By Natalie Mack, News Editor
Now that Nantucket High School is back fully in person, the chatter around which clubs will be happening is certainly louder this school year than any other. Although most clubs were offered last year during the hybrid and remote combined school year, some of them were virtual and therefore didn’t allow the students the full experience. Additionally, the ones that did exist were limited in scope.
Each year, NHS students gather in the auditorium and are informed of all the different clubs and activities offered at the school. Students are then able to sign up in the hallway for the activity or club they are interested in. Since NHS was fully remote last year at this time, a Google slideshow presentation was created by the student council, highlighting each club and contact information, if one was interested in joining. Many club advisors have already gathered students and participation is underway. For students who have not yet joined a club they are interested in, or just want to feel out the possibilities, the NHS Student Council will be hosting the annual Club Fair on Thursday, October 14th, during advisory block.
One of clubs that has already begun is Veritas. Veritas is Nantucket High School’s award-winning newspaper, which you are currently reading! The editors, photographers, artists, and writers have been hard at work these first couple weeks of school to produce this first issue.
Drama Club has also already begun preparing for the fall play. This year’s play is titled, “Almost, Maine” written by Cariani. Director and NHS history teacher Emily Tessier reflects on why she chose this play, saying that “Almost, Maine” is one of those basic, overdone shows, but for good reason. It’s heartfelt, funny, and so honest. It will make you laugh, cry, and you will see yourself in these characters. Everyone who walks into that theater will be able to relate to these Mainers because they’re truly human. They are imperfect people who are doing their best to love one another with all of their heart.”
“Almost, Maine” also includes a healthy representation of LGBTQ characters. As Tessier explained, when LGBTQ characters are, rarely, presented on screen or stage, “it is through some traumatic event. Rarely do LGBTQIA+ characters experience joy and friendship on stage; and that is what Almost, Maine delivers to its audience. Love, friendship, patience, kindness, inclusivity, and community.”
Drama Club drew more students than expected as well: “While I anticipated that lots of students would be eager to return to Drama Club, I didn’t expect this many to audition!” 30 Students showed up to audition for nineteen roles. It is the highest number of students to audition since Tessier joined NHS.
In addition, Tessier expresses that, going into this production, she is “so excited to return to in-person theater! Like so many others, I have truly missed the joy and magic that live theatre brings.” She concluded that she is looking forward to another fun year with the Drama Club: “Nobody ever knows what’s coming next in this pandemic, but I am so glad that I’m able to share my love for theatre with NHS again!” Stay tuned for updates on how the cast is coming along, and their production dates.
NHS’s Environmental Club has partnered with the Nantucket Youth Climate Committee, a group of Nantucket high school students working in coordination with The Massachusetts Audubon Society to raise awareness for climate change. Mass Audubon has student groups across the state, and in New Hampshire, but after all but one of the NYCC’s members graduated last year, they decided to merge with Environmental to continue to affect change in the island community.
This merged group’s first project was a schoolwide walkout in solidarity with the international Fridays for Future movement started by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. The group organized an awareness walk out during school at 8:15am on Friday, October 1st. Members of the committee—Sarah Swenson, Benton Killion, and Natalie Mack—gave speeches and poems about the severity of climate change, and what we can do to combat it. Members Eliza Brown and Wes Thornewill read opening and closing remarks from the committee as a whole. Reporters from Nantucket Current and the Inquire & Mirror, as well as videographers from Nantucket Community Television arrived to document this protest. They plan on doing further projects throughout the school year.
A new club to NHS this year is the creative writing club, advised by English teacher Anne Phaneuf. However, Ms. Phaneuf was not the one to create this club. Sophomore Anna Popnikolova created this club because she “…took creative writing with Ms. Phaneuf as an elective last year and I loved the writing community she established inside the class…It felt like a comfortable and safe space to share writing and get ideas with no judgment…I wanted to continue that a little more informally, and open it up to others who maybe also wanted to take part in it!” As Popnikolva stated, her goal is to open up this activity she enjoys for others. That is the idea of most clubs NHS offers.
Another club that has already begun meeting is the Tao Te Teen Club, run by math teacher, Timothy Psaradelis. Psaradelis states that the Tao Te Teen Club “…is a play on the 6th century BC Chinese text, the Tao Te Ching, which loosely translates to “The Way” or “The Way of Things.” The focus of the text is around a way of life that restores or preserves harmony. The Tao Te Teen Club’s focus is sharing ways to act without acting or do without doing (wu-wei or “non-action.”) Our motto is: “Don’t just do something, sit there.” Our goal is: To climb the towering peaks of consciousness and thus aid in the relief of suffering.” The Tao Te Teen Club has met once so far. Psaradelis expressed that he hopes to have the club meet a few times per month.
Another well known NHS club will begin with their first meeting September 27th, the Spanish Club. Advised by librarian, former Spanish teacher, Jill Suprenant, Spanish club is geared up for a fun year, with possible field trips involved.
The full list of clubs possible at NHS this year is as follows:
Art Club with Ms. Merlini,
National Honor Society with Mrs. Hickson,
Student Council with Mrs. Bartlett,
Chess Club with Mr. Viselli,
Diversity Club with Ms. Echeverria,
Spanish Club with Mrs. Surprenant,
Latin Club with Mr. Cothran,
Chinese Club with Mrs. Zhu,
Veritas with Mrs. Martineau,
Yearbook with Mrs. Mason,
Drama Club with Ms. Tessier,
Spring Musical and Acts and Nats with Mrs. MacIver,
GSA with Mr. Lucas-Hayes,
Environmental Club with Ms. Erisman,
Math League Team with Mr. Psaradelis,
and Student Forum.
There is also a possibility of Outdoor Adventure Club with Mr. Durand, Tao Te Teen Club with Mr. Psaradelis, and a DND club, currently student-led.
With all of these, and more, offered at Nantucket High School, there is certainly something for everyone. With many Covid restrictions lifted and everyone back in school, now is the time to get involved and have fun! If you are interested in any of the clubs that have already begun or are possibly starting up, see the list of advisors below that you can get in contact with.