Page 1

Featured on page 4: How caffeine drives the average person

“Like” us on Facebook: Follow us on Instagram: @fhspress


F R E E D O M A R E A H I G H S C H O O L’ S S T U D E N T N E W S PA P E R NOVEMBER 26, 2019

Follow us on Twitter: @FHSPress Subscribe to our YouTube channel: FHSPressSocialMedia

1 1 9 0 B U L L D O G D R I V E, F R E E D O M , PA @FHSPRESS

More than 2,500 local citizens vote in November election CADE SKUSE

Co-Editor-in-Chief, FHS Press Accountant


Business Manager, News Editor

Of the 7,059 citizens registered to vote in Freedom, Conway and New Sewickley, only 2,520 people showed up to vote in the election on Nov. 5. While there may not have been any federal positions up for vote, there were plenty of local offices that needed to be filled. Freedom has one voting location, Conway has two and New Sewickley has three. All of the locations faced around the same voter turnout, between 29 percent and 45 percent. Freedom had the lowest turnout at 251 of 840 potential voters showing up and the second Conway poll place had the highest turnout of 386 of 859 potential voters. Even though so many are registered to vote, every poll place still sees under 50 percent turnout. In terms of straight party voters, around 26 percent of voters opted to

vote only for one party. In Conway, 63 voted straight Democrat and 50 straight Republican. In Freedom, 37 voted straight Democrat and 25 went straight Republican. In New Sewickley, 176 chose straight Democrat and 315 went straight Republican. For elections, in the race for the open school board positions, candidates Emily Evans, Gerald S. Inman III, Michelle Micija, Lynn Patsiga, Mary Ann Petcovic and Leslie Rizzi all ran for five open positions on the school board. Candidate Sharon Geibel also ran for the open two-year seat, with no opposition. Due to board member Julia Leindecker not running for another term and Micija being appointed to a vacant seat, five four-year seats were open. In the end, Evans, Inman, Patsiga, Petcovic and Rizzi all earned a place on the school board with four-year seats and Geibel with a two-year seat. Micija was the only candidate not to earn a place on the board. The new and returning members will begin their terms on Dec. 5 during the annual reorganization meeting, where they will be inaugurated.

Conway and Freedom also had elections for people on the borough council, along with New Sewickley having an election for the township supervisor. In Conway, candidates Joseph Bohach, Doug Falk, David P. Matthews and Dave Trombetto all ran to be members of the Conway Council for four years. Since there were four

Cole Skuse/FHS Press

positions open, each of the candidates automatically earned a spot on the council. In Freedom, candidates Louis Armstrong, James Mark Forrest, Dan Baker and William Smith all ran for spots on the Freedom Council for four-year seats. Like the Conway

See ELECTIONS page 12

Senior students start ASL Club with Mrs. English HALLIE SPIELMAN Webmaster

ASL stands for American Sign Language and without it, approximately half a million people across the United States and Canada would have issues communicating with other people. With half a million people relying on ASL to communicate, Freedom students decided to broaden their knowledge. To clarify, ASL is not a spoken language. It is, in fact, a language spoken by specific hand movements that either forms a series of letters to spell out a word or form a singular phrase. Sign language can be taught to anyone who is interested. However, it is vital for the deaf, sometimes the hard-of-hearing and their families to learn so that they can communicate with each other. An interest in ASL is what led to the creation of an ASL Club in Freedom. The club started as a way for seniors to work on an optional part of the senior project which

Hallie Spielman/FHS Press

American Sign Language allows for multiple forms of communication. Using ASL, people can either spell out words or use phrases or shortened words for simple communication. allows students to “improve upon senior learn ASL in order to graduate themselves” by learning something with distinction. With time, more new. With documentation, the seniors students joined and the group became could graduate with distinction. an unofficial club. The club was started to help one High school teacher April English

has an associate’s degree in sign language interpreting and has a background in working with deaf high school students as an interpreter. The language has its own syntax and semantics which makes it an official language of its own. English mentions that high schools and colleges are accepting ASL as foreign language credit and hopes that maybe one day Freedom will offer ASL as a foreign language. “Deaf people are very appreciative of hearing people that have taken the time to learn their language. I hope that the interest in ASL will increase,” English said. The interest in ASL means that these students are opening up new lines of communication for people all over the United States. Unlike with the English language, ASL is not a universal language but it is still important to give people the chance to communicate with others.

FHS Press


Rocky roads

NOVEMBER 26, 2019

Disrepaired roads within district causing problems SARAH LEVENSON Features Editor

Roads connect every community. When they are broken or damaged, however, the connection between the people in a certain community is also damaged. A weakened road is really just a path filled with problems and complications, and it affects the safety of those who drive it. All over the Pittsburgh area, and especially within the three municipalities that make up this school district, roads are becoming increasingly bad and unsafe. Any road that has excessive amounts of large potholes, uneven pavement, plants growing up through the pavement and many more issues, falls under the category of an unsafe roadway. Just last month on Oct. 28, a Port Authority bus fell into a sinkhole on 10th Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. Only one person sustained injuries, and although they were minor, the situation still caused people issues and put them in danger. The cause of the sinkhole was not confirmed, but city officials suspect that it is due to the age of the roads throughout the city. Western Pennsylvania is known to have mines and vaults hidden underneath many of its older developments, which is likely how this particular sinkhole formed.

Sarah Levenson/FHS Press

Similar clusters of potholes, like this one found on Foote Street in Conway, can be seen all over other roads in the area and the numerous bad roads throughout the district. Like the event in Pittsburgh, Freedom Road is one severe a number of the roads within the example of a dangerous road that is towns that form Freedom Area seen around the district. Construction School District are aged, deteriorat- has been planned out and done on ing and structurally built incorrectly. this road for multiple years now, with However, due to financial restrictions, most of it being completed at this poor weather, time, building plan point. However, a stretch of the road faults and more, our communities are in New Sewickley Township known failing to solve these issues and put as Freedom Crider Road is not newly the minds of those who drive these reconstructed and is polluted with roads at ease. dangerous curves and bumps. There



Business Manager, News Editor School board members recognized for years of service on school board School board members Lorraine Rocco, Mary Ann Petcovic and Gerald S. Inman III were recognized at the Nov. 11 School Board meeting for their years of service to the school district. Rocco has served 40 years, Petcovic 36 years and Inman 24 years. Third grade to implement new math teaching system To assist with the learning of math, the third grade teaching staff is looking to implement a new system of teaching which will see students placed in groups depending on their proficiency based on how they perform on benchmarks.This system aims to help students who need it and challenge students who already have a firm understanding of basic concepts. Student Advisory Council looks to purchase, donate new water fountain The Student Advisory Council is buying a new water fountain for the high school that with be able to fill up water bottles. The new water fountain will be located in the student center and will replace one of the water fountains already there.

Four band students named to PMEA district 5 Honors Band On Tuesday, Nov. 12, six Freedom students traveled to Westiminister college to audition for PMEA district 5 Honors Band. These were seniors Mason Hedge, Cole Skuse and Cade Skuse and juniors Marissa Lammie, Ashley Imhoff and Alex Bearer. Of those, Mason Hedge placed second for percussion, Cole Skuse placed fifth for trombone, Imhoff placed 19th for clarinet and Bearer placed eighth for tuba. Students of the Month This month’s Student of the Month was awarded by the Business and Technology Department. 12th Grade Paige Severin Jonathan DeMar 11th Grade Sarah Yeck Ashton Spiegel 10th Grade Kahli Coe Joshua Pail 9th Grade Annaray Hatt Connor Tavern

have been a few occurrences of tractortrailers going into and over guardrails within the parts of the road that are not straightened-out. Older roads that are not being structurally rebuilt, such as the entirety of Freedom Road, are already causing risks for drivers. The hill below the school campus on Harvey Run Road is also what is considered a bad road. Along with the fact that it is a very windy road, potholes trace its edges. When driving up the hill, a line of potholes and divots is seen going up the right side of the lane and continues after turning right towards school grounds. These holes are forcing people to swerve over the line a bit, and out into the left lane. This becomes extremely dangerous when two cars are making a bend at the same time. Students are noticing this issue and are feeling unsafe and insecure about driving down certain roads. “When driving, drivers must refrain from swerving to miss potholes, deer, or other objects on the road,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Mott. “If students or any motorist feels that a road is unsafe, they should reach out to the municipality or PennDot to inform them of their concerns.” All of these issues regarding bad roads are also affecting our school

See ROADS page 12


FHS Press

The graduation situation


Where do students plan on going after graduating from Freedom? LEAH McNEAR

Co-Distribution Director

The seniors at Freedom Area High School have a multitude of paths to choose from as they embark on a journey into the rest of their lives after graduation. Some will further their education at a college or university, while others join the workforce, military or attend a trade school. The Graduation Project has options catering to whichever choice a student makes in regards to their future. There’s a substantial amount of pressure for these seniors to sort out the next portion of their lifespan before graduation. The differences on paper, between work-bound and college-bound students, as far as project requirements go, is that work bound seniors require two job shadows instead of one. The college-bound seniors also have to tour two college campuses and attend a financial aid meeting. Preparation for the next step after graduating can be challenging for everyone. If a student is undecided, it's hard to prepare without any idea of what they want to pursue. The guidance department does their best to meet with every senior to discuss

their future plans. In the past, it was normal to drop out of school and get a job at a fairly young age. At some point, the culture shifted and finishing high school and going to college was well respected. People could secure higher-paying jobs that way. With more trades being in demand though, a bachelor's degree doesn’t have the same edge it once did in the job market. While this is true, some people can still have an older mindset that not attending college could make the student look bad, or make one appear less intelligent. This could possibly lead to discouragement or disappointment in their dream career. It’s important to note that Freedom’s graduation requirements have changed to keep up with the different circumstances for individuals. There’s been quite a bit of fluctuation over the past few years in what was acceptable for a senior project. Those situations helped lead to the development of this year’s project. Depending on the path they chose reactions from the people around them differed. “I’ve known since freshman year that I wanted to join the military,” senior Leigha Stewart said.

Leah McNear/FHS Press

The pie-chart above shows the percentage of seniors' future plans after graduation for the class of 2020. Stewart plans to join the Air Force Pharmaceutical Science following after graduating. his graduation. He’s completing the “My friends weren’t into the idea, standard college option, much like the but my family was really supportive,” majority of his peers. Stewart said. “My mom also went to college so For her senior project she will be everyone in my family has supported doing the workforce option, except me,” Black said. she’ll be job shadowing at a military No matter which path a senior base through a family friend. chooses their project is completed with “I’ve always known I wanted to a similar amount of hard work. With go to college after high school,” senior more students having different career Hunter Black said. options there might even be room for Black plans to major in further adaptation to the project.

Recent transformations shape how classrooms function MASON HEDGE

Managing Editor, Co-Distribution Director

In recent years, Freedom Area High School has been through a lot of changes in staff members. With many of these changes taking place at the beginning of the year, expectations were high. But how have these classrooms changed since then? Roughly two years ago, the school gained a new teacher for special education. That person is life skills teacher April English. Before making changes to the courses, the classroom got its own change to enhance the learning experience students would receive. “The students and I did a lot of cleaning,” English said. “I wanted them to have an active role in making their classroom their own. We rearranged and brought in new furniture to make our classroom feel more at home. We made some changes with lighting too. We added covers to the overhead lights to filter the bright lights.” Not only was the classroom renovated, but so was the way the students were learning about the life skills that they need. They participate

Mason Hedge/FHS Press

Room 116, the Life Skills classroom, is furnished with couches, high chairs and lighting covers to enhance the classroom experience for the students. in the Life Skills and Practical of jobs in which the students rotate Assessment Exploration System through. With this valuable class, the (PAES) Lab classes. These classes students learn important job skills have stayed similar to ones in the such as working well with co-workers, past, but English decided to add her reporting to work on time, completing own take on them. jobs correctly and efficiently,” English “In the life skills class, the said. students learn social skills, learn to The life skills class wasn’t the only cook and clean. This is where Cafe 116 one to undergo changes. After former happens! The students have their own communication teacher Bradley coffee shop in which they take and fill Baldwin left Freedom at the end of last orders and deliver to the teachers. In school year, communications teacher the PAES Lab class, the students go Emily Skirtich was the one to take to work! They punch in a time clock his place. Since the beginning of the and complete their jobs for the day. year, she also made some changes to There are five different categories the Communications class curriculum

and to her classroom itself. “I have made some small changes thus far to make the class more interactive. My students have presented 5 times so far this year, which I hope prepares them for future opportunities to speak in public and in front of the class. They have impressed me with their creativity and reasoning in their persuasive speeches and filmed presentations, so I am eager to see how they continue to showcase their learning in the months ahead. I am very proud of them for their hard work this first quarter,” Skirtich said. Other notable changes have been made at the high school. English teacher Heather Giammaria had her room completely remodeled and renovated. The risers in her room were removed along with the wooden panels on the walls. This renovation enhanced the learning of students and create a more pleasant working environment for all. Change usually doesn’t happen right from the beginning. It takes a while for people to start noticing differences in the classroom. All in all, these changes are what shapes the future of Freedom, and these changes are sure to have a positive effect on



Coffee craze

FHS Press

NOVEMBER 26, 2019

Average Americans are dependent on coffee on a daily basis JESSICA MAJORS

Asst. Sports Editor

With over 400 million cups of coffee being consumed every day in the United States, are people becoming too dependent on coffee? On a daily basis, 64% of Americans consume at least three cups of coffee, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), throughout their day. While coffee has been proven to not be addictive to humans, it is becoming a source most humans lean towards to help them focus throughout their day. When asked on a scale of one to ten, how much do you rely on coffee to get you through the whole day, junior Emily Ostrowski said, “A solid 10/10. Without coffee, I would not be able to get out the door on time.” On the other hand, sophomore Emily Frashure said, “I rely on coffee seven out of ten times.” Coffee is a source most teenagers, from the age of thirteen to eighteen, lean towards to help them focus throughout their daily tasks including the most stressful, eight-hour school day. “I always bring coffee with me to school, as it helps me get through my first block,” Ostrowski said. Researchers have said around 73% of American teens consume some sort of caffeine throughout their day, breaking down to 40% that

Jessica Majors/FHS Press

Starbucks, one of the biggest coffee house chains worldwide, is a place many depend on to help them get throughout their day. consume coffee and the other 33% explained how she began to cut back that come from either a huge range on the amount of coffee she consumed of sodas or types of energy drinks. and then following that, began While doctors are not sure to feel extremely tired and found how much is too much to consume it hard to focus in the classroom. when it comes to coffee on a daily Both Frashure and Ostrowski basis, they feel worried when explained how they have experienced the side effects begin to erupt. extreme headaches from not consumSome side effects of coffee ing coffee. Other side effects included occur from drinking too much, but moodiness and feeling not much like side effects mainly come when you themselves when they cut back on have a withdraw from the average the amount of coffee they consumed. amount of coffee intake on a daily Ostrowski also explained, that if basis. Sophomore Alexis Rinere she would forget to grab coffee one

day then she would be a total wreck. Dr. Roger Barkin, a doctor at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, said some side effects include, “...increased anxiety, increased nervousness and potentially significant sleep problems.” Anxiety is commonly found in high school students, with about 25% of teenagers found to have an anxiety disorder. With the amount of coffee teenagers are consuming in this generation, doctors believe it is aggravating symptoms of bad anxiety. When side effects begin to kick in from withdraw, it is too late to start worrying. These effects are heartwrenching and are extreme issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible because they can extend for many years and even sometimes last a lifetime. Researchers are beginning to worry that these effects are what is pushing teenagers and average Americans to continue to drink the same amount of coffee each and every day. They feel like the effects are so bad that if they just continue to drink then the effects will go away and they will begin to feel “normal” again. Average Americans are relying on coffee throughout their entire day and are becoming far too dependent on this supposedly non-addictive drink.

Fashion forward

Fashion has evolved over the years MADISON SNAVELY

Editor-in-Chief,, Social Media Director An article of clothing can consist of several different fabrics along with materials to create it. Different clothing choices can make up a person and allow them to express themselves better through their own personal style. As trends and history has changed throughout the years, so has fashion. It has evolved, and through meticulous decisions, fashion will continue to change and grow with individuals. Starting with the 1900s, dress bustles became very popular. Not only did they contribute fullness to the dress, they also supported the overall drapery of the dress. Bustles are still used in current times when it comes to supporting prom dresses, homecoming dresses and other such formal attire. Adding gloves to any outfit also added flare to one’s overall appeal. Moving forward 10 years, French designer Paul Poiret created the jupe culotte, which allowed fashion to extend into more vibrant colors and loser silhouette, comparing to the previous Edwardian style. Poiret also invented another well-known trend called the lampshade tunic. The outfit includes a wire hoop, allowing a circular shape

at the bottom. “I think that with the change in fashion trends over the years, or even throughout this past year, I've become more adventurous with what I wear and that I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone a lot,” junior Madison Lewis said. In the 1920s, the flapper dress became the hit fashion choice, which included decorative beads, fringe, embellishments and other exciting elements to demonstrate the thrill of the decade. Women wanted to feel more empowered during this time frame, so bobbed haircuts were also a key-component. Every woman also owned a cloche hat in their wardrobe due to its extreme popularity. The 1930s were even more extravagant when evening gowns and fur stoles became the new trend, as they created a more desirable, fancy aurora. However, this quickly died down in the 1940s when women started to wear boiler suits in support of WWII. Not only were these suits created entirely out of denim, they also empowered women and proved that their style choices don’t need to be as restricting. “When I was younger I really didn’t follow fashion trends but as I got older and got into social media I saw a lot of influencers and pictures on Pinterest and tried to mimic their

Different fashion choices have not only affected displayed trends in past years, but also in current times. Some previous fashion choices that are present in today’s trends include bell-bottoms and scrunchies. outfits, especially if I saw a similar voluminous skirt that took over look repeated multiple times or boutiques all over the world. During worn by somebody I admired,” senior the 1950s, fashion added flare as Elizabeth Carcaise said. “I also feel most women enjoyed accessorizing like a lot of the stores I shop at, Forever their outfits with pearl jewelry, most 21 for example, always had what’s on commonly pearl necklaces, and a trend, so it’s almost hard not to follow garnished peter pan collar. Later in the current fashion trend.” the 1960s, the pillbox hat became a The 1940s took another turn of staple piece in Jacqueline Kennedy’s the fashion industry when Christian outfits, that soon became the latest Dior launched a new collection that trend. highlighted a new silhouette. The “Obviously fashion trends aren’t silhouette included distinct shoulders, an accentuated waistline and a large, See FASHION page 5

NOVEMBER 26, 2019

Make it stick

FHS Press


Memory’s largest attribute is giving what you are learning meaning JALYNN FALK Staff Writer

In everyday lives, it’s apparent that many can remember every lyric to each song in their favorite album. However, when children get into the classroom, there are students who can’t remember the vocabulary words for their test and workers who can’t ever remember the code to get into the breakroom. Memory capability can completely shape the way we go about educating students in school systems and even in the workplace. By making what people don’t want to learn more enjoyable, it is more likely that they will remember what it is that they are trying to learn. ccording to AP Psychology teacher Maria Porter, memory is a threestep process in which people have to code, store and retrieve. The biggest part of being able to go through the process of memory is giving a memory meaning. People must make a connection to a memory so that they can still be able to keep it in their minds and retrieve it at a point later in time. The brain can only remember a limited number of information, therefore creating memories that are full of detail will help that memory stick. Sound and repetition are two

Mason Hedge/FHS Press

Many people struggle to remember the things that aren’t as important to them, causing them to come up with unique ways to trigger memory. One such way is by tying a piece of string around one of their fingers. ways that help bits of information meaning which is crucial for memory. like song lyrics stay in your memory. Teaching a classroom full of Porter mentions that even though students that may or may not be one may not like a song, the sound interested in certain subjects can and repetition helps give the song be challenging for teachers. When

there are assignments that are aimed towards helping students remember terms they may need to know on a test or even helping them remember definitions for a quiz, it is difficult to make the main ideas stick for students that may not want to spend time learning about that specific subject. “As a teacher, this is something that we all struggle with on a daily basis. One of the best ways to help someone commit something to memory that they may not be that interested in is through personal connection,” Porter said. Classroom discussion is one of the most important parts of helping form these connections for students. By making analogies of common topics in notes and using actual students as examples in the classroom, students can associate a topic with a meaning that is true to them. Rather than simply writing words off of a Powerpoint, students are able to engage in the subject that they are learning. “Memory is what you make it. Memory is what gives the world around you meaning, whether that is personal, professional of anything in between, memory is what allows you to be you and to interact and have purpose,” Porter said.

FASHION (From page 4) going to be trends without popular influencers wearing and promoting them. So with what is put out there I pick and choose what I Iike and what I can easily buy,” junior Allyson Charlovich said. “Seeing these influencers wear different types of clothing gives me lots of different ideas.” Fashion statements that most affected recent time’s trends started back in the 1970s when bell-bottoms and platform heels were introduced. These fashion statements emphasized the importance of disco at the time,

and how fashion can either be dressed up or dressed down. In the 1980s, shoulder pads and leather jackets came into play, especially after Madonna released her 1986 music video for her song “Papa Don’t Preach,” that brought punk styles mainstream. It also brought power dressing, as women wore more blazers to bring a classic professional appearance. The 1990s showed how plaid sets can look chic on anyone, and how an all plaid matching blazer and skirt combination was a must-have. The 2000s arrived as velour tracksuits

came on the rise and celebrities also wore trucker hats. These fashion choices although simple, were sold in boutiques all around the world. Most recently, in the 2010s, the most high demand fashion accessory became tiny sunglasses, that highlighted a more matrix-style. As most commonly found in recent fashion as well, “dad sneakers” including brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fila and Adidas took over the fashion industry, creating a more simplistic, comfortable fashion statement. Over the years, fashion is

constantly evolving, and changing the way people dress. As different trends come along and are followed, bits and pieces of past trends start to come into play. The next time a person slides their scrunchie onto their wrist while opening their tiny sunglasses, they will think about how past style has affected their current style.

FHS Press



No more room at the kids’ table

Familial bias too often shapes, oppresses youth ideals STAFF EDITORIAL

As Thanksgiving rolls around every year, relatives from far away often come together for a feast. A separate table is set for the children to sit at, separate from the adults. As the night rolls on, arguments break at the adult table; whether it’s about a recent divorce or politics, loaded words get exchanged. Opinions fill the room, and that includes the ears of the children. What are the children expected to take away from this? When children are growing up, parents are one of the biggest influencers on their children’s lives. Parents share their wisdom, ignorance and everything in between with their children, originating from expressing their own opinions and what they expose to their children. Parents find themselves solely responsible for their offspring’s upbringing, but does that mean they should also be solely responsible for their child’s opinions? No. Parents should be held accountable for exposing their children to a variety of opinions and experiences so their children can become individuals in thoughts and actions. The events that people face across the world shape everyone into individuals. Whether people realize it or not, these events and situations shape thoughts, words and actions. These events are really what put opinions to the test. Would someone who is pro-life and faces an accidental

pregnancy be willing to get an abortion? Would a child still love their parents if they got kicked out of the house? Would a high schooler still be willing to drink after alcohol poisoning claims a friend’s life? Previously held beliefs can become compromised when a life-altering event suddenly enters daily routine. Without events like this happening, how is one supposed to know what they should believe in? The answer is experience is necessary to shape an individual's thoughts and actions; shielding and ignorance damages children’s ability to think for themselves. Without encouragement to seek or share differing ideas, parents unknowingly create an ideological barrier between their children and



Managing Editor



News Editor


Managing Editor,



LEANNAH MESSENGER Contributing Writer

Editorial Editor





Distribution Directors

Business Manager

Photo Editor


Asst. Features Editor

Asst. Sports Editor




Features Editor

Sports Editor

Staff Writers

themselves. When a parent expresses one set of opinions and nothing else and their children align themselves with different ideals, difficulties can arise. When differing opinions are met with hostility, children begin to hide other ideas their parents might deem “wrong.” Arguments seen at family gatherings can further advance this idea that differences bring discord. By not encouraging open conversation of personal thought, parents limit the relation they have with their child. Topics like religion and politics are ignored in normal dinner table discussions. By having an uncharged discussion about these topics, parents can assist in the formation of these opinions in their child. Instead they are ignored and discourse tends to

follow if these “forbidden” topics are brought up. But in the end, how does an individual know if the thoughts and ideals they posses really hold true? The answer to that question lies in argument, practice and censoring. When engaged in an argument, true beliefs will always be argued no matter what a person believes. If they find their case faltering, then there is a possibility they don’t truly hold that opinion or they don’t have enough knowledge on the topic. The underlying problem with argument, though, is that when two people truly believe two different things, they will be unyielding to the other, resulting in wasted words. Practice allows people to see the outcome of their beliefs. Outcomes help people determine if they are willing to support their beliefs. Censorship brings people to action based on someone quieting them and the censored group refusing to be silenced. When holding personal beliefs, one should be willing to defend their ideals even when oppressed. Though parents and events shape daily lives, it’s still important for people to self-educate on topics. Parents allow for certain ideas and topics to be presented but still contain bias. Experiences aren’t always guaranteed to occur. Open education of topics is the best way for youth to learn and develop into individuals that will one day occupy the same role as their parents did while encourages the development of their children.

Copy Editors

JoANN SHARPLESS Contributing Artist


Faculty Adviser

EDITORIAL POLICIES: FHS Press is the official student newspaper serving students and staff at 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 staff editorial is written based on the majority opinion of the student editorial board. The newspaper accepts and strives to publish signed letters to the editor under 250 words, which can be sent to To submit comments, questions, or press releases, or to purchase advertising in the paper, email, or contact Mr. Fitzpatrick in Room 226.

NOVEMBER 26, 2019

FHS Press

Memes, schemes and their overarching themes

Memes are not beneficial to society and Memes bring positivity all around the can lead to misinformation world In addition, memes can been raised to plant trees in order to CADE SKUSE

Co-Editor-in-Chief, FHS Press Accountant Memes: We all know them. We all love them. They are constantly evolving in many ways, such as sharing new messages, coming up with new formats and spreading positivity. Memes are an integral part of society and their existence is overall a benefit. The word “meme” was first coined by Richard Dawkins in his book “The Selfish Gene,” which was published in 1976. He described a meme as a parallel to biological genes, in the sense that they carry information, are replicated and are transmitted from one person to another. Memes also have the ability to evolve, undergo the process of natural selection and mutate at random, just like genes do. Dawkins brands internet memes as a different type of meme. Since they are altered by individuals, they are not randomly mutating. Hence, they are fundamentally different, even though they share a lot of similarities with the original concept of memes. Memes have become a part of society and have impacted it in huge ways. Northwestern University in Illinois has even started offering a class that explores how memes and other digital formats such as GIFs have shaped society today. Also, memes have helped spread awareness about very serious issues in a light-hearted way. One example of this is through the recent #teamtrees movement, which aims to raise $20 million to plant 20 million trees by the end of 2019. Many memes were spread to raise awareness to the cause and as of Nov. 18, $15.6 million has

combat global warming. Memes also help people relate to others. People share memes because they are interested in a subject and want to share it with others who hold the same values as them. “I look at memes because it helps me think about a topic. For example, I look at Cross Country memes because it gets me through the pain of Cross Country,” freshman Leannah Messenger said. The relatability aspect of memes is the largest aspect of why they thrive. The subjects resonate with people and give them a sense of belonging that humans require. They help us bond with other people that are interested in the same subjects. Memes aren’t just an English phenomenon, but rather a worldwide phenomenon. In data collected by SwiftKey, a virtual keyboard app, it found that the word “meme” was one of the most commonly used English words in other languages. It ranked high in languages such as French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian. Memes allow people to properly express their creativity. Memes can contain anything from a story to a quip to just a funny caption for a picture. Memes let people use a variety of formats and templates to express their ideas and stories to make others laugh and bring them joy. Memes have made a large impact on society and have been largely beneficial. Memes are constantly changing and evolving and new formats are constantly being created for people to spread their ideas. They are just images meant to spread jokes and laughter around the world and nothing more.


Co-Editor-in-Chief, Photo/Design Editor Memes: we all know them. We all hate them. People all around the world view or even create memes every day. However, are they truly beneficial to society? As people scroll through their social media platforms, there is no doubt that they will come across a meme. Memes can be very entertaining and make you laugh, but do you truly know what the meme is about? For example, a social media user sees a meme and thinks it’s very entertaining. However, they’re not quite sure what it’s talking about. Most likely they will continue scrolling and find another to laugh at, but they won’t actually find out what the meme is about. Some memes are about events that happen in real life or events that affect the community around us. Nevertheless, the viewer will still scroll past with no research. Researching these memes could be very beneficial to anyone because it brings them closer to the community. It allows them to understand what is happening around them. With a little bit of research, anyone can learn new things every day. Memes can also distract people from the real world. This essentially means that when one views a meme about a problem in our society, they’ll laugh and move on with their life, not doing anything to help fix this problem. One can help promote awareness for this problem instead of laughing at a meme about the problem and doing nothing about it. Without these sort of memes, people could actually be focused on these real problems and take action.


be offensive. Yes, people may enjoy seeing these memes, but are they truly necessary to have? If they are created by someone, that meme can be detrimental to them. As funny as this sounds, creating offensive memes can affect your future. In 2017, Harvard rescinded admissions offers to at least 10 students of the class of 2021. These students created a private Facebook group and sent offensive memes through this chat. Once this was brought to the Harvard admissions office, they made the final decision to rescind their offer of admission to these students. According to, “After discovering the existence and contents of the chat, Harvard administrators revoked admissions offers to at least ten participants in mid-April, according to several members of the group.” These students’ lives were tremendously affected by a simple meme group chat. If memes were truly beneficial to people, why would they have been rejected from college? Also, offensive memes can really affect one’s well-being. They can offend someone and possibly make them feel bad about themselves. Memes should bring people up and make them laugh, not ridicule someone. Anyone should feel comfortable viewing memes and not having to worry if they will be offended by it. Depending on the type of meme you see they might be funny, but remember to look further into it. This meme could hold information about your community or might be talking about a real world problem. Without doing these few things when viewing a meme, they are not beneficial to society.

FHS Press


Whose job is it anyways?

NOVEMBER 26, 2019

What defines the line between what parents teach, what schools teach? MARISSA LAMMIE Staff Writer

Home Economics is a course that teaches students basic skills such as cooking, baking, sewing and doing laundry. Driver’s Education guide students through the basics of driving. Many schools still offer these courses. Manners, as well as responsibilities, are taught in schools and homes, but whose responsibility is it to teach children about these matters? Schools teach many subjects that range from math and English to foreign languages. But where do we draw the line for the courses that are taught in schools? Every state requires specific courses such as Biology, Algebra and Communications. These subjects are taught in each and every single school in that state. With a fewer amount of teachers, it can be hard to fill those teaching positions. On top of the core classes offered by schools, most schools offer electives that teach students life skills that they will need as they transition into adulthood after their high school years. The elective courses that come to mind are Home Economics, Driver’s education or financial literacy classes. This will allow students to have the opportunity to learn necessary life skills that they are not getting at home. Schools should provide these courses

or some form of an opportunity to provide students with these skills. Schools are also expected to teach students about being responsible and having manners. However, more than half the year is spent at home. If parents are not maintaining the same standards, then students will not be maintaining the upkeep of these lessons. Schools have very strict policies when it comes to manners and

responsibilities that a student must follow. For example, students must complete their homework as well as be respectful. If they fail to do so, there can be consequences such as detention, suspension or expulsion. But when students leave high school it is extremely unlikely that their consequences will be the same. If they fail to uphold their responsibilities at home, their punishment will not be taken to the extreme level that school

opportunities — especially on social media —millenials are comparing themselves to others. This leads to a negative body image, and ultimately a negative outlook on themselves. This is the daily mindset that so many people are struggling with. Social media has set up a box that we, as teens, are expected to fit into; you need to be this pretty, wear these things, or you should weigh this much. Most of the time this box was set up by the most popular, powerful or important people, which are basically the celebrities you see as you scroll through your daily feed. While focusing on fitting yourself into this box, you have a negative body image. Real, positive body image is when you are proud of yourself, how you look and you don’t care what other people

think about you. With this metaphorical box that teens are relying on to tell them who they should be, they are not being themselves or having a positive body image. So how can we fix this? Since this is happening in daily lives, teens are constantly surrounded by this mindset of the box. In order to have a better body image, people need to limit themselves on social media websites that portray this mindset. You don't have to like every picture that person took. You don’t have to look like how that person looks. You definitely don’t have to change yourself so that you look like that person. Here’s where self-esteem steps in. Self-esteem is confidence in one’s own worth or abilities, or self-respect; when dealing with self-image, you

does. Parents should be the ones teaching and guiding their children to have proper manners, as well as being responsible and respectful of others. Parents are with children from the time they are born and at least until they turn 18. Therefore they are with their children for most of their early lives. While schools should be striving to maintain and enforce these manners, it is still the parents’ job to start these skills at a young age to get them used to these manners. Schools give students responsibilities, but parents should be giving their children more and more to be accountable for as they get older. The only way children are going to learn about being responsible is if they are held accountable for things within their home life as well as their school life, such as homework. However, parents/guardians have to initiate that start. Parents/guardians should be teaching and making an effort to have manners and responsibilities taught within their households. Schools should be striving to make basic life skills a course or seminar to help students before their graduation day comes.

Social media creates negative body image for teenagers LEANNAH MESSENGER Contributing Writer

You’re sitting on your bed scrolling through Instagram, your normal Wednesday night, and then you see her. She is so pretty, so popular, and every part of you wishes you could be like her. The post is obviously trying to sell you something — and you’re completely falling for it. If she looks like that, why wouldn't I want to? It’s what everyone else wants, right? Teens see their body as something that they need to change in order to please others, but where is that mindset leading them? Body image should be a way for teens to display self-esteem and love their bodies. But recently with so many social

need to have self-esteem. Teens need to know that they are who they are, and they need to love that. Changing their bodies because “that one guy in that one movie,” said it’s popular, doesn't mean they need to. Strong self-esteem is a very important part of a positive body image. Be proud of who you are, you don’t need to wait for someone to tell you who you are or who you should be. This plays back into limiting yourself to the social media websites that say these exact things. Body image is an important part of a teens life, both positive and negative, and with the right tools, teens are able to get through high school with a positive mindset and in the long run, strong self esteem.

FHS Press



Girls soccer team cut short in WPIAL, PIAA playoffs COLE SKUSE

Business Manager, News Editor After an undefeated season, the girls soccer team aimed to top their class in the WPIAL playoffs, looking to become champions once again and take their shot at the state title, claiming it for themselves this year. However, this goal would fall short from expectations.. On Oct. 28, the team headed to neutral field at North Allegheny to take on the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions. After the first half, the game was 1-0 in favor of the Centurions. The girls were struggling to maintain a strong offense and were stuck on defense for most of the half. During the second half, a change of events occurred and the game became more back and forth with the second half ending 3-3, pushing the game into overtime. Unfortunately, in the first few minutes of overtime, Greensburg pushed in a goal, resulting in a final of 4-3, and ended the Bulldog’s WPIAL playoff run. Freshman Jersee Melvin, junior Jessica Scheel and senior Myah

Cole Skuse/FHS Press

After their disappointing loss against Greensburg Central Catholic in the WPIAL playoffs, the team huddles around head coach Colin Williams to see what words of advice he has for the team going forward. Hrinko scored the three Bulldog goals the PIAA playoffs. They headed to for the night. Peters Township on Oct. 30 to take on However, the season was not Bentworth. In a successful game, the over yet. The team participated in Bulldogs left with an impactful 7-2. a WPIAL consolidation game to This victory secured their place in the determine the winner advancing to PIAA playoffs.

The first round of PIAA playoffs occured on Nov. 5 when the girls’ took on number one seed Conemaugh Township at Somerset as the 16th seed. In a vast upset, the Bulldogs defeated the Indians with a score of 6-1. Sophomore Renae Mohrbacher lead the team with five goals and senior Jalynn Falk scored the other goal. This game granted Mohrbacher her 70th goal of the season, earning her the school record for most goals in a season. In the PIAA Quarterfinals, the team met once again with Greensburg Central Catholic. Looking to get revenge, the girls went into the game with full expectations of winning. Though the game was scoreless for most the time, the Centurions still managed to best the Bulldogs by a low score of 1-0. After their second and final loss of the season, the team now says goodbye to five seniors whose positions will need to be filled next year. With many returning talents, the team should still be in good shape for next season.

Football team elimated from playoffs, defeated in quarterfinals MATTHEW LEVENSON Staff Writer

Upon finishing the regular season with a 7-3 overall record and 5-2 in the section, the Bulldogs found themselves sitting in second place in a close competition for the section championship. Entering playoffs as the eighth seed, the Bulldogs played their first game at home against the Charleroi Cougars on Nov. 1. After failing to develop any offense on their opening possession, Freedom punted the ball to Charleroi. A few plays later, the Bulldogs’ defense had Charleroi backed-up in a third-and26 situation, but allowed the Cougars to complete a pass and break for a 71-yard touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead. The Bulldogs responded minutes later when quarterback Cole Beck completed a pass to wide receiver Reiker Welling, who took it 58-yards to tie the game. 16 seconds into the start of the second quarter, the Bulldogs scored again, capping off a drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Noah Valles. The Bulldog’s lead was short-lived as the Cougars returned the kickoff, following Valles’ touchdown, 82 yards to tie the game once again. After halftime, the Bulldog’s defense held Charleroi’s offense to almost nothing, pressuring the Cougar’s quarterback on every play.

The Bulldogs’ offense managed to put together another drive near the end of the third quarter. Valles scored his second touchdown of the night with 2:01 remaining in the third quarter, which would lead the Bulldogs to a 21-14 win over the Cougars. “It just felt great to be able to help my teammates punch our ticket to the next round. Being able to just go out and make those plays just felt great knowing that the team and I are taking on a new challenge and another week,” Valles said. Round two of the playoffs took place at Canon-Mcmillan on Nov. 8. The Bulldogs took on the first seed Washington Prexies. Overall, the Bulldog’s defense played very well. They made numerous fourth-down stops in key situations and held the Prexies offense scoreless for as long as they could. The Bulldog’s offense, however, was another story. They were unable to get anything going against Washington’s defense. They accumulated a mere 35 rushing yards and 32 passing yards for the entire game and were only able to pick up four first downs. The Bulldogs ultimately fell to the Prexies 28-0 and were eliminated from the playoffs. “Defensively we played really well, for as long as we could. Obviously they’re athletic, they’re big, we just couldn’t put anything together on offense really. When you don’t score

Matthew Levenson/FHS Press

Seniors Kevin Lawrence and Dylan Goodrich hug after playing their last football game of their high school career, following their loss to Washington in the second round of playoffs. you can’t win, so that’s on me,” head opponents 253-208 this season. Beck coach Greg Toney said. completed 71-146 passes and finished Overall, the Bulldogs had a with 15 touchdowns. Brett Boyd led successful season. While they were all running backs in rushes, yards and not section champions, they made touchdowns finishing with 140 rushes the playoffs and reached the second for 659 yards and seven touchdowns. round. They won a lot of close, compet- Welling led the offense on the receivitive games that brought out the most ing end, finishing the season with 27 of everyone on the team. See FOOTBALL page 12 The Bulldogs outscored their

FHS Press


NOVEMBER 26, 2019

The boys are back in town

The boys basketball team hits the court as they prepare for upcoming season KEITH PAWLOWSKI Editorial Editor

The boys basketball team is getting into full swing. After the positive end to the 2018-2019 season, the boys went home just short of a spot in the playoffs. Now, after months of training, the team is getting back onto the court. The team is coming off of a solid end of last season, as they were one win short of a spot in the playoffs. This year, the team is looking to continue their upward winning streak. Of the five starting team members from last year, only alum Steven Leasure graduated, leaving an open shot at a spot on the squad. The competition will be steep to see who can claim the open position, and to see if any new challengers can upset the incumbents. This year, mandatory practice got started on Nov. 18. Players will be in the gym siz days a week to give themselves a leg up on the competition. Head coach Jeff Griffith and assistant coach Tom Hickey have once again committed to the job of bringing out the best in the athletes. The coaches’ goal this season is to keep the team on the up and up after last year’s solid season. With the majority

FHS Press Archives

During a game last year against North Catholic, senior Maxwell Ujhazy attempts to pass the ball to a teammate while being blocked by two defenders. of the team in the 9th and 10th prior to the season that could have a grades, onlookers are ready to see the major impact on the team. Assistant underclassmen step onto the court. coach Tom Hickey stressed staying Unfortunately, some team positive and focused, even at the turn members have sustained injuries of bad luck like that.

“Sometimes, that’s the hand you’re dealt. We just have to deal with the adversity,” Hickey said. Hickey also talked about teamwork in general. “Trusting each other and playing alongside one another is the key to success,” Hickey said. Altogether, the team is looking to get the best take on the season and stay positive. Being competitive will be key to keeping up the pressure on the opposing team during the long and winding and road to a victorious season. In the end, a good start to a sport season is all about making goals for the present and future. During the preseason of course, improvement is the name of the game, but taking a look ahead is also important to set spirits high and get athletes motivated. This year, the playoffs are what everyone is looking towards, especially after last year’s close call. This time around, the team is gearing up to score the hoops that they know they can reach. Come cheer them on at their first game at home versus Western Beaver on Nov. 26.

NOVEMBER 26, 2019

FHS Press

Warming up before warm-ups


A look into the Freedom Girls Basketball upcoming season JoANN SHARPLESS

Managing Editor, As the weather starts to cool, and the falling leaves turn into snow, a certain sports season comes closer. The sound of people running, balls being dribbled and buzzers going off. It’s the start of the basketball season. After ending their season last year with a record of 6-13, the girls hope to work towards strengthening their team. Many are trying to keep a very positive outlook on the year and know that it can only go up from here. “I think that last year we did well. We may have not won as many games as wanted, but it was still a super fun season. I think that as a team we should improve upon driving into the lane because that’s something that our coach even said last year and if we do that we’ll be able to create more chances,” sophomore Renae Mohrbacher said. “We really want to improve on our teamwork because we didn’t all work together last year. As of right now it really looks like we are improving! We are constantly working hard at practice and this year is going to be a good one,” senior Myah Hrinko said. The team, of course, is also

looking at big changes when it comes to players too. After losing five seniors last year, three of which were starters, and one being the captain of the team the Bulldogs might face some difficulties preparing for the season. The seniors last year included alumni Selena Bittenbender, Marydeth Feits, Chloe Keller, Taylor Greene and Alexsia Barlamas. Captain Taylor Greene managed to break Freedom’s record for the most three-point shots made in one game, during a matchup against Aliquippa during the 2018-19 season. The team will be getting a new wave of freshmen coming up through. Many members of the team are keeping a positive outlook on the idea of the upcoming recruits. “Last year we didn’t accomplish the goals we had in mind at the beginning of the season. We lost 3 starters after last year and we have a younger team compared to years passed. I think that if our older players work with the younger ones we can really push for the playoffs,” senior Morgan Swab said. Some of the teams that will be a harder challenge for the Bulldogs would include Neshannock, Mohawk and Beaver. Last year, the girls

FHS Press Archives

Sophomore Renae Morhbacher plans on how she will attack the Mohawk Warriors defense during a close match on Jan. 14. lost 67-18 to Neshannock, 63-36 to Mohawk and 66-37 to Beaver. Some teams that the girls would win against would include, New Brighton, Quigley and Aliquippa. “I would like to say, don’t doubt our ability based on our previous records these past few years. Things are changing and we are going to

do well this year so come support,” Hrinko said. All in all, the Bulldogs, have an interesting season in store for them. If you would like to watch a girls basketball game, the first match is on Dec. 6 in the high school gymnasium, against OLSH.


Time to circle up

FHS Press

NOVEMBER 26, 2019

Wrestling team warms up for upcoming season MASON HEDGE

Managing Editor, Co-Distribution Director As the weather gets colder, the fall sports are just beginning to wrap up and come to an end. With that, the winter sports are ready to begin. When mats hit the floor and the sweat from young student athletes start to drip onto them, only one sport comes to mind. That’s right, it’s time for wrestling season. Last season, the boys set the standards high and went out with a bang. During the Mid Atlantic Athletic conference held in the gymnasium on Jan.1 and Jan. 2, four previous wrestlers earned their spot in the Parade of Champions. Also, alumni Zach Ward and Jacob Pail joined the Century club after earning 100 wins. They along with alumni Bryson Miller and juniors Trent Schultheis and Quigly co-op Kenneth Duscheck qualified for states in Hershey. There, Schultheis and Miller placed second in their respective weight classes. However, individual wrestlers were not the only ones that made some accomplishments. Last season’s team was strong and dominated each team in the county. The team altogether ended their season with a record of

FHS Press Archives

Senior Fernando Franco raises his fist into the air after a match in the Bulldog’s gymnasium on Jan. 4 during last season. 10-6 and qualified for their fourth section championship. Although they fell short of the title, they advanced to the consolation match. They successfully won that match and ended up finishing third in the Class 2A section. This season’s team has already

ROADS (From page 2) buses and some of the routes they take. Students suffer from being knocked out of their seats on buses due to potholes and excessive bends in roads, and want to see a change in road quality. Some of Freedom’s bus routes also take roads like Freedom Road to transport students and have been impacted by the incidents occurring on that road. “Although there are limited times of bus route interruptions along Freedom Crider Road due to oversize truck traffic, these incidents create a hazardous condition as the damage created by the oversized trucks affects the overall safety of each motorist and at times has created delays to bus routes,” said school resource officer Liberty. This area has been around for a long time, and so has its roads. With

ELECTIONS (From page 1) only so much money to spend on repairing old roads and building new ones, many roads all over the district are filled with plant growth and cracks in their pavement. Western Pennsylvania weather does not treat our roads nicely as well, making it almost impossible to permanently fix potholes and uneven pavement. Issues with our roads make it dangerous and challenging for members of these three communities to drive around. These roads are meant to connect our entire school district. However, what they are really doing is connecting the people of these towns through the cracks that run down every one of our roads.

CLASSROOMS (From page 3) the community. “Many of my students here at Freedom have shared their hopes for the future, such as attending a post-secondary school or a career, and I hope that I can help to guide them

on their journeys and navigate these next few years of high school and beyond. I feel very lucky and blessed to be here at Freedom with such amazing students,” Skirtich said.

See FOOTBALL page 9 receptions for 563 yards and seven touchdowns. On defense, Valles led the team in tackles with 63. Kevin Lawrence had a team high 13 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks and two fumble recoveries. Beck led the Bulldogs with four interceptions.

seen drastic changes. Pail, Ward, Miller, and two other alumni have since graduated, making them no longer a part of the team. So who’s going to step up this year to help the team accomplish the same goals they did last year? More importantly, how

is the team going to go further than it has in the past? The team from last year set some high bars for this year’s team to reach. Overall, this year’s team is up for the challenge. Even though the team lost some strong players, the team is back stronger than ever and ready to win more matches. With the help of head coach Jim Covert, the team is ready to get to the mats and pin their adversaries and they are not going to stop until the match is over. After all, no one knows who will win until the referee raises the hand of the wrestler who has won the match. The team hopes to improve their record from last year in hopes that they not only get to the section championships again but to win and possibly take the crown in their section as well. On Nov. 27, the team will head to Seneca Valley for a scrimmage. After that, the team will definitely know what’s in store to get ready this season. The first match is in the enemy’s gymnasium at Cannon Mcmillan on Nov. 30 where the team’s record will begin to add up. The wrestlers hope to kick off the 2019-2020 season with a victory. In the end, the wrestlers are back and ready to light up the town one pin at a time.

The Bulldogs are losing six seniors this season, but they should be well equipped to make another playoff run next year as much of the offense will remain the same and a lot of younger players will be ready to step up and fill their roles.

Council, there were four positions open and only four candidates, so each of them automatically earned a spot on the council. Candiatae William Smith ran unopposed for a two-year seat, which earning him the seat by default. In New Sewickley, former township supervisor Greg Happ stepped down, allowing for someone new to take his place. In the election, Republican Douglas Martin defeated Democrat Al Horn with a total vote of 1047-633, which means that Martin will be the next supervisor for New Sewickley. While a lot of the elections this year were mainly on a local level, part of next year’s election will be

the presidential election, in which President Donald Trump will run against the victorious Democrat who wins the primaries in early 2020. The next election for Pennsylvania is the state and federal primaries, which will be on April 28, 2020.

Profile for FHS Press

November 2019  

November 2019  

Profile for fhspress