2021 – 2022 Year in Review


Credit: Tess Alongi

WSPN’s Tess Alongi summarizes the 2021 – 2022 school year.

Tess Alongi

The 2021-2022 school year marks the first full year back to in person learning after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. WSPN worked hard to cover a year filled with many changes. Below is a recap of many of the articles, videos, galleries, podcasts and infographics that WSPN produced throughout the year.

The beginning of the 2021 – 2022 school year marked the end of the second summer traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Upon return, students learned the top ten things to know about the school year including schedule changes, the PFAS water situation and information about the buses. WHS welcomed new teachers and ninth graders and held the annual club fair.

In sports, soccer and football both started off their seasons strong, soccer beating Pentucket 6-2 and football beating Hopkinton 40-6. Girls soccer beat Cambridge Rindge and Latin 1-0 and seniors Devin Dicarlo and Thomas Baicki continued the tradition of boys playing field hockey. In addition, WSPN’s Emily Roberge wrote about how Simone Biles brought the conversation of mental health to the forefront during the 2021 Summer Olympics.

Wayland held a special town meeting to vote on a petition, which passed, for no construction of synthetic turf fields for three years. In Wayland’s neighboring town of Natick, its annual Natick Days festival was interrupted by protesters from the group Super Happy Fun America.

At the high school, bathrooms were taken over by the popular “devious licks” TikTok trend. Students, encouraged by the trend, ripped soap and toilet paper dispensers off the wall and harmed the bathrooms, making many unusable and causing upwards of $7,000 of destruction.

For the first time in its 125 year history, the Boston Marathon took place in the fall due to postponements from the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 also caused many students to opt for an out of school learning option, WRAP, which officially ended in the fall.

Wayland welcomed a new superintendent, Dr. Omar Easy. Easy talked with WSPN to discuss his new role and his priorities. WSPN also talked to freshman class officers and released the first episode of season four of Sports Chat.

WSPN reported and commented on the past, present and future of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). The seniors continued their annual tradition of dressing up for Halloween and the sophomores held their annual semi-formal.

The class of 2023 held its long-awaited semi-formal after multiple postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WSPN released a “Meet the Semi Dates” video for both the class of 2023 and 2024.

WSPN reported on the ten year anniversary of the death of Lauren Dunne Astley. WHS fans honored Astley and Domestic Violence Month at a football game where both fans and players wore the color purple.

At the high school, cafeteria tables came back to the commons for the first time since the beginning of COVID-19. SADD hosted their first dodgeball tournament since 2018 and WHSTE performed Legally Blonde.

Spirit Day returned to WHS after nearly two years and students brought viewers along on their day. After the school day ended, senior girls traveled to Weston where they played in the annual powderpuff game.

Wayland Middle School faced many racist incidents and as a result, protests took place outside the middle school. Multiple protests took place over the course of the month and WSPN talked to WMS principal Besty Gavron about the ongoing journey of anti-racist work.

Staff Reporters Selena Liu and Tina Su wrote an opinion piece about the school shooting that took place at Oxford High School in Michigan. WSPN’s Kris Poole-Evans wrote a video game review on “Persona 4 Golden.”

With January came a COVID-19 surge: spectators were limited at DCL sporting events, girls basketball was shut down and midterms got canceled. WSPN released a list of ten things to do over quarantine and WSPN’s Katya Luzarraga wrote about the new definition of having COVID-19.

In sports, Girls Basketball lost their home opener to Bedford, wrestling returned after being canceled last season due to COVID-19 and Wayland-Weston Girls Hockey beat Concord-Carlisle 8-2

Winter Week returned starting with a de-stress event in the library. Students brought anything but a backpack for a psyche. The sewing club and green team collaborated to create a sustainable fashion show. Window Dance Ensemble took the stage in their annual winter week performance.

Winter Week also allowed students to showcase their talents in the annual Winter Week Talent Show. All three WHS acapella groups performed and the Honors Jazz Ensemble took center stage. Mental Health Club advisors and club leaders hosted a panel where they talked about mental health resources and answered questions posed by students.

As COVID-19 cases began to go down, restrictions at school lightened including tables returning to the commons and desks moving closer together. Although some restrictions changed, masks continued to be required which caused an anti-mask protest outside of the high school.

March 7, 2022, marked the end of the mask requirements. Students were able to return to school mask option for the first time since 2020. March also marked the second year of COVID-19 in the United States. WSPN produced a maestro looking back at the past two years.

As seniors pushed towards the end of their high school career many slipped into their annual senior slump. Seniors also showcased their rejection letters on the Wall of Rejection, an annual tradition where seniors hang up their rejection letters at the front of the school.

Wayland canceled all games against Westford Academy because of racist comments made at a Girls Basketball game. Girls basketball also held their annual Coaches vs Cancer game.

Wayland implemented “A World of Difference” program aimed to eliminate bias at WHS. The Wayland Leadership Coalition was created to create a safe place where students could talk about diversity, equity and inclusion. Wayland also organized its first diversity town hall.

Many WSPN members traveled to Los Angeles where they won their third consecutive Pacemaker Award. WSPN was named as one of 47 finalists and was one of only 20 sites to be named a Pacemaker winner. While in Los Angeles, WSPN produced photos, an infographic, video and article about the Grand Central Market.

WSPN produced a maestro on the Anti-Racism Resolution one year follow up. WSPN also produced a maestro on Wayland’s most popular restaurants, where they traveled to The Villa, the Dudley Chateau and Mel’s Commonwealth Cafe.

WSPN’s Bella Schreiber wrote an opinion piece on the weight of high school sports on student athletes. WSPN’s Tina Su shared her opinion on the importance of celebrating black excellence, specifically SCOTUS nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

The class of 2022 held their prom. Usually prom is held by the junior class but due to COVID-19 the class of 2022 postponed their prom a year. After prom, attendees came back to the high school for Late Night.

WHS’s math team won the Massachusetts state meet and boys volleyball beat Boston Latin 3-0 on Wayland’s senior night. The Wayland School Committee voted to recognize Lunar New Year as a holiday making Wayland the third district to do so.

Staff Reporter Reva Detar and WSPN’s Kally Proctor shared their opinion on the early draft that leaked the high probability of Roe v. Wade being overturned. WSPN’s Jonathan Zhang wrote about his opinion that AP exams are wasted money and unnecessary stress.

The class of 2022 graduated and began its summer break. This year’s graduation was held Friday, June 3 at 6 p.m. on the high school turf. This was the first time a graduation at WHS was held on a Friday since the 1990s.

WSPN’s Kally Proctor shared her take on school mass shootings in America. WSPN’s Katya Luzarraga discussed gun violence writing about the Buffalo shooting and America’s battle with hate crimes.

WSPN released a maestro about the 50 year anniversary of Title IX. Wayland and Westford Academy came together to hold workshops for spring athletes. Instead of playing games, the two schools worked on their relationship

WSPN’s Aimee Smith shared a guide on how to survive the end of the school year. WSPN shared the top trends for the summer of 2022. WSPN’s Kally Proctor and Luzarraga created a two-sided opinion on summer classes.