The Wanderer - Mobile Edition
ORRJHS Students Treat Seniors to Thanksgiving Feast
By Jean Perry
It has been a tradition in Tri-Town for 25 years now. Every year on the weekend before Thanksgiving, the students at Old Rochester Regional Junior High School treat Tri-Town seniors to a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
The event goes on like a well-oiled machine now after 25 years, with many of the same food service volunteers running the show behind the scenes, knowing exactly what to do and how it's done.
Lines of eighth-grade volunteers dressed in black and white enter and exit the cafeteria kitchen, in their hands are steaming plates of hot turkey and gravy that thankful guests receive at their tables. There were just under a hundred students there to volunteer their time for the Thanksgiving tradition.
There were over 150 door prizes, items donated by residents and businesses for the raffle, and students raised $500 in fundraising for the event.
"This tradition is one of my favorites," said Superintendent Doug White, attending his sixth junior high Thanksgiving dinner. "It brings us all together over great food, refreshments, and company."
Time Takes its Toll...
By Jean Perry
The bell at the First Congregational Church has been silent for many years now. A newer electric bell installed about 15 years ago was much easier to ring than the 1,600-pound bell that had lived atop the church in the center of Rochester since 1892. But on November 20, the historic bell rang out its resounding D-note toll one final time from the top of the church steeple before it was lowered via crane to the ground, the final stage in the structural renovations of the church.
"There's a lot of history in that bell," as Bruce Rocha of Fisher & Rocha, Inc., contractor for the church renovations, put it. The bell was cast in 1892 by the Blake Bell Company of Boston owned by William Blake, an apprentice of Paul Revere III, grandson to our famous bell maker Paul Revere. Revere started the company Revere and Sons in 1801, which was passed down to his sons Joseph Warren Revere and Paul Revere Jr. The company evolved into the Blake Bell Co. in 1890.
It took a crane crew about an hour to extract the bell from its very tight living quarters towering above Rochester Center. Rocha said they were just lucky that the crane head was able to squeeze in to retrieve the bell.
The weight of the bell on the church tower's structural support was simply too much to justify keeping in a bell that was no longer used.
The bell remains part of the history of the old church, and after it is stored for a period of time and refurbished, the bell will be returned to the grounds of the First Congregational Church of Rochester and put on display.
Rochester TA Seeking Fairhaven Position
By Jean Perry
Rochester Town Administrator Michael McCue is currently one of three final candidates selected by a Fairhaven subcommittee to fill the position as Fairhaven's very first town administrator.
The Rochester Board of Selectmen hired McCue in August of 2014 after town administrator of seven plus years Richard LaCamera retired. McCue was the town administrator of the Town of Avon at the time, and selectmen commented last year that McCue's background in working with a small town like Rochester, with a population of about 5,200 people, was an attractive quality.
"The Fairhaven opportunity is a chance for further professional development," said McCue on November 24.
Fairhaven, with a population of just less than 16,000, triple the size of Rochester, is in the process of switching its current position of executive secretary to the selectmen to a town administrator, the first for the town.
McCue was also recently a final candidate for the town administrator position of the Town of Attleboro, but was ultimately not selected for the position.
"The candidacy in North Attleboro was based on the proximity to my home," said McCue. "It was literally a ten minute drive." He added that the short commute for McCue, who resides in Mansfield, would have had a positive impact on his family.
Selectman Naida Parker said on November 24 that she was disappointed when McCue first informed selectmen a couple of months ago that he was looking elsewhere for another town administrator position that would further his career.
"I do appreciate the fact that he has given us a heads up," said Parker. "Rochester's a really small town. I don't know if it offers the challenge or the opportunity to move up."
Parker said she and many who work in the town would miss McCue's presence should he leave Rochester, and she is happy working with him, she added.
"A number of these positions have come up recently," Parker said. "Sometimes the timing of things are in such a way... Who knows if another will open up, sometimes not for twenty years or so..."
The Fairhaven Board of Selectmen will hold interviews for the three candidates during a scheduled public meeting on December 5 before making a final decision.
"I truly enjoy working in Rochester and this is not an exercise based on my wishing to leave at all," McCue said.
Yard Boss: "We are doing nothing wrong!"
Mattapoisett Conservation Commission
By Marilou Newell
For several months, the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission has attempted to find a way to control unauthorized water taking from the Mattapoisett River by local landscaper Yard Boss. During the November 23 meeting, the commission invited both Vincent Furtado, Department of Public Works superintendent of the Town of Fairhaven, and Yard Boss owner Todd Rodrigues to discuss the matter.
Conservation Commission Chairman Bob Rogers asked Furtado to come forward and explain his attendance at the meeting. Furtado said that in 2014, his office received notification that Rodrigues was drawing water from the Mattapoisett River at the station located on River Road, a property owned by the Town of Fairhaven. He said letters were sent from his office and also from an attorney working with the Mattapoisett River Valley Water Protection Advisory Committee asking Rodrigues to cease taking water. Yard Boss never responded.
According to Furtado, Rochester eventually got Rodrigues to file for a permit to take water from Snipatuit Pond and Wolf Island Road after he was found taking water at those locations.
Furtado said the actions of Rodrigues had been the impetus for the MRVWPAC's writing water protection bylaws that will be presented at town meetings in 2016 at the four towns affected: Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion, and Rochester.
"There is nothing we can do but ask for your help," Furtado told Rogers, "...maybe install a sign 'no water withdrawal.'"
Rogers then invited Rodrigues to join them at the conference table. Rogers started the conversation by saying, "You have a relationship with The Bay Club. They have a water reservoir that is non-jurisdictional; with their permission, you can draw water there."
Rodrigues was then offered an opportunity to explain his actions. He told the commissioners that 10 years ago he had received verbal approval from Carlos Nicolosi, a previous Conservation Commission chairman.
"He said he didn't have a problem with it expect during herring season," Rodrigues claimed. He also said that he eventually received a permit from Rochester.
To further demonstrate his due diligence, Rodrigues said he had been in contact with the Mattapoisett Police Department, the local environmental police, and the Department of Environmental Protection. He claimed that the DEP had no problem with his equipment or the water withdrawals.
"I received verbal approval," said Rodrigues. "We are not doing any harm to the environment. We are doing nothing wrong!"
Rodrigues then criticized what he dubbed "an unprofessional approach" by the commissioners saying, "When do we communicate through The Wanderer? You have crossed the line." He told Rogers, "Your lack of research is appalling!"
Rogers responded, "Every place that you withdraw water you need a permit." He told Rodrigues that a permit could be issued if the landowner gave permission and the town issued a permit.
Rodrigues continued to defend himself.
"Your previous board allowed it, a verbal permission," stated Rodrigues. "Don't paint me as the bad guy."
Rogers reiterated, "You don't have permission of the landowner and you don't have a permit."
Rodrigues then took umbrage to Rogers having called Rodrigues "shameless" during a previous meeting, so much so that Rodrigues angrily told him, "You are going to see shameless, Bob!" Then he exited the meeting.
Rogers thanked Furtado for attending the meeting before moving on through the agenda.
Other business handled was the approval of four Requests for Determination of Applicability. Those were granted to Brian Martin, 16 Oliver Street, to replace a deck; Andrew Perkins, 11 King Phillips Road, to replace a concrete foundation; Walter and Linda Truax, 23 Angelica Avenue, for the construction of a shed; and Prentiss and Mary Higgins, 7 Shipyard Lane, for an addition to an existing garage. An application from William Farran, Angelica Avenue, also for a RDA, was continued to give the applicant additional time to gather environmental details.
Conrad and Janice Roy, 56 Ocean Drive, were issued an after-the-fact Notice of Intent for a piling they installed for a beach pulley system for their watercraft.
Certificates of Compliance were issued to Margot Kalkanis, 12 West Hill Road; Liam McBrien, 7 Bay View Road; and Myron and Marilyn Mazer, 7 Holly Woods Road.
Conservation Agent Liz Leidhold shared during her report that Leisure Shores Marina had completed the replacement of floats in compliance with the commission request.
Commissioner Peter Newton said, "I am very pleased how they ultimately responded." Leidhold said the DEP was working with the marina on marshland clean up which is ongoing.
On a lighter note, the commission agreed to let the selectmen know they were in favor of accepting a land gift from Jeanne Downey for property located off Mattapoisett Neck Road near the entrance to the bike path.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for December 14 at 6:30 pm in the Mattapoisett Town Hall conference room.
Trial and Error Lead to Bylaw Amendments
Rochester Planning Board
By Jean Perry
Amending the Limited Commercial District zoning bylaws won't protect the town from any perceived negative impacts of the large-scale solar installation proposed for the historic center, but as Planning Board Chairman Arnold Johnson pointed out on November 24, better safe than sorry - better too late than never.
The Planning Board had recently forwarded three draft zoning bylaw amendments - two pertaining to solar farms within the Limited Commercial District - to the Board of Selectmen to approve the language, which they did the previous night and which they then sent back to the Planning Board to hold a public hearing.
The first amended bylaw pertains to the perimeter vegetative boundary of projects proposed within the Limited Commercial District. New language, which was once proposed for the bylaw earlier in the year but then removed, was inserted to require a wall or fence for screening of no fewer than 6 feet in height. The bylaw currently only requires the presence of four-season evergreens for screening. Johnson said applicants could request a waiver from this wall/fence requirement for smaller-scale, simpler projects.
"It probably would have saved us a little bit of aggravation if that had been in there," said Johnson, relative to the proposed solar energy installation. "Even if we put it back, it's not gonna help us with that one."
The second bylaw pertaining to large-scale solar installations adds language under landscaping to minimize the number of removed trees of a 12-inch caliber or greater. While crafting the original bylaw, Johnson said, the subcommittee figured it was senseless to address this and make the applicant flag all 12-inch caliber trees on the site when the majority of trees would be clear-cut to accommodate the solar arrays anyway.
"However," said Johnson, "going through our first one (solar installation) under our solar bylaw ... something like this might help us - maintaining a vegetative perimeter boundary."
Although trees in the middle of the site would be removed, Johnson said this bylaw could have protected more of the trees along the perimeter.
"Again, we're looking down the road," said Johnson.
The third bylaw pertains to signage, and simplifies sign regulations by compiling them all into one concise location.
The board voted to accept the language of all three bylaws and voted to recommend adoption at the next Town Meeting.
Also during the meeting, the board opened and closed the site plan review public hearing for the installation of four co-location wireless communications antennas on the existing monopole cellular tower off Cranberry Highway, filed by Bell Atlantic Mobile.
The board granted several waivers requested by Verizon representative Victor Manougian, and asked minimal question on the project that Johnson called "pretty benign."
The project also includes a pre-fabricated 11 foot 6 inch by 26 foot equipment shelter and the extension of a chain link fence.
The board will draft a decision and vote on the project at the next meeting.
The next scheduled meeting of the Rochester Planning Board will be December 8 at 6:30 pm at the Rochester Senior Center located on Dexter Lane.
MOSAC Chair Baffled by ConCom's Inaction
Marion Conservation Commission
By Jean Perry
Improving the hydraulic controls at Grassi Bog since the system failed and flooded during the spring of this year has been a slow process and was further halted on November 18 by the Marion Conservation Commission as a result of its own engineer's written comments on some perceived inconsistencies in the improvement plan. And when the ConCom refused to take a look at the plan to compare it with the engineer's report, Marion Open Space Acquisition Committee Chairman and wetlands specialist John Rockwell let his frustration show.
The plan essentially calls for an increase in the size of the rock spillways (bigger boulders), and a larger arched culvert. However, the report from Matthew Pitta and Michael Guidice of CDM Smith cited three of what they considered deficiencies, which Rockwell addressed and explained for the commission. He said he was "mystified" by the three comments.
First, the engineers observed that the first two interior spillways appeared to be reversed, "with the downstream spillway having a higher crest elevation than the upstream spillway."
False, according to Rockwell. "I believe that's incorrect," Rockwell stated. "I just looked at the plans and that's not the case.... The first observation is incorrect."
Second, the report states that the plan lacks a specified slope of the effluent culvert, "though the intent may be for the culvert to lay flat; if so it should be called out on the plans," reads the report. It further states that there are also no details regarding excavation and backfill for the culvert installation.
"The exit culvert doesn't have a specified slope ... it's flat, that's why," said Rockwell.
Next, Rockwell said, the third observation that says no crest elevation was shown on the plan for the weir upstream of the effluent culvert is true; however, he said there is a note on the plan that says the crest elevation would remain the same as the original plan, approved by ConCom some years ago.
"These comments don't make sense," said Rockwell.
Although the items are relatively minor, noted Chairman Norm Hills, he wanted the engineer who drafted the plans to come to an understanding with CDM Smith before moving forward.
"But the fact that this plan, the new plan, doesn't have the elevation, I mean, this was going to be the new plan of record," said Hills. "You shouldn't have to go back to the old plan."
Rockwell warned the commission that the damaged spillway would likely fail again during the winter if action is not taken, and asked if the commission would look at the plan to address CDM Smith's comments, avoiding further delay of the project.
"I don't want to do it here," said Hills.
"Well, that's the purpose of the public hearing," said Rockwell.
ConCom member Joel Hartley asked Rockwell if he was an engineer, qualified to assess the project plan.
"I can read a plan, can't you?" Rockwell replied.
"It's dueling engineers is what we've got here," said Hills. "We want them to at least talk to each other."
"Well, can I at least get you to look at the plan?" Rockwell asked again.
"I don't want to do that right now," said Hills.
"Well, you read plans all the time," Rockwell said.
The two went back and forth and soon the other commission members were vocally supporting the chairman.
"We hired an expert opinion and you're telling us the expert opinion is wrong?" said Hartley.
"It's a failure on CDM's part and you're holding up a town project," said Rockwell. "Just look at the plan! Just look at the plan yourself and you'll see that the engineer is wrong."
Hills proposed continuing the hearing until December 9, and the commission voted in favor.
"I just don't understand why you won't just look at the plan," said Rockwell, "and you're refusing to do it and I'm sorry for that."
Also during the meeting, despite having met the requirements of his Notice of Intent, the commission initially refrained from taking action on the Shea Doonan aquaculture farm off Ram Island until selectmen approved the project. Now with selectmen approval, the commission issued the Order of Conditions for Doonan in a 4-1 vote. Commission member Cynthia Trinidad voted 'nay,' just as she promised a fortnight ago.
Even with ConCom approval, Doonan still needs approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and various state entities such as the Division of Marine Fisheries and the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program before the matter bounces back to selectmen for the final say.
The commission's list of special conditions stipulated that the OOC would be void should one or more of the aforementioned authorities deny the project; the project, however, would already die should it be rejected because of eelgrass or a number of other reasons, regardless of ConCom approval.
"I'm not convinced that putting a condition on it will help," said Trinidad earlier in the discussion over conditions.
'Help?' What do you mean, help? asked Doonan. "What kind [of help] are you looking for?"
Trinidad repeated the sentiment she spoke at the last meeting, saying she finds Doonan "lackadaisical" in his approach to the project, especially in communication with Ram Island residents. She then pressed Doonan to specify where he would buy his seed oysters, repeatedly asking the question when Doonan said he had not yet officially chosen a source.
How do I know you're not going to fly the oysters in from Japan and poison the harbor, asked Trinidad.
"That's unfair. This is my harbor too; I'm not going to poison it.... I'm just going to leave it there," said Doonan perplexedly. He did add, though, that the family business is shellfishing and he had been immersed in the activity since he was ten. He said, of course he would be getting them from a Massachusetts certified hatchery.
Okay, said Trinidad turning up the volume of her voice, but where are you going to get the oysters? "Give me a name...'Pile of Seafood,' I don't know... I don't care..."
"Okay, 'Pile of Seafood' then," said Doonan.
Chairman Norm Hills entertained a motion to close the hearing, and Doonan left the meeting.
In other matters, the commission issued a Negative 2 determination (Notice of Intent not required) to Harold Wildman of 7 Blackhall Court to rebuild an existing deck and previously existing staircase after-the-fact.
The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for December 9 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.
ZBA Closed For The Holidays
Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals
By Marilou Newell
With only one public hearing scheduled before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals conducted business on November 19. The applicant Dwight Smith of Wakefield would not have to wait until after the New Year to learn the disposition of his request.
Represented by David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates of Mattapoisett, Smith's application was for a Special Permit to recognize and allow set-backs from pre-1973, when zoning bylaws were modified. Smith plans to build an 8-foot by 21-foot addition to property located at 6 Winwood Way. The original home was constructed in 1949, Davignon said.
Director of Inspectional Services Andy Bobola told the board members that the request was a "very simple application regarding set-backs on one side."
It took less than ten minutes from beginning to end for the application to receive a unanimous vote.
Historically, the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals does not meet in December. With that in mind, the ZBA members elected to hold a November meeting for the one agenda item rather than postponing the Smith hearing until January.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for January 21, 2016 at 6:00 pm in the Mattapoisett Town Hall conference room, pending receipt of applications.
Schools Highlight Points of Pride in Test Results
The Joint School Committee
By Jean Perry
Not all of the PARCC exam results are out yet, but MCAS and the science portion of the 2015 PARCC results were discussed during the November 19 meeting of the Joint School Committee, with the principals from each of the five schools giving a brief overview of their school's performance.
Sippican School fifth graders scored 11 percent higher than the state average in the advanced and proficient categories in the science MCAS. Principal Lyn Rivet said she was especially pleased that the fifth graders performed well on the majority of Physical Science questions as well as Life Science.
At Old Hammondtown School, Principal Rose Bowman was happy to report that Mattapoisett fifth graders scored 12 percent higher than the state average for Earth and Space Science/The Earth in the Solar System. Mattapoisett, said Bowman, scored highest in Life Sciences and Characteristics of Plants and Animals questions, where 94 percent of students answered them correctly.
At Rochester Memorial School, Principal Derek Medeiros was happy that RMS students also scored higher than the state average, by 10 percent, in the advanced and proficient categories. They performed best in questions pertaining to Technology/Engineering, outperforming the state by 13 points. They also outperformed the state average by 12 points in Earth and Space Sciences questions.
Medeiros said the RMS students are benefitting from the use of Chromebooks in the curriculum, which they use during their science block.
Grade 8 MCAS Science data reflected a 52 percent proficiency level, soaring above the 39 percent state proficiency average. ORRJHS Principal Kevin Brogioli said he was pleased with the upward trend in MCAS Science scores, which have increased since 2013 when the school was one percent above the state average, climbing to 6 percent above in 2014 and 11 percent above in 2015. Students scored the highest in the open response questions.
"What we're most proud of is this uphill average," said Brogioli. "I like the upward trend."
At the high school, Principal Michael Devoll gave the results of the entire MCAS exam taken by high school students last year - high school did not participate in PARCC - and pointed out that in ELA, the school moved from a 47 percent advanced scoring to a 53 percent, and the advanced/proficient category increased from 94 percent to 98 percent. Failures went down, from 3 to 1 percent.
Devoll said there is only one school in ORR's cohort that scored higher than ORR.
In Math, advanced went up from 56 to 63 percent, and the advanced/proficient category went up by two more points, up to 89 percent. Failures were reduced from 5 to 3 percent.
In Science, advanced/proficient rose from 56 percent to 63 percent, and failures reduced from 3 to 1 percent.
"We're moving high numbers in the right direction and reducing our failures," said Devoll. "I only expect our scores to continue to rise...."
The next meeting of The Joint School Committee is scheduled for January 21 at 6:30 pm in the ORRJHS media room.
Principals Say Schools on Track for Improvement
Old Rochester Regional School Committee
By Jean Perry
Old Rochester Regional Junior High School Principal Kevin Brogioli and ORRHS Principal Michael Devoll gave a status update on their school improvement plans to the Old Rochester Regional School Committee on November 18, saying they are pleased overall with progress so far this school year.
Brogioli said the new student advisory program, although still a work in progress in some regards, is on track for success.
Beginning this school year, junior high students on Tuesdays and Thursdays in their homerooms "check-in" with their homeroom teacher advisors and work together towards what Brogioli said was the ultimate goal of the program: "To build teacher-to-student relationships and student-to-student relationships."
Twice a week, students are greeted by their advisor and engaged in discussion over "the news of the day," which Brogioli said could be a provocative statement of some sort or current event news in the community or beyond. On Thursdays, the students and their advisors engage in an activity that works within the framework of "getting to know you," the current theme of the advisory program.
The period lasts 24 minutes, which gives the advisor time to spend two minutes with each student - the amount of time Brogioli said research has shown to be effective in building the teacher-student relationship.
"We realize it's a work in progress and, depending on who you talk to, some students love it. Some students hate it ... so we are working on getting the kinks out of it," said Brogioli, later adding, "Some groups are coalescing very well right now, other groups because of the makeup of the kids or the comfort level of the staff member, they're not there yet. It's a work in progress."
The advisory program addresses one of the school's strategic goals, that of social/emotional development and support.
"We think it's something that's good for kids," said Brogioli.
Principal Devoll said the high school's strategies for meeting the needs of its students have been implemented, specifically, core values have been established, the two homework-free nights have been implemented, and a Gay/Straight Alliance club is now offered and has been expanded to include transgender students.
"I feel confident that we've done everything on this list," Devoll said. "Done, doing, or on its way..."
As for the community relationship goal: "I cannot say the same here," Devoll stated.
Some activities such as promoting homecoming week in the elementary schools were rather ambitious and fell by the wayside this year while focus was fixed on other priorities.
"But I think it's a good idea," said Devoll. He said he still hopes to start an art exhibit of elementary student work at the high school and to coordinate an inter-district K-12 science fair.
Devoll also said implementation of a new student tech help desk is imminent, with eight students already signed up to assist other students with technical problems and questions about their personal devices.
Also during the meeting, Director of Student Services Michael Nelson alerted the committee to an anticipated revision of the school district's physical restraint policy, saying, "In a nutshell, they're prohibiting certain types of restraints, revising and adding training requirements, and acknowledging increased reporting opportunities for the district."
Superintendent Doug White announced the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's final vote to adopt a hybrid exam incorporating elements of the MCAS and the new PARCC high stakes tests in an 8-3 vote on November 17.
High school will continue to take the MCAS through 2019, and seventh and eighth grades will take the hybrid test, which will consist of MCAS-like questions chosen by the state in a PARCC testing format - via computer, and with less test-taking time. Students will take one exam only in ELA and Math, in one session.
The next meeting of the Old Rochester Regional School Committee is tentatively scheduled for December 9 at 6:00 pm in the ORR junior high media room.
Cultivating the Creative Spirit
By Sienna Wurl
When one walks down the art hallway at Old Rochester Regional High School, the art on the walls hangs proudly, allowing everyone to admire the skills of their peers. Currently, black and white portraits smile warmly at students who shuffle to their math-wing classes.
Last week, two of these outstanding artists were selected to be featured in an exhibition at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery in Westport, Massachusetts. The exhibition was titled "Cultivating the Creative Spirit," and it showcased the artwork of high school students from Old Rochester, as well as artwork from students at Dartmouth High School, Durfee High School, Fairhaven High School, Greater New Bedford Voc Tech, and Tiverton High School.
Elizabeth Davis and Madeline Morris were selected to display their artwork at the gallery. Davis' piece was a skeleton created with markers and water, to create a watercolor effect. Morris' piece began as an assignment for art class, and Prismacolor colored pencils were used to create a life-like recreation of a chicken head.
The exhibit at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery was set in the center of the already existing exhibit, which meant the emerging artists' artwork was front and center, quite literally. As Old Rochester Art Department teacher Joanne Mogilnicki said, "Up and coming artists are mentored and celebrated by the art that's already on the walls from professional artists."
Being selected to display artwork for this event was not easy. Hopeful participants submitted artwork to Mogilnicki, who then selected Davis and Morris as the most appropriate representation of the skills of Old Rochester students. Davis and Morris were then asked to select the artwork that they felt was the best portrayal of their skills, and that art was sent to a board of judges at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery to be approved or rejected. Both students were approved by the panel and were allowed to display their work for the event.
The environment of the event was very supportive of the up-and-coming artists, as Mogilnicki pointed out.
"A lot of the work on the walls had red dots [sold stickers] on them, so you could see that people actually support artists and buy work and bring it home and hang it," said Mogilnicki. "So there's this whole culture out there that people don't necessarily know about unless they're actively involved in it, and that's viewing art, appreciating art, and having art around you when it's possible ... being around other high school student artists, and seeing their work." She continued, "It gives you a perspective of what's out there amongst other students or people their age that are involved in making and are interested in the arts."
As for Morris and Davis, they enjoy the art class at Old Rochester, as it challenges artists to discover their strong suits.
"We get to experiment and dabble in different media," said Morris. "Sometimes she'll [Mogilnicki] have challenging projects that maybe you don't necessarily like to do, but it helps you grow to see what you're good at and what you need improvement in."
"She [Mogilnicki] likes us to be really open, so everyone can do what they want," Davis said. "We have people that do fashion design and some people that do prints and stuff, but she likes us to do different things sometimes."
With such a large amount of possible mediums available, Davis and Morris have been able to discover a few favorites to work with.
"I really like using paints, but in weird ways" said Davis, to which Morris immediately responded, "And I really hate paints because I'm terrible at them. I like to use colored pencils and charcoal, that kind of thing."
This artistic diversity was showcased at the exhibit, in the artwork from the high schoolers and the professional artwork that regularly hangs on the walls of the Dedee Shattuck.
As a final piece of advice, Morris invites growing artists to expand upon their talents the way she did.
"Even the things you look at from last year, you're like, 'Why would I do that, it looks terrible?' But we just drew all the time," said Morris. "That's how I got better. I just drew, and even though it was really bad, I still continued to draw."
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Or, more appropriately for Davis and Morris, practice makes an exhibition at the Dedee Shattuck.
Students Anticipate Beebe Renovations
Tabor Academy News
By Madeleine Gregory
The Beebe grill has long been a popular hangout spot for Tabor Academy students. With a pool table, couches, and food for sale, students often gather around booths, eating food, working, or just spending time with friends. There has long been talk of renovating the space, adding new features and making the Beebe even more enjoyable.
To start, the pool table, which used to cost a small fee per game, will soon be free of charge. In addition, a Foosball table will be added to the room. Six new couches and coffee tables will be added, expanding the number of people the space can accommodate. Right now, the couches overlook the ice rink, so students can watch the games from the comfort of the warm Beebe. The addition of more couches will allow more people to come enjoy games or hang out together.
The major renovation, however, comes in the form of Uncle Jon's. The local coffee shop is just slightly too far to walk to during the day without permission, as you have to cross Route 6 to get there. So, to ensure that Tabor students can satisfy their cravings for their food and drinks, Uncle Jon's is coming to Tabor. Starting when students return from Thanksgiving break, cafe products will be available to purchase in the Beebe, in addition to its usual offerings.
Tabor students are ecstatic at the prospect of a quick and delicious way to get their coffee fix.
"I can't wait to have Uncle Jon's on campus," says senior Lily Blouin. "I'm looking forward to Uncle Jon's coming to campus..."
Claire Brito, Blouin's roommate, agrees, saying, "I believe that an iced chai ... can fix any bad day."
Looking towards the future, Tabor plans to expand the Beebe even more. Starting with longer hours, the Beebe will be open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm every day. Plans are already in the works to add a cafe bar with stools as well as enhance the patio, covering it with a Tabor Red awning. Chairs and games could be added outside as well. The new and improved Beebe, with extra room and activities, will give Tabor students a much-needed space to relax and spend time with friends.
Copyright Wanderer Com Inc.