THE VERDICT IS STILL OUT WITH STUDENTS RECEIVING THEIR MACBOOKS ONE YEAR AGO TODAY, QUESTIONS GO INTO WHAT AND HOW LAPTOP ACTIVITY IS TRACKED.
VOLUME 27 • ISSUE 5 • BLUE VALLEY NORTHWEST
Issue 5 | 02.06.20
THE EXPRESS STAFF
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF - ETHAN KNAUTH
“THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD” FEB. 6-8
MANAGING EDITOR - EMMA JOHNSON PRINT EDITOR - OLIVIA DOWELL ONLINE EDITOR - MAGGIE McCREADY
DESIGN EDITOR - BEN HOBBS PHOTO EDITOR - MADDIE BEISCHEL
A&E EDITOR - IZZE LENTFER
OPINIONS EDITOR - BELLA RINNE SPORTS EDITOR - JONNY ISAACSON
SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR - LOLA SHIPMAN
CHIEF WRITER - JENNA WEYFORTH
BOYS VS. BVW FEB. 14
CHIEF DESIGNER - EMMA GAU
ASSISTANT ADVISER - AMANDA FORD
GIRLS VS. BVW FEB. 14
ADVISER - JIM McCROSSEN
PHOTOGRAPHERS SAVANNAH BRIDGES - MADDIE CLARK - GRACE DAVIS - LAUREN KLINE - MITRI KRISHNA - GRACE MILLER - ETHAN MINTER - ALYSSA PETERSON - RACHEL SARFF
FREE ACT FOR JUNIORS
WRITERS JACK BENSING - KATHRYN CASE - MATTHEW LEMKE - JACK NITZ - MADDIE OLIVER - NATALIE POLICKY - RAABIA QURESHI TESSA REGAN - MEGAN YATES
DESIGNERS ERIN REECE - SOPHIE DELLETT- COURTNEY KREBS
BOYS VS. SJA FEB. 28
GIRLS VS. SJA FEB. 28
DECA STATE MARCH 1-3
HUSKY SHOWCASE AUDITIONS MARCH 9
SPRING BREAK MARCH 13-23
02.06.20 | Issue 5
Above: Junior Rowan Ramey models a heart tattoo on the right side of his knee. “[The tattoo] doesn’t really mean that much to me but it’s kind of a reminder of my summer friends and people that mean a lot to me,” Ramey said. (Photo by Mitri Krishna) Cover: Twenty five percent of students feel very worried about what the Blue Valley School District is monitoring on their schoolissued Macbooks, according to a survey by the Express of 129 students. (Cover photo by Grace Davis)
WHAT’S UNDER THE INK
LAST LOVE AT COACH FIRST STANDING LIKE
ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR KING
Issue 5 | 2.6.20
A LOOK AT THE PRO-LIFE: JUNIOR EMILY MOSER ver the past 30 years, the leading causes of death in the United States have remained relatively constant. In 2017, suicide ranked number ten, claiming 47,173 lives, while heart disease has repeatedly claimed the number one spot, taking 647,000 lives in 2017 alone. There is a cause of death that didn’t make the top ten: Abortion. Where on the list would this cause fall? It would be number one, with 862,320 abortions and lives lost in 2017. Abortion is not listed as a leading cause of death in our country because it is not seen as a life being taken away. Rather, it is simply seen as a choice for mothers to make in regard to a
pregnancy, and a choice to be made for a life that is not even their own. Human life begins from the moment of conception. While this is a notoriously religious based statement, it is also scientifically proven to be true. The American College of Pediatricians says a human begins to form during fertilization, when sperm and egg join together. From this point on, the zygote contains everything it needs to grow and develop into an independent human. In the United States, we have the freedom to make decisions for ourselves regarding many things. The freedom we have to make these personal choices does not give us the right to hurt other human beings. We
are constitutionally entitled to the fundamental right of life, and to live our lives to the fullest extent. When someone kills a human that has been born onto the Earth, they are severely punished under the law. However, when it comes to aborting preborn human babies, our country gives people the right to do so. The inconsistency of the law is ultimately a double standard, and I believe the preborn deserve the equal chance to life on Earth that you and I both have. It is our duty as young people to protect the opportunity for life each child has from the moment of conception and speak up for the preborn who cannot speak up for themselves.
PRO-CHOICE: JUNIOR DECLAN FRANEY he basis of my pro-choice stance on abortion is based on that word: choice. People seem to wrongly equate being pro-choice with being pro-abortion, but it’s not about the act of abortion as much as it is about forcing others to make decisions. As a male, it is not my place to tell any woman what to do with her body, and since the decision and whole situation is already incredibly stressful and trying for the woman considering an abortion, I don’t believe anyone should be making that decision for her. Choosing to get an abortion or not is a very personal choice. No matter my personal ideas on whether a woman should have an abortion or not, it is not up to me nor should it be up to the government, especially considering how many men are in it. When Roe v. Wade was decided in
1973, the outcome was a pro-choice decision based on the 14th Amendment and its “right to privacy,” which was said to protect a woman’s right to an abortion. This decision changed the fabric of the United States— the government had said the decision was not up to them and people felt they needed to take on the issue themselves. This led to the strongly divided “prolife” and “pro-choice” camps, which obviously exist today. This is a big issue, of course, since lives are at stake and both sides make excellent points. One of the primary arguments against my stance is saying the issue isn’t just about women’s rights, it’s about human rights and the importance of life. I value the beauty of life, and everyone’s right to it, above almost all things. If I was a relationship and my significant other was considering getting an abortion,
*For additional coverage of the abortion debate, check out BVNWnews.com.
I would most likely advise them not to. But, that isn’t my decision. I can communicate with the people close to me about their choice if they want my opinion, but it is not my place to put an end to that decision-making process. And it should be no one’s, including the government’s. We can’t understand every situation, or every person’s life. And because of this, I don’t believe anyone should be able to take away some of the basic rights of being a human being; rights to your body, privacy and ability to make decisions. It’s not like the decision is simple for any potential mother; they understand what is at stake. We can advise individuals as much as we can, but we shouldn’t take away their ability to make their personal decision themselves.
2.6.20 | Issue 5
SEA SO N
STA F DE
t’s that time of the year again. The winter season is hitting home with one last month of cold, dreary, dispiriting weather. The large number of students at Northwest involved in winter sports or other timeimperative we consuming extracurriculars have zero chance of understand the enjoying any daylight at all. Those who do arrive difference between home early must cherish the few measly hours sadness and SAD. The depressive they have left until they, too, continue to live in disorder is characterized by a variety the dark. Although to many this may seem like no of symptoms that are diagnosable by a big deal, for others, this gloomy winter weather medical professional. SAD doesn’t rely on brings about a whole different battle: Seasonal some sort of loss, triggering experience or any Affective Disorder. other difficult event or situation to make an SAD is a depressive disorder causing a shift in appearance. It will show up uninvited even on a person’s mood due to a change in the weather. the most normal winter days in the form of Like any other form of depression, SAD can prolonged feelings of hopelessness. According impact everything from a student’s motivation to the National Institution of Mental Health, level to their social and seasonal affective disorder academic life. Although the is the fourth most common DEPRESSION ISN’T A SHALLOW cause of the disorder remains type of depression in the US. STATE OF SADNESS ONE CAN a mystery to scientists, it is Sadness, on the other hand, is clear that the change in season SIMPLY PULL THEMSELVES temporary. disrupts the body’s sleep cycle OUT OF, ESPECIALLY AS THEIR It is 2020. It’s fair to say and can lead to depression. EMOTIONAL STATE CAN BE we’ve acknowledged that a The reason many students mental health crisis exists. And AFFECTED BY SOMETHING AS consistently arrive to school although conversations to beat UNCONTROLLABLE AS THE late or brush off homework the stigma have been in the air WEATHER. assignments this time of for years, they have remained the year may not be due to just that: a conversation. laziness, but because the darkness is damaging Students with SAD or any other depressive their physical and mental health. Feelings of disorder need changes to be made in the hopelessness and despair have the power to school system which advocate for their issues. consume a student’s life entirely, in addition to Whether it be greater leniency on schoolwork causing symptoms ranging from weight gain to when a student seems to be unusually troubled the inability to concentrate. or implementing mental health days without And even though students across the board are any homework, a greater understanding can be living in the dark, the academic system continues shown from the school and its staff. to take in little to no consideration for student’s Depression isn’t something of which one can mental health. Too many students are struggling simply pull themselves out, especially when their to put on the balancing act between their classes emotional state is dependent on something as and other out-of-school responsibilities, while uncontrollable as the weather. We can’t eradicate leaving no room for self-care. They may be SAD. But we can put in the effort to truly dealing with SAD, anxiety, or any other personal understand its effects and stop dismissing it as struggles behind the scenes, but unfortunately, just another case of the “winter blues.” we live in a system where completing a math assignment takes precedence over mental health. Although SAD is a reality for many, it is
Issue 5 | 2.6.20
THEY'RE MORE THAN JUST TEACHERS BY NATALIE POLICKY
teacher’s hink back most educated of teachers get paid life. to the days more, meaning you would only get Picture that you paid more if you spend 28 years this image. woke up and teaching with a doctorate. Specifically It is the classic image of an iceberg had a feeling to the Blue Valley district, teachers that has only a little segment on top of it wasn’t going to be earn even less than other districts the water, that everyone can see, but a a good day. You walk in Kansas. However, the numbers much larger segment in the water that around school, sluggish between beginning teachers’ salaries no one can see. Students don’t realize and not willing to put and these teachers’ salaries show a how much time and work is put into any effort into your slim difference. Additionally, teachers their future from their teachers. work today. You go earn 19% less than professions with You would think home, and all you want similar education that teachers is the day to be over and in the nation, even [TEACHERS] ARE THE should be getting look forward to better though teachers work respect from their days ahead. more hours per week UNSUNG HERO, BUT students because Now take a minute on average, according MOST IMPORTANTLY, they are higher in to think about teachers. It is not to the Economic Policy THEY CARE ABOUT THE authority and have unlikely they have to go home every Institute. worked hard to get day, dwelling on whether they are If a teacher is STUDENTS. a Bachelor’s degree, making enough to pay their bills. Take simply trying to teach a Master’s degree a minute to think about how tirelessly a student it is their or a Doctorate. they work for you, helping you to responsibility to get work done, Despite this, many students continue understand concepts that will get you the student will think of it as being to ignore how hard teachers work for further in your future and how little rude or misunderstood. If a teacher students. They are the unsung hero, recognition they have received. makes one wrong move toward a but most importantly, they care about Although clear, most students student, even if it is meant with good the students. They are fully aware that don’t take into account how intentions, it will not matter. some of their own students most likely underappreciated staff members in ELA and AVID teacher Bill don’t care about them, but they truly schools are. This goes both financially Smithyman said teachers should want only the best for them. and emotionally. be acknowledged and What needs to happen to fix this Teachers are compensated for the THEY ARE FULLY issue is to simply acknowledge getting severely intense work they do. the tremendous amount of effort underpaid and It is extremely hard AWARE THAT SOME OF your teachers put into your school though it had to watch students work THEIR OWN STUDENTS life. So, next time you think about been slowly against themselves or MOST LIKELY DON’T reprimanding a teacher for not getting increasing fail to recognize that the over the CARE ABOUT THEM, BUT goal for them is to develop your essay graded in two days after you turned it in, remember how busy years, it is not THEY TRULY WANT THE skills and to be better they are with juggling taxes and bills, comparable to people, according to BEST FOR THEM. in addition to maintaining a regular the rate of other Smithyman. social life and a busy teacher life. professions. “To sort of watch them However, due to throw away opportunities an increase in price of general goods or maybe not give themselves the high and a decrease in the purchasing school profile that would help them in value of money, the average salary the next steps, because they're really has decreased by about three percent hurt or they're really just stuck in the from 2008-2018, according to the present, that's hard,” Smithyman said. National Education Association. The Kids in 2020 truly don’t understand national average teacher salary is close the life of a teacher. Being an educator to $60,000 a year. In the Blue Valley is a tough field due to the amount of district, only the longest serving, work that is not usually shown in a
2.6.20 | Issue 5
BY COURTNEY KREBS
the public’s job to judge whether or not someone is worthy of being intimate with a certain number of other people. The most recent national survey of 1,965 students in grades 7–12 conducted et me paint you a picture. in 2011 by the American Association It's the Monday after a of University Women (AAUW) found school dance and everyone that slut shaming is one of the most is sharing their weekend common forms of sexual harassment adventures at the lunch table. in middle and high schools. Forty-six You’re a girl. Your friend leans in and percent of female students experienced whispers about how that girl sitting “having someone make unwelcome one table over hooked up with two sexual comments, jokes, or gestures to different guys in one night. Wait, or about you” at school. More than one maybe three. Oh yes, definitely three. fourth of them experienced this same What a slut. harassment online. Now, let's rewind a bit. This time Not only does slut shaming you're a boy. Your friend announces embarrass vulnerable young women, to the whole table in a voice just loud but it can critically impact their mental enough that the neighboring table health as well. According to bullying of girls can hear: he hooked up with prevention expert and author Sherri three girls that weekend. You clap, Gordon, eating disorders, depression, you high-five and you make a scene. anxiety and body dysmorphia are How impressive. common mental health illnesses that go I’d like to say there's a subtle hand-in-hand with slut shaming. difference to point out here, but Slut shaming is not it's not even confined to just females, subtle. Why is but it is most prevalent it that when a A PERSON’S BODY AND among young women. boy sleeps with WHAT THEY CHOOSE According to the American multiple girls, he is praised, TO DO WITH IT IS THEIR Sociological Association, jealousy is one of the while if a girl CHOICE AND THEIR main motives behind does the same, RIGHT. this name-calling, so it's she is shamed? no surprise that teenage Somehow any girls fall victim to it so sexual action for frequently. Shaming usually occurs a guy equates to popularity, yet for when a woman fears or witnesses girls it results in another name on the someone else receiving more attention blacklist of qualified “sluts.” than them. When intimidated or Slut shaming is the practice of socially endangered, girls may tear criticizing people, especially women, down even their closest friends to bring who are perceived to violate society’s themselves up. Although women are behavioral expectations regarding aware of how hurtful the “slut” label is, sexuality. Sexual promiscuity, the using it against their peers momentarily way you dress or how many people seems helpful to themselves and their you date can all factor into this status. derogatory label. Whatever you Junior Presley Ward said slut call it, it’s a form of gendered and shaming culture is prominent at sexualized bullying. A person’s body Northwest. and what they choose to do with it is “Girls are definitely more in the their choice and their right. It is not
YOU DON'T NEED TO KNOW MY BODY COUNT
spotlight when it comes to sexuality,” Ward said. “Girls shame other girls for just about anything and everything.” The survey from the AAUW also found that about half of the girls who were sexually harassed were also harassers themselves. If so many girls think slut shaming is hurtful, why do they perpetuate their own oppression? It’s the tragic flaw of today’s society: we recognize when there’s a problem, but all too often we choose to ignore it, rather than admit it to ourselves. We talk big about the need for empowering women then go on with our day, contributing to the vicious cycle of shaming without thought. Your school’s anonymous bully box isn't going to do the trick this time. Treating your own body and that of others with a higher level of respect is the first step to reform. Everyone deserves both privacy and control of their bodies, as well as the power to dictate what it does with whom. It’s time to retire the immature lunch table gossip and take a look around you. Your body is pretty damn important. If I were you, I’d start sticking up for it.
Senior Maclain Michael shows a turtle tattoo on his ankle. “My favorite part about my tattoo is how small and simple it is. I got the tattoo because I love turtles and it reminds me how dope nature is,” Michael said. (Photos by Mitri Krishna)
WHAT’S T’S WHA AT’S WH WHAT’S UNDER UNDER THE THE INK INK
BY KATHRYN CASE
Design by Bella Rinne
Using tattoos and stick and pokes in order to better express themselves, three students explain their reasoning behind getting body art.
Issue 5 | 2.6.20
s an 18th birthday present from his parents, senior Watchman Whitworth said he got two tattoos that remind him who he is and feel closer to his family. Whitworth said he got “I love you” in sign language on his left tricep since his sister and mother both have the same tattoo, and on his right forearm a tattoo that says “you were made to meet your maker” in basic Times New Roman font. “My mom has always done the ‘I love you’ sign in sign language since we were little kids and it brings me childhood memories,” Whitworth said. “‘You were made to meet your maker’ is a song lyric, but it also reminds me that I believe when I die I’m going to heaven, and it brings me a lot of serenity.” Whitworth said he put a lot of thought into deciding on what to get for his tattoo. Having wanted his tattoos for almost a year before he got them, Whitworth said he believes people should make sure the tattoo they get is something they aren’t going to regret later in life. Although some students spend months thinking about their tattoos, there are several others who are more impulsive with their decisions. Getting a tattoo with his friends just after turning 18, senior Maclain Michael said he decided to do it impulsively because he believes tattoos are something that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Since turtles have always been his favorite animal, Michael said it was an easy choice for his first tattoo. When it comes to getting tattoos, Michael said one should probably wait until they are older to get , but if they want one now, being young shouldn’t stop them from getting it. “As long as you’re comfortable with getting a tattoo, I don’t think it’s negative in any way,” Michael said. “It’s just a way to express yourself, and it’s what you choose to do with your body and you should do it if you want to do it.” Michael said that even if he doesn’t like his tattoo when he is older, he will still be happy that he got it. “It’s a permanent reminder of who I am. Even if in 20 years I hate my tattoo, I’ll be glad that I got it, because when I was 18 I wanted it, and it was what I
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Senior Watchman Whitworth displays two tattoos, one on his forearm and one above his elbow. “I wanted the ‘love you’ sign on my left tricep because that’s where my sister has it, and my sister and my mom both have that tattoo,” Whitworth said. liked,” Michael said. “I’m a very impulsive person so I Getting a tattoo is a form of artwork usually give myself a stick and poke that junior Rowan Ramey said he when I think of a cool design or just believes high schoolers find trendy, but because it’s exciting and an adrenaline since most high school students aren’t rush,” Ramey said. of the legal age to get one, they resort Similar to Michael, Ramey also said to giving themselves “stick and pokes,” he believes tattoos shouldn’t be taken which essentially is an at-home way so seriously and they are one of the best of giving a tattoo. These are done by ways to express who someone is as a dipping a needle person. in ink, then “Tattoos are fun and “WHEN YOU LOOK AT poking the needle can be a great way to into the surface SOMEONE WITH TATTOOS, express yourself. When layer of skin, he you look at someone IT CAN PROVIDE YOU said. with tattoos, it can AN INSIGHT ON THEIR Ramey said provide you an insight he has always on their personality PERSONALITY AND WHAT been passionate and what they care THEY CARE ABOUT.” about using art to about,” Ramey said. “I -ROWAN RAMEY express himself, don’t think it matters and giving himself when you get a tattoo stick and pokes is as long as you really just another way for him to display his like what you’re getting and you’re creativity. getting it because you want it.” He started to give himself these Having several tattoos herself, art tattoos when he was 14 years old, and teacher Chris LaValley said that many Ramey said he has acquired a variety of of her students come to her seeking her tattoos. He has an R on his left hand, a opinion on whether or not they should Saturn on his ankle, a smiley face on his get a tattoo. She said her advice is that if hip and a heart on his knee. a tattoo has some significance to them,
then they should get it, but not if it is an on the spot decision. “If they want a tattoo just to randomly get one just to get one, they should wait,” LaValley said. “A lot of times if you get them really early on, that first one you got you usually ask yourself why you got it, because your decision back then and what you’re going to want in 10 years is probably going to be totally different.” Due to the excitement of turning 18, LaValley said, can cause some high schoolers to get tattoos impulsively. She said there is no need to rush getting a tattoo, considering they have their whole life ahead of them. Ramey said students who get tattoos in high school are confident in who they are, using their body as a creative outlet. “I like my tattoos and I’m proud of them because it’s like an art form, and I’m proud of my work,” Ramey said. “I think people get tattoos in high school because it makes them feel confident and attractive. They know who they are and are wanting to express their personality in a visual form.”
Junior Rowan Ramey models the tattoos on his hand and ankle. “I wanted a stick and poke tattoo because I was told that they didn’t last forever. It just seemed fun and just seemed like adult— I thought it would be so cool,” Ramey said.
Issue 5 | 2.6.20
HUMANS OF NORTHWEST The Express gained insight on different student’s lives by asking them questions in the BVNW hallways during Husky Halftime.
BY IZZE LENTFER
Design by Izze Lentfer, graphic by Bella Rinne
DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH THE WAY YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE?
HAS HIGH SCHOOL LIVED UP TO YOUR CHILDHOOD EXPECTATIONS?
Demarkus Darensbourg (Freshman): “I make everybody smile.”
Darensbourg: “I thought I was going to be D1 athlete, you know, balling up on everybody, but I’m just a little swimmer.”
Aviva Keating ( Junior): “Yes, I do. I am involved in like activism stuff right now. I’m hoping to create a GSA at Harmony Middle School, and I’m also involved politically. I’m going to be able to vote next year. So that’s one thing I’m really looking forward to doing, to be able to make a difference in the political climate.” Colin Hanson ( Junior): “For sure. I feel like I’m trying to make everybody’s day just a little better.” Genevieve Ansay ( Junior): “I feel like I’m going toward a place where I could make a difference. I think I’m making a difference maybe locally, but not worldwide.” Jack Cowden (Senior): “I’m striving to maximize my potential as a human being every day.”
Hanson: “No way. Elementary and middle school was always a really bad time for me with like depression and all this bad stuff, I didn’t even know if I’d make it to high school, but here I am and I’m just living the best life. Amber Follett (Freshman): “No, I thought my life would be like “High School Musical” and I would find a Troy, and I would marry a Troy. It makes me feel really sad. I’m trying really hard to get a Troy, but he’s been leaving me on delivered.” Saanvi Basak (Sophomore): “I mean, I guess. I’ve been wanting to go into a medical field since I was in kindergarten, so I guess I’m on that path. I guess some things changed. I don’t know, a lot more stress happening than I thought. More work.”
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WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY FOR LIFE?
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED REALLY HARD?
Darensbourg: “I believe that everyone should laugh.”
Keating: “While I was hanging out with a good friend of her. Her brother and her cat was doing something goofy.”
Follett: “To live every day by the fullest.” Allan Vogt (Sophomore): “I guess just put simply, mistakes happen.” Cowden: “Work hard and make money.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR LIFE WILL LOOK LIKE IN FIVE YEARS? Keating: “I’m hoping my life will look like me having an associate’s degree and working in a bakery.” Dylan Bell ( Junior): “I mean, hopefully I’m in law school or something, and doing good and staying out of trouble.” Maddie Williams ( Junior): “Hopefully in college, that’s senior year of college. I want to be a teacher, so, that’s the goal.”
Williams: “I feel like I probably laughed at musical rehearsal yesterday.” Vogt: “A week ago when I was spending time with my brother, we were just playing around.”
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SAID “I LOVE YOU” TO YOUR PARENTS? Williams: “Every morning.” Follett: “Like four years ago.” Hanson: “Last night, I do it every night.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE WOULD SAY ABOUT YOU AT YOUR FUNERAL? Darensbourg: “He was really annoying.” Hanson: “That I was one of the most upbeat people they knew, even if I was a little crazy.” Bell: “I think they’d say that I had a lot of potential, and that I made a lot of mistakes.”
Issue 5 | 2.6.20
Head coach Tim Serbousek talks with senior wrestler Edward Thomas during a dual on Jan. 15 at BVNW. As the head coach for 27 years, Serbousek holds a 426-182-1 record as head coach. Former athletic director Steve Harms said that Serbousek knows what it takes to be a successful head coach and has the correct priorities for his team. (Photos by Lauren Kline)
As the only remaining head coach from when the school first opened, the head wrestling coach describes his experiences and why he has stayed.
BY BEN HOBBS
ead wrestling coach Tim Serbousek remains as the only head coach left from 1993, when the school opened. Starting his coaching career in Iowa with a youth league, Serbousek moved on to utilize his coaching talents at Northwest Missouri State University before moving to Blue Valley High School in 1985. After coaching at Blue Valley High for one year, he transitioned on to Blue Valley North when it opened in 1986. BVNW, to him,
Design by Megan Yates however, offered so much more than he thought he would have had if he stayed at BVN. Serbousek said that the mentality and mindset of the early BVNW coaches all seemed to fall in line with his own. Full of determination and placing importance on relationships with students, Serbousek felt the reflection of these values made Northwest a great fit for him. “We worked together extremely well and had the same visions, trying to lead student athletes, that was the
most important thing,” Serbousek said. The first head football coach of BVNW and former athletic director Steve Harms said that when the school first opened, he and Serbousek along with the other coaches, wanted to be established as a prominent athletic school like how Blue Valley High was considered at the time. “We all came together as a group wanting to establish Blue Valley Northwest as a premier athletic school,” Harms said. “We wanted to do things the right away, we all wanted to
2.6.20 | Issue 5
support each other in one another’s activities and we wanted to work hard in our own activities.” Over the last 27 years, however, Serbousek said he’s seen many changes in the coaching staffs at BVNW, as every sport beside wrestling has replaced head coaches. Over time, Serbousek said a change in mindset took place, and has affected the overall attitude toward sports at Northwest. “The first group we had, we were definitely purple and black. That’s the only thing we were concerned with throughout the entire school,” Serbousek said. The pride in their school united the early coaches, “We’ve had a lot of changes here with Serbousek gives advice to wrestlers at practice on Dec. 30. While being the head coaching staffs lately and it’s hard coach since the school’s opening, Serbousek said he has seen many different assistant to maintain that and keep an entire coaches come in and out for the program. “It’s hard to maintain and keep an entire coaching staff like that.” coaching staff, where there’s a lot of people that come in [who] are just here for four Although he’s spent so much time years then move on,” Serbousek said. with the sport, initially Serbousek didn’t participate in wrestling until his “I’ve kept in contact with kids from seventh grade year. “I went to state with the Blue the mid 80s when I started coaching, “I actually went out for basketball. Valley team and we walked in and I still know where they’re at, and I Hated every second of it. I hated every started the first round stuff and still talk to them.” Serbousek said. second of it because I couldn’t decide I just kind of looked around and “Probably the best way to explain this things on my own,” Serbousek said. go ‘this is it?’,” Serbousek said. is I could start on the East Coast and Serbousek was drawn to wrestling “It still frustrates me how people go to the West Coast. I’ll never have to after his twin brother participated in view wrestling here compared to stay in a hotel. It’s true. I could stop it, while he did not. He saw wrestling how they view it [in Iowa].” and stay anywhere.” as an offer of freedom, and enjoyed Getting away from Kansas Former BVNW Wrestler Peyton the fact that he could create his own wrestling and experiencing Potts talked about his relationship path and wasn’t bound to set plays. something new, the BVNW with Serbousek as that of a father and Describing winning as an addiction, wrestling team travels to Iowa son. Potts has known Serbousek since Serbousek said getting his hand raised, every year to participate in a he was a kid, as his dad coached with at the end of a match, was one of the tournament hosted at Marion Serbousek in the early 2000s. Potts reasons he stuck with wrestling for so High School in Marion, Iowa. would come to practices and interact many years. Senior captain and with Serbousek as a child, and they “I don’t like to lose at “HE’S GOOD AT four-year wrestler began to build a relationship. Despite tiddly-winks. And that’s Danny Robinson his lack of interest in wrestling, Potts why it’s kept me going all CONNECTING WITH described the continued due to his relationship with these years just because THE KIDS. HE’S A tournament as Serbousek. I’m still competitive,” different VERY GOOD COACH.” extremely “I never wanted to wrestle, but I Serbousek said. “I still from the usual only did it because he was the coach, want to win.” wrestling experience. -DANNY ROBINSON because I wanted to be with him, I Growing up in Iowa, “It was like a wanted him to coach me,” Potts said, where wrestling is basketball game “If it was anybody else, I wouldn’t have culturally important and widely there. Like, the gym was full. done it.” celebrated, Serbousek said it was a big The craziest thing was that Robinson said Serbousek’s part of his life early on. The statecheerleaders were all kneeling experience in coaching allows him to wide love for the sport helped shape on the side slamming on the mat, tailor his coaching to certain wrestlers. Serbousek’s own love for it, and made doing chants and stuff. It was so “He knows all the different types of it part of his identity. cool.” people and how to get them to start Although once surrounded by large Affectionately dubbed “Serbo” wrestling,” Robinson said. “He’s really crowds of fans, the transition from the by his team and peers, Serbousek good at figuring out kids and knowing tightly packed tournaments of Iowa to said his favorite part of wrestling how to get them to work.” the sparsely populated Kansas meets has been developing relationships came as a shock to Serbousek. with his team.
Issue 5 | 2.6.20
A year ago, the Blue Valley School District implemented its One-to-Learner initiative. Students and staff voiced a range of opinions on their MacBooks. (Photo illustration by Grace Davis)
THE VERDICT IS STILL OUT Although reviews over the MacBooks are generally positive, is District oversight too much?
BY ETHAN KNAUTH REPORTING BY OLIVIA DOWELL
2.6.20 | Issue 5
taying on course with the changing tide in education, the Blue Valley School District pivoted in the summer of 2018 to provide all students, sixth grade and above, with their own laptop. Each high school student received an Apple Macbook Air and each middle school student was given a Google Chromebook, leveling the technology playing field for students across the District. But, with the MacBooks being District-owned and issued to students, it isn’t a farfetched belief that student use of the District-issued laptops is monitored. Which begs the question: is it? The majority of the Northwest student body seems to think so. According to a recent survey of 129 students conducted by The Express, 25.6 percent said they were very worried the Blue Valley District could be monitoring student activity, along with 48.8 percent adding they were relatively disturbed by this possibility. Freshman Claire Doherty, who first received her MacBook at the start of the school year, harbors similar fears and said no one knows the District’s observation capabilities. “I know they check your search history and send it to parents or whatever. And I know that they block a lot of stuff and they do check a lot of things for sure,” Doherty said. “They could probably use a lot of stuff that they tracked to their advantage, like if you get in trouble or something.” Despite popular belief, Director of Blended Learning Brad Moser dispelled these worries and said the application Securly is the extent of the District’s monitoring capabilities. Mandated by the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to block access to inappropriate content, Moser said the BV District employs Securly as a filtering system in order to achieve this. In addition, since the MacBooks are transportable, Moser said the District needed an application which would be active anywhere a student travels. “What Securly does is it puts a filter in the cloud. You can access the internet anywhere, but you’re going to hit this cloud filter before you get access,” Moser said. Responding to the search limitations, sophomore Lindsey Farthing said it
15 hasn’t been much of a problem so far, intent of the search. Pressly said she except when trying to do homework. and her fellow administrators have “I think that they’ve been pretty improved at deciphering each search, good. I honestly thought [the District as well as teachers have begun letting and Securly] were going to block a lot the admin team know when a class more than they did,” Farthing said. activity could trigger an alert. Even “But, sometimes it’s really annoying with the improved communication, when you’re Pressly said the trying to do administrators homework and have received up “IT’S REALLY ANNOYING then you try and to 20 notifications WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO DO click on websites a day, and when HOMEWORK AND THEN YOU and they’re acting upon each blocked.” TRY AND CLICK ON WEBSITES alert, that can If a search become time AND THEY’RE BLOCKED.” violates the consuming. -LINDSEY FARTHING permitted If a student content, Principal repeatedly triggers Amy Pressly said Securly alerts, Securly notifies the administrative Moser said it isn’t outside the realm team at the school which the student of possibilities for that student to get attends, leaving it up to them to decide their MacBook taken away. The District whether to act upon it. would like to avoid this reality at all “There are some keywords that costs, he said. Securly has set and so anytime a “We want to make sure our students student gets on one of those keywords, all have access to the tools that all four administrators, Securly itself [are] needed to be successful in the and then somebody at District office classroom,” Moser said. get that notification,” Pressly said. In spite of the watchful eye of “During the school day we monitor Securly, Moser said students should those.” feel safe that they aren’t being Depending on which grade level a monitored. student who triggered a Securly alert falls in, that grade level administrator is responsible for figuring out the
According to a recent survey by The Express of 129 students, 93.8% replied that they find their Macbooks helpful. (Photo by Grace Davis)
Issue 5 | 2.6.20
DAMAGING A LAPTOP OR CHARGER According to Moser, the BV District has an insurance policy covering all expenses related to either damage done or misplacement of a MacBook or power adapter until the end of the 2019-20 school year. For the 2020-21 school year and beyond, Moser said, the District has yet to decide if it will self-insure the laptops or switch to a system where students are responsible for covering the cost of a replacement, similar to the systems already in place in the school libraries. If the District chooses to go the route of instituting a pay for a replacement plan in the future, this could prove costly for students as a new Apple MacBook Air starts at $1,299.00 and a new power adapter costs $79.00, according to the Apple Store website. One year in, there have been 134 reported issues related to the MacBooks at BVNW, according to BVNW Technology Integrations Specialist Nicholas Deffer. The issues range from broken screens to missing power adapters. If there’s an issue with a MacBook or power adapter, a student must explain what happened to an administrator and get signed permission prior to receiving a replacement.
Sophomore Nick Wood does homework on his school-issued Macbook Air during Husky Halftime Jan. 31. (Photo by Grace Davis)
Part of the hold up, BVNW Technology Integrations Specialist Nicholas Deffer said, is due to teachers A year to the day after the first trying to adapt to a new learning group of BVNW students received their MacBooks, principal Amy Pressly platform. And although a wellintended move by the District, Deffer said teachers and students alike have said the feedback he’s received over the yet to figure out how to truly harness MacBooks has been mixed because of the capabilities of the District-issued this. devices in the classroom. “People are really quick to jump to “We wanted to use them to make the negative,” Deffer said. “There’s a sure that we’re truly enhancing what the kids are learning [and] how they’re learning curve to it. And so, as long as people are willing to accept that, they learning in a way that they couldn’t if they didn’t have their MacBook,” Pressly are moving forward with it.” After losing the foreign language said. “So, I think we’re just in the lab during the District’s ransomware process of really making that change. I think it’s probably a three- to five-year attack at the beginning of the school year, when a virus wiped out the lab’s shift before we will see a true blended desktop computers, Spanish teacher situation here.”
PRIVY TO PRIVACY? ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT BEING TRACKED ON YOUR MACBOOK? 25.6%
SORT OF VERY
HAVE YOU LOST/DAMAGED YOUR ISSUED MACBOOK OR CHARGER? NO
MY MACBOOK MY CHARGER
2.6.20 | Issue 5
Kari Hillen dubbed the MacBooks a a chemistry student to take complete saving grace. notes,” Sula said. “You can’t type a unit Previously using the foriegn cancellation problem very easily [on a language lab for speaking and MacBook].” listening assignments, Hillen said the Due to the incompatibility of the department would have had nowhere MacBooks to the subject matter, Sula to go for the three languages offered said the science department ordered a at BVNW: Spanish, French and Latin, classroom set of draw pads for Physics if not for the MacBooks. And, although classes as well as three additional requiring a little bit of trial and error ones for the three chemistry teachers at first, Hillen said her classes are back to maintain productivity in the on track. classroom. In addition to the success Hillen has For complaints fielded from had so far with students, Deffer the MacBooks, said most of she also serves the negative “I FEEL LIKE I CAN BARELY on the Blended feedback is tied REMEMBER NOT HAVING IT. Learning team to problems with IT’S JUST A VERY ORGANIZED the functionality at Northwest. Comprised of of their issued PLACE FOR ALL MY NOTES five teachers: laptop. Nine times AND ESPECIALLY DURING Hillen, Deffer, out of 10, he said, HALFTIME, [AS] I’M ALWAYS Laura Deffer, this can be fixed Keri Schumacher DOING WORK. ” by restarting the and Hannah -DECLAN FRANEY device. Werth, the team Many have serves to aid found the laptops the staff in the to be helpful, switch to a Blended Learning platform though. According to the survey of and provide new ideas on how to utilize 129 students, 93 percent answered the laptops. that they were satisfied with their Despite the assistance offered, some MacBooks, using them for a variety of teachers have still run into problems. reasons in addition to school work. One such case includes a portion Junior Declan Franey said he prefers of the science department. Since his District-issued laptop over his the MacBooks aren’t touch screen, personal one at home. department chair and chemistry “It’s definitely helped a lot. I feel teacher Nanet Sula said the laptops like I can barely remember not having aren’t equipped to meet the needs of it. It’s just a very organized place for the chemistry and physics classes. all my notes and especially during “The reason we weren’t real happy Halftime, [as] I’m always doing work,” with it in our classrooms is if we Franey said. “It’s very helpful.” truly want the students to use it as In spite of mixed reviews, Deffer notetaking and all that, not having a said he is hopeful the kinks will be touchscreen makes it very difficult for worked out in due time.
“When you look at the resources that we have, I think that it’s moving in the right direction,” Deffer said. Pressly seconded Deffer’s thoughts and said as teachers and students continue to adapt, the strides made in the near future could be unrecognizable compared to to the hiccups endured currently. “I tell people that 10 years from now we’re going to look back on what education used to look like and [be] amazed,” Pressly said. “I can’t tell you what that 10 years out is going to look like; I just really believe that 10 years from now it’s going to look different.”
Design by Erin Reece
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE DISTRICT’S ABILITY TO BLOCK WEBSITES? 61.2%
SCHOOL-RELATED SITES SHOULD NOT BE BLOCKED AGAINST
The Express surveyed 129 students from Jan. 17-22.
Issue 5 | 02.06.20
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2.6.20 | Issue 5
Junior Riley Beach asks junior Liam Thurlby to Sweetheart Jan. 18. using a poster with the words “Usually you are my running buddy, but I was wondering if you’d be my dancing buddy at Sweetheart” written in Braille. “I [asked] Liam to Sweetheart with a sign in Braille, because earlier this year he gave me a thank you note written in it,” Beach said. “I really appreciated the gesture, and I wanted to ask him in a way that was special to our friendship.” (Photo by Emma Johnson) Junior Grant Bowen and sophomore Owen Brockner participate in the ice cream lab in Emily Halastik’s fifth hour Chemistry class. Jan. 15. “My friends and I liked it so much that we remade the ice cream at my house that weekend,” Bowen said. (Photo by Rachel Sarff)
Issue 5 | 2.6.20
HUSKY HIGHLIGHTS Senior Jenna Poppen places a penny on the class graph during her AP Statistics class. “The class environment is very energetic, it’s very enjoyable and fun. We get to do mini interactive and hands-on activities that help get us more engaged in class and understand concepts we learn better,” Poppen said. (Photo by Mitri Krishna) Senior Nick Marker (left) and Junior Leo Clennan (right) pose for a picture Jan. 14. after Marker placed last in their fantasy football league.“My punishment was to come to school in a dress. As embarrassing as it was, a deal is a deal,” Marker said. (Photo by Maddie Beischel)
2.6.20 | Issue 5
Senior Lily Smith retrieves her belongings from the ceiling during Husky Halftime.Jan. 22. “All my friends love to mess with each other, I left to go out to my car and when I came back they made me play hot and cold until I found my belongings,” Smith said. (Photo by Maddie Beischel) Senior Nick Schwarz does a back squat during his sixth hour Strengths and Conditioning class. “My favorite part of weights is the hype environment that people bring every day. Coach Rider has pushed me every day since he came and has taught me how to lift properly. I’ve learned how to lift by myself and how to teach others,” Schwarz said. (Photo by Mitri Krishna)
Issue 5 | 2.6.20
L VE AT FIRST LIKE With society becoming more social media based, teen dating culture has evolved based on the way people communicate and interact in relationships.
Right: Kari Hillen and her now-husband JD Hillen pose together at their sophomore homecoming at Olathe South in 1998. They have been together for 21 years. (Photo courtesy of Kari Hillen) Design by Courtney Krebs
BY MADDIE OLIVER
round the halls of BVNW, during Husky Halftime and before and after school, some students can be found intertwined and lip locked. According to a recent survey conducted by The Express, around 94 percent of students believe that social media has had an impact on interactions, such as PDA, and communication in relationships. Social worker Anyssa Wells said social media has changed the format of relationships today, mainly because of the variety of communication outlets other than talking face to face. “Social media has created a lot of different ways to communicate,” Wells said. “Now with these different apps, you can communicate either through actual words or through pictures. There’s just a lot of different modes
of talking to each other and different things that you can do through those apps.” Dating since freshman year, juniors Cameron Quick and Rachelle Jackson said that the discussion of PDA is a developing event in classes among more freshmen and sophomores and social media has impacted the way people express their affection. “[Some underclassmen] don’t have a car, so they can’t hang out as much outside of school,” Jackson said. “[Teens] have more conversations through social media and not in person. So when they are at school in person, they’re uber connected.” Being in a relationship where social media isn’t as prevalent, junior Skylar Guarini said while social media is nice to have with her girlfriend junior Ali Brenneman, she believes in-person
interaction is the best route. “I think it’s a good thing for older people, especially because you know where people are and you can communicate better when you’re not with them 24/7,” Guarini said. “For our generation, kids just get addicted to it too quickly. It should be introduced slower and people should be encouraged to hang out with people outside of text.” Seeing the issues social media can cause within relationships since she got social media in fifth grade, sophomore Alara Gungor said social media has impacted simple interactions tremendously, especially with certain online pressures. “Social media has created a new “norm” of what [interactions] should look like,” Gungor said. “Honestly, I think social media has impacted our
2.6.20 | Issue 5 generation in a bad way because we all are beginning to act how social media tells us we should, especially in relationships.” Wells said with society becoming more reliant on technology, it can create more conflicts not just with other people, but within ourselves. “It can be negative, because it’s the pressure to put ourselves out there,” Wells said. “What creates the difficulty in relationships is that if we get a negative comment on a post, that can create a lot of conflict, and then that can create conflict within ourselves. You open yourself up to more vulnerability when you have social media that you’re active on.” Having been surrounded by her friends’ relationships, freshman Hannah Johnson said that specific apps such as Instagram supply unnecessary rumors and stresses, and that it makes people feel the need to be in a relationship.
23 “If you’re on Instagram, you’re posting a picture,” Johnson said. “A lot of times, my friends are skeptical about posting pictures with a guy friend they’re not dating. There’s the rumors and it makes it pressured. It makes people feel like they need to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend.” Growing up without social media, Spanish teacher Kari Hillen, who has been with her husband since her sophomore year of high school, said that “hanging out” with her husband was to “go study.” If she had social media when she was a teen, Hillen said she would have been keeping tabs on her husband more often and it would incline her to do more things with him. “It makes you think a lot more about the person and know their whereabouts,” Hillen said. “I think I would have looked up a lot more stuff. Being married and together for so long, a lot of times if I see a friend posting that their husband did this or they went out to this place, I’ll be like ‘Hey, we should go do this too!’ it’s a natural thing.” With the impact of ever growing technology, Hillen concluded that she wants future generations to be cautious on social media and to not change who you are to benefit someone else. “Today’s students need to be very careful about what they share on social media,” Hillen said. “Recognize that you are an individual and not to change your ambitions to please someone else. Although people change and grow over time, hopefully the other half of your couple encourages you to be the best version of yourself.”
“YOU OPEN YOURSELF UP TO MORE VULNERABILITY WHEN YOU HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA THAT YOU’RE ACTIVE ON.” - ANYSSA WELLS
Juniors Cameron Quick and Rachelle Jackson hold a photo of themselves.“Love is supposed to be selfless and about the other person...try your best to love the other person,” Jackson said. (Photo by Rachel Sarff)
DATING BY THE
NUMBERS Are you currently in a relationship? yes
Do you see a lot of PDA at Northwest? yes
Has social media changed teen dating in high school? yes
What apps have been prominent in teen dating culture? Snapchat Instagram dating all of the match apps above Are your parents/ guardians strict about your dating life? yes
In a relationship, do your parents/guardians look at the messages you send? yes
*According to a survey of 215 students
Issue 5 | 02.06.20
MENTAL HEALTH BOARD
YOUR CURRENT SITUATION...
IS NOT YOUR FINAL DESTINATION
2.6.20 | Issue 5
UNDER THE HAIRNET
As a vital part of keeping the student body fueled for the school day, the BVNW cafeteria workers provide insight into their lives in and outside of work.
BY JENNA WEYFORTH
eeing many students and coworkers come and go has been a part of Jane Byers’ daily life since she began as a cafeteria worker when BVNW opened in 1992. Throughout this time, Byers said she has made lifelong friendships with her coworkers and has gotten to meet a variety of new people. “We’ve been here for many years [together,]” Byers said. “I even consider one of [my coworkers] my best friend.” Often found working at the cash register, Byers said she appreciates the kindness and friendliness of the students. The relationships and conversations she has had with students are some of the most memorable and enjoyable moments of her time here, Byers said. One of the perks of the job, she said, was that she would have the same schedule as her two children and get to spend more time with them as they were growing up. Byers said although her job gets repetitive at times, she appreciates the time she has spent at BVNW. “I love the job,” Byers said. “The kids are very nice; if I engage in conversation, they will back, and that makes it worth all the yucky stuff [that goes with the job].”
Design by: Emma Gau
ith 21 years of experience at BVNW, Cheri Neal said she has enjoyed getting to know her coworkers who have become her close friends as well as making connections to the students. “Everybody’s different,” Neal said. “I know some kids better than others, but it’s funny because I see [students] outside of school and they always say ‘Hi.’” In addition to working as a cafeteria worker, Neal worked as a school crossing guard until 2019. Neal said she also had the opportunity to get to know many different students around the city of Overland Park, even attending a former student’s graduation party. Neal has two kids of her own, who attended Blue Valley High, and she likes spending time with her family and three granddaughters outside of work. Although Neal said she doesn’t usually receive complaints from students about the food served, she said she knows about the stigma surrounding school lunches. “We’re all normal moms or grandmas and we care about the kids [at BVNW],” Neal said. “I wouldn’t feed the kids here something that I wouldn’t give to my own family.”
n her way to her current job at BVNW, Sharon Shotton had a winding road of jobs and experiences. With her father serving in the Air Force for 20 years, Shotton spent three years of her childhood in Tripoli, Libya. She moved there as a teenager and remembers swimming in the Mediteranean Sea in her time there. She later worked for Walmart for 25 years and retired in 2004 to spend time taking care of her grandchildren. “I didn’t work anywhere except taking care of my grandchildren until 2016,” Shotton said. “After the [grand] kids were grown up enough to take care of themselves, I got bored, so I came back to work.” Shotton began as a crossing guard for Stanley Elementary, a Blue Valley High feeder school, working before and after school each day. In December 2019, Shotton also started working as a cafeteria worker at BVNW, where she has had the opportunity to work with kids along with her new coworkers. “I like taking care of kids and making sure they are healthy enough to do schooling and get great grades,” Shotton said.
Issue 5 | 02.06.20
YOUR K NG
With the Kansas Scholastic Chess Association’s state championship in March, two BVNW chess players detail what competitive chess is and why more people should be interested.
BY JONNY ISAACSON
t can take four moves to win or lose a chess game. A game could go on for hours or be ended in four simple moves. This complexity is what has drawn players in and kept them playing their game. A main reason people are interested in chess is because there’s no way to beat the game, leading to infinite possibilities while playing, junior chess player Ankith Sheshappa said. “It’s really just another board game, except the difference between [chess and other games] is that it really hasn’t been solved yet,” Sheshappa said. “Not even computers have solved it yet, which is the difference between it and a lot of other games. That means there’s so many possibilities and that’s why so many people like it.” Often spending multiple hours a day practicing to accomplish his goal, Sheshappa won a state championship as an eighth grader and has won multiple local tournaments as well. “To win state, I was putting in at least four hours of practice a day,” Sheshappa said. “It takes a lot of time and dedication to actually do well.” A big difference between playing chess competitively and playing
Design by Alyssa Peterson casually with friends or family is the reoccur and allow you to attack more amount of preparation that goes into efficiently.” competitive games. Situationally, the Many chess players have found practice Sheshappa has put in has a home in the school’s Chess Club, enabled him to think ahead while which meets every Wednesday during playing. Husky Halftime B. Club sponsor and “Competitive players have seen so Latin teacher Andrew Clark, who has many different people, seen so many played chess since he was four, said he different positions encourages everyone and do a lot more to join, regardless of “IT’S REALLY JUST preparation,” playing history. Sheshappa said. “I encourage kids to ANOTHER BOARD GAME, “I have the first play chess, if they have EXCEPT THE DIFFERENCE someone to play with 10 to 20 moves memorized ready BETWEEN [CHESS AND here, then I encourage in my game them to join,” Clark OTHER GAMES] IS THAT based on what my said. “I would like to opponent does, see the chess club IT REALLY HASN’T BEEN versus a casual become a place where SOLVED, YET.” player probably people who don’t play -ANKITH SHESHAPPA chess and want to get just plays move to move.” better come and they When playing chess, one of the most are taught how to be better. That’s important things is strategy, but junior why I would encourage them to join chess player Alex Gibson said it’s because they can be strategic and play important to learn the basics first. with their friends.” “First, you want to learn how to Being less experienced than his move the pieces and all the basics,” colleague, Gibson said Sheshappa has Gibson said. “And then you want to helped to serve as a mentor for players start learning certain tactics that are in the club regardless of skill level. really important because they often “Ankith [has helped me the most],
Pawns move slowly across the board but are important pieces for defense.
Knights can move around other pieces in an “L” shape.
Rooks can move forward and backward on the board and can change directions.
02.06.20 | Issue 5
Ankith Sheshappa (right) plays a game of chess with sophomore Alex Mojica (left) Jan. 15. “Chess in general has been beneficial to my mental strength,” Sheshappa said. (Photo by Savannah Bridges) because he’s really good and has been a mentor for the other people and me,” Gibson said. A big motivation for many local chess players is the ability to win money in tournaments, as players can pocket up to $400 in local tournaments and upwards of $10,000 in larger cities, such as St. Louis and Chicago. Sheshappa said he’s done well in local
tournaments, winning a few. “[At] a lot of tournaments around here, you get money for how you place,” Sheshappa said. “I’d say doing well is getting top five and you’re going to get some money for that, and I’ve won a couple of those.” A common misconception about chess is that many people think you have to be smart to play. Sheshappa
Bishops move diagonally and can move across the entire board in a single movement.
The queen has a lot of freedom on the board because it can move multiple spaces in all directions.
said this is just a myth, however, and that people just have to be willing to put in the work. “I would like to invite anybody to [play chess],” Sheshappa said. “You don’t have to be smart; anyone can be good at this.”
The kings can move in any direction, one space at a time.
Issue 5 | 2.6.20
VIBE STARBUCKS STARBUCKSCHECK
Most people in Johnson County have a Starbucks location that they call their own; however, which Starbucks location reigns supreme as the best in the BVNW area? We reviewed the 5 Starbucks closest to the school to find out which location is the best in terms of taste and studying comfort.
BY IZZE LENTFER
135TH & QUIVERA
127TH & ANTIOCH
119 & 69 HIGHWAY
Design by Sophie Dellett
alking into this Starbucks in the early afternoon on a Monday, it was surprisingly crowded. This store was mostly illuminated by daylight and had classic pop music setting the tone. The barista at the register was not welcoming and seemed annoyed. Although the one barista was not personable, the staff at this store was efficient. The order, a tall Pink Drink with light ice and no fruit, was ready in just a few minutes, which was surprising due to how busy their store was. But
after getting the drink, there were no comfortable seats left in the store except for at the counter, which had no room to work if you needed it. Of the five locations, this one had the best tasting pink drink of the day, with the perfect amount of acai and coconut milk as well as the perfect amount of ice. Overall, this location is great if you only want to pick up a drink, but it is not a vibey place to sit inside and get work done.
In this Starbucks you could immediately notice a better working scene than the previous location. It was dimly lit and had more than enough seating options available, with both comfortable chairs and open tables to work at. The vibe in this store was a lot calmer and friendlier than the last. The music was upbeat and happy, yet not distracting or annoying. It took a long time for the drink to come out; however, thereâ€™s a chance the baristas simply didnâ€™t announce that the drink was ready loud enough. This store had a good environment, but the drink was
dismal. This Pink Drink came out with an odd consistency, with the milk and acai refresher visibly separated. There was very little ice in the drink, which is usually appreciated when ordering light ice; however, instead of less ice being added to the original drink, the ice had simply just melted into the drink by the time it was picked up. In conclusion, this store was the exact opposite of the 135th and Quivera location: it has a great study scene, but did not put out the best product.
Going into this location, the first thing to notice was how crowded the store was with people working, students and families. The store is oddly shaped, feeling small and cramped. There were boxes of supplies stacked against a wall, which contributed to the congested feel of the store. The barista who took our order was not a very personable character, although one of the other baristas was a sweet old man and after only a few minutes he delivered the drink with the biggest smile. Not only were there a lot of people in the store, but there were lots of baristas working and chatting with one another loudly. This contributed to a very rowdy situation inside. The music was chill; however, it could barely be heard
over everything else happening inside, and it just seemed like noise droning on. The drink was unusual, different than any other drinks of the day, and seemed like an unbalanced ratio of coconut milk to acai refresher. The drink was made incorrectly, or at least differently than it is typically made. If you could even find a place to sit inside, the atmosphere is so stressful it would be impossible to focus. It must be a relief for customers to get to leave this location. Possibly at a less busy time, this store could be a great study environment; but, no positive qualities came to light other than the possibly convenient location of this store.
2.6.20 | Issue 5
COLLEGE & QUIVERA
151ST & ANTIOCH
Walking into this store on a Thursday afternoon, the barista was quick to say hello with a friendly smile and seemed very happy to help. From the outside, the drive-through was incredibly busy, which could make customers cautious of the potential chaos inside, but don’t worry, inside the store is remarkably spacious. The room felt filled, but not crowded. There was room to comfortably work, unlike at the last location at 119th and 69 Highway. The crowd included moms chatting and mostly businessmen working, along with a few students. I suggest this location if you don’t want to run into everyone you know or are avoiding being surrounded by only young people. The only downside of this location
was how the high volume could become distracting, but it depends on if you prefer white noise or silence while you work. The music played was calming and less-popular Alicia Keys and Kacey Musgraves songs, which was perfect for getting work done in the right mood. The Pink Drink came out in a reasonable amount of time considering how busy the store was: it also had an appropriate consistency of milk and refresher. The drink tasted sweet and milky, exactly how it is supposed to be. This was the perfect visit to Starbucks; College and Quivera is the best location to study at because of the chill atmosphere and ideal drink.
Upon entering this Starbucks one barista shouted out a welcome, but then it took a few moments for another barista to actually take my order, even though it took awhile to be noticed, he was very courteous and helpful. The store has a mixture of natural lighting and overhead warm-toned lights, creating a very bright, well-lit store overall. There’s a variety of seating options including lots of high top tables and quite a few low top tables. On a Sunday afternoon, there are lots of adults inside the store and there’s calm folk-pop music playing, including a Kacey Musgraves song again, which
all contributes to a great studying location. Beware though that typically many Blue Valley West kids come to this location. The Pink Drink came out in a few minutes after it was ordered and it had a perfect consistency with a good amount of ice. The drink was flawlessly made, but not necessarily as impressive as past locations. There are no complaints to be had about this Starbucks location, so if this location is close to you then it could make a great workspace, however, it is not impressive enough to go out of your way to make it your go-to.
COLLEGE #1 #5
69 H IG
127TH BVNW #4 ANTIOCH
E S 151ST
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Issue 5 | 02.06.20
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Issue 5 | 2.6.20
WHICH VARSITY BASKETBALL PLAYER ARE YOU MOST LIKE? BY MITRI KRISHNA BOYS VARSITY BASKETBALL:
GIRLS VARSITY BASKETBALL:
1.) Your grade: A. Sophomore B. Junior C. Senior D. Freshman
1.) Your grade: A. Junior B. Senior C. Sophomore D. Freshman
2.) You are going out this evening. Choose the type of restaurant you would most like to go to. A. Mexican B. Chinese C. French D. Italian
2.) You are about to go on a fun drive. Choose the type of music you would most like to listen to on the ride. A. Hip-hop/Rap B. Country C. Alternative R&B/Indie D. Pop
3.) You’re about to go on a fun drive. Choose the music you would most like to listen to in the ride. A. Hip-hop/Rap B. Pop C. Alternative R&B/Indie D. Country
3.) On your ideal first date, where would you go? A. Drive-in theatre/go to a movie B. To a trendy restaurant C. To the park and have a picnic D. Skating/bowling
4.) Which animal best describes you? A. Sloth - comfy/bored B. Lion - strong/leader C. Dog - loyal/kind D. Monkey -silly over serious
4.) Which animal best describes you? A. Monkey - silly over serious B. Sloth - comfy/bored C. Lion - strong/leader D. Dog - loyal/kind
5.) What is your favorite ice cream flavor? A. Mint chocolate chip B. Strawberry/blueberry C. Vanilla D. Chocolate
5.) You are planning to go watch a movie. What type of movie would you prefer to go watch? A. Horror B. Romantic C. Comedy D. Action/adventure
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