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THE NORTH STAR December 2019 | Volume 34 | Issue 3 Blue Valley North High School 12200 Lamar Ave, Overland Park, KS

2020 The turn of a decade is right around the corner ­— page 18

Recap, Rewind, Relive the 2000s The 2010 decade ends in less than a month and is reflected upon on page 14.

turnbull through time Barb Turnbull reflects on her life through stories and photos on page 20.

From Chalkboard to smart boards Throughout the past two decades, teaching has grown with new attitudes and technology regarding education on page 8.

Editors-in-Chief Briley Everhart Megan McConnell Delaina Sanden The North Star is the official high school news publication of Blue Valley North High School, an open forum distributed to all the students six times a year. This is the December issue of volume 34. The North Star is printed by the Sedalia Democrat. This is a student publication and may contain controversial matter. Blue Valley School District No. 229 and its board members, officers and employees disclaim any responsibility for the content of this student publication; it is not an expression of School District Policy. Students and editors are solely responsible for the content of this student publication. 2 | The North Star | December 2019

Online Editor Daniel Park

Staff Writers Maddie Austin Ellianna Cierpiot Ana Curi Lopes Scarlett Jones Aubrey Karns Olivia Miller Emily Mrkvicka Charlotte Raley Yasmeen Saadi Angelica Henson Charitha Lakkireddy

New to bvnnews.com this month KC Metro Meet

By Olivia Miller and Emily Mrkvicka Dear Abby: how do I pick a college?

Scan here to go to bvnnews.com

Table of Contents education 4

Attention! We Are in a Lockdown


Turnbull Through Time


More Than Winter Blues



From Chalkboards to SMART Board

Which Early 2000s Kid Were You?


Rita’s Reminder


Catching Up

decades 14

Recap, Rewind, Relive the 2000s


Coming Up 2020

act changes

By Charitha Lakkireddy mental health council

By Yasmeen Saadi

Opinion: Parent Vs. Student Choices

By Yasmeen Saadi

New Blue Valley District Biodegradable Trays

By Olivia Miller

Opinion 26

The Power of Beauty


Letter from the Staff

Photos 30

Student Life Photo Essay

The North Star Social Media Facebook @bvnnews Twitter @bvnnews instagram @bvnnews

December 2019 | The North Star | 3

Attention, We are in a

LOCKDOWN By Ana Curi Lopes

Lockdowns are emergency procedures when there is a safety concern in order to protect students, staff and visitors, while the crisis response team (a group of administrators, counselors and staff members) works with the district office to find a safe solution.

Secure-entry: all the perimeter doors are locked and outdoor activities are suspended. Although the perimeter doors are always locked, if there is a secure entry, an administrator or staff member must doublecheck that the doors are locked. Examples: Police search in the area. Lock & Teach: All students are in a classroom with locked doors, but teachers continue to teach. Examples: Medical emergency, a police search in the building or loose animal in the building. Lockdown-Lights Out: Students and staff must be in a locked room and out of visible sight with the lights turned out. It is important to keep quiet during a lockdown lights out, so teachers have to stop the teaching process. Examples: Armed person in the building, gunshots in building or bomb threat.

4 | The North Star | DECEMBER 2019

X+Y=22 Y=X-6 X+(X-6)=22 2X-6=22 X=14

Y=14-6 Y=8

A lockdown can be called at any time: during passing periods, North Time, or when students are in the bathroom or hallways. If students aren’t in a classroom, they must find the nearest room that can be locked with adults, such as the band/orchestra room or the PAC. Before locking the classrooms, teachers should look around for any student that is not in a classroom.

KEEP QUIET According to Officer Morse, one of BVN’s student resource officers, it is important to keep quiet during a lockdown lights-out because, if there is an intruder in the building, the person might be attracted by the noise.

REMEMBER -Passing periods must be ignored during a lockdown -Fire alarms must also be ignored, unless there is smoke or fire -Keep phones in silent mode to avoid loud sounds

Information provided by Anne Kastelic and Officer morse DECember 2019 | The North Star | 5

More Than Winter Blues

Feeling down during this time of the year is common, but it’s possible for students to be going through more than some of the “winter blues.” By Angelica Henson

What is SAD?

Every year in early November, Americans turn their clocks back an hour. Although it can mean an extra hour of sleep, the time change can increase stress for those who struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), also known as seasonal depression. SAD is a mood disorder triggered by the changing seasons. It most commonly begins during late fall and early winter, but there are some cases of people whose SAD begins during the spring or summer, according to the American Family Physician’s website. When first discovered by psychologist Norman E. Rosenthal, he describes the impact of SAD from personal experiences. Rosenthal’s studies include symptoms such as low energy, concentration suffers or withdrawals from friends and family. A person’s work ethic for work or school can be severely affected when someone is dealing with SAD in full form, but a milder form of SAD known as the “winter blues” has similar symptoms. Six percent of the nation (19,632,000 Americans) suffer from SAD. About fourteen percent of adults struggle with the “winter blues” in the US, according to Rosenthal. Coping with SAD can be considered similar to coping for Major Depressive Disorder. Healthy eating and sleeping habits, exercising, therapy sessions are the main ways to cope, while with SAD the suggested ways are light therapy, more natural sunlight. When the human is subjected to Vitamin D, more serotonin (a chemical that balances a person’s mood) is released. Light therapy can also be used for similar effect so that someone’s mood and sleep are affected. Outside of doctor recommended treatments, there are other ways to help with winter blues or SAD to be

psychologically approved. Exploring creativity, meditation or natural chemicals are separate from the medically recommended.


For anyone who struggles with stress or mental health during this time of year, finding ways to cope can be important. Healthy coping mechanisms give a chance to process and work through life’s stressors. According to health website, Beaumont, coloring activates several parts of the brain to reduce stress, such as the Amygdala (which is responsible for invoking emotions like fear) to cause a meditative effect which reduces stress through distraction. Although, this isn’t promised for everyone. Having a positive experience with coloring makes it more likely for someone to enjoy it in the future, says Cleveland and Clinic’s website. Beaumont mentions that focusing on electronics it will disrupt sleep hormone levels. Instead of looking at a phone before going to bed, coloring can be made an alternative to keep a healthy schedule.


Beyond the books and assignments, English teacher Kat Buchanan leads in yoga exercises in some of her AP classes. Yoga consists of meditation and exercises that can improve physical health and encourage relaxation. “Five or six years ago I was at a… writing conference and a woman from Barstow presented some research,” Buchanan said. “She was conducting the impact of yoga on students during the school day. I thought I already practice [yoga] so it seems like something I could integrate. This year is the first year Buchanan didn’t automatically begin yoga with her students. Teachers and students experienced a pushback at the beginning

6 | The North Star | December 2019 | Education

of the year because of the virus, so Buchanan decided to indulge her students next semester. Buchanan explains that her overall success with yoga in the classroom depends on the relationship built. Yoga is quite different when doing it alone compared to large groups of students. “It seemed like something so small that I can control easy without having to get a grant or permission from people. I design my own routines. We start small to learn positions and then we build,” Buchanan said. “When I first started doing it, it was daily. I had to manipulate it to make sure content was not lost.” According to Buchanan, teachers are finding new ways to keep the students at BVN engaged and focused by blending Social Emotional Learning into the school day. On Casel’s website, Social Emotional Learning also known as SEL is the process of children and adults manage and understand emotions and maintain positive relationships. “I think that’s a big topic of conversation right now. I’m happy we’re talking about… what people are doing in their classrooms to help the students well-being,” Buchanan said. “ I’m not sure you could find an educator in this building who would say they don’t care about trying stuff to help social emotional learning.”


Exercise has been found to be a way of eliminating stress according to ADAA’s website. Taking time to exercise can improve physical and mental conditions. Exercise releases endorphins (a natural painkiller). The hippocampus of the brain (region that helps regulate mood) has been found to be smaller if a person struggles with a mood disorder, such as SAD, according to studies by Harvard. Exercise has been found to assist improving nerve cell connections in the hippocampus.

Coloring Page by Angelica Henson Education | December 2019 | The North Star | 7

From Chalkboards

to SmartBoards A look into how teaching techniques have changed and will continue to


s school evolves, so does teaching, according to math teacher and BVN alumna Erin Nathan. Because of her time as a student, she had first-hand experience in a math classroom at BVN and has used this to her advantage as a teacher. “I struggled in math and I got a lot of help and I feel like, when I started teaching, it made me understand math better,” Nathan said. “When I’m teaching it, I can kind of remember where my struggles were… so, I’m able to dig a little deeper [into] explaining the background more than I was taught.” In order to go more in-depth into the curriculum, Nathan uses technology such as online textbooks to give students instant feedback on homework. However, this wasn’t always the case. During her first few years of teaching, Nathan used traditional methods in her coursework to combat technological challenges. Now that North has laptops available to all, this stressor has been lifted off of Nathan’s shoulders. “I had a hard time getting equations into text… so the technology has definitely helped me in the last few years,” Nathan said. Technology has made test-writing easier for Nathan, but has also made homework more accessible for her and her students. Even though Nathan’s classes may not use computers as much as others, textbooks and feedback are virtually instantaneous, according to Nathan. “I think it’s great because the kids can get instant feedback on homework,” Nathan said. “We can instantly see who’s getting on and doing their homework, so I do like the online textbook, but we probably don’t use the technology as much as other classes do.” Another way to create a memorable learning experience is through music, according to senior Patrick Schmidt. In 8 | The North Star | december 2019 | education

By Delaina Sanden the future, Schmidt wants to become a music teacher because of his North music teachers Daniel Freeman, Joel Wagoner and Jason Sickel and the effect their teaching has had on him. “I’d like to be a music teacher and… I have the three best role models in the world: Mr. Freeman, Wagoner and Sickel,” Schmidt said. “They’ve shown me what traits a good teacher needs to have and show me the effect it can have on kids’ lives and mine. That’s something I want to

you can apply skills you learn in those classes to other classes in unique ways. -Patrick Schmidt

be able to give to other kids.” Schmidt plans to teach music in a way that allows students to use their knowledge in other classes to create a well-rounded student. “You can apply skills you learn in those classes to other classes in unique ways,” Schmidt said. “Music is a lot of math. Figuring out what rhythms are what when you’re reading them on the page is way more complex than a lot of people think.” Schmidt believes music is a multifaceted learning tool that can both aid in different subjects and students whose learning styles differ from their classmates’. “Everyone learns differently and, obviously, there’s billions of studies that show that and prove that and I think

that it’s important to offer every outlet of learning for every kid who needs it,” Schmidt said. “Music is so many different kinds of learning. It’s hands on because you’re moving your fingers or singing, and then there’s obviously the hearing part of it and the auditory learning. So I think it’s a very important thing to stay in the curriculum and stay valued.” Like Schmidt, librarian Abby Cornelius agrees that teaching should incorporate multiple skill sets. After almost two decades of teaching, Cornelius recognizes the variety of changes that teaching has undergone to reach this goal. “I actually started my first year teaching in 2001, so I’m in my 19th year,” Cornelius said. “I do have a couple decades into it and, when I first started teaching, having a whiteboard was a new thing.” Cornelius has witnessed the scope of change, like going from chalkboards to whiteboards, as well as large ones. The most extreme change in teaching Cornelius has seen is the integration of computers into the classroom. “We had computers and it wasn’t that big of a thing, but I would definitely say that over the last 20 years, there’s been this trend that tech is better,” Cornelius said. According to Cornelius, this increase in technology in the classroom is supported by those who feel technology increases student engagement within the classroom, but this is not backed up by research. “There’s not research that actually supports that,” Cornelius said. “People like to say things like technology… makes students more engaged and it makes them want to do their work more, but the studies don’t show that.” The way to engage students is through teaching style, according to Cornelius. Other tools may help with engagement, but they won’t make or break it, Cornelius’ research finds.

“The number one thing that I’ve read in the research is the disposition of their teacher,” Cornelius said. “So if the kid feels good and feels cared about and feels like the work they’re doing is important to them and their teacher and they get along well, then the kid does better and learns more. All the other stuff can help and add to their education, but isn’t going to be the thing.”

In the library and media center, Cornelius works with classes to create different ways of learning new material. Cornelius has helped create breakout sessions with different clues related to a specific subject matter in classes such as Honors English 10 and Honors Geometry, in order to unlock a lock. She believes this style of teaching can be more beneficial than more traditional methods.

Teaching through time

“It incorporates problem-solving into the things that you’re learning content-wise and that makes it a lot more memorable,” Cornelius said. “Lots of times, kids will learn [by] doing a worksheet or writing a paper or whatever... but you don’t really have that memory. Nobody remembers a worksheet they did… that’s why we try to engineer those learning environments.”


Information courtesy of the American Board, National Geographic, Teachers Curriculum Institute and the National Center for Education Statistics

April 23,


The first public school opened in Boston, Massachusetts


A shift from English to science emerged at the beginning of the 18th century


Public schools began focusing less on religion and more on academics during this decade


Every state required students to complete elementary school

In the library, seniors Taylor Slusher and Sydney Seigle work through a Breakout box. Seigle finds the boxes to be good opportunities to bring a class together. “It’s fun to do Breakout boxes in class because it’s something different and you get to know one another by workig as a team,” Seigle said. “It’s always a rewarding feeling once you get the box open.”


Brown v. Board of Education outlawed segregation in schools


The U.S. entered its era of education when the No Child Left Behind act was put in place

december 10,

The Every Student Succeeds Act replaced No Child Left Behind



There are almost 50.8 million students enrolled in America’s public schools

Focused, Slusher tries to unlock a box. She enjoys this way of learning because it helps her absorb the material. “I really like the Breakout boxes because they provide a really interesting, new way to learn,” Slusher said.

Education | december 2019 | The North Star | 9

Rita’s Reminder


ven before the initial bell signals the rush to class, the office phone is ringing and Rita Mouber is stationed at the attendance window, scrolling through emails and Synergy. For some students, who traditionally file through the front entrance, Mouber is a familiar sight, yet while these students pass the attendance window she is often hard at work. “There’s not a time that I don’t answer the phone unless I’m out front doing reception,” Mouber said. “It’s just recording all the absences and... I’ll go in and check and see if there are some kids that have been missing all day.” According to Mouber, her daily routine consists of answering calls from parents, accounting for late students, writing passes and having students sign in and out. It’s these short interactions with students that give Mouber the chance to get to know the student body. “I don’t get to talk to all of [the students] because, obviously, not all of them are late or have to leave,” Mouber said. “[But] everybody knows my name. There’s no way of getting around that.” Even before the school day begins, Mouber can get up to an average of 75 phone calls from parents. However, these calls don’t stop with the first bell. Often, Mouber spends the day sifting through emails and ParentVue notifications, along with talking to parents. With the continuous stream of work, Mouber finds it hard to take lunch while keeping up with everything, although the front receptionists help take over for the half hour lunch period. “I figure that half hour would be much better spent on the computer and taking

phone calls,” Mouber said. “But I do have to take my lunch hour.” Although Mouber does not get to interact with everyone, her favorite part of working is conversing with students. However, her short and sometimes infrequent conversations can make it hard to form more relationships. “The sad thing is [that] I’m terrible with names and faces,” Mouber said. “And even if someone has come and gone 85 times right in a row, lots of times I’m [looking down]...My father was bad at names and faces, and I’m bad at names and faces.”

I like their laughter and their smiles and the twinkle in their eye when they know I know they’re lying.

- Rita Mouber

This year marks Mouber’s sixth year in attendance at BVN, but her role in public education has changed multiple times since embarking on her professional career. After graduating from college, Mouber taught as a special education teacher for elementary school students, and, within BVN, has been a para and ISS monitor. “It was good steps all the way and a good opportunity,” Mouber said. “[Plus] it’s a good environment and I like who I work with, so it’s good all the way around.”

10 | The North Star | December 2019 | Education

Throughout the entirety of her career, Mouber has worked with children and adolescents. However, her shift from special education to attendance receptionist presented a new batch of obstacles. “There’s just challenges about how I can get some of the kids to school, and how I want them to have a good environment and are able and willing to come to school when they know they need to be here,” Mouber said. “But, I don’t want them here when they’re sick, so it’s a fine line.” According to Mouber, BVN’s attendance record is good, but she is still dedicated to helping students form responsible habits. “You have to realize that you’re not going to be able to do this ... poor attendance when you get a job or when you go to college,” Mouber said. “This is your pre progress going out into the world and you need to learn the rules now.” With Mouber’s early start to the day, she is determined to find a way to get students to school. And for those struggling to get to class on time, Mouber has even offered to call them in the mornings in order to wake them up. “I have offered to call some kids and wake them up in the morning,” Mouber said. “A couple of them say, ‘yeah,’ but they don’t give me their phone number [and] there’s a few that are late all the time.” Although Mouber doesn’t call any students in the morning, she has formed relationships with past faces and reminisced with graduates who are now in college or working. “I remember the faces, but I have to ask them who they are,” Mouber said.

“But there are some that I would really love to have come back.” However, even with Mouber’s work and interactions with students, she believes there are still some flaws in the system. Between teachers taking attendance on Synergy, Tardy Tracker and Mouber’s position, there are chances for miscommunication that may cause students to be marked incorrectly. But according to Mouber, the solution is to talk to the teacher. “I can’t change it,” Mouber said. “And I say, ‘Well, just talk to the teacher and [they] will let me know that there was a mistake...You need to be aware that if you’re late, the teacher does not have time to go back and change it. That’s why you’re supposed to be doing that Tardy Tracker.” Although Mouber is directly in charge of attendance, each teacher marks absences for their class and students

are responsible for using Tardy Tracker. According to Mouber, she is constantly working throughout the entirety of the day and, although her interactions with students are limited, she hopes to teach the importance of participation while cultivating a good environment for students. “Just remember the

They’re Not Going to Cross me... to put it bluntly.

- Rita Mouber

old saying, ‘Don’t shoot the messenger,’” Mouber said. “I’m not the one that has marked you absent. It’s the teachers that mark you absent and I’m the one who gets the run off of it… So don’t shoot the messenger.” By Megan McConnell



4 Excuses 1.

“The Garage Door Broke, [so] I couldn’t get out of the garage.”


“Construction is on the street, and i can’t get out of my driveway.”


“My dog got out [or] my cat got sick.”


“I couldn’t find my car keys [Because] they were stuck in the couch.”

Education | December 2019 | The North Star | 11

Catching Up

A competitive atmosphere pressures students to go to school when sick to avoid missing homework By Olivia Miller


irst comes the sneezing. Then the runny nose. And finally, the worst one of all, the cough. It’s cold season, and people are getting sick. ‘Tis the season of the winter plague. Out of 130 students who responded to an Instagram poll, 71 percent have missed at least one day of school due to illness and 85 percent agreed that missing school made it hard to stay caught up with their coursework. District policy regarding missing school due to sickness is in accordance with that of Johnson County, according to BVN head nurse Julia Yano. “There are two reasons to stay at home,” Yano said. “One: to avoid getting everyone else sick and two: how effective will you be in class if you feel [terrible]? How effective are you going to be in class if you have a high fever and are throwing up?” According to Adam Wessel, Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction, if a student misses school, staff will work with them to get them caught up if they ask. “The reality is … kids are going to miss school because they get sick,” Wessel said. “But the key part of continuing to be successful in class and not allowing it to have a great impact on your grades is the follow through after you’ve been sick. Are you going to talk to teachers? Are you monitoring Canvas? Are you making up and turn[ing assignments] in on time? Are you keeping the lines of communication open with your teachers? If you’re doing those things, then I don’t think [missing school will] have a great impact [on your grades].” Wessel sympathizes with the desire to stay ahead in school courses, but if a student is too sick to pay attention in class, then he recommends they stay home. “I get that mindset of coming to school or going to work even when you don’t feel well,” Wessel said. “But, if you are legitimately sick [then] you need to stay home. Your health should be the priority and you need to get well.” Despite this, students like junior

12 | The North Star | DECEMBER 2019

Madhu Parthasarathy have had difficulty balancing personal health with schoolwork. “If you’re taking a lot of intensive courses, you definitely feel obligated to go to school so you don’t have to make up as much work,” Parthasarathy said. Parthasarathy missed two days of school because of a severe cold, but she said it was difficult to make up her work

“If you’re taking a lot of intensive courses, you ... feel obligated to go to school so you don’t have to make up as much work.” -Madhu Parthasarathy

because of her weighted courses. “It was just so much work because I already had an intense workload at the beginning and I had to catch up from all the [days I missed],” Parthasarathy said. Some students like junior Yujin Hahn go to school despite sickness to avoid missing required meetings, like for National Honor Society. “My fever was 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit,” Hahn said. “I was planning on not coming to school at all, but then I remember[ed] the [NHS] meeting.” The NHS meeting was a practice induction and a requirement to become a part of NHS. Hahn also said she had an AP U.S. History test and a Spanish test that same day and that missing school would pile even more onto her already busy workload. “I feel like whenever [students] miss anything in school, we have to make up so much for it the next day,” Hahn said. “It’s even worse because the next day you get more homework in that class and more tests, and on top of that you have to make up for what you didn’t get yesterday because you were sick.” Senior Liam O’Leary has also had to

constantly catch up with his advanced workload due to sickness-related absences. In addition to taking five AP classes, O’Leary works two jobs. “I think I’ve missed 15 days of school because I was sick,” O’Leary said. “I’ve missed school because I have a migraine issue, gastrointestinal problems, and a messed up immune system that pretty much make me feel terrible quite often. I only miss [school] when it gets so bad I can’t get up.” In order to keep up with his missing work, O’Leary occasionally pulls all-nighters, with 14-straight hours of homework as his personal record. O’Leary said he averages about two hours of sleep a night and often has to choose between going to school to avoid missing assignments and staying home. “I make myself think that I’ll feel better throughout the [school] day, but it almost never works,” O’Leary said. “I feel the need to be there if something important like a test is happening, so sometimes I’ll be really sick and still go.” O’Leary spends most of his North Times making up tests. In total, he has had to make up 20 tests, which has made it harder for him to actively learn. “Being sick [has] made a lot of things more difficult,” O’Leary said. “On one hand, I could be at school for information [and] assignments, and on the other I [could] just rest. Most of the time I really can’t do anything when I’m sick. Being sick has lowered my capacity to learn. If I’m actually sick I absorb a lot less information [because] I can’t really focus when I’m sick. I’m [always] really tired and never fully sleep. In class it’s a struggle to stay awake.” Average number of days students have missed:

1.69 Out of 22 students on an Instagram poll






Recap, Rewind, Relive

the The 2000ss By Charlotte Raley

A recap of pop culture in the last two decades that made up BVN students’ childhood

Now Playing: Top hits of the 2000s 2000- Oops I did it again (Britney Spears) 2005- pon de replay (rihanna) 2010- California girls (Katy Perry) 2015-trap queen

(Fetty wap)



here are 19 days left in 2019. For many students, this means the end of the decades that marked the nostalgic years of childhood. Since the turn of the century, students have grown up surrounded by advances in technology, shifts in pop culture, and local events. With new technology, social media emerged, causing trends to spread faster than ever. Among those fads, fashion rose as a prominent identifier for the decade according to some students.


The decade in dates

Junior Alex Doege grew up shopping at Justice, where she was exposed to the decade’s

14 | The North Star | December 2019

trends of everything from embroidered low-rise jeans and tube tops to a revival of vintage clothing. “Justice cami tank tops were a huge thing in middle school,” Doege said. “I believe I had every color. Also, sparkly sketchers. If you did not have them, you were not

cool.” Justice, with locations in Town Center Plaza and Oak Park Mall, has sold many of the decade’s popular accessories including choker necklaces and sequin headbands, according to Bustle Magazine. According to Business Insider, in 2006, stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch, American Nostalgia is Eagle and remembering your Aeropostale past and thinking were the most popular but about memories, Forever 21 and Brandy how life was and how it’s changed. Melville have replaced these -Alex Doege brands in more recent years. Although Doege

December 12, 2012 The Mayan calendar predicted this date to mark the end of the world.

remembers her childhood as a time full of exciting clothing trends, she believes that older generations will view these same years in a different way. “I would say adults in society today will remember and think of the past two [decades] as being very experimental with all sorts of trends,” Doege said. “There have been a lot of new things, especially with the inclusion of technology.”


The invention of the iPod, Nintendo DS and Wii generated a new market for kids’ entertainment and standards for children’s toys. Quickly following the invention of these gaming consoles and audio devices was the iPhone and new social media platforms. The introduction of smartphones to everyday life created an environment different from every generation before. “The inclusion of technology has made trends catch on quicker in the past two [decades] and to spread the word about lifestyle easier,” Doege said. Junior Sofia Lamento’s favorite technology during her youth was the Nintendo Wii and her favorite game was Wii Sports. “Technology has impacted my childhood by giving me

Chase Uhlig (Left), Oliver Scoggin (middle) and Jeffrey Raley (right) stand with 800,000 other royals fans at the Royals World Series Championship Parade in downtown Kansas City. Submitted by Oliver Scoggin

a form of entertainment that nothing else could,” Lamento said. “And the ways of communication that were impossible five years before us, which is really really crazy.”

Looking local

The 2000s have harbored numerous events and local changes within the walls of BVN and the streets of Kansas City. At BVN, North Time was implemented in 2017, creating a completely new school schedule. Upperclassmen at

BVN remember a time before the hour-long lunch period while underclassmen see North Time as a norm. Sophomore Luke Brethour has only been at BVN for two years so he is part of the group of students that have almost always had North Time as a regular part of their day. “North Time is a really good break,” Brethour said. “I use it to get all my work done. I can’t imagine school without it.” Most BVN students also remember when school

was canceled in 2015 for the Royals parade. 800,000 Royals fans flooded the streets near Union Station to see the 2015 baseball World Series Champions. Junior Oliver Scoggin, 12 years old at the time, remembers the environment of the parade. “The parade was very crowded,” Scoggin said. “It was just a different atmosphere. Everyone was excited [because] the Royals won and it was an experience that I’d never felt before.”

june 26, 2015

january 20, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to all same-sex couples.

President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president.

December 2019 | The North Star | 1 5

TV, Tunes and Trends

Lamento’s favorite TV channel was Disney. Shows including “Hannah Montanna”, “Suite Life of Zack and Cody”, “That’s So Raven”, and “Phineas and Ferb” were popular on Disney at the time. Lamento remembers watching her favorite show “Fish Hooks” during her childhood. “I remember watching Disney Saturday mornings when I would sleepover at my grandparents,” Lamento said. “I look around and see the shows on Disney now and I see the stuff that they’re putting out for kids It’s so poor quality and just crappy… compared to the early 2000s.” Although many of the shows from the 2000s are no longer on air, Lamento continues to watch the shows from her youth, such as “Wizards of Waverly Place”. She also listens to music from her younger years because of the nostalgic feeling it gives her. “I have a playlist called

childhood anthems because they just remind me of good times and make me happy,” Lamento said. “They give me some energy because all the early 2000s songs are really pumped up and hype and fun.” Doege also listens to these “throwback” songs, but reflects on how the songs are great for groups of people. Since most BVN students grew up listening to the same music, Doege thinks of music from the early 2000s as a universal language for students her age. “My ‘throwback’ playlist is definitely great for the car,” Doege said. “And I listen to them because they’re fun and you can throw it on with any group of people and everyone knows the words.” According to the Oxford dictionary, nostalgia means a sentimental longing for the past with happy personal associations. For Doege, nostalgia means the changes in music, TV and fashion in her childhood. “Nostalgia is remembering your past,” Doege said. “and just thinking about memories, how life was and how it’s changed.”

What was your favorite TV channel as a kid?


67% Disney Chose


Chose Nickelodeon Nickelodeon

Data gathered from 86 BVN students on a Google form

august 21, 2017

march 24, 2018

For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse was visible from coast to coast.

Between 1.2 and 2 million people participated in the largest single-day protest against gun violence in history.

16 | The North Star | December 2019

Coming Up



he year 2020 is just around the corner. From events like the presidential election to local BVN events like prom, 2020 has many things in store for the student body and the nation.

By Maddie Austin

The trials will be held in Omaha, Nebraska in January. In anticipation, a pool is being specially designed and Blue Valley North offers many events during second constructed for the athletes competing in Omaha, which Karl semester and at the end of the school year, whether it is the is excited for. She is looking forward to simply being at the start of spring sports, fundraisers or more. Students at BVN trials and showing up to do her best. also have their own plans for the new year. “My biggest goal is making top 50 Junior Abby Karl has big plans this just because I think that’d be super upcoming year. Karl has been swimming for cool, but that’s really hard and I would around five years and, although she is excited have to go pretty fast,’’ Karl said. We are to swim for BVN in the spring, qualified for Until then, Karl is working hard and continuing the upcoming Olympic trials at a meet last practicing to keep her time consistent summer. Each athlete in the competition had to work on in preparation for the trials. She is to achieve a certain time cut to make it to the excited to see what the prestigious updating our trials, and the swimmers that didn’t make competition has in store for her just spaces like the those times were eliminated. Karl is extremely around the corner in 2020. excited for the trials, but also nervous to face flex space. In addition, fundraisers will be held the best swimmers in the nation. by BVN and take place -Tyson Ostroski “I was at a meet this summer and was throughout the Blue Valley district originally trying to get a different cut, but then in the spring, one of the most well ended up going faster than I planned,” Karl known being Relay for Life. Relay for said.

Blue Valley North

february 29, 2020

july 17, 2020

This will be the first Leap Day since February 29, 2016.

NASA’s Mars 2020 mission to study the habitability of the planet is planned to launch on this date.

December 2019 | The North Star | 1 7

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Broadway show Aladdin continues tour

Kansas City Irish Festival

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Life is a fundraiser by the American Cancer Society to raise awareness for cancer and honor cancer survivors by conducting a cancer walk held at the New Century Fieldhouse. The event lasts twelve hours and includes games and food while team members take turns walking the track. Team members can hang out while raising money the whole time. Junior Lauren Herrington is the senior executive on BVN’s board for Relay for Life next year and can’t wait for March. “We have higher goals this year than we had last year,” Herrington said. “We’re hoping to get to the top relay in the nation. Also, we’re expecting more teams just because a lot of people know about it because of more social media and more meetings, so we’re expecting the biggest turnout this year.” Herrington’s favorite part of the event is spending time with her team at the campsite and playing games late at night when everyone is energetic even though they may be tired. Herrington is looking forward to the event and having fun with her friends while donating to a great cause. In addition to fundraisers held through BVN, there are also several changes going into effect in 2020 at the school including the continued enhancement of the Flex space area to make even more improvements. Additional

improvements to the building include the majority of classrooms receiving new furniture for the new school year. “We’re continuing to work on updating our spaces like the flex space and we’re thinking through some different things with our building on how we can make it more conducive for learning and collaboration,” Ostroski said. “Even though a lot of the construction already happened by taking out lockers, we’re looking to find new ways of maximizing our space in terms of our building facilities.” Additionally, faculty wants to promote mental health throughout the school to make it a healthier environment for students. The faculty’s main goal is to find more students that want to be involved in the different mental health organizations the school has to offer. The multiple organizations of the school were started and are now led completely by students at North. “I would have students look forward to different ways that we’re trying to incorporate students into our mental health organizations, whether it be ASAP or Sources of Strength or community service,” Ostroski said. “We’re trying to really pool our different mental health and well being groups together have common efforts and causes to meet the needs of our kids and our building.

July 24, 2020

November 3, 2020

The 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan will start on July 24 and end on August 9.

The U.S. presidential election will be held.

18 | The North Star | December 2019


United States and World

In the United States, multiple major events will occur during 2020, including the US presidential election on Nov. 3 and the United States Census on Apr. 1. The election is now open to seniors who are 18 and eligible to vote for the first time. Mrs. Chugg, a government teacher at North, is excited for her current seniors to vote. Although voting for the first time may seem scary, Chugg says the process is quite easy in Kansas due to it now being online and everyone eligible should do it. “I think it’s really exciting. There’s a lot of anticipation if you haven’t voted before; it’s really fun and there’s something empowering about it,” Chugg said. “You go into vote for the first time and many times the election workers will cheer and make a big deal when you’re voting for the first time. I hope all my students actually take advantage and do it. I just try and encourage them to experience that because it’s something really special.” Some tips she offers students about to vote include looking up a sample ballot, which can help the student prepare by doing re search on names and /or issues on the ballot. Knowing the actual procedure of voting, where to go to vote, and how the machines work are also important to consider prior to going to vote. A student may be registered, but may not be aware of the actual process. Chugg makes sure to teach her students these aspects so they feel prepared.

sonic the hedgehog starring James marsden february 14

In addition to politics, many significant sporting events will take place in 2020. According to the official Olympic Games website,the summer Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo, Japan, for the second time in July 2020. Between the winter and summer Olympics, Japan has hosted four Olympic games in total since 1964. In the American realm of sports, the 2020 Superbowl will be held in Miami, Florida according to NBC Sports. The start of a new decade brings many opportunities and events for students locally and internationally. Just around the corner, 2020 brings excitement to many people looking forward to a new year.

december 14, 2020 A solar eclipse will occur that will only be visible in the southern hemisphere.

A Quiet Place 2 starring Emily Blunt March 20

mulan starring niki caro March 27

Legally Blonde 3 starring Reese Witherspoon May 2020

Minions 2

starring Pierre Coffin July 3

ghostbusters 2020

starring finn wolfhard July 10

December 2019 | The North Star | 19

T u rN bU LL T H R ou G H TI M E ! Barbara Turnbull’s Journey through Time By Aubrey Karns

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20 | The North Star | December 2019


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Pearl Harbor Even though she was three at the time, one of Turnbull’s most vivid memories is the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After the news Pearl Harbor reached her, two men in Navy coats came into her home and swept her mother away, resulting in her bursting into uncontrollable tears with no way to calm her. Before the men came to get Turnbull’s mother, her mother received a call from the Navy explaining that she would have to deliver the news of her cousin’s death to her great aunt. “I remember screaming and crying and my dad couldn’t calm me down,” Turnbull said. “I didn’t really understand what was going on. The reason they came to [get] my mother was because we had one of the very few


little girl, about three years of age, sitting on a porch in front of a stone house in 1941. Her short, dark hair resting upon her shoulders as she sits on her porch. Since that day on the porch, Barbara Turnbull, a teacher in the Gifted program at Blue Valley North, witnessed the tragedies of World War II, talked about her small town life, shared her memorable Christmas story and became a mother and teacher, spreading her knowledge and experiences.

telephones in the neighborhood.” After Turnbull’s mother returned, she delivered the news that the family would be gathering in a small schoolhouse to hold a ceremony for the fallen family member. Once the funeral ended, the families carried on with their normal lives. “They gathered all these people for [my cousin’s] funeral,” Turnbull said. “There wasn’t a church or anywhere they could have [the funeral], but there was a schoolhouse that was a little bit bigger. About two weeks later, the young man’s parents got a letter from Pearl Harbor from their son. He had been on leave with a bunch of his buddies.” Turnbull’s cousin was thought to be dead, but in reality he had taken a vacation with his friends and missed the entire event of Pearl Harbor.


I’ll never forget [she] got really upset because my grandma used one of her rations for sugar. - Barbara Turnbull


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December 2019 | THE NORTH STAR | 21

World War II During World War II, rationing materials and food helped prepare the country for war so people could save money and salvage supplies for soldiers. According to Turnbull, sugar and nylon which were used to make parachutes for soldiers, were commonly rationed items, but Pearl Harbor had damaged the trading system and emphasized the importance of rationing by limiting supplies from damaged areas. After the war ended, women lined up to trade in their

ration slips for nylon or sugar. Turnbull’s mother waited in the line, only to realize that Turnbull’s grandmother had stolen her ration slip. Her mother was unable to trade for the nylon she desired. “So when the war was over, the women were lining up to get some nylons,” Turnbull said. “My mother lined up in this line, to get a pair of nylons... and I’ll never forget [she] got really upset because my grandma used one of her rations for sugar because my grandma was doing some canning. So my mother didn’t have it [for her pair of nylons].”

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22 | The North Star | December 2019

Growing up in a small town limited Turnbull’s resources. The school had three classrooms on the first floor. On this floor each classroom hosted several various grade levels, posing an inconvenience for Turnbull’s love for reading from the lack of supplies. “By the time [I] got to second grade, there were only three [students] left [in my class],” Turnbull said. “[I was] reading before I went to school because my mother had been a teacher. So she taught me and my two brothers [how to read


and do math].” In the back of each classroom, there was a small collection of books, or all the students. Turnbull frequently enjoyed reading but was restricted to this stock provided by the school. Eventually, she read through the small shelves of books, in every classroom. “I would finish all the books in the bookshelf, [so] my mother would take me to the county library,” Turnbull said. “When I read all the appropriate ones, she would take me down to Kansas Wesleyan University so I could check out books because [school] just didn’t have [the] resources.”

to care for the newly born piglets. The neighbor and her father decided to bring back the runt of the litter as Turnbull’s Christmas present. “They wrapped it up in a big blanket and brought it home to me,” Turnbull said. “So that was my special gift and I named her Penelope. I raised her on a bottle and when she got a little older she actually had several litters of piglets...I sold them and then eventually I sold her, but the money that I earned from [selling her], I [used to buy] war bonds for World War II.”

A Christmas Pig

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One year on Christmas, Turnbull and the rest of her family were snowed in. Their neighbors, that lived about a mile away, couldn’t get to their family gathering, so they decided to have a collective Christmas at the Turnbull residence. At the time, the neighbor’s pig was giving birth to piglets. But her neighbor didn’t want the piglets to freeze, so Turnbull’s father and her neighbor rode mules over to his barn

Turnbull’s Life Advice


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Through the horrific events of World War II to the spontaneous adventures with her animals, Turnbull has experienced a wide range of events that have made her the person she is today. Her adventure continues through her adulthood as she goes to college, graduates, starts a family and takes on her teaching career, which she will do for the next several decades. “You just have you have to live your life,” Turnbull said. “One of my friends said this and I just love it: Life is a banquet, and some fools are starving to death.”

Life is a banquet, and some fools are starving to death. - Barbara Turnbill

December 2019 | The North Star | 23

Which Early Early 2000s 2000s Kid Kid Which Were You? You? Were By Briley Everhart

did you have a collection of momo yes bands?


did you shop at Limited Too?

no yes

Did you own Lip Smackers Lip Gloss?

no did you wear butterfly clips?




did you own no a tracksuit?

yes Did you watch Hannah Montana?


no no were you obsessed with Libby Lu?


24 | The North Star | december 2019


In 1965, Tiger Beat magazine hit the shelves for the first time. The magazine was targeted towards teenagers and filled with celebrity gossip, advice columns and personality quizzes. Tiger Beat’s final issue was printed and sold in stores December of 2018. During my childhood, these teenager magazines filled a void in my pubescent heart. The personality quiz below pays omage to the countless pages I flipped through as a child and its purpose isn’t only to trigger feelings of nostalgia but to understand the changes in society’s perception of gender. Gender is no longer limited to the colors that one likes or their preference of clothing. While it is fun to look back at the ways media sources kept relevant, it is important to remind ourselves that times have changed.


You were sporty! Every saturday morning you and the family would load up your SUV and head to the soccer fields. Your wardrobe consisted of soccer camp t-shirts and crocs. You were probably always picked first in gym class.


You were a diva! Getting makeovers and having pillow fights with your bffs filled your Saturday evenings. Your parents probably told you to,“drop the attitude,” but you didn’t listen because you thought you were a popstar.


girly girl

You were a girly girl! You loved arts and crafts and shopping with your mom. You also enjoyed listening to Hannah Montana and maybe dabbled into some “horse girl” activities.


Did you collect webkinz?



NEVERsayNEVER were you a Beliber?

december 2019 | The North Star | 25

The Power of Beauty The media’s portrayal of the ideal body reaches everyone, despite gender, race or origin. Students of BVN speak on how this idea of “body image” affects them Opinion by Scarlett Jones


eauty is power.” A popular phrase in the beauty industry, and these words are true, but not in the way they were intended. The idea of being beautiful in the eyes of society can overpower a person’s mind into thinking they are not beautiful. This is not the case. The “perfect body” is based on the idea of being thin for women and muscular for men, because that is what society seems to see as beautiful. Although the beauty and fashion industries have been trying to include more body diverse models, statistics prove differently. According to a study done by Ohio State University, the average American woman is about 5’4” and weighs 140 lbs, but the average American fashion model is about 5’11” and weighs 110 lbs. According to the same study, 62 percent of fashion models that - Sarah Khairy are already underweight for their Nevarez height category are encouraged to lose more weight by their agents. When these underweight, and sometimes photoshopped, women are printed in the media, women get the idea that this is what is defined as beautiful. Yuko Yamamiya, who takes a psychological approach to body image portrayed in the media at Temple University, Japan, conducted a study on women’s reactions to these media images, primarily in advertisements. In this study, most women became more concerned about their body weight after reacting to heavily edited photos of thin models. Senior Ava Becker, who is currently a model, was asked if she let these “ideal” body images affect how she sees herself. “I do sometimes,” Becker said. “Seeing the pictures online and pictures of other people who are glamourized influences me, and it alters my mindset in thinking that I am not always as good as I am [in] looks or [in] appearance

or physically.” These ideals of body perfection do not only apply to girls, but to boys as well. Action heroes and male celebrities tend to push muscular bodies and chiseled jawlines. The pressure of being physically fit can lead to Compulsive Exercise Disorder. This can have many detrimental effects on the body, such as becoming more prone to injury and heightened stages of fatigue. Some adolescents even go to the extreme of using steroids which take a detrimental effect on the body and are highly dangerous. Sophomore Sarah Khairy Nevarez commented on how the idea of fitness influences Johnson County in particular. “I feel like our school... the majority of people tend to go to the athletic side,” Khairy Nevarez said. “I feel like in [Johnson County] we glorify a really athletic and healthy and active body.” According to a separate study by Bradley University, more than 90 percent of men struggle with body image, such as negative thoughts about one’s body due to weight. “We often think that we’re affected so differently and boys don’t feel impacted by the weight of social media and of these idealistic body images,” Becker said. “I think that is not the truth. I think that everybody is affected by [body preconceptions], and as much as we try to be more positive about who we are and what we look like, it’s difficult for anybody despite gender, race, origin, size... to get past the notion that you don’t have what is being portrayed online.” This type of advertising can cause an increase in anxiety and depression, which has a detrimental effect on young adults already suffering from academic stress, as seen in the study done by Yuko Yamamiya. Beauty products are advertised in a fashion that appeals to young adults with bright colors and young models with flawless skin. These beautified ads can also portray a false image of beauty, including the idea of clear skin and perfect

It’s hard to take care of yourself.

26 | The North Star | December 2019 | Opinion

Ava Becker poses for her modeling agency. Photos by Victoria Innocenzi.

bone structure. Advertising these products are prominent features in social media, where beauty influencers advertise products to adolescents and fashion or makeup ads pop up online. It is almost impossible to ignore the ideals of beauty in passing trends. Scrolling through Instagram or Snapchat exposes people everywhere to beauty trends that entice a person to purchase a product that they may not need. Although social media and beauty magazines are the top offenders, young adults do not get all of their standards of the “perfect body” from these advertisements alone. The film and literature industry produces fictional characters with attractive physical qualities because the pleasant facial features and body types appeal to readers. Even at a young age, children are introduced to damsels in distress with enhanced features and small waists. These beauty standards have even influenced young children. According to a separate study by Ohio State University, 42 percent of first through third grade students want to be thinner. As adolescents face the pressures of academic success, it’s hard to find the time for self-care and getting into shape. Most students don’t have the time or resources for self-care because of school anxieties, according to Khairy Nevarez. “Some people really don’t have that choice,” Khairy Nevarez said. “Some students have family responsibilities that they need to do everyday and they can’t go to the gym because that would mean sacrificing time for doing homework. It’s hard to work on multiple things at once and especially with academics, it’s hard to take care of yourself.” Everyone deals with social pressures on the daily, and colorful and falsely portrayed ads appearing on their phones every time they open is not healthy. “Having that constant reminder, threat even, takes a toll on mental health and self-perception,” Becker said. “If I look in the mirror after seeing a magazine or a social media influencer, I realize that’s not who I am and I’m not that person, which can hurt me and also hurt my perception of myself.” Opinion | December 2019 | The North Star | 27

Looking toward the next 10 years While we enjoy remembering experiences in the last 10 years, it’s important to not forget where we are headed


ith the drop of the glistening ball in Times Square, the world will celebrate the end of the decade. For our generation, the 2010s marked a childhood experience riddled with Heelys, Disney Channel original movies and Silly Bands. Within our lifetime, Generation Z has witnessed bouts of change and expectations. As high school students, society pushes us out of Twinkle Toe sneakers and into hard leather oxfords, and when the clock hits midnight, we are expected to leave our childhood behind. While the world encourages us to move forward and grasp our future, it’s hard not to latch onto the past. However, nostalgia is not resistance to change. Instead, our reflection illustrates growth and progress. We find comfort in the past because it prepares us for the future,

and as we embark upon a new decade, it’s important to remember how far we’ve come. Since 2010, the world has become connected by the press of a button and power of a Smartphone. The span of oceans and rigid time zones are no longer a barrier to friendship and interaction because the very way we communicate has been revolutionized by the introduction of new technology. This worldwide connection has paved the way to change and social awareness by invoking a sense of community and eliciting universal acceptance. However, the fuzzy feelings of nostalgia and progress do not mask the pain that the world has suffered in 10 years. The United States has faced endless acts of violence and hate, leaving the nation mourning the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary

28 | The North Star | December 2019 | OPINION | STAFF EDITORIAL

School, the innocent moviegoers shot during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and the runners and spectators bombed by terrorists at the Boston Marathon. Although these are only a few of the deadly attacks upon the nation’s youth, an emerging pattern of hostility is undeniable. As our growing generation prepares for the future, we must acknowledge this sorrow alongside our nostalgic love for fleeting childhood memories in order to instigate change, for we are responsible for ending this aggressive pattern and preventing another decade of violence. So as students commit to a college, declare a major or solidify their sense of identity, we must remember that we are the creators of tomorrow. - The North Star Staff

Hey there,


Preorder a 2020 yearbook by going to ParentVue. Preorder a yearbook by Dec. 20 to ensure a book for your student in May!


Student Life in November



1. Sophomore Isabella Noll takes a photo for yearbook. 2. Sophomore Lucy Schram sings in the fall choir concert. 3. Freshman Ellie Goldberg sings and stands with the chorale on stage. 4. Senior Jacob Lieberman edits a broadcast project. 5. Junior Jessica Martens watches a broadcast video. 6. Senior Annie Stier and junior Alex Doege write down names during club photo day. 7. Senior Luke Ehrke glances away from his sheet music. 8. Senior Daniel Stutz practices with jazz band. 9. Freshman Caroline Lieberman waits for her queue to sing. 10. Sophomore Daniel Estingoy sings with the freshman boys choir. 11. Senior Alexandra Fulford writes a note on her sheet music.


10. 30 | The North Star | december 2019 | Photo essay








photo Essay | december 2019 | The North Star | 31

From top left to bottom right: Seniors Sydney Seigle and Delaina Sanden waiting outside the Sprint Center before a One Direction concert. Junior Mason Goldberg sits with his dog. Junior Sofia Lamento poses for a picture while on a vacation with family. Senior Tayler Burns and her siblings stand in their Halloween costumes with their mother. Junior Kennedy Atchison holds up a pom pom in her cheer uniform. Senior Luke Povich holds up an oven mitt in his kitchen. Senior Adriana Cordero smiles in a new outfit.

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The North Star December 2019  


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