Amani Marshall has a Guru Mentality

By Breeya Gandy 


Students at HHS often have dreams and aspirations for their future but may not take action to create them. Amani Marshall who is a junior at HHS isn’t your typical student. He is a 16 year old rapper who has been stepping out on a limb with his career since he was 14.

Marshall enjoys the energy of the crowd while performing. “Rapping gives me motivation, it takes me to my own place where I have my own vibe,” he said in a recent interview.

During freshman year Marshall discovered his talent when he started to make and produce videos incorporating his own music. 

He is also one of the pioneers of the group Guru Mentality which is a clique of rappers such as himself trying to build a career in the business.

During his late sophomore year he was signed to a small record label called Blvck Rebel$. His style inspiration includes two mainstream artists G-Herbo and Lil Bibby. 

Besides his rapping career, Marshall has other after school hobbies such as writing, recording, listening to music, and musical engineering.

Academically, Marshall is a C+ student with the favorite subject of history. His favorite teachers are Mr. Bercovick, Mrs. Hooper, and Mrs. Dos Anjos. He describes his high school experience to be a bit of a nuisance but overall pretty smooth.

His dreams aren’t going to end at HHS. He plans to attend William Paterson University to major in musical engineering. His future goals are to open his own studio, produce under his name, and continue his career as a rapper.

You can follow Amani’s music updates on his Instagram @guru_mentality

Best Albums of 2016

By Hailey Russo

The year 2016 has not been such a good year in general but it’s been a great year for new music. Many people agree that the music we’ve received throughout the year has been exceptional.

To remember the enjoyable music we have received this year here’s a list of the top five albums of the year. Feel free to leave a comment below if you think there’s something that we missed or if you agree with the list.

Top 5 Albums of 2016:

  1. Views- Drake
  2. Anti- Rihanna
  3. Lemonade- Beyonce
  4. Trapsoul- Bryson Tiller
  5. Tie between 25- Adele and Purpose- Justin Bieber


HHS 2016 Fall Pep Rally

By Lindsay Pacheco and Hope Ortiz

All photos by Mrs. Andrews’ Photography students

HHS came together right before Thanksgiving to give spirited support to our athletes, Here’s a glimpse of what happened:

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Sophomores and Juniors showing off their comet pride in the stands!

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Freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior students showing off how they Juju during the dance off. Seniors taking the win!

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Seniors, Calista Quiatchon and Mona Esawy rocking the blue and gold!

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The Comet marching band getting ready to pump up the crowd!

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Our Comet king and queen, Robert Schieli and Allison Bryan.

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Our cheer and football teams got pumped up for the Teaneck game!

The game ended with a Comet 13-0 win. Go Comets!

Student Profile: Nicholas Edis

By Iris Ocasio

HHS is admired for many things including the drama program. Often times, students cannot wait to get to HHS to begin their acting career and pursue their passions. However, many students like Nicholas Edis, junior, have had acting experience before high school.

Nicholas Edis began acting in the 4th grade where his first production was “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” starring as Mike Teavee. Edis claims that the decision to begin acting was partially his and partially motivation from his mother. Before he began acting, he was a member of chorus which has stuck with him throughout his high school career. Then, graduating from Maywood Avenue School he recognized that acting was a hobby that he wanted to be relevant in his future.

During his sophomore year, Edis landed the role of Nicky, one of the major characters in the Avenue Q production. The fact that the play was ambitious, he states that there was an “overwhelming amount of work” to get done. However, Edis explains that he “likes challenges and enjoyed the difficulty that the puppets brought and with the participation of other talented actors, they were able to pull off the show”.

The drama program requires immense dedication, but when the final product has been pieced to perfection, the sense of gratification is indescribable. Despite the time that he commits to his acting, Nicholas still manages to excel academically as an honors student.

He explains that “school is my first priority and my parents truly remind me of that”.

In addition to being an honors student, Edis also plays soccer in his town actively.

Next year, as a senior, Nicholas hopes to acquire the lead role of Dewey in the 2017 production of School of Rock. Beyond high school, he plans to continue acting in the community as a hobby. Edis’ major goal is to be a professional actor either on broadway or in films. He explains that “I love singing, but I want to act no matter what the opportunity is”.

When Nicholas began acting, he claims to have had significant stage fright, and he “had to get accustomed to performing in front of people.”  Edis states that for those who are afraid to pursue performing “they should be themselves, the great thing about acting is that the people around you share the same goal and that is to put on an exceptional show”. Discovering what you love to do as a teenager, is difficult, but once you surmount your fear, you will be able to devote yourself to your passion.


Remembering Prince


Mr. Gaines — Prince was a true original, thoughtful and reflective in both music and interviews. He never stopped thinking, creating, and using his gifts to better everyone who listened. We should all follow his lead, and use this time to remember to listen to our neighbors, even those who seem different.


Ms. Harrington – “Dig if you will the picture” of 14-year-old me listening and singing to, over and over again, Prince’s Purple Rain. MTV actually showed videos then and regularly featured Prince. I watched CONSTANTLY and still remember calling friends, staying on the phone and watching, when he performed with Sheila E or Morris Day and the Time. Thank goodness my parents agreed to get 3-way calling! By summer’s end, I knew every word to every song.
That fall I started high school at a small all girls Catholic school. In the 80s, Catholic high schools had dances almost every weekend in the fall. For our school’s, the Student Council chose a “Purple Rain” theme. We all wore our hair big, leg warmers, and purple. Lots of purple. Even the tickets to get into the dance were printed on purple construction paper. What I remember most was locking arms with my classmates, swaying back and forth, and singing “I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain…”  And the stares of the nuns. What they must have thought of Prince. He was nothing like anyone had ever seen or heard before but still was a little of what so many loved – Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder.
Prince will very much be missed by so many. To those who may not know him, YouTube him – “When Doves Cry”.  “Let’s Go Crazy”. “Kiss”. “Raspberry Beret”. “I Would Die 4 U”. And so many more 💜💜💜

P last

 Curtis Gaines III — As you all may know, Prince died recently at the age of 57. About a week prior, Prince was feeling ill while on a flight, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing. It would later be reported that Prince was okay. Prince performed in concert several days later in Atlanta. It has recently been reported that Prince’s death was related to an overuse of prescription drugs.

Many tributes have been made in honor of the fallen musician. Not only did Prince get recognized from people in all walks of life, but several TV and radio stations played his music all day after he passed.

Personally, Prince has made a HUGE impact in my life.

As a young kid, I always heard Prince music here and there. My mother and brother are huge supporters (Prince doesn’t like the word “fan”) so I was able to hear about Prince from them (my mom even saw Purple Rain about six times in the movies).

One morning, about 4:30 a.m., I couldn’t fall and stay asleep. So I went into the living room of my home and started to watch TV. I’m scrolling through channels and a stumble across a movie that would change my life, Purple Rain.

Having heard about the movie from my mom, I started to watch it in hopes of falling asleep. But the more I watched, the more engaged I became and the less tired I got. I instantly fell in love with the music, clothes and the mystique around Prince. By the time I finished the movie, I had became a supporter of Prince.

Because he didn’t have his music on YouTube, I had to do my own research to hear him. I had my family buy albums, books, and DVDs about him. The more I learned about him, the more I wanted to know about him. I even had the chance to see him in concert in Baltimore for the Freddie Gray tribute show last year.

Many people didn’t understand why I liked Prince so much. I would constantly get into arguments about who was better between him and Michael Jackson.  I introduced some cousins to Purple Rain(I had to trick one of my cousins into watching it by “accidentally” having it on when he walked in the room) and turned them on to some of his music. Although they moderately enjoyed Prince, they still couldn’t understand why I liked him so much.

But to me, Prince wasn’t just an entertainer, he was an inspiration. Watching Purple Rain for the first time gave me confidence that I never knew was inside of me. He showed me that I could be myself and still be special.

I also gained a huge respect for music. Before Prince, I never really understood what really goes into the music. Not only is there lyrics, but there is also compostion as well as emotion and energy. That inspired me to join chorus class and men’s chorus club this year. 

Prince also gave me a way to express myself. His style inspired me to dye my hair and still remain secure with who I am as a person. I even tried to straighten my hair to resemble his (read my Spring Break blogpost – – about how it happened).

Prince is also the inspiration to the name of my blog. For many that don’t know, Prince had a song called “7”. The song has many religious allusions in it and in numerology, 7 is the seeker and the thinker. Prince also alluded to the number 7 in many of his songs. Also what’s interesting as that if you add up all of the numbers in the month and day of the day that Prince died (4/21), you get the number 7. The song “7” is personally one of my favorite Prince songs and I was able to use that as inspiration for my blog.

Prince’s death was devastating to me. I lost a hero that made me into the person that I am today. I’ve been struggling to hold back tears all day.  It hasn’t hit me until right before my choir concert that Prince’s music and legacy will live forever, and he will live in my heart and memories for the rest of my life. Thank U Prince 💜 




HHS is going “Into The Woods”

This weekend HHS will present the popular Broadway musical Into The Woods,  debuting on Thursday evening. Students have been working with director/producer Mr. Gaines,  musical director Mrs. Platte, choreographer Ms. Stein (from Hackensack Middle School), and technical producer Mr. Zisa.

Here’s a peek at what you’ll miss if you don’t get yourself Into The Woods this weekend …


The cast of Into The Woods …


… looks great and ready to delight.

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A special look behind-the-scenes (photo by Alexis Norman).

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Once again, the set is wonderful, thanks to the Woodworking class! (photo by Alexis Norman)


Mr. Gaines and Mrs. Platte (bottom center) hard at work. (photo by Alexis Norman)

Performances will be on March 17, 18, 19 at 7:30 pm and March 20 at 2:30 pm. Tickets are available at the door or through



By Curtis Gaines III

For many people in the world, being on national television is just a dream. Many would do anything for their “fifteen minutes of fame” just to say that they’ve been on TV. One HHS student was able to live out many people’s dreams before she even turned 18 years old.

Senior Alexa LaCorte got the chance in 2014 when she appeared in a commercial for the acne fighting product, Clean & Clear. The 30 second ad featured teenagers talking about how the product eliminates acne and allows others to “see the real me” instead of seeing only zits. And there she was smiling in a super close-up.

Being in a national TV commercial is something for which she prepared most of her life. LaCorte has been acting, singing, and dancing in performances throughout Bergen County ever since she was five years old.

“I just fell in love with performing at a young age,” LaCorte said, “I like having the chance to be someone that I’ve never been before.”

LaCorte also has a riveting cameo in the independent movie, Clandestine, from Feenix Films, which is currently making the rounds at film festivals in Houston, New York City, and Singapore, seeking distribution.

Additionally, LaCorte is also on the cover of the novel City of Pain, written by HHS English teacher Christopher Ryan which features a still from the film as part of the book’s cover design.

In addition to performing, LaCorte is able to maintain a solid A/B average in school. Her new dream is to become an english teacher in Korea.

During the summer, LaCorte, who admits that she has an “obsessive personality”, came across K-Pop and fell in love with Korean culture.

“I heard G-Dragon for the first time and instantly became obsessed with K-Pop,” she said. Her new obsession inspired her to read about the culture and join the Korean Club.

This weekend, LaCorte will be featured in Hackensack High School’s spring musical production, Into the Woods.