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The Southern Bell

End of Year 2024

78 Views | Published May 15, 2024 | Edited May 23, 2024

The Southern Bell

The Southern Bell - Writers

Spring Cleaning

(The Southern Bell Writers) —

The Science Honor Society joined by Project Green members brought spring to the South campus.  They cleaned up the flowers beds and planted spring flowers for a more beautiful area that welcomes parents and students each morning!


VSS Badminton - Girl’s Varsity Team Coverage

(Momina Ali) —

From tricky serves to receiving smashes and hitting clears, South’s badminton team was able to do it all this past season.  Tryouts began in March, with the season concluding with the team’s last game on May 7th against John F. Kennedy High School.  The team played decisive matches against various schools within the division, including Herricks, East Meadow, Lynbrook and more.  The season consisted of many wins, and overall, each player, whether it was first singles or the exhibition teams, enhanced and showcased their skills, learning from one another during their daily practices.  The team’s number one player and team captain, the very talented Dori Chau, sums up the season by saying, “I’ve made so many precious memories this season such as forming amazing friendships with my teammates, facing off against my greatest rivals one last time, and seeing my name on a poster during my senior game - a bittersweet day I thought would never come. My high school experience wouldn’t have been complete without Badminton, and I can’t wait to come back and watch my team shine next season.  Lastly, Coach D, otherwise known as Mrs. Fiorentino, summed up the season by saying that “all the players were extremely hardworking and individually each player’s skills grew over the season as they learned from each other.”

Biscoff Tiramisu Dessert

Born a Crime Book Review

(Christopher Davila) —

“Born a Crime” by comedian Trevor Noah is a perfect example of the social and legal issues with being a mixed-race child in Apartheid South Africa. Trevor Noah being half-black and half-white meant his birth itself was a crime in South Africa because of segregation laws in South Africa during Apartheid. The book is like the author’s standup material in that it is a collection of stories from Noah’s life in South Africa. “Born a Crime” perfectly shows culture in Apartheid South Africa from a person who lived there. Noah’s experiences and stories illustrate the country and the period amazingly. As well as the story coming from a first-hand source, a native who proudly wears their South African accent and their heritage on their sleeve and that inspires me as someone with South African ancestry. “Born a Crime” is a must read for anyone who wants to know about Apartheid and stories from that point. An amazing read through and through.

Dune Part 2 Book Review

(Dash Alschuler-Pierce) —

It's hard not to admire the production design, the cinematography, the costumes, and the research and work that clearly goes into this film. You can't help but see the influence of the Petra buildings and native Arabia. The cinematography is clearly reflective of Freddie Young, whose work in such epics as Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia are the basis of Dune's signature style. The costumes are impossible to look at without picturing Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. For any film, history, or literature buff, Dune: Part Two would seem like a dream come true.

Yet, for me, at least, it's impossible to fully appreciate that work while it's layered with banal, confusing dialogue and the overabundance of pretentious, lazy whispering from the majority of the actors—Chalamet especially, whose outbursts fail to bridge his journey "to the dark side" and rather paint him as a moody, selfish, neurotic rebel without a cause. The only worthy performance in the movie is from Zendaya, who is the heart of the film. You would have no idea that she came from Disney for her performance is strategically balanced and conveys a depth and understanding of her character which the performances by the rest of the cast fall drastically short of.

While certainly more engaging than Dune: Part One, which is a soporific sleep-fest, Dune: Part Two continues to be this balky and pulpy machine that lacks its book's literary understanding. It's all decor and no meat—it's a skyscraper built on sand. A film can't stand on impressive work and a stacked cast alone.

For the full review, you can visit

NJHS Inductions 2024

(Aviva Frank) —

On April 16, 2024, exemplary members of the eighth and ninth grade were inducted into the Starfish Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society. Although the ceremony was less than an hour long, the process that led to the induction was lengthy. Initially, candidates had to have high grades to even be considered for the society. After they were picked for their grades, candidates had to write an application and have a sufficient amount of community service hours. Candidates were all sent letters of acceptance or rejection. Finally, after all this work, the inductees got to officially be a part of the society.

Inductees were supported by the existing members of the society, Mrs. Coppens, Ms. Ward, and Ms. Allen who gave speeches at the ceremony. Additionally, The Jedwoods sang the national anthem and the Chamber Orchestra played the Processional and Recessional at the ceremony. Everyone was welcomed by Seth Canque prior to the Pledge of Allegiance being recited by Syedah Ali. Laila Smith, the secretary of the club, then told "The Starfish Story" about how this chapter of the club got its name. Next, the president, Zahra Shahid, and the vice president, Zoe Weiner, gave an address to the inductees. The existing members of the society, Brianna Dean, Sudan Belnavis, Sophia Singh, Isaiah Moreno, and Sasha Hicks, each presented a different quality that new members should exhibit. The inductees were finally welcomed into the society after getting a certificate and saying the society's pledge. After the new members sat down, Ms. Allen and the advisors of the society, Mrs. Coppens and Ms. Ward, gave speeches to end the ceremony.

Finals advice

(Fabiha Amin) —

THE DAY IS COMING!! As the year is progressing, we are slowly facing FINALS TIME. As scary it may sound, it isn't THAT BAD!! As students, with the help of our teachers, we have been preparing for this day since the first day of school. For those taking the regents, your teachers have purposefully been giving you regents material questions since you started the class! For those taking AP tests, your teachers have provided you substantial information from textbooks and a plethora of resources on YouTube! For those taking the FLAX exams and regular state finals, review sessions will start taking place from APRIL. Check in your teachers for specific dates and times. Finals time may seem intimidating, but it isn't! you have been preparing since you started the course, all you need is a simple refresher for the topics! Teachers are offering review sessions and guides that you must take advantage of! Practice daily for 30 minutes to 1 hour for each class and you will ACE the test!

Last minute finals advice

  • EAT. Eat a nutritious dinner the night before and a healthy breakfast to keep you full.
  • SLEEP. Sleep should not be a reward but a habit. Go to bed earlier than usual for the week of finals and you will feel extra energized.
  • BE PREPARED. Pack your materials before you start the test. Make sure to have pencils, pens, and erasers.
  • ENCOURAGE. It may seem hard, but it is what you have been working for all year, YOU GOT THIS SOUTH!!

Val & Sal Interview

(Madeleine Fryling) —

I had the chance to sit down with South’s senior Valedictorian, Ethan Fazal, and Salutatorian, Emily Nothdurft to discuss their academic journey and the responsibilities of the honor bestowed on them.

Question: How did you feel when the Valedictorian and Salutatorian honors were announced?

Ethan: I felt very proud of myself, given that this really had been a goal of mine since the seventh grade. Especially since I think that I put in a lot of effort and sacrificed a good amount for it, it felt incredible to know that all that I did was worth it. I was probably just as excited to hear Emily be announced as Salutatorian, however, as she definitely put in a lot of effort and time for the title as well.

Emily: I was very excited! I was coming back from the Southern Bell field trip, and it was announced when I got back. I was surprised because I wasn't completely sure if it was going to be me or not, so it was very exciting. 

Question: If you could only pick one person, who would you say helped you most to achieve this accomplishment?

Ethan: I would definitely say that my mom helped me most to achieve this position. From a very early age, she was the one that guided me to always continue pursuing knowledge and striving for the best, academically especially. Throughout my high school years specifically, she was always there to support me when I had inevitably overextended myself, and she never pressured me to do more than I could—she gave me the reminder that whatever I could do, is always enough.  

Emily: I wouldn't say that it was only one person, but I definitely have to thank Mr. Lipsky because he's helped me with everything within the past couple of years. Through Falcon Report I've learned time management which definitely translated to my academics. He’s also just helped me with math, with physics, and with learning how to write grammatically so I have to give that to him. 

Question: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 7th grade self?

Ethan: From about seventh through half of tenth grade, I was probably too dedicated to studying for tests and doing well in my classes. While I wouldn't tell my seventh grade self that academic success isn't important, I would tell him to branch out more: become more involved in clubs, cultivate deeper friendships, and take more leisure time! I found that once I did all these things (rather late in my high school career), school became so much more enjoyable a place.  

Emily: I would say take challenging classes that you're interested in and figure out what's best for you early on. Try to figure out your study techniques and just try to learn for the sake of learning rather than the grades and the grades will catch up eventually. I think that definitely once I got into junior year and I just was really interested in the curriculum that I was learning about, I started to think more and started reading the textbooks because I was interested in them not because I had to retain all this information for a test. Because of that I remembered it better and I did better on the tests. Really just don't stress out over the small things. 

Question: Why do you believe you received this honor?

Ethan: I believe that I received this honor because it was worth the amount of work that I put in for it. Over the past six years, I've allocated a lot of time to studying, doing homework, and just learning overall. However, once I understood that learning in and of itself was something that I really enjoyed, schoolwork, for the most part, became less of a chore, and more of a privilege. I think this honor reflects that part of me. 

Emily: I think I worked hard the past couple of years and like I said, I didn't start out the best. I didn't make Principal’s List every marking period—there were quite a few that I didn't—but then I got my grades up a lot in junior year and it’s kind of just it all evened out. 

Question: What are your plans for the future?

Ethan: In the coming fall, I plan to study computer science at Duke University, and although that may be in North Carolina, I do hope that I can visit South often. This place has given me so much, and I hope that I will always be able to continue giving back to it. 

Emily: Well I'm going to be attending Yale University next year! I’m deciding between the math and physics program and the astrophysics program, so I don't know if I'll do both of those or if I'm majoring one and just kind of treating the other as a hobby. I'm also hoping to continue a lot of the things I already do at South. They don't have a video broadcast club unfortunately so I think I’ll take a little break from that, but I might do their newspaper. They do have, if my pamphlet is correct, a club rifle team, so I'm hoping to pick up air rifle again since I unfortunately quit that last year. I'm looking forward to meeting new people but I think I'll definitely be visiting South quite often because I'll be less than two hours away! 

Spring Sudoku

(Faisal N) —


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