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, February 12, 2021

Erika Carneiro

Erika Carneiro

Senior Erika Carneiro is an exuberant presence in many facets of the Belmont community. She is interested in Anatomy and Physiology, because she hopes to one day become a nurse. However, a class that was very influential in her high school career was Ms. Pasternak’s Modern World History class, which enabled Erika to learn many new concepts that she still ponders to this day. Erika is heavily involved in sports at BHS. She has been the manager for the girl’s basketball teams since her freshman year, and started playing rugby sophomore year. During her first year of playing rugby, she received a junior varsity sportsmanship award. However, Erika’s responsibilities are not limited to sports: she also works at CVS and prides herself on her long commitment to her position there. In her free time, Erika watches The Bachelor and The Bachelorette religiously. She is passionate about the show and dreams of hosting at least one episode after current host Chris Harrison has retired.

Erika advises other BHS students to take care of their mental health, as it is a vital component of life. If the pressure of school gets to be too much, she encourages taking naps as frequently as necessary.

By Ani Belorian

Marauder of the Week: Friday, February 5, 2021

Camden Johnson

Camden Johnson

Camden Johnson, a kind, motivated senior with a variety of interests, embodies all the qualities of a model Marauder. As he hopes to pursue a career in environmental chemistry, the school subjects that he enjoys most are Chemistry and Environmental Science. In a similar vein, his most influential teacher at BHS was Mr. A, his chemistry teacher, whose “enthusiasm” fostered Camden’s love for the subject.

Camden participates in a wide range of after school activities: he is the Lights Crew chief in the BHS Performing Arts Company; he is in the drumline in marching band and plays drums in the Jazz Ensemble; he is a member of both the National Honor Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society; and he mentors young musicians through Tri-M. Asked about his passions, Camden gave a list that reflects his myriad extracurriculars as well as a few other interests: lighting design, jazz drums, classical cello, chemistry, environmental science, cooking, and bread and cheese. Love for bread and cheese notwithstanding, he is most proud of the “amazing music and theater communities” at BHS, which “bring such high-quality music and theater to Belmont” and create countless “opportunities for younger students.”

Camden’s words of wisdom provide a valuable perspective on high school life: “Don’t forget to savor every moment you have with your friends,” because time flies, and “by the end” you’ll ask yourself, “Who are you kidding? Do you have any idea how fast you were going?”

By Claire Svetkey

Tilly Hamer

Tilly Hamer

This week’s Marauder of the Week is senior Tilly Hamer, a skilled athlete “passionate about helping people” through volunteer work. Her favorite school subjects are the sciences, because of their “practicality” and application to the real world, and history, which has interested her since she read the Horrible Histories stories in elementary school. The teacher she names as her most influential is Mr. Dunn, who coached her on the cross country team for two years before his retirement; he “was always telling” the team about his “crazy adventures,” and “pushing [them] to work [their] hardest.”

In addition to cross country – she was the co-captain of the varsity team this fall – Tilly is on the varsity indoor track and rugby teams. She has received several awards for her efforts: a Middlesex League All-Star award for cross country; two coach’s awards, one for cross country and one for indoor track; and a sportsmanship award for cross country. Tilly is also the co-president of the BHS Belmontian Club, and a talented musician who was in school orchestras from third through eleventh grades and has played piano since the age of five. Her work on the Belmontian Club’s Hunger Banquet and Hot Pink Committees is her proudest achievement at BHS: the Hunger Banquet Committee revived the hunger banquet event at Diversity Day, which “spread awareness about poverty globally and locally”; and the Hot Pink Committee raised “thousands of dollars” for breast cancer awareness and research.

Tilly’s succinct advice for other BHS students is that they shouldn’t “forget to have fun,” or let the academic stress of high school distract from “mak[ing] good memories too.”

By Claire Svetkey

Marauder of the Week: Friday, January 29, 2021

Laura Jansen

Laura Jansen

Laura Jansen, a senior passionate about playing the violin and learning about the brain, is this week’s Marauder of the Week. Due to her interest in the brain – in particular, its “plasticity” and “ability to adapt to changes” fascinates her – Neurobiology is her favorite subject. However, the teacher she cites as her most influential is the orchestra conductor, Mrs. Reavey, who has been her teacher since third grade; Mrs. Reavey has taught Laura a lot about the violin and music in general, and has “provided many different musical opportunities throughout the years.”

Laura’s extracurricular activities show her dedication to the Belmont community: she is a student advisor to the school committee; a member of the student senate; in the Art and Activism and Model UN clubs; and on the leadership team for the Belmont music mentoring program, which “connects middle and high school musicians in order to provide support” and one-on-one instruction. In fact, she also mentors young violinists through the program. She is most proud of being a music mentor, as it allows her to use her skill on violin to “give back to the music community and help it grow,” despite the virtual nature of lessons during the pandemic.

Laura’s advice to other BHS students is simple but important: “Have fun and enjoy your high school experience with your friends and family!”

By Claire Svetkey

Caerwyn Saar

Caerwyn Saar

Senior Caerwyn Saar, a club leader and dedicated student, is a clear candidate for Marauder of the Week. His favorite school subjects are Latin and English, because of his interest in Roman and Mediterranean history; his sophomore year, he took Latin 1 with Mr. Jaffe, and the class gave him “a love for the language as well as [for] the broader concepts of Roman history, culture and mythology.” His next Latin teacher, Mr. Bracey, has also “done a great job” encouraging and supporting this interest. Caerwyn also enjoys his current English class, as “the freedom to choose” his Senior Capstone topic has allowed him to center it in Roman history, which has let him “run wild” and write essays on subjects about which he is truly “enthusiastic.” Additionally, he appreciates that his Latin and English teachers are “flexible” and “actively willing to engage” with him about schoolwork and life in general.

Outside of school, Caerwyn is proud to lead the BHS Gender-Sexuality Alliance, “a club for LGBTQIA/queer people and their allies” to talk about relevant issues and form a community. “As a transgender man,” he says, “I am really grateful I’ve been able to head this club and have great discussions with people with a broad range of experiences.” Aside from the GSA, he attends the Latin and Menstrual Justice clubs when he has the time. Caerwyn describes himself as “just your average, introverted fellow”: he has “fallen in love with crochet” during quarantine, loves cats – he has two and used to foster more before the pandemic – and has “a budding interest in cooking.”

Caerwyn’s practical wisdom for other BHS students is that “projects and tasks are rarely as intimidating as they seem at the outset”; his advice is to break them into steps, ask for help when necessary, and “do everything bit by bit.”

By Claire Svetkey

Marauder of the Week: Friday, January 22, 2021

Colin Martin

Colin Martin

Senior Colin Martin, a talented and dedicated musician, is an excellent choice for Marauder of the Week. His favorite school subjects are the sciences – Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and “all of the general science from middle school” – because he loves learning about and observing the world. However, his most influential classes at BHS were Team Sports and Outdoor Pursuits, both taught by Ms. Marino, small classes in which students were able to bond, overcome challenges, and “build a huge snowman by the pond!”

Colin says he has found “a great community of people” in the BHS music program, and, unsurprisingly, his extracurricular activities are “almost exclusively music related”: he is a saxophone section leader in the BHS marching band, the vice president of Belmont’s Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter, and he plays in the pit orchestra for the musicals. Additionally, he plays in ensembles at the New England Conservatory, and has been in the Senior Districts and Massachusetts All-State Festivals. He is currently in the process of auditioning for Music Education and Performance programs at colleges; the pandemic has forced him to make recordings rather than auditioning live, but he is “hopeful that live music will resume” soon.

Although Colin is “most passionate” about music, he is “most proud” of his job at Whole Foods. During this pandemic, he has been able to “help people receive the food they need” and has taken many precautions to “ensure everyone’s safety.” At home, Colin loves to “cook and bake new things” for his family.

Colin’s words of wisdom are inspiring and profound, especially to students who attended Chenery Middle School: “I know we’ve had some troubles with the spiral staircase, but all that is behind us now. Look to the future, where we may go up or down any staircase we’d like. There is always hope to be found.”

By Claire Svetkey

Emma McDevitt

Emma McDevitt

Senior Emma McDevitt’s incredible involvement in the Belmont community makes her ideal for the honor of Marauder of the Week. On this note, Social Justice by the Numbers and Economics are her favorite school subjects, because she enjoys learning about things that are applicable to the real world and to her own life. Emma feels that the things she learns in Social Justice by the Numbers, such as examining the interactions between parts of a system and identifying which people hold more power in it, will help her grow as a person and become a more socially educated community member. Ms. Shea, who has taught Emma’s Social Justice by the Numbers and American Studies classes, is the teacher Emma calls her most influential; she describes Ms. Shea as a “forward thinker” who is “always advocating for students’ best interest.”

Emma’s interest in many facets of society is exemplified by her diverse after school activities: she is captain of the BHS girls’ varsity basketball team, she works at a local restaurant called My Other Kitchen, and she mentors English Language Learners in Belmont’s elementary schools. Out of all of her contributions to the community, she is most proud of her work at Rosie’s Place, where she was a social justice intern. She feels that her internship made her more aware of “the issues that homeless women face” and “sparked [her] interest in learning more about different social justice issues such as systemic racism, homelessness and poverty.”

Emma has clearly followed her advice for other BHS students: “Use the opportunities at Belmont Public Schools to your advantage” by “tak[ing] classes that truly interest you” and spending your time here “leaning into and finding your passions.”

By Joyce Gong

Marauder of the Week: Friday, January 15, 2021

Brigid Hannibal

Brigid Hannibal

An exceptional student involved in the community and passionate about many subjects, Brigid Hannibal is undeniably a well-deserving candidate for the Marauder of the Week.

In school, Brigid's favorite subjects include Economics, Neuroscience, and Social Justice by the Numbers. She explains she's interested in Economics "because it applies to a lot of day by day situations and [she likes] that [she] can relate it to [her] life." From this, it's no surprise that this prominent class taught by Mr. Streit has been Brigid's most influential at BHS! Brigid is also drawn to Neuroscience, which she is taking this year, as she believes "the brain is amazingly complicated" and it's astounding to see its inner works. Lastly, Brigid enjoys Social Justice by the Numbers, as the class "talks about current injustices going on in the world, what can be done to help, and shows the math side of all the data collected." 

Aside from academics, Brigid is part of the Field Hockey team at BHS – she received a Coaches’ Award and a Sportsmanship Award over the four years that she's been on the team. Additionally, she volunteers throughout the Belmont Public Schools, stating that she is "most proud of volunteering at the Wellington Elementary school over the years and helping in the aftercare program." When asked about her passions, Brigid replied that she's passionate about helping people, and she "hope[s] to impact this world in a positive way someday." From what Brigid has done so far, there's no doubt that she has already made an impact in the community!

Brigid concludes with words of advice to current and future Belmont High School students: “Just make the most of your years in BHS because they go by really fast, and before you know it you are looking at the future and deciding what college to go to. Don't stress too much, just try to enjoy life while you're still young and strive to be the best version of yourself." Her wise words remind us all to cherish our days in high school and stay true to ourselves.

By: Tiffany Hu

Marauder of the Week: Friday, December 18, 2020

Isaiah Gullage

Isaiah Gullage

An extremely well-rounded individual, senior Isaiah Gullage is without a doubt a deserving candidate for Marauder of the Week. He has won awards during his time at school, including a METCO award for having excellent grades. Science classes, such as Biology with Ms. Lewis and Anatomy and Physiology with Ms. Chen, have influenced him greatly. He intends to pursue a medical career, and thinks that the foundational knowledge that these classes have given him will be helpful both in college and “later on in life.” His interest in science, as well as in helping communities, has led him to aid in the removal of invasive species in Australia and to participate in gardening at the YMCA in Dupree, South Dakota.

Isaiah attributes the development of some of his morals and leadership qualities to his experience at Camp Becket. The camp, he says, has “shaped” him into the “person [he is] today” – the camp’s mottos that are most important to him are “help the other fellow,” “peace through understanding” and “better faithful than famous.” With these words in mind, Isaiah helped uphold a safe and fun camp environment as a counselor in training in the summer of 2019; he received a plaque for his dedication.

At BHS, Isaiah takes part in several extracurriculars and clubs. He excels in athletics – he plays football, hockey and rugby – and enjoys how sports allow him to “escape the real world for a few hours… and relieve stress.” He was also in the Black in Belmont Club during his first two years of high school. Being a person of color, he knows the importance of understanding the systemic oppression POCs face, working to fight racism, and making sure that “everyone’s voices are heard.”

Isaiah advises younger students to take advantage of their time at high school, and not take for granted the opportunities there. He wants to tell them, “Your futures are so bright and I wish you all the best of luck.” He also wants to thank the BHS staff and faculty: “[Y]ou guys have made school a place where I feel safe and have given me the tools and guidance to be successful.” Congratulations to Isaiah on being nominated to be Marauder of the Week!

By Katherine Bai

Knar Krafian

Knar Krafian

This week’s Marauder of the Week is Knar Krafian, a senior passionate about social justice, especially the issues Armenians face. Her favorite classes are Psychology, because she’s interested in “understanding human behavior in general,” and Social Justice By The Numbers, in which “topics that aren’t typically discussed in school” spark important discussions. The teacher she cites as most influential to her is Mr. Streit, whom she had for AP Economics. He “helped [her] come out of [her] shell” by creating a collaborative classroom environment, and always made the material engaging for students.

Knar participates in extracurriculars at and outside of BHS. At BHS, she runs hurdles and does shot put and javelin for the BHS varsity track and field team; she competed at the 2019 New Balance Nationals in the shuttle hurdle relay. Additionally, she is the co-president of the Armenian Club and a member of the Amnesty International Club. Outside of BHS, she is involved in the Waltham Track Club, does Armenian dance, and volunteers with Oknooshoon, a nonprofit that “trains rescue dogs to be therapy dogs for people in Armenia.”

Knar is most proud of her “involvement in the Armenian community” in general, and specifically of educating her classmates about problems impacting Armenians. She has given presentations on Armenian causes “almost every year” since sixth grade; in light of the recent war in Armenia and the ensuing “humanitarian crisis,” she has been using social media to raise awareness and to have “in-depth conversations with classmates.” Being the great-granddaughter of an Armenian Genocide survivor has also made Knar keenly aware of “how people can turn a blind eye to issues that don’t directly impact them.” This has inspired her to spend “a lot of time” learning about social justice issues in America and how to help “make a change.”

Knar’s advice for other BHS students is straightforward: “Don’t be afraid to be curious, ask questions, and make new friends,” as “you never know where one conversation will take you!”

By Claire Svetkey

Marauder of the Week: Friday, December 11, 2020

Katie Kaiser

Katie Kaiser

Katie Kaiser is an exceptional Marauder of the Week who has established her hard work and dedication at BHS over the years. She likes many school subjects: Pre-Calculus and Calculus, since she enjoys using logical thinking to solve complex problems; Biology, because of its uniqueness in comparison to previous science courses, as well its real life applications; and English, as it highlights a variety of literature while also diving into various social and political issues. Katie is an avid reader who develops new ideas regarding important topics every time she finishes a book. Several BHS teachers were impactful to her: Mr. Reynolds, her English teacher for her freshman and junior years; Ms. Lovett, whom she had for Pre-Calculus; and Ms. Saxena, her Biology teacher. Katie says that they all brought passion to their classes and cared for their students’ well-being.

Katie is involved in a number of extracurricular activities such as the Performing Arts Company, cross country, National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, the choral program, and many clubs. She has been the historian of Belmont’s Tri-M chapter for the past two years, started the Second Hand Club last year, and is currently a section leader in chorus. Katie also takes dance classes, and has two jobs: working at Comella’s in Belmont Center and working as a ski instructor at Cranmore Mountain in New Hampshire. She has been working at Comella’s for the past two years, and often helps train new employees. This coming winter will be her fifth year as a ski instructor.

Overall, Katie is most proud of being a part of the music program at BHS. Since elementary school, she has immersed herself in the world of music; she has been participating in musical theatre since first grade. Through the PAC, she typically does three shows a year: Broadway Night, the musical, and One Acts. She has been in chorus since her freshman year, and in Chamber Singers since she was a sophomore.

Katie’s words of wisdom for other BHS students are a quote by Albert Einstein: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Katie believes that since life’s challenges can often feel overwhelming, especially in high school, it is necessary to remember that there are things more important than schoolwork, and to enjoy every small moment as much as possible.

By Shivane Pratap

Divya Natarajan

Divya Natarajan

Senior Divya Natarajan is a great candidate for Marauder of the Week. She doesn’t have a favorite school subject, because anything that “pushes [her] to look at something from different perspectives” interests her; similarly, no one teacher was her most influential at BHS, as many have been “positive influences” on her life.

Divya participates in many extracurricular activities: she is a member of the Belmontian Club and the Performing Arts Company, a Student Advisor to the School Committee, played volleyball and rugby, and performed to represent India during Asian American Club’s Asian American Night. In the Belmontian Club, she is a part of the Hot Pink Committee, which raises money for breast cancer awareness and research; they were recognized several times by the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides movement for being a top fundraising high school in the state. Divya was also Secretary of the Belmontian Club her junior year, and, as a senior, is Co-President. Additionally, she was the volleyball co-captain in 2018 and 2019 and won a Coach’s Award, was a co-organizer of the BHS Diversity Day Hunger Banquet, and co-founded the Belmontian Summer Committee to aid hunger insecurity in eastern Massachusetts.

An excellent dancer who has been taking classes since she was three, Divya is most proud of completing her Arangetram, a “debut/graduation” for Bharatanatyam dancers. She trained “for hours every day for more than a year” to complete a four hour solo performance last August. The moment was not only a “milestone,” but also a way to prove to herself that “if you care about something enough, no matter what other people say, you should always pursue it.” Divya is passionate about making sure that everyone feels respected, “especially for their differences”; the journey to achieving her Arangetram taught her the importance of sharing our differences, because building “understanding and mutual respect” requires a willingness to teach and to learn.  She wants to create a space where “what is beautiful and deserves recognition” is not limited to the familiar. She believes that we all deserve the opportunity to be our best selves without fear of rejection, and that “[t]he best versions of ourselves are the most genuine versions.”

Divya has two pieces of advice for other BHS students. First, “Ups and downs are inevitable,” but if you trust yourself and your own capabilities, “you will end up in the right place.” Worrying about the future shouldn’t distract from “everything the present has to offer.” Second, “Don’t be afraid to say hello to people”; while it’s simple, it “goes a long way.”

By Claire Svetkey

Marauder of the Week: Friday, December 4, 2020

Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch

As a proud and involved member of the community, Chris Lynch is unquestionably a deserving candidate for the Marauder of the Week.

In school, Chris is most interested in math, for “numbers all just make sense in [his] head,” so it’s no surprise that Chris has enjoyed all his math classes throughout the years, especially his calculus class this year. When asked which class has been the most influential to him, Chris responded with Mr. Streit’s AP Economics class. Chris explained that the class was extremely “applicable to the real world and [he] actually started seeing parts of [his] daily life, such as going to the store and even doing homework differently.” Another reason Chris loved the class is that Mr. Streit created “a class environment that was very productive and fun at the same time, engaging the whole class and setting us up for success.”

Outside of school, Chris is a student leader at his church, Grace Chapel, where he has made lifelong friends and learned a lot from people. Chris states that his faith plays a huge role in who he is today, and well as the type of student he is. He believes most people view Christians or other religious people as the goody-two-shoes. However, Chris wants people to “recognize [him] as a Christian by the way [he] treat others, how [he] treat adults, or those less fortunate than [he is]” – he wants people to know he’s a Christian by his morals and how he lives life, rather than by the rules he follows. In addition to his involvement in his church, Chris is part of the BHS rugby team. In fact, Chris is most proud of the success and the connection of the team. Last season (which was two years ago, due to Covid), the rugby team won the Division 1 state championship; Chris sees this as one of the most incredible experiences he has had at BHS. As for the community, Chris is proud that the team members “aren’t just recognized [for their] success,” but for being “a close-knit community that has created a culture of character, work ethic, and brotherhood.” He says that his coach, Coach Bruce, has taught the team about integrity, and that, to him, rugby is much more than just a game. 

Chris is passionate about his work as an intern at the Philadelphia Project, in which students from all over the country help meet the needs of Philadelphia. From his internship, he realized that “serving and working towards something with others, for something bigger than yourself” changed his perspective on what mattered in life and made him realize his gratitude for the opportunities he’s had. Additionally, the experience made him decide to go into law enforcement. 

Chris’s words of wisdom for other BHS students are, “[T]here’s so much more to life than getting good grades, being popular, rich, and perfect; it’s about being real, humble, expressing yourself, and touching the lives of the people around you.”

By Tiffany Hu

Caleb Christenson

Caleb Christenson

Get to know this week’s Marauder of the Week, Caleb Christenson! Whether it’s through athletics, music or academics, Caleb represents the best of students at BHS.

While being a part of the basketball and rugby team here at BHS, Caleb has had the opportunity to represent the school at a high level in athletics. In 2019, he was a part of the rugby team that won the state championships, and was also a member of the basketball team that went far in the playoffs. Additionally, Caleb is involved in music both in and out of school. He is a member of Belmont’s Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter, as well as singing in the BHS Senior A Cappella group and Madrigals. During his time at BHS, Caleb has developed a deep interest in history, as it enables him to gain insight into the forces that influence modern life. Caleb cites Economics with Mr. Goldfine as the most influential class for him. After learning more about economics, Caleb discovered how influential it is to many aspects of our daily lives.

Caleb leaves us with some timely advice: “Don’t get too caught up [with] schoolwork” and “just try to have fun with whatever comes your way.”

By Milena Zlatkovic

Marauder of the Week: Friday, November 20, 2020

Cooper Valentine

Marauders of the Week are known for their accomplishment in studies as well as in the community, and Cooper Valentine is no exception. He is a well rounded student and citizen of Belmont who not only has high aspirations, but also knows how to enjoy the moment.

Out of all the contributions that Cooper has made to his community, he is the most proud of being a BHS Madrigal Singer. He says that his favorite part about Madrigals is that it is extremely fun. Cooper is not an amateur at singing: he is well versed, as he participates in every singing group at Belmont High School and has even performed in the MMEA Senior District choir for the past two years! Cooper believes that his confidence in singing first blossomed in Mr. Landers’ Men’s Chorale class. He also feels that the confidence he gained during that class has extended into his personal life as well as his studies.

Cooper has many other interests, in addition to singing. His favorite school subject is science, as he finds it incredible how directly he can “see what we learn influence the world around [him].” More broadly, he enjoys the act of learning, in and of itself; he says that the longer he has been a student at Belmont High, the more he has realized that joy comes from inside the classroom. Cooper’s main goals in life are to always be open to experiencing new activities and to strive for happiness.

Although Cooper is a dedicated student, he likes lighthearted activities as well. For example, he wants the school to know that he is a whiz at Magic: The Gathering. Cooper’s words of wisdom for other BHS students probably should not be taken too seriously: “If you’re a mod late to a triple it feels just like a double.”

By Joyce Gong

Clark Zhang

Clark Zhang is a motivated, intelligent senior interested in a variety of subjects. Some of his favorite classes are AP Computer Science, which he took last year as a junior, and BC Calculus, which he takes this year. He likes the aspects of Computer Science that allow him to combine pure logical reasoning with creativity, in contrast to other STEM subjects, which often rely heavily on memorization and procedures. In Computer Science, he can create anything he imagines, as long as it can be broken up into logical functions. His other favorite subject, Calculus, is especially compelling to him because it allows him to solve real-world problems.

In addition to STEM, Clark has a passion for language learning. He studies Chinese because of his family heritage, and has been learning Japanese on the side. In school, he takes Latin. He is fascinated by language acquisition and how we learn language through “comprehensible input,” a teaching style used by his Latin teacher, Mr. Bracey.

Clark’s most influential teacher in his time at BHS was Ms. Bloom, his junior year English teacher. Her support and dedication was evident not only in the classroom, but also during remote learning this past spring; she was a reassuring presence for all of her students, and she made sure that they were not letting the stress of living in these unprecedented times consume their lives.

Outside of school, Clark plays table tennis at the Massachusetts Table Tennis and Badminton Club. He quit soon after starting it at age eight, but picked it up again later on. He likes that it is both physically and mentally engaging, as it gives him time to de-stress from the constant pressures of high school. He also co-founded the BHS Badminton Club with a friend; they then helped the team win its first trophy in the MassBad High School Championships.

Clark wants other BHS students to understand that success in life, in school or out, is the result of good habits, such as effective time management. Clark believes that it can be helpful to reflect on whether or not your habits work well for you. That way, he says, “you can be the best version of yourself, whatever that may be.”

By Ani Belorian

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