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THEEXPRESS

VOLUME 21 | SUMMER ISSUE | AUGUST 2013 | BLUE VALLEY NORTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL


CONTENTS

While floating on the Amazon River, senior Steele Rujevcan (left), his uncle, Randy Doler and brother, Colton, visit with unexpected company, a Brown Woolly Monkey (photo courtesy of the Rujevcan family).

SEE PAGES 11 & 12

ON THE COVER

My big fat Greek vacation Senior Alexia Nicoloulias jetted off to Greece this summer to visit her father and his family. Read about her experiences as a tourist and resident and adapting to the Mediterranean culture (photo courtesy of Alexia Nicoloulias).

See pages 7-9

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FEATURE

ENTERTAINMENT

4&5 Life on duty

14 Summer puzzle

Get a glimpse of life as a lifeguard: the training, the tales and the dangers of the popular summer job.

13 An Island in the Sun

Do you like games? Are you already missing the carefree days of vacation? Take your mind off your homework and give our summer-inspired crossword puzzle a shot.

With the help of the Dream Factory, junior Olivia Simpson and her family were sent on a vacation from the reality of her sisters’ Crohn’s disease.

THE EXPRESS | SUMMER ISSUE | AUGUST 2013


CONTENTS

BVNWNEWS.COM

THE EXPRESS STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Delaney La Fon

PRINT EDITOR Meredith Johnson

FEATURE Dancing the days away

Nemolutemque alibus nimint quunti ullaborrum ulpariant aut ipicilis (photo by Nicole Tenold)

Senior Carley Fine was selected by choreographer Mandy Pruett to assist her in instructing dance classes across the country this summer. With seven trips around the country, and varying ages of students, Fine said the experience taught her a lot about teaching, being a leader, and brought her a lot of new opportunities. Fine said that during her many trips, her job was to help Pruett with dance classes in the form of drill team camps or classes in a studio. Fine worked with age groups ranging from young children to college-aged dance students...

Read more and view photos from Fine’s trips at BVNWNEWS.COM Practicing their upcoming competition routine, senior Carley Fine dances with nine other girls at the Powerhouse Dance studio (photo by Maddison Barley).

NEWS

BVNW welcomes new staff members 12 new staff members. 12 new faces. 12 new stories. BVNW students and staff, say hello to the new crew: Michael Bubalo Michelle Pothoven Alysse Trusty Zach Harsch Lauren Simpson Chris Legleiter

Robin Hodges Breanne Buchanan Lisa March Brian Pollack Chad Askew Adam Wessel

DESIGN EDITOR Holly Noon

SPORTS EDITOR Liz Kuhlmann

VISUAL EDITOR Michaela O’Connor

COPY EDITORS Sarah Hirsch Ankit Kadakia Madeline Maloney

REPORTERS

Olivia Baird Laney Breidenthal Claudia Chen Madison Graves Sidney Hallak Zac Johnson Brooklynn Langham Avery Mojica Greyson Woerpel Natasha Vyhovsky

PHOTOGRAPHERS Maddison Barley Lindsay Haight Natalie Pyle Nicole Tenold Caroline Trupp

BUSINESS MANAGER Zach Zelinski

ARTIST

Owen Sinn

ASSISTANT ADVISER Jeff Brown

Jim McCrossen

Introducing the weekly blog: Your Hirschness

THE EXPRESS | SUMMER ISSUE | AUGUST 2013

Cara Brashears

ADVISER

BLOGS I’m Sarah Hirsch and this is my very own chunk of the Internet in which I can showcase my thoughts. I have a penchant for over-thinking everything, which can lead to analysis that would have otherwise never come to light. However, most of the time I get fired up over

ONLINE EDITOR

things that most people would consider trivial, even negligible. Stewing over issues can turn into a complete and utter mess, so I’ve turned to writing. You can expect anything from reactions to social issues to criticism of annoying fads to glimpses into the aspects of everyday life that might be overlooked. Take a look and enjoy.

The Express is the official high school news publication of the Blue Valley Northwest High School, an open forum distributed to all students seven times a year. This is the summer issue of volume twenty-one. Subscription rates are $10. The Express is printed by Osage Printing, 400 N Liberty St Independence, MO 64050. This is a student publication and may contain controversial matter. Blue Valley Unified 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.

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Left: Supervising the main pool at Tomahawk Ridge Aquatic Center, Lawrence always wears her whistle, tube and fanny pack equipped with gloves and an AR device (photo by Nicole Tenold). Right: Her first year as a lifeguard for Overland Park pools, sophomore Sarah Hansen works at the indoor pool at Matt Ross Community Center (photo by Nicole Tenold).

be her in the lifeguard chair. “My sister was a lifeguard when she was in high school and I always thought it was interesting, so I said, ‘When I’m 15, I’ll do it too,’ and I did,” Hansen said. “The lifeguards always looked like they were having fun and making so many new friends.” Senior Calen Lawrence said she has spent countless hours up on the lifeguard stand, as this will be her second summer guarding for Overland Park pools. “I wanted to become a lifeguard because at the time, I hadn’t had a job yet and I thought it would make a perfect summer job,” Lawrence said. This summer will mark Wilk’s seventh summer as a lifeguard and she said there are many reasons on why she has committed to it for so long.

“I’ve kept this job for so long because it’s been a really good thing to come back to in the summer,” Wilk said. “I’ve been able to move my way up and I’ve gotten to know a lot of great people through lifeguarding.”

Lawrence said. “She started going under, so I jumped off my stand, but I tripped when I was jumping off, and I landed on the diving rope. After I got untangled from the rope, I got to the girl and I saved her, but it was pretty embarrassing.”

I’VE BEEN ABLE TO MOVE MY WAY UP AND I’VE GOTTEN TO KNOW A LOT OF GREAT PEOPLE THROUGH LIFEGUARDING. -2011 BVNW Graduate Maddie Wilk Although this is only Hansen’s first year guarding, she said she has already had memorable poolside moments, just like Lawrence has from her experiences on the job. “One time, I was working at Young’s Pool and this girl, who had already been saved three times that day, went off the diving board,”

THE EXPRESS | SUMMER ISSUE | AUGUST 2013

Because she is relatively new to the job, Hansen said she still gets nervous before climbing the lifeguard stand. However, Wilk said that is something that will go away with time, and she is proof. “I’ve learned from guarding to be calm,” Wilk said. “I used to get nervous really easily and I would

panic, but I’m so laid-back because I’ve had more experience. Especially in emergency situations, I can be calm and help people better.” While lifeguarding can be nerve-racking at times, Wilk said there are many great benefits that come along with it. One of Wilk’s favorite parts about lifeguarding is meeting and working with new people. “I’ve learned how to be a leader and I’ve learned how to communicate with people really well,” Wilk said. “It’s really cool that I am able to work with so many BVNW alumni and current BVNW students. I love working with everyone that I do and I’ve gotten to meet so many new people, and it’s been awesome.”

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FEATURE

my big fat

Greek vacation With her father living in Greece, senior Alexia Nicoloulias travels to the Meditteratanean country every summer to connect to her fam ily and culture. By: Sidney Hal lak & Natasha Vyhovsky

THE EXPRESS | SUMMER ISSUE | AUGUST 2013

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EMAIL BVNWnewspaper@bluevalleyk12.org CALL: (913) 239-3544


FEATURE

FindingParadise inPeru

Spending most of the summer hiking the mountains and forests of Peru, senior Steele Rujevcan (left) explores the Amazon Rainforest, the largest tropical rainforest in the world (photo courtesy of the Rejuvcan family).

Venturing to South America for summer vacation, senior Steele Rujevcan explored the wonders of Machu Picchu and the Amazon.

By: Claudia Chen and Greyson Woerpel

F

our-hundred and forty-one years ago, Francisco Pizarro climbed the jagged Andes Mountains and tore his way through the dense Amazonian jungle. He discovered, explored and conquered the sprawling Incan empire in present day Peru. Walking in Pizarro’s footsteps, senior Steele Rujevcan traveled to a mysterious remnant of the Inca civilization: Machu Picchu. Rujevcan said his first impression of Machu Picchu was amazement at the

way the city was structured. Rujevcan, who traveled with his uncle, Randy Doler, and his brother, Colton Rujevcan, said the group learned about the complexity of the ancient structures. Rujevcan said buildings were molded from stone and were built to prevent earthquake damage. The mountaintop city also included a water system that could bring water from rain and rivers into the area to water crops. “All of their buildings would revolve around the sun and moon,”

THE EXPRESS | SUMMER ISSUE | AUGUST 2013

Rujevcan said. “Their placement was thought out for dozens of years before the building even began. To be able to see first-hand the true beauty of the city was breathtaking.” His favorite part about visiting Machu Picchu was going to the Sun Gate, an open lookout area that sits right above Machu Picchu. Standing from the Sun Gate, Rujevcan said one could look out and see the sun shining down and illuminating the temple ruins. Because Doler traveled to Peru 10

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Left: Traveling by train, the Rejuvcan brothers and Doler visited multiple cities, including Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Right: Fishing on the Amazon River, senior Steele Rujevcan waits for his catch, once hooking a piranha during his trip. Middle: High upon the Andes Mountains, senior Steele Rujevcan tours the ancient city of Machu Picchu with his brother and uncle. Bottom: While visiting Cuzco, Rujevcan (right) and Colton sport traditional ponchos and Peruvian hats, called chullos (photos courtesy of the Rujevcan family).

years earlier, he wanted to take Rujevcan and his brother so they could appreciate the same experiences as he had in the South American country. Among these experiences were spending eight days in the Peruvian Amazon. In the Amazon Rainforest, they

spoke English,” Rujevcan said. “I tried to use some of my Spanish II knowledge, but it didn’t help all that much.” Before venturing off to Peru, Rujevcan said he advises to do some prior research before traveling out of the country. According to

It was really cool to go to Peru because you’re experiencing something completely different, a whole new country.

-Senior Steele Rujevcan spent time bird-watching, looking for wildlife, hiking and fishing on the river. On one of his hikes through the dense vegetation, Rujevcan said he encountered a Western Pit Viper, one of the most poisonous snakes in Amazonia. Rujevcan thought that the greatest barrier he encountered in Peru was the different language, as he had to rely on hand signals to communicate with the locals. “We went to this one restaurant and they didn’t have any English menus and no one in the restaurant

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Rujevcan, there were many opportunities he missed out on because he did not plan ahead for his trip. Despite this, Rujevcan still believes that it was definitely the best vacation he had ever been on. “It was really cool to go there because you’re experiencing something completely different, a whole new country,” Rujevcan said. “It was the first time I was out of the U.S. and all the things there were just so cool to see.”

THE EXPRESS | SUMMER ISSUE | AUGUST 2013


On an Island ln the Sun

FEATURE

By: Sarah Hirsch and Avery Mojica

Left: Freshman Stacia Simpson stands in front of the Atlantis Resort where the family stayed during their vacation. Above: Junior Olivia Simpson and sister Stacia enjoy relaxing together at their island resort. Below: With abundant aquariums and displays of tropical marine life, Alexa and Stacia said they found watching the wildlife to be one of the best aspects of the trip (photos courtesy of Olivia Simpson).

With the help of the wish-granting organization, Dream Factory, junior Olivia Simpson and her family were able to vacation in the Bahamas this summer.

“W

e found out about the diagnosis and my mom just started bawling because you don’t want a ten-year-old fifth grader to have to go through a disorder like this,” junior Olivia Simpson said. “It was really stressful on our family and we had to give up a lot of stuff, so we couldn’t go on vacations because they were too sick.” Simpson said her younger twin sisters, freshmen Alexa and Stacia Simpson, have Crohn’s disease, which inflames the G.I. (gastro-intestinal) tract from their throats to their intestines. She said her family had never been able to go on a big vacation before because of the burden of the twins’ medical bills. An organization called Dream Factory grants the wishes of disabled children in the Kansas City area. With

the aid of this program, Simpson said her sisters’ dream of a family vacation came true when they traveled to the Bahamas this summer. “My mom was working on it behind our backs for a while,” Simpson said. “[Representatives] came to our house, and they were like, ‘Hi! We’re here with the Dream Factory,’ and it was pretty cool.”

MY MOM WAS WORKING ON IT BEHND OUR BACKS FOR A WHILE -Junior Olivia Simpson Simpson said it was difficult for the family to find a time to relax with her sisters’ disease. They often had to receive infusions, which forced them to lay in a hospital bed for hours and be connected to IVs. “That was really hard on them,

THE EXPRESS | SUMMER ISSUE | AUGUST 2013

because they were like, ‘Why do we have to be the ones that get this?’” Simpson said. Currently, Simpson said the twins’ disease is -currently in remission. Stacia said she was excited to start high school in a healthy state of condition. “It feels really good,” Stacia said. “I can do more things and I can be more involved in sports now.” Both of the twins said they are interested in pursuing the medical field because of their own experiences, and Alexa intends to become a G.I. doctor. Simpson said the trip was definitely a dream-come-true for their family. “I’m really thankful for what happened,” Simpson said. “I hope more families get this kind of experience because it’s very life-changing at this point in our family’s lives.”

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ENTERTAINMENT

Crossword | By: Avery Mojica

Directions: Fill in the grid with the answers to the clues below. To see answers and find more puzzles go to BVNWnews.com.

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Across

DOWN

1. Summer Holiday 9. ___ we there yet? 10. Split evenly 11. Singer Lady ____ 13. 5 x 2 14. One who eats a lot 16. Our state’s abbreviation 17. June 23, 2013 had a special one 18. A Kansas college town 22. A group of mountains 24. Type of rally 27. Stockholm’s home 28. Your school planner 29. Winged Insect 30. Three in middle school, four in high school

1. Moves like ______ 2. One of 22-across, also a territory in Risk 3. Synonymous for a bean 4. Northern European capital and country 5. Word often said when unsure 6. Rodent 7. Star ____ 8. Egg makers 12. Chemistry term 15. Peak 19. Singer Corinne Bailey ___ 20. Asian country 21. How old you are 23. Generally sad parts of summers 24. Cooking spray 25. Your self-esteem 26. For example, a dog 28. The morning

THE EXPRESS | SUMMER ISSUE | AUGUST 2013


OPINION

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

MAKE WAY FOR THE MAGAZINE

Before&After

D

PROVIDE A MORE MODERN, STREAMLINED APPROACH to a new decade, proving

that volume 21 will ring in a spectacular new school year. We not only created a more contemporary design, but we also added color. This adds extra pop to every page, bringing you into the story at first glance. By making this change, we add to our pledge, more than ever, to offer the magazine as a forum of ideas for the students of this school. More important than the appearance of The Express, are the voices of our student body. So what does it mean to you? The Express will still strive to represent all members of the school, teachers and students alike, but with a more contemporary and colorful look. Despite the alterations, we will retain our integrity as a journalistic publication. Furthermore, we desire to document, record, and tell the stories of an entirely new year:

ALL THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS. THE EXPRESS | ISSUE 1 | AUGUST 2013

Express

THE

uring a summer which produced a royal baby, the exploits of Carlos Danger and a highly publicized murder trial, the staff set out to completely REINVENT AND REINVIGORATE THE PAPER: by making it a magazine. We took the old, tabloid format which bore our name for the past several years, shrunk it down to 8 by 10 1/2 inches and added 24 pages. Yes, 24 pages. Because smaller can be better; unless you are Anthony Weiner. By taking inspiration from magazines as diverse as Vogue to Entertainment Weekly, we seek to

BLUE VALLEY NORTHWEST

SCAN & VISIT

BVNWNEWS

ge

pa rk Her Ma 15 g in k a M and has ate art es to cre ed shoes. s Sharpi aliz Cha use ing person ign an Betsy Freshm business of des made a

New idea? Got a story? Took a photo?

SEND IT TO US The Express c/o Blue Valley Northwest High School 13260 Switzer Rd Overland Park, KS 66213 BVNWnewspaper@bluevalleyk12.org Room 902 Suggested length under 1,000 words Please include subject information about photos. *The Express has the right to edit all submissions.

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ing Introduc

the

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Watch videos, scroll through photo slideshows and listen to audio to add to the multimedia experience.

Look for upcoming games and find past scores for every sport.

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