Sunday, September 28, 2008


Jordan Hitchcock, class of 2010, writes: "Dear Generous Donors: Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit Germany and the Salem International Summer School (Schule Schloss Salem). I had a wonderful time at the school and in the surrounding towns."

Uwe Goodall-Heising, HHS's German teacher, adds: "Jordan, who was a German 2 student last year, received the Salem scholarship awarded by the American Association of Teachers of German for his excellent performance in the National German Exam. Thanks to Salem's travel stipend I was also able to visit the Schule in Uberlingen/Spetzgart this summer." The photo shows, left to right, Herr Goodall-Heising, a guard and Jordan at the Castle Meersburg.

Jordan continues: "I was placed in the advanced German group along with fifteen other students. The classes were three hours long, ending a half hour before lunch. The first two hours consisted of cultural lessons in which we read part of a book Die Geschichte von Herrn Sommer by the German author Patrick Suskind, talked about cultural stereotypes, and discussed different types of literature. The third hour was devoted to grammar, and we covered such topics as the genitive and relative clauses.

"In the mornings I was awakened for a daily morning run or swim. The first week I chose to run. The course was a two kilometer path through a wheat field, a wooded area, and an orchard behind the school. It turns out that running is very hard at seven o'clock in the morning, although I did manage to consistently be one of the first finishers. Breakfast was at eight, and classes started at nine. After lunch, I had Outdoor for the first week. We went mountain biking, canoeing, sailing, and on the last day water skiing. On Wednesday we got to spend another hour in Uberlingen, and in the evening the Clubhaus opened up for dancing.
 On Saturday morning we broke up into groups for our weekend trips. I had sightseeing in Freiburg which was an hour and a half drive from Spetzgart."

Complete reports by Jordan and Mr. Goodall-Heising can be found at ( Jordan concludes: "My stay in Germany was very inspiring(Sehr inspirierend), and it encouraged me to continue taking German for my last two years of high school. Although I do not know what the future holds, I intend continue my German education into college, and perhaps even enter a career where knowledge of the German language is necessary. I had a great seventeen days in Germany, and I hope the students next year and in the years to follow will enjoy their time at Salem International Summer School as much as I did. Once again thank you so much."

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Friday, September 26, 2008


"I thought it was a great experience!" Heidi Katz, class of 2010, writes about the high-school students from Spain who visited HHS this month. "It really helped me see how much Spanish I really knew and made me excited about learning more! I got along great with my student and can't wait to go to Spain!"

Every other year the long-standing exchange program between the Instituto Gerald Brenan in Alhaurin de la Torre, Malaga, Spain sends a group of enthusiastic students and their teachers to the Upper Valley to learn about American culture and practice their English. The photo shows the visitors with their HHS hosts. The Spanish students stay with host families such as the Kellers, parents of Carolyn Keller, class of 2011. Kevin Keller writes: "We really had a fantastic time with Laura's visit. She was the perfect houseguest and had exactly the right attitude to take advantage of the exchange. She practiced her English whenever she could and got involved in all the typical American high-school activities. And we got a chance to learn some about life in Spain too. Even though we were worried that two and a half weeks would be too long ... we would do it again in a minute. It really was a fun learning experience for all."

Jeff Polidor, class of 2011, adds: "Everyone was awesome. There was no Spaniard that I did not like, and that goes for all of the Americans as well. After each trip to a different American place, my Spaniard always told me what a great time he had, and I believe that there was a mix of education as well of fun." Host parent Nancy Katz writes: "Having been paired with a student who said she did not like animals (and we have 3 dogs and 5 cats), I was a bit concerned how the visit would go. Our student, Nareida, turned out to be wonderful with going with the flow. At first I worried that she wouldn't eat anything, but she did find she enjoyed brownies and apple crisp, and would eat at McDonald's any chance she got. We thought it was funny that she bought baseballs for her friends back home. She was a great match for our daughter Heidi -- both dislike fish and love chicken, both enjoy dance, and Nareida showed us some flamenco and salsa. The last night I drove Heidi, Nareida and another friend to cosmic bowling. The girls all sat in the far back, singing along with the radio and taking photos of each other and laughing."

The twenty students and three adults will also visit New York, Boston, Portsmouth and many other places in New Hampshire and Vermont, both with their school group and with their Upper Valley host families. Spanish teacher Penelope Prendergast writes: "The program would not enjoy its consistent success without the generous support of the school administration and our Hanover High families. Thank you all very much!"

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Monday, September 22, 2008


Forty HHS science students on a class trip found that a newly-installed iron-collecting system has made a dramatic difference in the amount of dissolved iron in a local section of the Ompompanoosuc River. Students from the Advanced Placement Environmental Science (APES) class visited the waters near the Elizabeth Mine in South Strafford, VT which was closed in 1958. Their goal was to determine the impact of acid drainage from the mine on water quality and the biota (life forms) in the nearby river. This year's visit, HHS's first since the US Environmental Protection Agency installed the collector, measured dissolved iron at the rate of 100 pounds per day contrasted to 1,500 pounds per day measured on last year's visit. The photo showing bright orange water was taken in September 2007; the other photo shows the same spot in September 2008.

Kelsey Nichols, class of 2009, writes: "We went to the Ompompanoosuc River near Copperas Brook where you can see acid mine drainage coating the rocks orange from the iron. The class took samples of metals in the river water and tested for copper and turbidity. We'd practiced in the classroom how to do these tests. We caught invertebrates in a net -- mayflies, stoneflies and caddis flies. Then we went upriver to analyze the water in a part of the river that's away from mine drainage. We also went to top of the 40-acre pile of tailings from the mine."

The students gathered specimens of bottom-dwelling life and macro-invertebrates. Now, back in the classroom, they're analyzing the effects of lower amounts of dissolved iron on the river's life-forms. (At right Yukun Gao, class of 2009, measures the alkalinity of the water at the impact site with a digital titrator and pH meter.)

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Librarian Dottie Cheever writes: I think our new wall of water really does quiet the kids who sit by it. The water fountain was paid for by donations from community businesses. Cory Pyke (class of 2008) and some friends went around collecting money to donate a water fountain to the library. He wanted to get enough to buy a table model, but he kept getting more and more money so that in the end he had enough to buy the fountain wall. It runs on a pump which brings the water up and flows it over the top, down the glass. I think it will help put moisture into the room, which we badly need in the winter. (The photo shows Ms Caldwell and Forrest Miller, class of 2010.)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Fifteen members of the class of 2009 were named National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists this week. They took the Preliminary SAT test last fall and scored in the top 3 percent of 1.5 million high-school juniors. They are now offered the chance to submit personal high-school transcripts and essays which may eventually qualify them as National Merit Scholars. The scholarships are administered by the non-profit National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Hanover High's semi-finalists are: Kevin Dade, Beryl Frishtick, Claire Hornig, Leah Izenson, Markus Lithell, Jessica Liu, Kelsey Maya Nichols, Linnea Osterberg, Heidi Robbins, Richard Sanderson, Anna Schults, Zachary Sheets, Nicholas Sinnott-Armstrong, William T. Smith, and Savannah Wallace.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008


Jessica Eakin, HHS's Librarian on leave, writes: Two days before the school year officially opened, Youth-In-Action's Welcome BBQ for HHS students marked the 25th anniversary of the student-volunteer organization. Begun by Maureen Hall in 1983, Youth-In-Action still has the same goal of providing young people with volunteer opportunities that make a difference in the Upper Valley. Every year hundreds of Hanover students volunteer. This year, to celebrate 25 years of community service Youth-In-Action, is challenging 25 groups at Hanover High School to take on a volunteer project. The first group to rise to this challenge was the Hanover Girls Soccer team who prepared a meal for David’s House and baked goods for the Dartmouth Blood Donor Program. Everyone had a great time at the BBQ and hoped to do another dinner later in the season."

DAVID'S HOUSE, according to its web site, offers a comfortable home-away-from-home for children receiving treatment through Children's Hospital at Dartmouth at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Children aren't medical patients or motel guests at David's House; they are part of their own family in a quality home-like atmosphere. When the child cannot leave the Medical Center, David's House is for the families of these children--a retreat where they can stay to find, and give, support to their child and to each other. DAVID'S HOUSE is a gift from the people and businesses of northern New England to all the parents and children who come to the Medical Center.

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Friday, September 12, 2008


From time to time we'll publish essays, fiction and other writing by students. All students are invited to submit their work to a teacher to be forwarded to the blog. This essay is by Harini Natarajan, class of 2011. She was one of many students and staff at HHS who read Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink over the summer. The question for Harini's class was: "How might one's physical appearance affect one's future? Much of Gladwell's book explores the implications of judgments based on physical appearance. Expand on this idea in your essay, using evidence from both Blink and your own experience."

In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell emphasizes the way people think differently of a man versus a woman or a black person versus a white person. Gladwell says that people are subconsciously racist and sexist, even if they feel that everyone is equal consciously. In the past, people thought this way consciously. Now, though everyone claims they think of everyone equally, most are unknowingly racist or sexist.
If a person is tall and handsome and white, they have the biggest advantage. In the section of Blink about car salesmen, the white males were quoted the lowest price of everyone. People automatically assume that they can cheat a black person or a woman but not a white man. If you look poor, you are even more likely to be cheated. But a good car salesman would not make judgments based on appearance. It was also shown that most CEOs were tall, white men. There were few women, blacks, and shorter people as CEOs. People assume that tall, white men are better leaders. Again, nobody consciously think this is true but subconsciously they do. In the past, women rarely played in orchestras. It was especially rare for them to play an instrument that wasn’t a violin or a flute, which were more “feminine” instruments. After some time, screens were put up at auditions so that judges wouldn’t make biased decisions. This worked instantly. The conductors showed much better judgment afterward. Gladwell suggests the same be done in court so that there are no appearance-based decisions made in the courtroom. Their judgment would only be based on whether or not the person seemed guilty of this crime. This would make the United States justice system more fair.
People assume that if you are not American, you cannot speak proper English. Halfway through my fifth-grade year, my family moved from South Carolina to a new school farther north. They saw that I was Indian and immediately assumed I didn’t speak English well though I had told them I’d lived in the United States my whole life. They enrolled me in an ESL program and tested me to see if I could speak English. They seemed shocked that I could read and write in English perfectly well. Though they had been told I had lived here, they still made me read and write and take several tests before they took me out of the program and said I spoke sufficient English. I don’t think they meant to be racist, but they subconsciously were.
One of the lessons of Blink was that people subconsciously base many things off of physical appearance. An uglier person would probably not be thought of as well as a good-looking person. A darker-skinned person might be thought to be less intelligent than a lighter-skinned person or not as wealthy. People think that women and dark-skinned people are more associated with being a bad person. Women are thought of as being only suited for housework and raising children, but not to have a full-time career. People make so many subconscious assumptions based on appearance. A woman might even subconsciously feel that they are not meant to have full-time jobs even if they do have jobs. Dark-skinned people might consider themselves inferior, though they aren’t. Consciously, they may not feel this way, but unknowingly they do. White people unknowingly feel aversion to a black person, or feel that a woman can’t do a “man’s” job. That is one of the most important lessons of Blink.

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Monday, September 8, 2008


Twenty-five HHS retirees representing hundreds of years of teaching experience met at their regular luncheon this July to share memories of students and the school. Some retired as recently as June 2008; some began teaching as early as the 1960s and retired years ago.

Chuck Bohi, an HHS history teacher from 1971 to 1998, continued the "hobby that got out of hand" which he began in the summers: photographing and chronicling trains and train stations of the Canadian West. He has written three books, and since his retirement he spent a term as a visiting scholar at Brandon University in Manitoba. Of his teaching years he said, "If you teach at HHS, you're surrounded by so many good people that you have to keep learning to keep your end up."

After Deena Romero, HHS's teacher of English as a Second Language, retired three years ago she visited the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea to find the very hotel where her mother was interned early in World War Two. In late 1930s Deena's parents left Germany and found jobs in the United Kingdom. When war came, foreigners were interned, men separately from women. The British investigated them while they were interned, and most were later released. Deena found the hotel where her mother had been confined in the Manx town of Port Erin, and stayed there as a guest. She even found her mother's alien registration card stamped "released" in the Manx National Heritage Library.

In the top photo, over 120 years of science-teaching experience: left to right, Warren DeMont, Mel Gitchell, Barbara Hirai, John Hutchins, Dick Murphy and Dale Rowe.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008


About three hundred students came to check out and sign up for Bike Club, Amnesty International, Broadside (the student newspaper), Project Darfur, Cricket Club, Fencing Club, German Club, Latin Club, Knitting Club, Math Team, Obama Club, Operation Day's Work, Warhammer 40K (video gaming), Sudoku and at least a dozen other clubs and activities. Some were started by staff; some were inspired by students. Some are local chapters of national organizations; others happen only at HHS. New clubs will spring up during the school year. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008


Savannah Wallace is Hanover High’s September Student of the Month. Savannah is a wonderfully curious and interested learner who puts a lot of work into everything she does. She runs with the track and cross-country teams. She has played the violin in the New Hampshire All State Orchestra, the New England Music Festival and the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra. At Hanover High she is a member of the Orchestra, Chorus, Footnotes and Jazz Band. Savannah is a very creative student with a great sense of humor who brings an infectious joy to the learning process and to all of us who know her at HHS.

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