Winter Edition 2023

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* "the only true weather forecasting groundhog"

WINTER. - Punxsutawney Phil* S T U D E N T N E W S P A P E R W I N T E R 2 0 2 3


400 N. Duke Street

Durham, NC 27701



Violet DeWire & Layla Niblock


Journee Burton, Xochitl Grande-Vazquez, Jake Hillygus, Jahmez James, Liam Jones, Sehar Kittur, Delphine Liu, Niya McDowell, Morgan Royster, Kamryn Stallings, Hau Tung, Iona Turkal, Ella Williams


Patrick Ritchie

Remembering Jose Garrido-Perez

The Gallery staff was recently informed of the passing of Durham School of the Arts alum, Jose Garrido-Perez. He was a shining member of the 2019 class and an integral part of the DSA community He put forth his best self both in and out of the classroom; participating in 2D art, theatre productions and varsity soccer Many of his teachers remember him fondly:

"I was fortunate enough to have Jose in my art classes for three years in a row, and like others who taught him will confirm, he brought so much kindness, passion and joy to the classroom. He was exceptionally talented, and it was so exciting to see him discover a powerful voice through visual art." - Jack

"Jose was one of the most genuine and authentic human beings I have ever known. He left his handprint on all of the hearts he came in contact with " - Douglas Graves

"Jose was indeed a very sweet, kind soul, and extremely hard working student-athlete He loved playing and was proud to wear our DSA Soccer jersey." -Amy Green

Jose left his mark on DSA, and he will live on through the works


All of these pieces were created by Jose in Mr. Watson's Advanced 2D and AP Art and Design classes (2017-2019). In his art, Jose explored change and identity by reflecting on the idea of growing up. He was approaching the end of his high school career and preparing to leave home, and the emotions surrounding these transitions can be found in many of his pieces.

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Pictured above is the new security system that has been installed on most of the doors at DSA. All schools in DPS will have this security system within the next year.

Locked in: DSA's newest security system

A student rushes from building to building, hoping to make it to class on time Just as they reach the next door, it closes with a click. They are locked out.

Durham School of the Arts has had several major campus security breaches since coming back from COVID Due to DSA’s central downtown location, community members cutting across campus, unaware that they are on school grounds, was common and rarely a cause of concern. This changed when unauthorized adults were able to enter school buildings, including the Middle School Building and Black Box Theatre These widely publicized events highlighted the need for increased security measures. Due to pressure from concerned parents, students, and staff, as of the 2022-2023 school year, new locks have been installed on every major entrance to DSA buildings.

“When I first got to DSA, we had several incidents where unauthorized people walked onto campus, students and parents had a lot of issues with that " Dr Tobias, the principal of DSA, stated, "We knew we had to change some things "

In early 2022, DSA installed its first security panel on the door that leads to the main building office, commonly used by parents checking students in and out Since then, more security panels have been added around campus.

“Every DPS school is going to have the security

A safe space for Black students: introducing BSU at DSA

One of DSA’s strengths is its diversity. The different perspectives students bring to school each day give rise to important conversations, but value can still be found in forming communities around shared experiences. A new club at DSA is hoping to do just that by considering having a safe space

DSA’s Black Student Union was recently founded with the sole purpose of supporting Black students and giving them a platform. Club members are brought together by both their experiences and awareness of microaggressions, racism, and other forms of discrimination throughout the school system and life in general. The BSU is getting a lot of praise from students who now feel like they have a space where they can comfortably share their opinions on important issues or concerns The BSU is not only a safe space, the club members are also focusing on bettering themselves and their communities by organizing service projects. Mia Durant, a DSA sophomore, is the Founder and President of BSU at DSA.

system within the next year for safety reasons, but DSA is one of the first schools to have the panels installed,” Tamieka Thibodeaux, a DSA front office administrator, explained

The new security panels are synced with the school's bell schedule; the doors automatically lock once each transition period is over. At all other times the doors are locked and must be unlocked remotely by front office staff, who use a camera and intercom system to verify the identity of anyone at the door DSA faculty have each been provided a key fob that allows them to unlock the doors without this verification.

“DSA is a big campus; I feel much safer [with the lock system]. I don’t want strangers walking around the campus And I want students and staff to feel safe,” Dr. Tobias continued.

DSA is one of the first schools in DPS to have security panels installed. Due to the inherent barriers the locks create, students who move between buildings during class or are late have expressed some frustration However, the administration believes that this system is a crucial step in creating a safer learning environment for students and staff

“I want the school to feel like a safe place, I think it’s important (especially for the students) to know that the new panels will get easier, and the process will get smoother,” Dr Tobias concluded

“I think that [BSU] is a safe space and I hope that Black DSA students feel the same,” Durant stated. When Durant first introduced the club to the school, she already had set goals that she wanted to accomplish, including the future for BSU specifically at DSA.

“My goal for BSU is to be able to donate money to Black communities and people that need help. I want to have more than three fundraisers per year,” Durant wrote.

Durant has also made it a priority to bring guest speakers to BSU meetings These speakers have included Black people in different occupations

“We do have guest speakers about once a month I try to find Black lawyers, judges, doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs so that the members hear from people of all walks of life,” Durant typed

According to her peers, Durant is setting a great example when it comes to making a change within her community, but this change is not possible without the help of others, like the fundraising coordinator Sania Lamb, a junior at DSA, is the fundraising coordinator for BSU and she contributes to the club by organizing the fundraisers

“We are currently working on a fundraiser that we cannot yet reveal,” Lamb explained

The club is fairly new, which means that there is no prior precedent set on how the club should be run or what projects, if any, should be completed. A lot of (Black Student Union continued on page 7)


And Then There Were None puts a spotlight on student-run productions

Hours before opening night, students rush around the Black Box theater in order to prepare for the upcoming performance For months, these talented students have been running the show – and tonight is their time to shine

The theater arts pathways at DSA put on five shows each year: two middle school productions and three high school productions, all of them almost entirely student-led Aside from the Director and Production Manager positions (filled by the theater teachers), every actor and technician role is filled by a student Crew Heads are in charge of managing technical crews for one of the six tech theater areas, while the Stage Management team ensures that the actors are prepared for their performances

“During rehearsals with the cast, I’m responsible for taking down notes of what the director says and communicating that to the heads of the tech crews through rehearsal reports and through production meetings,” Ian Moran, Stage Manager for And Then There Were None, explained

Putting on a show is no easy feat, and it takes a lot of different people to make them happen Aside from the actors, there are six different tech crews at DSA. Without lighting, sound, set, props, costumes, and marketing there would be no show. Each crew is run by one or multiple "Crew Heads" who are responsible for heading their specific crew.

“It is a job in a sense, but I'll be gone in two years

and I have to train people so that once I’m gone they know how to do this just like how I was trained last year,” Evan Byers, Lighting Designer and marketing head for And Then There Were None, commented.

Being a Crew Head means taking on a huge leadership role. Not only is there a large time commitment, but Crew Heads are fully responsible for their area of expertise. Crews dedicate a large portion of their time to making the show look great, and the final result can speak for itself.

“When people go to a show they’re not really thinking about the technicians that were responsible for all of this, instead they’re just thinking about what's happening in front of them,” Byers added.

Since the goal of the tech crew is to remain invisible to the audience, most of the time the actors are the ones who get the recognition Both actors and

technicians work incredibly hard to bring DSA’s performances to life, and it's important to remember all of the dedicated

students behind the curtains who make the shows what they are

“When people come to the performance and they’re looking at the lights and the set and stuff and they’re

making these emails talking about how good it is, I think that really shows how good of a program we have here at DSA,” Byers concluded

Light designer and marketing head Evan Byers positions a light for And Then There Were None. DSA students use the skills that they learn in class and in crews to make their performances successful

Piano pathway takes center stage

The long black curtains open to reveal the shiny jet-black piano standing on the wooden stage Music echoes across the walls, and marveling eyes are transfixed on the beauty of the elegant Steinway & Sons concert grand piano.

Like the century-old school, the grand piano in DSA’s Weaver Auditorium has had a long history dating back to the 1940s. Made by Steinway and Sons, the nine foot long piano was shipped to Stephenson’s Music Co. where it served as a concert loaner for performing pianists In 1955 the concert piano was donated to DSA, but became damaged after years of use In 2011 a foundation called “Save

our Steinways'' was founded to fund the complete restoration of the school's piano Teachers and students appreciate the community's efforts to provide funding for the concert piano, as well as the piano lab

“My wife and I nine years ago heard about the piano program at DSA and about how they had just gotten a grant to buy these 25 erolling pianos that were about $4,000 apiece. And I thought, wouldn't it be great if I became the [piano] teacher? ” Arthur Davis, DSA s piano teacher, stated

The grant that caught Davis’ attention awarded the DSA piano program $20,000 dollars Davis seized the opportunity to

PHOTO CREDIT: ELLA WILLIAMS PHOTO CREDIT: XOCHITL GRANDE Malika King, a DSA junior and student pianist, practices on the Steinway in Weaver Auditorium to prepare for her long awaited recital
"...I think that really shows how good of a program we have here at DSA." - Evan Byers

become the new piano teacher, coming to DSA from California nine years ago Davis explained that, before this grant, the piano program was not like it is now

“The piano lab before this one was not so good They had about four uprights in this room and about six or so small electric Yamaha keyboards The headphones were breaking and just weren't in a very good situation,” Davis recalled

The grant also expanded the piano lab to fit all of the 25 electric pianos These e-pianos are used during school days in which students come to class, wear headphones and start practicing individually

“The electric pianos have lighter keys and it’s easier to press I think that it’s my favorite piano to use since it's always in tune,” Malika King, a junior at DSA who has been playing piano for the past five years, said.

As of now, DSA has six grand pianos, three of which are in the atrium and two are in the chorus rooms The nine-foot long Steinway is housed in Weaver Auditorium.

“Usually, Steinways are six feet long, very rarely are they nine feet long. This is what concert pianists like DPAC or famous halls in New York play, that’s where the nine-foot Steinways are at We’re so lucky to have one of them here at DSA,” Davis explained. In addition to the electric and grand pianos, the school also has upright pianos which are mostly donated by institutions and people who want to support young musicians.

“Amazingly, pretty much all of those pianos were donated to us, people pass on but they still want their pianos to be used and so they donate it to the school. We’re at the point where we have so many pianos that we give those pianos to students who need them,” Davis added

When the Steinway concert piano was damaged over 400 DSA families chipped in, as did members of the larger Durham community Elmo’s restaurant on Ninth Street, a $10,000 grant from Solon E. Summerfield, and a $2,500 gift from an anonymous music lover all helped contribute to the restoration of the grand piano Now students use the pianos to perform during recitals and show off their hard work

“The best part of my job is that I see the improvements of every student almost every day and that makes my day. The piano recitals are a treat, it’s a win-win in terms of students who play for their parents, and the parents being proud of their students It reminds me of myself and how I would make my parents proud,” Davis concluded

Schools surveilling students: DSA implements Gaggle

A software that monitors student computer activity sounds like a surveillance tactic straight out of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 However, at DSA and many other Durham Public Schools this is a reality

Gaggle is a software surveillance tool currently monitoring 5 5 million students in K-12 schools across America Founded in 1999 by Jeff Patterson, the company gained traction during the COVID pandemic when schools were forced to provide a digital learning environment Some schools began using the technology to monitor the online activity of students while they worked from home.

“[Gaggle’s mission is to] help ensure the safety and well-being of students and schools by leveraging people and technology, supporting school districts in proactively identifying those who are struggling, '' Gaggle's president of marketing, Paget Hetherington, explained.

Durham Public Schools gained approval to use Gaggle on July 1st of 2022 After testing the software in select schools in the district, Gaggle has now been launched at DSA DPS is using Gaggle to monitor student s online activity for “harmful'' or “sensitive” content, which mainly includes items related to violence, profanity, drugs, and self-harm. When a student’s activity fits this criteria, it is flagged by Gaggle moderators and the school is alerted This may result in

accounts,” Townsend stated.

According to a 2019 article written by Buzzfeed News, Gaggle uses a combination of artificial intelligence and human moderators to monitor online activity within schools The company states that they have analyzed 10 billion items during the 2020 to 2021 school year, 41 million of those being further reviewed by the Gaggle Safety Team In addition, Gaggle claims that their software saved the lives of about 1,000 students during this time, although it is unclear how valid this claim is

The question that many experts and students alike share is whether or not Gaggle truly protects students like it claims it does or ends up doing more harm than good.

that student being called to the guidance counselor and/or their parents being informed.

“Following a pilot at some other DPS schools, Gaggle went live for our students and staff on January 23rd (2023),” Matthew Townsend, DSA's technology facilitator, confirmed

DPS first submitted a grant request for the use of Gaggle in February of 2022, which was approved the following month by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction The cost for DPS to use Gaggle from July 1st, 2022 to June 30th, 2024 totals to $440,839 The launch of Gaggle was not widely publicized, even among teachers Many DSA students and staff did not know it had been launched until the January 26th school board meeting.

“I first learned about Gaggle in a conversation with my friends. They seemed really pissed about it, so I asked them to catch me up. I only vaguely know about Gaggle and how it works. A teacher talked to my class about it, but most of the conversation has been between students,” DSA senior Abigail Durham shared.

So how exactly does Gaggle work, and what can it see?

“Gaggle is part of an overlapping security suite that includes ZScaler and GoGuardian Gaggle is able to scan all content in DPS students' Office 365 and Google Workspace

"I don't think Gaggle will protect students that well. I think what will help is having good, reliable counselors who don't immediately report to the student's parents (unless they are wanting to harm themselves or others, then it's a legal obligation) I think censorship in general won't get rid of dangerous thoughts, it will only repress them,” Durham explained.

Gaggle has come under fire for its inclusion of LGBTQ terms such as “gay” in the content they often flag Last month, a Gaggle spokesperson claimed that the company would no longer flag LGBTQ-related terms. Jeff Patterson has stated that the only reason his company flagged these terms was due to the fact that LGBTQ youth are at an increased risk for selfharm, suicide, and bullying, and the flagging of LGBTQ related terms is meant to protect these students However, this brought concerns regarding students being “outed” to administration or their families. The flagging of activity related to depression or self-harm is also very controversial, with concerns that alerting schools and parents when students exhibit these behaviors, although meant to help them, crosses a line and is an invasion of privacy

“I would tell (people with concerns) a free society must always balance the rights of the individual against the risks to the community DSA students are very good at advocating for change,” Townsend remarked

PHOTO CREDIT: IONA TURKAL Kamryn Stallings completes an assignment on her computer. Gaggle can monitor DSA student’s online activity while they are using their DPS account, such as on Outlook or Google Drive.

Wrestling: Bulldog takes gold

The whistle blows Bodies get tossed left and right. “Two!” yells the referee “Two!” he yells again, as takedowns are performed. The crowd cheers and chants This is DSA Wrestling.

On Wednesday, February 1st, at 5:30 PM, DSA hosted the conference wrestling tournament This competition brings together every team in DSA’s conference to compete for the trophy. This year’s competitors included schools such as Franklinton, South Granville, Central Granville and NCSSM (North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics) The conference tournament was done as a two elimination where wrestlers would have 2 lives to be able to continue in the tournament This means that wrestlers have a chance to still get placement as long as they haven’t lost two matches Unfortunately, DSA wasn’t able to win the trophy– but DSA’s wrestling team captain, Joseph Mattei, won gold in 126 weight class

Joseph Mattei is a junior at DSA, and has been wrestling since his sophomore year. He is one of DSA wrestling’s three captains, alongside Jared Lowe and Jacob Green, who are both seniors Mattei won his weight class (126 pounds), reflecting all of the hard work that he has put into the sport.

“It's nice to see the work I've been putting in all season finally pay off,” Mattei stated

Every wrestler comes into the season with different levels of experience. DSA’s team is made up of freshmen and seniors alike and provides a welcoming environment for beginners

“From the first day I met Joey, he was cocky and he thought he knew it all,” Coach Javir Parker, head wrestling coach at DSA, said

Practice is an essential part of any athlete's training and wrestling is no different. Practices occur everyday after school and on Saturdays

“Joey has been working hard training and drilling everyday,” Coach

Do college application tests no longer apply?

Before COVID, students across the country who were applying to colleges crossed their fingers that their ACT and SAT scores would be high enough for their applications However, in the past few years, hundreds of thousands of students have applied without including their test scores.

The ACT and SAT tests, standardized college-readiness tests which have long been important in the college application process, have recently become optional for many colleges across the US These testoptional policies began due to concerns over the effects of COVID on the education system and have continued for the past several years

“At NC State we have seen an increase in the number of applications we have received during the time that we have been test optional Overall, the academic profile of the students we have admitted and enrolled continues to be very strong based on other academic factors like their weighted and unweighted grade point averages," NC State’s Vice Provost and Director of Admissions, Jon Westover, observed

Parker stated

There are only so many things athletes can do without the help and support that they may receive from the coaching staff

“Coach Mat always helps me with my tilts and my cradles he helps me to be more technical, Coach Javir he's always pushing me to get stronger along with Coach J,” Mattai explained.

Wrestling is one of the world's oldest team sports,but this is often forgotten as each athlete competes in individual matches for their own records.

“We push as a team to the fullest We are as strong as our weakest link. Each day we get better and better,” Coach Parker commented.

As the season comes to a close and words of encouragement to help.

“The way you train is the way you wrestle. Give it all on the mat and off the mat,” Coach Parker concluded

“While test scores can be a useful factor, we are sensitive that our current applicant’s studies have been interrupted by the pandemic and support the decision of the Board of Governors to extend this waiver through fall 2024 and keep us in line with the majority of our peer institutions.” UNC-Chapel Hill Vice Provost for Enrollment, Rachelle Feldman, said.

Many colleges have removed their ACT/SAT requirement due to COVID, and the policy has caused some debate on the value of standardized tests in admissions Some schools have extended their waiver to as far as 2026.

“I do think [removing the requirement] could increase variety in students Some people have great grades, but get nervous on tests and score poorly making them look worse Going test optional could make those students look better Along with that, the ACT and SAT cost money both to register and send scores, putting lower income students at a disadvantage,” Julia Kenefick, a senior at DSA, stated

Once their SAT/ACT requirements were dropped, some colleges saw a greater number of applicants. This may be because students who otherwise would not apply due to low scores are now being given a chance

Many of the universities which had removed the ACT/SAT requirement in the past will likely reinstate them in a few

them in a few years, if they haven’t already This means some students will continue studying for tests as long as testing remains important

“The approach I take in preparing students for testing hasn't changed In doing a quick search, I found some renowned colleges that again consider scores, some that require them, and some that have made them optional through 2023, implying they could become required again soon I want to keep students' options open regarding where they apply, so I want to prepare them as best I can to do as well as they can,” Teresa Del Dotto, an English teacher at DSA, remarked.

COVID has changed the application process for millions of high school students Though the changes appear to be temporary for the next few years, making standardized tests optional has highlighted both the advantages and disadvantages of these tests

“There is a college out there for anyone who wants to go to college It's all about finding the right fit. The likelihood that at least some colleges will drop ACT/SAT score consideration permanently creates an even wider range of options for students, which is comforting,” Del Dotto concluded

PHOTO CREDIT: MS. ANITA MATTAI Here is the captain taking a picture with the gold he won.
"We are as strong as our weakest link. Each day we get better and better."
-Coach Parker
regionals inch closer, pressure can build up on athletes However, there are
"Going test optional could make those students look better." - Julia Kenefick

HOMIES Emotion Fair brings smiles all around

The lyrics of Pharrell Williams’ song Happy echo in the middle school gym as students gather around the dance floor The students groove to their favorite songs with their faces painted and hands in the air.

The Emotions Fair consisted of six different stations: happy, sad, angry, anxious, confused, and an “all emotions” station The HOMIES club students and their supervisor helped prepare this event as a way to help the neurodivergent students at DSA better understand their emotions and feelings When the students entered the gym they received a passport which would be completed once going through all the stations and activities Students and teachers alike enjoyed the event and meeting up with the club members for the day

Interested in reading more? Find the rest of this article at www dsagallery com!


Black Student Union

(Continued from page 2) planning is still happening and the group is working on future projects, according to Lamb and Durant

“There haven t been any community service projects yet because this is our first six months being on campus, but we have some plans for the future, like volunteering at the Durham Rescue Mission,” Durant elaborated

Similar to Durant, Lamb has set a goal for the club as well

“My goal for BSU in the future is to expand and collaborate with other Black Student Unions in Durham,” Lamb stated.

Durant and Lamb are both excited for BSU’s future. Lamb thinks that BSU members are very creative and is excited to tackle whatever projects they dream up next.

"I think that BSU is a great opportunity for Black students. We love the fact that our club has creative students," Lamb emphasized

Duke Energy leaves customers in the dark

Duke Energy provides power to people across five US states, including North Carolina, but what happens when they must intentionally cut that power?

On December 24th, 2022, Duke Energy issued unannounced rolling blackouts, cutting power to many North Carolina homes This led to public outrage as food was spoiled and plans were canceled Duke Energy has since apologized and explained that the outages were mainly due to equipment failures, among other issues This failure to provide power has highlighted concerns about Duke Energy’s poor communication with customers and their impact on the climate Rolling blackouts occur when energy providers intentionally cut power to their customers This happened on December 24th, when Duke Energy issued rolling blackouts for the first time in their history. These blackouts impacted 15% of their North Carolina-based customers.

“I woke up at around 10pm and the lights flickered, then the power went out,” Skyla Lopez, a freshman at DSA, recalled.

Lopez only lost power for a few hours, but many others experienced blackouts for far longer Duke Energy apologized for these blackouts in a presentation to the North Carolina Utilities Commission on January 3rd.

“We are sorry for what our customers experienced,” Julie Janson, executive president and CEO of Duke Energy Carolinas, apologized, “We own what happened. Making rotating outages [was] necessary to protect the

integrity of the grid and mitigate the risk of serious failure affecting a far greater number of customers for longer time frames "

Duke Energy blames the outages on equipment failure The cold temperatures, the coldest Durham has seen in December since the 1980s, bypassed the insulation on their equipment Other power companies were also having issues when Duke Energy reached out to borrow power

“This is the first time in our company’s history that we had to implement rolling service disruptions, and although the majority of our power plants performed well in the storm, the outage process did not go as smoothly as we would have liked and we did not deliver the reliable performance that our customers expect,” Kendal Bowman, North Carolina state president at Duke Energy, explained

Poor communication was a hot topic amongst customers’ complaints about the blackouts Sid IrvenMoore, a sophomore at DSA who gets her power from Duke Energy, believes that their communication is hardly ever satisfactory.

“Duke Energy isn’t always transparent about why we lose power. Usually there’s not a lot, or not any notice at all when our power goes out,” Irven-Moore added

Duke Energy apologized for poor communication in their presentation to the North Carolina Utilities Commission on January 3rd

“The fast-moving pace of events leading up to the temporary outages did not permit us to be as proactive

in our communications as we would have liked, and although we provided information to customers across news media, social media and our company website throughout the day, the information was not as accurate as what our customers are typically accustomed to,” Bowman apologized

Irven-Moore explained that she is not accustomed to accurate information about outages from Duke Energy However, her main issue with Duke Energy doesn’t have to do with power outages or poor communication.

“My biggest issue with Duke Energy is more of its climate impact,” she expressed.

Irven-Moore and many activists believe that Duke Energy is “greenwashing ” Companies “greenwash” when they highlight positive things they do for the environment while sweeping under the rug the negative impacts they have on it

“The company’s planned investment of $145 billion over the next 10 years for critical energy infrastructure is essential to meeting these customer needs and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while also creating substantial economic benefits for the communities it serves,” Duke Energy’s website explains.

While this is undeniably positive, Duke Energy has had a history of disastrous coal ash spills that have been massively detrimental to the environment. The most well-known spill occurred in the Dan River in 2014. This failure to provide power on December 24th was just another event exacerbating Duke Energy’s generally poor public image

“With power being out for [as long as it was], you’re wasting people’s money and spoiling their food,” Skyla Lopez concluded

PHOTO CREDIT: MORGAN ROYSTER Pictured together is Sania Lamb (left) and Mia Durant (right)
PHOTO CREDIT: MORGAN ROYSTER Durant and fellow Black Student Union club members discuss ideas. BSU holds meetings in Ms Mayes' room every other Thursday

Chaos erupts in the House of Representatives

of the Arts, elaborated on the typical nomination and election process

“Anyone is eligible to be Speaker of the House, you don’t actually have to be a sitting member of the House It's always been a member of the House but there's nothing that says it can’t be [someone else]... And so the first day of the session, they all gather together (they aren’t even sworn in yet so technically they aren’t even members of the House) and they make their nominations and they go down the roll call. It's all out in the open, it's not a secret ballot You stand up and you say ‘I’m voting for this person’ and it is usually over in a matter of hours. This time it was a little different,” Buchacek said with a chuckle

but the success of January s negotiations make them important moving forward

“The deep divide will chart the course of our government for the next two years, but will be moderated by a US Senate that will not go along with draconian legislation,” Morey noted.

Buchacek thinks that the outcomes of these negotiations will be important sooner rather than later, especially since the U S has hit the debt ceiling

Four days. 15 ballots. Six holdouts. Finally, on January 7th, Republican representative Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the House.

The election of the Speaker of the House is a process that mostly serves as a formality, but the first week of January was filled with drama and suspense Kevin McCarthy, the Republican majority leader, was prevented from an easy Speaker win by numerous Republican holdouts. During the first vote, there were 19 holdouts but those numbers dwindled to six by the 15th ballot. Highly conservative representatives, known as the “Freedom Caucus” withheld their vote from McCarthy in hopes of negotiating for certain concessions, the full extent of which are still unknown What the nation witnessed in early January is the vulnerability of the federal government to minority factions who are able to leverage their power, which is partially built into the design of America’s democracy

“The Speaker of the House represents all members but is the leader of the majority party The Speaker sets and controls the daily calendar and agenda, which bills are allowed to be voted on, and which bills are never given a hearing…The Speaker makes all committee assignments and designates Chairs of committees. The Speaker makes instant decisions on rules, if amendments or comments are out of order and disallowed. It is the most powerful position in the House,” Marcia Morey, the North Carolina State Representative for District 30 (the district Durham School of the Arts falls into), explained

The typical process for electing the Speaker of the House is roughly the same in both the US House and the NC State General Assembly, according to Morey Douglas Buchacek, a civics teacher at Durham School

The “Freedom Caucus” greatly confused this straightforward process These representatives broke from the rest of the Republicans and either voted “present” (which is a refusal to take sides) or for other Republican representatives, preventing McCarthy from gaining the majority he needed to win “[The “Freedom Caucus”] are kind of like the MAGA-ist of MAGA, like the hardcore, hard-right, America-first, Trumpy segment of the House Republican caucus Which is saying something, because that's a good way to describe most members of the House I was doing a little bit of research for this and I found out that between the 19 original holdouts, half of them came from three states Half of them came from Arizona, Texas and Florida,” Buchacek described

It’s not quite clear what concessions McCarthy gave to the holdouts in order to secure his position. The ones that have been publicized give the ultraconservatives power when it comes to budget planning and inquiry into the January 6th investigation. McCarthy also agreed to rules that limit his power as Speaker of the House “ but generally speaking what [the holdouts] were asking for was to have more influence on the choreography of the House They wanted to have representation on key committees, like the committees drawing budgets, setting the rules of the House, that sort of thing. The one aspect of their list of demands that did get put into the rules was a motion to vacate…So one of the rules that is written into how the House functions is that it only takes one member of the House to force a vote to have another Speaker,” Buchacek revealed.

According to Buchacek, 17 House Democrats tried something similar during Nancy Pelosi’s Speaker of the House election in 2019 She ultimately secured enough votes on the first ballot without making concessions. A minority group using their votes as a negotiating tactic is ultimately part of American democracy’s foundation,

“One of the sources of opposition of this group is distrust in McCarthy as sort of an institutionalist Republican who talks a good talk about conservative issues but is ultimately just going to sell us out and cut a deal, right? That’s one of the reasons why they’re withholding their support to begin with, so their entire dispute is based upon almost this exact scenario. If they’re bluffing, what a bluff,” Buchacek concluded

PHOTO CREDIT: CNN As the speakership passes from Pelosi to McCarthy, the two politicians shake hands. McCarthy, a California Republican, won his first Congressional election in 2006. ART CREDIT: LAYLA NIBLOCK

She Said: The power of a single story

After months of preparation– countless phone calls, late nights, and international trips– two journalists look over their article for the last time Well aware that it is the largest story in Hollywood, they know what the repercussions could be They also know how important this story is. They hit “publish”.

She Said, directed by Maria Schrader and starring Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan, is a retelling of how one story helped kick start a movement. Based on the book of the same name, She Said follows Jodi Kantor (played by Kazan) and Megan Twohey (played by Mulligan), two New York Times journalists who investigate allegations of sexual

assault against big-time producer Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein, the co-founder of Miramax Films and the Weinstein Company (which are now owned by Paramount Pictures and Lantern Entertainment, respectively), was well known and respected at the time of his investigation, thanks to his role in producing popular movies such as Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction, The King’s Speech, and Django Unchained. However, despite his esteemed position in Hollywood, rumors that Weinstein had been assaulting women in his company surfaced as the two journalists began their investigation.

According to the first breakthrough article published by Kantor and Twohey, Weinstein had been inviting female employees– many of whom were young and new in the industry– to his hotel room to conduct “business meetings” These “meetings” became dangerous, however, when Weinstein made sexual advances towards the women that put them in extremely uncomfortable, even threatening, situations Despite many sexual assault allegations against him over the course of several decades, Weinstein was never charged for his behavior In fact, Weinstein paid some of his victims in exchange for non-disclosure agreements, guaranteeing that they would never be able to speak against him.

In spite of these measures, on October 5th, 2017, The New York Times published the first of several articles chronicling Meghan and Twohey’s investigation The article named several prominent actresses, including Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, who had gone on the record against him with specific accounts of his inappropriate behavior

Almost immediately, Hollywood was ablaze with accusations against Weinstein Well-known actresses Gweneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, among many others, came forward to share their experiences and speak publicly against him.

The Weinstein story was also a major spark for the “#MeToo '' movement, started in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke After Weinstein’s allegations came to light, new stories flooded in and brought the movement back stronger than before both in and out of Hollywood.

She Said premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 13th, 2022, and screened in U.S. theaters a week later The release came in the middle of Weinstein’s month-long trial in Los Angeles, where he was found guilty of rape and sexual assault This was Weinstein’s second time facing such charges in court, as he had pleaded guilty to similar cases in New York just a few years before (CNN).

Despite centering around what would become one of the most influential stories of the decade, She Said does not discuss the aftermath of the article’s release at all; in fact, the film ends when a New York Times employee hits “publish” on the story, leaving the world s reaction a mystery. Because of this, the film brings more attention to the process, which was emotionally difficult for both the journalists and the victims they spoke to To minimize the distress of those involved in the film, She Said s filmmakers were adamant on avoiding any direct depiction of assault and minimizing Weinstein’s on-screen time. These choices also serve to maintain the dignity of the victims and allow the spotlight to shine on their bravery, not on the reliving of their worst moments

Making a movie like She Said, which features sensitive and potentially triggering topics of sexual assault, requires a unique kind of thoughtfulness. As expected, everyone involved was committed to facing these challenging topics head-on– resulting in a tangible feeling of respect and care throughout the film. In addition, scenes flip quickly between the investigation and the journalist’s far-from-perfect personal lives, giving insight into the struggles that they had to face during the process

In many ways, She Said is a film about the power of journalism: its focus on the immense amount of time, research, and emotion that went into the Weinstein investigation give due credit to everyone who allowed the story to come to light But more importantly, it is about the voice: what happens when it is silenced, the courage it takes to speak, and the power of a single story

up and eat": a character analysis of The Menu

An isolated island, a food critic, three finance bros, a washed up movie star, regulars, a food obsessed sociopath, and an exploited Brigade de Cuisine. Will the meal go according to plan? If so, whose?

In a place meant to feed, the characters are all left hungry The Menu explores several questions of class, ego, and privilege, with each character holding their own version of each of these things, and serving their own archetype. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicolas Hoult, Janet McTeer, Ralph Fiennes, and others, The Menu is full of wit, satire, and claustrophobic social commentary Its world premiere was September 10th, 2022, and grossed $79 million worldwide The film is set on a private island that holds one restaurant: Hawthorn. Run by the world-renowned Chef Slowick and a dedicated staff, the characters believe they have been invited to enjoy bucket-list worthy cuisine, and delicious art To the guests surprise, this night doesn't end with full bellies and delectable treats

Janet McTeer plays Lillian Bloom, a decorated food critic Sitting at the center table, and speaking in abstract analogies, she reports the scallop presentation to be "very thalassic, Thaslassa was the Greek primeval spirit of the sea We are eating the ocean", she theorizes Bloom feeds her ego with ruthless, scathing comments Her culinary critiques destroy art and artists

Dominique Crenn, a famous San Francisco chef, was hired as the chief technical consultant for the film

"When you get to a certain level of artistry, then you have the noises from the outside, from the blogger or the influencer … the entitlement to tell you that what you do is not good,” Crenn describes

The three finance bros are money driven, unappreciative, and hungry They complain about their meal, obnoxiously dismiss the food presentation, mock the staff, and when challenged, deliver the cringeworthy line, "You know who we are, right?" They exist in a world that chases capital and material, leaving them aloof to art and its creative process

“We are artists, and every day, we try to create something that we really feel " Crenn commented As a chef, this artistry is constantly ridiculed and dissected by customers and critics alike Ralph Fiennes' Chef Slowick, creates meticulous creations and has gained world recognition But his art comes at a cost to his workers in the form of


a existential thoughts, verbal abuse, and sexual harassment Despite being adulated for his creativity and prowess, Chef Slowick's sanity has teetered off the edge, and he has lost a love for cooking.

Globally elite restaurants today are facing backlash, and are being forced to implement major changes to their practices Noma, often touted as the world's greatest restaurant, has recently announced it's closing for regular service starting in 2024.

“We have to completely rethink the industry,” René Redzepi, Noma's creator and chef, declared, “This is simply too hard, and we have to work in a different way.”

The grueling hours, low pay, and demanded perfection, creates a toxic and emotionally abusive workplace

Speaking of Slowick, Crenn reflected, “I think he's been pushed over too far I think he's like ‘I have nothing to lose anymore. And I'm going to take you with me ’”

The 'movie star' as he is referred to throughout the entire film is a symbol of forgotten artistry The star has lost his craft, aching to be in the spotlight, and continually pursuing relevance He is a self-proclaimed liar and "name dropping whore " His dilemma is a reflection of the Chef's own Tyler is a fine-dining-obsessed, Slowick superfan He has watched every "episode of Chef’s Table two

or three times " and, "watched Slowik’s probably twenty times." A running line through the movie stems from his recognition

of a pacojet a niche kitchen gadget In the beginning of the film, his role is seemingly harmless, annoying, but harmless As the movie progresses, you learn more about how blind obsession leads to mortal consequences

The Menu is a horror film with loads of satirical comedy, and it all surrounds Margot Who is she? Will she escape?

Margot wasn't meant to be there A last chance date, Margot sports an elegant long purple dress, and the only mouth of rationality Unlike the other guests, she doesn't come from wealth, isn't unhappy or starving, and is the only successfully defiant character when chaos ensues. Her personal story is revealed during the film, and her blatant rejection of the Chef's menu leaves her triumphant. Whether she survives or not? We may never know

Go Bulldogs! Go Bulldogs!

DSA winter sports recap

As the winter sports season comes to a close, The Gallery would like to honor all the accomplishments and hard work of our student athletes With daily practices, late-night competitions, and the valiant commitment of these individuals, DSA has seen some remarkable feats this season


Competed at the 3A Indoor Track State Championship

Boys 200 meter relay - 3rd place

Kaleb Lucas (SR)

Corwin Armstrong

Jacob Franke (SR)

Adrien Jacobs (SR)

Boys 500 meter

Adrien Jacobs (SR) - 1st place

Boys 55 meter hurdles

Kaleb Lucas (SR) - 3rd place

Boys long jump

Kaleb Lucas (SR) - 2nd place

Girls high jump

Shamari Allen (SR) - 2nd place


Competed at the NCASA Dance Festival

Becoming 4th time State Champions

Hip Hop - 1st place

Jazz - 1st place

Contemporary - 1st place

Student Choreography - 1st place

Dance Team - 1st place

Best female dancer (high school): Malia Jackson (SR)


Competed at the NCHSAA Regional Championships

Advanced to the 3A State Championships

Girls 200 yards medley relay - 1st place

Alexis Krzyzaniak

Claire Ramsey (SR)

Jordan Marley (SR)

Megan Healey (SR)

Boys 200 yards medley relay - 1st place

William Gray

Dreizin Ginsberg (SR)

Lucca Battaglini

Carson Sheehan

Boys 50 yards freestyle

Lucca Battaglini - 1st place

Boys 100 yards freestyle

William Gray - 2nd place

Girls 200 yards freestyle relay - 2nd place

Jordan Marley (SR)

Peyton Yuan

Megan Healey (SR)

Alexis Krzyzaniak

Girls 100 yards backstroke

Jordan Marley (SR) - 1st place

Alexis Krzyzaniak - 2nd place

Boys 100 yards backstroke

William Gray - 2nd place

“We are artists, and every day, we try to create something that we really feel."
- Dominique Crenn




3. DSA's ______ Auditorium

4. last name of the director of She Said

5. club that hosted the Emotion Fair

7. last name of the writer of And Then There Were None

8. first name of the main actress in The Menu


1. last name of the new Speaker of the House

2. name of the tool that monitors student activity online

4. Piano company & Sons

5. name of the restaurant featured in The Menu

6. DSA dancers competed at the _____ Dance Festival



Winner for the Fall Edition

caption contest: "#Oppossumlife"

- Megan Dennie

Using the QR code above, submit captions for the pictures on the right! Our favorites will be published in the next edition of The Gallery!

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