Who are the new Additions to the Bobcat Prowl Staff?


Jacob Chaimovitch, Joshua Hobbs, Joe Sandberg, Brianna Skaff, and Jillian Thibodeau

After a fantastic year in journalism last year, the staff of the Bobcat Prowl is poised for another great year. With the 2019-2020 school year beginning at South Windsor High School, there are many new faces joining the staff. The class maintains a key core of five seniors all familiar with the course: Jacob Chaimovitch, Joshua Hobbs, Joe Sandberg, Brianna Skaff, and Jillian Thibodeau. The new additions to the class include freshman, Noah Gehris, sophomores, Kelli Mann, Lynn Sawyer, and Cael Brennan, junior, Jason Alwang, and seniors, Caitlin Sze, Rachel Maher, Jessica Viera, and Shea Sullivan. 

To start off, freshman, Noah Gehris is very excited to start writing his first articles for The Bobcat Prowl. With Gehris already having some experience writing articles, he should be well off in the class, even though he is the youngest. He shared, “A few years ago, a few of my friends and I decided that we wanted to write some sports articles, which we ultimately shared with some teachers and classes at T.E. [Timothy Edwards Middle School].” Another hobby that he has is playing and watching sports. He plays basketball in the winter and follows both professional basketball and football. Over the summer, Gehris stayed relatively busy by attending several basketball camps to stay in shape and improve his game. He also had many friends over his house to play basketball and to play video games as well. During the year, he hopes to improve his writing and he wants to write many sports articles. He feels as though he has always had an interest in writing articles and that Journalism could be a major interest going into the future.

Although Kelli Mann, sophomore, did not mention why she joined journalism, she plays a few sports just like Gehris. Mann is on the girls’ varsity team for both field hockey and lacrosse and enjoys both of them equally, as she has been playing both since she was in elementary school. While staying physically active during all seasons, she also stays mentally active in school with a full schedule. Mann’s favorite subject is math and is currently enrolled in Algebra Two with Trigonometry. She loves the problem-solving aspect of math and wants to continue to excel in math throughout the year. In her free time, she loves watching Netflix, specifically The Hart of Dixie right now. Besides that, she has also binge-watched Shameless over multiple times as it is her favorite show. Other than watching Netflix, she also enjoys the outdoors as she goes water skiing during the summer a lot. Along with herself in her family, Mann has two sisters, one being a freshman in college that she just helped move this past weekend. Mann says, “I don’t know how I feel about it yet because I went to go into her bedroom last night to ask her about something and she wasn’t there, so that was kind of sad.” Even though life is different at home, Mann continues to have lots of fun otherwise always hanging out with her friends when she can and staying active every day.  

Like Mann, Lynn Sawyer has begun her sophomore year of high school and is looking forward to the challenges ahead. Sawyer immediately describes herself as a “theatre kid” and rightfully so since she starred in theatre productions when she was in kindergarten.  Although Sawyer is a “triple threat” as a singer, actress, and dancer, she loves singing the most, as she also is involved with chorus at the high school. Apart from school, Sawyer is cast in a production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in New York City. She got involved in the program because she “really wants to be an actor, so I just had to go audition for stuff.” If you haven’t been able to tell already, Sawyer seeks to pursue this as a career and wants to be on Broadway after graduating from SWHS. Sawyer is also involved in multiple theatre companies right now, including one in Norwalk as well as the one in NYC. Despite not being able to go into the details of the Rocky Horror Picture Show since it is very explicit, Sawyer remarks on how she likes the character Janet because of “her bubbly personality and how she is just so nice to everyone.” Understandably, Sawyer remarks that it is very difficult to balance school work with her theatre life since she stays in NYC on the weekends to rehearse, “but you just have to put your head down and get work done.” Most importantly, Sawyer expresses that she loves theatre not only because of the people that she works with, but also because “it gets me on stage to meet with new people and work with a new group.” 

Sometimes, it’s difficult to balance school and personal lives simultaneously. There are many ways to help balance the two and one way this is done is by having your school and personal life revolve around the same topic so the two become one thing. That’s exactly what Sophomore Cael Brennan does with his school and personal life. Brennan is heavy on theater and drama performances. Lucky for him, opportunities both in and out of school have presented themselves and he has pounced on the opportunity. Since 6th grade, Brennan has been apart of the school productions at Timothy Edwards Middle School as well as at South Windsor High School. When asked if he prefers one of the two productions that SWHS presents, either the Musical or the Drama, he responded by saying he prefers the drama saying that he ¨definitely prefers just plain acting. I’m not as great at singing and dancing.” In addition to enjoying success in school productions of various shows like Beauty and the Beast and Into the Woods, Brennan spent a chunk of his summer being trained by a professor from the University of Connecticut in the forms of drama to better his skills on stage. While he never actually participated in the shows during his freshman year, Brennan hopes that during his sophomore year, he can contribute to more drama shows in high school and perhaps some productions outside of school now that he has more training and experience under his belt.

While Brennan focuses on acting in and outside of school, junior, Jason Alwang struggles to find something that fits him as an extracurricular activity. He has been apart of the Bowling Club and Italian Club in the past, but mostly does things outside of school. One of the things he does want to try to do is go to the Italian Club more. As a part of the Italian Club, Jason explains that the group, led by Mrs. Zacardelli, “bakes different Italian foods and sometimes eats pizza and plays Italian games.” Alwang also stated that he wants to try Cross Country in the future. Additionally, Alwang enjoys his time outside of school by going to sports events to support “my favorite teams like the Rangers and the Mets.” However, Alwang commented that he wants to try and do more in school as well as going to events outside of school. He is also prepared to be a junior this year, which is widely considered the hardest year of high school. He plans to take in all there is during his second PSAT in October and plans to take some SAT prep classes in January to prepare him for the real deal in March.

As a senior, Caitlin Sze still has multiple responsibilities to get through the year. This includes her capstone project, college applications, and finishing her last few credits. But what makes her life interesting is all of the activities that she has to balance. Sze has a heavy schedule this year, including journalism, entrepreneurship, calculus, psychology, statistics, and ECE literature. Sze also has a job as well as participating in multiple school activities. One of Sze’s main activities in the school is the girl’s tennis team which she has been on for multiple years. Although it does not start until the spring, she continues to practice and play year-round to continue improving, as well as for enjoyment and initiating fundraisers for the team. Sze is also looking forward to participating in the Future Health Leaders Club, as she is the Vice President this year. Sze adds that “it’s not a big club, [but it’s] a student-run club here. We learn more about Pa, and we have speakers come in to talk to us about it and we go to conferences.” Through this club, she found a love for pediatrics and has already begun to pursue a career, as she works as a receptionist at a pediatric office in Manchester a few days a week. When asked how she balances all of this out, Sze says, “I have this calendar and I just plan out all my activities for the next 3-4 months so that I have something every single day. I’m balancing out that with work.” 

Similarly, senior, Rachel Maher stayed relatively busy during the summer working at a small ice cream place called Fairways. This was a great experience for Maher since she was able to work with many people from school and meet new people who she still talks to. To go off of this, Maher hasn’t always lived in South Windsor. Her family decided to move to South Windsor right before she started kindergarten, and has loved the town ever since. Maher also enjoys horseback riding and playing golf. Over Labor Day weekend, Maher went to West Farms Mall to buy some new clothes for school. On a different note, Maher is very excited to be apart of the journalism class, because she has always had a love for writing stories. In an exclusive interview with Rachel, she shared, “I want to get better at writing and putting stories together…sometimes I’ll write stuff outside of school but I have never shared it with anyone. I hope to learn how to put together and publish a story.” Overall, she can’t wait to start writing articles and she already knows that senior year will be her favorite year at the high school. 

Comparable to Maher, senior, Jessica Viera is a senior and has a passion for reading and writing. The reason that Viera signed up for the journalism class back in the spring is because she loves to write. Not only this, but she is interested in pursuing journalism as a career in the future as well. However, Viera’s reason for her interest in becoming a journalist is not only because she loves writing, but because she is, “a feminist and I like to think of myself as politically aware. I like the idea of finding a story myself.” Although she is really interested in journalism, she also loves to read. When asked what her favorite book was, she was at a crossroads between Cinder by Marissa Meyer and The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. Ultimately, she chose The Hobbit because she said it was, “the first book that I ever read, and it was fun to read.” Even though reading and writing are typically quiet tasks, Viera also has some louder hobbies. With this being said, Viera has been singing for the past seven years and has grown to love it. She started singing in fourth grade when the students had to choose between taking band, chorus, or orchestra. Viera chose chorus, simply because she did not want to learn how to read sheet music. However, little did she know that when she would start auditioning for things, she would have to read music and sight-read. In her sophomore year of high school, she got into Treble Choir, which is an all-girls choir at South Windsor High School. To add on, Viera also started auditioning for the Eastern Regionals Choirs that same year. She states that the material that one auditions with for Eastern Regionals is an Italian aria, scales, and sight-reading. So, because of the requirements for Eastern Regionals, she learned how to read music and she started singing Italian arias. In present day, she says that she has already started preparing for her Eastern Regionals audition that takes place in November of this year. Also, she mentioned how Treble Choir is going great so far, saying that, “we have exactly the same students as last year and we’re going to have the same sound, which I love. We just started learning the star spangled banner, which is the song that treble choir sings before every show.”

Lastly, senior, Shea Sullivan is one of the more artistic seniors at South Windsor High School. Sullivan has lived in South Windsor for her whole life and has a huge love for music. She currently plays the piano, guitar, and Ukulele and wants to continue playing them for as long as she can. Her current favorite artist is Taylor Swift and she always has been a big fan. Sullivan says, “I loved her so much when I was younger and have been to two of her concerts.” She continues to listen to Taylor Swift every day and even enjoys her new music that is much different from her old country style. Other then her love of music, Sullivan also shares a love for reading. Her favorite books are the Percy Jackson series, saying that they are her “ Taylor Swift of books,” with a laugh because she has been reading them since she was in elementary school. Sullivan continues to read every day as she gets into a book and just can’t stop reading it. In her free time, she loves to watch movies as she just went to the movies this past weekend with her friends to see Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. She mentioned that her favorite genre of movies is horror as she always watches them. Other than that, she likes to watch lots of comedy. Sullivan will continue throughout the year to read many books in her club and participate in many musical events. 

Now that you know a little more about the new additions to this year’s staff, we only hope that you are more excited to read the articles that we write. We cannot wait to see what this year will bring us and hope that you stick around to read our stories. Ultimately, we wish the newcomers the best for this year and can’t wait to get to know every one of them more.