Mystery Surrounds Creation of Website That Exposes Harriton Students Engaged in Illegal and Bad Behavior – Ricky Reports

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Written By Ricky Sayer

Bryn Mawr PA — The mystery surrounding the creation of a website that exposes Harriton Students of illegal behavior has dominated the discussion among students in the opening days of the school year. While students speculate, Harriton’s administration has confirmed to RickyReports.TV that they, as well the police are aware, but only the school is actively investigating. Thanks to swift detective work by students, the site has been taken down though the archives still remain online.

The Story

On Monday September 5th, the day before school started at Harriton High School of Lower Merion, an individual (or individuals) using the pseudonym of Greg Stephenson created a website that shared media depicting Harriton students engaging in illegal activity. According to the website, the purpose of exposing students engaged in illegal activity is that it would allow them to be punished and stop them from going to college. “I think that the site in itself is terrible, but I think what is worse is that someone is trying to ruin Harriton students chances of getting into college” said Senior Jon Diamond-Reivich.

As of Friday, the site shared 6 images that depict students smoking marijuana and drinking beer. Harriton students have taken measures to track down the creator of the site. These attempts have led to the current realization that the creator of the site may have framed another student for the sites’ creation.

A Harriton administrator told Ricky Reports on Thursday that they first became aware of the website on Wednesday, the second day of school. A letter to parents from Harriton Principal Scott Weinstein explained that “We received an anonymous email notifying school administration about the site. In turn, we immediately contacted the families of students involved.”

A school administrator told Ricky Reports that no students have been disciplined by the school as a result of the published images as they could have been manipulated to make it appear as if the student was engaging in an illegal activity. The letter which was sent to parents on Friday made note that “As this is an external website, it is likely beyond the District’s capacity to assist in removing the content in question.” More of the email is included toward the end of this article.

Students criticized the administration’s response, saying that “They clearly want no affiliation with it and nothing to do with it.” Senior Jack Turner told me the District should take a more active role in remedying the situation. “Even though these events occurred outside of school, it doesn’t mean that administration just gets to step out of the situation. We have countless assemblies on bullying and cyberbullying and they mean nothing when something like this happens and they don’t take action.” Jack went on to say that he believed that the administration’s response and their email implied that the school “Blamed the victims who did nothing to deserve this.”

Senior Will Hoffman made note that “The people involved were not even contacted by administration and were put on blast to the entire district, they did little to help with the removal of the website, other than warnings of “being careful”.”

Anna Fleming was slightly more forgiving “It’s a tricky situation for the school to be in, but for all they preach about “No Place for Hate”, I think they could have put more effort into getting to the bottom of the situation and punishing the culprit.”

The Site

In a “welcome” message on the website, the sites creator makes it clear why they created the site (asterisks have been used to censor the name of the website and protect students involved):

“Hello! Welcome to ******** *****! This website is used to leak out any pictures or videos of Harriton High School students doing illegal/bad things! We created this site for a few reasons reasons:

1. To expose students who do illegal things so they can get punished for them.

2. To expose students who do illegal things so colleges can really see what A+ students look like when not in school.

3. To expose students who do illegal things so they can see that nothing can “disappear from the internet”.

4. To show that “snitches” who expose other students online cannot get “stitches” when done correctly.

Disclaimer: This website is operated by anonymous personnel affiliated with Harriton High School of Lower Merion, PA. All media posted on this site has been gather through legal methods, meaning that our content is not “hacked” out of people’s phones.”

 

The website has made 2 postings. The first shows 2 female students allegedly smoking marijuana. Only 1 image shows the face of a student. No physical marijuana can be seen in that image but the image does display a “puff of smoke” near the mouth of the student in the image. Other images, which do not show faces, do have what appear to be marijuana in them. The creator of the site claims that these images were “ripped from” a student’s Vsco page. Vsco is a photo-sharing website. A second posting on the site shows a group of friends smiling and laughing as they pose for a picture at a party. One of the students in the image is seen holding an Eagles Beer Can. The post includes a second image, which is a cropped out picture of the Beer Can. Along with the image the site creator included the caption:

 

“This photo is ripped from Vsco, uploaded by user ***************. This photo shows (from left to right), **** *********, *** *******, ***** *******, ***** *********, and ***** ***** at a house party. ***** ********** has a can of Bud Light in his right hand. We can also assume the two females on the left are under the influence of alcohol, because of the way they are laughing, however, this cannot be confirmed. ********* however is clearly drunk: just look at his eyes.”

It is important to note that some of the students included in the pictures are athletes who are committed to playing at Division 1 schools. The website allowed for readers to anonymously send in pictures of Harriton students engaged in illegal activity so they can be posted on the site. It is unclear if images posted on the site came from a reader or the site.

In a defiant response to criticisms and outrage the creator of the site ‘Greg Stephenson’ wrote that “This site will not get taken down…. Also, I wanted to mention that this site is backed up on http://archive.is/ and http://web.archive.org/ in case anything were to happen to this site.”

A message to ‘Greg Stephenson’ has not resulted in a reply.

Students Act As Detective

News of the website first spread among Harriton Seniors on Facebook Wednesday evening. By mid day Thursday it became impossible to walk around Harriton and not hear someone talking about the website. As Senior Kristen Cooney put it “Everywhere you went, there were people discussing “******** *****” with friends, even teachers.”

As soon as students learned of the sites existence they set out to find the creator of the site. In a matter of hours students were able to figure out that ‘Greg Stephenson’, if he was a real person, was not a student of the Lower Merion School District. Many used their knowledge of technology to determine facts that would help them pinpoint the sites creator. This directly led to a key piece of information being discovered.

For a short time on Thursday it appeared as if the culprit had been caught by his fellow students. In the cafeteria at lunch, a group of students were able to find the email address of the owner of the website. They attempted to break into the account by using a feature on Google that helps you recover a password if you have the phone number that is associated with email account. The group of students did not know the phone number, but google gave them the last two digits of the number as a hint. Junior Max Hopko explained to me how he and his friends were able get those 2 digits.

“I was able to locate the email address used within the website through a broken Subscribe Feed button found on the website. In the code was the email address (greg.stephenson.att@gmail.com). With this information I found the last 2 digits of the creator’s phone number.”

A friend of Max realized that those 2 numbers were the same 2 numbers as a friend of theirs who was sitting at the table. They had asked their friend to tell them his entire phone number. He complied and the group entered the number into the password recovery system. To their surprise this worked and a message was sent to the student giving him a confirmation number to re-set the password for the Google account that the website is controlled through. The group of students then proclaimed that they had found the creator of the site causing a stir in the lunchroom as students learned what was going on. A crowd had formed around the student when I confronted him to ask for an explanation. He told me that the phone number associated with the site was his but denied that he created the site. Things became heated when some in the room began yelling at the student who claimed he had been framed. The student was escorted out of the lunchroom for his own safety. The student claims that the actual creator of the website must have used his cell phone number when registering the Google account. He claims that when you enter a phone number, you don’t actually get a text saying that your phone number is now associated with that account. The student told me that following this he met with a school vice principal, and during this meeting the student told the vice principal, who had the IP address of the website, that the IP address associated with the site was not the same as the students phone or computer and that he was framed. The student told me that the vice principal agreed that it would not make sense for the creator of the site to use their actual phone number. Ricky Reports has not independently been able to confirm this. According to the student who says he was framed, school administration advised him not to use the power given to him by the recovery password phone number to set a new password, allowing him to delete the site. On Friday evening, after mounting pressure from students in the Harriton community, the student had reversed course and deleted the site. He wrote online that he video recorded the entire process.

School administration told me they cannot discuss ongoing investigations regarding students.

Students React

Harriton Students united this week to condemn the actions of the websites creator and express how they felt. Some students expressed anger toward the websites creator, telling me “I think that it is absolutely worthless and ridiculous and that whoever created this is a low life loser who has nothing better to do” said a Harriton junior, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation by the websites creator. Pearce Flanagan, a Harriton Senior told me that “The fact that someone would go out of their way to do all of this is scary. It’s scarier to think what else they feel the need to do.” Junior Kristin Cooney told me “Even though the site is now down, it’s definitely concerning that it existed in the first place, and that someone had so much bitterness toward the people to create it.” Other students, such as Benji Martin, had a different view of the situation. He told me, “While I do think it is concerning, I don’t think it is such a big deal as the student body is making it. Maybe I’m the only who is thinking this but it’s not like the pictures were taken through spy cameras, and the people did not know about it. The people in the pictures knowingly took them, and then chose to post them on social media. Of course the site was made for only exploitation, but is it that big of a deal that the pictures were basically just “retweeted”?”

Students all week speculated who and why someone would create this site. At first, many students came to the conclusion that the creator of the site was a junior girl, jealous of her friends for one reason or another (as the majority of those in the pictures shared on the site are juniors). “My suspicion is that they were trying to ruin Juniors college lives by posting pictures of them doing bad things so that they don’t get into a good college. Definitely seems like something that would happen in a competitive district.” said Noah Salmanson. Others, like Ava Sophia Brown and Kristen Cooney told me they believe that whoever created the website was driven to do so because of something that had happened to them. “The only reason why someone would make a site like this due to his or her own insecurity. The entire thing reeks of fragility” said Ava. Kristen told me that she thought there were 2 possibilities why someone would create the site. “Either whoever made the site was bullied and this was their revenge, or they were the bully.”

All of the Harriton students I talked to believe that this one incident was not representative of the Harriton community. Senior Miranda Ivy Wager told me that she didn’t think that this was representative of the whole school but rather “a representation of what’s wrong with the social structure in our building. The amount of cliques and closed groups in our environment makes it uncomfortable for pretty much everyone. In my experience, you couldn’t even speak to someone outside of your own “group” without getting a strange feeling. We all know each other as seniors this year, yet I’m sure half of us have never talked to each other or given the other the time of day. The whole reason this happened was because someone felt hurt or left out enough to attack others outright.” Senior Ava Rostami had a similar line of thinking. “Something to this extreme is so immature and out of place at this school. If it was representative the entire school, there would not have been in such an outrage at the website’s creation and there may have even been more people to post leaks. If this had happened in Middle School I think that some people might have participated in ‘leaking’ photos, but luckily the entire school saw what was wrong with the website and tried to figure out who would want to do something so immature. People outside of this school need to realize that this was just one person.”

Other students like Zach Alfred Levow, shared similar sentiments “The leaker is a social outcast looking to vent their frustrations out on what they perceive to be the cause of their troubles: the popular kids. No matter if you agree with the leaker’s actions or not, we must look at the bigger issue they illuminated: our entire social dynamic. Something is fundamentally wrong with the hierarchy at Harriton. I don’t exactly know the specific issues and how to fix them, but something has to be broken on a basic level for someone to feel that much anger against those kids to ruin their lives. What is the real pecking order at Harriton? What are our groups and cliques? How do these cliques interact and not interact? How much room is there for being in multiple groups? These are only some of the questions we have to ask ourselves. And we might have to do this ourselves. The administration is silently jumping for joy. All their warnings about online safety have just been validated. They will make no attempt to find the leaker. If they have, they probably sent them off with a pat on the back. Maybe the administration is waiting until the year is in full swing to address the issue to us, but in a week or so, I believe that the administration shouldn’t simply drag us out for another assembly on online safety, but instead divide us up into focus groups to try and solve these social problems. I understand how uncomfortable this will be, and probably unpleasant, but now we have a culture of paranoia and fear at Harriton. How much longer before this reaches a boiling point? We have to come together to solve this issue. A final thought: if there was ever a time to reach out to others (and I realize I definitely have not done that), to invite the kid sitting alone to join you, to strike up a conversation with a random freshman on the bus, it is NOW. Finally, and I hate to end it on a pessimistic note, but if the administration lets our clearly toxic social structure continue without even trying to fix it, they, with all their talk of No Place for Hate and Olweus, are hypocrites.”

The Ripple Effect

Many students I spoke with told me that they had deleted many photos from their social media accounts. One student told me  “I took down a lot of posts on my finsta” Meaning that they had taken down images posted to their fake Instagram account (Finsta.) Fake Instagram accounts are used by students to post pictures to an social media account that does not have the students name connected to it, allowing them to post pictures that may not be the most appropriate, that only their close friends can see. In the email to families, Harriton’s new principal, Scott Weinstein wrote that:

 

“This incident serves as a cautionary tale for our students with regard to their digital citizenship – and the decisions they choose to make with regard to drugs and alcohol. The reality is that every image they post online and every action they take in public (or even at a “private” gathering with friends) can be easily documented and shared with the world. The best way to avoid situations like these is simply to make good decisions and be incredibly cautious when crafting a digital footprint.

Clearly, this is a topic of interest to our students that has the potential to spark various emotions, opinions and debate. It is likely that it will come up in discussion in our classrooms and hallways. We have encouraged staff to support constructive dialogue and reaffirm the importance of good decision-making. We encourage your support and cooperation in doing the same at home. If your children need additional support in navigating these issues, please feel free to reach out to our counselors.”

The site may be down but the students I talked to are in no way relieved. Anna Flemming told me that she felt that effects stemming from the mystery would continue to be present in Harriton hallways. “Though the site itself is gone, it’s effects still linger. Accusations are flying every which way. People were scared while it was up, and now they’re angry and it’s hard to avoid scapegoating people when they know they might never track the real culprit. In this way, The site isn’t really gone.” Emma Johnson pointed out that a new site could pop up and that the posts could continue,  “Is the site truly down? I mean someone could easily remake the site and post more pictures of anyone doing anything. I don’t think it can truly go away. At least not yet.”

The mystery surrounding the website looms and is likely to be the highlight of  chatter among students at Harriton for some time to come.

Check back with RickyReports.TV for updates on the situation.

RickyReports.TV is run by Ricky Sayer, a Harriton High School Senior who has been reporting news for 6 years. RickyReports.TV is in no way directly affiliated with Harriton High School or Lower Merion School District. You can email Ricky at his school email account richardsayer17@students.org

RickyReports.TV has decided to withhold naming the website or any students directly involved.

 

Harriton TSA Makes Big Impact At 2016 States, Puts 4 On State Officer Team

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Written By Ricky Sayer
—-Seven Springs Resort – Champion PA—This year at The Pennsylvania Technology Student Association’s State Conference, 4 members of Harriton’s TSA delegation completed a feat never before attained in such great numbers. For the first time, the 8 person PA-TSA State officer team will have a voting majority controlled by Harriton Students. The officer team president does not vote which allows Harriton to take a majority. In the past, the biggest number of Harriton Students that were members of the state officer team was 3. The 4 Harriton Students that were elected by their peers at the state conference and will be serving on the 2016-2017 PA-TSA state officer team are Catherine Liu (Vice President), Etan Ginsberg (Secretary), Francis Chalissery (Treasurer), and Ben Abt (Reporter).

Success at States
A Dominant Peformace
Officer Takeover
     Catherine Liu
     Etan Ginsberg
     Francis Chalissery
     Ben Abt
Controversy
Beating LM
Harriton Top Tens

Success at States

At its fundamental level, TSA is a technology competition with 35 events. In this area, Harriton was able to have overall success at the State Competition as members of the team had 22 top 10 finishes, including two 1st places in Chapter Team (Etan Ginsberg, Francis Chalissery, Ryan Krieser, Ron Nafshi, Hunter Sporn, Sarah Xi) and Desktop Publishing (Francis Chalissery), as well as four 2nd place finishes in Technology Bowl, PA- Robotics, PA-Safety Illustration – Computer and, Chapter Team Written. Harriton students also attained one 3rd place finish in Webmaster. Read Harriton’s full top ten results at the conclusion of this article. It is important to note the TSA has no team ranking. Individually the most Trophies in Harriton TSA were won by Etan Ginsberg with his 4 trophies in Chapter Team, Chapter Team Written, Tech Bowl, and Webmaster.

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Harriton’s TSA President Chris Walsh had this to say “I think we gave it 110%, as they say in the sport world, and we came home for the win.”

Dominant Performance

Harriton’s two 1st place finishes came in Desktop Publishing and Chapter Team.

Desktop publishing was won by Harriton Freshman Francis Chalissery who was tasked with making a poster, newsletter, and news release for a community service organization. Chalissery told me that “it’s my favorite event because it incorporates a lot of graphic design principles and i get to use pretty cool software, so it’s fun.” Francis most notably went up against back to back to back (3-time consecutive) state champion Lina Shi from the powerhouse Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. Lina has displayed a wide range of excellence in graphic design events and was entering her senior year compared to Francis’s freshman year.

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via GIPHY – Chapter Team celebrates first place

The biggest of Harritons celebrations came at the end of the night for the the final and arguably most prestigious TSA event: Chapter Team, an event that involves using strict parliamentary procedure and Roberts Rules of Order to run a business meeting. Harriton’s first place Chapter team win beats one of the greatest chapter team school’s of all time LM. LM has been a top 3 team in the nation for several years in a row and two of the current members competed on the team that won nationals two years ago. Harriton’s Chapter Team group was led by reigning National Champion of Chapter Team- Written, Etan Ginsberg, who as he told us, has aspired to compete on this level with LM for years. He, Francis Chalissery, Ryan Krieser, Hunter Sporn, Sarah Xi, Ron Nafshi, were able to do this in perfect fashion, running the best meeting they had ever ran.

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The Chapter Team with their trophies

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 8.51.49 PMDirectly after the awards ceremony I spoke to Etan to get his reaction. “It was a great competition and we did what we can do, and we’re going to continue what we can do and we are going to continue with our goal now of getting a top 3 at nationals. When I have a goal our team can make that goal [a reality] when we all put ourselves in and we work for it, and we [did] work for it. We had 5 of the 10 spots for the individual (chapter team-written] tests were taken by our team members. We came together at the right time, we peaked exactly at the competition, and we ran the best meeting we have ever ran the entire time at that competition, we’re meeting our goals and we are going to keep on rolling.”

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Winning Chapter team capped off memorable night for Harriton’s chapter who now prepares for nationals in June/July.

Officer Takeover

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Above: Catherine Liu, Francis Chalissery, Etan Ginsberg, Ben Abt

But the bigger story for Harriton over the course of the conference was the unprecedented amount of Harriton Students Elected into state office. I asked Harriton TSA’s Advisor, Mr. Lehman about the purpose of the PATSA State officer team “The state officer team is responsible for a number of things, one of them being just organizing and preparing next year’s state conference. They will spend a fair amount of time on that, and they will continue to try to grow TSA as a whole and try to get more schools involved, get more students involved in TSA, that’s going to be their primary focus. When asked specifically about why so many Harriton Students were elected to state office Lehman told me that their wins can be credited to their confidence and leadership skills as well as how they communicated with all of the other students at the conference. “They obviously have a good grasp of the key issues that are going on in TSA and were able to strike a chord with the TSA general membership and earned their vote.”

I also asked Mr. Lehman about what the amount of State officers from Harriton says about not only students at Harriton but as Lower Merion School District Students as a whole. “We ended up with 4 state officers this year, more than we’ve ever had, we actually have a majority of the [elected] state officer team, what that shows is that Harriton and Lower Merion students have a good grasp on leadership and communications skills and are are going to become great leaders someday.” Mr. Lehman went on to say that the state officers from Harriton are “really a testament to all our students, the advisors really didn’t have a lot of input. They wrote their own speeches and gave their own speeches, and did it all on there own, which is something I always encourage. It makes you feel proud, and it makes you feel good to know that they did it all on there own without a lot of coaching.”

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Catherine Liu

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At the conference, Harriton Junior Catherine Liu was elected PATSA Vice President. Over the past year, Catherine has served as PATSA Secretary. When she was elected last year she promised that one of the things she would do was to bring a printer station to the conference so students would be able to print out things that they needed to compete. She was able to fulfill that promise this year, saying in her speech that the printer has “magically appeared.” I asked her what becoming vice-president means to her. “For me Vice-President means taking care of the membership committee, which the vice-president chairs. Most of the responsibilities are actually pretty fluid in that we[officers] all help each other with all our proposals and all of our responsibilities throughout the conference and throughout the year, I am really excited to be running membership [committee] because I have been on it for 2 years, I am familiar with the responsibilities and I am excited to see where it’s going to go.”

Etan Ginsberg

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In order for Junior Etan Ginsberg to become PATSA Secretary, he first had to beat 3 other candidates including the popular 2015-2016 state reporter Zach Chan. Etan had run for state office and lost 2 years ago and attempted to win the appointed position Parliamentarian last year, which also failed. Etan in his campaign speech talked about how he wanted to bring TSA an online forum, which is something he has been in contact with the National TSA Executive Director about as well as reforming the process for attaining corporate sponsors by relying more heavily on TSA alumni which he said has not been tapped into.

Immediately after learning he had been elected Etan told me how ecstatic he was to become a PATSA state officer after his six years of dedication to TSA “I have this quote “you have to learn to fail before you learn to succeed” I honestly had to learn to fail when I wasn’t elected 2 years ago, and last year when I wasn’t appointed [parliamentarian] and from that I was able to build a lot greater platform. That’s why I was able to succeed.”

Francis Chalissery

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Francis Chalissery faced the steepest road in his Campaign to be TSA Treasurer as he went up against 6 other candidates. The Freshman told me that running for TSA state office was something he wanted to do “from day 1.” Considering that Francis has been in TSA since 6th grade, that is a long time. I asked Francis why he joined TSA and why he is still part of the club 4 years after he joined. “I like TSA because of its competitive element. I guess Science Olympiad has it too but TSA is good also. This year Harriton has about half of the total state officers, that’s important because it’s shows how much harriton has improved and how powerful Harriton is.” I asked how Francis how it feels to become a state officer. “It feels good because i worked hard for the past few months and i guess my work has payed off.”

Ben Abt

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Ben Abt, who is set to become the next PATSA Reporter (nothing to do with news, otherwise i would be jealous) campaigned on the idea of online forums and polls as well as bringing in new Technologies that will allow TSA to be more innovative instead of using the current older technologies that TSA uses today. Ben told me that “I was a little bit excited, it’s a goal I had. 2 years ago I decided I would try it eventually, I wanted to be part of the bigger thing.”

Controversy.

With Harriton’s control of half of the state officer team, controversy has already sparked with TSA members recalling that a few years ago, when Lower Merion School DIstrict had control of 75% of the state officer team (3 from LM, 3 from Harriton), a TSA student filed a motion that would have limited the amount of students that can run for state office from a School District to 2. That year when the officers were asked to state what school they attended during the business meeting, students actually booed the officer team. The motion failed to pass but Harriton’s elected officers this year worry about how they may be perceived next year by other schools. When I asked Francis Chalissery about concerns of Harriton’s power he immediately was reminded of the LM situation, he worries the same thing could happen next year “In the future there could be a rule where only 2 people from a school can run for state office.”

I asked other officers if it was a good thing that 4 students from Harriton are members of the state officer team. Ben Apt told me that “I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a good thing personally because we [the officer team] need other people with other views with more ideas” Catherine Liu offered a similar thought “We have to be careful in that we don’t want the rest of the state to think that we are in any way trying to control the state officer team because obviously it is still an election by the delegates all throughout the state. So we just have to be careful in our decisions to make sure that we are considering every person, not just people in our area.”

Ben Apt also noted that it doesn’t give Harriton more influence because the officers are not delegates which means that they are not the only ones voting on topics, “I am going to do what I think is right and what other delegates and other chapters think is right and what they say throughout the polls and forms, I am not going to use this to give Harriton power because i don’t think that is right, I am not going to let it happen and other harriton state officers aren’t going to let that happen, it’s not going to be as easy as it looks for it to happen.”

I asked Mr. Lehman how he thought the officers and Harriton TSA would use their newly gained influence and he answered possibly in the most optimistic way. “Hopefully in a positive way, but that is difficult to tell.”

Another positive of Harritons 4 state officers is that “We can maintain the high percentage of officers from harriton because we can give better advice to harriton students who want to become officers” said Francis Chalissery.

Ryan Krieser said that Harritons officers will use their influence to “Make TSA as great as it could possibly be.”

Beating LM

For years it seemed, students that were part of Welsh Valleys dominant TSA squad have been deterred from continuing their TSA legacy at Harriton, instead choosing to play sports, join Harritons dominant Science Olympiad squad or most unfortunately, going to Lower Merion which has for years been considered the superior TSA squad to Harriton. It was clear something would be changing this year at regionals when for the first time, Etan Ginsberg of Harritons Chapter Team squad beat LM for the first place position allowing Harriton to become the Region Five officers. At the time Etan Ginsberg remarked “I want a top 10 at nationals and I want to win states.” Now it appears Etan has changed the team goal to be a top 3 at nationals.

After winning 1st place in Chapter Team Etan Ginsberg, one of the students who has led in Harritons rivalry vs LM remarked that “After regionals I said our goal would be to win 1st at states and finally beat LM [in chapter team], Well we just won first at states and LM got second. I don’t think anyone is ever going to say Harriton is taking a backseat to LM in chapter anymore”

An unidentified Harriton student then quipped “LM is irrelevant.”

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Francis Chalissery, a member of the 1st place winning Chapter Team had this to add “This year Harriton beat LM in many events including chapter team. This year we beat LM in chapter team, it’s probably the most important event in TSA, they usually always beat us in this event so beating them is nice.”

As Harriton’s team has grown and matured, their rivalry with LM has skyrocketed. At this years State conference Harriton out-scored LM by 7 top ten finishes with Harriton grabbing 22 top ten finishes vs LM’s mere 15. Students at Harriton greatly celebrated this on the bus ride back to Harriton.

Ryan Krieser told me “we won, we basically killed LM, so that’s good. We won these elections and we won these events cause were good.”

When asked why students should go to Harriton over LM francis told me “it’s simple, Harritons better. Better resources, better access to tools, better people.”

Harriton TSA president Chris Walsh probably put it best. “We took them off the throne at regionals, and now we put them in there place at states, it’s fantastic”

Now with the team’s success at states both politically and trophy wise, Harriton hopes to continue the momentum by convincing Welsh Valley students to continue on with TSA at Harriton instead of going to LM or joining Harritons science olympiad team.

“I think it goes to show the amount of dedication the Harriton TSA has, and furthermore why we are not a inferior club to Science Olympiad, so that rising 9th graders should know that we as TSA are a perfectly suitable club and do not need to go to Science Olympiad, although Science Olympiad club is still a good club, we are better” said Harriton TSA President Chris Walsh.

Ryan Kreiser added “keep in mind when choosing between TSA and science olympiad that Harriton TSA controls the PATSA officer team.”

The 4 day TSA Conference took place from wednesday the 13th to Saturday the 16th at Seven Springs Resort in Champion/Seven Springs Pennslvania. 1,861 students competed in the conference that drew 139 schools from all across Pennsylvania

This year in Champion Pennsylvania, Harritons TSA team became champions.

Mr. Lehman explained the draw of TSA. “The greatest thing about TSA is that it’s different than a lot of other competitive curricular activities because it really encourages those leadership skills, running for those officer positions. It’s not just about the competitions, it’s about leadership, communication skills, and encouraging and growing those skills in the students.”

Harriton Top Tens

Architectural Renovation

7th place: Henry Kohl-Drucker, Danila Nilov, Max Wang, Kevin Zhai

9th place: Sarah Hertzfeld, Catherine Liu, Ariadne Marg Bracken, Sarah Xi

Biotechnology Design

9th place: Xinke Chen, Ron Nafshi, Anna Spade, Levi Rovner

Chapter Team

1st place: Francis Chalissery, Etan Ginsberg, Ryan Kreiser, Ron Nafshi, Hunter Sporn, Sarah Xi

CAD 3D, Engineering

8th place: Christopher Walsh

Desktop Publishing

1st place: Francis Chalissery

Dragster Design

5th Place: Kareem Majid

Extemporaneous Speech

10th place: Etan Ginsberg

SciVis

7th place: Francis Chalissery, Etan Ginsberg, Henry Kohl-Drucker, Danila Nilov, Max Wang, Kevin Zhai

Software Design

6th place: Ryan Herdler, Blake Mickman, Niels Terwiesch

System Control Technology

6th place: Ryan Kreiser, Ron Nafshi, Ben Siderowf

Technical Sketching and Application

10th place: Christopher Walsh

Technology Bowl

2nd place: Team A, Etan Ginsberg, Ryan Kreiser, Ben Siderowf

Webmaster

3rd place: Emma Anisman, Francis Chalissery, Etan Ginsberg, Ricky Sayer, Hunter Sporn, Will Haist

PA-Robotics

2nd place: Filip Barun, Zach Silberstein

Safety Illustration

2nd place: Portia Maidment

4th place: Ariadne Marg-Brackmen

Chapter Team-Written

2nd place: Etan Ginsberg

4th place: Hunter Sporn

5th place: Ryan Kreiser

7th place: Ron Nafshi

8th place: Francis Chalissery

 

Local Elections:
Harriton students also elected next year’s local officer team, on the team will be Emma Anisman, Etan Ginsberg, Portia Maidment, Hunter Sporn, Zachary Manlin, and Kareem Majid

Etan Ginsberg, who helped to fact check this article, asked that the following statement be added.

I do wholeheartedly belief that one of the keys to success is humility. While at the moment it appears we have reaped success, I have also seen a very interesting repeat phenomenon. Teams that win at the state level let the success get to their head and fall short of their goals at the national level. On the other hand, I can recall five different occasions where a team that has gotten 2nd at States has gotten 1st at nationals

I do not want to see short term success ruin the long-term goal. From the beginning of the year, I have wanted Harriton to be nationals focused… and nationals is still many months away.

Two years ago, Harriton got the most awards of any team in the state and got blown out at nationals by both LM and every other school. I do not want to see that happen again. I still have the utmost respect for my fellow competitors (former teammates) at Lower Merion High School as well as for the other teams at the State Conference, especially the state officer candidates.

This is why many commentators feel that in order for an undefeated team to win the ultimate prize (I think of the New England Patriots, Kentucky Wildcats, and Carolina Panthers) they need at least one loss along the journey so that they can actually experience failure. “You have to learn to fail before you can learn to succeed”.
I want to remind everyone not to get cocky because there is far more left in this season. The true results that will mark this year of Harriton TSA history still lie in the balance. They lie 800 miles South in Nashville TN at the site of the 2016 National Conference.” -Etan Ginsberg

Ricky Sayer is a student at Harriton High School, he is member of the Harriton TSA team and placed 3rd in webmaster. RickyReports.TV is in no way affiliated with Harriton High School or Lower Merion School District