t in our favor, but I knew what I had to do in the future,” said Lepore.
He was not lying. In the Owls next game against Wallington, Lepore displayed his capabilities. He completed 10 of 14 passes for 264 yards and 5 touchdowns. “Once I threw the first touchdown, I had the confidence that I needed. Now, each game is a routine,” claimed Lepore.
The Owls, behind their new quarterback, have won three games straight since Becton, and by large margins. The answer is Jack Lepore.
by Sarah Manzo, PRHS Student
Over the course of Summer 2016, the music teacher of Park Ridge High School, Ms. Saxton, was emailing her choir students with exhilarating new ideas. This year, there are many new and exciting plans for the Park Ridge Expressions choir! Ms. Saxton held auditions in early September seeking new members for the show choir. Saxton expresses “We are working to further develop a sense of camaraderie and community within the group - That’s what it’s all about!”. The audition tested student’s vocals and their dancing abilities. Overall, the auditions were a success! Clearly, the new changes that are taking place are new uniforms, pianos, and exciting new activities.
Saxton says “I am very happy with how the group is sounding this year. We are learning our music rather quickly, which means we will have lots of time for choreography!”. Not only does the choir sound great this year but they have a new look on the way. Ms. Saxton is ordering dresses for women and vests for men. The dresses are described as “Sparkly black dress with a flattering sweetheart neckline” The vests are described as “Sparkly silver vests with solid buttons down the middle”. Expressions choir is raising money with ads and “just a note” cards to raise money for their new uniforms.
Although the choir will look great there is much more exciting plans on the way. Our park ridge choir is now also using the pianos during class. This gives students a better concept of music theory and sight reading. While at the pianos, the students learn how to play scales and how to warm up their voices doing so.
Expressions is also planning some fun bonding trips. The choir council has is planned to go Apple picking at Demarest farms. This event will take place after school. Ms. Saxton will be chaperoning and enjoying the fun time along with her members. Who knows, they may take a hayride as well!
Overall, Park Ridge Choirs is having some big changes this year! Awesome new uniforms, using keyboards as a music learning tool, and bonding time for the expressions show choir. If you have any interest in expressions, come on out and audition next semester!
by Chandler DeMarco, PRHS Student
This year in New Jersey Monthly Park Ridge High School ranked 20th in the state, improving from 2014 when it was ranked 37th in the state. Along with being ranked number 20 in the state, PRHS ranked second in Bergen County. Troy Lederman, Principal of Park Ridge High School, said, “There is always a great sense of accomplishment whenever our school receives any type of positive press and recognition. More importantly, our ranking in New Jersey Monthly Magazine gives me a huge sense of pride. I feel blessed to be the leader of PRHS and I am so proud of our students and staff for all their hard work and dedication to success. It is truly their efforts that put us on the map!” How are school rankings decided then?
Rankings are completely based on data reported by the schools to the state Department of Education and then are published in the School Performance Reports section of the DOE website. Though this year New Jersey Monthly had made some changes in the procedure. Normally HSPA test scores would have contributed, but it was replaced by PARCC in 2015. PARCCs data was not dependable enough since populations of tested students varied by district. Another new aspect was student participation in visual and performing arts. Mr. Lederman, also said, “There are lots of factors that contribute to our ranking. The most outstanding to me would be: strong support from our community and board of education, a teaching staff that is willing to go the extra mile to see their students do well and most importantly, Park Ridge is lucky to have a student population that is highly motivated to do well in school.” Having motivation is able to bring success in the future along with support from the community.
The school rankings are released every two years and the next time will be in 2018 will be when new rankings are announced. “The goal of our high school has always been to create students that become lifelong learners and independent, productive members of society. I truly believe that if we continue with that philosophy, then the sky is the limit for what PRHS can accomplish!” explained Mr. Lederman. Being ranked second in the county is definitely a great accomplishment and we should all be proud of our contribution. After all, PRHS’s #2 ranking is indicative of our excellence as a school and community.
By: Tommy DeRosa
Over the Summer of 2016, the students of Park Ridge High School were a part of the One Book One School program, which has all students throughout the entire school read the same book. For this year’s inaugural installation, students read Of Beetles and Angels, an autobiography written by Mawi Asgedom. The autobiography tells the success story of Mawi being a refugee in a war-torn country who then comes to America, works hard, and eventually attends Harvard and graduates at the top of his class. The message behind this book is inspirational for anyone. Park Ridge High School staff and the One Book, One School committee decided it was an important message to convey to the student body.
To bring this book and its message to life, faculty member Sarah-Kate Maskin designed a bulletin board display to show Mawi’s journey. “The bulletin board was a collaborative effort” Maskin says. She had “wanted to visually portray the journey starting on foot in the desert to a better life in America, with all that comes along with the American Dream.” Maskin also goes into detail about the goal of this display, saying that “the goal is to provide Park Ridge High School with a visual representation of what we all read over the summer and to promote dialogue about Of Beetles and Angels.”
Maskin was not the only faculty member of the school to bring Mawi’s message to life. Stephanie Buckley, an English and Theatrics teacher made Asgedom’s story a part of her class curriculum. Students had to write an essay on one of the five themes of American literature and explain how those themes connected to Asgedom’s success story. Buckley explained, “By connecting the book to the themes of American literature, it is an opportunity for students to see an immigrant coming to America and how an immigrant achieved the American Dream”.
One of the art teachers at Park Ridge, Taline Gebhardt had her students make paper bead jewelry that Sudanese refugee women made as a source of income and as a means to relieve stress. Gebhardt describes the meaning and purpose of this activity by saying, “I wanted my Introduction to Art classes to learn a new skill, as well as appreciate the detailed work that goes into making the jewelry.”
The One Book One School committee, a team of staff members tasked with the implementation of the program, commented on the success and the future of this program. Member of the committee and Media Specialist, Katie Nellen states, “we were impressed to see the book integrated in creative and effective ways so far this year. The One Book, One School’s first year demonstrates the potential for the program to not only encourage reading across each discipline, but also bring students, faculty, and community members together.”
Not only did teachers, faculty members, and the committee behind it all think that the book had an important message; the students did as well. Gavin Gertsen, student of the class of 2019, comments on the program and the book’s message.
Gertsen states, “I thought it was a good idea that the whole school read the same book, because a major theme can be taught to the entire school”. Gavin also states that “the book’s message was to have perseverance and keep working no matter your circumstances, and through this method you can achieve your goals.”
Evidently, the One Book One School Program brought to life the message and important advice of the autobiography Of Beetles and Angels, which is to persevere through your hardships, which will pay off in the end.
Park Ridge High School Media Productions Class 2016-17