Fall 2011 pgpost.org
Whatâ€™s Happening in the Community: Bypass Comes to Prairie Grove Page 9 Competition Cheer Page 20 PGHS Newest Addition Page 7
Leather & Chrome
17 on the cover 4 6 9
ACT Now Offered at PGHS
Mrs. Matney 100% Biker Chick PG Bypass Finding A Way Around
College Entrance Exam Now Offered at PGHS
by Philip Shepherd This school year, Prairie Grove High School became a testing site for what may be the single most important test for students who plan on going to college. The American College Test, or ACT, is considered America’s most widely accepted college entrance exam. This is the first year that Prairie Grove High School has been a testing site for the ACT which, as it turns out, prompted many students to take the test for the very first time. In the past, testing sites in reach of Prairie Grove High School students included Lincoln High School, Fayetteville High School and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Jade Nixon, a senior at Prairie Grove High, was a first time ACT test taker who chose to test at the Prairie Grove testing site. When asked how she felt about her first test, she confidently stated, “It was pretty easy,” also pointing out the fact that being in AP Calculus helped her on the math portion of the test. “I even had five minutes leftover on the math section.” Aaron Beetch, also a PGHS senior, had taken the test at Lincoln High School once before. But, after learning that his high school was now giving the test, he chose Prairie Grove for his second ACT test. “It’s just a closer and more familiar environment for me ” he stated, after being asked about his testing site choice. With opinions similar to Beetch’s are those of senior Michael Bond, who had tested at Fayetteville High School twice before testing at Prairie Grove for the first time. Michael also found Prairie Grove to be a familiar place to test and went on to say, “I liked the fact that I knew the teacher who was giving the test,” as opposed to feeling awkward or even
intimidated by a teacher he had never met before.
Some students, however, chose not to take advantage of this new familiar testing opportunity. Webb Pierson, also a senior at Prairie Grove, took his test at Lincoln High School. His reasoning: “I live in Lincoln, so it was a lot closer.” He goes on to say “The breaks between test sections were way better at Lincoln. They even had snacks for us!” Webb has taken the test at Lincoln High School two times as well as one test in Siloam Springs and one at the University of Arkansas. “The test at Siloam Springs was not good.” In comparison to Lincoln High School, Siloam Springs’ testing site, he claims, was, “like a concentration camp.” Since Lincoln was a popular testing site for many Prairie Grove High School students, Webb felt “more comfortable” at this location. However, Webb plans on taking his next test at Prairie Grove High School. Due to possible lack of communi-
cation between the school and its students, until now, it’s almost as if the test itself only existed to seniors who had worked with their counselor and a small amount of students who had been informed of its importance by college prep programs. Now that the high school is a testing site, the test’s importance seems to have been magically re-realized, thanks to the help of the new high school counselor, Chris Arnold. As promised, Arnold has made an extra effort to inform students and provide materials and opportunities necessary for success after high school. This very much includes information on and about the ACT which Arnold has cleverly snuck into the daily announcements every morning. Students at Prairie Grove, from freshmen to seniors, now know that Prairie Grove is a newly deemed testing site and are regularly hearing of the importance of the test as well as receiving detailed information on how to sign up for the test, all from over the intercom of Prairie Grove High School.
AP scores on the Rise by Samantha Roper
Being a smaller school, Prairie Grove High School takes pride in every accomplishment. That’s why when last year’s senior AP Literature students placed highly in three of the four categories on the AP test, people took notice. The test consists of four sections: multiple choice, prose analysis, open ended questions, and poetry. Out of the thirty-one schools in Arkansas that participated in taking the test, Prairie Grove scored first in multiple choice, exceeding the national and state average by nearly ten points. Our school placed second in open ended question and third in prose analysis, only being beat out by Conway and Sheridan. Advanced Placement Literature is not an easy course. It is designed to be challenging and is only for dedicated students who are willing to put in the time and effort to do well on the test. The course focuses on analyzing and understanding classic literature to acquire a deeper meaning from the work. Taking the test takes a lot of time and preparation, something that AP literature teacher, and AP director, Mrs. Barbara Gaulin does very well for her students. Gaulin says that she was very proud of last year’s students. “They did their reading and asked questions to really try and understand the work,” she says. This year’s AP class can only hope and try to do as well as last year’s students. This year’s class is much larger than last year’s and teaching such in depth curriculum can be difficult with more students, but Mrs. Gaulin has con-
fidence in her students, saying “I expect nothing but great things from this year’s senior class.” Prairie Grove now participates in the AAIMS program, a non-profit program that helps to raise the numbers of the students who pass the AP exam. 2011 was Prairie Grove’s first year to participate in the AAIMS program which proved to be very beneficial.
The Prairie Grove Lunch Box 113 N. Pittman Prairie Grove, AR 72753 479-846-SUBS (7827) Hours: Mon-Wed 11-2 Thurs & Fri 11-7
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Mrs. Matney Is One Hundred Percent Biker Chick that underneath her sweet and gentle exterior, Matney has a biker side. Yes, that means motorcycles.
by Philip Shepherd At first glance, Mrs. Debbie Matney is just another one of the several resource teachers of Prairie Grove High School. What students
might not know is that there’s an aspect of Matney’s life outside of the classroom that’s just a bit different than most teachers. Students, parents, and even some faculty and staff may be surprised to know
Mrs. Matney is the resource algebra and geometry teacher for the special education department at Prairie Grove High School, but after school. After speaking with Matney, I quickly learned how this unlikely hobby of hers came about and how she used it to benefit others, the community, and herself. Matney lived with her grandmother when she first rode a motorcycle at the age of eleven. Her uncle, who had just bought a Harley Davidson motorcycle, brought her for her first motorcycle ride. From that ride on, she’s ridden ever since. “From scooters, to mopeds, to motorcycles, I’ve ridden them all.” she explained in an interview taken last week. “I rode all through my high school years, and eventually my father started riding too. I rode all over the place!” She continued to ride, often alongside her father, up until she got married. “Once I got married and had my first child, I stopped riding.” She refers to her extended refrain from riding as a “twentyyear break”. During those years, her and her family moved several times, in an attempt to find a nice place to settle down and raise a family. It wasn’t too long though, until she started riding again in the year 1999, the same year she began teaching. “As a teacher, I would even ride my bike to school.” she explained. “The kids loved it.”
The real fun began when Matney started riding again. By this time, she had enough life experience and background knowledge to realize that she could use her hobby to benefit the community. Her most memorable start was when she was part of a biker group called the Northwest Arkansas Lady Riders. While in the group, her and other members volunteered for the Alzheimer’s Association raising money and awareness in an effort to fight Alzheimer’s disease. “At that time, my bike was purple and blue in honor of the Alzheimer’s Association.” she explains. “I was part of that group for about three years.” Another biker group she was involved in for nearly four year was called the Knight R i d e r s . “The Knight R i d e r s were a lot of fun. We did several poker runs that helped benefit many charities in the area.” In the year 2000, a local bike rally starting meant a new way to not only reach out to the community, but a chance to reach out to other bikers from around the country. Bikes, Blues, & Barbecue, which is held in Fayetteville, AR every year in early Fall, has become one of the largest motorcycle rallies
in the nation. Matney quickly got involved in the rally selling T-Shirts in the main booth with members of her womens’ biker group. She also got the chance to show off her bike to the public. “I love socializing with other bikers and telling them about our area.” She explains. “I used to exchange jacket patches with bikers from all around the country.” Matney returns to Bikes, Blues, & Barbecue annually to enjoy the biker-friendly atmosphere it offers. Matney also participated in a group called the Northwest Arkansas Hog Chapter which was run through Pig Trail Harley Davidson. During that same time, she was a part of a ladies’ bike group that was all about using their hobby to benefit the community. “I was a home-health social worker that would visit elderly and sick patients at the hospice on my bike.” Matney elaborates. Now, Matney still rides quite often. Her current set of wheels is a 2007 Harley XL1200 Low with a colbalt blue finish. When asked if any of her students know about her biker side, she replied, “If they’ve been in my class, they know. It would be pretty hard to keep such a large part of my life a secret.”
Building On to Prairie Grove High School
by Emily Cole Construction will soon be underway for a new addition to the south wing of Prairie Grove High School. The addition consists of a gymnasium and six classrooms extending from the end of the History and English hallway.
cost of a project like this appears as though it would be tremendous. “Because we don’t have a PE facility over here, the state will help fund some of the building,” Bond tells. We will be able to fund the project without having to ask the state for additional taxes. If everything goes as planned, they should start moving dirt as early as this month. The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of this school year. “I’m banking on July,” Bond says with a smile, “You know how these things
The new gym will include bleachers to seat up to 400 people, a much larger amount than that of the little gym. The gym will also be used for events such as high school pep rallies, class meetings, and will even provide space for our peewee teams to use. The additional six classrooms being built on are simply being built due to the school’s growing population.
This year’s senior class
is one of the smaller classes. As of now, the high school holds about 545 students. When the class of 2012 graduates and the new freshmen class moves up, that number is estimated to jump to 560. Space is already tight, placing new teachers in smaller classrooms and packing up to 30 students into one room. For the same reason, four classrooms were added onto the end of the math and science back in 2008.
“Our first priority is PE classes,” says Prairie Grove High School principal, Ron Bond. With a gymnasium built onto the high school, students would no longer need to be bused to the middle school campus for PE classes. Other than PE, the gym will be used for volleyball practices and eventually host the volleyball games. According to Bond, the new gym will be similar to the smaller gym on the middle school campus. This new gym, however, will be air-conditioned, which will excite volleyball and basketball players alike. Prairie Grove reached record highs this summer making it harder for players to focus in such a hot environment. The
PG Post Staff Editors:
Rachel Hays Bayli Bradley
Becca Cole Jade Nixon
Nikki Fant Eli Rose
Da-Eun Jung Mary Jameson
Casey Wilken Graphic Designer: Stephen Silva
Bypass Finds Its Way Around Prairie Grove chance of changing is the traffic.” Resident and owner of Jack’s Barber Shop, Eddie McClelland, says that he thinks the bypass has a minimal chance of affecting many businesses. “The bypass is too close to be able to affect them. With all the businesses and restaurants being local, and the owners being friends or neighbors with almost everyone, it’s highly unlikely to completely halt the small businesses that describe our small but beautiful town”.
by McKenzie Evans Construction crews work around the clock each day on the new bypass that is now under construction going around the community of Prairie Grove. According to the Chamber of Commerce website, the town averages over 11,000 cars passing through the downtown area every day, which is a little more than Prairie Grove can handle.
small town to be noticed”. Middle Senior Eli Rose is con- school teacher Dianne McClelcerned that businesses along land finds PG to be a lot like MayU.S. 62 will drastically lose busi- berry, the fictional setting of The ness, although it will be nice that Andy Griffith Show. “When the there won’t be as much traffic. new bypass is built, I’m scared that our quaint little town will Sidney Jaro, a junior at Prai- wither away.” Members of the sturie Grove, is also concerned about dent body, including Kelsey Webb, how it will affect the community: Bayli Bradley, Jessi Johnson, and “The beauty of Prairie Grove will be Adam Warnecke all agree that the destroyed.” Our small town is made bypass will have a negative effect up of cows, pastures, little business- on the already deteriorating town. es, and small but successful restaurants and that will all change if peo- At the other end of the specple stop going to local businesses. trum, some Prairie Grove residents think that the town is simply too Shannon Evans, a Prai- small to be affected dramatically rie Grove native, sees the positive by the bypass. Physics teacher side of the bypass. “Traffic won’t John Mobley is convinced that be as bad, although I still want our “the only thing the bypass has a
PGHS teacher Bennie Jamerson agrees. “The fact of the businesses being local will beat the fact that there’s a new way to get to Fayetteville.” The only signs of progress on the bypass so far are construction workers in neon hats and bulldozers that crowd up on Hogeye Rd. What can’t be seen yet is how the new project will affect Prairie Grove. Only time will tell.
FFA in the Community tionals and have other opportunities like these, FFA has to raise money and help the community.
by Mary Jameson
Two major ways to do so is by working the Washington County Fair and the Clothesline Fair. The FFA advisors, David Hays and Clint Hale, said that Prairie Grove FFA has been working
working his hours. “We work the County Fair as a major community service activity for our chapter,” says Hays, “And to secure financial compensation which helps to fund a portion of the chapter opportunities for the year.” When the students work the fair, they earn what are called work points.
minimum to be eligible for activities later on in the year. A portion of students say that they just didn’t have the time to work the fair this year. Sophomore Kyle Vaughn says that he’s uncertain whether the FFA should continue working the County Fair. “It’s a good opportunity for people and a lot of fun, but there’s so much standing around. More so for certain people.” The other way FFA helps the community is by working at the annual Clothesline Fair. “They work it to assist the Lion’s Club in conducting this long standing event with the focus being on community involvement for our members now and in the future,” Hays says.
At Prairie Grove High School the Future Farmers of America program is as strong as it’s ever been. The team has been represented 27 consecutive years at National Convention, and has even had a national winning team. But in order for them to go to Na-
at the County Fair for 25 years. The work involves students parking cars and participating in clean-up afterwards. Clean up involves clearing all the animal barns, picking up trash throughout the entire fairgrounds, and washing all animal feeders. “It’s a lot of work but it’s a good fundraising activity,” Junior Will Pohlman says. At this year’s fair, Pohlman showed Angus cattle along with
Earning work points opens doors for activities down the road. “My favorite part of working the County Fair was being on trash crew and getting out of school and driving the tractor,” Senior Dalton Marshall said. A majority of students enjoy themselves while they’re working. However, it can be time consuming because students have to get the work point
The main job for FFA is working the “ice crew”, which involves carrying ice to the vendors when needed. The students that worked on ice crew this year were seniors Dalton Marshall, Jess Salsbury, and Easton Sherry, junior Joey Ward and sophomore Kyle Vaughn. “It’s fun because I get to meet new people,” Marshall says. The students get to be around the culture of the fair while being able to talk to and help people. “It’s fun getting to work with a small group of people,” Vaughn added. When students work at the County Fair, they’re in big groups, while students on ice crew are in a group of four or less. It’s a more closeknit community service project.
Homegrown Talent by
Most teenagers bag groceries or work the fryers for their summer job, but for four lucky Prairie Grove High School students, that’s not the case. They spent their summer earning money doing what they love—playing music. For nearly every Saturday morning of the 2011 Fayetteville Farmers Market season, a group that whimsically calls themselves “Farmer and The Markets” have been playing at the Fayetteville Farmers Market on the town square, entertaining attendees and vendors alike. The band fea-
tures Prairie Grove High School seniors Jackson Lafargue and Philip Shepherd, and Fayetteville High School students Cody Nielsen and Ashtyn Nilsen. “We were playing at the Farmers Market one morning, for some reason that day, we were just getting bombarded with people asking what our name was,” explains Nielsen, “so finally we
decided to conjure up a name right then and there. So I recommended that we should call ourselves Farmer and the Markets and the name just stuck.” The group started out this past spring as an unnamed 3-piece outfit consisting of Lafargue, Shepherd, and fellow senior Landon Jordon. “Our per-day average in the beginning was in the $50-$80 range,” says Lafargue, “it was hard for the first few weeks of the market while school was still in session”. After the school year ended, Fay-
etteville High School junior Cody Nielsen was added to the group. Nielsen, who is the drummer for the local band Surf De Soleil, met Shepherd through a vocalist audition for Surf. “He auditioned for the lead vocals of Surf, we became friends, then I met Jackson through Phil,” says Nielsen. Nielsen sings as well as plays guitar in Farmer and the Markets. A couple of weeks after Nielsen was added, Fayetteville sophomore and ukulele player Ashtyn Nilsen was added to the group. “Pretty much after we added Ashtyn, we started to make triple digits each week”, says Lafargue. Instrumentation was also being diversified at this point. In addition to the guitar, harmonica, vocal harmonies, glockenspiel, and percussion the group had already incorporated, the group added a kick-tambourine, a ukulele, and the occasional melodica. “It’s a great way to make money and is much more fun than flipping burgers at McDonalds”, Lafargue says.
Because of their success on the Fayetteville square, the group has recently expanded outside of the Fayetteville Farmers Market. For the first time, they performed at the 60th Annual Clothesline Fair in Prairie Grove. Seated amongst the vendors and craftsmen, they played a crowd favorites such as, “Little Lion Man” by Mumford and Sons, “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens, and “Big Me” by Foo Fighters. “I don’t think there have ever been
street performers like us at the Clothesline Fair,” says Shepherd. “That’s really what makes us different from all the other music that goes on there every year. We’re street performers, which is something the Clothesline Fair isn’t used to.” Clothesline Fair attendees seemed to take a liking to the group. “I enjoyed their performance at the fair,” spectator Melinda Cookson exclaims. “I’ve been going there for over 20 years and they were a great addition! Hope they’ll be back next year!” Teresa Jayne of Siloam Springs complimented them on their unique and fresh sound. “I thoroughly loved their performance,” she remarked. Frequent visitor of the Fayetteville Farmers Market, Kris Stoker noticed the group and asked of them a very special favor: to surprise his girlfriend. “He paid us to set up in his living room, and play for them as they danced and kissed,” says Shepherd. “They had a blast.” “It’s almost as if the human race shares music as a common bond”, Lafargue remarked. “Every Saturday, I see people of all walks of life; college students, seniors, and little kids smiling and grooving to the music we’re playing. When we’re able to brighten someone’s day through our music, we know we’ve done our job right”.
definitely the trend for this Homecoming season,” states wedding consultant and dress specialist Teresa Rymel,
by Rachel Hays The crispness of fall is in the air, and for every Southern girl, that means Friday night lights and the fantasy of being chosen one of this year’s Homecoming maids. With that dream comes the wild imagination of that day, The Shoes, The Hair, and most importantly, The Dress. For the lovely ladies of Prairie Grove High, finding the perfect gown is a big decision, so PGHS journalism staff decided to investigate what kind of decisions the court had to make to find the most show-stopping styles of the 2011-2012 season.
“Bright colors, lots of sparkle; definitely short and sassy.” Sales associate Mariana Ferreira agrees, “Shiny, tons of sequins are totally best-sellers this fall. This year, the girls seem to be leaning most toward blue, short, and strapless.” This to some might be invitation to jump on the band wagon, but for those who prefer to stand out instead, go for a jewel-tone mermaid or ball gown style dress, both equally exquisite and eye-catching. There are four basic body types: the triangle, the hourglass, the pear, and the straight. It is important to remember that there is no good or bad body type, everyone is made differently, and those differences are what make us unique and beautiful.
“Short, flirty styles are Any body type looks great sporting an A-line dress, where
the waist falls slightly above the natural waistline. Girls who are bustier look fabulous in strapless dresses, though halters for them are more difficult to pull off without alterations to keep the fabric from puckering at odd angles. Ladies who are more pearshaped should go for dresses with fuller skirts, such as a bubble skirt, or mermaid
dresses, which emphasize feminine curve. Taller girls as a general rule look poised and glamorous in long, sheath-style gowns, which are a no for petite girls; however, smaller ladies rock sassy, short dresses.
Often, girls are hestitant
You have to feel comfortable being yourself and you have to feel beautiful
2011 Homecoming Court
to try on dreses that look too bland or too wild on the rack, but you can’t truly judge a dress until you see how it looks on you. Many of our models discovered that some of their favorite dresses were the ones that they least expected. It is important to try on many different colors, patterns, and styles of dresses to make
sure you don’t cheat yourself by judging the dress on the hanger! When asked what the most important thing about picking a dress to fit your body type, Rymel replied, “The proper foundation garment is key to finding the right fit, however, the most important thing about picking out a dress is loving yourself
in it. You have to know that there are many different body types, and though some styles work better for one body type than another, each is beautiful.” “You have to feel comfortable being yourself and you have to feel beautiful,” Ferreira in agreement\, “the most important thing is having that smile that goes with an air of confidence.”
Freshman Maids Madison Creech Jaelyn Kilburn Sophomore Maids Lacey Beeks Taylor Adams Junior Maids Sidney Jaro Beverly Baguio Senior Maids Ashley Smith Michelle Lumsargis Karmyn Grigson
by Jackson Lafargue The explosion was seen around the world. Illuminating from television screens everywhere, the images and footage of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York impacted people, as well as children, all around the nation and the world. The high school students of today were as young as four years old when the attacks occurred, like freshman Noah Hawkins. “I don’t exactly remember where I was”, Noah recalls, “but my uncle was on a business trip that week, and was in the lobby of the north tower when it was hit. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt.” Seniors, who were only 2nd graders at the time of the attacks, remember a bit more. Landon Jordon recalls that he was checked out of school during recess by his
mother. “On the drive home, my mom asked me if I knew what a terrorist was. I said no. There was silence the rest of the way home. When I got home, I saw the planes hitting the towers on T.V.” Junior Hannah Neyens remembers only bits and pieces of the events. “They called everyone into the library at Prairie Grove elementary to watch the news channels covering it”. Senior Hyrum Erdman, who was living in Vermont at the time, says that his father was actually up in a plane on an international flight over New York when it happened. He remembers his father coming home early from his trip due to the planes being grounded because of the attacks. Ashley Yates was attending Asbell Elementary in Fayetteville. The students were called to the music room to watch the unfolding
terror on the towers. “I remember being scared because I thought the towers were going to hit the school.” Junior Kayla Taylor remembers how she was in Mrs. McClean’s first grade class at the Prairie Grove Primary school when the attacks happened. “I was concerned that, since my grandmother was a bookkeeper, that she was in the towers. But obviously she wasn’t”. Fellow junior Taylor Bruton was attending first grade at the St. Boniface Catholic School in Fort Smith. “I remember it being on TV in the classroom, and the teacher was freaking out”, Bruton says. “Now that I’m older, I understand the drastic impact it has had on the nation.” Senior Janna Calvert also realizes the impact of the attacks. “One of my best friends was
shipped overseas because of what happened on that day”, Calvert remarks. “I want people to realize that foreigners who worked in the towers died as well, including Muslims. People should stop being prejudiced towards them because of the attacks”. Sophomore Makayla Terry, who was a kindergartener in Shreveport, Louisiana at the time only has faint memories of what unfolded that day. “Pretty much right when I arrived at school, I was picked up. I remember seeing the towers on TV, but I obviously didn’t understand what was happening” Terry says. “I’m thankful that none of my family or loved ones were involved”. Dominique Lockman, also a Sophomore, remembers the attacks as well. “I was woken up by my mom’s crying that morning”, he
Remembering September 11th says. “She let me stay home from school because it was an emotional day for her. One of her friends was killed in the attacks”. Rebuilding could be a risky choice, in Lockman’s opinion. “If we rebuild the World Trade Center, it could be another target for Al-Qaeda. We’ve already killed their leader, so they’re looking at a way to get back at us for that”.
Drought Dries Up Farmer’s Market Optimism prevails however for next season. Public Works director Larry Oelrich says “The extreme heat limited vendors this year, but hopefully they will be back next summer”.
While the attendance at the by Jackson Lafargue Prairie Grove Farmers Market from customers and vendors Faculty members also Regular attendees of the Prai- alike dwindles, the regionally shared their experience. Mr. Wyatt, rie Grove Farmers Market may popular Fayetteville Farmers a substitute teacher, said that have been disappointed in the Market draws hundreds of he walked into the Alltel offices in Little Rock that morning for a selection this year due to this people to the downtown Faynormal day of work. “I came in, summer’s severe drought. etteville square each Tuesand a TV was tuned to the news “Normally, 7 to 8 vendors will day, Thursday, and Saturday with everyone crowded around it. The first plane had already hit”. He set up each week at Mock morning. The question arises Park for the market”, cham- of why people who reside in saw the second plane hit on live television. “I felt complete rage at ber of commerce member Prairie Grove go to the Fayettethat moment, because then I knew and manager of the market, ville Farmers Market, as opit wasn’t an accident”. Wyatt, who Buddy Lyle says. “The most posed to saving gas and time had to fly a week later, could tell vendors that we’ve had at one by attending the local market. that the attacks still had a major time this year have been four”. impact on flights. “I got on the plane with only about three other Prairie Grove High School’s people on it. Since it was just us, Despite the harsh weather own Coach Green, who has they moved us all up to first class.” conditions, vegetables, fruits, started attending the FayetteWyatt remembers. cut flowers, homemade crafts, ville market regularly each and starting this summer due Saturday, remarks that there Librarian Mrs. Woods to the passage of Act 72 in are “more people to watch”, remembers being in the Prairie Grove Junior High School library at the Arkansas legislature, jel- as well as a wider variety the time. “Lots of faculty members lies, jams, baked goods, and in produce to choose from. were confused and were wondercandies can be found at the ing what was going on. They were Farmers Market. The market gathered around the TV watching has no definite end date, “just the drama unfold. It was definitely when the vendors and customa strange day”. ers quit coming”, Lyle says.
Hoedown Showdown by Makayla Terry
competition has become one of the largest square dancing festivals in the country. This year’s performances consisted of 53 non-competition groups and eight competition groups. Ranging in ages 4-18, the groups began practicing and learning their dancing early in the summer. The competition groups included: Eight Is Enough, BucksN-Bows, Dixie Dynamite, Stallions
so do the dresses.” Boys wear western style shirts with accents to match the girl’s dresses, and denim jeans and cowboy boots, which haven’t changed whatsoever. “Back when my grandma square danced, they danced to a live band,” Lorren Gragg states. That is perhaps one of the only things that has evolved in the history of square dancing in Prairie Grove.
A longheld tradition in our small town of Prairie Grove has been the annual Clothesline Fair held over Labor Day weekend. For 60 years, craftsmen and vendors have set up camp over this three day weekend. Square dancing became a part of the festivities in 1957 and has been a continued tradition ever since. Originating from a group of teenagers wanting to show off their talent, competitive square dancing has now become an expected part of the late summer season. The school district lets out the day after Labor Day to recover from all the dancing. Our annual
and Starlets, Cowboys and Curls, Saddles and Sashes, American Footloose, and the crowd favorite Route 44. According to Craig Battles, father of a prize-winning dancer, “square dance attire consists of dresses made of gingham and calico prints, rickrack and eyelet, with full skirts and petticoats for the girls. Though as styles change,
For three years now Route 44 has held the championship title with the same routine and song, Cotton Eyed Joe. This year, the third year Route 44 has competed, the only returning member from the original gang was Chad Battles. “What helps most is if you can share those three titles with an amazing group, and I did so with all
three,” Battles says. The new group members were seniors Drew Sugg, Landon Jordan and Aaron Beetch, and juniors Kaleigh Witherspoon, Erin Galloway, Cecilia Martinez, and Megan Gerwig. All the girls plan on returning next year, but they will all have to search for new partners. When asked if he plans to allow the new team to keep the Route 44 name when he is no longer a part of the group, Battles replies, “Yes, I was planning on the team keeping the name and the routine.” “It was really cool because for seven of us it was either our first or second year to do any type of dancing,” recalls Witherspoon. The team started practices early in July. “It was so hot and humid. We were dead after stepping that whole dance. But my group was like a family. I love them!” Gerwig says. Megan, who had never danced before this year, was partnered with Beetch. “Being her partner was great! She never missed a practice and always tried her best. I couldn’t ask for a better square dance partner,” Beetch says about Gerwig, who adds, “I’m so happy all our hard work and long, hot practices paid off.” Though the practices were tough, the entire team enjoyed working together to be the best.
Foreign Exchange Student are exactly what Korean foreign exchange student Da Eun Jung goes through each and every day here at Prairie Grove High School.
by Stephen Silva Imagine crossing overseas, your tongue arched to a foreign language, and having to go to school in a place far from home. Loneliness and unfamiliar greetings and gestures from other students
“Everything is just so different here,” explains Jung. “The food, the music, the people; everything is just so new.” Luckily, for Jung, there are other foreign exchange students this year that she can relate to, like senior and Belgian foreign exchange student Yasmine Drissi. “Da Eun’s really fun to get along with”, she says. “Half the time, she doesn’t understand much of what
I’m saying, but it’s the purpose of her coming across seas, right? So it’s always fun to interact and teach each other the American culture.”
Jung’s interests include rock music and writing. She states that her interest in writing had a lot to do with why she joined journalism. Currently, Jung is studying English here at Prairie Grove. She claims that it’s not so diffi-
cult to learn and that it all boils down to how quickly it’s spoken. Jung actually recommends you write her, rather than attempt a “head-on” conversation. Jung currently lives with a host family, a family that takes in foreign exchange students under legal guardianship, and lives in the same house as Drissi. In essence, being an exchange student is stressful and new for Jung; yet she enjoys it nonetheless. Having access to the social networking site Facebook, she’s still able to keep in touch with her friends in South Korea. Everything is like a first step on Venus for her; even right down to the manners and gestures that we’re so accustomed to in the western world. Jung says with a smile “I never would’ve even imagined I’d be in high school, all the way out in America.”
Students Sharing Faith in the Classroom
by Philip Shepherd Students at Prairie Grove High School have found a way to incorporate their faith into their social and academic lives through an on campus, Christian based fellowship. Since 1954, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has challenged students, coaches, and even teachers to positively impact their school and community through their Christian faith. At Prairie Grove High School, FCA is becoming more and more popular as more members are added each year. Coach Collins is in charge of FCA here at Prairie Grove. He is also the health teacher and the High School girls’ volley ball coach. Coach Collins has been in charge of FCA at Prairie Grove High for about 4 years now. He refers to himself as more of a “facilitator” than a leader in the group. When asked about his role in FCA, he answered by saying, “The kids are mostly in charge… they’re the ones that do the hard work.” He also stated that he enjoys watching the kids succeed as well as help with fundraising.
One of the main activities
that FCA organizes at school is Christ on the Court. This is a gathering of students, and teachers in a school’s basketball gym that gives students a chance to worship and pray with their peers, as well as share stories with fellow Christians. Coach Collins explains it as “…the biggest ‘rally’ we put on in FCA…it’s used as an outreach to students and creates an ‘unthreatened’ environment for students.” According to Coach Collins, FCA at Prairie Grove has apparently been “on and off”. Small member count and funding problems have most likely been causes for this in the past. However, with the help of other coaches such as Coach Abshier and Coach Elder (both football coaches), he has been able to maintain FCA for the past four years. The FCA Vision: “To see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches.” Fellowship of Christian Athletes (or FCA) is the largest Christian sports organization in America and is active in over six thousand public schools across the nation. It focuses on serving the school and local community by educating and empowering others through the everyday actions of its members. FCA ministries reach the community through partnerships with the local churches, businesses, parents, and volunteers. These ministries not only reach out to the community, but also allow the community to invest in athletes and coaches.
New and Improved
sure how well this newspaper will take off but we’ve got high hopes,” sophomore reporter Becca Cole states. Along with the physical copies, the staff has developed a website with bonus stories along with the articles you will find here.
by Nikki Fant Before the 2011-2012 school year, PG Post, the high school’s newspaper was printed on standard office paper. But with the help of the newest staff member at Prairie Grove, English and Journalism teacher Andrea Parnell, the paper is changing for the better. For the first time, the school newspaper is being printed on newsprint. Students are anticipating the new look. “I’m looking forward to seeing what is going to be in this paper that my friends in journalism keep talking about,” says senior Abby Addicks. With twenty-four pages to fill, the staff has nothing but the newspaper on its mind. “We’re not
“We’re trying to have a theme for each issue. This one’s kind of like a ‘how our school impacts the community’ theme,” Editor Emily Cole states. You can see these themes reflected through the stories we report on. “We are putting all we have into this newspaper,” says freshmen reporter, Codie Wertens, “It may not look like it yet, but that will soon change.” The staff has been working hard to raise enough money to fund the newspaper. Subscribers say they’re interested in the paper because they want to hear what the students have to say. Others say they subscribe just to help out. The subscribers and the community can expect issues out in October, December, February and April.
Singing in the Halls pretty awesome,” Branch explained.
by Mary Jameson The High School Honor Choir is full of talented singers that had to go through a difficult tryout. Some of those students plan on having a career in singing while others do not. Either way, singing is something they love. Two years ago, the Honor Choir group went to state. They ended up walking away with a First Division trophy. This year’s group has a strong chance of doing the same with the school’s support. Tryouts for Honor Choir are “scary” according to sophomore Kristalin Branch. “You have to sing a scale, sight read, and match pitches in front of Mrs. Young and her son Michael,” Branch stated. It can be quite stressful. If the person passes the tryout, they are in Honor Choir. Senior Casey Wilken stated that “I wanted a serious environment to have the opportunity to sing.” However, Honor Choir is not a completely serious, zero fun tolerated class. Wilken described Honor Choir as, “fun, a little family, and something worth checking out.” Junior Amy Kuykendall agreed saying, “Each section within it is like their own family. Then the sections join together to make a bigger family.” Sections in Honor Choir are simply the type of singer that everyone is such as soprano or tenor. “Mrs. Young is so sweet and a great teacher. I wasn’t even interested in singing until I had her as a choir teacher and now it’s really big in my life. Plus working with the other talented people is
There are several boys in Honor Choir this year. One of them is Senior Skyler Dixon. “I feel just fine about it,” Dixon stated. He doesn’t mind being one of the only boys. “I believe we need more guys in it,” he continued. Another boy, senior Philip Shepherd said “We have a lot of new people in this year’s Honor Choir. There are about 30 members this year and only 6 or 7 were in it last year.” Honor Choir is growing. They are currently working on four pieces of music. The music is more challenging than normal choir because it’s more difficult. Honor Choir is similar to the “All Stars.” They are the group that choir director Mrs. Young gets to show off with. “We are awesome,” Dixon explained. Later on in the year, the Honor Choir participates in Choir Follies. “I always look forward to Choir Follies at the end of the year. It’s our chance to kind of goof off and also sing some modern day music,” Sheperd said. Members have different career plans after high school, but they all love singing. Senior Kyle Ates said, “I plan on learning to produce and record music but I really want to tour and sing and have my own band.” As everyone knows, Ates uncovered his hidden talent last year and decided to join Honor Choir. “It’s a nice start to the day,” he stated. Honor Choir is first hour and normal choir is eighth. Due to some scheduling difficulties, Senior Molly Sullivan and Junior Amy Kuykendall were unable to get in the Honor Choir class. However, Mrs. Young said she would allow them to participate in Honor Choir as long as they joined regular choir. They agreed and now both girls participate in the two choirs.
by Emily Cole
for the October 29th date, marking the first round in the competition. Fourteen of the eighteen members of the senior high cheerleading squad will be competing. The team will be going to several competitions before competing in the finals which are held in Hot Springs in December. To compete, the team must produce
in school competition cheer than with their Airborne class. Airborne mostly consists of tumbling, dance, and building, but school competition adds a cheer into the routine. “It’s very time consuming,” Brooke continues. Other than normal cheer practices on Wednesday afternoons,
Weston Bartholomew Player of the Week
by Eli Rose
Late night, vigorous practices will soon pay off for the Prairie Grove High School cheer leading team participating in competition cheer this year. This is the first year for our cheer squad to attempt a feat such as competition. “It was just getting everyone to say yes,” junior Payton Sapp tells. The squad had to get the school board and the athletic director to go along with the idea before they could actually begin competing. This entirely voluntary squad has been working hard to perfect their routine
a two-and-a-half minute routine consisting of tumbles, dance, cheer, and building. “Payton’s dad made up the whole routine,” cheerleading sponsor Vanessa Orr states. “He’s a cheer god,” senior cheerleader, Gely Vafakos adds. Chris Opheim is a coach at Arkansas Airborne, a cheer program in Springdale. Opheim recently met and practiced with the squad to work on perfecting every move. He was especially helpful with specific details in building structures. Seniors Gely Vafakos and Brooke Barnett, along with junior Payton compete on a team together through Arkansas Airborne. “It’s a lot different,” Brooke explains. There are differing aspects involved
members of competition cheer must meet for two hours on Tuesday nights and for another hour on Thursday. The first competition will be held at Fayetteville High School where the squad will be competing against other 4A squads such as Gentry and Farmington.
There is no better confidence builder than a strong start to the season. The senior high Tigers came out with a big win against Lavaca at home for the season opener, with a final score of 41 to 6. The spotlight was shown on junior running back Weston Bartholomew who had an impressive 119 yard, 3 touchdown performance that earned him 40/29’s “Player Of The Week” award. The Player of the Week award crowns the week’s best high school player from around the Northwest Arkansas area. Weston gives a lot of credit to his offensive line. “I have great blockers, I wouldn’t have been able to get a single yard if it wasn’t for them.” The team is off to a 2-3 start this year, with wins against Lavaca at home and an overwhelming 35-14 win at West Fork. “I think that we are a very fast team,” said Bartholomew. “We dont have much size on our side, but we definitely make up for it with our speed.” However, with only 5 games played so far, playoff talk has already begun. “I’m not quite sure about our state champion contention just yet,” stated
Weston. “I think that we could do well in the playoffs, and you never know, maybe we will go all the way and play in the state championship”. Weston and all of the tigers don’t want to get ahead of themselves and be thinking about playoffs just yet. Instead, they will stay focused on playing solid football and expecting a mark in the win column. If the team continues to rack up wins this season, possibly another Prairie Grove player can be crowned with the Frenzy Phenom award. A new season equals new opportunities, and hopefully the team will take advantage of the talent they have this year.
New Mascot Fills Big Shoes strated in her previous dances, she accumulates a variety of moves from music videos, movies, and her own imagination to come up with the outstanding dances that make the crowd laugh and cheer. There seems to be an overwhelming flow of positive feedback about Edwards.“She’s awesome,” exclaims senior Gely Vafakos.
by Becca Cole Sophomore Aubrey Edwards has taken on the difficult task of filling the shoes of the Prairie Grove school mascot, Maverick the Tiger.
“I really like her dances,” says sophomore Sierra Martin, “I think they’re really funny.” Aubrey has set a new bar for the next mascot. “She’s taking school spirit to the next level,” states senior Casey Wilken.
This orange and black cat first came into play in 2008 when Prairie Grove High School graduate Mallory Jenkins dreamed up the idea. Jenkins had to go to Mrs. Hunt for approval and, to make sure people were actually going to like the idea of having a mascot, obtain 100 signatures. “I got 200,” Jenkins says. After approval, Jenkins carried on the duty of dressing up for every football and basketball game for three years in support of our tigers.
Edwards holds a special place in Prairie Grove High School, being the second mascot in Prairie Grove history, which can be a lot to live up to. There does seem to be a lot of pressure on her to do well, but Edwards says it can be motivational. “Watching people smile, and getting hugs from little kids makes all the sweat and sore shoulders worth it.”
Last spring, as we watched Jenkins walk up to the podium to receive her diploma, we all had the same question buzzing in the back of our minds: Who would be the new school mascot? “My biggest worry was that no one would want to be Maverick. He played such an important role for the younger children, I’d hate to see him taken away,” Jenkins says. Luckily, Edwards stepped in. “I’ve wanted to be a mascot ever since I was really little,” states Edwards. To be a mascot you must be very creative and original, something Edwards doesn’t seem to have a lack of. There’s a lot of individual work put into each routine she does. As she’s demon-
During the summer when the cheerleaders attended the University of Oklahoma Spirit Camp Edwards competed against other mascots around the area. At the end of the week she received superior in both of the two skits she performed, along with the Most Spirited, Unity, and All American awards. Aubrey says that when she graduates high school she wants to become “Porkchop”,the mascot for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
photo by Da Eun Jung Sophomore, Aubrey Edwards, is the new Mascot at Prairie Grove High School.
Student in fatal crash by Baily Bradley and Payton Sapp A senior, Sara Symons, from Bentville high school died in a car accident on September 1, 2011 the day she found out she made homecoming court. Sara was so excited about getting on court that the last text she sent was to her dad consisting of something like “Your baby girl got on homecoming court!!!! :)” his response consisted of something like “You’ll always be my queen.” Most people on twitter started trending using the hashtag # s a r a f o r h o m e c o m i n g 2 0 11 which shortly was trending worldwide. Friday, the day after she passed, people from our own school, Prairie Grove High, wore blue for Sara because her favorite color was blue. That night at the football game the cheerleaders wore blue also to represent Sara’s passing. For Bentonville High homecoming will be held on October 8, 2011. The maids are; Jalan Loyd, Megan Ferguson, Dani Phillips, Molly Lathrop, Ashton Dawson, Melanie Pickering, Kelsey Parks, Kylie Howard and Lauren Presely. Unfortunalltly they had to take Sara off the ballot, so she was no longer able to get homecoming queen.
known” a lot of people knew about it, and they were supportive by wearing blue, #saraforhomecomingqueen2011 on twitter, setting up flowers on her parking space, writing things on their cars such as’ “we miss you” “R.I.P Sara” “S.S <3” and even making a Sara Symons tribute page on facebook, so many people have became fans of. For most schools homecoming is a very big deal, but for BHS its become more special to them then before in honor of Sara Symons.
El Tapatio vs. Gaby’s by Emily Cole In a recent quest to choose the most excellent cheese dip in Prairie Grove both students and teachers were given a blind taste test to determine which Mexican restaurant reigned supreme. It was a close draw between the two restaurants in town, Gaby’s and El Tapatio, but winning by only three votes the wellestablished, popular Gaby’s Mexican restaurant beat out the newer Mexican place in town, El Tapatio. Even after the arrival of El Tapatio, Gaby’s still remains popular for Prairie Grove citizens. For years, Gaby’s was the only Mexican place in town. When passing the restaurant, the parking lot is almost always completely filled up even after the arrival of another Mexican restaurant established themselves only three doors down. Emerging onto the Prairie Grove scene in late 2010, El Tapatio received a booming number of customers. “El Tap is a lot cheaper and you get a lot more food,” states Nicole Moore, a customer of both places. “But Gaby’s puts more spices in their food. It just tastes better.”
NBA player for Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard, dedicated a video to Sara Symons on youtube after her passing. So many people had been tweeting “#saraforhomecomingqueen2011” that even Justin Beiber dedicated a tweet to her. Her passing was so “world
Although Gaby’s won, El Tap did have some fans. “I really found El Tap’s to be much cheesier than Gaby’s. It was so much creamier which gave it more of a rich texture and taste,” raved Philip Shepherd. After tasting both, Samantha Roper said that El Tapatio’s cheese dip was “spicier than the other one.” Judging on what the people voted for it seems like the panel has milder taste buds.
Another factor in choosing may have been the fact that it wasn’t completely a blind test. Gaby’s
is a taste that the students have grown up with. During the “blind” taste test, students were able to determine which was which and voted for the more familiar taste.
Dig This by Megan Gerwing The Prairie Grove Volleyball team has battled record high heat temperatures of 104 degrees in a scorching hot gym since the beginning of this summer. They’ve been gearing up for what’s said to be a fantastic season. The 2011-2012 season officially began Monday, August 22nd against the West Fork Tigers. The team took the win in a 3 game set and showed West Fork who the Tigers really are.
first day of practice, that’s hanging in their locker room on goals and norms that they wanted to achieve this 20112012, season. It includes working hard, encouragement towards teammates, staying positive, being conference champs, and the biggest goal of all; Winning State. “I think our team has come a long way since last year,” Senior Karmyn Grigson explains, “we work together so well as a team and we are really aiming towards meeting all or goals and norms on our list.” The next scheduled home game is September 8th against the Gravette Lions at 6:30PM. The Lady Tigers are really looking forward to the 2011-2012 season and are bound to achieve the goals they have set. You won’t be disappointed!
“The team has grown so much closer since last season, and we are really working together to win state!” Junior Whitnee Fitts exclaims. Junior Loren Gragg adds, “If we continue working together like we did against West Fork, I have no doubt this season will be amazing.” The team ended last season with a record of 8 - 6 and a first round appearance at the State Tournament where they were defeated by Mena. “I can’t wait to get to State this year! Our team has really come together this season and we play better and have more enthusiasm, so I think thats a key to what will get us far this year!” Gragg, states. The team made a list the