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Vol. 44 Issue 4 December 2013 Overland Park, Kan.

HIPSTER HYPE Recent obsession with out-of-the-box trends causes question over the concept of hipsters page 12 GTA5 TEST DRIVE Popular video game attracts attention from BV students page 39 ATHLETES TO WATCH Get to know this year’s winter sports team leaders

pages 44-45

Teen Pregnancy: Amelia’s Story BV senior gives birth, shares experiences regarding motherhood. Pages 23-27. Photo by Raine Andrews.



December 2013

Events Calendar

national news explained

Dec. 6 — Winter Sports Night Friday Night Live, 7 p.m. in the PAC


Dec. 7 — KMEA District Band, Orchestra, Choir Dec. 9 — Winter Underclassmen Show Auditions, 3 p.m. in the Black Box Dec. 10 — Winter Underclassmen Show Auditions, 3 p.m. in the Black Box Dec. 13 — Debate National Qualifier Dec. 14 — Debate National Qualifier

At the end of each financial year, congressional Republicans are required to sign spending bills that fund various government functions. However, the Republicans refused to sign any until Democrats agreed to defund or delay parts of Obamacare. Though Obamacare isn’t part of the bills, it was used as bargaining chip by conservatives. The Democrats wouldn’t revise Obamacare, so the government functions funded by the bills the Republicans wouldn’t sign were stopped,


In the small town of Maryville, Mo. back in 2012, freshman Daisy Coleman was raped by a senior from her high school. He invited her to come over and served her drinks until she was beyond the ability to give consent. After having sex with her and taping the interaction on a friend’s phone, he left her passed out on her front yard wearing little clothing. Her mother found her and took her to the hospital, where they determined it was rape, and the senior was arrested.

Dec. 16 — Winter Choir Concert, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 — Finals 1 & 2, 7:45-10:35 a.m. Dec. 19 — Finals 3, 4 & 5, 7:45-12:05 a.m. Dec. 20 — Finals 6 & 7, 7:45-10:35 a.m. Dec. 21 - Jan. 5 — No School, Winter Break


Jan. 6 — School resumes Enrollment Fair, College Day

Jan. 20 — No School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

On Monday, Oct. 21, 12-year-old student Jose Reyes came into a Nevada middle school with a 9mm handgun, wounding two students and killing teacher Mike Landsberry. Reyes then killed himself. Authorities are still unsure of the student’s motives. In an interview with CNN, Mason Davis, a student shot in the stomach, said he never saw any bullying and would’ve stuck up for Reyes if he had. Mason also said he had been friends with Reyes and had no idea he would’ve done

Jan. 22 — Debate Awards Night, 6 p.m. in the Commons


Jan. 17 — KSHSAA State Debate Tournament, 1 p.m. Jan. 18 — KSHSAA State Debate Tournament

Jan. 23 — Sweetheart Assembly Spaghetti Band Concert, 5 p.m. Jan. 28 — Winter Play, 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theater Jan. 30 — Winter Play, 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theater

This massive rain and wind storm hit the Philippines Friday, Nov. 8. This was a Category 5, which can produce winds from 195-235 mph. Death tolls are currently 3,976. There are 1,598 missing, 18,175 injured and damages to their coconut and rice growing industries — their main exports — are around $69 million. The typhoon destroyed 70-80 percent of structures in its path. Several relief services are underway. Italian bishops pledged 3 million euros, Pope

and many government workers went unpaid. Why is this a big deal? Many necessary government activities, such as regular food inspections by the Food and Drug Administration, didn’t happen. Banks suffered because many loans for small businesses weren’t processed. National Parks and monuments closed. Along with this damage, it exemplified how politically polarized our country has become.

Why is this a big deal? Even with all the evidence, the charges were dropped against him since his grandfather was a powerful former state representative. This wasn’t reported until the “Kansas City Star” picked up the story on Oct. 13, 2013. This turned into a media firestorm for Missouri officials, demanding justice for Coleman. A new prosecutor will try the case, and the charges have been refiled.

anything like that. Reyes stole the unregistered gun from his parents. Landsberry saved several students by trying to talk to Reyes while they ran to safety. Why is this a big deal? He was a 12-yearold boy who knew how to operate a gun his parents bought illegally and how to either break into where it was kept or it was out in the open. This speaks for itself. Francis gave $150,000 and Catholic charities donated 100,000 euros. United States aid services have launched a multi-million dollar campaign. Not only that, but 21 countries worldwide have also pledged relief. Why is this a big deal? It was the most powerful typhoon to ever hit the Philippines. According to officials, it makes Hurricane Katrina look like a mild storm.

Stories by Sheila Gregory. Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.


involved Stories by Tori Pippins.

Lesser-known clubs offered to Blue Valley students highlighted, explained

YOUTH COURT What is it? Youth Court is a club run by the state of Kansas, made up of students from the Blue Valley district. Youth Court Coordinator and Student Resources Officer Dennis Randall teaches students how the court system works, while also helping other students who have been tried as a juvenile in court get back on the right path through various redeeming activities. Students must receive prior training through the state of Kansas to join this club. Who? Anyone. When? Late-start Thursdays. Why? “I think someone should join Youth Court, especially if they want community service hours,” senior Danny Vandervoort said. “It’s a really easy way to get them. I would say if you’re interested in being a lawyer or a judge as a potential career someday, it’s an awesome experience where you get real-world cases, but they’re watered down enough for high-school-age kids to handle. I think it’s a great experience to be in the courtroom more.” For more information, contact Officer Randall.

photo of the


December 2013

inthenews 3

EQUESTRIAN CLUB What is it? Advised by social studies teacher Jenny Buchanan, Equestrian Club is a group for people to talk about horses. Recently, this club held a bake sale to raise money for a woman who lost horses when her barn burned down. Who? Open to all grade levels. When? Once a month. Why? “If someone’s interested in a sport that is not commonly acknowledged through schools or any other medium that they’re exposed to, they can be exposed to Equestrian Club,” sophomore Elizabeth Vore said. For more information, contact Buchanan in room 504.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS What is it? Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a game where players create a character, then use combined efforts to work toward an ultimate goal. Students gather to determine how best to go at a certain situation, making decisions that can completely alter the storyline of the game. Who? Anyone interested in meeting new people and playing the game. Open to all grade levels. When? Every other Thursday after school in room 312. Why? “If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of a story you’ve read or watched in a movie, D&D lets you experience what it’s like to be the hero,” senior Nicholis Papazafiropoulos said. For more information, contact sponsor Jill Gouger in room 312.

FBLA & DECA What is it? FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) is a group for students who want to further their skills in business. Advised by business teacher Ashley Scheurman, this group often participates in various debate-like competitions across Kansas City. Recently conjoined with DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), FBLA concentrates on all aspects of business. Who? Anyone who wants to learn more about business. Requires having taken some form of business class, and an entry fee of at least $25. When? About once a month. For more information, contact Scheurman in room 503.


Throwing confetti in the air, the fans in the student section cheer at the Blue Valley vs. Mill Valley football game on Nov. 15 as the team runs onto the field. Students in the Tiger Pride leadership class handed out black and yellow confetti to the crowd shortly before kickoff. Blue Valley won 38-0. Photo by Raine Andrews. Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.

What is it? Photography Club is for students who are interested in photography and need a creative outlet. Led by photography teacher Michael Johnston, this club participates in school competitions every month, and each winner displays their photo in the Avenue of the Arts. Who? Anyone interested in photography. When? Twice a month on Thursdays. Why? “You should really join Photography Club because it’s fun, and it’s exciting. We just have a good time.” For more information, contact Johnston.



December 2013

a superior season

BV marching band earns Division I Rating at BOA gennifergeer sports editor Photos by Raine Andrews and Gennifer Geer.

Stiff from spending four hours on a bus, Blue Valley students take the field. Their competition is high, and all their efforts until this point went toward defeating their rivals. When they put their hearts on the field, they’re given the best news they could hope for: BV did better than they ever have done before. BV’s marching band received their first Bands of America (BOA) Division I rating Oct. 18, dominating bands that received Division II, III and IV ratings. “A Division I rating is what’s called a superior rating,” band director Carol Lowman said. “We’ve gotten Division I ratings at other performances but not at quite as large of a venue.” BOA is a nationwide competition that takes place annually. This year, 15 states

participated with 64 total bands. “It’s a very tough competition,” Lowman said. “[Receiving a Division I rating] means the growth of the band program and the direction we’re moving musically as a performing ensemble are definitely the right direction.” Senior Madison Biggs said the rating is a huge accomplishment for band. “It was one of our best runs, but I know a lot of people were disappointed,” Biggs said. “Personally, I was really happy with our performance.” Lowman said the Division I rating means more to the band than just placing at a competition. “Placements are fine and good and a reflection on how you’ve done during the year and in preparation for the performance, but for it to be a Division I rating saying that we’ve got a superior performance really is what we’re looking for,” she said. “Regardless of placement, the judges found we had a really quality musical and visual performance.” Oct. 29 marked the last band competition for the 2013 season. BV’s marching band placed second overall at Shawnee Mission North with “high music” recognition. Lowman said she is glad the BV band students’ hard work and talent paid off. “We’re just really proud of the students and how hard they’ve worked,” Lowman said. “They’re a good group of young musicians we get to work with every day.”

December 2013





December 2013


Information from,,,,,,, teens.drugabuse. gov and



The truth behind drugs commonly abused by teens Stories by Riley Miller.

Marijuana Form: dried plants, resin, powder or oils Background Information: Marijuana is grown from the plant Cannabis sativa all over the world. The active ingredient in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Once it is smoked or ingested, the THC immediately begins to disperse throughout the bloodstream and brain. This commonly used drug has gained nicknames such as weed, dope, grass, bud, Mary Jane, pot, etc. It has also made its way to popular culture by multiple artists referencing marijuana in their music. Users can smoke, eat and even drink different forms of marijuana to get high. The dried plant can be smoked out of small pipes or bongs, joints (rolled up in paper like a cigarette), blunts (cigars emptied out of tobacco and replaced with marijuana) and even out of fruits, water bottles or aluminum cans. It can also be baked into certain foods like brownies or cookies or brewed into drinks like tea. Many users think because it’s “natural” it is harmless, but there have been several cases where the marijuana is “laced” with other drugs such as Cocaine, methamphetamines, Phencyclidine (PCP), etc. Short-Term Effects: Marijuana causes the user to have a distorted

sense of time and perception, extreme paranoia, loss of coordination, “random” thinking, short-term memory loss, slow decision making and problem solving skills and increased heart rate and breathing. Long-Term Effects: Frequent marijuana users, often referred to as “stoners,” can experience a decrease in cognitive development, respiratory problems and sometimes even depression. It can also affect the user’s motivation and his or her ability to cope with stress. There has never been a death caused by marijuana alone — however, there have been cases where users has died in some sort of emergency situation with marijuana in the blood system, and a lot of times, even heavier and more lethal drugs as well. Student: A BV student said she started smoking marijuana her freshman year, mostly out of curiosity. “Everyone else did it, and they said it was better than being drunk,” she said. “So, I decided to try it.” This student said one of the main setbacks of smoking marijuana is that it can make the user feel very paranoid. “It just kind of makes you freak out, especially if you’re in a bad situation,” she said. She said although the drug does have some negative effects, she thinks whether or not it is considered a “gateway drug” depends on who you hang

out with. “It is [a gateway drug] for some people if they’re friends with other people who do hardcore drugs because it’s almost like it’s acceptable to start [doing] other drugs after smoking weed,” she said. Nurse: “It’s not harmless, people call it a gateway drug, that it’s the first drug you do and then you move onto heavier things,” BV nurse Jennifer Runyan said. “There’s people with different personalities and addictive tendencies so you don’t know where you fall in that, so I think a lot of it is personality. Once you step over the threshold into doing illegal substances, I feel like that makes it easier to step over the next threshold into harder illegal substances — that’s where I look at it as a gateway not necessarily as a physical addictive thing it’s more of you cross that line, it makes it easier to cross the next line.”

December 2013


To read about K2 and prescription drugs, view the rest of the story online at


Form: Capsules, tablets or colorful pills with images and words printed on them Background Information: Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), otherwise known as ecstasy or “Molly,” is a synthetic drug made up of different chemicals that gives the user a lengthy, euphoric high. MDMA is often referred to as a person like in rapper Tyga’s song “Molly” and is mentioned more subtly in singer Miley Cyrus’ hit song, “We Can’t Stop.” Upon taking MDMA, the user will eventually get a very hyper feeling that lasts around three hours. Molly is supposed to be a purer form of MDMA but, in multiple instances, has been composed of substances such as caffeine, dextromethorphan (DXM), amphetamines, PCP and Cocaine as well. Mixing MDMA with other drugs, usually those of which the user is not aware of, puts the person at an even higher risk of experiencing dangerous side effects. Short-Term Effects: Symptoms users can experience while still “rolling” on MDMA include rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, excessive sweating, shivering, involuntary twitching, muscle cramping, nausea and blurred vision or dizziness. In extremely high


doses, MDMA increases risk of irregular heartbeat, hyperthermia, seizures and even death. Long-Term Effects: After using MDMA, multiple users have experienced anxiety, depression and memory loss the following week. Those who use MDMA regularly usually experience these symptoms much longer, and studies have shown high doses can even cause brain damage. Student: A BV student said she has a lot of experience with MDMA. “You hear people talk about [MDMA], and it just seems like a lot of fun,” she said. “The first thing you tell yourself is, ‘Oh, I’m just going to do it once, I just want to have the experience and then that’s it,’ but once you do it — I can’t even explain it. It makes you feel so amazing.” She then said why she initially chose to start taking MDMA recreationally. “A lot of people can go to a party, and they can have so much fun just doing their own thing,” she said. “But, for me, sometimes I just get really bored or I don’t have all the energy other people have, so when I did take those [I had] so much energy,” she said. “You literally feel like you’re on top of the world. There’s no way to explain it.” After a night of drinking, smoking weed and taking MDMA, she said she

Form: chewing tobacco, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and hookah Background: All forms of tobacco have risks. Short-Term Effects: Once a tobacco product is smoked, chewed, etc. the user will experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. In smokers, the carbon monoxide makes it harder for oxygen to be carried throughout the blood. Long-Term Effects: All forms of tobacco can cause various types of cancers including lung, larynx, esophagus, mouth and bladder cancer. Tobacco products can also lead to heart and lung disease and strokes. Student: A Blue Valley High School student said she smokes cigarettes because they help her

woke up the next day feeling like she was going to die. “In the morning, I was, like, convulsing and stuff,” she said. “I couldn’t sit still, and I felt like I was going to throw up.” After taking MDMA several times in one month, she said she decided to take an extended break from the drug because she knows her body isn’t able to handle it, especially after such a traumatic experience. Nurse: BV nurse Jennifer Runyan said MDMA can be extremely dangerous because it’s not necessarily 100 percent pure like most users think. “It’s supposed to be a pure form of MDMA,” she said. “But the problem with it is that you never know what it’s cut with. People have actually [gone] out and bought Molly from different sources, and they’ve actually done the chemical analysis of it. They’ve found several different ingredients that are not supposed to be in there.” Runyan said she advises students to think about the dangers of every drug, especially MDMA, before taking them. “The thing about any drug you’re thinking about taking is that you just can’t trust what anyone says that it has in it,” she said. “So, you’re taking a huge risk for a high.”

relax. “I mean, that’s probably the thing I do least just because I know that they’re so bad for you,” she said. “But you actually do get a really good buzz from it and the same goes for hookah.” Nurse: BV nurse Jennifer Runyan said the main dangers people face by smoking tobacco products is addiction. “You’re potentially becoming addicted to something now that you’ll have an addiction to for a lifetime,” she said. “It’s something you can get addicted to and be struggling with forever, whether it’s chew, a smokeless tobacco, cigarettes or the e-cigs — that’s all so popular right now, but it’s all the same.”

Photos courtesy of MCT Campus. Page designed by Riley Miller.


8 inthenews December 2013

Students, health teacher discuss use, misuse of prescription ADD, ADHD medications makaylanicholis staff writer He’s twiddling his thumbs. He’s tapping his foot. He’s biting his nails. He won’t stop talking, and he hasn’t heard a word the teacher’s said. This is a student with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) — someone who needs medication to help him pay attention in class. “ADHD makes it harder to focus and your mind’s always everywhere,” sophomore Zach Miller said. “Adderall basically helps you to focus on one major thing so you can listen in school. When I forget to take it, basically I cannot listen in class — it’s awful. I will not be able to focus or listen to the teacher, and I will be talking a lot because all of that energy that has been condensed is getting let loose. Adderall is supposed to take all that energy down.” Yes, some people actually need to take pills to keep their concentration intact. But what about the ones taking Adderall who have never been diagnosed? There are people who don’t have trouble paying attention to one thing at a time who


still find a way to pop some pills. Reasons for the misuse of Adderall could include trying to stay awake, attempting to study for longer periods of time or making an effort to get better grades on standardized tests. The question is whether or not this method actually works. “When you don’t have ADHD, Adderall will just keep you up, and it won’t help you focus and you won’t remember anything.” Miller said. “It’s kind of a myth that it will help you because it just takes all that energy and basically blows it up. The fact that you can focus when you don’t have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or ADHD — Adderall makes it so you just can’t. It may help you stay up so you can study, but then during the test there’s a chance that you will just crash or forget everything you studied.” Adderall is set up in a milligram system, meaning it can be counterproductive and even dangerous to take any amount that hasn’t been prescribed to you. “My brother has ADD, and I have ADHD,” Miller said. “I have a 20-milligram prescription, and he has a 25-milligram prescription. I took his on accident, and that can basically just set you off. It’ll just give you

a massive amount of energy, and you will not be able to control yourself.” Miller said for people with ADD or ADHD, the medication works just fine, but not without some side effects. “[The side effects] include loss of hunger, lack of sleep and tics — like playing with your fingers and tapping your foot.” Miller said. Without ADD, Adderall will just enhance those effects until the user is jittering instead of focusing. Health and Wellness teacher Peggy Rose said she believes Adderall is effective for some students. “Personally, I don’t know which of my students are medicated and which are not, but others take the drugs Ritalin or Concerta.” Rose said. “It takes a long time for doctors to figure out which drug works best for each student.” However, Rose said she doesn’t think students should be taking a drug that is not prescribed to them. As for taking Adderall before tests, Rose said she disagrees with the technique. “If the ACT is a predictor of success in college, will you be self-medicating all of college, too?” she said. “And then as an adult at your job?”

Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta are types of drugs designed to help control the effects of ADD and ADHD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is the inability to focus due to physical unrest.



Attention Deficit Disorder is the inability to mentally focus on one thing at a time. Page designed by Makayla Nicholis.

December 2013

outloud 9

what’s the point? Staffer assesses motivations behind high school relationships

Page designed by Hailey McEntee. Photo illustration by Molly Johnson.

haileymcentee co-editor We’ve all heard it before: You’re either going to marry the person you’re dating, or you’ll break up. So, why do we bother with high school relationships? There’s no need for all that extra stress in our lives. We’re all busy enough as it is, and we don’t have the time. We need to find out who we are as individuals before we can be in a successful relationship. Being a senior, I find dating to be completely pointless — we’ll be moving on to bigger and better things in less than eight months. Any relationship you have senior year probably won’t work out once you leave for college. Sorry to break it to you. The list goes on and on as to why people shouldn’t date in high school. I know from experience it’s nice to have someone there for you who cares about you,

but sometimes that’s more trouble than it’s worth. People are becoming blinded by “love.” They lose sight of everything: their friends, their passions for life, their faith. And in all honesty, we’re too young to know what real love is. Love is more than holding hands and cuddling. Love is more than making out with your significant other. Love is more than flowers and a cute note from your boyfriend. Love is caring unconditionally for another and putting his or her happiness above your own — something that’s hard to do when you’re just in high school. If you think about it, what are the chances you’ll end up marrying the person you’re dating in high school? Very unlikely. We are setting ourselves up for a loss. It’s a lose-lose situation — if you get dumped, obviously you’ll have to deal with the pain of heartbreak. And on the other hand, if you break up with someone, you’ll have to deal with the burden of hurting the person you care about. So, why do we put ourselves through all this? Because it teaches us lessons and helps form us into the people we are. Think about how different your life would be if you hadn’t been in certain relationships. These people came into your life or left

your life for a reason. These people help us find qualities we want in a future spouse, and they help us mature while learning how to really care for another person. These relationships teach us that change is inevitable. You can’t control it. And, you can’t let it control you. So, my advice to you is this: Don’t stress about dating in high school. You can’t rely on other people as your only source of happiness because they could leave you at any time. You have to find your own happiness. Embrace your singleness — you’ll wish you had later on in life once you’re tied down. Enjoy the freedom you have, and find out what you want to do with your life without being held back by someone you’re dating. But, if you really do find someone who you’re happy with and “in love” with, go for it. Maybe you are part of that small percentage where the relationship actually works out. If you never try, then you’ll never know. Relationships are risky business. But sometimes you have to risk it all to see what you might find.



December 2013

embrace the JOCO BUBBLE “JoCo Bubble” isn’t as harmful as students complain

gennifergeer sports editor My life sucks. My upper-middle class parents never understand my upper-middle class angst, and I have to pay for my own uppermiddle class car that I have to use to get from my upper-middle class house to my upper-middle class school that just gives me work to prepare me for a stable uppermiddle class job. OK, so I don’t pass rows of abandoned, boarded-up houses to get there. I don’t have to worry about being abducted the moment I leave my home. I don’t have to brace myself for electricity failures and leaky roofs. I don’t have to think about rationing my backpack of weekend food. But I’m still deprived of knowing the hardships of the world and seeing all the tragedies luckier, non-Johnson County kids see everyday. Page designed by Gennifer Geer.

This is life in the JoCo Bubble. So many of my fellow classmates can’t wait to escape it. They’re stuck here under that suffocating shield of security, the forcefield of financial fortification, the defense from domestic despair. That’s not true. We’re not stuck here. We have the most freedom of anyone to leave the caste we’re fortunate enough to have been born into. The Johnson County student can go anywhere. In a small town high school where all funding goes toward buying new football equipment, students are trapped in a blue collar future — if they’re lucky. They can’t afford to leave town because they need to support a family of eight. College is nothing but a fantasy when your high school diploma is null and void. Those people are just as stuck as you are. The only difference is their bubble isn’t soft and permeable — it’s armed with the barbed thorns of poverty and absent opportunities. And those are just the American possibilities. Need I remind you kids in Africa are starving right now? Yes, problems are problems. No one’s life is perfect. That’s just life. But survival as a human being isn’t a

problem in JoCo. Not being able to decide between Starbucks and QuikTrip is hard, but it’s better than not being able to decide between raw spiders or rats. Orthodontic work hurts, but it’s better than a permanent headache from a misaligned jaw. Contacts get dry, but it’s better than going blind from squinting at failing neon signs. Homework, may it die a painful death, is strenuous, but it’s better than depending on government welfare to pay for your high-risk area apartment. I could go on listing alternate realities people face on a daily basis, but we all know they’re out there. We’re not so isolated here that we don’t realize there are people whose top priority isn’t getting the hottest Steve Madden boots. It’s all about perspective. If you insist Johnson County is smothering the life experience out of you, then so be it. You still have your smothering teachers who want you to learn, your smothering friends who want you to have fun and all those smothering possessions that separate you from the rest of the nation. Just know there’s a difference between smothering and strangling.

December 2013





Financial stability does not equate problem-free life

mollyjohnson photographer We live in Johnson County. Because we live in such a nice area, everything’s perfect. None of us have any problems. We’re middle to uppermiddle class, and only lower classes suffer. Right? Wrong. There’s a common misconception that if you’re not a starving child in Africa, then you have nothing to complain about. As we are all aware, “Things could be worse.” I suppose that’s true. Things could be much worse. However, food, shelter, expensive technology and the newest styles are not the only things that determine whether you live a perfect life. As we’ve all been told many times, “Money doesn’t buy happiness,” but for some reason, people still seem to believe that it does. Money does not solve your problems.

Plain and simple. If money solved your problems, buying a $400 phone would give you 50 friends to text. If money solved your problems, paying for 10 months of chemotherapy would ensure there was a 100-percent guarantee your loved one would survive cancer. If money solved your problems, retail therapy would heal your broken heart. But it doesn’t work that way. After spending all that money, you still can be left with no friends. Your loved one can still die. You can still be broken-hearted. Living in Johnson County — even with our plentiful amount of money — doesn’t mean life is perfect. Does having the typical JoCo opulence mean you don’t live in an abusive household? Does drinking clean water mean you’ve never lost a loved one? Does eating three meals a day mean you don’t suffer from depression? Just because someone is spoiled by their parents doesn’t mean their home life is exactly ideal. Two of my best friends are abused. One makes amazing grades, and the other is an incredible athlete. They both have the luxuries that would imply their lives are otherwise perfect. Looking at them, you would

never know the struggles they face at home. Sometimes they do complain about senseless things that would suggest they are just your ordinary, spoiled teenagers. But consider maybe they’re just trying to cover up what’s actually going on. Don’t be so naïve to think because someone has money, they don’t have problems. Living in a better-off county doesn’t mean you’re necessarily happy. Having equal opportunities doesn’t mean you haven’t lost someone close to you. Personally, I’m incredibly thankful to live the way I do. I have clothes on my back, plenty of food and water, a heated house to sleep in and a family that loves me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know what pain is. When it comes down to it, what does it really mean to live in the wealthy Johnson County? Nothing. Most of us in Johnson County have our monetary needs taken care of, but we still have the same emotional struggles as anyone else would. The point of this is not to create a bunch of senseless complaining. But don’t jump to call someone an “ignorant Johnson County kid” because it’s possible they can have something serious going on that you don’t know about. Page designed by Molly Johnson.


outloud December 2013


hipster beanie

hipster glasses

just an excuse to wear ugly sweaters?

hipster library book makaylanicholis staff writer

hipster starbucks cup

hipster oversized sweater

hipster skinny jeans

hipster converse

Starbucks coffee. Pictures taken with your iPhone overlaid with a vintage filter from Instagram. $170 Raybans. Indie music. Smelly moccasins. And the most hideous sweater you could find. Oh, and don’t let me forget what you say: “Don’t worry about it — I’m just a hipster.” Despite seemingly popular belief, the above list does not fulfill your heart’s desire. Your fairy godmother did not hand you a coffee mug, and *POOF* you became a hipster just like that — although it may have taken your godmother to knit such an ugly sweater. You may be surprised to find that being a hipster isn’t what you imagined it to be at all. If you’re really desperate to fit in, no more shopping at American Eagle or Wet Seal — hipsters don’t believe in labeled companies. They like to support their local shops, which, unfortunately, does

not include Target. This also excludes that Starbucks cup you cling to every morning so your sweater doesn’t seem so out of place. If you want to fit in with your desired group, say hello to thrift shops and garage sales because hipsters stand for using the old until the new is completely necessary. Recycling is also a big deal — a huge one actually. Saving the earth is as big of a “yes” as your sweater is a “no.” Don’t litter, take shorter showers and turn off the lights when you aren’t in the room. Just like disliking labeled products, hipsters hate people labels, too. A hipster would never, ever say they were a hipster out loud because that would imply all humans aren’t equal. By now you may have realized that in actuality, the label “hipster” has nearly nothing to do with your appearance. The key to being a hipster lies behind your ideals. If you follow these rules, there’s a possibility you have a shot at becoming one of the increasingly popular hipsters of the world. But if at some point along the way, you realize instead of pretending to be someone else just to fit in you’d rather simply be yourself, then that would be pretty cool, too.

Photo illustration by Mollie Hogan. Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.

December 2013

payin’thebills 13

Flat-rate tuition. Less than two hours away. 9804 W. 130th Street (913) 681-6993 Overland Park, KS 66213


Pittsburg State University • Pittsburg, Kansas

Exp. 12/31/13

Check out our website for updated news coverage, exclusive stories, photos and digital issues of the paper.

Exp. 12/31/13



December 2013

staffeditorial TIGER PRINT newspaper the

co-editors Hailey McEntee Anna Wonderlich photo editors Raine Andrews Alex Kontopanos news editor Sally Cochran

Cartoon by Caroline Kalmus.

30-year plan more important than 4-year plan; high school is not everything staff editorial





The best years of our lives are supposed to be about figuring out who we are and what we’re passionate about. They’re about making our own mistakes and learning from them in our own ways, but when we’re constantly told what to do or how to act, it’s hard to truly define ourselves as individuals. High school, especially in Johnson County, does not teach us what the real world is like. High school does not teach us to make our own mistakes. High school just tells us not to make mistakes. Most of all, high school does not teach us to be passionate. The minute we became freshmen, the idea of the “four-year plan” was pounded into our heads. We

were told to start thinking about what we want to do with our lives and choose classes accordingly. So, in short, “winging it” was not necessarily the best option. Everyone had to know what they wanted to do and how to do it. Otherwise, they were doing it wrong. As freshmen, we were told that honors and Advanced Placement classes are a must. Colleges want to know that we pushed ourselves in high school. Scores and grades are everything. On top of all of that, every student has to get involved in as many extracurricular activities as possible, including community service. When you graduate high school, of course it is absolutely wonderful to have high school courses that correlate to the field you’re going into, or to have multiple honors and AP classes on your transcript, or to have a plethora of extracurricular activities on your resumé. But do those things define

you as a person? Do those things mean you’ve made honest mistakes and learned from them? Do those things mean you’re passionate about anything? Absolutely not. You may have known what you were going to do with your life the second you got into high school. You may have racked up several honors and AP classes on your transcript. And you may have participated in various extracurriculars on the side. If you can handle all of that, more power to you. But make sure you’re doing all of that for yourself. Make sure you are trying things you want to try. Do not do anything you don’t want to do because you feel like you’re expected to. Do what feels right for you. Branch out. Meet new people, and make new friends. Find yourself. Discover what you love to do. Although they are important, scores and transcripts are not everything.

features editor Maddie Jewett entertainment editor Danielle Williams opinion editor Riley Miller sports editor Gennifer Geer

photographers Alyssa Hess Mollie Hogan Molly Johnson Maria Wonderlich cartoonists Caroline Kalmus Kiet Phan staff writers Matt Antonic Rachel Cannon Maddie Davis Sheila Gregory Bridget Howard Meghan Kennedy Rachel Lock Makayla Nicholis Cassie Nichols Tori Pippins Meredith Strickland adviser Michelle Wilmes

The Tiger Print, published seven times a year, 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 are encouraged for publication. The Tiger Print reserves the right to edit all submissions for both language and content. Letters should be submitted to room 450, emailed to or mailed to: The Tiger Print c/o Blue Valley High School 6001 W. 159th Street Overland Park, KS 66085 Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.

Claim to FAME daniellewilliams entertainment editor Fourteen successful albums. Collaborations with some of the biggest names in music. Over 2 million albums sold. Featured music in television, movies and video games. Winner of the Left Field Woodie award at the mtvU Woodie Awards. It is safe to say Tech N9ne has made a prominent name for himself, not only in Kansas City, but all over the country. Aaron Dontex Yantes, the rapper’s birth name, was born Nov. 8, 1971, in Kansas City, Mo. He had somewhat of a rough childhood, never having met his father and growing up with a mother who was suffering from epilepsy and lupus. These challenges forced him to seek God as well as find comfort in music. He began rapping at an early age and was a part of many musical groups before going solo. Tech N9ne is known for his fast, “chopper” style technique of rapping, which is also where his name derived from. Rapper Black Walt gave him the name Tech N9ne, which originated from the Tec-9 semi-automatic handgun, which shoots in a similar style. Blue Valley junior Jerry Birts and senior Michael Birts are the nephews of this famous rapper and know firsthand how successful he has become. “He started in high school with some of his friends and just kind of became big in [Kansas City] and grew from there,” Jerry said. Jerry credits the success of his uncle’s music to its unique sound.

Video Games

Tech N9ne’s music has appeared in video games such as, “Madden NFL 2009”, “EA Sports MMA”, “Midnight Club: Los Angeles”, and “25 to Life.”

December 2013


Famous Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne related to two BV students

“His music was a mixture of rock and rap,” he said. “It was kind of diverse, so more people like it.” One of Jerry’s favorite memories of his uncle was a Christmas a few years back, when he came to his house and spent the holidays with his family. “We just hung out, and it was really fun,” he said. “Everyone enjoyed having him there.” Jerry said he does not usually start conversations with his claim to fame, because it leads to a lot of curiosity among his fellow students. “I told some people, but now everyone seems to know,” he said. “It doesn’t really bother me, but I don’t want all these questions all the time.” According to Jerry, the most common question he gets is if he can get tickets to Tech N9ne concerts. Surprisingly, Jerry himself does not attend his uncle’s concerts. “I don’t go to his concerts,” Jerry said. “I don't really listen to Tech N9ne that much. I listened to him growing up, so I’ve just kind of grown out of it.” Jerry said he shares his uncles connection to music. However, rap isn’t his prefered style. “I can’t really rap in choir,” he said. “I like choir music because I can dance to it, and I like dancing.” Jerry said music runs in the family, and singing is something they all enjoy to do. “My mom was actually a really good singer, too, and they have demo CD’s together,” he said. “She could probably go take it to a company and get signed.” Although Jerry said he wouldn’t consider his uncle a personal inspiration, he realizes how influential his music and story could be to other people. “I would consider him an inspiration to some people because he kind of started from the bottom and has made his way to the top,” he said.



Tech N9ne’s music has appeared in television shows such as “My Super Sweet 16,” “The Hills,” “America’s Best Dance Crew,” “Dark Angel” and various award shows.

Album List

The Calm Before the Storm The Worst Anghellic Absoloute Power Everready (The Religion) Misery Loves Kompany Killer Sickology 101 The Gates Mixed Plate K.O.D. All 6’s and 7’s Welcome to Strangeland Something Else Special Effects


Tech N9ne has worked with numerous well-known rappers such as Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, T-Pain, Jay-Z, Cee Lo Green, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.


Tech N9ne’s music has appeared in movies such as “Alpha Dog”, “Night of the Living Dead”, “Born to Race”, and “Our Heroes: The 25 Best Black Sports Movies.” Caribou Lou Everready: The Religion The Beast Everready: The Relgion Riot Maker Everready: The Relgion Worldwide Choppers All 6’s and 7’s Caribou Lou Everready: The Relgion




December 2013

Blast from the Past bridgethoward staff writer

Pulling shrubs in the yard of his 100-yearold house, history teacher Tony Scardino was enjoying his normal Saturday afternoon. While digging, his shovel hit a piece of metal he later discovered was a 1917 artillery shell. “I found it about [seven] weekends ago,” Scardino said. “I was out removing some shrubs — I call them ‘old lady shrubs’ — that were out front. I was digging out one of the roots and hit part of the shell.” Scardino said he was in shock as he pulled the missile out of the ground. “As I worked, I had found nails from the roof and extra downspouts hidden under the dirt,” he said. “When I looked down, it was round, not like a downspout, so I reached for it and realized what it was.” After carefully laying the missile down across from where he was working in the yard, Scardino ran inside to inform his wife. After explaining what he found, they mutu-

grading your graders

Blue Valley History teacher discovers World War I artifact in backyard

ally decided to call the police. Before the police came, Scardino decided to get a better look at what he actually found. “It was brass-colored, kind of mud-encrusted Scardino because it’s been there since 1917 — that’s a long time,” he said. “It was also corroded in places and was about 20 inches tall. One policeman pulled up and then three police. Then they had to call the bomb squad, and this big RV showed up with ‘bomb squad’ in huge letters written on the side.” The bomb squad determined that the missile was still active, so the surrounding neighbors and the Scardinos themselves were told to evacuate the vicinity immediately. “Before leaving, I asked what was going to happen when we left,” he said. “They said they called the army in from Fort Riley, [Kan.] out by Manhattan, [Kan.], and the FBI was coming, too. After four and a half hours,

I thought surely they must be done. So, we went back around 8:45 [p.m.] As we pulled into our neighborhood, our house was lit up with firetrucks, medics, police cars, the bomb squad and tons of people — it was unbelievable. My house had spotlights on it like there was a killer inside. Finally, after about 30 minutes, I saw guys in bomb suits pick it up and gingerly carry it across the yard and put it in the trailer. And then everybody just kind of disappeared.” Being a history teacher at BV, Scardino said he found it ironic he discovered this huge artifact revolving around a subject he teaches everyday. “The house itself is historical,” he said. “I always thought, ‘Wouldn’t that be cool to live in a historical home?’ But never in my wildest dreams did I think I would.” Although Scardino is not planning on doing any additional digging, he said he believes the house still has some things to give up. “We’ll keep digging,” he said. “I’m digging — not literally, but figuratively.”

Website provides venue for students to “grade” teachers, includes positive, negative comments

sallycochran news editor

“While being hard to deal with, she does teach well.” “Not nice to freshman.” “Maybe not a great teacher, but she certainly wasn't terrible.” “He was very flexible with coming in for help, and he was really easy to talk to.” All of these are real posts referring to Blue Valley teachers on the website On this website, students are able to anonymously rate teachers and post comments about their classes. The website has a considerable section for Blue Valley with 112 teachers rated. However, some of these teachers have retired or are no longer at BV. Students can rate teachers from 0-100 percent based on subscores of easiness, helpfulness and clarity. English Language Arts teacher Kelsey Bakalar, who has a 96 percent rating on the site based off 10 ratings, said she had looked

at the website before. “I probably looked at it once in my first couple of years here,” she said. “Actually, I had a friend send me the link and say, ‘Here, you should look at this.’ I must have [looked myself up], but I don’t remember.” Junior Morgan Holland said she thought some of the ratings are skewed due to the difficulty of the class. “I disagreed on [math teacher Kyle] Braden’s and [chemistry teacher Neerav] Shah’s [ratings] because how hard the class is made their ratings go down,” she said. “But, I like them as teachers.” Bakalar said she is unsure about the site’s reputability due to its anonymity. “I’m always wary of anything that’s posted without someone’s name,” she said. “If the question was ‘Do I value student and parent feedback?’ — absolutely. I’m constantly trying to be my best. But I feel like this situation, I kind of have to take with a grain of salt.” Holland hadn’t heard of the website previously but said she might use it in the future. “There’s a possibility [that I’d use the

website] if I really wanted to know about the teacher,” she said. Holland said the website is relevant because the quality of a teacher can be a deciding factor in choosing your schedule. “It all depends on the teacher if you’re on the borderline of dropping the class,” Holland said. The BV District has blocked this website on all computers. “I think [blocking the website] makes sense,” Bakalar said. “Is Facebook blocked during the day and other social media sites? Looking at this is of no academic value.” Bakalar said she thinks the website would be more useful at the college level. “I think in college, this would be a very valuable tool because you can select your professors,” she said. “But, I feel like in high school, since you can’t choose your teachers, it kind of defeats the purpose. Plus, I think every student is different, so one student getting on [the website] and saying that I’m either fabulous or horrible isn’t necessarily indicative of another student’s experience.” Page designed by Sally Cochran.

going the distance

Two seniors maintain relationship despite living in separate states Pages 17-19. Story by Meghan Kennedy. Page designed by Meghan Kennedy and Anna Wonderlich. Photos courtesy of Melissa Wilson.

December 2013

upclose 17



In the midst of purchasing their first house together in Lincoln, Ne., where they plan on living until they’re 100 years old, they are eager to start their lives together. She wakes up in the morning, pours a cup of morning coffee and gives him a kiss before he heads off to work. Debating whether the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers or University of Michigan Wolverines have a better football team will forever fill their morning conversations. Thirteen years ago, the summer before their freshman year of high school, both of their lives changed for the better. Flashback 10 years.


Flying back and forth between Kansas and Arizona to see a significant other would typically weaken a relationship, but they make it work. Every two months, they reunite in each other’s home town. Playing basketball, attending baseball games, and watching movies consume the majority of their dates. Already talking about their future, they plan to attend college together and marriage is definitely a possibility. Flashback three years.



A casual trip to Scottsdale, Az., to visit her old neighbor, turned into a trip she’ll never forget. They went on their first date, had their first kiss and said they liked each other. On July 10, 2010, they officially started dating who would end up being their high school sweetheart, possible future spouse, and they have never looked back ...



December 2013

a 1195.6-mile relationship


Student at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Az., senior Thomas Wright met Blue Valley senior Melissa Wilson through her old neighbor, DMHS junior Maddie Hayes, who moved to Arizona. “I dated her friend Maddie at like the beginning of eighth grade and started talking to Melissa as a friend,” he said. “Maddie and I broke up, so Melissa and I got a little more serious. Then we finally got to meet each other, and I haven’t looked back.” Wilson said she started talking to Wright before she actually met him. “We just started talking on Facebook one day because we were both commenting back and forth on my friend’s picture,” she said. “He then just chatted me on Facebook and gave me his number, and then we started texting. Then, we eventually Skyped, and we just started talking more and more, but he had a girlfriend at that time. He dated my friend, and then started dating this other girl.


Wilson said the hardest part of their relationship is being so far away from each other. “It’s hard not being able to see him all the time and not being able to know what’s going to happen in the future,” she said. “We talk a lot, so I trust him no matter what. We talk on the phone a couple times a day, and we text non-stop. We Skype almost every single night. Sometimes we watch movies over Skype or hang out, it just depends.” Wilson said she sees Wright in person every two months or so. “It doesn’t feel like anything has changed


Wilson said their relationship has made her more cautious of her actions and realize how they might impact someone else. “In a way, this relationship has made me not only think about myself, but now I have to think about two people,” she said. “Since we’re far away, I can’t just go out and party all I want because I know I have someone who cares about me and wants the best for me. I also have to think about how he feels about what I do before I do it.” Wright said Wilson has left a positive impact on his life. “There isn’t a single way this relationship

Then, we started getting feelings for each other during their relationship. Once we met, everything just clicked.” Wright said they were dating in secret for a while, but made it official after the first date. “We started talking in 2009, but we officially started dating on July 10, 2010,” he said. “When I first met Melissa, I knew we would start dating. I just figured I would go as long as we could do it because I don’t really like short relationships, and look where we are now. I told my mom first, and she thought I was crazy, but then I told my dad and he just chuckled, I guess. Obviously, they didn’t think it would last, but I knew I cared about Melissa so much. Now, my parents are supportive of all my decisions.” Wilson said she talked to her parents about the idea of a long-distance relationship once she and Wright became serious. “We talked about it to make sure I could

handle it if I got my heart broken,” she said. “I feel like everyone thought it was really weird. Like, ‘You can’t get a guy here’ kind of thing. They all really like him now and they’re all really supportive of us. [My parents] let me go down to see him whenever I want, and he can come up whenever he wants.” Wright said their first date wasn’t awkward at all. “I was just super nervous,” he said. “I didn’t know how I would act or how things would go or if she would like me and still think I was good-looking. Melissa was visiting Maddie, and our first date was upstairs in Maddie’s media room. It was funny because Maddie’s little sister had a crush on me, so she would not leave us alone. Oh, and we watched ‘Insidious’ on our first date — don’t listen to her if she told you ‘127 Hours.’”

when I see him,” she said. “It’s like we picked up right where we left off. I still always get really nervous and have butterflies when I see him, like it’s the first time I’m meeting him all over again.” Wilson said it’s hard to not have Wright live near her, especially when school dances come around. “It’s really hard because I want to be able to experience those things and have fun,” she said. “At the same time, I don’t want to hurt his feelings by going without him.” Wright said they have so many great

memories together that it’s hard to pick a favorite. “We have so much fun together,” he said. “Our first date was awesome, and our first kiss on that date was even better. The way we just hang out and make each other laugh so hard is unbeatable. Oh, and making her laugh so hard she peed. When we see each other it’s the best feeling in the world. You can’t even imagine. It’s hard not being able to have that relationship we have non-stop. I would be at her house every single day if I could.”

has made my life worse,” he said. “She’s made me nothing but happy from day one. If I have a bad day at baseball, she makes it better and makes me feel like the best player in the world. She’s made me a better person in every way possible.” Wright said his favorite part about Wilson is how she treats him. “She does all the little things for me,” he said. “She does absolutely everything for me. I can truly call her my best friend. She has taught me to show your loved ones every day that you love them. If there is someone who you care about, let them know.”

Wilson said this relationship has taught her to be more honest. “I think we’ve both become more patient because we have no choice,” she said. “I’ve learned to be honest about everything, especially who I’m with. It’s really important to be honest because it makes you stronger. When you lie about things, it just makes a situation worse. Sometimes it’s hard to trust him just because I’m not there all the time, and I don’t know what’s going on. But then, I know I can trust him with everything, and I know he would tell me everything just like I would do for him.”

December 2013



(Left) After attending senior Thomas Wright’s high school baseball game, Wright and senior Melissa Wilson pose for a picture. (Center) All dressed up, seniors Thomas Wright and Melissa Wilson pose before an anniversary dinner. (Right) While senior Melissa Wilson visits boyfriend senior Thomas Wright, they watch an Arizona Diamondbacks game. Photos courtesy of Melissa Wilson.


Wright said they have talked about their future together, and marriage is a common topic. “I know I’m going to marry her,” he said. “I love Melissa so much. No word in the dictionary could describe the way I feel about her. She’s so amazing, and she makes me so happy all the time. Even when we fight and argue, I know she’s the one no matter what.” Wilson said they’re like an old married couple. “We fight all the time,” she said. “We fight probably every day about stupid stuff for, like, an hour or so. But, then we’re done, and

it’s like we never fought. He’s just a genuine person. He’s really sweet, and he has a really great personality. He’s just so much fun to be around.” Wilson said she plans on following Wright wherever he plans on attending college. “For college, it kind of just depends on where he is going to play baseball,” she said. “We’ve talked about marriage, and I think it’s going to happen. I don’t think anyone is surprised that we want to get married. They know how happy he makes me and how good we are for each other, and they can see

us together in the long-run.” Wright said there is no doubt in his mind their relationship will last. “We’re going to be together for a very long time,” he said. “Next year, Melissa and I will be at either [the University of Kansas] or [the University of] Nebraska, depending on baseball stuff. It’s really cool that she is more than willing to follow me for baseball. Oh, and we always argue about [the University of] Nebraska and [the University of] Michigan, especially in football, and how ‘Nebrasketball’ would beat [the University of Kansas] nine out of ten times.”

How well do you know your significant other? What is their...

Thomas’ answers about Melissa:

Melissa’s answers about Thomas

Favorite Food? Favorite TV Show? Favorite Musical Artist? Favorite Holiday? Favorite Season? Favorite Sports Team? Favorite Soft Drink? Favorite Color? Birthday? Middle Name?

1. Steak — Chinese 2. “Gossip Girl” — “Grey’s Anatomy” 3. Jason Aldean 4. Christmas 5. Fall 6. The University of Kansas Jayhawks 7. Coke 8. Pink 9. Feb. 27 10. Anne

1. Chinese —Mom’s spaghetti and meatballs 2. “Sports Center” — “South Park” 3. Chief Keef — Logic 4. Christmas 5. Summer — Winter 6. The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers 7. Lemonade because he doesn’t drink soda 8. Red 9. April 22 10. Flavel


Score: 8/10, 80%

Score: 6/10, 60%

20 upclose

December 2013

Spreading the


Teachers use new forms of communication to remind, inform students meredithstrickland staff writer It’s a typical Sunday night, and you’re finishing up the homework you procrastinated on all weekend long. Your phone rings, and you read the message — it’s a text from your English Language Arts teacher reminding you about a quiz tomorrow. However, your teacher isn’t directly texting you, but rather using a Remind101 account number. Remind101 is a website that allows groups to contact each other via text and email without revealing personal phone numbers. Unlike usual text messages, Remind101 does not allow students to reply to the text a teacher sends. ELA teacher Ryan Mahoney uses the website to deliver messages to his classes about upcoming assignments and deadlines. He said he thinks it has been successful so far. “I use Remind101 because, whether we like it or not, students communicate mostly with their mobile devices in 2013-14,” Mahoney said. “We can’t pretend like students won’t need to know how to communicate with their mobile devices and through social media. I use it in order to communicate with the students in the most appropriate and efficient manner possible while also keeping clear barriers between myself and the students.” Mahoney also has a Twitter account and a Remind101 group for girls basketball to keep in touch for upcoming events. Students from Mahoney’s class receive text messages in advance of certain events coming up. “I like Remind101 because if you forget [deadlines], he reminds you,” sophomore Tyler Maupin said. “It’s helpful.” Other Blue Valley teachers use different forms of social media to communicate with their students. Page designed by Meredith Strickland.

Math teacher Jonathan Jost said Twitter is a large social media site many teenagers use to keep up with their friends, but he uses it along with SchoolCenter to communicate with students. “I do like the fact that if a student has a question, they can just post to my Twitter, and I can see it,” Jost said. “I think it is probably the best way I can communicate with students. They are already on it all of the time, and it is so easy for me to use.” Jost posts every homework assignment on Twitter for his student followers to check on if they ever forgot or were absent. “I find it helpful [when Jost uses Twitter],” sophomore Gracie Goheen said. “And, he posts funny things. I missed school one time, so I just checked Twitter.” Both Mahoney and Jost said they do not believe teachers should be required to use a program besides SchoolCenter but think using social media is a great tool to help students learn about responsibility. Moodle is an installed online website teachers may use to deliver different assignments to students. Students will also be eligible to turn in essays or assignments to teachers through Moodle. Another form of connection for teachers and students is Edmodo. Edmodo is a website and application for mobile devices that allows for connection by posts. On Edmodo, students can see their grades and progress. Edmodo is similar to Facebook, not only in the way it works, but also the setup. Social Studies teacher Brian Mowry uses Edmodo to keep students aware of upcoming deadlines and to communicate. “Edmodo is a website that connects,” Mowry said. “It connects teachers. I can collaborate with [teachers] and find good resources from their stuff.”

December 2013

What do you think about these forms of communication being used by teachers?

Edmodo Edmodo is a website to connect others and share research. “[Edmodo is] really helpful. It is all on one [page], so I just have to scroll through. [Social studies teacher Brian Mowry] posts YouTube and podcast links. He can also send us messages. The one thing I dislike about Edmodo is that I am not reminded about it, so I won’t check it sometimes.” ­—senior Russell Adams “I like [Edmodo] a lot. It holds all of the assignments because it is all on one thing. [Mowry] also posts YouTube and podcasts which is really helpful. I don’t think there are any disadvantages to Edmodo.” —senior Jack Beardslee

Twitter Twitter is a social media website that allows people to tweet information, pictures and links in 140 characters or less. “I check [math teacher Jonathan Jost’s] Twitter whenever I need to find the homework. It’s really helpful, especially because it’s on such a common app.” —sophomore Austin Bade





Remind101 is a free website that allows teachers to contact students and parents without revealing any personal contact information. “I think it’s really helpful, and I know a lot of kids forget to write in their planner. People will always have their phones, so it’s easier to remember when you get the messages.” —sophomore Natalie Rapken “I like [Remind101] because it sends the messages to your phone. I always have my phone, so I will always know what I have to do. It helps remind me of stuff I need to remember or get done.” —sophomore Kyle Gadberry

Moodle is a website formed to be a learning platform where you can turn in assignments and view upcoming events. “I don’t like [Moodle]. I guess it helps with links, but its really obnoxious, especially trying to find everything. We’re also expected to check it all the time, but who really is going to do that?” —senior Logan McMurphy “I like Moodle because it posts the events throughout the next, like, month. I dislike how hard it is to upload my assignments on to Moodle.” —senior Cathrine Hapke

Page designed by Meredith Strickland.



December 2013

move on

ready to

rachellock staff writer Senior year. We’ve all thought about it at one time or another. Saying goodbye to high school, going off to college. Senior picnic, senior prom. Being the oldest at the school. And finally, graduation. This is the normal route students at Blue Valley take, but this semester, a few students will be leaving early, including senior Jenny Burge. Burge said she wants to graduate early so she can start college. “I want to go for cosmetology,” she said. “I’m looking at a few schools, but I’m not set on one yet.” Counselor Sandy Fryer said graduating early is just a matter of getting all your requirements in by completing seven credits each year until your senior year as well as taking virtual or summer courses. “If a student has the mindset that they want to leave early or they’ve taken all they want to do here, and they are ready to move on, then they can do that,” she said. “They do have to have a meeting with us, and parents have to be involved. We have to document what their plans are.” While this seems simple, Fryer said there are a few details that need to be worked out in the student’s schedule. “One thing we have to work through is how to get a full year of English in one semester,” she said. “But we do have three different senior English classes, so typically they take two [for one semester]. It’s just planning ahead and making sure you have all your requirements met and your overall credits met.” Burge said she is concurrently enrolled in two English Language Arts classes and took two summer classes. “I didn’t have enough credits to just graduate by a semester, so I had to do two summer classes, and that was kind of difficult to be around friends and everything,” Burge said. “Some classes you have to do the fivemonth course but in two months, so it is just

a lot of extra work.” Another problem Burge said she had with this process is her schedule. “I have to take a full schedule, and, if I wasn’t graduating early, I could have done two shortened schedules,” she said. “Since I was home-schooled before [this year], I’m not used to coming for seven hours, so I’m exhausted. But it’s not too bad.” Burge said there are definitely benefits of graduating early. “The best [aspect] is that there are so many things I don’t have to do because I’m graduating early,” Burge said. “Like in my full English classes, I don’t have to do the second semester stuff, so I get to miss out on all of that, which is really nice.” Fryer said she doesn’t recommend graduating early unless there are special circumstances. “In general, I would encourage students to stay for their entire senior year just because they might have regrets if they don’t,” she said. “And there are a lot of fun activities — meaningful activities — but [students] are always welcome back even if they graduate in December. They are always welcome to come back and go to Prom [and attend] the senior picnic. They can always come back to do those things.” Burge said she will be starting college this January or February. “The fact that I could start college early [motivated me] because [cosmetology] is really what l have a passion for,” she said. Fryer said there are sometimes special circumstances that require students to graduate early. “For some, it is a good plan because they are ready to move on — maybe their family is moving,” she said. “I’ve had that happen, and so they want to be able to move with their family and then wrap up here. Sometimes they are ready to go on to college, so it’s a good option for some.” Fryer also said though students might not know they want to do this as a freshmen, four-year planning can help a student see where they can fit all their credits. “You would have to make sure you have gotten all your requirements in — any

Student, counselor discuss pros, cons of early graduation electives, classes that might get you closer to a career — you just have to plan ahead,” she said. “I would recommend you see your counselor as soon as you have this thought [to graduate early] to map it out.” Burge said she decided to graduate early at the end of last year. “I know of some people who graduated early, and I already knew what I wanted to do for college,” she said. “I always hang out with older people, so they are all graduated. So, I feel like I’m behind almost.” Fryer said this process works very well if the student is motivated. However, she said she still has her doubts about how this might affect the student. “Well, you shortcut a little bit on that fourth math or maybe that extra science, so you would want to be sure you are not just rushing through everything because then you are not going to be ready for college,” Fryer said. “But, at the same time, if your heart isn’t in being here to take more electives and you are ready to move on to college, then you are going to be more motivated. So, it’s a case-by-case [situation] — our fear is that someone is just rushing through, doesn’t like high school, isn’t engaging and then it would affect your [college] readiness.” Burge said she feels very ready for college and is only worried about her preparation for her career. “My cosmetology school is not even for a year, depending on how fast I go through it,” she said. “I’m going to be really young, and I’ll be ready to go to my career field at 18. I’ll just be pretty young when starting everything, but I’m kind of an old soul.” Burge said her family, friends and teachers were very impressed by her decision and fully support her. Fryer said she believes having this option at BV is beneficial to the students. “I think one of the nice things about Blue Valley is that there always is options,” she said. “We try to be flexible and consider each student and what is best for them. We don’t have this cookie-cutter formula that everybody has to do. The benefit is that we are listening to you. We are trying to help you be successful here — whatever that might take.” Page designed by Rachel Lock and Sally Cochran.

December 2013



maturing for motherhood: Pages 23-27.

Story by Maddie Jewett. Interview by Meghan Kennedy and Maddie Jewett. Pages designed by Hailey McEntee. Photos by Raine Andrews and Alex Kontopanos.


17-year old girl and her ex-boyfriend ride up the elevator at the hospital along with the girl’s mom. Floor by floor, the emotion and anxiety grows in all three of them. Taking a deep breath, the three sit in the waiting room, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Silence. The ticking of the clock fills the room. Tears well up in her mother’s eyes. The future seems terrifying. Hands shaking and lumps in their throats, the three simply watch, speechless, as the doctor opens

the door and walks into the room. He sits down and looks at the three of them with concern and hope in his eyes. “You’re pregnant.” Her mother cries. The baby’s father, nervous, can’t stop talking. Meanwhile, senior Amelia Sargent slumps down in her chair. Mouth slightly open. Heart pounding out of her chest. Completely shocked. Story continued on page 24.



December 2013

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act n n Two pou Sargent was bor the hospital, but hout n sh g in w u n a n o e r r D h o th Tilly f her e day w s not b o a n e o w v e d ti h r n s h o ie r, upp Howeve ut with her boyfr ething wasn’t rig NS ll been s a O I e v S a I ir h e m o C o s th g s d E helpin gin ew bort was han ONS, Dents, family and frien y and kn ent said it wasn’t e,” I a oose to a n d h S a I c e e s v th C n a t e E h rg ou D t to nt te wors par through ater although Sa f pregna chose no orse and said her o e t t w h n n g s e e g c in r r id w a tt e a like, S 35 p ent s drinking mps just kept ge h my dad, I was t it ncy. g, about regnancies. Sarg a r n n e .o g h e a e it r r ic W c w p o “ h p id. the “The , let’s jus e car g to proc with the d,” she sa ally against like, ‘No got in th in t I s m e ju y m s Accordin an go through a ti m e so much ew re r ssed By the ther th efs. so bad.’ H st yelling and in at it w itely cro parents a a li n r y e ts fi r s b e m u ie r d t h e b u it a h is B ju b h ut of as nt. — th at was w because ortion, b o differe ep the baby].” ome, I w abortion er believed in ab igh school, it’s s ’t think th lled into their le way h e n o k h id w to d [ I h d g . h in early — ther pu t “I’ve nev go throu the baby ecially in e make up my m It was so argent and her fa eaks], it does no d to keep since you have to you, esp m te to n d s a e n w S lp br e o e s e r r p a h h b u te s t y o s a It hap ll if y . w Ju a e n e ’s to e r that happ oman of up r decid a d e w d to g n h a a t t in in a , n k s le o e u th ’s h e ll to r it , de it, hen “[W com o d fo said Lyn f like, ‘You know nt even w uper har two little sisters s a n h g s e u r Sargent p o p get hway. my had to just kind om and r girls to to the hig I wa n m fo o y le t “He was id. e M . ib g . s te y s e a s . r w po mes reaming off, and it she sa lief, it is nt failure ad takes eet] exit, I was sc t so bad. I all of it,” y to common be 18 perce id they believed d e y g a m r e v r a u sa 9th [Str Contrar ss ush!’ It h s have an on. . Sargent at the 17 ! Don’t p olding her.’ It wa in ntracepti ov, male condom used a condom h e s o c v u f ti p c o ’t a n m y o h is .g b th ’s d c a for ‘D e ’t n d , b h n c g ie r ‘S e id in g to of h .Id boyfr like, Accordin and the father rt so bad her new and was u , d e h id e a t m ll s s . a t y e c ju a c e h s d an sh t ember. It hway an le pregn however, She said y curren don’t rem e side of the hig ] chest to get t a possib ating Lyndell — aid. “[M s n t, e e h v h g e s r u ” p , o ’s th by st th ve to ger d would over onto shing on [the ba ldn’t say anyt ss we ha ] definitely at fir y found is no lon u ou e p uch unle c ts Sargent s n th m I a e . t e r w e a c a n d p th th an head. brea . [His ’t . But o y talk life. ] 8 n ll ’s y 1 a ld y b e ’s ’s a b u r e It a b o ’t h . ough my ly n [ c b r n is t is o s — ] th h d her ll ju g ] ts s e I e a n d in h e d w n o S an par l, it absolute t than [Ly as even g “[Lyndell sn’t live with his g a pregnant gir ere more othing w he was out, I had h N e n p o ti u d a to skin, ’s ] d e d s s H elly, skin om] d boyfrien found out he wa K, that’s good.’ b the time y y m B n ey ing her o was a m re like, ‘O when th just hold . [The fact that I , they we ’t n s a w y r a out it e it.” really sc e — I lov awesom

December 2013



g out,” s freakin nd [the a w I w o a h lling her my mom te. a letter te this out.’ So, me, r la e s h a g w in d o writ nd figure so I was doctor a e he time, th to o lkers. He ed to g gnant].” rvous ta e e r K, we ne n p e s s a o w f th at I e’s one o d out [th s. lking. H ta t w e p e n k e t out th — he jus shut up im.” wouldn’t iet when I told h qu as really


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pr to b peop d to be remaSince the feel like I have om a few l that ha fr ir s g e r e as born p ly ta th e s w s it g y y n b a in fi a v e b lw o d a r r I p “ as he got disap cy since zy — I w RTH been cra she occasionally ing her pregnan t s ju aid. “At r ol,” she s ks from t said rgent all du o n a c e m S s g r . r e e a ly r p S e e u v s is y th loo yed relati n the wa m cramps dy there ot some mach sta everybo y’s, I definitely g the car o to o s d d in n n a a y p , r ll e ] a e g y tu to k ettin nd Fredd y Academ being a told her he was g turely. lue Valle orking at Sonic a et used to it.” t part of B s [ he said s d her mom, who e d to r a o h g g w “I ou the alle fine. But me. atever. Y r Tilly has been ht. She c a.m.] to go ho ol, it was I care — it’s wh ramps. d o c fo e h e d k c e s il th e from 9 [ n m y h I a t e s . d k a d li e ll a r a w b t, ng wit b l o u o o e o hard, ht n cho “It was s people. B said pumping th spital rig So, the It’s not to I “I go to s o . . p h id e m a she said. s t u th p n e e o sh go Sarg thinks.’ d to go to ke that, s my life,” e day to , ‘We nee d see what Mom I was in labor. kes over ghout th work and stuff li r so far. u ta e o r it th th o — n t s m a s u e e a cow leave cla ave hom go home didn’t know it, b “I feel lik e st have to cademy doesn’t h w ju I — d n in a a , .] h hp eA spital. to 3 [p.m ially because th ” g out wit at the ho . s e y I k a “ o d . r c d of han ” t. r . e id b s a e t in a p r a a h s s k th h f e te t e t a o , s w h u y s e w y o ju ll rea som ies,” jorit and ry ab ay, her the mov sty — it was large ma out 5:30 [p.m.] still have he comes e to wor a v I in r drivew a s , s h o d e S n o ’t “ e n d . p a o b s a d aid rs ke it er n said she spital] at re,” she s t all [afte happen li n, and it was sup e van. So then Sargent to the ho r a little bit befo ’t have any life a [ a e th v m e to e o r c e in th y n fo oke in packing me we w “I usuall tor exe — I wo y friends by the ti we’re all t the doc d and m e she comes hom am u e n b r ie c , s y fr a s y out, and 9th [Street], and a D o w r as my b 19 now befo my mom looked over Christm any I live off life right ead,’ and home on d h a a e f e d m o y th o ff from m c l m o e t n to fe I u e d c ‘I , — Th g te e . r ic k in be red as li ushed ght he home].” ostly by Tilly is p ed and p lled r. ow I cau nancy, m g e rgent said ady to go soone just push n’t even know h then, we had pu r a le, like, p S ts re ed p o rstandab at By e g I do e e . b . s n d g y a t n r to h in n a u c r n o c e ’s e s s fr — it’s ha so d it app the pects h said. “An y that I lost them y to lue. s really h om leaned over id her life b a e a s h w n s t r n it ” . e tu k le g r ll p to hin Sa bus ym ng p eo t rea s. unch of lance. M se she was starti e. It’s no atever — I’m too able to g. d b n n in a fi k ie is to fr in h g r th e an ambu in hic as be cau wh of h iends, w pped talk ht. And it’s eathe be what I w . I won’t her to br on’t even know ight now e yet, so I haven’t “I just sto lost a bunch of fr g out anymore. ink straig r th le n c e ir v c e l st d k to ad. I or han er. I was not hom the socia a little thing. I ju too much shoc I’m not m don’t really talk me and h ny. It was so out of . Right now, she’s out with friends d t s n in u ju t e o s r w m a ju t ti I’ ng w.” ore m. I was just tha going on OK. She was so t and ha all about her no gs anym with the hat was as keep up nage, illegal thin . I can still go ou ’s w It e to . h e s y o idea w r e o tr r m g make su d do tee lfish any verythin trying to ross my mind.” go out an pletely give up e rent. I can’t be se c e m en had to co efinitely a lot diff didn’t ev ’s d it t u b , bit Story continued on page 26.



December 2013

keep her ON CTION ecision to E d E L in r l R F e Y o h E U o C T R h h N it h sc THE FU happy w REGNA from hig lly ING ON TEEN P said while she is raduate g . to don’t rea ts s e FOCUS n r time w reg ebody I argent he pla e s S fe m m o a a id s s a e s e h v t a it th h Sargen l around I’m going to baby, she does gret is sleeping w ith schoo if re er. t w w b s e o e m ughter. g n n e o k ig c d e b ’t D “My ut her da opens her Com“I don , I’ll be o . y b ty ll a id n a u g fu s e o . e in p C h she “Ho eryth e said home,” s p with [Johnson online love,” sh said she loves ev she said. “When r they end up to come ke some tu r ta lo ” , t t ta o s s s n c e e r ju y t g she gets o e a r ff I’ll Sa wh etty he mester o ht away. If I do, gy.” ait to see etty dark blue. S really pr s w lo , a y o ’t h it n n e a il h take a se c c h ig ib S I r s te r “ . ] n p s ir was e ic o a u y g g p o h ll e s e lo a ll r e o io fr e a re ir. He e gorg ’r a ’r y h y e e h th munity C nt to go into rad hole new level o c th u , w s eye a bit. t no so m wa aw up quite ause righ is good. She has ding. c d n e e a b classes. I h two jobs and n m g te e I h in d t u h be lig too Sonic], b me, whic was born — it’s Even wit r schedule isn’t oks like dy’s and uld just be too e d e h lo .” e h s r o e of her F n id to e a h s th r, the futur at wo t fatte [at bo rker w gle r a e lo g th Sargent e d fo a e y ju t s s n lo u lo to e m a p a a c tt d e m o r re es and d “I’m an e ork right now b e it would be ha ds have g n’t she Her han said she has hop so it was lik yw , s ll ll d a e n tu w . “I hope u c t o a id u s t a o s n It e d “ e g e . h r don’t s n a id n S hy,” eday was pla argent sa and healt e right guy som g r. e r in te a much,” S but my schedule h w c g o g r u th g da g, in takin he stays she finds everythin huge help “I hope s friends. I hope a ” . e y b il in the l m il fa t w children ave a e righ of h e r s th ] too bad.” said her mother . o k s d e k n m e a ic g [ w p h vin few down wit possibility of ha es home Sargent the first to settle she com take off ywhere, e n n th a to e h e said. “I y o id g w a tr s ’t ture,” sh ink about rgent slim. ent of Tilly oing to e I can a g fu s g S is r u e a e is a S r c th ] ” e , tu e m b in even th istant fu ve kids “[My mo ly comes home] e she comes hom her. My near or d really want to ha y in the future to more — no Til nc of o e e r c e a r n c e o [ a h g ’t w k w n t e one ge t’s any takin wor “I do , but tha uld just be mayb can’t go ntil I can rd, at home th ] u a e s e ly b k d il e T to e [ to g w o a r h w and goin love he nd that w e first fe g. It’ll be , I’m just g sex. re kids. A me for th w what I’m doin o lp said. “So m e y h n ens havin t having a a to te o g r n e ” in k t. o th a ’t g o n re to n th mom is ause I do ad’s nt to reg more tha offers her advice ies, Sarof it bec don’t wa than likely, the d regnanc u t p o fe n Y n e li “ e g r . r e te a the hang id h t S s re sa of do it.” with mo love. Mo ou’ll have a split l aspect o it,” she but I can oney is an issue out the financia “Don’t d ebody you don’t .Y e nd r tu ic out it. A the p ied ab h som r in r it While m e o g s w u w in y a t e tupid ab aised to wait b c s o b a e n e b b p b u y is a ’t e d n w h n o s y d sr an g to e gent said ent. sex], but as alway ntil hone my kids not goin m er-spoil ’s not getting a p at, an [have e the person. I w I’d say to wait u o c p u u m s o e Y to . th y d s v e il at s th te h that e lo m n S g u h y a “ g fa . ll it in w I er . So, e said aby w ou rea not do d h b y s a a e h m ” , r to g I’ I u ts “I’ve nev s s a h in d r — v e is e e at eb mak K ha go back dIw ff like th hat she n ve a e days ar riage, an e sure you’d be O hile] I wouldn’t t it’s r a m l a kids thes teenager. Just stu her not getting w ti h k W un ut ople who ’s a asy — bu appen. [ , and ma until she ave to worry abo I know some pe s really nice. u’re sure ething were to h not going to be e o y t’ h a nd som itely us, so th nd so I don’t life. My mom a person if things, it’s defin n getting howers a d e s o e y o b e b g g e a a n b ’v a e y hav from at the and ch h of stuff f stuff th .” bunch o ve gotten a bunc worth it n I’ e th d n A that.” stuff like

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December 2013



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ows, , who kn d n A . s n ctio the for her a ther girls along o ponsible s r ing in e s r fo s e le le b b is a ave to examp ly h il n a T to t e g u b b in to d, go ’ll be able hould have waite t your aybe she s u I m o e d b n y u a fo ay, ‘M hen you way to s action w e r r u o ” ’ . y s ghter? y life ted. : What wat? randdau isappoin r m n g d r io s u t a o matter o s w y e I r Qu ngry. n afte pes fo pecial. N egnan a e s o r s h p o a Th s r s . w u a s d I o g n w y a t. r in se are daughte e’s loved take.” I was up me and change th er. Babies are Q: What know sh , she’s not a mis “At first to ti : th r r e e in g e h k to t w c n ld a s is An go b do th A: “I wa ame into this wor we could ‘We can c ge? I wished hock, I was like, how she re marria ls fo ia e it b x before in x e e s th know se ws on Tilly? I ’” . f e ie d o v k n r e a ta r u , a is o n c ey ke an and a istia not a m What ar : to ed a Chr ated sex for a m ows that, Amelia ta g Q is g a in r in o d g lp e n n a born lia kn ord cre nning o you be h r A: “I was appens, but the L rried. I know Ame future. Sex is uch will and is pla eks. Afte h a r e e Q: How m ill have graduated the first couple we ends. Her are m t in h marriag aw for eek hen they nue on with tha an for w A: “Ameli probably be home weeknights and w e home during ti m n o o c w ill e ll lb pe she w ecial thing.” JCCC. I’ ly be home on th night, so he wil ely have to be and I ho sp a t n it e a g sex? o n b s fi k ll , wor e’ll de regardin osed to t] that, I’ h p s n ls p e t ir u g u g s r b a e , S g g ena ug [ u will .” ethin dad, Do y no. Yo ave for te a eds som f little miss Tilly h s e u n d o n e y a h s o if stand up advice d g care o the days for takin Q: What yourself enough to r if you do this.” h her? le c a ib s te n l o il p yw res ct late regnanc ch her A: “Respe urself much more melia’s p ould tea wait A w e ] o y p y c o t n h c a to gn respe do you [her pre ld learn Q: What she wou sibility. She’s e is that p e o p h o h y I m t. n ss A: “I gue s are very importane. That’s a big respo g ie b ia a r r b a that re m g sex befo in havin

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December 2013

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alyssahess staff writer & photographer Can you imagine telling your mom you have decided to go to college in a completely different country? What would her reaction be? Would she cry? Scream? Think you were completely out of your mind? This is an extremely similar conversation that former Blue Valley foreign exchange student Ani Mamisashvili had with her mother not too long ago. The thing is — she wasn’t out of her mind or joking around in any way at all. Mamisashvili was a foreign exchange student from Georgia who came to BV last year as a senior. She is back in the United States going to college at Johnson County Community College (JCCC). She said she thinks it’s a good fit for now, but she plans on going to a bigger

Former BV foreign exchange student returns for American college education, continues living with host family

university later. “I’m taking general education classes now — Composition 1, Pre-Calc, Psychology and Russian,” she said. “For my Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree, I want to do International Law.” Mamisashvili is in International Club and a Bible Study group called Intervarsity Club at JCCC. She said she tries to volunteer sometimes, too. “I’m trying to get a job, but since I’m here on student visa, I can only work on campus,” she said. “It’s kind of hard to find a job on campus.” Along with many other things, Mamisashvili said a main reason for coming back to the United States was BV. “Blue Valley is the one that taught me all this educational system,” she said. “People were so nice in Blue Valley — everybody was so friendly. If I didn’t have such a good experience in high school, I don’t think I’d want to come back.” She said she tries to keep in touch with last year’s high school friends, but they all went to college, so she doesn’t see them much. She said her family back in Russia was OK with her coming back to the United States. “They were missing

me for the whole year, so they were very happy to see me,” she said. “They obviously didn’t want to let me go again, but they know it’s for a good purpose and for my, hopefully, good career.” She said she wants to visit Georgia within the next 18 months. “I have a five-year visa, so I’m thinking about going next summer or next winter,” she said. She is living with the same host family — Michael, Amy and Kaylee Morbeck — as she was last year. They said they are blessed to have her back with them this year. “She is an amazing girl, so to hear that she was able to come back to America for college made me so happy I cried — happy tears that is,” host mother Amy said. “It was not easy for her to come back, so I also felt very, very proud of her.” Amy said she has seen improvement in Mamisashvili’s English, but other than that, she hasn’t changed much. “That’s one of the great things about Ani — she is always authentically herself,” Amy said. “She’s always been outgoing and funny and insightful, so she hasn’t really changed a lot.” Mamisashvili said she and her host family do many fun things together. “We go to lots of festivals,” she said. “Everything I do is so fun because they’re so awesome, and I’m so thankful for them. I’m so lucky they got to choose me. The way we support each other and love each other is awesome.” (Top) Sticking out her tongue, former Blue Valley foreign exchange student Ani Mamisashvili sits with her host family for a funny photo. (Bottom left) Smiling with her host family, Mamisashvili poses near Crazy Cone Motel from “Cars” at Disneyland. (Bottom right) Holding her host sister’s hand, Mamisashvili stands on Hollywood Boulevard in California. Photos courtesy of Ani Mamisashvili. Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.

December 2013

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December 2013

public vs. private

Staffer shadows Notre Dame de Sion for one day, compares single-sex private school to public school system



Photos by Molly Johnson. Page designed by Cassie Nichols and Anna Wonderlich.

cassienichols staff writer Vive Sion de Notre Dame. Strong mission of our Lady. When you think of a Catholic school, many stereotypes come to mind, especially for an all-girls Catholic school. But not all of those stereotypes may be true. At Sion, their overall mission is very similar to Blue Valley as they “strive everyday for the highest quality of college preparatory education” in grades K-12, according to their website. The difference is how they choose to educate their students. SINGLE-SEX SCHOOL The obvious difference between Sion and BV is the fact that Sion is an all-girls high school, as they have been for over 100 years. According to the school website, this segregation is based upon the belief that high school girls learn better and gain more self-confidence in a single-sex environment as opposed to a co-educational one. Sion sophomore Izzy Romano supports this idea. “I don’t mind attending an all-girls school,” she said. “I actually feel like I can

focus more without the distraction of boys.” Sion sophomore Logan Glenn disagrees. “Sometimes I miss going to a school with boys,” she said. “They always made class more entertaining.” RELIGION IN THE CLASSROOM At Sion, Catholicism is a part of everything they do. Any tests taken, books read or papers written are viewed as acts performed for God. The high school has weekly morning Masses each Monday before the school day begins. Every effort is made to include scripture in prayers, readings, reflections and songs. A few of the courses required for graduation at Sion are rarely explored by the common BV student. Throughout all four years, one of their seven periods each semester includes a religion class. As freshmen, students enroll in Faith Foundations to learn the basics of Catholicism and build a solid foundation to their religion. The following year, Catholic Social Teaching is introduced so the students learn how to apply Catholic education to their social life outside of church and school. Juniors are required to attend Biblical Traditions to better understand traditions

within the Bible and how they may apply to modern day life. Senior year requires coursework in the class Faith-Filled Life, designed to transition high school students to adulthood as they learn to take on the rest of the world, while still making time for God at every stage in their life. A SIMILAR SCHEDULE While it is a major difference between faith-based and public education, the actual religion requirement has a small impact upon the overall educational experience. In fact, a girl attending Sion would have a very similar student schedule to any BV student. Sion has many of the same classes as BV, such as the math and science requirements — however, there are also some exceptions. Sion English teacher Casey Engel said the English department at Sion takes a bit more of a contemporary approach to literature than most public schools do, though they still cover a variety of the classics. “Even more uniquely, we focus on female-centric literature,” she said. “We read more books [than public schools] that explore women’s issues, both nationally and internationally.”

December 2013 DRESS CODE As for personal appearance in the school, the girls are all required to wear a sweater or collared shirt and skirt, no more than 2 inches above the knee. If this rule is broken more than three times, then they have to wear a longer skirt that hits just below the knee. During the fall and winter, tights are to be worn under their skirts to make the wardrobe season-appropriate. The clothes must be colored navy, tan, dark purple or white, and Sperry’s or dress shoes must be worn at all times. GETTING INVOLVED Outside of the classroom, Sion offers a wide variety of athletics with its Sion Storm teams. The girls can participate in basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swim and dive, tennis, track and field and volleyball. Unlike BV, it is a requirement that every student signs up for a club at the beginning of the semester. Their clubs, which tend to be female-centered, meet every Tuesday between second and third hour for 30 minutes.

It is a strong belief in the school that clubs promote well-rounded students.



often needed. Another difference is school lunches, where the girls get a set meal offered to them daily. This prevents them from having options in meals, like the á la carte offerings or salad bar at BV. Although there are a good number of differences, positive and negative, Sion and BV are both strong schools that prepare students for college. There are also many similarities, so the choice of which school is right depends on how important it is to include religious beliefs in your high school education, the environment that better fits your individual needs and the type of learning style that better prepares you for life after high school.

PRIVATE SCHOOL PROS & CONS Sion is a much smaller school when compared to most co-educational schools in the Kansas City area. With this comes advantages and disadvantages. Students know almost everyone, which creates a close, family-like atmosphere throughout the school. This includes the teachers, who tend to be more open with their students, as students are allowed to text or call their teachers for educational purposes. Students are also allowed to bring any sort of electronic device they believe benefits their education. For example, they could bring a laptop to type notes instead of using pencil and paper. Disadvantages include weak—Sion school hours are 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. er technology, since the use of —Girls are allowed to wear makeup, but school-furnished very few of them actually do. electronics is not

a sample sophomore schedule 1st Hour — Biotechnology (aka Biology) 2nd Hour — World History 3rd Hour — Catholic Social Teaching 4th Hour — Art Fundamentals 5th Hour — Spanish II 6th Hour — English II 7th Hour — Geometry

did you know?

—Textbooks must be purchased at the beginning of the year and are not provided by the school. —If students need more time to finish a test outside of class, they sign up in the office. —Passing periods do not have a warning bell. —The students are permitted and encouraged to pray during school hours. —Students receive detentions for breaking the dress code. —The library is about half the size of Blue Valley’s. —The school is decorated and painted bright, girly colors — pink, orange, green, purple, etc.




December 2013

wicked graduate Blue Valley graduate performs on Broadway, shares experiences with students maddiejewett features editor Picture this: A charismatic, outgoing young girl playing video games backstage of a musical. Giggling and laughing with her friends, there is nothing very unusual about this, right? Wrong. Hayley Podschun appeared in her first Broadway show as an understudy of a few of the Vontrapp children in “The Sound of Music.” She was 11 years old. A short five years later, Podschun was singing and dancing her heart out in Grease at BV. Hayley Podschun, Glinda in the National Broadway tour of “Wicked,” graduated from Blue Valley in 2004 with current choir teacher Marsha Moeller as her teacher. She came back to her alma mater for a Q&A with the choir

Blue Valley graduate Hayley Podschun visits BV students for a Q&A about her career on Broadway. Podschun performed in “Wicked” in Kansas City in October. Photo by Alex Kontopanos. Photo illustration and page designed by Hailey McEntee.

classes and anyone else who wanted to attend. She said she grew as a performer because she went to BV, and being involved in a variety of activities strengthened her theater background. “I was involved with choir, Chambers and Rep Theatre,” she said. “I think it definitely helped having such a strong theater background growing up. I had a lot of vocal training. For me personally, what helped me grow a little bit was [Repertory Theatre] because I was doing so many plays a year, which normally I didn’t do. So, that was really fun and different for me. Also, I really liked working behind the scenes. I remember we did [‘The Complete Works of William] Shakespeare: Abridged’, and I was the one person backstage helping the three guys get all their props and helping them change. It was something different that taught me what it takes to put a show together. Everyone involved in a show is there for a reason, and you really can’t do it without them.” When Podschun lived in the area, she took dance at Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice. Since she graduated high school, she has been in numerous performances including “Hairspray,” “Pal Joey,” “Chaplin” and now “Wicked” on Broadway. She also played the role of Tammy Turner in the movie ‘Hairspray.’ Podschun said she dreamed of being Glinda on Broadway for over six years. “For ‘Wicked’ I’ve been auditioning for about six years,” she said. “Multiply that by 365 days, and that’s the number of auditions and cuts I’ve had to go through to make it. I originally went in and wanted to play the role of Glinda. I think I was too young and not mature enough yet. Luckily, this was the last time I said I was going in, and I got it. It just all worked out.”

December 2013

As Glinda, Podschun got a total of four weeks of rehearsal. She said she learned the show in about a week and a half. “They will roll out a long piece of rope, and it has numbers on it,” she said. “Those are the numbers that block where you have to stand. We have one chance to run the show, and then usually the next Wednesday, we open. And, good luck, because you’ve never rehearsed it with orchestra, and sometimes you’ve never had lights or full sound. So, you just really better be prepared. We call it, in the business, a machine — one person leaves, and the next person comes in. We all just kind of help each other out.” Aside from “Wicked,” Podschun appeared in the original Broadway musical “Chaplin.” “[With ‘Chaplin’], it’s fun because you’re creating a role that’s never been played before,” she said. “You’re learning music that’s never been heard by an audience. You’re doing dances that look good with your body type. I think that’s what is thrilling about creating a new musical, and you know if there are certain lines you say differently that the director likes, then maybe that can be used forever. We learn the music, and then we open and get reviewed. We hope people like it.” Having been in both musicals and a movie, Podschun discussed the differences. “We’d finish a dance number [when filming ‘Hairspray’], and all of us dancers would be like, ‘Where’s the audience?’ because it was so silent,” she said. “All of us were theater kids, so we missed that reaction from the audience.” Podschun has worked with many big-name actors such as Zac Efron, John Travolta and various others.



“John Travolta was great — he was like a dad,” she said. “[About Zac Efron,] you have no idea. He’s… those eyes. He’s gorgeous. For me, I feel like whenever I’m around big stars I try not to get star-struck because whenever they go out, they get bombarded by fans 24/7. I try to treat them as equals because it must be nice for them to come to work and be treated just like everyone else.” Podschun said she taught herself the role of Glinda in ‘Wicked’ from watching YouTube videos. “I taught myself the show off Youtube because I was so scared — I wanted this role so badly for so long — and I didn’t want to mess it up,” she said. “I knew I had four weeks to learn the show, and I could do it in a day if I needed to because I will do that, but I was so nervous that I would mess it up that I found clips from the show from YouTube, and I put them together. I would run my lines with the characters so I could hear the lines from other people or hear the cues or sounds — a bell or something — and highlight my lines and stuff.” Podschun said directors typically encourage their actors to bring themselves to each character they play. “They don’t want you to do something that anyone else has done,” she said. “It’s hard because you have seen so many other things, and, for me being a dancer, my eye goes to certain things a lot quicker. So there’s little things that I’ve learned from, but I’ve always made it my own. I think what’s nice is [the directors] do encourage that, so I’m able to walk away from it feeling like I’ve created it myself, rather than copying someone else before me. Trying to find direction from a show that’s been going on for so long is kind of difficult. You’ll find it easier by playing your own emotions and what you’ve Photo illustration and page designed by Hailey McEntee.

been through in your life personally.”



dance moves

December 2013

- Gas Pedal - Harlem Shake - Twerking

headline news

newsmakers - Miley Cyrus twerks at the VMAs — her music video for “Wrecking Ball” causes controversy.

- The government shuts down for 16 days. - Evidence of the use chemical warfare is discovered in Syria. - Massive wildfire affects Yosemite National Park.

- Royal baby, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, arrives.

- New football stadium is built and opened at Blue Valley. - BV Relay For Life ranks 10th in nation from combined money raised. - BV loses power at 9:45 a.m. causing school to be let out at 11:15 a.m. on Jan. 29.

20 13

- Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s baby is named North West.

year in review

top moments at BV

- Bomb goes off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Staff picks top events, people, trends of past year as 2013 comes to close

- Fence is put up around mobiles — students can no longer enter the school through mobile doors. - A controversial Tiger TV episode sparks the #freejosh movement.

Information gathered by Rachel Cannon. Page designed by Hailey McEntee.


- Royals’ winning percentage is .531. - Chiefs go undefeated for nine wins. - Sporting KC stands second in the Eastern Conference in their regular season and advances to the final match in the MLS Cup.

trending topics

- Videos are posted on a new social media, Vine. - Anonymous questions are given on accounts. - Chevron pattern becomes popular in clothing and accessories. - Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer and other preppy clothes reach the closets of many Blue Valley students.

December 2013


finals countdown



Teachers offer study tips, advice as winter finals approach We all hear the same thing from the teachers when finals time rolls around — study well, get good sleep the night before, eat a good breakfast, etc. I know when I hear a teacher start going off on one of those spiels about studying, I tend to tune them out because I’ve only heard the information about five million times before. And, that stuff is pretty obvious, but what about some less obvious study tips?

1. Alternate Study Spaces

3. Study When Tired

5. Exercise

It is scientifically proven that alternating study spaces is a better way to retain information. Different environments can enhance brain activity. You could study at the library, a coffee shop, your friend’s house, or just anywhere quiet where you can focus.

Instead of looking through Instagram and Twitter one last time before going to sleep, study your notes. During sleep, the brain strengthens new memories, so, chances are, if you review right before sleeping, you’ll remember the information better. Just be sure not to study while lying in bed — you might fall asleep while studying.

Just 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day can enhance your memory skills. It’s even better to exercise outside — it gives your brain a nice break and helps you relax.

2. Changing the Subject Change the subject of the information that you are studying — it’s not a good thing to immerse yourself in one area of knowledge for too long. If you stay on one subject for too long, your brain will get bored and wander away from the information you’re trying to study. Changing the information keeps your mind focused.

4. Drink Cocoa Hot chocolate is chock full of antioxidants and cognitive mood enhancers. Mix a big spoonful of organic cocoa in a mug of hot milk to make the perfect, brain-powering hot chocolate. You can also add cinnamon and espresso for a burst of energy.

6. Use Color Highlighting and underlining your notes with color has been scientifically proven to help your brain better recall the information. However, don’t just go crazy with color — only highlight the things that are very important to remember instead of the entire page of notes.

Page designed by Sally Cochran, Sheila Gregory and Anna Wonderlich.

Tips for Social Studies — Jenny Buchanan

1. “Consider watching a credible YouTube video on the topic, such as Crash Course with John Green or Khan Academy videos.” 2. “If you’re writing an essay, prepare an outline of what you’re going to say including specific examples. Make up an acronym or a silly story from the first letter of each point in your essay.” 3. “Make flashcards for important people and events. Don’t just include vague information on the back. Write who, what, when, where and why to adequately cover the topic.”

Tips for English Language Arts – Jennifer Balke

1. “Make sure to plan out your study time, so you aren’t cramming right before.” 2. “Even if you think you can’t study for one class, don’t blow it off. There’s always things you can review.” 3. “Use the half-days and days off before finals to your advantage — these days are perfect to use for studying.”

Tips for Science — Manal Siam

1. “Review learning targets and vocabulary for each chapter, and create an individualized review a or review game.” 2. “Start rationing time after we return from Thanksgiving break — only two weeks and two days [until finals] to prepare for individual chapters/units, so you have ample time for preparation before the final exam — one day per chapter, one weekend per three chapters, etc.” 3. “Be sure to feed yourself positive vibes as you enter final preparation mode.”

Tips for Math — Jonathan Jost

1. “Treat the final review like a test. Actually work the problems, and try to do them without the help of notes or friends.” 2. “Look at the mistakes you’ve made on previous tests. Either get them from the teacher or go to their room to look at them.” 3. “Look at review guides from previous tests.”



December 2013

ascending artists Reviews by Anna Wonderlich and Hailey McEntee.


Her voice, in combination with her unique style of music, makes for the perfect album. Although she released her debut EP, “The Love Club” in November 2012, her first full album, “Pure Heroine,” came out just this September. And if I do say so myself, it’s basically perfect. I can’t help but tweet some Lorde lyrics every time I listen to her music. While her other songs receive much less attention than “Royals,” I personally think they’re much better. My absolute favorites from the “Pure Heroine” album include “White Teeth Teens,” “Team” and “400 Lux” — even then, it’s hard to just pick a few. “The Love Club” and “Tennis Courts” from “The Love Club EP” are definitely worth listening to, as well.

Bastille recently released their new album “Bad Blood.” Before this debut album, the band released six singles of the songs on it. Although this alternative band is not very well-known, I can tell they will become a hit. Bastille is an English rock band that was formed in 2010. Frontman Dan Smith’s voice is very unique — he could sing a dictionary, and I would still enjoy listening to him. The album came out on Sept. 3 but has just recently started receiving more attention. As of Nov. 26, “Bad Blood” is number 45 on the iTunes top albums list. The most popular songs on this album include “Pompeii,”

Page designed by Gennifer Geer and Anna Wonderlich.

“Bad Blood,” “Flaws” and “Things We Lost in the Fire.” “Pompeii” was actually the band’s fourth single, which was released in February of 2013 before the album came out. It was the first song that stood out in the United States to give people a great impression of Bastille. The songs on the album all vary in tempos, and the lyrics are insightful. The songs include a lot of symbolism — for example, “Pompeii” talks about how the city is all in ruins and questions how to start rebuilding. If you haven’t listened to Bastille yet, I strongly suggest checking out the “Bad Blood” album in addition to their other songs.

has continued to post more medleys, renditions, covers and original music on YouTube, including a new song every Sunday — “SoMo Sunday,” as he calls it. My favorites include his Frank Ocean medley and the renditions of J. Cole’s “Work Out” and Bill Wither’s “Lean On Me.” However, SoMo’s original songs “Ride,” “Show Off ” and “Kings & Queens (Throw It Up)” are definitely the best. His voice sounds like a mix of Drake, Frank Ocean and The Weeknd, and he has music with an R&B, pop and hip-hop sound. You can listen to SoMo online at TheMrSoMo. Seriously, do it.


Oct. 22. Teenage girls all over Kansas tweeted up a storm about how excited they were to see SoMo perform at the Granada Theater in Lawrence, Kan. while others tweeted asking who the heck SoMo even is. Joseph Somo, also known as SoMo to his fans, just completed a 30-city headlining tour that made a stop close to our home. If you haven’t heard of him already, you should probably change that — he basically has the voice of an angel. With a voice like that, in addition to his good looks, SoMo is definitely going places. Getting his start in 2011, SoMo first gained popularity by posting a medley of Drake’s “Take Care” album on his YouTube channel, receiving many more views than anticipated. Since then, SoMo


You’ve probably heard the lyrics, “And we’ll never be royals, it don’t run in our blood. That kind of luxe just ain’t for us,” a million and one times on the radio by now, but who is the artist behind this number-one hit “Royals”? Ella Yelich-O’Connor, also known as Lorde, is a New Zealand singer-songwriter who has recently skyrocketed to the top of the charts, including Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2013. And did I mention she’s only 17 years old? I love that her alternative, indie-pop style is so different from all the other music I listen to — but different in a good way.

December 2013

centerstage 37

BV students’ love for Disney continues into high school maddiedavis staff writer

There’s no denying it. Disney is a classic part of childhood. You can probably remember sitting on the couch under your favorite blanket with a bowl of popcorn, entranced by the Disney movie playing on the screen. Or maybe you remember sitting down in your parents’ lap to read a Disney story. And for some, it might be singing along to Disney music

in the car until your parents took the CD out because it was driving them crazy. For some high school students, their love of Disney has grown up with them. Freshman Grace Bamburg said she loves Disney. “My favorite part of Disney is the old movies because they’re so cute and clever,” she said. Sophomore Sarah Herzberg said she still listens to Disney music. “My favorite Disney song is ‘Hakuna Matata’ from ‘The Lion King’ because I love that movie, and the song is just happy, positive and cute,” she said. Herzberg said her love for Disney will never grow old. “I’ll always love it because my future kids will listen to it, and then the music will take on a new meaning,” she said. Both Bamburg and Herzberg said they thought high school students still like Disney because it brings back childhood memories. “I think [high schoolers] still like it now because everything about [Disney] is just so happy, funny and brings back memories

of when we were little,” Herzberg said. Herzberg described her favorite Disney memory. “I loved going to Disney World with my family,” she said. “It was an experience that I will never forget.” Sophomore Erin O’Toole said she loves the movie “Aladdin.” “My favorite character and villain are in that movie,” she said. “Jasmine is my favorite character because she has a pet tiger, and Jafar is my favorite villain because he has that creepy little beard.” Bamburg said her favorite character is Belle. “I love Belle because she doesn't need a Prince Charming to fall in love with,” she said. O’Toole said kids can learn lots of lessons from Disney. “The most important lesson is that even if you’re a mermaid, your hair somehow still manages to stay perfect,” she said. “And also, of course, to always be yourself.” The movies may seem a bit young, but O’Toole said they are aimed for all age groups. “I don’t think the movies can ever get old,” she said. Though Herzberg, O’Toole and Bamburg like different parts of the Disney collection, they all agreed on one thing — they’ll never grow out of it.

BV’s top 10

favorite Disney movies

Survey according to 150 students.

1. “The Lion King” 2. “Mulan” 3. “Aladdin” 4. “Finding Nemo” 5. “Tangled”

6. “The Little Mermaid” 7. “Cinderella” 8. “Pocahontas” 9. “Beauty and the Beast” 10. “Wreck-It-Ralph”

Page designed by Maddie Davis and Anna Wonderlich.



December 2013

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Ideas for holiday cookies this season


Sugared P Balls

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Sim Suga ple r Coo k


Photos courtesy of MCT Campus.

Recipes from Page designed by Hailey McEntee.

GTA V December 2013

centerstage 39


Page designed by Hailey McEntee and Anna Wonderlich.

makaylanicholis staff writer

Midnight finally struck on Sept. 17, but the line outside GameStop had been growing for quite some time before then. Gamers waited anxiously with bated breath until, at last, they held their copies of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) in their hands for the very first time. GTA V is a free-roam game in the virtual city of Los Santos, where players assume the role of criminals to achieve tasks they would never have the guts or immorality to do in the real world. It is, in all senses, a boy’s

dream videogame. Between the pimped-out car chases and the wide variety of weapons, blood and not-so-Catholic ladies, there’s not much illegal activity this game is missing. The storyline follows the crimes of loving father Michael De Santa, car repo man Franklin Clinton and the psychopathic Trevor Philips. While the graphics may be substantially better, not much else has changed from the previous version — or any versions, for that matter. Players are always discovering new activities to do in the game, but the basic plot remains along the lines of planned robberies, assassinations and theft on a major scale. This game is extremely explicit and may

be considered offensive to a lot of people, but that hasn’t stopped millions of players from enjoying its provided entertainment. Scores of these same gamers are currently caught up in the new way of playing: GTA online. There have been a lot of complaints about how slowly the system runs and how many glitches there seem to be. However, people keep on coming back for more. GTA is considered a gamer’s classic although some could say every game is the same thing over and over. Which may be true — then again, does stealing cars and running prostitutes over with them ever really get old?

RAISE YOUR VOICE “It’s just so open-ended and kind of gives you a break from reality. We all dream of owning a big mansion with six different types of exotic cars while you’re also the CEO of some big-time company, and you can do that in GTA.”

Senior Josh Washington

“There’s nothing you can’t do in GTA. I like [GTA V] better than the others because you can control more than one player, and multiplayer is pretty cool, too.”

Senior Blake Hoy

“It’s like real life, but better.”

Senior Will Munholland “I can do all the things I’ve ever wanted without any of the consequences.”

Senior Aquib Jamal



December 2013

life FOR

DUMMIES l Cannon.

Stories by Rache

dry? How often do you wash your own laun er? Make yourself dinn Change a tire? Pay a credit card bill? ything handed to you by others? Rely on yourself instead of having ever never. For most of us, the answer is almost gs once we get to the real world, thin e thes of Yet, won’t we have to do all professions after we graduate? whether we attend college or seek our Dummies” handbook explaining If only someone could write a “Life for ortunately, such a book has not yet been the mysteries of the adult world. Unf iving life after high school. written, but here are some tips for surv and .edu. Page designed by Sally Cochran

, and UNH Information from

Rachel Cannon.

Doing Laundry

Personal Finance

If a stain didn’t come out after washing it, don’t dry it as the stain will set. Instead, try another method of removing the stain. If you have already dried the clothing, put it into a solution of an equal amount of water and hydrogen peroxide. Then, wash it right away. Unroll sleeves, pant legs, and hems before drying so you don’t have to do more ironing later. To prevent body oils that have gotten onto your shirt collar from attracting dirt, paint a line of shampoo on a dirty collar before washing the shirt. If clothing is especially dirty, you can soak it overnight to release grime. Don’t put too big of a load in your dryer because the air circulation won’t be even, and the clothing may be damp or wrinkled. You may have heard that putting tennis balls or tennis shoes with a load of clothes will make them dry faster. In fact, these can get your clothes dirty or melt and ruin them. Substitute a dry, plush towel instead.

Every day, take any loose change you have acquired and put it in a jar. Every couple months (maybe at the end of each semester for you college students), deposit it in the bank, and cash it when you need to buy something big. Instead of just going to the closest store, ask others to see where to shop. Find out where things are cheapest so you save money for things you want to buy. Take care of yourself. Shower. Wear deodorant. Shave. Dress up once in a while. These simple things are important to feeling confident, which will help you make good decisions and stick with your budget. Be cautious about getting a credit card. Sure, it may seem to make things simpler, but by not getting a credit card, you will avoid credit card debt. It’s easy to not buy something when you actually don’t have enough cash on hand to get it. Save yourself the trouble, and just avoid situations that can lead to overspending and debt in the future.

(For when you’re running out of clean clothes to wear. Sorry, but you can’t wear the same jeans every day for a week.)

(For when your parents send you off into the world of paying for your own stuff. Crazy, right?)

Easy Meals (For when you get tired of Ramen Noodles.) English Muffin Pizza: Homemade pizza is delicious, but what college student has time to make pizza dough? Instead, use an English muffin cut in half as a crust for a quick and easy dinner or snack. You can also get rid of leftovers by using them as creative toppings. Thermos Oatmeal: Do you love warm oatmeal in the morning but don’t have time to make it before your first class? With a little preparation, you can have delicious oatmeal ready for the morning or in a few hours. First, put a cup of water and any fruit (half-cup frozen, fresh or dried) you want into a saucepan, and bring it to boil. Put about a quarter-cup of steel-cut oats into a thermos. Add the boiling water and fruit, stir and then put the lid securely on the thermos. Let it sit until the oatmeal is fully cooked, and then you can add syrup, milk or any other garnishes you enjoy. Brown Rice Cereal: Want a filling alternative to typical breakfast cereal? Though you may not first think of it, brown rice makes for a great substitute. Bring one cup of rice and two cups of water to a boil

in a saucepan, and then let it simmer until the rice has absorbed all the water (about 35 minutes). Add apple, nuts, raisins, etc. to about half of the rice, then top with a sweetener such as sugar or syrup. You can then refrigerate the rest of the rice for up to a week, and use it when you need a quick meal. Banana Dream: Need a quick but delicious dessert? Fill a plate or short dish with maple syrup, honey or chocolate. Roll a banana (or pineapple, apple, etc.) in this sauce, and then dip it into a topping such as butterscotch, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, coconut or granola. You can also try freezing this dessert by loosely wrapping it in wax paper. Fresh Fruit Dip: This healthy dessert is perfect when you have some fresh fruit on hand. Blend two tablespoons of brown sugar with eight ounces of sour cream. (You can use a low fat variety as a substitution.) This serves as a yummy dip for any kind of fruit, and you can also add granola, vanilla extract, strawberry extract or another flavor.

December 2013



What students say about College Now

“Great way to earn college credit in high school!” “It is a wonderful, invaluable opportunity.” “Stay ahead and get a head start for college credits.” College Now at Johnson County Community College is the only nationally accredited concurrent program in Kansas. See your school counselor for details or visit

It’s Time  For  Our  Annual  Family  BINGO  Night!!!   Proceeds  to  benefit  the  Grace  Elizabeth  Shaw  Foundation  

Friday,  January  17,  2014  from  6:00PM-­‐9:00PM   Doors  Open  at  6:00PM  –  First  BINGO  game  at  6:30PM  

Food –  Prizes  –  Raffle/Heads  or  Tails  Game  –  Silent   Auction  Baskets     Cost:  $10.00  Donation   First  card  =  $10.00  Additional  cards  =  $5.00  each   Purchase  Your  Tickets  at  the  door    

Grace Church  located  at  159th  St.  &  Antioch  Rd.     (8500  W.  159th  St.,  Overland  Park,  KS    66223       A  portion  of  tonight’s  proceeds  will  be  donated  to   Grace  Church’s  SOAR  Special  Needs  Ministry  

We hope  to  see  you  there!!  



December 2013

making their mark

Five senior girls recognized during National Signing Day on Nov. 13, sign to play sports at college-level Photos by Maria Wonderlich and Alyssa Hess. Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.

MEG GARTON Belhaven University, Softball

“There were multiple reasons for choosing Belhaven [University]. The coach loved me for every part of my game, while in the past some coaches have only liked part of my skills. Also, it’s a Christian college, which is what I wanted to have.”

JESSICA KRESTINE Bethel College, Soccer

“[Bethel] is close to home, so my parents can come down. A lot of [my decision] also came down to money. With how much [my scholarship is] paying me, tuition is affordable.”

SYDNIE HANSON Baker University, Basketball

“I felt really welcomed by the women’s basketball team [at Baker University]. Right when I stepped on campus, I knew it was the place for me.”

RAINE ANDREWS Kansas State University, Rowing

“I’ve wanted to be a Wildcat for a long time. The rowing team gave me an opportunity to meet new people, compete as a Division I athlete and travel. I’m really looking forward to it.”

CHLOE ROGERS Lipscomb University, Volleyball

“I decided to go to Lipscomb [University] because the first time I visited, I fell in love with the town. I wanted a family atmosphere, and the team is like a family away from home.”

December 2013



Senior student transfers from Blue Valley West to BV for basketball program, teaching staff raineandrews photo editor Making her way from Blue Valley West, senior Haley Ballard transferred to BV last year for better opportunities. Ballard said she has played various sports when she was younger but decided to focus on basketball in middle school. “I started playing basketball in the first grade,” she said. “I played soccer, softball and basketball up until seventh grade,” she said. “Then, my mom told me it was time to decide [on] one. So, ever since eighth grade, I have only played basketball.” Opposite of common misconception, Ballard said she came to BV for the academics. “I didn’t just transfer for basketball — I transferred for school because the physics and math teachers here are better than the ones at [BV] West,” she said. “I want to either study Pre-Medical or Computer Science [in college], so I have to be strong in math and science.” During the her sophomore and junior years, the Jaguars didn’t win a single game, ending with a 0-14 record both years. “I wasn’t going to put my senior season through that, so I started looking at transferring,” she said. “I have always had [coming to BV] in the back of my mind. I used to always go to BV basketball camps with [senior] Sydnie [Hanson], and I always loved [former coach [Andy] Unrein. [But,] I never had the guts to [transfer].” Hanson said she looks forward to Ballard joining the team. “She will be an amazing point guard for us and she will bring positive energy and just be an all around great player,” she said. Hanson said Ballard has a lot to offer and will be a huge asset to the team. “She is competitive, but in a good way,” she said. “She loves the game more than anyone I know, and she works so hard to be the best player that she can be. At practice,

switching it up Driving the ball to the basket, senior Haley Ballard runs around junior Mallory Longwell. Ballard tried out for basketball the week of Nov. 18-22. Photo by Molly Johnson.

she is always very positive and uplifting towards everyone. She never gets frustrated with us and she is always finding ways to make us better [as a team]. She is a great teammate and I am so Ballard lucky to have her.” After shadowing a few BV students for a day, Ballard said she began to set things up. “My mom went and talked to District [Office], and I had to get a form and have it signed by all my BV West teachers [and] an administrator,” she said. “I did that all on a Tuesday and then came to BV on Wednesday.” With Unrein leaving BV for an assistant principal position at Truman High School in the Independence, Mo., School District, English teacher Ryan Mahoney took his place as coach of the girls varsity basketball team. “At the time I didn't know who [was] the [new] coach,” she said. “Once they said

Mahoney was the coach, I was perfectly fine with it.” Ballard said there is a huge difference between the participation in the basketball program at BV West and BV. “There are a lot of people [at workouts and open gyms], and at [BV] West, there would only be four or five people at open gym,” she said. “Here, we have enough to scrimmage.” Ballard said she will be attending Oklahoma Baptist University next year. “I have already picked my college,” she said. “I picked it not based off basketball, but if I get the opportunity to play [basketball] there, then I will.” Ballard said basketball will always be her favorite sport. “The feeling I [get] when I am on the court just is different [from] any other sport,” she said. “[When] I played soccer and softball, it felt more like a job rather than a hobby or something I really enjoyed. I enjoyed soccer and softball, but my love was definitely with basketball.” Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.



December 2013

Senior Athlete Spotlight

Winter sports leaders discuss respective sports, expectations for season GIRLS BASKETBALL

Q: How long have you been playing basketball? A: “I have been playing since I was five.” Q: What are your hopes for this season? A: “My hopes are to win State this year.” Q: Are you planning on playing basketball in college? A: “I’m playing at Baker University next year.” Q: What has been your favorite basketball memory? A: “That’s a tough one. My favorite memories are probably the locker room dancing we do before games, team bonding and just every minute with my team.” Q: What is the bond like among your teammates? A: “We have a great bond, and we all get along great. I love every single one of them to pieces, and I couldn’t ask for a better team.”

alex fraser: swim team captain

sydnie hanson: shooting guard


Q: How long have you been swimming? A: “I have been swimming since the summer before freshman year. I went to a summer camp with [former] coach [Greg] House, and I had a lot of fun.” Q: What are your hopes for this season as a team and as an individual? A: “As a team, I hope that we place better at State. I want us to show improvement by placing higher than previous years at State. I would like to break the Blue Valley boys 100 breaststroke record. Last year, I almost beat the record, but I was only half a second away from beating it.” Q: Are you planning on swimming in college? A: “No, probably not, unless I get a full-ride scholarship.” Q: What has been your favorite memory during swim? A: “My favorite memory of swim is probably swimming my freshman year with Coach House because of the bond we had. If you ask anybody, they can say that Coach House created special relationships with everybody and connected with them. Coach House changed the way I think, and I loved practicing with him.” Q: What is the bond like among your teammates? A: “We’re like one big family. We spend about five to six hours together a day, and we always have team breakfasts. On Thursday mornings we meet up at Price Chopper to eat breakfast.”


Q: How long have you been playing basketball? A: “I have been playing basketball ever since I can remember, so a really long time. My dad just kind of put a basketball in my hand and gave me a little push to play, and I have been playing ever since.” Q: What are you hoping for this season for your team? A: “I would like the team to go to State and even further [by winning titles]. As long as I have been on varsity, we haven’t gone to State, so I would really like to go to State.” Q: Are you planning on playing basketball in college? A: “I don’t know yet, maybe if something comes up, like scholarships.” Q: What has been your favorite basketball memory? A: “I’ve loved making new friends. I have created good relationships with the seniors from last year and the other years.” Q: What is the bond like among your teammates? A: “We’re all really close, and we have been hanging out together with the three conditioning days over the summer and fall. We’re just getting closer and closer every day.”



ryan brady: point guard


jackson macoubrie: wrestling captain

Q: How long have you been wrestling? A: “I have been wrestling since freshman year. I got started when I would go into open rooms with my friend. I just loved wrestling, so I decided to stick with it.” Q: What are your hopes for this season as a team and as an individual? A: “I hope this season everyone goes to State, and we get some people to get State titles. As for myself, I wish for the same by going to State and gaining titles.” Q: Are you going to wrestle in college? A: “I don’t know yet, but I’m thinking about walking in on [University of] Missouri.” Q: What has been your favorite memory in wrestling so far? A: “My favorite memory so far has been going to State and qualifying my sophomore year.” Q: What is the bond like among your teammates? A: “We’re really good friends. Wrestling is a very demanding sport mentally and physically, so we try to lighten up the mood to relieve all the stress.” Photos by Alyssa Hess and Alex Kontopanos. Page designed by Anna Wonderlich and Meredith Strickland.



December 2013

we are the


For the second year in a row, Blue Valley was to play their first round playoff game at Shawnee Heights, who had snuck into the postseason in their final regular season game. The Tigers left behind a pile of ashes in their destruction of the Thunderbirds. BV cruised to a 28 point halftime lead en route to a lopsided 42-14 final score. BV was presented with an intriguing second round match-up;


To accurately describe the absolute path of destruction Blue Valley left behind it on its way to the State playoffs, one simply had to witness the intensity the team played with it at a game, not just the footage shown at school pep rallies. Heading into the final stretch of the season, the Tigers sat at a respectable 11-7 record, only to have a fire lit under them and go on to win 14 of the final 15 games heading into the regional round of the playoffs. In the sub-State round, Shawnee Mission North folded like paper, and BV North failed to challenge the Tigers until the second set, earning the Tigers a trip to Topeka for the State tournament. On the day of semifinals, BV defeated Maize and Manhattan, allowing them a trip to the second day finals. Unfortunately, the Tiger run ended with a loss to Olathe East, and the chances for a State title were gone. The season ended on a high note, with

Fall sports finish seasons with playoff games, trips to State Stories by Matt Antonic.

in the final home game of the season, the undefeated Mill Valley Jaguars came rolling into town. After losing their starting quarterback after three plays and giving up a touchdown on a strip sack, Mill Valley realized it was in for a night of misery. BV turned a 17-0 halftime lead into a 38-0 rout. After the game, Tiger players found out that BV West would be eagerly awaiting them for a rematch, with the Jaguars having crushed BV’s heart with an 18-17 victory in the regular season finale. BV West made the first two touchdowns look too easy, and was up 14-0 before anyone blinked. BV could have wilted but chose to fight and fight hard. Senior Logan Brettell hurled five touchdown passes, and the two teams traded punches until the end. With 3:26 remaining, Brettell rolled out and arched a beauty to senior Mikey Henson for the game winner. The most exciting game up until that point earned the Tigers a third trip to State in four years, where they finished 27-26 against the Salina South Cougars. Playoff Finish: 5A State Champions

the Tigers winning their consolation game against Olathe Northwest to finish third overall with a final record of 31-10. “I think we worked hard in the games,” senior Rachel Gearon said. “We probably could have done better. Not finishing where we wanted to was a bummer, but overall the season was a lot of fun.” Playoff Finish: Third Overall


The tennis team finished third out of eight teams in 6A Regionals, qualifying them for the State rounds at Maize High School. Out of 32 varsity squads competing, the Blue Valley team secured a respectable sixth place finish to conclude their season. Junior Morgan Steffes and sophomore Alexa Tiefel left no doubt as to who the best doubles team is in Kansas — they annihilated their competition and took home the 6A doubles championship.

girls tennis

Playoff Finish: Sixth Place Overall, 6A Doubles State Champions

Photos by Raine Andrews, Alyssa Hess and Darcy Dehais. Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.

December 2013

boys soccer In one of the greatest seasons in Blue Valley soccer history, the Tigers finished the season with a solid 12-5 record. The team recorded nine more wins than all of last year, which finished with a 3-13-1 record. The Tigers went to the playoffs with a five-game winning streak. BV began the playoffs in exciting fashion, coming back late to win an exciting first round match with Lawrence High The boys Cross Country Varsity Squad finished third in the Shawnee Mission East Regional, sending them to the State Regional rounds. The boys team finished second in Regionals, and the girls team finished third, qualifying the team for State. Twenty-four varsity squads from all around the state descended on Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan. to conclude the season and crown a champion.

girls golf

School, 2-1. Down 1-0, junior Matt Jarnevic split the defense and scored with a shot that took a lucky bounce, hitting off the post and into the net to tie the game. With time dwindling and overtime looming, senior Ben McDonald hit a powerful free kick that deflected in, and BV took the lead for good. Then came the second round game that many would prefer to forget. Due to adverse weather, the BV Tigers hosted the Shawnee Mission East Lancers at home, and an upset seemed within reach. Excellent finishing by the Lancers and critical Tiger defensive letdowns resulted in a 3-0 lead for East at half. The score would never change, resulting in a horrific end to a remarkable season. “I feel like our team worked hard, but overall our effort wasn’t good enough to get us to where we should have been,” Jarnevic said. Playoff Finish: Second Round

The boys Cross Country team finished seventh out of 12 at Rim Rock with juniors Joe Gorthy, Jake Mikuls and sophomore Joey Wiederholt finishing in the top 50 in their 5K run. The girls Cross Country team finished 10th out of 12 at Rim Rock, with freshman





sports in brief


Previous Action: 11/8 @ Shawnee Heights (W 42-14) 11/15 vs. Mill Valley (W 38-0) 11/22 @ BV West (W 38-33) Sub-State 11/30 vs. Salina South (W 27-26) State Record: 9-3


Upcoming Action: 12/6 vs. Gardner-Edgerton 12/13 @ Olathe Northwest 12/19 @ Olathe East 1/3 vs. Blue Valley West


cross country Kelsey Kincade and Sophomore Lindsay Davis finishing in the Top 50 in the 4K run.

Ninety-two participants from 23 different schools descended upon Garden City, Kan. for the 6A State Tournament. Blue Valley qualified by virtue of finishing in the top three of the Overland Park-Blue Valley Northwest Regional and sent the full varsity squad to Garden City. BV finished the tournament tenth out of 12 full teams. Sophomore Gracie Goheen finished 24th overall individually with a score of 91, and sophomore Alexis Vance finished 46th overall with a score of 101.

Upcoming Action: 12/12­­-14 BV Shootout Extravaganza Tournament 1/3 vs. Blue Valley West 1/7 vs. St.Thomas Aquinas


Upcoming Action: 12/10 @ Blue Valley West 12/13 @ Olathe Invitational at Mission Trail Junior High 12/21 @ Blue Valley North Invitational 1/15 @ Blue Valley Northwest Duel


Upcoming Action: 12/6 @ Spring Hill Duel 12/13-14 @ Eudora 12/20-21 Johnson County Classic @ BV 1/8 @ Mill Valley Duel 1/10 @ BVNW Duel 1/11 @ Shawnee Mission South


Upcoming Action: 12/9-10 Tryouts @ Olathe Lanes East Results current as of Dec. 2.



December 2013

friday night lights

Varsity football team wins 5A State Championship, ends season with 10-3 record Photos by Alex Kontopanos and Raine Andrews. Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.



1. Raising helmets in the air, the younger football players watch kickoff. 2. Hands touching the ground, the Blue Valley defensive line prepares for Salina South to hike the ball at the State game on Saturday, Nov. 30. 3. Tackling BV Northwest player Jaqwan Stone, senior Frankie Gomez attempts to push Stone. BV played BV Northwest on Friday, Oct. 4. 4. Pumping his fist, quarterback senior Logan Brettel celebrates a touchdown with right guard senior Riley Stinson at the BV vs. Salina South State game on Saturday, Nov. 30. 5. Senior Mikey Henson points on the field during the BV vs. Gardner-Edgerton game on Friday, Sept. 6.




The Tiger Print — December 2013  

The December 2013 issue of Blue Valley High School's Tiger Print student newspaper.

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