By Shane Duffey
Council Rock South (CRS) was busy with activities in the month of December. The wrestling season for the Golden Hawks officially began on December 5th and 6th, at the Cumberland Valley Kickoff Classic; a meeting of thirty of the top teams from this area. This year there are fifty wrestlers on the team. The coaches anticipate a successful year because “the members are good students who work hard and prepare, before and after school, for the start of the competition season.” Fans of the Golden Hawks are welcome to come to the “Escape the Rock” tournament held at CRS on January 18th and 19th, 2015. To learn more about the Golden Hawks check out https://www.facebook.com/pages/Council-Rock-South-Wrestling/119767418082943 and https://twitter.com/crhawkwrestling.
CRS Orchestras gave a number of holiday performances in December. On the 5th, the Symphony Orchestra performed at Barnes & Noble in Fairless Hills. Customers and friends were treated to traditional Christmas and Hanukkah classics, as well as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
On December 11th, the Chamber Orchestra performed holiday classics for the residents of Wynwood of Northampton Manor Retirement Community. The residents gave the musicians generous feedback afterwards, many saying it was the most fun they had this season. One member of the Chamber, Luke Fiadino, said “As a new member of the Chamber Orchestra, it has been really great to perform with a group of such talented musicians. It was also incredible to see the delight in the faces of the senior citizens as we played our music for them.”
CRS’s Chamber, Combined, and Symphony held their annual Winter Concert, on December 17th including music from European and American Classics to holiday pieces. In addition, the Choir also performed a number of songs at the concert.
The CRS Volunteers for Community Service had their monthly trip to Chandler Hall on December 18th. The club, comprised of 24 members, regularly visits the retirement community and entertains senior citizens through activities such as bingo, coloring, cooking, etc. On this day, the volunteers and residents played bingo and participated in a party for the Community Services Director. Volunteer club advisor, Mr. Fash, said “The positive experience where students engage with senior citizens is amazing to see, despite there being the generation gap. On our trip back to South, students are always talking about what a great feeling it is, to experience the opportunity of serving the community.”
Holy Ghost Prep
Christmas break at Holy Ghost Prep lasts a glorious fifteen days, from December 21st to January 4th. Every year, students have to strike a tenuous balance between rest and responsibility. That’s because, in addition to cursory Christmas break homework, midterm exams linger on each student’s horizon.
Ghost’s students perform this balancing act in various ways. Junior Collin Quigley says that he starts working “a few days” before the end of the break, while senior Kyle Wojciechowski admits that he spends the first four days of vacation “basically just playing video games nonstop.” His classmate George Hibbs keeps himself productive by waking up early to get work done.
Ultimately, it’s the freedom to goof off, along with the responsibility not to, that makes Christmas break valuable. At some point, whether they’re in California, Florida, or their nice warm beds, students have to set their minds to the work ahead. But until then, all they have to do is kick back and enjoy Christmas.
The college selection process, that many-stepped journey of files and fees, is entering its final phase. Early decision and early action applications, most of which arrived on December 15, brought mixed results. Many prestigious colleges deferred the Ghost students’ application decisions until spring to see if the students could maintain or improve their grades. More often than not, the schools cited an increase in the sheer number of applications received as the reason for the deferrals.
Willam Tennent High School
However, the news hasn’t been all bad. Tennis star and honor student Harry Kettelberger was accepted to Brown University, while 8 seniors have committed to play sports at the collegiate level. In addition, dozens of seniors have looked at Duquesne University, the only college in the United States run by the same Spiritans who run Holy Ghost, and decided that they would be interested in continuing their Spiritan educations. Those who are sure that Duquesne is their top choice can compete for a full scholarship to Duquesne granted by the Spiritans.
The last regular decision admissions materials are due on New Years Day. After that, what happens is mostly out of students’ hands. From then until March, all they can do is wait and hope with bated breath.
As the New Year approaches, William Tennent High School (WTHS) is full of kids both looking forward to the holiday season and preparing for midterm exams. With every day being counted down, December was a very slow month at WTHS. On December 12, 2014 Key Club hosted its first annual WTHS Mini-Thon. Almost $11,000 was raised for pancreatic cancer in a day full of activities and dancing.
WTHS students involved in the Future Business Leaders of America club (FBLA) attended an awards ceremony on December 18. Prior to this event, club members all took a test on a chosen topic that applied to the business world. The top scoring students from the region were honored and many will now move onto the state competition, several coming from WTHS.
This year, WTHS students were given a lengthy Winter Break. Students returned to school on Monday, January 5, 2015. A warm and fuzzy welcome back was quickly put to a halt. Underclassmen needed to get a good night’s sleep and their pencils sharpened in preparation for Keystone Exams on January 7-8, 12-13, and 15-16. Not much of a break is given to students with the quickly approaching Mid-Term Exams on January 23, 2015.
Once in session and exams done, the second semester at WTHS is pretty much over. It is about that time of the school year when it seems as if it may never end. But with the upcoming dances and heavily anticipated Black and White Night in sight; motivation is not a problem to get through examinations.