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Malden High School's Official Newspaper

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    As Charles Grandson’s role as Interim Superintendent comes to an end, the Malden community looks for a permanent superintendent, including the possibility of Grandson returning as superintendent. The community as a whole, now, is encouraged to put their input for superintendent in. A committee was put in place to search for a new superintendent, consisting of 13 members, including representatives from the five K-8 schools, and Malden High School.

    Representing Malden High in the search committee is French teacher Paul Degenkolb, who was asked by Mayor Gary Christenson to be a part of it. Degenkolb describes what the committee does when searching for a new superintendent: “The city posts a job description: a little bit about the district, what the population is like, what makes Malden a special place, et cetera.” The description was posted on websites for school administrators.

    What the search committee is responsible for is creating interview questions for the superintendent candidates once the application process ends. Since the application deadline hasn’t closed yet, Degenkolb says that the process of the committee so far has been behind the scenes, however he believes that it will be a “tiring but rewarding process.”

    On the City of Malden’s website there is a survey in which all Malden residents, from students in the Malden Public Schools to Adult residents. The survey was posted on Jan. 17, and is available in eight different languages for the diverse population of Malden. The survey consists of questions asking how important certain priorities are, and how important certain skills and abilities are for a potential superintendent to have. Concluding the survey are open-ended questions asking about the preservation of aspects of Malden Public Schools, and the improvement of them.

    The post Malden’s Input for Superintendent Search appeared first on The Blue and Gold.

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  • 02/07/17--11:15: Women’s March Boston
  • Over 5 million people worldwide came together in solidarity on January 21, 2017, to march, speak, and make their voices heard in protest of the Trump Administration that was inaugurated the day before.

    Many people from Malden joined the march in Boston. The City Committee organized a group of about 20 residents who took the train downtown from Malden Center on Saturday morning. The Malden-based American Association of Arab Women also had strong opinions at the march. Some residents gathered for pictures around a sign that said, “Malden,” and one resident held a sign reading, “Malden Embraces Diversity.”

    One of the posters from the march. Photo taken by Leila Greige.

    What started the women’s march movement was to protest against human rights, women’s rights, immigration policies, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, and freedom of religion. The march was an event with the purpose of standing in solidarity with the groups of people that Trump has offended all throughout his presidential campaign and even now. This march drew an estimation of 500,000 to the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. alone. At least 408 marches were planned in the US, and around 670 marches took place worldwide.

    This march gained support from many different parts around the world. No arrests were made in these marches. The women’s march movement took place on every continent, even in Antarctica. According to the www.womensmarch.com, their mission is for those who participate in the marches “will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. [They] work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.” The goal of the protest is to send a bold message to the new government on its first day. Those that organized the march stated on the site that it “is not [the] differences that divide [the country]. It is [the] inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

    One of the posters from the march. Photo taken by Leila Greige.

    Although many people questioned the social impact the march would have, speakers at various marches encouraged their audience and the world to look at the march as the beginning of a resistance and not the end of one. At the heart of what began the movement, the women’s march in Washington, D.C, filmmaker Michael Moore urged the women to take action both locally and on a larger scale. While it’s important to engage in open conversation, especially with people with whom you may not agree with, it’s also important to be heard by those who have the power to create political change. He urged viewers to call their representatives and senators everyday on behalf of the beliefs they hold. Michael Moore also mentioned how a way to take action is by calling Congress and senators.

    As long as there are still those that feel strongly about their opposition of the positions and stances the Trump administration have taken, the march will continue to influence the movement.

    The post Women’s March Boston appeared first on The Blue and Gold.

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    Sophomore Robens Garcia is no stranger to the Malden High School Golden Tornadoes basketball team. Having been playing Basketball for only four years, point guard Garcia is enjoying his first year on the varsity team. Garcia has already become accustomed with basketball by playing on both the junior varsity and freshmen teams as a freshmen.

    As expectations by coach Don Nally were high on the newcomers, Garcia has been able play as a starter on last couple of the games of the season by impressing the coach with his outstanding skills and performance. When asked about the team qualifying for the State tournament, Garcia explained that “[the team] did a great job grinding and working together” in order to qualify.

    So far, the team has 10 wins, but not without accumulating four close losses on the way as well. Garcia explained that “losing some games with extremely close margins has allowed the [team] to learn a lot.” Gracia also mentioned that his least favorite game of the season was the 72-71 loss to the Revere High School Patriots because of the close manner in which they lost, with team losing by a point in a heated overtime game, having scored a buzzer-beater to send it to overtime. He continued to say that, “the [team] needs to work on [their]communication” in order to execute in crunch time.

    While explaining about his first year experience on the varsity team, Garcia mentioned that, “[he has done] way better than the previous year.” Garcia added that “his performance and energy has been improved tremendously this year”, due to playing on the varsity team.  

    Senior captain, Bernard Taylor had a lot to say about his fellow teammate Garcia. Taylor mentioned that he is “proud of the Garcia’s performance, especially with him being sophomore.” He continued to say that, “Garcia brings energy and has shown [the team] what he [is] capable of.” Taylor also added that “other teammates appreciate Garcia’s hard work during the games, as well as in practices.”

    Fellow newcomer to the team this season, junior center Malik Besset also praised his teammate Garcia. He mentioned that Garcia has a “good relationship” with him and other teammates and expanded that “[they] are all brothers.”  

    Besides basketball, Garcia explained that he use to play soccer, however due to his genuine enthusiasm and growing love for basketball, he was not being able to give soccer as much time as he use to. When asked about his style and attitude as a player, Garcia explained when not in the game how he’s the first one on the bench cheering for his teammates and giving words of encouragement.

    The post Boys Basketball Profile: Robens Garcia appeared first on The Blue and Gold.

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    Super Bowl LI featured one of the most memorable games of all time, as the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime and captured their fifth Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

    The scoreline alone suggests an even back and forth game between the two best teams in the NFL, but anyone who watched the game knows that this was far from back and forth. It was almost as if the game featured two games within itself, one dominated by the Falcons, and the other by the Patriots.

    Up until halftime, the Falcons had completely dominated the much more experienced Patriots, and lead 21-3. Furthermore, with 8:31 left in the third quarter, Atlanta went up 28-3 thanks to a six yard touchdown reception from running back Tevin Coleman. However, after this point, the Falcons were shutout for the rest of the game, with the Patriots scoring a seemingly unfathomable thirty-one unanswered points to steal the game away from Atlanta.

    Tweet from ESPN Stats & Info on Twitter.

    The twenty-five point comeback by the Patriots is currently the largest in Super Bowl history, with the second largest comeback also being mounted by the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, when they came back from being down ten points to the Seattle Seahawks. There is no doubt that the comeback in Super Bowl LI was the greatest comeback in the history of the NFL, specially when you account for the stage it occurred in and its significance.

    This game once again displayed the greatness of both head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady as well as the “never say die” attitude of the entire New England Patriots’ roster. To most experts and fans, it cemented Brady and Belichick as the single greatest quarterback and coach in the history of the NFL.

    While none of this can be denied, and tremendous amount of credit has to be awarded to the Patriots for pulling of this comeback, a lot of the blame should be placed upon the Falcons for their collapse. Super Bowl LI was a flat-out “choke job” by the Atlanta Falcons. It was the single biggest collapse on a big stage in American Sports history.

    Throughout the second half, there were numerous occasions where if a single one of them were executed properly by the Falcons, they would have their first Super Bowl title. In fact, according to ESPN Stats & Info, “the Falcons’ win probability peaked at greater than 99.5% following Julian Edelman’s incomplete pass” on a third down trick play in the third quarter.

    At this point, the Patriots were down 28-3 and faced a fourth and three at their own 46 yard line with 6:04 left in the third quarter. Brady completed a 17 yard pass to wide receiver Danny Amendola to convert the critical fourth down play. This drive eventually resulted in the Patriots’ first touchdown of the game thanks to a five yard touchdown reception by running back James White, with 2:06 left in the third quarter.

    Due to the missed extra point by kicker Stephen Gostkowski, the Falcons still lead 28-9 and seemed to have halted any Patriots momentum after recovering an onside kick on the following kickoff. The Falcons got the ball at the 46 yard line of the Patriots and were almost in field goal range. However, despite the great field position, they were unable to capitalize as they went three and out and were forced to punt.

    The Patriots went into the fourth quarter with the possession but were down by 19 points, and only managed to cut the Falcon lead to 16 points on the drive after being forced to take a field goal in the red zone. Although that turned the game into a two possession game, the Patriots still needed two stops on defense, two touchdowns, as well as two 2-point conversions in order to tie the game up.

    Then, Atlanta possessed the ball with 9:40 left in the final quarter, and had a chance to chew time off of the clock. Instead, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan decided to pass the ball on third and one, resulting in a strip-sack by linebacker Dont’a Hightower that was recovered by Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch.

    This gave the Patriots offense the ball in great field possessionat the Atlanta 25 yard lineand could have been entirely avoided if the Falcons would have ran the football. Furthermore, the strip-sack was a result of a missed blocking assignment by Falcons’ running back Freeman, who was suppose to block Hightower on the blitz, but failed to do so, resulting in the Falcons’ first turnover in the game.

    That turnover was the defining play of the game, as it shifted all the momentum in the Patriots’ favor. The Patriots offense quickly capitalized, cutting the Falcons’ lead to ten points after the touchdown reception by Amendola, and then to eight points after a successful 2-point conversion rush up the middle by White. This turned the game into a one possession affair with 5:56 left in the fourth quarter.

    Still however, the Patriots defense needed to stop Falcons’ potent offense one more time. The Falcons drove to midfield, where wide receiver Julio Jones was able to make an inhuman acrobatic catch at the Patriots 22-yard line, somehow managing to drag his toes and keep both feet inbounds for a 27-yard completion. The catch by Jones would have been the most memorable play of the game, if not for another that came later in the fourth quarter.

    With Atlanta having an eight point lead and possessing the ball near the red-zone, it looked as the comeback by the patriots would fall short. The Falcons were in field goal range and all they needed to do was run the ball, and kick a field goal to make it a two possession game and essentially seal the game

    Instead, after losing one yard on a first down rush play, the Falcons decided to drop back and pass on second down. This turned out to be a huge mistake, as quarterback Matt Ryan took a critical sack from defensive end Trey Flowers for a loss of 12 yards, a sack which could have been avoided had Ryan thrown the ball away and not looked to get outside the pocket.

    Still however, the Falcons were on the edge of field goal range at the New England 35 yard line. A couple of yards would have put them back into comfortable field goal range, but once again they chose to pass on third down and an offensive holding penalty pushed them ten yards further and out of the possibility of getting a practically game-ending three points.

    A first and ten at the opposing twenty yard line turned into a fourth and thirty-three at the 45 yard line of the Patriots. These last mis-opportunities turned out to be the final nail in the coffin for the Falcons, as the league’s number one offense would not possess the ball for the rest of the game.

    With the ball in his hands and 3:38 left in the fourth quarter, Brady surgically drove his team 91 yards, capped off by a 1-yard rushing touchdown by James White. Though, the highlight of the drive and the game as a whole was the 23-yard reception by wide receiver Julian Edelman, who managed to latch on to a deflected throw and snag the ball less than an inch off the ground. The Patriots completed the comeback after another successful 2-point conversion on a pass from Brady to Amendola, tying the game 28-28.

    This sent the game to the first overtime period in Super Bowl history, where after winning the coin toss, the Patriots elected to receive the ball first. Once again, as he has done so many times in his illustrious career, Brady methodically drove the team down the length of the field. With a second and goal at the 2-yard line, James White scored a walk-off touchdown on a toss play to win the game 34-28 and give the Patriots their fifth Super Bowl in franchise history.

    Questionable play-calling like Shanahan electing to run only five times after being up 28-3, as well as some key individual player mistakes like that of Matt Ryan taking the sack late in the game lead to Falcons losing their 25 point lead. However, another factor may have been the Falcons’ defense fatiguing in the final one and half quarters.

    Up until the 13th minute of the third quarter, the Falcons had allowed no touchdowns and completely held the number three scoring offense in the league in check. However, despite having not scored a touchdown up until that point, the Patriots had had numerous long drives where they moved the ball, but could not capitalize. Furthermore, the Falcons’ points came on short drives and their offense had little success on drives that did not result in touchdowns. In fact, their offense only converted one out of eight third downs in the entire game.

    This finally took a toll of the Falcons’ defense as they were completely out of gas by the time fourth quarter and overtime arrived and gave up thirty one points in the final 22 minutes of the game. The 82-yard pick-6 thrown by Tom Brady in the second second quarter contributed to the lopsided time of possession of the game, as it meant that the Patriots possessed the ball for eight in-game minutes to close out the half. An argument can be made that the interception even helped the Patriots in the long-run as it continued to fatigue the Falcons’ defense for the oncoming onslaught late in the game.

    The final time of possession of the game was New England with a forty minutes and thirty-one seconds and Atlanta with 23:27. This lead to the Patriots running a staggering total of eighty-five offensive plays, while the Falcons ran a mere forty-six. This is another reason why the final quarter and the 2nd half in general, as well as overtime, turned out the way it did.

    While there is no doubt that the on numerous occasions the Falcons’ blew away a chance at their first title, credit has to be given to the Patriots. After being down 28-3, with 8:31 left in the third quarter, New England had to play perfect football for the remainder of the game. And they just that, executing flawlessly on both offense and defense. While Atlanta stumbled, New England took advantage of every mistake and made history by mounting the largest and most impressive comeback in any Super Bowl ever.           

    The post Super Bowl LI: A Historic Comeback or Collapse? appeared first on The Blue and Gold.

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    On Thursday, January 26, 2017 the Malden Public Library decided to host their annual 19th Trivia night at the restaurant Anthony’s. This is the second to last Trivia night that the Malden Library would be hosting.

    This year’s Trivia night is dedicated to Dr. George Holland and James Norton, both having recently passed away. The event included a mini band and 4 round, with 5 minute intermissions in between the rounds.

    Some teams participating were like, Mayor’s Motttley Crew, which of course included Mayor Gary Christenson, MATV, and the winners of this year’s best decorated team, Chambers of Commerce, who dressed like characters from Harry Potter, and more. To start of the game, previous high school students of Malden high school and Mystic valley sang their school song.

    They played games like Dead or Alive where a representative from each team had to choose whether the celebrity had passed away or not with the two pads they held. With every penalty that a team makes, they had to pay money.

    The winners of night would be able to win a ice cream cake. There was also lottery games where each team purchases a arm length amount of tickets. Overall, the night was a success as every group had fun with not only their groupmates, but with their fellow Maldonians.

    The post Malden Public Library Hosts Triple Threat Trivia Fundraiser appeared first on The Blue and Gold.

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    Many controversies have surfaced during the scant amount of days in which Trump has been president of the United States. Municipalities

    One of these has been the issue of sanctuary cities. Trump’s actions against immigrants has resonated throughout various cities in the United States including the Greater Boston area. This has posed as a great concern for the city of Malden whose immigrant population has reached as upwards of 30% with half of this percentage as students in public schools. Trump’s Executive Orders that target immigrants have potentially severe implications for Malden, Boston, and even the state of Massachusetts in its entirety. Areas that once provided immigrants with safety from potentially harmful immigration officers have now become targets for government crackdown and persecution.

    President Trump speaking about new immigration policies. Photo from WikiMedia.

    To offer context, a sanctuary city is simply a district that poses as a haven for undocumented immigrants throughout the United States such as local cities like Boston, Lawrence, and Somerville. These sanctuary cities can be significant for refugees who wish for safety on a state level especially when their lack of citizenship puts them in compromising situations. President Trump is enacting these laws under the guise of a push for public safety which surfaces the question of what makes undocumented immigrants inherently unsafe? It could merely be Trump’s heavily projected xenophobia, but when I ruminate over this question, I cannot help but think back to the very lesson I am learning in history class, which reflects the political climate that Trump is slowly creating in the United States. Trump’s Executive Order draws parallels from history which can be alarming considering how much America seeks to progress from its complex past.

    Simultaneously, the question of whether or not Malden warrants the label of a sanctuary city can be asked as well. Although Malden is technically not a sanctuary city, mayor of Malden Gary Christenson told Wicked Local that Malden is “a community that’s open and welcome to everyone regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation and status.” There may be a plethora of unspoken reasons to why Mayor Christenson would rather not declare Malden an official sanctuary city. First and foremost, if he did call it a sanctuary city, then Malden would be subject to Trump’s Executive Order that would cut funding directly from Malden. This could be detrimental to the city which supports thousands of immigrants and provides them with resources to better suit them to their lives.

    Many citizens find the label of a sanctuary city important as it has the ability to give immigrants the sense of security that they may be seeking in a new or obscure area. Being an immigrant is not an easy experience. Some enter the country as refugees, for family, for education opportunities or to start their lives anew. In the process of immigrating, one can face dangerous journeys, familial separation, painstaking legal procedures, and general disapproval from society.

    As a second generation Nigerian, I know secondhand that being an immigrant represents strength and sacrifice. Both of my parents left Nigeria when they were adults, but still young, solely for education. They didn’t leave the country out of fear of violence or war, lack or freedom of religion. They left to enrich their futures. They left family who loved them, places they knew inside and out, as well as secure careers all for a life in an unknown country. It is a scary experience, leaving a place one knows so well for a place swarming with newness and uncertainty. Conversely, I find it a unique sentiment, knowing that I will live the rest of my life feeling wholeheartedly supported by my parents who chose to safeguard their own educations, thus securing mine.

    Map of major sanctuary cities in the United States. Photo from WikiMedia.

    Support has sprung up all over social media for immigrants since Donald Trump was elected. Many resources have become more available to in regards to what to do if ever apprehended by law enforcement, particularly the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, a federal law agency which operates under the Department of Homeland Security responsible for border patrol and other forms of national security. There have been info graphics that offer advice to not comply with the the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and instead to fight back.

    Protesters have also been supporting immigrants by voicing their opposition to Trump’s ban and wall. They by no means believe that immigrants pose as a detriment to our society and but that they enhance it instead. Many have pointed out Trump’s hypocrisy in making a ban on immigrants considering the fact that his own wife is an immigrant. In noting this simple fact, people have deemed this an issue not about safety, but merely about race. Our country has seen already hundreds of years of institutionalized racism that people are still working to fix. The people will by no means be compliant to the order Trump is trying to impose over our country, many of which is rooted in racism. As long as people have the opportunity to protest and fight Trump’s odious and petulant laws, they will. The public will not stand by and allow immigrants treated blatantly unfairly when many of the contribute greatly to the American economy.

    Ultimately, the issue of sanctuary cities in the Greater Boston area extends beyond a label. Sanctuary cities have the potential to serve as buffer to harsh law enforcement and genuine injustice. The pinnacle of these are orders exactly like Trump’s which are detrimental more than just cities; but to immigrants who house the same dreams as the rest of the world.

    The post What’s the Issue with Sanctuary Cities? appeared first on The Blue and Gold.

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    Malden High School’s girls basketball team has definitely improved from their last season and really proved their placement here at MHS. The team had many more wins on their table then last season.

    Junior Tiffany Totora blocks the ball from junior Xue Zhou as they practice drills. Photo taken by Jesaias Benitez.

    They definitely left a lasting impression on the teams they played against for the last time in the GBL league. As a team, they definitely worked on things that contributed to the definition of a successful team, that led them to end the season with succeeding in their goal of not only improving upon their previous record, but improving their cohesiveness as a team.

    The entire team has made such a drastic improvement from the previous seasons thanks to the new coaching staff. Coach Scott Marino has really pushed all of them to strive for success and he has put a lot of stress on unity. The freshmen, junior varsity, and varsity teams are not individual teams, but instead one unified team.

    McKenzie Vo is a senior who plays guard on her first year of varsity this year. The team she wanted to beat was Lynn Classical because they have a great program the really pushes the varsity team to play the best that they can. Her goals for this season were to become more aggressive and physical in which she has shown on the court.

    Junior Taaj Findley shoots the ball looking for a shot during their scrimmage. Photo taken by Jesaias Benitez.

    This season, Vo expected for everyone to come together as a team, because in previous years she feels like they focused more on the game of basketball than their connections with the team. “Basketball is important, but games can’t be won with a group of individual players. Teamwork and communication is just as important as talent and skill,” Vo said. The girls varsity basketball team most definitely came together as a team this season with great communication skills on the court that was very noticeable.

    When Vo heard that the previous coaches from last year would no longer be a part of the program, she was “prepared for an entire new routine.” She expected the bar to be raised higher, and it was. She explain how she has “actually made an improvement from last year. In [her] previous years, [she] didn’t have enough confidence in [herself] to shoot 3’s and none of [her previous] coaches had pushed [her] as much as [Marino] to do that.

    Towards the beginning of this season, Coach Marino said that every guard has to shoot threes and hearing that made her feel small because she was thoroughly convinced that she wasn’t able to do it. Within a couple weeks of practice, Vo was building enough confidence to shoot and along with her accuracy, she was able to get better. It felt really gratifying to be able to do something that she thought she couldn’t do for so long.”

    Throughout the season, the work put in during practices and games finally payed off. Especially for the girls who were able to not only set the bar higher, but also improve the girls basketball program throughout the school and district. This all wasn’t able to have happened without the help and effort of the coaches, assistant coaches, and the players themselves.

    The post Girls Basketball: Season Comes to an End appeared first on The Blue and Gold.

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    With the season quickly coming to an end, Malden High’s hockey team continues to give it their all in every game.

    Senior James Pandolfo explained that “[the season has] gone pretty well. [The team is] 6-9-1 right now so [they] need 7 points in [their] final 4 games to qualify for the state tournament.” This season, Pandolfo set himself a goal to become the team’s new captain, which he proudly achieved and put all of his focus on “[being] a leader and [setting] good examples for all [of his] teammates on and off the ice.”

    Junior Michael Giordano skating down the rink with the puck. Photo taken by Ryan Hames.

    February 24th marks the day of the last game of the season. This highly anticipated match has been creating excitement that floods the team. Luckily for the team, nervousness is a rarity. Enthusiasm is more commonly spread amongst teammates making the games and practices a place of positivity.

    Pandolfo stressed that the key to success is “playing together and sticking to [their] systems.” A successful game is produced by teamwork and positivity during practices and on the ice. According to Pandolfo, during this season, one of the team’s major improvements was “learning how to play together and put the team first.”

    Junior Michael Goroshko skating down the rink with the puck. Photo taken by Ryan Hames.

    With the goal in mind to be qualifying for the state tournament, like the team did last year, the team remains determined and confident for whatever is thrown their way.

    Sophomore Zachary Rufo claimed that what makes this year’s hockey team special is “[the] many leaders. “Everyone wanted [to win] as bad as the next person, and everyone played like it was the last game of the season [in every game].”

    Pandolfo also mentioned that “[the team was] able to come back this season, and despite losing a lot of talent and leadership from last season’s seniors, [there were] players [who stepped] up into new roles and [got] out of their comfort zone in order to help the team succeed.”

    With an abundance of games that were just as interesting as the last and just as fun as the next, Pandolfo stated that “the most interesting [game] was the early season game against Everett. It was back and forth during the whole game and [the team] ended up winning with a goal in the last 20 seconds of the game.” Throughout all the excitement running through the team this season, the last game is coming closer, leaving a “bittersweet” feeling, according to Pandolfo.

    The Senior Night game was held on Saturday, February 11th but unfortunately ended with the team losing 5-4 against a Saugus team. “Every single player on our team fought hard until the end and left it all on the ice for the seniors” stated Pandolfo.

    Don’t forget to support the team by going to this season’s last game, Friday February 24th at 4:30 at Cronin Rink in Revere.

    The post Hockey: Season Comes to an End appeared first on The Blue and Gold.

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    Coming to the end of the season, the Malden High School’s gymnastic team will leave the Greater Boston League as champions. This achievement is extensive, especially compared to last year where the team was not able to receive this recognition. This year’s team has made many improvements and were able to leave the season with a huge success.

    Junior Giovanna Lanciani performing her floor routine. Photo taken by Sabrina Monteiro.

    Gymnastics coach and English teacher Melissa Macey thought the season went exceptionally well. Macey hopes to coach next year as well. This year, they encouraged a lot of the athletes to try a new event and skill they haven’t done before as well as encouraged team bondings. They had a lot of collaboration and teamwork this season. Macey would have to say that their most memorable meet would be their first meet against Medford.

    “One of the athletes decided to try a new event and ended up do an amazing job,” Macey stated. Leaving the GBL will be bittersweet as the team enjoyed their success, but Macey is excited that the team will be able to face new challenges in the Northeastern Conference that will help the team grow and advance.

    Sophomore Kelly Zhou performing her balance beam routine. Photo taken by Sabrina Monteiro.

    Junior Kaitlyn Kwong believes that the season was “amazing and quick, but fun.” Kwong certainly enjoyed this season because the goals she set were achieved. They won more meets than imagined, which is something the entire team is proud of. The team’s first meet, against Medford, was said to be their most memorable, as Macey stated. Kwong noted that it was “[the team’s] first win of the season and it brought so much joy to the whole team.” Kwong is doleful that the season is over. She will have to get used to “not having a sport to do right after school,” like she had been during the whole season. Kwong also mentioned that “it feels nice to be a winning team at the school,” after winning the GBL championship.

    Senior Ricky Mei said the season has been “very enjoyable.” This is Mei’s second year as a gymnast on the MHS team. With three wins and two losses, Mei agrees that the season has been successful, and especially successful if you were to compare it to last year’s. Mei said the team goals were achieved and conquered. Mei’s most memorable meet was the team’s last meet where they went against Medford, similar to their first meet. The meet was the deciding factor in whether they won the GBL title or not. Mei does not plan on furthering his gymnastic career in college. Mei stated that,“those people will be much much better [than him] because they’ve been doing it basically their whole lives,” but appreciates the experiences he’s able to have by being a gymnast for MHS.

    Sophomore Kevin Phan has competed in gymnastics for two years now. The season was very successful notably because “[they] won GBL and reached [their] goals in terms of trying [their] hardest and never giving up.” Phan is still yet to find out if [he’ll] be doing gymnastics in college.

    All in all, the gymnastics team leave GBL as champions as well as leave this season as champions. They have had a very successful season with three wins and only two loses. They look forward to the season next year in hopes of enhancing their team goals as well as better improving their individual skills.

    The post Gymnastics: Season Comes to an End appeared first on The Blue and Gold.

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    Recently, Malden High School has welcomed a new Spanish teacher, Erick Martha-Reynolds. He is replacing Diane Brookes while she goes on maternity leave for the rest of the year. Before taking over, he had been in the school for a couple of weeks, observing Brookes in order to learn the protocols of her class, and then finally took over her classes now that she has officially left on leave.

    Martha-Reynolds grew up in Mexico and moved to Los Angeles, CA fifteen years ago. He graduated from the Mexican Institute of Technology. His hobbies are mainly active ones, including rock climbing, racing, and training at the gym.

    Erick Martha-Reynolds. Photo taken by Tenzin Dorjee.

    When he came to live in Massachusetts ten years ago, he “realized that a lot of hispanic people were living here and they didn’t have the tools to communicate in English, so [he] wants to help those who speak English and do have the tools to learn Spanish, to be able to do that and learn a second language that will help them communicate with a huge group of people they could not have before.”

    Martha-Reynold explained that Malden was a good fit for him to teach in because he lives in the area and sometimes when he’s had to take the bus, it has passed by the high school, and he began to wonder what it would be like to work at this high school. That’s why when he heard about the job opening, he was immediately excited. Another reason he was excited to work at the high school was because since learning a language is not required, students at the high school know if they want to learn another language and get to choose which one most interests them, which isn’t true for students in elementary or middle school.

    This is actually his first year teaching full-time, but he has been a substitute teacher for the past two years. He feels that the students are dealing with the transition from Brookes as their teacher to him “pretty well.” Martha-Reynolds also added that “the language department is very supportive and have offered [him] help, making [his] success feel like a team effort.”

    His goal coming to MHS is to be an “exceptional teacher”, and make sure the kids enjoy the subject and benefit from it in the future. He mentioned that since Spanish is one of the most common languages spoken in the United States, it makes it so that knowing the language could be something that could really help them later in life.

    Martha-Reynolds can be found in J266.

    The post New Teacher Profile: Erick Martha-Reynolds appeared first on The Blue and Gold.

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    The swim season is coming to a close and the Malden High School swim team is going out with a bang. With MHS heading to a new league next season and the GBL dissolving, MHS has become the final GBL champion, cementing the legacy of the MHS team with a 5th fifth win a row.

    Going into the last season of the GBL wasn’t an easy task as many seniors who were extremely talented last year graduated. However, with the addition of many new swimmers with great potential and talent, the swim team dominated all others and were able to exceed expectations. This season, everyone made a substantial contribution to the GBL victory, as swimmers participated in various events.

    Senior Felicia Lombardi swimming freestyle. Photo taken by Leah Tramondozzi.

    While this season was challenging in some aspects, it has also been a season full of excitement and enthusiasm. Sophomore Sebastian Romani describes the intensity of each moment spent competing and elaborates on how when they “won all [their] meets, which was such a great bonding moment for all.”

    Romani has made personal gains too, dropping his 100 meter fly time by 8 seconds and does not hesitate to credit his coaches and teammates for the help and support saying “[the whole team] did better than expected and [he] wouldn’t have been able to make it through without the support of [everyone].” In regards to being given the opportunity to swim in more events, he stated it made him “feel like the coaches believe and have faith in [him].”

    Senior Cleverina Cong swimming the breaststroke. Photo taken by Leah Tramondozzi.

    Pamela Coelho, sophomore swimmer, stated that “this season presented itself with some challenges,” however, “[their] competitors were easy opponents, thanks to the hard daily practice that [raised everyone’s level].” Ultimately, Pamela stated that “the team was [especially] determined to beat Medford, [their] oldest GBL rival in the last GBL season.”

    Personally, Coelho admits that “this season  was challenging for [her]” as she was put in events “that at first [she] wasn’t comfortable in” like the 200 free. However she was able to get out of her comfort zone with consistent practice helping the event “became easier over the course of the season.”

    Agatha Silva, who also is a sophomore swimmer from Malden High School, stated that “[she] loved the swim season from beginning to end and that [she wished] it wouldn’t end because it means the upperclassmen are leaving.”

    Senior Vivian Nguyen swimming freestyle. Photo taken by Leah Tramondozzi.

    At first, Silva admits that the team was “scared for the [first] meet because a lot of the swimmers weren’t really as ready yet, and so, some swimmers were depended on more,” but was pleasantly surprised when they prevailed. Silva is extremely proud at what the team has accomplished this year knowing that they are the last GBL champs for the swim season and has established “a sense of pride that is unimaginable.” Still, Silva is optimistic in the sense that “new and fresh kids are coming in and [is] excited to see what they can offer the team.”

    Senior Captain Vivian Nguyen shared Silva’s feeling about this season. As this is her last year at MHS and on the MHS swim team, she feels great pride in the team and the progress they’ve made saying “being GBL champs during the last year in the GBL league is something [they] are all proud of.” The personal bests that were reached during the season “just means that there is so much more to come with the underclassmen in upcoming years.”

    Sophomore Joanne Ho added that “this season was definitely a great season, especially being the last time [they] are competing in the GBL.” She is overall looking forward to the new league next year because “there will be extremely difficult and fresh competition that [they] aren’t used to.” To Ho, her biggest opponent of the year was Malden Catholic as they usually are a tough component, so beating Malden Catholic “was one of the most satisfying [moments of the season].”  

    Most of the current juniors will bring in 3 years of of MHS swim experience and sophomores two years into the new league next year. With this amount of enough experience and talent, MHS will definitely become a tough competitors in the new league.

    Freshman Haoxi Wang stated that “the most memorable moment for [him] personally, was the first day of practice when [they] all practiced together in one pool.” He hopes that the camaraderie he has come to value in his team will continue in the following seasons stating that he looks forward to the next season because of “[his] fellow swimmers and friends that make up the team,” thanking them for making the “practices just a little bit easier and more fun to endure.”

    Next season, the swim team will be entering the Northeastern Conference. In new league, they hope to keep up their winning streak.

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    Winter season sports are coming to an end and as it does, athletes have the motivation to try harder and harder as the end is near. Though the wrestling team didn’t have much luck this year and didn’t get as much wins as they would’ve hoped, the team still continues to progress and continues to try to make improvements for the years to come.

    First year wrestling coach Rin Van stated that the season has had its ups and its downs. He will be returning next year to coach for the wrestling team once again. Van says the most memorable meet would have to be the Triton meet.

    Junior Carlos Parada Araujo has been wrestling for two years now and says the season has been “difficult because team is smaller in comparison to last year and [they] have a new coach as well so it’s been kind of hard to get everyone organized. It’s hard to adapt to these changes, but it is important to keep [their] heads held high in order to move on and do [their] best,” Araujo added.

    Araujo has enjoyed the season because he enjoys the sport and is surrounded by good people. The goal for the team is to get everything organized and as an individual for Araujo, it is to “progress and go farther.” Araujo said he will definitely be doing wrestling again next year as it will be his last year to “see how far [he] goes next year and see if it will be his year to go to states.

    Junior Jason Montezuma has been a member of the Malden High School wrestling wrestling for three years. Montezuma said the year “hasn’t been the greatest, but hasn’t been too terrible because [they] still have people that show everyday and work hard which is a good sign for the future.” For next year, Montezuma hopes to accomplish a more “full lineup” and more wins as a team.

    Junior Wisly Pericles, Jr. has had much individual success on the team, having “hit the winning record of 14-6.” His most memorable meet was Lincoln Subaru because he’s wrestled them every time and the opponent he always goes against is a “worthy opponent.”

    Junior Hasnat Moughal felt that the season “has gotten better over time, as people became more committed and showed up more often.” Moughal enjoyed the practices and the meets about this season. He overall became a better wrestler, and was able to cooperate more with his teammates.

    In Sectionals, Araujo and Pericles were able to get 4th place, thus making it to States. They both hope to be able to make it far to make a statement for the MHS program.

    As the wrestling season comes to a close the team hopes to continually progress next year, as well as gain new members.

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  • 02/16/17--11:14: A Look Into Girls Hockey

    Malden members of the girls hockey team. Photo submitted by the team.

    The girls ice hockey team had a packed season, but most Malden High School students do not know that. The girls ice hockey team has talent and skill, but they fly under the radar compared to the boys ice hockey team.

    The boys ice hockey team’s wins and invitations to go to the rink to watch them play on the MHS morning announcements – but rarely for the girls team. The Blue and Gold has also not covered the girls team with as much attention..

    Like for the boy’s team, Malden High School does not have a girl’s hockey team. Instead the girls that are interest in playing are in cooperation with the Medford High School team.

    Bethan Taddeo is a freshman on the hockey team (varsity), and loves hockey with a passion. This is her interview:

    How has the season went?

    The season had a rough start, but we have started to come back with more goals and wins as the season is coming to an end

    1. What do you love about hockey?

    I love how in hockey your whole body is sweating, but the cold rink air hits your face when you’re skating full speed and cools you down

    2. What made you join?

    My dad played hockey his whole childhood, and is now a fanatic about the sport, as well as coaching. Also, my two older brothers have played since they were little. Being brought up in a hockey family, and spending much of my childhood at my brother’s games influenced my interest in the sport.

    3. What’s it like not playing for Malden?

    I love playing for Medford. I got to meet people that don’t live in Malden, and be immersed in a different city. However, not many people know about girls Medford/Malden hockey.

    4. How does it feel playing on a co-school team, especially in comparison to playing on just a Malden-only team?

    Playing with girls from Medford is an amazing experience. I love the mix of Malden and Medford girls. If I had a bad day dealing with people at school, it’s nice to hear about how a day at Medford High went. On a Malden-only team, I almost feel like I wouldn’t be as welcomed as I am on this team. The medford players and coaches always make sure us Malden girls are included. Whereas on a Malden-only team, if you aren’t friends with the players in school, you might not be welcomed on the team.

    5. Do you feel segregated from Malden High sports teams?

    I feel very segregated from Malden High School sports, as do some of the other Malden girls. This is because no one knows about our team, and the school does not really support or advertise our team the way they do to the basketball team or track team.

    6. How can the girls hockey team become better?

    The girls hockey team can become better by just pushing ourselves and each other, the way any team gets better. Support from both schools would also motivate us to do better.

    The team warming up before the start of the game. Photo submitted by the team.

    7. What are ways to get the girls hockey team more known about at Malden High?

    I feel like at Malden High this Medford team is a secret. To make it more known, the school simply has to care more and advertise it more. Malden girls that are interested in joining next year should be more informed. When I joined this year, I had to get all the information from a sophomore that joined last year. The school did not make any announcements for new players to know about. Next year, Malden High should make sure people know about when tryouts are for people interested.

    8. How do you feel about the team?..

    I love my team. I love the sport. I love the people. Joining this sport was the best thing I could do as a freshman. It has taken up so much of my time in such a good way, and helped me make so many new friends. I just wish Malden High would take our team seriously and support us more.

    9. How did it feel not having the girls hockey team not as acknowledged as the boys around the school?

    Hearing the boys team announced all the time and not the girls felt like a slap in the face. It isn’t fair that their team receives support and recognition and our team gets put down and forgotten. I have been told by multiple people that Medford is a ‘rival’ of Malden High, and we should not be playing for them. When it comes to girls ice hockey, we are a united team.

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    The Speech and Debate Team is a club at Malden High School that focuses on the art of debating and public speaking. The Speech and Debate team has been a tradition at MHS, since the club has been going on for over a decade now.

    The Speech and Debate team hosts events like Debate Night, which was also hosted by the History Club. The team also hosts debates between themselves at club meetings, to enhance their debating skills. Although the club has a key feature, debating, the Speech and Debate team do much more than that. It’s common for people to recite speeches, reading plays or even reciting poetry. This helps improve the member’s communication, social and public speaking skills.

    According to junior Harrison Zeiberg, one of the team’s goals is to “get our name out there by hosting more events to try to get people to join next year.” As mentioned earlier, the Speech and Debate team does plenty of more creative things that someone who was unfamiliar with the group would expect from a Speech and Debate club, such as poetry reading and play reading, so “we’re going to try to inform people what we do more” and how “this club helps improve people with speaking skills, especially public speaking, debate skills, and also helps people with the additional, more creative things we do.”

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    The results are in!

    The Class of 2019 elections took place on Thursday, February 16th. Several sophomores ran for eight positions, which were President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Social Media Coordinator, Historian, Volunteer Coordinator, and two Junior Variety Coordinators. There are also two Artistic Directors, which are appointed positions.

    The winning candidates were Matt Farias as President, Helen Eshetu as Vice President, Santiago Portillo as Treasurer, Salma Bezzat as Secretary, Sebastian Romani as Social Media Coordinator, Bryan Burgess as Historian, Libby Taylor as Volunteer Coordinator, and Jennifer Crespo and Shataeya Smith as JV Coordinators.

    The campaigning process started out with an open class meeting to gather interest. Anyone who wanted to run for a position had to submit an application and had to interview personally with class advisor and history teacher Rebecca Corcoran. Once the candidates were chosen, campaigning began by the candidates putting up posters, posting on social media, and handing out pins and cards.

    On the campaign, Corcoran thinks that it has been very positive. She commented that “the candidates have really focused on letting [their] classmates know why [they] would be the best candidate for the position they are running for. [She] feels that that everyone that ran truly wants to help [the Class of 2019] be successful and wants to play a role in making their years at Malden High the best that they can be.”

    Corcoran was looking for candidates who are “dedicated, responsible and are team players”. She believes that these qualities are important because “it’s good to have officers that are friendly, approachable, good listeners and that motivate others” Her goals for the Class of 2019 include having a great Junior Varieties next year and bringing the Class of 2019 together as a class and as a community.

    Portillo describes the campaigning process as “extremely fun, as [he] ordered buttons to help [his]campaigning process”. He decided to run for the position because “[he] knew he would be a reliable secretary that [the class of 2019] could count on. [He] also felt like it was opportunity for [him] to step up and do something for his class”. Portillo looks forward to helping bring the Class of 2019 to where they need to be while also representing themselves to a school in a positive manner.

    The class officers are very excited for what they will accomplish in their positions as well. Farias is hoping to bring the Class of 2019 together as “a group of students who are willing to help each other out and do what’s best for all of us.” With upcoming fundraisers such as Junior Varieties, Farias praises the fundraising ideas set by the previous officers, believing that “their work has been a huge help to our class, and with their effort and the possibility of sporting events and other fundraisers such as bake sales, [the class of 2019 officers] would be more than happy if anyone in the class helped and participated in.”


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    The Malden High School Mock Trial team has made history by going 3-0 this year and making it past the preliminary rounds.

    Mock Trial is a class that contains students from students of sophomore year and higher. The seniors members of the team consist of senior Samantha Berlus, Sanaa Bezzat, Carl Foming, Anna Troung, Victoria MacDonald, Asma Soltani, Sherley Muscade and Hamza Rizvancevic, juniors Yongting Chen, Devin Ciampi, Harrison Zeiberg, and Daniela Urbina, and sophomores students Birukti Tsige, Felix Li, Katherin Machado, and Mirabelle Jean Louis. The class is not open to freshmen, but they can apply in April in hopes to be chosen to be part of this selective class the following school year. The class debates about civil cases as well as criminal cases.

    Mock trial was originally an after school club, but soon after our previous principal Dana Brown made it into a class. Richard Tivnan is the advisor that has been running the class for a estimated amount of 10 years. Students from the class has agreed that it runs a “little different than your average class,” as Tivnan likes to say it’s “a student-run class.”

    The first two months of the class was spent into training the new students, and to refresh the minds of returning students. The people that run the Mass Bar Association Annual Statewide High School Mock Trial Program assign the same case to every mock trial team in Massachusetts. Each year there the new case switches between a criminal case or a civil case for the current year the case is criminal. They had spent a few days reading the case and expressing our ideas about it.

    The Mass Bar association high school mock trial program also assigns which schools are going against each other, and they decide when each team is the defense or the prosecution.

    There’s a total of three preliminary rounds. Every week, starting in late January/early February the team begins to face other schools, so in total the team had about 2-3 months to prepare for the case. Everyone works on the same case but half the class is working for the defense while the other half works for the prosecution. Everyone in the class goes to the courtroom, the ones participating in the trial perform their roles and act as if it were a real case.

    At the end of it all a “judge” usually said to be just a regular lawyer decides which side was more believable, and did a better job overall based on the score they gave to each individual person.

    On March 5th, the whole class will be taking a trip to a college in Worcester where 32 teams will face each other. If they beat the other team they  get to move on to the afternoon session where there are now 16 teams. The same process is repeated the following weekend until there is only two teams left. Those two teams will go against each other in May.

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    After getting approval and support from both Mayor Gary Christenson and Athletic Director Charles Conefrey, the Youth Field Hockey Program has finally made its way to Malden. It is run by head field hockey coach at Malden High School and teacher at Forestdale, Kimberly Barber.

    This program is only in its “trial period,” according to Barber, where a lot of aspects in the program will be determined with time. Boys and girls between the third and eighth grades are welcome to join, but parents must enroll their children into the program quickly since there are only thirty spots in total for the program.

    Children and field hockey members who participated in Kids Field Hockey Day. Photo submitted by Megan Downer.

    Practices will be held at one of the fields of the Linden STEAM Academy from 5:30 to 6:30 pm in the springtime between April 3rd to May 19th on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Barber said that they will, “see where [they] will go from there.”

    There are two major reasons that lead to the establishment of the youth field hockey program in Malden. Barber explained how one of them is that Malden lacks a youth field hockey team to “feed into the high school.” She believes that in establishing this youth field hockey program, it “would enhance the level of play once they get to the high school.”

    Mayor Christenson shares a similar view that, “starting in the lower grades will benefit student athletes as they work their way up to the high school level,” and he is pleased with the work that Barber is doing in establishing the youth program. He looks forward to seeing the program in action.

    At the moment, there aren’t any coaches or teams as of yet. Any training will be lead by Barber, and she plans to start the children off with, “basic field hockey drills,” which includes “how to hold the stick, carry the ball, drive, shoot on goal, pass, [and] tackle.”

    The registration process for families is fairly simple, as far as registration processes go. Parents or guardians only have to email Barber at kbarber@maldenps.org with the child’s full name, the name of their school, their grade level, and the parent’s email or phone number. Also, paying a $20 registration fee, which covers the child’s entire stay in the program allowing them to borrow a lot of the donated equipment is a requirement too.

    The profit made from the registration process, Barber explained, “will go directly back into the youth field hockey program.” Funding for the youth program came from the site DonorsChoose, where after Barber had set up a fundraiser and “[they] were lucky enough to have enough donations to fund the program!”

    Barber hopes the youth field hockey program will eventually lead to a spring youth league every year. She plans on seeking out other hockey teams around the area for advice on what she “can do similar to what is working for them,” and apply it to the youth field hockey program. Her goal “is to enhance the high school team by providing this youth feeder program.” Once the children understand the rules and play of the game, “[she] hope[s] to get competitions as soon as [they] are ready to play,” before they can compete against teams from other cities.

    Malden’s new youth field hockey program hopes to develop important qualities such as “love [for] the game, teamwork, endurance and strength, [and] respect” within the players early on.”

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    As most people knew even before Donald Trump got elected for President of the United States, he had major plans to build a wall to separate the United States from Mexico. The entire nation had very mixed opinions about this notion. No matter what everyone’s opinions are, it seems they were not taken into serious consideration, because Trump has proceeded to do what he wanted to do in the first place: build the wall.

    Most people thought it wouldn’t actually happen. They didn’t worry before the election, but then tensions began to rise when he actually won the election. Now he is definitely going through with it.

    Most people know about the wall, but don’t know the details and the actual intensity of the situation. Trump’s description of the wall is an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall” (Said in August, during an immigration policy speech.). Personally, I think it’s a wretched idea that is going to have serious consequences for innocent people who never wanted to get involved in Trump’s plan in the first place.

    Donald Trump taking the oath of office. Photo from Wikimedia.

    The exact plans for the wall are not defined clearly, and are estimated by high-class workers all over the country. The wall is estimated to be about 1,900 miles long. Trump himself says that it should cost about 10 to 12 billion dollars to build it, but fact checkers admit that they believe the cost is going to be so much higher than that. The Washington Post conducted a study that is making it look like the wall could be about 25 billion dollars.

    Ali F Rhuzkan, a New York-based structural engineer, estimated in an article for National Memo that a 1,900-mile wall – seemingly Mr. Trump’s original plan – would require about 339 million cubic feet (12.5 million cubic yards) of concrete. About 1,000 of the 1,900 miles goes over private land. This land would either have to be purchased by the government, have a financial settlement proposed with the owner, or taken by legal action. If the land is used by the owner to help them make money, that would be horrible for them to have their land taken away from them because the president of the next country over doesn’t consider all the problems he’s making by this wall he’s building. Though, the real question is, can the owners of the private land the wall is going to be built on stand up to not wanting a wall on their property?

    At the moment, there is currently 650 miles of the fence that have been put up before, and it’s nothing like all the great things Trump promised and defined his wall to be. This mere 650 miles has already cost more than 7 billion dollars. He wants the wall to go into remote and mountain areas, in case people of those places might cross the border, and that would boost the cost up.

    The money for the wall obviously is a lot. Trump can’t/isn’t allowed to pay for it all on his own, so how is it getting paid for since it’s actually happening? Trump originally insisted that Mexico pay for the wall, but Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto says that he will not. And why should he? Trump’s trying to shut the Mexican people out, so why should the Mexican president pay for something that he did not approve, did not want, and hurts his people? Where Trump’s logic ends and absurdity begins, is not clear.

    Trump has accepted that U.S. taxpayers would have to cover the initial funding. I personally find that unfair, most taxpayers did not approve or agree with the wall, and most certainly do not want to pay for it. Most taxpayers in the United States can barely pay the taxes that are thrown at them now, or can just barely pay it. Now bringing on even more taxes on the people in this country will send so many American citizens into a downward spiral. The wealthy won’t even have to pay as much as the middle class, because they always end up paying less. But will Trump even care, considering he already accepted that taxpayers are going to have to pay for this, and he didn’t even consider this downward spiral he will throw this nation into? I know for certain that most,  if not mostly all American citizens are not rich and do not have the money to spare to be taxed even higher for a wall that they never agreed with having in the first place.

    Another option is imposing a “border adjustment” tax. This would lower corporation tax from 35% to 20%, meaning imports would be taxed but exports would not, which would save them about 12 billion a year, which could go towards the wall, but at the expense of not having things the way they were before, and more expensive. Increasing travel visa and border crossing fees is another option. This would target countries that have a bad record when it comes to illegal immigration, which does include Mexico, and would increase visa fees, which is a very popular option with the Republicans. But it would most likely not be enough alone. The wall would not only affect people and their bank accounts, but also animals, and the environments and ecosystems surrounding where the wall would be.

    There are many, many, cons to Trump’s wall. I, personally, disagree with it strongly. I see the reason and some of the pro’s behind it, but taking money away from people who are struggling already with money and didn’t agree with the wall in the first place is cruel and vain, and something needs to be done.

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  • 03/02/17--11:14: Poetry Out Loud Finals 2017

    Poetry Out Loud has been a collaborative effort between teachers and students each year. Poetry Out Loud is a unit of poetry included in the English curriculum where students perform poetry in class and advance to semi-finals and finals.

    Poetry Out Loud Winner Paul Araiza recites his poem. Photo by Rebeca Pereira.

    The 2017 Poetry Out Loud Unit has ended and one student has been chosen to represent Malden High School in the statewide Poetry Out Loud competition. In third place, sophomore Paige Pimentel, in second, Sophomore Sammy Lee, and the winner of the competition was senior Paul Araiza, who will represent Malden in the next round of Poetry Out Loud.

    On January 5th, the school-wide finals were held in the auditorium during lunch block. First, each student performed a poem, followed by a round of teacher performances, finishing with a last round of student performances.

    This has always been the routine, but this year’s POL finals were different. Dedicated to the late David Holland, the teacher competition began on a more serious note. But in the spirit of the good humor Holland was known for, the competition turned more lively. Head of the English Department Sean Walsh told the crowd “[Holland] was a lover of Poetry Out Loud. He was the winner of the 2015 competition. He had an ability to deal with serious issues and respond with good humor and I think, in that spirit, we see some teachers who are up here taking some risks with courage and I hope we have some good humor.”

    Second place winner Sammy Lee recites his poem. Photo by Rebeca Pereira.

    This year’s teacher competition saw a variety of outstanding performances. Performers included teachers Michelle Filer, Evan Mauser, Thomas Snarsky, Brian Wong, Zachary Kent, and Miranda Libkin, and student teacher Zachary Kent. Libkin, an English teacher, won the competition.

    Miranda Libkin, winning the competition, “[felt] like a rockstar.” She notes competing as “fun and terrifying”. Libkin says she makes her students do Poetry Out Loud, and it was “really good to be able to put [herself] in their shoes.”

    Third place winner Paige Pimental recites her poem. Photo by Rebeca Pereira.

    The two judges for the final round of Poetry Out Loud were the Director of Humanities, Abbey Dick and assistant superintendent Carol Keenan. Dick, a former English teacher, had judged her own students, but judging “the best of the best” was a “total pleasure.” Keenan says judging the final round was the “highlight of [her] week.” She notes judging as being difficult, because of all the students who did so well.

    Junior Jenny Huynh, who recited “Personal” by Tony Hoagland and “April Midnight” by Arthur Symons, chose both of her poems by “looking through the website and making sure [she] really liked the poem[s]”. Reciting one poem after the other for a large audience can be nerve racking, which is why, she says, it’s important to really enjoy the poems you choose.

    Paul Araiza, the winner of the competition comments that as a senior, winning felt like “summer in a bowl”. He’ll be competing in the regional competition next.


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    A few times a year, MHS joins together in solidarity to encourage reflection over significant causes in our community. This year, one of those causes was the issue of gender-based violence and ending violence against women highlighted on White Ribbon Day. On Wednesday, March 1st, students were able to sign a pledge at the main office in support of this central topic. Students also pinned white ribbons to their clothes to “take the pledge and be apart of the solution”.

    Karen Colòn Hayes, the Community Outreach Manager for the city, worked with Mayor Christenson to promote the White Ribbon Day campaign at MHS. Colòn Hayes explained how the Mayor including all of the local mayors in Boston often meet with a shared goal in mind in aims of giving back to the city. This year, mayors in Boston decided that the White Ribbon campaign would be a catalyst for raising awareness to gender-based violence, the 10th year anniversary of this specific cause. She worked in collaboration with the YWCA, Cathleen Macmulin from the Malden Teen Enrichment Center, and Peg Crowe who works in campaign finance for the city of Malden, to foster this event and hopes “that next year [the event] will be bigger and better”.

    The official banner in promotion of the White Ribbon Day Campaign. Photo taken by Toby Pitan.

    Colòn Hayes is a “huge advocate for women’s’ rights [and] humans’ rights”, this [cause] was “a no-brainer for [her]”. She says that she thought that the amount of support from men and young men who pledged for this cause was great especially for a cause usually supported mainly by women.

    Mayor Christenson explains how choosing to center this campaign at MHS was the best course of action because “the next generation of leaders, [the] students, have responded well to these important campaigns”. He says that he “couldn’t be more pleased to be partnering with [the] students to promote this worthy endeavor.” Christenson explain how with issues such as gender-based and domestic violence, urgency is key and that it is important for women to know that they will be supported and be effective leaders. He says that “it’s one thing to be a leader but it’s another thing on how to be a leader”.

    MHS hosted a similar event last lear called Stop the Stigma, which raised awareness toward substance abuse and addiction in the community. He says that the reason why bringing events such as this to MHS is so powerful because of the way in which students respond to these campaigns, by listening and acting on these issues with reverence and respect. Ultimately, Christenson says that students’ promptness to react positively to these topics is what makes him “so hopeful and appreciative for the future” of the school, community, and eventually more global landscapes.

    Various MHS faculty and staff including principal Ted Lombardi, students, and members of Malden Council who pledged during the white ribbon day campaign.

    Students wrote their signatures in an official pledge to raise awareness for domestic and gender-based violence.


    The post MHS Pledges Against Gender Based Violence appeared first on The Blue and Gold.


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