Val And Sal Pg. 3
ROTC at Texas relay p. 6
Life after AP p. 16
APRIL 2009- Issue 5
2305 East Main, League City, TX 77573
Rock n’ roll all night long during Spring Show Megan McKisson
The curtain is drawn, and beyond seven hundred audience members, fifty girls wait anxiously to take the stage. Whispering “good luck” wishes and completing final stretches, the girls prepare to continue a longstanding tradition. It’s the opening night of the annual Clear Creek Cavalier Spring Show, and the accumulation of hundreds of hours of planning and hard work is about to come to life. “The stress of preparation is the hardest part of Spring Show,” said Junior Lieutenant Evelyn Fontana. “But the rush of adrenaline you get from performing in front of peers is amazing.” “Cavaliers will ROCK you!”, the 2009 production, was one of the biggest in years, with 23 different performances and two memory slideshows. “This show featured more dances, such as our competition routines, to
showcase accomplishments year,” said Lieutenant, Johnson. This year ’s theme takes the
o u r over the 1st Senior Ashley
audience on a journey through the history of rock & r o l l , from it’s beginnings to it’s modernday sound. The show opens w i t h classic
numbers like “Sing, Sing, Sing,” and “Jailhouse Rock,” and finishes with contemporary favorites such as Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. “My favorite dance is advanced tap, choreographed to “Boogie
Woogie Bugle B o y , ” said junior Isabella Arnao. “I love to tap!” The show featured a wide variety o f styles of dance, including hip-hop, jazz, lyrical, modern, kick, tap, drill, pom, and novelty. In addition, the Creek cheerleaders performed a high-energy routine that complimented the rock-and-roll theme. “Nobody can do ACDC, Aerosmith, Led Zepplin, and the Beatles like the Cavaliers can,” said sophomore team member Emily Trusky. “‘Crazy Train’ [the Jazz Company routine] was my favorite dance to perform,” said junior Kelsey Sutton. “It’s so fast and intense and it feels so good to dance it.” Cavalier tradition states that the new year begins with the final jump split on the last night of Spring Show. Newly selected members officially become a part of the team, and rookie members (called New-News) of the 2008-2009 team become Cavalier veterans. “As the final jump split hits, we’re not ‘ N e w News’
s a i d gain a and
anymore,” Trusky. “We newfound respect a
responsibility to be positive role models for the new girls.” Juniors also look forward to becoming seniors, t h e leaders of the team. “The final night of Spring Show is your ‘last day’ as a junior Cavalier,” said Junior Lieutenant Lindsay Satterfield, 11th. “I’m so excited to make more decisions and help lead the team.” The Cavalier Social Committee traditionally designs the Spring Show lobby, a task that demands countless hours and preparation. “We spend basically a week in the lobby until two in the morning setting everything up,” said Social Committee President Elizabeth Tormey. “But when it’s done, it’s amazing and everyone’s favorite!” From the opening number to the final jump split, the show attested to the hard work the Cavaliers put in over the course of the year. Featuring numerous crowd pleasing numbers and many national award winning dances, Spring Show once again withheld lasting Cavalier traditions.
UIL dates moved due to outbreak of Swine Flu Allie Hinga
In response to the recent reports of Swine Flu throughout the nation, including a few cases in Texas, the University Interscholastic League, UIL, has suspended all competitions until May 11. This cancellation comes as one of the most recent precautions taken in light of the recent outbreak. The recommendation to suspend UIL events came from Dr. David Lakey, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, and Robert Scott, Texas Education Agency Coordinator. “The health and safety of our student activity participants is of the utmost importance,” UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said in a UIL press release, “Taking every possible precaution to prevent the further spreading of this disease is an important contribution to the welfare of our great state, and altering the schedule of our events is a way to keep our participants safe.”
The UIL is currently in the process of rescheduling its state and regional events for a later date, and has released a tentative schedule. The Academic State Meet has been rescheduled for May25-26 for all conferences, and while the 4A and 5A One-Act Play competition will continue to be held on May 15-16, all other One-Act Play competitions have been rescheduled for May 26-28. Both Academic and One-Act competitions will take place at the University of Texas. The Texas State Wind Ensemble Festival has been cancelled and may or may not be rescheduled. All interschool baseball and softball games have been postponed until May 11, and an altered playoff schedule will be posted on the UIL website. The UIL state tennis and golf tournaments will proceed as planned on May 11. UIL Region III-5A track meet has been rescheduled for May 15-16 at Humble, and the state meet will take place June 5-6 at UT’s Myers Field in Austin. The regional meets had initially been
cancelled, and the UIL planned to use the top four performances from district meets to select state semifinalists, but the decision was reversed following complaints from several track coaches throughout the state. “[It was] unfair to these kids and the kids of the state of Texas,” Clear Creek High School Coach Ruben Jordan said in an interview with the Galveston Daily News. In response to the complaints, UT officials and UIL regional track meet hosts worked to put out the new tentative track meet schedule. “The decision to suspend competition was not a decision we took lightly,” Breithaupt said in a UIL press release. “Much effort and consideration was given to resurrect the regional track meets and change the dates for the state meet. With the cooperation of our regional sites and the University of Texas, we are now able to hold the regional and state track meets as we had originally intended.” The recent postponements are only a few of the most recent precautionary
measures being taken to prevent the spread of swine flu, which is now being called influenza A (H1N1) by the World Health Organization. CCISD has postponed all student-sponsored activities scheduled to take students outside of the Houston area, and a number of school districts throughout the state have closed in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Though the H1N1 outbreak has set back a number of school activities, including UIL and, for some districts, TAKS testing, educators are working to ensure that students are able to compete as well as stay safe. EDITOR’S NOTE: The Clear Creek HiLife strives to remain as accurate and as up-to-date as possible, especially when communicating such time sensitive material. However, due to printing delays, the information contained in this story is subject to change. For the most recent information, please visit the district website at www2. ccisd.net, the UIL website at www.uil. texas.edu, and the CCHS campus website at http://clearcreekhighschool.ihigh.com/.
Photos by Cassie Lee and Graphicsfactory
If you could be anyone, who would you be? alcoviak Christen V Reporter
“If I could be anyone, I’d be country star Taylor Swift because singing is something I love, as well as country music, and would absolutely love to be rich like her.”
“If I could be anyone, I would be Will Smith. He stands by his views, doesn’t pretend to be someone else, and is persistentinhiswork.Healsoovercame somanyobstacles tobecome where he is today.”
Ryan Munth Editor e
“IfIcouldbeanyone,Iwouldwant to be my mom. This way I could stepintohershoesandunderstand why she makes the decisions she does,andthedifficultiesshegoes through on a daily basis.”
ffield Will She r Reporte
ee Cassie L Editor in Chief
e Sulkis Christin rter Repo
“If I could be anyone, I’d be Tyra Banks because she has made her talents into individual multi-million dollar businesses.Shealsopromoteshealthy self-respectandbodyimageforteen girls. Basically, she’s bankin’!”
“IfIcouldbeanyone,I’dbeElvis Presleybecauseeventothisday he’saworldwidephenomenon andeveryoneknowshisname.
“IfIcouldbeanyone,I’dprobably beChuckNorrisbecausewhen he falls in the water , Chuck Norris doesn’t get wet, instead the water gets Chuck Norris.”
Albert Nkansah Reporter
“If I could be anyone,I’dbeTrent ReznorofNineInch Nails because he worked his way from the bottom as a janitor to become a rich and famous rock star.”
t a Comp Amand Editor
“If I could be anyone, I would definitely be RachelBilson,because I would reap her romantic benefitsnamely, Hayden Christ ensen. He is amazing.”
2008-2009 Clear creek hilife Principal: Advisor: Executive Editor: Editor-in-Chief: Editors:
Scott Bockart Wynette Jameson Jan O’Neil Cassie Lee Amanda Compton Haley Rush Allie Hinga Megan McKisson Chelsea Huebner Jordan Little Ryan Munthe Advertising Manager: Melissa Devitt Video Editors: Ryan Gripon Matt Lara Photo Editor: Hailey Stephens Photographers: Kaitlyn Boryk Shauna Ferrero-Donahue Kaitlyn Foote Reporters: Amber Arnold Kaitlyn Blake Emily Dismukes Alina Gregory Tracey Griffith Emily Hunyh Matthew Johnson Albert Nkansah Shannon O’Neil Emily Trusky Christen Valcoviak Sue Ellen van Eps Adam Vencil Contact Us! Email us at: Creekhilife@gmail.com Visit our websites: www.clearcreekhighschool.ihigh.com http://myhsj.org/Newspaper/tabid/100/view/frontpage/newspaperid/15/Default.aspx
For advertising rates call: 281-284-1889 Fax: 281-284-1705 Photos by Ryan Munthe, Amanda Compton, and Flickr
Guest Editorial: Allie Hinga
“Things do not have meaning. We assign meaning to everything.”
Allie HInga I’ve been increasingly noticing a certain trend this year. Let me see if you can catch on. My GPA is a 4.5. I’m ranked 1 in my class. I scored a 208 on my PSAT. Look for me in Journalism class, and you’ll find me in D-136. When I worked at KFC, I had to input my employee I.D. number to clock in and out. Like many other students at Creek, I have a student I.D. number, a social security number, and a driver’s license number. Is it just me, or have I ceased to be a person and become another number? We live in a society of sheer competition. No matter what we do, there’s always someone to compete with, someone to be compared with, someone who it seems will constantly overshadow us. Even in high school, the system is inescapable: we’re put in a building with 2,000 other students and asked to work our way through the ranks to attain the coveted “Top Ten Percent” or to graduate Summa Cum Laude. Each year, the report cards
go out, the numbers are calculated, and we’re all assigned a GPA. Every release of these numbers is followed by the inevitable passing around of our ranking sheets and comparing our scores. We congratulate our friends on a job well done, but many of us secretly rejoice because we’ve kept our high GPA and outrank most of our fellow students, or we cringe because the rank seems to confirm our suspicions that everyone around us is more intelligent than we are. The more time I spend in high school, the more I cannot stand the class ranking system. I’m inevitably being constantly compared to my peers, expected to measure up, to maintain this image I’ve created for myself of being “the smart kid.” The threat of falling out of the top ten percent hangs constantly over my shoulder, not to mention the expectations of those around me. The system, whether intentionally or not, creates unbidden animosity, as I inevitably compare my grades to those around me, secretly filled with an ugly pride that forces me to justify every grade against the backdrop of my peers. It’s an unbearable cycle, but one that’s inescapable once you get sucked in. I’m not saying that I should stop caring and let my grades drop for the sake of nonconformity, but I am saying that there’s so much more to high school than a number on my transcript. Somewhere along the line, we have lost our pride in giving our personal best and have fallen victim to the system that pits us in constant competition with our fellow humanity. I came into high school with big plans:
graduate with a 4.5 on the distinguished plan, be valedictorian of my class, be editor-in-chief of the paper, get into some prestigious college. But as time has worn on, I’ve come to see these dreams in a different light. It’s not that I’ve abandoned them; I’m just learning to put them in their proper place. I realized that the source of these desires was a longing to do something that would make me worth remembering once I left high school. I wanted to walk out of the doors of Clear Creek High School with enough honors on my resume to keep people talking about me long after I left. I wanted to stand out among my peers as the one who did something truly great. But all of these dreams turned me into a person I never wanted to be. I was constantly comparing myself to those around me, drowning myself in worry if I was afraid someone might outshine me. I would fume inwardly when compared to my peers, afraid they would steal my plans of “glory.” Even now, I still struggle with these feelings, though I’m taking steps to overcome them. I’ve learned two important lessons from my experience. The first is that I do not have to compare myself to others. If I have given my personal best and someone still beats me, that is okay. Just because someone outshines me doesn’t lessen my value, nor does it make me any less of who I am as a person. I don’t have to be better than everyone else, I just have to do my best and be satisfied with that. But more importantly, I’m realizing what ought to be my real priority in high school, more than grades, more than
personal achievement, more than being well-known. Ultimately, my academic achievements, my awards and scholarships, my GPA, will be irrelevant. Once I reach college, no one is going to care what my GPA was, or whether I was valedictorian of my class. Once I get a job, my grades in college will fade into oblivion. When it comes down to it, the things that will last are not the comfortable records of achievements we hang our hats on, but the lives we touch. Records of achievements will gather dust, and plaques with my name on them will end up in a box in the attic. But if I can honestly impact someone’s life for the better, then my time here has been worthwhile. If I achieve a high GPA, people will pat me on the back and shake my hand and congratulate me, and that will be the end of it. But if I honestly make a difference in someone’s life, whether I realize it or not, I will have truly made a difference in this world, a difference that might actually last beyond a few years. Life is too short to be so caught up in my own achievements that I don’t pay attention to all of the people around me. I’m not going to lie; I’m not perfect. I still get caught up in trying to make the best grades and be the most liked. But I have hopes that the legacy I leave won’t be one that gathers dust in some file cabinet somewhere, but will be one that plays itself out in the lives of people around me, so that when I look back on my life, I can say that I honestly did something worth remembering.
Guest Editorial: Megan McKisson “Love first and live spontaneously. Life is full of beauty. Notice it.”
Megan McKisson As a very goal-oriented person, I often find myself detailing a future plan, stringing together specific features of an activity, or calculating the amount of money a particular odd job will give me. My fellow HiLife staff member, Amanda, likes to joke about how I “always have to make a list!” As much as I readily believe the world needs type-A personalities like mine, there is a
down side to all this compulsive planning – by arranging every second of my life down to the last minute moment, I’m missing out on the ground currently beneath my feet. As I focus on the future, I forget about the present, and all the tiny moments of surprise and exultation that make life so great. Since I was a freshman, I have been envisioning my “perfect” senior year. I would be cute and likable, have a hot boyfriend, involved in tons of extra curricular activities with a perfect GPA. Basically, I wanted to be the all-American student. However, as my junior year draws to a close and I prepare for my final year
of high school, my “dream” senior year is almost laughable. Scripted for the screen, it features a cast of all-star characters. By writing my school-years story for a plastic screen, I missed out in the beauty of improvisation. My failures and my imperfections – my personal blooper reel, so to speak – are what made my high school experiences so rich and memorable. Almost failing English (my best subject) in ninth grade taught me that grades do matter, and therefore by default, so does studying. Breaking up with my boyfriend of eighteen months taught me that there is life after a long-term
relationship. Not making Cavaliers the first time I auditioned taught me how to pick myself up after a fall and try again. Each lesson, however painful, helped shape me into the person I have become today. And then there were the things I didn’t expect to happen, but did and enriched my experiences beyond my imagination. When I joined the newspaper staff in my sophomore year, I had no idea what was going on. I asked the counselor to switch out, but I got stuck in the news room. However, getting ‘stuck’ on the staff has been one of the best things to happen to me these past three years of high school. I’ve met two amazing best friends, worked with a fabulous teacher, discovered many talents I never knew I had, and been published in several other publications. Now as I approach my senior year, I have just one expectation in mind: to expect nothing. I plan to take life as it comes, and one thing is certain – that doesn’t involve any planning.
N ews TAKS testing faces its demise by year 2012 Amber Arnold As most high school students know, in order to graduate from high school you have to pass all of your TAKS tests. This puts a lot of pressure on the students to pass them. The State of Texas has decided to take away the TAKS test. The state has always counted on testing scores and it has caused a great deal of schools stress. It still plans on testing students but in other ways to give them the results they need. Since the TAKS Test will be gone, the state wants local schools to prepare students for college or a job. The changes will start in the 2011-12 school year. The change will gradually elevate Texas into the top ten states when it comes to preparing students for college or equipping them with workforce skills. Texas ranked 46th in the country last year in the Scholastic Assessment Test Scores. More than 40 percent of high school students were not college ready in at least one subject area, according to a recent study by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Many parents and teachers have
complained for years that educators are forced to teach the TAKS test and it does not do enough to prepare students from elementary school to high school for success after graduation. “I don’t like the TAKS test because it does not test on current information. It mainly tests on last year’s information,” said geometry teacher Edna Meeks. Meeks feels like the students are in good hands with the information that their teachers will give them for their end of the year exams. She feels that the end of the year course exams are a good thing, but she worries about who is going to write them and what the requirements will be. Schools will be able to earn distinctions for excellence in a
variety of areas, such as growth in student achievement, workforce readiness, second language learning, fine arts and physical fitness. At Creek, students who are freshmen have to take a field test at the end of the year for Algebra 1, but it does not count for the record. It is just for practice.The field test is a test that has just Algebra 1 on the test, and it is to see what the students have learned that year. Other schools in the CCISD district also Frances Laranang prefers sleep to TAKS take field tests for different subjects. Their students get to take the tests teachers are going to have to work extra hard to online from the Texas Education Agency. help their students understand and remember The freshmen will only have to take the the topic they are teaching. field test until the 2011-12 school year. The state has not come out When the changes begin in 2011 yet with a plan of how graduation each student in high school will have requirements are going to work. to take an end of the year test for Mrs. Lisa Carrigan the testing every core class they are taking. coordinator at Creek feels that the TAKS If they pass the test then they test change and the final exam change get credit for the class. If they will be better for students at creek. don’t pass they lose the credit “I think it will be easier for students for the class and they either to remember what they had learned have to go to summer school that year, it will also better prepare or take the class over again. kids for the class that they are going to It is just like college, because have to take in college,” Carrigan said. in college you have to pass With the TAKS test finally coming to the end of the year exams to an end both students and teachers can be get credit for the class you’re more stress free. The teachers can just teach taking. This means that what they need to for the end of year exam.
Stimson bored with TAKS test.
Photos by Kaitlyn Boryk
Kemah business owners keep hope post-Ike Jordan Little
Six months after Ike, Kemah is gradually increasing in growth. Both residents and businesses are working hard to contribute to Kemah’s revival. Spring break provided Kemah’s small business owners along with the Boardwalk a chance to prove to the public that the area still possesses life. Neither were let down. On the Wednesday of CCISD’s spring break, Kemah was fairly crowded. By the late afternoon, there were very few parking spaces available around Kemah’s small shops and only garage parking was available at the Boardwalk. Although not everything had been repaired, businesses were open to the public. A sign at Kemah’s Burger House screams, “YES! WE’RE OPEN.” The message is clear. Sylvia’s Cozy Corner has been a part of Kemah for 18 years. Sylvia and Lee Streater own Corner, a gift shop and mom and pop organization. Sylvia is a Creek
graduate. She has lived in Kemah her whole life and the gift shop was her
o n c e childhood home. Hurricane Ike left three and a half feet of water in the store. The couple worked hard to have Corner back open by Thanksgiving weekend. “We’re back enjoying ourselves and getting more customers every day,” Mr. Streater said. The Streaters’ home was destroyed by Ike, and they are thankful that they were able to build another house n e x t
door. Most of the other waterfront store managers and staff are just as optimistic as the Streaters. When it comes to business, they are hopeful for the future. Tropical Express, a souvenir store on stilts still had water damage. Five days after the storm, they were open. With a new shipment of merchandise the store is preparing for the summer and the customers it will bring. Eagle’s Nest Gallery, a store that sells fine home décor, received almost two feet of water even though the store is ten feet off the ground. “We’re still recovering. But we’re here and we’re very thankful,” design specialist, Joan Graham said. Kemah storeowners describe the customer rate as “picking up.” The Kemah Candles & Soaps floor, although it is remodeling due to 40 inches of water, was still open to customers over Spring Break. Boardwalk Fudge, Kemah’s candy shop had a boat come through one of the walls. Although it took three and a half months to reopen, the store has been refurbished. Some storeowners are thankful for the help they received from Kemah officials. Bertha Mason of Ber-Dan’s, a gift and souvenir shop, is thankful for the police’s hard work in restoring Kemah. “They didn’t sit out here
and wait. They just started cleaning up,” Mason said. In his own words, Mr. Tim Anderson, Kemah Boardwalk’s General Manager is “cautiously optimistic” about business this summer. According to Anderson, the Boardwalk this year for Spring Break was busier than last year. Due to the devastation Ike wreaked on the Boardwalk, it has taken hundreds of construction workers to rebuild Kemah. “It was pretty catastrophic,” says Anderson. Almost all of Kemah’s buildings were damaged. With reparations made, the Boardwalk has brought forth innovations. Kemah has introduced three new rides, Drop Zone, Wipeout, and a double decker carousel. All of its restaurants are open with a few remodeled. Contrary to rumor, Sting Ray Reef will re-open in mid to late April or May. Although Hurricane Ike put Kemah temporarily under construction, the area has revived. “It’s gone by pretty fast,” Anderson said about the months since the hurricane. With the summer season drawing near, Kemah’s store owners and the Boardwalk are eager for the life it will bring to the area and business. “It hit at a very bad time,” Bonnie Wells, owner of Kemah’s Christmas store, The Enchanted Christmas Cottage said. Not one storeowner can argue against Wells. Reyna from Reyna’s Hair Salon says that all busines owners are very friendly and helpful towards one another. They choose to remain hopeful for the traditional summer crowd and the life it will bring to Kemah and its businesses.
Photos by Jordan Little
N ews 5 Creek’s Robonauts’ dedication is rewarding Tracey Griffith
The Clear Creek Robonauts recently participated in several competitions for FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) the first being a regional competition in Washington D.C. This competition took place in the first of six weeks of FIRST regional competitions across the nation. The Robonauts also participated at the Lone Star Tournament and competed at the nationals in Georgia. The Clear Creek Robonauts placed second out of the 65 teams that were competing at the regional competition in Washington. The team won the Motorola Quality Award for their performance. The Robonauts are competing in a game called Lunacy this year. The name Lunacy comes from the playing conditions of the game. The conditions in the playing field are adjusted to feel like space and imitate its weightlessness. The playing field is 27 by 54 and robots that are no more than 3 by 4 by 5 compete in the game.
The teams had six weeks to build their robots completely from scratch. The teams receive help and mentorship from local businesses like NASA, the United Space Alliance, and Exxon/Mobil. From March 26 to March 28 the Robonauts competed in the Lone Star Tournament in Houston. It was held at the George R. Brown Convention center. Over 63 teams from all over the United States participated in the competition. The Robonauts competed in the game with their robot, Revolution. The team made it to the quarterfinals. They also received the Gracious Professional Award for their hard work. The students that make up the Clear Creek Robonauts are extremely
dedicated. The team meets after school at NASA every day for several hours. They meet at NASA so that they can work with the professionals there to build their robots. They even meet on weekends, on both Saturdays and Sundays. The professionals that mentor and work with the students on the robotics team are NASA engineers that are currently working on the rover, Chariot, which will soon be going to the moon. This rover is a new kind of lunar vehicle. Chariot can be ridden by the astronauts and can even be used to drill minerals samples from the moon. “Working with members of NASA is very inspiring and exciting because it shows me what I could accomplish. It makes me realize the things that I
could be working with one day and makes me work harder to achieve my goals,” senior Tom Johnson said. Johnson also shared why he joined robotics. “I have always been interested in the way that things work, and I want to help to improve technology,” Johnson said. On April 17th and 18th the Robotics Team attended a national competition in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia Dome. They competed in the Archimedes division. The team again played the game Lunacy and competed with their robot Revolution. The team came in second place in qualifications. The Clear Creek Robonauts also received the Gracious Professionalism Award for spray painting about 350 records gold for the competition. The team also gave out some awards of their own. The Robonauts gave four awards to teams that in their opinion had impressive, well-designed robots.
Robonauts photo submitted by Nikki Warden
6.0 is the new 4.5 GPA Get fit, pass TAKS Allie Hinga
For the past two school years, CCISD has been implementing a new Grade Point Averaging, or GPA, system that now affects all freshmen and sophomores. This new scale is expected to help make class ranking easier, but it may also change the way students select their courses in coming years. For the past 15 years, CCISD had been on a 4.5 GPA scale, in which students could earn up to a 5 1/3 for an A in a Level 1 class, which include Advanced Placement, PreAP, and Advanced Academics courses. Level 2 classes, which include regular classes and most electives, could earn up to a 4.0 in each class. At each semester, student GPAs were averaged and the result “capped,” or cut off at 4.5. While this system has helped students in the past by allowing multiple seniors to be ranked number one in their class, it presented some disadvantages as well. Since multiple students have shared GPAs, colleges have a hard time determining which student should be named number one in his or her class. Also, since the numeric grade determines the GPA, students who might not have as high of grades as another student could still have the same GPA. CCISD has been receiving feedback from colleges about this issue as well as consulting district committees and the school board to get input about a new grading system that would help relieve these problems. As a result, the district implemented a new method of determining GPA for students entering high school in the fall of 2007. Under this system, students enrolled in Level 1 classes earn a 6.0 for a 100, and the grade points they receive decrease by .1 for each point their grade drops on the 100-point scale. Level 2 classes follow the same procedures, but the maximum GPA students can earn in those classes is a 5.0. This system makes a grade of 90 in a Level 1 class the equivalent of a 100 in a Level 2 class. A detailed outline of the GPA awarded for different grades can be found in the Educational Planning Guide students received during course selection. This new scale is also different from the old one in that it is accumulative. While the old system capped students at a 4.5, the new system will not take such measures, and students will receive their actual average GPA for their four-year calculations. This means that a student who
does not do well in classes one semester can make up for their grades in a later semester. Under the new system, grades will be more closely checked on the district level to ensure accurate GPAs because students can earn a variety of grade points. “There’s so much more that goes into that scale,” Suzanne Thomas, the Director of Student Personnel Support, said. While the new system is expected to make determining class ranks easier for schools, it is also expected to increase student competition. While in the past students could achieve a 4.5 by enrolling in three Level 1 classes, students will now have to take more advanced classes to achieve a higher GPA. Ms. Thomas also said that the system will make it significantly harder for students to achieve a perfect GPA, since the student would have to make a 100 in all Level 1 classes. “It would give people more incentive to keep a higher grade than using the extra points as a buffer,” senior Laura Carter, when comparing the two scales, said. There has also been some concern that some students may sacrifice taking certain elective classes to raise their GPA. Ms. Thomas discourages students from sacrificing their passions because colleges look for well-rounded students, not just those who make good grades. “It’s not about the classes that you sit in for four years,” she said, “It’s more than that.” Thomas said that even though the new system will affect a students’ high school GPA, it might not affect the way their grade is calculated by colleges, because many colleges will pull applicants’ grades in their four core classes and foreign language class to calculate a GPA according their own scale. She said that it is most important for students to be well rounded and to do their best at all times. This year’s freshmen and sophomores are currently working under this new, more competitive system. Though some may have to work harder to keep a high GPA and class ranking, the system will be rewarding for those who choose to do the work.
Christen Valcoviak It has been proven that Texas students who have a high level of physical fitness tend to do better on the TAKS test than students with a lower level of physical fitness. This information was confirmed from a statewide fitness assessment that was released on Monday, March 9. The Fitnessgram involved partakers from about 85 percent of Texas school districts in grades 3-12. More than 2.4 million students were in this assessment. It consisted of six areas, flexibility, body composition, aerobic capacity, and upper b o d y , trunk and abdominal strength/ endurance. This assessment was given in the spring of 2008 to more than 6,500 schools across Texas. T h e
s t u d y revealed various things regarding t h e benefits that students with a higher level of physical fitness have shown than students with a lower level of physical fitness. It showed that students who had a higher level of physical fitness attended school
more frequently than students with a lower physical fitness. These more physically fit students also had fewer remedial occurrences involving alcohol, drugs, violence and truancy. Lastly, these students had a higher tendency to pass the TAKS test. The test that proved all of this information was called the “Fitnessgram,” developed by the Cooper Institute, founded by chairmen, Dr. Kenneth Cooper. “Kids who are physically fit, their brains work differently. Exercise is fertilizer for the brain,” Cooper told the Houston Chronicle. “Umm I honestly don’t think it matters… if you know the material, you know the material,” Cassandra Fournet, a junior at Creek said. “Yes they’ll do better because they’ll be in shape, body, and mind,” Taylor Freudenberg, a junior at Creek said. The study also showed that as students get older their fitness level decreases. As a result from this test given, the Senate Bill 530 was passed. It requires that students in grade K-12 exercise daily and have a yearly health assessment. There was a positive correlation shown that if students stay in shape, they will do better on standardized testing. This Bill will
hopefully help the students in Texas do better on testing and not only contribute to the state’s benefit, but the students’ as well.
Ross Grounds and Jose Delsi at soccer. Photo by Blake McClimon
F eatures Choosing colleges by reputations School Haley Rush The reputation of a college is what draws or discourages a student to a certain school. It has often showed that unless the college is Ivy League, the football team represents its popularity. Students, focus on the sport standings, the size of the campus, or even looks of the campus when making their final selections. Yes, those are all great attributes, but there are many other important considerations that should not be overlooked when making a final decision. Required classes that have to be taken before graduation is something every senior should research. It may look notable to see a long list of required courses, but it is not impressive to feel the pressure of taking courses that are not of interest to someone. The more required courses that have to be taken mean fewer electives in the field of a student’s choice. Flexible requirements are also something to look for. Schools that have no substitutes for certain classes could later put someone in a bind. The students who need remedial courses in order to pass should make sure the options are offered at the college they choose. College students everywhere complain about the limitation in class space. The more popular colleges, or if the major is popular at the school could easily put students on a waiting list. Enrollments seem to keep rising, while the faculty size remains the same. Many times students who register later have a hard
time enlisting in classes that they need in order to graduate. It is safe to check availability of classes before enrolling. “I was one of the first people to sign up for classes, however there was a problem with my application and I had to go and resign up for classes. When I went back all of the classes I had wanted before were filled. I wasn’t even able to take an english class my freshman year,” said Creek graduate Mary Katherine Molloy. All colleges do not offer every major, especially if the major is something very specific. It is critical to check the major list before applying. “A&M was one of the schools I was going to apply to this year, however right before I sent in all of my stuff I thankfully noticed that they did not even offer my major. Now I will be attending the University of Texas, which is one of the top schools in the nation for my major,” said Kelsey Carlisle. It would also be sufficient to research the school and major. At certain colleges, some majors need separate applications, like music or art. Also extremely popular majors like psychology and journalism could have limited space. Every student learns differently. Some students need more individual attention then others. That is why the student faculty ratio is something that should be highly considered. Students who attend a university with a ratio of twenty students to one professor should not be expecting too much attention from the teacher. The percentage of students who graduate from a university says a lot about the college as a whole. A rate of sixty to
eighty percent graduation rate is very normal, however if the graduation rate is fewer than sixty percent a red flag should be raised. All of these questions and concerns can easily be answered from college guides and rankings on various websites. The colleges website itself is also one of the best ways to get an answer. Another helpful way is to contact admissions officers to get the inside scoop of the school. Also talking to current and graduate students will give an accurate perspective of the college and its surroundings. All of this information will help students m a k e the best decision and get the most out of the college experience, whether the football team makes it to a bowl game or not.
the whole race with a length of 8.78 miles. “It was very difficult having to run uphill,” Capuzzi said, “The wind didn’t help much either.” The group met Governor Perry. At the end of the 24th leg, at a rest stop for teams, the Governor’s racing team caught up with the JROTC at about three in the morning.
by Woods, Gant, Ewing, Solis, and Picou. Eventually the whole group, excluding Picou who was running leg forty, was near the base of the obelisk. When Picou could be seen, the team blazed out to meet him and they ran in together for the last official leg before the epilogue. The Clear Creek JROTC then fell into ranks and prepared to run the last leg from the entrance of the park to the monument, which was about a quartermile. As Courtney called cadences to the runners, people who weren’t associated with the group were cheering them on the whole way to the finish. The team then met at the steps of the tower with photographers and medals. Each runner received a gold metal. Then, all of the participants signed a the relay. large original Texan rebel flag that had “Sam Would Be Proud” added to the top. The JROTC had run 203.2 miles, met the Governor, and pushed through harsh conditions to successfully make their way into history. The organization now has a day named in their honor. On March 26, 2009, the Mayor of League City dubbed the day “Clear Creek JROTC Day”.
Megan McKisson celebrates.
ROTC participates in Texas relay Will Sheffield
In eaarly March, the Clear Creek Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or JROTC, ran the 203.3-mile Texas Independence Relay, or TIR, from Gonzales, Texas to the San Jacinto Monument in La Porte. The team consisted of 1st Sgt. James Courtney, and students Neil Woods, Nick Capuzzi, Luke Ewing, Candace Gant, Lauren Thompson, Miranda Vasquez, Crystal VanSpyk, Vanessa Jaramillo, Steven Solis, and Antoine Picou. After a quick pep rally in front of the school before the team left, they went off to Gonzales where they would run into history as the first high school team to race in the TIR. The team prepared months prior to the race to make sure each of them was in top condition. ROTC students getting ready to head out for “I am very pleased to be part of this experience and am honored to lead it,” Courtney said, Governor Perry met almost all of the team “The runners will do great. They’ve run over and explained his background in running. 300 miles total in preparation for this race.” “I used to hate running; hate it…I The team began the race at Gonzales always associated it with punishment,” with a 1.15 miles. prologue near the museum said Perry. He finished giving his downtown. After the prologue, there were short speech then congratulated the forty more legs to run plus an epilogue at team, wishing them the best of luck. the end where the team would run together. As the group was just beginning to Each runner was to run different legs seem aggravated about constantly seeing throughout the two-day long race. Nick the 567.31-foot tall San Jacinto Monument Capuzzi had the third leg, the longest leg of in the distance, the final legs were being run
Photo courtsey by Sg Courtney
lunches evolve Haley Rush A major debate facing the school system today is how to improve teens eating habits while in the school cafeteria. Many have proposed the idea to eliminate sodas and snacks like chips and candy. The problem is s c h o o l s have been replacing the vending machines with sport drinks and vitamin waters containing an equaling amount of sugar. A new website was recently introduced with the mission to “design sustainable lunchrooms that guide smarter choices. www.smarterlunchrooms.org does not believe in banning certain foods, but instead guiding students to make healthier decisions. Smarter Lunchrooms reasons, that simply replacing pizza with whole wheat bread and fries with roasted sweet potatoes does not allow teens to make real world choices. “I am actually a person who would rather eat healthy, but when schools are noticeably taking away foods in the lunchroom it makes me crave them more then I usually would,” said Kaci Garrison. The websites main intention is for administrators, but is made accessible enough for parents to easily navigate. The main concern is that students should be encouraged to eat healthier, not forced. For example if the candy, chips, and sodas line is made cash only, while other foods are prepaid then the junk food might be less desirable. Research has also shown the farther away the lunch tables from the less healthy snack line the less likely they are to get up. “Not having sodas in our lunchroom does not make me want to eat healthier. It makes me mad that soon I’m going to be in college and my high school is banning drinks we used to have. I wish I was given more real world decisions,” said Chloe Vogel. Another idea Smarter Lunchrooms has offered is to put the food on smaller plates. The portions will be smaller, but look larger to the students. A solution that has caused much controversy is to raise prices on the less healthy food items. Schools are very cautious in taking this approach due to the disadvantage to kids with less income. That is why Smarter Lunchrooms has offered winning ideas that not only guide students to healthier choices, but save money and make it more manageable for a school to participate.
Photo by Hailey Stephens
F eatures 7 UIL participants compete to win Ready Set Christen Valcoviak UIL stands for University Interscholastic League. UIL provides leadership and guidance to public school debate and athletic teachers. It was created at the University of Austin, Texas. It is the largest inter-school organization in the world and has been since the year 1909. The purpose of UIL is to organize and properly supervise contests that assist in preparing students for citizenship. It aims to provide healthy, character building, educational activities carried out under rules providing for good sportsmanship and fair play for all participants. UIL has many different kinds of competitions, including musical, academic, and athletic. UIL is a non-profit
o r g a n i z a t i o n . The academic part of UIL was hosted on the weekend of April 4. There were many different competitions for various students and coaches. Students must be aware that they do not violate any of the eligibility rules. “This was my first year to compete in UIL for journalism. The room I was in was very quiet and it made me realize what a honor it even was to be there. Overall it was a great experience that I will never forget.” said Haley Rush four-year Uil competitor Haotian XU has competed in many different competitions over the years including, Orchestra, Persuasive Speaking,
Informative Speaking, Social Studies, and Current Events. “UIL is perhaps the most challenging and competitive events, that schools can offer to showcase the skills and talents of students on a plethora of demonstrative tests and activities,” said XU. three-year UIL competitor, Shivani Patel has competed in the competitions of Orchestra, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Science, and the Cross Examination Debate. “UIL helps both students and teachers assess their academic and artistic abilities by engaging in competitive activities with other schools in our area. Successfully participating in UIL is one of the most satisfying achievements in the world,” said Patel. UIL has athletic, musical, and academic competitions, which may i n t e r e s t several students.
Haley Rush 2nd in headline, Meagan Mckissen 3rd in editorial, Allie Hinga 3rd in news
Sleep disorders affect many lives Ross Grounds
How many hours of sleep should one person get? Statistics have shown that most people acquire between six to eight hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately most school-age children need nine hours of sleep a night. When a person does not get enough sleep a night there is a great chance they will acquire more stress, a weaker immune system, poor mental health, and other negative side effects. The truth is without enough sleep the brain looses its chance to rest, affecting the whole body and behavior. A study in the American Journal of Human Biology revealed that children between the ages of seven and nine have become overweight as their hours of sleep decreased. The same results were shown in 8,700 adults between the ages of 20 to 65 living in Korea by the January 29, 2009 edition of the journal Obesity. Memory and concentration is heavily affected by sleep deprivation, which leads to poor performance in classrooms and on tests. The decision-making abilities are weakened leading to an unhealthy lifestyle. Other effects of
sleep deprivation include: depression, heart disease, hypertension, irritability, slow reaction times, slurred speech, and tremors. Fortunately there is a range of solutions. The most common reason for sleep disorders is stress. Reducing the amount of activity before going to sleep helps people fall asleep faster. Other ways to avoid sleep disorders is to avoid alcohol and nicotine, diet sodas and tea that contains numerous amounts of caffeine, limited extracurricular
activities, and practicing relaxation techniques. If people organize their schedule to fit seven to ten hours of sleep in each night. Sleep is just as important as other every day need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
lets Teach Christen Valcoviak
Many people don’t know what RST is or what the students do. RST stands for Ready, Set, Teach and is a class offered at Creek, taught by Miss Yancey. RST is aimed towards students who are considering a career as a teacher. The RST class allows students to have the opportunity to partake in successful teaching methods. RST students go to local schools in the area and have a mentoring teacher. In RST, students perform the responsibilities of classroom teachers. For example, it is mandatory for these students to teach lessons using the lesson plan cycle. One lesson in the fall, and two in the spring must be taught by the student. “Ready, Set, Teach has really given me the experience I need in order to be a responsible and caring teacher one day. I am so thankful that Clear Creek offers such an inspiring class that is focused directly on my future career. Mrs. Yancey also makes the class so amazing,” said Hailey Stephen The fall semester is when the students spend their time learning and observing what real teachers do in a mentoring school. In the spring semester the students spend their internship time as a teacher. Students need to be able to provide their own source of transportation to mentoring schools. So it is a must to if they have their license and a vehicle. “I think it is a real life experience and it gives the student the chance before college to teach in a classroom setting”, said RST teacher, Pennie Yancey. Students enjoy RST and it provides them with a great introduction to being a teacher. It is a great way to help them decide if they really want to have a career as a teacher, and they can be introduced to this in high school through RST. They learn what a teacher does and their responsibilities. They are exposed to a classroom setting and an actual class. They are able to see how students act and are get to know the students one on one. They also learn what they need to do to get the students to listen to them. “My R S T
experience has been great. I have learned that every kid is different and the older they get, the easier you can relate,” said RST student, Courtney Swindoll. If a student at Creek is interested in having a future career as a teacher, then RST would not only benefit, but it would be a great experience.
Photo by Amanda Compton
Students and teachers celebrate Brad Wims Shannon O’Neil Brad Wims will always be remembered by students for his strength and dedication at Creek. Since he was diagnosed with cancer, many students and teachers have pulled together to help raise money to benefit the Wims family. Coach Wims and his family received the news of his cancer in 2007. His affliction was a rare type of cancer called chondrosarcoma, which affects the bone marrow in the body. Coach Wims was attacked for two years. He underwent many surgeries that would force him to undergo physical therapy. Coach Wims passed away on March 2. “I am relieved that he is no longer suffering, I am so proud for the fight he fought,” Coach Wims’ wife, Jenny Wims, said on their family Website. Mrs. Wims continues to upload their family blog, thewims.blogspot.com. Found in the family blog are pictures and stories of the Wims family. They have two children, Zeke and Kaelyn. “I just want to say “thank you” for all of the ways you made Brad feel special and help cared for him,” Mrs. Wims wrote on the family blog. “During a challenging time in our life, we are continually lifted up by your efforts to make life easier for us in some way. God has blessed our family with the most amazing support group.” All students were invited to participate in the fun run fundraiser in honor of Mr. Wims, held on March 7. Although W i m s passed away before the fun run could
Brad Wims smiles with his daughter, Kaitlyn Denise Wims. take place, the Wims family decided to continue the fun run in honor and memory of Brad Wims. Creek teachers Melissa Ward, Tracey Coughenour, and the School of Heath Science came up with the fun run idea. “He was a member of our Clear Creek Family and we wanted to do it for him,” said Tracey Coughneour.
According to teacher Linda Huebner, over 400 people signed up for the fun run to support the Wims family. However, on that Saturday over 600 h u n d r e d p e o p l e showed up to run, including m a n y members o f the Wims f a m i l y. Ryan Siller and
Magnuson, juniors at Creek have fond memories of Mr. Wims. Both students took BCIS freshman year and share a favorite memory. “My favorite memory was when Mr. Wims played the A&M fight song as I was walking into class, the day after A&M beat UT. It was pretty funny, even though I’m a huge UT fan,” Siller said. Magnuson and Siller both attended the fun run and ran for the memory of their teacher. “I volunteered because I thought it was a good thing. It was in his memory and he was a good guy,” Siller said. The fun run lasted five kilometers. Scott Bockart, principal of Clear Creek High School, and Mr. Jamey Majeuwski, Director of Human Resources for Secondary Education, spoke in honor of Mr. Wims. All the proceeds went to the Wims family to help with bills, and though the amount of money raised is still not known, Coughenour believes around $11,000 was raised. Former BCIS student Chris Magnuson said, “He was a great teacher and an awesome guy. He will be missed at Creek.” About a month after Mr. Wims’s passing Jenny Wims posted a poem in honor of her husband on the site. “…I am so happy when I think about him being completely healed and without pain. I sure do miss that man. I would love to see his beautiful smile right now.”
Photo courtesy of thewims. blogspot.com/
Eat healthy on the go Online symphony Emily Trusky At Creek, there are hundreds of students involved with after school activities such as sports, Cavaliers, band, choir, and clubs. School vending machines stuffed with cookies, candy bars, ice cream, and chips tempt these on-the-go students to indulge in a Snickers bar pre-practice. Students quickly search their bags for some loose change and scarf down a snack before their scheduled activity; with no time to eat anything decent, they settle for a calorie infested, trans-fatty package of potato chips. While many think that they will “burn off the calories” during their after school activity, the foods are damaging to health in the long run. Greasy vending machine snacks such as potato chips, corn chips, candy bars, and packaged cupcakes are causing the childhood obesity rate in America to climb higher than ever before. According to kidshealth.org, “one out of three children are considered overweight or obese.” Over longer periods of time, unhealthy, empty snacks take a toll on both the body and self esteem, and prevent the body from growing properly. Unhealthy eating can cause an early onset of diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, and cancer. In addition to these harmful things, many children are developing improper
eating habits, which create a tendency for poor eating choices in the future. “If I’m in a hurry to get to practice, I’ll stop by Burger King or McDonald’s and something to eat because it’s quick,” says Edie Meeks, a sophomore on the varsity soccer team. “I do try to eat healthy though, especially if it’s right before a big game.” Healthy alternatives are available for those on the go who prefer to munch on something with less carbohydrates and fats. At the vending machine, opt for a small bag of peanuts or almonds, both packed with protein, or a small bag of plain pretzels. “Pretzels are a satisfying, low-fat crunch without any trans fat or added sugar, and the single-serving-size bag means you get built-in portion control,” says Keri Glassman, a registered dietitian and author. “Even though you are busy, it is important to try and maintain a healthy balance,” says Mrs. Bartlett, a Creek Spanish teacher. “A turkey sandwich, pretzels, and fruit are a great alternative to a drive through dinner.” Another rule to healthy living is to never skip breakfast. Eating a serving size of low-sugar cereal such as Shredded Wheat or Cheerios is crunchy, sweet, and full of fiber. A yogurt is a good alternative, as well as an egg, which is packed with protein to keep students energized and less hungry throughout the day. Choosing healthy foods is the key to a well-balanced lifestyle.
Christine Sulkis Professional musicians narrowed down 3,000 videos from 70- plus countries to only 200 in YouTube’s largest competition. Then, earlier this year, YouTube voters narrowed it down to only 90. Musicians from around the world will be a part of the world’s first collaborative online orchestra. Aspiring musicians posted two videos of themselves playing their instruments on YouTube’s official symphony channel between December 1, 2008 and January 28, 2009. Contenders were asked to post one video of them playing their interpretation of an original Tan Dun piece, which was arranged for the competition. They were also asked to post a video that showcased their individual musical talents by performing a solo from an approved list of pieces. Then, professional musicians from around the world, ranging from San Francisco Symphony members to Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra members, judged the 3,000- plus audition tapes and narrowed it down to only 200. YouTube then asked its members to vote for their favorite musicians from February 14 through February 22. The finalists were narrowed down again, but this time to a final sum of only 90.
Selected members of the YouTube Orchestra range ages of
Symphony from the 17 to 55, and come from 13 states and 29 countries around the world. The orchestra w i l l consist of 26 different instruments. Members of the orchestra will meet in April to take part in three days of master classes and rehearsals before the concert, which will take place in Carnegie Hall, on April 15th. They will perform Tan Dun’s “Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica,” which was composed especially for the event. Michael Tilson Thomas, who conducts the San Francisco Symphony, will conduct the symphony. Finalists who did not make the final cut were asked to make a recording of their part of the symphony and post it on YouTube.
Photos by Megan McKisson and Shauna Ferraro-Donahue
T een Interest 11 Schools: permanent dead zones A taste of Jammers are illegal for civilians in the United States to own because they could interfere with communication between The issue of students using their cell individuals involved in an emergency, help phones during school hours has been an with criminal activity, and effect medical increasing problem for administrators in equipment such as pace makers. However, the last few years. A rise in the popularity of if the government purchases and installs texting is to blame for this rising problem. these devices the problem of cell phone use Many school districts are now looking for inside of school will be fixed. This issue new, more technologically advanced ways has many parents concerned because they of fixing this problem. like to know that One possibility in the case of an that many districts emergency their are considering child would be is installing able to get a devices called cell hold of them and phone jammers vice versa, and in the schools. with this new M a n y technology that communication administrators feel wouldn’t be that this is their only possible. “ I don’t option because they think that it’s fair have tried outright to students for bans where students the schools to weren’t allowed to use these because bring their cell phones sometimes we in their backpacks, need to talk to and if they were found our parents, on the student they bosses, would be confiscated. or family This plan of action memebrs was unsuccessful in case they because many Matt Lara texting discreetly on his phone during class hours. need us to do students didn’t follow use it all,” said Mark, a senior at Creek. something after school, like pick up the rules and because This plan of action however, is my sister from daycare, and if we it caused great unrest among parents. The parents did not think that this was a not working. Many students are able to can’t talk to them during the day good way to solve the problem because conspicuously text message not only we may not get the message,” then students couldn’t communicate with during lunch and between classes but said junior, Katherine Jurisich. It has been predicted that them after school hours and vice versa. also during class discussions and tests. Then there is the current cell phone policy Administrators worry that students are the devices will be installed that many schools, including Creek, have using this to cheat and they know that the in at least 500 schools in the adopted. This policy states that students distraction disrupts the learning process. So, U.S. by the year 2010. So, while the are allowed to bring their cell phones to in their opinion,something must be done. debate continues over the legality of this A new device celled a cell phone proposal students will continue using their school as long as they are concealed in a backpack, purse, or pocket and turned off. jammer is being looked into. What this phones during class and administrators If a school administrator sees a student with device does is it creates a temporary “dead will continue dealing with the hassle of their cell phone out then the phone will be zone” by interfering with the transmission confiscating phones and collecting fines. confiscated. The first time this happens the between the phone and the tower. Photo by Hailey Stephens
student can pay a $15 fine and receive their phone. Then the second, and all following times that the confiscation occurs the phone will be released to the students parent after they pay the fifteen dollars. Many students don’t particularly like this policy but they consider it the better of the two plans. “I would rather run the rsk of getting my phone taken up and having to pay to get it back then not being able to
U2: No Line on the Horizon is a hit help but to be enchanted and confused. The band’s songs such as, “Unknown Caller” U2 captivates listeners new and “No Line On the Horizon” prove and old through their new album the groups originality, not to mention “No Line On the Horizon.” any of the other songs on the album. Horizon offers nourishment for all. I have to confess. I am a little biased in this article because I am a die-hard U2 fan. If you like raw rock pop then try Get On No Line on the Horizon has definitely left an Your Boots. If you prefer more serious impression on me. It will leave an impression melodies then take “White as Snow.” on anyone who searches for enjoyment As I listen to Moment of Surrender in life in the fast paced world of today. I feel in tune with Bono’s vent. He Out of the band’s thirteen albums, sings about some form of failure that’s Horizon belongs at the top somewhere near welcoming. It is easy to relate to the song. The best part about the band is that The Joshua Tree and How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. U2 is true to its tangy they are always willing to try new things rock sound but adds a new electronic twist. within their own expandable style. Perhaps Songs like FEZ Being Born and the group’s my favorite song of the moment is “I’ll single, Get On Your Boots are a mixture of Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.” both rock and electronic sounds. The band A long and awkward title, but it works. I has adjusted to the new electronic sound love the inviting beginning and how you successfully without losing its voice, even just have to travel with the song. The though it would be impossible for U2 to lyrics flow beautifully and form your lose its authenticity through creativity. thoughts. You can recite every word but A true U2 fan can’t have just one every phrase means something new each favorite song because he or she will time you hear it. When you listen to each always be abe to find one that they like song from Horizon you aren’t sure of its just as well in a week or two. As I listen purpose and that’s the beauty of it. The to “Magnificent,” I feel captivated. I hear album can be anything you want it to it and I love it. The renewal it provides is be. It doesn’t fit any mold so the listener encouraging. So much happens in a U2 can give the song their own meaning. The last song, “Cedars of Lebanon” song that the music absorbs you. Upon hearing Horizon for the first time, one can’t is probably one of the spookiest songs
the band has ever produced. It is similar to a dirge in that Bono seems to be speaking the lyrics in an eerie tone. Its coldness takes you in and chills you. The album is so versatile with the song choice. There are songs like “Lebanon” which are spooky follwed by songs such as “Stand Up Comedy” to provide comic relief. This organization and song choice make the band’s new album fun to listen to. Bono and the band’s message behind Horizon is not about wars between nations but vision over visibility. The translation from Bono’s language is that you should go for your goal even if you donít know how to accomplish it. You just do it. I find this message very inspiring for those who see their destination but donít know how to get there. Faith is all it takes, according to the band and it seems to have worked for them. The album’s discrete cover of a grey landscape with no horizon perhaps will help you in deciphering the album just as much as talking to the band would. The album is great because its lyrics are poetic, original, and the music is beyond greatness. They produce their music for the sake of music, but their vibe just happens to channel to a wide audience. No Line On the Horizon is a journey through the unknown. Its songs are for enjoyment of the present.
Mexico Devin Zamka
After a long day of traveling to and from, my family and I were scavenging restaurants in close proximity. My mom spotted a place where many families were dining out on the deck and looking like they were enjoying themselves. Just by glancing at the many lush plants and warm-toned woods and stones, we new our taste buds were in for a treat! After entering the restaurant Pappasitos, a steamy delicious scent of meat and cheese surrounded us and t h e warm feeling that the décor created enveloped us i n the belief that we were truly in Mexico. Immediately after taking in our
surroundings, were seated. It seems that in the blink of an eye, our waiter was there with our drinks and kindly gave us more time to think about what to order. He was happy to give us his recommendations on different dishes and accurately tell us how they were prepared. Fortunately, our stomachs didn’t have any time to grumble, nor did my brother have time to lick the salt off his hand out of hunger, for our food was served in 10 minutes flat. As the waiter placed the food in front of me, I could feel the warm steam and delectable smells rising from my plate. The food was artfully prepared on the plate with an array of colors that even Picasso would be jealous of. The food tasted just as good as it looked. That first bite was filled with gooey, hot cheese and a perfectly toasted flour tortilla. The first bite was amazing and made me excited to shovel in every proceeding bite until my plate was clean. Unfortunately the time came when there was no morsel of food left on either of our plates and it was time to leave. My parents weren’t upset about the slightly above average price on the bill, because the great service and food presented to us was worth every penny because we walked in famished and left feeling full and thoroughly satisfied. The taste of the food lingered in our mouths the whole way home as we raved about the great service and how we could eat there almost every day. When I went to bed with a full stomache that night I dreamed about the creamy guacamole, the warm tortillas, salty chips, flavorful salsa, and each savory bite of mine, as well as everyone else at our table’s, dish. I can’t wait until our next trip to Pappasito’s when I can delight my taste buds with the savory spices and flavors of the delicious food of Pappasito’s Mexican Restaurant. we
Photo by Graphicsfactory
dear M.s J
thank you for all you’ve done for me, this page is dedicated to you. I am so grateful for everything you have helped me achieve, and I am going to miss having you as a teacher. You have helped me Figure out what I want to do in school, and you have inspired me to try and make a difference in peoples life. I’m going to come visit you alot next year! tata, -amanda compton Hey Ms J! I know I only had you for a year and then had to come back, thank you so much for helping me get my diploma. Hope you enjoy the rest of life and continue to bring knowledge to young adults. Thanks for all the help! Love ya lots! Matt Lara
M t o
Who would have thought I would love this class so much when at First I wanted to be in yearbook. Your class has changed my life and set in the right direction for my future. Thank you for all you have done for me, Haley Rush (:
Ms. J, You have been the best teacher over the years! I enjoy your class and cant wait to come everyday. I hope that you have many m o r e years at creek with great students. I cant wait to come back to see you over the years! I love you! Love Hailey Stephens
Ms. JThese 3 years have been absolu amazing. You ar fabulous teacher highschool years m to Find a teacher students as you school related and miss you! lov
Ms J, I know that i am your favorite student ever to come into your classroom, so as your head honcho and the guy that carried the newspaper on my back for four years, I would like to say thank you for keeping up with me for four years. Not alot of people can do it so I give you your kudos. Ms. Jameson, I am very thankful for you being my teacher (: Albert ì Mr. Wall of Fameî Nkansah
Hey J Rap! it’s been 4 years I’ve been a student in your class, and I can’t believe how time has come to pass, our memories are priceless with alot of haha’s, but I’ll come back soon, until then tata! remember me cassie lee
ms J, i’ve enjoyed newspaper so much and i’ve learned so much from you! Thanks so much for being a great teacher for the three years ive been your student! Love Alina Gregory
MsJ, these past 4 years in newspaper have beens ome of the most memorable moments of my life. I feel like ive grown and learned so much (not just about journalism, but about the owrld at large) under your care, and I could never thank you enough for that. You’re an amazing teacher and Ill sincerely miss you next year. I hope you continue to inspire and inform others, as you’ve done for me. Thanks for everything -Olivia Huynh
utley re the most r and have made my more than memorable. Its rare r that cares as much about their u do. I have learned so much from you, d not. Thank you for everything, I will ve, Melissa Devitt (: We have been together for three years now. The start I was unsure about journalism. After sticking with your class for three years i have found out your the best teacher a student can have. Filming for you has made my creative side come out! You were always there if I needed any help with ideas. Thanks for always being there and being a supportive teacher. I cant wait to tell TSTC:Waco all about you, Dan, and things we Filmed in class. Have a blast after I am gone, but Ill always be close by. -Ryan Gripon
Ms. J, I n ever thought that I would enjoy a teacher as much as you. You are such a happy women and so caring. I learned so much from you my junior year. I want to help people around the world because you showed the evil in the world. Your such a great role model. Thank you for everything. Dont forget me! Sue Ellen Van Eps
One Pager BY MARGARET TALEY McClatchy Newspapers
resident Barack Obama has crammed more into his first 100 days than most presidents, partly by design but mostly by necessity. The economic crisis overshadowed much of the president’s campaign agenda. His new team had to hit the ground running in structuring and executing bailouts of banks and automakers, and working with Congress to decide how hundred of billions of dollars will be spent on roads, schools and other projects meant to create short-term jobs while yielding longterm public benefit. After campaigning on a promise to undo much of what President George W. Bust set in motion, Obama also has taken early actions on everything from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the Iraq war; and U.S. relations with Muslim nations; to abortion, stem cell research and auto emissions policy. Signed an executive order to close within a year the controversial prison for terrorism detainees. The administration is studying which detainees to transfer to other countries, which to release and who to hold for trial. Signed an executive order formally banning torture by saying that all interrogation techniques must fall under what is permitted by the Army field manual. Got through Congress and signed a $787 billion package that he pitched as a way to save up to 4 million jobs. It expands spending on infrastructure, renewable energy, schools and health care for the unemployed. It also includes tax cuts of up to $400 for individuals or $800 for married couples. Announced a public-private partnership to buy toxic assets so that banks can resume normal lending. The federal government would spend up to $100 billion to leverage purchases of up to $1 trillion in loans and securities.
Announced plans to pull a majority of troops out of Iraq by August 2010 but leave as many as 50,000 there. Authorized sending an additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan this year as he focuses on going after the Taliban and al-Qaida. Obama may consider sending up to 10,000 more later this year or next year. While Pakistan poses the greater challenge, his plan for that country as of now involves more financial aid and trying to change public opinion there, not overt military operations. Submitted a $3.55 trillion budget plan to Congress, projected to further expand the deficit.
Forced General Motors CEO Risk Wagoner out and encouraged the company to consider bankruptcy as a part of a restructuring plan. Told Chrysler it must merge with a more viable automaker to survive. Promised enough aid to keep Chrysler going for 30 days and GM for 60 days.
Established White House Office of Health Reform, named a director and included in his budget proposal a $634 billion health care reserve fund – all to begin laying the groundwork for his plans to restructure the nation’s health care systems and provide coverage for the uninsured.
Announced a $275 billion plan to halt home foreclosures and help an estimated 9 million homeowners.
Added Turkey to the itinerary for his April travel to the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Czech Republic for G-20 and NATO meetings. Said in Turkey that the U.S. “is not and will never be at war with Islam.” Sent a video to Iran offering greetings for the Persian New Year and urged a new beginning between the nations.
Lifted Bush admin. restrictions on federal funding of new lines; supporters hope this could hasten treatments for various diseases. President Barack Obama signs an executive order on stem cell research in MAR.
Progress on this front has been limited. Obama set limits on lobbyists working for him, only to make exceptions to his own rules or to tap people who weren’t technically lobbyists but benefited from the same revolving-door politics he criticized on the campaign trail. Former Sen. Torn Daschle, a highly paid adviser for a lobbying firm, who withdrew as Obama’s Health and Human Services nominee because of a tax controversy, was one example. Obama’s overtures at bipartisanship, meanwhile, haven’t translated to votes as Democrats and Republicans in Congress have resisted compromise. Directed the Environmental Protection Agency to consider allowing California and other states to set stricter limits on auto emissions, a reversal of Bush policy. Announced plan to raise average fuel economy from 25.3 mpg to 27.3 mpg starting in 2011. Pushing for a worldwide response to global warming.
April 29 isn’t usually regarded as an important day on the political calendar, but this year it will be Barack Obama’s 100th day in office, traditionally a benchmark for assessing a new president’s job performance. It’s a standard that began with Franklin Roosevelt, who, upon taking office at the depth of the Great Depression, immediately pursued an agressibe legislative agenda to address the crisis. Since then, presidents have learned that the first few months in office can be a time to pursue long held goals and deal with unforeseen events. Here’s a look at the actions and the events undertake during the first 100 days of the last five presidents:
Created a Web site where the public can track the stimulus spending, at revovery.gov. Participated in an “online town hall” meeting from the White House. Expanded the White House Web site and shows video of the weekly presidential radio address on YouTube and the White House Web site.
Bush unveils a $1.6 trillion tax-cut proposal that includes reducing income tax rates and eliminating the so-called marriage penalty and estate taxes.
The Bush admi. announces it will not implement the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, saying that to do so would harm the economy.
Fulﬁlling a campaign promise, Clinton replaces a longstanding b a n with the “don’t a s k , d o n ’ t t e l l ” In a nationally televised address, Clinton announces a budget balancing plan to raise taxes on the wealthy and cut spending. A car bomb beneath the World Trade Center in Manhattan kills six people.
Bush proposes a multimillion dollar bailout of the troubled savingsand-loan industry.
The Senate rejects Bush’s nominee for secretary of defense, former Texas Sen. John Tower, following charges of alcohol abuse, womanizing and potential conﬂicts of interest. It’s the ﬁrst time in three decades that the Senate has rejected a Cabinet nominee.
In an address to the nation, Reagan proposes broad budget and tax cuts in an attempt to alleviate what he calls “the worst economic mess since the Great Depression.” He also proposes widespread deregulation of industry. Reagan is shot by John Hinckley Jr. while exiting the Washington, D.C., Hilton. One bullet punctures a lung. After 12 days in the hospital, Regan returns to the White House.
In his ﬁrst full day in ofﬁce, Carter fulﬁlls a campaign pledge and pard o n s Vietnam Wa r - e r a draft evaders. Carter signs a bill designed to streamline the federal government and make it more efﬁcient.
Page re-designed by Olivia Huynh
16 Creek Speaks
Creek grads describe life after AP Falling whistles Megan McKisson
Taking AP courses has advantages for many Creek students – potential for a higher GPA, learning material at an advanced pace, and smaller class sizes that encourage individual instruction. Most importantly, teachers proclaim these courses to better prepare a student for college. Creek graduates have shared how their personal experience in high school courses, both AP and regular, helped them adjust to college life. “The rigor of AP classes reflect more accurately what students will face in college,” Dr. Kevin Fleming, Creek AP English IV teacher, said. “My class specifically helps students organize, analyze, and prioritize the tasks they’ll face in college.” Many students agreed that AP courses help prepare a student for the type of work they’ll receive in college. “In high school, the type of learning is knowledge and comprehension,” Stephanie Haechten, 2008 graduate and current student at Texas A&M University, said. “In college, you learn how to apply and analyze the material. AP classes prepare you for this process. “AP classes prepare you for college in that the content matter is the same,” Dixie Hairston, 2006 graduate and current student at University of Texas, said. “I am familiar with more literature than most of my peers because of my AP experience. However, anybody can make a good grade in a college class if they apply themselves, and I think that’s where AP classes benefit you the most. AP classes are harder than “regular” classes and you really have to study for them.” However, some graduates questioned AP classes for taking away from the “high
school experience” of participating in after-school clubs, sports, and activities. “I always enjoyed my classes at Creek and liked being pushed,” Lauren Glass, Stephen F. Austin graduate, said. “I always thought that you should have a mix of easy and hard classes so that you would not be too overwhelmed, and still be able to enjoy high school by learning.” Glass said that she took at least two advanced material courses each year and still had time to participate actively in Creek’s vigorous Theatre Arts program. “AP classes did not hinder my extra curricular activities, but I only took one course,” said Haechten, who served as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper and participated in Creek’s Ready, Set, Teach! program. “I don’t believe I would have been as involved if I had taken more AP classes.” Hairston, who spent her time in high school as an active member of the student body, disagrees. “I did everything there was to do in high school, from sports to newspaper to band and I graduated with a decent GPA,” she said. “I think that it is imperative for high school students to learn how to take AP classes and be involved in extra curricular activities because it helps you learn to budget your time in college.” Many students specifically highlighted the difference in setup of high school and college courses. “The classes greatly differ in size,” Haechten said. “My Business Math class has almost 200 students. The material is lectured instead of taught. However, they are similar in the way that they are both intense amounts of material that demand studying time and hard work. You have to want your grade.” “In high school, you have lots of tests
An inexpensive prom Alina Gregory As it gets closer and closer to prom, students are starting to feel the strain on their wallets that the high cost of the big dance ensues. Tickets alone cost $65 per person, still leaving a tux or a dress, transportation, dinner, and something to do after to pay for. Girls tend to drop even more because they are inclined to get hair, makeup, and nails professionally done. All of these things can add up, so finding inexpensive alternatives for all of these things is a must. Dresses and tuxes can get pretty expensive. A cheap alternative would be to borrow from a friend or sibling who is a similar size. If unable to find someone to do this there are plenty of places that run prom-time sales and carry nice dresses and tuxes for cheap. Runway8. com has a sale for up to 75 percent off of many different styles of prom dresses. Most of the dresses at camdendrive.com are under $100 and shipping is free. At Men’s Warehouse tuxes start at $59.99 and they also have a special offer to receive 10 percent off for every referred friend. “Prom can get expensive and getting an inexpensive tux could help a lot,” senior Tyler Eby said. For girls, the right hair and makeup can be a very big deal. Find a friend’s parent who can do hair, and consider asking him or her if they craft a prom style for free. Or, consider completely forgoing professional hair altogether to save even more. The same applies to nails and makeup.
Try to take pictures at friend’s house who has a nice pool or staircase.Adate’s parents can take digital pictures that won’t cost a dime. Instead of renting an expensive limo, have the family car washed and cleaned on the inside for much cheaper. Carpool with friends to dinner, the dance, and the after party. For dinner try going to an inexpensive restaurant that also cooks great food. Olive Garden is an old favorite. Many Mexican restaurants are also delicious and cheap. After prom, friends want to hang out with each other. If planning on renting a beach house or a hotel room, this could get very expensive. An inexpensive alternative would be to stay at a friend’s house that is pretty big and has a pool. Staying at a friends house also offers physical safety. A memorable prom is not necessarily an expensive one. Keeping a budget down can create a prom just as enjoyable as a high-dollar one. a
Amanda Compton plans to enjoy prom without big costs.
and assignments and therefore can afford to mess up on a few and still keep a high grade in the class,” Glass said. “In lots of college classes, you will only have four tests or assignments all semester and you have to do well on all of them to pass the class.” Many of the graduates agreed that while AP classes help prepare you as best they can, nothing comes close to the actual freshman-year experience. “I don’t think anything can really prepare you for college. It’s so different from anything you have ever known academically and socially,” Hairston said. “The absolute most important thing to know is that your success or failure is totally up to you. No one is holding your hand, it’s entirely your choices.” “The most important thing to remember is that you in college to go to class. A lot of freshman have problems going to class or caring about their studies because there’s no one there to reinforce it,” said Glass. “Taking AP courses fulfills the purpose of high school – to prepare students for college,” Gwen Cash, Creek AP U.S. History teacher, said. “They also prepare a student for life by giving them an opportunity to learn how to face and deal with challenges of the real world.”
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a young boy has only a single whistle to protect himself amongst the war scene. Thousands of children, too small to carry a gun, have only a whistle as a weapon. These children are placed in the front of everyone else, and are used as “shields” for the other soldiers. They are placed at the front of the army, and when the opposing side starts to approach, the children blow these whistles to try to scare the enemy and get them to retreat. If this attempt does not work, then these children are used as sheilds to protect those who can fight. “I think that it’s inhumane and tragic to use kids as shields. I hope that Falling Whistles raises enough money to help the kids that need to be saved,” said Sarah Colvin, a freshman at Creek. Five boys escaped from the war and were found in a prison called Titu. None of these boys were older than fifteen. Their names were Busco, Bahati, Serungendo, Claude, and Sadiki. These boys were treated as if they were actual prisoners, and forced to sleep upright in a filthy prison cell. They were starved for two days and beaten by soldiers. Sean Carasso is the founder of Falling Whistles. All the money that is donated to Falling Whistles Carasso goes to directly help the kids in Congo. A small whistle is sent to each donor, and they are encouraged to wear this token around their neck. As people see the whistle and ask about it, the idea of helping these children is spread. Wearing the whistle raises awareness of the kids in Congo that are dying every day due to being placed in the front of the army as shields. “I feel that this organization will help with saving the children, but it is going to be a very hard process. Many of the children may not want to leave because it is all they know. However, this will not be done in vain, many of the dollars that we donate will save these poor children,” said Dane Chronister, a ninth grader at Creek. Falling Whistles was inspired by a similar nonprofit organization, Invisible Children. Invisible Children was founded by three boys: Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey, and Laren Poole. This organization was started to help prevent children from being abducted out of their homes in the middle of the night. The children are being abducted by a group called the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. Once Carasso met the founders of Invisible Children, they started working together to make Africa a better place for the children to live. “I think that Invisible Children is a great organization, and I’m really glad that they are teaming up with Falling Whistles because I think that together the two organizations can really help Africa a lot and make it a better place,” said Sarah Liveringhouse, a tenth grader at Creek. Falling Whistles and Invisible Children are organizations that are helping to make Africa a better place. The main idea for Falling Whistles is to “make their weapon our voice and be a whistle blower for peace in Congo.” All of these ventures were spawned through the influence of Dan Eldon and Creavitve Visions Foundation.
Softball Ryan Munthe 2009 is looking bright for this year’s
Baseball excites the Loudmouths Christen Valcoviak The Clear Creek varsity baseball team has been performing extremely well in their district play. They are currently 8-2 as of April 21. They have competed and won against Clear Brook, Dickinson, Galveston Ball, Clear Springs and Clear Lake High School. They have lost against Brazoswood and Alvin. “I’ve been very satisfied. I’m not only seeing improvements playwise but also some key essentials such as leadership and team unity,” said varsity baseball head coach, Jim Mallory. In the game against Galveston on March 20, #22, senior, Ryan Gunhouse threw a complete game shut out, while only allowing one hit. #15, senior, Steven Lopez caught for Gunhouse the entire game. During the first two innings of this game the wildcats led 2-0. Then in the top of the 3rd #17, senior, Greg Olson contributed to this lead with a solo homerun to right field. This was his fifth homerun of the season. The wildcats kept this 3-0 lead all the way to the 5th inning when they scored another run, then leading 4-0. In the 6th inning they scored two more runs now making the score 6-0. Overall, they had ten hits this game. The wildcats did a great job keeping Galveston scoreless the entire game. “I think [the Creek baseball team] has improved mainly by being more consistent. T h e team chemistry h a s also improved as players have defined their roles,” said
varsity baseball assistant coach, Eddie Youngblood. In the game against Clear Springs on March 27, 2009 the Wildcats were victorious once again over their opponent, this time making a larger lead, crushing the chargers. In the top of the first inning the wildcats got off to a great start of 10-0. There were fourteen at bats just in this one inning. In the top of the second inning, #1, sophomore, Zach Gibson, hit a three run homer, now increasing the wildcats score to 13-0. In the top of the third inning, the wildcats had 14 at bats and scored eight more runs, now making the score 21-0. The next two innings, they did not score. Creek had a total of 16 hits this game. The starting pitcher for the Clear Creek wildcats was Gunhouse. He only gave up two runs in the first inning, making the score 10-2. After that he pitched three scoreless innings. Overall he had seven strikeouts in four innings. In the fifth inning, #7, sophomore, Chad Valcoviak, came in for relief. He closed the game not allowing any runs to score. The final score was 21-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Creek ruled them by 19 runs and they called the game after the bottom of the fifth. “You win games through not only team preparation but individual preparation.There is so much skill development especially on the hitting side that players have to put extra work in to stay sharp,” Mallory said. The Leftfield Loudmouths were supporting the baseball team in their victory against the Chargers. The entire right field side of the Clear Springs baseball f i e l d
was filled with them. They cheered, screamed, and raved for the baseball team and were a big help to the success of the Wildcats. They helped by keeping the baseball players pumped and tried to get the adults to participate. The Loudmouths are such a big help to the baseball team, and that is why a varsity parent got the loudmouths a bus to carry them to the away game, at Brazoswood. The varsity baseball team is doing great so far and hopefully they will make the play-offs and win state. “It’s a long journey and process, and we’ve talked to the kids all year about it. Many things have to fall into place. Some of these pieces are coming together, but we have to continue to improve d a i l y, ” said
Youngblood. “Every team wants to win a state championship, but our main goal is to take it one game at a time and hopefully get into the playoffs,” said Mallory.
varsity softball team. T h e 2 0 0 9 season h a s started fast and strong, with the varsity posting a fantastic 9 - 2 district record so far. With their strong p l a y i n g ability and excellent
chemistry, this year’s group of athletes aims towards state and is not looking back. The advantage in this year’s softball team can be attributed to the chemistry and friendships the members share. “We’re much better this year, there’s less drama and we work well together. Everyone picks each other up and we’re all good friends,” said center fielder Taylor Freudenberg. Led by starting pitcher Kaitlyn Moulder who has thrown over 100 innings with over 200 strikeouts and less than 20 walks, she leaves most offenses unable to score. Lead hitter Taylor Freudenberg holds a consistent average above .400 through 80 at-bats. The team, mostly comprised of juniors, will only continue to get better through the playoffs and through next year.
S ports 19 James Spangler wins Clutch City Shoot-out Alina Gregory Ever varsity
since senior basketball player D r e w Spangler was in
junior high, he’s wanted to win the Clutch City Shootout hosted by the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. Spangler won the Houston-wide threepoint shooting competition for high school basketball players on March 6th. For his win, t h e
Spangler reveicing check and trophy from Rockets Dancers.
Rockets donated $7,500 to the Clear Creek basketball program and had a pep rally in his honor. The shootout competition began in October with two qualifying rounds. The top 16 boys and top 16 girls advanced to the second round, which was held on different nights at Rockets home games. Spangler won three head-to-head matches in one night and advanced to the finals on March 6th. He scored 21 points there to defeat his opponent from Galena Park North Shore. Spangler’s coach Chris Romine said that he has been impressed with his shooting ability ever since he arrived on campus. Spangler has had to work hard through his life to make it onto the varsity basketball team, though, because he’s never been the most athletic player out there. “Every year he played in our program, he was buried on the bench, but he worked so hard he wound up being in the rotation,” coach Chris Romine said
to The Daily News. “He’s not the most talented player, but he had the drive and the heart to stand out. He works hard, and he focuses on what he’s good at.” Spangler tried out for the basketball his freshman year and did not make the team. Later there was a second tryout and he made the cut. He made the sophomore team his second year but barely played until some players had failing grades and were not allowed to play. When Spangler became a starter he averaged about 15 points per game and once scored 27 points in a game. His team was district champion that year. He averaged 3.8 points per game on varsity and made 15 points one game. Although Spangler loves basketball, he admits that he doesn’t have the skills to play in college. He says that he won’t stop playing for fun, though, and knows he will always be remembered as the one who never quits.
Photo by Hailey Stephens
Creek District Champs CHS Golf swings hard Albert Nkansah
“District Champs!” was what the Clear Creek boys’ track team yelled as they walked onto the bus. The Wlidcats have completed one of the best regular seasons for Coach Ruben Jordan and the track programs. Creek has gone out and won the Gator Relays at Dickinson and was able to win the inaugural Charger Relays at Clear Springs by 60 points. The boys also were able to finish second at Brazoswood, Strake Jesuit, and the big home meet at Clear Creek. Many athletes have been responsible for Creek’s success in all events. Michael Thomas led the way for the throwers as he has received many gold and silver medals and placed second in discus at the district track meet, He made regionals, as did Alex Lara, as he was able to place second in Shot Put. “I had to go all out and not hold anything back,” Alex Lara said. Lane Garcia and Albert Nkansah were also able to find success in throwing this year. Courtney Jones qualified for regionals in triple jump with a jump of 42’ 10 ½”, as he was the only jumper to finish in the top three. However, there was a controversial tie in the pole vault where Creek’s Chase Sparks tied for third. He ended up losing in a jump off and was not able to qualify for regionals. Michael Vu was able too find success in pole vault this year as well.
Runners were able to have just as much success. Darius “Smokey” Dietege and Jonathon Daniels have been able to make a great hurdling core for this Clear Creek team. Zach Sweers qualified for regionals in the 800 m run as did Courtney Jones in the 110 m hurdles and the 4X200 m relay. Some runners were able to medal in multiple events as Kareen Gourdine won the 110 m hurdles and finished second in the 300 m hurdles. Brian Boyd finished third at the 100 m dash and third at the 400 m dash. Bobby Bassett was able to qualify for regionals by finishing second in the 400 m dash and joined Boyd, Daniel Donald, and Jordan Wright to win the 4X400 m relay. “We have a lot of seniors that contributed to the success with a lot of hard work and dedication,” Coach Jordan said. Girl’s track has worked hard as well with contributions from several seniors. Taylor Smith, Rocky Kilgore, Theresa Smith, Cayla Ware, Andrea Sandoval, Monique Williams, and Sydney Foreman, have all been the leaders for this girls track team to thrive. “It was a lot of fun working with everyone, it was all worth it, from staying after school to work block starts to running a couple extra miles on weekends,” Rocky Kilgore said. At district, Rocky was able to earn points in the 800 m run along with Chelsea Huebner. Huebner also placed in the 1600 m run. Sydney Foreman placed in the 100 m dash as did Theresa Smith in the 200 m and Devin Zamka in the 3200. Taylor Smith was the big winner as she won shot put and set the school record with a throw of 47’. Taylor also placed second in discus to qualify her for regionals.
Photos by Amanda Compton
“We have grown up together, practiced together, and gotten better as a whole and feed off of each others accomplishment,” said Curtis Donahue. The boys’ golf team has been golfing together for a long time now and that bond has been what has led them to such a successful season. The golf team has won six out of their eight tournaments including the Fort Bend Austin Invitational and Miller Roth Invitational. They have also set the team course record at the Eagle Point course with a 284 total team score. They have all made personal bests this year, Curtis Donahue has shot a 68 and
Will Dusenbury shot a 67. The Wildcats accredit their teamwork to the close relationships they have with each other. “We help each other if anyone is struggling, we practice a lot and are all good friends,” said John Becker. The golf team was able to go out and not only win district but dominate district as they were able to beat the field by 52 strokes. Six players were able to qualify for regionals as John Becker, Curtis Donahue, Blake Wilson. Will Dusenbury, Travis Dennis, and David Zabinski will be all representing Creek at Regionals. Curtis Donahoe will travel to State after placing second in Regionals.
Athletes of the Month
April’s Athlete of the Month is senior baseball player Austin Robson. He has played on Varsity for two years and has been playing baseball since tee ball. He plays third base and pitcher. Robson has won state twice for American Legion Baseball. His favorite thing about baseball is that no matter what team has the higher skill level, the baseball neutralizes everything. “There is no room for error in baseball, and that’s why I play,” Robson said. The Varsity team currently has five wins and two losses in district. Robson hit his most recent homerun against Clear Lake on Tuesday, April 7th. He is looking to play baseball at either Texas A&M Corpus Christi or Angelina Junior College in Lufkin, Texas. If he doesn’t play baseball in college he would like to attend Texas A&M in College Station.
This month’s featured girl athlete is senior tennis player Tara Montegut. Montegut has been playing tennis for seven years. She has gotten 1st team All-district for number one doubles ever since her sophomore year. She got this with Ashley Albro her sophomore and junior year and with Jacquelyn Davis her senior year, but her usual doubles partner is Maria Lamont. She also got 1st team All-district for singles this year. “I love team tennis in the fall,” Montegut said. She likes tennis because it is very focused. Montegut has also been coaching kids who play tennis for a year. She will be attending Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama in the fall.
Photos by Hailey Stephens
20 Music Olly Brown - Lead Vocals/Lead Guitar Garrett Hellinghausen - Bass Guitar Ryan Ward Rhythm Guitar Jacob Cardinal - Backup Vocals/Drums www.myspace.com/lowfrequency
A Lit City
Ty Johnson Jared Lily Wade Concienne Dylan Coleman Alex Edwards
Vocals Drums Vocals/Guitar Keyboards Bass Guitar
www.myspace.com/acandlelitcity A Candle Lit City is a hardcore metal band based in League City comprised of students from Clear Creek and Clear Lake High Schools. Influenced by bands like Sophia and Apollo’s Fall, A Candle Lit City’s sound is brutal. Even though their sound falls a bit into the current hardcore trend, they have plenty of qualities that set them apart. Right now, they’ve only recorded a few demos, but they are currently going to the studio to work on new, “progressive, mellow-er stuff.” In the short time they’ve been together, they’ve already played with famous local bands like “Dr. Acula” and “xLifeRuinerx”. The band members say that they try not to take themselves too seriously, and just have fun as a band, playing live shows and having a good time. Their double-barreled vocal attack is reminescent of many metalcore bands, however their wide variety of vocals are spectacular. Ty Johnson has a harsh and brutal scream while Wade Concienne sings the more melodic bridges while commandeering the guitar. The drumming, courtesy of Jared Lily, changes tempos on an instant, that’s what makes their music so crazed and different. With their new, interesting sound, they are easily a standout here in League City.
Low Frequency is a pop-punk band based in Clear Creek High School made up of three sophomores and one junior. Influenced by Blink-182 and All Time Low, their music is a mixture of pop, oldschool punk, and alternative rock. They are one of Creek’s most famous bands, and they’ve already played at many wellknown places around Houston such as The Meridian in Downtown Houston. The multi-talented Olly Brown plays lead guitar, while rhythm guitarist Ryan Ward plays the more melodic riffs and rhythms. Their drummer, Jacob Cardinal, sets the pace fast with prolific drum fills and a highly cymbal-based drum attack while Garrett Hellinghausen plays the bass guitar. Together, they’ve released a variety of demos, EPs, and covers which have been published to their official MySpace page. Front man Olly Brown leads the band with his melodic, relatively highpitched vocals while his skill on the guitar sets the band apart.
Marshall Sehmen - Bass/Guitar/Vocals Dane Schrage Drums www.myspace.com/funkdose Funk Dose is a funk/metal band based here with a passion for “real funk”. The band is only two students, both seniors, with a wide variety of musical talent. Influenced by Prince, Michael Jackson, Barry White, George Clinto, Parliament Funkadelic and many others, their music is a mixture of various influences with a lot of additional originality. They’ve managed to successfully mix hardcore metal, funk, and punk to create their amazingly unique sound which has capitvated Clear Creek led them to much success across League City. They attribute their local success to the fact that “we don’t sound like anyone else, we don’t stick to a simple formula.” Usually, bands that dare to break the mold don’t get popular, but it has been quite the opposite for Funk Dose. They’ve played at the Homecoming Carnival, Pizza King, multiple Battle of the Bands contests, and many clubs across the Houston
The bass guitar plays a huge part in Low Frequency’s overall sound as well, while Jacob Cardinal, the drummer, plays like a souped-up Travis Barker from Blink-182. Their music ranges from original pop-punk inspired tracks to great covers such as their rendition of Blink-182’s “Feeling This”. Yet, their recordings are nothing compared to their live act, which truly sets them apart from their peers. The music is often sped up to extremely fast speeds with rumbling basslines and speeding, rhythmic guitars. Live, Olly Brown’s excellent stage presence gets the crowd going and Jacob Cardinal can often be seen in the back “getting into the music” as he thrashes on his drum kit. In a climate of bands that all sound similar, it’s great to see a local band daring to do something different than the what everyone expects, and that’s exactly what “Low Frequency” does.
Interview with Low Frequency: Q: What are the aspirations for the band? A: We want to becomee a big famous band that anyone and everyone can relate to. Our goals as a band are to record a demo EP on a record label, and go on tour across the country. Q: Who are the band’s biggest influences? A: The band’s biggest influences are Blink-182, All Time Low.
area. Led by bassist/ guitarist/vocalist Marshall Sehmen who plays a sixstring bass creates radically fast and funky rhythms on the bass guitar that are up to par with legendary bassists such as Flea. However, Sehmen’s not afraid to break out the guitar every now and then, and when he plays the guitar their music borders more on metal than funk, still showing the band’s wide variety of sounds. Drummer Dane Schrage sits behind a large drum kit and brandishes his drum sticks with fury, rocking the drum set with precise skill, merging the best of rock, funk, and metal with his speeding rhythms. They’ve recorded a few demos and EPs, but are not signed to a label. Live, however, the band releases aggression and fury by mixing metal stage presence with the more funk side of their music. “Funk Dose” is , in fact, a dose of the unusual, with this fantastic duo combining true skill, creativity, aggression, and true fun into their music, making it all the more enjoyable.
Photos by Amanda Compton, Ryan Munthe, Funk Dose, and A Candle Lit City
Interview with Funk Dose: Q: What are the main aspirations for the band? A: We’d like to get signed on a label, but we haven’t been offered a record deal yet. We want to tour across the country as well. Q: What makes your band different than others at Creek? A: We really don’t sound like anyone else here at Creek and that’s what makes us different. We don’t copy funk rock bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and we don’t stick to the same similar formula like most bands. That’s why I think we’re considerably different than most of the bands here.
Does the news have anything left to offer? Christine Sulkis Without news, society would be made up of a bunch of babbling idiots. News gives everyone something to talk about, whether it’s the latest on a politician’s most recent love scandal or the war in Iraq. Whether you like it or not, news plays a very important part in all of our lives. Over the last couple of years, news has gone drastically down hill. There seems to be less and less to write about in this world of entertainment and celebrities. Worthwhile stories have become a rare find and the random nonsense stories have become ubiquitous. While beneficial news seems to be almost nonexistent nowadays, it is still out there. A few loyal reporters still remain who stick to their guns and write about more than Paris Hilton. When Hurricane Ike hit, we all turned to our televisions for the latest updates on its current location and how much damage had been inflicted. Without news, all of this information would have been unknown. How would anyone know anything without news? News goes beyond people with big microphones on TV. News is everywhere. It is in our homes and in our schools. News is how we find out who’s dating who and how we find out what “she said, he said, she said.” Though it may not always be the most hard-hitting story, it impacts all of us. Before cell phones and the Internet, the news was practically the only way of learning what had happened around their city during the day. People rushed home after work and turned on their TVs to find out the latest news. News can also be a glimpse at other societies, a taste of what others are going through. It can show us that our lives aren’t quite as bad as we think they are. News is our access to the outside world. Most of us live in a bubble. We’re stuck in League City, Texas. We don’t really pay attention to what goes on outside of our tightly knit social circles.
News can change that. It can show us that there’s something out there besides us. It can teach us to stop complaining about our petty problems and think about how good we have it. Maybe it can make us realize that our lives are exceptionally great. There are people out there living lives that most of us couldn’t even begin to fathom living. News can capture that. It shows us things we can’t just go outside and see. It can force us to go beyond our social bubbles. News keeps us up to date with current events. It can entertain us, inform us, and even teach us. It impacts all of us. It has the ability to make us laugh, make us cry, comfort us, frighten us, and maybe even humble us a little bit. Though reporters these days may not always choose the best stories, there are stories out there that are worthwhile. The news has something for everyone. It has something for the Paris Hilton wannabe, the stock market junky, the worried mother, and even people like you and me. News is not irrelevant. It’s a way to see into the lives of others, a way to make us stop and think, and a way to bring us all together.
Megan McKisson Top three most popular stories on CNN.com at 10:10 a.m. on April 14, 2009: a babysitter’s abuse leads to life of drugs and violence for an actress, 80’s porn star Marilyn Chambers dies at 56, and an ostentatious purple garage irks it’s Sequim, Washington neighbors. Don’t blink, though, because in 20 minutes these top stories will be
updated and replaced with even more pressing news. The media today has made a mockery of American society by presenting it with “news” – fragmented stories of celebrities, madmen, and murderers that only briefly capture the attention of a highlyADD audience. The news has become an ongoing, unrelated feed of only slightly relative garbage, feeding it’s viewers thousands of stories per minute, each more outlandish than the next. CNN, one of America’s most popular news stations, is notorious for its sensationalist “soft” news stories. When I find myself in need of a good laugh (or at least a heavy sigh) I venture to its pages.
One of the most offensive recent items was a story about single women who bemoan their individual existence, entitled “Why Some Single Women Just Need to Shut Up”. The author spent a good portion of the article describing content single women as “happies” and dissatisfied single women as “crappies”. She then gave tips for the “crappies” to find a significant other, or at least happiness in their single lifestyle – to “quit whining, stop making self-righteous excuses, turn off your TV, get out there, and meet people”. Such “breaking” news is the paragon of modern-day journalism’s preference for the petty, trivial non-stories that only briefly satiate its audience’s thirst for entertainment. The main appeal of a contemporary news show lies in the allure of its visuals; it’s flashing graphics and charming anchors. Another recent CNN story, about a cell phone that was found in the belly of a 30-pound cod fish, illustrates this concept perfectly. Throughout the story, the smiling anchor included several painfully scripted puns, such as when he stated that it was “no longer accurate to call this a cell phone…it’s more like a … (pause, sniff, sniff) smell phone.” This type of almost sitcom-like humor is prevalent in hundreds of newscasts all over the Internet, a testament to American’s addiction to the fast, the funny, and the fragmented. It has become almost impossible to differentiate between a news webcast and a popular YouTube video. Both are short broadcasts that have one sole purpose: to entertain. That’s really the root of the media problem – Americans gobble the garbage up with delight and hungrily search for more. While the newscasts may be to blame for feeding this junk-food addiction, we must realize that above all, they are just giving us what the American appetite demands: silly, fluffy stories with no real substance.
Photos by Katlin Foote and Allie Hinga
Best Buddies helps students attend prom Allie Hinga
Creek has many student organizations committed to helping those on campus enjoy their time at the school. Creek’s Best Buddies program hosted its annual prom night on April 17 to help give students who might not get to attend prom otherwise a chance to experience the event for themselves. Creek’s Best Buddies work with the schools special needs students. Goal of the program is to allow members to develop a one on one friendships with a student with intellectual disabilities and give these students a chance to broaden their experience and get to meet people who might not otherwise get to know them. The organization sponsors regular activities to allow members to work with their peer buddies, such as hosting a party, going to the mall, or hanging out during the weekend. The Best Buddies prom has been a tradition at Creek for the past 10 years. Creek’s Student Council started the event, and the Best Buddies took over responsibility for the event later. “We do it every year because its what the kids
look forward to the most,” Marissa Trevino, the chapter president of Best Buddies, said. Each year, students and their buddies attend the prom, which is free for those who attend, to enjoy an evening of dancing, listening to music provided by a DJ hired for the event, and pizza. Many of those who attend bring their families with them. This year, the prom’s theme was Hawaiian Luau. Though the atmosphere Students enjoy the is generally laid back, many of the peer buddies will dress up for the event, because this is their chance to go to a prom. Best Buddies students Lexi Bernal and
Jessica Coleman both said that they thoroughly their chance to attend the event. “Prom was really fun. It took a lot of work… but it went off really well,” Simone Sharp, a junior who volunteers with the program, said. Since the Creek program is part of a larger organization, Best Buddies International, students involved in similar organizations Best Buddies Prom throughout the district also attended the event. Members of the group said that they enjoyed getting to meet the students from other schools and getting to know them.
Best Buddies chapter president Trevino and Vice President Alyssa Schaefbauer (sp?) planned the event, and had worked since January to make sure that everything would run smoothly. “I felt so happy because all the kids were so amazing and so excited,” Trevino said about the results of the event. Students who volunteer in Best Buddies say they enjoy the program because of the opportunities it affords and the friends they get to meet. “They love you as a friend and would never judge you,” Trevino said, “Their friendship is definitely the most rewarding part.” Not only do those who work with the program benefit, but the students they work with enjoy it as well. “I hope I’m in it [Best Buddies] next year. I love it,” student Lexi Bernal said. Students interested in joining Best Buddies can apply at the beginning of the school year next year by filling out an application. More information on applying will be available next year.
Photo by Kaitlyn Boryk
This & That
PALs help in the district and the community Amber Arnold
and meet their “PALee” three times a week. Their “PALee” is a student at an elementary or intermediate school who maybe having problems at school or at home. Each student who is a PAL has to mentor his or her PALee through different activities that aim to help the PALee work past any problems. Besides going to visit their Palee, PALs also participate in different community service activities. This year the grouphelped with Fish Camp and worked the homecoming carnival,
Peer Assistance Leadership (PALS), is a peer-assistance program in which selected students are trained to work as peer facilitators. Students are trained in a variety of skills that will enable them to assist other students in having a more positive and productive school experience. Positive peer influence is the PALs’ central strategy for addressing peer school issues. “I believe that the PALs program is a great program for meeting people and for helping the community,” senior Chris Tran said. PALs is a class for juniors and seniors and is led by Mrs. Meredith Harris. During the first semester, students learn about leadership, and the senior pals teach the class. During the The PALs second semester the PALs go
Holiday in the Park, dances at the intermediate schools, and Camp Bay after Hurricane Ike. For Fish Camp, they helped the incoming freshman by showing them around the ninth grade center and making them feel welcome. At the intermediate school’s dances they chaperoned and danced with the students. At Camp Bay, they volunteered at the daycare that gave kids something to do during the hurricane break. “I like being a PAL because I feel like I am showing a good example for little kids,” said junior Kaitlyn Dougie.
at a conference in February.
In order to be in PALs, sophomores and juniors must fill out an application, get a grade check from their teachers and a letter of recommendation from someone outside of Creek. Then they attend one of the two activity days at Creek, where students who are trying out for PALs stay after school to get to know the other applicants by participating in different games to get to know each other. The activity day helps the senior pals who are going to be interviewing the students get to know them better, and learn about their personality. During school, the students who are trying out for PALs are scheduled for an interview with a senior PAL. After the interview the students will get a letter with the results of their application. The PALs are role models for the community and do many activities during the year to make a difference. In addition to all of their community service, they show their Palee that someone is there for them.
Photo by Meredith Harris.
Creek choir performs at national convention Allie Hinga
performance CD was initially submitted. Creek’s many organizations pride This made the audition process especially themselves in the countless hours they difficult for the Pullens, because they knew work to perform to the best of their that the group that submitted the CD would abilities. For the Clear Creek Symphonic Choir, that dedication has paid off, as the group was given the privilege of performing as the honor choir at the American Choral Director’s Association’s National Convention on March 7 in Oklahoma City. The group’s performance at the event attested to their prestige as one of the more recognized choirs in the nation. The National Convention for the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) is a professional growth event for choral directors in which the teachers attend workshops and concerts by invited choirs. In order to be selected to sing Creek Choir in front of the Civic Center at the event, over one hundred choirs from around the world submitted not be the same one that performed during CDs of a performance to the ACDA. At the the following year at the convention. Texas Chapter meeting of the organization, “We spend a lot of time selecting the president of ACDA announced that the right music that the present choir the Clear Creek Choir would not only be is going to sing,” Sean Pullen said. performing at the national convention, but Once the choir was selected, the group would be singing as the event’s top choir. began to prepare for the event. Students Creek’s choir directors, Sean and Kyle underwent rigorous practices to ensure Pullen, said that they felt truly honored that their performance would be a great when they heard about the selection. one. The group rehearsed often and in Both the Pullens and their choir students various locations to practice singing in prepared rigorously for the event. For the areas with different acoustics. They spent directors, the preparation started during as much as six months working on some the 2007-2008 school year when their pieces. Even with all of this work, the choir
remained nervous that their performance would not be ready for the convention. “We didn’t know exactly what it was going to sound like when we went to Oklahoma,” junior choir student, Stephanie Ortiz, said. On March 7, the choir performed twice at the Civic Center Music Hall for the ACDA national convention in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. At each concert, they sang for approximately 2,000 choir directors from across the nation. Their program included various pieces, including a classic repertoire, jazz, and folk songs. Though the Pullens expected Music Hall the performance to be nerve wracking, the choir performed very well, receiving a standing ovation from both audiences. The Pullens said that it was thrilling to sing so well
for such a particular group of directors. “The choir lived up to what people expected us to sound like, if not more so,” Sean Pullen said. Choir students said that they, too, were very pleased with their performance and that all of the hard work that went into preparing their music was worth the experience. “It was a real honor to be a part of the entire process,” junior choir student Katie Kuhlman said. Since their concert at ACDA, the Pullens have been continuing to receive emails from choir directors who attended the performance complimenting the choir. “We’ve received a lot of positive compliments from all over the nation,” Sean Pullen said. The Pullens cite this year as a banner year for the choir. Between the group’s performance at ACDA, the Chamber choir’s honor choir concert at the Madrigal Festival, and all of choirs’ UIL concerts, the group has proven itself as one of the highlights Creek has to offer.
Photo courtesy of Jan Larsen
Letter from overseas
The Creek Journalism department received this letter in response to the soldier care package drive in December. To show support to those overseas by sending them a package, go to anysoldier.com. Students can send individual packages, or get together with a group to sponsor a number of soldiers. For more information about soldiers and veterans who serve the country, go to www.gunnerysoldier.com. Dear CC High School Staff & Students: SUBJECT: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT On behalf of the Marines and Sailors of the First Reconnaissance Battalion, Al Asad, Iraq, we offer our deepest appreciation for supporting our Troops overseas. The Support we get from great Americans like you keeps our morale high during our long days and months away from home. Every gift you send, every package that is opened, every special piece of home that is received, reflects your deepest commitment to supporting and caring for our deployed Marines and Sailors. It shows that America is strong, united, and has the resolve to press ahead during these challenging times as we rebuild Iraq. The desert can be tough on the Recon Teams in the field and these items encourage and bolster the men’s resilience. Once again, thank you and Semper Fidelis for the time, effort, love, and support you have offered in delivering a special piece of America to our Marines and Sailors in the field. God bless you! Sincerly, D.J. Cullen III Lieutenant, USN Command Chaplain First Reconnaissance Battalion