Student Equity and Diversity Council

Kennett is an incredibly diverse school, with almost 50% of its students being of Latinx descent. Oftentimes, in previous decades, this diversity would be overlooked, simply regarded as unimportant, or in some cases a problem to be solved. Now, the school is looking to celebrate that wonderful diversity that makes our school such a unique place, even compared to the immediate surrounding schools. Unionville, for example, is 95% white.

Leading this new charge to understand and celebrate the cultural and ethnic diversity of the school district are the equity and diversity councils. One is made up of Kennett faculty and staff, while the other contains exclusively students. These groups aim to promote social justice causes and understand how we can better foster a diverse and inclusive culture both within the school and the larger community.

The council has been hard at work, even in a year filled with roadblocks. Just the other day, Emma Nace and Grace Opong, members of the council, presented a new idea to the school board. The idea was relatively simple: A new readily-available google form was created so that students could both suggest ideas as to how the school can become more inclusive and report incidents of harassment to the administration. The school board seemed to love the idea, and we can hope that the form will be implemented soon.

Member students have also helped by assisting at course selection meetings. They have answered questions about the rigors of AP and Honors classes, helping to encourage more students to enroll in the challenging but rewarding courses. Diversity in high-level courses is still an issue for Kennett, and this should hopefully be the first step of many to increasing the diversity of students taking these types of classes.

On the community level, students were recently invited by Southern Chester County Regional Police Chief Gerald Simpson to join a community advisory group that would help to better understand the struggles of both police officers and racial minorities within the community, who are often subject to more incidents of police brutality than white people nationwide.

The council is a relatively young endeavor, but they hope to accomplish more once the pandemic has ended and more students will be back in school.

— Martin Heintzelman

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KTV Segment: Mini-THON Challenge – Mr. Brientnall vs. Mr. O’Sullivan Free Throw Competition

Another Mini-thon goal was reached, and that means it’s time for a shootout between Mr. Brientnall and Mr. O’Sullivan. The loser had a bucket of ice water poured on his head! The shootout was played at a three-hole basket, with each hole marked two, three, or four points. Each player was given three shots, and by the end of the game, the score was three points for Mr. O’Sullivan and six for Mr. Brientnall. Mr. O’Sullivan definitely seemed to enjoy that refreshing, ice-cold water!

Check out the video above to see what happened!

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KTV Segment: Ellen’s Game of Taste

Earlier this month, Mrs. Rudisill and Mrs. Lamoreux faced off in Ellen’s game of taste. The two teachers attempted to guess what food they were eating while blindfolded. The foods ranged from salty olives to sweet candies. This challenge was a reward for reaching a fundraising goal for this year’s Mini-thon. Other goals included watching Gavin Maxwell shave his head and taping two of the principals to the cafeteria walls. Students and teachers alike are doing a wonderful job raising money for this worthy cause.

For more information, check out the segment above!

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Writing Advice

Picture this: you have an essay you’ve been putting off for two days, and the essay is due tomorrow. What’s more, if you don’t turn in the essay, you might fail the class. How are you going to escape this one?

Step 1: Outline

First, start by writing an outline, and I’m not talking about the textbook outlines in history class. I’m talking about a rough rundown on how to format your essay. Your outline should include what you want to say in each of your paragraphs. It can be either written or typed. Here is an example:

Step 2: Word Sprint

My next step might be something new to high-schoolers. In the writing world, a popular tactic to write more is called word sprints. To do a word sprint, set a timer, pull up whatever you are working on—in this case, your essay—and just write until the timer runs out. When I say “write,” I mean just type down as much as you can while trying to relate to your topic. Do not look back and check for grammar, just keep writing, just keep writing.

Step 3: Editing

Author Lauren Sapala came up with a great simile for writing: writing is like having a baby. A mother must let the baby be completely born before cleaning things up. This means that, when writing something, don’t fix it as you go; you must write your entire essay first, then you can clean it up and fix it in order to maximise your grade. The reason why it is not best to edit as you go is that, in trying to make perfect sentences, you might scrap good work because you’ve judged it too soon. It is often best to not clean the baby as you put it onto your paper or computer document; no mother does something like that. After you have finished your word sprint, your baby has been born, and it is time to clean it up and edit. Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and make sure that it makes sense!

With this three-step process in hand, you should figure it out in no time.

— Billy Wikol

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Pomodoro Technique

Most of us have been there: you have an assignment due at midnight tonight, and you can’t seem to concentrate long enough to get to work. I should probably tell you to get to work after you read this article, because the “Pomodoro Technique” is here to save the day.

The technique was invented in the early 1990s by Francesco Cirillo while he was studying in college. It is named for the shape of timer he used, as pomodoro is Italian for tomato. Eventually, the Pomodoro spread across the world, and today, it has become one of the most popular productivity techniques.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

Here is how it’s done:

  1. Choose ONE task to work on.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  3. Fully concentrate on the task you choose for the 25 minutes, touching no distractions.
  4. Once the timer beeps, take a 5-minute break.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 three more times.
  6. After completing four 25 minute sessions, or “Pomodoros,” you then take a 30-minute break.

How to improve your Pomodoro skills?

If you are already using the Pomodoro right now, that’s great! If you’re also getting bored with the Pomodoro, that’s also great! I have some tips to spice up your concentrating experience.

  1. Use different time intervals. Instead of doing the Pomodoro for 25 minutes with a 5-minute break, try using it for 50 or 90 minutes, and extend your break to match.
  2. Make a timetable on how many Pomodoro you should do in your day. By using this, you can better concentrate on what to do during your spare time each day.
  3. Estimate how many Pomodoros you need to complete a certain task. This would make things easier for you to concentrate on what is important and what you should do in your daily life.
  4. If you’re in the flow state at the end of a Pomodoro, don’t take a break—continue working. Don’t interrupt your flow!

Does it work?

In my personal experience, the Pomodoro technique has helped me study for multiple exams, complete many homework assignments, and even write the article you’re reading right now. You don’t have to take just my word for it, it has already helped many people get things done.

Now get to work and do that assignment!

— Billy Wikol

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Autism Awareness Month

As the month of April comes and goes, a very special cause is celebrated: Autism Awareness. April is dedicated to spreading information and fundraising for autism.

What is Autism?

One in every fifty-four children born in the United States is diagnosed with autism. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. Common symptoms include difficulty with communication/social interactions, obsessive interests, and repetitive behaviors. Early recognition, as well as behavioral, educational, and family therapies may reduce symptoms and support development and learning. Treatments can help, but this condition cannot be cured. Researchers are currently exploring whether factors such as viral infections, medications, complications during pregnancy, or air pollutants play a role in triggering this disorder.

Homelife

The demands of living with a person with autism are great, and families frequently experience high levels of stress. Parents have to deal with behaviors and pursue treatments; siblings might feel embarrassed or overlooked; it’s important for families to stay involved in the community. Recognizing and preparing for unforeseen challenges will make a tremendous difference to everyone.

Why wear blue?

In an effort to support the Autistic community, many schools and workplaces wear blue. Kerry Magro, an international motivational speaker on the autism spectrum claims, “When we wear blue, it’s not only about keeping that conversation going about autism but, it’s also making sure that those with autism and their families don’t feel alone.” He goes on to mention the hashtag, #LightItUpBlue!, a platform that people can upload photos and connect globally about their experiences. Together we can show our support for the Autistic community. This month, be on the lookout for blue spirit days!

Kerry Magro

Spirit shirt for Autism Awareness

— Paige Smagala

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This System is Life Changing

This system is life-changing.

What if I told you there is a way for you to make more time, get more done, and have a better sense of your progress towards your goals in life, all in one package. If it sounds too good to be true, well, it is. The system is… Ready… A to-do list.

Now, I know I made this article to be very clickbaity. But if you stop and think about it, it would make sense why a to-do list is so important. The primary reason a to-do list is used is to keep track of what someone needs to work on. If the same person does not have a to-do list, the person would easily forget what they need to do.

Once more, if that same person has a to-do list, that person can be more motivated in their work. Ever notice those progress bars in certain role-playing games? You know, the ones that keep track of how many experience points you have. A to-do list is the same way in real life. The list would instantly remind the person what they would need to work on. And eventually, the list would become a certain cue for habits.

I know this article was a little bit short, but I wanted to stress the importance of a to-do list. Many people still haven’t used this simple trick that can help them simply do more. So if you’re one of those types of people, please make a to-do list and get to work.

— Billy Wikol

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Pirates of the World

What is a Pirate?

A pirate is defined as “a person who attacks and robs ships at sea,” by Oxford languages. The first significant pirates, who roamed the Mediterranean around 1276-1178 B.C.E., were known as the Sea Peoples, who were made up of a myriad of ethnicities. Accounts of their destruction were recorded by the last king of Ugarit, Ammurapi, whose kingdom fell victim to this mysterious force. However, the origin of this fearsome group is unknown and remains a mystery to this day. Nonetheless, this practice of abandoning sailor jobs in exchange for a life of piracy became common during the late 1600s to early 1700s which is known as the “Golden Age of Piracy.” Here’s a list of some notable pirates throughout history.

Black Caesar

During this time, piracy was popular among Black people, as it was one of the few ways they could attain power in the West. Often given only two choices, fugitive slaves would often choose the life of piracy over eternal captivity. While discrimination was still apparent, some captains did treat their crew members equally regardless of race. However, the same can not be said for prosecution. As white pirates were hanged, Black pirates were either returned to their owners or resold into slavery. Black Caesar or Henri Caesar, is the most acclaimed Black pirate as he escaped captivity aboard a slave ship with the help of a sailor. Thereafter he would pose as a stranded sailor to rob vessels that offered their aid. Legend has it that he buried his treasure on Elliot Key. He would soon join Blackbeard’s crew in the early 1700s and would even come to witness his death. After their defeat, Black Caesar was captured and taken to Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1718 to be hanged.

Madame Cheng

Arguably the most successful pirate in history, outnumbering Blackbeard in terms of ships with 70,000 sailors, 800 large junks—Chinese sailing ships—and about 1,00 smaller vessels, Madame Cheng is not to be forgotten. Though her name was Ching Shih, she was also referred to as Cheng I Sao, which translates to “wife of Cheng.” Little is known about her early life. She was born in 1785 at an unknown location. For the majority of her life, she served as a prostitute in the city of Guangzhou. But in 1801, she married Cheng Yi, a famous pirate captain. During this time, many unorganized ships were unified into professional fleets to serve the Tây Sơn dynasty of Vietnam, who were at constant battle with the Chinese. When the Tây Sơn was conquered in 1802, instead of scattering the Cheng’s unified rival Cantonese pirates and were divided into different squadrons. Cheng Yi soon died in 1807, yet Madame Cheng soon took charge and appointed her husband’s protegé Zhang Bao as the captain of her most powerful fleet. He would soon become her lover and eventually her new husband. It is said that Madame Cheng was ahead of her time in terms of rights to women, as any carnal abuse of female captives was punishable by death. There were even accounts of those who were commanders who were ordered to capture her and damaged their own ships in order to avoid conflict. By 1810, tension increased between two of her fleets, causing the unison to be unstable. This led to Madame Cheng accepting the Chinese government’s pardon in exchange for a peaceful surrender in 1810. The rest of her life was quite peaceful, living off of her husband’s military earnings until she died at the age of 69.

Anne Bonny

While male pirates dominate history, there were plenty of notable female pirates, too, such as Anne Bonny. Born in Cork, Ireland, around 1700, Anne Bonny was known for her tough spirit. There is little information known about her, but it is said that she married a poverty-stricken sailor at the age of 16. Her father did not approve of this and disowned his daughter. The couple would soon turn to the life of piracy and join Calico Jack’s crew. It is said that she “dressed like a man, while she fought, drank, and swore like one too.” Legend has it that while Bonny appeared as a man, she developed feelings for Mary Read, who joined the crew later on and was also dressed as a man. They would both switch between men’s and women’s clothes as necessary. However, this adventure would soon come to an end in October in 1720, when the ship would fall to Captain Jonathan Barnet to collect their bounty. Records say that, while the rest of the crew caved into surrender, the two women fought to the end and called the men cowards. They were tried and found guilty of several crimes, but their execution was delayed as it was discovered that both women were pregnant. However, it is unclear whether this is true or if the two lied to save themselves. It wouldn’t be until five months later that death would take Mary Read in prison.

Mary Read

Much like Anne Bonny, Mary Read’s history is unknown. She was born around 1690 in England to a widow. It is said that her mother passed her off as a boy to get money from Mary’s grandmother. Later, Read continued to dress a man and would even get a job as a sailor. Later on, she revealed her secret to a Flemish soldier she met during the War of the Spanish Succession and would come to marry. Together they ran The Three Horseshoe Inn in the Dutch town of Breda. After her husband died, she would return to the war dressed as a man, though when peace was signed, Read looked for adventure elsewhere in the West Indies. While navigating the waters, she was soon attacked and was captured by pirates. She then joined them, living life as a free pirate until 1718, when she signed a king’s pardon in exchange for hunting down others who did not acquire the pardon. Read would eventually make her way onto the ship of Calico Jack, where, as stated before, there were accounts of her and Anne Bonny forming a romantic relationship. In any case, it is said that the two were the most ruthless of them all, each carrying a pistol and machete. But as stated above, the ship was captured, but despite this, the two fought till the end. It is unclear what exactly happened to Mary Read during their containment, but records do show that she was buried on April 28, 1721, at St. Catherine Parish in Jamaica.

— Maya Ross

Sources:

5 Notorious Female Pirates

Black Pirates and the Tale of Black Caesar 

Ching Shih the Pirate Queen

Five Pirate Myths That Are Actually True

8 Famous Pirates from History

Pirates in the Ancient Mediterranean

Biography of Anne Bonny, Irish Pirate and Privateer

Biography of French Pirate François L’Olonnais

Biography of Mary Read, English Pirate

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Study Tips for Students

Even though final exams won’t be happening this year, online tests and quizzes remain a prevalent issue for many students. Tests are always stressful, but the addition of online school can make it more difficult for some. If developing good study habits is something you struggle with, no worries—Demon Press has you covered! Below you will find a variety of different tips to help you become better prepared for tests and adapt to the difficulties of online learning. Some tips might work better or worse for you depending on your learning style, but hopefully, you’ll gain some new skills that can help you in this virtual format.

– Tip #1: Try Not to Multitask
It can be easier to multitask in the somewhat less structured virtual environment, however, it can make completing assignments harder. If you focus solely on one assignment at a time, it can make it easier to complete that. Focusing all of your energy into one task at a time can help you get more assignments done productively.

– Tip #2: Rewrite Your Notes
If you are someone who likes to organize and decorate your notes, but can’t seem to find enough time to write down everything during class, this tip is for you. First, write down everything from class in a rough outline-like format, so that you can pay attention while the teacher is talking but still have notes. Then, in your spare time, you can rewrite your notes, but in the decorated format that you like. This helps not just with spending class time wisely, but also with studying, as writing down things that you have learned has been proven to help you remember information.

– Tip #3: Find Online Tutorials
If one particular topic is giving you a hard time, and your teachers’ explanations aren’t helping, it could be beneficial for you to go online and try to find videos about that subject. There are thousands of online tutorials for different topics, and though they might not be the exact way you are being taught the material, the new explanation can give you a fresh perspective. There are countless resources for a multitude of different topics, but some of the most common online resources are Khan Academy and Crash Course.

– Tip #4: Set Goals for Each Study Session
If you are simply going in blind each time you study, it can become difficult to stay focused or feel motivated. If you set measurable goals for what you want to achieve with each study session, it can be easier to be productive during your study sessions.

— Blake Ciresa

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KTV Segment: Welcome Back to the Library

Ms. Teixeira offers a warm welcome on behalf of the library to the incoming students. While it may look different, the library still offers many of its wonderful resources. By using the proper sign up sheets online or in person, students can spend study halls down in the library to read or work on school work. The library also has a laptop loaning system for students who may have forgotten their device at home.

Even if a student is completely remote, they can still enjoy the books the library has to offer. A curbside pick is available. It’s as easy as putting in an order through the library schoology page and then picking the book up later when school is in session. There are also many books that can be read in the virtual library for students who may not be able to make it to high school.

With the vast amount of reading options available, every student can find something that grabs their interest.

For more information, check out the segment made by Cade Verrico.

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