Hot or Not: One Writer’s Look At This Year’s Highs and Lows

HOT:

Courtyard cookout

Accompanying the typical Facebook college acceptance status came something unusual. Not just a thank you to Staples, or his teachers and friends, but an Isaac Stein ’12 original. Stein invited the entire senior class to join him for a barbeque in the courtyard during the school day to show his appreciation and thanks for all that the Staples community has done for him. Seconds after the Facebook event was published came one of the first posts: “As of five minutes ago, about a hundred Hebrew National Hot Dogs and associated buns have been purchased. And three bottles of Gulden’s mustard. Let’s go!” Eventually, over 500 hamburgers and hotdogs were purchased to celebrate the graduating class and some enterprising members of the class of 2012 brought along strip steaks of their own. Too bad the administration thought this was the senior prank.

A Delayed Beginning

How often does the first day of school get cancelled because of weather? This year marked an August cancellation not for a snow day, but the never-before-seen Hurricane (Irene) Day.  Students thought this couldn’t get any better, but then Superintendent Elliot Landon extended summer by a second day. “I didn’t even care that we had to move our whole family and belongings to our aunt’s house because the beach was so damaged and out of power,” said Vasili Tziolis ‘12. “I just didn’t want to think about school for a second.” The fact that most of the town was out of power did not even register in students’ minds as all they focused on was the fact that the ’11-’12 school year was already off to a great and delayed start. Not so hot: there wasn’t even one more snow day, delayed opening or early closing for the entire year.

Snowcoming

Administrators meant for Homecoming ’11, at sunrise, practically, to be boring, with a dead-asleep crowd. Surprise. The Wreckers crushed the Greenwich Cardinals with a hand-off from Mother Nature. A blizzard of snow shocked the fans and players, especially 1952 marked the last sighting of snow before Halloween.  “I stopped watching the game and started tracking the snow,” said Jacob Meisel ’13.Westport wound up with about 6 inches. As the game wound to an end and students emptied the stands, the snow filled them right back up and resulted in Staples’ first-ever Snowcoming.

NOT:

Collab gets cut

Sophomore year brings the option of a class called Collaborative, or “Collab.” The class was cut because, the administration says, not enough freshmen signed up to take the class next year. Seniors are fortunate that they got to experience one of the last years of this program but feel bad for the incoming. “Collab was a great class in that it allowed students to talk freely and participate in very open discussions,” said Perrin Judd ’12. Maybe with a few petitions and student attendance at the Board of Education meetings, this unique class can be brought back.

On the Loose

Westport may not be the most exciting town, so a little chaos raises the alarms. In October of 2011, an alleged Massachusetts murderer in a silver Honda Civic took police on a chase, off I-95 and eventually around Westport. Including the dog park.  For a few hours, the alleged criminal was on the loose, including hiding in the yet-unopened space for the U.S. Post Office inPlayhouse Squareand eventually hit a Westport driver’s Bentley. “I remember my assistant coach, Malcolm, saying that even if the murderer somehow was near us, he wouldn’t be able to catch us anyway. We’re too fast for him,” said cross-country runner, Sam Cohen ’13.

Security Increases

The new security system of Staples was greeted variously. This year, a new traffic guard, David Sweet, while well-liked, forced many Staples drivers and other students to change their sneaky ways. It was just plain harder to escape from school. “You had to time it to make sure he wasn’t there; he made it more difficult to leave,” said Katie Kleinberg ’12. In addition, Officer Sweet ticketed a lot of students who were parking in faculty parking or the fire lane. A number of drivers accumulated over 20 tickets this year, cost them at least $200. Administrators were happy. Students? Not so much.