Welcome Students and Parents of WGHS!!!




Thank you!
-Mr. Durfee


Medieval Tee Shirts!

-Mr. Durfee


Use this!



Your gifts! Happy reading...

iCarlie Baker!
Amber R Benjamin!
Abby Cong!

Gwenny from the Block!

-Mr. Durfee

Editorial link:


Hiya! Here is your midterm assignment:

The Heroes Among Us

A Very Journalism Midterm

Perseverant. Courageous. Inspirational. These qualities applied to your discussion of heroes yesterday, and they apply to the heroes of journalism you will study for this midterm project. Let's learn about some of the heroes of journalism. Your job is to research and present a famous muckraker + a contemporary investigative reporter to your classmates on midterm day, Thursday Jan. 24. We will party while you present. Each presentation must be 6-8 min.
Your presentation must include:
• An answer to the question: Is the Press the Enemy of the American People? Support your answer with evidence from your research.
• An appropriate and appealing title.
• A byline with your name and an appropriate date from the reporter's time period.
• An introduction with a brief explanation of the reporter and their work; what did they expose? What were the results of their effort?
• Relevant and telling samples from their work to share with the class; you must read a sample of the reporter’s work and explain why you chose to share this with us; what journalistic principle does the work display?
• Several images from your investigation with brief captions. This can be a drawing you make, or a copy of a photograph from a book or the Internet (give credit where credit is due). It should depict the reporter's work.
• Any other clever and creative touches that will make your report more realistic.
• An appropriately selected menu item to be purchased or prepared and shared with your classmates during the presentation period. Said menu item must be delicious and make a symbolic connection to the reporter's efforts. For example, fudgy brownies are insufficiently symbolic of efforts to expose profiteering in the oil-mining industry; fudge-filled brownies sprinkled with money-green mint chips are the superior selection.
Historical Muckrakers:
Nellie Bly:
Ray Stannard Baker
Upton Sinclair:
Ida Mae Tarbell:
Lincoln Steffens:
Jacob Riis:
Louis D. Brandeis:
Gustavus Myers:
Contemporary Muckrakers:
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein:
The reporters and editors from the student newspaper, the Booster Redux at Pittsburg High School in southeastern Kansas
Staff of East Bay Times, Oakland, CA
Eric Schlosser:
Seymour Hersh:
C. J. Chivers of The New York Times
New York Daily News and ProPublica
The Guardian US/The Washington Post 2014:
The Spotlight team, The Boston Globe:
Eric Eyre of Charleston Gazette-Mail, Charleston, WV
Helpful resources:


Here is a link to use for sharing your sentences about issue 5!

Have fun!
-Mr. Durfee

Academic Dishonesty Survey

Thank you for your time and attention to our academic dishonesty survey. Please use the link below to complete the survey. As mentioned, the survey is completely anonymous. We will only collect your responses, no other identifying information.


Thank you!

-Mr. Durfee

ELA 9 Honors:

Vocab Review Game Creation Directions

Access the following two documents from the student shared drive or my website:
1) Game Creation Template
2) Vocab Test 1 words

Then, use the directions below to create a vocabulary review game for your classmates. Save your completed spreadsheet to the shared drive so that I can post the games ASAP. This week’s vocab homework grade is based on completing these games. Games will be posted Friday 10/20. Games are due Monday 10/23.
Synonym Millionaire:
1.     Open the “Game Creation Template”
2.     Save the game template with your last name in the title (“Durfee’s millionaire game”)
3.     In row 2 of the column labeled “QuestionText” insert a vocab word from your list.
4.     In row 2 of the column labeled “Answer” insert a synonym to your word.
5.     Insert an antonym in the wrong answer cells for columns C, D, and E.
6.     Repeat for rows 3-11.
7.     Save a copy of the spreadsheet to the student shared drive, or email it to me through Toolboxpro.
1.     Open the “Game Creation Template”
2.     Save the game template with your last name in the title (“Durfee’s matching game”)
3.     In row 2 of the column labeled “QuestionText” insert one of the vocabulary words from your list.
4.     In row 2 of the column labeled “Answer” insert a definition or a sentence using the word correctly.
5.     Repeat for rows 3-11.
6.     Alternate between definitions and sentences.
7.     Save a copy of the spreadsheet to the student shared drive, or email it to me through Toolboxpro.
ELA 9:

The Summer Reading assignment has been posted to the resources link to the left of this page. Summer officially ends Sept. 21, so all assignments are due Sept. 22 for full credit.

-Mr. Durfee

All WGHS Students:

Hi all, please see the image below to log-on to OneNote from home.

Also, feel free to revisit the resources link on the left in the Humanities 9 folder for instructions.

Good luck!

-Mr. Durfee


Humanities 9:

To access your ELA 9 notebook use this link.

Log on with your username: FIRSTNAME-LASTNAME@gstboces.org
If asked to log on again at the next screen simply use FIRSTNAME-LASTNAME and then your password (your student ID is the defeault password).

Can't wait to read your letters!

-Mr. Durfee


Welcome Back to School!

Here is a link to the summer reading assignment. Summer ends Sept. 22!

-Mr. Durfee


Incoming Freshman:

Your summer reading assignment has been posted! Check the resources link to the left of this message.

Thanks, have a great summer and see you in September!

-Mr. Durfee

Clean Energy Debaters:

Here is a link to some resources shared with us by the teacher working with our opponents in Addison. She was so nice to share!

-Mr. Durfee
Clean Energy Debaters:

Here is a powerful site I stumbled upon: Climate Debate Daily.

It gives articles from both sides of the global warming debate, which is so closely connected to our topic. Here are a few articles I found that discuss renewable energy and nuclear:

International Investment in Nuclear Continues:
Bolivia and Russia's state-owned atomic energy corporation Rosatom said that they had signed a provisional agreement for the construction of $300 million nuclear complex in the Andean nation... continue »

Belgium's decision to restart two 40-year-old nuclear reactors is putting pressure on northern Europe's political fault lines, with Germany announcing that it would send experts to inspect the plants... continue »

Pres. Obama's Policies Affect Workers in Energy Industry:
Now the President Obama has made good on his promise to bankrupt the U.S. coal industry, he are poised to do likewise to the nation's oil and gas and nuclear power industries... continue »

The only real 'change' that President Obama actually intends to accomplish under his climate change agenda is the destruction of the oil and gas, coal, and nuclear industries... continue »

Other Nations Trying to Implement Renewables:
China has ordered power transmission companies to provide grid connectivity for all renewable power generation sources and end a bottleneck that has left a large amount of clean power idle... continue »

Is Climate Change Narrative merely Propaganda?
Have you ever wondered how media always seem to present similar one-sided stories on climate change, fossil fuels, renewable energy and other environmental issues? ... continue »

What else have you found?

-Mr. Durfee

Clean Energy Debaters:

Here are some resources (mostly supporting the affirmative) for next week's debate:


a)      Renewable energy installer based in Ithaca and showing “Catch the Sun” next week - https://taitem.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/catch-the-sun-with-taitem/
b)      “The Siebel Energy Institute is a global consortium for innovative and collaborative energy research.” – including nuclear? - http://www.siebelenergyinstitute.org/
c)       Battery wall from Tesla Motors - https://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall
d)      Student movement for divestment from fossil fuel companies - http://www.studentsdivest.org/
e)      Another Student movement for divestment from fossil fuel companies - http://gofossilfree.org/usa/
f)       NPR links to Energy sector reporting - http://www.npr.org/sections/energy/
h)      NPR article about California energy goals - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129183207
i)        PBS article about Burlington’s push to be fossil free - http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/vermont-city-come-rely-100-percent-renewable-energy/
j)        SolarTompkins site – and check out the heatsmart program – working on initiatives to go Fossil Free in Tompkins County - http://www.solartompkins.org/
k)      Major initiative encouraging fossil free - http://350.org/

5 from 10:20-11:48 am. We will debate students from Addison HS via video conference.

Here is the resolution:
Proposed: “The world can and must move to solely clean, non-nuclear, renewable energy sources by 2030.”

Here is what the focus of debate is:

Ø energy consumption levels, current and projected
Ø methods of energy consumption reduction
Ø “start to finish” environmental impacts of energy sources; solar, tidal, geothermal, wind, heat exchange systems, coal, nuclear, gas, oil, hydropower
Ø Current and projected production levels for each energy source
Ø Micro and macro options for all of those
Ø Energy storage potential, micro and macro scale

See me for a lunch discussion next week (Tues + Thurs) for more details about the debate. This will be a team debate, so bring a friend!

Here are some resources:
Database Icon ProQuest(Multiple databases/DirectPlus/NYDirectPkg)

Database IconCQ Researcher Online

Database IconOpposing Viewpoints in Context

-Mr. Durfee


Hello! I am working on some research for you to help prepare you for the May 7 debates on Long island. In the meantime, please view this video about the primaries:

-Mr. Durfee

Here is a link to the format for the debates next week: http://gcdebates.reaganfoundation.org/?page_id=58 

-Mr. Durfee

Humanities 9:

Use these sample debate for an idea of what you should do in your class debates:


Great meeting today for lunch! Here are a few follow up videos to better your understanding of the U.S. Presidential primary system. View these and be prepared to continue our discussion on Thursday during lunch:

Primaries and caucuses: How states choose their delegates for the national party conventions (video content under CC-BY-SA license)

WGCSD Students:

On Saturday April 2, 2016 at 9 am the Watkins Glen Orators Guild will host a debate in conjunction with the Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate Series. Students have the opportunity to practice their skills in research, debate and public speaking. The competition is open to all students grades 7-12. The best debaters will qualify to compete in a regional competition on Long Island in May.

Here is the topic and resolution: 

RESOLVED: The United States primary system is an ineffective method for selecting the best possible candidates for president.

There are several resources for students to get started under the resources link of my classroom page.

The Orators Guild meets Tuesdays and Thursdays during both lunches in Mr. Durfee's room. Sign-ups end on Wednesday March 23, 2016. Students should attend a meeting in my room for more details and parents can email Mr. me for more information.

Thank you!

-Mr. Durfee

Humanities 9:

Here are the directions for this week's class project:

Finding Fallacies Around You

Part 1 Directions: Use the Stanford Political Communication lab to identify at least two political ads and identify the message and the logical fallacies and propaganda techniques used to push the ad.

Part 2 Directions:

Select a speech or debate transcript from one of the following sources. Next, read the speech or transcript and identify at least 4 logical fallacies and 4 propaganda techniques used by the political candidates. Create a document, video, or audio presentation that quotes from the text and provides your explanations of the fallacies and propaganda techniques.
10th Republican Presidential Debate Transcript:
Trump announcement speech:
Democratic Debate in Wisc. Transcript:
Presidential Election Documents, including speech transcripts:
See my