CATS Academy Courier

"A Trusted Students News Source with an International Twist"



Is It Worth Running for Student Government?

By: Anastasia Dvoryanchikova

Running for a Student Government office can be a great learning experience.  Although politics, in today’s climate, has been taken to an extreme, a school election is far different. Many might consider running for office an undesirable experience, but they would be wrong.  Campaigning can be associated with stress from competition, doubts and an unbreakable desire to win no matter what. However, it does not have to be this way, the situation is complex and there is much to be learned by campaigning for a student office whether or not you win the election.

Competition is an inevitable part of running for any elected position, because at the end there can be only one winner. But between the day when candidates are announced until the day when people vote, there is campaigning to be done: making posters, slogans, and organizing different activities to draw voter’s attention. There is also a process of getting to know people who you haven’t known before. Since every candidate must expose his or herself to become known in order to be elected, they must  become more active in events around the school. In this way, it is easy to get acquainted with more people. Elections are also about thinking in creative ways because candidates want to stand out and be more recognizable. Candidates must use their skills to figure out how to target their audience. They must determine what can fit into their budget and still be efficient reaching potential voters for the campaign. You also need to learn to use your individuality to shape your campaign by figuring out what makes you who you are and incorporating that into your message.  

Finally, the campaign process is a test of you as a leader.  You need to show you care about the school, its students and making positive change.  Improvement will not happen on its own, being an officer is about representation of the student body and making improvement. So, running for  a student government office is not what people would normally think. Sure it is fun, creative and social but it is also an indescribable and unforgettable process of personal growth and social development.  At the end, what really matters is the process, not winning the election.


Socializing at CATS

By: Nuray Salina (Lead Reporter)

Making new friends and involving yourself in a new social environment can be fun, but also intimidating. It is important to be willing to meet new people and have a positive attitude every day. As CATS students, who live in the dorms on campus, we spend a large amount of time socializing with each other. This interaction helps make us more responsible, open-minded, and adaptable now and for our future lives away from CATS.

Our school provides us with an environment to develop and grow through our interactions with caring teachers, coaches, administrators, and house parents. Despite the friendly environment, some students can have trouble adjusting to new people and new environments. My first recommendation is, don’t worry. It is normal to experience uncertainty in a new environment hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from home.  I have looked at the core of this problem and will give you my thoughts on how to get the most out of your social life at CATS.

An abrupt change, like leaving your home and your parents, has a big effect on everyone. Since most students at CATS are international, we had to leave our home-countries in order to study in the United States. I have noticed this can result in some students feeling lonely or homesick. There are many supports in place at CATS to help you adjust and feel like you are at your second home! Here are some tips to banish the homesick bug:

  1. Involve yourself in the school community. Try to join one of the school’s clubs or organizations, like the student government, or the school newspaper or consider becoming a peer mentor! In this way you can socialize with peers who have similar interests. Fun activities and group projects will help you to become closer to your fellow griffins. Another option is to join a sports team, where you will have fun playing a sport you enjoy while meeting new people.
  2. Try to be positive. Positive people are optimistic, very pleasant to talk with and easily attract new friends. Try to express positive energy everyday. Smiling is an easy way to do this and it makes people want to be around you!
  3. Find people with similar interests. For example, do you and a friend like playing the guitar? Go, and play guitar together. Seek ways to improve your performances together. I know you will enjoy it! Expand your group of friends and add a lot to your social life!

Lastly, know that you are never alone at CATS Academy Boston. There are supports in place at to help you adapt to your new surroundings and develop lifelong friends. Seek out Ms. Reihl, a teacher, house parent, or an administrator if you are having difficulty. They will all be there for you!

CATS Across the Pond

By: Jackie Kovalcin, a former CATS Boston Student

I made the jump across the Atlantic (actually, more like a seven hour flight), about three months ago as I transferred from CATS Boston, USA, to CATS Canterbury, UK. It was three months ago that I boarded a transatlantic plane with a new, never-before-stamped passport and a heart full of hope. I had never left the USA before, although after living and studying at CATS Boston for a year, I felt as though I had travelled the world vicariously through the lives of my international friends.

CATS Boston opened my mind to the international world, and my travels to CATS Canterbury allowed me to immerse myself in it. Like CATS Boston, CATS Canterbury is a melting pot of young people from dozens of nationalities. You can’t walk through the halls without hearing at least three different languages. The staff is just as welcoming as CATS Boston, and upon arrival help you move in and get settled in the lovely accommodations. This was a nice touch to my first impression of the staff and facilities. The dorms, or “accommodation”, at CATS Canterbury differ from the three dorms of CATS Boston in that they are much smaller, more intimate, and further scattered (with only a handful being on campus). I was quite lucky in the accommodation placement and now reside in the “Knights” dorms- a selection of luxury apartments just a brief walk from the main campus. I am a “head of house” (a leadership position comparable to a dorm prefect). I was lucky and got a large, well-lit room with a spacious closet, a comfy memory-foam mattress, and my own bathtub. I live quite comfortably and have enough more than enough space to relax and study after class.

Here at CATS Canterbury there is a wide range of different courses offered. Prospective students have the option of five programs: the IB (which I am currently enrolled in, and am enjoying very much), A-levels, University Foundation Program (UFP), GCSE’s, as well as Pre-program. Although the courses of the students differ, there is still a certain cohesion to the school community. We are divided by accommodation, and not “house colors” like at CATS Boston. Through “well-done” cards handed out by teachers and dorm parents, students here at CATS Canterbury are able to compete with each other’s’ accommodations and earn “house points”.

As much as I appreciate the effort of the “canteen” as they call the cafe where they serve student meals here at CATS Canterbury, I would have to say that the selection of food at CATS Boston was much wider. There’s a part of me that misses waiting in the sandwich line or being able to make a salad as I pleased. And I’ve got to say, I do miss the warm chocolate chip cookies at the meals at CATS Boston more than I’d like to admit. Both CATS Boston and CATS Canterbury have helped shape my international perspective in a real-life manner. They individually have their highlighted features, as well as their limitations and areas for improvement.

CATS Food Waste Challenge

By: Maria Monterio Attie and Nicholas Mikellides

Food waste is a very serious global issue that happens all over the globe. After witnessing the food waste issue in the CATS Boston dining hall, it became quite apparent that the United States is one of the most wasteful countries in regards to food.  When our teacher, Mr. Walecka, assigned us a Contemporary Issues project to raise awareness of about a global issue our topic was obvious. We chose to tackle the food waste issue at CATS and make students, faculty, and staff more conscious about this serious issue.

How did you decide to raise awareness for this issue?

In order to raise awareness, we concluded that the best option would be to show to the community at CATS how much food we actually waste. Once we received the support of Mr. Angell, Mr. Pendley, and the Aramark team, we created the idea to weigh the food waste from CATS for a two week stretch. The first week we decided the students would not be aware of the project, whereas the second week we would make students aware. We ended up discovering that we waste around 675 pounds of food in five days. We then compiled this information and create a video to put on the advisory homeroom announcements. After displaying the results, we started a campaign to create as little food waste as possible for another five days.

What were the results of the campaign?

Unfortunately, the results were not as good as we expected. The CATS community wasted 670 pounds of food during the second five day food challenge span. There was only a difference of a mere five pounds.

Why did the results not change?

After analyzing the unfortunate results, we started wondering why the waste continued to be practically the same. After talking to some of the students and teachers, we concluded that the waste continued the same due to the lack of community serious towards the issue and because some people were not “used to” the cafeteria food.
What can the CATS community do to solve this issue?

The CATS community could be more conscious about what they are wasting and why they are wasting the food in the first place. After this presentation, we could talk to the cafeteria and propose recipes and cooking styles many of our students are used to eating. Our final solution would be to have a house competition and whoever wastes the least amount of food would win house points.


Finally, it is our conclusion that the CATS community contributes greatly to the problem of food waste. It is really important for us to initiate change amongst all of our international students from all over the world. If people here become more conscious of this serious issue, they will, hopefully, spread this idea to different countries and help create less food waste.

Scholars Visit Berkshires

By: Maya Stoilova

Two weeks ago, Mr. O’ Donnell and the Scholars Program, visited MASS MoCA and Williams College. “That was an amazing experience,” said a student when we left the prestigious museum. The museum was full of contemporary art, which helped elicit feelings of emotions and creativity. Many of the talented art students from our scholar group felt inspired. The trip also included a powerful experience to Williams College. Mr. O’Donnell didn’t forget to remind us to work hard and apply there (for all seniors – Williams College turns out to be just as good a BU and NYU). Overall, we spent a lovely day in the company of our dear friends surrounded by the beauty of nature and art.

Men’s Fashion According to CATS Students!

By: Nuray Salina

Fashion is a very spectacular avenue for self-expression. We often watch changes in female trends and fashion, but we might rarely notice the evolution of male fashion. Some people argue that men should not follow fashion, because they say, men have fewer choices on how to dress.  But, I disagree. There are some at CATS Academy Boston who agree with me.

I talked to four well known and fashionable male CATS students who make radically different style choices.  I sought their fashion advice. Here is what they recommended:

  1. Do not be afraid to experiment. If you got bored with your everyday appearance, maybe it is time to change something like your hairstyle?

Look at famous actors and models, for instance, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman or David Beckham, whose haircuts are very stylish and elegant. Would they look as good without their distinctive hairstyles?

  1. Find your style. Try to figure out what kind of clothes fit you well and make you look your best.

Some guys like wearing oversized hoodies and baggy jeans that really don’t fit them. A reexamination of style might be needed.   It is easy to look better in an usual shirt with classic pants. The best way to find your style is to go to the shops and try on different clothes. Take a friend and let them help determine your style.

If you are looking for stylish and fashionable clothes, you might find them in shops such as Anti Social Social Club, Supreme, Hugo Boss, Boy London, Thrasher, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Zara and Kenneth Cole. These shops offer a big choice of fashionable clothes for young men.

  1. Add accessories to your outfits, but they should be tasteful, not extra-large.

Fashionable accessories should not be big like the giant jewelry some entertainers wear. Good watches, stylish sunglasses, luxurious cufflinks or a classic black hat are excellent examples of what to consider.  It could be whatever you want.

Men’s fashion is every bit as important as women’s.  So, men should try to make an effort to look good and up-to-date. But, also keep in mind that, “Style is what you carry within yourself, not what you buy,” according to Stefano Gabbana.

A Senior’s Aspirations

By: Aleksandra Chernysheva

Unfortunately time at CATS passes by very quickly and almost imperceptibly. Although it is just the beginning of November, when many may assume (fairly enough) that there is a lot of time ahead to worry about the end of the school year, they not exactly correct. I think that most of the seniors would agree with me, that time seems short. We are the ones who must choose colleges, decide which exams to take, and complete all our applications. This is the time of the year, when seniors are crafting their future and what they aspire to accomplish in their future lives. What are their college aspirations? Why? Are they anxious and nervous about leaving high school behind or are they well-prepared to confidently step into the new life that the college is offering? These are the kinds of questions that I wanted to explore, which is why I talked to a CATS senior.

Many of us would agree that senior, Alice Nguyen, from Vietnam is one of the most remarkable students at CATS Academy Boston. Since her arrival, she has been an integral part of our community.  She constantly challenges herself academically and is welcoming and friendly to all. She is also one of the best student-writers who deserves to be considered for the English Award 2017.

What are her senior aspirations?

“For college I’d like to be in an academically rigorous environment, where the students are all eager to learn and to help others learn. In college, I want to be busy 24/7 with internships, academics, and extracurricular activities. College is the time for me to challenge myself and get the most out of my experience.

I’m passionate about creative writing, so I’d like to join literary magazines and journals, book clubs, and any writing workshops. I also hope to explore other disciplines that would let me explore more about myself. ”

Is she nervous or confident about her forthcoming college experience?

“I’m really, really excited to go to college. I mean, I love CATS, but college is a whole new horizon to immerse myself in, and it’s always exciting to think about new places and new journeys. However I am certainly not ready, even worried and stressed out at times, because my early decision deadline is approaching. It’s comforting to know that I’m doing my best to prepare and challenge myself.”

I am sure that a lot of seniors are in the same position as Alice, and we wish them all the best of luck. We hope that you all achieve your goals! To the class of 2019, prepare yourselves! It’s coming for you too, maybe even sooner than you expect.



Habits of An “A” Student

By: Howard Ng

Being mediocre isn’t the type of student you should be. You know that you have potential and the aptitude to succeed academically in every subject. But, maybe some of you reading this have not yet reached your full potential. Who doesn’t want to wake up and see their Engrade filled with A’s? You should keep in mind that “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” (~Lao Tzu), thus one step follows another. If you follow these suggestions and work hard, they can help you become someone that excels.

  1. Manage your time, write down your assignment
  • You might think you can remember all of the assignments your teacher gives you, but don’t be surprised when you suddenly forget about all of it the next day. If you are someone that has had the experience of having no clue what the homework was, then you know that needs to change. Instead of losing points for missing the due date, which brings your grade down, simply get a planner or some kind of notebook to write down every assignment that your teacher gives. Stop wasting your time, write it down.
  1. “Humility is how you get better” (Mr. O’Donnell)
  • At all times, stay humble. Put yourself in a position to learn in each class you attend. Keep an open mind and always be open to new ideas and better ways of doing things. Your opinion about the way things should go may or may not be the best. Accept both accolades and correction with grace.
  1. “ Cope with failure effectively”
  • When your grade in a particular class drops significantly such as if you were to get a 65/100 or an equivalent grade that is very adverse, the effort that you put into the class should increase, not decrease. You shouldn’t blame your teacher for a bad grade, you should consider your mistakes and learn from them. A bad grade should not deter your personal determination to rise to the top.
  1. “ Set goals, always know where you are going”
  • In order to get anywhere, you must set goals. When you do, then, at all times, you will be certain of where you are headed and what you want to do in the future. By setting a goal you tell yourself to do your best to achieve it. With a goal in your head, let’s say… get an “A” average in your Algebra II class, you will keep on thinking about this goal wherever you go.  The goal will truly get into your mind. You will start functioning to do everything you can to meet it, which is a great way achieve the grade you want.

These habits can easy be adopted by every student here at CATS.  If you develop these habits and use them every day, you will be on the road to become that “A” student.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Review

By: Nuray Salina

If you have ever been interested in visual or performing arts, you should undoubtably visit one of the greatest museums in the USA, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

When I first went to the museum, I was amazed by the elegance and architecture. Every room in the building thoughtfuly and impressively curated. You can feel the history of the objects and antiques. The historical subjects range from a British King’s collection of antique treasures to peaceful Japan in 19th century. These topics along with hundreds of other interesting subjects create a powerful atmosphere of the boundless world of History and Arts.

The MFA(Museum of Fine Arts) is composed of four floors with a range of subjects. My favorite level is the firstone, which focuses on collections of musical instruments, ancient jewelery, paper works and photography. The other floors delve deep into the worlds of the Art of Europe, Contemporary Art, Art of Asia, Oceania and Africa, Art of the Ancient World, and Art of the Americas.

The MFA overall encompasses more than 450,000 exhibits and works of Arts from the whole world! There are a lot of works of Arts from great artists, including Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Edward Morse, William Morris Hunt, John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Gilbert Stuart and others.

The MFA is an exceptionable and utterly extraordinary place, where you can spend a wonderful day, get a lot of incredible impressions and behold a cultural heritage of our ancerties. This is the place, where you always want to come back. Don’t believe me? Go and check it!

The MFA is located at Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02511.

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