Category Archives: Student Life

Will This be Ms. Acerra’s Last Washington Trip?

By Leah Twerell

Ever since Ms. Acerra, the middle school social studies and civics teacher, told some of us last year that she would be stepping down from her long-time position as organizer of the eighth grade Washington D.C. trip, we have been speculating: Is this Ms. Acerra’s last Washington trip?

If you want to know the answer, keep reading this Q&A with Ms. Acerra … 

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Dancing in the Parade

By Molly Flynn

The streets lined with thousands of people, fire trucks honking, everyone celebrating the one and only St. Patrick. The Belmar St. Patrick’s Day is a fun parade celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. This year was their 50th Anniversary. Also this year, my dance school (The D’arcy School of Irish Dance) opened the parade and marched in it. Now let me tell you about the history of this parade. 

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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! 

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