TIGER PRINT BLUE VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL Vol. 42 Issue 6 January 2012 Stilwell, KS
BUZZ ON THE BOND Ballots go out to community, district awaits results page 3 HOT IN HOLLYWOOD Movies coming soon to a theater near you page 19 HALL OF FAME Induction celebrates principalâ€™s history at BV page 22
Crazy for Theater From the lead role to the last sound of the cello, see how it all comes together: pages 12-13 Photo by Jun Ham.
research for remembrance Profits from Matchmaker survey donated to cystic fibrosis research anniematheis features editor Eleven years ago this March, BV student Julie O’Neal passed away from cystic fibrosis. Student Council continues to support cystic fibrosis research by donating all profits made from the Matchmaker quizzes to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). “It helps to keep her memory alive,” student body treasurer senior Taylor Leathers said. “It’s kind of a sign of respect. It shows she was loved here, and, even though it’s been a while, we still support the cause.” Cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening disease, affects the lungs and digestive system. The money donated to the CFF helps fund research to find new treatments and a cure. Students complete the Matchmaker questionnaires during school. The company then sends back the results that pair students with their best matches based on their answers. The Matchmaker results cost $2. One dollar goes to the company, and the other dollar is donated to CFF. “We are constantly in search of charities that we can give the money we raise that are near and dear to our hearts,” Leathers said. “With a young lady who died of the disease, it makes sense that we donate there.” Julie was a junior when she passed away in 2001. She realized her best option was to have a lung transplant, which she had in November of 2000 in St. Louis, MO. She returned home in February, but then started having complications and passed away in March. Julie’s parents said they are thankful that StuCo continues to donate to CFF. “It’s very touching,” Julie’s father Mike O’Neal said. “It’s very special to us. I remember one thing, in Julie’s last months she was alive, when she knew that she was dying, she always wanted people to remember her. So it means a lot.” StuCo sponsor Mark Mosier said the Matchmaker quizzes have been used as a fundraiser for the past 15
years, but it wasn’t until Julie’s death that the students donated the profits to CFF. “The students chose to commemorate or memorialize Julie as well as donate to cystic fibrosis in her name,” he said. “Since that time, whatever profits the students make from Matchmaker [go to CFF].” Julie’s mother Janet O’Neal said Julie would have enjoyed the Matchmaker quizzes. “She was just a real people-person,” Janet said. “She was curious about people. She loved to laugh and loved people.” The Matchmaker results will be sold for $2 on Feb. 7-9 in the commons during lunch.
Scholars Bowl team to attend regionals saranaatz co-editor With a record of 50 wins and six losses, the Scholars Bowl team prepares for the regional competition which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 2. Last year, the Scholars Bowl team was named 5A State Champion, and sponsor Adam Wade says the team hopes to continue with this same level of success. Juniors Asim Zaidi and Jamie Brower, sophomores Luke Chen and Ajay Subramanian and freshman Luke Conners will compete in the regional competition. Categories include communication arts, social studies, science, math, fine arts, year in review and foreign language. “We are the strongest in math and science and social studies,” Wade said. “Me being a math teacher means most kids I recruit are good at math, and math kids are usually good at science. And Jamie Brower is a total geography whiz.” With such a wide array of questions, Brower said it helps to have members who excel in different categories. “This year we have a lot of people that specialize in certain areas,” he said. “Everyone has their own specialty.” Science Knowledge Bowl will fall on the same day as Scholars Bowl. Though the seniors on the Scholars Bowl team, Allen Zhu, Spencer Ho, Danny Theisen and Alex Schoenberg, chose to compete in Science Knowledge Bowl instead of Scholars Bowl, Wade said they contributed greatly to the team’s successful record. The State Scholars Bowl competition will be on Saturday, Feb. 11.
On bvtigernews.com now CD releases of 2012 Updates on girls and boys basketball Julie O’Neal passed away from cystic fibrosis almost eleven years ago. StuCo’s Matchmaker survey helps raise money to fund research for this disease. Photo courtesy of Mike and Janet O’Neal.
Extended versions of stories in the January issue of the Tiger Print
District to announce results of bond referendum jordanhuesers co-editor Facility Improvements: $167 million. Technology: $84 million. Safety: $20 million. The Blue Valley Board of Education elected to propose a $271,285,031 bond to voters this January. If the bond passes, it will allow the district to maintain or enhance current levels of technology, facilities and safety for schools. Every registered voter residing within the district’s boundaries received a ballot in the mail. The votes will be tabulated on Jan. 31, and the results should be known by 1 p.m. that day. “What we find is that more people vote when the ballot is mailed to their home than when they have to be proactive and actually go to site or request a ballot,” Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg said. “We feel like the democratic process, quite frankly, is best put to use when more people are involved and more people vote.” Members of the board traveled to each of the school buildings and talked with principals and administrative teams to decide on the needs of each school. Then, they discussed HVAC upgrades, paving needs and carpeting upgrades with the district’s construction department and maintenance operations. After that, board members decided the projects and the level of priority concerning each of those projects. Because of the certain taxing level the district does not want to exceed, some items did not make the list. “Everybody wants their project done first,” Trigg said. “But if you think about it, this is a five-to-seven-year bond referendum. There are some projects that won’t happen until five years down the road, some maybe not until seven years down the road because what we want to do is treat the tax payers fairly. So, we want to sell these bonds incrementally over time, so that we don’t have one year where taxes spike dramatically. We do have a pretty strong equity theme here in the district.” Trigg said the district would like to see more technology in the hands of students and continues to search for new ways to utilize technology.
Where would the bond money go?
62% $167 million facilities
Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg discusses the bond referendum at a press conference in November for student press organizations. “Everybody is going to have their own personal situation in terms of their financial situation, their taxing situation, job situation and all that,” Trigg said. “But my belief is most people are going to look at it and say ‘This is reasonable, this would make sense.’” Photo courtesy of Tiger TV.
“When you buy a desktop or a laptop from home, you can normally figure that the life cycle of that piece of hardware is going to be about four years,” Trigg said. “We have the same situation here in the school district. We buy all this technology for student use, and then, after about four years, it needs to be replaced. That money has to come from some place. So, in order to maintain our current levels of technology for students, I would say this is very, very important.” In a world of increasing technology, Trigg said schools need to help prepare students for their futures. “We really want to prepare kids, so when they go on to college and do whatever it is that they are going to do, that they just flow right into that university, and they don’t have any kind of technological divide,” Trigg said. “We want to keep up with the newest and the best, whether it is software, hardware, whatever, so that kids make that easy transition.” Blue Valley parent Jackie Storm said Johnson County is ahead of the curve compared to other school districts considering technology and facilities. “I think it is an important lesson that we don’t always need the best of the best,” she said. “And we need to learn to live within our means.” The district aims to provide a safe environment for every student. With this bond,
We are virtually out of technology dollars. We are in a position where we really need to go out and ask the voters to do this, and they’ll tell us whether they agree or not. Dr. Tom Trigg
the district plans to add improvements such as safety railings for elementary schools and secure entry ways for older buildings. Trigg said more of the bond money will go to the older facilities rather than newer ones like BV Southwest, Aubry Bend Middle School and Timber Creek Elementary. The district has a cycle for repaving parking lots and re-roofing buildings. Depending on where a specific school is in the cycle decides how early a project will be completed in the bond. BVHS has had more additions than any other facility in the district, and the bond proposes a number of changes to the campus, including new home side bleachers and a new press box. The bleachers began to show structural defects resulting from natural wear and weather. “That’s an aging stadium,” Trigg said. “That’s the oldest stadium that we have. Quite frankly, that press box up there, if you’ve been in it, not only is it small and not very functional — it’s safe — but it doesn’t come near meeting the standards needed in today’s media world. With games being televised now, games being put on the radio, newspaper folks, along with coaches’ boxes, it needs to be enlarged.” The bond referendum in 2005 was projected to last until 2010. However, in 2010 and 2011 the board of education felt the time was not appropriate to raise taxes and asked administration to stretch the current bond. “We are to the point now where everybody is in agreement we can’t do that any longer,” Trigg said. “We are virtually out of technology dollars. We are in a position where we really need to go out and ask the voters to do this, and they’ll tell us whether they agree or not.” Storm said she will vote no in the bond
31% $84 million technology
$20 million safety
referendum. “With the way the economy is right now, where some people are just getting by, it is not an appropriate time for them to come out and ask for this,” she said. Storm said she sees no direct correlation with the quality of education and the condition of the school facilities. “I think the money they are asking for is too much,” she said. “We need some money for improvements that are absolutely necessary, like if a roof needs to be fixed, but I think just the way they are directing the funds is unnecessary.” If the bond fails, the district will regroup and figure out why. The only time a district bond has failed was in 1982. Trigg said if the bond fails, the schools would take the biggest hit technologically. “We would have to come up with some ways to make our current technology last longer, which, as you know, is very, very expensive,” he said. “It would more than likely put us in a position that we would have less technology available for student use.” Trigg said the community supports each school in the district. “We just happen to have people that value education in this community, and they seem to understand, and they seem to be willing to provide the tax dollars to pay for it,” he said. “We’ll have to see this time if that is the prevalent attitude.”
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Sweetheart attendance prompts name change tayloryeazel circulation manager In early December, Student Council members discussed possible causes of low attendance at last year’s Sweetheart dance. They decided the cause of low attendance could be the implied meaning of the name itself. “We don’t want anyone to think it has to be a boyfriend-girlfriend thing,” student body president Evelyn Davis said. “We want [students] to think they could bring a guy friend or I can just go with a bunch of girls or a bunch of guys can go together. We wanted to make the feel a little more like Homecoming in the way that big groups of girls go or guys ask friends that are girls.” StuCo members brought in multiple ideas for names, such as Winter Formal and Women Pay All. The members then voted and chose Sadie Hawkins. “Essentially, Sweetheart is a term that involves love and dating,” Davis said. “Sadie Hawkins is just by nature a little more casual. While this is the same idea with the girl asking the guy, people are saying that they would much prefer to ask someone to Sadie because it could be a friend thing as well as a date thing. Mostly, we’re just kind
of taking away that connotation of love and Valentine’s Day, even though it is around that time of year.” Student Council sponsor Mark Mosier said the idea of changing the dance to increase attendance has been mentioned in previous years as well.
Student body vice president senior Elliott Voss said the name was also changed so underclassmen would go to the dance. “Mainly, we were just trying to get freshman and sophomores involved because last year we didn’t have the participation we were looking for,” he said. “We decided if we
Hands raised high, members of Student Council take a vote during the Jan. 18 meeting. Members meet before school starts to discuss the upcoming Sadie Hawkins Dance. Photo by Dakota Behrman.
changed the connotation from you have to have a date to having fun, like at Homecoming, it would be a lot better.” Voss said though the dance’s name has changed, the dance itself will not. “We’re going to have a music video that Student Council does that’s related to Sadie Hawkins, but other than that, there should be many of the same things as last year,” he said. Davis said the dance, scheduled for Feb. 11, is going to have the same feel as Homecoming. “The only effects on the dance are going to be probably less slower songs because we want it to be sort of the same vibe as Homecoming where everyone is just dancing and having fun,” she said. “We’re just hoping that most people will just look past the lovey sentiment of Sweetheart and just see something new and better in Sadie.” Davis said the name change would help people feel more involved in the school and was a move StuCo knew it had to make. “There’s a thought that Sweetheart has been a tradition, but when a tradition stops being effective is when it has to be changed,” she said. “We’re hoping this will be successful, and we’re hoping for people to be happy.”
Documentary illustrates harmful effects of stress on US high school students
jansenhess staff writer A couple months ago, I saw a documentary that finally brought two underlying problems to the surface: homework and stress. All I hear in the mornings at school is “I want to go home,” “I want to take a nap,” or “I don’t want to be here.” The documentary I saw, “A Race to Nowhere,” discussed how students are so stressed with homework and school, they don’t have time to live life anymore. They become sleep deprived or develop stressrelated illnesses — one girl even committed
suicide because she was so overwhelmed with stress. Students are losing motivation to be in school and to actually learn because of the excessive amounts of homework that have to be finished every night. It’s like having 11 hours of school instead of only seven. Yes, I understand, some homework is mandatory. Students can’t learn all the information in a 50-minute class period. We get it. But what’s the deal with all this extra work? Does it really make a difference if I read two extra passages about John Locke and complete a book scavenger hunt so I can ‘get to know my literature textbook?’ No. The way I see it, most homework is pretty pointless. If I know how to do something, why do I need to keep doing it? If I don’t know how to do something, what’s the point of attempting the problems? It would just frustrate and confuse me even more. “A Race to Nowhere” featured an AP
biology teacher who cut his students’ homework load in half. Guess what happened to his students’ test scores? They went up. It’s probably because his students were actually focusing in class — absorbing and retaining all the information being taught instead of vigorously copying down notes or trying to get a head start on the night’s assignment. Has anyone noticed how after a test we all magically forget everything we just learned? Yeah, that’s because we don’t pay attention in class, most likely because we’re tired. Because we don’t get enough sleep. Because we’re up all night doing homework. The sad thing is it’s not just homework that has to be done. We have so many other things we have to do or could be doing with our lives. Things like learning how to live life instead of hiding from the world behind a textbook.
Maybe if we weren’t so focused on getting the 4.0 we’ve strived for since birth, the teenage population might have an ounce of common sense. I realize being book smart is important, but we also need to be street smart. I have some of the smartest friends, but when it comes to the simplest of problems outside the school’s doors, they’re absolutely clueless. Living the sheltered life isn’t exactly ideal sometimes. We need to experience the world. We need to be free to make mistakes and learn from them, and no, I’m not talking about the mistakes we make on a math test. Problem is, we don’t have time to make mistakes, screw up or even get sent to our rooms. We could be out enjoying ourselves and taking advantage of the last few years of our adolescence, but no, instead we’re stressing over the six FRQs, three-page papers and worksheets all due tomorrow.
Parents’ actions set example for teenage behavior
abbybamburg staff writer Why do some kids act out more than others? Why is there always that one student who gets great grades and follows every rule in the book, while another is getting arrested before the age of 20? There is no factual answer to these questions, no scientific reason for which ones are “good kids” or “bad kids.” In most cases, people just blame it on society or peer pressure. Yes, these can affect how we grow up, but how can we
follow the rules if they’re not enforced by parents in the first place? According to childtrends.org, more than 80 percent of adolescents think highly of their parents. They watch us grow up, and, for the most part, will always be in our lives. If we’re taught the basics at a young age — respect for people, responsibility for our actions and self-control — then we will carry them on as we get older. Teenagers tell stories all the time about their parents allowing them to drink at parties or even giving away alcohol to them and their friends. This shocks me because I always thought of parents as authority figures who enforce the rules. I actually feel sorry for those kids because that is the example their parents will have set for them the rest of their lives — that it is OK to break the law. Parents can be held liable if their underage kids are drinking in their own home. Even if the parents are not aware of the drinking. What can be just plain bad parenting can result in legal issues.
So why take the risk? I always hear kids in the hallway saying ‘My parents don’t care what I do.’ Those are the parents who are either oblivious to what their children are doing or are too stressed out to think about it. We can all understand stress, but giving teenagers unlimited freedom is like showing us that there are no rules in the real world. And that isn’t reality. While we see some teens bragging about this, deep down they are probably vying for more attention from their parents. Instead of being jealous of the students with lenient parents, I feel sorry they will never learn that all actions come with consequences. And having no consequences shows us that what we’re doing is always “no big deal.” So next time your parents don’t let you do something that all your friends are allowed to do, consider yourself lucky that they love you enough to care.
Cartoon by Katie Wells.
Tension between U.S. and Iran escalates as Iran threatens to close off essential oil seaway
emilybrown opinion editor
The Nuclear Club In early December, Iran confiscated an American drone that had been launched from Afghanistan. As reported by the New York Times, the drone was being used by the CIA to monitor nuclear power plants in Iran. While Iranian officials have stated numerous times that the country is merely attempting to generate electricity through nuclear power — not building any nuclear weapon — several countries, including the U.S., are nervous about Iran’s progress in nuclear capability. Especially after the recent news that the nation’s capital is producing more uranium than is what is needed by civilian use. Saudi Arabia stated that they too will pursue nuclear capability, if Iran does test a nuclear weapon. If this were to happen, there is a possibility of a Middle Eastern arms race that would have disastrous results in an already volatile region. To stifle Iran’s nuclear capability, the European Union has proposed Iranian oil sanctions, and according to Businessweek.com, EU foreign ministers are likely to agree to block Iranian oil imports at the meeting in Brussels on Jan. 30.
Tension rising in the Strait of Hormuz With Europe moving forward with Iranian oil sanc-
tions, Iran threatened to close off the Strait of Hormuz, a small bend of water between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf that is essential for the transportation of oil from the Middle East to other parts of the world. Iran also sent the U.S. a simple message, warning them to stay out of the area and not to get involved. “We recommend to the American warship that passed through the Strait of Hormuz and went to Gulf of Oman not to return to the Persian Gulf,” said Gen. Ataollah Salehi, the Iranian commander in chief of the army, as reported by Iran’s official news agency, IRNA. “The Islamic Republic of Iran will not repeat its warning.” One-fifth of all crude oil comes out of this area, and according to Société Générale S.A., a major European bank, if Iran were to close the strait, oil prices would rise from $150 to $200 a barrel.
Not so idle threats? According to CNN, Iran has backed up their threats by beginning naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. They tested missiles that, if successful, would prevent any movement in the Strait of Hormuz. With these missiles, Iran has proven they have the technological capability to ensure complete control over the Strait of Hormuz. But do they have the political or economic power to do so? Sadly for them, not really. Their currency is crumbling, and any more sanctions would ruin whatever economy Iran has, especially now that new U.S. legislation included provisions to impose trade sanctions on Iran’s central bank. And with Iran’s unemployment rate more than 20 percent, social unrest is likely in a country surrounded by effects of the Arab Spring. Threatening the U.S., a country with significant economic power, only hurts them more in the long run. Let’s see where their nuclear capabilities go if they can’t afford the technology required.
Throwin’ around the insults While Iran teeters on the edge of economic ruin, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to discuss politics — and to joke about atomic weapons. According to MSNBC, Chavez joked that a bomb was ready under a grassy knoll in front of his palace steps. Clearly, Iran doesn’t mind befriending our enemies, and while Ahmadinejad might have not said the words himself, it was just as insulting. Perhaps, President Barack Obama should joke around with the Prime Minster of England about the crumbling of the currency in Iran. Or about how amusing it would be if Israel started bombing the nuclear power plants that, clearly, Iran is ready to go to war over.
Iranian nuclear scientist killed On Jan. 11, an Iranian nuclear scientist was killed by a car bomb. A senior Iranian lawmaker, Kazem Jalali, placed the blame for the act of terrorism on the United States and Israel. Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, has denied such claims, while a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces wrote on his Facebook page that he has no knowledge of who targeted the Iranian scientist — but he wouldn’t shed any tears over it.
Irony found in the unlikeliest of places In early January, shortly after Iran’s veiled threats, U.S. sailors rescued 13 of Iran’s sailors from a pirate attack in the North Arabian sea, near the Strait of Hormuz. Maybe Iran should worry more about the pirates targeting their ships than the American sailors saving their butts. Current as of press date.
Check out Jordan Hueser’s monthly co-editor column at bvtigernews.com
the tiger print publication co-editors-in-chief Jordan Huesers Sara Naatz website editor Maegan Kabel photo editor Courtney Woodworth news editor Kelly Cordingley features editor Annie Matheis entertainment editor Odi Opole opinion editor Emily Brown sports editor Jordan McEntee
Cartoon by Evelyn Davis.
With scheduling changes becoming more GLIĂ°FXOWFKRRVHQH[W\HDUĂ˘VFODVVHVZLVHO\ staff editorial
If you tried to change your schedule this semester, you might have noticed the incredibly long lines, piles of paperwork and giant schedule blacked out in the counseling office. If you are an upperclassman, you might have wondered why switching classes has been so much more difficult than previous years. While the reasons vary â€” everything from budget cuts to optional courses like CAPS â€” there are only two things students can do: choose classes wisely, and choose them now. The chances of an easy schedule change next year are highly unlikely, if not impossible.
So donâ€™t select classes because your friends are taking them or because you canâ€™t think of anything else to fill up your schedule. No matter how much you heart your best friend, copying his or her schedule in an attempt to get in the same class wonâ€™t be worth it. Especially on your college transcript. If you have no idea where to start, talk to your counselor, your current teachers or read the course description guide on the school website. The guide shows all necessary prerequisites and might surprise you with a class you would have never thought of before. Take the classes you know you will enjoy and classes that will challenge you without being overwhelming. That means you are going to have to decide now whether you can handle the classes you want to take next year or whether you should aim for a lighter schedule.
Be honest with yourself. Unless you are a super genius, donâ€™t take all AP courses. You wonâ€™t be a happy camper, and it will be a headache to switch into the regular course come August. And donâ€™t assume that elective classes wonâ€™t adequately prepare you for your future. Newspaper, yearbook and debate are examples of classes that will give you the real-world experience colleges and employers look for. Colleges look at your schedule, and three years of drama or art (no matter how time-consuming they are) show the college admissions officers that you arenâ€™t flighty and that you actually have a passion for what you do. So donâ€™t choose a random class just for the heck of it. If you donâ€™t love the particular area of study, it will be a nightmare. Even if it only lasts for a semester.
ads manager Anna Wonderlich circulation manager Taylor Yeazel staff writers Jansen Hess Maddie Jewett Meghan Kennedy Hailey McEntee Caroline Meinzenbach Abby Bamburg Katie Wells photographers Dakota Behrman Maria Fournier Bailey Outlaw Olivia Roudebush Jun Ham cartoonist Evelyn Davis adviser Jill Chittum
The Tiger Print is published nine times a year for students, faculty, and the surrounding community of Blue Valley High School. It is an open forum for student expression. Therefore, the opinions expressed within this paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrations of Blue Valley Unified School District #229. Letters to the editor and reader responses are encouraged for publication. The Tiger Print reserves the right to edit all submissions for both language and content and encourages letters to be no more than 350 words. Letters should be submitted to room 450, emailed to email@example.com or mailed to: The Tiger Print c/o Blue Valley High School 6001 W. 159th St. Stilwell, KS 66085 phone: 913-239-4800 Pacemaker finalist, 2009 and 2010. Member, Kansas Scholastic Press Association, National Scholastic Press Association and Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
Up in the Tumble during competition injures cheerleader, leaving her partially paralyzed for hours
She sat on the tumbling mat after the performance, unable to move her legs. Fear flowed through her as her teammate carried her off. In that moment, she didn’t know what was going to happen. The BV cheerleaders began preparing for their competition on Dec. 10 by flipping and launching their fliers up in the air. Varsity cheerleader junior Makenzie Bexten was practicing her tumbling when her feet barely cleared a basketball backboard sitting upright on the ground. Her back crashed onto the edge of the basketball goal. Despite the injury, Makenzie performed the routine with her teammates. “After the performance, I couldn’t feel my legs or anything, and I had to go to the hospital,” she said. “I couldn’t really feel my left leg while I was doing [the routine], and I kind of blacked out — I don’t even remember doing
the routine.” After the performance, fellow varsity cheerleader junior Rachel Rusnak carried Makenzie off and handed her to her father. “My husband and I were very concerned,” Makenzie’s mother Kathy Bexten said. “ We have two daughters who’ve hurt their backs, and we were concerned she’d done something serious.” Makenzie was carried to the trainer to evaluate her injuries, but it was decided the injuries were too severe to be dealt with there. “They were going to call the ambulance, but I was like, ‘That’s really embarrassing, and I’m already crying — can’t we just drive to the hospital?’” Makenzie said. “My dad carried me to the car while my mom pulled the car around.” After Makenzie arrived at the hospital, she was loaded onto a stretcher and taken to get X-rays and MRI’s. The doctors told her she’d torn ligaments that connected vertebrae to muscles, and they discovered a spine disease called spondylosis, the degeneration of the spine.
The doctors then injected her with steroids to loosen the muscles in her back and put her on pain medication. They told her to wait 48 hours to regain feeling in her legs, which she eventually did. “When she was home, she didn’t really move from the recliner for several days,” Kathy said. “We had to carry her to the bathroom and make a seat for her in the shower to sit on. We basically carried her everywhere for a few days.” Makenzie said after she injured herself, she shouldn’t have tumbled during the competition, but that she rarely gives her injuries adequate time to heal. “After the competition, I couldn’t walk or move my legs and I was like, ‘This is probably a good time to take a break,’” she said. Makenzie returned to school Tuesday, Dec. 13, in a wheelchair for the week of finals. She said her teachers were understanding about the injury. “[The doctors] told me I couldn’t even try to use crutches because of my ligaments,” Bexten said. “They heal with scar tissue,
kellycordingley news editor
High school cheerleading accounts for 65.1% of girls sport injuries over the past 25 years.
Despite her injury, junior Makenzie Bexten stunts with fellow cheerleaders at a practice on Jan. 11. Bexten injured her back at a cheer competition on Dec. 20, but overcame the injury. Photo by Courtney Woodworth.
so I’ll lose flexibility in my back. If I don’t let them heal with scar tissue, then I’d lose function of my legs forever.” Kathy said had it not been finals week, Makenzie would have stayed home. “I was concerned about her even being able to concentrate with the pain,” Kathy said. Makenzie said the cheer team and cheer coach Michele Wirt were all very supportive and stayed in touch with her after the injury. “I love them all so much,” Makenzie said. “I had so many calls, texts and people writing on my Facebook wall. Michele texted me every day and called a lot.
After I got hurt warming up, she told me not to tumble during the routine, but of course I was like, ‘Oh, it’s fine.’” Makenzie said she doesn’t know when she will be fully healed. “Everyone just heals differently,” she said. “So I don’t know what I’ll be able to do when I heal.” Kathy said even when Makenzie is fully healed, she’d like for her daughter to tone down the risky athletics she participates in. “I’d like to see her not do some things because she did have such an extensive injury,” Kathy said. “But I know she’s not willing to give up her activities.”
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acceptance Son’s condition inspires teacher to share story with students, demonstrates life lessons
Posing after eating dinner, Tina Martinat holds her son Joe. Joe was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. “I try to do my job here at 110 percent, but then I also realize I have a child who needs me,” she said. “I have a very supportive family, and my husband is absolutely tremendous because he gets him ready in the morning, he takes him to school.” Photo courtesy of Tina Martinat.
annawonderlich ads manager Taking your first steps. Saying your first word. Attending your first day of school. All these ‘firsts’ are monumental steps in a child’s life. Spanish teacher Tina Martinat realized each of these accomplishments is a miracle with her youngest son Joe, a 14-year-old with Down syndrome. “With the other four [children], I took for granted that they were going to reach all of their developmental milestones,” she said. “Kids do that. The four did it. Not that they reached them at the same time, but they all did it. With Joe, that didn’t happen. It took extra effort on all of our parts. It took us educating ourselves as to what could we do to help Joe reach those milestones.” Prior to Joe’s birth, there were no complications, but he was diagnosed with Down syndrome and leukemia at birth and seizures a few months later. “We didn’t know anything, but that was also a personal choice,” Martinat said. “Now they have so much pre-natal testing, but it wouldn’t have changed anything except make me worry very much.” Though his cognitive delays and communication problems make it hard for Joe to have typical pastimes, he finds joy in music. “Music is his life,” Martinat said. “He has no boundaries of the types of music that he enjoys — everything from country to rock. If you put anything to music, Joe’s there.” Martinat said Joe enjoys the little things in life like spending time with others. She said Joe will sit between his brothers while they play video games because he likes the action. “He loves the enthusiasm and excitement that goes on within the group,” she said. “He feeds off of what we all take for granted, and that’s just being together with friends and family.” Martinat said Joe has taught her more than she will ever teach him, and she can’t imagine life without him. “When Joe was born, I thought I had it all figured out, and I was totally wrong,” she said. “I teach him life skills, how to do things and how to be productive, but what he’s taught me is intangible. He’s taught me patience, compassion and absolute, undeniable acceptance of others — and that’s not something that I can go and buy at Walmart. On a daily basis, he teaches me something, even if it’s just ‘Mom, be a little bit more patient with me.’” Joe attends Prairie Star Middle School as an eighth grader and will join BV Southwest next
year. Martinat said it’s always a big transition when he changes schools, but she believes Southwest will be perfect for him. “The Blue Valley kids are loving, welcoming, protective and accepting,” she said. “I think it will be a big step because he’ll be in high school, but since I have visited Southwest, I have seen the teachers and the awesome facility that they have.” By teaching her to be more patient and positive, Martinat said Joe makes her a better teacher. “He helps me to realize that those 30-plus kids that sit in front of me on a daily basis might not get to conjugating ‘-AR’ verbs at the same time as their elbow partner, but they’re going to get there,” she said. “I might have to work a little harder with each one, but they’re going to get there.” She said Joe isn’t a Down syndrome boy — he’s a boy who happens to have Down syndrome. Martinat said she wants teenagers to know that kids with special needs have feelings like everyone else. “Most of them are very aware of how other kids treat them,” she said. “Sometimes I look at my little Joe, and think he’s luckier than most. He doesn’t know hate, hurt or hurtful words. He will never produce them, and he doesn’t know when somebody is being hurtful. There are so many kids with special needs that know when someone is being hurtful towards them, so I want kids to know that they’re people, too.” Martinat said she thinks Joe was put into her life for a purpose — for her to share Joe’s story and why he’s here. She does this every year on Freshman Class Day. “I realized after the first time, and this is thousands of kids ago, I knew that I couldn’t stop [telling his story],” she said. “I get kind of emotional, but it’s like, if we don’t realize this opportunity in life to touch another’s life, then what are you here for? I know I can teach Spanish, but I’m also teaching love and compassion. I’m teaching life lessons that are not in our textbook.” Martinat keeps all the notes from students thanking her for telling Joe’s life story. “I’ve told my husband, at my funeral, put them out,” she said. “That will tell my life story. I go back and maybe on a day that’s been kind of rough, I read it and I go, ‘Yup, that’s why I go back to school everyday.’ That’s what Joe does for me, too. I may have had a rough day, but when they drop this little boy off every day at my doorstep, no matter how bumpy my day was, he rights my world. He puts everything in perspective — no matter how cranky I might be, he makes everything right.”
Check out the extended story on bvtigernews.com
Cast, crew contribute numerous hours to prepare for opening night of musical, Crazy for You Stories by Maddie Jewett and Meghan Kennedy.
Bobby Child — Alex Petersen Bela Zangler — Jake Miller Lank Hawkins — Grayson Yockey Everett Baker — Sami Miller Polly Baker — Erin Moylan Irene Roth — Madi Cornett Eugene Fodor — Natalie Biel Mrs. Lottie Child — Morgan Giudisessi Perkins — Kiet Phan Chauffeur — Parker Hamrick
The Ensemble: Rachel Phillips
ix hours of dance lessons. Half an hour of voice lessons. Three hours of musical rehearsal. The life of the ensemble. Sophomore Rachel Phillips said the ensemble is a key component in the final show. “The importance of the ensemble is to create the life,” Phillips said. “We add the background to make it seem more realistic because there wouldn’t just be a few characters in a real place. We also get to add power to the big production numbers.” The members of the ensemble take a number of steps to prepare for opening night. “Lately, we’ve been doing a lot of singing,” she said. “We just started blocking, so the director has been coming in, and we start at the top of the show. We take it scene by scene and then after we block a little bit, we’ll go back and run it all to make sure we’ve got it. Rehearsals can be pretty long, but they’re pretty productive most of the time. It’s worth it in the end.” The ensemble contributes to the musical by filling a variety of roles. “Sometimes we are the people walking down the street while a scene is taking place,” Phillips said. “Other times, we are miscellaneous people who need to do stuff in a scene. Outside of the production numbers, we contribute by filling any parts of jobs that need to be done.”
She said perfection onstage isn’t just expected of the lead roles. “The pressure that we feel is just to be on top of our game and learn all of our vocal parts, lyrics, dancing and blocking,” she said. “Even if the leads know what they are doing, if the ensemble doesn’t, the quality of the show goes down.” While onstage, the ensemble has minimal interaction with the major characters. However, offstage, Phillips said, all cast members are close. She said the ensemble members collaborate to raise the standard of the show. “An ensemble is great when they are able to work together,” Phillips said. “It’s a group effort and you need to leave all your other drama behind and just focus on the show.” Her favorite part is meeting new people who share her same interests. “I’ve made new friends that are freshmen, but I’ve also made new friends that are seniors,” she said. “It’s just a really good connection and a good way to get connected with the school.” Phillips said being on stage has given her a self-confidence that she couldn’t find elsewhere. “Just being up on stage and putting yourself out there is a really big boost,” she said. “When you hear the applause from the audience at the end, it’s just a really great feeling.”
The Stage Manager: Julia Chestnut
The Pit: Carlos Cheung
riting out blocking. Taking roll. Helping design costumes. The life of the stage manager. From onstage to offstage, junior Julia Chestnut has seen it all. “Today, I was giving notes about little things during a scene that needed to be tweaked or fixed,” she said. “And it’s weird, because just a few months ago, I was the one being given notes. It’s a very different experience being on the other side of the glass. You are giving directions instead of taking directions.” Chestnut said the stage manager makes sure everything runs smoothly in all aspects of the show from tech to backstage activity. “You go over the blocking, where the actors move, when they move,” she said. “All the sounds and light effects, what goes on backstage that the audience doesn’t see. The stage manager makes sure everything gets done, when it needs to be done, and that it is done the right way. We are there to help out actors with any questions they might have. We are also the head of the tech crew so we make sure everything fits together and oversee everything.” Chestnut said the stage manger is in charge of holding the show together. “It’s just so hard to think of not having [a stage manager],” she said. “The tech crew is like the glue that holds the show together. The actors can go out on
he first thing heard when the show begins. The last thing heard before the final curtain. The hours of practice leading up to opening night. The life of the pit orchestra musician. Senior Carlos Cheung said the atmosphere of the musical contributes to his enjoyment of playing in pit orchestra. “I get to work with people who are motivated and who actually want to be there,” he said. “I get to play show music, and this year, it’s a jazz musical, which I really like.” Cheung, who played in pit orchestra last year, said being under the stage is a unique experience. “There’s a weird covering on the stage, and we are actually under that weird covering,” he said. “We sit there, and they actually sing and dance on top of us. It was definitely really warm, and whenever someone stepped on top of us, it was terrifying because you thought the stage might collapse on you.The pit is really small, and not a lot of people can fit in it. It’s not as high as you would think. I can stand up in it, but I can’t exactly move around without bumping my head.” The pit orchestra practices at least six
stage and sing and dance and shine, but without us, they don’t have the music or lights. It would be very rigid and rough around the edges. Without a stage manager it would be tough to make sure everything runs smoothly. It would be hard for everyone to focus on two jobs when they already do so much. If the actors tried to do their job and the tech job, a lot of it might fall apart.” Interacting with the cast, she said, is the best part about being stage manager. She said she loves contributing to the final product. “Nothing feels better than helping them do what they do best,” she said. “I’ve had my time to shine, and now it is my turn to help them do what they love. It’s so much fun to watch them get up on stage and know that you had a helping hand in making it look the best that it could be.” Though her job may be tough, Chestnut said the hard work is worth it in the end. “It’s something I love doing,” she said. “Not only have I been a stage manager, but I have also been in shows. I have a greater appreciation for what goes into shows. When I was onstage, you don’t really see what goes on offstage. When you work backstage, you get to see everything that happens. You make bonds with the people you’re working with, and even though we have such different personalities, in the end, we are all just a huge family.”
hours a week. “Right now, we’re just going through the music and making sure that we are playing it correctly,” he said. “Once it gets closer to the show, we’ll start playing with the cast.” He said playing in pit orchestra is a lot of pressure. “Beside the fact that we may not be exactly the most important piece, if we mess up it’s still going to be heard,” he said. “It’s going to sound off, and that might throw off the cast on top of us.” Cheung said the interaction between pit and the other components of the musical is minimal. “We kind of just do our own thing and try to help out occasionally,” he said. “Generally, the orchestra doesn’t really interact with the cast a lot. We know them because we go to the same school, but, basically, we don’t interact with them until the show is about to open. That’s when we start practicing together.” Cheung said the pit’s role goes hand in hand with that of the cast. “We follow directly with the musical,” he said. “We follow the lead of the cast, the people that are singing, and not the other way around. We are sort of in the background, and we support them.”
Check out bvtigernews.com for The Lead: Alex Petersen The Producer: Marsha Moeller
16-year-old completes majority of AP classes offered at BV his son to take hard classes. “In some ways, I must have helped influence him,” Daming said. “I basically push him a little bit. You want to take the classes that challenge AP Calculus BC. AP Statistics. AP Physyou rather than take classes that are easy.” ics B. AP European History. AP Chemistry. AP Allen said his desire for knowledge motivates English Language. AP Biology. AP U.S. History. him to take AP classes. AP Spanish Language. AP U.S. Government and “I just love learning, and I want to learn Politics. AP Psychology. AP English Literature. throughout my entire life and never stop learnAP Microeconomics. ing,” he said. “AP classes provide the most mateSixteen-year-old senior Allen Zhu has taken every Advanced Placement class BV offers, with rial you can get out of a class, and that’s probably why I take those classes. I just want to build up a the exception of AP French. broad academic knowledge just to get the most By the time he graduates, he will have comI can out of high school, as well as building up a pleted 12 AP classes. Allen recently received the Siemens Award for strong work ethic.” Although he hasn’t decided on a college yet, Advanced Placement in the state of Kansas for Allen said taking many AP classes will benefit 2011. This award is given to one male and one female in each state who earned the most fives on him. “I feel like since I did a bunch of extracurricumath and science AP exams. lars, as well as all these difficult classes, I’ll learn Allen scored five fives on math and science how to manage my time more,” he said. “I will exams — AP Physics, AP Chemistry, AP Statisbecome a better studier, and that will definitely tics, AP Biology and AP Calculus. Allen is currently taking AP English Literature help out in college.” and AP Microeconomics. “This year I have been light on homework, but last year I had around five hours of homework every night,” he said. “I really wanted to do extracurricular activities, so I really had to work at my efficiency and even then I still stayed up until 1:30 or 2.” With all the homework, Allen said he had to give up a few extracurriculars. He participates in Scholars Bowl, debate, forensics and tennis. “There were some I had to pick and choose at,” Allen said. “The ones I feel were the most time-consuming were debate as well as tennis because those have tournaments and practices that would last up to 5:30 for tennis as well as half of your entire Saturday. So whenever I wasn’t doing anything like that, I really had to devote my time to homework because I didn’t have time for anything else.” Allen said he doesn’t take AP classes to wear himself down. “I am taking these classes because it’s something I have to try at, and it’s a great way to prepare for college,” he said. Allen’s dad, Daming Zhu, said he encourages
haileymcentee staff writer
Daming said he is pleased with Allen’s achievements. “We are happy about how much he has accomplished in high school,” he said. “I am proud of what he has done academically and socially, but there is always room to improve. But I’m satisfied, and he’s a good kid.” To manage his time, Allen completes worksheets and handouts first and then the more time-consuming reading work. “After a while, I started building up an AP class work ethic,” Allen said. “The stress is a motivator. I worked hard and eventually turned stress into a helping factor.” Daming said Allen spends much of his time doing homework. “He handles all the work, and pretty much everything, very well,” he said. “We help him out a little bit in the time management. He has a tendency to do too many things, so we try to keep him focused on things he should be a part in.” Allen said he is able to take so many AP classes because he took Honors Geometry and Honors Algebra II before high school and tested out of Pre Calculus. “Once I could do that, I had room for more AP classes,” he said. “It’s like I am the architect of my own education.” Allen started kindergarten one year early. Halfway into Allen’s sixth-grade year, he was moved up to seventh grade. Allen said receiving the Siemens award made his hard work worthwhile. “It makes me feel like the effort has paid off,” he said. “When I look back on the classes I took, I had to do a lot of studying, and now it’s really paid off. I got out what I put in.” Senior Allen Zhu has taken almost all Advanced Placement courses available at BV. Because of his high scores on his AP exams, Zhu received the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement in the state of Kansas for 2011. "Siemens is an organization that is tied in with the college board, and they hold a science fair every year," Zhu said. "They also give out one award to a boy and girl in each state for whoever has taken the most AP exams and gotten a five for math and science. I have gotten five fives." Photo by Evelyn Davis.
Love you like a sister
Sibling birth order affects personalities, relationships jansenhess staff writer The Kuharich sisters — senior Megan, junior Lexi and freshman Kelli — all have different personalities and agree the order in which they were born plays a factor in who they are. Megan said certain stereotypes are used to classify the oldest, middle and youngest children. “Youngest is kind of the princess,” she said. “The middle one, I’ve heard and experienced with other families, is the problem child — usually the individual will just like to be independent. And the oldest, I guess they get a lot more things since they get it all first. They’re the guinea pig.” Megan said she is the responsible, motherly type out of the three girls. “I’m kind of protective,” she said. “I watch after them like my mom watches after us. I like being the first born because you get to experience everything before all the others.” Lexi said Megan acts most like the care-taker. “My older sister kind of worries more than I do,” Lexi
said. “So growing up with her, I just kind of felt like she’d worry about it, or she’d do it for me.” The mother of the three girls, Betsy Kuharich, said Megan is the typical first born. “She’s very organized and a leader,” she said. “I think that’s pretty typical for first borns. She’s more involved and outgoing than Lexi and Kelli.” Lexi said she likes to have fun rather than take things seriously and believes it is because of her sisters. “I’m kind of lazier than my sisters in some things, like with schoolwork,” she said. “I just feel like being chill and laid back, and they’ll take care of everything.” Lexi said if she was not the middle child, her personality would be changed to match her sister’s personalities. “In my family, we call it middle-child syndrome,” she said. “I’m just the middle child. I’m not the oldest. I’m not the baby. I just feel if I was the oldest, I’d be more responsible and set a good example for my sisters. If I was the baby, I feel like I’d be more of a brat like, ‘Oh, I’m the baby. I get whatever I want.’” Betsy said Lexi is her own person and is not guided by
The Kuharich sisters are involved in several of the same activities, but they all have very different personalities. “Kelli is more privileged since she is the youngest, and she’s just a little cutie, so we usually just give in to her,” senior Megan Kuharich said. “Lexi’s her own person. She’s very independent. She likes to do her own thing.” Photo by Olivia Roudebush.
her sisters. “Lexi has a very strong personality and is active, but not quite as active as Megan,” she said “She stands her ground very well.” Kelli said she’s definitely the most shy of the sisters. “Megan and Lexi are much more out there,” she said. “If we’re all out together, I’ll just kind of stand there, and they’ll go do their own thing.” Lexi said Kelli is the typical youngest child who gets whatever she wants. “She likes to get her way a lot, but I think that’s because she’s the baby of the family,” Lexi said. “If she doesn’t get her way, she’ll find a way to get it.” Kelli said the youngest can be treated like royalty and is given more privileges at a younger age. “People say that being the youngest is the easiest,” Kelli said. “I got a cell phone earlier than my sisters did, and they always tell me that when I’m their age, my curfew will probably be later than theirs is now.” Betsy said Kelli can sometimes act like a princess. “She was the child that was dragged everywhere and had to follow the other girls to all of their activities,” she said. “She likes to copy her sisters a lot, and that makes them mad. She’ll try to copy what they wear, what they do and who they are.” The sisters said going to the same school has made their relationship stronger. “It’s made us a lot closer than we were last year,” Kelli said. “They’ll help me with my homework sometimes and help me choose which classes to take.” Lexi said although their relationship has been strengthened, there is still some tension between her and Megan. “Me and Megan have a class together, Yearbook, and she’s the editor, so she’s kind of the boss of me, which I don’t really like sometimes,” Lexi said. “We kind of fight, a little bit — not very often — but we do.” Megan said there have never been full-out brawls between the two during Yearbook, but they have had “creative discussions.” She also said one of the benefits of being in the same school is knowing what’s going on with each other throughout the day. “When our parents have something to say to one of us, we’re just like, ‘No, don’t say anything because this happened today, so give her a free pass, it’ll be fine,’” Megan said. Betsy said the girls have grown much closer this year, especially Kelli and Megan. “It’s a challenge to have three girls all in a row,” she said. “We try to keep track of everything each of them get. It’s a challenge, but they’re all good kids.”
Teachers spend time outside of school to assist with multiple clubs Stories by Maddie Jewett.
Jill Gouger Spanish teacher Jill Gouger sponsors Bollywood Club, Dungeons and Dragons, Gay Straight Alliance and Young Progressives. She also teaches Spanish 2.5 and 3.5. Gouger is not paid for any of the after-school activities she sponsors. Gouger said through sponsoring, she hopes to help students feel accepted. “I want everyone to be involved in the school and a part of the community,” she said. “Everyone should have a place where they can belong. If I can provide an outlet for someone to feel more connected here at BVHS, then that’s what I want to do.”
It’s 2:45. Students know school is almost over. They can’t wait for that final bell to ring, symbolizing freedom and a time to relax. For many teachers at BV, this is not the case. They know that at 2:50, students will start piling into their classrooms to participate in the many different after school activities which they sponsor. It’s stressful. It’s loud. It’s hectic. The question is: Why do teachers do it?
The time commitment of each club varies. “I basically have to delay everything,” she said. “I have to delay my planning and grading since [the clubs] always meet in my room. I want to be involved in what they are doing, so I can’t start my work until the meetings are finished.” Gouger said she hopes to have an impact on the lives of the students in her clubs. “I am a pretty friendly, positive and open person,” she said. “I hope that I’ve shown them that there are adults in this world who encourage them to be themselves and who accept them for who they are. I also want them to see that, regardless of their interests, there will always be someone with whom they can gel.”
Relay for Life sponsor Adam Wade conducts a team captain meeting on Feb. 18. Wade also coaches Categories and Scholars Bowl. Photo by Olivia Roudebush.
Jessica Janish History teacher Jessica Janish helps plan Tiger Time lessons, co-sponsors Student Council and coordinates prom. She also teaches AP European History and U.S. History. Janish has a pay incentive for all three of the activities she helps with. But she said being involved with different groups of people is the main reason she sponsors. “I do them to get to know students outside of the classroom setting,” she said. “It allows me to be involved with different students that I wouldn’t have on an everyday basis. I also like being involved with other faculty in the building.” Janish said sponsoring activities has its ups and downs.
Math teacher Adam Wade sponsors Relay For Life, coaches Categories and Scholars Bowl and takes students to math competitions a few times a year. He also teaches Honors Algebra II, AP Calculus AB and Pre Calculus BC. Wade is paid for coaching Scholars Bowl and Categories, but is not paid for the other activities. He said the clubs and activities he helps with take up anywhere from one to five hours a week. “I can do a lot of the work anytime I want,” Wade said. “The good news is that the majority of the activities that I do don’t cut into the weekends, so I can still do a lot. I found activities that fit around my schedule.”
“[Sponsoring] has exposed me to lots of different personalities, lots of different talents and abilities that we have here at BV,” she said. “The other way it’s impacted me is it really is a lot of work. Teaching an AP class, I already have a lot on my plate. It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s really demanding.” While sponsoring can be stressful, Janish said she hopes to show students she cares. “I would hope that I have a positive influence on them and that they would see me as a positive leader in their school,” she said. “I would hope that it shows them that I do care and want to be here. I think sometimes students see you as a teacher, and that, for some of them, means that all you do is give them homework. I think it’s nice sometimes to have them see me in a light where they know that I care and that I want to be there and want to be involved.”
Club sponsor Jill Gouger partakes in a lively game of Dungeons and Dragons with club members. Photo by Evelyn Davis.
Wade said for him, teaching would be boring if he didn’t help with any clubs. He said all the activities he sponsors are unique. “[Relay For Life] is definitely more challenging from an organizational and emotional standpoint,” he said. “But Scholars Bowl and Categories are more challenging from a mental standpoint. It’s a different kind of dynamic.” While he does not have a favorite activity, Wade said Relay For Life has impacted him the most. “Initially, it was something that I just agreed to do,” he said. “I didn’t necessarily know how much it would mean to me. My philosophy with that is that, at some point, cancer affects everyone in some way. I really feel that, with Relay, I am contributing to a very positive thing in society.”
Sponsor Jessica Janish reads off a list of updates to the juniors on prom committee. The committee has been working since the fall to make prom a success. Photo by Evelyn Davis.
New club inspired by online video discourages bullying annawonderlich ads manager It’s another typical school night in December. Sophomore Kelly O’Donnell sits at her computer and clicks on a link to a YouTube video that keeps showing up on her Facebook newsfeed. She wonders what this could be about and who the boy in the video is, so she clicks play. The video that she watched, titled “Whats Goin On,” was made by 14-year-old teenager Jonah Mowry who shared his story by holding note cards he wrote on in front of his webcam about how he had been bullied since the first grade. This would be the video that inspired O’Donnell to create a new bullying-prevention club at BV called “One Life.” “I literally didn’t do my homework that whole night — I just wrote out all these ideas for this group,” she said. “I wrote out who, what, when, where, why and how. I know it took a lot of notebook paper, but I finally got a final copy down.” The next morning, O’Donnell took her idea to Principal Scott Bacon, where he approved the club and told her all she had to do was find a sponsor. She picked social studies teacher Jessica Janish and communication arts teacher Teresa Schulte as sponsors. O’Donnell said starting this club took a lot of thinking, dedication and hard work. “It took a lot of thought because I wanted it to be good,” she said. “I didn’t want it to sound corny. I wanted people to join, and I wanted to show everyone the point of having this club. You need to put a lot of dedication into it because you can’t just put half your heart into it.” O’Donnell said she chose the name “One Life” because of how bullying can affect someone’s life or lead to suicide. “You only have one life — you don’t want to live it by putting other people down to make you feel better,” she said. “Sometimes bullying can get to a point where you have suicidal thoughts. Everyone only has one life, and they don’t want to remember all the bad times from when they were bullied.”
O’Donnell said the bullying she’s seen and her own personal experiences with it also led her to start One Life. “I see it so much all over Twitter and Facebook, and it’s just never going to stop,” she said. “It’s never going to go away unless we really do something about it. I was bullied in fifth grade verbally, always at the playground, so I think from my experiences and then looking at other people’s [experiences], I wanted to do something about it.” O’Donnell said she thinks this club will take a different approach by having students become more involved in bullying prevention. “We’ve tried so many things to prevent bullying already,” she said. “We’ve had Bacon talk. We’ve had speakers come in. We’ve had things in the newspaper about it. People always say to go tell an administrator, but I think we need to help each other out — we need to stop it ourselves, too. We can’t just sit there. Most people are scared if they say something that they’ll get judged, but once you tell them, they’ll be like, ‘Wow, I really was bullying that person.’ You need to put yourself in [the person being bullied’s] perspective.” O’Donnell said she thinks bullying is awful and that it gets to a point where she’ll call the bully out on what they’re saying or doing. “When I see stuff on Facebook, I just have to say something about it,” she said. “People need to just let people be how they want to be without getting picked on. People say things here and there. I’m not perfect either — that’s not what I’m trying to say at all. But sometimes they just have to be more careful about what they say or do.” She said she hopes this club will spread to elementary, middle and high schools in the district, so the club will visit and talk to other students about bullying. One Life will start sometime this semester and will meet on the first Monday of every month. O’Donnell said the first meeting will consist of lots of planning and brainstorming with everyone involved. “We’ll talk about what we want to do for the rest of the year, visiting-wise, talking at assemblies and putting out happy quotes all over the lockers like what [Fellowship of Christian Athletes] did last year,” she said. “I don’t want only my ideas. I want to hear from everyone else, too.”
Kelly O’Donnell stands with a sign for her new club, One Life. O’Donnell began the club to fight bullying at BV. Photo by Bailey Outlaw.
O’Donnell said One Life is open for everyone to join and will put up posters around the school when the first meeting date is decided. “I want people, not just on Twitter who are following me and not just my friends, but everyone to be a part of this,” she said. “If you are a bully, or you were a bully or you have been bullied, you just need to see what it really is doing to people’s lives. There’s still people that are going to make fun of others, but I just want the bullying to decrease. Bullying has always been around, but for people who get involved, they can make lives change.”
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Performing arts seniors participate in shooting stars competition
Davis Senior Evelyn Davis will compete in the Photography category of the Shooting Stars competition. Davis said she appreciates the fact that the winner of the scholarship is not based on talent alone. “Winning the scholarship is also based on merit,” she said.
Petersen Senior Alex Petersen will compete in the Musical Theater category. For this category, he will sing two songs of his choice at his audition on Jan. 28. Judges for the Shooting Stars competition will determine the recipient of the scholarship.
“Also, to win they are looking for community service and achievements in a sort of balance.” Davis said her interest in photography began in high school. “It was the first time photography became a big part of what I do,” she said. She submitted eight choice photos in a portfolio on Jan. 20. Five of these eight photos had to be available to be put into the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, one of which will be displayed at the museum. “I’m excited and honored to be in the Shooting Stars competition and to have my work in the Nerman,” Davis said. Petersen said he has been performing in musical theater since he was seven. “My mom asked my brother and me if we wanted to audition for this one community theater show,” he said. “My brother said no, and I said, ‘Sure, why not?’ And now here I am, 11 years later, still doing it.” Petersen said Shooting Stars is a good way to bring in money for college. “I’m all for making college more affordable,” he said. “It’s a friendly competition with people from a bunch of schools. It really makes you raise your game and work hard.”
Senior Mollie Chesis will compete in the Literature category. Chesis said she enjoyed seeing the competition become a reality rather than just something she heard about at assemblies. “When I heard about it I was just thinking ‘I love creative writing, it’s for a scholarship, so why not?’” she said.
he Shooting Stars Recognition, Scholarship and Awards Program is a merit-based competition for seniors run by the Arts Council of Johnson County. The competition consists of nine different categories. A teacher may nominate one student per category. Once nominated, the student fills out a résumé-like document which includes a short answer question about why the category is important to them. The Arts Council will take into account the information on these résumés while determining the winners. Each category winner will receive a scholarship worth $2,000. The winners will be announced at The Arts Council’s Annual Shooting Stars Gala on April 1.
Stories by Hailey McEntee.
Senior Lauren Reardon will compete for the 3-D art category scholarship. She prepared a portfolio consisting of a required eight pieces of art. “It depends on the artist what they want Reardon to make for the 3-D category,” Reardon said. “You can do sculptures, you can do ceramics or just anything that’s 3-dimensional. I mostly do sculptural things and some ceramic pieces, but for this competition, it will be mostly sculptures.” Reardon began preparing her pieces for the Shooting Stars competition before knowing she was a nominee, but found out in October that she qualified. To work on art pieces for her portfolio, Reardon took an independent studies art class third hour. “It’s hard because something like writing you could do at home on the computer, but for my sculptural pieces I need the tools at school,” Reardon said. “I don’t have the ability at home to cut wood.” Reardon said she became interested in art at the age of four or five. “My mom, my grandmas and my great grandma — everyone that I looked up to — created art, and I didn’t know any different,” she said. “I wanted to be just like those people.” She said it looks really good to win a competition against some very talented students. “Just being able to be in this is great because it helps to push you to make things you
She submitted one piece of writing on Jan. 9. Chesis said writing allows her to put her experiences into words. “We can channel our experiences into literature to make it ‘reexperienceable,’” she said. “Writing is a powerful way of expression. But sometimes words can’t describe some emotions and everything
Formed from stoneware clay and plaster, “Inside Out” is one 3-D art piece senior Lauren Reardon submitted to the Shooting Stars competition. Courtesy photo.
have never seen or heard of before,” Reardon said. “If the judges see something similar to something they have seen before they will just pass right over it. You have to think of new, unique things the judges would like.” Reardon said she is looking forward to hearing the results at the Gala. “I’m really excited to do this,” she said. “I can’t wait until April 1 when I get to hear what they thought of my pieces and if I won the scholarship.”
perfectly.” She said her connection with writing started at a young age. “I have been interested in writing forever,” she said. “The moment that really stands out, though, was in elementary school when we had a children’s book author come talk and show the books to us. I vividly remember it. I turned to my neigh-
bor and, for some odd reason, I was just like ‘I have to go start writing a book.’” Chesis said the fact that her sister won the Shooting Stars contest fuels her desire to win. “This is a really cool scholarship I want to reach,” she said. “It was either fate or hard work that brought me to being in this competition.”
The Woman in Black — A young man travels to a small, secluded village where the ghost of a woman is frightening the locals.
By Caroline Meinzenbach.
Photo courtesy of CBS Films.
The Vow — A married couple are involved in a car accident that causes the wife to go into a coma. When she awakens, she has memory loss and does not remember the past five years of her life — including her marriage. Her husband works to win her heart again.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters — Fifteen years after the incident at the gingerbread house, the siblings are now bounty hunters tracking down the witch.
21 Jump Street — Police officers go undercover to find the source of a drug problem at a high school. Butter — An adopted child discovers she has talent for butter-carving and enters the town’s annual butter-sculpting contest.
Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.
This Means War — Two CIA officers are best friends — until they discover they’re dating the same woman. Now they try to take down their newest enemy, each other.
The Cold Light of Day — While on vacation in Spain, Will Shaw’s family is kidnapped. He springs into action in an attempt to save them, uncovering a major conspiracy in the process.
The Hunger Games — The best-selling novel comes to life on the big screen in this movie, which mixes action, thrill and romance. The main character, Katniss Everdeen, must fight to the death on live television in an arena with other competitors.
Chimpanzee — A DisneyNature documentary follows the life of a chimpanzee for 15 years. (Right)
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
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BLUE VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
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The Few, The Proud, The Seniors
Younger players look up to 3 returning athletes as role models
Photo by Jun Ham.
jordanmcentee sports editor He dribbles down the court. He’s used to searching for a senior to pass the ball to, but he soon realizes that he is that senior. Jack Porter, John Stoothoff and Brady Buescher are the three seniors on the varsity boys basketball team. Porter and Stoothoff are the only returning varsity players from last year’s squad. “Last year, John and I were the only real underclassmen,” Porter said. “This year it’s kind of the opposite.” Buescher played on JV last year and said the move to varsity hasn’t been too difficult. “It wasn’t a giant jump from JV to varsity,” he said. “It’s definitely faster and more physical. But a lot of working hard over the summer got us prepared.” Transitioning from a team full of seniors to just three this year, Porter said the team focuses less on age differences and more on a team mentality. “Last year, you’d look up and just about every guy you passed to was a senior,” he said. “Now we don’t really look at each class. We’re all just one team.” Porter said with less upperclassmen, the team is more balanced. “We share the ball well, and there’s more balanced scoring,” he said. “We don’t rely on one guy. On any given night, it could be anyone.” Buescher said the entire basketball program is like a big family. “When coach talks, he says he feels something different about this team,” he said. “Usually it’s more stratified — the older guys, the JV and the sophomores. But now everyone meshes together.”
Basketball coach Chris Hansen said the boys on the team genuinely like and care for one another. “When you look across the court, and you really care about the other guys, you’re going to be a teammate,” he said. “We definitely have that going for us.” Hansen said the seniors have naturally filled the leadership roles on the team. “It’s a good situation,” he said. “They take ownership of the team. We don’t even have to tell them. They know this is their last time to play together, so they’re taking initiative. It’s been a smooth transition.” Hansen said Porter and Stoothoff provide a good example for younger players on and off the basketball court. “Jack and John are really good guys,” Hansen said. “Off the court, they have great character. And from a basketball perspective, they work extremely hard.” Buescher said each underclassman brings a lot of talent onto the court and plays a big part in the team’s success. “Our point guard,[sophomore] Ryan Brady, brings a lot of energy, and he’s a really good game manager,” he said.
“Then Connor [Hurst], Mitch [Sundquist], Andrew [Reinkemeyer], all the juniors, are all good scorers and great rebounders. They bring a lot of athleticism to the table.” Porter said some of the younger guys are still learning their roles on the team. “They just need to step back, and take a breath,” he said. “They’re playing the same game they’ve always played.” Stoothoff said the student section contributes greatly to the positive atmosphere at home games. “We definitely have the best student section — the best front row,” he said. Porter and Stoothoff said all the fan support is encouraging, especially on theme nights. A list of theme nights is posted on the bulletin board in the senior hall. Any student can suggest ideas for theme nights, and Student Council finalizes the decision. Stoothoff said he wants the team to finish stronger than previous seasons. “Each year, it seems like we’re beaten down by the end of the season,” he said. “I want us to finish on a high note and build up some momentum for next year.” Hansen said his main priority for the team is for each player to improve every single day. “We’re different than an experienced team,” he said. “We’re learning on the go. Where we are now is significantly better than we were a month ago. I hope I can say that same thing about a month from now. It’s a process.” Stoothoff said the team is still discovering its potential. “There are a lot of people who don’t know what we’re capable of — we don’t even know what we’re capable of,” he said. “We’re just going to learn as we go, and I think we’re going to surprise some people.”
Bacon inducted into Hall of Fame for coaching, administration wanted to do.” When Bacon began his coaching career in 1989, 16 boys made up the wrestling team. When he turned the program over to current wrestling coach Chris Paisley 13 years later, about 60 wrestlers participated. “Wrestling is a very hard — physically and mentally — sport,” Bacon said. “It takes you to the edge a lot. You develop a bond that lasts a lifetime. I still get Christmas cards or emails asking to be a job reference. I think it’s a time they value.” Administrators worked together with Bacon’s family to surprise him with the induction on the day of the tournament. Unrein said athletic director’s secretary Karen Kaman was instrumental in keeping the ceremony and the family’s attendance a secret. “That was fun,” Kaman said. “The day of the tournament, I kind of snuck them in, and we had [Assistant Principal Bob] Whitehead keep Mr. Bacon busy. It went really well.” Bacon said he felt both surprised and honored by the impromptu ceremony. “I was totally shocked,” he said. “I like to think that I know what’s going on around here, but that’s certainly one instance where I had no clue. It was, needless to say, a very humbling and a very meaningful occasion.” Kaman said that making Bacon’s induction a surprise made the ceremony much more enjoyable for the staff members present. “Mr. Bacon always puts everyone else first,” she said. “He’s so humble he probably would’ve said, ‘Oh, let’s skip this whole thing.’ Our ability to do something for him and have it be a surprise made it special. It was finally our turn to do something for him after all he’s done for us.” Bacon said he loves working at BV and hopes to continue working here for years to come. “I’m a Tiger like crazy,” he said. “I’ve been at BV for 21 years, and there’s no place I’d rather be.”
Bacon starts his career at BVHS as an American History and German teacher. In addition to teaching, Bacon is assistant football coach and head wrestling coach.
EKL Champion, Undefeated in Regionals, ‘95-’96 Sportsmanship award of the year.
a timeline of Bacon’s career and wrestling highlights
Bacon becomes Athletic Director and Assistant Principal at BVHS. Wrestling team is EKL Champion. Bacon is named 5A Coach of the Year.
EKL Champion, 6A State Champion, 6A Coach of the Year.
On Saturday, Dec. 15, Principal Scott Bacon was inducted into the Blue Valley Hall of Fame for his work as both a coach and an administrator at BV. Athletic council member Andy Unrein said Bacon’s induction was encouraged by both coaches and administrators on the committee. “With Mr. Bacon, it was a fairly informal process,” Unrein said. “Everybody recognized it as something that needed to be done.” Unrein said the criteria for nominating Hall of Fame inductees varies depending on the situation, but nominating coaches and administrators is decided by the committee. “In Mr. Bacon’s case, he was inducted as much from the coaches’ point of view as from the administrators’ point of view,” he said. “Obviously, his role as a principal is the thing that everybody sees, but there was a time where he was a very, very good teacher and a very, very good coach here, too.” Bacon was inducted during the Johnson County Classic wrestling tournament, an event that he helped launch when he was a wrestling coach. “In ‘94 I had a dream,” Bacon said. “I wanted to develop a wrestling tournament at BV that would host all the Johnson County schools, and I wanted it to be called the Johnson County Classic. I just needed someone to run it. Dennis Ortman was a very smart guy. I shared my dream, and he said ‘I’ll run it. You design it, organize it, and I’ll run it.’” Unrein said the event was the obvious choice because of its connection with Bacon’s coaching history. “You want it to be memorable and worthwhile for the people that you present it to,” he said. “[The tournament] is something he always supervises every year, he’s very interested in it still, and it was a pretty natural decision to do that for him. It wasn’t an earth-shattering decision; it was just an obvious thing that we
odiopole entertainment editor
ÄYZ[OHUKL_WLYPLUJL Current math teacher Matt Ortman wrestled all four years he attended BVHS, during the time Bacon was coach. What made him a good coach? He treated everyone with respect and made you feel like an integral part of the team. How did he improve wrestlers? His biggest asset was he was able to get the best out of everyone. He’s someone you didn’t want to let down, so you always did your best. What made him stand out from other coaches? I wish I could figure out all the different things he did, because I’d be a much better coach if I could motivate, inspire and do all the little things that makes kids do their best. How did he impact wrestlers outside of wrestling? He was one of the main reasons I wanted to be a teacher and a coach. I know he had the same impact with other wrestlers who went into education just because of him. He had such a big impact, it’s tough to put into words. The big thing is he always cared about you first as a person and what was best for you. That goes a long way with high schoolers.
Induction to the Hall of Fame
6MMZLHZVU[YHPUPUNRLLWZH[OSL[LZÄ[ jordanmcentee sports editor Their alarm clocks ring at 5:15 a.m. They could hit the snooze button a few times. But they don’t. Juniors Xavier Adams and Colton Donohue wake up early every morning to run together. Adams and Donohue are training for the upcoming track season. “After our freshman year, we were one spot off from making State for our relay team,” he said. “We don’t want that to happen again, so doing this is going to make us the best that we can be.” Adams said he and Donohue have run together for years but just recently became training partners. “We ran together a little in middle school,” Adams said. “But we really started training together in high school. It’s kind of like our lives now.” Seniors Mackenzie Gorthy and Miranda Loats also train by participating in indoor track meets to stay in shape for high school track season. “We’ll do running, bleachers, weights and abs for training,” Loats said. “We train outside, then we have meets inside.” Loats said she hopes the extra off-season training will prepare the team for a successful track season. “Last season at State, we didn’t perform as well as we wanted to,” she said. “Last year, I fell just short of a medal for the open 800. I’d really like to medal in that at State and for our team to medal in the 4x800-meter relay. We’re all working hard to get where we want to be.”
The runners’ determination goes beyond simply seeking recognition. “Our coach knows that we do all the extra running,” Adams said. “But even if she didn’t know, we would still do it anyway. Knowing that no one is training as hard as us — that makes me want to do more.” Loats said it has been important to keep an optimistic attitude. “It’s hard when people ask you, ‘Why are you running?’” she said. “It’s hard to explain. But you have to make it positive. Running is such a mental sport, so you have to stay positive.” Loats said she has held herself accountable and worked hard for four years to accomplish a big task. “My goal since I was a freshman was to break the school record for the 800,” she said. “The record’s, like, a million years old. It’d be cool to break, but we’ll see.” The current record for the 800-meter is 2:18, and Loats timed in at 2:26 at State last year. Donohue is hoping to win State in the mile, and both Donohue and Adams would like to qualify in the open 800-meter and the 4x800-meter relay. “We’re excited to do this because we want to win State,” Adams said. “Waking up at 5:30 sometimes isn’t as fun as you might think. It’s cold. But we’re out there every morning no matter what.” Loats said running is a difficult sport but is very rewarding. “When it’s snowy and cold, it’s hard to get motivated,” she said. “You’re like, ‘Wow, this is not fun.’ But you have to remind yourself why you’re out there. We all have bad days, but the good days make it worth it.”
sports in brief BOYS BASKETBALL
Previous action: 1/20 @ vs Harmon (L 92-86) 1/21 @ vs Bishop Seabury Academy (W 68-44) Upcoming action: 1/27 vs Gardner 1/31 vs BVNW Record: 4-7
Previous action: 1/13 @ BVSW (W 45-19) 1/20 vs Gardner (L 40-36) Upcoming action:
1/30 @ BVNW 2/6 vs BVSW Record: 7-2
FYI The girls basketball team will continue competing in the Topeka West tournament tonight and tomorrow. The boys basketball team faces off against Gardner-Edgerton at 7 tonight in the main gym.
save the dates 1/30 — Girls bowling tournament at 3:30 p.m. at the Ranch Bowl (5604 State Ave. in KCK). 2/3 - 2/4 — Boys swimming EKL meet at BV Southwest.
in the news Two weeks ago, David Beckham signed a new two-year contract to continue playing for the LA Galaxy. Kansas State University and the University of Kansas basketball teams will go headto-head in Manhattan on Monday, Feb. 13. Tip-off at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN3.
The University of Missouri and University of Kansas basketball teams face off in Columbia on Saturday, Feb. 4. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN3. Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish agreed to a 6-year deal worth $60 million to pitch for the Texas Rangers in 2012. He is the most expensive right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball history.
Previous action: 1/20 @ BVNW Invitational (14th place) Upcoming action:
1/28 @ SM North 2/11 EKL
Previous Action: 1/14 @ BVNW (L) 1/21 BVSW Invitational (W) Upcoming Action: 1/28 @ SM East
2/3 EKL @ BVSW
Previous action: 1/9 @ Park Lanes (2nd place) 1/19 @ Olathe Lanes East (4th place) Upcoming action:
1/30 @ Ranch Bowl 2/1 @ Leavenworth (Crown Lanes)
Results current as of Jan. 23
BRING IT ON Senior boys learn cheerleading techniques, will perform at Sadie Hawkins assembly
(left) Attempting a stunt, seniors Jaxon Tupper, Joe Rolleston and Nick Heizman lift senior Elliot Voss into the air. The boys learned a few stunts to prepare for the Sadie Hawkins assembly. “Being a flyer is intimidating at first,” Voss said. “But after I learned to trust my spotters, it was a lot of fun.” (top) Junior Paige Sims helps a group of senior boys practice. In this stunt, Tupper and Heizman help Voss do a front flip. “It was a good opportunity to get together since football is over,” senior Kyle Zimmerman said. “And a lot of football guys are doing it.” (middle) Senior boys sing “Happy Birthday” to Jaxon Tupper during a practice. They practiced about once a week with the cheerleaders to improve their skills. (bottom) Seniors John Stoothoff, Corbin Paine, Jack Porter and Hayden Edwards throw senior Chris Bruce into the air during a stunt at a practice for the Sadie Hawkins assembly. To throw the flyer into the air, the stunt group has the flyer step into their hands. They then launch him into the air and catch him in their arms.
Photos by Maria Fournier and Courtney Woodworth.