Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Grand Opening of STEM
      by Zeno Burton
    Photo Courtesy of SI Live                                                             

On March 9, 2018 Port Richmond High School celebrated the opening of their STEM classroom. Principal Swinton, Mr. Spaventa and Mr. Rosch presented the STEM classroom to District 31 Superintendent, Anthony Lodico, PRHS administrators, teachers, students and borough representatives. Mr. Rosch and Mr. Spaventa showcased their robotics, 3D printing, woodworking and design areas. Another highlight of the classroom that was brought to the spectators’ attention was Spanish teacher,
Mr. Noto’s stained glass station.
Earlier this year, what began as a conversation between math teacher Michael Spaventa and Principal Swinton quickly turned into the creation of the first STEM initiative in a non-specialized high school. In an effort to expand upon a Makerspace that was already established, Mr. Spaventa asked science teacher, Zachary Rosch to collaborate with him on the STEM initiative. Mr. Rosch’s science expertise combined with Mr. Spaventa’s mathematics and computer science background provides Raiders with a total STEM experience.
Prior to the PRHS STEM ribbon cutting, there was only one school with a STEM program on Staten Island - Staten Island Technical HS - which screens its students to get accepted. STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is an approach that combines the four disciplines for various applications. It is about exposing students to ideas and practices that allow them to think critically and to use those skills to enjoy disciplines which are often a cause for anxiety and apprehension.
Students are invited to visit the STEM MakerLAB during their lunch periods. “The STEM MakerLAB is open periods 4 through 8. We are an initiative and not a program. Students will not be screened to be part of STEM; it is open and accessible to all students.”  Mr. Spaventa stated. “We hope that exposure to these ideas in practice will help our Raiders in college, career, and life readiness,” added Mr. Spaventa.

Mr Spaventa and Mr Rosch in their outside weather station
Students working on a STEM lab
The Students are building ramps for the lab

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tony Bennett Visits Port Richmond High School
                                                      by Darien Gayle
        On April 10th, Tony Bennett and his wife, Susan Benedetto visited Mr. Scarano’s Jazz Band class.  Both the students and staff were excited to perform for a musical legend. “The students were so thrilled to meet Mr. Bennett and perform for him.  As an ETA (Exploring the Arts) partner school, I make sure our students know all about Tony Bennett and his musical contributions,” said Assistant Principal, Ms. Suzanne Woodman. The excitement was also shared by music instructor, Mr. Frank Scarano. “Doing anything in front of a legend is crazy, but to teach in front of someone who advocates for what you do as a profession is stress inducing! I felt the pressure going into the moment, but once Mr. Bennett walked in, he made it easy.  It felt like any day teaching. Only difference was that I had a 19-time Grammy Winner sitting in the corner,” said Mr. Scarano. “Completely star struck; I was shaking when I found out; it’s absolutely insane. I listen to him pretty much every day. He is one of my idols,” expressed student, jazz guitarist, Peter Gillece. "For me, it has most definitely been the highlight of my time here at Port Richmond. What's cool about this is that many of our music students were fans of his before he even came to the school. To see the kids’ reactions as they performed for him today was absolutely special," stated Ms. Woodman.  Mr. Scarano also expressed how special it was to host Mr. Bennett in his classroom, “This was a monumental moment for me.  I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett with my grandfather. He is one of the icons that helped me find my passion. To be able to met him and have him observe me will be a moment of history that will be embedded in me forever.  I feel humbled and blessed to have had this experience with our unbelievable students.”

    Ms. Woodman procured a grant for Exploring the Arts, a program funded by Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Benedetto.  The Exploring the Arts grant funds the purchase of new instruments and gives students the opportunity to train with professional artists to perfect their craft.  Students and staff were excited to show Mr. Bennet and his wife how they have benefitted from their generosity.

Mr.Defazio, Teaching His Way Into Excellence
By Zeno Burton

Mr.DeFazio received the UFT Teacher of Excellence award on Friday, April 13 at UFT Headquarters in Manhattan.  Several faculty members from Port Richmond Richmond High School attended the event to support Mr.DeFazio.
Mr. Defazio is dedicated to teaching his students how to become strong writers and critical thinkers. “My students are what inspires my passion for teaching. I really enjoy helping them grow and learn how to do new things.  Writing is hard work. It takes a lot of practice. But anyone can do it. As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Energy and persistence conquer all things,’” expressed Mr. Defazio.

Mr. DeFazio’s teaching style has been described as engaging and inspirational. “Mr. DeFazio is a dynamic teacher who creates an engaging and exciting atmosphere for his students, and encourages them to truly take pride in what it means to be academically self-motivated.  He consistently incorporates games and spectacle into his classroom, as well as current topics and controversies that are relevant to our students in order to make learning not only rigourous, but fun! Students truly flourish in his classroom, and I’ve watched him encourage even the most struggling student to see their potential and exceed it,” stated Assistant Principal Ms. DiPalma.  Inspiration, dedication, and passion are words that many people use to describe Mr. Defazio. “Mr.Defazio offers inspirational life and career advice for both in and out of school situations. He is dedicated to ensuring everyone’s success, and he puts all his time and energy into his passion,”stated senior, Patrick Perrigo. “Mr. Defazio has helped me become a better writer through constant practice, writing essay after essay. He always makes us revise, re-evaluate, and re-read our writing until we identify our mistakes. Not only that, he gives his students honest advice on their writing which helps them improve,” expressed junior Darien Gayle.  Mr. DeFazio’s students recognize that he has enabled them to become effective writers.

BTS performs AND Wins Top Social Artist At BBMA’s

On May 20th, the BBMA (Billboard Music Awards) showcased Kpop band, BTS’s new single, “Fake Love” off  of their new album “Love Yourself : Tear.” The crowd was loud and supportive of the seven boys. They also took home the Top Social Artist award, an award voted by fans, for the second year in a row.  Many other fandoms reported giving up and saying that ‘We can’t win against them, they’re (ARMY) are crazy.’ BTS had 94% of the vote and were expected to win. Namjoon gave the speech and cried out to ARMY and ARMY all over the world. Jimin gave a small speech to everyone back home. BTS is being recognized all over the world for their incredible vocals, dancing skills and rap skills.
They are also gaining many fans among celebrities. Wrestler and actor,          John Cena is a confirmed fan of BTS and posts pictures of them on his Instagram. Shawn Mendes and The Chainsmokers are also among the mix of celebrities who enjoy listening to BTS.  There are also many who just post pictures with BTS because it ‘is cool’ or ‘maybe their fans will support me.’ No matter how famous BTS gets, veteran ARMY’s are the ones who will always know the most about BTS. I’ve been an ARMY since 2016, since before they got super famous and I am very happy to have gone through their other phases before their rise to fame. I will forever support the seven boys who make me happy. They deserve everything. Thank you BTS.

(LEFT TO RIGHT ; Taehyung, Yoongi, Seokjin, Jungkook, Namjoon, Jimin and Hoseok)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

“Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda” or known as
“Love, Simon” Movie Review By Alexa Agnello

Simon Spier is a 16 year old high school student who is in the closet. No one knows he’s gay. There is only one person who knows Simon is gay and his name is Blue. Simon found Blue on his High School’s tumblr page, “Creek Secrets.” In the movie, Blue put a post up on the blog and Simon emailed him under the name Jacques. Simon leaves his email open on one of the school computers and student,  Martin Addison takes pictures of Simon’s emails. Martin threatens to release the emails unless Simon can get Abby Suso to date him. Over the course of the movie Simon tries hard to get Abby to date Martin. In Martin’s final attempt to get Abby to date him, he makes a fool of himself during the football game and gets rejected in front of hundreds of students.

The acting from Nick Robinson (Simon), Katherine Langford (Leah) , Alexandra Shipp (Abby), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Nick) and Keiynan Lonsdale (Bram) is amazing. All of the actors interpreted their characters authentically.  Nick Robinson portrayed Simon in a unique way and was as awkward as Simon is described.

My favorite detail from the movie is that whenever Simon met someone who he thought was Blue, the next email he received was narrated by that person. The movie is inspiring and may be able to give teenagers, or people in general, the confidence to come out to their family or friends. Even though the movie wasn’t exactly like the book, I still enjoyed every second of it. The movie offered a new look into Simon’s life and the frustrations he experienced when he was younger. This movie shows that you shouldn’t be afraid of who you are, no matter if you’re straight, bisexual, gay or pan, you should be loved the way you are.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Walkout Of Misery
By Christian Allamby
17 minutes for 17 names
The walkout we had showed that gun laws were to blame
Instead of supporting the cause and keeping things organized
We’re off to our lives, with grief surely unrecognized

We did more standing than walking
“Beigel” and “Feis” would’ve wanted a sequel, but their hearts been deported
Led by feet that supported, arms placing kids in safety’s confinement
They took more action than us, but yet can't get another chance at surviving

Student athletics, scholarships for the future
“Alhadeff had her mind on competitive soccer”
One goal set ahead, just for the next morning to be presumed dead
Family wishing she was still alive to see their baby girl run ahead

A band for our fallen, but no more marching for them
“Gina” and “Alex” will always have tunes crowds could never forget
Beautiful souls reaching from broken scars
There is a need to be upset when you don't get a chance to see your child make it far

Why did he do this?
Why does it pain?
Could be from illness…
or he’s just mentally insane

“Peter” and “Petty”, JROTC program
Never to touch the field, because death came and called early
Where’s their medal of honor, not that it settles families losses
No one could ever be ready when all they know is practice
Slowly advancing, death is something they haven't grasped yet

“Carmen”, just like my mother”s name
If she was ever taken from me I’d might scream God’s name in vain
Who knows, maybe he is to blame
But why take an excellent student away from us, playing with our lives like a game

To see a father cry, and have another father die
For “Jamie’s” father I understand the pain that must be inside
To see an angel fly the sky
And realize your princess won’t ever get to reach her height

For “Chris”, with his half missing, his family's left with a hole
No other man could ever replace him even when death leaves a warm hearted man cold
To balance a job and a family, providing your son with the keys to live right
Offering your team the green light, teaching every kid on the roster not to let the screams bite

“Helena”, “Meadow” and “Nicholas”, one more year, that’s ridiculous
Some had scholarships, others didn’t
At least we know fear didn't blurr up their vision

Why did you do this to children?
Three who almost tasted adulthood, waiting for high school to finish
They were headed to college
Why not let them wake so they can finish

Full of life, surely gifted, “Martin” had just experienced new lessons
“Luke” was crossing, bound for greatness
“Cara” coasted, chilling in sand swallowed by deep waves
Three more names of victims, who all had vibrant lives to raise

At certain levels it gets harder for my temperature not to go insane
To have this mess with your brain…
Connecting to these people, hearing the things we all do the same
My duty to feel like a friend, feel for anyone who’s been fighting this pain

If I lose friends I’d be back to writing this
Please don’t force an overtime, you’re taking lives of innocents
Find a new balance between peace and riots
Please as a people, put an end to this

Would’ve found a friend in “Oliver”, writing poetry, we shared the same
And if not, who cares about the differences?
Either dead or alive, we still have our name
But I wish for every child and adult who lost their lives in the Parkland shooting to walk the clouds and prevent anymore rain

For you guys I dedicate this poem with a promise…
If hope dies, i'll make the light shine
The world needs to see the pain, recognize your importance

From one soul to another, I hope you all stay to see the change students are finally involved in...No more misery and crying

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A Woman’s story
By Christian Allamby
It starts with you, what they tell every child
It starts with you, “damn I haven’t had a boy in a while”
Fourth trial should be a man just like me, isn’t that wild
Disappointed by my gender, I guess this reality now

Said that you would praise me, but just left my mother to raise me
Don’t go and have another girl, you always see us as lazy
A waste of time to have me
You probably think we mistakes, you probably think we’re only here for sweating the kitchen and handing you cake

My father treating me like my boss now, another man who won’t provide me my raise
I do just as much work as you, but I’m forced to hide around, locked in your safe
He's been so fond of color, let's see what happens when he meets my red
Been so hesitant to show it, my rage feels too powerless to shed

What a phenomenal color, most women wear it on both sides
“She claims her color shows inside and out, but she's just being difficult”
“Flammable fumes, she wants to show red, so ima make her sad, deep down and depressed”
“Claim i cant change you, but my views is what's gonna save you”

The definition of men is crazy
Advocated by thoughts to bring their son to the light, but give their daughters less than a smile and a ride to school once their entire life
Because that life for me was like every six months, mom had to carry me for nine… just for you to go express yourself towards other woman like mom was your slave on the side

“You should run to my words”
“These are your tasks, now cook something good”
“Don’t you dare to talk back”
“Ms. do I make myself clear, or am I misunderstood”

I think my ears work perfectly, tired of hiding bruises under my hood
Never preached for robin to come get me, another man that’ll never look
Look through your blinded eyes, justice will soon reach present times
You know your “perfect” windows will never be tinted, so be satisfied with not having another guy

All you did was ruin my mirrored dreams
Thought who planted me as my father, wouldn’t just whine and scream
2018, might turn you into another dad meme
Disgrace to the human species, you and the men that raped our goals instead of treating us like your picture perfect queen

I’m not your shelter, someone for you to bury your anger
Feel like i've been homeless all my life, you've provided me nothing but danger
Better off with a stranger or running away to become my own leader
Even though most men will deny my victory I’m not someone who’ll serve you like a waiter

Was I ever important, oh wait you’re too busy to deny it
How'd you bring mom that diamond, but wait until you’re out the public to display abuse
Talk all about me, running my mouth, but you could never spill the truth
A part of many chapters in my life, I hope I become good enough to publish it

The world should see you suffer, forget tough love, it’s over
No changing the bruises and scars on my skin
You won’t change for us, there is no “depend”
Open ended regret, swallow your pride because now you're the “GIRL”  within

Wanna be number 1 on the rafters, congratulations you worked 8 hours
Treat them 8 hours like forced labor, abuse me, but speak in a tone like childish laughter
Won’t let me have a phone, won’t let me acknowledge a real man
Is this your plan, indoctrinate my gender, so I feel like I’m on foreign lands

Nothing is enough, won’t let me leave the house unless I’m covered
“Talk to me nice or I’ll make you see blue for not putting my fork and spoon on the right side next to the butter”
How I know your heart is black?
Failed as a father, so don't fight the firing, you can take your own guilt out back, I heard depression’s hiring

You don’t cry when I’m facing struggles
You just lie, missed the moment when I blew my first bubble
But of course you're late, probably at the bar or disgracing mother’s name
Could give no care in the world, but still try and prevent your little girl from having fame
I guess I’ll force my dreams of having a good dad to the side, teach my son how women can be the best part of your life