Tag Archives: school

Curious about the Canoes in the Commons?


The Construction of Canoes

By Meglin Bodner

           The Advanced Woodworking classes have worked hard to complete handmade canoes with the help of their teacher, Mr. Niemiec, and various others. Mr. Niemiec was thinking of new projects that the students could try out. He wasn’t sure exactly what to do, so he asked another shop teacher. They came up with making canoes. Mr. Niemiec said that when he was in high school, he built two dinghy type boats. So, he had already had some experience with making boats. This gave him and his students an advantage.

He said, “I got the idea for the canoes from this fellow shop teacher and my wife then got me the book with the plans for these canoes, the rest is now BHS history.”

            Before the construction of the canoes could begin, materials were needed. They used West System Marine Epoxy, ¼” A/C Ext. Plywood, Pine & Maple, Mahogany, and Purple Heart hardwoods for seats and paddles. These were obtained by Mr. Niemiec at the Branford Building Supplies store near the town green and also Birbarie Marine, which is near Branford.

            Now, here was where the building came into play. It took about 2 months to build the canoes. Next came the planning. The plan was that the canoes were going to be tried out behind BHS at the boat ramp. The students weren’t sure if they would actually float or not, but soon they found the canoes to be successful! Mr. Niemiec remarked, “Yes, happily they not only float and are completely water tight, they are also extremely fun and easy to manage. They are designed for calm water and no more than 250 lbs. of weight, and are best suited for one person.” The only element that still needs to be put on is the paint, but altogether they did a really nice job with them.

            After the paint is on and the canoes are finished, Mr. Niemiec plans to raffle them at $5.00 per chance with the drawing at the Spring launch and barbecue during a field trip with the Occupational Foods Classes in 2010. At first, he was thinking on selling them, but no one stepped forward. More plans were coming about. Mr. Niemiec was saying, “Yes, we plan to make more each semester, and possibly some kayaks, in the hope of creating a new full year course specifically for boat building and framing.”


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Join the Buzz

newspapersIf you have ever had any interest in writing for the school newspaper, The Buzz, come to the meeting on Wednesday September 2, at 2:30 in  E12.

If you cannot attend contact Mrs. Butler, Colin Tripp, or just comment this post with your name and email.

Photo from: Kera.org


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Branford Student Cooking on Channel 8

On June 11, 2009 JaLemonTartmes Bannon and Zachary Fair appeared on the WTNH Channel 8 midday show in a cooking showcase making Lemon Tartlets. The segment was taped early in the morning and air at approximately 12:30 last Thursday. If you missed it air, you can still see it here

Photo Credit: Here

-Madeline Alden

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College Planning, Simplified

by Sean Smith


Photo: student-choices.com

As juniors prepare to plan for their lives post high school, many are struggling to find the school or training they need to be successful after their years here in public schooling. Today, students are given the choice of hundreds of colleges and universities as well as vocational training schools across the country and choosing the right one can be a challenge.

Luckily there are many resources for students to use. The College Board and Princeton Review websites have numerous tools to help any student plan for college based on their interests, grades, and abilities. It helps to know what you enjoy and what you could see yourself doing for years to come whether it be hands on or more of a behind the scenes occupation, finding what you like and what you can excel in is an important part of your life after  high school.

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Jamming for a Cause

 By Rachel Rimm

n693030176_6802977_1476206On the evening of Friday May 8th several music-loving teens assembled in the school auditorium to support “Jamnesty”. Jamnesty is an event hosted by the Amnesty International club, which runs not only in our school, but in the rest of the world. They raise money to protect human rights and bring awareness to people who don’t know about or understand the injustices in the world. On Friday night, several student bands each played a small set. The featured bands were The Branford Ballers, The Green Team, The Red Tide, All Else Fails, Vincent’s Late Arrival, and Flashbang. They played a variety of different genres ranging from metal, jazz, funk, rock, and alternative. The Branford Ballers did a great job pumping up the crowd with their rendition of “99 Red Balloons” and the audience was surely quite impressed when Matt Schell from The Red Tide played his “keytar”. Vincent’s Late Arrival featured Shane Emery singing the band’s original song “Fading Away” which made it hard for Flashbang’s Tao Markovich’s to compete with his James Bond influenced entrance. Certain songs got everyone dancing, and after a few songs, a few people even danced with the bands on stage.  Cole Freeman, from The Red Tide, was “really pleased with the whole result. We were able to pull together a good show from very little prep time and organization.” It was a great night. Everyone was there to support their friends, support a great cause and have an all around fun time.


Photos: Rachel Rimm

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BEF Fundraiser

By Madeline Alden

On a rainy Wednesday, the atmosphere inside Lenny’s Restaurant was anything but dreary. The mellow sound of “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson could be heard in the background sung by a local artist, Don Fillian, who provided the entertainment for the crowd of 50 or so people. The evening’s festivities were part of a fundraiser for the Branford Education Foundation, which is trying to help support public education in the town.

The BEF was founded in 2004 and has since raised more than $87,000 for educational programs that couldn’t be funded by the Board of Education, according to BEF organizers. The BEF’s latest fundraiser was the silent auction at Lenny’s on April 22 which raised approximately $8,000. Programs such as the Solar Energy Program and Earth Week/Arbor Day Initiative Projects have been awarded $2,500 and $1,800 to Branford High School in 2009. All program proposals have been reviewed by a board of teachers and about 95% of the cases proposed go through and are funded by BEF. BEF also awarded $3,700 to Branford High School principal Lee Panagoulias and social studies teacher Joel Hinrichs for a trip to China as part of Shandong Principal and Teacher Shadow Program.

BEF was founded by Bob Babcock. He also founded the Cheshire Education Foundation in Cheshire, Connecticut. BEF is an organization that “raises private funding for public programs that funding wasn’t granted to by the board of education,” Bob Babcock explains, “I feel that the better a public system is in a community the better the community is as a whole and having a fund allows us to support public education.”  There are about 70 EF’s in CT.

For the silent auction, many local restaurants and companies donated items to bid. These items included a bike from Zane’s, an Owenego club membership, spa and restaurant gift cards and much more. All proceeds profit BEF, which in turn profits Branford’s education. The sponsors of the event were happy to contribute to BEF; one of them was Guilford Savings Bank. “We always contribute scholarships to Branford and the surrounding area to give back to the community,” said Salvatore Mancuso, the Branford Branch Manager of Guilford Savings Bank.

“I think that it is fabulous that we have BEF in the town; it is the people of the town who want to support us and they do,” says John Prins, a board member of BEF

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The Start of Girl’s Hockey Team


Photo from PhotoDesign

By Alice Ni

New to this year’s winter sports is the girl’s hockey team. Although the team is only considered a club, the girls are still able to compete against other schools. The team is coached by Lauren Wiggins and Scott Valentine and led by captains Liza Wood (junior), Chandlar Fowler (freshman), and Tori Redding (senior). The squad consists of 16 girls who practice once every week for one hour at either the Ralph Walker rink in New Haven or at the West Haven rink. Katherine Alden, a junior that plays defense, says that “Practices can be really tiring but at the same time, they’re fun. Right now we’re getting down the basics of hockey, like dribbling the puck, passing, and shooting.” Their record so far is 2-2-1 with a recent big win over West Haven with a final score of 4-1

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