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Brownell-Talbot College Preparatory School 400 North Happy Hollow Boulevard Omaha, NE

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December 2013

Brownell-Talbot Student Newspaper Fall 2013 Edition


Sulagna Sensarma, Christina Fossum, Ian Gaupp, Sarah Setlak Camilo Zapata, Lauren Zimmerman, Ally Washka, Sydney Woods Editor-In-Chief: Christina Fossum





December 2013



December 2013

Volleyball “After we played our last game we all huddles together, and it all felt so unreal,” Wellesley Michael describes her final minutes playing as a high school volleyball player. Most everyone at Brownell can recall that the fall 2013 Lady Raiders had one of, if not the, most successful volleyball seasons in our school’s history. However, the team was more than just a record 22 wins. The bond these girls have

formed on the court began as far back as junior high, where Jessica Puetz remembers her thoughts joining the team in 8th grade, “I didn’t really feel good about it [volleyball] because we lost so many girls the year before. But, I still wanted to play because I really liked it, and I have really good friends who were playing too.” Puetz ended her career setting a record in digs. Another individual

record breaker was middle Sydney Woods, who led the team in kills and blocks. “It was the best senior volleyball season I could ask for!” Sydney exclaimed. This was primarily due to how close the girls were off the court as well as on it. Hannah Emery reflects stating, “ I thought it was pretty cool how we all had each other’s back. When someone wasn’t playing their best, we all encouraged them

Senior Spotlight and I think that’s what helped make it a successful season.” This unbreakable bond that is inevitably created after hours of practice, games, and hard work often goes unnoticed by the crowd and fans rarely amidst all of the cheering and clamor during games. In the end, team unity trumps the statistics, though they do add a memorable touch. This season is truly one that will go down in the books.





Page by Sarah Setlak




Raider Football 2013


December 2013

Undefeated Season District Champions State Playoffs




December 2013

October. The month brings about images of swirling leaves, blazing bonfires, and of course, the inexplicable excitement of receiving that handful of candy on a cold autumn night. However, for Brownell-Talbot’s football team, this October marks the first time the Raiders have won the District Championship in years. Not only that, but with an overall record of 9-0, the team qualified for state playoffs, and are bringing forth waves of talent and teamwork that has the crowd up on their feet at every game. However, despite the impressive performances by each player, the Raiders are focused more than ever. They train everyday and devote countless amounts of time and energy into this fiery effort to take the team as far as they can go – and the work pays off. The Raiders have racked up an incredible average of 275.6 rushing yards per game, with senior Arlie Myers leading the record at an average of 168.2 rushing yards per game. The team has an average of 63.0 receiving yards per game, along with 64.1 tackles per game. Junior Johnny Vrana and sophomore Brandon Deacon maintain the record of tackles per game, 7.4 and 7.9 respectively. The team has a total of 11.0 sacks, eight interceptions, and 46 touchdowns. Although the stats may seem impressive, a football team isn’t just a bunch of numbers and statistics – it’s about something much more than that. In an interview, Coach Mike Mancuso was asked what made him believe in his team. At this, he leaned back in his chair and took off his hat, thinking for a bit. When he answered, his words were short and honest: “It’s who they are, and who they’ve been over the years. They are no accident.” He went on to talk about how people only see the “sport” side of football. Only the coaches and team members know what goes on behind the scenes, how much work and effort the boys put in. From the summer hours put into training at the gym, to rainy, muddy practices that seem to last an eternity, this sport not only creates a bond between each member, but also prepares them for the real world. “It teaches them responsibility,” said Mancuso. He went on to explain his high standards for the team, and although they may seem strict, the principles are ultimately preparing them for the real world. If, for example, one of his athletes does not turn in an assignment, then they will not play in the next game – just like if one shows up late to work, or misses a day of work without prior notification, then there will be appropriate consequences. “Football shapes people. It demonstrates morals and values.” Leadership is one of these values, and when asked who he thought led the team this year, he replied, “Will Haskell was our vocal leader, and Tripp Skutt was our silent leader – the ‘lead by example’ type. Our goals for this season were to go 8 and 0, win the district title, and make state.” He grinned as he said, “And we accomplished all three, but only through teamwork, hard work, and leadership.” The Raiders are proud of their achievements, but a look into the future has the team preparing to face whatever comes. “I think this team can be as good, or better, than the team we have now in the coming years. It’s who we are, the way we do things. Yeah, we may not have the same record, but we’re set up in a position where the program should have continued success.” The seniors helped lead the team this year, and though they will be missed, Mancuso believes that there are gifts of talent still waiting to be opened. The interview ended with one of the hardest questions a coach could get: “What was your proudest moment as a coach this season?” Needless to say, it took Mancuso a couple of minutes before finally mustering up one of his proudest moments out of a collection of many: “We ran a twenty three iso Head Coach versus Louisville, and Johnny Vrana completely terminated their SAM LB. Mike Mancuso A couple of years ago, there were several people who thought that Johnny wouldn’t be a very good football player, but with his incredible work ethic, I always knew he would - and now he is a phenomenal player. Whatever he hits, he destroys.” This team has come far. They have overcome daunting endeavors, broken records, and have brought a new meaning to October for students, teachers, and families alike at Brownell-Talbot School. BT couldn’t be prouder of their football team. Go Raiders!

- Page by Sulagna Sensarma




2013 Ennio Concert

On Monday October 27th, Ennio Emmanuel, a singer from the Justo Lamas Group, came to Brownell-Talbot School starting his 2013-2014 tours in the States. Ennio Emmanuel is a Puerto Rican singer that sings pop songs in Spanish that are mostly aimed at the younger Spanish students. His new tour OjalĂĄ, meaning hope, is aimed at showing students Spanish

songs and telling his story about how he got into music. Even though many people in his life disapproved about him singing, he couldn’t get away from it and eventually, he started producing music. At a point of his life, he was going down the wrong path, and he decided that if he was going to do what he wanted with his life, he should at least work to succeed.

Justo Lamas noticed Emmanuel when his started recording music and recruited him for the program. The concert itself is very interactive with lyrics that are shown so that everyone can sing along and Emmanuel’s jumpy attitude. He sung many songs about hope and that nothing is impossible and the students were very attached to the songs.

Emmanuel even pulled up some students to say tongue twisters, sing along, play instruments, and even dance. The concert was packed with people and it was a really energetic way to start the week. His inspirational words motivated many people and everyone got involved in the concert at some point. He taught many people that nothing is impossible.

- Page by Camillo Zapata


December 2013

Ennio 13


BT Robotics goes 3-Demensional If you’ve ever had the chance to walk into Ms. Carrie Rise’s room during one of her free periods or after school, there’s a good chance you have gotten to see the 3D printer in action. With a noise similar to a normal printer on steroids and looking like an easily breakable few slices of lightweight wood, Brownell Talbot’s 3D printer can be a bit understated. Bought for BT’s Robotics team with team funds and arriving in May of 2013, the 3D printer from Printrbot was built by hand by members of the


student body. Joshua Zhu, senior, Robert Goetschkes, junior, and Ried Rise, sophomore, worked for four weeks everyday after school to build the printer. The company suggested the printer takes two weeks to build, but because of some issues it took a bit longer. Goetschkes mentioned that the first setback was due to a misplacement of motors causing the triforce to have to be taken apart and be rebuilt. Mrs. Rise caused another setback while the group was putting things back.

December 2013 any slight deformities. As time has gone on, the small bumps and dips have been accepted as students and teachers alike fawn over the 3D projects. Among the creations that have been built up from Rise’s child are TARDISes, a sea turtle, Brownell-Talbot dog tags for participants

in the summer robotics camps, and two busts of Ried Rise. Using an application she found online and a few dozen photos of the youngest Rise, Mrs. Rise was able to make 3D busts of her son. Any of the her minions in robotics would assume this to

be her personal crowning achievement by how much she enjoyed showing it off. But, Mrs. Rise enjoys showing off all of her 3D printer. Using it at Open House and other events draws people to see what new technologies the school is offering.

And as Brownell is one of only two high schools in the city to have a 3D printer, even a small one, it is something to be proud of. So next time you pass Mrs. Rise’s room, maybe stop in for a second to see some of the many projects the robotics students have asked her to print.

- Story and photos by Lauren Zimmerman Zhu laughed as he recalled the second setback of the project. “Mrs. Rise says, ‘I will kill anyone of you if you broke a piece of the printer,’ then she broke one of the switches.” There were some downsides to not buying the printer preassembled. “The kit didn’t even come with directions, so we followed someone else who put his building of it online, which was still incorrect,” commented Goetschkes.

This led, unfortunately, to a day of scrambling. Zhu chuckled as he recalled the rush to determine a possible problem with a misplacement of motors. “Mrs Rise thought we put them wrong… we put it right.” Once it was all said and done the printer worked perfectly. More or less. As with any recent technology, not everything is going to be perfect right off the assembly line. The first few times pieces were printed, Mrs. Rise stood ready with a nail file to file down



Zombie Prom

December 2013

Meet the Lead...

Brownell Talbot hosted the musical production of “Zombie Prom”. twelve bright and young talented students from Brownell Talbot were offered roles in “Zombie Prom.” Amongst them was senior, Jessica Puetz, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing. Jessica played the role of Delilah Strict, the principal of Enrico Fermi High. “Delilah Strict likes to keep the kids in order and doesn’t really like Johnny, who later becomes a zombie. She also has a fling with a character named Eddie Flagrante, and the story is later revealed in the show.” says Jessica. Jessica relates to Delilah in many ways. They both have two sides, a serious side that likes to stay in control, but also a fun side. Jessica was inspired to audition for the musical because she really likes to sing and loved working with everyone in the past. Her passion and enthusiasm for music along with Zombie Prom’s amazing music and plot drove her to audition. Her friendship with everyone on the cast makes the experience for her all the better. - Article by Sulagna Sensarma




December 2013

best of omaha...

Winter is a great time to explore new places and culture in Omaha. From new areas to add to your morning routine, to the best restaurants around for a night out, winter in Omaha is never dull.


After a nice dinner, a funny show, and eventful ice skating, you must be looking for a nice bite of something sweet or some hot chocolate. Look no further than Delice Bakery in Midtown Crossing. The French bakery also serves breakfast and lunch food as well as fantastic pastries. Eating biscotti, bread pudding, or cream puffs, and drinking a nice warm hot chocolate sounds like the perfect way to end your winter Omaha day.

Ice Skating

Elf New to the Omaha stage, Elf the Musical is making its debut appearance at the Orpheum Theater. Based on the Will Ferrell comedy, the musical is based on a quirky young “elf” trying to make it in the real world. Elf is one present everyone will enjoy this season.

“One of my favorite activities during the holiday season is ice skating,” says senior Mercedes Kent, “especially down at ConAgra. The lights and trees get me in the mood for the holidays!” The atmosphere of the ConAgra outside skating rink is one of a kind, and the ideal place for a fun winter evening. Placed directly in the Old Market, the ConAgra ice skating rink is the center of culture in the downtown area. With great restaurants such as Stokes, Twisted Fork, Spaghetti Works, and Vivace, a trip to the ConAgra ice skating rink would be a prefect night out.

- Page by Sydney Woods



Students at Brownell Talbot are said to have an immense and sometimes insatiable thirst. Whether it is in the classroom, on the field, or out in any area of their lives, Brownell students are always drinking their fill. Whether it’s smoothies with energy boosts, hot lattes in a cozy café, or an exotic, vibrantly colored tea, our students hydrate in a variety of different ways. I took it upon myself to talk to some of my peers and find out where to grab a good drink and hang out. First I chatted with a beverage aficionado, senior Grace Bydalek. One of her favorite places to grab a drink is Crane Coffee on Cass Street. Bydalek recommends the Iced Venetian, an iced latte with dark brown sugar. She also says that Crane Coffee is a great place for a late night study session too. “It’s quiet and very cozy. Everyone respects the silence and it’s a great place to really focus on getting something done.” Following our cozy motif I spoke with junior, Amelia Wood. Her favorite hangout is Stories Coffeehouse on South 180th Street. Wood recommends the Chai tea latte. When asked about why she liked Stories, she held nothing back. “My mother’s friend owns Stories so it’s nice to support a local business and a friend at the same time. One reason I like it is because it’s so cozy. It’s almost like everyone’s favorite niche was thought of, the décor somehow speaks to everyone that comes in.” Locality is a big factor for senior, Austin Taylor. In his spare time, Taylor can be found in the Blue Line Coffee on Underwood Avenue, just up the street from Brownell. He orders his signature Chai Iced Tea and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin almost every time. “I like going to Blue Line because I really enjoy the environment and community,” Taylor says. “ I enjoy supporting small and local businesses and giving my money to them, instead of big name companies.” Now take it from a Brownell Talbot student, we don’t always have time to sit and savor a hot drink in the embrace of a leather armchair. More often than not, students stop to grab something quick in between extracurricular activities or even between classes. Speaking to that end is senior, Will Gustafson. During his frees Will often heads over to the Tea Smith on North 78th street. He orders a Passion fruit iced tea to go and drives back to school. “The Tea Smith not only tastes amazing but it’s inexpensive and crazy quick. This makes it perfect to snag something good before I need to go to class.” Someone who can attest to a busy schedule is the last person I spoke to, senior Wellesley Michael. She likes to grab a Jab Step, a smoothie composed of raspberries, pineapple, strawberries, and raspberry sherbet. “I like Juice Stop because I can be in and out like that. And if I got a long night of cheer and homework I can get them to throw in an energy boost which helps me power through it all.” So whether you’re looking for a place to sit with friends and study with some hot drinks, or a place to grab a quick pick me up, Brownell Talbot students know all the best places to go. Be it East O, West O, or even from Council Bluffs, there’s always a place to replenish and get back in the game. - Story by Ian Gaupp

Verbatim January 2014  

Brownell-Talbot student newspaper

Verbatim January 2014  

Brownell-Talbot student newspaper