Looking Back at the Cross Country Season

By: Valentina Jeronimo ’26

From running in the crispy weather of fall to running in the frigid winter, our cross country team showed remarkable dedication and effort this season; our team with more than 10 runners showed encouraging behavior with each other and our endeavor allowed us to progress through the whole period. More importantly, our coach, Coach Prince, made sure each of us had an exceptional season and pushed us to bring out the best of us in every race and practice and we thank him for that. We started off every practice with a 1200m warm up and drills to stretch, then, depending on each of our health conditions we either ran on the trails or did the bike inside. Days before the race the team worked on cardio exercises and our couch made sure we got enough rest for the race the next day.

All the dedication and effort our team has made this season has been reflected by achieving a remarkable 2nd place in the MAISADS championship against Kents hill, Gould, Hyde and Bradford Christian Academy. I am very proud to say I was part of this team and I am pleased with my result but more importantly with the result of all of my teammates. The team would also like to thank Ms. D or Ms. Desmond for taking care of us and looking after us this season; from all the taping she did, to all of us who she sent to the bike and to all of us who she put up to every day in her office saying “I don’t want to do cross country today.” Thank you.

And for the last time we can shout:

Jacks on me Jacks on three…. One..Two..Three… JACKS!!!!


Michael Boardman ‘27

James (Quin) Doyle ‘26

Guadalupe (Lupe) Fernandez-Irurzum ‘26

Perrin Gill ‘28

Conlin Goodwin ‘27

Valentina (Val) Jeronimo ‘26

Eliot Kamula ‘25

Donghyun (David) Lee ‘28

Finn Miller ‘28

Martha Morril ‘24

Robert (Roby) Schroder ‘24

James Young ‘24

The Round Square International Conference

By: Sylvie Gill ’26

The Round Square conference was separated into three major event days: An adventure day, democracy day, a service day, and a day for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as an arrival day. On arrival day, our delegation drove to the Runda campus of Brookhouse Schools located in Nairobi, Kenya for registration and activities. Just on our first day at the conference, we met many people from many different countries including Australia, Germany, Canada, India, China, Argentina, Kenya itself, and many others. That evening we watched a musical performance to welcome us all to the conference. After the performance, we proceeded to the Hostels where we would be staying.

On the day of the opening ceremony, we woke up bright and early at 5:30 am and got ready for the day. We then traveled to the Karen campus of Brookhouse Schools for breakfast. Both of the campuses of Brookhouse were incredible. The Runda campus was newer and resembled a giant luxury resort, while the Karen campus was older and more homey, with a building that was practically a castle! After we had breakfast at the Karen campus, we traveled to a large stadium building in the city where we were to have the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony was amazing, consisting of a speech from the former first lady of Kenya, an introduction to the conference by the leaders of the RSIC board, and multiple Kenyan cultural performances. That evening we returned to the hostel to get some sleep before the next big day.

The next day was our group’s adventure day. This meant that we traveled in buses to the national reserve that is located in the city Nairobi. Nairobi is the only capital city in the entire world that has a national reserve in its city. The nature reserve was very extensive and had many different animals roaming around. We saw tons of rhinos, ostriches, giraffes, lions, and countless zebras. That night, we arrived at the campground where we would be staying. We ate dinner and watched an amazing cultural performance shown to us by some members of the Masai Mara tribe of Kenya. That night, we slept in tents surrounded by the Kenyan wilderness. 

On the second activity day, we traveled to the Runda campus once again for our democracy day. We watched a conference-like presentation of over five different activists, teachers, politicians, and scientists talking about the concept of New Africa which was RSIC 2024’s theme. New Africa is the idea that Africa and the countries in it are much more than the preconceptions many people may have. Kenya and many other African countries are working towards, and in many cases already are, innovative, sustainable, fair, and democratic. After the presentation, we split into different groups, called barazas, to discuss the topics we learned about during the presentation. Then, to get a real taste of Kenyan culture and hospitality, that night we stayed with parents of some of the students from Brookhouse schools. It was very interesting to see how life in Kenya was different to life in the USa. Many things were the same such as the cars people drove and the use of technology in households, but there were also differences such as the type of food that was eaten, and the way the houses were set up. 

On the final activity day, it was service day. This meant that we went to a school in the poorer part of the city and helped out to improve it. We worked all day to re-cement floors, paint walls, and clean the school. It felt very good to help out those in need by doing hands-on work, and it was nice to meet all the kids that went to the school. It was a truly inspiring experience and I enjoyed it very much. 

Attending the Round Square conference this year was incredible and a completely amazing opportunity for me and the rest of the group. It inspired me in so many ways and it was a truly valuable and inspiring experience. I took so many good lessons and new ideas away from my trip to Kenya. This trip helped me to realize the importance of service work and giving back to my community and those that are less privileged than me. It also gave me a new perspective on a lot of different matters by hearing the ideas and thoughts of so many other people from so many other places. It was definitely a trip that I will never forget and that has impacted me in so many positive ways.

Review of Round Square Pre-Conference Trip

By: Oscar Gronros ’26

-Photo credit: Oscar Gronros ’26

This year Hebron Academy had six students travel to the Round Square International Conference. This conference was located in Nairobi Kenya and took place over the course of seven days. We took a three day pre-conference trip before the seven day conference for a total of ten days. The flight was a whopping 17 hours and when we touched down in Kenya we met up with two other schools from Toronto Canada.

The three day pre-conference trip was located in the Masai Mara. The Masai Mara is a massive national reserve. The entire park was constantly patrolled by officers to protect against poachers. Our van first traveled into the reserve to a hotel where we split up and headed to our respective hotel rooms. There was a slight mishap where my group’s key had been misplaced before it was given to us. We knew the general location of our hotel however we didn’t know the exact number. Therefore we were quite stranded until we could find a new key. Finally after we got a key we moved into our rooms however only for a minute before we had to switch again with another group. This switching went on and on for two days finally ending with all the girls in one room and the boys being split between two rooms.

-Photo credit: Mr. Tholen

After all that movement we were able to go on a safari. These safaris were incredible with more animals than I have ever seen in my life. The herds of gazelle and zebras covered entire hills to the point one couldn’t see any grass. We as well were able to see a few lions roaming looking for shade to protect themselves against the hot sun. These incredible experiences were only on the two to four hour safaris. On the second day we went on a massive eight hour safari. This safari had every animal I could think of. We got incredibly close to many animals and we were even less than ten feet away from a leopard. We first traveled for four hours through the plain seeing hundreds of different animals each just a little bit different than the one before it.

Then as we were reaching lunch time we reached the Mara River. This is the biggest river in Kenya being home to almost all of the crocodiles and hippopotamuses. At the river we stopped for a picnic with pre-made bags of food. There were so many small animals running around the picnic site and many monkeys. These monkeys were asking for trouble as they kept rushing up from behind someone in our group trying to get a little scrap of food. After our short picnic we loaded back into the vans where we traveled back to the hotel to pack our bags for the massive International Conference. The next day we all piled into the vans to travel to Brookhouse Schools for the Round Square International Conference.

Ballet-Slipper Pink

By: Kate Dilworth ’25

*Background information: After reading Alice Walker’s short story, The Flowers, students in Ms. Waterman’s AP Language & Composition class were assigned to write about a memorable moment when they realized that their childhood was over. This is Kate Dilworth’s “And The Summer Was Over” essay entitled, Ballet-Slipper Pink.

-Photo credit: Kate Dilworth ’25

My grandparents had three sons, my father being the oldest. My father was thirty-one when he met my mother who was twenty-six at the time; Nine years later they got married and had me. When I was five I couldn’t wait to turn seven, at seven I couldn’t wait to turn ten. I couldn’t wait to grow up. At five I couldn’t understand the concept of death. I knew my parents would never leave me, and I would always go to sleep in my ballet-slipper pink room, with my parents asleep just on the other side of the wall. My parents would never leave me, they would always be just beyond the pink. 

As my wish came true and I turned fifteen, I realized that not only had I grown up but so did my parents. Over the ten years of my wish for maturity, my parents’ skin wrinkled, and their jet-black hair became sprinkled with salt. One day my mother would have me sit down next to her on the guest bed of my grandparents’ house two days after Christmas. Then she would ever so calmly tell me my father had prostate cancer. But it was so small I shouldn’t have to worry. He would stay on top of it.

I had been to countless funerals. Death was simply something that happened. I would put on a nice dress, ride in a silent car with my parents, and sit in a still church. The priest would say a few words, and the family would read their tear-stained speeches about their husband, brother, or son. Yet I had never been to the funeral of someone I truly knew, I couldn’t mourn the hole in my heart if it was never there to begin with. 

At sixteen I am sitting on the couch two weeks before the start of junior year. My father sits next to me. When I look at his face, I notice something. I have his eyes, his nose, the same straight black hair. I spent my entire life viewing him as immortal, the never-ending fire in his brain would never burn out. It’s what made him my father. Yet, he has to have surgery, they have to remove the prostate before the cancer spreads further. I remember the moment, I remember hearing only pure silence, I remember the feeling of my mother watching and listening from the kitchen island, my father’s face, his eyes, my eyes, our eyes looking at me, waiting for a reaction. I saw my parents as regular men and women, and I,  the perfect mix of both.

I went to bed that night in my room, the one next to my parents, but my ballet-slipper pink walls were painted white.

Double Digits

By: Tessa Sweeney ’25

*Background information: After reading Alice Walker’s short story, The Flowers, students in Ms. Waterman’s AP Language & Composition class were assigned to write about a memorable moment when they realized that their childhood was over. This is Tessa Sweeney’s “And The Summer Was Over” essay entitled, Double Digits.

-Photo credit: The New York Times

I was nine years old, two months short of turning ten, waiting for my mother to finish up s’mores in the backyard of our refurbished 1990s home when the sirens started blaring. The fire was beginning to make me sweat. The sticky June weather along with the warmth from the fire made me queasy. The police cars’ sirens rang through my ears as one after the other passed my house. The fence was too high for me to see over, but just as I was scooting a rock from the garden over, my father ordered me to go inside. 

My family rushed inside, fumbling for the remote to the TV. I sat down on our brown corduroy couch, s’more in hand. The marshmallow dripped down the side of my hand as I brought my mouth up to clean up the mess. I looked around at the artwork on the walls, bright abstract faces with white frames. There were old family photos from when I was a baby. A picture of me playing with an old, passed-down baby doll with its blonde hair in two pigtails, tied with a pink ribbon. My hair, not much darker than hers, was pulled back similarly. 

I had come home from a playdate at a friend’s house about an hour earlier. Reminiscing now, I realize just how surreal this experience would have been for a young girl with a distorted sense of reality. We played horses that afternoon, Grace and I. We were the stablehands and her plastic toy horses galloped across the green carpet. All we cared about was if one of the horses was talented enough to win the race to the living room downstairs, not when or if our parents were going to pick us up.

The TV flickered on and my father quickly turned the channel to the news. My whole family sat eagerly as the news anchor pointed out the sweltering weather that was going to burden us for the rest of the week. It took half an hour for the news station to even report what was happening, that’s how close it must’ve been to our home. We were witnessing it in real time. 

I recall getting up from the couch to throw away the paper towel that I had held my s’more with when suddenly the flashing lights from earlier appeared behind the news anchor on the TV.

Seven dead, many wounded.

I had never heard of Columbine High School or Sandy Hook until that night. It wasn’t as if my parents tried to hide these things from me, rather they just never came up in conversation. The death toll kept rising throughout the night. My siblings had gone to bed, but my body never left that couch. It wasn’t until the number hit double digits that my heart began to beat like a drum inside my chest. That night I went to bed thinking of the people who would never hug their mom again. I went to bed thinking of the people who would never see the sunrise; whose fingers would never be sticky with s’more once more. 

I woke up in pain for those lives that were lost that night. June is supposed to be a celebration of summer and individuality. That June was a fever dream, the haziness of the fog in my brain cleared. I barely played with plastic horses anymore. I began to wonder why the world is so cruel to the innocent. I still find myself looking at pictures of those we lost years ago. 

I was a kid drowning in a sea of grief for people I had never even met.

The Next Chapter of My Life

By: Evan Miller ’25

*Background information: After reading Alice Walker’s short story, The Flowers, students in Ms. Waterman’s AP Language & Composition class were assigned to write about a memorable moment when they realized that their childhood was over. This is Evan Miller’s “And The Summer Was Over” essay entitled, The Next Chapter of My Life.

-Photo credit: Blake Tripp ’24

Since I was little, I had always dreamed of going to a prep school to play hockey in turn helping me get one step closer to my dream. One of my teammate’s parents had talked to my parents about a showcase called the Pre-Prep Showcase. It was a hockey showcase where some of the most talented kids in the world came to get scouted by schools. It was August of 2019, my family and I hit the road for a trip to Boston. The trip was as boring as watching paint dry. When we finally got to Boston, the whole trip changed. 

 The practice was first thing in the morning. I stepped on the ice and skated around for a bit then, I got in the net, and BANG! The first shot hits me right dead center in the mask. I could smell the rubber from the puck as if someone had lit it on fire right under my nose. After we finished practice, the team headed back to the hotel. We had a team dinner and then we were right back at it on the ice for our first game. We played well and ended up winning.

The next day we had two more games, which we also won. After our final game, we went to a gathering where we met with all the coaches from different schools. Over the next school year, I looked into the different prep schools in New England. Everything was going well until March of 2020. And then Covid happened.

 Covid had shut everything down and I was stuck at home. This might have been the best possible thing for me. Since I was bored at home all day, I started working out regularly and got into better shape.  With this new free time, I started reaching out to coaches from different prep schools. One of the coaches who responded was Coach O’Brien. We had an interview and the coach was looking forward to meeting me in person. 

Eventually, COVID had slowed down a bit and My parents and I decided to muster the courage to go on the seven-hour drive to Maine. It was even worse than the ride to Boston. Once we got there we explored the campus with the coach seeing all the different buildings. I was nervous but excited at the same time. After the tour, I knew this was where I wanted to be during the next chapter of my life. Going off on my own at fifteen was a huge decision though. My parents both excited and scared, knew that this would be what was best for me. Over that summer,  my mom and I started packing up all my stuff.  It was the end of summer 2021 when we took the first drive that would start the rest of my life. We finally got to campus and got the car unpacked, my room was ready and so was I. So I said my goodbyes and settled in my new room. The first few days passed before the first day of school. We went on a bunch of trips including mini golf and a hike. When the first day finally arrived I got ready, and walked out of my dorm.

“And the summer was over”.

Chapter 1 of Ms. McKee’s “A Song of the Coldest Poison” Fantasy Novel

Explanation: A couple weeks ago, after powering through yet another mediocre romance novel, I once again heard the distant, tiny whisper in the back of my mind: You could write a book yourself, you know. You’ve done it before. You can do it again. After all, I was enjoying my first summer off since I was 15 years old, reveling in the endless stretches of time. Why not try to write a fantasy novel? Why not? What follows is the brief, half-baked result of an hour of feverish late-night brainstorming and writing powered entirely by Pepsi.

Title: A Song of the Coldest Poison

Here’s the LINK for a fun cover photo.

-Photo credit: Rosie Sun LINK



Laurel simply would not accept that she was lost.

Disoriented, perhaps. Out of sorts, certainly. Lost, however, was out of the question.

Because being lost is a kind of hopelessness, and if she succumbed to hopelessness, she knew she would sink to the damp earth beneath her, pull her knees close and her eyes shut, and wait for the inevitability of time to blow her away on an errant breeze.

No. She was not lost. Eventually, if she ran in a straight line for long enough, she would happen upon a town, and with any luck—which, she reasoned, she was due any day now—that town would help orient her, a pin in her hazy mental map of Ceris.

And so Laurel continued to run in what she hoped was a straight line, the oppressive dark of the forest under a new moon blurring the landscape. Briars drew wicked nails across her exposed shins as she stumbled on, and tree branches lunged from the blackness to slash her face. She could feel every stone through the wafer-thin soles of her shoes, and the little toe on her left foot had worn through. If it got much colder, she feared she could lose it.

But she couldn’t think about that now. Now, she needed to put as much distance as possible between herself and the prison wagon on the main road. She was certain the prince’s guards would have noticed her absence by now, and it was only a matter of time before a small group was sent after her.

Laurel absolutely could not have suffered a single second more in that rumbling, stinking, overflowing dungheap on wheels. In the darkness of the wagon, she had endured a woman wailing for mercy to guards struck suddenly deaf; she had felt the grimy creep of a hand snaking along her calf; she had smelled the rank of rotting and infected flesh, perhaps her own among it. She hadn’t had time to evaluate her injuries before her failed escape from the palace, and though the heat in her arms could have been from the press of bodies in that overcrowded box of a wagon, it seemed just as likely that the wounds skittering up and down her arms were corrupted with disease.

The third night in the prison wagon, one of the horses had thrown a shoe in the muddy road and they were forced to stop. The wailing woman began pounding her fists on the walls of the wagon, pleading that if the guards would only listen to her, they would understand. Laurel felt the wagon shift as one of the guards jumped down, rounded to the back, and ripped the door open. She could see only silhouettes, but it seemed that everyone froze as the guard hauled himself up inside. The woman’s shrieking quieted to earnest whimpering, but still the guard said nothing as he slowly and deliberately made his way back to her. The air was heavy and thick, like trying to breathe under the blankets. Laurel realized the man’s intent the split second before he acted, but she—and all the other prisoners alongside her—was powerless to act as the man grabbed the crying woman by the neck, reared her head back, and slammed it once, twice, three times into the wall of the wagon.

“Enough! Whining!” he bellowed, his echoes reverberating endlessly through the small confines.

A familiar rage had bubbled up inside Laurel at that moment—rage that a woman would be treated so callously and violently, rage that they were seen as no more than unruly dogs in need of punishment, rage at her own stupidity for landing her in this position in the first place—and it trickled down her scalp and neck like icy water. She dropped her head, eyes squeezed shut against her lot. When she opened them, however, and saw how her hands now appeared as little more than wisps on a breeze, she realized with a jolt of surprise that perhaps her luck had not run out quite yet after all. Within seconds, she had a plan. In retrospect, it was less of a plan and more of a final desperate act, but it had to be better than merely accepting her lot.

Laurel watched as the guard unceremoniously dropped the (hopefully) unconscious woman in a heap and stalked back past her. Slowly, agonizingly carefully, she rose from her seat, clutching her manacles to her chest to keep them silent, and followed his steps out of the wagon. While he jumped down, she slipped down gently in front of him before he could close the doors again, her figure a mere shadow across the door. Unsure how long her luck would hold this time and unwilling to test it with a dead sprint into the treeline, she dropped to her knees, crawled under the wagon, and laid silently on her back, waiting with eyes clenched tightly shut for it to pull away. She had not heard any of the other prisoners speculating about her sudden absence, for which she was grateful, though she doubted it was out of solidarity and more out of shock and fear. 

It could have been hours or mere minutes, or perhaps a great many eternities, but finally the wagon began to lurch off, without her. 

Belle’s Hawaiian Vacation

By: Belle Beauchesne ’25

-Photo credit: Belle Beauchesne ’25

This June, I traveled to Hawaii with my family for my sister’s graduation trip. I was there for almost two weeks and got to see many incredible views. This first photo was taken during sunset from my resort balcony in Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii.

-Photo credit: Belle Beauchesne ’25

This second photo was also taken during sunset from the beach on the resort in Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii. Waking up early to see the sunrise and staying out late to see the sunset were two of my favorite things to do when I was in Hawaii. My family and I also did many activities during our stay, including horseback riding, snorkeling, visiting Oahu for a day, exploring the ocean wildlife around Molokini Island, attending a traditional Hawaiin luau, and going to a variety of beaches.

-Photo credit: Belle Beauchesne ’25

Along with taking in the breathtaking views Hawaii had to offer, I tried to take advantage of the beauty in the Hawaiian wildlife and greenery around me. This photo was taken on the resort’s property in Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii, and it is of a pink plumeria flower. My resort had a bunch of plumeria flowers all over the resort’s outside property. Besides the pink version of the plumeria flower shown above, I saw some in white and yellow as well.  

-Photo credit: Belle Beauchesne ‘25 

This last photo was taken in Wailea-Makena, Maui, Hawaii, on a beach on the side of the road. In Hawaii, all beaches are considered public property, so anyone can go to any beach-resembling area (I say beach-resembling area because not all areas are declared official beaches) for free. This photo was taken as the sun was setting and is one of my favorites because it shows a beautiful view of both the ocean and the sky.