The Smoke Signal

The next chapter

District Library Media Specialist Margaret White  has been working for the district for 20 years and PV instrumental music teacher Joe Zajac has been a band director for 40 years. Both have retired at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

Ilmie Xhaferi, Staff Editor

June 18, 2020

When district Library Media Specialist Margaret White first decided that she wanted to become a school librarian, she felt that she could "fit in" with the job.  “I have a couple of librarian friends, so I’ve always kind of liked the atmosphere of the library,” White said. “With being friends wi...

Seniors react to conflicting graduation date

The district administration scheduled the Class of 2020's in-person graduation to be during Beach Week – an annual senior tradition in which graduates take a trip to the beach after the conclusion of the school year – prompting many seniors and parents  to urge the district to change the date of the ceremony. After the district was unwilling to do so, a number of seniors expressed their opinions on the conflicting date of the ceremony.

Spencer Goldstein, Sports Editor

June 18, 2020

After months of uncertainty regarding the status of a potential in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, the district announced one for July 8. However, the selection of that date has received backlash from seniors and parents due to its overlapping with “Beach Week," an annual student-or...

A goodbye to our senior editors

A goodbye to our senior editors

Ellie Kim, Ilmie Xhaferi, and Izzy Zuluaga

June 16, 2020

With Editors in Chief Rachel Cohen and Katie Mullaney, and Photo Editor Victoria Donofrio graduating, The Smoke Signal 2020-2021 Editorial Board wanted to thank the senior editors for all their hard work and dedication. Below are bio boxes highlighting the impact that The Smoke Signal had on the gra...

A dynamic duo

Assistant District Superintendent Barry Bachenheimer and his daughter, Lea Bachenheimer, continue to volunteer with the South Orange Rescue Squad during the coronavirus pandemic. While Lea’s shift lasts Sunday evenings from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m, Bachenheimer is on duty from 6 p.m. Sunday night to 5 a.m.

Ilmie Xhaferi, Staff Editor

June 10, 2020

When Barry Bachenheimer first signed up for an EMT course at 16 years old, he originally wanted to become a firefighter.   “I watched [“Emergency”], and I saw the firefighters and the paramedics on the show — I thought I wanted to do that,” said Bachenheimer, the current director of cur...

Community members ‘adopt’ the Class of 2020

Senior Jeff Patalano receives goodies from his adopter. Community members were given the opportunity to

Sarah Shapiro, Staff Writer

June 7, 2020

To make the end of senior year memorable for the Class of 2020, senior parents Dana Porrazzo, Jaime Caruso, Donna Colasuono, LeeAnn Menendez, and Jennifer Zdankowski took it into their own hands and came up with the idea of “adopting” the seniors. Porrazzo said that senior parents or guard...

Girl Scout perseveres despite coronavirus challenges

Senior Gianna Rowe has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten and is working towards receiving the Gold Award. Rowe continues to try to find alternative ways of completing her required service hours, while following social distance precautions.

Sarah Buttikofer, Staff Writer

May 28, 2020

Due to the coronavirus, senior Gianna Rowe is thinking of new ways to finish her Gold Award while still following the social distancing precautions.  Rowe has been in Girl Scouts since she was in kindergarten, and was just hours away from completing the highest award there is — the Gold Award. ...

Senior Clubs Send-Off

Due to the coronavirus, the Class of 2020 has had to say goodbye to the clubs it was a part of throughout high school. Some seniors are highlighted below.

Izzy Zuluaga, Ilmie Xhaferi, and Hailey Migdal

May 28, 2020

With the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year being virtual, the Class of 2020 has lost the opportunity to say goodbye to the clubs it has been a part of throughout high school. The Smoke Signal has decided to honor some of those seniors.

Staying green during quarantine

Staying green during quarantine

Jaimie Alessi and Shaina Julis

May 24, 2020

While the coronavirus has been devastating to people and the economy, it has had an unexpected impact on the environment. The reduced travel and economic slowdown caused by the quarantine has reduced pollution around the world.  NASA’s satellite images of China show that there has been a visible decrease i...

‘We’re fighting and training to eventually become leaders’

A classmate and Pascack Valley alum Ryan Novakowski at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Novakowski hopes to be commissioned into the Navy for five years.

Sarah Buttikofer, Staff Writer

May 18, 2020

(Editor’s Note: This article is in honor of National Military Appreciation Month in May.) Ryan Novakowski grew up surrounded by service, as his dad was in the National Guard, his grandpa was in the army during World War II, and his brothers were in the shipment at the United States Merchant Marin...

Senior creates college decision video featuring parents

Senior creates college decision video featuring parents

Ilmie Xhaferi, Staff Editor

May 14, 2020

Senior Lauren Bell wanted to commemorate her fellow classmates and express her gratitude to the parents of the Class of 2020 despite not being able to celebrate National College Decision Day on May 1. As an alternative, she created a video of parents saying a message to their children that was ...

Doorstep delivery

Doorstep delivery

Nupur Karnik, Staff Writer

May 12, 2020

During the coronavirus pandemic, local residents have been scared to shop for essentials like groceries.  As the director of food and lunch programming for the River Vale PTA, River Vale resident Elisha Fischbein has developed a solution to ease the fear in the community. “It clicked to me t...

Pandemic Patrol

Pandemic Patrol

Sarah Buttikofer, Staff Writer

May 5, 2020

Leonia Police Department Captain Scott Tamagny said that police officers have to be ready for anything at any time, especially during the pandemic. “There’s a lot more that goes on [during] these times, even in small towns, that people don’t realize,” Tamagny said. While most people are...

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