By Andy Serfes
Brought to you by Maine Boys to Men, a new club called Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP) has been welcomed by members of Windham High School. Being from South Portland and leaving behind a participating student body, Principal Ryan Caron restarted the RSVP club here at Windham. Students were hand picked to receive training for this club because they were looking for students who would be really invested in this work, according to Principal Caron. Principal Caron himself even hand picked Spanish teacher Tianna Burton to lead the group, for she was a part of the previous RSVP group and felt that students would open up to her. As leader of the group, Mrs. Burton sends out emails. I am a member of the group, and essentially we focus on Civil Rights, but we change minds instead of laws.
What do the students think of it? Well as a member myself, I think it is great that the club has been brought here. The training we received was quite fun actually. I imagine one is curious as to what the training was exactly. We watched some videos, filled out some surveys, did skits, evaluated situations, discussed gender stereotypes and consent, and did trust building activities. The reason why we did all those things is so that we would have strategies and background knowledge on what to do in case we found ourselves or loved ones in risky situations. We would know what to do if we saw a stranger getting bullied for example, thanks to our training.
And with all that new input, we could use our newly formed (or refined) skills for our freshly re-established club. Me and my interviewee found it fun. She thinks this club is important for our school, meaning it is a good learning experience and anyone can benefit from it. The club has yet to find a consistent meeting time, but if interested, contact Mrs. Burton. She can be found in room 209 in the Guac Pod, as it is commonly referred to.
"Changing Minds Instead of Laws: RSVP Club New To WHS
Members of the newly founded RSVP Club. Photo Courtesy of Anna Schindler.
By Vitor Bizarro
Staff Writer & Foreign Correspondent
Every year, Windham High School receives exchange students from the entire world. These teenagers, from countries like Brazil, Italy, Serbia, Ukraine, and Pakistan are turning Windham High into a multicultural space.
Undoubtedly, these countries have different languages, religions, geographic data, state organization, people, cities, fauna and flora. They are indeed, unique. However, if there is one thing that they all have in common, it is the wealth of their cultures. Each exchange student has incredible things to share about their lives in a foreign country and they come all the way to the USA in order to do that, while also learning more about the American way of life. Sophie Phipps, Brooke Spaulding and Emma Yale, who are sophomores, and Alianah Timmons and Kaitlyn Gedicks, who are seniors, have already talked to exchange students during past semesters. Even though they were friends with teenagers from very different countries, Brazil and Italy, they agreed with the fact that these foreigners tend to be nice to everyone around them. Kaitlyn also said that the best part of having them in WHS is the reminder they bring that there are many countries around the world and that there is a lot to be explored.
According to study hall monitor Mr. Levinsky, talking to students is the best way to learn about their countries without actually travelling to other countries. Since he considers them mature and energetic, it gets easier to talk to exchange students about foreign books, movies, and sports, despite the language disparities. However, he sometimes feels like exchange students should be introduced to the whole school or receive a school tour in order adapt and make friends more easily. He believes that American teenagers are often too closed off and not willing to know different people. Kashmaeen Khan, a senior from Pakistan, says her arrival went well: “WHS has been very open as it comes to friendships. I made friends all around the school on the very first day and I’ll miss these people when I go back,” she said. Nevertheless, being a Muslim girl from Pakistan has caused Kash some issues: “When I tell people that I’m a Muslim, the first thing that comes in their mind: BOOM, Osama Bin Laden,” “People ask me questions like are you forced to wear the hijab? Why don’t you eat pork? Do you ride camels to school?”. And that makes her feel like some people don’t actually have a wide range of knowledge about subjects that include other cultures and world affairs. But that doesn’t make her like the exchange program less, since she seems very proud of representing her country and sharing an unbreakable bond of friendship.
It is pretty much unanimous that exchange students have been adding more cultural diversity and turning WHS into a global space, where information from students all over the world can be shared.
Eagle Eyes: March, 2019
Exchange Students Bring Fresh Perspectives to WHS
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com
It's Ice Fishing Season In Southern Maine
Windham local Lexi Hirning with a 15" brook trout. Photo credit: Josh Mora
By Josh Mora
As the Maine winter drags on, locals are enjoying the weather by ice fishing, in a tradition and pastime that has been enjoyed by Mainers for many generations. This year has been a good year weather wise for ice fishing. Extremely cold days earlier in the year with temperatures reaching below zero have helped make the ice thicker and safer for fishermen, with some areas on lakes having 2 feet or more of ice. With this much ice, it is safe to drive snowmobiles, ATVs, and even cars and trucks on the ice.
Within the past few weeks, the ice fishing season has picked up steam with the many fishing derbys in the area. The most notable of these fishing derbys is the Sebago Lake derby which took place on February 16th and 17th. This is one of the largest derbys in New England with thousands of dollars in prizes for the winners. Lake trout, also known as togue in the state of Maine, is one of the most prominent species of fish in Sebago lake, therefore it is one of the most prized game fish in most derbies. This year, the grand prize offered for anyone who broke the state record for togue by weight earned $100,000. However, the state record is 31 lbs. 8 oz., so that goal is almost unattainable. The largest togue caught in this year’s derby was 10.54 lbs. and it was caught by Justin Elliot. Although the $100,000 grand prize wasn’t won, many other large prizes were given out, such as an ATV and an outboard engine courtesy of Windham Powersports and Panther Run Marina. The fish that were caught, over 1000, were donated to Nova Seafood in Portland, Maine to be processed. From there they will go to local food pantries to be distributed to people in need.
On other Lakes in the region, ice fishing is also going well. A derby on Long Lake in Harrison was going on simultaneously with the Sebago Lake Derby. Many trophy brown trout were caught, as well as a 27.2” Cusk which won first prize for length. On Crystal Lake in Harrison, where I do most of my fishing, the brook trout have been an easy catch. Within the past 2 weeks, I have caught 7 brook trout all in the 13”-16” range. Along with brook trout, yellow and white perch are in abundance. According to Windham resident Lexi Hirning, “I have always enjoyed ice fishing more than open water fishing, but this year has been exceptional. I have caught better fish than ever.” She caught a 15 inch brook trout among many yellow perch while ice fishing on February 23. Another Windham Resident, Thomas Lekousi, states that he has “had a good time ice fishing this year.” Lekousi has also caught brook trout, ranging upwards of 14 inches.
Photo courtesy of Hayleigh Davis
By Hayleigh Davis
Schools all over the Maine have been preparing for the One Act Festival, and Windham High school has been preparing right along with the approximately eighty other schools participating this year. The One Act Festival will take place on March 8 and 9th. It is an acting competition where theater programs pick a one act show to prepare for competition. This year, Windham is traveling to Bonny Eagle for regionals, to perform Cyrano De Bergerac. One major difference between One Acts and the fall musical is that everything is timed. There is a five-minute set up, 40 minute time limit on the actual show, and then a five-minute strike. Also, there is a tech hour when the schools go to their host school and have 55 minutes to run lights and sound. If the school’s time limit goes over, even by a second, the school will be disqualified.
When asked about the show he chose, Rob Juergens, director, said that “I love this show. The language gives students an opportunity to hear the melody in the words. The fact that we have live fencing is another great chance for students to learn a new skill, and just plain have fun.” When asked about the biggest struggle from the director's point of view Juergens said that it would be getting the cast to hear the melody in the lines. His expectations for the show are to have a good show in general, and for the cast to learn new aspects of theater. Overall though, Juergens said he is feeling a lot better with the show because the performance is now under the 40-minute mark.
Victoria Schmader, the current prop master and a lead in the play, she said her dual roles can be a little stressful.“Things happen, stuff breaks last minute, (there is) stress from the cast, and time is key,” she said. Schmader said she likes doing both of her roles, but it is a lot of pressure, especially for the One Acts. Schmader said she thinks that she is like her character Le Bret because she always tries to make sure her friends have the best opportunities, and she mocks her friend Davin Farinella who plays Cyrano. She thought that the biggest struggle for the cast were the line mess ups, and swearing because of that. Also, the cast would get the giggles at the mess ups, and they would not be able to stop. Schmader really likes to be a part of theater, but the One Acts are different: “It is even more of a family than the musical. It’s a smaller cast so everyone is closer,” she said. “You’d think the festival was strict like sports, but in reality it is not even close. Everyone is cheering for everyone, you go and meet new people between sessions and play games, everyone is so supportive and it is really fun. The One Acts are a big part of my life because I felt like the black sheep but I finally found a place where I belong, since I started doing shows in eighth grade I have decided I want to be an actress.”
Tori and Rob both said that the One Acts are a great place for students to build connections with others, whether it is students in the same school or at the festival with people from other schools.
WHS Actors Prepare for One Act Festival
Unified Basketball Team's First Season A Success
By Karyn Dion
The Unified Basketball team is a group of Special Ed and non- Special Ed students, both players and helpers, that play the sport together. The team was started at Windham High School, this fall. The purpose was to have a sport that lower functioning special needs students could play too. It worked amazingly; in every game there were certain players overly excited that they got a basket, or excited because they were able to dribble the ball across the court. All around, the games are very heartwarming. I have the privilege of being a sibling to one of the players, number 25, Jansen Dion. So I've had quite a bit of first-hand experience with the struggles these players have. The helpers also seem to enjoy the game very much. They're always there with a smile and a helping hand.
I interviewed the head coach of the team, Anne Blake. When asked how she got the position, she replied that it was a very informal way to get a coaching job. The athletics director approached her and the assistant coach, Brittany Taylor, and asked them if they would be interested in such a position. They of course immediately were ecstatic about the idea and said yes. Coach Blake said one of her favorite parts was seeing the players succeed in something that they had been working on. "They would get this big grin on their faces and they'd look at you like ‘look look, Coach! I did it!’ Even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes."
She said one of her struggles in coaching the team was to get the helpers to understand about the players and their needs. There was a bit of a learning curve, but after they got to know the players, the bunch became a family.
Jansen Dion, number 25 on the team, has Autism and CP, so a mainstream sport was never really an option for him due to his slowed mobility and frequent lack of focus. He said he likes playing with the other kids, especially in practice. When asked what his favorite position to play was Jansen replied with defense very quickly. He also could describe exactly what that position does: “blocks players from getting in the hoop.”
The team's last home game was Wednesday, February 27th, 2019. The night before was their last home game, along with Senior Night. They had an amazing win and the crowd was on the edge of their seats the whole game. It was a great way to end the season with a last hurrah for the seniors.
Before the last game, the team had to wait for an hour or so before the bus came to pick them up. The coach gave the helpers some snacks and asked them to go pick up the players and share snacks with them. The helpers were very excited to spend time with the players and hang out with them outside of the team. "It was beautiful to see them all getting along," Coach Blake commented. Overall, the season was amazing for both coach and team, forming a bond that can never be broken.
Opioid Crisis Impacts Windham Community
By Jacob Barnicle
The opioid crisis started by people being over medicated on prescriptions or heroin, Seth Fournier, the School Resource Officer said: “ We usually run into 2 to 3 heroin overdoses, a week.” This has a significant impact on Windham’s population, which was last recorded as 18,071 people in 2017.
According to officer Fournier, for the most part people that overdose are repeat offenders. “Any addictive behavior growing up reflects and starts then,” Fournier said. “It is their own life choices from there.” But the United States is a country where people are given pain medication for things they don't need the pills for. Or they are prescribed the wrong thing for their illness. People can get addicted from popping pills, and then once that does not fill the high, they try something different: “Any addictive behavior is bad, but it starts with something simple like pot,” Kim Barnicle, who works in an addiction clinic, said. “”Then when that doesn't fill the high people try stronger things.” She went on to say that :“Usually the people we get are addicted to prescribed stuff most of the time, not touching a needle.”
Addiction often starts with painkillers or some sort of prescription, then when people cannot get enough, they buy street stuff like heroin and other painkillers. Prescription means anything prescribed like pills or insulin, anything from ADHD meds to morphine, which is prescribed in hospitals but has some of the same effects as heroin. The community needs to fix this problem, first starting with the issue of over medicating people by reducing the use of pills in everyday life.
According to federal surveys, 119 million Americans are prescribed something and 16% of that are people misusing. That means 19.04 million people are using and abusing their medicine. Take away most people’s prescriptions and people will stop using, but the hardcore addicts will struggle for the rest of their lives with the addiction of pain pills. It is going to be hard to make addicts quit heroin.
By Dakota Cook
On February 3rd, 2019, the New England Patriots were headed back to the Super Bowl for the third year in a row to face the Los Angeles Rams. This year, the Super Bowl was at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. At first, it seemed like it was going to be a tough, low scoring game, as each team had to either punt, turned the ball over, or attempted a field goal early on. In the second quarter, the New England Patriots got a field goal, making it 3-0 at halftime.
After halftime, both teams came out and attempted to play better than they did in the first two quarters. The third quarter was once again very quiet, but the Rams were able to get a field goal to tie the game up 3-3. The fourth quarter was when the action happened. The Patriots were able to get the only touchdown scored in the game with Sony Michel, a rookie running back from Georgia, scoring it. They also got another field goal to win the game 13-3. This was New England's sixth Super Bowl trophy, all of which they have won since 2001. This was also Tom Brady’s sixth Super Bowl win, making him the record holder for most super bowl wins for a quarterback.
After the game, Rob Gronkowski was interviewed by NFL Network. They first asked him about how satisfying it is to win another Super Bowl. “It’s satisfying, but our season wasn’t beautiful. Our season was up and then it was down and then we were eliminated (from the first seed in the AFC) and no one believed in us.” Gronkowski replied. “We stuck together, and that was the biggest team win I have been a part of this season.” They then asked him why it was his biggest team win. “Our offense sometimes wasn’t playing great, our defense sometimes wasn’t playing great, and our special teams sometimes wasn’t playing great, but we all knew if we stuck together we would be able to pull it off.”
Fans at WHS were also excited about the victory. Sophomore Kyle Hodgkins did not like that the game was low scoring. “It was a huge disappointment, but I was happy with the outcome,” Hodgkins said. When asked to share his thoughts about with the halftime score of 3-0 Patriots, which was the second lowest halftime score in Super Bowl history, he said: “I was upset with how poorly the offenses were performing and I expected a much better second half from both teams offensively, but the defenses were playing great.” Hodgkins expects success from both teams next year: “I think they will both be top teams, maybe even super bowl bound.” He said.
Sophomore Gavin Lombard, who is a big fan of the NFL, enjoyed the defensive contest. “I liked the super bowl. I enjoy watching big defensive games. And I just liked watching two very well coached teams go at it. It really showed that when it came down to it, the Patriots defense performed great and stopped one of the best offenses in the league. It was also really cool seeing (Julian) Edelman get open almost every play and win Super Bowl MVP.” Lombard said.
As for the low halftime score, Lombard said: “Of course it’s very historic, and when you see a record or something like that happen it’s pretty cool to witness that. It was a great first half for both defenses and the offenses were fighting for every yard. I doubt that will happen again soon.” He said, before looking forward to next year: “I think they will be playoff bound, but they are going to be losing some key players this offseason.”
Photo courtesy of Usatoday.com
New England Patriots Win Sixth Super Bowl In Historic Fashion
Girls' Basketball Team Overcomes Key Injury
By Laura Taylor
The WHS girls varsity basketball team started the season off with a bang. These girls played nineteen games this season and were able to bring home ten wins. At least once a week, the girls would play at their home court where they definitely felt most comfortable. They kicked off their season with a 7-0 record for the first couple weeks of their games. They were practicing everyday for an hour and a half each day at least.
One of the team’s star players, Junior Hannah Talon, unfortunately tore her ACL during one of the first seven games. The rest of the team was not going to let this affect them and they were definitely not going to give up. Senior Tara Flanders said “we were definitely nervous that Hannah tore her ACL, but we knew and our coach knew that we could continue to bring home wins even down a really good player.”
They traveled to South Portland which was the team they were most worried to play against. “We were really nervous to play them only because they are one of the best teams that we were going up against” Flanders said. Coach Artes always had the team running defense drills, especially if they were up against a good team.
“He would repeatedly have us run through defense drills until we perfected them. We always did defense drills especially if we knew a team was really good or had good specific players” Flanders said. Good defense means a good team player and a team as a whole. When students from Windham High School packed into the bleachers at the girls home game, it encouraged them to play better because they wanted to do well for their peers. Unfortunately, the girls basketball teams season ended during their first playoff game. They lost to Deering (41-26) in an AA North Quarterfinal game.
Photo courtesy of The Windham Eagle
By Rebecca Hamel
With spring just around the corner, it is about time to hit the tennis courts. The Windham High School girls tennis team could not be more excited about the upcoming tennis season. A new season sparks new goals and excitement for the team and those who follow them during tennis season. With last year’s seniors graduated, coach Katharine Dresnok said there are new varsity spots to be filled. “I am excited because we have a lot of returning players who played a lot of games last tennis season and have continued to play since,” Coach Dresnok said.
Coach Dresnok is not the only one infused with excitement for the upcoming season; players like sophomore Giana Stevens are just as excited! “I learned a lot and progressed in my skills last season” Stevens said. “I'm excited to play again this season.” Sophomore player Nicole Snow also stated “I am hoping to learn more skills and get better at the sport.”
With a new season, a new beginning is possible. Last season resulted in about an equal amount of wins and loses. The team played hard and had a lot of exhilarating matches. When asked about goals to accomplish for the season, Dresnok said “I am hoping to have more wins than losses and to continue to the playoffs.” Her favorite part of coaching is “working with a great group of young women who have enthusiasm, potential and ability to grow.”
The official Tennis season will begin in the early spring after tryouts. The team will have a few weeks of practice to get ready for matches and then they will begin playing matches 2-3 times a week. With a strong and talented team and a dedicated coach it is looking to be a prodigious season!
Tennis Team Prepares for Upcoming Season
By Austin Norcia
Heard it in a past life is the first studio album of Maryland native Maggie Rogers, who gained acclaimed recognition after the release of her single “Alaska”. The album contains 12 tracks, all of which seem repetitive of one another. There is little variation used in Roger’s vocals, especially on tracks like “Give A Little” where the instrumentation overshadows the vocals, the same can be said about the track “Overnight,” where again, the simple overproduced beat overshadows Rogers’ deeply haunting confessional vocals.
That seems to be the driving force and theme of this record: the instrumentation is no compliment to Roger’s vocals. The album has so much raw potential, yet such poor production. The best part of this record however is by far the lyricism. The lyrics to tracks such as “Past Life” and “Light On” paint such an eerie and vague picture, that's much more interesting on pen and paper for example, a verse from “Past Life,” where she sings: “Oh, I
could feel the shadow comin' straight on down the line, masquerading like it was a friend of mine.”
However, It’s evident that Rogers’ capability to perform and create, though maybe she isn't quite ready for the limelight. Overall, this album is hit or miss, and there's much room for improvement from Maggie Rogers.
Album Review: Maggie Rogers- "Heard It In A Past Life"