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Wealth causes division in Westport

Wealth+causes+division+in+Westport
Andrea Frost

The “wealth gap” has received plenty of attention recently, including being featured in President Obama’s State of the Union address this year: one percent of the US population owns 40 percent of the wealth. A Bloomberg report from several years ago said the New York suburban region hosts the widest wealth gap in the country.

One hallmark of Westport’s wealth is its many college counseling and tutoring services. Teachers said they lose their authority as educators when thousands of dollars are being paid to outside firms that argue they know best. “There are students in my class because some company told them that they should take X number of AP classes,” one teacher, who asked to be anonymous, said.

According to Security Guard Nelson Alicea, who worked in another town previously, many Staples students routinely park illegally, undeterred by the fee incurred. “This isn’t like the train station where you can pay a fee and park,” Alicea said.

“I don’t think students intend to flaunt their wealth,” Meredith Bemus ’14 said. “High school students are able to recognize their wealth and how they spend their money. They should be aware that they are extremely blessed with the economic situation that they are in,” she added.

“Since many of the topics in my class deal with issues of affluence and over-consumption, I do ask students to look hard at their lifestyles and the consequences of their decisions,” AP Environmental teacher Michael Aitkenhead said.

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About the Contributors
Hannah Foley, Editor-in-Chief

Hannah Foley ’14 has many talents, but when combined together, she is unstoppable. As a major contributor to Inklings newspaper as Editor-in-Chief, WWPT radio, Staples’ award winning radio show, and Good Morning Staples, she is truly a triple threat. Each alone are impressive enough, but Foley is able to manage them all together.

It all started with journalism as a freshman, when her class joined forces with the television production class. She immediately began hosting at Good Morning Staples, where she can still be seen to this day. She later found herself as a part of the news department for WWPT, and the rest is history.

Foley has continued to impress, winning a John Drury Radio Award for second in the nation for a feature news story she wrote and read on WWPT.

Although each is unique, Foley feels that her participation in the individual organizations benefits the others. “Since they all have a base in journalism, they all require that you master different skills and those skills can be applied across the board,” explains Foley.

One of Foley’s proudest articles written for Inklings is a column  about her experience living in Brooklyn during the 9/11 attack.

But the thing that introduced it all to her still holds a special place in her heart.

“I love layout, I love eating food at layout, and I love the moments that happen at layout,” Foley says. “When I look back at high school, I’m not going to remember that test I took. I’m going to remember sitting at the table with my staff eating Roly Poly’s, laughing while Ms. McNamee and Mr. Rexford make jokes.”
Eliza Llewellyn, Web Managing Editor
Eliza Llewellyn ’14 is driven and well-rounded. Now that it’s her third year on Inklings, she’s ready to take the lead. As web managing editor, Eliza is excited to advance the Inklings website with innovations in media and graphics. It’s not going to be easy, and fortunately her experience as co-captain of the Staples JV tennis team has taught her the valuable leadership skills necessary for the job. Not only this, but her position on the yearbook committee and her commitment to playing piano constantly puts her time management skills to the test. While her job on Inklings may also be extremely time-consuming, she puts it above all else. “If I’m doing homework at 10:30 p.m. and a new e-mail pops up with an article, I stop what I’m doing to read it,” said Eliza. “It’s one of my first priorities.” When Eliza isn’t editing articles, she’s writing them. Last year she wrote a news story, "Legacies: Investigating a College Application Controversy," which she considers one of her best works. “It felt good to talk to guidance counselors and college admissions officers because I was finding information that people would not get otherwise,” said Eliza. This year she hopes to pursue writing in-depth and research-based articles, as well as find a good balance among all her extracurriculars. With her dedication and drive, there’s no doubt Eliza will go above and beyond.
Andrea Frost, Breaking News Managing Editor
Andrea Frost ’15 is not only a great writer but a very committed dancer at Westport Company. She takes classes in just about every style of dance including ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and point. Though her favorite style of dance to perform is jazz. “It’s the most energetic and you get to be sassy, where with ballet you have many more restrictions,” Frost said. Being the dedicated dancer that she is, she is at the studio ten hours a week (not including her weekend morning classes) honing her skills. Though she doubts that she will bring her talent to a professional stage, she is passionate and hopes to keep dance a part of her life in anyway possible. Balancing dance and Inklings may be difficult, but Frost proves it possible since she is the Breaking News Managing Editor. Which can be attributed to never growing out of  always asking why. However, curiosity wasn’t what first drew Frost into advanced journalism. She said that it is the community that really is the benefit of the paper, going on to further add that it is similar to the company dancers at Westport Company. Possible due to the  close knit fabric of the paper and the friendly yet competitive atmosphere. Whether she is dancing in the Nutcracker or writing her latest piece for Inklings, Frost is passionate and feeds that passion into her writing.

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