Category Archives: News

NEWS: Law Key Club Wraps Up Another Successful Year

(Photo courtesy kiwanis.com)

By Marissa Pollack – Staff Reporter

From volunteering to winning numerous awards, Jonathan Law’s Key Club had an extremely successful year.

“It was another great year for the Law Key Club,” Key Club advisor Mr. Boynton said. “The seniors will be missed because they always leave us with a great nucleus for the upcoming year.”

Over the course of the year, the club volunteered at many events such as school awards nights, the Milford Oyster Fest, Salvation Army, food drives, football games, and the annual blood drive.

“The year went really well because we had a lot of new people join,” senior lieutenant governor Tyler Chavez said. “It was a lot easier to get people to sign up for service projects with so many members.”

At the club’s annual convention, The New England and Bermuda District Educational Conference, the club was awarded 2nd place in the video contest, 2nd place in monthly reports, and 1st place in single service for raising $4,010 for the Salvation Army.

“My favorite accomplishment and event was the district convention because we got recognized for all of our hard work,” Chavez said. “We were in a higher division this year but we still managed to be recognized and rewarded.”

The larger size of the club made it less challenging to find community service opportunities, but created higher demands for the club to thrive at convention.

“Our club has grown drastically since my freshman year which is a big accomplishment,” senior co-president Michael Jalaf said. “This was our first year in the platinum division which has a lot of competition and we did well winning some awards.”

Individually, junior bulletin editor Dominick Buccitti was one of three Key Club members in the district to receive the Sandy Nininger Award. Buccitti will serve as the Key Club’s president next year.

“It was an outstanding honor to be named one of New England’s best key clubbers,” Buccitti said. “Our Key Club overall did a great job.”

Junior Key Club secretary Christina Mohammed received the Outstanding Secretary Award at the convention as well.

“(I thank) my club for volunteering and doing so much for the community,” Mohammed said. “It made doing the secretary reports so much easier.”

The Key Club is looking forward to another successful and fun year next year. They want more students who are genuinely interested in getting involved to strengthen the club.

“Always remember – new members, new faces, and new ideas are always welcome,” Boynton said.

NEWS: Brady Earns Class Of 2017 Valedictorian Honors

(Photo courtesy yearbookavenue.com)

By Mike Dattilo – Staff Reporter

Jonathan Law has officially named Trisha Brady the Class of 2017 Valedictorian.

Brady has been successful during her entire high school career. She has taken 7 Advanced Placement courses, which include AP United States Government and Politics, AP Language and Composition, AP Macroeconomics, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Psychology, AP Human Geography, and AP Calculus BC.

She has also taken three UConn ECE courses at Bridgeport Regional Vocational Aquaculture Center, which she attends in the afternoon.

“In high school I wasn’t aiming to be valedictorian,” Brady said. “I took the classes that I wanted to take and was successful.”

Brady will be attending the University of New Haven in the fall majoring in Forensic Science. She hopes to one day work for the United States Government.

“During my six years here, Trisha is one of the finest people to go through Jonathan Law,” principal Mr. Thompson said. “Not only is Trisha gifted academically, but as a citizen and a person, she is the real deal, whether she’s here or at Aquaculture.”

Brady’s most challenging class has been Advanced Placement Calculus BC which she took her senior year.

“Trisha is the one of the most driven and reflective students that I’ve had,” math teacher Mr. Frank said. “I’ve seen her grow to take risks and try new things to improve herself.” 

Brady said that Frank’s course was her most memorable.

“Mr. Frank is a hilarious teacher,” Brady said. “You can tell he loves math and brings in a real life application to math whenever possible.”

In addition to being a great academic student, Brady also brought her talents to multiple extracurricular activities and to the Law tennis team.

“Trisha introduced me to tennis freshman year,” senior Maeve Rourke said. “ The day before try-outs freshman year, she went with me to teach me the logistics of tennis and to help me practice.”

Brady has been a member of the tennis team since her freshman year. She has qualified for State Opens twice, including this year when she and her doubles partner, fellow senior Brianna Arnold, finished undefeated for the regular season.

“For four years, Trisha has been the epitome of a student-athlete,” girls tennis coach Mr. Kulenych said. “She is an amazing teammate, a selfless player, and a role model in the classroom and on the court for the rest of the team.”

Even though Brady will be missed in the Jonathan Law community, she hopes to one day teach, and may be back at Jonathan Law.

“After I have an established career I would like to teach either at the high school or university level,” said Brady.

NEWS: Mohanarajan Named Class Of 2017 Salutatorian

(Photo courtesy yearbookavenue.com)

By Dominick Buccitti – Staff Reporter

Kavitha Mohanarajan is the salutatorian of the Class of 2017.

“I was really excited,” Mohanarajan said. “I found out a couple weeks ago.”

Throughout her four years at Jonathan Law, Mohanarajan has been a member of the National Honor Society, the cross country team, the Fencing Club, the Drama Club, and the recently-formed Lawcapella group.

While being an active member of the Jonathan Law community, she also volunteers outside of school. During her four years of high school, Mohanarajan has been a volunteer at the Milford Public Library, Stratford Public Library, and Bridgeport Hospital.

Mohanarajan also has been a summer camp counselor and an intern for the Milford Democratic Party.

“Kavitha’s a great person who is always trying to involve herself in order to help others,” senior Ally Maccio said.

Mohanarajan began her AP journey sophomore year when she took AP US Government and Politics and AP United States History. She has since taken 8 more AP classes, totaling 10 AP classes in her high school career.

“(Kavitha is) smart, articulate, motivated, kind, and an absolute pleasure to have,” AP Psychology teacher Ms. Burns said. “She’s a gem.”

Mohanarajan has received much recognition over her four years at Law. Her awards include: Biology Academic Achievement (9), Latin Academic Achievement (9,11), the Dartmouth Book Award (11), The Society of Women Engineers Award (11), Friends of Milford Library Book Award (11), AP Scholar (11), and honors (9,10,11,12).

“Kavitha is an exceptional young woman,” Burns said.

Mohanarajan recently received the Friends of Milford Library scholarship. Given to one senior at Law and one at Foran, the honorees were chosen for their involvement in their school and community, academic achievements, and love for reading.

“It was truly a pleasure to nominate Kavitha for the FOML Scholarship,” media specialist Ms. Briggs said. “She is so accomplished as a student and as a person and is very deserving of this recognition.”

Mohanarajan will be attending the University of Connecticut. She plans to study Physiology and Neurobiology.

She also recently was accepted into the honors program at UConn. She strives to become a doctor.

“I’ve known Kavitha for four years now because she is in my advisory,” NHS adviser Ms. Turcotte said. “She is very intelligent and I have no doubt that she will have many successes in her future studies.”

Mohanarajan had a piece of advice for underclassmen and their future endeavors.

“Push yourself, don’t be afraid to try new things,” Mohanarajan said.

NEWS: National Honor Society Hosts Annual Brain Bowl

(Photo by Kristin Frank)

By Kristin Frank – Sports Editor

Jonathan Law’s National Honor Society hosted its annual Brain Bowl event on April 28 to bring the school community together and raise money for brain cancer research.

NHS students plan and prepare for this event and ultimate fundraiser for months in order for it to run smoothly.

“During our weekly meetings after school, we would brainstorm questions and themes and plan out characters and roles for the promotional video,” senior vice president Nisali Fernando said. “We spent several meetings coming up with hundreds of trivia questions and as seniors we used last year’s event as a drawing board, and thought of ways we could improve and make the Brain Bowl better for everyone involved.”

The club’s main goal is to organize an event that is both entertaining and educational. Their proceeds go towards brain cancer research.

“The Brain Bowl provides NHS with opportunities to get the whole school together as a community and raise money for a great cause,” NHS advisor Ms. Turcotte said.

There is an optional test that students and faculty are able to take in order to receive a spot on their specific grade’s team.

NHS students are involved in a lot of the work that needs to be done for the Brain Bowl.

“The students come up with a theme for the event and then create a video to raise awareness and interest around the school,” Turcotte said. “The students made up the qualifying test questions and designed t-shirts for the event during after school hours.”

The students in NHS divided up a wide range of questions for the qualifying test. Some of these categories were Science, Sports, Pop Culture, and Arts and Literature.

I mainly covered the Pop Culture and Sports categories,” senior Owen Paiva said.

The remaining two teams for this year’s Brain Bowl were the junior class and faculty. The scores between the two were close until the last question, when the faculty answered it correctly.

Members of the faculty team were pleased with the outcome of the event.

“My favorite part was Mrs. Briggs reciting the exact line from the Star Wars film that had the answer to the final question. It held the sweet promise of victory,” science teacher Mrs. Mercaldi said.

Many of the students love the aspect of this event bringing the Law community together for such a great cause.

“The Brain Bowl is one of my favorite events that takes place at Law and since I was a freshmen we watched the event in our classrooms,” Fernando said. “I always loved the idea of the entire school coming together to support brain cancer research and to compete in a rousing game of trivia.”

Each faculty member had a unique trait that contributed to their performance that afternoon.

“I thought I could contribute basic science information and get lucky with some broad biology questions,” Mercaldi said.

The class that raised the most money was the junior class. They raised over $130 for brain cancer research.

“I think the event went really well, we raised a hefty sum of money and managed to involve the school in an event everyone pretends is lame, but what could be lame about trivia?” Fernando said.

“I believe this event provides a unique opportunity to raise a significant amount of money for brain cancer research and it takes time and extra effort on the part of the National Honors Society members and their advisor Ms. Turcotte to pull off such an event, Mercaldi said. “I respect the effort every year and was proud to be a faculty representative this year.”

NEWS: Mamrus Says Goodbye To Law Science Department

(Photo by Tyler Chavez)

By Tyler Chavez – News Editor

Add physics teacher Mr. Mamrus to the list of teachers saying goodbye to Jonathan Law High School this year.

After four years of teaching at Law, Mamrus will be retiring from the science department.

Mamrus has a long and experienced career of teaching. He started as a math teacher at Stratford High School but after only just one year he went to Fairfield Prep to teach physics from 1986 to 2014.

“I took Fairfield Prep’s retirement offer because I didn’t want to teach full-time anymore,” Mamrus said. “Two months later I got an e-mail saying Jonathan Law was looking for someone to teach two sections of physics, basically from noon to 2 p.m. I had asked Fairfield Prep if they needed a part-time teacher and there were no openings, so this seemed like just what I wanted. And it was.”

His long history of experience has allowed Mamrus to form his own style of teaching physics. Other teachers have remarked how useful a teacher with experience is.

“Mr. Mamrus is unique in that he worked in the engineering industry before he became an educator, so his lessons and professional contributions incorporate a different perspective,” science teacher Mrs. Bouchard said. “He also introduced us to the University of Texas online assessment system, which he has his students do for homework and independent practice.”

Mamrus has left a mark at Law thanks to his teaching style that highly encourages participation and trying out something new. He uses physics in real life examples to show students how the science applies to their daily life.

“We are losing an excellent teacher physics teacher who does his best to make learning relevant to our students by applying physics principles to real life scenarios,” Bouchard said. “Even though he’s only been at Law for a short time, and in a part-time position, our department will be losing someone who actively participated in moving our department toward continuous improvement.”

Mamrus’ teaching lessons are sure to stay with his students who have been able to learn from him.

“My favorite part about having Mr. Mamrus as a teacher is that he doesn’t aim to make physics hard for us,” said junior Brianna Lenotti. “He also does not expect us to memorize equations; he just wants to make sure that we know how to apply them. That took away a lot of stress.”

Mamrus’ students have noted how his teaching method and problems have helped them grow their understanding of physics. His style of teaching is different than most.

“Mr. Mamrus has helped me understand physics because he always relates physics topics to actual real life events which I think helps students learn the material a lot better,” junior Ally Voytek said.

Mamrus’ teaching focus has had an impact on him as well. The importance of having students trying the problems and participating has allowed them to make connections in physics on their own.

“[My favorite memory is] whenever I see the light go on in students’ eyes indicating that they really understood something and it finally makes sense,” Mamrus said.

Just because he is leaving Law does not mean Mamrus intends to stop teaching. He will continue with his focus on independent learning and creativity.

“I have a job teaching two sections of a course involving the project design part of engineering at a private high school near my house,” Mamrus said. “Students work in teams of two to construct a design to solve a different problem each cycle using basic materials ( plastic straws, Popsicle sticks, cardboard, index cards, tape, glue, etc. ).”

No matter where Mr. Mamrus goes next, he will be remembered as a unique teacher at Law.

NEWS: Law Junior Grant Wins Yale Bassett Award

Photo courtesy Rhea Grant)

By Maeve Rourke – Sports Editor

Jonathan Law’s Rhea Grant has been honored as one of the first recipients of the Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement.

The award winners are “emerging leaders who have distinguished themselves through a record of creative leadership and public service, academic distinction, interdisciplinary problem solving, and experience addressing societal issues.”

Grant is among 20 high school juniors, out of 800 applicants, to receive the award. She applied by submitting information about her academics and extracurriculars, a letter of recommendation, and an essay.  

“I love engaging with the community because I feel like I’m making a difference and helping to make a positive impact,” Grant said.

Some of extracurriculars include playing soccer, being a key member of the tack team, the Interact Club, Key Club, and the National Honor Society. She is secretary of the junior class and treasurer of the Science Club.

“This is a well deserved honor for someone who has really taken a commitment to make the environment a better place,” Principal Mr. Thompson said. “We are very proud of hr and her  commitment to the environment because that is what Jonathan Law is all about.”

Rhea was also sworn in for her second term as a member of the Girl Scouts of the Connecticut board of directors. She is currently preparing to earn her Gold Award, one of the highest honors in scouting.

Rhea is also a inspiration to her friends.

“Rhea is example of what a true ambitious student is : a leader and one who gives back to her community,” junior Morgan Macey said. “She is an inspiration to me and always pushes me to be better.”

Grant’s essay and work in an internship involving environmental justice are some of the key reasons she was selected for the Bassett award.

“I wrote about my experiences working for my environmental education internship at Groundwork Bridgeport,” Grant said. “The main focus of my essay was how I planned to use what I had learned at the national youth summit about environmental justice to address issues such as environmental injustice.”

While working at Groundwork Bridgeport, Grant participated in several community engagement projects.

“Through working with my internship I’ve done tree planting, beach cleanup, planting gardens, environmental education programs for the public (teaching people about issues in Bridgeport), and I also worked with a landscape company on a waterfront restoration project in Bridgeport,” Grant said.

Next year, Grant plans on applying to Yale and continue to advocate for environmental justice.

NEWS: National Art Honor Society Welcomes New Members

 

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By Nisali Fernando – Entertainment Editor 

The National Art Honor Society recently celebrated Jonathan Law’s innovative visual art students.

On March 22, The National Art Honor Society welcomed the best and brightest of the art community  into the prestigious club with a stunning ceremony. Students walked into the Media Center, candles ablaze, backed by the beautiful sounds of the Jonathan Law choir.

“I enjoyed having Ms. Jones and the choir sing for us as the students walked in, and I loved seeing their (the inductees) faces when they came up to get their certificates,” club advisor Mrs. Murphy said. “I felt such a sense of joy and pride for them.”

The clubs officers said a few words about what NAHS embodies and dove headfirst into the world of art by discussing form and color in artwork.

“The goals of NAHS is to provide an environment where artists can share their pieces and collaborate on pieces that benefit themselves, their school, and even their community,” junior co-vice president Dominick Buccitti said.

The NAHS was first introduced to Jonathan Law by Miss. Main, who then passed the reins onto Murphy. During the ceremony, Miss. Main and other insightful speakers poured out endless wisdom to current and new members alike.

“My favorite part of the ceremony was hearing some excellent, encouraging speeches from some of our school’s finest role models: Mr Thompson and Ms Main,” junior co-president Jordan Beck said.

New members could not contain their excitement, as the reputation of NAHS precedes it as a community of devoted artists who inspire those around them. Not only with their stunning artwork, but with their determination to bring art education to the attention of the school and community.

“NAHS encourages students to incorporate art into everything they do. This creative environment is what made me want to apply,” senior inductee Malena Araujo said.

Aside from a hard-working advisor, club officers play a tremendous role in cultivating a family atmosphere in this honor society.

“I ran as an officer of the NAHS because I love being able to guide my peers and help organize a really cool project with them all,” senior co-president Ally Maccio said.

The club is currently juggling several projects and will be working alongside the Kindness Club, also advised by Mrs. Murphy, to spread kindness and beauty during the Peace Love Music from Maren festival this weekend.

The club has hand-painted Ben’s Bells kindness coins and will be selling them alongside bookmarks of Maren’s garden, photographed by Advanced Photography student Nicholas Glorioso.

“This year in the NAHS we have numerous exciting new projects in store to try and give to the community with our talents, especially in the school,” Beck said. “I’m sure you’ve seen our mural in progress in the media center.”

The National Art Honor Society shifts the focus onto an incredibly under-appreciated group of students who apply themselves to make the world a little more beautiful. The club allows these students a chance to receive well-deserved praise and serves as a place where their devotion to the arts transforms into something they can be honored for.

“What I like the most about NAHS is the opportunity to collaborate with some of this town’s best and brightest artists to create works that greatly impact our community for the better,” Beck said. “With this in mind, I felt it was only necessary that I run to be a co-president so I could lead this great group and perhaps learn some responsibility along the way.”

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