Marauder of the Week

Each week, members of the staff nominate 2 seniors for the spotlight, for outstanding accomplishments ranging from citizenship to extracurricular activities to scholastic. Our own Highpoint school newspaper staff profiles these students, and the interviews are published in the Belmont Citizen-Herald and posted on the bulletin board by the main office. We are excited for this opportunity to highlight a broad group of the amazing students at BHS!

Marauder of the Week: Friday, November 6, 2020

Alex Fick

Senior Alex Fick is a person of many talents and strengths, whose respectful and intelligent demeanor is evident through any interaction with him. Although he likes many different subjects, he has a special interest in math and the sciences. He believes that they play an essential role in securing a successful future, whether it be for himself or for society as a whole. Additionally, he appreciates the focus on logic and the ability to apply the concepts to problem-solving. Alex has admiration for all of his teachers, but with his affinity toward math and science, he says that Mr. Abruzzese and Mr. Delorio were extremely important in the development of his curiosity for their subjects. Their classes were always fun and enjoyable, and they both made sure that they connected the topics learned in class to broader ideas. Mr. Delorio’s Calculus class was Alex’s favorite class in high school, because of the great community and the teacher who made sure everyone was having a good time (despite the looming, ever-present danger of potential pop quizzes). 

To keep himself busy, Alex plays many different sports, including baseball, indoor track, and ultimate frisbee. He likes the way that sports allow him to destress and put his whole focus into doing something he loves. Alex is also a member of the Lights Crew in the PAC, and the Clarinet Section Leader in Marching Band. Additionally, he has participated in student government during his sophomore, junior, and senior years. This year, he is the student advisor to the school committee and the assistant treasurer. Last but not least, he has led the Student Activist Club for the past two years: he was Vice President in his junior year and is President this year.

Alex credits much of who he is today to being named the Grand Prize Winner of the MassDOT video contest in sophomore year. This experience sparked his love of photography, which has only grown over the years. Along with his passion for photography, Alex is determined to always find new perspectives in life, no matter what he faces, or what challenges arise. He wants to be able to see things from every angle, just as he does in his photography.

Alex’s advice to other BHS students is to make the most of the time that they have. “Before you even get the chance to take a deep breath, you will be a senior,” he says; so “if there is anything you want to do, whether it's to reach out to someone you haven't before or pick up a new hobby, just do it. There's no harm in trying something new; there's always a chance at a new passion or new friendship or even just an understanding of a challenging physics concept. Put aside your hesitation and uncertainty, and just do it.”

By Ani Belorian

Preston Jackson-Stephens

Senior Preston Jackson-Stephens, a star athlete passionate about educating the community on the path to ending racial inequality, is a clear choice for Marauder of the Week. His favorite school subject is Psychology – he plans to major in Psychology in college, so he can “acquire the knowledge and skills” necessary to “help and understand” people – but he also enjoys his Science Ethics class, which covers a variety of relevant topics that spark “entertaining” class discussions. Ms. Shea, who taught his sophomore year American Studies class, was his favorite teacher in his time at BHS because she “engaged her students with her passion”; she always encouraged Preston to voice his opinions in class and “let [him] know that [his] voice would be heard.”

Preston’s athletic achievements at BHS are numerous: he is the captain of the varsity football and basketball teams, and additionally participates in varsity outdoor track. His talent for sports extends to video games as well; he claims to be “the best in the Belmont community” at NBA 2K and NFL Madden. (If anyone disagrees with this assertion, he encourages them to add his gamertag on PS4, so they can “settle it out.”)

However, when asked what he was most proud of, at BHS and as a part of the Belmont community, Preston unequivocally pointed to his involvement in “events that help advocate for the fight against racism.” Last spring, shortly after the death of George Floyd, Preston and a BHS alumnus organized a peaceful protest, during which Preston gave a speech about how important it is that we as a community “educate ourselves and have the difficult conversations” in order to “move forward in the process of ending racism.” He also participated in a video organized by two students from the BHS class of 2020, which encouraged the Belmont community to speak up about racial inequality. He feels that these actions demonstrated his leadership both to himself and to the community, and showed that he wants to “make a difference in this world” and “have an impact on a lot of people’s lives.” Preston believes he can “effect change” in this way because he “passed the first step to changing other people, which is being willing to change [your]self.”  As Preston says, “I am a young black man [who] has to live life a bit differently than everyone else due to systemic racism and police brutality.” He wants people to know that nothing can deter him in his fight “for the black community, change in our system, and… change [in] individuals.”

Preston’s words of wisdom for other BHS students reflect his level of determination: “Hard work is a choice. You are either willing or not willing” to put in the effort; therefore, it is important to evaluate your choices carefully to make sure that you “did what was best for you.”

By Claire Svetkey

Marauder of the Week: Friday, October 30, 2020

Crystal Huang

An exceptional student involved in and passionate about the community, Crystal Huang is undoubtedly deserving of the title of the Marauder of the Week.

An accomplished student, Crystal enjoys all subjects at school, but she stated that AP Psychology, a class she’s taking this year, fascinates her the most. Crystal explains that it’s “interesting to examine the human mind and behavior through varieties of perspectives that covered biology to society and culture.” When asked which teacher or class has been the most influential to her, Crystal said that she honestly cannot pick a single class or teacher, as each class she has taken and every teacher she has had has shaped her into who she is today.

Outside of school, Crystal is a member of NEC youth choruses and the BHS Senior A Capella group, as well as the co-founder of the BHS Fencing Club. She explained that she created the club with “hopes of creating a community for fencers and introducing the support to the school.” Furthermore, last year, the team advanced to the Massachusetts High School All-State Fencing Championship half a year early! As for her passions, Crystal says that she’s “always seeking new ways that [she] could contribute through connecting different groups of people,” in order to form one big community. From this, it’s no surprise that Crystal is most proud of the work she did last summer when she visited China, where she and her peers rearranged four folk songs into children’s chorus versions and recorded piano accompaniments for local schools. Crystal described her experience, recalling that she first got the idea when “[she] came across folk songs in rural Southwest areas of China that were disappearing due to lack of transcription and musical training in these areas.” The result of the effort and dedication that Crystal and her peers put in was extremely satisfying to them, as they were able to witness children with inadequate musical education learn to sing melodies that they were familiar with while also preserving the cultural heritage. In addition to this, Crystal proved her passion for helping the community once again, when amid the COVID-19 outbreak, she collected and distributed around 400 masks in April and May for high school food service workers in the towns of Belmont, Cambridge, and Watertown. Crystal explains that she organized the PPE donation to ensure the workers could safely deliver school lunch to families in need, for she “realized that apart from hospital workers and vulnerable groups, there is another group of people that face risks in exposure in the pandemic: school food service workers.” 

As words of advice to current and future Belmont High School students, Crystal encourages everyone to “[not] be afraid to break the norms and jump out of the box and be true to yourself,” reminding us all that life is about taking risks in order to fully embrace who you are.

By Tiffany Hu

Kathy Buckett

Meet Katherine Buckett, one of Belmont High School’s first Marauders of the Week in the 2020-2021 school year. Katherine is the epitome of a Marauder of the Week: as shown by her many activities and accomplishments.  She cares deeply about the well-being of others and contributes greatly to the school community.

As a dedicated student and member of the wider Belmont community, Katherine’s name is definitely one to remember. Although she has excelled in many ways, she believes her greatest achievement to be starting her own club at BHS and keeping it running for close to three years! She is the founder and leader of the American Sign Language Club, and also does related volunteer work throughout the entire year. Another of Katherine’s interests is costume design: she is the costumes crew chief in the BHS Performing Arts Company. In addition to contributing to the school community through these activities, during the summer Katherine dedicated her time to helping out in classrooms both in person and virtually.

Katherine has a strong interest in the sciences, and her favorite class is Psychology; she finds the subject fascinating, and enjoys learning about it. Her most influential teacher is Ms. Lewis, her junior year Biology teacher. Katherine credits Ms. Lewis with emphasizing the importance of considering the needs of others, while simultaneously minimizing stress during Katherine’s junior year.

Outside of school, Katherine feels very passionate about equal rights, particularly fundamental human rights, and she tries to apply these concepts when approaching and helping others.

Katherine Buckett is truly an ideal Marauder of the Week, and BHS is proud to call her a student. One piece of advice that Katherine would like to share with other BHS students is: “Never be afraid to ask for help, it can be scary but it always leads to the best outcome.”

By Joyce Gong