Page 1

Home at Last: Jags Celebrate Stadium Inauguration

Sports Profiles: Football Pages 2-3

Student Life Stronger by the dozen: PPCHS Welcome New Staff Members Pages 6-7

Features Jaguar pride finally finds its way home Pages 14-15

Sports Profiles: Volleyball and Football Nikki Brito- Volleyball

Brittney Bruns- Volleyball

Jordan De Leon- Football

Dylan Fernandez- Football

For a team to succeed there has to be that leader. That one person who is focused while others joke around, that one person who stays after practice to put in just a little more work, and a little more sweat, so when they are needed to carry their team, they deliver. For the Pines Charter volleyball team that player is fittingly, #1, Nikki Brito. As team captain, the 5’9 setter and middle blocker looks to lead her team to new heights that she has yet to experience here at Pines Charter. Brito began playing the sport in fifth grade, taking after her older cousin who went on to be a setter in college. Since her early years Brito has excelled and continued to stand out on the hardwood and sand. In her volleyball career, Brito has played for three national teams and won countless tournaments. “It just takes a lot of hard work and practice. That is why I look up to my dad so much as my role model. He’s the hardest working person I’ve ever met and he never fails to give my family everything, no matter how difficult his life may get,” Brito said. Brito and the Jaguars will have a tough task this upcoming season to improve despite losing some key seniors from last year. “I think we’re all ready to get at it. We have worked very hard this summer and I feel we are in a great position to win a lot of games and shock some people,” commented Brito.

The girls’ varsity volleyball team gets a lot of praise here at Pines Charter. One huge reason for that is junior captain Brittney Bruns. Although Brittney is now a top volleyball player, her first sport wasn’t volleyball. When she was young, Bruns wanted to try and give gymnastics a shot. She liked to do it, but she just didn’t have the true passion for the sport. That’s when she decided to leave gymnastics and her mom, a former volleyball player, encouraged her to take on the sport of volleyball. From the start, Brittney knew that this was the sport she was truly passionate for. “I really enjoyed it at first because it made me come out of my shell and become more sociable,” comments Brittany. Making friends along the way, Brittney joined the junior varsity team during her freshman and sophomore years. In her junior year, she was able to make the varsity squad and had a great first season. This year, as a senior, she was awarded by being named one of the team captains for the upcoming season. She is looking to lead the PPCHS girls’ volleyball team to victory. With expectations high, Brittney hopes to fulfill her role as team co-captain and looks forward to leading the team to glory this year.

A football team is defined by the players who make an impact. The players who try their hardest and that hard work is paying off. Senior captain Jordan De Leon has been playing football since his days in middle school. He has been working hard and soon became the player he is today. It all started at Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School Central Campus. In 6th, Coach Hurst saw that Jordan was athletic and told De Leon to try out for the flag football team. De Leon tried out as a wide receiver, made the team, and played all three years of middle school. “Once Coach Hurst saw some potential in me, I knew that I could make the team and be really good at football,” said De Leon. Once in high school, De Leon played tackle football for JV for his freshman year and most of his sophomore year. At the end of his sophomore year, he started working out with the Varsity team. “Going from flag football to tackle is a big transition,” said De Leon. “I’m used to no contact. The first couple of practices, I learned what it was like to get hit.” “It’s impressive that I went from not playing football to becoming a team captain,” said De Leon. His favorite player is Wes Welker because he plays the same position he does. Welker is De Leon’s role model and he inspires De Leon to play to the best of his ability. Watch out this year as this captain is looking to make an impact.

A lot of people search aimlessly for years looking for the one thing that makes them truly happy, but for Dylan Fernandez his quest lasted 10 years. At age 10 young Dylan took up football and began playing the game he would soon fall in love with. Fernandez started playing tight end at West Pines Optimist underneath his first and favorite coach, Coach Chad. “Those first years playing I learned so much and really molded me into the player I am today. I just loved the contact and flying around the field as a little kid and that feeling has stuck with me since then.” Fernandez commented. Now at the high school level, Fernandez has continued to make his presence known. In his senior year he is team captain and is anchoring a defense who gave up only two touchdowns combined in their spring and preseason game. “No team can be perfect; I just want to help this team get better and better week by week. Our goal is a district championship but with a tough schedule, we know we must work hard for it.” Fernandez stated. Fernandez will have his hands full at the safety position, as he will face some of the best receivers in the county, but it is a task Fernandez is ready for. “I’m not nervous or scared at all, my goal is to play college ball and this year is more of an opportunity than anything to prove to the scouts I can cover some of the best.”

Also in Sports:

First game in new home has a bittersweet ending

Offseason suspense leads to suspensions

Solution to PED epidemic? Just say no

Sports Profiles: Volleyball and Football


All profile photos taken by: Carli Stander

Sports September 2013

Ashley Christiantiello- Volleyball

It is always important for teams to carry veterans with much experience for key situations under pressure. Junior Ashley Christiantiello will not only bring this needed experience, but will also bring character and discipline to the PPCHS volleyball team. With roughly seven years of experience under her belt, Ashley has played with a very well-known travel team – Wildfire volleyball club – for several years now and has improved every day since. “I have a lot of knowledge for the game, I try to be the best leader I can on and off the court,” she said. As a team captain, Ashley must up her game as a person and as a player to guide the varsity team towards success when they take on tough competition across the region throughout the season. Ashley is definitely all business after attending UCONN’s volleyball camp this past summer and hopefully attending Penn State’s next summer. Her life-long dream is to play in a competitive D-1 school, but for now it’s time for her to help rise up a banner for Jaguar volleyball.

John Jablonka- Football

New stadium. New uniforms. New stage. Same starting quarterback. Although senior John Jablonka suffered a left collar bone injury in just the first game of the season, PPCHS is in full support of his comeback. Since the age of five, John has been in the love with them game of football and is a teammate and athlete like no other. With a schedule tougher than ever, John realizes it’s his time to shine with a new look for the football team this year even if he’s on the sidelines. He said, “I’m ready to surprise all of Broward County this season. I look at myself as the general out on the field even when I’m injured and it’s my job to get the team going, especially the younger guys.” John and the rest of the football team are expecting much support from the charter fan base this season at all games. With that in mind, he realizes he must perform to the best of his ability no matter what the scoreboard reads if he returns. John is amped up for homecoming night when they take on rivals Archbishop McCarthy and is excited to prove to everyone that Jaguar football is for real. It’s not quite known if he will be back by then, but John is trying his best to do so.

Leysi Espinel- Volleyball

Talent is something many student-athletes at PPCHS are born with. Sophomore Leysi Espinel happens to be one and displays her outstanding skills playing her favorite sport: volleyball. With her height, Leysi originally got into playing volleyball with the motivation from her family, but especially her older sister. It’s absolutely astonishing that Leysi has achieved so much out on the court with just two years of experience. With the season getting ready to go, Leysi is set for success as she takes on her varsity year as a Jaguar. “I’m motivated and determined. I love helping people when they need help or don’t know what to do,” she stated. Leysi is anything but a selfish player and her skills and great attitude will possibly land her at her dream school, Penn State, for volleyball. The varsity volleyball team will only improve with their new addition and Leysi’s motto being “Why ever reach for anything but the best?” will surely secure victory.

Damien Charles- Football

Every team needs that x-factor, and for PPCHS, its name is Damien Charles. Most people know him as one of Charter’s finest players on the varsity football team; however, he wasn’t always one of the best on the field. It all started back in the 5th grade when a pudgy kid was just looking for a way to lose some weight, so he decided to give football a go. He played for the West Pines Wildcats during his middle school years, but never really stood out. After frequent practicing and vigorous training, he was able to defy odds by making the varsity team at Pines Charter during his freshman year. He really started to catch people’s eyes during his sophomore year as he was able to excel at virtually every position on the field. Now entering his junior year, great things are expected of this true athlete. As long as he continues to keep working hard, he will certainly meet those high expectations.

Yahaira Amaro- Volleyball

When someone is introduced to a sport at a young age, they tend to gravitate towards it. That is exactly the case for Pines Charter varsity volleyball player Yahaira Amaro. As a child, Yahaira was always around volleyball. Both her parents and older sisters played the sport, which made it easier for her to learn how to play. At age eleven, Yahaira wasn’t sure if volleyball was really the sport for her. She tried out for other sports like soccer, but she never took a liking to them. After failing to find another sport, she realized that all along the sport for her was volleyball. Ever since that moment, Yahaira has been working hard and tries to get better every single day. She is looking to get a volleyball scholarship now that she is a junior. Going into this year, she has the confidence that the team will achieve great things. “The varsity team is poised to make a big run this year. I am going to have to step up and perform like I know how in order for our team to succeed.” comments Yahaira.

Troy Bottom- Football

Senior Troy Bottom is an important piece to the Pembroke Pines Charter football team. As a second year team captain, many of his teammates look to him for inspiration and leadership. Bottom plays both center and nose guard, so he leads his teammates both on the offensive and defensive lines. As a captain, Bottom is in charge of the play calling for the offensive line. “I was a captain last year and was in charge of the same thing,” said Bottom. “It is a huge responsibility.” In high school, Bottom played two seasons with the JV team, both seasons he was named MVP. At the end of his sophomore year, Bottom was called up to play Varsity, but received no playing time. At the start of his junior year, Bottom was named a captain. Now, in his senior year, Bottom is once again ready to lead this football team to victory. Last year, Bottom was a Sun-Sentinel all county honorable mention. Being an honorable mention is a great accomplishment and Bottom well deserved it. Bottom is ready to perform even better than he did last year, and lead the Pines Charter football team to victory.

Solution to PED epidemic? Just say no Brett Alayon STAFF WRITER

Just a couple weeks ago, the MLB handed out a dozen suspensions to active players whom tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Star players including Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, and several others will not be able to help their teams make a playoff run out on the diamond. Arguably the biggest star that will be suspended is Alex Rodriguez, who after the appeal is over, may miss the entire 2014 season. The suspensions these professional athletes received were lengthy not only in the MLB, but in other sports too. However, these socalled “cheaters” have no one to blame but themselves. Not too long ago, the idea of testing athletes for PED’s as early as high school came up. This created much controversy

immediately across the nation. With marquee athletes in any sport achieving so much in high school, it may bring up a few questions: Did he/she use any performance enhancing drugs to improve their game?” or “Did this athlete not take PED’s and is 100% clean?” Well there’s only on way to find out. On the topic of drugs, senior baseball player at PPCHS, Danny Melgarejo commented, “I feel like using PED’s is the lowest thing an athlete can do. I think it’s cheating and unfair to the rest of us who don’t use that stuff. I also believe that players that are caught using PED’s should be banned from their sport.” Getting banned from the sport you love before you to go to college can wash away any athlete’s dream. To avoid any further issues, people are attempting to put a stop

to the use of these drugs once and for all. It may seem insane for a teenager to use these drugs at such an early stage in their life, but so many high school athletes are currently using them. In some eyes, it’s perfectly fine to take these drugs, but they realize the risk they are taking. Senior basketball player at PPCHS, Stephan Montes stated, “I see why high school athletes use them, the level of competition in this generation is unprecedented and the need to get ahead is ridiculous, but at the same time I would never recommend or condone the usage of them.” There is a solution to everything in this world and in this case, an abundance of people believe testing for these drugs as early as in high school may be it. Now there’s even a simpler solution for these athletes to never get in trouble and to avoid

being banned from the sport they love. And that is to not take them.

Graphic by: Armondo Urena

Sports September 2013


Brett Alayon and Mathew Deno STAFF WRITERS

“We are finally here. We are going to beat Somerset.” The wise words of Mayor Frank Ortis brought chills to the new-look varsity football team as he cut the red ribbon Friday night, August 23. Just weeks ago, PPCHS filled the stands on both sides and were ready to watch the most anticipated sport PPCHS has to offer. The new stadium brought new life to Jaguar fans as everyone was intensely into the game. Although the result didn’t exactly please charter fans, it was still one heck of a game as the Somerset Panthers topped the Charter Jaguars in an 8-4 win. Yes, that is a football score. Besides this, all the fans, the band, and all the jaguar spirit were a great outlook towards how this football stadium will ideally fit into PPCHS. After the opening ceremony with the mayor, vice mayor and the commissioners, it was all business. This game proved to be a defensive battle from beginning to end as it was tied at 0-0 after one quarter of play. With 6:12 left in the second quarter, the Jaguars had a safety on a high snap which gave the Panthers a 2-0 advantage. On the offensive side of the ball, junior running back Kevin Gonzalez had an outstanding game on the ground as the jags mentality was certainly to “ground and pound.” With a score of 2-0 heading into halftime, it was essential for the Jags to gain momen-

First game in new home has a bittersweet ending

tum and get the crowd going. Great defensive tackles helped the Jags push back the Panthers inside their own five yard line and with 7:43 left in the third quarter, senior Troy Bottom tackled the Somerset run-

score tied 2-2, Somerset had the ball in the red zone. Looking to break the tie, the Panthers went for it on fourth down, but the determined jags defense got the stop and forced a turnover on downs. On the very next drive, quarterback Kyle Weisman’s pass got intercepted by the Panther’s defense. With a short field, Somerset capitalized on the Jaguar’s mistake by scoring on a 20-yard touchdown run with 9:39 left in the fourth. The Jags kept their heads up though and blocked the extra point. Their next drive ended quickly but loudly when New Stadium Excitement: Mayor Ortis cuts the ceremonial ribbon, officially Senior John Jablonopening the new feild. Photo by: Alex Monge ka delivered with ning back for a safety in the end zone, to a huge punt to Somerset’s one yard line. redeem his previous bad snap. The defense That punt turned out to be a game changer looked stellar throughout the night as the when an offensive lineman for Somerset Jags forced several fumbles and recovered was called for holding inside their own end one of them. Senior kicker John Davis at- zone, resulting in yet another safety. tempted a 28-yard field goal which was With 6:36 left in the game and the score eventually blocked by Somerset with 4:10 8-4 Somerset, the Jags needed to score a left in the third quarter. touchdown on what looked to be their final Heading into the fourth quarter with the drive of the game. Senior John Jablonka re-

entered the game at quarterback and was leading the team to a come from behind victory. With 1:38 left in the contest and the ball at the five on fourth and goal, it all came down to the next play. The ball was snapped and Jablonka threw the ball to junior running back Tanner Redding near the goal line, but it was a bit too high as it slipped through the fingers of the receiver and dropped to the floor for an incomplete pass. It seemed like victory had slipped through the fingers of the jags, but the game was all but over. Due to Somerset failing to run out the clock, the Jags had one last chance to win the game. With 2.2 seconds left and the ball at the eight yard line, there was a glimmer of hope for the Jaguars. Unfortunately, the Jags failed to convert inside the ten once again as Jablonka’s pass was batted down by a defender in the end zone to end the game. It was a disappointing end to a very memorable night at PPCHS. Even though the Jags fell short, many of the fans still had an amazing experience and will surely be able to say that they went to the first ever football game at the new stadium. “It’s unfortunate that we lost, but hopefully we can bounce back next game. I had a great experience going to the first game at the new field and look forward to going to more in the future,” stated Sophomore Dylan Carter.

Offseason suspense leads to suspensions Jake Dreilinger NEWS EDITOR/MANAGING EDITOR

This summer has been full of twists and turns that left many teams devastated and out of luck. Many teams in multiple sports have lost many role players and stars due to things like substance abuse, arrest, and even murder. In Miami, a PED clinic was found with the names of several MLB stars, each one facing lengthy suspensions from the MLB. In the NCAA, many college athletes were arrested and suspended by the NCAA. In the NFL, players were suspended for substance abuse and arrests. This year, suspensions will alter the sport season, some for the better and some for the worse. One of the biggest stories this offseason was the murder of semi-pro athlete Odin Lloyd. Immediately all of the evidence pointed toward Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez, a Florida Gator Alumnus, has had some trouble in the past with gun use and violent fights. At the time of his arrest, Hernandez was at home with his girlfriend, oblivious to the police officers outside ready to change his life forever. The Patriots soon dropped him, losing another receiver on their now struggling offense. “Stuff like this should not be allowed in the NFL,” said Junior Justin Ortiz. “This shows that a lot of things are under the table that people don’t know about.”

Suspensions have affected those in the NFL, ruining championship contenders’ dreams of achieving success. Broncos linebacker Von Miller has been suspended for six games for substance abuse. Texans defensive end Antonio Smith was suspended until the second week of the regular season for taking the helmet off of Richie Incognito, and then swung the helmet at Incognito. Redskins defensive end Graphic by: Armando Urena Jarvis Jenkins was suspended for taking PEDs and will not be allowed to play until week five. Another Redskin, reserve safety Rob Jackson, was also suspended for four games for using PEDs as well. Giants safety Will Hill was also suspended for four games for using marijuana. Each team is a serious playoff contender, and they have lost some valuable role players due to suspensions. The NFL isn’t the only football league facing suspensions. Some college players in the NCAA are also facing suspensions,

including one at the University of Florida. Middle linebacker Antonio Morrison was arrested twice, one for punching a nightclub bouncer and another for barking at a dog and resisting arrest, and is facing a one-game suspension. He will be eligible for the FloridaMiami football game. Texas A&M safety Floyd Raven and cornerback Deshazor Everett were suspended from the team for misdemeanor assault charges and criminal mischief. Texas A&M Quarterback Johnny Manziel may also be suspended for signing autographs for a profit. Suspensions are simultaneously going on in the MLB. It was revealed that fourteen MLB players were linked to a PED clinic in Miami. The MLB were looking to suspended Brewers left fielder Ryan Bruan, Padres shortstop Evereth Cabrera and catcher Yasmani Grandal, Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and third baseman Alex

Rodriguez, Athletics starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz, Astros left fielder Fernando Martinez, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, and Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Each could face a serious suspension. Ryan Braun was the first to admit that he used PEDs before the list was released, and will be suspended for 65 games. The MLB was looking to suspend A-Rod until the end of the 2014 season; they were even looking to give him a lifetime ban. Everybody else received a 50 game suspension, which was effective during the start of the second half of the season. These suspensions began immediately after the MLB gathered enough evidence. A-rod is currently appealing is 221 game suspension and will be allowed to play until his appeal is heard. “Even though A-Rod lied, I still think that he is a good player,” said junior Jordan Clark. “I feel that he is very arrogant and what he did was wrong.” Suspensions have huge effects on teams in professional sports. These athletes were all suspended because they got arrested for criminal charges or were in possession of drugs, whether its marijuana or PEDs. What they did was wrong and how they lied about it was wrong. Some even argue that they have cheated the game. These suspensions will surely alter the course of the season for the MLB, NCAA football, and NFL.

Teacher’s son says hola to major leagues Matthew Deno STAFF WRITER

Students here at PPCHS tend to forget that teachers also have lives outside of school and some have families to take care of. One great example of that is Mrs. Ciafre. Most may know her as a Spanish teacher here at Charter, but what you may not know is that she has a son who has just recently achieved an extraordinary milestone. This past June, Mrs. Ciafre’s son, 21 year old Carlos Asuaje, was drafted by the Boston

Red Sox in the 11th round. It was a very emotional moment for Mrs. Ciafre and her son as all of their time and dedication paid off. “I’m glad that this happened to someone like Mrs. Ciafre. I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of something like this,” says sophomore and former student Taj Ali. It took a lot of hard work for it to get to this point. Carlos knew that when he grew up he wanted to play in the major leagues. His dad was a former minor leaguer, but an injury stopped Star in the making: Mrs. Ciafre’s son, Carlos, was drafted into the 11th orund by the Red him from making it to Sox. Photo donated by: Mrs. Ciafre the pros. Although Mrs.

Ciafre wanted him to be a dentist, she supported everything he did involving baseball. Ever since Carlos was four years old, she would take him to every practice and try to attend every one of his games. Carlos is currently playing for the Lowell Spinners in the Class A minor leagues and is living in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a few credits away from graduating with a double major in accounting and business management from Nova Southeastern University on a full athletic scholarship. Hopefully, he will be called up within a few years and reach his dream of playing professional baseball in the major leagues. A tearing up, Mrs. Ciafre stated “It was a really special moment to hear my son’s name being called by the Red Sox. I can’t believe that his dream is becoming a reality and I couldn’t be more proud of him for achieving his goal.”

Photo Donated by Mrs. Ciafre

Page Name Month 2013


PPCHS students make a difference one step at a time Looghermine Claude STAFF WRITER

If you spent your summer holed inside your house staring at your laptop or melting away in the sunshine tanning, you might need some tips on what to do with your 104 days. Take some pointers from a few PPCHS students who got the chance to travel across town and across the world to be a part of their community outside of the classroom. In the process, these students gained exceptional experiences and stories that top anything tanning or vacationing could give.

Sophomore twins Nicole and Nelson Fairfoot went out of state to take some breathtaking science classes. As they flew away from home to different states, the twins could’ve never guessed what was going to happen next. Nicole went to Texas A&M University through the Duke TiP program, which is a talent identification program from Duke University, to take a neuropsychology class. She got the complete college experience of eating, sleeping and learning on the campus in College Station, Texas. She took the equivalent of a semester in college courses or a year in a high school class in just 3 weeks. Nicole

spent 7 hours on weekdays and 3 hours on Saturday learning, and when she wasn’t doing that, she attended multiple activities with other “TiPsters” like field trips, talent shows, and other Duke TiP traditions. This isn’t Nicole’s first time in the program. She’s actually been going since the summer before her 8th grade year. Next year will be a bittersweet summer at the TiP class since it will be her final year. “It’s going to be terrible heading off to my last class,” Nicole says. “But I know that even when I leave I’ll stay in touch because TiPsters have a very close nit community with multiple Facebook pages and our own

Wikia—it’s really awesome.” As for Nicole’s brother Nelson, he traveled to Bristol, Rhode Island for a Zoology class sponsored by the Center for Talented Youth (CTY). He was surrounded by students both younger and older than him immersed in the course. In 3 weeks Nelson was able to learn the nine main phyla with the most species as well as dissect and study different animals. The class was Nelson’s first time in the program, and even though he won’t be returning to Rhode Island anytime soon, he’s open to other classes and summer courses in different places.


The C. H. A. T. Staff

Joshua Alleman Editor-in-Chief

Jake Dreilinger News Editor

Victoria Alvarez Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Chelsie Ramos Student Life Editor

Carli Stander Photo Editor

Jake Dreilinger - Layout Chris Fernandez - Video Managing Editors

Anthony Kelleher Technology Editor

Armando Urena Graphics Editor

Melissa Sullivan Web Managing Editor Maria Bozo Business Manager Mr. Simon - Layout Mr. Fagen - Content Mr, Simon - Video Advisers Mr. Bayer Principal

Chelsi Chang Entertainment Editor Troy Bottom Sports Editor Gabriela Garcia Features Editor Looghermine Claude Lifestyle Editor Andrea Bellorin Clubs Editor Alexys Nowak Copy Editor

Carmen Pettersen Cartoonist Kyle Moss-Solomon

Video Executive Producer

CONTENT STAFF: Brett Alayon, Maria Bozo, Matthew Deno, Tyra Green, Shakayla Lee, Maribel Maignan, Aaliyah Pasols, Melissa Pierce, Lauren Ramirez, Nicholas Rivera LAYOUT STAFF: Maria Bozo, Emily Deese, Alexys Nowak, Matthew Perez, Fernando Plata PHOTOGRAPHY STAFF: Peter Dourvetakis, Rebecca Gonzalez, Jonathan Harris, Alexis Monge-Rodriguez, Sydney Silverberg, Juan Tellez, Daniel Vidal GRAPHIC STAFF: Jacob Morgenstern VIDEO STAFF: Troy Bottom, Matthew Gonzalez, Genesis Vesco

Fernandez, Andres

The C.H.A.T. is an official publication of the Pembroke Pines Charter High School (PPCHS). The content of our newspaper is not necessarily the opinions of our advisers and administration. The C.H.A.T. staff welcomes any comments to the editors and/or staff. The C.H.A.T is a publication of C.H.C (Charter High Communications) sponsored by the Communications & Technology Department of PPCHS. Pembroke Pines Charter High School 17189 Sheridan Street Pembroke Pines, FL 33331 Phone: 954-538-3700 Email: Twitter: @_theCHATter Instagram: @thechatnews The CHAT welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be signed. The staff reserves the right to edit letters for poor taste, libel, and space. Drop off letters in room C113 or send an email to

Student Life

September 2013

Stronger by


The CHAT Staff

Mr. Opalka

Ms. Portalatin

Social Science

Social Science

A former fire rescue member and father to five PPCHS Alumni, Mr. Opalka has known Charter “since day one.” The new American History teacher has adapted into the school year, “this is my first experience as a teacher, the first few days were all about adaptation. I was clearly in a different environment, yet I felt as though I was exactly where I needed to be; it was a challenge because I was in unchartered territory.” For this school year Mr. Opalka has many aims for his students and himself to achieve. “My goal is to connect with my students. If I can connect with them, I can inspire them, and if I can inspire them I can help them fulfill their full potential – help them be the best that they can be.”

The newest World Geography Culture regular and honors teacher is Ms. Portalatin, who was a past Charter student and decided to come back. “I’ve been a student at charter since it first opened, when I graduated I decided to come back because I loved charter so much.” As to her first week back at her old high school she was enjoying herself, “it’s only been a week and I enjoyed them so much and how interactive the students have been.” Ms. Portalatin’s also hopes that her students enjoy this year, “I really want this year to be meaningful for me and my students. I really want my students to remember this year for the rest of their lives””

Ms. Rudd

Ms. Johnson

Ms. Rudd is the new World History and World Culture Geography Honors teacher, and has seen first hand what makes Charter one-of-a-kind. “The professionalism of everyone ranging from administration all the way down to the kids makes charter special. Charter gives the kids so many opportunities to be involved.” Since the school year has begun Ms. Rudd has been able to get a feel for the community sense here at Charter too, “my first few days were wonderful. All the other teachers were amazing support and the students were wonderful as well.” As to what Ms. Rudd expects for this school year, “I expect to be very busy, to learn a lot about my students, and to enjoy the football games of course!”

Ms. Johnson, a former U.S. Coast Guard Academy leadership teacher has made her way from New London, Connecticut to the doors of PPCHS. “I teach 9th grade Geography and 12 grade Economics/Government here, and the [past few] days have been excellent, and the students and teachers are great.” Ms. Johnson has traveled all over the U.S. due to her past military career, “I lived in Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, and California, I decided to move back to South Florida after retiring from the military.” Ms. Johnson has clearly noticed the difference in the environment at Charter over other schools, “This school is different because of the students, teachers, and staff. Everyone is friendly, helpful, and considerate. This is an awesome place to work, and to be honest this does not feel like work.”

Social Science

Social Science

Ms. Perez Guidance Ms. Perez has become the newest member to the guidance program here at Charter, and will be leading the junior class to success. “I have very high expectations for my juniors. I want them to meet their GPA, volunteer and complete their online course requirements.” As Ms. Perez has begun to transition into her new environment she exclaims how her first day went, “I loved it, everyone was welcoming and I felt at home here.” Noticing the difference of PPCHS compared to her previous schools, she can tell the difference easily, “people here are different: the teachers, the kids, they have so much more interaction here. Since it is a smaller school, but this allows me an opportunity to know the kids on a different level.”

Once school year begins a es surround us all. From the in students, new faces are everywher were also found waiting at the doors one or two new employees coming into t 2013-2014 school year PPCHS was given ees into the Jaguar Family. From scienc communications and guidance the around. Now The CHAT wo the new smiling fac

Mr. Sands

Communications As the new Intro to Technology and Web Design teacher Mr. Sands is making his mark on Charter and the communications department. “I enjoyed my first week. Things actually went smoother than I thought they were going to. I’m getting used to the system and I’m having no problems.” Charter isn’t like other schools and Mr. Sands has noticed that quickly “what makes this school so special is the uniforms and how involved and interactive the parents are in their children’s education.” For Mr. Sands, showing kids the importance of technology in the world is his main goal “we have come to the point in our world where technology is used not only in our everyday life, but in our careers. I want to be convincing enough for students to have the desire to embrace technology with open arms because it is crucial and forever expanding.”

y the dozen

Ms. Papadopolo Foreign Language Ms. Papadopolo is the newest employee to enter into the Foreign Language Department, and will help lead many new students into the world of Spanish I. “I liked my first day here, it was very different. Since the class sizes are small to it also allows for an individualized approach to learning,” stated Ms. Papadopolo. Other than the smaller class sizes Ms. Papadopolo has also seen one thing here that you don’t find everywhere, “all of the students are good kids, which is not something that is found at every school, so I hope to give them the attention and education they deserve.”

a new an influx of new facncoming freshmen to transfer re and this school year new faces of many classrooms. In recent times the school seemed normal; however, this n the chance to welcome 12 new employce, to social studies, foreign language, new staff members surely are all ould like to introduce you to ces of PPCHS.

Ms. Oddy Science

PPCHS graduate (‘07) Ms. Oddy has made her way back to the halls she once knew so well. “I’m really happy that I’m back at Charter because I feel comfortable here. I like the way the school is run, I know the administration, and I know that the parents are involved. Charter is a great community and has a great support system. Everyone has also been so helpful on making me feel comfortable here too.” As the new Earth Space Science teacher Ms. Oddy became inspired to teach in college at Florida State University, “I love science and I think that if I can make students appreciate science and find it interesting, then I’ve done my job.” Ms. Oddy has high hopes for what is to come this year, “my expectations are to have fun, teach the students, make science interesting and overall just have a good year.”

7 Student Life

Septmber 2013

Ms. Estevez

Ms. Ramos



Ms. Estevez might be the new Biology teacher, but she is not new when it comes to teaching. “I began teaching in 2001, and have previously worked at MAST Academy and Barbara Goleman which are in Miami lakes.” After going through the first few days here Ms. Estevez has felt welcomed, “the first day was great, and I really enjoyed meeting the new students. A great aspect of this school is the other teachers, faculty and students here.” Ms. Estevez has high aims for her students “my goal is for all my students to pass the EOC, to enjoy biology and be prepared for college.”

A former PPCHS Alumnus from the Class of 2004 has come back to her roots. Ms. Ramos, 9th grade Earth Space Science teacher, is excited “to be back home.” Ms. Ramos first showed her face again in the halls of charter last year, “I subbed here last year for English, Anatomy & Physics for one month each.” She has high hopes as to what she wants accomplish in her own classroom this year, “I expect my students to really enjoy learning science. A lot of students say science isn’t their thing, but no one has really enticed them to the subject. So I hope to be able to do that. So far these last few days have been really good. The students are better than I expected them to be. I’m just really excited to be here.”

Ms. Monhollon

Mr. Zack

Ms. Monhollon is the newest Chemistry teacher and member to the Jaguar community, and she has surely felt the welcoming feeling too. “Charter feels like a real family community, the staff works like a really cohesive team and the children and parents are always very involved in all the school activities.” Ms. Monhollon was also eager for the school year to begin and was very pleased with the first week of school, “I had a lot of fun this first week; it was really nice meeting all my students I waited all summer to see them.” As for what Ms. Monhollon has to expect from the school year and her students is vast, “My expectations for this year is to be an effective teacher and have my students gain knowledge from everything they will learn this year. Another expectation of mine is for my students to work hard and be a productive member of the class.”

As the new Physics teacher, Mr. Zack was excited about adding working at PPCHS to his resume. “I was not nervous about coming to charter. In fact, I was excited, and my first few days here were great!” Many people don’t know the difference in the many different forms of schooling that there are, but Mr. Zack has worked in “both public and private schools in Florida and in Albuquerque, New Mexico.” From this he has noticed the difference in the school types, “Charter schools are very independent, schools that are independent have the freedom to do more.” As for what to come of this year Mr. Zack has his expectations, “I expect to teach my students a great deal and for them to teach me as well.”



Student Life September 2013


DIFFERENCE from page 5...

PPCHS students make a difference one step at a time

gaging us in the conversation so that we could learn,” Brianna exclaims. Sofia Lalinde, a junior, had the chance to Another sophomore, Brianna Beach, traveled go to India this summer as part of Global to the West Coast. Three time zones away, Leadership Adventures (GLA). She stayed Stanford University was waiting for her with a in a village located in the northern part of summer program Brianna claims is compara- the country for a total of 21 days helping ble to no other. Brianna took part in Stanford’s out the kids in the region. Sofia assisted Law and Trial Camp in Palo Alto, California a sports camp, where with the help of where she attended lectures taught by some of her mentors she taught the kids American Stanford’s professors. During the 10 days that sports, as well as the basics and fundashe was there, she got to learn about the logis- mentals of the Olympics. Other GLA voltics of law itself, and got the chance to travel unteers were able to work in daycares and around San Francisco and see all the sights summer camps teaching the children Engduring her off time. Along for the ride with lish and reading skills. Sofia had the chance of a lifetime her were peers to submerge from all around herself in the world inthe Indian cluding China, culture visitGreat Britain, ing temples, and Australia. talking to Brianna plans local villagon going to a ers, and seesimilar camp ing the Taj next year to enMahal. Sogross and chalfia was relenge herself ally touched in the world of by the expelaw. Since rerience, and turning home she hopes to from the exgo back durperience, her ing her colmind has been in India: Junior Sophia Lalinde spent her summer helping others lege years set on Stanford Volunteering in India. Photo Donated By: Sophia Lalinde to volunteer for its immense once again. beauty and its “It was such an incredible experience. exceptional professors. She remembers one professor specifically for the way he captivat- It’s such a different world out there. I can’t wait to go back and visit my mentors who ed his students: “He was teaching about evidence in the introduced me to everyone in the village courtroom, and to explain it to us, he walked and made the experience so incredible. I around the class carrying a sledgehammer. The really want to go back soon,” Sofia Lalinde lecture really captured my attention because of says. Another junior, Sofia Vargas, also travthe scenario present and the way he was enLooghermine Claude STAFF WRITER

eled to Chicago to gain leadership skills. cooking and baking. Hannah plans on attending The National Student Leadership Confer- Johnson & Wales for their culinary program as a ence (NSLC) hosts a variety of programs student after she graduates from PPCHS. in different parts of the country for high “This year I’m applying to different colleges school students to explore different career but I’m really looking at Johnson & Wales for options. The “Mastering Leadership” class was hosted by Northwestern University and took place on their campus. Sofia took seminars and classes with different professors and leaders from the Chicago community in order to build leadership skills. She plans to return back to the NSLC classes for the “Law & Advocacy” program next summer. “I was able to meet a lot of different important people through the classes we took.” Sofia Vargas states. “It was really an inspiring event to go to and I can’t wait to meet more students and adults Cooking in luxury: Senior Hannah Rector was able to bake delictable treats in the next summer through the large kitchen at Johnson and Wales University. Photo by: Carli Stander law program that NSLC does.” For some students their summer adventure their culinary school. Hopefully by next year I’ll only led them across town to pursue their be in their kitchens for real!” Hannah exclaimed. program. As an avid baker, Hannah Rector Few students decide to do anything during (’14) went to Johnson & Wales Universi- their summer, and fewer travel the world to do ty’s Career Exploration Program. She took so. These six kids took the challenge of finding both the Culinary Program and the Bak- something to do with their free time and invented ing Program at the school’s North Miami a new definition for it. From one country away Campus. For 7 days, Hannah got to be in to one time zone away to one nation away, Pines the Johnson & Wales kitchens learning all Charter’s students spread their wings and had about the inner workings of being a chef. summer experiences incomparable to anyone She also was able to work in the kitchens else’s. In terms of summer, traveling around the preparing food like the college students world while getting school and work experience do. Hannah was joined with people from proves of be an incredible combination. multiple states who had great interests in

PPCHS senior flies towards his dream Senior commits to serving her country Jake Dreilinger NEWS EDITOR/MANGING EDITOR LAYOUT

Many people dream of doing big things in their lives but often struggle to accomplish them. They dream of owning successful businesses, playing a professional sport, or becoming a music sensation. People dream; it’s human nature. Not too many stick with their dream, though. They get a job that they don’t mind having, but never step outside of their boundaries to accomplish bigger things. Senior Andres Machado is one of few people that have been able to accomplish his dream at such a young age. For years, it has

Ready to take flight: Senior Andres Machado gears up for Air Force Academy. Photo by: Carli Stander

been his goal to serve the country as a pilot in the Air Force. Taking the necessary steps to achieve this dream, Machado attended the Civil Air Patrol Camp in Oklahoma this summer. This camp teaches many young people, like Machado, how to fly an aircraft and successfully complete a landing. “Each session is 10 hours for $1, 000,” said Machado. “There is also a 2:1 student to teacher ratio. It was a lot of fun working with my instructor and the other students.” Machado and his unit stayed at the Oklahoma Baptist University. He spent

ten hours total two hours a day studying FAA manuals and emergency procedures. After lunch Machado went to ground school for 5 hours. After dinner, he had the option of flying at night or go rest. Machado’s dream started when he was seven. His father was working at an airport when the legendary Air Force squad Thunderbirds landed. The Thunderbirds put on aerial demonstration team displays, similar to the jets that fly over football games. Machado later accompanied his dad to see the Thunderbirds parked at the airport, and right then and there Machado knew what he wanted to do in life. Over the next few years, Machado received flight training using simulators and as he got older, he became more and more ready to fly a plane. As a senior, Machado is eligible to join the Air Force next year. Instead, he is going to the Air Force Academy to further his training and will then move on to the Air Force. “My uncle is in the Army and is deployed in Afghanistan,” said Machado. “I could go into the Air Force right away, but going to the Academy gives me benefits. I won’t get those benefits if I don’t go to school.” Machado has some advice for those following their dreams. “Don’t give up and don’t ever quit,” said Machado. “If you quit you will never achieve what you want to achieve. Stay motivated and keep your drive. Continue following your dream until it becomes reality.” “Machado, as well as a good friend, is a commanding leader,” said sophomore Christian Moffett. “He is always on task, showing the newer cadets like myself what to do, and is very social.” As Machado continues his senior year, he is anticipating being a part of the Air Force. He is constantly training, and taking any opportunity that comes his way to better himself. Any dream can be turned into a reality, as long as that dream is being achieved step by step. Following a dream may be hard at times, but it is achievable and worth the time. Machado is living his dream, and can’t wait until he becomes a successful pilot.

“When I met with a recruiter, it really got me thinking,” says Gomez. “Joining the Air Force provides me with so many difMost teenagers struggle with the thought ferent opportunities than just going to colof life beyond graduation. It is a difficult lege.” transition that puts pressure on students to According to the Air Force’s official pick a lifetime career. For senior Aleena website, they provide benefits to enlisted Gomez the pressure was lifted much ear- members for insurance, retirement, food lier than others. Since her freshman year, and housing. The Air Force provides great she has aspired rates, as well to joining the Air as medical care Force and servand even food ing her country. allowances Like many to help with teenagers, Gocosts of living mez was unsure on or off base. of what future “So much can would await her come out of after high school. joining the Air She sought out Force, the benseveral career efits are great opportunities but there is so and activities much more,” that could benefit said Gomez. her in the future. “To be able “It’s amazing to serve my that she [Gocountry is an mez] was able to amazing feelfind her passion ing, I’m doing at such a young something to age. During my make a differfreshman year, I ence.” had no clue what Gomez offiI wanted to do cially signed to after graduation, Flying to her future: Senior Aleena Gomez gets ready to serve her country the Air Force let alone what by joining the Air Force. Photo by: Johnathan Harris on Wednesday, career path I August 26th. wanted to pursue,” said senior Chris Freire. The last thing she has to do before beginStruggling to find a passion in life, Go- ning her future career is graduate from mez became interested in fitness during her PPCHS. freshman year, seeing the Air Force as an Senior Sarah Del Villar, a close friend of opportunity to stay in shape. “When I was Gomez’s said “I think it’s awesome that younger, the Air Force first caught my at- she has had this goal for herself for such a tention because of the difficult training and long time. She didn’t just give up when she courses. It would keep me healthy and in found out it was going to be difficult. She great shape,” said Gomez. is committed to her goal, I wish her luck With an interest sparked, Gomez contin- and I know she’ll do an amazing job as a ued to research the Air Force and all that it part of our country’s forces.” had to offer after graduating high school. Melissa Sullivan WEB MANAGING EDITOR

Charter Alumnus, forever in our hearts Troy Bottom

place in California. “It just seems unreal. It was like just yesterday that we were hanging out and He was someone you could spot from across just enjoying life. He was the type of guy the hall, towering over his peers, with an in- you just could talk hours with and always made you laugh,” said sefectious smile planted nior Dylan Fernandez who on his face. He was played with Saunders on the number 88 on Friday 2012 football team. nights and that friendly, A viewing for Trenton was charismatic man turned held on September 6th, and into a vicious football the following day his funerplayer. As an essential al was underway early that asset to the 2012 Pines Saturday morning. Many Charter football team, faculty and students athe helped lead his team tended both events and emto make playoffs for the braced the legacy Saunders first time in the school’s has left. history. His name is “Some people get asked Trenton Chaunre Saunthese questions and they ders (‘12), and this Jagmake some long exaguars alumnus definitely gerated speech about that left his mark here at person, but with Trenton, PPCHS in the classroom, on the field, and Trenton Saunders: PPCHS mourns the loss of there was nothing to exaggerate about. He was such a in the hearts of many an amazing alumnus. Photo by: FOXMAR gentleman and just a class act faculty and students. On August 26th, the Jaguar community mourned kind of guy. I knew he would never cause the loss of the now late Saunders, when news me any trouble and always be respectful broke about his tragic car accident that took in my class, he definitely will be missed,” SPORTS EDITOR


Student Life September 2013

said English teacher, Mr. Troha who at- ing hard and trying to get better,” said Head tended Saunders funeral. Football Coach Steve Bruns. “I remember Saunders came to Charter his sophomore talking with him after practice and just getyear and his size was the first thing people ting to know him and learning how great of noticed. But once you got to talk to him a person he really was.” you were able to see who he really was as As friends and teachers mourn the loss a person. of such a decorated individual, the CHAT “He was always such a happy kid,” said Assistant principal Mrs. Battle. “His smile and happiness would just radiate around him, he was a great person and my prayers and thoughts go out to his loved ones.” In his junior year, Saunders ran onto the track and leaped for success, literally. His long jump and high jump records are some of the highest ever seen at PPCHS and helped him win Districts. In his se- Forever a team: The Jags 2012 football team lose a family member. Photo by: FOXMAR nior year, Saunders provided something the Jaguars never had, a deep threat on the grid iron. He ran would like to send out our prayers and wisha stunning 4.53, 40 yard dash, and finally es to the family of Trenton. He may not be solidified a legitimate threat in the passing with us, but he will forever be a part of the game. Jaguar family. “He was a great athlete, always work-

Greenbaum: ‘PPCHS will always be my home’ Victoria Alvarez ASSISTANT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

For many years, PPCHS students have racked their brains with questions about SAT/ACT scores, college admissions, and available scholarships. With huge goals and high hopes set in front of them, a successful journey and transition into college is impossible to accomplish alone. But at PPCHS, that is never the case. All it takes for a student to get some help is a short walk into the A building, past the Guidance desks, and into a small office with a door covered in USF propaganda, a place otherwise known as Mr. Greenbaum’s office. Known around the school as the expert of college information, and occasionally referred to as “The Baum” by students, Mr. Greenbaum has kept Jags informed on colleges and has helped students decide on what choices to make for their futures. For many seniors, Mr. Greenbaum has done more than just show them the application process- he’s has taught them how to dream and how to accomplish all that they wish for. “After hearing that Mr. Greenbaum was leaving, I was in shock,” said senior Jessi Rowe. “Over the years he has helped me not only find the best classes for me to take, but has also kept me on track toward my future goals. He has assisted me in so many different aspects of my high school career, and it’s really sad to see him go. I’ll miss him a lot once he’s gone.” After fourteen years of being a Guidance Counselor, Mr. Greenbaum has chosen to take his

next step in his journey in life. After being I’ve decided that this offer to be a Guidoffered Guidance Counselor Director at ance Counselor Director is going to be a Coral Glades High School, Mr. Greenbaum huge step-up to further my career.” decided that this opportunity was one that As Mr. Greenbaum gets ready to leave he could not let pass. In an effort to further PPCHS to begin his new adventure, many his career and seniors are actually have the left wondering opportunity to be what to do durin charge of an ing this crucial entire Guidance time of college Department, Mr. applications Greenbaum has and admissions officially dedecisions. cided to leave “I have always PPCHS on Sepgone to Mr. tember 9th, Greenbaum for 2013, and begin important queshis new job at tions regardCoral Glades ing my college High School. choices and He’ll always be future plans a Jaguar. because of his “It’s definitely outstanding a bitter-sweet knowledge on feeling,” said the subject,” Mr. Greenbaum. said senior Jo“Leaving Charsephine Laue. ter is going to be Greenbaum departure: Jags are sad to see Mr. Greenbaum “Now that he’s extremely hard leave after so many years. Photo by: FOXMAR leaving and for me. I’ve made taking his amazsome great friends in all the years that I’ve ing mind and fun personality with him, I been here and I’ve had the opportunity to feel like I’m going to be lost and confused meet the most amazing students. I will al- when it comes to my college applications.” ways be a part of the PPCHS family, but However, Mr. Greenbaum has found a re-

placement to help the seniors so that they are not left alone with their college applications and important collegiate decisions. Guidance Counselor Mrs. Thomas will be taking over the senior class when Mr. Greenbaum departs. After being the Guidance Counselor for the Class of 2014 for three years, there is no one that knows the seniors better than Mrs. Thomas does. “Seeing Mr. Greenbaum leave and taking over his position is a bitter-sweet feeling because he’s been an amazing asset and friend. However, I can’t be too sad about his departure because I know that it’s for a promotion that will benefit him,” said Mrs. Thomas. “I’m also really excited to be working with the seniors again. I had to detach myself last year when it was time to let them go, and now it’s nice knowing that I get to reattach myself with them. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to finish the year with the Class of 2014 knowing that I worked alongside them for their entire high school careers.” As Mrs. Thomas begins her transition, Mr. Greenbaum says his final farewell to all his Jags. “All I can say to the seniors is to keep working on those dreams of theirs. They can accomplish their goals if they study, practice, and get the right scores,” said Mr. Greenbaum. “I might be leaving, but I’ll always be a Jaguar.”

Game over, and so another begins Chelsie Ramos STUDENT LIFE EDITOR

After spending 11 years at one place, it becomes comfortable. But sometimes life throws unexpected chances to further ones career that a person has to take. Pembroke Pines Charter High Schools’ very own 3D game development teacher, Mr. Roberts, has gotten a chance to further his career and is saying goodbye to the school, students, and colleagues that he has grown so close to. In the past 11 years, Mr. Roberts has done a lot for the school, including the development of the school’s latest website. Along with teaching a foundations class, 3D game design, and 3D game programming, Mr. Roberts has taught a wide variety of classes here at Charter. The previous classes are a variety but stay close to the tech world. He worked with and oversaw the school yearbook, ran a 2D animation class, and led students into the web designing with Web Design 1, 2, and 3. Having these types of classes, Mr. Roberts didn’t have the typical course layout and books that most teachers follow to get through the year, instead every year the lesson plans changed because the world of technol-

ogy kept moving forward. business where we do web development “The beauty of what I teach, is that ev- and live streaming so I will be working ery year it’s differon that. But I will ent stuff because also be working the technology for a non-for-profchanges,” stated it organization in Mr. Roberts. But Dade County as as he looks forward well. I didn’t plan to what is to come, on this happening it still hasn’t hit so quickly, and I him that after Sepfeel bad since I tember 4th, he will just got to get to not be waking up know so many to come to Charter new kids, but I am every day, “I can’t very excited for quite conceptualize what is to come,” what it is going to said Mr. Roberts. be like until I actu“I’m going to ally do it [leave]. miss the students So at the moment more than anyI feel normal and it thing else. At the won’t actually hit Roberts moves on to the next level: Charter students lose end of the day you me until I’ve left.” an amazing teacher. Photo by: FOXMAR are always in your As for Mr. Roberts’ classroom with the next journey, he will be pursuing his own students and it’s all about the relationbusiness ventures. “I have my own media ships that you make with students over the

years,” stated Mr. Roberts. As students of Mr. Roberts, both present and past, wish him the best, his place as a part of the Jaguar family will be a hard one to fill. “Mr. Roberts is the person who got me interested in game designing and it’s what I always do now, it’s my passion. My brother also had his class for three years when he was in high school, and now he has his own game in Xbox and that is what he is doing for a living now. Mr. Roberts has greatly influenced my brother and me and without him at Charter I don’t think I would be doing what I love to do,” said senior Kurt Davis. Another previous student of Mr. Roberts exclaims how he enjoyed his class: “he was an awesome teacher, he was really friendly and funny and he always knew what he was talking about when he would come into class,” stated Junaid Khan, senior. What the future has in store for anyone, including Mr. Roberts is unknown; however, the Jaguar family wishes for the best for a teacher who has left such a unique legacy on the school.


Page Name Month 2013

A national outcryoutcry A national

Aaliyah Pasols STAFF WRITER

Sanford, Florida. The day is Sunday, February 26, 2012. The time is estimated to be about 7 p.m. As the rain hits the sidewalk, a 17 year-old, African American high school boy hurries along, chatting to his girlfriend on his earpiece. He had just come back from the store, and was on his way to his father’s fiancé’s house, whom he was staying with after being suspended for 10 days. He had been suspended from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior

Curious about George

High School (, due to the discovery of marijuana residue in his book bag. The teen hastily pulls his hoodie over his head to avoid getting drenched from the unfortunate rain, and then dashes over to an overhang under a house for cover, and waits. A 28 year-old Hispanic male, a self-made neighborhood watch captain, sits in his car, looking out for anything suspicious. Three weeks before, a series of burglaries had oc-

curred at the Twin Lakes community ( In response to these burglaries, the neighborhood watch had taken a precaution in arming himself with a Kel Tek 9mm semiautomatic handgun. Suddenly, he spots a teenager, lingering around the overhang, not doing much but pacing and looking around. Paranoid due to the earlier frequent robberies, the man calls the police, and identifies the suspicious young male as a

Snowden shows surprising secrets

black in his late teens. According to the actual transcript of the phone call between Zimmerman and the dispatcher, he then identifies himself as George Zimmerman, and proceeds to tell the dispatcher that the boy “looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something.”

See OUTCRY, page 11

“Find a Way”

News September 2013


Aaliyah Pasols STAFF WRITER

No one could have ever predicted the next string of events to be so tragic and macabre. These events resulted in a family grieving the loss of their son, a man having to go into hiding, and a huge controversy. The young teen was Trayvon Martin, a name that would be featured on news headlines everywhere for the following year. According to CNN, Zimmerman informed the police about Trayvon, then he saw the young teen start to run in the opposite direction as him. Becoming worried, he told the dispatcher that he was following the suspect, to which the dispatcher replied with, “Ok, we don't need you to do that.” Many people use this fact to support their argument as to why Zimmerman should have been declared guilty. "Zimmerman should have stayed in his car instead of following Trayvon. If he had, this whole situation could have been avoided," junior Reno Mannucci argues. "The police had given him a direct order and he had went against it, and tried to play the hero." As the story continues, Zimmerman ignored

OUTCRY from page 10...

A national outcry

the police officer, and took it upon himself to go after Trayvon. The two then got into a confrontation, which led into a fight that had Zimmerman on his back, getting brutally beaten ( Abiding by the Florida “Stand Your Ground" law, Zimmerman feared for his life. It was in this moment that Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. Over the next couple of months, many people anxiously waited to see what would happen to Zimmerman. The case was being investigated, and people on Twitter, including celebrities, seemed to speak out openly about their opinions. According to NBC Philadelphia, Jamie Foxx tweeted a picture of himself in a black hoodie, with the caption “My hoodie will be on forever.” In addition to the feedback from social networking sites, riots, and protests also erupted all over the country. But some protesters got too extreme in the violent riots by creating fires, and participating in vandalism. A ProSigns building in Chester County, Pennsylvania was marked with bright red graffiti that read, “Kill Zimmerman (”.

Finally, the court had to make a decision, and there were only three choices: Charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder, charge him with manslaughter, or free him with the verdict being “not guilty”. The choice was not an easy one as the only two people who knew for sure what went down that night were Zimmerman and Trayvon themselves. With only one side to the story, it was confusing and frustrating to everyone. How could they piece together a conclusion based on facts provided by the killer himself? Well, they used pieces of evidence found from multiple different sources. The first and most helpful witness was Trayvon’s girlfriend, Rachel Jeantel, who was chatting with Trayvon on the phone that night. She told investigators that Trayvon had begun to run away from Zimmerman because she told him to ( She had thought the strange man was following Trayvon with aggressive intentions and so she advised him to run. After that, Zimmerman caught up to Trayvon, and according to Jeantel, Trayvon asked the neighborhood watch, “Why are you following me for?” To which Zimmerman apparently replied, “What you doing around here?” After that, she reports hearing a thump as if the phone had fell, and a soft, boyish voice yell, “Get off! Get off!” Jeantel testified this in court and it was seen as evidence towards Zimmerman attacking Trayvon first ( With this new information, Trayvon’s family continued to stay hopeful, as they prayed for justice and constantly updated their petition on They created this page to help “prosecute the killer”, as the website's home page states. To this day, the website proudly boasts that it has 2,278,986 supporters. But despite the high amount of supporters, and the thousands of people participating in speaking out, the court had come to a conclusion: Zimmerman was a free man, and was therefore let go as “not guilty” ( The court had come to this verdict because of the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida, and because of the evidence that was shown in court. Zimmerman’s injuries were used as an example to depict how brutally Zimmerman was getting beaten by Trayvon. He claimed that Trayvon

had jumped out from behind the bushes and started yelling harsh words at him, and using vulgar language. Then without hesitation, according to Zimmerman’s account of things, Trayvon began to attack him, throwing him violently on the ground (cnn. com). He states that he was then forced to go through with the fatal action by shooting Martin, and thus, saving his life. The all-female jury then agreed to let him go free, based on this evidence and the “Stand Your Ground” law. At the announcement of this unexpected decision, the supporters who had worn hoodies through the streets in protest, stood in front of their television with their mouths agape. The trial was discussed over coffee on talk shows, as well as between groups of friends and news stations alike. "I think it’s right that they let Zimmerman free. He feared for his life while being attacked by Trayvon. Trayvon was slamming Zimmerman's head into the ground, and he was scared and acted fast to save his life," said junior Ruth Carrion. However, other people have different opinions on the matter, and it has become a Pro-Zimmerman or Pro-Trayvon choice, with the few exceptions of people who stay mutual. "I don’t have a side. The way I feel about this case is based strictly on the law. Honestly, it shouldn’t have even turned into this big investigation because clearly, the Florida ‘Stand Your Ground Law’ protects you in these circumstances. Everyone was pushing it into this huge case," 11th grader Geovani Hoyos states. But despite all the controversy and theories, the verdict stays the same. Due to the constant death threats, Zimmerman is planning to go into hiding and move as far away from Sanford, Florida as he can. "He will be looking around his shoulder for the rest of his life," Robert Zimmerman Jr., Zimmerman’s brother, informed CNN. As Trayvon’s family copes, and Zimmerman’s family moves on, the world remains puzzled as to what really went down on that lonely, rainy night. All anyone really knows for sure is that George is a free man, who will be forever remembered for this case, and that Trayvon is a boy who will continue to stay in the minds and hearts of his loved ones and supporters. This case is closed, but the story will go down in history.

Graphic by: Armando Urena

Snowden shows surprising secrets Nicholas Rivera STAFF WRITER

In 2007, the CIA stationed a 24-yearold man, named Edward Snowden, who worked in information-technology in Geneva, Switzerland. Then, after two years, he began associating with private contractors and eventually worked with a tech consulting firm named Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton. After being sent to Japan, Snowden, released private documents about a program used by the NSA, National Security Agency, called Planning Tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization, and Management (PRISM). According to The Washington Post, the program uses the internet service providers, AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, Skype, Yahoo, and YouTube, to gain access to private information of users. Snowden began copying secret documents in May of 2012 that he felt were invasive. Later that month, he was sent to Hong Kong where, in June, he leaked the documents. The U.S. government charged Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence with an unauthorized person. The actions of Ed-

ward Snowden caused a huge controversy in the United States among the citizens. After news about the leaked documents spread, Americans had mixed emotions. Some, like Breanna Jomsky, believe that Snowden did the right thing. Others believed that he betrayed the country. “I think he helped us and I support the fact that he leaked the documents,” says Jomsky, a sophomore. Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Yahoo officials released statements claiming that they did not give private information to the government. The statements rose many questions regarding the validity of PRISM having the ability to gather information from these providers. After being posted on The Guardian and The Washington Times the day after his release, Snowden was forced to go into hiding. After spending a month hiding in Japan, he fled to Russia. Currently, Snowden is still in Russia, protected under political asylum. Despite attempts to send Snowden back to the U.S., Russia has refused. Although the NSA claims that they strictly monitor everything, U.S. officials are still attempting to figure out how exactly Snowden managed to copy the classified files while keeping under the radar. “I think what he did is illegal, but it was necessary. I understand why he did what

he did and I think it’s good for the country. It was illegal and he should go to jail, but I also believe that we should be able to know what our government is doing, especially when it comes to things like spying on Americans. I’m am not someone who sees him as a hero or a traitor. I think he is a little bit of both,” says AP government teacher, Mr. Quigley. Recently, Snowden’s father, Lon Snowden, and his lawyer, Bruce Fein, told ABC’s This Week of their plans to visit Snowden in Russia and discuss possible lawyers to defend his espionage accusations. Lon Snowden has stated that he respects his son’s decision to stay where he chooses. According to ABC’s This Week, Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, has said that Snowden does plan to stay in Russia. According to The Week, Snowden may have had help from Russia

even before he arrived in late June. According to Mr. Quigley, “Ultimately, probably as a trade-off for something else, [Snowden] will eventually be arrested and held by the United States government.” As for now, Russia will continue to protect him for the granted year of asylum.

Graphic by: Armando Urena

Shot back into reality Looghermine Claude and Nick Rivera STAFF WRITERS

On Wednesday August 21st 2013, 20-yearold Michael Brandon Hill entered Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia with an AK 47-style rifle and almost 500 rounds of ammunition. He proceeded to hold the bookkeeper, Antoinette Tuff, captive. What happened next was different from any school shooting that happened in the previous school years. As the students were rushing out of the classrooms, Tuff was able to calm Hill down while speaking to 911 dispatchers. Eventually, Tuff was able to get him to surrender. Even though no one was hurt in the incident, this event does bring back the question: “Are students actually safe in schools?” Students may feel safe while they are in a learning environment; however, with all the factors present, students may not really be as safe as they think. In January, a student at Price Middle School in Southeast Atlanta entered the school with a gun. Investigation about the situation shows that the school’s metal detectors weren’t functional. The result was a 14-year-old student being shot in the neck.

Only a month later, a student in Midtown, Georgia was let into school by a peer who opened the doors to the gym for her. The student was carrying a gun with her, which unexpectedly went off, hitting her in the thigh. Even with a revamped security protocol and locked doors, Adam Lanza was able to shoot and kill 27 people, including himself, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. With all this evidence there is reason to believe that schools aren’t as safe as they seem to be. Even though our school might be an open campus, Mrs. Llanos assures everyone that we are as safe as can be: “We have four campus monitors, and a Student Resource Officer. The library has its own security, BC has its own security, and we share Ms. Clark with FIU. Also, during class changes, all the administration goes outside. Obviously there is no way to put up a fence like other schools, so our top priority is protecting the students. When students are comfortable with teachers, administration, and security, they tell them things. When administration hears these things we are able to take care of it that way. Security at this school is taken very seriously.” Most students arrive at schools, and

Around the world on July 22nd, nervous excitement hung in the air as people sat in front of their televisions and checked their Twitter feed to be the first to hear about the news. They joined in an international event comically called “The Great Kate Wait.” At 12:35 pm EST, @clarencehouse on Twitter let the world know that: “Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm [BST].” Just one minute later, the Clarence House announced that the child weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces. Two days later, CBS and FOX news were making the same baby name front page. The child had been named George Alexander Louis or His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. In the following weeks after the delivery, the world became obsessed with the royal baby and his family. Publicity surrounding the child began back when the pregnancy was announced

September 2013

Unfortunately, not all school shooters, or even attackers, are willing to negotiate and surrender like Hill did at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy. Most, like Lanza, will show no mercy to reach their one goal: kill. Even with the prospect of a school shooting, students continue to arrive everyday blind to the dangers of what could happen.

Kate’s pregnancy was recorded in the papers keeping the anticipation running high. “The baby’s not going to have a lot of privacy seeing that he’s had media attention since even before he was born, but I like the fact that his parents are trying to raise him as a normal child,” Freshmen Jonelle Palmer said. While the media awaited the due date, Kate was spending time at her parent’s manor house nearby. On Monday, July 22nd Kate arrived at the Lido Wing around 6 o’clock local time along with and incredibly supportive Prince William. People traveled across town, across the country, and across Royal Family: The Royal family takes part in a Collar Day on June the world to crowd around the hospital and Buckingham Pal15. Photo Donated by: Mr. R. Simon ace. with many individuals joining in on the At the hospital, most were on their toes speculation about Princess Catherine and trying to catch a first glimpse at the new Prince William’s child. Everything about family. At Buckingham, everyone was

clinging to face bars peeking to look out for the same easel that announced William’s birth only 31 years before. When William and Kate walked out of the hospital, baby in hand, there was an instant uproar. ABC had a frenzy comparing Princess Kate’s dress to Princess Diana’s. Everything that happened was placed under public scrutiny much to the dismay of senior Nathaly Henriette. “I understand how the media is focusing on the birth of the child, but I really think that they should keep away from him as he’s growing up. Being in the spotlight is going to be awful for Prince George and continuously keeping track of him is just being overhype about the situation. In the end the boy is just a baby,” she says. The media is turning away, only releasing the occasional interview from the royal family. However, knowing the tabloids, any odd movement Prince George does will be headlining news.

in December. The U.K.’s residents started placing bets on everything from the baby’s name to its time of birth. CNN reported that by the time Kate went into labor, the betting exceeded one million pounds. The news became an international headline

“Find a Way” what it’s like to have set backs in being successful. “I had dreams of playing socDiana Nyad is a 64 year old Florida Na- cer for our school, but tearing my ACL was tive who has had her eyes set on the prize a huge set back. This year, however, I am for nearly her whole life. After four unsuc- healthy and ready to chase my dream, just cessful attempts within the last 35 years, like Diana,” stated Acevedo. Trauma that came along with previous atNyad became the first person to make the swim from Cuba to Florida without a pro- tempts included horrible weather- causing tective cage. "It's all authentic. It's a great the seas to be extremely rough-asthma atstory. You have a dream 35 years ago -- tacks, and paralyzing jelly fish stings. As doesn't come to fruition, but you move on the time for the fifth attempt came around, with life. But it's somewhere back there. the weather conditions she would face Then you turn 60, and your mom just dies, were all in Mother Nature’s hands. Even and you're looking for something. And the with facing the waters before, Diane had dream comes waking out of your imagina- never known she would suffer the way she did this time around, according to CNN. tion," Nyad said, according to The winds blew fiercely for the first 49 hours of her journey, and at one point so much salt water built up in her system that she started throwing up and shivering, singing lullabies to calm herself down. The amount of jellyfish was not high as it had been before, but still Nyad wore a suit that would protect her everywhere, including her tongue where she had suffered stings before. With circumstances on her side, Nyad successfully reached Key West Graphic By: Armando Urena at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. She walked Nyad’s journey to reach her dreams began on to the shore with swollen, chapped lips, when she was 28 years old, attempting the pumping her fist. Welcoming Nyad were swim but giving up after reaching 76 miles spectators in kayaks, people standing on in 42 minutes. At this time, however, she the shore and some even treading in the was using a shark cage for protection, as water. Quickly after her arrival, Nyad gave states. Further attempts would three messages to CNN. She said, “One is not consist of aid from a cage, but brought we should never, ever give up. Two is you dangers that would provide knowledge never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport, but needed for success in the future. Sophomore Frances Acevedo, who has it's a team.” dreams with her own sport-soccer- knows Alexys Nowak COPY EDITOR


emotionally they feel completely safe. With security guards, chain-link fences, and locked doors there is a façade of nonviolence; however, at any school, on any day, a student or civilian may be planning something dangerous. Regardless, some students do not realize the faults in their school’s security. Unfortunate but true, it can be easy to get into a public school with a weapon. According to an Alfred University poll, 11 percent of students believe that the school security needs to be increased as their number one priority. Another five percent believe that their school should better educate their students on school shootings. These low percentages show how oblivious students can be when it comes to their safety in school. With over 30 school shootings in the United States in the last decade, and 4 in the last year alone, not including attempted shootings or other attacks, you would think students would be more concerned.

Curious about George Looghermine Claude STAFF WRITER


Graphic by: Armando Urena

Common Core set to take off Maria Bozo BUSINESS MANAGER

A new set of K-12 standards called Common Core will be implemented in schools throughout Florida and change the way that students learn in classrooms. Students can expect less multiple-choice tests, more in-class group work, and more projectbased homework. According to the SunSentinel, this learning method has already been introduced to students in grades K-2 as a part of the new Florida State Standards of Education. It has not been executed in other grades because of FCAT preparation, but will become a part of the curriculum for all students of Florida’s Public School System during the 2014-2015 school year. The FCAT will be replaced by a standardized test that is in alignment with Common Core standards called PARCC. PARCC- Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers- is the product of 20 states working together to develop K-12 assessments in English and Math. PARCC is said to be better than the FCAT because it assesses writing and critical thinking skills. ( ) “I worry about how PARCC will impact the students. They just aren’t used to solving word problems, and they don’t like doing them. That’s why we are preparing them for Common Core,” said geometry teacher, Ms. Vega-Velasquez. Common Core has proven to be a controversial topic. Supporters urge that Common Core will give the teachers a chance to be more creative and will give the opportunity to break free from teaching for the sole purpose of passing a test. Opponents argue that students in upper grades will have to completely change their study

habits and get accustomed to a whole new way of learning and teaching. “I think that Common Core is designed to raise the bar in education, for all students. In our school, we are already working with the standards and the teachers are already starting to tweak their teaching styles to adhere to Common Core,” said Ms. Yanez, curriculum specialist. Clearly, different students will have a bias towards Common Core, due to the fact that they are not the same age and have distinct learning styles. “I would like to keep multiple-choice tests, and have more group work. I think that group work gives me the opportunity to learn more strategies,” said freshman Sydney Balester. Sophomore Faith Marrero had a very different response. “I think that Common Core is a great change for students in Florida. It will level out the playing field for students applying for college. The only downside is that the Class of 2016 will have to take the FCAT and PARCC.” Clearly, Common Core is a hot topic because it is such a change for students. The consequences will remain a mystery until next year. . We can only hope for Common Core to bring great things to PPCHS.

Common Core: Common Core will be implemented next school year. Photo by: Juan Tellez

Page Name Month 2013


Inside Features...

Turf kicks grass

Stadium grand opening

Oh, but the traffic!


September 2013


Jaguar pride finally Alexys Nowak and Victoria Alvarez COPY EDITOR AND ASSISTANT EDITORIN-CHIEF

Amanda Hernandez:

Alex Rose:

“I think that even though we lost, and that sucks, we still played a great game and it was really exciting. I'm just happy that we finally have our own field to use and that I was actually able to see games played on it before graduating.”

“The game was an inspiration to everyone. We have wanted a home field for years and the first game was amazing. Hundreds of students, faculty, and parents were rooting on the Jags, creating an amazing atmosphere of school spirit.”

Devin Fu:

Erica Camacho:

“Charter really could have stepped up their game but it’s not even the first game of the season. This game has been more of a reality check for our team so that they can adequately work on what they have to perfect in order to make this a well deserved winning season. This loss means nothing, but improvement.”

“Friday was about more than winning a game, it was about unity. We may have lost, but we gained a stronger community. I have been going to the football games since freshman year and I can guarantee that there has never been such a large and spirited crowd. After years of attending Charter it begins to feel like a second home. Being able to support that home and being able to create memories was a wonderful gift to get as a senior.”

Shelby Watson:

Alden Diaz:

“I’ve sat at plenty of Charter football games these past few years and they’ve always seemed to lack something. We were never on our own turf but always borrowing someone else’s. On Friday I think we found exactly what was missing- a field to finally call our own. Marching onto a field that read “Pines Charter” for the very first time was amazing. Win or lose there was so much spirit surrounding our team that night and I am proud to be a part of that.”

“Despite the loss, the team put in a valiant effort, and it was honestly cool to see the school so unified not only around them, but around the new addition to the campus, our stadium. It definitely felt like a classic high school scenario, right off the silver screen. So it was pretty cool to be a part of that. It's nice to see this dramatic boost in school spirit, and it's even nicer to be a part of the senior class that ushered it in.”

to call their own. “It’s an incredible feeling, I couldn’t be prouder of our amazing school. Being the first SGA president to have the opportunity to experience this field is such an honor, and it will definitely bring tremendous school spirit,” said junior Sofia Lalinde. As the crowd continued to grow over the passing minutes, it was time for the Jaguar football team to enter the field. To get the crowd rallied up, the band members created a long lane for the football players to run through. At the end of the lane stood the cheerleaders, holding up a sign that read “Beat the Panthers.” Although the school wished for a win, it was clear that this game was going to mean something more than just a win or a loss; it was the start of something new. The Jaguars ran onto the field and through the lane with intensity and enthusiasm, responding positively to the loud

“This stadium gives us a new identity. We no longer have to play on other schools’ fields, we finally have a home.” – Stephan Montes (’14) After months of anticipation, the new PPCHS stadium was finally ready for its first home football game, the “Charter Bowl,” against Somerset Academy. The silence that filled the stadium and empty bleachers before the game began was nothing compared to what was soon to come; a night full of cheers, screams, and pure Jaguar pride. An hour before the game, Jaguar parent volunteers arrived at the field to help prep the concession stand for what was to be a busy night. Soon after, lines began to form on the home side of the box office. Whispers of “I can’t wait to see it,” and “I’m so excited” snuck their way into the gates as smiles spread across the many Jaguar faces. Covered head-to-toe in maroon, black, and white, the Jags flooded into the stadium, ready for the opening ceremony and a night filled with fun. As fans took their seats in the never-been-used bleachers, preparations for the ribbon cutting ceremony began as Mayor Ortis and City Commissioners Angelo Castillo and Iris Jaguar Pride: The stadium has brought a new found sense of school sprit to PPCHS. Photo by: Juan Tellez Siple expressed their excitement for PPCHS. At 6:10 p.m., the ribbon was cut, cheering from the large number of fans sursymbolizing the official opening of the stadi- rounding them. After the Star Spangled Banum. At this moment, the field was no longer ner was played, and the football team raised just a plan or construction in progress; it was their helmets to the sky, it was time to start finally home, finally something for PPCHS the game.

Turf kicks grass trademarked stadium entrances in his 17 year tenure in the NFL. But with new science, It is said that the best football is played in grass is slowly being replaced at the profesa storm; rain pouring from the heavens into sional, collegiate, and now at the high school a torn up field, with mud and grass flying all level, like here at Pines Charter. Despite the around as players slip and run in Mother Na- nationwide transformation into the turf era, tures’ mess. There isn’t much passing, just not every athlete is ready for the transition. some “old time” football, with true grit and “I’m going to miss those games and pracpure physicality. tices a lot,” said senior Flavio Hernandez. “I Grass has become a staple in so many as- remember coming home covered in dirt and pects of the sporting world from baseball, mud and saying ‘this is football’; now I don’t tennis, and of course football. Ballparks know, it just feels less traditional.” across America take pride in their checkered For the Pines Charter Jaguars, the obvious choice was turf over grass. The beauty behind turf is the little to no need for maintaining it. No more cutting grass or painting first down markers before each game, instead, the city replaced all of that future labor with a $750,000 purchase. First, the drainage system is structured. Massive pipes Turf changes it up: The new turf field brings changes to practices and the way athletes are placed underplay. Photo by: Alex Monge ground which dioutfields, tennis stars such as Roger Federer rectly flood to a canal about 100 yards north have made their legacies on grass courts, and of the stadium. Then the carpet-like turf is NFL legend Ray Lewis ripped, threw, and rolled out and placed on top of padding. Foleven ate grass for almost every one of his lowing that, every dash marker, and line was Troy Bottom SPORTS EDITOR

15 Features

finds its way home “I think if they believe they can do it from omore Veronica Gayoso. the bottom of their hearts then they can. I Students and parents were not the only peolove to see spirit coming from the players, ple to show up at the Charter Bowl. Teachers cheerleaders, band members and fans,” said sophomore Colin Webb at his first Charter football game. The whistle was blown, and still, fans continued to flood into the stadium, having to lean up against the fence of the home team’s sideline. As the football was launched into the air, fans began to shout and scream, show- Band pumps up the crowd: The band performed at the opening game of the stadium, doing an excellent job to raise school spirit and fans’ experience. Photo by: Juan Tellez ing off their new and improved Jaguar pride. Shouts of “Go not only from the middle school, but from Jags!” and “you’ve got this Jaguars!” spread every Charter campus arrived at the field as throughout the stands and flooded the ears of well as Charter alumna, Allison Tomey (’13). everyone in the stadium. “It’s really exciting to be at the game toThe intensity that the crowd brought nev- night. Even though I didn’t have the chance er died down; the cheerleaders continued to experience it in my own high school years, to pump everyone up, and the announcer seeing it now is still a great experience for brought energy as he gave a play by play of me,” said Tomey. “I’m so happy for all the the entire game. By the second quarter, the Jags that have this, they’re extremely lucky.” attendance at the game had grown so high, As the game neared the final whistle, the fans were no longer able to enter the home crowd became anxious to see what the final side of the field and were forced to take seats score would be. Fans were standing up in the on the visitor’s side. It was not until half time stands as the last seconds went down on the that all Jaguar fans were allowed to leave score board. “5…4…3…2…1…” The first their seats and take over their home territory. preseason game was over, with a score of 8 The marching band then took the field for to 4, with the Panthers taking home the win. their anticipated halftime performance of the Despite the outcome of the game, the crowd theme song from Pixar’s “The Incredibles.” still showed incredible support for the team. Their performance lit up the field and got the The end result does not change the fact that entire crowd amped up for the next half of the game has marked a historical event in the game. Charter history; the presence of a new home. “Performing on the field was definitely a As the fans emptied out of the stadium and rush. Playing in front of such a huge crowd began their journeys home, the only thing on was a little intimidating but it was nice to anyone’s mind was the thought of the next hear their cheers and see the enjoyment on home game, and hopefully the next win. their faces as we played the song,” said soph-


then sown in with a giant machine. “I just like turf a lot more. I feel it suits us better since we don’t have a practice field and only one place to practice and play our games, we don’t have to worry about tearing up the field,” said Head Football Coach Steve Bruns. Next, the infamous “beads”, which are actually tiny black rubber pellets, were poured by the truckload onto the field and evenly distributed. The upside of the turf is the safety. The purpose for the billions of rubber pieces is to support an athlete in a hard fall or hit with the ground. But with the extra safety there also comes extra problems. One side effect of the newly laid turf is the heat. The black field attracts the sun’s rays causing temperature on the turf to feel 20 degrees hotter than it actually is. Another side effect of having turf fields is the burns players get after sliding, or rubbing on the turf. The ground acts as a razor scraping the skin off of players on hard falls.

“I like the look and the traction of the field,” said junior Kevin Gonzalez. “It’s just different with the black beads all over and the fact

that if you dive out for a ball, you have to expect standing back up with a bloody burn on your arms and legs. I guess that’s just football.” It looks like in the long run, turf is the smarter choice in both a quality and financial standpoint. “I think the best thing about turf is that you don’t need to cut it or maintain it,” said senior Jordan De Leon. “It feels nice to know that Jaguars logo in the center of the field is there forever and will always be our house.”

September 2013

Kimberly Doan:

Tatiana Bustamante:

“The band had an awesome time experiencing our own field and leading our home team onto the field. Being able to play for our actual school right at home without the hassles of bus rides.”

“It was incredible to so the whole school come out to support the team. It really felt like a huge charter family. Everyone was cheering. Everyone was having a great time. Everyone was there and everyone felt at home in our own jaguar stadium.”

Heather Johnson:

Isaac Kaufman:

“It was really an honor to attend the inaugural game of the new football stadium, and I’m so glad that I got to be a part of it as a Senior. It was great to see so many people supporting our school, both teachers and students. I think that the new stadium is a great way to boost morale for Charter and bring everyone together. Even though we did not win, I still believe that the game was a great success and I am so glad to have gone.”

“To see so many people from our school at the stadium was incredible. Regardless of what the score was and will be in the future, the fact that elementary, middle and high school Charter students were so enthusiastic to cheer on their team and show their school pride was outweighs everything else.”

Melvin Lattimore:

Olivia Hamilton:

“You could tell that everyone was excited for our first home game in our brand new stadium. The atmosphere was so electrifying, almost intoxicating. Having so many familiar faces in the crowd must do wonders for you when you’re on the field. We may have lost, but fanatically supporting our hard-working team has brought us closer as a school--we are a family--and that is the greatest human victory the world of sports has to offer.”

“I thought the football game was amazing, sure we didn’t win but it went a long way in working towards getting our students to have school spirit again. Last year at the homecoming game it was so deserted I left early, but the game on Friday was fun again it reminded me of freshman year when we used to paint ourselves and care about the games. I never would’ve guessed what an amazing effect the new football field would’ve had on our students and I’m so glad I get to experience it my senior year.”


September 2013


New stadium brings

City generates a long awaited home for Jags Chelsi Chang ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

It was like a little miracle that dropped into the Jaguar laps. Finally, PPCHS had their own stadium. No longer did the Jags have to drive all the way down to Flanagan High School to use a field that never really felt like home. This incredible field was no simple

fact that they didn’t pay for anything regarding the field at all. Every year, the state of Florida releases bond money called a GO (General Obligation) Bond to enhance the city. In March 2005, voters approved a $100 million dollar public improvement bond; however as the prices of certain projects increased by the millions, the state decided it

School to have the luxury of their own field. So, technically, the field does not belong to Charter at all—it belongs to the city— and it just so happens to be planted on Jaguar territory. The city will also make profit by renting the stadium to traveling teams throughout the year. “I think it’s great that the city finally invested in our school and gave us a field because now every sport has a place to practice,” says Coach Bruns. “It is definitely something that will increase school spirit, which will mean a packed stadium for all of our sports’ games.”

our stadium, but we are very grateful that they thought of us. The field is going to help us step up our game this year and play harder,” said Delgado. “I think it’s amazing that we have a stadium. I’m proud that I got to experience it as a senior. The first football game was really fun and I’m glad to say that I was here for the first year it opened,” said senior, Anesia Saunders. As Charter looks toward its new dazzling future, PPCHS will never forget the days of lugging all their gear to Flanagan High be-

A new home: The PPCHS field benefits both the community and the school. Pembroke Pines residents have high expectations for the stadium. Photo by: Alex Monge

feat, however. With a whopping sticker price of $2.7 million dollars, many students and faculty wondered where Charter came up with the money for such an astounding field. It seems that there have been many putative benefactors for this field floating around school. “The truth is, PPCHS had nothing to do with the field at all,” said Mrs. Diaz. PPCHS’ lack of involvement was due to that

would be best to eliminate and reduce other projects. The remaining bond money was reallocated and City Manager, Charles Dodge suggested that some of the money go towards building a stadium for a school. Here’s where PPCHS came in: part of the money that was released was strictly to be used for parks and recreational use, so the city decided it was finally time for Pembroke Pines Charter High

Ceremonial Beginning: Mayor Ortis cuts the ribbon, symbolizing the official opening of the PPCHS home field. Photo by: Victoria Alvarez

The fact that the city paid for the stadium has become huge news to many people, including senior football players, Javier Delgado and Alejandro Rojas. “I honestly didn’t know that the city paid for

cause it is a part of our history—and what makes us a family.

What to expect at Charter football games this year Chelsie Ramos


It all began on Friday August 23rd, pre-season had officially begun for Pines Charter’s very own football team and that only meant one thing was left- the stadium. Friday was the opening night and Charter had their first ever game in a home stadium of their own, which only amped up the levels of excitement even more. As students, parents and employees cheered on the team, volunteers helped make the opening night even more memorable. Walking into the stadium, the crowd was able to easily find the concession stand where they were able to pick up the foot-

ball food essentials for any game. PPCHS Parent Volunteers worked the stand in good spirits, helping raise money for the football team’s booster club. Parents, who chose to volunteer that night received volunteer hours for their help, but all parents are welcome to volunteer at the games. All they must do is go to asp to sign up. But when it comes to PPCHS football games, a concession isn’t all that you can expect. Student Government Association, SGA, made sure to help fuel the school spirit by selling pom-poms two for $1, microphones for $1, and henna tattoos for $2. All the money raised was going back to SGA to help fund future school events. “The

Concession Stand: The concession stand is one of the many new additions to the PPCHS field and is sure to bring in many customers. Photo by: Juan Tellez

sales went well, and by selling those things I think we amped up the school spirit even more during the game,” said SGA member Karinna Rodriguez. The Football Booster team was on site selling team shirts to raise enthusiasm throughout the crowd. The shirts represented the PPCHS Football team and were being sold as t-shirts for $10, long sleeve for $15, dry fit for $12, and sweatshirts for $20. All the proceeds of the shirt sales were going back to the team to help fund events for them, and can be found at future games as well as other future gear. Save our School was also present at the game, collecting the donations that parents had promised to give to the school on Open Food frenzy: The concession stand opens with a variety of foods and snacks for House. The donations all Charter athletic events. Graphic by: Jacob Morgenstern are all going back to team will work out any kinks they have for the school, to help continue to keep our school aloft during its fi- future games,” exclaimed English teacher, Ms. Cabeza. Food, hennas, and shirts are nancial hardship. By heading out to a Charter Football game just some of the things that can be expected excitement is in store for you no matter what. at games to make sure all members of the “It was our first game and the turnout was crowd are on their feet and cheering, so come amazing. The fans all had such a great time out and cheer on your Jaguar Football team. cheering on the team, and I know that the

s changes to PPCHS

17 Features September 2013

The Jaguars’ roar gets a little louder Gabriela Garcia FEATURES EDITOR

On Friday, August 23rd, the amount of Jaguar pride was overwhelming. Painted bodies, the hollers of the crowd and the ruffle of pompoms all swam in a sea of maroon and gray

passion for their high school and made them happy to call it their home. Of course, at the head of this zealous crowd stands the PPCHS cheerleading squad, the very girls in charge of pumping everyone up, on and off the field. Varsity cheerleader Tif-

Jags roar gets louder: The PPCHS stadium not only gives the Jaguars a home, but also something to rave about. Photo by: Alex Monge

School Spirit: The Jags make their big debut on the new field, bringing in fans and pure Jaguar pride. Photo by: Alex Monge

on the home side of the Charter stadium. This newly installed field has brought more than just construction workers and increased traffic to campus—it has amplified everyone’s

fany Verdera (’14) agrees that the new field has changed the environment at our school. “Our field has brought our Charter family a lot closer together, and also given the football

players a little more confidence to strive for a win,” she proclaims. The cheerleaders are working hard to stay involved and keep the crowd going. For the opening preseason game, the squad whipped out a beautiful banner and welcomed the football team with warm welcomes and good luck wishes. “This year, us cheerleaders learned the new ‘Charter Fight Song’ to sing at games and get the spectators involved too,” shares Verdera (’14), “We’re all so excited; having our own chant makes everything seem so real!” For those who haven’t heard, the rumors are true. Pines Charter now has its very own fight song, and if you haven’t heard it yet you’re

missing out. Jordan Beeker, member of SGA and proud Jaguar, claims that this fresh tune is indeed very catchy. “One of our tasks in Student Government was to learn the ‘Charter Fight Song’ and spread the word about it… Now that I’ve learned it I can’t get it out of my head! The band has worked very hard on it and we’ve actually gotten a chance to practice it with them.” Make sure not to miss out with this newfound excitement; catch the Jaguar football team balling out every Friday night in the beautiful new stadium. Once you’re engulfed by the bright lights and the eager fans, it’ll be rare to not be proud to call yourself a Jaguar.

Oh, but the traffic! Chelsi Chang ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Just as PPCHS’ new field has added an extra thrill to PPCHS’s sports games, it also poses a problem — traffic. Many students were al-

ball team has a game at the new stadium. As hundreds of cars are piling into the school and the parking lot, the owners of the apartments right across Jaguar Way are attempting to leave their neighborhood. With a two

Jaguars fill Jaguar Way: With the new home games at the PPCHS campus, a large number of cars and troubled traffic is expected. Photo by: Sydney Silverberg

Parking problems: The influx of fans at the new field fills the parking lot, bringing long lines and traffic. Photo by: Sydney Silverberg

ready a little apprehensive when the apartment construction began across the street on Jaguar Way but now that a stadium has been added, it’s a recipe for traffic disaster. Picture this, a beautiful Friday night and Pembroke Pines Charter High School’s foot-

lane road and not much space, the cars are backed up and traffic is getting worse by the minute. All of this mess, in addition to the general traffic on Sheridan Street, the Broward College students attempting to arrive to class and the local citizens visiting the

Southwest Regional Library, can only end in disaster. Getting to Academic Village may become a nuisance when multiple events are taking place due to the traffic. “Driving to the first game of the year, I saw how terrible the traffic was and the apartments across the street haven’t even been built yet. I can’t imagine how much worse the traffic is going to get once the neighborhood is completed,” said senior, Erica Camacho. Unfortunately, traffic isn’t the only thing PPCHS’s mobile students are going to face this year; there is also the dreaded parking. “There already isn’t enough room between BC students and the people at the library and now the stadium tacks on another thirty

minutes searching for parking,” said junior, Carmela Flores. As if searching for parking wasn’t enough, attendees have to pay $2 for parking on top of the $4 admission for students and $5 non-Charter affiliates. These past couple of Friday nights have proved to be a huge success for both our stadium and our school. Maybe there was some trouble finding parking and getting those prime seats; but when the game starts it’s all about the atmosphere. The frantic rush and agonizing stress of any parking situation seemed to float away under the luminescent lights. These games will probably continue to bring the masses, and in the end, it’s worth all the traffic.

Entertainment August 2013


Kendrick Lamar: Out of ‘Control’? Shakayla Lee and Tyra Green STAFF WRITERS

Soon after the 40th anniversary of Hip-hop’s birth, rapper Big Sean debuted a track that would single handily shake up the rap industry. The song Control, which did not make Big Sean’s album Hall of Fame because of sample issues, is seven minutes and thirty-two seconds long and features Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica. The battle begun

when Kendrick Lamar, otherwise known as ‘K. Dot’, - a Compton born artist - called out several mainstream rappers, claimed his authority in the East Coast, and breathed new life into Hip Hop booth battles. In the world of rap the song acts as much more than words on a track. In Control, Kendrick is openly saying that he is the next big thing in Hip Hop and he is not going to stop until he reaches

the top, labeling all other rappers as “irrelevant.” Around the three minute mark, Kendrick Lamar unleashed his wrath full throttle, showing no mercy as he challenged the careers of almost 12 rappers in the industry. Lamar’s rant included the names of J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, and so many more. He even took the initiative to call out Big Sean, who was on the verse

just before his, in his own song! He also calls out Jay Electronica, who features just after. Attention by the masses on the track has brought to light a newfound passion for lyricism in the eyes of many MC’S, as well as the start to a war that may never see an end.

See KENDRICK LAMAR on Page 19...

Also in Entertainment...

The next flick is Netflix

Another one bites the dust with pixie cuts


KENDRICK LAMAR from Page 18...

Kendrick Lamar: Out of ‘Control’? Shakayla Lee and Tyra Green STAFF WRITERS

Along with calling out other artists, Kendrick Lamar refreshed the New York versus California feud with one line that seems to be the most controversial statement in the

song. Kendrick Lamar states “I’m Machiavelli’s offspring, I’m the king of New York, king of the coast, one hand, I juggle them both.” Being a California native, those few words ignited a flame that may never burn out. “As an upcoming artist I like the new per-

Graphic by: Armando Urena

spective that Kendrick Lamar is bringing. In this song, the message was meant to be disrespectful. I understand that he was trying to spice up the rap game,” explained Senior Kevin Ledford. “Now old cats from New York are trying to revive their careers and claim that they run their town, which at this point may not be the case.” Determined to make a statement, Kendrick Lamar didn’t stop at claiming the throne to both the East and West coast. In the flow that put the “rap game on crutch” he compares himself to being in the Olympics with his competitors and that nothing is going to stop him from getting the gold. He later states “What is competition? I’m trying to raise the bar high. Who’s trying to jump and get it? You better off trying to skydive.” Soon after the release of the song thousands of people took to Twitter, including rappers and record industry executives, to share their views on one of the most talked about tracks of this month. Mixed emotions spiraled among Hollywood, as some artists were impressed and even inspired to raise their music to the next level. Tyga,

The next flick is Netflix Brett Alayon STAFF WRITER

Instantly watching movies and TV shows on a computer, mobile device, or gaming console is an invention that hasn’t been around for too long. Netflix launched on August 29, 1997, setting the standard for what new generations will be provided with to watch their favorite television programs. As of July 2013, Netflix had approximately 37.6 million subscribers across the globe, according to Yahoo news. People have totally wiped out the idea of going to the movies, as teenagers this past summer were addicted to Netflix from beginning to end. For just $7.99 a month, people are able to stare at their computer screen for countless hours every day. These Netflix obsessions include students here at PPCHS, such as account owner, Amadeo Gonzalez, junior. “The only TV I

Netflix: Students’ lives have been overcome with this new craze. Photo by: Alex Monge

watch besides sports games is on Netflix. A lot of people used it over the summer during free time and once you get into a show,

you just want to keep watching.” Gonzalez certainly isn’t alone when it comes to being infatuated with Netflix. It

Entertainment September 2013

who is famously known for the song Rack City, confessed that for the last two years he free styled on his albums and didn’t take much time to actually write down his rhymes. He tweeted (via @Tyga), “That Kendrick verse is crazy! I have to get back on my own grind. I’m not gonna lie I made so much money, I lost inspiration for music. #Inspired right now.” Others artists however, were ready to get in the booth and give the freshman artist more than a slap on the wrist. Over 20 responses were released a short time after the debut of the track. Senior, Micah Baxter stated “I believe Kendrick is over-hyped. Papoose and Cassidy had the best diss songs by far, they went in!” According to, the buzz about the song on social media sites range from Twitter to Youtube and has added 209,000 new followers to Kendrick Lamar’s Twitter. Currently nominated for fourteen BET Awards, Kendrick Lamar has achieved a new level of fame and is truly giving those in the industry a run for their money.

was almost as if the popular question on the first day back to school was “What shows and movies did you watch on Netflix this summer” instead of, “Where’d you go on a vacation this summer”. The show Breaking Bad was at the top of the ranking for the most-watched Netflix shows over the summer and the movie The Grey was popping off at the top of the list too ( Although recording TV shows or movies on actual television is a pretty cool innovation, Netflix just flat-out overwhelms that whole idea. A much familiarized owner of a Netflix account, junior Lauryn Oddy stated, “Netflix is the easiest way to watch a show and the best way in my opinion. It’s so easy to get involved and it makes it so much better that I can finish a show all at once.” Netflix appeared to overtake anything that happened this past summer as teenagers are still drooling over their computer screens.

Another one bites the dust with pixie cuts Alexys Nowak COPY EDITOR

Celebrities and stars all hold their own reputations based on their work, actions, and quite often, their appearances. Since the days of “Hannah Montana,” Miley Cyrus has been a role model to young girls all over the world, and has developed a fan base as both “Hannah” and “Miley.” Beyoncé, known for her amazing performances on stage and signature dance to “All the Single Ladies,” is another entertainer that has grown over the years in more way than one. Both of these stars have one aspect in common- they are looked at as stunning individuals, who of all things, have wonderful hair. The two have also made the courageous decision of chopping off their gorgeous locks, drawing attention from critics and fans alike. Miley Cyrus, who auditioned for the role of “Hannah Montana” at the tender age of 11, grew up on set. As she progressed from a young, aspiring actress to a full on super star, one thing stayed the same—her long, auburn locks that flowed in loose curls down her back. Her signature hair left both girls and guys star struck when she appeared on screen or exited the stage. This would all change when she cut her hair last year, shocking everyone with such a risky

decision. As if cutting her hair to above her chin was not surprising enough, she dyed it bleach blonde. Lifelong Miley Cyrus fan, sophomore Lulu Salem has changed her whole outlook on Cyrus. “At first, I was all for Miley’s change because I would support everything she did. However, it became more than just a haircut. She started to change as a person, especially with her video ‘We Can’t Stop.’ It’s shocking to me how a pair of scissors and a little bit of over-confidence can affect someone in such a negative way,” Salem said. Other fans have not been affected by her decision. Sophomore Steven Gomez’s opinion on Miley has not changed since she cut her hair. “I still really like her music and I think she is an overall great person. A haircut is just a physical appearance, and it shouldn’t label the person. I will always support her because she has a talent that cannot be ignored,” said Gomez. “All the Single Ladies” no longer applies to Beyoncé as she is now happily married to Jay-Z, and has started a family with her daughter, Blue Ivy. A new life seems to have called for a change in physical appearance as well, as she too also brought the scissors to her previously long, flowing hair. Beyoncé now sports the ‘pixie-cut’ look, surprising everyone with a post on Instagram to show it off. Her post received

controversial comments that were either flipping her hair around when she dances, all for her new do, or completely against so I guess she’ll have to think of something it. Responses ranged from ‘too short’ and else to add to her moves,” Pirro said. ‘please grow it back,’ to things such as Public appearance is everything in the ‘she’s beautiful no matter what’ and ‘so current day, and Miley and Beyoncé have precious.’” Freshman Emily Nakhleh sup- been figures to look at for years. Now, with ports Beyoncé’s new look to the max. their new short hair, fans are either all for, “I really think she can pull anything off, and or completely against their decisions. Who that she might have just wanted a change in knows, maybe more and more stars will her life. It doesn’t mean that it’s a change strut down the red carpet rocking their new in her personality. If she wants to change pixie cuts too. her public persona then it’s up to her, and I think that it could definitely be a positive change in the long run,” Nakhleh explained. On the other hand, sophomore Michelena Pirro does not support Beyonce’s decision at all. She feels as if “Beyoncé’s new look will take away from her presence on stage. Pixie cuts: Gabrielle Hofmann is living proof that this new style is becoming more popuShe is always lar. Photo by: Sydney Silverberg


“One” heck of a console Jake Dreilinger NEWS EDITOR/MANAGING EDITOR LAYOUT

Month 2013

Graphic by: Jacob Morgenstern

Microsoft’s latest gaming console, Video games play a huge role in the own gaming devices that are be- is one of the most played gaming technology community and bring ing played by many, both young consoles in the world. With many joy to many. The leading computer and old. Sony has the PlayStation, exclusive games and features only technology companies Sony, Nin- Nintendo has the Wii, and Micro- found with Microsoft, the Xbox 360 tendo, and Microsoft have their soft has the Xbox. The Xbox 360, keeps the fans entertained. With in-

Inside Technology...


creasing popularity comes increasing demand for more consoles and games. This summer, Microsoft revealed its newest gaming console, the Xbox One. See Xbox One, page 21


Xbox One from Page 20...

Technology September 2013

“One” heck of a console

Tech and the modern world



The Xbox One is an all-in-one entertain- Steam account. The DRM (digital rights ment powerhouse. It comes with an Xbox management) of the Xbox One is similar to Kinect 2.0, which can recognize a person’s Steam because games can be played on any face and instantly change to the Xbox computer as long as that person logs on to Home page made specifically for that per- their account. Additionally, the Xbox One son. One can input games, T.V. shows, and comes with 8GB Ram and 500GB hard movies that they like and the console will drive, meaning that there is a ton of room display suggestions when that person turns for games, music through Xbox music, enit on. Not only that, tertainment, etc. but when a game is There is also an being played, the 8-corex86 procesenhanced graphics sor that allows for feel like real life. an easy transition According to xbox. between games com, “The Xbox and other enterOne was built by tainment. The gamers, for gamonly drawback is ers. The perfect that the Xbox One balance of power cannot play Xbox and performance, 360 games due Xbox One takes to the Xbox One gaming to a whole being a Blu-ray new level. Stunning player and Xbox realism. Advanced 360 games aren’t AI that adapts to the made for Blu-ray way you play.” players. “There’s a lot of With nearly great stuff about the 300,000 servers, Xbox One,” said juplayers no longer nior Matthew Earle. have to wait in “I like the upgraded lobbies for differgraphics. It seems ent games while to be a lot more ef- Graphic By: Armando Urena waiting for the ficient.” match to start. Initially, the Xbox One required a daily There is better matchmaking; the server gaming check-in, meaning that gamers finds the right lobby for the player, keepmust play online at least once every 24 ing out players that might not be compathours. If a gamer didn’t check-in, then they ible. With many exclusive games, like would have to reconnect to their Xbox live Halo, Titanfall, and Dead Rising, the Xbox account. Microsoft stated that games can One will upgrade the way these games are be shared with buddies only once, and that played, using the Kinect 2.0 to help with buddy must be on the gamer’s friend list gameplay. for at least 30 days. Microsoft also stated “I think that the Xbox One won’t be good that the Kinect 2.0 would always be on, because the Kinect will be of little use and and this made gamers everywhere fear the Xbox One is too pricey,” said junior their privacy, and ultimately turned them Jean Santiago. to the PS4. Since then Microsoft has done The Xbox One will be released sometime a 180 on most policies, keeping the ones in November at $499.99 along with many that gamers liked and replacing the ones games that will be priced around $59.99. gamers didn’t like. The Xbox One is definitely something to The Xbox One is the latest in the high tech look out for. This new high tech gaming world of technology that we live in today. console will change the way consoles are One amazing feature of the Xbox One is viewed and set a platform for the future that anyone can bring up their home screen Xboxes. A release date will be released and play their games on any Xbox One. within next month or so. Look out this This is similar to Steam, a website where holiday season for one of the best gaming computer games can be purchased onto a consoles of the year.

As technology progresses throughout the work. years, it becomes a constant battle to adjust “When it comes to remembering vocabuto the newest updates. In today’s society, lary for my English classes, I always turn back to school shopping doesn’t just mean to Quizlet. This app is so handy and is alpencils and notebooks anymore. Integrat- ways in use whenever I’m bored at home,” ing yourself as a student in the classroom said junior Sofia Vargas. has now gone beyond your average textThe Quizlet application for smartphones book as well as other extraneous school has over 10 million sets of digital flashsupplies that may be needed. Typical teen- cards along with other useful study tools. agers in present day society are now itch- Another powerful study application is the ing for the newest iPhones, laptops and handy organizer, iStudiezPro. This app other gadgets. helps you schedule your entire school Once the school year began, students schedule to help you pass your dreadful AP walked into classrooms prepared to be in- classes. With this, you can input your class troduced to new classroom materials. Vari- schedule and homework assignments to ous Math and English teachers are using help you be alert for any upcoming deadwhat is called an ELMO digital projector. lines, keep track of your grades, organize This projector is used to magnify work- afterschool activities, and countdown to sheets, textbooks, etc. that are displayed on your next class. Many classes such as AP the wall or screen. The use of this machine Psychology use apps such as Quizlet to makes classwork less of a hassle for stu- help students study for anything ranging dents to see and work on. from homework to even your AP exam. “Once my pre-calculus teacher Ms. Kim “I think it’s great that technology is availbegan using the ELMO, I was able to see able for students to use. Now a days supthe assignments clearer. The projector has plemental materials are all available onan excellent resolution that all students re- line, like quizzes and notecards. Because ally enjoy rather than other projectors that of the accessibility, they can take it anywere used before.” said senior Esteban where with them, using it more than the Vargas. textbook.” said AP Psychology teacher Mr. Not only are there new projectors roaming Lavoro. around the school, but also there are newThe world that we live in now is surroundly introduced handy online tools. Found ed by technology in almost every way poswidely available through the internet, on- sible. Citizens of today’s society are slowly line databases provide an excess of useful realizing that we are being overruled by information to students. Textbooks that are modern technology. At school, jobs, and now found online can introduce students even public spaces, technology has taken a into the new world of technology. Students new leading role. can forget about carrying around heavy textbooks when there are now apps and other tools to help them better study without the need of various physical materials. Helpful apps such as Quizlet and iStudiezPro decrease a student’s study time drastically and slightly relieve the stress that comes along New School Gadgets: Teachers are making their classooms more interactive using with school new technology, such as the ELMO. Photo by: Jonathan Harris

A new meaning to “lost and found” Alexys Nowak STAFF WRITER

In a hectic household with children and pets, there is constant searching for items such as keys or a purse. “Mom, where’s my backpack?” is asked on a daily basis in the morning before school. Every nook and cranny in the house is searched in and torn apart looking for the backpack that was on the bedroom floor the whole time. “StickN-Find” is a sticker that is compatible with an application that allows users to track any lost object. The “Stick-N-Find” functions by using Bluetooth 4.0. The iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, new iPad, new touch and the mini iPad are all compatible with the “Stick-N-Find.” According to , it also works on Android devices supporting Bluetooth Low Energy, running Android 4.1 and newer. An app coincides with the stickers, locating any object that is within a 100 foot radius. At the moment, the app is not able to track what direction the item is located, but it can provide whether the user is close or far, similar to a game of “hot and cold.” If the person is more than 100 feet away, the app will send a notification when it reconnects with the sticker. Freshman Jeremiah Soliman is not very

impressed by the fact that the “Stick-NFind” locator can only track up to 100 feet. “I feel like I wouldn’t really use the stickers because it can only tell me when I am close to it. I lose my tablet all the time around the house, and I feel like I would spend more time looking at the app to tell me if I’m close, rather than just checking usual spots where it may be,” Soliman explained. On top of the app, the stickers have a light and a buzzer so people can find their items in the dark. Up to 20 stickers can be tracked, so there is almost no limit as to what can be used on. Each pack costs $29.99, and multiple colors of the rainbow are available to purchase. Every sticker comes with a convenient piece that allows the sticker to be attached to key chains, dog collars and more. Despite Jeromiah’s negative views on the “Stick-N-Find,” some students feel that it would definitely be something to put to use. Junior Samantha Toribio expressed great enthusiasm towards the product. “I think that is a great idea. I always throw my soccer bag down when I get home for practice, and sometimes I even leave it in the car. I would definitely use the ‘StickN-Find’ if I needed to look for an item in a rush,” said Toribio.

Just as with anything else, there are different ideas about the product amongst everyone. The “Stick-N-Find” went into the market in March, and has been successful. The campaign for the product, which lasted from November 2012 to January 2013, raised almost one million dollars, and sales are continuing to be made. Two early bird packages-the 4 pack and 10 pack-sold out almost instantly ( With sales such as this, it looks to be a bright future for the “Stick-N-Find.”

New Item Locator : The Stick-N-Find stickers will be able to locate any lost items that they are stuck to. Photo by: Alex Monge

Find What’s Lost: The Stick-N-Find can be used to locate many important items, like car keyes. Photo by: Alex Monge

Technology September 2013


Leap Motion puts you in control with wave of a hand Anthony Kelleher TECHNOLOGY EDITOR

Sensing movements seem to be a new technological trend in the gaming community with items like the Xbox Kinect, where your body is the controller. Adding to this technological advancement, there is a new item called the Leap Motion controller. The Leap Motion controller looks like a simple, three inch box with a USB connection, but is much more, proving that great things come in small packages. According to the Leap Motion website, this controller is considered to be the most powerful and sensitive touch-free 3D motion controller and motion-sensing piece of equipment of its kind. The controller allows a person to control their computer with just simple hand gestures and movements. Senior Sean Teng said, “It is a far jump for motion tracking devices. I have heard it is used for media purposes and also for medical purposes such as orthopedics. Overall, I feel that the Leap Motion will be a useful device for all whether it is used by a consumer or for a business.” There are plenty of features in the Leap Motion that will keep every tech novice and gadget enthusiast intrigued. People can point, wave, reach and grab—all of which the controller will recognize. People can surf the web, look at photos, and listen

to music with just a simple hand movement, both hands can be used to conduct all of these functions. This device has its own app store called “Airspace”. Airspace has apps in all different types of categories, such as games, art, science, music, educational, and more. Just like any other app store, some apps are free while others have to be purchased. There are many popular apps on the Leap Motion such as Fruit Ninja, Google Earth, and New York Times. According to the Leap Motion website, they are currently working alongside computer companies such as Asus and Hewlett Packard (HP), in order to have this 3D motion technology embedded into their devices. Overall, this controller can be used by all types of people and for all types of uses. It is simple, small, and can do big things. This device is compatible with both Mac’s and PC’s and must have an internet connection in order for this controller to operate. “I think it is a great idea to have motion devices for computers. I feel it will be useful to many consumers and even I would buy it if the price was reasonable,” says freshman Alexa Gonzalez. The Leap Motion controller sells for $79.99 and is a sign of how far technology has evolved. The controller can be found online or in Best Buy retail stores.

Linking smart phones to smart homes Tyra Green STAFF WRITER

Technology in the Home: An iphone can be used to do many household things, like changing the station on the T.V. or turning up the thermostat. Photo by: Daniel Vidal

Cartoon by: Carmen Pettersen

The 2000’s is the era of technology; from keyless cars to tablets with touch screens, companies are developing new products every day. There has been a big transformation in schools, offices and hospitals where paper is being completely replaced by electronic devices; this is also becoming a popular trend in households. Gadgets and gizmos are connecting home appliances to phones, making the long awaited “smart home” a reality. Household products are no longer mundane; they are becoming sleek and stylish pieces of equipment. Philips Hue is releasing a light bulb that lasts 15 years, whose color can change via a phone app, while Canary is releasing a pint-sized security system and a door lock will now be powered by Bluetooth. Each invention is unique and has the goal of efficiency. Mr. Sands, the new computer technology teacher at our school believes that the future of technology is a bright one. “I’m all for new inventions that are effective without making the general population lazy, the technology industry is growing each day.”

Nest Lab is a futuristic thermostat that will learn your schedule, remember how you like your room temperatures, and it will program itself. The only thing that needs to be done is to turn the nozzle up or down and after a few days the thermostat will set itself, it can even be controlled from your phone when you are not home. “I think it’s a great idea, it’s easy and efficient. Now I don’t have to get up to turn down the air conditioner,” says junior Alyssa Rogers. According to, the team at Nest focuses on making technology that makes a difference all the while maintaining simplicity and freshness. Society developing into an age of technology. From automatic faucets to coffee tables that surf the internet, the idea of a home that is smart enough to operate on learned practices is becoming a reality. Boring lamps and night stands are being transformed in to new, stylish looking appliances that save money, time and energy. The world of technology is taking a sharp turn for wireless networking starting with the place we call home.

Clubs August 2013


Relaying the message: “FUNraising”

support of various school teams in the hopes to find a cure for cancer As you walk onto the Walter C. and further fundraise for the AmeriYoung’s Track and Field, partici- can Cancer Society. Fundraising, pants scatter through the area to set fabulous, and fun describes the up their lively team tents with ex- typical night at an annual Relay cessive amounts of purple, glitter, for Life Event. People fundraise all and most importantly, hope. This night long, blast music throughout grand event is organized with the the field, and fill the air with exAnthony Kelleher TECHNOLOGY EDITOR

citement and enthusiasm. As you walk towards the back of the event, a huge stage is set up where most of the action happens, including the prestigious Miss Relay event where one guy member from each relay team dresses as a girl. The winner of the humorous competition wins the collected money for their team.

Relay for Life is a fundraiser club that is organized by our school and sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The charity and club raises awareness about cancer, raises money for research, and strives to reach the ultimate goal of finding a cure for this dreadful disease. See FUNraising, page 24

Inside Clubs...

SGA sets sail

Band showcase around the world

Clubs September 2013


FUNraising from page 23...

Relaying the message: “FUNraising”

team this year is senior and Relay veteran, Fabiola Moleiro. “The feeling is bitterEach and every year during the spring, Re- sweet because it is my last year as captain, lay for Life hosts an 18-hour event for all but I want to make this year the best one of the Pembroke Pines event for all of the yet. The club has so many plans for fundPembroke Pines teams. This greatly await- raising this year such as teaming up with ed event is open to the public and is highly Mrs. Cilli to fundraise during the football anticipated by the club members as well as games. We will also be having elections the Pembroke Pines community. Members for a secretary and representatives for each of the club are given the opportunity to stay grade. Overall, I want this year to be great up all night to further raise additional mon- for the club.” Said Moleiro. Since Moleiro ey for this worthy cause. This event also is a senior and will be graduating next year, honors those whom have lost their battle to this year there will be a new co-captain, this disease and honor those survivors who junior Lauryn Oddy, to help with all the clubs duties and fundraising. Oddy says, have fought or are fighting cancer. The captain of the PPCHS Relay for Life “I am so excited to be the new co-captain. This year I will be learning the ropes of how to be a good co-captain. Mrs. Torres and our captain Fabiola Moleiro (‘14) will help me and are always by my side if I need anything. I want to live up to the previous Relay for Life leaders and hopefully exceed the previous captains. Relay for Life has been part of my life since 6th grade. My experience will enable me to be successful, so that I may be well equipped for the job ahead of me. Overall, I cannot wait to see what is in store for Relay this year Running into a New Year: The new leaders of Relay for Life, Lauryn Oddy(‘15) and Fabiola Moleiro (‘14), prepare to begin and all the exciting things we have planned.” the new year. Photo by: Carli Stander

Continued from page 23...

Last year, the school team raised a whopping total of $8,638.25 for Relay for Life and PPCHS was placed at a Platinum Level. Platinum level is one of the many team fundraising levels in Relay for life. Each level represents how much money the team has raised as a whole. Our school had to raise at least $7,500 in order to achieve this ranking and exceeded expectations. The club hopes for at least 50 team members this year, but Relay for Life advisor Mrs. Torres is expecting more than that. “I am excited for the club to start and can’t wait for all the fundraising to begin” stated Mrs. Torres. Each club member is required to raise a minimum of $100 in order to stay overnight. The event inspires participants to take action against a disease that has taken too many lives. The members raise money by asking their family members, friends, neighbors, and even businesses for donations. Another way of raising money is to fundraise through bake sales, car washes, food truck events, sponsors, etc. The first meeting of the year for Relay for Life has been scheduled for September 11th in Mrs. Torres’ room in U231. The club is currently working on something for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, according Mrs. Torres. In addition, the clubs have fundraisers planned every holiday to raise

Graphic By: Armando Urena

money for the team. The event is supposed to take place sometime in March of next year. The theme around the event has not been announced yet, but will be revealed in the near future. As for fundraising, this year the club wants to set a higher goal and raise $10,000 as a team and become a Jade Level Team. In addition to that, the team wants to become the number one team in Pembroke Pines. Come join the forces of Relay for life, get involved and become a part of the team. There is strength in numbers, so come out and help raise money and awareness to find a cure for cancer!

Band showcase around the world Nicholas Rivera STAFF WRITER

All of us are familiar with the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World, where all dreams come true. On August 14th, the Pines Charter Band had the unimaginable opportunity to travel to one of the most unique Disney Parks, EPCOT. It all began with a request to EPCOT from Mr. Daugherty, who asked if they would be willing to take the school’s band for a performance. EPCOT gracefully accepted the offer and invited the band to perform for their Future World March. As soon as they heard the good news, the band went to work to prepare for the unimaginable fantastic event they were all anxiously awaiting. “Instead of having band camp for a week like we normally had it, we had band camp for two weeks and it was longer. Instead of five hours it was seven hours. We got there at 8 am and it ended at 3 pm every day,” says sophomore trombone player, Kadia Chambers. The rigorous training and rehearsing

came to an end on the morning of the trip parks, students were able to view the popu- band members anxiously made their way when, at 4:30 am, the bus took all outstand- lar countries from all around the world to the buses to relax and prepare for the ing 98 band students to EPCOT bright and with many of their fellow band friends. Af- long, four hour bus ride back home. early. Once in the park, the band prepared ter a long and tiring day of performing, the “The goal of the trip was to build ‘esto march for prit de corps’, in other words, build out a half of a comradery. I wanted the band to have a mile, playing goal for band camp. I wanted to give us The Cupid a chance to perform,” says band teacher, Shuffle, The Mr. Daugherty. Incredibles’ At the end of the day, the rigorous hours theme song, spent training and preparing for the event and the Mickwere worthwhile. All band members were ey Mouse thrilled to have been able to play at such March. After a prestigious locale. Their training will be the march, sure to continue as they prepare for any the members other possible big events such as their prewere free to vious Epcot showcase. explore the “It was exciting to play with the band, and park until it was really amazing to have the opportuthe firework nity to play for a different crowd. It truly ceremony at was an honor,” says Kadia Chambers. 9:30. While Our very own PPCHS band has achieved exploring one many great things and will continue to of Disney’s thrive for success. largest theme Recognizing Excellence: The PPCHS have been recognized for their achievements and are proudly marching through the paths at Disney’s EPCOT. Donated By: Christopher Doan

New club gives a leg up on science ready for Pep-Rally with Mr. Velasquez or even fundraisers to help raise money to fight against cancer with Mrs. Torres, Students go all throughout high school there is a place for each and every student trying to figure out what their future might at Charter. Rolling around the corner this look like. Will they become engineers, school year is the new and very unique teachers, doctors etc.? The list is endless. school club formed by Charter’s very own During an average student’s four years in students, the Science National Honor Sohigh school, they join various clubs and ciety. Making its big debut, SNHS is sure to make great accomplishments this school year through a wide range of activities and events. “I’m so glad the school finally has a science club that I can involve myself in. I plan on educating myself to my maximum ability in the science field because some day I wish to become an Oncologist. NSHS seems to capture the passion many students, including myself, have for Big, New, and Exciting: The SNHS, a new club at PPCHS, has students that are science,” said senior very passionate for science. Photo By: Juan Tellez Andrea Gonzalez. integrate themselves in a wide array of During this school year, the science club classes to get a feel for every kind of activ- will mainly be focusing on juniors and seity that PPCHS has to offer. Ranging from niors who have a passion for science and afternoon weight training with Coach Bell, whom wish to advance their studies by into long hours decorating in the gym to get teracting with their community. The memAndrea Bellorin CLUBS/ELECTIVES EDITOR

bers of SNHS will be competing in vari- NSHS, I was glad that there were very speous competitions, fundraising for those in cific requirements to be able to join. Not need, giving back to the community and just anyone can join the club and this gives much more. Sometime during the school it a more exclusive feel. I’m excited to see year the students will also be participating what the club has in store for us this year,” in various field trips, including a canoeing said senior Andre Batista. trip, a day field trip to Fort Lauderdale MuThe overall idea of the NSHS is to shape seum of Science, and a celebration just for students into the great students they are National Science Day. SNHS will also take meant to be in the science fields. With part in various service projects throughout motivation and encouragement from the the year including visiting a nursing home, club’s advisors Mrs. HD and Dr. Glenn, hospital visits, participating in the cancer anything is possible for this distinguished walk, and recycling. school club. Through membership of this The many handpicked students of NSHS club, students will learn about leadership, are required to have a 3.0 weighted GPA. responsibility, and discover their true pasThe more exposed a student has been to sci- sion for science. ence classes, the more well-qualified they are to become a member of the club. Although SNHS has already chosen its members for the 2013-2014 school year, there is always a chance to join next year during fourth quarter. Also, students will be offering tutoring for Biology, Chemistry, and Physics classes — honors and regular. “When the time be- Planning Ahead: The Science National Honor Society’s hand-picked members gan to apply to join met for the first time in Mrs. Hernandez-Davis’s room. Photo By: Juan Tellez


Clubs September 2013

SGA sets sail

This new position is ‘key’

I’m really happy that I get to be a part of this incredible association this year!” said Sophomore Senator Taylor Horan. All throughout the school year, students Although SGA usually completes the same here at PPCHS await large events such as tasks, there are several new aspects of the Spirit Week, Pep-Rally, and Homecoming. Student Government this school year. This These events bring along a wave of joy, year SGA has added an additional class enthusiasm, and most of all, eccentricity. that allows the Student Government to inThrough these events, students are able volve more people and in turn get much to showcase their individual personalities more work done. During 1st and 4th hour, along with outstanding school spirit. What Mr. Velasquez, current SGA sponsor, will many students don’t know, is that most be overseeing the classes and student acschool events are planned by members of tivities. The addition of another SGA class our own student body. The Student Gov- will pave the way for success for this school group and its many accomplishments. “Having two classes for SGA is so beneficial for our school. We are able to accomplish so many more projects in small amounts of time and can allow more students to exReady to Sail: The SGA class is ready to start off the school year with some great events, perience the including Pep Rally and Spirit Week. Photo By: Alex Monge leadership ernment Association, also known as SGA, class. It’s an awesome opportunity and we is already hard at work making sure all the can’t wait to see how it will turn out,” said students of PPCHS have an amazing school SGA president Sofia Lalinde (’15). Another change, which is done annually year. Being an SGA member comes along with high expectations and many responsi- each school year, was the SGA theme. This year we can expect to see sailor-style outbilities, but it also has its many perks. “I believe that being in SGA is going to fits with the new theme “S.S.SGA”. In the be extremely beneficial for me. As many past, we have seen the SGA members at the know, to be a part of SGA, one has to enroll Pep-Rally dressed in their crazy circus cosin the elective Leadership Skills Develop- tumes, but that’s all about to change with ment. Besides learning how to communi- this new theme. With great responsibility comes a great cate with others and plan events such as Homecoming, the class allows one to find deal of hard work and Student Government their inner leader. I’m looking forward to Association members are looking forward this year and working with this large group to seeing what SGA has in store for them of incredible people and becoming a better this year. leader. SGA does so much for PPCHS and

Melissa Pierce STAFF WRITER

Lauren Ramirez STAFF WRITER

and this year I plan to do so even further to make the club and my experience even better,” said sophomore director of Key Club, Yasmeen Metellus. Having worked with Mrs. Rago for over 2 years, Katherine Castaner is very enthusiastic to take over Key Club as their new president. Key Club members can expect to work very diligently and rigorously to develop their leadership skills, inclusiveness and character building. The introduction of the club’s new sponsor will be a very positive and uplifting change for all members. “Ms. Rago was an amazing advisor. She was always helpful, positive, and showed us her passion for service. Although she will not be our advisor this year, she has made it clear she will always be there to help however she can. She has truly been an inspiration not only as a club advisor but also as a role model. Despite this, I am looking forward to a great year for Key Club. We have a lot of projects planned and I am also looking forward to working with my club’s board members because they show a passion for community service that will really take our club to new heights,” Castaner said. Mr. Lawrence’s prior experience with Key Club will only work to benefit the members and the organization. No matter who leads them in their aspirations, Key Club’s efforts to better the community and our school will always remain.

As the new school year takes a kick start, Mr. Lawrence excitedly prepares for 20132014 as the new Key Club faculty advisor. After previously serving in this position at Hallandale High school, Mr. Lawrence is an ideal candidate to take over for Ms. Rago, who previously filled this position last year. “I am looking forward to working with students on the new service projects and very interested to see what the students have to offer. The service projects that they do are really outstanding and I love seeing students take charge of everything and grow into young adults,” Mr. Lawrence said. For Ms. Rago however, this year’s Key Club transition is bitter sweet. She served as the faculty advisor for four consecutive years and has inevitably grown close to those students who she worked diligently with. Due to her own personal reasons however, she has chosen to leave that position. “I gave my position to Mr. Lawrence, who I know will be great, and I know the students will work with him and be strong leaders. I already miss the students in my room working on their projects though, it’s a bitter-sweet feeling.” Rago said. This year, Key club is expected to do great things. Key Club will begin their fundraising events starting on September 19th, with the annual blood drive which will be followed by the North Hollywood beach cleanup on September 21st. Throughout the rest of the year, Key Club will also participate in many other projects such as the UNICEF Collection Drive and the Canned Food Drive, events with Children’s Harbor Foster Home, and many more. All Key Club members will be looking forward to these events to further develop their leadership qualities. “I am really looking forward to this year. I have worked my way up to being a director of the club so I finally get to be involved in the organization of New “Key” Changes: Mr. Lawrence takes the Key Club our events. I involved myself last year throne in this upcomming school year. Photo By: Daniel Vidal

The chat newspaper september 2013 year 14 issue #1  

The official Newspaper of the Pembroke Pines Charter High School Charter High Communications (CHC) Sponsored by the Communications & Techno...

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