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Tornado times • October 2013  1

Volume 5, Issue 1

Taking the times by storm

600 NE 13 Ave.

October 2013

Pompano Beach High School

Pompano Beach, FL 33060


Principal encourages international awareness By Mia Gettenberg, Editor-in-Chief

Senior John Martinez opens his browser every day to or flips open a TIME Magazine. He scans the pages enthusiastically, looking for major events in domestic affairs, and giving careful attention to news concerning global relations. “It’s important,” said Martinez. “I know what’s going on around me.” But glancing around him, this worldly student does not see many of his fellow students doing the same. “I would say most of my peers are unaware because they believe it doesn’t affect them,” he said, “when in reality, it does.” With a strong foreign exchange program, multiple international students, and teachers that have instructed all over the world, students and staff may feel the pressure to stay updated with current events like Martinez does daily. “It is extremely important that students graduating from high school have a clear understanding of who they will be competing against as they enter college or the workforce,” said Mr. Thomas, principal. However, not all members of the student population share this need for awareness. Ms. Perlowski, English and drama teacher, commented on this phenomenon. “U.S. students are not terribly knowledgeable about anything beyond their own interests and towns,” she said. “Due to our geographical position, bordering only two countries and two oceans, we are far away from other cultures, so we care less. We do not

Technology teacher Mr. Holley (second from left) welcomes Rogerio Periera Simoes, Maria De Lima Barreto and Sirlei Izabel de Freitas on Oct. 18. The three Brazilian principals will spend two weeks at the school, learning about U. S. culture and education. photo by Jesse baker

3 Brazilian principals visit through exchange program By Shreya Aggarwal, News Editor, and Jesse Baker, Assisstant Editor

have another culture just 200 miles away from us where another language is spoken and another way of life is lived,” she said. In the summer of 2011, Ms. Perlowski traveled to India to teach students at a local school. She explained that Indian politics differ widely from U. S. politics. “(In India) a lot of politics is centered around tradition,” she said. “For example, the Ganges River is highly polluted due the amount of people who travel to this sacred river to sprinkle the dead’s ashes. There is a big movement to clean it, but traditionalists who believe in the sacredness of that river refuse to see touching the Ganges to clean it up as a viable means of dealing with the issue.” The Indian caste system also presented a marked contrast to Western-style values. “When I offered the suggestion that students from the school help clean up a local polluted pond, I was reminded that these students were from a higher

graphic by jon gardner

caste so that would be impossible. I did not know how to proceed with my Western views,” she said. Mr. Henderson, AP Human Geography teacher, also traveled during the summer to Oxford University in England. While there, he discovered that “humans, no matter where they live, all have the same desires. Most just want to be accepted and respected. People from all the places that I have visited love the same ways as we do. They love their families and they want peace and happiness for those in their families.” This culminated in one large life lesson. “I have learned not to judge others based on preconceived notions since we are all so similar,” he said. Mr. Henderson believes that, despite these similarities, students in the U.S. INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS continued on page 2

News by the numbers:


approximate Amount spent to replace the senior class shirts

see page 2

90 percent

percentage of asian americans required to be on grade level for reading under new standards see page 5


Principal Thomas was accepted into the 2013-2014 Educational Seminar International Program and will travel to Brazil for two weeks during the summer of 2014. As part of this exchange, our school is hosting three principals from Brazil for two weeks. A welcoming ceremony, including an introduction; performances by the chorus, band and dance team; and a Q&A session was conducted on Thursday, Oct. 17, for Maria De Lima Barreto, Rogerio Periera Simoes and Sirlei Izabel de Freitas. Later that day, they toured the school and attended the tailgate plus the JV football game. Throughout their visit, Barreto, Simoes and de Freitas will learn about the U. S. education system and culture by shopping and going to Disney, the Everglades and a Miami Dolphins game. “We’re going to show them what America’s all about,” Mr. Thomas said. Mr. Thomas wants global awareness in every teacher’s curriculum.

$39.50 $59.50

number of people who have died in syria due to chemical weapons

price range of one pair of “chubbies” shorts

see page 7

see page 8


average number of “kills” by nikki esposito per game see page 10

2  Tornado times October 2013

Exchange programs promote global awareness INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS continued from page 1

still have much to learn about their foreign counterparts. “As a teacher of global studies, I find that American students are not globally aware,” he said. “It would be easy to say that the reason Americans do not know about (international) issues is because we do not have access to the information, but I tend to believe that we are caught up in maintaining our own lives.” The foreign exchange program may provide a solution to this gap in cultural knowledge. U.S. students can learn valuable lessons abroad, while foreign students visiting the school can show students here what life

is like elsewhere. “Having exchange students at our school gives us the opportunity to broaden our understanding of other educational systems, culture, and people,” said Mr. Thomas. “Most importantly, it provides a conduit to build relationships on an individual basis.” Since students can participate in this program during their junior years in high school, the foreign exchange program was advertised to 10th graders during their sophomore class assembly. Sophomore Laura Henschel heard about the opportunity and was instantly intrigued. “I wanted to get

into the program to be able to learn a new language and connect with a totally new culture,” she said. If she had the choice, she would travel to “Spain, so I could become fluent in Spanish yet have the European culture, too.” Senior Elias Selimos is also interested in affairs here and abroad. “I listen to National Public Radio every morning on the way to school,” he said, “and I’m in AP Government and Politics.” He presented a new take on American students’ involvement in international news. “I think (other students) are familiar with words or phrases (in the

news), but they don’t always know the background behind them,” he reasoned. All in all, Mr. Thomas believes that this school represents a relatively informed population as compared to other students around the country. “Like many teenagers, our students are not to the level (of engagement in current affairs) that perhaps they should be,” he said. “However, I have to say, in informal conversations with our students I find that many of them are aware of what is going on around the world.”

Ms. Narus recruits top students to tutor mathematics By Shreya Aggarwal, News Editor

Spots are available for math-inclined students to tutor in Geometry and Algebra 1 classes. The tutors will act as teacher assistants by giving students one-on-one tutoring when they hit a roadblock. “When (Ms. Fisher-Davis) gives the students problems and some students don’t understand them, I can put it in basic terms that they can understand,” said Tatyana Brown, senior math tutor for Ms. Fisher-Davis. Ms. Narus, coordinator for math tutoring, said that these math classes need every student prepared for the EOC exam, and this program will prove beneficial. If one student does

not understand a concept, he will not have to delay the class because a tutor will be there to help the student. “It’s fun. The best way to learn is to teach,” said Clayton Balistreri, senior math tutor for Ms. Blanco. This program is not only favorable to the students in need. The math tutors will each gain an honors credit, another activity to put on their college applications, and an experience to write about in their college essays. “I’m excited, but I need more students,” said Ms. Narus. At press time, fifteen students are serving as tutors, and two spots are still available.

Senior Tatyana Brown tutors students for Ms. Fisher-Davis’ math class. Ms. Narus is looking for more students to help out their peers in math classes. Photo by Jon Gardner

Shirt debacle shocks senior class By Emily Solley, Features Editor

The senior class officers’ goal of $10,000 for prom is about to take a generous hit. The Class of 2014 shirts arrived just before the homecoming pep rally. Seniors who purchased them gathered around a table in the courtyard at lunch, excited to finally wear gold for color wars. But the shirts were long-sleeved, due to a mistake by the distributor. “Honestly, when I got the shirt, I thought, ‘We’re in Florida,’” senior Tatyana Brown said. “I shouldn’t be wearing such a large shirt.” Class officers received several boxes full of shirts from the distributor on Wednesday, 24 hours after their latest deadline, and mere hours before they were due to hand the shirts out at lunch. “We were promised that we’d have the shirts by Tuesday,” class treasurer,Selena Cruz said. “We got them Wednesday morning. It was a disaster.” Class president Iryna Tytyk said, “I wanted to cry as soon as we pulled out the first shirt. I didn’t want to disappoint the class. Most people

didn’t mind, but it was about expectations. We decided right then that we had to fix it.” Though the senior package didn’t specify which kind of shirt students would be receiving, class officers plan to reorder a short-sleeved shirt for every student who received a longsleeved shirt. “It’s the right thing to do,” Cruz said. “The class should be happy. We’re not going to charge students out of pocket for someone else’s mistake.” Though the distributor agreed to provide short-sleeved shirts at a discount to make up for the mistake, the class will spend an estimated $400 on replacements. “It’s a hit, but thankfully the car washes we did over the summer should cover the cost,” Cruz said. Tytyk is confident that the setback will not affect the budget drastically. “If we keep going the way we’re going, we’ll exceed our goal,” Tytyk said. “We have a few fundraisers coming up: cheesecake and cookie dough sales, a water balloon fight, and, obviously, Mr. Pompano on Oct. 24.” However, officers emphasized that

senior participation is crucial to success in the upcoming months. Cruz said. “Every dollar counts. We’re raffling off a few $50 cash prizes to those who sell at least five items (in the cheesecake and cookie dough sales).” With so many projects in the works, class officers said they spend

at least 11 hours per week working at school, including both fourth and seventh periods, and weekly threehour meetings after school. “We want this to be the best senior class Pompano has ever seen, because we are the ‘finest seniors,’” Cruz said, pointing out the slogan on her shirt.

Tornado times • October 2013  3

EVICTION NOTICE Senior cars make home in the junior lot By Shreya Aggarwal, News Editor

The junior and senior parking lots have merged into one student lot due to the large influx of administrators into the building on campus now called the Pompano Administrative Complex (PAC). District level staff needed the extra parking spots because many transferred their offices here. Seniors are not happy. “I don’t like that I’m not getting my senior parking (spot),” said Tiana Berrios, senior. The main concern students express is that the parking lot is crowded and is a far walk from the school. “Everyone parks as close as they

can, and all the seniors park the closest to the school. We park too far,” said Kyle Gerhart, junior. Others counter that these grievances are insignificant and don’t hold much ground. Ms. Narus said that there is “more than enough room” in the junior parking lot to accommodate all the students. Furthermore, both parking lots are about the same distance from the school. “It’s not that big of a deal,” said Iryna Tytyk, senior class president. “At least you have a parking lot and are allowed to drive to school.”

New teachers admire school’s talent, expectations By Julianne Gross, Assistant Editor

Meet the teachers hired over the summer. Ms. Avery has taught in Spain, Hallandale High, LaSalle Catholic High and at Stranahan High. She said that students here “are very friendly, very talented and the administration was very welcoming.” Ms. Avery teaches AP English Language and Composition and English 3.

Ms. Barbic previously taught GEM students at Margate Middle. She said she loves everything about her new school: “This is like hitting the lottery. I am in heaven. It feels like what every school should be.” Ms. Barbric currently teaches Geometry and Algebra 1. Ms. Figueroa taught at South Broward High School. She left “to be closer to [her] family and home.”

She likes the sense of community the teachers and students have. Ms. Figueroa currently teaches Pre-calculus and Algebra 2.

“I am in heaven. It feels like what every school should be” –Ms. Barbic Ms. Gould taught at Everglades High. When offered to work here, she “could not pass up the opportunity.” She likes that the student body is small and that everyone gets along. Ms. Gould advises the Student Government Association and teaches World History and American History. Ms. Lerbs taught at Hollywood

Hills High. “I’ve always wanted to teach at Pompano,” she said, noting that her son graduated from this school a few years ago. Ms. Lerbs teaches Spanish 1 and 2. Ms. Pliske previously taught at Deerfield Beach High and at South Plantation. She said, “At Pompano, it’s stricter and it has greater expectations and clearer standards (than other schools).” She teaches English 1 and English 2. Mr. Roscioli worked at Motorola for 28 years. He said, “The staff is great. Most students are awesome and hardworking. Some are creative about their work ethic.” Mr. Roscioli currently teaches Game Design.

4  Tornado times October 2013

Increase global awareness: Study abroad, be informed

As technology allows instant global communication and an international marketplace for jobs, we students must take time to learn about the world in which we live. The most immediate way to immerse oneself into another culture is to take foreign language classes seriously. Speaking another language can not only allow a person to communicate with others, which can help a business in reaching out to customers, but it also helps a potential employee’s resume. “To a potential employer, your ability to communicate with manufacturers in Asia or target Spanish-speaking demographics here in the United States is a valuable asset,” said Melissa Woodson, social media outreach coordinator from CareerRealism. Students should not just rely on language as an indicator of their international awareness. English teacher Ms. Avery, who studied at the University of Barcelona and taught English to elementary students in that city, urges, “Travel. Travel to other countries as much as possible”. Realizing that not all students may have the opportunity to travel and study abroad as she did, Ms. Avery still thought it important to “read and watch shows to increase your

knowledge.” Ms. Perlowski, theatre and English teacher, also believes traveling is the best way to expose oneself to other various cultures and people groups. “You don’t always have to pay for travel,” said Ms. Perlowski. “I travel the world on grants that ask me to give back in significant ways such as teaching, or consulting, or leading students. There are many opportunities out there to travel if you are willing to share your talents and serve.” The benefits of travel extend beyond the departure and return dates. Ms. Avery suggested students “make international friends,” allowing students to be opened to other cultures and ways of life different from their own. After spending a year studying abroad in Croatia, senior Terry Cadet has discovered how rewarding it can be to live in another country. “My trip to Croatia has turned me into a better individual,” said Cadet. “I am now more independent, mature, and globally aware. I learned a new language, made lifelong friends, and became part of a new family.” Ms. Perlowski has traveled to England, Germany, Russia, India, and Sweden, to name a few. From her experiences abroad she has noted that “U. S. students are not terribly knowledgeable about anything beyond their own interests or towns.” She credits this to the somewhat isolated location of the United States in relation to the rest of the world. “My theory is that due to our geo-

Graphic by Jon Gardner

graphical position, bordering only two countries and two oceans, we are far away from other cultures, so we care less,” said Ms. Perlowski, “This is not the best attitude.” Not quick in wanting students to remain in this mindset, Ms. Perlowski offered a plan of attack to remove naivety of worldly affairs. “Travel is fatal to prejudice. Mark Twain said that,” said Ms. Perlowski. “This is the number one reason why travel is important. The more we communicate with people, the less

fearful we are of things that are ‘different’ from us. Actually, you realize that we are more or less the same. “ Even if a student feels internationally unaware, taking steps to increase one’s knowledge is not a daunting task. “Living in Croatia, I noticed that all the teenagers my age were always talking about global events, it felt as if they knew more about the U.S. than I did,” said Cadet. “Because of that, I became more observant, and I started learning more about global events, starting with Europe.” As students at Pompano Beach High School, we already have the benefit of studying Spanish, French, or even Mandarin Chinese. Also, our technology magnet requires classes that can help students learn skills needed for global communication, such as the ability to edit websites. We commend the school for offering two study-abroad programs: a Spring Break trip to Sweden and a summer service project in Costa Rica. We encourage students to sign up. But even those who can’t afford the trip can still grow in global awareness. We all should make time to watch the news and to debate issues with peers. Seeking to be informed about social and political events that will shape the country in which we live, such as the potential U. S. strike on Syria, will help us be well-informed and prepared for our careers and our personal lives.

Homecoming proposals: tacky or romantic? By Daniella Theodosiou, Assistant Opinion Editor

Homecoming is one of the most awaited events each school year. The year just hasn’t started until we’ve covered ourselves in paint and paired up on the dance floor. I’m not quite sure what it means, but something about the promise of a night in our finest, if not skimpiest, apparel is incredibly enticing to students. The night before, everyone cheers on our football team at what may be the only game most of us attend. And the next night, the best and most anticipated night, is the dance. One of the most attractive things about homecoming is the romanticism put into the “dates.” In earlier

years the idea was for the boy to ask the girl to the dance, maybe pay for her ticket and show up at her house the night of for some pictures -- and we were quite satisfied with that. In fact being asked to homecoming is something most girls would wait for and many would fantasize over. Girls these days, however, are demanding much more than an invite or simple request -- they want proposals. Boys are now faced with not only the daunting task of asking a girl out, but also impressing everyone and their mother while doing so. For whatever reason, it’s no longer enough to sincerely ask a girl to the dance. We want flowers and something witty or creative. And shockingly enough it’s not just the single guys feeling this pressure. Girlfriends have also started to expect an elaborate proposal even though their dates were basically set already.

Sophomores Gabby Esposito and Jake Solley were dating for nine months when homecoming came around, yet Solley still went out of his way to ask her to the dance. He put seashells in a bottle and placed a starfish necklace with a note attached: “Will you go to homecoming with me?” The bottle didn’t reach the ocean, but the proposal was done in the courtyard after school. Esposito said, “It was cute! He told me he needed me to get something from his backpack, so when I went into his bag, I found the bottle.” All right, it is kind of cute; however, I think the high demand for imagination within a homecoming date is getting excessive. Has the novelty behind a simple and genuine offer been lost? It seems it has. Sophomore Dylan Pinard romanced sophomore Camila Rodriguez into being his date by way of Starbucks -- a known weak-

ness of most teenage girls. “I went to Starbucks, got a frappe and had them write ‘HOMECOMING?’ on the lid,” Pinard said, “then I gave it to her with flowers! It was worth it.” Rodriguez added that she was “pleasantly surprised” by his request. Senior Melinda Paduani has no problem with this trend toward ostentatious requests. “They’re actually nice. If someone were to ask me, I’d just want them to show some kind of effort, but not a whole big thing.” When the person making the effort is more concerned with getting attention from everyone than getting a simple “yes,” the proposals become increasingly cheesy and forced. Every girl wants a guy to go out of his way for her, but there is a fine line between genuine effort and romantic overkill.

Tornado times • October 2013  5

Grading system should not discriminate by race By Max Orellana, Staff Intern

States seem to be playing a game called “Let’s see who can do the most controversial thing.” Iowa took the cake when it started allowing blind people to carry guns. But Florida should be in the top five. In October 2012, Florida passed a new grading system, to be used in 2018, based on race. The new system means that in reading, the state’s goal is to have 90 percent of Asian-Americans on grade level, 88 percent of whites, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of African-Americans. As for being on grade level for math, the state seeks 92 percent of Asian-Americans to be on grade level, 86 percent of whites, 80 percent of Hispanics, and 74 percent of African-Americans. The state is discriminating on the entire student body by saying, “If you’re a minority, we honestly don’t expect you to do as well as your white or Asian peers.” Now, the board’s intention was to get all kids to master key academics and to reward improvement among struggling students. But varying goals by race has a racist tone. Also, not only are schools’ grades being determined by race, but by lifestyle; for example, students living in low income families, suffering from disabilities,

Ashley Voet, Managing Editor Shreya Aggarwal, News Editor Michaela Garretson, Opinion Editor Emily Solley, Features Editor Marissa Lamberti, Student Life Editor Matthew Wilson, Sports Editor Jon Gardner, Graphic Design Editor Elise Anello, Photo Editor Amy Goldman, Website Editor Mitchell Horlick, Business Manager Jesse Baker, Asst. Features and Graphic Design Editor Robert Barclay, Asst. Photo and Design Editor Tyler Byrd, Asst. Student Life and Sports Editor Julianne Gross, Asst. Website and News Editor Graphic by Max Orellana

or still learning English. So the state is also saying, “If you are poor or you don’t know English or whatever, we don’t expect you to do as well as the other kids. So our emphasis won’t be really on you.” By not holding all students to high standards, Florida is oppressing some of them. So are they actually helping everyone? No, just a certain percentage of every race. Since not every person in a race has the same abilities, it is unfair to pool every student of a race together, take on a percent,

and leave those not in the percentage to suffer. I’m sure the board had a nice idea of pushing as many students as possible to reach their potential, but the tone that came out wasn’t the best. The board should revise the plan to avoid discriminating races. Should Florida grade students based on their race? Take our poll at

Dear student drivers: Please learn how to drive By Jon Gardner, Graphic Design Editor

Nobody wants to ride a school bus, so we have our share of student drivers, myself included. I would like to share one of my most horrifying experiences: driving with you PBHS students. Many of you don’t realize all the technology that comes with your cars. Most cars include an exciting breakthrough technology: turn signals. It may come as a shock, but the average driver enjoys advanced notice before you make dramatic, emergency turns.

Mia Gettenberg, Editor in Chief

In addition to turn signals, our nation’s best scientists have worked long nights to provide a nifty piece of technology called the “rear view mirror.”

Trust me, no one will think of you as any less of a “thug” if we can’t clearly hear Rick Ross roaring from your car. You might find it intimidating to take all four sides of your car into account when maneuvering it, but checking for other cars tends to be beneficial. Please don’t assume that everyone is

graphic by jon gardner

watching out for you. If that peek into the future of automobile driving didn’t blow your mind and you’re still reading, let’s address music. Everyone likes music. I like music. And most people like playing music in their car too (though only a select few can concentrate while listening to NPR or in absolute silence while driving). Everyone enjoys expanding his musical horizons too. But perhaps there is a better way to share your favorite music with everyone than blasting it at 100 percent volume as you pull out of the lot. Trust me, no one will think of you as any less of a “thug” if we can’t clearly hear Rick Ross roaring from your car. I will admit to employing some unsavory driving tactics myself. I make sure everyone is absolutely clear as to what kind of music I like to drive to. I also enjoy braking abruptly to trick my pals. What I advise is to employ these tactics conservatively. No one wants to see a classmate get injured on the road. Safe driving, everyone!

Alexandra Richter, Asst. Features and Sports Editor Daniella Theodosiou, Asst. Business Manager and Opinion Editor Dr. Andrew Shipe, Adviser Staff Interns Sabrina Conza Madisen Farley Nicolas Gallardo Max Orellana Christian Perez Austin Stanbury Tucker Storer Sydney VanDreason Tornado Times is produced by: Pompano Beach High School 600 NE 13 Ave. Pompano Beach, FL 33060 Phone: (754) 322-2000 Email: Website: Twitter @TornadoTimes Issues in the 2013-2014 school year are planned for October, December, March and May. Tornado Times welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be signed. The staff reserves the right to edit letters for poor taste, libel and space. Tornado Times is a member of the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Advertising rates are available at Please contact us by email or by phone if you have any questions. Advertising which promotes illegal products under Florida law, includes false statements or is written in bad taste will not be accepted. The opinions in this publication are not necessarily those of advertisers, Pompano Beach High School or Broward County Public Schools. Tornado Times earned a silver certificate in 2013 from the Florida Scholastic Press Association.

What do you think? Tell us at Leave us a comment on any of these columns

6  Tornado times October 2013

In early 2011, Egyptians gathered nationwide in opposition to President Hosni Mubarak. Within a month, Mubarak resigned and turned power over to the military. The Egyptian fight for democracy also spurred Arab Spring protests across the region. As spring turned into fall, the Egyptains cast ballots for their first Parliament, giving Islamists a 90 percent majority. In May of the following year, Mohammed Morsi is elected President. In the year following, tensions between secular and Islamic groups led to vioelnce such as the Islamic attack on an anti-Morsi sit-in that left ten dead in December, 2012. After decades of secular rule, many Egyptians chafed under new pro-Islamic policies. The tension escalated with hundreds of thousands gathering to protest against Morsi’s autocratic, Islamic policies. The government responded to protests with violence. Meanwhile, the Egyptian Central Bank declared that foreign reserves declined to an all time low of $15 billion. The value of the Egyptian pound slid to just more than 7 per dollar. . In the wake of economic downturn and social unrest, the military ousted Morsi on July 3. An interim government has since taken power.

Israel and Iran have tension over Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. The United States has been involved in the conflict, attempting to come to a resolution with Iran that will prevent them from producing nuclear weapons. Israeli and Iranian leadership are frequently at odds. Israel has been pressuring its allies to sanction Iran in response to the threat of nuclear weapons. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu often attempts to diminish Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s credibility by calling him untrustworthy. Palestinian and Israeli conflict began with a six day war in 1967. It has been three years since the two nations have met face to face, due to the continued Israeli occupation of the proposed Palestinian state. Many Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, while others have been held in Israeli prisons. However, as a result of peace talks, Israel released 104 Palestinian prisoners in July.

Timeline of Unrest in Syria

The Syrian civil war began with protests against President Bahsar-Al Assad. Protestors called for democratic reform. Both sides resorted to violence to achieve their means. The government used military violence to quiet the protestors. This began a long stretch of violence between Syrian revolutionary groups, namely the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian government. The United Nations accused Syria of using chemical weapons against civilians in several instances. Women, children, and other innocents have been found dead. Hundreds of Syrians have been found bound and gagged, shot execution style. When U.S. officials confirmed that chemical weapons had been used, President Obama turned to Congress for approval for limited military intervention. Before any action could be taken, a solution was proposed by Russia. The Syrian government agreed to give up their chemical weapons. An agreement was reached. Twenty UN inspectors were sent to Syria with the intention of destroying chemical weapons.

May 2011: Syrian government uses military to crush civlian protests.

March 2011: Syrian unrest begins with Day of Dignity and Day of Rage protests.

March 2012: UN cuses Syria of kil

Tornado times • October 2013  7

Middle East CONFLICT by the numbers S Y R I A

The conflict in Syria has killed nearly 100,000 people since 2011, according to CNN.

20 UN inspectors are in Syria with the intentions of destroying chemical weapons.

1,429 Syrians were killed by chemical weapons in Damascus, according to U.S. intelligence.

There were close to 10,000 Hezbollah soldiers in Syria in the summer of 2013.


Street violence killed 51 Egyptians in October, 2013, according to the New York Times.

75 percent of the Egyptian Parliament elected in 2012 were Islamic.

Fights between rebels and the President’s supporters left seven dead.

Egypt fired 200 rockets on Israel in a continuation of conflict, according to the New York Times.


6,633 Palestinians were killed in conflicts from 20002012, according to

1,097 Israelis were killed in conflicts from 20002012, according to

Israeli released 104 Palestinian prisoners as a result of July, 2013 peace talks.

According to the Israeli Defense Forces, 1,128 rockets were fired toward Israel.

February 2013: Shipments of weapons to the Free Syrian Army renew violence.

N Human Rights council aclling 100 civilians in Houla.

June 2013: U.S. officials confirm that Syria has used chemical weapons.

April 2013: Britain and France report that Syria has used chemical weapons.

September 2013: Eleven armed factions create an alliance dedicated to creating a free Islamic state. LAYOUT BY EMILY SOLLEY AND ASHLEY VOET GRAPHICS BY EMILY SOLLEY COPY BY ALEX RICHTER AND JESSE BAKER

8  Tornado times October 2013

By Jon Gardner, Graphic Design Editor

Senior Clayton Balistreri confidently struts down the halls of school wearing his polo shirt and mid-thigh shorts. The frat-boy style has gained momentum recently. Clothing company Chubbies Shorts promises a pleth-

Boys gone wild Male students sport ‘radical’ short-shorts ora of women to those who wear their extra short shorts. While this might not be the result for every man who wears them, a few who style the shorts at school enjoy the attention they receive. “(I) always (get) a good reaction to the shorts,” Balistreri said. Besides their length, the shorts draw attention from their vibrant colors and designs. One of the bestselling styles of Chubbies Shorts is the “’MERICAS,” which are shorts styled after the American flag. Senior Elias Selimos also sports the shorts. “I get several reactions, mostly ‘Why are your shorts so short?’ or ‘Nice shorts!’” Selimos said. As for those who have seen others wear the shorts, reactions are mixed. “I think they are a little bit weird,” freshman Jadien Reid

said. “They’re just too high for boys to be wearing them.” Others enjoy the style, like freshman Erica Sciacchitano.

wearing the shorts, the two had wild testimonials. “The clouds parted one day while I was in a grassy field. A

Photo by jon gardner Seniors, Clayton Ballisteri and Elias Selimos, rock chubbies frequently. This new fashion statement is sweeping the halls of PBHS.

“It’s great for guys to wear short-shorts as long as they tan their upper thighs,” she said. The college fraternity-inspired style of Chubbies had never been seen at this school before last year, according to Balistreri and Selimos. When asked about how they started

bear with golden fur fell from the heavens, and, in a voice oddly similar to that of Hugh Jackman’s, he demanded that I liberate my thighs. He promised legions of women as a reward,” Selimos claimed. Balistreri gave an equally outrageous story. “It was

raining one day, and there was a bolt of lightning. It blinded me for a couple seconds, but when I opened my eyes, Chuck Norris, Buddha and Jesus were standing before me wearing short-shorts. They handed me a pair and said, ‘Free your thighs,’” Balistreri said. As for school dress code, the two are confident that the shorts meet the proper requirements. This new style does come with quite a price tag. The shorts range from $39.50 to $59.50. Said senior Robert Cerrito, “I like the style, not the cost. I make my own short-shorts for much cheaper.” In the end, Balistreri and Selimos will always be big fans of the shorts. “Haters are going to hate,” added Balistreri, “but I still love Chubbies.”

2-4-6-8, do or don’t appreciate ... school spirit By Elise Anello, Photo Editor

A deadly plague infects the school, according to some student leaders, targeting and killing an archetypal trait of high school: school spirit. Students with this widespread disease choose not to dress up, attend sports events or participate in extracurricular activities. These students have a number of reasons. “I’m just too lazy to do it. This school is lame, and I don’t feel like there’s anything I want to do here,” sophomore Oscar Herrera said. Others like junior Luis Castillo have deeper reasons for their lack of school spirit. “I disagree with the educational

graphic by elise anello and robert barclay

system at this school. There aren’t any activities that I’m interested in, so I just choose not to participate,” Castillo commented. The school offers a “Sports Pass” for $20, allowing holders to attend all games. According to athletic director Mr. Frey, only 15-20 passes have been purchased, most by families of players. “Other than homecoming, most of the games are completely empty. It seems like the only people that go to the games are other athletes,” he said. Not every member of the student body has been touched by this infection, however. Senior cheerleader Sarah Spardy considers herself peppy and spirited.

The Food Chain A senior’s view from the top

By Madisen Farley, Staff Intern

Three years ago I walked into our school and expected the generic high school experience. I looked for the group of jocks, the mean girls, the nerds… But I couldn’t find them. It took me three years to learn that our school isn’t your generic high school; we’re a family. When I graduate in May, I won’t be thinking about all the homework I had to do over the years or the long days spent in the classroom. I’ll be thinking about the people I met and all of the memories I’ll share with them forever. Some people say it’s not about where you go to school, but I disagree. If I had been at a school that didn’t care about its students, I wouldn’t be the same person. It’s be-

cause our school takes such pride in who comes to this school that we’re such good kids. I have this school to thank for the person I’ve become because it brought me the best kind of people I could have been surrounded by over the years. People may say our school is “lame” or “too much work,” but I say they’re wrong. It’s worth every all-nighter for that big test, every Sunday spent doing that last minute project, and every friendship made along the way.

“You’re here, and you have the opportunity to make school fun, so why not make the best of it?” Spardy said. In a Tornado Times survey, students were asked to rank themselves on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most spirited. According to the data, students are scattered when it comes to how spirited they think there are, with most students putting themselves either at a 1, 6, 7 and 10. “It’s annoying when people don’t do anything because we try so hard to get everyone else involved...If no one participates and puts in effort, nothing will work out,” senior class treasurer Selena Cruz said.

A freshman’s view from the bottom By Sabrina Conza, Staff Intern

The first week of freshman year is pretty confusing. Most of us have only seen the school once or twice and don’t know what’s going on. For me, the first few days involved a lot of asking teachers where my classes are. As the second and third weeks of school came and went, I finally started to understand how to live as a freshman. I began thinking about joining clubs and stressing over my grades, things I did back in middle school, but now those good grades and activi-

Graphic by jon gardner

ties all seem more important. Not only are those A’s and B’s crucial, but they’re also much harder to earn. I learned the hard way that missing one day meant three days of makeup work, staying late to finish a lab and extra studying because of missed lectures. The longer hours of school, more requirements to graduate and almost all honors and AP classes seemed, to some extent, insane at first, but I find that if you work hard and care enough about getting a good education it’s not that bad, especially when you think about sleeping late on Fridays. In the short time I’ve been here, I have liked it a lot more than I originally expected to.

Tornado times • October 2013  9

Seniors beautify ‘junior lot’

Sophomore Margarita Murphy helps Noelle McGuire decorate her parking spot. Painting the lot raised $700 for the senior class. Photo by Marissa Lamberti

By Marissa Lamberti, Student Life Editor

Certain rites of passage come along with senior year: Prom, Grad Bash, screaming one’s graduation year at pep rallies. The senior class has added another: painting your parking spot. The fundraiser allows seniors to pay $10 to paint the bumper of their parking spot any way they want, as long as it is school appropriate. Senior class president Iryna Tytyk said, “The senior class officers thought it would be a really good way for the seniors to express themselves. We also wanted to leave behind a tra-

dition, and we think this fundraiser is something that will be carried on throughout the years.” Since the senior lot was lost to Broward County Public Schools officials, most seniors were upset about having to make the walk from the junior lot once again. So, once the possibility of the painting parking spot fundraiser was announced, many seniors loved the idea. Fiona Italico said, “Being able to paint our parking spots made up for having to walk from the junior lot every morning.” Stephanie Obando agreed. “This fundraiser made up for the lack of a senior lot. It really helps to make us seniors feel like we (have) priority over the juniors and sophomores in the parking lot,” Obando said. The parking lot now displays a variety of colors. Some seniors chose to showcase their interests. Michael Abraham painted the Miami Heat logo onto his bumper. Italico tried to portray her princess mentality by using lots of glitter. This fundraiser raised $700 for the senior class.

Student play hits stage By Max Orellana, Staff Intern

Seniors Phelan Kenyon-Jones and Emily Solley have collaborated on their own play, “Upon this Rock” to be performed by students on Oct. 24-25. Kenyon-Jones and Solley started writing the play in the beginning of the year. The play revolves around the characters Peter and John, who are being portrayed by seniors Jeremy Wershoven and Jesse Sleight, respectfully. The authors say they are satisfied with the actors chosen. Ms. Perlowski believes that Kenyon-Jones and Solley harmonize well together as they work. Kenyon-Jones said this harmony echoes the process by which the two collaborated; each contributed equal parts of the labor as they worked. “Being forced to work was the worst,” Kenyon-Jones said,. “But then inspiration would strike at the

most random of times. Like, I wrote a pivotal point in the play while in class, and it just took off from there.” Wershoven and Sleight agreed that the directors could be harsh. “They have to be harsh because they don’t have the recognition of authority like a teacher would,” Sleight said. “This is a student-directed play, so it’s justified that they have to be harsh in order to get things going the way they want to with the other student actors.” Wershoven is very excited to play Peter because his character this year is a much more serious role than those he performed last year. Although this play was written and directed by students, Ms. Perlowski still intervenes, directing alongside Kenyon-Jones and Solley. She believes this play will be a great beginning to get the actors in the mode to play for a bigger show later this year: “Macbeth.”

‘Butler’ serves subpar story By Jon Gardner, Graphic Design Editor

“Lee Daniel’s The Butler” is a historical drama loosely based on the true story of Eugene Allen, a White House butler. The film spans almost 90 years of the civil rights movement through the perspective of Cecil Gaines (Forrest Whitaker) from his time as a field slave in the 1920s to the election of Barack Obama in 2008. With a budget of $30 million and a box office draw of $109 million by its fifth weekend, the film was undoubtedly a financial success. However, I do not fully understand its appeal. The story was interesting enough to keep my attention for most of the two hours. Its similarity to certain cliché sentimental moods like those in Forrest Gump are included in its faults, however. The movie is long and the story could have been told with less

runtime. Oprah Winfrey (as amazing as she is) didn’t seem to be very invested in her role. In addition, it’s unbelievable how long Cecil Gaines lives. Nonetheless, the progression of the story is pleasing and the visuals are impressive. Dramatic scenes are (rightly so) very dramatic. The all-star cast of Robin Williams, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, John Cusack and Alan Rickman all did formidable jobs as the multiple presidents. I do wish Robin Williams had more screen time, however. The Butler is a solid film. It could have been shorter and more creative, but it is worth watching for its historical value.

‘Insidious: Chapter 2’ takes horror to new level By Elise Anello, Photo Editor

A predictable horror movie: haunted house, possessed child, demons, killers and some sort of violent or happy ending. “Insidious: Chapter 2” takes all of these cliches to a whole new level. Although a sequel “Chapter 2” takes its time throughout to explain the happenings in its predecessor “Insidious.” Both movies tell the tale of the Lambert family torn apart by the paranormal. The original was mostly centered on the family’s oldest son, Dalton Lambert while “Chapter 2” follows the family after the activities in the first movie are seemingly over. They move in with the grandmother while their house undergoes investigation after the mysterious death of the

paranormal investigator Elise, but soon they begin to experience similar happenings with a new violent twist. The man of the family, Josh, becomes violent and begins to recede back into his childhood filled with demons and possession. “Chapter 2” provides a sequel that thoroughly explains the first one while also adding new twists and turns to the plot. If you’re a lighthearted individual, this movie may not be for you, considering its gory, twisted and morbid tone throughout. Even if you find yourself to be a scary-movie buff, I strongly suggest bringing along a buddy.

10  Tornado times October 2013

Football team scores early season victories

By Mia Gettenberg, Editor-in-Chief, and Alexandra Richter, Assistant Editor

A sudden roar, a rush of cheerleaders, a gallon of Gatorade overturned— it seems like Super Bowl XLVIII has just occurred, and the Golden Tornadoes are victorious. While this may seem like an exaggeration, the football team’s first win of the season, a 10-7 triumph against Ransom Everglades on Aug. 30, meant a great deal to the players, cheerleaders, their coaches and the school population as a whole. “The win felt awesome,” senior linebacker Elias Selimos said. “The

Monday after the game was like eight hours of celebration. We felt like gods.” Key players in the Ransom Everglades game were sophomore running back Kyle Peets and junior linebacker Zack Good. The defense scored a safety and the offense later scored on a 10-yard touchdown run by Peets, with a two-point conversion by Good Following the team’s victory, high school sports website Max Preps named senior defensive back Julian Deese defensive player of the game, Good offensive player of the game, and Peets overall player of the game. Deese said, “I was both shocked and amazed. It’s great to know the work I do on the field is being recognized. I’m still in awe.” He said of the win in general, “It felt fantastic. I haven’t won with my boys since freshman year, so finally

Girls volleyball serves up competition By Amy Goldman, Website Editor

After a rough regional semifinal loss last year to Jensen Beach, the girls volleyball team began the 2013 season looking for revenge. Last season, the team struggled with multiple injuries, including ankle surgery for captain Brittany Pellitteri. “When I got back on the court I thought about how badly I wanted to win and work to get to the next level,” Pellitteri said. She now leads the team with a record of 18-5, and she plans signing with FIU in November for beach volleyball. Other key players include Nikki Esposito, Cori Smothers, Casey Calhoun and Tara Brannen. Esposito leads the team in kills, averaging about 20 each game. Brannen, who transferred from Monarch this year, is at a close second with about 15 kills each game and Smothers runs the defense with about 142 digs this season. The girls recently participated in the BCAA County Championships with only the top eight teams in the county and placed third after Cardinal Gibbons and Saint Thomas Aquinas. The team moved up to the more competitive District 16-5A this year, but wins against district rivals Archbishop McCarthy and Western give the girls a good chance of reaching states. They gained further confidence taking perennial states qualifiers Cardinal Gibbons and St.

Thomas Aquinas to five sets. Co-captain Calhoun said, “We need to go back to focusing on the fundamentals of volleyball like servereceive, and we need to stop thinking about who we are playing and just play” before they enter the playoffs. District matches are being held at Cardinal Gibbons on Oct. 22 and 24. The JV volleyball team also “killed” it this season with a record of 12-3. The team had a lot of new faces like key players Katelyn Forman, Jasmine Souverein-Reisert and Ana Bohrer. Returning players Carla Pico and Javonda Carter provided quality leadership for the JV team this season.

Outside hitter Tara Brannen spikes the ball during warmups. The Tornadoes lost to Cardinal Gibbons after five games. Photo by Madisen Farley

the team,” Coach Nagy said, adding winning again was a great feeling.” that more players deserved credit. “(JuSeveral weeks after beating Ransom nior defensive back) James Mucciaccio Everglades on Sept. 20, the team always plays awesome; he always plays went on to defeat St. Andrew’s 14-12, hard. He’s one of our more likeable kids.” Another major contributor this season was junior receiver Jayson Francois, with two touchdown receptions, including a 35-yard touchdown pass from Wilson late in the game against Pope John Paul II High. “My expectations for the future are high,” Coach Nagy said. “We currently Graphic by Jon Gardner have a lot of young players on JV that coming from behind to score with six will be moved up to varsity next year.” minutes to play for its second win. Although the junior varsity finished Good and junior John Collier caught 0-6, sophomore running back Dinio touchdown passes from senior quarterGeffrard led the team in rushing and back Matt Wilson This win occurred on will be called up to varsity for the Senior Night, adding another element playoffs. to an already exciting victory. Max Preps named Peets defensive For more information on this article, player of the game, Wilson offensive go to player of the game, and senior defensive end Joseph Pellecchia overall player of the game. Wilson was also named a Sun Sentinel Player of the Week. “Zack Good is the heart and soul of

Tornado times • October 2013  11

Golf teams swing for success By Tyler Byrd, Assistant Editor

finishing ahead of Boynton Beach Boys golf team captain Lucas Bassetwith a team score of Audain, senior, started the 379. It had no indiseason with vague goals in vidual qualifiers. mind. The girls team, “We are all hoping to win coached by Mr. Hamsome matches and improve,” mond, was unable Basset-Audain said. to field a full team Despite having trouble at districts, and were fielding a full girls team durtherefore unable to ing the regular season, Olivia compete as a team. Saunders, freshman, was While they were still happy. “We’re doing pretty able to compete as good,” said Saunders. Sophomore John Tice tees off individuals, no girls against Monarch. Tice and the On Oct. 15, both teams advanced to regionals. other boys did not qualify for were tested at their district regionals. Basset-Audain shot competitions. Photo by Matthew a 95 at districts. “This Wilson The boys team, led by season was solid,” he Coach McDougal, placed said. seventh out of eight teams,

Cross country teams struggle By Matthew Wilson, Sports Editor

The boys team, on the other hand, Racing five kilometers in late has had a full team all season, but did summer heat is not win any dual always tough, meets. but it has been Senior co-captain an especially Alfred Lin said, hard season for “I’m proud of the cross counhow we pushed try teams. ourselves and each The girls other, and we’ll try team usuour hardest to adally hasn’t vance” to regionals. had enough Senior co-captain runners to get Tyler Byrd led the a team score. team with a time of Sophomore 19:23. Nicole Romer Districts for both led the girls girls and boys is Nicole Romer races for the finish. She placed team with a time fourth overall in this meet on Sept. 9 at Quiet Friday, Oct. 25 at Mills of 22 minutes, 48 Waters Park. Pond Park. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Carlson seconds.

Junior swimmer Caitlin Cook swims for the finish line in the Free Style event. The girls placed seventh in the BCAA Championship.

Photo by Aurora Borghi

12  Tornado times October 2013

Bucket list

Seniors weigh in on goals, hopes for their last year in high school

“Skydive.” -Briana Blankhorst “Get accepted to my dream college.” -Ashlynne Nichols “Have more adventures with my brodies.” -Clayton Balistreri

“Plan the senior prank.”

“Go on a big road trip with my closest friends.” -Kirstin Zeiser

Layout by Elise Anello Graphics by Jon Gardner Photos by Elise Anello and Madisen Farley

Tornado Times October 2013  
Tornado Times October 2013