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Bishop Kenny High School | Jacksonville, Fla. | Volume 69 | Issue 3

FEATURES 12 Students discuss their small businesses, nonschool hobbies



The Shield is student news magazine, published quarterly by journalism students at Bishop Kenny High School 1055 Kingman Ave., Jacksonville, Fla. 32207 phone: (904) 265-9390 fax: (904) 398-5728 The policy of The Shield is to provide a forum for student expression. If you are interested in advertising in The Shield, email newspaper@ for more information. Letters to the editor are encouraged; submit to room 224. Names can be withheld upon request. The Shield is a member of FSPA.

Copy Editor Grace Jennings Editor in Chief Elena Vincenty Layout and Design Editor Jessica Golden Public Relations Manager Addison Mark Web Manager Charli Esposito Staff Reporters Cate Dudley, Noah Ferrizzi, Mikaela Georgi, Parker Harms, Grace Hayag, Ava Liuzzo, Abigail Milkes, Audrey Moody, Haley Samaan, Stella Shaw Adviser Jessica Durbin Cover art by: Reilly Farrell Cover photographer: Mikaela Georgi Follow The Shield on Twitter, Instagram, and online: @bk_theshield

CONTENTS 3 5 8 12

14 15 16











Ava Liuzzo | Staff Reporter

atholic Schools Week sheds light on the positive attributes of Catholic schooling. The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) began the annual celebration of this week in 1974. Since then, Catholic Schools Week has been an opportunity to enhance students’ knowledge about the privilege of having a Catholic education. Celebrated from January 31 to February 4 this year, this week is a time for students, no matter their religious or cultural background, to take pride in their education and ability to discuss religion freely. “It is a good time for me and each Catholic School across the nation to step back and reflect on the opportunity that we have been given,” religion teacher Noreen

Thurson said. Thurson, faculty sponsor of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, sees Catholic Schools Week as a time that allows her to reflect on her Catholic values. “[Catholic Schools

Week] is a time for us to celebrate our identity and to help parents, teachers, and community members connect with the schools.” Thurson explained the ways in which the St. Vincent

de Paul Society helped the BK community celebrate Catholic Schools Week. “The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has planned to have little treats for the staff and faculty each day,” Thurson said. This school week consisted of a special activity each day that brought attention to the week’s uniqueness. A few of these activities included offering special cakes that were given to students and faculty to start off the week, the senior blood drive, a school-wide mass, a canned food drive, and other activities that were scattered throughout the week. Campus Ministry and Religion Department member Alexandra Maples appreciates the diversity that Catholic schools offer, more specifically how they bring together many people of all religions

and backgrounds. She has organized the senior blood drive for the past few years, she knows that the drive is necessary to save lives, especially because of the low blood shortage over the years. “It’s amazing to see how many of our seniors step up to volunteer,” Maples said. “We typically get about 70 seniors who want to volunteer and we get around 50 to 60 pints of blood that we are able to donate.” “We’ve tried to make Catholic Schools Week something that students are aware of, and hopefully enjoy and celebrate” Maples said. “It means a lot to me that we can all celebrate this special week together, the best of the Catholic Church— meaning universal— we are all connected.”

Photo Cred-BK Student Council


Faculty, students observe national tradition



Grace Hayag | Staff Reporter


BK achieves dual accreditation with SACS and FCC

Photo courtesy of Carla Chin

n Feb. 15 and 16, Services Michael Broach and then they rated the school throughout the state of Florida BK passed its explained the benefits and sent in their report. as being a high-caliber, topfull accreditation of having the FCC as Following this, a visiting notch, number one school,” visit. Accreditation the new accrediting team came for two days to said chairman of the is essentially a observe accreditation team, David meticulous check classrooms, Nelson. to make sure a meet As a part of school meets their visit, the team certain standards met with a group of and is qualified to students and a group teach its students. of parents to validate One importance what they liked about of accreditation is our school while also that it legitimizes asking them what students’ diplomas suggestions they have and transcripts. for the school. For the past 70 As an alumni years, the school has From left to right: Lou Pereira, Todd Orlando, Luiz Bravim, David Nelson, Jim Edler and 20 yearbeen accredited by administrator, the Southern Association of team. with administrators, tour Broach expressed how it felt Colleges and Schools (SACS), “Now that the Florida the school and review all of to hear such great news from who are responsible for Catholic Conference can do the evidence. Additionally, the accreditation visit. accrediting all the regional the accreditation, it is so much they inspected student files “When the team validated high schools, colleges, and more valuable because the to assure that the school had all the good work that we have universities throughout the team that comes is familiar appropriate records as well as done and spoke so highly of Southeast. with Catholic schools,” Broach personnel files to make sure our school, that felt good,” BK recently switched said. they were in compliance. After Broach said. to the Florida Catholic Unlike SACS, FCC going through the report, they When the team met Conference for our understands the Catholic increased some of the scores with parents, teachers and accreditation. As a result of aspects of the school, such that BK gave themself. For students, each group was their two day visit, BK now as going to mass, as well as example, for one benchmark asked to select one word to has dual-accreditation, from all the dynamics that go into the school rated itself a describe the school. The one both SACS and FCC). The running a private school. three out of four, but the word that all three groups visiting teams are usually Preparing for the visit, the accreditation team raised it to chose was “family”. made up of administrators school had to go through a four. “Everything we try to do from other schools of multiple 80 benchmarks of effective “Of many of the schools here is about being all one grade levels. Vice Principal education. Committees met to I have been at, Bishop Kenny family, trying to help our kids of Academics and School collect evidence of a self study has a strong reputation get better,” said Broach.


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ISSUE 3 • 7


Save the Date Suzanne & Brad Winkler

Photo courtesy of Brad Winkler

How long have you been married? 19 years What is your favorite part about working at the same place as your spouse? “Being able to see each other for more than five minutes throughout the day…without kids!” -Suzanne Winkler

How long have you been married? 19 years What is your favorite part about working at the same place as your spouse? “It’s nice to see him or him be able to stop by and say ‘hi’ because he works long hours, so I don’t get to see him much at home.” -Rafah Nackashi

Photo courtesy of Rafah Nackashi

Rafah & James Nackashi

For the Wedding of

Staff Spouses

Hosted by The Shield - Haley Samaan | Staff Reporter


Samantha & Robert Sims Photo courtesy of Samantha Sims

How long have you been married? 2 years What is your favorite part about working at the same place as your spouse? “Just to be able to smile at each other, or if one is having a bad day we can give each other a hug.” -Samantha Sims

How long have you been married? 39 years What is your favorite part about working at the same place as your spouse? “Kenny pride. It’s nice to have the same mission in life by educating young students and doing whatever we can to make Bishop Kenny a better place.” -Tim Yocum

Photo courtesy of Tim Yocum

Laura & Tim Yocum

Photo courtesy of Laurie Wray

Laurie & James Wray

How long have you been married? 33 years What is your favorite part about working at the same place as your spouse? “Being able to share what goes on in our daily tasks and to be able to talk about the successes of the students here at Kenny.” -Laurie Wray


ISSUE 3 • 11


Mikaela Georgi | Staff Reporte


Students discuss their small bus that pursue artistic pathways hold a crucial role of making up part of the culture at BK. Some people have made their

creative hobbies become their whole life. It’s not just a hobby to them; sometimes it can be a job, which convinces them to

use their efforts and goals to form small businesses. These are their stories.

Gab’s Creative Corner Currently a senior, Gabrielle Lehman took advantage of the pandemic to get herself involved in more hands-on activities. Lehman’s aunt was a “big crafter, and she started making masks when the pandemic started… She showed me how to use it, and I fell in love with crafting with her.” It wasn’t long after the pandemic before Lehman started her business on April 1, 2021. Entitled Gab’s Creative Corner, her crafting agency features vinyl decals on cups, mugs, tote bags, t-shirts, etc. Lehman sees her business as a way of not only providing people with handcrafted products, but a way to inspire them to follow their goals. “I wanted to show people that no matter what age you are, you can do what you want to do. Before I started, there was this one teenager

on Instagram… and she had her own business, and I said, ‘If she can do it, then I can do it,’” Lehman said. On a more personal level, her own goals

don’t just focus on the reception of a customer’s validation. Crafting is truly what she does. “Sometimes I just go into a whole

other planet… I would love to create and craft forever. It’s just something that fills my creative outlet,” Lehman said. Though times can be hard, she doesn’t regret her choice to involve herself in crafting, and she vouches for the belief that everyone should, if interested, involve themselves in such a fulfilling art. “It’s exciting, but it’s nervewracking. You don’t know what’s going to happen…, but it’s worth it in the end when you’re able to help people,” Lehman said. She’s grown over the past 11 months, and with her, her original crafting corner became a crafting room. Her one order turned into 35 of them. As much as she may have grown, one thing that never changed is the smile she wears when she talks about her business, or the excitement that paints her face when she gets a new order.

Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Lehman

’m a fervent believer in the power of the arts. At a school that focuses a great deal on extracurriculars, those

Lehman features clothing with all sorts of designs in her shop.



sinesses, non-school hobbies

Julie’s Wholesome Baked Goods Junior Juliana Namen is the epitome of dedication. She does not just have one small business to showcase her talents, but three. “I love to care for the environment and ensure that I am a steward of creation, which… is why I love to garden and examine the world around me,” Namen said. Her grandfather in El Salvador had magnificent sugarcane farms. He “loved animals and the environment and worked tirelessly to help take care of the world around him.” Namen’s grandfather essentially became her muse for her pursuit of the

with hand-stitching before advancing to using sewing machines. She never faltered in her hobby because, “you can always create something new. There’s no rules to it. There’s this kind of

freedom.” Though Schmitt wishes that the freedom extended to a possible small business she could form, her role in theater holds her back from

exploring this desire fully. “I kind of had to choose one or the other… I chose theater because I can incorporate sewing and theater, rather than making individual choices.” She believes that the costumes she provides for the cast truly makes a difference. “They just see everything coming together… They smile with utter joy and happiness, and it’s just such a good feeling,” Schmitt said. Even beyond the influence that her work has had on highschool theater, she claims that “it’s a form of expression, especially in society… Clothing can definitely help someone with their self-expression.”

Schmitt creates design ideas for Murder on the Orient Express.

environment, and though he died when she was young, she plans to “pursue [her] dream of being an environmental advocate” because of him. Outside of her work with nature, she also regularly bakes and formed a business

Photo courtesy of Juliana Namen

Photo courtesy of Erica Schmitt

Wardrobe Manager Sophomore Erica Schmitt may not have an official business, but her hobby is basically a full-time job. As soon as she arrived at BK last year, she was appointed as the assistant wardrobe manager for the Theatre department, shadowing a senior. Now, she’s been entrusted with the official position and has since done costumes for “The Addams Family” and is currently working on some for “Murder on the Orient Express.” She “works with the actors and actresses, making sure they can fully develop their character with the costumes, and I feel that I can… bump up the show.” Schmitt has been sewing for 10 years now, first starting

surrounding her bakery. “I truly enjoy creating, experimenting, and working with new recipes, especially because I love food,” Namen said. She specializes in her ability to adapt recipes for

Namen creates personalized labels for each of her treats.

people with allergies. “One of the most rewarding experiences I had was recently when I baked a cake that was dairy, gluten and grain free for a lady with numerous allergies,” Namen said. “She was so thankful… because she told me that she is never able to find sweets that cater to her needs.” Namen, too, despite the struggles, persists in her creations. She hopes that others will “pursue what they dream of and find others with a similar passion who will support and encourage [them] along the way. It is never too late or too early to pursue a goal in mind!”


Addison Mark | Public Relations Manager


ace, culture, ethnicity and gender are factors which have always divided our world. One of these factors that I’ve grown up learning and caring about is gender. The 2022 Women’s History Month theme, “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” is a tribute to frontline workers and caregivers during the ongoing pandemic and a recognition of the millions of ways women of all cultures, races and ethnicities have provided healing and hope throughout history. Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth II, Harriet Tubman are women who have helped bring healing and hope to our world. They are names that I am constantly reminded of. They are names that God created to give people the healing that we need during these difficult times. They are names that give us the hope we need

Hope, Healing in women’s history month in order to see an ongoing, powerful future. All of these women are different, but they have two things in common: gender and the power to

change the world. Jumping back into history, these women had to fight to survive in the cruel world they lived in. They fought for the women of today, for us to have the rights they didn’t have. Because of them, I am able to tell the world about them. I am able to speak my mind and do whatever I dream of doing. Because of them, women

today are seen as heroes. Frontline Workers Today thousands of female frontline workers of all races, cultures and ethnicities are risking their lives to heal others. Rachel Bresilla is an African-American nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. In an interview with “The Harvard Gazette,” Bresilla shared her journey as a nurse during the pandemic. At the beginning, Bresilla and her colleagues were filled with fear and uncertainty because of how little was known about this virus. Bresilla stepped into the unknown in order to provide healing to others. “I take great pride in every hospital staff member who showed up every day despite the unknown.” Bresilla said. “For me, [this year] I silenced fear, rose to the challenge, persevered, and embodied the year of the nurse.” Bresilla provides hope

that everyone is working as hard as possible to provide healing and the future we all need. Women like Bresilla are people that God created specifically to help and heal not only people, but the world. Tribute Jesus taught in Matthew 25:40, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” We are all children of God regardless of our race, culture, ethnicity and gender. Whatever we do to others, we do to Him. These times are difficult for everyone, everyone has experienced something difficult and we all need to be there for each other. This Women’s History Month we not only need to pay a tribute to the strong and caring women who have helped us get here today, we need to do what they did and provide the hope and healing that we all need.


Cate Dudley | Staff Reporter

Fast fashion impacts trends, encourages extreme consumerism


ast fashion is defined as the production and consumption of cheap, low-quality trendy clothing. It’s a term often connected to ethical consumerism. The rise in fast fashion began in the early 2000s and has only accelerated since then. Fast fashion brands like Shein, Forever 21, H&M and Fashion Nova define current trends, producing the clothes as fast as social media can promote them. Fashion is a cycle, keeping up with fast-moving trends over time. In the late twentieth century, the mainstream style of fashion was slower than it is now, with trends phasing in and out over the span of a decade or more in what the fashion industry calls the 20-yearrule. “The 20-year rule is a common way to predict which styles will come back into fashion each decade — simply look back 20 years and you’ll find the style inspiration many are drawing from today” Forbes business magazine describes this phenomenon.

With the increasing popularity of fast fashion in recent years, however, the fashion cycle has accelerated so quickly that it would more aptly be named the twomonth-rule. Social media and the pandemic play a part in this acceleration, with microtrends popping up on TikTok and other apps daily. Microtrends are short-lived fads that last less than a month and promote the quick consumption of specific pieces of clothing. During the worldwide quarantine in 2020, people were stuck in their homes with uninterrupted internet access and online shopping at their fingertips. During this time, Shein hauls exploded in popularity on TikTok, with influencers spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the cheap, lowquality clothing. What these popular haul videos don’t show, though, is the environmental impact of fast fashion.

A huge portion of the clothes are thrown away and wasted, once the trend is over. The synthetic dyes used in much of the clothing seeps into the earth through landfills and the plastic-based material and thread produces micro-plastics that end up in the air and ocean. Additionally, fashion companies like Nike and Adidas use child labor and sweatshops to get abundant, compliant and desperate workers. In 2018, a report by the Clean Clothes Campaign stated that Nike and Adidas pay their workers “poverty wages.” The current state of garment production in Asia has been described by the European Parliament as slave labor. Workers in major manufacturing countries like India, Bangladesh and China are paid a fraction of the living wage and are put in danger by breathing toxic substances in the air and working 14 to 16 hours a day. The clothes are then shipped around the world to social media stars

to advertise the unethically-produced garments to the world. There’s no denying that fast fashion is what’s affordable, and that is undeniably the appeal. That’s a valid argument for most people. But the influencers spending thousands of dollars don’t need affordable clothing and accessories; they just want whatever is trendy. While fast fashion is accessible, it is not the best possible option. If you can afford to, buying timeless pieces from more environmentally and socially conscious brands like Patagonia, Reformation and Levi’s is the most sustainable and beneficial option. There are other affordable alternatives, like buying secondhand. Thrifting has gained popularity over the past several years and consignment and online secondhand stores like Depop, ThredUP and Poshmark are also viable options. Given the choice between Shein and a thrift store, your carbon footprint and ethical well-being will thank you for choosing the latter.


Abby Milkes | Staff Reporter


Why student evaluations benefit teachers, students

ow do teachers know if their teaching strategies are effective? How do they know if they had a positive effect on students? How can a teacher fully develop if they don’t know how they are affecting their students? The answer is that they don’t. One of the major ways that teachers can improve is by listening to their students and applying their suggestions in the classroom. While there are systems in place to measure teacher effectiveness other than students’ evaluations, such as administrator evaluations, student evaluations hit closer to home because students make a class successful. Although some teachers ask for student feedback, unfortunately, there is no standardized process for students to evaluate teachers. Teacher evaluations at the end of the school year can only be viewed as beneficial for both the teacher and student. By filling out a questionnaire for the teacher, students can provide valuable feedback for teachers to improve their teaching skills.

Professionals also agree that evaluations should be used as a tool to help teachers. “School leaders (along with teachers) need to understand the purpose of evaluation as a ‘coherent, comprehensive, and coordinated approach to improving teaching quality,’” Frontline Education professional Sheila Robinson, EdD said. Most colleges use this structure in their classes, so clearly, it has been tested and has proven to be beneficial enough that colleges continue to use it. If high schools are viewed as “college prep” schools, then it only seems fair that students take part in this process as well in their high school years. Junior Reese Mohler believes that having teacher evaluations could be successful and would ultimately help both teachers and students. “I think we should have teacher evaluations because it allows the faculty and staff to understand their mistakes and to improve,” Mohler said. It is important for both students and teachers to view the evaluation process as a

positive thing. It’s essential for a successful evaluation to have the students share all the positive things that have helped them in the classroom, and it can tell teachers what they are doing well. German teacher Carol Hollen teaches German at all levels online through the College of Charleston. She is familiar with the evaluation process and while she sees this as a complicated subject, she believes that when it is done right, it can be helpful. “I think that when it is a guided evaluation, when it is a really well-thought out bank of questions, with prescribed answers, I think it can be really good for students to reflect on their instructor,” Hollen said. “And I think instructors can, in fact, learn new things.” It is evident that with an organized structure and compliant students, evaluations can truly help instructors gain new knowledge to successfully improve their classroom. Some may be opposed to evaluations because they don’t believe teachers should be “graded” based on students’ feedback because they could

show bias, but evaluations should be used as just one tool for teacher success. By using little things gained from the evaluation, teachers can dramatically improve, leading to improved learning for students as well. School is designed for learning; teachers teach a subject so that the students can truly understand it. However, if the strategy that the teacher is using is not working well for any of the students, then they are not learning and this goal is not being attained. Most educators would want to know this so that they can help students learn. Reflection is an important process for both educators and students. The only way for teachers to see or hear this feedback is through the anonymous opinions of students, who have experienced their teaching and can relay how it has affected them firsthand. Whether you are a teacher or student, we are all in this together. We have the same goal: to learn and grow. Let’s use teacher evaluations as a tool to help everyone achieve their goals.

ISSUE 3 • A&E 17

Good ole southern comfort food around Jax


Jessica Golden | Design and Layout Editor

s I came off of Christmas break, I realized that I would be writing Kenny Kravings for the last time. For me, this

is bittersweet, so I figured I should make myself feel better by eating some Southern comfort food. Even though I’ll no longer be writing reviews

about all the amazing food I’m trying, at least I’ll feel fat and happy!

Florida Cracker Kitchen is a breakfast and lunch restaurant “driven by the roots of Old Florida,” according to its website. There are five locations throughout Florida, two of which are in Jacksonville. I went to the San Marco location, located by Bishop Kenny. I ordered cheese grits, a biscuit and the homemade cinnamon roll. The pricing is as cheap as it gets for good food with the cinnamon roll being $3.99, the biscuit being $1.50 and

the cheese grits being $2.95. I ordered a la carte because their entrees looked so big from afar. The biscuit was perfect; it came out warm and was flaky. The cheese grits were just the right amount of salty. I do wish the cheese was a bit more melted into the grits though. The cinnamon roll. Oh my gosh, the cinnamon roll. I almost have no words for how delectable it truly was. It was the size of my head, came out hot and the icing was on the side so

I could decide how much I wanted on it. Florida Cracker Kitchen has great prices for the amount and quality of food that you receive. I would definitely go back to cure my cravings of some good old Southern meals.

Ida Claire is located at the St. Johns Town Center near Nordstrom. This restaurant screams Southern from the moment you walk in. The name of the restaurant is a play on the Florida Clairemont Motel, according to their website as well as a play on words for the southern saying, “Well, I declare!” I ordered the “Ida’s Fried Chicken,” which

comes with half of a bone-in fried chicken, sausage and pimento mac n’ cheese and compressed apple cucumber salad. The chicken was tender and there was not too much breading on it. The cucumber salad was fresh and light, and it was a nice side for a somewhat heavy dish (it was my mom’s favorite part). For me, the best part of the meal was the macaroni and cheese.

It was flavorful and the cheese was perfectly melted. It was priced at $18, which is a bit pricey but for the amount of food you receive, but I think it’s worth it. I’ll definitely be going back.

Woodpeckers Backyard BBQ is a hidden gem. It is a standalone shop on the corner of Shands Pier Road and State Road 13. You order your meal at the window and pick it up, and there is no inside seating. Woodpeckers is known in the St. Johns area as one of the best barbecue places, but those who don’t live in the area often don’t know about it. I ordered the three ribs

with corn on the cob, baked beans and Texas toast. This all cost only $12.78. It was a bunch of food and very filling, so I definitely think it’s priced very reasonably. The ribs basically fell off the bone. They gave me two different sauces to try on them: a sweet BBQ and a spicy one. They were both delicious, but I went for the sweet. The baked beans were an assortment

of pinto and black, which is Woodpeckers Backyard BBQ 4930 State Rd 13 N, St. different from the regular Augustine, FL 32092 baked beans that you see at (904) 531-5670 most BBQ restaurants. The @woodpeckersbbq Texas toast was a bit greasy but nonetheless had good flavor. This restaurant is a bit of a drive, but completely worth the extra 20 minutes in my opinion. I’ll definitely be making a pit stop there again.

Florida Cracker Kitchen 1842 Kings Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207 (904) 683-1996 @florida_cracker_ kitchen

Ida Claire 10209 Rivercoast Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32246 (904) 326-1900 @idaclairejax


Grace Jennings | Copy Editor

New take on Batman’s story explores vigilante villains

Photo courtesy of IMDB


hat’s that shining light in the sky? If you look closely, it’s the bat signal, letting you know the Caped Crusader is back for another brawl in Gotham City. Portrayed by Robert Pattinson, “The Batman” gave audiences a darker take on Bruce Wayne’s endeavors. Directed by Matt Reeves, “The Batman” dives into the villain’s origin stories, rather than Batman’s. Characters such as Riddler played by Paul Dano, Selina Kyle (more commonly known as Catwoman) played by Zoe Kravitz and Penguin played by Colin Farrell bring Gotham’s most notorious villains to the big screen. “The thing about the movie is that it isn’t a Batman origin story, but it is the origin story of every Rogue’s gallery character that you come across,” Reeves told Insider. com. “Selina Kyle is not yet Catwoman and the Penguin is not yet the kingpin.” Pattinson sought a new approach to his character as a way to distinguish himself from previous portrayals of Batman. “The Batman’’ leans more into Bruce Waynes’s detective side rather than his billionaire bad boy reputation. “I thought it would be interesting as you followed the details of the crime, that it would take him across the paths of these other characters,” Reeves said. It’s a refreshing take on the dynamic between

superhero and villain as Riddler, the movie’s main antagonist, matches Bruce Wayne in intellect; however, Batman is still as physically intimidating as ever. Both Batman and Riddler share a motive: to make the corrupt city just. Corrupt police officers and politicians are the ones who fall victim to Riddler’s vigilante scheme to

cleanse Gotham City. Another dynamic at play is Batman and Selina Kyle’s. Their path’s cross while Kyle is working in a club under the city’s leader of organized crime, Penguin. Penguin works closely with crime lord Carmine Falcone, who knows the ins and outs of the corrupt members of the police department, and holds secrets

crucial to Batman’s agenda. Batman and Kyle end up working together to unravel the web that is Gotham City’s police department and Penguin’s crime schemes, and also find out more about their parents’ own dark pasts. Visually, the film presents dark and gloomy scenes paired with gothic architectural sets, such as Batman’s underground lair in an abandoned train station, to create a sinister mood. Though the film is nearly three hours long, I did not notice it one bit. The pacing of the movie is executed well, with few slow or boring points in the plot. It manages to keep you on the edge of your seat all of the way through, with tasteful amounts of action to balance the detective work. If you are looking for classic Batman elements, rest assured you will find them here. The Batmobile makes a return in a thrilling car chase scene, along with some new gadgets like contact lenses that record what the wearer sees and a hidden blade in the bat symbol on Batman’s suit. If you prefer a darker and heavier take over most superhero movies’ comedy and action-centered themes, then “The Batman” is a perfect fit for you. I’d advise you to be careful if you plan on visiting Gotham City anytime soon, though, because I personally would not want to get caught jaywalking by Pattinson’s Batman.

ISSUE 3 • A&E 19

Stella Shaw | Staff Reporter


Finding a perfect prom dress step-by-step

ne of the most stressful social events in high school is Prom. There is a laundry list of tasks that need to be checked off to ensure that prom night is perfect: makeup, hair, finding a date, shoes and jewelry. Although, finding the perfect dress is the most important. There are thousands of prom dresses out there that would be cute for prom. You could go for cute, but why not aim for gorgeous? In order to achieve the title of gorgeous you should look and feel beautiful — like a celebrity walking on the red carpet. Finding a dress may seem like an easy task, but when it comes down to it, the perfect dress takes lots of preparation. Before you can even begin hunting on dress websites or having fashion shows in the stores, you need to figure out which colors are the best for you. Finding the Color Perfect for You You can do this by figuring out your undertones

and which colors complement them, which colors look best with your hair and skin tones or by

taking online color quizzes. Personally, I look at celebrities that have my hair color and skin tone

and see which colors professional fashion designers dress the celebrity in. Choosing the Best Style for Yourself Celebrities can be extremely helpful in the prom dress process, because the next step in prom dress picking is the shape of your prom dress. Look at celebrities that share your body type. They can help you find a flattering cut that will make you look effortlessly glamorous. Another way is to pick out different aspects of the dress that you find simply gorgeous: open or closed back? A-line or V-Line? Long or short dress? Sleeves, strapless or spaghetti straps? Dress material? All of these factors can narrow down your search significantly and make your prom dress hunt a lot less stressful. Prom night is about you! Figure out what dress will make you feel gorgeous so that your prom night will feel glamorous.



ear Kenny Kupid,

Let’s just say Valentine’s Day was a mess I’d like to forget. I completely broke, no-shattered the heart of the girl I’ve been talking to for over a month. It was an accident and a misunderstanding, but one that in her mind I can never make up. She is the most beautiful girl at Kenny. She has the kindest heart, most contagious smile and personality, intelligence beyond her years and she’s not afraid to speak up for herself. And we started out really well. I first asked her out by seeing if she wanted to go to the gym with me because I know she’s into CrossFit. Then we started going to the gym together three days a week. We got to know each other by talking every night and seeing each other at school. School was a different story because she was shy and didn’t talk to anyone like she used to, I always had to ask her where she was because she hides at lunch and leaves school so fast. Later on she told me, she’s timid because of the people around her causing so much anxiety and pain in the past, so she avoids those past feelings/people as much as possible because the “world isn’t always kind to brave people.” I didn’t know this story would be the downfall of us, but I should have known to get the girl before others

Sweeping up a shattered heart could get in our way, When Valentine’s Day came around, I had planned to meet her at the rooftop for dinner when an old friend of mine and her group of girls showed up to the restaurant and So before my date showed up, we were just talking and catching up about sophomore, junior year and beginning of senior year when she suddenly leaned in and

kissed me! (She wouldn’t let go of my face either. It was so gross and annoying! Who gave her the idea I wanted to kiss her?) When she finally stopped, I turned to see my actual date, my crush of months, standing in the doorway of the restaurant. This was the last time I saw her before she ran out crying. I later found out that the girl who kissed me used to be my actual valentine’s date’s, ex-best friend, and those girls

continuously do anything to ruin good things for her. I’m at a loss at what to do to fix us or how to explain it to her because every explanation is terrible. Help me Kupid, you’re my only hope. Sincerely, dumbfounded, sort of a jerk, hopes to be her boyfriend someday, Senior.



dumbfounded, sort of a jerk, hopes

to be her boyfriend someday, Senior. You messed up pretty bad, bro. Like on a scale of 1 to volcano eruption, you need to evacuate the city. I sort of have a solution, but you have to have some guts.

1. Reach out to her beyond the phone: find her at school where she “hides” and talk to her. Let her hear from you straight. 2. She already knows these girls are terrible, so prove to her that you know too: It shows that you can understand her and want to extend sympathy. Especially since you didn’t expect any of this. 3. Seek her out again and explain it in detail: tell her the table was for two and her friends were at table two feet away, that you had texted her and was waiting for her, even explain how gross being forcibly kissed by the other girl was. I bet it will make her laugh because she probably thinks that girl is gross too. 4. Apologize: enough said. Say sorry. 5. Fresh start. Ask her out to the gym again: I’ve floated around campus and I saw the beginning of the two of you guys flourish. I think it could be, well, a dope relationship (started off rocky though, my guy). Just restart where you guys originally started; sometimes an apology and a fresh start goes a long way. I believe you can pick up the pieces of her heart if you care about her enough. Tread lightly when searching for your fish in the sea because there’s always sharks. XOXO Kenny Kupid

ISSUE 3 • A&E 21

Elena Vincenty | Editor in Chief

What is a hop, skip and a jump away from Jacksonville ying on the beach in the Bahamas over a well needed spring break… ahh, how nice.


Just kidding! You have to stay home this break, but here are some things to do in Jacksonville,

a little farther away (~two to three hours) and a good road trip away (~four to five hours).

Let’s start out right here in good ol’ Jacksonville; seems boring, right? Think again. According to Tripadvisor, electric bike tours in Amelia Island, less than an hour from Jacksonville, are one of the “Top Picks in Jacksonville.” It allows for anyone to rent an electric bike (pedal or

not pedal) and take a tour of gorgeous Amelia Island. The tour takes two to three hours, good for an afternoon getaway from home! After taking a bike tour around Amelia Island with friends or family, you can stop in The Salty Pelican Bar & Grill for a quick bite. The Salty Pelican

offers seafood and American cuisine and is located right on the Amelia River, which is perfect after a long bike ride touring the island.

Want to get out of Jacksonville for the weekend? Just a two-hour drive from Jacksonville with lots of food, activities and history is Savannah, Ga. With a shopping district and loads of historical monuments and tours to see while taking a stroll, or trolley tour, around the historic streets like Forsyth Park, Bonaventure

Cemetery, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, or Mercer Williams House Museum. Savannah also offers great restaurant options for any meal of the day, a few of the top rated restaurants being: Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room and The Vault Kitchen + Market. Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room features classic southern staples like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard

spanning 175,000 square feet. This mansion is “a must-do if visiting Asheville,’’ according to Tripadvisor. After spending a few hours touring the estate, Tripadvisor reviewers recommended Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian, claiming the food is “unbelievable.” If you want to walk off all the amazing Italian food maybe try a

guided electric bike tour of Asheville historic downtown or try mountaintop yoga and meditation hike. Overall, Asheville offers a great weeklong family vacation.

Now, if you are ready to get out for a few days or more, then Asheville, NC is the perfect road trip getaway. Asheville offers hiking, horseback riding, zip lining and whitewater rafting. One of the top sites to see in Asheville is the historic Biltmore estate, built in 1889. According to Biltimore’s website, the estate is America’s largest home,

greens and more. The Vault Kitchen + Market is located in an old bank and offers sushi and Asian cuisine. They serve classic and original sushi rolls plus a variety of other delicious non-sushi options. Overall, for only two hours away, Savannah offers the perfect weekend or day getaway for friends and family.


Audrey Moody | Staff Reporter

enior Paul Barakat prepares for his match by blocking out all distractions around him. He wants to focus on being the best wrestler on the mat. “I walk onto the mat, go into the corner and make the

Photo courtesy of Carla Chin

sign of the cross,” Barakat said. “I finished my warm-up routine and I’m ready to go.” Barakat did not wrestle until his freshman year when his older cousins inspired him to join the sport.

But when Barakat started his wrestling career with a big losing streak, he looked up to his role model for inspiration. Wrestler Jordan Burroughs won a gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2015 and 2019 Pan American Games as a freestyle wrestler. Motivated by the Olympian and his cousins, Barakat won his first match against Ed White High School. “It felt really good to have my hard work pay off,” Barakat said, “I would train Photo courtesy of Tim Yocum


Wrestler finds solace in unexpected place seven days a week for two hours everyday. I also told myself before I stepped on the mat that no matter what, I’m not losing this match.” Barakat also wrestles for two wrestling clubs during the summer, including Applied Pressure Wrestling and Darkwolf Wrestling. Every Sunday, he meets up and practices techniques with them to improve his own strategies and help out fellow club members by inspiring them with different practices and warmup routines.

Barakat was competing in a national tournament that began on June 19, 2021. He was doing well, but on the third day, he sprained his MCL mid-match. Disheartened about being sidelined from the sport he loves, he once again looked up to Burroughs for inspiration and watched his wrestling videos to see his different styles. Once he was cleared to compete again, Barakat said he was thrilled to go back onto the mat for yet another match. Although he is not sure if he will compete in wrestling in college, he has enjoyed every minute of it in high school and looks forward to the future. “My favorite thing about wrestling has definitely been seeing all the hard work you put into practice every day pay off by getting wins,” Barakat said.


Noah Ferrizzi | Staff Reporter

t’s that time of year again. College basketball is starting to ramp up and the brackets are forming. Every year, 64 teams selected after the regular season compete until there is only one team left standing. However, almost every year a one seed wins for the men’s bracket. For example, since 1985, 64% of tournament champions have been one seeds. For the women’s bracket, 14 one seeds have won the tournament since 1982. But for women, a 13 seed has also come out on top, meaning it can be even more madness than the men’s bracket. Let’s take a look at some teams this year for mens and womens who might be able to take home the hardware. Mens top contenders: (Tie) Auburn and Baylor Possibly the two most popular picks to take home the tournament win this year in the men’s bracket, both Auburn and Baylor are situated in the top four in the AP Poll. The Baylor Bears are defending national champs and are looking strong once

again with a ranking of number 10 in the AP Poll. For Auburn their 22-1 record with a 10-0 record in the SEC

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons


Some teams that can win this year’s national championship two Stanford by four, and annihilated Vanderbilt 85-30 on January 24. Led by junior Aliyah Boston, South Carolina

Kansas Jayhawks fans watch an open practice leading up to a NCAA Tournament game.

with wins over ranked SEC teams like LSU and Kentucky. Baylor has a 19-4 record with a 7-3 record in the Big 12, but just took a big hit against the Kansas Jayhawks who manhandled Baylor 83-59. Womens top contenders: South Carolina It’s hard to go against a team that sports a 20-1 record when no other team inside the top 25 currently has as many wins with so few losses. They beat the current number

can make a deep push in the bracket. Mens dark horse: Loyola of Chicago When looking at teams outside the top 25 who could make the bracket and a push, few have as much Cinderellaexperience like Loyola of Chicago. The Ramblers boast a 18-4 record and put up a fight against Auburn which says a lot about how they can keep their own against the best teams in the country.

Led by Lucas Williams, don’t be surprised if Loyola does something similar to their 2018 tournament run going to the final four as an 11 seed Womens dark horse: Notre Dame This time keeping the dark horse pick inside the top 25, Notre Dame has looked great at times this season. The Irish have an 18-5 record and have a win versus number three North Carolina State. However after a loss to Florida State, the Irish are looking to keep the regular season strong. The Irish have a couple of young stars in freshman guard Olivia Miles and head coach Niele Ivy but lack tournament experience. Nevertheless, if the Lady Irish keep up the recent pace of play, they could make a run at taking him to the national championship this year. All of these teams can win the championship, but who knows? Every year, it’s difficult picking one of the 64 possible winners from each bracket, but that’s why they call it March Madness.