January 2021


The Blue and Gold


Malden High School

77 Salem Street

Volume 106 Edition 1 January 2021


This article was written in May of


Sandra Rivadeneira

Print Editor-in-Chief

It was another day at work, one that

I complained about going to during

(what I didn’t know then) was

the last day of school. I was standing

at the register, waiting to ring up the

upcoming customer’s meal when

that customer started to make small

talk. Specifically, how Revere Public

Schools announced that they would

be closing their schools for a couple

of weeks due to COVID-19.

Later on that evening, I checked

my email to find a letter saying that

Malden Public Schools would also

be closing their schools for at least

two weeks for the same reasons. Like

most other students, this was bittersweet

news. Excited to be taking a

small break from junior year, to put

off the oncoming AP Language and

Composition research project, and

maybe even catch up on the work

I was behind in. Pretty bummed

that the spring sports season would

be postponed or that I wouldn’t be

able to see and chat with my favorite

teachers for a couple of weeks.

Then those couple of weeks

turned into a couple of months until

April 22nd when Governor Baker

made it official that all Massachusetts

schools would be closed for the

remainder of the school year.

Going into quarantine, I had

so many ideas of things-to-do, doing

what I thought was surely only

going to be two weeks. Going out

for runs, painting the pockets of

my jeans, reading some new books,

even maybe trying something with

my hair.

However, as quarantine progressed

I started getting sick of being

inside. I started to miss the daily

routine of school and the social atmosphere

so much more than I

expected. How was I missing something

that I would complain about

almost everyday? It was unexpected

for me but my mental health was

taking a hard punch.

I started feeling helpless as I

would see news everywhere of terrible

things due to the pandemic and I

felt like I could do nothing. It was to

a point where I started to lose sight

of the big picture and started feeling

small. This directly affected my mo-

Continued on page 3.

Malden Can



This article was written and submitted

in April of 2020.

Mayor Gary Christenson

Guest Submission

Nor’easter? Salt, plow and

A we’re typically back up in a

few days. Budget shortfalls? Leave

vacant positions unfilled and we

can usually balance. COVID-19? No

playbook for this one.

I can still remember like it was

yesterday when I found out that the

Coronavirus was spreading. Not

having a plan to turn to we went with

pure instincts which was to make

sure our students were safe. That is

why the first decision we made was

to call off school until we knew just

what we were dealing with and the

state later followed suit.

But despite the sadness of the

past several weeks there has been

much to be thankful for as many

from within our community have

come together to help those in need.

From students making masks for

first responders and deliveries to

residents who can’t get out to businesses

like Pisa Pizza feeding our

frontline workers and Encore Boston

Harbor helping the Bread of Life

with donations of soap and shampoo

to the grassroots organization

called Malden Neighbors Helping

Neighbors who have called many

of our senior citizens to check in on

them, the spirit and resiliency of our

city has never been stronger.

I believe this spirit is what has

ultimately helped get us through

these unsettling times and without a

doubt will carry us forward into the


2020 Class Valedictorian Jacky Luong

Page 8

2020 Class Salutatorian Rasmee Ky

Page 8

2020 Class Orator Thao-Mi Nguyen

Page 9

Mayor Gary Christenson speaking at

the State of the Malden City Address.

Photo taken from The Blue and Gold





Students at

MHS return


Kayley Glavin

Lead Reporter

With the COVID-19 pandemic

going on since March, online

school has been challenging, especially

affecting students in special

education classes. Life has been

hectic, but teachers are trying to do

all they can to offer help whenever

possible. They want to make sure

students who need special education

services have someone to talk

to and to help them.

Dana Marie Brown is the team

chair of special education at Malden

High School. Brown works with

Elizabeth Smith who is the program

manager. Both of their jobs entail

overseeing the teachers and students.

Smith explained how “neither

[her] nor [Brown] are actually classroom

teachers.” Through their job,

they “talk to all the teachers about

what is going on,” though most of

the teachers are partaking in remote

learning. A lot of their job consists

of paperwork and meetings as well.

Brown has worked at Malden

High School for about thirteen

years. She started as a teacher for

nine years before transferring to the

Beebe School, where she worked

with Special Education kids like she

does now in Malden. She stayed at

Beebe for two and a half years and

then came back to Malden High

this past January right before the

pandemic hit. Working at the elementary

school “made her miss the

high school.” She especially missed

those unique connections with high

schoolers that she couldn’t make

with younger kids. For example, she

could not have “those adult conversations”

or interactions on a “different


There are groups of students

that are coming to school physically

and are a part of the PACE

program, which is only about thirty

to forty kids. These students still go

in at 7:45 to 2:15, same as all Malden

High Students in all grades. These

students are in “real live classrooms

every day” but most of the people

in their classes are still at home

continuing with online learning.

Although some of the kids are participating

in in-school learning, they

are remote on Wednesdays.

Brown explained that not all

students have the option to go in.

Additionally, whether or not the

student “qualified” for in-school

learning due to having a “significant

disability” that required a more

hands-on approach influenced the

family’s decision on whether they

felt safe sending their child to school.

The school reached out to families at

home over the summer and again

later in October to discuss the plans

with them. The students are still being

taught by their regular teachers

when they come in every day.


Julie Yu ‘21



Web and Mobile Apps


Jennica Ruan ‘21



Sarah Alves Marques ‘22

Amy Arrue ‘24

Rose Jean Charles ‘22

Nathan Dean ‘24

Melvin Delgado Melara ‘24

Jhechel Espiritu ‘23

Daniel Germano Moreria Martins ‘22

Alexey Mozyaev ‘21

Zachary Nedell ‘24

Daniel O’Toole ‘24

Renalda Simon ‘23

Renaldine Simon ‘23

Sorin Taylor ‘23

Hadjar Yousfi ‘24

Class Advisor:

Ryan Gallagher

Between the PACE Program

and its transition staff, there are six

different classrooms. Brown was

“very sure” that most of the Special

Education students that are in

school are thrilled to be back and

are looking forward to the rest of the

year. Brown asked students about

what learning format they like more

and most of them choose wanting

to be in school. She explained that

for most of the students it was “cool

to them” as in students to continue

to get the in-school experience. The

adults and parents often think their

kids are getting a better experience

from in-school learning.

“They have the whole school to

themselves,” Brown explained, “so

it is not as crowded as it usually is

when there are over 2000 [people].

There is a lot more room for them to


Print Editor-in-Chief:

Sandra Rivadeneira ‘21

Managing Editor:

Julie Huynh ‘22

Managing Editor of Print

and Design:

Lauren Mallett ‘22

Head of Sports:

Lulu Harding ‘22

Managing Editor

of Photography:

Liam O’Toole ‘22

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Lead Reporters

Chaimaa Assli ‘23

Carolina Cuevas ‘21

Gabriel Fesehaie ‘23

Julia Freitas ‘23

Kayley Glavin ‘23

Juliana Luong ‘23

Krishany Marius ‘23

Christopher McIntyre ‘22

Kaoutar Wakaf ‘23

Managing Editor:

Sandra Li ‘22

Managing Editor of Print

and Design:

Carlos Aragon Aldana ‘22

Head of Local:

Courtney Fitzgerald ‘22

breathe and spread out without the

many teenagers in the building.”

As far as personal relationships

with her students goes, Brown has

established many of them and it

happens to be the favorite part of

her job. One way she is able to keep

creating these bonds is lunch time.

A benefit of kids being in in-person

classes is that Brown can go to lunch

to sit and interact with the students.

She can talk with them prior to and

in between classes. The lack of students

at the moment “allows” her

to have more time to make more

relationships with students one on

one. She really enjoys building those

relationships over time and believes

a lot of teachers feel the same.

When the COVID outbreak

began in the United States in March,

Malden High put in effort to provide

help for their students, which

included “still getting classes with

their teachers,” Brown said. Students

were able to still meet with

their classmates, be part of their job

skill classes, receive speech services,

and therapy services.

Brown expressed how “amazing

of a job” the teachers did in

making individualized schedules

for each specific student.

For her, it has been “nice to be

back [for] the last few weeks.” Overall,

Brown and the other staff are doing

their best to settle in and figure

out how to make the situation work

as smoothly as possible. She hopes

families are staying safe and wishes

everyone else can be back soon.

This article was published on

December 4th, 2020.

The Blue and Gold

January 2021



Continued from page 1.

tivation to accomplish remote learning

assignments and I started falling

behind in class. Now, I’m definitely

a stubborn person and not the type

to admit to needing help, however it

got to a point where I had to.

In every email, Google Classroom

announcement, or Google

Meet, teachers made it very clear

that they were there for anything,

just an email away. To the extent of

my experience, teachers have been

very understanding and accommodating

to students’ needs. Rightfully

so, as these have been and continue

to be troubling times and one never

knows what it is like for the student.

In general, Malden High has

put in a lot of effort in supporting

its students during the early stages

of the pandemic. Meals that a lot

of families depended on the school

to provide were still provided with

social distancing. Breakfast and

lunch were available to be picked

up at Malden High location and the

Salemwood School for all families

of Malden Public School students,

and the student did not have to be


Furthermore, when it comes

to the senior activities, I admire the

staff and faculty for the amount of

time and effort they put in to allow

seniors to be appreciated and still

get some sort of celebration, despite

the inconvenient circumstances.

They could have simply

apologized and cancelled the Class

of 2020’s graduation or have the

ceremony online like many other

communities did. On June 9th,

Christopher Mastrangelo officially

announced that an in-person graduation

ceremony would be happening

on Monday, August 3rd. They

found a way to make sure an inperson

graduation ceremony still

happened for these seniors before

they move on to the next chapter of

their lives, and found a way to do it

appropriately during the pandemic.

In addition, on the day that

their graduation was set on, May

30th, faculty members paraded the

streets of Malden to honk in celebration

to the seniors standing outside

their front doors in their caps and

gown. Surely, an event that required

a lot of effort to plan and to put in


Recently, after the death of

George Floyd and the riots and protests

that began to happen in every

state, it was no time to stay quiet

or feel helpless. I had teachers who

held Google Meets with the description

that they wanted to talk about

the trending news and wanted to

hear what students had to say. Others

post announcements in which

they expressed their feelings about

events and what they were doing to

assist the Black Lives Matter movement

and what students can also

do, linking petitions and suggestions

to movies and books and then

podcasts. Some teachers also came



January Crossword Puzzle

Collage of sports photographs. Photo taken from The Blue and Gold archives.


7. The Paws and Purrfection company is located at

240 ___ street in Malden.

8. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the start time of

the _____ season has been altered.

9. Ana Pirosca stresses the importance of being

the _______ you want to see and being active in

the community.

11. Gregory Chau was also motivated by his

parents and wanted to make them _____.

14. According to Wu Zheng, a method of

__________ is another key point, because

having a positive mindset will always keep you

on track.

16. The OCRC values the ______.

17. Students are offered ____ positions in the

Adaptive Physical Education class.

18. What year of his schooling did Jinpeng Chen

realize what the essence of learning was?

19. What university is Ezra Kruckenberg planning

on attending (as an acronym)?

21. How did Thao-Mi Nguyen describe college?

22. The Special Education Parent Advisory Council

is in _____________ to make sure that no

parents feel alone and so they can talk about

their questions and concerns.

23. Christelle Jean is running unopposed for the

____ position.

Puzzle compiled by Juliana Luong and Lauren


all the way from their hometowns

to join in the march being held in

Malden on Friday, June 5th.

I’ve felt very supported by Malden

High staff since this change of

events started. It’s a new normal and

the transition was different for everyone.

For me, it was a little harder

than I expected. Teachers made sure

students knew they could reach out

to them whenever, faculty made

sure seniors were acknowledged

and still rewarded for their years of

effort, and if anything it made the

Malden High community stronger.

We began the school year with

the motto “You Are Not Alone.”

Faculty wore the words on t-shirts

during the first day of the school

year. It was said every day during

the morning announcements. It was

something that we heard whenever

we stepped foot into Malden High

that maybe some of us just dismissed

it. We are truly not alone.

Nobody could have predicted all

Clues are from articles in both the online

and print editions.


1. Lulu Harding drew the cover art for which

monthly playlist?

2. Michael Powell feels as if “one of [his] stronger

attributes [is he is] able to ________ with people

in a real way.”

3. What college (as an acronym) is Jacky Luong

attending as a freshman?

4. Malden High students celebrated bad ___ day

on Tuesday, November 24.

5. What club was Rasmee Ky the Vice President


6. Having two part time jobs along with multiple AP

classes, what else did Angelina Schorr

participate in?

10. What is the name of the saxophone player in

Grand Army?

12. What is Ajithaan Sathiyendra considering for a

second major?

13. Malden High’s online Peer ____ Program

started on December 7th, 2020.

15. The Malden Teen _______ Center began to be

demolished in October of 2020.

19. Through whose eyes was Jake’s psyche

portrayed in I’m Thinking of Ending Things?

20. How many years in a row was Malden High

School awarded the Sportsmanship Honor Roll

in District 5?


of the things that have happened

since our last day of school on

Thursday, March 12th. But now,

almost three months later, I still feel

like my teachers care about me, not

just my academic success, but also

my all around well being. I’d like

to thank the Malden High faculty

for everything they have done and

the efforts they put in during these

unprecedented times in supporting

their students.




The Blue and Gold

January 2021

The Beginning of the

2020-2021 School Year

Needless to say, the 2019- Malden High community has been to step up and use their voices. We

2020 school year came to an so great in adapting to the changes are living history every day, both locally

unexpected abrupt end. Historical

change has been happening

everywhere everyday since. Due

to the COVID-19 pandemic, The

Blue and Gold had to adapt to a

new way of communicating and

reporting in order to continue to

contribute information and stories

for our community.

that have been brought upon us.

One of the largest and most exciting

aspects of student life here at Malden

High are sporting events. For

obvious reasons, the start time of

the sports seasons has been altered

various times. News that the city of

Malden had re-entered the Red Zone

in October has pushed back all three

and nationally. From the Black

Lives Matter protests in June of 2020

to Capitol attacks in January of 2021

our world is constantly changing

around us. As journalists we will

continue to try to do anything in

our power, with precautions, to be

able to cover them and ensure that

everyone is informed. The Blue and

The 2020-2021 school year of the fall, winter, and spring sports Gold is proud to be a platform for

has looked a little different. With

COVID-19 still at large, for the

safety of staff, students and their

families, Malden High began the

school year with remote online

learning. Having school from the

comfort of our own homes is not

that great at times, however, as

a student body we must power

through to complete what is surely

seasons. Timeline wise, everything

seems to be very up in the air.

We have had to put long time

traditions such as Pep Rally, Poetry

Out Loud, performing arts concerts,

the Thanksgiving Football game

between the Malden High and Medford

High and so much more on

hold. Performing arts classes have

been sending in recordings of them-

our reporters to be able to not only

write about these issues, but also

allow students to express and vocalize

their opinions to an audience

We are deeply saddened that

we were unable to complete our

final print editions during the 2019-

2020 school year, especially our

most important issue of the year, the

Graduation Edition, which would

to be a challenging yet historic selves and editing them together have included stories about Senior

school year.

Due to the many unique situations

that families’ in the community

may be encountering, the

administration has tried to make

certain aspects of the traditional

to create virtual performances, the

most anyone can do during these


As for The Blue and Gold, we

plan to continue to produce our

content as we’ve done for over 100

Awards Night, the NHS Induction

Ceremony, Mr. MHS, Prom, and

other events that are considered

highlights of the school year.

Despite the difficulty in reporting

during current events, with the

structures of the school’s academics

years. Although circumstances struggle of conducting interviews,

more lenient and accommodat-

ing to individuals. This includes

fewer but longer classes during

the school day, the addition of an

asynchronous period in the middle

are very different, our reporters

are going to continue to conduct

interviews, search out stories, and

produce quality journalism about

Malden High and the city of Malden

the lack of local events, and cancelled

high school sports seasons,

we have made the decision to produce

this print edition because there

is so much to still be reporting on.

of the day, and the removal of during these historic times. We will Like previously mentioned,

midterms and finals for this school

year. If anything, the constant

changes and having to overcome

them together has made the sense

of community between students

and teachers stronger.

This new format has been a

very big change for everyone. The

adapt, focusing on a lot of digital

and social media work, as well as

producing some form of a print edition

and we will continue to write

stories that are important to us.

With all the current events that

circulate the media world, this is the

most important time for students

this year is nothing short of historic

and everything we publish in our

print edition we like to consider immortalized

for Malden High history.

We would like to dedicate this to

the class of 2020, who we could not

properly honor last year. With them

also the class of 2021 who has lost a

significant portion of their senior

year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This edition is structured

as a traditional Graduation edition

to honor their accomplishments,

and alongside it we acknowledge

all the social and political change

that will forever be embedded in

U.S history. . We are incredibly

proud of all the hard work that

was put into this print edition and

consider it one of our most important

ones yet.

The Blue and Gold staff congratulates

you on making it to the

halfway mark of the 2020-2021

school year, and we wish you the

best of luck moving forward. We

hope you and your loved ones

stay safe, stay healthy and stay


Julie Yu


Sandra Rivadeneira

Print Editor-In-Chief



Nedlam’s Corner is a

safe space to ask about

anything you may be experiencing

in your life,

both academically and

socially. Nedlam is here

to offer advice. Although

I will know who wrote the

submissions, you are able

to opt out of having your

name reflected here.

To submit a question to Nedlam for

a chance for it to be answered in next

month’s edition of The Blue and Gold,

go to


Editorial Policy

The Blue and Gold is an open forum for

student expression. It is produced by students

for the school and the community. The views

presented in this paper are not necessarily those

of the advisor or the school administration. The

views presented in the editorials are those of the

editors-in-chief or guests. The goal of The Blue

and Gold is to inform and entertain students as

well as the community regarding issues that we

feel are important.

We strongly encourage readers to respond

to material printed in the form of signed letters to

the editors. No libelous, malicious, defamatory,

obscene, or unsigned material will be printed.

The Blue and Gold reserves the right to edit the letters.

Names may be withheld upon request. Not

all letters will be printed.

Although The Blue and Gold appreciates the

support of advertisers, we may refuse any advertisement

that violates the above policy or that

promotes products questionable to student use.

Any correspondence concerning this publication

should be directed to Mr. Ryan Gallagher’s

room in J387 or to his mailbox in the main office.

The Blue and Gold

c/o Malden High School

77 Salem Street

Malden, MA 02148

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Sandra Li

Managing Editor

The Malden Youth Civics Council

hosted a Racial Justice Forum

over a Zoom meeting where individuals

in the Malden community

had the opportunity to discuss a

variety of concerns involving racial

issues to local representatives, including

Mayor Gary Christenson, in

order to further highlight problems

that have been present within the


Hossam Braer, who is the Vice

Chair, explained that the council initially

planned for this event because

with the recent killings of Black

Americans across the country, they

wanted to utilize this discussion to

“educate individuals about historically

racist tactics” that are used in

the United States to “suppress

African-American representation.”

On top of that, with local leaders being

present in the forum, the council

wanted them to be more transparent

on problems that are occurring in

the city so that residents can learn

“what steps local leaders are taking

in order to resolve these issues” so

members of the community do not

feel as if “their problems are [being]

swept under the rug.”

Braer believes that “you can

not and will not solve an issue you

do not believe exists,” and that to

be transparent, you need to “truly

acknowledge the issue at hand.” By

having this forum opened up to the

community, it would enable individuals

to be more informed about

how these issues have been “prominent

for so long now” with systemic

racism prevailing to this day.

Brandon Wong, who is the

First Chair, mentioned how even

despite Malden being such a diverse

city, there are still issues that need to

be addressed, especially “issues that

are not apparent to us” as we live in

it and “this is our norm.”

Adding on to that thought,

Minh Thu Do, the art coordinator,

believes that simply just “standing

and idling around” will not solve

anything as “speaking out is important.”

During the forum, many initiatives

were presented to the local representatives

including staff diversity

and representation. With Malden

being considered to hold one of the

most diverse sets of students, it was

highlighted that in the Malden Public

School system, there is actually

a lack of people of color acting as

teacher figures for students.

Attendees were able to hear

what steps Malden is taking to tackle

these problems including how

the city is planning to set up classes

Local News


Malden Youth Civics Council

Hosts Racial Justice Forum


with the Malden Public School system

that are dedicated towards engaging

more students in becoming

teachers. Mayor Christenson mentioned

that by having these classes,

students of various groups are likely

to at least attend these classes and it

would inspire students of color to

pursue the career of teachers.

Braer expressed that the council

did like the approach that the Mayor

and the City of Malden was taking

as it was a “step closer in the right

direction,” however, they did feel

that along with this program, there

also needed to be a “change within

the school curriculum” to establish a

platform for “students and teachers

alike to talk about racial issues.”

In addition, the UniteMalden

2020 initiative was also brought

up which consists of five steps that

will be taken in order to handle the

problem of racial inequity. The steps

include declaring racism as a public

health crisis, establishing a police

department community review

board, funding a director that will

prioritize diversity and inclusion, a

‘diversity in hiring’ initiative, and

recognizing Juneteenth as an official

holiday in the city.

Wong felt that it was “good to

know” about what was presented

because “[he] now knows that there

are initiatives in place” that are being

formulated in order to address

the issues that were made during the

Black Lives Matter protests which

reveals “that their efforts were not in

vain.” But in spite of that, he further

said how “there are always ways to

get better” and ways to “improve

the current conditions in our community”

even if these developments

are “small incremental changes.”

Mayor Christenson stated that

there is a significance in engaging

young people in conversations

about race and racism because in order

to “effectuate positive change in

our community,” it is critical for the

younger generation to be included

in the process as their “voices [need

to] be heard and their experiences


Do agreed that by allowing

young people in these discussions

to express both their concerns and

experiences, it facilitates for them

to “be exposed to these issues” so

that they can “work together to fix


All in all, the Racial Justice

Forum hosted by the Malden Youth

Civics Council enabled for members

of the Malden community to discuss

with local representatives a variety

of issues present in the city and address

certain initiatives that could

be taken in hopes of moving toward

a more equitable community.


National News


The Blue and Gold

January 2021

A Recap of the

Sandra Rivadeneira

Print Editor-in-Chief

Since President Donald Trump’s

victory during the Presidential

Election in 2016, a lot has happened

in the White House. Trump won

306 electoral votes, more than the

required 270, though he lost the

popular vote by more than 2.8 million

votes to Hillary Clinton. The

United States gained its first president

without any military or political


During his presidency, President

Trump signed a travel ban of

refugees from Muslim-majority

countries, refused to condemn white

supremacists on live television,

won the Olympic bid to hold the

games in Los Angeles in 2028, went

through an impeachment trial, was

impeached but not removed, lead

the longest government shutdown

in history, was under question for

tax fraud, passed a stimulus check

bill as economic support during the

pandemic, banned transgender individuals

from joining the military,

withdrew the United States from

the Paris Climate Accord, spent over

240 days golfing and so much more.

In early June of this year, Former

Vice President Joe Biden won

the Democratic nomination, later

choosing Senator Kamala Harris

as his running mate. Senator Harris

is the first woman of color to be

nominated for national office by a

major political party. Along with the

White House, 35 seats in the Senate

and all 435 seats in the House were

up for election.

The 2020 Presidential Election

led to one of the biggest youthturnouts

in voting history, with the

hope that their votes will change

swing-states such as Pennsylvania

and Ohio or even change popular

red states into blue states, like Texas

and Georgia, for the first time in a

very long time. Many famous figures

used their platforms with an effort

to encourage these young voters

to submit their ballots and express

how big of an influence they can

have on the election.

Several of these popular figures

created voter-registration drives to

appease young and new eligible voters.

For example, popular Youtuber

David Dobrik held a Tesla giveaway

where anyone who showed proof of

being registered to vote, regardless

of political party, was able to join

the giveaway. New York Congresswoman

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

held a livestream on the streaming

platform Twitch playing the popular

video game Among Us for the same

reason, to encourage new voters to

register and make a voting plan.

The media cautioned against

expecting a result by the end of election

night, since the COVID-19 pandemic

led to a much larger number

of absentee and mail-in ballots this

year. Considering the many different

ways of voting and the different

way each state handles them, a

significant amount of the numbers

that were being announced Tuesday

night were projected numbers. They

consisted of mostly in-person votes

with a small percentage of mail-in

votes that were already counted by

states that were allowed to open


It seemed at the beginning

of the night that the electoral map

would look like a Republican red

wave and that most of the Democratic

votes would be seen later on

when the early votes were counted

and would have a huge impact on

the swing-states.

At 7:00 PM the first polls began

to close. President Trump won the

electoral votes of Indiana. His competitor,

Vice President Biden, won

his first victory in the state of Vermont

a few minutes after. Later in

the hour, Vice President Biden was

in the lead with 16 electoral votes

after his victory in Virginia, leaving

President Trump trailing him

with only 13 after his gain of West


By 8:00 PM, more state polls

closed. Biden was projected to take

victory in the states of Delaware,

New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode

Island and New Hampshire. Trump

was projected to win South Carolina,

Tennessee, Alabama, Missouri

and Kentucky.

The state of Delaware gave the

first piece of historical news of the

night. Sarah McBride was elected to

Delaware’s State Senate, making her

the first transgender State Senator in

the U.S. and Madinah Wilson-Anton

was the first elected Muslim state

representative, filling the position of

being the 26th Representative District

of Delaware.

In Missouri, Cori Bush became

the state’s first Black woman to serve

in the U.S House of Representatives.

She had previously lost the races for

the U.S Senate back in 2016 and the

Democratic Primaries for the House

of Representatives in 2018. However,

in August of 2020, she defeated

ten-term Representative Lacy Clay

in the Democratic Primaries of 2020

and proceeded to win the seat in the


On Tuesday night, all eyes were

on Texas and Florida, as both were

big battleground states with a hefty

amount of electoral votes. Florida is

known for predicting the winner of

the election and has the most electoral

votes for a swing-state. Texas

has not been a blue state since 1976

when Jimmy Carter won it against

Gerald Ford, however, with the increase

of new voters, there is speculation

that it could turn blue once

again. Other key battleground states

were Biden’s birth state Pennsylvania,

Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin,

Arizona, North Carolina and Ohio.

By 9:00 PM, the polls that were

closing included states holding the

majority of the electoral votes. With

these polls closing, President Trump

gained the electoral votes of Oklahoma,

Arkansas, Louisiana, North

Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska,

Wyoming and South Carolina,

which added to a total of 92 electoral

votes. Vice President Biden gained

New York, New Mexico, Colorado,

and Minnesota which kept him in

the lead at 119 electoral votes.

The senate seat was flipped

in Colorado, with former Governor

John Hickenlopper defeating

Senator Cory Gardner for the seat.

Furthermore, Iman Jodeh became

the first Muslim state lawmaker in

Colorado, as she became the state

representative of the 41st District.

Oklahoma had elected Mauree

Turner to the State House, making

them the first Muslim to serve in

Oklahoma State Legislature. And

more historically, the first non-binary

state lawmaker in the U.S.

New York furthered the

number of significant wins, with

ex-middle school principal Jamaal

Bowman elected for the seat of New

York’s 16th District, NYC Council

Member Ritchie Torres winning the

House seat for New York’s 15th district

and Mondaire Jones succeeding

the House seat of New York’s 17th

District, making them, respectively,

the first Afro-Latino LGBTQ+ and

Black LGBTQ+ Congressman.

The state of Georgia will go

into a January run-off, with Democrat

Reverend Raphael Warnock

running against Republican Senator

Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Jon

Ossoff running against Republican

Senator David Perdue, both for a

seat in the U.S Senate. This January

election will ultimately decide

who has control of the Senate. Additionally,

Kim Jackson was elected

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

National News



2020 Election

to Georgia’s State Senate, making

her the first LGBT+ State Senator in


Halfway into the hour, Texas

turned red again, with 49.4% in support

of Trump and 49.3% for Biden,

and Ohio took its swing-state status

seriously as it began to flip from

blue to red at the end of the hour

along with Kansas. Ohio is another

state that many people were paying

attention to considering its pattern

of no Republican President has ever

won without the electoral votes

from it.

In Kansas, Republican Representatives

Tom Cole and Markwayne

Mullin were reelected, in

addition to Democrat Representative

Sharice Davids for Kansas and

Deb Haaland for New Mexico.

New Mexico also elected newcomer

Republican Yvette Herrell to the

House. Hawaii made history by

electing its first native Hawaiian for

Congress, Democrat Kaiali’i Kahele.

With all of them taking a seat in the

House, that makes a record number

of Native lawmakers in Congress.

New Mexico being the first state

to elect all women of color to the


By 10:00 PM, Biden collected

131 electoral votes and Trump had

89 votes. President Trump had

seemed to be taking the lead as

in-person votes came in, making

Pennsylvania a red state. Arizona

and Iowa numbers started to come

in and they were looking in Biden’s

favor. By the end of the hour, it

looked like the red sweep that was

predicted. Biden was holding the

lead with 118 electoral votes while

Trump was close behind with 105

electoral votes.

The closing of more polls by

11:00 PM gave more coastal states

to Biden, including California, Oregon

and Washington, which are

typically blue states. During this

time it appeared that Trump was

winning the popular vote but only

held 108 electoral votes, Biden was

still holding the electoral lead at 192

electoral votes. At that point, only

about 20% of mail-in votes had been

counted nationwide. States like

Wisconsin planned on staying all

night to get official numbers in by

5:00 AM. Pennsylvania has a law in

which their mail-in ballots were not

allowed to be opened till 7:00 AM on

Election Day and Pennsylvania was

a big focus state for Biden both as a

swing-state and his birth state.

On Wednesday, November 4th,

it was confirmed by the Associated

Press (AP) that Florida and Texas

were going to stay red for another

election, rewarding their electoral

votes to President Trump. The electoral

votes for the states of Michigan

and Wisconsin were awarded to

Biden, flipping these states that

were previously red during the 2016


Arizona was projected to have

flipped from its traditional red to

blue and Biden picked up eleven

more electoral votes. In addition,

a Senate seat in the state was also

flipped to blue as ex-NASA astronaut

Mark Kelly defeated Republican

Senator Martha McSally. These

flips reflect how Arizona, and many

other traditionally red states, are

slowly becoming what is nicknamed

“purple states.” This simply means

that there is a rising number of blue

votes coming from an increasing

number of Latinos and Black community

voters and the growing

turnout of young voters.

Although this was all confirmed

by the AP, news sources

like CNN and The New York Times

were not officially projecting that

information on their own electoral

college maps, this being that Arizona

was not done with their counting.

The AP defended their race

call by claiming that the number of

votes left to count were not enough

to give President Trump the lead in

the state even if every single one of

them were for him. Those were the

last electoral votes to be reported

for a while, leaving Vice President

Biden with 264 electoral votes and

President Trump with only 219 electoral


The Trump Administration

pressed lawsuits against the states of

Michigan and Pennsylvania and additionally

demanded recounts from

the states of Wisconsin and Georgia.

When having a close race, like the

one this year, Georgia automatically

authorizes a recount because the

margin of difference was less than

0.5%. Wisconsin agreed, although

the recount changed nothing. Michigan

rejected the lawsuit, claiming

that there was not enough evidence

that there was any fraudulent voting

or fraudulent counting.

The country, and along with

the rest of the world, was left in

suspense for all of Thursday, as no

states had been officially called by

AP. On Friday, both Georgia and

Pennsylvania had been flipped to a

blue lead. The last time Georgia was

seen as a blue state was for Clinton in

1992. The flip in Georgia was largely

credited to Stacey Abrams and her

efforts against voter suppression

and her continuous outreach into

the Black community voters in the


While ballots were still being

counted in Nevada, Georgia, South

Carolina, Pennsylvania and Alaska,

protests began to erupt all across the

nation. Some groups, including most

of the ones in Boston, were chanting

“count the vote,” something ballot

centers were already supposed to be

doing. Other groups were chanting

“stop the vote” in other parts of the

country. Counting every vote is the

fundamental basis of democracy,

which is what the United States was

founded on, so these protests were

an insight as to how divided and polarized

the country was becoming.

From what was already officially

called by the AP, the House

was going to be controlled by Democrats.

Who controls the Senate will

be determined by Georgia during

the run-off election of January 5th,

2021. The word historic is constantly

repeated because it is true. There

were a number of changes that happened

from the state level to the federal

level, an increase of representation

amongst government officials.

On Saturday at 11:25 AM, the

AP made the most important call

of the week. Pennsylvania finalized

their count which rewarded their

electoral votes to Biden, making

him the 46th President of the United

States of America. That makes Biden

the oldest president to ever step

into office; but more importantly, it

would make his running mate, Kamala

Harris, the first Black and first

Asian-American woman to be Vice

President. As President-elect, Biden

made promises to establish a CO-

VID-19 Task Force as soon as Monday,

November 9th, and to rejoin

the World Health Organization that

President Trump had withdrawn


Celebrations were seen across

the nation. Crowds rushed to fill

the streets as the election results

were announced, most of them being

people who were not used to

waiting past November 3rd for the

official announcement of the President.

The slogan, “Settle for Biden”

was very popular across social

media, as Americans are reminded

that no politician is truly perfect.

Nevertheless, with all the changes

Americans have seen throughout

this election week, it is proof of the

power of democracy and that this is

the beginning of a new change in an

increasingly polarizing nation.


National News


Blackout Tuesday

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Sandra Li

Managing Editor

On Tuesday, June 2nd, a virtual

action to protest against racism

and police brutality called Blackout

Tuesday, took place on various social

media platforms including Twitter

and Instagram. The action was

organized as a way to acknowledge

and bring change in policies in the

wake of the death of George Floyd.

The social media movement has

influenced organizations, brands,

the music industry, and individuals

all across the world to post black

squares with the hashtag #Black-

LivesMatter to collectively support

the Black community.

Blackout Tuesday was an initiative

to go silent on social media

in hopes of individuals to reflect on

current events and also to stand in

solidarity with the Black Lives Matter

movement. The social media movement

was originally established by

members of the music industry as

the industry has profited off from

black art and culture. Despite the

virtual movement originating from

the music industry, it spread to all

aspects of social media.

On Tuesday, particularly on Instagram,

feeds were swarmed with

black tiles. Although the image was

seen by many as a sign of solidarity,

others saw it as an act of silencing

voices. Many people voiced out how

the black tiles were only drowning

out crucial information. Not only

that, but those who were against

Blackout Tuesday were not pleased

by the silencing because silence is

not what the Black Lives Matter

movement is about.

Users on various platforms

further voiced out not to use the

hashtag #BlackLivesMatter because

people would not be able to find

important information regarding

protests, fundraising efforts, and

overall current events.

With that in mind, some have

also said that Tuesday was not the

most favorable day to go offline as

it was when primary elections were

taking place in nine states. Instead

of posting black squares, activists

have encouraged people to donate

to bail funds or other nonprofit efforts

and to also sign petitions that

are aimed at bringing justice to the

families hurt by police brutality and

helping protesters.

Others including the network

Nickelodeon, went off air for eight

minutes and forty-six seconds which

was the same amount of time that

police officer, Derek Chauvin, had

his knee on top of George Floyd’s

neck, that ultimately led to his death.

The network stopped its programming

to show their blacked

out commercial with Floyd’s words

“I Can’t Breathe” on it. Many have

praised Nickelodeon for airing the

commercial, while others have said

that it would frighten children.

Regardless, the network stood its

ground and acknowledged how

they must use their platform in order

to make sure voices are heard.

That being said, although

Blackout Tuesday had its good

intentions of raising awareness

and remembering victims of police

violence on social media, it was met

with backlash since it kept out vital

information shared under the Black

Lives Matter hashtag. The social media

movement has become a teachable

moment for many as activists

noted that black tiles will not be a

long-term solution towards ending

police brutality and ultimately systemic

racism in the United States.

Speak Up! Comic by Carolina Cuevas.

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Poor Media Coverage on the Uighur

Muslims in Rehabilitation Camps

Kaoutar Wakaf

Lead Reporter

Lately the media has been so

focused on covering COVID-19

that we have failed to mention

things that would normally be talked

about. COVID-19 is obviously

an important issue that should be

discussed, however it should not

cause the world to turn their backs

on on-going problems.

The extensive press coverage

has caused panic and disturbed

people in their ability to educate

themselves about non-relating matters

such as the Uighur Muslims

in Chinese Rehabilitation camps.

Do you remember learning about

the holocaust? Well brace yourself

because what’s happening to the

Uighur Muslims in 2020 is a similar

situation to what happened about

75 years ago during WWII.

In these past years, China has

detained up to three million Muslims

in hopes of eradicating Islam

and its “extremist” beliefs. They are

being detained against their will

and stripped of their human rights.

Uighur Muslims need the world’s

help, however, the sad part is that

they are rarely discussed because

of China’s secrecy. Luckily more

than 400 pages of top secret Chinese

documents gave the world the ability

to understand what the innocent

Uighurs and other ethnic minorities

were going through behind closed

doors in the Xinjiang province.

According to the podcast called

“Why Don’t We Care About China’s

Uighur Muslims?” by Mehdi Hasan,

“The Chinese government has

claimed that the camps are merely

vocational training centers, but in

November [2019] a trove of leaked

documents, dubbed the China

Cables, confirmed what the world

had long suspected: the camps are

Communist Party re-education centers

in which Uighurs are forced to

abandon their traditional religion

and language.”

Even among all the terror and

chaos the world is facing throughout

this pandemic, China has refused to

close its “reeducation camps” where

Muslims are continuously being

persecuted. Human rights observers

from all over the globe have decided

to call them concentration camps

because of the similarities in treatment

the innocent Uighurs get to

Europe’s Jewish population during

WWII or to the “reeducation camps”

Native American children were coerced

into attending to make them

as “civilized” as the white man.

Sayragul Sauytbay, a Chinese

fugitive who managed to escape

China and go to court in Kazakhstan

to resist being returned into Beijing,

has since found refuge in Sweden

with her husband and two kids. Her

claims are very disturbing as she has

attested that one day, she along with

200 other men and women, were

forced to watch a woman get raped.

They could not help her, speak out,

or even close their eyes. The victim

could not make a noise either for

fear that they would kill her and her

family. This was not the first time

that it happened.

In the camps, they are force

fed pork and wine which go against

their religious beliefs, in hopes of

brain-washing them into leaving

Islam. Uighurs are not permitted to

pray, fast, read the Quran, wear the

headscarf, grow a beard, celebrate

holidays like Ramadan or Eid and

most of the time do not know where

their loved ones are or whether they

are safe or not. They even have to let

go of their culture. Uighurs are also

not allowed to celebrate their heritage

by wearing traditional clothes

or speak their own language.

If Uighurs refuse to follow

the rules in the reeducation camps,

officials use violent and severely

barbaric torture methods. Mihrigul

Tursun is an Uighur woman who

was detained in a reeducation camp.

According to “A tale of torture in a

Chinese internment camp for Uighurs”

by the U.S. Virtual Embassy

Tehran, “Mihrigul Tursun recounted

her horrifying experience in one

of China’s camps earlier this year.

She was drugged, interrogated for

days without sleep, and strapped

in a chair and jolted with electricity.

It was her third time being sent

to a camp since 2015.” Tursun told

reporters that she remembers interrogators

telling her “being a Uighur

is a crime.“

We have to recognize that this




ING. Actions must be taken to put

this injustice to an end. We can no

longer stay silent and watch as the

Uighurs are facing severe oppression.

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Local News


Malden Teacher Wins Massachusetts

Teacher of the Year Award

Sandra Rivadeneira

Hedrington remembered that “it’s till death do [them] part.” that you care.” As Qranfal describes,

Print Editor-in-Chief

they wanted to have an extra lesson Qranfal saw Hedrington as Hedrington makes sure to show that

When it came to receiving the on Sunday night, which she had forgotten

she agreed to. It is so mean-

[students] could confide in,” she “want to become better.”

“not only a teacher but someone she cares and makes her students

award for Teacher of the Year,

recipient Jennifer Hedrington was


Hedrington teaches seventh

grade math, previously at the Salemwood

School before recently

transferring over to the Ferryway

School. In October, she was awarded

ingful that they were seeking out

the opportunity for an extra lesson

when most students barely have the

motivation to get through their own

class during a regular school day.

Sepulveda characterizes Hedrington

as someone who’s “mind

continues to describe her former

teacher as someone with “a friendly

nature” who would “always [get]

everyone laugh.” As a student,

Qranfal believes that it is especially

important for a good teacher to be

someone who is also a friend and

What makes the Malden Public

School system unique to Hedrington

is “one-hundred percent, the

kids.” She loves how the city has a

“plethora of representation” and

that you can “see the whole world

in one little classroom.” Every one of

the Massachusetts Teacher of the is at a constant hunger to know Hedrington embodies that perfectly. their voices is very unique and each

Year 2020 award and will now be a more.” That is how Hedrington tries Some of Hedrington’s relationships

of them have something that they

contestant for the National Teacher to connect with her students beyond

with her students have can teach her and, as Hedrington

of the Year.

Hedrington did not prepare a

the classroom.

Hedrington takes time to learn

developed to very personal levels

throughout the years. Hedrington

puts it, they are all “mini people that

are developing into grown ups.”

speech for the meeting that would from every one of her students is a godmother to some of her student’s

Sepulveda expresses that the

announce the winner. Actually, she about the constantly changing

children, has helped one students have “such power in their

had to search up what a Teacher of

the Year Award was the night before.

She asked herself “why [is she]

getting an award for something [all

teachers] should all be doing?” and

still finds herself struggling with

that idea.

Ferryway School Principal

Abdel Sepulveda, who has known

Hedrington since 2010, sees Hedrington

as someone who is unique

world that they are growing up in.

When a student introduces a topic

that she’s not very educated about,

such as pronouns or cultures, she

asks them to teach her about it and

the conversation then opens up the

opportunity for her to be the student

and the kids to be the teacher.

Her efforts never go unnoticed.

Malden High Freshmen Sabrina

Qranfal, who previously had Hedrington

during the process of buying a car

and has even given loans to some of

her students to help them through

their first years of college. She sees

every student who has grown in her

classroom as “[her] kids” and that

she “[loves] them like they are [her]


Oteri explains that “anybody

can teach.” Teaching is not the difficult

part, being a good educator

hands.” Students, who are quickly

becoming young adults, are “speaking

their truth to the powers to be,”

in the real world. Sepulveda says

that sometimes that includes teachers,

yet it is in “a respectful way so

they can learn as well,” and so teachers

may take a similar approach as

Hedrington and be open to listening

to the conversations from the student’s

points of views.

for her consistent approach towards

during her years at the is a whole different story. “It takes One of the most prominent les-

all her students. “She connects with Ferryway School, describes the unique talents and passions that sons Hedrington has learned from

each and every one of her students

on a personal level,” Sepulveda

explains, “she brings to her teaching

not only her knowledge of the

content but her content to life.”

However, being an educator is not

simply about the teaching, an educator

should be someone who can

connect with their students as well.

environment of Hedrington’s classroom

as one that “makes [anyone]

feel safe and accepted the moment

[they] walk in.”

By going the extra mile, Qranfal

recounts how Hedrington made

the “learning process exciting” and

something students would “willingly

want to participate in.” Qranfal

cannot be taught,” Oteri describes,

“to be an educator is really meeting

kids where they are, taking them

to their potential, connecting with

them, being a voice for them in and

out of the classroom.”

To him, Hedrington is an

extraordinary example of that, as

she is a role model to a lot of the

her open students is that “life is not

stagnant.” As she has seen classes

of kids go through her classroom

through the years, and seeing them

again when they come back to

visit, she’s learned that one does not

“have to remain the person [they]

are at [that] moment,” and that everyone

“can learn and can grow to

Sepulveda describes some of describes Hedrington as someone students that she has had and Oteri be more.”

the best teachers he has known as

the ones who see the student as

“more than just someone learning

who has the power to “make a least

favorite subject become something

[someone can] look forward to.”

describes it as something that comes

“quite [naturally] for her. Growing

up in Malden himself, he knows

Oteri believes that people do

not “truly value educators enough

in society.” Sepulveda supports,

a subject.” Hedrington goes above Hedrington believes that the how important it is for teachers to saying that although “society does

and beyond to show that she cares.

She tries to see her students beyond

the academic score and instead for

who they are as individuals. Malden

Public Schools Superintendent John

biggest achievement in her career

is not the recent award, instead it is

“hands down the relationship [she

has] built with her students.” Every

year, one first day of seventh grade

make learning fun and connect it to

real life and the real world.

“[Teachers] are in the people

business,” Oteri explains, “the kid

doesn’t care about what you know

try” having an acknowledgment

and appreciation for educators more

often is extremely important, as he

describes it as “one of the hardest

jobs there is.”

Oteri describes Hedrington as a math with a new class, she tells them and what you teach until they know Any good educator does more

“trailblazer,” and someone

than just grade papers

who “is an advocate

and plan lessons. They

for her students both

work late, work weekends,

in and out of the classroom.”

even spend their

summer breaks taking

“At the end of the

professional development

day [students] spend

courses, all in the

eight hours with strangers,

good spirit of becoming

we are no longer

better for their students.

strangers,“ Hedrington

When Hedrington

expresses. She believes

asked herself “what did

that all teachers should

[she] do to get the Teacher

put an effort to reach out

of the Year award?”

beyond the classroom.

She “sees [herself] as just

That’s why when it

a teacher, and so [she]

comes to her students she

teaches.” Hedrington

“tries not to put a barrier

does so much more than

between [herself] and

that, and so does any


good educator. They are

Hendrington recalled

never just teaching. As

one Sunday night

long as a teacher goes the

when she was lounging

extra mile to show that

in her room, enjoying

students they care, reach

some well deserved relaxing

out to support, and strive

time, when she got

to connect, a student will

a message from a student

always remember and

saying, “Hey Miss, aren’t

appreciate that.

you getting on?” Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Award Recipient Jennifer Hedrington. Photos submitted by Hedrington.



Class of 2020 Profiles


The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Valedictorian: Jacky Luong

Courtney Fitzgerald

Head of Local

Jacky Luong’s senior portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.

Jacky Luong, now a freshman at

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

(MIT), recently graduated

from Malden High School. Luong

graduated top of his class and had

previous accomplishments in high

school, including being senior Class


Before being President, Luong

had been the Treasurer for the Class

of 2020 and “felt invested in being

part of the group of students that

put together the fundraisers and

work that would contribute to the

ultimate prom,” which had made

him confident in his decision to become


In his sophomore year, Luong

competed in a robotics competition

known as “Botball” in which

the team placed fifth. His junior

year included a math competition,

which was the first math competition

for Malden High, where he

received the top individual score of

the day. Luong was also a part of

the YMCA Leaders Club, where he

was the secretary and helped plan

and fund a Masquerade Ball. In the

next Botball Luong and the Robotics

Club participated in, they placed

first. Luong had also been a part of

the winning tennis team at Malden

High his junior year as a first-year

varsity player.

When Luong found out he was

going to be Valedictorian the first

thing that went through his mind

“was the realization that [he] was

going to have to write a speech.” He

had never thought about having to

write a speech hoping that later it

would “just come to [him].” Luong

had mentioned that every bit of time

spent working toward being Valedictorian

and Class President was

worth it in every way. He stated that

“the work [he] put into [his] classes

and extracurricular activities and

personal endeavors got [him] into


His favorite part of high school

was the people. Luong stated that

“it was the people who made [his]

high school experience memorable

and enjoyable.” Whether it was

the tennis team, the people in the

clubs he was a part of, “the great

teachers [he] had his four years at

Malden High” or the people he met

in his classes. High school for many

people comes with regrets, but for

Luong there were no regrets his four

years at Malden High. Luong felt

that by doing things not “just for the

resume” he was able to keep himself

interested and be part of everything

he wanted to be in high school.


Via Instagram


The Blue

and Gold


Salutatorian: Rasmee Ky

Lulu Harding

Head of Sports

Ranking second out of her class,

Rasmee Ky’s achievements have

led her to attend the world-renown

Harvard University. So far, given

the current circumstances and the

pandemic, the experience has been

going well for her.

Right now, all of Ky’s classes

are online. Despite this virtual format,

she explained that “the content

of [her] courses has still been very

engaging, and all the professors

are both incredibly knowledgeable

and very approachable.” She has

been able to get involved with the

school in other ways as well, such as

debating with the Harvard University

Debating Union and beginning

the process of joining the Editorial

Board for The Crimson which is a

major student-run newspaper on


Compared to her junior and

senior years of high school, Ky said

that she has been taking things pretty

easy. She stated that “I have more

time to sleep and go for jogs in the

morning,” something that proved

more difficult to keep up with at

Malden High.

While still at Malden High, Ky

was involved in a wide variety of

extracurricular activities. She was

the Youth Lieutenant Governor of

Massachusetts for a program run

by the YMCA (“Youth and Government”),

Vice President of the Psychology

Club, a student ambassador

for Summer Search, vice-chair of the

Malden Youth Civics Council, and

ran cross country for three years.

Something she became passionate

about in high school was the

Speech and Debate team, which she

was a part of for all four years. “[She]

cared a lot about trying to improve

the team, and [helped] coach [the]

teammates to the best of [her] ability.”

She added that advisers Kurtis

Scheer and Patrick Finnegan were

always incredibly supportive of the

Speech and Debate team, which has

helped her grow.

The students at Malden High

have also had a big impact on Ky.

She is grateful for the numerous

perspectives and life experiences

they have shown her, as well as the

safe environment where students

could openly share and accept each

other’s differences. Being in this

type of environment has taught her

to never make assumptions about

other people. Everyone’s lives “can

be so drastically different, but at the

same time, we also share many of the

same hopes, fears, and values that

always make empathy possible.”

While Ky is incredibly thankful

for everything the Malden High

community has done for her, her biggest

inspiration and motivation has

always been her family. Her parents

have always provided her with “all

the support [she] ever needed,” and

she explained how “their perseverance

in the face of adversity reminds

me to always devote my full effort

to my goals. All [she wanted] to do

is make the most out of all the blessings

[her] family has given [her].”

When applying for college,

something that proved to be extremely

stressful was the application

process. “[She] applied to 18

colleges because [she] wanted to

aim for selective schools, but [she]

doubted that [she] would actually

get accepted to most of the schools,”

Ky explained. “Thankfully, [Ky] had

support from Bottom Line, Summer

Search, and the staff at [Malden

High] throughout [her] application

process.” Luckily for Ky, everything

ended up working in her favor,

since she now attends one of the

most reputable schools in the world.

When asked about any advice

she would want to give to her

younger self or things she wished

she had done, Ky said that she

wouldn’t want to change anything.

She explained that she had her fair

share of mistakes and she did things

that she ultimately regrets, but after

spending time reflecting on her

high school career she realized that

the “most important lessons that

[she has] learned came from [her]

missteps.” She expressed that “no

advice can be nearly as impactful as

actually going through the experience

of failing or making a wrong

choice.” She continued adding that

“in the long run, everything will

turn out fine as long as you keep

learning and growing every step of

the way.”

As for the future, Ky does not

have a decided career path that she

wants to take yet, although she is

certain that Harvard will open up

many possibilities for her as she

continues to explore various classes,

clubs, and talk to as many new

people as she can. She has been considering

a major in either economics

or statistics, which she mentioned

were two of her favorite subjects

while in her senior year at Malden

High. Ultimately, Ky hopes that “in

the future, [she] will be able to take

all the lessons [she has] learned both

in high school and in college and

put them all towards a career that

will give back to the world.”

Rasmee Ky’s senior portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Class of 2020 Profiles



Orator: Thao-Mi Nguyen

with other people and get to know allowed to visit the campuses. After

them, even if they did not seem to a lot of consideration, she ended up

click initially. Her experience with choosing Northeastern, which was

the sport in high school helped her actually one of her first acceptances.

when she arrived at college because So far, Nguyen described college

even with the pandemic, she has

as being a “whirlwind” and

had the opportunity to meet people “definitely different from what [she]

from all over, and Nguyen thought expected.” Northeastern is currently

that “having that group of friends in

doing a hybrid model, with

high school helped [her] learn how in-person classes on certain days

to socialize with other people.” and remote classes on others. She is

In addition, LMC was a really

currently living on campus, but gets

impactful experience for her to go home for the weekend because

because it “taught [her] that [she] of the close proximity. Even though

loved collaborating with others” the course load was “overwhelming”

and working with kids, which in

for her at first — especially

turn influenced her career path as since she is in the Honors Program

she plans on becoming a physician — after a few weeks, she was able to

or healthcare worker that deals with get into the hang of things and balance


her work.

She is currently studying Looking back, Nguyen thought

health sciences at Northeastern and that her freshman year self would

is on the pre-med track. She expressed

be surprised at where she ended

that a healthcare career was up, mostly because Northeastern is

“always in the back of [her] mind as such a contrast from Malden High.

[she] went about exploring different Although much larger, it still has

options in high school.” However, some of that diversity that MHS is

Nguyen said she is “open to other known for, which she appreciated.

careers in the healthcare field,” and Her freshman year self would be

is not entirely sure at this moment if proud of “how much more confident

she wants to attend medical school,

and outgoing” she is, but also

but it is definitely on the table. She acknowledge that she “still [has] a

pointed out that she believed it is long way to go before [she] becomes

a misconception that many people the person that [she’s] always wanted

have that “once you reach college

to be.”

[you are] supposed to know exactly She wished that she could

what you want to do.” Nguyen sees tell her younger self to start early,

college has a great place to get the because she thought back to when

experiences you need in order to she was still writing supplementary

determine what kind of future you essays over winter break, which was

want to invest in.

“not good at all.” Most of all, though,

Nguyen recalled the college she wanted her past self to stop

application process as being difficult

comparing herself to other people.

for her because of how inde-

Watching all those Youtube videos

cisive she was. She remembered not of college acceptances only made

submitting her deposit fee until the her more nervous about where she

very last day, something that she would end up. Now, she feels that

does not recommend doing. She you’re going to end up where you’re

was originally debating between supposed to. Even if you might not

Northeastern and another school, be thrilled about your decision at

and it was especially hard because first, you will get used to the environment,

of the pandemic as you were not

because “you really don’t

Julie Huynh

Managing Editor

I [do not] think any of us could

have predicted a year quite like

this,” stated Thao-Mi Nguyen in her

graduation speech. Nguyen graduated

from Malden High School this

past summer, along with the rest of

the Class of 2020.

Unlike the classes before hers,

her senior year was cut short due

to the pandemic. When she found

out that school was moving online

and prom was canceled, she was initially

disappointed, like many of her

classmates. Nguyen remembered

looking forward to prom since her

freshman year, but at the same time

she thought that “the pandemic

actually gave [her] a lot of time to

think about how [she] wanted to be

in college” and to focus on herself

for a bit. A part of her was glad that

she did not have to deal with the

stress of the end of senior year activities,

even though she was dismayed

that she did not get a chance to say a

proper goodbye to the staff and her

friends at the school.

Some of the particular staff

members that left an impact on

Nguyen were Jennifer Clapp, Ryan

Gallagher, and Maggie Giberson.

She felt like she “learned how to

become a better communicator”

and writer in their classes and even

mentioned Ms. Clapp in the opening

of her speech at graduation. Not

only was she able to become a better

student, but their guidance and

mentorship helped her “be more

confident in who [she] was as a person”

as well.

During her time at Malden

High, Nguyen played field hockey

for three years, and was a part of

the Asian Culture Club and Leadership

and Mentoring Club (LMC).

When she first entered high school,

she never thought that she would

do a sport, but joining field hockey

helped her learn how to connect

know what college will be like until

you experience it yourself.”

Nguyen remembered having

this dream school in mind and

thinking if she did not get in, then

she would be super unhappy, but

after choosing the college that she

went to, she is “way happier than

[she] thought [she] would be, even

if it [was not] where [she] expected

to end up.”

Photos submitted by Thao-Mi Nguyen.

Number Four: Ajithaan Sathiyendra

Jennica Ruan

Web and Mobile Apps Editor-in-


Ajithaan Sathiyendra has ranked

fourth in his class as a Malden

High graduate for the Class of 2020.

Not expecting the news, he was “really

surprised when [he] found out

[he] made it on the Top 10 list.” He

stated “[he was not] aiming to place

in a high rank” and “took classes

that [he] found interesting and challenging.”

He believed this “motivated

[him] to do [his] best.”

He is proud of how he balanced

“enough time between schoolwork,

extracurricular activities, and learning

on [his] own.” Sathiyendra

made time to learn about stuff he

found interesting outside of school

which “helped build [his] interest in

Computer Science and Math.”

Sathiyendra was also involved

in many extracurriculars throughout

high school. He was a part of “Computer

Club, Math Team, Badminton

Club and Science National Honor

Society.” He also had leadership

positions his senior year as “the Vice

President of the Badminton Club

and Secretary of Science National

Honor Society.” It was difficult for

him to balance “extracurriculars on

top of school.” Making time to finish

his work was a challenge but, “[he]

made sure to keep track of all [his]

assignments and their due dates so

that [he can] work on it ahead of


He explained how Paul

Marques, a computer science and

math teacher, had “a huge part in

helping [him] succeed.” Marques

encouraged him to “learn on [his]

own at a faster pace” which helped

him discover his interest in computer

science. Sathiyendra learned how

to prepare for college and the real

world through Marques’ teachings,

reminding him that “‘[his]

education is [his] responsibility.’”

He encourages the current

Malden high class’ to “build connections

with teachers and staff to

have people you feel comfortable

talking to.” He also hopes students

”make use of all the resources

MHS provides.”

Although the school year had

not ended the way he expected,

“[he] felt that the past four years in

high school had gone by very fast.”

He is grateful for all the activities

and events throughout high school

and is “looking forward to starting

a new chapter.“

He is attending the University

of Massachusetts Amherst

as a computer science major and

considering a second major in


Ajithaan Sathiyendra’s senior portrait.

Photo submitted by James Valente.


Class of 2020 Profiles


The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Liam O’Toole

Managing Editor of Photography

Wu Zheng was among the Top

10 students of the class of

2020 at Malden High School. When

Zheng was applying for colleges

through Naviance, the website told

him his rank, which was how he

learned that he was within the Top

10. He says that when he found his

rank, he did not know what it was.

Zheng “viewed it as [his] work being

valuable.” He remembered not

thinking about it too much, because

other people must have put in the

same work. He recalls how nice it

was “to see that the effort [he] put in

mattered and came back positively.”

So far, Zheng says that being

ranked within the Top 10 has

not affected much of his life after

high school. He understood his

own experiences and felt “like [he]

did deserve [his] place.” He recalls

needing lots of hard work, luck and

supportive people. A method of

relaxation is another key point, because

having a positive mindset will

always keep you on track.

One thing that helps him keep

a positive mindset is to realize

that grades are not everything. He

said, “there are other things that

require the same amount of attention.”

What Zheng meant is being

involved in extracurriculars and

things of that sort. He was a part of

multiple clubs including the Fine

Arts Club, Computer Club and as a

senior, the Math Club. Through the

Math Club he was even able to go to

competitions. Zheng was also in the

YMCA leaders and did volunteer

work. He enjoyed volunteering and

it provided him opportunities to

meet new people and “gave [him]

something to do.” A lot of his work

outside of school mattered and had

an effect towards his rank.

One thing that is affecting

Zheng based off of one of his interests

in high school was computers.

He took many computer science

classes in high school, along with

Number Five: Wu Zheng

the club, and is now taking more

computer science classes in college.

The classes he currently takes”are a

lot different and are more difficult

than [he] anticipated.” He said they

act as a measure to get into a major

which is the difference between his

current class and what he took in

highschool, along with the added

difficulty of it all.

Luckily for Zheng, his classes

through high school, and now in a

way, paired up pretty well with his

hobbies. During his free time, he

likes to draw, code, watch youtube

and play video games. Granted,

most of these hobbies paired up best

with his computer and art classes,

Zheng still found it rather favorable.

Even though in Zheng’s eyes,

grades are not everything, his

classes did weigh in heavily when it

came to his rank. He took “mostly

honors classes, with a few APs here

and there.” All his core classes were

honors along with the AP classes he

took throughout the years including

“AP computer science, AP calculus,

AP latin [and] AP physics.”

One thing to grasp from Wu

Zheng’s words is that a lot of the

time it is easy to get caught up in

the bigger picture when you would

rather be focusing on the smaller


Wu Zheng’s senior portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.

Number Six: Angelina Schorr

Sandra Rivadeneira

Print Editor-in-Chief

On top of her list of many

achievements, graduate Angelina

Schorr can add being ranked

number six in her class as one of


During her time at Malden

High, Schorr was heavily involved

in various groups such as National

Honor Society, the Malden Against

Cancer club, the Maldonian Yearbook

staff, Captains’ Council and

Unified Basketball. On top of all

that, Schorr was also a three season

athlete, taking part on the soccer

team, indoor track team and the

outdoor track team.

During the 2019 Winter Season,

which would have been the last

athletic season that she participated

in, Schorr was a runner in the Girls

4x400 Relay which took a big part

in assisting the Girls Indoor Track

Team to finish the season undefeated.

That season the team was able to

reclaim the title of Greater Boston

League (GBL) Champions after their

return from the Eastern Conference.

Additionally, the 4x400 relay team

that Schorr was a part of were recognized

as GBL All-Star teams.

In hindsight, Schorr believes

that her “biggest achievement in

high school [was] managing [her]

time really well.” While being heavily

involved in all her extracurriculars,

Schorr balanced two part-time

jobs, one as a cashier in a grocery

store and another as a babysitter,

took various AP classes, yet still

found the time to volunteer in programs

outside of school.

However, having all these

things on her schedule was not an

easy task. Schorr considered “trying

to make time for it all” as one of the

hardest things about high school.

“There were feelings of being overwhelmed

and exhausted,” she described,

“and the self-doubt about

whether or not [she] could do it.”

Nevertheless, Schorr genuinely

enjoyed everything she did and sees

being heavily involved in a variety

of in-school plus out-of-school activities

as a factor in “[shaping] [her]

into the person [she] [is] today.”

When finding out that she

made top ten in her class, she felt

proud, expressing how it “felt really

good to be able to work hard and

climb up” and be rewarded for all

her sacrifices. Her parents shared

that feeling, especially since her father

was top ten in his high school

and was able to bond over that kind

of unique accomplishment with his


Along with her parents, Schorr

credited English teacher as well as

track coach, David Londino, for

helping her in her success thus far.

Not only did he help her grow as

an athlete and a student, but as a

person. “Londino was the teacher

[she] would always go to,” Schorr

expressed, whether it be for help in

school, a good laugh on a bad day,

or advice about life in general, she

found comfort in talking to her former

mentor. Other previous teachers

that Schorr credited for helping

her grow during her years at Malden

High include Yahaira Márquez, Erin

O’Brien-Mazza, Shannon Votaw,

Brian Morrison, James Valente and

The Blue and Gold’s own advisor,

Ryan Gallagher.

Her senior year did not end in

its anticipated way, nevertheless,

Schorr sees herself “ready to move

on from high school and start [a]

new chapter in [her] life.” She advised

current Malden High students

to “take these years of [their] life to

work hard, figure out the kinds of

things [they] like, enjoy [themselves]

in and outside of school.”

Beginning in Spring of 2022,

Schorr will be attending Brown University

in Providence, Rhode Island.

Her current plan is to study biomedical

engineering which will lead

into working as a clinical researcher.

That will involve “trying to understand

how diseases affect the body

and how to cure and/or treat them,”

she explained.

Schorr remains optimistic

about her future, and is “excited for

everything [she] has yet to accomplish.”

As she begins to continue her

journey, she is also grateful for the

lessons Malden High has taught her.

Number Seven:

Gregory Chau

Gregory Chau’s senior portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.

Angelina Schorr’s senior portrait.

Photo submitted by James Valente.

Carlos Aragon Aldana

Managing Editor of Print and


Chau graduates from Malden

High School as one of the top

students in his class, a remarkable

feat. When he found out, he was

quite happy, as he worked hard

throughout his entire high school

career to achieve this. When asked

what drove him, he stated that he

simply was always trying to find

where he stood. He was also motivated

by his parents and wanted to

make them proud. Currently, Chau

is attending Bentley University and

is studying accounting.

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Number Eight: Jinpeng Chen

Sandra Li

Managing Editor

Jinpeng Chen, a graduate of Malden

High, accumulated great

experiences that have changed

his outlook and is one of the top

academically ranked students in the

class of 2020.

A well-rounded student, Chen

participated in various extracurricular

activities all throughout high

school. He competed in track and

cross-country, helped start the Guitar

Club, and was an officer for the Y

Leaders Club. Outside of school, he

also took part in programs including

Summer Search and a pre-college

program for a cancer biology course

at Brown University. One of the major

life lessons that he has learned

from these outside experiences

includes patience. Chen explained

that before, he was an individual

who would want to act immediately

and solve problems. However, he

has recognized that “sometimes

you cannot rush, you have to go

through the process.” Chen further

added that most of the insight and

the philosophy that “[he] has for

life are from personal experiences

like these” as they had an influential

impact on him.

As far as hobbies, he enjoys the

thrill of running. “Running helps to

release the stress from academics,”

said Chen. In addition, playing the

guitar is another hobby for him.

Chen noted that one of the more

memorable moments for him in

high school was his injury. He explained

that the guitar was one of

the ways he could get through this

difficult time because playing the

guitar is “like a portal where you

are separated from all the world of


Academically, Chen pushed

himself to take a variety of rigorous

courses as having taken a total of 13

AP classes along with some Bunker

Hill Dual Enrollment courses. He

explained that in his family, “education

has always been prioritized”

however, at the time “[he] cared

more about grades rather than

learning itself.” It was not until his

Julie Yu


Ezra Kruckenberg is a graduate

from Malden High School’s

Class of 2020. Although his senior

year was cut short in a unique way,

he finished

his high


career having


as tenth in

Ezra Kruckenberg’s senior

portrait. Photo submitted

by James Valente.

his whole



his time

at Malden

H i g h ,



Class of 2020 Profiles

junior year where Chen realized

what the essence of learning was.

He emphasized how education is

more about what you “obtained in

learning” and then applying it to the

real world.

Chen credited Latin teacher Julie

Fox, science teacher Jessica Webber

and computer science teacher

Paul Marques, as all having been

“gamechangers for [him] and [his]

highschool career” because they

were major motivators and also

acted as mentors as well.

After having been accepted

into institutions including Boston

University and Brandeis University,

Chen is currently attending Tufts

University. With great opportunities

ahead of him, he decided on

Tufts because he saw the university

as “a great jumping board for the

next stage” and overall enjoys the

environment because it “gave the

same sensational feeling for when

[he] was at Brown pre-college.”

Currently, Chen is undecided, but

is leaning towards majoring in Biochemistry

or something within the

STEM field. In the future, he hopes

to either become a primary care doctor

or a specialist as certain personal

experiences have “motivated [him]

to do biochemistry and go into the

medical field.” With that said, Chen

“hopes to become somebody who is

useful and contributes to society” in

terms of utilizing science towards

creating a more equal world.

Jinpeng Chen’s senior portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.


Number Nine: Ana Pirosca

Lauren Mallett

Managing Editor of Print and


In a class of over 400 students,

graduating in the top 10 is an exceptional

feat. Ranking at number

nine, Ana Pirosca, a class of 2020

graduate and the former Blue and

Gold Editor-in-Chief, was one of the

few to achieve this impressive accomplishment.

To her, being at the top of the

class “[does not] feel any different,”

as she sees it as just a number. For

Pirosca, self satisfaction was the end

goal of her achievement. Knowing

that she could “prove to [herself]

that out of everyone [she] can be [in]

the top ten” means knowing that she

tried, and that is what matters most.

Pirosca was very involved in

the Malden High community during

her four years at the school. She not

only wrote for The Blue and Gold

her whole high school career, but

was also the Head of Multimedia

her junior year and Editor-in-Chief

when she was a senior. Her time on

the newspaper staff taught her many

things, including that “aside from

wanting to be there for other people,

[she] needed to be there for [herself]

too.” She had “a really strong connection

to the people” who took the

class with her, and says that looking

back on what she will miss, “[is] obviously

[The] Blue and Gold.”

There were many other extracurricular

activities that Pirosca was

involved with, including Women in

Science, Psychology Club, Malden

Overcoming Addiction, Peer Leadership

for World of Difference, and

many more. She was a very active

participant in the Malden community

and finds it important for everyone

to “get involved somehow.”

Encouraging students to enjoy

their time at Malden High, Pirosca

stresses the importance of being the

change you want to see and being

active in the community.

Pirosca now attends Boston

College (BC). She was originally unsure

if she wanted to attend BC but

ultimately decided to because “[it is]

Number Ten: Ezra Kruckenberg

heavily involved in school athletics.

He was an outstanding student

athlete, being a member of the Boys

Varsity Indoor Track and a state

qualifier for the high jump multiple

times. He was also captain of the

Varsity Baseball team for the season

that got canceled.

Kruckenberg was very involved

with the community, taking

part in service projects as an Eagle

Scout and serving as President of

the National Honors Society during

his senior year.

As for his plans after high

school, Kruckenberg has been accepted

into Brigham Young University

(BYU). Before he attends,

however, Kruckenberg is serving

on a two-year religious service mission

in Puerto Rico. His service in

Puerto Rico will be to help out the

nearby communities and teach the

doctrines and principles of the gos-


more so about the people” there, as

well as focusing on what you can do

for yourself and your community.

She is majoring in biology, with a

focus in bioinformatics, doing premedical

studies, and is considering

a minor in managing social impact,

a special minor offered by BC to determine

how people can use science

to make the world better.

As for her post-college plans,

Pirosca is considering going into

medicine, as it has “been on [her]

radar for a while.” She also considers

bioinformatics to be a career

option, as it has a “really large field,

especially in startup developments”

and is a secure and interesting way

to break into science.

Thinking back to her first days

at Malden High, Pirosca recalls herself

as being “super naive.” She entered

high school with the mindset

that education is a game, and you

just have to play it right. At the end

of the day, she feels that high school

“forced [her] to be a better person”

and taught her to “follow style with

substance.” While the class of 2020

may not have had a traditional senior

year, Pirosca is looking on the

bright side of things. Her experience

showed her that “if you put so

much emphasis on the end [of high

school], you’re not going to enjoy

the duration of it,” a piece of advice

she will pass on to others and continue

to live by.

Ana Pirosca’s senior portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.

pel according to The Church of Jesus

Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon his

return, he will be joining the BYU

graduating class of 2026.


Local News


The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Adjusting to High School Digitally

Hadjar Yousfi


Nobody said starting high school

would be easy. On the contrary,

it can be quite hard. But starting high

school during a global pandemic

that has the whole world holding its

breath? Well, that’s a different story.

Every freshman student has had

their own opinion and experiences

adjusting into high school this year

in this weird environment.

Principal Chris Mastrangelo

can only imagine how freshmen are

dealing with the stress of this year.

“There’s a lot of adjustments when

you go from the eighth grade to the

ninth grade, in a normal year, and

it’s hard, it’s one of those transition

points in your life [...] you’ll always

remember.” He even imagines that

they are feeling disappointed and

that they aren’t even a part of Malden

High School due to the fact that

they haven’t been to the building as


Of course, some students are

adjusting just fine while others are

having their fair share of issues, but

Malden High School is prepared to

help all students. According to Mastrangelo

and Ninth grade guidance

counselor Amy Yu, there are many

House principles, counselors, teachers,

and social workers there for the

students to help them transition to

high school. Saul Kruckenberg, a

freshman at Malden High School,

“[thinks] that it’s really nice to be

able to email counselors or teachers.”

Yu believes that “the socializing

piece [is] what students struggle

with.” Freshman year is one of the

most important years in your life.

Making friends during freshman

year is so important and many

people just like freshman student

Emma Spignese-Smolinsky feel that

it wasn’t what they were expecting.

“[She] can’t meet new people, [making

it] a different experience.”

Another freshman student

Kayla Ortiz has been enjoying this

quite well “Freshman year has been

great so far, [she likes] all [her]

teachers [and] students, everyone

has been so nice and kind to one


Of course there are still some

problems with high school online.

Spignese-Smolinsky revealed that

“It’s harder to learn like this.” Steven

Luong, another freshman student,

feels that “It’s a bit hard to stay

concentrated on doing your work

though.” Being on a device for the

whole day for school and feel draining

for some students and cause

them to lose interest or fall behind.

Malden High has been doing

its best to help accommodate

the needs of all the students. Saul

Kruckenburg comments that “[he]

just thinks that Malden High is doing

a great job at this and [he’s] glad

that we have been able to adapt to

virtual learning so well.” Mastrangelo

also commented on how much

he misses being in the highschool

“[he misses] seeing the kids [they]

all do all the adults in the building.”

Mastrangelo also comments

that he misses being able to say,

good morning to the students, as

well as saying

goodbye to them in

the afternoon. He

also wishes that he

was able to create

memories with the

students just as he

used to before the


Many students

like that

teachers have been

checking up on

students during

class, but it’s also

nice to hear personally

from them,

Kayla mentioned

that, “They [the

staff] could check

up on people if they [don’t show up

to class or just to chat].” As many

people at Malden High know, Principle

Mastrangelo sends out nightly

check-ins which are meant to let students

know that “even though we’re

seeing each other like this you can

still reach out to us.”

Of course nobody expected for

the pandemic to last this long. But

Malden High School has done its

best to accommodate the needs of

both freshmen and older students,

as they adapt into a lifestyle that

nobody ever deemed possible.

So Much Energy. Comic by Carolina Cuevas.

Members of the class of 2024: Joseph Yu “C”; Hadjar Yousfi “L”; Emma Spignese-Smolinsky “A”; Marianne Rivadeneira “S”; Amneet Kaur “S”; Daniel O’Toole “O”;

Jessica Li “F”; Natalie Tarantino “2”; Alan Feng “0”; Tsering Dolkar “2”; Karen Reyes Martínez “4”.

Peer Tutoring At Malden High

Krishany Marius

Lead Reporter

On Monday, December 7th

2020, Malden High School started

their online Peer Tutoring program.

The Peer Tutoring program is meant

to help kids after school who need

help with their classes. It is an opportunity

for students to help other

students, everyone involved with

the program is thrilled and ready to

get started.

Too many students found

themselves having a hard time with

the first quarter of the school year

Flyer for Malden High’s Peer Tutoring


and struggled trying to understand

some of the material in different

subjects. Stephanie Sibley and Kayla

Scheitlin both have been working

together to assist students who need

help with their classes. The Peer Tutoring

program also has additional

support from different teachers

and students who are excited about

starting peer tutoring as well.

Although it is a great way for

students to get help from fellow students,

people are now starting to get

used to how online school works.

It will be difficult because now that

everything is online, some things

are unexpected. “Students are struggling

at home, who have trouble

asking teachers online for help, it’s

hard to teach online classes and

having to ask questions in front of

everyone,” Guetchina Letang states.

Letang is one of the coordinators

that started the job in February,

a month before the pandemic hit.

Letang is in her fourth year as an

undergrad student. She wants to be

there for students because she as a

person understands what it is like

to be a student doing online classes

and can help students along the


The Peer Tutoring program is

open for all grades where kids are

tutoring other kids who they signed

up.They will be willing to help the

students who need help on their

classwork. Peer tutoring will take

place five days a week, and each day

is a different subject, they spread it

out so students who need to come

on certain days can get help on certain


Christine Dibendetto states,

that she “[thinks] it will be great, the

kids will probably get something out

of it, because they will have a one on

one with the students.” Dibenedetto

is one of the coordinators that help

the students, she believes that this is

a whole new different world we’re

living in and all the new technology

will definitely benefit people who

would love to work from home in

future job references.

This program is to offer students

peer tutoring during the asynchronous

time since they are not in

the building and not able to assist

students and do the after-school

tutoring like they used to.

Peer tutoring is every day,

Monday is for English learners

kids who need help with their

English,Tuesdays are math they

have tons of math tutors, Wednesday’s

focus is science and math,

Thursdays is general reading and

writing like English and History.

Friday is world language. “[They]

thought getting some help from

peers might be more appealing to

some students and it might give

them additional support that some

of them need,” Sibley says.

It is also a way for students

to connect with other students and

having that structured opportunity

to talk and interact may be refreshing

for some students. The outcome

ultimately is that kids will improve

their grades. There were too many

kids who failed their classes in the

1st quarter. It is an opportunity so

more students can know about this.

It’s a tough time for everyone

and it can be difficult for many students

to keep up with their schoolwork

and try to understand life

itself. “She is [I am] hoping after the

new year we’ll be able to move into

a hybrid schedule.” It is very much

needed for many students, many

are struggling in school, it has been

detrimental for students and teachers

the whole school year.

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Local News



Class of 2022 Elections

Julie Yu


The COVID-19 outbreak has

caused numerous events to be

canceled. However, one tradition

that will continue is class elections.

The Class of 2022 held their junior

class elections. The online election

took place on Monday, December

21st during school hours, to which

the winners were announced at the

end of the school day.

The Class of 2022 elected a

President, Vice President, Social

Media Coordinator, Art Director,

Secretary, Treasurer, and two Junior

Varieties (JV) Coordinators.

The position of President had

four candidates: juniors Jason Ong,

Marouane Jaayfer, Nik McGuffie,

and the Managing Editor of The

Blue and Gold, Julie Huynh.

Juniors Maleena Haq, Sarah

Oliveira, and the Head of Local

News of The Blue and Gold, Courtney

Fitzgerald ran for the role of

Vice President.

There were three students

running for the Social Media Coordinator

position: Becky Tse, Yoji

Yonetani, and the Managing Editor

of Print and Design of The Blue and

Gold, Lauren Mallett.

The Class of 2022 student council

has decided to alter some of the

roles. Last year the student council

held an open interest meeting for

anyone that was interested in running

for a position. The Class of 2022

Class Advisor, Daniel Jurkowski,

explained that “it was all student

driven,” adding that “they wanted

to change some of the names and

the positions that were offered.”

One of the roles that have been

altered was the Historian position.

Among the student council, an idea

was proposed to change the name of

the Historian position to Art Director,

but according to Jurkowski “the

role and the responsibilities have

remained the same, just the name is

being changed.” Juniors Tony Giech

and the Head of Sports News of The

Blue and Gold, Lulu Harding, both

ran for the position.

The previous Class of 2022

Secretary is Christelle Jean and she

was the only candidate that ran for

the position. By default, this meant

that Jean had been re-elected for the

secretary position.

There were two candidates

running for the position of Treasurer,

Sammi Nie and Sophia Kouhail.

The position of JV Coordinators

had the most candidates with eight

people in the running. Juniors Aiden

Thompson, Antonia Bilodeau, Reem

Bouchra, Mayada Giha, Jing Ren,

Sarah Schneider, Tivian Nguyen,

and Maggie Yick all ran for the position.

Unlike in previous years, the

Class of 2022 had decided to have JV

Coordinators run solo, rather than in

pairs. Jurkowski explained that this

was not intentional, it was a topic

discussed by him and the class officers

and they came to the consensus

that it would work best that way to

have the two positions but have the

candidates run individually.

Haq stated that this year’s election

was very different especially

given “the circumstances that we

are facing globally and as a community.”

She further explained that the

pandemic has made everything feel

thrown off, adding that a class election

is at least able to make students

feel like they have “some control

over everything.”

Giha believes that elections

“are an opportunity for students to

take action and lead their class to

success.” She further explained that

“having elected leaders is especially

important this year in order to work

through these obstacles and achieve

the goals the class [had] already set.”

Nie explained that this election

had been specifically very crucial

due to the fact that it is the Class

of 2022’s “last year before senior

year which is [a] year of [many]

major events.” She also mentioned

that everyone has lived the past

few months questioning what is

to come in the future, and with so

much uncertainty, answers have

been difficult to come across. Nie

expressed that for some people voting

and having a say in their future

can “give them hope,” adding that

“people will vote for the candidate

that gives them a feeling of security

during these unstable times.”

Thompson expressed that he

thinks the election for their junior

year will be especially important

because “even though [Malden

High is] doing online learning [the

students are] still have [that] sense

of school.”

One of the biggest differences

candidates have had to adapt to has

been campaigning remotely, and

not being able to post flyers around

the school. However that has not

stopped the candidates from promoting

themselves on social media


Bilodeau mentioned that the

candidates “[do not] have that same

face to face connection with people

in [their] classes, in the halls, or

even at lunch anymore.” Bouachra

agreed that campaigning remotely

is a bit difficult. She mentioned that

“having to use social media to its

full extent is so tricky as you have to

target the right audience and engage

them.” Although she did note that

“campaigning virtually can also be

beneficial since [their] ideas can be

more widespread and reach a larger


To elaborate on that point, Tse

stated that she believes that “social

media plays a large role in helping

advertise. She explained that she

thinks getting her campaign out

there has been “fairly easier,” adding

that nowadays “everyone is going

on social media.”

Even before the pandemic hit,

the Class of 2022 utilized an online

voting platform, which they will

be using again this year. Jurkowski

explained that everyone was sent an

email in the morning with a password

in it that they needed in order

to place their votes. Another feature

in using the online voting system

was the fact that he was “able to see

live results throughout the day.” He

also mentioned that “[this voting]

system worked well last year, and

we had a big turnout,” as everything

ran smoothly.

However Jurkowski noted

that turnout this year is a concern

of his, as last year he was able to

walk around the cafeteria with his

chromebook encouraging students

to vote, which of course will not be a

possibility this year.

Looking back on the class’

first year of fundraising, Jurkowski

expressed that the situation is unfortunate

but hindrance is “something

that [the class is] used to. They are

eager and hopeful for their junior

year, especially after they were not

able to start fundraising until the

beginning of their sophomore year,

when they officially got their class

advisor. After getting a late start,

they were again set back by CO-

VID-19, being that their sophomore

year was cut short.

Already the Class of 2022 was

at a disadvantage in comparison to

other classes. Typically at Malden

High, each class is able to start fundraising

towards the end of their

freshman year, which was not the

case for the Class of 2022. They were

not able to find a class advisor until

the Fall of 2019 (their sophomore

year), which was also the year that

Jurkowski was hired as a gym teacher

at Malden High.

Tse stated that with the loss

of time, the class has undeniably

missed out on many fundraising

opportunities but admires the progress

and efforts that both the class

officers and her fellow classmates

have made in the short amount of

time that they have had. Giha added

to that explaining that initially at

the beginning of the self quarantine

period, she was doubtful but the

“student council showed great initiative,”

which makes her confident

“that the class will come up with

creative ideas for events and raising


Reflecting on the COVID-19

pandemic, Nie expressed that it “has

given us as much as it took from us,”

further explaining that “it has made

[the class officers] become more

creative and think outside of the box

by forcing us to come up with other

sources of revenue.” She added that

it has made them more “meticulous

about [their] planning,” and caused

them to figure out what their priorities

and main efforts are.” Despite

the hardships, Nie believes that

“it has made [them] an incredibly

strong class,” and has placed emphasis

on the fact that the class “is

still together and strong.”

Thompson agreed with Nie

stating that they are strong enough

to get through whatever challenges

come their way. Haq is staying positive

amongst these uncertainties as

she explained that there will always

be inconveniences that are out of

their control, but “it is [their] job

to find ways around them and still

achieve [their] goals.”

Despite the results of the class

election, Jurkowski believes that

after being held back from multiple

different factors, the class will

“[make] the best of the situation,”

as the student council is a “super

resilient group.”

Congratulations to

the Winners!


Julie Huynh

Vice President:

Sarah Oliveira


Christelle Jean


Sammi Nie

Art Director:

Tony Giech

Social Media Coordinator:

Lauren Mallett

JVs Directors:

Tivian Nguyen & Mayada Giha


Local News


Demolition of the Malden

Teen Enrichment Center

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Courtney Fitzgerald

Head of Local

In late October of 2020, demolition

began on the Malden Teen Enrichment

Center (MTEC). The building

housing the MTEC had been

structurally unsound for a couple of

years. The safety of the building had

been in question since May of 2018.

Shoring, a temporary form of prop

support, had been implemented in

May of 2019 when the initial review

of the building had been done. In

November of 2019 the building was

ordered to be evacuated.

The Malden Teen Enrichment

Center was founded through a

group of adults who had partnered

with the teen population to create

a place for teens to participate in

activities with their peers. The

MTEC offers teens a high quality

program where leadership and

youth development is promoted.

This originally when events targeted

towards teens hosted at the

YMCA eventually grew into the

beloved teen center. As the attendance

increased at the teen nights,

it became apparent to them that

they would need to expand the

availability of these activities, and

so planning began. They needed

to find housing and funding as

well as programs and activities for

the teen to partake in.

Teen Center in the process of being demolished. Photo by Carlos Aragon Aldana.

Kayley Glavin

Lead Reporter

Malden High usually offers a

variety of clubs, but due to

the circumstances this year, there

are only a handful of them that are

moving to an online format. The

pandemic has not stopped some

students from trying to start new

clubs either. While many still want

to continue meeting, “some would

be difficult to” continue, history

teacher, Kerry Veritas, said. Certain

clubs that are national organizations

such as the Key Club and NHS will

continue to meet, no matter what.

Veritas is the advisor to the

Feminism Club, which is held every

Thursday as it was “something

[the members] wanted to do.” So

far it has been a success for her and

the students a part of it. Veritas expressed

that she still has many of the

main members, but looks forward

to “recruiting more members.” She

An Update on Clubs

Classrooms were decorated to welcome back students. Photo

submitted by Pamela MacDonald.

continues to have an online platform

for the kids who still want to

be involved.

Librarian, Mary Liberge, used

to advise the Art Club. This is one

of the many examples of clubs that

are hard to format online because

“every student would need their

own supplies and that proposes a

barrier.” Until this club is able to

meet in person, it is going to hold off

on running for now. ‘’There are a lot

less clubs running this time” due to

remote learning, said Veritas.

Due to the difficulties in organizing

clubs this year, Veritas began

working with Erin Craven, who

had some good ideas about how

to launch “clubs for this particular

year, especially for freshmen who

are new and want to get involved

from home.” In prior years, freshmen

would learn about clubs and

extracurriculars they could join at

the Activities Fair, but unfortunately

Juliana Luong

Lead Reporter

The Special Education Parent

Advisory Council (SEPAC)

held a socially-distanced rally on

September 23, 2020 in the Malden

High School courtyard. The rally

was organized by the Special Education

Parent Advisory Council and

it “was in support of offering the

option of in person learning to [Malden’s]

highest needs learners that

remote learning can’t offer,” said

Adam Weldai. “To some people the

benefits outweigh the risks and they

want to give their kids a shot,” Wed-

lai explained.

During the

SEPAC rally

many of Malden’s


spoke about

their struggles

with remote

learning with

their kids. Weldai


that it is “stuff

that we don’t

normally think

about. Kids be-

that was not held this year.

Veritas believes her kids are

as interested and engaged with the

Feminism Club online, just as much

as they were in person. In ways it

makes “it easier because you are

able to be in your house at the same

time.” There is more “flexibility” for

her students and it is also not mandatory.

For her club, being online

has not stopped or “limited conversation

so far.” However, Google

Meets and the internet can always be

an issue. Google Meets have “their

own sort of vibe to it.” Most of the

time it goes smoothly but there is “a

little difficulty.”

Her and other teachers still

prefer to be in person, but they understand

why that is not an option at

the moment. The good thing about

online clubs is they are voluntary, so

only people who want to be a part of

the conversation attend, and not because

they are forced to participate.

cause they work with an Adaptive

Physical Education teacher they are

able to practice jumping, dexterity

with their fingers, raising both your

arms at the same time and being able

to sit in a seat without any urges.”

Computer screens limit students’

ability to learn and practice

what they have worked so hard

to accomplish. With that, parents

want to help their kids to reach their

full potential. Pamela MacDonald,

the head of Special Education at

the Malden High School, said that

“[her] job is about building relationships

with parents and building

support for students. It was nice to

connect with people and put some

names with faces.”

Jennifer Spadafora, a parent of

a special needs student can relate.

She explained that “it was really

good just to see people advocating

There are about fourteen

clubs that are still going to try and

continue meeting in “an online environment.”

Veritas and Craven are

arranging a Google Slides presentation

to showcase continuing clubs.

This will allow students to view the

“joining information, pictures and

possible videos.” James Valente, media

teacher, was also involved in the

plan to “create a video overview”

of what is available to students and

what is provided to them. The next

step in their plan is to distribute this

information to all of the grades, specifically


This would be a great way to

get more club members and it allows

the students to still be involved

in something they love, even from

home. Their life does not have to

completely go on hold. Clubs are

also a great way for students to interact

with their friends “outside” of


Special Education Parent Advisory Council

(SEPAC) Hosts Rally

for their kids’ education. Having a

special needs child is a whole different

avenue including parents

that don’t know how to educate our

kids in a remote learning or distance

learning environment, not to say

that remote learning is easy for anyone


The Special Education Parent

Advisory Council is in existence to

make sure that no parents feel alone

and so they can talk about their

questions and concerns. Spadafora

also explained that “as well as having

SEPAC educate parents that

may not be familiar with special education.”

MacDonald also explained

that “[she does not] always know

everything [that is] going on . . . so

to have another set of eyes and ears

in the district and also the perspective

of the parents is important and

is the best advocate for families.”

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

The Malden Police Department

Hires New

Civil Rights Officer

Krishany Marius

Lead Reporter

The Malden Police Department

hired a new Civil Rights Officer

Michael Powell and is proud to

have this title known to the city. It

was a position that was presented to

Powell and he took it without hesitation,

he had been investigating

hate crimes and hate incidents for a

while now Powell wanted to make

his position known

to the public. Powell

felt like this will

be an important

opportunity for the

police department

and the city of Malden.

He wants the

people of Malden to

feel safe and do not

want their rights to

be violated.

Powell hopes

to be an inspiration

towards little kids

and young people

“[He thinks] that if

[he has] a connection

with people

before [he] became

a police officer.”

He hopes that he

can inspire younger

people of all backgrounds.

He feels

as if “one of [his]

stronger attributes

[is he is] able to connect

with people in

a real way.” As time goes on Powell

wants to make his position educational

towards his younger audience

not only for the police department

but for the general public as well.

Powell looks forward to people

warming up to him and feel more

comfortable and to share their stories

and so he can address it with all

sides of the parties involved. Powell

stated that “the more people know,

the more people grow.” Some people

may not know that some of their

human rights have been violated

before, and the position Powell has

can allow people to feel comfortable

talking about certain things that

should be talked about more. It is an

educational well-known purpose to

let people know that they can come

to Powell freely even if they are unsure

if something leads up to a hate

incident, he wants to be involved in

the community to understand more

of these things.

Powell goes on and states that

“America definitely has some healing

to do as unfortunately [there is] a

lot of division in our country.” There

are conversations that need to be

talked about that are usually swept

under the rug and some people

are not comfortable talking about,

Powell said “we need to have more

difficult conversations that need to

Malden Police’s New Civil Rights Officer Michael Powell.

Photo from the Malden Police Twitter page.

be made comfortable.” Having a

general understanding of what your

rights are is important especially for

young folks to get involved with

knowing their rights they will have

a better understanding and opinion

on certain topics.

This new Civil Rights Position

has such an important impact on

Malden and helps Malden citizens

to have a better relationship with

the Malden Police Department. It is

something that can have such a huge

influence on young kids and young

adults who question many things in

the city that will be great for everyone.

It is more than just advocating

or being a guardian for folks that are

experiencing concerns about their

human rights being affected. This

new position is something the Malden

community can come together

and focus on the bigger things.

Local News


There’s a Lot.

Comic by



New Mosque Ribbon Cutting


Chaimaa Assli

Lead Reporter

The Outreach Community and

Reform Center (OCRC) was established

on November 28th, 2006.

The purpose of the OCRC is to carry

on religious and charitable activities.

Before they got a new building,

they used to hold Eid prayers in

the Malden High School gym and

Ramadan iftars used to be held in

the cafeteria. The OCRC also invites

local and foreign Muslim Scholars

to further expand the knowledge of

the community and to educate them

about the different aspects of Islam.

In April 2019, the OCRC succeeded

in achieving a long time goal

that is getting a new place in Malden

to accommodate the growing

Muslim population in Malden and

to further develop its activities. The

renovation of the building took over

a year to make it suitable for an Islamic

center. The grand opening has

been delayed for months due to CO-

VID-19 restrictions and guidelines.

On Saturday, October 3rd the OCRC

organized a small ribbon-cutting

ceremony to officially open its doors

for the public.

Attending the ceremony was

Mayor Gary Christenson, Police

Chief Kevin Molis and some city

council members including Ward

4 City Councilor Ryan O’Malley

and Ward 1 City Councilor Peg

Crowe. This event was also open

to the neighbors. The event started

off at 2:00 pm with a tour of the

new building. Everyone got to see

the prayer room and classrooms

used for the weekend school. After

the tour, everyone gathered in the

prayer room to listen to the speakers.

The speakers included Abdul

Hamid, a member of the Board of

Trustees, then followed the Mayor,

and finally, Abdul Wahab Khushafa

closed off. After the speakers, the

Mayor, Police Chief, Abdul Hamid,

Laila Shari, and two City Council

members lined up to cut the ribbon.

Everyone was socially distancing

and wearing their masks. There

were hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial

wipes available for everyone.

There were also stickers on the floor

that showed everyone where to


Kindergarten classroom at the OCRC

learning the Arabic Alphabet. Photo by

Chaimaa Assli.


Mayor giving a speech before the ribbon

cutting. Photo by Chaimaa Assli.

Larbi Braer, a member of the

Board of Directors said that there

is a greater sense of community.

He states that “[they] are hoping to

spread a positive image of Islam and

to expand and reach out to the community

in a positive way.” They are

trying to improve the community as

much as they can.

When Mayor Christenson was

still a City Councilor, Adil Bousalem

contacted him about a vision

15 years ago. Christenson was “ in

awe” to see what they had achieved

and explained “It [does not] matter

where they are so long as [they are]

in Malden.”

To Adil Bousalem the new

mosque is a celebration of years of

struggle to achieve this goal. After

many years of fundraisers, talking

to the people of the city and trying

to find a place with the market in

Malden was not easy. Even with

this building, it took about a year

and a half to negotiate and secure

the area before it could finally

open. Bousalem states “the building

itself celebrates their hard work,

community, board members and

volunteers.” This is something they

have dreamed of for years and have

finally achieved it.

Police Chief Kevin Molis has

known this community right from

the beginning. When he first found

out about their existence he sought

them out. He believes that it is important

for a city to develop relationships

with people who decided

that this is where they want to live,

work and worship. Molis lives in the

neighborhood so this event is both

personal and professional. He said

it means a lot to him that a religious

community would see Malden as

a welcoming place. Although he is

impressed with the new place he believes

that “God can be worshipped


The OCRC values the youth.

They believe that the youth are the

future leaders of Islam in America.

There is also an after school program

that teaches Arabic, Islamic

studies, and Quran at the OCRC to

the youth.

The OCRC intends to change

its name to the Malden Islamic Center



Local News


The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Opening of Paws & Purrfection Company in Malden

Sandra Li

Managing Editor

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic

impacting many aspects of

daily life, it has not stopped new

businesses from opening up in Malden,

including Paws & Purrfection

Company. Located on 240 Main

Street, the Paws & Purrfection Company

officially opened its doors on

August 29th.

Kashawna Harling, who is one

of the owners of the small business,

explained that it has always been a

goal for her to start a business and

with the pandemic, it enabled her

to have more free time. During the

shutdown, Harling created a business

plan that consisted of how she

would like the store to look, what

she would be selling and the kind

of services the company would be


With Harling being a Malden

resident herself, she was able to look

for rental properties back in May.

She mentioned how “[she] was lucky

enough to find a store property five

minutes away from [her] home”

which especially helped when

Harling and co-owner, Ralph Long

III, would both “spend at least ten

hours a day from July to August” to

organize and put together the store.

The Paws & Purrfection Company

offers products and services

that are based around pets. More

specifically, the business provides

pets and food supplies, dog grooming

and yard pet waste removal


Being the owner of two dogs

Chaimaa Assli

Lead Reporter

Soul City Yoga recently opened

in Malden on September 22nd,

2020. It is located on 210 Pleasant

Street in Malden Center across from

City Hall. The owners are Shanel

Anderson and Sara Bailey.

This is not the first location of

Soul City Yoga. Anderson and Bailey’s

first studio was opened in 2016

in Lynn. To them Malden is a lot like

Lynn. They really liked the cultural

The entrance of Soul City Yoga. Photo

submitted by Shanel Anderson.

and cats, Harling enjoys “spending

time with and caring for animals’’

which was one of the reasons that

prompted her to open a business

centered on pets. On top of that, she

stated how during the initial pandemic

shutdowns, “it was getting

increasingly difficult to obtain pet

food and supplies quickly.” With

the demand placed on major pet

supply companies causing delays

in delivery times, it prompted for

Harling to establish Paws & Purrfection

Company as “a local alternative

to large pet supply distributors.”

In the end, her goal was to form a

local neighborhood store that gives

both pet supplies and services with

a “down-home personal touch.”

Along with other small businesses

across the country, the Paws

& Purrfection Company has also

been largely impacted by COVID-19.

Mayor Gary Christenson expressed

that the most difficult aspect of the

pandemic has been “the reduction in

the number of customers that come

[into the] city.” However, this has

not stopped people from establishing

businesses as seen through the

number of stores that have recently

opened up.

Christenson explained that

with many individuals having much

free time, they have utilized this

opportunity to start their own business,

and further said that “people

are looking to take charge of their

futures and become entrepreneurs.”

For Paws & Purrfection, one of

the issues that the business is facing

is funding. Harling stated that

because of the closures placed in

diversity of Malden. Anderson and

Bailey explained that Malden is the

most diverse community in the commonwealth

and “it fit perfectly.” The

pillars of their mission statement is

to offer yoga to communities that

do not already have it. They chose

Lynn because Anderson and Bailey

were both born and raised in Lynn

and after doing much research they

decided that Malden was the right

place for Soul City Yoga and “the

pieces fell in line.”

Both Anderson and Bailey love

Malden. Anderson said “[she has]

been impressed with Malden with

the accessibility of the authority and

the administration,” adding that

they have really “stepped up to help

[businesses] and they really want

them to succeed.” The community

itself, the people who come to the

studio are “enthusiastic” and “welcoming”

and happy that they are

coming into the studio.

Anderson and Bailey really like

how the new building turned out.

They have been involved with it for

a long time and watching it come

to life has been exciting and a “test

of patience.” COVID-19 was a big

obstacle for them so seeing the place

now has made it even more special.

Bailey said that it feels very professional

and she loves the “aesthetic of

the city and the state, “[her] income

[has] become severely limited” to

the point where “[she has] to resort

to savings” in order to fund the

store. She further added that like

any new company, “profit and customers

come slowly” and so having

a second income has been essential

to ensure that the “business initially

stays afloat.” Another issue has

been marketing and advertising the

company as it has been “harder to

introduce yourself to local businesses

and customers during a time

of social distancing.”

In order to tackle these issues

that small businesses have been

experiencing, Mayor Christenson

directed the Malden Redevelopment

Authority to administer an

emergency small business assistance

program funded through the

city’s allotment of federal Community

Development Block Grants.

The program was mainly targeted

towards businesses that have five

or fewer full-time employees. In addition,

with restaurants being one

of the hardest hit industries, Christenson

further requested that the

licensing board waive the renewal

fees for their liquor licenses for 2021.

He explained that his approach

to this was that “instead of trying

to put money into their pocket, let’s

look at ways we can simply leave it

there.” For some, he said that this

saved almost to $3,500 “at a time

when every dollar counts.”

In the future, the City of Malden

plans on creating workshops

to help businesses understand how

to adapt to new safety practices

the building.”

At Soul City Yoga there is a

daily yoga practice. There are different

varieties: they offer yoga,

restorative yoga, yoga sculpt, and

they also host Barre, workshops,

events and offer retail. These classes

are currently offered both virtually

and in the studio “so you can take

your yoga anywhere.”

They both have their own

story as to why they began yoga and

started this business. For Anderson,

yoga really helped her with a difficult

pregnancy. She realized how

helpful it was and decided that she

wanted to get certified in yoga. To

her the general part of yoga teacher

training was questioning herself

constantly about what she would do

as soon as she completed the training.

Growing up in Lynn she knew

that there was no yoga available so

she wanted to do something where

the city would benefit from it. At

first it started off as something small

and it just grew from there.

The reason why Anderson

decided to open a yoga studio was

the lack of diversity in Yoga and

“there weren’t a lot of black women

in the class.” So to her it never felt

welcoming so she wanted to change

that. Anderson said, “If you have a

dream or an idea, be patient, follow

including contactless payment, the

utilization of QR codes and how to

keep customers confident in their

sanitization methods. On top of that,

the city is also initiating a marketing

campaign in order to draw people

back to the dining and gaming options

when it is more safe.

In spite of COVID-19 affecting

small businesses greatly, Harling

still continues to have high hopes

and aspirations for the Paws &

Purrfection Company. She hopes

for the business to not only “become

a local store name for the community,”

but to also “have a comfortable

sense of home and community” for

customers. Moreover, with Harling

being a first time business owner,

she is aiming for success during a

difficult time, but is confident that

with “hard work, faith and strong

ambition, [she] will get Paws &

Purrfection Company to be a success.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony for Paws

& Purrfection Company. Photo submitted

by Kashawna Harling.

Soul City Yoga Opens in Malden

through and don’t give up.”

Bailey was actually a practicing

attorney for six years after law

school and “it wasn’t the right fit

for [her].” Her husband realized

that and encouraged her to try yoga

since she loves dance and is pretty

athletic. During her first few classes

she felt like the outlier but she kept

going and it became part of her daily

routine, so she began yoga teacher

training. She soon began to teach

yoga and really enjoyed it so she

decided to quit her job as an attorney

and started teaching full time.

Later on she met up with Anderson.

They have known each other since

they were about 10 and 8 and since

Anderson owned a yoga studio and

Bailey was a yoga teacher they decided

to partner up. “That’s kind of

how the whole thing went down.”

Like Anderson, Bailey Also felt

uncomfortable when first walking

into a yoga studio. They believe

“the more diverse the better” and

everyone is welcome at Soul City

Yoga. Bailey said [it is hard to do

something new but “if you go to

soul city you will be welcomed and

if you keep at it and just keep trying

it’ll do wonders for your health and


The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Local News



Virtual Spirit Week

Julie Huynh

Managing Editor

For the longest time, it has been a

tradition at Malden High for students

to participate in Spirit Week,

a series of days leading up to Pep

Rally where students get the opportunity

to dress up and show off their

school spirit. In the past, every student

that participated would earn

points for their class, but this year

was not like all the ones that came

before it. The Step Team did not perform

at Pep Rally, student council

members did not sell t-shirts, there

was no tug-of-war.

In early November, Beth Horwitz,

a Business Teacher and the

co-adviser to the Maldonian, was

speaking to art teacher Mary Ann

Seager about their disappointment,

because for them, Spirit Week “represents

a sense of community and

Malden High School Pride.”

This was when they decided to

take matters into their own hands

and set up a meeting with Principal

Christopher Mastrangelo to see

if there was any way to host Spirit

Week virtually this year. Mastrangelo

was excited to hear that Horwitz

and Seager were taking initiative

and said, “if [they] thought [they]

had enough time to plan it, then

absolutely, go for it.”

The following week, an email

was sent out to Malden High staff to

ask for any volunteers to help with

the planning. James Valente, Kristy

Hardy, Kristy Magras, Jeanne Marquardo,

Tim Lane, Todd Cole, and

Paul Marques were all staff members

that responded.

As a team, they decided that

Monday, November 23rd would be

Sports Day, Tuesday would be Bad

Hair Day, and Wednesday would be

Blue & Gold Day. They asked students

to take a picture of themselves

and upload it to them through a

Google Form, where they put together

all the submissions into a

video montage at the end of the day.

Valente took up the task of creating

all the videos, which are also available

on the Malden High School

website. Horwitz thought that he

“did a fantastic job,” knowing that it

was not easy and “time-consuming

at times.”

For Sports Day, students were

instructed to “rock [their] favorite

team’s colors and attire,” many of

the participants chose to wear their

Malden High sports merchandise.

There was no shortage of participation

from the staff members either.

Principal Mastrangelo wore a Celtics

sweatshirt and Boyle House

Principal Stephanie Sibley showed

her support for the Dallas Cowboys.

Students and staff did not come

to disappoint on Bad Hair Day.

While some people looked like they

just rolled out of bed, others put in

effort to braid their hair in a funky

way or put on a wig.

Usually Blue & Gold Day coincides

with Pep Rally, but that did

not stop people from repping their

class! Some students wore their class

shirt, others wore clothes showing

off their sports or clubs.

Horwitz’s favorite part about

Spirit Week this year was “seeing

the smiles on the students’ faces…

each day.” As a former graduate of

Malden High, Blue & Gold day was

“especially meaningful” to her because

the photos and videos helped

her remember all the happiness that

she got from these traditions. She

did not want the seniors to graduate

from Malden High without having

the same.

Horwitz and Seager felt that

having a Virtual Spirit Week would

serve as a nice reminder that “we

are always together at Malden High

School, showing Malden Pride

whether we are in school or distance


Sarah Schneider and Reem Bouachra

show school spirit on Blue and Gold

day. Photo submitted by Bouachra.

History teacher Jonathan Copithorne and Michelangelo celebrate Spirit Week together. Photo submitted by Copithorne.

The 2020 Spirit Week poster. Photo

from Chris Mastrangelo.

From left to right; Kenny Nguyen, Brianna Preston, David Lombardi, Jennifer Phan, and Jason Ong show their school

spirit on Blue and Gold day. Photo submitted by Ong.

Senior Ana Dorner showing off her

look for bad hair day. Photo submitted

by Dorner.




Movie Review:

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Carlos Aragon Aldana

Managing Editor of Print and


Out of all the films I’ve watched

this year, the one that I’ve since

thought about the most is most

certainly I’m Thinking Of Ending

Things by Charlie Kaufman (who’s

done Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless

Mind and Being John Malkovich).

It’s also debatable whether or

not that’s a good or bad thing. After

much thought, I can confidently say

that I have not digested all of the

ideas the film presented and most

likely missed some of the more

subtle themes. This is my current

analysis and review of I’m Thinking

Of Ending Things.

While it may seem unintuitive,

I’ll get the more technical aspects of

the film out of the way before I attempt

to unravel the puzzle that is

the plot. In terms of performances,

they were all amazing; although this

is the first piece I’ve ever seen Jesse

Buckley in, she has already become

one of my favorite actresses. Toni

Collette sent chills down spine in all

of her scenes, just like she did in Hereditary

and Jesse Plemons does the

same. The camerawork is usually

simple, yet effective, although one

scene towards the end is beautifully

composed. It’s not revolutionary,

but it gets the job done really well.

Again, there’s probably more I’ll

catch on another rewatch since I was

really trying to figure out the themes

and story more than anything on the

first couple of viewings.

With that out of the way, I’ll

dive into the rabbit hole that is I’m

Thinking of Ending Things, from a

story standpoint. The IMDb synopsis

writes that “Full of misgivings, a

young woman travels with her new

boyfriend to his parents’ secluded

farm. Upon arriving, she comes to

question everything she thought

she knew about him, and herself.” It

leaves out the fact that throughout

the film, her trip is intercut with

scenes of a day in the life of a high

school janitor. While the description

isn’t wrong, it definitely won’t prepare

you for actual viewing. In fact,

I recommend you watch the film

before going forward. It’s on Netflix,

and it’s perfect for a quick watch

late at night (don’t try watching it

during the day, a sizeable chunk of

the film is quite dark). This part of

the review won’t make much sense

without it. Skip to the end for my


Did you watch it? Good. If not,

keep reading I guess, but it’s going

to be hard to follow. The first thing

I’ll get out of the way that you probably

didn’t pick up on is that Jesse

Buckley’s nameless protagonist is

Official poster for the movie I’m Thinking of Ending Things. Photo from Wikimedia.

a fantasy created by

the janitor, who is also

an aged Jake. I heard

it was much easier to

pick up on in the books,

but there are still hints

sprinkled throughout

the film here and there.

For example, Buckley’s

paintings are actually

Jake’s, if you saw that

during her trip to the

basement. Jake is also

shown to have a love of film as we

can see in his room, and Buckley’s

character just happens to become a

cinephile on the car ride home in her

review of A Woman Under the Influence,

which she viciously tore apart.

The review was also lifted straight

from the late critic Pauline Kael. It’s

also one of my favorite scenes of the

film, the way Buckley slips into her

native accent so casually was amazing;

I didn’t even notice the change

at first. Finally, at the end of the film,

she states that she never even spoke

to Jake, he just stared at her in a

creepy manner. She even said it was

akin to describing “a mosquito that

bit [her] 40 years ago. Jake is also

hinted to be the janitor a few times,

one of which was when she finds

the uniform in the washing machine.

The janitor also gives Buckley

the slippers that Jake tried to give

her earlier in the film. The girls at

the Tulsey Town are also the same

girls from the theatre who gave him

weird looks.

So why is all of this important?

What is Kaufman trying to say with

this piece? Well for one, I know one

of the biggest elements is the terror

in aging. The most obvious sign of

this is Jake’s mother, played by Toni

Collete. Her performance is bonechilling

as I said earlier, and if you

watched the film, you’d understand

why; almost everything the mother

does is unsettling in some way or

leads to something unsettling. I

didn’t quite put my finger on what

was up with her, although I’m not

too familiar with diseases or afflictions

like the kind she had and I’m

not in the place to diagnose someone.

The way she pressed all the wrong

buttons on Jake unintentionally

made me cringe. In fact, throughout

the entire dinner, I had to get up and

take a break at least twice. Her laugh

was tired, ominous, and sad all at

the same time. Finally, the way this

ties to aging can be fully wrapped

up by examining her scene on the

deathbed; it feels sad, but at the

same time you could see it coming.

It’s the same with age and death; it’s

always on the horizon, and there’s

no escape. Sometimes it’s swift, but

oftentimes you know it’s coming a

long time before it arrives.

Continuing on with the theme,

but changing characters, the entire

film is an examination of Jake’s

psyche through Buckley’s eyes. We

A scene from the movie. Photo from Netflix.

see his relationship with his parents,

how it ended up, his regrets,

and finally, we see dementia fully

consume him. It’s extremely scary,

seeing his regrets, what he wished

he could’ve done, like approaching

Buckely on trivia night or being able

to spend more time with his mother

or being able to be accepted by his

father. Finally, his speech and song

at the end in the theatre is something

that I actually haven’t figure out. It’s

definitely connected to aging (based

on the audience) and his regrets

(simply because this is the opposite

of the life he lived), but there’s almost

certainly more to dive into.

Finally, at the end we’re treated

with a visual marvel; a dance scene

featuring what seems to be Jake and

Buckley, although they’re replaced

by stand-ins. They live a life together,

and right before they’re married,

Jake’s doppelganger is killed by

Jake’s other doppelganger, or more

specifically, a stand-in for the Janitor.

What does this mean? To be frank,

I’m not entirely sure, but I’ll give it

a stab. For one, we can assert that

this is the life Jake wished he lived.

However, right before they’re united

in marriage, Jake is murdered by the

janitor. Why? Probably because the

life he ended up living is what kills

this dream, and the murder is performed

by the janitor because that’s

who he ultimately ends up living as.

There are probably other interpretations,

and another watch may help

me find more to it, but that’s how

my view of the sequence stands as

of the writings of this review.

Ultimately, I loved I’m Thinking

of Ending Things. I don’t want

to be that guy, but it really is a piece

that makes you think really hard.

While I think most of my assertions

(or is it assertations?) on the piece

are right, some bits like the dancing

sequence, the thoughts on time and

it’s true nature (which I didn’t dive

into because they were extremely

strange.) and the ending scene with

Jake’s speech are all parts I’m unsure

about. Which is fine by me; it means

I’ll probably keep coming back to it

and enjoy it. Even so, not everyone

is the type of person who watches

films for thematic reasons. Which is

fine, not every piece has to be deep

to make you feel something.

I’d recommend this piece to

anyone who wants to have something

to think about for a long time.

The Blue and Gold

January 2021




Krishany Marius

Lead Reporter

Grand Army aired on Netflix

October 16th, 2020. It covers

the many obstacles that teenagers

face in the real world and how they

deal with differences. Grand Army

has many ups and downs that five

teenagers are trying to deal with:

racial injustice, misogyny, high expectations

from parents, struggles

of fitting in a group, sexual assault,

sexuality and most importantly trying

to find themselves in a world

where they are not understood or

accepted. The show focuses on the

many topics that teens struggle with

and they should be talked about in

many places throughout the world.

These five teens are Sid, a senior

who struggles with his sexuality

and is trying to meet his brown

parents’ expectations. Dom, who

struggles with keeping her grades

up and taking care of her family

financially, staying in a small house

trying to cooperate with everything

all together. Joey, who throughout

the show is being shamed because

of the way she feels comfortable in

her own skin; her story in the show

is a traumatic experience that is

overlooked because of the way she

shows her body.

Jay, a saxophone player who he

and his friend Owen got in trouble

for messing around, only to have

Owen be suspended for 60 days

because they were playing around

in a lockdown. The principal barely

Show Review: Grand Army

shows empathy towards the situation.

Lastly, Leila who is a Chinese

adoptee wondering what is her

place and where does she fit in society;

she is a teenager completely

oblivious to her own toxic traits and

manipulative ways.

The show goes on and focuses

on the main topics of what many

people in society overlook, like

Joey’s performative activism, where

she shows her devotion but in reality

she is looking for validation to prove

people that they support her. Joey

sees that Dom and her friends are

kneeling during the “Star Spangled

Banner”, so she does it too because

she thinks it will prove that she is

with them, but she never holds her

friends accountable when they were

racist or homophobic.

The principal suspending

Owen for 60 days because of playing

around during a serious event

was excessive but he allows the two

white boys who had a sexual assault

allegation come back to school. It

goes to show that the principal does

not care for the black students in

the school and pushes away the fact

that black kids are more likely to get

targeted and pay the consequences.

This also happens in real life where

black students are stereotyped and

targeted for their skin color.

The show Grand Army goes

on with the struggles of identifying

sexuality and how terrifying it is to

come out to parents who probably

are not accepting towards that topic.

The struggles of keeping up with

grades and helping your family and

trying to see where you fit in this

world and see who you really are.

I would recommend this show

to anyone, especially teenagers who

know the daily struggles of being a

teenager in this society and having

to deal with so many things that are

thrown at them. Grand Army is a

show that allows people to get a better

understanding of many things

and helps relate to the main topics

that are not talked about. It is not a

cheesy teenage series but an understandable

and educational one.

Netflix series Grand Army poster. Photo taken from Wikimedia.

Monthly Playlists: Curated by You!

Cover art for The Blue

and Gold’s monthly

playlist for October.

Art by Lulu Harding.

Lulu Harding, Head of Sports

Julie Huynh, Managing Editor

Introducing: Malden High’s Playlist

of the Month!

This year, The Blue and Gold

is involving the students of Malden

High in creating a monthly playlist.

On the first of every month, there

will be a survey posted on our Instagram

Story to ask the community

what they are currently listening to.

These songs will then be added to a

playlist that will be shared both on

our website and our Spotify.

During these current times

with everyone stuck at home due to

the pandemic, it can be easy to feel

alone and disconnected from each

other. We hope that these monthly

playlists will help bring the Malden

High community together, as well

as become something that people

look forward to being a part of.

Each month’s playlist includes

songs from various different genres,

languages, and artists. This is a

chance for you to discover new artists,

while also seeing what others

are listening to right now.

Cover art for The Blue

and Gold’s monthly

playlist for November.

Art by Carolina


Follow us on Spotify

@ The Blue and Gold

to listen to all our

monthly playlists!


Lulu Harding

Head of Sports

Zachary Nedall


With the pandemic causing

some major changes to this

year’s sports seasons, one of the

biggest has been the cancellation of

what would have been this year’s

133rd Malden-Medford Thanksgiving

football game.

The Malden-Medford rivalry is

the second oldest football rivalry in

the nation. This being said, the traditional

game played on Thanksgiving

is something that both the Malden

and Medford communities look

forward to every year, whether they

are playing on the field or cheering

from the sidelines. Although

cancelling this game was the safest

option due to the current situation,

these communities, the coaches and

especially the football teams were

greatly impacted. Malden High’s

football coach Stephen Freker said

that he feels “badly for the Malden

High players the most, especially

the seniors, since [it] was their last

chance to play in a game that has the

longest tradition in school history.”

Senior Captain Muneer Odally

stated that he was honestly

extremely disappointed with the

cancellation of the Thanksgiving

game because it “had always been

the highlight of [his] season and

of Thanksgiving, and it was such a

shame [they did not] get to have it

or play in it since [they] all worked

really hard.” This is definitely a

common view amongst the team

as a whole, and having the season

cancelled on top of this was a frustrating

experience for them.

Freker felt the effects of the

absence of this game as well. He has

been on the Malden High football

coaching staff for 20 of the Thanksgiving

football games, “two as Head

Coach and 18 as assistant coach.”

He has also played in three of them,

so it was definitely a letdown to find

out that he was not coaching the

game this year.

For Senior Captain Giovani

Memeus, this game has always

meant a lot to him. Before transferring

to Malden High, he attended

Medford High for two years, giving

him experience playing with both

teams. He stated that not being able

to play a Thanksgiving game was

difficult, especially being a senior.

It also “hit [him] hard” because he

was looking forward to making sure

“Medford High [did not] score a single

point just like last year’s game.”

Last year, Malden claimed

victory against Medford, 29-0, at

the Thanksgiving game. Memeus



Cancellation of the Malden vs. Medford

Thanksgiving football Game

Last year’s Thanksgiving Day victory. Photo

submitted by Coach Freker.

Juliana Luong

Lead Reporter

Adaptive P.E. is a class established

upon grade level in

grades K-12 with modified activities

that are safer and more feasible for

special educated students. Adaptive

P.E. is sometimes taken in place of a

gym class, but it is similar. The students

taking this class participate in

playing sports, although sometimes

with balls such as volleyball or

baseball, the coaches will use bigger

and or softer balls that are easier to

catch, hit or kick.

The Cupid Shuffle is one of the

favored parts of class. “Adaptive

P.E. really brings a different aspect

to [the students] day, especially

during the COVID-19; pandemic

students are really stressed and primarily

tuned into academics as well

as focusing online, it’s a good break

in the day to do something fun,”

said Pamela MacDonald, Director of

Special Education.

described how the team

“showed up and came to play

against Medford to make sure

that the seniors got the best

final game in their high school

football career.” Senior Captain

Matthew Bessey added

that although the game was

cold and wet, “it was really

fun to play ball one last time

with the seniors and end up

winning the game.” By taking

the win last year, Malden was

able to keep Medford’s Foot-

ball team on a winless season.

Malden High’s football team

has worked incredibly hard after

their outstanding efforts at last

year’s game. Although the pandemic

has put team practices on pause

for now, the players have been putting

in a lot of effort to find ways

to begin practicing for next season.

Most of the athletes tend to usually

train year-round anyways, but this

year has made individual or smaller

group strengthening sessions especially


Bessey stated that “some

people have been practicing on their

select position to try and get better

for whenever they are able to play

again,” this usually being either in

the weight room or at Macdonald

Stadium. And according to Memeus,

“sometimes some of the guys

even attend a couple of Coach Elisee

Pompilus’ training sessions, which

really helped [them] out a lot.”

Besides the letdown of not being

able to play the Thanksgiving

football game, one of the main setbacks

of the season as a whole has

been getting players to be noticed

by college scouts. Normally, scouts

would be at some of the football

games, seeing which players stand

out and they believe have the potential

to perform well at their college.

With the absence of a fall season, the

window of opportunity for players

to play in front of college scouts has

become greatly diminished.

The same could be said for these

college’s opportunities of finding

fresh talent for their teams. Without

high school football games being

played, it is difficult for scouts to

find players and draft them to their

teams. The setback of all the athletic

seasons has posed this challenge for

sports across the board, and many

colleges are already working on

accommodations to be able to get

Malden High Schools’ Special

Education students, for the past two

years, worked hard to have Malden

High School revered as a Unified

Champion School. A Unified Champion

School “is a school and/or

district that exhibits an all-inclusive

atmosphere for children with [either

physical or cognitive] disabilities,”

explained Charlie Conefrey, Director

of Athletics and P.E.. Unified

Sports was created when Malden

partnered with the Special Olympics

of Massachusetts.

The class also partakes in many

things to be a part of the Malden

community. Conefrey stated that

“through athletics, we do Unified

basketball in the fall, but that was

canceled or moved to hopefully in

March or April.” There are about

15 to 20 girls and boys that sign up

to participate and travel along with

coaches for their basketball team. In

the spring, the Adaptive P.E. class

competes in outdoor track, and according

to Conefrey, plays games

with “neighboring communities”

including Melrose. This makes the

students’ athletic experience similar

to the rest of Malden High School’s


Although Adaptive P.E. is a

gym class, there are so many other

ways students participate and can

be involved. For example, students

are offered leadership roles in the

class. “We’ve had captains of the

cheerleading team that were a part

of the PACE program, some were a

part of the Captain’s


said Conefrey.

The captain

was also a part

of the general

The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Adaptive Physical Education In Malden

Malden High


team, and was

not a “separate



these players drafted.

When asked about playing

football past the high-school level,

Odally has said that “football is

something [he] would really like to

play in college and still plans on it,

but the pandemic has kind of made

[him] more flexible with whether [he

plays] at the college level or not.”

Similarly, Bessey brings up

that “[he hopes he gets] the opportunity

to play football in college and

continue playing. The pandemic

has made it harder to get colleges

to see you for athletics, but like a lot

of other people in my position [we

will] make something happen.”

However, with the cancellation

of the Thanksgiving football game,

there may be also some good news

to look forward to.

“As it stands now, we may have

the opportunity to have a shorter

football season in Fall II,” Freker

stated. The Fall II season is currently

set to happen from February 22nd

through April 25th. “If [the Football

team get to have their] season, [they]

will play Medford for what will be

the 133rd time.” The game might

possibly be played on Patriots Day,

2021. It will not be exactly the same,

but there will be some excitement.

With the possibility of a

Malden-Medford game still being

played, the football team still has

something to look forward to. There

is a lot of hope for next season, and

the team will continue training for

the next time they get to play their

Medford rivals.

As Memeus brought up, “Like

the Great Kobe Bryant said, ‘everything

negative- pressure, challenges-

is all an opportunity for me to

rise.’” He concluded that personally,

he simply sees the “pandemic as just

another opportunity for [him] to improve

to be better than how [he] was

last year.”

has taken much of a negative toll, but

even despite being remote Adaptive

P.E. continues to keep its enjoyable

atmosphere. During class, students

use the chat room and enjoy seeing

everyone dancing. In-person class is

safe and socially distanced, everyone

wears masks and are spread across

the gym. “It’s a time to interact with

your peers in a non-academic way,”

said MacDonald. Adaptive P.E is

standing strong and will remain a

place where there is a fun, safe, and

learning environment.

The Malden High School Special Education Basketball Team.

Submitted by Charlie Conefrey. Taken prior to the pandemic.

The Blue and Gold

January 2021




Malden High



Honor Roll

All photos from The Blue and Gold archives.

Sarah Alves Marques


For the fifth year in a row, Malden High School was awarded

the Sportsmanship Honor Roll in District 5 by the Massachusetts

Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). Across

the state, there are nine districts organized by the MIAA. Malden

is in district five along with the Northeastern Conference,

Cape Ann League and Commonwealth Athletic Conference.

This award is granted to schools for not having any

student-athletes or coaches disqualified or suspended from

an athletic contest during the school year. Good sportsmanship

consists of honest competition, good relationships with

teammates and accepting the results of the game, regardless

of the outcome.

Schools should practice the ability to accept defeat without

objection or complaint, victory without bragging and the

treatment of opponents with integrity and respect. With this

award, it reveals how coaches are now more of a role model to

students rather than having an individual training them for a

game only to win. Charlie Conefrey, the Director of Athletics

and Physical Education in Malden, stated that by achieving

this award “it shows that the kids are following the lead of

the coaches, who are following the lead of our athletic department

and administration from Malden High school.”

Conefrey believes that “sportsmanship permeates virtually

every aspect of our culture as ethics and fair play [which]

applies in all facets of life.” He mentioned that the award “is

a measure of our school’s understanding and commitment to

the educational nature of interscholastic athletics.”

He further added that “[Malden High School] tries to

teach sportsmanship in all aspects.” Conefrey also explained

that sportsmanship simply consists of respect, and it is for

yourself or your opponent. Moreover, that “it is [about] respect

in all aspects of gameplay, being gratuitous when you

win, and being just as gratuitous when you lose.”

Overall, it is one of his favorite honors because it directly

reflects how the Malden community “work[s] well together”

and on top of that, represents Malden as an athletic department

and that what they are essentially teaching is that sports

are not always about winning, rather it is about “having

respect for yourself, your peers, your school, and your community.”


Local News


The Blue and Gold

January 2021

Teachers’ Perspectives on Online Learning

Kaoutar Wakaf

Lead Reporter

Many schools around the world,

including Malden High

School, have started off the year with

remote learning to protect students,

teachers and other staff members

from contracting COVID-19.

Although this may sound like

an unfavorable way to start the

year, it is certainly thought of as a

safer method of schooling that allows

the least amount of exposure

and would hopefully reduce the

number of coronavirus cases in the

Malden area. This dramatic change

in the way students learn has obviously

imposed the need for constant

adaptation, flexibility and patience,

but what are the teachers’ opinions

on this subject?

The teachers at Malden High

School did not sign up for remote

learning. They were used to the

in-person student-to-teacher interactions.

To continue teaching during

this pandemic, teachers had to

adapt at a quick pace to make this

year work.

Remote learning didn’t come

without challenges, however.

Robin Doherty, an English teacher

at Malden High School, said “because

[the ninth graders are] new

to the high school and it’s already

nerve-racking going to go to high

school nevermind now that it’s all

virtual—it’s harder for [her] to get

to know them. She has noticed that

“a lot of them are really shy about

the cameras for a variety of reasons,

whether it’s because they feel uncomfortable

and don’t know their

peers, or they don’t want people to

see the background of their homes.”

Doherty also thinks “it’s more

of a challenge to build a sense of

classroom community so [she is]

telling them to unmute themselves

and speak instead of just typing

in the chat because otherwise [she

would] be reading chats all day and

[would] feel like [she is] having a

conversation with [herself].”

She sees technology as an additional

challenge. For example,

“[she] was having technical issues

and [she] had to have the kids leave

the google meet and rejoin. [She]

knows sometimes, kids can’t get

on for whatever reason and that’s

out of [their] hands. It’s definitely

frustrating at times but [they] can’t

control technology.”

In addition, Joseph Luongo, an

art teacher at Malden High School

said he uses breakout rooms when

he wants to talk to someone privately.

Luongo mainly uses this

option to give feedback to students

about their artwork. He heard teachers

were using Nearpod a lot but he

hasn’t tried it, although it is something

he wants to look into. Usually,

he uses QuickTime or screencastify

to record his lessons. However, Luongo

also makes use of Padlet, a

website where students and teachers

can communicate, collaborate and

share their ideas through pictures

and links. Moreover, he adds that

“[teachers are] really trying [their]

best to mimic or duplicate the inperson


Mary Ann Seager, another art

teacher at Malden High School,

further stated that “although [art

teachers are] trying to use the new

programs and [are] trying to become

more tech-savvy, it is very

important for [teachers] to maintain

personal contact with students by

doing demonstrations and having

them show [them] their work because

[they] don’t want to just do

slides. It has to be an activity that

[students] participate in. It’s a solo

activity, it always has been, whether

[a student] is at the studio by [themselves]

or with other students, but

[art teachers] are trying to maintain

the studio atmosphere,” which they

have found to be a challenge.

This year, Malden High School

changed the schedule by dropping a

period from the seven period rotation.

There are now six class periods,

with three classes a day in the new

two day rotation schedule. Referred

to as the “Blue and Gold” schedule,

there is integration of asynchronous

periods as well as an after school

period called “What I Need” (WIN),

similar to office hours. Ann Pember,

a history and psychology teacher,

said “[she likes] having a longer

time with fewer classes per day.

Everything takes longer in remote

learning because of tech issues.” She

was not sure how the block schedule

would work because it was not

something she had done before,

so she thinks the current schedule

“works much better” than the one

the school had in-person.

Pember added that “[she] also

likes that students have more time

to do homework assignments. [Students]

don’t have as much homework

each night, they have two days

to do an assignment, sometimes

four if it’s over the weekend. [She]

also [likes] starting a little bit later,

at 8:15. [Her] students are reporting

they are getting much more sleep

than in previous years and some of

that is because there’s not as much

to do. There aren’t as many school

activities but just having that half

an hour difference does help with

sleep.” Asynchronous time is also

something that she appreciates, seeing

it has a “great idea to have time

built into [their] schedule for meetings

and extra help.”

What do teachers think about

the way students learn through remote

learning? Has it changed the

way students learn?

Katherine Haskell, a chemistry

teacher at Malden High School, explained

that this year, “[she thinks]

that students are starting to take a

little more ownership of their own

learning because [teachers] aren’t

there to make sure [students] are

doing their work.”

In contrast to last year, she does

not have the ability to ask students

why they have not started an assignment,

students have to take responsibility

and do this themselves.

She said that “the large majority of

students are doing really well with

that.” Even when students are getting

kicked off or having internet issues,

they are still reaching out and

emailing her about what they may

have missed. Haskell added that

“[she’s] starting to see that students

are really taking ownership of their

own learning because [teachers]

aren’t there to make sure they’re doing


Many may recall how numerous

schools around the nation were

forced to close their doors and

quickly adopt a new virtual method

of schooling for their students. Malden’s

decision to switch to remote

learning was made by staff members

in an effort to resume classes

and end the year on a good note.

Jennifer Clapp, an English

teacher at MHS voiced her opinion

on the topic. She “[did not] think it

was super successful last year.” She

thinks MHS “got through it as best

as possible, but [that] it wasn’t real

remote learning,” comparing it to

“crisis learning where [students and

teachers] were trying to completely

shift gears in the middle of the year

to do what was needed to do.” She

felt that MHS “did not have enough

to plan or make sure everybody had

the stuff they needed so it was really

just reacting to everything that was


Clapp felt that “[school administrators]

did this for the right reasons

but they were really limiting

Robert Grinnell’s period five Spanish class on Google Meets. Photo submitted by


[teachers] for what [they] could do

with students. For example, [teachers]

couldn’t do [their] own lesson

planning, [they] couldn’t introduce

a lot of new material and it meant

that [the class] couldn’t really move

forward. Teachers tried their best,

students tried their best, everyone

tried their best, but [Clapp thinks]

it’s been way more successful this

year.” This year has proven to be

better than she thought it would

be. Her class attendance has been

steady, and she commented that

everybody is doing their work.

Though many teachers, students

and families are experiencing

remote learning in different ways,

most would all agree that it is not


Overall, teachers seem to prefer

in-school learning to remote

learning. They miss student-teacher

interactions and hands-on activities,

however, because of the circumstances,

many seem to agree that it

would be a better decision to stay

home and make the most out of it.

Doherty, for example, is happy

to be teaching remotely this year

despite all the obstacles the situation

had presented. Ideally, she would

love to be in person in front of her

students, but because of the virus

she believes that is not possible. The

reason she became a teacher was so

she could make new connections

with students, and now she has

to learn how to do that through a


Check out this years “Meet the

Staff” video on our YouTube channel

by scanning this QR code.

Download the MHS

Sports App!


Malden High School

Volume 105 106 Edition 41

February 2020

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