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to make a difference sparks f ly

a lasting impression page topic

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dorm sweet dorm

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meet the staff

Dragon’s Tale staff members for the 2013 winter issue

Back row: Carolyn Durbin Pat Moore Susi Acosta Ad Manager Victoria Hendricks Middle: Emily File Andrea Ratzlaff Design Editor Taylor Mitchell Morgan Bryant Copy Editor Front: Mayra Ramirez Taylor Thimesch Not Pictured: Darren Ramey


Susi Acosta

Pep Band

Darren Ramey

Honors Composition

Andrea Ratzlaff College Textbooks

Pat Moore


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02 06 08 10

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Morgan Bryant Politics

Victoria Hendricks Dorm Improvements

Mayra Ramirez Theatre

Taylor Thimesch Auto Mechanics

Carolyn Durbin Cheer Squad

Andrea Ratzlaff Women’s Basketball

Emily File Men’s Basketball

Emily File Dragon Dolls

Mayra Ramirez Ads

table of contents

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what’s inside

12 16 18 20 24 26 28 30 32 34

Reading Buddies


The Dragon’s Tale is published three times a year by the Magazine Production class of Hutchinson Community College, 1300 North Plum, Hutchinson, KS 67501. When compiled, the three issues serve as an overview of the activities and the people of HCC during the school year.

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Greg Siepert, welding technology instructor, uses the grinder to grind his piece of metal. Students learned to properly operate all equipment in the welding facility.


Susi Acosta

Welding students learn in a fast-paced and progressive learning environment

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A sudden speed kicks in, sparks start flying every time the torch is being used, while the welder concentrates on his piece of metal. This is an every day experience for a welder. Nearly all manufacturing and building industries involve some sort of welding abilities in today’s society. Welding begins with basic skills training, which can be obtained on the job or at a technical school. The welding program at Hutchinson Community College enables students to learn in an atmosphere similar to a real job experience and provides them with resourceful information. “Our students learn at a progressive pace that allows the students to push themselves to a higher level. There are opportunities for them to advance during class and outside of class with extracurricular activities related to the welding field,” Greg Siepert, welding technology instructor, said. Welding is the process of joining metals and plastics by melting the parts and then using

a filler to form a joint. It can be done using different energy sources, a gas flame, electric arc, laser or an ultrasound. Most welding involves ferrousbased metals such as steel and stainless steel. Welding covers a temperature range of 1500 ºF to 3000º F. “A difficult task to follow is building pads, the instructors make us put down several beads on one piece of metal and it’s a little difficult to keep it from overlapping and getting porosity,” Bryant Robertson, Emporia, said. To prepare students for employment, the program stresses quality of work and time efficiency. Students must also follow a strict attendance policy. “Our attendance policy is a strict three absence or tardy and the student is dropped from the program. The attendance policy serves a dual purpose. Its first purpose is to teach a student that they need to be accountable for their attendance. This, in turn, shows

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employers that when a welding student from HCC fills out a job application that the applicant can be accountable to show up for work,” Siepert, said. “The second big thing our attendance policy accomplishes that you have a group of students that want to be here.” During their training, students use open flames like an electric arc or laser light. Skilled workers draw and set up equipment and create welds, and then test welds to guarantee it meets the standard. Students must have measurement and blueprint reading skills to be able to run the welding and fabricating machines. Some of the equipment used includes

shears, brakes, role formers, saws, computers, numerical controlled cutting and many other hand tools. Employment is expected to grow as fast as other career fields, which depends on the industry, location and the welder qualifications. It’s reported that welders earn an hourly wage over $14. Siepert said, “We are responsible for developing the best welders available. When a student leaves the program, they not only have great skills in welding, but also many other skills to help them be successful in the welding industry. Some of those other skills include showing up on time, being

Dylan Soper, Junction City, focuses on his welding project. He worked on a target stand.

responsible to due dates, interpersonal skills along with operation of various non-welding equipment.” The welding program helps place students in jobs all over Kansas. Most welders are found working in an industry that produce transportation equipment, industrial machinery and equipment, and fabricated metal products. Some are also employed in building structures and bridges, as well as joining pipes in pipelines, power plants and in factories. “I have a great job at KUHN Krause and I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon,” Bryant Robertson, Emporia, said. For students to get certified they must go through required

Using the tig torch, Rigo Magana, Newton, concentrates on his piece of stainless steel. Magana attended the Brooks Trades Center in Newton. Photo courtesy of Mike Mcconnell

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standards of welding qualifications. The welding program at HCC covers the welding certification but it is not the primary focus. Depending on the job the students select upon graduation depends on whether they will require a certification or not. “After being certified, I would like to own my own welding company. I decided to go into welding because I enjoy it and welders never go out of work,” Angelo Martinez, Lyons, said. The program works in cooperation with the Brooks Trades Center in Newton. It’s associated in preparing students for the workforce. The Hutchinson and Newton welding program are associated with Hutchinson Career and Technical Education Academy. Siepert meets with the other locations three times a year and works on welding qualifications. “It’s designed to train welders for an industry. It utilizes

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an individualized format of instruction based on competency achievement. As soon as a student completes a weld or a test to standard, they are allowed to move to the next level. Students do not have to work together in one assignment,” Mike Mcconnell, welding technology instructor in Newton, said. Currently, 42 students both secondary and postsecondary are enrolled in the Brooks Trade Center. These numbers are split into two sections morning and afternoon classes. “This is a self-paced program. If I’m not capable to show up in the morning class I’m welcomed to show up in the afternoon. I like working with my instructor Mike, he is well known for his welding capabilities,” Rigo Magana, Newton, said. The students have to complete approximately 125 different weld tests and more than 50 written tests in all welding areas. Students must complete with an 80% or better in order to certify in this program. Each student must learn to weld in all positions flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead. A simple mistake is more than enough to spoil the weld or could cause a severe damage. To prevent accidents, the students are properly trained to meet OSHA compliance standards as well as instruction on the operation of the shop equipment with good safety procedures in place. They must also wear the proper personal protective clothing. Students work on live projects throughout the year. It allows them to interact with people from all aspects of the


Harley Davidson Table

Tire Stand Eagle Bench industry. “All of the students are involved in Skills USA. This is a student organization that represents all trade and skill areas for both secondary and postsecondary students in the U.S.,” Mcconnell said. “Our students conduct a variety of activities throughout the school year to include fundraising, charity events, socials, equipment purchases, and competition in the annual state welding contest held in Wichita.” There are two contests provided through Skills USA. On

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Candle Holder

The HCC Welding Technology Program creates a variety of metal items to raise money for charitable organizations and the HCC Welding Scholarship fund. Shown are some recent projects students have completed throughout the year.


April 9, students will be participating in a welding fabrication competition. It is a three-person team and each team is given a project with only six hours to complete. On April 25th, students will also be competing in individual welding, only one or two students can participate; this involves anything that has been discussed during class. Students can also show their welding capabilities in a welding sculpture competition. This shows more of an artistic side of welding. Recently, welders helped a

group of boy scouts attain their welding merit badge. About two years ago the American Welding Society started working with the boy scouts to include a merit badge to help prompt welding at a younger age. On December 1st, 12 scouts came into the welding facility to meet with the students. The welders helped the scouts obtain their badge. The biggest issue was getting all the safety equipment sized for kids instead of adult size. They talked about various ways

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welding affects people, went through safety procedures, and moved into the shop to weld four different projects. The staff ’s main focus was making welding an interest for the younger ones. “There is an employee shortage and right now it’s tough to recruit when there are people that never welded before and some are just scared to weld, there’s sparks and fires involved. Welding is an extremely safe career with proper training,” Siepert said. The HCC welding program offers developing essential skills and knowledge for students to perform the technical tasks of welding. With sparks flying in the welding facility, more students expand their knowledge and enhance their skills within the welding career.

Steve Parks, Hutchinson, works on his project before the class ends. Welders learned various types of fabrication and machine operation.

Sparks hit the helmet of Angelo Martinez, Lyons, while he works on his mig welding. Martinez planned to graduate in May.

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Brandon Bryan, Hutchinson, sorts out the rods for his next project. Students worked in a safe and productive manner.

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Bringing Musical Motivation to HCC Sports photos&story

Darren Ramey

Stepping into the Hutchinson Sports Arena for a Hutchinson Community College home basketball game, immediately one is immersed into a different environment. An environment filled with excited fans, players warming up for the game, as

well as a loud and pumped up pep band doing their best to get the home crowd and players into the game. Sporting events are filled with music whether one grows up going to the games or watching them on TV. A band at most games can always be heard cheering on their team as well as getting the crowd into the game with their music. Some of the pep band members here at HCC had the chance to grow up hearing the band play and aspired to one day be a part of it themselves. “Many students in our band heard the band when they were younger and were inspired to continue playing their instruments here at HCC,” Jeff Pelischek, director of bands said. Pelischek has been the director of bands at Hutchinson Community College for the past 26 years, directing the pep band during every year. Pelischek opened up the membership to allow not only those who are getting credit for the course but also to students that Conner Siler, Buhler, plays the drums along to one of the HCC pep band’s many songs. The pep band played at several sporting events during the fall semester.

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just want to play their instruments. “There are 55-60 players at any given game. 51 are enrolled in Pep Band, which rehearses from 11:30-1:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have some community members and some former students that play when they are in town. There is no audition required to be in the group. I do limit the number of drummers, so the ones I have play a lot,” Pelischek said. Instrumentation of the HCC pep band is of a wide variety including drum set, electric bass, guitar, piano, flute, clarinet, alto, tenor, and bari saxophone, trumpet, mellophone, trombone, baritone, and tuba. Nick Good, Wamego, a member of the pep band, plays the trombone. “My favorite part of being in pep band is actually being at the games. I am going to go to the games anyway, so why not play an instrument? Plus, the school actually pays us to play at the games,” Good said. For sports fans that also enjoy playing music, or just music lovers, pep band is an opportunity to earn school credit, have fun, and support HCC sports. “The pep band brings spirit to the games. Most students that go to the games just go to watch. The pep band is active, cheering on our team, yelling and heckling the other team, and even yelling at the refs when they blow an obvious call,” Good said. While the pep band can’t make it out to every HCC sports game they play at football home games, as well as men’s and women’s basketball home games. Members of

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Cody Zenger, Belleville, plays the saxophone in the HCC pep band. The band performed at the men’s home basketball game on Dec. 8.

the pep band, fans, and athletes can feel the energy that the pep band brings to the games. “I would recommend students join the pep band because it is fun! We play one of the best pep band books anywhere, and have a blast at the games. Our

athletic teams are always very good, so it is fun to be at the games and be involved both musically, and otherwise. There is no limit to the number of students that can participate,” Pelischek said.

Matt Van Campen, Haven; Justin Blundell, Dodge City; Austin Shafer, Haven, play the trumpet in unison. The three band members performed during HCC home games. Photo Illustration

“The pep band is active, cheering on our team, yelling and heckling the other team, and even yelling at the refs when they blow an obvious call.”

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Andrea Ratzlaff

“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.” -Brandi Snyder

Trudy Zimmerman, English instructor, presents Hulk hands to a mother and her son. The Honors Composition I class donated presents to a family in need as their service learning project.

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Transformation begins the moment a student walks into Trudy Zimmerman’s Honors Composition I class. “I think its important that students understand that college is the beginning of their adult lives that provides that foundation upon which they can build for their professions,” Zimmerman, English instructor, said. “But also for the persons they become.” Zimmerman’s class focuses on building good habits that will be beneficial and productive in the future. Jackie Neville, Andale, described Zimmerman as a teacher who challenged her to be a better writer and better student. “She was always easy and fun to talk to,” Neville said. “She was interested in knowing about me as a person, not just another student that walked through her door.” “I care about my students. I care about them as college students, particularly as they are entering the college experience,” Zimmerman said. “I love teaching and being with people and seeing you guys evolve into

the people you’re meant to be.” Tori Hale, Hutchinson, reflects on her experience in Zimmerman’s class and remembers her as a teacher who encouraged teamwork and emphasized that life is something that should be experienced to the fullest. “Trudy’s class was always very interactive, which I loved,” Hale said. “She always made it a point to let each of us voice our own opinions on subjects. She truly cared about us, too, and it was obvious that she wanted us all to be successful!” Passion for the success of her students may evolve from being a student at Hutchinson Community College herself. Zimmerman was very involved on campus through Phi Theta Kappa. “And I love being here, it seemed very odd to be here [teaching]. In fact I walked into a classroom in that first semester I was here and said okay this is surreal. This is the classroom I had Composition II in and here I’m now on this side of the desk instead of that side of the desk,” Zimmerman said. As a student at HCC, Zim-

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merman’s instructors impacted her and even sparked ideas for teaching her own classes. “[I] took a few foreign language classes that may have been the first stepping stones, or one of the first of all my interest in international travel too,” Zimmerman said. “I am intrigued by other languages and their correlation with ours and what we bring into our language from the other languages as well.” Australia, New Zealand, the Holocaust memorial in Germany, as well as Ireland are a few of the many places that have captured Zimmerman’s heart and influenced the way she teaches her classes. “I then want to open up opportunity for my students to have the same ability to understand better our place in the world,” Zimmerman said. “We are part of the world community.” Zimmerman often provides a summer trip opportunity to her HCC students as well as friends and family. “I truly believe that international travel opens up the mind to other cultures but it also opens the heart to other people,” Zimmerman said. Zimmer man described some of her experiences and emphasized that the most cher-

no 46

A 1971 newspaper article shows Zimmerman and her twin sister as 4.0 graduates from HCC.

ished memories were spent talking with the people and embracing their culture. Her travel experiences do not merely remain memories, Zimmerman incorporates them into each semester’s theme. “I was trying to find my hook. I knew I wanted to have a theme,” Zimmerman said. “I knew I wanted something that was different in a significant way from the traditional Composition I classes.” In 1994, the “hook” grabbed her after watching a video she casually picked up at the store. The movie was “The Power of One.” “From day one, since I started teaching Composition I Honors, (1994) its been that theme ever since,” Zimmerman said. “I’m even more passionate as every year goes by. For several years we were talking the talk, but we weren’t walking the walk at least as a class, until three years ago.” A service-learning project is included at the end of the semester to apply what the

students have learned and embrace the power of one. “I love seeing the hearts of my students,” Zimmerman said. “It’s so important that we as individuals, wherever we are in our paths of life that we remember it’s not just me,

myself, and I. We are all in this together in terms of the walking the path of life.” Zimmerman and her class prepare to deliver their Christmas presents to the family. Their donations included a Christmas tree complete with decorations.


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Te c h n o l o g y I s C h a n g i n g t h e Landscape of our Lives photos&story

Pat Moore

Renting an eTextbook today will always save money over other textbook options but there are still many technological and logistical obstacles for this option to become standard practice at most schools and especially at community colleges. Even if all the technological and logistical objects were non-existent, it has an effect on all Hutchinson Community College students, good and bad. “I like to have my book in front of me so I can highlight and mark in it as I go,”

Samantha Van Lear, Newton, said. Erica Gianakon, Hutchinson, rationalizes the eBook transition, but still prefers traditional textbooks. This was a common theme from several students. “I suppose it might be easier to carry around than a stack of books but I don’t think I would like to use it because of the glare, and I just like to have a book in front of me,” Gianakon said. Allen Pinkall, mathematics instructor, offers a different perspective and believes there

David Fry, computer support instructor, reviews a textbook as he develops new curriculum. Web resources are often used to augment core textbooks which reduces book costs for students.


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is good reason to embrace the technology of digital textbook media. “As we work in class, we can pull it up on the computer and have the book displayed on the screen because the instructor will have an e-book as well on his computer,” Pinkall said. Pinkall is sensitive to the students’ perspectives but believes that lower costs and a lighter load will ultimately be a plus for them. “Another advantage is if we have a textbook and the publisher updates it, well, we don’t have to wait the typical two or three years to get the updates from the publisher,” Pinkall said. Determined to maximize the efficiencies offered by technology, the HCC nursing department implemented a version of eTextbooks in 2009, requiring each student to purchase a personal digital assistant. Then, the required software and text books were installed on these devices providing the nursing students with needed resources in their clinical training environment. The initial PDA device was later switched to the Apple iPod Touch, which is still being used today. “We proposed last year to potentially go to the Kindle Fire and had our IT department look at that, and they were just not ready to say that’s the device we should go to,” Debbie Hackler, nursing director, said. David Fry, computer support instructor, is heavily involved in curriculum design and textbook selection for technology-based classes. He

Heather Magwire, Hutchinson, checks information on a patient’s chart against the digital resources loaded on her iPod. The HCC nursing program taught and used eBooks in this way starting in 2009.

is currently revising the lesson plans and selecting material for three different courses. “Here’s the issue. You‘ve got multiple platforms: you’ve got e-books in Kindle format which are proprietary, then you’ve got e-books in EPUB format, then there’s iBooks. If your organization has standardized on the Apple you will go one way; if you’re standardized on the Kindle, you’re going another way and then everybody else is using EPUB,” Fry said. “That’s our challenge, and we’re not there yet.” The question of what does the future for eTextbooks look like at the community college level is still in play but for the time being it seems like those who are not in favor have little to worry about. “I think e-books will break out at the university level sooner rather than later and one of the reasons I see this is that when a student enrolls in a university program, they are given a computer and then on that computer are the textbooks in e-book format,” Fry said. Perhaps this is one way that schools will explore to satisfy some of the students’ preferences on financial aid issues and standardization issues. “I can potentially see where you can come into a program like our computer text continued on page 34


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Morgan Bryant


nowledge is earned; it does not appear out of nowhere. It is researched, discovered, experienced and sought out. From the moment of birth, the process begins with walking and talking, continuing to school and so on. Parents can help teachers, who then help professors, and professors can help employers. Most importantly, the child receives the

A big buddy, Solomon Jones, Brunswick, Ga., participates in the story time section of the reading buddy meeting. His little reading buddy listened closely to the words coming to life in the book.

pick up a ood book


Reading Buddies Interact with the HCC Child Care Center to Create Themed Projects and Memories reading buddies

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knowledge necessary to succeed in life. A reading buddy can add to this cause as well. Each new Hutchinson Community College student who has not completed the ACT is required to take an English, math, and reading test. Based on the reading scores from the ACT, asset test or compass test, a mandatory reading comprehension course is offered to students. “The purpose of reading comprehension is to improve the student’s reading ability in order to give them every opportunity to succeed in college classes,” Teri Eckhoff, reading specialist, said. The course is designed to make reading easier for these students. “The students spend half of their time on a computerized program called reading plus. In the reading plus program they read to improve their comprehension and vocabulary skills. They spend the other half of their time learning skills that enable them to know how to effectively read a textbook and remember what they’ve read,” Eckhoff said. In addition to the computer portion of this course is a reading buddy program that works in conjunction with the HCC Child Care Center. “The reading buddies program started as a result of a grant I wrote two years ago,” Eckhoff said. “I targeted one of my four reading comprehension classes to participate in the

Cyle Kohlman, Wichita, entertains with a story book. Kohlman’s little buddy laughed the whole session.

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reading buddies program.” Due to a shortage of students, Eckhoff allows students from the Future Teachers Club and other volunteers to participate so that each little buddy at the child care center is matched up with someone for the activities. “My one requirement is that they be able to attend all of the reading buddy days for the semester,” Eckhoff said. Every month, the selected reading comprehension class meets at the child care center and highlights a particular topic. “When I create a reading buddy day I start with a theme. I always come up with five centers the reading buddies rotate

Teri Eckhoff, reading specialist, reads to two little buddies at the child care center. The reading buddy program completed its second year.

through,” Eckhoff said. “There is always a reading center where the college buddy reads to their child care buddy. I also always have a craft and a snack center. The other two centers vary depending on the theme.” Whether the theme is scarecrows for Thanksgiving, The Three Little Pigs, All About Me, or pirates and their hunt for treasure, the children at the center always look forward to the next meeting. “The child care students seem to really like the reading

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buddies program,” Eckhoff said. “I often go to the child care center and the moment I walk in the door several little voices say, ‘Is it reading buddy day today?’ or ‘Is my reading buddy coming today?’” “The students are assigned a child to meet with throughout the semester, and that gives each of them the time to create memories with their little buddy. “My favorite thing to do with my reading buddy is making a book about them,” Solomon Jones, Brunswick, Ga., said. Eckhoff has a personal favorite memory of her own from the child care center. “One reading buddy day had a seed theme. I read the

book ‘The Carrot Seed’ to the little reading buddies so I planned a snack called Carrot Patch Cookies. When the snack was completed it looked like a mini carrot garden with dirt in a planter and a carrot growing out of the dirt,” Eckhoff said. “One of the reading buddies was done making her snack so I asked her if she was going to eat it. She looked at me wide eyed and shook her head. Her big reading buddy said, ‘I think she thinks it’s real dirt.’” Reading is a part of everyday life, it begins as a young child but lasts a lifetime. “I don’t remember my mom or dad reading to me, but every evening my mom would be reading a book,” Eckhoff said. “My brother had a difficult time with reading, and his reading teacher encouraged my mom to allow him to read whatever he wanted. He loved comic books so that is what she let him read.” Encouragement, practice, and helpful mentors can create the pathway for a child who struggles or does not like to read at all that will eventually take effect in later years. “As an adult, my brother enjoys reading, but I don’t think he would have if he wouldn’t have been allowed to read what was enjoyable for him as a young kid,” Eckhoff said.

Kaitlin Pinkerton, Kingman, reads to her little buddies. Pinkerton enjoyed this part the most of all the activities during the reading buddy days.

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This is important because a book has so much to offer a person when it is opened and explored. “Many people read in order to experience things they wouldn’t get to do in their own lives. Other people read because they like to learn new information,” Eckhoff said. Similar to Eckhoff ’s brother, the little buddies at the child care center are benefited every meeting. “First, they get to see and experience how much fun reading can be. Second, they get to interact with older students,” Eckhoff said. “They get so excited when they know their reading buddies are coming to spend time with them and do fun things with them.” At the beginning of the year, it is a requirement for the stu-

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dents in the reading comp class, but as the visits continue, it starts to become rewarding for some of the students as well. “My favorite activity at the child day care was reading to my reading buddies because they were so interested in the book that I was reading and they were so involved in the book and always had something to say,” Caitlin Pinkerton, Kingman, said. Reading is all around and never ending. From age five to sixty-five, the knowledge and experiences are limitless beyond that first page.

Working on the flannel scarecrow in the game center, Dillon Cotter, Hutchinson, helps his little buddy. They also worked on a tangram puzzle in the game center.

Troy Nisly, Hutchinson, creates a paper bag scarecrow with his little buddies. The group decorated a scarecrow cupcake.

A DAY AT THE CHILD CARE CENTER Looking back at the themes for each reading buddy day. ALL ABOUT ME: • • • •

Me Cookies Us Mural Paper Plate Face Getting To Know You

PIRATES: • Pirate Candy Ship • Craft • Pin the Patch on the Pirate • Treasure Hunt

SCARECROW: • Scarecrow Book • Paperbag Scarecrow • Scarecrow Cupcake • Tangram Puzzle

REINDEER: • Clothespin Reindeer • Reindeer Gift Bag • Ding Dong Reindeer • “Our Reindeer Story”

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Daniel Eckhoff, Hutchinson, analyzes an itinerary for a College Republicans meeting. Eckhoff served as a board member during his sophomore year.

Getting Involved in Politics: SGA Christina Long 620-665-3521

College Republicans Rob Holmes 620-665-3549

OR Ellen Blair 620-665-3367

Students and faculty involved in political organizations on campus talk about the characteristics and importance of voting photos&story

Victoria Hendricks

Young Democrats Bradley Fenwick 620-665-3461

TO REGISTER Reno County Clerks Office 206 W. 1st M-F 8AM-5PM 620-694-2934

Every 4 years in the United States of America, something major takes place. Something that gets people’s blood boiling hot with debates, campaigns, and nail-biting anticipation. It’s something that makes history and changes the face of the nation forever. And that something is the federal election. The national election is important in a variety of different ways. The first of these being that it is simply important to cast a ballot. “You need to have your voice be heard,” Brad Fenwick,


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history instructor and Young Democrats faculty sponsor, said. “There is, at times, this idea that ‘my vote doesn’t count for anything,’ but the thing is, is that if you let your voice be heard, even if it’s just that one little voice, that ultimately can make a real difference.” One of the ways in which a voice can be heard and a difference can be made is by students such as Daniel Eckhoff, College Republicans board member from Hutchinson. The club is actively formulating issues and ordinances of their own that are close to their hearts. “I was jokingly referring to a couple problems with our stop-

lights we have in Hutchinson at one of our meetings which I might actually try presenting to the city council,” Eckhoff said. “But if there was an issue someone cared about, anyone can form petitions and possibly even gain support from oncampus organizations if it fits their ideals and goals.” The issues, which are the center of any campaign, have a direct effect on students, regardless of whether they vote or not, and the only way to solve these issues is to vote. “There seems to be a general apathy towards voting that could adversely affect college students,” Christina Long, reg-

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ock the


istrar and Student Government Association faculty sponsor, said. “When issues like interest rates on student loans and extended opportunity for insurance coverage and affirmative action for college applications are being debated, it would be to the student’s advantage to do some Google searching on the issues and vote.” Overall, deciding on which candidate to support has less to do with popularity and everything to do with who best represents the individual. “The biggest concern that people should have is with the candidate’s values,” Erica Gianakon, SGA president, said. “The positions that the candidate has on certain issues should match what the voter believes to be right. Obviously no two people will have the exact same beliefs or stance on any topic, but the concerns which are most important to the voter should be consistent with what the candidate is stating. I do not believe that anyone should vote based on which party they believe they are a part of. I feel this often could be wrong. A party may have slightly differing views compared with their nominee. That is why it’s important to look at


Members of the Student Government Association discuss their plans for the future. SGA approved a new group on campus for foreign language enthusiasts.

the candidate individually.” In general, the purpose of the political organizations on campus is similar. “The purpose of the group is to get students more involved,” Jorden Hirt, college republicans founder from Hutchinson, said. It is also really important that College Students become educated in politics.” The HCC Young Democrats echo that statement. “I think our main purpose is really just to get more people involved and to make more people aware of what is going on in our country,” Fenwick said. Aside from party affiliation or differences in beliefs, the end goal is universal. “There is the common goal we share of wanting a better America for everyone,” Eckhoff said. “We are all just trying to create a better place,” Fenwick said. Four years from now, with


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all these things in mind, it is the hope that not only voter turnout will continue to increase, but the knowledge and involvement of the all-too-important election of any sort will too.


Board executives of College Republicans contemplate their ideas for the rest of the semester. A group of students founded the organization during the 2012-2013 school year.

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Dorm Sweet Dorm Additions and improvements continue to expand on-campus housing photos&story

Mayra Ramirez

The walls around campus have been built by various hands, each structure built holding a large amount of history within them. Hutchinson Junior College was the first junior college in the state of Kansas to build dorms. The building contracts were awarded in October of 1962. It was anticipated that two buildings would be completed and ready for student occupancy in August 1963. The initial occupancy consisted of 54 men and 32 women. All dormitory residents were required to eat at the campus student union. Rooms at the dormitories housed two students as they still do today and lounges were provided in both the mens and women’s side. The dorms were supervised by a resident husband and wife who lived in a specially-designed apartment which constituted the only passageway between the men’s quarters to the north and the women’s quarters to the south. The cost to build the first

two dorms per square footage was $13.80, with the total amount paid for the facilities at $377,190. The first hall available for students to live in was Kent Hall which is the farthest of the dorms, located a block north of campus. Later on, Kent North and Kent South were built bringing the total to 440 students housed on campus. In 2005, Elland Hall was constructed which features suites and traditional rooms, housing an additional 84 students. In the summer of 2011, the college purchased a nearby apartment complex which was named Dragons Landing, housing 30 more students. Purchasing these apartments was a $600,000 investment for HCC. There are currently 10 living units with either 3 or 4 occupants. Out of the 10 units one of them is for staff. Although students live at Dragons Landing, all of the same rules and regulations apply for these students. “Most residents of Dragons Landing would say they have the best of both worlds,” Dana

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Additional amenities students would prefer in the dorms

214 Students Surveyed

Hinshaw, director of residence life, said. Even with the ability to house 440 students, HCC relies on a contract with the local Ramada Inn. On average, 16 students live in the hotel with 20 rooms on the contract, until on-campus housing becomes available. “Waiting on space in order to eliminate hotel students is what is being done at moment,” Diana Henderson, residence

life/assistant director, said. Future improvements for the dorms are possibly a smoking gazebo, some outdoor furniture, a sand volleyball court, and new paintings with art frames. All the renovating depends on the budget given. With various hands each contributing toward improvements in the dorms, more changes will be made with years to come.

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Dragons Landing • Opened summer of 2011 • Apartments feature a bathroom, kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. • Living spaces house 3-4 students.

• First available halls for students. • Traditional rooms house two students • Rooms include a fridge, two beds, and each of the two students are given a closet and drawers

Suites • E lland Suites built in 2005 • Housing two students, a bathroom is shared with suite mates • Suites include two beds, a desk that hooks up to their bed, and two closets

Students take advantage of one of the three lobbies in Elland Hall. This room included a workout room with a treadmill and a bicycle.

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RC aising


Using the stage props, Amanda Moore, Hutchinson, pops out from under the stage. The stage crew built the cellar just small enough for the actress to fit underneath. Photo by Mayra Ramirez story

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A behind-the-scene look at what goes into putting on a theatre production

From a regular seat in the audience, a viewer may only see the show; behind the curtains is a whole different world. What really goes into putting on a show is truly a mystery to everyone other than the cast and crews of a production. “[There were] lots of independent studying, group practices and character analysis was a majority of the work. The rest was figuring out the special effects and building the entire set from the ground up,” Dalin Hinds, Great Bend, said. Transforming the stage and actors was a crucial part of creating the fall production of “Evil Dead”. Characters that turned into zombies during the show had to have two costumes, one pre-zombie costume, and a set of clothes that could be bloodied up. Some characters even had to change from human to zombie while still on stage. “One character had to sort of collapse and then thirty seconds later pop up as a zombie so he had to do his own

makeup on stage and I had to actually block him to fall in a place so that he could be on stage and reaching over and trying not to move very much put some makeup on his face and he had to do it himself,” Diedre Mattox, director of theatre, said. Other challenges faced during the production included creating fake blood, a talking moose-head, and an entire movie set. The moving stage was controlled by three different crew members that moved certain boards under the stage while in sync with one another. Fake blood proved to be an interesting twist during the show as well. The first two rows of the audience were dedicated as the “splatter-zone.” The fake blood brought interaction between the cast and the audience. “Figuring out how exactly we were going to get the blood to squirt the way we wanted without hitting people past the second row was kind of tricky. We spent hours of trial and error figuring out tricks

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essons earned

Cast members share lessons they learned during their performances for Evil Dead.

“I learned that no matter what you do, if you want to be the best you have to earn it. You have to take every chance you get and use it as fuel to make you better.” Dalin Hinds, Great Bend

“You have to get out of your comfort zone. If you’re uncomfortable while acting you won’t be able to give your best performance.” Bethany Manny, Hutchinson

“Well from each play you do walk away knowing something new, I learned that fake blood kind of smells like Kool-Aid.” Alicia Monceaux, Great Bend

on how much pressure to use,” Alicia Monceaux, Great Bend, said. The end product proved to be a success for the whole cast and crew. “Well since it was a musical comedy, everyone had to be over the top with their actions and lines. I think myself along with the everyone else in the cast did awesome at giving the right amount of energy,” Mason Schneider, Hutchinson, said.

Alicia Monceaux, Great Bend, and Michael Bugner, Nickerson, laugh while eating brownies. Monceaux performed two different roles in the production of Evil Dead. Photo by Mayra Ramirez Charlene Widener, department chair, directs students in her Introduction to Acting class on how to correctly arrange the stage. Furniture placed in a U-shape on stage allowed the audience to see the entire performance. Photo by Taylor Thimesch


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Laughing, Taylor Ahnert, Sterling, tries to get through her skit with Skye Colaw, McPherson. Colaw’s character told Ahnert’s character that she was pregnant. Photo by Taylor Thimesch



Theatre related classes available at HCC

Stage Makeup


Voice and Diction

Into to Acting

Theatre Appreciation

Advanced Acting

Theatre Practicum

Scene Design

Costume Design and Construction Theatre Internship


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Stage/Television Lighting

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Mason Schneider, Hutchinson, gives Bethany Manny, Hutchinson, a string of pearls. The necklace lead into the song “Housewares Employee” that explained how they fell in love. Photo by Mayra Ramirez Dalin Hinds, Hutchinson, caresses the sides of Caitlyn Jaskoski, Hutchinson. Hinds’ character attempted to seduce Jaskoski’s character with a massage. Photo by Taylor Thimesch


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Tune-ups to

Overhauls story

Carolyn Durbin

Everyone has a daily destination, whether it’s to work, school, or an appointment. Most people will likely rely on a vehicle of some type to get there. Maybe it’s a car, a truck, or even a bus. Regardless of its type, it has probably been serviced, inspected, and repaired by an auto mechanic at some point. Hutchinson Community College enables students to learn in a hands-on environment to become an auto mechanic. Constant inspections are a crucial aspect of an auto mechanic’s job, because when small tasks go undetected they can snowball into major repairs or even potential safety hazards. From brakes to cooling systems to lights, there is a wide range of components that an

auto mechanic must examine and test. Depending on the results of these inspections, furthers steps may be required to replace worn parts, address low fluids, or take care of other issues. In addition to routine inspections, maintenance tasks are commonplace for an auto mechanic in order to help ensure that vehicles are running at optimal efficiency and to manufacturer specifications. This work can include oil changes, lubrications, and tire rotations, as well as transmission or coolant fluid flushes. Vehicle maintenance can range from quick and simple to involved and time-consuming, but it is always an important aspect of an auto mechanic’s job. While repairing vehicles, the mechanic’s main role is to diagnose the problem accurately and quickly.

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Jake Dreiling, Hutchinson, puts air into a tire. Jarod Duwe, Kingman, checked the pressure and firmness of the tire and Zach McMcoy, Hutchinson, watched the process.

Auto Mechanics learn how to diagnose and fix common problems Students choose this career field for different reasons. Jake Dreiling, Hutchinson, picked auto mechanic because his passion is cars, and has always been. “I helped my uncle when I was little build a Chevrolet 350 small block,” Dreiling said. “I like problem solving and that is my whole job.” Auto mechanics are skilled technicians who are responsible for ensuring the vehicles that carry people from place to place are safe, reliable, and efficient. Steven Moffett, Hutchinson, picked the auto mechanic program because it’s what he loves and mechanics will always be needed. “I have done many jobs and really the only one I enjoyed the most was turning wrenches and being a grease monkey,” Moffett said. Kevin Berry, auto mechanic instructor, said, “You must

have soft skills in order to advance your skills, knowledge, and opportunities. The key is to stay sharp and keep learning.” Just because the majority of classes within the program are hands-on doesn’t mean that students don’t need to take general education classes like English and math. Berry said, “Mechanics use mathematics all the time in their daily routine of repairing and modifying internalcombustion automobiles. Their use of numbers takes on many forms; from determining the size of the wrench they need to loosen a bolt, to calculating torque. Today’s mechanics need to have a good head for numbers. As students learn tire repairs to complete engine overhauls, they also rely on English and math skills to provide accurate service to a variety of vehicles.

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Shandon Blackhorse, Cortez, Colo., checks under the vehicle hood for problems. He planned to work on his wrecked vehicle as a class project.

Braiton Gassmann, Clay Center, finds a few problems in the motor of the car. He removed the spark plugs and adjusted the timing. Steven Moffett, Hutchinson, retrieves his tool to begin a thorough inspection. He needed to make sure nothing was loose underneath the car.

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The cheer squad shows off their hard work and performs a pyramid. Practices focused on technique prepared the squad for harder stunts.

g n i t r o the team photos&story

sup p

Andrea Ratzlaff

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Rewinds, pyramids, and tumbling – whatever it may be, the Hutchinson Community College Cheer Squad is determined to master their routines and ultimately take them to competition. “It’s just been amazing to watch them,” Brice Knapp, head cheer coach, said. “Because they came in to tryouts and most of the guys had never done this at all. To see where they’re at now is incredible. They have just put so much work in and I think a lot of people don’t realize how much work it was going to be to get to this point.” The coaches emphasized that the squad looks like a totally different group compared to the start of the season. “They were below beginners and now they’re at the intermediate to advanced level,” Todd Robinett, assistant cheer coach, said. “Our squad as a whole right now, I’d say we’re doing intermediate stunts.” Practices focused on stunting and techniques to prepare the squad for competition. “At the beginning there’s only so much you can do when you are just teaching the basics,” Knapp said. “And then you can progress into different things, harder stunts, harder pyramids, things like that. We’re really emphasizing on kicking it up a notch, trying to do better than we did for football season, and we should because we’ve gotten better.”

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Lifting weights and conditioning are a part of any athletic team and therefore are also a part of every cheer practice. “That’s the mentality that we try to bring here that you are no different than anybody else here that is on an athletic scholarship,” Knapp said. The intensity and dedication of the squad in practices have proven to pay off. “They responded really well to it [training] because obviously it shows,” Knapp said. “Where they started to where they’re at now is two completely different teams.” When it comes to stunting, techniques demonstrated in practices are crucial to insure safety at games. “Brice and I demonstrate it,” Robinett said. “You have to break it down into this is what you do as a guy and this is what you do as a girl.” “And whenever we introduce a guy to a new stunt, the whole team is around that group, so if something goes wrong, you have 23 hands ready to catch them,” Knapp said. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, ankle sprains are the most common injury in cheerleading. They also stated that practice and precautions prevent most injuries. “I actually wrote my thesis on this, they actually found more injuries in cheerleading than any other sport,” Robbinett said. “They simply tried to eliminate cheerleading altogether back about 8 years ago.” Although dangerous, the squad has not suffered any major injuries this season. “I think part of it is with a young group, we are just

now getting into the advanced things. We haven’t really pushed the envelope a whole lot,” Robinett said. Along with dedication, each cheerleader must understand his or her role on the squad. “The great thing about this team this year is I think everyone knows their roles on the team, which is important on any team,” Knapp said. “It’s a big time commitment. We’ve got the longest season of anyone here. We tell them that the day they make the squad, keep your schedules free, don’t plan on going anywhere for Thanksgiving. Plan on being here, plan on cheering for games, that’s the life of a cheerleader.” When recruiting a squad, the coaches have many characteristics they are looking for such as personality and talent. “Janneth Rodriquez isn’t really scared of anything. But for a flyer, flyers have to be fearless,” Knapp said. “The coaches call me the

crazy or harder stunts,” Jeff Valentine, Buhler, said. Building a squad that works well together and is dedicated is very important. Valentine described his role on the squad as being a “jack of all trade.” He was on the Kansas State cheer squad last year and therefore is an asset to the team. “That’s our ultimate goal to begin competing again; HCC was right at the top with three other schools in the nation, as far as competing,” Knapp said. “And in order to do that, we have to recruit guys and girls that will help us accomplish that. You’ve got to have the right athletes to do the things you want to do.”

Sporting “Pink Out” shirts, the squad pumps up the crowd with extension stunts.The Sports Arena was covered with pink to support the Cancer Council of Reno County.

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daredevil,” Janneth Rodriquez, Newton, said. Knapp described just a few of the cheerleaders on the squad and their roles. “There will always be a spot for Kayla Meitler on my team. She tries hard at everything, I can count on her to be at anything I need her to be at.” “I like getting the crowd involved,” Kayla Meitler, Hutchinson, said. Meitler also mentioned that she liked being a role model for the little girls that look up to her as a cheerleader. “Jeff is more advanced,” Knapp said. ”We are very fortunate to have that kid here because he’s good, he can do a lot of more advanced stunts.” “I like to be able to do the


Dragon’s Tale

2/19/13 4:04 PM

Road Back to...


Emily File


Coach John Ontjes joins his team on the sideline as they all watch the game. The team battled Butler to the end and won 51-43.

The women’s basketball team works hard to stay at the top of the charts and make their way back to the final tournament The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball program is one of the most competitive in the country. Last year, the team made it to the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship and ended up placing second overall in the tournament. This year the expectations to succeed are just

as high, if not higher. Starting and continuing the season sitting in the number one ranked position will only help with the road back to nationals. The women’s tournament begins March 18 and will last through March 23. The tournament will take place in Salina at the Bicentennial Center. Aja Sorrells, Athens, Ga., holds her form as she shoots against a Butler player. The Lady Dragons defeated the Grizzles on Feb. 9.

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Sorrells takes advantage of the Butler player’s lack of attention. She made the basket adding two points for the team.

Chrisstasia Walter, Texarkana, Ark., steals the ball for a fast break against Butler. The turnover resulted in a score for the Dragons.

Women’s 2012-2013 Record Date Nov. 2-3 Nov. 2 Nov. 3 Nov. 9 Nov.10 Nov. 16 Nov. 17 Nov. 23-24 Nov. 23 Nov. 24 Nov. 30-Dec. 1 Nov. 30 Dec. 1 Dec. 7-8 Dec. 7 Dec. 8 Dec. 14 Jan. 2 Jan. 5 Jan. 7 Jan. 9 Jan. 16 Jan. 20 Jan. 23 Jan. 26 Jan. 30 Feb. 2 Feb. 6 Feb. 9 Feb. 13

Opponent Quarterback Classic Ottawa University JV Labette Marshalltown No. Oklahoma-Tonkawa Frank Phillips College South Plains College Thanksgiving Classic Independence Iowa Lakes McDonald’s Classic Coffeyville Murray State Hutch Clinic Classic NEO Bethany College JV Iowa Western Neosho County Dodge City Carden City Butler Barton Colby Pratt Cloud County Seward Dodge City Garden City Butler Barton



W, 87-42 W, 90-45 W, 85-42 W, 90-50 W, 80-43 W, 66-61

1-0 2-0 3-0 4-0 5-0 6-0

W, 75-54 W, 70-32

7-0 8-0

W, 81-44 W, 59-45

9-0 10-0

W, 65-48 W, 102-32 W, 73-55 W, 82-51 W, 102-48 W, 61-46 W, 58-45 W, 65-56 W, 81-28 W, 78-46 W, 73-65 W, 64-36 W, 86-33 L, 64-62 W, 51-43 W, 104-64

11-0 12-0 13-0 14-0 15-0 16-0 17-0 18-0 19-0 20-0 21-0 22-0 23-0 23-1 24-1 25-1

Results as of 2-14-13

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With the ball, Jen’Von’Ta Hill, St. Paul, Minn., drives hard to the basket. She went on to make the basket and added points to the board.


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D’von Campbell, Arlington, Texas, accompanied by fellow teammate Kadeem Allen, Wilmington, N.C., talk to a coach during a free throw shooting. The Dragons then prepared for defense strategy. Allen shoots a three point shot from the left wing. As a freshman, he led the team with most points, averaging 17.2 points per game.

A.J, Spencer, Shawnee, holds the ball at the top of the key. Allen and Alex Davis, Houston, Texas, prepared to get in position for the play.

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Topping Charts the

The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team claimed the number one spot in the National Junior College Athletic Association ranking and continued to stay near the top throughout the season. With only four returning sophomores from last year,

The team continues to keep the pace up while reaching the final stretch of the season Shooting a free throw, Jack Pyle, McPherson, focuses on the basket. He made his free throws and added two points to the board.

the new team came together and worked hard, showing successful results. If the pace continues, the Dragons have a chance to compete in the NJCAA national championship tournament with a very high seat.

Men’s 2012-2013 Record Date Opponent Results Record Nov. 1-2 Quarterback Classic Nov. 1 Allen W, 85-63 1-0 Nov. 2 NE Oklahoma A&M W, 79-52 2-0 Nov. 3 Mesa W, 76-64 3-0 Nov.7 Redlands W, 96-77 4-0 Nov. 10 Johnson County W, 96-57 5-0 Nov. 12 Trinidad State W, 95-86 6-0 Nov. 14 Labette W, 91-64 7-0 Nov. 17 Allen W, 84-67 8-0 Nov. 23-24 Thanksgiving Classic Nov. 23 Frank Phillips College W, 91-82 9-0 Nov. 24 Central Nebraska W, 85-64 10-0 Nov. 30-Dec. 1 McDonald’s Classic Nov. 30 Murray State W, 77-63 11-0 Dec. 1 Western Texas W, 74-61 12-0 Dec. 7-8 Hutch Clinic Classic Dec. 7 Northeast Nebraska W, 87-83 13-0 Dec. 8 Hill College W, 76-69 14-0 Jan. 5 Dodge City W, 89-85 (OT) 15-0 Jan. 7 Garden City W, 65-58 16-0 Jan. 9 Butler W, 81-67 17-0 Jan. 16 Barton W, 79-77 18-0 Jan. 20 Colby W, 79-61 19-0 Jan. 23 Pratt W, 85-62 20-0 Jan. 26 Cloud County W, 74-55 21-0 Jan. 30 Seward County W, 87-74 22-0 Feb. 2 Dodge City W, 78-65 23-0 Feb. 6 Garden City W, 62-57 24-0 Feb. 9 Butler L, 64-70 24-1 Feb. 13 Barton L, 81-87 24-2

Spencer keeps his composure as he shoots against the Dodge City defense. The returning sophomore averaged 15 points per game.


Emily File

Results as of 2-14-13

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Dragon’s Tale

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Dragon Dress Up photos&story

Mayra Ramirez

How uniforms have evolved throughout the years As the beat of the music starts, bodies dressed in sequined outfits begin to move. The Dragon Dolls began at Hutchinson Community College in 1961, and the first team was called the Coettes. A couple by the names of Alene and John Kline thought it would be entertaining to start a dance team at the junior college. It all began at a basketball halftime, a hat was passed and money was collected to start the first team at HCC. This drill team was solely a kick line which means they stood in a straight line and did kicks. In 1964, the name of the dance team was changed after a contest was held and numerous names were submitted. Dragon Dolls was the name

chosen replacing the Coettes. Two members of the college faculty, Ruby Munzer and Mandy Leotoless, along with Mrs. Kline, became directors of the first team. The team’s first choreographer was Trudy Lovett. In 1970, Bonnie Neville was hired as choreographer and adjunct instructor. Neville explained that she remembers the first uniform the dolls wore was a royal blue dress with a long-sleeved white shirt, navy blue vest, trimmed with red sequins. Currently, the Dragon Dolls are given a budget at the beginning of the year, which helps with the purchase of one uniform. The uniforms are chosen by team members and Neville.

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“What I try to do is pick out something that will last for years to come,” Neville, said. “So, I try to pick something that is not so into style so we can use it ten years from now.” The styles that the Dragon Dolls currently wear today are black pants and a glittery or plain fit top. They also have some dresses not worn as often as the black pants and tops. Their style is more simple than what it used to be. “I like the uniforms we have now, but I’m almost positive the future dancers will not be wearing them because if you look back ten years from now, we would not step foot in those outfits,” Tayshaw LongNail, Salina, said. The uniforms have evolved each year the dancers have

performed at HCC. “I believe that by being a captain of the Dragon Dolls, I have to be careful when choosing an outfit because there are different styles of dances. For instance, you wouldn’t wear hip hop clothes for a jazz dance and vice versa,” Bethany Smith, Harper, said. In earlier years, the dancers used to wear only dresses and now they can wear pants. “The dance of the moves have evolved the uniforms,” Neville said. Just as the Coettes evolved into the Dragon Dolls, the dance uniforms have also made a transition. Each year styles change along with the ever-changing types of dances. Dragon Dolls Abby Chastain, Hutchinson; Ellen Zirkle, Meriden; Ashley Griffin, Hutchinson; and Brooke Aguilar, Wellington, dance during the halftime show of a football game. The Dragons hosted the Salt City Bowl on December 1.

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From the Dragon Doll Closet This was a stylized outfit for a particular show tunes type of show.

This outfit was pre1971 and worn for every dance.

Another pre-1971 outfit worn for an oriental type dance.

Dance Captain Tayshaw LongNail, Salina, dances during halftime of the men’s basketball game. Dragon Dolls performed to LongNail’s Routine.

This outfit was a spin-off of the Kilgare Rangerettes (the very first drill team ever).

Lorrin Ochs, Emporia, performs at the halftime show of the men’s basketball game. The Dragons hosted the Garden City Busters.

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text continued from page 11 support program and say if you’re in this program, you’re going to need to purchase x, y, and z, and maybe that could be bundled with the fee or something,” Fry said.

The logistics around financial aid for standardized eTextbooks are a big concern at HCC. “Do we burden the students with a device or do we make it an option. Will you


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have the ability to get it if you want it or use the traditional way?” Fry said. There are many questions and concerns in play on this topic but one thing seems to be certain in everybody’s

mind, it will happen eventually. “It is on the cusp, we all know we are going to be dealing with it but how are we going to get there?” Fry said.

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Dragon's Tale - Winter 2013 Issue  

This is a student magazine put together by students for students. The topics covered are all college-related events/students/faculty.

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