Thursday, December 2, 2010


I'm sorry to say that there won't be any more posts to this blog. I and other staff who contributed don't have time to maintain the postings of news about Hanover High School. To our readers, thank you for your interest for the last three years.

You can find continuing news of the school at the students' "Broadside" blog/newspaper through the main HHS web site.

Best regards from Don Buck.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Senior Alexandra Burkot of Norwich won first place in a musical theater festival on October 31, sponsored by Granite State NATS, the New Hampshire chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Her program included "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" from Sweeney Todd (Sondheim), "What Does He Want of Me" from The Man of La Mancha (Leigh), and "Science Fiction Double Feature" from the Rocky Horror Show (O'Brien). She sings in the HHS Chorus & Footnotes and studies voice with Louis Burkot.

Jacob van Leer, also a senior, took second place in the Granite State NATS musical theater festival. His program included "Who I'd Be" from Shrek, The Musical (Tesori) and "On the Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady (Loewe). He is also a member of the HHS Chorus & Footnotes and a voice student of Julie Van Ness.

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Monday, November 1, 2010


Senior Abidjan Walker, from Hanover, NH is November's Student of the Month.

Abidjan is an amazing individual. She is an inquisitive student who always strives for higher understanding; she is a natural leader, motivating those around her; and she is a giving person who is continuously looking to be helpful to those in need. Abidjan has served on the HHS council since her freshman year, plays the violin for the orchestra and has risen to the challenges of some of our most difficult classes. Without question Abidjan is a tremendous asset to our school both in and out of the classroom.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Poems, stories, essays, drawings and photographs fill up the latest issue of the Pen of Iron. The literary magazine offers 74 works by forty students. Where does the title "Pen of Iron" come from? Check out the two Biblical quotations on the first page. Ask for your copy from Ms Wahrenberger in room 214.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010


The first fingertips of rain tap the windows, then grow more insistent. The pattering is a signal, and the drum in my chest quickens its tempo in response. The sky growls, and something rises and expands deep inside me. My body is thirsty for the storm. I flash upstairs to change clothes, and then leap back down, pulled magnetically to the door. I don’t bother with socks or shoes. My body begs me to let go, and I comply, bounding out of the shelter of my house into the torrent. I pause in the driveway to lift my face to the rain, and the darkness above me shudders and cracks. The raindrops fall heavily, but I feel lighter with every pounding drop. The water streams down, and I can’t stay still any longer. I let my body take over.

The wet pavement is rough and familiar to my bare feet. With each step, my toes reach to embrace the curves of Earth. I marvel at the textures. The white paint of a crosswalk delights me in its smooth slipperiness. I don’t shy away from the gravel; the pressure doesn’t prick my calloused soles. My strides are light and quick, and my body relaxes into the motion. I breathe to the rhythm. I run through the center of town, but today it is new. The car headlights are streaky stars through my eyelashes, and I race them, my legs lengthening and reaching, faster and faster. The sky splinters and falls to batter the ground, and in the tumult I lose the sounds of my feet striking the ground and my lungs pulling for air. I am silent, and my silence makes me light, so light in the darkness of the rain. I overtake hooded passers-by on the sidewalk, and feel them watching as my bare feet lift me away. The sky threatens to collapse. They shrink from the lightning, huddle from the rain that my own body strains to touch. I feel them wondering, but I’m already gone. I hope they watch me go. I hope they see me. I feel like something wild and beautiful, and I want to share it, this power that pulses and rages inside me. I am a wood nymph, a winged huntress, a stormy goddess. I’m not self-conscious. The water cloaks me, pricks and wraps my bare skin. I’m gleaming. I’m gliding. The wind weaves and stirs the leaves into a shimmery wet frenzy, and though my hair is pulled back, it twists and stings my neck like Medusa’s snakes, writhing to be free. My skin is cold, but a fire burns inside me.

My entire being resonates with the rhythm of my muscles. The sky glowers and glares, flashes and booms. It rips; it tears. I want to sing, I want to howl, I want to race. The motion is natural, instinctive as breathing. My heart beats for this. My lungs fill for this, I know it with every sharp, exalted breath. My muscles pulse heat through my body.

I run defiantly, blindly into the wall of water. I don’t need to see. I have my breath. I have the rain. I have the ground. I don’t care where I’m going. I don’t run for distance, or time, or speed. I don’t care what I’m wearing, or who sees me. This is my worship, my release, my escape, and my captivity. The hurt and the joy is excruciating, and I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. This is what I was born to do.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010


Andrea Alsup, English teacher, writes:

The Senior Bridges Interdisciplinary Project is an opportunity for second-semester seniors to work on an intensive project of their own choosing. Seniors are invited to engage in independent study projects in any subject area(s) extending beyond the boundaries of our current curriculum.

Although projects can be in any area of student interest, each will require that the student research the topic, work with a community mentor, write a substantial amount, create a tangible project illustrating what was learned/accomplished, and prepare a presentation about the topic for a class or panel of community members, students, and teachers. Credit areas and course hour commitments will be determined on an individual basis, depending upon the scope of the project as defined by students in their application forms.

Click "read more" to see the application forms.

The process:

Senior Bridges Project at Hanover High involves three phases and many skills:

The Paper: Acquisition of knowledge. The student learns about a topic by observing, researching, interviewing and writing.

The Project: Application of knowledge. With the help of a community mentor and a teacher-advisor, the student participates in a project—resulting in a tangible product or an experience, or both.

The Presentation: Synthesis of knowledge. The student presents findings to an HHS class or to a panel consisting of the community members, teachers, and students.

Why do it?

Senior Bridges offers graduating seniors several educational possibilities:

1. An opportunity to design and pursue their own courses of study for a range of 1-5 semester credits.

2. An opportunity to practice independent study—scheduling and time management-with an advisor.

3. An opportunity to work with a community mentor/expert.

What else?

As well as allowing students to design what, where, when and how they study in the last semester of their senior years, Bridges allows students to demonstrate mastery of the skills a graduating senior should have:

1. To gather and analyze information

2. To speak and write clearly

3. To make connections among past, present, and future events

4. To solve problems

5. To work cooperatively

6. To transfer skills between one discipline and another

Email address:__________________



1. What is your topic? Try to define it in a few sentences.

2. Have you identified a potential community mentor? If so, who? Have you met?

3. In what ways might your project be connected to career possibilities for you?

4. What do you already know about the topic? How will it constitute new learning for you?

5. What are the primary questions you hope to answer? (What do you want to learn?)

6. What kinds of research (people, media, print) will you need?
(Bibliography here)

7. What kind of writing would result from your research? For example:

A traditional research paper proving a thesis: “The Abstract artists of the fifties owe more to scientific breakthroughs of the 19th century than to the artistic ones.”
A report with graphics and annotated bibliography”
“The design and building of the Ledyard Bridge.”
A reflective account of your project: what happened, what you learned, what new questions are now raised for you:
“A month working with terminally ill children.”
Another form designed by you, to fit your needs.

8. What is your project? Try to define what you hope to achieve in a few sentences.

9. How are writing and project related?

10. Will it cost money? How much? (If community service is involved, some scholarship funding may be available).

11. Will your project involve other students? If so, how?


12. What preliminary ideas do you have for your final presentation?


13. Topics and projects will be considered on an individual basis, but if you are requesting a semester credit, bear in mind that one hundred and twenty hours of instructional time are necessary for a one semester course, and plan research, writing, and project accordingly. How much time do you estimate you will spend on each segment?

14. How much (e.g. .5 fine arts or .5 English) and what kind of credit are you requesting?

Are you requesting release time from classes? Explain:

Bridges Timeline:

A. September-mid Oct: meetings with Ms. Alsup in Room 103 to discuss your project ideas, write and revise proposals.

B. October 15: A written proposal following guidelines given you by Ms. Alsup will be due. You should have a community mentor at this time. Mentor agreement form due.

C. Before holiday break: Your proposal will be reviewed by a representative of each department.

D. January after finals: Begin assembling resources (written, living, electronic).

E. End of January: Party/meetings with community mentors and oral presentation panel members.

F. February: Research/project conferences with Ms. Alsup. Must have calendars and documentation from mentor.

G. March: Research/project conferences with Ms. Alsup. Must have calendars and documentation from mentor.

H. April 1: Q3 Mentor and self-evaluations due, project checkpoint due.

I. May 13: Drafts of papers due. Continue meetings.

J. May 20: Projects complete. Continue meetings.

K. May 23-27: Oral presentation practice with Ms. Alsup and other seniors in project. Continue meetings.

L. May 31: Senior Bridges portfolio (documentation of project, log, final paper, mentor evals. photos, notebooks) due. Continue meetings.

M. May 31-June 3: Oral presentations (20 min. present, 10 min. questions) to school and/or community audience; review of portfolios by Steering Committee.

Deadlines and all meetings are critical. You must meet them or lose credit.


The role of the mentor:

Because every student proposal is different, the role of each mentor will be different.

We do ask that you all observe a few guidelines:

1. Have an initial meeting with your student to review proposals and suggest resources for independent study: people, places, and media.

2. Plan a minimum of four meetings between February and mid-May to answer questions, review papers and projects, and discuss progress in general. Andrea Alsup will be the in-school advisor for the student; we will plan meetings to alternate with mentor meetings.

3. Attend the student’s final presentation (about one half hour, in a class or after school during the week after Memorial Day). If it isn’t possible for you to attend your student’s final presentation, please let your student know as soon as possible. We will ask you to help evaluate the presentation with others- -students, teachers, and community members.

4. Write a mid-semester progress report by April _ and a final evaluation after the oral presentation.

Please see evaluation forms in the Senior Bridges project handbook. Your student will provide you with stamped, addressed envelopes for mailing.

If you have problems or questions, please call Andrea Alsup:
at Hanover High: 603-643-3431 x2201
at home: 802-222-3372

Thank you very much for your interest in our students.

Senior Bridges Quarter Three Grades

Quarter Three grades will be based on your work in progress. We will average:

1. Your own self-assessment
2. Your mentor's comments (see following form)
3. My assessment based on our conferences and your rough drafts of paper(s)

Please fill in the blanks and return this sheet to AA's mailbox no later than April ______ the school day the quarter closes. Fee free to discuss your grade with me Depending on your project, some of you will have only one subject grade.

__________________letter grade ___________________letter grade

__________________letter grade ___________________letter grade

Comments, suggestions, and requests:

Senior Project Checkpoint: Due April_____________________________

(Because your project is special, not all of the following will apply, put an NA by questions not applicable to your project.)

1. Who has helped you so far and how? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

List contacts: who when
Phone calls ________________________ ________________________
Interviews ________________________ _____________________ __
Classes/Volunteer time ________________________ ________________________
Help Meetings ________________________ _________________________
Other ________________________ __________________________


List reading material: author, title


If you are making your project, list the materials you have actually use so far.
c. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Breakdown of time spent so far.

Hours Describe what you were doing.
______ _______________________________________________________________________________
______ _______________________________________________________________________________
______ _______________________________________________________________________________
______ _______________________________________________________________________________

Describe how your time management of completing your Senior Project works in your busy schedule
Mid-Semester Mentor Progress Report for Senior Bridges

Please return to Andrea Alsup by April _____, the end of the marking period.

Date:________________________________________ Student:______________________________________

Please comment on your student's progress to date. Are satisfied that the project is going well and that the student is working hard?

Are there problems?

Assign a letter grade if you wish: ________________________________

Is it OK to discuss your report with your student?____________________


Thank you very much for your time.


TASK ANALYSIS FOR PRESENTATION:_____________________________________


1. Give an overview of your presentation. What do you hope to accomplish, to prove or to show your panel. Include main ideas and/or skills you have learned from both your research and your project.

2. How are your project and your research paper related? How do you plan to show this relationship to the panel?

3. Analyze your presentation. What do you plan to use for an introduction? What will you say about the research paper? The project? How will you conclude your presentation? Will you be demonstrating or performing as part of our presentation?

A. Introduction:

B. Project Detail:



Student Name:_______________________________________________________________________
Please indicate, with a check under yes or no, whether or not each characteristic of the presentation was acceptable. Please add comments on back of this sheet or on separate sheet.

*gained attention of audience ____ ____ ____________
*topic was clearly stated ____ ____ ____________
*related topic to audience ____ ____ ____________
*student's credibility established ____ ____ ____________
*body of speech was previewed ____ ____ ____________

*sufficient information presented ____ ____ ____________
*clearly reflected student's learning ____ ____ ____________
*accurate, relevant information ____ ____ ____________
*”visuals” incorporated ____ ____ ____________

*effective and definite ____ ____ ____________
*summarizes main ideas ____ ____ ____________
*gives closure ____ ____ ____________

*appropriate dress ____ ____ ____________
*effective eye contact ____ ____ ____________
*self-confident, enthusiastic ____ ____ ____________
*effective flow of communication ____ ____ ____________

*ease and accuracy of communication _____ ____ ____________

Did the presentation meet expectations of an acceptable speech? If not please explain on back of sheet.
Please make suggestions for the student to carry away from this speech, for her/his future is:

Senior Bridges Portfolio

Senior Project Resume for page 1

Your (conscientiously fill in!) calendar

Your journal and conference notes (mentor and AA)

All final papers

Your self-evaluation; typed or neatly printed

Your mentor verification and evaluation form

Any contents which might enhance your portfolio--photos, art work, interview notes, original work--just be sure to attach neatly labeled caption sheets. Include times which will reveal your personality and voice.

Paper Evaluations
( to be includes in final portfolio with paper)

Paper(s) will be read by your advisor, your mentor, and by at least one Steering Committee member. Each paper will receive tree grades from each reader:

Content: clarity of ideas, thoroughness of investigation, originality of expression

Process: inclusion of drafts with evidence of revision based on reader commentary, timliness

Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics: Final should be publishable

Due Drafts: First draft May _____
**advisor and mentor reading of draft**
Final draft in portfolio on day of presentation

You must meet these deadlines. They may seem early, but the ground will rush up to meet you when it is time to prepare final portfolios, projects, and to practice for the oral presentation.

Hanover High School Senior Project
Student Verification and Mentor Evaluation

Student Name:_________________________________________________________________


Senior Bridges Teacher:_______________________________________________________________

Mentor’s Name:________________________________________

I verify that I worked at least _____ hours on all aspects of the Senior Project. I have categorized the number of hours that I have spent in the following way.

Number of hours worked Phase of Project

____________________ Proposal

____________________ Active Research

____________________ Writing

____________________ Presentation

____________________ Reflection, Evaluation

____________________ TOTAL HOURS WORKED

Student Signature____________________________________________ Date ___________________

Mentor: I verify that I have worked with this student over the course of the entire Senior project. I have seen the project in its various phases, not just as a final product.

Mentor Signature____________________________________________ Date______________________

Please evaluate the student in the following areas. Five is highest and one is lowest.

lowest highest
Effort 1 2 3 4 5

Creativity 1 2 3 4 5

Time Management 1 2 3 4 5

Quality of Final Product 1 2 3 4 5

Quality of Learning 1 2 3 4 5

Senior Project
Mentor Evaluation Form continued

Low Average High

Courteous 1 2 3 4 5

Responds well to instruction 1 2 3 4 5

Shows responsibility (keeps
appointments, meets deadlines) 1 2 3 4 5

Show commitment (works steadily
on project) 1 2 3 4 5

Sets and meets goals 1 2 3 4 5

Works independently 1 2 3 4 5

skills 1 2 3 4 5

Overall quality of work 1 2 3 4 5

Do you have any suggestions for the student?_______________________________________________


Do you have any suggestions for improving the Senior Bridges Program?_________________________


Additional comments or observations?:_____________________________________________________



Please attach additional sheets if necessary and return to Andrea Alsup at Hanover HIgh in the enclosed envelope. We very much appreciate your participation in this program. Thank you.


Senior_____________________________________Senior Project Title__________________________

Describe your project in 25 words.

Complete the following:

Date started_______________________Date completed___________________________

Estimated total hours spent on the project_______________________________________

List of resources and materials used:

List at least three things you now know after completing this project:



List any personal satisfactions you gained from the experience of working on this project.

List any problems you encountered during any part of Senior Project.

What was the picture in your mind of your project before you started working on it? How does this picture compare with the outcome you experienced?

If given the opportunity, what would you do differently now that you have completed the project?

What is your evaluation of the project -- Passing, Good, or Excellent? Justify your evaluation in at least 25 words.





PROJECT (50%)______________________________________________________________________

*Mentor evaluation
*Advisor evaluation

PORTFOLIO (35%)____________________________________________________________________

*Mentor evaluation
*Steering committee member(s) evaluation
*Advisor evaluation

PRESENTATION (15%)_________________________________________________________________

*Panel evaluations
*Advisor evaluation

FINAL GRADE:_______________________________________________________________________

SUBJECT AREA OF CREDIT:_____________________________________________________________________________





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Thursday, October 7, 2010


Mackenzie Anderson, from Hanover, NH, is the school’s Student of the Month for October. Mackenzie is a terrific student. She is easygoing, very hard-working, positive and upbeat. Mackenzie attends the Hartford Culinary program and would like to go on to a culinary college. She is captain of the basketball team and, in addition, is the only girl on varsity football and has earned the respect of her male peers. She is a leader in and out of class. Simply the best!

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010



Students in English were assigned to write an essay in class on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Here is the assignment, and the essay by senior Clio Doyle.

"Can ordinary people be considered heroes, or should the term 'hero' be reserved for extraordinary people? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from The Book Thief, and, if you wish, from other readings, studies, experiences and observations."

There is little that I can say about this topic that does not sound hackneyed. It is the situation that makes the hero. People who live in ordinary surroundings in times of peace generally do not have the opportunity to distinguish themselves. Extraordinary situations create the need for heroes, and people rise (or do not rise) to the occasion. As Gray says in his “Elegy in a Country Churchyard”, the world is filled with “mute country Cromwells” and “Hampdens guiltless of their country’s blood." Or something like that. The point is that a crisis -- in this case, WWII -- will bring out the best in certain people. If one must speak of the Book Thief, one might point out that the Hubermanns take in a Jew, Max Vandenburg. They are far from heroic, but the situation (life in Nazi Germany) mixed with chance (Hans Hubermann’s promise to the accordion player’s wife) leads them to do something that can be called heroic. It seems to me that this is Zusak’s point.

Of course, Zusak is making a bigger point. Namely, that humans are capable of withstanding and inflicting great suffering. This is far from original, albeit true. He seems to see the world as made up of connections between people, which are threatened by hatred, racism and fear. Liesel and the Hubermanns, Liesel and Rudy Steiner, Liesel and Max Vandenburg, are connected to each other in various ways. These interpersonal links are constantly threatened by outside forces, until they are suddenly broken by the bombing of Himmel Street. This is also where the main action of the novel ends, as though novels and heroism cannot go on in a vacuum or gravitate around a single person. Heroism is a social force. It grows out of love for other people.

One can speak of heroism, but perhaps not of “heroes." “Hero” is subjective. Jesse Owens is Rudy Steiner’s hero. Does that make him “a” hero? (I am not saying it doesn’t.) This goes back to the question of whether one can be a hero in a vacuum. Must other people witness and approve of one’s actions for one to acquire the status of “hero”? And then, of course, one must define a “heroic” action. What separates the “heroic” from the merely “decent”? Perhaps “heroism” implies the risk of one’s life for pure and unselfish motives. But few movie stars and musicians risk their lives for the good of mankind.

No, one must separate the “hero” from the “heroic." In fact, heroes hardly ever do anything heroic. They are signposts that point the way for lesser mortals. Most acts of heroism remain unknown (or so seems to be Mark Zusak’s point of view) to all save death and the perpetrator.

And are there any “extraordinary” people? (I have just reread the question). Is it not a little unfair to the human race to assume that the people who distinguish themselves must be extraordinary, and not just lucky? The human race need not think like Plutarch any longer. I don’t believe there are extraordinary people -- only people. That makes it a lot more exciting. That means that any one can be a hero (here one enters into the wilds of the hackneyed -- but it can’t be helped). I’m not sure I believe in heroes either -- only in people. It’s far too convenient to believe in heroes. It lifts some responsibility off one’s own shoulders.

People invent their own heroes. To Rudy Steiner, Jessie Owens represents everything heroic, including his (Rudy’s) own potential heroism. But that’s only a convention. In times of war and great upheaval, conventions fall away. People have to become their own heroes. No one wants to be a hero. It’s unpleasant. The people who want to be heroes never are.And here is the rest of it.

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