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Volume 51 Number 3

Brandon Valley High School - Brandon, SD 57005

Sturgeons adopt second son, Ethan

By Umaima Koch Update Editor Two toddlers’ high-pitched squeals pierce the air as they bounce around in their living room. Their mother turns her attention to the two-year-old settling down in her arms, the newest addition to English instructors Troy and Diane Sturgeon’s family: Ethan Fletcher Sturgeon. “We’re kind of settling into our new normal,” Diane said. “Going from one to two kids is hard, but the second kid, being a toddler instead of a newborn, is exhausting.” The Sturgeons sojourned in China to adopt their second son in August. “This trip was quite a bit different than our first trip,” said Diane, pausing to reassure a restless Ethan that she was right there. “Where Aiden is from (Xi’an), it is very culturally rich; where Ethan is from (Changchun), it’s industrial. To make a long story short, I think we experienced more of the real China this time.” The Sturgeons adopted their first son, Aiden, Oct. 10, 2010, the day Ethan was born. But the Sturgeons cannot say for sure the exact birth date. The people who found him saw him abandoned at a hospital and estimated it had been about 10 days after his birth. The Sturgeons’ only real

Photo by Umaima Koch

English instructors Troy and Diane Sturgeon embrace their sons Aiden (left) and Ethan (right). The Sturgeons adopted their second son, 2-year-old Ethan, from China in August. concern is attachment issues, which is a common concern with internationally adopted children. “He (Ethan) went from a biological parent to an orphanage to a foster home to an orphanage to us,” Diane said. “Even in the foster home he would go to an orphanage every day and to the foster home at night.” Diane’s ideal has always been three children. When they married, she and Troy planned on having three.

“Somebody told me this once: The first one you’ll adopt is for you,” she said. “The second is because you know there’s another baby waiting for you.” “We were selfish,” Troy said. “We wanted to complete our family.” Diane, who returned to teaching Nov. 9, said everybody always asks her why she adopted from China. “My babies were in China,” she said. “That’s just the way it is.”

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012

Obama re-elected for second term By Dustin Johnson Sports Editor Jubilation resonated throughout the McCormick Place in Chicago out of approval to President Barack Obama’s reelection Nov. 6. Once the polls closed across America, Gov. Mitt Romney had an early edge over incumbent Obama. Yet around 10 p.m., the media projected President Obama to attain his second term. “I supported his vision for America four years ago,” senior Brendan Gallo said, “and I continue to believe he knows how to lead our country.” Gallo also pointed out how effective of a leader President Obama is and found little reason to remove him from office. “Overall, I thought Romney put up a good fight,” senior Spencer Smith said, “but then, of course, California kicked in.” Smith said the next four years will determine how the “Obama effect” will affect this country and how his policies need time to unfold. Over 62 million citizens voted for Obama in what many claimed to be a pivotal election due to the $16 trillion (and rising) debt and the inability for politicians of opposite parties to agree on anything. “Not much has changed in the polarization of the coun-

try,” government teacher Jeremy Risty said. In last month’s Echo election the seniors “re-elected” President Obama with 51.76 percent of the vote. On election night Obama achieved about 51.17 percent of the popular vote. One South Dakota incumbent who was undefeated was U.S. Representative Kristi Noem. She received 57.45 percent of the vote to Democratic challenger Matt Varilek’s 42.55 percent. In the senior poll, Noem received 69.69 percent of the vote. South Dakota voters opposed raising the sales tax for additional Medicaid and K-12 education as proposed in Initiated Measure 15. Even though the seniors passed the measure, South Dakotans defeated the initiative with 57.62 percent saying no. In the mock election, the seniors also narrowly repealed Referred Law 16. On election night the South Dakotans repealed it, too, with an overwhelming 67.23 percent. “Sure there were some superintendents or former superintendents involved (in passing Referred Law 16),” Risty said, “but lawmakers passed a law with very few teachers actually involved in the process.”

BV supports House family

Photo by Payton Knoll

Advanced foods instructor Anna Lee Sudtalgle’s students count the Coin Wars money. They are Stephanie Podhradsky, Kourtney Mullenix, Jacob Hamsa and Jameson White.

Coin Wars raises $590 By Payton Knoll Staff Writer Students in advanced foods raised more than $590 last week through their project Coin Wars. The Coin Wars proceeds went to the local Brandon Area Food Pantry, allowing it to purchase more than 3,000 meals for families in need. Student teacher Anna Lee Sudtalgle was assigned the fundraising project by her student teaching prep class instructor.

Her students voted on the charity service they would aid and the project they would use to fundraise the money. Senior Katelyn Peterson went a step further and visited the Brandon Food Pantry. There she interviewed the founder and learned more about the charity. “One of the things you don’t realize is people here in Brandon need help,” Peterson said. “During November and December they’ll get hundreds of people.”

By Madison McKeown Photo Editor Brandon Valley raised $3,500 for sophomore Sarah House’s family Oct. 30. “I love this school!” she said. “Everyone is so nice and welcoming. This is only my second year here, and I feel like I have a big family I get to see every day.” House’s mother, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and finished surgery, is now going through radiation and chemotherapy. She was told she would not be able to work for a year. “It was a wonderful turn out,” said Amy House, Sarah’s mother. “It meant a lot to think a school that we just became a part of would do something so wonderful for our family. It touched my heart to know that there are so many nice people supporting my children.” To help out the House family, science instructor Justin Lovrien and band director Laura Baker organized the dinner along with

Photo courtesy of Sarah House

Brandon Valley raised $3,500 for the House family because Amy, the mother, has breast cancer. The family members are (back row) Ethan, James, Sarah; (front row) Aaron, Amber, Amy, Emily and Dale. the Band Boosters and custodian Tony Kuck. The dinner was an allyou-can-eat with a $5 donation. “It meant a lot to see so many people reach out and help my family,” Sarah said. “It was an overwhelming experience.” Kuck smoked the pork loin, Tony’s Catering provided the

side dishes, instructor Naome Poppe’s food classes made the desserts and Coca-Cola donated the refreshments. “On behalf of the House family, thank you to everyone that made the night possible,” Sarah said. “Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated.”


Brandon Valley Echo

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012

Students go beyond school spirit, pride On a regular basis, Brandon Valley goes beyond school spirit to create unity in the school and community. When hard times come, individuals step up to help each other out. Recently, Amy House, mother of five Brandon Valley students, was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor’s orders called for radiation and chemo, and she would not be able to work for a year. Instructor Justin Lovrien and band director Laura Baker organized a supper to raise money for the family. Around 700 people attended, raising $3,500. At the state football championship game, school pride shone brighter than ever. For the first time in 14 years, the football team and fans entered the Dome, sporting school spirit in their outfits, pompoms and hearts. Unlike most games, students fought back their eager cheers when the team had the ball. The players needed to hear their quarterback, senior Chase Marso, call the plays. The collaboration touched players and students as they helped each other to succeed. On Nov. 2, Brandon Lutheran Church hosted a 5K Gingerbread Run. Half of the proceeds went to the Make a Wish Foundation and half went to Give Kids The World Village in Florida. According to their mission statement, it is a nonprofit resort where children with life-threatening illnesses are treated to cost-free, week-long fantasy vacations. Varsity cross country athletes led the run. Miss South Dakota, Mariah Logan, ’11, was present to endorse her platform charity, the Make a Wish Foundation. Last Saturday, the dance team led a Zumbathon, two hours of Zumba, at Celebration United Methodist Church to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Besides impromptu situations, like health and crowd spirit, the high school creates annual opportunities to help out the community, such as the Angel Tree. On the Angel Tree hang ornaments with children’s Christmas wish lists. Most items are life necessities, rather than toys and gadgets. Students, staff or community members who wish to participate simply take an ornament, sign in at the high school office, and purchase items off the list. The items are then returned to the office where they will be distributed to the anonymous gift receivers. The Angel Tree is an ideal opportunity for students to continue their spirit of giving.

Depression an illness not a weakness By Jessica Morrison Ad Manager One out of five high schoolers have or had depression, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. One in 10 adults have or will have a depressive disorder in their lifetime while 54 percent of people believe depression is a personal weakness, which is a myth. “There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds,” author Laurell K. Hamilton said in her book Mistral Kiss. Depression is different for

everyone. Even when one is in a crowd of people and that person feels like they can’t trust anyone, they still feel alone. Depression is not just loneliness or sadness. It is not just anger out of control. It is anger turned inward. Others would say that depression is a choice or a chemical imbalance of the brain. I would say it is anger without enthusiasm. It is not a weakness but instead an illness. Depression is not going outside more often to exercise so that serotonin will increase one’s mood to be happy, momentarily lifting depression.

“When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost,” said Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. “For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.” Depression is an illness, not a personal weakness.

Echo editors encourage readers to submit letters to the editor, which must be signed. They should be addressed to the Echo editors or dropped off in the publications room, 120.

House family fundraiser

Money spent on elections

Coin Wars fundraiser

Thumbs up to the House Fundraiser, which raised $3,500 Oct. 30. Science instructor Justin Lovrien and band director Laura Baker organized a charity dinner in honor of the sophomore Sarah House’s family to raise money because her mother has breast cancer. Custodian Tony Kuck cooked the pork loin sandwiches, Sunshine Foods donated the side dishes, instructor Naome Poppe’s class made desserts and Coca-Cola donated the beverages.

Thumbs down to the money spent on the 2012 national election. According to Time magazine, the congressional and presidential candidates spent around $6 billion on their campaigns that culminated on election day Nov. 6. Because the Democrats kept control of the Senate and presidency and the Republicans kept control of the House, political division will most likely continue for the next four years.

Thumbs up to the Coin Wars, which raised over $590 for the Brandon Area Food Pantry. As a service project, student teacher Anna Lee Sudtalgle encouraged the family consumer science students to conduct the Coin Wars. It was a fun way to competitively raise money for a good cause. The director of the Brandon Area Food Pantry is Linda Weber.

The Echo is published monthly by the publications students of the Brandon Valley High School, 301 S. Splitrock, Brandon, S.D. 57005. Telephone number is 582-3211. It is a state and national award-winning publication affiliated with the South Dakota High School Press Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. News Editors....................................................................... Cylie Svartoien Voices Editor.................................................................... Stephanie Meeter A&E Editor............................................................................. Payton Knoll Sports Editors..................................Dustin Johnson and Kinnley Comeaux Update Editor...........................................Umaima Koch and Austin Sadler Photo Editors............................. ..Madison McKeown and Casey Koutstaal Ad Manager...................................................................... Jessica Morrison Staff Writers........................ .......................Cole Boscaljon and Troy Small Adviser.........................................................................Debra Rothenberger Brandon Valley Echo is a public forum. The editorial content of the Echo expresses the views of the newspaper and not necessarily of the administration, faculty or school board of the Brandon Valley School District. Bylined editorial content is the writer’s opinion and not necessarily of the staff, adviser or school administration. Signed letters to the editor are encouraged, but they may be rejected or edited for grammar, condensation, good taste and/or libel.

What do you think about the election? “I wasn’t happy about Obama getting re-elected because he already put us $7 trillion in debt.” -Senior Dylan Tibke

“People were being ridiculous online on voting day. They were attacking each other’s political views.” -Senior Vanessa Rise

“Unfortunately, this election produced no significant results. I am wary of the imminent future.” -Senior Tyler Anderson

“I think that people were getting too polarized during this election.” -Senior Long Pham

“I’m a little disappointed at the outcome. I’m surprised. I thought Mitt Romney would win.” -Junior John Henry Knudtson

“I am very satisfied with the results of the 2012 election. I feel Obama was the right choice of the two realistic choices.” -Senior Kylie Beck


Brandon Valley Echo

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012

Lynx stumble in loss to Warriors By Dustin Johnson Sports Editor Washington remained undefeated as the Lynx stumbled in the final 13 minutes of the 11AA State Championship. “It was a very successful season,” head coach Chad Garrow said. “We just didn’t quite pull it off.” With a minute to go in the third quarter, the Lynx held a 6-point lead over the Warriors. However, once Washington took offense, that lead evaporated. The Warriors never looked back, scoring 21 unanswered points. Washington defeated Brandon Valley 35-20. “The kids proved that they could play in the state championship,” Garrow said. “It’s great for the senior class and it’s great for the program, too.” Despite the loss, senior quarterback Chase Marso received the Joe Robbie Most Valuable Player Award as well as the Most Outstanding Back Award. Marso shattered a Class 11AA finals record with 454 passing yards. He also had two touchdown passes to seniors Matt Vandeberg and Nate Winter. “It’s definitely a team award,” Marso said. “I wasn’t the one making yards after the catch or blocking.” As the No. 2 seed, Brandon Valley earned a bye in the first week of the playoffs,

Photos by Kinnley Comeaux

In the State AA championship game, senior Tony Tripp (above) rushes through the Warrior defense. Senior Chase Marso (left) receives the Joe Robbie MVP Award. before facing Pierre T. F. Riggs in the second round, a team that almost defeated Washington 20-27. The Lynx routed the Governors 41-17 at home despite Pierre’s clock management.

In the game against Pierre, Vandeberg snagged his 32nd career touchdown pass, a state record. Senior Adam Bauer had an even bigger game as he caught two touchdown passes. Junior A. J. Garrow

also had a touchdown in the game. Marso ended up 16 for 23 with 214 yards and four touchdowns. After defeating the Governors, the Lynx then hosted the Rough Riders. The Lynx overcame the Riders 34-20, berthing the Lynx to their first championship game since 1998. Early on, it would seem as though the outcome would be similar to last year. With two minutes to go in the first half, the Lynx were down 14-7 until Marso hit Vandeberg for a 37-yard gain, which set up a 16-yard touchdown pass to Garrow with 57 seconds left in the half. The third quarter remained scoreless until Marso threw an 8-yard laser to Winter with 43 seconds left in the quarter. But Roosevelt would not buckle. With a 21-20 lead Marso connected with Vandeberg for a 44-yard strike making the score 28-20. Senior Tony Tripp sealed the 34-20 victory on a four-yard touchdown rush with less than three minutes left in the game. Even though qualifying for the championship game was a victory in its own right, many players wished they ended the season with a championship plaque. “We didn’t finish with the exclamation that we wanted to,” Marso said, “but in retrospect, it was a great season.”

Volleyball finishes in districts

Wrestlers to compete at Roosevelt Invitational By Cole Boscaljon Staff Writer Wrestling team will compete at the Roosevelt Invitational Saturday. “Our seniors and underclassmen have had a productive off season,” head coach Kraig Presler said. The returning letterwinners are seniors Mason Bender, Grant Dougherty, Gabe Langer; juniors Spencer Heidbrink, Adam Presler, Jack Sternburg; sophomores Dylan Bludorn, Brandan Burkhart, Clayton Ebright, Connor Smith,

Wyatt Winter; freshman Conner Rowbotham and eighth grader Jackson Pletten. The Lynx Invite is Jan. 5. It expanded to 13 teams and will feature the top A and B teams in South Dakota. “We, the team, will have to be prepared for each ESD dual,” Kraig Presler said. The top two returning teams are Pierre and Huron. “We should be stronger throughout the lineup and move up the ranks,” Kraig Presler said.

Girls basketball team faces defending state champions By Jessica Morrison Ad Manager Girls basketball team will face the Mitchell Kernels, Dec. 4. “There will be a lot of work to do since they are the defending state champs,” head coach Mark Stadem said. Returning letterwinners in-

clude seniors Allison Koehn, Valerie Peltier, Brynne Rist, Jordyn Griffith and junior Alexis Hoover. The difference about this girls basketball season is it is a whole new group of girls, Stadem said. “It will affect the roles on the team,” he said.

Photo by Stephanie Meeter

Senior Val Peltier spikes the ball to Lincoln during districts. The girls lost to Lincoln in three sets, 25-10, 25-15, 25-16. In their Dig Pink cancer fundraiser, the girls raised $2,131.67.

Bowling teams roll first match By Casey Koutstaal Photo Editor Lynx bowling teams competed in their first match against Vermillion Nov. 15 at their new bowling location, Empire Bowl. The five-girl team lost in the last frame 29-21. Junior Emily Steinhouse led with a 565 series and a team-high 235 game. Senior

Caitlin Hammond bowled a 521 series, and junior Mariah Clark, a 476 series. Senior Kayla Schettler bowled her best match with a 152 for a 384 series. Sophomore Kelsey Nimick rolled a 291 series. The 14-member boys team lost 39-19. “We are excited, having fun and bowling hard to make it to state,” junior Michael Hillman

said. “This season we have new jerseys and a new place to bowl.” Hillman bowled a 184 in his 481 series; and senior Brady Mutschler, a 207 in his 523 series. Freshman Jason Vis rolled a 186 in his 524 series; sophomore Tyler Limmer, a 425 series, eighth grader Ricky Delacruz, in a 409; and sophomore Alex Hamer, a 362.

By Troy Small Staff Writer Volleyball team ended its season in the second round of districts by losing to Lincoln in three sets, 2510, 25-15, 25-16. Junior Lexi Hoover had 14 assists and 11 digs. Senior Emme Sumner had five kills while senior Val Peltier and junior Hannah Stensrud both had four. Coach Lindsey Smith said the seniors were great leaders. They went from one win in their first season to seven wins in their last. “These girls have been through a lot of ups and downs throughout the years in volleyball,” she said. “They proved to the fans, their classmates and younger players that they love the game and don’t care what people think.” Senior Allison Koehn was selected to the Eastern South Dakota All-Conference First Team. Junior Taylor Murtha and Sumner were honorable mentions.

Boys basketball opens season against Mitchell By Austin Sadler Update Editor Boys basketball team will open its season against the Mitchell Kernels, for an Eastern South Dakota Conference match up, Dec, 7. “It will be interesting,” head coach Brent Deckert said. The Kernels hired an experienced head coach to replace Coach Gary Munsen, who had

been Mitchell’s basketball coach for 45 years, he said. “We have no idea about their plans of attack on offense or defense,” he said about the game. The returning letterwinners are seniors Adam Bauer, Chase Marso, Nate Winter, Jacob Adams and junior Nic Peterson. “It should be a very competitive first game on the road,” Deckert said.


Brandon Valley Echo

Oral interpers prepare for State Festival

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012

On stage

Oral interpers will compete at the State Oral Interp Festival Nov. 30Dec. 1 in Yankton. Junior Bailey Quanbeck will compete in drama; junior Kara Polasky, prose; junior Annika Hindbjorgen, non-original oratory; junior Desiree Rohrbach, humor; and sophomore Summer Rogers, poetry. The reader’s theatre members are sophomores Allie Fatone, Marina Gillespie, Tate Green, Evan Wieser and Matt Skadsen.

GSA meets weekly Challenge Day events inspired instructor Louisa Otto to advise the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). Otto said the group is mostly for socializing. Eventually she wants to see the group doing something in the school, preferably about bullying. At their November meeting, the students skyped with one of Otto’s friends Kimberly Banks-Brown. Banks-Brown is an ordained minister and knew she was gay at a young age. She explained how she tried to suppress her feelings and deal with the reality of being religious and gay. “Once I was truthful with myself,” she said, “it wasn’t a choice to not be truthful to others.” The group asked Banks-Brown how to deal with being bullied at school. “There are people (teachers, principals, faculty) who care and want to help,” she said. GSA meets weekly and welcomes newcomers to their group. However, everything said at their meetings is confidential and newcomers are expected to adhere to that, Otto said.

Did you know...? n Students of the month are freshman Taylor Gannon, sophomore Kaila Kuehn, junior Anna Freuhwirth, seniors Jacob Hamsa and Anthony Pederson. n As part of the Cadet Public Relations Council program, West Point Cadet Steven Brown, ’ll, spoke here Monday. n Early dismissal is today for the Thanksgiving break, Thursday and Friday. n High school one-act auditions are next Tuesday. n Art instructor Chad Nelson will be featured at an art show at the Eide/ Dalyrumple Gallery in the Center for Visual Arts at Augustana College through Dec. 12. n Nine musicians will attend the 16th Anniversary of the East Central Band Concert Dec. 3. Former band director Bob Goheen will conduct the concert in the South Dakota State University’s Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. n Chorus and Orchestra Concert is in the Performing Arts Center 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3. n ACT Test is Dec. 8. n Band Concert is in the Performing Arts Center Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. n 2013 Lynxonion may be purchased on the high school website.

Photo by Kinnley Comeaux

During the Indoor Marching Band Concert, junior Alexa Kruse twirls her flag. This was the Marching Lynx’s final performance before its trip to Jacksonville, Fla., to perform in the Gator Bowl half-time show Jan. 1, 2013.

McKeown runner-up Miss South Dakota Teen By Kinnley Comeaux Sports Editor Senior Madison McKeown and junior Tiara Tingle competed in the 2013 Miss South Dakota Teen USA Pageant Nov. 3-4. McKeown was first runner-up with $112,600 in scholarships for college. “With my plans of going to college, I am now preparing for the Miss Oklahoma USA pageant,” McKeown said. “I’m going to take a little break and focus on modeling.” On the first day of the competition, the contestants modeled their interview outfits and rehearsed. That night they presented their opening-number outfits, then their swimsuits and finally their evening gowns.

On Saturday the girls modeled their openingnumber outfits for a final time. The judges then chose the top 15 girls to continue to compete in their swimsuits and their evening gowns. After the girls modeled Senior Madison their outfits, the McKeown judges picked the final five contestants, who answered an on-stage question.

After the on-stage interview, the judges then selected and crowned Miss South Dakota Teen 2013 who was Alexis Rupp from Sioux Falls. She will continue on to the Miss Teen USA Pageant; whereas, McKeown was invited to the Miss TEEN World Pageant in June 2013. It is a pageant for teens exemplifying excellence nationally. Currently, McKeown is working with the Miss Amazing Pageant, which is a pageant for girls with disabilities. “It is a good break from competing for myself,” she said. “I now get to help other girls learn the skills I’ve learned through pageants. I also get to give back to my community.”

Senior portraits due Dec. 3

Photo by Kinnley Comeaux

Editors Cylie Svartoien and Stephanie Meeter display the awards the Echo and Lynxonian staff received.

Publications editors, staff receive awards at convention By Stephanie Meeter News Editor Echo and Lynxonian editors and staff received an All-State Award for the Echo and the Lynxonian, Top of Class Award for newspapers and the Sweepstakes Award at the South Dakota High School Press Convention Oct. 24. “I was super pumped that our names (Stephanie Meeter and Cylie Svartoien) were on the plaque for being editors,” senior Cylie Svartoien said. “It’s nice being recognized for our hard work.” For the third consecutive year, publications adviser Deb Rothenberger’s journalism students received those awards. “I’m just so pleased with my students receiving those awards because of all the hard work and dedication they put into producing both publications,” she said, “especially when my students compete against so many other fine publications.”

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November 2012 Brandon Valley Echo  

November 2012 Brandon Valley Echo High School Newspaper