Happy Holidays

Page 1



December 2011

A This censorship is Page 5 Closer to Hell than a Merry Christmas Page 11

Exchange smiles, not saliva Page 17

Commercializing Christmas Page 24

Please excuse the name-dropping Page 27




Volume 47, Issue 2

c Scan here to find out more!

Table of Contents

Banner Staff Editor-in-Chief Alexis Castanos

Managing Editors Emily Higham Maggie Command Advertising Manager Riliwan Baker


Columnists Virginia Choe Greg Flikshteyn

Copy Editors Nichole Boehnke Meghan Christian Design Editor Matt Rizik

Opinion Editor Victoria Karatza Photo Editor Jessica Garza Ola Nowakowska Sports Editors Connor Carey Jayson Hansen Twitter Editor Gina Sancricca


Video Editor Nick Sivosky

Web Editor Kylash Sivakumar

Facebook Editor Charlotte Sullenger

West Campus Editor Alexis Reid

Feature Editor Sara Diesel

West Campus Sports Editor Amani Young

The Bobcat Banner

Want more Banner?

is produced by Nick Popadich’s fourth hour class.

Head to bobcatbanner. com for the latest news, Banner-sponsored events, and stories not featured in this edition.

Have an opinion?

12500 S. Holly Road Grand Blanc, MI 48439


Send comments, suggestions, or letters to the editor to npopadic@grandblancschools.org



Online Classes: The classrooms of tomorrow? -Page 7

News Editor Brad Varner

Events Coordinators Nina Benton Hannah Scherba



Lifestyles Editor Whitney Whitehead



H A present the sporting world thought they’d never get - Page 12

N First Generation: Students first in family to take on the obstacles of college - Page 15 Miss. Takes: Teaching habits that drive students crazy - Page 22

O Holiday Gift Guide - Page 30

N Spotlight! Teacher Edition - Page 31


s d j














Dear GBHS, As the snow (or rain) begins to fall, winter begins and so does our wishing for any repreve from school. Snow days! This is the when school seems to last the longest as we count down to our first official break. Well I would like to be the first to tell you congratulations because you have survived! Winter Break is here. I am sure we are all already thinking of what we will be doing over break like sleep-




ing, skiing or snowboarding, maybe even celebrating holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa). I know I willl be curling up by the fire and maybe roasting some chestnuts. While this is a time for having fun, relaxing, and getting ready to work even harder when we get back (yeah right), we must keep in mind that not everyone is as fortunate. Not everyone will get

to do what you are doing this holiday season. They might be out on the street or not be able to pay for gifts or food. Hundreds of thousands of people are unable to celebrate Christmas or other holidays because they don’t have enough money and are not as lucky. It is important to not only spend this time relaxing and being with family, but also thinking of those who are



having a hard time this holiday season and not as lucky. Adopt a FISH family, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or just spend sometime lending a helping hand wherever needed. Be selfless, not selfish. Have a great Winter Break and happy holidays!

Story By: ALEXIS CASTANOS Editor-in-Chief

A 3


Attention Generation Z - Riots in Oakland - Replacing Matt Shanafelt Online classes - Latest updates in science - Gearing up for victory Photo: Associated Press/Bush



Censorship is Attention Generation Z:


The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) establish expanded protections for copyrighted materials and enforcement of protections



against websites that deal in counterfeit goods and intellectual property infringement. The two bills approach the same problem in slightly different ways.

Interestingly, the bills have received both bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition. Techies opine that the technical requirements associated with blockBANNER 2011

PIPA is similar in operation, but is unabashed about its focus on foreign websites. In addition, PIPA seems to place an onerous compliance burden on Internet service providers and search engines, as, once a court order is entered identifying a rogue site, it requires them to take “technically feasible and reasonable measures” to remove or disable access to the offending site and to delete all hyperlinks to that site. Most ISPs, search engines and portals – including Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Twitter – oppose these bills, while content producers, such as publishers, the motion picture industry, and other businesses that produce content and goods, support the bills.


Covering popular songs on Youtube will be effectually outlawed. That means Justin Bieber could have served jailtime.

Also, under the bills, skvbkvsdvsdkbvsdkvshdbvhksbvksbvkhsbkvksvvvvvvsv , and I think vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv .

Who supports them? ing websites will interrupt legitimate Internet traffic and either slow the Internet to a crawl or “break” it. Civil libertarians complain that the bills re-

Lamar Smith (R-TX) and 12 co-sponsers introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act on Oct. 26, 2011.


is bananas!

Under SOPA, one could be sentenced to five years in prison for uploading an M.J. song.


Photo: Member Guide

Currently, two bills are making their way through the United States Senate and House committees that may change the way you consume content.

Under SOPA, copyright holders and the federal government can sue websites that enable or facilitate intellectual property infringement. It is far-reaching and is intended to nab anyone in the chain of commerce who violates copyright laws or who deals in counterfeit goods - and yes, that includes those pirating music. For example, the dealer in counterfeit goods, portals that provide access to the dealer’s website, and payment facilitators such as Pay-Pal, can all be swept up in SOPA’s net. There is also a carrot to go with this stick: ISPs that take action against violators are given immunity from unintentional participation. Finally, private suits for damages are authorized.



strict free expression of free exchange of ideas, as well as encourage censorship and illegal searches. Neither bill has passed its chamber yet, and there is much yet to reconcile

between the two bills, as the lobbying by trade and political groups begins in earnest. Story by: MATT RIZIK Design Editor 5


Riots in Oakland: The occupy spirit thrives despite its many setbacks

Photo: Berger

Occupy Oakland protester runs from teargas in Oakland, Calif. Several hundred rallied through the night with some painting graffiti, breaking windows and setting fire to garbage cans.

The Occupy movement continues to degenerate to chaos as violence erupts in Oakland, California. A small band of protesters began to vandalize and light fires at what should have been a peaceful march on Oakland’s port on Nov. 2. Police equipped with riot control gear and tear gas were forced to intervene, arresting over 100 individuals. This marks the second violent clash in two weeks in this California community.


As a crowd 7,000 deep descended on the port the evening of the second, the group of what Oakland police chief Howard A. Jordan called “anarchists and provocateurs”

began to throw rocks, Roman candles, and Molotov cocktails at police officers, initiating the violence. Internal struggles were made evident; not only did

assembled at the downtown encampment. They eventually “occupied” a nearby abandoned building, from which some

protesters clash with law enforcement, but many also butted heads with other members of the movement. A large

“Who are you? This isn’t what this is about!”

group of protesters arrived wearing Guy Fawkes masks, which have come to represent anarchy and chaos. Others began to break windows and cover local storefronts with graffiti. Many of the peaceful prot- esters castigated the anarchists, yelling, “The police are not your enemy!” Another yelled, “Who are you? That isn’t what this is about!” While many simply expressed their disapproval of specific aspects of the government, fringe groups condemned the government entirely, expressing their profound enmity though violence. It would seem that the lack of order and centralization and initiation of violence would weaken the movement, but as local rapper Boots Riley stated, “There are large disagreements inside the movement, but that’s actually what pushes us forward.” Though much has impeded progress in this protest, there have been considerable gains. The peaceful individuals have become unified by ideals and by goals; many worked together to make up for damages done in the days following the altercation at the port. The Frank H. Ogawa Plaza has been renamed the Oscar Grant Plaza, in memory of a young unarmed man who was fatally shot by police in 2009. Even the mayor of Oakland has applauded the mostly peaceful protest.

Story by: MATT RIZIK Design Editor


Photo: Banner/Baker


Who: New assistant principal Kevin Brock. What: He was the previous

principal at Myers Elementary, but now takes on new responsibilities at GBHS East and West Campuses. His responsibilities include monitoring student’s attendance, student’s discipline, and overseeing student teachers.

When: He took on his new


The classroom of tomorrow? The library is usually silent except for the clicking of keys. Along the back wall sit students staring intently at their monitors, busy with their online assignments. One of these students is Robby Weiss. Robby, a senior, is taking his AP Physics class online. While he sees the benefits of online classes, he finds them less effective than regular classes. This is a problem many students have as well. “You can’t ask a teacher questions, but online classes teach you better working habits,” Weiss said. Due to not being able to ask questions and other problems posed by online classes, not everyone sees online classes as a good alternative for the in-class

experience. While it is easy to memorize mathematical formulas and put them to use in an online class, it is more difficult to gauge an individual’s grasp on concepts that are more centered around interpretation, such as an English class. “If it’s any of the more mechanical skills, that’s fine, but you’re missing the greater point of an English class, that’s expressing yourself,” English teacher Daniel Clark said. On the flip side, some students greatly benefit from online classes. “I find online classes to be very effective at maintaining the pace of a class,” sophomore Arun Nagpal said. “I like them.”

We live in the Age of Technology. Information is at our fingertips and there is an app for everything we could possibly imagine. Schools have tapped into this revolutionary technology by adding online classes to their curriculum. As these classes become more common, one must wonder if teachers will become obsolete in our increasingly technological society. At GBHS, the faculty doesn’t seem as concerned. “That’s silly,” Clark said. “Convenience should not take the place of education.” With arguments for and against online classes, it is left to students to make the best choice for their own education.

Photo: Banner/Christian

role when assistant principal Matt Shanafelt left to become Davison High School’s principal.

R Online classes


How: He found that Matt Shanafelt was leaving his position and was basically awarded his new position. Biggest difference between the High School and the Elementary: “The

students are bigger in terms of size. The cognitive awarenesses of students are also very different. For example, a student at the elementary might call me the ‘D-word,’ meaning dummy, but in the high school, the ‘D-word’ actually means the ‘D-word.”’

Story by: RILIWAN BAKER Advertising Manager


Students communicate with the professors via webcam in the library.

Story by: MEGHAN CHRISTIAN Copy Editor

T 7


Latest updates



Gearing up for victory

science b

Science is an extraordinary subject. It is the story of humans trying to understand the universe. The world acts a certain way and we make observations. Based on those observations, we derive mathematical formulas and all types of theories. With the establishment of these theories, we create technology. This world is constantly being explained in all of its different aspects. These are just a few recent discoveries and announcements that occurred in the science community.

For decades, scientists have been trying to find the elusive subatomic particle called Higgs boson. The Higgs boson is suspected to be the reason why objects have mass. Recently, the Large Hadron Collider has made progress in showing hints of this mysterious particle.

Quantum entanglement is a strange occurrence that has always been known to happen on a quantum scale. Properties of two particles become linked, no matter how far apart. A recent discovery showed this occurrence on a macroscopic scale using diamonds.

Two pockets of gas have been found that contain only the original elements created minutes after the birth of the universe. This pristine big bang gas has not mixed with any other heavy elements, those of which are only formed under the intense heat and pressure of stars.


Photo: True Wild Life

Photo: AAAS


Empathy has long been associated strictly with humans and other primates, but rats have recently shown this pro-social behavior as well. Rats will go out of their way to help their fellow species trapped in cages, without any reward.

Photo: Discovery

Photo: NASA


NASA found a new planet that has a good chance for sustaining life. Located in the ‘habitable zone,’ Keplar-22b is 2.4 times the size of Earth with an orbit of approximately 290 days. Keplar-22b joins the list with 15 other planets.

Photo: CNN

Photo: Open Nebula


A preserved woolly mammoth thigh bone with a large supply of marrow has been found in Siberia. Scientists from Japan and Russia now believe it is possible to clone a woolly mammoth within five years. All they need to do is finish cracking the DNA code.

With the holidays approaching, some students are anxiously awaiting the start of the Robotics season. The school’s team, team 2337, is gearing up to start the season off with a bang. The majority of students don’t know much about robotics and what it takes to build a robot. It takes six intense weeks of building, of putting everything into the robot. “After that we have competition season,” junior Makenzie Wolfram said. “Michigan is one of the most competitive states in Robotics.” Team 2337 did well last year, making it to nationals and this year they plan on doing it again. “The plan is to win it all!” senior and team captain Zachary Orr said with a laugh. But it isn’t all about building the robot and winning all of the competitions. Team 2337 does a lot in the community, including taking on three families for the FISH organization. They also visit the middle schools to get kids interested in robotics and they volunteer at the Lego League. As a senior and captain of the team, Zach worries about his team like any captain would. Regardless of his fears, he is confident that 2337 has what it takes. “I want the team to do their best. I think that we are set to do just that.” The team will begin building their robot the second week of January.

Story by: MEGHAN CHRISTIAN Copy Editor



b BANNER 2011

Sports Photo: Banner/Hansen

Q&A with Kara Puidokas - Polo Fever - Closer to Hell than Christmas A present the sporting world thought they would never get - Weight Issues




Q & A With Kara Puidokas

Top Scoring Varsity Basketballer

How long have you been playing basketball/ How did you get into basketball in the first place?

Well, my mom had me start when I was little, but I started to get into it in about 5th grade when I was on a winning team. Being on a winning team made it fun and got me to stick with it.

What is your favorite part about basketball?

My favorite part of the sport is the team. I became friends with people I probably wouldn’t talk to otherwise.

How does your team get along?

Our team this year gets along pretty well. It’s a necessary part of the sport. Teams that don’t get along don’t play well.

What do you like about your coach?

The coach doesn’t keep you guessing if you did something wrong. She lets you know whatever you did wrong every time so you know what you need to work on.

What is your favorite part of the game?

My favorite part of the game is sprinting down the court for an easy layup when the other team is lazy getting back on defense and not allowing them to do that to me by hustling back down the floor.

Photo: Banner/Sancricca

Puidokas intimidates her competitors on the court.


Story By: GINA SANCRICCA Twitter Editor



REGIS A. BENTON, JR., D.O. G-6092 Fenton Road Flint, Michigan 48507 Telephone 810.239.4697

Bring this ad in to Big Boy and receive a

FREE MILKSHAKE in honor of our

75th anniversar!!y!@ *!One milkshake per table with any purchase. No carry outs. Valid at your Grand Blanc Location 11432 S. Saginaw Street 810)- ^694 6617


Expires January 28th 2012



Closer to Hell than a Merry Christmas

It’s Christmas Break and everyone is sleeping comfortably in their bed, sitting around a fire with hot chocolate after sledding or snowboarding, and just enjoying the time away from the prison we call a school. Or are they? One group of boys in particular doesn’t get to enjoy the luxury of sleeping in until 11 a.m., being lazy all day, playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Three, or getting away from that cruel prison during Winter Break. Their alarms go off before the sun begins to rise and again five hours later. Who is this group you may ask? The boys swim and dive Team and if you ask them they will tell you that Christmas Break is not fun at all but instead, a week of Hell. Only a month into their season, the team has two-a-day practices everyday, excluding Christmas and New Years Day. One practice is in the morning for three hours and the other in the afternoon for two hours. “Two-a-days make me feel like I got hit by a truck,” senior Zach Howell said,“and then tied to the back of said truck and dragged around all day.” With this insane amount of pool time, burning countless amounts of

calories, the boys stay energized by eating more than usual at breakfast, by eating a huge lunch before they take a nap, and who knows what’s on the menu after the second practice. “With that much time in the pool there isn’t much to do outside of practice,” sophomore Jacob Sandrock said. “Basically I eat, sleep, and when I can, I hangout with friends.” Many say that only a crazy person would endure this much pain and time in the pool, but there is a bigger


Junior Ryan Scanell swims the breaststroke leg in the 200yd. IM.


The boys swim and dive team prepares to start their next race at the Black and Red meet.

Photo: Banner/Hansen

purpose behind it. With a 3-3 record and a fifth place finish coming out of conferences last year, the only thing these boys want to do is improve. “Last season was good, but I think we can do better this year, especially with the amount of time we are putting into the pool over break,” senior Zach Howell said. The team hopes to finish top three at Conferences, to win Divisions, and to have personal bests at every meet, but the only way these goals can be achieved is through hard work and dedication in and out of the pool. “None of these goals

are by any means easy, but we can definitely achieve them if we put in the work, and if we do that, we will have a great team,” junior Dan Sullivian said. So, coming out of this hellish week the boys will be stronger, faster, and overall better as a team and that can only mean that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the water. Look for the next big win against Fenton in our pool at 6 p.m. on Jan. 5, 2012.

Story By: JAYSON HANSEN Sports Editor

P 11


A present the





thought they’d never get




As the children sprint down the stairs to take a glimpse at what Santa has finally left under their glistening lit up Christmas Tree, they came upon a trio of gifts no one thought would be there; the start of to the NBA season. Once thought to be merely a figment of the sports fans’ imagination, but Kris Kringle has pushed along the labor disputes between the National Basketball Player’s Association (NBPA) and the League Owners to settle a deal over the total revenue sharing between the owners and players. Finally the two parties settled on a deal which would give the players 51.2 percent of the revenue, which is down from the 57 percent that they received a year ago. The nonstop negotiations are allowing for the teams to meet for the first time on Dec. 9, the official day that training camps and free agency begins. The disputes carried over into what would be the regular season, so the normal 82 game year has been modified to a 66 game one. The season will kickoff with a bang on Christmas Day with star studded match-ups including a NBA Finals rematch between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks, and finally a nightcap of two professional basketball juggernauts; the Chicago Bulls in Los Angeles to take on the Lakers. With word out on this new NBA season, basketball lovers and casual fans alike have mixed emotion as to this year’s hardwood competition. “It’s nice to see that they could sort out the disputes, but I would have loved to see college basketball have the spotlight,” senior Bailey Truesdell said. “Players who play for the love of the game and love of their school, not for the love of the paycheck.” Others may agree. With the NBA out of commission, litt- le known players are making a name for themselves on a stage that is usually oc- cupied by the stars of the NBA. It also opens the door for big time events like the Quicken LCarrier Classic held on Veteran’s Day of this year, a match-up betw- een two powerhouse college basketball programs (North Carolina Tar Heels against the Michigan State Spartans) that was held on the USS Carl Vision (you better believe that is a docked aircraft carrier in California). Events like this might not have gotten as big of a television audience had the NBA had games on this night. Still others feel that the NBA consists of basketball that is played at the absolute highest level , and without it the world is missing out on some of the best talent the sport of ba sketball has to offer. Whether or not it was fate the l uck of the dr aw, this year a fter unwrapp ing all of th ose shiny presents and spending the day with our families, Story By: we will be treCONNOR CAREY ated with anSports Editor other present: the NBA.




Weight Issues: In the eyes of a Guy


Athletes weigh in on the difficulty of cutting and gaining weight

Whether it’s trying to fit in a homecoming dress or hoping to look better for Spring Break, girls are usually the ones more concerned with their weight. They diet and exercise in an effort to look better; but when boys are concerned about their weight it has more to do with performance in sports. Wrestlers’ matches are determined by weight class, so controlling their weight is one way to gain a competitive advantage. For example, Pellumb Ketturah is a junior wrestler who cuts weight to become better. Coming in at 140 pounds and trying to get to the 130 weight class, cutting comes with complications. “The first time cutting was the worst because your body isn’t used to it,” Ketturah said. By basically starving himself, he feels the effect daily, especially in school.“ You’re always tired, always hungry and can’t focus at all. Whenever I cut weight, it gets hard to focus in class because there really isn’t much energy in you.” Carson Whaley is another wrestler who cuts weight, as he plans to get to 152 pounds from his current weight of 165 pounds. Weighing in on his struggles, he said, “Everything looks good when it comes to mealtimes, and no one knows how you’re feeling at lunch.” Sometimes when he’s faced with food, simply ignoring it doesn’t cut it, and he has to go sit in the hallway. “If it gets

too bad, I’ll go in the hallway and sit.” Wrestlers still eat, but their diets are constrained. Fruit, granola bars, and grains are the best foods to eat, while water is the main drink because it contains no calories. The less time to cut before a meet leads to less intake of food and water. There’s another part to the struggle too; those who have to put on weight to be competitive. On the other end of the totem pole, Noah Gonsler and Cameron Rush are both freshman wrestlers who look forward to putting on weight. The goal is to get to the 103, but currently they weigh 99 and 82 pounds, respectively. “Your diet has to change so everything you take in is healthy, but will still put weight on, ” said Gonsler. They both try to eat lots of carbs and proteins, especially healthy meats. All four change their diet and how they live for one effort: to help the team. They know how important the right weight can be and the appropriate way to get there. He said, “The coaches really care and want you to be at the right weight for a greater advantage,” Rush said. While wrestling is the most known for having players add or lose weight to help win, it happens in other sports. Junior Garret Tuer was a part of the varsity football team, and decided to put on weight to be a harder hitter and a big-

“I used to work out everyday in the summer and drink a lot of protein shakes to gain more muscle mass,” Tuer said. “Gaining weight was hard and not very successful because we ran so much, so I wasn’t putting on as much as I could have.” So those who chose to lose weight by choice shouldn’t worry; you are not the only one that struggles. The difference is, some athletes have to take this on as a lifestyle. Photo: Banner/Young

Gonsler and Rush hone their skills in preparation for the upcoming season.

Story By: Amani Young West Campus Sports Editor


h “You’re always tired, always hungry and can’t focus at all.” - Pellumb ketturah p

Photo: Banner/Young



These four varsity wrestlers devote much of their time into wrestling for a successful season.



Make or Break - Home for the Holidays - FISH for those in need - Dodgeball! - Exchange smiles, not saliva - Plato 2.0 Photo: Banner/Diesel




Make or break.

“First Generation” students overcome obstacles and speculation

“Oh, the places you’ll go!” Seems encouraging enough. If only Dr. Seuss’ reassurance was all it took to successfully head off to college. Many students find it difficult and stressful to think about and plan for their future. So one can only imagine that this stress is only compounded for students who are “carving the path” so to speak, because they will be the first in their family to head off to college. The task of facing this generally daunting experience is made even more so, because these students don’t have family members to confide in and get advice from. Amy Greene, senior, is one of the groundbreaking students who is waking up and smelling the bacon. Greene is preparing herself for the campus lifestyle of a university and is proving that she has what it takes. Fortunate for her parent’s full fledged emotional support, Greene feels even more encouraged to get that degree. She plans to take out student

loans to pay for her schooling, but said that her parents are going to support her by helping her make ends meet. Not only do students who are the first in their families to go to college need to compensate for the lack of connections, more often than not, they are forced to think about how they will pay for their education and determine how and if they can come up with the money to pay for school. Barrier-breaking students like Greene, are also left without as many opportunities that come along with the “I know a person who knows a person” scenario that many college students with previous family members can take advantage of. Left without parental and sibling advice regarding everything college, from study habit strategies to coping with crazy roommates, these students are forced to throw themselves into reality and rely on their own intuitions. After years of just exist-

ing as a dream, Phyllis Mol, counselor, has decided that this year, these students will be given some help. With the help of counseling intern Twonie, Mol has identified 62 students wishing to be helped to head off to college. The “First Generation” group meets once a month for meetings to work on the most vital elements of life in college. The first meeting focused on College Applications, and the group will have their next three meetings aimed at Scholarships, Financial Aid, and will then host a guest speaker. These first generation students are being prepared for the future beofre them, and while they will need to take the initiative to follow their dreams, and find themsevles, The “First Generation” group is certainly lending a helpful hand.


Story By: SARA DIESEL Feature Editor

G College Bound

Photo: Banner/ Diesel

Many students can relate to the stresses of getting everything together.



“I didn’t see the fire,” Jones said. Jones did not see the blaze eat away at his home or mark it “uninhabitable,” but he still had to deal with the aftermath which forced him and his family into an apartment. The fire is still under investigation. Jones and his family holds onto positivity and try to make the best out of the situation.

“We tell jokes,” Jones said. With the holidays drawing closer and closer everyday, one must think that it has to be hard not being able to go home. But for Jones, home can be created anywhere. For him, “the holidays will be the same just at a different location.” So as the chestnuts roast, the snow falls, and the cocoa begins to simmer, cozy up in

a warm blanket and think that during the holiday season it shouldn’t matter what happens as long as you have your family and this time together.

Story By: ALEXIS CASTANOS Editor-in-Chief


Family. Happiness. Home. These are all part of the holiday season. But what happens when a tragedy strikes which forces you out of your home? Will the Christmas lights shine just as bright? Will your family and your surroundings be just as warm and welcoming as a fireplace on a winter’s night? For junior Lewis Jones this situation has become a reality.




FISH for those in NEED k Photo: Banner/Karatza

With Michigan’s economy plummeting and rising unemployment rates, many families look to the FISH organization for help during the holiday season. FISH originated in England in 1961. It is a Christian based organization that functions fully off volunteers from the community. The FISH of Grand Blanc was first established in 1974. When most people think of FISH they just think of the Christmas baskets and food donations; however FISH provides other year round services such as transportation to local

doctor and dental appointments, Clothes distributed monthly and Back- to- School nights where school supplies and shoe certificates are available. “At GBHS we do a good job of supporting FISH during the holiday season,” junior Bri Newell said. “I try and contribute as much as possible.” Grand Blanc schools have adopted 282 FISH families with GBHS taking in 44 of those families. “The power of one is all it takes,” said student adviser, MelissaTitsworth “one person can make a difference, giving


Angela Gargaro, history teacher, displays her support for FISH.

back is not a competition and the goal is not seek a reward but in hopes one day someone will help you.” Students are found to agree with this sentiment. “I believe one person can make a difference but the more people who participate the better” said sophomore Madisyn Olivo. You can lend your support by making phone calls, donating and volunteering, FISH can always use extra support.

Story By: NINA BENTON Events Coordinator


Q Y Dodge Ball: Students set up the unexpected in hopes of helping cure cancer Ready. Set. Dodgeball! The big red balls are going to be flying all around the gym this January, stopping for no one. Student Council has organized this event to help raise money for Relay for Life, a leading cancer-fighting agency. Vice president Usman Hasnie suggested the school hold a dodge ball tournament to help the cause. “Who doesn’t want to watch their friends get hit in the face with balls?” he chuckled. This event takes places from 11:30a.m.-2:30p.m. Jan. 20, the last day of midterms. Divisions are boys, girls, and coed. Anyone from teachers to students can join, no experience necessary. This is strictly for fun.


It costs $30 for the standard six person team, meaning $5 per person. Winners of the dodge ball tournament will receive awards, but in the end everybody wins for helping something bigger than themselves. Cancer is specifically the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. There are many different types and many different levels. Recently, researchers at Penn State have found a virus that seems to kill cancer. They still know very little but it proves that research money for curing cancer is not going to waste. We are on the long road to solving this problem and donating money will only help speed the process.

Photo: Banner/ Karatza

Posters are all around the high school promoting the Dodgeball Tournament.

Story By: BRAD VARNER News Editor





Exchange smiles, not saliva J

Teenagers making out in public with their hands all over each other is a frequent element in poorly-made, dramatic movies. Unfortunately, this scene is now being duplicated daily in the high school hallways. Public display of affection, often referred to as PDA, is a growing problem at school. Lockers, hallway corners, and even classrooms are all common places where couples choose to be intimate with each other. Some students are in disagreement about whether or not these actions are acceptable. “No one wants to watch other people make out,” senior Caitlyn Mansour said. “That’s just disgusting.” Being in a new relationship can be exciting, but sometimes teenagers have trouble controlling themselves in public. It all comes down to a simple question: how far is too far? “I think it’s okay to hold hands but not to make out in front of everyone,” junior Andrea Nelson said. Nelson and her boyfriend Nick Schroer, senior, have been together for over a year. Neither see a problem with their actions in the halls, despite the hateful remarks from on-lookers. “I think other people make rude comments

because they’re jelly [jealous] bro,” Schroer said. “We’re just showing our love to other people.” Some may think that it’s only single or lonely people who dislike when others “show their love” to everyone. This is false, however, because many couples see a problem with it as well. “Even though I have a boyfriend, I think it’s unnecessary to do that in public, let alone at school,” senior Jennifer Gerrish said. Often times, the specific actions of students are not disapproved of, but instead, it’s the couples themselves. Being naturally judgemental, students form their opinions of their peers based on good looks or popularity. Their take on whether PDA is acceptable is often dependant on the physical characteristics of the actual couple engaged in it. “I only think [PDA] is okay when couples are attractive,” junior Jarred Squire said. “If they’re not, it’s disgusting. Especially if they’re making gross or loud noises.” Even if students believe that kissing and/or inappropriate touching in the hallway is acceptable, it’s definitely not. According to the student handbook, public displays of affection of any kind can result in up to 5 days of suspension outside of school. Although this may give offenders even more

“No one wants to watch other people make out... That’s just disgusting.” G



time to spend together tween the bedroom and the as a couple, it would be a school hallway. Students need permanent blemish on their to realize that their actions records. affect everyone around them. Adults throughout the “To all of the couples who building are clearly not feel the need to make out at oblivious to these inapevery chance they get during propriate actions at school, school,” Gerrish said, “please seeing as how they were all just stop.” Story By: teenagers once. CHARLOTTE SULLENGER “It [PDA] is just tacky Facebook Editor and trifling,” Mr. Green said. “Save your private moments for when These couples have no shame in being intimate in public. Photos: Banner/ Sullenger you’re in private.” Due to probable awkwardness, teachers rarely reprimand couples for doing more than just hugging. Some believe that this could be a reason why PDA is still a problem. “When I see students kissing in the hallway, I make a big deal about it to make it funny,” Senorita Arianna Bas said. “That way it’s not so awkward.” Opinions and criticisms aside, there is a Nelson and Schroer embrace each other in between classes. fine line be-






It’s more than just a grading system

v Photo: Banner/ Diesel


B Hats are beginning to be collected at Plato’s 2.0 Closet.

Despite movies’ false perceptions of high school, there are many complications that come along with growing up. Most young people are consumed by what college they will attend, what prom dress they’ll have, and what’s next for them. However, all of these issues seem so small when taking a few steps back and having a new perspective on life. Some students have to endure questions of what they will find to eat that night and how they will afford warm clothes for the long winter months. Fortunately, CSS students, Dani Limoseth, Megan Orange, and Brittany Brassaw have created a solution to students suffering hard times.


“The CSS leadership council and myself have created a project called Plato’s Closet 2.0,” said supervisor Christy Carroll. “The process is basically like Plato’s closet, just without price involved.” The program has been collecting gently used clothing and toiletries since the week before Thanksgiving break. There are a variety of items available, making the selection available to both girls and guys at Grand Blanc High School. “Basically we take donations from anyone,” senior Megan Orange said. “Any little bit makes a big difference.” Limoseth, Brassaw, and Orange are all part of the CSS

Leadership Council. While working hard to recover credits, they pursue much of their time volunteering for this project for the good of other students. “I’m already behind in CSS, so this pushes me back a bit further. Working Plato’s Closet 2.0 and the basketball concession stands is really time consuming. But honestly, it’s so worth helping homeless students,” Brassaw, sophomore, said. Unlike other social organizations, Plato’s Closet 2.0 plans to stay open all year round for students. While other agencies end after the holidays, Plato’s Closet 2.0 is there to pick up the slack. “We’re basically Salvation

Army, just for Grand Blanc High School,” Orange said. Any student who is in need of any of the items or has free/reduced lunch are free of charge to everything. “I’m really happy about this project. I just really hope students take advantage of it without embarrassment,” Limoseth said. “It’s just a really good cause.” Although the closet is still trying to be established at West Campus, the council has big future plans for the affiliation. The original Plato’s Closet Company is highly supportive and plans to partner with the newly found 2.0 closet. They also have ensured donating many clothing items from their own stores. The 2.0 closet has already received many donations, but more is always encouraged and appreciated. Clean, gently used coats, boots, hats, scarves, gloves, hoodies, and toiletries are high in demand right now. Also, organizing bins and hangers are obliged. “It just feels so good to sponsor and be involved in an environment with people who care and want to help others. The community, teachers, and students are all great,” Carroll said. All donations are being collected in the East counseling office and room 635 at West Campus (across from main office). The closet is located in a room off of the West Library. Generosity is a remarkable and admirable trait. For students to support something so giving and amazing truly exhibits what matters in life.


Story By: ALEXIS REID West Campus Editor



Chrismahanukwanzakah - Ask Angie - He said/She said - Teaching habits that drive students crazy - Banner Banter - Commercializing Christmas

Photo: Banner/Karatza




Ask Angie Chrismahanukwanzakah How to get over

Other holidays may be neglected during Winter Break

kah is being celebrated their own specific beliefs. When people think of It would be beneficial to Winter Break, we generally from December 20-28. If Christianity is able to have the school also because it think of Christmas; decotheir holiday off, why can’t would show that they don’t rating the tree, unwrapJews and other cultures just support one culture. ping presents early in the have their holiday off? It By extending the break, morning, and exchangonly seems just that other it reveals that the school ing gifts. It is one of the cultures are able to have recognizes other cultures. favorite topics before what Kwanzaa is merely a seems like a perpetual wait their important holidays off as well. celebration of heritage and for break. Photo: Banner/Castanos culture. They parWinter Break was ticipate in activities once called Christsuch as gift giving, a mas Break, the name seven candle lightmade it seem like ing, and preparing everyone was Chrisa feast. This cultural tian and celebrated celebration begins Christmas, but that on Dec. 26- Jan. 1, is definitely not the so it falls within the case. Some people break. celebrate Hanukkah, The many Kwanzaa, Yule, or cultures aren’t that some people may be much different from atheists. We should each other after all, extend the holiday and their festivibreak to include other ties fall around the religion’s holidays. same time. We The focus shouldn’t need to stop being be centralized on just so close-minded one religion. and understand the For religions like variations of culJudaism, Jews celetures. Not all people brate Hanukkah. This are Christian. We is commemorated should extend the for eight days. The Winter Break and eight days represent be courteous of the how long the ritual oil had lasted when it There are about 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees other cultures. In a world of justice and was thought to be only sold each year in the U.S. Winter break begins fairness, and freedom of enough for one day. In on December 23 this year. religion, it only seems like honor, each day a candle Adding just three days to the right thing to do. is lit on the menorah to the break wouldn’t make remember the eight days. much difference. It would Jewish children may reStory By: be fair to both cultures. ceive gifts for every time a JESSICA GARZA They both would have candle is lit. Photo Editor the chance to celebrate This year, Hanuk-



a break up

The laughs, the smiles, the flirting, the infatuation; young love. As cliched as ocean waves on a summer day, it comes and goes easily. With the stress of balancing school, work, friends, and other activities, getting over a break up may seem like quite the difficult task. What all people, especially young adults and teens, need to understand is that one break up does not mean your life is over. There is no need to be overly-dramatic and throw yourself a year-long pity party over someone. Sure, you can wallow for a week or two, but don’t overdo it. There are people who like the idea of being in a relationship more than the person they are “talking to,” and when things ended with that person, it’s like their world collapsed. One day (granted it was months and months later), the person woke up and realized feeling bad for herself was a waste of time. Along with that, there are also people that are the exact opposite and are off with another love interest days later. Whatever your case may be, since things are always circumstantial, just take some time to recuperate, talk about your break up with friends, listen to music, watch some movies, and get back out in the open. Once you find something that inspires you to move on from your break up, go with it and stick with it. The fact of the matter is, you have plenty of time for romance. You’re in high school, you’re young, and you have the rest of your life ahead of you to find the love you deserve. Don’t accept anything less until you find it. But for now, just relax and enjoy your youth before the responsibilities of growing up actually catch up with you.




She Said


Everyone in this world is ridiculous, some are higher on the scale than others. The things that boost people up and up, are the decisions they make. For example, people who are addicted to buying lottery tickets every chance they get, or those who want to give sky diving without a parachute a try! Ridiculous! Another on this list of ridiculousness is making New Year’s Resolutions. New Year’s Resolutions are a terrible excuse to make a lifestyle change and they rarely ever last! If there is a particular item someone wants to change

such as their eating habits or earning higher grades, this goal is most likely made long before New Years. Not only do people use this holiday as another reason to procrastinate but also talk about themselves. We’ve all come across that one person who endlessly talks about their flaws around this time of year and all of the things they want to fix. Blah blah blah, we get it, and we also know nothing will change. Participating in this tradition is just another way of following the crowd. In both situations, you won’t be doing something your

heart is set on. If it was something you really were determined to change, why hold off and not just start when the idea first hit you? That’s why I consider resolutions to be absurd, of course no one is going to stick to new choices if they have no valid motivation to push themselves out of bad habits. Bad habits are hard to break and by using New Years as your cause, it gives you only one chance a year to break them. Who are you trying to fool, don’t act like you haven’t made one and broke it every year since you started. Why is it different now? Instead, let’s start a new

tradition. When realizing a fault, make an effort to fix it as soon as possible, and with every success your ability to reach goals will continue to grow. Maybe some day we will all have the talent and drive to actually fulfill a New Year’s Resolution from beginning to end. This year if you are still going to make a big deal out of resolutions, please stick to it, possibly by starting with something small, like listening to what your parents want you to do. No. That is impossible!

Story By: NICHOLE BOEHNKE Copy Editor

Photo: Banner/Karatza

R Photo: Banner/Karatza

He Said

Standing in the road, snow falling on the faces of you and everyone around you, screaming as the night comes to an end and a new year begins. Whether you’re in New York City or with friends and family at home, this situation always occurs: the ball drops, the champagne flows, the kissing begins, along with the inevitable resolutions for the new year to come. Although some people believe that New Year’s resolutions are just a way to make people feel better about themselves for the


first weeks of the new year, I deem that they are more than that. New Years is the time for a fresh start and it allows people to set forth goals that they try to accomplish. Whether that is in a month, year, or even two, it is at least a start for change. Some resolutions might be changing to a healthy diet, exercising more often, going to sleep earlier, or getting better grades, they all have an incentive to prove to yourself that you can make a change. It is a motivator that allows

us to truck through life and make changes in our habits. As a student, many of us have had the problem of slacking with homework and keeping our grades up during the end of the second marking period. With a simple goal like doing more homework or getting better grades, it gives us a new beginning with a fresh slate and gives us the drive to do better. Big or small goals, long or short term, New Year’s resolutions make us search for our bad hab-

its and faults and lets us recognize the difficulties we face in life. Everybody learns something about themselves from making a New Year’s Resolution, and that’s what makes a resolution special to everybody. As the new year approaches, we find ourselves able to make a change in our lives. Although one could make a change at any time, New Years pushes us over that tipping point that allows us to start in making our new resolutions.





Teaching habits that drive students crazy

Teachers are here to teach students, that’s their job. When they also motivate, help us build character, and become a trustworthy adult for us in times of trouble, that’s when they deserve the title of a great teacher. All of the talk about teachers being ranked based on their students grades and other measurements got me thinking about my definition of a good teacher.

Story By: NICHOLE BOEHNKE Copy Editor


advice for teachers

additional methods students appreciate

- Having control of the classroom. Nothing is more annoying than coming to school every day not knowing if it will be worth the time. - Organized lesson plans, meaning knowing what is going to happen during the week and sticking to it.

- Letting us sleep in class - our summer insomnia is hard to overcome. - Giving extra credit, with the amount of pressure our parents and peers give, we need it! - Test corrections are never a wasted after school opportunity. -Relating to subjects to pop culture facts we know.

- Calling on kids who clearly don’t know the answer, can be confusing for those actually trying to learn. - Grading as a group when randomly selected groups were chosen. If we can’t pick the people we want to work with, grade individually. We don’t want our grades to suffer.

- Taking a phone that beeped from an unexpected text, the following coughing fits proves this unanimous decision. - Talking extensively about home life, as teenagers we are self-centered and don’t care. - Marking tardies for students who cross. We are too concerned about staying upright on the icy path to walk faster.


K 22



Opinion Photo: www.fanpix.net



Mt. Holly

With the new snowfall and with all this free time on out hands with Winter Break, Mt. Holly is the place to go to hit the slops. Sure, it may not be like the mountains out-west, but for a day trip or even for something to do it gets the job done.


We grew up with them as children and now they are back again to make us laugh. Instead of all these movies with explosions, relationships, and other explicit activities, it is always good to revert to our purest childhood memories and the Muppets will surely do that for all of us.

Holiday Break Some of us have had a calender counting down to the glorious moment where

we don’t need to be educated or woken up earlier than noon for some. It is much needed and if you think this is bad, then you are a Grinch.

MW3 & Skyrim

With the the years of development that went into making this game from Bethesda Studios, if it would heart breaking if didn’t live up to the hype. Thankfully, this is not the case. Although the previous installments of the “Modern Warfare” series ranked high in profits, expectations were wrong and gamers were quick to trade in for Skyrim. But let’s be honest, who wouldn’t?


Yeah, you might look cool showing off your new graphic tee, but with your “coolness” comes a price. Enjoy being sick for 2 months and being quarantined by everyone. Once you get sick in the winter, you stay sick.

Winter Jackets Now, if you don’t want to get hypothermia while crossing in between campuses, then this add-on is essential for survival. And especially in Michigan where the winters last approximately 5 months.

Photo: www.net32.com



Commercializing Christmas


Stores abuse Christian celebration


Walk into any store a month before the Christmas season, and what will you find? Mounds of Christmas decorations throughout the store and holiday music playing over the loud speakers. Walk outside of your front door at night, and see those decorations already out and shining bright. Aside from the fact that this is clearly too early to prepare for any holiday at the end of December, there is the other obvious obstacle: the season revolves around one holiday with the exclusion of others. Christmas is probably the most celebrated holiday among people in the United States, but that does not give big corporate companies the right to completely commercialize Christmas and take it to unnecessary extremes. Would it kill someone to have more representations for other holidays out in the open? I will admit that winter is my favorite season. I love the snow, holiday tunes, sweaters, and Winter Break. Walking into FYE being surrounded by sounds of acoustic covers of classic Christmas songs brings me a lot of joy. But, as excited as I am, other people don’t have the same feelings. People who don’t celebrate Christmas or any holiday during winter don’t have the same thrills of the season, and the media only pushes Christmas on people more and more as Dec. 25 draws closer. For a country that says they allow people to have freedom of religion, they sure have an odd way of showing it. Granted no one forces people to celebrate Christmas, the fact you can’t escape the idea of Christmas is almost like manipulation to celebrate the holiday which seems to be losing its spiritual reason as it becomes more about the presents and sweets. Children always want what they see, and if stores advertise a Christmas tree and gifts, they may be let down when not receiving them. I’m not saying that we should stop Christmas, but if it were scaled down a bit, things wouldn’t be too bad. Christmas should be a time for families coming together anyway, and society just turns the goodness of the season into a pure money-making time period. Selflessness over selfishness, not the other way around. So, go enjoy your favorite holiday song while sipping some hot cocoa in front of an open fire, but don’t forget about all of the holidays in the winter season, instead of focusing on Christmas exclusively.



Story By: VICTORIA KARATZA Opinion Editor




Food and fat for thought - Please excuse the name-dropping - Black Friday shopping reaches new heights - 2011 Holiday Gift Guide

Photo: www.reddogreport.com



Food and fat for thought Entertainment


With the daily stresses that come with school and sports, it is hard to find time to eat anything, let alone something healthy. Finding a healthy alternative to the high fat and caloric diets can be a struggle when time is an issue. The many food choices in our town are anything but healthy. Even a quick drivethru order of large fries is over 500 calories in any fast food

restaurant. So what are we supposed to eat on the go that is at least decent for us? The new Five Guys has been a hit. But it is far from healthy. A Five Guys cheeseburger and fries is around 1200 calories. That’s enough to feed five guys. A healthy alternative to this meal, could be tortilla soup from Qdoba which has only 210 calories. But this does not mean that everything at Qdoba

is a healthy choice. The chicken burrito has close to 1300 calories. That could probably feed six guys. With the winter season quickly approaching, hot drinks are coming into style to keep warm. Starbucks is a top contender in town for this beverage fad. There are options on the menu from 100 calories all the way up to 500 calories. Every restaurant, no matter

where you go, has good as well as unhealthy things on the menu. We just have to be aware of what we are eating because if we are what we eat, then we want to eat things that make us healthy and more energized for the homework and sporting events that are in our hectic and busy schedules.

Story By: OLA NOWAKOWSKA Photo Editor

1500 1200


900 600 300 0 26

McDonald’s large fries 540

Five Guys bacon cheeseburger 1100

Qdoba burrito 1245

Jimmy John’s Turkey Tom 640

Starbucks hot chocolate 290

Big Apple Bagel plain bagel 334



Please excuse the name-dropping Freshman Sandra Kue gives the inside scoop on acting

At some moment in every Transformer. I’ve been in a new child’s life, they dream of being movie that is coming out called a star. Whether it be a singer, Oz: The Great and Powerful. I rapper, artist, or actor, it is a was like a munchkin-villager common wish. Though for person, but I was next to James GBHS freshman Sandra Kue, Franco, and I welcome him, that dream has become reality, saying like, “Oh, we’re so glad with Kue acting in a few movyou’re here!” And then I was in ies and commercials. a movie called Last Man StandCurrently, Kue has been ing with Catherine Bell. working on the set of Oz: The Great and Powerful as a Q: What is the storyline of munchkin/extra alongside big Oz: The Great and Powernames such as James Franco, ful? Mila Kunis, Bruce Campbell, A: It is mainly about how the and Zach Braff. of She has also “Shia LaBeouf is a Wizard Oz hapworked with horrible person, pened. actors like Shia How Oz LaBeouf, Pat- he’s like a total rick Dempsey, jerk... Then there’s became Oz and and Catherine the story James Franco who Bell. Now, take a is really nice, and behind it all. look into the life very, very funny. “ and mindset of Q: What Kue, an aspiring actress. are some of the actors like

Q: When did you first become interested in acting?

A: Well, in first grade I started to do plays and stuff like Annie and Peter Pan. I stopped for a while after that, then when my sister was in Gran Torino it kind of sparked my interest in acting again. I started back in seventh grade, and was actually getting into stuff.

Q: What are some of the more prominent roles you have had? A: I was in Transformers: Dark of the Moon as an extra, and ran around with a bunch of little kids, screaming my head off, getting chased by a


and he’s just a great guy. I’ve met Joey King from Ramona and Beezus in a bathroom once while I was doing my business, and she came into the room where I was waiting after and she sat with me and played with my hair. She was a really nice, hyper kid. Patrick Dempsey was on the set of Transformers. He reminds me of James, but more mature and polite. He doesn’t talk about farts and odd stuff like James does.

C Photo: Banner/Karatza

Story By: VICTORIA KARATZA Opinion Editor



A: Shia LaBeouf is a horrible person, he’s like a total jerk. Like, in movies where you see actors in real life actual being stuck-up and such, that’s what he is like all of the time. He only talks about himself and he smokes on set and he demands things and he treats everyone like crap while they are working around. Then there’s James Franco who is really nice, and very, very funny. Like, he talks about anything, and he is so open to you and likes to make people feel special. He danced with all of the kids after they cut the scene, so they are at least on set. He asks how they got the job and stuff like that,

Kue is currently still on call for the Oz movie.


Black Friday Shopping


Ev Reaches new heights



Excited Shoppers hurry into Macys at midnight.

Every year, Americans migrate to shopping centers the day after Thanksgiving on the day known as “Black Friday.” It is the single largest consumer spending day of the year and retailers capitalize by opening at midnight and offering special deals to try to coax consumers, and more importantly their credit cards, into the store. Walking through the mall on Black Friday can be a rather frightening sight. The long lines of crazed shoppers and people fighting over the last Xbox 360 may seem like


enough to keep most people away from the chaos that is Black Friday, yet every year more and more people flock to the mall in search of the best deal. The craziness seems to have reached new heights this year. “I went to Wal-Mart, and it was out of control,” senior Max List said. That was just at Wal-Mart. Many more people bypass stores like Wal-Mart altogether, heading straight for malls and outlet stores instead. People arguing, fighting over products and spending hours in lines

with arm loads of clothes, iPads, Droids, Playstations or almost any other type of consumer good that one can imagine. It turns out that the seemingly new height of craziness is evident in retail sales figures this year. Sales climbed 6.6 percent from last year and totalled a jaw dropping 11.4 billion dollars total. Many experts were surprised by the growth in sales and view this as a good sign that America’s ailing economy is showing signs of getting back on track. Other experts

disagree stating that the sales growth is simply due to inflation. One expert cited that due to inflation, Americans would be spending 20 percent more compared to last year if they were to purchase all the items mentioned in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Regardless of the effect of inflation though, most economists are viewing Black Friday sales as a good sign for the nation’s economic health.

Story By: NICK SIVOSKY Video Editor


2011 Holiday Gift Guide Black Friday officially marked the start to the 2011 Holiday shopping season. With so many products on the market this year, buying gifts for those on your list, and in turn making your own list, is proving to be a challenge. iPads, tablets, smart phones, and e-readers are just some of the latest gadgets topping off lists. Reportedly, on Black Friday alone, Apple sold 14.8 iPads per hour and is proving to be a big hit. But not to be outshined, Android has also created their own version. Tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab includes everything its competitor does in a slightly smaller form. But it’ll cost you. Prices start around $550. . Smart phones are another popular gift request this holiday season. The Iphone4S has most recently been added to the iPhone family. Which Apple claims to be the best one yet. Good news to Sprint costumers, the iPhone is now available to Sprint users as well.

Ereaders such as the Kindle are a great gift idea for book worms. Although some would argue that reading just isn’t the same without being able to physically flip the material. The Kindle is a lightweight and affordable option. Prices start around $79. For those interested in music, Dr. Dre Beats will most likely be at the height of their desires. The relatively new headphones created by the music legend Dr. Dre offer the latest in sound technology and style. Prices may vary so it would best to shop around. As usual, topping high school girls Christmas lists everywhere are the ever popular Uggs. Along with Sperrys or commonly referred to as boat shoes which have just recently become popular. Prices start around $60. These are all ideas to keep in mind while braving the malls this last week before Christmas.



Holday Inspired Red Uggs.

Story by: WHITNEY WHITEHEAD Entertainment Editor






PQRSTUVL The return to large headphones will cost you $299.




Meet Mrs. Bleicher

Photo: Banner/ Scherba

I am the English Department Chair.


I love to read anything I can get my hands on. If I could choose a superpower, I’d choose flying. I love The Muppets.

I am addicted to the TV shows “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory.” I have seen The Princess Bride approximately 10,000 times.

Interview By: HANNAH SCHERBA Events Coordinator

I am a terrible speller. I love board games.

I coach the Debate and Mock Trial teams. I love cheesy action movies.



Mrs. Bleicher with Muppets and favorite books in backround.


Mr. Goetzinger Tells All Photo: Banner/ Diesel

I grew up in Alma, Michigan. I played football and wrestled in high school. I attended Alma College and Central Michigan University. I have a BA in Physical Education and MA in Community Leadership. I have 8 children.


I love working with kids and making a difference. I enjoy sports and hunting. I love the Detroit Tigers. I like spending time in Petoskey, Michigan.


I like seeing kids change and being successful.

Interview By: ALEXIS REID West Campus Editor

A familiar face around school, assistant principal, Gary Goetzinger tells us more.




What’s Up, p Mr. Finkbeiner?


I am the assistant band director.

I am a conductor and a percussionist.

I love my job of passing the knowledge of music unto others.

I can work with other instruments but I most experienced under percussion. I began playing in sixth grade for the school band.


Photo: Banner/ Varner

My parents bought me a drum set after noticing how much I loved music.

I used to play in a terrible rock cover band. I currently play in a steel drum quartet.

Music has taken me to Washington State, Chi cago, Austin, and Detroit. I want to continue my practices in music because it is my passion.

Interview By: BRAD VARNER News Editor

Hola, SeĂąor Retberg q I grew up in Colombia.

I have a bachelors degree in marketing and management.

Photo: Banner/ Diesel

I am fluent in Spanish and English. I have a geographic tongue. I love soccer.


I moved back to the United States when I was 11. I love Empanadas. I studied in Spain and Chile. I am not musically inclined. I can whistle really well.



Interview By: ALEXIS REID West Campus Editor

Mr. Retburg shown in front of his many classroom decorations.


HAPPY HOLIDAYS - The Banner Staff