High School Students Get Bows and Arrows
Students of Color Affinity Group Plans
Aiden Felty Wins National Championship
New PE Class: Living Everyday Like Our Last
Dr. Arnold's True Identity
Cryptids Of IACS
Vol. 12 Issue 4. April 1st 2019
by Everly Orfanedes
Vol. 12 Issue 5. June 2019
Fragrance Connoisseur Christian Giuffrida p.4
Why The Drinking Age Should Be Lowered p.8
This Month in History: The Wall Street Crash p.10
Is a New Multi-Purpose Building in IACS' Future? p.12-13
The Physical Representation of Student Stress p.13
PDA At IACS p.14
What's the Deal with the Minecraft Renaissance? p.15
Features and Opinions
by Emily Brown and Penelope McDonald
Most students can probably agree that the final two weeks of school are some of the most stressful. As the school year finally comes to an end, the stress of school will soon lift off of students shoulders. That being said, there’s a lot of stress to be accounted for.
Should teachers really have been cramming final projects in left and right with only one or two weeks left?
Just after POL week, right when most thought that things would start to slow down, many students were hit with a wave of new projects all at once!
On top if that, as graduating Seniors left, Juniors were also left continuing to do work in classes where half the students were no longer present. Students in classes such as these should be able to spend the final week of school with laid back assignments and preparing for their summer.
Regardless, students are finally able to relax as the last due dates pass and summer break begins.
Now kick back and enjoy your summer!
High School Students Get Bows and Arrows p.5
Students of Color Affinity Group Looks Forward p.6
Aiden Felty Wins National Championship p.7
Model UN At IACS p.9
Celebrating Pride Month p.11
The Innovator is a student–run newspaper at Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, committed to providing the IACS high school community with accurate, informative and up–to–date stories, and a public forum for student expression.
The Innovator is entirely student–run, and therefore, all decisions are made by students. The editors will often seek guidance from the faculty advisor, but all final decisions are made by the Head Editors. Questions, comments, or concerns should be directed to the Head Editors.
The Innovator is an open forum for student ideas and opinions. Ideas and opinions can be sent to The Innovator in the form of a letter–to–the–editor. The editors reserve the right to reject student submissions if they breach any of the policies listed in our charter. All editorials reflect the unanimous opinion of the newspaper staff.
All submissions can be sent to:
email@example.com. or firstname.lastname@example.org
About the cover: Drawn by Penelope McDonald, the cover references five articles in this issue of The Innovator.
In this issue
Imagine being able to use an long range ancient military weapon in school. That seems pretty illegal because objects of the harmful variety are generally not allowed in institutions of education.
Now, imagine no longer because the Archery choice block is here.
Following the success of the middle school archery team in the winter, science teacher Ashley Joyce created a choice block for archery that began at the start of the spring trimester.
“I figured with my training and with all the equipment, it would be nice for the high school students to have the opportunity so I think that a choice block would be a great opportunity for the high school students because there’s no league right now in high school,” said Joyce about her decision to start the choice block.
So far, the archery choice block has been a success according to Joyce, with a good portion of students having some experience with archery and another portion excited to learn how to shoot.
“It’s been really great. A quarter of them have shot before,” Joyce said about her experience with the choice block, “Most of them have fancier compound bows, but it’s nice for them to go back to the basics so the bows we have don’t really have any sights because sights make it easier to shoot and aim. So it’s nice for them to get away from their fancy sights and get back to a more basic bow which is more challenging.”
Sophomore Caitlyn Pennie, who attends the choice block, told The Innovator about her decision to join the choice block: “I used to shoot bows and arrows when I was in middle school and then the program I did stopped so I wanted to do it again.”
Joyce also has a background in archery, having done it in college. She also has been trained by The National Archery in the Schools Program, which led to her becoming a coach for the middle school team and forming the choice block.
After her training, Joyce said, “We were made aware of a grant opportunity for schools that are starting new archery programs, so we applied for a grant and were able to get quite a lot of money towards purchasing equipment. We were able to purchase targets, bows, arrows, an arrow curtain, tools, pretty much everything, and the school of course helped supplement it.”
“Archery is a sport that everybody can try, pick it up pretty quickly, and get good at it,” Joyce said, “This is a really nice opportunity to be outside, to participate in a alternative sport.”
Looking forward, Joyce said, “I hope to do it in the fall again because we can still shoot outside. I’m not sure about the winter because it depends if we have indoor facilities by then.”
Fragrance Connoisseur Christian Giuffrida
By Emily Brown
Arrows in one of the school's targets
by Nam Bui
“Archery is a sport that everybody can try, pick it up pretty quickly, and get good at it,”
High School Students Get Bows and Arrows
Ashley Joyce with the school's bows in the cafeteria
"Making people happy is really important to me — making people laugh — when you're a humorous charismatic person it helps make people happy..."
If you’ve ever smelt a whiff of just the right amount of cologne in the halls or listened in on the Fragrance Fiesta junior project this year, you probably know Christian Guiffrida.
Christian has a lot of interests outside of school. He enjoys watching and discussing sports, especially football. His favorite team is the Patriots. He has even memorized the Boston Championship winners, "I remember every one of them vividly since the Patriots lost the Super Bowl during the 2007 season."
He also really likes fragrances, and spends time looking into them and how people use them. Christian even focused his Junior Project on fragrances.
Christian also spends his time looking into the culinary arts. He spends time watching cooking shows and videos. Although he doesn’t have a favorite show or chef in particular, he mostly watches, “old Italian guys cook on youtube.”
After high school, Christian isn’t sure what he wants to major in, but he would love to study abroad because of his love for traveling. He has gone to many different states, all over the South, Canada, and on multiple cruises. His favorite vacation was a trip to Italy about eight years ago. Because of the culture, as well as family he was able to meet there, it made it an incredible experience, and he hopes to visit again.
Christian is a Junior at Innovation and loves to learn about a lot of things, especially in history, and enjoys most of his classes besides math. This year he was able to take two history classes each semester and he plans on taking the same amount next year as well. His favorite out of the four were Vietnam and Civil War. He also enjoys his English classes, and is currently enrolled in Literature of War. In one history class, he had to create an album of songs. “They didn’t have to be protest songs, they just had to be songs that represented the era of the late 60s and early 70s,” he said. He also really enjoyed a Civil War memorial as a final project for his Civil War class.
One of Christian's most important values is being able to help other people, whether it be listening to a friend or being able to make people laugh. “Making people happy is really important to me — making people laugh — when you’re a humorous or charismatic person it helps make people happy so it's really important to me.” He has also thought about going into Psychology because of his passion for listening to and offering people help.
If you would like to be featured in our next issue you can email email@example.com or direct message our Instagram @innovatornews and let us know!
by Han Myerov
On March 10, 2019, Senior Aiden Felty won the New Balance National Indoor Championship.
Throughout the season and year, Felty has been working on this aspect of his life to get himself to his personal best. He says, “Monday through Friday I work with the team, and on the weekend I work with my private coach.” Felty has made a commitment to the sport and continues to work himself to his best.
Felty and the IACS community had been anticipating the indoor championship because of his significant success throughout the season. Felty was excited, nervous, and had a wide range of feelings on that day. His personal record this season, Massachusetts State record, and the New England record was a throw of 67 feet.
When it came time to throw, Felty has said that he went at it like any other throw - with a strong mentality of doing the best he can, and being proud of how far he got. When he heard that he won he told me that, “I had a lot of emotions. I wasn’t sure if I was going to win, but I knew I had the possibility to.”
Felty left that day as the school's first national champion. Head of school Greg Orpen was thrilled about Felty’s success. He then came up with the idea of a celebration to celebrate Felty on his victory. This celebration was held on March 22.
“I am excited for Aiden and his next steps," Orpen said. "I hope students can look at that as an example that it doesn’t matter the size of the school you go to. If you are committed, the sky is the limit.”
Through Academics and Athletics, Felty is a role model for other students. We all wish him the best for the future.
"IACS is very good at trying to include everyone."
Aiden Felty Wins National Championship
Teshi Waruingi, a junior at IACS and the student government co-president, is the student founder of the Students of Color Affinity Group, which was formed towards the start of the year.
In her sophomore year, a few teachers approached Teshi and asked her if she would start a group for racial minorities. This year she decided to act on the request.
As student government co-president, Teshi wants to make changes that will improve the school. This year, Teshi found a teacher to help her run the new group when Student Services Helper Nneka Agha came to the school this year. Teshi had already met Agha over the summer and contacted her and High School Principal Erik Arnold with the idea. Agha was very happy to help, and she wanted to be a part of something like this was nothing like this beforehand. In a short amount of time, the group was up and running. The first meeting took place on December 13, 2018.
The group intends to perform at Lecture Hall Live, to demonstrate their importance to the school and educate fellow students. They plan to discuss the importance of inclusion inside of school and society Teshi has said, “I feel like a lot of students in this school who are not of a racial minority are not fully aware of different cultures.”
During black history month, the group created and put up posters of less-well-known African American heroes.
The group meets semi-regularly to plan what they can do for the school, to hang out, be in a safe space, even if there is some tension at times. The group is trying their best to show diversity and be inclusive. Agha said, “IACS is very good at trying to include everyone”.
Teshi plans to continue the group next year. “This is like the pilot year,” she said. The group hopes to be able to accomplish more things and expand in the coming years. They hope to have more organization and fun events but first, they would need to create a schedule. In coming years it is possible that Agha might be leading the group as a choice block, this would include getting guest speakers and having more programs and/or activities. If it does become a choice block it is possible they could be collaborating with other groups for activities.
The Students of Color Affinity Group has grown in size and skill over the past year and we all wish them the best of luck for future years.
by Hudson Guilmartin
Aiden Felty with Championship Award
Students of Color Affinity Group Looks Forward
The Model UN choice block recently won the Third Best Delegation Award at a three day conference at UMass Lowell in April.
Students Noah Doucot, Georgia Row, and Isabel Stanley-Kemler won Outstanding Delegates, and other students in the choice block also did an outstanding job, including Leticia Freire, Isabella Green, Alexya Lee, Carter Morgan, and Ashley Soukesaum.
Model UN spends their choice blocks preparing for their upcoming conferences, in which they debate issues about countries around the world and discuss different political topics. Not only do students need to prepare research, but during conferences they need to be sure to speak out about different issues.
“It's all about the way you talk and the way you present yourself,” says Jacob Babcock who has been a part of Model UN since his freshman year. Many students who are part of this choice block are given the opportunity to practice skills such as research and argumentative writing in preparation for conferences. As students attend these events they are able to speak out and practice debate and public speaking skills.
“My favorite part of of Model UN would probably be the conferences, because you meet people from literally everywhere,” says Leticia Freire, who was in Model UN from her freshman year through the fall of her senior year.
In March, students in Model UN went to an earlier conference in Boston in which a there was a 40 hour crisis event stimulation. At the end of the conference multiple students were able to receive awards for their work preparing for and during the event.
All About Model UN At IACS
When you think of a classic teen movie, it’s parties, crazy adventures, and a ton of irresponsible drinking. Can all this behavior really be prevented by the law? Due to the change in our culture, the drinking age should be lowered to 18 in the United States. The laws prohibiting drinking under 21 have not been effective with teens, and countries where drinking is legal for younger people have shown that the environment around drinking is much more responsible, especially when alcohol has become a highly educated topic in schools.
The prohibition against drinking under 21 has been around since 1984, but it hasn’t changed much. In the media, with friends, or at parties, underage drinking still happens even if we like to think it doesn’t. Indiana University claims “from 1982 until 1987 about 46% of students reported ‘vomiting after drinking.’” These statistics are unsettling to hear, but there is one thing they all have in common: they all happened right after the prohibition law against drinking under 21 was put in place. It is argued that teens are in dangerous situations with alcohol no matter what and lowering the drinking age would just worsen this behavior. The truth is, teens are still drinking, and these facts are not changing because of the law trying to restrict them.
If the legal drinking age was lowered, similar to many European countries, alcohol would become less of a taboo in society, and adults would be able to teach from an earlier age safe and responsible ways to drink. This is proven in countries where it is legal to drink at a younger age. The Indiana University states that countries and cultures where drinking is acceptable at a young age, “alcohol is neither seen as a poison or a magic potent, there is little to no social pressure to drink.” In these countries where it is acceptable, young adults don’t feel the social pressures that American teens feel to drink. They have very different experiences with alcohol than them. If teens in America didn’t have to feel these social pressures and taboos by going against the law and their elders, dangerous and arrogant behavior due to irresponsible drinking would not occur nearly as often.
Education and awareness about alcohol have become commonplace now. One of the most dangerous behaviors is drunk driving. The Indiana University explains that a decrease in drinking and driving for young teens has been linked to being caused from many sources of awareness, such as “education concerning drunk driving, designated driver programs, increased seatbelt and airbag usage, safer automobiles, lower speed limits, free taxi services from drinking establishments, etc.” Arguments have also been made that underage drinking of any kind is unacceptable, for example, by the MADD organization. History states that the MADD was started by the mother of a girl who was hit and killed by a drunk driver, and her point has been to end drunk driving of any kind. In the world today, statistics do show much has changed between the 1980s and the present. Many might ask themselves how this could be true, and the truth is education and awareness about alcohol has truly begun to make a change in our culture surrounding drinking in teens.
Alcohol is in the media and culture, so education and awareness is the answer. We want the future adults of the world to make safe and responsible decisions to prevent the dangers of alcohol, the simplest way is to start by lowering the drinking age and raising the education.
Why The Drinking Age Should Be Lowered
This Month In History: Wall Street Crash
By Emily Brown and Penelope McDonald
Art by Emily Brown
A shanty town in 1893, near Chicago
Celebrating Pride Month
On May 5th 1893 a calamity occurred: the complete collapse of the American Gilded Age. The Gilded Age was a time that gave rise to multi-billionaires and was the beginning of many American Old-Money families. Playing out in a series of incredibly boring and mundane events and ended with employment rates that were higher, in some places, than they were during the Great Depression.
The reasons for this collapse are pretty complicated, but the basics of it are that there was an oversaturation of railroads in the American markets a consequence, an unstable railroad bubble was created. Eventually, the bubble became unsustainable, and a struggling large railroad company had all its debts and stock options called at the same time, and the extra financial stress doomed it. At the same time congress passed the Sherman Silver Act of 1890 to decrease the value of the US dollar and help support farmers struggling from droughts, as well as the many silver mines in the US at the time. Buying all the silver drove up its price on the open market quite a bit, appeasing miners, and devaluing gold as the silver was printed as coins that drastically increased inflation. This inflation appeased the farmers, but the rapid inflation of the dollar scared many consumers into withdrawing their money from banks, leaving the banks empty handed in many places, forcing them to recall debts, pulling the rug from many already struggling places. European investors, called back many US gold backed loans. This run on US gold was dangerous and caused a large issue as their wasn’t enough gold to both repay debts and meet the minimum requirement of gold in the treasury.
This one-two punch to the US economy, along with many other minor blows, obliterated the railroad bubble and plunged the economy into a deep recession. This would not fully recover until 1897, and a lot of the oversight issues and financial regulation necessary to prevent a repeat of this crash was ignored and then led to the Great Depression.
Eventually, due to consolidations and a loan from JP Morgan, the economy stabilized. The lower class felt ignored and so moving into the 20th century they voted for more progressive leadership.
We have seen these patterns returning more recently in the 2008 financial crisis and an essential turning of a blind eye to the causes. This would seemingly mean that soon we have another, worse economic crisis. As a pattern of bad recessions then an even worse crash later has been established by the Panic of 1893 and then the Great Depression and this pattern may be followed by the 2008 recession and a yet to be known one.
June, the month of pride, rainbows, and celebration of one's sexuality/gender identity.
As many of you may know, and many more may not know, June is known as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. It is extremely important to remember why we have a Pride Month in the first place. As the LGBTQ! community began to gain more rights, June was declared Pride Month in order to commemorate riots at Stonewall in June of 1969.
The Stonewall Riots took place in late June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Manhattan. There is a massive amount of background information for these protests, but the basic causation is that it was illegal to crossdress. Any persons “caught” wearing clothes meant to bring on the appearance of a different gender were arrested, and reported in public newspapers as cross-dresser, often resulting in job termination or ostracization from their families. The Stonewall Inn was raided by police, but the customers ended up resisting arrest and fighting back. People who had not been in the bar also intervened, and the police ended up outnumbered and unable to arrest the majority of the patrons.
There had been many other movements, protests, and accomplishments for rights for people in the community, such as movements to legalize gay right (which was made legal in 2015) and when the Supreme Court finally ruled in favor gay rights in 1958. Pride Month brings awareness to these events as well as the people who have spoken out about and fought for rights and respect for the LGBTQ+ community.
There are many students at IACS, as well as people around the world, who are able to be out, loud, and proud all month! But it’s also important that we are aware of people who may not be able to celebrate their sexuality and/or gender identity out loud this month.
Not everyone feels comfortable being public about their identities, or, “out.” Seeing everyone expressing themselves may be a bit overwhelming for LGBTQ+ students who aren’t out, but there is no reason to be ashamed about keeping quiet. Whether you’re worried about your safety, just aren’t as loud about your identity, or don’t even know it yet -- it’s okay to stay on the side if it’s more comfortable to you.
There also may be students who know they don’t fall into the LGBTQ+ community who are a little lost in all this, and that’s okay too. It can be confusing if you don’t know a lot about the community, or even if you are aware of it. A lot of people feel they aren’t allowed to participate in Pride because they may not be a part of the LGBTQ+ community, but it's always okay to celebrate as an ally. Being a supportive friend is always appreciated!
Be sure to be safe and respectful while enjoying Pride Month!
by Nathan Smith
Physical Representation of Student Stress
Auditorium at IACS
Is There a New Multi-Purpose Building in IACS' future?
by Jesena Kalabokis
Plans to construct a new facility for a gym, performing arts, and classrooms have been under consideration since 2012, but no steps have been taken towards turning these ideas into reality.
Many students who have heard of the considered plans experience similar frustrations, especially those who regularly use these spaces, such as the students in the drama program.
“I am a part of the IACS drama program, and although we do make the best of the space we have, it would be really nice for the cast and crew to have a larger, more practical space to rehearse and perform in,” said Junior Emily Brown.
Technically, the auditorium is a lecture hall, so the space isn’t fully designed to hold performances. “It’s a little rough, things are falling apart. Several chairs are broken,”said Freshman Sophia Green, who is also part of the drama program. “It’s not really the best place to perform, but we work with what we’ve got,”
It’s not only the drama students being affected by the size of the auditorium. Additionally, the Middle School band and High School instrumental ensemble would benefit from a larger performance space. “At the band concert the other night, it was really tight getting all those people onto that tiny little lecture hall stage,” Green said.
Furthermore, a larger auditorium could mean better meetings, lectures, and school assemblies. As of now, the auditorium only fits two grades at a time, but a larger space could be beneficial when needing to present to the whole school.
“I guess you could say when I see other theaters, I wish we had a bigger stage, and we could have more set pieces, and if we had more money in the program we could have more costumes and a better sound system. But I am grateful that we have the program.” Green explained.
The Quonset Hut is in a similar state compared to the auditorium. It is too small for hosting basketball or volleyball games, and there are some obvious floorboard repairs that are needed as well.
“As far as sports go, the Q-Hut is great for PE classes, but it’s a part of everyone's ‘fantasy for high school’ to have a space for basketball or volleyball where they can play and have a group come in and support them,” Brown said.
Green had a differing opinion on this matter, “I don’t think we really need a gym with the field. I think it’s good to be outside, rather than being cooped up in a gym.”
Meanwhile, Brown believed being able to have these spaces to practice, rehearse and play is really important. “It would greatly benefit the students of Innovation to be able to have them.”
Head of school Greg Orpen said that if it was clear the school could afford to pay for a new facility, they would have moved forward on these plans already. He explained that there are financial implications involved with taking under this large of a construction project, such as taking on more debt and cutting from existing spending, that would inevitably generate more problems.
Like any organization, IACS has to properly manage the money they earn, 95% of which comes from state tuition, Orpen explained. They also have to keep up with existing expenses, such as staffing, upkeep of the current property, and classroom supplies.
While constructing a brand new facility seems like it won’t currently be possible, Orpen explained we can look forward on expanding how we use the nearly 200 acres of our natural campus, while finding creative and financially sound ways to develop.
“Now that said, if you know anyone who's looking to donate $10 million dollars, I'd be happy to take them out for coffee so we can talk about building new facilities,” he ended off.
PSA to the couples of IACS. As a courtesy to students and staff of Innovation Academy we request that you read and follow the following rules about PDA on school grounds which will be put into place Fall of 2019.
The Two Foot Rule: Students should be sure to remain at the very least, two feet apart from their partner. If the pair ends up being closer than the minimum distance requirement may leave them susceptible to fall into PDA habits. Couples who are seen within two feet of each other will be required to have a staff member armed with a pool stick to observe and keep distance between the two.
By Penelope McDonald
"I haven't played since at least a year ago, until last night."
The Innovator Logo recreated in Minecraft using a player-made image generating tool
No Kissing: Kissing causes the spread of disease amongst students and will not be tolerated. Students caught kissing on IACS grounds will be placed in quarantine until further notice. Other students are now equipped with spray bottles and are allowed to spray couples caught kissing with holy water, bug spray, glue, blood, and hot coffee.
Minecraft is making a comeback as a popular game just as it turned 10 years old on Friday, May 17th.
In recent months, Minecraft has been regaining its playerbase, with an explosion of Minecraft-related videos and a new wave of Minecraft memes surfacing on the Internet.
For those who managed to dodge the overwhelming impact Minecraft had on the nation’s children during its peak in, arguably, 2015, it is a 3D exploration game that focuses more on allowing the player to create structures and explore within the endless world rather than following plot progression, although the game does have achievements and an “end.”
The sandbox-building game fell out of popularity around the same time that Minecraft’s development company was purchased by Microsoft, and many found it embarrassing or "cringey" to play. Recently, players have flocked back to it, and it seems that the cause of the Minecraft Renaissance is that ultimately Minecraft is a good game.
“I haven’t played since at least a year ago, until last night,” said Sophomore Emily Vincent during an interview in which she spoke about her enjoyment of the game. “I think it’s cool that it’s coming back because it is a fun game and it allows for a lot of creativity.”
She wasn’t the only one who felt the game allowed players a lot of room for creativity.
“The game is pretty good overall,” said Sophomore Carlos Ramirez. He also noted that the game still hasn’t fully recovered from the dip in popularity. “It doesn’t have as big as a fanbase as it used to, but it’s good to see that it’s picking back up.”
Ramirez also said, “I feel like overall it’s had a positive impact, especially when I was younger, because I remember playing it when it first came out and it was a really good game to play after a school day.”
“I had my own server and I used to play with my friends when I was in fifth and sixth grade,” said Sophomore Hannah Richmond.
Another important factor in Minecraft nostalgia is large presence of Minecraft parodies on YouTube. During the game’s early stages, even before its initial peak, many people who played Minecraft on YouTube would also create Minecraft parodies -- songs about Minecraft that were clearly based on actual songs, but the lyrics were changed to adapt to the game. A majority of players enjoyed listening to these at a young age, and so these videos bring nostalgia to many. Vincent put it best when she said, “I can’t choose one.”
Even though some may not be on board with the game’s return, it’s safe to say that the people re-investing their time in it are doing so because, like it or not, Minecraft is a good game. To quote Richmond, “It brought people together when I was younger, so maybe it can do that again.”
No Hand Holding: Couples seen holding hands in the halls will be required to wear a bright red sash labeled with “I participated in PDA” as a punishment. Hand holding interrupts the flow of hallway traffic, and is seen as a nuisance and a fire hazard.
PDA At IACS
No Public Cuddling: Couples who cuddle in public result in student and staff around them feeling uncomfortable. These couples will be publicly shamed and may also be exposed to various liquids being sprayed at them, like ones listed in rule number 3. Because of the distance rule previously discussed, stating couples should be no less than 2 feet apart there should be no need to worry about cuddling in general.
What's the Deal with the Minecraft Renaissance?
No Prolonged Eye Contact: Couples should be sure to completely turn around when in range of their partner on school grounds. When eye contact is made for a certain period of time it begins making others uncomfortable which would result in eye patches for each eye of the couple.
Have a great summer!