Graduation 2021 Edition

TheBlueandGold

The Blue and Gold

maldenblueandgold.com

Malden High School

77 Salem Street

Volume 106 Edition 3 June 2021

New Superintendent Profile:

Ligia Noriega-Murphy

Sandra Li

Managing Editor

Following the announcement of

Superintendent John Oteri not

extending his contract, the Malden

School Committee conducted a

superintendent search where they

eventually announced on March

15th, that Ligia Noriega-Murphy

would become the next Superintendent

of Schools and will assume her

position on July 1st.

Prior to being selected, Noriega-Murphy

was in the Boston Public

Schools district for 26 years. During

her time there, she worked in various

positions ranging from being a

teacher in a middle school to working

in a central office as an assistant

2021 Class Valedictorian, Ziyi “Billy”

Zeng, Page 10.

superintendent. She explained how

a large portion of her work had

consisted of “providing the tools for

young people” when either presenting

them with opportunities including

a variety of pathway programs

and or career technical programs.

When it came to applying to

Malden, Noriega-Murphy stated

how this time she had the chance to

be more selective on “where [she]

wanted to move her next step.”

One factor that stood out to her was

the diversity of Malden. Noriega-

Murphy explained that there was an

instance that made her truly reflect

and say to herself saying “she really

wants Malden now,” and would be

disappointed if she had not received

the position.

2021 Class Salutatorian, Jiaqi Ye,

Page 11.

Noriega-Murphy went into

detail how in a community forum,

she had asked towards the end of

the meeting how everyone was coping

with COVID-19 because “this is

our reality” and only now are we

“getting used to in a way of moving

forward.” One individual had

said to her how they were bilingual;

however, they recognized that during

the pandemic many families

were not provided the proper information

as they were not translated

in their languages. As a result, they

saw people struggling in trying

to understand what was happening.

They later said how even with

technology, families felt disengaged

because connections were not being

Continued on page 3.

2021 Class Orator, Jacob Pettigrew,

Page 11.

Class of

2022 Hosts

Mystery at

the MET

Carlos Aragon

Managing Editor of Print and

Deisgn

This school year has been incredibly

tumultuous for everyone,

and at the start, a lot of things were

unknown. Sports were delayed by

months, the transition to hybrid was

very slow, and for a while, nobody

really knew how Junior Varieties

was going to happen, if going to

happen at all.

Luckily around mid-March, the

Class of ‘22 was given the greenlight

for producing the show. According

to Class Secretary Christelle Jean,

it was a mad dash to get acts and

auditions together once they found

out they could have a show in the

first place. For a few months, they

were even planning on using Macdonald

Stadium. It was incredibly

challenging, especially financially,

since “[they] would be in charge

of sound direction” and sound in

an open stadium would have been

much more difficult to control than

a closed space such as the Jenkins

auditorium.

In addition to sound issues,

before authorization from the CDC,

they did not even know how many

people they were allowed to host,

which is “why [they] chose an outdoor

venue, to maximize the number

of people that could attend.”

There was a lot of communication

with the Mayor, the CDC, and the

health department, and when they

finally found out they could use the

auditorium, it was limited to 30 people.

However, once restrictions were

lifted, the limit was raised to 250

people, which Jean stated was “the

best news [they] heard all year.”

During their preparation, CO

‘22 Treasurer Sammi Nie stated that

the scripts they made for each person

and job were vital to the flow of

the show. For example, mic runners

had to pass around microphones,

wipe them down after specific acts,

etc. Curtains needed to be drawn

and raised, and spotlight placement

was incredibly important as well.

The show itself was quite a suc-

Continued on page 14.


2

An Update on

Malden High

Students for

Racial Equity

(SFRE)

Julie Huynh

Managing Editor

Malden High School’s Students

for Racial Equity (SFRE)

group was formed last fall and was

originally the MHS Curriculum Reform

Youth Board. Since then, a lot

else has changed for the group.

After the group was founded

by senior Billy Zeng, they came

into contact with the MHS Staff for

Racial Equity group and decided

to “broaden the scope of [their]

goals and therefore rebrand,” stated

senior and lead organizer Sheilly

Patel. They have gotten to work

and collaborate with people “across

many boards of leadership” both

within and outside of the school, including

the school’s social workers,

administrators, and MaldenCORE.

Patel is just one out of a group

of lead organizers, including senior

Jett-Le Tran Le, senior Juliete Pierre,

junior Sammi Nie, and junior Ketshaly

Philome. There are no formal

officer positions, but each lead is in

charge of a sub-committee. Patel and

Philome are part of the Curriculum

Reform board, Nie is in charge of

Research and Education, and Pierre

and Tran Le are in the Accountability

branch.

Tran Le has been a member of

SFRE since December. One goal that

the Accountability branch has is to

“maintain a system that allows students

to be able to share their stories

and experiences freely without getting

punished for it.” After joining

the citywide initiative for diversity,

equity and inclusion (DEI) positions,

this was something the group

advocated strongly for.

In the last few months, the

group has been working on their

social media presence and being

active on different platforms. In

their Instagram bio, they describe

themselves as “a diverse student-led

board working towards implementing

greater student representation

and inclusion within the Malden

community.”

They recently created a newsletter,

free to all who sign up, emailed

at the end of each month. These

emails include a shout out section,

book and movie recommendations,

a summary of world events, and

updates about their group. In their

April newsletter, they mentioned

working with Malden’s new Diversity,

Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

officer, Byboise Larochelle, to learn

more about how they can work on

being inclusive at the high school.

Meeting with the DEI coordinator

gave them “the clarity [they] needed

for what the next school year will

Editor-in-Chief:

Julie Yu ‘21

maldenblueandgold.com

Web and Mobile Apps

Editor-in-Chief:

Jennica Ruan ‘21

Reporters

BLUE AND GOLD

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

Staff

MEET THE

Print Editor-in-Chief:

Sandra Rivadeneira ‘21

look like and what improvements will be made

in the Malden community,” voiced Tran Le.

In addition to meeting with Larochelle,

Patel reported that they have also spent some

time with MPS Humanities Director Gregory

Hurley and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kelly

Chase to talk about curriculum reform.

By the end of the school year, SFRE hopes

to “increase the conversation around equity

work not just within MHS, but throughout

Malden.” They hope to do this by “broadening

the range of people within [their] group.”

Another long-term goal they have is to advocate

for an education DEI for Malden Public

Schools.

In terms of short-term goals, the group

wants to increase the outreach and audience

of their newsletter, while also forming new

relationships within the Malden community.

Students that want to become involved with

SFRE can email any of their lead organizers or

follow them on Instagram @mhs_sfre.

Managing Editor:

Julie Huynh ‘22

Managing Editor of Print

and Design:

Lauren Mallett ‘22

Head of Sports:

Lulu Harding ‘22

Managing Editor

of Photography:

Liam O’Toole ‘22

The Blue and Gold

June 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

A photo of the Malden High Students for Racial Equity (SFRE)

logo. Photo submitted by Sammi Nie.


The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Continued from page 1.

made.

Noriega-Murphy expressed

that what the individual had said

to her truly “touched [her] heart”

because she highly believes in

“communication and people first.”

Additionally, she likes to create

communities where it is “only one

community instead of different

communities” which is her “mantra

for every place [she] goes to.” She

continued on saying that in the moment

she realized that if she were to

be selected, one major task that she

would like to do is to translate documents

and on top of that, create advisory

teams consisting of students,

parents, community members in order

to “engage in conversations” on

what the community is expecting.

Junior Sammi Nie, who was a

part of the Student Forum, explained

how Noriega-Murphy stood out to

her the most when it came to what

she had asked the students. Finalists

had the opportunity to ask students

questions in the end of forum, and

Nie described how instead of asking

questions regarding about what

students would like to see changed,

Noriega-Murphy had asked the

question “how are you?” Nie stated

that the question was “simple, yet it

was very touching to [her]” because

it revealed how Noriega-Murphy is

“dedicated to the well-being of her

peers.”

Jennifer Spadafora, who was

the co-chair of the Superintendent

Screening Committee, mentioned

how much of the community feedback

that the committee received on

Noriega-Murphy was mainly about

her communication skills. Spadafora

described how she made her feel

as if she was “sitting across the table

from [Noriega-Murphy], having a

cup of coffee,” which she expressed

how that “goes a long way” because

in the position of superintendent,

“you are not always going to agree

on things,” but she felt that Noriega-Murphy

was the type of person

who “we can disagree in a really

thoughtful manner,” and eventually

come to a conclusion that “benefits

everybody in the district.”

Noriega-Murphy emphasized

that communication will be a “key

and crucial component” in how she

is going to be working because she

remarked how “some people say it

is a great plan, but nobody knows

the plan.” And so in her time as

superintendent, she wants to ensure

that “communication will be transparent”

as she hopes that community

members will be able to “relate

with [her] and build relationships

with them.”

For Adam Weldai, who was

also another co-chair of the Superintendent

Screening Committee, he

conveyed how one asset of Noriega-

Murphy that stood out to him was

how she “made it clear to [them]

that she was not applying for this job

everywhere,” which he added that

she “made a very conscious choice”

in applying to Malden. Moreover,

Weldai commented how through

this decision, it further showed

that Noriega-Murphy wanted to be

a part of the Malden community

Interactive

maldenblueandgold.com

June Crossword Puzzle

The graduating Class of 2018. Photo from The Blue and Gold archives.

ACROSS:

3. This year, the Malden High Boys Soccer

team started their season in April, rather

than the usual start of the season during this

month.

8. Alexey Mozyaev reflects that it can be difficult

for immigrants to leave their friends and

traces of _____ behind.

12. During her time in the Boston Public

Schools district, Ligia Noriega-Murphy

worked in various positions including assistant

____.

14. Malden High School’s Football team suited

up for a scrimmage on May 1st against

_____ and Chelsea at Macdonald Stadium.

15. The main goal for the recent community

vigil was to create a space for people to come

together to heal and to be in ______ against

systems of oppression that impact not only

the

Asian American community but people globally

as well.

16. This year, field hockey games were divided

into four ____ rather than two halves due

to COVID restrictions.

17. CO’21 Top 10 graduate Sheilly Patel has

been able to lead this club as their president

over the past two years.

18. CO’21 Valedictorian Billy Zeng served as

_____ of the Science National Honor Society

(SNHS) during his senior year.

Puzzle compiled by Lulu Harding.

Clues are from articles in both the online and print

editions.

DOWN:

1. After the loss against Medford in the first game of the

season, Malden’s football team hopes to _____ in their future

games.

2. The Malden High Students for Racial Equity group

recently created a free ____ where things including a summary

of world events, book and movie recommendations,

and updates about their group are posted.

4. Coach Scott Marino believes that the Malden High

School Girls Basketball Program is “in a position to compete

for a Greater Boston League _____ and beyond.”

5. Despite dislocating his knee on the ____ meet of the season,

captain of Malden High’s swim team David Lombardi

still managed to get first place in all four of his events and

was named a GBL All-Star.

6. CO’21 Salutatorian Jiaqi Ye will be attending UMass

_____ as a computer science major.

7. For the three senior editors of the Blue and Gold staff,

being in the class has given them the opportunity to bond

and meet some of their closest _____.

9. CO’21 President Harriet Gerochi will be attending

UMass Amherst in the fall as a ____ major.

10. CO’21 Orator Jacob Pettigrew has decided to take

a gap year “with a focus on understanding _____ and

breath.”

11. COVID-19 has not stopped the Girls’s Volleyball

team from bonding and getting to know each other more

______.

13. During the Class of 2022’s production of JVs, hosts Jason

Ong, Tivian Nguyen, and Whitney Jean Baptiste went

on an adventure searching for a missing ___.

with addition to her extensive background

as it “seemed to be a good fit

for what we are and what we could

be too.”

When it comes to moving Malden

forward, one of the tasks that

Noriega-Murphy would like to take

on is to “start doing a deeper dive”

in collecting more information in

regards to data, curriculum and ultimately

“looking at different aspects

of what is the district” as a whole.

Noriega-Murphy further explained

that once she has compiled a plan,

she looks forward to getting feedback

from the community in order

to see “what needs to be modified

for change.”

Aside from being a professional

educator, Noriega-Murphy has

traveled to more than 32 countries

and has even had the experience

of teaching abroad earlier in her

career. In addition, she has taught

courses that compared and contrast

global mythology, fables, and more.

On top of that, Noriega-Murphy

believes that both the mind and the

soul have to be “nurtured by learning,

exploring, and taking care of

3

our mental and physical health”

which she mentioned how she owns

a black belt in Shotokan karate as

she “appreciates the connection”

that is established between movement

and skills.

Once Noriega-Murphy assumes

the position, she is highly

anticipating learning more about

the city and being involved in both

the district and the schools as she

is looking forward to meeting with

members of the community, and

overall converse with them about

the visions for the district.


4

Editorial

maldenblueandgold.com

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

A Bittersweet Goodbye

This past year has been an incredibly

news-worthy year.

We have seen history unfold in

front of our very eyes; several

major events that have greatly

impacted us, our school, our

community, and our world.

It has been a great year to use

the power of student voice and

report on all these life changing

moments from a beautifully

unique perspective.

We have only produced

three print editions this school

year, in comparison to our usual

eight. This meant that we had to

ask ourselves what do we want

memorialized in these editions?

What stories can capture what is

going on at this moment in time?

How can The Blue and Gold do

justice to its community?

Our first edition captured

the transition that we were all

going through. It was our chance

to really acknowledge how CO-

VID-19 had impacted our community

and students. Malden

High was adapting and adjusting

to a new learning format and

schedule. We looked at the good

and bad of the format and what

that could mean for the future of

the school: maybe a new school

schedule for the coming new

year, one we seniors will not get

to experience but are excited to

see how it rolls out.

Our second edition was focused

on the changes happening

in our society. We had powerful,

opinionated editorials about

what minorities, such as Asian

Americans and Black Americans,

were going through during the social

climate at the time. We reported

on a historical election, one that had

the country on the edge of their seats

for days. Vaccines were starting to

come out. As we passed the one year

mark since COVID-19, Malden High

approached a Hybrid schedule, and

we were slowly starting to see the

end of a long tunnel.

This third edition, our graduation

edition, is focused on the student

body. Collectively as a school,

we have gone through so much, but

at this time of the school year there

are signs of summer and normalcy.

Junior Varieties, despite its setbacks,

still went on and were able to hold

an in-person audience both nights.

While all three sports seasons were

cut short, players were still given

the chance to participate under new

safety regulations. Fall and spring

games were live streamed but also

held in-person spectators, giving us

back a sense of school spirit.

Like when any senior departs,

this is bittersweet for us. Our year is

over but it feels like it has just begun.

This class is responsible for our

friendship: we all met in The Blue

and Gold newsroom during our

freshmen year. We made each other

laugh every day we saw each other,

we supported one another through

all that high school threw at us, we

grew into the people we are today

together.

The Blue and Gold is such a

vital part of the Malden High

community. It is a great tradition

and it is also a wonderful

platform. Every single student

who is part of this grows and

learns about the power they

hold. It is such a beautiful community

that we have built in that

newsroom. It has grown strong

over the last 100 years, and it

will continue to for 100 more.

There has never been more need

for honest journalism than now,

and what better way than to hear

it from the unique voices of the

members of The Blue and Gold.

Thank you all for the opportunities

you have given us.

Julie Yu

Editor-In-Chief

Sandra Rivadeneira

Print Editor-In-Chief

Jennica Ruan

Web and Mobile Apps Editor-In-

Chief

Nedlam’s

Corner

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

maldenblueandgold.com.

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

June 2021

Editorial

maldenblueandgold.com

Long Live the Walls We Crashed Through

5

Sandra Rivadeneira

Print Editor-In-Chief

danced on table tops (during a

I production of Fame: The Musical).

I got to go to plenty Friday night

games, whether it was getting to

play with the band at football games

or playing my own softball games

for the school’s team. I participated

in every single day’s dress-uptheme

during Spirit Week and went

to every Junior Variety show during

my last four years.

My high school years were

filled with so many great memories,

but The Blue and Gold is responsible

for shaping my experience at

Malden High.

In The Blue and Gold, I met

some of my very best friends. With

them, in that class every year, we

learned that we are so much more

capable than what we believe ourselves

to be. Through hard work

and dedication real art can be made

where people can enjoy and learn

from.

I learned and laughed with the

heads and editors before me until

eventually I grew into those positions,

as Head of Sports then Print

Editor in Chief. I hope I was able

to teach and make others laugh the

way those before did for me.

During our personal journeys

at Malden High, I am sure we have

all found opportunities to grow and

develop a voice. Through The Blue

and Gold I was able to find mine

and amplify it, as well as the voices

of others growing with me.

Our class has had students

break Malden High athletic records

that were left untouched for years.

We have had some of the most artistically

talented individuals grace

our Jenkins Auditorium stage. Our

classmates have all found their

own independent voices and have

fought the injustices they have seen,

through either speeches or organizing

marches and so much more.

It’s really easy to dwell on everything

that has not happened and

everything our class has missed out

on during this school year. I feel like

I hear the phrase all the time, that

we are “living through history.”

However, take a moment to

think of all the historical events

that have happened during our

four years in high school. All the

movements that have uproared, the

changes that have begun, the new

perspective and appreciation for life

that we have been able to develop

over the last year alone.

These events have allowed us

to grow and develop to the young

adult we are now. I encourage you

all to take the lessons, from the good

and bad memories, with yourself

as we step into a new phase in our

lives. Now that we are on the brink

of adulthood and independence,

I’ve never felt so much fear and excitement

at once.

My time in the Malden High

community has taught me so much,

about myself and about the beauties

and the injustices of our world. I develop

new friendships, insecurities,

hobbies and interests.

I am nowhere near ready to say

goodbye to Malden High School.

There are still more things I want to

do. I want one more pep rally, one

more softball game, one more band

concert, one more musical, one more

story to write for the Blue and Gold.

Everything must continue to

move forward and soon we will

be proud Malden High graduates,

onto the next part of our lives. We

will make an impact on everyone

we meet and in every place we go.

We will continue to stand tall and

fight for what we believe in. We will

continue to fear none as we learn to

use our voice to slowly, but surely,

make changes in our communities.

We are the Class of 2021, and it’s

been an honor to share this experience

with you all.


6

Editorial

maldenblueandgold.com

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Something Better Than Goodbye

Jennica Ruan

Web and Mobile Apps Editor-In-

Chief

Everybody has different expectations

for how high school goes.

The shows and movies we watched

growing up put these unrealistic

expectations into our heads and we

hope that is how high school will

be like. We see these stereotypes all

the time in school. We see groups

of athletes, band, choir, theatre and

club students in friend groups and

everyone has their own cliques.

Being in The Blue and Gold

was such an unexpected opportunity

that fell into my life. I remember

walking into the newsroom for

the first time. Not knowing anybody

there and trying to not make a scene

as our class advisor was talking to

the class. I expected the class to be

something I had to do for that year

and not come back to. I didn’t expect

to love the class as much as I

do now. It was hard at first to work

with so many people I didn’t know

but, I was able to find myself bonding

with the other freshman reporters

who I can now say are also my

Editor-in -Chiefs. If I was not part of

Blue and Gold my freshman year, I

would not have accomplished very

much throughout my high school

career.

My one goal for high school

was to have confidence. That was

what I strived for every year. I

started as a reporter, like many

others before me, and looked up to

the upperclassmen working cohesively

together. My freshman class

consisted of almost 40 students in

one room. It was chaotic and loud

but I was able to see people from all

cliques work together to produce

something amazing. I never would

have imagined myself being in The

Blue and Gold if I did not switch

classes freshman year.

Something I have learned

throughout the years is that Blue

and Gold was also a safe place. As a

class that had to cover many different

stories we often found ourselves

discussing bigger issues as well. The

class was a place where everyone

had a voice, whether they wanted to

share or not. Being able to express

ourselves emotionally, not just artistically,

has helped us realize that

our community is bigger than we

imagined.

The opportunities that being in

The Blue and Gold have given me

are once in a lifetime. I met amazing

and talented people I can call my

close friends. I’ve had opportunities

to experience and report many

events in Malden that made me feel

closer to my community. I work

alongside some of the most talented

news staff to create a newspaper

that holds years of traditions.

This chapter of my life doesn’t

end at Malden High. This is just the

place where it began and I know the

lessons I’ve learned will follow me

to my future path in life.

Growing up is scary. We all

envision millions of possible futures

but what you do depends on yourself.

I have been uncertain almost

all my life of what I wanted to do.

There were just too many possibilities

and not enough years in a life

span. I came to the conclusion that

you don’t really need to choose. It’s

definitely cheesy but you can be

anything you want to be as long as

you try.

I wish the best of luck to the

Class of 2021. We are all moving on

and taking the next steps to adulthood.

The world changes everyday

but people dont change, they grow

up. This has been an interesting four

years and though it felt like it would

never end, the time has come to say

goodbye. My experiences here will

only help me grow to be a better version

of myself so thank you to all the

people that have made that possible.


The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Editorial

maldenblueandgold.com

7

This Was Nothing Like

High School Musical

Julie Yu

Editor-In-Chief

My high school experience did

not live up to my irrational

High School Musical fantasy… and

that is okay.

From a young age, the media

has fed us TV shows and movies

that display unrealistic expectations

as to what “the high school experience”

is really like. Shows and movies

always highlight the stereotypical

“fun” aspects of high school like

football games, pep rallies, relationships,

school dances, parties, etc.,

and tend to leave out the not-so-fun

aspects like the stressful workload,

standardized testing, the intimidating

college application process, and

much more.

Walking into Malden High

on my first day of freshman year, I

figured high school would not be as

glamorous as High School Musical

made it out to be. I knew students

would not be singing and dancing

to “We’re All in This Together” in

the school gym, but I did not expect

the not-so-fun aspects of high school

to be as overwhelming as they were.

As overwhelming as it was at

times, the unforgettable memories

my friends and I have made along

the way have made the hardships

worthwhile. From the early morning

Dunkin runs before school started

to the late night Junior Varieties

rehearsals right before COVID-19

lockdowns were enforced.

Through taking Blue and Gold,

I was able to strengthen my friendship

with two people I had known

for practically my entire life. Those

two people being my best friends

and fellow Editors-in-Chief, Jennica

Ruan and Sandra Rivadeneira. Prior

to joining Blue and Gold, we were

no more than acquaintances that acknowledged

each other’s existence.

It did not take long for us to become

close friends both inside and outside

the classroom.

During our junior year, we

each took on leadership positions

as the Heads of Local and Sports

news. As heads, we were constantly

collaborating and communicating,

and I found that since we were

friends outside of class, it made our

roles significantly easier as we were

consistently talking to each other

throughout the day anyway. For the

entire duration of holding our head

and editor leadership positions, we

have always kept a balance of having

fun and enjoying each other’s

company in class while also being

productive and holding ourselves

and each other accountable. Thanks

to them, I never lost that love for

journalism.

This is a surreal feeling. It simply

does not feel like I should be

graduating in just under one month.

It feels bizarre to be able to say that

I am on the brink of adulthood and

the real world.

Being that it is my last month of

being a high school student, I have

spent a lot of time reflecting. I remember

being in sixth grade, looking

at the “21” in my school email,

thinking “I cannot believe I have to

wait until 2021 to graduate.” Nonetheless,

at the blink of an eye, here

we are, in the year 2021. As cliché as

it sounds, time really does fly by.

It feels as if I have spent my entire

life looking forward and counting

down to the day that I can finally

finish high school. But as that day

approaches, I find myself growing

more and more nervous, specifically

about how I will handle my last day

of high school emotionally.

At this current moment I feel

conflicted. I am not exactly sure if I

am excited or sad about wrapping up

my high school career. On one hand,

I am sad to conclude this chapter of

my life and leave the place where

I have experienced so much selfgrowth

and self-discovery. While on

the other hand, I am excited to not

be bombarded with tons of school

work. That is, of course, until I start

college in the fall.

I think it is safe to say that I am

having a difficult time comprehending

the fact that this is all coming to

an end extremely soon. This makes

me question: am I genuinely just

shocked by how fast time has passed

by or do I not want to say goodbye?

I always feared this idea of

saying goodbye, because goodbyes

feel so final and permanent. Goodbyes

symbolize leaving something

behind. More than anything I have

dreaded having to say goodbye to

the amazing teachers and friends

that have got me to where I am today.

Nevertheless, it is not something

I can avoid for much longer. At

the time I am writing this, the Class

of 2021 only has three days left, so

those goodbyes are right around the

corner.

Although my high school

experience is ending on a very unexpected

note, I am grateful and

appreciative of the experiences and

lessons that I have learned throughout

my four years at Malden High.

I have gone through more personal

growth in these past four years than

I ever have in my life. As much as I

dread the goodbyes, I am ecstatic for

what is to come in the future, and it

is time to write the next chapter of

my life.


8

Editorial

maldenblueandgold.com

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Coming

It Was a “Feels Good”

to the

United

States

Alexey Mozyaev

Reporter

What I noticed, coming to the

United States, is that most

people coming from other countries

tend to create friendships with

people from their home country. It’s

not always the case, but most of the

time it’s true. But what if one can’t

find any people that speak the same

language or share the same background?

That must be unfortunate,

right? And usually, one needs to fit

in to meet at least some basic aspects

of contentment. Relate to someone

and share at least a thing in common.

During my freshman and

sophomore years, I somewhat

struggled with school. Not so much

academically, but more with the

language and cultural barriers. My

freshman year in high school was

my second year living in the United

States, and it was a challenge communicating

with people in English.

The accent. The grammar mistakes.

And all the other factors that shape

an immigrant coming to the U.S.

from another country.

I wouldn’t talk to many people

because of the accent, neither would

I tell a joke in English because it

might not sound funny. Or it might

sound too funny because of the

accent. The school lunches made

me feel even more dreadful about

moving to the United States. Everything

was great for me back in my

country. “Then why move?” I asked

myself during my first few years in

the United States.

The answer to the question

is obvious. It’s the opportunities

that the country beholds. But should

these opportunities be prioritized

over happiness? Though happiness

can come in different forms, I talk

of happiness when there is always

a friend around. Especially in the

case of so many other immigrants

that come from their country to the

United States, leaving their friends

and traces of memories behind. It’s

difficult. But only in the beginning.

It took me a few years to

adapt to changes. And it took me

another year of quarantine and lockdown

to reflect on my life in a new

country. Maybe I was privileged to

meet a good friend that told me to

reflect on my life by keeping a diary

and journal and get all of my

thoughts together. I don’t know. But

I hope it’s not the case only with me,

and one will find something to lean

on. Whether it’s a diary, family, or a

friend. Or maybe all of these.

Carolina Cuevas

Illustrator

Joining the Blue and Gold was

never part of the plan. In freshman

year, I had a study and decided to

replace it with a class. First entering

high school, I was super excited and

prepared to take classes in subjects

I usually never had before. At first,

I didn’t like the idea of writing articles

but then my guidance counselor

told me I could just take pictures

instead and boy was she wrong.

The classroom was filled to the

brim with students and the tables

were always crowded with people

writing and talking about their next

project. I was quite intimidated because

the class consisted of students

of all grades meaning the majority

was upperclassmen and although I

was incredibly nervous, my classmates

were very welcoming and

helpful ever since the first day.

It was because of their help

that I actually did pretty well with

writing articles and even got my

very first article on the cover page of

the first issue of the year. Ever since

then, I enjoyed writing every single

article I covered and always made

sure to cover topics and events that I

found appealing. The more passionate

you are about something, the

better the work you put into it.

It was that same year during

a meeting we discussed what we

could do to improve or add to the

newspaper that I suggested comics

and other illustrations and thus

leading to my position as the Blue

and Gold’s illustrator. Although I

haven’t been officially a part of the

class since freshman year, I continued

to contribute work to the newspaper

whenever I could.

Whether it was a joke from an

incident in class or an informative

piece that shared a current event,

getting to use my work to make others

laugh, even just a little, would

make my day. From spending my

lunch breaks in the journalism class

to hearing feedback from the teachers

of my classes, it pushed me to

keep doing what I loved.

The class has definitely

changed over the years but I still enjoyed

being a part of it nonetheless.

And although I enjoyed the time I

spent with the class, I cannot forget

the skills and writing techniques I

received along the way. By the end

of the day, all I can say is thank you

to everyone who was a part of my

high school journey and for allowing

me to continue to be a part of the

Blue and Gold Newspaper.

It was a “feels good.“


The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Profiles

maldenblueandgold.com

9

Julie Huynh

Managing Editor

Harriet Shane Gerochi has been

the Class of 2021’s president

for her entire high school career at

Malden High. Time goes by fast,

Gerochi still remembers the very

first day of school when she was

surrounded by unfamiliar faces,

who would soon become some of

her closest friends. Education is

important, but she would argue that

with only four years, “time is of the

essence.” It would not be a waste

of time to reach out to new people,

socialize, and volunteer whenever

possible, she believed that is when

the best memories are made.

The most rewarding part of

her role as Class President has been

“seeing people happy all together.”

She loved seeing people interact

with each other during fundraisers,

laughing and smiling, because it

meant that the student council was

Class of 2021 Officers

President: Harriet Shane Gerochi

able to “bring [their] class together,”

even if just for a moment. Their

fundraisers were often a chance for

people to get together outside of

school and meet people they would

not typically interact with.

Over the past few years, the

Class of ‘21 had put together a number

of dodgeball tournaments, car

washes, and events to raise money

for senior activities, such as prom.

Gerochi is most proud of their “ability

to connect and reach out to [their]

class” and for everyone’s hard work

and dedication.

Gerochi is not yet sure what

she wants to do for a career, but she

emphasized that everyone is at different

stages in their life and no one

needs to “have everything together

right now.” This being said, she will

be attending UMass Amherst in the

fall as a Business major.

High school is the definition

of “here for a good time, not a long

time.” Gerochi expressed that while

you’re in high school, “make the

best out of [it].” One second you’re a

freshman lining up on the staircase

out of Jenkins Auditorium and the

next you’re walking down the field

at Macdonald Stadium.

Photo submitted by Gerochi.

Vice

President:

Kenny Nguyen

Kenny Nguyen’s school portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.

Secretary:

Ava Pizziferi

Treasurer:

David Lombardi

Art Director:

Ziyi “Billy” Zeng

Art Director:

Natalie Pham

Photo submitted by Pizziferi.

Photo submitted by Lombardi.

Photo submitted by Zeng.

Photo submitted by Pham.

Activities

Coordinator:

Asmaa Asousy

Activities

Coordinator:

Kathly-Julie Iansen

Social Media

Coordinator:

Daniel Gilligan

Volunteer

Coordinator:

Ronald Batista

Asmaa Asousy’s school portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.

Julie Iansen’s school portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.

Photo submitted by Gilligan.

Photo submitted by Batista.


10

Profiles

maldenblueandgold.com

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Valedictorian: Ziyi “Billy” Zeng

Lauren Mallett

Managing Editor of Print and

Design

In one’s high school career, outstanding

achievement is something

that many students strive for.

Grades and extracurricular activities

are very important for one’s involvement

and education. For Ziyi “Billy”

Zeng, achievement is “a symbolization

of [his] own determination.”

Zeng is ranked as valedictorian, the

student with the highest grade point

average in the graduating Class of

2021, an impressive accomplishment.

He said “it feels really weird

[to be valedictorian] honestly. [He]

never considered [himself] to be the

smartest person in the classroom.

[He] considers [himself] to be very

hardworking, but never the smartest.”

His motivation was the people

closest in his life because “seeing

them work so hard to chase their

dreams inspire[d] [him] to do the

same and they hold [him] accountable

in reaching [his] goals.”

While Zeng is proud of his

ranking, he “[does] not want [his]

identity to be tied up with this title

because [he] always knew that this

was just a title and nothing more.”

He felt “so much pressure to succeed”

because of how hard he was on

himself. “There were many nights of

self-doubt, tears, and worrying that

[he] put [himself] through because

[he] was afraid that [he] would not

make [his] parents proud.”

During his time at Malden

High School, Zeng took part in

many extracurricular activities,

including clubs such as Asian Culture

Club, for which he served as

an officer since his sophomore year,

and Ecobility, which he founded

and served as Co-President, and

taking up the role of Co-Art Director

on the student council for four

years. He volunteered at the Malden

Immigrant Learning Center, was

a peer tutor through the Malden

Summer Enrichment Program and

Teen Enrichment Center, served as

a Student Ambassador for Summer

Search, and played both JV and Varsity

field hockey. During his senior

year, Zeng also served as President

of the Science National Honor So-

ciety (SNHS) and was a member of

the Greater Malden Asian American

Community Coalition (GMAACC)

Youth Board.

To him, these activities were a

crucial part of his high school experience.

“These experiences [taught

him] how to better work and communicate

with other people,” and

“that teamwork is needed to achieve

even better results and to have successful

events, both in-person and

virtual ones.” All his extracurricular

activities helped him “to take initiative”

and “organize [his] time

around [many] different time commitments.”

When reflecting on his years as

a Malden High student, Zeng fondly

remembers a select few teachers who

had a truly special impact on him.

Julie Fox, a former Latin teacher at

MHS whom he had for three years,

“impacted [Zeng] in ways that [he]

cannot describe.” He feels “[his]

love of learning originated from her

classroom,” which he considered to

be “[his] home at Malden High.”

Martin Berryman, his AP

chemistry teacher, also left a mark

on Zeng. “He was so supportive

of his students and he encouraged

[them] to think outside the box

by attempting to answer the how

and why questions behind certain

chemical reactions.” He recalled that

“Berryman’s passion for chemistry

was made obvious because he put in

so much effort in his teaching” and

that “[his] class was very intellectually

stimulating.”

Arlene Ceppetelli, the advisor

of the after school peer tutoring

program, was Zeng’s mentor during

high school. Zeng described her as

“kind and positive to all students

and her presence radiated such great

energy.” He felt that he could “[talk]

about everything and anything to

her, whether it was school related or

not.” Ceppetelli always encouraged

him to do his best and cared for

his mental health. “She believed in

[him] at times that even [he] did not

believe in [himself].” Zeng “[looks]

up to her so much and “will be forever

grateful for [her].”

Other teachers who left a

positive impact on Zeng while he

attended MHS were Maggie Giberson,

his AP lang teacher, as well as

Kayla Scheitlin and Gregory Simone.

Giberson “taught [him] how to

be a better student” and taught him

valuable life lessons that he “will

carry with [him] into [his] college

life.” As for Scheitlin and Simone,

they were “the most understanding

teachers that [he] ever encountered

at Malden High,” as they were “two

genuine people who want to see

their students succeed.”

Looking back, Zeng is going to

miss “so many things about Malden

High School,” but most of all the

after school culture, rich classroom

environments and his “field hockey

team who took a chance on [him his]

freshman year.” The team made his

high school experience “so much

easier and [allowed him to meet] an

incredible group of people that all

taught [him] so much about [himself],

the sport itself, and what a

supportive team looks like.”

While looking at colleges, Zeng

knew he “wanted to venture outside

[his] comfort zone more,” as well as

continuing to “[grow his] involvement

in the Greater Boston community.”

The qualities he looked for in

schools included “[the encouragement

of] intersectionality within a

robust student culture,” and school

communities that “[celebrate] the

different identities of its student

population.” He “wanted to hear

students talk passionately about

their interests and see their own

passion drive their motivation,” as

well as “to be surrounded by other

students who can inspire [him] to

think in different ways and to challenge

[his] ideas, giving [him] an

opportunity to grow and reflect.”

In the fall, Zeng will be attending

Tufts University as part of the

Class of 2025. While Tufts was not

initially his top choice, Zeng decided

to commit to the school after seeing

the “countless amount of opportunities”

offered in their community.

After attending their fly-in program,

Voices, he “absolutely fell in love

with the school. It had checked off all

[of his] boxes.” He is not completely

decided, but as of right now plans to

double major in biopsychology and

civics studies with a potential peace

and justice studies track, as well as a

minor in education or Asian American

studies.

As for his future career, he is

”not entirely sure [what he wants

to do]... but [he is] gravitating towards

exploring the education field

in some capacity, [such] as a social

science teacher.” He feels that “as a

teacher, it [would be his] responsibility

to make sure that [his] classroom

is a channel for students to

apply what they are learning with

the real world.” Zeng believes that

“education is at the core of society,

and we need to make sure that educators,

especially [Black, Indigineous,

and person of color] educators,

are at the forefront of the classrooms

because they bring so much valuable

experience that are oftentimes

overlooked.“

“To current high school students,

[Zeng’s] biggest advice

would be to put yourself out there.”

Once you do, opportunities and

doors begin to open for you. “Don’t

be afraid to reach for your dreams

and do not let anyone get in the way

of your own success. If you want to

do something, just do it.“

Zeng wanted to take this opportunity

to “highlight the work

that Ecobility has been doing this

past year during the midst of the

pandemic because [he feels] that

they deserve all the recognition in

the world!” He also wants to give

a “HUGE shoutout to this year’s

Science National Honor Society officers.

Hossam, Juliana, Sarah, and

Krishi - you are all awesome and

thank you for following along this

crazy ride this past year. [He] appreciates

you all so so so much. And

a very special thank you to Mr. Simone,

[the] wonderful SNHS advisor,

because he has always been there

for the club from the start and he

has worked so hard to make SNHS

become so successful.”

As he leaves Malden High to

start a new chapter in his life, Zeng

is “feeling a breath of relief” after

realizing that he had finally made

it. He is excited to begin his studies

at Tufts in the fall and “explore [his]

interests, both old and new ones.”

Photo submitted by Zeng.

Photo submitted by Zeng.

Photo submitted by Zeng.

Photo submitted by Zeng.


The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Profiles

maldenblueandgold.com

11

Salutatorian: Jiaqi Ye

Jiaqi Ye’s school portrait. Photo submitted

by James Valente.

Kaoutar Wakaf

Lead Reporter

Jiaqi Ye, a senior at Malden High

School, graduated at the top of her

class as the salutatorian. Ye will be

starting a new chapter in her life at

UMass Amherst. She will be majoring

in computer science in hopes of

one day becoming a software developer.

In her free time, Ye likes to read

a lot of fantasy and sci-fi. She also

likes to draw, play board games and

card games, and bake. In addition,

Ye likes writing as it helps her relax

after a long day.

Reflecting on her overall high

school experience, Ye thinks “it

was all worth it and definitely a

time [she’ll] look back on fondly”.

She added, “the most memorable

[experiences], [were] the simple

ones: hanging out with friends in

the nearly empty cafeteria as fourth

lunch [came] to an end; walking

out the side door after after-school

activities are done and seeing the

stars already in the sky; talking and

laughing with friends in the big

study”.

Ye feels proud that her hard

work paid off and she is very thankful

for her great teachers, supportive

family, and friends who helped her

get to where she is now. Ye said the

faculty member who had the biggest

impact on her was Paul Marques, a

teacher she had for three years. She

explained that if it weren’t for him

and his classes, she would’ve never

considered computer science as a future

career path. Because Marques’s

classes helped her figure out what

she wants from a career, she is especially

thankful for having him as

a teacher.

At first, Ye didn’t think it matters

whether or not she ended high

school in the top ten, but now she

realizes that it doesn’t just represent

good grades; it also shows dedication

to putting in the effort and also

perseverance. She adds, “Sometimes

[she got] so caught up in the work

that [she forgets] to feel good about

it, so it’s a nice thing to remind [her]

of how far [she has] come and how

lucky [she is].”

Although Ye admitted, “the

most difficult part [of high school]

was finding the inner strength to

keep going since [she] sometimes

felt tired and stressed from school

and personal issues, [she likes] to

think that it all [worked] out in the

end, that there’s going to be lows in

life, but there’ll also be highs”. She

said this sort of mentality helped

[her] get through hard times and

stay optimistic.

Now that Jiaqi has finished

high school she remembers how fast

it all went by, and how as a freshman

and sophomore she would

get lost in the halls. And now, after

what seems like only a minute, she’s

done!

On that account, she advises

underclassmen to “enjoy the journey”

as that is what she has learned

to do over the years, as a high school

student. Ye further states, “[she]

used to be so focused on [her goals]

that [she would] forget to appreciate

what [she] already [has]. If [you are]

always looking at the future, [you

will] never notice the things around

you now. And then, when [you are]

in the future, [you will] still be looking

forward. The present will rush

by in a blink of an eye, so enjoy it

while it lasts, but don’t be sad when

it’s over, since there’ll be more journeys

to come.”

Orator: Jacob Pettigrew

Sandra Rivadeneira

Print Editor-In-Chief

For a long time, Jacob Pettigrew

cared and “had a lot of pride”

about his class rank position. However,

throughout his high school

journey his perspective on his class

ranking, and education as a whole,

has evolved. Pettigrew will be graduating

as the 3rd ranked student,

according to Grade Point Average,

amongst around 400 other students

of the graduating class of 2021.

During his four years at Malden

High, Pettigrew is most proud

of the communities he has built in

and out of school. Communities

such as Super Smash Bros Club or

Hardware Club were “very impactful

for [him] as a student and as a

Jacob Pettigrew and his cat, Hoot. Photo submitted

by Pettigrew.

person in general.”

Social activism clubs such as

Malden Students for Racial Equity

and Feminism Club “activism works

I have been feeling very fulfilled by,

especially as of recent. Something I

have been really focusing on. Something

I want to continue to do, a new

found passion.”

In addition, Pettigrew was an

active member of the Malden High

Band and a member of the varsity

swim team, both for all four years.

Even when at times Pettigrew

may have been leading some groups,

there are people “that come in with

really interesting perspectives or

information. They are interesting

people and [he] can learn a lot from

them.” Through his involvement in

his extracurriculars Pettigrew was

able to “be part of something

larger than [himself] and

work with people [he] may

not get to work with in other

situations.”

A good example is

chemistry teacher Gregory

Simone. While Pettigrew

was never taught chemistry

specifically from Simone, he

did become what Pettigrew

describes as a “a mentor and

a friend.”

Simone has been “really

influential [his] development,

in [his] extracurricular, and

in facilitating spaces where

[Pettigrew] could flourish.”

Pettigrew describes

band director Erin Mazza

as “a constant over [his] last

four years.” As he grew during

the years and got to know

Mazza, [she has] become “a

person [he] can confide in, a person

[he] can converse with, and a person

I trust and really value at the

school.”

Being a Top Ten is a large

achievement, earned over many

hours of studying, hard work and

dedication. Although it got Pettigrew

“to the point where [he is],”

once reflecting over the last four

years he recognizes that he “did

more than I could.” This led to a developing

an new relationship with

his mental health”

The most difficult part of high

school for Pettigrew was the expectations

that he places upon himself.

Through his experience with “the

stresses and anxieties that came

from trying to perform the best that

[he] could and maintain a high academic

standard” has gained

a new perspective on “education

moving forward, and

how [he] will view education

going into college.”

Pettigrew has decided to

take a gap year, “with a focus

on understanding meditations

and breath.” He hopes

that his journey will “take

[him] to a bunch of cool places

around the world, meeting

new people, and learning a lot

about the breath and how it

impacts our body, our health

and our mind,” and the trip

would culminate in studying

in a monastery. After that,

the following school year he

will be attending Tufts University

studying Computer

Engineering. He hopes that

his gap year will allow him

to “[come] to college with a

fresh perspective, and more energy

to dive into studies.”

With his experiences about the

pressure students experience during

their adolescence years, Pettigrew

reminds students to “do what [they]

can, that is good enough.” While he

is proud of this accomplishment,

and many others during his high

school years, it was not always the

easiest and most fun experience. For

Pettigrew, “high school more than

anything has been a place to grow,

whether it be educationally, socially

or physically is up to you but it’s the

best facilitator for that growth.” As

he departs Malden High and begins

an even more exciting part of his

life, he’s taking as many positives

from [his] high school experience as

[he] can.”

Photo submitted by Pettigrew.


12

Profiles

maldenblueandgold.com

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Number 4: Wendy Tan

Krishany Marius

Lead Reporter

Wendy Tan, a hard-working

student at Malden High was

ranked at number 4 in her class.

Tan was shocked that she had been

placed in the top 10. She was happy

and proud of herself because of how

hard she tries in her classes and her

ranking reflects that.

Tan states that “[she] also knew

that placing below top 10 would be a

disappointment to [her].” Although

Number 6:

Michael Shi

Michael Shi’s school portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.

Tan is a diligent student and focuses

on her academics, Tan came to the

realization that when applying for

colleges how important it was to

pursue a passion something that

she loved to do like a hobby, sport,

or talent. Yes, grades do matter but

they’re not much of a necessity that

you need in your life.

“[She] thought the most difficult

part of high school for [her] was

finding the time to do homework,

participate in sports and clubs, hang

out with friends, and get a good

night’s sleep each day,” Tan says.

Balancing everything out in high

school can be complicated, especially

when you’re trying to have

fun while doing it.

Tan felt that her senior year was

quick especially since the pandemic

and COVID-19 had stopped many

things for people, She goes on to say

“It felt like [her] senior year passed

in a blink of an eye!” Since she could

not spend that much time with her

friends as much as she would like to

and spent most of her year learning

remotely.

It also meant spending more

time with her family which they did

not always see things from her perspective

because of how different

their mindset was especially when it

comes to living in a different generation

and having different cultures,

Tan believes that “[they] will always

stick by each other’s sides.”

She would like to give a thank

you to the guidance counselors who

helped her throughout the years,

she states that “[she does not] think

the guidance counselors are thanked

enough, despite working with so

many students, they still managed

to smile each time [she] walked into

their office or talked to them on

Google Meet.”

Even when it came to working

with them, whether it means making

changes to her schedule or helping

her with the college application process,

Tan felt it eased her nerves. She

says “[she] would like to thank [her]

freshman guidance counselor, Ms.

Belowsky, and the guidance counselor

[she] had for three years after

that, Ms. O’Connor.”

She does not know

what she wants to be yet

but she knows that she

wants to help people for

a living, and play a role

in people’s lives that

will make it easier for

them to live better and

happier.

Tan states “being a

teenager is about finding

out who you are as

an individual. Explore

what you like to do and

try not to care about

what others will think

of you, High school is a

different experience and

can be hard for many

people, find friends who

care about you and make

you feel comfortable

with being yourself”

Tan was expecting

the excitement of graduating, what

really surprised her was how much

she already missed it, “As a kid,

[she] remembered how much [she]

wanted to grow up. But now that

[she is] becoming an adult, [she] felt

like clinging to [her] childhood.”

Tan learned the importance

of living in the moment, how fast

things go by and how people warn

you to not let things slip by. Since

COVID vaccines are out now and

the number of cases is decreasing,

Tan plans to spend the summer with

her friends before the fall semester

starts.

Wendy Tan’s school portrait. Photo submitted by

James Valente.

Number 5: Sheilly Patel

Lulu Harding

Head of Sports

Over 400 students in the Class

of 2021, and making it into the

Top 10 isn’t an easy accomplishment.

For Sheilly Patel, being in

the Top 10 of her class “is not just a

number, it is a reflection of all of the

hard work [she has] put into [her]

academics over the past four years

of high school.”

Patel states that “[she feels]

accomplished and confident with

[her] academic abilities right now

and going forward in [her] academic

career.” While she has spent the past

four years working hard in school,

some of the most memorable moments

Patel has had at Malden High

have been during school wide events

like pep rallies, as well as “times that

[she] had with [her] friends during

class time”. She also mentions that

for any current student at Malden

High, they should “really cherish all

the little moments and parts of high

school like walking in the halls with

your friends and having lunch with

them,” because soon enough, they

will be walking out the door starting

a new, exciting chapter in their life.

Patel says that some of her

biggest achievements in high

school have been “everything but

academic.” She has been able to lead

the Ecobility club as their President

over the past two years, and “really

create a name for this club within

the Malden High School and Malden

community”. Additionally,

this year Patel has also been able to

hold the title of Lead Organizer for

Malden High School’s Students For

Racial Equity group, now known as

MaldenSTAND. In all of her years of

high school, “just being able to lead

these groups to a place where they

can make a difference has been [her]

biggest accomplishment.”

Along with these clubs, Patel

has also enjoyed volunteering at the

Immigrant Learning Center as well

as the Peer Tutoring program run by

the Malden Teen Center. She says

that the Immigrant Learning Center

has been a “way to really help [the]

community out and do something

stably during such uncertain times.”

And although her time as a peer

tutor was cut short due to the pandemic,

it had always been a place

that “[she] looked forward to being

a part of every week after school.”

High school has been a long

and continuous journey for Patel.

“There were times [when she] was

at an all time high, and then others

[when she] was very low.” However,

she appreciates her experiences on

both ends of this spectrum because

“the lows taught [her] to appreciate

the highs, and the highs led [her] to

become who [she is] today.”

Furthermore, she explains

how a difficult part of her time at

Malden High has been discovering

who she is as a person, and figuring

out “where [she belongs], what

[she likes], and what [she does] well

to get [her] to where [she is] currently.”

Patel says that she is “not

even close” to fully understanding

herself or exactly what she wants to

do in the future, and “getting started

on this journey has been the most

difficult part of high school.”

With this being said, after

graduating, Patel will be attending

the College of Arts and Sciences at

Boston University as a Biology major.

She hopes that during her time

there, “[she] can really explore [her]

options within the Biology field in

much greater depth, and really find

[her] niche for [her] future career

there.” Additionally, she is looking

forward to becoming more involved

in helping the environment and continuing

to advocate for racial equity

within the larger community that

she will soon be joining.

“As high school comes to an

end for [her], [she is] very excited to

get out and meet new people, and

learn more about the world and the

beautiful city of Boston from a closer

point of view,” Patel explains. “[She

is] also very excited to see what life

has in store for [her] going forward,

and how much [she has] yet to grow

and learn about [herself].”

Sheilly Patel’s school portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.


The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Profiles

maldenblueandgold.com

13

Number 7:

Kenny Luong

Number 8:

Fabrice Brudent

Sandra Li

Managing Editor

Kenny Luong graduates from

the Class of 2021 and leaves

Malden High with gaining valuable

experiences. Even despite ranking at

the top of his class, Luong remains

humble as he does not “quantify

[his] ranking in correlation to [his]

successes as a student.”

Reflecting back on his high

school experience, Luong found that

as an incoming freshman he came

into high school believing that he

“could do anything,” as a result setting

these unrealistic expectations.

However, now that his high school

experience is coming to an end, Luong

has learned to “focus on what

you are passionate about” and that

it is fine to experiment during those

four years because ultimately, what

matters most is to “feel confident in

yourself when the time is right.”

During his time at MHS, Luong

participated in various extracurriculars

including Outdoor and Indoor

Track and Key Club. He found that

one of the more memorable moments

would have to be his volunteering

experience in clubs. Luong

explained that not only do you have

the opportunity to spend time with

your friends, you can also contribute

to some active work.

Leaving MHS, Luong will miss

the diversity that the school encompasses.

He believes that the diver-

sity has enabled him to recognize

the importance in learning from

different perspectives because “we

all have a story to tell” and it is significant

to take into “consideration

situations that we do not think of on

a daily basis.”

In the fall, Luong will be attending

Tufts University. As of right

now, he is leaning towards majoring

in Biology as he took an interest in

science-based classes because Luong

found that with these classes,

there is always a “specific order to

follow” where “you can always

make something out of that order,”

therefore Luong is looking forward

to exploring the field in the future.

Kenny Luong’s school portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.

Carlos Aragon

Managing Editor of Print and

Deisgn

Throughout his high school year,

Fabrice Brudent performed

quite well. However, to him, his

class ranking is really just a number;

he’s not really focused on comparing

himself to others, mostly just “doing

what’s best for [him].” The first

couple of years he was a bit fixated

on it, but he noticed his

rank was quite consistent,

and eventually, he just focused

on performing well.

For him, “being Top 10 is

cool” but that’s all it really

is.

Brudent feels that

his teacher Mr. Berryman

really helped him out,

academically speaking. It

was one of the only classes

he “consistently getting

B’s in, which was really

terrifying to [him].” Berryman

helped him realized

that he should be focused

on content learning a bit

more and less so on the

grade itself, and he had

to go after school for help

consistently. In terms of

his mental health, he felt

that Ms. Alexis and Ms.

Giberson really helped

him due to the fact that in

his English classes, “[he] spent a lot

of time focusing on essay writing”

and wasn’t getting a lot of sleep as

a result. “Those classes really taught

[him] that [he] needs to be looking

at [himself] mentally and as [he]

slept more, [he] saw [his] grades

improve.”

Brudent hasn’t really thought

too far ahead, although he plans on

attending Northeastern and becoming

a nurse later on.

Photo sumbitted by Brudent.

Number 9: Trang

Tranh Ngo

Lauren Mallett

Managing Editor of Print and

Design

Trang Tranh Ngo’s school portrait. Photo submitted

by James Valente.

Trang Tranh Ngo graduates as

number 9 in the class of 2021.

She was a recipient of the POSSE

scholarship but turned it

down to attend Princeton

University. She will double

major in ecology and evolutionary

biology. She hopes to

become a biologist one day

and “learn more about the

natural world as well as finding

ways to protect it.”

Ranking in the top 10

was “a bit of a surprise [to

her] because [she hadn’t]

thought much about where

[she] stands in [her] class after

[her] acceptance to Princeton.”

Ngo was part of the Peer

Tutoring program, Science

National Honors Society,

Arts & Crafts Club, Southeast

Asian Club, and did some

volunteer work outside of

school.

Number

10:

Andrew

Hoang

Andrew Hoang’s school portrait. Photo

submitted by James Valente.


14

Local News

maldenblueandgold.com

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Continued from page 1.

cess. Throughout the entirety of

the production, hosts Jason Ong,

Tivian Nguyen, and Whitney Jean

Baptiste went on an adventure

searching for a missing painting.

It was incredibly comedic and

engaging, with guest appearances

from the CO ‘22 advisor Dan

Jurkowski and Art Coordinator

Tony Giech. According to JV Coordinator

Mayada Giha, the original

script featured a segment featuring

“Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd,

but was scrapped and rewritten

in a day, although “[they] had to

rewrite the script a few times because

ideas kept changing.” For

example, originally, Nedlam was

supposed to steal the painting and

the painting would have been the

CO’22’s funds. Host Whitney Jean

stated that they wanted to “spice

[the show] up” which is what led

to them parodying the famous “I

Want it That Way” scene from the

TV Series Brooklyn 99. Jurkowski

was involved in the bit, and he

stated that he was a bit nervous,

fearing that he would “forget [his

line], and just completely bomb

the skit” although he did end up

having fun with it and was glad

that the crowd loved it as well

In addition to the riveting

story, the quality, production,

and professionalism were amazing.

CO ’22 Vice President Sarah

Oliveira stated that due to COVID

limiting their fundraising opportunities,

“tickets had to be more

expensive than usual.” With this,

Oliveira and Nguyen thought

that they should try and make the

show a bit better and achieve a

“Met Gala look.” They set a budget

and with it, they bought lanterns, a

red carpet, and just did whatever

they could to capture the Met Gala

vibe. Oliveira added that “It was

very much made of spur of the

moment decisions, in an attempt

to capture [our] vision, which [is]

a reinvented JV’s.” Alongside the

decorations, Oliveira was also in

charge of figuring out seating and

ticket arrangements. Confirmation

emails were sent out to get

confirmation numbers, and those

were used to check-in at the door.

Oliveira described the seating as

restaurant-style, where you “come

in, tell [them] how many people,

and [they] seat you where it’s

available.”

Despite technical difficulties

at the start, the show started off

quite well with Gabriella Frois

(who sang in last year’s show)

opening by singing “Mama Knows

Best” by Jessie J. In addition to her

energetic performance and amazing

vocals, the use of lighting in

her act was phenomenal. According

to Nie, they sort of just “played

around with [the lights]” and

looked for whatever fit best for

each act. Factors like brightness,

color, and positioning were all

taken into consideration for each

act.

Next, pianist Donald Ford,

performed “Pure Imagination”,

originally sung by Gene Wilder.

Ford stated that he chose the song

due to its use in a Glee episode

since he felt the moment was

incredibly emotional. At first, he

expressed that it was quite challenging,

to the point where “it

took [him] a day to learn just a

few seconds,” but as time went on

he began to get the hang of it. He

also said that performing up on

the stage reminded him of why he

loves being a pianist, stating that

“quarantine made [him] forget

how it feels to perform, so going

back up felt amazing.” Ford’s act

was driven by the sense of wonder

that the song holds, and the cloudy

Photos by Carlos Aragon and Brandon Wong.


The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Local News

maldenblueandgold.com

15

background projected behind him

only heightened this. In addition

to Ford, both Massimiliano Lam

and Alyssa Littlejohn played classical

music pieces, Rachmaninoff

and Chopin, respectively.

Another notable act was Micaela

Henry singing “Leave Me

Lonely” by Ariana Grande and

Macy Grey. In addition to this,

Henry also performed with the

All’gether One’gether Step Team.

Captain Christine Pierre-Rene

stated that “they wanted to leave

a statement or impact” so they

ended up going with security

guards, which also tied it to the

police brutality protests that went

on last May. Pierre added that this

was the first time the team was

“actively trying to incorporate the

show’s theme into their act.” The

complexity of their performance is

undeniable with the use of lighting,

switching colors, warmth,

and intensity. After Friday’s show,

there was a heartwarming moment

where the captains were given surprise

graduation gifts. Pierre stated

that “[she] was so confused” since

she was ready to walk off after the

act. Traditionally, team captains

get their solo at the end, but Pierre

believed that “[she] didn’t need a

captain’s solo because [she] felt the

statement [they] were making was

bigger than that.” Henry added

that they had a “secret group chat”

to coordinate the moment.

There were a total of four

dance routines throughout the

night, the first one being Leila

Imani dancing to “War of Hearts”

by Ruelle. A bit after, CO ’22 Social

Media Coordinator Lauren Mallett

(who is also our Managing Editor

of Print) danced to “Bring Me To

Life” by Evanescence. The third

was Suiyenah Chen dancing to a

medley featuring “Superlove“ by

Tinashe and “Black Mamba” by

Aespa, among other songs. The

penultimate act was Antonia Bilodeau

dancing to Ember Island’s

cover of “Creep” by Radiohead.

In addition to Frois and

Henry, many other singers flexed

their vocal skills during the show.

Leila Imani performed for a second

time with Christine Dumo,

in a duet singing “Minefields” by

John Legend and Faouzia. Luana

Paniago accompanied not one but

two singers during the show, the

first being Kearah Gomes singing

“Never Enough” by Loren Allred,

and during the final act, Isabella

Geronimo singing “Falling” by

Harry Styles. In addition to this,

Oliveira performed “Put Your

Head on My Shoulder” by Paul

Anka, which she chose due to the

fact that it would highlight the

lower range of her voice. In addition

to this, she wanted to create

a “warm atmosphere” to set the

mood, which she achieved not

only with the song but with the

stage lighting as well.

The return of JV’s really symbolized

the return to normalcy

for Malden High and its students.

For over a year the community

has been stuck at home and just

recently the MHS doors have

opened up. The process has been

slow but it’s likely that the end is

near. Nie stated that “it represents

the school quite highly so [they]

wanted something inspirational,

and to keep the bar high.” Even the

storyline was linked to this idea as

the hosts solving a mystery “represents

us jumping over hurdles.”

Nie added that the ending where

they discovered they found the

wrong painting was meant to signify

that “our obstacles are never

going to end, there’s still gonna be

hurdles, but we can still overcome

them,” which was incredibly poetic.

Photos by Carlos Aragon and Brandon Wong.


16

Local News

maldenblueandgold.com

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Photos by Chaimaa Assli and Krishany Marius.


The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Local News

maldenblueandgold.com

17

Photos by Chaimaa Assli and Krishany Marius.


18

Local News

maldenblueandgold.com

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Community Vigil Honoring

Victims of Anti-Asian Violence

Malden community members brought signs to the community vigil. Photo submitted

by Keren He.

Malden community members brought signs to the community vigil. Photo submitted

by Keren He.

Chaimaa Assli

Lead Reporter

Peter Huang from the Mass Action Senior Council (MASC) gives a speech. Photo submitted by

Keren He.

All across the country, people

have been affected by anti-

Asian hate. On March 16, 2021 there

was a shooting in Atlanta, Georgia

in which eight lives were lost due to

anti-Asian hate. On Friday, March

26th, over 150 people from all over

the community of Malden gathered

for a candle lighting vigil to honor

the victims of the Atlanta Shooting

that targeted Asian American

women.

Many Asian Americans are

afraid to go out alone in fear of being

targeted. Maddie Lam, one of

the lead organizers of the event, said

that it is “scary for [her] to walk [her]

dog or just be outside in general.”

She wanted her voice to be heard

in the Malden community so she

made a post on Facebook on a group

called Malden Neighbors Helping

Neighbors and told people how she

felt. She just wanted the community

to know that “Asian folks are worthy

and that [they are] beautiful and

that [they] deserve love.”

Karen Colon Hayes, a member

of Malden Community Organizing

for Racial Equity (Malden

CORE), reached out to Lam and

proposed the idea of a vigil. Lam

was willing to volunteer and organize

the vigil. She was in very close

coordination with the Greater Malden

Asian American Community

Coalition (GMAACC) and Malden

CORE. Lam said “it would not have

happened if [she] did not have the

mentorship nor the collaboration

with GMAACC.”

At the event,

Lam sang a song

she wrote called

“Moonwomen”

because she

feels that Asian

women have such

a deep connection

to the moon. For

Lam “singing is

a way of saying

to the world that

our voices matter

especially as an

Asian American

woman.” A lot of

her songs center

on self-expression

and full expression

as a way to

“honor not only

[her] ancestors

but the inner

child that is the

artist as well as

being resilient

to the systems

of oppression.”

For her, this song

“came from a

place of really

deep pain and really deep anger

because of systems of oppression.”

Lam stated that these systems of

oppression do not just affect people

who look like her or black people

or undocumented people but they

can impact anyone, they can even

impact white people. “They too

become traumatized from being oppressors.”

The main goal for the vigil

was to create a space for people to

come together to heal and to be in

solidarity against systems of oppression

that impacts not only the

Asian American community but

also many people globally as well.

Lam is “proud of how people came

up and showed up and [she is] really

grateful that people wanted to

show up for the event.”

Hayes is a member of a lot of

community organizations and is a

candidate for the city council. For

this event, she was with Malden

CORE. She wanted to help raise

Lam’s voice and the voices of Asian

American groups here. Hayes explained

that “[her] job was to be

there for [Lam] 100% from beginning

to end.” The main organizers

were Malden CORE and GMAACC

and they reached out to other organizations

like the Arab women’s Association

and the North shore Hispanic

Association and other groups

for support.

Hayes expressed that she

“loved” the event and that she

thought the candle lighting was

beautiful. She said “everybody quietly

came up the steps and placed

them there, that was so moving.”

Hayes said that Lam was her 100%

focus. She made sure Lam was

supported and that she was not

nervous, she was right there so that

she could focus and concentrate on

what she needed to do. Hayes held

a practice session in her backyard

and explained that she was amazed

by her singing. “She brought [her]

to tears in [her] yard and to tears at

the event.”

Keren He, an intern for Urban

Media Arts, attended the candle

lighting vigil as a photographer. She

felt that the event was a very well

organized and well-prepared event.

She thought that “the whole scenery

was beautiful and the music was on

point and the prayer made by pastor

Emily was also on point.” He was

very impressed with the speakers

from Malden High. She also thought

that Mandy Sun gave a very powerful

speech.

Billy Zeng is a Senior at Malden

High, a youth board member

and a youth leader of GMAACC.

GMAACC was looking for youth

representatives to speak at the event

and he agreed to do it. At first, Zeng

was a little hesitant because he was

not sure what would happen at


The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Local News

maldenblueandgold.com

19

Members of the community each lit a candle at the event in honor of the victims.

Photo submitted by Keren He.

the event. He was afraid that there

would be another anti-Asian attack.

Zeng wanted to make a difference

and share his voice which is why he

decided to do the speech.

To Zeng, it was really inspiring

to see the community get together

for the event and he thought that the

“collectiveness has a lot of power to

it.” Zeng has been trying to stay off

of social media because all the posts

and the infographics have been very

bad for his mental health. He tends

to look on the positive side and

he is “super appreciative of [his]

GMAACC community and family.”

He said “organizing with them has

been really great because it really

gave [him] the space to celebrate

[his] Asian American identity” and

going forward he wants to use his

identity to influence community

perspectives and do work in Malden.

Sammi Nie, a Junior at Malden

High and also a member of Malden

High for Racial Equity, gave a

speech at the vigil about her experience

as an Asian American. In her

speech, she said “[they] are fighting

against the force of hate with

the power of love.” She also urged

people to “continue to disrupt the

practices that divide and villainize

[them]” she also wants to remind

everyone to “keep moving forward,

acknowledge that the evils [they]

are experiencing are just a small retaliation

against just the beginning

of a vigorous movement.”

At first, Nie was very nervous

about the event. She did not know

what to write for her speech because

she did not know how to put “[her]

feelings and [her] experience and

[her] history into this little speech.”

With the help of a friend, she was

able to piece everything together.

Nie believes that “justice is on the

precipice.”

Jenny Hsi, a staff member of

GMAACC, thought that the event

went really well. Hsi is actually not

from Malden and this is the first time

she got to see the community members

show up to support this event.

There were people of all ages and

of all racial and ethnic backgrounds

coming together. She thinks that the

two main purposes for the event

were to have an event where people

can come together and be able to

grieve collectively and honor the

victims but also to have the opportunity

to call community members

to action. Hsi said she felt “very

encouraged to see so many people

show up and show their dedication”

and she appreciates all the support

from the Malden community and

them showing up to recognize the

seriousness and severity of this issue.

As a closing address at the vigil,

the GMAACC encouraged people to

keep being aware and to keep committing

to taking action to address

racism in the community. Hsi said

“even as individuals, [people] can

do a lot just by joining forces with

local community groups for example

both GMAACC and Malden

CORE.” The GMAACC continues

to host programs of various kinds

that try to address anti racist issues

including providing support to education

reform efforts. The GMAACC

and Malden CORE are connected

with a group called Malden High

Students for Racial Equity and they

want to provide community based

support for everything they are

doing in the school because they

understand how hard it could be to

push for reform when the system is

not necessarily the most responsive.

The event was co-sponsored

by Asian American Resource

Workshop (AARW), Asian Community

Development Corporation

(ACDC), Asian Task Force Against

Domestic Violence (ATASK), Boston

Chinatown Neighborhood Center

(BCNC), Chinese

Culture Connection

(CCC), Chinese Progressive

Association

(CPA), Greater Boston

Legal Services Asian

Outreach Unit (GBLS),

First Lutheran Church

Malden, First Parish

UUA Church Malden,

Just Us Somerville,

Malden Neighbors

Helping Neighbors

(MNHN), Malden

Police Alternatives

and Accountability

(MPAA), Mass

Senior Action Council

(MASC), Mystic Valley

Progressives, NAACP,

Mystic Valley Branch

and National Asian Pacific

Women’s Forum

- Boston (NAPAWF

Boston).

The event was ended with a drumming piece by Wah Lum. Photo submitted by

Keren He.

Maddie Lam is one of the lead organizers for the event. Photo submitted by

Keren He.

The community watches the drumming by Wah Lum. Photo submitted by Keren

He.

Billy Zeng (left), Enzo Nie (middle), and Mandy Sun (right) were three of the youth speakers at

the vigil. Photo submitted by Keren He.


20

Sports

maldenblueandgold.com

Boys Soccer

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Alexey Mozyaev

Reporter

This year, the Malden High Boys

Soccer team started their soccer

season close to the end of the school

year in April, rather than the usual

start of the season in September.

There have been a lot of changes

to the team this year where some

of the current senior players that

played last year did not return to

play this season due to COVID-19,

family circumstances and busy

work schedules. Head Coach Jeremiah

Smith came in for the season

with “little expectation,” but “taking

each game seriously.” Anything

could have been expected from the

players after a year and a half break.

Some losing their shape, and some

“being a little uncomfortable with

the ball.”

The last season the Boys Soccer

team played was during the fall of

2019. That season in particular was

not a successful year for the team,

as they finished their season with

six wins, 10 losses and two draws

which is an unusual record for the

team compared to their previous

season (fall of 2018), where they

finished record of 10 wins, only five

losses, and three draws, all the while

qualifying for the State Championship

Cup.

This Soccer season has been

different from any other season that

the Soccer team has ever played.

The season is only one month long.

The team can only hold 20 players

instead of 25 players. COVID-19

regulations have been imposed

for the safety of all players on the

field. Heading the ball is no longer

possible, and so is touching the ball

with your hands. Tackling the players

of the opposing team is also not

permitted. There are now a limited

number of players in the wall during

free kicks and masks are to be

worn at all times.

“It was a little challenging to

get accustomed to the regulations in

the beginning,” said Senior Captain

Frederick Correa, “but not impossible.”

In the first two games of

the season, the Soccer team neither

lost nor won. The next three games

looked more successful than the

previous game, and the team won

three games in a row. One of them

was a 6-1 victory over Chelsea High

School.

A long break was only in favor

for the returning players of the team.

Even though it might have seemed

that there was a long gap between

the two seasons and the constant

doubts of whether the soccer season

is happening at all, the team came

back strong, as they took time to

practice and train on their own.

Aman Chhetri, one of the captains

on the team, said that “a lot of

players from the team showed up to

captain practices,” adding that they

always brought intensity and always

put in effort. Chhetri believes

that the reason why the team is

playing so well this year is because

“of [their] communication and relationship

within the field and outside

of it.” Most of the players would always

get together and play “footy”

or just hang out around Malden.

“[They] are not just a team but also

friends that enjoy the beautiful game

of soccer” said Chhetri.

Freshman Donald Anthony Wright (left) with his senior teammate Marckley

Narcisse (right). Photo by Alexey Mozyaev.

Girls Basketball

Lulu Harding

Head of Sports

Even with a shortened season of

only six games this year, Malden

High School’s Girls Varsity Basketball

Team still succeeded to end the

season with a record of 3-3.

This year, the team was led by

junior co-captains Nevaeh Cherilus

and Yasmine Alayan. According to

coach Scott Marino, both captains

“gave everything that they could

possibly give on the court” throughout

the season, and were “leaders

on both offense and defense.” With

Cherilus averaging 14 points per

game and Alayan averaging 12

points, these girls were able to help

lead the team to a successful season.

Alayan stated that “as a captain,

[she] had to check in on players

more, make sure everyone was

feeling good, and talk [to the] girls

through the season.” Given the current

circumstances in the world, one

of the biggest changes for the girls

was adapting to the new schedule

imposed by COVID-19. In previous

years, the team would practice six

days a week, and this practice time

was cut in half to only three days a

week.

“[The team] missed out on a

lot of learning opportunities and

[they] lost a lot of [their] returning

girls, but [the] underclassman who

never played before really came

through, it was just an adjustment,”

explained Alayan.

One underclassman in particular

who really stood out this season

was freshman guard Angelina Colon.

Marino remarked that Colon

“played with confidence and quickly

moved into our starting line-up.”

“[She] had fun, [but] it was

hard being a freshman and playing

for varsity,” Colon explained.

“[Colon] had to push [herself] to be

better because [she] was playing at a

higher level and [she] had to prove

to [everyone] that [she] can play at

varsity level being a freshman.”

Marino also believes that the

most improved player this season

by far was sophomore guard Maritza

Ramos-Perez. He expressed that

“[Ramos-Perez] gained confidence

as the year progressed. She shot the

basketball with accuracy and was

always one of the best players on the

court.” Additionally, senior forward

Kaitlyn Mini “stepped up and was

the team’s leading rebounder.”

Besides having less practice

time, another major adjustment that

the girls had to adapt to this year

was wearing masks. Like any other

sport being played this year, masks

were mandatory to wear during

every practice and game. Although

this took a bit of adjusting, Marino

stated that the girls were able to

quickly “pull through this challenge.”

Colon agrees that wearing a

mask during games was one of the

hardest challenges. She explained

that she adapted to this new adjustment

by “pushing [herself] at

practice,” and while “it was hard

because [she has] asthma...that [did

not] stop [her] from [reaching her]

goal.” On top of this, adapting to

the “different rules and the spacing

[they] had to have between people”

was another factor introduced by

COVID-19, so “[they] had to adapt

to the new changes.”

However, despite these new

COVID-19 protocols, the team was

able to adapt really well. With every

protocol being strictly and successfully

followed, Marino said that “the

girls became an even closer group

given all of the obstacles. Everyone

quickly realized that the game of

basketball was important to play”

despite these “new rules/protocols

in place.” Marino gives a lot of credit

to Malden High School’s trainer Jennifer

Sturtevant and athletic director

Charlie Conefrey in helping to “ease

the anxiety in getting a basketball

season to occur.”

This year, the Girls Varsity

Basketball team was also able to

improve tremendously compared to

last year. Malden averaged 40 points

per game this season, up from the 32

points per game scored the season

prior. On the court, Alayan stated

that everyone really “stepped up

as players offensively,” and “[the]

girls just improved a lot during offseason.”

Colon adds that they were especially

good at working together.

“At first it was hard because [they

did not] really know each other, but

[they] started to realize [that is] what

[they] needed to win.” Coming together

as a team was important this

year, especially with the limitations

and challenges the team faced with

the modified season. As Alayan

sums up, “the team came together

as a family pretty naturally.”

While the season went well

overall, the girls also recognize that

there is always room for improvement.

Alayan expressed that one

thing the team looks to work on for

next year is stronger communication

in the court. “There were too

many times when the court was

silent and we screwed on transitions

on defense that was due to [lack of]

communication.”

Marino brings up something

else that the team tried to address

throughout the season was the lack

of size and rebounding. “Not having

a consistent scorer was a problem

when the team needed a basket

or two down the stretch. While this

was the case, the girls also “learned

how to play with smaller players”

and “really improved their scoring

totals,” leading to their success.

According to Marino, “as a

coach, [he] was very proud of [the]

girls and how they persevered

through new challenges both on

and off the basketball court. [He]

thought that [the] girls were eager

to play, understanding of the new

rules of engagement, and accepting

of new challenges.” Although he

wishes that they could have played

more games and had a complete

season, he believes that the Malden

High School Girls Basketball Program

is “in a position to compete for

a Greater Boston League Championship

and beyond.”

Overall, Marino expressed that

he is “excited that every girls basketball

player in Malden has bought

into being more competitive than

the boys. Exciting times are ahead

for the Malden High School Girls

Basketball Program. All of the credit

goes to the Girls of Malden High

School.”


The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Sports

maldenblueandgold.com

21

Girls Volleyball

Field Hockey

Members of the volleyball team celebrating a good play. Picture taken by Hadjar

Yousfi.

Hadjar Yousfi

Lead Reporter

Earlier last month the much-anticipated

girls volleyball season

began. Due to the current situation

with COVID-19, the experience has

been slightly different for the players.

But overall, the requirements for

the safety of the students are seen as

“reasonable,” by Nyandang Yak, a

sophomore at Malden High School,

who also mentioned that overall,

volleyball has not changed much

because it “[is not] really a contact

Players Corinne Holness and Marla Candido

block a play from the opposing team. Picture

taken by Hadjar Yousfi.

sport.”

Head Coach Dan Jurkowski

mentioned that “there was certainly

an adjustment period” for the players

but they seem used to the changes

by now. As a whole, he assumes

that they are “enjoying the season.”

Though different all the girls seemed

to agree that they were enjoying

it. Corinne Holness, a freshman

who is new to the Malden

High School Volleyball team,

mentioned that the season has

“been really, really good.” Even

though there have been “a lot

of new different things,” for her

to experience here at Malden

High School.

Of course keeping morale

up can be somewhat of an issue

especially since as Isabella

Ivy, a Sophomore, mentioned

they can only “allow so many

people in the gym at one

time.” Jurkowski added that

he “[misses] the fans the most.”

Due to COVID restrictions

“each player only gets one family

member for [their] home

games.”

This of course can disappoint

players, some like Makay-

la Preston, a senior who mentioned

that because of this “[it is] harder to

stay positive, even when [the team

is] down.” Preston also added that

just having each other around is

great because “with the girls on the

sidelines [they are able to] keep each

other up.”

COVID has not stopped the

team from bonding and getting to

know each other more personally.

Meryem Hakkaoui, a sophomore

student, admits that it is a “new

feeling to play with girls [she] never

played with before, especially since

[there are] a lot of freshmen.”

To Hakkaoui it is important

to see how the others

work as a team player, because

that “signifies [to her]

who they are as a person, ”

which is why she and a lot of

the others rely a lot on “practice

times [... to get to] know

each other.”

Currently the team is

winning, which Jurkowski

mentioned “always makes

things more enjoyable.” All

in all the team is just glad

to be back, and are enjoying

each other’s company, and

as Hakkaoui mentioned “especially

during COVID.”

Thankfully for new

players it is easy to adapt

into the team with a group

of girls that, as Preston mentioned,

are “going to treat you like

[you have] been [there] forever.”

Although the season has been cut

down to a short amount of time

Hakkoui hopes that next year when

they come back “[they] can be an

even better team.”

Senior Melissa Tan preparing for a serve.

Picture taken by Hadjar Yousfi.

The Malden High Field Hockey team posing for a photo after their 3-0 victory

over Revere. Photo taken by Julie Yu.

Sandra Rivadeneira

Print Editor in Chief

The field hockey season is in full

swing, the team with a current

score of four wins and zero loses.

Usually a fall season sport, this year

field hockey games take place during

the springtime, after a switch

with high schools sports in accommodation

to how the city adjusts

with COVID-19 guidelines.

During a year where many

students are choosing

to opt out of playing

sports this season, senior

Bonnie Kuang, one

of the field hockey team

captains, explains how

the MIAA guidelines

make her “feel safe

enough to play.” She

sees that the necessary

precautions have “not

affected how much [she

enjoys] the season.”

Senior Elaine

Du, another one of the

team’s captains, has

played on the field

hockey team since her

freshman year. However,

when it came to

the decision of playing

this season, she had to

look at all the logistics.

“Of course, [it is her]

senior year, [she] really wanted the

experience,” Du explained before

making her decision to participate

this season she “wanted to make

sure everything was safe for the

season.”

In addition to having to play

with masks on and socially distant

practices, a field hockey game is

now divided into four quarters

rather than two halves. According to

MIAA regulations, only seven members

of a team can be playing on the

field at a time, a change from what

used to be eleven players on a field

per team. In order to be able control

a breakout if a student were infected

with COVID-19, the field hockey

Senior Bonnie Kuang fending off a Revere Defensive player.

Photo taken by Julie Yu.

team will only play two teams during

their season, Revere and Everett.

Senior Ronald Batista, sees that

the team understands that “without

all of these precautions [they] would

not be able to have the chance to play

this season,” regardless it makes the

experience different.

“[It is] a lot harder to be able to

celebrate with the team after a win.”

Batista explained that the team used

to hug and jump on each other all

Senior Kenny Nguyen running after Revere Defensive

player. Photo taken by Julie Yu.

the time,” however due to not being

able to be in too close of a proximity

to each other, that is not an option.

“COVID has really separated

[them] and [they have not seen]

each other in a long time,” Du said.

While team bonding used to include

pasta parties, Batista shared that

they “[are not] really able to do that

considering the circumstances,”

nevertheless they do their best to

“try to get to know each other in different

ways.”

Kuang agrees that regardless

of the circumstances the team is ”an

amazing group of people who make

a positive mood.” Despite some

hardships in adapting to their new

and limited

ways of

playing and

celebrating,

the field

hockey team

is on a winning

streak

and it is

looking like

an excellent

final season

for the seniors.


22

Sports

maldenblueandgold.com

Tradition Continued:

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Malden vs. Medford Game

Daniel O’Toole

Reporter

After last week’s scrimmage vs

Somerville and Chelsea, it is

time to start playing actual football.

On Saturday, May 8th, the matchup

that was due for Thanksgiving, but

was unfortunately cancelled due to

COVID-19, was held at Macdonald

Stadium. Malden vs Medford is an

all time classic rivalry going back to

the first game being played in 1883.

Only this time around, the game

was not played on Thanksgiving

and rather an overcast afternoon in

May.

In the days leading up to the

game, Malden High Football Head

Coach Steve Freker stated that “[it

has] been a challenging season in

a lot of ways, but the players have

been very diligent in following the

safety and health protocols and are

excited to have any type of a football

season” and added that “[their] season

is short, but it has still be been

a great experience and the best way

for [the] senior players to finish their

careers.”

Unlike the scrimmage from

last week, the game was played out

closer to a traditional football game:

there is a kickoff, punting, penalties,

kicking extra points after a touchdown,

timeouts, actual tackling,

cheerleaders and more aspects that

would separate a regular game from

a scrimmage.

Medford received the opening

kick at the start of the first quarter

that was sent by Malden’s kicker

Ronald Juarez. Both Malden and

Medford had unsuccessful opening

drives on offense, but at 5:29 in the

first quarter Medford would open

the game, scoring with a touchdown

pass followed by a failed 2

point conversion making the score

0-6. Malden’s next drive would start

after a good 20 yard return on the

kickoff by Junior wide receiver/defensive

back Gavin West. However,

the start of the drive did not look

so good after quarterback Shawn

Bartholomew was hit with a tackle

for loss (TFL), but Malden recovered

with a drive filled with a nice passing

game and caped it off by a rushing

touchdown from Senior Captain

running back Giovani Memeus. After

a successful extra point Malden

led 7-6. Medford’s next drive at the

end of the first quarter was quickly

shut down by a great tackle from

Senior Captain linebacker and wide

receiver Moise Fanfan.

When Medford was about to

punt deep in their own territory at

the start of the second quarter, a flag

on Malden had their drive go on for

a little bit longer until the Malden

defense stopped them again and

forced a punt. Unfortunately Malden’s

possession of the ball would

be swift after an interception thrown

by quarterback Bartholomew after

his pass was dropped and tipped up

in the air. Medford capitalized on

this opportunity by completing a 40

yard screen pass and a quick rushing

touchdown followed by another

failed 2 point conversion making the

score 7-12.

On the kickoff after the Medford

touchdown, Medford’s kicker

had done what is called an onside

kick where he would kick the ball

at a weird angle and at a short distance

in hopes of getting the ball

back for Medford’s offense quicker

than normal. Even though this play

is very rarely completed, Medford

pulled it off leaving the Malden

crowd stunned. With five minutes

left until halftime, Medford quickly

drove down the field by completing

a 47 yard deep pass and later with

0:03 left on the clock they scored on

a short touchdown pass in the back

corner of the endzone. Yet again

Medford opted for a 2 point conversion

and it was unsuccessful making

the score 7-18 going into halftime.

Down 7-18 at the start of the

third quarter, Malden knew they

had to score now before the game

got too out of hand to make a comeback

down 11 points. The plan for

the next drive was simple, give the

ball to Memeus. With a mix of power

runs that would set up the playaction

pass, Memeus would run right

at the defenders that were in his

way including a nice truck move for

10 yards and a crucial 12 yard run

on 3rd & 8 to keep the drive alive.

Memeus’ effort would be rewarded

with another rushing touchdown,

his second of the game. Malden

would go with the extra point try after

the touchdown which was good

making the score 14-18.

Medford took the kickoff 20

yards, setting them in a good position

to start their drive. After a TFL by

lineback Fanfan, Medford pulled off

a play that left everybody stunned.

Malden brought good pressure, but

Medford’s quarterback was able to

escape it and started running in the

open field leading to making a few

defenders miss their tackles and

scampering in for a 53 yard rushing

touchdown. Finally trying for the

extra point, Medford had missed the

kick making the score 14-24.

Going into the fourth quarter,

Malden knew they had to act fast in

order to either win the game or send

it into overtime. After a drive that

was stifled by Medford’s defense,

Malden’s defense would quickly

replicate what Medford’s had just

done forcing a three and out after

another TFL by linebacker Fanfan.

Wasting no time on their next drive,

quarterback Bartholomew would

throw a beautiful pass that was

placed right into the hands of Junior

wide receiver Nelson Monosiet.

Malden’s extra point went straight

through the uprights making the

score 21-24. Medford played their

next drive smart by running the ball

and making sure not to go out of

bounds to keep the clock running.

After a 4th down pass deflection by

Senior Captain wide receiver and

defensive back Matthew Bessey,

Malden had only 2:40 left on the

clock to tie the game with a field

goal and send it into overtime or

score a game winning touchdown.

The drive started out good with a

nice underhand flip pass by quarterback

Bartholomew to running back

Memeus for 20 yards. After a couple

of runs and failed pass attempts,

Malden had to try for a 34 yard field

goal to send the game into overtime.

The kick went up and unluckily

sailed left, having the final score be

21-24, Medford wins.

After this crushing defeat in

the first game of the season, Malden

hopes to rebound in their future

games.

Football Scrimmage vs Somerville/Chelsea

Daniel O’Toole

Reporter

It has been a rough year for all

student athletes. Seasons getting

canceled, losing senior players due

to graduation, and even seasons getting

delayed. But finally after being

a little over one year removed from

playing football due to the season

being moved to Fall 2, Malden High

School’s Football team suited up

for a scrimmage this past Saturday,

May 1st, against Somerville and

Chelsea at Macdonald Stadium.

Since this is a scrimmage

against two other teams, the possession

of the ball and who was on the

field was constantly rotating. The offense

would start with the ball on the

50 yard line at 1st & 10. Each team’s

offense would get a couple drives

and then the teams would switch.

A new defense would be brought

out and a new offense would follow

suit.

Malden’s offense would take

some time to warm up with their

first two offensive drives, ending in

an interception by the Somerville

defense and later a fumble that was

recovered by the Somerville defense.

Somerville would then go on

to have two good offensive drives

with one ending in a touchdown but

a failed two point conversion.

The start of the second quarter

had Malden stalling out Chelsea’s

offense which would inspire Malden’s

offense. Malden’s running

back Giovani Memeus, who is one

of the senior captains, would catch

an explosive 49 yard screen pass and

later would cap off the drive with a

1 yard punch into the endzone for

a rushing touchdown. Malden’s

next drive looked promising getting

around the 10 yard line, but a fourth

down sack by Chelsea would halt a

drive that was highlighted by a 15

yard rush by Malden’s other running

back, Mackenley Anasthal and

a 20 yard catch by Malden’s wide

receiver Gavin West.

The third quarter brought

Malden’s defense against Somerville’s

offense. Malden’s defense

would start to resemble the one that

harassed Kansas City Chiefs QB

Patrick Mahomes in this past Super

Bowl with tons of pressure that

would result in a pass deflection

by Malden’s Nelson Monosiet and

Gavin West on a deep ball and a TFL

on the next drive that would end

up shutting down the Somerville

offense. The end of the third quarter

would bring about four drives

of Chelsea against Somerville. It

would seem that Somerville’s offensive

woes would carry on to their

defense with Chelsea getting a 20

yard touchdown pass on their first

offensive drive and following it up

with a one play 50 yard touchdown

pass the very next play.

The start of the fourth quarter

looked better for Somerville with

them forcing a fumble by Chelsea

and recovering it, but Somerville’s

offense would then proceed to

throw an interception to the Chelsea

defense. Chelsea’s offense would receive

the ball back against Malden’s

defense. The drive started with a 20

yard rush by Chelsea and would

provide a little foresight on what

Chelsea’s plan was. Run the ball.

The drive would end in a Chelsea

rushing touchdown on the goaline.

Malden’s defense would then go on

to replicate their defense pressure

from the third quarter to now harass

the Chelsea offense. Chelsea’s drive

looked promising, but with their QB

barely escaping a sack he threw up a

jump ball that Malden’s #18 would

haul in for an interception. Hoping

to get one last offensive drive in,

Chelsea tried going for a deep shot

but it was picked off by Malden’s

Josue Irizarry which would end the

game on a high note for Malden.

With their sights set on their

next match up this Saturday, March

8th, their rival Medford stands in the

way hoping to get revenge on Malden

from the last time they played

which was a 29-0 Malden victory on

Thanksgiving day in 2019.


The Blue and Gold

June 2021

Swim Season Ends

On A High Note

fact that some of the matches were

asynchronous, Giech stated that

“we usually [did not] even know

who won or lost until the next day,

or even week.”

MHS swimmer Tony Giech

performing breaststroke. Photo

taken by Carlos Aragon.

Due to the bizarre nature of

the season, Coach Jessica Bisson

stated that one of their main goals

was simply to have fun and have a

good time. At the beginning of the

season Bisson stated that she was

very nervous at the beginning of the

season due to the fact that “[she was

not] sure how [they] would be able

to work together and do everything

[they] needed to.” With the virtual

format, the seniors who graduated,

the swimmers who could not return

and new recruits were all presented

with challenges that would not be

Carlos Aragon

Managing Editor of Print and

Design

Despite the tumultuous year, the

swim team has managed to

end off the 2021 season quite well,

almost going undefeated, losing to

Hopkinton during their first meet.

It was incredibly challenging due

to the issues presenting themselves

with COVID and the new format.

The format of the season created

many challenges the team had

to overcome. The concept of “vir-

tual meets” really

made getting into

the swim mindset

difficult. According

to Swimmer

Tony Giech, the

virtual meet setting

made it difficult

for him because

“it [did not]

fully replicate the

actual meet environments.”

They

could not see

how the opposite

teams were doing,

which made

the meets much

more challenging.

Due to the

easy to overcome. Despite this, the

season also “gave [them] the opportunity

to try new things [they had

not] done before.” Since there were

more open spaces, it gave them the

opportunity to put swimmers into

events that they would not have

been able to if the opposing team

was there. Bisson stated that “if you

look into the positives that came out

of it, [they] really got to build [their]

technique and [they] really got to

see what everybody could do.”

Captain David Lombardi stat-

MHS swimmer Tony Luu performing butterfly. Photo

taken by Carlos Aragon.

ed that the team did great despite

all of the difficulties of the season.

Even though the sense of racing was

lacking due to the virtual meets, he

said that the team adjusted quite

quickly. With this season being his

last, he stated that it was quite bittersweet

yet he sought to “go out with

a bang.” However, he dislocated his

knee on the third meet of the season.

Despite this, he continued to support

his team from the sidelines and

once he was cleared, he ended up

getting first place in all four of his

events and was named a GBL All-

Star. While Lombardi will not continue

to swim in college, stating that

the “MHS pool is where [he] leaves

[his] cap and goggles to rest” he

added he will definitely remember

his four years at MHS and is glad

that “[he] made [his] mark on MHS

Swimming.”

Sports

maldenblueandgold.com

Golf

Senior Gabriel Matnog watches his teammates at a golf game. Photo taken by

Nathan Dean.

Senior Gabriel Matnog hits a ball off of a tee. Photo taken by Nathan Dean.

23

MHS swimmer Tony Giech performing breaststroke. Photo taken by Carlos

Aragon.

An MHS golfer putts the ball. Photo taken by Nathan Dean.


24

Sports

maldenblueandgold.com

CONGRATULATIONS AND

FAREWELL CLASS OF 2021!

The Blue and Gold wishses you the best of luck.

The Blue and Gold

June 2021

To Julie,

Jennica, and

Sandra: Our

Graduating

Senior Editors

The Blue and Gold Junior Editorial

Staff

To Our Senior Editors,

Any worries that we had with

there only being three editors this

year, were quickly diminished

when we saw the amount of hard

work and dedication you put into

running the newspaper. As a team,

you showed incredible resilience

in overcoming the obstacles that

came our way, whether that be

meeting deadlines or dealing with

a pandemic. We appreciate all the

laughs we shared in class, the late

nights spent editing, and your willingness

to collaborate and work

with us. This year hasn’t been easy,

but Julie, Sandra, and Jennica, you

helped make it all worthwhile. The

Blue and Gold wouldn’t be the same

without you, but over the last few

years, you’ve taught us everything

that we need to know. Thank you

for showing us what it means to be

great leaders and driven journalists.

We wish you all the best in the next

chapter of your lives, we know there

are great things ahead for the three

of you.

With Love,

The Juniors

Check out this years “Meet the

Staff” video on our YouTube channel

by scanning this QR code.

Download the MHS

Sports App!

maldenblueandgold.com

Malden High School

Volume 105 106 Edition 43

February 2020

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