Annual Electives Fair held

By Jessa Glassman ’20

Middle school students attended the annual Electives Fair to help determine which courses they want to take next year. The event took place during break on Tuesday. Due to the rain, tables for each class were set up inside the Bing Lobby rather than outside the Saperstein Theatre, where the fair usually takes place.

Students were able to talk to teachers and peers who are currently enrolled in electives in order to ask questions and to learn more about the classes accessible to them next year before they fill out scheduling forms. This year’s Electives Fair did not have as many attendees as in previous years, and according to some teachers it was because of the change of venue.

“The Electives Fair unfortunately was moved inside because of the rain so we did not get any foot traffic, and there was not a lot of advance advertisement about it. Normally, it is a really effective tool,” seventh grade dean, Kate Benton said.

Students who did attend the event have said that they enjoyed the Electives Fair and that they appreciated the time to clarify which classes they want to enroll in for next year.

“I think the Electives Fair is beneficial for students because it gives people the opportunity to look at new classes for next year,” Rhea Madhogarhia ’22 said.

Deans speak about scheduling

By Ty Goodrich ’20

Deans from each grade spoke to students in their respective class meetings regarding courses for next year. They also promoted the idea that the soon to be tenth graders will be introduced to new classes, teachers and a whole different campus next year whereas upcoming eighth and ninth grade students will have the opportunities to take more electives.

Tenth grade deans, who visited ninth grade class meeting on Feb. 14, said that more honors courses will be available next year to the tenth graders, but that the classes are a challenge and that each student must be completely committed in order to succeed. The deans added that the amount of different classes available next year widely outnumber the choice of classes that were given this year for the current ninth grade students.

One popular subject among students was the electives opening up for all students to take.  New electives involve possibilities such as independent research and more intricate versions of Visual Arts.  Ninth grade students were also pleased to hear that there are chances to take more than three electives in the school year.

“I’m really looking forward to be able to take more and new electives next year,” Josue Martin `20 said.

For the current seventh graders, it will be their first time being able to take more causes.  Seventh grade students have said they are ecstatic to be able to choose which courses they wish to.

“I think they offer a great variety of subjects for students to learn. Some courses interest me and some do not. I think everybody here definitely has options for next year,” Zach Ansell `22 said.

The eighth grade class meeting was intended to show the students the honors opportunities and track for future years.  Many students said they love the freedom and ability to choose their own courses.

“Being able to schedule my classes from year to year is great; having more than one track is awesome. The class meeting was helpful and informative,” Austin Lee ‘21 said.



‘Power of words’ survey sent out

By Madi Massey ’21

Eighth grade students discussed and identified some of the offensive terms heard and used at school during class meeting on Feb. 2.

Before the meeting, students were sent a survey asking about what they had picked up on or said themselves around campus and how they felt about it. One of the questions, for instance, asked how students interpreted the phrase “like a girl.” Many responded that it was a discriminatory phrase used to imply that girls were weaker than boys. However, numerous students shared what it meant to them personally rather than how it is interpreted in the media.  Some wrote that despite its implications, “like a girl” really just means to do something and also happen to be a girl – and that the two do not have a correlation.

“Equality and fairness among everybody, no matter their race, gender, sexuality, religion, etc., is something that the school tries to implement on every new crop of kids so that they can be aware of the impact of their words and actions,” eighth grade dean Betsy Ilg said.

The administration decided it would be the most effective to have students discuss the subject with each other rather than a teacher-led discussion as had been done in the past. By submitting their responses to the survey and observing how their peers felt about the subject, students said they were able to take it more seriously and learn from a more similar viewpoint.

Following the meeting, some students decided to begin a leadership project and sent out a follow up survey asking for more specific and anecdotal evidence of inappropriate or offensive terms at school. According to those students, the responses were lengthy and will be helpful in improving the school community.

Eighth grade deans said they hope to revisit the subject and continue talking about the power of words.

“The meeting was really educational, and it definitely inspired me to think more about my words and actions,” Sara Maniscalco ’21 said.

Character committee gives out buttons

By Matthew Allana ’20
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Students pick up buttons on Valentine’s Day. Credit: Uploaded with permission of Heath Wagerman 

Members of the Character Committee gave away buttons with positive messages on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, as part of the “Words Have Impact” campaign. According to members, the purpose of the campaign is to make members of the school community aware that words have consequences, both positive and negative, and that they should be used wisely.

Students on the Character Committee said that the idea was conceived when they found that, especially on the bus, students were being harassed. The group wanted to solve the problem as a whole, particularly the fact that students often do not understand the impact they can have.

“Because we found that there are a lot of negative thoughts circulating around campus, we came up with the button idea to specifically counteract them positively,” Character Committee member Tyra Hirooka ’20 said.

According to students, the group chose the date of the event carefully.

“We chose to have the event on Valentine’s Day because we felt that tying it into a day of love would really help get the message across,” Hirooka said.

Members of the Character Committee said that this event was an attempt to demonstrate the positive effect that words can have, and that to continue the “Words Have Impact” campaign. They are planning to present a video at a future assembly that highlights the negative impact that students’ words can cause.

Students said that the button event was enjoyable and a good idea.

“The Character Committee’s button idea was really smart, and I think it spread awareness that words have impact … I liked it because I was able to show my gratitude to all my friends and teachers,” Meera Burghardt ’20 said.


StuCo sells ILYgrams

By George Philips ’20
ILYgrams are taped to lockers on Valentine’s Day. Credit: George Phillips ’20/SPECTRUM

Middle school students lined up to buy ILY Grams, valentine cards that include playful romantic messages, in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. The cards were made by Student Council, and anyone could buy and send them to whomever they wished.

They were sold from Feb. 9 to 13, both online and at the Student Council booth, which was set up next to the Horn Commons during break. Senders were able to choose whether to put their name on the cards or send them anonymously.

Student Council taped the colorful cards, each containing a message, to the lockers, along with a box of Sweet Hearts, heart shaped candies. Anyone who received a card was instructed to visit the Student Council booth during break and turn it in in exchange for a cupcake. In the past, the cards could be redeemed for candy, but last year the tradition was changed to cupcakes.

Henry Greenman ‘20 said that he is a big fan of ILY Grams.

“I think ILY Grams are a fantastic HW tradition. They get students excited and are a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day at school,” Greenman said.


Athletic talks held

By Jay Lassiter ’20

The Athletic Department is looking to undergo changes regarding the balance between time spent on academics and time spent on athletics.

The Mission in Planning Athletics Committee was founded with the purpose of finding what needs to be changed with the Athletic Department. The committee currently consists of parents, administrators and teachers. Head of Middle School Jon Wimbish, a member of the Mission in Planning Committee, was able to speak about the subject.

“We are well before making changes.  Right now we are kindof investigating what the department looks like, and what are some of the potentials we would like to change.” Wimbish said.

The committee is still in the earliest stage, collecting information about practices, games and excuse times to allow students more time for homework and other extra-curricular activities.  Faculty and staff have held conversations about athletics in relation to the school’s mission and visions, and some of the notes from these conversations were presented at a middle school faculty meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

“As our programs grow, we hope to make sure that they remain in line with the values and principles of the whole institution,” Wimbish said.

Along with the growth of the Athletic Department, the committee wants to make sure that it stays consistent with the school’s mission and values.


Scholastic awards announced

By Lindsay Wu ’20

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards gave student artists and writers with Gold Keys, Silver Keys and Honorable Mentions for their submissions.

Seventh through ninth grade students were encouraged by their teachers to submit writing or artwork created over the course of first semester.  A total of 213 awards were given to students recognized between the middle and upper school campuses.

“I’m super excited.  It’s a really cool thing, especially art is underrated at our school.  It’s impressive that our school has won so many awards, since most would be proud to get one or two.  It really shows the drive of our students,” Hayley Levin ’20 said.

According to the organization’s website, their mission is to identify and recognize students with extraordinary literary and artistic talent.  This year, approximately 320,000 works were submitted in 29 different categories from students across America.

“I’m very, very proud of my students.  We had more winners than any other private school in the city, and more than most of the arts’ charter schools in the area.  These awards just really speak to how intelligent and hardworking our students are, and obviously creative,” visual arts teacher Claire Cochran ’06 said.



Girl Scouts sell cookies on campus

By Frank Jiang ’20
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A box of thin mints beside a textbook in a student’s locker. Credit: Frank Jiang ’20/SPECTRUM

Recently, Girl Scout Cookies have been a craze, orders coming into girl scouts residing within our own school, Thin Mints, Samoas, and Do-Si-Dos sometimes being spotted in the cafeteria, and people seen carrying brightly colored boxes of cookies around campus.

The Girl Scouts cookie foundation is a cause that helps the GSUSA (Girl Scouts of the United States of America) keep it’s programs up and running. The GSUSA’s mission, as stated on their website, “builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”

8th grade Girl Scout, Hayley Rothbart ’21 agrees, as she says “Overall, Girl Scouts is all about leadership and helping your community.” Girl Scouts Cookies are a way for Girl Scouts to fundraise money to keep their Girl Scout Program going and also a way for Girl Scouts to give back to their organization.

Lately, some people have also been taking advantage of the Girl Scouts cause. Some people have bought many boxes of Girl Scout cookies, just to resell them later for a higher profit. An anonymous eighth grader provides his/her opinion by saying, “This definitely is kinda scummy, since you’re taking advantage of a fundraiser for your own profit, but I would not call them out on it if they were doing so, since it is technically legal. If this were to happen in school, I think the deans would definitely address the issue, but I’m not sure if they would let is pass or not.” The seller of the cookies remains a mystery, but there are definitely people out there reselling cookies for their own profit.

Science bowl team succeeds

By Matthew Allana ’20

Students competed in the National Science Bowl at California State University, Los Angeles, on Feb. 4, led by science teacher David Fromme. Science Bowl is a quiz-style competition with five categories: physical science, life science, general science, energy and math. Teams have four members each, and two groups, one composed of seventh graders and the other of eighth graders, competed from the Middle School.

According to Fromme, he was impressed with both teams’ performance.

“For their first showing, [the seventh grade team] did really well … going in, they didn’t actually have a spot; they showed up the day of expecting to watch. … The eighth grade team did about as perfect as you can get. They went through the matches that mattered undefeated,” Fromme said.

The seventh grade team went 2-2, and the eighth grade team was undefeated, becoming the regional champions. They have been invited to and are planning to attend the national competition, which will be held in Washington from April 27 – May 1. According to team members, the experience was very beneficial and fulfilling.

“This is [my] second year of doing Science Bowl, and I’ve found the experience very rewarding. I like competitions as well as science, and so Science Bowl fits me very well. It has also encouraged me to read a lot more books about science, and at the competition I have a lot of fun as well as feel challenged,” Tyler Weigand ’21, the eighth grade team captain, said.


Cooking Column: Quick n’ Go Edition

By Sarah Reiff ’20 and Astor Wu ’20

Being a student with a busy life, it’s hard to find time to make breakfast every morning. We all would rather stay in bed for those extra 10 minutes then get up and cook a meal. For this issue, Cooking Column brings you fast and easy breakfast ideas that you can prepare in under 10 minutes and eat on your way to school.

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Our first recipe is a classic and simple Double Berry breakfast parfait. If there is no time to prepare something the night before a school day, then these parfaits are the perfect last minute option. They’re super easy to make and are very mess free.

Double Berry Breakfast Parfait

smiling with berries
Credit: Giselle Dalili ’20/SPECTRUM

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ¾ cup of Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup of a combination of strawberries and blueberries
  • Granola to your liking
  • Honey


  1. Put a layer of yogurt in a jar or plastic container.
  2. Layer yogurt and fruit one to two times.
  3. Put a drizzle of honey and granola for taste.
  4. Repeat steps until your container is filled.
  5. Enjoy!


The second recipe we have is for a unique Fro-Yo Popsicle. You can make these popsicles a few days in advance, freeze them and then just grab them in the morning on your way out of the house for the rest of the week.

Fro-Yo Popsicle

Credit: Giselle Dalili ’20/SPECTRUM

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ cups your choice of fresh fruit- feel free to mix and match any fruits
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Pour an even amount of mixture into your popsicle molds (if you don’t have any popsicle molds you can use a paper cup)
  3. Freeze for about 6 hours or overnight
  4. Enjoy!


Check out our video tutorial where we demonstrate that both of these recipes can be prepped in under 10 minutes at We hope you enjoy these tasty recipes!