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Village of Florida Tree Lighting

By Malina Grove

On December 3rd, the Village of Florida hosted its annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Main Street. The event included raffles, local vendors, and an elf scavenger hunt. The Florida Public Library had a craft table and hosted a storytime for the local kids to enjoy. There were, of course, the ever-anticipated appearances of Mr. and Mrs. Clause, as well as Elmo from Sesame Street. Attendees of the event could enjoy hot cocoa, local made treats, and festive holiday music as they celebrated the village’s annual tradition.

People gathered around a lit up tree

The S.S. Seward Winter Concert of 2023

By Cricket Carey

This year’s Seward Institute winter concert and art show was nothing short of spectacular.  With hundreds of people all crammed into the cafetorium at once to see their family, friends, and neighbors perform, not a single person left the building that Wednesday night feeling disappointed.

First, the high school chorus performed “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks, “My Tears Ricochet” by Taylor Swift, and “Snowman” by Sia. This was followed by the high school band playing “Up On The Housetop (Down in New Orleans)” by Benjamin Hanby, a medley from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” by Danny Elfman, and then “Applause” by Lady Gaga.  Next, the select choir performed “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel, “Carol of the Bells” by Peter Wilhousky, and “Winter, Fire, & Snow” by Brendan Graham.

And after all that, things became even more interesting.  This year, our school’s amazing music program has grown so large that the middle school band and chorus actually had to duplicate into multiple sections.  We were fortunate enough to have performances by a sixth grade chorus, seventh and eighth grade chorus, and then a combined act composed of the entire middle school.  The same applies to the band for that age range, except the band did not do a whole middle school act.  The sixth grade band, alongside Stanislaw Olejniczak and Jakub and Lukas Romanowski, performed “Christmas Concerto #3” by Robert W. Smith, and then they played “The Final Countdown” by Europe.  The seventh and eighth grade band performed “Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers, a medley from “The Wizard of Oz” by Harold Arlen, and “Abominable Snowman Chase” by Robert W. Smith.  The sixth grade chorus sang “Paradise” by Coldplay and “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars.  The seventh and eighth grade chorus sang “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles and “Closer to Fine” by The Indigo Girls.  Then the combined middle school chorus sang “Christmas Canon” by Paul O’Neill and “Happy XMas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Finally, out in the lobby, dozens of beautiful art pieces created by students grades six through twelve were up on display, some of which were for sale.  Most of the artwork was made in classes taught by Ms. Allen or Ms. Duquette, but some were brought in by students who created the pieces on their own time.  There were drawings, paintings, charcoals, pastels, collages, sculptures, and more beautiful creations that all impressed those who viewed them.

Special thanks to Mr. Couture, Mr. Visconti, Mrs. Siegman, Ms. Duquette, Ms. Allen, Mr. Maesano, Ms. Collins, administration, security, and our school custodians for making this amazing night possible.  It could have never happened without any of you.  See you at the spring concert in June!

Upcoming Sporting Events

By Abby Orlando

Girls Varsity/JV Basketball

1/3/24 – against Tri-Valley @ Tri-Valley High School – (5pm & 6:30pm)

1/6/24 – against Onteora @ Wallkill High School – (10am)

1/8/24 – against Rhinebeck @ Rhinebeck High School (4:30pm & 6pm)

1/12/24 – against Burke @ Seward (5pm & 6:30pm)

Boys Varsity/JV Basketball

12/21 – against Margaretville @ Margaretville Central School – (5pm & 6:30pm)

12/28 – against Webutuck @ Webutuck High School – (11am & 12:30pm)

1/5/24 – against Eldred @ Seward – (5pm & 6:30pm)

1/8/24 – against Livingston Manor @ Livingston Manor High School (4:30pm & 6pm)

1/11/24 – against Webutuck @ Seward (5pm & 6:30pm)

Best Small Hudson Valley Bands Who YOU Should Know About  #3

By Cricket Carey

Walk Me Home 

BIO:  Walk Me Home is a metal band from Boston, Massachusetts.  They just recently had their first show in March of 2023, and have already grown exponentially since, gaining thousands of fans across social media and playing dozens of shows in multiple U.S. states, as well as Canada.  Their sound is very unique, and hard to compare to many other artists.

MY REVIEW:  I just saw these guys at a Warwick.diy show on the 17th of November, and they were so amazing!  They didn’t play many songs, but the ones they did play were long enough to fill a set time equivalent to the other two bands that played, which were called Mall Goth and Meow Meow. Their unique sound reminded me of 1990s-2000s grunge and experimental metal; you can tell they got a lot of influence from The Deftones. Using tons of distortion pedals, sampling, and weird guitar techniques, Walk Me Home had a tight grip on their audience’s attention.  I’m not joking when I say that all moshing and cheering came to a freeze, and everyone in the pit just stopped and stared up at the stage in awe.  It takes a good band to get a mosh pit going, but an even better one to catch the crowd off guard.

Band members pose for a picture

My favorite song they played was called “Knife Machine,” and their lead singer, @gaviluvsleaves on Instagram, said it was written about a scary dream they had once.
WHERE TO CATCH THEM NEXT:  Walk Me Home just wrapped up a fall tour whose dates are listed on their Instagram, where you can follow the band at @walkmeh0me .  They also had a show on December 8th in Cambridge, MA, at the Cantab Lounge with Closebye and Main Era.  However, it is worth mentioning that as of right now, Walk Me Home doesn’t seem to have any material out on any music streaming platforms, so be sure to follow them on Instagram and YouTube so that you too can experience their amazing talent!

SRP Day At Seward

By Malina Grove

The week of November 21st, S.S. Seward participated in celebrating SRP Recognition Day.  SRP stands for School-Related-Professionals, whichStaff poses for SRP appreciation day photo includes those who work in our cafeteria, our administration offices, aides and teaching assistants, as well as those who work to maintain our school and keep it safe.  SRP Day is celebrated annually on the third Tuesday in November. This year at Seward, a breakfast was provided for SRPs along with a photo op and themed decor to show appreciation for our SRPs. Staff pose for SRP appreciation day

Cocoa and Cookies Holiday Celebration

by Sophia LaBelle

On the Saturday of December 9th, Golden Hill Elementary School hosted its annual Cocoa and Cookies Holiday Celebration! I volunteered at this event and was welcomed by friendly volunteers who took the time out of their day to give both children and adults the Christmas spirit. They had many activities for the families arranged in the cafeteria: making reindeer treats, creating holiday crafts, and writing letters to Santa, which was my job. There was also hot chocolate and cookies served by children from Golden Hill Elementary. In the gymnasium, you could take pictures with Santa Clause and have snowball fights. It was a lovely way to kick off the holiday season and spread some Christmas cheer!

Winter Weather and Snow Days

By Alexander Vargas 

Has it felt like there have been less and less snow days every year?  Well, your suspicion might actually have some substance to it.  Although there have been a couple of light flurries of snow this December, big snowstorms like ones of the past are still to be seen.  A lot of factors play into the creation of snow storms and winter precipitation, so when looking into this year’s prediction of snow days, there are a couple of key components to take into consideration.

One of those key components is the temperature of the region.  Looking at past winters in the Hudson Valley, the average temperature during winter has slowly increased over time.  From all the way back in the winter of 1940 to the winter of last year, the average temperature has only gone up a couple of degrees in those eighty-two years; however, that temperature increase could be the difference between a snowstorm at 30°F and a slushy rain at 34°F.  Another consideration is whether a La Niña event or El Niño event is occurring.  These events are characterized by cooler than average temperatures or warmer than average temperatures along the equator in the Pacific Ocean.  The temperatures, even though quite far away from us, still have a great impact on the weather in the Hudson Valley.  Both different events have corresponding weather conditions.  La Niña events are usually characterized by drier and cooler weather in the Northeast during winter.  El Niño events on the other hand, most times have warmer winter temperatures, being wetter and having more moisture in the air.  Currently, we are experiencing a strong El Niño event for the first time in a couple of years, so the conditions for heavy precipitation are set up.  The only variable that is still up in the air is if it will be cold enough to have a snowstorm rather than a rainstorm.

The well-known meteorologist, Ben Noll, predicts this winter in the Hudson Valley to have a much slower start based on winters during strong El Niño events in the past.  The snow is predicted to not really pick up until February, so expect to have snowstorms and snow days towards the end of the winter season.  Nevertheless, the weather can never be perfectly predicted from so far in advance, thus a snow day might come sooner than expected.

Our Mission:

To inform, entertain, and keep our audience well versed in the happenings of S.S. Seward Institute. We strive to be reliable, original, impartial, and compassionate to all who choose to immerse themselves in our school’s culture. We abide by the same high standards that any other newspaper would, ranging from The Florida Focus to The New York Times. If there are any questions regarding our newspaper or our intent, please contact any of our officers or our advisor, whose names are listed below.

The Spartan Times is produced by the S.S. Seward School Newspaper Club and advised by Mrs. Moon.  

This issue was contributed to by:

Cricket Carey, Malina Grove, Abby Orlando, Sophia Labelle, and Alexander Vargas