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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaugs Scott Meyer, left, was honored as the recipient of the 2024 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award at the CAS-CIAC Scholar Athlete Banquet on May 5 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. (Courtesy of the CIAC)
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Nonnewaug boys soccer coach Toby Denman, left, and assistant coach Josh Kornblut address the team after a game last season. Denman says hes tried to learn how to be an effective coach by observing the ones hes played for and coached with. (Kyle Brennan)
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Nonnewaugs Ellie McDonald dribbles the ball during a game last season. McDonalds nickname is Smellie -- one of many Chief names that exist on the girls soccer team. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
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Kyle Viveros is ready on his toes, awaiting the ball. Viveros and Landon Parks took home the BL doubles title. (Courtesy of Sophia Cenatiempo)
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Chief Advocate editor-in-chief Izzy DiNunzio bids farewell after four years in Nonnewaugs journalism program. (Courtesy of Izzy DiNunzio)
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Deme Jones looks at students orphan portraits at Nonnewaug’s art show on June 6.
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The memorial for Chester Carruthers. (Courtesy of Find-a-Grave)
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Nonnewaug girls tennis seniors, from left, Maggie Keane, Skylar Chung, Maylan Hardisty, Kiley Stampp, Sam Duncan pose on their senior night. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
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Nonnewaug freshmen discuss their worries about the testing, including potential AP exams, they have to take next year.
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Safety Committee Recommendation Leads to End of Leave-and-Return Policy

Savannah Czerepacha ’25
Two Nonnewaug students leave campus as part of their leave-and-return privilege. Many students treasure the policy because it gives them chances to get food or get things done, but that will end next year.

WOODBURY — Leave and return is a privilege at Nonnewaug that many students love. It gives the students opportunities to leave campus and get food, or go hang out with friends during their study hall.

But starting next school year, leave and return will be no more. The privilege that seniors and juniors had this year will no longer be available.

“We have been in a lot of conversations,” said Nonnewaug principal Mykal Kuslis. “One of the things that was interesting to me when I came here was the leave and return and kind of the open-campus policy. I haven’t really seen it at any other schools I’ve worked at or at any of the tech schools. To me, the idea of kids coming and going on days was a little concerning to me, especially on the short days.” 

For seniors, they share the idea that many kids use leave and return for many different reasons. Some may go home, get some food for friends, or some just decide to not use it. But many are thankful that they have it for what-if instances.

“This is my first year with leave and return,” says senior Campbell Bologna. “I find myself not using it much, but I used it a lot during April because I would drop some things off from either Timber [Team] or Drama [Club], but other than that I don’t really use it. I kind of just have it just in case something happens like my family, but it’s mainly there so I can go home quickly and then come back to school.” 

Senior Talan Wilkas takes advantage of the privilege in a number of ways, too.

“Sometimes I can go to Dunkin’ and get something to eat before my next class or I can go get gas,” says Wilkas. “It gives me a grace period, especially if I have something to do after school.”

Wilkas thinks that instead of taking away leave and return all together, only seniors should have the privilege. 

“I feel like a better compromise would be having it for the seniors only instead of juniors and seniors,” said Wilkas. “They can still kind of get what they want and still take it away for some people and make some people happy, but make other people happy.” 

One thing that has rung a bell with administration is the safety aspects with leave and return. Over this past year, there have been multiple incidents with leave and return.

“Our district safety committee meets with all the schools, local police departments, fire departments and whatnot,” says Kuslis. “They made the strong recommendation, given the things that had happened on leave and return, that we just move forward with canceling it all together, to which I kind of agree with.”

About the Contributor
Savannah Czerepacha ’25
Savannah Czerepacha is a junior and a first-year writer for the Chief Advocate. She is a part of the ag program and is studying aquaculture. She plays for the NHS soccer and basketball teams. She also has a pet pig named Lightning. When she graduates, she wants to go to college to study animal sciences.
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