Category Archives: Uncategorized

BuzzFeed Managing Editor Kate Nocera ’01 Speaks to Williston Journalism Class

With the aid of Skype, Matt Liebowitz’s journalism class spoke to Kate Nocera ’01, from her Washington, D.C., office where she’s managing editor of BuzzFeed News. Last Friday, as Republicans in Congress were about to invoke the “nuclear option” to facilitate the confirmation of Pres. Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Nocera took a break from the hectic day to answer questions from students.

Ava Yates ’17 asked Nocera about her involvement in journalism while she was a student at Williston. Nocera answered that she was more about fiction writing then. Ellie Wolfe ’19 asked if sources took BuzzFeed seriously. Cat jokes aside, Nocera responded, readers respect the award-winning international coverage BuzzFeed provides (this year the site was nominated for a Pulitzer for international reporting). Mr. Liebowitz asked how she got her start. Nocera described her beginnings in journalism as a beat reporter for the New York Daily News covering cops, courts, and school committee meetings. Continue reading

Math Students Head to Yale University for Competition

Mathletes get ready for the competition at Yale.
Mathletes get ready for the competition at Yale.

Twelve Williston Mathletes headed to Yale University this weekend to participate in the MMATHs competition

The two Williston teams of six competed in individual and team rounds, as well as a round where they worked collaboratively with students from other schools. Williston’s Steven Wang ’20 came in third place out of 140 competitors. Congratulations to all!

Continue reading

Middle Schoolers Dive in to Five College Opportunities

A lararium at the Smith College Museum of Art
A lararium at the Smith College Museum of Art

Recent field trips sent seventh and eighth graders to area colleges to expand on work they were doing in the classroom.

Will Eberle’s eighth grade Latin class visited Mount Holyoke College’s museum to explore its collection of statues of Roman Lares (household gods).

Students designed their own Lares and lararium.
Students designed their own Lares and lararium.

The quotation from Cicero reads, “The most sacred, the most hallowed place on earth is the home of each and every citizen. There are his sacred hearth and his household gods, there the very center of his worship, religion, and domestic ritual.”

Back in the classroom, students went on to create their own Lares and a shrine for them, called a lararium.

Middle School students study fitness data.
Middle School students study fitness data.

All 70 Middle Schoolers traveled to the biomechanics lab at the University of Massachusetts recently to participate in a fitness study with UMass faculty and graduate students. Williston students were actively involved in generating, collecting, and analyzing data that scientists will use to refine our understanding of exercise and health.

“Kinesiology is an interdisciplinary field of study that allowed the students to see real science in action where biology, chemistry, and physics come together to investigate nature and find solutions to problems,” said science teacher Jane Lucia. “We could see and feel from the folks there that science is creative and collaborative, and fun!”

51240444865__77ACBD36-A85B-46F7-A51F-FB34A9FEC9FF.JPGMs. Lucia continued, “The uses of technology were eye-opening. From the special eye visors in the military lab to the life size virtual human cadaver in the anatomy and physiology lab, students experienced how embedded and valuable technology is to the advancement of ideas toward useful applications.”

Students from the Middle School also recently participated in Classics Day at Mount Holyoke College. Read about that here.

Williston Chemistry Olympian Heads to National Competition

Caroline Channell '18, Molly Zawacki '17, Emily Warren '19, Molly Solan '19. Not pictured; Aidan McCreary '19
Caroline Channell ’18, Molly Zawacki ’17, Emily Warren ’19, Molly Solan ’19. Not pictured; Aidan McCreary ’19

Science teacher William Berghoff and five Williston students braved the mid-March snowstorm over spring recess to participate in the Chemistry Olympiad at the University of Massachusetts.

This event brings high school chemistry students from across western New England for a competition that decides the U.S. representatives for the international Olympiad over the summer. Continue reading

State Champ We the People Team Heads to D.C.

16406422_10154896914494463_9269353246802654_n
The We the People team on the floor of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston

Williston’s We the People team members for the second year in a row out-maneuvered their competition with their superior knowledge and application of civics concepts, securing the state championship. They will head to the national competition in the Washington, D.C., area this April to face teams from across the country.

The team studied and practiced doggedly this trimester, and the hard work paid off when the group met with success in Boston on January 28. Their advisor, AP US Government teacher Peter Gunn, praised the cohesiveness of the team, likening it to a troupe of actors who bond as they practice for a play, or a sports team. “It’s a formidable challenge, both intellectually and interpersonally,” he said. Continue reading

AP French Students Explore ‘Charlie Archive’ in Boston

IMG_3707
AP French students explore Harvard University’s ‘Charlie Archive’ in Boston.

Susan Michalski’s AP French class took a field trip Friday to the exposition of Harvard University’s “Charlie Archive” at the French Cultural Center in Boston. Students spent the day immersed entirely in French.

The exposition contained 50+ framed artworks inspired by the January 2015 attacks of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper office in Paris. In addition, there was a collection of iPads each filled with thousands of digital images of “Je suis Charlie” tributes of all kind, from social media to poetry to street art from around the world. Historians, French and American, spoke on video of the larger importance of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Continue reading

Classics Day Immerses Wildcats in Ancient Cultures

Rob Champigny '18 with another great leader, Augustus
Rob Champigny ’18 with another great leader, Augustus

Classics Day brings together students of Latin from around the Pioneer Valley who, for one day, immerse themselves in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. The annual event is organized and hosted by the Pioneer Valley Classics Association and held at Mount Holyoke College in nearby South Hadley, Massachusetts.

On January 20, Williston students were among 341 attendees at the event. Classics Day spurred student imaginations and inspired Wildcats to spend hours working on projects that were rewarded with 10 prizes. A remarkable example: One student, Gabe Moon ’18, taught himself metal working so he could create a prize-winning replica of a Roman helmet. Continue reading

Williston Wildcat Robotics Team Battles to Victory

Williston Wildcat Robotics Club battle to victory.
Williston Wildcat Robotics battled to victory.

Nine members of the robotics club journeyed to Boston University Academy recently to participate in a VEX Competition Qualifier for the Southern New England Regional Tournament. They returned with a trophy, sharing the win with an allied team.

The tournament is played on a 12-foot by 12-foot field. Two alliances — one red and one blue — composed of two teams each, compete in matches consisting of a 15-second autonomous period followed by one minute and 45 seconds of driver-controlled play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by placing game pieces in your zones and by hanging robots on your hanging bar. Continue reading

Split Decisions in Three Eighth-Grade Mock Trails

Deliberating in the Middle School
Deliberating in the Middle School

Three eighth-grade juries came to different verdicts in mock trials that centered around a case where a customer was burned by coffee served by a fictitious coffee shop, and sued for damages. After hearing from witnesses in the case, the juries had to decide who was at fault, the plaintiff (Lee Cavanaugh, the coffee drinker) or the defendant (Cup of Joe, the business who sold the beverage).

According to Middle School History and Global Studies Teacher Andrew Syfu, jurors were tasked with deciding if the defendant was negligent from a legal perspective, and if the shop was strictly liable for the injuries sustained by Mr. Cavanaugh. Continue reading