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Volume 38 [Issue 2] October 29, 2008






Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South] St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight Oct. 29, 2008


Morning traffic woes need creative thinking I t ’s M o n d a y morning. The piercing beeps of an alarm clock eventually give way to the equally annoying sound of car horns. The seemingly endless ride to school is underway. Traffic on the way to school is dangerous and making the time it takes to get to school longer than necessary. The intersection of the South Outer Road and Hwy 94 creates most of the traffic confusion. Students who come from the outer road experience wave after wave of cars and buses barreling down Hwy 94. In this case, dangerous is an understatement. Merging right onto 94, students experience the wrath of the sleep deprived teenage driver always trying to move a few spaces ahead. Few students enjoy taking a chance with their life less than an hour after they wake up. This constant stream of vehicles makes it hard for students coming from the outer road to even make it to school

Staff Editorial

on time. If a wrong move is made, the chance of making it to school at 7:25 is grim. Students are reluctant to let a car from the outer road onto 94, creating a line on the outer road that sometimes stretches beyond the commuter parking lot. Students blame the way the roads are structured, or even the timing of the traffic light. However, what students should do instead of finding a scapegoat is to make changes. Try carpooling to reduce the number of cars on the road, which will reduce gas usage and help the environment. Instead of leaving for school at 7:05 in the morning, leave a little earlier and beat the rush. Contact MODOT with complaints at Even putting just one police officer at the intersection or just timing the lights differently could solve the traffic dilemma. Traffic is a problem that can be simply avoided with a little careful planning, and that is something students can do.

Spotlight Staff Editor in Chief Associate Editor News Editor Sports Editor Features Editor Ad Manager Staff Writers

Andrew Cogswell Dara Vint Katie Greathouse Joe Pannullo Erin Key Maggie Herring Jenn Alloway, Austin Brooks, Kelsey Brown, Hannah Burkett, Katy Carron, Krystle Del Castillo, Dan Dowell, Maggie Flynn, Crosby Franklin, Sam Galloway, Raven Garrett, Michael Gulledge, Nick Holder, Jessica Howard, Moli Hucthinson, Kevin Lanzone, Evan Loveless, Caitlin Page, Tony Pavez, Suzanne Pelley, Kaley Perceful, Rae Strumsky, Sarah Taylor, Austin Thomas, Tara Tracy, Stephanie Wood, Kelsey


Michele Dunaway, MA, MJE

Hit or Miss [a quick Howell about the goods and the bads]

hit s Winning Two Football Games Even though it is taking a little time, Coach Koch’s program is working.

No School on Election Day Even though most of us can’t vote, it’s still nice to have Nov. 4 off.

Halloween on a Friday

mis se s Morning Announcements Even with corny and upbeat attempts to spark student interest, the announcements continue to be ignored.

Homework Over Fall Break It’s supposed to be a break from school, not extra time to fill out worksheets.

Not having to go to school after getting sick from extreme candy comsumption is a good thing.

Endless Political Commercials

Fall Break

Christmas Season Already?

After a year and a half, campaign ads are starting to get a little stale.

We are still one of the few school districts in the area that gets a week off in October.

Whether it is on radio stations or in Target, it’s not even November yet!

Saturday Night Live

Career Unit for Juniors

With Tina Fey’s impression of Sarah Palin, politics finally got a little more humorous.

Planning the rest of their lives provides students with a little more stress than expected.

Editorial Policy

• • •

Letters to the editor will be printed in the opinion section Letters must be signed by the author and verified for publication by the editorial board. Letters to the editor may be submitted to Mrs. Dunaway in room A115 or emailed to Letters to the editor should not exceed 400 words, must be signed and must include the writer's address and phone number for verification All letters to the editor will be verified by a member of the editorial board to determine the authenticity of the writer No material will be printed where content is obscene, invasive of others' privacy, encouraging physical disruption of school activities and/or implies libel The editorial board reserves the right to have letters edited for length, grammar, punctuation, clarity, etc. If editing is required, the letter will be sent to the author for consent. The school newspaper will only publish one letter per author per issue

All letters to the editor become the property of the school newspaper upon receipt and will not be returned

• • • • • •

Purpose of the school newspaper “Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...” - The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

“The vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms is nowhere more vital than in the community of American schools.” - Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District The Francis Howell Spotlight is the official student newspaper at Francis Howell High School. The Spotlight began as a Francis Howell publication in 1971. The Spotlight believes it is essential to preserve the freedom of the press in order to preserve a free society and its purpose is to inform, interpret, and entertain through accurate and factual reports. Therefore: • This school newspaper will serve the best interest of the students of Francis Howell and keep itself free from any other obligation • The staff of the school newspaper will accept guidance from its adviser, but will make its own editorial decision • only the editorial board may veto any material intended for publication, judged to be in violation of the Spotlight editorial policy • this school newspaper will vigorously resist all attempts at censorship, particularly prepublication censorship • the school newspaper will serve as an educational laboratory experience for those on staff. • The school newspaper will run as a limited open forum • The goal of the school newspaper is to cover the total school population as effectively and the staff will strive to be impartial and responsible in its coverage of issues.


All ads must be approved by the editorial board. An ad rate schedule and ad policies are available by calling 636-851-4820.

Francis Howell High School

[7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304


Spotlight Oct. 29, 2008


Future of Howell building depends on a yes vote Francis Howell is old. While inside the dingy, deteriorating walls one finds excitement and learning, the facility, as a whole, can’t compare to its younger sister schools. The grounds are in desperate need of rejuvenation, with the passing of Proposition B being its only foreseeable hope. Even though most students that attend Howell can’t vote and won’t even be affected by the construction or get to enjoy the new buildings it brings, students care about the bond. Some have younger brothers or sisters that are coming to this school and they want something for them that they never had, a brand new redesigned school. The new school would provide more parking and entrances, which have been severely needed and may lower the amount of accidents around the area. The campus will be more enclosed providing less travel time between classes while also being a safer environment in case of emergency. A new cafeteria, gym, and other sport related areas would be constructed in order to meet the needs of the student

Staff Editorial



body. Francis Howell North and Daniel Boone Elementary will also be receiving money from the $78.5 million dollar bond to help redesign parts of their school. All schools in the district benefit as more maintenance money is freed up as it won’t be needed at Howell. A yes vote will not increase taxes. Bonds are paid off over many years by the school district and can be paid with the current tax assessment. If this bond issue does not pass, then the school district will have to cut back on budgets that help the classrooms function on a day-to-day basis (i.e. instruction and supply budgets) and suspend other projects to help pay for the new school. This bond needs to be passed for future students of the Francis Howell School District. In order to keep up to date with the needs of students, a new building needs to be had. Students cannot continue to attend a school that is so old and has some buildings flooding and falling apart. The Spotlight staff would like to encourage all voters to vote yes for the future students in hopes that their buildings are a better learning environment than we were endured.

What are your plans for Halloween?

“I’m going to a costume party dressed up as a hockey player.” –junior Zack Glatz “I’m going trick-ortreating with my friends.” –freshman Chloe Mastin


by | andrew cogswell Hope can be found in the strangest of places. Last January was a pretty rough time for me. I pretty much hated the entire month. I tend to think of January as the Monday for the entire year, so when the month started off bad I knew I was in for a rough ride. I felt like my old friends were slowly starting to slip away or I was replacing them with new ones. I was getting used to being in a new house. Not only that, but I had been dumped by my girlfriend of the last year, while at the same moment losing one of my closest friends. During this time I found my two sources of hope: friends and music. While friends were part of the problem in the first place, both new and old ones really helped me turn things around. I’ve always been the one my friends come to if they have problems so it was weird for me to need their help. They kept me busy and out of my new house, even if it was as simple as two of them driving around with me, going down Highway K and stopping anywhere we thought was interesting. I learned to accept help from unexpected people or even ones I hadn’t talked to in awhile. January was a time for me to realize how much I missed some of my friends or needed them. It seems sad that something had to happen to me in order for me to be reminded that they were still there.

Music has always been a strong factor in my life, ever since I started listening to punk and alternative in seventh grade. January really helped me see how big of a deal music was. I’m not exactly sure when I started listening to two specific bands, but for the first three months of the year the only CDs I listened to were Rise Against’s The Sufferer and the Witness and Jimmy Eat World’s Futures. Ever since that time, these two CDs have been two of my all time favorites. Every time I listen to any song on those albums I remember those first few months of adjustment not with regret or sadness, but with a fresh, new perspective on what January meant to me. Everyone finds hope in different things: faith, friends, family, music, or even something as simple as a bird chirping. The world is a big and beautiful place, but it can also be a very scary place, so find things that give you hope and hold on to them as tight as possible. Thanks to my friends and my music, I look forward to each new challenge that awaits me and I look back on past experiences with new eyes. Since January I have returned to my former self and I have rebuilt a friendship that means the world to me. I know that eventually I would have reached this point no matter what, but I can’t help but think that it’s partially because of my sources of inspiration that I made it back so quickly.


“I’m going to take the job of dishing out candy when the doorbell rings.” –English teacher Mike Storm

“I’m going to head out around my neighborhood trick or treating.” –senior Gentry Leonard

“I want to go to a party with my friends.” –sophomore Sophie Lozano

Graffiti needs to stop

Coming to school Sept. 30 came with a bigger issue than the test in first hour everyone forgot to study for. Security officers and principals greeted students, and checked boys’ backpacks before allowing entrance into the school building. They were obviously looking for something. There had been yet another graffiti incident in the boys’ bathroom. This threat wasn’t the first the school had seen. In the past four out of five years there has been at least one boys’ bathroom vandalized in the school district. Past incidents indeed caused panic. The graffiti incident two years ago at Howell caused over half the student body to avoid coming to school all together. However, this less than entertaining prank on Sept. 30 caused more students to roll their eyes in annoyance than walk the halls in fear. It is unfortunate that Howell has a graffiti problem, but it is even more unfortunate that these schemes cause threatened students to become stressed, not because they are in danger, but because they have to pay the consequences

Staff Editorial

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

from one student’s actions. No passes during class, and tense faculty. The already strict security increases, and teachers double as bathroom monitors. Everything results from one student’s poor choice. Whether the vandalism was done in hopes of cancelling school, or a desperate attempt for some laughs and attention, it was almost entirely unsuccessful. School was obviously not cancelled, and the stunt was obviously not funny, making more students fed up with their peer’s immaturity and the unnecessary stress it brings to their school day. The only attention received was negative. The graffiti incidents need to stop. They are a hassle. Hopefully realizing that the majority of the student body is fed up with all the inconveniences and not eager to see ‘who could pull it off next’ will help the potential graffiti artists come to some sense. The past culprits have been caught and arrested, so regardless if the culprit’s intentions are just for harmless attention or not it’s not a game. It’s not innocent. It’s an issue that can only be prevented by the students themselves.

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight Oct. 29, 2008


‘She’s a miracle’

Gregory well enough to go home The World at

by|dara vint The bus let out a loud hiss of air and the 100 people hiding behind it fell silent. As the motor coach pulled away, revealing the hidden surprise guests, alumna Jake Gregory’s face ignited with joy. She pushed her mom’s bracing hands away and slowly tottered towards the screaming crowd, unassisted. For the crowd, it was the first time they had ever witnessed a miracle. Just over two months after her near fatal accident at Klondike Park, Jake is going home. Nearly 100 friends, family, teachers, nurses, even firefighters that were on site the day of accident gathered to show their support outside St. Johns Mercy Rehabilitation Center as Jake was released Thursday, Oct. 16. “Knowing Jake walked out of the hospital makes me feel elated,” English teacher Loretta Wylie said. “I’ve known Jake since eight grade and I’ve always known in my heart that she is a fighter and she would overcome the odds.” As special tribute to Gregory’s favorite television show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the attendees hid behind the charter bus, waiting for Jake to call out the magic words: “Move that bus!” “The ‘move that bus’ reveal was great way to show support and love for Jake. It allowed her friends and family to share in this significant moment after spending so many days praying for and worrying about her,” Wylie said. After the reveal, news reporters asked Jake if she had anything to say to all her supporters. “For the first time in my life I’m rendered speechless,” Gregory said. Though her speech is broken and her movements unpolished, her love for others and caring heart remain fully intact. “She texts people all the time [including while at the rehab facility] asking how she can be praying for them and sending “have a wonderful day” messages,” junior Chelsea Speckert

by| crosby franklin

Alumna Jake Gregory hugs junior Chelsea Speckert after her release from St. John’s Mercy Rehabilitation Center, Thursday, Oct. 16.

said. Speckert was with Jake the day of the accident and remains one of her closest friends. “At one point her facebook status was ‘Jake is the only happy rehab patient’,” Speckert said. Gregory will remain in physical therapy ten hours a week but her fast pace recovery so far has left friends and doctors alike speechless. “It’s amazing, thinking back on how 67 days ago the doctors were saying she wouldn’t make it through the night, and then she walked out completely unassisted,” Speckert said. “She’s a miracle.”

Computer usage more than a game District cracks down on unauthorized downloads on school computers by| katie greathouse Firefox. iTunes. Ms. Pacman. Unreal Tournament. These are some of the many programs students have downloaded onto school computers. What few students grasp, however, is that the district server can track any action made on a computer. A list of students who have downloaded unacceptable applications were recently sent to assistant principal Randy Carter. “The list has the student number and the name of the file. The list has been compiling for a while. I’ve (spoken with) students that currently aren’t in computer classes, but had downloads from last year,” Carter said. Downloads are checked. “Some classes use large amounts of storage space, but the folders can get too high in size which results in slowing down the network.,” Carter said. Individuals from the Central Office watch the size of the folders and if they’re too large, they look at the contents. If the contents are inappropriate, they call


and inform the school,” Carter said. Most students don’t realize they can be caught. Inappropriate applications include games, file sharing, and proxies. All of these applications can be tracked. “I thought that the odds of getting caught were one in a thousand,” junior Long Le said. Downloading can have damaging effects. “Once students get around the firewall, they have the ability to go anywhere. Downloads can do harm to the network and destroy files or folders,” Carter said. Students usually receive a warning for a first offense. Certain cases, however, may result in more drastic consequences. “Stealing confidential information or continuing to use programs after being warned could lead to suspension,” Carter said. A majority received a warning. “I downloaded a game and I just got a warning when I went down there. Next is suspension. I don’t think it’s suspension worthy,” junior Ryan Anani

Francis Howell High School

said. The list contained many students. “Students have been told to take programs off and not put them back on. Some of the students weren’t called down because of the volume of students on the list, but teachers also had conferences,” Carter said. Some feel downloading is minimal. “I don’t really consider downloading a big deal, but I guess it depends on what you’re downloading. Music would be, because it’s copyrighted,” Le said When students fail to log out of accounts or share their passwords with others they’re putting themselves at risk. Downloads are traced back to the account holder, not the downloader. “They called me down because I had this proxy program installed. I didn’t do it, but I’m not gonna lie, I leave my computer logged in a lot,” junior Jerel Brittenham said. Protection is main priority. “The purpose is for the safety of all kids,” Carter said. “We’re making sure they aren’t exposed to things that they shouldn’t be.”

[7001 Highway 94 South]

When I was three years old, I received a doll from my dad. He had been gone for what seemed to be eternity, and the reunion gift was the most beautiful doll I’ve ever seen. Her dress is floral and colorful, and she has a red head scarf tied with a white, lacy ribbon. She has a soft cloth body and a ceramic face painted deep brown with red lips. As my dad gave the doll to me, he told me that she and many other dolls were hand made by women living in the village where he had been. I only knew that the place he went to was called Haiti and it was far away from our home on an Army post in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized why my dad had gone to Haiti. He was one of the troops deployed as part of Operation Uphold Democracy, a peace-keeping effort led by the United States military and the United Nations. In the early nineties, Haiti’s government was taken over by a repressive military regime. In an effort to reinstate the democratically elected president, the US and UN staged a peaceful intervention. As I’ve come into my own, I realize the importance of what my dad did. He helped people in far worse situations not just because it was his duty as a soldier, but also because it was his duty as a person. This sense of social responsibility has been a guiding factor in my life and is the reason I stress the importance of getting involved and being aware. There are so many ways to make the world a better place: getting involved in political campaigns, donating to charity, volunteering time. Small efforts go a long way when it comes to improving the lives of others. Every morning as I look at my doll, I think of the woman who put time and energy into making her. I think of my dad, doing what he could to make life easier and more peaceful for a repressed people. And I think of the importance of listening to my social conscience and doing what I know is right.

Don’t forget to VOTE! Election is Nov. 4 (No School)

St. Charles, MO 63304

Quick Hits

Spotlight Nov. 19, 2008



DECA supports charity

Bond measure passes

DECA presented their annual school-wide fall charity drive, ‘Hang Your Hat on Hope’, Oct. 20-23. Proceeds benefited both the National Children’s Cancer Society as well as World Vision, a global Christian relief organization in honor of alumna Jake Gregory. Hat day tickets, allowing students to wear their craziest hats, sold for $2. Hat grams sold for $1 and hung on the upper C lobby walls. Gently used hats collected throughout the week were donated to the Children’s Cancer Society. “It was actually Jake’s mom’s idea to call it ‘Hang Your Hat on Hope’,” DECA president Melissa Hirner said. “It was a really creative idea because we could help young cancer patients other than just giving them a donation, we could give them hats to wear.” With the help of the staff and students DECA raised nearly $800. “I know we could always raise more money as a school, but for now I’m just glad our first fundraiser was a success,” Hirner said. “We helped kids and honored Jake, it was an awesome week.”

Proposition B, the School district’s no-tax-rate-increase bond issue, passed Nov. 4 with 65.25 percent yes votes. The funds will be used to construct a new academic wing and other areas at Howell. Funds will also be used at Francis Howell North and Daniel Boone Elementary. “The District is extremely grateful for the continued support shown by our community,” Superintendent Dr. Renee Schuster said.

Sam Galloway

Band season successful

Day after election passes without incident

Marching band seniors play during the Sept. 26 homecoming football game.

Red Ribbon Week urges people to be drug-free

The choir hosts a madrigal dinner at the Christy Banquet Center Dec. 4 at 6 PM. There will be food, music, and other forms of entertainment. “We’re performing, singing, and dancing to songs from the Renaissance time period in a festive holiday setting,” senior Jon Christopher said. “There will also be a comic skit acted out by the members of Chamber Choir.” Guests are invited to attend a concert at Dardenne Presbyterian Church, 7 PM Nov. 21. On Nov. 24 the choir will be attending the Wentzville Festival at Wentzville Holt High.

With the presidential election finally over, one would think that students would be sick of talking politics. Not senior Hanna Xu. She is one of many students who participate in Youth in Government (YIG), an organization built as a simulation for state government. YIG students perform all the regular responsibilities that Missouri’s state government does. Xu is the YIG governor who ran the statewide event. The convention occurred November 14-16 in Jefferson City in the Capital and Supreme Court building.

Quill and Scroll adopts platoon Quill and Scroll, the journalism honor society, has adopted the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division’s Pathfinder Company. There are 63 men in the company including 2007 alumnus Pvt. Peter Waggoner. The company will be deployed to Iraq for a year. They are in charge of reconnaissance; performing downed aircraft recovery as well as landing zone and drop zone security.

DECA president Melissa Hirner hangs hat grams along the upper C lobby walls Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Eric Kallbrier wins Heisman

Choir prepares for concerts

YIG attends state convention

Dara Vint

The school locked down Wednesday Nov. 5 because of a graffiti threat discovered in the girl’s bathroom in the B building, Nov. 4. Increased security and bag checks were safety precautions in addition to no passes and closed commons area during lunch. The day passed without an incident.

The marching band finished first in division finals. They won the “Outstanding Visual” award Oct. 25 at the Greater St. Louis Competition. Tryouts occurred Nov. 3 for the district honors band. Charles Miller (split lead) and Caroline Koncz (clarinet) made the squad. Three more, Jessica Tibbetts (flute), Matt Gragg (bass clarinet), and Caullen Cauldwell (alto saxophone) made it as alternatives. All five are eligible to try out for the All State Band, in Columbia, Dec. 6. The actual All State Competition occurs Jan. 22-24 at Tan-Tar-a.

Dara Vint

Jenn Alloway

Because of graffiti, girls had bags and purses checked outside of the A building entrance, Nov. 5. Principal Chris Greiner and a helper stop senior Jordan Capobianco as part of enhanced security. It was the second threat found this year.

Business teacher Larry Anders participates in Red Ribbon Week by wearing the ribbon handed out during first hour classes, Oct. 27.

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) celebrated Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 27-31. SADD distributed red ribbons and helped students make a commitment to staying drug and alcohol-free for that week. “We want people to realize that drug and alcohol use is dangerous, and red ribbon week really gets the message across. A lot of students here drink and do drugs, and it’s a problem that has to be dealt with,” club member Amanda Milster said.

by| andrew cogswell, kaley perceful, crosby franklin, evan loveless, erin key and kevin lanzone

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

“It’s very, very competitive,” activities director Dave Witter said. So competitive, in fact, that thousands of applicants are nominated each year throughout the state for the Wendy’s Heisman award. This prestigious award recognizes scholar athletes. It showcases students entering their senior year who have proven hard work, dedication, and community involvement. Senior Eric Kallbrier received one of the two Heisman awards given at Howell. “My dad nominated me and I didn’t even know it,” Kallbrier said. The judging is based on academic achievement and athletic accomplishment. After receiving school nomination, the winner has the opportunity to move on to competitions starting at regionals, to state levels, and moving up to nationals. Prizes range from medals and gift certificates to scholarships. Finalists have the opportunity to win up to $2,000. In 2006, graduate Sarah Strumph made it the top 10 finalists in the state. The requirements for school nomination are a 3.0 GPA and involvement in at least one after-school extra-curricular sport. “I ran cross country, track, and have a 4.2 GPA,” Kallbrier said. “This award is pretty cool to have on a college transcript.”

St. Charles, MO 63304


Spotlight Oct. 29, 2008

talking to frie

loud music




nds speeding Cars allow teens freedom, but the road isn’t smooth


y t p m e n o g n nni

gas prices

got insu


g n i t x e t

licensed drivers.”

Most accidents are preventable

Inattention number one cause of wrecks by| erin key “The number one cause of traffic crashes–inattention,” Sgt Al Notham said. Notham presented two safe driving workshops-–one each to juniors and seniors. Notham, who has been working for the Missouri State Highway Patrol for 12 years, works over 90 percent of fatality crashes in the state. Forms of inattention range from cell phones and iPods, to putting on make-up. Because of this, over 1,000 people die each year as a result of traffic crashes. “The number two cause is speeding and number three is alcohol related crashes,” Notham said. Despite speeding and alcohol-related crashes ranking behind inattention, texting has become very popular among teens and accounts for many accidents. According to an AAA insurance report, 46 percent of teens admit to texting behind the wheel. “I know I shouldn’t do it, but I do it anyway because I’m good at it,” senior Hannah Black said. As a result, many authorities are starting to take notice. California has already passed a ban on handheld call phones and Florida has proposed a law to prohibit texting behind the wheel, which many states are following. The law proposed would punish those who are caught to pay a fine on top of court costs. In August, a ban on cell

“Texting while driving is pretty difficult, but I feel like I have to do it when I receive one while driving.” –senior Kaity Campbell phones was proposed in Town and Country. Although it didn’t pass, Missouri is considering a proposal in 2009. “Texting while driving is pretty difficult, but I feel like I have to do it when I receive one while driving,” senior Kaity Campbell said. While most students feel that texting is a better way of communication, it has been compared to a form of impaired driving because even though the driver may be behind the wheel, their mind can be focused elsewhere. According to a study conducted by the UK Transport Laboratory, the study found that reaction time deteriorated 35 percent and steering control was 91 percent worse. In Notham’s opinion, the worst generation of drivers are ages 15-21. “They are over represented in traffic crashes,” Notham said.

Junior Paige Giancola texts a friend on her drive home from school Friday, Oct. 17.

Francis Howell High School

[7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304


Spotlight Oct. 29, 2008



Road rules:

Can you pass this driving test? 2) Can you get a full drivers license at age 16? a) Yes b) No 3) How long is a full driver’s license valid? a) 2 yrs. b) 4 yrs. c) 6 yrs. d) Life 4) A broken line may be crossed in a passing maneuver, even yellow lines. a) True b) False 5) What does a pentagon shaped sign mean? a) Stop

b) School c) Park d) Warning

6) When do pedestrians have the right of way? a) At all times b) Only when there are not any road signals c) Never, vehicles always have the right of way d) None of the above 7) Which way should you turn your wheels when parking uphill? a) Left b) Straight c) Right d) Never park uphill

c) Never leave the motor running in the garage d) It’s okay to leave the motor running in the garage for five minutes

9) At what speed can a vehicle start hydroplaning? a) 20 mph b) 25 mph c) 30 mph d) 35 mph 10) Where can you obtain a drivers license? a) On the internet b) At the Missouri Drivers Bureau c) Insurance office d) None of the above

8) What should a driver do to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning? a) Leave the motor running in the garage b) Leave the motor running and the windows closed while parked

Accidents happen ...

Answers: 1) a 2) b 3) c 4) a 5) b 6) a 7) c 8) c 9) d 10) b

1) If you are a new Missouri resident is it necessary to get a MO drivers license? a) Yes b) No

Insurance statistics show teens have driving issues • 56% said they use cell phones while driving. • 69% said they speed to keep up with traffic. • 64% said they speed to go through a yellow light. • 47% said their passengers distract them. • 50% said they believe most crashes involve teens drinking and driving. • 31% of teens are killed from drunk driving.

• 16-17 year old–death rates increase with each additional passenger. • 54% of deaths occur Friday-Sunday. • 42% of deaths occur between 9 PM & 6 AM. • Deadliest months: June, August, October. • July 4-28 teens die every year. • Jan. 1-23 teens die every year. Source: Allstate Foundation

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight Oct. 29, 2008


Insurance a necessary expense I

Although teens can be awarded lower rates for a clean gnorance. record, a sloppy one will result in a dramatic increase in When it comes to teens “Circumstances (for rate increase) depend on prices. Being ticketed for speeding or traffic violations and automobile insurance, this is a recurring theme. “I’m clueless,” junior Jake Webb said. “My parents the standing with the company. Five percent and being in a car collision are the fastest ways to higher prices. handle it for me.” “Circumstances (for rate increase) depend on the Insurance companies bombard consumers to 10 percent increases for one accident or as standing with the company. Five percent to 10 percent with ads. Progressive has Flo; Geico has the gecko; Nationwide has NASCAR’s Kevin Harvick and much as a 50 percent increase depending on increases for one accident or as much as a 50 percent increase depending on the amounts of an accident,” State Safe Auto has a catchy jingle. the amounts of an accident.” Farm agent Kelly Del Castillo said. “The higher risk a driver The state of Missouri requires auto insurance and –State Farm agent Kelly Del Castillo is, the higher the premium [price] of their coverage.” driving without breaks the law. The minimal level of coverage required by the state If more teen drivers were more aware of their for bodily injuries is $25,000 for the injury of one person insurance company’s policies, then more of their money and $50,000 for injuries to more than one person. The could be saved. According to American Family Insurance agent Dawn Eckman, students can obtain lower minimal coverage for property damage is $10,000 for any single accident (www.thegeneral. rates by having multiple vehicles in the family, keeping good driving records, and earning over com). a 3.0 GPA in their school. However, if these amounts do not cover the accident, the driver at fault is responsible for Typical insurance generally includes coverage of any potential injuries sustained to the the balance. Considering that many new cars have sticker prices over $30,000, a $25,000 policy body (called liability), and any property damage to the driver’s own car (comprehensive and may not be enough. collision). Missouri also requires a driver to have proof of insurance in the car at all times. “Students need to be informed because in case of an accident they will need to know “I would like to be more informed, and others should be too. They will have to deal with it a basic idea of what to do, how to handle the situation, and an idea of what their company eventually, so they may as well start early and be more intelligent on the subject,” Webb said. covers,” junior Nicole Survant said.

by| kevin lanzone

Film club: Take 2

Potential club looks for members to study great movies

Kuhl drives in from Troy He probably has one of the longest drives to school. For senior Brad Kuhl, even those in Foristell live closer. Kuhl lives in Troy, a minimal drive of over 30 miles. “My uncle lives out here and we were visiting him and his neighbors told us they were moving. Jokingly, my mom said we should move out here too, but when we were looking at houses, she fell in love with one in particular and we moved in May of last year,” Kuhl said. Living in Troy also cuts out a lot of preparation time before school for Kuhl. “I usually leave my house at about 6:30 and it takes me about 45 minutes to get here. So, I usually get to school at about 7:15 to 7:20,” he said. Kuhl’s parents seem to be okay with him doing this consistently. “Since I had no choice in moving, they by | dan dowell

are fine with me driving that far for school, friends, and everything else,” he said. However, this does take a toll on his wallet. Kuhl says with going back and forth to school, he has to fill his tank up twice a week, spending about $50 per fill up. Yet he is not the only one that has to go through this process. “My mom actually works at North, so she has to go further than I do on a daily basis,” Kuhl said. The most important loss for him, however, is the loss of his social life. “It stinks trying to hang out with my friends. I have to plan better now because if my plans fall through, its a big waste of my time and gas,” he said. So Kuhl continues to live the average student life, he just has to drive a little bit further than everyone else.

Francis Howell High School

institutions for exceptional work in film,” Thompson said. Thompson’s hope is that the students could eventually make their own films but he is a bit skeptical of that. “If time and budget permit, I would also like to let students explore their inner ‘movie mogul’. They could form ‘studios’ and assign jobs in order to create their own movie masterpiece. Although I doubt it would be possible, I would want students to have full freedom of creativity in their films,” he said. He is in the early stages of getting the club started. “I have briefly talked to the previous proprietor of Film Club, Mr. Wayne, about

the idea of bringing it back. I also asked a few people if they would want to join,” he said. He is looking for people who are just as passionate about films to spend some time after school, to help set up a great club. “I need people who are willing to make this sacrifice to create a club they can enjoy and remember past their high school years. If your one of these people, please help start up this club and mold it into a great after-school activity,” he said. If you are interested you can get in contact with Thompson by leaving a message in B 203.

It’ll soon be time to think about your schedule. Don’t forget a FHHS Publications Class! Journalism Earn a Communication Arts, Practical Arts, or Electivecredit. Journalism Learn to write like the Photo Earn a Practical Arts pros, and you might have or Elective credit. Learn to your work published in use Photoshop to make your Spotlight or Howelltonian. pictures stand out! Watch for some s

To many, student movies are a way to kill time on a boring Friday night, but to junior Sean Thompson movies are a way to life. “I have a great personal interests in films and believe that people appreciate the wrong ones,” he said. This is why Thompson feels the need to start a film club. “It is so important to show kids how powerful films can really be,” he said. “They all want everything in a movie to be spoonfed to them, without thinking about it for themselves. A story is too important for a movie to be simplistic or underdeveloped.”

The purpose of the club would consist of more than just movie watching; members would also to make an in-depth evaluation of the films. “Students in film club will critically analyze films. Theme, symbolism, direction, consistency, story, character depth, and actor/ actress performance are a few things I would like members to do,” he said. He also feels there is an importance to knowing the history of film and not just recent classics. “Cinema history should also be explored, such as major advancements in the industry, technological changes, genre prevalence in various decades, and the various award

Jessica Deter

by| austin thomas

of their work coming in the November issue of Spotlight.

These classes meet the prerequisites for Yearbook and Newspaper staff membership.

[7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight Oct. 29, 2008



1.Before coming to Howell, he worked at

Warrenton Middle School, St. Charles West, and Saeger.

2. Something interesting about him is

that he’s a die-hard Broncos fan and he used to be a Civil War reennactor.


you didn’t


His favorite type of music is classical, blues and Southern rock, and he likes The Allman Brothers Band, Tom Petty and U2.

know about...

4. He has one daughter, Sophie, who is in kindergarten, and he has a cat and a dog.

dean Chris Birch

5. He’s always lived in St. Charles and he

grew up here.

by | Maggie Herring

“Thanks to SCC, I am prepared for college, and have taken a leap forward in my four-year plan.” ~ Brianna Bernardy SCC Dual Enrollment Participant Francis Howell Central Alum, 2008 Freshman at Truman State University

Ask your counselor how to get started at St. Charles Community College. 636-922-8000 Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight Dec. 10, 2008


Cheerleaders place at state

Dear Sports Fans

by|dan dowell

by|joe pannullo

but we started making it better come late October. We practiced for about three weeks, five times a week for two hours. Most of the practices were from 7-9 PM, which was difficult Nov. 15-16, the varsity squad placed in the top five for the first time in six years. for work and school and a lot of us came in “We did have a few mistakes in our exhausted,” Lozano said. routine, but we were excited when the judges Nerves were high come competition announced we got fifth place. It’s the best time. Howell has done in six years,” Campbell said. “The week of the competition, we For the seniors, it has been four weren’t really hitting our stunts and we great years. were getting kind of worried,” senior Jenna “All the seniors have been amazing. Most Campbell said. of us have been together since freshman year. This started to show the day of the The team would have not been the same competition. without them, and everyone put in maximum “After we were done performing, we really effort all the way around, but we cannot didn’t know how well we did. We dropped forget about the juniors. They have worked two stunts, so we expected the worst,” junior just as hard as we have. It is nice to know that Erin Angeli said. our squad will be great even after the seniors Yet for all their worries, the squad leave,” Lozano said. benefited from the faults of the other schools.

Drumline marches in Thanksgiving Day parade by|jessica howard “Drumline has literally changed my life,” sophomore Brenden Perkins said. Perkins has been a member of FH Drumline since freshman year and prior to joining has played the snare drum for three and a half years. Drumline is a program that begins in November and lasts through the winter. “I heard about Drumline through a few of my friends. Some had been in line before I was even in high school, and some had friends or family that were a part of drumline. They told me how much fun it was and how often we get to go out of town for competition,” Perkins said. Just this last week, Drumline left for Chicago to partake in the annual McDonalds Thanksgiving Day Parade. Last year, Perkins said the most memorable even was the compettion in Dayton, Ohio where the team

placed in the semi-finals. “We practiced for nearly two hours almost every school day in preparation for Dayton. We made it into the semi-finals in the Scholastic A division, which pretty much means we placed in the top 20 around the world in our divison,” said Perkins. Not all the trips were successful as Ohio though. Last year the team also went to Indianapolis where they were not as well received. “We had two fifteen passenger vans for this trip, meaning we were right next to each other for 6 hours straight. We actually left for Indianapolis right after school, so by the time we got to our hotel it was pretty late. At the competition we blew up. The electronic instruments kept turning off on us, which threw everyone on and off,” Perkins said. Another part of Drumline that Perkins

wasn’t fond of was the lack of a social life. Perkins frequently found himself canceling on his friends and his family events. “Last year I was going to skip practice for my birthday dinner, but I was told if I went through with it, I would not be able to participate in the next competition. The time you spend at practice is well worth it when you are at a competition and get a huge crowd response after you perform,” Perkins said. “You don’t really have you sign up for Drumline, as long as you come to the meetings and practices that are held of certain days after school in November. You can try out for spots on various instruments including the snare drums, the bass drum, cymbals and electric and acoustic keyboards,” Perkins said.


With the struggling economy I began to look at all the things this country is spending money on. You have the war, gas, and all that good stuff. But none bothered me more than that the ridiculous amount of money we are paying athletes. There are men and women more disserving of that money than people like Phil Mickelson who makes an annual earning of $9,371,685. That’s a lot of money for someone who isn’t Tiger Woods. You can’t tell me that there isn’t a more disserve person or cause that would benefit from that money, more than a left handed golfer that only wins every once and a while. Basketball players rule the list of Sports Illustrated “Fortunate 50” with more than half the list consisting of guys who put a ball in a hoop. The highest paid, LeBron James making $40,455,000 in the last five years, with about $12,455,000 per year and $28,000,000 in endorsements. When an athlete starts making more for his commercials and shoes than what he’s famous for, it’s getting a bit absurd. The one that gets me the most when I see him on the list is Michael Finley. Apparently, he’s an NBA player for the San Antonio Spurs. I have never heard of the guy but yet he makes more than the record setting NASCAR driver, Jimmie Johnson. Although this will probably change since JJ won his third straight Sprint Cup Championship, tying the record for most consecutive championships. But he still makes less than Dale Earnhardt Jr. who hasn’t won a championship. I am a sports fan but I don’t see why they disserve all that money, no matter who you are. There travel is a bit extensive but not to the point where we have to give them millions. The one that cracks me up the most is the Manny Ramirez. The Boston Red Sox complained about him the whole time he was there, tried to get him suspended; yet they pay him a $20,000,000 salary.

Going into it, the varsity cheerleaders knew the state competition at the Hearnes Center in Columbia Nov. 15-16 was going to be tough. The squad had not placed in the top five in the state in six years. However, one goal remains the same every year. “We really want to beat Central, but we were not upset when they beat us because we knew they worked just as hard as we did,” senior Tasha Greifoner said. Howell Central finished second, ahead of them for the second straight time. Although they fell, there was something more important for the squad. “There are only five teams that are able to place in cheerleading. We wanted to finished in one of those spots,” senior Ali Lozano said. Hard work made this happen. “There is a lot of time put into the competition because you not only have to practice, but someone has to make the routine up deciding where everyone will stand and what will make it easier for people to go to each stunt, make the cheer and music to a certain length, and work until everything is perfect,” Greifoner said. Squad members had to balance their outside schedules with practices for state, which caused some problems during the fall. “We started practicing for our routine in July for the regional competition in August,

Boys Basketball Girls Basketball Ice Hockey 12/15 vs. Saint Charles West 12/12 vs. Union 12/12 vs. Ft. Zumwalt South 1/14 vs. Saint Dominic 12/15 vs. Saint Charles West 12/19 vs. Howell Central 1/16 vs Warrenton 1/13 vs. Pattonville Wrestling Girls Swimming 1/07 vs. Francis Howell North 12/11 vs. Ft. Zumwalt East 1/10 vs. GAC Tourn. @ TBA 12/15 vs. Wentzville Timberland

Francis Howell High School

[7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304


Spotlight Oct. 29, 2008


Rent offers serious music Movie version of Broadway classic worth watching by |madelyn brandt Very few movies make you want to dance on top of tables, tango down the hall, or sing at the top or your lungs but the movie version of Rent does it all, and makes you cry your eyes out. The storyline is quite simple: seven friends living in New York’s East Village try to overcome hardships like the A.I.D.S epidemic and poverty by relying on each other. Intertwined are all types of passionate love stories that appeal to the romantic in all of us. Based on the award winning musical, Rent lives up to its Broadway counterpart. The movie takes elements from the play and magnifies them while still keeping the theatrical element. Dramatic lighting sets the mood of the movie while the grungy set is both realistic and visually pleasing. The effect is a feeling of watching a play that has the whole world as its stage. Deep characterization by the actors makes Rent believable and enjoyable. All but two actors from the original Broadway cast reprised their roles in the film. Chemistry between Adam Pascal (Roger) and Rosario Dawson (Mimi) was a bit lacking and stiff but other relationships are believable, especially Maureen’s (Idina Menzel) and Joanne’s (Tracie Thomas). Wilson Heredia who plays a cross dressing street musician named Angel, adds a comedic element at times but also gives a realistic portrayal of the hardships a street

Movie Review

musician and transvestite might face. Essential to a musical is good singing and choreographing and Rent delivers both. It’s the catchy songs that make you want to watch it again and again. Fresh voices blended with seasoned Broadway veterans give the movie version of Rent its own unique style. It segways cleanly from dialogue into musical numbers and does not make the viewer feel like they have missed something. There are a lot of musicals out there and none have come close to the quality of singing demonstrated in Rent. One aspect of the film that was disappointing was the predictable conclusion. As Mimi lay dying, Roger sings a sappy song to her that he has been struggling to write for a year. Her hand miraculously twitches; she slowly sits up and is perfectly fine. What are the odds that she would wake up from a drug overdose with no medical attention, just to Roger’s voice? The film tries to have a fairytale ending tacked on to a realistic beginning. The two do not mix, leaving viewers unsatisfied. Dramatic effects, believable acting, stirring musical numbers and a somewhat lacking ending make the movie version,

Musical Musings


Limelight Theater to perform Tennesse Williams play by| austin thomas

although certainly not perfect, a thoroughly enjoyable movie. It is rated PG-13 for mature material including sexuality, drug use, and strong language. Whether it’s singing or crying, Rent is sure to invoke strong emotions in mature audiences everywhere.

[Under the Radar]

This fall, Limelight Theater will showcase the play Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams. The story is a modern retelling of the Greek myth about Orpheus, and the play takes place in a small town in the 1950’s. The main character is Val (senior Jon Christopher), a young guitar player, who finds a job at a dry good store run by a middle-aged woman named Lady (junior Laura Coghlan), whose husband is dying. Lady soon finds herself attracted to Val and sees him as a way to escape her routine life. The play is filled with love and passion but is also marked with tragedy. Christopher believes that the story will relate well with the audience. “It’s a beautiful tragedy that deals with many of the issues today like corruption and love,” he said. “It is really intense and represents real life.” Coghlan thinks that the even though it is a love story, the characters do not concentrate on love. “The characters focus more on their past experiences than love,” she said. The play will run from Friday, Nov. 6 to Sunday, Nov. 8, in the auditorium. Tickets will cost $5 and go on sale during lunch the week of the play.

by| austin thomas

Today’s musical market is vaster than ever before, but there are only a handful of artists who dominate the airwaves. This is a shame, because a number of quality bands are not receiving enough attention. MGMT, a young band from New York, has caught attention for their unique and fresh sound. The band consists of Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, who met while attending Wesleyan University in Middleton, CT. The two first came together not to make music but just to hang out and show each other what music they liked. Their debut Oracular Spectacular is reminiscent of psychedelic pop

groups of the 60’s, with hints of making remixes, singles and EPs. futurist electronic sounds. The In March, the two released their song “Time to Pretend” serves self-titled debut album featuring over the top as the breaksynthesizers, through hit Songs to download: distorted vocals, and has been pounding featured in Of Montreal- “Id Engager” and and “Jennifer Louise” drumbeats. An the movie 21 and on MGMT- “Time to Pretend” interesting tool they utilize is an TV’s Gossip and “Electric Feel” Girl. MGMT Crystal Castles- “Crimewave” 8-bit sound chip, which generated can be found and “Courtship Dating” all the sounds on touring with old video game Beck right systems like now and are Atari and the first Nintendo. The about to start their own tour. Another young band song “Alice Practice” is a great receiving positive attention is example of the chip in use. Right Crystal Castles. They are an now, Crystal Castles is touring electronic duo that is made up Europe and in Nov. will return to of vocalist Alice Glass and multi- the States. Unlike MGMT and Crystal instr umentalist/programmer Ethan Kath, who started off by Castles, Of Montreal is a band

with some years under their belt. Contrary to their name, the band originates from Athens, Georgia. Their first album, Cherry Peel, was released in July 1997 on Bar/ None Records. Since then the band has released seven studio albums. Their general style is Indie-Pop, but occasionally songs venture into other genres. On the new album, Skeletal Lamping, the crew to explores funk and surf rock. The first single is “Id Engager,” a psychedelic tune with a groovy bass line, catchy high pitch vocals and a drum part that is impossible not to dance to. The album was released Oct. 24 and they just played the Pageant Friday.

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

It’s never too soon to be thinking yearbook. Make sure you’ve ordered yours. Last year over 50 people went without.

Call Jostens at 1-866-282-1516 to order.

St. Charles, MO 63304


Final Thoughts

Spotlight Oct. 29, 2008

back page

[2] At the Sept. 26 homecoming football game, fans show school spirit while cheering on the team to their first victory of the season. The Vikings triumphed against the Bulldogs 48-14.

[1] The band plays the National Anthem to start the football game, Sept. 26. During halftime, the band and color guard entertained the crowd.



Jenn Alloway


Michael Gulledge



[3] Sophomores Madeline Burnett and Katie Wu enjoy free cotton candy during the homecoming festival. Friday, Sept. 26, staff and students left classes at 11:30 to go out to the football field for the second annual celebration. This year any grade girl was allowed to participate in the powder puff game as the freshmen played the sophomores at the same time as the junior/senior game. [4] Homecoming queen and king Jenna Campbell and Ryan Sparkman are recognized during halftime. They ran against three other couples for the titles. Voting occurred during lunch.

Molli Hutchenson

Michael Gulledge

Michael Gulledge

Missed it

Michael Gulledge

In Case



[5] For fun, FCCLA hosted a game night, Sept. 18. Members ate and played games such as Apples to Apples as they got to know each other better. [6] Trying to gain yardage, wide receiver Brian Cobbs attempts to escape his Parkway West defenders. The Vikings fell to the Longhorns, 14-51. As of Oct. 20, Cobbs had rushed 750 total yards and was third overall in the GAC South.

Spotlight Acci  

Andrew Cogswell Associate Editor Dara Vint News Editor Katie Greathouse Sports Editor Joe Pannullo Features Editor Erin Key Ad Manager Maggi...

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