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The Minuteman

Newark Academy offers several student publications written for and by its students, including The Minuteman, the official student newspaper of Newark Academy. The Minuteman is a student-run publication informing readers about news in our school community, our local environment, and the larger world. Students write and edit all articles, with support and additional editing from faculty advisors. Participating in the newspaper allows NA students to learn methods and goals of journalism, collaborate with others to create a final product, and share their ideas with the Newark Academy community. Sample articles from The Minuteman are included below. Full issues of the newspaper are accessible to NA community members by logging into MyNA.

Recent News From The Minuteman

List of 5 news stories.

  • Closing the Wage Gap: The Path Is Math

    By Allie Singh '25, Commentary Staff Writer

    Since 1980, female undergraduate college enrollment levels have surpassed male levels of enrollment, and according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 60% of the 3.1 million students enrolled in master’s degree and doctoral programs in 2019 were female. The data shows that the historic gender gap in education has been eliminated in the U.S. Despite this fact, median earnings for full-time working women in the U.S are still stuck at only 81% of men’s earnings.  A deeper dive into the characteristics of the degrees being earned by women compared to their male counterparts may help explain why women continue to make less money.  

    Many explanations exist as to why the gender pay gap continues to exist despite the high percentage of women with bachelor’s and advanced degrees. Gender discrimination, time taken off to raise children, and the need for reduced work hours when raising children are all factors that contribute to the wage gap. However, womens’ choice of college major is another element that may also contribute to the gender wage gap. While women significantly surpass men in earning advanced degrees in fields including public administration, education, social and behavioral sciences, arts and humanities, and health and medical sciences, they significantly lag in attaining degrees in the STEM fields of engineering, mathematics, computer science, and physical and earth sciences. According to the Council of Graduate Schools, less than 35% of advanced degrees in engineering, mathematics, or computer science were earned by women in 2018-2019. Based on a study conducted by MIT Women in Mathematics, the percentage of women awarded bachelor’s degrees in mathematics at five top tier universities (Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, and Brown) ranged from only 15%-28% of the math degrees awarded, and the percentage dropped to 12%-20% for doctorates attained in math at these schools. This is consequential because women in STEM jobs earn about 35% more than their female peers in non-STEM-related jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The growth in STEM jobs is expected to exceed the growth of non-STEM-related jobs in the next decade, thus providing strong future employment opportunities. Furthermore, the gender wage gap for STEM occupations in general is about 16%, compared to 19% for all occupations, based on the American Community Survey completed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2019. The wage gap falls further to 15% for computer occupations and about 13% for both mathematical science and engineering occupations. 

    By participating in higher-paying STEM fields, particularly those where they are currently underrepresented such as math, engineering, and computer science, women will not only earn higher average income levels, but also help bridge the gender pay gap. The key to bolstering the involvement of girls in STEM-related majors starts in middle school and high school. Girls are more likely to choose STEM-based college majors if they take classes including physics, high-level mathematics, and computer science in high school. However, studies have shown that in the U.S., girls often believe from a young age that boys are inherently stronger in math. Although unfounded, this stereotype causes many girls to refrain from enrolling in these classes because they fear that if they perform poorly, they may reinforce the stereotype. This may result in classes with few girls, which may further cause girls to bypass the class. Also, a lack of diverse STEM role models represented in film and media and fewer female STEM teachers in the classroom also inhibits females from entering these fields of study.   

    Notably, at Newark Academy, almost all students take calculus, which is not the case at many high schools. More specifically, for Advanced Placement level calculus (including AP AB, BC, and AB/BC combined), the aggregate percentage of males versus females taking these three classes at Newark Academy in the last year was about 56% to 44%, according to faculty of the math department. On the other hand, Differential Equations and IB Computer Science had female enrollment of only 35% and 18%, respectively, this year.  A small sample survey of NA female students revealed that their primary reason for not taking upper level math classes stemmed from the fact that they are more interested in other advanced subject disciplines.  One IB student stated, “I am looking to challenge myself with academically rigorous courses,...but math is not one of my passions” and another similarly noted, “If I have the opportunity to take a good class, I will take it in the area I am most interested in.” Given the significant number of upper-level math and science classes offered at Newark Academy, I believe that all female students, even if only modestly interested initially, should enroll in higher level math and computer science classes to test their aptitude and interest, and build confidence in these subject areas. This singular decision in high school could ultimately provide a greater array of educational and financial opportunities in the future. Furthermore, since math and computer skills are often elements of non-STEM focused jobs, having experience with these subject areas may help secure jobs and achieve success in other career paths as well. Regardless of what career a woman ultimately chooses, strong skills in mathematics can only help our female students of today find high paying, innovative, and challenging careers and become role models for other girls in the future.

    Photo Caption: Image courtesy of Towards Data Science
  • Living Zine, The Pandemic Start-Up

    Stephen Levitt ’22, Editor-In-Chief

    Stuck in the boredom and misery that millions of teens across the world suffered from the abrupt severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senior Michael Pyo ‘22 found a unique way of coping with quarantine: Living Zine.

    Drawing upon his previous experiences as an editor for Prisms, The Minuteman, and The Polymnian, and even helping an NA alumna with her own digital collective, Pyo states “I was inspired to tackle my own larger [project]. Pyo explained his vision for a platform where he could “connect with the broader community of young people who have so much creativity in their lives.” Pyo goes on to say that he “wanted to give underrepresented voices a platform to share their feelings and opinions through creative means.” Living Zine was met with support from communities of artists, writers, and creators from California to Australia, as Pyo’s team quickly grew to represent the diverse community he hoped to represent. This team includes 400+ members coming from 45 different countries and 206 different colleges and universities, along with many high schoolers and graduate school students. Pyo and his team have received submissions from over 700 young artists and have released 3 issues of Living Zine titled “Retrograde,” “Migration,” and “Bloom,” cumulating into an exceptional 358 pages of art, writing, and photography.

    Pyo credits Newark Academy for many of the skills he implements as leader of Living Zine. He says “Newark Academy has truly prepared me to be both an Editor-in-Chief and a Business Executive at Living Zine.” He praises the NA English department, remarking that “in terms of the literary and creative aspect, my English classes and teachers have provided me with endless opportunities to improve my writing, whether it be prose, creative writing, or poetry”. Focusing on his business skills, he says, “from being an admissions ambassador and spokesperson at NA events, my communication, marketing, and public speaking skills were already fairly developed.” He continues by pointing out how his time with Prisms, The Minuteman, and The Polymnian allowed him to learn about the intersection between different publications. He believes that this knowledge became increasingly important as, “Living Zine combines elements of a literary magazine, newspaper, yearbook, diary, journal entry, comic strip, article, gallery, and so on…From a traditional standpoint, Living Zine is definitely not your typical literary magazine.”

    Looking forward, the fourth issue, “Perspective,” is coming out soon, and Pyo plans on continuing to develop Living Zine through the creation of a podcast and blog, as well as through collaboration with other digital magazines. Make sure to check out Living Zine and be on the lookout for the next edition, and if you would like to submit any writing, artwork or photography reach out to or for more information.

    Photo Caption:
    Living Zine 3rd Edition, “Bloom” via Living Zine
  • “Why Does a Fish Love Water?”: Dr. D’s Reflection on his Transition to the Classroom

    By Emily Swope '22, Editor-in-Chief

    When Mr. Austin sent an email in late November informing the NA community that Upper School Principal, Dr. Richard DiBianca (affectionately known as Dr. D), had decided to step down from his current role and return to the classroom, many community members responded with uncertainty. At Newark Academy, Dr. D is a steadfast leader, a friendly face in the hallway, and a voice who advocates for students’ individual experiences and well-being. Imagining someone else leading the Upper School might feel concerning, but this transition in Dr. D’s role will allow him to spend more time teaching, work closely with students, and continue making an impact at Newark Academy.

    In his 24 years at NA, Dr. D has made countless differences in both the coordination and culture of Newark Academy. When reflecting on his time as Upper School Principal, Dr. D explained that he was really excited about and proud of the initiatives he collectively called “The Triplet”: June Term, the immersion requirement, and the Global Speaker series. These initiatives focus on experiential learning and are “progressive initiatives designed to focus on the individual experience.” 

    Furthermore, Dr. D is a champion of academic and intellectual excellence, and in this ideal, he bolstered the Extended Essay program. Dr. D was a part of the group that scheduled the program at the end of candidates’ junior year, dedicated a night to students presenting their work, and included the essays on the transcript in order to “celebrate that sort of intellectual experience.” Similarly in the pursuit of intellectual development, Dr. D spearheaded the schedule change from eight forty-minute classes a day to a schedule with six periods a day and two drop days per six-day cycle. Dr. D explains, “That’s something that I’m proud of [because it] sent the right intellectual message: slightly longer classes so you can dive a little more deeply.”

    Another important part of Dr. D’s legacy was his role as a fierce proponent of racial justice and equity at NA. Some of his accomplishments include initiating the routine review of Upper School policies and activities “in order to unearth and dismantle bias and to equalize access,” developing the Creating Community 9 graduation requirement, mandating that all Upper School Leadership Team members attend a People of Color Conference, and unwaveringly advocating for increased diversity on NA’s faculty and administration. 

    Dr. D had originally planned on maintaining his current position for a few more years; however, when he took a medical leave in the fall, he realized how much he appreciated having some unstructured time in his schedule. When making the decision to transition his role at Newark Academy, his priority was his own happiness and self-fulfillment. He realized that for him, “it doesn’t make sense to just continue with the plan to do it for 25 or 26 years if I think I might be happier stopping after 24.” Even as he steps down from his position, Dr. D continues to be a role model for his students: he demonstrates that plans are malleable, and that it is important to be adaptable in order to fulfill your greatest happiness.

    When I talked with Dr. D about his future plans in the classroom and asked him why he loves teaching, he replied, “Why does a fish love water?” While this is an apt response for a philosophy teacher, it also speaks to his genuine passion for teaching and love of being in the classroom. Dr. D explained that teaching philosophy is his “favorite hour of the day because I can hang out with great people and great texts. It’s … about living in the moment and being with kids.” Beyond the content, Dr. D remains a “student-first” teacher and prefers to make authentic connections with students. As he transitions to being in the classroom full-time, Dr. D looks forward to making these kinds of connections with “a little wider swath of kids” and to be able to “meet more [students] for a little bit longer period of time.”

    One particularly inspiring moment during my conversation with Dr. D was when he described his teaching philosophy. His teaching goals are guided by the same three questions: “Will [my students] love the subject by the end of the year? Will [my students] have seen me as an ally by the end of the year? Will [my students] have learned some important skills that that subject offers?” None of these questions revolve around content, memorization, or curriculum; rather, Dr. D instills a passion for learning in his students and creates an environment in which they are safe and encouraged to grow, develop skills, and challenge themselves. As a current student in Dr. D’s IB Philosophy HL class, I can attest to the power of his teaching and the sense of community he constructs during every class. Even though we will miss his devout leadership as principal, we should be excited for more students to experience the magic of being in a classroom with Dr. D. 

    Photo Caption:
    Dr. D teaching a TOK class
    Image courtesy of Dr. D, 2003
  • Anne Rolfes and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade: A Preview of Newark Academy’s Fourth Annual Eco-Summit

    By Kaya Patel '22, Editor-in-Chief
    On April 9, Newark Academy will be hosting its fourth annual Northern New Jersey Eco-Summit. Each year, the Eco-Summit explores a specific aspect of environmentalism and highlights solutions to environmental issues from a local to international scale. The theme of this year’s Eco-Summit is environmental health. The summit will explore the intersections between public health and the environment, and it aims to promote the collective health of both the environment and humans. Environmental health is also closely tied to environmental justice because BIPOC and low-income communities often bear the burden of environmental hazards and pollution, leading to the prevalence of adverse health effects in these regions. Following the Community Service Council theme of environmental justice and stewardship, the Eco-Summit will serve as one of the main events for the Earth Month of Service occurring throughout the entire month of April. 

    Each year, the Eco-Summit features a keynote presentation given by an expert on the theme. This year, the keynote speaker is Anne Rolfes, the director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade in Cancer Alley, Louisiana. Cancer Alley is a region along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans containing over 150 petrochemical facilities, which have been found to release extremely toxic amounts of pollutants into the air and water. As the number of petrochemical facilities in Cancer Alley continues to multiply, respiratory diseases and cancer become more prevalent, especially among BIPOC communities. In a study conducted at an elementary school near the Pontchartrain Works facility, a chemical manufacturing plant, in Cancer Alley, chloroprene levels were recorded 755 times above the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidance. Over 400 children attend the school that is only about a thousand feet from the plant, meaning that they are exposed to toxic chemicals and can begin to develop respiratory infections and cancers from a young age. Toxic air quality levels like the ones in this elementary school are now common throughout the entire Cancer Alley region.

    Anne Rolfe’s organization, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, is a grassroots organization that is fighting against the detrimental health impacts of environmental hazards perpetuated by Louisiana's petrochemical industry and regain control of the region’s environmental health. Since its founding in 2000, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade has gathered community members to challenge the expansion of the petrochemical industry through local political action and data collection on pollution levels. The organization started collecting data using a simple, low-cost air sampling bucket that could be easily distributed to everyday citizens. Since then, the organization has expanded to provide medicines and supplies to suffering families and prompt political action through campaigns and protests. The Bucket Brigade exemplifies how sustained community efforts can raise awareness and hold large companies accountable for the environmental damage that they cause and its impact on the public health of these regions. 

    Anne Rolfe’s work goes beyond her influence in Cancer Alley and also brings attention to the ethics of environmental racism and health issues internationally. A year ago, the United Nations declared Cancer Alley a human rights violation and a case of environmental racism that must be addressed, as the petrochemical industries in Louisiana now infringe on citizens’ right to health and safety in their environment. Rolfes explained, “It’s easy to get used to atrocities that are happening in your own backyard, but when you step back and look at the situation in St. James Parish and along Cancer Alley, it does rise to the level of human rights abuse and humanitarian tragedy. The state and the local parish council are cramming all of the pollution into the two highest majority Black districts. We are relieved and grateful that the United Nations has taken a stand, and we would like our state officials to follow.” 

    So what can you do to help? First, Green and Blue Committee along with the Eco-Summit Steering Committee will be hosting a fundraiser to support the Louisiana Bucket Brigade with Eco-Summit themed stickers available to all who donate. Next, I urge you to register and come to the Eco-Summit to learn more about environmental health issues in Cancer Alley and beyond. And lastly, I invite you to engage in this intersectional topic within environmentalism beyond the Eco-Summit. Although this year’s Eco-Summit will highlight Cancer Alley, environmental racism and health issues are prevalent throughout the nation, including in Newark, New Jersey. Thus, environmental health impacts us all, and we should address it in our local communities as well as on a broader scale. 

    Photo Caption:
    Image Courtesy of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade 

  • Konrad Czyzewski, Selah Dungey, Nathan Drogin, Nick Kotzen, Nate Campbell, and Lauren Hardman on National Signing Day

    College: Athlete Edition

    By Kate Fishbone '22, Sports Editor

    For most student-athletes, senior year means the end of competitive sports. Whether they be soccer, wrestling, or lacrosse, sports are more than just a game. They teach sportsmanship, teamwork, and accountability – three very important values in life. Strong team bonds and a passion for a sport can make it very difficult to play in the last game, take the last shot, and walk off the field for the last time. 

    However, not everyone has to say goodbye. Those students taking their game to the next level get four more years of playing the sport they love. Being a college athlete requires unmatched dedication and sacrifice, and some NA seniors have stepped up to the challenge. Newark Academy seniors Nick Kotzen, Ali Elmasry, Nate Campbell, Lauren Hardman, Selah Dungey, and Konrad Czyzewski will continue playing at the collegiate level. 

    Nick Kotzen will take his forehand to Columbia University to play tennis next fall. Nick recently won both the singles and doubles title in the USTA Winter Nationals and looks to achieve more in the coming years with Columbia’s tennis team. Through the recruiting process, Nick was looking to balance tennis and academics. He says, “I did not want to sacrifice either, and I think I’m getting the best of both worlds at Columbia.” He looks forward to his college years as a tennis player, and says, “The guys on the team are great, and I love the head coach.” Nick will be joining his older brother, Alex Kotzen '19, hoping to take down opponents as a brother duo: “It’ll be fun to make memories with him and travel the country with him and the rest of the team.” 

    Ali Elmasry will join Nick as a fellow Lion at Columbia, where he will swim for the next four years. Ali has been a key contributor to the NA swim team’s success and has drastically improved and developed the program. The swim team went from a 6-7 record in 2018 to an 8-1 record in 2021, and Ali believes, “The team is the strongest it has ever been heading into the 2022 season.” At their recent county meet, Ali broke three school records in the 200 IM, 100 breaststroke, and 200 medley relay, and he is proud of his contributions to the team. Ali’s success is only a glimpse into what is in store for him at Columbia. As a Division I program, Columbia swimming will take Ali to the next level against top-tier opponents. Studying at an Ivy League school while swimming is a challenge that Ali is prepared for. He says, “NA swimming perfected my ability to balance multiple tasks in my day and is a skill that I hope to take to Columbia.”

    Nate Campbell has one more season before he takes his lacrosse skills to Swarthmore College. Nate has been playing lacrosse since third grade, and he’s not stopping now. He plays both club lacrosse for Steps and high school lacrosse. Before he leaves Newark Academy, he hopes to develop the program and reach underclassmen. He says, “As more kids realize how much fun they could have playing lacrosse, then hopefully the team will improve in future seasons.” Looking at his next four years, Nate says he is “excited to play against and with better players while studying at a top-notch school.” Nate’s future at Swathmore is bright, both athletically and academically.

    Another member of Swarthmore’s class of 2026 is Lauren Hardman, who will be playing field hockey. She finished her high school field hockey career with 28 goals and 5 assists and was the school’s top scorer during her junior year. Although she is off to do great things, she will miss the friends she made from NAFH. Lauren said, “I’ve made some of my closest friends from field hockey, and the memories I made with them will always stick with me.” Lauren is moving from one great program into another as the Swarthmore field hockey team will provide Lauren with what she is looking for: “a dynamic support system both on and off the field.” 

    Selah Dungey is off to UChicago’s track and field program, where she will high jump. As a freshman at NA, Selah broke the 17-year-old school record with her 5’3” high jump, and in 2021, she broke her own record. She holds five national titles and is only getting started. In her last track and field season at NA, Selah hopes to improve before competing at the next level. Although already committed to college, she says about NA track and field, “I still want to personally improve, which means get more personal bests or refine form and technique.” She will make the most of her last season here, and then put her heart and energy into UChicago’s program. Regarding her final choice to commit to UChicago, she says, “UChicago is a good well-rounded school and their values line up with mine. I also think that they have a good program that challenges and supports runners to improve upon themselves.” 

    The newest addition to Notre Dame’s fencing team is our very own Konrad Czyzewski. Konrad is a saber fencer and a leader both in and out of the Fencing Gym. He leads his team by example and improves his own skill while encouraging and supporting his teammates. Konrad values teamwork and says, “Although fencing is an individual sport, there is always a team standing behind you when you represent Newark Academy. I want the underclassmen to understand that they will not be successful as a team unless they push each other beyond their limits at every practice and every meet.” Along with teamwork, NA fencing has taught Konrad lessons that he hopes to take with him to Notre Dame. He adds, “Besides teaching me dedication, sacrifice, and hard work, the program has taught me how to think calmly under pressure. I hope to take this with me to Notre Dame because the teams will only be getting better and controlling the situation and my emotions is what will get me wins.” 

    These six athletes are off to do great things in the next four years, and Newark Academy wishes them the best of luck in all their future endeavors. 

    Photo Caption: Konrad Czyzewski, Selah Dungey, Nathan Drogin, Nick Kotzen, Nate Campbell, and Lauren Hardman on National Signing Day. 

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