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 BHS Website. We are excited for this opportunity to highlight a broad group of the amazing students at BHS!

Marauder of the Week: Friday, January 14th, 2022

Sami Awad

Sami Awad

An optimistic and conscientious senior, Sami Awad is a fitting Marauder of the Week. His jovial and eager-to-learn personality shines through the Belmont High School community and makes him a model student who embodies the school’s values. Sami’s favorite subjects over the years have been Calculus and Chemistry. He believes that while they seem different, they require the same skills; also, in both cases, his enjoyment of the subject is derived from its complexity. To succeed and gain meaning in these subjects, Sami thinks that it’s vital to form a true understanding of the formulas and theorems rather than simply regurgitating them.

Sami wants to recognize his most impactful teacher at BHS, Ms. Saxena, whom he had for AP Biology in his junior year. Sami says that although many students had trouble learning last year, Ms. Saxena kept pace with the curriculum and created an engaging classroom environment despite the difficulties of online learning. Ms. Saxena also kept students excited to learn by providing new and creative types of assignments.

Outside of the classroom, Sami has been a dedicated alto saxophonist in the BHS marching band since his freshman year, and more recently became an equipment manager for the band. He also serves as an underclassmen mentor program facilitator. However, Sami is most proud of his position as the senior class treasurer. Despite the challenges that the pandemic introduced, he and the other members of student government organized (and are still organizing) a myriad of fun events and activities, with the highlight being raising almost $20,000 for the senior all-night party at the end of the year! In addition to being involved with many BHS extracurriculars, Sami took advantage of quarantine by participating in online self-guided research exploring science and engineering topics through the Remote Experience for Young Engineers and Scientists program.

Sami’s words of wisdom for other BHS students are short and sweet (and especially relevant to seniors): “We only have five months left, have fun!”

By Shivane Pratap

Marauder of the Week: Monday, January 10th, 2022

Sofia Bili Rossi

Sofia Bili Rossi

Meet Sofia Bili Rossi, this week’s Marauder of the Week! Her interests include theater, robotics, and video games. She is especially passionate about theater and takes her role as the set crew chief of the Performing Arts Company very seriously. She is extremely proud of the PAC for getting through the pandemic and killing it in the fall play. Remember the incredible set from The Servant of Two Masters? We have Sofia to thank for that! She says that “although the actors and behind-the-scenes workers do different things, they play equally important roles and work together to create amazing productions.” Sofia considers the PAC her family and will be sad to leave her friends behind. People may see the PAC as “just theater,” but to Sofia and her crew, it’s so much more than that.

Sofia is interested in science and math and is taking computer science and AP Calculus this year. These classes, along with her robotics and set crew experience, have helped her decide she wants to pursue civil engineering. Her favorite teacher “would have to be Mrs. Masterson,” who has been “a huge help” with Sofia’s English Capstone project. 

Sofia feels strongly that people should do what they love instead of spending their lives on things that don’t bring them joy. Her words of wisdom for other BHS students are, “Do what makes you happy, not what others expect you to do. If you’re interested in something even a little bit, try it, because it’s now or never. Treat high school as a way to find out what you like and who you really want to be. Go all in.”

By Katie Brown

Lisa Bili Rossi

Lisa Bili Rossi

Senior Lisa Bili Rossi, an enthusiastic leader and community member, is this week’s Marauder of the Week! Lisa has had a diverse upbringing, moving between French and international schools; Belmont High is the first fully American school that she’s attended. She says that BHS is the best school at which she’s studied, because she appreciates the students’ independence and “everything they’re allowed to do [here].” In her four years at BHS, she has most enjoyed her science and math classes, but she’s also taking AP Art and 3D Printing because she “wanted to try something new” this year. Lisa felt supported by all of her teachers, especially during remote school last year, when online learning came as a challenge to her; as a result, she can’t pick a most influential teacher easily, although she wants to highlight Ms. Block, whom she thought was amazing.

Lisa is an avid member of the Performing Arts Company, having worked in the props crew since freshman year. She says the PAC “take[s] everyone in, regardless of skills,” and was a great community for her even when she didn’t speak English very well. Out of her many achievements within the PAC and within Belmont’s community, Lisa is most proud of “growing the PAC community with [her] leadership role.” Being a props crew chief, she has helped many underclassmen to feel accepted in the PAC and school community. She also appreciates how the PAC “has a lot of LGBTQ+ acceptance,” being both a member of the LGBTQ+ community herself and an active member of the school’s GSA. Lisa is “pretty excited about the actions the GSA is taking” to educate both staff and the general public about LGBTQ+ issues.

Outside of school, Lisa participates in athletic activities for fun, rather than as “something more competitive,” having tried “too many [sports] to list” throughout her life before settling on just enjoying physical activity recreationally. She also finds languages “pretty neat,” having a strong background in a number of them: she speaks English and French fluently, and understands Portuguese as her “second native language.” In school, she currently takes Spanish, but having moved a lot, she has studied many different languages in the past, including Italian, Latin and German.

Lisa’s words of wisdom for other BHS students are poetic and inspirational: “Don’t let the school’s academic expectations crush you, but know that you can rise above what you’ve already achieved.”

By Subi Upadhyay

Marauder of the Week: Friday, December 17th, 2021

Tiffany Hu

Tiffany Hu

For anyone that knows her, Tiffany Hu is an ideal candidate for Marauder of the Week. Her shining intellect and warm temperament are apparent upon a single interaction, whether it be as a peer or as a friend. Tiffany finds herself most captivated by a couple different subjects: English, specifically creative writing, and Math, specifically statistics. When describing the former, Tiffany emphasizes the beauty of words and how, by putting them together, they can create both “heartbreak and joy”. Storytelling has always been an outlet for her because it allows her to feel a sense of belonging. She knows that no matter if she is the only one who sees the words that flow across the paper, they matter and deserve to be heard. As for the latter, Tiffany finds that statistics is the art of confronting real world problems. She sees the beauty in the subject, saying that “unconfined, it touches every realm of information”. Through it, she is able to merge subjects she never thought possible. It is “the key to the unparalleled discovery of data into information”, Tiffany highlights. 

Through her years at Belmont High School, Tiffany has encountered a couple teachers who have made a significant impact on her. Mr. Moresco is one of them, who was the one who sparked Tiffany’s interest in mathematics. He was always enthusiastic, even in her sophomore year, when she had math during the purple mod. The passion he displays for his students’ wellbeing and unique energy make him someone Tiffany strives to be like one day. Another teacher who she admires is Ms. Vultaggio, who pushed Tiffany to pursue her interest in writing. She opened new academic opportunities for her which she never thought possible. Additionally, she is always there for Tiffany when she needs someone to talk to, whether it be about school or something else. 

Outside of school, Tiffany is heavily involved in the Belmont community. Aside from taking part in many volunteer opportunities around town, Tiffany is part of the science team. She is also part of the Belmont Highpoint Newspaper club where she is co-editor. Along with this, she has been recognized for her excellence in her creative writing pieces. Tiffany is most proud of herself for the way she gives back to the community. She feels that Belmont has done so much for her in her most influential years growing up, and so she hopes to return the compassion she was shown. Because of this, Tiffany is extremely passionate about improving literacy and higher education among minorities. She also wants to increase awareness of socioeconomic disparities by encouraging minority youth to break out of the boxes which history has placed them in and provide them with opportunities to pursue their passions. Tiffany encourages underclassmen to take chances in high school: “it’s okay to fail (after all, we are only human) because what’s important is that you have persevered”. You might be surprised by the result of that risk you decide to take.

By: Ani Belorian

Maria Mejia

Maria Mejia

Maria Mejia’s bright mind and kind soul shine through with every interaction, like rays of sunshine on a summer day. Through her years at Belmont High School, she has become someone that many people are proud to call a friend. 

Maria’s favorite subjects include Math and History. In the former, she likes the systematic way that she can solve problems. In the latter, she is interested in learning about different cultures, like how other countries and peoples handle similar situations, and also the impact of the past on today’s world. Some of the most interesting classes that she’s taken at Belmont High School included Physics, which allowed her to look at science in a new light that satisfied her curiosity of the world around her, and every math course she’s taken. Additionally, she takes Social Justice by the Numbers this year, a class which is the best of both worlds in her eyes. It incorporates history with math and data collection. Not only is the class taught by extremely passionate teachers, but the content they teach is very informative and intriguing, leaving one thinking about the issues that we face in today’s world. 

One of the most influential teachers she has had at Belmont High School has been Mr. Goldfine, whom she had junior year in Modern World History. Not only was he an amazing teacher, but he was also very supportive during the remote year, like helping with projects or with understanding something more thoroughly. 

In the Belmont community, Maria is one of the co-presidents of the BHS Yoga Club. There, she facilitates a relaxing environment through yoga and meditation, because “school is stressful enough”. She also took part in the ELL mentoring program over the summer, which she is so grateful to have had the opportunity to do. She helped her “mentee” improve their English, which really hit close to home for her because English wasn’t her first language either. The experience reminded her of the many teachers and people who helped her learn it. 

Maria is most passionate about the law and the justice system. She loves learning about the past and how it has an impact on our daily lives. She is also passionate about learning and achieving a higher education. 

In her down time, Maria enjoys hangouts with friends and skiing. In general, she cherishes doing things that allow her to spend quality time with people. As her words of wisdom for other BHS students, Maria advises people to take advantage of the many art electives offered at the high school. Though many people want to take as many APs as possible to get into competitive schools, it is important to have a class that allows you to release the day-to-day stress. She promises, “you will end up loving it no matter what and this is coming from someone who isn’t even good at art”. We wish Maria the best of luck as she leaves behind Belmont High School and navigates her future!

By: Ani Belorian

Marauder of the Week: Friday, December 10th, 2021

Katie Shea

Katie Shea

Katie Shea, a warm and funny senior with a talent for the performing arts, is this week’s Marauder of the Week! Her favorite subject is history because politics interest her, and learning about “trends of governments and civilizations throughout history” lets her “better understand society today.” Unable to choose a single most influential BHS teacher, Katie provided a list: Ms. Carlivati, who “made math understandable… twice (no small feat)”; Ms. Block, who was always “sweet” and kind; Mr. Berkman, who taught real-life skills in You and the Law; Mr. Abruzzese, who kept Chemistry entertaining by “lighting everything on fire”; Ms. Mastalong, who “put up with” Katie’s seventy-slide-long European History presentation; and Dr. Shea, whose class allows for “deep and engaging discussions” on “meaningful topics.”

The last teacher whom Katie “would like to thank” is Mr. Flam, for leading a program that has given her “space to be creative, learn new skills and make friends.” In addition to taking Advanced Acting and Directing during the school day, Katie is involved in the Performing Arts Company as an extracurricular: she is a captain of the Improv Troupe and recently starred in the fall play, The Servant of Two Masters. She loves being a part of the PAC – she had “so much fun performing” in the play, and was “so proud of the production and the amazing performances” of her castmates. The “relationships that [Katie] build[s]” are very important to her; for that reason, she is most passionate about her friends and family.

Katie’s words of wisdom for other BHS students cannot be overstated: “Try not to stress too much about high school.” (As “someone who wasted too much time stressing,” she understands that this can be easier said than done.) Also, “Try new things”: take classes and try “activities that sound fun (like Improv)! You never know what you might end up enjoying.”

By Claire Svetkey

Colin Shea

Colin Shea

Senior Colin Shea lives up to his Marauder of the Week title. His favorite subject is history, as he enjoys learning about how our world is shaped by those before us: we can learn from the mistakes of the past, as well as build on previous successes. His favorite teacher is Mr. Goldfine, who has taught Colin for two years in both economics and history. Colin likes how Mr. Goldfine uses innovative teaching methods to keep students engaged and make them feel confident.

Outside the classroom, Colin shines in sports. He was chosen as a captain for the coming BHS spring lacrosse season due to his commitment to the sport throughout high school. He also participates in the Belmont hockey program. He feels that he has made great progress as an athlete with the help of his coaches and teammates. On top of his own sports teams, Colin is proud to help with the Belmont Special Olympics program: he assists adults with flag football games on the weekends. Colin loves how sports bring people together to form close friendships. Colin is passionate about inclusivity, and hopes to use his role as a senior to help everyone feel safe and welcome at BHS.

Colin is honored to be Marauder of the Week, and has important advice for other BHS students: “The time at Belmont High School will go quicker than you expect. Do your best to get involved in any way you can whether that’s through clubs or sports. Attend different games for our school and make these four years count.”

By Helena De Figueiredo Valente

Marauder of the Week: Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Chiara Curtin

Chiara Curtin

This week’s Marauder of the Week is Chiara Curtin! Chiara is a passionate senior who enjoys learning about various matters. Chiara’s favorite classes are Creative Writing and Psychology. She likes psychology because “it is interesting to learn why we do specific things.” She also appreciates creative writing because it allows her to “embody things into a character [that] I might not be able to express myself through talking.” The BHS teacher who has had the most influence on Chiara has been Mr. Bruce. He has helped guide Chiara through her “high school experience,” and has helped her with struggles that have affected her inside and outside of school.

Chiara is especially proud of her work with her church. Alongside this, in junior year she was part of the leadership of Comfort club; being a part of Comfort club allowed her to make more friends, something about which she is glad. A value that Chiara holds dear to her heart is that everyone should feel “[i]ncluded, safe, and equal in their environment,” because she thinks that “everyone should be able to have the chance to succeed.”

Chiara’s wise words to all BHS students are, “When you decide to embrace yourself you become the best version of you.”

By Joel Iglesias

Shanta Pai

Olivia Hurtubise

It is our great pleasure to announce this week’s incredible Marauder of the Week, Shanta Pai! Shanta is a dedicated Belmont citizen both in and out of school. Her diverse interests range from her love of the outdoors to her interest in society and culture.

Shanta has been interested in nature since she was young. She is an avid rock climber (she even has her own home rock gym) and is on Central Rock Watertown’s varsity team! She competes in all three types of climbing: bouldering, lead climbing, and speed. Although her favorite type is bouldering, she loves competing all year in each division. In fact, she has been invited to and has competed at Regionals in both bouldering and lead for the past five years. She hopes to continue her journey and keep building amazing friendships. Shanta also encourages everyone to join the BHS rock climbing club for outdoor bouldering trips this spring. Shanta also loves other aspects of the outdoors, such as backpacking and going on adventures in nature. Additionally, she is very passionate about and proud of the work that Climate Action club has done over the past few years. She has helped expand the club and is working on several big projects, such as the upcoming native garden in Belmont. She finds it amazing to see the real changes that the club’s efforts have made, from solar power at the middle and high schools to getting more people to compost.

At school, Shanta is an all-around stellar student with a special affinity for French and psychology. This is her fourth year of taking French at BHS and she finds it fascinating. She loves learning about both the language and different French-speaking cultures around the world. Shanta also really enjoys her psychology class this year because she finds it captivating to learn about the reasoning behind behavior and psychology’s application in daily life. One of Shanta’s favorite BHS teachers is Mr. Moresco, who “makes Calculus actually fun!” Shanta says that he is always energetic and happy to help whenever anyone has questions. In addition, as the Climate Action club’s advisor, he has given a lot of guidance, advice, and project ideas.

Another interest of Shanta’s is music. She plays the bass in Chamber Orchestra and piano on her own. She also loves playing and listening to music by artists including Harry Styles, Madison Beer, and Taylor Swift! She leaves other BHS students with her words of wisdom: “Join lots of clubs and sports early and figure out what you really enjoy doing. Also, try rock climbing!”

By Joyce Gong

Marauder of the Week: Friday, November 19th, 2021

Henry Min

Henry Min

Senior Henry Min, a diligent student passionate about both learning and teaching, is a wonderful choice for Marauder of the Week. He believes that teachers and students share a very special bond, having had the opportunity to teach and learn many subjects over the course of his high school years. In school, his favorite subject is economics, as he “love[s] how the content we learn in class” has “direct links to real-life events.”

Outside of Henry’s academic interests, his primary passion is martial arts – more specifically, taekwondo. He is a fourth degree black belt, and has won gold at the 2019 national championships. His passion for teaching continues with martial arts as well, as he is a USA Taekwondo certified coach and referee. 

Henry has one word of advice for other BHS students: he would like them to “have fun in school and [to] not be afraid to give up when necessary.”

By Subi Upadhyay

Olivia Hurtubise

Olivia Hurtubise

With a vast array of interests and accomplishments, Olivia Hurtubise is an excellent choice for Marauder of the Week. She has two favorite subjects this year: Social Justice, because of its discussions on real and current issues from a fact-based perspective; and Calculus, because of its fun methods of complex problem-solving. Olivia is also happy to give recognition to her most impactful BHS teacher, Ms. Bloom, whom Olivia had for English in both her freshman and junior years. Through Ms. Bloom's guidance, Olivia noticed a significant improvement in her writing abilities. She enjoys talking to Ms. Bloom and praises her as a great teacher and person all-around.

Outside of school, Olivia is involved in an extensive number of rigorous extracurricular activities: she is the co-president of the BHS Feminist club and the costumes crew chief in the Performing Arts Company, she plays rugby, and she works at McLean Hospital. As the costumes crew chief, Olivia leads the costumes crew for all shows in the PAC this year. Overall, Olivia is most proud of being a co-president of the Feminist club since she feels that it is truly something the women of our school need. She says that over the past couple of years, the Feminist club has been an amazing space for girls to support each other and discuss feminist issues that apply to every area of life. Another passion of hers is rugby, where she loves the strong bond between teammates. Olivia believes that rugby is a great environment to learn without harsh judgement; everyone on the team encourages and supports each other.

Olivia’s advice for other BHS students is that they should follow their passions whether or not their usual friends are pursuing them as well. Pursue what makes you happy; if you're interested in something, do it!

By Shivane Pratap

Marauder of the Week: Friday, November 12th, 2021

Ensi Kamberi

Ensi Kamberi

Senior Ensi Kamberi is the epitome of a hardworking Belmont High School student. Ensi is most interested in the subject of mathematics, especially Geometry which she is taking this year. Her Algebra 1 teacher, Mr. Moresco, has been especially influential in her time at Belmont High School. In fact, he was the one who kindled Ensi’s interest in the subject which she is now so fond of. Over the summer, Ensi volunteered at a summer camp, where she made connections with others and did her part to contribute to the community. Additionally, Ensi is passionate about the art of music. Ensi is Albanian, a component of her identity which she believes she would not be the same without. As her words of advice to underclassmen, Ensi kept it short and sweet (and very wise): Enjoy the ride.

By: Ani Belorian

Viktor Insanic

Viktor Insanic

Senior Viktor Insanic, an athlete and humanitarian with an interest in the sciences, is a clear candidate for Marauder of the Week. His favorite school subjects are anatomy, biology and chemistry, as he is “definitely a science and math person” and has “always really enjoyed learning about the sciences.” Specifically, a favorite class of his was AP Biology with Ms. Saxena, whom he felt made the class “interesting and engaging” even during remote learning. Viktor plans on continuing to study the sciences in college: he wants to major in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry.

After school, Viktor takes part in many diverse extracurriculars. He plays three varsity sports at BHS – football, rugby and wrestling – all of which he has played since his freshman year. In football, he received the Coach’s Award as a sophomore and the Unsung Hero Award as a junior. He has also played rugby outside of BHS, on a U19 team supported by the New England Freejacks; he traveled with that team to Washington, D.C. for a game. Viktor takes pride in being on the rugby team, as he “love[s] the sport” and believes that “the team has great chemistry and an amazing attitude.” In addition to his impressive athletic career, Viktor has been on the robotics team since his freshman year, and is now an engineering division lead. This past summer, he also began “co-leading” a team of high schoolers with his cousin Enna Huseinovic, a senior at Winchester High School, to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; they’re currently preparing for a seven-week-long fundraiser that will happen in early 2022. Fittingly, Viktor says that he is “most passionate about helping others.” Although he feels that it can be “tough to find opportunities” to help in a “meaningful way,” both because of the pandemic and because he’s still in high school, he plans to engage in service “on a larger scale” sometime in the future.

Viktor’s words of wisdom for other BHS students are to put “all of your effort” into every task you perform, “no matter how mundane or repulsive it may seem.”

By Claire Svetkey

Marauder of the Week: Friday, November 5th, 2021

Cormac Minarovich

Cormac Minarovich

Cormac Minarovich, a senior with a variety of interests, is our Marauder of the Week this week. He has always enjoyed classes in both the Science and History departments, with biology being a special interest of his. This year in particular, AP Environmental Science and Neurobiology have been especially interesting to him. He says that “APES is very relevant to our time with the issue of climate change,” while he likes Neurobiology because it is “fascinating to learn how the brain works.” Although he cannot choose a single class that was most influential to his time at BHS, he says that if he had to pick one most influential teacher, it would be Ms. Williams. He had Ms. Williams for Chemistry sophomore year, as well as this year for APES and Neurobiology. He says that Ms. Williams “always has a way of making even the most boring concepts seem interesting.”

Outside of school, Cormac is a member of the hiking club and the history club, and enjoys hiking in New Hampshire and biking in his free time. Some words of wisdom he would like to share with other BHS students are, “Challenge yourself in high school, but also leave some time to be you.”

By Subi Upadhyay

Marauder of the Week: Friday, October 29th, 2021

Hamza Masoud

Hamza Masoud

This week’s Marauder of the week is senior Hamza Masoud. Hamza and I chose to speak in our new school’s library; its bustling, student-centered environment seemed fitting for an interview with someone so involved in the Belmont community. Hamza is a proud and active member of the Model UN, mock trial and TEDx clubs at BHS. He also speaks and teaches at the middle school for Model UN, and spends his summers tutoring. On top of that, he is the senior class president. “I really like student government,” he said. “Last year was definitely a challenging year for everyone, so I think it was interesting to be a part of the student government” in that difficult situation. He added that this year “we can change the school since school is still being defined” both in the new building and after remote learning, and “it’s fun having an influence on that.”

Hamza’s favorite school subjects are statistics, economics and mathematics. He finds them both fun and useful in the real world. His favorite and most influential class was his freshman year Latin class: much of the content was storytelling, which he found interesting and entertaining. While Hamza isn’t entirely sure what he’ll study in college, he’s considering classes related to government. 

Hamza’s words of wisdom for other BHS students are that you should partake in the things that you truly enjoy. Finding what you love when given countless opportunities to discover yourself is one of the most exciting aspects of high school. Hamza advises against doing extracurriculars just for the sake of doing extracurriculars. Instead, he says, “Do one or two things that you really enjoy, and do them well.”

By Tara Powell

Samantha Peterson

Samantha Peterson

Samantha Peterson, a strong student focused on the sciences, is a great choice for Marauder of the Week! The subject that most interests her is science in general, as she wants to go into the medical field as a profession. She also loves doing experiments and labs. Fittingly, the two teachers whom Samantha calls her most influential are both science teachers: Ms. Chen and Ms. Lewis. Samantha’s passion for science extends outside of the classroom – she is proud to have received two awards from the science community.

After school, Samantha is involved in the BHS Christian club. Additionally, she loves helping animals, cooking, and gardening. Her words of wisdom to other BHS students are to never turn down opportunities, as “you will gain so much from them.”

 By James Sandler

Marauder of the Week: Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Maya Rodriguez-Clark

Maya Rodriguez-Clark

This week's Marauder of the Week is Maya Rodriguez-Clark, a multi talented senior with many passions and achievements. One of Maya's biggest passions (and talents!) is running track. She's been a member of the BHS Girls Varsity Track Team for four years and qualified for states in two different categories (100 meter relay and long jump). She's especially grateful for the great friendships she has made and the support her team has shown her. The camaraderie she's experienced as part of the team is the reason why she recommends track to others. Maya's talents extend to the arts as well. One of her pieces was selected to be displayed in a gallery at UMass Dartmouth. She also received an honorable mention from Katherine Clark (yes, that Katherine Clark, our district representative!) in a Congressional Art Competition. Maya says that her most influential teacher throughout high school has been Mr. Milowsky (Milo), her drawing and painting teacher. His effort to create a bond between students in his art classes as well as his help with her growth as an artist and as a person throughout the pandemic, makes Milo stand out to her. Maya also feels passionate about history because “there are so many connections you can make as to why things work the way they do today”. Immigration rights and granting asylum to those who seek it are both important issues to her. Maya, herself an immigrant, would like others to know that people rarely want to leave their home country. “When they do (leave) it is because they feel forced to do so” and she thinks “the US should play a bigger role in helping people get the security they need”. While this article could be many pages long, I'll wrap up by sharing Maya’s words of wisdom that she would like to pass along to other Belmont High Schoolers: “If an assignment is due in a week, start it the day it is assigned.” Also, “join track!!”

Roger Hauck

Roger Hauck

Senior Roger Hauck is an individual whose many commendable characteristics make him an excellent candidate for this week’s Marauder of the Week. Roger is most interested in the subject of Psychology, which he defines as the study of the mind and behavior. He believes that these two factors are the most pivotal in suffering. He wants to explore Psychology so that he can discover ways to reduce suffering in people. In fact, two of the things he is very passionate about are happiness and suffering. One of the most influential teachers that Roger has come across in his years at BHS is Ms. Shah. She always pushed him, but he always knew that she truly cared. Outside of school, Roger takes karate lessons, but he is also leader of a club here at the high school. Roger runs the Anxiety Master Club, where he is focused on helping people create better habits and a more positive outlook through group discussions by talking through accountability, inspiration, and advice. He wanted to mention that if anyone is at all interested in the club, they should contact him at his school email: rhauck22@belmontschools.net

Over the spring and summer of 2020, Roger took part in Belmont Free Lessons, a student run organization that provided classes to students in the Belmont community. He helped manage the organization beside fellow students Derek Chen, Alice Liu, Kathy Sui, and Jason Tang. He also taught some art classes to elementary and middle school aged kids. His position as both a role model and source of happiness for both the parents and children is something that he is incredibly proud of.

As a final message, Roger wants all those underclassmen reading to know that although he may seem perfect on this piece of paper, he is just like them. He has failed many times, and continues to fail, but he sees these failures as outlets for growth. He believes that every single student in Belmont High School has the ability to push past failure and grow from it just as he has. From his life experiences, he has seen that “a path of effort usually brings more happiness than a path of idleness”. Lastly, Roger urges us all to, “Eat bitter, taste sweet”. Work hard, and you’ll reap the reward. 

By: Ani Belorian

Marauder of the Week: Friday, June 11, 2021

Lot Bates

Lot (middle) with his piano trio

Lot (middle) with his piano trio

This week’s Marauder of the Week is junior Lot Bates, a passionate musician and linguaphile. His favorite class is Chinese with Ms. Gu. At an early age, Lot gained “a profound respect for Chinese language and culture” from Chinese tenants who lived in his house; he came to see Chinese as “one of the most beautiful languages.” Ms. Gu has been very influential to Lot – he calls her “a very kind human being” who gave him “motivation and resources to continue learning what [he] enjoy[s].” Lot also mentioned Ms. Melnikoff, the BHS community service director, who has helped him understand both what a “selfless person looks like” and how he can effectively help his community.

Lot enjoys playing cello in and out of BHS. At school, Lot is part of the Chamber Orchestra. Outside of school, he plays in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and the ChamberMusicLab at Rivers School Conservatory. Along with his friend Gaeun Lee, a pianist, he will play Shostakovich’s “Trio No. 2” and Brahms’s “Trio No. 1.” His love for music also inspired him to mentor younger students through Belmont’s Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter; he will serve as the chapter’s secretary next year. Lot used to be on the boys’ cross country and track teams, and could run a mile in “4:47,” but he “discontinue[d]'' his running to focus on music and academics. Additionally, he does community service with the Belmontian club – this school year he served as its treasurer, and as a senior he will be its co-president – and earned a gold President’s Volunteer Service Award last year. Another of Lot’s many passions is cooking. He likes experimenting with “different tastes and cultural culinary specialties,” and has made dishes including Kimchi, Phô, and Korean hotpot. Still, he always returns to his favorite baked good: “Banana bread.”

Lot’s advice for other BHS students is that “the teachers at BHS really support you, and if you show them your interest… they are bound to reciprocate [with] their joy of teaching you.” Lot finds it important to be kind, because, in his words, “[I]t makes every environment I am in feel more supportive. I hope everyone can be kind and accepting.”

By Joel Iglesias

Marauder of the Week: Friday, May 28, 2021

Kayla Kiely

Kayla Kiely

Junior Kayla Kiely, a devoted athlete, is a deserving candidate for Marauder of the Week. Her favorite school subjects are science and history, as both involve “identifying problems and trying to find solutions.” She says that most of her teachers have “had a positive impact” on her, especially teachers who taught subjects that she “previously thought [she] didn’t like” but came to enjoy through their teaching. She also specifically complimented Ms. Fraser, her Spanish teacher: although Spanish may not have “been the easiest class” for Kayla, there was “never a dull moment,” and Kayla “always felt comfortable in [Ms. Fraser’s] classroom.”

When asked about her extracurriculars, Kayla enthusiastically mentioned rugby. (Questions about after school activities, sources of pride at BHS and in the community, and passions were all answered with, “Rugby,” so clearly it is well worth highlighting!) Additionally, she loves spending time with friends and family.

Kayla’s words of wisdom are very on-brand: “Join Rugby,” because “it will provide you with an amazing, unbeatable community,” and “you will not regret it.”

By Claire Svetkey

(Note: in the picture, Kayla is the one on the bottom.)