The Soaring Seagull December 2020 Edition


The Soaring Seagull


December 2020 Edition

Ralph R. McKee Career and Technical Education High School Newspaper 


Spreading Holiday Cheer: 2020 Style

By: Kaya Martorana

        Whether you are celebrating Kwanzaa, Christmas, or Hanukkah, this 2020 holiday season is harder than most because of Covid and quarantine. However, when you look at the bright side you can still make your holiday great along with many other people’s holidays. To start off and get in the spirit of the holiday season, you can decorate your home and make it look joyful and pretty. You do not even need to spend any money! Use old holiday decorations or even make your own with house materials. Be creative! In addition, what you can do in order to spread holiday cheer is to play some holiday music! Who doesn’t love some Mariah Carey Christmas tunes?

     Next, Family time! You can brainstorm some new holiday traditions being that you are stuck at home. Make some new family traditions! Some ideas for holiday traditions are creating a happiness jar (put joyful and holiday filled notes in a jar and when someone is feeling down, you can take one out and read them). You can also try cooking a new dessert or making different snacks during the holiday, write in a journal about the events leading up to your holiday, and more. 


Interview by Lizett Perez

1. I like to research and visit historic sites. 

2. My father taught me the importance of  helping young men and women find their place in society. 

3. I love animals and I have had many, some of their names were Max, Clyde, CJ, Stripe, Rascal, Danny, Cyrano, Jessie.

4. My favorite music is Rock and Roll!

5. I love to travel anywhere and everywhere. 

6. My favorite food is shrimp, prepared anyway! 

7. When I need silence I enjoy going outdoors away from commotion.

8. My favorite book is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

9. What motivates me as a teacher is seeing my students walk across the stage every June and knowing I helped get them there.

10. My first job was selling Greeting Cards door to door. 

11. I was born in Brooklyn, NY. 

Which staff member do you think this is? Submit HERE!

Fashion Trends for the Winter

By Cristian Garcia

           Winter is one of the most Special times of the year. Winter allows families to spend quality time with one another that no other season allows. From skiing and snowboarding in the mountains to curling up by the fire and enjoying some hot chocolate, winter is the perfect time to get cozy and enjoy the beauty of the season. This is also a time  to cover up from the cold weather  and stay safe.

Top trending colors this winter 

     Red is a holiday color, which represents love and joy. It is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. Red is a color that stands out in winter.

      Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes 

trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence,

Still Focused on Our Futures 

By Kaya Martorana

As a senior in highschool, I have learned many things throughout my journey, one of them being preparing for college. Even though college may not be for everybody, it is good to have a goal for what you will do post-secondary from high school, whether it be trade school, community college, a city college, or more, your future is important!      

Throughout this journey, I have been independent and prepared for college by myself and I want to share some tips that may help you better understand your future and next chapter in life. 

When preparing for college, you do not need a definite answer as to what you want to do in the future. In all of my four years in highschool, everyone made me think that I needed to have a plan for the future, or I would not be successful, which is the most false information ever given. When applying to colleges, they ask you for a major you are interested in. (Mind you, you are applying for more than one college.) Each college has their own specialties in majors. There are technical colleges, business colleges, medical colleges, etc. You can apply to many different colleges or 

No Bake Holiday Dessert Recipe

Layered Peppermint Bark

Prep Time: 30 mins

Additional: 55 mins

Total: 1 hr 25 mins

Servings: about 32 large pieces

Yield: 2 pounds


> 20 ounces of whitechocolate, coarsely chopped, and divided

> 30 small peppermint candies crushed, and divided

> 10 ounces of milk or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

> 6 tablespoons of heavy cream

> 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract

Directions (*note – all boiling/melting of chocolate can be done different ways)

Step 1

Line a 9×12 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Step 2

Melt 1/2 of the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. Pour white chocolate into the prepared pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of the crushed peppermints evenly over white 

    Unfortunately, not everyone is able to be with their families so video call them and check on them to see how their holiday is going. To brighten up the holidays for people in your community, share some love and joy and help out a neighbor to show your appreciation or bring them over some goodies to enjoy. Lastly, many people have lost a lot throughout the pandemic such as their homes, family members, jobs or money, and they do not have enough to provide for their families, so if you want to be in the ultimate holiday spirit, donate and give to others that have less. It does not even have to be much. You can donate clothes, food, toys, decorations and other utilities that children and families can enjoy so they can at least have some joy in their life after everything they have been through. Check out Project Hospitality for more information.

       With all of the troubles people have had throughout the 2020 year, these cheer spreading ideas will guarantee a happy transition into the new year so you and your family can have more than enough joy to spread with others. From the McKee family to yours, HAVE A HAPPY & HEALTHY HOLIDAY!! 


 Around the  


 By: Tareq Toufiq 

    Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It is an event that unifies and brings people together in terms of food, presents, cultures, and traditions. Christians believe that Jesus Christ was born on the 25th of December and celebrate in  many different ways in lots of different countries.

        In Nigeria, a country that is found in the western coast of Africa, Christmas is a family event in which children play with fire crackers and Christmas cards are sent to family and friends. In addition, Nigerians serve turkey as a traditional Christmas meal. They may also include chicken or beef. Nigerians also decorate their homes with the help of their children.

         In Cuba, a country located in the Caribbean, Christmas was banned by president Fidel Castro, until the Pope visited the country in 1997. The traditional dish on Christmas Eve there is roast pork with fried plantains, vegetables and rice. Many people also attend midnight mass at Church after their meals. In some parts of Cuba there is a big fiesta and parade on Christmas eve called “Las Parrandas.”

        In Finland, a country located in northern Europe, there is a big tourist theme park called “Christmas Land.” Animals are given their own Christmas trees with wheat hanging on it. It is traditional to eat rice 

intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body.

     Green, the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy, is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment.


  Tips for this Winter Season Fashion

1 – Layering up is one of the most important Essentials in the winter. This is a common trend used around every time of the year. This includes puffer jackets, bomber jackets, trench coats with combinations with flannels and sweaters. This is a way to stay warm and stylish during the cold weather.

2 – A flannel is a kind of soft-woven fabric, typically made of wool or cotton and slightly milled and raised. This unique clothing is versatile, you can use it to dress up or to layer up for your outfit. Flannels come in many colors and different unique patterns to a flare to your style.


trade schools for whichever your interests are and see which colleges accept you. I will make an example of myself and tell you how my college applications went. I am interested in the fields of Computer Science, Business, and Criminal Psychology. Those are three very different majors. I applied for CUNY, SUNY, and out of state colleges and universities. I applied to Baruch for Business, John Jay for Forensic Psychology, and a technical college in Utah called Neumont for Computer Science. Now, I received my first acceptance letter from Neumont which I did early admissions for. I am currently waiting for a regular admission acceptance letter to come in. Not all colleges may accept me. However, I know that enough of my top colleges will. 

This is why it is important to look at all types of different schools or options for the future. Trade schools and certificate programs can allow you an entrance into different parts of the workforce. This is what McKee is all about–preparing us with options for our future through CTE.

As a senior, I know helping others or even asking for assistance can be difficult, but sometimes you need to ask for help. As a part of the National Honors Society, and former member of Peer Group Connection (PGC), I am grateful for the preparation and help I have received and I am willing to help anyone prepare for college. Even though you do not have to force yourself to think about college as a freshman, you can start in your late sophomore year or your early junior year. Either way, put much thought into it. It is your future!

Good luck on your journeys to the future and beyond!  

chocolate. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate, heavy cream, and peppermint extract together on the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently, until just melted. Quickly pour the chocolate layer over the chilled white chocolate layer; spread evenly. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, melt the remaining white chocolate in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently, until just melted. Spread quickly over the chilled bark. Sprinkle with the remaining peppermint pieces; chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Cut or break into small pieces to serve.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:

204 calories; protein 1.6g 3% DV; carbohydrates 28.7g 9% DV; fat 9.5g 15% DV; cholesterol 7.9mg 3% DV; sodium 22.7mg 1% DV.

Happy Holidays from everyone at McKee! 

McKee Seagulls’ 

Upcoming Events:

  • Jan 7th + Jan 21st: Open House
  • Jan 14th: McKee family night

Monthly Announcements: 

  • Jan 4th-8th: Senior Pictures
  • Jan 18th: MLK Day
  • Jan 25th: Marking Period 2 ends

A Message From Our Principal, Mr. Bowen:

    As the Holiday Season is upon us, it is a time for Joy and happiness, quality time with our family and friends, and a time to reflect. As we close out the 2020 year, I think we can all agree we have a lot to reflect on. It is safe to say that what we have experienced, learned and done for the first time this past year has provided us with a foundation to reimagine ourselves and all that we have to offer. This brings me to a quote from the poet and pacifist, Edith Lovejoy Pierce. We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.  

      As I think about this quote, and now ending the year 2020, it resonated with me that this is the time for us to write a new book. As students, staff, and families, I want you to take some time to think about your first chapter, “New Year’s Day”.  

Begin to think about the words you are going to put on its pages and what that will mean for you. This will be our “Opportunity” to reinvent and/or enhance our role in school, work or within the family. It has not gone unnoticed that we have all had to learn new things this year. May we all continue to be lifelong learners in the upcoming 2021 year.  I want to wish all of you a safe, happy, and healthy Holiday Season. Let us strive to make 2021 the best year ever! 

“In the midst of great crisis lies great opportunity.”Albert Einstein 

porridge and plum fruit juice for breakfast. At midnight, the mayor broadcasts “The Peace of Christmas,” on TV and radio.  The meal on Christmas for the Finnish consists of a leg of pork served with mashed potatoes, carrots, and casserole. Christmas day is quiet in Finland. After exchanging presents, the family gathers to watch each other open gifts. They also go skiing on frozen lakes or rivers.

      In Australia, the largest country in the world, and the smallest continent, Christmas is celebrated in the beginning of their summer. This is when schools are closed from December to February. Australians go out caroling on Christmas Eve. They decorate their gardens and houses with Australian originated trees with small green leaves. They believe that when Santa arrives in their country, he uses kangaroos and changes his clothes according to the warm weather. Children leave carrots for the reindeer and some cake and drinks for Santa. On Christmas day, Australians visit their friends and have barbecues at the beach with seafood such as lobsters along with traditional English food.

     As you can see, Christmas is celebrated in many different ways, all across the globe. But we all have one thing in common–the Holiday spirit. 

3 – A crew neck is a type of shirt or sweater that has a round neckline and no collar, often worn with other layers. Crewnecks fit well with this year’s oversized trend. A crewneck is a way to stay cozy and relaxed this winter season. 

Some other popular fashion trends for the winter season:

Long Sleeve Tops Cotton High

Side Slit Round Neck Long Sleeve Sweater

Want to donate clothes? Use the QR code to find out where to go!

My Major Tips for College Preparation:

1 – Think about yourself and your interest no matter how many and how different they may be.

2 – Even if your grades were not the best one year, don’t let that hold you back and make the initiative to progress and get the best grades you possibly can.

3 – Apply for CUNY schools. 

4 – Fill out as many college applications for different colleges because this allows you to have a better variety of schools to choose from. 

5 – Take time to research! Whether it may be 5 minutes of your day or 5 hours– Every little bit of initiative counts. 

6 – Motivate yourself! If you do not  like being under your parents rule at home or you want to move out of state or anything else, USE THAT AS YOUR MOTIVATION. 

7 – College is not easy, but what was ever truly easy in life? 

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