By Matthew Tepper
As the 2019-2020 school year comes to an end, the Class of 2020’s Valedictorian, Aavi Gupta, has proven to be an accomplished student. This fall, Aavi will head to Princeton University to pursue a career in the field of science, majoring in either chemistry or molecular biology.
Aavi’s passion for science stems from his family members’ health conditions. “I grew concerned about my predisposition to the possibility of a heart condition in the future, so I grew interested in cardiology through some of the research I did when I was younger,” he said.
While attending a summer program at Stony Brook University during his sophomore year, Aavi had the opportunity to explore dozens of different medical professions. “I learned not only about interesting surgeries, but also why some of these doctors entered the medical profession in the first place. Some of them had been interested from a young age, and others felt a need to give back to the communities that fostered them, so medicine was their way of doing so.” After attending the program, Aavi decided he wanted to dedicate his life to improving the lives of others.
By Ava Aschettino
Julia Cutajar has earned one of the most coveted spots in her class: Salutatorian of the Class of 2020. Julia’s strong character, impressive accomplishments, and years of dedication and hard work make her an exemplary member of the student body. In addition to her involvement in school clubs, honor societies, and volunteer organizations, Julia managed to earn one of the highest GPAs in her class. Interested in learning more about this star student? Julia recently sat down to answer some questions about her experience at OBHS and her future plans.
Where do you plan to attend college and have you made any decisions on what to study?
“I will be attending the University of Notre Dame, and I will be majoring in architecture. My dream job is to design buildings and amusement park rides that are perfectly accustomed to those with special needs or complex medical conditions. Through volunteering, I have seen first-hand how there are limitations in their everyday experiences. My mission came to be when I volunteered at a children’s hospital and saw an inclusive playground. I realized that I wanted this inclusivity to go beyond hospital walls and playgrounds.”
What will you miss the most about high school?
“I will miss the faculty at OBHS the most. Over the years, I have had great experiences with my teachers; I have always been able to go to them for advice and support. They are not only my teachers, but they are my mentors.”
By Amelia Hahn and Katherine Pinnock
While quarantined, students and staff members have been looking for a way to stay connected and engaged.The Instagram account @OysterBayStudents has allowed teachers to interact with students through livestreams, takeovers, and more!
@OysterBayStudents is operated by yours truly, Amelia Hahn and Katherine Pinnock. When virtual learning first began back in March, we pitched the idea of creating an Instagram page to the administrators at Oyster Bay High School. Our goal when starting this account was to unite our peers and faculty members, as well as keep school spirit alive while we were stuck at home.
Since launching the account, we have worked hard to keep everyone connected. We have reached out to staff members who we thought would be open to participating. We then brainstormed ideas for interactive events like pizza making and pictionary on live streams, and touring the NYC boroughs on story takeovers. The Instagram then quickly became a hub for the high school community as students began to interact with staff members.
By Katie Moore
With the shift from in-person learning to virtual learning, both students and teachers have found new ways to keep in contact. Although classes have scheduled Google Meets, both the faculty and student body craved a deeper connection with the people they used to see on a daily basis. To help bring everyone closer together, many individuals have created Instagram accounts to share information, participate in fun challenges, recall memories, and stay in touch. Plenty of teachers have created these accounts in order to remain in contact with as many students as possible as well as to share some personal insight into what they have been doing during quarantine. Student Instagram pages have been focused on making quarantine a bit more fun for the student body struggling at home.
Dr. Faughey and Ms. Kalamidas are two staff members who started Instagram accounts. Dr. Faughey created her account soon after the closing of schools. She posts content about novels she’s reading to keep busy. Dr. Faughey shared that although she uses this platform to stay in touch with OBHS, it also allows her to “communicate with a global community of people who care about reading.” She also shares information about her classes, including AP Research and Introduction to Film.
By Neal Mehta
On May 26th, teachers and staff from OBHS, decked out in purple and gold apparel and carrying hand-made signs, lined the front lawn of the high school to cheer on the Class of 2020. Despite school closing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the faculty still wanted to celebrate seniors in a unique way. So, they decided to throw them a parade.
Over 60 students paraded down Main Street in their cars, many of whom decorated their vehicles with streamers, posters, and paint. A cloud of OB-colored balloons even trailed one student’s cars. Parents and community members were encouraged to join in the festivities, lining up on the streets alongside staff and maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Principal Sharon Lasher held up her own poster to support the Class of 2020. She shared that she wanted to celebrate seniors in a safe setting. “We wanted to bring everyone together in a safe way. This is not a gathering and no one has to come in contact with anyone else, so it is a safe way to say and wave hello.”
By Beryl Rosenberg
This Spring, Oyster Bay welcomed a new math supervisor, Mr. Bixhorn, to the district. Mr. Bixhorn looks forward to his time at OBHS and is excited to get to know all of the students and staff.
Prior to joining the OBEN school district, Mr. Bixhorn was a math specialist and 6th grade math teacher in the East Rockaway School District, and most recently a middle school Assistant Principal in Deer Park. He shared that compared to other schools he has worked at, he likes that “Oyster Bay is a smaller school district, and the staff knows their students well.” Mr. Bixhorn adds, “The staff also seems to truly care about their community, as they have been volunteering their time to provide food to families in need.”
By Jillian Haguisan
By April, schools across the United States closed to combat the spread of COVID-19. College Board announced on April 3rd that all AP students would take their AP exams online at home. After the last exam concluded on May 22nd, 91 anonymous students from OBHS completed an online survey, where many expressed their dissatisfaction with online APs.
The graphs below show the general data regarding AP exams at OBHS:
Note: The survey includes data for AP exams only.
AP Seminar, AP Research, AP Art, and AP Computer
Science Principles are not included as there were no
exams for these courses.
By Matthew Tepper
Although the Class of 2020 is nearing the end of a significant chapter during an unprecedented time, it’s important to recognize their accomplishments and experiences. Even though the school year was cut short due to the Coronavirus, there were many exciting events that occurred prior to online learning. After interviewing some of OBHS’s seniors, here’s what they had to say about their high school experience.
Karina Paone said that her favorite memories centered around her involvement in the athletic program. She shared that the athletic program allowed her to connect with peers outside of the classroom. Paone said, “I loved having home games so that we could compete with all of our family and friends backing us up. Oyster Bay has a really nice camaraderie.”
By Stefanie Sadocha
OBHS students may not be in school, but they have found creative ways to keep in touch while at home. In addition to being active on online learning platforms, both students and faculty have started actively posting on Instagram, making it easy for students to stay updated.
“Even though we are not able to be with one another physically, we can absolutely still provide support for one another to brighten our days. I consider us fortunate for living in an age where technology is so advanced,” shares OBHS Assistant Principal Mr. Leach.
First, The Purple Cloaks, OBHS’s secret society, started actively posting on an Instagram account. The account has over 300 student and faculty followers and posts daily. They honor seniors who will be attending college in the fall by posting photos of students and sharing where they will be attending and what they intend to study. Additionally, the account has had guest appearances from faculty, including Mr. Rizzuto and Mr. Soper. The cloaks also post polls on their story almost daily, asking students how they are feeling and how the account can make their day better.
By Stefanie Sadocha
Into the Woods made its Oyster Bay debut the weekend of March 6th. The annual production was directed by Ms. Teriann Chiappardi and Ms. Jaclyn Allgier and produced by Oyster Bay's own Mr. Anthony Femino
Into the Woods is the enchanting story of a baker, played by Torin Aebly, and his wife, played by Colette Kilfoil, who must venture 'Into the Woods' to undo an evil spell that keeps them from having a child. The Witch, played by Ava Aschettino, tells the couple that they must find a cow as white as milk, hair as yellow as corn, a cape as red as blood, and a golden slipper, all in three days, in order to undo the spell.