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North Star

Francis Howell North St. Charles, MO 12.17.14 Vol. 29, Issue 6

New Classes • DIY Christmas • Coffee Cartel • Laptops For All

another end of the spectrum A senior shares her story about what it’s like to come out as a gay teen in high school PAGES 5-6

gay marriage in missouri A woman who sued Missouri over the same-sex marriage ban tells her story PAGES 7-8

CONTENTS guide to new classes at north NEWS 3

FHSD adds new classes for students for the 2015-16 school year

A MAJOR CHANGE Band welcomes a new drum major for the next season



SHOE CLEANING A sophomore turns his love for squeaky-clean shoes into a business



Computer Science and Software Engineering

Credits: 1.0-4.0 Units Prerequisites: NONE Department: Business and PLTW Goal: To teach students how to program in a variety of languages, create apps for phones, identify patterns in data sets and present their ideas.

Human Body Systems

Credits: 1.0-3.0 Units Prerequisites: Principles of Biomedical Sciences Department: Science and PLTW Goal: To teach students real-world applications of medicine and about the functions of body systems.

journalism: Broadcast Writing and Production

Credits: 0.5 Units Prerequisites: NONE Department: English Language Arts Goal: To learn how to edit, write, read and produce news broadcasts and media.

Pathway to teaching careers

Credits: 1.0 Units Prerequisites: NONE Department: Family and Consumer Sciences Goal: To learn how to be a teacher. Internship opportunity to be added in 2016-2017.

Sports enhancement

Credits: 0.5 Units Prerequisites: Personal Lifetime Fitness Department: Physical Education Goal: To improve athlete performance and aid in college recruitment.

Cohen shares the story of her love for her unique dog



Learn a few things about FHN that the unsuspecting student may not know



Maddy Snyder used her ACL injury last year as a source of motivation to train for her last soccer season 24

TEACHING TODDLERS Maddie Crain teaches gymnastics to young children



This tastelessly gory horror flick disappoints at the box office

ON THE COVER Claire Boenitz poses in front of lights. Boenitz came out of the closet four years ago. She does not keep her sexuality a secret from her peers. (photo portrait by ashleigh jenkins )

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Have an opinion on something in this month’s paper? Send us a letter about it to room 026 or an email to




Credits: 1.0 Units Prerequisites: NONE Department: Foreign Language Goal: To introduce students to Chinese language, alphabet and culture.


Student Take

-The first class in a four year phase-in of PLTW computer science courses -Create and present solutions that can improve people’s lives -Can sit for the AP Computer Science test after completing the course

“I’m going to major in business and I think taking this class would help me in the future because technology is becoming more prominent in society.” -Sammy Teson, 11

-The second class in a four year phase-in of PLTW biomedical classes -Examine interactions of body systems as they explore identity, communication, power, movement, protection and homeostasis -Build tissues and organs on a skeletal manikin and solve real world cases

“I have an interest in the field. I have an interest in the body and how it works and reacts to different things. Biomed has gotten me to see what’s out there. It’s not just doctors and dentists. It gives you a preview of jobs you could be interested in or what you might not want to do. it prepares you for college.” -Lexi Baker, 11 “I think the broadcast class is a great opportunity for kids to experience what it’s like to be in a real newsroom and experiment with professional equipment.”

-Emphasis on non-fiction writing (scripts, interview questions) -Emphasis on reading and news/media literacy -At least two broadcasts will be produced

-Sam Skaggs, 12 -Focus on the general theory and practice of learning and teaching -Learn basic principles of educational psychology and the art of teaching -Discuss school safety and health issues -Learn about the history of education

“It would give you good experience for the future so you’re not blindsided when you get there.”

-Improve linear speed. acceleration and deceleration, quickness, multi-directional speed and agility, strength, explosive power, and flexibility. -Develop mental skills and leadership skills -Learn about proper sports nutrition for peak athletic performance

-Build fundamentals of Mandarin Chinese language -Acquire vocabulary and basic grammar -Learn about culture, customs, and geography of China

-Dani Whitehead, 11

“I think it’s a cool idea because it’s something that athletes can use to prepare themselves for their sport. It teaches new training methods and focuses on getting better as an athlete.”

Teacher take “I’m excited that it’s gonna be a lot of group collaboration and that they get to work together and there’s not a lot of lecturing going on in PLTW. I know that they’ll not only be teaching themselves stuff but they’ll be teaching me as well.” -Ashton Sewing, business “80 percent of people in our classes are interested in HBS. It’s kind of like anatomy on steroids. I’m super excited. It’s hands-on model building and lots of dissections.” -Dawn Hahn, PLTW “I think that a lot of times people think of journalism as just writing or just photography, but especially as journalism modernizes, multimedia becomes so much more a part of that journalism world.” -Jordyn Klackner, journalism “Education is a popular choice with our graduates so I think that giving them a practical experience during their high school years will be beneficial in finalizing their career path after high school..” -Lisa Woodrum, guidance “It’s supposed to be to enhance fitness for athletes. Like to improve things like speed, agility and power. They don’t even have to play a sport here.”

-Kristina McKay, 11

-Kim Krieger, PE

“I think it’s gonna be difficult because it’s the first language you’re gonna be learning that’s an entirely different writing style. So I’ll be really impressed when people start speaking it around school.” -Jessie Gegg, 10

“I’m excited because they’re adding another language, but my concern is the level of commitment that it’s gonna take to be successful in Mandarin Chinese, and I don’t think students realize how difficult it’s going to be.” -David Fritz, French



TOP TWEETS MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT The drum major for Knightpride’s next season looks forward to her new role in leading the band


Freshman Aaliyeh Habibi has been announced as the head drum major for the next band season. Aaliyeh has been playing the flute since sixth grade and has many of the qualities that Knightpride band director Jeff Moorman was looking for in a drum major. The drum major must be someone who can be relied on to do their job consistently and be respected by their peers. “We all saw that she had great leadership qualities to be a drum major, and we could tell that she really cared about the activity from day one,” current drum major Zoe Willott said. Aaliyeh found out about her position during homeroom. Moorman called Aaliyeh into his office to talk about solo and ensemble. As she left the room, he asked her if she wanted to be drum major. “I was really confused at first on why they chose me, and once I said yes, I started getting really excited for the new experience to come,” Aaliyeh said. The band was informed about this decision after casually gathering around for their usual talk at the end of practice when current drum majors senior Emma Pursley and junior Zoe Willott surprised the band by announcing Aaliyeh as the next drum major. “I was really excited for her,” Zoe said, “especially because we had all suspected she would be the next one [drum major].” The band directors and current drum majors came together to talk about the potential candidates. Ultimately, Moorman made the final decision of selecting Aaliyeh as the future drum major. “[We are] watching to see who steps forward as a leader and if people listen to them,” Moorman said. Aaliyeh hopes to be a bit more aggressive with her voice to make sure she’s respected and heard but she anticipates her new role leading the rest of the band. “[I’m looking forward to] watching everyone improve, and representing such an amazing band,” Aaliyeh said.





That’s the third time now an old lady has asked if she could purchase me for her grandaughter... grannies have no chill

Coach can we stop by McDonald’s?

9 FAVORITES Logan Coombs, 12

Olivia Archibald, 9



You know it’s going to be a good day when you make breakfast and then trip spilling it all.

You know you’re going to have a bad day when you forget your headphones the day after Beyonce platinum edition comes out on Spotify cmon Dan


11 FAVORITES Jordin Graham, 12


Can I please just get you as a Christmas present this year?


Zoe Seemes, 11

Dan Borrelli, 10

leaving shoes spotless

The Process Chase has a two day cleaning cycle for every pair of shoes. After the shoes have gone through the cycle, they return back to the owner looking brand new.

Chase Jefferson looks to enhance and expand the profits of his shoe cleaning business “Spotless Shoe Cleaning Service” to help him pay for college


He’s wearing squeaky clean Jordan Taxi 12s that are black and a bright white and inspired by the Japanese flag. Because of this preference for looking his best, sophomore Chase Jefferson turned his love of a pristine shoe into a business, and 50 pairs of shoes later, Spotless Shoe Cleaning Service continues to provide customers with clean shoes. With his mom owning her own fitness business and his dad being a landowner for a few apartment complexes, Chase was inspired to start Spotless. After cleaning his parents’ shoes every once in awhile for money, Chase felt that he was actually good at cleaning shoes and wanted to earn more money for doing it, and from there, Spotless was born. “Money is what triggers me to do this because I just need some,” Jefferson said. “I got school and the easiest compatible job to do without actually having to leave home is this business.” Chase charges $5 to $10 dollars per pair, and has cleaned about 50 shoes. The shoe cleaning process takes three days per pair. On the first day, he prepares the shoes by wiping the first layer of dirt off with water and a towel. Next, he uses a brown rectangular shoe cleaning brush with a special cleaning product from Las Vegas. To ensure that the shoes are shiny and scuff-free, Chase scrubs them for about five minutes. “I’m not one of those people who rush through it,” Chase said. “I just take my time until the shoes are spotless.” The second day of cleaning is all about the shoes laces. He soaks the shoe laces bleach to remove stains, hand washes them and lets the air dry. On the third day, Chase returns the freshly cleaned shoes to the customer. “When I gave them to him, the shoes were like a half a year old and when I got them back, they looked like they just came out of the box,” freshman Rizwan Hyder said. In the future, Chase hopes to keep Spotless going. Currently, Chase would like to expand his business and keep it running through college in order to earn some extra money, which would prevent him from having to take out as much money in student loans. “My goal is to expand my company to more destinations, to where I can have the shoes shipped in, and have more business so I can start putting the money towards college,” Jefferson said.


Chase first pre-treats his sneakers with a healthy dose of water before he begins treatment with his secret cleaner. The water helps to clean the shoe and prepare it for deeper cleaning.


Chase then coats the shoes with his secret cleaner to rid the shoe of any tougher grime such as mud or dirt that have been set in the shoe.


Chase details the sneakers with a Q-Tip in order to further clean them and give the shoes that “brand new” look.




Claire Boenitz poses with her rainbow beanie. Claire first revealed her sexuality to friends and family four years ago. (ashleigh jenkins)

Boenitz shares her experience as a gay teen in high school, the support she’s received from friends and family, and advice for her fellow LGBT students BY LEXI WILKINSON

S • @loupy0925

ometime in the seventh grade, junior Claire Boenitz discovered something about herself. Something that some people take years to figure out. She likes writing, she likes Supernatural, she likes girls. A lot. “Everyone always talked about having crushes on boys like, ‘Oh this guy’s cute, oh that guy’s cute’ and I always kind of chimed in like, ‘Oh yeah, he is really cute,’ but I never really felt it,” Claire said. “And one day I was like, ‘Oh, I understand that feeling.’ but it was for a chick and I was like, ‘wait a second- something’s not normal here.’” Because of how people around her seemed to view homosexuality as something to be ashamed of, Claire waited to come out. She waited until she was sure that what she was feeling was real. But that sense of knowing didn’t quite stop the nerves. “Oh, I was absolutely worried what other people would think,” Claire said. “I mean, you hear so much. It probably started in middle school, people saying, ‘Oh, that homework’s gay,’ and the rumors going, ‘Oh, she’s a lesbian,’ like it’s a bad thing.” For a year, Claire kept things under wraps around her family. It wasn’t that she thought they wouldn’t accept her, or that she would be made to feel uncomfortable, it was that she wasn’t entirely sure of her feelings. Eventually, she decided to confide in her mom while they trained together for a half-marathon. “She just kind of told me she thought she had unfriend-like feelings towards her friends, and it was not a complete surprise when she told me, but I think my first reaction was mostly, ‘Oh, wow. This is not going to be an easy path for you,’” Claire’s mother Cathy Boenitz said. “That was my first concern, just because there are so many people who are prejudiced against gays. Obviously everyone has the opportunity for someone to hold something against them, but I think being a gay teenager, you have more opportunity for someone to hold things against you. As a mom, it’s hard to think that all of a sudden your child is going to be subject to that more.” With the support of her mom, Claire decided to finally come out to her friends. She felt confident that she was hanging around the right people, the people who would accept her for who she was. It happened freshman year. “If you wanna be her friend, her love life has nothing to do with you, and, you know, who she’s interested in, that doesn’t affect you at all,” Claire’s friend junior Tessa Smith said. “And she’s still a great person, and she still makes me laugh all the time, and it doesn’t matter if she likes boys or girls. She’s still hilarious and awesome to be around.” With the support of her friends and family, Claire has found the confidence to embrace who she is. Many kids face the most strife with their parents not understanding their orientation or believing

that they’ve done something to cause their child’s alternative lifestyle. Cathy feels that what parents need to remember is that their child’s sexuality is not a choice. In the same way that people don’t choose to be straight, they don’t choose to be gay. “I think the important thing for parents to remember is, number one, this is still your child, the child that you have loved and raised,” Cathy said. “Just because their sexual orientation is not what you expect doesn’t change who they are. I think the other thing to remember is that it’s not about you. I think some parents go, ‘Oh my gosh, how are people going to look at me? Are they going to blame me and how I raised them and that’s why they’re gay?’ It has nothing to do with me. Her sexual orientation has nothing to do with me. It’s not a choice, it’s the way she is, and I think that’s what people forget.” Many teens who fall somewhere within the LGBT spectrum often don’t have the positive experience that Claire has had. They find themselves dealing with prejudiced parents, communities, religious figures and others who discriminate against them for their sexuality. As a member of the gay-straight alliance (GSA), Claire has met multiple people who find themselves under this dark umbrella. “[Claire’s experience is] not typical,” Guidance Counselor and GSA Sponsor Mary Kerr-Grant said. “Just in our last two meetings, we’ve had students talking about how their families are not supportive, and so Claire was saying that she’s been very lucky that kids at school don’t give her a hard time and her family doesn’t give her a hard time. I think sometimes it’s the family support that makes them do better at school, you know, because they don’t have that kind of constant stress from home.” Because so many don’t get the chance to speak out for fear of discrimination and prejudice, Cathy believes it’s important to talk about a bright side to coming out that maybe people haven’t thought about. “You hear so many negative stories and so many people have such negative experiences when they come out that then kids who haven’t come out yet are scared, so I think it’s good for them to know that not everybody has a bad experience,” Cathy said. “Claire’s experience has been very positive, and I think that gives hope to other kids.” The most important thing that Claire feels she has learned, from both her experiences and the experiences of others around her, is to be who she is and not succumb to anyone’s wishes but her own. But, she also realizes that everyone’s process is unique, and what may be the right time for someone to come out may not be the right time for someone else. “Don’t feel any pressure to come out, absolutely not,” Claire said. “It’s a hard situation, and I realize that a lot of people, like if it’s a case where they do it to feel safe, and hiding it is what makes you feel safe in that environment, don’t do it. Do it when you’re ready. Just know that you need to accept yourself before you can expect other people to accept you.”



gay marriage bAN STRUCK DOWN

The story of Angela Curtis, one of four people who joined the ACLU lawsuit that overturned Missouri’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage last month BY DANIEL BODDEN • @danbodden


his past summer, Angela Curtis and Shannon McGinty became personally involved in the lawsuit that would challenge Missouri’s ban on same sex marriage. They applied for a marriage license in June and were quickly denied, setting the foundation for the case. They joined with Kyle Lawson and Evan Dahlgreen in the challenge filed by the ACLU on behalf of the two couples. Before getting involved, Angela had to weigh the potential consequences of being involved in such a public and controversial case. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but it wasn’t a difficult one. I don’t know if that makes any sense,” Angela said. “I wanted to make sure all three of [my children] were ok with the publicity of it. All three were quite supportive. I do have clients, and there’s always the risk that you’re going to disenfranchise some people, but I thought it was more of a priority for us to step up and try to make a difference rather than worry about what everybody else thinks.” As the lawsuit made its way through the courts, Angela and the others



continued their daily routines. Life as usual resumed. And then, on Nov. 7, the decision came. U.S. District Court Judge Ortrie Smith struck down Missouri’s constitutional ban on same sex marriages. “We found out from our lawyer that morning,” Angela said. “We were really surprised. I had no real timeline of what to expect, whether this was going to take a year or multiple years or months or weeks. It was 5-6 months from start to end, which seems pretty quick in the legal system. We were happy that there was some closure and we felt great about it.” Angela’s journey to legalize gay marriage in Missouri started out in an unlikely place -- a straight marriage. In 2003, she was 40 years old, married to her husband and had three children ages 3, 10, and 14. At that point, she made the difficult decision to come out as gay to her traditional family. “[My husband] was surprised. And confused,” Angela said. “He pretty quickly was very supportive in the best way that he could be. He knew first, and he sat and held my hand while we told our kids. He wanted to show support for me for them. He’s a great guy, still one of my best friends. He’s, you know, my second phone call, and we’re still pretty close. He’s been very supportive under the circumstances.”

That same year, Angela met Shannon McGinty, her current partner and time,” Angela said. “We decided we wanted to hold our ground and get fiancee. Although they discussed the possibility of same sex marriage in married in the state we live in with a ceremony with our family and our Missouri, at that point, it was only a daydream. friends here, instead of us rushing up to Iowa. There’s nothing wrong with “When marriage was not a possibility, when it was not even in the realm that at all, it just wasn’t for us. Now, we’re starting the process of trying to of what could happen, which was when Shannon and I got together, that find venues and things for a wedding.” wasn’t even anything that you talked about or dreamt about,” Angela said. What was once a distant thought has now become a reality for Angela. “I remember we had a conversation and we thought that maybe there could Sitting in her classes at her all-girls Catholic high school in 1981, she never be legalization in the U.S. or here in Missouri in maybe would have expected to be where she is today. 20, 25 years. It wasn’t even anything that was on your “I don’t think that anybody I went to school with was mind, because it wasn’t anything that you thought you openly out, myself included,” Angela said. “The main could have in the near future.” difference I see [in high school] now is a lot of courageous After 10 years of dating, same sex marriage was men and women who in grade school or high school or looking to be a more viable option in Missouri. In college are raising their hand and being authentic and June 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same being who they are. That’s the biggest change that I see, sex couples when it struck down the Defense of which I think has really been one of the many variables Marriage Act in its United States v. Windsor decision. that has moved society as whole to be accepting of gay In the wake of this ruling, many state courts began people. I’ve always felt for 10-11 years since I came out, overturning constitutional bans on same sex marriage. that the best thing we can do to make our cause seen This progress made Angela more optimistic about the and heard is for everybody that feels safe to do so is to potential of marriage equality coming to Missouri. She come out. My experience is that if somebody knows you proposed to Shannon in November 2013. and knows that you’re gay and they like you or love you, “I think once Windsor was ruled positive, I think at then it’s hard to be hateful. When I was in high school, that point in time, I thought ‘Well, this is just a matter I bet there would have been a lot of people, parents, of time,’” Angela said. “That’s why I proposed. It was grandparents, that would say, ‘You know what, I don’t even going to be a lot sooner than Shannon and I ever know any gay people’ and it’s often times the unknown anticipated at the beginning of our relationship. We that makes you nervous. Over the past few decades, one were betting over the last couple years that Missouri by one, people standing up from people in the media, on TV, would be one of the final states.” celebrities to sports figures to our neighbors and people Shannon McGinty (left) and Angela Curtis (right) met in As of press time, this ruling has been appealed by you work with, acknowledging and not being ashamed of 2003. They were introduced by one of Shannon’s best friends while Shannon was living in North Dakota. Three Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, but Jackson who they are, I think that has made the biggest difference months later, Shannon moved to St. Louis so the two County officials have been issuing marriage licenses over the years. When I was in high school, there was no could start their life together. (photo submitted by angela curtis) as if the ruling is in force. Angela and Shannon, gay alliances, there was no peace flag, there was nobody however are not rushing to the altar just yet. Their on TV to watch and say, ‘I’m like that person, and I see goal has always been to not only get married in their myself in that person.’ It was pretty hidden, which made it home state, but also to have a large wedding with their friends and family difficult to step up and say, ‘This is me.’ because at the time you felt very present. alone in doing so. So, I didn’t. But, slowly, I got my courage and realized “We both decided we were not interested in rushing things just to be some things are more important, and being who you are and not being married, to go to Iowa or Minnesota or some of the other states at that afraid of what other people might think is really important.”




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For more information: DIGITAL PHOTOJOURNALISM For more information:

An EARLY COLLEGE EXPERIENCE Sophomore Som Singh is attending an early entrance college program next fall


After just two years of high school, sophomore Som Singh will be leaving to attend the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing in the fall of 2015. Som isn’t the first one in his family to attend the Academy. In fact, his older sister Shipra Singh entered the program just two years ago. According to Shipra, people that went through the academy together became friends, business associates and references. Because of this experience, she hopes Som’s will be similar. “I hope that Som gains a sense of accomplishment and pride, and a greater world perspective,” Shipra said. The Academy provides a typical college environment. Students stay in dorms, and maintain their own class schedules. Som will be taking classes such as Classical Physics. Despite the increased responsibility, Som’s father, Sanjeev Singh, feels that Som will be successful. “He will be doing good there,” Sanjeev said. “He is feeling comfortable.” Located at Northwest Missouri State University, and founded in 2000, this is a college-like program for 16 to 18-year-old students. Qualifications are a minimum GPA of 3.5 in core classes, an ACT score of 23, and ranking in the top ten percent of your class. At the Academy, Som will be earning his diploma and associate’s degree simultaneously. In the past, 5 FHN students have gone through the Academy. Som and Michael Doerge are the only students attending fall of 2015. “[It] provides an opportunity to take challenging courses that most high schools don’t provide,” Som said.



Sophomore Zac Cary and freshman Delaney Elchelmeyer recite lines at a YPT rehearsal for the Miracle on 34th Street. The play will be performed on Dec. 19-21. Cary plays Mr. Sawyer and Echelmeyer plays a secretary to the psychologist. (madi graves)

The “Miracle” at SCCC

Two FHN students are on stage attempting to bring the magic and spirit of Christmas this year for the entertainment of audiences

BY ALY DOTY • @alydoty2

Sophomore Zac Cary and freshman Delaney Echelmeyer will be starring in the 1940s musical, “Miracle on 34th Street” that will take place from Dec. 19-21 at St. Charles Community College (SCCC). The musical is about a man who claims to be Santa Claus, but is then labeled as insane. “I like the overall feel-good story line,” director Brisby Andrews said. “Just the fact that the bitter mom learns to give fantasy a second chance, and finds goodness, kindness, and a sense of fun that she can share with her daughter simply through meeting an elderly man.” Cary plays Mr. Sawyer, a cynical psychologist seeking only personal gain, while Echelmeyer plays his kind-hearted and caring secretary, Miss Crookshank. “I play the secretary to the psychologist, and I think my character is a really kind person despite the fact that the psychologist is rather mean to Miss Crookshank,” Echelmeyer said. Cary started acting when he was at kindergarten day camp. At first, he had no interest in acting at all, and was “thrown into it.” However, as soon as he tried it, he enjoyed acting. This musical will mark

his 24th production, one of many at Young People’s Theatre (YPT), a musical theater group that gives the experience of a professional theater to students ages 8-18. “I’ve been doing plays with YPT since I was younger, and it’s like a home to me,” Cary said. As for Echelmeyer, this musical will mark her ninth production. She got her start in acting when she was in sixth grade, where she saw an audition form and thought that a play would be a fun thing to be part of. “My favorite part is having the ability to put myself in another person’s shoes,” Echelmeyer said. “And when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you understand yourself more.” As the show approaches, Andrews is excited for this production because she loves the story line and enjoys working with the talented group of kids participating in the play. Andrews hopes to see the transformation of her actors as they portray their roles on stage. “It’s incredible to see the transformation of a child who really does want to do the job from the beginning to the end, and to see all the elements come together,” Andrews said. “As a director, you get to see every element come together, and it’s just so cool.”

A customer orders his drink off the sprawling, colorful menu. “It’s almost overwhelming, there’s so much to look at,” he said. “That’s good though, variety is good. There’s something new to try everytime I come.” (jessica allison)


A coffee shop in Saint Louis proves to be different by being open 24 hours a day seven days a week

BY SARAI ESPARZA • @saraiesparza

Customers are greeted by great big chalkboard signs filled with a multitude of options written in brightly colored chalk. The smell of coffee hits the nose like a ton of bricks as soon as one walks into Coffee Cartel. But perhaps the thing that puts Coffee Cartel on the map is the fact that they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. “We [are] open all day just because there really isn’t a place you can go to late at night and we want people to know they can come in at any time they want,” barista Derek Campbell said. Founded in 1996, this coffee shop is located on Maryland Plaza in St. Louis just a few blocks away from the St. Louis Children’s hospital. “I like working here because it’s a fun environment and you get to see a lot of people,” employee Jamira Sykes said. “Plus the employees, they’re great, we get along with each other very well. It’s just a dream job.” Aside from coffee, Coffee Cartel sells a variety of pastries, including donuts, muffins and cookies. They also sell different flavors of smoothies. They have a fully stocked freezer filled with 24 different flavors of Edy’s Grand Ice Cream. Alongside all the sweets is a wide range of food made to order, from pizza to sandwiches to quesadillas. “I love that they have such a wide variety of food,” senior Sierra Teuscher said. “Whether you’re in the mood for coffee or ice cream or pizza, they have it all.”

A customer walks out to enjoy the fresh air while waiting for his order to be ready. Located on Maryland Street, the coffee house has a prime location in the middle of downtown. It fits in to its surroundings while standing out at the same time. “Over all just a really vibrant cool place,” a customer said. (jessica allison) Tracey Clark-Jeffries and Joi Niedner meet almost every day around 4 p.m. for a coffee. “It’s just such a wonderful place,” Clark-Jeffries said. “Its got character and it’s so friendly. I love it. I have been coming here for 15 years and I can say, this place isn’t going any where, not anytime soon.” (jessica allison)



DECK THE HALLS Do-it-yourself Christmas decorations are simple and easy when setting up for the holidays without breaking the bank

Rudolph cookies

get connected

These cookies are a tasty decoration for the dinner table for the family to enjoy. Step 1: Bake regular, small cookies with your desired flavor. Step 2: After the cookies are relatively cool following baking, place two

Follow the link to see FHNtoday’s pinterest board of other DIY crafts to make for the holidays

chocolate chips side by side in the center of the cookie to create the eyes. Step 3: Place a single red M&M just below the eyes to create the nose. Step 4: Add two chocolate covered pretzels the top edges of the cookie to add antlers.

Magazine tree All you need to make this simple DIY is any magazine. Step 1: Open the magazine to the middle and fold the top right corner into the middle spine as show in picture one. Step 2: Fold the right edge into the spine again so the page

resembles a tie. Step 3: Fold the bottom edge of the folded page up and tuck under the fold. Step 4: Repeat steps one through three for each page of the magazine. When done, you can also wrap garland around the tree for decor.




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Follow the link to see how to create some of these DIY crafts.

Frosty BULB This DIY project helps add some fun for the Christmas tree. Step 1: Start by covering a basic light bulb in white glitter. Step 2: Be sure to have the screw end of the bulb facing upward. Glue on black beads to create the mouth, eyes and buttons. Also glue one orange bead to create the nose. Step 3: Glue two small twigs on the side for arms. Step 4: Take a small piece of yarn, tie it into a loop, and attach it to the top of the bulb.


A Russian student balances double the schoolwork during her stay in America


BY LAUREN PIKE • @pike_n_ike

16-year-old senior Ksusha Yeltsova, a student from Yarslavl, Russia, is enrolled in 27 classes this year. Not the 27 credits that students are required to obtain in order to graduate, but 27 classes. But how? Ksusha is currently balancing the schoolwork from seven classes at FHN with an additional 20 Russian classes so as not to fall behind during her stay. “In Russian school, it’s tense all the time, like, ‘study, study, study,’” Ksusha said. “And here [there is] photography and art and sculpture and the choice in subjects is much better here.” Ksusha came to the U.S. during mid-August because of the Alumna Program, which sends Russian students to live in America for one year on full scholarship. Ksusha became interested in this program after a recommendation from one of her teachers back in Russia and her own eagerness for different styles of learning. “I’m really looking for my own way of learning because some teachers don’t really explain stuff well, so I’m combining everything I learn here and in Russia and I choose the way of learning for myself,” Ksusha said. “That’s what I’ll need when I go to college and [when I get] my job.” Ksusha has not only gotten to experience American perspective in learning, but also provide her own insight, especially in her U.S. History class with teacher Sean Fowler. While traditionally a freshman course, Ksusha is required to take American History during her visit. According to Fowler, while learning about events in both Russian and American history Ksusha has provided a unique take to the class. “At times I ask her to teach the class a little something and she has the opportunity to kind of talk to class when we cover Russian history, or we briefly mention it, she’ll talk a little bit about it,” Fowler said. “More than anything else, what she provides is just a different perspective sometimes and that’s advantageous.” Ksusha has been living with junior Maria Michalski and her

Ksusha Yeltsova poses with the Russian flag. In the background are a collection of post cards from other foreign exchange students who have stayed with her housing family. (ariel kirpatrick)

family while in America. Maria’s family has housed Russian students before in order to introduce them to American culture. At the start of the year, Ksusha considered joining cross country with Maria, but decided against it because of the large amount of Russian work that she must complete. “Sometimes she just does it all day to try to get it all done,” Maria said. “I don’t know how she does it because I don’t think I would be able to do it.” Despite the challenges that she faces in balancing the workload from two countries, her trip to America has been a journey in self discovery for Ksusha. “My classmates in Russia would never experience that [American learning] and I’m so lucky that I have an opportunity to meet such great people, to learn,” Ksusha said. “I know that this stuff will go with me through my whole life. I will get skills that I will use when I’m 60 and here I became a deeper person. I really like America. America is making me better.”

@anna_ford11 Anna Ford, 12 “I wanted to go to Missouri State because I just fell in love the first time I went there, it wasn’t like I expected. They also have the position assistant program I was wanting,”

@taylor_ousley Taylor Ousley, 11 “I honestly felt really bad because I killed the poor little guy, but it was really fun.”

Energy that can’t be stopped Teacher Marissa Cohen’s dog won’t let her disability get in the way of being a normal dog BY ALEX SHANNON • @therealtwin96

Standing out from most dogs, Marissa Cohen’s Daisy, a nearly 3-year-old chocolate lab, was involved in an accident that broke a growth plate and left her with only three legs. Marissa Cohen is a Family ad Consumer science teacher. “As soon as I picked her up after the amputation, they said that the pet parents usually take it harder than the dogs do,” Cohen said. Daisy’s accident happened while running up steps at a farmhouse. The accident left her with a broken leg and growth plate, and because the leg did not heal with time, Daisy went through a series of unsuccessful surgeries. Their last option was amputation. “I didn’t know what to expect,” Sandee Cohen, Cohen’s mother, said. “Since it was a hind leg that was removed, they said that she would be able to live a pretty high functioning life.” Though she now is missing a leg, Daisy suffers no loss in mobility as a result of the surgery. She doesn’t require any sort of help getting around and she can easily

maneuver between floors in their multi-level home. She likes to jump, run and play like many other dogs. “She’s just got this beautiful personality and she’s so playful,” Sandee said. “She is unaware that she has only three limbs.” Because of the pictures she has around her classroom, many of Cohen’s students know about Cohen and Daisy’s relationship. Some students can also relate to the kind of relationship between a dog and its owner. “If that happened to my dog it would be horrible,” senior Emma Cleaveland said. “I’m really close with my dog so it would be stressful, but I guess eventually it would all turn out okay.” After around three years with Daisy, Cohen has grown to love and treasure her furry friend. Cohen still remembers the chocolate lab puppy that stood out to her from the side of the road and still maintains the same loving relationship she had with Daisy when she first got her. “I was driving down the road and there was a sign that said ‘chocolate lab puppies’ and I wanted her,” Cohen said. “I treat her like a baby, and she’s a princess who gets anything she wants.”

@emily_chowning Emily Chowning, 12 “My family and I went to the game to support my older sister at her last home game. It was so awesome to watch the Tigers win the SEC east championship. It was unforgettable being able to rush the field so I couldn’t miss the chance to take her and I’s signature cheer sister picture.”




Follow the link to see a walk through tour of the greenhouse

The greenhouse is located near room 115 on the middle floor in the old science hallway. The large windows oversee the school parking lot. It is typically used for storage. (ashleigh jenkins)

the secrets of fhn The North Star has gathered some little-known secrets about things going on in our school (by grace lodes)

1. Student of the week

2. Announcer

This is an award given regularly at North. Sponsored by Knights of Excellence, teachers can nominate students for this award. Although there are no specific requirements, teachers base their decisions off several things including attendance, willing to work and improve, or even helping out another student. Each month, a different department picks the students. “The teachers can nominate at any time throughout the year if they come across a very deserving student,” KOE sponsor Kristen Johnson said.

A common high school activity is the Friday night football games. Although many students know some of the players, few know the voice who spectators hear in the stands. The announcer for the past season was a man named Greg Damon. In addition to announcing the football games, Damon also has a radio show on KMOX about car mechanics. Damon will also be announcing the basketball games this season.


4. Recycling

5. StuCo closet

Located in the west wing of the school is a greenhouse. Several teachers, including science teacher Zachary Kling, think it’s a neat part of the school. Due to lack of ventilation, the greenhouse can only be used for storage. “I wish it could be used more,” Kling said. “The problem is that you can’t grow anything. Things would fry in the summertime and freeze in the winter.”

Much like other schools around the nation, FHSD encourages recycling. This year, Dan Lamb’s students are in charge of emptying the full recycling bins about two times each week for each teacher. The Special Education department uses the money gained from this recycling collection toward funding for various activities they do and other necesities throughout the year in their department.

Several clubs at North have a home base, or a place they specifically meet. The student council at North has a place known commonly known as the StuCo closet or StuCo Office. This is located Shelly Parks’ room which is in room 133 in the butterfly hall. This is where StuCo keeps decorations and food for dances like homecoming. Several student council members also choose to keep their belongings in there for the day.

Every Stride Counts A freshman takes horse riding to the next level by competing in horse shows


Freshman Emily Helmick leaps over the fence accompanied by her horse. Helmick has been riding her horse, Cookie, for two to three months. Her and Cookie attend lessons at Griffin Farms in Wentzville. (photo submitted)



She gets home from school and immediately begins to dress herself for the event. She does a dance around the room to put on her multiple pairs of pants, preparing for the harsh wind. Socks, boots, and half-chaps complete her outfit. She grabs her bag and coat, then heads to the barn. This is a weekly routine for freshman Emily Helmick. Emily has been competing in horse shows for three years now. But has had a burning passion for the sport since she was six. “I really had a thing for elephants for a long time, but one day I just woke up and decided I that I liked horses,” Emily said. “And that’s how my hobby began.” Emily has been riding at Great Griffin Farms in Wentzville for four years now. She has been riding Cookie, an Arabian cross-breed for about 2

or 3 months. She attends one lesson per week, while also practicing on her own. “Emily is a hard worker, and occasionally hard headed. I think she has definitely improved more this year than any of the previous years,” instructor Mari Jebens said. Awards and ribbons line Emily’s wall in her bedroom, a reminder of all her accomplishments. “Emily has accomplished a lot,” her mother Char Helmick said. “She’d probably tell you that the most memorable thing she’s accomplished is all the ribbons and things she’s won at shows, but I think for me it’s watching her improve and move up to more advanced horses.” While Emily makes riding the horse look easy, it’s not so easy to fit her passion into her schedule with school and other extracurricular activities she participates in. “If I couldn’t ride horses, then I would just want to be with them,” Emily said. “The horses themselves are my favorite part of experience.”

Breaking away from the team Morgan Schroer spends her final year ice skating competitively


Fourteen girls wearing purple and gold dresses fly across the ice as music from Broadway’s “Aladdin” blares from speakers. The girls’ high velocity causes cold, crisp air to billow around their skirts as adrenaline flows through their veins. Senior Morgan Schroer, who can be found within the mix of girls, is familiar with the rush of competing. As her senior year comes to a close, she not only leaves her high school, but also her team, the Diamond Edges, at the end of the year. “I’m very upset,” Morgan said. “It’s been a part of my life for so long and it will be weird not seeing my teammates twice a week and over the weekend.” Synchronized skating is a relatively new sport which includes teams of eight to 24 skaters performing in formations at high speeds. Though Morgan has been with Synchro St. Louis for eight years, she has been part of the Diamond Edges, the most advanced team for four years. Her older sister, Brianna Schroer, had been a part of Synchro St. Louis before her sparking her interest in skating at a young age. One of Morgan’s favorite aspects of Synchro is the friends she has made and the feeling of being with her teammates. Her teammates and coaches describe her as bubbly, dedicated and cheery. “Morgan is special because she cares about everyone on the team and is always in a good mood,” teammate Gabi Boone said. The 2014-2015 season ends in May, signifying the end to Morgan’s synchro experience. Although a chapter of her life is ending, Morgan won’t forget the memories she’s made. “I have made most of my best friends through synchro, and it’s really added fun to my life,” Morgan said.



PURSUING A DREAM JOB A senior works to get a head start on her career as a makeup artist by working at the Salon Professional Academy watching YouTube videos [of make-up artists],” BY MAYA KELCH • @myuhhhpapaya

At the Salon Professional Academy, where senior Jordan Short works as a receptionist, she is constantly surrounded by shelves full of name brand cosmetics. Pedicure massage chairs line an entire wall and there is an open, spacious floor for hair styling, cuts and dyeing. A dermatology skin bar resides on the floor as well. At 17 years old, Jordan is working among professional beauticians every day and is on her way to becoming a make-up artist herself. “I think the environment is good for her,” Jordan’s mother, Sherry Short said. Jordan’s inspiration to pursue a career in cosmetics came from several YouTube users that have created step-by-step makeup tutorial videos including Makeup Barbie and Makeup by MAC. “I’ve liked makeup ever since I was eight,

Jordan said. “I’m just good at it.” Jordan has also spent years of practicing makeup for dances, weddings and special events. She even did junior Jordan Galkowski’s makeup for prom. “The outcome was perfect.” Galkowski said. “I was honestly surprised at how good she was. Her skills are well beyond her years.” Although Jordan isn’t out on the floor doing makeup and hair like the academy students, being at the desk gives her the opportunity to make connections and experience working in a salon. Sherry is supportive and believes Jordan will go far with makeup in the future. “I think this job will make me better at what I do,” Jordan said. “I hope to learn more about the business. My ultimate goal is to move to New York for a work program at Makeup Forever Academy and then move to Chicago and find a job there.”


Senior Thomas Officer uses his Eagle Scout Project to revamp part of the school BY JESSIE DEFINE • @jessiedefine13

Many students find it hard to not notice the FHN Rock Mural in the stadium, near the pole-vaulting pit. What most students don’t realize is that it was an Eagle Scout Project. Senior Thomas Officer is in the process of getting his Eagle. One part of the process is a project; his was the rebuilding of the FHN Rock Mural. “I wanted to do a project that was a bit out of the norm,” Thomas said. “Something that isn’t usually done and something that was unique. When my mom suggested to me that I might be able to replace the previous Rock Mural there, it was the perfect solution.” Thomas began building his project over fall break, but before he could start it, there was a long process he had to go through. There is a resource book that walks the scout through the entire process, from planning, approving, completing and reviewing. The project design must be approved again at its completion. On Dec. 8, Thomas earned his Eagle Scout Badge, but the process of getting there wasn’t quick. “Working with others can sometimes be a challenge,” Thomas said. “However, my experience in scouting has well prepared me for projects like this one. I was able to lead the project with minimal issues. If anything, I have further refined my leadership and planning skills.” This project symbolizes the importance of being an eagle scout and marks a very important time in Thomas’ life. “Having my Eagle means to me that I accomplished a lot,” Thomas said. “It is symbolic of all the hours put in it, all the accomplishments I have made, and all the people I have met. This award summarizes everything that I have done in scouting.” Being an Eagle Scout has always been a goal of Thomas’, he really enjoyed it. To Thomas becoming an Eagle Scout is the accomplishment and recognition for achieving that goal. People who know Thomas well can tell how much this means to him. “Over the time put in, I have grown and developed more as a person and as a leader.” Officer said. “I have learned many life lessons that I will take with me after high school, and much more.”

The FHN rock wall located is located near the pole vault mats opposite the home bleachers in the stadium. Senior Thomas Officer recreated the rock wall for his Eagle Scout Project. He completed this project to create something different. (yasmeen belakhoua)

Thomas Officer stands with scout leaders st his final Board of Review on Monday, Dec. 8. Eagle Scout is the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve. A project is required to move from Webelos to Eagle Scout. (photo submitted)

SHOOTING FOR THE STARS A student uses her passion for singing and unique voice to pursue a future career in the music industry


From local venues like the FHN auditorium WATCH or the Pageant to nationally known venues Follow the link to hear like the Disney Concert Hall, Audrianna Audrianna’s Pasadena Bright lights shine in her face as she steps up to show the has performed in a large variety of places Idol performance. audience her talent. Junior Audrianna Bartholomew grabs the throughout the years. Her biggest microphone and belts out the first few lines of the song. accomplishment is winning Pasadena Idol back in her home state Audrianna started singing at the age of three and her passion of California in 2011. Another thing Audrianna is proud of is being a for singing has only grown stronger since then. Many artists member of FHN’s top choir, Knightsound. stick out to her, but she calls these three famous ladies her “She’s very trained and refined,” FHN choir teacher Lorraine Smith inspiration to pursue a career in music: Whitney Houston, said. “She doesn’t just have raw talent, she has talent like she’s Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. been worked with by someone else besides normal choir classes. “Ever since she was little, we knew she was going to Her voice is just really refined.” be a singer. I remember her, even before she started Audrianna has big goals for her future. She plans on attending walking, she would dance around and sing just trying to Tisch School of Arts to major in musical theatre. As for her goals as make people smile and laugh,” Audrianna’s mother May a singer, she wants to be on Broadway and win a Tony, Oscar and Bartholomew said. a Grammy. Audrianna Bartholomew, 11



M A N G I M O I TA L I A N O ! “ L E T ’ S E AT I TA L I A N ! ”

s ’ i l l e t a r F RISTORANTE E S T. 1 9 8 3

Lunch & Dinner: Monday- Friday Dinner: Saturday and Sunday 2061 Zumbehl Road St. Charles, MO 63303 Phone: (636) 949-9005

Injuries needing more than ice A senior works to recover from an ACL tear as the 2015 soccer season approaches BY BENNETT SMALLWOOD • @bsmallwood20

Senior Maddy Snyder has been hard at work this off season. She’s been running with her club team to strengthen her cardio. She’s been doing squats and using the leg press machines to build her strength. She’s been doing all she can to return to from an ACL tear that has kept her sidelined since April. She has recently been more active after being released by her physical therapist, encouraging her to train and improve on her own. Snyder watches her progress each and everyday and uses this to push her to be better than where she was at before. The people close to Snyder in her life also help motivate her to overcome the obstacle of her tear. “She’s always working hard,” Assistant Varsity Coach Larry Scheller said. “You know she’ll put in a good effort. It’s fantastic and it’s what every coach wants to see.” While she trains, Snyder recalls the tear that occurred in the spring of this year clearly. In a game against Fort Zumwalt West, Snyder and a player from the opposing team both went for the ball. While Snyder’s foot was planted, the opposing player hit her from the side, causing her knee to bend while her leg was straight. Snyder remembers the collision and the pop the followed. She immediately felt an intense pain in her knee, and dropped to the ground unable to walk. “I heard something pop and I knew something was wrong,” Snyder said. Snyder waited patiently on the field, lying helpless as the trainer came onto the field and brought her off on the golf cart. Kelly Braudis, who is a good friend of Snyder’s, knew right away what happened and knew it wasn’t good. An ACL, or the anterior crucial ligament is what holds the knee to the leg bone which, when torn, detaches from either the knee or the leg bone causing a person’s knee to give out and lessens one’s movement of the leg. Tearing an ACL is one of the most common injuries an athlete can get, and if it is serious, an athlete requires surgery if they want to continue physical activities. The American Maddy Snyder, 12 Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine states that over 150,000 cases of torn ACLs occur each year making it one of the most common sports injuries. According to Snyder, tears occur so often due to weaker or not properly trained knees. She currently has made training her knee to prevent another tear a primary focus during this off season and recommends that others strengthen their knee to prevent tears as well. “If you’re going through the process just keep doing your physical therapy and after you are done with physical therapy keep strengthening it, keep working on it,” Snyder said. This upcoming season will be Snyder’s last for North but she is excited for the future. Being out of play for eight months has also built up the excitement because she is looking forward to playing together with a team again. After high school, Snyder is hoping to play for Maryville University. According to Snyder, scouts from the college will be coming out to see some of her games so she has been making sure to get back to 100 percent to prepare for that. But currently, she is wanting to make the most out of her final year with FHN. “Since it is my last season I’m going to maybe make it memorable and just enjoy [the season] and not get mad over losses, but just enjoy the time I have with people younger than me and my coaches and everyone else,” Snyder said.


Maddy Snyder raises her right leg on to a stack of free


weights. She often used weights like this while squatting to help in her ACL rehabilitation. (jessica allison)

KEEPING TRACK OF THE STats for the team A junior takes basketball stats so that she can still share a bond with the team despite no longer wanting to play BY EMMA PARDO • @epardoer98

The referee blows the whistle and tosses the ball for tip-off, Meghan O’Brien begins to move at a fast pace to record stats. There is no “I” in team, but there is an “M”. “M” as in manager. Junior Meghan O’Brien manages the 2014-2015 Lady Knights Varsity Basketball team, keeping them organized and pumped up. “I became a manager because I played basketball when I was younger,” Meghan said. “I just didn’t want to continue playing, but I still wanted to be a part of a team.” The managers keep statistics during all games and makes sure the scoreboard shows the right score. They also help with the drills at practice. Keeping stats gives a visual on how well not only the team but individual players do, so they can work to get better. “I like that the coach can count on me for taking the stats, and I still feel like part of the team when I’m there,” Meghan said. JV coach Emily Brady has known Meghan since she coached her on the feeder team, her junior year. She has been known as a focused and dedicated manager since freshman year. “Meghan keeps us organized,” Varsity player Austine Pauley said. “With the organization we can stay focused on a goal, to improve from our last game.” Meghan enjoys keeping stats, because she is a big part of the team. She considers the team as some of her closest friends now and wants to continue to be a manager for her senior year as well. “We’re all very close, we all feel the sense of belonging, we’re family,” Meghan said.

From madi and mallory

The other two Varsity Girls Basketball managers discuss their jobs

Junior Meghan O’ Brien talks to the other managers during the game against Holt. O’Brien deals with statistics and make sure the scoreboard reads the right score. O’Brien hopes to manage again her senior year. (ariel kirkpatrick)

“I tore my ACL freshman year and I couldn’t play so I decided to manage instead of getting hurt. [Being a manager] takes a lot of time but we’re all like a big family and we all have a lot of fun together.” Mallory Schaffrin, 11

“I mostly go to just games but a few practices. I like being part of the team. We’re all really close and everyone has a place to fit in.” Madi Oostendorp, 11

Lifeguard teaches swim lessons in the winter A student instructs young children how to swim since it’s such an important skill to learn BY GARRET GRIFFIN

“This job, it’s not an ordinary job,” Timmy said. “I’d rather be working here than anywhere else.” Because of the past four months that Timmy has spent working as an instructor, he has been influenced to become a school teacher. Timmy would want to teach gym in order to teach them proactive strategies to help them stay active and healthy. “He’s a really good teacher,” close friend junior Jessie Define said. “He tells them exactly what to do and he helps them out a lot.” For Timmy, the thing he enjoys most about working with the kids is the rewarding feeling of helping someone in need. Through the hours that Timmy has spent in the pool, he feels that he has positively contributed to the kids’ swimming abilities and been a role model in their lives. “You make good money, and it’s also rewarding to help teach these kids to get better at swimming, and then hopefully move on with the swimming to maybe joining a swim team or swimming in high school,” Timmy said.

Senior Timmy Bries is a swimming instructor for children ages six to 12 years old at Pattonville High School. Because of his experience, Timmy has been inspired to pursue a career in teaching in the future. “I think it’s nice of him to help kids learn to do that since it’s such a useful skill that you need to know,” Timmy’s sister, sophomore Bridget Bries said. Timmy worked as a lifeguard over the summer for St. Charles Parks and Recreation and after the park’s season was over, Timmy looked for another job. He came across a flyer asking for people who had lifeguarding experience and who worked well with children. Timmy immediately called for an interview after seeing the flyer, and after going through the proper training for teaching kids how to swim, Timmy started teaching in August. Timmy Bries, 12




A Fort Zumwalt South player smacks the puck away from junior Tyler McAtee. The Knights and the Bulldogs met on the ice at the Rec Plex South on Nov. 10. FHN lost 2-3. (ashleigh jenkins)

The Lady Knights grab for the ball from a Wentzville Holt offensive player on Dec. 9. Holt went on to win the game with an ending score of 39-54. (sammie savala) Jacob Smith attempts to take down his opponent with a single leg takedown. The Knights wrestled the Howell Vikings in their first meet of the year. (amanda eckhard)

Freshman Michael Bugaski dribbles to the hoop. The Knights faced the Lions in the FZN tournament on Dec. 3. (madi graves)



Starting a Career Young Maddie Crain hopes to expand and continue a career she is interested in by helping children

BY SAMI SCHMID • @saminicole102

A typical Friday night for senior Maddie Crain involves kids laughing, giggling, and jumping all over the place. They ask a million questions in quick procession and climb on her like monkeys. All this time she never loses her temper or patience and proceeds to instruct the children in their rotations. She spends these evenings teaching gymnastics to three 5-year-olds at her house. She also teaches classes at a gym in Hazelwood, called Kids World Gymnastics. “Most people complain about having to go to work everyday but that’s something that I look forward to everyday,” Maddie said. Maddie uses a mixture of mats, balance beams, jump ropes, mattresses and a trampoline or two, to teach the kids. Of all the equipment the students use, perhaps the most interesting is the bar she made herself. With a couple of hours, the Internet, some leftover wood, duct tape and the end of a mop, she created a bar that was safe and strong enough for the kids to learn on. Maddie teaches levels one and two of gymnastics noncompetitively as well as two through four competitively. She began teaching kids at her house when the O’Neal family, a friend of the Crains, wanted to put their child in gymnastics. They talked to Maddie and her mom about having her coach their daughter, since she had the skills and resources. It grew from there and students have come and gone since then. “Maddie is phenomenal with the kids,” Chris O’Neal, father of one of Maddie’ students said. “You know you’ve got a good coach when the kids are proud of what they’re doing and they want to share that with other people.” Family and friends of Maddie can tell she has a passion for gymnastics and working with kids. Maddie hopes to continue coaching while she’s in college She plans to get a job at a gym closer to her college and after

Maddie Crain signals her students to begin their floor routines. Crain is helping her students perfect their routine that is to be performed later in the year. Crain also encourages the girls to work hard and have fun while doing it. (lauren price)

graduating she wants to open up an in-home daycare during the day, while coaching gymnastics in the evenings. Maddie is happy with her decision to teach others and loves what she does. She plans to continue doing so for as long as she can. “She loves kids and she loves gymnastics and I think this gave her an opportunity to sort of marry the two things that she loves,” senior Brenda Alvarado, sister of one of Maddie’s students said.

Featured athlete: Hard Work Pays Off Junior Maci May works hard in and out of practice to continue improving her skills

BY ERIKA PAAR• @curliegirlie


Follow the link to see more about Maci May’s basketball career.

She imagines the ball in her hand, 10 seconds are on the clock and the crowd is screaming as she shoots the winning shot. This is the moment junior Maci May imagines while putting in extra hours at the gym. “I like how in the big gym there is always more hype from the crowd than there usually is in the small gym,” Maci said. Maci puts in a lot of work outside practice. She often goes to the Rec Plex and works out in order to build strength and plays pick up games on the basketball court. Junior Austine Pauley often trains with her. “We have been playing together since seventh

grade, and working out in the gym together since after freshman year,” Austine said. Maci started playing basketball in seventh grade. Starting out on the feeder team for the Knights, she played for them and various club teams over the summer. Her freshman year, she got the opportunity to play for both JV and Varsity alongside her sister, who was a senior at the time. “It was cool [to be on Varsity] because I got to play with my sister and I had really wanted to do that,” Maci said. Maci hopes to continue playing basketball in college. She wants to continue the family tradition of playing basketball into her college years and keep playing the sport she loves. “My hopes are that Maci continues to work hard and she accomplishes all the goals she has set for herself and the team,” Varsity Assistant Coach Dawn Hahn said.




•It’s a Wonderful Life

A classic holiday movie about a man who begins to appreciate his life after being shown what it would be like if he hadn’t been born. •Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer


Will Ferrell stars in this holiday comedy as Buddy the elf, a man raised as an elf in the North Pole who journeys to New York City to discover his true past. •Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

•The Polar Express

Tom Hanks narrates and stars in this animated tale about a young boy’s journey to the North Pole aboard a magical train. •A Charlie Brown Christmas

•Dr, Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This live-action rendition of a Dr. Suess classic stars Jim Carrey as the Grinch, a furry Who that despises Christmas. •A Christmas Story •Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer •National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation This Christmas comedy stars Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, a man who just wants his family’s holiday to be perfect, when things go awry.


pyramidal flop of the year

‘The Pyramid’ disappoints with it’s lack of substance, tasteless gore and overplayed scare-tactics, making it a movie to avoid this season

BY LEXI WILKINSON • @loupy0925

Armed with Cookie Dough Bites in one hand and Sierra Mist in the other, I settled down one Sunday afternoon to see just what the movie, The Pyramid, had to offer me. I went into this movie expecting the worst, and in the end, got what I expected. The movie, though suspenseful and interesting at times, only earns three out of five stars for it’s thin plot and superficial entertainment value. Set just outside Cairo, Egypt in August of 2013, this “foundfootage” style horror flick only had me occasionally on the edge of my seat. The plot follows a father-daughter archaeologist team and their camera crew as they discover a buried pyramid and proceed to explore it. Of course, things go horribly wrong as they realize that they are being hunted by a malevolent something within the pyramid, something that has been there for thousands of years. The actors seemed disinterested and gave mediocre performances, and the scare-tactics relied on jumpy moments and excessive gore. The R- rating apparently came from the gallons of fake blood I’m sure they went through on-set. As stated before, this movie was completely superficial. It won’t be winning any awards, except for perhaps the Award for Most Moments the Viewer Just Asks Themselves ‘Why?’. Everything that happened was to be expected- the characters


shouldn’t go down the tunnel and they go down the tunnel; one guy gets attacked and “surprisingly” dies; the girl who’s fault the entire movie is remains the last alive, if only momentarily, so that she can reflect on the choices she’s made that led her to the exact moment she’s eaten alive. Not only this, but the movie also relied on dark lighting and spooky music to set the tone, and that tone turned out to be ‘annoyed’. The suspense- building that most horror films utilise was indeed present in The Pyramid, and was effective to an extent. That extent was that if the viewer reminded themselves that the movie was meant to be entertaining and not meaningful, then it wouldn’t be too terrible. But alas, it was. Some of the most interesting parts of the film for me were the times that the history of the pyramids and the Ancient Egyptian gods was brought up. For history/Egyptian mythology nerds like me, it made the movie a little redeemable. Gods like Anubis, the jackal-headed God of Death, and Osiris, King of the Underworld, played a role in the carrying-out of the film. These moments were informative, for sure, and added to the level of interest. Well, minimally. Though I’ll admit that I did scream a few times and the suspense kept my eyes glued to the screen, overall, The Pyramid didn’t really have a base to stand on. I would only recommend this film to those that enjoy racing hearts filled with disappointment, and spending money on movies that probably shouldn’t have made it to theaters.

A Slice of Naples

A Pizza Story brings traditional Neapolitan-style pizza to St. Louis


Between the plethora of pizza joints in St. Louis, the smoky, blackened crust of A Pizza Story’s wood-fired Neapolitan style pies satisfied my craving for a simple, yet flavorful slice. Nestled in with the restaurants of Manchester Road, with the homey dining atmosphere, the friendly staff and the fresh ingredients, A Pizza Story tells the tale of what pizza is meant to be: effortless and tasty. The simple, yet high quality ingredients of the Fantasy, a pizza layered with prosciutto de parma, fresh burrata cheese, a style of mozzarella, and arugula left me feeling satisfied from the balance of flavors. The prosciutto provided a salty bite coupled with the rich burrata, which was then contrasted with the slight sweetness of the tomato sauce and peppery

bitterness of the arugula. A Pizza Story’s take on the pepperoni pizza, the Thriller, provided a salty, spicy jolt with the help of fiery Spanish chorizo sausage sliced into pepperoni-sized circles. The main thing that caught my attention about this pizza was the ingenuity of a simple topping swap. Rather than piling copious amounts of fixings on the pizza, the Thriller unapologetically stands alone with sauce, mozzarella and chorizo. No frills, all flavor. However, with gourmet flavors come gourmet prices. These prices range from $16 for a pizza barely larger than a dinner plate. On the bright side, this size squashes any potential threat of having to share the pizza with someone else and will significantly decrease the amount of pizza-related fights to the death. Overall, from foodies to average Joe’s, A Pizza Story will satisfy any cravings for an honest to goodness pie.

Five stars for the Fifth Wave

Rick Yancey has written one of the most stellar alien apocalypse books to check out


I’ve read probably thousands of books in my lifetime, and while some have been absolutely incredible, not many have been as striking and as well written as “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey. I could write a novel about how much I loved this book and why; I loved how the plot was full of suspense, and how you were left questioning who the good guys were, but what it comes down to is this: I loved how it didn’t feel like a book. As I was reading, I was taken to another time, another place. I personally witnessed Cassie Sullivan’s mission to save her 5-year-old brother, Sammy from his alien captors. It is striking just how quickly Yancey drew me into the plot with how he conveyed Cassie’s emotions. I truly felt everything she felt, and I often forgot I was sitting in my class reading

a book, and instead thought I was the last human in an alieninvaded world, missing my baby brother. I felt every ounce of Cassie’s hopelessness, cynicism, despair, love, and loneliness throughout the novel. The way Yancey writes transcends words; his writing is more than just words on a page, they transport the reader to an alien-infested, postapocalyptic world. His writing is incredibly powerful, and I was brought to tears more times than I could count. This book was unlike anything I’ve ever read. It was sitting-on-the-edge-of-myseat-biting-my-nails-stayingup-all-night-to-finish-just-onemore-chapter good. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Whether you’re an avid reader, or only read your tweets, this is one book you don’t want to miss.

OPINION: Peaceful protests Ferguson protesters go from burning businesses to peacefully protesting in the streets BY MIA ELLIOTT

When a tragedy such as the death of Michael Brown happens, combatting violence with violence is not the solution. If people want peace, they should show peace. I can say that I am glad to see the transition of the protesters going from bad to good. Destroying their own community was not the right way to react to the decision that the jury made. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is okay for people to peacefully protest using their voices, but it also depends on the way that people go about it. People can’t steal food and burn things because that doesn’t show that they care. Like the old time saying goes, “actions speak louder than words”, but these actions are coming off as misinformed because stealing food doesn’t have anything to do with wanting justice for a teenager who was shot multiple times. Schools were closed down because of all the rioting that going on in the Ferguson area. In situations like these, students have to be in school so they can educate themselves about the laws and how the court system works so they know what they as a community can and cannot do to make an effective change in the proper way. In the end, it is about people coming together as a community and continuing to use their voices, not their weapons. The way I look at is, justice is another word for peace, and in order to have justice, you must show peace.



STUDENT TAKE Students weigh in on the possibility of FHSD implementing laptops into schools


COMPUTERS FOR ALL FHSD should provide all students in the district with devices to improve student education by improving the resources available to them ON BEHALF OF THE EDITORIAL STAFF • @FHNtoday

“I wouldn’t really want my own laptop for school. I see it as overly expensive and it would be too complicated for everyone to have one.”

Courtney Olsen, 10

“I actually think it would be a great idea because it would be a quicker and easier way of turning in and receiving assignments.”

Maddie Mitchell, 10

“I have friends from Pattonville that have their own Macs provided by the school and it seems pretty convenient. They can use them for online assignments and even for personal use. It would be nice for students who may not have computer access at home or that maybe share computer time with their family.”

Haley Holman, 12



The district is currently thinking about purchasing devices such as laptops and tablets for every student in FHSD for the 2016-2017 school year. The district should buy these devices to be available for students because it can have a very positive impact on their education. For example, teachers would be able to assign homework, reading, and assignments online through mediums such as Schoology, Blackboard, Google Docs and Edmondo more easily. This could also help out students when they are absent from school. They simply need to log into their computers and would be able to receive and work on their assignments online, rather than having to wait until the next day or the next time they’ll be at school to receive all of their make-up work. This would give students the opportunity to catch up on their schoolwork before coming back to school so they don’t fall behind in their classes. Additionally, this would also allow teachers to notify their students about upcoming deadlines and

tests through the devices. While the security and working conditions of the devices will always be a concern, the benefits of implementing such a system would provide far more benefits than harms. These devices can also have apps downloaded onto them to provide students with resources to help them with their work and even have access to textbooks online. This would greatly benefit students because they wouldn’t have to haul their textbooks to and from school every day. As a direct effect of this, FHSD could use current funds used to fix in-school devices on updating the new ones. If these devices were to be distributed, potentially, students from kindergarten through senior high would receive devices of some sort. Students in elementary school don’t need personal laptops or tablets because they are more focused on basic reading and writing skills that wouldn’t require take-home devices. However, this would be immensely beneficial to middle and especially high school students who often have take-home assignments. These devices would be checked out to students at the beginning of the year and they would be allowed to take them home every day. These devices would then be returned at the end of the school year. In order to keep track of the

devices, students would also be required to fill out and sign a form similar to the textbook rental form to ensure the safety and protection of the devices. Additionally, filters would be placed on the wi-fi and hot spots to reduce any type of distraction for the students from school work. While providing students with devices could result in the loss of note taking, as students take pictures of the board, this would speed up the class routine because teachers wouldn’t have to stop and wait for the class to finish copying down notes. Furthermore, integrating technology doesn’t necessarily mean that paper and pencil will be eliminated from the classrooms. Posters could still be drawn and essays could still be written. Technology would simply increase the efficiency of the student’s learning environment and provide them with more tools to aid their learning process. If the district puts in a proposal to the district board, schools could start testing the impact that these devices would have on students as early as the next school year. The district should provide this option for students because technology plays a tremendous role in today’s society and people will only become more reliant on it in the years to come. The purpose of the school district is to provide students with a good education and prepare them for the future. Being able to effectively and efficiently use technology will become a skill that all students will need to know for the college and their years beyond. Today, hard copies of documents, records and even many assignments have already become digitalized in numerous places across the world, so technological and digital skills will be crucial to surviving in the 21st century. Students would get first-hand experience from working with these devices. Furthermore, the distribution of these devices would

not only be an advantage for students, but teachers as well. Teachers wouldn’t have to worry about reserving the computer labs at schools for their students days or even weeks in advance. They could schedule their usual “lab time” anytime they want without having to consider all the other teachers in the building who would need the lab for their students at the same time. Of the numerous options of devices available, laptops would prove to be of greater use to most students than tablets. Laptops are less vulnerable to physical damage, and wouldn’t require additional equipment to keep the screen protected. Laptops also come with USB, SD, and HDMI ports allowing easy transport of information between computers. While MacBooks may be pricey, purchasing them would be most beneficial in the long run because Macs will simplify the usage of the devices and are less susceptible to viruses than PC’s. This being said, the teachers and administration would most likely need to receive instruction over the span of the next two years to make sure they understand the functions of the devices so that they are able to use it to their and their students’ advantage. By providing students with their own devices, they will be fully prepared for their future and will have another set of skills to work with in the years to come. Implementing this service would provide students with an immense arsenal of resources and tools to use. It’s time to start integrating technology into students lives to provide them with the best educational opportunities possible.

Editor in Chief: Daniel Bodden Managing Editor: Lauren Pike Business Manager: Aly Jenkins Business: Brandon Macias Austin Ferguson Team Editors: Emma Pursley Alexis Tainter Design Editors: Maggie Torbeck Nick Wyer Copy Editors: Priscilla Joel Lexi Wilkinson General Staff: Alex Arger Kyleigh Kristensen Michal Basford Anthony Kristensen Alex Bohnert Zoe Lawson Alyssa Doty Joe Luley Mia Elliott Erika Paar Sarai Esparza Breanna Relleke Megan Grannemann Sami Schmid Garret Griffin Alex Shannon Jamie Hetlage Bennett Smallwood Risa Takenaka Editor in Chief of Photography: Ashleigh Jenkins Photo Editors: Editor of Photography: Sammie Savala Yearbook Editor of Photography: Ariel Kirkpatrick Web Editor of Photography: McKenzie Shea Photographers: Jessica Allison Lauren Price Yasmeen Belakhoua Alyssa Savage Jessie Define Ashton Stegman Amanda Eckhard Abby Temper Madi Graves Jailan Thomas Jordan Mertens Ravyn Winter Katie Worsham

FHNTODAY STAFF Editor In Chief of Digital Media: Jake Chiarelli FHNgameday Editor: Alex Weinstock Video Editor: Sam Skaggs Web Staff: Ryan Jensen Tristan Chenoweth Alex Connell Jacob Lintner Lucy Covington Chase Meyer Zach Mills Video Staff: Stone Birkner Kyle Cuppy Brayton Larson Ben Moxley Adam Quigley Autumn Todd Advisers: Jordyn Klackner Aaron Manfull




North Star Dec. 2014 Edition  
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