By Alessandra Antonacci '20
On Thursday, December 14th, a poll was sent out to determine once and for all what Fontbonne’s favorite Christmas movies and songs are. The poll ended the following morning with 228 responses from both students and faculty members.
28.9% of participants stated that Home Alone is their favorite Christmas movie, closely followed by Elf at 26.3%. The Grinch and The Polar Express were both runners-up at 18% and 11% respectively. There were quite a few fill-in answers for this question, some being The Year Without Santa Claus, A Muppet Christmas Carol, and, sparking an interesting debate, Die Hard.
The next question asked participants to state their favorite Christmas song. With almost half of the votes, All I Want For Christmas is You came in first place at an overwhelming 45.8%. The runner-up for this question was Last Christmas, coming in at 22.2%. Understandably, this was the question with the most fill-in answers, and some honorable mentions include Sarajevo (Trans Siberian Orchestra) and Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer, which received the most fill-in votes. Shockingly, Jingle Bell Rock only received .04% of votes.
The last question asked participants to state their favorite religious Christmas song. 34.8% of participants stated that Silent Night is their favorite, followed closely by Joy to the World and Mary, Did You Know at 28% and 21% respectively.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote on the poll and establish, once and for all, Fontbonne’s Christmas favorites. Have a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!
By Jonnel Lewis '19
On Monday, November 12th, 2018 around 10:30-11pm, a text message was shared with multiple students suggesting that Fontbonne was a threat for a potential violent attack. Havoc ran throughout social media as students were fearful to return to school the next day. Students alerted parents who then contacted the administration. Once administration was informed, they contacted the 68th Precinct as well as the students involved in the incident.
According to students, especially Freshwomen, they were contacted by an anonymous person who said, “They’re coming to the school to shoot it up.” While students tried to uncover the truth of the threat, the story began to change. It was as if they were playing a game of telephone - the truth began to get twisted up so much it spiraled out of control.
When the police finally got a hold of the situation, they said that there was no real threat to the school. The administration sent out an email stating, “The messages that were sent to the police also included the original post, which never stated that the school, or anyone at the school, would be subject to an attack.” They also assured parents and students that it would be safe to return to school the following day.
The administration had police patrol at school the following day, November 13th. However, over one hundred and fifty students had not returned to school as they were still fearful from the potential threat. As many shootings, especially school shootings, have taken place in 2018, it is understandable that students and parents did not want to risk their lives, even if the threat was not real.
As a Fontbonne Hall Academy community, it is important that when you hear or see something that can negatively affect you and others, especially if it’s a threat of violence or anything unsafe, you must say something. And we appreciate those students who indeed said something. We urge that students take precaution in what they share online because the wrong post can cause turmoil within and outside our family.
For further information on this subject, be sure to tune in to BNN for the full scoop on this terrible scare.
By Alessandra Antonacci '20
At the beginning of this school year, the Fontbonne administration decided to make a change in the term that we use to refer to first-year high school students. As many students have noticed by now, the term “Freshmen” has been replaced with “Freshwomen” in order to promote Fontbonne’s mission of empowering women.
While there have been mixed reactions to this change, many of the comments from the student body have been either indifferent or negative. In order to get more insight on this topic, I interviewed Mrs. Spicijaric to see why this change was made in the first place.
I was surprised to learn that the usage of this term did not start at Fontbonne. According to Mrs. Spicijaric, she first discovered the term “Freshwomen” at The Mary Louis Academy. Mrs. S had thought about instituting the change for a long time, but she chose this year to do so because the administration is heavily focused on staying true to Fontbonne’s mission.
Mrs. Spicijaric says that the reason for this change is to promote equality, to show that we are proud of women and proud to be women. “It is strange to refer to women as men,” says Mrs. Spicijaric, “Being in an all-girls establishment, the student body should be addressed correctly.” In today’s society, we are starting to use more gender inclusive terms, such as police officer instead of policeman, and firefighter instead of fireman. Why not advance this into our own school environment?
I asked Mrs. Spicijaric why she thought that the initial reaction to the change was so negative, and her response was, “In time, it will become part of the vernacular eventually.” In other words, it sounds strange now, but it will start to become more normal as time goes on. “Any change in a school is initially viewed as weird or strange,” Mrs. Spicijaric added.
While the administration will use “Freshwomen” in order to identify us as women and confirm our gender, the students can choose to use either term. However, the administration hopes that the students will eventually see this as a positive change instead of a “change for change’s sake.” Mrs. Spicijaric hopes that, in time, it will teach the students that the term women is just as fine to use as men.
By Stephanie Patella '20
Adjusting to the new environment of high school is challenging, but what if you had to go through it twice?
On January 9th, 2018, the students and faculty of Saint John Villa Academy were left in utter shock by the news that the school would be closing in June 2018. Just like that, my fellow Villa Bears and I had felt like our world had been turned upside down.
Like most high school students, I spent my freshman year adjusting to new life at Villa. By the time I had reached my sophomore year, I felt that I had finally hit my stride. I had developed my group of friends, established myself in certain extracurricular activities, including softball and theater, and overall felt like Villa was my second home. Who knew that in an instant, it could all be taken away?
Deciding on which school I would have to attend my junior year completely filled me with sadness and doubt. Would I ever be able to find a new home? Would any school make me feel as warm and happy as Villa?
My Villa classmates and I attended open house after open house. We visited all girls and co-ed schools, both public and Catholic, in Staten Island. Some girls knew exactly where they wanted to go because their friends or siblings may have attended that school. For me, however, I did not quite feel that same spark that I felt during the Villa open house in freshman year.
My cousin had told me about a school that was located right over the Verrazano Bridge called Fontbonne Hall Academy. I was a little nervous about the idea of traveling over the bridge to get to school every day, but I felt that there was no harm in taking a look. My mother, father, and I attended the open house among the other Villa students and parents eager to learn about what the school had to offer. I noticed faculty members walking around with big smiles and among them was Ms. Spicijaric. She stood at the podium in the gymnasium looking out into this crowd of lost hope and sorrow. She began by sending her condolences and assuring us not to be worried about this difficult process. Before she spoke about enrollment and classes in FHA, she took the time during her presentation to show the similarities in the mission statements of both Villa and Fontbonne. In that moment, I regained that long-awaited sense of warmth and happiness. After Ms. Spicijaric had finished her speech, I leaned over to my parents and whispered, “This is a Brooklyn version of Villa and I really want to be a Bonnie.”
Another villa transferee, Alessandra Antonacci, had a similar takeaway from the open house. “When I visited the school itself it had a prominent family environment, which was something I didn’t find when I went to other open houses.”
But how would I be able to adjust to my new surroundings when I walk in on my first day? Will this be like freshmen year all over again?
I was pleased to discover that it was not. I was not going backward, but rather turning the page to a new and exciting chapter in my life.
On the first day of school, I realized that there were roughly twenty former Villa girls that were in attendance at FHA. This provided a sense of relief and comfort just knowing that I would see some familiar faces in the hallways.
Mrs. Hein, director of admissions, admits that she and Ms. S were fortunate enough to intrigue a significant amount of Villa girls to attend FHA by “reach[ing] out to Sr. Antonia, principal at Villa, to let her know that we would support Villa students and welcome them to FHA with open arms” and “then attend[ing] the HS Fair Villa held at [the] school.” There, they were able to provide students and parents with desired knowledge to learn about FHA. Similar to Ms. S’s comparison of the mission statements of the schools, Mrs. Hein explains that FHA is “similar enough that Villa students would flourish [here] which is why we were so committed to helping them out in their situation last year.”
Walking around in a completely different atmosphere on that first day made all of us a little nervous. Eventually, we were able to adjust with help from our kind classmates and faculty. Former Villa student, Gabriella Salerno, gave her opinion on the transition: “I admit I was very stressed at first, but now I’m becoming more familiar with the school.” Alessandra Antonacci, a junior Villa transfer student, adds “Everyone was even more welcoming than I had ever hoped for.”
While we now walk around as Bonnies, Ms. S and the school administration was kind enough to let us still carry around a little piece of Villa. During the very first assembly of the year, Ms. S presented each of the Villa transferees with a special pin that combined the logos of the two schools, which we can wear as part of our uniform until our graduation. As Mrs. Hein explains, “Ms. S created this pin because she really wanted the Villa students to know that FHA was welcoming them with open arms, but also realizes and respects the situation they are in and the school they are coming from which is where the embracing symbol and coordination of both schools’ colors stemmed from.” It has been the little acts of kindness like this, by faculty as well as existing students, that have given us Villa girls the comfort to now call ourselves Bonnies.
Of course, a significant transition like this will have its share of bumps in the road. For those Villa transferees that are still finding it hard to adjust, Mrs. Hein encourages patience and persistence; “Don’t give up! Stay positive and put yourself out there...It is difficult to start over especially when you were not anticipating having to do so, but we are a family and we will do all that we can to help you adjust. My door is always open!” Indeed, as we Villa girls now walk through the doors of FHA on a daily basis, we take comfort in knowing that this is now our home and perhaps everything happens for a reason.
By Emanuela Gallo '19
Over the years I’ve been a member of The Folio, I have watched it evolve, as all good things do. This year, it will continue to. There will be several new additions and edits that will set the tone for the rest of the year.
Our new Faculty Editor-in-Chief is Mr. Ralph Somma, who joined the Fontbonne community this year. In addition to directing the FHA newspaper, he teaches English 10 and Print & Broadcast Journalism here at Fontbonne. I am confident that his expertise and unique contributions will bring The Folio to a new level this year.
In addition, our mode of journalism has expanded to include broadcast as well as print. The Shore Road Scope, Fontbonne’s news broadcast, has been renamed to the Bonnie News Network (BNN). In previous years, it had been only directed by students in the Broadcast Journalism class. Now, club members will be able to contribute!
Furthermore, this year we are starting an advice column titled “Bonnie to Bonnie.” Students will be able to anonymously ask questions about homework, clubs, jobs, community service, commuting, transitioning into high school, and any other related topics. It is directed by Gabriella Agliata, a senior who has been a part of The Folio since Freshman year. When asked about the advice column’s objective, she stated, “The purpose of the advice column is to help and guide students with the everyday issues they face.”
Finally, The Folio plans to direct our articles in a broader direction. We are expanding to include a myriad of stories, including those that aren’t directly correlated to Fontbonne. For example, Jenine Samara, a reporter for the newspaper, will be writing an article discussing the recent midterm elections. We want to explore topics, issues, debates, and controversies that concern our community, country, and world, which by default concern us all.
I am thrilled to serve as the Student Editor-in-Chief of The Folio. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for our newspaper!