BMHS Pridetime Reporter
With the idea of making the garden a more useful space, the Future Project directed by Carrie Sangiovanni organized the Harvest Pop-up Party on Friday morning during lunch shifts with the help of Ms. Peckham, health teacher of McMahon, to bring awareness to the garden area of Brien McMahon, and to get students and faculty members outside the building to enjoy the space.
“During the winter we have to prepare our garden for the upcoming season. But come spring we plant fruits and vegetables to donate for the cafeteria. Many students enjoy taking a break from school to get fresh air and see their effort grow.” Said Brien McMahon’s Health teacher and member of The BMHS Garden Club, Mrs.Peckham.
Inspired by Thanksgiving, Brien McMahon has set up an activity for all students passing by to write what they are thankful for on a leaf cut out and posting it to the tree on the two main windows in the front area of the building.
The Future Project will be creating events during the lunch shifts in the Garden, with various themes to encourage students to participate in the activities. Many students can either socialize, play outdoor games, and eat or study.
“I enjoy getting a break after spending a few hours in class, it’s nice to get a breath of fresh air” Said a Sophomore at Brien McMahon.
Many students at McMahon have complained since the removal of our vending machines last year. Students at Brien McMahon will now have access to a mobile snack cart that will be stationed outside the garden area of the school each time an event in the garden occurs. This will also quick transactions for students to grab a bite to eat and still be on time to their destination.
“It’s important for children to have food in their stomach to provide energy throughout the day. Sometimes kids skip breakfast and have a hard time focusing until lunch. Hopefully with the new idea of a mobile food cart, this will allow students to purchase a snack and spend their time and energy focusing on their studies,” said a Junior who confirm that is hard to get something to eat in such a small amount of time.
By Olivia Leone
BMHS PrideTime Editor
Imagine McMahon wasn’t just red, white, and blue, but also purple, yellow, pink, and all other colors possible. Thanks to the Class of 2018 Vice President, Kristen Carrano, and Treasurer, Natalie Pitteway, seniors and staff were able to claim a parking spot of their own this past weekend, but was delayed to Monday and Tuesday because of weather conditions.
The idea started in December of last year when Ali Walsh (‘18) saw the idea online and brought it to Kristen. Kristen informed the 2018 class advisors (Ms. Slattery and Ms. Quagliata) and the idea started forming into a soon to be tradition at McMahon. Kristen expressed that “This fundraiser was a good way for people to express themselves through painting.” Natalie added that “The purpose is to beautify McMahon and add a little more spirit to the campus and to raise money for the Senior class.”
Setting up the fundraiser wasn’t as easy as you’d imagine. Last June, Pitteway and Carrano had to first convince administration that painting a parking space would benefit the school. Kristen was well prepared with a PowerPoint she created for them. Unaware of the situation, administration pushed the fundraiser off.
“As soon as we found out Mr. Hurwitz was our new principal we decided to email him. He responded and said that we could meet during the first week of school to discuss it,” said Natalie. Hope for the fundraiser was brought back to life and the word about having your very own parking spot was spreading.
On November 3, 2017, The fundraiser was ready to go. Flyers were hung around the school and the Class of 2018 class officers shared to social media and passed the word along to friends. “I love it, I want someone painting my spot. I think it’s awesome. I think it's such a great idea,” said Hurwitz.
BMHS Pride Time Reporter
NORWALK- Early Friday morning, ten students from Brien McMahon’s Center for Global Studies embarked on a ten day eco-tour to Rwanda to experience the small East African country from an environmental perspective.
“They [Rwandans] model excellence in so many different ways, and it’s so different from how we live. I think for our kids to be able to get to go there and see it will really be something to think about forever,” said Mrs. Fortuna, the trip’s organizer and a World Literature teacher at CGS.
Twenty years after a devastating genocide, this small country has managed to rebuild its communities and develop a sustainable model for harmonious relations between the people and both their human and ecological neighbour. This was Mrs. Fortuna’s inspiration to create the tour for her students after exploring Rwanda’s incredible developments first hand last year. The highlight of this years trip, a tour through Volcanoes National Park, home to the rare Silverback mountain gorillas, is quintessential of the proactive approach that the people of Rwanda have taken to preserve their country’s ecology.
In 2004, Edwin Saburhoro, a Rwandan conservationist, caught wind of a gorilla poaching scheme in the park. Posing as a buyer for the baby gorilla, he rescued the poached animal and sent its captors to prison. During their sentence, he reached out to the poachers and their families, and discovered they poached precious animals because of their financial instability and desperation. Sabuhoro realized the issue would continue as long as the people lived in poverty, so he created a company that employs villagers to lead tourists into Volcanoes National Park called Rwanda Eco-Tours.
“He sent a lot of them to school and now his very best conservationists used to be poachers,” recalled Mrs. Fortuna. This time accompanied by her students, the McMahon group will be guided through the mountains to observe the Silverback gorillas.
In addition to Saburhoro’s efforts, the students will get to experience life in a country that has national initiatives protecting the environment: no goats can roam free, no smoking of beehives near the forest, strict plastic regulations, and numerous other regulations.
Mrs. Fortuna hopes her students exposure to Rwanda’s developments will encourage them to bring back new perspectives to Norwalk. “I want to look at their environmental sustainability and apply it back home,” said Maddy Gordon (‘18).
Julia Ely and Carlin Barton
BMHS PrideTime Reporters
As Thanksgiving approaches, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) organize the annual food drive at Brien McMahon High School. Students donate hundreds of non-perishable food items, which will be given as Thanksgiving dinners to those who cannot afford them.
The question frequently asked by faculty, students, and parents is: what happens to the food after I donate it?
Mrs. Slattery, a teacher at Brien McMahon and the faculty advisor for the FBLA explains, “Once the students from the FBLA have picked up all the cans from the classrooms, we line them up in the hall leading out to the tennis courts. The Salvation Army then comes and picks them up.”
The Salvation Army is an international non-profit organization focused on bettering local communities by providing shelter, helping families overcome poverty, curing hunger, etc. The Salvation Army provides food to every ZIP code in America. Every year, around Thanksgiving and the holiday season, the Salvation Army works to provide hot meals and food boxes to families in need.
Caroline Ramos, a President for the Salvation Army branch in Norwalk says, “The Salvation Army helps cure hunger daily by providing nutritious meals to anyone in need. This includes homeless people of all ages, as well as individuals and families who may be down on their luck and in need of some extra assistance.”
The Salvation Army is an organization on the international scale, however in Norwalk, CT, the canned food drive is coordinated solely by the Brien McMahon chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club. The FBLA is a national organization that helps students further their knowledge of business, prepare them for the business world, and develop leadership skills, as well as run fundraisers and other community service events that involve the entire school and benefit the community. Every year, the club provides sizable contributions to the Salvation Army and truly make a difference to the lives of people the Norwalk community.
Tymar Dowe, a senior at Brien McMahon High School and the President of the Brien McMahon FBLA chapter, says, “The food drive means a lot to FBLA because it is something that we do annually and each year to see the amount of items increase makes us feel really good and proud of what we’re doing.”
This year, the FBLA had a goal of reaching 1,100 items. Fortunately, they ended up reaching and even exceeding that goal with over 1,200.
“In the future we hope to see an increase in the items collected and the goal will also increase.”
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
McMahon will be the 19th high school in Connecticut to implement a new program into its establishment starting this school year through the International Baccalaureate, or ‘IB’, curriculum.
“IB is an international education that focuses on educating a whole student,” said Mrs. Stockfish, a longtime McMahon teacher who has decided to take on the challenge of running this new program as the new IB coordinator. This position allows her to be a resource to all staff and students involved in the program.
“It took about 5 years to officially introduce the program and begin offering the IB classes.”, said Mrs. Carriero, an assistant vice principal and the original IB coordinator. This process took so long because administration had to complete a variety of applications and training procedures to gain the title ‘IB World School’.
IB classes give McMahon students more opportunities to take college credits at the high school level. “We think that the introduction of this program has encouraged more students to take advantage of the public school system.” said Carriero, “It is rare for high schoolers to get the chance to take a class that isn’t so focused on content.”
A small group of students have taken the opportunity to enroll in the prestigious IB diploma program, which if completed could be transferred for a full school year of college credits. This credit could save McMahon graduates thousands of dollars in their future.
During their junior and senior year, students work towards their diploma by completing IB classes and community service projects called CAS. “The CAS project really tests your creativity,” said Connor Sovak (‘19), “You need to get a certain amount of creative, activity, and service hours along with your IB classes.”
“Getting the diploma also looks really good on most college applications,” said Delaney Oak (‘19) about her motivation for joining the program. Currently over 1500 colleges and universities recognize the IB diploma and accept its credit.
Even though it is only the first year of the program there are already 28 students enrolled in the diploma program and even more students taking a variety of IB courses.
“I like the fact that the classes [IB] are discussion based and teach you to really think,” said junior Julia Curtin who is taking four IB classes along with her two AP classes, “I liked some of the classes that they [the school] offered, but since it is the first year there isn’t much variety so I chose to mix-and-match the classes that interested me”.
The IB program gives McMahon students an opportunity to take different classes than the traditional high level AP program, which will remain in place along with IB and administration doesn’t foresee problems between the two programs.
In the future administration hopes to make a variety of improvements to the existing curriculum. “Our main goal is to add more classes to give students more options,” said Carriero, “We also want to incorporate IB tactics into all classes to nurture the students for more than just the two years of the diploma program.”
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
BMHS PrideTime Reporter
As of this school year Brien McMahon High School has incorporated a new type of class into their curriculum already consisting of AP (Advanced Placement) classes, the International Baccalaureate, or IB classes. The IB classes offered at McMahon include IB Spanish, Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, ect. According to the official IB website, only 830 schools in the US offer IB diplomas compared to 14,000 that offered AP classes.
Many McMahon teachers had to become IB certified this summer like Mr. Eric Carroll, IB Literature and Composition teacher. Unlike the AP training, IB training is mostly online classes but there are some training sessions a teacher can chose to travel across the USA for. “I took the online class, I’ve heard there are other teachers that have gone to Dallas and Colorado to take the class. The only cool thing about it (the online class) was everyone in the class was international. I had teachers from Egypt in my class, from Sudan, from India, etc. I was one of the only American teachers,” says Mr. Carroll.
According to Matthew Nelson, director of advanced academics for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee, said, “"In an AP class, you may look very deeply at an issue and look at if from multiple perspective, and in an IB class you may be looking at an issue over time and how it has impacted other parts of the world and how there is that connectivity to it all.” After having taught AP Lit and Comp for a year Mr. Carroll says it has a “rushed feeling” - the reason behind this is because there is a pressure for time to cover all of the material on the AP test by the time it rolls around in May. IB does not have that same “rushed” feeling because the students have a 2 year time period to learn all the information before taking a test to receive their diploma.
The test to receive an IB diploma or certificate is out of 24 points, different from the AP test which was only out of 5. When enrolled in IB ones 11th grade year they have 2 options - going for an IB diploma, or pursuing an IB certificate in individual subjects. To actually obtain an IB diploma Mr. Carroll said it starts with an experiment where the students learn how to participate in their community, then make a community of their own and promote the well-being of their community. Finally they have to write a very long, detailed research paper. “As a whole by the end of the two years their assessments are much more rigorous, but they aren't based on this one three hour segment like the AP test,” said Mr. Carroll
BMHS Pridetime Reporter
Last week, November 1st; Principal Hurwitz’s voice could be heard booming over the loudspeaker of Brien McMahon. His message to students; “Go home! “
If your ride home has yet to arrive and you sit in the cafeteria or wander the halls to kill time, think again! Principal Hurwitz announced that no student shall be hanging out in the school during after hours.
So what incited the principals’ mysterious and sudden announcement?
“Over the years fights and vandalism have been the result of large groups of students loitering in the building after hours.” Hurwitz voiced. The lack of security guards and teachers in the building after school means that parts of the building are left unmonitored.
You may think the memo seemed unnecessary but Hurwitz insists that this new rule isn't to make students lives harder. “Nothing we do here is random” he stated. “Student safety is always at the heart of any decision we make.” The purpose of his message is to curb the number of incidents that occur when students are unsupervised in the building.
Since making the announcement, Hurwitz confirmed that there has been a drop in the number of students hanging out in the hallways after school. “It's always about keeping the building safe for all kids”.
Despite the push for students to leave right after school, Hurwitz stated the front lobby is still available for students to sit and wait for their rides home. No punishment has been issued for students found wandering the halls but faculty will ask you to leave or stay in the front lobby.
BMHS Pridetime Reporter
The recent announcement that Broadcom, a semiconductor company that manufactures chips and computer components, is moving its headquarters back to the United States as a promise to help boost the economy. Trump has expressed enthusiasm for this development and has applauded the company’s CEO, Hock Tan, for making the choice to relocate.
CEO Hock Tan was born in Malaysia but attended college in America. He was offered free tuition at MIT, where he got his degree. This allowed him to go on to create the corporation that is now one of the largest producers of semiconductors in the world.
He feels that he truly has achieved the American Dream, and is deeply grateful that MIT was willing to take a chance on him by providing him with a free education. It’s this feeling that created his sense of loyalty to America, and the reason he cited in his discussion with Trump as to why he’s redomiciling Broadcom.
Tan says that most of his direct managers, and 90% of his shareholders, are American and that he, too, is American. Therefore, he has a vested interest in America’s economy, and in creating jobs for American people. He promised that Broadcom will “[create] high-paying tech jobs similar to the ones held today by my coworkers.”
However, there are certainly a number of other reasons for him to return Broadcom to its country of origin, including tax benefits. With Trump’s new tax proposal, the corporate tax rate would decrease from 35% to 20%, Broadcom would receive a huge tax cut. Considering that Broadcom moved to Singapore for tax breaks, it’s no wonder that it’s returning once America’s taxes would be more favorable.
Broadcom has announced that its new headquarters will be in Delaware, which boasts the legal homes of roughly 66% of publicly-traded American corporations. This is because of Delaware’s lack of state taxes on companies that don’t do business inside the state boundaries. On top of all that, some of Broadcom’s tax breaks from Singapore will end in 2021, adding extra incentive to return to the U.S.
The CFIUS has an intense vetting process for business acquisitions of U.S. properties by foreign companies, which Broadcom is currently undergoing. This has delayed the merger. However, once Broadcom moves back the United States, the CFIUS would no longer be involved, and the merger could continue uninterrupted.
While Broadcom is best known for its semiconductors -- used in smartphones, tablets, and routers -- it also produces cable boxes, smartphones, and other wireless devices. As one of the top producers of semiconductors, it competes with companies like Qualcomm, Intel Corporation, Samsung, and Cisco Systems.
Broadcom’s return to the United States will do the country’s economy good; Broadcom is a $100 billion corporation and will be bringing with it an annual revenue of $20 billion, according to Hock Tan. He announced that Broadcom would be investing over $3 billion per year in research and engineering and $6 billion per year in manufacturing.
With its return to America, the country will boast yet another of the largest semiconductor companies, possibly gaining an edge in the modern era of technology.
Broadcom’s return to the United States is certainly something for the business world to look forward to. It shows that Trump’s plan to reduce corporate taxes may actually work in galvanizing originally-American companies to return, and helps bring much-needed jobs and revenue to the country.
By: Rebecca Lubin
BMHS Pridetime Reporter
Students at Brien McMahon High School have seen sticky notes on both the girls and boys bathroom doors that read, If you feel that you belong here then you belong. According to the CYL club they are not apart of the sticky notes being posted all over the school, neither is any of the administration or student government at McMahon.
An anonymous student has been going around the school posting sticky notes all over the bathroom doors.
Although some students liked the idea of having transgender bathrooms others disagreed. Sources who decided to remain anonymous express their opinions as disgusting and uncomfortable.
Other students who also decided to remain anonymous explain their thoughts about the transgender bathrooms. “I don’t really understand why everyone is making this a big deal if someone has a penis they should use the boy's bathroom. Why is it an issue, it was never that serious.”
Mr. Kane, an English teacher at McMahon says, “I think it's a great idea, I can’t imagine what it would be like, the awkwardness and uncomfortableness, for a student going through something like that, they should feel comfortable to use the bathrooms.”
In 2013, Coy Mathis a transgender first-grade girl who was born a boy, fought for her rights to use the girl's bathroom at her school in Fountain, Colorado. CNN says, “Coy’s parents had taken her case to the commission after the district said she could no longer use the girls’ bathroom at Eagleside Elementary School.
In issuing the decision, the state’s rights said keeping the ban in place creates an environment that is subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive. CNN also stated, “The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund praised the ruling that was filled under Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act.”
Michael Silverman, the group's executive director, called the ruling a high water mark for transgender rights. Earlier this year, in February, the Charlotte city council voted 7-4 to approve legal protections for the LGBT people.
The bill aimed to prohibit business, bars, restaurants, stores, and taxis from discriminating against gay or transgender customers, Amber Phillips from the Washington Post stated.
In February of 2017, Governor Malloy signed an executive order protecting transgender students in Connecticut schools. “Every child, no matter their gender identity or expression, should be treated equally and fairly in a safe, supportive environment,” Malloy says.
Brien Mcmahon High School is currently in the process of getting transgender bathrooms for their transgender students. For now, they are able to use the bathroom in the nurse’s office.
“We are purchasing stickers to identify bathrooms throughout the building that transgender students may use.” Assistant principal, Dr. Allen says. “If we get the transgender bathrooms, Mcmahon would be the first school in Norwalk to do so.”
BMHS Pridetime Reporter
Every day a handful of kids descend down to McMahon’s cafe for breakfast and lunch to eat what the school provides, but you can always hear people talking about what they want to know about the school lunch.
In October of 2017, one student Tyrese ('20) accounted that he found mold in his muffin in McMahon’s school breakfast.
Steven Browning one of McMahon’s kitchen managers stated “We try to catch mold or anything like that, anything bad we do try to catch,” “ We rotate, but uh dating, dating it is very important everything that comes in we make sure we date it and anything that doesn’t look to our standards we get rid of it, we throw it in the trash.”
Food safety is a very important concern in high schools, high school lunches are served to 30.4 million students daily.
Steven also stated “We pretty much go by the dates on the boxes (muffins),” “ We still make sure everything is okay.”
Steven said that they work as much as we can to our (Students) standards , if we don’t like anything we can let them know. McMahon , will continue their duties on rotating and checking their food on a daily, to keep up with cafeteria standards and food safety.
BMHS Pridetime Reporter
On a cloudy, Sunday morning on Nov. 5, McMahon’s culture and conflict class, as well as other students, held a walkathon to support hurricane victims in Puerto Rico on Jack Casagrande track field that started at 11am and ended at 4pm.
A student in the class said, “We came into groups and talked about what we could do to help the recent hurricane victims, and we decided to have a walkathon. A few of us have decided to make it ‘spooky’ themed and we made it ours.” Lilly King(‘18).
The students wanted to make the walkathon something many would remember, so they all decided to include costumes and face painting for all ages. This walkathon didn’t include tickets, instead it included a pledge stating the following:
“Pledges may be made by anyone. Each sponsor making the pledge should write his/her own name, pledge per mile and maximum pledge. Participants may collect the pledge in advance, but must keep pledges until all are collected.”
“On the day of the walkathon, each participant will walk during a specific time. Each lap is approximately 400 meters. Each participant will be issued a stick/stamp for each lap they complete.”
Although it rained, the event was not canceled. In the morning, Lilly King said that there was a great amount of people there. Many students and families went out in the drizzling rain to support our McMahon students.
“I felt really tired. It was raining and the day was not so enjoyable, but I’m happy I came to support my fellow McMahoniac’s” says Star Rodriguez (‘18).
The students had a goal of $5,000, but that was for the money drive, the spooky walkathon, and the bake sale. They raised $1500 so far, $500 being collected from their walkathon. All the money they have funded will go to The Brother’s Brother Foundation.
BMHS Pridetime Reporter
On Thursday, Oct. 26, room 1026’s anime club had been getting in the Halloween spirit rather early as the members conducted their Halloween creations, later agreeing to present them next meeting, which happens to be every Thursday.
Upon entering, the room is lowly lit as the smart board projected an episode of anime(which is an age old weekly tradition). After whatever anime was chosen that week, they proceeded to either discuss, and start an activity. The club was given time to create Halloween characters and/or short stories.
“It was a student suggested activity.” Responds Eliza Pacifico (‘19), who happens to be the anime club’s president. “I like to run Anime Club as a democracy, not a dictatorship.”
She described that the club wasn’t doing so well last year, and that the goal was to revive it. Club advisor, Ms. Dardani, says, “Honestly last year there was not strong membership and the activities were not well thought of. This year, anime is happening.”
The president’s plan, along with the vice president, is to finalize a trip to either an anime convention or Mitsuha, a Japanese marketplace.
Although anime club started in CGS, it is open to anyone who is interested in joining. Club president says, “Give it a chance. Our club is just a welcoming and open place. Just being here, making new friends, there’s a sense of community.”
You can stop by on any Thursday at 2:20; the club is always looking for new members every week.
BMHS Pridetime Reporter
With updating technology and more students coming and going each year, Brien McMahon has begun to renovate the structure of their Library. Brien McMahon Library is a great space for students and faculty for academic and social purposes. Many students spend their study hall or lunches there to focus on class work, projects, or researching.
The renovation has been in administration hands for more than 2 years. “Brien McMahon hired an architect to redesign the library, after sometime he realized it didn’t look quite right. McMahon and him have agreed to redo the space once again, but will take some time” said McMahon’s librarian, Ms. Andronik . The library is going to look and feel like a college library with different section for students purposes. “He is a good artist and he wants it to be right so instead of fixing it, he just wants to start again’’ says Andronik.
The cost of the new library is $5,000 dollars. It’s expected to be done in 2020 with new comfortable seating, computer and printer access, and a quiet section to read or study. Brien McMahon administration hopes to transform their information center into a modern college style library.With more functioning environment, students will be able to have an area for themselves to work on their studies with access to the internet, teachers, and books to further their knowledge. The idea of the renovated library is to have students believe the library has more of a purpose than just checking out books. The library should as a safe sociable place for peers to meet during their free time.
The current construction in the library restricts students from using the library to it's full potential. Walking by the library, you can see that there are students working on the floor due to the lack of seats. Once the library is completed, students will have more interest in the library with newer resources and functioning space. Students will also be able to partake in group work, study sessions, and projects in their learning environment more efficiently.
BMHS Pridetime Reporter
Chick-Fil-A, the nationwide known brand officially opened in Norwalk on October 19th, making it the third Chick-Fil-A in Connecticut. Chick-Fil-A, a successful company brought in 6 billion dollars nationwide in 2016. In their first week the Chick-Fil-A in Norwalk brought in over 10,000 dollars on their first day.
Chick-Fil-A however has been involved with controversy as being anti-gay/same sex marriage. Dan Truthy the CEO of Chick-Fil-A admitted to being guilty as charged when questioned on whether he was in support of the “traditional” family, meaning men marrying women. A lot of people in the LGBT community were totally against his thoughts. Majority of the customers that were in the LGBT community stopped eating there and began to protest as. Some but not all customers stopped eating there because they didn't care about their opinion on the LGBT way of living The CEO of Chick-Fil-A gave a very harsh opinion, however that doesn’t stop customers from pouring in.
Taty Molina (‘18) commented “It does bother me that they are against same sex marriage, but personally it doesn’t impact me eating there because I know every company has their scandals and has their morals."
Peter Massey (‘18) who works at Chick-Fil-A stated “Working at Chick-Fil-A has been pretty good, and it's a little harder than a regular job like retail because everything is moving so fast it's a challenge but I am coping very well.” Peter aims to be speedy, speedy enough to have a good flow of food getting out in time so it won't be a long wait for the customer. Overall Chick-Fil-A of Norwalk has a great environment as they have employees who are completely ready to serve their customers in the fastest most efficient way possible.
Mahya Fleurantin (’19) who also works at Chick-Fil-A expressed the need for great customer experience, “No customer will be able to walk out of this restaurant unhappy ever because we will always make sure the customer is always happy.”
Derek Sellers a security guard for Brien McMahon who was able to get a taste, commented “ Chick-Fil-A has good food , fast service and everyone should give it a try at least once.”