Category Archives: Student Life

Spotlight on Mr. Heidelberg

By Max Gast

Our new superintendent and principal, Mr. Michael Heidelberg, used to be a swim instructor, and he found that he really liked to teach kids. When his friend informed him about a fifth-grade teaching position opening up in Perth Amboy, he became a fifth-grade teacher and has been moving up ever since. 

In the past 20 years, Mr. Heidelberg has not only served as a fifth-grade teacher, but also a seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher, a high school English teacher, a technology coordinator, a middle school vice principal, a middle school principal, a director of curriculum and instruction, and a high school principal.

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Student Council News

A report by the Student Council president, Jalil Bessellieu

What a year the student council has had so far! From board meetings to spirit weeks, the Student Council has been hard at work. The year started with elections of new representatives for each 5th to 8th-grade class as of October 19, 2022.

We had some very challenging opponents like Kayleigh Cook, Aidan Murphy, Calvin Barratt, and Krystal Juarez Guzman. We each gave a campaign speech explaining why we were the best pick. We had the opportunity to set up posters in the hallways for encouragement. Overall it was a fun competition. 

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What I Need is Recess!


By Leah Twerell

When I started school this year, I was so excited to have recess with my friends to play volleyball, foursquare, and freeze tag. But then I got the announcement that middle schoolers would not have recess! Instead, we have WIN, which stands for “What I Need.” 

But what I need is recess!

Not only is recess fun, it is also good for us. According to the CDC, the nation’s health protection agency, recess is part of a healthy lifestyle for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Supervised physical activity improves our memory, attention, and concentration; helps us stay on-task in the classroom; reduces disruptive behavior in the classroom; and improves our social and emotional development, for example, learning how to share and negotiate. In New Jersey, there is a law requiring at least 20 minutes of recess a day for students in grades K to 5. I’m not sure why it stops at fifth grade.

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Raves for Kalahari: A Waterpark Review

By Molly Flynn

Have you ever wanted to visit a fantastic waterpark? Or an amazing arcade? You should go to the Kalahari Hotel in the Poconos. The resort is named for the desert in Southern Africa known for its wildlife, which is pretty ironic because Kalahari (the region) is a desert and doesn’t have much water. I will review the shops, food, waterpark, arcade, and more.

One of my favorite parts of Kalahari was all the shops. My favorite was the grocery store.  It had all types of fresh food like muffins, coffee, and other baked goods. It also stocked some of my favorite candies like Lindt Chocolate, Trolli gummies, and Starbursts. Of course, you can find staples like milk, eggs, sugar, and bread. Lastly, it offered cool merchandise like hoodies, hats, and shirts.

Another highlight of Kalahari is the superb food. They have a delicious Italian restaurant called Sortino’s. Some of the best food there is the crunchy bruschetta and the soft onion bread. Another fantastic thing there is the food near the arcade. They have delectable wings and fries. My favorite wings are the spicy, hot, crispy buffalo wings.

The waterpark is the main attraction of Kalahari. It has some killer rides. My favorite was the Screaming Hyena. You go into a purple tube and on the count of three, it drops you. It’s so fun, but water does go up your nose. Another very fun ride (considered the scariest ride) is the Wild Wildebeest. You go into a clover tube and then it lifts you ten feet on a ring that is sideways. This is one I haven’t gone on because it was closed, but the first VR waterslide is in Kalahari. Lastly, there was the Smoke That Thunders. It is one of the most thrilling rides there! It does three drops, then it brings you into a vast opening, and you rock back and forth.

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Travel Pick: Aruba

By Molly Flynn

Hi, I’m Molly, and I love traveling. My absolute favorite places to go are warm, beautiful Caribbean islands. This is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea east of North America. There are thousands of islands and 26 countries there, including the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Anguilla, Antigua, British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Maarten, Saint Eustatius, and—my favorite—Aruba.

I’m going to tell you all about Aruba. I will break it down into parts: shops; food; pools and beaches; and miscellaneous.

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Fidget Toys: A Review

By Molly Flynn and Lillian McClaren

Do you have stress? Well here are some fidgets to relieve your stress. We love fidgets, so here is a fidget review! (Also these are just our personal opinions). If you’re wondering what a fidget is, a fidget is something you let your stress out on. You can use a stress ball, you squish it, and your stress is gone. 

Acupressure Rings

Acupressure rings are small rings made with thin wire. To play with them, you slide them around your finger. You can get them in many colors. You can get them on Amazon, Learning Express, and many other stores. Now, most people really like these, but from my personal experience, it was not so great. Firstly, it cut my thumb, and also it could cut off circulation if the ring is too small. But sometimes it does feel nice, especially if your finger is cramped up. 

Bun Stress Balls

Bun stress balls are stress balls that feel like they’re filled with foamy glue. They come in a traditional Asian food container and they are shaped and colored like a bun. I would give these 9/10. They are super squishy and great for stress. They are super cute and actually me (Molly) and my family made homemade buns, and I switched out the real bun for the fake one and it was super hilarious. The only downside is that they get dirty easily.

Flamingo Popit

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A Simple Guide to LGBTQ+ Terms

By Layla Katz

We’ve been hearing the terms “LGBTQ+” and “pronouns” a lot lately. From my point of view, it’s great to finally see the LGBTQ+ community getting recognized by the mainstream. But for many people, the words can be confusing and alienating. So I thought I would try to create a basic guide to some LGBTQ+ terminology.

L is for lesbian. This describes women who have a romantic attraction towards other women.

G is for gay. Although this word is often used to describe men who are attracted to men, it really means being attracted to the same gender, and the term can apply to women also. 

B is bisexual, being attracted to both males and females. 

T is for transgender, which is a person who feels that the gender they were born with doesn’t match the way they feel inside, their true identity. For example, sometimes people who are born female identify as a male and vice versa. Some people feel like they do not have a gender at all (agender), and some feel that they identify with more than one gender (gender fluid or nonbinary).

Q means queer or questioning. Queer describes anyone who is not heterosexual (attracted only to the opposite sex) and cisgender (identifying as the gender you were born with). Questioning is when you don’t exactly know your gender identity or romantic preferences.

Plus refers to all the other categories that are not specifically covered by LGBTQ. 

Now, let’s talk about pronouns.

A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun. Some examples are I, you, he, she, it, and they. A person might choose a pronoun to match the gender they identify with. “They” is often used when someone is nonbinary or agender. Pronouns are a personal choice, so the best thing to do is just ask someone what they want to be called.

Sometimes it can be confusing to use new pronouns for a person you have known for a long time, and it can be awkward to use “they” to refer to a single person. But it is worth taking the time and trouble to make someone feel like they are respected. 

This brings me to another important term: ally. That is someone who may be heterosexual and cisgendered but tries to support, encourage, and stand up for people who identify as LGBTQ+. 

One of the last things that I would like to bring up is how the LQBTQ+ community is getting much more attention. Not that long ago, people never really talked about how they might feel when it comes to sexual orientation and gender orientation. Now the LGBTQ+ community has so much more recognition. We have TV shows that accurately portray LGBTQ+ characters! I remember growing up, watching TV shows like Family Guy, seeing a “stereotyped” gay character, and being pretty upset with how they portrayed the persona. Then I would go and watch a TV show like Steven Universe and see beautiful depictions of LGBTQ+ characters and get overwhelmed with joy from all the sweet moments characters would interact in. 

Now, here we are. The end of the article. But don’t go yet! I want to leave with some ending words. The LGBTQ+ community is huge! All the stuff that I said is just at the tip of the iceberg and it is evolving all the time. So remember, if you don’t know something, it’s OK! 

High School Choices: Here’s a Rundown

By Camila Barajas

Right now, eighth graders are making choices that will literally shape our futures: What high school to go to. Here in Bradley Beach, we have the opportunity to select from a handful of different public high schools that could help us with our future educational endeavors, from large to small. Although we are far from college, the schools we choose are where we spend the next four thrilling years of our lives.

At this moment, you might not have put your finger on the high school you are passionate about and 100% ready for. But do not worry, I’m here to guide you.

If you are looking for a high school that will put you on an elite academic track, you should think about applying to one of the five Monmouth County Vocational School District high schools: the Academy of Allied Health and Science, Biotechnology High School, Communications High School, High Technology High School, and MAST (The Marine Academy of Science and Technology). These schools accept one student per school district as long as they meet minimum requirements. All other spots are given to applicants with the highest total points. The points are made up from exams as well as grades in core subjects in seventh and eighth grades. Overall, these programs look for reliable and consistent students who are on an advanced academic track.

Allied Health is a great place to look into if you take interest in medical topics and or are looking for new opportunities in the medical field. It sits close to Neptune High School, only a few short minutes away. Communications, in Wall Township, provides exemplary learning experiences in areas such as digital video, journalism, publishing, commercial art, computer programming, and TV/radio broadcasting. Every course is offered at the honors level. Biotech, in Freehold, concentrates on laboratory science, research, mathematics, and technology. High Tech, in Lincroft, focuses on technology and engineering and is a great school to kickstart your STEM career. And lastly for the vocational schools is MAST, on Sandy Hook. MAST focuses heavily on marine science and technology and prepares its students for a career in its respective specialties. 

Furthermore, Red Bank Regional High School and Neptune High School are also great options for students who are ready to take that next step. 

Red Bank offers a handful of academies you could apply to. These academies include Early Childhood Development, Engineering, Finance, Information Technology, and lastly Visual and Performing Arts. Red Bank does require an essay noting why you are interested in one of these academies and an entry exam in late January. The Visual and Performing Arts program requires a portfolio of work.

If these do not appeal to you, Neptune High School is also a great high school to attend. Neptune can give you a chance to grow wherever you want to pursue your future career. This high school only sits a few minutes away from Bradley Beach and it offers a wide variety of options in academics and athletics. The cafeteria food is supposed to be pretty good too. Best of all, all of our students are eligible to attend.

If you want to get a jumpstart on college classes, the Poseidon program at Neptune High School is the place for you. Poseidon only accepts first-generation students to attend their academy (meaning their parents cannot have graduated from college). If you want to attend Poseidon, you will need to complete an entrance exam, get teacher recommendations, and write a 500-word essay explaining why you’re interested in their academy. If you apply to Poseidon, take note that you will still attend Neptune High School. College classes will be given through Brookdale. 

Lastly, whichever high school you choose (or which chooses you), remember that high school is what you make it. All of the above high schools carry most of the same classes and courses and can all aid you in your journey after middle school. We have a great team of faculty and teachers who can help us with any questions we have. To the next step! 

My Homemade Robot

by Molly Flynn

I first heard about robots when my brother made one for his fourth-grade class. I always thought it was cool that you could make an inanimate object move and do things for you. I’m very into robots because there are so many things you can do with them, and they are super useful. 

So, I decided I wanted to make one. I wanted it to move and look like a mad scientist. I learned to build a robot by watching a few videos. My grandfather makes things out of metal such as toys and robots. He was very helpful. 

I did this project in my kitchen with my mom and grandpa. Each step took five minutes to an hour.

Now, I’m going to tell you how to make this robot. 

The items you will need are an RC car, two metal bars, four AA batteries, scissors, glue and a mini saw. Decorations (optional): oatmeal tube, mashed potato container, velcro, markers, paper, paint, googly eyes and cotton balls. 

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Is Newer Better? A Playground Review

by Max Gast

A fresh, blue paint job. Brand new slides. Earlier in the year, my childhood stomping grounds, the playground on the boardwalk next to Park Place Avenue, was renovated. Now my job is to ask: New or old? Which is better? 

Most of the playground was changed, as you can see in the pictures displayed. The add-on part with the twin slides is gone. The rock wall and swings are still there, along with some other small things. Sadly, the very annoying drums were removed from the premises. They will be missed.

 In my opinion, the biggest changes were to the slides. No longer are there stairs leading up to the slides and the fire pole. Instead, on the complete opposite side, there are two twin slides where a rock wall used to be. There is a new rock wall to replace the old one on the side of the area with the twin slides.

The most disappointing part is it is now just one big playground. There used to be a smaller playground next to the big one, and they were tied together using monkey bars. It made a simple game of tag way more high stakes. This is because if someone was coming up on you, you could try and climb across at risk of your legs being able to get tagged. Also, the slide’s removal is kind of disappointing because it was replaced by three, much smaller, slides at the other sides. It may seem kind of dangerous but, on the old slide, I used to climb up the outside. That may be why there aren’t any closed slides.

If I’m going to be honest, the theme is a tad unoriginal, being reminiscent of a pirate ship. The pirate ship theme is always a go-to for beach playgrounds. You can see pirate-themed playgrounds in Avon and Belmar. The old playground really had no theme, and that was fine. The whale on the side that you’re supposed to climb up kind of reminds me of the beach playground in Asbury Park.

Even though I’m putting the playground in a kind of bad light, there are some good new changes. There are tunnels leading up to the peak with the slides and the rock wall. I believe that the swings got painted and they look really nice now. The colors are vibrant, attracting more kids compared to the old dull colors.  It’s hard to tell, but I think the new playground is smaller. I guess it depends on how you look at it.

Now with all that down, we have to answer the big question. Which one is better? In my opinion, the old playground was way better. Also though, I feel like the new playground was made to be more for a younger age group. This is because the massive closed slide is gone, along with the firepole. Also, the flexible bridge is gone. There are more things to climb up than to walk, making it harder to trip.

Older students will find it hard to compare the two because, for a lot of us, that playground has been there forever. I do think that a new generation of kids who live in Bradley Beach will grow to love it. Kind of like we did. It may be sad to see it go, but it does open a new door for the kids of Bradley Beach.

All in all, I think the old playground was better than the new one, but that doesn’t mean the new one is bad. It just means that it is different. Different can be good, so I am going to leave it at that.

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