Freedom high school is getting technical FHS entered the twenty-first century by storm a few years ago when we received a grant from the Copy Editor state to purchase technology for every classroom. Everyone knows that we used grant money to upgrade our classrooms and curriculums, but what is going to happen to all of this technology when the batteries start to fade and the pictures begin to blur? New ideas and plans are being thrown around between the head honchos on the school board and our main technology man, Mr. Hickey, about what is going to be best for the future of technology at Freedom. Here’s what we bought using over half a million dollars from the state: 500 laptops, a smart board and LCD projector for every classroom, speakers, and shared resources such as video cameras, microphones, and web cameras. The goal that we are trying to reach, now that we have all of this equipment, is to Samantha Hildman, Contributing Photographer become a one-to-one high school. This would mean that there is at least one Freedom students take advantage of the growing computer for every single student in the school. technology provided at FHS, as shown above as The hope is that at the beginning Karla Knauff utilizes her computer. While there of the school year, all students will be asare now more computers than there were last year, signed a laptop that is to become theirs for each classroom has yet to be equipped with a cart. the next 10 months, and they will return it at the end of the year.
This would allow students to have access to certain programs that a course might require at all times, and to make the lives of students who might not have a computer at home a lot easier. “We’re not the first school to do this,” Mr. Hickey said. Research has been done and it is the general consensus that giving a student access to school programs 24/7 will increase their chances for better outcomes grade-wise. “It can be done successfully,” Mr. Hickey said. However, the process is a lot harder than you might think. There are many different variables that contribute to this idea. The lifespan of the laptops we have all come to know and love are anywhere from three to five years. Having a student haul the machine to and from school everyday could decrease this lifespan, while increasing the chances for damages. Repairs are also something that the school would have to be prepared to take on; right now there is only one Mr. Hickey, and he is already up to his elbows in problems. If a laptop breaks, are repair attempts made, or do we just buy new ones? All of these questions are slowly being answered, and the hope is that by this spring we will buy enough laptops for an entire class, and by next fall we can test the one-to-one system in Freedom. “All of this is very much up in the air,” Mr. Hickey said. Much progress is being made though, and who knows – next year you could be taking home your very own temporary laptop.
Peace, love, and Freedom High reach an upset Jordan Kusich & Karla Knauff
on a Woodstock theme because it seemed like a fun one to use and she Copy/Section Editor & Design Editor thought that it would attract more stuWhat was supposed to be an dents. "Aquarian Explosion" is now just about However, quite the opposite actuto fizzle out. Imagine this: three hours of ally happened, as this year’s turnout was peace and music. even less than last year’s, which was Doesn’t that sound pretty far out? pushing it. Feb. 26 was the original date of Freedom Schell had said, “I just want everyArea High School’s 2010 Morp, and its one to have fun”. The money made from theme was to be Woodstock '69. Morp would have benefited the Eric Woodstock was about love, peace, Barto Memorial Foundation for Autism. music, and fun. Yeah, we're all too The dance was to be held from 7 to young to have experienced such a his10 p.m. and would’ve only cost $6 for a toric and groovy event, and as it seems single and $10 for a couple. the chance to do so will pass us by once It was to be held in the cafeteria. more. Tie-dyed threads and hemp jewelry will The dance had to be cancelled due no longer be the appropriate dress code to a lack of support and participation. come Feb. 26, as Freedom’s Morp is ofOriginally, Morp was Alysa ficially cancelled. Schell’s senior project; she had decided
NHS students Chelsea Costello and Bryan McSorley are doing their part to aid in the relief of other countries. The club collected 38 pairs of jeans from Freedom students to benefit the people of Haiti after their recent disaster.
School board talks change Alyssa Applequist Staff Writer Through the wind and snow of the blizzard of 2010, all nine of the Freedom Area School District Board of Directors met on Feb. 11 after four cancelled days of school. I arrived at the middle school surprised to find that the entire board, as well as a few faculty members, were arranged in the dark library after the electricity went out. The board meets regularly in both private and public meetings to discuss all issues in the district; however, do students, or even faculty, know what really happens during a school board meeting? The first orders of business were financial issues: the mundane tasks of approving bills, salaries, and the treasurer's report. The entire schedule for the use of school facilities was then covered, to my surprise, quite thoroughly. Dr. Sofo, the district's superintendent, then gave a report. Although the entire district was in focus, the high school appeared to be the major spotlight of the education portion of the agenda. A key concern of the evening was senior year graduation requirements and students leaving school early, due to block scheduling and dual enrollment at Penn State Beaver and CCBC. Dr. Staub suggested that additional required courses may be in place in the near future. Some of these courses may include another PE credit, sexual education, and a senior seminar in which students would work on senior projects and prepare for college. “We are looking at courses such as
AP English, as well as other college in high school classes," said Dr. Staub. Although these new requirements may not make some underclassmen happy, some students may be pleased to know that Mrs. Mako was approved as a high school volunteer math coach. A student teacher, Ann Gollapudi, was also approved to be placed with Mr. Rosa and Mr. Shephard this spring. The last items on the agenda for the evening were operations and extracurricular activities. Funding for many projects were approved, including exterior lighting, new locker room stalls, the completion of practice fields, track resurfacing, a new pool cover and the most important of all: the renovation of the girl's restrooms on the first floor. To the track and field members' relief, Mr. Shephard was approved for three more one-year contracts as head coach beginning in the 2010 season. A proposal was also made for the golf team to use Shadow Lakes Golf Course at the same cost in order to keep Mr. Dirk Hartman as a coach. Also, Mark Lyons resigned as Varsity Head Football Coach, and interviews were held to fill his position. It was recently announced that our own Mr. Hernandez was chosen to lead our football team in the 2010 season. In addition, Scott Schweiger was approved as the assistant coach for Varsity Wrestling. Interviews were held, and the meeting was called to an end on the late night, but members were still excited to be part of the Freedom School District. I have found after attending just one meeting that behind students' playful games in the hallways and fun projects in class, is a professional and wellrun school district.
25 February, 2010
Major make-up days to come Rosalyn Nye Staff Writer
Returning from the snow days, the question on everyone’s mind was whether they would be made up. “I don’t think we should make them up, because they should be considered as a state of emergency,” says junior Jenna Bell. However, at this time, it appears that all of the missed days will have to be made up. In order to qualify for state of emergency days, the school district would have to write a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). No letter has been written, because it has been indicated by the PDE that bad weather is not a reason to count cancellations as state of emergency days. Dr. Sofo said that “current school code only allows days to be 'forgiven' for lack of power, water, telephone or major physical plant failures, like a collapsed roof.” Dr. Sofo also said that it is possible the PDE will make a regional decision regarding the cancellations taken by many schools in Pennsylvania. They would decide upon granting schools state of emergency days once out of the snowy weather, around midMarch. Until any decisions are made, we
will be making up the snow days, the next one being on March 15. “It would be the rain on my parade if we had to make them up; I was looking forward to the long Easter vacation,” said junior Paige Cooper. According to the school calendar, both the Tuesday and Thursday of Easter break are snow days. As of now, Freedom has used up all scheduled snow days, so both vacation days would be taken. However, Dr. Sofo said that his goal is to keep Easter break intact. He says that hopefully at the next board meeting, on March 4, a decision will be made regarding the fifth snow day. The board will look into other possibilities, such as moving a teacher in -service day. Right now it seems that students and teachers will be in school for the snow days in March and April. “It really stinks that we wasted all of our snow days in one week when we still have over a month of winter left,” says junior Stephanie Duez. Now we can only hope that we get no additional cancellations. “If we get another snow day or I have to shovel my driveway again, I am going to buy a plane ticket to Hawaii and live down there until summer comes,” said senior Jeremy Steder.
Freedom Area, along with most of western Pennsylvania, faced several snowstorms, the first beginning on the night of Feb. 5 and lasting until morning. The storms left approximately three feet of snow on the ground, downed lines that caused power outages, and buried most roads, making them unusable. Trapped in their houses, Freedom residents stuck it out not only through the weekend, but into the week as well. Freedom Area School District lost a total of four days to the storms, and it is still unknown whether some of those days will be necessary to make up.
Jordan Kusich, Section/Copy Editor
25 February, 2010
FHS class puts cradles in the classroom Jordan Kusich
time, for the most part; one student had such difficulties Copy/Section Editor with getting her baby to fall You may have seen a few asleep that she was unable to younger kids meandering through come to school the following the halls the past few weeks. No, morning. they aren’t students. They’re part However, one student of a project that Ms. Rich’s actually found the experience to Independent Living class is doing. be highly rewarding. For the Child Development Nicole Mutschler saw no portion of the class, the students particular “hard part” in the were each assigned their own assignment. She believed the chance to see what parenthood is experience “showed exactly what really like. having a real baby is like,” and They were assigned a baby. that “it was a lot of fun.” It made Not an actual child of course: a her truly realize the difficulties of fake baby doll that proved to be having a child in high school. quite a challenge for some of the The goal of the assignment students. was to make students realize the They kept the babies for four responsibilities of having a real days each, and were assigned to child. tend to them just like they would a It was a true eye-opener for real child. them, and did its part to show the These babies were students that having a baby in high programmed after real live school is simply not reasonable. children: they ate, burped, cried, Ms. Rich agrees that the slept, and even needed a diaper project taught her students that change on a regular basis. having a baby can be great – at the They gave the students a hard right time.
Steelers vs. Freedom staff: From the field to the court Freedom for a money-raising game, and the prom fundraising is hoping the event will be just as successful as the last time. News Editor The Pittsburgh Steelers: our home "We will have people coming from football team. While our city has many the county to see the Steelers, and it will reasons to be proud, I think that anyone bring in a great profit," says Ian Lint, could agree these players may be number junior class president. Ticket sales began one. Earning a total of six Super Bowl in every Freedom school office on Feb. 8 rings over the years and being a part of and are being sold for $7 a person. the City of Champions, our Steelers have There is limited seating and everyone become a large part of our lives in is hoping for a full house. Doors will open western Pennsylvania. at 6 p.m. and the game will begin at 8. There is good news for you Steelers Among the festivities, there will be a fans here in Freedom: the men who have Steelers Super Bowl jersey raffle, a 50/50 represented the Steel City in raffle, autograph signing, and a the NFL for years are giving concession stand to keep all of the fans attention to other communities, and happy. visiting yours. The Steelers and Freedom would As a fundraising event for the 2010 also like to give back to the community prom, the upper class student councils during the event. Non-perishable items have arranged for one exciting game to be will be collected at the doors and donated played in our gymnasium. On to our local food banks. With charity, Wednesday, March 10, the Pittsburgh fundraising, food, fans and fun, the night Steelers will be competing in a basketball is looking like it will be a success, with game against the staff of Freedom Area the help of the Freedom and surrounding School District. communities. The Freedom team will consist of "I'm hoping that everyone will have a staff, including our own Mr. Short, Mr. great time," says Lint. Will our staff hold Hernandez, and even our Vice Principal their own against the professional Mr. Delp. Also Mr. Culler, Mr. Matsook, athletes? Will the football players fail to and Mr. Kelm from the middle school will deliver on a different playing field? Find be participating in the game as well as out on March 10, in the Freedom high others from the district. This will be the school gymnasium. second visit the Steelers have made to
FHS students in Ms. Rich’s Independent Living experience parenthood through plastic babies assigned to give a first hand look at the challenges of having a child. Nick Talerico babysits Emma Wagner’s baby, shown to the left.
Sexual Education Curriculum Explored Alyssa Applequist Staff Writer With rising trends and more pregnant teens than Freedom has ever seen, is adding sexual education into the school's curriculum really such an eccentric idea? The school board has just recently approved sexual education to be taught at Freedom as part of the freshmen health classes in the fall. Some students feel as though the time has come for Freedom to get proactive about sexual education. "I think it's a good idea, because obviously the pregnancy rate is really high. I think it's for the best," said senior Erika Barlow. Mrs. Woods, Mr. Summers, and Mrs. Martz will each be teaching students about the anatomy of the male and female reproductive systems, STDs, forms of birth control, and legal issues regarding sex while, upon the school board's request, adding a large emphasis on practicing abstinence. While the teachers are prepared for some parents to have an issue with this new addition, there has been a surprising amount of support for the plans.
At one of two school board meetings, parents who were present actually pushed for the plans of sexual education. Freshmen will be able to opt out of this part of health class if their parents choose so. As of now, there's yet to be any serious criticism surrounding the new class, although some students believe it may be pointless.Senior Julie Scheller believes that students already know the means of contraceptives, and sophomore Andrea Cary said, "It's honestly not that different because we had a teeny tiny sex ed. class in freshman seminar." The school has also recently applied for a grant in order to "help get more supplies and potentially a guest speaker," said Mrs. Woods, who seems to have high hopes for the new class. Whether students and faculty believe this class will be seen as an improvement, a negative impact, or something that hardly makes a difference, informing students about subjects that will be taught in sexual education next year has the goal of equipping students with the knowledge needed in order to make informed decisions.
Two-Hour Delay vs. Cancellation: Which pays off more in the end? It’s a Tuesday night, the weather channel calls for four to eight inches, and the feeling you get when you open up WPXI and see "Freedom Area School District: Closed" is almost like Christmas morning. School closings can be the most exciting thing for a student, as it raises opportunities to sleep in, watch TV, and play in the snow. It’s all fun and games until March comes around and that day we were supposed to have off is now a mandatory school day. So let’s rewind the scenario: it’s a Tuesday night, four to eight inches are expected, you open up WPXI to find Freedom Area School District: TwoHour Delay. You don’t exactly get that Christmas-morning feeling, more like a youjust-had-a-really-good-night's-sleep kind of feeling. Nonetheless, when that same March day rolls around, getting the day off is a blessing. Around here we formed the general consensus that two-hour delays beat out school closings in popularity. School closings can not only screw up the entire day, like sports get cancelled,
but also red and white days start to get confusing. Everything gets pushed back, which means they can screw up an entire week, month, or sports season. With a two-hour delay schedule, we get to sleep in, have shorter classes, keep to a regular schedule, and best of all: we don’t have to make those days up. School is an extremely important thing, obviously; but to a teenager, one of the most important things is the countdown to summer vacation. Sadly for us, this year we had four and a quarter days off of school in one week, as well as a day off in January. Since summer vacation is already coming later than usual, things look bleak when it comes to making these days up. School closings don’t really seem like Christmas mornings anymore, do they? So to put it straight, getting off of school is a nice thing, but all of the casualties that come with it really aren’t worth it. So next time the weatherman is calling for snow, and you really don’t want to miss that big swim meet, pray for a two-hour delay.
FHS Press — Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief: Business Manager: News Editor: Opinions Editor: A&E Editor: Sports Editor: Photography Editor: Copy Editors: Design Editor: Faculty Advisor:
Meagen Finnerty Rob Deane Shannon Schimmer Jordan Kusich Nolan Rider Bryan McSorley Jessica Rosenkranz Emily Francis, Jordan Kusich Karla Knauff Mr. David Hartman
Assistant Editors: Cole Leonberg Reporters & Photographers: Alahna Alderette, Alyssa Applequist, Liz Brunner, Rosalyn Nye, Ashlynd Robb, Marques Muron, & Jake Cruise Editorial Policies: FHS Press is the official student newspaper serving Freedom Area High School, in Freedom, Pennsylvania. The views presented herein are not representative of the school, faculty, or administration; they are solely the views of individual student writers. The newspaper accepts and strives to publish signed letters to the editor under 250 words. To submit comments, press releases, or letters to the editor, or to purchase advertising space in the paper, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Mr. Hartman in Room 114.
From benches to bleachers
How necessary is taking a gym class?
get that much exercise, what is the point of going to gym class? Now every student doesn’t play a Staff Writer Throw on your gym shorts, tie up sport, so in their cases gym is a great your running shoes, and roll on some thing to have, but for others not so deodorant. It’s time for Physical Educa- much. There are a few exceptions to tion class, or gym for short. Ask anythis, of course. body, and they’ll tell you gym is an easy First of all, I understand that a lot credit. of students only play one sport at one This is because it’s easy or unimpoint in the year. I do not believe they portant, but because it’s the only class in should be exempt from taking a Phys. school that requires brawns and not Ed. class for the entire year. brains, and it heads away from the genIt is completely possible to make eral norm of high school academics; t them exempt for the duration of the also gives kids an opportunity to get sports season however, and then when some exercise. they are done with the sport, make them So what about the students who take gym. play a sport and already get hours of The point is: that gym is a class exercise a day playing their own after specifically set up to give students a school sports? I think that students who healthy place to exercise and stay fit. play a sport should be able to use that in Some students already get that in the place of the gym credit. form of an after-school sport. Gym class In my own experience I get a lot should become an option for those who more exercise swimming after school already excel at exercise. than I do in gym in a whole week. So if I
25 February, 2010
Would you consider yourself a hardcore Facebook user? If so, you've probably heard of, and even participated in, the game of Farmville, another plus to the website. Applications such as this one show that Facebook can be used as a simple boredom-reliever, instead of as a means of cruel communication.
However, we have recently found that the site has been turned into a headquarters for creeping, cruelty, and carelessness. I'm sure Facebook’s head honchos would disapprove of what it has become. Whatever happened to the good old days when the first thing you did when you logged onto Facebook was check to see how your crops were doing? Now you head straight for the conversation you left last time dissing a girl you used to be friends with. As you read over those conversations, ask yourself: Is this really what I want the future of Facebook to be?
Facebook was primarily created as a place for users to post about their lives, to keep in touch with friends, and to simply have something to help entertain themselves with whilst online. After all, we all need a break and a chance to relax and amuse ourselves at home.
What is on your mind? The latest fight with your best friend, the newest gossip you just caught wind of, the ill-feelings you have about your last APUSH test? All of these may be on your mind, but do they need to be on everyone else’s? Have we reached the point in our lives where a Facebook post is our primary method of communication? This site is now a shield for every teenager to act much tougher than they really are whilst posting thoughts that they dare not say in person; thoughts that can easily be defended by their 26 Online Friends, just in case that certain someone actually has something more clever and more insulting to say back. It seems to be that Facebook has become the principal means of trashing and bashing others. What makes it so easy to make insulting comments on Facebook? Perhaps it’s the knowledge that whomever they are directed at has two choices: either be the bigger person and ignore the remarks whilst dealing with the blow; or reply to the comment, try defending themself, and risk being attacked by anyone that views it. The comfort of a computer screen makes Facebook assaults a piece of cake. Who actually prefers face-to-face confrontation? We can see where the idea of admitting feelings of anger to someone in person may not be the most attractive option to most, but it’s far more mature to take up an issue with someone that
Jordan Kusich & Meagen Finnerty Copy/Section Editor & Editor-in-Chief way.
Sure, it may be comical to see what all of your friends have to say about the rude remarks you choose to post, but nothing good comes from outside involvement. Are a few laughs really worth all that drama? We can answer that one in a heartbeat: nothing about drama is humorous enough to keep feeding the flame with snide remarks and distasteful commentary. Trust us when we say that resolving arguments via the Internet does not accomplish much. Ever. Jokes often get carried too far, feelings are hurt, and relationships suffer. After all, who can honestly say that they find a thrill in reading about how much they are hated? Or that they enjoy seeing that seven people “liked” the fact that you hope they disappear? Of course it’s a joke to you, the author of these infamous posts. You can sit back at home with your friends, doubled over with laughter because of your extreme levels of wittiness. You are such a riot, right? Just ask the person you made cry over their keyboard; we're sure they’ll agree. And the next day when you pass them in the hallway, we guarantee you’ll awkwardly avert your eyes
because you no longer have that computer screen to hide behind. If you're willing to post about how you wish your old best friend should drop off the face of the earth, or how your ex (whom, of course, you're still Facebook buddies with) possesses the intellectual level of a gnat, then we suggest that you better be willing – and fully prepared – to tell them face-to-face instead of wall-to-wall. People are so much different online than they are in "real life." Every time someone clicks "log in," they are granted a whole new personality. You know that girl in your Spanish class that never says anything? Or the guy who sits in front of you in algebra that seems like the sweetest person you know? Try checking out their Facebooks. You’ll more than likely come across something you never would have expected. She may be silent in school, but Facebook tells you that all she does is talk trash. He may seem sweet in math class, but he has so many dirty posts online that you don’t know what to think anymore. Facebook can change the entire way you think about a person, and the way they think about you. And it’s all because of the things people say and the way they say them. Food for thought? Confrontation. Interpretation. Humiliation. The next time you feel like sharing what’s on your mind, think twice.
25 February, 2010
Puff or pass? One of the toughest decisions out there
cares about you enough to ask you to step away from the weed. Can you honestly promise your best Editor-in-Chief friend that listens attentively to every one Oh high school, you and your peer of your stories that you’ll stop? No, you pressure have finally arrived. Many can’t. As soon as you decide to take that times we’ve all sat through D.A.R.E. and first hit, your new friends are automatiother lectures on the harmful effects of cally determined. That friend since secdrugs and had the facts pounded off at ond grade is no longer invited over every us. For instance, weed increases heart weekend because she doesn’t smoke. rates by 20 to 100 percent after you Now, the friend that you used to smoke it for up to three hours. But hey, that’s only three hours out “So what’s the of your life, right? I mean, seriously, three hours off of how many years you perfect solution? Bring plan on living seems like a fair trade for your old friends to the a fun night. It took until my senior year to actually witness the peer pressure to next party, right? No. get high. I lived my first three years of high You aren’t Miley school in an ignorant bliss. Sure, some may call me stupid for almost reaching Cyrus. You can’t have adulthood before I'd ever even heard one the best of both of my friends telling the dreaded story of actually being put in the situation in worlds.” which they had ample opportunity for a night of lofty partying. stay up talking to on the phone for hours Stupid, though, is what I'd refer to is the one who immediately kills converas the people who say yes. Sure, "stupid” sation when she approaches you and may offend some people. But what other your new “friends.” Let me tell you, that word could accurately describe lighting friend is not going to stick around for up for a buzz that’ll last for a couple long. hours while its damage can last a lifeMaybe you aren’t at that stage just time? yet. Maybe you still have the chance to I’m sorry, stupid just rolls off the straighten your life out. You won’t, nor tongue. While this won’t only mess you will you fix the countless friendships up for life, it’ll mess up everyone who you’re undoubtedly throwing in the
trash. They aren’t recyclables. You won’t get them back. Let’s face facts here: your new smoking buddy honestly couldn’t care less about what that kid said to you in the hall today or how you did on that Spanish test. So what’s the perfect solution? Bring your old friends to the next party, right? No. You aren’t Miley Cyrus. You can’t have the best of both worlds. Your old friends may try a hit; they want to stick with you. Sooner or later, however, they’re going to say no. They’re going to walk away from the party, and away from you. Then you, undeniably, will go running to them every time your life comes crashing down, and they’ll help you. They remember the good old days when you didn’t party, and the way you used to be a good friend. You’re willing to help out when you can, but their problems are never really a major concern to you anymore. Nothing is. Your life is starting to become as glazed over as your eyes. Nothing really matters as long as you keep up appearances enough so as to not let your parents find out who you really are. What would your parents, who have always blindly trusted you, really think if they could see you on a Saturday night? What would they truly think of your friends? More importantly, what do your friends think of you now? Not the ones
you party with, or smoke with; the ones who are waiting for you to get your act together. You may not know just what they’re thinking when they laugh and joke like nothing’s wrong. You really have no idea. Before, you would have known instantly that they were being fake with you; the funny thing is that now, you don’t really care. Obviously your friends aren't the only thing you don't care about. I'm sure, being the responsible teen you insist you are, you know the side effects. You know that the deep wheezing cough you're now starting to develop will follow you through the next several decades of your now shortening life. Lung cancer? Psh. It's got nothing on you. Sure, you're now three times more likely to develop it, but you knew that, right? You know everything. I am, without a doubt, positive that you know that marijuana can actually inhibit your immune cells. Yeah, those are pretty important, you know, fighting off those pesky bacteria infections, tumors, etc. You know, the usual. It's not like you could die or anything....oh wait. Never mind. Before you take that next hit, stop. Stop and think about those Saturday night sleepovers where the strongest drug you had was rocky road ice cream. No one can stop you from taking that hit. No one but you. My antidrug: my friends. What’s yours?
Hopeless romantic? Or just hopeless for cash? Liz Brunner Staff Writer
As a high school opinions writer, it is expected to write about one of the main things in high school: relationships. We all know that without high school relationships, these four years would never be the same. Everyone has their high school sweethearts; I know that I have mine. So when we go out, my first question is always, who's paying? I tend to believe that the guy should pay for a date, and I’m big on oldfashioned relationships. A girl should be treated to a dinner, movie, a night on the town; whatever floats your boat, right? I suppose that some guys have a problem with always being the one to spend their paycheck on a Friday with their girl. I could go on a rant about how the girl does everything else in a relationship: taking care of the kids, the cooking, the cleaning, things of that nature. But unless you’re living with your sweetheart, I
don’t think she’ll be cooking for you anytime soon. Even though I am a believer in the notion that a guy should pay, I'm not completely opposed to the opinion that the girls should try to chip in a little bit. And if you don’t feel like sharing the check, stay a night on the couch. Nothing is wrong with making some cookie dough and putting in Kung-Fu Panda for the night. You don’t always have to go out and make a huge date. One of my favorite memories is when we stayed home and ate a tub of Chocolate Mint ice cream while watching Comedy Central. You should just be happy that you are spending time with your sweetheart. After all, this is high school; spending time with your boyfriend or girlfriend should brighten your week. Don’t let a fight about money or who’s paying keep you from spending time with them. They are your sweetheart for a reason, don’t forget that.
Jordan Kusich, Copy/Section Editor
It seems that today's society has simply become accustomed to the man being the one to extend his wallet when a couple goes out together. Ladies, if you aren’t ready to dish out some of the dollars on the behalf of your boy’s recently slimming wallet, settle for a night in with popcorn, a few movies, and good company.
A whole week off of school
NOT: The fact that we have to make it up
As long as it has a little “i”, Apple can sell it Nolan Rider Section Editor
Ian Lint honing his skills on COD
Rosalyn Nye, Contributing Writer
COD: The new OCD
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Rosalyn Nye Staff Writer Have you noticed a lack of teenage boys around lately? That’s because many of them are at home playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. This relatively new game, referred to as Call of Duty 6 (COD) or Modern Warfare 2, has people everywhere completely obsessed. Junior Ian Lint plays six out of seven days a week for about two and a half hours every session when he’s not working. If he keeps up that schedule for a year, he will have logged 780 hours of COD. “The first day I got the game, everyone on my Xbox Live friends list was playing COD. Me, Jeremy, Fogle, and Justin stayed up and played for about 13 to15 hours straight,” Lint says. He and sophomore Zeke Stroupe said they would much rather play Live with friends. A more surprising COD player at Freedom is sophomore Kelsie Ralston. She logs in at least two hours every day. In her longest run, she played for 10 hours straight. But what makes this game so addictive? Lint says Modern Warfare 2 seems to have the best
graphics and never lags or breaks connection. He also likes the mini-game-like elements called Special Ops. Modern Warfare 2 is different because of the new features that let players customize more things and reward goals achieved during game play. Many players, like junior Justin Clagg, like to compete with friends for the highest Kill-to-Death ratio (KD). This is the amount of kills a player makes to every death received. For example, if you kill 15 people, but die 20 times, your KD ratio is -5 or .75. Clagg once achieved a KD of 25 after killing over 100 people in a single game. Lint says his KD ratio since Christmas has been between 1.0 and 1.3. He competes with Clagg and other friends to see who will have the best KD ratio before a certain time period. Modern Warfare II is the sixth game in the Call of Duty series. In the first 24 hours of its release, 4.7 million units were sold, making it the largest game launch in history. When Heath Nye has friends over, they make a beeline for the Xbox in his room. Minutes later, the sounds of shooting and player radios blast from his open doorway. When asked why they love Modern Warfare 2 so much, Nye said, “I don’t know, it’s just an all-around awesome game."
It seems that every year Apple, Inc. releases some new amazing technology that becomes a cultural symbol. I’m sure if you enjoy music even a little bit, you own some sort of iPod. You may own a Mac or Mac Book. If you don’t have any of these, I guarantee you know someone who does. Well, announced on Jan. 27, Apple released their newest piece of technology: the iPad. The iPad boasts many new features, and also shares some of the same features as the iPod Touch and iPhone. The iPad should be compatible with most Apple-run programs and applications. It should be able to be synced to iTunes, and will be the first device that runs Apple’s new iBook Store service and iBook ebook application. This new device will be wielding a 9.7-inch LED screen and will be WiFi Compatible. AT&T is also going to be backing this high-tech device with its 3G network. They claim that they will have two new plans specially made for the iPad that allow either unlimited data or 250MB of data a month for half the price of the unlimited plan. With all of the features included in this little machine, it seems to be a college student's dream.You can read books, take notes and browse the internet on the same device. Apple is already in the process of creating accessories and promises a keyboard dock that will turn this machine into a “type-ready” laptop instantly. The media has been harsh on this little guy, criticizing its lack of a camera and video recorder. It also won’t be able to run multiple applications at the same time. Others criticize, saying that the iPad is only going to be compatible with Apple Software and applications. Apple definitely has some kinks to work out for this little machine, but as always I have confidence that after its release, the iPad will be met by the public with great success. I know what you’re thinking: “When can I get my hands on this thing, and how much is it gonna cost me?” Well, my readers, it’s due to be released at the end of March and should retail for around $500-$900 depending on the memory size and specifications that you’re looking for. This amazing little piece of technology is just the first of many original progressive devices that Apple will be releasing in the future. This company has been leading the way for years now, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Kids in the hall
Don’t fear Shakespeare Shannon Shimmer Section Editor To compete, or not to compete? That is the question. The answer, in Freedom's drama classes, would definitely be to compete. Students have taken on the aged beauty and difficulty of one of the most famous writers of all time: William Shakespeare, and have done a great job with it. Freedom's student actors from the eighth grade and above, including three juniors and three seniors representing upperclassmen, made their way into the city on Feb. 17 to perform in the Pittsburgh O'Reilly theater in front of three professional judges. The students came prepared with individual monologues and two play scenes. They began preparing for the competition in December of 2009 in an effort to increase their chances of making the finals, an honor any actor would have much appreciation for. After leaving the school at 9 a.m. and stopping for a quick breakfast at Sheetz, the group traveled by bus into the city and to the theater. The students, accompanied by their teachers and acting coaches Ms. Ross, Mrs. Giammaria, and eighth grade teacher Ms. Rosenbaur, were met in the lobby by the organizer of the competition, Mr. Rob Zellers. After
Dianna Edwards, Contributing Photographer
Participants of the Shakespeare Competition giving the students another half hour to practice while other schools performed for the judges, Zellers led the students in a large theater where three judges sat with score sheets. A total of 18 Freedom students performed monologues and scenes ranging everywhere from the love story of Romeo and Juliet to the much darker works of Hamlet and Macbeth. When the acting was said and done, the students were excited to be part of the experience. "I feel like I've gained a lot of knowledge about Shakespeare and performing," says Julie Scheller, a senior who attended the competition for her fourth and final year. In celebration of a successful day of competing, the teachers and actors stopped for lunch at Eat n' Park to
relax and discuss the events of the day. No schools would be alerted about the results or who made the finals until the following day. Finals were held on Friday, Feb. 19 in the same theater with competitors from schools all throughout the city and surrounding Pittsburgh area. Finals or no finals, the competition was a success and quite the experience for Freedom students. "I want to go again next year," junior Caitlynn Milligan, an excited competitor, said. Preparations will begin again the same time next year for another shot at the finals for Freedom students. For now, Shakespeare will be retired for the year, but for Freedom's Shakespeare competition, students can happily take their bow.
Cuisine with character Jake Cruise Staff Writer Have you ever wanted to eat breakfast with your favorite characters from Beauty and the Beast? How about getting your picture taken with the ferocious Beast, or the beautiful Belle? You can make these dreams come true, and you don’t even have to go to Disney World to do it. Stop by the high school on March 6 in between the hours of 9 and 12 a.m., and attend the first ever Breakfast with Belle. All of your favorite characters, in full costume, will be there to eat breakfast and partake in many fun activities. With Nathan Novak as the Beast and Becca Fleming as Belle, all of your favorite cast members from the upcoming musical production will be attending the breakfast.
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The cost for the event will be $6 for kids and $8 for adults, with additional cost for pictures. Anyone and everyone is invited to attend the breakfast, so bring your little siblings as well as your grandparents. It could be fun for the whole family. Aside from the breakfast and the pictures, there will be manicures, tattoos, coloring, games, and many other fun activities that kids of all ages can enjoy. Most of the profits will go towards the musical, and a portion will go to paying for the breakfast. Come out to the breakfast on March 6, and don’t forget to attend our high school's production of Beauty and the Beast on March 26, 27 and 28. “It’s been difficult with the weather, but it’s going very well and we’re planning on being the best in the district,” said Mr. Kovalic. So, plan on this year being one of the best musicals in Freedom history.
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Hallowed Grounds Coffee Shop “Take off your sandals because this place where you are standing is hallowed ground.” Book of Exodus Chapter 3 Verse 5. Powerful excerpt from the bible, or a sweet name for a coffee shop? Well to David and Kathy Chabala, this is their home and life. The friendly couple owns, operates and lives above Hallowed Grounds. We all need that little “pick me up” in the morning; some of us can’t live without it. Others, like the Chabalas, live for it. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur, or just looking to get your caffeine fix, this little shop has something to please everyone. My family taught me from a young age that it is always better to support local businesses, go out of your way to help your neighbor, and buy products made in the USA if at all possible. I try to live by that. Every time I drive through New Brighton, I visit a small coffee shop on the main street named Hallowed Grounds. I go there because they are passionate about what they do, and they can brew a mean cup of coffee. I also love the local "service with a smile" attitude. “We roast our coffee fresh because it gives it a better taste. You can’t get a cup of coffee like this from Starbucks,” said Kathy. Since opening their doors in 2007, they have been serving the valley, and have recently gained national attention in Specialty Coffee Retailer Magazine. Hallowed Grounds flavors some of their own coffee, and they have 25 original flavors. They also have over 40 different coffee blends from all over the world. Whether you want regular coffee or the $40-apound Haiwain Kona, they have every kind of coffee imaginable. Did I mention they also carry over 40 kinds of lose teas?
Nolan Rider Section Editor
The story behind their new business is interesting to say the least. The couple would travel to Pittsburgh to buy coffee and talk to fellow enthusiasts. “We are inspired by the big coffee roasters in Pittsburgh,” David said. There David planned to buy a $500 stove top coffee roaster, but instead he made the decision to go big or go home. He bought a huge coffee roaster and had it installed on his porch. The couple began selling coffee out of their home, but soon that wasn’t enough. “We had a $10,000 coffee roaster on our porch and almost 1,000 pounds of coffee in our pantry,” Kathy joked. Opening a business during the crash of the stock
market is a daring move to say the least, but the Chabalas were surprised to see the support of the community. “The store was self-supporting after our first month,” said David. When the market crashed in October, they had their “best month ever”. They have seen nothing but success since. They seem to sell more bags of beans than liquid coffee. Their busiest time of year is right before Christmas. “Our busiest season of the year is December. We sell more bags of coffee and gift baskets than any other time of the year for the holiday season,” Kathy said. Hallowed Grounds almost “triples” their regular monthly sales. With their convenient location, they see a lot of business with events in New Brighton, like the car cruise and parades throughout the year. They also sell frozen coffees, which are a big hit in the summertime heat. With the addition of another roaster, the business is expanding, and now makes their own homemade peanut butter. I've seen it being made, and it both smells and tastes phenomenal. This shop has a unique blend of products, especially for a local business. As a family owned and run business, they try to support their fellow entrepreneurs by working with local businesses and selling their goods in the coffee shop. They work with Rosalyn’s Candy to make chocolate-covered coffee beans. A local pottery business custom makes Hallowed Grounds mugs. Do yourself a favor: next time you're out and about in New Brighton, stop in and get a cup of coffee. I can guarantee you will be going back. With corporate companies taking over the landscape, it's refreshing to see a local business thrive. Support your neighbors, and at the same time, get one of the best cups of coffe you'll ever taste.
The dog days of winter Winter sports at Freedom come to a close
Photos counter clockwise by: Jessica Rosenkranz, Jim Hall , Liz Brunner, and Bryan McSorley
Top Left: Boe Bonzo puts his opponent into a cradle. Bottom Left: Lindsay Kitzman competed in the butterfly at MACs. Middle: Kristi Tibolet puts up for a shot, while Marissa Ritorto goes in for the rebound. Right: Brandon Prest set up a play. Prest converted on a Freedom record 9 three pointers against South Side. Rob Deane, Marques Muron, Bryan McSorley FSHP Staff
The wrestling season has come to a close and the boys achieved their goal of a season of 7-2, a record best for the team. They worked hard and had a great season, only losing two section matches. The boys wrestled their very best and worked their hardest at each practice. The season may be over for Freedom, but the wrestlers still have sectionals and tournaments to finish. The wrestling team gave themselves higher expectations once again, with hopes that sectionals will raise their individual records. On senior night, the boys wrestled Moon and were victorious. This made a good day for Tyler Helch, because he ended his senior season with a win. Their last match was at Blackhawk, and the boys got an automatic win to end their season on a high. To celebrate their great season record, the boys all went out to CiCis. The team, win or lose, ritually goes to CiCis to just have some fun.
Fortunately, the team only loses one senior to graduation. The rest of the wrestlers will return next season young and experienced, hopefully making next year even better than this one. Some of the wrestlers have stated that each day is a great day to be alive because, "you're healthy, you're alive and you're wrestling."
Although the boys basketball team did not have the season that it had hoped for, they fought until the very end. The boys started off the season with eleven straight losses before they recorded their first on Jan. 19 against South Side. Freedom would go on to win two more games the rest of the season, including a 34-point beat down of South Side on senior night. It was a milestone night for many Bulldogs as senior guard Shane Quinn dazzled the crowd with many acrobatic layups in his last home game, but it was junior guard/forward Brandon Prest who stole the show. Prest converted on a school record nine three-
pointers, breaking the Freedom record of eight, set by Matt Frasier. The boys basketball team shows plenty of promise for next winter as the team only loses one starter and retains a plethora of young, experienced talent.
It was a year filled with growing pains for firstyear coach Ron Kelm and his girls basketball team. The lady Bulldogs, just three years removed from reaching the WPIAL playoffs, failed to win a game this season. The team struggled on offense and defense. The Bulldogs scored an average of 25.8 points per game this season and gave up an average of 57.7 points per game. Although it was not a banner year for the ladies and they are losing five seniors to graduation, there is plenty of hope for the future. Many underclassmen gained valuable playing time this season, including freshman Maddi Lewis, who filled in as a guard for junior Caitlin Frain who was down with a season-ending Continued on pg. 12
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Jocks who rock Connor Yarzebinski
Least favorite part of practice
“I always do something stupid”
Jumping up and down when he wins a game
Running suicides in 30 seconds
Big Country, Shrek, and Dar
Reason she became an athlete
High School Sports Memory
The love of the game
Prayer with team before tip-off
Spilling Gatorade on uniform, leaving embarrassing spill marks on shorts
Getting her first start for the varsity team
Least favorite part of practice
High School Sports Memory
Making it to WPIALS
Myself and my teammates
(Sophomore) Running the halls Wrestling
Wrapping up winter sports Continued from pg. 10
knee injury in January.
The 2009-2010 season for the swim team is over. Overall, it was a rough season for the bulldogs: the boys finished with a record of 0-8 while the girls posted a record of 1-7. One reason for the team’s struggle was the pool. The pool was not working properly for a number of weeks, therefore the team struggled to put together consistent practices. The main setbacks of the pool were a broken heater and a broken pump. Because these practices were few and far between, the team even had to practice at New Brighton High School for a period of time. Seven members from the team were invited to the MAC Championships. Attendees included freshman Avery Creegan, juniors Jake Cruise, Cole Leonberg, Matt McKinney, and Chris Yeager, and seniors Katie Lambert and Lindsay Kitzman. Lambert placed 8th out of 26 swimmers. Unfortunately, the team will lose six seniors from the team for next season, but there are five juniors returning for next year, so the team will still have senior leadership. Ms. Sosko said, “Even though our record wasn’t so good we still had swimmers go to MACs and worked hard all year, so I think it was a successful season.”
Do Freedom athletics get the respect that they deserve? Bryan McSorley
past couple of years have been overly impressive. The football What angers me about Freeteam hasn’t won a section champidom sports is the very thing that onship since 1978. The boys basketdrives me as an athlete and as a fan. ball team hasn't won a section Around Beaver County, Freedom championship since Bob Gallagher sports are considered a joke. I have was the coach back in 1983. Also, talked to numerous athletes from the boys basketball team is just other schools who say that when three years removed from a winless they see Freedom on their schedrecord. ules, they automatically consider it However, football and basketa win. ball aren’t the only sports in FreeMy question is: why is it that dom. If people looked at Freedom Freedom is regarded as the little sports other than those two, one brother when it comes to sports? would notice Freedom is a difficult The answer is plain and simple: school to beat and probably has people around the county only look some of the best athletes in the at the mainstream sports such as county. To start, the Freedom girls football and basketball. To put it track team has been nothing short of politely, neither the football team dominant the last three years. In nor the basketball teams over the fact, last year’s team has recently Sports Editor
been fitted for their WPIAL championship rings. Also in the past twelve months, the baseball, boys soccer, boys track, and girls track teams have all claimed section titles. Not many schools get to say that about their sports programs. It’s a shame that no matter how good our sports are here at Freedom, they will never get the respect that they deserve. There is only one thing for the athletes to do in order to gain respect, and that is to use the disrespect as motivation. Use the fact that we are already considered defeated before the game starts as an advantage. That way, teams from other schools will have to scratch out that “W” that they put on the schedules and put an “L” in its place.
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Cheerleading: Sport or not? More than just, “go team go!” Ashlynd Robb Staff Writer Some of you say cheerleading isn’t a sport. Well, cheerleading is a sport, whether it is competitive or not. Cheerleaders do just as much work as the teams they’re cheering for. The girls have to try out; you’re not automatically on the squad like any normal team. Cheerleading takes time and a lot of effort: it is something you have to want and work for. Mrs. Giammaria, the wrestlerette sponsor, said, “Cheerleading is a sport. You have to go through conditioning, and you have to be in good shape.” When you cheer, you do multiple different things, such as stunts, mounts, and even throwing a girl in the air. Also, many girls tumble, which takes a lot of strength and agility. Every squad has a daily workout routine, from stretching and warm-up stunts to lifting. Also, cheerleading squads dance, which takes coordination and rhythm. Cheerleaders cheer alongside the football team that only won two games, the basketball team that only won three, and the wrestling team that won seven matches. And after all of
that, they don’t give up on them. They are constantly moving around. It’s a lot more than “go team go”. They’re constantly going: very rarely do the girls stop. You never see a football player throwing a girl in a high basket-toss or doing a back handspring. Think about it: it takes experience to be a good cheerleader. It’s not like football, where even though it's your first year on the team, you're made first string lineman simply because you're big enough. In every sport you have injuries, and cheerleaders do too; it’s not just chanting and clapping. Throwing a girl in the air is hard work; you have to always make sure you are going to catch them or else someone could get seriously hurt. It’s just like a football player catching a ball, a basketball player making a basket, or a wrestler pinning an opponent. It takes time and training to become good in any sport. In cheerleading, however, our training is to lift not only weights, but people too. They have dedicated sponsors, who make sure they’re the best they can be. So ask yourself now, is cheerleading a sport?
That’s a negative not a sport. I feel that competitive cheerleading is a sport because you’re Staff Writer Is Freedom cheerleading a being judged and scored on your sport? Excuse me while I comabilities. However, if you’re pose myself and stop laughing. cheering because someone else No, I am not a chauvinist. Oh scored, it just can’t be seen as a wait, maybe I am. Now before sport. you girls completely jump down I understand the fact that my throat after reading this, let you’re putting time and effort me explain myself. into this, but you can’t be cheerCheerleading is not a sport ing competitively for the football here at Freedom because you do team, or any other team for that not compete in any competition. matter. Sports are about being According to dictioncompetitive and trying to do betary.com, a sport is “an athletic ter than someone else; you just activity requiring skill or physical can’t do that cheering here at prowess and often of a competi- Freedom. tive nature, as racing, baseball, I give credit to cheerleaders tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, that actually take the initiative to boxing, hunting, and fishing.” In go out and do the crazy and order to prove my point, I asked skilled stunts at a competition, random people of all walks of but for the ones that try out just life, even the cheerleaders them- to say she was a cheerleader in selves, what their opinion was. high school, I’m sorry – I just The results were that 96 per- can't understand why or how you cent of the students surveyed said are an athlete. that Freedom cheerleading was