Raptor News Student Edition

Otho E. Stuart Middle School

Stuart Journalism

We are very proud to share with you the articles that the Journalism Club has put together. This group of Raptors meet weekly with Ms.Trista Samet, Club Sponsor. We will be featuring these stories once a month in our Raptor News. Make sure you take a minute to read their amazing work!

Together, we will continue to RISE! Have a great weekend Stuart!

Fabricio Velez, Principal

Make a Stocking Cap Ornament by Maggie Channin - 8th grade

Brrr. It’s getting cold outside and the holidays are coming. What better way to celebrate than make a cozy winter craft? I’ll show you how to make a stocking cap ornament for your Christmas tree, for a cute decoration, or even a great gift.

Holiday Celebrations by Neyla Gurule- 7th grade

December is a time where many different religions celebrate several different holidays. Out of curiosity, I wanted to explore the different holidays and traditions our school's community celebrates. I asked a few people to tell us about what they celebrate and all of the many things they do to celebrate this holiday or tradition.

First is Ms. Emanuel, the 8th grade counselor, who celebrates Hanukkah. “Hanukkah is a celebration of resilience and perseverance,” she said. Celebrating Hanukkah is meaningful to her and her family because her grandparents were immigrants and were persecuted for their beliefs. Her and her family think that it is important that they continue their traditions because of how hard they fought to keep it. During this holiday, she likes to gather with her family, cook latkes and play games. Hanukkah has a lot of meaning not only behind the holiday itself, but also the objects used in it. For example, the latkes aren’t only just food, but they also symbolize the holiday. The oil the latkes are cooked in symbolizes the oil that lit the temple for eight days.

Second is Mrs. Mink, our school choir teacher. Mrs. Mink celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. To her, these holidays are meaningful because she gets to see her family and spend time with them over break. Mrs. Mink said that Christmas and Hanukkah are times to reconnect and be thankful for the people in her life. As for Mrs. Mink, she celebrates the holidays by eating and making certain foods that they only eat during these holidays. To Mrs. Mink, these holidays are about having time to reflect and eat foods that they enjoy together. Mrs. Mink also runs the annual Stuart Giving Tree, which is our school's tradition each year where people buy gifts for families in need at Stuart.

Third is Chloe Dukes, a 6th grade student here at Stuart. She celebrates the holiday of Christmas. This holiday takes place at her house and lasts one day. During Christmas, she gets her dogs gifts each year. It is meaningful to her because her and her family like to see her dogs happy and enjoying the gifts. The tradition signifies joy and happiness for her. During Christmas, her and her family give their dogs toys or they let them pick toys out at their pet store. “On christmas we give our dogs gifts last (because they make more of a mess unwrapping their presents.) We also dress them up in christmas pajamas, sweaters or costumes. They also get lots of treats on christmas,” Chloe had said.

Fourth, we have Arielle Freeman, another student that attends our school. Arielle celebrates the holiday Christmas as well. “It is a time where we all get together to celebrate our religion, and embrace our family” Arielle said. This holiday signifies Jesus’ birthday in her religion. During this holiday, her and her family open presents and eat dinner together. This holiday is used to signify Jesus’ birthday and it brings family together. Normally, Arielle and her family would go to a church and eat dinner with the church, but due to COVID-19, things had to be changed. Christmas for Arielle lasts two days, the twenty fourth and the twenty fifth, which are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Finally, we have Isabella Logan Burgos, another student at our school. Bella celebrates Maligayang Pasko which means Happy Christmas is Tagalog, which is a language spoken in the Philippines. Maligayang Pasko signifies family. It is meaningful for her and her family because her Lola (which means grandma in Tagalog) doesn’t want her and her brother to forget their culture and she wants them to pass it on to future families. “ Filipinos are very very attached and protective when it comes to family , and we are able to help each other whenever and whatever the cause,” Bella said. She also said this holiday represents the birth of Jesus. Her and her family worship God and Jesus which is why she celebrates this tradition. She celebrates by decorating as much as she can. One way she decorates is by buying Parols. Parols are stars that are made of different colors and light up from the inside. “On Christmas Eve evening , we'd go to the last Christmas mass , called Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo . Then around midnight-ish , we have a midnight feast called Noche Buena , and eat with neighbors and close family. We do the same on New Years. We eat all kinds of things on Christmas. We eat Bibingka , Pancit , Pinoy-Style spaghetti , Leche flan , Lumpia , Loganisa , and Adobo,” Bella said. This tradition starts during the beginning of December and is a Christmas tradition for everyone.

Our Stuart community is so diverse. There are a lot of ways to celebrate the holidays, and all of them are unique and special in their own way. Stuart Middle School wishes Happy Holidays to all this season!

Topic: Advice from High Schoolers by Loganne Easdon- 6th grade

This month I have asked two high schoolers to give some advice to our middle schoolers. I have chosen both 9th graders from separate high schools.These students are Lacey Easdon and Carmen O’Conner.

Question: What is your name?

Response: Lacey Easdon

Question: What are some things you want middle schoolers to know about high school?

Response: In high school, people slack off and don’t do their work freshman year, but I know a lot of people that did great the other three years of high school but didn’t try freshman year and that lowered their overall GPA. If you want to get into a good college you need to maintain a good overall GPA. Some advice I would give is to focus on the future you want and make goals to get there. Also, as long as you do all the work you’ll do a lot better.

Question: What advice do you have for middle schoolers going through 6th, 7th, or 8th grade?

Response: In 6th grade, don’t be worried about who your friends are, just be nice to everyone and they will come to you. In 7th grade, you start to think that you don’t really have to do what you’re told but just do it. There is no point in arguing with your teachers they know what they are talking about. In 8th grade don’t focus on being social. You should focus on activities and keeping your grades up and you should make sure that if you want to do something your grades and behavior reflect that you can do it. The teachers care about you. For all grades just think about what you want to do in the future and create habits that can help you get there. If you create bad habits in middle school, like not doing work or not trying, it’s hard to break. Think about your future because it may seem far away, but it is closer than you think.

Question: What is something that middle schoolers can look forward to about high school?

Response: You can look forward to meeting new people and having new opportunities to do different things.

Question: Do you have any other advice for the middle schoolers?

Response: Everyone says that middle school was the worst for them, but if you have a good mindset, you can control whether or not you have a good experience.

Next Carmen O'Connor will be answering these questions.

Question: What is your name?

Response: Carmen O'Connor

Question: What are some things you want middle schoolers to know about high school?

Response: High school seems really intimidating, but once you have a routine in place, it isn’t that much different from middle school.

Question: What advice do you have for middle schoolers going through 6th, 7th, or 8th grade?

Response: In high school, especially with remote learning, it is very important to stay on top of your work so that you don’t fall behind. Remote learning has caused classes to move really fast, and the best way to get through it is to not procrastinate and complete your work on time. When you're in-person, your classes are spread out around the school, so it’s important to go straight to class so that you make it on time.

Question: What is something that middle schoolers can look forward to about high school?

Response: High school creates so many more opportunities for you to choose what you learn. You can pick if you want to be in a higher level class, and you can pick your electives. Most schools also offer pathway classes that you can take all through high school that can prepare you for the career that you choose. High school can also be a really fun experience. Once we go back to in-person school, there are activities and dances that you can participate in. Right now, we have things like a virtual spirit week to have some fun while we are at home. High school gives you a lot of freedom and is a really fun experience.

Question: Do you have any other advice for the middle schoolers?

Response: Enjoy it and have fun! It’s important to try and make in-person and online school fun so that you do not get bored and feel unmotivated. Have a positive attitude, and it will really make a difference in your high school career.

Fun Thought by Maile Diaz - 8th grade

Having kids is like a synonym. They’re pretty much the same, they just look a little different.

Stuart Playlist by Logan Johnson - 7th grade

We asked, you answered! Based on the entire school’s vote these are the songs you have to be listening to!

  1. Ocean eyes ~ Billie Eilish

  2. All The Good Girls Go To Hell ~ Billie Eilish

  3. God’s Plan ~ Drake

  4. Moonlight ~ XXXTentacion

  5. Let Me Down Slowly ~ Alec Benjamin

  6. Lucid Dreams ~ Juice WRLD

  7. Love Yourself ~ Justin Bieber

  8. Should I Stay Or Should I Go? ~ The Clash

  9. Mr. Brightside ~ The Killers

  10. Lovely ~ Khalid ~ Billie Eilish

  11. Dynamite ~ BTS


  13. Coffee For Your Head ~ Powfu ~ Beabadoobee

  14. Beautiful ~ One Direction

  15. Steal My Girl ~ One Direction

  16. What Am I? ~ Why Don’t We

  17. Trust Fund Baby ~ Why Don’t We

  18. Say So ~ Doja Cat

  19. Jailhouse Rock ~ Elvis Presley

  20. Canceled ~ Larray

Enjoy these awesome songs and remember to RISE!

Animal Facts by Chloe Dukes - 6th grade

Do you like animals? Do you like facts? If you like both, then come look at these animal facts!

Did you know?

  1. Did you know that the mantis shrimp has the world’s fastest punch?

  2. Did you know that Female lions do 90% of the hunting.

  3. Did you know that narwhal tusks are really an inside out tooth!

  4. Did you know that some pigs in China are the size of bears?

  5. Did you know that male horses have a lot more teeth than females?

True or false!

  1. Cats have 5 rows of whiskers: True or False

  2. Crocodiles can't stick their tongues out: True or False

  3. Dalmatians are born with spots: True or False

Extraordinary fact

Three dogs survived the titanic!

Facts from:




Supporting Others by Arielle Freeman - 8th grade

International Day of Disabled Persons was on the 3rd of this month. For this day, I have researched 2 common disorders (ADHD and PTSD). I will tell you how they affect people and how to cope with them.

First, I will begin with ADHD. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. According to Healthline.com, “ADHD is a mental health disorder that can cause high levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. People with ADHD also have trouble focusing their attention on a single task or sitting still for long periods of time.” Also, both adults and children can have ADHD. There are severe cases of ADHD and small cases. Some symptoms of ADHD are fidgeting, irritability, repetition of words or actions, absent-mindedness, difficulty focusing, forgetfulness, problem paying attention, or short attention spans. If you know someone with ADHD, make sure to point out their strengths. This is because it's common for people with ADHD to have low self-esteem. Just remember, no matter what, we should try our best to be supportive. If you have ADHD, take pride in the things you do well and don’t allow others to belittle you for it.

Now, I will finish with PTSD. PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a disorder where a person has a hard time recovering after experiencing a scary event. This condition can last months or even years. They have triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma. When this happens they may experience severe emotional and physical reactions. Some symptoms of PTSD are hostility, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, fear, severe anxiety, mistrust in others, guilt, loneliness, intense nightmares, and emotional detachment. Now, if you are experiencing some of these symptoms you should consult a professional. You should NEVER self diagnose yourself though. Leave that to the professionals. The problem with self-diagnosing yourself is that you may skip critical treatment and wind up letting a condition or disease do further damage to your body as a result. If you know someone with PTSD make sure to be patient with them.

Remember, you aren’t alone. You are supported. Together we RISE.

Good luck, and welcome back Raptors!

Sports Games On Christmas Day by Dylan O’Connor - 7th grade

I love Christmas basketball and football. So, it would be cool to combine them. Look below to see the teams in football and basketball competing on Christmas day!!!


Minnesota Vikings VS. New Orleans Saints Fri 12/25 @ 2:30pm FOX


Los Angeles Clippers VS. Denver Nuggets Fri 12/25 @ 8:30pm ESPN

New Orleans Pelicans VS. Miami Heat Fri 12/25 @ 10:00am ESPN

Golden State Warriors VS. Milwaukee Bucks Fri 12/25 @ 12:30pm ABC

Brooklyn nets VS. Boston Celtics Fri 12/25 @ 3:00pm ABC

Dallas Mavericks VS. Los Angeles Lakers Fri 12/25 @ 6:00pm ABC

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Christmas Riddles by Dylan O’Connor - 7th grade

  1. What kind of people are afraid of Santa Claus? Claus-trophobics

  2. What do you call Santa When he has no money? Saint Nickel-less

  3. Why was Santa's elf so depressed? Low ‘self-esteem

  4. What goes oh oh oh? Santa walking backwards

  5. What do elves learn in school? The elf-abet

Here are some fun christmas riddles to do when you have time. HAVE FUN!

Gift In A Flash by Kailey Seymour - 6th grade

Christmas is a couple days away, don't have a present for someone then I have something for you, make a bookmark just to let you know it is on paper not the computer but here are the steps,bookmarks if you take the time to make an easy drawing. (make sure to make it easy to cut it.)

  • Now cut it then if you have a laminator laminate the paper

(if you do not have a laminator then Make sure you are using thick paper.)Now you know so what are you waiting to make it and have a good Christmas.

Holiday Crafts by Kamber Seymour - 6th grade

Have you ever built a snowman? Here is how to make a DIY snowman ornament. The supplies you will need is:

  • large craft sticks

  • inexpensive gloves

  • felt in several colors

  • tiny pom poms

  • white paint

  • white glue

  • orange self-adhesive foam

  • embroidery floss or yarn and a needle

To begin, paint the craft sticks white. Now you need the gloves to make the hat, cut the fingers off the gloves. Next, you take the hats and fold the end. Using embroidery floss, yarn or ribbon, add a hanging loop to the top of each hat. Next, cut strips from colored felt for the scarves. Mine measure about 5-1/2 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide. To greet the snowman, you put on the top of the stick, then you punch a hole in the top of the hat. Then you glue on the scarf, Next, draw a mouth and eyes with a sharpie. Then, add a small triangle of self-adhesive foam for the carrot nose. Finally, glue a few buttons in place on the snowman’s chest. That’s how you make a DIY snowman ornament.

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Merry Christmas, My Friend by Tailae Manhrasamy - 7th grade

“I will never forget you,” the old man said. A tear rolled down his leathery cheek. “I’m getting old. I can’t take care of you anymore.”

With his head tilted to one side, Monsieur DuPree watched his master. “Woof, woof! Woof, woof!” He wagged his tail back and forth, wondering, What’s he talking about?

“I can’t take care of myself anymore, let alone take care of you.” The old man cleared his throat. He pulled a hankie from his pocket and blew his nose with a mighty blast.

“Soon, I’ll move to an old age home, and I’m sorry to say, you can’t come along. They don’t allow dogs there, you know.” Bent over from age, the old man limped over to Monsieur DuPree and stroked the dog's head.

“Don’t worry my friend, We’ll find a home. We’ll find a nice new home for you.” As an afterthought he added, “Why, with your good looks, we’ll have no trouble at all. Anyone would be proud to own such a fine dog.”

Monsieur DuPree wagged his tail really hard and strutted up and down the kitchen floor. For a moment, the familiar musky scent of the old man mingling with the odor of greasy food gave the dog a feeling of well-being. But then a sense of dread took hold again. His tail hung between his legs and he stood very still.

“Come here.” With great difficulty, the old man knelt down on the floor and lovingly pulled Monsieur DuPree close to him. He tied a ribbon around the dog’s neck with a huge red bow, and then attached a note to it. What does it say? Monsieur DuPree wondered.

“It says,” the old man read aloud, “Merry Christmas! My name is Monsieur DuPree. For breakfast, I like bacon and eggs-even cornflakes will do. For dinner, I prefer mashed potatoes and some meat. That’s all. I eat just two meals a day. In return, I will be your most loyal friend.”

Woof, woof! Woof, woof!” Monsieur DuPree was confused and his eyes begged, What’s going on?

The old man blew his nose into his hankie once more . Then, hanging onto a chair, he pulled himself up from the floor. He buttoned his overcoat, reached for the dog’s leash and said, “Come here, my friend.” He opened the door against a gust of cold air and stepped outside, pulling the dog behind. Dusk was beginning to fall. Monsieur DuPree pulled back. He didn’t want to go.

“Don’t make this any harder for me. I promise you, you’ll be much better off with someone else.”

The street was deserted. Leaning into the wintry air, the old man and his dog pushed on. It began to snow.

After a very long time, they came upon an old Victorian house surrounded by tall trees, which were swaying and humming in the wind. Shivering in the cold, they appraised the house. Glimmering lights adorned every window, and the muffled sound of a Christmas song was carried on the wind.

“This will be a nice home for you,” the old man said, choking on his words. He bent down and unleashed his dog, then opened the gate slowly so that it wouldn't creak. "Go on now. Go up the steps and scratch on the door."

Monsieur DuPree looked from the house to his master and back again to the house. He did not understand. "Woof, woof! Woof, woof!"

"Go on." The old man gave the dog a shove. "I have no use for you anymore," he said in a gruff voice. "Get going now!"

Monsieur DuPree was hurt. He thought his master didn't love him anymore. He didn't understand that, indeed, the old man loved him very much but could no longer care for him. Slowly, the dog straggled toward the house and up the steps. He scratched with one paw at the front door. "Woof, woof! Woof, woof!"

Looking back, he saw his master step behind a tree just as someone from inside turned the doorknob. A little boy appeared, framed in the doorway by the warm light coming from within. When he saw Monsieur DuPree, the little boy threw both arms into the air and shouted with delight, "Oh boy! Mom and Dad, come see what Santa brought!"

Through teary eyes, the old man watched from behind the tree as the boy's mother read the note. Then she tenderly pulled Monsieur DuPree inside. Smiling, the old man wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his cold, damp coat. Then he disappeared into the night, whispering, "Merry Christmas, my friend."