Weehawken High School News

February 2020

Mock Trial Scores Historic Double Victory

On Monday January 27, 2020, the Weehawken High School Mock Trial team competed in the Hudson County Mock Trial Competition. A total of eight high schools in Hudson County compete against one another as either the prosecution or defense for a real life criminal case. The defense team, which consisted of lawyers Teresa Cajina (12) and Camille Jaramillo (10), competed against The Muftaahul Uloom Academy from North Bergen while the prosecution team, Leviys Garcia (12) and Kate Hinton (9), competed against The Hudson School from Hoboken. Kate Hinton was a last minute lawyer substitute for Angelica Sanchez (11) who suddenly came down with the flu. Kate rose to the occasion and was a strong partner to Leviys in proving that the defendant was guilty.

The case was about a teenager who was accused of killing a K9 officer dog. In both competitions, which were arguing the same exact case, The Weehawken Team was able to prove him guilty in one case as the prosecution and prove him innocent in the other case as the defense.

Both cases featured other students who played key witnesses in the case as follows: Max Anasa (12), Julia Sall (11), Filip Malasev (11), Calista Bodtmann (11), Kate Hinton (9), Alan Chiguishon (9), and Aida Sall (9). The judges in both cases raved about how well these witnesses knew the case and the specifics of their characters, especially those who played expert witnesses as doctors!

The Weehawken Mock Trial team advanced to the quarterfinal round on Wednesday January 30th, 2020 where the prosecution team competed against Union City. This time, Angelica Sanchez was able to step into her prosecution role. The team put up a great fight and just narrowly lost to Union City, who were formidable competitors. Next year, the Weehawken Mock Trial Team’s goal is to push towards the final round and make it to the state competition

Girls Hoops Clinch 4th Straight Title!

The graduation of 4 starters and an 0-2 start to the season, had many doubters about the WHS girl's basketball team. On the heels of the third consecutive league championship, and a Section Finals appearance, could this be the end of the run, and the beginning of the re-building? Unfortunately for the rest of North Jersey.... In WHS, we don't rebuild, we re-load!

After that slow start Coach Chris Hernandez and his girls reeled off 17 wins in their next 22 games, capped by an exciting last minute 33-31 victory over Saddle Brook that clinched their historic 4th consecutive league title! The girls now head into the NJIC elite tournament where they will face off with Rutherford, in the hopes to win the unified NJIC title. WHS also had a nice run in the Hudson County tourney as they opened by trouncing Group 5 school Dickinson but dropped a Double OT heartbreaker to another Group 5 powerhouse Union City.

Currently ranked 2nd in Group 1 North II, the girls are looking to make another deep run in the State tournament. They face a formidable task to do so, as they open up with Arts High School of Newark, a perennial section powerhouse. If they are successful, they have the likes of Weequahic of Newark, and Glen Ridge. One thing is for certain, the Weehawken girl's team, is shaping up to be a very difficult opponent once again.

Boys Cagers Find Their Stride

The Weehawken Boys Basketball team, did not expect the year to begin so tepidly. An 0-3 start, including a first ever 4th place finish in the Indian Classic, certainly set Coach Jake McNish and his staff aback. The slow start was compounded by injuries to backcourt mates, Seniors John Duran and Moses Morales. Things looked grim indeed for the Indians. But the steady hand of Coach McNish and his staff readied the rocky boat.

The boy's reeled off four wins in their next six games, and have been playing solid ball ever since. They have proven to be a tough out, holding leads late against league leaders Hasbrouck Heights, St. Mary's, and Becton, before relenting to the depth and firepower of heir local rivals.

The boy's record currently sits at an encouraging 10-12. They are currently the 13 seed in the N.J.S.I.A.A. State Tournament and will be traveling to Brearley on March 2nd. The Indians have a favorable draw, and given the better play of late, and the veteran leadership of Coach McNish, they could prove to be a difficult draw in the play-offs.

Holocaust Speaker

On Tuesday, Feb 4, 80-year-old Aviva Cohen came to the WHS auditorium to speak to all the 7th & 8th graders about her experiences as a Holocaust survivor. The students had been reading either The Diary of Anne Frank or Surviving Hitler in Ms Mattaice's classes so they understood the basics of what was going on with Hitler and Jews in Europe during World War II. Aviva was born in September of 1939 just as the Germans began taking over Poland. She lived with her mother, father and grandmother speaking mostly German because her mother was from Austria. Her father, a social activist in Poland, eventually had to flee their home when the Nazis took over their town in 1942. Soon, after seeing other Polish Jews in town being killed or taken away by Nazi soldiers, Aviva's mother gave her three-year-old daughter to the young couple upstairs asking them to please take care of her until they can come back to get her. Sadly, Aviva's mother and grandmother never came back. They were taken away to Auschwitz, the infamous death camp, and Aviva never saw them again.

During the war, Aviva learned to speak Polish and be a Catholic as she befriended the neighborhood children. Occasionally, she was forced to hide when Nazis made random checks of homes looking for Jews. There were many instances were Aviva dodged capture through the assistance of her surrogate family. By the time her father returned after the war, he had remarried and the new family moved to Paris where Aviva enrolled in school for the first time. She learned French (now her 3rd language), became a big sister, and graduated high school. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to America where they had family in Jersey City. Aviva learned English this time, graduated from college at NJCU, married, and became an English teacher at Snyder High School until she left to have her first of three children.

During her talk, students asked good pointed questions of Aviva about faith, family, and what it was like to be a child & then an adult in so many different countries. They discussed topics like intolerance, how to recognize it and how to speak up about it when we see it as citizens of the world.When asked what last words she'd like to leave with the students, Aviva replied, "The Holocaust really happened, and I'm still here to tell you about it."

Pass it on!...

UN Club

On March 2nd and 3rd, Weehawken High School students are attending a Model UN (United Nations) Conference sponsored by Saint Peter’s University’s Guarini Center of Government and Leadership. Weehawken High School Students are assigned the delegation of France and are charged with representing the nation of France’s best interests in various scenarios during this role-playing conference.

To prepare for this endeavour, the students must study and internalize points of France’s history, economy, culture, and foriegn and domestic policies. This will be a daunting task for a large, active and diverse country that, to paraphrase General Charles DeGaulle, has 246 different varieties of cheese. In addition, the students need to have a working knowledge of the agencies within the UN. From that base of background knowledge about their assigned country, the students will then role play and collaborate with other students from high schools in the region to respond to various routine and crisis-level situations concerning the international community. For example, there may be a nuclear accident in Germany or an earthquake in India that needs international assistance sourced through the various agencies of the UN; our students will work out responses and solutions to these events from the perspective of France.

The Model UN Delegation Team is moderated by Mr. Perry and consists of: Senior Jason Devaney; Juniors Natalie Jonas, Nash Jonas, Julia Sall, and Laurent Reyes; Sophomore Charly Castillo; Freshman Aida Sall, and 8th Graders Olivia Fanders and Dylan Pomeranc. These pioneering students expressed a great deal of interest in creating a Model UN club this year and deserve additional credit for their initiative as this is the first year in recent history WHS is participating in this activity. The Weehawken Educational Foundation also deserves a heartfelt “merci” for their support; they generously sponsored the student delegation and are taking care of all delegation fees associated with this activity for this inaugural year. Bon Chance, Students!!!!!

Peer Leadership Conference

Thirty members of the Weehawken High School Peer Leadership attended The NJ Elks Peer Leadership Conference down in Long Branch, NJ the weekend of February 7th-9th. The conference is costly to attend and in order to go- students must apply for sponsorship through the Weehawken Elks. The conference is open to grades 9-12 only and eleven Weehawken High School students were selected to attend based on their applications, letters of intent and number of community service hours completed.

Students participated in countless team building activities that ranged from playing games and singing songs, to salsa dancing. They played scavenger hunts that forced them to seek out strangers for information and clues, and even watched their friends get hypnotized into believing they were sitting in a beach chair drinking a cool beverage. When asked if she had fun, Senior Celeste Carrasco smiles when she says, “I met so many nice people, everyone was so wonderful, I had the best time.”

Students also attended many workshops and listened to some amazing speakers who presented information on topics such as leadership skills, substance abuse prevention education and anti-bullying as well as the financial responsibilities of adulthood. The speakers had a profound impact on the students. When Senior Bryan Solano was asked about his experiences at the conference, he noted that “the things I learn and experience at the PL Conference will come with me next year in college- it’s a life changing experience.”

Fong Wins Literary Award

The 2019-20 school year has been very bountiful for Weehawken writers. Last month three of our students received either regional or national recognition for pieces they have submitted. WHS teachers are always encouraging our students to compete. This month Sabrina Fong became the latest WHS honoree.

The Thirteenth Annual Student Literary Award Ceremony was held at Bergen Community College on January 29, 2020. Weehawken High School students via their English and Social Studies teachers were asked to create submissions dealing with any aspect of the Holocaust or Stalin's Repressive Regime, be it poetry, prose, art, drama or survivor testimony. Mrs. Andrea
Eberhard had her students work on submissions in her US History 2 class. One of her students, Sabrina Fong attended the event with some of her friends and Social Studies teacher Mrs. Laurie Kroll. Sabrina submission so moved the delegation that she was given a cash award for her poem. Congratulations to Sabrina on a job well done!

WHS Hosts 80s Night featuring Tiffany!

Former 80s pop music sensation has graciously offered to perform in an 80s Night concert at Weehawken High School on Friday, March 6 at 7:30. The former teen sensation, set a record as the youngest female artist to top the Billboard charts with a debut album. That album, featured two Number 1 hits "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Coulda Been", and shot Tiffany into the upper stratosphere of 1980's pop singers. Tiffany managed all of this prior to her 17th birthday!

The best part of the concert, is that 100% of the proceeds go to the Weehawken Education Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting educational activities and opportunities related to the Weehawken Township School District. Tickets for this amazing event can be purchased at Weehawken High School, Daniel Webster School, Theodore Roosevelt School, the Weehawken Public Library, and Town Hall. For the low cost of $40, you can have a piece of 80s nostalgia in your own town, and help support the children of Weehawken.

WHS Presents "Beauty and the Beast"

The Weehawken Theater Arts will once again be wowing crowds in the Spring of 2020, with another two night musical extravaganza. On March 27 & 28, the group, under the direction of teachers Tammy Jacobs and Jay Stratton, will be presenting the long running classic Beauty and the Beast. The exploits of Belle and the love deprived Beast has always been a favorite for all. With stunning sets, and amazing costumes, WHS is looking to outdo itself once again. Expect tickets to go on sale in early March. Save the date, and bring the kids for a performance you will be sure to enjoy.

Faces In The Crowd

Upcoming Events

March 2-Read Across America

March 3-Progress Reports Due

March 4-SATs for Juniors

March 6-Weehawken Ed Foundation presents Tiffany in concert @7:00

March 10-PTO 7th and 8th Grade Social 3:30-6:00

March 16-Title I Parent Meeting

Macrh 18-WHS PTO Meeting @ 7:00

March 27-End of the 3rd MP

March 27 & 28-WHS Theater Arts presents "Beauty and the Beast" @7:00