By: Madison Migiano Mr. Sales, a beloved teacher at Swift, recently passed away from a courageous battle with cancer. He loved science and he devoted that love of science to teaching at Swift Middle School for four years. Ava Venuk, a student at WHS who had Mr. Sales, stated, “You could always tell he was passionate about his job.” “I had him as my Leo Club teacher and he always tried his best to make everyone feel welcome and happy, and made everyone smile and laugh all the time,” said Taylor Malcarne, another student at WHS.Sales enjoyed reading, video games, spending time with his cats, spending time with friends and family, and anything science. He recently married his beautiful wife, Alyssa Griffin just under three months before his passing. Their wedding was held at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Hospital, where Mr. Sales was being treated. We all miss him dearly and we send condolences to the friends and family.
Kobe Bryant and his 13 year-old daughter, along with 7 other bystanders, were killed Tuesday, January 26th when Bryant’s private helicopter flew into the side of a mountain in Calabasas, California. Bryant left John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, nearly 70 miles from where he and the 8 other people on the helicopter crashed. Bryant and his daughter were on their way to her basketball game at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks near Los Angeles. Thousands across the world are mourning the death of this beloved legend, who was an inspiration to all, no matter who they were or what they aspired to be. Bryant, 41, played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996-2016 and was originally drafted by the Hornets and later traded to the Lakers later that night. Kobe, also known as the Black Mamba, held many accolades to his name. He was an 18-time NBA All-Star, and a four-time All-Star Game MVP. Mamba would also win five NBA championships, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, only one less than Michael Jordan himself. He won three consecutive championships, 2000, 2001, and 2002 with his dynamic duo Shaquille O’Neal, who tweeted, “There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through with this tragedy of losing my niece Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences go+es out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board.” Kobe Bryant won one league MVP, averaging 28.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists that year. Bryant led the league in scoring twice and currently holds the title of the Lakers All-Time Leading Scorer. Kobe also was also elected on the All-Defensive First Team an astonishing nine times throughout his 20 year career. When his career came to an end in 2016, he won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film called Dear Basketball. [Much of the NBA community is still searching for ways to cope with this monumental loss not only to the basketball society but to all the young kids who look up to him as well. Lebron James, who plays for Bryant’s former team, was caught crying walking into the practice facility, according to CNN. James had recently passed Kobe on the All-Time Scoring List two days prior to his death. Lebron also told the press, “‘He has zero flaws offensively, zero’ James said. ‘You backed off of him, he could shoot the three. You body him up a little bit, he can go around you. He could shoot the mid-range. He could post. He could make free throws. That’s something I admired as well, just being at a point where the defense would always be at bay where they couldn’t guard you at all, where you just felt you were immortal offensively because of your skillset and your work ethic.’ Jay Williams, another former NBA player who played during the same time Kobe did, was emotional in an interview with SportsCenter.]
Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, who is the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is also the national apostle of Ireland, and was born in Roman Britain, where he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. St. Pattys Day is one to commemorate the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. We also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the contribution of Irish immigrants and their culture. Celebrations concentrate on Irish themed parties, drinks and food. Many people get into the spirit by dressing in green clothing and eating green colored food. Irish clubs and pubs often hold parties or have special deals on drinks and food. The main dish for most people on St. Patrick’s Day is corned beef and cabbage. It's popular for people to eat green vegetables like broccoli and brussel sprouts. Some go out and watch St. Patrick’s Day parades before they go home to feast. Some traditional decorations for St. Patricks day are clovers, top hats, and green and gold bead necklaces. Watch out for leprechauns stealing your gold on St. Pattys day!
Throughout the month of February, nationwide, we celebrate African American History Month. This year it starts on Saturday, February 1st and concludes on Saturday, February 29th. This tradition originated in 1915, when Dr. Carter G. Woodson, also known as the “Father of African American History,” founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). The first African American week started in February of 1926. It was also purposely chosen to be the week that contained Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays. This was due to all they did for African Americans to start their goal toward freedom. Later in 1976, the ASALH expanded the celebration from a week to the whole month! African American History Month is also celebrated by Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Today the people of the U.S. remember ways that African Americans have contributed to the nation’s history, with their struggles for freedom and equality. Important people that stand out in U.S. history include Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, and President Barack Obama. People are taking part in events everyday that adds to the archive of African Americans all over the world.
The Sun, Moon, and Stars organization is a Watertown based, 501c3 non-profit that promotes autism awareness and education. This organization is planning a town wide event for “World Autism Day” on April 2, 2020. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. This organization is at the very beginning stages. Mark and Christine Faressa, who are a part of our community, and the co-founders of this organization, plan to sell 30, four foot puzzle pieces to local businesses in town. These puzzle pieces will later be displayed publicly throughout the month of April which happens to be Autism Awareness month. At the local businesses people will be able to receive a stamp on a ticket/card. The goal is to create increased traffic to businesses in our community while supporting an important cause. Lawn signs can also be purchased for Autism Awareness month. This organization has its own website at sunstarsandmoon.org, where any questions or donations can be submitted. The puzzle pieces are being created by Beck Curtis and Evan Arnold in the Watertown High School woodshop as their capstone. Each puzzle piece will have a unique design to represent each business, depending on which business it is. “Each business that purchases one of these pieces will be showing their support and spreading the idea of Project Puzzle Piece and once people walk into or past these businesses and see the signs, we’re hoping it will influence them to look into our project and find ways that they can help,” says Evan Arnold. Departments in Watertown High School are all coming together to advocate for this organization. Students and staff are in charge of creating a promotional video which will be filmed in video production classes, marketing students will be in charge of selling/marketing the puzzle pieces, graphic students will be in charge of designing the promotion literature, punch cards/tickets, etc, and woods students will be designing the actual puzzle pieces. This is such a rewarding organization and really brings our community together.
Capstones are an independent, 60 hour project that all WHS seniors are required to complete, as it is a graduation requirement. The Capstone is a cumulative opportunity for the seniors to put their academic strengths and personal interests together. All capstones are due the second week of May. There are many things that you can do for your capstone. For example, senior Olivia LaBella’s capstone is sports related. Her capstone is a clinic that involves girls’ Lacrosse, and getting more girls to sign up for the sport and to teach them more about it. “When you’re younger, you don’t really learn about it. You mainly learn about it when you get to the high school,” Olivia stated. She’s been participating in lacrosse for 10 years. Her parents are also active members of the sport; her dad has coached many teams and her mom schedules all the games for the youth programs and is on the board for youth. They tell her that the numbers are dropping from not only the youth program, but from the high school, too. Oliva says she’s going to try and keep the clinic running, so that more people can find out and make it apart of the gym classes at John Trumbull, Judson, and Polk. A second capstone example is senior Nicole Flodquist, who is learning to screenprint, and making T-Shirts to raise money for the tech-ed department. She created custom designs and printed shirts for students and faculty interested in purchasing her art work. Ever since she started graphic design, she's had a love for it and plans on continuing her graphic education by minoring in it in college. A third example is senior Jordan Arnold’s capstone, which is photography. Jordan trys to get pictures of all the sports teams during their games and events. The reason why he chose to do this as his capstone is because he’s always wanted photos while he was playing sports and he never got any, so he decided he would start taking some for others. He always liked taking photos, and states, “I always thought it was interesting to capture the emotion and to be able to look back at the memories.” He said he’s going to try and continue with photography through college, apply for competitions and scholarships, and possibly photograph as a side job.
Welcome to the Watertown High School Newsletter Indian Info! Here you will find all the current news and events happening at Watertown High. If you want to submit or ask us any questions, please feel free to contact us on the contact page.