Wednesday, April 30, 2008

INTENSIVE PAINTING: CHUCK CLOSE


During the week of special classes called March Intensive a group of students explored the life and work of one of America's icons of modern art, Chuck Close, with their community volunteer, Elisabeth Gordon. Ms. Gordon is the Arts Program Coordinator at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She writes:

"Close is best-known for his monumental portraits of himself and his friends that can be as large as 8 feet by 8 feet. His style has evolved from hyper-realism to more abstraction, based on the concept of pixilation. At the height of his artistic career, Close was stricken with a collapsed artery to his brain, which paralyzed much of his body. He has been able to overcome his disabilities and is still working and creating artwork despite being confined to a wheelchair.

"Students in the March Intensive class watched a video about his life and artistic process; visited the Hood Museum, where they studied two prints by Chuck Close; then worked with artist Kathy Parsonnet to paint their own portraits in Close's style. The results were extraordinary. The range of work includes realistic portraits and more abstract, pixilated versions, in black and white and in bold colors." The photos show two student paintings which were displayed in the HHS atrium.

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HOW HHS RENOVATION HELPED ART INSTRUCTION




Peter Lange of the Art Department describes how the extensive 2004-2007 renovation of Hanover High improved the way he, Elizabeth Green and Stephanie Gordon can teach all the different art courses that the school offers. The three teachers are shown in the center photo.

With the renovation, the art rooms moved into the original Richmond School gym, which had recently been a library and stage. The dropped ceiling was removed and the space was opened up into the rafters, creating an expansive feeling.

The added space and new equipment allow us to teach effectively using an open studio concept. Open studio teaching means the studios are always open for students to work when they have time, even if a class is in session. Students are required to do a combination of class group time and individual work in the studio. This makes them more self-reliant and creative, we hope. During their studio work time outside of their particular class, students need to be able to access the studio materials and equipment without interrupting other classes that may be in session. Students learn to work on their own to be more self-reliant, respectful and self-actualized in their learning.

The increase in space allows students to work in and around ongoing classes. Many of the student art projects involve ventilation. The new art facility has the ventilation motors on the roof. In the old rooms if someone wanted to spray-paint, silk-screen, fix a pastel drawing, solder stained glass or silver jewelry, and do other projects that needed ventilation, they had to wait because when the vent was turned on the noise from the motor in the room made teaching impossible. With the vent motors on the roof class can be taught at the same time that other students are working and using the vents.

The new renovated space is also designed to be more flexible in teaching different artistic media in the same spaces. This maximizes the use of space and the variety of artwork that can be done. The different rooms group compatible media. In the old art rooms Photo and Pottery shared the same space. Film development and pottery work were going on in the same area, which is not a good grouping. Now the photo processing is combined with graphics computers, the sculpture and pottery share a room, the jewelry and printmaking share a room, and painting and drawing classes share a room. Design classes float through all the rooms as they use the different media in their projects.

Safety and traffic patterns are much improved over the old art rooms. Glaze mixing is done in a vented closet instead of in the classroom. Students do not have to walk through the classroom to get to their class space as they did in the old facility. There are more stations at which students can solder, polish and grind. In the old area students would have to stand around and wait for a station to open up so they could do their work. In the old pottery studio the space was so tight we had to move the tables to use the wheels and move the wheels to use the tables. In the new space we can keep the wheels and tables out at the same time. In the painting/drawing area there is room to move easels to the side and use all the tables. Getting 20 easels out of the way is crucial when
Drivers' Training classes are taught in the drawing/painting studio on Tuesday and Thursday after school.

Another improvement that has made teaching visual arts classes more effective is having an integrated system for using technology to teach. This is also a prime reason that Drivers' Training uses an art room. The windows can be darkened, and permanently-mounted digital projectors are used for student or teacher presentations of material from computers, DVD, videotape, ipod or visualizer. This allows the teachers to concentrate on teaching and not on setting up, finding, fixing or waiting to use equipment.

The visualizer is piece of equipment that projects an object or operation with a fixed video camera. Student work is projected for critique, and small, hard-to-see operations such as carving clay or filing small silver stone settings can be easily seen on the screen by the whole class while the technique is being demonstrated. This is an incredible teaching advantage that can keep 20 students engaged because they all can see in clear detail what is being demonstrated.

Instead of having 20 students all waiting in line at a single sink at the end of class to clean paint brushes, hands, pottery tools, film graduates, etc, we now have two sinks in each classroom for clean up. Cleanup time has been cut in half, and we use the new free time for learning. This makes a big difference in the time available in the normal class period.

The new facility is much easier to keep clean and organized because we have good and secure storage. Supplies last longer when they do not have to be stored out in the room where they can be in the way of students working and room maintenance. Equipment, tools, materials and student artwork lasts longer. In the old art rooms we had to constantly move things many times a day as different classes came into the same space. The constant moving caused breakage and waste.

We have four times more wall space dedicated to display panels that is used for displaying student work for motivation and critiques.

We can get a whole photo class into the darkroom now instead of having only half the class go in at a time as we did in the old facility.

The art rooms also have the advantage of being across the hall from the library, the gym and the cafeteria in the new renovated space.

Thank you for the renovated spaces.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ISABELLA LUBIN, STUDENT OF THE MONTH


Isabella Lubin from Norwich, VT is Hanover High's April Student of the Month.
Isabella has been an active contributor to the Broadside, our school newspaper, and a frequent volunteer at the Norwich Public Library. She is also an important member of the Math Team, her favorite activity. Outside of school, Isabella is an accomplished pastry chef, baking for her family, her weekly Common Ground meeting, and occasionally for the Woodstock Inn. Isabella is highly academic, very independent, mature, and easy-going. Yet she is not at all competitive and sincerely delights in her classmates' successes.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

STUDENT WINS SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY IN GERMANY


HHS German teacher Uwe Goodall-Heising writes: Sophomore Jordan Hitchcock has won the Salem International Summer School Scholarship awarded by the American Association of Teachers of German for excellent results in the 2008 AATG National German Exam.

The Summer School will take place in Ɯberlingen, a small town on Lake Constance in the south of Germany. The award donated by Schule Schloss Salem consists of two weeks of language courses, meals, accommodations and excursions. The AATG Endowed Scholarship Fund donates the air fare.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

SALLY HAIR, STAFF MEMBER OF THE MONTH

Council also named science teacher Dr. Sally Hair as Staff Member of the Month for April. The Council's administrative committee agreed with a recommendation that said: "I believe Dr. Hair deserves this recognition. Although I have never had the pleasure of being in her class, I believe Dr. Hair has shown admirable courage and leadership by voicing her concerns and offering a helping hand in regards to the incidents last June. I have yet to witness any other HHS staff member make an independent effort to reach out to the student body over this controversial issue in this way. So, Dr. Hair, thank you for your thoughts and good luck with the rest of the spring."

In June 2007 several students broke into school offices and stole final exams. Some students did not confess to their part in the cheating that followed. During a months-long public discussion Sally Hair wrote a letter to the school newspaper which said in part: "To those who were not involved in any sort of academic dishonesty, thank you for your hard work through all your years at Hanover High School. I am most worried about those of you who cheated but have not been honest about it. It may feel a lot easier to keep your mouth shut and hope no one notices you. This strategy may actually be successful in the short term.... You may get into the college you were hoping for. What worries me is the long term. I'm worried that you will go to college looking over your shoulder to see if anyone is watching you, as you may be doing now. You will not be able to forget what happened and you will always know.... Please know that adults in the school want to help you through this and no one wants to make it any harder than it already is... There will be short-term consequences and things may get worse before they get better. But they will get better."

The full letter is available from the Broadside newspaper at Hanover High. Council also named Bonnie Stebbins as Staff Member of the Month. Council is the elected body of students (the majority), staff and district residents which oversees school policy.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

PARTICIPATING IN DEMOCRACY


Students from HHS's Amnesty International chapter met with US Representative Paul Hodes and staff from the offices of US Senators Judd Gregg and John Sununu to ask them to help solve the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. Helen Jack, class of 2008, writes:

"Since the conflict in Sudan began, 2.5 million Darfuris have been driven from their homes. That is twice the population of New Hampshire. Amnesty wants the US to pressure the government of Sudan to allow UN peacekeepers to operate freely. Congressman Hodes seemed extremely glad that high school students were bringing the conflict in Darfur to his attention, and he agreed to send Amnesty's letter to the State Department. Staff for Senators Gregg and Sununu promised to bring the issue to the Senators' attention, and HHS Amnesty plans to continue to pressure the offices. The offices were forced to acknowledge that the conflict in Darfur is important to the people of New Hampshire, their constituents."

Diksha Gautham, Becky Turkington, Olivia Jovine, Julia Murdza and Helen Jack made up the delegation. Later Helen was appointed the Amnesty International Legislative Coordinator for New Hampshire. She will be overseeing all Amnesty communication with NH elected officials, training Amnesty groups statewide on how to lobby, and leading lobby delegations over the next few years.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

SCIENCE TEACHERS AT NATIONAL CONFERENCE; LAVIGNE SPEAKS ON LEGOS, ENGINEERING


Dan Falcone, chair of the Science Department, writes: The National Science Teachers Association conference came to Boston in March, and HHS teachers were there! Six science teachers from the high school traveled down to enjoy workshops on new technology for exposing students to science, listen to nationally-renowned speakers, and ogle the products and services (and freebies!) at the exhibition booths.

Our own chemistry teacher Kevin Lavigne presented a talk entitled, “Legos: The NXT Generation." Kevin detailed the abilities of the new NXT Lego system to engage students in competitions involving engineering principles and programming. He is pictured with some of his ardent fans (left to right, John Phipps, Carl Mehrbach, Kevin Lavigne, Dan Falcone, Casey Milender.)

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BONNIE STEBBINS, STAFF MEMBER OF THE MONTH


HHS's Council (made up of students, staff and members of the community) has named Bonnie Stebbins as the Staff Member of the Month for April.

The award read: "Bonnie, who is the head custodian here, is an omnipresent feature in our halls. She works tirelessly, yet always cheerfully, to make our physical plant run smoothly. Whenever anyone – staff or student – has a need, she happily helps them with it. She always has a smile on her face as she helps with the pragmatics of our institution. For all her hard work, we definitely think Bonnie Stebbins deserves to be chosen as Staff Member of the Month."

Council also named teacher Sally Hair as Staff Member of the Month.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

JAZZ AND STRINGS TRAVEL TO MIDDLE SCHOOL



Ms. Armstrong of the HHS Music Department writes: "The HHS Jazz Band and String Ensemble performed for the Richmond Middle School staff and students during their school assembly time in early April. It was a wonderful opportunity for the HHS groups to showcase some of the music they will be performing during their upcoming exchange tour to Germany over Spring Break. And the middle school students were excited to see what lies ahead for them musically when they reach the high school!"

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

EQUESTRIANS AT HANOVER HIGH



Three HHS students traveled to Massachusetts to compete in Interscholastic Equestrian Association finals covering five New England states on April 5. Anna Johnson, class of 2011, placed seventh out of twenty-four riders in her class and "everyone rode well," says rider and team manager Mary Adelaide Brakenridge, class of 2008. She writes:

" At our competitions riders are randomly assigned horses provided by the hosting team, rather than bringing their own. This tests the riders' skill at assessing and handling the individual quirks of the horses they draw. It can be quite challenging to put in a good performance without having any prior knowledge of the horse! For jumping classes, riders are allowed two practice jumps on their assigned horses, but for 'flat' classes (without jumps), riders simply mount up and enter the show ring.

"Ten HHS students ride on our team, along with students from Richmond Middle School, Lebanon High School and others. We were organized last year through Dartmouth College's Community Riding Program. Our New England zone will host National Finals at the Big E in Springfield MA."
And here is the rest of it.

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MATH TEAMS WIN FIRST, THIRD AT WINDSOR


Coaches Greta Mills and Eve Ermer write: "Congratulations to the math teams for their outstanding performances at the meet at Windsor High School on April 3. The Senior Division fielded two full teams with Hanover B placing first and Hanover A placing third. HHS's team in the Intermediate division placed first.

"In addition, we participated in a third meet by mail due to a snow day. Hanover A Seniors and Hanover Intermediate both placed first!

"High scorers on the senior team were Yukun Gao, Anqi Ren, Savannah Wallace and Nick Sinnott-Armstrong. High Scorers on the Intermediate Team were Luke Hansen , Sucharita Jayanti, Xavier Stone and Scout Wallace."

The photo shows HHS's Math Resource Center where students are welcome to study and meet with math teachers.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

QUIZ BOWL: CLEAN SWEEP IN BOTH STATES



Coach Bill Murphy writes: "The Quiz Bowl team had a fantastic weekend as they won both the Vermont Scholars Bowl on Saturday April 5 and the New Hampshire Quiz Bowl League Championship on Sunday April 6.

"Saturday's team of Dylan Matthews, Travers Rhodes, Finola Prendergast, Nick Sinnott-Armstrong, Nick O'Leary and Aaron Watanabe defeated South Burlington (320-185), Champlain Valley (330-230), and Essex (370-210) in Vermont.

"On Sunday Phil Tosteson substituted for an ailing Finola Prendergast and the team went undefeated with wins over Phillips Exeter, Londonderry and five other New Hampshire teams.
"Dylan, Travers and Finola were chosen for the Vermont all-star team at the Panasonic Academic Challenge at Disney World in June. The two Nicks will be part of the New Hampshire team at Disney.

"We all should be very proud of what the team members have accomplished this year!"

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Friday, April 4, 2008

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TESTING IN CYBERSPACE



Those instructions on the whiteboard show that national annual testing for Spanish students has entered cyberspace. HHS students studying honors Spanish have taken advantage of the new National Spanish Exam which for the past three years has been given entirely on line. The 150 students taking the exam can log in weeks ahead and practice on their own as much or as little as they wish. On the two exam days classes come to the computer lab, enter elaborate security codes, and take the two 40-minute sections of the test itself.

On the first day they answer written questions about grammar and vocabulary. On the second day they listen to online recordings of spoken Spanish and type in their responses. The exam allows them to measure themselves alongside 89,000 Spanish students nationwide, and to earn certificates when the scores are announced in May at HHS's Foreign Language banquet. Scores don't count for grades at HHS. The exam is administered by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Cara Wallace-Lee, who oversaw the exam for the computer lab, writes: "I’ve been able to plan around some of the regular challenges that arise, such as setting up the home page using the Firefox browser (more cooperative), monitoring the computer equipment, on-the-spot troubleshooting, and reminding students to slow down and pay attention to the instructions.

"The positives of an online exam are less of a chance of having lost or damaged tests, no need to ship out completed exams, and quicker turnaround for test results. The security of the Quia.com online system makes scoring, notifying teachers and awarding prizes much simpler."

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

OPERATION DAY'S WORK TO RAISE MONEY FOR HEALTH CLINIC IN BURUNDI


Operation Day's Work, a student-run international organization, signed up 200 HHS students who will volunteer to work for a day in May to raise money for a community health center in the African nation of Burundi. At the fair explaining Operation Day's work, students signed volunteer sheets, sampled African foods and watched videos from Burundi. On May 14 the volunteers will leave school for a day, work in local odd jobs, and donate their pay to Operation Day's Work. All of the money workers make will be donated to the Kigutu Community Health Center, a clinic that provides primary care to the people of rural Kigutu, Burundi.

Senior Helen Jack writes: "Burundi is the poorest country in the world. The majority of the population lacks basic health care, and the HIV/AIDS infection rate is extremely high. The health center, run by the Hanover, New Hampshire-based Village Health Works, provides essential primary care for up to 20,000 people in and around the rural, mountainous village. A volunteer's day of work will help save the lives of people in Burundi."

Operation Day's Work was founded in Norway forty years ago. Since 1998 the US Agency for International Development has supported the activities of ODW at United States schools.

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SIGNS OF SPRING: COUNCIL ELECTIONS



Each spring HHS students and staff vote for new members of the Council, the school's governing body. Council is made up of students (the majority of seats), staff, and citizens of Hanover and Norwich. At its Friday morning meeting Council discusses a wide variety of school policies, and considers changes in the school's handbook. The text of the handbook can be found on the main page of the HHS web site.

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