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St. Patrick’s Day! Happy
March 17, St. Patrick’s Day
by Doug Robinson People all over the world celebrate on the 17th day of March in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Some cities have parades, most revelers wear green, and a few families commemorate the day with traditional Irish fare for their meal. However, not everyone may know who St. Patrick was.
Born in Britain during the 4th
century, St. Patrick was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish raiders when he was a teenager. Although he was able to escape after six years and become a priest in Britain, he later chose to return to Ireland as a missionary, in order to help spread the teachings of Christianity to pagans. According to Irish folklore, he also used a shamrock to explain the Christian concept of Trinity to the Irish.
In spite of continuous opposition from pagan leaders, he continued to evangelize for 30 years while baptizing newly converted Christians and establishing monasteries, churches, and schools. He died on March 17 and was canonized by the local church. St. Patrick’s Day was first publicly
celebrated in Boston, MA, in 1737 where a large population of Irish immigrants resided. Nearly 200 years later, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931. During the mid 1990s, the Irish government also began a campaign to promote tourism in Ireland on March 17. While many Catholics still quietly
celebrate this day of religious observance by going to Mass, St. Patrick’s Day slowly evolved to become a celebration of Irish heritage. Through the years, along with legendary shamrocks, many symbols were included in festivities that are reflective of Ireland’s folklore, culture, and national identity (think leprechauns, ethnic cuisine, and wearing green). Other places that join in on this celebration include Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, and Canada, along with many cities across the United States. According to the Christian Science Monitor, “blue was the first color associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but that started to change in the 17th century. Green is one of the colors in Ireland’s tri-color flag, and it has been used in the flags of several Irish revolutionary groups throughout history. Ireland is the “Emerald Isle,” so named for its lush green landscape. Green is also the color of spring, the shamrock, and the Chicago River, which the Midwestern city has dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day for the past 40-odd years. This St. Patrick’s Day, millions of people will sit down to an authentic Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage. Or so they think. In fact, only half of it is really Irish. Though cabbage has historically been a staple of the Irish diet (along with potatoes), it was traditionally eaten with Irish bacon, not corned beef. Irish immigrants in America could not afford the bacon, so they substituted it with corned beef, a cheaper alternative they picked up from Jewish immigrants.
Eleanor Burton never misses the opportunity to read to students.
by Diane Chubb and Karen Plumley Schools around the country celebrated the
birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known to parents and children as Dr. Seuss. His books are enjoyed all over, and several, such as The Cat in the Hat and The Lorax, have become television and movie classics. On Friday, March 9, students at Pelham Elementary School (PES) celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday all week long, with a series of wacky events and contests for wacky hair, crazy hats and strange socks.
PES welcomed respected members of the community including town councilman,
Students in Mrs. Robin Andrews’ class held a sleepover in her classroom, spending the day in pajamas while they read.
policemen, firefighters, SAU and school board members, retired teachers, librarians, sports coaches, educators from schools in the district, middle school Junior National Honor Society students, well-known community business people and beloved grandparents. These very special guests volunteered to visit PES classrooms and share their love of reading with students by reciting a favorite Dr. Seuss story (or two).
The exciting day kicked off with Principal Adamakos dressing up as the Cat in the Hat and visited classrooms, delighting young students with his good-natured impression of the beloved Dr. Seuss character. Ms. Lynn Green, Pelham Elementary Library Media Specialist, presided over the popular annual event.
continued to page 8- Dr. Seuss
Phantom of the Opera Showcased Student Talent at Windham High
by Robyn Hatch The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd
Webber was recently performed at Windham High School, with the Artistic Stage Director and Producer of George Kendall. This is the story of a disconnected genius
who must hide his facial disfigurement behind a mask, and this mask is also used as a symbol of hiding more than physical “ugliness.” This play provides students the chance to explore pieces of humanity not normally experienced.
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Make up! Jake Simard, Te Phantom
The main character (the Phantom) is has a great deal of theater productions behind him. Since this is one of his last shows at Windham High, Jake Simard worked really hard to make this last role really memorable.
Te cast of characters Jessica Mackimm (Christine) is a junior at
Windham High, with over six years of voice lessons, and twice at Carnegie Hall. Patrick Stap (Raoul) is a junior also from
Windham High School and has been in a total of 18 theatrical productions. Patrick also believes
this show has been one of the hardest and most difficult for the cast. For many of the cast members, this play was by
many the hardest and not their only performance. What an incredible show!
Policy Would Allow Change of Schedule for High School Seniors
by Barbara O’Brien A policy being proposed for Windham High
School would allow seniors to either arrive later in the morning or leave earlier in the afternoon than is normally the case. The proposed policy was discussed during the Windham School Board’s March 6 meeting. According to SAU 28 Assistant Superintendent Amanda Lecaroz, an exception to the regular schedule could be made upon the approval of
the high school principal, the director of the guidance department and the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian. The early dismissal or late arrival could be requested by a 12th grade student if his or her last or first period of the day is a study hall. Lecaroz said the proposed policy is based on a similar one already in place at Londonderry High School. School board member Michelle Farrell
questioned whether or not any discipline issues had resulted at Londonderry High School as a result of the change in schedules for certain students. “What’s the benefit?” Farrell asked Lecaroz. A lot of the students who ask to leave early are going to work, Lecaroz explained, while others, who have a hefty course load, head home to get in some extra studying. Other students use the extra time during the school day to engage in community service.
continued to page 8- Change of Schedule Changes in Student Dress Code Proposed
by Barbara O’Brien Some slight changes are being proposed for the Windham School District’s dress code. The first reading of the proposed revisions was heard by school board members during their meeting on March 6. When the school district’s dress code was initially adopted, back in 2005, it was prior to the existence of Windham High School. The new high school began operations in September of 2009. The recent revisions involved ways in which to best adapt the existing policy to high school students, Assistant Superintendent Amanda Lecaroz told school board members. Administrators felt that “an interpretation guide” was needed to clarify certain portions of the dress code, she explained.
One of the proposed changes that was noted during the meeting
was that portion regarding sleeveless tops. Previously, Lecaroz said, straps had to be a minimum width of three inches. Under the revised proposal, the straps on sleeveless shirts can be as narrow as
one and a half inches. Lecaroz said this change was made to adapt to current styles worn by high school students. If there are any questions about the appropriateness of a student’s apparel, Lecaroz commented, “the ultimate arbitrator will be the principal.” Interim Superintendent Henry LaBranche said he doesn’t want building principals to serve as “the fashion police,” but he does want students to be accountable for their choices. The parameters of what is appropriate and what is not need to be included in the ultimate policy, he stated. School board student representative Christine Carpenter said that
high school students were involved in the process of revising the proposed policy changes. “We got input from numerous students,” she said. Carpenter is a junior at Windham High School. School board member Stephanie Wimmer said she wants students to be able to express their individuality in what they wear, but that she doesn’t “want the line of self-expression to become a line of
distraction.” That is not the purpose of students attending high school, Wimmer emphasized. The question was also raised as to the type of pants being worn
by students in regard to “yoga pants” versus “spandex” versus “leggings.” After some discussion, board members decided that the definition of these types of pants needed to be clarified as to the distinctions between them.. School board member Jeff Bostic, who was attending his final meeting, said, “This policy is about not revealing more than is appropriate.” “Students need to make sure their apparel is in good taste,” he said. “Windham is a diverse town and we don’t want to put anybody behind the eight-ball” by enacting a policy that is either too lax or too strict, Bostic said. Following any further revisions to the proposed policy, it will be brought before the school board again, during an upcoming meeting.
Staff photos by Robyn Hatch
Staff photos by Diane Chubb
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