The Storm October Issue


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October Issue 2014 Inside This Issue Senior Entrance Pg.2 Family Day 2014 photos Pg. 7 Community Service Announcement Pg.3 Sanabria on Tomorrow’s leaders Pg.4-5 September Check out the stars and what happened to Rene in the sports section!! Find your Horoscopes, Birthdays, Overheard, Club Schedules and more in the Back of the paper! Advisor Ms. Topp Editor Alessandra De Luca Layout Editors Nicholas Yiu Olivia Katz Journalists Claudia Arbona Sila Avilés Jose Luis Casa Robilee Frederick Elias Lugo Adriana Rodríguez Genesis Vega Photographers Sila Avilés Gregory Reyes Nicholas Yiu Issue 2014 The annual Senior entrance is always something worth watching; this year was no exception. The traditional parranda was a must, capturing the attention of all Condado natives as the Seniors made their way to SJS grounds. Between the music, dancing, and energy of the vivacious Class of 2015, one could not help but watch this entrance.


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October Issue 2014 SJS LIFE Class of 2015 Senior Entrance By: Alessandra De Luca Of course, everyone was also excited to see the shirts of this years’ seniors; the light blue shirts don’t disappoint! Member of the graduating class, Stephanie Del Valle, mentions how they were chosen, “ The company gave us a large variety of options to choose from but we narrowed it down to four: light blue, purple, light pink, and maroon.” Another student from the Class of 2015, Anna Marrero, explains the origin of the diamond logo, “It represents our class really well because we’re the centennial class and it’s a one hundred carat diamond.” The sky blue shirts are complimented with black jackets also chosen by the seniors. Last year’s Senior bulletin board ended with “Close the lounge!”; ironically that’s exactly what the school decided to do. Ever wonder how the current Seniors got to keep their precious lounge? It’s all thanks to the Senior class board President, Myrna Suarez. Who ever said convincing Sanabria didn’t work? After promising to be on their best behavior and follow a set of rules, the graduating class was granted the privilege of having their comforting lounge. The New Senior Lounge Miranda R. & Javier C. 2


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October Issue 2014 SJS LIFE Community Service Announcement By: Alessandra De Luca In addition to ensuring academic success, Saint John’s School requires its students to fulfill their duty in making the community a better place through community service. It is up to you to decide how you would like to contribute to the lives of those around you. Keep in mind this shouldn’t feel like a burden, spend your time doing something you enjoy! This centennial year the school has implemented some new guidelines in order to allow time for students to complete service hours more sufficiently. Firstly, there will be designated Community Service days. Secondly, students now will complete 16 hours during school time. These hours will be completed with whichever organization you signed up for during the Community Service Fair on September 10th. The purpose behind this is for students to spend their efforts on one specific organization so that an emotional bond can develop. The Community Service Coordinator is Karen Humbert. If you have any concerns regarding Community Service work please address her. She is not always present at school, but if she is you can find her in the room across from Ms. Del Toro’s on TuesdayThursday mornings. You can also reach her at or send a text to (787-399-5169). Here is a summary of the basic guidelines you must follow for the additional hours that the school will not provide you with:  You can’t earn money for your work – it’s not a job!  You’re close relative (parent, grandparent, etc.) can’t be supervising the activity/ sign your hours.  You must have good intentions – try to impact the community in a positive way.  Make sure the activity you are considering is pre-approved by Ms. Humbert, Oritz, and/or Sanabria.  A maximum of 75 % of your required hours can be done outside of Puerto Rico and during breaks.  We will have 4 Community Service days this year, taking place from 8 am -12 p.m. In total you will complete 16 hours with/during school.  Each grade should try and focus their efforts on helping out 1 specific organization (or more – the more the merrier!) throughout the school year. Consider it a class project – you can help people together. NOTE FOR JUNIORS AND SENIORS: The privilege of leaving school during recess hours is only granted to students who not only have a B average, but also complete a minimum of 7 community service hours per quarter. “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan Depending on what grade you are in, you must complete the following hours throughout the year: Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade 9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade do more! Required Hours 12 hours 12 hours 28 hours 28 hours 28 hours Special Projects* *The special projects for seniors are already Remember , theseplanned, are the proposed and approved by the Ms. required number of hours. Feel Humbert, Ortiz, and/or free to go above and beyond and Sanabria. 3


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October Issue 2014 SJS LIFE Tomorrow’s Leaders By: David R. Sanabria People who aspire to become leaders often see as the way to continued growth and be recognized as a leader, to amass a long list of impressive titles and getting elected to as many possible officer positions as possible. Too often, this quest for quantity results in sacrificing quality, and many times these young, prospective leaders are being deprived of other experiences that build character, allow relationships to grow and generate stronger characters for the future. There are also many of these cases where the students succeed in attaining the titles, but do not follow through in the actual work conveyed and leave it to others to perform it, being satisfied with having the position merely on paper. The truth is that more and more research shows that tomorrow’s leaders will not necessarily need high IQ’s, as much as they will need high EQ’s. In his book, Emotional Intelligence (1995) and the ensuing article in the Harvard Business Review in 1998, Daniel Goleman first noted the magnitude of emotional intelligence in dictating the success of individuals in their careers and as future leaders. In his research at nearly 200 large, global companies, Goleman found that “while the qualities traditionally associated with leadership— such as intelligence, toughness, determination, and vision—are required for success, they are insufficient. Truly effective leaders are also distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence (EQ), which includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill.”1 While leadership styles vary and recognizing taking into account that there has to be compatibility with the type of organization, the specific circumstances and the style of leaders that each one calls for, Goleman has found consistently that the most effective and successful leaders have a high level of emotional intelligence. He concludes from his extensive research that “emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership... Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he or she still won’t make a great leader.” Running for class president, being named sports team captain, or being elected as a board officer in some of the clubs you join… Most people consider these ways to develop leadership skills as a student in high school. The truth is that there are other opportunities to develop as a leader, and these are not always advertised, announced or visible to the untrained eye. First, we must examine the definition by Merriam-Webster, which states that a leader is “a person who directs a military force or unit; a person who has commanding authority or influence; the principal officer of a political party; a party member chosen to manage party activities in a legislative body; a first or principal performer of a group.” These are perhaps the more traditional, ordinary views of a leader. However, the art of leading is changing with the same blazing speed that other things are morphing around us, like the size of cell phones, the speed of the Internet, the number of apps available or the alternatives for fuel for cars. 1 What Makes a Leader, Goleman, Daniel, Harvard Business Review, January 2004 4


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October Issue 2014 SJS LIFE Tomorrow’s Leaders… Continued By: David R. Sanabria In a school setting, the opportunities for growth as leaders and the development of emotional intelligence are prevalent and ubiquitous. Students should see and recognize these openings, and welcome the chances to cultivate the skills and internalize those values that account for higher emotional intelligence. Playing team sports; working successfully in group projects; mentoring younger children in something you do well; being able to bounce back after failing an exam; accepting responsibility for a mistake; selflessly helping others or giving time to a cause; not seeking credit or being in the limelight for things you are supposed to do; working hard for a class; not quitting a team, a club or a class when faced with a challenge; and adapting to perform different roles in different circumstances are all opportunities and the hallmarks of students with higher emotional intelligence quotients. Conversely, individuals who can only accept leading roles in groups; who cannot take constructive criticism; who are never at fault; who cannot take a class unless they know for sure they will get an “A”; who are unable to listen and be sensitive and respectful to the needs or opinions of others; who have an obstinate focus on statistical information as the sole basis to make decisions, and an unwillingness to accept consequences for actions, are all indicators of deficient emotional intelligence and persons illprepared for leadership. The true 21st Century leaders will no longer be the dominant personalities that once ruled in authoritarian systems characterized by dense bureaucracies and unbending structures, but rather those who are flexible, resilient; who can blend and interact with anyone regardless of class, race, color or creed, who have a passion for learning new skills and that thrive in a collaborative atmosphere where everyone has a voice. It is important for schools to continue to provide the atmosphere and opportunities for this type of learning and development such as collaboration, group projects and discussions in classrooms; openings for meaningful service to others outside the classroom; the chance to play team sports; clubs where young people can brainstorm for solutions to real world problems; chances for travel abroad and meet different people and know other cultures; and a flexible structure to address special interests are all ways in which institutions can make the development of the rising generation’s emotional intelligence a real priority. Affording these opportunities is just as important, if not more important than a challenging academic curriculum, as schools like ours will be responsible to raise a generation of successful leaders who will take on tomorrow’s challenges by being able to take on unfathomable challenges and motivate, inspire, resolve, guide, mentor and bring together people of different cultures, races, and beliefs. 5


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October Issue 2014 Arts and Leisure #SanturceEsLey By: Genesis Vega Photography: Sila Avilés Santurce- A forgotten neighborhood in San Juan, P.R. has been transformed into a canvas for local and international artists to fill. The fifth edition of the urban art festival, Santurce es Ley, was celebrated this year during the month of August. However if you didn’t have a chance to go, you can still admire the artwork. It can be viewed all year round until it slowly fades so that others can take its place the upcoming year. Santurce es Ley started out as a group of local artists expressing their views on society through their paintings done on Santurce’s walls. This is now an annual tradition that takes over abandoned buildings and walls to make them come alive, filling them with vivid colors and creativity. Over a hundred local and international artists come together to express the power of art and let their imagination take over. What many people do not understand is the importance of this event. Santurce es Ley promotes tourism and Puerto Rican culture, while helping beautify the once dull and worn-down community. These drawings show political and social criticisms in a way that appeals to all social classes. Moreover, it attracts tourists by bringing in people from all over the world to witness the creations and talented artists who designed them. People can view the work while enjoying local music and the taste of traditional Puerto Rican cuisine. Because of this event, Santurce has become the epicenter of art in Puerto Rico; institutions like “Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico” and art galleries have contributed to make these exhibitions possible throughout the years. This urban art festival also helps the community by turning it into a clean, crime free environment where everyone is welcome to admire the beauty of what we call art. 6


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October Issue 2014 SJS LIFE To Skort or Not to Skort By: Robi Frederick and Genesis Vega Obviously if you are a girl, you’ve heard about the new skort policy. This school year, the Saint John’s board has banned girls from wearing skorts, claiming they were too short. However, some girls can’t control how long their legs are. Girls as well as boys, are given the option of wearing long pants or bermudas. We asked many female Saint John’s students for their opinions on this new rule. Sila Avilés from 10th grade said, “ It sucks; I understand that some girls wear it too short, but c’mon, we’re going to die from a heat stroke. On the positive side, we don’t have to shave!” Another 10th grader, Sophia Shapiro speaks her mind, “I feel so ugly in these uniforms (referring to the long pants.)” Even students that don’t enjoy wearing skorts feel like this is unfair; 12th grader Claudia Shapiro states, “I personally don’t care because I do not wear skorts, and I think they look terrible. But I know that they probably got rid of them because they were too short, but I think it’s pretty sexist because guys wear shorts all the time, look, they are right now! But girls can only wear long pants? That’s unfair.” We also asked Saint John’s boys for their opinion on the new policy, 11th graders Alvaro Rivera and Fabian Colón stated, “We really do not care because it doesn’t have to do with us, but we don’t even like the skorts anyways.” There are however other girls in Saint John’s who do not mind the new rule such as 10th grade student, Amanda Paredes who claims, “I like wearing the bermuda shorts, they’re super comfortable. Sila Aviles and her Skort I mean I would prefer wearing skorts than shorts, but I still like the bermudas”. Additionally, 7th graders suggest that they should be given the option to use skirts arguing that they are more practical and faster to change into before and after P.E class. 7th graders, Vania Tong and Carolina Vazquez say, “some girls used to wear it last year so we think skirts would look pretty and be more comfortable like they do in other schools.” To conclude, it’s important to note that girls do have the option of wearing bermuda shorts; many students are clueless of this exception to the new rule. Furthermore, it is apparent that students of the Secondary Division would like the option of a skirt rather than the eliminated skort. On the bright side, girls don’t have to worry as much about being bitten by the mosquitoes that surround the school, right? The question is whether the students that dislike this new rule are willing to fight to get skorts back. 7


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October Issue 2014 Centennial News Family Day: Hacienda Campo Rico 900 People Having Fun! Kids having fun! Time for Four Tracks! Henna tattoos! Just one of many slides! Gorgeous views! 8


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October Issue 2014 SJS LIFE Model United Nations: Hurricane Edition By: Elias Lugo Expectations were high for the Saint John's team based on the fact that later on this year, the team will be traveling to Harvard University and the Dominican Republic (CILA) for other competitions. According to Ms. Alfonso, the team didn’t disappoint, “The performance was excellent, and everyone was involved in all committees, there was an outstanding show of leadership from the club’s board. The team received: one first place, a written mention, an oral mention, a best delegation, and outstanding delegation. In comparison to other schools that have more students, we were able to have a good turnout.” When asked what the team had to work on for their next competition she stated, “ We need more people to join the club, we are going to work on more public speaking and more mock debates.” Saint John’s did not disappoint; the 450 students participating in the competition from other schools, namely: Baldwin, San Ignacio, Marista, Maria Reina, CPN, Tasis, Robinson, San Jose were very impressed with the presentation and organization of the competition. Everything was very professional and in good taste. The placards looked fantastic and the classrooms were equipped with microphones thanks to Edwin and Luis in the technology department. The advisors as well as the SJS MUN board members, namely: Tatiana Pelegrina, Hagar Kaminer, Jan Marco de Jesus, and Ramón Pericás worked very hard at making this competition the total success that it was. Some of the many countries that participated Last weekend Saint John's hosted the first 2014-2015 Model United Nations competition of the year. Model UN is an academic competition where students role-play spokesmen from the United Nations and participate in a mock United Nations forum. In preparation for the competition, students are able to learn and develop several skills such as: diplomacy, public speaking, debating, critical thinking, and writing skills. Everyone seemed to be very pleased with the outcome of the September 16th competition. One of the Model UN advisors, Ms. Topp, said, “Spectacular, best ever. All of the students worked diligently. There was a lot of cooperation from all around the school, and a lot of group work from the NHS and others, everybody was very supportive.” Additionally, Ms. Alfonso, another advisor of the Model UN, said, “ The board undertook every task to the highest level and the competition was a total success, especially in organization, performance, and passion. In addition, the support we had from Don Luis and his crew could not be surpassed. From hanging all the flags and preparing the classroom, they were all so gracious and helpful.” 9


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October Issue 2014 Teacher Spotlight SJS LIFE By: Jose Luis Casas Mr. Neumann Have you noticed several new faces in the hallways and classrooms this year? If you didn’t know, there are a total of 9 new teachers in the different departments. Many come from other parts of Puerto Rico and the United States and have worked in completely different careers before teaching. We want to make them feel welcome at Saint John’s and so we interviewed two of the new faculty members: Mr. Neumann, the new U.S. and P.R. history teacher, and the new librarian, Zoey López. Zoey López Q: Why did you decide to join the SJS family? A: It’s the best school in Puerto Rico. I wanted to teach the most qualified students on the island, who I know will be future leaders. Q: How is this job different from the one you had before? How has the transition been? A: Very different; it’s my first time teaching in a classroom. I have had experience teaching sports, and I have also been in government. Teaching is completely different, but I really enjoy it. Q: What do you like most about your job and what’s the most difficult part? A: The best part is the opportunity to meet challenging young people that allows you to learn as much from them as they do from you. I learn from my students everyday. The most difficult part is the preparation for every class. I need to be ready to answer all questions whether they are easy or difficult. Q: One accomplishment you’re most proud of? A: Working for the people of Puerto Rico to better the quality of life in our island through programming in sports especially for the children/youth of Puerto Rico. Q: Random Fact? A: I was a professional basketball player playing for the Brujos de Guayama and the Cangrejos de Santurce. Q: Favorite Sports and Teams? A: My favorite sports are basketball and baseball. My favorite teams are the New York Knicks and the New York Yankees. Q: What do you do on the weekends? A: I spend a lot of time with my 7 year-old son Günther in his basketball practices and games. Q: Why did you decide to join the SJS family? A: Originally, my uncle told me about the job offer. I wasn’t to sure about it at first, but I decided to take it, and now I love it here in SJS. Q: How is this job different from the one you had before? How has the transition been? A: It is completely different setting my old job was digitalizing documents and making them into surgical PDF’s. I’ve never worked with High School students. The transition has been awesome. Q: What do you like most about your job and what’s the most difficult part? A: The best part about being here are the kids, they make my day better and funner. However, cataloging is the most difficult part because I have to make sure that all call numbers are correct. Q: One accomplishment you’re most proud of? A: Helping students in most needed times. Q: Random Fact? A: I can’t eat chocolate because it gives me migraines! Q: Favorite Book? A: Forever Amber and Harry Potter Q: What is your Style? A: I love everything vintage! 10


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October Issue 2014 SJS LIFE By: Adriana Rodríguez After a couple weeks of school, you should have noticed newcomers by now. There are over 100 new students and 20 of them belong to the Secondary school. In comparison to the school, the students would also like to hear about their opinion in their short amount of time here. We want to make them feel as welcome as possible. If you ever pass by them in the hallways, show some appreciation. New Students Q: Tell me about yourself. A: I’m a 16 year old boy, and came from San Jose, to Saint John’s 3 months ago. Q: HowJaime has your time here Jose Molina been? th 10 A: Awesome. I love the environment and the people are great. Coming from a hostile environment to this one is amazing. Q: Are you planning of finishing high school here? A: Certainly, yes! Q: What things do you enjoy to do? A: I like riding horses. Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever experienced? A: I once saw a dog surgery in which they were going to remove a brain tumor. It might sound disgusting but it was really interesting. Q: One word to describe yourself! A: Crazy Madelyne Leibinger 9th Q: Where did you come from? Why did you decide SJS? A: I come from Aspen, Colorado. Connor and Taylor’s parents are my godparents and in Christmas break they asked me if I wanted to try SJS for a semester or even a year. Q: How does it differ from your previous school? A: It’s really different. My old school was more open and outdoors and this school is really crowded not in a bad way. The education is challenging but the same. Q: What do you think about the school? A: I really like it and everyone is so welcoming and people are making me feel like I’ve been here for longer than I’ve had. Q: What do you like the most about being here? A: How close everyone is. Gregory Reyes 9th Q: Why did you come to Saint John’s and where did you come from? A: I came from Robinson School. It wasn’t really my decision, but I wanted to improve academically. Q: What do you like most about being here and what’s the hardest part? A: The best part about being here are the people, everyone is really nice. The classes are the most difficult part. Q: What do you like to do for entertainment? A: I like sports like basketball, exercise, and sailing. I like to ‘study’ too. Q: Tell us something about yourself we wouldn’t know without asking? A: My favorite basketball team is the Los Angeles Clippers. 11


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October Issue 2014 Sports An Olympian On Your Own Campus! By: Robi Frederick Q: What was it like to represent your country in the Youth Olympics in China? A: “It was a great experience and I felt really proud to represent Puerto Rico.” Q: What was it like to compete against other countries at such a high level? A: “It was a lot of fun. I made a lot of new friends from all around the world and I was able to learn so much form this.” Q: You've competed in many other international competitions, how was this one different? A: It was a high level of competition so obviously there was more pressure. Q: What was China like? A: The village and venues were amazing and the volunteers were really professional, but there wasn’t any wind so out of 7 days of the competition we only could race for 3 of them. If you didn't know, your fellow grade students, Lucas Miranda, represented Puerto Rico in the Youth Olympics for windsurfing held in Nanjing, China. Lucas has participated in over 10 international races and qualified to represent Puerto Rico in China. He was in the Youth Olympic village from August 11th to August 29th and finished 19th in the world! If you see Lucas, don't be scared to say congrats! 10th Lucas Wind Surfing 12


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October Issue 2014 Sports Player Spotlight: Robi Frederick By: Sila Avilés Photos Courtesy of FIVB 10th grade student, Robi Frederick, had the opportunity to represent Puerto Rico in the Beach Volleyball World Championships. The event included competitors from 30 different countries around the world and included 36 girl teams. She participated in the Under 17 (U17) competition in Acapulco, Mexico, which took date from July 15th - July 21st. Robi had four wins, but lost against Turkey in three sets and was undefeated going out of pool play. She was placed 9th in the world, which is the best finish Puerto Rico has ever gotten in beach volleyball. Go Robi! Q: How did you feel competing in the World Championships? A: There was a lot of pressure, but I was playing the sport that I loved. It was really fun because I got to meet people from all around the world. Q: How did you end up representing Puerto Rico? A:I had to qualify in a tournament; my partner and I were chosen to be in the Puerto Rican beach volleyball team. Q: What do you think about your outcome in the world Championships? A: I mean, we were undefeated, going out of pool play and we beat Mexico on their home court with 500 Mexicans cheering against us. But unfortunately we lost to Turkey for the quarterfinals. However, I’m really proud because it’s the best finish Puerto Rico has ever done in beach volleyball history. Q: When is the next world Championships? A: It’s in 2 years. I’m really looking forward to get even better than 9th place. 13


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October Issue 2014 Get to know: Mr. Camacho By: Robi Frederick Q: How have our sports teams started out this school year? A: It has been very good. Our soccer program starts with our JV with a 3-0 record and our varsity, who we have big expectations for this season, with 2 ties with the two top schools for the league. In terms of volleyball, I think we have a good and solid program. We have high expectations for the teams this season: our Varsity girls and boys, JV boys, and Juvenile girls. Our girls’ Mini are still doing pretty good as well. As a school, we have arrived 5th out of 12 for golf. Alberto Firpi and Francisco Aponte did very well. Q: What are your expectations for the athletic department? A: My first mission for our department is to encourage my students and explain the real meaning of being a student athlete. Interscholastic sports present students with different values to challenge them every single day, develop time management, and keep their commitments. Q: What advice would you give an athlete who aspires to become a pro? A: My biggest advice to any student interested in becoming a pro athlete is that they need to develop a solid balance and commitment to their goals. What is important to me is to encourage my studentathlete to focus on their sport, but not forget about their other responsibilities. Q: What would you like to improve in student-teacher life at SJS? A: The integration of the school community and to develop a sense of belonging with school color, tradition, and education. Q: Are there any programs in the school available to students as well as teachers who would like to get fit? A: Yes, right now we have our fitness center open from Monday to Thursday from 3:30 to 6 with Mr. Earl Craig. Also, we are going to allow teachers to visit the fitness center during school days when P.E. classes are not in session. Q: On a more personal note, tell me something we may not know about you. A:  I am a very big family person. In my free time I like to be with my two daughters and my wife, listen to music, be at home, and go to my daughters’ activities.  I think everyone here knows I’m very passionate for basketball. My goal here is to be a role model to my students and be active with all sports.  I also work in the professional basketball leagues here in Puerto Rico for the past 10 years.  I used to play for 7 to 9 years as a professional basketball player and I would visit NBA camps and college to coach clinics.  I used to be a PE teacher for 7th, 8th and 9th grade.I had just come out of college and I applied to be a teacher here at Saint John’s. After ten years of being a P.E. teacher, SJS gave me the opportunity to become the head of the Athletic Department.  I’ve been an AD for 8 years now. It’s unusual because I started at Saint John’s in 1997 and some of the teachers now at SJS were my students! The head of the sports department, Mr. Camacho, has been part of the SJS community for 18 years. In a quest to get to know our SJS family a little better, we sat down with Mr. Camacho to learn more about him and hear what he has to say about the SJS sports teams. Want to know how to become a pro athlete? Keep reading to hear Camacho’s top tips! 14


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October Issue 2014 SJS LIFE Girls Triumph Over Boys in Volleyball By: Robi Frederick Who ever said that girls couldn’t beat boys? On Thursday, September 4th the Saint John’s Varsity Girls’ Volleyball team defeated the Varsity Boys’ team in an intense three sets. Seniors Eva Torruella and Rene Maza made a bet; if the girls’ team lost, Eva could not shave her legs for a week and if the boys’ team lost, Rene would have to paint his nails and leave the polish on until it chipped. Sadly for Rene, the guys lost. Rene and his Pink Nails Pig in SJS By: Ms. Silvestrone Can you spot the visitor in this photo? Hint: He's pink, adorable, and weighs almost 80lbs! Students from 7th grade were in for quite a surprise when sweet and friendly "Nico" the pig showed up to school for a visit in honor of their most recent ELA novel: Animal Farm. Thanks to 7th grader, Marina Acosta, and her family for letting Nico come play with us! Fun fact: Nico's mother told us that he and other pigs tend to be smarter than the average threeyear-old. Wow! Cute Pig in Mrs. Alfonso’s room. 15



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