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The Echoes The Independent Voice of Abraham Lincoln High School

February 2010 Issue 3

Abraham Lincoln High School Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Black History Month The Echoes Take a Look Back

at Influential African Americans from past to present.

1846 Fredrick Douglas




Rosa booker T. Washington Parks

Harriet Tubman



Malcom X


Condolesa Rice Muhammed Barack Obama Ali


2008 More on Page 8

News 2 Changes Come to School Districts Traditional Calendar and Scheduling The Echoes

Page Design by Brittany Rupp

Arianne Boehme Kristin Molegard

At the end of each summer students almost always have mixed feelings about going back to school and seeing their friends. With the proposal of a new school year calendar, students have suddenly realized how much they cherished those feelings. With this proposal came grief and praise for the superintendent Dr. Martha Bruckner, superintendent. “I realize at this point it’s not something people are jumping up and down about and would absolutely love,” said Dr. Martha Bruckner. “But fortunately people have been leaning more towards Calendar B. Both of the calendars could work with semesters or trimesters, We are trying to get this perfect for the students and parents.” With the proposed perfection of these new schedules of the school year parents say why change what is already working well . The parents at the meeting on the extended school year voiced their opinions which may have worked to their advantage. At the school board meeting on January, 25 the schedule change was over ruled by the board and pleads and demands from the parents were heard. Though some parents thought that the schedule changing was terrible there were some students who liked the idea of the schedule changing, because it would help out the struggling students and possibly gaining more knowledge. “I like that when summer comes around it wouldn’t be very long, because at the end of the summer I get really bored and want to go back to school,” said Rachel Leazenby ‘14 . I think it would help a lot of the students because they forget over summer break and then the teachers

Photo by Lauren Myers

Both students and parents are expressing concern about the different calenders that are being proposed for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school year. Photo by:Christian Schalter

Photo by:Christian Schalter

have to reteach and it takes a lot more time then we actually have.” The school board decided not to change to year long school, this has relieved many people of stress about a new school year schedule but also has disappointed people who preferred a new schedule. This has relieved and possibly let down many people though it will help with a new schedule with trimesters Incorporated in to the days. Although the school schedule didn’t change to an extended calendar it will be changed to a trimester type schedule. This will lessen the amount of classes a student will have daily from eight to only five classes per day but the classes will be longer then regular classes but shorter then blocks. “I think that the trimesters will open my schedule up, said Mariah Garcia 14’. “I am happy I wont have a blocked schedule next year it will let me vary my classes more.” This could effect students that are very involved in activities through school and some students looking to graduate early and don’t have quite enough credits because the trimester schedule will cut the credit earnings for the students looking to graduate early. “I don’t know how to feel about the schedule changing to trimesters because I am involved in many different sports and even though it will let my schedule have a variety it could also complicate my schedule,” said Lauren Meeker 13’. “ With the added sports I will need to do weight lifting all three trimesters and with that it will be hard to do.” Next school year students will be facing many different changes with how their schedules are set up and what they can take for classes next year. Adminstrators believe that this will be the most beneficial for students to help them on their way to graduation.

Open House Shows Off New Building and Introduces Incoming Freshmen Arianne Boehme

As spring approaches so does and a new new class of AL students. 8th Graders are preparing to make the transition from Junior high to high school, and the AL staff is trying to make that transition easier. On January 21, AL set up an elective fair for incoming freshmen that allowed them to look at some of the highlights that AL has to offer. It also showed off what is basically becoming a new building for the class of 2018. “It was to help the 8th grade begin to know what is open to them, so they have an

idea when they sign up next month.” said Fred Maher, assistant principal. Many students participated in the elective fair to not only learn about classes and meet teachers, and see the newly remodeled areas of the school. They had the opportunity to see the new A and B wings which have the Science, Journalism, Foreign Language, and the Engineering rooms. “I thought it was a good turn out,” said Maher. I got to meet some of the 8th graders and AL alumni.They seemed quite excited about their new surroundings.” Incoming freshmen will start signing up for classes on March 3. They will also be making a trip another trip to AL in the coming months.

Events Featured

Journalism Art Engineering Science Wing Music Departments Freshmen Wing Junior Officers’ Reserve Training Core

Construction Update:

Graduation Coaches just received their own rooms. Foreign Language Wing is currently being remodeled. The Commons is now open. With AL becoming a brand new school every time a wing opens the open house for incoming eighth graders helped them to see just what AL had to offer. Photo by Christian Schalter

Almost Done!!!

Information Supplied by Mindi Richardsen in main Office Photo by Christian Schalter


The Echoes

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Adminstrators Take a Closer Look at Security Procedures and Equipment staff member is as safe as possible. “If we follow instructions during lock downs, we can be prepared for anything that happens,” said Martinez. Even though students feel worried about To some students, school may be one of the school sometimes, they can follow instructions safest places for them. They might be abused or during safety procedures. If students feel neglected at home, and come to school wearing unsafe, or are having problems with how the a fake smile plastered on their faces, secretly safety measures are at school, students can relieved to get away from all their problems. speak to an administrator or a counselor. Later on, as they are sitting in their classrooms, AL is reevaluating safety procedures, to teachers share some disturbing news. On make sure our school is safe. Behaviors are January fifth at Millard South High School, recorded daily on the new and old security there was a school shooting, later finding cameras seen throughout the school. Many out the vice principal is dead, the principal actions involving unacceptable behavior are critically wounded, and the student who was heard of daily. Many students believe that some responsible, may have been planning to shoot of these actions or behaviors, should involve more than two people. A voice in one’s head suspension or detention. There is an abundance may be asking: Is school still one of the safest of material recorded in one day, and it is not places to be? possible to catch all behavior that is against “I feel like someone is going to come to school policy or the law. There are currently school and shoot me,” said Salvador Martinez 32 cameras and soon to be 12 more, making a ’13. “You think nothing is going to happen, but total of 48 cameras. if someone loses their mind, I might lose my “We only watch (the videos) if we are aware life.” of an incident that has happened.” said Matt Everyone expresses their feelings in many Kuhlmann, student resources officer. “(When different ways, some healthy and some not. It’s we see the bad behavior,) the administration much better to go ask for help or advice, rather takes care of it as soon as possible.” than taking the lives of other people. No matter the behavior, different “It’s really sad that I don’t even feel safe consequences may be issued depending at school,” said Serene Lee ’13. “Some advice on previous actions of individuals. Each would be to buy a bulletproof vest because I consequence is issued by the principal unless feel like that’s the only way we would be safe if a something is serious and involves the law. shooter came into the building.” “The principals take care of all school The school has taken many new safety discipline.” said Kuhlmann. “I help by telling procedures, to make sure every student and kids to go to class or take their hat off. Any Suzanne Peterson Sarah Bach

Tardy Policy Gets Tougher on Kids Ericka Davis A new tardy policy has been suggested to be tested with freshmen to help reduce the number of tardies. Tardy detentions are handed out to the freshmen more than the upper class men and this tardy policy may help. “It holds the students accountable for their own responsibilities,” said Patrick Mullen, principal. The tardy policy could indeed help the students work at being on time and on task in class. The new tardy policy that is being inacted is starting with the freshman. Teachers shut and lock their doors, then take attendance. After attendance is taken they let in the students from outside their doors. The policy affects students in the freshman wing and started, but may not be used with all the teachers. It is used so the students will arrive on time to class instead of walking into a class that has already started three to five minutes ago. Students may not like being locked out of class because of being embarrassed in front of their classmates or waiting out in the hall until let into class. Paly Voice, an online journalism website for Palo Alto High School, shares about their tardy policy and other bay area high school’s policies. Bay Area high schools from San Francisco such as Palo Alto high and San Mateo’s tardy policies are a bit different than our policy. “It would be too hard for tardy sweeps to work at Paly,” said Jerry Berkson, assistant principal. He believes tardies are inconsiderate and irresponsible. Instead of tardy sweeps the staff at Paly waits for the students to have five tardies until

they are called in to the main office and a consequence is chosen. After eight tardies they are removed from the class. Rather than being dropped from the class after those eight tardies students cut the class at seven tardies. While Paly is working without the tardy sweep, San Mateo High School is working with it. They have an actual tardy sweep and when the bell rings there is a following announcement saying “tardy sweep.” The doors lock one by one throughout the school and the students left out in the hallway are taken to the main office where they will be given an hour detention for being one minute late. Students are taking advantage of these tardy sweeps by hiding from the teachers and leaving school then returning ten minutes later after class has started. Though the tardy policy here at AL has not been yet started with the whole freshman wing, it is slowly being enforced. It is however being used by few of the teachers. Mike McIntosh, English teacher has no problem with locking the door until finished with taking attendance. He says it will help the students because they won’t want to be locked out and it will also help him as a teacher. “I like it because it helps me keep track of tardies,” said McIntosh. “Before five or six students would come in tardy and it was hard to keep track of who they were. Now I can take attendance of the students on time and mark tardies for the other students as I let them in.” Through this tardy policy, the main question being asked to the students is to be on time to class and to be prepared. With the commons area being finished, now all students should be able to get to all their classes on time. That was a big factor that stopped them before and now that it is finished, that should not be an excuse.

It holds students accountable for their own responsibilities,”said Patrick Mullen principal.

Cameras are helping Adminstrators with punishment and discipline and also with security procedures. Photo By Christian Schalter discipline from me is because they broke a law.” unsafe, or are having problems with how the Whether skipping a class or going to lunch, safety measures are at school, students can speak to the administrator, or counselor. many behaviors may be affected because of Students are taking their own behaviors the school cameras. No matter where you go into account by making sure they behave cameras are most likely watching. well, or go to class because one may think a “(I think cameras effect students behavior) because it worries kids that they will be caught,” camera is watching their behavior. From the cameras outside to the cameras in the hallways said Erica Athay ’13. many students have changed their behaviors. Even though students feel worried about No matter where you go someone may be school sometimes, they can follow instructions watching. during safety procedures. If students feel



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The Echoes


AL’s Second Level B-Wing Opens Up Rules to Follow for a Happier Passing Period Unfortunately, the day of a finished school has not come yet, but the day of an open commons area has.While it’s wonderful to have a new commons area and a new second level B-wing, there are a few things that students should keep in mind for their daily in-school travels. Number One: Hallways are for walking, not for dumping trash. When walking down the hallway during your passing period and you finish your drink, snack, or whatever other insignificant thing you are carrying in your hand, please don’t just drop it on the ground; throw it away. For your convenience, trash receptacles are located throughout the school. Number Two: Elbows are for bending your arms, not for shoving into the sides of others. While the hallways are actually pretty wide, there will always be that one person who feels the need to be the first person to their class that they aren’t going to pay attention to anyways. Common courtesy will take you far, so please just keep your elbows at your sides so that those

around you aren’t going home with bruised ribs. Number Three: Tongues are for tasting your food, not for jamming down your lover’s throat in the hallway. We couldn’t be happier that you are a couple in love, but do you really need to show the whole world your tongue? Not only is the over-the-top PDA disgusting but it’s hugely inconvenient for those trying to get to class on time. Number Four: There is nothing more sentimental than seeing friends who have been apart for forty-two minutes reunite. It’s enough to bring tears to our eyes, but when it’s interfering with our ability to get to class, that’s really enough to make one cry. So take your convos off to the side and remember groups of three (or more), leave em’ be. Number Five: Graffiti is a no-no. While AL encourages the arts and free expression, your artwork is not as cute and will not be taken seriously if it is painted, drawn, spray painted, or whatever your method if choice is, if it is done

on the side of a brand new wall. Moral of the story, by following these five simple rules everyone can have a more enjoyable passing period. These rules aren’t hard, nor difficult to understand. It’s really just common courtesy, which will take you a long way; in the halls and in life.

The staff voted unanimously in favor of this column.

Newspaper: Don’t Hate, Appreciate By Shanon Smith

Second period. Some students have English, some students have science, some students are still sleeping. However there’s a group of 19 students that are part of a different type of class. A class where everyone has to bond together for one common goal. Newspaper. Being in newspaper has easily been one of the best experiences of my life, however

from being on staff since my sophomore year I’ve come to notice a few key things. One of the main things I’ve noticed is how someone not on a publication staff has no idea what really goes in to making the final product. That’s the only thing they see, is our final outcome. They don’t get the opportunity to see the work we’ve put in the previous months, all the struggles and headaches we’ve had to face and all the good times that makes newspaper the family we’ve grown in to. First, as many may have noticed, this will be our third issue out this school year, and trust me we’re aware that’s not as many as last year. However I think it’s important for the audience to understand we had one of our newspaper classes cut from last year to this year. So instead of almost half the class having another period to work on the paper, we now only have one. Time management has been a key factor this year in

production, however forty minutes can only stretch so far. If you were to walk in to our second period class nine out of ten times you’ll be able to see editors on computers and reporters working on their story. There’s never a down time. We also have so many factors that go into creating a newspaper: the stories, the pictures, page designing and advertising. That’s right, the ads you see at the bottom of the pages, we have to get those. We have to talk to businesses, because that’s how we get the money for our paper. Without getting those ads we wouldn’t have any money to publish our paper. So basically, it’s all up to us, the students, to make The Echoes happen. To go into every factor of production would take up a space probably as big as this page, so instead of writing that, I’ll sum it up. At the end of the day, we’re a student publication. We’re not

the New York Times, or the Washington Post. We put our all into making this publication, however because of human nature we will make mistakes. We’ll have a few typos and maybe a grammatical error, but I’d be willing to guess that there isn’t one person in this school who hasn’t made a mistake before. The difference between making a mistake on a history report and in a published newspaper? The history report doesn’t reach an audience of over eleven hundred. We strive for perfection in the news room, but realistically we can only come so close. The journalism room turns into a whole new world second hour. It’s full of teamwork, frustration, accomplishment, dedication and family. Newspaper isn’t for the underachiever or even the average. It takes a staff that is ready to put their all into creating The Echoes, and that is exactly what we have.

I Just Wanna Wear My Hat By Devon Jefferson

I am a collector of many material things. I like a balance of different things all clashing together to make something new. So often do I see things that I like and instantly want it. Music, clothes, hats, shoes, whatever it is once I get it I can’t keep it to myself. I want to share it, and everyone knows that part of sharing is letting other people see your new things, and at one point we are taught to share in school. So what I don’t understand is why I can’t share my hats with my classmates and teachers. Hats are not to be worn during the national anthem, or during the swearing of an oath, or at al during school. With me being a “hat-wearer”, I strongly dislike situations that cause for me to remove my hat. Often times I find that I forget

that I have a hat on, its that natural for me to be with one rather than without one. As well, its very apparent that I am a young sixteen year old that likes nice things. So I have a job to pay for the things that I like, and more often then not, when I get my paycheck I go shopping. And when I am shopping I rarely miss out on a trip to wall of fame for a new hat. So frequently I like to wear the new things that I have gotten for myself because frankly, that’s what I bought them for. My sense of self pride rises because I’m showing my hard work, in a way that makes me feel good, so what I don’t understand is why in a place like al where hard work is encouraged, I can’t wear my hat. I feel like when I put a hat on in the morning, I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I’m just trying cover this nappy hair I got and look good doing it. Or just to match it up with a nice shirt and some shoes for a nice outfit. I understand that rules are rules, and that they should be followed, but can I at least get met halfway on this situation. I mean its not like I’m asking to be able to do something illegal, or something that can disrupt the entire school as a whole. I’m just asking to wear my hat, just another piece of

clothing that goes on top of my head. And even though it seems like it, I am not the only one that likes their hats. A quick peak into the world of politics shows that wearing a hat is as normal as putting on socks. The democratic representative for Florida, Frederica Wilson says she has over 300 designer hats. All that she wears all the time, even in congressional session. I even thought of as few ways that hats can help me in school. For instance, has a teacher ever told you to put your thinking cap on? Or have you ever been in a classroom with a really bad glare? Or has it ever been a really sunny day and you burn easy and want something to protect your face? Or how schools want kids to feel safe and like nothing is irregular at school. Although wearing a hat, in these situations are not the relevant or most defining solution to these problems, they are an answer to an issue. Maybe one day I will be able to rock my hat in school, or maybe not me but the next “hat wearer” that comes along to this school will be able to wear their hat because of the words in this column. Until then, I guess it will just be before and after school for my hat, my head and me.


The Echoes

The Echoes Editors-in-Chief Danielle Hogsed Shanon Smith Business Manager Amber Michael Page Editors Danielle Peabody Brittany Rupp Brian Williams Advertising Taylor Bright Graphics and Cartoons Kevin Dickey Photographers Emily Koontz Christian Schlater Reporters Emmalee Adams Sarah Bach Arianne Boehme Ericka Davis Devon Jefferson Kristin Molgaard Lauren Myers Mitchell Myers Suzanne Peterson Webmaster Elizabeth Beck Adviser Gerry Appel The Echoes is published weekly by the newspaper staff of Abraham Lincoln High School, and exists to serve as an open forum for the students, faculty, administration and community. All state and federal laws regarding the publications of student materials shall apply, and the Echoes will not publish materials which also fall under the guidelines established by the Council Bluffs Public Schools system, and are deemed libelous, obscene, or a material and substantial disruption to normal classroom activities. The views expressed are not those of the Council Bluffs Public Schools, faculty, or administration. Any student, faculty, or staff member wishing to contribute materials will need to submit a letter to the editor within deadline restriction; however, final publications is at the discretion of the staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged, and must be 400 words or less in length and signed; letters will be printed as received. Every attempt will be made to verify the authenticity of the author, and no anonymous letters will be published. Advertising will not be accepted for all products or services that are illegal for minors to possess or utilize. Advertisers wishing to reserve publication space should call 328-6481 ext. 425.

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Trimester Schedule Changes E D I T O R S ’ R E P O RT CARD By Brittany Rupp

It came as no surprise to me this year when I heard of trimesters. After all, for the past three years there have been some big changes that have been taking place within the school district. My freshman year the new grading system was enacted. Last school year, sixth graders were moved into junior highs and now we have block scheduling. I’m beginning to wonder if the leaders of the this district are thinking things through about what they are really doing. Trimesters. Many people know that Lewis Central uses trimesters as their yearly calendar. Trimesters are different from the calendar that we use because it divides the school year into three equal parts. Instead of 18 weeks in a semester there would be 12 weeks, and class times would expand to 72 minute class periods. While this sounds like a handy dandy little thing, when this happens a student will only have 5 classes in a day. Now the kids who don’t do a thing and fail their way through high school are celebrating right now. However for those kids that take multiple advancement placement, dual credit, and elective classes that will help them reach their goals in life are facing a big problem. We are having to choose between activities that some of us have participated in our entire high

school career. When I was a freshman I was told to become involved in as many activities as possible and this would keep me on track to graduating. Well even though I’m a senior next year and I have more than enough credits to graduate, I and many of my fellow peers are getting screwed because two electives that are group organizations will be placed in the same hour. Since the human race still has yet to figure out how to make people be in two places at once, a choice has to be made. This is not only making it difficult for the class of 2012 but also for classes behind us. They may never again be able to be involved with multiple activities the entire four years of high school. In everything you read from our district it says that they are doing everything possible to improve student achievement. I laugh every time I see this. All that’s being done is handing students their not-hard-earned diplomas. Teachers purposely make tests and assignments easier so that the kids pass it the first time around. By switching to trimesters, the number of credits that a student can earn in a year is also being dropped to 15 credits. Even though it is only one credit that is being lost, that one credit to an AP student means a lot. I guess the purpose of my rant is a plea to the school district to stop and think about the kids that are busting their butts to make something of themselves. I hate to rain on a parade and I hate to be a bringer of bad news, and I, just as much as the next person wants every kid to graduate, but with everything that happens in this crazy life not everyone is going to make it. I’m not saying that we leave them behind but they need to be held to the same standards without those standards being lowered.


The DECA Students who placed at their competition in January.

The 33 students who made the SWIBA Honor Band and performed an amazing concert.

To every student who made it to school on the icy day,. We commend your effort to getting an education over staying home and not even attemoting it.

Cartoon By Kevin Dickey

Dan Hopper and Devin Thomas who signed with Iowa Western Community College; Austin Ebertowski for signing with University of Northern Iowa; and Jamison Lalk who signed with Iowa State University. The dance team girls who performed a fabulous light show dance at the boys basketball game in February.


The school telephone system for beating the TV stations announcing the cancellation of school.

Officer Kuhlmann for finally making students move their cars from their selfproclaimed parking spots. Just be happy that you didn’t get a ticket!


Snow days: Although getting out of school is fun, who wants added days during the summer?

Whoever it was who decided to block websites such as Facebook and YouTube. That’s okay, we still found ways around it.


No year-long school. Depending on how you feel, this could go either way.

Colleges for calling seniors multiple times a week. If we didn’t want to go to your college on Monday, we don’t want to go on Friday either.


People for not sending us letters to the editor. C’mon guys, the email is

Salt trucks for not salting the parking lot before school started. It’s bad enough that we had to attend school, but unsalted lots make one messy mess.


Parents who drop their kids off in the parking lot before school and then wait to leave. News flash! There are other people waiting to enter the parking lot.

People who kiss and make-out in the hallway, making it difficult for those wanting to get to class pass.



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The Echoes


loves you,

Devon Jefferson

With Valentines Day being specifically categorized as a lover’s holiday, many treat it like a second Christmas. As another chance to almost instigate that love emotion again. Emotions are scientifically described as chemicals, and electrical nerve pulses in ones body that all work together to create a feeling. It’s almost mind boggling the amount of feelings and attractions that can be produced by a single action by another person. How sometimes even material gifts aren’t the right way to show that person, I love you. Valentines Day is one of the best yet hardest times for relationships because it can turn out very well, or go south very

quickly. It seems that the thought and everything that goes into Valentines Day gift giving is an ultimate test of affection. It’s where all of the knowledge that one knows about their partner comes into play so that they can get the perfect gift for that special person. “It’s my girlfriends birthday on valentines day and I plan to take her out to dinner and give her flowers and heart shaped sushi from blue, I hope she likes it and I hope I make her feel special,” said Nate Myers. Relationships are never perfect, there is always a bump in the road along some point in the journey, or some point in which, and the couple need to

evaluate their relationship. Its times like Valentines Day that are defining moments for couples all around. A lot of thought goes into the process of buying a gift or planning a date night for both parties to enjoy. Often times, there is more than one stage, or a combination of things when it comes to gifts for others. “I’ll probably take her out to dinner and get her some purple flowers and we will just be together and enjoy each others company,” said Ryan Fee. Flowers, candy and dinner are amongst the most common gifts to be given on the famous Valentines Day, yet alternatives to these originals can also score points. More often then not, a

hand made gift is more thought provoking than something that can be bought. After all, Valentines Day is supposed to show care and reflect ones thoughts about a person. “Valentines day is a big thing for me, I try to spend quality time, and it’s more important that the gifts reflect thoughtfulness,” said Dan Fee, Industrial Arts teacher. Though valentines day has come and gone, the moral of this story is this, when preparing for a future valentines day, take a lot of thought into the things one gives because they mean a whole lot more than one thinks. After all, the right gift might not be the right gift if it doesn’t say, I love you.


Feature 8 Black History Month Recognized by Many The Echoes

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Students Celebrate Struggles African-Americans Overcame Suzanne Peterson February, also known as Black History Month, is dedicated to all the African Americans who helped shape America. Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Month in 1926, and also took the challenge of writing about African Americans into the nation’s history. Later, Negro History Month expanded into Black History Month in 1967. Woodson choose the second week of February for celebration because it marked the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced black people; Frederick Douglass (an escaped slave, who later became the first African American to become general during the Civil War), and Abraham Lincoln (who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation which abolished slavery). “To me, Black History Month is a time to think about what African Americans have gone through,” said Reggie Broussard ’13. “When I hear Black History Month, the first thing that comes to mind is slavery, because a lot of our ancestors were slaves.” With talent and determination, many blacks have reinvented what it means to be an African American and what it’s like to be an American. “It doesn’t really matter who celebrates Black History Month,” said Annie Everett

’11. “If white people feel what blacks did to make a difference was good enough, they should celebrate Black History Month too.” There are many African Americans who stood out, facing many obstacles of discrimination and were very inspiring, that many people have not heard of. One doesn’t have to be famous just to make a difference.

To me, Black History Month is a time to think about all that AfricanAmericans have gone through. -Reggie Broussard ‘13

“My dad is my black idol,” said Jay Cook ’13. “He teaches me a lot of lessons in my life. He’s been there throughout my life, and I love him truly. I guess you could even say black people are moving up in the world.” “Martin Luther King made it so that black and white people could do everything together without any consequences,” said Everett. “It’s amazing that we have a black president. It just shows that white people aren’t the only ones with the most power in this country.” Facing many obstacles of discrimination, February is a month dedicated to all the African Americans, who with their talent, determination, and perseverance, made America a better place. Black History Month is the month where we give respect to all the African Americans, who wanted a change; who wanted to be judged by whom they were, and what they could do, not by the color of their skin.

Here are some (out of many) influential African Americans who stood out in different fields: Wilt Chamberlain- Only person in the NBA history to score 100 points in a single game. Hank Aaron- Broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, and faced many death threats because of it. Althea Gibson- Sometimes referred to the “Jackie Robinson of tennis” for breaking the color barrier. She became the first African American woman to be admitted to the world tennis tour. Jack Johnson- Became the first African American to hold the heavyweight championship in the world. Sugar Ray Leonard- American boxer who won 36 out of 39 professional matches and several national titles. Muhammad Ali- Boxer, philanthropist, social activist. Was the first boxer to win the world heavyweight championship three times. Lynette Woodard- Professional basketball player who made history when she became the first female member of the Harlem Globetrotters John Love- Invented the pencil sharpener Joseph Winter- Invented the fire escape ladder Sammie Knox- First African American to paint an official presidential portrait Dr. Mae Jemison- First African American woman astronaut to launch into space. Elbert Frank Cox- First African American to earn a PhD in mathematics Reginald Lewis- First African American to own billion-dollar Company L.P Ray- Invented the dustpan. Sarah E. Goode- Invented a bed that folded up into a cabinet. George Carruthers- Invented the far ultraviolet electrographic camera. (For more famous black history people visit

Students Prepare For Upcoming Events

Groups, Clubs Working Hard and Yielding Impressive Results Brittany Rupp AL is made up of many groups and organizations that benefit the school, and the community. Each and everyone of these groups are made up of students that work to grow and succeed. With Spring approaching, many groups such as Speech, Jazz Band, DECA, Choir, and various sports are preparing for their Spring seasons. One of the groups that is preparing for competitions, and has more weeks to put the finishing touches on their skills, is DECA. Districts for this groups

was on January 19th. This was their first time competing in the the districts category in Des Moines. After this, they moved on to state, which is February 27th and 28th. If students score first or second place they will move onto Nationals, which is located in Orlando, Florida at the end of April. Participants compete in either individual, team, or written events. Students choose which event they wanted to participate in. Individual events consists of role plays and tests related to specific areas of marketing. Team events write research papers that also coordinate with related marketing areas also. Practice begins for this group of students in first semester while they are in their marketing class where they take tests and play out role plays similar to what they will be doing when they are competing. “Preparation begins in Marketing Ed class and we cover a variety of Marketing-related topics,” said Kristy Courter, DECA advisor. “We take practice tests that will be similar to the tests they will take at their competitions. We also practice role plays which they will have to do at competition with a judge.” Another group that is also preparing for success is the jazz bands. Both Jazz I

and II performed at the Iowa High School Music Association Jazz Festival, and Jazz I received a one rating. In the coming weeks they will perform at the UNO Jazz festival, and they also put on their annual Jazz Festival on February 12th, which featured the AL Jazz Bands and also bands from the surrounding area. “We plan on going to Colorado for a contest,” said Zane Rau ‘13 Speech is another group that is preparing for different events that will be coming with the Spring season. On February 5th Speech competitors traveled to West Des Monies Valley to compete at the state level. Almost all participators received one ratings. Speech is a more individualistic project rather than a group working toward one specific goal. Ten

students will continue will go to All State and compete there. They will compete in Musical Theater, Improvisation, and Radio Broadcasting. “For Improv, we met twice a week and cycled t h rou g h different I m p r o v games and practiced by doing some randomized s c e n e s ,” Derek Gillman ‘13 “I think that we’ve had a fantastic season, it was our first year doing Improv and we had two groups make it to state and one to All-State” No matter what the event or task that students are faced with they are eager to do something that they love. Each group has a had a huge success proving that hard work and determination can lead to a great thing and future success.

DECA 11 0 2 n easo

hS c e e p S s: e h c a Co ler l a W er Dirk y e M rf o n d a n d e r d Jo Po o J e i Conn

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Council Bluffs Gains New Businesses

New Shops, Eateries in Town Attract Students and Staff

Kristin Molgaard Just a couple years ago if teenagers wanted to go out and about to have fun, and do a variety of different activities they would have to go to Omaha to find them. These days they can just stay in town with a wide variety of new businesses popping up all over Council Bluffs. There are now many different things to do in town instead of going out of town to hangout with your friends and family. “I like all the new businesses because I can

change up my plans,” said Gabriella Valdez ’13. “With all of the new businesses and restaurants, I can go wherever I want to go within Council Bluffs .” With the addition of new restaurants there are also some new, unique stores that are up and coming such as KP Style, a store that features a variety of accessories such as hats, purses, and jewelry. This store is mostly for girls looking to accessorize themselves. Restaurants are also developing all around us, such as the new Pizza Ranch, Olive Garden, and Texas Roadhouse at the Metro Crossing development. Employees of the new establishments think that the

businesses are just what Council Bluffs needs in this new era of businesses. “The Pizza Ranch has been a good addition to Council Bluffs; it needed new businesses and now there is a ton of them,” said Janelle Moreno A Pizza Ranch employee. “There have been a lot of business lately but I think it’s mostly because Pizza Ranch is newer in town and the hustle and bustle of Pizza Ranch will soon be normal.” Council Bluffs may seem like any old boring Iowa or Midwest town but there are a ton of new businesses helping the miniscule town outside of Omaha grow into its own with the additions of restaurants, stores and many

different businesses. This is not only helping Council Bluffs, bloom but its also helping the people that of Council Bluffs prosper. It has created new jobs and opportunities for them to earn money and providing ways that they can enjoy and interact with other people. People can now enjoy places like these without going out of the city. It has impacted Council Bluffs growth and the city has been a lot busier and there has been more excitement throughout the town from all of this new business. New businesses have greatly impacted Council Bluffs by stirring up interest throughout the metro area.

Madrigal Feast 2010 Vocal Dept. Raises Money Emmalee Adams Walking down the halls you may hear their voices singing loudly, brave, and beautiful. Although their voices may be beautiful one sour note is the fact that the vocal department here at Abraham Lincoln High School has to do so many fundraisers that there’s generally one about every other month. “We get some money from the school but other than that we have to fundraise.” said Lynne Boyd, Choir teacher. “Some include two food fundraisers, raffles, concession stands, and a new one is the Madrigal Feast.” Though the fundraisers get them by, it is difficult to get some of the vocal students to want to participate in all of the fundraisers. Instead of the same old door to door fundraising, Vocal Instructor Lynne Boyd decided to shake things up by hosting the first annual Madrigal Feast, put on by the music and drama department. For only fifteen dollars, guests were served three courses, the choir sang, and

they got to enjoy live entertainment going on the whole time. Though it was a different approach to fundraising, did students enjoy the change? “I like it, it was fun as long as it helps the choir,” said Emily Hanusa, ’11. “I think it made it easier to sell food because (parents) came to us instead of us going to them.” This years Madrigal Feast was a big success. Lynne Boyd plans on making it a yearly fundraising tradition in hope that the vocal department will have enough for more shows and outfits.



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Ariele Peters

g n i v a e L their Lauren Myers

Similar to the writer with a blank piece of paper and a pen in hand, artists look at a blank canvas with a paint brush in hand, and an inner vision that comes to mind .Students wanting to express creativity at school do so by taking one of numerous art classes offered to students. Art classes vary from Art Foundations to 3-D Art Advanced. “For Art, I teach Art Foundations, Intermediate 3-D art, and Advanced 3-D art,” said Mary Filbert, Art teacher. Students can take one class or numerous classes. Whether a student is starting off in a foundation class or an advanced class this semester, a specific class stands out to one student as being a favorite. “I took both of Mrs.Filbert’s classes and the 2-D Advanced class,” said Heaven Ray ‘11. “ (The classes) are fun and you can be creative and you get to create your own projects.” Whether one is taking an advanced art class or not, teachers start to see favorite projects of the students. Many of the projects vary from painting in a foundations class to making mask in a 3-D art class. “A lot of my kids really like linoleum tile printing and mask making as well,” said Filbert. “In Foundations, a lot of students like the painting unit with the color

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Snizhana Sabadash

wheel, where they mix paints. (They also like) the cartooning unit and making cartoons.” Whether artwork happens at school, in class, or at home, the expression seems to always be there. From one project to the next, whether an assignment or a creative outlet, many different things form one’s inspiration, leading to a favorite piece of artwork. “ Honestly, I just sit and think, and (the creativity) comes to me eventually,” said Ray. “ My favorite piece of artwork is from Kirn. It is a clay bowl we made and painted, I love it.” Students take art classes for numerous reasons. Whether one takes a class for fun or for experience for a future career in art or not, art is one way students have an outlet for creativity. “I would tell (students) to take Foundations, then they can go any direction, they can go to 3-D Art with me or 2-D Art with Mrs. Kennedy,” said Filbert. “You just have to like art and try it; Art is a nice outlet for people. And students need an outlet. Art makes their brain work differently than working on a math problem. Art can be a lifetime hobby, and they can enjoy it.” From one art project to the next, students expresses creativity by taking classes offered by the school. Whether or not a student is taking an advanced class or not, particular projects and classes, are favored by students.


Marlen Gonzales

Alex Crum


The Echoes


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Students Prepare For Future Seasons

Winter Weather Gives Athletes Opportunities to Condition Sarah Bach

Avoiding the cold by staying indoors, Alex Klemet ‘13 conditions by lifting weights during the offseason. Photo by Christian Schlater

Sprinting, running, walking and lifting weights: forms of exercise that can be performed daily. From these various daily exercises some may wonder why these tasks are performed in such a cold season, but others may already know that these actions may be taken to prepare for spring sports. “(I run) during the winter for track,” said Morgan Hively ‘11. “In the past (I run) to keep myself in shape.” Some may stop themselves at a certain point when the weather is freezing. Others may deal with the cold weather and continue running to prepare for upcoming seasons. “When it’s icy and really cold I stay inside,” said Hively. “Otherwise I bundle up and run.” Some may think that running would be boring so they wouldn’t even think of trying it. Others may think it’s fun depending on if you go by yourself or if you go running with friends. “There are two other track girls (I usually run with),” said Hively. “Sometimes I’m by myself. Running with others pushes me more and (it helps by) getting me ready for track.” From the time and effort it takes to do certain tasks some may choose to do them or not. Whether choosing

to do a simple task, such as running, many find themselves preparing for spring sports in each activity they do. “(I run to prepare) for soccer,” said Tara Nelson ’12. “The team counts on everybody (to do their part) and if you’re out of shape then you can’t do your part. Being on the bench isn’t going to help your team; conditioning makes it easier. I can stay in games the games longer and I don’t have to take a break for water. You’re usually not as tired if you have been conditioning. If you don’t, you can’t give it 110% the whole game.” Others may prepare themselves for spring sports by doing other activities, such as weight lifting. “I weight lift Monday through Friday, seventh and eighth hour,” said Raistlin Rodenburg ‘12. “(I also lift) Tuesday through Friday from 6-7:50(A.M.).” For some liftin may be too time consuming. Others may feel lifting pays off in the end. “(Lifting) helps me become stronger and helps me prepare for football,” said Rodenburg. “I can bench 315 (lbs.) and squat 500 (lbs.). From running to weight lifting some say both activities are tasks that you have to set your mind to. Either way there isn’t a time limit to help athletes prepare for spring sports.

Staying in shape during the offseason, Morgan Hively ‘11 and Jessica Nee ‘12 brave the cold weather to condition. Photo by Christian Schlater

New Weekly Competitions Available Omaha Tennis Association Lets Athletes Play in Winter Emily Koontz While winter sports are in high gear, the tennis season will be rolling around before we know it. Unfortunately, most spring sports are difficult to practice in the harsh winter conditions of the Midwest, leaving a small window of opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season. Luckily for local tennis players, the Omaha Tennis Association (OTA) offers a Junior Competition weekly at Hanscom Brandeis Tennis Center in Omaha. OTA is an organized event where several high school tennis players from the surrounding area come together to improve their tennis skills and gear up for a winning season. The competition takes place every Sunday night from January to April for a fee of $140. Shorter sessions are also

available from January to February for $80, as outside help during the girls’ tennis season is prohibited in Omaha. Two time periods are available for this program: 7:00-8:15 for 8th grade and under and 8:15-9:30 for 9th grade and over. The program is extremely competitive, as each participant’s starting position is based upon performance from the previous week. A few A.L.

students have already taken initiative to begin their season preparations by participating in the weekly competition. “[OTA] keeps you in shape and keeps you on your toes so you can play the game,” said Nate Stuart ’11. “We play king of the court [each week].” Stuart has p a r t i c i p at e d in three OTA sessions over the past couple years. Others who are new to the offseason tennis program have already taken

a liking to the intense competition and feeling of accomplishment felt after every Sunday night. “This is my first time doing any type of club outside of school tennis,” said Amber Michael ’11. “I am excited to get to practice more before the regular season.” The OTA’s Junior Competitions are a great way to gain an edge on rival schools and increase confidence in playing abilities. While the current session has already begun, those interested in pre-season tennis should sign up as soon as possible in order to take advantage of this opportunity. To learn more about Sunday night tennis, talk to Bryan Pregon or Myron Wilder, or simply come Sunday nights to register and receive instant court time. To sign up online, visit, click on ‘Juniors’ in the left column, and open the registration form link entitled ‘Sunday Night Junior Competition, Jan-Apr.’


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The Echoes

To the left: Dan Hopper signs his letter of intent to play at Iowa Western Community College To the right: Austin Ebertowski signs his letter of intent to play and the University of Northern Iowa.

National Signing Day

Devon Jefferson High school sports are an important stepping stone for student athletes’ careers. Whether it be a successful collegiate career or going beyond into the pros, high school sports play a big role in an athlete’s chance to go to the next level. Recruiting is a big process for a high school athlete. Though the recruiting process alone is long and pain-staking, nothing is truly capped off or totally finished until the nationally designated signing day. “The reruiting process was a new experience that I will remember for the rest of my life,” said

Lalk. On February 2, seniors Austin Ebertowski, Dan Hopper, Devin Thomas and Jamison Lalk signed to post-secondary schools including The University of Northern Iowa, and Iowa Western Community College and Iowa State University. This is the day that high school athletes planning to play college football sign their national letter of intent and officially commit to their school for the following year. “The best part of the whole process for me was getting it over with, it was really stressing me out,” said Thomas. Upon the actual signing of intent papers, the four seniors were officially committed to the schools of their choice and their athletic programs. From that point on began the

preparation and slow transition into college athletics. “I am looking forward to getting done with high school and going to college and experiencing what it’s like,” said Ebertowski. Much thought and intention to detail went into the decision of which school to go to. Opportunities to play, scholarship eligibility and financial aid dictated the decision of many for what school would be right for them, as well as a comfort level with coaches and programs played a big part in the final choice. “Ultimately its about being comfortable, and for me I had been comfortable going there since last summer when I had a football camp there and that really stood out to me,” said Hopper.

To the left: Devin Thomas signs his letter of intent to play at Iowa Western Community College. To the right: Jamison Lalk signs his letter of intent to play at Iowa State University. Photos by Shanon Smith

Now that high school football is over and the players are committed thei schools, now comes the time to become familiar with their schools’ programs, coaching staffs as well as leave behind their high school and emerge into a bigger spectrum, though it seems to be the ending of a long high school career, it is just the start of a new beginning. “For me this is just the beginning, now its time to just go back and work hard at getting back into things and just becoming a better football player,” said Hopper. As the four seniors move on they move to a new stage in their careers and life. However even though their time for AL football has come to an end, many will remember their historic achievements as a Lynx.

February 2011 - Issue 3  

This is the February 2011 issue of The Echoes newspaper at ALHS in Council Bluffs, Iowa

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