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devil’s advocate stanton college preparatory school

your stories. your school. your voice.

EMBRACING DIVERSITY By ZOE REYES

no. 3 | march 2014 devilsadvocatepaper.com


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Student Life

Opening the Band Doors As much as the Stanton band goes unrecognized, they are an essential part of our school. Attending and playing at every football game and pep rally, they pump up students and are an excellent example of school spirit. By DESIRAE LEE, Student Life Reporter We all know and love the feeling, the rush of excitement after running to the class sections, the with school spirit. We know the bustling of the crowd giving way to chants of camaraderie, and the escalation of drums as the band makes their grand entrance. They are the backbone of school spirit and one of the most electrifying parts of Stanton’s sporting events. The Stanton band has a rich history that holds tradition and excellence at the forefront. Many students do not consider the time and commitment this group exhibits on a year round basis. What may seem like a secretive society, is a well structured pyramid system that produces “award-winning” musicians, dancers, majorettes, and color guard. Stanton Band Director Mr. Marcus Young, a Florida A&M University alum and a Stanton graduate, has been the director of this program for 23 years. As a native to the Durkeeville area, Mr. Young played the trumpet and was the student conductor during his time at Stanton. “I can remember seeing that ocean of blue uniforms as a little kid. I would think to myself; here they come, the band of all bands,” said Mr. Young. Sparking student interest for this program can begin as early as seventh grade. When magnet tours are held at Stanton, the band is invited to perform and recruit students. “The main aspect that drew me to Stanton was seeing the band perform. I knew that if I came here I would have to be in the band,” said senior Signey squad captain. The marching band is structured to be student run with leadership roles for every section, with Mr. Young personally choosing the auxiliary squad and section leaders. “They need to have certain standards. The leaders are almost generic on a year to year basis,” said Mr. Young. The band may appear to be strictly business, but Mr. Young has developed a connection with each one of his students. Members have come to appreciate Mr. Young’s well known quote, “Things don’t go wrong for long for those with a positive attitude.” To be a part of the Stanton band a high level of commitment and a positive attitude are required to endure the summer practices and long after-school rehearsals. “I love to dance and my friends are there. I wanted to quit, but it’s something you can’t get away from. I love it too much,” said senior and dance line member Jai’Miya Greer. “It is like the army. We do a lot of work, and there is no back talk. As a freshman I was under that old system. I didn’t mind because it built character and made me a better player,” said senior band captain Ricardo Gonzalez.

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success,” said Gonzalez. The band has an internal structure that keeps the unit working smoothly. Every individual group is a unique layer that helps to build the band. The Signey Moreland, the dance line led by Tallia Lee and Ashantè Horne, the drum line led by Avery Nichols, and the majorettes led by Katuria Kash. The instrumental band is divided into sections with designated leaders. Danielle Cogdell is in charge of clarinets, Monica West along with Gonzalez is head of the baritone hornsection, Joshua Morris is the saxophone section leader, Elijah Armstrong heads the trumpet section, and Dejan Atunovic is the tuba section leader and student conductor who oversees the activities of all musicians in the band. The leaders perform tasks unique to the function of auxiliary or instrumental band sections. “I teach techniques, make routines, assign hairstyles, prepare individuals for performance, and do pre-game inspections,” said Signey Moreland. Several students share the responsibility of leading the instrumental band, so much so that Mr. Young can leave the group to function without step by step instruction. “Whenever the captain isn’t there I warm up the band, and I help whoever is struggling,” said senior drum line squad captain and co-band director Avery Nichols. Nichols has been a drummer in the band since his sophomore year. “I have learned that no matter what you have to set a good example because you never know who’s watching,” said Nichols. Senior Jowie Papa, a four year band member and clarinet player, was appointed drum major at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. Although his appointment was situational, Papa has become a major asset to the entire band. “I make sure we are organized. I sometimes stand in for Mr. Young in terms of directing,” said Papa. “The fact that everybody treats each other like family is great. There’s no hazing, and everyone works cooperatively.” The Stanton Marching Band continues to uphold their nation-wide reputation as a high-quality, competitive group. This past year the band took at Staten Island University. “Students like to have bragging rights and the students in the band recognize that. I feel that we generate enthusiasm around this campus,” said Mr. Young The long standing traditionalism and rigor of the marching band is a highlight that has been recognized for generations. The students who make up this program often put in a great deal of time, if not equal to that of their studies. The band is a major asset to school spirit and the reputation of Stanton College Preparatory School as a whole.

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the sixth grade and has played the baritone horn since his freshman year. In his eyes the band has changed since then, but he has also grown as a leader.

“It takes leadership to recognize something isn’t

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march 2014


More than Just the Help Many people around the school disregard the custodians and their efforts to provide a clean campus. While some students and faculty members view what they do as “their job,” the Stanton custodians recieve little praise and continue to maintain the school’s appearance. By GABI PRIOLEAU, Student Life Reporter

photo by Ashley Hagins

Every school has a system in place in which different people work together for the greater good; the principal and the administrators ensure the well-being of the students, the further the students’ education, and the cafeteria staff makes sure students are given the sustenance they need as soon as they walk through the doors. One branch of the staff that does plenty for Stanton and contributes to the overall school experience and atmosphere is the custodians. Their contributions are quite visible; they make sure the campus is clean each day, and provide support to rooms are clean, fully stocked, and ready for use. Students and faculty alike tend to disregard the custodians and the work they do because “it’s their job.” But who are they? Who are the people that are such an essential aspect to the overall school environment? They’re just that: they are people. The aspects that make them people are the same things that make anybody a person; they have families, responsibilities, hopes and dreams. After a long, hard day at work, most of them return home to their spouses and their children; some even have another job. Although being a custodian isn’t exactly a glamorous profession, they do their job with pride. They don’t work just for their families, but for the students as well. All of the custodians, except for Andre Rubia, started at of the custodians to arrive at Stanton. Mr. Jackson, who came from Kirby-Smith Middle School seven years ago, recalls how there was unnecessary tension amongst the custodians and with the administration. said Mr. Jackson. “Stanton has come a long way since I’ve been here.” Mr. Jackson shared his experiences from his last school and compared them to his experiences at Stanton. “The kids just didn’t care there [Kirby-Smith]; there would

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were just down right rude and nasty,” said Mr. Jackson. “You go to other schools and come to Stanton and feel grateful.” Custodian Reginald Lester, who came from Palm Avenue Exceptional Student Center, says he has fond memories of his last school. love Stanton; we’re like family,” said Mr. Lester. The other custodians, along with Mr. Jackson, share his sentiments. “I depend on my ‘family members’ on a regular basis,” said Mr. Jackson. “We’re more than just a team; we’re family.” A few of the custodians are quite aware of how the students and faculty are different from their former schools. “You get a lot of respect and appreciation here,” said Ms. Myesha McKay, a new custodian this year. The other custodians wholeheartedly agreed. “They [students] always show their love,” said custodian Jerrel Burns. “They offer their help without even asking. You don’t get that at other schools.” The custodians are the go-to people in most situations around school and are more than willing to help. Sometimes, their relationship with a few teachers and administration can be a bit strained. “They call us out to do simple, unnecessary jobs sometimes,” said Mr. Burns. “We can nit pick here and there, but overall, we maintain a good relationship with the other staff members.” Being a custodian can be viewed as a thankless job with plenty of downsides. But the custodians choose to take a different perspective. “It’s a dirty job. Somebody has to do it; it just happened to be us,” said Ms. Jerikka Washington. “You have to make the best of where you are, until you get to where you need to be.” What motivates the custodians to come to work everyday and clean up behind nearly 2000 people is simple: their families.

“My kids motivate me to come to work everyday,” said Ms. Washington. “I want to be able to provide the best for them, no matter what.” But many of the custodians don’t see themselves doing this forever. “In three years, I plan to retire,” said Mr. Lester, who is a bishop of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Woodbine, Ga. “When I retire, I want to take care of my church.” A few of the other custodians plan on going back to school and receiving their GEDs and diplomas. Jerikka Washington plans on leaving by the end of the year to go back to school. Washington. “I want to be a registered nurse.” When having each of her four kids, Ms. Washington recalls how she was cared after and how well the nurses treated her. She says that this is precisely why she wanted to become a nurse. “Each time I had my kids, the nurses were so nice,” said Ms. Washington. “I just want to show other mothers the hospitality that I received.” Ms. McKay is also going back to school to get her high school diploma. From there, she also wants to pursue a “After I receive my diploma, I want to go to school for either pharmacy tech or to be a pediatrician,” said Ms. McKay. Washington’s. “I love kids and have always been interested in medicine,” said McKay. This love and passion is what drives a few of the custodians to move on from Stanton and pursue their ambitions. Being a custodian is a worthwhile job; they get a chance knowing that they are a crucial element of the school. The custodians are an indispensable part of the school system, and are deserving of much more than appreciation.

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Sports

BATTLE of the

The rivalry between Stanton College Preparatory School and Paxon School for Advanced Studies has a history dating back to 1995. The rivalry now affects the schools from academics to athletics.

photo by Devon Leasure

photo by Sanaa Belkaich

BRAINS By VANESSA HAN, Sports Reporter

Competition can be found in every high school; it is seen in the classroom and in sports competition. Students are motivated by the need to win and the drive to be the best scholar and athlete. For almost 20 years, the competitiveness between Stanton College Preparatory School and Paxon School for Advanced Studies has fed a so-called rivalry that has affected the games and how the players perform. While all schools have competition in sports, the Stanton and Paxon rivalry has gone beyond that. In 1981, Stanton in 1995. Once Paxon was opened as a magnet school, the rivalry slowly began to develop. As the years continued, both schools followed similar paths, and now compete with each other athletically and academically. For example, both schools have been rated on Newsweek’s list of America’s best high schools and compete against each other when it comes to Advanced Placement exam scores, International Baccalaureate scores, and Brain Brawl events. The rivalry was stimulated by Stanton students would joke that Paxon was a “new Stanton,” but just not as good. However, the competition was not taken as seriously as it is now. “The rivalry just recently started, and built over the years. In my junior year Paxon became honors and we had friends, administrators, and teachers leave and go to over there. They started to think they were better than us,” said Coach Josh Westfall, a former Stanton student. When Paxon opened there was a need for a new faculty and a new principal. That’s when Dr. James Williams, a former Stanton principal, transferred to Paxon and became “At the time, my mission was to attract enough students to Paxon to make it a viable alternative to Stanton, which was over-crowded,” said Dr. Williams. “I had very mixed feelings about leaving.” According to Dr. Williams, the competition was used largely in hopes to strengthen the schools, which proved successful since both schools have since been recognized throughout the nation. It was only natural that the rivalry began and was produced from the existence of each other and the competitive nature of students from both schools.

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The friction between the two has had a large effect on both schools and adds an edge to sports. Because of the rivalry, students feel the need to play better than they would in other games because they have more of a reason to win. Like the annual Florida-Georgia game, the Stanton-Paxon games are major events for both schools and evokes more enthusiasm for both teams. “It’s great to have friendly rivalries, it brings out the excitement for both teams,” said Stanton’s athletic director Chris Crider about the Stanton-Paxon rivalry. “It is a pretty competitive game regardless of the sport.” When it comes to the games, the rivalry is important and many players feel the game affects how they perform. Some athletes feel as if the game is most important in the season and they have to try to work as hard as they can. “The Stanton rivalry drives us to play harder and gives us more motivation to win,” said junior Paxon varsity soccer and tennis player Carol Howerton. Other students however, do not feel as if it makes that much of a difference in how they perform. “It [the Stanton-Paxon basketball game] is just a regular game to me honestly. The only thing that makes it different are the fans and the amount of people. It does add a little pressure to win,” said senior Paxon basketball player Daniel Johnson. The rivalry between the schools is important to some people, but others disagree. Many people view it as a way main close. Students from both schools are friends and use the competition to joke with each other. Often times Stanton and Paxon students are found joking on Twitter and other social networking sites about the Stanton-Paxon games or how one of the schools’ academics are better than the other. “I really only go to socialize since I barely see my friends at Paxon. It’s not much of a rivalry, it’s so overhyped and overrated. It’s more of a thing to brag about to our friends at Paxon,” said Stanton junior Kelsea Gordon. Although some students take the rivalry lightly, there are the few who take it seriously. At times there have been dents arguing with each other over which school is better.

“Paxon thinks they’re better than us, but they really are not. They are like low-class peasants,” said Stanton senior Hayley Butts. Many students at Stanton are a little more competitive compared to Paxon students. “The rivalry is a much bigger deal at Stanton. Sporting events between the two schools are taken more intensely by Stanton students,” said sophomore Misha Mahindroo, who attended Paxon her freshman year and transferred to Stanton. In addition to affecting the amount of competition, the Stanton-Paxon games have been known for having the highest ticket sales of all the varsity football games for both schools. Due to the history of the rivalry, a large number of students and alumni attend the game to support their school spirit. Stanton sold 2808 tickets for the most recent Stanton-Paxon varsity football game, compared to the average ticket sale in the 2013 varsity football season of 456 tickets. Mrs. Julie Hemphill, Stanton’s current assistant principal and former Paxon English teacher, explained why she thinks the two schools are similar. “It’s dedication of the students in both schools that makes them similar. They take their education very seriously and are willing to take in the time outside of school to further their learning,” said Mrs. Hemphill. Most rivalries begin because of differences, but it seems that Stanton and Paxon’s came from their similarities. Most students don’t look past the feud to realize that Stanton and Paxon have more in common than students choose to believe. Stanton and Paxon’s competitive nature will only continue to grow making the competition between both schools, athletically and academically, even stronger. Although it may have its set backs, the rivalry is something that has

interested in their school’s athletics. Because of the rivalry, Stanton and Paxon have been able to add a new level of depth to the schools’ sports.

march 2014


Masculinity in Sports that accentuate their masculinity and the perception of their sport. By EMILY ISELEY, Sports Reporter Many young men of this generation are driven by the need to be considered masculine. A typical teenage boy is known to frequently visit the gym, is seen showcasing patches of sparse facial hair, and most importantly, is an athlete for their high school’s football, basketball, or baseball team. What drives the need for male athletes to be considered more masculine? Is it a sign of insecurity, similar to the girls who hide behind layers of makeup, or does it stem from an internal need for a boy to prove himself a man through appearance and demonstrations of power and strength? According to psychologist Deevia Bhana, masculinity is the embodiment of physical domination, strength, competitiveness, courage, and aggression. Sociologist Michael A. Messner suggests that over time, a culturally dominant conception of masculinity has been formed within sports and that the male athletes participating in these sports have their gender roles. Perceptions of these certain gender de“Masculinity is being aggressive, strong, and dominating a situation,” said junior Andrew Boulos. While some students perceive masculinity as a person’s attitude, others deem it to be more focused on appearance. “I see it as someone with a lot of muscles,” says freshman While a school such as Stanton may boast of its students aptitude and focus for academics, it has not avoided the socialization of its students and a focus on gender identity. Like determines a boy’s place among his peers. Often times, athletic ability is one of the chief factors in determining a boys social rank. “Generally the captain of the football team is a well-known, coach Josh Westfall. “But with the smaller sports, they could be a great player but not have that same popularity.” The popularity of a sport may differ in the perception of whether that sport is considered masculine or not. Take the

ups, and top ten in the state. Even with the drastic difference in the outcomes of their seasons, popularity pertaining to the athletic participation of both sports was remarkably similar. The counter intuitive popularity of football and swimming even ones in schools with limited property and athletic funding, such as Stanton, are built with surrounding bleachers to encompass a large fan base for the games. In contrast, some of Stanton’s most successful sports, such as swimming and tennis, lack facilities of any kind for an audience consisting of more than a few supportive parents. One contributing factor to the lack of support and appreciation for these smaller sports and the relatively ample attention towards these “masculine” sports is the deployment of the cheerleading team, who only cheer for the football and basketball teams. “I think we only cheer for football and basketball because it is a norm so no one really ventures out,” said cheerleader Some suggest that the sport of cheerleading is unintentionally supporting the gender practice that guarantees the dominant social position of men and the subordinate social day. In football and basketball, young women in skirts support their male counterparts on the sidelines, while the boys A gender biased way of thinking may also be evident in ample, of the 34 varsity and junior varsity sports that Stanton offers, there are 25 men and only nine women acting as head coaches. Of these nine female coaches, only one is the head coach of a male sport at Stanton: Mrs. Kathy Feierstein, the boys swimming coach. “I grew up an a man’s world,” says Mrs. Feierstein. “At one point in a past career, men who were working for me had higher salaries than my own. After this, coaching for the boys’ swimming team does not faze me.”

between the allocation of coaches, resources, cheerleaders, and fans and the violence that a sport involves. Aggressive contact and brute force have long had the power to enthrall attracting fans as well as players. While many embrace the idea of violent interactions, it puts players at risk for acute injuries caused by sudden trauma. A high school sportsrelated surveillance study by the Center for Disease Control demonstrates how the sports involving the most contact had the highest injury rates. Football was at the top when it comes to sports-related injuries, followed by wrestling. Despite the threat injuries pose to an athlete’s career and overall health, violence in the game continues to be encouraged. In opposition to moral standards, receiving injuries and being able to injure others in a game grants players with a sense of pride. “Why do I like to play football? I like ramming into other people,” said senior lineman Elijah Smythurst. “By playing I can use my large size to my advantage.” Some psychologists believe that the emphasis of violence in sports stems from a metaphor between sports and war. This is evident in terms used in sports coverage, the intensity of a game between rivals, and the patriotic support teams receive from their devoted fans. In football, a long pass is called a “bomb,” players cover their faces in war paint for intense match-ups, and when a team is defeated by a large margin they were “killed,” “wiped out,” or “massacred.” “We are a violence oriented culture,” says senior John their most primitive roots.” In a way, this emphasis on demonstrating ones masculinity in high school sports is unraveling the social practices that young men are required to develop by adulthood. The idealism of masculinity, such as acting violent and intimidating, is causing them to confuse their personalities on the sponsibility, kindness, fairness, and order.

photo by Kathryn McMullen

the football team was composed of 48 athletes on both the

varsity and junior varsity team and were defeated in every game of the season. The swimming team, which consisted

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Ms. Noella Griner French Belgium

Ms. Adriana Herren Spanish Romania

“Cultural diversity is necessary for any individual on an educational standpoint because it provides a universal point of view and varying aspects abroad.”

photo by Ashley Hagins

photo by Ashley Hagins

—Paul Bitutsky (Russia), 11th

Ms. Yan Lan Chinese China

Physics teacher Mr. Allen Gandell is from Canada. He became an American citizen several years ago.

Mrs. Leona Galindo Physics Phillipines

Vassilissa Gugia (left) and Iaonnis Gugia (right) are siblings in the tenth grade from the Dominican Republic. They were taught to speak French and Lingala at a very young age. Mr. Weedner Norméus French Haiti

Dr. Raj Narisetty Physics India

Mrs. Norma Crespo-Lowery Spanish Puerto Rico Dr. David Rodriguez-Reyes Chemistry Puerto Rico

Sophomore Eh Htoo hails from Thailand where the primary language is Thai.

“Being exposed to many different individuals allows people to accept society.” —Sothea Nou (Cambodia), 11th

“Each individual person amongst society contributes in some way or another to a more global diverse community.” —Justin Dalugdug (Philippines), 9th

“Colombian culture puts more emphasis on intangible things such as family and happiness rather than money and success.” Senior Daniya Sayed, who was born in India, shows off her Henna tattoos. These temporary tattoos require the use of a dye which can be used on both skin and hair.

—Daniela Gaona (Colombia), 12th

What is YOUR cultural heritage?

“I believe through diversity it allows other people to be more culturally aware of what other cultures are and consist of.”

Tweet us @scpnewspaper to share your cultural background.

—Anna Huynh (Vietnam), 9th

“In Pakistan we like intricate dancing and spicy foods.” —Hezar Ajmal (Pakistan), 11th Mrs. Nongongoma Majova-Seane, Stanton’s principal, is originally from South Africa.

“CULTURAL DIVERSITY

MEANS

UNITY

AMONG

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RACES

DESPITE

THEIR

DIFFERENCES.”


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Ms. Noella Griner French Belgium

Ms. Adriana Herren Spanish Romania

“Cultural diversity is necessary for any individual on an educational standpoint because it provides a universal point of view and varying aspects abroad.”

photo by Ashley Hagins

photo by Ashley Hagins

—Paul Bitutsky (Russia), 11th

Ms. Yan Lan Chinese China

Physics teacher Mr. Allen Gandell is from Canada. He became an American citizen several years ago.

Mrs. Leona Galindo Physics Phillipines

Vassilissa Gugia (left) and Iaonnis Gugia (right) are siblings in the tenth grade from the Dominican Republic. They were taught to speak French and Lingala at a very young age. Mr. Weedner Norméus French Haiti

Dr. Raj Narisetty Physics India

Mrs. Norma Crespo-Lowery Spanish Puerto Rico Dr. David Rodriguez-Reyes Chemistry Puerto Rico

Sophomore Eh Htoo hails from Thailand where the primary language is Thai.

“Being exposed to many different individuals allows people to accept society.” —Sothea Nou (Cambodia), 11th

“Each individual person amongst society contributes in some way or another to a more global diverse community.” —Justin Dalugdug (Philippines), 9th

“Colombian culture puts more emphasis on intangible things such as family and happiness rather than money and success.” Senior Daniya Sayed, who was born in India, shows off her Henna tattoos. These temporary tattoos require the use of a dye which can be used on both skin and hair.

—Daniela Gaona (Colombia), 12th

What is YOUR cultural heritage?

“I believe through diversity it allows other people to be more culturally aware of what other cultures are and consist of.”

Tweet us @scpnewspaper to share your cultural background.

—Anna Huynh (Vietnam), 9th

“In Pakistan we like intricate dancing and spicy foods.” —Hezar Ajmal (Pakistan), 11th Mrs. Nongongoma Majova-Seane, Stanton’s principal, is originally from South Africa.

“CULTURAL DIVERSITY

MEANS

UNITY

AMONG

DIFFERENT

RACES

DESPITE

THEIR

DIFFERENCES.”


Features

EMBRACING CULTURAL

DIVERSITY By ZOE REYES, Features Reporter Diversity is a word commonly used with the hopes of making an institution look accommodating and well rounded. People of different races are placed on the front of college brochures and strategically grace the covers of textbooks to give the appearance of cultural inclusion. In some cases, of course, the ever present desire for more state funding because of the high rates of minority presence. As one walks down the halls of Stanton, the vibe of forced diversity that is present at other schools is absent. Here, people with different cultural backgrounds are all welcomed and used as an inspiration to others. Stanton is known for a plethora of things: its rigorous Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes, its nationally renowned academic ranking, and its sleep Stanton is sometimes overlooked, perhaps it is the most that has more meaning than high pass rates and great test scores, it is the cultural diversity that thrives at the school. The school has a population of 1501 students and of that total number of students, 827 of them are ethnically diverse. tive American are all different cultural groups that contribute to the total minority enrollment of 51% at Stanton. This makes the school one of the most diverse in Duval county. Senior Hannah Malik, who has a multi-ethnic background consisting of Pakistani, Columbian, Chinese, and Indian, feels her diverse background brings more opportunities than challenges. “Other than unpronounceable names, I don’t face any

Stanton provides students with an environment where they can grow and thrive because of the diversity they are surrounded with. “I like being around people who think differently than me... Attending a school where you are a cultural minority may raise concerns about acceptance from other students. Senior Samuel Lee, feels being at a school with an abundance of diversity has only enriched his high school experience because of the exposure to so many new cultures. “Throughout my whole time at Stanton everyone has gotten along really well. I’ve never felt left out or seen any exCultural diversity not only applies to students, teachers also represent the richness of the cultural melting pot known as Stanton. Many of Stanton’s faculty members come from places such as Puerto Rico, Romania, India, and China. Among them is Mrs. Leona Galindo, who has been teaching physics at Stanton for three years, hails from the Philippines. “I grew up there and taught there for twelve years. Then, under a working visa I was given the chance to come to However, having to teach to students who are different than herself has only helped her grow as a teacher. “I have to think of different strategies to connect with the students, you have to address their diversity and doing that believes the success of Stanton can partially be attributed to the diversity. “I think the diversity is part of what makes this school one of the best in the nation. Students have to learn how to

said Mrs. Galindo. “That is something they will have to do

Stanton can be described as a microcosm of cultures, which bears resemblance to the vast array of people our world. The goal of high school is to prepare students for the own decisions. Even though the core academic classes offered may prepare students for the future, Stanton can give them something else that is invaluable. Along with learning Advanced Placement Calculus, they are learning how to interact with people different than themselves. “The diversity makes us all more accepting towards people and we are also more knowledgeable about different cultures, that makes us all more prepared for our lives when corporates it into certain creative outlets. Perhaps one of the most well known examples of this is the annual Multicultural Extravaganza, a festival showcasing student produced cultural vignettes from around the world. The show is a source of pride for students. “It lets the students express themselves and their culcounselor and Multicultural club sponsor. The awe-inspiring acts showcase how through hard work and dedication students are able to share their cultures with the whole school. “The goal of the Multicultural Club is to increase awareness of all the cultures present at Stanton, it gives students a The club is thought to be one of the largest and most successful at Stanton. Students are motivated to join a club where they can both share their culture and learn about new ones. The club draws students in and is highly celebrated

Malik. “All the students and people I am surrounded by are open and welcoming to all ethnicities. People are usually

captivated audience. “A large part of our student life is highly dependent on

The high rate of diversity at Stanton means students will engone are the days when everyone’s doctrines match up perfectly like homogenous pieces of a puzzle. Here, everyone has different ways of dress, different schools of thought, and many do not believe in the same God(s). This cultural and ideological mix forces students to break free of the cookiecutter stereotypes that they were previously accustomed to in order to enrich their Stanton experience. When people surround themselves with students who are different than they are, they begin to re-evaluate their own principles.

such as ‘multi’. The successful and diverse generation at our school represents the successful future our nation will soon Even after high school ends, the exposure students get stays with them and in a sense they yearn for the diversity long after they leave Stanton. “When students are applying to colleges I see them searching for an culturally diverse environment that is simi-

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photo by Devon Leasure

they say they miss the diversity and they miss the exposure grade, when you go to a school like that you are only around a certain type of people and you are kind of taught to think a certain way, after being at Stanton, I just feel like I’m more

The cultural diversity at Stanton creates a positive environment that is unique to the school and affects the lives of students, even though it is often overlooked.

march 2014


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Features

Taking A Leap of Faith: Ms. Garrison’s Life-Changing Journey Beloved by her students and colleagues, Ms. Mary Garrison is embarking on a two-year journey of faith in Chile.

By SPENCER NACHMAN, Features Reporter

A

member of Stanton’s faculty is about to take a leap, guided by her values and faith, because she believes she was called to do it. That person, who is leaving behind everything she knows to follow this calling, is Stanton’s very own Ms. Mary Garrison. Many of us do not have clear visions of what we want to do with our lives. Most of the time, our visions of the future lie as a murky pool viewed from the top of a cliff and many of us cannot garner up the courage to dive in, for fear of not being able to come back up. In Simpler terms, we are often unable to take a leap of faith. Ms. Garrison was born and raised in the small town of East Peoria, Illinois. She moved to Jacksonville in 2006 where she immediately began work as an English teacher at Stanton. “I didn’t think I’d be a teacher, but there were too many closed doors. Also, a lot of family members were teachers, ” said Ms. Garrison, who initially sought a career in publishing. “So I came to Jacksonville one weekend and started work that Monday. I was so nervous that I threw up In addition to teaching, another important piece of Ms. Garrison’s life is her Christian faith which has been with her since her early childhood from attending Dayton Avenue Baptist Church in Illinois, to studying at Samford University, a Christian college in Alabama, and going to seminary. Her piousness continues to this very day. Ms. Garrison has always considered herself a missionary, or one sent to perform religious or charitable work. A major spiritual turning point for her, however, occurred when she attended high school. “High school is an important time in life where you ask phen, was the leader of the local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and he eventually held me accountable to be leader. I knew I could not be a hypocrite with that responsibility. That experience changed me a great deal.” Even during her time teaching at Stanton, Ms. Garrison stayed involved with Christian organizations, eventually working part-time writing curriculum for the North American Missionary Society, a “Church planting” organization of missionaries operating in more that 30 nations around the globe. Then, this past summer, another experience proved to be a turning point in Ms. Garrison’s life when she went on her mission trip to Temuco in southern Chile, the city she will soon be residing and teaching in for the next two years. “I wanted to make the most of that summer and not just sit around all day,” said Ms. Garrison. “I saw there was

needed. I sort of didn’t want to do it [make the move to After putting much thought and prayer into her lifechanging decision, Ms. Garrison made her choice to move to Temuco for two years as an English teacher and missionary with very clear external and internal goals in mind. “My goal and hope is to teach them, help with needs in the community, and to glorify God. I truly mean that with all my heart,” said Ms. Garrison. “We all have gifts and I want put them aside.”

14 | devil’s advocate

march 2014


Of course many lifestyle changes will be required of Ms. Garrison when she moves to Temuco. There is a lack of central heating, she will have to take the bus every day as there are not many cars, and, despite having a degree in Spanish Literature, it’s been ten years since she has practiced and she will have to put in a great amount of work to learn the language. There are also cultural changes that she will have to encounter. “The culture down there is very socially oriented and it’s

and has similar feelings. She still remembers what was going through her mind when she was informed of Ms. Garrison’s decision.

yourself,” said Ms. Garrison. “That’s going to be hard to ad-

Ms. Garrison’s personality and character also had an

Making a complete move from the city of Jacksonville, Ms. Garrison will arrive in Temuco with nothing except a small apartment, a summer’s experience, faith, and optimism. -

What Do We Stand For? By MS.

, Contributing Writer

off from the truth. She was in love with the experience that tion of her. Of course we’ll stay in touch but it won’t be the

a teacher, saying that class will not be as exciting without her there to teach it. “She’s such a sweetheart who truly trusts her students, and -

The physical demands of planning and packing are not Stanton community, the second family she has come to love, after eight years of teaching is bittersweet for Ms. Garrison. the grading aspect, there are will miss,” said Ms. Garrison. “My colleagues are the best people, as well as the students. get to see many of my students graduate, to see them complete the cycle of high school.” Many of Stanton’s faculty and students will also miss Ms. Garrison and her bright personality she brought to work every day. Fellow teacher and personal friend Ms. Tamla Simmons, who came to work at Stanton around the same time as her, looks fondly on the time she has spent with Ms. Garrison. “We immediately bonded because we were both traveling teachers,” said Ms. Simmons.

I may stay in Chile or go to work somewhere else, like Africa. I’m putting aside my own expectations of what my life will be. —Ms. Garrison

seemed like we had nothing in common but everything in common. We became fast friends.” Ms. Simmons told stories of how they went biking in the rain and how Ms. Garrison got up and danced at a party held by Ms. Simmons’ aunt, all while emphasizing her adventurous and enthusiastic personality. Ms. Simmons accepts Ms. Garrison’s personal choice to undertake missionary work. said Ms. Simmons. “The way she talks about it, the level of passion, this is something she really wants. She is such an incredible individual. There are not a lot of teachers, not a lot gotten to know her here at Stanton.” the same year as Ms. Garrison, formed a close bond with her

FOUR

FACTS

ABOUT

Although Ms. Garrison feels many emotions as she gets closer to her embarking, excitement reigns supreme. She looks at the intimidating optimism and spiritual passion that practically glows.

summer, ready to stop having

ready.” The only question that remains is: what happens next? The commitment in Temuco is only for two years and after that, Ms. Garrison still has the rest of her life ahead of her. Ms. Garrison, although not too sure herself, knows that her life will be changed forever.

putting aside my own expectations of what my life will be.” resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” Anyone who doubts the validity of this statement only needs to look to Ms. Garrison to see that this type of happiness is possible. Every day we are told to follow our hearts but those who actually do so are in the minority. Ms. Garrison is one of those few. Although we are saddened by her departure from our community, we can take comfort in the fact that she is doing what makes her truly happy. Even though she is leaving, even though she may not return to Stanton or even the United States, Ms. Garrison’s courage and leap of faith will remain in our memories for years.

colleagues and students each day. This process has been beautiful and frustrating, encouraging and daunting, painful sometimes, confusing most times, but overall, overwhelming

the experiences and skills from Stanton with me, and in that We all stand for something; everyone is “on mission” in

set their mission on being “good enough” in some way: smart enough, successful enough, kind enough, attractive enough. But what is “enough”? This changes from age to age, culture to culture, person to person, and even within myself, from moment to moment. Where is the constant standard by

this standard, my own measure of “good enough” falls short,

glory of God. my breath, my mind, my emotions, my possessions, my very

own. And while he truly supplies all of my needs, the greatest

POPULATION 267,619; the population of Jacksonville was 836,507. DISTANCE: The distance from Jacksonville to Temuco is 4,805 miles. GEOGRAPHY roughly houses 620 active volcanoes.

CURRENCY the U.S. dollar.

city of Temuco, capital

communicate effectively, or even how to live as a responleagues and with the ever-changing lineup of students who allowed me to try out my skills as a teacher and also my gifts -

RELIGION: An estimated 63% of the population are Ronostics and atheists, and 4% follow other religions.

with them. For those to whom this message is new or even this message more with them. think my actions are admirable but a bit too extreme for your presence of a loving and relational God any more conceivtrust God’s will is being done.

march 2014

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Opinions Eliminating Political Correctness

The Battle Within Contributing Artist

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Is Our Generation too Lazy? -

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Devil’s Advocate

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Opinions Appreciating the Arts

The Adverse Impact of Social Standards

By JEDD MARRERO, Contributing Writer

Social standards are essentially guidelines that set a widespread perception towards a certain behavior or trend in society. These standards, often set by our elders, can negatively impact our worldviews; anyone who does something different is immediately alienated and pushed to the corner where all the “weird kids” hang out. This precedent has been in place since anyone can remember; although in the past, the consequences of being different were much more severe. These predetermined ideals limit the range of socially acceptable diversities in many schools and communities that, rather than encouraging ethnic inclusiveness, promote conformity. Conformity can be described as the act of complying with traditional or preset principles. This concept is supported by Solomon Asch’s “line experiment” in which he tested conformity through social pressure. In society, conformity is a widely practiced act. For instance, at Stanton, many male students wear bow-ties and preppy clothing to give off a “fraternal” vibe. These young men have set a standard for the rest of the males at Stanton by inexplicitly stating that those who wear “frat” clothes are labeled as attractive and superior to the other males. Such standards restrict the community from expanding and diversifying in fashion sense and expression while also providing little room for tolerance. Tolerance is a largely debated matter in today’s society and, judging from history, it will continue being a prime issue in humanity. Such discussions are seen in the recent debates of whether or not to allow same-sex marriage as well as the many civil rights movements throughout history. Everyone at Stanton is required to take various AP History frustration, we ask the teachers why we have to take such a tedious subject, many of them answer in a similar fashion: “We must learn the past in order to not make the same mistakes in the future.” However, in history, it is often seen that whenever a majority of people think or believe in a certain idea, society deems it as morally and intellectually correct. Despite this false belief, just because the majority believes something doesn’t necessarily mean it is true nor is it the only way of thinking. A great example is seen with the issue of slavery. During most of the twentieth century, the majority of Southerners thought of African American people as lower class and they were treated extremely harshly and forced to be slaves. However, as time went on, we realized the error of our ways and we changed to accept racial equality. A similar situation is seen in the women’s rights movements; we now preach gender equality too. If all of our past mistakes prove to be the lack of equality, then shouldn’t potential laws that authorize further equality, such as the debates on granting same-sex marriages, be an irrelevant discussion and undoubtedly passed? In this sense, taking history as a core subject is not the problem because most students recognize that it is futile to learn since no one is learning from it. Intolerance and ignorance formed by sociocultural standards are restricting cultural and artistic expression throughout communities. If young people do not exercise an open mind, then the future generation- our children- will be a bigoted one, separated by ethnocentric nationalism.

18 | devilsadvocatepaper.com

main characters: whether or not to pursue the arts. Okay, let’s be real – the Disney Channel original movie was nowhere near iconic and groundbreaking. Yet the movie did succeed in revealing the negative connotation surrounding student involvement in the arts. Being a part of the performing arts community, including dance, drama, and band, has been frowned upon by many schools in our society. The root of such labels can be found in many elements of popular culture.

Programs like “High School Musical” and “Glee” may have a positive theme at the end of the story, but their depiction of performing arts in a high school setting implies that one cannot be popular or “cool” if he or she is involved in the arts. In fact, many shows and movies use a negative approach to mediums of creativity. People often attach inaccurate labels to these artists, calling some “band geeks” and others “drama freaks.” Even worse, media has made it seem as if being associated with the arts diminishes one’s masculinity, a type of “social suicide.” It is no doubt that these stereotypes do major internal damage. Prejudicially stereotyping a person is a form of bullying experienced by many, including Utah theater director Jerry Rapier, who was a victim of homophobic and racial slurs in his youth. It’s quite appalling how a simple label can affect someone so profoundly, and those who do the labeling often are aware of the repercussions. This ultimately prompts the question: Why? Why do teenagers in the twentythey are passionate about something other than the cookie-cutter sports and academics? The frequency of negative stereotypes has discouraged many students from being active in the arts, with each year bringing fewer and fewer participants. It’s quite ironic, since the celebrities that the labelers admire started out in the position that the bully’s victims are currently in. Actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, or even artists like Macklemore and Adele, more than likely started their careers in the performing arts department at their old schools. That being said, our society is hampering the emergence of talent by creating reluctance and hesitation. Thanks to the absurd labels, students are becoming increasingly apprehensive when it comes to joining extracurricular activities. For all we know, we are preventing the next Michael Jackson or Emma Watson from prospering. Nevertheless, this common behavior is absent from our own school. Stanton does not frown upon the arts, but rather embraces their importance. Many people outside of the Blue Devil community have noted that our school is different from others. The student body itself encourages people to participate in one or more of the many performing art mediums that Stanton provides. Drama productions, band concerts, and our annual Multicultural Extravaganza are testaments to the fact that our school as a whole is radically (and thankfully) different. Our arts department here at Stanton is a key factor when students consider applying to the school. Through our dedication and enthusiasm for creativity, Stanton is able to transcend the boundaries of negative stereotypes and labels. Now all we have to do is share our interest with the rest of society.

The State of the Music Industry By BRANDON SCHRÖEDER, Contributing Writer

photo by Sanaa Belkaich

photo by Sanaa Belkaich

Stanton College Preparatory School: approximately 2000 students and oh so many different cultural backgrounds. As is well known, Stanton is considered one of the most culturally diverse schools in Jacksonville. Because of this, it is easy to forget about intolerance since we are acquainted with people who have such different backgrounds. However, people’s views and their parents’ views still restrict them from respecting others whose customs and traditions are not as common in America. This generation of parents, who were raised in an intolerant period, transfers their ideals of superiority onto their children. Students still make fun of their peer who dies his hair purple and judge the Surinamese girl from afar because of her unfashionable traditional clothes. These are examples of the “perfect” social standards we allow

photo by Ashley Hagins

By HAFSA QURAISHI, Contributing Writer

Our current musical landscape is offensively mediocre. As Bill Hicks, the late comedian and social satirist put it, “We live in a world where John Lennon was murdered, yet Barry Manilow continues to put out albums.” In this same world, the platitudes of Michael Bolton are used to hawk Honda cars, and the spastic gyrations of Miley Cyrus are setting the tone for the cultural discourse of future Americans. In her biggest hit to date, “You a Stupid Ho,” rapper Nicki Minaj delivers with characteristic subtlety what is presumably her autobiography. The digitally enhanced mewling of Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, purchased with millions worth in The American Heritage Dictionary

ant on outside songwriters and technology (even in concert), it is nearly impossible to construe these pseudo-musical vermin as musicians in any orthodox sense. Thus, a new moniker for this faction of artistic ne’er-do-wells must be coined. (I suggest “intellectual predators.”) It seems a pretty face is all it takes to make or break a predator anymore, with no respect to compositional virtue. In fact, the social stigma associated with music of artistic merit is so prevalent in our cultural epoch that Bruno Mars was selected to host the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVIII. Under closer scrutiny, the situation looks rather like a game of “One of These Things is Not Like the Other”: the single most masculine, testosterone-drenched sporting event of the year being split in two by the warbling clichés of a man whose voice suggests a rather unfortunate Granted, anti-intellectual escapism in popular culture has existed for about half a century. However, starting around the disco era and culminating in the age of Reagan, the endless ocean of commercialized pop music has But never had such a degradation in musical competence or artistic integrity occurred until recently. Pop songwriting, while always being marketable, was at least done by the musicians themselves rather than recording industry songwhereas now a drum machine, a synthesizer, and AutoTune software make actual talent take a backseat to image and arbitrary, seemingly causeless fame. today’s musical climate would have driven him to yet another. Perhaps the vomit upon which Jimi Hendrix choked to death was not induced by alcohol and barbiturates. Perhaps he, in his prescience, caught a glimpse into today’s cultural mainstream. The way I see it, the future is equally bleak (if not more so) unless the jolly gourmandizers of pop music become more analytical and comprehensive toward the music they listen to and indeed toward music in general. In a haggard plea for sanity, I would suggest basing personal musical values more on substance and artistic rigor and less on image, commercialism, and artless novelty.

march 2014


The Legalization of Marijuana With marijuana already legalized in 20 states*, the topic is gaining increasing popularity and controversy across the nation. The Devil’s Advocate chose to tackle this much-heated debate as two student journalists take sides.

Opposing Legalization

Supporting Legalization

Opinions Reporter

By NELSON THORTON, Opinions Reporter The topic of medicinal marijuana legalization is sweeping the nation and it has recently become a topic of discussion in the state of Florida. The issue has gained so much attention and support that

the District of Columbia, that have already passed laws legalizing the usage of medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington have gone as far as allowing the recreational usage

with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy on the basis that it has a high potential for abuse. The U.S.

the drug would be those who were prescribed the drug by a doctor or those who have a license.

photo by Sanaa Belkaich

Commonly referred to as “Mary Jane,” “Hemp,” “Dope,” “Pot,” or “Weed,” marijuana’s many names indicates its long history in the United States. From basements to backyards, the drug has grown like a weed in the cracks of the country, remaining unseen behind closed doors. However, recent events show that marijuana is making a widespread appearance in the state legislatures and opinions of the people. Twenty states in the U.S. have legalized the usage of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and both Washington state and Colorado have gone as far as legalizing the drug for recreational usage. With half of the country crying for the legalization of medical marijuana and the other half shouting in protest, the question has been opened here in Florida as to whether the Sunshine State should join the rapidly increasing number of “green states” or remain drug free. When questioning whether marijuana should be legalized, one should address why

John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan is a strong advocate for medicinal dicinal marijuana should be legalized in the state of Florida because

people who use it, whether legally or illegally. Medical marijuana could help a large amount of people if it were to be legalized in the

an appetite in its consumers, has not been proven to outweigh the risks the drug presents.

brings into question how alcohol is legal although it accounts for a plethora of deaths ever they please. Many over-the-counter drugs have also resulted in deaths if the correct

sends a message that marijuana is medically benevolent and therefore, is not a harmful drug. However, marijuana does have harmful effects on its users, both long term and with impaired short-term memory and motor coordination, slowed reaction time, altered loss of touch with reality. However, it is marijuana’s long term effects that prove to be most dangerous. When smoked, users breathe deeply and try to hold the substance in their lungs as long as possible. This is especially damaging to the lungs, since marijuana contains some of the same harmful carcinogenic ingredients of tobacco smoke but in an even greater quantity. Most disturbing about the push for legalizing medical marijuana is how little the issue has to do with compassion for the terminally ill. While not composing the entire demographic, a majority of advocates hide behind false pretenses of a sole concern for the ill who need marijuana in order to ease their suffering. Marijuana is not the miracle drug it is being portrayed as and legalization advocates are using this idea as a cover to convince the general public that legalizing marijuana is morally good. For them, the legalization of medicinal marijuana will lead to their ultimate goal: a drug that is easily accessible and socially accepted in society.

why is it still illegal? The rush for Florida to pass laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana has not come, although once the usage of medical marijuana is passed, it most likely won’t be

purposes and it would most likely make more if legalized for recreational purposes. No, we don’t want to be like Colorado and have marijuana dispensaries at every corner because that could create problems with drug use in teens due to ease of access, but there is nothing wrong with a few accessible and noticeable stores once medical marijuana is allowed.

and have dispensaries at every corner, but if it will help people and hasn’t killed anyone, why not allow marijuana to be on the market as a strictly prescription drug?

*This statistic describes the legalization of medical marijuana.

Recreational Marijuana: What YOU Think No amount of legislation is going to stop marijuana from being bought and sold, and faced with the memory of Prohibition’s failure, letting people decide for themselves cohol in terms of addictiveness and health risks. But note that the key difference between marijuana and alcohol is that Light, many will turn to crack or heroine for the illegal allure once afforded by pot. The bottom line is that the high popularity and low malignance of marijuana make it a barrier against a spiral into harder and

THE STATS:

75%

harder drugs. Legalization would remove that barrier both legally and culturally, and so would do a great disfavor to society.

lose hundreds of thousands of prisoners who committed no crimes of violence or self-detriment. Thirdly, it would become a

okay, it will probably lead them to use other more dangerous substances.

of money for the US. Marijuana was originally illegalized during the Great Depression when fear of

would happen. One, the war on drugs

legalized because when people use it, they aren’t in control of their actions. Of course alcohol can have this effect on people too,

greatly diminished. Second, prisons would

who can drink legally, drink in moderation.

of medicinal marijuana

43% recreational marijuana

Recreational marijuana should not be legalized because clinical studies reveal that long-term, moderate use of the drug impairs short-term memory, slows reaction time, increases the risk of heart attack, and can result in birth defects, strokes, and damage to the respiratory system and brain.

Stanton College Preparatory School students.

devil’s advocate | 19


Stanton Drama Club presents

March 13-15 @ 7:30 PM Theatre Jacksonville 2032 San Marco Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32207 904.396.4425 www.theatrejax.com

Devil's Advocate (Volume 30, Issue 3 | 2013 2014)  

The Devil's Advocate is the award-winning newspaper published by student journalists attending Stanton College Preparatory School in Jackson...

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