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Kaley Perceful

Volume 38 [Issue 4 December 10, 2008

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



Spotlight Dec. 10, 2008


Staff Editorial

When teachers break out the goal sheets at the beginning of the quarter, it’s common to hear the groans of students from the moment the papers are distributed. But this year, Howell has actually given a reason to fill the goal sheets out; rewards. The school has been doing a good job praising students for meeting their goals. Whether it’s a class goal or personal, it’s been great to know that achieving those goals can lead to pizza parties, doughnut breakfasts, or a free lunch from the cafeteria. Even though it might embarrass the unsuspecting people who get their name called out over the announcements that they won a free lunch, the administration is rewarding students for improving academic standards on a weekly basis.

Monday morning doughnuts are goals that every class should work for because a free breakfast can be had. In order to receive three dozen doughnuts, a class with perfect attendance is picked randomly every Monday morning. Gold level is probably one of the best rewards systems in place because it allows students to get out of finals. If students already have the grade needed, a potentially grade-busting final can be exempted. Even though the requirements of an “A” in the class and a spotless discipline record from the previous quarter might be hard to reach for some, it’s worth the effort. Altogether, the administration is doing an awesome job rewarding the students for simply meeting goals and they’re getting the message across that hard work actually does pay off.

Cartoon by Hannah Carlson

Administration does well rewarding achievement

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

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

hit s Thanksgiving break No other holiday can boast such a scrumptious display of food. Final Exam Exemptions The worst part of the end of the semester can now be avoided. Santa at the Mall Who doesn’t like getting a picture with good ol’ St. Nick?

mis se s Black Friday The most exciting shopping day of the year shouldn’t have to result in the death of a Wal-Mart employee. The Disappearance of Maggie Moo’s Fun flavors and tasty icecream are gone along with the trademark cow.

Early Snow We usually don’t get the most beautiful form of precipitation until January.

The World Ending in 2012? Whose idea was this? We were hoping to see the VH1 special “I Love the 2020’s.”

Christmas Lights We could stare at computer powered light shows backed by Trans-Siberian Orchestra for the rest of December.

Couples that are glued together Seriously, get a room people.

STUCO Canned Food Drive A fun competition that helps out families in need. Breakfast for a week sounds nice too.

Constructed Response Finals We would much rather just fill in bubbles to earn about half of our grade.

Administration handing out a Howell Time Survey Thank you for asking our opinions.

Recycled Boyfriends We can’t keep up on who’s with who.


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 Wyatt Michele Dunaway, MA, MJE

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 Dec. 10, 2008


This is by| andrew cogswell


’m not really sure why, but I really enjoy walks. They are such great stress relievers. At my old house I lived next to a gravel road and I was a frequent visitor on that dusty road. Every once in awhile, if I felt adventurous, I would walk down the main road in front of my house, either up towards Highway D or farther into the wooded depths of New Melle. Some of my fondest summer memories actually involve walking to New Melle. My neighbor and close friend Russ and I used to try to scrounge up some cash and walk up to the local convenience store to buy ourselves some lunch. Every time we crossed Highway D was an adventure. The three-mile walks provided a nice reprieve from the other days and made me appreciate where I was in life, both location wise and my overall progress. Other walks I won’t forget are the ones I took with my friend Erin. We would walk whenever we were stressed out or needed to get out of the house. On one such event took place around two years ago as we walked away from “downtown” New Melle



Facebook may have some students at risk

and just kept going. We ended up stopping by a bridge with a creek running underneath. The water wasn’t even a foot deep and judging from the incredibly cold temperatures, the water must have been freezing. As I followed the direction of the creek, I noticed the trees on the bank were lined with frost. As the creek edged around a bend, it looked like a scene you see in movies or paintings. We stopped and sat on the top of a steep embankment. Eventually we got up, walked over to the other side of the bridge, and moved down into the creek bed, jumping from rock to rock and holding onto trees and branches to keep our balance. For those few minutes in winter, everything was right in the world. I miss having the ability to take walks like that. Every since I moved to my new house a few miles away from my old one, I haven’t had the ability to take these great adventures with my friends and I’ve had to find new ways to work things out. Whenever I return to the dusty road or that frozen creek bed, I’ll be sure to walk back to where I’m supposed to be.

Facebook is silly, Facebook is lame, you shouldn’t put pictures on it ...of you playing drinking games.

Staff Editorial


hen kids put pictures of themselves on Facebook at a party doing something illegal it is far more serious than they think. Maybe your boyfriend just looks so cute, you just had to put the picture on. What you might not notice though, is that his friends are holding beers in the background. Then, in the next picture, so is he. Then, several pictures later, you are too. Students need to realize that this affects them later on in their lives. Colleges and jobs looking to hire have begun to look at Myspace and Facebook as a potential deal clincher. Seeing pictures of drugs, alcohol, or sexual PDA best left private may dissuade

a future employee from hiring because it will harm the company’s image. In addition to losing out on jobs, scholarships, or even acceptance to college, legal problems could easily arise. It needs to be remembered that underage drinking is illegal. Why would you post yourself doing something illegal for the whole world to see whenever they want to? Serious trouble with the law could occur if someone is writing all over their Myspace page that they are having a huge party with alcohol. Cops are known to find out about parties through online pages. Students have been removed from sports team and cheerleading squads because online content breaks laws and school rules. In general, students just need to realize that their actions are not as private as they tend to think they are, and make better choices instead. Or, at the very least, not display them to anyone looking.

What is going to be your hardest final this semester? “I’m dreading the honors physical science final, but whatever happens happens.”

“GIA is going to be the hardest final to prepare for. At least it only counts for 20 percent of my grade.”

Face In The Crowd

Allison Barker [9]

“Biology will be the worst final for me, but I will gradually study for it.” Taylor Huntington [10]

Brinna Ball [10]

“German is not fun. It’s so hard that I might just refuse to prepare for this final.” “Environmental Studies will probably be my hardest final. I’m a lot better at math than science stuff. Andrea Lehman [11]

“Algebra will be horrible. I’m so terrible with numbers.” Joey Janitch [10]

Andrew Raden [11]

“French I is going to be my hardest final. I can speak it but I definitely can’t read it on a test.” Murphy Coyne [10]

“Math analysis will be the hardest final. At least it’s just a semester class.” Shelby Wade [12]

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight Dec. 10, 2008


Prop B passes to rebuild school by| maggie herring Nov. 4, St. Charles County residents voted and passed Proposition B, which grants the school district a $78.5 million bond to be put towards rebuilding Francis Howell, as well as other school improvements within the district. The project is estimated to take three years to fully develop the new sections of Francis Howell. The first phase of construction will start in June 2009. During that time a circle drive around the school will be paved and the soil around the school will be prepped. Once this is complete, construction will

begin on the new three-story academic building. “I think the classrooms will be the most beneficial for everyone because they will be modern and more energy efficient,” junior Shelby Parker said. Construction is estimated to start fall 2009. While this occurs there will be temporary student parking which could either create more parking spots or less, which remains undetermined. Teachers and students are being expected to move into the academic building as soon as fall 2011.

Once this phase is finished, the new athletic offices, gym, parking spaces, and practice space for teams will be built. This additional gym will be well equipped and will fill the need for extra practice space. This is should start fall 2011 and be finished fall 2012. This project is a huge undertaking for both students and teachers. “I think if everyone is patient and flexible it will work great,” Principal Chris Greiner said.

Early admission priority for seniors by| austin brooks


With the holidays fast approaching, many people have a rather lengthy todo list; buying gifts, decorating the house, and making plans with family. One thing that seniors can add to that list is “Applying for early admissions to colleges.” November and December are traditionally the time that colleges start to accept early applications. With more colleges starting to accept early admissions, it almost seems essential in order to be accepted at all. Almost three-quarters of colleges in America now accept applications as early as Sept. 1. There are two different processes for early admissions, Early Decision and Early Action. The difference is the amount of obligation that comes with each. If a student applies by ways of Early Decision, then they agree to attend that college if they are accepted. This plan is not recommended for

those students who undecided on where they wish to attend college. Another drawback is that a student will have very little bargaining power. Since one has agreed to go to that school, there is no way to negotiate for better packages with other schools. On the other hand however, Early Action offers the same benefits without the obligation. Applicants still have the opportunity to apply early, but are not bound to that school if they are accepted. This allows students to apply to more than one college. “The best thing was the peace of mind because you find out whether or not you’re going to college or not,” senior Derek Burnett said. He has already been accepted by Truman University. “Plus it’s a really big hassle so you get that out of the way.” But getting the hassle out of the way is not the only perk. “You get first dibs at scholarships,”

Counselor Kim Potts said. “You get first dibs at housing, parking and other campus perks.” Students aren’t the only ones who benefit though. Colleges and universities can lock in many academically advantaged students. It also allows them to project estimates for the incoming class, allowing them to start preparing for the upcoming school year earlier than usual. There are a few items that are needed to fill out an application. Students will need the application, to write an essay if applicable, and a copy of their transcript. “I actually sat down to fill out my application and then realized that I forgot my transcript,” Burnett said. “I had to go back, get a copy of it, and start the whole process over again.”

Dec 13- ACT Exams Dec 16- Hour 1 Final Exam Dec 17- Hours 2 and 3 Dec 18- Late Start 8AM-Final Exams (Hours 4 & 6) Dismiss at 11:25AM Dec 19- Late Start 8AM-Final Exams (Hours 5 & 7) dismiss at 11:25AM Dec 22-Jan 5 Christmas Break Jan 6- First Day of Semester Two Jan 16- Report cards mailed to parents Jan 19- No School Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

Francis Howell High School

[7001 Highway 94 South]

The World at


by| crosby franklin My past year has been pretty bad, to put it mildly. It all began one January morning. My mom was driving me to school when she dropped the bomb. “Your dad and I are separating.” Wait. What? I had no idea what she meant, because the idea of them really separating was so far-fetched. However, she was serious, and that night my parents and I sat down to talk about it. In the following months, I learned how to navigate this unknown territory. Neither parent moved out because they didn’t actually separate. Every couple of weeks, they would decide to stay together. Then, there would be something else that would make them change their minds again. I’ve been living in this limbo all year. It’s worse than any real decision they could make, because I feel like I’ve lost my normal stability. My parents say that they are staying together, and although it’s hard because of what I’ve been through, I just have to put my faith in them. In spring, my eldest brother moved to San Francisco. He’s not only my best friend, but also my only source of relief throughout my parents’ indecision. His move meant that we wouldn’t talk nearly as often as we had always done. The combination of his work hours, my school hours, and the time difference means we get to talk once a week. As much as I value our conversations, I miss being able to share my day-to-day concerns and complaints with him. His absence made me realize just how important his presence at home was while we tried to keep our family life normal. To complicate things further, my other brother has been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. After sixty days of sobriety, he relapsed and started using even more dangerous drugs. After a few months he began calling our relatives and asking for money; when he reached my mom she told him that he needed to go to rehab. That’s where he currently is, and I can only hope he stays clean this time around. My point in giving a glimpse into my year isn’t to get a reaction; it’s simply that I want to point out that this is what my family looks like. We are messy, chaotic, and by all means, dysfunctional. But as the year has passed, I have learned that my family is not alone. Unconventional is the norm. As horrendous as my year has been, it is still just a year in the life of an everyday family. As the threat of a divorce loomed over my parents and consequently, me, I found comfort in the company of friends whose parents had also separated or divorced. While my brother’s troubles with addiction escalate, I lean on my friends that have seen their loved ones struggle with substance abuse. My support system is, on the surface, an unlikely group of people. Which brings me to the real purpose of my story: what are standard family values? I know that to outsiders my life can seem hectic at best, but I’m sure there are aspects of their lives that would confuse me. Through the good and the bad, I never once doubted that my family loved one another. And I think, overall, that is the one thing that matters. Regardless of any dysfunction, that is what I consider a family value. My advice is to appreciate your family, even when it seems there’s nothing about it to appreciate. As much as I may resent the things that have happened in the past year, I will never resent my family, because I love them. Plain and simple, dysfunction and all.

St. Charles, MO 63304

Quick Hits news

Spotlight Dec. 10, 2008


Junior Chelsea Speckert given ‘Do the Right Thing’ award

Multiple speakers talked about depression and how to deal with it at the Suicide Prevention panel, Nov. 19.

Speakers share how to handle depression by| krystle del castillo

During Howell time Nov. 19, about 35 students attended a panel on teenage depression and suicide. “As many people as I thought would come, attended,” FACS teacher Pricilla Reed said. Two teenage girls spoke about their struggle with depression, sophomore Becca Carter and junior Brittany Loyd. Also speaking were Chad’s Coalition’s founder Mary McCord (Chad’s mother) and the district’s lead counselor, Kim Moody.

McCord spoke about her child’s struggle with depression and how it could have been treated, while Carter and Loyd spoke about their battles with depression. Moody talked about watching one of her family members suffer from depression, and what kids can do to help a friend or family member. The event was such a success that Reed wants to have it again next semester. “We would like to do it again next semester, not the fundraising, but the guest speaker,” Reed said.

DECA travels to Kansas City by| dara vint

Yearbook receives national award by| kevin lanzone The 2008 yearbook received an All Columbian rating from the Scholastic Press Association critique services Dec. 1. The award is the highest critique recognition the organization gives. The book earned 985 out of 1000 points and honors in all five categories possible: concept, coverage, writing, photography, and design. Editor Stephanie Wood was surprised. “I didn’t think we’d do as well as we did. Everyone was so excited, even though only a couple members from last year are on the staff this year,” she said. This is the first time a Howelltonian yearbook has been All Columbian. The 2007

Senior Hannah Burkett builds pages for the 2009 edition of the Howelltonian yearbook. The 2008 volume received an All Columbian rating from the Columbia Scholastic Association in New York City.

yearbook missed the rank by five points. The award means the yearbook has joined the ranks of best in the nation.

Hidden Valley remains open by| erin key

Dara Vint

DECA members ventured by charter bus to Kansas City for the annual Central Region Leadership Conference Nov. 21-23,. Twelve different states from the central region-Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, and Nebraskaattended the conference, totaling more than 2,000 DECA members. “We were lucky the conference was held in Missouri this year. It was far enough to be like a vacation more than a field trip, but close enough that we could all afford it,” DECA president Melissa Hirner said. One stop and four hours later, the fourteen member team stepped off the bus and into the Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City.  “The hotel was like a mini city,” junior Tyler Huntington said. “It was really cool. The whole weekend was a lot of fun and I’m really glad I got to go.” The twelve attendees underwent workshops, seminars, and sessions of interactive fun and games, all to better

Junior Chelsea Speckert is interviewed for the the “Doing the Right Thing” award from Channel 4, Nov. 25.

Michael Gulledge

Krystle Del Castillo

On Tuesday. Nov. 25, junior Chelsea Speckert was interviewed by News Channel 4 for the “Doing the Right thing Award”. Speckert called 911 when graduate Jake Gregory fell in Klondike Park last fall. She was nominated for her actions in helping a friend and interviewed at school.

Joe Pannullo

by| Joe Pannullo

DECA members traveled by bus to attend the regional conference held in Kansas City, Nov. 21-23.

prepare them for the state and international competitions to come. “Most of the workshops were actually a lot of fun,” senior Laurin Crangle said. “They definitely helped me prepare for internationals.” The international competition is held late April into early May, this year in Anaheim, California. “Internationals is actually held over prom,” Crangle said. “But it’s internationals. And it’s Anaheim, California. So I want to qualify to go really bad.”

Write a letter to the editor! We want to hear from you!

Ski lifts, rentals, bunny hills, and difficult slopes doesn’t exactly sound like the type of location that could be found anywhere in Missouri, but Hidden Valley Ski Resort located in Wildwood is one of the rare snow sport facilities that allows outdoor activities in the winter. “It’s the closest thing we have compared to going to Colorado,” senior Jon Bemis said. However, this fall many St. Louis citizens felt a scare when reports arose that Hidden Valley was going to close. “I don’t have the funds to travel all the way out to Colorado,” senior Hannah Black said. People started petitions and websites in order to prevent one of the top St. Louis attractions for more than 25 years from closing. Restrictions started when Eureka residents complained about noise, lights, and traffic last year, wanting for the resort to close at 11 PM. With midnight skiing and snowboarding being most popular because snow is coldest at night, that would potentially take away most of the business. According to, Hidden Valley

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

wanted to expand by adding snow tubing for those who don’t ski/snowboard and 250 more parking spaces. After many months of negotiation, Hidden Valley signed a grant to keep one of the most popular winter retreats in place for ten more years. “It’s awesome that it’s not closing,” senior Nick Conover said. The entire resort is open to the public. Only slope and lifts require tickets and admission fees or access. “It’s so convenient because it’s close and not that expensive,” Bemis said. Although Hidden Valley is the most well known, there is a lesser-known resort north of Kansas City called Snow Creek located in Weston, Missouri. So when Colorado might seem like too far of a drive and whether there’s snow outside or not, Hidden Valley will continue to be a favorite attraction for skiers, snowboarders, and those just looking to have a good time. “It’s not much, but it’s something. It’s as close to real boarding as you can get,” junior Jana Lynch said.

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight Dec. 10, 2008



Missing Pieces



that my mom and dad would get back together. I really didn’t want to have a step-father,” Gerstenecker said. “My dad eventually remarried too. But I feel like the new family is a replacement family.” Junior Spencer Husk also had a hard time coming to terms with the addition of new family members. “Both my mom and dad remarried four or five years after the divorce. I remember feeling uncomfortable when I heard the news. I was nervous to start sharing a house with someone I didn’t really know,” Husk said. Husk spends equal time with both of his parents, who live within five minutes of each other. The holidays can be especially interesting. “I get to have four Christmases, which is awesome,” Husk said. “But at the same time it’s horrible.” by | nick holder Although Gerstenecker and Skelton didn’t feel the impact of the splits at first, the effects started to he thought of only getting to live with either show up later in life. mom or dad is a scary for an eight year old. “Now that I look back on it, I would be completely Divorce brings those nightmares to life. different if I didn’t have to deal with it. I would have more It’s a commonly known that time, and feel less pressure and stress,” almost one in every two marriages Skelton said. ends in a divorce. It’s not as common “I didn’t think anything of [the to find one that went smoothly. divorce] until I was thirteen and then “It worked out better for both I thought, ‘This is a mess, why were of them, although I still can’t really they ever together, this isn’t how it’s tell how they feel about each other. supposed to be. I want to be with my My mom says they are good friends,” dad all of the time.’ It just hit me all at junior Brigid Gerstenecker said. once,” Gerstenecker said. After constant arguments caused However, the feelings of remorse by moving and anger problems, soon faded, the divorce became just Gerstenecker’s parents divorced a memory for both Gerstenecker and when she was in the first grade. Since Skelton. the divorce was relatively mutual, “Switching between houses has –junior pretty much become routine for me there weren’t many problems during the separation. Brigid Gerstenecker now. It’s almost like it doesn’t really “My dad gave control of me and matter anymore,” Skelton said. my brother to my mom as long as he Once an event that dominated their could see us every once in a while. We elementary school lives, the divorce has didn’t even have to go to court,” Gerstenecker said. now faded into just a routine. Junior Jessica Skelton’s parents also divorced when she was in the first grade. Both Gerstenecker and Skelton say they were too young to even realize what was happening. For Skelton, the divorce meant splitting her childhood time between two houses, a complication she still lives with today. “There are times when it’s hard to feel like I’m spending an acceptable amount of time with both parents… and my dad lives an hour away from all of my friends, so whenever I’m there, I can’t do anything with them,” Skelton said. Gerstenecker sees her dad much less often because he is half the world away. He works for the Air Force and is stationed in Columbia, South America. The inclusion of step-parents in the equation creates even more confusion and hard feelings, especially for Gerstenecker. “When my mom was getting remarried, I still thought

Divorce has long term impact on family life


“This is a mess, why were they even together, this isn’t how its supposed to be.”

Francis Howell High School

[7001 Highway 94 South]

Teens share e depression o by| jessica howard Sophomore Brandi Baumhoff is an average, everyday teenager. She enjoys being around friends and family, singing along with her favorite songs and shopping. Five years ago, the same could not be said. Five years ago, Baumhoff was diagnosed with depression. “At first I was so angry. I didn’t feel like there was anything wrong with me and no way did I need medication. For awhile, I refused to take it. I would place the pill in my mouth so my mom would see, then flush it down the toilet a little later,” Baumhoff said. After her diagnosis, Baumhoff ’s life became more challenging. Her grades plummeted and she isolated herself from everyone she once cared about. “My friends all began to worry because I would talk about how their lives would be better if I weren’t in it. They knew there was something wrong. When they became worried, I started to withdraw more, which only made it worse,” Baumhoff said. Life at home wasn’t any better. She began to resent her family and would frequently take out her anger and frustration on them, “I guess I felt some form of control that way, but I knew that I couldn’t keep doing this. I was miserable,” Baumhoff said. After awhile, Baumoff and her mother began seeking alternative ways of releasing aggression. It was then that she found martial arts. “The classes I took helped so much. I would go in that room and I could finally just release all the anger I would hold back. Things began

St. Charles, MO 63304

“My frie began to because talk abo their lives be be weren

–so Brandi B

to improve and I star medicine,” Baumhoff Once Baumhoff her medication, she b brighter side of life o gradually began to op friends and felt more the idea of dating. “I used to feel lik way guys could like m sad and I knew they w was worth putting up comfortable enough w where I can be in a re the fear of rejection,” “I enjoy life so m and am a much happi cannot begin to descr I am for the friends w side,” she added. For Baumhoff, h family’s constant supp her weekly martial art helped. For sophomo

Chat features

Teens struggle in unhealthy relationships

by| crosby franklin

effects of on their lives

ophomore Baumhoff

ted to take my f said. began taking began to see the once again. She pen back up to her comfortable with

ke there was no me. I was always so wouldn’t think I p with. Now I am with myself to elationship without ” Baumhoff said. much more now ier person. I ribe how thankful who stood by my

her friends and port along with ts classes is what ore Joey Janitch,


Young love comes with consequences


ends all o worry I would out how s would etter if I n’t in it.”

Spotlight Dec. 10, 2008

skateboarding filled the void. “When I am skating I feel like everything is okay. There is no one telling me that I am wrong or that I can’t do it. When I skate, there are no distractions,” Janitch said. A couple years ago, Janitch was diagnosed with not only depression, but also ADHD. These disorders have caused a fair amount of strain in Janitch’s life. School has proven to be especially difficult. “My ADHD makes it so hard for me to focus on what the teachers are saying. I’ll be trying to pay attention, but it’s like my brain doesn’t allow my mind to just stop there. There are constantly so many things running through my head. My grades reflect that,” Janitch said. Depression has also deeply had an impact. He finds it hard to become close to people because of his fear that most people cannot put up with his personality. “I always feel like I am letting my friends down and like they are annoyed by the things I do. Then I get angry. I get angry at them, but mostly I get angry at myself,” Janitch said. “When I don’t take my pills it gets worse,” he added. “The only thing I look forward to is skating. Rainy days are the worst because I wake up knowing this is as good as it will get.” Despite hardships Baumhoff and Janitch look to the future. “It’s hard to have these worthless feelings, these little setbacks and flaws, but I know at the end of the day that life is worth it,” Baumhoff said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Some high school relationships are dramatic. There are couples that are on-again, off-again; couples that bicker constantly; and countless other couples known for their unpredictable behavior. Despite what some people believe, a relationship doesn’t have to be physically harmful to be abusive or unhealthy. The healthiness of a relationship can be determined by many factors, including the level of communication between a couple. “A bad relationship lacks communication of what the people want and therefore people can become controlling and possessive,” senior Emily Heidenreich said. Guilt, jealousy, and other negative emotions are commonly found in unhealthy relationships. Senior Gentry Leonard was in an unhealthy relationship for five months. What began as a good relationship eventually had a negative affect on his life. “It got to the point where she would intentionally do things to make me emotionally distraught. It was very emotionally draining and I felt a lot of guilt,” Leonard said. “At first it wasn’t a problem, but it kept getting worse and worse.” The unifying aspect of almost all unhealthy relationships is low self-esteem in at least one partner. Senior Melissa Hirner saw her friend stay in an unhealthy relationship for a year because of her poor self-confidence. “Her self-esteem was low, so she felt like she needed a boyfriend. She believed that nobody else would be with her, and her boyfriend took advantage of that,” Hirner said. Hirner said that her friend’s boyfriend was taking advantage of her not only emotionally, but also physically and sexually. “Their relationship was all about sex. They even had sex the first night they met,” Hirner said. Although all relationships are different, there are some feelings and behaviors that are particularly characteristic of

those that are unhealthy. Guilt, jealousy, sadness, anger, and even fear or depression are common emotions felt by those in bad relationships. These emotions can lead people to become overly-possessive or distrusting of their significant others. Some dates go so far as to limit what friends are allowed to be seen by their significant other and what phone numbers can be in their cell phones. They can insist on knowing where their significant others are, and who they are with, at all times. Junior Jessica Pruitt and her boyfriend used to have an unhealthy relationship, but were able to turn it around. Personal issues, including her boyfriend’s drug and alcohol abuse and the fact that he wasn’t faithful, caused a lot of their relationship problems. As Pruitt and her boyfriend improved their individual lives, they found that their relationship also benefited. “We were separated for a long period of time and we worked at our lives. We gradually got back together. It started with 30-minute phone calls, then hanging out on Fridays. That was when our relationship was healthiest because we realized the benefits of being together and that we wanted to be together,” Pruitt said. Pruitt realizes that her situation is very unique, and knows that not everyone in a bad relationship will be able to fix the problems they have. “You have to find what works for you. It depends on the situation you are in and what type of relationship you have,” Pruitt said. Regardless of their different experiences with relationships, those interviewed in this story agree on one piece of advice. When things become too harmful emotionally, mentally, or physically, it is time to get out of the relationship. “It may be hard, but there’s always something better. You [as a person] deserve more,” Heidenreich said.

For help, contact or visit these resources: The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 866-331-9474

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight Dec. 10, 2008


Celebrating Diwali–

Hindus shed light on their culture by| andrew cogswell Its 7 o clock in the morning and kids are jumping out of bed and screaming “Wake up! It’s Christmas!” Downstairs is a beautifully lit Christmas tree and judging by the assorted boxes wrapped in colorful paper, Santa had most certainly paid visit the night before. But what if there was no Christmas tree? There were no presents, there was no Santa and there wasn’t an empty plate topped with cookie crumbs? Junior Suraj Hansalia will not be celebrating Christmas this year, nor did he celebrate it last year or the year before. Hansalia already had his “Christmas” when he celebrated the five day long Hindu holiday of Diwali in October. “[Diwali] like an Indian version of Christmas, but there are no trees decorated, instead the whole house is lit,” Hansalia said. Diwali (pronounced di-wah-lee) is a festival of lights in which Hindus celebrate the death of the demon king, Ravana, by one of their gods, Rama, after Rama’s fourteen year exile. Each family lights the inside of their house with candles and lights. “We use candles called diyas. We basically just put them all over our house. The lighting of the candles is a way of praying to god for attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, and peace,” senior Niki Shah said. “Each day [of Diwali] has a different meaning. My favorite part is New Years because we dress up in our Indian clothes and meet with all

of our friends and family to celebrate,” Hansalia said. The fourth day of Diwali is the Indian New Year, which is a time for families to get together and celebrate by eating traditional foods and sweets. “My mom and grandma get up early to make sweets for the day. They are usually up around 4 in the morning, but I can’t help because I have to go to school,” junior Aanshi Sanghvi said. “The date is changed every year because it follows the Indian Calendar, so there is no accurate date,” Hansalia said. Diwali can occur anywhere between the middle of October to the beginning of November. “This year Diwali was on October 28, next year it’s on October 17. According to the Indian calendar we’re in the year 2065,” Sanghvi said. “This year I got to skip first hour to go to the temple in the morning.” Though the date changes every year, it is one holiday many look forward to celebrating all year long. “My favorite part is just getting together with everyone. The only extended family I have in this country live far away, so all of our family friends are the closest I get to that. It’s nice having everyone together for one night,” Shah said.

Days of Diwali Day 1) Families decorate their houses with candles and keep them burning throughout the night. Day 2) Signifies the day the demon Ravana was killed and represents good triumphing over evil. Day3) Worship the god of wealth and pray for good fortune for the rest of the year. Day 4) This is the start of the New Year on the Indian calendar. New account books are also purchased. “We use them to keep track of our money. We buy new ones as a new way to start over, kind of like a fresh start,” junior Suraj Hansalia said. Day 5) Married sisters invite their brothers to their houses and cook them dinner.

FHHS Baby Boom Bonds don’t need blood Numerous teachers expecting children Adoption

by| evan loveless

by| krystle del castillo Kicking, screaming, feeding at 2 AM. Elizabeth Greer, Alli for short,” Greer Welcome to motherhood. said. With all the setbacks (lack Immediately after Greer of sleep, etc), Howell is gives birth, she has to go into experiencing its very own surgery to remove a hernia baby boom. caused by the weight of the Six teachers, social baby. Greer will be back in studies teacher Katherine the classroom February. Bange; math teacher Flores is pregnant with Laura Herbers; history her second child as well. teacher Jennifer Flores; She is due late March and is gym teacher Katie Greer; expecting a boy. English teacher Kelly “I was kind of wishing Longo and business for a girl to buy cute dresses teacher Erica Halloran for and dress up, but I was –gym teacher not disappointed that it is a are all expecting. English teacher Theresa Maher Katie Greer boy, I will save money this just returned from leave. way,” Flores said. All teachers who are Flores had a difficult expecting are delivering at different times pregnancy in the beginning months. and are expecting different genders. “I thought I miscarried the first twelve Two teachers at Howell have had their weeks. I went to the hospital and everything, fair share of complications. the first pregnancy was less difficult,” Flores “It’s the only time in my life I’ll allow said. myself to be fat,” Greer said. She even admitted that if the present Though this might be her second pregnancy was not as difficult she might pregnancy, this will be her last. have considered a third child. “My husband Daren is getting a Flores will be out the rest of the vasectomy. I’m expecting a baby girl Dec. semester once the baby arrives and will 19 whom is going to be named Allison return in the fall.

“It’s the only time in my life I’ll allow myself to be fat.”

Francis Howell High School

The holidays are approaching and make for a closer bond with that brother or families are coming together to celebrate the sister. season. “I know how my brother Blood related or not, feels. We can help each other it’s the people that raise through our struggles of not someone that make a knowing our real parents,” person who they are. freshman Megan Horn “I feel perfectly said. Horn was born in the connected with my Phillipines. parents. If I wasn’t “I think we wouldn’t be adopted then I wouldn’t as close if we weren’t both have the opportunities adopted. We would probably that I was able to have,” fight a lot more,” Isaac said. sophomore Ethan Isaac Children are often said. adopted by someone that Each year over they are not related to, who 120,000 kids are adopted. be of a different race, –sophomore could “My parents told me religion or lifestyle. Ethan Issac that they wanted to have “I know that it will children but couldn’t. At never be the same as having first it was confusing. I my real parents. I know [my didn’t really understand adoptive parents] love me what ‘adopted’ meant but after a while I got and wanted me but I can’t crack Asian jokes used to it,” junior DeAnn Moushey said. with my white parents,” Horn said. Moushey, along with her three brothers, Although minors aren’t allowed to were all adopted at birth. Adoptions can be contact their parents until the age of 18, the global. Some students were adopted from child has the choice of whether or not they foreign countries. want the information of their birth parents “My sister is from Peru and I was adopted provided to them by the adoption agency. from India,” sophomore Ethan Isaac said. “When I’m older, I plan to go back to Having a sibling who is also adopted can India and try to find them,” Isaac said.

[7001 Highway 94 South]

“If I wasn’t adopted then I wouldn’t have the opportunities that I was able to have.”

St. Charles, MO 63304



Spotlight Dec. 10, 2008




They meet Thursday mornings in A108 with Mrs. Salant, where they decide when they are going to have their trips.

2. They go on about 4-5 ski trips a year


to Hidden Valley in Eureka, MO.

you didn’t

3. Trips only cost about $45, which

know about...

includes rentals.

4. Anyone can join. No ski experience


5. If you don’t know how to ski or

snowboard someone in the club will teach you how–its a great way to learn!

ski & snowboard club

by | kaley perceful

As told by president Mike Sowers

“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 Jan. 21, 2009

Dear Sports Fans


Winter sports season heats up Boy’s Varsity Basketball

Varsity Ice Hockey

Girl’s Varsity Basketball

by|joe pannullo


There are things in sports that are more publicized than things that really matter. Take for example players salaries, politics, and steroids. The media shows aspects of sports that I don’t care about. Things that athletes themselves shouldn’t care about. Personally, I play hockey. I play for the simple fact that I love the game, and I play as an outlet. I know that for an hour and a half, five days a week, everything goes away. If I have any problems at home, or at school, or I’m struggling trying to find a column idea, as soon as I step on the ice, my mind clears. I can focus my attention on my team and what I have to do to win. I don’t play hockey because I want to make millions of dollars playing pro, or because I aspire to have my own equipment line. I play because I don’t want to do anything else. I like to believe that outside of pro sports, most kids are like me. I like to believe that our basketball team plays because they love to, and if opportunities come from playing, so be it. I have a hard time believing that so many kids work only so they can to get scholarships or go pro. I think there has to be a passion for the game you play to work hard enough to get to the next level. Where is that passion in pro sports? It really bugged me when basketball star LeBron James was talking about what he was going to do with his contract in two years, in the middle of a season no less. He has a commitment to the team he’s with now, and should have been focused on winning a championship where he is, not worrying about two years from now. It’s one thing for the media to discuss his future but he should just do his job and take care of the rest later. I think contracts should not be public information. Would you expect your family doctor’s salary to be displayed on the bottom-line on CNN? Probably not. We expect doctors to do their best without knowing specifically how much money they make; we should expect the same from athletes. I miss the “for the love of the game” factor in sports. I miss players who didn’t care what they were paid as long as they were playing the sport they loved. I miss players being there because they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I want to take away the glitz and the glamour and leave the balls.

Senior Matt Reed and Junior Kevin Walters move towards the puck and a Holt defender in a game Jan 9. The Vikings won 9-0. Senior Cody Sorenson lays up two points in the Troy Invitational, Dec 8. The Vikings won 72-56.

The varsity boys basketball team hasn’t quite gotten that “home sweet home” feeling. After starting the season with 10 straight tournament games on the road, the Vikings returned home Jan. 14 for two more nonconference games. The Vikings have yet to play a conference contender. Their first is Jan 23 against Holt. Forward Cody Sorenson reached a career milestone with 1,000 career points. Sorenson leads the team in most major offensive categories, including the GAC South, leading 22 points per game. The team is 5-5 as of press time. “I’m looking forward to getting some more wins. Hopefully we can win districts and go to state,” junior guard Ross Smith said. Upcoming theme nights include a blues brothers night against Holt.

The varsity club hockey team as of Jan 16 had an impressive record of 12-4. The Vikings currently stand in second place in the St. Charles division of the Mid-States Club Hockey Association. Senior Joe Pannullo leads the team in goals and total points, while senior Matt Reed leads in assists. The Vikings have three games left in the regular season, including games against rival Howell North, Jan 26, and senior night against Seckman, Jan 31. Senior goalie Kyle Volentine has handled the bulk of the work in goals, posting a 8-4 record with a .915 save percentage and a 2.34 goals against average before being injured. “It sucks I’m missing games in my senior year, but Adam Rinck has stepped up and played some good games. Hopefully I’ll be back for the playoffs,” Volentine said.

Senior Maxie Johnson fights off a Pattonville defender, Jan 13. The Vikings lost 52-62. Johnson had five points.

The word of the season for the varsity girl’s basketball team is redemption. With two-point loses to Howell North (51-53, Dec. 5) and to St. Charles (35-37, Jan. 6), the team is looking to turn things around. “The Howell North game was a big loss for us. We were in it for most of the game, but we just could not pull it out. Luckily, we have another shot against them towards the end of the year,” junior Kelsey James said. The team has had some key wins this year including Marquette (58-51, Dec. 3), eliminating them from their own tournament, and Clayton (39-33, Dec. 28) in the Lutheran South Christmas tournament.


The varsity wrestling team is off to an 8-2 start with wins against Ft. Zumwalt South: (55-15, Nov. 25), St. Charles West: (733, Dec. 3), and Westminister (65-7, Dec. 3). The Vikings continued winning with a second place finish at the Lindbergh tournament, Dec. 13, and a sixth place finish at the Lee Summit tournament, Dec. 19-20, beating the seventh ranked tournament team in the state, Troy. Senor Nick Baker, ranked sixth in the state in the 112 pound weight class, finished fourth. Sophomore Sean O’Leary, ranked third in the state in the 110 pound weight class, finished second in singles competition. “Our season has been great so far. We are ranked sixth in state in dual meet teams and hoping to continue the success for the rest of the season,” junior Alex Langford said.

Junior Alex Langford wrestles in the 145 division against Seckman. Howell won the meet 57-20, Dec 13.

There is one obstacle that the squad has not overcome yet: Howell Central. Both losses this season have been against them including a 24-44 defeat, Dec. 4.

Varsity Basketball Wrestling Girls Varsity Basketball 1/23 Vs. Wentzville Holt 1/24 Kyle Thrasher Tournament 1/20 Vs. Wentzville Holt 1/27 Vs. Ft. Zumwalt East 1/29 Vs. Ft. Zumwalt North 2/02 Vs. Hazelwood Central 1/30 @ Howell Central 2/03 Vs. Wentzville Timberland 2/05 Vs. Ft. Zumwalt South 2/06 Vs. Ft. Zumwalt South 2/07 Howell Central Tournament. 2/10 Vs. Eureka Girls Varsity Swimming 1/27 Vs. Ft. Zumwalt South 2/02 Vs. Ft Zumwalt North 2/10-12 GAC

Francis Howell High School

[7001 Highway 94 South]

“For the rest of the season we are trying to concentrate on closing the gap with those ranked higher than us,” senior Caleb Anthonis said. by|dan dowell

Varsity Ice Hockey 1/23 Vs. Duchesne 1/26 Vs. Howell North 1/31 Vs. Seckman-Senior Night

St. Charles, MO 63304


Spotlight Dec. 10, 2008


Four Christmases Festive holiday hit will delight mature audiences Conflict, scandal, and crazy family chaos run rampant

Movie Review throughout Four Christmases, (PG 13) the new comedy hit about family holiday horrors. Brad McVie (Vince Vaughn) and his long-time girlfriend Kate (Reese Witherspoon) find themselves in a bind when their holiday flight Fiji is cancelled, and they’re forced to visit their entire families throughout the course of one day. Though the “crazy, dysfunctional family at Christmastime” theme has been used too many times to count, screenwriters Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson, with the help of

director Seth Gordon, effectively turn a Christmas cliché into something witty and original. The movie was entertaining right from the beginning. The opening scene was funny right off the bat and gave a good feel for Brad and Kate’s relationship. The lovebirds have been together for three years, in a fairly unconventional relationship. Despite their love for each other, they do not want to get married or start a family. They both have divorced parents and as Brad puts it, “You can’t spell ‘families’ without ‘lies.’” Though the motto is rather depressing on its own, Vaughn presents it in a comical speech, leaving an engaged couple speechless and the audience amused. As the film progresses, this proves to be a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy,

Visit the Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo

Go bowling at Brunswick Zone



the majority of the dishonesty is within Brad and Kate themselves, rather than their families. Visiting a total of four houses in one day, they go from Brad’s father’s house with his rough pro-wrestling brothers, to Kate’s promiscuous mother’s house where her sister Courtney (Kristin Chenoweth) is visiting. From there they go to Brad’s mother’s house, a hilariously awkward situation. Finally, they visit Kate’s father, who seems to be surprisingly normal after the long day of family chaos. Vaughn’s slapstick humor and Witherspoon’s girl-nextdoor charm gave the movie a great balance of hilarity and believability. The entire cast put on a great performance, and even the smaller roles were filled big names, like Jon Voight (Kate’s

[Under the Radar]

by| austin thomas

by| kaley perceful

father) and Tim McGraw (Brad’s brother). In the end, the film managed to communicate a deep message about trust, honesty, and expectations, while still remaining funny and entertaining. Though it is technically a Christmas movie, Four Christmases is more. It’s a story about relationships, portrayed though a common and relatable Christmas analogy.

Go Caroling

things to do

Go to a St. Louis Blues game

Ski or Snowboard at Hidden Valley

over winter break... by| krystle del castillo

Visit the Art Muesum, it’s free

Spend some time with family

Catch up on some reading by a fire

Ice skate at Steinberg Rink in Forrest Park

Fox Theatre 314-534-1678

Pops 618-274-6720

The Pageant 314-726-6161

Dec 11-28 Nutcracker $32-$102-7:30PM

Dec 21 and 28-Sunday Night Local Show including: Hollow Point Heros, Infiltrate, perish, Burn the mute-$6-6:30PM

Dec 16-Hoho show 1Disturbed $35-8PM

Dec 15-Xmas with Amy Grant and Vince Gill $258PM


Dec 17-Hoho show 2-Scott Weiland, Cold War Kids, Eagles of Death Metal- $27.50-8PM

There have been of number of good albums that came out this year but there are five that I thought were especially impressive. 1.Planisphère by Justice- Even though it is only 17 minutes long and contains a mere four songs, it is definitely one of the best compilations of this year. The French duo that are known for their lively electronic productions do not disappoint. The sound is an epic mix of dance, franticness and triumph. You can hear everything from loud synthesizers to pounding drums and the occasional harpsichord break. Absolutely an album that everyone should listen to. 2. Vampire Weekend by Vampire WeekendAnyone who knows me knows that I love this record. That is because it is amazing. First, their sound is so unique. They blend pop melodies with African drums and classical string arrangements. Second, their songs are so well written. Each are a perfectly crafted pop tunes, with elements far more mature than their years. 3. Feed the Animals by Girl Talk- This is by far the most entertaining album of the past year. If you are not familiar with Girl Talk, you need to be. Girl Talk takes parts from one song and combines it with parts from other songs. Whether it be Notorious B.I.G with Elton John or Radiohead with Jay-Z, he mixes with perfect flow and cohesiveness, to the point were you cannot tell they were apart. Also, where else will you hear Lil Wayne mixed with Sinead O’Connor? 4. The Bake Sale E.P by The Cool KidsThis album does hip-hop right. The Cool Kids strip the music down to just beats and rhymes, the elements that first made the genre great. Their beats are impeccable, and will make anyone dance. The lyrics are also great. They touch on everything from going to the local grocery store to hyping up their bikes. 5. Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes- Whenever I go to lie down and listen to music, I grab this album. It is awesome. The combination of melodic vocal parts and beautiful guitar arrangements make the record a great piece of music to listen to on a lonely night.

Dec 18-Hoho show 3-Saliva, Hollywood Undead, Saving Abel$25-8PM Dec 28-Ludo and Family Force 5-$14-7:30PM

Scottrade Center 314-622-5435

Jan 10-Elvis Presley Tribute-$20-7:30PM

Jan 13 AC/DC-$89.507:30PM

Francis Howell High School [7001 Highway 94 South]

Jan 7-11 Disney on Ice$15-75

St. Charles, MO 63304

Final Thoughts back page

[3] Members of the Vegetarian Club design posters in order to increase membership. “We want to expand, we want the whole school to know who we are,� club president Autumn Rempinski said. The club formed this year to try new foods and eat a heathlier diet. They meet every other Monday after school in room A112.

you Michael Gulledge

Michael Gulledge

Michael Gulledge

[1] Senior Amy Hoehn acts in the fall play, Orpheus Descending. The play occurred Nov. 6-8. She has been involved in every play since her freshman year. [2] Quarterback Eric Siebenshuh throws a pass during the playoff game against Jefferson City Nov. 7. The Vikings lost 46-7, in their first playoff berth since 1999.

In Case [1]


Michael Gulledge

Michael Gulledge

Missed it



Kelsey Brown


Spotlight Dec. 10, 2008

[4] [4] Senior Austin Michelson runs defensive drills with new players during try-outs. Basketball try-outs occured Nov.10-13.

[6] [5] The DECA Christmas tree waits in the upper C lobby with boxes underneath to collect items to send to children in need.

[6] Volunteers organize the ballots during Kids Voting. Kids voting took place nationwide Nov.3.


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


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