BY: Julia Ely and Carlin Barton
The drama department at Brien McMahon High School is currently struggling to put on their annual school play this spring due to lack of funding. Because of this, they are now relying solely on public fundraising to pay for all of the expenses.
Frank Arcari, the choir teacher at McMahon says, “It takes between $40,000 and $60,000 to put on a good show and when you have nothing, that is a monumental task to overcome.”
For over a decade, the drama department has received insufficient funds from the school and has had to make up for it in independent fundraising.
According to Arcari, this year the school has come up with $5,000 to give to the program so far this year. Although the funds are well-intended, they will contribute little to the play expenses as the rights alone could reach over $7,000 depending on the production.
Around one hundred students are involved with the play every year and the struggle over money continues to stress the community.
Alison Coutts ('17), a senior who has participated in the school plays since her freshman year says, “It’s a big part of students’ lives here at McMahon. It’s important to a lot of people, and I think especially for me, because I’m a senior. If it doesn’t happen my senior year, it’s kind of a blow to the whole experience.”
The lack of support from the school has resulted in a lower enrollment for the play and a lessened sense of pride in the production from the students participating. It is also difficult for some students to come up with the money that is needed due to lack of means and connections. Despite these struggles, the program still has hope and is planning for the play to go on this year.
“It [the play] is a true sampling of what McMahon is,” says Arcari, “People will go to our show and they see them [the students] all. I just don’t see how it can’t be supported.”
The drama department still has yet to determine what play they hope to put on this year.
BY: Rebecca Lubin
While passing through the hallways at Brien McMahon High School, many have taken a look outside reminiscing on the successful garden ran by the staff and students. It couldn't be done without the members of the Garden Club. One question that has students all over the school asking is, “What happens to the garden during the winter?”
Winter in the northeast can get very frigid with temperatures dropping at an average of nearly 25°C and for plants to grow the soil must be at least 80°f . So how does the garden survive during the winter?
Stephanie Peckham, leader of the garden club, and a student who choose to remain anonymous, an ex member of the club say, “Most plants aren't put into the beds outside rather inside. There are two beds called hoop houses, the plants go under and plastic is placed on top. Most of the plants aren’t in the garden during the winter, they cover the plants down with a tarp.”
Nothing happens to the plants that stay under the hoop houses in the winter, they only continue to grow. The only plant in the garden that can survive during the winter without the hoop houses are strawberries.
“They go dormant before frost and once the frost goes the strawberries grow,” Peckham explained.
With climate change making the winters warmer people ponder on whether it would affect the garden, but fortunately it doesn’t thanks to the garden’s four wall structure and the school’s microclimate bricks.
“Microclimate bricks bring more heat to the garden which causes the plants to grow normally and they’re able to grow better than they would in your own backyard.” Peckham says.
During the winter time the garden club continues to meets every Tuesday after school to cook and plot plans for where things will grow in spring. To raise money for the garden, the club harvests its products, sells produce to the school cafeteria, and receives grants.