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focus central { } francis howell central high school | volume seventeen | issue one | 9.13.2013

Reality checks in Normandy transfer students settle in to everyday routine Page 14 T h i s w eek on follow @FHCpublications

rivals meet

The boys soccer team traveled down Highway 94 to take on archrival Howell on Wednesday. Find out how they did in Sweat.

marching forward The Spartan Regiment travels to its first competition this weekend. Find out how they prepared for it in The Scene.


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

FOUR {Mr. Iwaszkowiec} After working here for three years as both a favorite student teacher and substitute teacher, Mr. I landed a fulltime teaching job.

SIX {high scores} The 2012-13 school year was one of the best-ever for AP test scores. Find out why FHC did so well last year and how you can excel this year.

TWELVE {not standing still}

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justin andrews

Trying practices and a recent spate of injuries have slowed the cross country team, but depth from a strong freshman class has lessened the impact of injured upperclassmen.

TWENTY-FOUR {theatre} The Spotlight Players have revealed their slate of productions for the year; check this story out to see what they’ll be bringing to the stage in 2013-14.

TWENTY-EIGHT {homework} netflix

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homecoming

opening shots | september 13, 2013

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Kennedy Meyer explains how students are overloaded with homework as the new school year is beginning.


{delve} By Erica Swanson

photo by kelci davis

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Rallying for a special Spartan Students, staff create cards, send tweets for unique former staff member

file photo by kelci davis

Harold Meyer and Gregory Lowery sweep up a hall together. Harold served on theduring custotheFHC. 2009He school dial staff for and Greg year.worked They were Lowery, above together on the same team for two years where Harold for two years, always made sure everyone was always making entertained. sure to have fun.

staff reporter

he thoughtful cards circulating through the building and the retweets across schoool are some of the efforts students, faculty, and members of the community are taking to show their support for a very special Spartan. This special man is Harold Meyer, known by faculty and students alike as simply, Harold. Harold gave his support to the school through a variety of means from attending games for a multitude of sports to helping students. He served as part of the custodial staff before retiring in 2010. The news of Harold’s illness came to the forefront when, in late July, a letter was sent out explaining that Harold was diagnosed with kidney cancer in January and the cancer had spread, making him very ill. It included his address for anyone interested in sending a card to him. After hearing the news via Twitter, senior Breanna O’Neal decided to start a card for him. “He made a really big impact on our school and I just thought it would be very kind if we could do something to impact how he was feeling and doing and hopefully just make him feel a little more at [ease],” O’Neal said. According to O’Neal, the special attribute that set Harold apart was his genuine friendliness towards everyone in our school. “No matter if he knew you or not, he would always say hi to you, and he was just one of those people that no matter what was going on in his life, he always had a smile on his face,” O’Neal said. This smile extended from the actual school setting to out of school games. Senior Karrin Nettles, a hockey cheerleader, echoes the feelings of O’Neal. “He was very supportive of the hockey program and hockey cheer program, coming to every game and making an effort to show support and cheer us on,” Nettles said. No matter where the games were, Harold was there. “If it was a game that was far away, he would drive out there, even when we went to places as far as Afton,” Nettles said. Custodian and former co-worker, Mr. Greg Lowery shares the same thoughts of the two seniors and also loved Harold’s good sense of humor. “Harold was very, very caring and a really kind soul towards about everyone and was genuinely concerned about the children and the staff,” Lowery said. “ And most of all funny. Always trying to make sure everyone was entertained.” Lowery’s favorite attribute of Harold was his stories. “He always had very unique stories at least once a day,” Lowery said. “For the two years I worked with Harold, it was Tom Burrows and I. And we were a very good team. Harold always made sure we would have fun.”

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Back with class

After nearly five years of substitute teaching, Mr. Jon Iwaszkowiec is hired full-time By Brayden Densmore staff reporter

Upon coming back to school this year, students were greeted with unfamiliar faces among the staff in nearly every educational department at FHC. However, not all of these teachers are new to our school. Mr. Jon Iwaszkowiec, popularly known as Mr. I, was hired as an American History teacher this year. Mr. I may be a new full-time teacher, but he is definitely not new to teaching. When the current students of the senior class were just dipping their toes in as freshman, Mr. I was just testing the waters as a teacher. But before he stumbled upon teaching, Mr. I was employed under a wide array of unique jobs. Fresh out of Mizzou with a bachelor’s degree in history in one hand and a suitcase in the other, Mr. I shipped off to the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to work as a

beach lifeguard. Once back in the states, Mr. I worked as a water park manager and later as a bookstore manager at Borders. It was after working at Borders for eight years that he was introduced to teaching through Ms. Lisa Niswonger, psychology and history teacher at FHC. “Ms. Niswonger was my employee at Borders; we had worked together for about eight years at that point. She knew that I was looking for a new job, so she offered for me to be a long term substitute for Ms. Becky Dulle while she was on maternity leave. I filled in for the whole first quarter of that year, teaching American History and American Government,” Mr. I said. According to Mr.I, this experience sparked a new found interest. “I think what I really liked about teaching is that it’s different everyday; it’s never the same. It’s an ever-changing variable; you

“I think what I really liked about teaching is that it’s different everyday; it’s never the same. It’s an everchanging variable, you never know what you are going to get with your students.” Mr. Jon Iwaszkowiec {social studies teacher

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never know what you are going to get with your students,” Mr. I said. Before long, Mr. I was out of school once more, but this time with a Master’s degree in education from Lindenwood University and four years of substitute teaching under his belt, some of which he did at FHC. “I have had Mr. I as a substitute teacher in English. He was always so funny and really connected well with the class in his teachings. He made what I thought was a boring class into a much more interesting and energetic class. He is by far the best substitute teacher I’ve ever had at Central,” senior Katlyn Artz said. Mr. I also scored a job at Francis Howell. During an average day, Mr. I drives down Highway 94 to to teach the first two periods at Francis Howell and, during third period, bolts back up Highway 94 to finish the day off with teaching periods four through

seven at FHC. It’s quite the commute, but, because of his motivation and passion for teaching, Mr. I says he is content with it. At first, after substituting for Ms. Dulle, Mr. I said he was attracted to teaching because of the variability of the job, but now, having met so many students at FHC, he says he is now motivated by another aspect of teaching. “I really like talking to the students and interacting with them,” Mr. I said. “I like the whole process of going through the year getting to know the students while teaching them the subject I love. It’s cool that I get to meet the students as freshmen and see them grow up and mature, like I get to do this year with the seniors who I taught when I substituted for Ms. Dulle their freshman year. I like building a relationship with my students. That’s ultimately my favorite aspect of teaching.”


Students receive new online option for two AP classes By Katelyn Viola

Mr. Jon Iwaszkowiec helps freshman Monta Melvin with his class work. Mr. Jon Iwaszkowiec used to substitute part-time, but now he is a full teacher.

photo by Dohen Gallagher

staff reporter

While registering for this school year’s classes, students were offered a new opportunity. For the first time, FHC is offering two online classes from which students have the chance to receive college credit. Some students, such as senior Brenden Terrell and senior Scott Burton, look at this opportunity as something they can especially benefit from. Other students, such as senior Dana Channell, decided it would be too much to handle since they didn’t have any background knowledge on the subject. The classes are AP Environmental Science and AP Computer Science. AP stands for advanced placement. There is a three hour advanced placement exam offered at the end of the year, just like an AP class in a classroom. Depending on the college, if the student gets a certain score on the exam, they can receive college credit for their time taking the class in high school. All the assignments and tests are online. Once a student has completed a task, a designated online educator grades it. The online class is mostly self taught, but if they have a particular question, they can contact the educator right there on the website. Students are free to work at their own pace. “Students should set up a personal schedule. They should be interested in the subject matter and self motivated. People can easily get distracted when on a computer,” Dr. Joyce Gang, the assistant administrator of the program, said. A few three-dimensional items come with the online courses. To accompany the AP Environmental Science class, a box of materials meant for individual labs are included. These labs can be done in the student’s home kitchen. To assist the AP Computer Science class, a book and a couple of materials are provided. This year, there are eight seniors taking the AP Computer Science class while there are four seniors and one junior taking the AP Environmental Science class. These students still have to stay at school full time unless they are in the work program. The work program gives the option to leave school early or come to school late. If they are not in the program, they are still free to take study halls to

ease down their schedules. Senior Brenden Terrell is participating in the AP Computer Science class this year. “I’ve been doing a little each day. I want to get it done as quickly as possible. I want to speed it up because I hope to get through the course within a month. The class is harder online than in a classroom, but it’s more accessible,” said Terrell. “I can do it quickly and effectively.” While Terrell appreciates the option of the online class, he’s glad he still has the classroom atmosphere for the rest of his classes. “I rather have a balance of classrooms and online classes. It depends on the class. I like the social aspect, meeting with my peers, and discussing work. Different classes are harder without a teacher. I rather take this one online because it has readily available resources,” Terrell said. Terrell isn’t just taking the class for the college credit. He wants to know and learn the material. “I’m pretty motivated because this is the field I want to go into. I want to be a computer technician or a programmer,” Terrell said. Burton is also taking AP Computer Science, because he wants to be a computer science programmer. “I probably spend 30 minutes a day on the class. It’s easier online. You can work at your own pace and it’s still easy to contact the teacher if you have any issues,” Burton said. “I would rather take more online classes and knock it out of the park quickly. I wouldn’t have to wait for the lesson to be taught. I could teach myself.” Channell, on the other hand, decided to drop AP Computer Science on Aug. 21. She didn’t know the coding, so she chose to stop before the deadline to drop classes approached. “The actual online class said you need prior knowledge of computer programming languages,” Channell said. When registering classes for next year, anyone wanting to know more about the AP online classes can contact Mr. Lucas Lammers, the head administrator of the program, in the attendance office. Or they can contact Dr. Joyce Gang, the assistant administrator of the program, in the guidance office.

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Bailey’s unique daily commute New guidance counselor pedals his way to Cottleville By Emily Klohr Most people dread their commute to work every day. Mr. Dustin Bailey is the exception to this rule. When the weather is nice, Mr. Bailey starts out the day with a five mile bike ride to FHC. “Life is busy, which prevents me from having time to exercise. Riding my bike allows me to get exercise to and from work. It’s also a nice way to wake up because I like being outside,” said Mr. Bailey. Riding his bike allows Mr. Bailey to get exercise, as well as save money on gas. “I just decided one day that I would like to ride my bike to work. I wasn’t able to do it at my last job, because it was 30 miles away from my house. It only takes five miles to get here, so I thought I’d try it,” said Mr. Bailey. Mrs. Kellie Voyles, the dean of students, drives by Mr. Bailey everyday on her way to work. “I think its great that Mr. Bailey rides his bike! He is getting exercise, saving gas money, and enjoying the weather,” said Mrs. Voyles. Despite his daily use of the bike, it actually doesn’t belong to him. He borrows it from a friend who’s really into road biking. It’s from the late 90s, from when he was on a racing team. “My wife said I should probably buy the bike from him if I’m going to continue riding it so often, so it might be mine at some point,” said Mr. Bailey. This is Mr. Bailey’s first year at FHC. He works as a counselor and the A+ advisor. As A+ advisor, Mr. Bailey arranges tutoring assignments for students and makes sure A+ members are meeting their requirements. “I love the contact with students who are engaged in school and trying to figure out what they want for their lives. I like helping students find ways to make college work for their future, and A+ can be a huge help with that,” said Mr. Bailey. Mr. Bailey grew up in Canada, but became a citizen of the US about three years ago. His wife is from St. Louis, and he decided to move after meeting her at a one-year Bible school in Germany. In order to keep in touch with his family in Canada, Mr. Bailey keeps a blog. “We only see them about once a year, so this is a good way to keep up with everything,” said Mr. Bailey. Before coming to FHC, Mr. Bailey was a counselor for six years at Hazelwood Southeast Middle School. “I decided to start working at FHC because I wanted to work in a great high school, and especially at a school close to home. I love being able to ride my bike to work,” said Mr. Bailey.

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photos by dohen gallagher

Staff Reporter

As his main mode of transportation rests in his office, guidance counselor Dustin Bailey checks up on his caseload of students. On days when the weather cooperates, Mr. Bailey rides his bicycle to school.


Conquering the AP tests By Emily Herd Staff Reporter

Every year, the strenuous AP tests cause students to study relentlessly and teachers to prepare their classes to succeed on the test. From the beginning of the school year to the day before testing, teachers prepare and equip their students for the AP tests. Between hours of studying and months of preparation, their hard work finally pays off. Over the past five years, FHC has triumphed over the AP test scores compared to other schools in the district. In 2013, Central had 70 percent of its AP students pass their test; Howell North only had 60 percent of their AP students pass. From 2009-2013, the percentage of scores over 3 on the AP tests has fluctuated at Central, but overall the data has stayed consistent. These proficient scores are not just accomplished by the students that take the exams, but also by the teachers that support and encourage their students to help them grow academically. Teachers like AP Language and Literature teacher Laurie Fay are passionate about preparing and strengthening their students in order to help them thrive on the AP exams. “I start right away with multiple choice quizzes…and timed writes that will happen very frequently in order to ensure that the stress level is nonexistent by the time the test comes around and that they are overly

prepared for what the test entails,” said Ms. Fay. With the new school year already in progress, Principal Sonny Arnel is confident that our scores will continue to climb each year, and so will the number of AP students. “Based on our history I hope they will increase,” said Dr. Arnel. “I think if you look at the data from the last seven years we’ve maintained approximately the same score of three or better and so have the number of students.” Not only have test scores soared, but so have the number of students taking AP classes. In 2009, Central had 90 students enrolled in AP courses and had 179 exams taken; last year, FHC had 226 AP students and 483 AP exams taken. This climax in students and tests is a praise, but also is a concern for some teachers like Ms. Fay who are anxious about students being unprepared for the challenges of AP courses. Although the rising number of students may affect test scores, Dr. Arnel strongly disagrees and assures that no matter how many students take AP classes, the scores will be generally consistent. He heartily affirms that by the support of our teachers, students will be challenged, but ultimately will succeed. “I’m also proud of our teachers that they do all they can to ensure that when students get into AP courses they are supported and stretched,” said Dr. Arnel. “If we did nothing to encourage our students, our scores would plummet.”

Source: The College Board

FHC’s AP test scores over the course of five years

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Students go extra mile for engineering class By Simran Kooner staff reporter

Francis Howell Central has one thing that Francis Howell High School does not: Engineering Design & Development. Engineering Design & Development, more commonly known as EDD, is the final of four pre-engineering courses offered in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum. Students typically take Intro to Engineering Design as freshmen, Principles of Engineering as sophomores, Digital Electronics as juniors, and Engineering Development & Design as seniors. The EDD class, taught by Mr. Don Barnes, helps prepare students for the real world with hands-on learning experiences and provides them with a vast amount of knowledge in a variety of areas from project planning to building design. Due to low enrollment numbers, EDD is not offered at Francis Howell this year. As a result, the four Francis Howell High School seniors interested in taking the course have

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been coming to Mr. Barnes’ class on a daily basis. Senior Lewis Amos is one of four Francis Howell High School students currently taking EDD at FHC. Amos has been taking all four pre-engineering courses during high school to prepare for a future career in engineering. “The majority of us are taking these classes because we want to study engineering in college,” said Amos. “We’ll have to do this one day so might as well do it now.” Personal transportation is a requirement for all Howell students who wish to take EDD. Since the beginning of the school year, students from Howell have been driving themselves to FHC every morning to attend the first hour Engineering class. Another one of the four FHHS seniors, Corey Stephan, believes coming to FHC for an hour a day to take EDD is well worth the drive. “Second hour is our traveling period,” said Stephan. “This gives us more than enough time to get back to school for the remainder of our classes.”

Howell students taking EDD may eat breakfast or run errands during their second hour traveling period as long as they make it back to their school on time for third hour. Although having second hour off is convenient for FHHS engineering students, it could also pose potential difficulties during EOCs. During some of the days of block scheduling, students only attend hours 1, 3, 5, and 7. “Going directly from first to third hour essentially eliminates the transition period that we normally have,” Stephan said. The absence of second hour could have potentially been a problem for Howell engineering students in the future, but these students have already talked to administrative staff at FHHS about the issue. The four seniors taking EDD at FHC will most likely receive a pass for their third hour class during 1, 3, 5, 7 block scheduling days. The 2013-2014 seniors currently enrolled in EDD are the first group of students in the district to complete all four courses in the

pre-engineering PLTW program. At the start of this program, there were not very many freshmen enrolled in engineering which explains the low numbers this year. Due to numbers, a similar situation has occurred with students interested in taking Digital Electronics, the third course in the pre-engineering program. One FHC junior has been traveling to FHHS during 7th hour for the Digital Electronics class every day. Originally, there were two juniors who signed up to take Digital Electronics, but one of them decided not to continue the pre-engineering program upon learning that he would have to travel to FHHS for an hour each day in order to do so. Mr. Barnes is hoping that this issue will be resolved by the following school year. “The main thing that this situation is doing is preventing students who initially wanted to take the course from taking it due to transportation issues,” said Mr. Barnes. “The next group will be larger, so we hope that there will be an EDD class at Howell next year.”


{sweat} Andrews' DivisionI Admirers

Southeast Missouri State University Overall Home Away Neutral 3-8 2-3 1-5 0-0

Coming in hot Illinois State University Overall Home Away Neutral 6-5 3-2 3-3 0-0

Justin Andrews brings excitement to the gridiron for this year’s Spartans

By Alex Buhse staff reporter

Southern Illinois University Carbondale Overall Home Away Neutral 3-8 2-4 1-4 0-0

Andrews’ Achievements 5 interceptions 30 tackles 1 fumble recovery 240 r e c e i v i n g yards

4 touchdowns

Leaving a familiar place just to enter an unrecognizable one can be intimidating. With new people and new places, it can feel like being an outsider, looking in on a totally different world. But for senior Justin Andrews, that’s not even remotely the case; in fact, the exact opposite has taken place for him. Following his transfer from Normandy to FHC, Andrews took refuge in what he knew best: football. Almost immediately after entering the Spartan football program, Andrews immersed himself into a niche of respect and friendship amongst fellow football players. The shift from Normandy’s team to the Spartan football team was effortless. In the eyes of Andrews, the transition couldn’t have been smoother. “It’s been cool getting to

know everybody, getting to play with the guys, getting to catch passes from Brody [Allen],” said Andrews. “It felt like the same thing, athletic-wise; we all just want to win.” Along with the successful transition into a new group of friends, the shift from team to team has proven to be just as painless. To Andrews, the focus and coaching techniques of both his previous and his current team are one and the same. “It’s the same: spread, offense, passing the ball, quick, fast, up tempo, upbeat things,” said Andrews. “It’s the same, nothing changed at all.” As far as the team goes, Andrews’ arrival has caused much excitement amongst players and coaches alike. Being a player who’s already gained attention from Division-I football universities such as Southeast Missouri State and

Western Illinois State, it’s no wonder why. His addition to the team’s offense has added an advantage which will help the team achieve many victories for the season. Providing the team with another wide receiver for the offense, Andrews’ addition to the team serves not only to give the team’s quarterback another key player to throw to, but also to help ease the pressure on the rest of the team’s receivers as well. Head Coach Todd Berck explained the benefits Andrews potentially brings to the team’s offense. “Justin’s going to add another offensive weapon to a group of receivers that I really feel could be [one of] the best receiving [corps] in the conference,” said Coach Berck. “[He’s] going to be another very valuable asset to us, and he’s going to keep defenses from keying on just one particular receiver.”

photo by darby copeland

Western Illinois University Overall Home Away Neutral 9-4 3-3 6-1 0-0

Defensively, Andrews has proven to be another valuable player for the team, as well. Coach Berck showed his enthusiasm when speaking of Andrews’ role as a cornerback on the team’s defense. “I think he’s going to help us a lot on defense; he was a very good corner,” said Coach Berck. “Last year for his previous school, at Normandy, he had five interceptions, so I’m also very excited about what he can do on the defensive side of the ball.” Confidence amidst the team has been akin to the excitement amongst the coaches. Senior Brody Allen expressed the team’s thrill for having Andrews join the team. “Everyone’s excited. Whenever a new player joins the team, it gets the team motivated as a whole,” said Allen. please read more: HOT, PAGE 13

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The scorecard The veterans, rookies, and what they’re doing to make this season count.

Junior Tristyn Hasmer running through a drill.

Gameplan

Blaise Bachman Taylor Baker Marc Crawford Jordan Henderson Nick Johnson Andrew Keller Max Kirkpatrick Walter Lembeck Nick McCullough Logan Schmidt Kyle Setchfield Bryce Oelklaus

Photo by Emileigh Wiegert

Veterans

Tristyn Hasmer Ryan Hutson Andrew Keller Scott Halbert Erik Elsenrath Erik Reese Austin Schultz

Rookies

Boys soccer

-More conditioning -Focus on possession -Play as a unit

Senior Eric Elsenrath, junior Jordan Henderson, junior Joey Silver, and junior Walter Lembeck practice their ball skills.

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Kaylee Sheriden Sarah Kabacinski Kim Kirkman Amanda Ottinger Alyssa Mathis Lindsey Lewis Katelyn Artz Meagan Day

10 sweat | september 13, 2013

Gameplan

Taylor Huskey Aimee Saffo Abby Bonner Satiah Duval Kristin Kolkmeyer Becca Stocker Kali Ezell Haley Allen Jessica Sherbno

Junior Haley Allen swings for a ball in their game against Timberland

Photo by Chloe Siebels

Rookies

Veterans

Girls softball

Freshman Meagen Day pitches the ball

-More batting -More fielding drills


Jake Drnec Corey Deblaze Emma Duckworth Kristy Eslinger

Juniors Austin Hoth and Jake Drnec, and seniors Corey Blase and PJ Brown start off their race at First Capitol.

Members of both cross country teams train on the track surrounding Don Munch Memorial Stadium.

Gameplan

PJ Brown Alex Buhse Madison Grumich Jessica Mugler Walter Lembeck Zach McKinley Photo by Zach Grau

Rookies Veterans

Cross country - Leg strengthening workouts -More distance running -Train in ‘oxygen debt’

Sarah Mueller Brittany Howard Kayla Schoenig Shelby Maupin Mia Merry Mary-Kate Berck Tori Mannino Whitney Kemper Johanna Burroughs

The volleyball team scrimmages against each other during the fall festival

Gameplan

Eva Mich Rachel Lee Caroline Green

Photo by Darby Copeland

Rookies

Veterans

Girls volleyball -Focus on defense -More conditioning -Play scrappy -Passing drills -Improve transition between passing, setting, and hitting.

Tori Mannino and Shelby Maupin go up for a block in the scrimmage

The football team huddles up before its game against Fort Zumwalt South

Gameplan

Frank Davis Matt Oswald Brandon Murray Corey McCoy Alec Schierding Myles Adams Dyllan Lindsey Jerry Joseph Zach Mckinley Ben Orlet Daniel Yates Joey Ziegler

Photo by Darby Copeland

Veterans

Jonah Greco Clay Goodman Brendan Sullivan Brody Allen Justin Hayden Kyle Mccormack Ben Burns

Rookies

Football -New coaches -New offernsive formation -Bring up the intensity in practice -Work on ball handling -Investing time in the weight room

Junior Bryan Wooten carries the ball as senior Ben Carey leads the way downfield.

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New slate of coaches help improve softball team

Injuries have hit the cross country team to start the season, but a large turnout of freshmen have provided some depth while those injured recover.

By Abigail Schneider After an impressive previous season, the addition of a new coach would scare most athletes; worries of new tactics and plays cause uncertainty for many players. Luckily for the players with doubts, the new additions to the softball coaching staff have been nothing but helpful. “[Varsity Assistant Coach Zack] Sheets has made practices a lot better than last year,” said senior Kim Kirkman. In addition to the new assistant varsity coach, the Spartans also have a new junior varsity coach and a new freshman coach. The coaches are highly experienced and agree the teams all have potential for a successful season. Mr. Sheets, the new assistant varsity coach, has been coaching softball for 5 years and played baseball for 18 years, including 4 years at the University of Missouri-St. Louis He later began coaching softball at Winfield High School. “I originally got involved with softball when I was hired to teach middle school Physical Education and be the head softball coach by the Winfield High School Activities Director, at the time Mr. Scott Harris,” said Mr. Sheets. Much like Mr. Sheets, the new junior varsity coach, Mr. Aaron Pearson, also had prior connections. Mr.Pearson played baseball for four years at Central, student taught for Mr. Brian Cissell. Pearson started coaching Spartan baseball in 2005 and after a couple off years, last spring made his comeback. “When the job opened up, and I found out Coach Cissell was the head varsity coach, I knew it would be a great program to be a part of,” said Mr. Pearson. On top of baseball, Mr. Pearson has been playing slow-pitch softball since he was 18, but admits he is not an expert on softball yet. “Coach Allie Jennings, my assistant, is great. She has helped me tremendously in learning the nuances of softball. She knows how baseball and softball differ and is very knowledgeable about the game in general,” said Mr. Pearson. The final addition to Spartan softball is Ms. Jennifer Hoffman, the new freshman coach. She had been playing the game for over thirty years and it shows. “She knows the game, and is a good coach,” said freshman Cailyn Jones. This is Hoffman’s first year coaching a school team, but coached recreation teams in prior years. Hoffman is expecting great things out of her athletes. “They’re really good at making plays,” said Hoffman, “I’m expecting a 500 or better season.”

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At the starting line

photo by Ashleigh Harding

staff reporter

Cross country begins with injuries, workouts, a sense of optimism By Devin Chen staff reporter

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the boys cross country team is lacing up its shoes in preparation for its upcoming season. Despite the blistering heat and humidity, the cross country team has been training hard, usually training five days a week, racing one day a week, and resting on the remaining day. “Your legs feel like jelly after practice,” said junior Devin Enochs. “The hot weather isn’t very fun either.” Sophomore Mitchell Devening views his training in a similar light; according to Devening, the hard effort means progress. “It’s difficult, but necessary,” Devening said. “Personally, I want to make varsity

this year, so I’ve been working hard during the practices.” While injuries haven’t been a major problem for the team as of yet, the stress of long distance running has taken its toll on the runners. Senior Jake Plevnic was struck with a strained muscle as well as tendonitis in his hip earlier in the season. Aside from being painful, according to Plevnic, the greatest annoyance that comes with his injury is a continued absence from running. “I tried running again, and I got a pretty good time, but then it started hurting again.” said Plevnic. “So, I’m back on the bike.” Despite a few incidents, the XC team has been able to avoid any serious injuries thus far, and hope to continue doing so.

“The season is long, and with constant pounding on the shins, knees and hips, a few overuse injuries arise,” explains Coach Matt Van Horn. “But with proper shoes, training, and prehab (as opposed to rehab), stretches, and exercises, we can hopefully avoid [serious injuries] this season.” The team faced a troubling first meet at Quail Ridge Park on Aug. 28 with temperatures rising to 97 degrees. “It wasn’t fun,” Devening recounted. “[A lot of runners] didn’t get as good as a time as they could have because of the weather, but they took it in stride.” With many returning athletes as well as a bumper crop of new freshmen, both coaches and runners are anticipating an exciting and fun season this year.


He’s brought a little more excitement to the team, because he’s a good playmaker. He’s got the capabilities to make a big play and do big things for us.”

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Other players, such as senior Brendan Sullivan, show excitement not only for a new addition to their group of teammates, but also anticipation for what Andrews can potentially do for the team this season. “He’s brought a little more excitement to the team, because he’s a good playmaker,” said Sullivan. “He has good abilities; I think the biggest part for him is that he brings excitement to the team overall. He’s got the capabilities to make a big play and do big things for us.” Even with the smooth transition and warm welcoming from his team, attending Central has had its drawbacks for Andrews, as well. Being a resident within the Normandy district, he has

had to wake up earlier than the usual student, waking up at five in the morning to bus all the way from his home in the Normandy district to the Francis Howell district to arrive on time to class, and then he must experience the same, long ride on his way back home again. According to Andrews, waking up earlier has been less than great, but he remains content that it’ll have little to no effect on his academic and athletic career. “Sometimes it’s just a drag, because you have to wake up early to get ready for school and to get on the bus. It’s hard trying to stay up in some of my classes, because [I’ll] just be tired,” said Andrews. “It really wouldn’t affect me, but then again, some days I’ll be really tired.” Despite the fatigue he may occasionally face, Andrews remains strong to maintain his stature as a great football player and displays his motivation to continue to be the best he can be. Receiving attention from multiple Division-I universities and the overall recruiting process has played

Brendan Sullivan {senior}

a large role in his set academic and athletic mentality. “It motivated me to become a better student and to become a better football player,” said Andrews. “If you become a better student, then you don’t have to worry about going through other schools to get to the main school that you want to go to, so it motivated me as a student and as an athlete.” That motivation has gone on past just the field as well. His ability to cope with the obstacles in front of him has garnered respect from his peers, and has earned him a welcoming place within the team. Senior Kendall Morris elaborated on Andrews fitting in as a fellow Spartan. “As far as I’ve seen he’s a good player. He’s a good guy to work with on and off the field. He’s a good guy to talk to, so he embraced us really fast,” said Morris. “He’s pretty much like one of us; you would have never known he had just come to our school by the way he acts. He has a good mentality, and I think he’ll be a good use to our team.”

Transfer athletes face long days By Tori Cooper staff reporter

For many of the Normandy transfers, like junior football player Josh Harris, waking up extremely early and staying at school until 5:30 is a daily task. Keeping up with homework and sleep is hard enough for FHC athletes as it is. The late practices and the games throughout the week can lead an athlete past the point of exhaustion. “I have to get up about 4:30, and the bus runs around 5:30,” said Harris Homework and tests become harder to get done or even pass while being involved in any sport. The amount of study time is cut down from the long drive back home. These athletes are forced to give up any down time they once had. There is no more time for hanging out with friends, playing video games, or catching up on a TV show. Their lives becomes their sports and their school work. “I go home sometimes, and I may have to stay after school (for practice), but I get most of my homework done,” said freshman football player D’Andre Perkins. Homework was the least of the athletes’ worries when first arriving at FHC. More things were going through their mind. They were faced with this huge school with teenagers that have known each other for years. Their nerves were on edge, worrying about what the students and faculty were going to be like. “It felt weird, because I was used to being at Normandy and seeing stuff I knew, and coming out here there is all this open space [not as crowded]. It’s just different from what I knew,” explained senior football player Justin Andrews. Now that the football season has started, the Normandy athletes have been able to make friends with their teammates. The FHC football program welcomed the boys without caring who they were. They are all there for one purpose: the love for a sport. The coaches treat them like every other player. Once on the field, they no longer care where someone comes from, all they know is who they are playing for. “I’m definitely feeling more welcomed now; I’ve made some friends on the (football) team,” Andrews further explained.

“I go home sometimes, and I may have to stay after school, but I get most of my homework done.” { D’Andre Perkins} freshman Perkins is one of 53 students who ride the bus and spend approximately an hour riding the bus to and from their homes in the Normandy school district.

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v

Enrollment in FHC prov By Maddie Newton

multimedia executive editor

Expectation

Crowd members at the town hall meeting held on July 11 display their frustrationattheinformation given. Many who attended described that their questions were left unanswered.

14 }

in focus | september 13, 2013

As the news of the changes regarding the Normandy School District transferring students to the Francis Howell School District were announced, many students saw this as an opportunity for academic improvements. Because Normandy was unaccredited, students were given the chance to transfer as an alternate school. Students like senior Seairra Waters expected academic changes upon switching schools because of the increased educational opportunities. “To me, it’s kind of like the same [as I expected]. I expected to have homework,” Waters said. “At Normandy ... I didn’t have any homework, so I expected to have homework and stuff like that, because that’s what school has, so my thoughts were kind of right.” While, to most students, homework has a negative connotation, Waters feels this is not something that has affected her. “I don’t have too much homework that I can’t handle. It’s not a lot. I manage my time,” Waters said. Similar to Waters, sophomore Katharinn Barnes looked at the opportunity as a way to improve her education and make the most out of her time here. Barnes did not realize that she was behind in her learning until she arrived at FHC. According to Barnes, it was difficult to learn while at Normandy High School because the students were not as focused and the teachers had more obstacles to face. “My expectation was to get my grades up, and once I got here, it was kind of like ‘Oh my goodness, I am behind,’” Barnes said. “I had great teachers at Normandy and it was

a great school, but s were disruptive. The what they had to do trying to do, but it wa students.” Not only was there a opportunity for the stud they also had to overc daily schedule. Busses much earlier and the d longer than before. Busses come as ea students involved in are not arriving back pm. Managing sleep and activities is tough, because of the taxing “I have to stay for tut time, I have to get so kind of different, but it learning more than wh Normandy,” Barnes sa After the news o announced, there w about whether or not would be able to partic if they would be provid Normandy School Dis option for students by bus that leaves FHC a While this is a positive in activities, it means arrive home until aroun “I am tired a lot, bec up an hour earlier, but it. I don’t have a lot of football practice],” fres Anfernee Carter said because this is a bette are fun.” A town hall meeting


vs.

ves difficult, rewarding

some of the students teachers were doing and what they were as hard being with the

change in educational dents that transferred, come a change in their s now arrive at homes daily commute is much

arly as 5:30 a.m. and activities after school k at home until 7:30 p, school, homework , according to Barnes, schedule. toring, but at the same ome sleep, so it was t’s okay because I am hat I actually learned at aid. of the merger was were many questions t students transferring icipate in activities and ded with transportation. strict has made it an y providing an activity at 5:30 pm every day. for students interested that they now do not nd 7:30 p.m. every day. cause I have to wake I have gotten used to f free time [because of shman, football player d. “I think it is worth it, er school, and the kids

g was held July 11 to

allow parents and community members to speak publicly about the issue and address the board of education. While many parents saw this merge as an issue, Normandy School District had already made its decision about where it’s students were going to have an opportunity to transfer. Math teacher Karen Hessel attended the town hall meeting hoping to be informed about the changes, but found many people disgruntled and confused about the issue. “I came for information, and all I did was hear people complain for two or three hours,” Mrs. Hessel said. “They felt that since Normandy had violence, that it would follow [the students] here.” While parents were nervous about how these changes would affect the district, many students that transferred from Normandy High School faced other obstacles. Another concern, from both parents and students in the Francis Howell School District as well as the Normandy School District, was that racial differences and discrimination would be an issue. While the demographics of the schools are vastly different, Carter feels that he has not been treated differently than any other student. “I didn’t know if I would be treated right, but it has actually been fun,” Carter said. “I don’t feel like people treat me differently.” As many speculated about how the transition would go, Mrs. Hessel feels that it is much different than expected. “I think that if [the angry parents] would have known that the transition would be this good, they would have felt a lot more comfortable,” Mrs. Hessel said. “The students are just as nice and polite as they can possibly be and they seem to be here for a good purpose.”

Reality

Junior Raven Bell stays after school to study in the library. Many transfer students that take the activity bus utilize that time to complete their homework.

fhctoday.com | in focus

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Time crunch

“Some people get up at three and catch the bus at four, so they have already been on the bus, and they are so hyper, and everybody else is so sleepy.” - Katharinn Barnes, sophomore

16 }

in focus | september 13, 2013

“At the end of the day, when I get on the bus, it’s longer of course. We get out of school at 2:20 and I get home at 3:34.” - Katharinn Barnes, sophomore

7:20 a.m.: school begins

7 a.m.: arrive at school

5:30 a.m.: catch the bus

4:30 a.m.: wake up

For transfer students, better education, activities after school require substantial sacrifices

“The good thing [about FHC] is that I get a good education out of it and do more actvities. Now that I’m here, I do like ten times the homework.” - Daija Brown, junior


“My mom signed me up for this school. At first I thought I didn’t like it, but I’m glad I came.” -Alex Cage, freshman

9 p.m.: get some rest

7 p.m.: arrive at home

“Sometimes [when I am on the bus] I will be sleeping, sometimes trying to finish up some homework. I learned a lot of different things than at Normandy, so I’m kind of behind.” - Katharinn Barnes, sophomore

5:45 p.m.: activity bus leaves

2:30 p.m.: practice begins

2:20 p.m.: school ends

“There’s not a lot of people on the activity bus and there’s only like ten or fifteen people. In the morning, there’s a lot of people on the bus, but in the afternoon, I get to joke around and have fun with my friends.” - Anfernee’ Carter, freshman

“After school I have practice, and sometimes I don’t get home until 7:30.” - Eric Thompson, freshman

fhctoday.com | in focus

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From a distance

10-11

fall atheletes are Normandy transfer students.

{

School gets out at 2:20. Sophomore Katharinn Barnes arrives home at 3:43 everyday. That is 1 hour, 23 minutes spent on the bus traveling home.

FHC’s population is broken down to view how the number of Normandy transfers affects class sizes and percentages.

The after school activity bus taking the late shift back to Normandy has

13-14

students riding every day.

JUNE 28 The Normandy School District announced on June 28 that they chose FHSD as their transfer option for students seeking an accredited education. FHSD held a town hall meeting on July 11 for the community to express their concerns and opinions.

22 of 472 freshmen are from Normandy.

[

Out of 487 sophomores, 17 are transfer students.

] 840

FHC has a total student population of

1,907. Normandy transfer students

make up 51 of these. = 50 students

1 8}

= Normandy transfer students

in focus | september 13, 2013

4 juniors are former Normandy students, while 486 are not.

Of the senior class’s 454 students, 8 are transfer students.

minutes is the total time from when the school bus enters the Normandy district in the morning until the activities bus is finished at night.


“The schools are pretty much the same, but there’s more activities to do [at FHC]. I love it here, and I don’t want to go back.” - Daija Brown, junior

Counting the cost For students who travel from Normandy, their school day begins at 4 a.m. and for those in activities, their day can stretch until 7 p.m.

By Erin Rowland staf reporter

It’s four in the morning. Most FHC students, and many of the teachers, are still asleep. However, for freshmen Eric Thompson and Alex Cage, four is when their day begins. The bus that carries the students out of the Normandy district and to FHC arrives around 5:30 or 6:00. And yet, both students agree that the early hours are absolutely worth it for the education that they receive here. Thompson and Cage are two of the 22 freshmen and 51 total transfer students here at FHC. They voluntarily switched to a school that is 23 miles away from home in hopes of receiving an accredited education. “I was actually happy, I could get out of Normandy and get credit,” Thompson said. Receiving an accredited education that would qualify him for acceptance to college was his main reason for making the switch. While getting credit was Thompson’s push, Cage had a different motivator. “[I wanted] better grades and a scholarship and better behavior,” Cage said. His mother signed him up for the transfer program this year to help him get what he wanted. Both students agreed that their families were supportive of the transition. However, Cage’s peers at Normandy were

less supportive. “They were all really mad. They liked me there at school. I was a normal person,” Cage said. Thompson agreed that his friends back in St. Louis were not pleased with his decision. Sophomore James Wiggins chose not to tell his peers at Normandy about his decision to transfer. He hoped to escape the environment of Normandy for a better education at FHC. “The process of teaching is different. [Teachers] tell me more about algebra and other college courses,” Wiggins said. He cited the people at Normandy as his main reason for changing schools, and with Normandy’s high incident rates and trend of violence, the switch to FHC was not a hard decision. All three students agreed that the teaching process at FHC is much different from Normandy. “We do more work here than we did at Normandy,” Thompson said. Thompson hopes to earn a scholarship to a college before he graduates from high school and views the transfer program as an opportunity to reach that goal. Whatever the reasons each student had for transferring, all three agree that the change was worth all the hassle that comes along with it.

James Wiggins {sophomore

Alex Cage {freshman

Eric Thompson {freshman

“I’m learning way more now, but I don’t have much time to sleep, so I just sleep on the bus.” -James Wiggins, sophomore

fhctoday.com | in focus

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Tune in to FHCtoday.com every two weeks for a new episode. First episode drops next Friday!!

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advertisements | september 13, 2013


{the scene} Shoppers line up outside the Kate Spade store during opening weekend Aug. 21 at the Premium Outlets in Chesterfield off of Chesterfield Airport Rd. A second mall opened earlier in August a couple miles down Interstate 61.

Two new outlet malls in Chesterfield give students ample places to spend their dough

By Morgan Brader staff reporter

The grand opening of the St. Louis Premium Outlets, the second of the two new outlet malls in Chesterfield, was on Aug. 22. Both malls have proven popular and have been flooded with people since they opened. St. Louis Premium Outlets, the newest mall, was said to be more “high end,” with stores like Ann Taylor, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, and various jewelry stores. The first to open on July 29, Taubman Prestige Outlets, is more “teen oriented,” according to sophomore Mary Halloran. It has some of the same stores as St. Louis

Premium Outlets, though it appeals to a younger crowd because of the clothing stores for teens that St. Louis Premium Outlets lacks, such as Love Culture and Aéropostale. Taubman Prestige Outlets is a pet friendly mall, allowing shoppers to bring their dogs along as they visit the stores. There are water bowls for the pets and even a Treats Unleashed store, where dogs are welcome to come inside. “Being pet friendly is going to attract a lot more people than it would if it wasn’t pet friendly,” said Halloran. “You can multitask! Go shopping and walk your dog! It’s perfect!”

But there could possibly be a downside to having your pets walk around with you from store to store. “Dogs will make the place smell funky, or they might screw up the merchandise in stores,” said sophomore Larissa Kite. “The owners might not pick up after their dogs either.” Even though St. Louis Premium Outlets is not pet friendly, it has plenty of other positives that Taubman Prestige Outlets doesn’t have quite yet. “It has a lot more stores, and overall, it’s a cool place,” said sophomore Luke Muich. Some of the 90 stores at St. Louis Premium

photos by dohen gallagher

Shopportunities Outlets include Adidas, Nike Factory, Under Armour, and Oakley Vault, stores that the Taubman Prestige Outlets doesn’t have. St. Louis Premium Outlets also has plenty of restaurants and places to get food, such as Buckhead Grill, Wetzel’s Pretzels, and Famous Wok, unlike Taubman Prestige Outlets, where its shoppers get their food from food trucks. Overall, the students that have visited the malls have said that because of their being pet friendly and having numerous stores, both malls are fun places to hang out at and go shopping. “These malls are really cool! Everyone should visit these places at least once,” said Kite.

fhctoday.com | the scene

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playlist

“Cruisin’ Tunes”

Tunes for crusin’ in your sweet ride. Or not so sweet as the case may be. It really doesn’t matter. Universally good tunes. For any and all rides.

by Devin Chen

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

“Stickshifts and Safety Belts” by Cake An ode to automatics and bench seats everywhere. Rejoice in the possibilities!

“Santa Monica” by Everclear Perfect for journeys to the shining sea, or pretending that you’re not in a landlocked state.

“Highway to Hell” by AC/DC Great for that morning drive to school.

“Spread Too Thin” by The Dirty Heads Chill tune for the relaxed individual.

“Jesus Muzik” by Lecrae Serious Christian rap for the inner gangsta. Go ahead. Roll with the top down.

“A Horse with No Name” by America Walter White listens to it. So should you. Don’t get aggressive with cops.

“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey It’s that song. Play it loud, play it proud, and sing along.

“Friday” by Rebecca Black

TGIF to the max. Plus, it asks the impossible question of which seat to take.

“I Love It” by Icona Pop Happy pop for the poppy soul. Pop your collar, pop the clutch, and pop in the Icona Pop.

“Livin’ On a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

You know it. Your passengers know it. The guy next to you at the stoplight knows it. Roll down the windows.

22}

the scene | september 13, 2013

Just one

Binge watching favorite shows gets easier to do with online options like Netflix, Hulu By Madison Viola staff reporter

Over the last several years, Netflix has made up a community of TV lovers and movie lovers, and the population is growing by the day. Specifically, students have a growing fondness for this fairly new streaming media. Netflix gives you the ability to watch almost whatever you want, whenever you want. Senior Cal Wylie knows a thing or two about the effects Netflix can have on a person’s life. Perhaps you have heard of binge eating or binge drinking, where one would eat or drink excessively in a short period of time. But, thanks to Netflix, binge watching has become a well- known term used to express watching many episodes, possibly seasons, of a TV show in a matter of weeks or even days. “The most I’ve ever watched Netflix without stopping was ten hours straight. Whenever I find a good show, I’ll watch it straight for however many hours,” Wylie said. “I will usually watch about 12 hours weekly, because it’s so addicting.” A good thing, according to Wylie, about Netflix is that it doesn’t have you wasting time with watching commercials and bearing the pain of waiting a week to catch that new episode. “Netflix works around your schedule rather than the other way around,” Wylie said. Some of the television shows Wylie watches includes the incredibly popular “Breaking Bad” and a Netflix original series, “Orange is the New Black” (OITNB). Wylie particularly likes OITNB because

it’s not something you can find on regular television networks. “It’s smarter than regular TV. Not only is the content of the show better, but it isn’t afraid to take risks,” Wylie said. Binge watching on Netflix has made Wylie impatient with watching weekly TV. “The only thing I’ll watch when it’s actually on TV is ‘Breaking Bad.’ I’ll just record my other shows to DVR and turn on Netflix until I feel ready to watch those shows,” Wylie said. “Teenagers don’t have as many responsibilities as adults, and we have more time on our hands.” Sophomore Robbie McDonnell is also a fan of “Breaking Bad,” as he labels it the most binge-worthy TV show on Netflix. “It’s such a good show and always leaves you with a cliffhanger, and you just want to watch more,” McDonnell said. When McDonnell binge watches, he’ll spend somewhere around three hours watching his TV show straight through and will do it twice a week, mostly on the weekends. All together, McDonnell will watch eight hours of Netflix a week. But, unlike most binge watchers, McDonnell prefers to watch movies rather than TV shows on Netflix, as he watches most of his shows on cable TV. Unlike Wylie, McDonnell won’t watch Netflix until he gets his work done. “I try not to get caught up in it when I have stuff to do,” said McDonnell. “I like Netflix better than cable, because you can watch whatever show you want, whenever you want, unlike TV where you have to wait for something to come on.” Another TV show McDonnell likes

is ‘The Walking Dead,’ which is sophomore Cameron Webb’s pick for the most binge-worthy TV show. “The episodes are long, and there is lots of action,” Webb said about the hit zombie series. Webb will watch around 16 hours of Netflix a week, and each day he’ll watch at least one hour. Webb’s favorites to watch on Netflix are in the comedy section. “The best thing to watch on Netflix is ‘Family Guy,’ because you get a lot of laughter out of it and it’s not something you always have to spend your whole day on either because the episodes are short,” Webb said. As far as Netflix affecting other things Webb needs to do, it doesn’t take a huge effect to his daily tasks such as homework. “Sometimes, it gets me distracted, but at the same time, I usually do the things I need to before turning to Netflix,” said Webb. “I prefer Netflix over regular TV. If there is a show that I watch on cable, I will record it on DVR and wait until three or four episodes are recorded so I can watch it back to back.” Senior Hayley Lechner does the same as Webb, watching Netflix shows while waiting for new episodes on regular TV. Lechner does not have much time watching Netflix during the school week- only an hour. Though in the summer, Lechner could spend up to ten hours watching Netflix per week. “The show I like to watch most on Netflix is ‘One Tree Hill.’ I re-watch it often. It’s a really good show. We’re in high school, and those characters are in high school, and even though real life isn’t that dramatic, you can relate to it,” said Lechner.


more...

Netflix favorites “Breaking Bad”

An ordinary chemistry teacher builds a meth empire that rivals the drug cartels of America and Mexico. Rather than the characters being just perfect enough to make you love them, these characters can be evil and twisted. Still, they are also human and more relatable than those flawless characters on other TV shows, and that is what makes viewers love them.

“Arrested Development”

“This is the story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.” No character is like one another which is refreshing because every character is humorous in their own way. This show was cancelled in 2006 but due to growing popularity and pleading fans, a comeback season was released exclusively on Netflix in 2013.

“The Office”

Hilarity ensues during the everyday lives of office workers at a paper supply company managed by the eccentric Michael Scott. Steve Carell’s Golden Globe -winning performance is the main reason why you should watch this show. There is never a dim moment about Carell’s acting in this popular sitcom.

“How I Met Your Mother”

Ted Mosby narrates the long and detailed tale of how he met his kids’ mother with stories of himself and four close friends. Though the overall plotline of this show is for Ted to find his wife, the real heart of the show is the relationships between the friends. Also, Neil Patrick Harris’s portrayal of the womanizing Barney Stinson is what makes the show.

fhctoday.com | the scene

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KEEP CALM AND FRESHMAN ON It’s inevitable; the dreaded transition from middle school happens. In our district alone, there are three middle schools that feed into Central. Many making this transition fret over the silliest things, from making friends and getting lost in the school, to where they’re going to sit at lunch. As most worries wither with time, the ones that remain seem more and more crucial. For those new, fretting freshmen, the upper classmen are here for you to ease your nerves. Here, staff reporter Erika Paar compiles advice for the class of 2017. Friends change a lot in high school. It is best to distinguish the ones that actually care from the fake ones.

“Learn who your true friends are, because they are the ones you will be able to trust,” said junior Elise Thomas.

24}

This is a big transition and many things will change, so prepare yourself and make sure you have people that can be there for you.

“Make as many friends as you can so someone is always there for you,” said senior Hailey Stephens.

the scene | september 13, 2013

Finals are more important than you think, and anything you can do early on to prepare, the better.

Nothing is worse than not feeling like a part of your school. Do something to make school fun so you can enjoy it.

“Definitely take good notes and don’t throw any work away; you will use it later,” said sophomore Samantha Pendleton.

“Be yourself, and get involved; whether it is sports or a club, it will help to make friends no matter what school you previously went to,” said junior Joey Ziegler.

High school is so different from middle school. Don’t expect the teachers to be like they were in middle school. “The teachers aren’t as strict, and you have more freedom in high school, because they automatically expect more from you,” said sophomore Emily Salge.


Cheaper by the dance

Three ways to make your homecoming night cost efficient, but just as extraordinary

1.

By Kennedy Meyer staff reporter

Buy your homecoming dress from a department store. Homecoming dresses can be costly, and it is essential to purchase a dress from a store that can offer you the best steal with the best quality. You can buy a striking and elegant dress at a cheap price from a department store, opposed to buying an equally stunning, yet extremely expensive, dress from a boutique. Generally, boutiques sell very costly dresses. I’ve heard stories of girls paying hundreds of dollars for a dress that they had to order from a boutique. This is one of the downfalls to buying from a boutique: they may not carry your size, and you’d have to fork out more money to get it shipped to you. Department stores have a very small selection when it comes to homecoming dresses; when purchasing dresses from department stores, you have to get to the store early in the season. If you don’t make it into the store early on, then you might miss all of the great bargains on beautiful dresses.

2.

Shoes can be pricey. Personally, I wouldn’t want to spend a ton of money on a pair of high-heels that I know for a fact I’ll be taking off as soon as I get to dancing. That doesn’t sound appealing to me. I’d rather spend little-to-no money on something that’ll be sitting in the corner of the gym floor for the entirety of the dance. One thing you can do to save money is to wear shoes you wore last year. If they’re black or silver, they’ll go with just about every color dress under the sun; wear them again! No one will notice that you’re wearing last year’s shoes, and you’ll save money. If you’re worried about people noticing that you’re wearing the same shoes for the second time, then borrow a pair of shoes from your neighbor, your sister, your mom, borrow a pair of shoes from whoever you want. Saving money on something as simple as a pair of heels can mean a lot when you’re spending money on everything else as homecoming season comes along.

3.

Boys, if you’ve got a date to homecoming, then you know you’ll be taking your girl out to dinner on this special night. Depending on where you eat, dinner can be really upscale when it comes to cost. You’ll be paying for this divine dinner, so a tip for saving money would be to take your exceptional lady to a local joint. Somewhere family-owned or a place close to home would be just as special and can even save money on gas and possibly food. Another suggestion I have is to make a special dinner for your special girl. I’m positive that cooking a good dinner will make your date smile from ear to ear. That would make the night just as special and your date will be very appreciative. Making dinner or going to a local restaurant are just two ways that you can make homecoming just as memorable for half the cost.

We’re lovin’ it Each month, members of the Spartan community will share what they are loving this month. From happenings at school to cool new tech to the best concerts, we’ll find the best things going on now.

Abbey Schneider Thing 1: I love the app GroupMe, because I don’t have an iPhone, and until I discovered this app, I was left out of the group chatting world. This app allows anybody to group chat by downloading the app or simply through text message. Thing 2: However outdated it may seem, I still love the shake to shuffle feature on iPods. It’s perfect for when you’re exercising and a slow song comes on, or reading when an upbeat song comes on. Opposed to turning the screen on and risk being sucked into the world of apps, you can just give it shake and you’re set.

Jessica Mugler Thing 1: Recently, the world gained yet another delicacy for my taste buds to enjoy. And they have enjoyed it enormously. This creamy, chocolately, coffee-flavored ice cream treat that I love is Chick-filA’s new Mocha Cookies and Cream Milkshake. If you have yet to taste this, you should. Thing 2: A new photo fad seems to have erupted into every Instagram user’s feed. Although commonly referred to as a collage, these photos are usually just a grid. However, collages are a great way to share multiple photos at one time and make the photos more interesting. Some collage apps that I love are Pic Stitch and Photo Collage Creator.

Brayden Densmore Thing 1: The MyScript Calculator app is awesome! You can draw a homework problem that you don’t understand, and the app will work it out for you. Plus, it’s free for iPhones and Androids.

Thing 2: Another website that I think is pretty sweet is TasteKid. You can type in your favorite band, movie, book, or game, pretty much anything, and the website will find other things that might interest you. From there, you can get information on these different suggestions.

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Spotlight Players announce new season Theatre department’s slate of plays brings new show genres to department By Hannah Beckmann staff reporter

Returning Spotlight Players and incoming freshmen piled into the auditorium on Aug. 16 and waited with bated breath to hear theatre director Ms. Michelle Moll announce the shows for the upcoming season. The Spotlight Players will begin the year with “See How They Run,” then move on to a winter production with the return of “Student Directed One Acts,” and end the year with the musical “Into the Woods.” The first show, “See How They Run,” was chosen for its different style. The show is classified as a farce, a type of comedy involving larger than life characterization and ludicrous situations. “I wanted The Spotlight Players to experience a wide range of genres,” Ms. Moll said. “We’ve done a comedy, a serial comedy, and a tragedy with “The Crucible,” but we’ve

In the past, “One Acts” has featured four or five never done a farce before.” “See How They Run” follows the story short plays all directed by students. The one of several comedic characters, including act plays have not yet been chosen for the coming production, but a Cockney maid, a the show is expected to pompous churchgoer, be run in the same way. an escaped Russian “People go to the theatre “Into the Woods” will convict, a bishop, a to have a good time. close the season for the vicar and two former They’ll enjoy laughing at the Spotlight Players. The actors. They all meet outrageous storylines.” musical begins “Once and experience a upon a time” and is a huge case of mistaken { Ms. Michelle Moll } tale taken straight from identity and scandal, Theatre Director creating a text-book Ms. Moll announced the Spotlight Players’ slate of performances a story book from start for the year in mid-August. The student-directed One Acts to finish. farce. made a return to the performances, while the other plays Ms. Moll selected in order to diversify the troupe’s performances. “It’s fun and “People go to the engaging,” Ms. Moll theatre to have a good said. “People are time,” Ms. Moll said. “They’ll enjoy laughing at the outrageous familiar with the fairy tale characters and will enjoy seeing a different side of that.” storylines.” “Into the Woods” is a different take Following the play, “Student Directed One Acts” will make its return after a one year break. on popular children’s stories. The show

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the scene | september 13, 2013

follows a baker and his wife as they try to break a curse that a witch has cast on their household. “Into the Woods” also features characters like Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood. “I really love the show,” Ms. Moll said. “It’s creative and has a lot of fantasy.” The musical will be adapted into a new movie in late 2014 and will star popular actors like Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, and Meryl Streep. Members of the department hope that hype about the movie may encourage students to see the Spotlight Players’ production. “We definitely want to see bigger audiences,” theatre president, senior James Hurley, said. The Spotlight Players are optimistic this season will be a good one, bringing new members, genres and experiences to the department.


{be heard} A band-aid on a broken leg Transfer program weakens already struggling districts, solves nothing

I don’t think anyone could say that a system that allows for underprivileged students to have an opportunity to have a better education is a bad thing. The Breitenfeld vs. Clayton By Erin Rowland case, which set the staff reporter precedent that allows students in unaccredited districts to transfer to nearby accredited schools, seems to allow students trapped in unaccredited schools a way out. But in reality, the court decision has allowed the Normandy district to become even more crippled and possibly prevent it from ever getting back on its feet. It is often suggested one of the reasons

photo by eden gundersen

A group of transfer students arrive at FHC for the beginning of the school day. Some students spend as long as an hour and a half on the bus in the morning.

Normandy chose Francis Howell as their transfer district is because they hoped the long bus ride would discourage students from leaving. Some people choose to view this as a selfish move by the district, but I find it absolutely understandable. The students willing to leave their school to transfer to another are obviously the students who really care about their education. Losing the students that are willing to try makes it even harder for schools like Normandy to regain accreditation, so it is perfectly logical for them to try and discourage students from leaving. And this shows the true problem with this so-called “solution.” Instead of trying to fix what’s broken with the schools in Missouri, the plan is to just act like it isn’t happening, allowing a portion of students to flee to stronger schools, while the weaker

districts are left to die. While I am completely in support of students getting a better education and actually being prepared for college, the current plan doesn’t do that. Right now, 475 students are getting a better education while more than 4,500 students are left in the Normandy district, still receiving what the state has decided is a substandard education. And the accreditation of the schools isn’t the only reason Normandy isn’t a successful learning environment. While FHC has an average of around 168 discipline incidents resulting in suspension every year, Normandy High School has about 285. Being in a chaotic environment can only make learning harder for students at Normandy, and yet the only solution that has been proposed helps a mere 11 percent of students in the district learn in a

safer environment. This is the opposite of a solution. It’s just another way for the government to force their problems on someone else and hope that they just go away. Instead of finding a way to actually help unaccredited schools get back on their feet, they simply try to make the problem go away by letting the failing schools fail. And when this happens, those students will have to all be dispersed between other districts, forcing even more students into districts that are already at capacity. This is not a solution. This is laziness and greed of a government more concerned with money than they are with helping people. While I don’t know what the best solution really is, I know that it needs to start with the struggling schools, and needs to help them recover instead of trying to push them off on other places.

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photo by kortney sheahan

Aof homework heap We are roughly a month into school, and I’m already feeling like I’m being drowned in a sea of homework. I’m carrying such a heavy load of homework, it’s as if teachers believe that I’m By Kennedy only taking their class. I don’t mind having Meyer homework, but I do mind staff reporter having three hours’ worth of homework from just one class, especially if I have more than one subject of homework that night. This heavy load of homework is an obstacle. With the amount of homework we get each night, we have no time to live our lives. Teachers have lives and so do we. As a student, it’s difficult to balance both school and my own life. The heavy homework load is making it difficult for me to visit my grandma, go out to dinner with my family,

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and even hang out with some of my friends. For those of you who play sports, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to manage your time. With practice right after school every day of the week, you have limited time to do any homework. Personally, homework helps me learn; it’s practice, and it’s very helpful. However, the tedious and repetitive work is very tiring. I’m not saying that I don’t want any homework, but less homework from each class would be nice. If I have an hour’s worth of homework from each class, that’s seven hours I’d be spending that night on my school work. I have a life, too. It’s hard to do things that I want to do when I’m stressing about a three page paper that I’ve been assigned that’s due in less than eight hours. Maybe you don’t like the block schedule, maybe you do, but just think about how much work you could get done in class. By going to a class every other day for an hour and a half, it really helps out on having less

homework. Yes, you’re in one class for an extreme amount of time, but that extreme amount of time is time you could be using to finish your assignments. Even if you’ don’t finish your homework in class you have two nights to complete it. Think about how much homework you wouldn’t have. Think about how much time you would have after school to live your life. My time is just as valuable as the next person’s, and spending hours and hours on homework each night is not something that I want to remember about my high school career. This is supposed to be the best time of our lives. We should be making memories. This is our time to be young and dumb. It’s our time to make the wrong decisions again, and again, and again, until we finally learn. It’s our time to go to football games, and cheer on our school, and scream at the top of our lungs for the kids in blue and silver. It’s our time. So a homework cut is something I pray for; less homework would be nice.


Games blur line of what’s free Imagine you have borrowed a movie from a friend, “Toy Story,” for example. As you are watching, you are deeply engrossed in the action as Woody and Buzz find themselves stranded at Dino gas stations, when suddenly, the screen goes By Ben dark. Your friend looks at Morrison you and says, “You are out of be heard editor watch time. You can wait 24 hours, get one of your friends to give you more time, or pay $.99 to continue watching.” I’m assuming that almost all people would think that this is ridiculous. Your friend says that you can use something for free, but decides to cut off your ability to enjoy what he said was free just for the opportunity to make some pocket change. But yet this is an idea that is perpetrating its way into our lives, gradually becoming something that we casually overlook because we are starting to see it as the norm. Some of you may be asking “But where, where is this deceitful idea of saying something is free but charging for it after a person has begun using it manifesting itself?” And the answer, dear reader, is in the area of video games. Specifically, this method of squeezing people for money is seen in mobile games, though it is finding its way onto other, more established platforms. Just looking in the iTunes app store, I see at least four apps in the top 10 “free” apps offering these in app purchases for users to acquire game coins, lives, or a variety of other power ups in exchange for variable amounts of cold, hard cash. One of the most prominent and popular examples of this is the app/Facebook game Candy Crush. Candy Crush is a simplistic, colorful strategy game about arranging similarly

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colored candies into rows of at least three or more. The catch: if you do not reach the goal of the level by the expiration of the time limit, you lose a life. Lose all your lives, and you have three options: wait until your lives replenish after a certain amount of time, get one of your friends to give you a life, or pay a dollar or more to continue playing. And that’s only one of the points in which the game gives you the choice of paying or quit playing. The idea is definitely profitable. Not only does it give you a chance to continue playing for an amount that seems miniscule, while having the ability to quickly pile up, but it also encourages you to drag your friends into the game, thereby making its developer, King.com, millions. But how does that affect you, the consumer? While it seems like a measly $.99 couldn’t possibly put a dent in your wallet, if you get stuck on a level intentionally designed to be difficult, you could quickly find yourself spending $10, $15, even $25 or upward. The free-to-play genre also has a negative effect on overall game design. For these developers, design is now about making an uninvolved yet addicting game mechanic that can easily be given paywalls to milk for all it’s worth instead of making a game fun, challenging or interesting. The industry’s mantra has gone from “what’s fun, interesting, or new to draw players in from the get go” to “what’s simplistic yet addicting that we can give the player and charge them for later?” In essence, the free-to-play option offers nothing beneficial to the user, unless the user can express enough discipline to endure the constant abuse being thrown at them by the developer. Now, what are the alternatives? There still remains the time-tested strategy of making people pay when they obtain the product. This

the box

one-time payment method allows the consumer to access all the content for a one time purchase (albeit sometimes unrealistically expensive), and with the way the industry is trending, probably includes additional content added later after the launch, though occasionally for a small fee. The other payment method, the one that has really taken a hit since the dawn of free-toplay, is the idea of a monthly subscription plan. Games that feature the monthly subscription plan have massively declined in the past few years, and even games that originally featured subscription plans, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online game, have switched to the free-to-play method. Yet, the subscription model is actually more beneficial for the player. In these massively multiplayer online games, the only ones who can really justify a subscription fee, a large portion of the motivation behind the player’s actions are spurred by the need to be better than other players, whether that is expressed through skill, vanity, or prestige. When you allow players to pay for these motivators, the game loses a massive amount of appeal to the portion of the players who care about these things. Not to mention, as said before, playing one of these free-to-play games ends up costing you money. While a subscription-based game ends up costing you a fixed amount of money per month, usually around $15 a month, a freeto-play game draws you in, and then relies on you to have horrible budgeting skills and not realizing those $.99 payments you are making are piling up to be much more than you would spend in any other payment model. In essence, in this ever evolving online world we so often find ourselves trapped in, the concept of free is gradually being diluted to mean less than free. If you wish to keep your wallet intact, make sure that thing you are using that calls itself free isn’t going to end up costing you in the long run.

reclaiming first

the fox

miley cyrus

Recent wins in their series against the Pirates have put the Cardinals on top of the National League and back in the running for the World Series.

The surreal music video from Ylvis, who are two French guys no one has ever heard of, is quickly making the internet rounds and becoming this year’s “Gangnam Style.”

We get it, she’s trying to break out of her teen pop star phase, but it would be great if she could do it in a way that didn’t make us want to claw our eyes out.

dawn of fall

starting strong

next harry potter

At least as far as TV is concerned, with shows like “Breaking Bad” returning, these next few months, you’ll for sure want to leave your nights open.

Rams hit the ground running by winning their first game this year 27-24. Hopefully, this is indicative of the year to come and not a build up to a let down of a season later on.

Making its way around the internet is the myth that an eigth Harry Potter book is in the works. However, internet dectectives could easily discern that this was just an April Fool’s joke article coming back from the dead.

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LOVE LIKE LEAVE

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photo by kortney sheahan

staffeditorial

Bringing fresh faces into sharper focus

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ach year, a fresh set of faces come here to FHC. They come from all over: maybe out of state, or from across the street, or this year, maybe from the Normandy School District. No matter where these students come from, they have one thing in common: they have just entered the ranks of the Spartans. The change is not immediate; there is no induction ceremony, no shield or helmet magically appears and grants you a place in Spartan Nation. The change does not come from walking into school on the first day of the new year and simply going through your daily class schedule. The real change comes from something more challenging to find: acceptance. Lately, it has been just a little more

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be heard | september 13, 2013

difficult to find this acceptance. Not for the students from out of state, or for those just coming to high school, but for those coming from the Normandy School District. These students, in particular, have been working just a little bit harder since the first time they walked into this school to prove something. But what? Perhaps that they want to be here, or maybe, the truth lies in what everyone wants: acceptance. Though everyone who attends FHC is considered a student, not everyone delves into the “high school experience.” You can go through the motions of high school: go to class, do your work, and go home, without being a real part of your school. We extend an invitation to our newest students, in particular, those who just so

happen to have come from the Normandy School District, and say to you that we want more for you than that. You too should want more for yourself than that. In the past month we have seen some of our new students do great things: excelling in sports, being a class officer, doing great work in the classroom, so if this is you, keep it up. But if you have yet to make your mark on FHC, this may sound cliché, but get involved. It is the easiest way to gain acceptance and entrance to the community aspect of high school, those who want more than just to go to school for seven hours a day and go home. But, no matter what, acceptance can never come for these new students as long as they continue to be called “Normandy kids.” This label seems attached to these

kids, which just is not fair. In fact, since the news broke that we would be receiving new students to our district, these students were unfairly judged. While the situation was difficult to understand for many, with a lack of readily available information, we think that judgement should be based on actions, not on the misconceptions others may make of you. We wanted to do this issue because the stories of our new students needs to be known; people need to know how difficult the reality of the situation truly is. It is no easy task to wake up at 4 a.m., just to get on a school bus; pay attention all day just to feel like you still stick out; and participate in a sport just to have to sit on the bus longer and try to focus on homework.


Looking for a fresh take on school, music or all things nerd? Check out

FHCtoday’s bloggers Hannah Beckmann

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patrons of FHC Publications Those listed below help support the publishing endeavors of FHC Publications through their time, money and past service. Editor-in-chief level Ted Noelker Lindsay Schallon Lisa Cunningham Editor level Jeff & Sonja Mugler Staff reporter level Billy & April Rowland Paul & Bonnie Buhse The staff members of each publication would like to thank those listed above for their continued support of scholastic journalism. To become a patron of FHC Publications, please contact Mr. Matthew Schott at matthew. schott@fhsdschools.org

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

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Diving in

The boys swim team kicked off its season with a 151-127-28 victory over Timberland and Liberty, getting their season off to a successful start. photos by ashley marlo and eden gundersen

Freshman Dominic Prince stands on the blocks about to jump in for his race. This is Prince’s first year on FHC’s swim team.

Swimmer Dominic Prince takes a breather while doing the butterfly. The butterfly is also known as the fly and is one of the more difficult strokes to master. Sophomore TJ Buchanan comes up for a breath of air while Seniors Hannah Greco, swimming inRumbolo, the Amber freestlye. Buchanan Danielle Grieve, Glenn andin Calli came inSydne third place Fletcher wait for the his event, musiccontributto begin. The performance at the Pep ing to the Spartans' Assembly was their last win. as varsity Sensations.

Junior Zach Harrellson sits with his fellow teammates, seniors Jeff Connor, Derek Mielke, Will Jones and Brendan Brause, while waiting for their races to begin. Connor, Mielke, Jones and Brause have been swimming together for four years now.

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aperture | september 13, 2013

Freshman Chris Baxley cheers on his teammate. This is Baxley’s first year on the team, yet he shows potential.

September 2013  

This issue addresses the experience of transfer students after a new law was introduced to Missouri along with activities from the beginning...

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