April 2021


The Blue and Gold


Malden High School

77 Salem Street

Volume 106 Edition 2 April 2021





Sandra Li

Managing Editor

Malden School Committee

Conducts Superintendent Search

With the announcement of

Superintendent John Oteri

not seeking an extension to his

contract in November, the Malden

School Committee began its search

for Malden’s next Superintendent

of Schools. In order to help guide

the process, Mayor Christenson

appointed two School Committee

members, Jennifer Spadafora and

Adam Weldai, to co-chair the Superintendent

Screening Committee.

On March 15th, the Malden School

Committee announced that Ligia

Noriega-Murphy would be the

next Superintendent of Schools and

would assume her position on July


The process started in the beginning

of December where the school

committee selected an outside firm,

the Collins Center from UMass Boston,

to conduct the search. Spadafora

explained that their process was

to post the superintendent position

on multiple websites, reaching out

to different organizations in hopes

of receiving a considerable amount

of candidates. And with that, both

Spadafora and Weldai then formed

a search committee of an additional

15 members that consisted of teachers,

school administrators and community


She went into detail about

how they were then tasked to look

through the 37 resumes they had

received. In a series of meetings, the

committee discussed the strengths,

areas of growth, and background

experience of each individual applicant.

From there on, the committee

narrowed down their decisions to

nine applicants and then had individual

Zoom interviews with each of

them. Repeating the process again,

the screening committee met again

collectively and discussed their pros

and cons to each of those applicants

and voted on who they would put

through, eventually ending up with

three finalists.

When it came to deciding on

the three finalists, Weldai explained

how each person on the committee

was looking for something different,

which he found to be a highlight

of the process, because from

his perspective, he was personally

“looking for someone who was a

strong communicator” and also an

individual who has the experience

with both the “instructional side of

being a leader, but also the managerial

side.” And he believed that with

the committee consisting of such

vast representatives from “as many

different stakeholders of a school

system as possible,” it enabled for

“[them] to have those hard conversations

with one another.”

Senior Billy Zeng, who was a

student representative of the screening

committee, expressed how both

Spadafora and Weldai “did a wonderful

job” in creating a committee

that was “truly representative of different

perspectives.” With the wide

range of individual backgrounds,

from paraprofessionals to students,

Zeng found that the “diversity in

thinking” was crucial when it came

down to making decisions as each

person “prioritized different aspects

of the school experience.”

He continued on saying that

there is a significance in being “exposed

to new perspectives in education,”

especially ones that you were

never aware of before because he believes

that it is beneficial when “different

communities are represented

and able to share their voice,” ultimately

steering the decision on who

would be the next superintendent.

With Zeng being a student

himself, he noted the importance

of how essential it is for students

to be involved in processes like

these as students are the ones who

“know the school system the best”

as they experience it on a daily basis

whether that would be simply

from “walking through the halls or

logging onto Google Meets.” The

student voice is valuable since “they

Continued on page 3.

Julie Yu


It is safe to say that the 2020-2021

school year has been far from

normal. The Class of 2024 has been

greatly impacted from having to

start their freshman year remotely.

As the return of grade 9 and 12

students approached, Malden High

hosted an open house event for

freshmen and other new students

on March 20th. In past years, the

first two days of school were spent

welcoming the incoming freshmen

class to Malden High.

During those two days, freshmen

would be given resources and

a rundown on different aspects of

their high school careers such as

credits, grade point average (GPA),

graduation requirements, extracurricular

activities, and much more.

With the unusual start to the

year, the incoming freshman Class

of 2024 was not able to experience

the typical freshman orientation

they would have, had we started the

school year in person.

The Malden High staff was

mindful about the fact that a majority

of the Class of 2024 has not

seen or been in the building since

the tours they took as 8th graders.

With that being said, Amy Yu, the

Guidance Counselor for Jenkins and

Continued on page 15.

The new superintendent of Malden

Public Schools, Ligia Noriega-Murphy.

Photo submitted by Noriega-Murphy.


Social Media


Jhechel Espiritu and

Alexey Mozyaev


Humans have become overwhelmed

by the new innovations

of electronic gadgets, such

as smartphones, computers, iPads

(tablets), TVs, video games, etc., but

the biggest impact has come from

the different social media platforms

that have been clouding the globe.

These different programs and

apps have affected every individual

in all walks of life. Most agencies are

using social media to promote their

products and companies; even the

government uses the same kind of

platforms to gain political desires.

With a single finger tap on the

touchscreen of one’s phone, one can

get food delivered to one’s doorstep

in less than an hour. Especially during

the pandemic, everyone now

depends on the internet, doing everything

remotely such as shopping,

money transferring, deliveries, work

and school.

The amount of hours students

at Malden High spend doing school

work, all the while having eyes set

on the screen, equals to more than

six hours. Then comes homework

that students are required to do for

another two hours, and oftentimes

longer. Plus, social media platforms

like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter,

are now places where everyone “socializes.”

Dulce Pelico, a sophomore in

Malden High, stated that “if [one] is

on social media a lot, there are a lot of

toxic [public figures].” An example

of this being the fact that “some girls

make [her] insecure,” when she sees

them displaying their lives through

social media. As much as Pelico does

not want others to affect her in that

way, she finds it challenging at times

to not compare. Due to these stiff

competitions within the creative industries,

younger generations tend

to compare themselves with people

their age, who have become known

as social media influencers.

Before the pandemic, students

and teachers spent some of their

time socializing with each other

in real life, while physically being

at school, creating memories and

having fun at a place they once

called their second home. But what

memories can one create when they

are sitting in front of a computer for

four hours straight, following with a

40-minute lunch break, after which

we are again in front of the screen

for another hour and 20 minutes?

Kurtis Scheer, a History teacher

at Malden High, mentioned that he

believes “it affects attention, motivation,

mental health,” which most

people, especially students, agree

with; the effects of social media have

impacted focus and interest in trying

to cope with the new normal.

Scheer stated that “[he] is in

front of the computer from about

7:00 [in the morning] to 4:00 [in the

afternoon] each day.” After Scheer


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 Moreira 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

is done with school “at 4 p.m. [he]

turns off the computer screen,” and

tries to do something that “[does

not] involve the screen.”

When one is connected to family,

friends, and all informative, entertaining

content through a single

gadget, what can one do but constantly

check up on other people’s

lives and the world around them?

Scheer stated that “[he] puts limits

during the week, but obviously,

there are times when [he] breaks

those rules.” Even for teachers, setting

limitations on the screen usage

can become an exhausting process,

which requires discipline and willingness.

For many individuals, freshman

year of high school is exciting

because students meet new and older

students, from all over the town.


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

The students get a new experience

that changes the perspective of their

world that is important for a teenagers’


Lucia Musilli, an

English teacher at Malden

High agrees that “for

the ninth grade it is different,

because kids want

connection and to be

doing something when

[they are] younger.” It

has been difficult for

freshmen at Malden High

ever since the school year

has started.

Gilberto Linares,

a freshman at Malden

High, explained that he

“would prefer going to

school, just because [he]

enjoys the social aspect of

Managing Editor

of Photography:

Liam O’Toole ‘22

The Blue and Gold

April 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 ‘22

Head of Local:

Courtney Fitzgerald ‘22

it.” Missing out on socializing with

their peers affects the health of many

students, especially since it has been

a difficult roller coaster.

Illustration by

Carolina Cuevas.

The Blue and Gold

April 2021



Continued from page 1.

have the firsthand knowledge” that

sometimes other stakeholders may

not be aware of.

Weldai mentioned how in previous

years, past searches have not

always been this inclusive. And this

time, he stated how they needed to

ask themselves “how do [they] attack

this from every different angle”

to ensure that people feel included

in the process. Adding on to that

thought, Spadafora emphasized

how “we have always said that Malden

is such a diverse community,”

but in order to truly reflect that, you

have to be able to “walk the walk”

and not only “talk the talk.”

And so in order to “reach every

corner of Malden” as Spadafora

stated, the search recognized how

they needed to include interpreters

to make sure that “everybody had

a voice.” In addition, she expressed

that because one of the roles of a

superintendent is to “represent the

entire community,” it is important

for every parent and student to

be “given that opportunity to be

heard.” She further added that the

committee ensured to translate every

documentation in regards to the

search and upload them onto the

MPS Superintendent Search website

to allow people to be a part of the


Aside from the committee

meetings that were held to review

the applications, community forums

and public interviews were organized

each day in the first and second

week of March to give members

of the community an opportunity

to learn more about the three finalists

and what they had to offer to

Malden. Interpreters were present

translating the discussions that took

place into seven different languages

including Vietnamese, Cantonese,

Portuguese, Arabic and more.

In these forums and interviews,

community members had

the chance to voice their questions

towards each of the finalists

whether that would be regarding

their previous positions or how they

would address current problems

in the school system. After each

meeting ended, the committee sent

out Google forms to hear feedback

from the community on what they

thought of each candidate.

Weldai described that in the forums

that were held, like the search

committee, “everyone’s perspective

[was] going to be different” and as a

result, the questions that principles

or parents were going to ask varied

since “[they] are each looking at this

from a different lens.” He stated that

the feedback submissions the committee

received were valuable in the

decision making process because it

was clear that the community wanted

to be able to express on “what

[they] want [their] leader to believe


Students from MHS also had

the opportunity to meet with the

finalists in a Student Forum where

they were able to pose questions

to the candidates. Junior Sammi

Nie, who was one of the students

a part of the forum, explained that

the process of meeting with each of


Sunsets on assembly row. Photo taken by Jhechel Espiritu.


April Crossword Puzzle

1. Ann _____ is the advisor of the psychology


3. Ana Dörner, a recipient of the Posse

Scholarship, will be attending _____ College.

5. The COVID-19 vaccine does not include

_____, preservatives, or latex.

7. The first Hockey game of the season was on

_____ 16, 2021.

9. Malden High’s Class of 2022 teamed up with

the _____ to sell Valentine’s Day candy.

10. According to the Mayor’s new policy, tenants

cannot be _____ on account of no payment of

rent or no-fault causes.

12. The gymnastics team only had _____ students

on the team.

14. Posse Scholarship recipient Elaine Du was

nominated by _____ _____.

16. Black History Month originated in 1926 when

Carter G. _____ launched the first celebration to

honor the Black community.

17. Brazilian _____ _____ is a self-defense martial

art and combat sport.

19. In “Life in a Year,” Daryn wants to give

_____ the best year.

20. The Buccaneers beat the Chiefs by _____


Puzzle compiled by Lauren Mallett.

them was “like [having] a regular

conversation” because both “respect

and energy was reciprocated.”

On top of that, Nie mentioned

how the conversations mainly revolved

around student voice and

implementing greater diversity

among faculty members and the curriculum.

She believed that asking

questions “that [they] deemed to be

the most pressing” revealed what

Malden needed in a superintendent

that is “capable of supporting our

diverse student body.”

Clues are from articles in both the online

and print editions.


Spadafora felt that all three

finalists had both the background

and the expertise when it came to

academics and curriculum which

made the decision difficult. However,

she emphasized that the “job is

not all about academics,” but rather

it is also about being “a spokesperson

for the district.”

Weldai agreed conveying how

the job of a superintendent has become

so vast that “there was never

going to be a perfect candidate,”

but ultimately they were looking

1. Malden High students were able to take the

_____ on January 26, 2021.

2. Who is Mayor Gary Christenson’s superhero


4. What day of the week was the last day of

school due to COVID-19?

6. “Clouds” was released on which streaming


8. Which week of Black History Month was

focused on celebrating the Black educators in

our school district?

11. How have swim meets been conducted this


13. How many executive actions did President

Biden sign on his first day in office?

15. Tales Carneiro Passos, who received a Posse

Scholarship, is double majoring in political science

and _____.

18. Charlie Conefrey stated that each team will

play _____ to ten games, depending on the sport.

for someone who “could be another

puzzle piece” to fit in with the “great

team” that the city and the schools

already have.

With the announcement of

Noriega-Murphy being the next superintendent,

the committee hopes

that moving forward in not only just

superintendent searches, but in other

searches as well that community

members, parents and students are

being involved in the process and

be given a platform to voice their





The Blue and Gold

April 2021

Keeping up with the News as an

As a young Chinese American,

it breaks my heart to see the

extensive amount of hatred that

continues to impact the lives of my

fellow Asian Americans and Pacific

Islanders (AAPI).

I am fortunate enough to have

lived the first 17 years of my life

without a single encounter with

racism. I am fortunate enough to

have never been called a racial

slur. I am fortunate enough to have

never been targeted simply because

I am Asian.

The harsh reality is that this

is not the case for many other individuals.

It is imperative that we acknowledge

that there are numerous

members of our own community,

the people that we work alongside,

the people we go to school with, the

strangers we pass by as we walk

down the street, who have faced

harassment simply due to their


We must speak out against

racial injustice. We must stand up

for those who are being oppressed.

We must hold people accountable

for their wrongdoings. These are

things I always told myself and

I stay true to. But, it took far too

many tragic hate crimes to occur

across the nation for me to truly

comprehend the significance.

As unfortunate as it is, hearing

and reading about these stories

in the media have become a new

norm. News outlets are consistently

covering stories about hate

crimes whether those are particularly

targeted towards the AAPI

community or other races.

On the night of March 16th,

2021, a 21 year-old, white gunman,

Robert Aaron Long, shot and killed

eight women, six of which were

of Asian descent; the other two



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


Asian American

victims were white. As the investigation

is still ongoing, detectives news conference, Baker claimed that

Long was taken into custody. At the

claim that it is still unclear what the Long was having a “really bad day

motive behind the attack was. However,

during times like these where tially consoling and defending Long

[...] and this is what he did,” essen-

people are so driven by hatred and for his undeniably discriminatory

hate crimes have become so common

in the news, can you blame As mentioned previously, the


people for inferring the attack was investigation is ongoing so I have

racially motivated?

made an extensive effort to regularly

check the developing story for

Following the attack in Atlanta,

I found myself at a loss for words. I any new details, and as I read more

thought to myself, what else is there and more articles on the murders

to say. I have been in this situation that took place, I began to notice the

countless times, trying to make word choice many media sources

sense of these appalling and unjust chose to use. I came across numerous

articles that refer to the attack on

attacks and every time it just feels

like a repeated cycle. I try my best these eight women as an “incident.”

to compose my thoughts and speak From a student journalist’s perspective,

I understand why journal-

out against as many attacks as possible,

but a pattern that I have noticed

within the past year especially to use terms like “hate crime” when

ists may not be granted permission

has been the fact that every time my there is a lack of evidence proving

message has been along the lines there is some kind of xenophobia

of: this kind of behavior is plainly present. But again, can you blame

wrong and should not be tolerated. people for assuming the murders

But what more needs to be were fueled by racism?

said? It really is as simple as that. This also caused me to question:

would the media be treating

I was having a meaningful

conversation with one of my friends this story the same way if the murderer

was not a white man? Would

and she said something that really

stood out to me. She said “at this the word choice be the same? Would

point [we are] all just disappointed the police sympathize with the suspect

as much as they did?

but not surprised,” and I think that

is the perfect way to summarize The answer to those questions

how so many of us are feeling. It is is no. No, the media would not be

disheartening and upsetting to read treating the story the same way. No,

about these acts of terrorism clearly the wording would not be the same.

driven by xenophobia, but are we No, the police would not sympathize

surprised? Are we surprised that with the suspect. Had the murderer

there is yet another event to add of those eight women been a person

to the never-ending list of racial of color, he would have been called

attacks? Are we surprised that this a terrorist and the police would not

kind of behavior is being disregarded

and excused?

cuse his actions.

be trying to victimize him and ex-

Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office

Spokesman Captain Jay Baker ing shooting in Atlanta is just one

Unfortunately, the devastat-

spoke at a news conference after of the several hate crimes that have

impacted the AAPI community.

Alongside the numerous other hate

crimes, there are also likely several

other stories and attacks against

the AAPI community that are not

reported and therefore go unknown.

In many instances, these

attacks have been targeted towards

defenseless elderly members of

the AAPI community, and when

it comes to reporting these hate

crimes, the language barrier tends

to be a large factor leaving many

victims reluctant to come forward.

However, it has been a little

over one year since the COVID-19

pandemic caused the country to

lock down and issue stay at home

orders. With this, came a significant

increase in hate crimes towards

the AAPI community. If this year

of xenophobic attacks have taught

us anything, it is that we cannot sit

back and remain silent. If these stories

continue to go unrecognized,

no progress will be made towards

ending racism in America.

From an outsider’s perspective

it may become annoying constantly

seeing people post on social media

about these unjust attacks of terrorism

and overall spreading awareness

on racial injustice, but imagine

how annoying it is for people of

color in this country, the ones being

oppressed or have to fear being

targeted for their race. Put yourself

in their shoes and think what could

possibly be going through their

minds when they regularly see coverage

on hate crime in the news.

Julie Yu


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

April 2021



One Year Away


Lauren Mallett

Managing Editor of Print and


One year, 12 months, 52 weeks,

365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600

minutes. A year is a long time, no

matter how you measure it. In one

year, the average person will grow

about six inches of hair, walk about

1,500 miles, and spend a little more

than $60,000. A year can completely

change you as a person, and flip the

world on its head.

March 12th, 2020. Exactly one

year ago, life as we knew it ended,

though we would have never

guessed it.

It was a day like any other. I

woke up at 6:00 am to get ready for

another plain old day of school. I

went to my classes, ate my lunch,

did my work, and went through the

day without any idea of what was to


That day after school, I sat in

the Blue and Gold classroom, J387,

and helped my sophomore year

editors finish the March print edition

before it was due to be sent

out. Almost every day that week, I

had stayed at the school until 5 or 6

o’clock at night working on my assigned

pages, photoshopping and

Taking the PSATs

placing elements, and writing captions

until I couldn’t move my wrist.

I remember on that Thursday,

it was around 4 o’clock, and we received

news that Everett and Revere

had both closed their schools for a

few weeks due to the outbreak of

the highly joked-about Corona Virus.

There was a moment when everyone

in the room shared the same

thought, “will this be the last day

we see each other this year?” We

thought it was ridiculous, but we

were right. Later on that night we received

a notice from the school that

all Malden Public Schools would be

closed indefinitely. I left the school

at 5:30 that afternoon and have only

returned a handful of times since to

collect my belongings and pick up

books for my AP Literature class.

I have not seen my teachers,

my peers, nor anything else from

Malden High in an entire year. We

picked everything up and threw it

onto the computer, but it’s not the

same, how could it be? We have gone

from loud clusters of desks to silent

breakout rooms and lively classes

where students bond over the seemingly

endless list of books they have

to read to 25 or more icons and only

the teacher’s face on a bright screen.

Online school will never compare

to the feeling of being in a classroom

environment, surrounded by

people who are completely different

from you asking the same questions

and worrying about the same due

dates. We have done as well as we

can with it, but I and many others

long for the return to our normal

lives. Although, normal may not be

the word to describe the lives we

hope to come back to. Any sense

of normalcy has been completely

shifted, and even if we went back to

the same routine as before COVID

knocked us on the ground, nothing

will feel the same.

As we inch closer to the proposed

date of return to in-person

learning, I’ve found it to be important

to reflect on the past year. It

has been one of tragedy, growth,

strength and fear. I look back at the

person I was a year ago and I barely

recognize her. That thought can be

scary to consider, but with all that

went wrong in the last year, I am

proud of where I am and who I’ve

become. I am proud of those around

me and all we have accomplished

and persevered through. I look to

the future with hope and excitement

for the day I can walk back into my

classrooms and see the friends I’ve

missed so dearly. I fin d myself daydreaming

about waiting in line in

the cafeteria or walking through the

halls during pool season and being

hit with the smell of chlorine. Mundane

tasks like talking by the lockers

or walking to get food at New

York Pizza after school ends seem so

much bigger than before. Every little

moment feels like an opportunity, a

memory to cherish and possibilities

to not take for granted.

After one whole year away,

I’ve found a new appreciation for

myself, my friends, and most importantly,

my school. Watching how

hard the staff has worked to adjust

us to our new reality through every

single change and issue thrown at us

has been inspiring. There’s a sense

of gratitude I have for our teachers

and principals that words cannot

begin to convey. I’m unsure of how

we could begin to thank them for

their hard work and commitment

to our education, but I do know that

they would move mountains for us

and would take on any challenge

presented to them. So thank you to

every single person in the Malden

High community, for keeping us

safe and working so hard for us. I

cannot wait to be back in the familiar

halls of our school, back to where

we belong.

Julie Huynh

Managing Editor

have only been to the school for

I the occasional book-pickups or to

get my bus card, but those hardly

qualify as “in-person learning.” Neither

does taking the PSAT, but sitting

at a desk for roughly four hours

does come pretty close. Like most

students, I have not been inside a

classroom since March 12, 2020. Last

week, on January 26, 2021, I stepped

back into Malden High School for

the first time in nearly a year, along

with 149 other students and 26 staff


As I waited outside for someone

to come open the front doors,

other students started arriving

around the same time. It was exactly

like all those early mornings when

we were back in school, except without

Principal Christopher Mastrangelo

or any of the house principals

there to greet us. As soon as we were

let inside, we had to make sure that

no two people were standing too

close together. In contrast, I recalled

those late entry days when everyone

would just crowd around outside

the office and in the cafeterias until

we were allowed upstairs.

Walking up the stairs to my

testing room, everything felt the

same. It was all very familiar. I do

not know if I was expecting the hallways

to feel foreign, or to be startled

by everyone wearing masks in this

setting, but it did not take long for

me to find comfort in the bright

orange walls and tiled floors that I

spent all of my freshman year and

most of my sophomore year getting

to know.

I was one of the first people in

the testing room when I arrived, so

I waited for everyone else. It looked

like time had stopped in the classroom.

I think part of me was used

to distanced seating from when we

used to take exams in-person. The

only aspect of the room that stood

out to me was the hand sanitizer that

was strategically placed where everyone

could access it, and perhaps

also so people saw that the school

was making an effort. Everyone

knows that before the pandemic,

those dispensers were not popular.

Obviously, I cannot talk about

the PSAT itself, but during the

breaks in-between sections, I could

not help but think about how empty

the school felt. It felt as if I had gone

to school during vacation, or on the

weekend. Even in a room with a

handful of other juniors, and more

down the hallway, it was eerily

quiet, save for the bell ringing here

and there.

That is one thing I do not miss,

the sound of the bell. Funny how no

one realized that the last time they

heard the bell ring on March 12, that

it not only signaled the end of the

day, but the end of any trace of a

“normal” high school experience for

the year to come.

I am currently writing this on a

snow day, which one of my friends

commented is “the most normal

thing to happen all year,” and I

could not agree more. Late entries

and early releases do not feel the

same when you are just going from

your computer to your bed. We do

not even have homeroom anymore,

and there is only one lunch period

and no built-in time to socialize with

friends. There is no passing time in

between classes to run into people

in the halls, no rushing to be one of

the first people in the deli line. No

smelling the lunch from the second

floor and wondering what it was, no

trekking from the gym floor all the

way up to your class in Brunelli.

I think I echo the voices of many

students when I say that I miss the

social aspect of school the most. I

miss the anticipation of walking into

math class everyday and not knowing

who I would be seated with; I

miss meeting up with friends before

and after school, and in particular, I

miss being a part of what I call the

“collective struggle.” If you do not

know what I am referring to, I am

talking about the connection that

forms between students that are

really Going Through It. I thought

forming connections online would

be easier, but now I know that is not


Luckily, I knew a few of the

other students in my testing room.

In fact, two of them were in one of

my classes. Just for a moment, we

bonded over how much work we

had to catch up on. It felt good to

know that I was not alone, that my

classmates were not just circles or

faces on my screen, but other human

beings that were also struggling during

these times. Again, if we were

in-person and I was stressed, I could

easily feel better by talking to other

students that felt the same way, but

complaining about the workload

over Snapchat is not the same.

It can be so easy to feel alone

since almost every day feels the

same. You wake up, log onto class,

have lunch, go back for your last period,

maybe take a break, and then

turn back on your computer to do

work for however long it takes you.

I find that even in my club meetings,

I do not feel like I am interacting

with people, because it is no longer

a social gathering, it is just another

hour I choose to spend on my screen.

When we were in-person, clubs

and extracurriculars were a way for

me to see my friends and meet new

people outside of a class setting. I

believe that these interactions were

an integral part of any high school

experience, and now these opportunities

have been taken away for so

many underclassmen.

I can only hope that the next

school year will be better for everyone.

One of my friends in my testing

room pointed out that if we are inperson

next year, almost half of the

students will not know their way

around. It is amusing to think about,

the fact that my biggest worry freshman

year was getting lost, and now

the class of 2024 is worried about

clicking the wrong Google Meet

link. Despite all the concerns that

come with possibly returning to

school in the fall, I am looking forward

to having something to look

forward to.




The Blue and Gold

April 2021

Being Black in America

Roxane Leon

Lead Reporter

Originally published in June of 2020.

Do not touch something in a

store if you are not going to buy

it. Do not walk with your hood on at

night. Do not talk back to the police.

Always cooperate with the police.

Never resist arrest. These are some

of the things we black kids have to

learn and see at such a young age.

And these are just some of them.

There’s more.

Now imagine living with all

these things cycling through your

mind every time you step outside

your house. Every time you see the

police. Every time you are in an unfamiliar

area. Being a black person

in America comes with a lot of fear,

anxiety, and paranoia. The constant

fear, anxiety, and paranoia of being

the next person to die just because

of your color. Just because you “fit

the description” as the police would


On May 25th, 2020, 46 year-old

George Floyd, a black man, died

in police custody. How? You may

ask, well… former Officer Derek

Chauvin decided to place his knee

on the neck of Floyd all while he

was already in handcuffs and lying

on the pavement. Chauvin kept his

knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes

and 46 seconds. 9 minutes if you

round it up.*

During those 9 minutes,

Floyd repeatedly said “I

can’t breathe” until he

became unconscious.

Chauvin did not

remove his knee

from Floyd’s

neck even when

Floyd had no

pulse and was already


In fact, a medical

examiner said that the

neck and back compressions

caused a lack of blood

to flow to Floyd’s brain.

Floyd’s death triggered

the Black Lives

Matter protest that is happening

in all 50 U.S states.

Black people are tired of

the systematic injustice happening

towards black people.

As a human, I already felt hurt

and saddened just by watching the

video of this killing. But as a black

person, I was outraged at the fact

that a human could do this to another

human just because of their

skin color. And you want to know

what the worst part is? This isn’t

the first time a black person was

hurt and or died from police

brutality. There’s Philando

Castile shot and killed at

a traffic stop by a Minnesota

officer. Eric

Garner held in a

chokehold by

an NYPD officer,

who died.

Michael Brown, an

unarmed teenager

shot and killed by a

Ferguson, Missouri


But wait, there’s

more. Tons more. At the

time, 26 years old EMT

Breonna Taylor who was

shot eight times (and

now dead) while in her

home when Louisville

Metro Police Department officers

raided Breonna’s house, in March,

in search of drugs they did not find.

Breonna would’ve turned 27 years

old on June 5th.

When you continuously see

black people die from police brutality

or just because they were black

(which was the cause of Ahmaud

Arbery’s death) it makes you wonder

when you’ll be next or if you’re

going to be next. In America and

all over the world, black people are

seen as the “threats’’ and the “aggressors”

when in reality, we’re just

the victims. The people who are

always being targeted. It almost becomes

scary to be a black person in a

world where you’re seen as the bad

person. Even writing this article is

making me think a lot of things including

wanting to cry.

But even though black people

are always seen as the villains and

are always killed because of racism

and white supremacy, I wouldn’t

want to change my skin color. For

nobody, no reason and especially

not if it was thought to be ashamed

of being black. And you know why?

Because I’m black and I’m proud.




MHS Back to School Night

Halted by Zoom Bombing

Carlos Aragon

Managing Editor of Print and


The past year has been incredibly

stressful and difficult for almost

everyone. From the protests in June

to the pandemic, it has been incredibly

tense. Remote learning adds to

the never-ending lists of challenges

to the year due to the number of

technical issues it presents and the

wall it creates between students and

teachers. During the Back to School

Night Malden High School hosted

on October 21st, 2020 to help students

and parents alike adjust to remote

learning, the vulnerabilities of

the system were exploited to allow a

disgusting attack, more specifically,

a “Zoom bombing” to occur.

According to Vice, a “Zoom

bombing” is when an attendant

breaks into a Zoom call and puts up

disturbing images and videos. Ever

since the pandemic started, Zoom

has become a valuable tool to companies

and schools, allowing people

to meet in a socially distanced manner.

Bombers abuse this heavy use

of Zoom in order to carry out their


Initially, Principal Chris Mastrangelo

attempted to remain calm

and remove the participant. He

stated that “in [his] mind, [he] knew

that there were 300 people who

needed to process it.” After 15 seconds,

he and Heather Northrop decided

to end the meeting knowing it

was the only way out. He added that

he was “utterly devastated in every

way possible.”

After shutting down the meeting

Mastrangelo stated that “within

5 minutes [the administration] was

in a Google Meet.” Their goal was to

figure out “what [they] needed to do

and who [they] needed to contact in

order to get support in place. A few

minutes later, he was meeting with

teachers to get their insight on what

their response to students should

be, as well as social workers to their

support for staff and students.

Superintendent John Oteri

stated that the fact that Malden

“staff, students and families had to

hear something like that [was] terrible.”

He immediately “contacted

the police to make sure [they] got

the proper people there.” Initially,

Oteri had sent an email stating that

classes may be canceled the next

day, but many of the staff protested,

saying it would “give the [people]

who did it a sense of victory, that

they accomplished what they wanted,”

since at that point in time the

attacker was unknown. The police

quickly determined that it was not

someone from Malden, and that the

IP address was overseas and heavily

masked in order to make it untraceable.

Oteri added that “the comforting

part was that it [was not] anyone

from our community.”

History Teacher Rebecca Corcoran

stated that she was in shock

when she witnessed the event. She

was shocked that “people make the

choice to not only disrupt a meeting

that they have nothing to do with,

but in such an offensive and violent

manner.” Corcoran believes that

administration did the right thing,

allowing “staff to work through it

with students the next day.” However,

she was surprised that nobody

really spoke about it after a week or

two, saying that it felt like “it happened,

we talked about it, and now

[we are] moving on,” which she

thinks is strange. “I [do not] think

it’s a closed book yet.”

Billy Zeng, founder of MHS

Students for Racial Equity, stated

that when he found out, he was

in shock. “We always think that it

[will not] happen to us, but then it

actually does” and while he did not

witness it himself, the descriptions

he heard of the incident motivated

him to invest even more time in

MHS Students for Racial Equity.

Originally, the group was known

as MHS Curriculum Reform Youth

Board, however, as the group met

with staff and administration, the

group rebranded into the MHS Students

for Racial Equity. While Zeng

stated that “[they are] still in the

works at organizing [themselves]

internally” he did confirm that one

of the group’s goals is curriculum

reform. He expressed that the incident

was really a learning moment,

where you think “this is why we do

this work, and this is why [it is] so


A few days after the incident

MHS Staff and Students for Racial

Equity put out this statement and

petition. It states that there is a

lack of transparency and proactivity

regarding social justice issues

throughout the school. It called for

more communication between staff

and students, as well as the creation

of a space where staff and students

can talk about race and equity rather

than the current strategy of reacting

to problems when they show up.

The sadness of the situation

is that after a couple of weeks, it

was essentially forgotten, despite

the magnitude of the event. What

we should have done was taken as

a learning moment to make bigger

changes, things like transparency

with administration and the encouragement

of an environment where

we can discuss these issues openly,

instead of waiting until something

terrible happens. Through these actions,

we can move forward stronger

than before.

The Blue and Gold

April 2021




How COVID-19 Has Affected Mental

Health for Students

Jhechel Espiritu


We are all in a state of defense,

anxiety, depression, and anxiousness.

This pandemic has created a

massive change within the Malden

community and the world—people

are constantly fearing the thought

of losing their homes, families, and

themselves. Students, in particular,

are like birds isolated from the outside

world, trying to find ways to

change their routines and find the

motivation to get up in the morning

and get through the day.

Basma Braer, a Sophomore at

Malden High School, said that “for

[her] personally [she cannot] socialize

with outside families, [so she

has] to stay with the same types of

people, adding on to that actually

being with the same people all the

time can be really stressful.”

Parents have had a close eye

trying to keep their children safe,

which instills more pressure and

stress to students whose parents are

less lenient. The fear and thought of

obtaining such a virus scares people,

not just parents, but also the most

vulnerable individuals who are facing

underlying illnesses.

Schools have had a greater impact

this year than ever before since

students are transitioning from inperson

education to remote learning,

which is an enormous change.

Benjamin Butler, an adjustment

counselor at Malden High, stated

that “[he is] really worried about

students, teenagers in particular

because [he thinks] . . . a big part of

being a teenager is independence

. . . being on your own and being

out in the world [and] you guys

are just stuck in your rooms, stuck

Comic by Carolina Cuevas.

in your houses with your families.”

Caitlin Quinn, a guidance counselor

at Malden High School, added to

this thought, saying that “when

[she thinks] about MHS students in

general, they are missing out on all

the social aspects of school, which

is tough. [She thinks about] some

of the things that make [school enjoyable],

not only academically but


The social aspect of school

really affects students and their

mental health. Meeting new friends,

teachers and people influence their

teenage years. Since students are

stuck at home with family and social

media instead of being out in

the world, they are being impacted

by different scenarios in their head

by what other people are doing. As

Butler again mentioned, “it sounds

to me like depression, you know,

it’s like ‘I get up. I get on the screen

for three hours and I have lunch and

do another two hours and then I go

to bed and do the same thing again


Having to get up every day

in the morning, knowing that you

will do the same thing over and

over again can be very draining and

overwhelming for students. Depression

and anxiety are one of the major

mental illnesses that students are

facing in this day of age, especially

during these extremely exhausting,

confusing times.

Taryn Belowsky, a guidance

counselor in Brunelli House, offered

that “hopefully, [we have] all been

learning positive coping skills or

first trying to recognize, ‘hey I’m

not in a good mood what does that

mean? Do I need to . . . listen to my

favorite songs or do I need to exercise

more? Or maybe I need to fix

my routine for school? Or maybe I

need to set myself a schedule?’ So,

those are the types of things [she]

hope students and staff are taking

advantage of.”

Students have been responsible

for keeping their regime, however,

there are days that feel impossible to

get through, since teachers are less

hands-on. Some students have had

a hard time trying to finish assignments

while also taking little breaks

and making sure they are stable

mentally or physically.

On the other hand, there is

still positivity among the students

like Billy Zeng, a senior at Malden

High, who said, “[he thinks] that . . .

throughout the summer and even at

home . . . [he] had been able to kind

of connect [himself] in several different

online ventures.”

Though students are still in isolation,

the school provides extracurricular

activities such as clubs that

really helped to enhance socialism

and boredom.

Quinn stated that “another

thing [that she thinks] about [Malden

High] students is all the insecurities,

does the family have enough

money? To go by the home they

currently live in, there’s food insecurity,

especially since it’s getting

colder.” The importance of surviving

in the duration of this pandemic

has been extremely important for

many families. Students have had to

take part in and responsibilities for

themselves and their families.

Having to worry about the

thought of parents or loved ones being

hospitalized is one of the most

difficult situations a student has to

deal with, especially while also balancing

out school, their social life,

relationships and work. According

to Butler, “in one situation, the parent

was hospitalized for a long period

of time, and the student had to

find an initial job and so this student

is trying to manage school and also

work, so [it is] very, very challenging.”

Mentally and emotionally, situations

like this can be very draining,

especially for young adults who are

trying to figure life out. Whether that

be in high school, during college, or

even after university. Belowsky said

“[she thinks] globally, everyone is

affected by COVID-19 and [what

is] going on, and oftentimes we

struggle when we [cannot] control

something and so [she thinks] we

[do not] really have control over the

government, but we can make individual

choices,” which is why even

during a pandemic people should

keep a positive outlook in spite of

the situation.

Not only are students facing

COVID-19, but they are also dealing

with themselves. Educators in this

day in age have been very resilient

about giving out assignments, but

many of the students, such as Freshman

Matthew Paraliticci Castano,,

stated that “[he has] been frustrated

because [he] had anxiety previously.

So [he] just [gets] stressed out sometimes”

which causes him to lose


Due to the amount of homework

some teachers have given students,

it has resulted in poor performance

in school for some students

because of the lack of motivation.

Sabrina Gutierrez, a Junior at Malden

High, mentioned that “[even]

though classes have been easy they

still are giving out a lot of homework

to do, but again, [it is] difficult

to complete with no motivation.”

Many students have also been

pretty distracted, especially since

Tiktok, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter,

and other social media platforms

have been a great excuse to sidetrack

themselves, which then leads to procrastination.

Teachers have also had

a difficult time engaging students to

learn through distance learning due

to the inability to see every student

participating on the other side of the


Some students can cope with

the present circumstances because

they have supportive parents. Although

it may not be applicable for

every student, having a support

system at home is extremely helpful.

Especially when the individual

is undergoing any mental disorders

such as depression, anxiety, bipolar

disorder, etc. Spending less time on

social media, their phones or other

devices may affect their encouragement,

achievements and work.

Taking little breaks even if you are

under pressure will help to reconcile

your enthusiasm.

For more information visit the

Malden High Social Workers’ Instagram



National News


The Blue and Gold

April 2021

COVID Vaccine Research

Christopher Mcintyre

Lead Reporter

Around this time last year, the

world was changed. Everything

spanning from the way we eat

to how close we can get to each other

while walking on the sidewalk. You

may have heard about this strange

virus called COVID-19 across news

outlets and probably did not think

much of it. So now, a year later as

we fight this strange virus, how has

it affected you? And, what can we


The Biden Administration has

bought 600 million doses of Pfizer

COVID 19 vaccine. Photo from Shutterstock

This last year has been painful

and stressful for everyone. The

pandemic has stopped school and

made a lot of people lose their jobs.

COVID-19 has put so many people’s

lives at risk, and has even taken

away some of our loved ones. In the

midst of all of this front line workers

have been working hard and scientists

have also worked hard to create

a vaccine. However, questions have

arisen in regards to the vaccine: Is

the vaccine safe? Will it work?

First off, what is the COVID-19

vaccine? Despite the fact that there

are many vaccines that are in development,

they all serve the same

purpose, to help our immune system

recognize and fight the virus. In

general this vaccine is an inactivated

vaccine that consists of the virus’

particles or bacteria to kill off the

stronger version of the virus. So

far 71.3 million vaccines have been

given globally in 57 countries.

What is the process like after

receiving the vaccine? It will take a

couple of weeks before the body can

officially build immunity. During

this time period, you may produce

symptoms/reactions like fevers,

and Moderna vaccines in mid-February

to be delivered to hospitals

and other vaccination sites by the

end of July. Complemented with

Johnson & Johnsons pledge to 100

million vaccinations, that is more

than enough for America’s 330 million

residents. President Biden has

stated that the U.S. expects enough

COVID-19 vaccines for all adults by

the end of May.

There have been many questions

and skeptics on whether the

COVID vaccinations are safe or not

in the media. When you get the vaccine,

you may experience side effects

The COVID Vaccine:

What We Should Know

Renalda Simon


fatigue, headache, aching limbs,

and redness, swelling, or pain

around the injection site. These are

all normal symptoms as the body is

protecting itself against the virus.

If your symptoms worsen like, the

redness increases after 24 hours of

getting the vaccine, or if your side

effects do not go away after a few

days you should call a doctor or

healthcare provider.

Is it possible to get the virus

even after getting the vaccine? The

answer is yes. Even after getting the

vaccine there is still a chance you

can get the virus. The vaccine has

not fully proven its protection yet

so we do not know how long the

immunity will last. After taking the

vaccine, you may not test positive

for COVID-19 but you will probably

test positive for other antibody

tests. This means you may have had

a previous infection and now you

might have some level of protection

against the virus. If you have

had COVID-19 prior, then there is a

higher chance of getting re-infected.

Here are some other questions

about the vaccine. What are the

ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccine does not include

eggs, preservatives, or latex. What

percent of people need to be vac-

such as swelling in your arm, fever,

tiredness and chills. Side effects are

actually a good sign to let you know

whether the vaccine works or not, as

your immune system is building energy

against the vaccination, therefore

doing its job. It is possible that

you can still get the virus after the

vaccination, although it is rare and

often a milder version of the illness,

resembling the flu. *maybe some

facts here about the hospitalization

rates/death rates of people post vaccine.

I know there are some charts

and graphs that you may be able to

find in the public domain with an

internet search.

The vaccine works by reducing

the transmission of the virus, meaning

it does not only protect you but

the people around you. The vaccine

will not only protect you from CO-

VID-19 but the variants of the virus

as well. If you have the vaccination

and the people around you are vaccinated,

you can take off your mask.

During the time of writing this

article, a little less than 1% of the

world has been fully vaccinated,

while Massachusetts has fully vaccinated

8% of its residents and has

given out 1.84 million doses in total.

In Malden there are two locations

where you can currently get vac-

wear a


Covid vaccine photo via flickr.

cinated to have herd immunity to

COVID-19? Experts do not yet know

what percentage of people need to

be vaccinated to achieve this goal.

Who is paying for the vaccines? The

vaccines are purchased with the

US taxpayer, costing the American

people nothing.

If you are not ready to get the

vaccine, here are some tips to follow

cinated, both of the locations being

CVS. 10% of the adult population

within the U.S. are vaccinated and

the number of vaccinations is only

expected to rise throughout the rest

of winter into spring.

Massachusetts has moved into

Phase 2 groups being eligible for

vaccination, including people ages

65 and older, health care workers,

first responders, low income and

senior residents. There has been

some concern whether teachers proceeding

to hybrid learning will be

able to undergo vaccinations. Massachusetts

has now made educators

and school staff eligible within the

Phase 2 group of vaccinations. The

vaccination is free but requires some

form of identification and confirmation

that you are within one of these


Outbreaks have occurred in

schools and may continue to occur

if people do not follow the guidelines

of COVID-19 held previously.

Several studies found that transmission

between students is generally

rare. Many feel that it is important

that educators and school staff alike

have been vaccinated because the

likelihood of transmission between

educators and students is low, but

the rate of transmission between

other staff is higher.

The virus has done its damage

on the mental health of students

and workers, but be weary not to

rush into any hope of normalcy.

COVID-19 has had an adverse effect

on every aspect of life, that is undeniable,

but CDC recommends that

you still need to do your part while

others are waiting for a vaccine. The

process of vaccinations will take its

time, yet we are beginning to see

the light at the end of the tunnel

after all.

to protect yourself from getting the

virus. Wear a mask over your nose

and your mouth, stay at least six

feet away from others, avoid large

crowds, wash your hands often, if

you feel sick then stay home, avoid

rooms that do not offer fresh air,

cover your cough and sneezes with

a tissue, and last but not least disinfect

objects that are touched daily.

The Blue and Gold

April 2021

National News



Op-ed: President Biden’s First 50 Days in Office

Lulu Harding

Head of Sports

As of today, Joe Biden has been

in office as the 46th President

of the United States alongside Vice-

President Kamala Harris for 55 full

days. His administration has been

off to a strong start, already addressing

various issues as well as putting

plans in place regarding the CO-

VID-19 pandemic. But what exactly

has happened since his presidential

inauguration on January 20th?

Major Actions

Just on his first day, Biden

signed a historic 17 executive actions,

15 of which were executive

orders. They were all major reversals

of former president Donald

Trump’s plans and policies previously

in place. Here are a couple of

the major actions he took:

- Rejoined the World Health

Organization and the Paris Climate


- Reversed Trump’s travel ban

from several Muslim-majority countries

- Repealed permits for the

Keystone XL Pipeline and put a

temporary prohibition on gas and

oil leasing in the Arctic National

Wildlife Refuge

Since then, Biden has also revoked:

- Trump’s previous abortion

policy (which restricted access to


- The ban on transgender people

serving in the millitary

- The 1776 Commission, which

was the Trump administration’s response

to the New York Times 1619


With all of the previous policies

he has reversed, what are some

actions that Biden plans on taking

moving forwards?

For one, the administration is

set to launch a whole-government

initiative to push for more racial

equity in America. In a White House

memorandum issued on January

26th (“Condemning and Combating

Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance

Against Asian Americans

and Pacific Islanders in the United

States”), the administration talked

about the recent rise in xenophobia

and harassment against Asian-

Americans during the pandemic,

which many argue has originated in

part by previous president Trump’s

past references to the ‘China virus’.

The memorandum urged the U.S.

Department of Justice to help take

action to prevent harassment and

hate crimes against these communities

moving forwards.

On February 14th, Biden also

called on Congress to enact “common

sense” gun laws. These gun

laws would make background

checks a requirement for all gun

purchases, as well as work to

ban assault weapons as a whole.

In response to the current rise in

gun violence in the United States,

Biden’s hope is to make schools and

communities safer by having these

laws implemented.

Biden’s Cabinet

The Biden administration has

succeeded to have the most racially

diverse Cabinet in the history of

the United States. This is the racial

breakdown of Biden’s Cabinet:

50% White

19% Black

15% Hispanic or Latino

8% Asian or Pacific Islander

4% Native American

4% Multiracial

The population of the United

States is about 61% white, so percentage-wise,

people of color seem

to be well represented in Biden’s

Cabinet. Although some groups are

still underrepresented compared

to the country at large, his Cabinet

comes pretty close to the actual racial

breakdown of the United States.

Furthermore, 54% of Biden’s

Cabinet is represented by men,

while women make up 46%. Compared

to the United States’ population

of 49% men and 51% women,

women are slightly underrepresented.

However, when contrasted with

previous president Trump’s Cabinet

of 83% men and a mere 17% women,

it is clear that the Biden administration

has made a tremendous effort

to effectively represent the United

States’ population.

Former mayor of South Bend,

Indiana Pete Buttigieg is the youngest

member of Biden’s Cabinet at 39

years old. Previously running for

president in the 2020 Democratic

primaries, Buttigieg is the first gay

man to win Senate confirmation to

run a Cabinet department. On February

2nd, he was also elected as the

United States Secretary of Transportation.


Joe Biden held his first primetime

address to the nation on March

11th, 2021. In his address, he focused

on the COVID-19 pandemic and the

plans his administration is setting in

place to hopefully have everything

back to some extent of “normal” by

his goal, July 4th 2021.

Regarding the pandemic, Biden

urged everyone to continue wearing

masks, social distancing, and most

importantly, “to do their part.” He

emphasized that “beating the virus

and getting back to normal depends

on national unity,” and if everyone

continues to follow the guidelines,

we may be able to beat COVID-19

A photo from President Biden’s prime-time address. Photo from the official PO-

TUS Instagram account.

after all.

During this speech, Biden also

claimed that “as of now, total deaths

in America, 527,726. [That is] more

deaths than in World War I, World

War II, the Vietnam War and 9/11

combined,” which was later factchecked

as incorrect.

Biden signed the $1.9 trillion

coronavirus relief package earlier

that same afternoon. This relief

package will put about $20 billion

into COVID-19 vaccinations, $25

billion into rental and utility assistance,

and $350 billion into state,

local, and tribal relief. Direct payments

of up to $1,400 will be sent

to most Americans in the form of

direct deposits. Additionally, a $300

per week unemployment insurance

boost until September 6th, along

with expanding the child tax credit

for a year.

One of the most important

things Biden mentioned in his

prime-time address was the fact that

he will direct all states to make every

adult eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines

by May 1st. As of Thursday,

he said that 65% of Americans over

the age of 65 had already received

their first vaccination, and the administration

is currently working

on distributing more of them so that

most adults will hopefully be able to

be vaccinated relatively soon.

It is predicted that there will

be enough vaccine supply for every

adult in America by the end of May.

The Presidential News Conference

(that has not yet happened)

With everything that has happened

so far, there is still something

important the administration has

yet to do. After being in office for

over 50 days, Biden still has not

given a formal presidential news


Normally, soon after a president

is elected, they hold a news

conference in which they are asked

numerous questions by the press

regarding their policies, plans for

the future, and almost anything else

appropriate for that matter. These

conferences are important in allowing

the public to be fully up to date

with the president’s plans, as well

as to question them about specific

policies or standings. Additionally,

these conferences have the ability

to hold presidents accountable for

their actions since they have to answer

questions in an uncontrolled


Former president Barack

Obama gave his first conference 20

days after his inauguration, and

Donald Trump only waited about a


Although Biden has answered

some questions from reporters during

press briefings and given a few

speeches regarding the COVID-19

pandemic, the public has not yet

had a chance to “officially” question

him. This has brought up a lot of

suspicion, and many people are asking

the simple question: why?

Unfortunately, although many

people have their own speculations,

it is not known why Biden

has waited this long. According to

The Washington Post, towards the

beginning of March, White House

press secretary Jen Psaki said that

Biden would hold his first news conference

before the end of the month,

although it was not specified when.


Although this is only a very

brief overview of some of the Biden

administration’s actions in their first

55 days, things are definitely getting

done and beginning to happen. Of

the 61 actions that Biden promised

he would carry out in his first 100

days in office, 16 of them have been

fully completed, while 38 of them

are still in progress. The rest are yet

to be started, but considering the

ambitious agenda he has planned

regarding these actions, he still has

time to finish carrying them out.

Currently, getting COVID-19

under control seems to be at the top

of the administration’s checklist. If

everything goes as planned, vaccines

will start rolling out beginning

in May, and the country will be back

to a new normal hopefully sooner

than later.

As Biden said towards the end

of his recent prime-time address,

“There is hope and light and better

days ahead.”




The Blue and Gold

April 2021

Three Malden High Seniors

The Posse Foundation has been recruiting

future leaders and giving students

opportunities that they might not have,

or assisting students who may not have

considered college as an option. The Posse

Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship that

recruits students nationwide giving students

the opportunity to go to their choice

of four different colleges. According to their

website, Posse’s three goals are to diversify

the pool of students in which top colleges

recruit their applicants, help institutions

of higher education become more welcoming

for people from all backgrounds and

to make sure that Posse scholars continue

to do their best and persevere onto their

graduation so that they can show off their

leadership skills in the workforce. Each

year, Posse receives thousands of nominees

and uses a “unique evaluation method”

called The Dynamic Assessment Process.

Students have to get nominated for the

Posse Scholarship either by an alumni or

a high school counselor, then their process

is equipped to identify nominees who can

excel at selective colleges and universities

but might have not been considered to

be eligible applicants at these institutions

due to not meeting traditional admissions

criteria. The Dynamic Assessment Process

consists of three rounds that include both

large-group and individual interviews and

determine who the finalists are.

The Posse Foundation logo. Image from The Posse Foundation website.

Chaimaa Assli

Lead Reporter

One Posse Scholar, Senior Elaine

Du, was nominated by another

organization called Summer Search.

She described that in the first round,

students are tested on how well they

work with other people. They are

asked general questions like what

type of leader they are and how they

would react in a certain type of situation.

To Du, the first round is “like

an ice breaker.” She said that the

“second and third-round interviews

are definitely a bit more intense and

they get a lot more complex.”

In the second round, the student

is on a Zoom call with staff members.

It was “very scary” for Du. The

student talks a lot about their goals,

how they lead, and who they are as

a person. The third round is “even

more nerve-wracking because [she]

made it to the third round” said Du.

There are about twenty people in the

third round. Posse needs to know

that the students are able to work

in a group. Half of those people are

selected. Then those students rank

the participating colleges from one

to four and Posse will try to match

the students based on their preference.

The four participating colleges

for Malden High students are Bryn

Mawr College, Bucknell University,

Centre College and Union College.

Du has committed to Union

College, located in Schenectady,

New York and is still undecided

on what she wants to major in. She

knows she wants to do something

in liberal arts and humanities. All

of the Posse schools are liberal arts

colleges except for Bryn Mawr College.

For Du “it was an important

decision for [her]

to make sure that

[she] could get

Posse just because

[she] knew

that the liberal

arts schools that

they presented

to [them] were

really good.”

The reason why

Du chose liberal

arts, besides the

fact that she is

passionate about

humanities, is because

“it’s super

flexible to get a

career in.”

Du said “majoring

in liberal

arts and humanities-type


would allow [her]

to basically know

a little bit about

every single thing

so it ‘s like [she]

can be a good fit

for any job.” It is

really important

for Du to keep her options open in

case she wants to do something different

later on.

Du was really excited to have

gotten the scholarship. She thinks

that the way students are told that

they got the scholarship is a “little

weird” and “really nerve-wracking.”

The experience was “kind of

surreal” because there were twenty

senior staff members and professors

at that college when they told her

that she was selected. “So it is kind

of unreal but it is also really really

exciting,” Du said.

Academics do matter. Posse

is a merit-based scholarship. It is

based on the student’s own accomplishments

and achievements. But

they also want to know who the

student is personally because they

need to make sure that the students

get along with other people and that

they fit together “like puzzle pieces

in order for it to work.”

Du thinks that students should

try to get the scholarship even if

they think that they don’t have that

much academic merit because Posse

values different backgrounds and

different opinions. She said that “[it

is] a fair shot for anyone and [she]

think[s] that everyone should try it

out because there’s no harm in trying.”

Du said to other students aiming

for the scholarship to just “be

genuine and be yourself because

they [are] not looking at your academics.”

They look at how students

are as people and how they treat

others. They also look at how students

lead with other people “so

really, you just have to [show up] to

the interview and the rest goes on

from there.”

Posse Scholarship Recepient Elaine Du. Picture submitted

by Du.

The Blue and Gold

April 2021




Awarded Posse Scholarships

Krishany Marius

Lead Reporter

The Posse Foundation helps

create amazing opportunities

for students who want and have a

bright future through their program.

Senior Ana Dörner is another one

of the three Malden High students

who received a Posse Scholarship

for her hard work. Dörner is going

to be attending Centre College,

where she will be majoring in business

and economics, and finance.

Dörner excels in math and wants to

major in something where she can

become financially stable. Dörner is

leaning towards hotel or restaurant

management, because she believes

“[she] has a really strong leadership

spirit since [she] was a little kid.”

She enjoys being crafty and

doing DIY’s, she also quite enjoys

doing makeup, singing, and loves

music in general. Dörner has been

playing volleyball since she was a

freshman and was captain for two

years in a row, she “grew up watching

her father play.” Dörner’s first

year at MHS was really hard because

she had been in the United States for

less than a year and she struggled

with learning the language and getting

into the swing of things.

Dörner works hard towards

her goals and “since [she] was a little

kid [she] always tried to give [her]

best into everything she [does],” she

said. This scholarship has helped

her a lot to be proud of herself and

be proud of the people around her

who helped her get where she is


Dörner was in David Londino’s

English 9 Honors Class and

was very dedicated to her work

and very unselfish. Londino is very

proud that Dörner won this scholarship

because even though Dörner

had trouble learning the language,

she was a hardworking student.

He added that “if [he] put her in a

group she would become a leader

in that group.” Londino stated that

Dörner is a very outgoing student

and loves taking action and thriving

towards her goals. She is also really

well at setting short term goals and

long term goals.

When Dörner first heard about

receiving this scholarship it was a

little nerve-racking for her because

dents. “It provides them a structure

and a motivation to do the best they

can,” Jessalynne Brown states, who

is a new guidance counselor.

“Malden High School has

some amazingly talented, gifted,

strongest resilient students who are

leaders that are going to make a difference

in the world,” Brown said.

Many students have faced many

obstacles when it comes to education.

The Posse Scholarship Foundation

looks for strong academic

candidates who keep up the classes

that they are in, striving to continue

and grow as a learner and challenge


Dörner would tell kids who

are aiming towards this scholarship

that “no matter what path of

life you come from or no matter the

she feels very lucky to have won

this scholarship, but it is also a lot

of pressure. The Posse Scholarship

is based on leadership and how

a student is doing academically,

therefore recipients have to maintain

certain grades and GPA.

Though recipients have to

maintain a grade for this scholarship,

it definitely pushes the stuhardships

[you have] been through

you can get wherever you want to

be, [do not] be afraid to ask for help.”

People do realize when a student is

trying and that they are trying to aim

towards a goal. Dörner worked hard

for this scholarship and continues to

grow and work towards a career in

what she is passionate about and

encourages others to do the same.

Posse Scholarship Recepient Ana Dörner.

Picture submitted by Dörner.

Kaoutar Wakaf

Lead Reporter

The Posse Scholarship is a fulltuition

scholarship that recruits

students nationwide. Posse presents

Malden scholars with the opportunity

to attend one of four colleges

and asks them to rank the options.

The four college options for Malden

High School students are Bryn

Mawr College, Bucknell University,

Centre College and Union College.

According to their website, Posse’s

three goals are to diversify the pool

of students in which top colleges

recruit their applicants, help institutions

of higher education become

more welcoming for people from all

backgrounds and to make sure that

Posse scholars continue to do their

best and persevere onto their graduation

so that they can show off their

Posse Scholarship Recepient Tales Carneiro

Passos. Picture submitted by Passos.

leadership skills in the workforce.

Each year, Posse receives

thousands of nominees and uses a

“unique evaluation method” called

The Dynamic Assessment Process.

This process is equipped to identify

nominees who can excel at selective

colleges and universities but might

have not been considered to be

eligible applicants at these institutions

due to not meeting traditional

admissions criteria. The Dynamic

Assessment Process consists of three

rounds that include both largegroup

and individual interviews

and determine who the finalists are.

One of the finalists this year is

Tales Carneiro Passos, a senior at

Malden High School. Throughout

his high school career, Passos pretty

much got all As and Bs. During

freshman year he did crew and for

junior year he did indoor track.

Passos was also planning

on participating in outdoor

track but, unfortunately, due

to COVID-19, it was not possible.

Passos was nominated

by his brother, Pedro Carneiro

Passos, who was also a

Posse scholar from the class

of 2019. Out of the four colleges,

Passos ranked Bucknell

University as his first choice,

however he says, “[he is] not

the one who ultimately gets to

pick.” He went on to explain

that “on the second round,

[Posse asks] ‘what colleges

are you most interested in?’

and [they] try to pair [scholars]

up with that college, if

possible.” He adds that “there

are only 20 available finalist slots for

each school, so sometimes [scholars]

might not get [their] first choice,

maybe [they will] get [their] second

choice. If it really comes down

to it, [scholars] might end up with

[their] third choice unfortunately

but [Posse is] pretty good at pairing

[the scholars] up with [their] first


In the future, “[Passos wants] to

do a double major in political science

and sociology with a minor in economics

because [he wants] to apply

to law school, become a lawyer and

eventually have [his] own firm.” He

decided on this career path because,

“[he] wants to help people who cannot

afford to pay for legal support

since this is something he struggled

with.” Passos found out he wanted

to go into the field of law when he

was in a history class in sophomore

year. He was participating in a mock

trial and realized how interested he

was so he decided to join mock trial

as a class for the following years.

Cara Joyce, a teacher in the

math department at the Malden

High School, used to be Passos’s

Math 2 CP teacher with co-teacher,

Jo-Ann Cassidy. Joyce now teaches

him in AP Statistics. She stated that

”[she] quickly noticed how much of

a great learner and participator [Passos]

was. He was very inquisitive and

really liked helping his classmates

by sharing his ideas with others.”

Passos also enjoyed understanding

other ideas, Joyce explained that “if

a student did something differently,

he would try to understand their

method and help empower that

other student to share their idea.”

Passos was actually her inspiration

in a fellowship that she was

in with Tufts University to create

a cohort. Joyce realized that the

Malden High School needed more

diversity and more representation

from black and brown students in

AP Math and Science classes, so

she started doing some research

about how to get more students of

color into upper level classes. She

noticed that Passos, as well as some

other students, fit this criteria and

had the potential to be moved into

honors so she, as well as some other

Math 2 CP teachers, created a cohort

and the students began to do some

accelerated math over the summer.

These students were all put into

the same Math 3 Honors class with

Math teacher, Sarah Jones, the following

year. Together, as a group,

they all transitioned from Math 2

CP to Math 3 Honors. They also

regularly met with Joyce to get help,

support, and to keep her updated on

how things were going. According

to Joyce, Passos quickly became the

leader of that cohort and they were

really successful.

Joyce added, “[Passos] was always

advocating for [his classmates]

and speaking up for them. If [Passos]

felt like anyone was struggling or

needed help, [Passos] would reach

out to them, or to [Joyce] or [Passos]

would reach out to Jones.”

Joyce admires that “[Passos

is] clearly invested in this plan to

increase enrollment of students of

color in these upper level classes and

[she thinks] that [his] fearlessness to

put ideas out there is, for sure, a trait

that Posse noticed.”


Local News


The Blue and Gold

April 2021

Class of 22 Hosts Valentine Fundraiser

with the Maldonian

Carlos Aragon

Managing Editor of Print and


ing them to pick and choose.

Tony Giech, the Art Director for

the Class of 2022, stated that while

the team is trying to plan more fundraisers,

“[they] also have to follow

guidelines and safety procedures.”

There probably would have been

many more fundraisers at this point

A screenshot of the flyer used to advertise the Valentine’s Day fundraiser for the

Class of 2022 and Maldonian Yearbook.


Feeling lonely? Sadly, many of us

are this Valentine’s Day, after almost

a year of social distancing due

to COVID-19. However, the Class of

2022 and the Maldonian Yearbook

have got you covered. From January

26th to January 29th, they sold chocolates

and other candies in order to

raise money between themselves.

For a few days, students were

able to buy 15 different types of candies

ranging from $8.00 to $60.00.

All proceeds went to the Class of

2022 and the Maldonian. According

to Sammi Nie, the Treasurer for the

Class of 2022, the reasoning behind

the fundraiser being hosted by both

the Class of ’22 and the Maldonian

was that it was easier to buy from

two fundraisers than one.

Nie explained that “initially,

the Maldonian actually approached

us” which is understandable; many

people are in a money crunch this

year, so it was easier to just give

them one big fundraiser than forcbut

the council has to “accommodate

things like social distancing, the

amount of contact that will happen,

etc.” When the idea of a Valentine’s

Day fundraiser came up they “all really

liked the idea since it would be

pretty much contactless.”

While the poster for the fundraiser

seems urgent, with the “buy

from us or no prom” message at

the bottom, Giech stated that it was

meant to be a joke, however it was

also there to “highlight the importance

of helping our fundraising

efforts.” Nie stated that “you see so

many flyers, and [they are] all the

same.” She added that it was added

to give it a bit of flare, making it

more personal. “[They are not] in a

position where there should be hysteria

or a panic, it [was not] made to

scare people, just to nudge them in

the right direction.”

In the end, the fundraiser managed

to raise around $800.00 for the

Class of 2022, which is a huge win

in such a troubling year. Hopefully,

the class continues this streak of prevailing

in difficult times and comes

through strong on the other side.

Daniel O’Toole


It’s a Man! It’s the Mayor! It’s Mask


Superheroes come in all shapes

and sizes. Some lie right beneath our

noses such as our superhero today.

Mayor Gary Christenson and the

City of Malden have stepped up in

a very supportive way during the

COVID-19 Pandemic: they have

given out meals on Thanksgiving;

they have done multiple flu shot

clinics around the city, and they

have distributed free Malden masks

to the public. On Halloween day,

however, Malden was able to see

someone they had never seen: Mask


He arrived at the Salemwood

School that fateful Saturday dressed

in his Mask Man attire which featured

a #maskupmalden t-shirt, a

cape with a big mask on it while

also sporting a Malden mask. He

did not arrive alone that day. He

was accompanied by The Pirate,

also known as Ward 7 Councilor,

Neal Anderson. “[Anderson] got a

call from the Mayor saying that he

would be passing out masks in [his]

ward, Ward 7, and [he] jumped to

the opportunity to help at Bryant

Street and Cross Street dressed in

[his] Pirate costume.”

Anderson said that when he

was passing out masks “often times

motorists would see us coming up

at the traffic light and were immediately

weary of [them] trying

to sell them something or beg for

something” and that they “needed

to be able to show the drivers that

[selling them something or begging

for something] is not what we were

doing, rather we were trying to offer

them something for their own safety

and for the safety of all of us.”

Anderson feels that “[Malden

has] a serious situation with this

pandemic and that unfortunately

there are not enough people taking

it seriously.” He further explained

that because people are not taking

enough precautions “city officials

and other elected officials have to

continue to stress how important

it is that we follow these CDC

guidelines” and that “there

are too many people who

seem to be mask deniers and

not believing in the science

behind all of this.”

When asked

about the impact

of Mask Man

in Malden, Anderson


“[he] thinks

this is a major effort

in stopping the

spread.” He added that it

seems obvious that there are things

we need to be doing “until we get

a vaccine” available for Malden

residents. Anderson is a believer in

the scientists who are working on

the vaccine and finding the science

behind COVID-19.

Mayor Christenson believes

that Malden is “doing the best we

can with what we have.” He expressed

that this is something completely

new that “we have never

experienced [...] before.” Christenson

believes that in a city like ours

“who have so many essential workers

and so many dedicated students

and roughly 8,000 to 10,000 senior

citizens, going back over the last 7-8

months [he feels that] we have been

doing good.”

Mask Man was originally created

to “get a different way to reach

people.” Near the time Mask Man

was being created, the number of

cases in Malden were increasing

heavily in the 20-50 year old age

group, so Mayor Christenson had

the idea to make a new member of

Marvel Studios Avengers to connect

with the people. “That age group

had an affinity for the Avengers

so creating and using a

common interest would get

people involved more with

slowing the spread.”

The mayor believes

that this has worked

“because [they]

have distributed


of masks as a

result and now

as a matter of

fact when people

see [him] in the street, they say

‘where is your cape?’” and “in the

messages [he] received about Mask

Man, it was received very positively.

[He] thinks anybody appreciates

someone trying to find a way to

help and care to reach people so [he]

thinks they appreciate the effort by


Mayor Christenson has even

been spotted by citizens from other

cities in his Mask Man persona.

“[They] have had people from other

cities and towns reach out to [them]

if they saw [him] out and about and

thought that it was helpful by promoting

the message of following the

guidelines on slowing the spread of


Mayor Christenson also feels

strongly about the protection of the

students of Malden, going out to

say that “[they] are our future, our

most valuable asset” so keeping

students safe was his top priority.

Over the summer, Mayor Christenson

voted “to start the school year

fully remote,” because “at that point

[they] were not quite sure what we

were dealing with.” Christenson

stated that it would be “better to

be safe than sorry.” Therefore, students,

teachers and faculty began

the school year completely online

“until [they knew] more about the

virus and what the timeline would

be developing a vaccine.”

As recently as October, Malden

decided to bring the higher needs

students back in the buildings so

they can receive the support that

they need. Christenson is happy to

say there “have not had any cases

emanate from within the district,”

since making this change.

Christenson also hinted at the

city starting to consider sending

students back in person as he stated

“currently they are in negotiations

with teachers on the next step of

bringing back more of [the] students.”

He explained that he has

talked to many students recently

and most of them have claimed

that it is “more impactful to be in


Who knows when we will see

the next sighting of Mask Man due

to this cold weather. No one knows,

but when duty calls, “[he has] the

cape down the hallway so [it is] always

at the ready.”

The Blue and Gold

April 2021

Local News



Updated Hybrid Schedule

Julie Huynh

Managing Editor

Nearly one year after the world

was turned upside down, the

City of Malden released an official

plan to reopen schools with a hybrid

model. Even though this plan

answered the big question of when

students are returning, it raises even

more questions about the how?

Students and faculty alike are concerned

about the logistics of what

teaching in this new format will

look like.

The Hybrid Schedule

The current plan for high

schoolers is that students will transition

to the hybrid schedule the week

of March 15th, but only teachers will

be in the building. This is so students

are able to adjust to the new schedule

before experiencing it in-person.

It is important to note that all students

will remain with their current

teachers, returning students will

just be split into two cohorts- either

Cohort A or Cohort B. These cohorts

will most likely be organized by last

name in alphabetical order, and all

students will be informed of their

assigned cohort within the next two


The hybrid schedule still has

students going to three classes a day,

but the times are different. The first

block starts at 8:00 a.m., followed by

periods two and three, with about

seven minutes in between. Each class

is approximately 80 minutes long.

After the end of period three, at 12:14

p.m., students are sent home for the

lunch and support periods. There

is a “grab and go” option for lunch

that students can take at dismissal.

Support blocks will be conducted remotely,

unless scheduled time with

a teacher in advance. If a student

decides to stay for support block,

they will be assigned to eat lunch

somewhere in the school until the

period starts. This block is optional

for passing students, but those that

have failed one or more classes in

the first semester will automatically

be scheduled. These students will

receive 0.5 credit and attendance is

mandatory. During support blocks,

teachers are expected to remain in

the building until 2:15 p.m., due to

the MOA (memorandum of agreement)

agreed between the teacher’s

Union and the district.

If a student is in Cohort A, they

would be entering the building on

Mondays and Tuesdays. Consequently,

a student in Cohort B will

be learning from the building on

Thursdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays,

the school conducts a weekly

deep-cleaning, so everyone will be

remote. Wednesdays will still follow

the typical Blue/Gold Day alternation,

just with different class times.

Also on Wednesdays, there is a new

“Mindfulness” block from 1:05-2:15

p.m. provided through The Ivy

Child. They are an organization that

focuses on social and emotional care

that has created a program specifically

for our school.

Inside the School and Classroom

The school is putting a huge

emphasis on safety and is doing

their best to follow guidelines. The

floors have been marked with arrows

indicating that people can only

enter one way, and hallways have

enter and exit signs as well. There

are also posters to remind people

to social distance and wash their

hands. Only about five bathrooms

will be open throughout the building,

which works out as the anticipation

is no more than 400 students

per cohort attending in-person.

Over the last month and a half,

custodians have reorganized the

classrooms so that there are about

thirteen desks per room, six feet

apart, including the teacher’s desk.

Principal Chris Mastrangelo is estimating

that there will only be about

six or seven students per room, operating

at 50% capacity.

Teachers will be exploring the

“concurrent teaching” method in

their classrooms. School desktops

will be outfitted with a “document”

camera, which doubles as a webcam.

Over the last few days, history

teacher Richard Tivnan and math

teacher Kayla Scheitlin invited a

handful of students into the school,

along with a group of teachers to

observe different formats of concurrent


One version had the Google

Meet displayed on the whiteboard

with a camera facing the in-person

students so everyone could see each

other. Other formats had all students

log into Google Meets. There

will be several different methods

that teachers can use, whichever one

they end up choosing will have to

depend on what works best for their

type of class. It is important to note

the discernible difference between

teaching an english class as opposed

to a math class.

The school has also put effort

into forming a committee on

the subject of concurrent teaching

to create resources for teachers to

utilize, in order to accommodate all

the different styles of teaching. Last

week, a few second grade teachers

met with the staff at Malden High

to share some advice, as they have

been teaching in-person for a while


What If My Teacher Got an

Accommodation to Teach From


The school is currently in the

process of hiring additional teachers

to fill these spots. There is a certain

advantage to the concurrent teaching,

in that all the school needs to

do is provide an adult in the room

to supervise the in-person students.

At this point, it is not clear that there

will be enough people to cover the

classes, so Mastrangelo is considering

the possibility that there may be

three groups of students covered by

one adult, which is actually something

that Medford is currently doing.

As for teachers that may call

out occasionally for a sick day or

personal reasons, there is still a

search going on for substitutes to

cover a version of “student study

center” that the high school used to

have. However, instead of one large

room, there will be three different

ones throughout the building.

Safety Protocols and Guidelines

The responsibility of COVIDscreening

will fall on the family or

caregiver of a student. The school

asks that each morning the students

are checked for any symptoms before

leaving the home. If the student

displays any symptoms, they should

not attend school and instead notify

the school nurse. This absence will

be marked as excused. The school

nurse will follow-up with the family

regarding the student’s symptoms

and check to see if they have been

seen by a medical professional and/

or tested. The student will be able

to return to school once the school

nurse or Malden Board of Health

has cleared them.

It is very important to know

that the symptoms of COVID-19

could be similar to that of other

illnesses. In order to protect all students

and staff, any possibility of

having the disease should be taken

seriously and treated as a suspected

case until determined otherwise.

Malden High School will distribute

information to all families in their

primary language to help them conduct

the screenings.

When arriving at school, students

are required to be on time for

their 8:00 a.m. class, but in the building

no sooner than 7:45 a.m. There

will be assigned doors to enter each

morning, and it is imperative that

everyone goes directly to their assigned

classroom upon entering.

There will be no lockers for this

school year. Families and visitors

will not be allowed inside the building

without a scheduled appointment.

There will be staff members

outside in the morning to help students

with building entry. It will be

staggered in order to ensure the six

feet of separation required by the

state. As always, masks will have

to be worn at all times and students

Malden High School’s new hybrid schedule.

will sanitize at the entrance. For dismissals,

there will be assigned doors

in four different parts of the building

to exit. This allows for students

to continue social distancing.

The assigned doors for entering

and exiting depends directly

on what your first and last period

is. For instance, if your first class is

in Jenkins, you would be entering

through the designated door for

that house, which will likely be the

auditorium doors. There will be

signs that clearly mark this. Since

the school is not reimplementing

homerooms, your entrance to the

school will no longer rely on what

house you are in.


On Wednesday and Thursday

of this week, during asynchronous

times, informational meetings will

be held to review policies, procedures,

protocols, and expectations

of the return to school. Mastrangelo

will send out the links to these

meetings the night before, so make

sure to keep an eye out for them.

Wednesday is for grades 9 and 12,

and Thursday is for grades 10 and


Principal Mastrangelo wants

everyone to know that this reentry

into school is going to be bumpy,

for teachers, students, and administrators

alike. April 22nd will look

a lot better than March 22nd. The

important thing to remember is that

“nobody is going to make a mistake

on purpose,” but also understand

that mistakes are going to be made.

Nothing is going to look perfect the

first time around, but this is the next

step in the process.

Mastrangelo acknowledges

that some students and faculty have

been struggling with remote learning

and isolation, but he also sees

the students that are thriving in this

new format. Those students still

have the option to continue learning

remotely, but his focus is on the

students that do not have a choice.

Giving this choice allows for the

school to “meet students where they

are at,” and to best accommodate

with everyone’s needs.

“It’s been a hard year for everybody,

on a million different levels.

We’re just trying to come back in and

give students and faculty the option,

and also understand that it may not

look pretty at first, but we’re going

to get there, and we’re going to get

there together.”


Local News


The Blue and Gold

April 2021

Black History Month at MHS

Katherine Haskell’s classroom banner.

dents deepen their knowledge on all

sorts of topics such as black culture,

history, and the countless contributions

black people have made to

American society.

Kristy Magras, the advisor

of the Black Culture Club, stated,

“Black history is American history”

and should be talked about all year

round. Due to the pandemic, the

club had trouble getting together

and going through with the activities

they had planned for this year but is

looking forward to “re-engage” the

Black Culture Club activities in the

spring “that will highlight the black

culture, history, and traditions.”

By doing activities and events

at Malden High, Magras hoped

to bring awareness and to show

the richness of the culture because

“there is more to it than slavery, civil

rights, and the [Black Lives Matter]

Kaoutar Wakaf

Lead Reporter

Rose Jean Charles


Black History Month first originated

in the U.S. in 1926 when

a man named Carter G. Woodson

launched the first celebration to

honor the Black community. The

month of February was chosen to

coincide with the birthdays of Abra-

ham Lincoln (the 16th president

of the U.S.), and Frederick

Douglass, (a runaway slave

who became a leader in the

abolitionist movement.) The

two both sought to end the

practice of slavery before and

during the Civil War.

At first, when black history

had just begun to be incorporated

into education, it was

only available at schools that

the government had made for

former slaves in the late 1860s.

It was not until 1903 that white

education systems allowed

white students to learn about

black history through a white lens.

For the most part, educators taught

about the same few black historical

figures and would tip-toe around

the topic because it made white

students uncomfortable. However,

things are starting to change and

black stories will no longer be told

solely through the perspective of

white people.

Malden High School has been

celebrating Black History Month

for many years in order to help stu-


Katherine Haskell, a chemistry

teacher at Malden High School,

enjoys celebrating Black History

Month. Haskell stated that “we

[should not] just talk about black

tragedy, we need to talk about black

triumph as well.” Haskell remarked,

“this year’s Black History Month

held a lot of gravitas because of

everything that has happened since

last February.” She added, “[this is]

Graphic by Carolina Cuevas.

good because people have been talking

about this all year rather than just

confining it to the month of February.”

Although Black history month

looked different this year due to the

pandemic, Haskell did not let it stop

her from celebrating. She decorated

her Google Classroom banner and

put together presentations about

black scientists with her students.

Amine Yakine, a history teacher

at Malden High School, thinks that

learning about Black history will

allow America to grow as a nation.

Yakine said, “[He does] not simply

teach the transatlantic slave trade,

[he also focuses] on black voices,

historians, black women as leaders

as part of the curriculum. ” He

added that “[it is] very important to

acknowledge black resistance, how

they fought and how they struggled,

not only to confirm their humanity

but also, in the process, enrich the

American experience.”

Yakine noted, “America would

not be a democracy today if it were

not for the Black resilience and

refusal to accept dehumanization,

apartheid, enslavement, Jim Crow,

and white supremacy. Their fight

for justice and equality is what

made, and still makes America, a

better nation, a democratic nation, a

just nation.”

Krishany Marius

Lead Reporter

Black History involves the history

of slavery, civil rights, and

the trauma Black Americans faced

throughout the years. However,

Black history is also about the beautiful

depths of its culture, the food,

the growth, and the joy of the many

accomplishments and attributions

that the black community has made

throughout history.

It was originally created in the

United States with the intention to

be a week-long celebration, but it

became a month. Carter G. Woodson,

a historian, wanted a bigger

celebration surrounding the topic of

Black history. He thought that not

many African Americans knew their

heritage or the achievements of their

ancestors, what they had done for

the world.

Woodson chose the month of

February because it was the month

that both Abraham Lincoln and

Fredrick Douglas were born, two

men that Woodson thought had

made many accomplishments for

the Black community. He sent out

a press release about turning it

into a celebration for every state in

the United States. With the help of

Woodson, it became a month-long

celebration of the history of African

American culture, dances, food, and

the impacts on society today.

Malden High School started

with its first week of celebration

to talk about inspirational Black

Americans that have made remarkable

achievements. Principal Chris

Mastrangelo stated that the whole

plan of Black History Month was to

build momentum and he thought

it was a great opportunity to put a

spotlight on Black history.

Mastrangelo, in coordination

with a group of teachers, said they

wanted to put a theme for each week

and they had planned it out of different

histories of successful black

people throughout the years. They

created resources for students and

teachers to read about certain topics

of Black history, “to not downplay

[the] importance to American history.”

The group wanted to dig

deeper and go beyond the more

well-known figures like Rosa Parks,

Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm


Although there have been

efforts made, there are still many

Black Americans that are not talked

about enough in schools. It should

be taught rather than be the limited

amount of information that is taught

to students in schools, not really

as highlighted as it should be, it is

instrumental in what is American


Advisor of the Black Culture

Club, Kristy Magras, agrees. She explained

that “Black History Month

is an opportunity for America to see

and highlight black history.” Magras

also said that “Black history is a

part of American history.” It should

be taught with more depth than

what is typically taught to students

in schools.

The Black Culture Club is not

only for black students only; it is an

open space for many people who

would like to be allies to the Black

community and support the Black

Culture Club. “If you don’t celebrate

it yourself no one is going to do it for

you,” Magras stated.

The club does not only talk

about Black history but about the

culture, the food, the dances, and

how black Americans come together.

It is appreciating what brought

the community here, by coming together

and sharing their experiences

that they all had and where they’re

in our journey. It’s helpful to have

someone that has the same skin

color and understands what is going

on in the world and how it affects

one another.

Mastrangelo believes that Black

History Month is an incredible time

to “[shed] a light to [the] people

who made great contributions to

where we are as a country,” adding

that “this one month is the month to

shed light on black Americans.”

Black history will always be

important every day, week, year,

and decades to go on; celebrating

the life, joy, and creativity of African

Americans rather than celebrate just

one and one topic only. It goes back

to when Black Americans were in

Africa being kings and queens.

Malden High School celebrated

the first week of Black History Month

by focusing on the many empowering

people who also used their voice

in history, and they will always be


The winning door decorated in honor of Black History Month last year outside

the main office. Photo from The Blue and Gold archives.

The Blue and Gold

April 2021

Local News



Freshman Open House 2021

Continued from page 1.

Brunelli house freshmen explained

that they wanted to ensure that students

“were prepared to navigate

around the building” before returning

to in-person learning.

Jonathan Copithorne, a History

teacher at Malden High, explained

that in order to keep students and

faculty safe, the school wants to

“minimize that amount of lost students

wandering the hallways trying

to find where they need to be.”

He also added that Malden High

is “a big building and can be overwhelming

for a newcomer.”

Alison White, the Guidance

Counselor for Boyle and Holland

house freshmen, expressed that it

was important for the faculty “to

make the grade 9 class feel comfortable

and prepared.” In having this

open house event, White believed

that the students “gained a better

understanding of what their dayto-day

would look like at [Malden

High].” White mentioned that “[the

students] were also able to start

building connections with staff, as

well as their peers.”

Principal Chris Mastrangelo

acknowledged that “[there is] a level

of anxiety [with] coming back in

[the] building, and [students] have

not been back in [school] for a year.”

He also added that, hosting this

open house event “gave kids that

opportunity to step into the building

and get over that initial fear and

anxiety without having to stay for

the whole duration of a school day.”

While the City of Malden has

progressed towards the reopening

of schools and businesses,

COVID-19 safety precautions have

continued to be heavily enforced.

Prior to the tours, all students were

instructed to fill out a form to ensure

that they were not experiencing any

COVID-19 symptoms. For the duration

of the tours, students and staff

members were required to wear

masks at all times. Additionally,

students traveled in small groups

in order to follow social distancing

guidelines and to avoid overcrowding.

Many students were accompanied

by their parents and caregivers

for their tours of the building.

Mastrangelo mentioned that while

students were learning to navigate

around the building, parents were

given an opportunity to “see how

well prepared the building was for

students to return,” and he hopes

that that was able to ease some of

the fear that comes with returning

back to school.

In their small groups, staff

members led the students to some

of the major locations around Malden

High, which included the main

office, the two cafeterias, the library,

all four house offices, the gym, the

auditorium, the gallery, the nurse’s

office, the athletics office, and many

other places. During the tours, staff

members also provided helpful

information and tips regarding the

new changes with the hybrid learning

model, how to read classroom

numbers, how the building is structured,

how to get from one house to

another, and more.

Copithorne hopes that by having

this open house event, the staff

members were able to give the “new

students a sense of community and

belonging.” He sympathized with

newcomers as he recalled how

overwhelming his freshman year

of high school was, and how he

cannot imagine what it is like “to

be a freshman in the middle of an

unprecedented pandemic.”

Rebecca Corcoran, a History

teacher at Malden High, hopes that

after attending the tours, students

“feel more comfortable” and emphasized

that “the staff in the building

are [there] to help [students]

with anything they need.” Elaborating

on that thought, Yu encourages

students to “not hesitate to reach

out for help.”

In terms of starting high

school, Corcoran expressed that the

freshmen class should “enjoy their

high school experience,” explaining

that “it goes by so fast, but [they

are the years] you will remember...

forever.” Copithorne agreed that

“freshman year actually matters,”

further explaining that “graduation

might seem so far away, but [it will]

be here in the blink of an eye.”

White explained that students

should “make connections,”

whether that is connecting with

“your teachers, counselors, administrators,

classmates.” Yu also

mentioned the importance of taking

“advantage of all the opportunities

that [are offered] at Malden High

School, whether that is classes,

clubs, sports, internships, or scholarships.”

Mastrangelo added that

getting involved also “increases

your connection with the school and

other students.”

Copithorne expressed that he

hopes “that the freshmen understood

how excited [the] teachers

are to get to know them.” He also

acknowledged that “[the staff members]

know that this year has been

a challenge,” adding that they are

looking forward to “returning to the

welcoming and lively community

that makes Malden High School so


2021 AP Exams

Julie Huynh

Managing Editor

With many changes being

made to standardized testing this

year to accommodate for COVID-19

and social distancing guidelines, the

highly anticipated AP exams are no

exception. This year, the College

Board is offering multiple test dates

and formats for students to take

their exams. Between early May and

mid-June, there are three testing

dates available for each subject.

Director of School Counseling

Erin Craven commented that “The

National Organization of College

Board tried to meet students and

school districts where they are at, in

a very tumultuous, unusual school

year.” In her 15 years of experience,

there are more options for AP exams

this year than there ever have

been in the past. She believes that in

creating all these new options, the

College Board’s hope was “to create

exam options for all students across

the globe,” in order to be accommodating

for the different learning or

health situations they may be in.

The first option will be administered

in school May 3-7, 10-12, 14,

and 17, entirely on paper. The second

administration dates are May

18-21 and 24-28, with half of the subjects

being on paper and pencil and

half being full-length digital exams,

taken either at home or in school. On

June 1-4 and 7-11, most of the exams

will be digital and administered at

home or in school.

Digital exams will be the same

length as traditional paper and

pencil exams and will include both

multiple-choice and free-response

questions, with some specific subjects

asking for more or less. Since

there are a number of different subjects,

their content and requirements

may vary. For the most up-to-date

and specific information, visit the

College Board website.

AP U.S. History teacher Michelle

Filer remarked that while the

different test options “have made

it hard for [her] to tell when exactly

[her] students are taking their

exams,” she is also glad that they

have that option to choose between

the beginning of June and the first

week of May, since they are “always

pressed for time,” more so this year

with classes starting two weeks later

than usual.

Craven stated that the “pace

and rigour of an AP course demands

180 face-to-face school days,” which

was not a possibility for Malden

High students this year. The teachers

have had to adapt to an entirely

remote schedule, while also dealing

with the fact that the College Board

and AP have not loosened many of

their guidelines or curriculum requirements.

From an administration perspective,

going from one set testing

date and time to three sets of exams

in two different formats, “just layers

the complexity,” said Craven.

Despite that, it is more important

“to meet students and faculty where

they are and give them what they

need, as best [they] can.”

Schools and AP teachers do not

have to pick one testing window or

format for all their students, they

are allowed to request for a mix of

at-home and in-person exams, and

mix testing dates this year. The later

dates can also be used as makeup

dates for students who have conflicts

or experienced disruptions

during earlier administrations of

the exam. However, most schools

have dictated a timeline for their

students and staff, whereas Malden

High is making efforts to “maintain

a student-centered approach.” In

order to achieve this, Craven has

been busy working with the faculty

at Malden High to determine

the best date, time, and format for

“each class, each subject, and each

student” on an individual level.

Disruptions are just one of the

concerns that students find themselves

worrying about this year. On

top of all the stress that comes with

preparing for the exam, junior Leslie

Rodriguez expressed that “internet

and computer issues are [her] two

major concerns.” For junior Jasmine

Luc, who is taking AP World History

and AP Literature, she is scared

about not having enough time to answer

all the required questions and

essays, and to “think twice about

what [she puts] down.”

AP exams have always been

known to be fast-paced, but with all

the added pressures this year, it can

create a stressful environment for

students, potentially affecting their

performance. Filer agrees that the

new formatting will affect students’

performance, but “hopefully in

positive ways.” She thinks that this

year has “underscored the fact that

testing is not the ultimate measure

of a student’s capabilities,” and that

there are more important matters to

be concerned about than the exam.

Students should keep in mind that

no one will see their results unless

they choose to share them, as they

are not required at colleges or on


Still, Filer has been “very impressed

by the resilience of [her]

students” and for staying organized

throughout the year, and she hopes

“they are proud of what they have

already accomplished.” According

to Craven, at the end of the day,

the exam “theoretically represents

the culmination of the learning

and knowledge” of the course, “so

as crazy as it sounds, sit down and

try to enjoy the process of showing

what you’ve learned.”

Similarly, Filer wanted students

to recognize that even with all

the hard work they have done this

year, “no exam can accurately measure

what they have learned and

how much they have persevered” in

these trying times.


Local News


The Blue and Gold

April 2021

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Renalda Simon


Alice Augusta Ball was born in 1892 in Seattle, Washington, and studied

Chemistry and Medicine. She created an oil extract called the “Ball

Method” that was an effective treatment for the disease called leprosy.

She was 23 years old when she developed this oil extract. Ball was the first

African American that received a master’s degree from the University of

Hawaii, where she conducted her studies in 1915.

Malala Yousafzai was born on

July 12, 1997, and is a Pakistani

activist for female education, and a

former blogger for BBC Urdu. She

won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. In

2009, Malala was 11 years old when

she wrote her first BBC diary entry

called “Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl”

where she talks about her life

as a young girl and all the miserable

things that happened during that

period. When Yousafzai was around

14 or 15 years old, she was shot three

times and survived. Despite this, it

did not stop Yousafzai from speaking

about her beliefs. She was “very

determined” to go to school and

had “a firm belief in her right to an


For more


on these


scan the QR


Selena Quintanilla was

born on April 16, 1971,

and released many albums

like “Amor Prohibido”

and “Dreaming of You.”

Her father was also a

musician and taught her

how to sing in Spanish.

When Quintanilla was ten

years old, she “became the

lead singer in her family’s

band” and would soon

become a world superstar.

Selena has made many

famous albums but passed

away early on. Quintanilla

fans have a special place in

their hearts for her and her


Kamala Devi Harris was born on

October 20, 1964, and became

the first Black and South Asian Vice

President. Harris has a long history

of working with the law. In 2010

Harris was elected California’s

Attorney General, elected District

Attorney of San Francisco in 2003,

and in 2017, she was sworn into the

United States Senate. Harris comes

from a family of immigrants and

knows the struggle of families who

are immigrants.

Mada.m C.J Walker (Sarah Breedlove)

was born on December

23, 1867, and was an American entrepreneur.

She created homemade

hair products for black women and

became the first Black woman millionaire

in America. Walker was

experiencing hair loss when she was

inspired to make hair products and

invented the “Walker system.” She

“used her fortune to fund scholarships

for women at the Tuskegee Institute

and donated large parts of her wealth

to the NAACP, the Black YMCA, and

other charities.”

Greta Thunberg was born on

January 3, 2003, and is a climate

and environmental activist.

Thunberg has won many awards

like “Right Livelihood” and was

the 2019 Person of the Year for

Times Magazine. Thunberg’s

main focus is saving the planet

from “environmental catastrophe.”

She has asked for students

to do their part in helping and has

asked for governments to do their

part in helping save the planet,

Thunberg is very active on social


Dr. Ann Tsukamoto was

born on July 6, 1952, and

studied stem cell biology. In

the early 1990s, Tsukamoto

invented a treatment to “isolate

blood stem cells” in the

body that could “replace a

damaged immune system in

a person with blood cancer.”

She was awarded in 1991,

and thanks to Dr. Ann Tsukamoto’s

research, she has

helped and saved many lives

and has advanced research to

treat other types of cancer.

Tarana Burke is an activist

who was born on

September 12, 1973, in The

Bronx, New York. She is

known as the founder and

creator of the #MeToo movement,

which began in 2006,

but gained more traction 11

years later by actress Alyssa

Milano, among others. The

movement was created to

help women who have experienced

sexual abuse or

harassment. The #MeToo

movement has become a

global movement around the

world with celebrities like

Terry Crews, Alyssa Milano,

and more supporting it.

The Blue and Gold

April 2021

Teen Dating Violence

Krishany Marius

Lead Reporter

Teen dating violence is something

that is not talked about enough

in schools, which could make it

difficult for many students to determine

what is right and wrong in

relationships. In hopes of providing

the proper resources for teen

dating violence, Zonta and the Z

club of Malden and the Mayor’s office

hosted a Teen Dating Violence

Awareness Night.

genuine care in a relationship, and

to know that if that is what lacks in

a relationship then it is best to walk

away for the safety of you.

When it comes to abusive relationships,

it is just as important to

teach people to be good bystanders.

The media does not talk about

healthy relationships enough, so

when young and impressionable

kids see toxic relationships on social

media, they see it as something fun

and thrilling and therefore can be

a detriment to how they view rela-

The flyer used to promote the Teen Dating Violence Awareness Night event.

There was also a presentation

by District Attorney Marian Ryan

who spoke about the issues of domestic

abuse in relationships whether

it being physically, emotionally,

verbally, and mentally. However,

we, as a community, can do so much

to talk about these strong topics that

are avoided and need to be paid

more attention to.

Domestic abuse is undoubtedly

a difficult topic to even mention

because as Ryan stated “no one goes

out on a first date, with somebody

they think is going to abuse them.”

It can be challenging for anybody

but it is even harder when you are

young and starting to get yourself

in a romantic relationship because

you do not know what you are doing,

you likely do not know what

a strong and healthy relationship

looks like.

These toxic relationships can

be impactful and traumatizing especially

when there is a type of abuse

involved. Ryan explained that “[it

is] incredibly important for adults to

model a good relationship because

kids copy what they see.” It is important

for kids to see respect and


Teen dating violence is something

that is not a new topic for

adults but it is getting more serious

especially with this pandemic it is

difficult because now everything

is online and you cannot see the

people in-person.

Many people believe the rates

of abuse have reduced, when in reality,

Love is Respect, the National

Domestic Violence Hotline reported

that “their calls increased by 100.1%

during the time [everyone has] been

in lockdown.” Ryan explained. It

goes to show that the abuse in these

dreadful times has not stopped and

continues to get worse because they

are not being shown.

These issues also tie back to

mental health itself, Karen Hayes,

who is the former Community Outreach

Director for the City of Malden

and an attendee at the meeting,

explained that “[she] really believes

[they] need to be educating earlier

than high school.”

Hayes wants to make changes

and advocate for these issues, as

she thinks it should be taught at

the 4th to 5th grade level where it is

Local News


Renalda Simon


Nearly one year ago, Malden

High School had its last

day of in-person school before it

closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

At first, we all thought this

would last one month, which then

extended to three months, then

seven months, which leads us to

the present day. With the distribution

of the COVID-19 vaccines just

rolling in, the big question comes to

mind: when will we be going back

to school?

Malden High School Principal

Chris Mastrangelo said in a recent

email that Malden High has set

dates on when students will be able

to return to in-person school. Students

in grades 9 and 12 (freshmen

and seniors) will return first in a

hybrid schedule on March 22, while

students in grades 10 and 11 (sophomores

and juniors) join them shortly

afterward on April 5.

Mastrangelo acknowledges

the concerns that come with returning

back to in-person school, but

stresses that “safety is always [the]

first priority.” He added that the

Malden High faculty and administration

have been “working hard

to assure that the school will be as

safe as possible for the students to

return.” Some students may not

feel comfortable with going back to

in-person learning just yet which is

why students are given the option

whether or not they want to “stay

on the distance learning platform,”

or proceed with the hybrid model.

Like many teachers, Mastrangelo

looks forward to “seeing the

kids,” adding that “it will also be

great to see the entire staff back in

one place.”

Biology teacher Jessica Webber

stated that “[she is] hesitant about

students going back to in-person

learning.” She explained that she

wanted “to be in school with [her]

students,” however, she is “worried

about going back too quickly amidst

the pandemic.” Webber expressed

that she knows “in-person [learning

would be] best for students [...]

but [she worries] that there will be

increased transmission in schools.”

For Webber, being that she is

a Biology teacher, her biggest challenge

while returning to the building


Thoughts On Hybrid Learning

easier for the kids. She added that

in her opinion, there is not enough

“funding and resources [being

put towards the city’s] adjustment

counselors, health classes, life skill


A significant amount of this

important information needs to be

and can be taught but unfortunately,

some of those things are cut from the

budget. Hayes believes “bringing

the resources to the youth is the way

to go.” Working into programs that

talk about kinds of different mental

health and to help young kids with

these situations.

It can really benefit students

The plan for integrating a hybrid

learning model for Malden Public

Schools. Photo from Mayor Gary

Christenson’s Instagram.

would be “labs,” as she explained

that “it will be hard to maneuver

students into the classroom safely.”

Sophomore Saura Rathore

hoped that students would have the

opportunity to return to in-person

school at some point during the

2020-2021 school year because she

feels as if a large “majority of the

students [would] agree that distance

learning seems to be too much of a

burden.” Rathore agreed that if we

do fully return to in-school learning,

there should be precautions that everyone

should follow.

We will continue to cover this

topic as students will be entering

the school soon. Are you going back

to in-person school? If so what are

your thoughts on proceeding with a

hybrid learning model?

because there needs to be a professional

who talks about these kinds

of topics, instead of pushing the

responsibility on teachers we as a

community need to do better and

try to talk about these problems.

“The more we normalize talking

to professionals, therapists, and

mental health workers the better off

everyone else is going to be,” Hayes


Teen dating violence and domestic

abuse is a serious subject that

can be heavy to speak on and should

be a conversation to young teens

that enter a relationship because

education is the way to prevention.




The Blue and Gold

April 2021

The Blue and Gold

April 2021



Movie Review:


Krishany Marius

Lead Reporter

The movie Life in a Year was released

on November 27, 2020,

the romantic drama film will lead

to a spiral set of emotions. Daryn is

a 17-year-old high-honors student

and track star with a bright future

ahead of him and a perfect fam-

A scene from “Life in a Year.” Photo via IMDb.

Life in a Year

ily. While he has nothing to worry

about, Isabelle is not attending

school and is trying to get through

life, while battling cancer, with only

one year left to live.

Daryn wants to give Isabelle the

best year, even if it means his grades

may be compromised and that he

may not get into the Ivy League

university that

his father wants

him to. The

message behind

Life in a Year

is that love has

risks and that it

may affect the

future which

could be good

or bad, maybe

even both.



view, loss of

hope, and how

she looks at the

world affect her mindset, telling

herself that she can’t accomplish

everything in one year, but it is this

mindset that attracts Daryn to Isabelle.

Daryn dedicates his whole life

to making Isabelle’s final 12 months

the best ones of her life, he does

everything in his power even if it

means going against his strict father.

In turn, Isabelle helps Daryn loosen

up, instead of trying to make everything

perfect, she encourages him

to let life do its job and have him

set his goals and dreams, instead

of following his father’s. She helps

him realize that there is more to life

than getting good grades and that

he should live in the moment.

Life in a Year may seem like

another corny film about two teenagers

that fall in love and it could

be, but the movie shows what love

is really about, that it is not gifts and

kisses that define a relationship, but

the risks taken that matter.

The movie shows the different

aspects of what being in love at

a young age is like, that there is an

age standard when it comes to love.

Teenagers are constantly told that

they are too young to be in love or

that they do not know what it means

when most of them have a clear

understanding of what it means in

their own way.

The movie Life in a Year is a way

to show movie reviewers different

aspects of love itself, it was amazing

to see how two different people

from two different lives could love

one another unconditionally.

The movie shows you how

short life is and how fast it moves,

imagine being in Isabelle’s shoes

and knowing that you only have

one year left to live and you haven’t

done half the things that you wished.

Life goes by fast and sometimes it

catches up to you, it is your choice

to decide how you want to live it

because life is what you make of it.

Movie Review:


Courtney Fitzgerald

Head of Local

From the producer of Five Feet

Apart, comes a heartwarming

tale of a true story. Disney Plus has

given many a new way to rewatch

their favorite shows from childhood,

and continues to release new

movies and series that appeal to

most teenagers and children. One of

those movies, Clouds. Clouds was

released in 2020 and was directed

and produced by Justin Baldoni.

A young musician is given

only months to live and begins to

write music and make the most of

the time he has left. Zach Sobiech

(FIn Argus), a senior in high school

with Osteosarcoma goes to high

school as a normal teenager, but after

a sudden asthma attack reveals a

collapsed lung, he is given the news

he is now terminal.

With only a few months left

to live, Sobiech decides to stop his

Chemo treatment and live them to

the fullest. He and his best friend

Sammy Brown (Sabrina Carpenter),

form a group called A Firm Handshake

and record a Youtube video of

their song Fix me up and their other

song How to go to Confession. A

recording label sees their video and

brings them in to record the song


The song ‘Clouds’ was an overnight

hit and soared to the top of the

charts. Sobiech continued to go to

school and continued to live his life

to the fullest. Zach and his girlfriend

had plans to go to prom, but when

things get tough with zach’s health,

those plans are rearranged. Sobiech

and Brown get invited to perform

at a big area, and, along with zach’s

family, Brown turns the concert into

the high schools prom.

Although Zach is not feeling his

best, he still goes out and attempts

to perform his song. He struggles

to breathe during the performance

and the crowd takes over for him.

Clouds continued to soar on the

music charts after

Sobiech had died.

This movie

is a heartwarming

take on true events.

There was a lot

to love about this

movie including

the story behind it.

The characters resembled

the actual

people remarkably

well. With all the

dedication and commitment

from the

actors and the producers,

it’s no wonder

it took Zach’s

story 7 years to hit

the big screens. I

recommend this

movie to those who

like the movie ‘A

Walk to Remember’

as well as ‘The Last

Song’ and ‘Five Feet


The official poster for “Clouds.” Photo from wikimedia.




The Blue and Gold

April 2021

A Dive Into This Year’s Swim Season

Carlos Aragon

Managing Editor of Print and


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic,

life has begun to resume and a

“return to normality” has begun.

This includes the return of MHS

sports, including the swim team,

who hopes to have a strong season.

Due to COVID, the sport looks

incredibly different this year. According

to Coach Jessica Bisson,

swim meets are conducted virtually.

This means that each team is swimming

in their home pool. “[They]

just swim and do normal races as

[they] do, and when both teams

MHS swimmers performing backstroke. Photo taken by Carlos Aragon.

have completed the meet [they] go

in and upload the results.” The times

decide the outcome of the meet.

Due to this, the mindset of the

sport changes radically; it’s almost

impossible to know how the players

are doing. “When [they’re] swimming

in the pool, it really gives

[them] an opportunity to push,

because [they] see who [they’re]

next to and [they] know [they’re]

trying to beat them” stated Bisson.

It is much more difficult to motivate

yourself against a clock than it is

with an actual person. Bisson stated

that after the first meet, the team decided

to focus on their mindset. “It’s

giving [them] an opportunity to

rethink how [they] do [their] starts,

how [they] do our finishes,” all of

the small elements that improve the

team’s overall technique.

According to Junior Sarah

Oliveira, during practices, the team

has to practice with swimmers in

totally different lanes in order to

socially distance. She stated that

“[they] have to socially distance in

the water, so there’s one person in

the far left side of the lane, and then

the other to the right, and one treading

water.” The locker rooms are

closed for the most part, although

the swimmers are given a short

amount of time to change at the end,

one by one. “Swimming, in general,

has stayed the same, but how [they]

do it has changed, as expected.”

Overall, the team did shrink a

bit due to the seniors who graduated

as well as people who could not

swim due to Covid. Oliveira added

that “[she] thinks [they’re] roughly

at around the same amount of people,

around 5 less than before.”

Captain David Lombardi believes

that swimming this year is

worth it since he is “gaining closure

to [his] career as a swimmer.” Last

year, the team got quite competitive

with an undefeated streak, and Lombardi

himself reached states the past

three years and placed in the Top 10

twice. According to Lombardi, “the

team is mostly looking for fun” and

personally, he is as well. “Without

those competitions [he is] really just

trying to have some fun with the

sport and gain the understanding

for it again.”

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Top Team Boston

Alexey Mozyaev


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a self-defense

martial art and combat sport

based on gripping, seizing, choking,

and submitting the opponent in the

most effective way possible. The

sport dates its roots back to Jujutsu

-- a family of Japanese martial arts

of which Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a part.

Over the past 10 years, the popularity

of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has grown

tremendously, becoming the most

important discipline in Mixed Martial

Arts and a life-changing experience

for anyone who undertook the


Mastering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

is a life-long journey. The belt, or

ranking, system in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

divides into two categories. One is

for kids, aged up to 17 years old. The

other is for adults. Kids and adults

begin with a white belt. Each colored

belt, or rank, is accompanied with

stripes, or rank degree. Students are

to receive up to 4 stripes in the belt,

before receiving the next colored

belt. After a practitioner receives

a white belt, the next is yellow, for

kids, and blue, for adults. Once a

kid receives a yellow belt, he or she,

later on, receives an orange belt,

then a green belt, and then, when

the kid turns 17 years old, he or she

automatically receives a blue belt.

After the blue belt comes the purple

belt, then the brown belt, and then

the black belt. Having a black belt,

the practitioner is then considered

a “professor” on the mats. Beyond

the black belt comes a seemingly

unattainable milestone: the coral

belt (black and red). Students can

receive the coral belt only when they

have trained and taught Brazilian

Jiu Jitsu, as a black belt, for 31 years.

One of the very well known Brazilian

Jiu Jitsu affiliations that highly

interprets this discipline is Brazilian

Top Team (BTT). It was found in

April 2000 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil,

by former MMA fighters and Brazilian

Jiu Jitsu practitioners Murilo

Bustamante, Ricardo Libório, Mário

Sperry, and Luis Roberto Duarte.

Today, their affiliations are all over

the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In

its earlier years, the academy was

known for producing many talented

MMA fighters that had been

successful in the Ultimate Fighting

Championship (UFC), -- the biggest

MMA promotion in the world.

Today, as the sport’s popularity

is rapidly growing, the Brazilian

Jiu Jitsu practitioners representing

BTT are winning worldwide

championships, making themselves

known all over the world. The first

recognized BTT center in the United

States was established in 2003,

named Brazilian Top Team Boston,

by João Amaral Miranda and his

student, Daniel Mirel Gazoni, who

now runs the academy. Today, it is

one of the most successful Brazilian

Jiu Jitsu academies in New England,

winning not only regional and outof-state

championships, but also

European and Pan-American championships.

Being a Martial Arts practitioner

means being respectful, disciplined,

and polite to the peers and

to the instructor. But first and foremost,

the academy is a family. In the

academy, Gazoni is referred to as

the “professor” or “sensei.” Before

stepping onto the mat, the students

are expected to greet and bow to all

the black belts present. Being late to

practice is never a respectful sign to

the head instructor. Respect and politeness

are expected in the school,

as much as thanking the peers after

the practice.

Levi Moura, a 21 year old

brown belt, professional competitor

and instructor at BTT Boston, started

his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey when

he was a freshman in high school, in

Brazil. Ever since then, “[he] would

give up on other sports and hobbies

to entirely focus on Brazilian Jiu

Jitsu.” Throughout the years of pure

training and competing, Moura

said that “the journey had shaped

[him] not only as an athlete, in [his]

younger years, but as a human being.”

As Gazoni taught so many people

throughout his teaching career,

“[he] noticed that kids and teenagers

that have been doing Brazilian Jiu

Jitsu for months, have become more

confident and have shown a higher

self-esteem.” And adults who have

suffered from either poor regulated

mental health or addiction, “have

come up to [him] and thanked [him]

for changing [their] lives for the better.”

Growing in a healthy social environment,

one only integrates into

a better version of oneself.

Eric LeClair, a blue belt from

BTT Boston, has been doing Brazilian

Jiu Jitsu for three and a half

years. Beginning his journey at the

age of 36, and “going through a

mentally difficult time in [his] life,

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu had changed [his]

life.” In the start of his journey, “[he]

was scared inside because [he] was

nowhere close to being at the level

at what [he] was looking at.” Before

finding Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, LeClair

had difficulty controlling his anger

issues. He believes that “Brazilian

Jiu Jitsu helped [him] fight his anger

and self-awareness.” Constantly

losing to the stronger opponents on

the mats, and being at the same time

part of the “family” in BTT, “Brazilian

Jiu Jitsu” has humbled [him] in

ways where [LeClair did not] even

realize where [he] needs humility.”

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not easy.

Ismail Guessous, a blue belt from

BTT Boston said that “it was tough

in the start, but comradery in the

team helped [him] a lot.” All the

black belts and “Professor Daniel”

have helped him along the journey.

“[It is] good for mental health to

have a good social setting where one

learns from experienced athletes

and teaches less experienced athletes

-- all the while socializing and

forming that human connection,”

stated Guessous.

Practicing Martial Arts is not

always about learning how to protect

oneself, but also about evolving

as an individual. Along the road,

who one becomes, doing Brazilian

Jiu Jitsu, is more important than

what one gets out of it. “Life is about

ups and downs and it [does not]

matter how many times [humans]

fall back, it matters how many times

[humans] get back on their feet”

stated Gazoni.

The Blue and Gold

April 2021

The Girls Hockey

Season Ends With

High Hopes

Courtney Fitzgerald

Head of Local

The girls hockey team. Photo from Mayor

Gary Christenson’s Instagram account.

The Medford-Malden girls hockey

season began on December

14th with tryouts. Each athlete was

asked to wear a mask and come

with all necessary paperwork and

equipment to keep things running

smoothly in the face of a Pandemic.

The first game of the season took

place on January 16, 2021 and was

a home game at Loconte Rink in


In a sport where physical contact

is already limited, the game has

not changed much in a pandemic.

The only changes have been the fact

that they need to wear masks while

playing and only five players plus

the coach are allowed on the bench.

Players are also not allowed to use

dressing rooms or lockers and have

to come to the game already dressed

or get dressed in the parking lot.

Teams are only allowed 15 minutes

of practice before the games now

instead of one to two hours.

With the uncertainty of the

season in the beginning, Coach Rayanne

Forbes made sure to reach out

to the girls when the season would

have started to prepare them, in

case they went back. Malden High

Senior captain Sarah Whitehouse,

believes this helped because “when

[they] began practice [they] already

knew the rules.” They knew to get

dressed before entering the rink

and they knew to sign in and keep a

mask on the entire time.

For Whitehouse, the virus had

made her a little hesitant to return

to the game. She was “very cautious

and made sure to stay away from all

of [her] teammates.” As the season

went on, Whitehouse became more

and more comfortable. Medford

High is a hybrid model for learning

this year and every student needs

to be tested weekly. “Knowing

that two-third of [her] team has to

get a weekly test makes [her] more

comfortable” said Whitehouse. The

coach also stressed that if they are

not feeling well in any way they

will not be penalized if they did not

show up to practice and or games.

Past seasons, though none like

the present, have prepared the girls

in many ways. Whitehouse mentioned

that “[she has] seen everything.”

She knew what it would take

to earn the trust of her teammates

and how to bring them together.

The past seasons have “turned

[her] into the player [she is] today.”

Forbes also mentioned that the level

they play at has not changed and

that “the newer players adjusted

and pushed everyone to be better as


For Rayanne Forbes, a Medford

High Senior as well as co-captain

for the Mustangs, “playing a whole

season without being shut down

[was] crazy.” Forbes had hoped

they would get to play this season

in order for her to “get a bit of closure”

and to play her last games

with the other seniors. Forbes stated

that “[she] had some concerns of

contracting [the coronavirus] and

spreading it to others,” but for her

“it was a no brainer” to finish out

her high school career no matter

the situation. Forbes was willing to

jump at any opportunity “to play in

a Medford jersey one more time.”

Team bonding is something

that has always been important

when playing in a sport. Forbes stated

that she “was looking forward

to just playing hockey and having

some sort of team socializing” while

still practicing social distancing. She

added that “each member of the

team worked hard and put in much

effort not only to get better as players

but to make the most of a crazy


As a captain, Whitehouse was

more concerned with “whether or

not the girls [were] working hard

and enjoying what they were doing.”

With that being said she also

mentioned that mentally she had

hoped “[they would] come out

with a better record than last year.”

Whitehouse’s hope was fulfilled, as

they came out of this season with

more wins and a better win percentage

than they had last year.

Whitehouse was excited to see

more Malden girls playing on the

team this year. This year there were

three Malden eighth graders who

joined the team with two seniors

and one junior returning player.

Whitehouse stated that this gave her

“hope that Malden girls will always

be intertwined with the Medford


Although this season in

many ways was unlike any

other, not much had to be

changed in order for the girls

to have their season. The season

ended with a record of

6-7-1. This means they won six

games, lost seven, and ended

one game in a draw or tie. Although

there will be no states

this year, Whitehouse hopes

“[they] can all reflect on the

season and have no regrets.”



Chaimaa Assli

Lead Reporter

This year has been difficult for everyone

due to the Pandemic. It

has been very hard deciding whether

or not sports should happen. Luckily

because gymnastics was considered

a low-risk sport it was one of

the first sports to come back. The

gymnasts began practicing virtually

in December which was three weeks

before the season started. They did

not begin in-person practices until

January 13th. The gymnastics team

only had three practices per week

for two hours each day. Before Covid,

they had 5 practices every week

and could add more if they felt the

need to. This season was shorter

than usual as well.

Gymnastic coach Katie Bowdridge

said that this season was different

because they were “missing

several of [their] gymnasts due to

COVID” and some of their parents

were not comfortable with them participating,

so the team was smaller

than usual. This year the gymnastics

team had to make more cuts so there

were only 15 gymnasts on the team.

Everyone had to wear their

masks in the gym and stay six feet

apart. Bowdridge said, “everyone

[is] doing a great job keeping their

masks on.” If the gymnasts needed

a mask break all they had to do was

go outside for a little bit and come

back after they had a short break.

When it was each gymnast’s turn

they could take off their masks

while competing and put them right

back on after. Ronald Batista, one of

the three captains, said, “everybody

was already mature enough to just

carry their own weight.”

The gymnasts used an app

called Sway. This app was used for

daily check-ins to make sure they

did not feel any Covid symptoms.

When someone was experiencing

symptoms they were advised to stay

at home. To ensure everyone’s safety

at the competitions, they had to

make sure everything was sanitized

and people were socially distancing.

On the bus, they tried not to sit

next to anybody in order to prevent

passing on the virus. Batista says it

was harder at first because everyone

wanted to be near each other and

“hug the people that [they have not]

seen and all of your teammates.” He

said that they “all have to have an

understanding” because it was to

ensure their safety.

COVID also affected their

meets. Some meets were cancelled

if they could not find judges. Winter

storms also affected their season.

“Those two [aspects] really did affect

[their] season,” said Ronald


To Bowdridge, this experience

was “different but it is not difficult.”

There were many differences due

to Covid. For example, the season


Gymnastics Season

During COVID-19

Sophomore gymnast Nelson Jiang on

the bars at a meet. Photo submitted by


was shorter and they had to wear

face masks. Batista was “less hopeful”

at the beginning of the season

because they were missing people

and he was worried that the scores

would be going down. They ended

up doing really well and ended up

winning, which to Batista was “a

surprise” and it “was pretty awesome.”

This was Batista’s second time

being captain. The captains were

decided by vote. To him it felt good

because “it felt like the team knew

the amount of work [he] was trying

to put in and the amount of dedication.”

It was an “honor being captain

again,” he states.

Bowdridge is “so proud of

these kids” because it has been so

hard during Covid. Everyone attended

all the virtual practices to

stretch and condition. They went

to practice and they were “working

super hard” to get ready for every


Overall they had a really good

season. They won more meets than

they lost. There were a total of five

competitions and they won the last

three so they were on a winning

streak. The gymnastics team was also

in the Greater Boston League. This

year they are GBL champs since they

won both meets against Medford.

Nelson Jiang, a sophomore gymnast

on the team, said he “felt bad” for

the other teams because “the other

teams that [they] won against barely

had anyone. [Other teams] had four

people or two people and [they] had


Batista wanted to congratulate

the coaches. He thinks that the

“coaches did a really good job this

year with all the covid restrictions.”

They had to make sure everybody

there was safe and Covid made it

even harder but they made sure

everyone was keeping their distance

and staying safe.




The Blue and Gold

April 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Julie Yu


Super Bowl LV consisted of one

of the most iconic showdowns

in the National Football League’s

(NFL) history. The Kansas City

Chiefs, the American Football Conference

(AFC) champions, went

head to head with the Tampa Bay

Buccaneers, the National Football

Conference (NFC) champions. The

game finished with the Buccaneers

dominating the Chiefs in a 31-9

game, earning the Buccaneers their

second-ever Super Bowl trophy.

Viewers were especially excited

to see the competition between

the two teams’ quarterbacks: Patrick

Mahomes II and Tom Brady. Both

Mahomes and Brady have had

phenomenal success during their

time in the NFL. Fans anticipated

a high stakes game not only

because of the talent of the

quarterbacks but also due to

the nearly 20 year age difference

between them.

Many fans, including

a number of CBS

commentators, were

expecting a close game

between the Chiefs and

the Buccaneers, which

did not happen as the

Buccaneers won with

a 22 point lead on the


Brady, alongside

the Buccaneers


made Super

Bowl history this

year. Super Bowl

LV was Brady’s

tenth time playing

in a Super Bowl, but what made

it so momentous was the fact that of

his ten Super Bowl appearances, he

has won seven trophies. This win

for the Buccaneers was led by the

oldest quarterback and head coach

duo to ever play in a Super Bowl

game together, with Brady, age 43,

and Head Coach Bruce Arians, age

68. The Buccaneer team has also

gone down in history being the first

team to ever play in a Super Bowl

game that was hosted in their home

stadium, as Super Bowl LV was held

at the Raymond James Stadium.

Last year at Super Bowl LIV,

the Chiefs defeated the San Francisco

49ers in a 31-20 game under

their current Head Coach Andy

Reid, which was the second time

the Chiefs franchise had ever won

a Super Bowl championship. The

first time the team won the Vince

Lombardi trophy was back in 1970

under their former Head Coach

Hank Stram.

Prior to Super Bowl LV, the

Buccaneers had only attended one

Super Bowl game, specifically Super

Bowl XXXVII back in 2003, where

they defeated the Oakland Raiders,

now the Las Vegas Raiders, in a 48-

21 game under former Head Coach

Jon Gruden.

Before the kickoff, there were

two performances. The first one was

by R&B and Soul artist H.E.R. who

performed “America the Beautiful.”

Following the first performance was

the sing- ing of our



p e r -


b y

R & B

and Hip-

Hop artist

Jazmine Sullivan and

Country artist Eric Church.

Amanda Gorman went

down in history as the first poet to

ever perform at the Super Bowl.

Gorman recited her original poem

“Chorus of the Captains,” as a tribute

for the three honorary captains

in attendance at the game: Pittsburgh

Marine Veteran James Martin,

Los Angeles Educator Trimaine

Davis, and last but not least, Tampa

ICU Nurse Manager Suzie Dorner.

The NFL gave Dorner the honor

of administering the coin toss,

determining which team would go

first. During the famous Super Bowl

coin toss, the visiting team chooses

heads or tails, and in this instance

the Chiefs chose heads, which they


Overall Super Bowl LV had a

slow start as both the Chiefs and the

Buccaneers attempted a touchdown,

both being incomplete. At the 5:14

time mark, during the first quarter,

the Chiefs were the first to score in

the entire game. Chiefs kicker Harrison

Butker kicked a 49-yard field

goal during the team’s second drive,

earning the Chiefs a 3-0 lead.

With only 37 seconds left in the

first quarter, the Buccaneers scored

their first touchdown of the game.

Brady threw an eight-yard touchdown

pass to Wide Receiver Rob

Gronkowski, which set the Buccaneers

at a 7-3 lead against the Chiefs.

This specific touchdown was the

13th touchdown pass from Brady to

Gronkowski during the postseason,

breaking the

previous record

of 12 postseason

touchdowns, which was held by

the 49ers’ Former Quarterback Joe

Montana and Wide Receiver Jerry

Rice. This touchdown also marked

the first time Brady had ever scored

more than three points during the

first quarter at a Super Bowl game,

as Brady and his teammates in the

past were only able to score from

field goals in previous Super Bowl


At the 6:15 mark of the second

quarter, Brady threw another touchdown

pass, earning the Buccaneers

another seven points, giving them

a 14-3 lead, both passes so far being

caught by Gronkowski. Chiefs

scored for the second time during

the game at the 1:04 mark, Butker

kicked a 34 yard field goal, earning

the Chiefs another three points, setting

them at 14-6, the Buccaneers still

in the lead. Afterwards, the Buccaneers

got the ball back for their third

drive, with only six seconds

left on the timer, Brady made

a touchdown pass to Wide

Receiver Antonio Brown,

drawing the Buccaneers at

a large lead of 21-6 by the

end of the first half.

Regardless of

their opinions on football,

millions of people

tune in every year

to watch the

Pepsi Super

Bowl Halftime

Show. This

year they had

R&B and Soul

artist The

Weeknd headlining,


some of

his hit songs:

Starboy, The

Hills, Can’t

Feel my Face,

I Feel It Coming,

Save Your

Tears, Earned

It, a mashup of

House of Balloons

and Glass Table Girls, and last

but not least, his hit song Blinding

Lights, which remained in the #1

spot on the Top 100 Billboard charts

for four weeks straight.

Following the Pepsi Super

Bowl Halftime Show, the Chiefs

Raymond James Stadium before Super Bowl LV with cardboard cutouts set up

occupying seats. Photo from the Raymond James Stadium Instagram account.

The Blue and Gold

April 2021




Kansas City Chiefs

at Super Bowl LV

opened up the third quarter by scoring

their third and final time of the

entire game. Once again, another

field goal, Butker kicked a 52-yard

field goal, adding another three

points to Chiefs, now making the

score 21-9, with the Buccaneers still

in the lead.

The Buccaneers scored yet

another touchdown at the 7:45

mark. Brady scans across the field

looking for an open receiver when

he throws the touchdown pass to

Running Back Leonard Fournette,

who was wide open. With no Chiefs

defenders covering Fournette, he

was able to make a 27 yard run

into the endzone, growing the

Buccaneers lead against the

Chiefs to 28-9.

The last points added

to the score were made by the

Buccaneers. During the 2:50

mark of the third quarter,

Buccaneers Kicker Ryan

Succop kicked a 52-yard

field goal, earning the

Buccaneers three points,

leaving them at a 31-9

lead on the Chiefs.

Due to the fact that

neither team scored

for the remainder of

the third quarter and

the entirety of the fourth

quarter, that was the final score.

Although Super Bowl LV

has been memorable for the

outstanding NFL athletes,

those watching in person

and from home have witnessed

history. During

the Super Bowl and

also throughout the

past football season,

we have seen the re- markable

progress that the NFL has made in

regards to promoting inclusion

and diversity.

Joining Arians and

the Buccaneer’s at Super Bowl was

Assistant Defensive Line Coach Lori

Locust and Assistant Strength and

Conditioning Coach Maral Javadifar,

both of whom work full-time for

the Buccaneer coaching staff, making

history as the first two female

coaches in the Super Bowl.

Alongside Locust and

Javadifar, another woman

making Super Bowl history

is Sarah Thomas. Thomas

is the first female referee

to officiate at a Super Bowl


“The Super Bowl

Today,” a preview

prior to the game on

the CBS channel,

included a segment




Quarterback Marlin Briscoe.

Briscoe was the first

black quarterback in the modernday

NFL. He was drafted in the 14th

Amanda Gorman reciting her original poem at Super Bowl LV. Screenshot taken

from her performance.

round for the Denver Broncos back

in 1968. Briscoe paved the way for

future black NFL quarterbacks such



of the Chiefs, Russell

Wilson of the Seattle

Seahawks, Lamar Jackson of the

Baltimore Ravens, Teddy Bridgewater

of the Carolina Panthers, and

many others.

Soon after Super Bowl LIV on

February 2, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic

struck Americans and people

all around the globe. Following the

big Super Bowl win, former Chiefs

Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

decided to temporarily set aside

his football career for the season to

return home to Montreal, Canada,

to work at a health care facility.

During “The Super Bowl Today,”

CBS reporters alongside his fellow

teammates highlight and honor his

dedication and courage for putting

others before himself. Even with his

busy schedule and training facilities

closed, Duvernay-Tardif continues

to consistently practice in hopes

of returning to the field and to the

Chiefs soon.

Similar to several other social

events, the COVID-19 pandemic

has greatly impacted Super Bowl

Sunday traditions across the nation.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still

at large, numerous restrictions and

regulations had been enforced to

ensure the safety of the American

public. “The Super Bowl Today”

featured a segment where reporter

Norah O’Donnell interviewed

President Joe Biden, in which

he was asked about his thoughts

on Super Bowl Sunday parties.

Biden strongly recommended

that people refrain from

large gatherings, although

acknowledged that there

would likely still be quite

a few parties but encouraged

people to make good

choices and stay safe.

In attempts to limit the

amount of fans within the

stadium, the NFL has

cut back ticket sales

to pertain to social

distancing guidelines.

The Raymond James

Stadium in Tampa,

Florida holds 65,890

seats, and 25,000 fans

were in attendance

for Super Bowl LV.

Accompanying those

fans were 30,000

cardboard cutouts to

make the audience

look more full and

lively overall.

However, it is still

imperative that the proper

guidelines were being implemented

to prevent the spread of this

ongoing deadly disease.

During the regular season,

the NFL had strict requests

for each of their teams to go through

consistent COVID testing daily. After

the Championship round, where

the Chiefs defeated the Buffalo Bills

in a 38-24 game and the Buccaneers

beat the Green Bay Packers in a 31-

26 game, the NFL mandated that all

Chiefs and Buccaneer players and

coaching staff be required to take a

COVID tests twice daily.

On Monday, February 8, 2021,

the day after the Buccaneers’ big Super

Bowl win, the Mayor of Tampa

Jane Castor held a press conference

confirming that there will indeed

be some kind of championship celebration

for the Buccaneer team and

their fans, however, no details have

been disclosed as of yet. She further

explained that “everybody will be

able to participate and participate

safely” in this celebration.




The Blue and Gold

April 2021

An Update on the

Greater Boston League

Daniel O’Toole


Looking back one year ago on

high school sports and comparing

them to the ones we have today

is a night and day difference. No

fans in the stands, Masks on at all

times, delayed starts to seasons. The

whole nine yards.

On January 5th, a statement

was released by the GBL (Greater

Boston League) concerning the

Winter season, the new Fall 2 season

and Spring season. The GBL

combines a number of cities in the

Greater Boston area which includes

Malden, Medford, Everett, Revere,

Somerville, Chelsea, Lynn Classical

and Lynn English. Each city is

represented by their high school’s

Athletic Director/Head of Athletics.

For Malden that would be Athletic

Director, Charlie Conefrey.

The statement disclosed that

all athletic competitions besides

girl’s hockey and gymnastics would

be delayed until March 1st, after

reports showed high numbers of

COVID-19 cases in urban areas.

Conditionings, tryouts and practices

would begin as early as February 1st

if COVID-19 case numbers were not

high. As time went on, the number

of COVID-19 cases slowly dropped

meaning practices and tryouts could

start for sports part of the Winter

sports season.

When asked about his opinion

on the decision made by the GBL to

have athletics starting again, Conefrey

said “in the Fall [they] voted

to participate in the Fall II season

because that was best for [the students].”

He also mentioned that as

the winter sports season approaches,

“[they] are preparing to adjust once

more, to meet the needs of [their]

students.” Since the decision to play

again has been “worked on weekly

since last June to finally arrive at the

plan you see below,’’ Conefrey is a

firm believer in the GBL’s plans.

According to Conefrey, the

Greater Boston League started

Winter Sports on March 1st with

“interscholastic play [beginning] on

March 6th.” The 2021 GBL Athletic

Season Calendar that was provided

by him can be found below:

Conefrey stated that with the

extensive rules and regulations being

enforced, it gives him “full trust

in the MIAA’s ability and expert

knowledge.” He expressed that “[he

feels] strongly that the procedures

and protocols [they] have in place

have will continue to provide a safe

and healthy environment for all”

adding that “students have been

extremely receptive to the ‘new normal’

in regards to sport modifications”

and “the majority of [Malden

High’s] student athletes are willing

to do whatever it takes to get back

on the field, court and/or playing


Conefrey explained that “the

[GBL] led by [himself] and Principal

[Chris] Mastrangelo have worked

diligently with [the] league member

schools to provide a condensed three

season calendar (six weeks each)

starting March 1st.” He stated that

“depending on the sport, each team

will play a league schedule consisting

of six to ten games/matches with

a league championship at the end of

each season.”

Conefrey also acknowledged

that many have questioned whether

or not a “full season will be played,”

and clarified that the answer to that

question “greatly depends on how

well student athletes and coaches

adhere to the protocols [that are put]

in place in regards to COVID-19.”

Richard Newton, the Athletic

Director for Lynn English, thinks

that “it was a big decision to allow

high school sports since [Lynn was]

one of the cities who were against

playing high school sports in the

beginning.” However, he is “very

glad that [they have] finally been

[able] to play after so long.” Talking

about the decision made, Newton

said “[their] basketball team [has

not] played since last year when

[they] were going to play in the state

championship game. [They] call

[themselves] state champs because

[they believe that they] would have

crushed the other team so [they are]

happy to suit up again with this


Lynn is a great example of a

city that was hammered due to the

COVID-19 pandemic. When Newton

had gone back to Lynn English

for the first time this school year, he

witnessed “the entire front of the

school being a testing site with a big

line of cars wrapping around the

building.” He added that they even

had to have “two police cruisers to

make sure nobody was cutting line”

In that moment, Newton did not

think “[Lynn was] getting a season.”

Getting to where Lynn is now and

being able to participate in high

school sports shows just how effective

the health and safety protocols

that we are given can be.

It is clear that making some

of these were difficult decisions to

make but Newton stresses that in

the end “you [have to] do what you

[have] to do in order to play,” which

is what most student athletes are

thinking at this time.

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 42

February 2020

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