On Saturday, June 4th, I graduated from Westborough High School as a member of the class of 2011. This is my final time writing as Co-Editor-In-Chief of The Lobby Observer. I want to thank everyone at the high school and in the Westborough Public Schools who has supported me during my time as a student in the school district. As my Co-Editor-In-Chief Vanessa Bein and I graduate, I feel we are leaving the paper stronger than it was at the beginning of the year. Many thanks for this go to our advisors: Mrs. Stoker, Mr. Masciarelli, and Mrs. Hopkinson, along with the students in the Journalism 1 and 2 classes, and this year’s supportive editorial board. I feel confident that the new editorial board, led by new Co-Editor-In-Chiefs Max Bloch and Ali Strand, will continue to improve the paper while bringing their own new ideas to the table as well. I encourage the community to support Max and Ali in their endeavors.
In the coming years I do have a few concerns for the Westborough High community. A recent survey called the “Westborough Adolescent Health Survey” run by the MetroWest Healthcare Foundation found that although alcohol use by students has decreased by a few percentage points, other drug use has increased. The survey is the third in a series of surveys being conducted by the Foundation. The biggest news in the survey in my opinion, however, was that students who felt “life was very stressful in the past 30 days” has increased from the same survey conducted in 2008 from 22% to 34%. I believe from my own personal experiences at the high school that the percentage may even be higher. Even if the percentage is accurate, I am concerned like the school district that this is unhealthy and will be leading to an environment in and outside the building that could lend itself to unhealthy choices. I am sure the Health and Wellness Department will work hard to address this in its curriculum. Still, despite its best efforts, I am not sure exposure to the health and wellness curriculum will be enough to lower this percentage significantly. Westborough High School is a challenging high school. This obviously has given its students like myself many benefits, but this may be leading to some unhealthy side-effects as well. I believe the best plan to help WHS students combat the stresses they face is by helping them find areas in their lives to reduce the stress, rather than strategies to simply deal with it. One of the ways to do this is to make sure the school is offering alternative programming outside of the ones students are regularly involved in. From academics, music, and sports, to other major outside of school activities, many students feel stress from the hard work that is required for all of these responsibilities that occur before, during, and after the school day. It is important that the student body find and participate in healthy activities to relieve stress. I hope school administrators will be receptive to working with groups in the school community and inside and outside of Westborough to find options that might keep students out of stressful situations if possible. I also would like to see new ideas on programming and policies emerge that might make the day a little easier for students to go through. I know that WHS is currently working to amend the school mission statement in preparation for an accreditation review by The New England Association of Schools and Colleges. I hope that in the amended mission statement concrete goals of creating an environment for students to feel a balance of success and less stress are reflected as a priority.
I wish the Westborough High School community the best in the many years ahead.
Myles Goldman ’11
Lobby Observer Co-Editor-In-Chief 2010-2011