Spring Superlatives

As we are nearing the end of the school year, we wanted to share with you some of the wonderful accomplishments and activities of our students here at South. Warning: this is long, but it’s been a busy year!! 

Anime Club: Anime Club is a club where people who aren’t afraid of their imaginations can meet. We just restarted the group this semester, but in the future we hope to earn money for group trips to conventions and to one day host our very own cosplay cafe. We meet every Thursday during J block, and activities range from discussions to watching anime.

Art: Jackie Chen received national recognition in the 2014 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for a self portrait drawing. His work was identified by a panel of creative professionals to be in the top 1% of 255,000 words submitted nationally. Congratulations, Jackie!!!

Asian Student Organization: The Asian Student Organization, a community open to all people interested in Asian cultures, hosted the annual Asian Night performance on Friday, April 5. Over 80 students participated in this student-run event led by officers Alicia Lam, Aubrey Adamczyk, Sophia Cen, Rachel Jung, Seba Lucena, and Brenda Phaat. The performances highlighted both traditional and modern Asian cultures including dance, music, martial arts, and fashion. Proceeds will be used to make donations to both local and international organizations that help people in need.

Automotive Club: The newly formed Newton South Automotive Club has been meeting regularly during J blocks on Thursdays. In addition to getting together to talk about cars and driving, we have held two driving competitions this year, done using simulations of course. Local businesses donated small prizes to the winners. In the future, we hope to expand the mission of the club to include a service component.

Dreamfar: Senior Jonah Kan, who is on Dreamfar and ran the Boston Marathon to fundraise for The Second Step. Jonah, in his third year on Dreamfar and a captain this year, chose to challenge himself by following a more rigorous training schedule to train for Boston. In the process he raised $6000 for The Second Step! Jonah represented both South and Dreamfar well all the way from Hopkinton to Boston! After training since October to complete a 5K in December, a 10K in January, and a half-marathon in March, 33 members of Newton South’s Dreamfar High School Marathon Team prepared to complete all 26.2 miles of the Cox Marathon in Providence, RI on the morning of Sunday, May 4. These students – 9th through 12th graders – have spent countless hours in training after school and weekends alongside teacher and community mentors. Their feet have carried them through the streets of Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, Boston, Cambridge and Watertown over the course of their weekly Saturday morning training runs. We congratulate these students on the tremendous discipline and teamwork it has taken to get them to complete 26.2 miles… together!

Fencing Club: The Fencing Club is a brand new club at Newton South High School, organized by sisters, YoElena and Salome Tkebuchava. The Fencing Club meets once per week during J-Block, and provides general fencing instruction and skill-building. Fencing itself is both a physically and mentally demanding sport. The Club works to develop physical stamina, fencing strategy, and the overall knowledge of fencing. All of this is done in a supportive, energetic, and fun environment, so all individuals can acquire skills and find success. All ability levels are most welcome and encouraged to participate in the Fencing Club.

Future Business Leaders: The following students participated in the FBLA annual conference at Bentley College and below are the results for the Future Business Leaders of America. 1st Place: Business Law – Jae Lee Entrepreneurship – Nikolas Lazar, Bhavik Nagda, James Rao, Public Speaking – Jae Lee 2nd Place: Business Law – Sachin Srivastava Intro to Business – Nikolas Lazaar Sports & Entertainment Management – Nikolas Lazar, Bhavik Nagda, James Rao (tied first) Public Speaking – Sachin Srivastava 3rd Place: Business Math – James Rao Desktop Publishing – Eric Lin Personal Finance – Bhavik Nagda

Gay/Straight Alliance: On Wednesday, April 16, the Newton South Gay/Straight Alliance organized its annual Day of Silence program to raise awareness about the experiences of LGBT students in schools. More than fifty students and several faculty took the vow of silence for the day.

Girls Ultimate Frisbee: The Girls Ultimate Frisbee team, Angry Squash, was founded this fall and is continuing this spring. During the fall, our team played two games against other high school girls teams and had a 1-1 record. We just had our first game this spring against the Needham B team and won 13-2. This week, we will be playing their A team. We are also attending a tournament this weekend, and have 6 more games scheduled before States at the end of May. Our team practices three times a week, and has around 15 players. We are really excited to have started this girl’s Ultimate team this year, and hope that the team will continue in years to come.

Lion’s Roar/Denebola: Both The Lion’s Roar and Denebola won first prize in their respective categories in the New England Scholastic Press Association’s All New England competition Friday. The annual contest recognizes excellence in reporting, writing, editing, and design. The Roar won first prize in newspapers from schools with 1,000 or more students, while Denebola shared a first prize for online publications from schools with 1,000 or more students with The Ghostwriter from Westford Academy.

Math Team: Math Team came in third place at the Massachusetts Association of Mathematics League state meet in April. This qualified the team to participate in the New England Association of Mathematics Leagues where they finished in FIRST PLACE!! Team participants for both meets are: Evan Zeng, David Cao, Andrew Shaughnessy, Jason Ma, Jae Lee, Margalit Glasgow, and Daniel Shaar.

Music The Newton South Combo won a Gold Medal at Massachusetts Association for Jazz Education Choir/Combo Festival!

National Latin Exam Winners: Latin I Exam Gold Summa Cum Laude James Rao Katelyn Li Sophia Franco Salome Tkebuchava Louis Plottel Kimberly Gravlin Noah Winer Ronan Meltzer Robin Acosta Jason Lange Emily Duggan Silver Maxima Cum Laude Annah (Janet) Beirenbeim Samantha Armstrong Jennifer Rosenthal Catharine Pierce Rachel Nurnberger Katherine Broderick Olivia Jordan-LaRosa Emily Marget Magna Cum Laude Aaron Ewing Alison Nislick Jennifer Pushner Madison Holland Monica Falls Latin II Exam Gold Summa Cum Laude John (Jack) Kenslea Brian Yoffe YoElena Tkebuchava Mikaeel Yunus Hokwong (Andrew) Fu Nathaniel Bolter Samuel Rosenblatt Alex Song Elizabeth (Liza) Sulkin Nickolas Tumpowsky Thomas (Carter) Howe Josh Freier Hannah Long Sasha Badov Silver Maxima Cum Laude Inbar Hazan Michael Marget Zachary Nislick Miranda Lassar Magna Cum Laude Rebecca McNally Sophie Galowitz Latin III Silver Maxima Cum Laude Youngju Choi

N.E.W. Newton Educational Workshops runs on the Saturday mornings between February and April breaks. Over 35 students volunteer to run classes for 4th and 5th grade students. We do everything from cooking to science experiments, ceramics and more. Both the high school and elementary students have a great time working and learning together. At the end of the workshops students organize an hour to present live acts and art display to parents. It is a worthwhile way to spend 5 winter mornings. This is a long standing Newton South tradition; look for us next year.

Origami Club: Origami Club is a new club this year. The students are extremely excited and motivated to do lots of projects in the upcoming years including: making 1000 paper cranes, selling origami flowers and hearts for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, making origami Christmas ornaments, and generally spreading origami cheer throughout the school and community!

Red Cross Club: Our Red Cross Club led by sophomore, Ava Shaevel, sponsored a blood drive in April and collected and 35 units of blood.

Robotics: The Newton Ligerbots, a joint Newton South and Newton North Team, had an exceptional season, topping the competition at the Worcester Polytechnic District event as part of the winning alliance, and making it to the finals at their second district event at Northeastern University. The Team’s performance at these two district events qualified them to compete in the New England Regional FIRST Championship at Agganis Arena at Boston University. Following the New England Regional, the Team was selected to attend the World Championships in St. Louis over April break. The team did very well at the World Championships, competing against many far more experienced teams, and learning in the process.

Science Team: The Newton South Science Team, a team open to students at all grade levels and all curricular levels, finished the year ranking fourth in the state, competing against 44 other teams at the Massachusetts State Science Olympiad. Several students who competed were also honored with gold, silver, or bronze medals in their individual events. The Science Team also competed successfully in many other competitions throughout the year, including The Blue Lobster Bowl and event sponsored by the West Suburban Science League.

Speech & Debate Team: The Newton South Speech & Debate Team has finished up its local season. We are the State Champions in Speech and our Public Forum Debate Team finished first at States, as well. This has been an extraordinary season so far and there is more to come. Over Memorial Day weekend twenty-one NSHS students head to Chicago to compete at NCFL Nationals. In June, twelve will spend a week in Kansas City competing at NSDA Nationals. This year over 100 NSHS students competed at at least one Speech and Debate tournament and eighty students competed regularly at tournaments from September through early April. Tournaments take place on Saturdays at schools all over Massachusetts. In addition to attending seventeen local tournaments, team members traveled to compete at tournaments held at Yale University, Columbia University, Harvard University, St. Joseph’s University (in PA), The University of Kentucky and George Mason University as well as to tournaments hosted by high schools in New York, Minnesota and Tennessee.

Strategic Board Games: The recently-founded Strategic Board Games Club meets on Wednesday J-Blocks in 2311. Having just started, we are still a small and low-key group, but we look forward to trying to introduce new members and ourselves to the most interesting board games that we can acquire. (Also, can anyone stop Jonathan from taking over the world?)

Sustainable Agriculture Project: The students in the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) have had an eventful year. In September, they began a relationship with Whitsons’ food service group and sold much of the late summer and early fall harvest from the NSHS Sustainable Garden to the cafeteria vendor for use in school lunches. Whitsons’ representatives were thrilled with the quality of the process and are eager to resume purchasing South-grown organic produce this spring and next year. During the winter months, students began planning for the 2014 harvest season and, using funds from the Class of ’13 gift, they purchased season extension equipment that will allow the garden to become a 3- (and possibly 4-) season supplier of organic produce in 2014-2015. The club’s annual soil test revealed that the garden’s micronutrient and organic matter levels have risen since the last test, demonstrating that the students are becoming skilled, responsible stewards of their land and that their school wide composting program and sustainable soil management practices are paying significant dividends. This year, SAP plans to focus its energies on quick-growing spring crops (arugula, spinach, greens, radishes and peas) and cold-hardy fall and winter items (brassica, alliums and root vegetables) that will thrive underneath the recently purchased low tunnels and cold frames. In September, many student members of SAP will enroll in the inaugural offering of South’s “Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems” course.

Varsity Softball: The Lions varsity softball team returned from a three day trip to Cape Cod during spring vacation. The successful and enjoyable trip gave the players the opportunity to fine tune their softball skills and bond as a team. The softball Lions lead the large division of the Dual County League and have an overall record of eight wins and one loss.

Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team: The girls’ varsity tennis team, rebounding from a 3-10 rebuilding season last year, is on track to qualify for the state tournament this year. Co-captains Asako Takeuchi and Lulu Wan have provided stability to the young varsity squad, which has not one senior on it. Newcomers Sarah King and Yuki Wang have contributed to our winning record. As of now, the junior varsity is also demonstrating great improvement: it has yet to lose a match.

Girls Track and Field Our leadership within our girls’ track and field team from this class of seniors is stellar. We have a lot of new and younger athletes taking on varsity scoring roles thanks to our senior mentors and captains. This team is a great blend of mature leaders and young eager talent. We are currently 6- 0 and have a realistic chance for an undefeated season and another DCL title (our girls cross country team shared the DCL championship in the fall). State Meet Qaulifiers to date: Charlotte Huth SR 100, 200, 400 Undefeated and DCL Leader Lucrecia Aguilar SR 2 Mile, Mile Undefeated in DCL Rebecca Grusby SO 2 Mile, Mile Undefeated in DCL DCL Leader Lizzie Walkes So 200, 400, Triple Jump Undefeated in DCL Clare Martin FR 800, Undefeated in 800 and Mile Sabrina Stacks SO Shot Put Undefeated in DCL Caleen Lazare FR 100 1st place in 5 meets Katie Collins FR 2 Mile, Mile Event winner 4 x 100 Undefeated DCL leader Lizzie Walkes, Caleen Lazare FR, Yuriko Fukumura JR, Liza Hochberg SO, Allie Arruda FR, Charlotte Huth have all rotated on this relay. 4 x 400 Lizzie Fineman SR, Alekhya Chaparala SR, Katherine Summers SO, Caroline Delheim JR, Sonya Nair JR, Rachel Boisclair JR, Rebecca Grusby FR, Anna Rhatigan have all rotated on this relay and qualified for state while going 5 – 1.