Hall Hub: Captains for Clean Waters

Helping those impacted by Hurricane Ian

On this episode of “The Hall Hub”, Marcello talks to Elle and Tommy; two students raising items for Hurricane Ian relief, in conjunction with Captains for Clean Water.

If you would like to help donate items toward Hurricane Ian relief, you can drop off things in the box at the Upper School foyer.

Monetary donations can be sent via Captains for Clean Water by clicking here.

OHS Takes to the Skies

The first rule of Flight Club is we definitely talk about Flight Club

By Brody Beaupre

Many high schoolers are thrilled with the feeling of being behind the wheel of a car, but what if I told you there was a much more exhilarating feeling. Being 33,000 feet in the air, flying over mountains and seas, and you’re in control. The Oak Hall’s “Eagle Flight” club gives students the opportunity to take the first steps to becoming a pilot. 

The club, founded in 2018, has helped many students discover a passion for flying. The club’s founder and sponsor is Michael Martinez, Oak Hall’s Director of Technology who is also a certified flight instructor.  

Martinez grew up flying. Both of his parents were military pilots, and he got his pilot’s license at a young age as well. “Flying is freedom. You go where you want, and few are those who have ever seen and done what you are capable of doing in just a weekend. You become part of a fraternity that is both exclusive and welcoming,” he said. As a member of the Eagle Flight Club, I can personally attest that this is true. It is lots of fun not only learning about the inner workings of the plane, but also getting experience on the simulator. 

Flying is a magical experience, and it is also full of unexpected twists and turns, which Martinez has experienced this firsthand. When asked what the most interesting thing that has happened to him while flying, he said, “I was low on fuel over the southwest desert, I was a student pilot on my first cross country, and I couldn’t find the dirt airport I needed. Finally found it, flew low over the runway to scare off the cattle, and waited by a rusty gas pump for a man and dog to appear and unlock the pumps. It taught me that aviation is not just fancy airports.” It is this kind of perseverance and improvisation that helps pilots in the crazy world of aviation.

The feeling of being in complete control of something that can take you almost anywhere you want to go is truly wonderful. In a car there are speed limits and all kinds of other laws that you must follow, but in the sky, there are no restricted roads, speed limit signs or blinkers; just open air and a world to be explored.

Just Because: Keeping Candy Safe this Halloween

By Elizabeth Birkner

Halloween is right around the corner, and it is important to be aware of the deadly fentanyl outbreak in the United States. Fentanyl is so deadly that a lethal amount can fit on the tip of a pencil. A rising problem is that it is being pressed into brightly colored tablets into what is being referred to as “rainbow fentanyl”. This is a growing concern among law enforcement and parents as trick or treating is occurring this weekend and Monday. In fact, earlier this month, 48 pounds of fentanyl along with 15,000 fentanyl pills were seized in Polk County (two hours south of Gainesville).

Like most years, but this one especially, parents need to be careful and quick to identify possible distributed fentanyl in Halloween candy. If a piece of candy does not look normal, or is not in a labeled and sealed package, it would be best to be safe and throw it out. Andrew Hinson, one of Oak Hall’s Security Officers is advising parents to check their child’s candy to make sure the candy tablets don’t have imprinted numbers or letters. “Fentanyl is commonly made to look like other pills such as Xanax, Oxycodone, or Adderall. It can also look like gummy bears or jolly rancher candy,” he said. The resemblance between regular safe candy, and those that contain fentanyl is almost identical, so it is incredibly important to be especially careful with Halloween candy this year.

Rainbow fentanyl, known as “Smarties” or “SweetTarts”, are shaped like candy

Another concern is children receiving homemade treats from trick or treating. There is no way to know if a homemade treat was tampered with, so it is important to dispose of any homemade treats to be safe. “Fentanyl can easily be added to baked goods. Therefore, I would highly recommend to only except homemade treats from people that are personally known to you and your family,” Hinson added. With the current concerns of fentanyl, it would be wise to avoid homemade treats given out on Halloween to ensure trick or treaters’ safety. 

Since fentanyl candy is made to look like ordinary candy, it is crucial to be careful and cautious when examining Halloween candy for possible risks. When asked about what parents should look out for, Hinson advised avoiding “Any candy that is not in a commercially labeled package. Any package that is open or torn. And any candy that has pin holes in it. These should all be discarded. Remember: if in doubt, throw it out!” When in a situation where you are faced with a piece of candy that does not look normal, the smart choice would be to throw it away.

Finally, in the terrible situation where someone is exposed to fentanyl, it is very important to act quickly. “Immediately clear the area and call 911. Fentanyl has the consistency of baking flour and can become airborne when moved or agitated, which can cause cross contamination,” Hinson warned. Some signs of fentanyl ingestion to look out for include slow breathing, no breathing, gurgling sounds, blue lips and nails, tiny pupils, damp, and cold skin, and not moving or waking up.

Swimming and Diving Teams Successful Thanks to Hard Work and Leadership

By Amelia Chen

Despite thunderstorms at the beginning of the season, Oak Hall’s varsity swimming and diving teams have competed in quite a few meets, leading to personal records and overall victories. In fact, both teams won meets against Columbia High School and rival St. Francis Catholic.

The meet against Columbia was especially significant because it was the first meet that was not cancelled due to thunderstorms. The Eagles are successful this season thanks to the encouragement from each other and the number of swimmers and divers that joined the team.

Senior captain Tim Aliyanoy prepares for his race
Photo courtesy of Dr. Dean White

The factor that makes the swim teams so special and different is that the athletes are a diverse group of students, as the teams are made up of students in sixth through 12th grade. Although it could be easy for clashing to happen within these age ranges, the teams mesh very well. “I think it’s what makes our team special compared to a lot of those other teams in town where they only have high schoolers,” said Swimming and Diving Coach, Quinn Bohan.

The success of this season doesn’t just come from individual talent, but also teamwork. Although swimming and diving is considered to be an individual sport, the support of teammates help motivate each other. “Encouragement from your teammates really help you push for that new time [and] you want to win for your team, not just for yourself which [encourages you],” said freshman swimmer Stacey Aliyanaya.

Freshman Raigan Trefzger focuses on her next race
Photo courtesy of SWI

As much as encouragement plays into making each other better, practice helps immensely with the hard work they put in. They are especially working hard now that the district and regional meet is around the corner. “We tend to typically have 14 to 15 [athletes] make it to the regional meet,” Bohan said.

Not only do the teams have incredible teamwork and grit, but they also have great leadership through their captains with Katelyn Berthy and Lisa Aliyanaya on the girls team and Tim Aliyanoy and Aneesh Gogieni for the boys team. Overall, the swimming and diving teams gain success from supporting each other, the dedicated leadership, and hard work.

Oak Hall, along with P.K. Yonge and St. Francis are hosting the district meet on Oct. 25 at Northeast Pool. Swimming starts at 9 a.m.

Homecoming Celebrations Let the Good Times Roll

By Ryan McKinney

As Homecoming Week is right around the corner let’s see the numerous activities that Oak Hall’s Student Government Association (SGA) has organized for the student body this year. 

Beginning in the Upper School on Monday, Oct. 17 is “Deck the Halls” with the overall theme of “Let the Good Times Roll”. That will be held in the Upper School front foyer from 10 a.m. until noon. “Deck the Halls” allows the Upper School students to decorate the hallways of the Upper School with the designated grade level theme, this year being the suits of playing cards. Even though there is no school that day because it’s a Mental Health and Wellness Day, there is still an event planned for that night. The Powder Buff volleyball game will be held in the gym at 7 p.m. for the Upper School gentlemen with the ladies coaching, although everyone is free to come out and watch. Each male participant will receive a t-shirt coordinating with their class design, and those who opt to not participate in the game can still purchase a t-shirt. 

The designs for each grade are as follows:
Freshmen: Spades
Sophomores: Clubs
Juniors: Diamonds
Seniors: Hearts

Tuesday, Oct. 18 is Parent/Teacher Conference Day, thus allowing the students another day off of school! The Upper School ladies can participate in the “Under the Lights” Powder Puff football game at 7 p.m. at the stadium, which is an enormous change from past years when the game was played during lunch. Those who participate will each have t-shirts with their appropriate grade level design, and girls who do not participate may purchase a t- shirt as well. The designs for each grade level are the same listed above. 

On Wed. October 19th Upper School students will dress up to the according theme of “Decades Day”:

Freshmen, Class of 2026: Babies
Sophomores, Class of 2025: Tweens
Juniors, Class of 2024: Mid-life
Seniors, Class of 2023: Senior Citizens

Middle School students are allowed to dress up as their future profession, and the Lower School will be participating in “Tie Dye Day”. 

Following the themes, Upper School students will participate in the Dodgeball tournament held in the gym during lunch. Wednesday night our girls volleyball team will compete in the district tournament. 

Thursday, Oct. 20 is “Music Genre Day” for the Upper School students, where students can dress up as their favorite musician. The Middle and Lower schoolers can wear their favorite sports team attire to go with their theme of “Favorite Sports Team Day”. For the Upper School during lunchtime SGA will be hosting games of Capture the Card on the Stadium field. Teams will be separated by grade level for this. Lastly, the Volleyball District Championship Game will be held in the Oxborough Gym at 6 p.m. 

On the last school day of the week, all students will be on the pep rally schedule and participating in “Spirt Day” in representing the Eagles. The pep rally will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the gym. Starting at 5 p.m. is the Homecoming Tailgate, which includes food, drinks, and fun! Make sure you register by Monday, Oct. 17 (please click here to register) This night will be action packed as our Eagle football team plays against crosstown rival St. Francis starting at 7 p.m. This is both Senior Night and Homecoming celebration game with senior night beginning around 6:30 p.m. The homecoming king and queen will also be announced at halftime

Lastly, the final Homecoming event is the dance for Upper School students, which will be held on Oct. 22 from 7:30 – 10:30 p.m. at Touchdown Terrace with the theme “Let the Good Times Roll”.