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BLUEPRINTS Volume XIX Issue 2 November 2019

basketball preview p. 14

EDEN’s CAFE p. 24

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BLUEPRINTS MAGAZINE BluePrints is published as the official magazine of Cedar Shoals High School. Published opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of anyone other than the staff and individual writers. BluePrints is a student-led newsmagazine published for the Cedar Shoals community to enjoy as well as to educate student journalists. Each issue is an open public forum for student expression under the guidance of a faculty adviser. The BluePrints staff is committed to reflect the mission statement set forth by Cedar Shoals High School. The staff’s goals are to provide fair, accurate news and commentaries, as well as to serve the interests of the school and Athens community. Advertising must conform to the guidelines set forth for editorials. Publication of advertisements does not indicate an endorsement by CSHS or by BluePrints. Students pictured in advertisements are not given monetary compensation. All advertising rates are available upon request from any BluePrints staff member. BluePrints is a member of the Georgia Scholastic Press Association, the Southern Interscholastic Press Association, and JEA. Corrections of errors and omissions will appear in the next issue. Submit letters to the editor to: cedarblueprints@gmail.com Editor-in-Chief Sachio Goodie Sports Editor Denton Redmond News Editor Stephany Gaona-Perez Features Editor Tristan Lankford Viewpoints Editor Daveon Montgomery





Variety Editor Emma Dowling Assistant Editors Brittany Lopez, Corinne Register Social Media Team Jennifer Dorcin, Jordan Dulcio Webmaster Emma Dowling Staff Members Nikkia Bell, Allie Chang, Ellie Crane, Aiden Dowling, Melanie Frick, Chloe Howard, Ava Maddox, Melany Mathis, Emma McElhannon, Coriander McGreevy, Tory Ratajczak, Megan Wise, Jackie Wright Adviser Marc Ginsberg BluePrints Magazine Cedar Shoals High School 1300 Cedar Shoals Drive Athens, GA 30605 Phone: (706) 546-5375, Ext. 21314

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Table of Contents Viewpoints 6 8

Discipline and punishment Culture crisis


sports 10 Jessica Lonon 14 Basketball preview 16 Will Fang


Photo by Jackie Wright


20 Reviews 22 Mifflin House

News 26 Bharuchas return 30 Undocumented students


Photo by Emma McElhannon


34 Mrs. Elder 38 B.E.E. Club Photo by Allie Chang

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Letters to the Editor Resignation of DerriCk Maxwell

You Need to Cut it


he resignation of Derrick Maxwell is a heartbreaking loss for the Cedar community, the East side, and the entire Clarke County School District.

As a long time CSHS teacher said, “Mr. Maxwell made everyone around him better.” What more accurate description of a successful principal--scratch that, true LEADER--could there be? As I told Dr. Chris McMichael, Superintendent of Barrow County Schools, once more Clarke’s loss was Barrow’s gain. Having known Derrick for at least 10 years, I can truthfully say I have rarely met an administrator so loved by teachers, students, and parents. He definitely “knows his stuff ” instructionally, but he pairs that with a genuine and transparent love for kids--and adults--that produces healthy communities wherever he goes. If we really mean what we say about being “Better Every Day”, then we need to stop running off those who are actually doing it. CJ Amason Parent of four Cedar Shoals graduates Executive Director, Foundation for Excellence in Public Education in Clarke County, Georgia

DominiC Bielli


hen I was reading the article “You Need To Cut It” by Domonic Bielli, I felt inspired because a lot of kids don’t follow their dreams. Hispanics have a difficult culture and a lot of times your parents make the decisions for you whether you like it or not. He was going through difficult times because he wanted to make his dream come true. Even if he had to make a decision that he probably didn’t like, everything got better for him and his following his dreams. I feel like a lot of students at Cedar need to start following their dreams if we want to change this country for the better. --Silvia Diaz 11th grade

You Need to Cut it


DominiC Bielli

s I was flipping the pages in the BluePrints I automatically stopped at the article “You Need To Cut It!” by Dominic Bielli. Just seeing the title made me want to read it even more. Joe Marcial used his worst experience in life to begin a business. As I kept reading the article it informed me that whenever I go through something I should take that experience and make a profit out of it. This article teaches a lot of things that my generation needs to know, like never giving up on anything you try to do. One day you will eventually get it and you will get a feeling of pride. Everything bad that happens to us shouldn’t bring us down; it should bring us up and make us a strong individual. -- Meoshia Powers 11th grade

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4 Pods

From the Editor’s Desk: The Boomers are taking our Juuls.


hat hap-

pened to the good ole’ days, when children were content with smoking a SaChio Goodie pack of Camel Editor in Chief cigarettes with their friends? The bitter, lingering smell of cigarettes has been replaced by a repugnant, sweet mango scent. It’s disgusting. Juul and other e-cigarettes were designed to quit smoking, although they have drawn criticism for ad campaigns and marketing geared towards teenagers. Critics such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids claim that candy or sweet pods are targeting children as first time nicotine users. Having sweet, fruity flavors seems like an unnecessary feature for those who already smoke cigarettes. Mint and fruit flavored pods have since been discontinued by Juul. Older generations have a difficult time understanding why teenagers have been drawn to the mango and mint pods. The same generations criticizing Generation-Z and Millennials became addicted to nicotine by smoking

cigarettes, with full knowledge of the dangers of lung cancer. Cigarettes were linked to cancer by the scientific community as early as the 1940s, and despite brilliant ad campaigns launched by big tobacco, the general public widely accepted lung cancer research linked to smoking. The assault on Juuls can somewhat be explained by the cyclical vendetta of older generations against younger ones. The counterculture movement of the 1960s tore young anti-Vietnam sentiment from the older, traditional American values. The sexual liberation fueled by contraceptives and birth control also alienated the generations from one another. Vaping has become an epidemic, and it should be addressed as such. With so many teenagers addicted to nicotine, banning Juuls will turn youth toward smoking. Juuls will keep young people away from cigarettes. If we could go back in time and prevent Juuls from ever hitting the market, we would. However, far too many students are already addicted to nicotine. The National Youth Tobacco Survey found that over 3.6 million children used e-cigarettes in 2018. Banning Juuls could turn those addicted to-

ward cigarettes. The dangers of e-cigarettes should be taught; there certainly is a misconception that vaping isn’t harmful to health. But the anti-Juul sentiment has progressed into familiar territory reminiscent of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign. The issue of youth addiction to nicotine will not be solved with an outright ban on e-cigarettes, the same way abstinence based drug prevention didn’t work. Education into the harmful effects of Juuling should be emphasized. But pretending that a Juul ban will help young people is a philosophy equivalent with preventing teen pregnancy by teaching abstinence. Too many young people are already addicted to nicotine, and a ban on Juuls could turn them toward cigarettes. This is by no means a defense of the Juuling trend. It is a call to acknowledge the epidemic and to combat the misleading media sentiment. 34 people have died from vape-related illness, and President Trump proposed a ban all flavored e-cigarettes. We are rushing for the most obvious solution to this problem to save face while exacerbating more complex problems with those solutions.

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Art by Ava Maddox




’ve had teachers make me write phrases over and over again. “I’ll never talk while the teacher is talking.” Just Nikkia bell because someSTAFF Writer one writes something 100 times doesn’t mean they will act based on what they’ve written. I participate in an extracurricular activity where the adult leadership is strict. My fellow students don’t really have much of a voice. After one unexcused practice absence, the absent student is responsible for writing an essay. Teachers sometimes make students in their classes write essays explaining their wrongs and apologizing. I personally understand the importance of acknowledging your wrongs, but if I’m forced by a teacher to write an essay about it, I wouldn’t change or grow from that situation and punishment. Instead of seeking to teach us a lesson, teachers and parents should focus more on improving their relationships with minors instead of focusing on punishments. I have more patience with adults who I’m familiar with. I feel like I can open up to them.

Students are most comfortable opening up to understanding, relatable adults who listen to what students have to say. They don’t have as many behavior problems in their classrooms, and students are favorable toward them. Something that makes me feel comfortable talking to an adult is when he or she speaks in a calm tone and lets me express my thoughts without talking over me or yelling. A calm conversation always makes it easier for both parties to open up and solve the problem. In the case of discipline, the adult should come to the child and ask why he or she has been acting out and how could they improve the problem or get rid of it. When I see students getting sent out of class here, it’s disheartening because I’ve been that student getting sent out of class for little to no reason. My freshman year I once got sent to the principal for being on my phone the day before. The teacher wasn’t there; we had a substitute. When the teacher came back the next day she confronted me about it. My response was basically “I can’t do anything about it today because it happened yesterday,” but I did acknowledge that it happened. When I went to the principal’s office, he acknowledged that I’m normally a good student. He advised that I just

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do my work in the class for the rest of the year and stay out of trouble, and that’s what I did. Not every student is as lucky as me. Not every student gets off the hook, even with the smallest offenses. When students are sent to ISS for the smallest reasons it affects that student’s education. When you’re sent to ISS you’re not learning anything. They give you a worksheet and say, “There you go, that’s your work for the day.” This angers me because from experience I’ve learned that students don’t actually do the work because they lack motivation at that point. When students fight at school and are given OSS they don’t talk about the problem that occurred to cause the fight, so they just fight outside of school or again when they return to school. When these things happen I wonder what the point of OSS is if the problems that the students are having aren’t solved. Instead they just miss out on school and get behind. As a student I understand the importance of getting assignments done, being serious and showing respect. I think adults should respect younger people in the same ways that they want to be respected. The communication that young people have with adults needs to improve. If it was better there would be less adult/child conflict. Children would be more cooperative with discipline.

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Stephany Gaona-perez News Editor

here are you from?” became a question I hated answering while I was growing up. Since I was born and raised in Georgia, I always said that I was from there. Then I’d get told, “You look Hispanic” and “You’re not white.” It didn’t make sense to me to say that I was Mexican.

I was born in the United States, not Mexico. I always thought of myself as an American. I celebrate almost all the American holidays, speak English perfectly, and was born in the United States. I have yet to even visit Mexico, and I’m not very aware of how life is over there. I’ve had family members tell me that I should not consider myself Mexican. They would tell me that I’m more American and that I don’t even speak Spanish well. Language was another issue for me when I was younger. For the first couple of years of my life, I had a babysitter who would always speak to me in English. My first words were in English despite my parents speaking to me in Spanish. When I started school, I would switch between two languages at home and at school. Eventually, English became my primary language. When I was younger, I would always refer to everyone as “tu”. My parents would be mad at me because they wanted me to use the word “usted” when talking to adults. They both mean “you” in English, but “usted” is a more formal word. I still make the mistake sometimes when speaking to an adult. It has always been hard for me to switch between the two languages. My parents tried to incorporate Mexican holidays and traditions in our lives. For a while, I didn’t understand why I had to celebrate holidays like the Day of the Dead. It’s hard to celebrate a holiday when you barely know anything about it. It’s also weird to celebrate when very few people in my

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community are.

I started to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day about three years ago. I previously didn’t know much about the holiday. I learned that it is celebrated on September 16, not May 5. I learned that the colors on the Mexican flag have meanings. Green represents hope, white represents purity, and red represents the blood of the soldiers who fought for independence. I’ve been told that I don’t even have an accent. My friends who are from Mexico have told me that if I ever came to visit, people would immediately know I was American. I always saw hyphenated names as something strange growing up. It is nice to have my father and mother’s first last name but I get asked a lot of questions because of it. People think Gaona is my middle name. One of my family members asked me if I was going to hyphenate my name when I get married. I honestly don’t want to, so I said no. I remember she judged me because I was “acting like an American” and that I wasn’t “respecting my Mexican culture”. That made me question if I wasn’t acknowledging where my family came from. It’s difficult growing up in a different place than where your parents are from. I have never truly felt completely American or Mexican. I grew up with different ideas and cultures, and it was hard to know my identity. I was constantly being told that I was more of this nationality than the other. I’ll always be grateful to my parents for trying their best to make my siblings and me aware of our background. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to accept my dual identity. Whenever I’m asked where I am from, I say that I am both American and Mexican.


miss people dancing salsa in the streets. I miss abuelitos and abuelitas playing Dominoes. I miss going to the beach with friends Brittany lopez and passing by a assistant editor Cuban bakery to get guava pastries. I miss saluting each other with kisses on the cheek and hearing Latinx music throughout the streets. I can’t do the smallest things I used to enjoy the most in Miami, but I’ve found beauty in Athens. I now witness the seasons change and

deer feeding in my backyard. I love the smell of pines and the sound of birds chirping. I enjoy Outdoor Club because I find it beautiful how my school’s garden is coming together.

Coming from Miami, I acted differently than my classmates. I would greet people with a kiss on the cheek and while it was completely platonic, people found it socially unacceptable. I wore summer clothes and spoke Spanglish. In my second week at Cedar Shoals, a boy in my class told me to “speak in English.” When I first enrolled here, many of my Hispanic classmates only spoke to me in Spanish because they assumed that was the only language I knew. Some said they didn’t understand what I was saying because I had an accent. I never experienced this in Miami because almost everyone has an accent. I did think that my classmates were friendly, but their politeness still felt double-sided with criticism because of where I came from. While there are a few individuals who make me feel welcome in Athens and especially at Cedar, I often feel like an outcast. I can’t seem to relate to others’ and their experiences because we were raised in different environments. For example, I struggle to relate to friends whenever they start talking about their favorite places in Athens because I haven’t been here enough. With my Hispanic friends, I’m often quiet as they discuss dishes like “sope,” Mexican antojitos, which I had never heard before until I came here. I can’t seem to relate fully to any of my friends’ cultures, and I feel excluded since we can’t share that connection. While Miami can be described as a melting pot, its diversity is always celebrated. It’s as if everyone there shares their culture with one another and

appreciates it. They celebrate events like the Calle Ocho Festival, the largest festival dedicated to celebrating Hispanic culture, or the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade, where people from all socioeconomic backgrounds celebrate equality. Even though there are similar events happening in Athens such as LatinxFest, it is simply not the same. I don’t think people gather together and unify with these events as they did in Miami. It’s almost as if others were categorized into groups. Perhaps I’m not giving Athens a fair chance since Miami is a bigger city, but I do believe Athens lacks appreciation of all cultures. My mother moved from Nicaragua when she was 19 years old and has always been surrounded by people like her ever since. When coming to Athens, I noticed how the Nicaraguan community feels nonexistent, yet in Miami it was big. There are festivals, masses, restaurants, and shops dedicated to my people. Many of the Hispanic markets in Athens don’t even sell Nicaraguan products. My family and I adapted to these changes, and while it has been hard, it also shows the bubble we lived in. We never fully considered how some places might lack the same diversity there was in Miami. While moving to Athens was a complete culture shock, I’ve grown with the people and learned their customs. I’ve learned to appreciate things. I know I am aware that my experience is not as drastic as those who move from different countries, yet I know that others can relate. Moving is not easy and that’s why it’s important to put one’s self into a newcomer’s situation.

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COACHING THE FUTURE: Ms. Lonon coaches the CSHS JV volleyball team at a game in Putnam County on August 20. Cedar players won in both Varsity and JV games against Putnam. “I try to make it very positive for the volleyball team. ‘Make the best better,’ that’s one of my mottos,” said Ms. Lonon.



essica Lonon is paying forward the support she received from her community throughout her life. Along with teaching, Ms. Lonon is raising a daughter, running a business called J Shot Connection, supporting her family’s businesses, coaching the Cedar Shoals volleyball team, and connecting with the community through organizing events. Ms. Lonon was the Cedar Shoals counseling secretary last year, and this year she teaches business classes. Born in Sylvania, Georgia to Jerry

and Mary Lonon, Ms. Lonon graduated from Screven County High School in 2000. Lonon’s family believed in her and worked hard to support her dreams. Before Lonon’s parents started their family business, J and L Contracting, Mary Lonon worked the third shift at a plant to help support the family. Ms. Lonon’s great grandmother, Isadell Garvin, influenced her in high school. Garvin moved in behind the Lonons’ house when her husband passed away.

played college basketball and earned a baseball scholarship to Paine College. He instilled athleticism into Ms. Lonon and her brothers. Anthony Lonon, the second oldest Lonon son, went to the University of Georgia on a football scholarship.

Taking her great grandmother’s advice, Lonon turned to athletics to take care of herself. Her father

Ms. Lonon qualified for two state track meets and was named the MVP for her softball team in her se-

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“Everyone had high expectations of me being an athlete,” Ms. Lonon said. Her success in high school track, softball, and basketball as well as college and professional basketball fulfilled those expectations.

SHOWING GRATITUDE: Ms. Lonon’s faith plays a significant role in her life. She thanks God for her many achievements. “Anything that I said I wanted to be when I was growing up, somehow God has made a way for me to be. As my life has transpired, I have had the opportunity to be in so many different hats,” Ms. Lonon said. Photo by Jackie Wright

nior year of high school. In her high school softball career Lonon had a batting average of .525 with 15 RBI, but basketball was her passion. In 2010, she was inducted into the Screven County Athletic Hall of Fame. At the time she held records for points scored in a basketball game, 41; points scored in a season, 588; and free throws made and attempted, at 313 and 571 respectively. After her successful high school basketball career, Lonon attended East Tennessee State University on a basketball scholarship. After starting at forward for ETSU, Lonon signed a contract to play professionally overseas. A scout from Statesboro, GA who watched Lonon play in high school helped her travel to Europe to play professional basketball. She left for Ireland the same year she graduated college to play

for the Peugeot Meteors. Before going professional, Ms. Lonon rarely traveled outside of Georgia. Ireland was “a whole new world.” “I was raised in a small country town, so I was never used to being in the city. I learned how to use the train, and just learned how I was always sheltered. I learned how to watch out for myself and take care of myself and be responsible,” Ms. Lonon said. As a professional athlete, she received support from teammates and built friendships that have lasted through her life. Ms. Lonon spent six years playing professional basketball overseas. After Ireland, she traveled to Austria, Spain, Denmark, and Australia. Her time overseas and the relationships she built inspired Ms. Lonon to start a mar-

keting business called J Shot Connection. “I wanted to build connections and help other people do what I did,” Ms. Lonon said. American players benefited the teams overseas because they brought a different style of play to the teams. When different ball clubs hoped Lonon could help them recruit players, she also saw an opportunity. “They started asking if I knew other players, how to get other players over there. And I was like ‘hmm, I might turn this into something,’” Lonon said. Within a year she founded J Shot Connection with the help of her father. Soon she held her first combine in Athens to connect the players and teams. “I flew in some of the coaches that I was talking to while playing and

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helped some of the other players play ball and grow. So I even helped some of my former teammates fly over and sign contracts,” Lonon said. Since the first combine, J Shot Connection has evolved into a marketing agency, working less with sending players overseas and more with promoting businesses. Like athletics, entrepreneurship runs in the Lonon family. Anthony Lonon, Ms. Lonon’s brother, owns a car dealership in Athens called Lo Automotive. He also owns a landscaping business called L-Scape that has worked for the University of Georgia as well as nearby army and naval bases. Their parents’ J and L contracting business works on demolition jobs. Through J Shot, Ms. Lonon helped young people find their own success. Lonon hosted a talk show in the ear-

ly 2000’s on JPN Network called “Jess Choppin’ It Up” to inspire young stars and help them to gain exposure. “I would interview our local celebrities here, or young people aspiring to be a celebrity. And then I would find an actual celebrity that we were bringing in and I would tie the shows together,” said Lonon. Some of the guests on her show included Reginald Ballard, Gucci Mane, RaSheeda, Lil Scrappy, Shawty Lo, Waka Flaka Flame, and Joyce Lattel. Even after rubbing elbows with celebrities, Lonon turned her attention to a brighter star when her daughter A’Riyah was born. “I’m passionate about giving back and raising my daughter - not just to be like me. But to find herself and learn new ideas on how to do that, how to develop her. How to get her ready for her world, because I’ve already had a chance to live in my world. So let her become her own self and find her own personality for herself,” Ms. Lonon said. Now A’Riyah is in first grade at Whit Davis Elementary School. Ms Lonon is raising A’Riyah to be Christian the same way her parents raised her.

FAMILY PHOTO: Rev. Carroll Lonon, the oldest son, holds infant Ms. Lonon. Jerry Lonon Jr. (left), Anthony Lonon (middle), and Mary Lonon (back) are also pictured.

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“We went to church all the time. We were raised in the church. We always prayed together. We believed in having morals and respect. We respect our elders no matter what,” Ms. Lonon said. Soon after A’Riyah was

SHOOTING HIGH: Ms. Lonon plays a game in Denmark. “People just knew that I was raised around sports and expected me to be good at sports because of my parents and my older brothers,” said Ms. Lonon.

born, Lonon found her way to Cedar Shoals. At first as a substitute teacher, she was hesitant to take on a full-time job because she wanted to spend as much time with A’Riyah as possible. But then principal Dr. Tony Price persisted in asking Ms. Lonon to take a long term teaching position in a special education classroom. The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) at UGA helped her to get her teaching degree. Ms. Lonon took the job in 2013 and has worked at Cedar ever since. “I learned so much. Those kids are amazing. My whole perspective, not just of them, but of life changed. They make you appreciate life more, because they’re happy,” said Ms. Lonon.

As soon as she started working at Cedar, Ms. Lonon began organizing events to reach the community. For her first project, she organized a trip to see the movie “Selma” with 30 Cedar students. “After I did that event, that opened my mind to doing more stuff like that. So I did the black history program with Jackie Bosby and JPN network. We had viewings of all the historical people over in the auditorium. I’ve also done the fan bus on the basketball game to Columbus. I’ve done the Car and Bike show with Dave Darden,” Ms. Lonon said. Recently, Ms. Lonon found another way to help her community. Ms. Lonon began coaching volleyball at Cedar last year. She primarily coach-

es the junior varsity team. Positive coaching is a priority for Ms. Lonon. “Everybody can tell you all the things that you’re doing wrong. But it’s important to let you know, to coach yourself, even on the things you’re doing right. ‘To make the best better,’ that’s one of my mottos,” said Ms. Lonon. “She likes to get wins. She doesn’t like losing. She likes hard work. And she wants us to put everything we’ve got into what we play. And it always turned out for the best,” sophomore volleyball player Aseel Mansour said.

A’RIYAH LONON: A’Riyah and Ms. Lonon pose for a picture. Ms. Lonon wants her daughter to follow her dreams and her morals throughout her life. “I encourage A’Riyah to have respect for people and to respect herself,” said Ms. Lonon. Photos provided by Ms. Lonon.

Louren Patterson, a senior volleyball player and student in Ms. Lonon’s business class, says Ms. Lonon has a positive coaching style in the classroom as well. “In school most of the time, she’ll be like a coach. She’ll say ‘you all are a team, work together,’” Patterson said. Ms. Lonon believes that we are all capable of success if we work hard enough, and school is the place where we can learn how to be successful.

GRANDMA DELL’S BIRTHDAY: Ms. Lonon, brother Anthony, and Great-Grandmother Isadell Garvin are at their home in Sylvania. Ms. Lonon and Anthony are celebrating their Grandma’s 74th birthday. “She always encouraged me to read and eat healthy and take care of myself. And to do the things I needed to do to be a classy woman,” Lonon said.

“Be a sponge. Soak in everything you can soak in. Know that we work for you. When you’re a student, you’re a boss. You’re a boss, so you tell us what you need. And our job is to give it to you. And our job is to groom you to be productive citizens. And you need to learn all that you can learn while you can get it now. Because what decisions you make now, do affect the rest of your life,” said Ms. Lonon.

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Jaguar varsity basketball hopes to win state championship by Tristan Lankford


arnering a bid to the 5-A playoffs for the last five years, the Jaguars look to further showcase their talent this 2019-20 season. With nine returning players (eight seniors), the squad will rely on their experience and leadership. After transferring from Athens Christian their sophomore year, GHSA 5-A On the Radar Hoops preseason top ten players Quincy Canty and Tyler Johnson are again the focal points of East side bunch going into their senior season. The duo combined to lead the team in points, rebounds, and assists last year.


2015-2016: OVERALL 29-3, REGION 13-1, Semi-Finals 2016-2017: OVERALL 27-5, REGION 11-2, State runner-up 2017-2018: OVERALL 10-18, REGION 7-5, Second round of playoffs 2018-2019: OVERALL 15-14, REGION 7-3, Second round of playoffs

“(Our team goals are) to win the region championship, the state championship, and go undefeated.” Tyler Johnson, c/o 2020 14 | Cedar BluePrints | CedarBlueprints.com


he longtime in-region basketball rival and returning state champion again poses the greatest threat to the Jags in 5-A. The good news is that new faces are prominent on the Wolves roster; the team lost eleven seniors. The only returning starter is senior shooting guard Caleb Williams, but expect head coach Eddie Martin to gear this fresh team to another high flying offense that has averaged over 70 points per game in the last three seasons.

(1/7/20 Home, 1/24/20 Away)


nding the Jaguars’ season in the sweet-16 last year, Kell is a formidable non-region foe. Sophomore five-star rated point guard Sterling “Scoot” Henderson took part in the 2019 USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team. In this must-see matchup, it’s imperative that Cedar slows down Henderson’s aggressive playmaking ability while also keeping consistency on the offensive side of the floor. Kell held the Jags to a mere six points in the first quarter last year, so coming out strong and establishing the offense are the keys to the game.

(12/21/19 Home)



he entire East side of Athens swept the West side in men’s basketball last year, including the two middle school teams at Hilsman and Coile. The future looks bright for the Classic City rivalry, and with Central’s loss of small forward Trey Johnson and center Rodney Wright (both former Cedar students) the Jaguars shouldn’t have a problem reclaiming the city championship. Expect dominant games from big men Canty and Rickil Willingham who have the height advantage over this Gladiator team that only has two players over 6’2”. (1/4/20 Home, 1/25/20 Away)

“I am really excited for the Cedar vs. Central game just because of all the trash talk. We’re ready to prove em’ differently. I’m also looking forward to the Buford game because one of my teammates from my travel team transferred there, so it will be cool to play against him.” Quincy Canty, c/o 2020 CedarBlueprints.com | Cedar BluePrints | 15

KICK KICKING IT: Junior Will Fang poses with his instrument in Waters-Wilkins Stadium before practice. Kickers usually spend practice time apart from the team, creating stereotypes for the specialists. “Yeah, they (football players) already think I’m pretty weird. Kickers are weird people,” Fang said. Photo by Jackie Wright.

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KING BRASS by Tristan Lankford


t’s halftime at Waters-Wilkins Stadium, and head coach Leroy Ryals leads the Jaguars off the field for a pep talk in the locker room. As the marching band lines up to perform, there’s one outlier. A 5’7” Jaguar football player jogs away from his team over toward the marching band and picks up a mellophone. Under normal circumstances, this player would face severe punishment after the game, but junior kicker and marching band member William Fang is just doing his job: kicking field goals for the team and playing mellophone for the band. “My mom thought it was crazy at first,” Fang said about first expressing his desire to play football. “Her obvious question was, ‘what about marching band?’ I told her that I would take care of it,” Fang said. And he did just that. “I looked at him, like, football? Really Will? You’re not going to quit band, are you?” Cedar Shoals band director Dr. Zandra Bell-McRoy said when Fang brought the idea to her. After pondering about it, Bell-McRoy knew what to do. “That’s a dream situation when you have a student that wants to do both,” Bell said. “Coach Ryals and I got together and we talked about how we would split up the time and share him.

We both agreed that he was valuable to both of us.” “I didn’t even notice last year,” Ryals said about Fang splitting time between football and marching band. “He’s a quiet kid who does his job, and that gives you an idea how good he is at what he does because he doesn’t miss a beat with us.” Fang has showcased his importance to the team this year, completing 17-20 extra points while tying for third with quarterback Jaylan Rusher in points scored per game. “He’s a great addition to what we want in our team,” special teams coordinator and defensive line coach Shedrick Wynn said. “In the previous years, Cedar Shoals hasn’t had specialists in the kicking game.” Revamping the kicking game is already a strength for the Jaguars, but it helps when you can rely on Fang to hit a 42yard field goal against Clarke Central in the Classic City Championship. “He’s been pretty consistent with it as well,” Wynn said. “Those things are valuable to us, especially in clutch situations and every other level too.” The specialist’s influence on the team stretches far past his kicking leg. “Will has a type of temperament you look for: do the work and get it done,” Wynn said.

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STANDING TALL: Fang knows the risks of getting hit during a game. “Not very confident,” said Fang when asked about possible contact in a game. “But I’ll give it my best effort. And if someone comes at me, I’ll just dive at their legs and hope to get lucky.” Photos by Anthony Manzione.

Fang’s mentality is also reflected on the marching band. “Will is a quiet leader,” said BellMcRoy. “He doesn’t have a lot to say, but he does set a really good example especially for our younger students through his practice, hard work, and dedication.” The silent-but-deadly leadership style has garnered Fang opportunities to serve as the football team’s captain three times this season and the brass captain of the marching band. But Fang does not think these instances make him special. “It was just all symbolic,” said Fang referring to his football captain status. “There’s no difference in the captain’s role versus a non-captain’s role, but it was just cool to be walk out there for the coin toss.” “I tried to get him to date my daughter

but he won’t,” joked Ryals. “He’s what we want in a student athlete, his hard work in the classroom, fine arts, and on the football field.” Like many kickers in the National Football League and in college, Fang transitioned from the pitch to the field. “If you told me my freshman year that I would be a kicker on the football team, I would have laughed,” Fang said. Similar to his other extra curricular activities, Fang excels in soccer, too. He started in the Jags’ playoff game versus Rome in Spring of 2018 as a freshman. “I was just lost in the moment. I couldn’t believe myself,” Fang said. Starting every varsity game his sophomore season, primarily at left or right wing, Fang looks to build on his high school soccer career in the upcoming 2020 season.

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“Obviously, I want to make myself of the best player possible,” Fang said. “Soccer is a very team oriented sport, so it’s difficult to really set individual goals. But as a team, I want to see us make deeper runs in the playoffs, in the second and third rounds.” Fang draws much of his inspiration from his older brother who also played in the marching band. Yang Fang, who graduated from Cedar Shoals in 2016, is now a senior at Stanford University studying computer science. “Everything he did, I wanted to do as a kid,” Fang said. Musically, Fang had already been invited to all-state orchestra for the violin and the all-state band for the French horn his eighth grade year. “He had a huge impact because he came in, auditioned, and beat out a senior as a freshman,” Bell-McRoy said

about Fang. “So, you know, there was a little buzz around him anyway.” Fang never let it get to his head and kept the teamwork mentality. “I really didn’t feel a sense that I was better than anyone else. I just felt that we were all part of one program and we all work together towards a common goal,” he said. In marching band, the French horn is considerably more strenuous to play than other brass instruments because the sound selection of the notes it projects are extremely close to one another, requiring a fine musical ear. “You have to be able to hear in your head what you’re wanting to get out of the instrument, and know how exactly how it feels to get that sound in your head out of the French horn,” said BellMcRoy. “He (Fang) can audiate well because he doesn’t miss pitches often,

and that’s not normal especially with younger horn players in the ninth and tenth grade. He’s got really great ears.” Splitting time between football and marching band last year didn’t slow Fang down, again making all-state band. Although this time, he merited only second chair. “Sometimes I pinch myself,” said Fang jokingly. “I have to come to terms that I’m one of the top four French horn players in the entire state of Georgia.” These accolades don’t all come from pure talent. “He has an extremely great work ethic,” said Ryals. “He’s very conscientious about what he does and anything he does he’s going to be the best in the building.” Proving it academically, Fang currently dual-enrolls at the University of Geor-

gia. “If I don’t do biology or pre-med, I’ll go into computer science which is one of the brightest fields right now,” said Fang. “It’s really cool to imagine that you’re one of the innovators that will revolutionize this world with technology.” “In practice, in between kicking, Will often times has a book in his hand reading,” Ryals said. Fang’s constant dedication to better himself doesn’t isolate him or go unrecognized from his teammates or friends. “I love that man like a brother, a quiet little brother,” senior tight end Xavier Melton said. “He’s the (current) valedictorian of his class. He can be a leader on the football field and in the school, so why would he not be our captain? It’s a perfect fit.”

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THE TEA by Aiden Dowling


ario Kart has been a major racing franchise since its first release and has continued to be a family favorite for over 25 years. Nintendo has released the games on almost every one of their consoles, but Mario Kart Tour is the game’s mobile debut. Mario Kart Tour takes a different approach, offering a more select, unlockable roster of characters. Along with the transition to mobile, it lost a majority of its selection of characters such as Link and Rosalina as well as many karts and game mechanics. Even with the loss of these features, the game remains a smash hit. From the game’s launch on September 25, the game amassed over 10 million downloads on the first

day and has continued to grow ever since. Claiming the spot of Nintendo’s biggest mobile game within the first week, Mario Kart beat Pokemon Go, Super Mario Run, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. The game is played with a simple swipe of the finger, used for drifting, turning, and using items. Different from previous titles, the game also has a paid currency used to spin for unlockable characters and items. This paid feature is a staple of mobile games. While providing a way for Nintendo to profit off the game, it limits the gameplay experience for players not willing to spend money. While it’s eas-

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ier to play by spending money, users can still move up the stages to unlock the currency. The game offers more challenging ways to attain the in-game currency, so players can continue playing for free. Previously the Mario Kart series was available exclusively for Nintendo consoles. Now that it can be played on most mobile devices, more players are willing to give the game a try. While Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is available on the Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart Tour provides a true, easy, and mobile experience. Mario Kart Tour is not the definitive way to play Mario Kart, but it offers a convenient way to try out the series from your mobile device. Even with the limited gameplay mechanics and loss of characters and items, the game still providing an enjoyable playing experience.

Tea Scale: 4 out of 5 Sippable

by Stephany Gaona-Perez


etflix’s animated comedy Big Mouth has never shied away from the grossest details of puberty. However, this season focuses on more controversial and even relatable issues. Big Mouth portrays puberty with immature humor that reminds viewers about their own middle school experience. Season three matures the show in a way, covering topics other than just the hormonal parts of puberty. Many characters in the series have grown and have discovered their identity. Viewers will find at least one character that will remind them of

their younger selves. The second episode “Girls are Angry too” focuses on a new dress code that the girls find sexist, a common topic around American high schools. The plot features a protest from Jessi Glaser, Lola Skumpy, Devin, Gina Alvarez, and various other female students, where the girls wore more revealing clothing to protest the dress code. The episode also references to Amber Rose’s infamous Slutwalk.

drug use. The show has changed from the immature comedy about teenage puberty it originally started as. It has turned into a show that brings attention to important issues in a way that appeals to younger audiences.

Tea Scale: 5 out of 5 Too hot to drink

Season 3 took a different turn from the previous seasons. It covered topics such as cell phone addiction, the pressure to do well in school, and



by Daveon Montgomery etroit rapper Kash Doll released her debut album “Stacked” October 18. “Stacked” embodies Kash not only as a rapper but a person as well. Being unapologetically herself in every interview and lyric, it’s easy to get to know Kash. Kash Doll’s fame started locally as she was a popular dancer in Detroit, reaching national fame in 2015 with songs like “2 On Remix” and “Run Me My Money.” After being stuck in a deal for years, she maintained some fame doing shows and remixing popular songs, unable to release her own music. With the release of “For Everybody” in 2017, Kash gained enough money to get out of her deal and launched her to a level of fame that put her on stages with the likes of Meek Mill. In “Stacked” Kash takes her experiences and encourages her fans to be unapologetically them. With songs like “Doing Too Much” and “Cheap Sh*t,” the rapper raps about her distaste of

inexpensive items and her love for the finer things in life. While songs like “Kitten” ft. Lil Wayne and “Coastal Rota” promote women’s empowerment and Kash being the boss she is, Kash also shows a different side of herself. Opening with “KD Diary” Kash shares her origin in the style of “Dreams and Nightmares” by Meek Mill, touching on life struggles, achievements, people she has lost, and how she overcame all adversity. “Excuses” and “100 of Us” also gives us a view of Kash at her core, separating her from other modern rappers. “Stacked” is a great album, but “Krazy” ft. lougotcash is one of its few downfalls. Compared to many of the other tracks it is quite juvenile and does not fit. As far as debut albums go, “Stacked” is in the upper echelon. It not only allows listeners to connect with Kash as both an artist and a person, but it also has a song for any fan of rap and any mood, showcasing Kash’s versatility.

Tea Scale: 4 out of 5 Sippable

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A SECOND HOME The Mifflin family’s not-so-new Peruvian restaurant by Emma McElhannon


rom the hope of owning a restaurant to the fear of being kicked out of their own home for running one, the Mifflin family has worked hard to get their dream restaurant. A born and raised Peruvian native, Christopher Mifflin enjoyed cooking so much that every Sunday his family invited friends and extended family to their home for dinner. Mifflin’s wife, Carmen Mifflin, spurred the idea that they start cooking for money to bring in more income. “We have a big family, so it was not easy for us to pay for all with only my earnings,” Christopher Mifflin said.

Influenced by his wife’s proposition, Mifflin quit his day job at Amazon to start up the restaurant in his own house. “The first Sunday, it was crazy. We sold $1,500 (worth of food). The restaurant was supposed to close for the first time at around 5 p.m. but it ended up closing at 9 p.m.,” Christopher said. Mifflin’s daughter, Cedar Shoals freshman Samantha Mifflin, initially didn’t enjoy the experience. “It was weird because we’d have to move the furniture and put in tables and then put the furniture back and put the tables away. I kind of felt uncomfortable because I had random strangers know where I lived,” Samantha said.

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Her discomfort did not stop the restaurant from continuing inside the family’s residence. They continued to host patrons in their house for another year. An unknown person’s discomfort would eventually create problems, however. This still unknown person reported the family’s business to the county, and code enforcement came to their house and wrote four tickets for home occupation, state food service inspection, permitted zoning, and occupational tax certificate violations. This incident was the end of the athome restaurant, but it was not the end of Christopher Mifflin’s childhood dream of being a chef.

FAMILY FUN: Christopher (head chef and owner) and Samantha Mifllin (9th grade) stand in front of the chalkboard in front of Mifflin House. The Mifflin family decorated the restaurant, in hopes to make it have Peruvian influence and make it feel like home at the same time. “Cooking is something I have loved to do since I was about seven years old,” Christopher said.

On April 15, 2019, the doors of the now up-to-code Mifflin House opened in Athens in Homewood Hills in the previous Big Ears location. Customers continue to swarm for dishes such as lomo saltado and aji de gallina.

less responsible.

While Mifflin’s childhood dreams of having a restaurant are fulfilled, new problems have come along.

The restaurant’s authenticity is evident upon walking in the door.

“Working with your family can be pretty bad because sometimes we would have disagreements at home and if we bring those problems to work it can get uncomfortable,” Samantha said. Her father disagrees, saying he enjoys working with his family and that it’s actually his children’s friends who are

“It could be a problem but they are very responsible and they take it seriously. Like they know what they need to do,” Christopher said.

“Around 25 of the ingredients that are here you can only find in Peru. I’m still going to Atlanta to buy some products once a week,” Mifflin said. His family makes their food using all traditional ingredients. They are the only fully authentic Peruvian restaurant here in Athens.

Since the opening of the Mifflin House, the Mifflin kids don’t get allowances. Instead they work at the restaurant and get paid like normal employees. “The main thing that I will take away from work is the skill of socializing,” Samantha said. “It’s a fun experience. Not only do we work with family, we work with people that are friends with our family and I meet new people. I’m not planning on pursuing culinary arts, but I have it as a hobby. I’m more interested in science,” Samantha said.

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by Corinne Register ith the vast amount of restaurants available at every corner, it can be difficult to select healthy, environmentally conscious meals when going out to eat. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control released data claiming that approximately 85 million Americans consume fast food every day. For those of us who prefer more ethical and nutritious dishes, never fear, because now there is the perfect place for you: Eden’s Vegan Cafe. Established on August 3 of this year, co-owners Julie Hutchins and Nick Bradfield introduced their fully plant-based menu, accompanied by a unique and welcoming setting.

Located at 1660 West Broad Street, the building has previously been home to a drive-up dairy bar called Arctic Girl, a similarly vegan-friendly restaurant called Preserve, and most recently, The Fish Shack. The sides of the cafe and the outdoor cover portray intricate paintings of crabs, burgers, and other equally ironic imagery. The prior owner’s wooden boat is visible by the street, now thriving with medicinal herbs available for customers.

whole foods and that will satisfy as many nutrition requirements as possible,” said co-owner Julie Hutchins. They serve Tuesday-Sunday, but will occasionally cater their own events, such as a Full Moon Gathering, hosted by Bradfield’s music company, White Rabbit Productions. His company is also the reason he and Hutchins got to know each other,

Not only is it the first entirely vegan restaurant in Athens, but the owners strive to be as wholesome and ethical as feasible.

“Nick and I met through the Athens music scene. His business White Rabbit Productions hosts monthly gatherings with open jams and potlucks.” said Hutchins.

“I choose the menu based on what is in season, healthy, organic, and would be suitable for grab-and-go. I like to create menu items that feature fresh

Hutchins is the chef of the operation, and Bradfield does more of the managing, but the pair both contribute a ton of love and effort into their cafe.

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SAVORING SUSTENANCE: Co-owners Bradfield and Hutchins enjoy a dish from behind the counter inside their cozy cafe. The co-owners ensure that the restaurant is as environmentally conscience as possible. “We believe plant-based foods are the heart of sustainability. We do our best to support local farmers, organic sources, and zero waste practices,” Hutchins said. Photo courtesy of Julie Hutchins.

“I’ve always loved feeding friends and family, so it was very natural for me to bring a smorgasbord of vegan delights to the events. We worked together on these events for about 2 years. Nick was always very enthusiastic about funding a vegan restaurant, and when this historic location went up for rent, I happily signed on board to be the chef,” said Hutchins. Uniquely, there is also a fully stocked vending machine readily available during the hours they aren’t open comprised of their chilled dishes. All meals currently served in the cafe are already prepared in coolers, although

they plan to serve hot plates in the future too.

extend the opening date.

With the accessibility and appetizing factors, Eden’s Cafe has already generated positive feedback. “The Public has been very encouraging and responsive. We’ve had requests for more gluten free options, so in the near future I will be debuting some new items that will hopefully accommodate those needs,” said Hutchins. Initially, the cafe had planned to run at a larger location, but due to financial issues, they had to relocate and

“Initially, we intended to be a food service establishment, much like the vegan restaurant that existed at this location in 2008. However the health department requirements have become more strict in the past few years. This led us to obtaining a food sales license with the Department of Agriculture which allows us to operate much like a bakery and convenience store. It was challenging to change the business model, but overall I am glad we were able to open up at all,” Hutchins said.

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THEY’RE BACK: Amit and Caroline Bharucha pose cool for the camera. This is their first year back after working in Barrow County for two years. They are excited and ready. “I am really thrilled, I just feel like I am returning to the place I need to be,” Caroline said. Photo by Coriander McGreevy.


THE BHARUCHAS ARE BACK by Coriander McGreevy


edar Shoals High School is many things. To some it is a school, to others a workplace, but to Amit and Caroline Bharucha it’s home. “There are difficulties at Cedar as there are within any household, but what makes Cedar home is really the lifeblood of the teachers and students that exist in the school system,” math department chair Amit Bharucha said. Despite having many connections to Cedar, the Bharuchas decided not to return after the 2017-2018 school year. Prior to leaving, Amit taught geometry for eight years and Caroline taught French for seven. After two years of

working in Barrow County, they made the decision to return to Cedar. “Cedar had gone through some unpleasant times, and I felt that I needed to go away and regroup,” Caroline Bharucha said. “It was affecting me personally. It’s a lot of stress to go through all of this and the change of leadership didn’t help.” The decision to leave was not easy. The students and teachers of Cedar were not the problem. At the time, they felt many of the decisions being made were negatively impacting the school. Their intention was never to leave Cedar permanently, but to take the emotional and mental break they needed.

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“The situation continued to frustrate me, being in a position of leadership at the school and even at some levels in the county. A lot of things were changing but not for the positive, and whenever positive change was about to take hold, it was somehow strangled and taken apart,” Amit Bharucha said. Caroline took a job as a Spanish teacher at Westside Middle School. While she speaks positively of the Barrow County school system, the experience of going from high school to middle school left her frustrated. “It was really a shock to my system: anywhere from the schedule, to the or-

ganization of a middle school, to having to deal with a different age group. I went from being an academic teacher to being a connection teacher, which really puts you at the bottom of the totem pole,” Caroline said. “Nobody really takes you seriously, not even the adults in the building.”

groups of coworkers they’ve ever had.

Amit took on a very different role from his previous one. He became a district Math Content Specialist for Barrow County. Although Amit enjoyed his new job, getting paid more and having more freedom, he still decided to return to Cedar.

“When you feel that support, that’s what home feels like. Even when you are doing well, or even when you’re not doing well, you know that there is somebody there that can either help you or joke around with you. It feels like an extended family when you see the people that you’re working with,” he said.

“I love Barrow County, but it’s not my home. I live in Clarke County, two minutes from Cedar Shoals. My stepdaughter goes to Cedar. We have a very strong connection to this school, and that is far more valuable than any position or even money in many cases,” said Amit. For the Bharuchas, the Cedar faculty is one of the most supportive and loyal

“When it does hurt and when it does get difficult, the thing that Cedar has always had is a beautiful core of really powerful and great teachers who’ll always have each other’s backs,” Amit said.

After their two years outside of Clarke County, Amit and Caroline feel that many changes are happening for the better. In the past, they felt different programs at Cedar Shoals have been overlooked. “We are all schools that need a lot of improvement, and we are going to

work very hard on that, but there’s a lot of success that goes unnoticed and that’s unfortunate,” Amit said. For the Bharuchas, one visible improvement was now departed ex-principal Derrick Maxwell, now gone to Barrow County. “Mr. Maxwell was a huge part of my decision to return. He pushed me very heavily to come back. Any and every chance he got, he was offering me a position to come back, which was nice,” said Amit. Finally returning home, Amit and Caroline are excited to be back, ready to conquer this new school year. “We were asked to explain our anxiety and fears about this new year and I said ‘no, I have none, I’m home, I know what to expect, I know what I am doing, these are my people’,” Caroline said. “It was time to come back to Cedar. It was definitely time.”

CONQUERING THE CLASSROOM: Caroline helps a student with French in her classroom. After being back at Cedar for a couple of weeks, Caroline remains enthusiastic. “It was time to come back to Cedar. It was definitely time,” she said. Photo by Coriander McGreevy.

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ver 1.2 million students in the United States drop out of high school annually, and Cedar Shoals science teacher Dr. Marcus Bartlett was one of them in 1999. However, Dr. Bartlett later continued his education and received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in May 2019.



THEN AND NOW: Marcus Bartlett poses for a picture in his high school years (left). “I skipped school a lot in 10th grade and that’s why I had ISS,” Bartlett said. “Ultimately, I want everyone to know that no matter how much you screw your life up, it is never too late to change lanes and get back on the right path,” said Bartlett. Yearbook photo provided by Marcus Bartlett; current photos by Megan Wise. Illustration by Ava Maddox.

bounce back and ultimately decided to drop out,” said Bartlett.

they decided to let him live his own life.

While working many jobs such as building cabinets, cleaning pools and being a janitor, Dr. Bartlett had little free time while he studied to earn a general education diploma independently.

“Sometimes parents need to take a step back and watch their children make mistakes, so that they can grow from them. I know that I have made them proud with how I have turned my life around over the past decade and the hard work that I have put

“I want everyone to know that no matter how much you screw your life up, it is never too late to change lanes and get back on the right path.” - Mr. Bartlett In the beginning of his junior year after many unfulfilled in-school-suspension punishments, Dr. Bartlett decided to drop out of Stockbridge High School in Henry County. “I skipped school a lot and had no interest in sitting in the classroom. I ended up with an outrageous amount of days of ISS, which rolled over to the next school year during my junior year. At the beginning of my junior year I felt that I couldn’t ever

“I got my GED right after I dropped out, then went to a two year school. I still didn’t have the right mentality, so I didn’t make it in the Griffin Technical School. I just had job after job after job,” said Bartlett. “About two years later I went back to the two year school. I went back and I flunked out again. By the third time I finished and it sent me on this path.” Although Bartlett’s parents weren’t all that pleased with his decisions,

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into making my future successful,” Bartlett said. After getting an associate degree in architectural drafting at Southern Polytechnic University, Dr. Bartlett made the choice to further his education and get his Ph.D. in chemistry. “I feel that I am a lifelong learner and have a lot of personal questions about the world and the universe that I am interested to know the

answers to. I learned that studying math, physics, and chemistry helped me understand and be able to answer some of the things that I have been asking myself for years,” Bartlett said. Ever since Bartlett dropped out, he regretted his decision and knew he wanted to continue his education. Finally he received his Ph.D. in May 2019. This year marks his first year being out of school and in a new environment. He hopes to continue to learn more about being a teacher from his co-workers at Cedar. “While my content knowledge is high, I have a lot to learn from teachers who have been teaching for many years. I am learning new things daily,” Bartlett said. From this experience Dr. Bartlett has developed a better understanding of the students he teaches and how they may feel while trying to make it through high school. LOOKING BACK: Bartlett sits for a high school yearbook picture. “The universe ultimately takes care of you if you work hard and create a path to follow,” said Bartlett.

Bartlett has chosen to use what he has learned to inform students about the truth about dropping out and why he soon regretted it. “I believe that my background aligns with what many of the students at Cedar Shoals are going through. I can see how my history with high school, along with knowing what life is like on the other side of dropping out, could possibly be valuable for someone who may currently be going through the same troubles,” Bartlett said. On the first day of school, Bartlett informed his students of his past, hoping it would give them a better understanding of where he came from. “I think him telling us that he dropped out and knows the struggles of high school helped us relax a little more in class. It definitely helped him relax too,” sophomore Aseel Mansour said. “The thing I like about Dr. Bartlett is that he’s passionate about what he’s teaching us and teaches it well.” After many long years of working for his Ph.D., Bartlett plans to use this year to learn about being a teacher as well as taking time to be with his family and enjoy his accomplishments. LEAVING AN IMPACT: Bartlett helps a student to finish work. “I see myself in quite a few of the students that I have met during my time so far,” Bartlett said.

“I want everyone to know that no matter how much you screw your life up, it is never too late to change lanes and get back on the right path. I think that my story is a true testament to just that,” Bartlett said.

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Artwork by Erika Ruballos-Salazar

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Identities of Cedar Shoals:

The realities of undocumented students by Brittany Lopez Some students interviewed for this article are given pseudonyms to protect their names and identities. Michael Romero* fled from El Salvador to escape poverty and crime when he was 12 years old. He says he crossed the Rio Grande and stayed hidden for a week with limited food and water. His parents paid for him to be brought by land. Romero is now an undocumented junior at Cedar Shoals High School. “There are gangs in El Salvador. At that time [when I lived there] it was very bad and they were recruiting boys,” Romero said. Many students within Cedar Shoals’s undocumented population come from El Salvador or Mexico by crossing borders while others remain with overstayed visas. “We [immigrants] come here for a better future for our families or a better education coming from living in poverty,” junior Maria Perez* said.

“The American dream is just a couple steps away, but in reality it’s nothing that America promised us.”

“I just had to be silent and just do what they were telling me with fear,” Martinez said.

Before Laura Martinez* immigrated to the U.S. her household income was around $5 dollars per day in El Salvador. Her parents first came to America when she was four. Seven years later they were reunited through a coyote -someone who smuggles Latin Americans into the U.S. for money.

This past summer, President Trump announced that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) would be raiding cities known to be occupied heavily by illegal immigrants. “When we heard about this we

“You know, I see that fear in my students. And there have been ICE raids recently in Atlanta and in the area, and that’s scary.” Mrs. Melissa Basel, CSHS teacher Martinez said the trip was scary since she traveled with strangers. The coyote told her not to talk because she had a Salvadoran accent.

avoided leaving. My parents didn’t go out, they didn’t work and we stayed as much time as possible at home,” Romero said, referring to the weekend of July 12-14.

“I would come to my house all bruised up, andCedarBlueprints.com my mom didn’t | Cedar BluePrints | 31 know what to do. She couldn’t file

In classrooms, teachers see how the fear and panic manifests with students. “I see that fear in my students. And there have been ICE raids recently in Atlanta and in the area, and that’s scary,” said Mrs. Melissa Basel, an ESOL teacher at Cedar. The Trump administration created a system where children seeking asylum in the U.S. were separated from their parents and placed in cages. A report by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform shows that at least 2,648 children were separated from their parents and placed in detention centers between April and June of 2018. These detention centers were lucrative to Geo Group, who donated $225,000 dollars through a subsidiary to Trump’s campaign in 2016. “You’ve seen the person who hates you … you’re not going to know what to tell him,” Martinez said in tears, describing what she would do if the president was in front of her. Spanish teacher Mr. Aaron Farnham said that the current political climate has made minorities in his classroom bond more, rallying around the injustice.

will attend college or get deported. “You see all your friends applying to colleges that are really good and you know that you have all the requirements for acceptance but your immigration status limits you,” Martinez, a senior, said. In 2010, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents created policy 4.1.6, effectively banning undocumented students. This policy allows universities within the state of Georgia and belonging to the University System Institution to deny applicants based on their undocumented status. This policy has certain consequences for students as well as institutions of learning and even the state’s economy. “These kids have to work four times as hard and pay four times as much money to go to college. They don’t get financial aid and I think it’s distressing and deplorable,” Basel said. Undocumented students who are accepted into universities are not eligible for federal aid and some scholarships including the HOPE scholarship. According to Section 505 of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and

“My black students and some of my Hispanic students kind of identified with each other in a way that they hadn’t the first two years,” Farnham said. He believes there was a shift in interaction in a way that both groups supported each other with their struggles. Farnham now sponsors the Hispanic Organization Promoting Education club (HoPE). According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, an estimated 1.09 million undocumented children attend public schools nationwide. Those who are conscious of their immigration status worry if they

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Immigrant Responsibility Act, an immigrant unlawfully residing in the US shall not be eligible for residency within the state. Georgia has passed a law that prohibits undocumented students from recieving in-state tuition rates causing them to pay higher rates than other students. “The state is losing wonderful people who could be contributing in all kinds of ways -- professionally, as community members -- because of these punitive policies,” former University of Georgia professor and author Dr. JoBeth Allen said. She thinks that in order to fight this ban educators and undocumented students should work simultaneously by writing letters, making phone calls, and going to the Capitol. “That kind of alliance could be very effective,” said Allen, who co-founded U-Lead. Within the greater Athens community, U-Lead directly targets services that will benefit undocumented students. U-Lead was created in 2014 by Allen, Bettina Kaplan and other educators to help students who were blocked by the

According to the Migration Policy Institute, “An estimated 98,000 undocumented students graduate from high school each year in the U.S

The MPI analysis states that Georgia holds 3% of all undocumented students graduating per year. Graphic by Abril Fuentes-Mandujano

2% of all students who graduate are undocumented. According to the US Dept. of Education, 2015, about 5-10% will seek higher education. Graphic by Abril Fuentes-Mandujano.

Board of Regents 4.1.6 ban.

do. She couldn’t file reports. We don’t have that right,” Perez said.

“You know, I see that fear in my An estimated 98,000 undocumented students. And there have been students graduate from high school each year in the US, according to the ICE raids recentlyMigration in Atlanta Policy Institute.and in the area, and that’s scary.” While incidents both at school and

Currently U-Lead sponsors 64 students who are in college with scholarships, and 50 students attend U-Lead meetings weekly for mentoring. Students also get help with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals, SAT tutoring, applying for scholarships, and identifying the right colleges. Many of the mentors are UGA students or educators.

outside can go unreported, Cedar Shoals provides an anti-bullying safe space, said students.

Mrs. Melissa Basel, CSHS teacher

With all of the policy changes and tactics harming undocumented students and their families, bullying has become a greater concern.

“They help and teach others not to discriminate,” said Romero about the school’s administration. “They provide you with clubs or plac-

“I would come to my house all bruised up, and my mom didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t file reports. We don’t have that right.” Maria Perez, CSHS Junior “Kids bothered me a lot. They would tell me to go back to my country, but it wasn’t anything too bad,” said Perez.

es that you can go in and help you out. You feel like you are not alone in this,” Perez said.

Perez’s earlier experiences were harsher.

Other help exists in the community, too. More interpreters participate in parent conferences, and the HoPE students who are 18 now volunteer as interpreters for lower grade levels, too.

“I would come to my house all bruised up, and my mom didn’t know what to

“I volunteer at U-Lead. I started last year, late in the game, but I got there. Some of interpreting that I do here at school helps (undocummented students) out, including phone calls that need to be made,” Farnham said. He believes that in order to create a stronger support system the school district should create awareness in a way that parents could feel safe coming into school to support their kids. He also belives schools should offer support for mental health because undocumented students are not having a “standard experience in life.” Mrs. Basel has focused on constructing a safe, welcoming environment within the walls of her classroom. “They can talk about their experiences in this room without feeling any prejudice or judgment or fear of repercussions,” Basel said. She believes that schools should have smaller classrooms so educators can create a bond with students. As she ponders her next step toward higher education, Martinez remains hopeful. “I think to myself, okay, in one year, this law can change. Another opportunity can come my way.”

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Elder in Action by Allie Chang


hen social studies teacher Mrs. Renata Elder was eating breakfast during a faculty meeting last May, she was surprised to find out she was named as the 2018-19 Cedar Shoals High School Teacher of the Year.

“I was eating a biscuit. I had a faculty meeting, and I didn’t think that I was going to win because I had some strong competitors. I supported all of them because they’re all great

teachers, but I was shocked, surprised, happy, and in tears. I feel honored,” Elder said.

Though she grew up in Athens and attended Winterville Elementary School and Burney Harris-Lyons Middle School, Elder’s educational experience was defined by race. She experienced the struggles of desegregation just to get a fair education. “There was a lot of racial tension

because I started going to elementary school when schools were becoming more desegregated. I went to a school here in Clarke County and it was predominantly white,” said Elder. Elder saw racism, biased teachers and at times a low quality education, but that didn’t stop her from learning. “To put this nicely, they were racist. They gave us a hard time to the point that my Mom pretty much had to

RESPECTING ELDERS: Students see Elder as a role model because of her work in the the community. “She seems to be a very caring person, and she does things in the community that make her a unique person,” said Jane Michael, a student of Mrs. Elder’s.

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come into the classroom about almost every day,” Elder said.

each experience helped her along the way.

Elder wasn’t treated like other kids just because of her race. She already knew how to read and write from her mom, so teachers had to figure out how to meet her individual needs. Now, Elder wants every child to have a fair education.

“My son and my parents inspired me to become an educator. They wanted me to be a teacher all along but I kept saying ‘No, I don’t want to be a teacher. I don’t want to teach. I want to be a lawyer.’ But God always has a different path for you,” Elder said.

“When I started school, I was already reading and writing because my mom taught us at home. They wanted to put me in lower classes. When I think about that time, that’s why I’m a teacher today because I want to be fair to all of my students. I give all of my students an opportunity, and I don’t want students to experience what I experienced in my childhood,” Elder said.

From being a mother of four children, teaching four advanced placement government classes and one 9th grade American government class, Elder has her workload cut out for her from day to day. Still, she volunteers several times a week through an organization she co-founded called Destined Inc.

Elder’s path to the award and to teaching at Cedar Shoals was not linear, but

“I tutor kids that are having trouble with reading now. I don’t charge for it, so I do two hours of reading. I’m helping some kids that cannot afford tutoring,” Elder said.

Volunteering since she was little, Elder would go out to help at food banks, clean the garden in churches, schools or parks, and visit the elderly. “My parents have always been involved in the community. At an early age, I remember going to the food banks and serving people out of our home. They’ve always taken us to volunteer to do some form of community service,” Elder said. Those values are now passed down to Elder’s students in 9th grade. “I talk to the students about volunteering. Like last year, I would say ‘you need to volunteer because when you go to college, this is one of the things

“My philosophy on education is that all students can learn if given an opportunity. I don’t think that there is a child who cannot learn.” - Mrs. Elder

FIGHTING FOR FAIRNESS: Mrs. Elder wants to provide fair and affordable education, she wants everyone to understand the concept of what she is teaching. “I think that we as teachers that we have to develop our lessons to meet the needs of our students.” Photo by Allie Chang.

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they look at is community service.’ I love to give back. I think it is a civic duty to help each other,” Elder said. Elder has been volunteering as a literacy tutor for about twenty years now. She started Destined, Inc. after she graduated from Piedmont College. “I started a reading program so that I could have kids during the summer months to prevent the summer slide in reading, and that started in 1999. I’m still doing it to this day,” Elder said.

agent and full time musician, and Elder’s youngest daughter Jeanetta graduated in 2019 and now attends Emmanuel College to study biology. “My mom inspired me to always stand up for what’s right, be strong, be a role model to others. She pushes me out of my comfort zone and tells me to push through and finish whatever I start,” Jeanetta Elder said. No matter what kind of day it is, Mrs. Elder strives to be a role model for her daughter.

cousins also. She is a great role model, very smart, just genuinely sweet, nice, caring person,” Jeanetta said. Jeanetta sees her mom’s impact on the community since she’s so involved and interactive with her students. “She takes time out of her busy schedule to tutor young kids who needs help learning how to read or just needing the help with anything. She also stays after school for the students at Cedar who are in her class or who take E2020 to make sure they finish the E2020 course and get that class

LIKE MOTHER LIKE DAUGHTER: In 2018 Ms Elder’s daughter, Jeanetta, won the David E. Nunnally, Sr. Community Service Scholarship for $2,500. Mrs. Elder attended the reception with parents Joseph and Louise Smith, daughter Jeanetta, sister Dr. Tawana Mattox, son Daniel, and husband Hoover (left to right). Photo provided by Ms. Elder.

A mother to four children, all Cedar Shoals graduates, Elder’s oldest son Antonio graduated in 2010. He now works in the technology field. Her oldest daughter Brianna, who graduated in 2012, works for the Centers for Disease Control. More recently, her son Daniel graduated in 2016 and became a real estate

“She is basically my best friend. She has supported me in everything that I have done from when I was a little girl and up until now. She helps me with homework sometimes, and if she doesn’t know then she will ask someone else to make sure I understand. She goes out of her way to make sure that I have everything that I need, but it’s not just me. It’s my siblings and my

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credit,” Jeanetta said. Before teaching social studies, Mrs. Elder worked as a special education teacher, but she sought a change so that she could spend more time with her own children and family. “I try not to, but sometimes I miss out on activities with my kids. That was

“My mom inspired me to always stand up for what’s right, be strong, be a role model to others. She pushes me out of my comfort zone and tells me to push through and finish whatever I start.” -Jeanetta Elder another reason why I wanted to come out of special ed because (Jeanetta’s) first three years of high school, she was playing basketball and I couldn’t attend some of the games because of IEP meetings,” Elder said. Elder believes that there is always a goal in education, and every student can achieve that goal by putting their best effort in, no matter what they are going through.

“My philosophy on education is that all students can learn if given an opportunity. I don’t think that there is a child who cannot learn. I think as teachers, we have to develop our lessons to meet the needs of our students,” Elder said.

to do their best and makes the class so enjoyable that I even see upperclassmen coming back just to say hi. She provides the environment for students to feel as if they’re learning about something from a friend,” freshman Marcus Welch said.

Her students see this kind of effort in her classroom, too. “I think Mrs. Elder is an awesome teacher. She really pushes her students

TIME FOR TUTORING: Mrs. Elder cares deeply about tutoring and teaching, taking her personal time to tutor students.. “I tutor kids that are having trouble with reading now. I’m helping some kids that cannot afford tutoring,” said Mrs. Elder. Photo by Jackie Wright.

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By Stephany Gaona-Perez


hrough leadership. empowerment and guidance, the Becoming Empowered through Education (B.E.E.) Club is creating a buzz with female students at Cedar Shoals High School. Beginning in January earlier this year, B.E.E. Club has offered peer mentorship opportunities to female students at Cedar. The club focuses on creating leadership skills, encouraging a positive environment, and providing guidance to its members. “It’s great to have the young ladies be able to interact with each other and encourage one another in a positive setting. I think it’s important to help them build positive relationships,” said counselor Mrs. Shamikia Bolton, B.E.E. Club faculty sponsor.

PROUD FOUNDER: B.E.E. Club founder Akilah Blount engages in an activity with club members. “I really want every member to be able to lead their own lives. I want them to feel like they’re able to be heard and that their opinion matters.” Photos by Stephany Gaona-Perez.

like you don’t belong,” said Blount. B.E.E. Club recently had a welcoming week to encourage students to join. Students participated in games and icebreakers to get to know each other better.

Her own high school experience inspired B.E.E. club founder Akilah Blount to create the club based on her own high school experience.

“The senior mentors introduced themselves to us. We played a lot of games and had fun. I feel like I’m going to have many new friends,” said Aliyah Adams, 9th grade.

“I really felt like there was a space needed where girls could come and feel like they belong. I feel there were a lot of cliques in high school and sometimes these groups make you feel

On September 11, B.E.E. Club held its first general meeting after school. Each month, the club focuses on a specific theme. For September, the theme is “Be About Your Business.”

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Members will focus on how to achieve optimal success in the classroom, at work, in extracurricular activities, and in social settings. They will focus on mindfulness, organization, and time-management skills. “We did activities that felt empowering. We learned about knowing your worth and knowing what you have to do to go and get what you want out of life,” said Ah’tondra Pittard, 9th grade. Senior mentors are in charge of planning meetings, activities, and providing guidance to younger students. “This past summer, we planned the meetings and came up with icebreak-




N B.E.E.


BEE-ING A LEADER: Blount speaks to club members at a club meeting on September 25. “I created the B.E.E. Club because I didn’t get into an organization that I wanted to get into. I felt like we shouldn’t tell girls that they aren’t good enough to be apart of something.”

ers to get the girls to be more comfortable with each other. We had to plan activities to make the girls keep on attending meetings,” said Kadeisha Camp, 12th grade and president of B.E.E. Club.

Members agree that having an organization like B.E.E. Club is beneficial to Cedar.

Dania Flint, vice president of B.E.E. Club, said. Despite having a good year so far, B.E.E. Club still faces some challenges.

Senior leaders gain leadership skills from mentoring. They also receive help with things like college applications.

“We definitely need more juniors to get involved. The goal is to have them start their training so they can become the leaders next school year,” said Bolton.

“B.E.E. club helped me become more a leader and making sure my voice is being heard. I’ve also learned about different colleges and universities since I’ll be applying soon,” senior

“Since our leaders are all seniors, we have trouble making time for B.E.E. Club. Many of us have jobs and we have to find time for our jobs and this club as well,” said Camp.

“I think that there are females here that feel like they aren’t being respected. They don’t feel empowered. Some guys at Cedar don’t even respect each other. So they do the same to the females. They’ll cuss them out and make fun of them,” said Pittard. “I feel like Cedar doesn’t have the best look on our females here. Having the B.E.E. club here gives our young ladies at school a different, more positive name. Once positivity comes to Cedar, it starts to spread,” said Kayla Conner, 11th grade.

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Welcome Home. Cara Thompson cara@cjandl.com (706) 248-4543

40 | Cedar BluePrints | CedarBlueprints.com CJ&L: Athens Real Estate https://cjandl.com

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BluePrints Magazine - Volume XIX, Issue 2 - November, 2019  

BluePrints Magazine - Volume XIX, Issue 2 - November, 2019