Highlighting Members of the Mount Community
Photography Spotlight “Kayaking Narrow River”
JT Casale '24
Poetry Spotlight Wonder Wake up, go to sleep, repeat. Wake up, go to sleep, repeat. I ask myself, “Is that all there is to it, to life? I wonder when I can go out in the world; To break this systematic pattern. I find myself dreaming big every night. Dreams of my future cross my mind. But then I wonder, “Will I come to be what I dream?” Or is this life we live full of half successes? If there is more to life than wondering about what could happen Then I will know that I can succeed, That I can become more than how the world sees me now. “What if I succeed and surpass all of the people in my way?” “How do I prepare myself to succeed?” I can try my best to wonder about how life can turn out, But I need to live in the present, No matter how much I wonder.
Sydney Senerchia ‘24
Alumni Spotlight: Celebrating Mount’s Most Recent Graduates
As a current senior trying to cherish my last year on the hill of Logee Street, I was curious about the class of 2020 - having such an abrupt ending to their senior year could not have been easy. Since senior year of high school and freshman year of college are arguably the most significant, I reached out to some involved members of Mount’s class of 2020 - Nick Grilli, Kate O’Brien, and Delaney Green - freshmen at Providence College, Villanova University, and Wake Forest University, respectively - to get a sense of their experience both as a class and as individuals undergoing a pandemic in these crucial school years.
“I remember the palpable sensation of my heart sinking as Mr. Tenreiro came over the intercom,” recalled last year’s SLA President Nick Grilli when asked about the daunting announcement on March 13th. With such a significant role, Nick was integral to the process of upholding camaraderie during their uncertain spring semester: “this was one of my primary goals as a member of SLA...We came up with a virtual dress down week and kahoot tournament, hoping to keep spirit up as much as we could.”
Unlike many schools across the nation, Mount was able to hold a modified in-person graduation ceremony on August 2nd, an event that the class of 2020 was incredibly thankful for. “Mount handled graduation exceptionally well. After seeing so many drive-through graduations or students being mailed their diplomas, I never thought I’d be able to walk across the stage and receive my diploma, and I was able to fulfill a memory I had been dreaming about for years”, explained recent graduate Kate O’Brien, “being able to be united one final time on such a beautiful day provided me with nothing but pure joy.”
I was also interested to know how the onset of their college experience has been thus far, being as we are still not out of the woods yet with COVID-19. Delaney Green, captain of the girls varsity soccer team last year, described how “Wake Forest is offering in person, hybrid, and online classes this year... The transition is definitely a new and difficult one,” she expressed, “but it is also exciting.” Delaney also feels prepared to be challenged academically ,“especially after taking various AP classes at Mount.” These 3 graduates also offered some meaningful advice and words of wisdom for Mount’s current seniors: the class of 2021.
Delaney Green ‘20: “I know your senior year doesn’t look how you hoped it would, trust me I understand. Make the most of it anyway. Once my friends and I got over being sad for ourselves and tried to have fun with what we were given, the end of our senior year wasn’t that bad. Actually, it was good. So please, don’t waste time feeling bad for yourselves and just start doing what you can to make the most of it; it will be okay.”
Kate O’Brien ‘20: “If you ever get caught up in the stress of college applications, remember that the deadlines will soon pass, and the outcome will be worth it. Everyone always says that senior year flies by, and they aren’t joking! The time passes by SO FAST, so make sure to soak up every second of it.
Nick Grilli ‘20: “SEIZE THE MOMENT! Regardless of what the world looks like by June, your high school experience will soon come to an end. I know COVID is limiting what you can do, but if the class of 2020 could make the most of it, so can you. Make some great memories. Do what you love. Before you know it, you’ll be going your separate ways and Mount St. Charles will be in your rearview mirror, so make your time count.” Samira Lakhiani '21
Introducing Mount's National Honor Society Student Board
NHS is a national organization that is composed of high school scholars across the country dedicated to service, leadership, and character. Mount recently inducted the NHS board members for our school chapter!
Joy Teixeira ‘21: NHS President
"My most proud accomplishment is achieving the rank of Chief Petty Officer in the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, a military youth program. My goal for this year is to create a positive, cooperative environment within NHS that will encourage members to strive for excellence and work to better the Mount Saint Charles community."
Marykate Tillinghast '21: NHS Vice President
"A fun fact about me is that I’m currently serving as a student advisor for US Congressman David Cicilline. A goal I have as Vice President is to think of rewarding service projects that all of NHS can participate in, while also staying safe during these uncertain times."
Talia Fernandes '21: NHS Treasurer
"A fun fact about me is that I was a captain of the girls varsity basketball team and was an all-division athlete. My goal as treasurer of the NHS is to find fun, cost efficient service activities that adhere to COVID-19 regulations while still making this year as fun as possible and one to remember!"
Jacob Goodwin '22: NHS Secretary
"A fun fact about me is that I was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and moved to New England when I was 4 years old. My goal as secretary is to voice the ideas and thoughts of all of my fellow NHS members to faculty and to each other. I would like to play a part in helping my peers continue to be the best NHS members they can be."
Olivia Antonelli '22: NHS Reporter
"One of my proudest accomplishments is becoming the first ever female pole vaulter at MSC. My goal as reporter is to showcase the accomplishments of our NHS members within the Mount community!"
A Feature on Mount's Writing Club!
The Writing Club is just one of the many clubs that meet on our Wednesday Excelsior Days. Mrs. Desaulniers, our teacher spotlight from last month’s issue, is the coordinator of this High School club. During meetings, members are given various prompts to write about. Prompts include poetry to analyze, themes to write about, and many more creative writing topics. I was able to meet with Mrs. Desaulniers and some Writing Club members to highlight some of their works. Below are some prompts and responses:
Prompt:Use the following sentence in your short story: It was tradition for the children to be born at dawn It was tradition for the village children to be born at dawn. Tradition. What was tradition really? Was it superstition? A way to feel like you belong? It was the opposite of me. I was born at dusk.
The dawn children were always so happy, Born under the rising light of the sun, Fiery eyes and glowing spirits. I suppose the village needed them to feel whole again. But then there was me. The outcast, the liability. Because somehow, some way, I was born at dusk.
The others kept away from me, As if I would lash out at any moment. Were they scared of me? I didn’t even know what I was capable of, For I was born at dusk.
I didn’t need them. I didn’t need their light, their negativity. For I had the moon, the stars, and the cosmos to guide me. While they were all stumbling blind. I was different, For I was born at dusk. -Emma Alpert '23 _______________________________________ Prompt: Use the following 7 words to create a short story: dark, trophy, switch, hopeful, watch, helpless, discovery. I felt helpless when I realized the discovery I made. Not only was I shocked but a small part of me knew it was true all along. That small part grew until I was sobbing because of it. Never in my life did I think this would happen. It was like a switch suddenly turned on in my head and it was all I could think about. It all started when I first met him. I thought he was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I thought he felt the same way. We just clicked. It felt good. I was hopeful that he would be the one. I finally felt at home with someone. That was until I realized what I truly was to him. That is until I overheard his conversation with his friends when he thought I was still in the bathroom. When I heard him say those words, my world stopped moving. My vision tunneled and I sank to the floor. “She’s nothing to me. She’s nothing more than a trophy for me to show off. Do you think I have her fooled?” I looked around the corner and all I could do was watch. Watch as he smirked and laughed with his friends. Watch as he did nothing but throw me off to the side and make me feel worthless. I walked into the room and he looked up at me. He could tell by my tear stained face and my balled fists that I had heard everything. He got up and started to speak but I couldn’t hear him. My rage and sorrow and pain drowned it out. He tried to hold me but I pushed him away. I did the only thing that felt right at the time. I punched him. Crack! I felt his nose break from the impact. After that, all I could do was walk out. I just kept walking. Walking until I couldn’t see his house anymore. Even though it was nighttime, nothing could compare to the dark that filled my mind. It overwhelmed me and took over. I started to run. I ran and I ran. Skreech! Thud! Pain filled my body and I crashed to the ground. My mind went blank and everything around me blurred. A figure appeared in my vision and was speaking. I couldn't hear it though. I tried to focus on their faces but I couldn't. I could tell I was fading fast. I no longer felt my body. Then their face kept blurring until it faded away. -Julia Leclair '22 _______________________________________ Soul Eater Just wake me up Wake me up from my misery Who is playing with my emotions This has to be some type of trickery The devil painted my soul With a color that’s darker than black And offers me no free will It was a hijack I am your voice I cannot die Your soul has been kissed by Him We will become your “I” No one believes me People think I’m crazy Maybe I am Why does the voice in my head tell me blood is tasty Life goes from birth to death It’s too early for me Hell is taking me away From my dealings with the three You listen to me I am your keeper You ignore me I am your soul eater -Molly Meisner '22
Summer has certainly “zoomed” by, and as we rapidly approach a new school year, I found myself wondering how the transition from a physical academic atmosphere to a virtual one has affected the teachers of Mount. One of Mount’s most revered English teachers, Mrs. Desaulniers, offered her insight to me about this critical adjustment through the eyes of a faculty member.
“There is a class dynamic that is difficult to replicate online”, Mrs. D explained; however, she feels that this unparalleled experience has facilitated growth as a teacher and a deeper gratitude for technology. Prior to the shift in learning environments, Mrs. D was not too fond of programs like FaceTime, and although her preference for in-person teaching still remains, “this past year has definitely resulted in [her] adopting a new appreciation for different digital platforms”, and she feels it is a necessary component to integrate technology into instruction.
Although there were positive outcomes from the virtual school year, like all changes, there are difficulties and challenges we cannot foresee. Instructing a screen all day was undoubtedly an exhausting endeavor for the teachers of Mount. “Students were much more reserved in expressing themselves in a virtual setting...and finding engaging material lent to never ending days.” Furthermore, a particular hardship Mrs. D found was being unable to see the students’ demeanors--“so much is revealed in a student’s face--confusion, interest, understanding, inspiration, and even anxiety. These quick checks for understanding were now missing.” In order to relieve this issue, Mrs. Desaulniers proposed journal writing as a method of student expression. These student entries provided a “means of appreciating their emotional state throughout this pandemic.”
“This experience has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone”, Mrs. D disclosed to me, and as for the upcoming school year, she has utilized this summer break to develop lesson plans suitable for both in-person and virtual learning. “Presently, I am shifting that mindset to focus on all I can do. And because I am privileged to teach at Mount, I know that my students will continue to support me, just as I plan to 100% support them.”
Samira Lakhiani, '21
A Q&A with Olivia Antonelli on her small business, Littlewingsco.
Junior class president at Mount, Olivia Antonelli, is on the cross country, swim, and track team. She is also in various clubs including Earth Club, Writing Club, World Language Club, Science Olympiad, SAAD and NHS. On top of her active participation at Mount, she opened her small business Littlewingsco towards the end of June, “after a couple of months of testing and research” in her own words. “Littlewingsco is an affordable fashion jewelry brand that donates 10% of its profits to Friends of the Earth, an organization that supports our planet and provides educational resources regarding ecological issues.”
Q: What inspired you to start this business and what was the design behind it?
A: “I was actually inspired by Tik Tok to start my business. I was feeling a bit unproductive during quarantine and saw so many creative people doing so many amazing things including starting their own businesses, so one day I got up from the couch and just said to myself ‘okay, I’m gonna start my own business.’ I wanted to design a brand that was affordable, cute, and meaningful to me.”
Q: How did COVID either positively or negatively affect starting this business and your experience with it?
A: “COVID positively impacted my opening of the business because I had a lot of free time to research and think about my model, but it was also hard to find vendors and shipping was delayed due to COVID.”
Q: How long did you work on your company before releasing it and what did that process look like?
A: “I worked on the company for about 2-3 months before releasing it. The process was lengthy and it included ordering samples, designing the site, researching vendors, pricing products, getting my paperwork in order, and overall figuring out what the brand was going to look like. There were many bumps in the road, but I like to think of the business as my “COVID project”, it kept me busy and I gained so much useful experience along the way.”
Q: How did you develop the styles/ aesthetic of your brand?
A: “I’ve always loved dainty jewelry, so I knew that was going to be the focus of my brand. I really like the soft girl aesthetic and it fit really well into my vision. I offer a variety of pieces ranging from fashion jewelry made of gold plated brass to higher quality jewelry intended for everyday wear made of sterling silver.”
Q; You donate 10% of proceeds to pollinators, can describe your passion behind that and the organization you donate to?
A: “Littlewingsco came to mind. I immediately started working on the business plan and the logo for the company. When I was about 12, I did a project on CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) and it always stuck with me. I’m very passionate about the planet we live on and believe in making an impact. I looked at a few different organizations but actually discovered FOE (Friends of the Earth) when educating myself further on the pollination issue. They offer so many resources and I really fell in love with their dedication.”
Q: How do you balance working, school work and other activities on top of this business?
A: “The business had a lot of traffic in the first few weeks and it did get a little stressful, but thankfully I was able to stay on top of it and get everything shipped out with no issues. I have a setup in my room that makes it really easy to package everything as well as a system that allows me to stay on top of orders. As of now, I always package orders the night they come in and send them out to be shipped the next day. This makes it easy to keep everything in order and allows me to fit the business into my everyday life.”
Q: How do you plan to move forward as school starts up again?
A: “I plan to run the business the same way as school starts again, but I am also planning on dedicating some extra time to researching advertising and marketing so I can expand the business.
Q: What would be your advice to people who may want to start their own small businesses like you are?
A: “My advice to anyone who may want to start their own small business is to just go for it. As cliche as it is, I literally got up one day and told myself I was going to do it. Research is key, and know that there will be ups and downs to the process. My plan for my brand is still in the works, and has been an experiment since day one! I did almost everything myself, including creating the site, designing the social media, etc. Know that it can be done, and that there is no time limit. Failure is crucial to success and should be used as a learning tool. Don’t become too discouraged when you fail! In the end, it can be as little or as major as you’d like it to be, and it’s yours, so do whatever you want with it and don’t let anyone dull your vision.”