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NORTH STAR 12.11.13 • volume 28 • issue 4 Francis Howell North St. Charles, Missouri

The Ulimate Gift The gift of family can come in many different forms through adoption

Netflix Craze 8 Different Ways To Tie A Scarf

“Frozen” Movie Melts Hearts Earn More Credit

Does Christmas start too early?














Art Club makes portraits of orphaned children in Cambodia.

Varsity Boys’ Basketball focuses on working as a team.

Normandy decides to close Bel-Nor Elementary and temporarily stop sending funds to FHSD. Middle schoolers get the chance to receive high school credit for classes.















Students debate whether the Christmas season starts too early.

Jake Cornett’s truck may be mistaken for a train by some.

Lindsay continues her passion for art even at home.


Learn how to help change the stigma associated with mental illness.

The latest Netflix epidemic has unforeseen side effects. 15

This new Disney movie will melt your heart with its lively music.

The way to reduce the obesity rate is to choose a healthier lifestyle.

Kristen takes a chance and grabs a dream-like opportunity. 11



Learn eight ways to tie your scarf to spice up an everyday outfit. 10


Adriana shares her experiences of being a statistician of four years for the wrestling team.

Students at FHN participate in the Hot Chocolate 5k.




A positive look on middle schoolers earning high school credit.

Math teacher Tim Besse and his wife Tiffany pose with their almost 20-month-old daughter Evelyn. Even at her young age, Evelyn loves to read and cook with her kitchen set. (matt krieg)


This month, North Star takes an indepth look at the process families go through to adopt a child. (photo illustration by cameron mccarty and ashleigh jenkins)

2549 Hackmann Rd. St. Charles, MO 63303




Junior Lera Medvedeva paints an ornament in fashion club. Members had the choice of using glitter, paint, tissue paper, or pipe cleaners to decorate with. The next fashion club meeting is Jan. 8 in room 026 from 1:35 to 2:20. (mckenzie shea)


t was really fun to create my own ornament for Christmas, I like how it’s fluffy and I didn’t have to paint the whole thing to make it cool. - Lera Medvedeva, 12


Glitter, paint, and streamers covered room 26 on Dec. 4, as Fashion Club made their own Christmas ornaments. The officers chose ornaments that were clear globes so that each member could create their own unique design. A few members chose to stuff their ornaments with pink streamers, while others used paint and glitter to create a traditional looking christmas decoration. “I like blitz, and a lot of pow, so I put a whole bunch of glitter all over it, all different colors, silver, gold, a little green, and some blue,” Fashion Club member Mia Amourelliott said. “I like how it all mixed together.” The officers chose to make ornaments when they were brainstorming ideas. They wanted to do something fun at this meeting, that was also related to the holiday season that is coming soon. “I definitely think the members had fun at this meeting,” Maddie Hiatt, Fashion Club President, said. “We were laughing and people were really excited to show everyone their ornament.” (brief by ashley eubanks)



A new after school pass policy was put into place by the FHN administration, on Nov. 18. Students who wish to stay after must get a pass from their principal’s secretary in the main office. When students get their passes, they will be asked which teacher or club they will be staying after with and where in the building they will be. By putting this policy in place, North’s administration is hoping to get a better indication of which kids are staying after school, what for, and where they will be. The administration wanted to prevent students from roaming the halls of the school without a specific purpose. “It helps security for students to have passes, they can see where students are going and who is going. It makes it a more orderly environment,” Principal Andy Downs said. Students who often stay after received a permanent pass to prevent having to go to their principal’s secretary each day. “I feel like something had to be done about the kids just roaming around after school, but it was kind of just sprung on us,” senior Kaitlin Eifert said. Downs feels that now only people who need help or have a reason stay are staying after school. There may be new adjustments in the future if any other problems arise. “It’s a new policy, and as with most new policies, it will be adjusted to fit the needs of the students and the needs of the administration,” Downs said. (brief by rowan pugh)



On Jan. 10, the registration process will officially begin with the distribution of materials to the junior class for the upcoming school-year. On Jan. 13, sophomores will receive their information and freshmen will get the materials on the 14th. All registration will be online and the online portal will open on Jan. 13 and will be officially closed on Jan. 23 at midnight. After the guidance office has received each student’s course requests, every student will be called down by their guidance counselor to individually speak about the classes they chose and whether or not they are on the right track to graduating. (brief by brianna morgan)


1st hour: exam 7:20-8:56 2nd hour: exam 8:55-10:25 7th hour: exam 12:50-2:20 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19

Optional Homeroom: 7:20-8:15 3rd hour: exam 8:20-9:50 4th hour: exam 9:55-11:25 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20

Optional Homeroom: 7:20-8:15 5th hour: exam 8:20-9:50 6th hour: exam 9:55-11:25 *Additional students arriving during the optional homeroom time will be sent to homeroom

Epsilon Beta started planning Coffeehouse, which will take place this February. The club will supervise preparations and organize the artwork and acts. In addition to working on Coffeehouse, the club also sells coffee on Friday mornings and plans services projects. (brief by priscilla joel)

12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 01




Want to see your tweet here? Tag tweets about school with




The only bad thing about playing high school sports is sometimes I just want to go home but I can’t.

Is it weird that I’m listening to classical music at school... ? And I love it!! Nic Savala

Sierra Teuscher

GIVING HOPE Art Club helps to preserve the childhood of orphans in Cambodia by creating portraits of children through the Memory Project BY BRIANNA MORGAN • @BriMarie1006


fter months of sketching, erasing, and coloring, Art Club will finally be able to send off their finalized portraits of children in a Cambodian orphanage. The project began in September with each art student randomly choosing what child they would make their portrait of. Now, they have up until the end of this week to draw their portrait using whichever medium they want. The goal is to have each portraits collected before finals begin. The 24 portraits will finally be sent to Cambodia on Jan. 1 along with a picture of the artist. Upon receiving their portraits, the children will take another picture posing with their portraits and the photo will be sent back to their respective artists so that they can see the child’s reaction to their gift. “It’s easy to be cynical in this world we live in today,” Art Club Sponsor Michael Leistner said. “The people in this project are sincere and genuinely good. It shows that there are plenty of good people in the world.” The portraits are a part of the Memory Project, a nonprofit organization. The Memory Project is an organization in which art students make portraits for disadvantaged children around the world. According to the Memory Project’s mission statement, because many of these children have few personal keepsakes, they try to provide them with special memories that capture a piece of their childhood and try to help the kids see themselves as works of art. “The best part about the Memory Project is even though I’m not very good at art, this gives me an inspiration to draw because these orphans have nothing,” Reavey said. “Whenever we send the portraits to them, I know they will be happy.” Because the Memory Project is a nonprofit program, there is a $15 fee per portrait to participate in the project. The fee covers postage and remaining money is donated to the orphanage. On average, a total of $1,000 is donated to each orphanage. In order to cover this cost, $300 was donated by StuCo from their annual budget, and the rest was covered by Art Club. “All of Student Council voted on whether or not to donate the money to the Art Club and, in the end, we all agreed that helping support them with this project was what was best to do,” StuCo President Rowan Pugh said. The Memory Project was started in the fall of 2004 by Ben Schumaker after he took a trip to an orphanage in Guatemala and learned that most of the children in the orphanages have never seen a picture of themselves. “To think that a lot of these orphans have never even seen a picture of themselves just really struck me as profound,” Schumaker said. “I always loved drawing portraits of people and I thought it was a very powerful gift to give someone. So, by giving the project to art students it’s just a win-win.” 02 FHNTODAY.COM 12.11.13






If you’re not taking at least 4 honors/AP classes, then you don’t have a right to complain about homework

Everyday I come to school I always look forward to lunch

Chemistry has now turned into Spanish.. So lost

I just want a snow day, is that to much to ask for?

Zohaib Abro

Tony Black

Kyle Kateman

Abby Rapplean

BEL-NOR ELEMENTARY TO CLOSE The Normandy School District decides to close an elementary school later this month and layoff more than 100 to save millions BY PRISCILLA JOEL • @JCPjchristo

Members of the Normandy School District who attended a school board meeting in October voted to close Bel-Nor Elementary School. Along with this decision, they also voted to stop sending funds to FHSD for the transfer program for a short period of time. “One of the reasons they voted not to pay it was because, as our school board president said, we had just announced the layoffs of 103 people, the closure of one school, and it was just an emotional night for everyone,” Daphne Dorsey, Public Relations for Normandy, said. “The conscience could not see approving the payment of the money for the tuition bill.” However, at the next board meeting, Normandy decided to continue sending funds to FHSD. Since Normandy lost its accreditation this past January, the District has been making changes,

including the closing of Bel-Nor. By implementing the closing, the district hopes to save around $3.5 million this year and $7 million for the next school year. Bel-Nor was chosen by the board to be closed since it was the oldest building in the district and needed many improvements. The students that attend Bel-Nor will be dispersed to other schools in the district. “I know their goal is to make sure their district progresses and provides as good of an education as they possibly can to their kids,” FHN Head Principal Andy Downs said. Normandy plans to layoff 103 employees. This will take place on Dec. 20. “I think we have been handling this situation very well in light of the fact that we were mandated by the state to allow our students to transfer out to other school districts and the fact that we’re paying or rather that we’re obligated to make those tuition payments,” Dorsey said.

NHS GIVES BACK TO KIDS Students in National Honor Society participate in a program that sends Christmas gifts to those in need around the world Freshman Amanda Shaw draws a picture of an orphan for the Memory Project that the Art Club is doing this year. The drawings will be due on Dec. 13 so the paintings and drawings can be sent off before the holidays. Most of the pictures submitted are hand-delivered by the Memory Project organization. Junior Brian Welker’s drawing of an orphan from Guatemala is on its way to perfection. Art club normally meets once every two weeks but in order to finish their portraits for the Memory Project, the club met every Thursday after school to meet the deadline at the end of this week. Each child is given a few photos from different artists so they have a little collection of portraits of themselves. (sammie savala)


BY SARAI ESPARZA • @SaraiEsparza

Juniors and seniors in National Honor Society (NHS) had the option to participate in Operation Christmas Child during the third week of November. Operation Christmas Child is a Christian-based organization through Samaritan’s Purse that allows people to send Christmas gifts to needy children all over the world. “I like this organization because it helps out kids who are unfortunate and it brings a little something to them on Christmas time,” Junior NHS sponsor and business teacher Angie Mason said. Members filled the boxes with small toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and personal notes. Each box was worth 10 points and each member could only turn in up to two boxes. These points go toward the points students in NHS must accumulate by spring break senior year in order to be recognized at graduation.

Junior Kristen Crow signs into the NHS meeting for Operation Christmas Child. (amanda eckhard)

“I expect nothing back; it makes me happy, I guess it gives me a sense of accomplishment,” junior MaryKate Feldhaus said. NHS will continue to participate for years to come in order to help the less fortunate and spread Christmas cheer. “I hope that somebody has a better Christmas than they would have without my donation,” junior Allison Weyhrich said. 12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM



The District reintroduces a policy that will give students the chance to get ahead in high school credits by taking harder classes in middle school BY ALEXIS TAINTER • @lexis_taint


n Nov. 21, the Board of Education approved a change in Policy 2525 to allow students to receive high school credit for select classes they take in middle school. There are five classes available for students to participate in who want to take advantage of this opportunity. These classes are Algebra I, Spanish I, French I, German I, and challenge science, which resembles honors physical science for freshmen; however, students will not receive an honors point for taking challenge science in middle school. The new policy will be put in place for the 2014-15 school year. This will not be the first time students have been able to receive credit in middle school. The option was available previously for middle schoolers to receive credit for these courses, but this was changed in before the 2005-06 school year. The Board felt that the middle school classes did not meet the same standards the high school courses do. “I think the reason why our district moved away from giving middle school students the high school credits was because we wanted to ensure that students experience taking a course in middle school that is as rigorous as the course they would take as a high school student,” Chris Greiner, Director of Student Learning for FHSD, said. “Years ago, I don’t know that we could say with certainty that a student in a middle school algebra class was getting the same level of instruction, the same exposure to the content, that a student taking a high school algebra class was getting.” The change in policy before 2005-06 upset many. The District received complaints from parents who were not happy with middle schoolers being unable to earn high school credit for these classes. Traci Martinez, who teaches a Spanish I class at Barnwell, was working for the District when this policy was changed and did not approve of the adjustment. “I thought it was really sad because these kids do the same work, they work out of the same book,

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we pace it the same, they take the same finals, they do everything, but yet they weren’t able to get high school credit for a high school class,” Martinez said. The policy is now being changed and will reintroduce the previous system that gives middle school students high school credit. The academic committee now feels the communication between the middle school teachers and high school teachers is better and their curriculums are almost identical. “We feel like now, because of the amount of collaboration that our teachers are involved in at the middle and high school level, that we’ve increased the rigor at the middle schools to be able to match what they would get in a high school course,” Greiner said. “We feel like there’s a common core for the curriculum.” With this change, people may question how fair it is for the students who took these courses in middle school prior to the 2014-15 school year and how this policy revision will affect them. The committee has decided to give these students the option to use the classes as a high school credit. “They’ll have the option; they are not mandated because the policy change wasn’t around when they were in middle school,” Greiner said. “We wanted to give them the option because they achieved that credit like the students enrolled in eighth grade now.” Current high school students who have taken one of the five courses in middle school can apply for the credit to be on their transcript, affecting their cumulative GPA. Middle schoolers taking any of the five classes starting in 2014-15 will not have an option, the course will automatically be on their transcript. “The only negative I can see is that sometimes in eighth grade they lack maturity, and I would hate to see someone who is generally a straight A student not do well in eighth grade and have a B or a C follow them on their transcript to high school if they really could have done better once they were a little more mature,” Martinez said. Another question that has been raised regarding the fact that it Policy 2525


Stephan Agee, Yousef Langi and James Wu are are working on a group activity in their Spanish 1 class at Barnwell Middle School. The activity required students to match up spanish terms while only communicating with each other in Spanish. (cameron mccarty)

will allow high school students more leniency their junior and senior year for Many middle school students view the change in policy as a positive adjustmath and science. If a student takes Algebra I and challenge science in eighth ment and plan on taking advantage of the opportunity. They look forward to grade, by the time the student is a sophomore, they would have all getting a head start for high school. three math and science credits required for graduation, allowing “It’s good because we’ve all put in the time and effort in this class, them to opt out of taking math and science class when they are an and we should get the credit,” eighth grader Maddie Kraus, who is THE upperclassman. currently taking Spanish I, said. “It will make high school easier.” NEED TO “If they’re not taking math their junior or senior year that will As of right now, there are no other changes to be expected in the definitely have a negative effect on their success in college,” Shelbi future. The changing of Policy 2525 will not affect the number of KNOW Dillon, a math teacher at North, said. “They will probably place credits required to graduate and will not change any standards for lower and they won’t remember what they need.” Cum Laude, one of which is the requirement of taking all four core While students will possibly have the option to only take two classes all four years of high school. About Policy years of math and science while in high school, it is not certain “This makes the middle school teachers working with the high 2525 whether they will take two years off. With the students already school teachers even more important,” Martinez said. “All my taking algebra and challenge science early, some do not view them students go to North, so I want to know from the Spanish II teachers • Describes credits and as the type to not take advantage of their years in high school as a what my kids were good at and what I need to work on harder with classes needed prep for college. them and help them improve on. I think that would help me be a betfor graduation “Eighth graders in algebra are on the college track,” Amy ter teacher to know what my kids’ strengths and weaknesses are.” • Explains how Ridling, an Algebra I teacher at Barnwell, said. “I don’t see any Greiner agrees with Martinez. Looking into the future, commumiddle school students taking those years off. If they’re not on the four-year nication is one main thing Greiner believes will affect the overall students can receive high track, they’re probably not taking algebra in middle school.” outcome of this revision of the policy. school credit While the policy change gives students more leniency for “Communication is going to be very important,” Greiner said. “We a couple years of high school, this is also seen as a positive to have to make sure that as we move forward that we establish some • To see the full policy, check some. It may be seen as a problem in regards to math and science structures that will make sure the middle school and high school out this link: classes, but can be seen as a positive when referring to languages. teachers continue to collaborate on how they’re teaching the course, “Maybe language wasn’t their thing, so they can get it out of the what adjustments they’re making, and how they can improve each way, and they can take something else they’re more interested in,” of the courses. I think that’s a good thing because it’s going to benefit Martinez said. “Now it gives them the opportunity to go all the way up through our students, benefit our teachers, and ultimately provides our kids with early level five in any of the languages. I just think it’s a win win.” exposure to high school.”


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There are many different ways to tie scarves. Scarves are a big hit this season. They keep you warm and fashionable at the same time. There are many different popular styles and here are 8 unique ways to stay stylish. Some styles include The Double Infinity, The Weave, and The Sliding Knot. There are also different ways you can make your own scarf yourself for a fun craft to do in your free time. Photos By: ELLE REDEL







Check out these tutorials that describe step-by-step how to tie different scarves Use the link to check out a video tutorial for the Weave and Infinity.

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Use the link to see other ways to tie scarves and make your own.




1. Find a cute sweater design that you like. 2. Cut along the sleeves and tie them around your neck like a scarf. 3. You can also use fabric and cut it in a long strip to resemble a scarf.

1. Get a solid-colored cami or tank top. 2. Roll the tank top/cami up and tuck the ends of it toward the center. 3.Pull it over your head and tuck in the straps to hide them.





Ami Patel, 12

THE SLIDING KNOT Caitlin Callewaert, 10

1. Drape scarf evenly around your neck and tie a loose knot mid-way on one side. 2. Take the other side and pull it through the knot, similar to a man’s tie.

2. Pull one piece of the long end through the loop.

1. Fold the scarf in half and drape it around your neck.


3. According to how you want the scarf to look adjust the knot to sit high or low.

3. Take the other end and weave it through the loop in the opposite direction.



THE DOUBLE TWIST Maddie Callewaert, 9

1. To start this scarf style, drape the scarf evenly around your neck. 2. Take the right end of the scarf and pull it around your neck making a complete circle. 3. Loosen the scarf around your neck so it falls to your liking.


1. Drape scarf evenly around your neck and twist the ends around each other twice, near your neck.


THE DOUBLE LOOP Brenna Clementz, 11

2. Pull each end of the scarf to the back of your neck and tie a loose knot with the ends behind your neck.

3. You now have a double twist in the front. Tighten the scarf and adjust it to your preference.


Kim Fanara, 12

1. To begin, drape your scarf evenly around your neck and tie a double knot in the loose ends. 2. Move the knot to the back of your neck then flip a loop of fabric over your head. This will create two loops with the knot at your throat.

1. Fold the scarf and drape across your neck. Pull the long ends of your scarf through the loop.


2. Take the long ends and go up and under the loop, keeping a piece of the scarf in your hand.

3. Pull the long end down through the new loop you made. Tighten the knot and fluff the scarf.

3. Wrap both of the loops around each other to create the look that you want.



Allison Weyrich, 11


Laraya Griffith, 9

1. Fold the scarf in half and drape it across your neck. 2. Slide one end of the scarf under and then through the loop. 3. Slide the other end over and through the loop. Tighten and adjust it as needed.

1. For this scarf style, drape the scarf evenly around your neck.

2. Tie a shoelace bow-up high or down a bit lower.

3. Fluff the ends of the bow and adjust it to your style.

info from and


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Kristen Crow finishes a turn as she practices her dance in “The Nutcracker.” She is told to imagine herself carrying a big globe to help her to hold her hands up strong, firm, and with power. (alyssa savage)


A junior’s passion for music results in a growing collection of vinyl records BY LEXI WILKINSON • @loupy0925

Vinyl records may seem like a thing of the past, but junior Blake Barringer has collected them for almost a year. “They just sound so much better than CDs,” Blake said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to get the next generation hooked on listening to vinyl because they sound too good to let go away.” Blake own more than 300 standard 12-inch records, ranging from artists like Alanis Morissette to No Doubt. He gets them from stores around town, the Internet and his family. “Music has always been something that we’ve shared as a family, so it’s nice that we get to do things like that, listening to records together,” Blake’s mom Lisa Barringer said. “Sometimes we’ll go to the mall just to go through bins at Slackers, trying to find a good one.” Blake works at Reading Revolution, a store in New Town that sells records. His boss, Robert Smith, also collected at Blake’s age and isn’t surprised that Blake is doing so now. “He’s a very smart, very mature kid, and he understands that collecting shouldn’t be something that you do because the value of something will increase later,” Smith said. “He gets that collecting is something that you do for you, you know? You should collect what you like. It makes it more worthwhile and meaningful.”

WATCH Use the link to see Blake’s awesome record collection.

10 FHNTODAY.COM 12.11.13


Junior works hard to achieve her goal of being a well-known ballet dancer by working hard to be her best in “The Nutcracker” BY KYLEIGH KRISTENSEN

really wants to do and to achieve a goal she has set for herself,” Kristen’s father Chip Crow, an FHN government teacher, said. “I had encouraged her to try-out This month, junior Kristen Crow, who has been a because it seemed as though she wanted to but was dancer for 10 years, will be dancing in “The Nutcrackhesitant. When she got the part, I was excited for her er.” “The Nutcracker” will be performed on multiple because it showed that she is improving in her dance occasions this Christmas season. On Dec. 15 and 20, and she can achieve what she wants if she sets her the recital will be held at the Edison Theater on the mind to it.” campus of Washington University. From Dec. 21-22 it The audition started as any typical ballet class. After will be performed at FHC. the audition started, the director gave the “I am excited to be in ballet because dancers a series of combinations to perit has always been a dream of mine to form, then put them into groups based dance in something like this, and to on height, age, and other various factors be given this opportunity is a once in to see how they looked together. a lifetime thing,” Kristen said. “Also, “At the time of auditions I had no idea being able to see what it is like to be in what to expect. I was kind of nervous a very famous ballet and seeing how cause I had no clue of what they were a professional ballet company ballet looking for or what parts they had to.” Use the link works is pretty cool.” Kristen said. to see Kristen talking about In “The Nutcracker,” after a ChristAt the audition, Kristen found out what her passion for ballet. mas Eve party at the Cohen house, role she would be performing. Marie Cohen, a little girl, falls asleep “The scene I am in is called ‘Turkish’, and dreams herself into a world where also called ‘Arabian;’ it is one of the very her toys come to life. Under the protection of her last scenes in Act III of the ballet,” Kristen said. “I’m Nutcracker, named Culkin, the two go on a magical excited because this has always been a dream of mine winter adventure. Throughout the recital the two to be in this and to be a very famous, well-known must overcome several obstacles, including various dancer.’’ encounters with the Mouse King. Someone that inspired Kristen to audition is former Kristen enjoys dancing because she can express dancer, Shannon Kelly, daughter of FHN biology herself in ways other than talking. She was the only teacher Steve Kelly. Kristen often goes to her for FHN student that auditioned for the recital. When advice or tips if she needs help with dance. Kristen found out about getting the part and what act “I look up to her because she helps me whenever I she was in, she was excited because this was her first have questions about dance or about competing seetime doing something like this. ing she has done it before,” Kristen said. “She’s taught “She puts in a lot of time and hard work into her me to not give up on myself and to always try things performances, and it’s fun to see her fulfill what she before I decide if I like them or not.” • @kyleigh15_







The popular movie and TV streaming service grips the nation in a disease-like addiction




Focusing on a TV screen for a long period of time can cause eyestrain which temporarily affects the eyes. Symptoms of eyestrain include headaches, sore, tired, burning or itchy eyes, light sensitivity, trouble focusing, and temporary blurred vision.

of Americans use or subscribe to Netflix, up from last year’s 31%

WEIGHT GAIN Eating while distracted by TV can increase the amount of calories eaten by 10 percent and, because the person is not aware of how much they ate, may increase calorie intake in a later meal by 25 percent.



LACK OF EXERCISE Television viewing is linked to childhood obesity because it displaces physical activity, exposes kids to potentially harmful advertising and commercials for unhealthy foods, and reduces their resting metabolism.







LOSS OF TIME Because every episode of a show is available on Netflix, it can be easy to hit ‘next episode.’ With 120 episodes, It would take 5,490 minutes or 3.81 days to watch every episode of “Lost” back-to-back on Netflix.


EFFECTS CHILD DEVELOPMENT The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against TV watching before age two. The Academy is concerned about the impact programming intended for children has and how it could affect child development.

BINGE WATCHING TV viewing is shifting to binge watching and delaywatching shows. This causes issues for TV networks who are seeing less viewers in the ‘live plus three day’ window used to sell ads to advertisers.

SALES SKYROCKET Netflix sales came in at $1.1 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2013, which ended on Sept. 30. Netflix shares have soared 440 percent in the past 12 months alone as Netflix has gained subscribers.

BLOCKBUSTER CLOSES Dish Network, which purchased Blockbuster in 2011, announced that it will be closing its remaining 300 U.S. stores. The company has been downsizing for years because of competitors like Netlflix.

SLEEP DEPRIVATION Using screens before going to bed can delay sleep. Devices stimulate the brain and delay the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, the opposite of what should happen before going to sleep.



12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 11


RIGHT: Abbie Lincoln visits with Patty, a resident, on Nov. 20 about what they’re going to have for their upcoming Thanksgiving potluck. The two were in another resident’s apartment waiting for him to finish some work. During the visit that evening, Abbie helped Patty with her laundry and they discussed some of Patty’s favorite movies. BELOW: Micheal, a resident, gives Abbie a hug in his apartment. (jenna rodriguez)




An employee exceeds expectations to do the best work she possibly can


Community facility offers a home for adults with developmental disabilities



Joplin Springfield

Earth City


Riverview St. Louis

Cape Girardeau

Poplar Bluff

services, and that we leave so they don’t feel at any time that this is our property,” Community Living Manager Abbie Lincoln said. Albert walks into his apartment and takes off his The clients have jobs at local businesses and live like shoes, hangs up his jacket and goes into his room. He any other citizen. Clients come home to their apartgets ready for the game night being held at his buildment and work on long term goals they’ve set. Some ing. He’s excited to see his friends. goals may be as big as learning to drive a car while “I’m enjoying myself here,” Albert said. others may be as simple as putting fruit into their diet. While this might seem rather ordinary for most, it Either way, the clients are learn from different experiisn’t something Albert has always been used to. The ences that help make them part of the community. apartment building he lives in is Life “The main thing is to help them accomSkills, which is a facility that focuses plish their goals,” Robinson said. on assisting adults who have develMany staff workers develop bonds with opmental disabilities with leading the clients while helping them attain their an independent life. The building goals. The staff believes they are passionate is an actual apartment complex for about making sure the clients’ quality of life the clients to live in. Each client is the best it can be. Team members feel they pays rent and takes care of a one go out of their way to implement activity Check this link for a bedroom apartment. nights, visit clients one-on-one, and host video featuring Abbie “If they’re here, they need support birthday parties. A person doesn’t have to Lincoln talking about as far as their living establishment,” be an employee at Life Skills to get involved. the Life Skills facility. Team Lead Lakeisha Robinson said. A volunteer can help at annual events that “They need someone to assist their are held like the Festival of the Trees Gala in grooming or finances�just teach November, or they can be a part of specific them to be a productive citizen.” programs like Make it a Home, where one can donate To be a client at Life Skills, the individual must have money or items to a client’s new home. been diagnosed with a developmental disability before “It’s all about the needs of the client. That’s all we the age of 21. The disabilities can range from mild do,” Program Supervisor Paulette Webb said. “It’s great mental retardation to autism or cerebral palsy. Life to help people who aren’t able to help themselves.” Skills as a whole has more than 1,000 clients. It’s rewarding. I feel good to do something that could “The idea is that they should feel like this is their be to the average individual simple but can mean so home, and us as staff are coming in to provide them much to someone else. It’s just great.”




Many people at Life Skills admire Community Living Manager Abbie Lincoln’s work ethic. In addition to attending meetings and doing paperwork, she visits clients, hosts birthday parties, and plans activity nights, even though these things are not actually included in her more clerical job description. Staff workers feel that she has the correct attitude about what she does and appreciate her devotion to constantly improving her client’s lives. “She makes people feel special,” Program Supervisor Paulette Webb said. “You have to be a caring person. That’s an essential part of the job. You have to care about the other person’s needs and their quality of life.” According to Abby’s co-workers, she has made a major impact on the clients’ lives. They believe the impact is a result of her commitment to improving the clients’ lives in any way she can, as well as her qualities of honesty and trustworthiness. “I can see the difference in [the clients],” Team Lead Lakeisha Robinson said. “They never used to interact with anyone, but now they’ll come out of their apartment and go to someone else’s.” Staff believe that she has improved and impacted the company, and hope she will continue working at Life Skills because of her interactions with clients. “She made it a part of her job to interact with them more,” Robinson said. “Since Abbie’s been at the building, she really brings all of them together�the clients and the staff members as well.” 12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 13


Home of the $975 complete overhauled transmission Call 636-926-0800

4037 S. Cloverleaf Drive St. Peters, MO 63376


The store owned by the Esparza family provides home-cooked food, economic services, a taste of Mexican culture, and a sense of belonging for the Lindenwood community BY JESSICA OLSEN

Last month’s winner:

• @Jessicuhhh9

The outward appearance of La Guadalupana doesn’t match that of the interior. The outside is simple, with a sign and advertisements covering the glass windows. Inside, it’s a different story. La Guadalupana is not a typical grocery store; there are piñatas and a line of refrigerators carrying different types of soda from Mexico, such as “Jarritos.” These sodas are made with less carbonation than American sodas and have fruitier flavors. A station in the back is where customers can purchase freshly-made tacos, quesadillas, or tortas (Mexican sandwiches) prepared by junior Sarai Esparza’s family. The racks that carry the remaining products may look unfamiliar to most Americans because the Esparzas sell goods with labels that read primarily in Spanish. However, these products aren’t so foreign to junior Amber Baker, who’s a good friend of Sarai and can speak Spanish fluently. “There were a lot of things that I had not seen before,” Baker said. “So, I liked it. They had their own Mexican candy. Like, their own Mexican candy.” La Guadalupana serves for more purposes than just providing materials to consumers. Sarai’s father, Horacio, is a popular man among the regular visitors that come from Lindenwood University, which is located within walking distance of the store. “We have students that regularly come in just for Horacio,” Amelia, Sarai’s mother, said, translated through Sarai. “They love to come in and joke around with him and vent their frustrations. They’re very comfortable around him.” There are even more services provided at the Esparzas’ store. They transfer money, provide a money gram service and phone cards, and even allow customers to cash in paychecks. “It’s very annoying because if you don’t get it right, the people don’t get the money they need,” Sarai said. “It’s a lot of bank work.” La Guadalupana lies between strips of several other stores on Droste Road. Horacio and Amelia have owned this store for over 30 years. It all started when Amelia’s sister, Angelica Garcia asked the Esparzas to move from Chicago to St. Charles, requesting help in managing the store she owned. After working with her older sister for several years, Amelia, along with Horacio, decided they’d open up their own store. La Guadalupana opened after Garcia sold her store. Today, while Amelia owns her own store,


Horacio Esparza scans the items that a customer is buying. The store, located at 311 Droste Rd., has a variety of things to buy from food to common household items. La Guadalupana has been called “a gem of a grocery store” by the St. Charles Patch. (abby temper)

her brother, Miguel, owns a restaurant while their younger sister owns another store, La Morena. “I love doing this,” Amelia said, translated through Sarai. “I love serving people.” La Guadalupana is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Horacio and Amelia both work the full hours the store is open. Sarai is the only other employee that works at La Guadalupana and she works on average two days a week. “I don’t work very much during the school year,” Sarai said. “My parents want me to focus on school.” For Horacio, Amelia and Sarai, La Guadalupana means more than a source of income. They see it as a service, consistently finding a way to help others in some form. “They really like helping people out,” Sarai said. “I think that’s their favorite part.”

Although FHN’s student parking lot is filled with trucks, this senior’s Chevy stands out by just the sound of its horn alone, but he also tricked it out with under glow and hydraulics

From the outside, junior Jake Cornett’s 2002 Chevy S-10 may seem like an ordinary white truck, but on the inside, a train horn is installed in place of a standard horn. “I like the train horn under his car because it’s fun to scare people when you drive by,” junior Tyler Heitmann said. Jake bought his truck off PAGE BY HANNAH ROSEN

Text the number above your favorite photo to 37607 to vote. The winner will be featured on the next paper and on




of Craigslist a year ago. He purchased it from a woman who already had the train horn installed in the truck. While the horn may be the most unique thing about his ride, Jake’s favorite features are the under glow and the air bags that can make the truck bounce up Use the link and down. He often enters his truck into Check out this video to see Jake’s truck in all summer car shows so its glory. he can show off what makes it so unique. “I get a lot of thumbs-up when I”m driving,” Jake said. “A lot of laughter.”




Want your photo in the contest? Tag pics about school with


12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 15


Ad wit optio ha h the n pr pa ve ev gre ovid bio rents er a ates es so lov logi are sked t gift me ing cal un for th fam (ph oto ho chi able ; wh ey c ilie illu str me ldr s o ati i on sb s to en, to ha le so uld yc am ero ch they ve me nm cc ild art ya en can nd ash in lei gh ne give jen kin ed s)

The Gift of Family Organizations work to help place children in need into foster homes and adoptive families BY DANIEL BODDEN • @danbodden

Adoption can seem daunting for both birth parents and adoptive parents because of confusion about the complex process, but adoption agencies with professional staff can help. Good Shepherd Family and Children Services is one of these agencies. It is a domestic agency that provides services such as adoption, foster care, residential care and expectant parent support. In addition, there are agencies that provide both international and domestic adoptions such as Lutheran Family and Children Services (LFCS). LFCS has six offices around the St. Louis are that provides service including crisis foster care, voluntary adoption, home studies, counseling, and parenting classes to aid in the process. “Our goal is to help people make good choices for themselves and their families,” LFCS Director of Child Welfare Debbie Schallom said. “We believe in a lot of education and a lot of openness, meaning that adoption is something to celebrate and something to be proud of that that’s the way you built your family.” Adoption agencies provide many services to help build these families. LFCS provides some of the most extensive services in the area. It is contracted with the State to provide foster care to children removed from homes because of abuse and neglect, and also provides crisis foster care for families dealing with unforeseen circumstances. Good Shepherd merged with four other agencies in 2006 in hopes of more efficiently providing much-needed services and keeping families together as much as possible. Most agencies, including LFCS and Good Shepherd, have staff that provide the required home studies for parents adopting domestically or internationally, and facilitate voluntary adoptions for people faced with unexpected pregnancies where the couple can choose and have ongoing contact with the adoptive family. LFCS has a program called Women In Need Growing Stronger (WINGS) specifically for pregnant women in this situation considering their parenting options. “We provide the counseling and prepare them for the lifelong impacts of adoption,” WINGS supervisor Kristen Sutterland said. “We also will work with them to find an adoptive family who is the best fit for their 12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 19 child. We say, especially with our adoption cases, ‘once a client, always

a client,’ and they can come back for support down the road if they need it. That initial moment of placing a child can be very difficult, and it doesn’t ever go away, but I can tell that people become more at peace with their decision overall; it’s just at first it’s more raw.” Although any single or married person over 21 can adopt if they meet certain requirements, private agencies may set their own requirements. LFCS, as a private agency, generally narrows down prospective adoptive parents to people 45 years or under who have been married at least two years, attend a Christian church, and have an infertility issue. LFCS does, however, make exceptions to these guidelines depending on the case. “We look for parents to be realistic about the child’s background,” Schallom said. “Almost everybody wants a healthy child - that’s very normal. What I try to point out when meeting with adoptive parents is to look at their own background. If you are saying you won’t take a baby that has any drugs or alcohol problems or any mental illness in their family history, that’s not very realistic, because almost every family has that in their history somewhere. We also tell them to be honest with their kids because their child has a right to know their background.” Even with all of these services and processes to place children in foster and adoptive families, the goal for many agencies is to place children with family members�whether they are uncles, aunts, grandparents, or other relatives�and ultimately reunite the children with parents. “The most rewarding part of my job is when the kid goes home to a family member or when they are reunited with their parents,” Family Case Manager Erin Karandzieff said. “When you see a kid or a parent succeed, like when a parent completes their drug treatment or when a kid does well in school or gets an award, they always are proud and those are good days.” Not all situations ultimately end this way, though. It can be difficult to place teenages, children with disabilities, and LGBTQ youth. Even after placement, the child and their foster or adoptive parents may have issues that lead to the child being removed from the family. “For foster care, usually if we have three or four siblings, we can’t always place them together which is disheartening,” Family Case Manager Supervisor Michelle Shelton said. “Also, sometimes kids don’t want to attach to new families or they aren’t getting along. We sometimes have to pull kids back out of families if things don’t work out or when kids are acting out. Usually, it’s because they were just separated from their birth family, they don’t know what’s

*Agencies * Their objective is to place children in loving homes, whether through expectant parent counseling, birthmother services, or placing a child with adoptive parents.

18 FHNTODAY.COM 12.11.13

Choosing your words carefully When talking about adoption, first think about the words you want to use because some words have positive or negative implications Positive Words: • Birthparent • Biological parent • Birth child • My child • Born to unmarried parents • Make an adoption plan • To parent • Waiting child • Biological or birthfather/mother • Making contact with • Parent • Intercountry adoption • Adoption triad • Permission to sign a release • Search Negative Words: • Real parent • Natural parent • Own child • Adopted/own child • Illegitimate • Give up • Give away • To keep • Adoptable/available child • Real father/mother • Reunion • Adoptive parent • Foreign adoption • Adoption triangle • Disclosure • Track down parents

going on and it’s the only way they can express their feelings.” Because agencies want to place children with the best families possible, they educate prospective parents on everything about adoption, from the long process to raising an adopted child. One of the things agencies try to do is address misconceptions that prospective parents have. With the difficulty of placement and the complicated adoption process, many misconceptions arise. A misconception Schallom often hears is that birth parents made a mistake and the birth parents don’t love their child because they chose adoption, which she believes couldn’t be further from the truth. “The birth parents love their kids so much that they want their children to have more than what they can provide,” Schallom said. “It’s very difficult to go through nine months of pregnancy, then labor and delivery, then say goodbye to your baby because you want more for that child.”

Good Shepherd Children and Family Services • a domestic agency connecting children with families and keeping families connected

Bethany Christian Services

Children’s Hope International

• a global nonprofit organization caring for orphans and vulnerable children on five continents

• a non-profit, Christian agency committed to its mission of homes, health and hope to children in need

1340 Partridge Avenue St. Louis, MO 63130 (314) 854-5700

7520 Big Bend Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63119 (314) 781-6363

11780 Borman Dr St. Louis, MO 63146 (314) 890-0086 PAGE BY MADDIE HIATT

Finally Fostering A Dream After finally becoming certified foster parents, a couple waits for their four-year dream of having a child to come true BY EMMA PURSLEY • @emma201596 After four years of wanting biological children but being unable to have any, Jenelle Louis-Bauer and her spouse turned to fostering. They worked on their certification for roughly a year. Now, they wait to welcome a child into their home. Jenelle began the road to adoption after three years of infertility treatments. She says the treatments caused more problems than they solved by putting a lot of stress on her body. “I put my body through a whole lot,” Jenelle said. “Thirty pounds and two miscarriages.” In addition to the physical issues, infertility caused a title wave of emotions. Jenelle felt sadness, disappointment and anger. “I was frustrated because my body wouldn’t hold the baby and also because of the money spent and it not working out,” Jenelle said. The couple began looking into fostering a child nine months after the emotional trauma of infertility treatments. Before beginning on paperwork, Jenelle and her spouse went through five months of discussion and research. They considered private adoption, but it was too expensive, so they decided to foster instead. Once becoming foster parents, their main goal will be to protect and nurture the children placed with them, and to make each child comfortable. “Everybody should consider it, especially those who go through infertility,” Jenelle said. “There’s a lot of children out there who need homes.” Friend and co-worker Juli Smith recommended Missouri Alliance for Children and Families after adopting her son from there.

“My son was placed with them and that’s who I worked with for my adoption,” Smith said. Missouri Alliance specializes in helping children who have mental health needs, developmental disabilities, and other trauma related challenges. The agency requires that their potential parents be at least 21 years of age, can handle the financial commitments of a child, have no criminal record, and can provide a safe and healthy environment. After being approved, Jenelle filled out extremely detailed paperwork about her background so that Missouri Alliance could match her with a child she could best care for. “The agency knows more about me than my friends do because of the information you have to fill out,” Jenelle said. In addition to giving specific details about their background, the couple had to choose what they were looking for in a child. This included age, ethnicity, disabilities and gender. “[The biggest challenge] for us was having to fill out the paperwork of what we would or would not accept,” Jenelle said. “Race was never an issue, but you have to be very specific about a child’s ability.” Jenelle and her spouse asked for a child of either gender between the ages of zero and four, so that they can make the child more comfortable before he or she begins school. They must prepare themselves and their home for a child that may have faced much tougher things in life on top of being placed in a different home. Jenelle’s friends and family were there through the nine-week long certification process to support her and to offer words of encouragement. “They know the suffering we have been through with the infertility,” Jenelle said, “They support both of us fully.” Jenelle’s friends have confidence in her ability to raise a child because of her kindness and patience. “I think she’d be a great parent to any kid,” Physical Education teacher Chris Brown said. Now that Jenelle and her spouse have finished the certification process the only thing left to do is wait. “Now we’re just waiting for the phone to ring,” Jenelle said. “We’re waiting for someone to say we’ve been chosen and it’s our turn.”

Hope N. Heller, Ph.D., Professional Services, Inc • an agency offering couseling as well as international and domestic adoption services

Children’s Home Society of Missouri • an international and domestic agency dedicated to improving the quality of life for children in need

Christian Family Life Center • a non-profit organization committed to working with birth mothers and placing children in loving families

Missouri Alliance for Children and Families • a partnership of non-profit agencies committed to helping children and families with severe needs

11330 Olive Boulevard Suite 225 Creve Coeur, MO 63141

2424 Muegge Road St. Charles, MO 63303 (636) 940-1119

7445 Cornell Ave. St. Louis, MO 63130 (314) 721-7128

12 Worthington Access Dr St Louis, MO 63043 (314) 991-1737


12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 19

A Gift Worth Waiting For After months of waiting and working through the adoption process, one couple’s dreams come true BY SOPHIE GORDON • @sophgordon

They’re on their way to the babysitter’s. He can hear her fussing from her carseat in the back. He can’t tell what she wants. As they get closer to their destination and the sun begins to rise, he sees the problem. Evelyn has her hands folded. She wants to pray. She’s learning to be like her parents, Tim and Tiffany Besse, devoted Catholics who allowed God to show them his plan. A plan that included Evelyn. THE PROCESS Tim, currently a math teacher at FHN, and Tiffany, currently an Associate Principal at Pattonville High School, were married in June of 2007. Two years later, they wanted to start a family. During this time, the Besses found out that they were unable to have biological children themselves. They would have to start their family a different way. The Besses began looking into other options. Being devoted to their faith, Tiffany and Tim took what the Catholic Church believes into consideration. They knew that they probably couldn’t do any kind of in vitro fertilization and that some of their other options were limited. However, the couple still wanted to be fairly open to everything. “We didn’t necessarily close out all of our options to begin with,” Tim said. “We didn’t say, ‘We have to adopt because that’s what the Church says.’ We kind of went through the process, and we prayed a lot and we really tried to figure out what was best for us and what we should do.” Eventually, Tim and Tiffany felt that God was calling them to adopt. They decided to adopt through domestic agency Good Shepherd Children and Family Services and worked with Infant Adoption Coordinator Mary Ann Hoeynck. Hoeynck helped the Besses through the process and taught them about raising an adopted child. “They’re just a couple who just seemed ideal to become parents, who really wanted to be parents,” Hoeynck said. “They were like the perfect couple, to be honest with you. They’re both just lovely people, so highly educated. And they were open to learning and they chose to educate themselves on adoption which is something that always pleases me. I saw that, in terms of when they do their parenting and all of that, that they weren’t stagnant. They really really jumped in wholehearted.” The difficulty of filling out the paperwork weighed heavily on the Besses. They were asked questions about whether they would accept a child of a spe20 FHNTODAY.COM 12.11.13

Tim and Tiffany Besse gather around their daughter, Evelyn in their living room. Some of Evelyn’s favorite toys are stored in the Besse living room. (matt krieg)

cific race, a child with disabilities, and other tough questions. They also had to answer questions about the history of the birth mother, such as whether she could have a mental illness or drinking problem. These questions created doubt and made Tim and Tiffany unsure as to whether adoption was the right choice. At one point, the couple stepped back from the adoption process, reconsidering other options. “It’s so crazy to say, ‘Well sure it’s okay if the mother smokes.’ But if you say no to everything, you limit�basically eliminate almost�your options of being able to adopt,” Tim said. “That was hard for us because you have to really keep your options open and say, ‘You know what, we can talk about it.’” In the end, the Besses concluded that adoption was the right choice. “We would talk to people, and it was weird�we’d meet people that had adopted kids or that had been adopted,” Tim said. “And, like, I don’t know. We’re very around our faith and everything, so it was just kind of weird how things happened, and I think at the end it just seemed like that’s what we were supposed to do.” The Besses returned to the adoption process. It took a lot of time and was difficult, but Tim and Tiffany believed it was God’s plan. Then, after months of completing paperwork and profiles, the Besses had to sit back and let God do his work. According to Tiffany, waiting was the hardest part. “It’s kind of like that kid who’s in P.E. class that worries whether or not somebody’s going to pick him for the kickball team,” Tiffany said. “So, you’re kind of just worried that ‘Was what we said good enough?’ Because, we didn’t make anything up, we PAGE BY MADDIE HIATT

just told them, ‘Here, this is who we are.’ So, just wondering if you’re good enough to be chosen was probably the hardest part.” THE HEARTBREAK Just a few months later, the Besse got the call they’d been waiting for. A mother chose them to be the adoptive parents of her little boy. Tim and Tiffany met the mother, who seemed ready to release her parental rights. She wanted the Besses at the hospital so they could immediately meet their new son. Excited, the couple bought baby supplies in preparation, readying their house for a son they couldn’t wait to bring home. But hours later, they returned everything. “We get the call, and she was in labor,” Tim said. “And she didn’t want us there. So at that point, we were like, ‘Uh...okay.’ Which kinda started to make us think, ‘What’s going on?’” The mother decided to keep her baby boy. “Initially, I was very angry and upset. I didn’t understand,” Tiffany said. “We had put this baby stuff in our house and we literally took it back to the store the same day because I needed out of my house.” “Emotionally, we were destroyed,” Tim agreed, “but she was able to keep her own son. I mean, that’s the best thing that you would want to happen, I think. But, you know, it was, like I said, emotionally, it was just so draining, and we didn’t know. I mean, we thought we were there, we thought we were ready to adopt this time and it didn’t happen, so that definitely took some time to heal.” When the Besses notified their family members, some reacted angrily, upset on behalf of the couple. Tiffany’s mother, Trudy Holman, said it was heart wrenching to see Tim and Tiffany have to go through such a devastating situation. “When we learned about that, that was just heartbreaking,” Holman said. “It was heartbreaking, and it was hard because we had to watch them be so disappointed. I think what kept us going was the fact that we told them, ‘We know this is hard. It’s devastating. It’s like losing a child that you never really had.’ But we just always felt that God had something bigger and better in store for them, that this adoption of the little boy was not quite part of His plan.” Though Tim and Tiffany were emotionally drained, they trusted in God’s plan. That same night, they witnessed the work of God as they received yet another phone call. THE HEALING Not even 24 hours after receiving the news that they were unable to adopt the little boy, another mother wanted to look at the Besses’ profile. It was last minute. The mother had originally chosen other parents, but they chose not to go through with the adoption. Now, she was looking at the Besses. “I really, at that point, didn’t get emotionally involved in the second one as quickly as we did the first,” Tiffany said. The phone call came a few weeks later. Tiffany was supervising students after school when her phone rang. Hoeynck was on the line with good news. They had been chosen. “I had to hold it together because I was at work,


Different Types of Adoption DOMESTIC


Step 1: Choose an Agency Parent(s) choose an agency by researching agencies that share their beliefs or views.

Step 1: Choose a Country Parent(s) must choose an ‘open’ country and may want to opt for a Hague-accredited one.

Step 2: Find A Child Parent(s) may want an infant, an older child or sibling group, which could come from Children’s Division or other domestic agency.

Step 2: Home Study Parent(s) must have an adoption agency complete a home study. The USCIS requires it be no more than six months old when submitted.

Step 3: Home Study Parent(s) must go through a home study, which evaluates family, home, health, history and other factors that affect children’s wellbeing.

Step 3: Legal Legal processing must then be completed in the child’s country and Form I-600 filled out for the USCIS.

Step 4: Background The birth parent(s) will complete an assessment about their physical, social, and family background including drug and alcohol usage.

Step 4: Travel Parent(s) may be required to appear in this country’s court or stay in the country while awaiting documents to be processed.

Step 5: Relinquishment of Parental Rights The birth parent(s) sign consents and terminate their parental rights at a court hearing.

Step 5: Return Parent(s) apply for an immigrant visa for the child and travel back home with the child.

Step 6: Placement Once the adoptive parents have received the child, they will receive supervised temporary custody for approximately six months.

Step 6: Post Placement Most countries require reports be sent to them on a regular basis. The amount and frequency is determined by the child’s country.

Step 7: Finalization The family may then appear in court and have the adoption finalized by a judge.

Step 7: Finalization This can occur in the child’s country or can be finalized in the U.S. where the family resides. info from

and I knew I couldn’t tell anybody,” Tiffany said. “So I was outside, and I just remember saying ‘yes’ and ‘okay’ a lot and smiling from ear to ear and then gathering myself and going back inside and going to my office and calling Tim and then being ecstatic on the phone because I couldn’t do anything in front of anybody else.” At 11:30 p.m. on April 23, 2012, Evelyn was born. The next morning, Tim and Tiffany traveled to the hospital where they were greeted by nurses who took them into a room to see their baby girl. “I was speechless, which doesn’t happen very often,” Tiffany said. “I was just so thankful that we had been blessed in such an awesome way. It’s like your dreams coming true but not in that fairy tale sense, but in that very real� When you trust in God, and that comes, He just shows you how powerful He is when you are obedient and grateful and understanding of his journey for you. That feeling is utterly amazing, to witness His Grace right in front of your eyes. And so, for me, that was just... I don’t even... I don’t even have words. I mean, I was just so overjoyed.” THE NOW Evelyn came home on April 25, 2012. Since then, the Besses’ lives have changed drastically. “I don’t even know how you explain,” Tim said.

“You know, people always tell you, and you’re like, ‘Well, you know, you can explain it.’ It’s like, no, you really can’t. Especially with everything that Tiff and I went through to even get to this point to be able to adopt. I don’t know if it makes it more special, but I think to us it does because we didn’t know if we were going to be able to have kids at all anyways, and then to be able to adopt her, I think it’s just absolutely amazing.” Their little blessing is now almost 20 months old and loves to be independent. Rather than riding in her Radio Flyer wagon, Evelyn likes to pull it herself. She smiles and laughs and blows kisses. Though she isn’t biologically related to Tim and Tiffany, she is 100 percent their daughter. The love in their faces proves it. “We work in education, so I work with other people’s kids all day, every day. To have Evelyn and watch her grow up, knowing that we have a role in what she’s doing and what she’s learning, to see that in your own house is so much different than when you see it when you’re working,” Tiffany said. “When I come home, I want to be with her and I want to be with Mr. Besse because that’s what I want to do. Before, Mr. Besse and I both worked from home. We hung out and graded papers or did whatever together, and now we don’t want to do that. We just want to spend time with our family.” 12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 21

From the left, Carl, Ally, Abby, Madi, Mallory, Kelsey, Donna and Maggie sit as the three little girls try to hold back giggles and silly faces for this portrait. Unable to be in the picture were siblings Alyssa and Zack. Ally, Madi and Maggie absolutely love to play dress up together anytime they are at home. (photo by cameron mccarty)

Three Little Gifts The Schaffrins begin a new chapter in their life with a new set of young kids to add to their already big family changed completely to fit the needs of the young girls. They agree that when they first started fostering the girls in 2011, things were very chaotic. “How much does mommy love you?” “Before, I didn’t know how hard the transition was Maggie, with her arms stretched to their full width going to be,” sophomore Mallory Schaffrin said. “It span, plasters a smile across her face. was less hectic because we all were older, me and my “This much.” biological siblings, and then they got there and there “And how much do you love mommy?” were a bunch of young kids, so it was challenging, Again Maggie has the same reaction, a wide grin and they had a lot of energy. It took a long time but I and open arms. got used to them being there.” “This much.” While the family expected the Three-year-old Maggie Schaffrin chaos to end after the first few Meet the Schaffrins months of the girls being there, and her twin sister Madison have a big family works a variety of five-year-old biological sister named This they’ve found that it still lingers. jobs and has many interests Ally. Before this past summer, those Even now, the family struggles to Carl, 51: works as a sales were her only siblings. Before this find a balance in their busy schedassociate for UPS past summer, she wasn’t a Schaffrin. ules to make time for everything. Donna, 49: works part-time at Magpies Cafe on Main Street But on July 19, 2013, Donna and “My family revolves around Abby, 25: works at World Wide Carl Schaffrin adopted Ally and the them,” senior Kelsey said. “It sucks Technology twins into their family, adding three sometimes because a lot of my Alyssa, 23: works as an admissions counselor for SEMO more to their already big family. parents’ attention is on them so my Zack, 21: works for UPS “This was supposed to happen,” mom misses out on some of mine Kelsey, 17: works at Country Club Car Wash throughout Carl said. “We did it because God and Mallory’s stuff. At the same the year picked us to do this. They’re three time, it is completely worth it beMallory, 15: works at Magpies beautiful perfect little girls, you cause they are my everything now.” as a buser Ally, 5: loves to play soccer don’t say no to that.” Even though the girls bring and spend time with her The girls may be the first set of disorder, the Schaffrins view it as sisters kids Donna and Carl have fostered a way to bring them together and Madison & Maggie, 3: love going to school at Teddy Bear and adopted, but they are not the view the girls as a positive addition Academy only kids they have raised. The to their family. couple has five biological children. “They’ve made our family closer With their two youngest being a sophomore and because we’ve had to focus on them, and we all have a senior in high school, they were almost finished had to be together a lot for them,” Mallory said. raising their children. Now, the three little girls are “They’ve made my life wilder.” starting the process all over again for the Schaffrins. The Schaffrins are happy with their decision to “It’s us starting over,” Carl said. “It’s like playing a adopt Ally, Madison, and Maggie into their family record and then when the records done, you start it and see them as a blessing. all over again.” “They’re wonderful, sweet, loving little girls,” With the girls joining the household, many things Donna said. “I just love ‘em. I couldn’t imagine life had to be adjusted. The family’s schedule had to be without them now.”

BY ALEXIS TAINTER • @lexis_taint

22 FHNTODAY.COM 12.11.13


A Gift from Afar The Elder family formed through the process of international adoption BY JESSICA OLSEN • @jessicuhhh9

Rachel Elder sits with her parents Will and Penny in the sunroom of their home. A small light comes from the lamp in the room. Will and Penny sit on the couch; Will’s feet are propped up on the coffee table. Rachel is seated on the chair next to her parents, her foot propped up on her father’s leg. “It didn’t come naturally,” Penny says.“So... “ “Plan B,” Will interjects. “I was your plan B?” Rachel feigns astonishment, playing the role of the daughter who has no idea that she was adopted— a role she enjoys playing often. “No, you were our Plan C.” Will smiles as he pats Rachel’s leg. CREATING A FAMILY Looking at the three, it’s obvious that Rachel isn’t the same blood as her parents. She’s from Changzou, China, and her dark skin and black hair contrast her parents’ blonde hair and pale skin. However, there is no attention of the difference within their family as they lounge around to reminisce on going through the process of bringing Rachel into the family. Not a trace of somberness shows during the discussion, except perhaps the small white dog peering through the glass, yearning to be a part of it. Will and Penny Elder have two daughters, both adopted from China. Sarah, the first child to be adopted, is 18 and currently in college. Rachel is a newly turned 16-year-old and is a sophomore. Sarah was adopted when she was five-and-a-half months old from Wuhan, China. Rachel was adopted and brought home two days before her 1st birthday. The Elders weren’t sure what children they’d end up with, considering the Chinese government picks the children the adoptive parents receive. “It’s kind of like a real birth� you don’t know what you’re going to get.” Will jokes, his laughter ringing. Rachel’s giggles as she covers her face at her embarrassing dad. From the beginning, Will and Penny have engrained the term “adoption” into Rachel’s head. That way, they would avoid the issue of her learning the term from a separate source, and then question the meaning of the word “adoption” and if it applied to their lives. “We were never afraid to talk about it,” Penny said. “We never felt threatened when they wanted to ask questions, what they thought.” CURIOSITY AND DISCOVERY The Elders discuss Rachel’s upbringing. “Did I ever ask questions?” PAGE BY MADDIE HIATT

Sophomore Rachel Elder sits with her parents Will and Penny Elder, and their dog Maya on the living room couch. The Elder family also has a pet bird and a pet rabbit that are kept in the living and front rooms of the house. (paige martinez)

Adoption From Around The World

info from

Here’s a look at some statistics about the different ages of children adopted from around the world in 2012 China Total Adoptions: 2,696

Russia Total Adoptions: 749

Less than 1 Year 1-2 Years 3-4 Years 5-12 Years 13-17 Years 18 and Older

Less than 1 Year 1-2 Years 3-4 Years 5-12 Years 13-17 Years 18 and Older 0





“You asked what your birth mother looked like.” Casual conversation continues between the three family members, making jokes of the questions Rachel would ask when she was younger. “Why are my eyes squintier than yours’?” Rachel mocks, earning laughs from the whole family. Rachel gets questions about being adopted, but not like she used to. Her friends even questions about adoption in general, and Rachel freely answers them. “You think that it would stress her out, where her birth parents are from, but it doesn’t,” sophomore Marissa Meyers, a friend of Rachel, said. “I assume sometimes it would make her upset, because she doesn’t have those roots. She can’t go back to her hometown or her birth parents, because she doesn’t know what those are.” Kailyn Bowman, another close friend of Rachel, thinks of what it’s like to be in Rachel’s shoes. “I think as I got older, I think I’d wonder what it would be like to not be adopted,” Bowman said. Rachel, however, couldn’t imagine her life differently. She finds it nothing short but a blessing to be adopted, since it helped her parent’s dreams of developing a family. She even thinks about adopting her own children in the future. Consequently, Rachel doesn’t have plans to find out who her birth parents are. She’s perfectly content with the life she lives, even if it means never knowing her birth parents. “I don’t really think it’d be beneficial,” Rachel said. “They speak Chinese… We’d have to have a translator and it’d just be a big hassle. I don’t really care if I


South Korea Total Adoptions: 627







Less than 1 Year 1-2 Years 3-4 Years 5-12 Years 13-17 Years 18 and Older 0




never meet them.” For Will and Penny, they thank God for putting them on the journey they had to go on in order to get Sarah and Rachel in their lives. “‘One door closes, another door opens,’” Penny said. “‘And sometimes you look so long at the door thats closed, you don’t see the one that’s open before you.’ I just love that quote because it was right. This wasn’t the way to go, and we really feel, not that we’re spiritual... Well, we believe in God, but we really think He knew we liked to travel, so it was like, ‘Well you guys like to travel, so we’re going to send you halfway across the world to bring your family home. We got to do it twice.” CONTENTMENT WITH TODAY The Elder family wraps up the evening. The lights in the kitchen have been turned off, the dog is napping, and the family still smiles “Sometimes I forget you’re from China.” Will says. “What? Why? Because I’m a typical white girl?” “Well, because you’re Sarah�I mean, Rachel!” Laughter erupts in the room once again as Will’s attempt at making a point fails. Will and Penny believe they got lucky in receiving Sarah and Rachel as their children. They don’t see the blurred lines that divide a family by culture� They only see a family that’s whole. “We don’t think of her any different. We don’t think of her as our Chinese daughter, I mean, she’s just, our daughter,” Penny adds. “She’s Rachel. Or Rachey. Or Rachel Wendy Elder at certain times,” Will says, smiling at his daughter. 12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 23




USRY I paint to express myself; once I start painting I just get in the zone.

Q&A How did you get started as an artist? “I’ve always been naturally good at art, and after taking a couple of classes, I got a lot of encouragement from my teachers to explore my talents.” What is your favorite medium to use when you paint and why? “Acrylic paint is my favorite thing to use because you can manipulate it in different ways, that’s more fun for me.” What is your favorite piece that you’ve created and why? “The painting of the three identical girls that I finished at the beginning of last year is my favorite because it shows how color can affect the feeling of a painting while leaving the viewer to interpret it themselves too.” Do you have any plans for the future regarding your art? “As for being an artist, I’d like to keep it on the side, as a hobby. I have been thinking about architecture though, as a possible career so I’ll be able to incorporate art and creativity in my work.”

WATCH Check out the link to see where Lindsey goes to create.



The Boys’ Basketball team believes they must work better together in order to succeed


WINTER GUARD Winter Guard faces long practices for their show “Unrequited”, until their first competition Jan. 25. The show portrays the feeling of loving someone who doesn’t reciprocate the feeling. “We feel great going into this season,” senior Catherine House said. “We’re ready for a fresh start.” This year, Winter Guard’s goal is to be one of the top five guards in the nation. They were the 13th team last year with their “The Spirits Within” routine.

The Varsity Boys’ Basketball team will play their first home game on Dec. 17 against Ritenour The coaches and players have been focusing on teamwork this year and are coming to the courts with a new motto: “We, not me.” “Last year, I thought there were times when people worried about individual accomplishments rather than team accomplishments,” Head Varsity Coach Darrell Davis said. “Everything’s about the team, not about individuals.” To prepare for the season, players went to workouts over the summer and fall and many attended a three-day team camp at the University of Central Missouri, which was run by the basketball staff there. According to Davis, the camp helped bring the team together. The team’s quote of the year, “It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit,” reflects their emphasis on teamwork this season. “We need to work on team chemistry,” Varsity point guard Gabe Grote said. “We need to learn to play with each other and learn to bring the best out of each other. Last year, we were a little selfish on the ball, I’d say, and it doesn’t help to succeed on the floor if you can’t work with each other and use the best opportunities available.” According to Davis and Assistant Coach Mark Wright, they are looking at the season as a process. Currently, the team has been focusing on drills to help them tackle one game at a time. Their goal is to be playing their best basketball by the end of the season. “Overall, you want to focus on the game at hand,” Davis said. “You don’t want to look too far ahead and trip over something, so I just always look at our first game and watch them improve each game.”

(brief by ashley eubanks)

HILKER’S HOOKED FHN’s bowling team #1 has a surprise up its alley. Senior Robbie Hilker started bowling competitively this summer and was able to earn 268 out of 300 pins during a round. “He’s definitely improving,” coach Bob Paaren said. “The team as a whole is very strong and very capable.” So far, Hilker is pleased with his progress. “I feel like I’m doing great,” Hilker said. “I seem to be getting a little better each week, so I’m happy about that.” (brief by lexi wilkinson)

26 FHNTODAY.COM 12.11.13

Junior Clarissa Sandbothe, alumn Sammi Ritter, senior Alyssa Thrasher, and other swimmers sit and watch diving after warm ups. (file photo)


Girls swim team utilizes the talents of each swimmer due to not having as many swimmers

BY DAVID MCFEELY • @mcfeelgood13

Coming into this season, the girls’ swim team plans to work hard this year in order to maintain consistency with their past performances. “I expect us to do the same as we have done in the past few seasons,” Head Coach Chip Crow said. “We have the same caliber and strengths.” One strength of the team is the motivation individual

swimmers have to work hard to accomplish their goals. This year, the team has fewer swimmers, but the girls remain as driven as they were last year. Even though the team is having some difficulty adapting to a smaller team, some swimmers believe that there are positive things that can come from having fewer numbers. “I think we will bond more because of it, and it will help us be a better team,” senior Megan Hampson said. The team’s next meet in the McCleur North relays will take place tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. PAGE BY ASHLEY EUBANKS AND RODNEY MALONE

MANAGER SPOTLIGHT ADRIANA CONDREN A dedicated senior takes statistics for Wrestling BY ASHLEY EUBANKS • @AMEhigher95

Seniors Colin Toedtmann, Austin Knott, Josh Carpenter, and Caleb Martin, along with Gabe Grote and graduate Andrew Raguini gather around varsity basketball head coach Darrell Davis for extra motivation in the 4th quarter on Jan. 15. (file photo)

AIM FOR THE CUP Despite the team’s record of 2-5 as of press time, the Varsity Hockey team looks to improve their season and has high hopes to win the Founder’s Cup. “The season hasn’t been going too well because we haven’t come together as a team yet,” Varsity defense Bryan Fuhler said. “Since we all get along, I think it’s definitely possible for us to turn the season around.” According to the players, the team needs to score more goals, pass more and focus on the action taking place on the ice during games. Tyler McAtee, 10 “If we can overcome the negative aspects of our game and prepare ourselves mentally before, I think that we can achieve our goal for this season,” Varsity forward Kyle Kateman said. (brief by rodney malone)


Senior Annelise Arger dribbles down the court in a game against FZE. The team finished with a record of 9-16 (file photo)

STARTING OFF STRONG The Varsity Girls’ Basketball team won their first game of the season on Dec. 2 against FZN 66-41. “It was a huge confidence builder for the girls, and see last night how dangerous we can be with almost every player scoring,” Assistant Coach Dawn Hahn. The team had a record of 9-16 last season and made it to the second round of Districts. This year, they plan to work on problems, like turnovers and slowing down the ball. “We need to work on depending on each other to score, building trust, and holding each other accountable,” Hahn said. Driven by these weaknesses, the team plans to work hard to improve and promote a sense of unity. “We all play well together as a family, and nobody is really better; we are all equal,” sophomore and returning Varsity player Maci May said. (brief by david mcfeely)

For the past four years, senior Adriana Condren has taken the statistics for the wrestling team. Taking the statistics means that Condren has watched every match and written down every move that each wrestler makes, such as their takedowns and reversals. “My favorite part is hard to decide,” Condren said. “It’s just being with the team and supporting the wrestlers.” Initially, Condren decided to be a stats girl because fellow stats girl, senior Paige Martinez, asked her to join in. Condren felt qualified because her background with wrestling began with her brother and father, who both wrestled, so it’s the one sport she feels she knows the most about. “I just think it’s neat, especially girls having interest in our sport,” Head Coach Harold Ritchie said. “Adriana follows wrestling probably as much, or more, than some of the wrestlers. She’s on it.” Through her experiences with Ritchie and the rest of the team, Condren believes that she has learned the definition of hard work and camaraderie. Condren has said that if the opportunity to take the stats for her college team came up she would take it. If not, she would attend as many matches as possible to support the wrestling team. “Adriana is a positive person with a good attitude who is always supporting her wrestlers,” senior wrestler Danny Goggin said.

WATCH Use the link to find out on why Adriana loves taking stats.

12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 27




Here’s a look at some of the wrestlers and their stats


“I’m excited for the team to win some home duals this year. We’re a pretty young team so all of the same guys are coming back next year.”

Height: 6’0” Weight Class: 220 Prevoius Weight Class: 182


“I’m excited to maybe wrestle Varisty this year.”

Height: 6’0” Weight Class: 220 Prevoius Weight Class: 170

CHAD HAYES, 10 “I’m excited for the away competitions.”

Height: 5’7” Weight Class: 126

IT’S GETTIN’ HOT IN HERE FHN students to run a holiday race in frigid temperatures in downtown St. Louis to warm up and provide help others comfort during the year BY DAVID MCFEELY•@mcfeelgood13

On Dec. 15, a few runners from FHN, will be running in the Hot Chocolate 5K in downtown St. Louis. Among those runners are senior Brandon Rosner and sophomore Kristen Metts. “The race sounded like it would be fun and it was another race I could do in the offseason,” Rosner said. Funds for this race are raised by getting runners to sign up, then the runners can sign up for the extra mile, which donates extra money to the organization. Some of the funds for this race will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House charity in St. Louis. The Ronald McDonald House provides comfortable beds, hot showers, and homecooked meals for families with seriously ill children who are being held in hospitals. The three Houses in St. Louis offer these essential comforts of home 24 hours a day and 365 days of the year. However, this organization is not just local, but it’s global network is held in about 58 countries and different regions. “I like helping the Ronald McDonald House because if I was in that situation I would like to be helped out, and I really like helping people,” Metts said. This race is put on by the Running Away Multisport (RAM) Racing Series and will start at the Soldier’s Memorial on Market Street and then end at Chestnut Street. After running the 5K, all of the runners will get a hot chocolate and will also receive a fleece hoodie with the Hot Chocolate 5K logo on the front and a mug. “I like this race because I get the items and I get to run with a one of my good friends, Nicole Morse, and I like that I don’t have to run hard, because I am just doing it to have fun” Metts said. The awards ceremony will honor the top three male and female runners. These runners will be announced at the post-race party. Since the

Prevoius Weight Class: 113 Ave


“[I’m excited for] getting some Varsity experience.”


mpto n N Co


times for this race are generally slower than the ones at cross country meets, Rosner has high hopes of placing. “I looked up former times and they were all really bad times, but I think there would still be people that can compete with me,” Rosner said. “It would feel pretty cool, I would feel like a baller.”




5K Course 1

Start Finish

Height: 5’7” Weight Class: 145 Prevoius Weight Class: 138 28 FHNTODAY.COM 12.11.13

Water Station

Hot Chocolate Run St.Louis, MO Dec. 13, 2013

5K Mile Marker





Reviewed by Brittany Steck




Place a face onto the body of an elf and watch them dance in this hilarious app sponsored by Office Max

Celebrate this holiday with instructions on how to light a menorah, copies of blessings, and a dreidel game.

Keep track of how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the fat jolly old man comes to fill your stocking with toys.




A SEASONAL MOVIE TO MELT FOR Disney’s newest film “Frozen” warms hearts and presents the powerful bond of sisterhood BY BRITTANY STECK • @LittleMsBritt


et in the Scandinavian town, Arendell, “Frozen” tells the story of two sisters trying to discover their place in the world, despite the hardships they face, such as isolation, separation, and a powerful ice curse. After Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) sends the kingdom into an eternal winter, her younger sister, Anna (Kristen Bell), goes on a daring mission, with the help of a few new-found friends, to break the spell. As a dedicated Disney devotee, I looked forward to viewing its latest film and came to the theater with high expectations. I expected to find epic graphics, strong storytelling, and, of course, wonderful music. Directors Jennifer Lee (“Wreck It Ralph”) and Chris Buck (“Tarzan”) brought their A-game to the screen and did not disappoint. The Disney team created a realistic sister relationship that didn’t follow the classic “everyone gets along” stereotype that is often placed with the company. Instead, Disney isn’t afraid to focus on the darker side of the classical “Snow Queen” fairy tale, on which the movie was based. In his book, Hans Christian Andersen explores the theme of good verses evil through the eyes of two children. “Frozen” also focuses on this struggle by pitting sisters Anna and Elsa against each other, an unexpected complexity the family-friendly company Use the link to see incorporated. a video of the trailer The story also featured strong secondary for the movie. characters such as Anna’s “true love” Hans (Santino Fontana), helpful ice-picker Kristoff ( Jonathan Groff), and silly snowman Olaf ( Josh Gad). These characters gave viewers a nice dose of the lovable classic Disney characteristics that they are used to. They also brought a comedic relief to the weighty story line with their funny antics and songs. The choices for Elsa and Anna’s voices were also perfectly picked. Bell provided the voice for Anna. I wasn’t sure what to expect from her, as she doesn’t have a large musical background, but I was blown away by her singing voice. It was a perfect match for the sweet and optimistic personality of the character. Menzel, most well-known for her role as Elphaba in the original cast of “Wicked”, was a perfect match for voicing Elsa, as she needed to have a strong and powerful voice. The film features some songs with a Scandinavian feel, such as “Vuelie” performed by men’s vocal ensemble, Cantus. Being a Disney film, there were also some fun, sing-along songs like “In Summer,” a musical number sung by Olaf, the talking snowman who longs to feel the warmth of the sun. These songs made me smile and gave a lighthearted feel which balanced out the heavier scenes of the movie. My favorite songs, however, moved the story line along



32 FHNTODAY.COM 12.11.13

like “Do You Want to Built a Snowman?” a heartfelt plea by Anna for her older sister to interact with her and “Let it Go,” Elsa’s song of independence. The setting of “Frozen” adds to the majestic feel of the story, with its royal kingdom, rocky mountain passages, and snowy landscapes. The Disney Animation team did a great job of creating a gleaming world of ice and snow with shades of blue and white, as well as intense detail to the snowflakes. Overall, “Frozen” was a fun film with captivating characters, amazing animation and a sweet story line that is perfect for the holidays. I look forward to making a second trip to the theatres to view it again and will be purchasing this movie as soon as it comes out on DVD sometime in the spring of 2014. PAGE BY BRITTANY STECK



Enjoy playing the Hanukkah spinning game on your phone with up to eight friends while listening to the traditional song.

Get into the holiday spirit by dressing up your friend as snowmen, elves, and the jolly old guy himself with silly stickers. Free




Resembling the popular app Talking Tom, this app features an animated Santa and Rudolph that repeat what users say in silly voices.

Track Santa’s journey during the big night on this app. Users can also send him email letters, play games, and read jokes.

NEW MUSIC FOR METAL HEADS Shapist gains popularity quickly and prepares to release a new EP this Christmas BY KYLEIGH KRISTENSEN • @kyleigh15_

New and upcoming, post-hardcore band Shapist has only been active since mid-2012 but has already achieved a lot, including a rapidly growing fanbase. The band consists of Jake Willman on drums, Trevor West on guitar, Devan Labrier on rhythm guitar, and Collin Reagan on bass. For vocalists, there is Sam Bedicheck with screaming and clean vocals and Rex Carol with screaming vocals. Being the metal head that I am, I love Shapist. Though all metal bands tie back together due to metal’s signature aggressive sound, Shapist sets themselves apart by using meaningful and unique lyrics. For instance, in their song “We Speak in Volumes,” the boys emphasize the importance of living life for something. Most of the song talks about being unable to escape becoming a

void of a man, and the message really comes out through the lyrics: “I can tell this life is empty without cherishing simplicity, without believing in something.” Soon after the release of “We Speak in Volumes,” Shapist released what some consider to be their kickoff song, “Samsara.” The song, which features Garrison Lee of ERRA, quickly gained 25 thousand views within the first two weeks of its release. This song is my favorite because it shows the talent that Shapist has. Screaming and clean vocals overlap each other to create depth in the song. On Dec. 25, metal heads can look forward to the band releasing their new EP. Metal fans should look the band up because they can become big if they keep releasing such amazing material. Check out the link to listen to a teaser of the band’s latest EP album


Jilly’s cupcake bar is located at 8509 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO (lauren price)


Upon entering Jilly’s Cupcake Bar, I was immediately comforted with the aromas of baking cake, frosting, and chocolate. Instantly, my taste buds were tingling for these tantalizing, Texas-sized cupcakes. Jilly’s offers a plethora of gourmet flavors ranging from the “Turtle Cheesecake,” a chocolate cake filled with cheesecake and caramel, and topped with a pile of milk chocolate and caramel buttercream, to seasonal flavors, including the “Pumpkin Pie...Oh My,” a vamped up pumpkin cake stuffed and topped with pumpkin pie. When I took my “Chocolate Thunder” cupcake out of the container, I was astounded by swirling dollop of fluffy chocolate buttercream sprinkled with chocolate curls and topped with a jagged triangle of chocolate bark. The melt-in-your-mouth buttercream was perfect in consistency and light, buttery flavor, which paired nicely with the moist, chocolate cake and the ganache center provided a slight bitter contrast. Overall, Jilly’s Cupcake Bar satisfies the gourmet sweet tooth of the foodies of St. Louis.




1:FACE WATCH This sleek and colorful watch is a good deal and supports a good cause BY ALY JENKINS

Unlike other watches, the 1:Face Watch comes in a number of different colors, each color supporting a different cause. Currently, there are eight different colors available for the watch. From education to cancer research or AIDS treatment, each watch helps make a change. The new, limited edition red-and-white 1:Face Watch provides a meal, through the Red Cross, for three disaster victims affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Another option is a white watch, like mine, which provides a meal for 16 children in Africa. For me, the 1:Face Watch was an easy choice. I was looking for a new watch, and I knew this would be a nice watch that could also make a difference. The 1:Face Watch is also uniquely square and reflective. Although it is relatively inexpensive at just $40, it’s durable and resistant. One flaw of the watch was the lack of instructions. Despite this, the watch was pretty easy to figure out, even after internet research, I’m still unsure what two of the buttons do. Another flaw with the 1:Face Watch is its similar appearance to the Galaxy Gear watch. When I try explaining the 1:Face Watch’s mission, people lose interest. A common response is, ‘Oh. So, it’s just a watch?’ It’s not just a watch. It’s a second chance. It’s a vital resource for someone in need. It’s a glimpse of hope. So, this holiday season, go buy a watch, and change a life in the process. 12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 33


Mexico hopes to use tax as a weapon in the war against fat by raising the price of foods with a high calorie count. Denmark tried fighting fat with tax but it backfired as business left the country. Even America isn’t immune to the obesity plague, with almost a third of adults being labeled as ‘obese’ according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. New York is trying to take a stand with taxes on oversize soft drinks, but the fate of the tax is up in the air as it fights its way up the court system. (ashleigh jenkins)


Mexico’s newly implemented ‘fat tax’ will do little to change the food purchasing decisions of people and will fail to convert people from the damaging effects of unhealthy habits to healthier eating and exercise BY LAUREN PIKE

New York implemented the trans fat ban in 2006 in order to limit the consumption of trans fat dense foods. This ban prohibited the use of trans fat by restaurants, required calorie labels on restaurant foods, and attempted to ban As the obesity pandemic continues to ravage the world, several “heavyoversize sodas in restaurants. While the ban reduced the use of trans fats in weight” leaders search for solutions to combat this problem. According to restaurants from 50 percent to less than two percent, according to a 2009 study, the Food and Agriculture Organization, in America, 31.8 percent of adults the ban hasn’t significantly changed food purchasing decisions of consumers. are obese, and in Mexico, 32.8 percent of adults are obese. The key to beating While this tax is meant to help people change their unhealthy eating habits, it obesity is making healthier alternatives seem just as accessible as picking up is unrealistic to believe that a simple tax increase will make a significant impact a Big Mac, and also better emphasizing the rewards of practicing limited self on the eating habits of people who are addicted to overindulging themselves indulgence and regular exercise. in the craveable, calorie-ridden foods that should be enjoyed in Recently, Mexico has decided to implement the “fat moderation. tax”, or an eight percent tax on chips, soda, and other high In making the switch to a healthier lifestyle, the price is a major Text 456380 to 37607 if deterrent. However, the price depends on the way the consumer calorie goodies. While I strongly support living a healthy you agree with lifestyle, the tax in Mexico is bound only to cause dissent chooses to compare foods. According to an Agriculture DepartLauren’s argument or text ment test, if food is measured in price per calorie, higher calorie among Mexican citizens and cause little change in their 456386 to 37607 if you processed snacks are significantly lower in cost compared to fruits eating habits. disagree In 2011, Denmark attempted to implement the “fat tax” and vegetables. By comparing foods by weight or portion size, on food items containing more than 2.3 percent saturated vegetables, fruits, and dairy products can be less expensive. As far fat, but repealed the policy after one year due to the little impact it had in as the health benefits, those who eat foods higher in fat, sodium, and sugar changing the eating habits on Danes. The tax actually encouraged Danes to have an increased risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type two cross into Sweden and Germany in order to more cheaply purchase staples diabetes. To end these problems once and for all, people must take a stand for such as butter, milk, and cheese, thus drawing business away from the Danish their health. To extend longevity, increase energy, and maintain body function, economy. While the policy generated $216 million, the abolishment of the tax people must eat a balanced diet with grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and caused an increase in income taxes to supplement the deficit. good fats. • @pike_n_ike


34 FHNTODAY.COM 12.11.13


Elizabeth Condon illustrates the power of the stigma regarding mental illness. (ashleigh jenkins)


The “walking on eggshells” approach that schools take with mental illness isn’t nearly as effective as encouraging realistic conversations BY ELISABETH CONDON

• @willowandgingko

There is nothing positive about mental illness, both as a phrase and as a sickness. The phrase itself has very negative connotations that create a stigma which prevents people from talking about the realities of mental illness rather than just the definitions we learn in health class. In a perfect world, changing the phrase would be enough to change the stigma, but that’s simply impossible. And it would be too easy. Instead, we must change the way we react to mental illness. The biggest problem is that we don’t talk about mental illness because we’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings or bringing bad things upon ourselves. Mental illness isn’t Voldemort. It is not going to just appear if we talk about things that end with the word “disorder.” In middle school, my own struggle with self-harm and depression began. I knew it wasn’t right to hurt the way I did, but I didn’t know who to ask for help. Schools are so concerned with offending someone that they don’t create opportunities for students to share their own struggles. Because of the way I was taught about mental illness, and my peers’ reactions to it, I thought that I

was crazy, so I didn’t want to talk about it. It scares me to think that other students may be struggling the way that I did because they’re afraid to ask for help. Instead of the classic scene of a teacher standing up at the front of the room lecturing about neurons and serotonin, students should be encouraged to participate in a conversation about mental illness. The idea that having a middle-aged person come in and show some tear-jerking video, then handing students a card with a hotline number is not effective. Students should be taught that a lot of people experience depression, rather than that it’s caused by an imbalance in serotonin levels. This way, students will feel okay about asking for help rather than being scared into submission. My wake-up call was losing a close friend to suicide, and I don’t want that to be everyone’s reason for talking about mental illness. I want people to realize that it is nothing more than a disease of the brain, and we shouldn’t be wary of talking about it. While we may never be able to cure mental illness, we can definitely cure the way we look at it. Check out the link to find resources for mental illnesses and hear from Elisabeth about her experience.


It’s the most dangerous time of the year and drivers need to be properly prepared and trained to handle various road hazard situations


• @randomhyperness

The winter season is here, full of joy, snow, and car crashes. According to the “Arrive Alive” campaign, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people 15 to 20 years old. Many drivers do not know how to prevent an accident after losing control of their vehicle, especially in icy conditions. In order to learn how to regain control of a vehicle during winter weather, driver’s education needs to be a requirement to obtain a license. This will create safe drivers who can operate a vehicle in poor conditions. Instead of sitting in a classroom, driver’s education should get drivers out on the street to simulate


these weather conditions. The lack of hands-on help may contribute to Missouri’s 115 fatalities in 2013, as of press time. “Collision Guard”, an accident education company, recently sponsored a driver’s training event in Utah where students drove a “skid car,” a vehicle used to simulate the loss of control and skidding of a vehicle. We should use programs like these in driver’s education to tell people how to control of their car in order to avoid frosty fatalities. This gives them the ability to apply these skills where it really counts: in the snow and ice.



A lesson in dedication from those who brave the cold to collect donations BY BRITTANY STECK

• @LittleMsBritt

As the cold air blows into town, many people bustle from store to store to get some holiday shopping in. Amidst the beeping of checkout lanes and the crumpling of wrapping paper, a small ringing sound can be heard outside of the stores: the sound of the Salvation Army bell ringers. While I only sat in their company for a few short hours, I couldn’t help but admire the bell ringers’ dedication to gathering donations. Standing outside in cold weather may not be everyone’s cup of cocoa, but these volunteers seem to spread warmth while advocating for others to give a little this holiday season. With their joyful shouts of “Merry Christmas”, the volunteers create a cheerful environment, which engages customers into donating to their cause. As we sat together, I found out that many of them had volunteered in the past and continued to do it year after year. I was amazed at the generosity of these volunteers, who were willing to mingle outside in the winter weather in order make someone else’s holiday season a little brighter. Their commitment to the cause made me re-evaluate how I view the holidays. No longer will I pass by the bright, red bucket, when rushing to the next big sale. Just like any feel-good Hallmark movie, the Salvation Army bell ringers reminded me of one of the reasons for the season: giving. The next time I pass by a bell ringer station, I plan on asking where I can sign up to donate my time to help those in need.

12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 35



CHRISTMAS CREEPING CLOSER A debate sparks over Christmas celebration during fall months HOLD OFF ON CHRISTMAS SPIRIT




On Halloween night, the streets are lit up by porch lights as the little monsters trick-or-treat to receive a sugary prize. The next day, the stores are lined with Christmas goodies. Children’s minds are jammed with wants as the TVs are filled with Christmas advertisements. Families create a list of all the latest and greatest items. And in all the twisted selfishness that is known as Christmas, we forget one especially important holiday. The holiday to be thankful for what you have: Thanksgiving. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” sings Andy Williams on the radio as early as Nov. 6. Let’s face it, Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It’s one of the rare times that we can create a list of things we want and have our parents buy it for us. However, this doesn’t mean that the endless ads, music, and sales should begin weeks ahead of Thanksgiving. Kmart takes the early Christmas season to the extreme by starting their commercials as early as Sept. 8. Kmart also opened on Thanksgiving at 6 a.m., followed closely by Sears and Old Navy at 9 a.m. and most others later that evening. With all the great deals that occurred, it makes sense why people went out to buy Christmas gifts a month in advance, even if it gobbled up the day of thanks. In contrast, Thanksgiving has remained a true family holiday, one where you really spend time with the ones you love around a large table jam-packed with food. It shouldn’t be hard to wait until Thanksgiving is over before we dive into our greedy ways. The great holiday of Christmas shouldn’t be overshadowing the other holidays. Call me Scrooge, but Christmas should wait its turn.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we make it last. Christmas music fills the air along with smiling faces and the feeling of love. Some people say that Christmas starting in November is too early, but I don’t think that’s possible. Christmas is a time for family, friends and food, it’s a time when people gather together and remember why they love one another, and in this day and age, I think that’s something people don’t do enough. People spend more time talking on their phones, tweeting about their lives and stressing about what Miley Cyrus is doing instead of focusing on being happy and actually living their life. Christmas music brings such joy, and seeing the different lights and decorations can brighten an otherwise dark and dreary sky. Yes, Christmas may start the day after Halloween, but so what? It just gives people more time to remember their family. Some families can’t afford two separate trips for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so being able to join the holidays is a financial relief. In addition to the emotional benefits of starting Christmas early, you are also given the ability to prepare yourself financially. Christmas is an expensive holiday, especially for larger families, and things like Christmas layaway can be a life saver. Starting Christmas earlier can be the difference between a laptop and one of those plastic toy phones with the candy inside. And considering how late Black Friday is this year, people could use a little extra time to budget and watch for the best sale in their favorite stores. So to all of you Grinches out there I say, shut up and deck the halls because whether you like it or not, Santa Claus is comin’ to town. • @ emma201596 • @ immaconch


Text 435279 to 37607 if you agree with Hannah or text 435275 to 37607 if you agree with Emma


The full version of the Editorial Policy can be found at

Have an opinion on something in this month’s paper? Submit a letter, and tell us about it.

• Letters must be signed by the author and verified. • Letters are submitted to room 026 or Mr. Manfull’s mailbox. • Letters must include the author’s phone number and e-mail for verification. • Letters should not exceed 300 words. 36 FHNTODAY.COM 12.11.13

• Letters may be edited for length, grammar, spelling and content. • Letters will not be printed if content is obscene, invasive, encouraging disruption of school and/or implies libel. • Authors will be notified if any changes are made to the letter by the editorial staff. PAGE BY CARLY VOSSMEYER

Editors-in-Chief: Sophie Gordon Maddie Hiatt

Managing Editor: Daniel Bodden

Business Manager: Rowan Pugh

Business: Aly Jenkins Anna Domitrz

Editors: News Editor: Brianna Morgan Features Editor: Emily Hampson Sports Editor: Brenda Alvarado Opinions Editor: Brittany Steck Copy Editor: Lauren Pike

(editorial cartoon)


The North Star takes a look at the new policy for eighth graders and applauds the District for giving them high school credit ON BEHALF OF THE EDITORIAL STAFF • @fhntoday

FHSD is taking a step in the right direction. For the 2014-15 school year, eighth grade students taking Algebra I, Spanish I, French I, German I or challenge science will also be completing high school credit. In addition, high school students next year will have the option to add these classes to their transcript if they would like it to count towards their GPA. The benefits of this new policy greatly outweigh any concerns. First of all, many students take these classes regardless of getting high school credit. Now, their hard work will actually count toward their GPA. For example, there aren’t enough years in high school to complete all of the prerequisites for Calculus in time. For a student to qualify for taking AP Calculus AB or BC by senior year, he or she must have taken Algebra I in eighth grade. By allowing these students to earn high school credit, the District is rewarding them for working ahead and challenging themselves. In addition to allowing math and science classes to count for high school credit, the District needs to look into getting the challenge communication arts classes up to the rigorous high school standard as well. Students with strength in English should also get the opportunity to earn high school credit in order for this policy to benefit everyone. One of the major concerns about this new policy is that students will come into high school with too many credits


already under their belt. However, students who take high school level classes in eighth grade are the kind who push themselves in school. In most cases, it can be assumed that the students will use the extra time to dual enroll, take a harder class, or expand their knowledge in a specific field they want to go into. There are many options for these students and plenty of AP or elective courses that they could take during their senior year. Some worry that this new policy pushes high school into eighth grade. However, this policy is no different from the integration of AP classes and dual enrolling into the high schools. If parents are worried about students taking on too much too soon, they must also question the necessity of programs aimed toward giving high schoolers college credit. Like dual enrollment and AP classes, these eighth grade high school-level rigorous courses just allow students to work ahead and graduate earlier. Concerned parents need to remember that, just like juniors and seniors are not required to take AP classes, eighth graders have the option to take alternative courses. Overall, FHSD is promoting learning by encouraging eighth graders to take high school-level classes and rewarding them with high school credit. This is a fair system that will help these students get ahead in the long run. Perhaps soon, the program can expand to include classes in each of the four core subjects so that students whose strengths do not lie in math or science may get the chance to earn high school credit as well.

General Staff: Claire Carr Elisabeth Condon Sarai Esparza Ashley Eubanks Megan Granneman Priscilla Joel Kyleigh Kristensen Melissa Lukes Rodney Malone David McFeely Jessica Olsen Emma Pursley Hannah Rosen Alexis Tainter Maggie Torbeck Lexi Wilkinson Editor-in-Chief of Photography: Matt Krieg

Photo Editors: Managing Editor of Photography: Cameron McCarty Director of Photography: Paige Martinez Photo Editor: Ashleigh Jenkins Photographers: Jessica Allison Jenna Rodriguez Amanda Eckhard Sammie Savala Ashleigh Jenkins Alyssa Savage Hayden Jensen McKenzie Shea Ariel Kirkpatrick Ashton Stegman Areli Lara Megan Tanksley Lauren Price Abby Temper Elle Redel Andrew Wittman

FHNTODAY STAFF Editor-in-Chief of Multimedia: Zack Eaton Editors: Online Sports Editor: Mike Ebert Managing Web Editor: Jake Chiarelli Webmaster: Alex Weinstock Stats/Scores Editor: Mike Hamilton Online News Editor: Carly Vossmeyer Web Staff: Nick Wyer Hannah Dietrich Video Staff: Aiza Bustos Lucas Dykes Kyle Cuppy Sam Skaggs

Video Editors: Hannah Stillman Dan Stewart Maddie Richterkessing Advisers: Aaron Manfull Beth Phillips

12.11.13 FHNTODAY.COM 37



not your typical class.

Be in control of how much you do. and gain college

Earn English credit, honors points

scholarship notice.

and Become a sports reporter, web editor, graphic designer or make Facebook and Twitter your homework.

Work, play, TRAVEL. Be a part of a

student-run, award-winning, nationally-recognized program. Going Places

Meeting People



Students move out of their seats and beyond the classroom to cover community and national events. They attend a local conference at Webster University and the state conference at Mizzou. Staff members also attend national conventions each year in places ranging from Anaheim and Minneapolis to Washington D.C. and Boston.

Members of staff after conquring Lombard Street in San Francisco during a trip to the National High School Journalism Convention in California. This is one of the many trips the staff has taken. Future trips will be to a variety of places from San Diego and Washington DC to Denver and Orlando! North Star Newsmagazine Excalibur Yearbook FHNtoday TV


write design photo video edit web social draw

Awards Join one of the top journalism programs in the country. The publications consistently rank among the nation’s elite at national conventions and contests. The staff has earned Pacemaker, Crown, Gallup and Best of Show honors numerous times. Win awards as part of a team and individually. In the past 10 years we have had three of Missouri’s High School Journalist’s of the Year and staffers have won numerous scholarships for their work. Contact

Aaron Manfull, Adviser Room 026 636-851-5107

If you’re into writing or designing, there’s a place for you. Want to be a sports reporter or a movie reviewer? There’s a place for you. If you’re into photography or videography, want to work on the web or in business advertising, there’s a place for you. Like Facebook and Twitter? We even have jobs for that. Learn skills that matter now and help later.

In room 026 you’ll meet everyone from sports team captains and Student Council members to artists and those in band. You’ll also have the chance to meet and talk with famous people. Staffers have interviewed and/ or photographed everyone from Barack Obama and Ron Paul to boxing great Evander Holyfield and First Amendment fighter Mary Beth Tinker.

Looking to get an Honors Point? Publications can get you that too. Newspaper, Yearbook and staffs are all co-curricular classes that meet during the school day. You get Practical Arts credit for being a member of staff and even have the option to take the publication courses for an Honors Point. Inquire about your options.

North Star December 2013  

The December 2013 edition of the North Star Newsmagazine.

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