Category Archives: News

NEWS: Jonathan Law Welcomes New Faculty Members

Jonathan Law has opened its doors to several new staff members in a variety of subjects this year.

Here are some short bios of the new staff:

By Dominick Buccitti – Editor-in-Chief

Ms. Russell is one of the new additions to the math department at Jonathan Law.

Before coming to Law, Russell taught at Florence E. Blackham Middle School in Bridgeport for four years.

She came to Law because she wanted to have students who were willing to academically challenge themselves. She also came to Law because she loved Law’s sense of family.

“My cousin went through a hard time (at Law) and the staff went above and beyond to help her get through it,” Russell said.

Before starting her teaching career, Russell attended Sacred Heart University.

This year, Russell is teaching Geometry Level 2 and Statistics and Probability Level 2.

“This year, I hope to challenge myself and my students,”Russell said.

***

By Dominick Buccitti – Editor-in-Chief

Mrs. Sylvia is the newest addition to the guidance department.

Sylvia is Law’s new College and Career counselor.

Before coming to Law, Sylvia lived in Massachusetts and did career counseling at the college level.

“I recently moved back to Milford,” Sylvia said.

Sylvia thinks that being Law’s College and Career counselor is going to be a great fit.

Sylvia attended Eastern Connecticut State University for her undergraduate degree and attended the University of Bridgeport for her graduate degree.

This year, Sylvia has a couple goals for herself.

“I would love to know every student,” Sylvia said. “I hope to start to get the younger students into College and Career.”

Sylvia’s office hours are posted outside of her room. Sylvia also collects all volunteer hours and tracks every student’s progress towards graduating with distinction.

***

By Dominick Buccitti – Editor-in-Chief

Ms. Jessell is a not only a new member of the art department at Jonathan Law, but she is a new teacher.

Jessell attended of the University of Hartford and Southern Connecticut State University. She is actually a former graduate of Jonathan Law High School and had her now colleague, Mrs. Murphy, as an art teacher.

“I had a good student-teacher relationship with her [Mrs. Murphy] to teach with her,” Jessell said. “I was honored to work with her.”

This semester, Jessell is teaching Decorative Arts and Ceramics and Pottery. Next semester, she will be teaching Drawing and Sculpture.

Jessell had one goal for herself.

“I hope to get to know the students, faculty and the Law community,” she said.

***

By Cassandra Soda – News Editor

One of the many new teachers that will be joining the Jonathan Law community this year is Mr. Aguiar.

Aguiar was hired to be a science teacher and is excited to help students discover a passion for the subject. Before applying, he had heard many great things about the Law community.

“When I saw the job opening, I was very excited to have the opportunity to experience the school culture first hand and to get to know the students and staff here,” Aguiar said.

Aguiar attended Boston College where he majored in Environmental Geoscience and minored in Biology. During his junior year of college, he studied abroad in Ecuador and the Glapágos Islands, and then continued to attend Boston College to earn his Master’s in Education.

He is excited to become a part of the Law community and help out.

“I would love to help out with some clubs or after school activities,” Aguiar said. “I used to play volleyball and in college I was in an improv comedy group and also did a lot of volunteer work.

Aguiar previously taught Biology, Forensics, and Marine Science in Hamden and will be teaching Environmental Science and Biology this year at Jonathan Law.

***

By Cassandra Soda – News Editor

Jonathan Law is just as excited to welcome Ms. Furst as a World Language and History teacher as she is to be here.

Furst will be teaching Latin 1, Latin 2, Latin 3, and Ancient History this year, and is eager to teach and spur an interest in Latin in students. She is also excited to learn more and grow as an educator.

“When I asked about what the community was like in Law, I heard nothing but great stories and excitement,” Furst said. “So, when I was offered to teach here, I eagerly accepted.”

She attended the University of Arizona for college and after she taught at Long Island City High School and Weston High School.

Furst is ready to jump into the new year and hopes that students are ready and excited to learn.

***

By Cassandra Soda – News Editor

Jonathan Law is happy to welcome Ms. Ferron to the school community as a Family and Consumer Science teacher.

Ferron will be teaching Culinary 1 Foods and Nutrition, the Peer Culinary Class, and Culinary 2 Foods and Nutrition. She has many goals to help students this year develop a passion for cooking.

“I want to teach my students lifelong skills that they will use for the rest of their lives and help in guiding students to make healthy food choices,” Ferron said.

She attended the University of Wisconsin for college and has previously taught in Ansonia and at Daniel Hand High School.

Ferron loves teaching high school and thought that Law would be a good match, and the location is close to where she lives, which is convenient.

***

 

By Molly Mercaldo – Entertainment Editor

Jonathan Law High School recently hired Mr. Thomas as a physics teacher after he was a substitute teacher last year.

Thomas previously attended Southern Connecticut State University where he earned his teaching degree.

“I’m excited to teach here,” Thomas said. “I enjoyed the staff and the students last year and am excited to be back.”

He has set goals for his classes this year including having all of his students comfortable with hands on learning, and having a complete understanding of the subject matter.

Besides teaching at Jonathan Law, Thomas also teaches classes at Foran High School.

He is currently a coach of the Law baseball team and coaches the football team at Fairfield Prep.

***

By Molly Mercaldo – Entertainment Editor

Ms. Sinski is a new art teacher at Jonathan Law.

Along with teaching Art For Seniors at Law, she also teaches elementary school students at Pumpkin Delight.

I love how subjective (art) is,” Sinksi said. “Students working on the same assignment given the same exact criteria and using the same media can create such unique and authentic work.

As a teacher, Sinki appreciates having the opportunity to teach both elementary and high school art programs because she gets “the best of both worlds.”

Sinski attended Southern Connecticut State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in art education and hopes to go back to get her master’s degree as well.

Coming in not knowing what to expect, Sinski has instantly felt at home at Jonathan Law.

I hope to help each and every student grow in their own unique way,” Sinski said.

Her goal as a teacher is to inspire a lifetime appreciation of art even to those who do not consider themselves artists.

***

By Nick Owens – Sports Editor

Ms. Georgetti has arrived at Law to hopefully make math a little easier for all of her students.

Before teaching at Law, Georgetti graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University. She double majored in Mathematics and Education.

Georgetti is a Milford native and attended Foran High School.

“My goals for the year is to learn as many names of students and to increase my students SAT test scores,” Georgretti said.

She is most excited to get to know her students.

Georgetti is teaching Statistics with Probability, a class that helps students learn critical thinking skills.

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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.

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