Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Coach and Social Studies teacher Bill Murphy writes: Congratulations to the Hanover High School Quiz Bowl team for their performance in the spring Knowledge Master Open. Hanover ranked 21st out of 652 reporting schools; that put HHS in the top 3% nationally. We finished 6th out of 128 schools with enrollments from 500-1000; and first in New England out of 27 schools.

Knowledge Master Open is a national contest in which teams of high-schoolers answer as many multiple-choice questions as they can in a set time period. The team gets the questions at school on computer, and arrives at its answers together. The questions cover every field from math to history to literature to trivia.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Two thousand, seven hundred and sixty-three years after the founding of Rome (MMDCCLXIII A.U.C. as the Romans would have reckoned it) thirty HHS Latin students joined 1,000 other Latinists from Vermont at UVM's annual Latin Day. They marched, sang "Gaudeamus Igitur," dressed in togas and performed skits. Hanover won "Best in Show" in the tabletop displays for a model of the Colosseum made by junior Colleen Garrity and senior Yolanda Tselepidakis. Hanover's Advanced-Latin team won second place in the written quiz, and junior Tony Song won honorable mention in the sight translation. As usual Hanover also won the prize for the longest distance traveled to the Burlington, VT conference. After the festivities, students in the Advanced Latin class spent time at UVM's Special Collections library examining the collection of rare editions of Ovid's Metamorphoses.

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Friday, April 17, 2009


Sophomores Libby Tolman and Carolyn Keller have won recognition in a national essay contest called "Being an American" sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute. Libby won second place out of three awards given in the New England region, which put her essay in the top 27 in the country and earned her $2,500. Carolyn won honorable mention and $250. The contest drew 31,000 submissions and was open to all students in grades 9-12.

The two HHS students prepared their essays out of their own interest, not as a class assignment. The contest theme was: "Tell us, in up to 500 words, what civic value(s) you find most important, and how you can live out that civic value(s) in your own life." Libby wrote about justice, and Carolyn wrote about perseverance. To find their essays, click "read more" at the end of this post.

Libby and her Social Studies teacher, Pam Miller, who also won $2,500, went to Washington in early April to receive their awards at the Institute's banquet. The speakers were Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Juan Williams of National Public Radio. The photos show Libby Tolman with Carolyn Keller; and Libby with Darrell Green, former Washington Redskin and NFL Hall of Famer, who addressed the contest winners. C-SPAN broadcast the awards ceremony on April 18.

The contest, administered by the Virginia-based Bill of Rights Institute (, is sponsored by The Templeton Foundation, The History Channel, The Heritage Foundation, State Farm Insurance and other corporations and individuals.

Justice: The Most Important Civic Value
by Libby Tolman

There are many civic values, each with its own ability to advance the American people and to improve our nation. Each has its special qualities, its brave heroes, and its significant documents. No civic value, however, is as essential to lives of America’s people and to the society of our nation as justice. Justice is the civic value that protects every American’s unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our founding fathers recognized the importance of justice and protected it in five amendments of the Bill of Rights. The founding fathers set forth a fundamental idea of justice in the fourth amendment, where they stated that the people should be secure from unwarranted search and seizure (“Bill of Rights”). This showed that a citizen’s belongings were private and were protected from a government search and confiscation without probable cause. In the fifth amendment, our founding fathers extended this idea to people themselves by stating that a citizen may not “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law” (“Bill of Rights”). Thus, citizens themselves could not be seized without the approval of a just court. In the sixth amendment, the founding fathers took the essential step of ensuring that the just ideas they had outlined in previous amendments applied to “all criminal prosecutions” by ensuring that all American people have the right “to have the assistance of counsel” for their defense of their life and liberty (“Bill of Rights”). In the seventh and eight amendments, our founding fathers continued to ensure that our country was fair to all by ensuring trial by jury and preventing excessive fines and bails (“Bill of Rights”). Thus, our founding fathers used justice to protect the rights of American citizens.

One of the unfortunate things about justice is that it does not occur by itself; the fundamental American idea that citizens are protected from the seizure of liberty by their government no matter who they are must be advanced and developed by citizens themselves. Although the founding fathers set forth the ideas of justice in the late 1700s, in 1963 Clarence Earl Gideon still had parts of his justice taken away (Black). Gideon was a poor man charged with burglary who was unable to hire a lawyer (“A Landmark”). The court refused to assign him one, so Gideon tried to defend himself and was found guilty (“A Landmark”). Gideon sat in his jail cell and wrote a letter to the United States Supreme Court saying that his right to counsel had been violated (“A Landmark”). The Supreme Court overturned Gideon’s conviction and stated that all citizens had the right to counsel in all criminal cases where a citizen’s liberty was in danger (Black). This decision led to the creation of the public defenders system (“A Landmark”).

Gideon’s contribution was essential to American justice because, in the words of Justice Sutherland, an innocent citizen may face “the danger of conviction because he does not know how to establish his innocence” in a court (Black). With this conviction could come the loss of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These qualities are what make American citizenship so special and, indeed, are for many what it means to be American. Because of Gideon’s brave contributions to the civic value of justice, Americans unable to hire a lawyer no longer have to worry about the loss of these rights.

The way I have put justice into practice is by learning about the judicial systems, documents, and decisions that affect American liberty. In school, I have learned about famous Supreme Court cases which affect my rights, like Tinker et al. v. Des Moines, Miranda vs. Arizona, and Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier. That way, I will know if my right to freedom of speech or my right to remain silent is ever violated. Hopefully, if this ever happens I will have a little bit of Gideon’s bravery and be able to use the American court system to protect my rights and advance American justice.
In conclusion, justice is the most important civic value because it protects the rights that Americans hold dear. It protects us from danger by prosecuting criminals while still allowing us to go about our lives without unnecessary government intrusion. Without justice and Clarence Earl Gideon, thousands of poor citizens might be locked in American jails today, their rights gone because they did not have lawyers and just courts.


"A Landmark in the Law." State of Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services. 30 Nov. 2008 .

"Bill of Rights." Constitution Society. 30 Nov. 2008 billofr_.htm>.

Black, Hugo L. "Gideon v. Wainwright." The Oyez Project. 30 Nov. 2008 .

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The Tenacity of Independence
by Carolyn Keller

On the eve of September 3, 1783, at the Hotel de York, the representatives of Great Britain and the United States of America signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the War of American Independence. The war had began on April 19, 1775, thus lasting over eight years. Eight years of fighting, of wins and losses, of treaties and declarations, and of heroes and cowards. To continue on for that length of time, for the hope of independence and liberty, required a civic value most people still respect today: perseverance. Perseverance is thus the most essential value to being an American.

What started this need for perseverance, this need for a harsh war, was, most simply put, the British taxing the Americans without allowing them representation in parliament. This led to the signing of another very important and liberating document: the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that the colonies were free and independent states with no allegiance to Britain. The document states all the grievances the British king had committed against the colonies and how these Acts had directly harmed the Americans. To have tolerated heavy taxes, no freedom to govern, and the threat of the British troops stationed on American soil, the citizens of America that Thomas Jefferson speaks of in the Declaration had to persevere and try to carry on. However, they finally reached their breaking points and declared independence. The American people then persevered in forming the General Congress that signed the Declaration of Independence, and in creating the document that would grant them the freedoms they had long been without. The British tried to quell this rebellion, in events such as the Boston Massacre. However, they proved inept at repressing the intellectual rebellion that started when the fifty-six delegates signed this powerful declaration. The Americans persevered and won their freedom after the war that lasted eight years, and it all started with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

One of the documents that inspired Thomas Jefferson’s writing of the Declaration of Independence was the Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason. The documents share the philosophies of John Locke and the natural rights theory, as did their writers. When it came time to seek ratification for the newly written American Constitution, Mason rejected it. He said that the central government had too much power and that the people lacked rights that would protect them from harm by the government. He stayed true to his beliefs and declined to sign the Constitution at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Mason displayed perseverance in his refusal to sign, in the writing of his pamphlet, Objections to this Constitution of Government, and in his convincing James Madison to add a bill of rights to the Constitution. Mason persisted until he won, and in the end, the United States was better off because of it. Mason was a true American in the way he would not take no for an answer in his determination to help his country.

Even though George Mason is long dead, and the Declaration of Independence was signed over two-hundred years ago, perseverance is still important today. To persevere is to stay true to one’s beliefs, even in the face of defeat, and to see it through to the end. We can all persevere in what we believe in by simply not giving up, not looking back, but only striving to see our goal brought to completion. One day, I hope to be accepted at Cambridge University. I know this is unlikely, as they take very few Americans. But still, I am determined to persevere and try my hardest to create an outstanding application that they cannot say no to. Whether I am chosen or not, at least I will know that I have tried my hardest, and that I have exhibited one of the best qualities a person can have.

The goal may be worth it, and it will be if you believe it is, but the journey will, no matter what, always be something valued and remembered. I encourage everyone to persevere towards making their dreams reality. Nothing can be accomplished if we do not try. There is no giving up, no backing down, if one truly perseveres. There is only the product of dreams and hopes, suddenly there, before one’s own eyes. America would be nowhere close to what it is today without that civic value we all cherish most, perseverance.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009


Council is considering this proposal for bringing school dances back to HHS. The staff has not yet voted. The poll in the right-hand column near this post is advisory only.

Students who wish to plan a dance must first meet with the Dean of Students to obtain potential dates for a dance and planning instructions. Students who plan to attend a school dance need to know to the following:

General Information
a. Dances will end no later than 10:30 P.M.
b. Entry to dances is permitted until 9:30 P.M. unless a special arrangement is made ahead of time with the chief chaperone.
c. There is usually an entrance fee.
d. There is no provision for safeguarding personal possessions. Access to school lockers is restricted since corridor doors are locked. If valuables must be brought to a dance, they should be left for safekeeping with a chaperone. No bags will be allowed in dance area.
e. HHS students may bring guests to HHS dances. Guests may be required to give their names, address, and telephone numbers to the adult at the ticket table.
f. Lighting, music volume and selection must be approved by the head chaperone.

Rules and Guidelines
a. HHS Personal Appearance Policy is in effect during dances.
b. All school rules are in effect since this is a school-sponsored function.
c. Once a student leaves the dance, the student will not be readmitted.
d. Any student under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be immediately turned over to the police officer on duty who will take the student into custody. The student will be restricted from attending future dances.
e. Grinding, freaking, or any suggestive dancing is not permitted. If a student dances in this manner, he or she will be asked to leave, and his or her parents will be notified. There are no warnings. School community members who may need a reference to this style of dance can view the Grinding Rules: Hanover High Edition video, available at
f. Large mosh pits are not permitted. If the students refuse to break up the mosh pit, music will stop and lights will be turned on until a safe environment is restored.
g. At least twelve (12) chaperones must be in attendance in a two-to-one ratio of staff to parents.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Patty Armstrong of HHS's Music Department writes: Thirty music students participated in choruses, band and orchestra April 2-4 at the annual New Hampshire All State Music Festival. HHS was represented by 18 vocalists, 7 string players and 5 wind instrument players, who were selected from hundreds of students by state-wide auditions for this prestigious state music recognition.

The students rehearsed for two days with guest conductors such as Dr. Carol Krueger (Florida Southern College) and Anthony Maiello (George Mason University). Students then gave performances in the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. Among the pieces were Domine Fili from Vivaldi's Gloria, and Leonard Bernstein's Candide Overture.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Social Studies teacher Matt Prince writes: The HHS Model United Nations Club concluded its 2008-09 schedule with a conference held at Dartmouth College. While the trip may have been short, students put in long hours before the conference conducting research and writing position papers. All the students deserve praise for their commitment to international diplomacy. There were over 500 students attending from schools all over the east coast. The following HHSers won awards for their outstanding participation:

Jessica Buckey represented Cyprus on the Disarmament and International Security Committee, discussing Terrorism and Nuclear Weapons, as well as Civilian Nuclear Regulation.

Beryl Frishtick spoke for Saudi Arabia on UNICEF considering Children and Immunizations and also Primary Education and Gender Parity.

Margo Murphy-Gross represented Cyprus on the European Union. The committee's topics were Food Safety in the European Market and Nuclear Power.

Julia Murdza spoke for Saudi Arabia at the United Nations Development Program, on the topics of Food Prices and Climate Change.

Eleven other HHS students also took part. Here's a link to the Dartmouth Conference's web site.

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Monday, April 13, 2009


Yosef Osheyack from Norwich, VT is Hanover High's Student of the Month for April.Yosef takes his classes seriously and works extremely hard to succeed. He's an exceptional athlete, very well liked by his peers and an affable young man. He had an outstanding senior soccer season for Hanover's undefeated Class I Champions. He scored the winning goal in a shootout in the semifinals, and then scored the game-winner in double overtime in the championship game. He was honored as a First Team All-State selection, and also was named to play in the NH Lions Twin State Soccer Cup game this summer. Yosef is also a member of the International Deaf Soccer Team.

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Friday, April 10, 2009


Bill Murphy, Quiz Bowl coach and Social Studies teacher, writes: I am very pleased and proud to report that the HHS team won the Vermont Scholars Bowl championship on April 4 and the New Hampshire Quiz Bowl League championship the next day. This is the second year in a row that we have won both state championships.

In Vermont, Hanover defeated Bellows Free Academy/St. Albans in the play-in-match (310-195), Rice Memorial in the semifinals (275-250), and Mount Mansfield in the finals (305-250). The Hanover team was composed of Nick O'Leary, Nick Sinnott-Armstrong, Aaron Watanabe and Gabe Brison, with Jaden Gladstone as the alternate. On April 14 the Vermont Board of Education recognized the HHS team for its achievement.

In New Hampshire Hanover defeated seven teams in round robin play. We defeated Phillips Exeter by one point in overtime and Oyster River by one point in regulation time. The Hanover team was composed of Nick Sinnott-Armstrong, Aaron Watanabe, Gabe Brison and Eleanor Reid.

The victories mean that we have qualified for a national tournament at Disney World, Chicago, or Washington with the expenses paid for by the league. HHS draws students from both NH and Vermont, and is able to compete in both leagues.

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Monday, April 6, 2009


Team 95 Robotics, including two HHS seniors, sent a team to a regional robotics competition in Hartford CT on March 26-28. Team 95, made up of students from several Upper Valley high schools, has competed for years in meets organized by the national science organization FIRST. Coach Joe Jones of Lebanon High School writes: "This year's competition was called Lunacy. The competition simulated low gravity (in recognition of the first lunar landing 40 years ago) by using low friction wheels on a low friction playing field. Points are scored by placing balls (moonrocks) into an opponent's trailer.

"Our programmers, Sam Kovaka and Nick Sinnot-Armstrong (an HHS senior), worked into the early hours of Friday morning to repair the code and get the robot to run on a level that would make us competitive. Eric Gleiser, Delaney Granizo-Mackenzie (an HHS senior) and Noah Johnson prepared the story board and used a variety of software, including 3DS Max, an Autodesk product, to render the animation. The team received two trophies for this effort, and the animation will continue to compete against other entries at a national level."

Photos by Nick Sinnott-Armstrong. Links: FIRST and Team 95.
FIRST means For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST describes itself as "a unique varsity sport of the mind designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and researchers can be. It challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard 'kit of parts' and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in competitions designed by a committee of engineers and other professionals.

"FIRST redefines winning for these students because they are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last."

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Thursday, April 2, 2009


Hanover High recognizes art teacher Mrs. Elizabeth Greene as the April 2009 Staff Member of the Month. Mrs. Greene is a perpetual source of encouragement and boundless positive energy. Whether she is helping teach students new art skills, or working with experienced artists to hone their talents, she is universally exuberant and helpful. She presents advice in a positive and constructive manner, and is always able to provide new ideas or artistic insights for any project. It is her dedication to her students, and their art that make the art department what it is: inviting, friendly, and well lit by appreciative smiles.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Ten Hanover High students submitted artworks to the AVA Gallery's First Annual "Best of the Upper Valley" 2009 High School Invitational (March 13-20). Hanover High students offered drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, films/videos, sculpture and poetry.

Four HHS students earned awards. Senior Markus Lithell received an honorable mention in drawing, and junior Will Russell an honorable mention in poetry. Junior Mateo Melendy won "Best Video" from The Doris Mollica Rotary Fund of the Lebanon Rotary Club. Senior Anna Schults received the "Best Poetry" award.

Students from 16 Upper Valley schools entered more than 100 images and poems. All of the works were nominated by the art faculties of the participating schools. The 11 local business sponsors included The Mascoma Savings Bank Foundation, Lake Sunapee Bank, the Greater Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, Trumbull-Nelson Construction, and Defiance Electric/Crossover Communications.

Will Russell's poem appears on the next page.

Weighting by Will Russell

Please lift this weight from me,
Before the night steals the light,
And I freeze beneath this tree.

And birds twittering in this sea,
This ocean of wood and white,
Please lift this weight from me.

Blood paints the snow’s glee,
At the loss of my heart’s might,
And I freeze beneath this tree.

To my friends, I rasp, I plea,
Forgive my blight, this plight,
Please lift this weight from me.

Tears to glass, till nothing I see
And I screech, I reach, I fight --
And I freeze beneath this tree.

I chopped, but too slow to flee,
And I suppose it’s only right,
No one lift this weight from me.
And I freeze beneath this tree.

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