Category Archives: Clubs and Organizations

Patterson Wins 31 Matches in 2023 Chess Nationals Tournament 

By Hailey Shifflet

Chess Nationals is a big thing for students throughout the country, ranging from kindergarteners to 12th graders. Chess Nationals can take place anywhere in the country, the 2022 tournament took place in Memphis, Tennessee, but this year was close to home, Washington DC at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The Chess team, led by Mr. Baron and Mr. Tola, brought 11 students with them: DeShown Streater, D’Andre Murray, Jauan Bennett, Coenia Sanchez, Alexandra Artiga, Hailey Shifflett, Julian Shifflett, Abel Kahsay, Aseel Alradaei, Brandon Lopez-Piedrasanta, and Kevin Lagoom.  

The tournament had a total of 7 matches spanning over a period of 3 days, from the 31st of March to the 2nd of April. The competition had over 1700+ people join to compete. On the first day of the tournament you play the first two days, the 1st you play 3 games, then play the remaining two games on the 2nd. After all of the games are completed, we had some downtime until the award ceremony started. The Patterson Chess team had a total of 31 wins. The team was split into two separate sections, unrated and U800 (under 800). Because of the scores, The unrated players were ranked 35th out of 67 teams and they played against 407 players. The unrated players ranked 17th place out of 40 and played against 233 other players. 

The Chess team was able to gain new experiences and grow their ability to play chess. They learned from their mistakes in game playing and were even able to meet grandmasters (high-ranked chess players), develop new chess techniques, and experience new things such as food or places. While Patterson didn’t win any trophies, the entire experience was positive and we all grew from it. 

We also would like to give a special thanks to all the teachers that supported the chess team and helped us even get to Nationals in first place. We also like to thank the Principal Mrs. Myrick who even came to support us at Nationals. And most importantly, we like to thank Mr. Baron and Mr. Tola. Without them, we wouldn’t have a chess team and certainly wouldn’t have been able to go Nationals. 

New Student Group Working Towards Positive Change

By Sierra Skaggs

As many readers may know, in the beginning of March we lost a fellow student due to gun violence. As a response to that tragedy, a group of students here at Patterson decided to form a group called Catalyst for Change.

The Patterson Press interviewed Christina Johnson, a senior who is a member of Catalyst for Change. At the time that we interviewed Johnson, there were 6 members in the group, but that number may have increased since then.

The students had a specific goal that they wanted to achieve when they created Catalyst for Change. 

“We created the group so students can have a voice, they can voice their problems, opinions, and be heard, and to show the cultural diversity of Patterson, and make a difference.”, explains Johnson.

According to Johnson, the group has consensus-based process for making decisions.

“We voice our concerns about the school and we come up with different ideas, brainstorming, and we each come up with a mutual agreement.” 

Catalyst for Change held a Culture Day event on April 27 to celebrate the cultural diversity of Patterson High School, which is the most diverse high school in Baltimore City. Principal Myrick called the event “phenomenal” and expressed her appreciation for the student organizers who “have been working consistently for six weeks to put their vision into reality”.

Many students and staff members are hopeful that Catalyst for Change will continue to be a force for positive transformation at Patterson next school year.

Drama Club performs unique adaptation of Snow White

By Deontay Blackwell

The Patterson High School Drama Club, led by Mrs. Ritter, portrayed the story of Snow White on its opening night on April 27 at 7 PM. Mrs. Ritter, the cast, and the stage crew all worked hard over the 3 months of rehearsing. In between times of rehearsing the people behind making props were people from different classes of the art teachers and outside help. Beforehand Patterson had no costume for the play and Mrs. Ritter had to make and buy costumes but with the school help and money coming out of her own pocket to make this incredible play happen. Overall, the people behind the play were mostly Freshmen and Sophomores along with some Juniors and Seniors. For many, it may have been their first time performing in or assisting with a play.

The main character in the play, Snow White, was played by Jazzy Blessett–a sophomore. This play featured a different portrayal of the story of Snow White than the Disney version most people are more familiar with, with comedic aspects ranging from sarcastic new lines to recreating a popular dance from the platform TikTok. With a different portrayal of the story, there comes a new perspective focusing on the Evil Queen from the story with the leading actor Jenny Beanszsz  giving an outstanding performance of this version of the character. A new character not seen in the original was the dancing chicken, a best friend of Snow White played by Salome Birindwa with the stunning costume and eventfully doing a popular dance on Tik Tok, usually to the music “Her Way” with Snow White. The play itself came in two acts with an intermission for selling snacks and drinks with the money from that and the ticket sales to put into future projects next year. 

All of this could not have been possible without the director Mrs. Ritter and Ms. Weygant as co-director both working hard on ensuring that the acting and the technical aspects of the play all went smoothly for the second ever play in the new building. There was an encore performance of the play the following night, which was also a big success. A special thanks to the crew members who were working backstage and the people in the sound booth keeping the lights on this play.

Shout out to the cast:

  • Salome Birindwa (ACTRESS 2/DANCING CHICKEN)
  • Jayzanay Blessett (SNOW WHITE)
  • Re’Mya Spence (ACTOR 1, TREE #1/KING/TEACH)
  • Maiyia Oliver (ACTOR 2, MIRROR, GROUCHY)
  • Nalia Jenkins (GESUNDHEIT)

And the crew:

  • Araya Brinkley (RUNCREW)
  • Estrella Cardenas (RUNCREW/PROPMASTER)
  • Kaleif Mumford (RUNCREW/PROPMASTER)

Patterson celebrates Culture Day

by Thayer Oosterman

Patterson High School celebrated Culture Day on On Thursday, April 27, from 4:00 to 6:30 PM. There were many cultural expressions, with food and music from many cultures around the world. They had Latin American, African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern food. Musicians were playing Latin and West African music. During the playing of the West African music, there was dancing, where people would be in a circle and would go and dance in the circle.

After the music, they gave out food with a lot of delicious food items, like Jamaican rice and beans, Syrian shawarmas and Tandoori food, Libyan kebabs, and many other tasty foods from a variety of cultures. They also had a thick, sweet drink and lemon tea. 

Near the end of the culture event they had a Kahoot game about the flags of the world, with many students and teachers and Principal Myrick playing. The Kahoot game went from 6:15 until around 6:30. After the Kahoot game and the end of the event, many students helped with the clean up or went to wait for the start of the play that was also taking place that night.

Culture Day was organized by a new student organization called Catalyst for Change. This was the group’s first big event and it was a huge success.

Back to School Night brings families together 

(Photo: Patterson Press)

By Nateshia Anderson

Patterson High School held its annual Back to School Night on September 22 from 5:00-7:00 PM. The purpose of this event was for the parents and families of students to meet the teachers and the community and learn about opportunities that were offered to their children.

The school provided free snowballs for everybody. A lot of people had fun. We talked to teachers at the event to find out how they help the students learn.

Ms. Jones said, “Give them extra attention, adjust my lessons so that each child is able to reach them and able to understand the material, make sure that I also pair them up with a buddy in the classroom… When they need some additional help, I can give them additional resources like…Khan Academy…”

Patterson High School is a place where students can come and talk to teachers and find out who they truly are.

“I can create an environment that feels safe and nurturing”, said Mr. Mike.

Administrators were also there, like Ms. Edler, who explained, “The first thing is I believe in holding students accountable and also supporting them in that accountability. Also, we present opportunities like college visits. However, students must be in full uniforms and they must be in school on time and be able to attend those visits.”

All in all, Back To School Night was a successful event where everybody came out and helped their children’s futures. 

(Photos: Patterson Press)

Back to School Night brings smiles to Patterson faces

By Hailey Shifflett

Ms. Williams and the band as they are walking in to perform at Back to School Night (Photo: Patterson Press)

Patterson High held its 9th annual Back to School Night and Community Fair on September 26th from 5-8 pm in the school cafeteria. There were many things to do and many more things to see. From belly dancers to our own marching band’s performance, Back to School Night was a fun time.

Patterson has multiple groups and clubs that you can participate in during or after school. Back to School Night introduced students and their families to the teachers and organizers that host many different clubs. There were many tables for clubs like Art Club, the Student Government Association, the Patterson Press, etc along with a number of other groups from the community. Everyone who attended enjoyed Back to School Night, including some parents.

Ms. Ciera Garner, mother of Destiny Garner, remarked, “I love this Back to School Night. It is a lot of fun and I love how they have music too. My favorite event so far is the band performance.”

Not only parents enjoyed it, but students did too. Moussa Bombwe, a tenth grader, felt that Back to School Night was “good.” His favorite table was Soccer Without Borders, one of the groups that were featured at the event.

Some more clubs and groups at Patterson are SGA, run by Adam Sokolski, a social studies teacher, Roberta’s House, and Empowering Minds.
The SGA is the Student Government Association, The SGA’s goal is to teach student leadership, and to work with SGA all around Baltimore, and to work on teamwork skills. Also, in the past the SGA went to City Hall.

Roberta’s House is a family support group. They have multiple programs that help both parents and children for family loss (death, deportation, missing, etc.) Also, they help mothers with child loss (miscarriage, child died, etc.) They work here at Patterson and any student can join. Lastly, There is Empowering Minds. They are also a support group which has therapeutic counseling and talks to you about your problems, mental health, and many other things.

Mr Benton, Patterson’s principal, also shed light on what he thought about the Back to School Night. “I’m always excited about the Back to School Night. It doesn’t matter about the amount of people that come, but the smiles on their faces.”

His favorite event of the night was the band’s performance and the people enjoying the band’s performance as well. He’s appreciative for the adults that help out at Patterson and spend their own time with students to make new and exciting clubs. Mr. Benton loves all of the Back to School Nights because people showed up and had a good time and he is grateful for that.

Overall, Back to School Night was a good time. People had fun and enjoyed themselves. Some joined new clubs or met new people. Back to School Night was a way for the community to join together and forget, even for a second, the problems that might be going on in their lives. Their main focus was to just have a good time. And that is what Back to School Night is all about.

Our principal, Mr. Benton, showing that he is even having a good time (Photo: Patterson Press)

Grant A Wish program funds school projects

By Eloisa Perez

Patterson High School has a program called Grant A Wish, where teachers sell merchandise and hold social events to make money to buy some things they need for their classes.

“I started the group because I was already running some grants for different things I needed and some one told me to start a group”, explained Mrs. Kelly Hope, one of the founders of the program.

Teachers who are involved in the program include Ms. Brett, Mrs. Hope, Mr. Frederick, Mrs. Stiles, Ms. Williams, Ms. Avellaneda, Mrs. Blankenfeld, and Ms. Mahoney. All of these teachers are glad that Mrs. Hope started the program, because every year the budget gets smaller and smaller and Mr. Benton has to make the hardest choices around February when it is budget time; for example: either to hire a science teacher or pay for something else.

Mrs. Hope described the process to apply for Grant A Wish money. “Teachers would fill out a form which has basic questions like how much money you need and how will it benefit your students. Then they will give the form to me or one of the other teachers in the program. Then we have a meeting on whether we should give them the money or not.”

If you would like to join the Grant A Wish committee, you would have to be 22 or older, but if you are not old enough to join, you can tell your parents or other people you know who are 22 and up. What younger people can do is buy tickets, promote or donate to help out with the program.

Jonathan Ogden Club gives back

By Brionica Jackson

Patterson High School’s Jonathan Ogden Club continues to give positively to the community by putting smiles on the faces of children, people in need and the elderly while also having fun.

On Dec. 18, 2018, the club went out and gave blankets to the homeless on that cold day. The students not only gave out one blanket to each person like they intended to, but actually gave out multiple blankets to those in need. They also gave out well-packed lunch bags.

“When we live in the ‘best country’, it is sad to see people without a home. It saddens me to see people suffer. “, said Luther Hahn, 2019 Valedictorian and co-President of the Johnathan Ogden Club. It is sad for anyone to see or experience but it warms the hearts of people receiving and giving back.

The Jonathan Ogden Club performs many different community services like bringing gifts to children. “Kids might not get Christmas gifts at home and the one we give them might mean a lot”, Hahn explained. Touching hearts of such little children could cause change in that child’s behavior or mindset and give them hope for the future.

“Thanks to Luther Hahn and his amazing SAT and Grade Point Average of 5.2, we are now taking a trip to our first Ivy League school!”, Coach Kelley exclaimed.

In April, the club will be able to take an out-of-state trip to Princeton University in New Jersey. Students will take a coach bus to the college and spend the day exploring the Number One college. This will be the first time in all 20 years of the Jonathan Ogden Club they will be taking a trip this big. Hard work pays off!

Gay-Straight Alliance helps students feel safe and comfortable

By Essence Talley

At Patterson High School there is a program called the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). This program gives students somewhere to talk and to express themselves about being different. This program is held after school on Tuesdays. Mr. Jade Donigian is the adviser for the GSA at Patterson High.

Mr. Donigian says some of the students inspired him because of the amount of confidence each student has in themselves.The program started in late September. The GSA got started because some of the students came to Mr. Donigian about the idea and wanted to feel safe and feel comfortable. The purpose of the program is to provide a safe space to talk about the struggles they go through and make them feel like they are not alone. One of the plans the group is coming up with is having a LGBTA prom.

One of the members of the GSA is Brionca Jackson. The reason why Jackson joined the program was because she thought it was beautiful, she could relate, and they needed a support system. Jackson’s future goal is to organize LGBTA events and recruit more youths to join the program.

This program is a good program for students to feel special and not feel different than anybody else. GSA is helping to make the students feel safe and comfortable.

Remembering robotics coach, Kevin Boone

By John Dingzon

Mr. Kevin Boone, an engineering teacher and robotics coach from Digital Harbor High School, passed away in November 2018.

It was a very tragic of loss of one of the best engineering teachers in Maryland. Mr. Boone had been involved in the VEX robotics program since day one, when the program was first released here in Baltimore City.

Two of Mr. Boone’s former students for robotics at Digital Harbor High School, Peter and Isaiah, shared their feelings with the Patterson Press:  “We mourn for the loss of Mr. Boone, because he was like a father and a mentor to us and always looked after us. If he saw any errors, he would help and correct us.”

A lot of times Peter and Isaiah would stay after school or stay really late just to finish their robots and get ready for the Saturday competition and tournament.

Digital Harbor High School is currently postponing their participation in robotics competitions with other schools. It is unknown who is going to take Mr. Boone’s place as robotics coach.

Patterson engineering teacher Ms. Ball who was a close colleague and a friend of Mr. Boone. “I was devastated when I heard the news of his passing.”, Ms. Ball explained. “I had just seen him at the Digital Harbor High School VEX robotics competition on Saturday, and his passing was announced 4 days later on Wednesday. He was planning to visit Patterson to help my students with programming on the same day.”

Ms. Ball first met Mr. Boone in 2004 when our schools were competing in the first robotics competition.

The Baltimore City VEX Robotics Coordinator, Gino Tagaytay, held a special ceremony to honor the memory of Mr. Boone at the next VEX robotics competition at Patterson Park Public Charter School.

Personally, I first met Mr. Boone in 2015-2016. Ever since then, I have been working with him. Mr. Boone was an amazing engineering teacher. It is tragic losing someone like Mr. Boone who had been in the program since day one.

The only way we can honor Mr. Boone is to continue the competition all the way to the VEX Robotics tournament cup at Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. Boone helped Patterson teachers & students in all aspects of the VEX robotics program, from designing and building to programming and fundraising. He was always available to lend a helping hand.

We all started together back in 2004. He was one of the first teachers to engage in the VEX program and to offer workshops for new teachers interested in setting up a robotics program at their schools.

Prior to his retirement last year, he was teaching at Digital Harbor High School and served as the VEX Robotics Summer Training Instructor.

I’d like to think he and I were close professional colleagues. He was an incredible resource for Patterson High School. My students looked forward to working with him during the school year as well as the summer. He and I also hung out at “Beer & Bots” to learn about the latest “high-tech” gadgetry used for robotics. Talk about awesome–he even brought us donuts during the Saturday competitions.

Kevin Boone was an amazing person; kind; wonderful; generous (especially with his time). He was respected and admired by his peers, and quick to support his colleagues and his students. He will be greatly missed.

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