Written by Milo Rossi and conducted by Jack Ross.
Interview with Mr. Joncas, Marketing and Entrepreneurship teacher.
Question: Since there won't be any students in marketing next year, what will happen to the school store?
Answer: We are planning on getting an online store up and running rather than a physical store. School products could be delivered to home or delivered to school to be picked up at a more convenient time. We are still working out transition logistics. There will, however, be a place in school for students to physically see products that they would be buying online and the new school will have a place for this zone.
Question: How come the store has moved locations since a few years ago, and where exactly was it before?
Answer: Simply, where it is now is better placement. The last location was where the weight room is now and having a store under some stairs makes it very hard to see. The new school will have a glass front on the store, which will encourage business.
Question: How come the store isn't open at lunch or any other time than lunch?
Answer: It's difficult to keep the store open, when the few marketing students are in their academic week.
Question: Has the store considered being open more than every other week?
Answer: I do all the sales personally, because the students are busy most of the time, so we physically cannot keep the store open that much.
Question: Will there be a physical store next year? Will there be a place for students to try on cloths?
Answer: Mr. Dillon needs to approve things we want to do with the store. To be honest, this may be our last year with a physical store until perhaps the new school.
Question: How has the store changed over the years?
Answer: The store was once extremely profitable, but that has slowly stopped especially after the flow of students to marketing stopped. The store once housed local vendors selling art and other crafts. This kept parents involved as they could use the store to promote anything they sell.
Question: What steps will be taken to increase sales in the future?
Answer: Going online should help boost sales and will also increase interest in the products. Alumni and people who live far away can also get school merchandise. Being online also allows us to make bulk orders without having to worry about overstocking. Parents are rarely at the school but do want goods, so if they can get it online it opens up a new market.
Interview with Mr. Clement, Assistant Principal
In a previous interview with Mr. Joncas, it was mentioned that there would be a place to try on clothing within the school. He however did not have all the details about the school store so the next person to talk to was Mr. Clement.
Question: Mr. Joncas hinted at a place that will be in the school after the store goes online where students can come try on clothes, in the new school. Where will that be?
Answer: This new shop may be either part of the main office or be in the cafeteria. It is undecided yet.
Question: Where will the physical "fitting room" for school merchandise be next year?
Answer: The physical store would most likely be in Mr. Clement's room next year. There may also be racks that could be wheeled out at lunch or break that would hold merchandise for students to try on.
Question: What will be where the school store is now next year?
Answer: The old store will most likely become office space, but that is not yet "set in stone."
Question: How many years has this process been in the making?
Answer: Its really only been the last few months. It all started in December of last year, late March and early April. It really started to come together thanks to the help of Ms. Barry and Mr. Joncas.
Question: Is there anything else important you would like to add?
Answer: Having a school store is important for school pride and school spirit so it is important to have people wearing Minuteman cloths to represent their connection to our community. The new plans for the store should also help boost sales and really keep the purchases coming. Online is the best and primary part of the new plan, as now most things are digital and not physical as well as it is more convenient.
After an insightful trip to the Cape thanks to The National Park and No Barriers Youth, the Environmental Science class was tasked with applying what they have learned over the 4 days by having their school participate in something to help the environment. The students brainstormed during the following week and had multiple ideas. However, they decided that a competition between shops to see who could collect the most recyclable plastic in a given amount of time would be the best way to involve the whole school in their goal.
On Monday morning, June 5th, student De’shia Tabb announced the competition. The shop would have until Thursday of the same week to collect as much recyclable plastic as they could. The 1st place and 2nd place winners would be treated to an ice cream social on Thursday afternoon at 2. Following the announcements, the environmental students were assigned to a shop and they were to go and explain and answer any question about the contest. When Thursday afternoon came round around the students went to the various shops and picked up the recyclable plastics.
After weighing everything that came in and verifying that the plastics collected were right, the winners were determined. Health came in 3rd place with 7.6 kg. In 2nd place Early Child Care with 10.2Kg. Culinary earned 1st place with 11.4 Kg of recyclable plastics, so Culinary and Early Child Care were awarded with an ice cream social. The Environmental students were frankly surprised by the amount of participation from all the shops. However, this experiment rose a question in their minds: why doesn’t Minuteman recycle plastic already?
For the vast majority of Minuteman students who ride the bus to school, the commute can often be a frustrating experience. Busses arrive at stops early, even at stops where they are scheduled to arrive before six in the morning. Students face stress and sleep loss because of their unpredictable busses.
As Ryan Crooker arrives at his bus stop at about 5:35 in the morning in Lancaster, he cannot be certain that the bus will show up on time. Worse, he fears the small chance that it may not show up at all.
"This year it's been going down the drain, even though it's the same bus driver," Crooker says when talking about the consistency of his bus. "It's very unpredictable." He goes on to explain how his bus will show up close to his scheduled time a few days in a row, and then all the sudden it will arrive extremely early. Crooker's bus is scheduled to arrive at 5:50, while he has said the bus has come as early as 5:35 and as late as 6:10.
Crooker, who wakes up at 5:00 every morning, says that once every couple of months, his bus does not show up at all.
Why? "I know my bus stop is kind of out of the way," Crooker says, as he explains how his bus has to turn onto the street he is on for a short length of time before turning back on to the street it was on before.
To add even more woes to the list of problems, his bus usually arrives at Minuteman at around 6:55, the first bus to arrive at the school, with the exception of the Stowe bus occasionally. This can be unsettling to the students on the bus, whose ride is already just over an hour long. Crooker has stated that he would like his bus to arrive at 7:30 each morning, which is the same time that many other busses from nearby towns arrive.
Those who live closer to Minuteman still face similar troubles as well. Students from Arlington and Waltham face similar difficulties.
"My bus usually comes around 7:00, at worst it'll come at 6:53, and I know that sounds very precise, but it's enough to mess up quite a lot of the schedule." Milo Rossi, who lives in Arlington, said while describing his bus woes. "The biggest problem is that it doesn't wait. I would have no problem if the bus came early and waited until the bus was supposed to be there."
If a student faces the headache of missing their bus that came early, which is not uncommon, that can play as a huge inconvenience for both the student and their parents.
"It's inconvenient for my parents who have to drive me to school, and it takes up a good chunk of their day" Rossi adds. "It's just a hassle, which could be clearly avoided if the bus driver just
waited." Additionally, some students do not have the option of having their parents drive them to school if they miss the bus because they have to leave for work early, or because they have to leave the house before the student does for any other reason, leaving them with no way of getting to school.
Lucy Couet, who is on the same bus as Rossi's, has similar issues. "I have to get up earlier, so I end up losing some sleep." Couet says, whose bus doesn't come on time usually 1-2 times a week. "[The time] just depends day-to-day."
Some students, including Couet, have witnessed students missing the bus. Even though busses have driven past stops without waiting, students have reported that drivers have stopped and waited for students at some stops, but not others.
It would be forgiven for one to think that buses coming to school are where most of the problems are, while buses leaving Minuteman at the end of the day are much more dependable. However, bus problems still await on the ride home.
"[My bus driver] is usually really good about being there in the morning, but after school the wait can vary from 5 minutes to 20 minutes." states Hailie Wentworth, who lives in the out-of-district town of Waltham. The tardiness of the bus has caused some problems for her, including being late for orthodontist’s appointments and being late for babysitting. She also adds that the bus usually comes late about 1-2 times a month, and she was told that he drives the students from Waltham High home first and then drives to Minuteman because the school day ends later.
Even though the undependability of buses has clearly led to a wave of frustration, woes, and stress to students, Minuteman fully expects students to accept such inconveniences. On Minuteman's Transportation and Bus Route page (www.minuteman.org/page/548), the page clearly states, "All students should be at their stop at least 10 minutes ahead of the scheduled pick up time and should wait at least 10 minutes after the scheduled pick up time to report a missing bus." The page also states that all times listed are approximate and are subject to changes. Below is a link to all in-district bus routes along with their scheduled times.
So, is it acceptable for students to face such undependability of buses, while the school does not appear to see it as an issue? For the vast majority of Minuteman students, that answer is a clear no.
Sean Datar is no stranger to SkillsUSA competitions- he has competed 3 times in Related Technical Math, a competition that is a written test. Contestants must demonstrate skills required to solve mathematical problems commonly found in the skilled trades. Even though the math sounds completely in the ordinary, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, Related Technical Math includes many exquisite problems. According to Sean, the most difficult part was “the specific problems”, other than that it quite easy. After going through the immense competition, Datar won gold and has qualified for the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky, where he will compete in the same area. After having the medal placed over his head, a humbling Sean felt nothing more than “Good.”
Unsurprisingly, Sean’s talent to solve such math problems is what he plans to make his career out of. He will go on to study Electrical Engineering at University of Michigan- Ann Arbor were the same insane problems will be the main part of his day to day operations. “What advice do you have for anyone who dares to take on this competition?” he was asked after being enlightened to the world of related technical math. “Make good use of online resources, good night sleep and a good calculator,” said Sean.
Mr. Dean Malerba has been the DECA (Distributive Education Clubs America) organizer since starting at Minuteman four years ago. He has told us that DECA is a professional organization for students whose goal is to provide leadership and career oriented opportunities to develop tomorrow's business leaders. DECA has provided 300,000 in scholarships, provides community service, instills professionalism and students get to compete in a category of their choice. DECA students practice interviews, learn how to be a good test takers, and attend business lectures (last year was at Gillette Stadium). The DECA club helps with many opportunities to help others, with this month's community service focusing on a clothing drive.
Q. How did the clothing drive start?
A. I came up with the idea, Minuteman DECA voted on it and Mr. Dillon approved it.
Q. Who is responsible for it?
A. Each student in Minuteman DECA has a role in the clothes drive. For example, Olivia Cassidy is responsible for the morning announcements, Sean Datar folds the clothes during his lunch to keep the boxes orderly, etc. Also, Design & Visual Communications designed and printed the clothes drive labels.
Q. What has been the track record and how do you measure success?
A. I have made the clothing drive an annual event and this is our second year. I measure success in the following criteria, student involvement, positive public relations for Minuteman DECA and the school, not interfering with other school functions and collecting a impressive amount of cloths.
Q. How does it help Minuteman and others?
A. It helps people in need. The clothing drive is a good team building project for the students, I think it is healthy for young people to get exposure that involves helping people that are less fortunate, it reinforces a positive value system, it portrays Minuteman & Minuteman DECA in a positive light and it is the right thing to do. One of my teachers told me "think globally by acting locally."
Q. Please add any other comments that would make for a good interview
A. My intention is to make Minuteman DECA one the best clubs this school offers and the clothing drive is a part of my larger goal and I want to thank Mr. Dillon, DVC for all their support and the students of Minuteman DECA for another fine year. Always---Bigger & better!
As many graduates of Minuteman High School go on to pursue successful careers or college lives, some individuals still question the legitimacy of Career and Technical education.
Matt Mori graduated from Minuteman in 2016 from Design and Visual Communications. Mori, having clearly taken advantage of his education from Minuteman, is currently studying Graphic Design at Lesley University. He starts the day by walking out of his dorm building, and heads straight to the Lunder Arts Center. "[My shop] has given me such an advantage over the rest of the class because I have better knowledge of the software and how to use it," says Mori. However, it has not been entirely of benefit, saying that shop has "held me back a bit as I still am getting used to doing design work outside of class," stating that it has been difficult having to manage time. Mori plans on designing identities, typefaces, and apparel once he graduates- something he could not have done as effectively if he attended an all-academic school. He also has plans to serve in the armed forces after he gets his degree.
Nate Etienne is also part of the graduating class of 2016. He has clearly gotten a benefit from his shop as well, saying that it has given him a "leg up" in his graphic art compared to others on his campus. Etienne currently studies at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), and plans on becoming a graphic designer and/or a creative director once he graduates.
Okay, so does Minuteman truly prepare students for college and continuing studies?
For Matt Mori and Nate Etienne- that answer is absolutely yes, but they cite challenges and difficulties along the way.
"One thing that is much different is college athletics" Mori says, who runs on Lesley's varsity Cross-Country and Track teams. "It's something I'm very passionate about." He also adds that Minuteman does not have an acapella group, a group which Mori also participates in at Lesley, named 'Harmogeddon'. Lesley also has a lot more resources for tutoring and mental health facilities which he found to be essential last semester.
"You will make mistakes, and have to learn to manage your time" Nate Etienne stressed, while also emphasizing his freedom in picking his own classes and areas of study as an enjoyment.
The sheer amount of time spent in shops has led to a number of people believing that a student must pursue a career in the technical area they majored in. However, every year many students choose to find jobs that had nothing to do with their shop. One of those individuals is Matt Collins, who used to work as a cashier at The Home Depot.
"DVC honestly has had no impact on my job whatsoever." Collins says. When asked why he chose not to pursue a career in design, he spoke about the job outlook as the main reason, citing uncertainty, especially when doing freelance work, the cost of equipment, and varying individual philosophies all as challenges. "It's hard to work on professional audio/visual work when one doesn't have the money to afford any of the Adobe suite." Collins added.
Does this mean that DVC was just a waste of time? To Collins, absolutely not.
"I won't lie that I've learned a lot through my short time in DVC", Collins says, pointing out that he uses his skills in the audio & visual manipulation work that he does. "Honestly I was confused and pressured in high school so I ultimately picked the most personally appealing vocation to be in." Collins added. Additionally, he emphasized that he has made a lot of friends and worked on a lot of neat stuff along the way, but he did not see himself working in graphics design for a living. Collins also added that it was hard for him to work on professional audio and visual work because he could not afford the Adobe creative suite.
When asked if there was anything important he wanted to tell the students at Minuteman, Collins gave a clear answer- "It's what I originally wanted my senior quote to be before it was replaced with something I never said. "Find something to believe in, and find it for yourself. When you do, pass it on to the future." No matter what you do, play it smart and take things easy, one day at a time." '
So why did Minuteman not use Collins' original senior quote? "I honestly don't know." Collins replied. "It was even more confounding because some of my friends submitted pictures as their quotes, but my simple saying was too much? I don't know. Maybe the paper holding my senior quote got lost on its way to whoever published the books." Either way, Collins is glad people know about it now.
Welcome to our new, online student newspaper. We are excited to use this blog to bring you all the Minuteman news.