Around the Corral
Mustang Senior Singing His Way Into Stardom by Ryan Brown
Mainland Regional has had its fair share of big-name alumni. Students like Oregon Basketball’s Kylee Watson, Cal-Berkley’s soon-to-be Olympian Destin Lasco, and Cincinnati Reds’ Chase Petty are just a few of the most recent Mustangs to enter the spotlight. However, not all Mustang success comes from athletics. Next up is John Wood, who is making headway in his blossoming music career. John, who has over 4,000 followers on Instagram and is signed by Lamon Records Nashville, just released his new song, “Here She Comes”.
While John’s professional career is fairly new, singing has always had a great influence on his life. When asked about this influence, John attributed it to a strong support system: “My mom has been there telling me I could carry a tune since I was in elementary school. Watching her perform in her band was another driving factor. My closest friends also pushed me to pursue music before anyone else did.”
John has been performing at local bars and restaurants, like Gregory’s in Somers Point, since July of 2021, and he has nothing but good things to say about that experience. “Being able to interact with people and set the mood for a good time is a one of a kind feeling. I like being able to go into ‘work’ knowing I’m hopefully going to affect somebody in a positive way. There’s nothing like a good crowd.” Mainland students, teachers, and community members alike flock to see John perform. You can check out John’s “Tour the Shore” show listings on his Instagram.
When John performs, he usually sings a lot of covers of other well-known country songs. But following his signing with Lamon Records Nashville, John began working on new music. This past March, John released his first song, “Here She Comes”, which has picked up a lot of popularity, as it has reached almost 3,000 listens in under 3 weeks. The song has even been mentioned on Country Central, a well-known country music news/media outlet. This exposure has only grown John’s popularity over time. When asked what the song meant to him, and what the meaning behind the lyrics were, John had this to say: “I didn’t write ‘Here She Comes’ about my life. I wanted to test my creativity and see what kind of story I could create. I think it’s a good display of how a lot of relationships turn out.” John attributes his effort towards the instrumental element of the song for its success. “Musically, it holds true to my influences and my writing style. There are some unique chords going on in there. For me, the music itself is something I put a lot of effort into.”
With John being a senior at Mainland, graduation is right around the corner. This begs the question, what is next for this young musician and his blossoming career? John is all in on music, as he’ll be studying music business at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, while still writing and releasing new projects. John finished the interview by thanking everyone who has been supporting him in his upcoming career and listening to his music. You can listen to “Here She Comes” by John Wood on Spotify and Apple Music, as well as check out when and where he’ll be performing on his Instagram and Tiktok, @johnwoodmusic.
Empowered With a Purpose by Franchesca Bozzi
People are taught at a young age to never judge a book by its cover, yet it seems the older they get the more they do. These days, no one wants to take the time to do their research before developing an opinion, or they don’t look to the right sources. A pure example of this is the unfair gossip about Mainland’s Girl PWR Club. There have been rumors, harsh comments, and false assumptions surrounding what Girl PWR Club is. What people fail to recognize is they have absolutely no true knowledge of what the values of the club are. The PWR in Girl PWR stands for perseverance, worthiness, and resilience. It’s promised that no matter how you enter the club, you will leave with PWR. Girl PWR Club strives to form a safe and comfortable community for the girls at Mainland through creating supportive committees, discussing issues that are sensitive to them, educating each other on different situations of girls around the world, and collaborating with important role models in the community.
Those looking for a welcoming support system, or a place to be heard, should look to Girl PWR club. There are several committees offered for the purpose of expressing what’s important to you and developing relationships. Saanvi Mehta, a Junior in Girl PWR Club, is in the process of pursuing a committee that would inspire girls to pursue STEM. There are also several sports committees that encourage the support of all girls' sports teams at Mainland. One of the ultimate goals of Girl PWR Club is to provide mentoring to underclassmen so that they feel a sense of belonging at Mainland. Many teens struggle to find their place in high school. The Big Sister Committee aims to help underclassmen transition from middle school to high school by helping them rise up in the school community and find people they can connect with. The Club Advisor, Madame Schroeder, believes, “It only takes one real connection to make a difference in your high school experience. To find that person you can count on, talk to, and has faith in you.”
Girl PWR Club is not only a place to find confidence, but also a place to educate yourself on the roles of women around the world. The club met on October 11th to discuss International Day of the Girl, which was declared by the United Nations to amplify the voices of young girls around the world and increase awareness of issues faced by them. They learned about what other girls struggle with in terms of having equitable access to education and opportunities in the world that a lot of us take for granted. The documentary, I Am a Girl, was shown to contemplate how similar or different we are from other girls. The club emphasizes fighting for ourselves and other girls who may have it worse than we do.
To keep girls empowered, Girl PWR Club aims to find local business owners to come in and talk about their experience as a woman in an authoritative position. A collaboration with the women at Reed’s Farm in Egg Harbor Township is currently in the works. These inspiring women are interested in coming in and speaking to the girls about what it’s like to be a woman in the agricultural industry since that’s not very common. Since this is a new club, a lot is still in the works, but the Club Advisor is working on reaching out to several other inspiring women to offer different avenues to appeal to everyone’s interests. Girls will be reminded that they can take on any role they set their mind to.
Girl PWR Club wants girls to leave Mainland inspired to do more. Madame Schroeder was inspired by her students who seemed to not feel connected to the school community. She thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some kind of place where we could welcome girls that feel isolated or disconnected?” That is exactly what Girl PWR Club has done. It has brought together a community of girls at Mainland who can support themselves, each other, and other girls around the world. Madame Schroeder stated, “Adolescence is such a vulnerable period for everyone and offering a club that meets once or twice a month with girls to help each other feel like they are not alone or isolated is such a small gesture yet can have such a powerful outcome in the end.” There can be no harm in inspiring perseverance, worthiness, and resilience in impressionable teenage girls.
Photo of Girl PWR Club: (left to right) Emily Gil-Lopez, Senior; Christie Bernier, Senior; Gabrielle Odoi-Kenneyson, Senior; Madame Schroeder, Club Advisor; Kailan Cass-Adams-Johnson, Sophomore; Anamika Chakrabarty, Sophomore; Rakhi Trivedi, Sophomore; Nritho Halima, Sophomore
Special Thanks to Ms. Mench for the photo and Madame Schroeder for contributing to this article
Mainland Bathroom Policies Raise More Questions Than Answers by Will LaPointe
*Editor's Note: Much has been said about the new MRHS bathroom policies. This is one student's opinion.
At Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, NJ, there was a trend going around called “devious licks.” This was a trend all over the country and it was just students going into the school and stealing anything and taking it home, such as soap dispensers off the walls, and other things that belong to the school, along with just breaking stuff for no reason. So, while this is happening at Mainland along with high schools all over the country Mainland reacts and the students are not happy about it.
The Chief School Administrator, Mr. Marrone, along with the Board decide that what they are going to do is put sign in and out sheets in front of the bathrooms so that they know who is in at what time and they can track them down easier. Students did not like this, but they were not that mad about it, it was just annoying to them. Also, three people could go in at a time and where people had a problem is how there were only two bathrooms open in the whole school for male student and 3 to 4 women’s restrooms, and for people that identify as something either then male or female there are two all gender bathrooms for them to use.
Boys that go to Mainland Regional High School are not happy at all. Speaking with some and getting to hear what they said about it makes you think why. One student said he felt “violated” because they have recently decided to leave the doors wide open and inside, they took out the little divider door so now anyone can just investigate the boy’s bathroom when they are doing their business. Some people have said it is harder for them to use the bathroom because of this weird idea that people of other genders or there own are looking in on them. Now going to the bathroom is the main reason they are there but some kids see it as a safe place where they can be alone, and that aspect was just destroyed.
Girls that go to Mainland Regional Highschool also do not like it because some people already find it hard to pee in school because they are “pee shy” and this just eliminated it for them. So the girls still do have that divider before you walk in and they have more bathrooms open throughout the whole school. Moving onto all gender bathrooms nothing has been changed about that except for the fact that you must know the password to use it.
With as unhappy these students are they are not doing much though. They are kind of just taking it and that’s not okay. Because this was taken to far and I think that there are other alternatives then to let the whole school into the boy’s bathroom to make sure nothing bad is happening. One student suggested that they put the divider back up close the door and every certain amount of time someone goes and takes a peak in the bathroom so that now it is only one person checking instead of the whole school listen to you go to the bathroom.
So kids are not happy with everything that is going on but not many are really doing anything and with this violation to these kids privacy the school does not care. So on that note this rule should be looked at because yea some kids made trouble in the bathroom but now everyone is paying for it and that is not right. So will someone step up and demand change or are all thee students just going to sit back and let it happen.
Why Are the Bathrooms Being Restricted? By Kyle DeGaetano
*Editor's Note: Much has been said about the new MRHS bathroom policies. This is one student's opinion.
Whether you are a student or teacher you most likely have heard numerous complaints about the bathroom situation. Due to the “devious lick” trend on a popular social media platform called TikTok, new restrictions have been put in place. These restrictions force the students to sign in, leave their full name, student ID, and time of entrance and exit of the bathroom. On-top of that, only three students are allowed inside the bathroom at a time, and they must also leave their school bags outside of the bathroom as well as having the main door open. I personally have heard many complaints from students about this issue, as well as complaints from teachers who are forced to monitor the students entering and exiting the bathrooms, I am told they are angry since when they decided to become a teacher this is the last thing that came to their mind. And from the students, they feel as if their privacy is being infringed upon.
Beginning with the students, the bathroom for us tends to be a place where obviously we use the bathroom, but it is also a place where you and a friend can meet and take a short five-minute break from class. To destress and take your mind off all the work for a fraction of the day. While yes, obviously kids are going to abuse their trips to the bathroom. There is no stopping them. Every day I go in it is pretty obvious these new rules are not working. I understand why we have to leave our backpacks outside of the bathroom so we cannot sneak entire soap dispensers out, but it makes no sense that 10 kids find their way in while a monitor is on duty. However, me saying this has nothing to do with the teachers being bad at their job. It is more to show how ineffective this system is. Kids manage to skip class for up to 40 minutes at a time and continuously vandalize the bathroom. What the school needs to realize is that teenagers will always find a way no matter what they do to get around these newly implemented rules.
While teachers also wish these ridiculous rules would go away, the students are with them. Clearly no progress is being made with these new rules. In my eyes and from me personally talking to teachers who will not be named in this article that are working bathroom duty tend to rant to me about how much they hate it. I can see that it gets repetitive telling kids to sign in and out, having students count the number of kids in the bathroom to make sure only three students go in at a time and making sure they leave their backpack outside of the classroom. Recently, I was on a call with a friend of mine who heard a rebellious student cursing out a teacher since they were so fed up with the rules. I believe that this issue is damaging the school more than it is helping it. The only true way to stop this is to have someone inside of the bathroom monitoring the students the entire time. However, that is an illegal invasion of privacy, therefore this problem has no real solution. For the students that tend to be troublemakers, they will always find a way around the rules.
Overall, it is clear that these rules are no longer working, the “devious lick” trend has ended, and I see it as unfair to both the students and the teachers to maintain this. For the students who want to feel more comfortable in the bathroom they could have a singular monitor at a time watching A hall, while the rest of the bathrooms go to business as usual. There are plenty of security cameras to keep an eye out for vandals, and there are vape detectors for a reason. Clearly something is not working right if none of these measures are stopping all these kids for misbehaving and from what I have heard from not only mine, but other parents is that teenagers have been acting like this since they were in high school as well. After all those years if nothing has been fixed, then I see it as a waste of time and money. Time that teachers could be utilizing to assist struggling students. Money that the board could use to better the school.