HB’s hidden talents


Rob Bardani ‘19 stands in front of his plane. He flies out of Nashua Biore Airfield and got his first lesson at 15 and pilot’s license at 18. “Aviation class could be really beneficial to our school.”

Alec MacEachen, News Editor

As a small school with constant budgetary issues, Hollis Brookline High School doesn’t have all the classes or extracurriculars that students can ask for. From S.T.E.M. or technical skills, to linguistic skills, some students have talents that don’t have a home at HB.

One example of a hidden skill is the technical innovation of Alex Dougherty ‘19. “I made web scraper,” said Dougherty, ‘19, which is able to “get data you want and consolidate it.” Dougherty has gone through our school’s AP Computer Science course but expressed that while it’s a good class it lacked the depth he looked for. He created a web scraper to “get financial data” in order to help him invest in options. He was already investing but wanted to use a script that he wrote in order to use more technical strategies based on statistical analysis that the computer can compute “infinitely faster” than humans can.

He believes in the most “utilitarian” view of using technology as a way to solve a problem. Dougherty lives his life with this motto and tries to solve all of his problems this way. He believes that the way to live is to “find personal problems and find a way to use computers to solve them.” He is currently working on an app that can “track your happiness levels,” but says it’s a work in progress. He says that the way it currently works is by plotting daily activities and mood. The app will take into account how often an event occurs over a period of time and work towards a plan to get rid of people and activities that are bad for mental health by replacing activities that are good.

On the other side of the spectrum is Kaito Kramarczyk ‘19, who has learned to speak Japanese outside of school. Kramarczyk said that he used to attend “[a] Japanese school down in Mass” on top of his normal workload, but has since graduated. He says the biggest factor is that his mom is Japanese and by speaking her native language he feels more connected to his mom’s country of Japan.

Kramarczyk would love to see a Japanese class offered at the high school, but he admitted, “I don’t think there would be enough demand since we’re such a small school.” College Board did recognize his hard work and Kramarczyk was able to take the AP Japanese Language test as a sophomore and the SAT subject test in Japanese during his junior year. He scored a 5 on the AP test and a 780 on the SAT subject.

In the technical aspects, Rob Bardani ‘19, has become the school’s local pilot, being only 18 years of age and obtaining a pilot’s license. “As a 15th birthday gift my parents bought me a discovery flight, which is basically a flight lesson,” said Bardani. His passion for planes started even earlier he said, and is pursuing an aviation-related major in college. He’s currently a recreational pilot and hopes his experience will give him an edge to employers later in life.

“Meteorology class or aviation class could be really beneficial,” said Bardani, who explained those are some of the aspects when going for a pilots license. “These classes might allow for students to figures out if a career in aviation is right for them,” said Bardani, who knows that the barrier to aviation can often be high. Things like flight lessons and maintenance can often be very expensive, but by allowing for certain classes to be taught here could help students discover passions that they didn’t know they have.

Some students also are able to investigate their history in a way that our school isn’t able to teach. One “aspiring archaeologist,” according to library master Christine Heaton, comes into the library and conducts independent research. Tyler Trombley ‘21 says he became interested in artifacts when he found out that he was part Native American. He says that he uses “a lot of google,” when researching topics he’s passionate about. He’s currently looking into historical Hollis families that still live here in hopes to see is anything can be discovered with a metal detector.

HB, a small school and through no fault of its own, and is limited by funding and logistics to not have every club students would want to see. Students will always want more clubs and classes and have growing pains. The only thing that students can hope for are more teachers and volunteer mentors for their new extracurriculars.