Spartan Times Newspaper March 2024

S.S. Seward The Spartan Times header with spartan logos, March 2024 issue

S.S. Seward Coffee House Concert

By Shea Fleury

For many years now, S.S. Seward has been putting on a “Coffee House Concert.”  This year, we are pleased to say that the concert will be on March 6  at 6:30 in the Cafeteria.  We have many talented musicians, singers, and performers.  If you like live music, why not stop by?  You are surely in for a good time.  We hope to see you there!

Photos from last year’s Coffee House Concert!

students playing instruments at 2023 Coffee House Concert

three students play flute and clarinet at 2023 Coffee House Concert

All County Band News

By: Ava Andrade

This year, we had  some students from S.S. Seward audition to be a part of the All County Bands. Students from all over the county auditioned to play in the Elementary, Middle, or High School All County Bands. Generally, only one hundred students are selected to play in the bands. We congratulate Lukas Romanowski for making the Elementary School All County Band and getting fifth chair in the band. The Elementary All County Band auditions were held on January 6 at C.J. Hooker Middle School in Goshen. The Elementary All County Band concert is set to be held on April 27. The Middle School All County Band auditions were held on February 3 at the Warwick Valley Middle School. I auditioned to be a part of the Middle School All County Band,  and although the other students along with myself didn’t make the band, we had a fun time together! There was lots of growth and learning that went into the process that we are definitely not going to waste!

Black History Month: Famous Black Authors

By Malina Grove

February was first established as Black History Month in 1976, and every year since February has been a month in which we learn about Black lives who have helped to shape history.  In the spirit of Black History Month and to keep with the theme of newspapers and written works, here are a few famous Black authors who have left a profound impact on the worlds of literature, art, and journalism.

James Baldwin

One of the most famous writers of the 20th century, James Baldwin, was born and raised in Harlem, New York City.  Known for his unique and striking writing style, Baldwin’s interest in literature began in his childhood, reading books and writing short stories, plays, and poems.  During his career, James Baldwin wrote twenty-nine books and a number of essays and plays.  Some of the most common themes and issues addressed in his work included racism, the human experience, gender and sexuality, and the structure of our society.  He also served as a significant contributor to the Civil Rights Movement through his novels.  His influence can be seen today in modern media, such as the adaptation of his 1974 novel If Beale Street Could Talk (2018).

Toni Morrison

Born in Lorain, Ohio, in 1931, Toni Morrison published  eleven novels and was the first Black woman to win a Nobel Prize.  She also won a Pulitzer Prize and earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom.  In addition to her novels, she also wrote plays, collections of essays, and children’s books.  From a young age she showed an interest in writing and literature, but published her first novel at the age of thirty-none.  Her most famous novel is Beloved, a story about the life of a Black woman named Sethe before and after the American Civil War.  Toni Morrison is remembered as having a profound impact on the world of literature through her use of prose to portray her characters’ struggles and the importance of storytelling.

Gwendolyn Brooks

Celebrated and award winning poet and author Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1917.  A childhood move to the South Side of Chicago provided inspiration for her earliest works, including her first poem, titled “Eventide,” which was published in a national magazine when she was just thirteen years old.  Throughout her life, Brooks penned more than twenty books and earned a number of prestigious awards and fellowships, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.  Brooks was the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in her category.  Many of her works focus on “ordinary” protagonists and their everyday lives and struggles.  She reigned as the Poet Laureate of Illinois from 1968 until 2000, and was a poetry consultant for the Library of Congress until she passed away at the age of eighty-three.

Best Small Hudson Valley Bands Who YOU Should Know About

By Cricket Carey

#4:  Alliteration

BIO:  Alliteration is a punk rock band from Poughkeepsie, NY.  With all three members being people of color, this band brings a lot of diversity to a predominantly white music genre.  Having been together since 2016, this band has released one album, “Reject,” and several singles which are all available on Spotify, as well as other streaming services.  Alliteration is slowly on the rise and gaining attention from people all over the country.  In the past few months, they’ve started opening for bigger and more popular bands such as Jigsaw Youth!

Three band members of AlliterationMY REVIEW:  I saw Alliteration at a Doc: Fry Music Sessions show in June of 2023 when they played alongside two other local acts: Earthly Tether and Balloon Animals.  The other two were awesome, but Alliteration was easily my favorite.  They played a lengthy, but fun and energetic, set that consisted mostly of original songs.  They played such a wide range of music, mostly being punk of course, but they also played some songs that could be considered metal, Indie, and even a slow dance at one point.  I was really impressed by their singer in particular, who had a wide vocal range and could transition from clean singing to growly metal vocals seamlessly.  The room was full of energy and life from the second they walked on stage to the moment they left.  I bought a patch from their merch table that’s still on one of my jackets to this day!

WHERE TO CATCH THEM NEXT:  Alliteration has dozens of shows coming up in all different areas of the tri-state area!  Their next one is on February 24 at 10 Selden in Woodbridge, CT, and the closest one to Florida is on March 10 at Warwick Valley Community Center in Warwick, NY.  Hope to see you there!

Sophomores:  Why YOU Should Sign Up to do a BOCES Program

By Cricket Carey

The first visitation to Orange-Ulster BOCES happened on January 31st, and the second one occurred just recently on Valentine’s Day. Sophomore students from all over Orange and Ulster counties have recently been introduced to special programs that could provide them with potential career paths.  As a Junior who takes Digital Filmmaking & Post Production at PM BOCES, I’m writing this article to help persuade the next year of students to find a program that fits their interests and could help them find all the right tools to have a successful career as an adult.

In general, there are several reasons why doing a Career & Technical Education, or CTEC, program might seem appealing towards a high school student.  Usually when you think of CTEC you think of adulthood and the future, but from a high school student’s perspective, one really useful thing you get out of doing a program here is high school credit.  It varies depending on  what school you go to and what program you take, but students who do BOCES are eligible to receive science, math, art, English, or physical education credits through their programs!  For example, I go to Florida and take filmmaking, so through that combination I will receive one science credit and one math credit from BOCES when I graduate.  However, there’s one girl I know from Pine Bush who’s getting an English credit and an art credit, even though we’re in the same class.  It all varies, but getting free credits, as long as you pass, is pretty cool.

Orange-Ulster BOCES has two different campuses for Junior and Senior students to take daily classes at.  Let’s start with Arden Hill, the Health Careers Academy.

Orange County BOCES buildingArden Hill actually used to be a hospital before it was a school, which makes it the perfect environment for students studying to go into the medical field.  At this part of the school system you can study to become a nurse, dentist, doctor, EMS worker, and more.  And sure, most jobs in the health field require more than two years of education.  A lot of programs offered at Arden Hill require more studying in college afterwards, but it’s so much better to get a head start and get some of this work done while you’re still in high school.  You’ll be ready for the workforce before most other people would be.

Then the other campus, only around five minutes away from Arden Hill, is the Gibson Road campus.  This set of buildings contains the other academies and CTEC programs in the system, as well as all the administrative offices and some special education programs.  As someone who has recorded scenes for projects around all different locations of this property, I can promise you that this campus is massive.  The main building has approximately three hundred different rooms, most of which are different classes for all of the non-medical or culinary academies.  Culinary has its own building.  But the rest of this includes the appearance academy, visual arts academy, construction, education, STEM, environmental, transportation, and security.  Each academy has an average of three different classes you can take.

Orange County BOCES buildingI asked a few people who do a BOCES program how they feel about it.  Here’s what Phoenix Garcia, who takes Engineering and Design for Architecture, had to say: “Probably the main reason why I wanted to do BOCES was because it’s a nice change of pace from how school normally is.  It’s basically an elective that can give you real-world skills and lasts for three hours.”

I chose Engineering and Design for Architecture because I wanted to improve on my 3D modeling skills as well as use my creativity.  While design has a heavy focus on art, conventional ways of art are just not what I can do at all;  drawing a straight line is the equivalent of winning the lottery for me, I’m not kidding in the slightest.  The majority of the Engineering and Design class is done through a computer, creating art in a 3-dimensional space with the help of a computer’s abilities, which is what the CAD in AutoCAD means (Computer Aided Design). This is perfect for me as I cannot draw correctly using my own two hands, and if I stay next year I’ll be doing architecture-related things instead, as this specific class alternates what it does each year.

Overall, I don’t regret the course I chose at BOCES for this year, and if I did, I could’ve changed it near the start of the school year or switch my course after this school year is over.  It is a little unfortunate that, being in the PM program,  you’re in school for an extra hour, but if you weigh the pros and cons, for the most part I’d say it’s pretty worth it.  I hope this gets you to visit BOCES and pick something you like! It’s not for everyone, but it’s good enough that you should at least give the visitation program a shot.”

Orange-Ulster BOCES logoIn general, CTEC has hundreds of different possibilities for any kid who chooses to go.  And sure, they might not have something for everybody.  If you want to be a psychologist, for example, they probably don’t have a program that would interest you.  But there are so many different trades, jobs, and art forms you can take up through BOCES that are truly life changing.  It’s extremely special to have such a unique opportunity of getting a certification before you’re even old enough to vote yet.  I wholeheartedly recommend CTEC to anyone who has been interested, even the slightest bit.  It could make your future.

Anticipated Events of 2024

By Malina Grove and Abby Orlando

A new year brings a lot of things.  Mainly a steep increase in calendar sales and a lot of New Year’s Resolutions that will be given up on within a month.  But 2024 especially has an interesting lineup of events to look forward to in the new year.  Here are a few:

The Summer Olympics

The Summer Olympics have come around again, and this year they will be held in Paris, France!  The last time Paris hosted the Olympics was a hundred years ago, in 1924.  In the 1924 Olympics, twenty-three sports were featured.  In 2024, the Paris Olympics will feature forty-one sports, possibly forty-five, as Paris has elected to submit four new sports for approval to be in the Games.  These new additions would include surfing and sport climbing.  But this isn’t the only way Paris aims to leave their mark on the Olympic Games.  This year, each athlete who earns recognition in the Olympics or Paralympics will receive a medal made with pieces of iron from the original construction of the Eiffel Tower.  How interesting!  Or as the French would say, “comme c’est intéressant!”

Total Solar Eclipse

Mark your calendars!  On April 8, a total solar eclipse will cross over North America.  The closest place to Florida, NY, that you can be able to view the eclipse is Buffalo, NY, but seeing a partial eclipse is a pretty interesting astronomical event to witness too!  The last total solar eclipse was in August of 2017, and the nearest to Florida, NY that it could be properly viewed from was South Carolina.  For more information about this year’s Solar Eclipse visit, which includes articles about how to safely view the eclipse, and how wildlife respond to the phenomenon of an eclipse.

Leap Year

Every four years, an extra day is added to all of our calendars. It’s where the shortest month of the year gets to have one extra day. But does anyone know exactly why this happens or how? This is called Leap Year, which happens to fall this year in 2024! But plenty of people don’t understand exactly what it is and what it does. Leap Year is a calendar year that has 366 days to stay synchronized with the astronomical and seasonal year. The science behind Leap Year is interesting, as it takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 56 seconds to complete a full trip around the world. So, by adding an extra day, it accounts for the extra hours added up every few years. But a specific problem with this day is that some people are born on a Leap Year, making the date February 29. This leaves people without an actual birthdate for the years in between! Though technically people will continue to grow and age, their birthage will only change every four years. But excitingly this year, we get to witness another Leap Year and an extra day in 2024!

Spartan Theatre Players Takes the Stage This Month in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

By: Sophia LaBelle and Shea Fleury

Cast of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"For the first time since the Coronavirus epidemic in 2020, Seward will have a full show production. You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown hits the Spartan stage this month. The show follows a day in the life of Charlie Brown played by freshman Allie Conger and the Peanuts crew! It takes snippets from the classic comic, highlighting what it means to be a kid, learning about optimism, and dealing with all life has to offer.

Students sing at rehearsal for playLead Director Nicole Ecker stated:  “Directing drama club has been a dream come true for me. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, and have loved watching the growth from day one of auditions all the way till now. Choosing to do this show in particular was an easy decision: we knew we had the right talent for it, but beyond that the musical teaches truly valuable lessons that anyone can relate to. Being that this is the first big production after the pandemic, it was important to me that we did a show that had genuine meaning and value, so I knew that You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown was the right fit for us. I’m excited to see all of our hard work pay off in a few short weeks!”

Cast members on dog house for "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"Co-Director and Seward alum Christian Deas shared his thoughts about what excites him most about the production during rehearsal: “I’m most excited about having a full show again after a few years, especially since I’ve been helping them (The Drama Department) since 9 to 5 (Musical Showcase 2022)  and we were only able to do the music and the songs, it’s nice to do some scenes, especially because that’s where a lot of the comedy comes in (referring to the musical comedy aspect)  I think that the parents will be happy and the students are happy with it. Ms. Ecker (Lead Director)  and I are really happy with it too. I’m excited to see it all play out.”

Conger (Charlie Brown) talked about her excitement in regards to starring in the show: “This is my first time doing a show and I got to meet some really cool, new people in the process. I’m so excited!!”

Kaylee Krawcyk, the stage manager of the show and a junior at SS Seward said: “It’s just incredible seeing so many people coming together to complete a common goal.  Just because we’re small doesn’t mean we’re incapable of great things.”

The cast and crew of the show have been working tirelessly since the practices started in December.  Although the club is still not as large as prior to Covid, they are a dedicated group and have a lot to show for it.  Please support them through this show and all future productions so that we make the Spartan Theatre Players the best it can be!!

Flier for theater production. Text on flier: The Spartan Theatre Players Present 'You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" S.S. Seward Institute Friday, March 15, 7:30 pm Saturday March 16, 2:30 and 7:30 pm Directed by Nicole Ecker and Christian Deas Tickets will be sold at the door Students - $10 Seniors - $7 Adults $12 5 and under - free Cast List Charlie Brown - Allie Cogner Lucy - Sophia Labelle Snoopy - Eda Kelly Sally - Shea Dleury Schroeder - Tyler Fleury Linus - Abigail Carpino Ensemble: Sophia Cantoli Nicholas Lyons Jenna Puglisi Emily Fuller Gianna Hernandez Lucan Krawcyk Savannah Mahoney Dani Davis Emma Caldwell Joly Barber

Sneak Peak of production at Board of Education Meeting


By: Abby Orlando

Sudoku puzzle

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, Ava Andrade, Shea Fleury, Sophia Labelle, Malina Grove, and Abby Orlando