Page 1

blue&gold Friday, October 22, 2010


Nightmare on Mendon Road page 5

Volume 88, Issue 2 Findlay High School 1200 Broad Ave., Findlay, Ohio, 45840


Concussions end senior’s season

Catch the

Trojan fever

page 8

From wacky Spirit Week outfits to the Friday night crowning ceremony, read senior Tyler Campbell’s first-hand account of the Homecoming experience. page 6



Sunny High: 62 Low: 48



Few Showers High: 67 Low: 54

Showers High: 68 Low: 55

NEWS page 6

seniors Andrew Varney and Morgan Winans

page 8

Challenge Day encourages acceptance, compassion page 4

INDEX Editorial...............2 Entertainment....3 News/Feature.....4

Feature................5 Photo essay........6 Feature................7 Sports..................8

senior Larissa Van Der Molen

Stressing the test Assessment

Chamberlin Hill Intermediate School third grader Morgan Kline practices for the state proficiency test. All third graders took the proficiency test Wednesday, Oct. 13. photo by Taylor McGonnell

State standards dominate classroom instruction n

By Michaela Marincic A




Four little letters that stress students to the max. Picking one is easy; picking the right one might not be. The task of choosing a letter doesn’t seem so simple when you’re taking a standardized test, especially the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) to determine whether or not you receive a diploma. With such high stakes, teachers need to prepare students to pass the test, especially when school ratings depend on scores. This pressure can result in “teaching to the test,” or covering material that likely is on the test but necessarily relevant. However, some argue the tests are helpful, leading to a conflict that has caused to debate over standardized tests.

Benefits of testing According to Ohio Department of Education representative Julie Daubenmire, the main reason for standardized testing is to check if students learned the information outlined in state standards. “We want to make sure every student has access to a rigorous curriculum,” Daubenmire said. “By having content standards, what you learn is the same as what students in other districts learn, so you will

not have a better or worse education depending on where you live.” Before state-mandated exams and standards, teachers had less direction in what material to cover. Now test results show which subjects need more coverage in class and who teaches this material effectively. “We analyze the scores like crazy,” Jenna Potteiger, Washington Intermediate School teacher, said. “That way we can share strategies because we know who to go to get ideas (for teaching certain topics) because we know whose kids scored higher in those areas.”

Negative consequences On the other side of the debate is the argument that standardized testing limits what teachers can cover in class. Some teachers say they focus on helping students feel comfortable with the tests, while others argue they teach to state standards, not tests. “I don’t directly teach to the test because we don’t know what will be on it, but I teach to the standards,” Julie Miller, Chamberlain Hill Intermediate School teacher, said. “The district purchased reading and math book series with everything we need to meet standards, but people who like to be creative don’t have as much flexibility.” Not only do testing and standards force teachers to cover certain topics, but they can also take time away from other material.

“I could cover more if we didn’t have the test,” math teacher Karen Ouwenga said. “I don’t always agree with what the state wants me to teach; instead I would spend more time preparing students for their next math class and honing their skills.” Some students also think they are missing out on more important topics when the focus is on the OGT. “The OGT was a waste of time,” junior David Siebold said. “It wasn’t something I needed to be preparing for. That time in class could have been spent doing more valuable work.” English teacher Maribeth Geaman wishes standardized tests would evaluate students in a variety of ways. “So much of the OGT is assessing students in a multiple-choice question format,” Geaman said. “In an ideal world, there would be more authentic means of assessing. “It should not be so much whether specific answers are right or wrong but what something means as a whole.” Many teachers agree that having to focus on test subject matter takes time away from more engaging projects. “Before the test we did more fun things because we had time for things that weren’t necessarily what the state wanted,” Janine Gilts, Washington Intermediate School teacher, said. “We still have some fun, but it’s not like it used to be.”

Casts prepare for fall plays n


Senior Lindsey Greer, junior Arden MacDonald and senior Sarah Black rehearse for the junior/senior fall play, The Odd Couple. The female version of the play debuts November 5 in R. L. Heminger Auditorium. photo by Katie Logsdon

BLAST from the PAST By the time current seniors were in preschool, Hey Arnold! was becoming a hit on Nickelodeon after its October 7, 1996 premiere according to


things that make you look smart today

By Leah Cramer

A modernized comedy and a children’s story are what’s in store for audiences the first two weekends of November. Junior and senior cast members will perform the female version of The Odd Couple the first weekend, while freshmen and sophomores will act out the story of Charlotte’s Web the next. The Odd Couple tells the story of Florence (junior Leah Cramer), a recently separated woman, and her divorced friend, Olive (junior Arden MacDonald), struggling to reconcile conflicting personalities as they attempt to live as roommates. “The interaction between Florence, who is very neat and uptight, and my messy, laidback character makes a good contrast that will be fun to watch,” MacDonald said. “We meet up with these two sexy Spanish guys and they try to seduce us and it’s really funny because it’s so awkward.” Since the male version debuted in the

1960s, the cast modernized some of the lines. “We’re updating the jokes so that people will understand them,” director Debbie Benson said. “We’re trying to make it easier for today’s audience, especially the high school students, to relate to.” The following weekend, freshmen and sophomore cast members will act as narrators, farmers and barn animals in the story of how Charlotte, a spider, saves her pig friend Wilbur. “We’re going to emphasize how even though the characters are animals, they have human emotions,” freshman Makenna Fox said. “Although it is a children’s story, teenagers and adults will find it entertaining too because there are so many characters and so much going on. “The whole play is really about friendship, which is something people can relate to.” The Odd Couple will be Nov. 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. Charlotte’s Web will be Nov. 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Olive Madison junior Arden MacDonald Florence Unger junior Leah Cramer Manolo Costazuela senior Isaac Steinhour Jesus Costazuela senior Andrew Varney Charlotte sophomore Rachel Cruea Wilbur freshman Makenna Fox


1. Jersey Shore and Lady Gaga inspire the most Halloween costumes.


2. Entertainment Weekly named Johnny Depp the most powerful entertainer of 2010. 3. Two Texas school districts monitor students with the same technology used to track cattle. 4. opened online auditions for its Symphony Orchestra. 5. Head-to-head collisions between NFL players are equivalent to being hit with a sledgehammer. sources:, AP Texas News,



Students in Fashion Design class are making dresses for girls in need. “In this class we all have a skill, so why not use it for a greater good?” senior Daila Moore said.


blue & gold

friday, october 22, 2010



THE GIST OF IT • Teaching to the test is unfair to students and teachers alike. • Administrators are being nit-picky by banning hats during Spirit Week. • Changing the middle school mascots is an improvement for the district.

Staff policy


Athletic policy Teaching to test harms needseducation revision

Blue & Gold is a monthly student publication for the students of Findlay High School. Blue & Gold is a public forum which is funded by advertising.

American schools are slipping an overemphasis District administrators need to due taketo a closer look at the on standardized testing a curriculum that prepares students for school’s athletic drugand policy to stop students from finding loopassessments rather the than the future. holes and cheating system. Students begin testing in (which third grade. imIf suspended forstandardized drug or alcohol abuse they To sign a prove scores, focuses on other preparing forduring these exams, contract to notcurriculum do), athletes can join teams their a process many dubeligibility “teachingfor to their the test.” off-season to regain sport of preference. The goal frequent is todisrespectful ensure students are getting Not of only is this testing unfair, it’s to the sport and a quality education, but teaching to the test gives kids informarule-following athletes. tion theyJoining need toother knowteams for antoexam, not necessarily gaining simply “do their time”for sends a a better understanding of participating the subject. that the “new athletes” strong message to those These assessments areorblack-and-white, aren’t there to work hard enjoy the sport. multiple-choice exams, leaving nothey room creativity or different thought saying proInstead, arefor there for self-gain and basically cesses. only It’s not fair to judgesoathey student’s intelligence orsport” a school’s they’re participating can play their ”real . effectiveness on such tests. Athletic Director Nate Weihrauch claims cheating the Some blame school board members or but curriculum system only hurts athletes in the long run, there aredirectors no confor these problems, sequences for those but whothis do is so.truly a national issue. When federalHowever, legislation like thetoNo Childstudents Left Behind Act (NCLB) linksof it is hard blame for taking advantage test scores, officials’ hands aschool flawedfunding systemto when nothinglocal is done to change it.are tied. Legislators pass these to is “crack on education No athlete in their rightlaws mind goingdown” to sit out their season, and seepotential results. But since when are lawmakers in Washington or risking scholarship opportunities, when they can simColumbus the ineligibility experts on education reform? ply serve their in a sport they don’t really care about. With for reauthorization, thepolicy, perfectthey time If the NCLB schoolup board has the power tonow formisthe to evaluate the bill’s flaws it. and bring about change students have the power to change A stricter Codethe of Conduct could need and this deserve. eliminate loophole and stop kids from cheating the system. Less focus on standardized test scores and obey moreall emphasis All athletes sign a contract saying they will the rules. on theneeds quality could improve There toof becurriculum a harsher punishment for American those whoschools’ break international rankings well. this promise and don’t as keep their end of the bargain. Nations South of Korea and Finland rank far athletes better than While thelike purpose the policy is not to catch butthe U.S. Yettowhile theseon countries onthe better training for teachrather get those drugs orfocus alcohol help they need, there ers orto more funding for schools, politicians here seem to think need be consequences. theThe solution is more current policystandardized doesn’t holdtesting. students accountable for For example, Governor Ted Strickland’s education plan calls their actions. Instead, it teaches them to cheat their way through for replacing the Ohio Graduation Test with the ACT. the rules. This is ridiculous. Replacing one test integrity with a more difficult Changing this policy will bring more to high school exam won’t solvemore the state’s education problems. sports and make athletes think twice before using illegal Rather than forcing teachers to focus on improving test drugs and alcohol. scores, lawmakers need to back off and let educators use a curriculum that will prepare students for the future, not a worthless standardized test.

Letters to the editor As an open forum for students, letters to the editor are welcomed by the staff, but we request that they be 300 words or less due to lack of space. All letters must be signed. Blue & Gold staff reserves the right to edit letters without changing the meaning. Letters may be dropped in room 286.

Staff editorials All editorials without a byline reflect at least two/thirds opinion of the Blue & Gold staff but are not necessarily the opinion of the administration.

Contact us Contact Blue us & Gold 1200 Broad Avenue Findlay, Ohio 45840 (419)-427-5474

About us Blue & Gold is a member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the National Scholastic Press Association, Quill & Scroll and the Ohio Scholastic Media Association.

No-hats policy ridiculous, suppresses school spirit n


maples’ mindset

By Kim Maples

Perhaps I’m the strange one here, but I’ve been planning my costume for next week’s Senior Dress-up Day since I was a freshman. For one day, the halls are filled with seniors decked out for Halloween, some costumes provoking

a few laughs or awed gapes. I can’t wait to be among them. But there’s one little problem that may interfere with my grand plan: the administration’s refusal to allow students to wear hats, even on special occasions. Think of all the costumes that would be completely unrecognizable without their trademark hats; yes, the Mad Hatters out there may need to rethink their occupation, and without his spiraling headpiece, I suppose the Cat in the Hat will just be, well, a cat.

All this hooplah over hats is utterly nit-picky on the administrators’ part. Students should be allowed to wear whatever festive headgear they want during Spirit Week or Halloween. However, the student handbook clearly states that “hats, head apparel, and hoodies must be off from 7 a.m.-2:35 p.m.” later saying that these rules also apply to dress-up days. This makes no sense. I doubt I’m the only one who remembers ‘Crazy Hat Day’ during spirit weeks in middle and elementary school. Why is it that wearing hats then was an activity

encouraged by the school, and now it is considered disruptive to our education? It’s hypocritical to encourage us to dress up to express our school spirit, and then put restrictions on it. Sure, some kids take advantage of it by wearing regular baseball caps, but if the most pressing issue on the administrators’ agenda is one day of students breaking dress code, we have bigger problems. As for my costume, I plan to wear my hat loud and proud, and hope the administrators allow seniors one day dress-code-free.

to the

LETTERS EDITOR New mascots will bring unity Dear editor, Recently, I have heard a lot of complaining about the new middle schools concerning them having the same mascot of a “Trojan”. People seem to think that this will take away from the diversity and the tradition of the middle schools. While that may be true in a way, in reality the pros heavily outweigh these cons. Having the same mascot will improve school unity and pride. When freshmen come to the high school, for the first few months there are always differences depending on what school you came from. With all of them sharing at least one thing—their mascot—transitioning to the high

The staff John Sisser Editor-in-chief Kim Maples Feature editor Taylor McGonnell Katie Logsdon Photo co-editors Lexi Perrault Sports editor Leah Cramer Michaela Marincic News co-editors Sam Malloy Advertising editor

school will become a bit easier. The biggest thing that will come from them having the same mascot as the high school is school pride. If for three years children have been rooting for a Trojan, they will be much more passionate about the high school Trojan when they finally arrive here. Moving the mascot of the two new middle schools to a Trojan will have many positive effects on the schools for years to come. Sincerely, junior Alex Zeto

Students need two sets of books Dear editor, I hope to bring attention to a problem that most choose to ignore. The books students


use are huge and while size cannot be helped, something should be done about the quantity of books being carried home each night. Studies have proven that the loads students take home can cause permanent damage if more than 20 percent of an individual’s weight is carried on a regular basis. There should be a classroom set of books for most courses so students could keep their copy at home. Teachers would not have to worry about students forgetting books. Students would not have to worry about missing homework because they forgot to throw a book into their backpack. This could be cheaper as well because books would receive less damage. Respectfully, senior Maddy Herron

Teachers always willing to help Dear editor, I would like to comment on how much our teachers are willing to do to help us understand the material they teach. They meet before and after school, stay late and use their lunch period to help students. It is not recognized enough that while half of us are sleeping in class, they are willing to stay after so we can get the homework problems down and finish labs. So far, I have never been turned down before or after school when asking. Students should appreciate teachers who hold after school review sessions for students. Sincerely, junior Corey Bern

Is there too much emphasis on standardized tests?

“There is too much emphasis on testing. Sometimes teachers are teaching to the test only and it gives little reason for students to remember the material after the exam.” senior Jack Heminger

“Yes. Everyone puts so much emphasis on passing tests that teachers base their entire curriculum on it.” sophomore Becca Snedeker-Meier

“Yes. Many teachers teach only the materials on the test, so the whole course is directed towards that one test.” senior Nan Wilson

“Yes, because in a lot of classes, all the emphasis is put on standardized tests, not our general education and that is harmful to our learning.” junior Sean King

“The state needs to ensure schools teach what they are supposed to be teaching, but I’m not sure their current method is the best way to do that.” math teacher Aaron Moyer

“Yes, because there is so much class time taken up for one test, like the OGT, that can be used for other things.” senior Alex Fenimore

Kieley Ray Emily Eckhardt Krystal Kornblatt Shelby Wilson Emily Wolfe Photographers Lydia Bauler Regan Campbell Erin Dougherty Reporters Autumn Simmermeyer Artist Jim McGonnell Adviser

blue & gold

friday, october 22, 2010


THE GIST OF IT • Speak Now, Taylor Swift’s newest album, hits stores Oct. 26. • David Archuleta’s songs are more personal in his second CD. • The Social Network boasts solid acting and a gripping plot.



What’s buzz? 10 things YOU need to check out this week 5 3OH!3 in concert Nearly all the pop group’s singles have sky-rocketed to the top of the charts, including Don’t Trust Me, Starstrukk and My First Kiss (feat. Ke$ha). Don’t miss the chance to see them live Oct. 27 when they perform with Hellogoodbye at the LC Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. 3OH!3

7 Saw 3D

in theaters

The Hunger Games series


Taylor Swift‘s newest album, Speak Now

With the first single off the album, Mine, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Swift’s newest album is expected to be the top selling record of 2010. The 14-track album will be released Tuesday, Oct. 26 with a deluxe edition available only at Target.

9 13 Nights of Halloween

The low-budget original Paranormal Activity took the box office by surprise, earning around $194 million. Producers are hoping the sequel will be equally successful, and just as scary, when it hits theaters tonight, Oct. 22.

Oceans on DVD

Glee Halloween special

Disney’s second environmental film dives deep into each of the oceans and a portion of this week’s DVD sales will go to The Nature Conservancy, an eco-friendly group.

The cast of FOX’s hit television show Glee will take on the songs from the classic Rocky Horror Picture Show. Even original cast members of the 1975 film musical are expected to make guest appearances when the episode airs Tuesday, Oct. 26.


Apple iPhone for Verizon

Speculation began a few months ago that Apple would expand the distribution of its popular iPhone to networks other than AT&T, but the company officially announced this month the device will be available for Verizon customers in January.

For the 12th year running, ABC Family is airing its 13 Nights of Halloween celebration. Movies like Hocus Pocus and Van Helsing will all be playing along with Halloween-themed episodes of the network’s shows.

Paranormal Activity 2


The creators of the Saw franchise take the thrills into the third dimension. Get ready for guts and gore flying off the screen and into your lap when Saw 3D hits theaters two days before Halloween.

Have we found the next Twilight? These books by Suzanne Collins are grabbing a huge teenage fan base and Hollywood is even looking into bringing the stories to the big screen.

Emma Stone hosts SNL

With Stone’s comedy repertoire, including favorites like Superbad and Easy A, the 21-year-old rising star should have no problem winning over the audience in Studio 8H. Catch Saturday Night Live tomorrow, Oct. 23, at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.

Taylor Swift photo: courtesy of (fair use), Glee photo: (fair use), Paranormal Activity 2 photo: lostinreviews. com (fair use), Oceans DVD photo: (fair use), 3OH!3 photo: (fair use), The Hunger Games: (fair use), Saw 3D photo: (fair use), 13 Nights of Halloween photo: (fair use), Apple iPhone photo: (fair use), Emma Stone0 photo: (fair use). Matthew Morrison photo: courtesy of (fair use), Jesse Eisenberg photo: courtesy of (fair use)

HITor MISS From movies to shows to CDs, we’ve got you covered MOVIES



The Social Network tells story behind Facebook

Glee keeps music, comedy rolling in second season

Archuleta’s album shows sensitive side


By Emily Wolfe


Title: The Social Network Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake Plot: Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) is a Harvard geek who, after a tough break-up, sets up a website comparing college girls to each other. This gets him in major trouble Eisenberg with the university, but starts the Internet phenomenon Facebook. Why see it: This true story, being hailed as the must-see film of the season, shows the struggle it took for a college student to become a billionaire. The plot grabs you at scene one as Eisenberg really makes his character’s cocky personality come to life. Grade: A

Original Halloween offers cheesy thrills n

By Lydia Bauler

ONLINE IN SHORT Want more reviews of horror classics? Head to to see whether these flicks kept their fear factor.

Title: Halloween (1978) Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence and Tony Moran Plot: In an act of homicidal rage, Michael Myers kills his sister on Halloween night. He escapes years later to terrorize Laurie Strode (Curtis) and her friends. Why see it: Halloween is the perfect film for horror flick beginners. The suspense, horrible acting and terribly fake screams make it just cheesey enough. The hormone-crazed teens are as absurd as the overdramatic cries of agony. Grade: A-

By John Sisser

Title: Glee Starring: Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele and Jane Lynch Plot: McKinley High School students struggle to make Glee Club cool. Between a vicious cheerleading coach and an uncooperative principal, the group faces hurdles, but members find strength in music. Why see it: Season two is shaping up to be Morrison just as entertaining as the last. Episodes are well-themed and offer unique covers of popular songs. Viewers will appreciate the adult humor and innuendos that keep Glee from becoming too much like High School Musical. Catch Glee Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on FOX, channel 16. Grade: A

NBC’s School Pride doesn’t make the grade n

By Lydia Bauler

Title: School Pride Starring: Tom Stroup, Susie Castillo and Kim Whitley Plot: School Pride is an inspirational take on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where underprivileged schools get a much-needed renovation. Interviews give insight to the students’ and teachers’ hopes for what the new school will bring to the community. Why skip it: While the interviews with students and teachers are moving, the emotional accounts leave viewers a bit lost. The storylines lack flow and transitions. The reality show’s good deeds are charitable, but make for poor television. School Pride airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on NBC, channel 12. Grade: C


By Erin Dougherty

Album: The Other Side of Down Artist: David Archuleta Sound: Pop Last release: David Archuleta Why buy it: Archuleta’s goal was to show more personality in this album and that’s exactly what he did. Songs like Parachutes and Airplanes have the upbeat style people associate with the American idol runner up, while songs like Who Am I show his more sensitive side. Download this: Something ‘Bout Love Grade: B+

Keith’s latest is disappointing, unoriginal n

By Lydia Bauler

Album: Bullets in the Gun Artist: Toby Keith Sound: Country Last release: American Ride Why not to buy it: Bullets in the Gun has a stale twang and lyrics that harp on about the same old themes. What the album lacks in originality, it makes up in crudeness in Get Out of My Car, which demands either let’s mess around or cut the date short. Download this: Somewhere Else Grade: C


albums on the Billboard 200 chart

1. Bullets in the Gun Toby Keith

2. Hemingway’s Whiskey Kenny Chesney

3. Doo-wops & Hooligans Bruno Mars

blue & gold


friday, october 22, 2010

THE GIST OF IT • Students appreciate Challenge Day, but question its long term effects. • Marching band members hope to receive a superior rating at state. • Students can nominate a teacher for a Golden Apple Award.




NHS members collect 62 pints for Red Cross BLOOD DONOR


By Michaela Marincic

Findlay First Edition (FFE) will host its 23rd fall festival Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Five Northwest Ohio show choirs will perform. FFE will wrap up the night with a medley of songs from its competition show. “We have a little bit of everything,” senior Chelsea Whikehart said. “We’re trying to branch out and do new things to keep up with the competition.” Tickets are $4 for students, $8 for adults and available at the door.

Senior Jared Manning patiently waits while his blood is being drawn for the National Honor Society (NHS) Blood Drive. NHS, partnering with the American Red Cross, collected 62 pints of blood on Oct. 13. One pint of blood can save up to three lives. “This was one of the more successful blood drives in the past several years,” NHS president David Pfaltzgraf said. “It’s a good representation of how compassionate the students here can really be.”

ArtWalk provides free entertainment n

By Michaela Marincic

ArtWalk offers students an opportunity to enjoy art and dining downtown Nov. 5 from 5-9 p.m. The main attraction is the art studios on the second floor of the Jones Building on S. Main Street where local artists will showcase their work and be present to answer questions. “It’s cool because you don’t realize how much art we have in Findlay until you talk to the people who do it,” junior Trenton McBeath said. “If you enjoy art, you should check it out because it is a unique experience.” Some local downtown restaurants and shops also have sales and extended hours.

photo by Katie Logsdon

Challenge Day promotes positive changes n

FFE hosts annual show choir festival

By Leah Cramer

One day was all it took for junior Eric Manning to change the way he thinks about others. That experience was Challenge Day, which is composed of a variety of activities meant to promote acceptance and understanding and is offered to students enrolled in a health class. “Challenge Day made me think about the reasons why people are the way they are and made me more accepting towards those who act differently than I do,” Manning said. “I learned to be more positive in my own life and to be more compassionate to others who might be going through tough times in theirs.” Over 400 students will take part in Challenge Day Nov. 9-12 in the auxiliary gym. “The program focuses on how we treat each other,” assistant principal Kelly Glick said. “The bottom line is we’re all more alike than different, and if everyone at this school would just treat one another more lovingly, grades and attendance would improve. “It (Challenge Day) addresses so many issues (oppression, death, prejudice, cliques) so everyone gets something different out of it.”

According to Glick, 97 to 98 percent of previous post-Challenge Day surveys have been “overwhelmingly positive”. While Challenge Day produces positive results, some question how effective it is at creating change in the long run. “I really appreciated Challenge Day, but I wish the changes it caused would last more than that one day,” junior Petra Petrescu said. “In the beginning, everyone was opening up to each other and became more compassionate. “After awhile they kind of just stopped caring and as the days and weeks went by it was like it hadn’t even happened.” Glick believes longer lasting benefits could be generated by getting more students to join Care Club, which was created to continue Challenge Day’s objectives. “What we really need are some long-term activities to keep it going,” Glick said. “It’s a challenge, but I’ve had enough great experiences to believe that it’s worth it to keep having this event. “For some kids, Challenge Day can forever change how they think about and do things.”

HELP OUT How to support Challenge Day

IN SHORT Helping Out • Visit Bob Evans on Oct. 26.

• Buy a dinner from 4-9 p.m. • Give the server your Bob Evans Challenge Day flyer and they will donate 15% of the proceeds to the event.

Orchestra members host patriotic concert n

By Leah Cramer

Orchestra members will perform at their annual Pops Concert Nov. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Each song is preceded by an explanation of how it relates to the theme Portrait of America. “We’re very blessed here in the United States with a rich musical tradition and culture,” director Ken Pressel said. “We’ll be playing folk music, some jazz, the Superman theme song, a piece written as a tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11 and ending with Stars and Stripes Forever.” Tickets are $2 for students, $5 for adults and can be purchased at the door or from any orchestra member.


Marching band qualifies for state n


Senior Michael Blaser and junior Zach Montgomery move into formation during the performance of the national anthem. The band competes at state on October 31. photo by Taylor McGonnell

By Michaela Marincic

After receiving a superior (I) at the district level, the Findlay Trojan Marching Band will compete at the Ohio Music Education Association state finals Oct. 31 at Welcome Stadium in Dayton. This is the eighth consecutive year the band qualified for state. “It is always uncertain if the band is going to be good enough to go to state, so proving this is exciting and a weight off our shoulders,” junior Shelby Fletcher said. Next, band members want to prove that they can achieve the highest rating at statelevel competition. “Now we need to get a superior at state to make up for the II last year,” senior Patrick McAdoo said. “It (getting a II) was a bummer. This helps us have more drive because we

want to get a I.” Director Tim Mattis sees this motivation positively affecting the band’s performance. “The thing I’m most pleased with is that we’re continuing to move forward,” Mattis said. “It’s when things plateau that you get in trouble, but everyone keeps getting better.” This work ethic will help them to improve marching precision and music quality, straighten lines and play more dynamically in preparation for state. “The judges are looking for things to be as close to perfect as can be,” Mattis said. “I remind students that the performance that got them to state is not enough to earn the highest rating there. “They (judges) want the music in tune and everyone executing the steps consistently.”

Rotary accepts nominations for Golden Apple Award n

By Erin Dougherty

Students have until Nov. 15 to nominate their favorite teacher for the Rotary Club’s Golden Apple Award. To qualify for the award, educators must: • teach full time in a Findlay or Hancock County school • have taught a minimum of three years in their current school system • have spent a majority of their time in the classroom working with students • not be a previous winner Visit for more information and a link to the online application or send a nomination text to 419-957-9801.

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00 days

friday, october 22, 2010

blue & gold




• Blue & Gold staffers went ghost hunting on Mendon Road near Van Wert. • While investigating, we were chased by masked teenagers in a truck. • Some of our photos have unexplained bright orbs and lights, possibly ghostly.

Victoria Swartz

es school’s problems

them to school if you are not going to let in?”

urvey*: 80 percent of teachers agree with wartz handled Thursday mornings, eas 82 percent of students do not.

ease attendance

oblem: Students with unexcused abs miss class time, which can negatively ct grades.

olution: Swartz asked assistant princio identify students who had 20 or more cused absences last year and put them on cal letter at the start of this school year. equires them to have a doctor’s note for sences due to illness. these students had fewer than three cused absences by second semester, they taken off medical letter. tendance improved about 1.5 percent ast year, although hindered by the H1N1 eak, according to Swartz.

eaction: “I can see how the medical letn be used to prevent truancy, and that’s ” sophomore Kari Payne said. “But for ho was actually ill and willing to accept ct that I would have a large workload to up on, it’s insulting and makes me feel

like I’m unappreciated.”


Survey*: 88 percent of students and 80 percent of teachers do not notice a decrease in student absences.

• Set up

Principal visibility Problem: Principals did not spend enough time getting to know students, observing classrooms and monitoring safety. Solution: Swartz advocates “coaching days” for principals, herself included. On these days they are not supposed to be sitting in on classes or talking to students. Swartz also decided she and the assistant principals should go to soccer games, which they typically had not attended in the past. Reaction:“Students don’t know who she is, so it comes off as if she doesn’t care,” junior Liza Schumacher said. “I know she does from working with her through Student Council, but she doesn’t come around to classrooms enough.”

to-do list

co-teaching for mentally handicapped students.

• Provide after

school OGT study sessions

• Introduce new

technology to help engage students in the classroom

• Students think Swartz needs to be more available

• Teachers want Swartz to work on discipline

photo illustration by Katie Logsdon

One van, five staff members, one crazy night ghost hunting in Van Wert County Survey*: 80 percent of students and 100 percent of teachers said they had not seen principals in the hallways and classrooms.

Haunted photos

To see all our photos in full size, go to

*Random survey of 100 students and 25 teachers

n By Kim Maples


“They’re coming this way!” intended to inspect. Then we could see them, the figures of n a clear Saturday night in midOut of nowhere, two rumbling ATVs burst boys blocking the light, walking around outOctober, five Blue & Gold staffers, from the steep ditches on the side of the road side their truck. plus our adviser, set out on a hunt and fell into place behind our car. We were be“What if they come through the corn?” our of a different kind. ing chased by a mob of speeding vehicles. adviser said, and we all turned toward the wall With flashlights and cameras as our weapThe ATVs swerved to the side of our car of dried-up corn beside us. “Shh, listen! Listen onsare andinghosts on they’re our mind, we traveled an and disappeared into the brush beside us. calories the food eating,” for them!” hour and 15 minutes y Miller, a Blanchard Valleysouthwest Hospital to Mendon The car was dead silent. There’s no way Road in Van Wert County, home ered dietician, said. “That way they areto at least they would come through the— three allegedly haunted spots. e whipped around the next stop sign o compare different food items and make “I HEAR THEM!” our adviser yelled. First, Palmer Cemetery, located in the onto a tiny country road, but the pickup, hier choices.” Instantly, a figure popped out of the corn middle of a cornfield, hasto a statue that is supstill in pursuit, turned with the same ferocity. owever, not everyone is willing change. and banged on the back of our car. We all toIglow green. The next few minutes were full of I likeposed a food, will still order it even if screamed bloody murder and hit the gas. Crybaby quick turns onto nameless roads, healthy,”Second, sophomore Lyndzay White Bridge, where the mysterious vehicle remaining “People will still eat supposedly something if it tastes his baby evenaiffather it’s 100threw calories or 1,000 calories.” think they’re hot on our trail. ehind us, the truck picked up the corn into the coldjust waters below ut to Miller, even posting the infor“They just turned their light stalker and continued in pursuit. We while murdering his wife. n is still valuable. on in the truck,” Perrault said. reached an intersection and turned around, so Tomlinson Our goal isFinally, to educate consumers on their “They’re waving at—OH MY GOD, we faced them head on. They moved into Cemetery, where if one it would choices,” she said. “I’m hoping THEY ON! THEY This NewHAVE York CityMASKS McDonald’s menu board displays that the calories in each food. National legislation could force restaurants post and our two vehicles hurtled toward a difference. It depends oncenthe person ourtolane, person stands in the HAVE MASKS ON!” the calorie count on all menus. photo courtesy ofeach Google other. images The entire van erupted in screams. heir willingness to change.” ter while another walks There were four or five guys, We slammed on the brakes. The other car around it, the person teenagers it looked like, chasinched forward and we threw it in reverse. could possibly disappear. ing us. The driver was wearing a The stop sign behind us forced us to hault, We were determined gorilla mask, and in the passenger junior Lexi Perrault and taking advantage of the moment, the to find out if these legends seat sat Jason Vorhees from Friday Marion V. Arbogast, DDS teenagers leapt out of their car and sprinted are true. the 13th. Nancy E. Dysinger, towards us, one carrying a baseball bat. “They’re just trying to scare us!” DDS We screamed as one of the teens banged PerraultKimberli yelled. Judging by the reC. Best, DDS along the side of the car, even sticking his s we traveled down corn field-lined Menactions of everyone in our car, it was working. Emily C. Heintzelman, DDS hand through the open window. don Road, we encountered a large pick-up We took off and turned the corner, and all truck on the opposite side of the road flashing of a sudden they were gone, like the whole its lights at us. To our surprise, once we passed hen, suddenly, the headlights backed chase had never happened. it, the truck stopped. off and came to a stop. We also stopped With a sigh of relief, or possibly disap“Oh my God! It’s turning around!” yelled ahead of them, at an intersection with another junior Lexi Perrault and senior Katie Logsdon tiny road. The masked teens put on their safety pointment, we continued on our way to visit the haunted destinations. from the back seat, and we took off. flashers and we stared them down in silence. While the legends we came to test didn’t The truck, in hot pursuit, got closer on our Oddly, for a moment their left flasher Parkwhy, Drive turn out to be true, unless you count a few tail, until its headlights were only a foot away disappeared. We sat,269 wondering whenSouth from our car, illuminating the entire back seat. senior John Sisser said from the front seat: McComb Ohio mysterious orbs in the pictures we took (see sidebar) we certainly found our fair share of Our trip’s purpose forgotten, we screamed “They’re out of the truck!” 293-2335 scare (of the human kind) on Mendon Road. as our van flew across the haunted bridge we Logsdon was the first(419) to connect the dots.

ood decisions


Why do you


flashing their lights?

Wait! It’s stopping!

OH MY GOD, CALORIES They’re turning




Accepting New Patients



The stone entrance to Palmer Cemetery had several orbs floating around it. According to John Heistand, founder of Ethereal Perceptions paranormal research group in Findlay, the fact that the orbs change shapes between pictures points to ghostly activity.

These music-note shaped lights we snapped in a cornfield could mean the presence of a spirit. Heinstand said that ghosts are capable of capturing light and carrying it short distances.

Crybaby bridge also had plenty of orbs, but according to Heinstand, these are more likely to be dust in the air reflecting the camera’s flash, because they do not change shape between pictures.

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friday, october 22, 2010

THE GIST OF IT • Senior Tyler Campbell gives his Homecoming week experience as a guest writer. • Dance team was victorious in the tug-of-war competition during the pep rally. • Seniors Jojo Brigadoi and Lance Sims won the Battle of the Bands contest.


Let’s get fired up Student recounts Homecoming week by senior Tyler Campbell

Guest writer Homecoming week gives the entire school an opportunity to dress like goofs and show school spirit through their outfits. I have enjoyed this tradition since freshman year but this year it was different: I was on the ballot for Homecoming king. My nomination came as a complete surprise to me and I thought it was all a joke. I had never even thought about the possibility of becoming Homecoming king. I didn’t go out and tell people to vote for me, in the beginning I didn’t even want to be on the ballot. After I thought about it I figured that if I was in the race, I might as well try and win it. I wore some of the most outrageous outfits for a few votes here and there and just had fun with the entire thing. The whole week led up to the Homecoming parade that ended at Donnell Stadium where the winners were to be announced. The ride down Main Street was like nothing I have ever experienced. I saw people that I hadn’t seen in a very long time. With all of the little kids waving I couldn’t stop laughing; I was having a blast. When we got to the stadium it all became real for me. This is the time when I find out if I am crowned king. I was as nervous as I have ever been. Walking to the platform and waiting for the announcement made it even worse. When I heard my name called as the winner of the 2010 Homecoming king, I lost it. I couldn’t help but laugh and I was in a state of disbelief. It had all paid off; the crazy clothes and the ridiculous interview had earned me enough votes to win. The emotional high I was on lasted straight through to the dance on the following night. It turned out to be an amazing night and I had an extraordinary experience being king.


photo by Taylor McGonnell

Dance team member junior Jenny Case uses her strength during the tug-of-war contest at the Homecoming pep rally. The dance team won first place after defeating the varsity cheerleaders and the football team.

Thumbs Up

photo by Katie Logsdon

Yee haw

photo by Stacy Graham

Senior Rachel Dysinger gives a thumbs up during the Homecoming parade. Cheerleaders, sports teams and various clubs walked in the parade organized by Student Council. photo by Stacy Graham

Jam Session

Seniors Jojo Brigadoi and Lance Sims play an original song during the Homecoming Battle of the Bands Contest. Out of the three groups, Brigadoi and Sims’ band, Delusional, won the contest based on the crowd’s roaring applause.


photo by Taylor McGonnell

Senior Larissa Van Der Molen is shocked to hear her name announced as Homecoming queen. The candidates were announced during pregame ceremonies of the Fremont football game.


seniors Brandon Malec and Tyler Campbell

Seniors Eliza Bauler and Kyle Boyd smile at the crowd during the parade down Main Street. The two seniors were nominated for Homecoming queen and king by their class.

September 28

senior Liza Schuacher

photo by Katie Logsdon


sophomore Lydia Stump


October 1


seniors Sophie Miller and Emily Anderson

Junior Kai Roberts plays the Devil Went Down to Georgia on his electric fiddle during the pep rally. Roberts has also performed this song with the marching band during football halftime shows.

sopomore Nick Otley

seniors Kenzie Mellott and Paige Trafton


friday, october 22, 2010

blue & gold



THE GIST OF IT • Anti-Islamic feelings have spread in America since the war began. • Though instances arise, Muslim students say prejudice is not common here. • Knowledge of Islam will help bridge the gap between religions.

Muslim students suffer consequences of poor image caused by terrorism


n By Lydia Bauler

Face in the


World’s Religions (2007)

How many people are followers of Islam?




Jewish Sikh Atheist

gg rlei li

Sikh Jewish BuBuddd dhhiist Atheist st

Islam is the second largest religion in the world with 21.01 percent of the entire population. However, only 0.6 percent of people in the United States are Muslim.


“There are extremists in every religion just like that crazy guy in Florida who was going to burn the Quran on 9/11. I was angry (at him) but I also did not want to give him any more attention than he deserved.” Pulcheon’s parents encourage her to take situations of discrimination and turn them into opportunities to help others better understand Islam. “I try to educate Anissa and Sarah (my youngest daughter),” Pulcheon’s mother, Azah Abdulrahim said. “I try to be a good role model for them. If I encounter prejudices myself, I try to educate them (those with prejudices). I make it personal so that they will be more comfortable and accepting of Muslims. “A lot of times I try to tell them (Anissa and Sarah) that people are prejudiced because they don’t know what Islam is. When something is unknown, people are fearful of it.” Negative feelings towards the Muslim faith can be eased through education. “Prejudices can be stopped by maybe just talking to people about the faith and understanding more about it,” Bascal said. “Education will help because prejudices come from misunderstandings of religions.” Through education about Islam, those with misconceptions will learn to relate to the similarities it shares with more familiar religions. “It is amazing that Christianity, Judaism and Islam are so similar,” Abdulrahim said. “We all believe in Moses and Jesus. “The only difference is that we (Muslims) believe Jesus is not God, but a prophet. I wish people would focus more on the similarities. The world would be such a better place.”

Getting to know Islam on NNon

eads bob in the crowded hallway during class change, and among the blonde ponytails and spiked hair, there are a few that stand out from the rest. They aren’t sporting the latest fashion trend, they aren’t wearing hats and they aren’t breaking the dress code. They are girls wearing the traditional Islamic hijab, a head wrap, and that sometimes is a target for prejudice. Due to the current war in the Middle East, young Muslims, followers of Islam, experience hostility nationwide. “It is kind of sad,” junior Eman Bascal, a Muslim, said. “It is awful that people based their whole opinion of the religion off groups of terrorists who did terrible things.” A fellow Muslim student, sophomore Anissa Pulcheon, has been accused of being a terrorist because of the misconception that all followers of Islam are extremists. “I told a guy that I wasn’t Christian and that I was Muslim,” Pulcheon said. “Then he asked if I was a terrorist. I was just like, ‘No’. “He seemed kind of embarrassed. He tried to kind of play it off as a joke. He really was curious but he regretted asking.” Even those who are close to Pulcheon wonder if she is an extremist. “Another time one of my close friends asked if I ever wanted to kill her because of our religious differences,” Pulcheon said. “She was being completely serious. It confused me and also kind of made me laugh. I was shocked that even though I was her friend she wondered if I wanted to kill her.” Pulcheon shrugs off these hurtful questions and tries to put them behind her. “You have to ignore them just like any other bullying, teasing or hate,” Pulcheon said. “I am kind of un-phased by it. I just take it in stride. It is something that I’ve had to deal with my whole life. “No matter what anyone else says I am going to continue to believe what I believe (Islam).” Though there are occasional incidences of prejudice behavior towards Muslim students, most do not feel anti-Muslim behavior is a major problem at the high school. “People like to dramatize any negative feelings towards minorities because certain people at the high school crave that kind of drama,” sophomore Sam Duling said. “Even though Findlay pretty much is a strictly Christian community, I don’t hear about prejudices in Findlay very often, if ever.” Bascal, for example, experiences more curiosity about her hijab than hostility. “Sometimes people wonder about my hijab,” Bascal said. “They ask how long I have been wearing it and just basic questions.” When there are incidents of hostility, they are partially caused by the media’s focus on the violent crimes committed by extremist groups, which create a bad public image of Muslims. “The media really just plays stereotypes of Muslims up,” Pulcheon said. “If people believe all Muslims are terrorists, there is no way to change that.

Christian Christian

Other Other religions religions Hindu Hindu

Who do they worship?

Muslim Muslim

Are all Muslims terrorists?

Allah, who they believe is the one and only supreme God and the sole creator of the universe.

No. The number of radical Muslisms cannot be determined, but at the time of the 9/11 attacks, according to Newsweek, there were about 5001,000 members of Al Qaeda. This is about one in every 1,500,000 Muslims. Sources: CIA World Factbook, Minnesota State University

It’s kind of sad. It’s awful that

people based their whole

opinion of the religion off groups of terrorists who

did terrible things. junior Eman Bascal

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Shanahan splits time between two sports

More sports updates on

Who will win the 2010 Major League Baseball World Series? New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies San Francisco Giants

Girls soccer

Boys cross country

Team faces tough sectional competition

Runners set sights on regional tourney

Texas Rangers Vote at

junior Brandon Shanahan

junior Alyssa Allsop

junior Zac Brown

blue & goldsports Friday, October 22, 2010

Knocked out


FOOTWORK Senior Larissa Van Der Molen passes her opponent in the game against Celina. While playing against Toledo Central Catholic on September 11, the senior got a double concussion that ended her final soccer season.


Concussions end senior’s soccer career n By Lexi Perrault

photo by Stacy Graham

Double concussion ends senior’s soccer career n By Lexi Perrault

When she first hit the ground, she felt a sharp pain in the back of her head. Although she was a little dazed, she returned to action. Moments later, when the ball hit senior Larissa Van Der Molen’s forehead, the varsity soccer player’s career came to an end. “I got the first concussion when a player on the other team yanked me down,” Van Der Molen said. “I fell backwards and nailed the back of my head on the ground. The second one came when I took a powerful header (hit the ball with my forehead). “Once you receive one, it’s easier to get another because it doesn’t require as much force to do the same amount of damage.” While watching the game from the stands, mother Linda Van Der Molen knew something was wrong with her daughter. “Initially she fell down for a minute and I could tell that she was unsteady,” Linda Van Der Molen said. “When the coach didn’t take her out, I panicked. After she took the header, the coach called me over and I knew some-

thing was wrong because she was not thinking normally and she had no control of her body. “It happened on Saturday (September 11) and two different doctors told us that Larissa was fine and that her concussions were minor. When she didn’t get better by Tuesday, we scheduled a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test and found out they were very serious injuries.” Besides the physical effects, the concussions also caused changes in her personality. “A part of her brain that has been severely impacted is the emotional part,” Linda Van Der Molen said. “She cries easily, she’s quieter and slower in her movement. “We don’t want this to permanently change who she is as a person. However, she is expected to have a 100 percent recovery.” The senior has attempted to return to school for a few periods when possible, but has been unable to return full time. “This has been horrible,” Linda Van Der Molen said. “Larissa was extremely high in her class (ranked 2nd) and her missing school

has been so worrisome for her.” The senior worries about her class rank falling after all the effort she has put into making the academic top 10. “Falling behind in school has added an incredible amount of stress to my life,” Larissa Van Der Molen said. “I really don’t want to drop out of my top 10 standing due to this. “Also, scholarship money would be wonderful. Honestly I have worked my butt off all these years and it would be terrible to lose these opportunities due to an injury.” However, missed scholarship opportunities are not what bothers Larissa Van Der Molen the most. After playing competitive soccer for 13 years, the senior is disappointed that her career is over. “l will miss my teammates of course but also the competition and the thrill of chasing down someone with the ball and trying to take it from them,” the senior said. “I will also miss sprinting down the field feeling like no one can stop me.”

A closer look:

How Van Der Molen’s brain was affected The first concussion caused balance and other issues

Her second concussion impaired her cognitive abilities and emotions

What can you do to protect yourself from a concussion? Local sports physician Dr. Michael Stump gives his recommendation for high school athletes.

Mouth guard

Neurocognitive test


“Athletes should wear a custom made mouth guard because the thinnest part of the skull is where it meets the jaw,” Stump said. “When forces are transmitted there (from hitting the ground or another player) it transfers to the brain easily, leading to a concussion.”

“If an athlete is in a sport where concussions are a possibility, they should get a baseline test done,” Stump said. “If they do get a concussion, we can use the test to determine when their brain has recovered and when they can safely return to play.”

“In the past people said, ‘You just got your bell rung,’ but we know now that it isn’t something to mess with,” Stump said. “Athletes should know the signs and symptoms of a concussion so they can tell their coach or trainer if they notice any symptoms.”

For the record (as of Oct. 20)

St. Jean tees off today at state tourney

Junior varsity







Senior Stephanie St. Jean won the Division I Northwest District golf title with a score of 75 and competes today in the state tournament in Columbus. “It was a good feeling to win districts and it makes me very confident for state,” the senior said. “My goal is to win state and if I stay focused with my short game, I have it in the bag.” “It’s a good confidence boost to know I’m the best golfer in Northwest Ohio.”


Boys Soccer A 9-4-2 Boys Soccer B 4-6-3 Girls Soccer



21-1 junior Nick Kovaleski

St. Jean

photo illustration by John Sisser

Varsity records (as of Oct. 20)

Boys CC Girls CC Football Boys Golf Girls Golf Boys Soccer Girls Soccer Girls Tennis Volleyball

88-17 57-39 3-5 179-152 191-73 13-1-2 7-9-1 12-7 18-4

senior Natalie Baratta

October Issue  
October Issue  

Blue & Gold second issue