Volume 85 May, 2014
Clayton High School. Clayton, MO.
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C o n t e n t s
stress 22 sports
Photo By: Noah Engel
jeffrey friedman gwyneth henke peter schmidt jessica jancose
copy editors webmaster
gabby boeger kevin rosenthal max steinbaum
business managers ben diamond richard simon
olivia macdougal noah engel
cherry tomatsu victoria yi
ashleigh williams tara williams elise yang
karena tse tessa oâ€™bryan
senior managing editors
FROM THE EDITOR
Gratitude. I was once told that showing gratitude can be even more beneficial to the one giving thanks than to the one receiving it; not because the act reciprocates a greater return or because it yields heightened camaraderie (though those two may very well result), but because gratitude allows for self reflection. Gratitude causes us to pause and observe, to notice, to appreciate. And in the act of grasping gratitude, we as individuals become… happy. Because in that moment, we focus in on the positive, downplay the negative and suddenly our perspective shifts. I can still remember my first day of middle school. I had just moved to St. Louis, had recently gotten a horrible haircut and was newly equipped with my very own set of pre-teen insecurities. Yet, seven years later, I remember that day with a smile. Because when I had walked into my first class that day, someone had said ‘hi’ and invited me to sit with her. And when I focus in on that moment and all the reasons why the odds were actually in my favor, the little setbacks, the messy haircut seems irrelevant. I am grateful and I am happy. Fast forward a couple of years. I’m sitting in a classroom overwhelmed with frustration because I can’t understand electrostatics. I had spent nearly the entire night attempting to comprehend the problem set, but to no avail. Yet, three years later, I look back on that class with a smile. I think of the countless hours that teacher provided us with out of class help-sessions and individual assistance. And, when I realize how fortunate I am to have been surrounded by dedicated and passionate teachers throughout my high school career, the long nights of studying, early morning meetings and perpetual sleep deprivation seem minute. Often times, it is hard to see the silver-lining. We become jaded by monotonous schedules, drowned in responsibilities and pushed by deadlines. Different facets of our lives collide, and it can become suffocating. But it is at these times in which we need to be the most grateful; to observe, to notice, to appreciate. Because life is about perspective as is happiness a state of mind. Whether we live by the mantras of “Carpe Diem”, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, or “This Too Shall Pass”… we must live with gratitude. Be grateful for the rest of our time at CHS, the time we have to spend with family and friends and the challenges and the joys that lie ahead of us as we embark to find our own place.
Katherine Ren, Editor-In-Chief
The Globe Newsmagazine exists to inform, entertain, persuade and represent the student voice at CHS. All content decisions are made by the student editorial staff and the Globe is an entirely self-funded publication. Not every story that our reporters write is published in the print newsmagazine. Visit www.chsglobe.com for additional stories and photos and for more information about the Globe itself. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement - for more information about advertising and subscriptions, please contact our office: Clayton High School Globe 1 Mark Twain Circle Clayton, MO 63105 (314) 854-6668 Fax: 854-6734 email@example.com Professional Affiliations: Sponsors of School Publications . Missouri Interscholastic Press Association . National Scholastic Press Association . Columbia Scholastic Press Association
Starting Strong Clayton High School sophomore Brian Gatter focuses as he readies for the serve. The varsity team is led by seniors Mac Rechan and Joey Dulle, who finished first and second in state last season, respectively. Photo by Bebe Engel
April 2014, Shaw park, Clayton, mo
gatter’s announcing gig CHS SENIOR NATE GATTER WILL BE ANNOUNCING FOR THE LEWIS AND CLARK BASEBALL LEAGUE THIS SUMMER.
by YOSSI KATZ
ifeguard, barista, research assistant. These are all common summer jobs for CHS students. One senior, however, has something very different planned. Nate Gatter, a future Mizzou Broadcast Journalism major, will be an announcer for the Lewis and Clark Baseball League (LCBL) this summer. Started by a pair of Washington University baseball coaches, the St. Louis-based league caters to premier college baseball players from around the country and has games all summer long, all over the St. Louis area, including an August all-star game at Busch Stadium. The league is expanding rapidly as it starts its second season, and it has plans for future expansion. All this was an attractive opportunity for Gatter, a CHS senior and starter on the Clayton varsity team. After hearing about LCBL, Gatter, a baseball aficionado as well as aspiring broadcaster, contacted the league’s president, Nicholas R.A. Mahrt, about joining the broadcasting crew. “I just looked up his contact information and sent him an email,” Gatter said. “He said he was happy to have me, and we worked out an agreement.” While details have not yet
(Alessandra Silva) been entirely hammered out, Gatter will regardless play a key role in the league’s operations. Because the league has games seven days a week, Gatter plans to be very busy throughout the summer. He will have to jet between the league’s fields in Forest Park, Alton, Midtown and elsewhere for a steady stream of games. “I’m excited to broadcast from a variety of parks across the area,” he said. Throughout the summer, Gatter stands to build close relationships with many of the league’s players. “As a huge baseball fan, I’m excited to potentially get to know some of baseball’s future stars,” he said. Some LCBL players will be drafted by Minor League Baseball teams after their college careers conclude. A few may even make it to the major leagues. Many students dream of finding such ideal work experience before college, and Gatter is grateful. “I feel lucky to have this opportunity and look forward to an eventful summer of baseball,” he said. Those seeking to find Gatter on the airwaves this summer should look to lewisclarkbaseball.com for details.
the big nine
A new calendar is coming to the Clayton School District; Changes include a nine minute longer school day for chs
by PHOEBE YAO
pproved by the Board of Education last December, an overhauled high school calendar adds nine minutes to the school day for the next two years. “Every year we have a standing calendar committee of parents and teachers,” Co-Chair of the Calendar Committee Chris Tennill said. “What [Superintendent] Dr. Sharmon Wilkinson asked us to do was just blow up the calendar. Just strip it down and start from scratch.” Development of the new school calendar has not been a short process - it has been in the works over the last couple of school years. Beginning in 2012 with client surveys, the District received varying opinions from K-12 parents on District improvement ideas. “We’re always looking at what we do and how we can make it better,” CHS Principal Dr. Dan Gutchewsky said. “[The calendar committee] literally compiled a list of priorities for all of the priorities that came out of the survey.” Priorities ranged from improving parent-teacher communication and increasing the amount of student instructional time, to ending school before Memorial Day and having a three-week winter break. “The truth is, you can’t maintain the number of contact days, the amount of contact time, start later, end earlier and still have a three-week winter break,” Gutchewsky said. “It just doesn’t all work.” The calendar committee first proposed a 176-day school calendar draft with the academic year ending before Memorial Day next year. In an effort to maintain instructional time, the length of the middle and high school school days were raised to match the length of elementary days, resulting in the added nine minutes to the CHS day. “Teachers were concerned, saying, ‘Well, it’s not like because I have two extra minutes, I can start a new lesson. It’s more important to me to have the five contact days,’” Gutchewsky said. In the final draft, the committee decided on a 179-day school calendar ending after Memorial Day which aligns the three school levels in instructional time and days off. Additional changes include new parentteacher conferences for high school students, and Friday early release days replacing Wednesday late start days. “I think they’re good changes,” Tennill said. “We’ve aligned our calendars, Pre-K through 12. We’ve always had some days where the middle school and high school are in session and the elementary schools are not
(Mary McGuire) in session.” Gutchewsky, along with Wydown Principal Mary Ann Goldberg, are currently developing the logistics on the new additions to the calendar. “We’ve got a draft of a daily schedule for next year which basically adds one minute to each period and then adds another minute to the announcement period that is attached to third hour, but it’s nothing earth shattering,” Gutchewsky said. The change may not be earth shattering, but teachers and students have varying opinions regarding the calendar adjustments. Chemistry Teacher Brad Krone believes that adding parent-teacher conferences to CHS will be beneficial and give the parents of students who are doing well in school a chance to meet with teachers. “From the parent perspective, I benefited from [parent-teacher conferences] because my son’s one of the ones doing well [in school] and we never get calls from the teachers,” Krone said, “so if I want to talk to them, where am I going to do it? Well, the parent-teacher conferences.” Math teacher Michael Rust has reservations regarding how the calendar changes will impact his department. “My biggest concern is that [teachers] are losing our grading days,” Rust said. “I think a lot of people, because it’s labeled as a grading day, think that we’re just here grading, but for at least the math department, those grading days we use also as professional development days.” Although next year’s calendar lacks any current grading days, two early dismissal days will be assigned for teachers as times to grade. CHS students also have strong opinions on the calendar changes. “Well, for sports after school, when we have an early dismissal, it doesn’t seem like it will be that effective because a lot of students will have to stay after school anyways for sports practice,” sophomore Dani Skor said. Other students, such as sophomore Gabie Kloha, are concerned about losing their extra hour of sleep from late start days. “Sleep is very important to me and I’m sure everyone else in the school feels the same,” Kloha said. As for the administrators, finalizing the details for CHS is the last step. “It will be a little bit of a mindset shift for us as a faculty, but I think that we’re certainly up for the challenge,” Gutchewsky said.
outside ukraine CHS Ukranian student natalya angel takes a look at her country in crisis from afar
Photo from Natalya Angel
by CLAIRE LISKER
hen Natalya Angel left Ternopil, her picturesque town in Ukraine, to be an exchange student at CHS this year, she did not imagine that its image would be distorted. The home Angel left was charming, simple, civil and laden with historical castles and churches. She often walked through its narrow streets lined with flower beds and boutiques, and vacationed to the scenic Ukrainian peninsula, Crimea. Today, Ternopil is agitated with riots and Vladimir Putin’s military has invaded Crimea. Although her town’s first involvement in protests began passively — citizens peacefully rallied for democracy — it quickly began to interfere with quotidian life. Angel’s classmates replaced their school attendance with protests, and Angel’s father, surrounded by other Ukrainian dreamers, greeted the New Year from the rowdy streets of Kiev. As matters escalated to violence within just three months, more Ternopil citizens joined the efforts to protect Ukraine. When the president Viktor Yanukovych ordered that police intervene in the protests, a 17-year-old boy from Angel’s hometown was murdered by a sniper’s bullet to the head. The bloody day ended the lives of 98 other martyrs, who thus earned the name “The Celestial Hundred.” With his country on the brink of civil war, Yanukovych fled and was subsequently removed by the Ukrainian parliament voted February 22 and replaced by Oleksandr Turchynov. Five thousand miles away from the turmoil, Angel sits anxiously. “Imagine yourself staying across the world when all your family and friends are in danger and you don’t know what can happen in an hour,” she said. Nonetheless, Angel has received tremendous support — from her host family, teachers and classmates — for which she is very thankful. While at CHS, she has actively spread awareness by making informational videos, posting flyers around the school, and organizing a T-shirt campaign. “I try explaining it to everyone who doesn’t clearly understand it and I always thank every person that keeps track of the situation and is concerned about it,” she said. “That brings the most joy.” Despite her anxiety, Angel has faith in her nation’s strength and feels a sense of pride for her country’s indefatigable efforts for its rights. “I just know that we are a strong nation and hope for the better. When I came to America this fall, I could never imagine that this would be happening in my country.”
“Imagine yourself staying across the world when all your family and friends are in danger and you don’t know what can happen in an hour.” -Natalya Angel
recap of crisis
1991: Ukrain declares independence from the USSR
2010: Viktor Yanukovych is elected president democratically November 21, 2013: Ukraine abandons its plan to sign an agreement with the European Union to distance itself from the Kremlin, increasing its co-operation with Putin’s Russia. Protests begin. February: Pro-Russians sieze Crimea, Viktor Yanukovych flees and Ukranian parliament replaces him with Oleksandr Turchynov Early March: Russian parliament approves use of force in Ukraine, effectively declaring war. Barack Obama urges Putin to retract forces back to bases. Mid March: Russia threatens Kiev with potential suspension of gas supply; Russia urges Crimea to leave Ukraine; EU offers Ukraine huge trade incentives; France and US pledge their support for Ukraine against Russia Late March: Russia annexes Crimea and, upon the Ukranian prime minister’s orders, many Ukranians leave Crimea
Sergei L. Loiko/Los Angeles Times/MCT
Late April: Turchynov reactivates Ukranian military against pro-Russian forces.
deca victory Seniors Rachel Leader, Katherine Ren and Rebecca Stiffleman won first place in the international DECA competition for entrepreneurship promotional planning.
by gwyneth henke
election results The Clayton community voted on several issues in the April 8 General Municipal Election ballot. Proposition A (sales tax for emergency services) and Proposition B (bond issue for improvement of roads) passed, while Proposition C (sales tax to increase business in downtown Clayton) and Proposition D (bond issue for renovation of Shaw Park Square) were voted down.
baby castellano CHS Journalism adviser Erin Castellano had her baby - Paul Armando Castellano - on April 12 at 6:18 p.m., born 7 lbs 8oz.
speech and debate
Senior Megan Niermann is the state champion of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate at MSHSAAâ€™s 2014 State Speech, Debate and Theatre Championships. Junior Audrey Palmer took eighth in the Original Oratory event of the state finals.
Dr. Jennifer Martin was recently named as the new principal of Captain Elementary School, replacing Dr. Sean Douherty, who was appointed as the new Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. UPFRONT
a whiff of
SMOKE by peter schmidt and parker shultz
n a recent flight, I saw something I never expected to see in my life; a person boarding a plane, smoking a cigarette. To be exact, they were puffing on an e-cigarette, an electronic pen which creates a nicotine laced vapor. As I settled into my seat for the flight, the stewardess reminded everyone, “Smoking, or the use of electronic cigarettes, is not allowed.” E-cigarettes have gained popularity over the last few years. Between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of U.S. middle and high school students who use them more than doubled. As the new form of smoking gains ground, it leaves behind a tangle of questions. How safe are e-cigs? Where can they be smoked? Why are students buying them? Most of these questions remain unanswered. Though e-cigs have been in existence since the sixties, only recently have they become relatively cheap and available. The vapor pens come in many types and flavors, but they all work roughly the same way; an electrified coil heats the nicotine liquid into a vapor which can be inhaled.
I. social incentive Several CHS students have caught on to this new smoking trend, and can be found at parties sporting hookah pens with exciting flavors such as “Mango Mayhem” and “Cool Bliss.” Like other tobacco products, e-cigs can be legally owned by Missouri citizens who are 18 or older. This means that most high school seniors can legally buy the pens. E-cigarettes have begun to find a social niche at Clayton. For some students, using e-cigs is a way to fit in with peers. One senior, Daniel*, who wished to remain anonymous, uses hookah pens with friends. “It’s a social thing. It’s nice to go out on smoke breaks,” Daniel said. “When people go out to smoke and I don’t want to just stay inside, I’ll
photos by patrick butler
go out with them, but I’ll just bring an e-cig with me, and then you’re covered to be with the smokers.” At Clayton, many students smokers first run into e-cigs at parties. John*, a junior at CHS who also wished to remain anonymous, first tried a hookah pen when his friend handed him one at a party. “They looked fun and I wanted to learn smoke tricks,” John said. Shortly after the party, John bought his own pen at a store in the Delmar Loop with a friend who used a fake ID. The pen helps him fit in at parties now. “Sometimes [parties] can get awkward, so it’s something to hold, something that takes your mind off of awkward situations,” John said. “People practice smoke tricks and then show [them] to their friends. A lot of people share [pens], so it’s kind of a social thing as well. They just sit in a circle and pass it around to show off their tricks.” According to John, the prevalence of hookah pens at CHS has increased in the past few years. He has noticed that not all students smoke for social reasons. Some kids use e-cigs to experience the effects of nicotine. “I think people generally smoke to get headed,” John said, referring to the buzz that comes from nicotine use. John, however, says he doesn’t smoke for the nicotine, and his pens are nicotine-free. “I don’t like the idea of smoking cigarettes or tobacco at all,” John said. “I just do it for the flavor and the fun smoke.”
II. A Smoking Alternative Because hookah pens and e-cigs can be purchased without nicotine, companies that sell e-cigs promote them as healthier alternatives to
smoking. Manufactures argue that e-cigs can even help smokers overcome their nicotine habits. Vape pens can also be retrofitted to deliver THC, and some students at CHS have tried this. “If you were smoking wax or marijuana, you would use an atomizer,” John said. “I know someone who has a Butterball atomizer. You can put wax straight in there and you can get high.” Regardless of the nicotine or THC content, vape pens are still potentially dangerous. They remain unregulated, which means it is impossible for a smoker to know exactly what they are inhaling. Dr. Gary Marklin, a pulmonologist at St. Anthony’s Medical Center, has spent a career witnessing first hand the detrimental impacts of smoking. In his opinion, vapor-pens could potentially be safer than traditional cigarettes. “If e-cigarettes were regulated, they would probably be the lesser of two evils,” Marklin said. “That said, inhaling particles of any kind presents health risks and should be avoided.” According to Marklin, one major health advantage e-cigarettes have over regular smokes is their lack of tar. This tar is the main carcinogenic agent associated with smoking. While there may be undisclosed dangerous chemicals in e-cigs, at least tar is not one of them. John finds comfort in the belief that his pen poses little to no health
risks. “My pen has zero milligrams of nicotine,” John said. “In this case, I believe its glycerol, so I’m basically just inhaling vegetable oil.”
III. Developing Habits Even though John doesn’t smoke other tobacco products, he worries about the possibility that students who use e-pens might be tempted to try real cigarettes. “WIth these kids who have never smoked before, who are starting to use nicotine, I think that it can lead into different smoking behaviors,” John said. “If you smoke a ton and you smoke [a pen] to get a nicotine high, it can lead to cigarettes or chewing tobacco or tobacco products.” The reason students seem more likely to smoke hookah pens is their perceived safety. Some students believe they are better off smoking ecigs, even though they might not know what they are smoking. Cigarettes have a bad stigma, and smoking something branded as a “hookah” product, without tar, can be much more appealing. “I think most people consider them to be a lot safer,” Daniel said.
Hookah pens have recently been popularized at Clayton High School.
“There’s nothing inherently smokey or cancer-causing in there.” The Clayton Health Program, which has long tracked CHS smoking habits, is beginning to incorporate e-cigs into its curriculum. Some middle school health classes now mention the risks of e-cigarettes. Heath Kent, a CHS health teacher, summarized what students learn in the classrooms about electronic smoking. “Basically, the position we take on [e-cigs] is that any time you’re inhaling anything, whatever it may be, there’s some inherent risk,” Kent said. “Whether or not it’s as severe as cigarettes, there’s still some type of risk to the lungs.” Kent mentioned that the district health survey, which goes out to students every two years, may include questions about e-cigarettes in the future. Regardless of the health risks e-cigs may present, the real risk to students is in developing smoking habits that can follow them for the rest of their lives. While students may have fun blowing smoke at parties, they should also be aware of the risks of smoking. For now, it’s impossible to predict the role e-cigs, hookah pens, and vapor pens may play in the future at CHS. Whether or not they catch on will depend on pending regulations, educational instruction, and ultimately, the decisions of individual students.
“Basically, the position we take on [e-cigs] is that any time you’re inhaling anything, whatever it may be, there’s some inherent risk.” - Heath Kent
Hava in the Spotlight Hava POLINSKY, CHS FRESHMAN AND AIDAN IP OF WHITFIELD SCHOOL WERE IN THE FINALS OF THE ST. LOUIS TEEN TALENT COMPETITION. THE DUO PERFORMED AT THE FABULOUS FOX THEATRE ON APRIL 4. BY CAMILLE RESPESS Every day for the past 10 years, CHS freshman Hava Polinsky has spent hours practicing, rehearsing and performing on the violin. Recently, Polinsky took part in the “St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.” Out of 200 initial acts, Polinksy and her partner, Aidan Ip, were selected to be one of 12 acts to perform in the final round of the competition at the Fabulous Fox Theatre on April 4. Polinsky was introduced to the competition last year after two of her friends won first place with a cello duet performance. Later, she was approached by Ip, a freshman at Whitfield School and a fellow violinist in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. The pair wanted to play something different and exciting. “We looked for pretty challenging violin duets and came across the Navarra by Pablo de Sarasate, and it was pretty hard,” Polinsky said. Polinsky and Ip then rehearsed together two to three times a week over a period of six months, keeping in mind the importance of both practicing together and separately. In mid-February, everyone competing in the talent competition performed for judges for the first time in the preliminary round. “The first round, we didn’t really know what to expect,” Polinsky said. “We went into it with an open mind.” Advancing from the preliminary rounds, Ip and Polinsky began working with even more vigor in order to continue to the final round. “After each round, as we progressed, it boosted our energy to work even harder,” Polinsky said. The duo, along with 35 other acts, were chosen for the semi-finals in March. “The semi-finals were the scariest round,” Polinsky said. “If you didn’t pass then it was over. If you did make it through then you were going to the Fox and that was a huge mark for us.” From the semis, 12 acts were chosen to perform at the finals. On April 4, Polinsky and Ip were the first act to play at the Fox in front of a packed house. “It was super nerve-racking to perform, but it got us very excited and very energized,” Polinsky said. Polinsky is also participating in “Young Artist” competitions with area orchestras, including the University City Symphony and the Belleville Philharmonic, where she has been featured. Recently, she placed second in the Marie Stillwell Young Artist Concerto Competition and was featured in the Alton Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Concert on April 19. Although Polinsky and Ip did not place in the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition, the opportunity was a great experience for them. “It was really fun to be publicized as a part of that [St. Louis Teen Talent] competition,” Polinsky said. “I think a lot of people dream of that, so it was great to be able to actually do it.”
“it was super nerve-racking to perform, but it got us very excited and very energized” -Hava polinsky Hava Polinsky and Aidan Ip finishing their performance of Pablo de Sarasate’s Navarra (Photo from Becca Polisnky)
TEACHING He kept the nation together. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation. He began the long process of achieving equality in America. He gave his citizens hope in a time of shattering conflict and despair...
LINCOLN By Gwyneth Henke Lincoln’s political impact is one that has been praised and analyzed by thousands of historians in the century-plus since his death. However, this year, CHS English teachers Susan Teson and John Ryan looked into Lincoln’s legacy beyond the political realm. This past summer, Ryan and Teson attended a week-long teacher’s workshop held by the National Endowment for the Humanities at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. The workshop, titled “Abraham Lincoln and the Forging of Modern America,” provided an outlet for discussion and discovery on one of America’s greatest presidents. “The idea was that Lincoln’s life and work and the times he lived in are where we can trace the beginnings of modern America and modern history as we know it,” Teson said. Although marketed towards history teachers, Ryan and Te-
son saw in it an opportunity to develop new methods for teaching Lincoln as a key literary figure in American history. The workshop proved exemplary at this task. “The class really became an impetus for trying to make Lincoln a more intrinsic part of our study of American literature and the evolution of the American story,” Teson said. The pair were presented with several opportunities that allowed them to become more intimately connected to Lincoln’s life and legacy. “Over that week, we studied with professors … and we went for two days to the presidential library and museum in Springfield, Illinois. There we had a chance to talk to museum curators and to tour around the capital and see all the places of interest — Lincoln’s law office and his house,” Ryan said.
(MCT Campus/Lee Hulteng)
chs english teacher John Ryan with a copy of “Teaching Lincoln.” -Rebecca Stiffelman
After expanding their understanding of Lincoln’s role in American literature and policy, the pair realized that they had arrived at a topic which offered a chance for further exploration. This opportunity arose when Teson and Ryan learned that the professors who had held the workshop were writing a book on Lincoln and his influence in education and history. They then wrote a grant which would allow them to contribute a chapter outlining a curriculum for an English class on Lincoln’s role in American literature. The book, “Teaching Lincoln,” appeared with their chapter, titled, “Not Just for History Class Anymore.” It outlines a day-by-day curriculum on Lincoln that ties in art, photographs, poetry and history to present a multifaceted view of Lincoln’s life. Teson and Ryan have also shared their ideas with other various outlets. “We gave a presentation [to the faculty] in the summer before school began, and we’ve applied to present it to the National Council of Teachers of English in Washington D.C. this November,” Teson said. Preserving the legacy of America’s Civil War president in high school students is a weighty task that is ultimately essential to fostering an understanding of America’s identity due to his monumental impact on both the literary and the political world. Politically, Lincoln is an example of a leader who balanced commitment to his ideals with investment in the preservation of the Union and the vision of the Founding Fathers. Teson and Ryan believe that the sincerity with which Lincoln approached his issues could have a transformative effect on modern American politics if studied carefully. “To deal in this world you can’t deal in absolutes,” Ryan said. “I think you have to be a pragmatist in that you have your own moral vision in how you have the world to be, and so does somebody else, and somebody else. If those all are competing, you can be right … in your mind and have nothing accomplished and lead to a great deal of wrong.” In the literary world, Teson and Ryan’s curriculum works to reveal the huge effect that Lincoln’s writing and speeches have had on American style and thought. “There are cornerstone, absolute bedrock individuals and works of literature that if students are really going to understand what American literature is all about, they have to explore these places,” Teson remarked. “And Lincoln is one of them.”
Linguistically, Lincoln marked the explosive transition from a world dominated by European language and style to one influenced by a new American technique. “With the Gettysburg Address, with the Second Inaugural, Lincoln is able to articulate our uniquely American ideas in a uniquely American way,” Teson said. Finally, Ryan and Teson were also inspired by the stirring message that Lincoln’s life offers to high school students of all backgrounds. “There’s a lot of privilege [at Clayton],” Ryan said. “There are a lot of students who are probably going to go to elite schools or come from privileged backgrounds, and that was not [Lincoln], whatsoever. I like the idea that … if you’re a kid who doesn’t have a lot of financial means or connections, you can see someone who made it to the highest office in the land and think, ‘Okay, wow.’” Ultimately, it is this legacy of selftaught entrepreneurialism that featured heavily in the original American identity and that should offer hope to many Americans today. “He read voraciously, and he’s proof that reading matters. While today it might be impossible to be elected to higher office without a college degree — much less a high school diploma — the fact is that you can still educate yourself by being a voracious reader, and do amazing things,” Ryan said. Lincoln has shone through the past hundred and fifty years as a symbol of American resilience and endurance. However, with their new studies into Lincoln’s legacy, Ryan and Teson ask students to also appreciate his colossal impact on America’s literary identity and their own personal struggles. Walt Whitman reflected on this impact in his groundbreaking poetry collection, “Leaves of Grass.” Whitman, who harbored a deep respect and love for Lincoln during his presidency, wrote the haunting poem “When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom’d” upon his assassination, expressing all of the admiration for America’s great president that Teson and Ryan attempt to capture in their curriculum. Whitman writes, “For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands ... and this for his dear sake; / Lilac and star and bird, twined with the chant of my soul, / There in the fragrant pines, and the cedars dusk and dim.”
“With the Gettysburg Address, with the Second Inaugural, Lincoln is able to articulate our uniquely American ideas in a uniquely American way.” - Susan Teson
FIT FOR A LIFETIME
dr. edwin wolfgram has competed in 15 Ironman competitions, 60 marathons, and 200 triathlons since he started running at age 48. by JESSICA JANCOSE
Dr. Wolfgram runs a triathlon in St. Louis. (Jerod Wolfgram)
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. Put all of these together, and you get an Ironman race. After completing his first Ironman in 14 hours and 30 minutes at the age of 55, Dr. Edwin Wolfgram, now 81 and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Washington University’s School of Medicine and owner of his own private practice, said, “I thought that was pretty bad. I just knew [how long] it took me and I thought, ‘That’s about as bad as you can get.’” He didn’t even want to find out what place he got. “There were 40 contestants and I would’ve hated to be 40th,” Wolfgram, who has two grandchildren at CHS, said. The next morning, however, “I found out that I got eighth place.” That was in 1988. Several years and seven Iron Man competitions later at the age of 70, Wolfgram came in first in the 70-74 year-old age group at the Hawaiian Iron Man World Championship Triathlon, thereby earning him the title of the world’s top endurance athlete between 70-74 years of age. “The first time I went there, I didn’t have in mind to compete,” Wolfgram said. “I just said I was good enough.” In fact, Wolfgram said that he was never very enamored with the idea of competition and would train in order to be fit, not to win. Competition, according to Wolfgram, “was a distraction.” That is the mindset for a man that has competed in 15 Ironman competitions, about 60 marathons and 200 triathlons. Wolfgram did not begin to train athletically until he was 48-years-old. “I said, ‘Okay, I’m gonna get fit.’ And so I went out and I was going to run to the end of the block - and I couldn’t make it,” Wolfgram said. Despite the difficult start, Wolfgram persisted in his athletic endeavors. “I was busy day and night. I had little kids, I had a big practice, I didn’t have any time to train,” he said. “But I figured I could give it five minutes three times a week. And that’s what I did. And it was horrible.” Eventually, Wolfgram began to see promising results. “It was after I got into it a little while that I found that I was a pretty good runner,” Wolfgram said. “I did qualify for the Boston Marathon after about two-and-a-half years after starting, where I couldn’t run to the end of the block. At age 50 I had to run 7.3 miles in order to qualify for 26.2 miles.” However, not long after competing in Boston, Wolfgram began to realize that an exercise regimen consisting only of running was bound to end in injury. “It dawned on me after about three years that my days of athleticism would soon be over because I was ruining my body,” he said. “Most of my peers kept right on running into their own destruction. Sometimes it’s deficits in life and handicaps that make you who and what you are.” Wolfgram lost his anterior cruciate ligament at the age of 14 while playing high school football. As an athlete later in life, he understood the danger in intense exercise and used the injury as a lesson. “It really made me what I am, because I realized that the body was fragile, that I had to work around problems,” Wolfgram said.
Dr. Wolfgram explains the importance of incorporating exercise into daily life. (Marilyn Gund)
(Victoria Yi) So, rather than quitting running altogether, Wolfgram began to crosstrain. Around the same time, triathlon races were beginning to grow in popularity. “I heard about it, but I didn’t have in mind – heaven forbid – that I would ever do one,” he said. “That seemed ridiculous, and impossible. I didn’t have in mind to do the Iron Man. I just had in mind to start [crosstraining].” Eventually Wolfgram worked up to an abbreviated triathlon in which he swam 0.5 miles, biked 11 miles and ran a 5k. “I called my mother to let her know what I just did, and she says, ‘You did all of that in one day?’ I didn’t even think it was possible to do all of these things,” Wolfgram said. From there, Wolfgram said it was a natural progression to Olympicdistance triathlons, half-Iron Man’s and ultimately the Iron Man race. Having run his last Iron Man race at the age of 75, it’s no surprise that Wolfgram is a proponent of lifelong fitness. “You have to be fit for a lifetime,” he said. “That’s the whole story. Because if you quit at any time, you’ve lost all the advantages of ever having been fit within six months.” Especially important in Wolfgram’s mind is the link between physical and mental health. In his book, It’s Never Too Late: Dr. Ed Wolfgram’s Book of Fitness, Wolfgram wrote, “As a physician of 40 years, I have never had a physically active person of any age walk into my psychiatric office with a depression.” However, Wolfgram warned against workout plans that promise 20 minutes of exercise will guarantee automatic fitness. “We’re missing the boat,” Wolfgram said. “It’s just not what we need to be doing. People are trying to get fit efficiently in a certain amount of time with the cross-fit and everything that they come up with. They say
Dr. Wolfgram’s book “It’s Never Too Late: Dr. Ed Wolfgram’s Book of Fitness.” (Jessica Jancose) that two hours of that and that’ll do it. And that’s not it.” He argued that in order to become truly fit, we need to keep in mind the original purpose of the human body. “The form we have now is essentially the one that’s been around for thousands and thousands of years, and that’s with the hunters and gatherers,” Wolfgram said. “And they didn’t go and work out in the gym for an hour and a half a day; they didn’t lift weights. You weren’t gonna find some nut going around lifting rocks.” In order to be truly fit and healthy, Wolfgram stated that we need to find ways to incorporate movement into our daily lives whenever possible. This means taking the stairs instead of the elevator or using a standing desk instead of being seated at a traditional desk. He acknowledged that this method of becoming healthy is decidedly less appealing than cramming as much activity as possible into a 20-minute workout window. Finding ways to incorporate movement into daily life requires careful thought and planning. However, Wolfgram maintained that continuous movement throughout the day is the best way to become healthy. “Most things don’t take time, they take thought,” he said. “And so we’re going to see this as the next movement – how we think about how we move. That’s what fitness is about.” Wolfgram admitted that the process of incorporating fitness into one’s already busy life also requires learning how to accept failures. “It’s almost embarrassing to think of all of my failures,” Wolfgram said. “Whenever you reach out for things you also fail. But it doesn’t hurt. You can’t do everything in life. You have to pick and choose. So, sometimes it looks like a failure because you have to know what you can and can’t do. You just have to keep focused.”
can’t get enough of your dad? no problem. he’s waiting for you in your next class - and he might count you tardy.
by SHIORI TOMATSU
CHS senior Sarah Aiello stands with her father, psychology teacher David Aiello, outside of his classroom. (Marilyn Gund)
ast year in AP Chemistry class, Lindsey Peck ended the class multiple times by simply yelling, “Class dismissed!” With those words, Mr. Peck would wave his hands and simply say, “You heard her.” In last year’s AP Psychology class, Mr. Aiello asked the question, “Am I an extrovert or an introvert?” The majority of the class called out extrovert, but Sarah Aiello shook her head and said, “No, he’s introverted.” Mr. Aiello turned out to be an introvert. Peck and Aiello, now both seniors at CHS, took their dads’ classes and enjoyed it. “Having my dad as a teacher really was not that weird,” Sarah Aiello said. “He’s been teaching at Clayton all my life and I’ve had a lot of time to prepare myself for this. I’d say it was worse coming in as a freshman and having him embarrass me in the hall and stuff like that.” Aiello had her dad as a teacher in the summer for American Government, so she didn’t feel too nervous walking into Psychology class. However, Aiello was worried when she went into the summer class. “I wasn’t sure how it would play out, but it ended up not being too different from when he helps me on my homework at home,” she said. Psychology teacher David Aiello was glad she took his class because he wanted her to know why other students liked or didn’t like the way he taught. “Psychology is a great class for students to take because of how it helps them to be a little more systematic in how they think about their own and others’ behavior, learn, and generally understand their world, and I
wanted her to experience those positives for herself,” he said. Peck initially felt nervous signing up for AP Chemistry because she wasn’t sure what it would be like having a class with her dad teaching. “I didn’t know how the environment would be in his classroom,” she said. “I was nervous that it was going to be awkward, or that if I answered a question wrong or did something in class he didn’t approve of that he would be mad at me or disappointed.” Chemistry teacher Nathan Peck on the other hand really looked forward to having her in class. “Lindsey has such a pleasant personality and inner beauty that it brightened my day to see her every class period,” he said. “In addition, her positive attitude was contagious with many of my more difficult students such that the entire section benefited from her presence in my class.” Class with their dads didn’t turn out so bad, and it even came with a few advantages. “He helped me on my psychology or history homework, and having him at school in case I need money or something signed or using his classroom as my locker was an advantage,” Aiello said. Peck also agreed that being able to recieve homework help at home was a positive to having her father as her teacher. Her dad also thought that he benefited from her being in class because he learned how to be a better teacher. “Whenever class was dragging on Lindsey would respectfully pack up her books and saunter over near the door,” he said. “She wouldn’t actually leave the room, just stand by the door with her phone in her hand. It was
her subtle way to let me know that enough learning had already happened that day.” Of course, advantages come with disadvantages. Peck noted that sometimes she would avoid asking questions to her dad because she was worried he would assume she didn’t listen during class. For Aiello, the biggest disadvantage was when he told embarrassing stories or showed home videos of her and her siblings during psychology class. Aiello’s dad did not go easy on her as many students may think parents do when they have their child as their student. “I firmly believe that I cut her no slack, and may have even been harder on her than I was on the others,” he said. “I value my integrity and good name, and I try very hard not to jeopardize it with such behavior as giving my family members unfair advantages on my team or in my classroom.” And even though the setting differed, being in class with their dads was not that different from being at home. “My dad is one of my best friends, and so having him as a teacher let me spend more time with him and we grew even closer than before,” Peck said. “He was the exact same in class that he was at home. We still joked, laughed and burped! The only thing differ-
ent was that we were at school.” Peck also treated her the same way as he would at home, hugging her whenever he could and telling embarrassing stories of his family. If anything, he made sure that she was burping correctly during class. “Lindsey is somewhat of a histrionic belcher and when she let rip during class I only complimented her when she utilized her full diaphragm and projected with upright posture,” he said. “No free passes for Lindsey!” Aiello also said that it was like any other class, except that her dad was teaching it. “It’s hard to explain, but the way he teaches class is very similar to how he has explained things to me my whole life,” she said. Overall both saw this as a great experience. Peck would even want to do it again if she could. “A lot of people think that having your own dad as your teacher is weird and that they wouldn’t like seeing them at school,” she said. “People put themselves in my situation and I always watch their faces scrunch up in disgust because they all say they would hate that. But for me, I knew this was coming since I could remember-- it’s just how it is. I can’t imagine my dad being a doctor. Other people can’t imagine their dads being a teacher. I wish I had my dad as my teacher all day long.”
“He was the exact same in class that he was at home. We still joked, laughed, and burped! The only thing different was that we were at school.” -Lindsey Peck
Senior Lindsey Peck took her dad, Nathan Peck’s, AP Chemistry class. (Alessandra Silva) feature
by ALEX BERNARD, ARYA YADAMA & KATHERINE REN photos by NOAH ENGEL “I’m so stressed.” This phrase, thrown around in daily conversation within the confines of CHS, is often not taken seriously. But should it be? Stress, considered a necessary aspect of an education that prepares a student well for college, can also be the leading factor in the downfall of a student’s mental health. The question is the following: whose job is it to find and to enforce the line between success and too much stress? At CHS, the pressure begins the first day of freshman year. The young scholars are immediately encouraged by their new principals, counselors, teachers and peers to push themselves, to achieve excellence and, most importantly, to create a lasting legacy. All of this expectation, placed upon a budding highschooler, is unlikely to be lessened during their four-year career at CHS. In fact, it almost always gets worse with time.
SPHERES OF STRESS Although many modern teenagers are excellent at multitasking and compartmentalizing, an anxiety overload results from stress stemming from multiple facets of a student’s life. For adolescents, generally the facets include school, sports, work, home life and social life. The stress from high school is expected and usually tolerable. However, the problem becomes unmanageable when teens are attacked with stress from their lives outside of school. CHS psychology teacher David Aiello can attest to this problem. “Here, everybody tries to do everything, and that makes the stress worse especially for the kids that do extracurricular activities,” Aiello said. “Even extracurriculars have become super intense and competitive.” For example, senior Joy Gage is used to spending her nights at the gym. As a gymnast, she must be willing to dedicate everything to her craft
in order to be the best that she can be. School, however, often gets in the way. “It’s always a choice between, ‘Am I going to get a decent night of sleep so that I can be productive at practice the next day, or stay up the extra hour studying so that I can do well on a test.’ You have to learn how to prioritize,” Gage said. She does not have any time to spare. On a typical night, Gage will spend five hours in practice. “Gym has made me learn how to use my time well,” she said. “Basically, my day has no breaks in it, from when I wake up at seven to when I go to bed at midnight or later. I can’t just waste time on my phone or stuff like that.” Gage moves quickly between activities in her day with little time to destress. The time Gage spends in practice also limits the sleep she gets each night. The lack of sleep is harmful both to her studies and to gymnastics. However, there is no alternative. “I suffer from chronic exhaustion,” Gage said. “I’m pushing on all fronts, not just school. It’s really physically and mentally taxing.” Gage’s strenuous lifestyle is definitely an outlier from those of the majority of the student body, but she is just one of many students who struggle to balance difficult classes and extracurricular activities. She, unlike many students at CHS, has completely changed her mindset as a result of the tightness of her schedule. “I’ve learned that it’s okay to cut myself a break once in a while in terms of grades. I try not to beat myself up about not doing so well on a test or something, because getting upset is just another way to waste time and energy--something I can’t afford,” Gage said. Aiello believes that there are clear aspects of the school environment that can foster such intense stress in children. “[Kids are motivated by] fear of not being the best,” he said. “People have a tremendous amount of insecurity. They think, ‘If I don’t win; if I’m not the best, then I’m a miserable failure.’” Another overlooked stressor among
Whose job is it to find and to enforce the line between success and too much stress?
students at CHS is money. In such an affluent area, many students do not need to worry about paying for college. All they need to worry about is receiving good grades, which alone, in an environment like Clayton, is not an easy task. But for those not as fiscally comfortable, the stress of working a job in order to build financial security can be taxing. Senior student Jennifer*, who asked to be kept anonymous, has struggled with this conflict all throughout her high school career. “During junior year I would basically work all weekend,” Jennifer said. “A lot of people use the weekend to relax and destress, but I never had that time.” Jennifer has to work because she lives in a household with one parent, and this parent does not make as much money as a lot of the other parents in Clayton. As a result, Jennifer’s stressors, motivating factors and general daily routines are a bit different from those of the average Clayton student. “I mean you just end up comparing yourself to them [other students] a lot and it’s not an easy situation,” she said. “I know some kids have their entire Sunday to do homework, where I was working or doing my own laundry, grocery shopping or cleaning the house - stuff other kids never had to do. It just cut down on my time to do school work and other things. I never felt like there was someone who could exactly relate to me.” Despite the fact that she does a sport and works almost every day, Jennifer has managed to balance the rest of her life with a very rigorous schedule. But, as is the case for Gage, it has not been easy for Jennifer to balance school work with outside work. “I don’t think teachers - since they don’t have a lot of kids who have jobs - are all that forgiving about [having a job],” she said. “You can’t really use it as an excuse because they’ll just say, ‘Well, it was your choice to work.’” So why does Jennifer push herself academically if she has such a big commitment outside of school? The answer is not surprising. Her incentive is due to what is one of the biggest motivating factors and
stressors at CHS: College. “I knew that paying for college was going to be a burden, so I wanted to get scholarships and really excel in academics so that I would have the opportunity to get some of those [scholarships],” Jennifer said.
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS: JOHN BURROUGHS school Although conventional belief is that high school is supposed to be stressful, not all schools subscribe to the idea that not much can be done in order to relieve stress. John Burroughs School, a prestigious private school in St. Louis, has various policies in place to prevent stress from elevating above a certain level. One of the most impactful approaches that Burroughs has instituted is the Advanced Placement (AP) cap. AP courses are only offered to Burroughs students starting junior year, and students are only permitted to take three honors or AP classes per year. The AP cap at Burroughs is intended to help students, not to restrict them from challenging themselves in an undesirable manner. “There’s some research that backs up this policy and it shows that they actually do better when they have some balance in their schedules,” Burroughs school counselor Prue Gershman said. “And when there have been exceptions ... it just doesn’t go quite as well. Some of that can be anecdotal, students will just say, ‘You know, I didn’t serve myself well by taking more than the policy states.’” The AP cap lowers the expectations of the Burroughs student body as a whole while still maintaining the school’s competitive appearance to colleges. “It’s a matter of leaving a tiny bit of sanity for [the students],” Gershman said. “The students’ lives are pretty full and busy, and to put a cap on it is to say, ‘Working at this level is okay in a few classes, but not across the board.’” Although there has been debate regarding student stress in recent years, the AP cap at Burroughs is not a new addition.
* Indicates names have been changed
“I have three kids who graduated from Burroughs,” Gershman said. “My oldest started here 20 years ago and I know there was a cap when he was here.” Burroughs, without a doubt one of the leading private high schools in the St. Louis area, has shown that placing restrictions on the number of upper level courses that each student can take is not harmful to the students’ futures - the school consistently sends students to the top universities all around the country. Rather, it is widely known that colleges recognize the rules enforced by a school and gauge a student’s academic potential by understanding the extent of what is offered at his or her school. “We understand that every high school is different and we review each student’s application within the context of his or her high school,” Washington University Undergraduate Admissions Director Alison Malbrough said. “Limits on AP classes and other curriculum requirements are outside the student’s control and these factors would not negatively affect a student’s application.” Despite the attempts to minimize stress, students still feel the same competitive pressure at Burroughs. “Stress builds up a lot at a school like Burroughs because everyone there takes academics very seriously,” Burroughs Junior Shirley Hwang said. “The environment can be stressful at times, but Burroughs recognizes this, so they often have health seminars to talk to us about managing stress.” The faculty at Burroughs is undoubtedly aware of the ambitious atmosphere present within the school. “All college prep schools are struggling with helping everybody to stay calm, live in the present and enjoy the learning,” Gershman said. However, the AP cap is not the only method that Burroughs has employed to help their students maintain healthy minds. Burroughs also requires students to play a sport or to take a fitness class year-round, to be at the “family style”
lunch every day and to attend relaxation days during the high stress periods of the year. These programs, although deemed important by the Burroughs staff, vary for the upperclassmen, who are granted more freedom regarding sports and lunch arrangement. Academic pressure can encourage students to do well, but it can also burn students out completely. This is exactly what John Burroughs School hopes to avoid. And what, then, does Gershman want her students to take from their experience at Burroughs? “A lifelong love of learning, of being a kind, caring community and appreciating diversity,” Gershman said.
IN PERSPECTIVE To CHS College Counselor Mary Anne Modzelewski, finding the correct balance of activities and prioritizing is essential in controlling personal stress. “I don’t think it’s the challenge that causes the stress, it’s the busy work,” Modzelewski said. “I think what’s most stressful is realizing you have all these things piling up.” Before coming to CHS, Modzelewski worked at two other institutions, including Illinois Math and Science Academy in Chicago (IMSA) and Sandia Preparatory School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both of these institutions have school schedule structures that are very different from that of CHS. “Both schools had unique curriculums that the faculty did not wish to subscribe to the advanced placement curriculum,” Modzelewski said. “Both schools were 100 percent college-bound places, but they were structured in such a way that the curriculum gave a little more freedom, choice and flexibility. At Sandia Prep, we had rotating block schedules where every day was different for six days in a row. At IMSA, every Wednesday was an “X” day allowing for Extern-
“All college prep schools are struggling with helping everybody to stay calm, live in the present and enjoy the learning.” –Prue gershman Burroughs Counselor
ships at Fermilab, Argonne or local hospitals. So, students could leave campus and go work someplace to get real life experience.” Thus, having experienced work at schools with schedules that are unique from those most common to the U.S., Modzelewski believes that a possible source of the stress found in students is the rigid schedule. “Every day [at CHS], many students have the same schedule.” Modzelewksi said. “And while routine is good, it can also place pressure on students. And often times, if students do have a field trip or out-of-class commitment, they have to deal with a consequence because they missed class. And so I think the schedule, the way that it is designed, is hard on the students and teachers.” Yet, while Modzelewski believes that a variance in school scheduling could help to alleviate student stress, she acknowledges that the current system, which most schools across the nation have adopted, is essential to making curriculums work. “I’m not suggesting that we change the schedule,” Modzelewski said. “But I do think I’ve seen other environments where the schedule is more flexible and allows for a more harmonious balance rather than the grueling workload many of our students experience. For example, the AP curriculum puts so much material and cramming into so little time that it’s challenging to have many experiential, hands-on learning or cross-curricular integrative collaborations.” Modzelewski believes that if real change is to occur, it needs to begin at the source with reforms to the College Board’s curriculum. The College Board works to help students make the transition from high school to college by overseeing the Advanced Placement program as well as the SAT. “The AP is convenient because it’s a prescribed curriculum to do the work,” Modzelewski said. “Unfortunately, there’s just so much material crammed into so little time that you often lose the opportunity to experience hands-on learning because you can’t miss a single day of class. I think every student here wants to be challenged, whether it’s by an AP class or a regular class. However, there are just so many things that happen in a teen’s life that add to that stress that the rigid schedule can be the thing that makes it kind of difficult.”
COUNSELING AND FUTURE PLANS In response to the growth of stress among students, the counseling department at CHS has continued a long-term study that began several years ago in order to attempt to pro-
vide resources and change that will help to alleviate student stress. “It started when the ‘Race to Nowhere’ documentary came out a few years ago,” CHS counselor Alice Morrison said. “A lot of things were done at that time. The faculty has had professional development days centered around mental health. Recently, the health teachers, Aiello, the college counselors and grade level counselors have begun to examine the stress and anxiety in our students.” Morrison said that because CHS faculty and staff have recently requested more specific information regarding student stress, the counseling department has been conducting year-long surveys. One survey, orchestrated by CHS Counselor Joyce Bell, encompassed the freshman, sophomore and junior classes. The results of the survey are not yet available. “Basically, what we did was ask students to rate their stress, what caused the most stress and when,” Morrison said. Morrison believes that one of the greatest sources of stress may in fact be the students themselves. “The community, including students, needs to say ‘okay, what are we doing, and how can we help manage student stress?’” Morrison said. “But it is also the need within students to constantly listen and replace misinformation with accurate information. Furthermore, it is also important to educate parents on ways to help their children deal with stress.” As the counseling department continues to gather data, Morrison is hopeful of the strategies and solutions they will create to help students manage stress. “We have expanded our Professional Learning Community to include more people,” Morrison said. “Besides just the counselors focusing on these issues, we have invited others. We invited CHADS [Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide], which is an organization that focuses on suicide prevention and we have also met with service providers outside of here that deal with depression, drug and alcohol problems, along with other kinds of things. We’ve talked about bringing in focus groups and examining the coordination and curriculum in our school.” While there have been no changes in policy, Morrison is optimistic that their work will help the student body. “I’m not sure there is one sweeping policy solution that is going to take care of everything,” Morrison said. “But if we could come up [with a solution] as a faculty and student body that could help in any way, that would be incredible.”
Hitting close to home Remembering Natalie Mehlman
by Peter Baugh
he Ladue Rams baseball team had Clayton’s number on a night game in the spring of 1999. The Rams’ pitching ace, future Arizona Diamondbacks draft pick Todd Stein, was shutting down Greyhound hitters and the Ladue offense had built a multi-run lead. Clayton simply was not on their game. Then, suddenly, the familiar hum of electricity stopped. The field went dark as the lights went out.
Natalie “Natalie loved Clayton High School and Clayton loved Natalie. And it was just obvious,” Varsity Baseball Coach Craig Sucher said. Natalie Gayle Mehlman was born on May 6, 1978. The first of five children, she graduated from CHS in the class of 1996. In her time at Clayton, Mehlman played tennis and was an honors student. In addition, she managed the baseball team, which was one of her favorite activities at CHS. When Mehlman was at Clayton, Sucher was the assistant to the varsity baseball coach. “She loved to play sports as an athlete and was a very good athlete,” Sucher said. “She was a very good student, not just because she was smart but because she made her learning a priority and she loved to serve too. She loved to help people and just embraced her role as a manager.” After graduating high school, Mehlman enrolled at Emory University in Atlanta. With a positive attitude and bright personality, she seemed to have her whole life in front of her.
(Courtesy of the Mehlman family)
Death On March 2, 1999, Mehlman was in her junior year of college and appeared to be a healthy girl. No one had any inclination that her body was on the verge of shutting down. In fact, Mehlman was suffering from mitral valve prolapse, the displacement of a thickened mitral heart valve leaflet. The disorder caused her to go into cardiac arrest. She died as soon as it happened. “It was instant. Just a heart attack,” Scott Mehlman, Natalie’s brother, said.
Family When Natalie passed away, Scott was a senior in high school finishing out his four year varsity baseball career. Their other siblings - Blair, Leigh and Chad Mehlman - were all in the Clayton District at the time of her death. Scott Mehlman feels that, as difficult as Natalie’s death was, she would want the family to persevere and continue on with their lives. “It was hard for everybody in my family, but she wouldn’t want us to not move past it,” he said. “I’ll never move over it, but I will move on with my life.” The Mehlman parents divorced when the children were younger, but Scott is thankful that both of his parents and his step-mother have been there for him throughout his life. He says that he is lucky to have grown up with three parents that care for him. Scott does not consider his parents to be a normal separated couple.
He says that Natalie’s death led to both of his parents accepting their differences and building a positive friendship. “It’s the exact opposite of how most divorces end,” he said. “We’re one family and she has everything to do with that.” Sucher sees the Mehlmans as an example of what a family should embody. “Their parents, their step-parents are just a testament to what family is all about, their closeness is awesome,” Sucher said. “I feel real lucky that I am able to have the relationship with the family that I do because of that. They’re wonderful people.”
Baseball Being a team manager combined two of Natalie Mehlman’s loves: baseball and helping others. Bob Hebrank is currently the activities and athletics director at Pattonville High School. But when Mehlman was manager of the CHS baseball team, he was Clayton’s head varsity coach. “She was there everyday, she never missed, she was enthusiastic about being around the guys and it was a genuine passion for baseball,” Hebrank said. “She was a part of the team and really enjoyed being around the team.” Scott Mehlman, who was a freshman when Natalie was a senior, agrees that she had a passion for the game. “She took it seriously, she probably wishes she could have played baseball growing up and she just loved everything about Clayton High School and being a part of sports,” he said. Sucher also remembers how serious she was about the sport. Sometimes, he said, she took losses harder than the coaches themselves. Naturally, when Mehlman passed away, it was hard for the team. Scott was a senior at the time, and many of the players had gotten to know Natalie when they were underclassmen. Sucher has trouble putting the sadness of her death into words. “I think anything I would say would … understate the impact, but I’ll never forget it,” he said. Current CHS Assistant Athletic Director Lee Laskowski was a junior on the baseball team when Mehlman passed away and though he did not know Natalie particularly well, he grew close with Scott through high school and Natalie’s death was very difficult for him. “It was very traumatizing,” he said. “When you lose somebody who was that close to the program, that near and dear and had given so much, it is hard to cope with.” Natalie Mehlman’s impact on the baseball program was so strong, that Hebrank wanted to ensure that her legacy remained. When he left Clayton, he gave only one request to Sucher: keep Natalie’s spirit alive in the baseball program. “My goal was to keep her memory going as long as possible, and I am very happy that Clayton High School and the baseball program and the coaches have done that,” Hebrank said. “It’s just awesome that that legacy has lived on and I’m happy that I was a part of it and that I got to know her and her family, and it’s just a neat situation that came out of a tragedy.”
(CLAMO Yearbook Archives)
Keeping the Memory Alive The Mehlman family, the baseball program and Clayton High School have worked to continue Natalie’s legacy. The Mehlmans wanted a symbol to represent who Natalie was as a person. They wanted something simple, something that could serve as a reminder without being a distraction. “We didn’t want something that just was an eye sore, but we wanted something to remember who she was and what she did,” Scott Mehlman
(CLAMO Yearbook Archives)
said. And so, the ‘Nat’ logo was created. The logo is simply her nickname with a halo above it. It has been placed on the baseball field’s scoreboard, which the Mehlmans helped donate, along with much of the Clayton baseball gear. This year, the Mehlmans donated warm up shirts to the baseball team with the symbol on the back of the shirt. Hebrank felt that the logo also helped Scott get through the tragedy of his sister’s death. “I think that really helped Scott get through a lot because she was always there with us,” Hebrank said. “Every day when he put the hat on with the ‘Nat’ symbol on it he could remember her.” Laskowski feels very strongly about the logo. He feels it is important for people to remember who Natalie was as a person and learn from her example. “I want everybody associated with the baseball program, in the school and in the community to understand what her logo symbolizes. I want them to know what she did for the baseball program, who she was and how much she cared,” he said, “because when you have people like that within your program, you’re going to do nothing but succeed.” Additionally, the Natalie Mehlman Memorial Award is given every year at the CHS awards ceremony. The award is given to a female athlete and manager that embodies Mehlman’s attitude and dedication to CHS. Scott Mehlman and Sucher present the award every year. “We intentionally try to select individuals who keep her memory and her spirit alive because I think it’s so vital to what we are,” Sucher said. In Hebrank’s opinion, the family’s involvement with the program helps them remember that her legacy still remains. “I think everytime … they are able to help out the baseball program, that brings up happy memories about Natalie and how much she meant to the baseball program,” he said. “Every time they go to a game or every time they see her symbol on your guys shirts or the hats that we had, I think that just hopefully puts a smile on their face that she’s still a part of things.”
(CLAMO Yearbook Archives)
Conclusion The Clayton-Ladue baseball contest was continued a few weeks after light troubles caused the game to be suspended. With a newfound sense of hope, the Greyhounds mounted a giant comeback. The climax of the game occurred in the seventh inning with Laskowski at the plate and a runner on first base. Sucher remembers what happened next. “He hit a ball forever into right center field,” he said. “And when the ball came off the bat, I was coaching third base, I said ‘there’s no way that I’m even thinking about stopping this runner, he’s going to be safe or out at the plate.’” The runner was safe by a half step and the Greyhounds ended up winning the game. But what made the victory even more special was the fact that, on that very night, the drinking fountain by the varsity field was being dedicated in Natalie’s memory. A senior at the time, Scott Mehlman was just a few months removed from his sister’s death. He cannot help but wonder if Natalie’s spirit was watching over the Greyhounds as they took on Ladue. Perhaps she had something to do with the lights going off during the original game. “The joke that we could make being serious is that my sister had something to do with the power outage. She didn’t want that game to continue, she didn’t like the way that we were playing in the field or at the plate that night,” he said. “She turned off the lights.” Going forward, Scott Mehlman hopes that his sister stays part of Clayton High School. He is also grateful that he and his family members have been able to maintain such close ties with the baseball program. “I think it’s really important to continue this tradition and continue this legacy,” he said. “I think that is the most important thing, and we are so thankful as a family to have this opportunity to continue to be a part of Clayton High School baseball.”
Cutting to the core Opinions have varied on Clayton’s No-Cut policy. by Lawrence Hu and Max Steinbaum Unique to Clayton and only a few other school districts in the St. Louis area is a sports-related policy known as the “no-cut” policy. School districts with the policy in tact have decided that student-athletes should not be cut from school sports teams solely based on their level of experience or ability. At Clayton, this ensures all students a spot on at least the junior varsity team. Brought to the drawing board in the early 1990’s and implemented a few years thereafter, Clayton’s no-cut policy has been a tradition that has caused incongruity amongst both students and staff alike for many years. CHS Athletic Director Bob Bone fully supports the policy. “I think it is a great approach to athletics,” Bone said. “Through nocut, we give all of those people that are interested in playing a sport an opportunity to get better … they get a chance to develop their own skills.” According to Bone, the no-cut policy is one way students can increase their participation in extracurriculars - from the class of 2014, 94 percent of students played a sport at some point in their high school career. Bone also believes that increased participation in sports correlates with higher classroom performance. Bone’s research has concluded that athletes who participate in school sports receive better grades and have fewer absences and discipline referrals. Bone says that the no-cut policy ensures that sports will not be a source of rejection for students. “If next fall, 35 freshmen come out for girls volleyball and we cut that down to 15, that’s 20 people who have a very negative experience to start their freshman year,” Bone said. “And, how does that carry over? Now, they might be thinking about going out for the school play, but they just got cut in volleyball and they know how painful that was. [They] won’t want to be rejected [again].” Bone said school surveys show that the no-cut policy is supported by more than 70 percent of the students and parents surveyed. With this support, it is hard to argue that the policy should go. CHS Psychology teacher David Aiello, on the other hand, does not agree with Bone. “I respect his opinion,” Aiello said. “But I disagree with it.” Throughout his time as a coach, he coached both Clayton baseball and soccer. Unlike Bone, Aiello believes that Clayton’s no-cut policy deteriorates the quality of the school’s sports programs by attracting less competitive and skilled athletes who then contribute to a lower level of competition within the specific team. In addition, Aiello says there is an inconsistency between the way students aren’t denied participation within athletic teams but are on Clayton’s other highly selective programs, such as theater and AP classes. Aiello also said the no-cut creates different motivation for students to play, some of which is detrimental.
(Photo by Makenna Martin) “I found it very frustrating to coach when I had kids who wanted to go on and to play soccer at the next level, baseball at the next level,” Aiello said. “Then you had kids that were just out for getting their name in the yearbook.” Aiello also noted that experiencing rejection, to an extent, is an important factor in preparing adolescents for life after high school. “There’s been a growing trend in the last five to seven years … [a philosophy] that we shouldn’t steal our [children’s] struggle,” he said. “It’s good for children, kids, and adolescents to struggle because if you don’t struggle and fail, you aren’t prepared for the real world.” Having coached at both the JV and varsity levels for seven years, Micah Johnson, a Spanish teacher at CHS, has felt the effects of the no-cut policy - both positive and negative. “We get a lot of players coming out for soccer that haven’t played [before] ... and by the time they’re juniors and seniors, we make varsity players out of them.” He says that, at other schools, these players would be cut their freshman year. Johnson says that the no-cut policy encourages players who would otherwise fear being cut, to participate, and often excel, in high school sports. “No-cut is consistent with our philosophy of value and participation,” Johnson said. “[We value] excellence, but not putting excellence before inclusion and participation … [because] everyone is capable of excellence.” Johnson also, however, said that he understands the arguments of those opposed to the no-cut policy. One reason he dislikes the effects of the no-cut, he stated, is because of the possibility of having to coach a team with simply too many players. “I’ve ended up with teams of 30 players, for JV girls soccer, and you can only play 11 [at a time],” Johnson said. “So I’ve ended up with 19 girls on the bench. That’s two teams, almost. That makes it hard to get playing time.” He also feels that it is harder to get a team ready for the season. “From a coach’s perspective, being able to only take the players who show up for the season prepared and ready to compete, would be nice ... I would love to have a bunch of soccer players who show up as soccer players, ready to play.” Johnson also echoed some of Aiello’s sentiment on rejection. “It’s good in high school to experience rejection, because we’re all going to experience it. And the earlier we get a taste, the better prepared we are for it when it happens [later on] when the stakes are higher,” he said. Though he sees both viewpoints, the no cut policy does make sense to Johnson. “[Although], in an ideal sense, I love [no-cut]. I love what it says about us,” he said. “I love what it speaks to our values ... In that sense it makes perfect sense to me.” Sports 31
AT H L
breaking the ice by GRACE HARRISON
here’s a saying in the skating world,” CHS sophomore Anna Ilivicky said. “Sleep, school, skating, socialization – now, pick two.” Ilivicky’s skating career began at age six at a disco night skating event in Brentwood, Missouri. After that night, Ilivicky begged her parents for a private lesson and soon enough she was on the ice again with a private coach. “The coach came off of the ice and said something breathless like, ‘Wow, she really gets it,’” Ilivicky’s father, Howard Ilivicky, said. It was this lesson that resulted in an invitation to join St. Louis Synergy, a synchronized skating team Ilivicky still skates with. “It’s like synchronized swimming, but it’s on ice,” Ilivicky said. The team consists of 16 to 20 girls who train together Monday and Thursday nights and Saturday mornings during the season, which lasts from September to March, with training camps throughout the summer. Ilivicky’s team had a successful season this year, placing second at the national competition in Colorado Springs and eighth out of 17 teams at an international competition in Austria, while representing the U.S. To keep up with her demanding and intensive team, Ilivicky also skates individually with coaches year round before, after and even during the synchro season. “I’ll practice on my own, too, besides the lessons, because you have to do that, too, to get good,” Ilivicky said. In addition to skating three days a week before school, and occasionally on the weekends, Ilivicky also plays CHS lacrosse every day after
school. As a result of staying up late doing schoolwork after getting home from her sports, and waking up early to go skate: “I just don’t sleep,” Ilivicky said. Despite some of the negative impacts of her busy schedule, her parents believe there have been many positive effects as well. “I think it has made her really good with time management,” Ilivicky’s mother, Sarah Keller said. “And, I think it has made her a good team player, which maybe coorelates to other things.” As far as Anna’s athletic future is concerned, senior year will be her last year skating. One reason for this is the time commitment college ice skating teams demand. “If you want to skate in college, there is a limited amount of things you can study, because you’re going to miss so much school for competitions,” Ilivicky said. “So you decide what your priority is.” Although senior year might be her last year skating on a synchronized team, it will not be her last year on the ice. “I mean, I’ll miss it because I’ve been doing it since I was six,” Ilivicky said. “But maybe I’ll coach, because that won’t take as much time. So, that’s always an option.” In the end, Ilivicky looks forward to her last few years as a skater. “Skating has really taught me to work for something,” Ilivicky said. “It has taught me that not everything is going to be handed to you.”
Photos from Ilivicky family
Holding her own
irls that play sports are tough. Girls that play water polo are downright beasts. Senior Christina Krucylak is the epitome of tough girl: she plays varsity with the boys, is just aggressive enough to play a hard but fair game and is an inspiration to any girl playing the sport. Krucylak got into water polo during her sophomore year at Clayton High School. Because of a strong synchronized swimming background and encouragement from fellow swim team members, Krucylak decided to try out for the sport. The summer after her junior year, she started playing for the St. Louis Area Polo club team to better her skills and attempt to improve her final season at Clayton. This year, Krucylak was picked by head water polo coach Jud Brooks to play at the varsity level. “It’s great [having Christina on varsity],” Brooks said, “She’s an encouragement to the team, she’s very positive, and that’s a motivator for the team when we’re down or when we feel like we just want to throw in the towel and give up. So, I’d say that’s probably the best part about having her.” Varsity teammate Andrew Litteken agrees with Coach Brooks about Krucylak’s positivity being beneficial. “I think she’s been good at pulling the team together and making sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing,” Litteken said. “[She’s always] helping everyone out and just trying to organize what everyone needs to do.” As a natural leader, Krucylak has applied what she’s learned as a counselor at Sixth Grade Camp and as one of the most motivating senior girls on the varsity swim team to her position on the varsity water polo team. Though she’s not the official team captain, Krucylak can often be seen encouraging her teammates, leading drills and even helping out the JV team, which makes her a well-liked member of the entire team.
by SOPHIE ALLEN
As a leader figure and the only varsity girl, Krucylak has inspired a lot of girls on the JV team to succeed in the sport. She started on JV both her sophomore and junior years and since moving up has inspired other girls to take her place. Junior Stefanie Getz is playing her second season of water polo with Krucylak this year, and continues to view her as a role model. “She’s advanced so much over the course of her playing,” Getz said about her teammate. “I really have liked playing with her and watching her play.” In addition to being inspiring in the water, several girls on the water polo team this season credit Krucylak for being the reason they first got into the sport. “I ... think hardly any girls would be interested, I know I probably wouldn’t have been interested, if it weren’t for her,” Getz said, “I definitely think Christina has been pulling the girls into the sport and I think that’s really been helpful for all of water polo [at Clayton].”
She’s very positive, and that’s a motivator for the team when we’re down or when we feel like we just want to throw in the towel and give up. - coach jud brooks
Christina Krucylak treads water during a water polo game. (Mark Zimmerman)
Fox Searchlight Pictures/MCT
Fox Searchlight Pictures/MCT
The Grand Budapest Hotel by ZACHARY SORENSEN
he Grand Budapest Hotel” is the story of the adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous Eastern European hotel, and Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), the lobby boy who becomes Gustav’s most trusted and loyal protégé. The story focuses on the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, Boy with Apple, and the battle for an enormous family fortune. In the background of the film is Europe’s growing fascist movement as World War II approaches. The movie, directed by Wes Anderson, begins as the Author enters “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The hotel, while run down and tacky, still functions with baths, kitchens, suites and steam rooms, if only for the sake of one man, Zero Moustafa, a man that we learn is the former millionaire tycoon turned hotel owner. Moustafa takes a particular interest in the Author and decides to tell him how he gained his fortune and the hotel. What comes next is a surreal adventure of romance, murder, humour and deceit as Gustave H fights for the inheritance. First he must survive the efforts of Dimitri Swinton (Adrien Brody) and his enforcer (Willem Dafoe) to kill him and to steal the priceless painting from Gustav. This is
a journey that wins both Gustav and Moustafa a fortune. There is almost nothing more that I could ever ask for from a movie. It’s a mix of murder mystery and comedy that blends perfectly with deadpan acting and witty writing. At other times, the movie tends toward feelings of dark humor. For instance, during a prison break, the fugitive manages single-handedly to kill six guards before he himself is killed as well. Without a doubt, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” displays stunning cinematography. Not only is the hotel beautiful on the interior as well as the exterior, but it is also set in front of towering mountains and incredible vistas. Additionally, the movie is shot fantastically and depicts actors and perspectives in personal yet fantastic ways. Perhaps the only part that disappointed me was the ending. It seemed as though it did not reflect a mood consistent with that of the rest of the film. It was a very realistic conclusion for such an unrealistic story. All that said, to me, it is no surprise at all that “The Grand Budapest Hotel” has already grossed over $100 million, outdoing all of Anderson’s previous films and earning him the Silver Bear at the Berlin film festival, where the movie was unveiled. This film is truly a must-see.
strange donuts by KEVIN ROSENTHAL and ELISE YANG
trange Donuts, a unique and enchanting donut shop, is sure to captivate the attention of any sweet tooth. The name alone makes the curious individual wonder what makes the donuts so uncanny. The flavors of donuts are special, varying from Cookie Crumble to Campfire and Strange Bacon. Located in Maplewood, Strange Donuts is quaint with an inviting interior and fun and playful decor. Customers are greeted with the aroma of freshly baked donuts that are made from scratch daily. When we first arrived at the shop, it was nearly empty due to bad weather; however, once the sky brightened, the line was out the door. Although the store is compact, there is no shortage of donuts and the workers welcomed us warmly. On the food front, we thoroughly enjoyed the Gooey Butter Donut from the New Creations category. The donut had a unique taste, embodying St. Louis’ signature cake flavor with its own twist. The donut was rich and decadent and it did not give us reason to regret taking a chance on a strange donut. We were not able to try donuts from the “Strangers” category because they are only available at night. Donuts in this category include the Chicken and Waffle donut and the Pizza donut, in collaboration with renowned St. Louis establishments such as Pastaria and Pi Pizzeria. Other donut categories included the Original Classics. This collection is one of typical donuts that a person could find at any standard donut shop. We tried the glazed donut and the rainbow sprinkled donut. They were mediocre at best, lacking both taste and texture. The glazed donut was rather grainy, and did not meet the high expectations we had as a result of the clever concept of the store. The rainbow sprinkle donut was essentially the glazed donut with frosting and sprinkles, which enhanced
Yo My Goodness
the taste but still did not measure up to our hopes. The Strange Donut Brew, made in collaboration with Kuva Coffee, was better than most of the common St. Louis coffees. The flavor was neither too bland nor too bitter. The classic donuts were reasonably priced at one dollar each. However, the price of the New Creations was disproportionate considering the fact that they were the same size as the classic donuts yet double the price. Strangers cost a whopping five dollars. Overall, we were impressed by the originality of the store, and we enjoyed the unique creations. We were not too amazed, however, by the classic donuts, which were lackluster and not very fresh. Nonetheless, Strange Donuts is definitely worth a try, as long as you take on one of the more unique options, which would fit the store’s tag line: “Stay Strange.”
by SOPHIE BARNES
tradition for most Clayton students is to get a treat after school every Friday afternoon. In 2010, Chill became one of the popular hangout spots for those Friday afternoons. Recently, loyal customers were sad to see a closing sign on Chill’s doors. However, in just 16 days, Yo My Goodness took over this popular location and replaced its predecessor. Yo My Goodness opened its first location in Webster Groves in 2010. Since then, business has been going well and expansion locations have been added. This new Clayton spot makes their sixth store, and yogurt fans should be glad that they’ve expanded into mid-town. “We picked Clayton because we wanted a perfect place to bring out new healthy smoothies,” Operations Director Amy Jeanette Farrar said. “Also because the people around the location are so great. The Clayton location feels like a family, so close and so greatly impacted by the regular faces we get to see every day!” Farrar is only 22 years old and she manages all six store locations. Yo My Goodness is much more than just a ‘make your own’ yogurt place. Customers can select sorbet and custard as well. The Wydown location is also being used as a test hub for their newest additions: smoothies, juices and concretes. This company keeps it local: all yogurt comes from Missouri dairy producers. “One serving of frozen yogurt has zero grams of fat, and only contains 100 calories,” Farrar said. There will always be 12 different yogurt flavors in the store at a time,
such as Chocoholics Anonymous, Go Bananas, Fuhgeddaboudit Cheesecake and tons more. There are also 20 different toppings to make your yogurt complete including various fruits, chocolate and the unbelievably popular cookie dough bites. The company is trying to appeal to a variety of interests and taste buds while advancing the idea of a healthier treat. As does Ted Drewes, Yo My Goodness provides make-your-own concretes. So far, these new menu items have been a huge hit. “I love the unique toppings that Yo My Goodness offers,” Tara Williams, a customer at Yo My Goodness, said. “It makes a great dish on a classic American favorite!” After buying out Chill, the company completed all renovations in only 16 days, eager to start business. In some ways, Chill’s legacy is a big part of Yo My Goodness: not only do many of the current employees look familiar, but there is also a punch card loyalty program, offers of rewards and distribution of coupons. Compared to Chill, Yo My Goodness has more offerings and choices for customers, such as their custard. The new custard addition to Yo My Goodness has made a large impact on customers. Most reviews of the new frozen yogurt shop have been highly positive. Compared to other yogurt places, Yo My Goodness sets the bar for delicious and healthy frozen yogurt while providing those who are not necessarily as concerned with their caloric intake with a plethora of options as well.
c Graphic by AUDREY PALMER
The Price L
ights up. Each member of the audience was immediately inundated with a sense of intensity – an irresistibly deep focus on a theatrical masterpiece. For three weekends (March 20-April 6), The New Jewish Theatre presented Arthur Miller’s “The Price,” which featured Clayton High School’s very own Kelley Weber: the head of the CHS Theater Department and the drama teacher. The play is set in the attic of a Manhattan apartment building, where a prosperous businessman and his family once lived comfortably. After the stock market crash of 1929, the family experienced a rapid financial decline. The father mired in the gloom of his economic mistakes until he died under the care of his eldest son, Victor (Michael James Reed). Victor, a police sergeant, returns to the attic in order to sell the knickknacks and antique furniture, as the apartment building is soon to be struck down. Michael James Reed perfectly captures the character of Victor – distressed and full of regret. Weber plays Esther, Victor’s wife, in both a physically and emotionally beautiful way: she flawlessly depicts the portrait of an unsettled wife. The hope that her husband obtains happiness is apparent as she simultaneously craves a life of prosperity. Along comes Solomon (Bobby Miller), an elderly sage who deals antiques on the
by BECCA POLINSKY
brink of retirement. He is the comic relief, the respite of the story. Victor’s brother Walter (Jerry Vogel) refused to help his dying father beyond contributing five dollars per month and now lives royally as a famous surgeon. The two brothers are forced to meet after 16 years of silence in the attic of their father’s musty apartment building. The siblings quarrel messily as they attempt to understand their father’s enigmatic past. They juggle angrily with blame and evidence from their father’s financial history, which grows both from Victor’s jealousy of Walter and from Esther’s mediation. After lunging at one another in order to establish justice in their relationship, the brothers uncover the truth about their father’s fraudulent and manipulative behavior. Soon enough, the two brothers realize that they are running away from the exact same thing. “The Price” depicts an engrossing story that is relevant to the life of anyone and everyone – it comments on the high price paid for one’s past decisions. Through the sorting and selling of their deceased father’s furniture, Victor and Walter ultimately receive much more than money. “The Price” is an alluring and memorable theatrical masterpiece which leaves the audience with a new appreciation for the inherent consequences of one’s decisions. Blackout.
clayton by JESSICA JANCOSE
Courtesy of Chris Tennill
layton is rebranding. Estimated cost: $100,000. On March 12, 2014, the Clayton Board of Education approved a proposal from Falk Harrison to “provide branding and identity services to the District.” Phase One involves the design of a new brand identity and the creation of new district-wide logos. Estimated cost: $62,900. The re-designing of district logos alone is expected to cost the District $35,000. The goal is to incorporate the new mission, vision and core values decided upon during the strategic planning process that the district underwent earlier in the year into a more public “brand message.” Phase Two involves an overhaul of the website design. Estimated cost: $32,000 - 40,000. Though $100,000 may seem minuscule in the grander scheme of the $48,000,000 operating district-wide budget, to many departments within the district that are seeing budgetary reductions, $100,000 carries a lot of meaning. In light of the budget “reallocations” that are being made all across the District, the following question arises: do we really need to be spending $100,000 on creating a brand identity and an updated website? Clayton School District Superintendent Dr. Sharmon Wilkinson said that branding is a necessary expenditure because it will “help to really convey the strong message of where we’ve been, where we’re going, what we’re doing, how we’re accomplishing it, and the progress that we’re making. It’s a way to connect the dots for all of the stories we have in the district. It’s just telling the story of our work.” Clayton is an incredible school district and it makes sense that we, as a community, would want to honor it by telling our story. That being said, will spending hours of time and thousands of dollars coming up with mission statements and new logos help to accomplish this goal? Clayton is so much more than a mission statement or a clever graphic: we are a vibrant, multi-faceted community. Our story is one of students who dream big and of parents and teachers who are passionate about helping students to achieve their goals, no matter how far-fetched they may seem. There is no better way to honor the story that Clayton has to tell than by supporting the students and teachers that define the community. If the administration wants to promote the telling of our story, they should forget about trying to articulate it through newer, more cohesive logos and instead direct that energy and money towards helping students to
finance trips to Nationals for TEAMS, Rocketry and DECA and towards helping sports teams to purchase new uniforms and equipment. It is through these experiences that students are given the opportunity to shine and to articulate to the greater community who we are as a district. According to Falk Harrison’s presentation to the Board of Education, brand identity “encompasses every tangible expression of who the School District is and what we believe in.” Costs aside, if we truly want our brand identity to encompass and communicate what makes Clayton one-of-a-kind, shouldn’t we be making use of the creativity within the Clayton School District itself? It would be much more meaningful to be represented by a symbol created by someone who has experienced everything that the District has to offer instead of by one thrown at us by a random third party. Dr. Wilkinson explained that the money that is being used to finance the rebranding initiative is not being taken from any funds that would have gone to Glenridge, Wydown, CHS or the other schools in the District. Instead, the money is coming directly out of the superintendent’s budget. It’s not about the origin of the money, but rather the materialistic message that the money sends. Spending $100,000 on a new logo and a website seems foolish in light of the fact that many teachers are watching their operating budgets for next year shrink. An expenditure of this size sends the message to teachers and coaches that their work is less important than the creation of a new brand identity. It also sends the message to students that they live in a district that is more concerned with directing money toward flashy new logos than they are toward things that impact students directly and significantly. Of course, this is not the message that the District administration intends to send. They want to showcase that we are, in fact, one of the top schools in the state and a very competitive district nationally, which is without a doubt something on which we should pride ourselves. But ultimately we are spending a significant sum to pursue rebranding in an effort to improve the image of an already impressive district. In the end of this process, yes, we will probably have more cohesive logos, but likely it will change very little in terms of making people come to appreciate what makes Clayton truly special. Because in the end, it is the students and teachers within the District that define the Clayton experience, not some drawings.
Photos by Noah Engel and Globe Archives.
SHOULD CHS ENFORCE AN AP CAP? THE PRO:
by JEFFREY FRIEDMAN
wo? Three? Four? Five? How many are other people taking? How many AP courses in a year is too many? Unfortunately, from the perspective of the student, there is no better way to gauge the true meaning of success in academia without the use of peers as the primary measuring stick. This leads to many problems, the first and foremost being that the peers around whom any given student spends most of his or her time are the exact ones competing with them for admission into selective colleges and universities. The leading ﬁgures in secondary education by no means have the ability to control the lives of their students, although it would be nice at times to wear a shock collar that doesn’t allow one to work on homework for more than three hours a night. That being said, secondary education administrators do have the ability to implement an AP (advancement placement) cap as part of their school’s academic culture and reduce student stress. Any school that fully realizes its ability to decrease how thinly its students spread themselves out is a respectable one. Although, as emphasized in the cover story, there are multiple spheres of stress within the life of a student, it is undeniable that academic stress can be a predominant contributor to a below average quality of life. Furthermore, it’s one that so easily can be controlled in order to provide students with less stress. There is no good reason not to take full advantage of this ability. It’s been uttered countless times by representatives of nearly every college that schools view the prospective students in the context of their school, so why not increase the quality of life of a significant number of high school students, when the opportunity is wide out in the open? Some might counter this argument by saying that placing a “cap” on
the number of AP courses is undesirably limiting – that if the primary purpose of secondary education is to explore a wide array of academic topics, it would be hypocritical to tell someone they cannot take a class even if they feel passionate about doing so. In addition, AP classes allow students to gain college credit before leaving high school in such a convenient manner that, to many, a limit on the number of AP courses would also be a restriction on possible amounts of time and money saved. However, an AP cap at CHS would not at all serve as a limit to academic curiosity, or to the number of areas one may explore, but rather as an inhibitor of unnecessary stress. Also, the benefits of having a much more enjoyable as well as thorough high school experience would without a doubt outweigh the potential benefit of knocking a couple additional college requirements off of one’s list before matriculation. Although it’s true that there will always be a group of exceptionally multi-talented people who actually do have the ability and sincere desire to maintain a schedule of six AP courses, it should not be forgotten that just because one has the ability to do something does not always mean that one should go ahead and do it. Schools shouldn’t forget that students work best when they have time to relax and to be with friends and family. The most important service that a high school provides is to mold students into adults who have the ability to recognize the importance of dedicating a significant amount of time to sincere intellectual pursuits. It is common knowledge that when a person increases the time and energy dedicated to one particular aspect of life, they automatically detract from the emphasis placed on another. An old proverb suggests “everything in moderation.” Of course, it’s difficult to know exactly how much is too much. That being said, longlasting pangs of persistent and unproductive stress worsen the lives of all students, parents and friends involved.
THE CON: by CLAIRE LISKER
layton High School students feed on a freedom that fosters responsibility, initiative and passion. Here, students leave campus for lunch, direct musicals and run school-wide concerts — choosing from a myriad of fascinating course options should be no exception to such freedom. In fact, learning to manage one’s academic endeavors in high school is equally or more important than learning to manage the social or extracurricular aspects of the quotidian schedule. Capping the number of AP’s that CHS students can take would hinder them from thriving to their full potential, and would avoid, not confront, the ongoing problem of stress. Thanks to the CHS advising system, students are well-guided when choosing AP’s. While they decide which AP classes interest them, students receive plenty of input from their superiors before actually enrolling. On a student’s class sign-up sheet, each current teacher must sign to approve the student’s class selection of corresponding subject for the upcoming year. Having worked with their sophomores or juniors for almost a year, the teachers are familiar with the student’s work ethic and capabilities, and can thus, make an educated recommendation. Courses in math, science, English, or a foreign language follow a logical sequence in which a student’s performance in their regular or honor classes can be used to predict their performance in future AP classes. In history, where there are no honors courses, a Power Point presentation shows each student detailed outlines of the subject matter, class structure, and commitment of each available history class (AP or regular). Regardless of the class, the signed sign-up sheet is the ticket for the next round of approval — a one-on-one meeting between student and counselor. Counselors either encourage or discourage students from the schedules they propose. Other times, logistics disallow the accommodation of schedules, placing a virtual cap on excessive AP’s. In fact, although they are often overlooked, there are several other current policies at CHS that already limit the amount of AP’s taken or the stresses associated with them.
For example, AP Bio/Chem combines AP Bio and AP Chem from four class periods into three, by making their corresponding lab periods alternate days; AP Psychology is a semester commitment rather than a full year; and, thanks to the college board, the notorious AP Physics curriculum will span over two mutually exclusive school years, starting in the fall. Also, AP’s at CHS are available starting junior year, unlike many other St. Louis public high schools. For example, Ladue High School offers AP’s to sophomores, and the Parkway high schools, allow some AP’s to freshmen. Thanks to our system, students have the chance to explore their strengths and passions as underclassmen, without the pressure of decorating their transcripts with AP courses. By the time they approach junior year, they choose AP’s in order to be pushed in areas of strength, to have teachers that their older friends or siblings recommended, or to learn more in depth about topics that interest them. Yes, AP’s are also taken to enhance college applications, but upperclassmen know better than to let AP overload compromise their GPA or extracurriculars, both of which are arguably more important to college admission than the number of AP’s taken. Furthermore, sleep deprivation and stress are not mere side effects that an AP student can take like a champ; they inevitably take their toll on at least one of the many torches that your average overachiever tries to juggle in his 25-hour day. Students learn to calibrate their lives to find balance. Letting them choose their AP’s may teach them the hard way, but capping their AP’s for them will not teach them at all. Ultimately, an AP cap would not be well-received at CHS. Students enjoy taking AP’s in several subjects driven by their interests, their teachers, and fellow classmates. Students thrive on challenge, and while AP classes may certainly be sources of stress, they teach valuable lessons beyond the course content. Students who choose their schedules learn prioritization and time management and can better define their interests and capabilities. If CHS students retain the academic freedom they currently have, they will better know how manage competition and responsibility, which neither AP caps nor time can erase.
The stressful school enviroment of no excuses and piles of AP books provide a difficult enviroment for any student. commentary
HIGH SCHOOL CONFERENCES by BRIDGET BOEGER
Is the recent addition to the CHS calendar an aid for struggling students or an inhibition to the development of their responsibility?
ou’re sitting at the front of the classroom at your teacher’s desk. Beside you sit your parents, discussing with your teacher whether or not you turn in your homework and why your math scores have been plummeting lately. Next year, parent teacher conferences at the high school level will be introduced to CHS. What seems like an idea that might help students will actually hinder their achievement. High school students should not have parent-teacher conferences. By high school, students need to have figured out how to get their work done on time and how to behave properly in class. High school is the last step - the last milestone before heading off to college. Yes, college: a place where students are, in the majority of cases, completely on their own. Where students, for the first time, have almost infinite freedom. Where students aren’tgiven a curfew or restrictions on where they can go. Come time for college, parents aren’t constantly checking their child’s grades or monitoring their lives. Of course, there are the occasional students who do struggle with classes and behaviors. Not that those students should have to fix those
problems independently, but the majority of students do not need to have conferences with their teachers and parents in order to solve such behavioral issues. Parent-teacher conferences may help freshmen begin to navigate high school, but after the age of 15, students should be able to figure it out for themselves. Furthermore, in high school, teachers teach many different classes and therefore many different students. Mandatory conferences with students and their parents would become very hectic; not to mention, they would be a waste of time for students who simply don’t need them. Teachers should focus their attention on the students who are struggling and only conference with those parents: it is unnecessary for teachers to have conversations with parents of every single one of their students. Parent-teacher conferences are a valuable resource for students who are having difficulty keeping up in class or feel as though they need additional help or resources. However, to force the entirety of the CHS student body to conference would only prove to be a waste of time, and to students, it would give off condescending signals regarding responsibility.
teachers should focus their attention on the students that are struggling and only conference with those parents.
Photo by Noah Engel
RAISE THE PRICE?
by CHRIS SLECKMAN
DIVISION I BASKETBALL
5% of the $10.8 BILLION
made from 2011-2024 =
PER YEAR so...
3,500 NCAA PLAYERS Kentucky and Connecticut fight for the ball. (Harry E. Walker/MCT)
or a while, I thought that the $45,000 tuition and $15,000 room and board was compensation enough for student-athletes. But the number 10.8 billion changed my mind. That is the number of dollars that CBS paid the NCAA for the rights to televise March Madness from 2011 to 2024. If you were to break down that number and to give five percent of that to all of the Division I college basketball players combined spread evenly throughout the 14 years, that is $3.8 million per year. If that is then divided among the 3,500 players, they are each left with an annual salary of $11,020. This is not an outrageous sum of money to the point where the players wouldn’t know what to do with it, but enough for the players to be able to buy food, clothes, gasoline and other basic necessities. And this is just 5 percent of a single part of the revenue for one sport. These student-athletes spend many more hours training than they do attending classes or studying. Every student-athlete sacrifices their education for their training, when in reality, over 99 percent of them will never make it to the professional level. In a way, this is a double whammy because the time they spend training could be spent working or studying: engaging in activities that without a doubt will be beneficial to the student-athlete. These particular students have little time for a job, which is the main source of income for the typical college student. As a result, they are left with a tight budget that leaves them with little money for the basic necessities like food and gasoline. In fact, Shabazz Napier, one of the most iconic collegiate athletes of
2014, said that there are nights throughout the season where he goes to bed starving. Student-athletes spend hours training to get their body in the best shape possible, but their tight budgets leave them with little choice but to eat cheap food, which is typically unhealthy, or in some cases, no food at all. I understand that the logistics behind paying student-athletes would be difficult. From where would the money originate? Should players of all sports be paid equally? How can we pay men in a way that wouldn’t violate Title IX? The solution won’t be encountered over night, but a step in the right direction is a great place to start. This first step came last month when a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that a group of Northwestern football players were employees of the university and therefore that they had the right to form a union. The fact that the players were to be considered employees of the university is a positive step in terms of the possibility of income for the student-athlete. The title ‘employee’ suggests that these student-athletes are working for the university to help them gain revenue. The title ‘employee’ also entails a salary. The basic business model is that employees are paid based on how much revenue they bring into the company. If you take this model and apply it to collegiate sports, then players will be paid based on how much revenue their sport generates for the university. These studentathletes have become just as much employees as they are students to the university; however, they receive minimum compensation, which violates not only common decency but perhaps even the law.
(Emily Michot/Miami Herald/MCT)
Government Intervention by PETER SHUMWAY
nequality, free choice and personal freedom have all have been ideals used to justify the greatest accomplishments in social policy over the course of this past century: social policy changes such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Women’s Suffrage and many others. These changes have caused certain members of our society to receive freedom that was truly needed. Although America did in fact require these social policy changes, there is a point at which increased individualism does not increase the safety or freedom of a collective nation. It seems counterintuitive to not look at an individual’s needs when shaping important social policy. However, the government’s job is not to monitor an individual’s personal satisfaction. Instead, the government regulates social policy in order to protect the weakest members of the nation. Due to this rationale, America keeps prostitution illegal. Some women in the Third Feminist Movement believe that changing social policy by legalizing prostitution would give women more individualism as they would be able to work as a prostitute, and therefore exercise their individual sexual freedom. This is an easy philosophical trap to fall into. It has been proven that when a government legalizes and respects people’s “sexual individualism,” the demand for prostitution increases. In a New York Times article titled “Legality Leads to More Trafficking,” Rachel Lloyd pointed out that statistics from Amsterdam indicate that legalizing prostitution increases the number of young teenage girls who are illegally “recruited” as prostitutes. This, in turn, endangers the entire teenage female population. Sadly, many of these girls are often the urban poor. Social policy is about protecting the weakest members of society, and in this case, the “weak” refers to young and often underprivileged girls who are being roped into prostitution. Gambling is another example that demonstrates how social policy’s
goal is to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. According to a PBS article by John Warren Kindt, the legalization of gambling in certain areas of South Dakota caused an increase in bankruptcy rates within these particular municipalities. Furthermore, this article also stated that the people who gamble are usually low on the socioeconomic spectrum. Keeping gambling illegal in parts of the country protects the weakest members of our society: the poorest and the most susceptible to bankruptcy. But why does the government care if fourteen-year-olds decide to become prostitutes? Or, why does the government care if some family in South Dakota goes bankrupt? Legalizing prostitution or gambling in new parts of the country would negatively affect the American nation as a whole--as these legalizations would endanger American children. Firstly, children born to prostitutes are likely to grow up without a father as the legal institution of marriage could not link and tie the biological father and mother together. Children born into families bankrupt from gambling debt would have fewer opportunities to succeed in life. Clearly, there are many detrimental social effects. Although it is without a doubt important to ensure the individualism of the people, a certain amount of policy must also be enacted primarily to protect children, a social group vulnerable to the failures of their parents’ increased individualism. Plato said that the “excess of liberties, whether it lies in state or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery.” Therefore, increasing a person’s individualism may not always be a viable form of social policy, although many people deem it to be so. The balance between individualism and protecting the most vulnerable members of our society has to be acknowledged as the U.S. attempts to solve social issues such as immigration, gay marriage and abortion.
by JEFFREY CHENG
or students not afflicted with senioritis, late spring is usually the most stressful time of the year. The AP exams, the ACT, the SAT, and the SAT II’s hang over the young scholars’ heads like an impending apocalypse. I jest, of course, but it seems that standardized testing is one of the leading causes of 2nd semester anxiety; the cursed multiplechoice monstrosities are the last hurdle that students go through before the bracing relaxation of June. It is no surprise, then, that students tend to hate standardized tests. However, much of the resentment endured by CollegeBoard and the ACT remains unwarranted. Aptitude and achievement tests remain one of the most effective methods of improving chances for college admissions, second only to consistently high grades. Given these two keys to academic success, one would think that students would resent high school grades far more than standardized test scores—the former takes 4 years, while the latter takes a couple of Saturdays. However, standardized testing is a far easier target to criticize, so students tend to direct their anger at one of the more innocuous aspects of college admissions. A common sentiment is that standardized tests are arbitrary and do
not truly test students’ potential or diligence. It’s a fair point, but some of the proposed alternatives approach absurdity. An exclusively portfolio-based assessment? College admissions centered solely around essays? An entirely interview-based system of college admittance? Random lots? Leave alone the feasibility of the alternatives (how many man-hours would be used in a universal interview-based system?); most of them fall apart even in concept upon closer inspection. According to the 2013 Gallup Education Poll, the most-loathed section of the SAT by far is the essay section; do students really want admissions based solely on writing? And can arbitrary interviews really surpass regulated multiple-choice assessments if the true concern is accurately testing students’ potential for college? Questioning the cutthroat admissions process for colleges in general is a legitimate concern, but this is invariably not the central concern when students lampoon standardized tests. The students who tend to worry the most over them are the ones who tend to do well academically, the ones who really do buy into the system of higher education. What we all really want is just an easy way into a credible university. However, there isn’t one. The best we can do for now is just to crack open The Princeton Review and to hope for the best.
Locked and Loaded by EMMA EHLL
here are a few fashion statements every teacher must embrace: a lanyard with the photo ID and keys, stains from expo marker all over the hands and stylish yet practical footwear. But as if this weren’t enough, some Missouri lawmakers are suggesting an addition to the teacher’s wardrobe: a gun holster. Even after the occurrence of various shootings and other violent incidents in schools across the country, a bill allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons in school made it through both chambers of the Missouri Legislature. While many have argued for stricter gun laws after these incidents, some lawmakers are advocating for the exact opposite. Their rationalization is rooted in the idea that if someone wants a firearm badly enough, they will get one. This means that the only way to protect students is to arm teachers in the same way that the assailant is armed. While some schools in more rural areas have already found loopholes in their state’s government in order now to allow teachers to carry guns, the likelihood of that happening at CHS is slim. Since CHS is enforcing the installation of a new ID swipe security measure and since an armed school resource officer is on the premise during school hours, arming teachers isn’t necessary. Many of the schools that have allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons lack the funds to hire guards and to put other safety measures in place, unlike Clayton.
(Dai Sugano/San Jose Mercury News/MCT) Although this bill could provide a solution to the threat of armed assailants entering a building of sitting ducks, it could create a plethora of new hazards. What if a student were to get a hold of a teacher’s gun? Furthermore, what if the teacher were to pull the trigger on accident? According to CHS school resource officer John Zlatic, allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons poses a huge threat. “I do not believe that arming teachers is a good practice, nor do I believe that arming teachers will make students safer,” Zlatic said. “Our teachers are exceptional, but they are also very human... one honest and simple mistake could lead to the potential of a lost or stolen gun in our school and none of us want that.” Additionally, proper weapon use takes years of training and experience to master and is not a natural part of a teacher’s job description. “Carrying a gun means that you have made the conscious decision that you will take a life if necessary. I have made that decision and it was not made lightly,” Zlatic said. “I do not want to force that very personal decision on our teachers. They became teachers in order to teach and it is my job to support them in doing so.” In other words, allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons is not only an unnecessary action at Clayton, but it also poses a threat that outweighs any protection it might offer on a larger scale.
Photo by Noah Engel
ne of the mistakes that people seem to make all too often in today’s world is confusing unnecessary worry with productivity, professional growth and eventual success. Human beings have evolved to house a certain amount of anxiety, and this is without a doubt a good thing. Without an innate fear of heights, a person might walk off of the roof of a tall building and jeopardize his or her survival. Without a natural fear of the dark, a person might be in the wrong place at the wrong time and not even care that danger may lie just around the corner. However, it is easy to allow less life-threatening sources of stress to take over one’s life completely. For many students of the 21st century, the fear of getting a B on the next test seems to equate with prehistoric man’s fear of being a hungry predator’s dinner. Since it seems so easy for such feelings to increase in frequency and amplitude throughout life, given how much time today’s students are bred to dedicate to schooling and to self-improvement, it’s obvious that a serious issue is developing rapidly. It must not be forgotten that not to receive a perfect score on a test is nowhere near as important, from a biological standpoint, as standing at death’s door. However, this is much easier said than done. Therefore, it seems as if the students of today are more worrisome than the students of yesterday. Why? The modern man is simply con-
fused. In an unhealthy manner, students have actually started to believe that not to obtain perfection and not to exceed the successes of one’s contemporaries is not to live a life of happiness and health. Nevertheless, the student can easily transcend the uncomfortable standards of today. All a student has to do is recognize that not attending their top college pick doesn’t mean he or she will never be happy, successful or healthy. Instead of planning the future inch by inch, a student should proceed in a relaxed manner, with the simple goals of happiness and health in mind. The product is not what’s important. Rather, it’s the process and experience of reaching a goal that should be valued. It seems that too many students become antsy when they learn of the achievements of their peers. But aren’t there many pathways to success? As stated by American author Henry David Thoreau, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” The attempt to follow the path that, at the time, seems as though it will yield the maximum amount of satisfaction for the student in the future will almost always prove futile. Not only are there innumerable paths to happiness, but almost nothing in life turns out as expected, anyway.
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Donna Rogers-Beard After a long career in education, history teacher Donna Rogers-Beard is retiring from clayton. Globe editor Peter Baugh talks to her about her time at CHS. For how long have you been teaching at CHS? Twenty-two years.
Would you like to see Clayton make any sort of changes?
Did you teach anywhere else before CHS? University City High School.
What has stood out to you about Clayton as a comProbably, when I got here, what stood out most was the freedom that students had and how much I enjoyed it, because it gave me freedom. Just the fact that students didn’t have to have a pass in the hallway just made so much sense. Open campus … I just love that freedom that students had, teachers had, the 46 minute lunch hour … we need that. We need wind-down time; I support that … I was also impressed that Clayton students were extremely polite, extremely considerate of each other and not that it was perfection, but I just found a lot more … empathy, and I see it often coming from power. That when you have a lot of power, you’re willing to give a lot more, you don’t have to take power on little bitty things that really aren’t about power. I loved the support that teachers were given … when I came here there was so much more support for teachers in terms of conferences, being able to go to conferences, being able to share with colleagues when you return, having a say in implementing things, and I also felt that there was so much more respect for teachers. I think it’s what makes this school a great place, because teachers then, I think, turn around and give that same respect to students, and so I believe very firmly in top-down respect.
I would like to see no changes, I would like to see a return. I am concerned that I am beginning to see a little less trust that teachers you’ve hired [are] the best and they can do the best job. When I went to University City in 1969, we had department assistants, we had many of the same perks that I came into Clayton with. And they were taken away in University City and I think it eroded the quality of education in University City. Not that University City didn’t continue to be a really good school with some incredible teachers, but I see sometimes the slicing, the taking away from so much support or reducing the number of people who maintain our building, making for larger class sizes all in the name of money, [it] may kill the golden goose. Exactly what has made Clayton that place that teachers feel that they are in a special place … that very, very much concerns me.
What are you going to miss the most? I’m going to miss students. I enjoy teaching and I’m going to miss doing that; I will continue to teach, but to a different crowd.
What led to your decision to retire? I’m not going to tell my age, but I have limited time to get out there and do something else.
What do you want to do in retirement? I am doing the history of Blacks in Clayton and I have already presented it to the Clayton Historical Society and at the opening of school I did a breakout session. I want to get in and do a lot more research and take my Powerpoint presentation and make it into a book.
Do you still see yourself as being involved with the District after you retire? Who knows? I don’t know.
Photo by Noah Engel
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Published on May 8, 2014