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Troy High School, 4777 Northfield Parkway Troy, MI 48098


theTROYINDEPENDENT BY JAKE LOURIM Sports Editor Troy junior Alison Holland and senior Jenn Busk will be playing soccer in college at two of the best programs in their respective divisions. In other words, it won’t be much different than it is now. Busk inked with the College of St. Rose after a commitment near the beginning of last school year, joining fellow senior Irene Young, who will play at Louisville. “I like the size,” Busk said. “It’s bigger than Troy High, but it’s not too huge.” St. Rose is in Albany, N. Y. with an enrollment of 5,130. Busk is unsure what she wants to study, but she did like that the coach was focused on academics. Busk got a pleasant surprise after she committed. She watched her future team go through the Division II Tournament, winning five games in a row en route to a national championship. They beat Grand Valley State for the championship.

See College, page 5

in this issue seniors’ biggest nights: gimmees and prom page 4

baseball honors parents in cancer game page 5 movie: “three stooges” earns five stars page 6

upcoming dates May 28

Memorial Day No school

May 30

Senior’s last day Senior picnic

June 7

Honors Convocation 7 PM, main gym

June 9

Graduation 3 PM, Oakland University All Night Party, 10PM-5PM

June 13

Half Day Hours 1 & 2 exams

June 14

Half Day Hours 3 & 4 exams

June 15

Half Day Hours 5 & 6 exams Last day of school


NEWS page 2 ARTS page 6 SPORTS page 4 COLLEGE LIST page 7 SENIORS page 5 OPINION page 8

Seniors wage water war The senior class carries on the water wars tradition, featuring 31 teams and a $1,500 prize

It is finally time for the Senior class of 2012 to bid farewell to THS, and they’re going out with a bang. As the weather got warmer and senioritis kicked in, the class of 2012 engaged in the unofficial senior tradition: Water Wars. The basic rules are as such: pay $10 to enter, form a team of five seniors, square off against another team, and try to get the other team out of the round by squirting them with a water gun. In this bracket-style face off, the winners get all the cash collected. If a team loses a round, they have one opportunity to buy their way back into the tournament for $5. The tournament started precisely at 3:00 p.m. on April 30 and will carry on throughout the summer until one team wins it all. The entire competition is organized by a volunteer senior each year; this year it is Katie Brakora. There are 31 teams participating. According to participants such as Claire Shabet, a member of the team “Wet and Wild,” the competition is not just an average water

Activist Week a success BY ANNIE CHEN Staff Writer

At Athens there’s Charity Week. At the International Academy there’s Charity Ball. At Troy High, there’s Activist Week. From April 16-20, Activist Week, which is hosted by Student Government, gave opportunities each day for students to benefit the community. Donations for different charities were made through multiple ways other than

College bound seniors offer advice

Three seniors going to Stanford, University of Michigan and Princeton share their experiences BY ROHIT MARUTHI Staff Writer

After a grueling application process, Troy High seniors have received their college decisions. May 1 was the final day to select which school to attend, although some students are still on waitlists, hoping for good news. Many colleges use the Common Application. “Common App helps a lot with the process because you have one form [that allows you to apply to many schools],” said Annie Xiao, senior, who applied to 6 schools and

Junior wins international DECA award BY CAROLYN GEARIG Editor-in-Chief

Eric Robertson, senior, and Kris Zuhl, sophomore, sneak up on senior Sean Murphy’s street. “I’m not a part of water wars, but Eric asked me to help distract Sean so he could catch him,” said Zuhl. “I’m on yearbook staff, so I went to his front door and I was going to tell him I needed to ask him a question. But he figured it out and didn’t answer the door!” Robertson was a part of “The Dream Team.”


fight. “You chase people around in cars, stalk them to work, and wait outside their houses; people do crazy stuff,” said Shabet. Every participant has their own story about the outrageous lengths people will go to to win. “One of my teammates, Shalin Shah, forgot to lock the trunk of his Sedan and got cornered into a cul-de-sac in my neighborhood by an opposing team. They opened the trunk and started squirting him with a water gun,” said Sahab Grover (Team Asian Invasion), whose team had to buy their way back into the tournament after Round One. He explained that a common tactic is to invite a person to someone’s house and attack him or her upon arrival. Shivani Rishi was on the team against the Asian Invasion and explained how her team took out Dev Singhal. “We had Lauren Dietz’s brother go up to Dev Singhal’s front door with a baseball bat, and Dev’s car was parked in the street so Jason, her brother, was like ‘Hi, I accidently hit a baseball through your car window on the driver side.’ Dev got suspicious but walked outside and our team ran

See Water Wars, page 2

Junior Jennifer Stencel won first place in the Quick Serve Restaurant category of the DECA International Career Development Conference, held from April 29 through May 1 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Stencel finished as a state champion in the Jennifer Stencel, junior, Quick Serve wins a first place award Restaurant in the DECA international Management career development condivision of ference in Salt Lake City, the State con- Utah, from April 29 through May 1. ference, held from March 9-11 in Dearborn. This qualified her for the international competition. In Salt Lake City, Stencel took a 100 question test and completed two role plays where she took the role of a restaurant manager asked to resolve a problem. With 10 minutes per role play, Stencel came up with a solution and created visuals to explain her idea. Out of 200 competitors, Stencel qualified as one of 20 finalists. She completed one more role play and that, combined with previous scores, earned her first place. “I was in disbelief when I heard my name called,” said Stencel. “I was shaking and I didn’t know what to do.” DECA, which stands for Distributive Educational Clubs of America, is an international organization of students and teachers of marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and market-


Five Troy soccer players’ college decisions

May 18, 2012


Vol. 1 Issue 4

See Jen Stencel, page 3

collecting money, thereby giving the benefactors the name “activists.” With posters plastered in hallways and Student Government members wearing tshirts with non-profit organizations written in Sharpie, Monday Awareness Day eased the students into Activist Week. A competition of the most abundant children books collected was held on the next day. Letters and care packages for soldiers were collected on Wednesday. Both jeans and shoes donations were collected on Thursday, as well as Se-

nior Citizens Prom. Lastly, canned foods were donated on Friday. “Activist week was a great success this year. We exceeded our goals and expectations, and we are looking forward to expanding and having an even bigger impact next year,” said senior Maggie Smith, public relations officer of Student Government. Unlike typical charity events, Activist Week approaches charity donations in a

will attend the University of Michigan. Instead of filling out many different applications, students can fill out their information once on the Common App, and then complete school-specific supplementary applications. The 2012-2013 Common Application will be available on August 1. So what kind of information does the Common App ask for? As Edgar Wang put it, “It’s a chance for you to express who you are, what you believe in, and what you dream to become. The Common App is not merely a document that proclaims your SAT/ACT scores, AP scores, date of birth; it’s a document that mirrors the true self you’ve molded across the years.” Wang will attend Princeton University this fall. Students can choose to apply early action, early decision, regular action, or rolling decision. Distinguishing between the many types of deadlines can be a useful strategy. Early Decision is binding; if accepted, one must withdraw all other applications. Early Action

guarantees a non-binding decision or deferral usually in December. Regular Action results come out in the spring; rolling decision allows for applications to be submitted any time during the school year, and acceptances are on a first-come, first serve basis. In a pool of extremely competitive applicants, how is it possible to stand out? “I think the essay really helps you out. Writing an essay that’s not typical or cliché is very important. Don’t submit an essay you don’t feel confident in or you don’t think reflects your best work,” said Xiao. Wang advised, “Just hope that your character and your passion shine through on your application and convince that admission officer to stamp ‘accepted’.” Rolland He, who will study at Stanford University, summed it up by saying, “The joy of getting into one’s dream school makes the huge amount of effort spent into writing and perfecting the essays and all the nights spent fretting over colleges all worth it.”

See Activist Week, page 3

Troy High School, 4777 Northfield Parkway Troy, MI 48098



THS weighs in on the election BY SARAH CHMIELEWSKI This year the race is on. Students at Troy High voiced their opinions in The Troy Independent’s survey, which asked “Who has your vote for the upcoming presidential election?” Out of 70 responses, below is the breakdown of Troy High’s opinion on who should be the next President of the United States of America. •Obama received 43% of the votes . •Romney came in second receiving 37% of the votes. •20% remained undecided. For more election coverage, see page three.

November 1, 2012

Channel 4 comes to Troy High

Troy High featured on Channel 4 News’ ‘Friday Football Frenzy’


Nearly 1,000 students attended the Pep Assembly held at 5 a.m. Oct. 12. For more coverage, see page 2.


support for cancer Silly and scary combine Students show ed with pink lights to show pink for their family and ANNIE CHEN support, and professional friends affected by any types at the 2012 Spooktacular BYHer family was at Cedar football players picked out of cancer. BY TOMMY ROWBAL

The clock hits 12 on Halloween, and all the creatures of the night come out to feast on flesh, accompanied by the orchestra, of course. The annual Troy High Orchestra’s Halloween concert, The Spooktacular, was bigger and better this year with two shows. Tickets were sold for $5, nearly selling out before the

concert. In previous years the auditorium was full, but this year, the orchestra added something new: a midnight concert alongside the regular performance for families and children. The performers were just as excited for the concert as the audience, as the skits take around a month to prepare, building up hype rapid-


College application deadlines approach

ly. Students write skits and each Orchestra picks their favorite. Edits are made, music is selected to go along, and after rehearsal and memorization, the performance is ready. “I am very excited this year, because we are adding the Midnight Spooktacular,” orchestra director and conductor Alan MacNair said. “The skits have been going well so far, and I think they are some of the funniest we have ever had.” The first Spooktacular concert was at 7 p.m. on the Oct. 24. The midnight spooktacular was on Oct. 26, starting at 10:30. “It was supposed to be scary, but it actuEDWARD PACIOREK was ally really fun and happy,” concert violinist Daphne Samuel, sophomore, said. “I really enjoyed performing and watching the other skits.” DVD copies can be bought at the Orchestra Association of Troy High’s website ( for only $5. The money will go towards funding the orchestra’s concerts and trips. 6 8

Point the day before he was admitted to the hospital. Junior Taylor Curtis did not believe it when she found out her dad was diagnosed with leukemia. She thought he was pranking her. It was too unpredictable. Cancer: it’s not an easy word to say. It comes in all different types and sizes and affects adults as well as in children. October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The White House was illuminat-

their special pink socks and cleats to also show support. Students at Troy High took action to raise awareness for breast cancer as well. On Oct. 10, Student Government asked Troy High students to wear pink for a spirit day. ClubMed raised around $200 that went to the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. But, to some students, wearing pink was not simply to support the men and women being affected by breast cancer. They wore

Many football players opted to wear pink to promote awareness during games. Senior Juwuan Jackson wore pink UnderArmour and cleats for his uncle currently struggling with cancer. Junior Damian Howard-Doney wore pink in dedication to his cousin’s best friend who passed away at only 5 years old. “I know that a lot of people suffer from it, like family members,” Howard-

See Cancer, page 5

Troy Theatre Ensemble presents ‘Harvey’


From left, senior Jason LaCombe, senior Kelly Niemiec, senior Kevin Miller, senior Charia MacDonald, sophomore Meg Brokenshire, senior Maggie Steele and senior James Hendrickon star in “Harvey,” opening Nov. 1.

BY AUJENEE HIRSCH AND ANNIE CHEN Meet Harvey, a six-foot tall rabbit. He always wears a hat and a polka-dotted bow tie and only one man can see him. “Harvey” is the Troy Theatre Ensemble’s fall play. The play is set in the 1940s. Only one man named Elwood P. Dowd can see Har-

vey. Everyone in town thinks he’s crazy. But as his sister Veta Simmons, and Veta’s daughter, Myrtle Mae attempt to put him in an asylum, things go wrong. “It’s a wonderful comedy, fun, something that people will enjoy,” said Rick Bodick, director. Actors and actresses tried to balance their school work


with their practices. Eric Cheng, one of the two freshmen cast, did his homework whenever possible during rehearsals. “Whenever I have downtime during rehearsal all I’m doing is homework, homework, homework,” said Cheng. “It’s crazy balancing my

See Harvey, page 5

Fall is back. Outside of football games, the changing color of leaves and apple cider, autumn is the season of college applications. Seniors have three major tasks to accomplish: maintain their grades, get accepted into college or find another post-secondary vocation, and graduate. While there are varying application deadlines depending on the college, the first one that draws attention is the Nov. 1 early application deadline. Early applications are used primarily to receive an advanced decision. If submitted on or before the Nov. 1 deadline, applications are reviewed throughout November and early December. Colleges usually give a decision by mid-December. The early application decision is one of acceptance, deferral, or rejection. Deferral means reevaluating the application with the normal decision applications, which is different as it can be an acceptance, a likely-letter, a wait-list, or a rejection. Likely-letters mean probable acceptance whereas a wait-list means waiting for admitted students to possibly decline enrollment. There are two types of early applications: early action (EA) and early decision (ED). The difference between these two is important, early decision is binding if admitted. This means the admitted student must attend the school. Of course this isn’t an appealing prospect to most. However, students, like Xinrui Yang, senior, have their eyes set on a dream school. “I’ve wanted to attend Columbia University for a long time,” Yang said. “If given the opportunity, I would most definitely go. So it is purely beneficial for me to find out and commit early.” Also, since early decision is binding, early applicants are usually given priority and have a higher acceptance rate than normal applicants. One major drawback of a binding decision is that admitted students are forced to attend without advance knowledge of whether or not they can afford the tuition, room and board. Tuition costs make some students especially wary of early decision schools. “I’m applying to Case Western, University of Michigan and University of Chicago early action,” senior Maggie Steele said. “[Case Western and University of Michigan]

See College, page 5

Got a news tip? Want to share your thoughts on our stories or issues effecting Troy High students and staff? Shoot up an email to

Troy High School, 4777 Northfield Parkway Troy, MI 48098



November 30, 2012


The day that shook the Troy High community and tested its strength BY CAROLYN GEARIG AND JAKE LOURIM There’s a feeling in the air that’s new around Troy High. Sure, there are the occasional hurtful words. There’s no shortage of stress around exam time. Kids always feel pressure about the future. But the sun is usually shining on this school. Troy even won the Channel 4 Spirit Award for the best pep rally of the fall. That spirit was thrown into the air late last month when freshman Madelyn Compton

took her own life. Immediately, the entire school went into grief. “Suicide is very painful because there are always unanswered questions,” counselor Jesse Allgeier said. Compton suffered from a rare illness known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), an extremely painful disease that is seldom treatable. Described as outgoing and caring by her close friends, she was beloved by many at Troy High. Her passing shook the Troy High community to its core.

Students explain viewpoints, realities of Asperger’s syndrome

BY AUJENEE HIRSCH AND KATHERINE MAHER Bill Gates, Stephen Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson and more all had Asperger’s syndrome (AS), an autistic spectrum disorder. These highly successful people succeeded in life despite having Asperger’s. Asperger’s syndrome affects almost 1.5 million Americans. These individuals are usually characterized as people who have difficulty interacting in social situations. Some aspies, as they are known, have trouble putting words to their feelings or thoughts. People with Asperger’s tend to have fascinations with one subject, and when in an uncomfortable situation, they talk only about that subject. Often, these interests are not typical for their age, such as one Troy High student with AS who, starting at age six, was fascinated by Italian poetry. A number of students at THS were asked the same question, “Do you know what Asperger’s Syndrome is?” “It’s like, some form of mental disability,” senior Kevin Miller said. “You know, they kind of seem off.” “You have social problems, like it’s hard to communicate with people,” junior Bailey Craig said. “It’s like, a form of autism,” sophomore Anna Balas said. “I think that they have a hard time socializing, and usually they’re really smart.” “They have difficulty fitting in, completing daily tasks, but they have a lot of knowledge about one topic,” said


freshman Amanda Spillane, who has babysat a child with Asperger’s. One of the main reasons Asperger’s is misunderstood is because of its association with autism. When people hear autism, they automatically think of a mental disability, odd behavior and childish nature. It’s hard for students to detach their assumptions from reality. Asperger’s is a high functioning form of autism, and many of the traits common with autism are not shown or less prevalent in people with AS. “Just know that sometimes, when you say something sarcastic, and I take it literally, I’m not stupid. I just can’t tell,” a THS student with Asperger’s said. “People treat me like I’m a background character or an outcast,” said a student diagnosed with AS. “People make fun of the fact that I like Pokémon or they’ll make fun of Pokémon around me,” a teenage girl with Asperger’s said. Students that have AS are usually knowledgeable in areas that interest them, such as math, horseback riding, drawing, writing, and computers. “My friends make me feel happy and normal,” said a teenage boy diagnosed with AS. “Whenever I’m around someone I feel comfortable with I feel as if I can be myself,” a girl with Asperger’s syndrome said. “They make me feel normal.” Look past the differences of people and you might find the next Bill Gates—or even better—your new best friend. Accept people for who they are: you would want them to do the same for you. 6 8

Sure, people were close during good times, but this was unlike anything anyone had ever gone through. Could they withstand this? The answer, evident early on, was yes. “I think our No. 1 priority is to be there for Maddie’s family and friends and ensure that we’re providing as much support as possible,” principal Mark Dziatczak said. “From there, I think we need to ensure that as a learning community, we are there for one another.” “I do think this commu-

nity cares about everybody,” guidance counselor Anne Young said. “We have to continue to be nice to people because we never know what they’re going through.” Everyone goes through tough times, but this was more than anyone had ever seen. “It’s a very serious, complex situation to deal with,” Allgeier said. “No one really knows how to deal with this kind of significant and unexpected loss.” The counselors did, and people fed off them. The first

week after Compton’s passing, the counselors met with students in groups to overcome and later individually. “As counselors, we’re trained to deal with crises,” Allgeier said. “Crises are inherently unpredictable. One of the most important things is to remain calm, because someone has to.” This event was tragic, but the counselors agree people are stronger because of it. Everyone encounters tragedy. Life isn’t about getting knocked down—it’s about getting back up. The commu-

nity learned so much in the wake of this. “It’s not just academics you’re learning here,” Young said. “I hope we’ll get better coping skills.” More than any derivative or chemical equation or literary device, people learned to deal with the unexpected. Compton’s passing hit people hard, and the counselors tried to help them recover. Teenagers aren’t developed enough to be able to digest the complex issue of death, they said. See Madelyn, page 5

Superstorm Sandy Strikes America BY TOMMY ROWBAL AND MARCEY SHEHATA Most Troy High students could only watch as Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast, but for some, the storm hit home. “My sister lives in New York. She wasn’t directly affected but she did lose power,” senior Kevin Miller said. “The transportation problem affected her the most. She had no way of getting to a job besides walking, and had to leave two hours earlier because all the subways


Rockaway, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City, was devastated by Sandy.

were shut down. I was a bit worried, but she was alright.” “I have a friend in New Jersey,” junior Afaaf Nassif said. “I asked her how she was doing during the hurricane. She said they all had to go out and get supplies that would last for a long time. They were stuck in their house for two weeks, and had no school. I was really worried when she told me, but I prayed she would stay safe.” Despite the fact that Troy was only hit with some wind and cold, the hurricane had a See Sandy, page 5

Students celebrate unique Thanksgivings

Students honor culture, diversity for Thanksgiving

BY LIZA BURAKOVA AND ERIN TEPATTI Football, being thankful and turkey all describe Thanksgiving. Not everyone’s celebrations fit this description, though. Some Troy High students celebrate Thanksgiving in their own ways, either sticking true to their heritage or following their own path. The Thanksgiving feast is the biggest aspect of the holiday. Senior Mindy Kim has two versions of the feast, depending on who she spends the holiday with. “If I’m with my family we eat Korean food, but at Asian parties we eat turkey.” she said. “I prefer the turkey, because I eat Korean food almost every other day.” She hasn’t gotten completely tired of Korean food, however. She enjoys Korean barbeque kimchi. “Kimchi needs to be part of every Korean meal,” she said. Kimchi is made with vegetables and various seasonings. It’s Korea’s staple food,

and there are hundreds of we [my family] have parvarieties found in almost ev- ties with our friends, but we ery dish. It can be made with don’t do much else.” stew, soup, or fried rice. Specific diets can make a Thanksgiving dinner more difficult for some. Sophomores Alina Shafikova and Angel Li, follow a vegan diet. “I just have a bunch of salad and fruit,” Shafikova said. “We [my family] stick to more Russian food, but I’m the only vegan.” Because they’re Russian, they don’t formally celUSED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE VAULT DFW ebrate ThanksWhile many students chose to celebrate giving. “We kind of Thanksgiving with turkey and stuffing, othjust thank ev- ers honored their culture with foods like erything, but kimchi and tamales. we don’t really celebrate,” she said. Tofu is generally a staLi also doesn’t celebrate ple of thanksgiving dinner formally. for vegetarians and vegans “I just eat regular [vegan] alike. Tofurkey is one meatfood,” she said. “Sometimes less classic, made out of tofu


or seitan with stuffing made from bread and flavored with spices and herbs. Although one may think that cooking a fake turkey would involve merely a microwave, it actually requires roasting it in the oven for several hours with a multitude of vegetables and gravy. Some other people celebrate traditionally, but their dinner represents their cultural background. Senior Ramiro Moreno and junior Naya Moreno’s family watch football and the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving, but instead of turkey and mashed potatoes, they eat Mexican food. “For Thanksgiving, [my] mom and dad wake up early and cook tamales, which are meat wrapped in cooked corn husks,” Naya said. “[My mom] makes fideo, which is like rice in sauce. And tortillas, of course. Also, [we have] Mexican rice with chicken in it, as well as refried beans.” “Tamales are my favorite,” Ramiro said. Whether an old or new tradition, Thanksgiving activities are enjoyed by students— especially when delicious food is involved.

Got a news tip? Want to share your thoughts on our stories or issues effecting Troy High students and staff? Shoot up an email to

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