With her intricate designs, confident technique, and interdisciplinary accomplishments, Nantucket High School junior Abby Taaffe has well-earned the distinction of Veritas’ Artist of the Month this May. Both her environment - she speaks fondly of her time at the Lighthouse School before coming to NHS, which was very focused on artistic development - and natural talent have contributed to her love of art and the pieces it produces.
Taaffe has just finished submitting her portfolio to the College Board as part of Advanced Placement Studio Art, a class introduced to NHS in the 2015-16 school by Kate Merlini. The course, earning the classification of the most rigorous art class at NHS, requires students to be independently motivated, with “advanced or exceptional art or design skill and/or talent,” according to the Program of Study. The class culminates in a portfolio of more than 20 pieces of work, expected to “exhibit depth and breadth of artistic subject matter and technique.” Taaffe is so far the only junior to have taken the course, choosing 3D design - specifically, ceramics - to focus on for the duration of the class.
“I have absolutely loved my AP art experience,” said Taaffe. “The class was small but I got along with everyone and we were all inspired by each other, which fueled me to work harder everyday. Mrs. Merlini was the absolute best teacher, and she helped me get my ideas from paper to clay and make the best work I possibly could.”
Of all the varieties of art Taaffe has been exposed to and experienced - drawing, painting, and sculpting - she names ceramics her favorite, and was honored this year for a ceramics piece called “bait ball,” receiving second place in the Artists Association Junior Artist Exhibition. Started by the Schultz family in the 1990s, the awards are presented in collaboration with the Nantucket Arts Council and strive to recognize excellence in high school level art. “I got the idea for [the prize-winning piece] from the ocean,” said Taaffe, “where I commonly pull ideas from.”
Indeed, many of Taaffe’s pieces reflect this source of inspiration; Taaffe discussed the pieces she is proudest of, saying “I think my favorite set of pieces has to be my sea urchins. I love the way that they look and feel. They do not totally represent urchins but they take different elements of an urchin and represent them differently throughout the set of four.”
“Abby had been doing classes at the Artist Association well before she began taking art classes through the high school, but even in this short span of time she has grown creatively and pushed herself outside of her comfort zone,” said Merlini. “I think AP Studio Art really helped her explore her artistic boundaries. I love to watch her go through her creative process; she has incredible focus that is really interesting to watch as she realizes her full potential.”
“Art gives me a place to channel my energy and express myself. I think that in general art helps people whether it is making their own or looking at the work of others,” Taaffe said.
Merlini also noted that other students could learn from Abby that “patience, practice, and focus pays off - Abby’s focus, incredible work ethic, and skill all together makes her work unique.”
Taaffe reflected on her artistic experience, which she summarized saying “art has been a huge part of my life. It is a huge stress relief for me and I love being able to create something when I’ve had a hard day. I have been able to channel who I am through art and have become the person I am because of it."
There’s a new force on the Nantucket Swim and Dive team who is rewriting the record board, he goes by the name of Tyler Roethke. Unlike a young Tom Brady, there was no doubt that this swimmer would be a star from a young age. As a freshman, this was Roethke’s first year on the high school team, and he has already taken down three records from the school record board. These records consist of the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay. The previous record for the 200 freestyle was 1:52.65, set by Beau Garuffi. Roethke took almost two seconds off of the event swimming a 1:50.78 in the Duxbury swim meet held earlier in the season. Not to be stopped, Roethke also beat the school record for the 500 freestyle with an impressive 5:12.12, beating Beau Garuffi’s previous time by roughly five seconds. With the help of Cooper Norris, James Taaffe, and Jacob Aloisi, Roethke and his relay replaced the 400 freestyle relay time with a 3:30.73, originally set by Beau Garufi, Sam Toole, Henry Toole and Loren Paterson who held a 3:33.06 for almost ten years. When asked, coach Jim Pignato said he wanted to see Roethke take down the 100 freestyle next.
“Tyler Roethke is a very talented swimmer,” said Pignato, “We’re very lucky to have a swimmer of that caliber on our team, once you’ve reached that level it just sets the bar for other swimmers to strive for their potential.”
Pignato went on to say that he has never seen a swimmer,freshman swimmer that is, with that kind of talent before.
“That’s the first of this talent that I’ve seen, especially on our boy’s side,” praised Pignato. “It’s always interesting to see a swimmer come in so young with so much talent, it’s a great resource and asset to the team. We also want to think long term on how this success with be sustained throughout his career with us.”
Pignato said that anything can happen, there can be a setback or injury with any sport or swimmer, we want to keep Roethke and all his teammates happy and focused. Roethke swims about ten months out of the year with the dolphins program, which means he’s in the water at the beginning of September then to April where he takes a short break. Then he’s back in the pool for the months of May, June and July and the cycle continues as the rest of us feel accomplished when we conquer the stairs going from classes in the basement to the top floor. According to Pignato, Roethke has opened some eyes in the Bay Colony Conference as well. Having the pleasure to sit down and talk with Roethke myself, some interesting information was collected; “I like to swim the 200 freestyle. I’ve been swimming it for awhile and I guess I’ve just gotten to know it well, I think I started swimming it when I was eleven.”
Both coach and swimmer were on the same page by saying that the next record to be taken down was the 100 freestyle, Roethke is currently .1 seconds away from breaking that long-standing record which is a 49.85.
“It’s pretty cool to break two school records as a freshman, everything about it, the whole team aspect as well is cool with everyone supporting each other.”
And then came the question we all were wondering: “do you have plans to swim in college?” With a smile, the young swimmer replied, “Yeah I do. I think it would be really fun. It’s definitely on my mind and is a really good goal to have.”
Good thing for Roethke’s large fan group, he still has three more years to break records and keep us on our toes from the pool deck or sweaty gallery.
Numbers. From quiz scores to GPA’s to SAT’s, we are constantly being defined by numbers. While they are important, there is one number that will likely have a bigger effect on your life than any other - and you probably have no idea what it is. Your credit score, a number determined using the FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) scoring model, is used by the three credit bureaus that track your financial history. Your score can range from 300 to 850. The higher the number, the better you look to potential lenders.
You might not think that this is important to consider while you are in high school; but it actually is, because it takes time to build a good credit score. In the not so distant future, your score will affect whether you are approved for a credit card or a car loan, and how much interest you’ll pay for both. Further down the road, it will be used when you apply for a mortgage, business or education loan. Someday, probably sooner than you think, you will want the highest credit score possible.
Let’s imagine the day you’re ready to buy a car. You’ve saved some money, but not enough to buy a car that you’d call reliable, and certainly not a new car. Using data from the myfico.com website, a person with a credit score of 589 could borrow $16,000 for five years and pay $370 per month. On the other hand, a person with a score of 690 could borrow $20,000 for the same five years and only pay $373 per month. That’s $4,000 more, for just $3 a month! How is that possible? Banks charge less interest to clients with better credit history, and interest rates really matter. Considering this example was about a small car loan, imagine what it could mean for a home mortgage.
Getting a job is the first step to building your credit history, because your income determines how much you can borrow. Banks and lenders want to know that you have been making money, whether it be from a part-time or full time job. Once you have developed an income history, the next step is to apply for a credit card to start building a credit history. Now listen closely, you must make sure you always pay on time! It’s just as easy to ruin your credit history by failing to pay your bills. Start with small purchases each month, and always pay your bill.
There are different kinds of credit cards, and you should learn which is best for you. If you don't have much income history, but have some money saved, you can apply for a secured credit card, where you deposit money into a bank account that acts as your guarantee to the bank that you will pay your bills. Debit cards don’t count towards your credit score, which is why a secured credit card is a better way to go.
As we reach the age when we will be taking out loans, whether that be for a car or a college education, the most important thing to remember is to pay on time. If you miss payments you could be hit with penalties that compound on each other, even if you pay the future payments on time. For this very reason, it is crucial that you always pay on time. Having late payments on your history decreases your credit score, which will only make things harder for you in the future.
Everyone has the chance to improve their credit score if they understand how, and start taking the necessary steps. Ask your parents for help, do your research, and remember, the most important rule - always pay on time!
After scoring four goals in his first varsity hockey game ever, eighth grader Ben Jenkinson, who goes by B, has been deemed this issue’s Athlete of the Month. The hockey player contributed tremendously to the Whalers’ eventual success in his debut against the Cape Cod Tech Crusaders, helping the team make a comeback after being down 3-0 in the first period.
“He’s young, energetic, enthusiastic and he wants to learn on the ice,” Coach DJ Watkins describes Jenkinson’s general personality and his attitude towards getting better. Coach Watkins also acknowledges that Jenkinson is a big kid with speed to his size, in addition to his natural talent.
Even though the eighth grader has yet to attend Nantucket High School, his name is already being chanted throughout the crowd.
Natty Davidson’s understanding is that the supportive crowd was a key factor to the talented player’s performance, commenting that “having the game at home and having a good crowd made him feel comfortable.”
His talent and chemistry with the team made it seem as though he’s been playing for on Varsity for years now.
“Not only does he have unbelievable hands, but he’s also a smart player knowing where to be and what to do,” praised Simon Johnson, also noting that his appearance on the ice causes the fact that he’s in eighth grade to seem arbitrary.
“He’s really adapted to his linemates like Austin Starr and James Lester, both sophomores,” said Coach Bill Tornovish about the chemistry he shares with his teammates. The coaches hope to see that chemistry between Jenkinson and the two sophomores develop as they move on through high school, viewing it as a great advantage for the future.
Tornovish also mentions that the eighth grader has “great hands,” meaning he is capable of moving the puck around the ice very efficiently, as well as the ability to take quick shots on net.
Coach Watkins mentioned, “We think we’ll get positive results with B.” The other coaches share a similar sentiment, but at the same time, they didn’t expect four goals to be produced from him in his first varsity game, so hopes are high and they see him becoming a big factor for the hockey team’s future as he plays the rest of his career as a Whaler.
As a conclusion to Jenkinson’s unbelievable debut performance, coach Tornovish states, “all in all it’s going to be very good for the team as a whole to have him on the ice.”
Jenkinson will continue to make a name for himself as the season proceeds with the team and will hopefully be able to keep up his stride by scoring goals whenever he steps on the ice to compete against his next opponent.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first semester at Bates College. I am most impressed by the
quality of my professors; I am continually amazed by the knowledge they bring to the table and
the real investment they have in their students. I am also grateful for the passionate drive I witness in my peers. The small classes are conducive to lively discussions and students are forced to challenge and refine their points of view. It is stimulating to be surrounded by intellectually and socially engaged people, and refreshing to know everyone is working incredibly hard. I am perhaps most overwhelmed by the breadth of opportunity available to me. This past fall I was enrolled in an entry level psychology course; an introductory neuroscience course; an English and environmental studies course that focused on rivers in literature and poetry; and a first year seminar devoted to the reading of The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I was thrilled to have great professors and explore a wide range of fields.
I have found my way onto the varsity track team, and am definitely enjoying (and
struggling with) this new challenge. The routine of practice every day at 4 builds structure into
my day; however, I am continually reminded of the difficulty of the sport. It is also comforting to
come to practice and be with a team. I am an active member of the badminton club, which I hope
will attract a myriad of new members in the coming semester. I am also enrolled in a yearlong
internship course in which I volunteer at Lewiston High School for five hours a week, through the program The Aspirations Lab. I work with the very diverse senior class of 433 students on common applications, financial aid difficulties, and college essays. Most of the students are first generation, and many are from Somalia and Kenya, and thus English is their second language. It is rewarding to work through essays and watch as their writing gradually improves. Next semester I plan to focus on essay writing and help students learn to build an argument, find appropriate evidence and incorporate it well, and write clear, crisp sentences. There are serious disparities in the writing levels of the senior class, and most would benefit from improving the fundamentals.
It is easy to be involved at Bates, and I never find myself with excess time. The Outing
Club is always ready to ski or surf or camp somewhere, and there are so many amazing ways to
meet people and be involved in things you care about. I am grateful for how rigorous the
academics are and how grounding the extracurriculars are. I feel incredibly lucky to receive a
Bates education, and I am excited for the years to come.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I love Nantucket so much. Just existing on Nantucket brings me endless joy. Maybe this feeling is shared by my peers, or maybe not, but I certainly anticipated that I would miss the environment of this island when I left for school. Yes, the idea of moving to Los Angeles was enticing, but I was so deeply comfortable and happy in my quotidian Nantucket life that I was really in no hurry to leave it all behind. Except for the fact that I couldn’t wait to decorate my apartment, I had numerous dreams (and nightmares) about what my room would look like. Well, now as I lie in my new bed in my new room in my new apartment on my new campus in my new city in my new state in my new time zone, facing this foreign ocean, I feel utterly peaceful, and at home. Throughout our childhood and adolescence we are rarely blessed with spaces that are purely our own. Although our bedrooms and cars are sentimentally ours, they are ultimately in our parent’s houses in their garages. College is my own space. Yes, my parents make it fiscally possible for me to live here, but they have yet to step foot in this building. My room is entirely organized and arranged by me. It is wholly my own in a way that my room at home never was.
Maybe I’m just really good at falling in love with places, because every time I ride the metro, looking out the window fills me with explosive joy. USC is located just north of south central LA, in a stereotypically shady neighborhood. I love it. Most of the storefronts’ signage is faded and in Spanish and English, and dollar stores and nail salons with lots of … character dot every avenue. Los Angeles is the land of dreams - I truly believe this. I have never seen so much live music in my entire life, I attend at least a concert a week, and most of the acts are local, inexpensive to attend, and really, really good. That’s what’s so great about living here, endless opportunities of every sort. No matter what kind of music, art, clothing, food, blah blah blah you are into, LA has it, and it is of quality. Furthermore, quality is extraordinarily accessible, not just when it comes to music and food, but people as well. Yeah, I’m gonna get shallow here, seeing famous people is so cool and they’re everywhere and it turns out they’re actually people too and do embarrassing things and go to the movies and listen to Death Grips (well maybe that’s just Robert Pattinson).
Ok, yes, I love LA more than words can express and not to hurt anybody’s feelings (mom and dad I hope you aren’t reading this) but I really don’t want to ever leave. I’m not even looking forward to coming home for Christmas, there is still so much I want to do here! It is so unbelievably stimulating and incredible all the time. I’m really not kidding. Granted, I do like my bed on Nantucket better, and having a blender is nice.
A little more about my school then: I am learning to love it. It is easy to get caught up in the gross generalizations about schools and allow them to infect the way you view and interact with your community. USC, aka U$C, aka the University of Spoiled Children, for instance, actually has one of the most economically diverse student bodies in the nation because they are so generous with awarding merit scholarships. It would be easy to dismiss USC as just a snooty private school full of jocks and sorority girls with rich daddies, because that’s the stereotype. I have friends here that are seriously considering transferring, in part, I believe, because they bought too readily into this narrative. There are jocks, and there are girls in sororities and these are not inherently negative things to be. Also, there are a lot of people who are neither of these things; in fact, most people are neither. While I do find school spirit borderline obnoxious, and I have yet to attend a football game, I do love this school, if only for providing me with great teachers and really good dining hall food.
This letter was basically flow of consciousness, I hope you all studiously took notes and are savoring all of the kernels of knowledge that I have imparted. If I could offer/force down your throats any last words of advice, I would. So I will. To those who want to go to college, figure out where you want to be geographically first, then try to find schools in that area. I mean, you don’t have to, but that’s what I did and I am absolutely thrilled every morning when I wake up. Where you will live for these four years of your life can be as educational and formative as the school you attend, therefore it can be as significant, if you take full advantage of it.
P.S.: A brief message to my past self: YES. College is far less stressful than high school. You will get more sleep. Also, finals (knock on wood) aren’t the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination. Savor every day of high school because it is nothing less than completely terrific, but know that it only gets better from here. <3 <3 <3 V$
Every year, 132 teams from public and private schools around Massachusetts travel to the WGBH studios in Boston to compete in the Super Sunday competition.
Super Sunday is the qualifying round for the high school Quiz Bowl competition. Teams that qualify on Super Sunday move on to the much more competitive televised High School Quiz Show matches. Each team consists of four team members, two alternates, and two coaches. This year, the Nantucket High School team consisted of seniors Evan Borzilleri and Sophie Kuhl, and juniors Luci Bresette and Deana-Rae Weatherly. Alternates were seniors Harrison Holdgate and Grace Bartlett. This years coaches were Spanish teacher Kate Hickson and History teacher Peter Panchy.
Super Sunday is a staple of the High School Quiz Show, and the team looks forward to traveling up to Boston every year to compete. “It is rad,” said Kuhl.
On the day of the competition, there were four time slots with 33 schools in each slot. Each team was escorted to a room in the WGBH building where members answered 100 questions in 10 different categories. Team members noted that, as the questions progressed so did the point values. At the end of the day, each student was given a gift bag sponsored by Harvard University. Scores were released one week later and 16 qualifying teams were announced. These teams go onto to the televised segment; the remaining 126 schools are given no knowledge of where they placed in the standings.
To prepare for this competition, the Nantucket team practiced once a week in sessions designed to simulate the actual competition. Team members sat in front of two moderators and were given a topic. The questions were asked and the student was given five seconds to answer each question. The student was permitted to communicate with other team members and had to answer the question within five seconds. After that time, only one person was permitted to respond.
Despite many hours of training - and plenty of fun - the NHS Quiz Bowl team did not qualify this year. Out of a possible 1000 points, the team scored 760 points, although received perfect scores in History, Art, and Literature. The top 16 schools included fan favorites Acton-Boxborough, Advanced Math & Science, Belmont, Lexington, and Newton North.
Regardless of not qualifying, team members are proud of their hard work and success. “I'm happy with our performance, and I hope the team continues to be strong,” said Borzilleri. The team is hopeful, and looks to attract more underclassmen and be the best it can be in future years.
Up next for the Quiz Bowl team is to face the Nantucket School Committee in January. The team also plans to host its own school wide tournament later in the year.
Recently, the Nantucket High School Diversity Club held a food drive to support the Nantucket Food Bank by collecting canned goods and other non-perishables from NHS advisories. The purpose of the drive was to spread awareness for the need for food in the community and to encourage students to get involved and help donate food. The Diversity Club deemed this drive a success; they collected a lot amount of food.
Senior Jazzmine Butler, Diversity Club leader, stated that the goal of the club is to “show the student body that as a school we are very diverse, and are always willing to help and support our community in whatever way they can, whenever we can.”
Junior Maxx Cunningham is an active member of the community. He is a member of the basketball ball and baseball team, an honor roll student, and while he is not a Diversity Club member, he was able to speak to the positive impact the Club has on the school: “the Diversity Club, with all of its events community-wide, is a great thing for our school. It shows that we are not afraid of different views of things, and of course always love to help our community in whatever ways we can.”
In addition to the food drive, The Diversity Club also hosts several other programs around the community, each designed to educate people about the Club and celebrate our diverse school and island. The Whaling museum often hosts diversity nights, where students, as well as community members, gather to celebrate diversity.
These events offer occasions for Club members as well members of the community to gather together and celebrate the Diversity Club mission.
The Club also takes field trips. To fund these trips, the student members sell one dollar lollipops to other students or teachers in their classes and around the school. The Club has also been planning a field trip to Cape Cod Community College, where they will meet with other Diversity Clubs from schools around the state. Butler says that while they are on the field trip the Clubs “split off into groups, and we learn a little about each other, and about ourselves.”
The Diversity Club is a great way for the students of our school to be themselves and make a difference in our community. Events like the food drive are great for the Club to advertise themselves, but also to show how much they care about the Nantucket community.
Carter Snell, a junior at Nantucket High School, has a knack for woodworking and construction. Born and raised on Nantucket, Snell began working in his dad’s woodshop when he was very young, quickly taking to the complicated and intricate process of woodwork.
“When I was little I always used to take scrap wood from my dad’s shop and try and build something with it,” said Snell. “My dad would always ask me what I wanted to make and then he would help me do it. I always had a love for building something out of whatever I could find.”
Kyle Snell, our artist of the month’s father, has been a carpenter on the island for over thirty years, and taught Snell much of what he knows. He has worked with him in the summer for the past three years, doing everything from finish work and outdoor showers to porches and roofing.
Upon entering high school, Snell was able to expand his interests by taking woodshop under the guidance of Michael Girvin.
In wood tech one, Snell started off building cutting boards, boxes and clothing racks, but quickly became interested in more difficult things such as the lathe.
“The lathe is a machine that you can clamp any piece of wood into and rotate it at high speeds to make circular or curved shapes,” explained Snell. “You can make anything circular you want, from bowls to cups to salt and pepper shakers to legs of chairs. It’s really relaxing and if you get creative with it you can start experimenting with new things.”
Now in his junior year, Snell is taking wood technology two,a more advanced course that provides more freedom.
“Now that I’m in wood tech two, instead of wasting time on learning what all the tools are used for and doing the basics, I get to be creative and push myself to create something a little more difficult,” said Snell. “And Girvin knows he can trust me because of my experience in the shop.”
Snell has done this many times, taking different types of wood, gluing them in different configurations and making a number of different combinations to form artwork.
“Girvin always asks me to make knobs for him, because he knows I just like to use the lathe,” said Snell. “When he makes a new shelf or a cabinet door instead of buying knobs he comes to me to make them for him and then I get to be creative with it and make something that I can come in everyday and see and that people use everyday.”
Snell also emphasized that woodwork doesn’t come easily, but takes a lot of practice and time, which is one of the reasons why he is so talented at it.
“Girvin doesn’t really trust anyone with the lathe,” joked Snell. “I think he only lets me use it because I’ve been working in the shop for a long time now and I know how it works. He’s constantly asking me to teach it to other people.”
A lot of Snell’s designs are intricate and require many different types and shapes of woods. His signature design is on the bottom of his bowls, where he creates a continuing circle scheme that involves layered cuts with one of the carving tools and rigorous sanding.
When asked what his favorite thing he’s ever made was, Snell said, “Girvin gave me a cherry burrell, which is a growth off of a tree with irregular grain, which I took and made this small bowl out of that I gave to my dad for his birthday. The grain on the burrell just had crazy patterns and was easily one of the most beautiful pieces I think I’ve ever made.”
The Department of Culture and Tourism of Nantucket works to foster the growth of the island community in order to not only promote a rich cultural environment and on-island experience, but to encourage the tourism that keeps our beloved island’s economy afloat.
Melissa Murphy, Director of Culture and Tourism, as well as Carlisle Jensen, Special Events and Film Permit Coordinator, recently put together an initiative aimed towards creating a program that would not only provide participants with necessary life skills and experience, but also allow those involved to positively contribute to the island community through volunteer service. Both Murphy and Jensen act as internship coordinators for the program, termed the ACK Ambassador Internship.
Open to Nantucket High School upperclassmen, the idea for the program originated from a desire to get those who know and love Nantucket the best involved in applying themselves to making Nantucket a more welcoming place for its visitors. Murphy, Town Manager Libby Gibson, and Assistant Town Manager Gregg Tivnan examined similar models around the country and then tailored the program to fit the island’s unique way of life.
“We wanted to find a way to engage the community in sharing their love of Nantucket and important information with our visitors,” said Murphy.
While the idea was already in place when she arrived, Jensen, the former program coordinator for the Dewey House of Community Engagement at the University of Vermont, was excited for the possibility of using her background in organizing and coordinating student volunteers in a way to positively benefit the island community; thus, the ACK Ambassador idea was born.
The program will consist of three components: seminar workshops, mentorship, and direct service. The seminar workshops will be lead by local leaders, including Jason Bridges, the owner of the Handlebar Cafe and Public Outreach Manager, and Janet Schulty, the director of the Chamber of Commerce, along with Murphy and Jensen.
“There are going to be workshops, so part seminar time and part hands on, role-playing, experiential education, really diving into the issues. It’s pretty loose right now, honestly, our speakers all have a wealth of knowledge and can talk about just about anything,” remarked Jensen about the timed seminars.
As for mentorship, Jensen and Murphy have identified mentors who are willing to spend time with the ambassadors during their volunteer hours and answer any questions; as well as deepen the lessons, skills, and experience students will receive from the program, and simply get to know them. Some of the identified mentors include Courtney Bridges, Cecil Barron Jensen, and Janet Schulte.
The direct volunteer service will come from students acting as island ambassadors for weekends and holidays when Nantucket will be at it’s busiest, including Daffodil Weekend, Memorial Day, and most recently, Stroll Weekend. Ambassadors have the option to sign up for two hour time shifts, and are then placed at the busiest spots in town, like the top of Main Street, or in front of the Whaling Museum. The idea is for interns to be easily accessible to answer any questions or give any directions that those visiting Nantucket may need.
Senior KD Tornovish volunteered this past Stroll weekend, and found her first experience as a Nantucket ambassador both exciting and intriguing. She looks forward to the opportunity to volunteering with the Department of Culture and Tourism more often.
“For the most part, I was just giving directions and handing out pamphlets that detailed all of the events for the day. It seemed like most people knew where they were going, but we talked to a lot of people who were interested in the pamphlets. I can imagine during the summer that there would be many more lost tourists who could use some direction. I look forward to being an ambassador during Fourth of July weekend,” said Tornovish.
Senior Shae Albertson also volunteered over stroll weekend, and is looking forward to what is to come in the new program from both a volunteer and educational standpoint.
“I’m excited to discuss different topics with community members and get to know them better. As a Nantucket native, I hardly know anything about the logistics of our island’s tourism. In that regard, I’m excited to enhance my knowledge and become more involved,” said Albertson.
The students’ enthusiasm and excitement for the program is mirrored in both Murphy and Jensen’s hopes for the internship. Jensen is excited to continue working and building on the program, and to foster a stronger connection between students and the Nantucket community.
“I hope that it kind of grows and it builds and that we’re able to achieve our goal, which is providing a reciprocal relationship between the Nantucket High School and the downtown Culture and Tourism department,” said Jensen. “We really want to revitalize our youth’s ability to serve and learn about our local government and our local business, and to contribute to making downtown Nantucket a more welcoming and positive place."
How Do You Like Your Coffee?
A monthly conversation with a student artist about his or her art, passion, and who he or she is over a common love among artists: coffee. This week I interviewed Senior Grace Bartlett, a film director, music enthusiast, and the bass guitarist of Girlband.
Me: You seem to enjoy all forms of artistic expression. What or who got you into art?
Grace: I got into art mostly from trying things out and finding that I really enjoy creating things. I love the process of envisioning something in my head and then slowly seeing it become something real and tangible and being able to share it with other people.
M: Which art form came first, and which one is your favorite?
G: I started taking guitar lessons when I was in seventh grade. I think that I tend to favor whatever form I am working on the most at the time. I’ve been brainstorming ideas for a [documentary], so that’s really what I’ve been into the most lately, but I think I don’t really favor one over another.
M: What inspires you?
G: As cheesy as it is, great art really inspires me. When I study a song or a film and begin to understand how it was made, I begin to see how I can improve my own guitar/bass playing or filmmaking, and I find those discoveries really exciting and inspiring.
M: What artists do you look up to? Why?
G: The artists I look up to tend to be people within the community - people like Jeff Tocci (the former NCTV director); Jake Vohs, (musician); and Kit Noble (the photographer who I work under at N Magazine). It’s impossible for me to see their work ethics and the amazing art that they create first hand and not admire [what] they do. I listen to a lot of Led Zeppelin, Black Keys, The Rolling Stones, and Cage the Elephant…I can’t listen to them and not want to pick up an instrument. As far as films go, Barbara Kopple and Morgan Neville create very different yet very moving films that are pretty inspiring to me.
M: If you could have written any song, what song would it be?
G: Either Don’t Wanna Fight by Alabama Shakes or Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones.
M: You seem to like directing documentaries. Any particular reason why?
G: Besides just kind of having a knack for docs, I think that some of the best stories are the ones that happen in real life and tend to be the ones that need to be told the most.
M: How has growing up on Nantucket influenced your artistic voice or viewpoint?
G: Growing up on Nantucket has really given me access to mentors and opportunities that I simply would not have anywhere else. I would have never picked up a camera if it wasn’t for the NFF’s Teen View Program and filming (and the people that I have met because of it) has brought me so much joy and satisfaction it’s hard to imagine what the past four year would have been like without it. In short, I don’t think I would really have an artistic voice or at least not a very well developed one, if it wasn’t for Nantucket.
M: Lastly, how do you like your coffee?