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focus central { } francis howell central high school | volume fifteen | issue one | 8.8.2011

delve 3-8 | sweat 9-13 | in focus 14-19 | the scene 21-26 | be heard 27-30 | interact 31 | aperture 32

SEVEN {meet the candidates} Four candidates are vying for two seats in April’s upcoming Board of Education election. Find out their positions and what they plan to do if elected.

TEN {new face} Brian Kirk takes the reins of the boys tennis team and the squad is hopeful his playing and coaching experience will help them improve this season.

TWENTY-TWO {pinned}


michelle aiello

Lizzi Holland explores her new found fascination with the latest social media craze, Pinterest, and why it took her a while to buy into the fad.

TWENTY-SEVEN {potty talk} With toilet paper all around, graffiti, and some other awful features, the girl’s bathrooms have become Ellen Hinze’s most hated area of the school.

TWENTY-EIGHT {connections} danielle austin



opening shots | march 2, 2012

poetry slam


High school relationships often contribute to some of students’ highest highs, and lowest lows. Three editorialists share their opinions on love and friendship.


Caucuses cause confusion amongst voters Missouri’s election process brings up more questions than answers

By Blake Beck delve editor

As the 2012 presidential election looms in the distance, the Republican candidates will bring their race to Missouri on March 17 for the statewide caucus. Missouri is one of 13 states that is holding a caucus this election year, which can be described as a formal meeting between people to decide on an issue or a candidate for office, according to senior Carter Ballmann. Ballmann, a first time voter, will be attending the caucus in March to support Republican candidate Ron Paul. Ballmann notes that there are a few glaring differences between a caucus and the traditional primary election.

“A primary is pretty much an election and lasts only a few minutes,” Ballmann said. “A caucus can last a few hours and requires people to meet in a room and make speeches.” According to Ballmann, the caucus begins when a group of voters gather at a designated location in each of the 114 counties in the state of Missouri. The caucus goers then elect a caucus chairman, who decides how delegates are elected. “The caucus chairman decides how delegates are elected, either one by one, or on a slate of several at once,” Ballmann said. “[The chairman] also determines how long debate and speeches can occur.” Elected delegates, individuals

that represent a certain candidate, will then head to the congressional district caucuses, where the process starts all over again. “Once that [the congressional district] caucus is over, they attend the state GOP convention on June 1-2 where a lucky 52 delegates are chosen to attend the GOP nominating convention for the president,” Ballmann said. The complexity of a caucus, compared to that of a primary election, is blatantly obvious, which is a reason why, among other reasons, some may shy away from the idea of a caucus. “The caucus can last several hours and it requires a lot of speaking,” Ballmann said. “Some people are

just shy and don’t like voicing their opinions publicly.” The elaborate nature of a caucus only worsens with Missouri holding both a caucus and a primary election this year, with the latter having already occurred on Feb. 7. The decision to hold a caucus in addition to the primary was made after the state was set to lose half of its Republican delegates to the national convention because the primary date was moved to an earlier date. The primary was won by candidate Rick Santorum, who collected over half of the votes with a whopping 55 percent. Mitt Romney came in second with 25 percent of the please read more: CAUCUS, PAGE 6

“The caucus can last several hours and it requires a lot of speaking. Some people are just shy and don’t like voicing their opinions publicly.” { Carter Ballman } senior Ballman plans to attend the Missouri caucuses two weeks from today to support Rep. Ron Paul, from Texas. | delve



Poets from Washington University dazzle crowds at Diversity Day

By Ellen Hinze multimedia executive editor

Students file from classes into the auditorium for a presentation they have preconceived notions about. A jock, jokes about a girly, frilly poem full of emotions; a cheerleader, condescends as she sees the group who will be preforming; a nerd, nervously awaits the starting poem; an art kid, anticipating an enjoyable expression; a student, shocked when the words start pouring out of the performer’s mouth. “People told me it was a bunch of poems performed with emotion,” junior Andrew Henke said. “It was very emotional. They threw it; they threw it hard.” The poetry slam started heavy. Elliott Scheer, a student at Washington University performed


delve | march 2, 2012

a poem about a 12-year-old who threw his first punch. He followed that up later in the slam with a poem who struggled with drugs and a drug addicted friend. “I got into poetry and doing poetry slams because I have had life experiences that I’d like to get out through writing,” Scheer said. “Writing things down lets you release your emotions and really helps.” The poems ranged from drugs and civil rights to Justin Bieber and velociraptors. While a poem about dinosaurs was a lighthearted, meant-to-be-funny poem, the rest were deep and had meanings that were connived in the words. “A lot of the topics [they performed] were topics people knew about in some way,” Henke

“A lot of the topics [they performed] were topics people knew about in some way. They seem to come up a lot; they just never get addressed. I’ve never experienced some of the things they talked about, but it was something understandable.” { Andrew Henke } junior Before going into the poetry slam, Henke did not know what to expect. After being plesently surprised by what he found, Henke began to enjoy and relate to the poerty. His favorite was a poem about Justin Bieber which started out lighthearted and transformed into a deep serious poem.

said. “They seem to come up a lot; they just never get addressed. I’ve never experienced some of the things they talked about, but it was something understandable.” Because the performers are in college and had been through high school, Meredith Irvin wanted more than just to perform poems. She wanted to send a message. “High school is a time of transition, and I want to be able to give advice about dealing with the environment and our lives,” Irvin said. “Basically, I wanted to give a message today.” One aspect of poetry that makes it so unique is that it can be understood and perceived differently to each listener. This is exactly what Jacqui Germain loves about preforming. “It is a really good feeling when you write something and someone

photo by savannah mceachern

After performing his poem about Asians in America, WU Slam member Sam Lai recites a poem about Justin Bieber. Many students laughed at the poems as the performer related serious problems to joking stanzas.

can relate to it,” Germain said. During the poetry slam, not only did students find meanings to relate to, but they discovered a side of poetry not expressed in English classes. Senior Kayleigh Howard, who went to the slam last year and this year, was able to realize that poetry is not so simple. “Going to the poetry slam helped me realize poetry can be deeper than the colors of the sky,” Howard said. Senior Sara Orlet also found a deeper meaning in poetry. Instead of looking at the stereotypical love poem, Orlet discovered how deep poetry can be. “A lot of people think roses are red violets are blue or whatever is all poetry is, but it’s not like that,” Orlet said.


available for those in need Scholarships, monetary aid can be utilized when taking AP exams

By Ben Morrison staff reporter

Second semester is now well on its way, and some upperclassmen are starting to realize what is going to be occupying a bulk of their potential sleep time in the coming months: tests. Second semester finds itself filled with tests like the ACT, the EOC’s and final exams. With so many tests and expenses, some students will be wondering whether they have the financial and physical capability to take the upcoming Advanced Placement (AP) exams. The AP testing days for this year are scheduled for May 7-17, with one or two tests being held per day. Some students will end up taking multiple tests this semester, and this will end up putting a serious dent in their wallets. “The price is $87 per exam,” said guidance counselor Dr. Joyce Gang. “Students who receive free or reduced lunches will be able to take the tests for free.” However, students who can’t afford the tests but can pay for their lunches still have an opportunity to acquire financial aid. “Others who need financial aid should send a request to me [including] detailed information and reasons why the financial

aid is important,” said Dr. Gang. “Dr. Arnel “Each student enrolled in an AP course was and I try to award the scholarships to meet given a ‘Bulletin for AP Students and Parents,’ individual needs.” in it is a website that shows what individual According to sophomore Erica Swanson, scores colleges want and the amount of who is taking the AP U.S. History exam for credits the college will give you,” said Dr. the experience this year, Gang. “Students who the price of the test is just want to take the tests justified by the possible for credit should talk to “Students who recieve college credit. their teachers about how free or reduced lunches “It seems reasonable, well they might do on the [and] others who need because it’s cheaper tests.” financial aid should send than college credit,” For example, the a request to me... Dr. said Swanson. “And University of Missouri there’s also scholarships awards students three Arnel and I try to award available.” credits in English the scholarships to meet Swanson is not planning Language 1000 for a individual needs.” on taking the test blind, score of four or five on { Dr. Joyce Gang } and encourages other the English Language and guidance counselor students to do the same. Composition exam, or a is in charge of determining the scholarships for “You have to be willing Dr.APGang minimum score of three exams. Students who feel they need scholarships to put in the extra effort should speak with Dr. Gang as soon as possible. March on the Chemistry exam 28 is the deadline to register for exams. and preparation,” said for five credits in Chem Swanson. “You shouldn’t 1310 and Chem 1320. go in cold.” Alternatively, Truman State University will Dr. Gang also suggests putting in the award three credits in History 131 for a World preparation, and states that students were History score of three, and Missouri State provided with the materials to determine University gives five credits in Math 261 for a whether they want to put in the preparation. score of three on the Calculus AB exam. | delve


How caucuses

Why a caucus? The Feb. 7 primaries are non-binding because of a decision by the Republican and Democratic National committees in Sept. 2008 that delegate selection needed to be held in March 2012 or later. What about the primary last month? In those primaries, Sen. Rick Santorum won with 55.2 percent of the vote, while Gov. Mitt Romney had 25.3 percent of the vote. in the Democratic primary, President Barack Obama won 88 percent of the vote. The caucuses will run from March 15-24. How does an actual caucus work? Caucuses include part polling, part campaigning. At stake are Missouri’s 52 delegates to the national convention. Traditionally, campaigns are allowed to have people at the caucus sites to make speeches.

photo by MCT campus

St Charles County Date & time: March 17 at 10 a.m. Location: Francis Howell North High School

jump from page 3: CAUCUS

photo by MCT campus


Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich tours the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California. He was in Tulare on on Tuesday, Feb. 14 to campaign.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul speaks during a rally of about 2,000 supporters at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. Paul spoke for CenturyLink on on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Congressional district conventions, April 21: Delegates chosen at the county level will select three delegates and alternates to the national convention and one presidential elector. These delegates and alternates will identify their candidate before being chosen. They will be bound to that candidate on the first ballot at the national convention.

photo by MCT campus

How does the caucus process work? County caucuses, March 17: Attendees will select delegates and alternates to the Congressional District Conventions and State Convention. Delegates selected at the county level will not be bound to a specific candidate unless a rule is passed by participants of the caucus. (See below for a list of county caucus locations.)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a town hall meeting at Eagle Manufacturing in Shelby Township, Michigan. He went there on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Sources: Missouri Republican Party, Wikipedia


delve | march 2, 2012

photo by amber roth

State convention, June 2: Delegates chosen at the county level will vote on a slate of 25 at-large delegates and alternates to the national convention and two at-large presidential electors. These delegates and alternates will identify their candidate before being chosen. They will be bound to that candidate on the first ballot at the national convention.

Senator Rick Santorum speaks at St. Charles Community College. Santorum was the first Republican candidate to campaign in Missouri and won the nonbinding Feb. 7 primary, winning 55.2 percent.

votes, followed by Ron Paul, who received only 12 percent of the votes. The fourth Republican candidate, Newt Gingrich, was not on the ballot. Santorum was the clear-cut winner, but his victory was in vain, as all the delegates will be determined by the caucus. Ballmann feels the caucus will produce different results compared to the primary. “Their [campaign] is not as organized and are not out there campaigning like Ron Paul’s and the others,” Ballmann said. “I think it will be a very big upset for them come March.” Because of the confusion, and the possible loss of millions of dollars, it could cause Missouri to reform its election process. If Missouri were to change its process, Ballmann feels that a caucus would be the way to go. “I would support a caucus because it is more democratic,” Ballmann said. “People hear all sides and make a more informed decision.” Government teacher Rebecca Dulle has a different attitude towards the caucus. “I like a primary,” Ms. Dulle said. “I think it’s easier access for voters to participate and more young voters would participate because it requires less of their time.” In the end, no matter what type of election process Missouri is going through, the state will have to decide between four potential presidential nominees by March 17: Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul.

I like a primary. I think it’s easier access for voters to participate and more young voters would participate. Ms. Rebecca Dulle { teacher

Meet the

By Alli Keisker

print executive editor


Whether it is deciding school and district-wide policies or planning the district’s budget, the Board of Education is always busy making crucial decisions that could affect the daily lives of both the students and staff at Central. This year, voting will take place on April 3, but voters must be registered by Wednesday.

want to know more? scan the code and see the candidates full responses to all 10 questions we asked of them.

or visit

mary hodtis

Why are you running for election/re-election? When I first ran for the Board of Education six years ago student learning was my main issue and it is still the same today. All students deserve a high quality education whatever their learning ability. Public school systems are where most students receive their education. No other time in the history of the United States has public education faced the challenges that it does today. Public

school districts and all educators are being made the “whipping boy” of the U.S. Congress and the General Assembly of the State of Missouri. What do you hope to do for the district, if elected? To provide quality teachers and support staff to every student who enters any school within our District because every student deserves a high quality education. What types of things do you think the Board should be

focusing on right now? Educating students for the requirements of the 21st century. When today’s students enter college, the military, or the work force you will be required to have a different skill set than I was required to have in the 60’s. The other major thing the Board should be working on is our finances because of today’s economy. What has the school board been focusing on this year?

Improving student learning. The Board of Education has increased the use of technology in our classrooms, improved or repaired different buildings within our district and focused on educating all students for the 21st century needs. What are your three main priorities if you are elected to the board of education? Increase student learning, Integrate additional technology in every classroom and library in our district.

stephen johnson

Why are you running for election/re-election? I have been encouraged to run for re-election by my peers, parents, and teachers of the district. As a parent in the district, I would like to retain my seat on the Board to utilize this acquired knowledge to continue to support the district’s efforts. Why do you think you should be on FHSD’s Board of Education? As a current Board member, I

have spent the last three years learning how the district works and becoming familiar with staff and administration. I have invested the time to complete the Missouri School Board training and am a Master Certified Board member, the first in board history. What do you hope to do for the district, if elected? I hope to continue to support Administration in the quest for

academic excellence for all Francis Howell students. It is also important to complete all ongoing construction projects, but also operate the district with good conservative values by being fiscally responsible. What types of things do you think the Board should be focusing on right now? The focus of the Board should be to support the five-year strategic plan developed by administration

and approved by the Board. What are your three main priorities if you are elected to the board of education? Ensuring that the academic gains achieved over the past several years continue and that we provide a 21st century education to all students ensure that the district has adequate funding to provide this education and continue to attract high quality teachers and staff.

eric seider

Why are you running for election/re-election? I am running for election for the Francis Howell School Board because I have a lifelong passion for public education and a willingness to serve our community. My wife, Diane, and I have four children who have attended public schools and are actively involved in FHSD school district committees and parent booster organizations. Why do you think you should be

on FHSD’s Board of Education? I have over 20 years of management experience managing both union-represented and non-represented employees and understand the intricacies of successfully managing projects on time and under budget. What do you hope to do for the district, if elected? I hope to use my experience in management and public education to help provide consistent and

independent view of district spending and support for the administration and teachers in the district. What has the school board been focusing on this year? The BOE should be focusing on solutions to the inconsistent funding from the state and federal government. Since less and less of our budget is coming from the state and federal government, the cost of public education falls to local communities.

What are your three main priorities if you are elected to the board of education? My three main priorities are supporting district administration by letting them do their job without micromanaging. Two, supporting the staff by approving contracts, policies, and procedures that allow them to focus on student education. Three, listening and being accessible to the community when they have questions.

marie haupt

Why are you running for election? It has always been a dream of mine to be on the school board. It is a family tradition. My greatgrandfather, my grandfather, and my great-uncle have all been on school boards of a school in the Francis Howell district. I believe I can provide a different perspective on the board since I was a teacher in the district for 34 years. I have been

in the classroom and I know how the decisions of the board can effect the students, teachers, and staff. Why do you think you should be on FHSD’s Board of Education? I think I should be on the board because I have been in this district all of my life. Having been a teacher here I have an understanding of how our district works and its history. I have served on several district and building committees.

I am approachable and stay in touch with several staff and patrons throughout the district. I have the perspective of being a former student, a parent, and an employee and I want what is best for our students and teachers. What do you hope to do for the district, if elected? I hope I can put a voice to the students and staff on all issues. Being a retired teacher I want to

help to maintain and improve our high curricular expectations. I hope to restore lost positions. What are your three main priorities if you are elected to the board of education? My top three priorities for the district are to maintain/restore our academic programs, keep the class size at the state’s desirable standards with a quality teaching staff, and maintain district balances. | delve


Allison Comfort staff reporter

Registration for next year’s classes changed dramatically this year. Along with the new system that guidance used to program classes, leading to many students switching hours and even teachers, administration decided to use a new method of signing up for classes that the new system allows. Guidance counselor Mrs. Michelle Breuer believes it is for the best. “Other districts [use online registration]” Mrs. Breuer said. “And colleges use the same system, so we’re really just preparing students for that.” However, the fallout from the student body was not good. “It wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t any

easier on us, either. A lot of kids freaked out because they didn’t think they were signed up for AP and honors courses,” Mrs. Breuer said. “But it wasn’t hard. We could put in classes beforehand, so it was down to kids choosing their electives.” Mrs. Breuer believes the switch will be easier on the student body next year. “There was a video, but we didn’t show it and neither did the teachers. We’re definitely showing the video next year,” Mrs. Breuer said. However, the student body is not as optimistic as administration. The office was inundated with requests from students who were confused about the scheduling, and some students simply think FHC should go back to the old system. “It’s stupid,” sophomore Michael

Sexton said. “It was confusing because a lot of classes I signed up for were honors, so you couldn’t sign up. I felt like I wasn’t ready to turn it in. I’m hoping they’ll fix it over the summer so that it’ll be easier.” Junior Cassie Harfman believes similarly to Sexton, and that the digital approach does not actually save anything in the long run. “I think it was pointless because we’re still using paper, so we’re still wasting it,” Harfman said. “Plus, when we had to have our parents sign it, my printer wasn’t working, so I had to print it up at school and didn’t turn it in on time.” However, secretary Mrs. Lisa Lipin says the effort was not in vain. “[We did it] to be more green,” Mrs. Lipin said. “And to help parents with the process.”

photo by jerianne harrison

Registration frustrates students

Junior Andrew Henke registers for his classes using the new online registration system. Students had to go through their parent portal accounts to choose their classes.

“After graduating high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. SCC gave me the time to figure it out before transferring to a four-year university.” ~ DJ Shocklee SCC alum Francis Howell Central alum

Find SCC on : Ask your counselor how to get started at St. Charles Community College. Call 636-922-8000 or visit


delve | march 2, 2012


New coach brings experience Brian Kirk brings new attitude, 11 years of coaching to boys tennis team


By Mary Niebur staff reporter

s the boys tennis season comes to a start, the team prepares for a change in coaching with Mr. Donald Lober stepping down from his previous position as the teams head coach, and Coach Brian Kirk stepping up to fill his shoes. The team does not seem to know much about the new coach because the boys have only have met him once; but they can all agree on one thing, the new coach posseses experience. All the returning tennis players find

that experience is an important key in coaching this years team for a list of reasons. One reason they find this to be such an important factor for Coach Kirk, is that with experience- not only playing but coaching as well, Kirk can put himself in the boys’ shoes and understand where they are coming from. It makes it easier for the boy’s to respect his coaching, according to junior Sean Nanney. “I think Kirk is going to benefit us a lot this season because he used to play [tennis],” Nanney said. Junior Jack Rodell also agrees with Nanney about Coach Kirk’s abilities.

“He seems like a normal everyday guy, but he has experience playing tennis, so I think this is the one thing that makes me confident that our team will succeed with his coaching skills, because he’s been in our position,” Rodell said. When he first met the team, Coach Kirk answered the boys lingering question of what exactly his experience in coaching and tennis consisted of. According to the team, he has outstanding qualifications. “I was a four-year varsity tennis player in high school, and I have continued playing my entire life. I also have 11 years in coaching experience in a variety of sports, including Tennis,”

Coach Kirk said. According to Coach Kirk, his main focus for the team this season includes working on mental and physical preparedness, which goes hand-inhand with his coaching philosophy. He plans on getting the guys in great playing shape, enhancing their tennis skills and improving their mental toughness. With Coach Kirk constantly working on these skills with the boys, he is confident that the team will be succesful. Check out Coach Kirk’s coaching skills and how the team has improved at its first match on March 19 at Fort Zumwalt East at 3:30 p.m. | sweat


Sensations compete for high scores By Matt Lundberg sweat editor

Each year, Disney World plays host to dance teams from all over the nation and allows them a chance to showcase their skills. As the lights illuminate in the ESPN world of sports section of the park, the teams who made finals get an opportunity to compete for top national honors. This year, the varsity Sensations made school history with their highest placement in school history. The bell rang signaling the end of third hour on Thursday, Feb 2 and the Sensations dance team departed for the airport. The girls were excited before they even boarded the plane, according to senior Danielle Grieve. “We were stoked for the competition,” Grieve said. “This was my third year coming down here to compete and its exciting every year.” The only person who may have been even more excited was Coach Nicole Huffman. “Sometimes I think that I get more nervous than they do! I feel the same excitement and adrenaline rush as they feel it,” Coach Huffman said. “As a coach, you know their potential, but it is out of your hands at that moment.” With the stresses a n d nerves of a national stage,


sweat | march 2, 2012

Coach Huffman does her best to calm said. “We work hard and accomplish the girls down. many goals.” “I always joke and say I am just going to This practice and preparation came close my eyes! I never do though – I just in handy when sophomore Alli Benney can’t – it is too exciting to watch,” Coach went down with an injury. Huffman said. “Each girl [had] The Sensations had learned her part “[Their reactions to the some big shoes to and perfected it fill after winning first placement was] priceless. and now [they had] place in last year’s to learn a new The excitement was all state championship, one and perfect over their faces. When but they lived up to that one as well,” they announced us the hype this year Coach Huffman at eighth, you would by breaking the top said. “Additionally, ten with their hip hop ‘traffic patterns’ in have thought that routine and according formations change they announced us at to Huffman, she was and movement itself first. They jumped and extremely proud. changes. Each of screamed and hugged “To see your team these takes months each other.” be successful is to make them look always a great feeling. like one and to { Nicole Huffman } It is an outstanding make it work.” Varsity Sensations Coach accomplishment to The girls learned place in the finals for Coach Huffman has been working with the team all year these new parts to perfect each and every one of its dances. The team traveled to Orlando, FL for nationals and, a few weeks both of our routines for and took them later, the Sensations headed to Kansas City for the state the first time in Howell to the national competition. The girls placed highly in both competitions. Central history!” competition and Placing at nationals, earned a spot in the though, does not come top ten. without hard work. The girls practice in “[Their reactions to the placement the morning during the fall. was] priceless. The excitement was all “We get to school at six in over their faces,” Coach Huffman said. the morning,” s e n i o r “When they announced A m b e r Rumbolo u s

at eighth, you would have thought that they announced us at first. They jumped and screamed and hugged each other.” The Sensations prepared for state and Coach Huffman had some pretty high goals for the team. “My goal for the team as a whole is for them to walk off of the performance floor having no regrets,” Coach Huffman said. “As I tell the girls, we only get two minutes to show who we are, what we represent and what we have come to do: win!” The Sensations went into state with high expectations from their coach and performed to the best of their ability. “I honestly thought that everybody did a good job,” junior Alicia Pavia said. “Everyone felt good about it.” The Sensation’s hip hop routine took top honors, finishing first and the jazz routine took second overall. “I figured the scores were really close, but I was proud of everybody,” Pavia said. The girls finished the competition in second place, behind Liberty High School. Even with the second place finish, according to Pavia, the girls still had fun. “We all had a fun weekend and just enjoyed dancing together for the last time,” Pavia said.


I figured the scores were really close, but I was really proud of everybody. We all had a fun weekend and just enjoyed dancing together for the last time. Alicia Pavia {junior




hip hop








2nd | sweat


Once I found out what happened, I couldn’t stop crying. Not because of pain, but because I knew my season was over. Danielle Austin {junior

Awkward landing ended season By Cody Jones

New coach gives direction

The track team is now led by Coach Heather Spirz

By Ben Morrison staff reporter

Any athlete on a sports team knows that a coach is an important dynamic in the success of a team. The coach is regarded as a leader of the team, and determines how much a team gets accomplished during practices. Whenever a team has a coaching change, it can drastically affect the team. This year, the track team experienced a coaching change of its own. Coach Bob Breuer, the former sprinting coach, recently became head coach. His position of sprinting coach was filled by Coach Heather Spirz. Coach Spirz has experience with track and coaching and has had a positive effect on the sprinters, according to senior Andrew Altomare. “She is enforcing new pre-season exercises,” said Altomare. “[It’s better than how] the old coaches used to not enforce anything. Nothing really got done.” Coach Spirz has been much less lenient, and Altomare believes it is likely to the benefit of the team. “There’s not as much messing around,” said Altomare. “She’s especially cracking down on the freshman and improving them.” Yet her positive affect on the team is not unexpected, especially if you take a minute to look at her experience. “She’s highly qualified,” said junior Kaela Henry. “She ran track in college.”


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According to Henry, her experience has had people don’t think of track as a team sport. a positive impact on the sprinters, as Spirz has Track runners, however, will tell you that this is started to train the sprinters in aspects that will not the case. enhance their performance. “When you go to competitions, it’s “She’s training us as sprinters,” an individual thing, unless you are Henry said. “Last year, they had us doing a relay,” said Altomare. “But training in endurance, but this year “She’s fighting during practice, you push each other, she has us building speed, which for the team, and you encourage each other by sprinters need.” telling each other ‘you can do it.” as track is According to Altomare, these But while running in competitions generally specified exercises are important to is individual, the method of scoring viewed as the team, as they allow coaches to is not. One of the main reasons is either focus runners on their event the sheer number of competitors, just running or alter what they compete in. according to Henry. around in “The coach sets up exercises for “It’s not like, ‘Kaela Henry got circles, and individual events to get the best second place and scored so many she’s trying to points,’ because that’s too many possible outcome,” said Altomare. get us some people to keep track of,” Henry said. “They will also switch you for events that you are best suited for.” All the school’s runners accumulate recognition.” Spirz’ influence has also stretched points, and this adds up to determine far beyond the field, as she is trying { Andrew Altomare } the team’s final ranking. Senior to improve the school’s view of the “They count schools as a team track team. during scoring,” Henry said. “Second Altomare is a senior and has been running track for “She’s started new workouts place is worth so many points, and four years. He is happy that and is trying to get us some new Heather spirz, the new sprinting it’s all applied to a school score.” some direction equipment,” said Altomare. “She’s coach, is togiving Though the track season has not the team. fighting for the team, as track is yet started, Spirz has already formed generally viewed as just running her own expectations for the team. around in circles, and she’s trying to get us “She knows what she wants the team to do, some recognition.” and where she wants them to be,” Henry said. “I Because of the view of track as a bunch of think people will start to realize she knows what people running around by themselves, most she’s doing.”

staff reporter

While scorching heat was destroying the lives of fall sports athletes, the life of junior Danielle Austin was being destroyed by a completely different monster. On a simple August afternoon, Austin was pushing through cheer practice, practicing her tumbling abilities. On a certain tumble, Austin came down awkwardly on her leg. The pain that followed was not excruciating, but Austin knew something was wrong. “It didn’t really hurt, but my team told me that I should go to the emergency room,” Austin said. “Once I found out what happened, I couldn’t stop crying. Not because of pain, but because I knew that my season was over.” The diagnosis was in: Austin tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Austin returned to practice the following day, and was greeting with overwhelming support. “It was the day before our big homecoming performance and she was a huge part of the routine,” said junior Nicole Kuhlmann, a teammate and close friend of Austin. “She came in and started crying and told us she couldn’t perform with us. We had a big team hug and all told her we weren’t mad at her and that she was still I big part of the team.” Austin would need surgery, but it would be a while before she could undergo it. The swelling around her knee was so extreme that surgeons had to wait three months before they could

photo by amber roth

operate. recovery efforts every step of the way. Once surgery started, the team stood “My team still makes me feel like a part with her and offered their undying support. of the team. They know it’s hard for me,” “When she had her surgery, the team Austin said. pitched in a few dollars and bought her For a girl who has been cheering since some flowers. We brought them age seven, standing on the to her and checked to see how sidelines watching her team she was doing,” Kuhlmann said. run through routines is the “At first, we The operation went well, and started really hardest part. slow. We the ACL was fixed. “It’s all been tough, but I’m did a lot of After the operation, like students motivated to get through it,” strengthening Austin said. “Getting through before her, Austin headed off to exercises, the grueling rehabilitation period. it” is especially tough due to since I hadn’t the longevity of the rigorous “At first, we started really slow. used my leg in emotional and recovery We did a lot of strengthening awhile.” exercises, since I hadn’t used my phase. leg in a while,” Austin said. The injury will keep Austin { Danielle Austin } junior Strengthening was the first step out until April, and even then, During a practice, Austin tore for Austin, but over time, more it will not be a total return. her ACL which in turn ended exercises became available. “I’m not actually able to fully her season prematurely. What next for her, was the vigo“In December, I could start was cheer until July. The doctors rious physical therapy stage. running again, and that opened told me I have to wait nine up a whole new set of exercises,” months after surgery before I Austin said. go back,” Austin said. When she was not at physical Once she has returned to full health, the therapy, she was at the school’s and team will happily welcome their valuable her competitive team’s cheer practices, teammate back. offering encouragement and criticism to “She still helps out so much and we her teammates. In return, her teammates are ready to have her back next year.” stood with her and supported her Kuhlmann said.

Junior Danielle Austin gives a speech at the pep assembly. Austin was a team captain before she tore her ACL, yet, despite her injury, she remained a big part of the team. | sweat


And Then

There Were

None? By Ellen Hinze

multimedia executive editor

fighting that makes teen girls go crazy. There is something about 24 kids fighting for their lives that forces readers to turn the page.

Back when we were young, at bedtime, we would beg our parents to

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but when words paint a picture,

read them a book. These books became so worn from over reading and

how much is it worth? Is it okay for students to surpass a book in order

the words became etched into the our minds.

to watch people party it up on the “Jersey Shore?”

Despite the love for these books, when children start high school, books

The Central Focus decided to celebrate National Reading Day ­— today

are often not beloved objects, rather hated. Instead of words becoming

— by trying to capture books in a six page spread. In order to investigate

fantastic images that create a story, the words become a double spaced,

the reasons teens read and the reasons they do not, the Central Focus

four page paper. Students tend to turn to Sparknotes instead of enjoying

read into the most popular books and compiled the affects of reading

the literature.

on students.

Regardless for a student’s hate for books, some can still capture the

After reading this center spread, questions will no longer arise about

imagination of students, forcing them to turn to page 394 without using

the order of the teen picks, the picture of readers today will be clear,

the Imperio curse. Some books can cause tears to drop uncontrollably

the reasons students want to kill a paperback will be known, new books

onto a page or laugh until it hurts.

will be the catcher of the eye and where the quiet things are will become

Sometimes, “Green Eggs and Ham” is needed for a comfort food after

common knowledge. With these investigations going from cover to

a depressing book. Sometimes, werewolves’ need for romance make

cover, students will know the how to answer the question: do teens

students “Shiver.” There is something about vampires and werewolves

really read?

The Picture of Readers Today By Alli Keisker print executive editor

Whether it is “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins or online blogs and news websites, reading is something people do each and every day for most. But, the affects of reading, or not reading, is not always noticed. On average, only 19 percent of 17-year-olds are daily readers, according to a study done by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The question is, what are the other 81 percent of teenagers doing? Extracurricular activities, jobs and homework are all reasonable answers, but one of the biggest things a teenager does is watch TV. On average, Americans ages 15-24 spend almost two hours a day watching TV and only seven minutes of the day reading for fun, according to the NEA. Between activities that lack actual thought, such as watching TV, and the simplicity of all of the other things people do on a daily basis, English teacher Kelly Briesacher feels students lack the motivation to actually sit down and read. The most common excuse teenagers give teachers is that they lack the time to read, but, in reality, reading just requires more thought and effort than the average teenager is willing to do. “I've thought a lot about why it is that students don't read, and I think it has to do a lot with immediate gratification,” Briesacher said. “Reading is a process. It takes time. It isn't a mindless thing that you do like zoning out to

listen to music, immersing oneself in Facebook or blankly staring at a television letting the information be spoon-fed in. In other words, it takes a little bit of effort. In our world we like things fast and we like things now. There is so much out there that makes life easy.” Though people may be becoming lazy when it comes to reading, hard work pays off in the end. According to an article done by Anne Cunningham and Keith Stanovich called “What Reading Does for the Mind,” reading increases vocabulary more than talking or teaching, raises a person’s general knowledge and helps with memory and reasoning activities as people grow older. In addition to that, most theorists agreed a majority of vocabulary is learned through language exposure rather than through direct teaching. Improvement has not just been seen in general studies though; it can be seen here at Central. When it comes to grades, English teacher Laurie Fay sees the importance of reading in her classes. “Reading improves their comprehension skills, analytical skills, the amount of vocabulary they know and their writing. Reading improves a person’s overall knowledge,” Ms. Fay said. “Usually if someone reads outside of school, their grades improve.” In addition to the affect reading has on a student’s grades, it also benefits them in the real world; Reading helps students to prepare for college level classes, according to Mrs. Briesacher. “Not practicing reading, and not reading frequently, can actually make life harder. In school, it helps to prepare for tests like the ACT

or EOC, and it helps kids prepare for college. In the real world, students will need to read manuscripts, emails, directions, resumes, etc,” Mrs. Briesacher said. “As a consumer, one must read carefully housing contracts, car facts, etc. Not practicing reading sets students up for difficult times.” The amount of reading a student does, inside or outside of school, not only will affect their grades, but will help them to find pleasure in reading, according to both Ms. Fay and Mrs. Briesacher. “This year, in English II classes, we are implementing sustained silent reading to see if test scores go up,” Ms. Fay said. “We have seen an increase, as a whole, in scores. We gave the students a survey on how much they like to read in the beginning of first semester, and then again at the beginning of second semester, and the students are beginning to enjoy reading more than before.” Though reading improves test scores, reading does not always come easy for everyone. More than eight million students in grades fourth through twelfth are reading below grade level expectations, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Though the reading levels are lower than expected, Ms. Fay feels reading is similar to riding a bike; the more a person practices and invests time, the better they will be at it. “If a student isn’t a good reader, they give up. Students think reading is something you’re good at or you’re not, but that’s not how it is,” Ms. Fay said. “You have to practice in order to become a better reader.”

The Catcher of the Eye Maddie Wilson design editor

It is a phenomenon that high school students know all too well: walk into a library purely for fun, and hundreds of books seem to jump off the shelves. Brightly bound volumes line the walls, a dizzying array of every genre one could imagine: humor, romance, fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, history. Walk into English class and those books stacked at the front of the room suddenly seem to belong to an entirely different genre: flat-out work. So why do English teachers continue to assign students the books they do, and why do students continue to resist them? “I think teachers are forced to [choose certain books],” said Miera Thomas, senior. Junior Becca Von had a different theory. “The books [for class] have some sort of moral,” Von said. “They introduce new, different styles of writing.” The reasoning behind teachers’ book selections lies somewhere in between. All English teachers must choose their reading assignments from a department-approved list of 152 titles; the selection ranges from Shakespeare’s classic “Hamlet” to professional bicyclist Lance Armstrong’s memoir “It’s Not About the Bike.” “The majority of literature teachers choose books that they feel will give students some knowledge base for handling situations they may be presented with as they experience life,” said Mrs. Patti Shockley, who teaches English III and AP Literature. “We teach literature that provides lessons about evil, war, death, racism and many other topics we abhor or loathe because we want our students to be somewhat ready to meet adversity, sadness [and] grief when they are presented with it.” Despite what English teachers see in the novels they assign for class, it can be difficult for students to find the same meaning in their reading. “I don’t see meaning in most of [the books],” said sophomore Lianna Bizer. Reading a book and picking through its characters, themes and devices is a difficult assignment to begin with; it requires intense focus from students who may not be interested in the

16 }

in focus | march 2, 2012

subject or tone of the novel. A common complaint among English students is that the majority of books they are assigned to read are decades, if not centuries, older than them. Besides the obvious differences in the settings of older books, the language is more difficult to understand and the scenarios may be difficult for students to relate to - resulting in the perfect boring storm. Mrs. Shockley acknowledged that many of the books the English department has deemed suitable for high school reading are old. “Many older books are referenced as having literary merit because they have withstood time,” Mrs. Shockley said. “Shakespeare’s plays, as well as numerous other pieces of literature, address the problems, trials and dilemmas that still present themselves in society today, such as obsession with power, ambition, pride, love, conformity, weakness [and] manipulation.” Can students get these same benefits from books they choose themselves? It is no surprise that teenagers prefer to read books that feature main characters close to their own age and interests, but whether these types of books are as valuable to students as “Romeo and Juliet” or “Huckleberry Finn” remains up in the air. English teacher Kelly Briesacher said that any reading is beneficial to students; the difficulty simply lies in motivating them to read - even if they are permitted to choose their own books. “I think students should read at least five books a year ... I know this does not happen,” Mrs. Briesacher said. “It seems that students do read more if they are interested, but just because they get to pick a book in class does not mean that they will read it.” Nevertheless, there are students at school who continue to read on their own, forgoing assigned material in favor of their own picks. Junior Stephanie Rhea, despite having skimmed several books for English class, said that she loves to read. “While reading in class, you are told what to get out of the book, but when you read by yourself, you get your own interpretation of the characters,” Rhea said.

The Order of the Teen Picks Most Commonly Checked Out Books

Favorite Assigned Books

Top Student Readers* *by number of books checked out from the fhc library

Miera Thomas senior

Breanna Martin senior

Becca Von junior

Allison Comfort junior

Courtney Jones sophomore

Lianna Bizer sophomore

Kayleigh Meyer freshman

Raven Jones freshman }17 | in focus

To Kill a Paperback By Ben Sandfort and Kelci Davis staff reporter and visuals executive editor

A question that is approached in this era of technology is, does the feeling of the touch of paper appeal to them more than a touch screen, while reading. When a person opens a book, the pages ruffle and the binding bends. A smell of history and life fill the pages as one flips through them, tracing the pages many others have read. With an E-reader the noises of electronic beeps and music are common ambiance. The sleek design lies lightly in the reader’s hand, allowing them to make highlights, tweet some of the best quotes while reading and download the next book in the series within seconds. The benefits of both weigh in at different ends. E-readers, such as Kindles and Nooks, have more than just books on them. They contain apps, dictionaries and games, while books are just books. “I just like having a large collection of books,” freshman Samantha Nardi said. “With a Nook you

cannot have that. Also, I like worn out books better than new ones, and if a Nook is worn out, it just doesn’t work well.” However, with new technology comes issues with maintence and fragility, as well as price. “With Kindles, if you drop it, it’s most likely broken. With books you can drop them multiple times, soak them in water and possibly run them over with a car before they’re ruined,” sophomore Evan Schaefring said. “If the prices went down, with the e-books themselves that would be an improvement, I wouldn’t buy them if the book itself costs less or even the same price.” The high prices of some of the e-books are not the only downfall of this new phenomena. “The Nook has a serious downside next to all of its positives. When the screen gets scratched, it might be hard to read through the scratches and there’s a possibility that the scratches will turn into cracks, making the screen unusable,” sophomore Brittany Moore said. “And there’s also those times when you really get into the story your reading and the battery

just stops working.” Though there are disadvantages with E-books, there are also some intriguing advantages that attract many avid readers to the modern version of reading. “Books are difficult to read in the dark, especially without another form of light,” junior Ryan Humphrey said. “With Kindles, you can always read in the dark or even in the sunlight. The back light is a useful feature books don’t have, and can’t.” Some people, like Moore, feel they are both equal. Their advantages balance their disadvantageous equally. “They serve the same purpose,” Moore said. “One may be lighter weight, but the purpose is to read and the weight is never that big of a deal.” In the end, the choice between a classic book and a modern e-reader comes down to personal preference. While some chose only one of the two options, others appreciate both for what they bring to reading, and utilize both as they read through stories of romanticized vampires and compete to the death to show the power of the capital.

Where the Quiet Things Are By Jessica Mugler copy manager

As a little boy walks up to the library for the first time, giddy and excited, he has the pleasure of getting his own library card. The librarian behind the desk has the pleasure of giving it to him. In this case, it was junior Madeline Reichmuth who was touched by this boy. “I’ll always remember that experience,” said Reichmuth, who describes this uplifting experience as an example of why she loves her job. Reichmuth works as a library page at the McClay library branch, a benefit of having a mom who works in the General Admissions office. Reichmuth has volunteered at the library since she was in fourth grade and applied for a position when one arrived. “I didn’t think I’d get the job because a lot of people older than me also applied, but I did,” said Reichmuth. Sharing a similar experience as Reichmuth is junior Olivia Gerding, who volunteered at the library for seven years before getting a job at the Spencer Road library branch. Gerding and Reichmuth each work about ten hours a week and earn above minimum wage. “I love [my job]. It’s laid back and everyone knows everyone,” said Gerding. “It’s a great job

for a high-schooler to have.” Gerding and Reichmuth each say that the library has benefited them in many ways and can help students in many ways as well. “It’s helped me learn to be more responsible and I’ve learned a lot about working with the public,” said Gerding. According to Reichmuth, she is asked 20 questions per work day from patrons, or people who come to the library to use its resources. “I learn people skills from working at the library and get curious about the questions people ask me, so I look them up and learn a lot,” said Reichmuth. The library has many resources and programs for students to take advantage of. According to Gerding, students can get ACT and SAT preparation books, take free prep classes, use computers, study in a quiet study area and, of course, check out all kinds of books. “[Students] think we’re all books,” said Gerding. “ We have DVDs, magazines, comics, audiobooks and even Wii games.” Reichmuth agrees with her fellow teen librarian and emphasizes the amount of information the library has to offer. “There are programs that teach you many things, Internet for students to use, as well as a reference desk that you can ask for information

and can even help you use your Kindle or Nook,” said Reichmuth. Both teen librarians see students come into the library everyday, whether it be studying, getting books or getting tutored. However, they still feel that students do not take full advantage of all the library has to offer. “A lot of students don’t realize what a great resource libraries are,” said Gerding. “I really feel the library can benefit everyone.” According to Mrs. Andrea Head, an FHC librarian, English classes have made a big push on silent sustained reading this year, making the number of checkouts substantially higher than last year’s amount. “Silent sustained reading and “The Hunger Games” series has brought in students that wouldn’t normally come in to the library,” said Mrs. Head. However, the librarian still agrees that students do not use the library to its full potential. “There is so much here for resources and databases that would make research for papers so much better and easier for students,” said Mrs. Head. Reichmuth and Gerding both stress that the library is much more than books and encourage students to come to the library more to embrace all the information it offers.

Buy now!

May 1 will be your final day to purchase your copy of the 2011-12 yearbook, Centralized. Stop by room 139 to purchase your copy of the book today.


Reserve your copy of the 2011-12 yearbook at registration. Cost of the book is now $65. Name: _________________________________________ Grade: ____


Cash: ____


All checks must be made payable to FHC Publications

Staff signature: ____________________


advertisements | march 2, 2012

{the scene}

Saying ‘yes’ to the dress Senior Michelle Aiello helps supply prom dresses to underprivileged girls

By Maddie Newton staff reporter


ith prom awaiting and an array of things to pay for, money is tight for many young ladies. For underprivileged girls, there is now a solution. The Cinderella Project is an event held all around St. Louis for students to get inexpensive prom dresses. Senior Michelle Aiello has taken part in this cause to support other girls similar to her. Aiello has struggled with money and last year she heard about this through the

Internet. “Last year I bought a dress from the Cinderella Project and this year I am giving back,” said Aiello. According to one of the managers of the Cinderella Project, Diane Wolferding, there were about 400 girls waiting in line three hours before the store opened last year. After benefiting from this cause last year, Aiello felt that she should help the Cinderella Project by collecting dresses for the organization. “It is a great organization where more people have a better chance of getting a prom dress and they don’t have to worry about it,” said Aiello. “I am collecting any dresses

I can and giving them away to financially burdened girls.” This organization was started after stores were getting calls from local school counselors, throughout the St. Louis area, about underprivileged girls who couldn’t attend prom because of a lack of money. “There wasn’t anyone doing anything like this so we took on the challenge and started the program to see if it would work. We wanted to give girls an affordable way to attend prom. Our focus was on girls who wouldn’t be able to go without this,” Wolferding said. The Cinderella Project provides free dresses for girls who have no money to buy a dress at all and

appointments that have already began. “Pink Saturday” is March 10 which is the opening of the store when dresses go on sale in the upper level of the Mid Rivers mall. “Girls are referred from their school counselors. We have about 50 high school that we help and we get the girls’ hair, makeup and nails done for prom,” Wolferding said. “We went from giving free dresses to 35 girls the first year to 150 girls now. The first year, we just helped girls in St. Charles and Lincoln but now we are open to all of the St. Louis area.” Throughout collecting, the Cinderella Project collects about 2000 dresses ranging from original

prices of $200 to $700 donated from stores and girls throughout St. Louis, like Aiello. When we open the store, any girl can get buy a dress. Anything we have left over after the VIP girls get free dresses, any girl can buy,” Wolferding said. When Aiello became interested in getting involved, she found several ways to get sponsors. “I emailed the Cinderella Project, and I asked for rights to promote the cause, and they allowed it. Now I have been collecting dresses. The National Honor Society has been supporting me, and my mom’s job is offering support as well,” Aiello said. | the scene



“friendly favorites” Music defines the lives of many of us: especially my friends. If my friends were a playlist, this would be it.

by karley canova

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

“Enough” by Disturbed “It pretty much explains all the trials I’ve gone through in my life. I take pretty much everything my talent can give. I’ve gotten stronger, but people seem to ignore it. At the same time, that’s life.” -Omar Olivares

“Something that Reminds You” by Staind “[This song] means something to me because it reflects the act of change, or maybe [change] needed in one’s life, and moving on in life with hope of happiness of the people or memories you may be leaving behind.” -Kelsey Singleton

“Original Pokemon Theme Song” by Billy Crawford “It reminds me of my childhood, and my childhood was filled with happy memories.” -JB Jones

“Tide Begin to Rise” by Demon Hunter


“It kind of emphasizes how I allowed my life to crash down on me and almost end me, despite having sat back and watch things build.” -Austin Ball


“Treasure” by Flyleaf “Because [this song] describes what I hope to have in a relationship; just to be loved for who I am.” -Charlyn Bigler

“My Guardian Angel” by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus “I would give my life just to protect those who I love, even if they don’t care about me.” -Jimmy Smotherman

“Anodyne Sea” by As I Lay Dying “The message in the song speaks the truth to me. The main chorus, “In my convictions I’ve found my own grave,” are true.” -Dalton Luck

“Forget Your Heart” by Silverstein “This song means a lot to me because it just seems to fit my life perfectly. He talks about how he needs to ‘forget his heart,’ which I need to learn how to do. He’s talking about how he ‘confides his life in someone else,’ which I do.” - Abby Jungers

“Someone Like You” by Adele

“When that song comes on, it reminds me of stuff from the past that I’ve had to get over. And it’s just a good song to remind you of things. It reminds me of hard times, but in a good way.” -Lauren Hesseldenz

“Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls “It’s like the song of my life. When I listen to the lyrics, I think, ‘that’s my life, written in stone.’” -Kelsey Colley


the scene | march 2, 2012

By Lizzi Holland the scene editor

With the world wide web spitting out new websites on a daily basis and the homework piling high, it can be hard to keep up with the latest Internet trends; such is the life of the average, busy teen. The up and coming website Pinterest, however, should be moved to the top of the to-do list. With its helpful hints and fresh feel, Pinterest has begun to make its mark on cyberspace. My personal interest about Pinterest grew when I kept seeing the name thrown around on Twitter. I am an avid Twitter stalker Twitter is to me what playgrounds are to kidnappers; I can’t help myself. So, after seeing the name for perhaps the tenth time, I decided that maybe this website was something that I needed to check out. My mission for joining the Pinterest clan had been born. The initial reaction to Pinterest was confusion; the array of photos and comments were a tad overwhelming to a Pinterest ‘noob.’ Yet, the ultimate cause of confusion was the fact that I was not allowed to merely create an account. Oh

no, instead of that easy route, you have to “request an invite” from the Pinterest team. When I realized this, I was upset to say the least. I cannot help but think that any website that requires permission can’t be worth my time. I have a slight problem with authoritative figures, yet I dredged on, waiting to understand the wow-factor that makes Pinterest so great.I was actually pleasantly surprised when I started to peruse the website, for I hadn’t really known what kind of thing I was in for. The more I saw, the more I genuinely liked the site. Pinterest is sort of a mix between Tumblr and Facebook, with a twist. The main purpose behind Pinterest is to electronically pin photos to your various “bulletin boards.” Now, I realize that putting things that way, the website sounds fairly dull. I realize this. But, the more you look around the more into it you get. There are various categories you can sift through and upon doing this you can find surprisingly helpful things. There are countless recipes and hairstyles and makeup ideas and another million

gigabytes of images. Pinterest is like a helpful Tumblr because you’re not just ‘re-pinning’ random, witty photos or memes, you’re finding actual tips for life problems. For example, in the 15 minutes I was exploring I found three different boards centered around organization ideas. Needless to say, I was impressed. Pinterest has honestly become my goto website for recipe, hair or decorating ideas because these ideas aren’t just limited to the picture that they come with. My favorite part about Pinterest is that the photos link to websites featuring what you wanted to know about. It’s like the homemakers’ better Google search. Now, I’d be lying if I said that Pinterest isn’t more geared towards girls, but I feel like there are still things that guys could appreciate. Also, you don’t need to make an account to browse around - the perfect thing for someone who doesn’t want to have to commit to a new site. Pinterest is a website with growing popularity - and I finally understand why.



The skyrocketing popularity of funny Twitter accounts has become a full-blown internet phenomenon. Also known as “phweet” accounts, these accounts tailor to a specific audience, tweeting up to hundreds of times a day. The Central Focus has rated 22 parody Twitter accounts based on their quality and popularity.


dear girls above me

the dark lord



first world problems

professor snape





hipster mermaid @hipstermermaid @FHCtoday

texts from last night

sockamillion the cat



uberfacts @uberfacts

soccer girl problems

men’s humor





to the kids who...

post secret



MAINSTREAM UNIQUE women’s humor @womenshumor

white girl problems @whitegrlproblem

fake will ferrell @fillwerell

princess problems @princessprobz

fake lil’ wayne

all lil’ wayne accounts

high school problems @highskoolprobs


all horoscope accounts

GRADE F | the scene


Chocolate milk

Milk: My mother always told me that, to grow up and be a big boy with strong bones, I had to drink my milk. I never minded. Cereal was the staple of my diet for years and, on occasion, I took to adding Hershey’s chocolate syrup (as a weekly treat) to a tall cool glass of two percent. Combining the best of both worlds.

"I drink chocolate milk because it's delicious and a healthier choice than soda. Plus, I always drink it with a swirly crazy straw, something about it makes it taste ten times better."

­— Jeff Connor, sophomore

Tea Tea: Perhaps the most sophisticated drink of them all, antioxidized tea can provide energy; prevent cancer, heart disease and stroke; nourish your bones, cleanse the body, clean your teeth (if you drink it unsweetened) and likewise stain them if you’re an Englishman. What more could you ask for?

“It can fix, virtually, any problem. Whether it be; drowsiness, too much energy, sore throats, headaches or just to gain an extra dosage of nutrients. In addition, tea tastes really good. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cup of tea that tasted bad.”

— Becca Von, junior

By Sean Gundersen staff reporter From day to day, beverages are the most important thing in my diet. Whether it’s an ice water with lemon to compliment a burger and fries, or a meal-worthy Naked Juice for lunch, my taste buds are very particular in what they want throughout the day.


the scene | march 2, 2012

"The fruit juices I drink provide not only a serving a fruit but veggies as well. I see fruit juice as the tasty and healthy drink that's perfect for me."


— Devin Chen, sophomore

Fruit juice Fruit Juice: Whenever I fly, I either order an orange or cranberry juice. I would not have it any other way. Much like tea, fruit juice contains antioxidants and minerals in addition to a wealth of nutrients and vitamins. In certain cases, 100% fruit juice in drinks like ‘Naked’ can be substituted for entire meals providing a well rounded and nutrient dense alternative.

Starbucks, among others, have industrialized coffee, flavoring and sweetening it to suit the tastes of a much wider crowd than the per usual aged and esteemed drinker of days past. Coffeehouses are becoming more and more popular as time goes on, and the culture of a coffeehouse life is becoming more and more appealing. Without coffee, some days are unconquerable; with coffee, anything is possible.

"I love to drink wild blueberry coffee, because it taste like an amazingly warm blueberry muffin in your mouth and it just makes you happy when you drink it!"

— Jocelyn Thro, sophomore

Energy drinks No matter what the five-hour energy commercials tell us, as teenagers, we often succumb to the sweet, and often quite unhealthy, enhancements of the various energy drinks available in today’s day and age. Whether it’s Monster, Rockstar, Rooster Booster, Jolt, Nos, or Viper, the choice is yours.

Monster is obviously the best drink out there, it keeps you awake better than coffee and it can only harm you if you drink it on a daily basis like any other caffeinated drink.

— Christa Huelskamp, junior

Energy drinks don't give me super powers or anything, but they do help me stay awake in class and in the workplace.

— Aaron Boyle, senior

Water The most natural beverage available, and my personal drink of choice, is water. It falls from the sky, flows in rivers and streams and ultimately makes up 71 percent of the earth. The St. Louis area ranks ninth in terms of cleanest water in America, so why not take advantage of its pristine taste? Cutting the cost and caloric content of other drinks out of your diet and replacing them with water is a great decision both for your wallet and for your overall well-being.

I decided that the sugar from soda was adding a ton of extra calories that I didn’t necessarily need, and now water tastes better to me than any soda ever could. I’ll drink it with my pizza, mac’n cheese, and sushi. Those are my calories of choice.

— Anna Gingrich, senior | the scene


Spring into your break

Students share their bucket lists for over break By Caitlan Good staff reporter

Junior Benjamin Patty plans on going to visit his top college choices, UCM, UMSL, and Mizzou over spring break.

Seniors Bradley Goldman and Charlie Goranitis will each be taking their first road trips without their parents. They will each be going to Chicago with their separate groups of friends.

Senior Claire Henderson will be going to Haiti for her second mission trip this year. “I’m in love with those girls,” said Henderson “I cannot wait to be back.” Sophomore Madaline Edwards is going on a family vacation to the Gulf Shores.


Senior Michael Barbara is going on a vacation, to Colorado, with his Grandfather. “My grandfather is awesome,” said Barbara. “We’re going skiing together. It’s going to be so much fun.”

12 oz. Blizzard Treat

When you purchase any 12 oz. or larger Blizzard Treat at regular price


the scene | march 2, 2012

1015 St. Peters Howell Rd., St. Peters, Mo. 63376 636.397.0501

Senior Zachary Lund plans to make a movie, called “Them Kids,” over the next few weeks and do the final editing over the break.

{be heard}


et me start by saying I’m not one to use the bathroom at school in excess, but when I do, I’d like to flush myself down the toilet like in Harry Potter. Let’s start in the stall, where most of the dirty deeds take place. For some reasons, By Ellen Hinze multimedia executive some prissy chicks think it’s editor acceptable to hover over the toilet so their bare buns don’t touch the porcelain throne. Cool. So when I walk in to this stall, I can’t use it because you have defiled the seat with your bodily fluids. From here, I potty dance to the next stall and find a john covered from handle to floor in toilet paper. The unbreakable force field that allows you to sit without getting a single germ on your tushy whatsoever. If this is how you urinate, fine by me, but sweet Jesus, clean up after yourself. Then, still trying to empty my bladder, I go to the next stall. CSI has been there. Finally, I find an acceptable stall. The scribbles saying, “I love Johnny B.,” etc. are probably my favorite pieces of literature in the

world. I mean, most people read the paper when they go to the bathroom, but I have to say that I would much rather prefer to read the improperly grammared, profanity-filled bathrooms than any other reading material out there. Because I care about your problems and love life. After my moment of solitude, I of course need to wash my hands. Seven girls, with their purses in the sink and their hands to their faces and applying makeup. Seriously? I mean, I don’t mind at all if you want to look like Snooki and have an orange face and raccoon eyes, but don’t do it when there are people waiting to wash their hands. If you are really that concerned about the way you look, buy a mask. After annoying the make-up appliers by asking politely to wash my hands, I go retrieve my books, or at least try to. Despite the fact that I love helping people, I cannot understand why the shelf is not an acceptable place to put your school supplies. So next time, plant your buns and take a chill pill. Next time, wipe your excess pee off the seat. Next time, flush the darn toilet. Next time, put products that shouldn’t be flushed in the bin. Next time, use your own pocket-sized mirror. | be heard




high school relationships


Effort lacked in making bonds I am in love with romance. Not the “romance” you see in schools today — you know, couples making out in the hallway, girls claiming to be in love after one week — but pure, genuine love. People always claim that high school relationships last beyond By Margaret never graduation, but I think Borgmeyer they’re wrong. Maybe I’m old be heard editor fashioned; maybe I have let all the sappy movies get to me; maybe love can’t last. On the other hand, maybe it’s not that teenagers are too young to “understand” love, it’s that teenager’s are too lazy to “understand” love. High school relationships are killed by laziness. Teenager’s aren’t motivated enough to put effort into anything more than a text message. Relationships take work; a relationship can last


be heard | march 2, 2012

as long as two people are willing to put in effort. acceptable for lying and cheating to take place Parents and adults put in a relationship. so much focus on failing Values have changed relationships that they so much so that many “High school completely look over the relationships are based on relationships are killed lust, not love. relationships that succeed. We are taught from birth that by laziness. Teenager’s Too many couples break up teenage love only happens in because of cheating; too many aren’t motivated the movies. couples break up because enough to put effort If it were true that they cannot trust each other. into anything more relationships couldn’t last, Few teenagers hold on to the than a text message. values that make up a good then my grandparent’s Relationships take wouldn’t have spent 48 years relationship; but there is a rare together. I know, I know; it couple that is together for the work; a relationship was a different time. Back can last as long as two right reasons. If a relationship then values were different; is based on the right things, people are willing to finding love early in life was a you will want to make it work, put in effort.” priority. you will fight to make it work. I desperately wish we could Be with someone because return to that time, when boys did not wear they make you happy, be with someone their pants below their butt, when girls dressed because they make you a better person, be modestly rather than slutty and when it was not with someone because you want to be.

Teenagers are overwhelmed by relationships From friends to dating material, relationships b e t w e e n high school students are simply the most overcomplicated monster ever. Making goo By Karley - goo eyes at Canova staff reporter each other in the hallway and sucking off each other’s face in public is what high school relationships look like (which, by the way, is disgusting - thanks). I honestly believe that high school relationships can last. I also believe that high school relationships can be too much for some people to handle. But then again, I suppose it

Ditching teenage

stereotypes the box


depends on what you’re aiming for. If you’re both super happy, everything you like jumping from one person to is so cute and perfect, and you have another within weeks, good for you; never had a fight. Honestly, if you you’ve gotten never disagree in the what you want. long term, there’s However, dating, something wrong. “I honestly believe in my opinion, is You probably don’t that high school to learn a person’s communicate at all, relationships can last. so neither of your character and I also believe that high opinions clash. You help you decide what it is that you just talk with your school relationships want in a “soul goo - goo eyes. can be too much mate.” I’ve heard people for some people to Now that those say “we’re different,” handle.” words have come and then break up up, I’m going to soon after. Yeah, put this out there yeah, I know. Your - you don’t know a person is your love is really pure and you’re going soul mate after a couple weeks of to get married and you even have dating. You’re in what’s called the the names for kids picked out - after “honeymoon” phase, which is where a month. Look, that’s not realistic.

High school students are always being told to give up on friendships and relationships because, “It’s not worth it,” and you wont be friends with them or be going out with that person after high school. The stereo-typical response towards high By Mary school students who say Niebur they’re getting married staff reporter either in high school or right out of high school is, “It’s not going to work,” or, “Don’t do it, you’ll ruin your life.” I’ve seen marriages work and fail right out of high school; the things that differentiated between the two marriages are maturity and

Making sure, again, that you both are stable and actually feel what you think you’re feeling before you act is a great idea. Most of the time you’re thinking off of emotion and arousal rather than logic. And then when you break up, it’s kind of a pathetic thing to see a person cry and complain for a week then hook up with someone else. Hook up, break up, cry, repeat. If you’re going to get that emotionally attached to someone, please - for your sake, theirs and even your friends - have respect for yourself and determine whether or not it’s really what you want. On that note, I’d like to point out that I know not everyone is like this, and no one handles a relationship perfectly. But there is such a thing as handling it logically.

popularity. them. The thing I’ve noticed is that the people People who are together because they are who are more “popular” seem to be in the truly happy with each other aren’t usually relationship more for the named, “Cutest couple of label. They’re so used the year,” but that doesn’t “I’ve seen marriages to being with a person, mean they’re not meant to and having the status of be together. These couples work and fail right being with that person, usually understand what out of high school; they feel they can’t do they’re doing; they usually the things that any better. have a plan to go to college differentiated between and start a career before The truth is, all of the two marriages that goes out the they start a family. window after high These couples do it right — are maturity and school. Teenagers don’t even if the odds are against popularity.” necessarily mature up them. This is because of enough to realize they their level of maturity; they don’t need to keep labels; they can be with understand how a good relationship, a someone just because they’re happy with good marriage, is supposed to work.

spring break

epic slam

lack of snow day

Two weeks of fun in the sun and most importantly no school is just what the doctor ordered for both the students and teachers at Central.

Snaps for the slam poetry done by the Culture Diversity Club. Washington University’s slam poets entertained FHC students and faculty on Feb. 24 during sixth and seventh hour.

Barring a biblical flood, it seems as if we will not have any more unscheduled days off school after this frankly disappoint winter season.

iPad 3

j.k. rowling

oscar, the grouch

The first large scale release since the tragic passing of icon Steve Jobs is dressed to impress with Apple introducing the new tablet on Wednesday.

After a five-year hiatus, J.K. Rowling is finally writing a new novel. even though Potter’s time has ended it should be nice to pick up fresh with a new novel from.

The Harry Potter series has accumulated 12 Oscar nominations over its 10 year run, but has always come home empty handed.


LOVE LIKE LEAVE | be heard


staffeditorial The novel approach Students push teachers to think of more compelling ways to introduce novels in the classroom


teacher hands out ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ to a tired, lifeless class. He takes down book numbers, describes the plot of the book and then is faced with a decision. He can either make his students fall in love with this book, or make them despise it. When reading an assigned book, students already think the book is going to be awful. Teachers typically go wrong when they say, “All right, read four chapters tonight, answer 20 questions and have comments ready for in-class discussion tomorrow.” After the 20 questions, most students are already dreading the book. Students do not like limits. They will spend hours reading Tweets and Facebook statuses, but as soon as they are told they need to have pages 30-90 read by tomorrow, they mentally check out. Teachers seem to think that students cannot handle the freedom of not having nightly, assigned reading. The typical student could succeed much further with a set of guidelines rather than rules. If a teacher were to hand out a book and say, “You have all week to finish up to chapter five,” students would be more likely to actually read up to chapter five. It’s this whole mindset of rebellion that teenagers have. Teenagers are wired to want to do most anything but what they are supposed to do. Tell them to read, they will wait until the last minute. Tell them to clean their room, they will shove everything into the back of their closet. Teachers have to go out of their way to draw students into a book. Simply handing out a book and telling students to read will not suffice. Group discussion will not help


be heard | march 2, 2012

either. Some teachers seem to think that by discussing a book in class and requiring participation for credit will force students into being interested. Our teachers think we are lazy. Our teachers think we hate reading. Our teachers are wrong. We are addicted to reading Maybe not from books, but from phones and computers. In the library, students show extreme interest when a librarian shows the mock-trailer made about a book. When a student is drawn into a book from other forms of media, they want to pick up the book. Teachers, next time introduce a book with a video, with a skit, with a playlist that could serve as the book’s soundtrack if it were a movie. This same freshness should be applied to the assignments that go along with a book. Getting students excited for a book, then continuing with the same mundane assignments is like seeing an awesome movie trailer, then going to the theaters to find the movie sucks. Teachers have to realize that there are alternate options to assigning questions every night. A teacher needs to stimulate the right side of their students brain. Instead of having students write out long answers, have them draw their answers or even rap their answers. When given the opportunity, teenagers will be creative; but having answer questions paragraph style does not allow for much creativity. Teachers, you have to realize that we want to like what we read. We do not want to walk into our English class every day and be bored out of our minds. So, pull us into a book; get us addicted to the story. When reading is our choice, we cannot stop.

go to go to check out to see student twitter posts and a story go to go to if you used the hashtag go to go to go to one of your tweets may have been go to used to help tell how the girls and go to boys basketball’s journey progressed go to go to LAST WEEK’S POLL WINNER:

Did you miss out on basketball?


Do you think the school’s filter is effective?

33.3% > Yes, but it blocks sites it should not

if you don’t care for reading, go to the aperture section of to see galleries from the games.

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Francis Howell Central High School 5199 Highway N St. Charles, Mo., 63304 Phone: 636.851.5636 Fax: 636.851.41

Alli Keisker - Print Executive Editor Kelci Davis - Visuals Executive Editor Ellen Hinze - Multimedia Executive Editor Blake Beck - Delve Editor Matt Lundberg - Sweat Editor Lizzi Holland - The Scene Editor Margaret Borgmeyer - Be Heard Editor Maddie Wilson - Design Editor Sean Gundersen - Communications Editor Sean Carroll - iFocus Editor Karley Canova - Reporter Allison Comfort - Reporter Caitlan Good - Reporter

Cody Jones - Reporter Ben Morrison - Reporter Jessica Mugler - Reporter Maddie Newton - Reporter Mary Niebur - Reporter Ben Sandfort - Reporter Drew Anderson - Photographer Alyssa Beckering - Photographer Matt Cochran - Photographer Jerianne Harrison - Photographer Elise Thomas - Photographer Savannah McEachern - Photographer Matthew Schott - Adviser

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the central focus, along with, are student run publications which look to serve the francis howell central community through relevent, realiable journalism. the newsmagazine is meant to be have analytical outlook on topics and stories which matter to our readers. we are always looking to improve, and feedback is always appreciated. | interact


Central Focus March 2012  
Central Focus March 2012  

Volume 15 Issue 7