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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug freshman Morgan Willis opens ChatGPT on her Chromebook.
AI Has Its Place, Just Not For Cheating
Katie Savulak '26, Reporter • April 16, 2024
Nonnewaug senior Kylieann Craine disposes food in the school cafeteria trash can.
Assard: Nonnewaug Needs to Take on Food Waste
James Assard '25, Reporter • April 15, 2024
The sun sets during spring break in Scottsdale, Arizona on April 17, 2022.
Here or There? Some Travel, Some Stay for Spring Break
Katie Savulak '26, Reporter • April 12, 2024
Nonnewaug freshman baseball player Ashton Elsemore bats during an April 8 game against Shepaug. Elsemore and most baseball players do not travel for spring break because the team has games and practices that week. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
Some Play and Some Go During Spring Break
Ava Hirleman '27, Reporter • April 12, 2024
A puddle surrounds second base on Nonnewaugs baseball field earlier this month. Rainy weather has negatively impacted the start of the spring sports season. (Kyle Brennan)
Persistent Rain Puts Damper on Start of Spring Sports (VIDEO)
Izzy DiNunzio '24, Editor-in-Chief • April 12, 2024
Kelly Farrell, a junior tennis player at Nonnewaug, prepares before a match against Wamogo on April 1. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
Hirleman: Championship Past in Girls Tennis Produces Positive Pressure
Ava Hirleman '27, Reporter • April 12, 2024
Freshman Elliana Obolewicz runs during a track meet last week. (Courtesy of NHS Track and Field/Instagram)
Track Athletes Get Flexibility During April Break
Arabella Rosa '25, Reporter • April 12, 2024
NHS Greenhouse Plant Production, a UConn ECE course, taught by NHS faculty member Eric Birkenberger, has been busy cultivating an array of plantings in preparation for its public plant sale on May 11th.
NHS Greenhouse students Gathers the Goods for the May Plant Sale
Kylieann Craine '24, Reporter • April 12, 2024
From right to left; Kaylee Jackson, Arabella Rosa, Christopher Pelletier, Lana Manganello, and Karisa Cizauskas setting up their new saltwater aquariums and learning how to control their coral lighting.
NHS Aquaculture Sets Sail on Salt Water
Kylie Healey '24, Reporter • April 12, 2024
NHS Dramas production of Once Upon a Mattress runs April 11-13 in the NHS auditorium. (Conor Gereg)
NHS Drama Sets the Stage for 'Once Upon a Mattress'
Gianna Lodice '24 and Layla Coppola '24April 11, 2024

The ‘Jakob’ of All Trades

Brianna Johnson ’25
Nonnewaug junior Jakob Reynolds is known for his many mechanical skills, skills he’s refined in some of his course units like engineering.

WOODBURY — The road from Beacon Falls to Bethlehem is a long one.  

Jakob Reynolds’ commute each day is not only costly, but time consuming. Reynolds has many miles under his belt, traveling from his home in the Valley to Nonnewaug to Bethlehem and then back to his house almost every day. The miles aren’t hard to see: torn jeans, battered boots, and calloused hands. 

Along the lengthy ride inside his Ford pickup older than him, his thoughts can circulate and he has time to do his best thinking. 

“I usually listen to music, but I find myself thinking a lot of the time about how I am going to fit everything I need to do into one day,” Reynolds said. “After school I usually go work at Devil’s Backbone [Farm] in Bethlehem.”

The long drives from home to school and work have helped shape Reynolds and earned him a reputation as a hard worker and entrepreneur.  Reynolds’ classmates and friends take notice of his commitment and avidity in the work that he does. 

As a matter of fact, Reynolds never expected himself to become a dairy farmer, but his reputation for hard work almost forced him to follow through with the job.

“I didn’t really want to milk cows, but I needed another SAE job and I already had a background in it,” said Reynolds. “When my brother was in high school, I used to help him at Devil’s Backbone Dairy Farm and milk cows with him. I never really planned on it, but I ended up working there, too. I’ve always looked up to my brother growing up, so it’s kind of cool I’m following in his footsteps.”

Jakob Reynolds and his friend set up to do a landscaping job. Reynolds was preparing for a job under his business, Reynolds Property Maintenance. Reynolds’ experience taking landscaping as a Nonnewaug student better prepared him for his current job working in property maintenance. (Courtesy of Jakob Reynolds)

“He’s very hardworking,” said Reynolds’ friend and classmate Anthony Vitale. “He drives all the way here [Nonnewaug] to learn, then to work, and then to either Beacon Falls or to his mom’s house in Monroe every night.”

This daily routine is not necessarily consistent. Depending on the day or season, Reynolds has a multitude of other jobs to keep him busy. On top of his work at the dairy farm in Bethlehem, Reynolds also works at Fairview Tree Farm, owned by his uncle, where he utilizes many of the skills he’s honed as an agriscience student at NHS. 

“He hand-selected a beautiful Christmas tree for my family,” said Colin Frechette, a Nonnewaug senior and a customer of Reynolds’ family farm. “I was getting nervous since the season was ending, but Jakob told me not to worry and to come down to Fairview Tree Farm. His service was great. I am definitely going to go back next year.”

The interpersonal skills developed working his multiple jobs go beyond just working with customers as nearly everyone notes Reynolds’ friendly attitude, a disposition that’s nothing short of contagious. Even on his long shifts at work, he finds a way to pass his affable personality onto the people around him.

In the fall, his smile is hidden behind a clown mask. Reynolds is found at Legends of Fear each fall playing a role in his community, bringing Halloween to life.  

“When I see my friends on the hayride, I usually jump on them and mess around with them to make them laugh,” said Reynolds. “Legends of Fear is a lot different from my other jobs because it’s less physical labor and more fun than the other jobs I have. It’s a lot less stressful, too. I also get to work with my mom and brother there, so it can be a lot of fun.”

While working at Legends of Fear is an easygoing job, it does take up a lot of Reynolds’ free time.

“In October he is busy every weekend,” said his friend and fellow NHS student Aiden Moffat. “He works really late nights as a clown scaring people. It’s hard to find any time to hang out with him, but he is a great friend when we find the time.”

If tackling those jobs wasn’t enough, Reynolds also owns and runs Reynolds Property Maintenance (RPM). In the summer, this is his main gig. Compared to some other small high school businesses, RPM has grown, bringing in more clients each year. Reynolds has properties such as Kriz Farm Ice Cream, which continues to hire him for his exceptional services.

While Reynolds enjoys seeing his business grow, he understands that being an entrepreneur comes with hard work and sacrifice. 

“It’s fun owning a business, but it’s hard, too,” said Reynolds. “In order to grow my business, I need to buy more equipment, and that gets expensive. Even though small business ownership comes with its rewards, entrepreneurs have to invest much of their own time and money to see it grow.” 

Being a teenage entrepreneur is unarguably intimidating. Reynolds has not been fazed when it comes to stepping up to the challenge. This could be what leads to the success he has had so far — and plans on having in the future.  

“My plan for after high school is to keep Reynolds Property Maintenance running,” said Reynolds. “I am going to work hard to expand it so that it can support me. After high school I plan on growing my business. I’m thinking about going into a school for mechanics in case I change my mind about landscaping. I try to have a good work-life balance and spend a good amount of time at work, but I also love being with my friends, too.”

The act of hard work isn’t something new to Reynolds — and those around him have observed this. 

“He is constantly doing something,” said Vitale, “but he is great at whatever task he is given. He never leaves things half-done.”

About the Contributor
Brianna Johnson ’25
Brianna Johnson is a junior in her first year of being a reporter for the Nonnewaug Chief Advocate. She is an ag student who's interested in agricultural production. When she is not reporting on the latest news, she enjoys riding quads, working with cows, and socializing with her friends. She hopes to become a women's health nurse practitioner. Brianna is excited to be involved in sharing the details of the latest local news.
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