Spreading the Net – Melissa Gatti
We’ve all heard the term “Spread the Love”, but in this past year at St. Michael secondary school, our community decided to “Spread the Net”! Lead by student lead Veronica Venditti along with the hard work of many in the Spread the Net student team, our school raised $5272. This is enough to save the lives of 1054 of those at risk for malaria in African countries.
In case you haven’t heard of this famous organization yet, Rick Mercer and Belinda Stronach founded Spread the Net in 2006. Its goal is to stop the spread of malaria in African countries by raising money for bed nets. Sound familiar? You may have heard of this on The Rick Mercer report, where the school with the most money raised for the cause that year gets to appear on the show! This year, 54 schools participated and together raised enough money to save 30,000 lives!
Our school, although not placing in the top spot, took a proud second place in our category next to a school in Fort McMurray. To discuss the successful first year at St. Michael, the generous outcome, along with the most memorable moments, I spoke to student lead Veronica Venditti, who decided to “spread the net” here at St. Michaels.
What inspired you to start the Spread the Net initiative at our school?
Well I actually saw it because I watch The Rick Mercer Report so I saw Spread the Net and I thought we could do it here. I really wanted to help people, I thought it was a great cause and only ten dollars saves two lives so I thought we could bring it here.
What things did you and the club do to raise money and attention for this cause?
In October we did candy grams, in November and February we did dress down days, December we partnered with the Arts Program for the Christmas concert and in January we did a popcorn sale.
Was there one specific memory that stands out to you from this year’s Spread the Net? If so, what is it?
I think it was probably the first time we collected the money from the first dress down day and we counted it all. There was a lot there and I was really happy and proud of how much we raised and what we were able to accomplish!
What do you think was the key to your team’s success this year?
We worked really well together. A lot of the group were grade tens so they already knew each other and they were all friends, but they were all really welcoming to the grade nines that we worked with, so I think that overall, as a whole, we just worked really well together.
Having one year of experience under your belt, what does the future of Spread the Net look like to you at this moment?
I think the future is bright! 54 schools did it this year, raising a total of $150,000. So I think even if it doesn’t come here necessarily, it’s still going to continue without St. Michael.
Finally, if you could describe the first year of Spread the Net in one word, what would it be?
Success! We raised $5272, which is enough to save 1054 lives.
Behind the scenes of Mic TV
By Michaela Cipollone & Della Boudreau
You see it every morning when you walk in to class. It keeps you updated on everything going on in the school; sports, academic, trips you name it, but have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of our very own Mic TV morning announcements? In this piece, we take an exclusive look at how the MicTV crew brings you all the events that take place in our school.
Captain of the morning announcements and switcher for MicTV, Richard Naso, sat down with us to share his uniquely up-close view of the morning announcements. To begin, Richard told us what he thinks are the more important roles in the MicTV studio:“Not to sound bias, but I think switcher is the most important role, because they do a director role. As for the morning announcements, I believe the talent is the most important role because it takes a lot for someone to get in front of the camera.” When asked if he was looking forward to next year -as a grade 12 senior student- Richard responded, “Of course, big year. Comm Tech h
as always been something I really enjoy doing and its been a lot of effort to make sure I keep it in my schedule next year. But I am looking forward to being in grade 12, and having that extra freedom that a grade 12 students will have. But yes, I am looking forward to it.” We just had one last question, what does the studio look like on a typical day? “Usually I am one of the first people to get here in the morning around 7:55, then I usually set up everything in the control room; then I go set up the camera. Once that is all done people from the Av crew start coming in. Usually teleprompter first, then the back computer, audio controller and finally studio director. But on a typical day everything is set up and ready to go around 8:07 or 8:10 and by then we’re ready to go.”
We’d like to thank Richard for sitting down with us and taking the time to answer our questions, and to extend a special thank you to the whole Av crew: thank you for all your hard work and commitment to MicTV. Lastly, thank you Mr. Molle and Mr. Raposo, without them we wouldn’t have morning announcements; or MicTV for that matter. Thank you so very much for putting together AV crew, MicTV and for teaching your students all that you have, so they can make it possible to put special events together.
Spring Sports of 2016
By Valerie Ratkajec
Interested in joining athletics but haven’t signed up yet? Not to worry, this spring, we still have a wide variety of sports teams.
-Track and Field
-Soccer for Jr. and Snr. Boys
-Soccer girls’ varsity
Don’t forget to listen to our morning announcements and don’t be afraid to sign up even if you’ve never played before!
Letters to Charlotte: A Grade 11 Sears Production
By Emma Sandri
We can’t change the past but we can try to move on and make a better future. So I think that’s what we should do.”
Every year the grade 11 drama students of St. Michael Secondary School perform at the Sears Ontario Drama Festival, a place in which people from all over the province perform live stories on stage.
And each year, St. Michael C.S.S students have done exceptionally well; this year will be no different.
Written and directed by Jade Hosick and Megan Keatings, Letters to Charlotte is the production to be performed March 1st. A drama, the story follows the life of a foster child Charlotte Bennett, after she discovers the identity of her biological father, Rhett, and struggles to come to terms with his absence and life choices. Played by Jessica Ruffolo and Dylan Corona, the two characters’ lives are the central focus of this story about life’s messy and loving relationships.
Unlike other drama works such as this one, the play itself comes from rather unsurprising origins: a song. Heard by the three playwrights, the song – “Only Son”, by Barcelona- tells the story of a man who has given up his son and is writing to explain why. And thus, Letters to Charlotte was born.
While the song inspired the idea, the dialogue, characters, and stage directions came from the writers Megan Keatings, Olivia Koren, and Jade Hosick’s own imagination, as well as research. In the time that it took to write the script, countless amounts of research was done to ensure that the play was accurate. This includes the medical and legal jargon used in scenes 4, 6 and 8, all of which take place in a courtroom and doctor’s office. “The play has very serious subjects including drug abuse, child neglect and illnesses such as hepatitis C and cancer. We wanted to be sure that all of the information we were writing about was accurate […] the last thing we wanted to do was offend anyone.” As well, because the play itself provides snapshots throughout Rhett and -by consequence- Charlotte’s life, certain aspects of the set, vocabulary, and costumes needed to be researched for the time period; this took the longest amount of time in the whole writing process.
But what sets Letters to Charlotte a part from other dramas, and more importantly, past St. Michael Sears productions? The presentation. The play itself follows a non-linear format, with flashbacks between past and present events, all of which allow Charlotte to piece together her past. The actual set of the production is quite unique in itself, as it is made to represent, and look like, the box containing Rhett’s belongings. As Charlotte sorts through her father’s belongings and reads the letters he gave her, she is able to envision parts of her father’s life. “With the box, everyone is a morphed figure in Charlotte’s mind, and can be shaped into whatever she wants.” This not only makes for an intriguing play, but also for room for actors to be creative with their character choices and delivery of lines.
The writers and directors of the play, Megan and Jade, oversee such actor’s choices, and have final say on all aspects of the acting, lighting, set, and costumes. This hefty task is not easy, and as such, both directors would describe the hardest part of their job as responsibility and communication: “The hardest part […] is the sheer fact that everyone relies on you for everything up until production day. A lot of challenges faced were trying to communicate our vision into words for everyone.” However, with that being said, the freedom to control and decide upon the overall look and feel of the play is also -according to the directors- the best part of their production.
As an actress in Letters to Charlotte playing the role of prosecutor, my favourite scene is -not surprisingly- the court scene. In this scene, the character I play is grilling Rhett about his past mistakes and choices, trying to urge the jury to see that he is an unfit parent. While this scene is one of the longest in the play, it is also one of the most action packed, filled with great one liners, emotional tangents, and a lot of yelling. Both directors, Megan and Jade believe that the court scene, coupled with the following support group scene, are their favourite parts of the play: “They are very different, [and it is these] different aspect which I can enjoy in each. The court scene adds some suspense and drama, whereas the beginning of the support group scene adds some comic relief.” To Megan, this may be -in part- due to Rhett and Charlotte, her favourite characters, “The whole play is based on Rhett’s life and his struggles, and though they are just characters we created, there’s almost like a connection felt toward them.”
While opinions of the best scenes and characters may vary, one thing is for sure: the show is guaranteed to touch your heart. After all, the unsurprising message of this play is that of forgiveness; of both ourselves and others.
“You can’t always just wait for life to get better, because you’ll never know when that will be,” – Jade Hosick
A huge thanks goes out to Megan and Jade for giving me their time and answers! Please make sure to buy tickets to this year’s night of theatre to catch Letters to Charlotte.
By Megan Weise
On Thursday November 19th 2015, a bus full of St. Michael students went to downtown Toronto and handed out sandwiches and clothes to the homeless. Every student had the opportunity to give out sandwiches and witness what is going on in the world first-hand.
Each student that was a part of Street Patrol and came to downtown Toronto completed about 5 hours of community service for participating and attending, which is put towards their volunteer hours which they will need in order to graduate.
With a fee of $10, any student from grades 9-12 is allowed to attend Street Patrol trips. Having paid the fee of $10, you will be provided with a seat on the bus and sandwiches to hand out. Afterwards, the group stops by the Eaton Centre and eats there before going back on the bus and returning to the school.
December 5th 2015 will be the second Street Patrol trip of the year, and the school is collecting clothes to give to the homeless- socks, scarves, gloves, and anything you can think of. Both students and teacher can donate. Thank you to all of those who have donated.
The estimated time frame for Street Patrol is 2:30 pm to about 8:30pm. If you are interested in attending Street Patrol, consult the Chaplin for more information. Forms will be found in front of the Chaplin office in a black box hung up on the wall.
Hope to see you at the next Street Patrol!
Sounds of Christmas: Concert Review
By Hannah Thomas
On Thursday, December 10th, the St. Michael cafeteria was filled with the sounds of Christmas, courtesy of our school’s music program. The concert consisted of performances from both the junior and senior concert bands, the chamber choir, the grade ten Arts Advantage class, and some small ensembles.
Led by Ms. Ziemba and Mr. Engson, the students performed pieces such as Angels We Have Heard On High, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and even tributes to The Beatles and Michael Jackson. Sparks were flying during a flirtatious performance of Baby It’s Cold Outside sung by the Thunderbirds Concert Choir.
Throughout the night, there were chances for family and friends to win a pot of poinsettia through a ticket raffle. And to close off the event, there was a guest appearance from none other than jolly ol’ St. Nicholas, who handed out candy canes to a few lucky people in the audience.
All the proceeds collected from the concert go towards funding for the students to compete in competitions. In the near future, the concert bands will be travelling to Boston to compete.
By Lara Sallaberger
Where dreams come to life and unique talents are celebrated, on Tuesday December 9 2015 both St. Michael’s students and teachers gathered to celebrate the extraordinary talents of the students who were brave enough to perform. St. Michael’s teachers Mrs. Gianacola, Mrs. Della Mea and the Grade 12 Writers Craft Class, thanks to the generosity of the librarian Mr. Carnavale, decorated the library with winter themed adornments setting the atmosphere for the show.
Opposite to the stage, that was set up by Mr. Engson and his music students, was the bake sale. The smell of rice crispy squares, cookies, pie and other baked goods wafted a pleasant aroma during the show enticing the attendees to purchase a delicious treat. The proceeds of the bake sale have gone directly to the School’s D.R. mission trip. The proceeds are approximately $100. Thank you to all those who have contributed to this worthy cause!
All audience members were supportive and encouraging to all the students who mustered up the courage to share their gifts. Poetry pieces by Daniella Gatti, Sofia D’Alasandro, and Victoria Zaccagnini were awe-inspiring. Musical pieces by Melissia Gatti, Erica Commiso, Michael karagus and Peter brought the audience to cheers especially for the foreign musical number performed by Michael. Great Stand-up Comedy by Michael Pincente brought laughter to an eager audience.
At Saint Michael’s C.S.S. we are always promoting the cultivation of our talents whatever they may be, on December 9th 2015 those in the audience were privilege to experience the talents of those who choose to share them. We hope to see all those who attended again next year and are anticipating even more performers sharing their gifts.