Page 1

Volume XLIII Issue 7

LV Berkner High School

New Theatre, Choir Directos- Page 6

What’s your favorite place to grab a burger? Poll and Questionare inside! Pages 4-5

1600 Spring Valley Road

October 1, 2012

Richardson, TX 75081

Band begins state march Page 3

Now featuring Music Reviews by KL Gregson:

This issue including the newest album addition to the band “Rush”

New Cell Phone Policy As sophomore Jackie Soria demonstrates Story on Page 7

Coming Soon! Movie Reviews by Tre Chapell!

Robotics wins national championship Page 7



October 1, 2012

Clockwork Angels does not disappoint Karilyn Gregson

Staff Writer

This week I listened to Clockwork Angels by Rush, and it was amazing. The music took me on a wonderful journey through a steampunk world filled with magic and wonder. Rush formed in Toronto, Canada in 1968, consisting of Geddy Lee on vocals and bass, Alex Lifeson on guitar, and John Rutsy on drums (Later to be replaced by Neil Peart in 1975.) They released their first album in 1974, titled Rush. Rush didn’t gain very much popularity until 1976 when they released 2112, which only contained six songs, however the first song clocked in at twenty minutes

Overall, Clockwork Angels was an amazing piece of art. The first song, “Caravan” just blew me away. It starts out slow, and then it gets gradually louder until there’s a huge bang of guitar and bass. I nearly fell out of my chair! The follow-up song, “BU2B” was a continuous stream of masterpiece. I loved the sound and the lyrics, especially the lyric “I was brought up to believe the universe has a plan. We are only human, it’s not ours to understand.” I didn’t regain consciousness to the world until the fourth song, “The Anarchist.” I didn’t really enjoy “The Anarchist” as much as “Caravan,” “BU2B,” and “Clockwork Angels” because it didn’t speak to me. It wasn’t giving me a message I

ty good. They didn’t have the extra they needed to be epic like the first three. I was again blown away by the seven minute, twenty second long epic, “Headlong Flight,” the first single from the album. “Headlong Flight” starts out not unlike Megadeth’s “Peace Sells,” with an amazing bass line. Then the guitars and drums come in, and always, Neil Peart shows off his drum skills with the amazing drum solo in the middle. The lyrics basically summarize the journey of the album so far, saying that he wishes that he could live it all again. “BU2B2” and “Wish Them Well” were decent. Again, they didn’t have the extra oomph to make them epic. The album ended peacefully with “The Garden,” my favor-

it’s so calming. Alex Lifeson can still play, Geddy Lee can still sing, and Neil Peart may still be called the “drum god.” What more can I say? They are all amazing musicians, then and now. Nick Raskulinecz also did a very good job producing the album. He has worked with a vast array of bands, such as Death Angel, Velvet Revolver, Danzig, Evanescence, and produced Rush’s previous album Snakes & Arrows. I would recommend this album to all Rush fans and anyone who enjoyed their previous album. If you like Blue Oyster Cult or Dream

Berkner Rampage 1600 Spring Valley Road Richardson, TX 75081

and thirty-three seconds. Rush changed their sound dramatically with Permanent Waves in 1980, and continued on a synthesizer-ridden path until 1989 with the release of Presto. Rush continues to put out albums and tour to this day.

could remember weeks after I listened to it. It just wasn’t as good. “Carnies,” “Halo Effect,” “Seven Cities Of Gold,” and “The Wreckers” weren’t as amazing as the first three songs, but they were still pret-

ite from the album. I love “The Garden” because it is such a peaceful ending to such an energetic and exciting album. If I had worked a long day and when I got home, this would be the song that I would play to relax because

Letters to the Editor In order to provide an open forum where students can discuss topics affecting their lives and education, the Rampage accepts Letters to the Editor. We offer the opportunity to encourage students, faculty members and patrons of the school to voice their opinion and use the newspaper as a medium for debate. We reserve the right to condense letters so they may fit the space requirements, or delete any that do not meet our standards of propriety. All letters must be signed; however, names will be withheld on request.

Theater, you would also enjoy Rush. If you enjoyed the album, you might also want to see them live on Nov. 28th at the American Airlines Center. The album did a great job of making me feel like I was in the songs, like I was part of the story. When I closed my eyes, I could swear I was traveling along the same journey they created. This album is really worth listening to. Like I said, it is a masterpiece, an epic if you will. Rush always puts out good music, always.

Editors-in-Chief Abby Hawthorne Ciara Mason

Features Editor Harmony Holder

Sports Editor Neyat Abraha

Photo Editor Evelyn Alonso

Assistant Photo Editor Charlie Gallegos

Graphics Editor Gabe Medrano

Staff Writers Tre Chappell Chinonye Duru Karilyn Gregson Forrest Milburn Michelle Pinilla Scarlett Smith

Photographers Mario Espinoza Justin Jennings Maylan Raymundo Gaby Rodriguez

Sponsor/Advisor Jarred Goodall Principal Mr. Ron Griffen


October 1, 2012


Band marches with State in mind Forrest Milburn

Staff Writer

While most students arrive at the steps of Berkner High School on Aug. 27, some organizations start preparing for the year much earlier. For the Mighty Ram Marching Band, this means getting up early and going home late. For 2012-2013, the Mighty Ram Band must practice harder to become better and stronger if they want to make it to the UIL State Marching Contest in San Antonio to compete against some of Texas’ greatest high school marching bands. To accomplish this huge task, the band begins their morning practice at Berkner at 7:00 a.m. with a go-to attitude every day, even if the students are tired from the night before. “Morning rehearsals are what get me out of bed in the morning,” said Head Band Director Mr. Frank Troyka. During summer band, student marchers typically had to wake up early enough to get ready, eat a healthy breakfast, and arrive at Berkner ready to go slightly before 7:00 a.m. “There is nothing more high energy than doing something that requires that much physical stamina early in the day,” said Mr. Troyka. Once everyone was in the band hall, hopefully putting on sunscreen, because it can get quite bright and hot in the Texas mornings and afterThe BHS Mighty Ram Band takes a seat before a recent home football game. The Band began noons, the Drum Majors blew one of preparations for marching season, including the state competition in November, on Aug. 6. their whistles, letting everyone know (Photo provided by the Yearbook Staff.) that it was time to take it to the field. Every student knows to focus on all of the tiny details, including water bottle was also really exciting, knowing that people would contain over 600 students.) The Mighty Ram Band is placements and making sure they stand in the perbe in the stands watching me,” said Epler. a 5A band with a membership of over 300, and 2012fect spot on the field. At around 11:30 a.m., the band During summer band, or even marching band in 2013 is another State Contest year for them. breaks for lunch, and upon returning, the band then general, it is extremely hot outside. Student marchSo, in addition to football games on Fridays, splits into their specified sectionals to learn music ers are sweaty, hot, tired and maybe even hungry. the band also has to compete on certain Saturdays until around 2:30 p.m., and then they all meet in the However, there are reasons why so many people against other bands in the DFW area.4. The band band hall together to practice what they learned as stay in marching band throughout the years. There will compete Wednesday Oct. 17 at the UIL Region a band for the rest of day. They are free to leave at is a reason why band members will choose to suffer 3 Marching competition at Mesquite Memorial 4:30 p.m. after dismissal. and fight through all of the things that are uncomStadium, and again at the UIL Area C Marching In summer band, a lot of students have their fortable, hard, and maybe even painful to an extent. Contest at Mesquite Memorial Stadium on Saturday, favorite things to work on, as well as not-so favorSome band members, like senior Drum Major JenOct. 27. From there, all focus will be on the UIL State ite things. Freshman alto saxophone player Adam nifer Jin, will say that this reason is because of how Marching Contest on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in San AntoEpler had a lot to say about what he considers to be amazing the rewards are, especially from UIL State nio’s “Alamodome.” the thing he looks forward to the night before sumMarching Contest. In past years, the band has received high scores mer band. “The UIL State Marching Contest is a lot of presat the State Marching Contest, and senior Drill “Learning our sets. It’s definitely my most favorite sure, especially since you have tons of homework, Instructor and English horn player Robin Sweeden thing to do in summer, because I’ve always liked and then you have a workload of band on top of commented on the contest. marching shows, and learning our first set kind of that,” said Jin, who also plays alto saxophone. Jin “The UIL State Marching Contest is a big deal for made me feel that I was apart of something I love. It also competed in the UIL State Marching Contest bands. Several bands from around the state come her sophomore year. from the 5A division hoping to make it to finals at Jin also talked about how important balance is to the contest,” said Sweeden. the work schedule of band and school during the Sweeden also discussed how Berkner received a contest season. fantastic score at finals two years ago at the last 5A “You’re either worrying about your performance, band competition. Only 3 or 4 bands are chosen or you’re worrying about all your homework you from their UIL Area Marching competition to move have to do, and it takes a lot of effort to balance on to the State level From that point, the top 10 are that all out,” said Jin. given a ranking. In addition, she described the upside to the con“The last time Berkner went to State, we placed 8th test and how fun it truly can be. at finals, and to rank in the top 10 bands out of over “It’s fantastic for bonding time with you and 200 5A bands in Texas, well, it’s just a huge honor,” your friends, because it’s the first big band trip of said Sweeden. the year, and you kind of get to live with them for This year, like every year, the band will try and set the first time. It’s a lot of work, but when you’re on a high goal and then work for to achieve it. the bus together, you just start realizing that you “I think seeing the band advance from prelims to and everyone else all sacrificed the same things to finals would be nice. But my real goal for this year, be where you are right now.” would be to have a much stronger production that The UIL State Marching Contest process is a is better coordinated in terms of staging and visuals, complex one that occurs every two years for 3A and to continue to develop a product that is worthy and 5A bands. (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, and 5A are all divi- of a State Championship,” said Mr. Troyka. sions of high schools based on their populations. For instance, a 1A marching band might only have 100 students in the band, and a 5A band might

What’s your favorite place to grab a fast-food Burger? Senior Alyssa Dobbs Favorite Fast-Food Burger Place? What-a-Burger Why? “What-a-Burger has good old fashioned, Texas homemade burgers.“

Senior Dalton Repp Favorite Fast-Food Burger Place? Jack -in-the-Box

Seniors James Mcneese (left), Ciara Mason (middle), an of school.

Why? “They serve juicy burgers with a great sauce and a warm, fluffy bun. I just don’t see how it could get much better.”

Poll: Favorite

Senior Kaleb Ericson Favorite Fast-Food Burger Place? Sonic

Why? “Sonic makes good single-beef burgers. I don’t like all the other toppings.“

(out of 200 B

What-aIn n’ Out B Mc Dona Soni Jack in th Wendy Burger K Burger

The Berkner Rampage staff was asked to give its opinion on fast food burgers. Do you agree? Sophomore Karilyn Gregson What Do You Think of What-a-Burger? “They have the best fast food, plus it’s close to my house. An added bonus.”

Sophomore Harmony Holder

nd Dalron Repp (right) emjoy a burger after a long day

What Did You Think of Inand-Out Buger? “The burgers are too plain and simple, not that great.“

Burger Joints

BHS Students)

-Burger: 50 Burger: 43 alds: 34 ic: 20 he Box: 19 y’s: 16 King: 11 Street: 7

Senior Ciara Mason What Do You Think of Burger King? “I love Burger King! They have large, juicy burgers and a great taste.”


October 1, 2012


Choir, theatre pump in new life Scarlett Smith Staff Writer

With a new school year comes many new faces. Along with the new students, there are also new teachers. This year, two of the most popular programs have new directors. Mr. Doug Council is taking over the choir program, while Ms. Camille Haley takes over theater. Both have big plans for the programs and their experience in their fields should help. Mr. Council attended the University of North Texas and earned his degree in music education. He has been around music and choir his whole life. Even his parents are involved in choir. “I was always involved in music from a young age. I started learning to play piano at six. My father was also a choir director and my mother was a voice teacher, so it was a natural path for me to go into music,” said Mr. Council. Student diversity is what sets Berkner apart from his past schools and it is what attracted him to work at BHS. “The Richardson school district is a great place to go to school and also teach …the diversity is what I grew up with and is what I want to be around. This is where I have wanted to teach,” said Mr. Council. Mr. Council has plans to make the Berkner choir bigger than it has been in the past and wants the BHS choir program to be known nation-wide. “I would like to build it up. Of course, Mr. Jeff Goolsby did a great job at that for the four years he was here. I want to continue that, make it larger, and build it up to the days Glenda Casey was here…create a nationally known school and take it to state conventions,” said Mr. Council. For BHS students, it seems strange getting used to a new director after being accustomed to an old one. Senior Michael Newland commented on the strangest thing for him this year in choir. “The hardest part about having a new director is probably just old habits. It’s the little things that I miss about choir with ‘G-Money’ (Mr. Goolsby),” he said.

reading, shopping, traveling, cooking and spending time with her friends and family. Theatre students are welcoming Ms. Haley into the program with open arms and are excited to have her take on the job. Junior theatre officer, Savannah Spurlock said, “I think she’s awesome! Of course it takes everyone a while to get used to a new teacher, especially Students rev up their voices during Ms. Janna Preston’s choir class. Both Choir when you’re in and Theatre have new directors this year. (Photo provided by Ciara Mason.) theatre and your director is also But the more time they spend with does. She attended Texas Woman’s a mentor and friend. Although we Mr. Council, the more they get used to University and received her underall miss Mrs. Unk, I think Ms. Haley him and enjoy his teaching. graduate degree in Drama and then will do a phenomenal job filling her “Mr. Council has brought refreshwent all the way to Emerson College shoes. I’ve known her for a little over ing new energy to the choir. I like his in Boston to receive her master’s dea month and think she’s a great adaggressive approach to learning new gree in theatre education. dition to our Berkner Theatre family. music, and his funny bright personal“I was a theatre student in high She’s smart, organized, levelheaded, ity,” said Newland. school and fell in love with acting my and really open with her students. I Cindy Ly, sophomore, is new choir freshman year, when I received a role have a feeling she’ll be a favorite.” with boys and girls and is also getting in the Sound of Music. I have been Spurlock also thinks it’s important used to learning from someone aside hooked ever since,” said Ms. Haley. to keep an open mind when learning from Ms. Janna Preston, the assistant Ms. Haley was excited to get infrom someone new and building a director; So far, she is enjoying the volved with Berkner for the same relationship. experience. reasons as Mr. Council: Berkner’s “It’s hard to deal with change when “He seems to be a very hard working diversity and charisma. your relationship with another direcman who wants everyone to succeed “Berkner has a very diverse populator had already been formed, but but yet have fun with it. I’m very extion and a great sense of pride and it’s important to realize that because cited to have him as a new director,” tradition. I love being part of the team someone has different ways of teachsaid Ly. and look forward to getting the theing it doesn’t mean that they’re not Apart from his new job, Mr. Council atre more involved with other campus as good, or even better than who you and his wife are also expecting a baby activities,” said Ms. Haley they replaced. It’s important to get to boy, Mason Douglas, at the end of Ms. Haley’s job has already been know the mentor, who they are as a September. made easy. She thinks the theatre properson, and then look into the future Ms. Haley is also doing a great job gram is already the best it can be. and think about all the great things at keeping the theater program going. “I have walked into a fantastic that person can accomplish.” Theater has started on its fall play, program with a history of quality and With a big year ahead of them, choir Chemical Imbalance which, is a story excellence. I only hope to continue and theater students anticipate a great about Jekyll and Hyde. For the spring that history and add some new ideas future for the programs. These new musical, she and Mr. Council plan on to the mix as well,” said Ms. Haley. additions to the staff will bring both working together for the production For now, she is pretty consumed the best of luck. of Bye Bye Birdie. with her new job and theatre, but Ms. Haley is experienced in what she aside from that, Ms. Haley enjoys

Learning useful skills through Tech Theatre Tre Chappell

Staff Writer

Tech Theatre has always been an important part of Berkner High School. Its students are a large part of the reason that the school plays are so wonderful, why Berkner Idol runs so smoothly, and the reason that any other production in the auditorium looks so spactacular. Last year, Mrs. Karla Unkenholz, the former Theatre director, put a rule into effect that required every Tech prospect had to take at least one year of Theatre before being eligible to work on the Tech

crew. That rule played a role in reducing this years numbers, as some thought the rule was still in place this year. However, now that Mrs. Unkenholz has retired, the rule has been rescinded and students are now free to take Tech Theatre without the prerequisite. I spoke with Mrs. Laura Jordan, the BHS Technical Theatre director, and Tech students Marshall Nelson, Mark Buettner and Andres Valencia, who are members of Aud Squad, a group of the most experienced “Techies” in the class. When asked about why peo-

ple should join Tech Theatre and what it means to be in Tech, Mrs. Jordan said, “You’ll learn how to use power tools, build, and do makeup…it’s awesome. It’s not just a class, we’re a family.” Marshall, Mark and Andres all had one view in common when asked about why they joined Tech. They all said that they love the team environment. They also said it gets them a fine arts credit, and you can earn money if you are good enough at it. Last year, there were five Tech Theatre classes because the prerequisite had not taken

effect; this year there are only three and Mrs. Jordan said, “Tech is ready to expand” “Techies” are the unsung heroes of the arts. They are the ones that make sure every light is just perfect and every set piece is detailed and placed in the perfect spot. If a “Techie” is good enough, he/she can even be hired by the school and receive a paycheck. Tech can also give you useful skills to use in your everyday life. From fixing that wobbly chair in your dining room to building a new cabinet to hold the extra things in your little brother’s room.

Tech is also an easy way for the non-artistic to get the fine arts credit they will need to graduate from Berkner High School. You will also learn powerful teamwork and communication skills needed in your chosen career by working with not only other “Techies” but others, like Bandos, Actors/ Actresses and Band members. The next show, Chemical Imbalance: A Jekyll and Hyde Play will open Oct. 25-28. This show will provide viewers with an idea of what skills you will learn to create sets in Tech Theatre, which can be used throughout your life.


October 1, 2012


Robotics earns national championship Michelle Pinilla Staff Writer

While it is rare to win a State Championship, let alone a National Championship in high school, BHS Robotics accomplished the National feat this summer, winning the Vex Trophy titled, “TSA National Championship,” earning a remarkable honor for BHS. After many hard fought matches, BHS qualified for the National tournament in Nashville, TN. According to BHS robotics sponsor, Mr. Eon Meusa, Berkner’s fearless Robotics club’s main goal was to “show other states’ teams that Berkner Fearless Robotics is a highly skilled and competitive robotics group.” “Competitive Robotics is Technically a sport. It produces the same adrenaline and emotions that any other sporting competition does,” Mr. Meusa said. In all, there were 81 participating teams (three from Berkner) representing 21 states. All three Berkner teams were randomly paired with partners and not only were undefeated in qualifying rounds, but all made it to the finals in their respective divisions. Although some may think its a piece of cake to combine pipes together to create a working machine, these students showed how challenging and complex the development of a robot can be. “The opponents we went up against came from all over the country to compete in regional and state competitions to earn a spot at the National Championship,” said Vice President of the team, Indy Vermeersch. “The competition was tough.” Each of these matches took place in three-minute intervals. In the first 20 seconds of the matches, robots were programmed to score automously. For the rest of the match, they had driver control. Performaces were tallied up during the qualifying matches, and competitors shifted between ranks 1-3 during the first part of the competition. Later,

The BHS’ Robotics team operates its robot, on its way to the TSA national championship this past summer. (Photo provided by Eon Meusa.) they were divided in two separate divisions, in which the finalists of both divisions ultimately clash together in the finals. The team successfully won the quarterfinals and semifinals. The finished the finals on top, bringing home a national championship. As for how participants compete in a robotics match, the team is paired up with one teammate(2v2) and play the game gateway. They place cylinders and balls into 11 inch, 20 inch and 30 inch hollow cylinders. The BHS’ robotics team experimented with many designs at competitions across the state before creating their final product for Nationals. “The most difficult part of the process were the months and months of work and experience we had to go through to put in while making our final design during the season,” said

Vermeersch. As the competitions became more challenging, so did the scoring. The game was scored by how many rounds a team wins out of the 8 to 10 rounds. There were additional trophies awarded for the best automonus (meaning it drives by itself using a sensor) and driving competition (where one drives a robot for one minute to see how much he/she can score.) In terms of focus and intesity, Berkner’s robotics team really had to step it up. “The World tournament was as intense as any competition could be. With 400 of the best teams from over 20 countries, while Nationals involved only the top 81 U.S. teams from 21 states. We quickly realized some of the same top teams from World’s were

there also, so this really made us focus more and strategize even harder, since we knew it would be a tough three days of competition,” said Mr. Meusa. Winning the State Chamionship is a great accomplishment, let alone a National Championship. “I felt like we were on top of the world winning the National Championship. Seeing that we are one of the best teams in the U.S,” said president of the team, Henry Kim. The STEM Academy is very proud of their hard working Robotics Club Members. They all played an important role in this awesome victory. “Now the phrase ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’ also applies to head-to-head Vex robotics competition on a national Level,” said Mr. Meusa. “GO Rams!”

New cell phone policy allows more usage for learning Harmony Holder Features Edtior

As another school year starts, the cell phone policy has changed once again. Last year, the district allowed for students to use their cell phones in the hallways and at lunch. This year, not only can students use their cell phones at lunch and in the hallways, but if approved by the teacher, students can also use their cell phones in class for learning purposes, at the teacher’s discretion. Using cell phones in class will help with research by providing more accessibility to the Internet. Although teachers may face problems with students using their cell phones for other purposes, students love this new rule. “Its perfect,” said sophomore Lydia Cahill. “If I don’t know information about a topic I can get it on Google fast and easy.” Berkner High Schools technology specialist Mr. Derrell Oliver shared his thoughts on the new policy. “This new policy shows the districts commitment

Students use their cell phones in class. (Photo provided by Maylan Raymundo.) to futuristic learning in a more challenging environ ment. The usage of technology is advancing, and the district is trying to keep up” This new rule has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, students might text in class and not use their cell phones for work purposes and could get it taken up. On the other hand, students could access research in a more timely manner for class.

“I think that this rule is really going to help me in class with projects and other activities. Research information will be much more accessable,” said senior Jonathan Dickerson. Junior Alex Simpkins shared the same opinion. “I like it because I don’t have to hide that I am getting information off of my phone. Now that the school has Wi-Fi I can just log on and start researching.” Using cell phones in class is not just a new policy for Berkner, it is a district wide decision. Last year using cell phones during school was a “guinea pig” rule and expectations were high. One could say that the student body must have impressed the district because the rule was kept and made even more lenient. The expected outcome for this BYOD policy is to make technology more accessable into schools, because it is integrated so much in student life outside of schools. Senior Jack Grahmann shared his view. “I think we should be able to use our phones if we are not doing anything else in class or if we need information.”


October 1, 2012


Mr. Anthony tackles new challenges Gaby Rodriguez

Staff Writer

A New school year leads to changes, which includes administrative personnel. those who run the school. This summer, BHS principal Mr. Ron Griffen welcomed a new member to his team, Mr. Ron Anthony. Mr. Anthony replaces Ms.Kelly Moeller, who left to become principal at Catholic elementary school. Mr.Anthony started in education at Lake Highlands Jr. high as a teacher and a coach. After six years, he moved into administration as a assistant principal at Liberty Jr. high, where he stayed for one year. Following Liberty, he spent three years in the same capacity at Richardson North Jr. high. Mr. Anthony comes to BHS looking for new challenges. “I was looking for a different challenges, as we should always look to challenge ourselves in the life,” he said. Mr.Anthony has a passion for working with different types of students. He enjoys seeing them succeed and grow up to be successful in life. “All students are my favorite. I enjoy speaking to different groups of students about real life and doing what needs to be done to be successful,” Mr. Anthony said. While not serving as assistant principal, he enjoys working out and likes to read. He said, “ I enjoy reading all types of books. I also enjoy writing inspirational messages to help lift the spirits of other people.” In addition, he loves to travel and loves to go shopping. He goes shopping in polo outlet, Izod and J.C. Penny.

New BHS’ assistant principal Mr. Ron Anthony joins Ram Country from Richardson North Junior High. Amongst Mr. Anthony’s many duties include students with last names beginning A-F. (Photo provided by Gaby Rodriguez.)

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