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A Publication of Notre Dame de Sion* 10631 Wornall Road*Kansas City, MO 64114 Volume 30, Issue 4 February 2012

Meet Sion’s New Head of School

Behind the Lens of Jillian Nelson

Pinterest: A New Virtual Pinboard

Dueling Sion Twitters Face-Off

What’s Inside 10 A look at the rising issue of marijuana abuse


Should we criticize other faiths based on media prejudice?


Exchange students and transfer students begin second semester


Dance team receives two more titles at Chicago competition


Sophomore celebrates uncommon birthday






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what’s inside

Some Mid-Winter Advice to Stressing Students

BY ALI SWEE Editor-in-Chief

you’ll still get into college. It worked for me and many of my friends. Trust me. And someday when you get that thick packet in the mail and see those beautiful words “Congratulations! You’ve been accepted...” everything seems perfect. Obviously, I’m not your mom or your college counselor, so technically, I’m not even qualified to tell you any of this. But don’t disregard me, because his one goes out to the freshI’ve been there. I’ve labored over man stressing over a that finals binder, “High school is about getting involved, finding your niche attended those weekly biology quiz, the sophomore attempting countless club and pursuing your passions. That’s the true experience.” to be an active particimeetings and repant in every club that searched hundreds can be crammed into the new club such a monotonous rut of day-in, not. of colleges. rotation schedule and the junior at- day-out trying to please everyone else. Instead, I’ve found a love in So get out there and do what you tempting to figure out stoichiometry We’re bred to start stressing about col- politics, (this is a perfect time to self- love. There are already hundreds of while claiming her unique leadership lege as only a freshman. And news promote my political blog....check out girls out there. Girls like Alexandra role in her community. Heed this ad- flash, freshmen, I’ve totally changed for more), in jour- Colyer, who traveled to Iowa on the vice: stop. since freshman year. Everybody does. nalism and in writing. I’ve found col- campaign trail (check out page 19) Well, obviously, don’t stop study- It’s inevitable. leges I’ll truly be happy at, regardless and Jillian Nelson, who started her ing for bio or trying to understand If you would have asked me of name recognition or ranking. I’ve own photography business (check out chemistry (although that may be an where I’d be as a senior four years ago, found if I pursue my passions, I’ll end page 18). There’s even the Model UN impossible task). If there’s anything I you’d be shocked. I thought I’d be on up exactly where I need to be. girls, who are traveling to DC to comlearned from being a senior (besides the path to becoming a doctor. And Moral of my long-winded story: pete at the National Conference for establishing that Florence was indeed if you know me now, you’re probably Don’t be what others want you to be. the first time in Sion history (check the heart of the Italian Renaissance laughing. It’s a lofty goal, definitely. Be who you want yourself to become. out page 19). and how to analyze a poem quite thor- Where was I going to go for col- Sounds cheesy, I know, but by the So enjoy every minute of these oughly), it’s to stop creating yourself lege you’d ask? Oh, let me pick one off time you’re a second semester senior, years because they fly by. Work hard and just be yourself. my list of the top 50 universities in the you’ll be overjoyed when you’re fol- in school, follow your passions and Sure, we’d all love to be captain country. have faith that you’ll end up exactly lowing your true passions. of five sports and president of seven Funny how things change. I’m It won’t kill you. I promise. And where you’re truly meant to be. clubs. Besides the fact it’s not even humanly possible, it’s not real. It’s not you. High school is about getting involved, finding your niche and pursuing your passions. That’s the true experience. From the moment we’re tossed into this crazy world of HSPTs, GPAs and ACTs, we can’t help but yearn for success. It’s natural. We all want that perfect 4.0, that flawless 36. However, it doesn’t define us. I think sometimes we get into


Letters to the Editor

still the steadfast, determined person I once was, only now I’m satisfied with who I am. Most importantly, I’ve recognized my strengths, my weaknesses, my passions. No longer do I want to become a doctor. I realized this junior year through the combination of volunteering at a hospital and honors chemistry. It’s not for me. I’ve never been the left brained, factually driven or perfectionist person, believe it or

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Le Journal welcomes letters submitted by readers. The staff reserves the right to edit length and minor grammatical errors, but the letter’s message will not be altered. The staff reserves the right to review letters and edit material that is inappropriate. Libelous, slanderous, or obscene letters will not be printed. Letters must be signed.

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Le Journal celebrates Sion’s 100th year! A look back at our past as we celebrate the Centennial and its festivities as we look forward to 100 more years of Sion! leJournal Le Journal

is the official publication of Notre Dame de Sion High School 10631 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, MO 64114. Member






Missouri Interscholastic Press Assoc. National Scholastic Press Assoc. Columbia Scholastic Press Assoc. International Quill and Scroll

ADVISER Alison Long MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Emily DeCoursey REPORTERS Laura Travis, Sarah Holland, Meg Cowan , Shannon Laird

PUBLICATIONS BOARD Michelle Olson Kay Walkup

Ali Swee Taylor Escher

Melissa Wilcox Penny Selle

Jane McCormack Carole Wall-Simmons



Respecting All Religions

Discussing the Rising Issue of Religious Criticism in Our Country’s Media This staff editorial represents the views of the staff of Le Journal-14 out of 14 staff members voted in support of this editorial. There he is again. One of his knees touches the bristly turf as his elbow rests on his knee. His head leans against his clenched fist while a drop of sweat drips down his face. He passed 316 yards against the Steelers. His passes in this game added up to 31.6 yards per completion. If this weren’t already coincidence enough, this evangelical Christian quarterback had the Bible verse “John 3:16” written under his eyes for this very game. Since that game on Jan. 8, 2012, the news media and social media have been exploding with criticisms about Tim Tebow, the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, and his love for God. Junior Claire Willman, who is well-versed on Tebow, knew of a website called “”, a site which campaigns against Tim Tebow because of his religious ways. “He should be able to show his love for God just like anybody else. And if people follow his lead and do it as well, that is great,” freshman Anna Romano said. Exactly. People shouldn’t be criticized for displaying their love for their religion. Even the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution explains this point perfectly. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The Constitution guarantees our right to practice any religion we choose, or none at all, and the

right to speak freely. But we should be responsible with these freedoms. While we are free to criticize, we are also morally obligated to show respect to people and their faith. I believe that many Americans need to take a step back and re-read the first amendment to remind themselves of what our great founding fathers established our country upon. Unfortunately, I believe that many of us are influenced by others and by the news media to disre-

“He should be able to show his love for God just like anybody else...” -freshman Anna Romano spect other peoples religions. “...I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end; where all men and all churches are treated as equal...” President John F. Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, in a speech regarding his Catholic religion. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States, and he didn’t have an easy time getting there. During the 1960 election, many Americans were skeptical of a Catholic running for president. Many were fearful that Kennedy would make decisions through the Pope. Because this was one of the first elections in

which television played a big role, the news media’s reflections may have egged-on such anti-Catholic bias. Many already had prejudices against Catholics during that time period, but the media also influenced Americans’ concerns with John F. Kennedy’s religion from the very start. More recently, American Muslims have felt the sting of religious intolerance. Many Americans were frightened after 9/11, and out of this fright came unfair accusations against the Muslim community. It was not unusual to hear people equate the Muslim faith with terrorism. Such statements are simply unjust. No one deserves to be unjustly criticized in this way. “Even though it was the extremists who were involved in the 9/11 attacks, some people stereotype regular Muslims as terrorists as well,” Romano said. Although the events of 9/11 were extremely traumatic, that gives us no license to jump to unfair accusations and wrong conclusions about a whole group of people. So the next time you see or hear religious criticism by others or in the media, check yourself. When you see Tebow take a knee and hear radio and television announcers mock him, recognize the unfairness of these comments. If you hear ugly remarks that generalize all Muslims as being terrorists, voice your disagreement of religious prejudice. If there is talk about a presidential candidate’s religion, question the stereotypes. We all have the right to practice our religion freely. We should respect this freedom for all. Catholics, Christians, Muslims, Jews-everyone. -Drawing by Ally Ungashick

Religious Persecution? “Wow, Jesus just f***ed #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler “Hey, Buffalo’s killing them.” -tweeted by Bill Maher, political commentator “Mitt Romney downgraded from Mormon to moron” -tweeted by Paul Solomon, political reporter “God Hates Israel” and “Jews Killed Jesus” are just some of the words among many of Fred Phelp’s disrespectful protest signs.

-Information from Twitter and Fred Phelp’s website



Standardized Scandal

SAT Impersonator Strikes Twelve Times in Exchange for Unethical Benefits BY ELIZABETH GIANINO Layout/Design Editor

“Pencils down, turn your answer sheet over, and close your test booklet.” For most of us, it is safe to say that we all question the clock, constantly refusing to believe that 25 minutes came and went. We dedicate so much time towards our education, whether it be test preparation, tutoring, reviewing, memorizing, etc. The list goes on and on. There is no comparison, however, between those who work hard to progress down their lists, and those who fail to honestly complete it. It is outrageous to succeed by any method such as: cheating, copying, impersonation, and plagiarizing because it is a flaw in one’s character, an undeserved reward, and most importantly, a deception. In 2011, a 19-year old college student from New York named Sam Eshaghoff pursued an illegal and unethical business that involved impersonating twelve high school students during the SAT in exchange for several thousand dollars per test. Each test was scored in the 97th or above percentile. Two words allowed Eshaghoff to successfully complete his business. Fake ID. It was as simple as laminating a 2” by 4” piece of paper that had Eshaghoff ’s picture and the name and date of birth of the person he was taking the test for. Although opposed to Eshaghoff ’s motives, senior Maggie Frame said that he was smart about how he was going to impersonate his students. Therefore, Eshaghoff was able to pursue his business with little disturbance. But after a series of investigations from local high schools, Sam Eshaghoff ’s profit fell through. “It’s completely illegitimate,” junior Kathryn Thompson said. “Every student has to go through taking tests. It is not affecting just them but others as well when looking at the overall percentile.” According to Tom Ewing, spokesperson for the Educational Testing Service, there were approximately 2.2 million test takers in 2011. Out of that total, there have been 225,000 security cases, and 700 scores were canceled due to dishonesty. “It is not uncommon for high schools to contact us regarding suspicious scores,” Tom Ewing said. “We look for an inconsistency between low GPAs and high test scores and a significant increase in score.” And to Ewing, there was no confidence that the scores of the twelve students were honest. As for punishment, the ETS can only regulate the scores. That being said, it was up to the district attorney and law enforcement to determine if criminal charges were necessary.

Critical Reading 80+ %

Math 77+%

Writing 92+%

-Drawing by Ally Ungashick (Photo from Sam Eshaghoff)

Currently, Eshagoff is completing community service in exchange for his fraudulence. Unfortunately, the other twelve ‘beneficiaries’ were excused without any criminal punishments. However, their ‘97th percentile and above’ tests were erased from their college transcript. Allison Stuart, a reporter from 60 Minutes, said that Eshaghoff ’s motives for impersonating students was to ‘save their lives’. For some of these students, their college acceptance relied upon high test scores in order to balance their low GPAs. It seems so impractical to feel that this action was ethically correct. But, it also takes two to form a business. Neither side was fulfilling honesty, therefore both Eshaghoff and the twelve students should be punished for their fraudulent actions. Both Ewing and I had a similar inquiry regarding how twelve high school students obtained several thousand dollars that they were willing to give away. “I am speculating that maybe the parents could have been involved, but it remains still a mystery,” Ewing said. I feel that in our society, we have built a competitive foundation that leads to injustice. I can not imagine going to the extent of spending several thousand dollars for impersonation just to get the recognition of mastering a standardized test. Ewing said, “It is a combination of parents who instill the theory to their children that they ‘have to succeed’ and the media who constantly talks about limited spaces in higher education.” It’s pressure, no doubt. And to Ewing, SAT impersonation is one small fraction of a larger issue of cheating which includes: lying on transcripts, plagiarizing essays, copying tests, and much more. Senior Caroline Shay said that it’s better to be honest because your score should reflect your academic ability. “If you get into a school that is above your level, it might be a struggle to get the grades you want,” she said. We need to rethink our positions in this society, whether it’s excepting a lower score or working National hard for a higher one. There is no room for injustice Sion or other unethical behavior. So the next time you question the clock, think of honesty. And better yet, show those ‘25 minutes’ that you are the boss.

-Information from and Sion Profile



A New Chapter in Sion’s History

At 100 Year Mass New Head of School is Announced BY SHANNON LAIRD Reporter

Rewinding 100 years in honor of Sion’s 100th Birthday February 14th 1912

Arizona becomes the 48th state.

March 12th 1912

Girl Scouts was founded by Juliette Gordon Low.

February 8th 1912

The first eastbound U.S. transcontinental flight lands in Jacksonville, Fla.

March 23rd 1912

The Dixie cup is invented.

March 1st 1912

Albert Berry makes the first parachute jump from an airplane.

It’s official. Christina Broderick is our new Head-of-School. The announcement came, as is fitting, on Friday, January 20 at the beginning of our combined campus’ 100th anniversary celebration. Broderick is thrilled for the opportunity to become a part of the close-knit Sion community. “I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I now have lived in New York City and Dallas as well, so I have had my share of the ‘big city’. I love to visit all of those places, but I think calling Kansas City “home” will be a pleasure,” Broderick said. “I was so thrilled to see the cool architecture of the Plaza area and the older neighborhoods along Wornall Road.” According to current Head of School Alice Munninghoff, Broderick truly meets all the expectations of the search committee. Her credentials had to meet the accreditation standards and the candidate needed a Masters along with teaching and administrative experience. “The search committee had one goal,” Munninghoff said. “They wanted to find the most qualified candidate who fit easily into the school environment.” And a consensus has been reached. Broderick is the woman for the job. She has great aspirations for Sion, but for now she will settle for getting to know the community. “I think in the first year, my ‘first big project’ will be to learn names! My hope for Sion is for us to get to know each other,” Broderick said. “I think it is really wonderful that I am coming to Sion during the 100th anniversary celebration. I think it is really important to honor the faculty, students, and

alums who have already created a great legacy, and continue that well into the 21st century.” Broderick said she was drawn to Sion from her experiences at an all girls’ Catholic high school and an independent school from grades PreK-8. When she found out Sion was all that rolled up into one, she couldn’t wait for the opportunity. She also has experience of her own in the all-girls’ setting. “I went to a co-ed Catholic high school and an all-women Catholic college,” Broderick said. “My husband went to catholic elementary school and an all-boys Jesuit high school.” Broderick received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in Women’s Studies from Mount St. Mary’s College, California. She has a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. She has taught in both all girls’ and co-ed settings from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. She is currently dean of students at the Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas. Currently living in Allen, Texas, she is looking forward to living in Kansas City. Munninghoff also said the search committee looked for someone who creates a great relationship with both the teachers and faculty and the students. Broderick is certainly excited about that. She said she wants to know our own vision for the school and wants to get everyone involved. “My question back to you and the students of both campuses would be what does your wish list look like?” Broderick said. “Of course, I would really like to get started on a new fine arts center too, but I know that pacing myself and the community will really be important.”

New Semester Brings New Faces

Transfer and Exchange Students Are New Additions to the Student Body BY LAURA TRAVIS Reporter

This semester, the Sion community welcomed four exchange students from Australia. Mollie McNarma, Georgia Thomas, Caroline Bermingham, and Claire Anderson. Along with the exchange students, five transfer students joined Sion. Junior, Melanie Martin, sophomores, Molly Donahue, Sydney Popp, and Claire Shafran, and freshman Ali Gregory. Each of the exchange students from Australia stayed with four juniors, This summer, those juniors will travel to Australia, attend the Our Lady of Sion College in Australia, and stay with the girls that they hosted. In addition to the girls from Australia, exchange students from Chile and Germany will also be coming later in the semester. “We have a tendency to think of people from other countries as different, but when we get to know each other, we learn people are people. The



only way to see aspects of American culture is to be in another culture,” coordinator of the Australian Exchange Program and Academic Dean Kay Walkup said. Walkup said she believes the Australian girls are fitting right in. Some of their favorite things include meeting new people, taking new classes, the unique twist everyone puts on their uniform, the casual environment of the school, and the amount of school spirit the students and teachers have. “Everyone has a lot of pride for their school,” Thomas said. Along with the success of the exchange program, Sion gained five new transfer students. They all came from diocesan or private schools in the Kansas City area. And according to Admissions Director Sharon Radovich, the girls are doing great. Director of Enrollment Management Emily Taylor said that they try to make the admissions process as easy for girls and their families as possible, but prospective students must be academically

prepared and have three years of academic records. Each candidate is thoroughly reviewed as well before being admitted. “They put their uniform on and just look like a Sion girl,” Radovich said.

The transfer students all came from local, private schools. From left to right: Martin, Popp, Gregory, Shafran, and Donahue. (Photo by Laura Travis)

New Elective Variety

Four New Options Offered Next Year

only new religion class being offered next year. There will be a combination Reporter of two classes: Prayer and Worship Some students like analyzing and and World Religions for upperclassstudying the history of the Bible, oth- men to take. ers love looking under the skin and In addition, Fashion, Fibers and observing bones and diseases. Then Funk is a completely new course bethere are the girls who express them- ing offered to freshmen. However, if selves through fashion and design. it doesn’t fill up immediately, it may Next year, Sion will be offering be offered to upperclassmen. This new a class to suit the likings of all these class will be taught by Penny Selle, Fine types of students. Arts Department “We will look at books Chair. There will be four new courses “We will look at with fashion illustraoffered: Biblical books with fashtors, then illustrate Traditions II, ion illustrators, Prayer and then illustrate our our own designs.” Worship in own designs. We -Penny Selle World Religions, will design fashPathophysiology, and Fashion Fibers ion accessories. Then we will create and Funk. fiber pieces using surface design, yarn, Junior year, students take the knitting, knotting and weaving.” Selle course Biblical Traditions. In this said. class, students study the bible; how- Due to much request, there will ever, they only find time to cover the be Pathophysiology created by science Old Testament. teacher Marilyn Stewart, specifically “Every year I’ve tried to make it to offered only for upperclassmen with the New Testament, and I never can an Anatomy credit. This class invesdo it.” Kramschuster said. tigates various diseases in the body’s Thus, he created the course organ systems. Biblical Traditions II, which explores As the curriculum expands, so the New Testament. does the chance for students to look Biblical Traditions II is not the deeper into their personal interests.


Seniors Anna Cheek and Betsy King plan the blood drive at an NHS meeting. (Photo by Sarah Holland)

You’re Somebody’s Type

Annual Blood Drive Held This Month BY SARAH HOLLAND Reporter

There is +O, -O, +A, -A. +B, -B, +AB, -AB. What is your type? This February, find your blood type and save a life by donating. It is estimated by the Community Blood Center that someone needs blood every two seconds and the United States uses 38,000 pints of blood each year. On February 16, beginning at 8 a.m., the annual blood drive held in the gym is led by the National Honor Society. To donate, you must be at least 16 years old. Girls older than 16 do not need parent permission. “The donated blood goes to nearly 70 hospitals in over 70 counties in Missouri and Kansas,” Pam Thorp, coordinator of all the blood drives in the Kansas City area, said. Pam organizes the event and is a main connection for NHS to the blood center. “She basically gets us all of the materials we need for the blood drive and is our connection for everything at community blood center,” senior Betsy King, blood drive committee co-head, said. Safety and quality of the blood is important. To ensure the safety of the blood, the donor’s health history is checked, in addition to receiving mini-physicals. “For girls donating, good nutrition the week before, lots of water, and a good breakfast the morning of are all important,” senior Anna Cheek, blood drive committee co-head, said. This year consider donating and think of the 4.5 million saved each year due to donations.

Donation Process Registration Read information sheet about donating blood.

MINI EXAM Provide health info. Mini exam to determine if you are able to donate. Give blood drop to determine hemoglobin level.

HyDration Station Drink water or other beverage prior to your donation.

Donation Once needle is in place, it usually takes less than 10 minutes to draw a unit of blood

Revitalization Relax for a few minutes to have a snack and a drink.

After Donation Avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for a few hours. -From the Community Blood Center

“And With Your Spirit”

Modified Mass Gets Mixed Reviews BY MAURA EVELD Reporter

English-speaking countries began using a modified version of the Mass texts during Advent last year, a change that satisfies some churchgoers but confuses and frustrates many others. The purpose of this version is to provide a more accurate translation of the Latin “Roman Missal,” so it therefore includes more elevated vocabulary and a more formal tone, campus minister and religion teacher Stephanie Pino-Dressman said. In 2002 the third edition of the “Roman Missal” was published in Latin, according to Fr. Paul Turner’s “Understanding the Revised Mass Texts.” Then many organizations helped create the new English translation. The changes affect both the priest’s words and the community’s responses. The most repeated change is the response “And with your spirit,” which appears four times in the Mass, and replaces the response “And also

with you.” According to Turner, “And with your spirit” is a better translation of the Latin “Et cum spirituo tuo” and more closely matches the phrase in other major languages. Pino-Dressman said she has heard more complaints than praise regarding the new Mass responses. Some don’t believe such change is necessary, and others are worried that the Mass will revert to purely Latin, she said. “If a formal tone and faithfulness to a Latin translation will help us to ‘act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God,’ then so be it,” PinoDressman said. Fr. Jerry Waris, retired diocesan priest who presides at Sion’s Masses, has his own concerns, as he prefers the previous texts. He said he used to know the Eucharistic prayers by heart, and it is frustrating for him to have to read the “Roman Missal” again. “The most important thing is that we gather for church and for prayer,” he said. “And we’re still doing that.”



Dancing Through the Windy City

Dance Team Finishes First and Third at Regional Competition in Chicago BY MAURA EVELD Features Editor

It’s two down, two to go for the dance team girls this season, who so far have proved to be a serious threat to other dance teams in the Midwest. The dance team competes in four competitions each year. In December, dance team members placed first for both their pom and kick routines at the Kansas City Classic hosted by Liberty High School. And the team will travel to Orlando, Fla. and compete against more than 200 teams in the National Dance Team Championship. But on Jan. 20 the Storm ventured into new territory: Chicago. First in pom and third in kick. Not bad for their first time at the Universal Dance Association Chicagoland Competition in Chicago. “We tried to apply everything we’ve been working on,” co-captain Caitlin Weishar said. “Our hard work showed.” The dance team members left on a Friday afternoon, arrived at 2:30 a.m. and competed all day Saturday. They placed third in pom behind the two teams that won first and fourth place at the National Championship last year. “It was a little overwhelming and tiring but also very exciting to be somewhere new and get to compete,” freshman Maddy Lewing said.

Meet the Basketball Team’s

M V P s

A Look At The Top-Scoring Girls That Have Helped Carry the Team to Victory



Both Weishar and Lewing said that the judges gave helpful feedback. “We have the big picture,” Weishar said. “We just need to work on the smaller things.” The team will use this feedback to prepare for two competitions in February: the National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, Fla. and the Missouri Dance Team Association State Competition at Lee’s Summit West High School. But competitions aren’t their only appearances. The dance team girls perform at almost every varsity volleyball and basketball home game. While the dance team uses only pom and kick routines for competitions, the home games are a chance to display a full range of dances with a mix of different styles, coach Shelli Vaughan said. Vaughan said so far the dance team has succeeded in keeping the goals they set at the start of the year - maintaining team unity, working to be on the same page and performing as a “synchronized unit.” “Everybody is very willing to do their part and work to get better,” Vaughan said. “Reflection has been a really good thing for them. With two major competitions to go, the team is still working hard, Vaughan said. “We try to continue to improve throughout the year and not come to a standstill,” she said. “We want to push and push and always get better.”

# 11 Name: Jodie Rellihan, Junior

Avg.Points Scored/Game: 6.8 Avg.Rebounds/ Game: 3.3 Why I Play: “The feeling you get when your team comes together and dominates the court is one you can’t get anywhere else.”


Name: Grace Keane, Junior Avg. Points Scored/ Game: 13.3 Avg.Rebounds/ Game: 3.1 Why I Play: “I love every minute I get to play it. My life wouldn’t be the same without it.”

ne i t u o R m Po Score Sheet

25 Choreography 25 Technique 30 Group Execution 20 Overall Effect Total Points 100 Possible points


Sion’s Winning Score


Name: Kristen Murphy, Sophomore Avg.Points Scored/Game: 14 Avg.Rebounds/ Game: 11.3 Why I Play: “I love everything about it, it’s such a competitive sport and I have a blast whenever I play.”

#52 Name: Sydney Harris, Junior

Avg.Points Scored/Game: 8 Avg.Rebounds/ Game: 6.8 Why I Play: “There’s no feeling like being on a team.”

Uncertain Future for the Chiefs

Romeo Crennel Replaces Todd Haley as Chiefs’ Head Coach

Storm Spotlight:


me to do the job, then I’ll do the job. If not, then we’ll go through that process and name someone Introducing the newly hired head coach of the else.” Kansas City Chiefs: Romeo Crennel. On January Some are apprehensive of Romeo Crennel step9, Romeo was moved from interim head coach to ping up to the plate as head coach of the Chiefs for the official replacement. After winning 2-1 for the next season. Especially after the Kansas City Star last three games of ran an article the Chiefs season, shedding a Crennel was readnegative light ily given the job, acon Crennel’s cording to a Jan. 9 new position. press conference. “My son who “In 30 years in lives in San the National Football Diego and went League, Romeo has to Pitt said two been a Super Bowl things were rechampion five times. ally depressing And throughout his with sports this long and distinguished year. First, Pitt’s career, he has establoss and the lished himself as one Chiefs hiring of the most respected Romeo Crennel men in the game of as the head pro football,” Clark coach,” Joan Hunt, chairman and Knotts, math CEO of the Chiefs, teacher, said. Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel shakes hands with Green Bay said. “After a thor“He’s not well Packers head coach Mike McCarthy after the Chiefs defeated the Packers, 19ough interview pro- 14, during Sunday’s football game at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec, 18, 2011 in known outcess that spanned the Kansas City, MO. (Photo from MCT Campus) side of Kansas better part of four City where he weeks, it was clear to Scott Pioli and I that Romeo did some great radio interviews. He doesn’t have a was the best person to continue to develop our very good track record. And the history of coordiyoung football team, and the best head coach to nators moving up to head coach isn’t very good, but lead the Chiefs into the future.” he sounded great because he had great interviews.” Crennel was previously the defensive coordina- Although there is apprehension others seem optor for the Chiefs for two seasons before being pro- timistic about the next season in comparison with moted to interim and eventually the head coach. their last one. From 2005 to 2008, Crennel had been the head “I’m hoping Crennel helps the team. After this coach for the Cleveland Browns. Crennel has an ex- horrible season with Todd Haley, I’m looking fortensive background in coaching the defensive line ward to a better and more exciting season next year,” for various NFL teams, according to www.kcchiefs. Sarah Whittaker, senior, said. com, and he may continue as head coach and defen- Crennel has lots of hopes and dreams to live up sive coordinator. to in the upcoming Chiefs season. “That’s part of that process that we’re going to go “During our interview I asked him [Crennel] a through. We’re going to look at everything and talk question, something along the lines of ‘Romeo, why through everything and try to figure out what’s best do you want to be the head coach of the Kansas City for the Chiefs to do,” Romeo Crennel said in the Jan. Chiefs?’ And he said because I want to win a Super 9 press conference. “If we determine that it’s best for Bowl as the head coach,” Hunt said.

Managing Editor

(Photo by Elizabeth Gianino)

Senior Mary Tutera Q: What’s your favorite memory on the team?

A: “State is always so fun. It’s great to be there as a team and cheer all together. It’s very exciting and suspenseful.”

Q: What is

A: “I love reverses. I

your favorite dive?

know they are really scary for a lot of people but they are my best and favorite.”

Q: What is

A: “I want to go top

your goal for this season?

five at State. That’s a big goal but other than that I just want to have fun with my team and enjoy my last year with the girls!”

Q: When

A: “I started diving when I was eight and I only started because it was part of my country club. I ended up loving it and I have been diving ever since.”

l Born in Lynchburg, Virginia l Attended University of Western Kentucky l Has three children and eight grandchildren l Been to the Superbowl five times l Head Coach for the Cleveland Browns from 2005-2008 Romeo Crennel Head Coach/ Defensive Coordinator

l Chiefs Defensive Coordinator for two seasons (Photo from MCT Campus)

did you start diving?

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The Rise of Marijuana: Availability is High, Disapproval is Low. Layout and Story By Audrey Saracini and Lucy Gasal

Teenagers are turning to marijuana more and

more and ignoring the effects that it has on the body. The increase has caused several schools throughout Kansas City to take a strong stance and work to help prevent the rising issue of marijuana.


c窶覚ver story

Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction; that is, compulsive drug seeking despite the known harmful effects upon functioning in the context of family, school, work, and recreational activities according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


anuary 27 5:07 p.m.: “Where are you?” 5:09 p.m.: “Home.” 5:13 p.m.: “Be there in 15?” 5:16 p.m.: “Sure. She tells her parents she needs some money for dinner and jumps in her car for the fifteen minute drive to her dealer’s house. A simple text conversation is all she needs to complete an illegal transaction. 5:31 p.m.: “Here. Can I get a gram?” 5:33 p.m.: “Be right out. $20.” She exchanges the money and asks about her dealer’s plans for the night. They might even see each other at the same party. She drives away. She picks up a friend and they drive to a comfortable side street that is low on traffic and has high fences surrounding the parking spot. They load their pipe and crank up the music. Time to get high. They reaffirm the statistic that 82 percent of 12th graders find marijuana easily obtainable. They abuse a drug that is responsible for over 50 percent of illicit drug use in adolescents and adults

twelve and older. Research from a 2011 National Institute on Drug Abuse study revealed the factors causing the rise of use among youth in recent years. But it’s basic. Availability is high and disapproval is low.

Education Glorified through pop culture, marijuana has become a rising issue for high schools throughout Kansas City. Popularity of the illegal substance in question has shifted away from alcohol to drugs. In 2010, 21.4 percent of high school seniors had used marijuana in the past 30 days, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. With marijuana on the rise, area high schools like Rockhurst and Shawnee Mission East are enforcing disciplinary action. We have reached a period in high school where minor in possession charges no longer just apply to alcohol. “I would say that use of alcohol and drugs are about the same,” Shawnee Mission East Principal Dr. Karl Krawitz said. “Maybe leaning a bit more toward marijuana. This is somewhat unique

because it appears it is easier to get marijuana these days over getting or purchasing alcohol.” Krawitz handles this unique issue by openly talking about alcohol and drug use and holding at least one assembly and parent program a year. Spreading awareness is not the only tool they use to deter drug use. Harsh punishments linger as consequence for drug use inside or outside of school. “If a student is caught in possession of marijuana they will be arrested and charged with possession,” Krawitz said. “On the first offense the student is suspended out-of-school for five days and they have to sign an Alcohol and Drug Agreement which basically makes them aware of the circumstances they are in and allows them to reduce their suspension time if they go get a drug/ alcohol assessment.” These consequences vary for each school with a certain amount of trust between the students and faculty. Rockhurst High School Principal Greg Harkness said they outline their expectations of the stuContinued on page 12

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2.5% Stimulants 3.0% Hallucinogens Tranquilizers

1.9% Sedatives 0.2% Cocaine and Heroin






Pain Relievers


According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse Continued from page 11

-dents and have guidance conversations as well as periodic meetings with students and administration. The administration stresses that illegal drug and alcohol use should not be considered a normal part of life for teenagers. “I think we have created a rite of passage attitude toward alcohol in our culture which is very damaging for our young people,” Harkness said. “Just because you are a teen does not make it okay to binge drink or get high.” According to Principal Michelle Olson, if a student is suspected of using marijuana, the school will intervene, parents will be contacted and a blood and urine test will be done. If it comes back positive they will have to go through an evaluation which will lead to an education program and possibly treatment in order to remain at Sion. “From time to time we have suspected students of using it,” Olson said. “Recreational use is on the increase and the new marijuana is so much more dangerous and can be laced with different things, like PCP.” Sion has started randomly breathalyzing students at all school dances. However, other schools are beginning to use tests that can tell if a student has been using marijuana. “Random breathalyzing at dances has been a huge positive for everyone. As for pot, some companies are offering wands and sensors that can detect pot use on breath,” Olson said, “or a florescent type light that can tell if they have residue on their hands.”

“We’re not after them to get them in trouble, the intent is to get them help and to make healthy decisions,” Olson said. On one hand, it seems unlikely that weed could become a drug of choice with all the legal ramifications and school punishment put in place to stop the marijuana smoking. But on the other hand, how could it not when a drug free school-environment has been juxtaposed with Hollywood. That 70s Show, Weeds, and Pineapple Express. These popular Hollywood productions all share one common denominator: the selling, the buying, and the smoking of marijuana. “The media portrays people who are addicted to drugs as sophisticated and cool. It does not show the negative effects of it,” Biology teacher Susan Norberg said. Students can’t ignore the increasing availability of marijuana when entire movies and television shows are based on it. The music industry has also profited through the glorification of smoking weed. It is not uncommon for a rap song to open to the crackling of a burning joint or for stars like Wiz Khalifa to tweet pictures of themselves taking hits from paraphernalia. Songs about smoking weed have even reached the top ten list on iTunes this past year. “So what we get drunk. So what we smoke weed. We’re just having fun. We don’t care who sees. So what we go out, that’s how its supposed to be. Living young and wild and free,” Wiz Khalifa said in his mainstream hit “Young, Wild and Free.” This popular 2011 song reached number six on iTunes top one-hundred chart. Snoop Dogg, a featured artist on the song, was even arrested in January of this year for marijuana possession in Texas. He was arrested for less than a half-ounce of weed that he obtained through his medical marijuana license issued by the state of California. It was the rap mogul’s sev-

“No one item or person can justify the use of a hazardous drug that ultimately causes more cons than pros.” -senior Bailey Gibson


With marijuana becoming more of a problem and with schools such as Rockhurst, Shawnee Mission East and Sion taking more precautions, it may seem like they’re out to get students.


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enth drug-related arrest. “I think that the media makes people more aware of weed,” junior Mary-Kate Kelly said. “I don’t think it influences people to smoke but it might plant the idea in their head.” That might be the reason why there has been an increase in marijuana use among teens. It has become mainstream. Celebrities, ranging from Olympic athlete Michael Phelps and Disney star Miley Cyrus, have been caught using drugs, and music featuring marijuana use blares from our speakers. “I think kids use it because society makes kids feel like they need to be so advanced so it causes stress and all that stress comes out when kids party. They think the craziest way to have fun is to smoke weed,” junior Jillian Nelson said. Even though Hollywood has featured marijuana in every venue, some still think that the media does not affect usage. “No one item or person can justify the use of a hazardous drug that ultimately causes more cons than pros,” senior Bailey Gibson said. Freshman Sophie Fisher said that Hollywood makes you think drugs are cool and that everyone does it. But she agreed that it doesn’t justify anyone using it. Teens make their own choice. Peer pressure can also cause teenagers to feel the need to smoke marijuana. “I think there is more influence from peer pressure than the media. Friends have more power,” Counselor Karen Phillips said.

Organizations Organizations like Drug Alcohol Resistance Education works to help bring awareness to teens about the harsh realities of marijuana. Even though they taught us as middleschoolers, the information they provided is still

Marijuana smokers have many of the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers, such as more frequent chest illness, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. (Photo by Lucy Gasal)

valid and applies to high school students. The D.A.R.E. program’s primary mission is to provide children with the information and skills they need to live drug-and-violence-free lives. “We use visuals, videos, personal experiences and hard facts to try to educate them more,” D.A.R.E. Officer Dawn Lenley said. According to a D.A.R.E. monitoring the future research study 82 percent of twelfth graders in 2011 found marijuana fairly easy or very easy to obtain. This number, combined with a lack of medical concern, contributes to rising marijuana use. “Most teenagers probably obtain it through contacts or parties depending on the groups they run with,” D.A.R.E. Officer Matthew Stubbs said. Getting marijuana can come from several sources and dealers vary for each user. “They get it from friends, parents who use it and older brothers and sisters,” Lenley said. For students who went through the program in grade school, it is hard to forget the jars of tar that represented the amount of buildup in a smoker’s lungs or D.A.R.E. officers’ arrest anecdotes. Still pot is smoked. “I think teenagers smoke weed to get a rush,” sophomore Katie Fairbanks said. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. Marijuana users usually inhale more and

hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, which increases the lungs’ exposure to carcinogenic smoke. And marijuana also effects the heart and brain. Marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug. Marijuana intoxication can also cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. “Marijuana impairs short term memory which then impairs long term memory. Smoking it hurts the lungs just as much as smoking cigarettes does,” Norberg said. “It does reduce pain but there are more consequences then taking pain relievers.” With each dealer or source there is a web of users connected to them. D.A.R.E. teaches us in our most formative years to avoid the trouble that drugs might bring. January 27 11:48 p.m.: “Why didn’t I see you at the party tonight?” 1:50 p.m.: “My mom was driving my car and smelt my bud.” 11:53 p.m.: “Did she find it?” 11:54 p.m.: “Ya, I won’t be going out anytime soon.” 11:57 p.m.: “Sorry. Don’t tell her it was from me...” For now marijuana is on the rise and its use is being debated nationwide. Whether prescribed or home-grown, marijuana is illegal in Missouri but can be found just a text message away.

Top Grossing Ganja Movies

1. 2. 3.

“I think kids use it because society makes kids feel like they need to be so advanced. So it causes stress and all that stress comes out when kids party. They think the craziest way to have fun is to smoke weed.”-junior Jillian Nelson

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with a mixture of marijuana and tobacco. (Photo by Lucy Gasal)

Knocked Up $148,768,917

4. 5. 6. 7.



Superbad $121,463,226 Due Date $100,539,043 Step Brothers $100,468,793 40-Year-Old Virgin $109,449,237 Pineapple Express $87,341,380 I Love You Man $71,440,011 The Breakfast Club $45,875,171 Fast Times At Ridgemont High $27,092,880


Our Idiot Brother $24,816,118

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tea 420


tea c over story


What’s Happening in

Kansas City? Harlem Globetrotters at Sprint Center 2/4 Missouri Mavericks vs Rapid City Rush at Independence Events Center 2/7 Premiere of The Vow and Safe House 2/10

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Kansas City Repertory Theater 2/10 Valentine’s Day Burritos Sold During Lunch 2/14 Winter Jam Tour Spectacular at Sprint Center 2/17

Michael Jackson “The Immortal” World Tour at Sprint Center 2/21- 2/22 Freedom Sisters: Stamping, Shouting, Singing Home at Coterie Theater 2/22-2/26


Now Playing: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

A More Personal and Emotional View of September 11, 2001

Sitting in the familiar maroon seat my thoughts travel back to the summer before sophomore year. English II Honors students were BY TAYLOR ESCHER required Managing Editor to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer over the summer. Seeing the towers collapse again up close on the big screen brought me back to that terrible day when my mom was out of the country and should have been on her way back the following day. If you haven’t read the book, Oskar Schell, played by Thomas Horn, is affected by the events of 9/11. His dad, played by Tom Hanks, dies in the towers and Oskar breaks down after losing his best friend. Then Oskar finds a key that he thinks will lead him to news about his father and sets off to discover what it unlocks. Along the

way he meets some interesting people tions hit me as I travel through Oskar’s and grows closer to his mother, played world and get closer to the renter. My by Sandra Bullock, and himself. favorite scenes are when Oskar crosses This was Horn’s first movie and he the bridge, when he rides the subway, mastered the somewhat odd but sweet and when he gets back on the swing. demeanor of Oskar. He developed the Oskar isn’t afraid anymore. perfect character and took moviegoers Oskar has learned more about himon an emotional roller coaster. Hanks self and endured some of the hardest and Bullock also played their roles moments in life. This movie teaches us well. Hanks played the best dad with how to push through the tough times his adventuresome spirit and quirky and face our fears. personality. While Bullock pulled off the broken down wife and protective mother role with ease. Even the renter who lives with Oskar’s grandmother fulfills his role of a broken down man who yearns to make things right. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close puts the audience up close to the heartbreak Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) rides piggy back with his dad (Tom that the victims of Hanks). Oskar and his dad share a close bond and play off 9/11 felt. The emo- their goofy personalities. (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Tumbling, Stumbling and Pinning

Newest Sites Make Finding Tips and Interests Easy and Fun BY ALI SWEE Editor-in-Chief

Start with colorful, freshly cut fruit. Drop in a popsicle tray. Finish by pouring Capri Sun. Freeze to perfection for a delicious summer treat. 10 sit-ups. 10 v-sits. 10 crunches. 10 bicycle crunches. 20 reverse crunches. 1 minute plank hold. Only six simple steps to “killer abs.” From delectable recipes to workout tips, has it all. The website, which USA Today calls a visual bulletin board for the web has hit up web-browsers for nearly two years now, but has just recently gained major popularity. Senior Meg Nulton loves the accessibility and consolidation of Pinterest. “I love it. I can keep all of my favorite things in one place,” Nulton

said. Currently to access Pinterest, users must be “invited” by a friend or request an invite from the website, itself. However, once one receives that coveted invite link, there is no turning back. For some girls, Pinterest has risen in the ranks of social networking, rivaling even Facebook and Twitter. “If I’m not on Twitter, I’m on Pinterest,” sophomore Mackenzie Hayes said. While some have taken to ‘pinning their interests,’ others chose to ‘reblog’ their inspirations and aspirations., founded in 2007, allows users to post quotes, pictures, videos and anything that’s practically HTML code-able to their “tumblelog.” The loyalty to the website seems to run deep in the Tumblr community. Take senior Claire Martin, for


example, who sees Tumblr as a huge networking family. “If you like any sort of book series or TV show or movie, there’s a ton of people out there who share your interest and they post really insightful or funny things about it,” Martin said. Most Tumblr users feel similar to senior Amanda Brown, who describes her Tumblr addiction as simply not healthy. Some claim the internet has brought a loss of tradition, values and individuality. But as users of websites like Pinterest and Tumblr know, the internet has only encouraged these ideals of self-expression, as Martin calls it. Regardless of where your social networking loyalties lie, users can all agree with senior Kaitlin Heaphy. “It’s a really cool way to more or less waste time.”


(Logos from Wikimedia Commons)

MyLifeIs Awkward... Awkward Phrase of the Day: Snowy Days

“Two years ago, I was helping out for the play. On the night of the dress rehearsal, (we had been inside from 4 to about 11) a blizzard basically hit KC while we were inside. At one point, I ran outside to my car, and instantly discovered the snow when I slid across the parking lot, and landed on my butt. Consequently, I completely soaked my pants front of the whole cast...Luckily, I had sweats in my car, but not before I became the joke of the cast.” -Kaitlin Heaphy, senior “My friend and I were having a great time sledding until her sled got away from her and I yelled ‘JUMP ON IT’. So she did, face first, and ran into a random horseshoe stake in the ground and knocked out her bottom teeth. I thought I killed her. So much blood, so much blood.”-Megan Heydon, senior “One year I went sledding with my dad and called some girl a fun-nazi because she wouldn’t let us sled down the hill where her business office was. Then we went sledding down Avila’s hill and I slid right into the sewer and landed in tons of college toilet belongings.” -Ellie Ismert, senior “My boyfriend dropped me off at home and as I was saying goodbye I shut the car door and wiped out on the ice beneath me, ripping my jeans and cutting my knee. I popped up from under the car and told him not to worry about it, and I ran inside.” - Mary Kate Hense, sophomore

End of the World or Beginning of an Age?

New Year Brings Widespread Skepticism of Long-Discussed Mayan Legend BY SHANNON LAIRD Reporter

As we all know, the end of the world is coming. December 21, 2012 is approaching rapidly. If that’s the case then we should all start checking off those bucket lists and live life for all it’s worth. Right? Wrong. As it turns out, the end of the world is not as near as it seems. According to Spanish teacher Maggie Adler, the Mayan Calendar is not at an end. “The calendar is just at the end of one cycle,” Adler said. “It’s a new era. As soon as one ends another immediately begins.” So how does the Mayan Calendar work exactly? The calendar consists of two completely separate wheels that interlock. One wheel holds the ceremonial calendar: it told the dates of rituals, new years and the gods. The other wheel holds the social calendar: daily life, how individual tasks should be taken care of. The ceremonial calendar lasted 13 months with 20 days in each month, while the social calendar lasted 18 months with 20 days in each month. All together, the two calendars created a 52 year cycle. This cycle just happens to restart on December 21 of this year. “The Mayans did not even hold apocalyptic ideas,” history teacher Beth Ingram said. “The end of the world was originally a Spanish idea that they brought to the Americas. It was a Western concept.” So what makes people so worked up about the

whole end of the world possibility? According to USA Today journalist G. Jeffery MacDonald, part of the 2012 mystique stems from the stars. On the winter solstice in 2012, the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26,000 years. Whatever energy typically streams to Earth from the center of the Milky Way will indeed be disrupted on 12/21/12 at 11:11 p.m. Universal Time," USA Today contributor Lawrence Joseph said. “I think that a lot of people are in a bad place right now,” Adler said. “The economy is bad, people are having financial issues. It’s the fear of the unknown that scares people.” Although people have many opinions about the end of the world craze, they will just have to wait and see.

What Students Say...

“I wouldn’t be too surprised if it did. All the war and disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and storms have caused a lot of destruction.” Mekam Anya, Freshman “I think we shouldn’t live our lives based on a calendar but treat everyone with kindness so that if the world does end, we would have been good people.” Besty Barnthouse, Sophomore “No. The Mayan Calendar just ends on that date. It is just like our calendar that ends on December 31. We just throw it out and get a new one for the next year.” Anna Cheek, Senior “No. It’s not realistic at all. It only gives people something to talk about.” Lauren O’Bannon, Junior

The Mayan Calendar shows the 52 year cycle of rituals, ceremonies and daily life. (Photo by Shannon Laird)






Keep it classy, ladies.


Follow 114 TWEETS “Singing gibberish to the school 258 FOLLOWING song and then screaming “vive 248 FOLLOWERS sion! chantons en choeur!” like

Follow 5 TWEETS “@TotalSionMove get at me. 130 FOLLOWING #imwinning” 72 FOLLOWERS

“When you’re completely serious about participating in ‘No Shave November’. #but really”

“Total Storm move is funny and relatable, total Sion Move is cute and goody-goody” -junior Ally Ungashick “Total Storm move is creative and witty and speaks the truth.”-freshman Kelly Lowndes

you really know the whole thing “Total Storm’s tweets are funny, versus #totalsionmove” and not in a spiteful way” -junior Sarah Marquardt “When I read total Sion Move’s tweets, I can relate my life to almost all of them; their tweets are so “Total Storm move is real and creative, not somefunny, and they’re true.” -senior Jenny Anwander thing you find everyday.” -freshman Aralina Solis

“If I was a Sion girl and had a twitter I’d follow total Sion move because it’s fun and keeps me up to date on what’s totally Sion” -Fran Koehler, Dean of Students

The Darker, The Better Seen in the halls, girls this season are dying their hair darker. Buying Garnier in the box at Target is about $7, but going to a salon for color that will stay is around $46 and up according to Beauty Brands. Thinking about dying your hair for a new look? See what girls think of the change.

“It’s my natural color! I decided since I’m going to college next year that it would be easier to go back. I like mine darker a lot better!”-senior Lauren Tyson

“I wanted to try something new, it’s fun to have a change. I look more like my mom!” -junior Andrea Nash

Junior Andrea Nash shows off her new, darker choice of hair color. (Photo by Delaney Bates)



“Dark hair is great in the winter times. It brings out your eyes no matter what color.” -sophomore Danielle Shelton



#1 a

Blue Ivy

Beyonce and Jay-Z

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Turning Four and Already a Sophomore

Student Shares the Ups and Downs of Having a Leap Year Birthday BY LAURA TRAVIS Reporter When most people turn four, they may have a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese or Build-a-Bear, ask for the latest and coolest toy, and have a birthday cake with their favorite cartoon character on it. But for sophomore Katherine Baker, turning four means going to the DMV to get her license and enjoying the freedom that driving brings. Baker was born on Feb. 29. This date only appears on the calendar every four years as the added day during leap years. Baker was born during a leap year in 1996, and even though she is really turning 16, this will be her fourth official birthday. “I think it is kind of cool, just to mix it up a little every couple years,” Baker said in regard to leap years. Baker said that people tend to have misconceptions about leap year birthdays and that it is different than some people may believe. “People think it is a bigger deal than it is. I still have a birthday every year,” Baker said. On non-leap years, Baker does not have any real problems because she just

celebrates her birthday on the day for someone turning three years old. before. She remembered some people “We usually celebrate on Feb. 28 getting confused at first when they and do anything anyone else would saw the decorations but was very do, just a happy and day earto “It gets confusing at the thankful lier,” Baker her friends. DMV because said. While However, there are there is no Feb. 29.” when Feb. many upsides, 29 comes having a leap -Katherine Baker, around every year birthSophomore four years, it day comes becomes a with a few fun time for Baker. She said that she downsides as well. However, Baker celebrates it like every other year. said that they do not come up too ofBut her friends and family get really ten or really affect her life. excited for her birthday during leap “It doesn’t really matter. It gets years, one of her favorite parts about her special birthday. Besides the excitement, Baker pointed out other advantages to having a birthday that only comes around every four years. “People never forget your birthday,” Baker said. This was true when Baker turned 12 during the last leap year, 2008, her third official birthday. At school, Baker’s friends all decorated her locker with decorations made

By the



confusing at the DMV because there is no Feb. 29,” Baker said. Baker mentioned another downside for people born during a leap year is that they never will have a golden birthday. This is because their 29th birthday would never fall on a leap year since it is an odd number. Baker said that its not that different to have a leap year birthday since you still celebrate and grow older every year. However, she does become excited on years she can celebrate on the actual day she was born. To Baker, having a leap year birthday is not really that hard at all. “I think it is more fun,” Baker said, smiling.


Days in a Leap Year Baker and sophomores Emma Dopheide, and Sydney O’Dear hangout near the freshmen hallway. The three girls are all in the same Spanish class. (Photo by Maura Eveld)

Million People Born on Feb. 29

365 Days, 5 Hours, 48 Minutes, and 46 Seconds The Actual Length of a Normal Year

Romans Invented Leap Years

16th Century

in the

1 1, 461

in Chance of Having a Leap Year Birthday -Information from and it

Sophomore Christine Rieger and Baker take a break during the school day. The girls wore scarfs to take part in Boot and Scarf Day during Catholic Schools Week. (Photo by Maura Eveld)



From left to right, junior Alex Lozano, senior Emily DeCoursey, junior Gigi Conger, and senior Gina Bledsoe (Photos by Jillian Nelson)

A Snapshot of a Young Photographer’s Beginnings BY DELANEY BATES

Arts and Entertainment Editor Since she was young, junior Jillian Nelson dreamed of becoming a photographer. She wanted to take pictures of anyone and anything she could, and she always found beauty in everything she saw. She got her inspiration from photographers and models on America’s Next Top Model, websites like Deviant Art, and anything considered ‘artsy’ by Nelson. Her dream has become a reality. “I think it makes people feel beautiful,” Nelson said. “In our society girls have low self confidence and I want to change that.” Nelson has created a small but growing photography business from something that started out as just an assortment of hobbies. Nelson spent much of her childhood enjoying drawings and anime, which fully blossomed into her love of photography and dreams to change the future. Nelson found herself in a conversation on the way home from a swim meet freshman year that altered the way she thought about photography and evidently evolved into where she is now. “I could do that, I mean, why not?” Nelson said. And so here Fleur de Lens begins with an idea. Starting small, Nelson’s first paid photo shoot featured juniors Ariel and Lauren O’Bannon. The O’Bannons wanted their pictures taken to start to get into the modeling industry. Nelson’s business has continued to expand; now in all having at least nine paid photo shoots. Nelson is constantly creating a portfolio of her

very best work. Early on Nelson asked junior Alex Lozano to model for her because she needed more pictures of females for her portfolio. “I’ve always wanted to do pictures,” Lozano said. It was a win-win situation for the girls. Lozano had her pictures taken while Nelson improved her portfolio. Nelson’s portfolio is a master book of the style of her pictures. She believes that it shows her personality and style, along with showing the uniqueness of the pictures that she takes. “Right now it’s just trying to get my name out there,” Nelson said. “My portfolio and pictures go to the public.” Fleur de Lens has a style that Nelson created. She describes it as dreamy and edgy. The name is French, and it ties into the way she wants girls to see themselves- as beautiful. You can see Nelson’s work at Junior Gigi Conger modeled when she was younger and she was looking to get back into the business. She said that Nelson was the type of photographer she was looking for. “Jillian took pictures of me for $100 for whatever outfit, wherever I wanted to go,” said Conger. “It was reasonable and helped me get started again in modeling.” Nelson continues to take pictures, offering to take senior pictures for just $200, a very thrifty amount compared to other companies. She believes that she is better with the artsy side of it, which gives every picture its own special and unique look.

Nelson understands that money can be tight and takes photographs more for the beauty of it than the money. She wants girls to feel special because they are doing something unique and beautiful enough for someone to want to capture a picture of them forever. If you want to contact Nelson for a photo shoot, you can email her at jill_nelson@rocketmail. com. “I want to give people the confidence of a model or someone famous,” Nelson said. “You can be that person you want to be. You are that person. You are beautiful. You are amazing. You are handsome.” And Fleur de Lens thrives through these motives. The company continues to create more attention with every photo shoot. Her dream of photo shooting for America’s Next Top Model is closer than ever: her name is out there, people know her, and she is beginning a career of photography. “I want to give the viewer an escape from the outside world,” Nelson said, “even if it’s just for a second.”

Focusing on the future, Nelson hopes to one day shoot for America’s Next Top Model. (Photo by Emily DeCoursey)

From left to right, junior Anna Koutelas, junior Alex Lozano, junior Hannah Tutera, and freshman Meghan Kearney (Photos by Jillian Nelson)



A Young Politician

Alexandra Follows In Father’s Footsteps BY EMMA EVELD

part because I get to be the copilot and even fly the plane to our destination,” she said. Imagine being introduced as the Every year, Colyer gets to go to first female President of the United the capitol in Topeka and be a “page” States. Imagine walking up to the for her father. This entails runsteps of the White House knowing ning errands for her dad around the that you are going to live in it. Imagine capitol. being the most important person in “The interesting part about bethe United States of America. For ing a page is all the cool places and junior Alexandra Colyer, a moment things you get to see. One of my best like this has definitely been played out memories as a page was playing hide and seek with two of my friends, my through her head. Colyer loves politics - and she dad, and a few senators throughout owes a lot of this love to her dad, the capitol,” Colyer said. Jeff Colyer, currently the Lieutenant Since Colyer has campaigned Governor of Kansas. She equates her for her dad for years, many would father’s job to the Vice President of wonder if she was expected to have the state. He was previously a white the same political views as her father. house fellow under the Bush and Her parents support her making her Reagan Administrations and dealt own decisions and try not to influwith international affairs. He also ence her views. But Colyer, in the was elected into the Kansas House end, is a conservative Republican, of Representatives and served as a just like her dad. Colyer explained that something Senator. Colyer said being the daughter she hears a lot is that she is too young to be involved of a poliYou’re never too young to in politics. tician has But has she a only a few be involved in politics; just response for downsides. being aware of topics and that. For example, “Even many of her issues faced in America can though I summer days might be too make a huge difference.” have been spent cam- ~Alexandra Colyer, junior young to vote, participatpaigning, by ing in politics allows me to voice my going door to door and putting up opinions and help make decisions flyers all day. Also, Colyer really has about my generation’s future. You’re to watch her behavior, because if she never too young to be involved in does anything remotely bad, it could politics, ” Colyer said. “Just being affect her father and his position. But the benefits of being the aware of topics and issues faced in daughter of a politician are much America can make a huge difference.”

News/Editorial Editor

more numerous. Colyer has been to President Clinton, Bush and Obama speeches. Over Christmas break, Colyer and the Teenage Republican Club traveled to Iowa to help campaign for Texas Governor Rick Perry in the Iowa Caucus. This was “extremely exciting” to her because she got to meet and get a photo with Perry, and even witness a real Caucus. Meeting and listening to famous politicians isn’t the only upside, though. Colyer occasionally gets to go on trips with her dad. The Lieutenant Governor travels all over the state frequently. “On trips such as these, we drive to the little airport in Overland Park and get into a small four-seat plane. The plane ride is probably the best

Colyer campaigns for Rick Perry with the Teenage Republican Club at the Iowa Caucus. (Photo from Alexandra Colyer)

Junior Brittany Koppers and her fellow Model UN members discuss plans for the trip. They are getting ready to go to Washington, D.C. (Photo by Shannon Laird)

Model U.N. Storms D.C. Club’s National Conference in Capitol BY SHANNON LAIRD Reporter

The world’s problems. Where to begin? There is recession, war, poverty, crime, pain, anger and prejudice to name a few. So how do we go about fixing all these issues that arise with each new generation? Juniors Maggie Gorman, Bailey Crawford, Emma Eveld, Maura Eveld, Annie McKenzie, Kathryn Thompson, Brittany Koppers, Cigi Danda, Alexandra Colyer and Laura Travis are determined to find out for themselves. All ten of these girls belong to the Model United Nations club, or Model U.N., and are headed to Washington, D.C. over President’s Day weekend. Here, they will join with the North American Invitational Model United Nations. The mission of the NAIMUN is to enlighten high school students to an understanding of international systems from legal and political perspectives as well as to test their negotiation, judgement, and problem-solving skills. “Model UN really teaches us interaction in the global community,” Crawford said. “We learn how to make resolutions for countries across the world and see how different cultures view global policies.” Model UN is a simulation of the United Nations where students divide up to represent a different country. Every one could be any country across the world. Each individual becomes a

delegate for that nation and studies a different committee for that country. At the conference, there will be students representing committees varying from the UN General Assembly, Economic and Social councils, the World Health Organization, and the Security Council for each country. “The idea is that students will sit in these committees and discuss issues that effect the international community,” Murphy said. “Countries eventually reach a consensus on fixing problems. Sion is studying issues about nuclear weapons, media freedom, health and women’s rights.” Murphy chose the most intense of the girls to go and represent the school. Junior Kathryn Thompson and club Vice President brought up the idea of going to a national conference. Every girl is really looking forward to the trip and what they will learn from the experience. “Model UN has really taught me a new and interesting way to see the world,” Gorman said. “We discuss realistic ways to solve the numerous problems across the globe.” Illegal immigration, faltering economies, social discrimination, hate, racial inequality, disease epidemics, global warming, species extinction. The anger and frustration the world has known will never end, only get worse unless someone does something about it. The world’s problems will soon become our own and these ten juniors are taking the first step to overcoming the issues that separate nationalities.





Students fill the stands to take on rival St. Teresa’s in the biggest basketball game of the season. Trench coats and Groucho Marx glasses disguised the faces of the girls supporting their classmates on to another win against the Stars.

Seniors Jessica Bauer and Caitlin Allen bellow out the school song in the last minute of the game. This was the seniors’ last home game.


last look

Left: senior Emma Hogg fires up the crowd. Hogg is the only senior on the cheer squad. Below: junior Sydney Harris fights for control of the ball to start the game. Harris won the tip off.

Above right: the student body flutters their fingers in unison during a freethrow.

Le Journal Fourth Issue  

February Issue

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