TIGER PRINT BLUE VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL Vol. 42 Issue 9 April 2012 Stilwell, KS
BODY CONFIDENT New club promotes positive body image, self-esteem page 11 WHIZ! BAM! POW! Students, teacher bond over shared love for comics page 12 TALENTED TRIO Diverse styles help softball captains motivate teammates page 14
Gay-Straight Alliance Club offers place for students to embrace different sexual orientations: pages 8-9 Photo illustration by Jun Ham and Dakota Behrman.
Retiring staff members look back on memorable times at BV Q & A by Anna Wonderlich Bob Whitehead, Associate Principal, Athletic Director Q: Why are you leaving? A: I’ve been in education for 45 years, and I think it’s a good stopping point — time for a younger person to probably do it. There have '()&%(%"* been a couple health issues that have impacted that decision. I was out for six weeks this winter for surgery. I wasn’t feeling well enough to do the job like I wanted to do it. Q: How long have you been at BV? A: I’ve been in the BV District 34 years. I was a teacher here first for about six or seven years. This is my 16th year in this job, so probably between 20 and 25 years I’ve been at Blue Valley High. Q: What do you think about math teacher Matt Ortman replacing you? A: I felt like we had several young coaches in our building that were capable of doing the work, and I was happy that
Mel Baskett, Psychology Teacher
Q: Why are you leaving? A: I’m 64, and I think it’s time to move on. I’ve been working parttime the last two years, and we live in Lawrence, so it’s time-consuming and cost-consuming to commute. My wife retired last October, and it’s just time to move on.
Q: How many years have you been at BV? A: Twenty-eight. The vast majority, for 26 years, I’ve taught Sociology and Psychology, and now I’ve taught American History several years, too. Q: What do you think about social studies teacher Courtney Buffington replacing you? A: I told [Principal] Scott [Bacon] and our department when I was leaving I’m 100 percent neutral on who takes my place — I’m not going to be trying to influence someone. I think that’s just the fair thing to do, and I think Courtney will do a great job, and she’s excited. But ultimately, Scott and [Social Studies Department Chair] Jason Peres have to make those decisions.
our district chose to interview them and include them in the interview process. I’m disappointed for the ones that didn’t get the job — I think any one of them could’ve done it — but I’m happy for Mr. Ortman and he’ll do a great job. Q: How do you feel about leaving? A: Well, it’s the best job I’ve ever had. I have the greatest job in America, and so it’s hard to leave the greatest job in America. Q: What will you miss most? A: I don’t know if I can answer the most. You always miss people. You know, Mrs. [Karen] Kaman has been my secretary for a number of years and does an outstanding job. I’m going to miss going to Friday night games — they’re a lot of fun. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, going to games is something that I really enjoy. Can you imagine, people pay me to go watch games? I would probably do it anyway. Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say? A: I just want to thank everyone for their support over the years. The kids are respectful, and we don’t always agree — sometimes they think I’m old and crabby — but I really have enjoyed my time here.
Q: How do you feel about leaving? A: It’s bittersweet, but it’s getting sweeter by the day. I feel like when it’s time to go you’ll know, and other people who retired have told me that. The bitter part is I will miss friendships, relationships. In many ways, teaching keeps me younger. People sometimes say, ‘Aren’t you just jumping for joy?’ and I say no, because I feel sorry for anyone that says ‘I’m so happy to get out of here’ when they retired. I feel so sorry when they say that because it means they really didn’t like their work, and that’s not my case. Q: What will you miss most? A: Friends on the staff and teasing kids. I think there’s an innocence about youth that’s refreshing. Put simply, I’d rather be around crazy kids than crazy adults — they’re more fun. Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say? A: In my years here, I’ve seen a lot of change. The student body has become kinder and gentler. I think some of that is because the staff has worked very hard on that. I would say that kids get to know their teachers as people and not just as that person in front of the class everyday. We have some very talented and fascinating staff members here, and if you get to know them, there’s a lot to them.
Events calendar April
Thursday 19 — Senior/Faculty Challenge
Monday 7 — Chemistry Exam, 7:20 a.m. Psychology Exam, 11:55 a.m. Tuesday 8 — Spanish Exam, 7:40 a.m. Senior Awards Night, 7 p.m. Wednesday 9 — Calculus AB/BC Exams, 7:20 a.m. Thursday 10 — English Literature Exam, 7:20 a.m. Cap and Gown Delivery, 12:30 p.m. Friday 11 — US History Exam, 7:40 a.m. European History Exam, 11:10 a.m. Senior Picnic, 10 a.m. Yearbook Distribution. Monday 14 — AP Biology Exam, 7:40 a.m. AP Music Theory, 7:40 a.m. Physics B, 11:55 a.m. Tuesday 15 — US Government and Politics Exam, 7:40 a.m. French Exam, 11:55 a.m. Senior finals hours : 5, 6 and 7 Wednesday 16 — English Language, 7:40 a.m. Statistics, 11:50 a.m. Senior finals hours: 3 and 4 Thursday 17 — Microeconomics, 11:55 a.m. Senior finals hours: 1 and 2 Class Day Rehearsal Friday 18 — Class Day Sunday 20 — Graduation at Kemper Arena
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Overuse of certain words diminishes their meanings
annawonderlich ads manager I love you. I hate you. You’re my best friend. Along with many other phrases, we all say these countless times each day. But do we even mean it when we say them anymore? People are forgetting how powerful words are. And like the famous quote from “Spiderman,” “With great power comes great responsibility,” our responsi-
bility is to speak wisely. Words are so important. They have the power to make or break a person’s day, define who we are and communicate with others. Words and phrases are losing their importance because of the overuse and casual way we use them. In fact, they’re changing the way we define our relationships with others. Nowadays, when people are dating, saying “I love you” is just mumbled in passing without realizing what it truly means. It used to be said only after a long period of dating and was a big step in a relationship, but now people are saying it within the first few days of going out. I think it’s great that people feel so strongly for each other, but they just started dating. The same thing applies to “I hate you.”
saranaatz co-editor Here it is: my opinion about not having an opinion. Brought to you by all the people who can’t walk away from an argument, even when they have no idea what they are talking about. I’ve been ribbed on various occasions for being “apathetic” because I do not have an opinion on every issue. But here’s the deal: It’s not that I’m apathetic; it’s just
Remember when we were younger, and we got in trouble for telling someone we hated them? There’s a reason for that. Hate, like love, is a strong emotion and a strong word. We need to be careful when we say “Oh, I hate so-and-so” because we probably don’t actually hate them, we just don’t like them. Because “hate” and “dislike” are used synonymously all the time, the stronger and more negative connotation for “hate” has worn off. We forget that hate is supposed to be the extreme version of disliking something, and we mix the two up. Another thing I hear all the time, especially on Facebook or in the hallways, is “You’re my bestie” or “Love you, bestie!” There’s nothing wrong with that, but the meaning is lost after hearing them call practically everyone else in the
school their best friend, too. It’s like the story about the boy who cried wolf. The more we hear something, like a person telling everyone they are their best friend, the less it means to us and the less likely we are to believe it. I’m not saying you can only have one exclusive friend, but if everyone is your “bestie,” then the term has lost its value. Best friends are supposed to be a few key people you’re the closest to, and not just someone you’re getting along with at the moment. So, is this a problem? I don’t think the overuse of words will ever go away, but we can at least try to genuinely mean what we say and prevent our words from losing their meaning. I know it’s impossible to analyze every word you speak, but just try to pay more attention to the meanings of the things you say every day.
Having no opinion is better than expressing an uneducated opinion
that I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t know everything. There seems to be this expectation that we, as citizens of the United States, need to believe strongly one way or another on every issue someone sets in front of us. Maybe it’s because, with all the media surrounding us, we’re expected to know more about what’s going on in the world. But, in all honesty, how much is that really helping us out? We’re just reading dumb headlines on Yahoo! as they scroll by us and calling ourselves informed. And before half the people reading this get offended and think “Hey, I read the news. I pay attention,” let me just say some of the most informed people I know make this same mistake. It’s important to remember that, sometimes, not knowing how you feel about a certain issue is not a bad thing. Of course, we should be as informed as possible,
especially with all this information just a few taps away on our iPhones. But being truly informed and aware means you’re always learning more. The world is always changing, and there’s always more to know. The same goes for people. You might not agree with the way someone lives his life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be open to listening to what he has to say. Just because he isn’t living the same life as you doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a reason for doing so. Being extremely stubborn about an issue you know next to nothing about isn’t a sign of strength — it’s a sign of ignorance and closed-mindedness. Not to mention it’s difficult to argue a point when you don’t even understand where your opponent is coming from. Understanding the other side of an argument makes your argument even stronger, and sometimes, you might be surprised to find out your opinion can change. And that’s true awareness.
the tiger print co-editors-in-chief Jordan Huesers Sara Naatz website editor Maegan Kabel photo editors Dakota Behrman Maria Fournier news editor Kelly Cordingley features editor Annie Matheis
ads manager Anna Wonderlich circulation manager Taylor Yeazel staff writers Abby Bamburg Jansen Hess Maddie Jewett Meghan Kennedy Hailey McEntee Caroline Meinzenbach Katie Wells
entertainment editor Odi Opole
photographers Jun Ham Bailey Outlaw Olivia Roudebush
opinion editor Emily Brown
cartoonist Evelyn Davis
sports editor Jordan McEntee
adviser Jill Chittum
Cartoon by Evelyn Davis.
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An article has spread across social media sites, calling for a gas boycott on April 15 in an attempt to decrease rising gas prices. According to midmissouri.com, more than 1 million Facebook users have pledged to not buy gas that day. While 1 million people is not enormously high compared to about 150 million total U.S. Facebook users, the number does indicate the growing dissatisfaction with increasing gas prices. In Overland Park, prices have reached a startlingly $3.79, and they are likely to increase in the upcoming months because of volatility in the
Middle East. To us, this might seem high, however, according to kcgasprices. com, the current national average is about $3.916. A year ago, the national average was $3.69. Less than what Overland Park is paying currently for gas prices. So, will this gas boycott prove to be effective? Will it decrease the almost $4 price on gas? According to a vast majority in the media, no. The message encouraging the gas boycott claims that in April 1997, there was a “gas out” to protest the gas prices, and in result, the prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight. Yet, in a CNN Money article, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, said there was no such drop, and after looking at the gas prices in April, he concluded the price did not shift more than a penny.
Since it has taken almost a year for the national average to rise 30 cents, it is highly unlikely that in one night, it could drop at such an enormous rate. The boycott does not reduce consumption of gas, but rather simply causes people to buy their gas on a different day — say April 14 or 16. People will still use the same amount of gasoline for the week, for the month, for the year. A one-day boycott makes no sense. It didn’t work in the past, and it won’t work in the future. Will it show the gasoline companies we know how to stick it to the man? Even more unlikely. What we need to do is either stop complaining about the relatively cheap price of oil compared to most European countries, or, if we are really that desperate for lower gas prices, stop using so much of it.
The Tiger Print is published 10 times a year for students, faculty, and the surrounding community of Blue Valley High School. It is an open forum for student expression. Therefore, the opinions expressed within this paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrations of Blue Valley Unified School District #229. Letters to the editor and reader responses are encouraged for publication. The Tiger Print reserves the right to edit all submissions for both language and content and encourages letters to be no more than 350 words. Letters should be submitted to room 450, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: The Tiger Print c/o Blue Valley High School 6001 W. 159th St. Stilwell, KS 66085 phone: 913-239-4800 Pacemaker finalist, 2009 and 2010. Member, Kansas Scholastic Press Association, National Scholastic Press Association and Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
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Story by Abby Bamburg.
o t y Potte e K e ry Th
Step 1: Come up with an idea. Step 2: Consider possibilities for construction. Step 3: Knead clay, mold piece and add decorations. Step 4: Glaze and put piece in kiln. Every detail must be perfectly executed. Senior Crystal Gutierrez won a Gold Key at the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards on March 15. Students from all over the nation compete in this contest. At the regional level, a student can win a Gold Key, Silver Key, Bronze Key or an Honorable Mention. If a student receives a Gold Key, a picture of his or her piece will be sent to New York where a committee judges it for national awards. Gutierrez won the Gold Key at the national level in the ceramics division for her piece, “Autumnal Nova.” Gutierrez’s artwork was one of 33 in the nation that was chosen for a Gold Key in the category of ceramics. The winning artwork will be displayed at Carnegie Hall on June 1. There will be a special reception for parents, students and teachers. Gutierrez made four pieces — each representing one of the seasons. Her piece representing autumn won the award. “Everyone in the room was making squares, and I was like, ‘I want to do something different,’” she said. “So, I decided to do a color shade and implement colors of the fall, like the greens and browns and a leaf texture to symbolize leaves.” Gutierrez’s clay structure was about 14 inches tall. Ceramics teacher Michael Johnston said Gutierrez won because her piece was unique, well thought-out and well executed. “It had an interesting textural design on it, which related to the piece itself,” he said. “It was a great concept to begin with. It was also a little bit larger piece. It probably was a little bit impressive because of the fact that it was larger than most entries in that category.” Johnston said Gutierrez’s
knowedge of ideas and craftsmanship set her apart from other students. “A lot of times you have students that have great ideas and don’t carry them out,” he said. “You also have the students that can throw well on the wheel, but they don’t have the greatest ideas. She did a great job putting it all together, so it was well constructed, and there wasn’t any technical problems. The glaze was also masterfully sprayed so that, from start to finish, the piece came together.” Gutierrez said Johnston motivated her to get things done. “Whenever I’m stuck, he will throw out some random ideas that will actually work or inspire me,” she said. Because there are so many participants, Johnston said the award is a big deal to everyone involved. “You know that you’re pretty much the best of the best,” he said. “There are a lot of people out there, so to be that good is overwhelming, almost.” Gutierrez said she didn’t think she was going to win the award. “There are so many other talented artists, even in our school,” she said. “I thought I had no chance. I would look at everything else and think my piece is not going to get a Key. But it did, so it was really surprising.” Johnston said he enjoys seeing students get credit for their hard work because most do not realize how talented they are. “It is really rewarding to see students that may never have thought that their abilities were as good as what they really are recognized to be,” he said. “Maybe they need some positive reinforcement that what they’re doing is on par with some of the best students in the nation.” Gutierrez said although ceramics can be a lot of work, it can also be a huge stress reliever. “I really like colorful things and things that are textured,” she said. “I just don’t like plain, old slabs of clay. I can just go in there, make something out of clay and let my imaginations go wild.”
(Above) “Autumnal Nova” won the Gold Key. Photo courtesy of Michael Johnston. (Below) Working with clay, senior Crystal Gutierrez creates a cone-shaped ceramics piece. Gutierrez won a Gold Key award for her piece “Autumnal Nova,” which will be featured in Carnegie Hall on June 1. “It was fall, and I wanted to incorporate the fall colors and a leaf texture,” Gutierrez said. “I used brown and green colors to contrast between the lively leaves and the dead ones.” Photo by Maria Fournier.
completeacceptance Gay-Straight Alliance provide Lauren Biggs She had heard the horror stories. Of people losing their friends. Of people getting kicked out of their houses. She was scared. Scared that people would treat her differently because of who she is. Senior Lauren Biggs said she first realized she was a lesbian in seventh grade. She said she just knew it instinctively. “There was another girl in my class who had said something that day about being a lesbian,” Biggs said. “Something in my head was like ‘Oh, yeah, that’s me.’ I felt like I needed to tell someone.” In middle school, Biggs told her best friend, current senior, Thamara Subramanian, she was bisexual. Subramanian said she was surprised and a bit confused when Biggs told her about her sexual orientation. “She was the one who always had a boyfriend,” she said. “But I was happy she told me because it showed me a lot of what people go through, and the insecurities that
they face.” Biggs said she ended up informing Subramanian she was bisexual because it felt like a safer alternative than saying she was a lesbian. She was also still getting used to the idea of identifying herself as a lesbian. “I only told her,” she said. “I really only trusted her. I didn’t tell anyone else until freshman year because I was still scared about it.” Subramanian said Biggs remained hesitant to tell other people because Biggs was afraid they would judge her, however, the revelation did not change their friendship. During her sophomore and freshmen year of high school, Biggs dated several guys. “I really liked their personalities,” she said. “They were really good people and everything, but I always felt that in every single one of them, there was something missing.” Biggs reached out to Rebecca Richardson, the founder of BV’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), as a way to talk to somebody who understood the difficulties of being a lesbian. Richardson invited her to attend a GSA meeting. After joining the club, Biggs said she immediately felt more comfortable with her sexual orientation. She officially came out her sophomore year of high school. “I could talk to people who are like me and who understood and who were OK with it,” she said. “I said it out loud for the first time in GSA. I was scared to death. But everyone was really nice about it, and so I felt relieved after I said it.” GSA gave her a reason to tell her parents she was a lesbian. After Biggs went to several GSA meetings, her father spoke to her about her attendance. “He told me before I even said anything that ‘It’s okay if you are gay; we still think of you in the same way. We still love you the same,’” she said. “That made me feel a lot more comfortable about it because I didn’t want to disappoint them, so I told them.” Despite feeling more comfortable in her decision to come out, Biggs still does not immediately tell new acquaintances she is a lesbian. “I usually delay letting people know about it because I don’t want it to define me as a person in their eyes,” she said. “I want them to see me and not just some big, gay sign. Because being straight doesn’t define them.”
Clint Webb He walked down the school hallway. A group of guys pushed past him, calling out “Get out of our way, faggot.” He kept on walking. Senior and president of GSA, Clint Webb loved to play with toy trains and Legos as a child. He loved music, and he listened to Britney Spears.
Because his father was a pilot and would be gone for a week at a time, Webb spent much of his time with his mother. He always got along with the girls his age. “I really never got along with boys,” he said. “See that’s ironic. I related more to girls.” In late elementary school, he started to notice he was attracted to males. “Looking back in my life, I know I’ve always had an attraction to men more than women,” he said. “In fifth grade, I really noticed it.” With his progression into middle school, people started to comment on his sexuality. His cousin mentioned his feminine gestures, and people made fun of him because he didn’t enjoy sports. In eighth grade, Webb realized he was gay. While he was content in knowing it was just who he is, he kept the information to himself because he was unsure about people’s reactions. “You just come to expect from society, in general, that there are going to be people that are rude and nasty about it,” he said. Webb ended up coming out to his friends the fall of freshman year. They had been clowning around during a football game, and he said the confession just happened. “Most people were like, ‘Well, we already know, honey,’” he said. “But some people were surprised. You hear horror stories about guys coming out, but mine wasn’t really like that.” Current senior Morgan Giudicessi, one of the friends Webb told at the football game, was not surprised about Webb’s revelation. “I’m very open-minded,” she said. “It didn’t faze me at all. It was like he told me his favorite color was purple.” Webb said he felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders because he no longer felt like he was living a lie. After Webb broke up with his first boyfriend junior year, his mother noticed his distress and kept asking him what was wrong. Webb eventually admitted he’d broken up with his boyfriend and that he was gay. “She was supportive,” he said. “She had her suspicions, but she actually thought I was straight.” This year, Webb said more and more people have become accepting of who he is, especially the guys of the senior class. “I know some people who were totally homophobic my freshman year, but they have grown to be more accepting,” he said. “It seems like they really don’t care anymore.” Webb said one gay stereotype that bothers him is the belief that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community would not make good parents. Webb said this is hurtful since he hopes to adopt one day. “It makes me angry because there are lots of studies out there that say gay parents are just as competent as straight parents,” he said. “People don’t listen to the facts. They just have their prejudices.” If Webb could go back in time, he would advise his younger self not to be afraid to be an individual. “Just be confident in who you are,” he said. “Because there is nothing wrong with it — no matter what people say.”
s accepting atmosphere, open discussion for students
Stories by Emily Brown. Photos by Dakota Behrman.
Senior Lauren Biggs and junior Archana Vasa watch a PowerPoint on homophobia throughout history. At GSA meetings, club members usually discuss the social prejudice against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
Junior Blake Staley attends a GSA meeting. He identifies as straight. “I don’t think it is surprising that we have straight students join GSA because I think we do have a large population of students here who are very welcoming towards everyone,” sponsor Jill Gouger said.
what is gsa?
At first, junior Archana Vasa thought joining GSA might be weird, especially since she is straight. But over time, her opinion changed. She saw her transgendered cousin harassed by kids at school. She saw him harassed by his very own family. She heard derogatory comments towards LGBT individuals. She heard people using gay as a negative adjective. She witnessed students jokingly asking their peers out on dates because they assumed the person was gay or lesbian. By junior year, she joined GSA and became vice president of the club. “I finally realized if I actually support gay rights, if I actually support gay individuals in the community, then I should step up and do something to support them,” she said. “Every human being deserves to be treated the same way — just being gay or straight doesn’t make or break who you are. You should judge a person based on their actual personality — not who they want to grow up to marry.” GSA sponsor Jill Gouger said she was not surprised Vasa joined the club. “She just strikes me as a very open-minded person,” Gouger said. “Someone who is passionate about helping everyone and making sure everyone feels welcomed and accepted at our school.” In the club, Vasa writes letters to Kansas representatives to encourage them to support gay marriage and civil unions. But another main aspect of the club is raising awareness about harassment due to a person’s sexual preference. “It is just like ‘Come on,’” Vasa said. “It’s just childish for making fun of someone because of their sexuality. When guys or girls make comments like ‘Oh, she is a lesbian. She has a crush on all the girls. I don’t want her to see me.’ I’m not attracted to every single guy I see, just as a gay male would not also be attracted to every guy he sees.” Vasa said critics of homosexuality need to understand that it is actually much more difficult to be gay than it is to be straight. “When did [the critics] wake up in the morning and choose to be straight?” she said. “They didn’t wake up in the morning and say ‘Oh, I’m going to be gay.’ I think that people wouldn’t make that choice to live a harder lifestyle.” Vasa said she encourages those who aren’t necessarily supportive of homosexual rights to come to a GSA meeting to gain a new perspective on what LGBT students are going through in the area. She also applauds the LGBT students who have come out. “Especially in this community, it is really brave of them to do that,” she said. “I think that when they come out of the closet, and they are open about their sexuality, it makes people see that they are OK — that they are going to make it. It just offers them some comfort.”
Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a club that balances informative presentations and discussion about current problems facing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people in society today. GSA members have written letters to representatives, talked about laws that discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation, discussed the difference between civil unions and gay marriage and
Vasa watched mini-documentaries about problems LGBT students face in high school and college. “Even if [GSA] is not overtly helping someone, I think the fact that we have the organization at the school will let people know that there is a place for them if they have issues,” GSA sponsor Jill Gouger said. “That there is a place where they are welcomed and accepted for who they are.”
a space simulation Program provides leadership experience, team building jordanmcentee sports editor She wears a bright orange space suit and looks around at the hundreds of buttons and switches. One reads F18 and another R6. She refers to her operation manual to determine which control she must adjust to land the flight simulator safely. Over spring break, junior Gaby Lobo spent six days at the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Lobo heard about the program from her father, who works for Honeywell. She filled out an application form, received a scholarship and just had to pay for an airplane ticket. Lobo said her enthusiasm for math and science led her to attend the camp. “I’m really interested in engineering,” she said. “I had also seen pictures in the brochure of kids in these cool space suits, and I just thought it looked like a lot of fun.” Because of her unfamiliarity with her surroundings, Lobo said she was somewhat nervous about the trip. “I didn’t know anyone going,” she said. “I was kind of scared to ride on the plane by myself, but once I got there, I got really close with everybody. In my group of 16, there were kids from eight different countries. At the whole camp, there were kids from more than 30 different countries. It was awesome to be surrounded by so many other people who were interested in engineering and math.” Lobo said her experience included a traditional space camp with flight simulations, but it also included leadership building, guest speakers and lessons on public speaking and debating. Lobo piloted her shuttle during a simulation. Her group got a 98 percent on their mission. Simulations were graded upon the group’s professional attitude, communication skills and ability to execute instructions under hazardous external conditions, such as mock tornadoes, fuel complications or overcast weather. “It was actually a lot more challenging than it looked,” she said. “There were all these buttons around me and a bunch of different switches up on the top. You had to know what all of them did, and it was really stressful.” Olathe East senior Joshua Benton was part of Lobo’s group. He said he enjoyed the high tech flight simulations.
Junior Gaby Lobo operates a flight simulator at the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Lobo attended the camp in Huntsville, Alabama over Spring Break. Photo courtesy of Gaby Lobo.
“They were ridiculously realistic,” Benton said. “They would put you in a little pod that was like an exact replica of an actual cockpit.” Throughout the week, Lobo and her teammates completed flight simulations for both fighter jets and space shuttles. “In one of the missions, we had to pretend like we were trying to save the President of the United States,” she said. “It was really intense at the time.” One day at camp, the students visited the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology at the University of Alabama. “While we were there, we got to extract DNA from things and do a mock analysis of the DNA,” she said. During the week, Lobo was awarded the “Inspiration” award for being a positive leader and motivating her team. For receiving this award, she was given a solar-powered backpack. “Yeah, it’s kind of nerdy, but it’s cool,” she said. “It has a solar-power battery charger in the zipper pocket, and I can use it to charge my phone. It was pretty helpful at camp because there were 60 girls staying in the same area and only 10 outlets, so I was able to charge my phone in my backpack wherever we went.” Lobo said all the campers had formed a strong bond by the end of the week and still
keep in touch today. “We still talk on Facebook all the time,” she said. “We were all crying at the end because none of us wanted to go home.” Benton said going to the camp pushed him to be a part of opportunities outside of his comfort zone. “It was such an awesome experience,” he said. “I did things I never thought I’d do, and I met so many new people. Just our group one person from Russia, one from Spain, one from Romania, several from the different coasts of the United States, and a bunch of other places. We definitely had a good mix.” After coming home from camp, Lobo said the skills she learned have helped her in her classes. “It has definitely helped my leadership skills,” she said. “I’m more confident speaking out in class and debating effectively. I learned how to be a better communicator in all different settings.” Overall, Lobo said the experience was very valuable — more rewarding than she predicted. “It wasn’t just a huge nerd fest,” she said. “That’s what everybody keeps asking me. But it was honestly the best week of my life. I know it sounds cheesy, but I feel like I know myself better after going. I just learned how to be a leader in science, in math, but also just in life.”
Staff members report latest results of weight-loss contest
Team: Driskell Game Plan: Change diet, visit the BV Fitness Center Personal Goal: Lose 30 lbs. Weight lost so far: 9 lbs. Motivation: Upcoming beach trip, class reunion
Team: Ken Game Plan: Participate in Title Boxing Club activities, change eating habits, be more active overall Personal Goal: Reach a weight between 225-240 lbs. Weight lost so far: 6 lbs. Motivation: Competition
Team: Taghizadeh Game Plan: Change eating habits, work out 5 days per week Personal Goal: Lose 10-12 lbs. Weight lost so far: 2 lbs. Motivation: Competition
New club will promote self-acceptance, high self-esteem maddiejewett staff writer A high school girl walks into the bathroom hoping to fix her disheveled braid only to notice the mirrors are covered with tissue paper. Written on the paper were things like ‘Get back to class,’ and ‘You are beautiful.’ The REbeL club at BV Northwest covered mirrors in their building to promote the idea that everyone is beautiful. This idea drives the creation of the REbeL club, which will start at BV next year. REbeL is a student-led peer education program that works to promote positive body image. The BVNW chapter wanted to expand the club after three years. All BV, Olathe and Shawnee Mission schools were asked to participate. Club members contacted BV and asked if any teachers would like to sponsor the club. FACS teacher Kendra Smith, Communication Arts teacher Jessica Edwards, Spanish teacher Jill Gouger and school psychologist Julie Seitter all volunteered.
REbeL is a non-profit organization, in which all money raised goes to charities and other organizations. REbeL raises money through activities such as a pancake breakfast and other small fundraisers at school. “Last year, we used some of the money to donate books to some elementary school libraries,” BVNW REbeL leader Jane LoBosco said. “One of the books was about how it’s OK to be different. It was super cheesy, but it was cute.” The club also does things like sticking motivational notes on students’ lockers and organizing a 3-mile walk. They hold a Fat Talk Week, which raises awareness of the harmful effects of talking badly about themselves and others. “We also have whiteboard activities,” LoBosco said. “The whiteboards say ‘I am beautiful because...’ and then each person gets to write what they are beautiful for. We have our walk coming up, and that gets a lot of people from the community involved.” REbeL will extend to all the BV schools for the 2012-2013 school year, and LoBosco said she hopes to see all the chapters of the club collaborate and work together.
“Next year, at the third annual walk, we will all come together and represent all the chapters,” LoBosco said. “I’m really excited about the other BV schools joining REbeL because we’ve been the only chapter for three years now. There’s power in numbers, so to be able to see more people join and see how far it will go will be cool.” Students interested in joining were required to fill out applications that asked specific questions relating to the club’s message. Smith said the club will have about 20-25 members, both boys and girls. “We want to make sure that the core group will be able to spread the message of REbeL throughout the school,” Smith said. LoBosco said many girls get involved in REbeL because of personal connections to people struggling with body image. “I have an older sister, and she would always talk badly about her body,” she said. “I always thought it was just a normal thing that all teenagers did, so I didn’t really think anything of it. But I decided to do the club with my friend, and once I got into it, it turned out to be amazing.”
BV sophomore Alex Kontopanos heard about the club through her BVNW friends from church. “I am really passionate about helping people with their self-confidence,” she said. “I would really like to play a big part in the club.” Kontopanos said she wants to see BV promote the positive ideas REbeL focuses on. “I have a lot of friends that have had eating disorders,” she said. “I know that a lot of girls aren’t happy with their bodies. We all have our ups and downs. Everyone is beautiful, and it could be really cool if our school could promote this idea, especially to the kids that are uncomfortable with themselves.” LoBosco said being involved in REbeL has changed the way she sees other people. “I view people with a different perspective of beauty,” she said. “Before, I only saw people from the outside, like ‘Oh, that girl’s so pretty. I love her hair,’ but now I see their genuine characteristics that truly make them beautiful. It’s a really big eye-opener. Everyone has something that makes them beautiful, and it is so cool to see them be able to recognize that.”
Senior Danny Theisen, physics teacher John Holloway and senior Tim Smith read monthly comic books. Stored in cabinets and boxes in his room, Holloway’s comics have never been out of reach. “In high school, I had group of friends who just read comics,” Holloway said. “If somebody wants to talk about comics, I will.” Photo by Dakota Behrman.
!"&&'%($"& Reboot of DC Comics sparks interest in comics, creation of club carolinemeizenbach staff writer
Superman, from planet Krypton who grew up as country boy Clark Kent, flies through the skies in his characteristic blue suit and red cape. Batman, scarred for life by the murder of his parents, dedicated his life to stopping crime in Gotham City. Aquaman, born part human, part Atlantian, became king of Atlantis and can telepathically communicate with sea life. The Comic Book Club began in September of 2011 when seniors Danny Theisen and Tim Smith learned DC Comics was rebooting of all of their classic comic books. “They were restarting the comics from number one,” Theisen said. “We thought it might be a good time. Before the club, I was never really into comic books, but
Surrounded by past issues, senior Danny Thesien and physics teacher John Holloway look at previews for upcoming comics. Holloway said Free Comic Book Day on May 5 allows people to gain new interest in comics. Photo by Dakota Behrman.
now it’s a blast.” Theisen and Smith went to physics teacher John Holloway when looking for a sponsor. Holloway, who displays comic book posters in classroom, has been reading comic books since he was six years old. “It was a way to read more comics for the same amount of money,” he said. “I’m a science fiction, comic book nerd. It was a pretty natural fit.” The club members split their share of comics into a list and trade amongst themselves. At meetings, members bring comics they read since the previous meeting and spread them out on tables. They talk about the issues and what is new in the “comic book universe.” “Different members buy different comics,” Holloway said. “We talk about what we liked, what we plan to keep getting. If someone doesn’t like the comics they are getting, they can trade with someone else.” New issues come out once a month. Members of the club go to Elite Comics, a comic book store at Quivira Road and 119th Street, where they can pre-order every issue of a comic. The students can take ones they have already read and store them in Holloway’s room. Holloway said when he was in high school, he had a group a friends who read comics and this club is similar. “It’s like I’m a member of the club,” he said. “I’m just another guy reading comics. If I have an issue I really enjoy I’m going to talk about. You get to interact in a community.” Holloway said the comics they read are mostly superhero comics. “There are different flavors of superheroes,” he said. “There is a horror genre, murder, romance, sci-fi, Western — all sorts of things.” Holloway said even if a student has never been into comics before, the club can still be entertaining. “It’s interesting to see people who are not into comics before be into them and see what they like,” he said. “When you’ve read comics a lot, nothing is really new. It’s all the same things.” Theisen said his favorite part of the club is sharing
his hobby with other people. “Some people are like, ‘Really? You read comics?’” he said. “They think it’s a dead art. People don’t know many movies we have are from comic books. We get to know what is going to be movies first. You can tell if something is really good it will be made into a movie.” Theisen said many movies are from comic books such, as Men in Black and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He said usually the movie industry is not as good as the comics. When Captain America came into theaters, Theisen’s interest in comics was just beginning. “People said I looked like the main character in the movie,” Theisen said. “So, I bought the Captain America jacket.” In March, many members of the club attended Planet Comicon, a local comic book convention, where fans can meet artists, writers and sci-fi celebrities. “I enjoyed meeting writers and artists,” Holloway said. “You try to get them to tell you things that will happen in the future. We got a piece drawn by them.” Theisen wore his jacket to Planet Comicon, which got him attention from other comic book lovers. “I wore my Captain America hoodie and people came up to me to take pictures,” he said. “Tons of people dress up, and it makes it really fun.” Theisen said he enjoyed Comicon. “Convention was a blast,” Theisen said. “They sell rare comics, all kinds of artists were there. You get to talk to artists after reading their comic books. It’s like going to see a Brad Pitt movie, then meeting Brad Pitt. It’s comic book heaven.”
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level leaders Wishing the opposing team good luck prior to a game, senior co-captains (from left) Kylie Tanner, Becca McDonald and Maddie Garton line up to slap hands with the BV Southwest Timberwolves. The co-captains led their team in warmups. “Having three different people leading the team divides the responsibility of each captain,” Tanner said. “The players also have advice coming from different areas of the field.” Photo by Olivia Roudebush.
Softball captains combine different styles of leadership meghankennedy staff writer She’s the leader of the infield. She’s the lead-off hitter. She’s the shortstop. She’s senior Maddie Garton. She’s quiet. She’s intimidating. She’s the center fielder. She’s senior Kylie Tanner. She’s vocal. She’s calming. She’s the second baseman. She’s senior Becca McDonald. Varsity coach Stephanie Chomicki said she chose each of the three co-captains for their ability to connect with teammates. “They’re four-year letter winners, and they all bring something different,” she said. “They need to communicate well, be motivators and, most importantly, lead by example. They know what that’s like. They have all been on varsity for four years, and they’ve been through that experience. They all bring something unique and different, and we look up to them for that.” McDonald said each captain brings her own leadership style to the team. “I am more vocal,” she said. “If we’re getting down in a game, I usually call a timeout, calm everyone down and get our spirits up. Kylie is more quiet and leads by example, and Maddie is a little bit of both. We all three try to lead by example so the freshmen will know how to be leaders when they are seniors.”
Garton said the captains are responsible for keeping everyone set on the end goal. “I just try to make sure everyone stays focused and gets done what is needed to get done in order to win,” she said. “I try to get everyone to stay on task. We can all have fun as long as we get the job done. That’s the most important. I’m not as vocal. I don’t like telling people what to do — I’m pretty quiet about it.” Tanner said a leader needs to be reliable in a game and a role model for the team. “I have my own leadership in the outfield,” she said. “I’m a more quiet leader. I expect people to know what they’re doing. I’m more of an outfield leader, and Becca and Maddie are more infield. We are also the top three in the lineup because Chomicki knows we’ll always get hits.” Chomicki said she trusts the captains to lead the team when she isn’t there. “They take charge and lead the team in warm ups — they make sure no one is slacking and everyone is giving 100 percent effort,” she said. “With any other team, I don’t think I would be able to hand the reins over to the captains. This group of girls takes the game seriously, and they want to win. They know we have really high expectations this year.” Tanner said the leadership is more evenly distributed with three captains, compared to having only one captain last year.
Garton said even though captains are supposed to remain calm during games, it’s hard to keep her cool on the field. “When someone makes an error in such a basic play or when someone strikes out, it’s so hard not to be negative,” she said. “We may want to say something, but we’ve just got to keep a smile on our face and tell them ‘Good job’ or ‘Good try.’ When the captains are nervous and tense, it just makes the whole team tight. But when we’re loose and confident, it calms everyone else down.” McDonald said it is important for captains to get the job done without being controlling and demanding. “I think, with the different leadership ways of each captain, it allows our teammates to understand what needs to be done,” she said. “I think it’s the best leadership we’ve had on the team so far because we’ve all had so much experience from starting all as freshmen and learning from the upperclassmen.” Chomicki said she is grateful for the captains’ leadership on and off the field. “Last year, we only had one senior who led us in all categories,” she said. “She was a great leader in the infield and the outfield, as well. These girls have completely taken over her role. That’s made such a big difference. We would be lost without our captains and seniors. They keep us together and take their role seriously. The underclassmen look up to them. They’re great role models.”
Thrower breaks school record in javelin She takes off running, javelin in hand. Raising the javelin, she starts her cross-overs. She uses her left foot to push off, and the javelin soars into the air. Senior Maddie Osmundson has competed in three throwing events since her freshman year. At the BV Relays on Satur&'()*%'+* day, April 7, Osmundson broke the school record of 130 feet, 2 inches with her distance of 131 feet, 11 inches. She started track in seventh grade and transitioned into a thrower once she started high school track. Javelin is her favorite event. “I think it’s an easier technique to master,” she said. “It’s more fun — you get to run and throw instead of just spin and throw. Much more exciting.” To improve, Osmundson practices with the other throwers between seven and eight hours a week. “There’s a lot of repetition,” she said. “We get in a lot of reps and then break down the throws so we can correct things easier.”
She chose javelin because it is an individual sport. “You’re the only person who can improve your score,” she said. “No one is stopping you.” As a whole, Osmundson said the throwers are very talented this year. “I can’t really speak for the runners since I only throw, but we’ve got a lot of strong members this year,” she said. “And I don’t think anyone knows, but we’ve been working throughout the fall and summer, too.” Her best friends, seniors Cara Pace and Alyssa Buzzelli, help her relax before throwing by making her laugh and getting her mind off the competition. “Other than just warming up, I make sure I’m in the right mindset,” she said. “My two best friends throw with me and are always there to ease my nerves.” After she graduates, Osmundson will continue her track career at Johnson County Community College, where she received full tuition and books. Osmundson said she is looking forward to throwing in college. “I had the opportunity to meet with some of the coaches and other throwers already,” she said. “I’m really excited to meet all of these new people.”
Long-time athlete continues football and track career past high school level He relaxes and takes deep breaths as he approaches the starting line. Thinking back to his practices and translating the skills he learned into the next race. On your mark. Get set. Go. Senior Alex Baird’s love for track and field started in sixth grade after watching countless !"#$% track meets on TV. He ran a mock track meet in junior high and discovered he enjoyed the sport. Baird said a lot of time goes into training for his events. He practices 15-18 hours throughout the school week and works individually on the weekends for about three hours. Baird said repetition plays a big part in improving his skills. “It’s continuing to do the same drills until I reach the point of perfection,” he said. Last year at the 5A State Track and Field meet, Baird took sixth place in the 300-meter hurdles.
“It was the final race at State, and the atmosphere was just insane,” he said. “It was nerve-wracking.” Baird is currently ranked in the top five in the state in the 300-meter hurdles. “I’m projecting myself to be in the top three in the state in the 300-meter hurdles, and I’m hoping to medal in more than one event,” he said. “As a whole, this is the best looking team I’ve seen in my three years of running.” Baird will run track and play football next year at Baker University. “At first, I was just running track in college,” he said. “But I fell in love with football this year. I think it was because I had never really experienced it on the varsity level. I entered high school planning to run track in college, but after football this year, it was hard to choose between the two. So I just chose both.” Baird said he is looking forward to the next level of competition in both of his athletic careers. “I’m excited to see what the college level has to offer,” he said. “I want to see how I match up with everyone.”
The girls soccer team will host Senior Night against BV North on May 3. Game time 7 p.m.
Sporting Kansas City currently leads the Eastern Conference with its undefeated record of 5-0.
Drill team tryouts begin Monday, April 16 at 3:30 p.m.
The Kansas City Royals home opener is today at 3:10 p.m. against the Cleveland Indians.
sports in brief TRACK AND FIELD Previous action: 4/7 BV Relays (Girls 8th, Boys 1st) Upcoming action: 4/13 BV Tri 4/20 @ Emporia GIRLS SOCCER Previous action: 4/12 @ Gardner Upcoming action: 4/20 vs Lansing Record: 4-2 GIRLS SWIMMING Previous action: 4/3 @ BV Southwest (1st) 4/11 @ BVHS Upcoming action: 4/17 @ BV Northwest SOFTBALL Previous Action: 4/6 vs BV Southwest (W 9-6, L 11-10) Upcoming Action: 4/17 vs BV North Record: 3-5 BASEBALL Previous action: 4/5 vs BV North (L 7-3) 4/12 vs BV West Upcoming action: 4/14 vs SM South Record: 4-2 BOYS TENNIS Previous action: 3/30 @ Mill Valley (Tie) Upcoming action: 4/16 vs Bishop Miege BOYS GOLF Previous action: 4/9 @ Lake Quivira Upcoming action: 4/16 @ Loch Lloyd Results current as of April 9.
Athletes practice pole vault during track
Junior Anna Burton warms up with a pole vaulting drill. Burton said pole vaulting can be frustrating. “The hardest part about vaulting is staying positive and optimistic,” Burton said.
Photo illustration by Dakota Behrman. Photos by Evelyn Davis.
Senior Jesse Vollick selects his pole for the warm-up exercises. Pole choice is based on weight, speed and technique of the athlete. “The best thing about pole vaulting is clearing a new height and [setting a new personal record],” Vollick said.
Freshman Ryan Younger pole vaults over the bar at track practice. Younger broke the freshman record from 1986 by vaulting a height of 12 feet 6 inches. “It’s been amazing so far,” Younger said. “Getting higher bars and doing better each time. When I do that, it feels amazing because I know I did it right.”