Category Archives: School Stories

Day of Silence

Day of Silence was a project created by Cultural Diversity and GAS to raise awareness about bulling in schools.   Over 30 students and some teachers participated in Day of Silence this year for all different reasons.  Mrs. Baker said she took  “part in the Day of Silence to  bring attention to all those who feel silenced in our society with hopes that they will soon have a voice.”  Everyone wanted to help support the cause by becoming silent for one day.

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Filed under Clubs, School Stories

Food Invasion!

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Today our Cafeteria was invaded by the chefs of G-Zen with trays of delicious vegan food!  G-zen is a new restaurant in town on the green, they opened up this past winter, and so far  business is booming!  They are a restaurant that in addition to only serving vegan foods, uses only organic and locally grown ingredients.  If you want to learn more about G-Zen, check out their Facebook page here:  And hopefully they will be back soon to bring us more treats!

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Filed under Fun Stuff, Lifestyles, School Stories

Egypt is calling: Aida’s in Town

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By Meglin Bodner

The upcoming musical at BHS is Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. It starts out in a museum’s Egyptian exhibit where two people glance at each other and form a connection. Then, the statue of a female Pharaoh awakens and transports the audience to ancient Egypt where Egyptian soldiers and their captain, Radames (Noah Perito), are returning from a mission to conquer Nubia.

Radames’ soldiers have captured a group of Nubian women and he sees one of the women, Aida (Katrice Kemble), trying to escape. Later, Radames keeps Aida and the other Nubian women from working at copper mines by telling them to go to the palace groundskeeper, but sends Aida to be a handmaiden for his fiancée, Princess Amneris (Alison Johnson), instead.

Radames’ father, Chief Minister Zoser (Sam Bibbins), tells his son that the Pharaoh (Jarrett Levesh) is ill and Radames will become the next Pharaoh. Radames orders his Nubian servant, Mereb (Chris Marsala), to take Aida to Princess Amneris and recognizes Aida.

As the story goes on, much more is learned about who Aida is, how Mereb knows Aida, who the other characters are, how they try to overcome the prejudices of their time, and what happens as the forbidden love story progresses.

The show times are Wed. March 21 through Fri. March 23 at 7:30 pm, Sat. March 24 at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sun. March 25th at 2 p.m.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. The tickets can be purchased by calling (203) 315 -7998 ext. 2500. Don’t miss this action and romance filled musical!

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Filed under School Events, School Stories

Teachers on Twitter?

by Vinny Roca

 As we move into the digital area, many aspects of life are becoming less tangible and becoming  posts on our newsfeed or messages in our e-mail; and Branford high school is no exception.  Through social networking sites, blogs and other tools on the information highway, teachers are getting information out to their students at home. Many teachers have been using the internet for multiple years now and have seen the benefits.

Wikis, simple websites, have been created by many teachers at our school including Mr. Miller and Mrs. Lippolis. The websites are great ways to share links to helpful videos or websites, post worksheets to save papers, or post vocabulary words.

Other teachers use more advanced sites to communicate their lessons. Mrs. Baker for example has been using a blog website since 2006. Baker uses the blog to open the classroom to the homes of her students. Baker said, “ I use it as a way to encourage all students to share their thoughts and comments.” Mrs. Baker noted that the online aspect has been beneficial to student, “I find that it increases participation, especially from students who are hesitant to share their thoughts in class discussion.”

What seems to be the most creative idea so far by teachers in terms of entering the digital world, has been teachers recent efforts to connect with students to where they are on online the most, social networking sites.

Twitter has become more than just a place of gossip for students at BHS; teachers such as Mr. Bouley and Mr. Gagliargi are using it for communication.They constantly update there feeds to update students on things such as test dates and homework reminders.  Students now have an opportunity to get their homework where they receive all of their other information.

One of Mr. Gagliardi’s students, Chase Fowler, told the Buzz that, “The twitter makes things easier, I check what my Spanish homework was, right after reading some Will Ferrell Parody tweets.” The Twitter also has a fun side to it, in which students have attempted to make #elmundo a trend.

Facebook has also been a source for information by teachers. Mrs. Okamoto in particular has set up multiple Facebook pages to assist her students; one where students can help each other and another where she post updates to remind students about important due dates. Alex Muniz, an AP Chemistry students said, “The Facebook page has saved me a few times, reminding me about assignments I forgot to do.”

The internet has become a second classroom for the teachers at BHS. And, as the results show, there has been much success within the BHS community.

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A Blast from the Past: Valentines Day

Ever wonder what our school was like 30 years ago? Or even 50 years ago?  Now you don’t have to; our staff has uncovered a “vault” of Branford Newspapers that date all the way back to the 1950’s!

Here’s a look at the different ways our school celebrated Valentines Day….

This survey was completed by the students who attended BHS in March of 1982, a full 30 years ago!  And even though its been 30 years  maybe the opinions aren’t so different to the ones that students in 2012 have today?

This passage taken from a Branford High School version of the Buzz called The Hornet that features a couple who were celebrating the spirit of Valentines Day.  This article was published on February 17, 1965 from our school over 50 years ago!

I hope everyone had a great 2012 Valentines Day!


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Valentines Fever!

It’s February 14th and Valentines Day has spread through the hallways of Branford High through song, flowers, and spirit!  It seems like everyone took part in celebrating this holiday of love; whether you were singing with the Music Makers to red-faced students, buying pink carnations to support Interact, or laughing over your “match maker” surveys.  Valentines Day at BHS is a time for fun, giddiness, and LOTS of embarrassment for friends! Thanks to everyone who helped make the holiday a little bit brighter this year.

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A Class Without a Teacher


by Nina Mariotti

With the way news travels so quickly, almost everyone has heard about the incident revolving around Ms. Lippolis, a social studies teacher here at Branford High School. During one of her freshman classes, Lippolis held some kind of cooking knife in front of her students and made a joke about something bad happening to them if they didn’t do their homework. Since the incident, Lippolis has been on leave and is currently being investigated. The whole ordeal has brought a lot of attention to our school, and a few local news sites have covered it.

Many students sympathize with the teacher. “Ms. Lipolis likes to joke a lot. I don’t think she would do anything like that seriously. It might have just been taken out of context. I guess [the school] is responsible for the student’s safety, but I still think she’s a good teacher and should be back,” commented a senior girl who had Ms. Lippolis as a teacher her freshman year.

Robert Miniter, who had Ms. Lippolis as a teacher last year thought everything, was taken too seriously. “I think people don’t know how to take a joke,” he says. “The whole thing got blown up out of proportion. Ms. Lippolis is the bomb!”

Other students agree that precautions have to be taken. “If a student had done something like that, they would have been expelled! You can’t be biased toward teachers. It’s only fair,” says one senior guy.

As for now, Ms. Lippolis classes are being taken over by other social studies teachers here at the high school. “I think its better that our classes are being taught by actual teachers rather than different substitutes because they understand how the school works and what we need to learn,” says Marissa Salazar, a freshman. “If Ms. Lippolis were to come back, it might be a little awkward, but I wouldn’t feel threatened at all,” she added.  As of now it is unknown when she will be back and the school is anxiously waiting to hear any news of her arrival.

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Thinking Outside the “Unit Circle”

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Mrs. Craig has made new use of the after Christmas clearance sales, but what use is tinsel to a Precalc class?  The class had created a HUMAN UNIT CIRCLE; a unit circle is basically a circle split by different degrees to create right triangles.  They used this arrangement of Christmas left overs to review their material for the midterm and practice working out different problems.  This was only one of different activities the Preclac classes were involved in to get themselves ready to take the two hour test.  This just goes to show that anything can help you study, and the more creative the better!

Photo Credit: Jess Rodi and Danielle Craig

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Branford Goes Green

by Vinny Roca

You may have noticed that there have been some changes to the lights in the commons and on senior balcony. Since the construction of the commons incandescent bulbs have been wasting energy, inefficiently lighting the common, but recently these light have been replaced with energy efficient LED lights.

So why the sudden change? Mr. Panagoulias responded by saying that the, “The change was not mandatory but part of an energy saving initiative in Branford Public Schools.” He also noted that the changes in the light bulbs are just the beginning of a long line in changes made on all Branford Schools to save energy.

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Take Classes without Leaving Your Couch

by Nina Mariotti

Since 2006, high schools have been offering online classes. This yea is Branford High School’s first year participating in the Virtual High School program. 40 students from Branford were piloted to take classes in VHS.

So far, the program has been running smoothly. In fact, the board of education is so pleased with the success of the program that they’re hoping to one day have it be a requirement for BHS students. “It’s a long term goal-maybe 3-5 years from now-to have every student [at BHS] have the requirement to take a class online,” says Mr. Panagoulias.

Some students may be wondering why exactly we should be taking online classes. What’s wrong with the classes we take every day at school? Mr. Bouley, the only teacher at BHS to teach an online class so far, says while of course our day-to-day school classes are always a good way to learn, online classes will enrich your learning in a different kind of way

“It’s a very different experience, teaching in a [physical] classroom with students and one online,” he said. “It’s hard to say which one is better…online students are very independent learners… and can get individual help from me. My classes here have the benefit of hearing stories from myself and working with other students.” In addition to teaching AP psychology classes here at BHS, Bouely teaches an online philosophy class.

Mr. Panagoulias is hoping to get more teachers like Mr. Bouely to teach an online class, because for every one teacher our school contributes, we get about 50 seats for students to join the program.

The world around us is always changing, and the use of technology is growing all the time. “It’s important”, as Mr. Panagoulias says, “for our students to work with technology skills.  It will be very good to have those skills when they go to college and in the work space.”

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