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Editorial: A look back on 2016-17 school year

The+look+of+the+Rizzo+Corp.+addition+to+the+back+of+the+school%2C+as+of+June+13.
The look of the Rizzo Corp. addition to the back of the school, as of June 13.

The look of the Rizzo Corp. addition to the back of the school, as of June 13.

Staff photo

Staff photo

The look of the Rizzo Corp. addition to the back of the school, as of June 13.


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As the 2016-17 school year draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on what we as a community have accomplished, and what we as a community need to address. Here are our thoughts about the year.

  • Congratulations to valedictorian Sarah Schechter and salutatorian Bradley Fox. Many schools across the country have abolished this recognition because of the nastiness this competition can cause. We should also seriously consider abolishing it, especially in these times of social media and the meanness that it may generate. But until then, we continue to recognize our academic best, and these two are outstanding scholastic representatives of DHS. Good luck to them.
  • Congratulations to our Athletics Department and our many teams this year that competed in the post season and in many cases, won their titles at the conference and/or state level. Cheerleading, wrestling, track, baseball, basketball, soccer, and the list goes on of teams that competed and won in the post season. Chip Salvestrini continues to lead a fine corps of coaches, trainers and student-athletes.
  • Congratulations to Dan Donovan in his first year as principal. Gary Bocaccio brought the school much-needed stability after we saw one principal after another. Hopefully, Donovan will stay for a long time. He has the right personality for a very tough job in that it’s the job of a politician as well as educator and manager. He has many constituencies that he has to serve: students, faculty, staff, parents, the public, the superintendent and the board, and his own management team. That is a lot of personalities and agendas to deal with. So far, he’s kept a steady, calm and pragmatic hand.
  • Congratulations to our many clubs that went on to state and national competition. Of note, DECA, FBLA, Robotics, and Chess. And the Latino Club continues to grow and have a positive impact on the campus. The new Black Lives Matter Club has generated important conversations.
  • We feel mixed about the addition going onto the building because we are such a large campus to begin with. The halls and classrooms will become even more crowded, no matter what the administration says. We realize the expense of building another high school in this day and age is cost-prohibitive. It should have been done 20 years ago. So we have to accept that what’s done is done and our already large footprint on Clapboard Ridge is expanding into our fields. All that said, it looks like Rizzo Corp. is doing a good job in terms of progress. We just wonder how buses and cars are going to get in and out of a campus that already has horrible entrances and exits.
  • We would like to recognize the hard work of custodian Billie Anderson and his crew. It’s amazing, and disgusting at the same time, how we dirty up the school each and every day. We are sloppy with our trash. We are sloppy in the bathrooms. At the end of the day, just look in the courtyard, in the hallways, in the stairwells, in the bathrooms and in the classrooms. How hard is it to clean up after yourself in the cafeteria? Some of us have the lousy and wrong attitude that it’s a custodian’s job to clean up our mess. Every day, though, Anderson and his custodians do an amazing job of cleaning this huge campus and readying it for the next day.
  • From our end, hattersherald.com would like to thank all of the administrators, faculty, staff, coaches and students who helped us in our job of reporting the news of DHS. We would like to thank in particular Dr. Sal Pascarella, Dan Donovan, Meghan Martins, Sterling Miller, Chip Salvestrini, Lauren Miller, Vikki Carlson, Rob Morlock, Shawn O’Brien, Carmela Calafiore, Tom Porcelli, Susan Schullery, Billie Anderson, Jeanette Jakobson, Nancy Golden, and Ana Domingos. These folks, and many others, made our jobs much easier by keeping their doors open for our reporters while helping us to promote our digital platform.
  • Speaking of which, this was our first full year of transforming from print medium to digital medium. Last year we launched the website while publishing a reduced number of print editions. This year, we went all in as a digital platform. We are re-branding as hattersherald.com like other digital news outlets, in the much smaller vein of such platforms as propublica.com, huffingtonpost.com and uproxx.com. It’s been difficult in getting our readership to realize the print platform is gone, despite our many morning announcements and reminders on the Faculty Bulletin. We want our readers to get into the habit of regularly visiting the site, which we regularly update. Our hosting company offers to build us a mobile app, but it’s cost prohibitive right now. If you have ideas on ways to help us accomplish this, drop us a line at [email protected].
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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800
Editorial: A look back on 2016-17 school year