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Vol. 44 Issue 2 September 2013 Stilwell, Kan. #NOPANTS Posts regarding absense of pants deemed inappropriate page 9 DRINKS, DRUGS, DUIS Student’s night of fun turns into run-in with law pages 20-21 TRAITOR TEACHERS BV faculty members coach at rival schools, discuss schools’ reactions pages 44-45

Alumni Adventures: Graduates discuss time spent since high success. Pages 26-27. Photo illustration by Alex Kontopanos and Raine Andrews.



September 2013

Events Calendar Sept. 28 — Marching Festival Sept. 30 — Hearing and Vision Screening, PAC Oct. 1 — Blood Drive

Blue Valley’s Got Talent

Students audition for annual talent show, appreciate opportunity to showcase talents

Oct. 2 — Homecoming Bonfire, 6:30 p.m. on the practice fields Oct. 3 — Senior Announcements & Cap and Gown meeting, 12:30-1:20 p.m. in the PAC Oct. 4 — Homecoming Parade, 1:30 p.m. Oct. 5 — Homecoming Dance, 7-11 p.m. in the gym Oct. 8 — Orchestra Side-by-Side Concert, 7 p.m. in the PAC Oct. 11 — No School, end of First Quarter Oct. 16 — College Readiness and Community Service Day Oct. 19 — Talent Show, 7 p.m. in the PAC Oct. 22 — Fall Choir Concert, 7:30 p.m. in the PAC Oct. 23 — Parent-Teacher Conferences, 4-7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 — Class Rings Delivered, 8-9 a.m. Parent-Teacher Conferences, 4-7:30 p.m.

Sophomores Tanner Neath and Lance Jewett and senior Ryan Casey auditon for the Talent Show. Casey is also the technical director for the show. “I think the level of talent and the amount of acts we have is really great,” he said. Photo by Alex Kontopanos.

makaylanicholis Prepare to be star-struck. Blue Valley’s annual talent show is coming up soon. Auditions took place in the PAC on Sept. 16 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and Sept. 17 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The talent show will be held on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the PAC, so be sure to mark your calendars for a night of singing, dancing and other undetermined gifts. Entry will cost $5. Last year’s winner, sophomore Brycen Gunn, said he would definitely perform again this year. “I thought it was fun,” he said. “I met a bunch of people that I didn’t know, and I thought everyone that was contributing to the show was really awesome. They all were great last year.” Gunn said he wants to shake things up a bit in his dance routine this year with the promise of new props, and, he hopes, some

audience interaction. He said his favorite part of the talent show last year was performing in front of people. “That’s what I really like to do,” he said. “And I just love making people smile.” Another former talent show participant may be returning this year as well. Junior Nate Hardy said if there’s one thing he’s hoping for in this year’s performance, it’s more contestants. “[I liked] the atmosphere and seeing everyone and what they do outside of school with their lives,” he said. Spanish teacher Jill Gouger, the continuing coordinator of the show, said she agreed heartily with Hardy. “I also loved seeing the variety of acts,” she said. Gouger is also the leader of the talent show’s organizers, Diversity Club and GayStraight Alliance (GSA). “I want to show that everyone has something to contribute and that we should be accepting people as they are,” Gouger said. Page designed by Tori Pippins.

September 2013



“Elephant’s Graveyard” Drama department prepares for fall play, expects larger attendance than previous years rachellock This year’s fall play auditions took place on Sept. 25 and 26. The director of the show and drama teacher Jeff Yarnell and junior Jefferson Harwood, a BV student in last year’s fall play, discussed their previous experiences and what’s different about this year’s show. “Elephant’s Graveyard” is the true story of a circus that, after a tragic accident occurs, believes the elephant is dangerous and therefore, must be killed. “There is a sadness about this show,” Yarnell said, “There is something [sad] about the choices that the people have made, knowing it is real life, and knowing that these are things that could have been avoided.” Last year’s fall play, “Noises Off ” was a comedy. Though there is no specific order for the mainstage productions, for the last few years comedy has been in the fall, and drama has been in the spring. This year, that order was switched. “The advantage of doing a drama is that it is perhaps more of a fit as far as how we will be adjudicated for state,” Yarnell said. “This type of show is probably more likely to have

success than [the spring comedy] ‘Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged.’” The drama department has been growing, and, last year, the audiences for “Noises Off ” and the spring drama “1984,” grew along with it. “We’re getting a lot more people to see the shows than we had several years ago,” Yarnell said. “I’m encouraged by the attendance.” Yarnell said “Elephant’s Graveyard” will be quite different than last year’s drama. “‘1984’ was a very stylized show, and we were really trying to incorporate an ominous kind of oppressive feel,” Yarnell said. “‘Elephant’s Graveyard’ won’t have that at all, but it has to have some of those touching moments in there.” Harwood shared his thoughts on this show. “I am excited for the reaction we are going to get from the audience and the way that the characters on stage will now have the opportunity to express their feelings to the audience,” Harwood said. “We are hoping the audience is going to receive that in a very powerful, very emotional way.” Both Yarnell and Harwood worked on “Noises Off ” along with eight other cast members.

“The production was so much fun to do,” Yarnell said. Harwood and Yarnell both said they remember a day of rehearsal when Yarnell filled in for one of the cast members who was gone. “The energy after that day completely changed,” Yarnell said. “I don’t know why, but that was a great rehearsal. I really wanted to be in the show after that.” If you didn’t get a chance to audition for the fall play, there will be auditions for the comedy, “Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged” in the spring. “Nerves are the problem that you’ve got to get past — the more you audition, the easier it gets,” Yarnell said. He also said those who want to audition can come see him in the Black Box theatre, room 718, if they have any questions. Yarnell said the drama department has been going through a lot of changes this year, but he said he has kept his directing style no matter what show is in progress. “There is always a dramatic or comedic emphasis for a show, and it depends on the show itself,” Yarnell said. “Whatever the show calls for, you really got to bring that — whether its a comedy or a drama.”

Page designed by Rachel Lock. Photo by Gennifer Geer.





September 2013

New location, sponsor chosen for annual event; upcoming team captains meeting scheduled

sallycochran news editor Relay For Life (RFL), an annual event that raises money for cancer research, will see a few changes this year. New co-sponsor Laura Volz was invited by co-sponsor Adam Wade to help with Relay. “Last year, [science teacher Anna] Toneva convinced me [to go to Relay],” Volz said. “Because of the purpose of it — funding cancer research — I’ve always been interested in wanting to know more. I saw what the event was — saw the kids, the luminaria — and I was just very impressed. Since I’ve been new, I haven’t gotten involved in much. It just kind of sparked something in me. It made me want to possibly seek out being involved. What’s ironic is, while I was already thinking about it, Mr. Wade emailed me and was like, ‘Hey, would you be interested in co-sponsoring Relay with me?’ I got it, and I was like, ‘Did you talk to Toneva?’ because she knew I was interested. It was like everything aligned, and it was kind of meant to be. What was funny was [Toneva] had never said anything to him.” Volz said she is inspired in part by her best friend’s father, who has brain cancer. “I want to feel like I’m contributing in some small way to the fight against cancer,” she said. “At the end of the day, at the end of the event, the time I’ve put into it is fruitful. I think when you have a loved one going through something like that, and you feel helpless, this makes me feel like I have something active I can be doing.” Relay, scheduled for March 7-8, will take

on a new location: Johnson County Community College (JCCC). In the past, teams have been required to share campsites, which will no longer be an issue according to co-chair senior Katie Theisen. “It’ll take out the aggravation of being cramped and not having enough room to move around for a lot of things,” Theisen said. “We’ll have a wide open space for campsites, a lot more area to do activities.” Also, all activities, ceremonies, food, etc. will be located on the same level, as opposed to Blue Valley Southwest or West, which have elevated tracks on the floor above the gym. “Everything is right there,” co-chair senior Riley Adelmund said. “No more scurrying around or getting lost in some strange [BV] Southwest school.” Last year’s Relay achieved a new status for fundraising — tenth in the nation for high school Relay net income with about $128,000 between participants Blue Valley, BV West and BV Southwest. “Breaking the top 10 is proof of our dedication,” Theisen said. “It’s proof of our school being able to come together and make a difference.” BV North and BV Northwest may possibly be participating at this year’s Relay — neither school has done a Relay event in school Relay the past. “Blue Valley North is interested

in participating,” Wade said. “At this point, I’m not 100 percent sure as to what their involvement is going to be. It could be not at all, it could be they have a couple teams participate, it could be they’re a full participant. I genuinely don’t know. That’s one reason why going to JCCC makes sense is that if [BV] North and [BV] Northwest want to come on in, we think we would have the space to do it there.” Volz said she hopes to see more students involved and more money raised than last year. “I’m hoping to see even greater involvement, which seems crazy with the numbers we already have,” she said. “I remember we were sitting at our meeting, and we were talking about what our financial goal would be for this upcoming year. Everyone was really hesitant to make it too much greater, and I’m like, ‘Shoot, let’s blow the roof off of that.’ I think it would be awesome to surpass our own expectations of what we think we’re capable of raising.”

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Designed by Sally Cochran.

September 2013

marching along gennifergeer sports editor Trumpets. Drums. Dancers. Recycling bins. For the 2013 marching band season, the Blue Valley band will perform their show “Earth Song.” Named for a featured song by pop star Michael Jackson, “Earth Song” is designed to spread awareness for protecting the earth. “It’s about conserving resources and saving the earth that we’re destroying,” band director Avian Bear said. “Our goal for awareness is making people aware of their personal footprint and putting more thought in what they do.” Bear said a few staff members came up with this idea, including the band’s visual director Paul Bessetti. “For my part, I did an Earth show a couple years ago and thought it was a rich subject with many avenues to explore,” Bessetti said. The show conveys an Earth covered in (Top left) Enhancing the music, the trumpet section watches the drum majors. Junior Madison Mrla has participated in band since fifth grade. “Competitions are always fun,” she said. (Bottom left) Keeping in rhythm, sophomore Zac Keyser plays the vibes. Keyser made new friends through band. “You get to meet a lot of new people you wouldn’t meet otherwise,” he said. (Right) Raising her hands, drum major senior Mary Morrison directs the band during the half-time performance. Morrison conducted with juniors Jefferson Harwood and Joe Lasley. Photos by Gennifer Geer.



Band encourages protecting environment through show, includes new elements in performance

garbage, and, that with music and marching, is cleaned. Bessetti said getting the story across to an audience is difficult considering their only medium is music. However, this increases his satisfaction in the show. “My enjoyment of this show comes from seeing and hearing the storyline of the production from start to finish,” he said. The largest component of the band show are the students who participate, Bear said. She said the students love the music, and Bessetti agrees. “We’re playing cool, relatable music, including Radiohead and Michael Jackson,” Bessetti said. Bessetti also said this show is attempting incorporating new elements into marching band. “We’re digging deeper with our visual program, which is allowing our students to attempt new skills,” he said. In addition to the band members, Bear said the drill team has played a huge part in advancing the show. “They’re a major contribution with dance

Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.

and color,” she said. “All the trash thrown over the field — they pick it up with dance.” In addition to dancers, the show will feature flute players twirling flags and “playing” trash cans. “I think it’s cool to see the differences between the color guard and what they do and what an actual marcher would do [while throwing flags],” flute player junior Ashleigh Tysick said. Tysick said the flute section worked on the skills and routine since late July. “[We learned from] our color guard instructor, and, after that, Mr. Bessetti kind of helped us,” she said. “Other than that, it’s been up to ourselves to keep practicing.” Tysick said she’s excited to be performing the show because it highlights a different theme from last year’s show. Bessetti is also eager to see “Earth Song” in action, and the band will perform this show at all the home football games. “Mostly, we just want people to watch, listen and enjoy the product of our student’s hard work,” Bessetti said.



September 2013

A Grand Reopening

Construction completed on new District Stadium stands, increased capacity makes for true superfan experience Photo by Gennifer Geer. Page designed by Matt Antonic.

mattantonic The Blue Valley football team has yet another amenity to brag about this season when they take to the field in the newly renovated District Stadium. Since last December, construction crews have been working on the project, rebuilding the home stands from the ground up. The finishing touches were applied shortly before the start of the school year. Athletic Director Matt Ortman said the project was smooth sailing until May when a bizarre weather pattern had other ideas in mind. “We fell a little bit behind due to the snow we had in May, along with all the other rain,” he said. A fast finish by the workers of McPherson Construction got the work done before the school year. With all the construction done, fans will now enter the stadium and see a grandstand bearing almost no resemblance to the structure it replaced. A new brick façade will greet Tiger Supporters as they enter the District Stadium, supporting the structure on both sides and in the back. Replaced with brand new bleachers, the new stand is nearly 20 feet longer than its predecessor, allowing fans more space to move about. The old metal railings have

been replaced by actual guard railings, and the stand is now uniform in size. The last renovation to the home grandstand took place over 25 years ago, in 1986. Ortman said the renovations were absolutely necessary, citing the harsh Midwest weather the stadium has had to endure. “The stadium had sustained a lot of damage from a couple of windstorms that came through, and part of the back of the stadium was ripped off,” he said. “We needed something a little bit stronger.” Ortman also said the new grandstand will help reduce cramping with increased capacity. Capacity for the grandstand has been increased to 2,400, bringing the stadium’s capacity as a whole to more than 4,000. The visitors side, most recently rebuilt in 2006, will not see any changes other than standard cleaning. Along with the grandstand, a new press box was erected at the top of the stand, a warm welcome for scorekeepers, public address announcers and coaches who use the booth for the duration of games. “It’s a little bit wider and a little bit deeper, and there are a couple of extra spaces for some media outlets,” he said. “The media personnel will no longer have to remain inside the cramped press box existing previously. The people in the press box will also have their own elevator to use.” It’s not just the scorers and coaches who will be pleased with the progress.

Radio and TV stations will find much more convenient access and technology upgrades. “[The press box is] a lot more technologically advanced,” Ortman said. “I know they put in Wi-Fi and some new outlets so that when Metro Sports or 610 Radio want to broadcast the games, it will be a lot easier.” Metro Sports has occasionally broadcasted the Hy-Vee Game of the week at BV, and 610 or 810 Radio are commonly present to cover big games. Football Coach Eric Driskell said he is ready for a new season and is excited for what the new stadium can bring. “We’re really excited,” he said. “It’s great for us, and it’s great for Blue Valley High School.” As a former student and longtime coach, Driskell said there is nothing like playing at BV. “The crowd has a huge impact on how we play,” he said. It’s loud, it’s proud and it’s just an unbelievable atmosphere”. Other projects to the stadium since its 1969 construction are at a wide range, including the construction of the concession stands, an electronic scoreboard, replacement of visitor bleachers, permanent ticket booths, resurfacing of the track and the replacement of grass with FieldTurf. The stadium had its grand re-opening under the Friday night lights on Sept. 6 for the BV vs. Gardner Hy-Vee Game of the Week, commencing a new era of Tiger Football.

September 2013



BRAND’S BRAND NEW BROADCASTING ROOM Broadcasting room switches locations, gains new technology, live show capability toripippins Over the summer, Blue Valley made some changes to the broadcasting room. The old room that some of us know and love has moved. Last year, the broadcasting room where Tiger TV is produced and recorded was located in room 350, at the corner where the main hall crosses Brand the 300 hall. Teaching in room 350 since 2001, Broadcasting teacher Denny Brand said he has been asking for a new studio for 13 years. The new room is located in rooms 402 and 501. Last year, it was a computer lab and a social studies classroom. Over the summer, a construction team added a door between the rooms, and now they house the broadcasting computers in 402 and the brand new studio in 501 with a separate control room. With the control room, the Tiger TV crew will be able to do some things they couldn’t before. “The anchor desk is in front of the green screen, so we can be much more creative with our backgrounds,” Tiger TV anchor senior Natalie Pace said. “Live shows will be produced later in the semester, which leaves much less room for error on the anchor’s part. The live shows are going to be an amazing, new experience.” These changes are going to put a little more tension on the shoulders of the staff. “[The new room] will affect [Tiger TV] quite a bit,” Brand said. “We can show [students] how the green screen operates, and they’ll know what it’s like to do a live show. The adrenaline’s going to rush a little bit.” Brand isn’t the only one who’s excited. “It’s pretty cluttered right now, but I think after we get it set up it will be awesome,” Tiger TV reporter junior Sam Jacobson said. With the room came brand new equipment — new Macintosh computers, cameras as well as control room equipment. “[The new room is] intimidating,” Broadcasting I student sophomore Marie Hornung said. “I feel like if I breathe too hard, I might break something, but you get used to it.” Although they are a little behind schedule, Brand said he is satisfied with the new room. “I’m happy with my new digs,” Brand said.

Junior Sam Jacobson learns how to use the new camera properly in the broadcasting room. The broadcasting class recently was transferred to a different classroom. With the transfer, they received new equipment which they will be using to produce Tiger TV this coming year. “We used to be in a fairly small room,” Jacobson said. “It was so cramped, everyone was tight and together, and now we have two rooms together and it’s huge now.” Photo by Molly Johnson.

“Live shows will be produced later in the semester, which leaves much less room for error on the anchor’s part. The live shows are going to be an amazing, new experience.” —senior Natalie Pace Page designed by Tori Pippins.



September 2013

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September 2013






Common social media posts regarding lack of clothing draw inappropriate attention

maddiejewett & alexkontopanos features editor & photo editor It’s happened to all of us. We’re bored, so we open up Twitter. We casually scroll through and stop to read only the tweets that happen to catch our eyes. Quotes. A subtweet. Complaining. Song lyrics. A duck-face selfie. More complaining. Another selfie. Then we read one that draws our attention even more than the extremely intriguing examples just listed: “Ugh. Such a rough day. Just got home from school, time to take my pants off.” Alright, now before we get too far into this, let us tell you. We love repping the over-sized sweatshirt, no pants outfit just as much as the next teenage girl. But let’s just say we would never tweet about it, letting everyone know we were not wearing pants at the exact moment in which

we weren’t wearing them. We’ve noticed a recent change in the attitude toward pants. For some reason, all teenage girls have developed a distaste for them. What is the scientific reasoning behind this? Did every girl in the nation suddenly despise the feeling of having clothing on her legs? Has the entire new generation of girls forgotten the struggle for women to wear anything other than a dress and an apron? Let’s take a minute to recap the history of pants for women. As surprising as this may seem, women have only been wearing pants officially for less than 50 years. Instead, they wore dresses that cover about 90 percent more leg than the shorts girls wear now do. The concept of women wearing pants was introduced circa 1940, mostly through movies and times of war. Fashion idols and characters such as “Rosie the Riveter” revolutionized the era of dress code for women. Denim for females became popular as the ‘60s approached, and in the early 1970s, “Vogue” featured blue jeans on their cover. Yet, despite all the effort it took for women to finally be able to wear pants, girls still complain about them. Honestly, sometimes it feels like girls just post about not wearing pants for the sole purpose of attracting attention — and not

the good kind. We assume most people like to come home and get into a large T-shirt and sweatpants — or maybe no sweatpants at all — but that still doesn’t mean you should post about it. We get it — you don’t like pants. Your mother must be so proud. Ironically, your grandmother probably loves them considering she was prohibited from wearing them when she was our age. You know, the whole, ‘We walked to school in the snow uphill both ways,’ sort of thing. We’re not trying to go on a feminist rant about how we should only wear pants to prove how liberated we are or that we hate people who hate pants (because we don’t). But stop saying you don’t like pants because we know you’re going to wear them once winter rolls around. Be grateful we have the ability to wear something that is so crucial to maintaining our body temperatures. Homeostasis and whatnot. And let’s be real — no one wants to read about your hatred for a simple article of clothing on any social media site. Not even Facebook. So the next time you decide to tell Twitter ‘what’s on your mind,’ please, for the sake of all your followers, don’t mention the amount of clothing you happen to be wearing (or not wearing).

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unwritten rules of Blue Valley Staffer gives freshmen students tips, rules to be followed

maddiedavis Rules. Everyone seems to hate them. However, usually they’re there for a pretty good reason, just like these “rules” that you won’t find posted anywhere or in your student handbook. These are the unwritten rules that Blue Valley students live by. Not standing in the middle of the hallway is one of those things that seems like people would understand because it’s so simple and self-explanatory. Even a preschooler could do it, but apparently to some it’s too much to handle. Don’t stand in the middle of the hallway. Yes, you know, the middle of the hallway, between two walls of lockers where everyone is walking and jabbering away about the latest drama on the way to their next class. The middle of the hallway is not a place for standing. Unless, of course, you want to get sandwiched between the girl with five textbooks and a 6-foot tall football player. To avoid this uncomfortable experience and many others like it, please, stay on the sides of the hallway. Another thing I don’t understand is that the human race seems to be so concerned with popularity and how other

people see them on the outside that we forget life isn’t a popularity contest. So, enjoy your high school life while you can. Sing. Dance. Play sports. Draw. Do whatever it is that you love, and don’t worry so much about what people think of you. For those of you who think high school is going to be like a living version of “High School Musical,” you’re wrong. People don’t sing and dance in the hallways, yes, you do have homework and not everything is going to work out perfectly in the end. But that’s the beauty of it. At the end of the year, you’ll remember getting lost in the hallways on your way to your classes the first few days of school. By the end of the year, you’ll know the

“Of course, since these are ‘rules,’ and you’re probably a rebellious teenager, you don’t have to follow them. ”

halls so well you can walk them looking at your cell phone, talking to your friend and getting something out of your backpack. Which, by the way, you should not do. Nonetheless, the point is that you’ll make mistakes, but get over that fact now. What really matters is how you learn from them and get back up and keep going. Yes, you’re in high school now. Congratulations. Now please, get over it before you make a fool of yourself. Most upperclassmen use the common phrase “stupid freshmen.” If you act all crazy and insane, then you’re going to prove them right. You could not care that you’re called a “stupid freshman,” but my guess is that it bothers at least some of you. It bothered me when I was a freshman. So please, do us all a favor and try to prove that statement wrong. It would work better for everyone. And after all, you’re in high school, right? So doesn’t that mean you should maybe start acting your age? Definitely makes sense to me. Of course, since these are “rules”, and you’re probably a rebellious teenager, you don’t have to follow them. Yet, if you do follow them, I guarantee that your day here at BV may just be a bit better. Even if the only thing that you get from this article is a way to avoid collisions in the hallway, that’s OK. At least you got something out of it. But my hope is that you got something more.

Page designed by Maddie Davis.

September 2013




Dress code seems easier to follow, less strict when compared to private school uniforms

annawonderlich co-editor Ah, the Blue Valley dress code. A set of rules students love to push the limits of or grumble about daily. Sure, not being able to wear clothes with spaghetti straps because it “distracts from the learning environment” seems a little ridiculous, but, honestly, the dress code could be much stricter. Could you imagine walking around the halls of BV wearing a uniform matching every other student in the building? Attending St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School for seven years, uniforms were just another part of school for me. Every morning I would wake up and put on a collared, white button-up shirt tucked into an uncomfortable knee-length navy, red and tan plaid skirt. Up until fifth grade, I had to wear a jumper instead of a skirt with the same plaid pattern. Switching from the plaid jumper to the skirt was a pretty big deal for the girls at St. Michael’s. As for the boys, they were required to wear navy or tan pants with a white or red shirt, and, if it was a Wednesday, they had to wear a navy tie for all-school Mass. Both skirts and shorts had to be to the knee with the shirt tucked in. So, you still think BV’s dress code is strict? Other rules at St. Michael’s included no makeup or Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.

nail polish, only navy, black or white socks and no jackets worn during school unless it was a uniform-approved sweater. While the St. Michael’s dress code wasn’t as bad as I probably just made it sound, BV students definitely have it much easier. And instead of being politely asked by an administrator to change your outfit if it breaks the dress code at BV, students would receive a discipline referral at St. Michael’s if your skirt wasn’t long enough or you didn’t wear a belt with your shorts. Although it was nice to not think about what to wear to school, it’s even nicer to have the freedom to wear whatever I want at BV (still within the dress code guidelines, of course). All the private high schools in the area like St. Thomas Aquinas, Rockhurst, Sion, St. James Academy and St. Teresa’s Academy require students to be in uniform. So even though students can’t wear literally anything they want at BV, our dress code is a much easier set of rules to follow than any of the private schools — something every BV student should consider next time they’re complaining about how “unfair” our dress code is.





September 2013

balancing act Evaluation of purpose of dieting, staffer provides tips for healthy lifestyle

alyssahess A lot of people are mistaken when they go on a diet to lose weight. Don’t get me wrong — it often works, but is it healthy? There is a big difference between healthy dieting and unhealthy dieting. When you think of the word “diet” what comes to mind? Probably salads, fruits and vegetables. That’s good. Healthy dieting will make you feel better and focus in school — as a bonus, you will maintain a healthy weight. However, for some people it is hard to do so. Although salads, fruits and vegetables may be a part of your daily diet, you may not be completely healthy. You may be skinny, but not healthy. Cut-

ting out all sources of carbs, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals can be very dangerous. The modern stereotype is skinny is healthy, but that is not necessarily the case. Usually actors and actresses are skinny, and many fashions are portrayed by thin models. However, for some of these people, it is very damaging to their bodies and can lead to eating disorders. Some diets are great. For instance, changing your after-school snack from a bag of chips and a cookie to an apple and a granola bar. But some diets prevent you from eating nutrients that you need, like diets that restrict carbs, calories or fat. You can’t live without those things, so don’t try to cut them out of your diet because you think it will make you look thinner. That will only cause you to feel run-down and tired. If you want to be skinnier and feel good, eat a good meal, wait 30 minutes or so and then go exercise. If you do this two to three times a week, you will begin to notice a positive change in your look and attitude. Never go on a diet just to lose weight — go on a diet to be healthy.

There is a big difference between healthy dieting and unhealthy dieting. Never go on a diet just to lose weight — go on a diet to be healthy.

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September 2013



dieting by the numbers

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September 2013


R S O T R O R R Y O H sheilagregory

I remember a day in seventh grade when John P. Halligan, the father of a boy who committed suicide, came to Prairie Star Middle School to talk to us about it. I, along with everyone else, was crying for his incredible loss. It was almost unbearable to hear about his and his son’s suffering. It wasn’t until I matured and kept seeing the stories on the news about all the young kids dying that I truly thought about how a suicide or even an accident such as a car crash could affect the students and staff at Blue Valley. Looking at it from the angle of an accident, the aftermath would be both worse and better in some ways. I’m not saying death in any situation is better at all, but with this situation no one feels guilt. It’s devastating to all who knew the victim or not, but there aren’t feelings of “I could’ve done something to stop this,” or “There must have been some way to help.” The school as a whole would be somber for about a month after it happened. Then, things would seemingly go back to normal. Time heals and makes things fade. It would look like almost everyone had forgotten.

Except the victim’s close friends. I’m sure you all have someone in mind. I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘How on earth would life go on normally without him or her? How could she be saying the school would go back to normal?’ It will for them, just not for you. Time helps, but some wounds never close. Now looking at the equally horrifying aspect of one of our own committing suicide. This would cast a huge shadow over our normally cheery halls. Think about it — someone in our school pushed past his or her limits until he or she saw no light ever. No one sees it coming. I’m not writing this as a warning for anyone, but it’s something worth thinking about. In this situation, everyone who has had contact with him or her feels varying amounts of guilt. Could you have been nicer to your locker neighbor or your lab partner? We’ve all had the lessons on how to spot the signs — why didn’t anyone say anything? If you want the psychological answer to my hypothetical question, it’s the bystander effect — when you stand back in a crisis situation expecting other people to help. It’s a sad fact. Other emotions that would be coursing through us are a mix of horror and curiosity. How could someone be pushed so far over the edge that this was the only solution? Hopefully, (but unlikely), it wasn’t because of people here. Think about how many peoples’ lives you have affected. And not just that, but think about how simple actions affect everyday people. Be kind. Love one another because nothing can be taken for granted.

Think about how many peoples’ lives you have affected. And not just that, but think about how simple actions affect everyday people. Be kind. Love one another because nothing can be taken for granted.

Page designed by Anna Wonderlich.

September 2013



staffeditorial TIGER PRINT newspaper the

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

Cartoon by Caroline Kalmus.

Students must maintain professional relationships with teachers at school staff editorial





Texting. Tweeting. Facebook friends. These are ways students socialize with their friends. But should they do the same with teachers? No. School should have a business-like atmosphere between students and teachers, and today’s society has seen a dramatic change in this thinking. School is where we come to learn. Teachers are there to help us learn — they aren’t there to be our “besties.” If a teacher and student are talking, joking

or communicating with each other the way two students would, there’s something wrong with that. According to foxnews. com, at least 40 school districts in the United States have passed laws prohibiting students and teachers from interacting on social media sites — something that should be considered in the Blue Valley School District. The professional learning environment would be substantially restored. This does not mean students can’t admire a teacher as a person or talk to them outside of class, but there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Students’ personal lives and professional lives need to be more separate. When a teacher and a specific student are in constant communication with one

another, there is bound to be a certain bond between the two that other students don’t have with that teacher. The BV student handbook states a vision for our school is to have “a professional learning community that develops and maintains personal connections between students and teachers.” So, yes, relationships should be formed with teachers, but only in a professional way. School may not be fun and interesting all seven hours of the day, but that does not mean you need to try to make it interesting by becoming best friends with your teachers. The fact of the matter is that school is for learning, even if that’s not necessarily what some students want to be doing.

entertainment editor Danielle Williams opinion editor Riley Miller sports editor Gennifer Geer

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

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 Stilwell, KS 66085



September 2013

Learning Logic

on best ways to learn Story and design by Gennifer Geer. It’s a given at school that no one likes work. Homework, athletics and jobs. Students complain throughout all seven hours about the workload they have that night or proudly proclaim they haven’t finished an assignment due in 15 minutes. Yet, no one complains about learning. It’s quite the opposite. A common complaint among students is they’re not learning.

is giving them freedom to Sophomore Kelsey De- choose how they want to mel said she likes learning, display learning. “What I find in educaand she said she does extra tion is that students want research in subjects in to know, desperately, and which she’s interested. they want to learn, but “When you like a subject more, you’re more they also want autonomy,” Peres said. “So they want willing to put effort into to learn about whatever it,” she said. is it they want to learn. Social studies teacher Our struggle is we have Brian Mowry, however, an agenda, I have to make has a different opinion. “It doesn’t matter what kids see the purpose and I have to give them autonthe subject is if you can omy.” awaken curiosity,” he When provided with said. “It doesn’t matter if more freedom, Peres said you’re interested in the students will welcome Middle East or interested learning what they are in the trajectory of a ball. supposed to absorb. He Human beings should also said this idea is relabe interested in learning, tively new. and if the subject matter “I think our school is focuses on learning, then very progressive,” Peres it will be interesting.” said. “If you compare our Social studies teacher school to all other schools, Jason Peres said the key to getting students interested we do a lot more focusing on learning than most.”

Classroom Vocabulary: Social studies teacher Brian Mowry said students immediately shut down when they know they’re going to be working. “I can physically see a switch being switched when the talk turns to ‘You have a quiz on this,’ or ‘You need to make a project on this,’” he said. “I can see a huge disconnect and even a different mindset from learning to ‘Now, it’s about grades.’” Because of this, Mowry said he focuses on learning in class. He said he believes students are interested and eager when it comes to learning. “When I get to teach my elective courses, we really get to focus on just learning interesting things about other cultures,

and kids get excited about it,” he said. However, Mowry said he has to give students the mindset of emphasizing learning and not working. “I try to spend a lot of time at the beginning of the semester when I set up a class talking about learning,” he said. “‘Learning is the goal — learning is important.’ I try not to use the word ‘work.’” Social studies teacher Jason Peres said he also uses a careful vocabulary when teaching. “We don’t use those words ‘work’ and ‘homework,’” Peres said. “We use the words ‘learning’ and ‘learning extension.’ I wouldn’t want kids to feel learning is work. It shouldn’t be.”

Interest Level:

This doesn’t discourage teachers from trying, though. Another reason students “Every teacher got into this don’t like work and school, business to promote learning,” according to social studies he said. “I’m just not certain teacher Jason Peres, is the students have always picked lack of challenge. up on it. There isn’t one per“Kids don’t like school son at this school who thinks when there’s no challenge learning is a bad thing.” involved,” Peres said. “The Social studies teacher Briproblem is students are at an Mowry said most teachers such varying levels that would claim to emphasize everybody’s challenge index learning over grades, but in or their ‘wheelhouse’ of being order for the process to be efappropriately challenged is fective, teachers must support going to be different, and that’s where the teacher comes their philosophies with their actions. in.” “Like anything, teenagers However, Peres said keepcan spot phonies very quicking all students challenged to their appropriate levels can be ly,” he said. “I have to be more a difficulty in itself, especially concerned with learning. I can never get on a kid because when done on a daily basis. their grade’s low.”

Teacher Involvement:

September 2013 reference,” he said. “So, what kids might see as pointless, mind-numbing, busy work could actually be a When it comes to taking notes, way for them to build background writing essays or preparing for tests, knowledge. The problem is we don’t social studies teacher Brian Mowry always explain it well, so kids don’t said these classic elements of school see a relevance.” aren’t necessary to learn, but they Demel said she considers herself are needed in order to succeed in an avid learner and said homework college. is generally a disruption to her “Our entire system is not neceslearning, outside activities and sleep sarily set up for learning as it is for schedule. getting your diploma or getting your “With the hours I have to put degree,” he said. “I always like to say into my extracurricular activities if you’re depending on this school to and the hours I have to put into educate you, it’s going to be a crappy homework, I usually don’t get a education.” lot of sleep, which doesn’t help my Sophomore Kelsey Demel said learning or my participation in exthe work done in school is useful to tracurricular activities,” Demel said. learning. Demel isn’t alone. “You have to do a little bit of According to a poll by, work to learn, so I think a little bit only 20 percent of teenagers get the of work students don’t mind,” she recommended nine hours of sleep, said. “It’s excess work — that’s when and lists they mind it.” homework as one of the top factors Social studies teacher Jason for that, alongside sports, activities Peres said students don’t always and socializing. understand the meaning behind the “I think we should take work work they are assigned. off the plate altogether,” Mowry “It is really difficult to learn said. “Just lightening the workload something without any frame of itself might not have an impact on

Relevance and Impact of “Work”:

Learning Forever:

Social studies teacher Brian Mowry said he thinks it’s important to be a lifelong learner, not just a lifelong student. “When I’m 50 years old, I’m not going to be studying for tests and taking notes and annotating books,” he said. “I’m just going to be learning. It seems that students come to class waiting to be educated, which

isn’t horrible, but it’s not great. The kids that will be more successful are the ones that go out into the world and demand to be educated by having experiences and taking risks.” Sophomore Kelsey Demel said she thinks learning should relate to the outside world. “Learning is being able to expand my knowledge of the world and the things in it and how to

“You have to get outside these walls and have a learning mindset in everything you do, especially outside of school.” —social studies teacher Brian Mowry


learning, but lightening the workload plus a very strategic focus on learning as a culture shift would be huge for the way students learn.” If the amount of work went the other way and increased instead, Mowry said more work would “demotivate learning.” Peres agrees work should be limited, but this doesn’t always happen. “Are we guilty of over-assigning things that kids don’t see a purpose for?” he said. “Absolutely. In my profession, I’ve always tried to regulate learning extension activities to only things I can really justify.” Mowry also said a four-day school week would encourage learning. He said the day off should be a day for students to use the resources and teachers at school, like an eight-hour TCB — a time when students can ask for help or work on homework. “That, in combination with lighter workload, more student-driven assessment and a more deliberate focus on learning, would help kids see value in learning and help kids become better independent learners,” he said. deal with the world and the living things in it,” she said. Mowry said he always tells students to pursue learning elsewhere in addition to school. “Teachers kind of hate it when I say this, but your education doesn’t happen here,” he said.




September 2013


REbeL examines unfair beauty standards for men maddiedavis staff writer According to REbeL’s website, it is a “student-driven education and prevention program designed to address eating and body image concerns.” Nowhere does it say it’s only for girls. Guys can be involved in REbeL, too. REbeL sponsor Jessica Edwards said REbeL is for everyone. “It’s certainly a little more challenging to reach guys because I think most of the research around the issues we talk about in REbeL is focused on girls and women,” she said. “So, the research just isn’t quite out there.” “The Kansas City Star” recently did an article about a young man recovering from anorexia. In the article, he was in denial about his condition because he thought anorexia was a “women’s disease.” REbeL maybe could have helped this young man. If only he knew it was available. REbeL member sophomore Marshall McCarl said he thinks REbeL is trying to open up issues on the male end of things as well. “As of right now, I know they’re starting to raise male awareness because REbeL talks about eating disorders and body image, and they’re starting to talk about guys as well,” he said. Edwards said she agreed this was one of REbeL’s goals.

I’m toned, not Tatum

“I just think we have to start by making things a little bit more gender-neutral because a lot of stuff is just focused on women,” she said. “That’s just going to be one of the things we’re going to have to work on this year — just making things so that they are for both men and women, and both guys and girls.” REbeL sponsor Tierney Weed said negative body image is something that affects both genders. “I think we focus a lot on girls and their perception of their body image, but it’s also an issue for guys at this age, especially the male athletes,” she said. Edwards said she thinks the media has a huge impact on body image as well. “One of the big [topics] is the media and the unrealistic standards they set for how people should look,” she said. “For example, every guy ‘should’ look like Channing Tatum or an Olympic athlete, and it’s not realistic for a high school kid or a working dad or a college guy. So, it’s just like women being told everyone needs to look like a supermodel.” Weed said she wants the club to be more diverse. “I think it’s our goal that it isn’t just a club oriented for girls,” she said. “I think our goal is to get more guy members so we have a more diverse school population represented in our group.” McCarl said he hopes more guys will join. “It’s one of those things where if one

We get insecure

,” o r b “ Yes, t f i l o d I goes, more will follow,” he said. As long as you have people who start doing it, more guys will end up coming, too.” Edwards said she also wants larger guy numbers in REbeL. “I think, honestly, it’s just going to take a few guys that say, ‘Hey, I want to be involved in this, and this is an issue men face as well,’ and hopefully we’ll get more to come,” she said. “We had one guy last year, and this year we have three, so we’re getting there. However, we always want to welcome more.” McCarl said he thinks getting guys involved in REbeL can start small at Blue Valley but expand nationwide. “A lot of colleges like [REbeL], and I think BV will end up spreading it to other schools because it’s a great thing to get into,” he said. “I think other schools will look at it, see the organization and feel that it’s something they should be doing.” Edwards said she wants to reiterate that REbeL is not just something for young women — it’s for everybody. “We’re working on it,” she said. “We’re going to reach the guys somehow, we just have to figure it out.”

It’s just as hard for us Page designed by Sheila Gregory.



Extra class complicates scheduling, requires students to make decisions regarding classes rachelcannon Imagine if you were told there was no way for you to be in your all-time favorite class. You’ve worked your entire high school career for this, only to be disappointed in the end. This has been true for some acting students due to a change in the drama department — an additional Repertory Theatre (Rep) class. Now, Rep has a majority of sophomores, while upperclassmen are generally in Advanced Rep. In Rep, students put on plays as a class. This allows students to practice auditioning, work with their parts and then actually perform plays. Drama teacher Jeff Yarnell said he wanted two Rep classes so more students could get involved. With the second class, Yarnell can



adjust each class to meet the needs of the students in it. Three-year Rep student senior Rachel Phillips said the additional class has caused some scheduling problems, specifically between the drama and choir departments. Though Phillips was able to be in two choir classes as well as Rep, she knows it would have been difficult to choose between these two activities. “It would be hard,” she said. “I really, really like Rep, and it’s been a part of my life for three years now, so I’m not sure that I’d really [want to] give it up.”

First Semester:

“Dark of the Moon” (Rep Theatre)

Yarnell said these scheduling problems did not surprise him. “No matter what you do, there are always going to be some scheduling conflicts,” he said. Yarnell said he believes some changes can be made so more students can take one of the Rep classes in the future. Students who can’t be in Rep can still be involved in theater by acting in the mainstage shows or being a part of the tech crews. Phillips said she enjoys the friendships made as well as the experiences she has been able to have. “[Rep has] given me a group of people to go to — a group of people who I know are my friends — and I know they’re there for me,” she said. “It gives me a great way to end the day with people to talk to. I like getting to know everybody, but I also like that we’re able to be serious and get work done and learn a lot about acting, as well. And, of course, I love actually putting on the shows.”

Second Semester:

“Synchronicity/One Lane Bridge” (Advanced Rep Theatre)

“Merchant of Venice” (Advanced Rep Theatre)

“Friday Night Live” (Advanced Rep Theatre)

“Friday Night Live” (Advanced Rep Theatre)


Rep Shows 2013-2014


(Rep Theatre) “Rep Theatre Showcase” (Rep & Advanced Rep Theatre)

Page designed by Rachel Cannon.

You Drink, You Drive,


rileymiller & daniellewilliams opinion & entertainment editors Editors note: In the following story, we have withheld the student’s name in order to protect his privacy.

After a night of partying, alcohol and drugs, a Blue Valley student came face to face with every teenager’s worst nightmare — getting caught by the cops. On Aug. 17, a student’s night was cut short when the party he had attended was over sooner than everyone expected. “I was drinking at a friend’s house,” the student said. “I was smoking weed. I did a couple bowls, and I was really drunk.” With a dwindling supply of alcohol, he had a friend use his fake ID to go get more. By the time his friend got back, the party had already ended. “When he got back, I took him home and went to McDonald’s,” he said. The student left McDonald’s, not fully aware the handle of alcohol was in his backseat, and continued to drive home worry-free. “I forgot to turn on my lights, and there was a cop right there,” he said. The cop turned on his sirens after seeing the student’s headlights were off and pulled him over. “At first, I thought I was just going to get a ticket,” he said. “I didn’t know the

handle was in the backseat, but he saw it.” After seeing the half gallon of vodka, the officer demanded the student perform multiple sobriety tests. He first had to count back from 99 to 77, then recite the alphabet from the letter ‘C’ to ‘Q’ and, lastly, he had to follow a pen with his eyes for what he said felt like at least two minutes. “I passed all the tests,” he said. “[The officer] said, ‘I’m going to make you blow [a breathalyzer], but no matter what, you’re not going to get a [Driving Under the Influence] because you seem functional.’” After blowing a .147, almost twice the legal limit for an adult, he said he realized how much trouble he was actually in. The officer ended up charging him with a Minor in Possession (MIP). “I was very disappointed in myself,” he said. “I didn’t think I would get caught.” The student said the cop feared he would run, so he cuffed him and put him in the back of his cop car. “I called my mom, like, 100 times, and she didn’t answer,” he said. “So, he was like, ‘Alright, I have to take you to the juvenile institution for you to go somewhere to stay tonight.’” However, his mom called back just a few minutes before he arrived at the facility. “I was in the back of the cop car, handcuffed when [the cop] was talking to her,” he said. “He was just telling her that I had an unopened handle, a tobacco hookah, I

was driving without my lights and that I blew a .147.” After his parents found out what happened, he said they were very upset and felt let down by their son’s actions. “They were very disappointed because my brother [has been on] probation, and I told them I would never turn out like him,” he said. “But then this happened.” In order to teach their son a lesson, the student said his parents are enforcing a strict punishment. “I’m grounded for probably a month or more, and I will have a 10 o’clock curfew for, like, six months,” he said. The student said although the charges were unsatisfactory, he thinks they are fair considering the circumstances and what the charge could have been. “I was guilty,” he said. “It was a good time, until I got in trouble.” Other BV students witnessed the incident from QuikTrip, and they all took to social media to inform their peers about what was happening. “Everyone knew about it by the end of the night,” he said. The student said this experience has taught him a lot, and he encourages any other students who have been drinking to put down the keys and get a ride from someone else. “Do not drink and drive,” he said. “Do not drink in general. If you think you won’t get caught, you probably will.”

“Do not drink and drive. Do not drink in general. If you think you won’t get caught, you probably will.” Page designed by Riley Miller and Danielle Williams.

September 2013



by the numbers


people under the age of 21 die of alcoholrelated injuries annually

of deaths from car crashes involve intoxicated drivers under 21


of alcohol-related deaths involve motor vehicle accidents

people killed in 2004 from alcoholrelated motor vehicle accidents


1.4 million

8. Breathalyzer.



drivers arrested for DUI’s in 2004

Information from and



Information from Litchney Law Firm, PC.

Minor Imposestion (MIP): A law concerning alcohol and drugs found in the possession of someone under 21. The substance does not have to be opened or used for a minor to be charged. MIP’s can be argued in court and taken off the minor’s record. This is when a driver has been using alcohol or prescription, non-perscription or illegal drugs.

Information from

Page designed by Riley Miller and Danielle Williams.



asking the Facts

meredithstrickland Sophomore Mandy Novicoff gently applies her makeup in her bathroom mirror, careful not to smudge her eyeliner. She is just about to complete her morning routine before heading off to school. One could say Novicoff ’s morning rituals are similar to any other high school girl’s normal morning. “I usually take about 15 minutes a day to apply my makeup, and I do wear it almost every day,” Novicoff said. Sophomore Meg Hollingsworth said wearing makeup everyday is not surprising. “[I wear makeup] every day I go to school or out in public,” junior Stephanie Mahaffey said. According to the, the beauty industry grosses about $160 billion a year globally, encompassing cosmetics, skin and hair care and fragrances. “I enjoy using makeup, and it’s really fun to use different eyeshadow colors and different techniques,” Hollingsworth said. However, these girls did not know what it takes for manufacturers to produce their favorite kinds of makeup when asked. Some popular products could contain dangerous ingredients that could potentially lead to cancer, birth defects or other health problems. Americans have already begun to speak out about changes that need to be made. In 2011, the House of Representatives introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act (SCA), which ensures all personal care products are safe for use. The SCA established a system for checking the ingredients of all cosmetics and began a plan to phase out use of ingredients harmful to one’s health. Cosmetics are the least regulated products under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The FFDCA does not require pre-market safety testing or reviews. According to, many cosmetics with harmful ingredients are being sold on shelves in local drugstores and pharmacies.

The European Union (EU) bans nearly 1,400 chemicals from personal care products because they are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction. But in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) entrusts safety regulation of cosmetics to regulate themselves. To date, this entity has found 11 chemicals to be “unsafe for use in cosmetics.” The FDA has no oversight of cosmetic products before they come on the market, and, unlike the EU, leaves it to the cosmetic industry to determine which ingredients should be banned. The FDA does not have the authority to test cosmetic ingredients before products containing them go on the market. As stated on their website, “FDA’s legal authority over cosmetics is different from other products regulated by the agency, such as drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives.” Instead, according to, the cosmetic industry is in charge of the safety of their products. “I honestly did not know these makeup products are dangerous to my health, and that is pretty scary to now learn,” Novicoff said. “I am now questioning if I should wear makeup every day or not.” Humans are vulnerable to chemicals in cosmetics because the skin is permeable. If makeup is left on for a long period of time, chemicals may have the chance of harming the skin in significant amounts. According to “The Safe Shopper’s Bible,” research has shown cosmetics containing the fewest ingredients are generally safe to use. As the list of a product’s ingredients grows, so does the risk that any number of ingredients could cause bad reactions. If you are worried about whether or not your makeup could be harming you, the Environmental Working Group’s website offers a “Skin Deep Cosmetics Database” that allows you to type in a product name to see what ingredients it contains at skindeep.


If you’re a little overwhelmed on getting started evaluating your products for health hazards, look for these ingredients on your labels to identify the top chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases.

Coal-tar dyes include p-Phenylnediamine digits. These are mostly found in hair dyes brain.

Diethanoline (DEA) is used in some creamy moisturizers and shampoos that can be carcinogenic. Dibuytlphthalate is a plasticizer used in nailcare products.

Page designed by Riley Miller, Meredith Strickland and Danielle Williams.



Transition Troubles

Freshmen adjust to new high school environment, experience ups and downs


Think back to your very first day of school as a kindergartner. You were probably done up in your pigtails or favorite Transformers T-shirt, missing your mom and utterly lost in the vastness of your new school. Fast-forward six years to fifth grade, the year where you didn’t just walk through the halls — you strutted. That school was yours. Jump again to sixth grade, when you were once again alone to navigate through the towering lockers and legs of the older kids. Finally came eighth grade and the eagerness to move on to the greatness that inevitably awaited you within the walls of high school. Every student has gone through this same cycle. From the kings of the school to the underdogs, the leap from middle school to high school is an annual struggle for students. “In eighth grade you’re at the top of the food chain, and you have to learn to start from the bottom again,” freshman Alli Carrigan said. Freshman Alex Florian said, for her, the most intimidating part about being in a new school was the hallways. “I have four classes in the senior hall, so I’m always like, ‘Get to my class — get to the room,’” she said. Besides environmental changes, freshman Kelsey Laroche said she is experiencing internal developments as well. “We have more responsibilities, and that makes us more mature — to be able to focus on school and our friends at the same time,” she said.



Florian said she noticed the changing of friend groups as well. “The only thing that’s changed is the groups, like a few of our friends are cheerleaders, and some people are just learning who they want to be with,” she said. Carrigan said some aspects of high school can be a little scary. “People were always like ‘You’re not going to be friends with the same people,’ and that really scared me,” she said. “But now I realize that it’s all going to work out.” Carrigan said one positive of the transition is the newfound freedom she has. “There are a lot less rules, and we aren’t watched over as closely,” she said. “We can kind of do our own thing.” Florian said she liked how there were more classes to choose from to build a schedule. “You can [choose classes] to put towards what you want to be when you grow up,” she said. After her four years of high school, Florian said she hopes most to find a future for herself. “I just want to know what I want to do,” she said. “I don’t care what other people do — I want to know what I want, what I need to go somewhere.” Two years ago, math teacher Laura Volz switched from teaching at Blue Valley Middle to BV High. She said the hardest part about the transition from middle school to high school is the expectation for

time management. “There’s so much you have to do core class-wise,” she said. “Plus, if you’re involved in band or a sport, I can see very much how high school students could get stretched really thin. Versus when you’re in middle school, there are outside activities, but the rigor of what we teach in middle school just doesn’t even compare to what [high schoolers] are exposed to.” Volz said while her teaching methods haven’t changed since leaving middle school, the way she handles the students has. “In middle school, you sort of feel more like a mother, like, ‘OK guys, get your stuff out, let’s get started,’” she said. “[In high school], it’s more like, ‘the bell has rung, you need to have your stuff out and be ready to go. I shouldn’t need to mother you to have that expectation.’” Volz said she prefers teaching high school over middle school. “What I’m able to go over as a high school math teacher compared to sixth grade — I mean, I taught people how to add and subtract fractions for six weeks,” she said. “[High school] is just a lot more interesting and a lot more challenging.” Besides content, Volz said she appreciates the students’ interest in her own life more in high school. “I like the conversations I can have with students when they’re in high school,” she said. “It’s more ‘let’s be real.’ There are kids in the senior class I’ve known since they were 11 [years old], and we can talk about their problems with their girlfriend or this friend has a drug addiction. I really like to be an adult students can find and can be accessible to talk to. When you teach high school, students will ask, ‘How are you?,’ and that’s kind of fun. I like teaching math, but I love building relationships, too.”

I have four classes in the senior hall, so I’m always like, ‘Get to my class — get to the room.’

—freshman Alex Florian

Page designed by Makayla Nicholis.

September 2013



New Faces around the Halls New teachers share about themselves, first impressions of Blue Valley Stories by Rachel Cannon.

Walking through the halls of Blue Valley this year, students may see a large amount of new faces. And not all of these are new students. The BV staff added 21 members to their staff this year, including new teachers, paraprofessionals and office staff.

MARY GLOTZBACH Mary Glotzbach is a new addition to the BV counseling staff. She got her Undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and her Master’s from Emporia State University. This isn’t Glotzbach’s first time working as a counselor. Before coming to BV, she worked at Turner Middle School in Kansas City, Kan. for four years. In her free time, Glotzbach enjoys working out and running in races. So far, Glotzbach said she has had good impressions of BV. “I like it,” she said. “I like the kids. They’re very friendly. Everyone I’ve met is very friendly. The staff is wonderful and very welcoming.”


Kim Coffelt is a new social studies teacher at BV. She teaches Contemporary Issues, U.S. History and American Government. Coffelt said she first became interested in teaching through the examples of her own teachers. “I realized that when I got passionate about [history], it was because other people were able to make it personable and interesting,” Coffelt said. A graduate from Emporia State University, Coffelt’s expertise is American history. Before joining the BV family, Coffelt taught at Wichita Southeast High School. Coffelt attended Blue Valley Northwest her junior and senior years of high school. Though she has already been a part of the district, Coffelt said she felt overwhelmed due to the recognition the school had received and because of the achievements of her peers. “I’m in a department with some really smart people and some people who are blazing a new trail for education,” Coffelt said. Coffelt said she wants to create passion for social studies on the high school level. “I thought, ‘Social studies is so ignored in high schools because it is so impersonal and so boring, and it’s the only thing that should be interesting,’” she said. “I mean, it’s a soap opera. It’s the only thing about us. And so I thought, ‘I can definitely do a better job,’ or, at least, I hoped I could.”

KIM FRANCIS Kim Francis said she was excited to get an art position at BV. “I know it’s a really elite school, and so to be able to get the job without, maybe, 10 years of experience was really exciting,” Francis said. Kim attended Kansas City Christian, and then Concordia University in Nebraska. She pursued subjects like studio art as well as art education. Francis said she loves the art department at BV. She said people the department work well together, and that there is a “whole lot of collaboration.” Francis said she has also had a good impression of the BV students. “The students are just super sweet and really

eager to learn,” Francis said. Francis said she wants to grow the art department and create more art classes. In addition to teaching, Francis coaches tennis at BV. “I love the tennis team,” Francis said. “The girls are super, super awesome.” Francis, who played tennis in both high school and college, said she believes this will be a good season. “[The tennis players are] super, super coachable, and just make it really easy to instruct, and they want to improve a lot,” Francis said.



September 2013

Where are they no Meera Chakravarthy

Drum major and Homecoming queen 2012 graduate Meera Chakravarthy attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and continues working on her musical talents. Chakravarthy “After trying out a lot of different things and exploring all my options, I think I am double majoring in Economics and Music with a focus on flute,” she said. Chakravarthy said she experienced different types of classes before finding the right fit for her. Chakravarthy said her main goal in life is to have a positive impact on the people around her. “I would say my hopes and dreams for the future have been something that have stayed constant throughout my life — to enlighten and create a positive impact in the lives of the individuals around me,” she said. “I hope the skills that I obtain through my majors will make me more able to make

an impact on the people around me. I have dreams ranging from being a yoga teacher — which will happen — and a college professor to a CEO and a flute teacher. My plan after studies is to spend time exploring and traveling the world with a job or some sort of research program before I settle down in my life.” Chakravarthy has class sizes ranging from 15-400 people. She said her college experience has helped her figure out who she is and how she wants to live her life. “I think my favorite thing about college has been learning things about my own self,” she said. “My university is large enough so that I have to make a conscious effort to go get involved, but small enough so that I can have a community if I want that. This has really given me a chance to learn how to just be on my own, learn on my own and live life in a way I want that works best for me, rather than fitting into a mold someone else has created.” Chakravarthy said BV taught her how to stay connected with her peers.

“In my years at BV, I learned something very important — always fulfill your obligations to others and stay connected to them,” she said. “You will not only make immediate friends, but you will create a community and have so many people supporting you. BV really taught me how to network. It is such a simple, easy thing — just make others feel important in life and stay connected.” She said her advice to BV students would be to not worry about their future and just to trust that everything will work out in the end. “Let yourself explore, and don’t feel obligated to pre-plan your life,” she said. “This was and still is one of the hardest things for me to deal with because I know I want to make an impact. I just don’t know what means of accomplishing this task will work best for me. Things do work out naturally to how they are supposed to be. If you just stay active, you will be where you need to be, but don’t stop searching because this is the only way you can become comfortable in your own self.”

Alex Petersen Theater student, lead in the school musical and 2012 graduate Alex Petersen was an active member of the Performing Arts department in his time at Blue Valley. He chose to continue Petersen this passion at Oklahoma City University. “I took music theory, creation of music, acting, dancing and piano classes [my freshman year],” he said. “I’m emerging myself in the art.” Despite the hard work in college, Petersen said he has thoroughly enjoyed the liberal arts style program. “It’s important to me because I feel like you can only be a smart performer if you’re a smart person,” he said. “I’m lucky that I’ve

had the opportunity to turn my hobby into my career. If you love what you do, you never really have to work a day in your life.” Petersen said the strong relationships made with BV teachers and faculty can’t be found anywhere else. “I will always have memories from the choir and theater departments at BV,” he said. “I miss how close I was to my teachers, especially [choir teacher] Mrs. [Marsha] Moeller. At my new school, you get one-onone attention, but it just isn’t as personal of an environment.” Petersen said the hardest thing about college is finding motivation for the classes he isn’t as interested in. “Take as many AP and College Now classes as you can, even if it doesn’t relate to your major,” he said. “I’m lucky because I got out of taking a lot of the entry-level liberal

arts classes, and now I can take the classes I’m interested in.” Petersen said he would encourage students to work hard in college and not waste their money. “No matter what your major is — even if it’s undecided — have fun, but you’re spending your money to get an education, so that needs to be the your main focus,” he said. Petersen said he has high hopes for his future regarding theater after graduating in 2016. “After graduation, I plan on moving to New York City,” he said. “I want to get an apartment and a good job. Then I am going to start auditioning for shows. I would like to do both Broadway and off-Broadway. Theater is about all about connections, so I just want to make connections and get to know people in the business.”


September 2013



Former Blue Valley students share experiences since high school, give advice to students

Stories by Hailey McEntee and Maddie Jewett.

Evelyn Davis

Student body president and 2012 graduate Evelyn Davis planned to attend Yale University in the fall of 2012. However, Davis decided during the July after graduation to take a gap year instead. Davis “My whole life just kind of seemed predetermined for me, and everything had been laid out for me,” she said. “I just really wanted to stray from the typical path and gain some new experiences. After high school I just felt kind of burnt out, and I really wanted to experience Yale to its full potential and enjoy it. I didn’t feel I could do that straight out of high school.” During her gap year, Davis traveled throughout South America and Europe, including places such as Madrid, London, Barcelona and Ecuador. Davis said she gained valuable experiences during her travels. “I learned about what really matters in life,” she said. “Also, I learned about finding

the joy around you. It seems like in America everyone is always waiting for the weekend or waiting for the next thing — in these other countries people find joy in everything they do, and they are thankful for every blessing. They really know that life is about the journey.” Davis said her experiences gave her a new outlook on life. “I really learned a lot about human worth,” she said. “We aren’t what we do — we are people with different interests and passions. I learned things we believe in are what really matter and nothing else does.” Davis said coming back to the United States was a hard transition. “When I came back in the winter, there was kind of a reverse culture-shock,” she said. “While I was gone, I really realized how much we have. In the places I went, they would be overjoyed to even just sit down for a meal with their family, where here we take things for granted.” Currently attending Yale, Davis said she is excited to learn. “I love how here at Yale everyone has

passion for what they are doing and learning,” she said. “So many of the people have so many experiences like with film-making or traveling or anything. It’s great to be able to learn from my peers.” Davis is currently undecided on her major. “In my opinion, college is to learn,” she said. “So I’m here to learn as much as I can about everything, and when the time comes to choose a major, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I’m looking into Art History and Global Affairs, though.” Davis said there were a few things she wished she knew before graduating high school. “Blue Valley has a great staff,” she said. “They always tell you to not be afraid to ask questions. I wish I would have taken that seriously. Also, I wish I would have been taught that your success and your life is different from anyone else. Don’t cheat yourself out of living your life the way you want to. Do what you love, and do that with passion, and surely everything will turn out how it’s supposed to.”

Kyle Zimmerman


Former BV quarterback and 2012 graduate Kyle Zimmerman attends Northwest Missouri State on a football scholarship. He was red-shirted as a freshman last year. Zimmerman said he likes the freedom he has

in college. “My favorite thing about college is meeting new people, having new experiences and also just the atmosphere of college life is great,” he said. “I like not being in classes for the entire day, and I like the responsibility that comes with that. You have to rely on

yourself to do things.” Zimmerman said there is a big shift from high school football to college football. “The guys are faster, bigger and stronger,” he said. “It’s the same game, but there’s so much more to know. There are more meetings and more of knowing the X’s and O’s of the game.” Zimmerman said he loves the brotherhood of the football team at Northwest Missouri State. “You always know they have your back and will be there for you for anything,” he said. “We have a really close team, and we’re together all the time.” Zimmerman said he wishes he would have been a little more prepared for college.

“I wish I would have been more prepared for time management,” he said. “You’re out on your own, and you have to know how to manage everything.” Zimmerman said to enjoy high school while you can. “Take advantage of opportunities to get to know people,” he said. “Also, find scholarships — there are so many scholarship opportunities out there.” Zimmerman offers advice to anyone looking into playing a college sport. “I would only recommend you play in college if you’re totally committed to and love the sport,” he said. “People say it’s like a full-time job, and they aren’t joking. It’s very demanding.”

Page designed by Hailey McEntee.


September 2013


AP or Honors?

New AP European History teacher discusses differences in class types, how to succeed in Advanced Placement classes rachellock Every year, students are asked what classes they are taking the next year. For Blue Valley students, this can mean many important decisions to make in order to make sure future plans are going in the desired direction. One decision, shrouded in confusion, is what type of course is the best to fit a particular student’s needs: honors, Advanced Placement or regular. AP European History teacher Jenny Buchanan, who has previous experience as an honors teacher at another school, shared her advice on how to be successful in her class and other AP class settings. Buchanan taught an honors-level class called Advanced Studies: World History at Lee’s Summit North High School for 12 years, preparing students for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. “IB is generally more of a program where students take certain classes to get a diploma,” Buchanan said. “In AP, you can pick around a little more, and there’s not a diploma at the end. But they are both very difficult, rigorous programs.” Buchanan said adapting to the new course has not posed a problem for her. “The only thing that has changed is I was not preparing students in my honors class for an AP test at the end of the year,” she said. “So I will probably be sticking to a schedule a little bit more closely to make sure we get to a certain point by the end of the year. The classroom has been a pretty



Social studies teacher JENNY BUCHANAN’s

tips for success in an

AP class

smooth transition.” Although new to BV this year, Buchanan said she knows ways students can succeed in this course. “Staying organized and time management Buchanan are probably the keys,” she said. “Listen to the tips teachers have on how to study because [AP classes are] different from other classes.” She also said AP European History is a college-level course and requires college-level skills to be successful. According to Buchanan, there are a few indicators as to whether or not a student is ready for an AP class. “Students are ready for an AP class if they have the desire to challenge themselves,” Buchanan said. “AP isn’t just about the score on the test — it is also about building college readiness skills which all students can benefit from.” Buchanan shared her thoughts on what a student’s success in her class would look like. “Success is just generally growing, being in a better place than they were at the beginning of the year and having some tools in their toolbox to take with them for future classes,” Buchanan said. “Certainly content is important, but I would say learning how to be a better student is success.” Buchanan gave some insight on her plan for delivering that success for her students. “[I plan on having] reviews at the end of the year — I think success is going to come

with teaching skills,” Buchanan said. “We’ve been working on speed-reading in class, and we are going to take notes in a different format that I think will help people be more successful on the test and successful in future college-level classes.” Buchanan said AP Euro is notorious at BV for being stressful. “One of the biggest ways that we’ll be able to relieve some of that pressure is explaining to students that you don’t have to know everything because it is more skillbased,” Buchanan said. “I think a lot of the students come into the test thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to memorize every single little detail.’” Buchanan said keeping up with the unofficially assigned textbook reading every night or catching up on missed nights is very important. AP Euro teacher Jason Peres has a very similar classroom model to Buchanan’s class. “[Peres and I] are certainly going to do some things similarly,” Buchanan said. “We are going to do some common assessments together, some similar tests and activities in class. There are some differences that I have changed a little bit, like the reading schedule.” By having a similar class structure, Buchanan said it should be easier for the AP Euro students. Buchanan said she has always been interested in what knowledge has to offer. “I’m kind of an academic at heart,” Buchanan said. “I’m interested in continually learning and really diving into the topic and really discussing it in-depth.”

stay organized

listen to teacher’s tips on how to study

keep up with assigned reading

make up missing assignments

manage time

review at the end of the year Page designed by Rachel Lock.



TIGERS TAKE THE LEAD New Tiger Pride leadership class promotes attendance, spirit at school activities Walking side-by-side onto the field for the first game of the season, the players noticed something unusual. The student section was packed with many excited fans, screaming and lighting up the stadium. While this may seem like the typical Friday night football game, this was actually the first varsity boys soccer game. The energy rose as the soccer team took on Blue Valley West. Fans lined the stands dressed in hula skirts and leis to go along with the Hawaiian theme. Students attended the game to cheer on their school after the Tiger Pride leadership class helped promote the event all week. Members of this class discussed plans to get students involved with the soccer game. Deciding upon a Hawaiian-themed night, they spread the word to Blue Valley’s students. The new leadership class, taught by science teacher Azie Taghizadeh, meets during fourth hour. Mainly focusing on leadership skills, team building and organizing assemblies, the class is open to juniors and seniors. Students filled out an application and interviewed with Taghizadeh and assistant principal Mollie McNally last spring to be a part of the class. “We used to have [a leadership class], but we wanted to enlarge leadership classes and build a curriculum for the students to build pride,” principal Scott Bacon said. Taghizadeh said the leadership elective encourages students to get involved in not only school spirit and Tiger pride, but also the traditions that being a BV Tiger upholds. The class’ main objective is to create the assemblies for the school, build responsibility and learn to lead others in a positive way.

“I took the leadership Standing in front of the class, senior Mackenzie Smith gives a one-minute speech class because about herself. Students in the Tiger Pride leadership class each spoke about themI wanted to be selves to get to know each other better. “[The class] takes time and devotion but it challenged,” will pay off once students see what we’ve been working on,” Smith said. Photo by senior SavanAlex Kontopanos. nah Spicer stand what it takes to be a leader. Students said. “I think I must learn how to collaborate and share was blessed with the ability to enjoy leading others. I want to be a teacher when I’m older, ideas with each other to reach their goals. “I really like the idea of all of the kids so I figured this class would help me prepare and students coming together like a family myself and be efficient with leading others.” unit, respecting each other and appreciating The students are graded based on atteneach other, looking at their strengths and dance at different school events, book work weaknesses and focusing on those leadership and participation in class. skills,” Taghizadeh said. Every quarter students take turns leading Taghizadeh said this class has a curricone of five different categories — public ulum on leadership and what it means to relations, community service, athletics and manage and run groups, and everybody in activities, assemblies or fundraising. the class is going to be taught those skills “I’m super excited about this class,” along with public speaking. Students are not Taghizadeh said. “I’ve been wanting to teach only representing themselves, but also are BV something like this for five years — not just Tigers. about leadership, but also wanting a pep “I’m hoping to learn the best ways to lead club, getting all of the students involved in others in a positive direction while still havschool sports. It can be great to have a huge ing fun without overpowering them,” Spicer fan base with all the events. I also thought it said. “I think a lot of the time, those who lead would be nice to have the assemblies ran by end up doing all the work, bossing people the students as opposed to having all of the around or not doing any work, and through adults run the assemblies.” the class I hope to learn the perfect balance.” Taghizadeh said, so far, the class has been planning for assemblies and trying to figure out ways to get more students involved — not only in school, but also outside school events. “I like that there are so many different students in the class,” Spicer said. “Though most of us are seniors, we don’t necessarily associate with each other outside of school. It will be nice to get to know others and branch out. One flaw would be that there aren’t many juniors — I wish there were more of them.” Taghizadeh said the class brings students together to come up with plans and under-

the tiger pride class:


Andy Porter Anna Summar Anna Wonderlich Blake Freeman Elise Arney Hailey Heizman Hillary Heizman Hunter Murray Lauren Holland Mackenzie Smith

Maddie Jewett Madeline Wadley Michael Heider Mitch McCroskey Natalie Pace Ricky Shull Ryan Brady Savannah Spicer Taylor Young Zach Jones



Page designed by Meredith Strickland.


September 2013


A few

suggestions: Participate in spirit week. The so much fun dressing up days. Don’t spend too much money on a dress. You’re only going


Traditions to participate in:

need to completely change the way you look — let your

if there really isn’t anywhere -

most fun parts of the night.

getting to know each other Soak it all in. Going to dances are memories you’ll always hold onto from high school. minute.

Sept. 30 - Oct. 4: Spirit Week The week before Homecoming, Student Council plans different themes for each day of the week in order to get students excited about the dance. This year’s themes are pajama day, prep day, a day of the ages, character day and black and gold day.

The Homecoming bonfire, taking place on the practice football fields behind the school, gets the student body excited for the upcoming dance that weekend. Students enjoy music, free food and lots of dancing for several hours at the bonfire. Before the dancing begins, a fake mascot of the opposing team to be played that Friday is tossed into the fire by several football players. Members of the National Art Honor Society create the mascot to be burned.

The Homecoming assembly is not just any other assembly — it’s when the Homecoming court is introduced and walks down the “red carpet.” Also, football coach Eric Driskell talks about the big game the next day and encourages the students to get excited and come support the team. The assembly definitely sets the mood for the rest of the weekend. As far as the Homecoming court goes, each senior nominates three boys and three girls from a list of all the senior students. Additionally, juniors nominate one boy and one girl from the junior class for the junior attendants. Then, after the Homecoming assembly, all students are able to pick one king and one queen from the list of five senior boys and five senior girls nominated. The two seniors with the most votes win. Members of the Homecoming court get to ride in convertibles during the Homecoming parade in addition to being introduced at the Homecoming assembly. The Homecoming queen is announced at the football game on Friday night, and the Homecoming king is announced at the dance on Saturday night.

September 2013



Volleyball team competes in annual




The Homecoming parade takes place on Friday, Oct. 4 at 1:30 p.m., starting at the Wal-Mart parking lot and ending at Stanley Elementary. School is released early for students to watch the parade. Students and community members gather to cheer on the students. Various clubs and activities work on their parade floats for weeks in advance. Each class also creates a float relating to the theme of the Homecoming dance — this year’s theme is circus. The parade gets many students involved and excited for both the Homecoming game that night and the dance the next day. Ah, the Homecoming football game. Even if you absolutely despise football — just come to this one game. The atmosphere in the student section is unlike anything you’ll ever experience. This year, BV will play BV Northwest. This is where the Homecoming queen is announced. The stakes of the game are much higher, since losing the Homecoming game is a big deal at our school. Everyone dresses up in their best black and gold, and you’ll get the chills just thinking about how much spirit and pride the student body has for our school.

What do you think about BV’s Homecoming traditions?


“I think sometimes underclassmen over-exaggerate the traditions and upperclassmen should have more pizazz,” sophomore Sam Kalmus said. “Everyone should get more into this homecoming shin-dig and have more enthusiasm.”



“We pride ourselves in our traditions at BV, but I think we should try to make them more unique,” junior Allison Gliesman said. “We have the potential to go above and beyond what has ever been done before.”

“I think they’re all very fun and really get our spirit up,” senior Emily Marr said. “It’s funny to see the different outfits during spirit week and really cute to see the homecoming couples dressed up at the assembly and football game.”

with Homecoming dance For the past three years, the Blue Valley volleyball team has played in the Joan Wells Invitational in Lawrence, Kan. on the day of Homecoming. However, senior Rachel Gearon said she has never missed the dance because of the tournament. last game, we run out of the gym and race home to shower and get ready,” she said. “We just don’t have time to go get our hair and makeup done like everyone else.” Gearon said it doesn’t bother her to have a tournament on the same day as Homecoming. “I don’t mind having games that day because we get to play some really good competition, and it’s fun to go and play some teams we don’t usually play,” she said. Sophomore Liz Allen said the tournament on the same day as Homecoming. “I don’t really like having a tournament on Homecoming because I just feel rushed when I’m trying to get ready after the last game,” she said. She said she wasn’t late to pictures last year, but she came close. “I just do the same routine as I normally would for any other dance,” she said. “I just have to rush around in order to get ready on time.”




September 2013

class overload

Student enrolls in six AP classes for senior year, must balance heavy courseload with extracurricular activities daniellewilliams entertainment editor

You think you have a lot of homework? Imagine taking six Advanced Placement (AP) classes your senior year while trying to balancing demanding sports, multiple clubs and the dreaded AP tests in May. Senior Shivani Patel is currently enrolled in six AP classes — AP Biology, AP Calculus BC, AP French 5, AP Literature, AP Physics and AP Government. “I think right now my only worry is time,” Patel said. “I’m involved in Student Council and tennis, and being able to manage my time is going to be huge for finishing homework and getting things turned in on time.” Patel said the AP classes are such a challenge because of the speed students are required learn the material. “AP classes go a lot faster, and usually by the second or third week you already have a huge test,” she said. “I think the pace is a lot different.” Patel said she prefers AP classes because they present more of a challenge and the class environment is more desirable. “I think taking AP classes is a lot more fun than regular classes because you get to learn so much more,” she said. “Also the students in the class become like a family.” Patel said she decided upon this rigorous schedule after sitting down with her parents and brother. “My brother had taken five AP classes his senior year,” she said. “The only difference in my schedule was that I took AP Government and he didn’t.” This isn’t Patel’s first time taking on a rough load.

Last year she took four AP classes. Patel said these four classes created a lot of stress and required eight to nine hours a night studying. “Last year was actually really hard because Patel most of the classes would give a lot of homework,” she said. “I was [also] taking an online class and an independent study, so it was really difficult.” Patel said she is more prepared this year on what to expect when it comes to the AP classes and is hopeful this year will not be such a challenge. “This year, so far, has been really different from last year, so I don’t think it’s going to be too bad,” she said. “I hope I’ll be able to handle it. I’m taking a study hall, so I’ll be able to get work done there.” Planning to take all six AP tests in the spring, Patel said with proper preparation, the tests are definitely manageable. Her scores over the past two years have been threes and fours. “[The AP tests are] not that bad,” she said. “It’s just tiring because it’s so long. Last year, I did two back-to-back, and that was pretty difficult. I’m going to have to do the same thing this year.” Patel said studying for the AP tests can be a very difficult and strenuous process. “For most of the tests I read the textbook, and I do online quizzes and any online FRQs,” she said. “That’s helped me a lot for social studies and science.” Patel said her favorite AP class was AP Psychology because it was not too much

work and her teacher, Courtney Buffington, made the class very enjoyable. She said she thinks AP Biology will be the most challenging class. “I’ve heard AP Biology is really difficult,” she said. “I would say the first test was pretty hard, but I think I can get the hang of it.” Patel plans on attending the University of Kansas next fall. “I think taking these AP classes will get me a lot of [college] credit, and then, maybe, my first year of college won’t be so difficult,” she said.


senior schedule

1. AP Biology 2. AP Calculus BC 3. Study Hall 4. AP French 5 5. AP Literature 6. AP Physics 7. AP Government

Page designed by Maddie Davis.

September 2013



BURRITO BATTLE Students compare two Mexican restaurants with similar menus alyssahess Everyone knows Chipotle is great, but it’s always so busy, and who likes standing in line for so long? If you have a craving that can’t wait in line, you can always try Freebirds. Freebirds is a Mexican Grill Style restaurant, new to Overland Park. Mostly known for their “pot brownies,” Freebirds is very similar to Chipotle.

“Contrary to them being named pot brownies they do not actually contain pot,” sophomore Rachel Pires said. “However, they’re so delicious, it almost seems like they do.” Both Chipotle’s and Freebirds’ main products are burritos. Although Chipotle is known for having many different types of fillings, Freebirds has an even wider selection — things like different types of meat, cheese, rice, beans and vegetables. Also, Freebirds includes a choice of wheat, spinach, flour or gluten-free tortillas as opposed to Chipotle’s

only flour tortilla. However, everything else at Chipotle is gluten-free. Along with a large variety of choices, the prices aren’t bad either. “The pricing is pretty much the same at both places,” Pires said. “The burritos actually costs a little less at Freebirds, but the size is a little bit smaller so it balances out pretty evenly. Freebirds does charge extra to add sour cream, and Chipotle doesn’t.” Even though Chipotle will always remain a classic, Freebirds is always there for the impatient to fall back on.



7040 W. 135th St. Overland Park, KS 66223

7552 W. 119th St. Overland Park, KS 66223

TACO chicken $2.30 steak $2.45 barbacoa $2.45 carnitas $2.45 veggie $2.30 add guacamole $0.65


chips $1.25 chips & guacamole $2.95 chips & salsa $1.75

TACO SALAD, BOWL OR BURRITO chicken $6.25 steak $6.65 barbacoa $6.65 carnitas $6.65 veggie $6.25 add guacamole $1.80

chicken $1.99 steak $1.99 barbacoa $1.99 carnitas $1.99 veggie $1.99 add guacamole $0.65


chips & guacamole $3.19 chips $1.49 chips & salsa $1.99

SALAD, BOWL OR BURRITO chicken $6.99 steak $7.29 barbacoa $6.99 carnitas $6.99 veggie $5.99 add guacamole $1.80 Photos by Molly Johnson Page designed by Alyssa Hess.



September 2013

Folk, not Twerk

Stories by Sheila Gregory.

If you want to listen to their most popular tracks, they are often playing on the radio stations 99.7 the Point or Alice 102.1. By trading the obvious lyrics of pop songs for soft their playlists with this mellow folk music.

Mumford and Sons We all know their folk, verging on Irish styles. Soft lyrics leading into massive banjo parts are what this newly famous band specializes in. This English folk band was formed in 2007, and the first album they released, “Sigh No More,” came out in 2009. This album didn’t reach the mainstream crowds as the more recently released album, “Babel,” has. They just wrapped up their worldwide tour here in Kansas City at the Criket Wireless Amphitheater. They performed on Sept. 20 because the original June concert was canceled. Songs to Know: Though most people know “I Will Wait,” it is by no stretch of the mind their best song. If you are truly interested, look up “Awake my Soul,” “Lovers’ Eyes,” “Hopeless Wanderer,” “Little Lion Man” and “The Cave.”

The Lumineers This Colorado-native band has been pushed into the spotlight with grassroot songs like “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love.” With only one album under their belt, they’ve managed sold-out concerts and a wide fan base. Their mellow songs are acoustics with hand-clapping and foot-stomping rhythms that verge on folk. They debuted their self-titled album in 2012 after the single “Ho Hey” came out. They visited Kansas on June 1 at the Buzz Under the Stars concert. Songs to Know: “Dead Sea,” “Flapper Girl,” “Slow it Down” (that one honestly helps you fall asleep) and “Flowers in Your Hair”

Page designed by Sheila Gregory and Hailey McEntee.

September 2013



Alternative music genre receives much buzz with several new bands gaining popularity Of Monsters and Men Many of you are familiar with this Icelandic duet band and their song “Little Talks.” Formed in 2010, they skyrocketed in the European alternative charts and then did the same in the United States. Their first (and so far, only) album is titled “My Head Is an Animal.” The songs often have strange lyrics such as, “The bees had declared a war / The sky wasn't big enough for them all / The birds, they got help from below / From dirty paws and the creatures of snow.” They performed on Saturday Night Live May 4, 2013. Songs to Know: “Mountain Sound,” “Dirty Paws,” “Yellow Light” and “Sloom.”

The Head and the Heart This is probably the least known of these bands by Blue Valley students but has potential to be very popular. They are very similar to the Lumineers with their violin melodies and complementing guy-girl harmonies. Coming from the heart of alternative music, Seattle, Wash., their album was released in 2011 with the single “Down in the Valley.” They toured extensively in 2011 and 2012, mainly opening for other alternative bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Dave Matthews and The Decemberists. Songs to Know: “Down in the Valley,” “Sounds Like Hallelujah,” “Heaven Go Easy On Me” and “Lost In My Mind.”

If you are truly interested in the alternative music genre, some other good bands to know are: Death Cab for Cutie, Blind Pilot, Keane, Young the Giant, The Decemberists and The Shins.

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September 2013


MOVIE THEATRES Staff member evaluates pros and cons of movie-watching methods


Whether or not it’s going to movies with friends or plopping down on a couch and watching TV, you get a chance to sit down, relax and get lost in the world of a Disney princess or the life of a warrior. There are all sorts of genres out there for all types of personalities. There are also multiple ways to access your favorite programs with students preferring one way over the other. Going to the movie theater is a simple way to see that new movie you’ve been holding your breath waiting for. Netflix is also pretty straightforward. You pay money, you watch something entertaining. But both have their pros and cons, and both attract a certain audience. “Netflix is cheaper,” sophomore Amanda Watskey said. “And I don’t have to move.” Netflix is a popular website you can access from home on your computer, TV, smartphone or tablet. For $7.99 a month, you can browse and watch a large selection of shows and movies. Going to the movie theater is a more traditional way to see a movie, but costs $9.75 for a single adult ticket at the Palazzo 16 Theater.

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And that’s just for one person, one movie and doesn’t include the cost for snacks. “I never get around to using Netflix — there’s other things to do,” senior Nikolas Pippins said. “Using Netflix, you probably have something else in front of you, and you end up not watching the show.” While Netflix is more convenient for some, the theater has quality that can’t be matched — unless you pay a lot of money for a home theater. “[I like the theater] because it’s a bigger screen,” freshman Andrew Olinger said. Still, sometimes dealing with other people is just too much. Maybe you’d just rather sit in the comfort of your own home, where at least it’s your own family that’s being annoying. And at home, you don’t even have to wear pants. “[Netflix] doesn’t require looking nice or going out in public, and you can watch it anytime,” sophomore Hope Brown said. While that is true, Netflix tends to have a long waiting period on their movies. This means it could be a few months or years — and, in some cases, never — before they get a movie you could just see in the theater the day it comes out. Netflix also might not have some of your favorite shows. At the same time, the theater doesn’t show a movie for more than a few weeks, but, as

a building with limited space rather than a website on the infinite Internet, you can’t exactly expect any more than that from them. “Plus, you can watch more shows for the same amount that you’d pay for one movie,” Brown said. With Netflix, it is true that you can watch every season of “Doctor Who” in a single week. Maybe you want to sit down and have a “Supernatural” marathon. Whatever your reason, unlimited access to your favorite show might appeal to you. “[The theater is] more fun because you usually go with friends,” sophomore Zach Weiss said. Spending time with friends is always great, but sometimes having people over at your house to watch Netflix can be a hassle. Parents or siblings could interfere with what you’re trying to watch, or maybe you have to argue over who gets to use the TV. You might have to compromise, and instead of watching “Pretty Little Liars,” you have to watch something more age-appropriate if your little siblings just happen to be around. At the theater, though, you and your friends can chill in the back corner while watching something nobody would ever in a million years let you watch at home. “Really, they both give me something to do, so I’m okay with either,” Watskey said.

September 2013



Upcoming Concerts Information collected by Bridget Howard.

Blake Shelton, Easton Corbin & Jana Kramer


J. Cole

10/3 at the Sprint Center, 7:30 p.m.

10/6 at the Sprint Center, 7 p.m.

10/6 at the Sprint Center, 7 p.m.




Josh Groban

Tech N9ne

10/16 at the Sprint Center, 7:30 p.m.

Keith Urban, Little Big Town & Dustin Lynch

10/30 at the Midland, 7 p.m.

11/8 at the Sprint Center, 7 p.m.





Lady Antebellum, Kip Moore & Kacy Musgraves

Hunter Hayes & Ashley Monroe

12/6 at the Sprint Center, 7 p.m.

12/6 and 12/7 at the Midland, 7 p.m.



11/12 at the Sprint Center, 7 p.m. $40-$100

Page designed by Bridget Howard and Anna Wonderlich.



September 2013

Movies as Old as You

Staffers review popular ‘90s movies

Stories and design by Sally Cochran and Gennifer Geer.

“Jurassic Park” (1993) PG-13 Gennifer: A classic in cinema, “Jurassic Park” is known as one of the best adventure movies. Using then-recent advancements in computer animation, the movie brings dinosaurs to life in a revolutionary theme park. Of course, having live, man-eating dinosaurs safely kept on an island doesn’t make for a very exciting plot. After power outages, the remaining guests must keep their survivor statuses by not becoming lunch — and raptors are ready in the kitchen. After hours of begging and promising I’d cover my eyes at the “scary parts,” I finally gained permission to watch this movie as a kindergartner. As someone who’s not a fan of horror films, it’s my favorite to watch with my little sisters — not too intense, and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) delivers great one-liners. Living up to its reputation, “Jurassic Park” is perfect when you want to see thrills, laughs and inspiration all on one screen.

Sally: This used to be my favorite movie. Of course, I’ve gone through my movie phases like any teenager. The Disney phase (still in it a little bit), the “Jurassic Park” phase and the “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” phase (come on, it is really funny). My dad once told me something interesting that applies to this movie — life is fun and exciting when one experiences things that are brand new. This was one of the first ever “scary, grownup” movies I saw as a child, and I loved every bit of it. However, the grandeur of “Jurassic Park” has worn off a bit as I’ve grown older. It really isn’t all that scary, but, like any childhood favorite, it brings a nice wave of nostalgia when I watch it (again). Rating:


“Clueless” (1995) PG-13 Sally: “Clueless” is your perfect girly movie. You have it all: the naïve girl, the new friend, the bad boy and the guy all of us would fall for. You can also see Cher (Alicia Silverstone) slowly making the realization during the course of the film that she is “totally clueless.” Spoiler alert: on a different note, am I the only one who finds it totally creepy that Cher falls in love with her ex-stepbrother (Paul Rudd)? After one puts this rather disturbing thought aside, the movie is a cute film, perfect for any sleepover. Just don’t get any ideas about your brother — ex-step or not. Rating:

Gennifer: Until recently, I’d heard of “Clueless” but never watched it. And what reason would I have to? It looked like a silly movie from a silly generation, almost like a Disney movie designed to con kids into thinking high school is as fabulous as Sharpay Evans. WINK. Yet, despite all my prejudice, I sat down to see what this “Clueless” everyone loved was about. In my opinion, it was pretty close to my prior judgement, but I did enjoy the movie. Though I should credit the screenwriter for the hilarity, Alicia Silverstone’s brilliant portrayal of a Beverly Hills valley girl made the entire film. This movie is fun to watch, and I see why it commands a cult following. However, it certainly isn’t one of the best comedies of all time. Rating:

“Welcome to Jurassic Park.”

“I was just totally clueless.”

“You won’t do it, Truman. I’ve watched you your whole life.” “Mulan...The greatest gift and honor is having you for a daughter.”

“What is the Matrix?”

September 2013



“The Truman Show” (1998) PG Gennifer: Though this movie debuted in the last century, it presents a very possible reality for today. After the NSA scares, it’s no surprise people fear for their privacy. In “The Truman Show,” Truman Burbank’s (Jim Carrey) entire life is broadcast live 24/7 to the world as a reality TV show. Hidden cameras chronicle his daily adventures, and every person he interacts with is an actor — even his wife. It really made me think about the state our country is in now. Could that really happen? I hope not, but that’s what makes “The Truman Show” such a great movie. It has a generally serious plot, but Carrey brings his usual comedy to the screen. Aligning with the frustration of Truman, Carrey bursts out in his classic spaz attacks that always pull giggles. Though I can’t understand why anyone would watch a real-life version of “The Truman Show,” the movie spurs thought and inspiration about living your own life. Rating:

Sally: *sigh* Just for the reference, reviewing this movie was Gennifer’s idea. Kidding aside, movies like “The Truman Show” have me sitting on the fence. On one hand, it addresses an incredibly important topic in a rather frightening way. On the other hand, it also makes attempts at humor throughout — phony advertising on the show, cracks from Burbank, etc. I think unless a movie is balanced fairly evenly between drama and humor, the screenwriter really should just pick one and stick with it. With “The Truman Show,” I see a fairly decent drama mixed with a few pathetic jokes when there’s really no excuse to wimp out on the humor with Carrey. However, I was thoroughly intrigued by the premise and plot of this movie. It really makes you think — so if you’re looking for a classic humor movie, look elsewhere. Rating:

“Mulan” (1998) G Gennifer: All animated Disney movies are classics. They’re all deserving of any number of praising words. That being said, “Mulan” is one of the best of them. Epic music? Woman power? A sassy dragon? Yes, please! The reasons for loving this movie are aplenty. Chinese culture had the story of Mulan for thousands of years, and without Disney’s classic, Americans would never have heard of it. Its music is iconic — half the time when my friends and I break out into song, it’s “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.” Rating:

Sally: “Let’s get down to business, to defeat...the Huns!” Sing along — you know you want to. Don’t even pretend like you don’t know the words. This was my absolute favorite movie when I was about eight. I remember recording it off Disney Channel onto a VCR and watching it repeatedly. “Mulan” is primarily carried by its music as many Disney movies are — props to Jerry Goldsmith, the composer. Even if (gasp) its music isn’t your thing, the tale of selflessness and bravery should do it for you. Mulan isn’t an “I’ll sit around and wait to be saved” kind of princess, and that’s something you can’t say for many Disney films. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the classic tale of the girl who’s anything but. Rating:

“The Matrix” (1999) R

Sally: In two words, this movie is completely hardcore. I will attempt explaining the intricate plot, but it’s really just one of those movies you need to see on your own. Also, in order to not spoil the movie, I’ll be brief and rather vague in explaining its setup. Basically, Thomas Anderson, or “Neo” (Keanu Reeves) is contacted by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), about answering Neo’s question, “What is the Matrix?” Before Neo actually meets Morpheus, he is intercepted by Agents. Curious about what is happening and unsatisfied with his daily life, he opts to follow Morpheus and learn about the Matrix and the war. Crazy graphics, fabulous special effects and spot-on costuming combine with a great story to bring you “The Matrix.” I’m not typically a fan of sci-fi and action movies, but this one is just above and beyond. Even someone like me enjoys the gun fights.

Gennifer: “What is the Matrix?” Good question, my friend. I can only tell you this: I didn’t know the answer to that the first time I watched this movie — or the second time. That being said, I liked being as confused as I was. The movie integrated dynamic, memorable characters and even more renowned special effects. The fighting scenes were delightfully Kung Fu-esque with freeze frames and “bullet time.” My only issue would be the speed of the plot. The deaths of characters breezed by without any closure or indication the character mattered. (It’s an R-rated, sci-fi adventure flick. Someone’s going to die. Get over it.) The character development came almost instantly. Regardless, it’s definitely a movie I will watch again and again and again, and maybe, just maybe, on my 98th viewing, I’ll finally reach full plot enlightenment.





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September 2013



a for

BV cheer

Cheer’s first-ever yell-leader joins team, motivated to inspire others bridgethoward As football season rolled around, Blue Valley’s cheerleaders geared up in hopes of another great season. This year they have a new addition: Blue Valley’s first yell-leader, sophomore Brycen Gunn. With previous dancing experience, Gunn said he thought cheerleading would be an exciting way to try something new. “I decided to do cheer this year because I’ve been dancing for a really long time, and so I thought I just wanted to try something different,” Gunn said. Gunn made Junior Varsity cheer as a sophomore. Cheer coach Michelle Wirt said she was thrilled when she found out Gunn was trying out for the team. “I was super excited because I’ve always wanted to have yell-leaders, but it’s not really something that’s been accepted in this high school,” she said. “I think for a boy to do that — who’s maybe not involved in sports or other activities — it’s been a good thing for him.” Gunn is the first yell-leader in the entire

Blue Valley School District. “At first, everyone thought it was weird, but now that the news Gunn has been making its way through Johnson County, people are saying it’s really cool that I’m the first guy cheerleader,” Gunn said. Gunn accompanied the team to their cheer camp at the University of Missouri this summer. “It was really fun,” he said. “The food was fantastic, and everyone was really nice. It was a great way to learn new skills.” After competing at camp with the team, Gunn said his view on the sport has definitely changed. “When you look at cheer, we’re throwing 100-pound girls in the air, and we do a bunch of flips and stuff,” Gunn said. “It has definitely been more challenging than I thought it would be.” JV captain sophomore Lauren Sawyer said Gunn has brought the team to life. “It has been really fun but different at the same

time,” she said. “He brings a lot of positive energy to the squad and always knows how to break it down.” Gunn said he is looking forward to a great year with the team. “I’m excited to get to know more of the girls and perform for the whole school and student body,” he said. Wirt said she hopes to have more yell-leaders on the squad in the years to come. “I hope this encourages other boys who maybe aren’t involved in football, basketball, soccer or wrestling to be a part of the school and be a part of a something that has been a huge tradition at the school,” Wirt said. “So, if they want to, I’d love it.” Wirt said Gunn will be a great addition to the team. “His role on the team is the same as any girl — to lead, spirit and be a good role model for BV,” Wirt said.

(Top right) Helping cheer the sophomore football team to a victory against Bishop Miege, sophomore Brycen Gunn forms a high V. This is Gunn’s first year on the squad. “Ever since I tried out, my self-confidence and self-esteem have gotten way better,” Gunn said. (Bottom left) Posing with the JV squad, sophomore Brycen Gunn kneels in front of his team. “Being on the squad makes me happy realizing my peers want to do new things in life because I inspired them,” Gunn said. Photos by Mollie Hogan. Page designed by Bridget Howard.



September 2013

Do you even lift, bro?

Athletes clock hours in weight room, compete for spot on leader board mattantonic

It’s a phrase that today’s youth, especially males, have become plenty accustomed to: “Do you even lift, bro?” For the boys on the Blue Valley football team, the answer is a definitive yes, and then some. There is a reason as to how everyone on the team seems to be walking out of their training sessions looking like they are prepared for a cage fight — weights. In order to ensure proper strength and fitness is attained, the players participate in a demanding weights program, one that takes energy, strength and commitment. Spending time on different types of weights and equipment — dumbbells, bench, lift and squats — the team works to build muscles on a daily basis. The team switches from arms to legs every other day. While other students are sleeping at all hours of their summer, the players are doing anything but, with many coming in daily to train in the weight room. “Sophomores through seniors come in at 6 o’clock to about 10 o’clock in the summer,” football coach Eric Driskell said. That’s right, getting up before 6 a.m. in the summer to go lift weights. It all spells out one word: commitment. “Oh yes, it’s a ton of commitment,” Driskell said. “During the season, if they don’t have a weights class, we still come in a couple days a week and work.” Driskell said he is impressed with the players’ dedication. “In the off-season, we do come in every day,” he said. During the season, a typical day includes a

Bending his legs, senior Steven Cargin lifts weights while squatting. In previous years, the records for the competitions were not kept up to date. “I like that [the competitions] give students an opportunity to become more physically fit, and I think it builds confidence as they improve their physique,” football coach Eric Driskell said. Photo by Alex Kontopanos.

Page designed by Anna Wonderlich and Matt Antonic.

weightlifting session in the morning or during weights class and full-pad practice after school. In 2012, a new competition was introduced by the coaching staff to recognize the achievements in the categories of bench press, deadlift and squat. On top of that, the 1,000 Pound Club was created for the players with the highest sum of bench, deadlift and squats to earn a top spot. Offensive tackle junior AJ Harris said the leaderboard provides clear motivation for the players. “Everybody wants to be on the leaderboard, and I think it helps push everyone a little bit harder,” he said. The leaderboard in the weight room displays the top benchers, lifters and squatters. “It helps to give them an incentive to maybe set a record and to try and get on the leaderboard,” Driskell said. The players aren’t all simply thrown into a dogfight to see who is the strongest. The leaderboard separates the classes by weight. “We break it up by weight class,” Driskell said, “So we have the smaller guys taking on the smaller guys and the bigger guys taking on the bigger guys.”

September 2013



Page designed by Anna Wonderlich and Matt Antonic.


Current as of Sept. 18.


Record Holder: senior Jalen Cooks — 515 lbs. Junior AJ Harris — 455 lbs. Senior Steven Cargin — 385 lbs. Senior Henry McGrew — 385 lbs.


Record Holder: McGrew/Harris — 290 lbs. Senior Marcus Zimmerman — 245 lbs. Cooks — 225 lbs. Senior Blake Freeman — 225 lbs.


Record Holder: McGrew — 380 lbs. Cooks — 355 lbs. Freeman — 315 lbs. Harris — 300 lbs.

1,000 POUND CLUB Record Holder: Cooks — 1,300 lbs. McGrew — 1,270 lbs. Harris — 1,250 lbs. Freeman — 1,150 lbs. *1,000 Pound Club combines squat, deadlift, and bench into one sum.

(Top) Quarterback senior Logan Brettell squats as he lifts weights. Brettell participates in every weight-lifting competition. “My favorite workout is squat thrusts,” Brettell said. (Middle) Eying the weights around him, junior AJ Harris works out on the bench press. Harris participates and holds records in all the weight-lifting competitions. “My favorite part about [weights] class is all the great friends I have made,” he said. (Bottom) Listening to music and talking to a friend, senior Logan Brettell sets up the bench press. Coach Eric Driskell said he believes the players definitely get competitive about the leaderboard. “I like showing off for all the lady friends that walk by,” Brettell said, “and hanging out with [senior] Hunter Murray.” Photos by Alex Kontopanos.



September 2013

C aching the C mpetiti n Stories by Meghan Kennedy.

The 2013 Blue Valley varsity baseball team had one thing on their mind: State. The jitters set in as the State semifinals game began. After many tiresome innings, BV dropped the game to BV West, ending their dreams of winning State. Walking back to the dugout, the BV players turned around to see the West team celebrating in the middle of the field. Amongst them was BV math teacher and football coach Matt Shipley. Shipley doubles as an assistant varsity baseball coach for BV West, mainly coaching the pitchers. He has worked at BV and West for seven years. “When I got a job [at BV], there were no baseball openings,” he said. “I got the job at BV, and I wasn’t already working at West. But once I got the job here, I went over to West because Coach [Bill] McDonald was my baseball coach. He told me they had an opening, and he hired me over there.” Shipley said the faculty members he coaches against are OK with his situation because they’re all good friends. “It’s definitely weird, but I’m used to it,” he said. “I figure it’s all on good competition, especially since it’s an EKL school. I’m happy for them when they

win, but I definitely had mixed emotions when West beat BV in the State semifinals Shipley this year.” Shipley said transitioning from BV to West during baseball season can be a struggle. “It’s pretty hard to get over to West during the season unless I get out of here right before the buses leave at 3 o’clock,” he said. “It’s especially hard to work with students during the spring. I usually just work with them in the morning.” Shipley said he cheers for BV in every other sport, but he said seeing athletes he coaches in class is an unusual feeling. “It’s a little weird,” he said. “It’s kind of fun knowing the different personalities on the teams we play before we play them because I have a lot of the athletes in class. If we lose on a certain day, the kids always say something and give me a little crap about it the next day, especially since I coach some of the guys in football here. The way you relate to kids is definitely similar, whether I coach or teach them.”

Page designed by Meghan Kennedy, Sally Cochran and Hailey McEntee.

Raise your voice What is your opinion on teachers coaching varsity sports at rivalry schools? “They’re traitors because they act like they’re loyal to our school, but then they go and compete against us and try to beat us,” football player senior Blake Freeman said.


“I think that [Blue Valley Northwest football coach and BV social studies teacher Adam Bien] needs to leave Northwest behind and join the big boys,” football player senior Noah Martin said.


September 2013


Blue Valley teachers coach for rival EKL schools; students, faculty share mixed emotions A Blue Valley wide receiver runs out of bounds after making a catch from the quarterback. After handing the ball to the referee, the athlete notices one thing — BV swimming coach and history teacher Adam Bien coaching the wide receivers and defensive backs of the BV Northwest football team. Bien has been an assistant varsity football coach at Northwest for three years but has only taught at BV for two. He said he cheers for both schools, but he sticks to whatever sport is in season. “Right now, I’ll be cheering for [the Northwest] football team, but when we get back to the winter seasons, I’ll be a full-on BV fan and coach,” he said. “Then, I’m back to cheering on our team, but I always support both teams. [The Northwest coaches] gave me a shot to coach football at Northwest, so I kind of felt obligated toward coaching over there, even though I work here.” Bien said some of the Northwest coaches give him grief about coaching at BV. He said his students think it’s different how he coaches at a competing school. “Some of the football coaches here think I’m spying on them or something,” he said. “I have juniors in my classes, and I can usually pick up which ones are the football players. We berate each other all the time, but it’s usually just playful back-and-forth with all the kids. We don’t have any big issues until it comes to the BV vs. Northwest game. I think, now with my career at Northwest, they are 2-1 against BV. We won last year and lost by one point the year before.” Bien said the hardest thing is beating the BV traffic to get to Northwest in time for practice at 3:15 p.m. “I either get out of here right after school and get to practice on time, or, because everyone knows BV traffic is ridiculous, I will usually have to wait to leave until 3:15,” he said. “The [football] boys start stretching at 3:15 — practice doesn’t really start until 3:30, so they don’t really need me until then. It’s really not that big of a deal, but

they are flexible at Northwest because they know I work out-of-building. There are other coaches at Northwest that can handle any problems that arise until I get there.” Even though he is constantly busy after school, Bien said making time to work with students isn’t an issue. “I make sure to emphasize to Bien my students that I am three-season coach, but there are so many opportunities here at BV to get that extra help,” he said. “I get here every day at 7 [a.m.], so kids can come in here if they need any help. I also pull kids into my plan period, and I have kids come in during TCB, also. During swim season, I typically have kids come down to take tests at the pool.” Bien said the good thing about coaching swimming and football is how diverse the sports and athletes are. “I just deal with different kind of athletes, but it isn’t that difficult transitioning from coaching football to coaching swimming,” he said. “Being a head coach, I think it’s important to work in the building, so I can see my athletes one-on-one on a daily basis.” Bien said the transition between football playoffs and the beginning of boys swim season can be difficult. “Last year, Northwest made it to the playoffs, so I basically just had a weekend break between football and swimming,” he said. “I’m young, so I’m used to it now. I think that when I get older, it might be tough, but you just have to do what you have to do.” Bien said he uses many of the same coaching techniques in football as he does in swimming. “We talk a lot about leadership and character and how those aspects are universal in all sports,” he said. “I really push the same ideals and coaching philosophies behind both sports. Obviously, the training is going to be different, but I think the coaching principles are the same for most sports. My philosophy has always been that if you’re a good coach, you can coach any sport.”

Page designed by Meghan Kennedy, Sally Cochran and Hailey McEntee.




September 2013

making the

commitment Senior volleyball player commits to West Point Academy, plans to serve at least five years in Army after college graduation raineandrews photo editor “Duty, Honor, Country.” West Point Academy, a four-year coeducational federal service college, has held these three words as its motto since the school’s establishment in 1802. Entering students, referred as cadets, are officers-in-training and upon graduation will be required to serve at least five years in the Army. According to the West Point website, with around 5,000 students each year and a low acceptance rate, the school is ranked as one of the top schools in the country. As of the beginning of August, senior Rachel Gearon committed to playing volleyball at the Academy. “I had never heard of the school before,” she said. “I had no idea what it was, [but] I just fell in love with it.” Playing competitively since she was 13 years old, Gearon said she always knew she wanted to play college volleyball. “It’s always been a dream of mine ever since I was little, seeing the older girls go on and play volleyball,” she said. “[I knew I wanted to do] that one day myself. [I want] to be someone the younger girls look up to.” Contacted last spring, Gearon said she was playing in a tournament when she was approached. “The assistant coach just came up and told me they had been watching me a lot,” she said. “They were really interested in me, and they thought I should come out for a visit just to see if it was something I was interested in.” Making her first official visit last spring, Gearon said she was able to get a feel for the

school and the team. “It was during finals, so [the team wasn’t] really playing volleyball then,” she said. “But I got to meet most of the team. They were all really great.” Gearon said her Gearon team at BV helped impact her decision. “My high school coaches have helped me so much,” she said. “[Volleyball coach Dave Johnson has] supported me and given me recommendations [and] has helped me all around, volleyball wise and not volleyball wise. My team has also helped along the way too.” Gearon said she has learned a lot from her high school experience and these lessons will benefit her in the future. “I’ve learned it takes a lot of teamwork and communication to achieve goals,” she said. “[Also], you don’t have to like someone, but you do have to get along with them on the court, and I think that’s important in life because you really don’t have to like a person, you must have to be able to work with them.” Interested in studying children’s health, Gearon said there are a lot of steps to obtaining the degree. “I want to study pre-med, bio-chem and then hopefully go into med school to become a pediatrician,” she said. “Twelve to 15 students from each class will apply to med school, and the government will pay for any college you want, but then you will owe a year of service [per school year].” During her five years of active duty, Gearon said she will be working in the medical field and have a choice in her future

deployments. “I will be working in a hospital on an army base,” she said. “A lot of the girls said their number one option [is] Greece, but I was like, ‘Yikes, I don’t know if I would want to go.’ I could stay in the United States and work on an army base, so maybe once I get there I will see if I want to travel more. Now I just want to stay in the U.S.” With similarities and differences, Gearon said West Point will be a new atmosphere. “It’s a lot different mostly because of the military, and it is more structured,” she said. “It’s just a completely different college experience.” Gearon said her parents have been extremely supportive and played a huge role in her decision. “My parents have been so supportive of it and did a ton of research on [the school],” she said. “[They] have supported me a ton by driving me all over the place to different states for different things and practices. And paying for it too — it’s not very cheap, but they knew it’s what I love, so they supported me and let me play.” Gearon said she looks forward to the years after school. “I am so excited [for when] I get out and all of the opportunities that will be opened to me and everything I will be able to do and all of the connections I will have.” Gearon’s younger sister sophomore Grace Gearon said she looks up to her older sibling. “I strive to be like Rachel,” Grace said. “She gets good grades and is a good kid and is always working hard on the court. Our whole family always thought if someone in our family was going to go play [a college sport], it would be her because she is just super dedicated and always works hard.” Page designed by Raine Andrews.


September 2013

Getting in the


Upcoming fall sports themes FOOTBALL:

Friday, Sept. 27 vs. BVN @ 7 p.m. – Construction (Away) Friday, Oct. 4 vs. BVNW @ 7 p.m. – Seniors & Sophomores: Black, Juniors & Freshmen: Gold (Home) Friday, Oct. 11 vs. Aquinas @ 7 p.m. – Black Out (Home) Friday, Oct. 18 vs. BVSW @ 7 p.m. – Pink Out (Away) Friday, Oct. 25 vs. Pittsburg @ 7 p.m. – Black and Gold (Away) Friday, Nov. 1 vs. BVW @ 7 p.m. – Appropriate Halloween Costumes (Home)


Tuesday, Oct. 1 vs. BVSW, BVW @ 5 p.m. – Black and Gold (Home) Tuesday, Oct. 8 vs. BVNW @ 6:30 p.m. – Hawaiian (Away) Thursday, Oct. 10 vs. St. James, Ottawa, @ 5:30 p.m. – Business Attire (Away)


Tuesday, Oct. 1 vs. BVNW @ 6:30 p.m. – Neon (Home) Thursday, Oct. 3 vs. Turner @ 6:00 p.m. – BV Attire (Away) Tuesday, Oct. 8 vs. Aquinas @ 6:30 p.m. – Black Out (Away) Thursday, Oct. 10 vs. KC Christian @ 6:30 p.m. – USA (Home) Wednesday, Oct. 16 vs. Mill Valley @ 6:30 p.m. – Superheros (no masks) (Home) Tuesday, Oct. 22 vs. BVN @ 7:00 p.m. – Gold Out (Away)


Thursday, Oct. 10 @ 1:30-7:30 at Shawnee Mission Park – BV spirit wear Page designed by Gennifer Geer.




sports in brief


Previous Action: 9/6 vs. Gardner Edgerton (W 28-0) 9/12 vs. Bishop Miege (L 15-24) 9/20 @ Salina South (W 35-28) Upcoming Action: 9/27 @ BV North, DAC Record: 2-1


Previous Action: 9/17 @ Aquinas (L) 9/17 @ Aquinas vs. BV North (W) 9/21 @ Fayetteville Tournament (2nd) Upcoming Action 10/1 vs. BV Southwest, BV West Record: 11-8


Previous Action: 9/5 vs. Shawnee Mission West (W 5-1) 9/17 @ BV Southwest (W 2-1) Upcoming Action: 10/1 vs. BV Northwest Record: 5-1


Previous Action: 9/5 @ Lone Elm Park 9/14 @ Paola Upcoming Action: 9/28 @ Rim Rock


Previous Action: 9/10 vs. BV North (L) 9/16 vs. SM West (W) Upcoming Action: 9/28 Emporia Invitational


Previous Action: 9/17 @ Alvamar, Lawrence Upcoming Action: 10/14 @ Regionals Results current as of Sept. 23.



September 2013




ASA High School Tour visits BV, performs tricks while sharing anti-tobacco message



1. Dropping in on the ramp, skateboarder PaulLuc Ronchetti completes an aerial jump. The ASA High School Tour provided anti-tobacco facts for students on Friday, Sept. 13. “I think students had a lot more fun watching the BMX than a regular assembly, so it had a bigger impact on students staying away from tobacco,” junior Kamandeep Dhanoa said. 2. BMX biker Trevor Meyer performs tricks on the ground with his bike. Students received prizes, autographs and pictures from five professional skateboarders and BMX riders. “I think it held [students’] attention because it related to what some students like,” junior Tanner Neath said. “Instead of having a speaker, it kept their attention with flip tricks while learning about how bad smoking is.” 3. Upside down, inline skater Eito Yasutoko demonstrates tricks for the students. Students gathered in the northwest parking lot to watch the assembly. “I didn’t get it because BMXing is really dangerous, too,” senior Morgan Turner said. “I thought it was interesting, and I liked having class off.” 4. BMX vert rider Jimmy Walker spins in the air as students are informed about the effects of tobacco. The $20,000 program was delivered to the students at no cost due to donations from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a partner of the ASA High School Tour. “I thought it was very cool, and I learned some stuff,” sophomore Charlie Stebbins said. Photos and page designed by Raine Andrews.

The Tiger Print — September 2013  

The September 2013 issue of The Tiger Print newspaper.

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