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Malden High School's Official Newspaper

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    The school is under debate over a new policy that would affect the structure of MHS. “Should the school implement an ‘open campus’ policy?”

    This question was given to many homerooms among grades 9-12, in a recent survey done by seniors Julia Parker and Adela Dzaferagic, supervised by Berenice Diaz, to find the opinions of students and teachers throughout the school.

    An open campus means that students are not required to stay in school if they don’t have any classes. For example, if a student’s first class is a study, then they don’t have to come to school until their second class; if a student has long block study, they can go home until their next class. This policy is aimed towards seniors as an extension of senior privileges, though freshmen are hoping to get some freedom too.

    Parker sums up the results saying, “Most students said yes, most teachers said no.”

    Many adults worry about the consequences of letting the children have more freedom. “It’s a lot of risk for a school to take on, because [the school is] in charge of making sure [the students] are safe. If there was an open campus policy [the school] wouldn’t be able to promise that…” says guidance counselor, Heather Northrop. “[She doesn’t] know how that would look like if [the school] had that — how would [the] staff who work here make sure that all students are safe at all times?” English teacher, Pasquale DiBenedetto, voices concerns about all students, considering that “this is a huge school and that’s a lot of students being out of campus,” so overall it might be hard to keep track of everyone. For now he believes it would be better to restrict the policy to only seniors, however “if [the school] gradually [releases] it, maybe it would work.” Richard Du follows pursuit in ideas. “There are a lot of irresponsible people so I don’t think, towards the underclassmen, it might really apply so well. It would be better for upperclassmen to have that opportunity… that role is more appropriate for them.”

    Alongside this, some people worry that students might not be responsible and just leave for the rest of school day, missing class or even spending too much money during lunch. Despite this, people believe that there might also be some benefits in this.

    Being able to go outside might benefit some students’ education. “Everybody learns differently, and not everybody can reach their maximum amount of potential in school environments. People might work better in the library or work better at home,” says senior Richard Du. Some people simply need to be able to go outside or take breaks in order to be able to complete their tasks productively.

    “It would relieve stress,” says senior Griffin Hughes, “and probably create some more motivational work since [students] don’t feel as pinned to stay inside school.” Especially considering those who want to do well, that would use the freedom to their benefit, and stay on top of their game. “[There are] two groups of people: the ones who care and the ones who don’t, and that’s not changing. If someone wants to achieve in school, they will achieve in school regardless of [the policy].”

    Thus far, every student and teacher said there needs to be some rules in order to be able to have open campus, and not everyone should be eligible. If students have been responsible in the classroom and maintain good grades, and maintain good attendance then there shouldn’t be a problem. Another unanimous agreement held the belief that freshmen are not yet to be trusted with an open campus structured school day, though most people don’t mind having an open campus for upperclassmen.

    “Getting some fresh air is beneficial to everybody,” says DiBenedetto, “[He likes] the idea of rewarding students that have done a good job in the classroom with an open campus. There’s a lot to consider when implementing a new privilege as this. Would you want an open campus? How would you spend your time? It’s up to you to decide.

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    History is defined as “the study of past events” but the History Club at Malden High School is giving a whole new meaning to history.

    On Thursday, October 13th, the club will host a movie night as a fundraiser hoping the event would also generate interest in the History Club and the work it does. Along with movie night, the club is planning a debate night for students to develop and present informed arguments allowing them to contribute their voices to topics.

    These events reflect the goal of the club: to create a space where history can be educational but equally as interesting and enjoyable. Secretary Fatima Lhaloui says that “being in a club and having a say in a safe place that everyone can go to and express their opinions without being judged, is the most important aspect of History Club.”

    Damian Aufiero, one of the club’s advisors, tells of his relationship with history from the very beginning. He says that, “in high school [he] had an idea that history was fixed and that nothing changed in the past but really, history is always changing [and] there’s no clear picture of what history is, it changes based on who you ask.” To him, history is the collective story of all humans which is why creating and maintaining a safe and familiar environment for students to talk about history is so important.

    To Michelle Filer, the club’s other advisor, history is how the past is interpreted and the History Club is “a way to go outside the classroom and pursue your own interests in history.” She hopes that History Club can allow its participants to think about history broadly and begin to develop their own identity.

    The club is student run which is what sets it apart from many other clubs at MHS. Filer and Aufiero both tell of the importance of having the focus on student’s interests, accomplishments, and thoughts; a club run by the students and for the students.

    The History Club’s academic journal “The Optimist” allows students to submit academic writing to be published and even the idea of debate night was conceptualized by a student. The club was created to address the need for a student centered conversation to occur about things that have happened in the past and how they affect the present.

    Co-president Alexa Murray interprets the club’s purpose through personal experience saying that, “joining history club helped [her] connect it all together, what you learn in history class shapes how you view today’s problems”.

    The History Club has been and continues being a way to connect history to current events, connect what happens in class to what is happening in the real world, and connect with others as well.  Now its goals are to continuing inspiring students to use history as a lens for viewing and solving current issues.

    The club is currently addressing Columbus Day hoping for a change or compromise that would introduce Indigenous People’s Day honoring the lives of native peoples who lost their land to foreign invaders. The club is dedicating itself now to researching and soon will be sharing the proposal with the city but many new projects are already in view.

    The History Club is hoping to get involved with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and the Malden Historical Society but even with an abundance of project plans for the future, it’s important to also focus on the history being made in the present.

    The two co-advisors have final hopes for the club and its members. Aufiero hopes that “in 100 years, if they look back at the first “Optimist” the History Club produced, they can see what some of their story was”. Filer hopes students can ask themselves what it means to be an American and allow the History Club to help them find their identity and the narrative they want to tell about themselves, to find their history.

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    Junior Giovanna Lanciani has been a part of the cheerleading team for three years. When she was a freshmen, she decided to try something new. Aside from cheering, Lanciani does gymnastics and dances competitively. This year, Lanciani set goals for herself as a new flyer on the team. ¨This is [her] first year flying,” and she is working her hardest. This season so far, she believes that she has been improving. ¨[She] learned how to do a full up which before [she] couldn’t do a low. You start sitting and you have to twist to go up.¨

    According to Lanciani, the environment and the people in it makes cheering so special to her. ¨ In cheering, [they] have to work together to keep the stunts up and to make sure everything is on time so it’s really working together.¨ She also mentions how gymnastics is a self sport but cheering consist of working together which is also why it is so special to her. When asked about her favorite part of cheering, Lanciani responded with, ¨competitions, because [she dances] competitively so [she’s] used to competing. So [she loves] that more than just cheering at a game.¨

    Lanciani describes that her experience with cheering is going very good. “[She feels] like [they] really try hard to work as a team. But [she feels] like every year something always happens that sets [them] back but [they] have to overcome it.¨ She thinks the fact that her and her team can persevere and push through the challenges that come their way is very good. Lanciani says that winning against Everett was her best memory in the years that she has been cheering. “[They] haven’t beat them in 27 years so when [they] beat them last year it was a big deal for everyone.¨When performing the cheers, the emotions that go through her mind are excitement and nervousness as well. “[She’s] excited because [she likes] the feeling of it but [she gets] nervous to make sure [she hits] everything on time.¨

    Her advice for others who might want to join the cheering team is to just come with a positive attitude work hard and show that you want to be there.


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  • 10/11/16--11:29: Malden Reads: The Vote
  • The Malden Reads Committee has been busy selecting a new book for the schools of Malden next year. They base their decisions off of suggestions from the public, from people who work at the library, and from people on the committee as well. They narrow their options down to at least fifteen different books before they enlist the help of a variety of people to read the books, and then they discuss whether or not the books are a good community read, how they relate to the city of Malden, if it’d be a good Malden book for people to read, and what kind of programming they can put together. The whole process involves a lot of reading, discussing, and narrowing down their options.

    A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman.

    A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman. Photo from Malden Reads.

    The assistant director of the Malden Public Library, who is also on the Malden Reads Committee, Caron Guigli says that they’re in the midst of the, “final selection,”, where everyone who does the reading has to have read all three books, and they put it up to a vote to decide the book for the 2017 program. Guigli states that they do this, so that “to make it fair so you’re [sic] not the only one that votes on the book you’ve [sic] read.” The three books that are being put up to vote includes A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction by Patrick J. Kennedy, Stephen Fried; Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years In Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates; and, finally, A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman.

    Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates.

    Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates. Photo from Malden Reads.

    The Malden Reads Committee tries to find books with specific themes that revolve around community, and the importance of literacy. A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction by Patrick J. Kennedy, tells his story and his struggles with bipolar mental illness and his addiction to prescription painkillers. One of the main reasons it’s a candidate for the final selection is because of its focus on mental illness and addiction issues, which Guigli says, “Malden’s talking about those things right now”. Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years In Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates is the second candidate in the final selection. It centers around this female professor from Indiana, who goes to teach Shakespeare classes at a prison with convicted murderers and criminals. As she goes about teaching and discussing Shakespeare’s works, the prisoners end up changing their whole outlooks on their lives and Guigli points out that they learn that “learning can change anybody.” The third candidate for the final selection is A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman, which is the tale of a grumpy, old man who lost his wife in Sweden, and is essentially the worst neighbor in the history of all neighbors. That is, until a young couple move in next door with their two daughters change his life, starting with flattening his mailbox and ends up getting more involved with his community than he would’ve originally wanted to. This book is one of the top three chosen because Guigli explains that it’s about how, “human interaction can save your life.”

    Guigli explains that each year, the Malden Reads Committee tries to select a book that deals with “community to a degree,” because they want a book that the community can read to together, and they want, “everyone to discuss it.” She explains that the themes they’re looking for involves community and how the book relates to our community, especially, “literacy and reading and storytelling in the community,”. At this time, the Malden Reads Committee is still deciding and voting on which of the three books will be chosen for next year’s program, but Guigli hopes that whatever book they choose, we will love and decide to participate in as well.

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    Malden High school welcomed many new teachers as well as leadership changes. For the Athletics Department, former Physical Education teacher Charlie Conefrey has taken a position as Athletics Director.

    Former Athletics Director Dan Keif took a new position at Beverley High School, leaving an open position to be filled.

    Conefrey was a physical education teacher at Malden High School for four years, after teaching at Salemwood school for one. Conefrey went through the Malden Public School system, going to Forestdale school and graduating Malden High School.

    As a child, Conefrey wanted to be a basketball player, but he was a “little too short to make it there.” He was always passionate about physical education and health, leading him to a future career as athletics director.

    Conefrey went to Wentworth college, playing basketball, but left and finished his degree online at the University of Phoenix. Conefrey later went on to pursue his Masters degree in school administration at Cambridge College.

    Before getting the job, Conefrey was aware of the opening, due to Keif’s departure. He was just finishing up his Master’s degree, and was interviewed by new principal Ted Lombardi and other administrative staff, later finding out he got the job.

    Being a P.E. teacher and being athletics director, is “widely different” says Conefrey. Although Conefrey enjoyed teaching, he is enjoying his new leadership position much more. The position was a “natural fit” for Conefrey, as he enjoys making a “positive influence” and strives to encourage and make positive changes.

    As athletics director, Conefrey’s job is to “oversee, evaluate, and instruct” all of Malden Public Schools’ physical education departments for grades k-12. Also, as atheltics director, Confrey has the responsibility of hiring and evaluating coaches, and overseeing Malden High Schools’ nearly 30 sports teams. As for Conofrey’s job over the student athletes, he makes sure they are doing what they need to be academically, and “representing Malden in a positive manner, on and off the field of play.”

    Conefrey’s wife, also a teacher at Malden High School, Raisa Conefrey, says that Confrey got the position as athetics director, because of his passion and knowledge for athletics [and] fitness [that] shined through in his interview.” Raisa Conefrey also notes her husband’s connections to the city, as a graduate of the Malden Public School system.

    New athletic director, Charlie Conefrey posing for a photo. Photo taken by Ryan Hames.

    New athletic director, Charlie Conefrey posing for a photo. Photo taken by Ryan Hames.


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  • 10/12/16--11:13: Humans of MHS 10/12
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    The Malden Against Cancer Club is an organization that helps raise money and awareness toward cancer research.

    The club initially began as the Breast Cancer Awareness Club. Then, after a few years of being specifically a breast cancer awareness organization, they decided to broaden it to all cancer research — not just breast cancer. From then on, the Breast Cancer Awareness Club became the Malden Against Cancer club.

    Malden Against Cancer raises money and awareness in different ways. They host events such as the Pink Out Games, where athletes and spectators wear pink in order to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. The club sells t-shirts and other breast cancer related items as well. Other events they host are bubble soccer, bake sells, Movember/ No Shave November. During No Shave November, people are encouraged to stop shaving and the club hands out fake mustaches for a dollar, which go to fund prostate cancer research. 

    From left to right: senior Grace Melo, junior Tiffany Tortora, and seniors Giovana Vidal, Alinny DeAndrade. Photo taken by Josandy Jeune.

    From left to right: seniors Grace Melo and Alinny DeAndrade, junior Tiffany Tortora, and seniors Nathaniel Ilebode and Giovana Vidal. Photo taken by Josandy Jeune.

    The advisor of the club is Kristen Kirby, a science teacher at Malden High School. Kirby decided to advise the club because she has been personally affected by cancer and the club was for a good cause. Her role as advisor means that she aids with contacts and such, but she also wants the club to the mainly be student-run, allowing students to be free with their ideas. Kirby states “that the experience so far has been great as [she] likes how every year the club seems to be getting bigger and bigger. [She] is very happy with the turnout this year.”

    Members of the club this year include seniors Grace Melo, Giovana Vidal, Alinny DeAndrade, Nathaniel Ilebode and junior Tiffany Tortora. Melo joined because “it was really popular around the school and [she] thought it was for a great cause.”  Melo wanted to join her freshman year because “[she] would always hear how clubs were a great way to meet friends and new people.” Melo finally did join sophomore year when she was more acquainted with the school environment and has loved it ever since.

    Malden Against Cancer members making the banner for the pink-out football game. Photo taken by Josandy Jeune.

    Malden Against Cancer members making the banner for the pink-out football game. Photo taken by Josandy Jeune.

    DeAndrade decided to join because she also “saw how popular it was and [she saw] how effective it was.” DeAndrade has stated how “some clubs are at the school and don’t really do anything. They are just there to be there.” Meanwhile, the Malden Against Cancer club actually works with different organizations and helps people.

    Tortora joined the Malden Against Cancer club her freshman year. The reasoning behind it is as well as her peers she “noticed how effective it was and felt that with this club she could make a difference and change things.”

    Vidal made the decision to join the club because both her mom and grandma had cancer. She joined the club to help spread awareness and raise money.

    These fellow members enjoy the club and have a great time. They love how welcoming the club is to new members and how it doesn’t demand to much from you. Missing meetings are excused because students have obligations such as sports or homework. There is no harm done since there are so many people involved.

    They all came to the conclusion that this club is a really great way to meet new people and gain lot of new friends. It’s a good high school experience and any help is accepted. To join, come by after school to Kirby’s room B431.


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  • 10/13/16--11:13: Football Gallery
  • Malden High players pushing the pile to gain extra yards. Photo taken by Abhishek Rana

    Malden High players pushing the pile to gain extra yards. Photo taken by Abhishek Rana

    Check out the photos from the games against Malden Catholic and Somerville here

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    Malden High School’s Play Production is preparing for their opening show of the year, Godspell. Godspell is the retelling of the gospel of Matthew in musical form. It goes through the teachings of Jesus.

    When asked Sean Walsh says Godspell was chosen as the opening play because he “really loves the music” and since there are a lot of new students “it is a way to get them involved” because it’s a very “physical and intense show.” Last year the plays were mainly plot based so Walsh wanted to do an “ensemble focused show.”

    Allen Phelps, Play Pro’s technical director, adds on saying that he thought “this would be a great show” and he has a lot of experience in it since he has performed in this show three times when he acted professionally.

    When asked about how he feels about the new members Walsh says that he loves their energy. He feels that they are “understanding the commitment” that the class entails and that they have already begun to support each other and overall clicked. Phelps comments on the returning members saying that they are “good leaders” and that since they have been around for years “they understand how the program works.”

    Play Production actors learning a new dance. Photo taken by Ailin Toro.

    Play Production actors learning a new dance. Photo taken by Ailin Toro.

    As far as bumps in the road in the technology department Phelps notes that most problems don’t arise until they start building the set which this year will start in the beginning of November. Phelps also mentions the students are mainly in charge of the designing. He mentions that he is really happy with the “new tech workers and their commitment to working hard every class.”

    Senior Nic Acuna, who is playing Judas, is excited because this is the first time he will have a lead role. This play will also show a new side to him because he gets to play a role unlike what he has played before since his other roles haven’t been very serious. He feels that rehearsals up until now have been “going really good” and hopes they stay that way. He feels it it will be really good and wants to tell everyone “to come watch the show.”

    Up until now, not many problems have arose but Walsh does bring up that they are behind. He says that so far they only gone through the first three opening numbers so overall only a third of the way finished. He is confident they will catch up though and is excited about the end results.

    You can watch Godspell in Malden High School’s Jenkins auditorium on November 17th,18th, and 19th. You can also watch the Play Pro members perform a song from Godspell at Dancing With the Teachers on October 20th.

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    Yongting Chen is a junior at Malden High, and a member of the cross country team. Chen is on her third year on the team, making her a devoted member. Chen first joined the team to develop her running ability, and stayed on the team ever since.

    Chen’s goals for the season is to achieve a metal for the GBL closing. Chen’s looking forward for the team to work together and obtain the GBL championship for another year. She cites her most exciting moment was when she heard her name on the morning announcements for the first time. Chen says she gets nervous every time before a race, because she doesn’t know what she can accomplish through each meet, and she worries about not making any improvement. Chen is also nervous about the chance of injury. She says it’s difficult to keep her body under a healthy condition due to long term running and doing well in academics, since lack of sleep and poor food choices can negatively affect your running ability. Her motivation for keeping her body healthy is when Coach Londino says, “you always have to keep your body healthy because what you eat and what you do, would always affect how you perform while running. Because your body is going to feel it.”

    Not only does Chen have goals for cross country, she also has goals for academics. Chen takes an impressive amount of four AP classes. She says it’s a challenge to achieve an excellent grade in each class, so her goal is to keep her grades high, and get at least a 90 in each class. 

    Junior Yongting Chen runs beside a Medford runner. Photo taken by Sara Zakaria.

    Junior Yongting Chen runs beside a Medford runner. Photo taken by Sara Zakaria.

    Chen aims to improve her speed, because she wishes she can pick up the pace towards the finish line, since she says she always loses her energy at the end. Chen is not sure whether or not she wants to continue running after high school, but she’ll think about it.

    Chen’s favorite thing about cross country is the team. “[She loves her] outstanding and marvelous teammates.” She says, “they’re amazing.” She enjoys spending time with them, both in practice and outside of practice. She likes how when they run as a pack, they pace each other and encourage each other. She says it’s difficult not to get along with her lovely teammates.


    Chen’s other favorite thing about cross country is the spirit. The feeling of competition and winning through hard work is indescribable. She says because everyone in the team works hard and cares about the sport so much, the strong and positive thoughts build up the team’s spirit and strong friendship. “That’s what makes the team special,” she says.

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  • 10/14/16--11:12: School Council Meeting 10/13
  • The Malden High School Council met at the high school on October 13 to discuss the school data. Principal Edward Lombardi briefed the Council on a variety of topics: how MCAS is scored, how those scores impact the school, and pitched a number of ideas that might help increase scores.

    Lombardi stated that “knowing the game we’re playing” is extremely important and expressed the importance of understanding how standardized tests impact the school. The first thing he explained was the Performances and Progress Indicator (PPI), which is an accumulation of test results and other statistics within the school, that plays a large role in classifying schools into levels. For K-8 schools, the only thing that measures is how many students score proficiently on their MCAS as well as the student growth throughout their MCAS experiences. For high schools, both the proficiency and the growth influence the PPI, but graduation and dropout rates are also taken into account.

    Lombardi made sure to address a common misconception about how different students affect the PPI and other classifications; it is often believed that ELL students and Special Education students poorly influence the school’s data. However, Lombardi claims quite the opposite: Special Education students who qualify get a specific form of the test, known as MCAS-alt, which is assessed differently, and ELL students actually are quite beneficial to the system, because their growth rate is a huge boost in the school’s PPI.

    The Council began briefly discussing a variety of ways to help continuously improve MHS’ scores on the MCAS. The “Writing with Colors” reading and writing program got brought up, in which students are taught to break apart texts into claim, evidence, reason, sentence starters, and words and phrases using different colored highlighters. Lombardi claimed that in the school he worked at previously, students were taught to analyze essays with this method, and their test scores had incredibly high growth rates. Giving students a visual aid will obviously not transform test scores, but the Council agreed that it would give students more confidence in their writing. Everyone at the meeting seemed to agree that if the school focuses on helping students graduate in 4 years, by getting good grades and passing their MCAS tests, the graduation rate would increase; an increased graduation rate and a decreased dropout rate would greatly improve MHS’ PPI, which would be a large step closer to becoming a Level 1 or 2 school.

    Although he has only been principal for a few months, Lombardi, along with the School Council, has already begun changing the high school and will continue trying to improve the school with the students’ best interests in mind.

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    The MBTA Orange Line is used by thousands of people daily. The Orange Line starts at Oak Grove, Malden, and ends at Forest Hills, Boston, with several stops in between. There is a new suggestion of putting in a new stop, at Commercial Street, near the River’s Edge Apartment Complex which is just over the Medford Line. This stop would be called “River’s Edge”. It would be in between Malden Center and Wellington Station.  This suggestion for new stop is causing mixed emotions among a variation of people.


    Orange Line train at Assembly Row Station. Photo from WikiMedia

    The reason for the suggestion for the new stop is due to the incoming casino resort along the Mystic River. It would be built along the existing tracks across from Malden’s public work departments. The only way this stop would exist would be through private donations through a private development. It would take at least $85 to $95 million dollars, and at least 7 years. This would also bring on a $7 to $9 million foot bridge for pedestrians over the Malden River to Malden so Everett and Medford residents from Rivers Edge Apartments and other places would have better access to the new train stop. Additionally, if the new stop is actually made, an extension to the silver line bus routes to run through the same area.

    In a recent article produced by The Boston Globe, Malden Mayor Gary Christenson talked about his thoughts on the new stop, “I don’t see why it couldn’t happen, I think the sky’s the limit.” Not all people agree with Christenson, though. “A new stop doesn’t make a lot of sense unless a lot of people need to go to that stop regularly.” Lowre Aristil, a MBTA regular, says. She used Assembly for example. Assembly is a general public attraction, so it made sense that a lot of people would go there, unlike the River’s Edge apartments which would mainly be used by not many River’s Edge tenants. She feels that the private donors money and time would be wasted, and the money should be used to improve the Orange Line before they try to expand it any more.

    Some people think it’s nice that people from that certain area of Malden, Medford, and Everett will have a better way of transportation instead of crowding buses, but not everyone is thinking positively like that. Either way, the people in the neighborhood of the proposed stop, which is only a five minute drive from Malden Station, would have to agree with the stop being made before any construction begins.

    Overall, the River’s Edge stop is a maybe right now. It’s either going to happen, or it’s not going to happen, but no one knows for sure at the moment.

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    Junior Eric Toh is the one of the new members of Malden High School varsity soccer team.

    Junior Eric Toh posing for a picure. Photo taken by Anna Powers.

    Junior Eric Toh posing for a picure. Photo taken by Anna Powers.

    Though this is his first year on varsity, he is no stranger to the soccer team, having been on the freshman and JV team in his previous years at MHS.

    Soccer has always been his part of life, as he has had a passion for soccer ever since he was four. Like his role model, soccer athlete Gareth Bale, Toh is also a left foot player.

    When asked how he felt about this season, he said he was both anxious but excited because “[they] lost a lot of senior players from last year, so it is an uphill battle this season but if [they] pull together as a team, [they] can play really well.” He added that, “the goal for this season is to improve constantly as a strong team, hopefully which would help [them] get more wins.”

    In Toh’s opinion playing soccer “relieves lot of stress,” but it’s definitely hard to balance school and soccer because “it’s a lot of time.”

    He also mentions that it is a good feeling to be part of the varsity team. “[He feels] like [he is] playing with lot more purpose than when [he was] just on the JV or freshmen team.”

    Toh believes that, ”effort on defense, as well as on offense” is the key for the team to be successful.

    Toh has learned a lot more from the soccer. One of the most important lessons that soccer taught him is to “communicate and work together as a team.”  

    He also has played club soccer, but as of now he only plays for the high school team. Toh hopes to play soccer in college.

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  • 10/17/16--11:14: Modern Day Addictions

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    Although the Malden High School girl’s volleyball season has gotten off to a rough start, the volleyball team still remains positive.

    Head coach Dan Jurkowski, says the season is not going as great as expected. “There has been a lot of losses but the girls are staying positive. We’re trying to get better everyday.” The team still has 6 games and are hoping to end the season with a win. Jurkowski says the team has faced many challenges.

    “[The team] won 16 games last year. So, expectations were a little high this year when we came into the season,” Jurkowski said. The team lost many seniors from graduation. So the biggest challenge for the team this year is to just get everybody playing time.

    Jurkowski explained that the team remains with great attitudes the entire time. “We’re hoping to finish up the season strong.”

    The goals for the volleyball team is to end the season well and win a couple games. Jurkowski said that “[they] have a couple GBL opponents left. [They] played Everett and Medford. So [their] goal is to win those two games and try to win a couple other games before the season ends.”

    Jurkowski said the team’s strength is their good attitudes. The team’s weakness is learning how to serve. “Even just communicating on the floor is something that we been working on all year and we’ve gotten a little bit better but still, it needs to improve.”

    Jurkowski’s advice for those who might want to join is, “Volleyball is a great game that you can always play, so I encourage everyone to play.”

    Senior Grace Melo, who is one of the three captains, has been apart of the volleyball team for four years. Melo decided to play volleyball her freshman year because it was a great opportunity to meet new people and also be active in the school.  

    Melo said that “so far for varsity, it’s not [their] best season but it does not mean [they are] not putting in effort. The team is good and it has potential. There’s just little things that [they] need to work on. Same goes for junior varsity and freshmen. All the effort is there it’s just about putting it all together and working as a team with one another to achieve success.”

    Junior Tiffany Tortora, who is also one of the three captains, has been apart of the volleyball team for three years. She was influenced by her sister to play volleyball, who also played on the team. According to Tortora, the season so far, is not what the team expected it to be.

    “It’s not going bad, but it’s not going what we had expected, but [she] feel like as a team [they are] doing good but [she doesn’t] think [their] record reflects how [they have] been doing,” Tortora said.

    “[The team] is good at communicating and our weaknesses is more being on court,” Tortora explained. To Tortora, volleyball “is the best thing [one] could do all four years of high school because it creates bonds that will last for a long time.”

    Senior Sarah Beaton is the last of the captains, who has also been apart of the volleyball team for four years. Beaton was self-inspired to join the volleyball team. When asked about how the season is going, Beaton responds with “overall, it’s going pretty well, but it could be doing better.”

    The volleyball team has made improvements since the season started. Beaton said that “[they] lost the awkwardness of being on a team with each other and gained a bond with one another.” Her advice for others who may want to join is that the sport gives you a reason to make a team more like a family.

    Even though the volleyball players are off to a rough start in the season, they’re staying positive and MHS looks forward to the rest of the season.

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    The Malden High football team have had an up and down start their season so far. Under the leadership of their new head coach, Bill Manchester, the Golden Tornadoes have started the season with a 2-3 record. However, despite the record saying otherwise, it seems that the Tornadoes have turned their season around after an underwhelming start.

    Starting the season 0-3, after losses against Methuen, Peabody, and Malden Catholic, the Tornadoes looked to turn their season around. They got that chance on September 30th, where they hosted their GBL rivals Somerville at Macdonald stadium. The previous week they had lost a close game against their city rivals, the Malden Catholic Lancers. With the game on the line and their offense being positioned in the redzone, the Tornadoes were stopped by the Lancer defense from tying the game. This had resulted in Malden High to lose the last two games by just a touchdown.

    MHS defense goes after the ball carrier. Photo taken by Abhishek Rana.

    MHS defense goes after the ball carrier. Photo taken by Abhishek Rana.

    However, the Tornadoes’ season finally got going after the game against Somerville. Just like the week before, the Tornadoes were in another close game against their opponent. With less than five minutes left, Malden were leading 19-13, but Somerville were driving and threatening to tie the game and take the lead. However on second down and two, Somerville’s screen pass was jumped and intercepted by junior Marlon Cook who returned it untouched for a pick-6. This finally allowed Malden to get their first win of the season with the score of 25-19.

    After the game, junior Walter Analetto reflected on the importance of their first victory of the season. He mention that “[they] finally got the taste of victory” which he feels will drive “[them to do better].” When asked about what the difference was between winning a close game down the stretch, as opposed to losing their first three games in similar situations, Analetto stated that “[he] thought that that week, [they] had the best week of practice of the season.” He continued to say that “[this] allowed [them] to not give up, and finally catch a break that [they had] been looking for all season.”

    Malden followed their first win, with another victory down the stretch against Lowell the very next week. Going into the game Lowell had a 3-2 record compared to Malden’s 2-3 record. However despite the difference in record, the game was tightly contested and went to triple overtime. The Tornadoes were able to pick up the victory, thanks to a rushing touchdown from captain and junior, quarterback Jared Martino, who gave Malden a 48-42 victory in triple overtime.

    The contrast between losing games by executing down the stretch, and winning by doing the opposite has given the Tornadoes a confidence boost heading into mid season. The team hopes to use their boosted confidence to continue winning games and build on this run.

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  • 10/19/16--11:14: Ed Camp Malden
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    Teachers participating in the Ed Camp program. Photo by Sabrina Monteiro.

    The Ed Camp program has had an approximate amount of 200 Ed Camps over the last two years. It has been an educated driven program for both students and teachers. More than 30 people had attended with the majority of them being teachers, there were about 5-10 students and most of them were seniors.

    Rebecca Corcoran with last year being her first year participating at Ed Camp this year she says, “it was [her] first year picking a topic based on getting marginalized or new ESL students to participate in afterschool activities such as pep rallies and sporting events. Corcoran believes that it is important to participate and from the topic she had chosen, “[there were] different inputs from others on how to get students more involved.” When it was Corcoran’s first year, she had no idea what it would be like, but once she got to experience what Ed Camp was really all about and that it included several different topics that reflected on the education of her students, she knew she would definitely come back for the upcoming years.

    This year was Thomas Snarsky’s first time attending the Ed Camp program and was recommended by Abbey Dick who is in charge of running this year’s Ed Camp. Snarsky enjoyed it mainly because of the idea of going into different rooms where you can get all sorts of feedback and different perspectives from anyone participating in the room. He says that, “as an algebra teacher, [he believes] the topic [he] had more interest in talking about was engaging more students to enjoy the subject and getting them to participate more often.” Snarsky was at first a bit nervous based on the fact that all the teachers and students would be so open during the discussions. Anyone was free to write on a piece of paper, placing it on the bulletin board about anything you wished to have a discussion about. After awhile, he wasn’t as nervous anymore because people were very friendly and it was easy to just jump into the conversations at any time. Snarsky enjoyed the event very much and would love to do it again, possibly in other areas besides Malden.


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    One of the many leadership changes Malden welcome this year was a new STEM director. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Unlike most director positions in Malden, the STEM director not only operates at Malden High, but also in the five K-8 schools across the city. The STEM director also evaluates teachers, run professional development days, makes decisions about the curriculum that is taught and what the school supplies for students.

    Former Malden High math teacher Shereen Escovitz stepped up to the position of STEM Director after the departure of the previous STEM Director, Diane Perito. Escovitz was originally on the search committee for the new director, but she explains that “[the committee] only interviewed one person who [they] thought was not a good fit, so [she] stepped up and said ‘[she] can do it.’”Afterwards, Escovitz met with the superintendent and assistant superintendent, who interviewed her and gave her the position.

    Escovitz explains that switching from being a teacher to a STEM director is “very different.” Since Escovitz has to go to all six schools in Malden, she is not just in one classroom so she doesn’t see students as much. She also said that “[she] spends a lot more time talking with teachers about teaching, and [she] considers that an upside, but [she] definitely misses the classroom environment since as a teacher, you are totally focused on your classroom and your students that you don’t necessarily get involved.”

    For her goals as STEM Director, Escovitz wants to help the district get a renewed focus on science, technology, engineering and math in grades K-12. She believes, “it’s important to give [students] as much time as [they] are given for reading and writing.” She thinks this is particularly important for “younger students to get a good exposure to math. Because Escovitz’s background is in high school and that she knows so much about it, she hopes “explore the elementary world and make the curriculum as strong as it can be. “[She] wants their STEM programs to run as well as they can.”

    Escovitz hopes that students all across Malden Public Schools get excited about STEM fields and that the enjoy them. She thinks it is great to see “[students] engaged in the work that [they] do in those classes.” Since STEM fields are very hands-on, students have the opportunity to do lots of creative projects that can lead to great careers.

    STEM fields are growing in public schools and there are many careers available in programming, advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and finances that relate back to STEM fields, Escovitz would “love to see an increased STEM presence in Malden Public Schools to prepare [students] for these kinds of careers.”

    Escovitz is very excited hold the STEM Director position and is excited to do great work this year in Malden Public Schools.

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    On October 18th, there was a Chinese Arts & Crafts event at the Malden Public Library. This event was a big deal because this type of event would normally be taking place in New Jersey or Boston but the coordinator, Mei Hung, found out they were looking for a location and through a contact was able to get them to come to Malden.

    Hung wanted to do this event because “this kind of art isn’t really introduced” to kids now. She also mentions that this could be because creating this this type of art  “takes time, money, and skill” so it’s not available to everyone. She also wanted to promote this because she feels like it’s not only good for the kids culturally but this type of art is also “soothing, entertaining, and [has] a lot of value.”

    The mask painting station run by Jo-wei Hung. Photo taken by Ailin Toro.

    The mask painting station run by Jo-wei Hung. Photo taken by Ailin Toro.

    At the event there were different stations. One was set up with the information of the group who hosted this event, the Chinese Culture Connection. Another table run by Jo-Wei Hung, was set up with painted masks. When Mei Hung opened up this event she mentioned how painting this could “take hours and required a lot of talent.” Since Mei Hung didn’t speak English there were volunteers there to help translate and allow Mei Hung to talk with the guests.

    The most popular station at the event was the sugar painting station. Here, Kuo-Tien Lue, heated liquid sugar on a steel plate and designed the liquid sugar to look like an animal. There was a line across the room full of kids lining up asking for Lue to make them octopuses, giraffes, and dragons.

    One of the attendees, Vivian Schmidt, said that she was interested in this event because “she wanted to enjoy Chinese culture and to understand the field [of] art and craft media.” If there are more events she says she “will be glad to go to these type of events to meet new friends and participate fun activities.”

    If you are interested in more events like this go to this page to be updated on upcoming events.

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    Malden Creates is a new local business that helps support creative action in Malden.  They work with anybody who has any ideas they want to make a reality, including businesses, artists, musicians and various cultural organizations. It operates to consider every perspective possible and aims to have those perspectives represented in a creative form.

    Ose Schwab, the chief instigator for Malden Reads, explains that the organization originated because “[she] met so many artists and directors of cultural organizations who were doing really wonderful things that the community didn’t necessarily know about”. Schwab “thought it would be great if more of these artists, musicians and performers do performances and work in Malden”. She also noticed who many artists and cultural organizations contribute their time to work for free, and she believed “it would be nice to give these organizations funds in the form of grants and business sponsorships”. Personally, Schwab hopes to “help people find resources that would enhance [their] ideas and enable [them] to do things in Malden with more visibility”.

    Malden Creates Logo. Logo designed Elena Martinez, of Artfort Design Studio.

    Malden Creates Logo. Logo designed Elena Martinez, of Artfort Design Studio.

    Malden Creates presents various opportunities to current and aspiring artists. An idea Schwab has had is a mentoring program that can offer young and aspiring artists and musicians the opportunity to get support and guidance from professional artists and musicians She explains that “[she] would like to place an ‘artist in residence’ at each of the six schools in Malden where [students] will have the opportunity to talk to real-life artists”. She wants Malden Creates to “open the lines of communication to provide more opportunities for artists to submit work through community projects”.

    One of the projects that have been complete by the organization include bringing a Nordic vocal ensemble to Malden for the first time. Schwab explains that “the idea [for the project] was to bridge the cultural divide and open a window to a different cultural view”. Schwab also started a talk show called InsideMalden, which Schwab states is meant to “introduce Malden to itself through introspective conversations with change makers in Malden”

    Malden Creates also allows people to propose ideas for current or new projects and to fill in for volunteer positions for certain events. The organization is hoping to have a youth presence in its projects and volunteering positions as Schwab states. Some volunteering positions that youth can participate in include a social media person, greeting people who walk through the doors of events, project managers, and performance program designer.  “[she] would love to have [students] help me come up with ideas on how to market and projects that [they] would like to see funded.

    People of all ages can become involved in Malden Creates by going to their website.


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