Banzai Literacy Program at MHS – by Sandy McBride

   High school education prepares students for college and for the job market.  The curriculum offers courses in the sciences, language arts, foreign languages, physical education, math and music, providing them with the skills necessary to pass college courses.  Programs offered through BOCES teaches them such job skills as machine technology, cosmetology, auto repair and culinary arts among others.  There are all kinds of learning tools available in our schools for young people who will soon embark on that often intimidating journey called life in the real world

The Express Newspaper – May 7, 2015

“Not Just About Her” – Bailey Wind Has a Message to Get Out

Editor's Note:  Bailey Wind will be at the Mechanicville High School Wednesday May 14th at 12:00 Noon

by Harold Wessell

MECHANICVILLE, This Wednesday: Bailey Wind has a message to everyone, especially fellow young people, that she's been delivering in compelling personal testimonies, this summer, just home from her first year of college ñ one that two friends will never have.

It's about bad choices young people can make, and that they need to think about, and act about. It's about most of all how drinking or using drugs while driving, or texting while driving, are deadly.

All three of those are what authorities found Dennis Drue to have been doing when in December 2012 on the Northway he collided with a Ford Escort Bailey and three friends were riding in ñ two couples turning from a school game, three from Shenendehowa High School and she from Shaker ñ killing the dates of her and Matthew Hardy. Driver of their vehicle Christopher Stewart and Deanna Rivers were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Express spoke on Sunday with Dawn Wind, Bailey's mother, who spoke with obvious and articulate pride of how her daughter's several presentations she is making in schools this month. Despite all the news attention over an agonizing couple years for everyone affected, she wants to make sure they know: It's not about her.


This Wednesday at noon, after a morning talk at Burnt Hills High school, Bailey was escorted by Deputy Sheriff Kenneth Cooper Saratoga Sheriff Michael Zurlo's full time liaison to County schools to a similar presentation Wednesday May 14th noon at Mechanicville High School.

She goes next to Corinth this Thursday.

She wants to keep the focus on the program, not herself, her mother stressed. To assure that that priority would be clear, the two preferred that Dawn speak for her at that point, as she explained: "She does not want it to be about her, but throughout this effort she wants it to be why she is doing it, and the whole program" going on, at the same time, of the Sheriff's annual extra patrols and other pro-active attention-raising efforts during prom season. "To make sure the kids are safe," Zurlo expressed as his ultimate goal.

Bailey and they are working alongside one another, to raise the awareness and the courage of young people not to give in to what is getting harder and harder to resist ñ for kids AND adults locally (as illustrated in a recent series on heroin in this newspaper).

Reiterated Ms. Wind about Bailey's parallel effort, even more that on prom safety, it's about "making the right choices, and trying to get kids to think before they get behind the wheel." The purpose is to try to get to as many kids as she can, and let them understand how important it is not to drink and drive, not to do drugs and drive, not to text ñ "and the effect it's going to have on not only the person that they hit, but themselves, and their family."

Moreover, in these presentations, as part of calling on her peers to internalize that importance, "she also reveals in part of her speech some things that she went through while she was trapped in the truck," waiting to be rescued ñ there with two friends soon if not already to be declared deceased; insights into that time "that have not been made public knowledge, to get the young people kind of a sense of what she went through as a survivor." It is something very internal, that has not been out-there, she stressed. She spoke about it [publicly] for the first time last week; "and just how important it is for them to make the right decisions, and how badly it's going to affect them" if they do not.

Besides trying to reach as many kids as she can, adds her mom, she is doing all she is doing not only in honor of the four who were in that truck that night; "but in honor of every single person that has been affected, by that other driver ñ and to let them know that it's not cool to drink and drive; and that yes, she understands that teenagers can make bad choices; "but this kind of choice is something that you cannot reverse... It's a persuasive speech, about how [impaired driving] can ruin lives, not just the person's lives that they hit, but their own; and the community's."

"It's very powerful... Everybody in the audience was crying. It is very, very powerful."

The Express will cover Bailey's talk, and report further in next week's website and print edition.









Rachel’s Challenge- How To Be A Better Person – by Sandy McBride

“I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same.”

These words were written by 18 year old Rachel Joy Scott in 1999.

Today’s high school kids are too  young to remember the feeling of horror and helplessness that gripped our nation on April 20 of that year when the news broke that two teen-age gunmen had gone on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.  Twelve students and one teacher died in that attack.

Read the entire article in the May 1st issue of the Express.

Charlies Brown Performed at Mechanicville HS – by Sandy McBride

Exploring the timeless trials of being a kid, as those trials were depicted for many years in the comic strips of the late, great Charles M. Schulz, the Mechanicville Junior/Senior High School Drama Club entertained their audiences last weekend at four performances of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!”

With snappy dialogue, song and dance in the format of a fast-paced series of vignettes, these students brought to life the beloved Schulz characters Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy, Lucy, Schroeder, Sally, Woodstock and Peppermint Patty.

Full Story in the March 27th issue of the Express.

Waterford/Halfmoon HS Band Performs at Disney-by Michael Bielawski

Waterford – The Waterford/Halfmoon High School band took take a trip to Florida to play music for tourists and relatives during their February vacation, as they have been doing every other year since 2000.  At the Feb 6 board meeting band director Melvin Byron spoke to the board and The Express about the trip.

The trip is arranged by Disney Youth Services.  “It’s a great thing that they do because it allows groups like ours and a lot of other schools to be able to afford to go down there,” said Mr. Byron.  He thinks it’s a great experience.  “I’ve found Disney fascinating for years but it’s always nice to see it through eyes that have never been there before.”

The entire article is in the March 20th edition of the Express.

Winter Concert at Mechanicville HS – by Sandy McBride

It was standing room only at the Paul N. Luther Auditorium last Wednesday evening for the annual Mechanicville Junior/Senior High School Winter Band Concert.  Conducted by instrumental music teacher Michael Jeffery, three bands . . . the 6th grade band, the 7th and 8th grade band and the high school band . . . delighted their packed house audience as each of them in turn performed a selection of classics and holiday favorites.  The show concluded with nearly 20 MHS alumni musicians joining the high school band on stage for a beautiful rendition of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”.