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THE GALLEON Spanish River’s Award Winning, Student-Run Newspaper


February 2021- Issue 4

Holocaust Exhibit Comes to River Aiden Rubinstein Staff Reporter

In January 2021, our very own Spanish River Community High School decided to open up its own Holocaust Rememberence exhibit. The exhibit was lead and organized by Bodgan Paraschivoiu, an English and Holocaust studies teacher, although its information came from the JFR, orThe Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, which has many exhibits around the world. This exhibit focuses mainly on the righteous during the Holocaust, whom of which were whoever aided a Jewish citizen. Mr. Paraschivoiu also trained to be a Lerner Fellow at Columbia University in New York, where he gained most of his knowledge on the Holocaust. He is one out of over six hundred teachers across the U.S and Europe who have the responsibility of being a Lerner Fellow. The Lerner Fellow program was launched in June 2000 and was named after Alfred Lerner, an instructor and generous supporter to the JFR who sadly passed away October 23, 2002.

Being a Lerner Fellow gives one the honor and responsibility to teach middle and high schools across the world about the Holocaust, and more specifically the righteous. World War II started in 1939, and ended in 1945. Throughout the war, millions of people were targeted and killed, specifically Jews. Beginning mainly in 1941 and 1942, with the creation and use of the gas chambers, millions of Jews were killed. Unfortunately, those who helped the Jews and were caught often suffered the same fate. Helping a Jew, whether it was by hiding them, or even just giving them food, was considered a crime against the Nazi Government, which would usually result in immidiate death. This made it very risky to help them, although many still did. These people were called righteous gentiles. In order to be considered a righteous gentile, one would have had to help a Jew, in any way possible, big or small, without asking for anything in return. “In a time of overwhelming death and destruction, rescuers did not stand by silently. They chose another way, and their bravery offers us a glimmer of

adults in order to hope.” said the JFR. teach them why The JFR now aid nearly 200 righteous something like this can never happen gentiles, in return for their beyond amazing again. “We must build acts. In total, they have rewarded these heroes respect for human with over $41 million, rights and for intercultural and also provide them with monthly financial communication, and we must give voice to aid. They also have the unheard through around 208 detailed stories, featuring their survivors.” said Mr. Paraschivoiu. names, what they did, how they helped, and While we can’t where it all took place. Mr. Paraschivoiu introduces the exhibit. alter the past, we can create the future. It It also provides information on what happened to them after the Holocaust. is still our job and our responsibility Bodgan Paraschivoiu brought the to make sure that something like the exhibit to school with the hope of Holocaust never happens to anyone teaching young adults to learn to ever again. By teaching middle and speak against prejudice, injustice, high schools such as our own about discrimination, violence, and religious why it is so important, we are one step intolerance, in any form. He also hopes closer to making sure that an event like to share Holocaust stories, with the the Holocaust never takes place again. prayer that no one will ever forget what happened during these horrific times, and so that no voice of a victim or survivor goes unheard. In addition, Mr. Paraschivoiu hopes to educate young PHOTO COURTESY OF MRS. DELANEY

Leadership Shares Upcoming Events Louise Wyler

bifurcation of in person vs. virtual student attendance is a new and difficult challenge for the student body as well as the faculty and staff.” Currently, the leadership class is working on a multitude of projects. Student Government Association (SGA) president, senior Jack Bershard has a major role in the class. “My role is basically just to oversee all the projects and help wherever

Bershard explained some of these events in more detail. One of them involves a community service project in which students will be painting a mural at Sunrise Park Elementary, which is intended to brighten their school and create a more welcoming environment. Additionally, the class is working on a project that has an objective to raise teacher morale. “Some of the things we are doing

The committee of Miss Spanish River, senior Emily Goldstein, is focusing News Editor on school spirit. She’s working with senior Blake Smythe, our Mr. Spanish The leadership class at Spanish River River. The efforts of the leadership is busy preparing for competitions at class aspire to bring together the virtual the district and state levels, which will and in person student body. occur during upcoming months. In the “We are trying to come up with meantime, they are also responsible for an event that would encompass both planning the majority of River’s social students that are attending school events, the next one being Spring Fling. virtually and in person,” said Goldstein. In order to plan for such “Students and staff can look events, the leadership class breaks forward to a Spring Fling week and into ten different committees on another virtual pep rally before Wednesdays, with each committee spring break.” having their own separate focus. Senior Maddie Weinstein, More specifically, each committee another leadership student, as has their own “Project of the well as many others, endeavor to Year,” otherwise referred to by the create plans that will bring all River students as a “POY.” Within each students together. POY, there are usually more than “Leadership is trying its best with 5 smaller projects that need to be this year’s tough circumstances to completed in order to achieve the keep both the student body and the goal of the committee. One of the faculty’s spirits high with online leadership class teachers, Mrs. and in person activities for all to Reidel, explained how their SGA leaders that have led Spanish River this year. On the left is Blake Smythe, in the middle is Emily Goldstein, enjoy,” said Weinstein. committee system is vital for the and on the right is Jack Bershard With this said, the leadership planning of school events. team is doing its best to plan “Some of the projects include [it] is needed,” said Bershard. “The are writing thank you letters to the events effectively and adapt to the having the school dress in purple for fundraising committee is doing the teachers, setting up baked goods in the recent changes in school structure due Mental Health Awareness on Monday, Five Guys fundraiser, the faculty and teacher lounge, and doing a raffle for to the pandemic. planning a remembrance ceremony staff committee is doing the teacher the teachers,” said Bershard. for the Stoneman Douglass Victims, as morale project, and the community There is also a Five Guys fundraiser well as some other things,” said Reidel. service committee is doing the mural. coming up which will raise money for “In these times a focus on mental The entire class does Spring Fling, but SGA, and they are in the process of health issues remains as a priority of Mister and Miss Spanish River do most planning Spring Fling, but the theme PHOTOS COURTESY OF EMILY GOLDSTEIN the student body and faculty. The of the work for that.” has yet to be decided. @Galleon_News






River Welcomes New Teacher: Ms. Spence What classes do you teach at River? I teach Algebra II & Algebra II Honors.

What classes have you taught in the past? I taught Algebra I, Math for College Readiness, Advanced Topics in Math, Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus Honors.

Have you always lived in Florida? Pretty much - I was born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and left for West Palm Beach when I was four.

Where did you go to school? I graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with my B.A. in Mathematics and my M.S. in Applied Mathematics.

What made you want to become a teacher? My dad was a teacher, and I practically grew up in school. I was always at school and always thought about teaching. In college, I was a Teacher’s Assistant and I was really good at tutoring students. I thought about how much I could help students at the high school level feel good about learning math.

Why teach at Spanish River and what do you think so far? Spanish River piqued my interest when I was looking for a job. I’ve always heard positive comments about Spanish River High School, and I was fortunate enough to be selected to work here.

What’s it like to be a teacher during the middle of a pandemic? This is my fifth year teaching at the high school level. I transferred from Lee County about three years ago when I was working at Riverdale High School in Fort Myers and then again from Palm Beach Central High School. I would have to say that teaching during a pandemic is difficult, because you want to make sure students are getting the most out of learning. And it is difficult to gauge when students are laying in bed! All jokes aside, we are doing the best that we can.

Do you have any advice for students taking your class or in general? I always tell students to be your own advocate! You need to speak up for yourself and do not be shy when it comes to asking for help. No one knows you better than yourself, so it is important to always take care of yourself and there is no shame in asking for help. IMAGE COURTESY OF PERRI SPENCE

Galleon Staff Member Shares Experience with COVID-19 Lyndsey Roth Currents Editor As the COVID-19 continues onto another year, it is believed that teens seem to forget the severity of taking precautions. These precautions include: face masks or face coverings, social distancing, and quarantining rules. Many ignore the specific quarantine measures that the CDC Health Department enforces. Additionally, many believe that COVID-19 has continued for as long as it has because teens as well as all other age groups are not properly quarantining. As an example, on December 23, I was exposed to the Coronavirus, and had tested negative along with both of my sisters. I was instructed to retest again five days later because a nurse had told us that the virus can only be detected at least five-six days after exposure. So again, we restested days later, however this time I was

negative while the rest of my family was positive. What I should have done was isolate myself and wait for the virus to leave their bodies. Although we believed it was a false negative and went on quarantining the way we have been from the beginning. The CDC Health Department states, “CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus.” Even after testing negative the exposure of my family caused me to eventually develop symptoms. Had I continued coming in contact with others like normal after testing negative the first or even second time, I most likely would have infected many other people I came in contact with, but my excuse would have been “Well, I tested negative” as a multitude of people often believe.

It may be difficult to quarantine or isolate oneself from the general public, although it is crucial to do so when exposed or if one were to develop symptoms. Many are eager to diminish the death toll, and return to normalcy, but we cannot do so if the population is unable to comply with their specific state’s demands regarding COVID-19. Now, most COVID-19 resources will say the quarantining period is a minimum of 14 days. However with new information provided by monitoring patients, studies have shown that a positive patient will continue to test positive even if they are not contagious anymore. This has become a problem to many employees wishing to return back to work because most companies require their staff members to test negative once or maybe even twice. “Additionally, the duration of infectiousness in most people with COVID-19 is no longer than 10 days after symptoms begin and no

longer than 20 days in people with severe illness or those who are severely immunocompromised.” said the CDC. Furthermore, the most important factor of this virus is making sure no one was infected by others’ poor judgment. Thus, you are able to return to the public after 10 days upon developing symptoms. Once a covid patient can withhold a temperature below fever grade without the aid of medications, they can be considered to not be contagious anymore. As the Coronavirus continues throughout this year, an end could be in sight as long as individuals are willing to comply with the rules. It is difficult to know if you are contagious if one does not develop symptoms, however it is important to continue quarantining until a healthcare provider or the CDC Health Department allows you to return to the public.

Save the date! Graduation is Tuesday, June 15 at 1:00 PM ART COURTESY OF MARIA VILORIA GARCIA



Should Schools Continue Hybrid Learning?

No, To Minimize Health Risks Amelie La-Branche Guest Writer

To say the COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized learning would be an understatement. As the situation evolved, schools began to re-examine the methods available to administer a quality education while preserving the safety of their communities. Thus, remote and hybrid learning were born, and each bore the responsibility of prioritizing the lives under their jurisdictions. To ensure the health and safety of their students, schools should remain fully online, as remote learning presents the lowest risk for the transmission of the virus. COVID-19 is an infectious disease that is highly contagious, spreading between people in close contact with one another. An infected person releases respiratory droplets when they cough, sneeze, vocalize or breathe, and when these droplets are inhaled through the mouth and nose, a transmission of the virus occurs. These droplets can also land on surfaces and be transferred when a person touches the infected surface and proceeds to touch their mouth, nose, or eyes. There is growing evidence that these droplets are able to remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, corroborating the fact that indoor areas without good ventilation are at a greater risk of spreading the virus. In order to prevent infection, individuals are strongly encouraged to wear masks, participate in social distancing (six feet apart), and frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Thankfully, mask-wearing and social distancing are required, and school surfaces are frequently cleaned, which aids in reducing the risk associated with hybrid learning; however, the CDC still classifies hybrid learning as a medium-risk venture, as teachers are in contact with multiple cohorts of students throughout the day, and larger inperson activities and events produce a greater risk of infection. In contrast, the CDC classifies remote learning as lowest risk, as there is no opportunity for COVID-19 to transmit between students and teachers. According to William Hanage, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “hybrid school plans make it easier for the virus to transmit into schools, simply by producing more links between schools and families along which the virus travels.” This risk is magnified if children spend time in additional public locations, such as child care centers or afterschool programs. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins, states that if students are present in environments “where they are exposed to another group of people, then we may have effectively increased the number of people all \


Yes, To Allow Flexibility in Learning

having contact with each other over the course of the week.” This increased contact in turn increases the likelihood of a student bringing COVID-19 to school and infecting others. Though risk for students is considerable in hybrid learning, the risk is even greater for teachers. Generally, the risk for life-threatening complications from the novel coronavirus increases with age, and older adults, especially those with underlying medical conditions, may need hospitalization or intensive care to survive the virus. Most children and teenagers are less likely to require hospitalization if they contract the virus; however, this age group usually displays mild symptoms or none at all, so they are able to spread COVID-19 more easily. According to Dr. Nuzzo, in the epidemiological world, “who we’re concerned about most in terms of reducing risk in a school environment is the teacher.” The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard, which drew data from 703 schools in the fall of 2020, justifies this concern, as its data showed that teachers and staff made up 0.19 percent of confirmed cases, which was more than double the percentage of confirmed cases that students comprised. And, with a 56% more infectious strain appearing in the U.S, infection, hospitalization, and, in turn, death rates are expected to rise. These figures corroborate the fact that students spread COVID-19 in schools and that small occurrences stack up to larger outbreaks. Though schools that participate in hybrid learning may strive to administer the proper health and safety precautions, there is a inherently greater risk when contact exists between students and faculty than there is in fully remote learning. Schools must continue to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances concerning the health and safety of their communities, faculty, and students. And, whether students participate in hybrid or remote learning, let us all act with the health and well-being of others in mind to contribute to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nashki Joseph Associate Editor

Millions of students, including those at Spanish River, were eager to go off and enjoy spring break last year. But not many could have predicted that in the weeks following their departure, the American education system would have to revolutionize itself in order to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most students have continued to stay home -- and for good reason. But it is important to continue the tradition of hybrid learning; teaching some students virtually and some in-person. Perhaps the greatest argument for protecting hybrid learning lies in the very nature of a completely virtual education system. Workingclass parents are not able to supervise young children in order to ensure that they are staying on task and learning efficiently. Simply put, they cannot do the jobs of teachers simply because the need for it arises. At the end of the day, food needs to be bought and rent needs to be paid. Mandating that all students attend school virtually abandons the needs of families that rely on schools to look after their children during the workday. Additionally, some students just are not suited for learning online. This is particularly true for students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who, in 2016, numbered over 6 million, according to the CDC. Children with ADHD have impaired executive function -- a set of skills that allows people to make plans, organize themselves, and persist in order to achieve a certain goal. Executive function is what allows people to resist procrastination and ignore distractions in order to achieve some desired result or outcome. Students with ADHD benefit from in-person learning because a teacher can provide support for those who find it difficult to manage themselves effectively. But for those at home, there is no one but themselves to keep them accountable, and learning at home provides a new array of distractions that can keep students with ADHD from focusing on their classes. The CDC has also warned that students with ADHD may suffer due to a lack of social interac tions. Children with ADHD have a more difficult


time building social skills, and online learning may completely deprive them of the opportunity to do so. Additionally, children who struggle with hyperactivity will not benefit from being able to vent off excess energy during school recess and may find it more difficult to focus during online classes. Students in special education programs would also find it extremely difficult to learn from home. Students with disorders such as autism, Tourette Syndrome, or Down Syndrome rely on the support provided by these programs. But many counties that transitioned to virtual learning entirely over the past several months had no concrete plan to ensure that the Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) are followed and protected. Some students have managed to participate virtually, but others have been left behind. At this point, it’s necessary to realize that some arguments for hybrid learning models are more valuable than others. For example, some people argue that taking away parents’ choice in a completely virtual or in-person environment for their children is an affront to certain constitutional freedoms. The reality, however, is that the pandemic is the greatest public health threat the nation has faced in a century. Policies that curtail certain freedoms, like mask mandates and restrictions on public gatherings, are meant to protect the general welfare of the nation and have not yet been proven to be unconstitutional in any capacity. To present this argument as equal as valid is not helpful to those who need in-person learning. Similarly, those downplaying the severity of the pandemic do a disservice to students who rely on brick-and-mortar education. At this very moment, over 200,000 new COVID-19 cases are being added to the U.S. total, which has barrelled past 20 million in recent weeks. Thousands of Americans are dying every day because of the virus. To suggest that the situation is not dire enough to require most students to learn from home would be to ignore very clear, scientific facts. The hybrid learning model adopted by places such as Palm Beach County has allowed parents to make a choice that best suits the individual needs of their children. Children who are able to learn effectively at home with relatively little trouble should stay home. This makes it easier for those who cannot stay home -- fewer students on campus makes it easier for schools to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed and students are better protected. The flexibility of this system is its greatest strength, and it should be rigorously protected and pursued by school districts for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.




International Issues Deserve Attention, Too Brianna Levine Editor-In-Chief Even though it is only the twenty-first year of the twenty-first century, there has sure been a great share of tragedies. Although some of these tragedies have been ongoing for numerous centuries, they are not all recognized globally. This could either be due to a lack of media attention or a mere lack of knowledge, but what I do know is that these events deserve attention and a solution. One ongoing problem resides in Africa, where issues such as slave trades and child labor are persistent. Hundreds of migrants and their children from locations such as Somalia and Ethiopia have been raped, killed, or sold off as slaves within Libya, and all because they were searching for refuge and a way to escape -- primarily to Europe. This topic has been covered by The Irish Times and scarcely by CNN World News, which goes to show how little recognition this modern human trafficking chain has. In addition, Africa has an abundance of child labor primarily within the Democratic Republic of Congo. Young children endlessly mine for cobalt, an important ingredient for industrial products such as electric cars, for as little as $1.50 for the entire day. Western Africa holds the world’s greatest amount of child laborers, but oftentimes the labor can be

observed as forced -or in other terms, slavery - when these children tirelessly work on cocoa plantations, the fishing and transportation industry, or other manufacturing positions. Every day these children are at risk of extensive injury and even death. Another issue that lacks notice is the environmental problems that are centered around nations other than the United States. For example, persistent hurricanes a n d typhoons that made landfall in Vietnam, specifically c e n t r a l provinces, have resulted in deadly floods and crop failure. This has left many residents homeless, or in the worst cases, deceased. In Delhi, India’s capital territory, air pollution is raising concern. Smog has reached all-time highs due to increased emissions from vehicles and industrial manufacturing. Delhi is now tied for first place with Dhaka, a city in Bangladesh, for the city with the poorest air quality. On another note, the Middle East

has honed conflict throughout its history, especially between Palestinians and Israelis. Wars in these areas were an ordinary occurrence and peace did not appear to be plausible. An uncivil war between Armenia and Azerbaijan recently concluded with Armenia’s loss and unresolved conflict. The main premise of mentioning these conflicts is to point out the fact that lives have been lost, but at what cost? Why is fighting and killing each other the best way to “r e s o l v e” anything? Doesn’t your enemy have a life, family, and ideals too? However, this is a wishful way of thinking as violence is too prevalent throughout the world and many people are unaware of the full extent of it. In regards to the negligence of acknowledging these situations, the media can be at fault, for it tends to focus plainly on news that directly affects us -- America. Many fail to recognize that these events do directly affect us. They result in our manufactured goods,

serve as an example of what could happen if our climate went array, and, most importantly, represent all that can be wrong in the world. But when overlooking the media, how else are we supposed to get information? Word of mouth? Maybe. But, only you can push forward to learn these things on your own. The lack of effort to educate oneself on these ongoings could be the result of numerous variables, but selfishness stands out -- the selfishness to believe that as long as you are well and nothing is directly affecting you, that all is good in the world. The main point I would like to bring attention to is that no matter where you are or who you are, there will always be something you do not know. Now, I am not trying to get philosophical, but sometimes it is important to acknowledge something that should be changed, spread the word, and if that chain continues, there may be enough recognition to actually have an effect. If you hear about something that is concerning, be concerned, make others concerned, and, most importantly, make the world concerned.


Growing Up In a Crazy World Brayant Polanco Editor-In-Chief Every single month there seems to be some sort of crazy or unfortunate event that shocks the entire world, and it has reached a point where I have partially become desensitized to it. Within a year, we went from being worried about a war with Iran to experiencing the U.S Capitol being attacked - and by domestic extremists at that. I am a high school senior who is about to graduate, and yet, instead of being worried about college, my thoughts are constantly preoccupied with all of these historical events happening around me. And the worst thing about this is that I feel completely powerless. I watch as thousands in Yemen die from starvation. I watch as company conglomerates destroy the environment in exchange for profits. I watch as the Chinese government strips Uyghur Muslims of their rights and slowly exterminates them in concentration camps. But what can I possibly do against colossal giants? I want to help, I truly do, but I also know that my donations to nonprofits or my limited outreach

to politicians won’t make that much of a difference either. Sometimes I just tell myself to wait until my generation takes over, and that everything will be fixed once we are leaders and able to achieve some type of change in the

world, but that is probably what previous generations all told themselves too. So the only thing I have left is hope for the future. Hope that somehow we are able to keep our promises and dreams of a better

world. Hope that our humanity will supersede our capitalistic desires. And yes, I realize that the future of our world may be something depressing to think about. But, it is a question that our generation needs to ask ourselves as we venture o u t

into t h e world and become adults: will we compromise our values? Although I know it is unlikely that we will remain with the same character and values throughout our lives, it is important to not lose that oh-so-famous teenage

optimism, where we believe in the good of others and in achieving the impossible. The world is - and will continue to be - corrupt, harsh, and indifferent, but we must not resort to cynicism and negativity. Although positivity is often seen as one just being naive, that same positivity is what allows for progress and hope of a better future. It may not seem like it now, with practically our whole lives ahead of us, but our time here is short. We cannot waste it by conforming to the standard and believing that nothing can change because that is how we become like past generations. We cannot succumb to becoming what we so often shame - we cannot succumb to leaving our issues to the next generation to fix. Even if those colossal giants are undefeatable forces to which we can barely impose a dent, we have to take a step. Because that step, that constant fight for change and progress, signifies our non-compliance and our hope to fix a broken system.




Virtual Learning Offers Unique Advantages

Julia Horne

Editor-In-Chief As the second semester of my senior year begins and I remain home for distance learning, I have come to appreciate the changes that this year has brought. Although the traditional senior events are no longer in place, and I have not stepped foot on campus since March of 2020, my senior year has remained valuable to me in terms of learning and reaching life milestones. While many students’ education is challenged by virtual schooling, I feel that this year has been extremely rewarding when it comes to gaining knowledge. Without the distraction of peers in my classes and the overload of time-consuming work, I have been able to absorb more content in my classes than ever. Additionally, because I no longer have to wake up an hour and a

half before school starts to get ready, eat breakfast, drive, and find a close parking spot, I can actually be alert in my first few periods. Another element of online learning that has aided in my education is having easy access to food in between classes as well as homemade c o f f e e . Making my mid-morning iced coffee has been integrated into my daily school routine and has actually helped me focus in class. In previous years, I never wanted coffee so early in the morning before school and was never

able to have any during class, but being at home has made this possible and school much more enjoyable. Throughout the first semester, I struggled with completing my 16 college appl i c at i ons w h i l e balancing schoolwork, d u a l enrollment, c r o s s c o u nt r y, babysitting, and scholarship searches. But I could not imagine staying sane with all that was on my plate if I was going to school in-person. As much as I have found value in in-person school for my first two and a half years of high school, I was


quite grateful to have additional time on my hands without the commute to and from school. I know that I would have fallen apart attempting to balance my schedule with longer school days, as I nearly broke down and had to take schools off of my college list even being a virtual student. This unique opportunity for the class of 2021 to focus more time on college applications is something that I will treasure as college decisions continue to come out. While I would not trade the years of my high school experience that I actually got, I have taken the circumstances that COVID has thrown my way and embraced the benefits of online learning.

Senioritis Is Real, and For Good Reason Nashki Joseph Associate Editor

As the class of ‘21 nears its final semester at Spanish River, I think some reflection is in order -- not with regards to River, but about high school in general. My take is this: the last three and a half years have been a continuous marathon of dancing to the tune of college admissions officers who will never meet me. And this, simply (and nicely) put, irks me. Going into freshman year, I was a little bit disappointed in myself. Why, you ask? Because I only took a single AP class. I saw some of my classmates already taking several, and I thought something along the lines of “colleges will think that they’re so much more impressive than I am.” And you know what? It is definitely possible. For my first three years of high school, with every class I chose, there was the silent voice whispering in my ear that I should always aim to impress colleges. I think somewhere in my mind was the notion that I would be a lifelong failure if the Ivy League wasn’t throwing itself at me. I was wrong, of course, but the Nashki of the past certainly didn’t think so. This attitude of mine culminated in junior year. I took four AP classes and still felt embarrassed that I wasn’t taking more. I knew

people who took six or seven and dual-enrolled. I wasn’t remotely interested in chemistry, but that didn’t stop me from taking AP Chemistry and telling myself that if I didn’t get a 5 on the AP exam, I would never be good enough to win entry into a good college. Several of my friends questioned my decision to take the class, and when they asked me why I did, I never had a good answer. The class was difficult, but Mr. D ybas made it easier and repeatedly told my classmates and I that no score on the AP exam would affect our lives as much as we thought it would. Of course, the performance for colleges had only just begun. In the summer of 2020, the Common App opened and I was horrified. In my eyes, I was faced with the task of deciding what I wanted to major in and constructing my college list based on that. The issue was that I had no idea what I wanted. But since college admissions committees

don’t like to hear that, I had to go with something. And so, I picked a major that I was unsure about and created my college list with that in mind. I poured out deceptively passionate words over all of my writing supplements, promising that I was completely sure of myself and my objectives, and that I would use my future degree to accomplish some lofty goal, such as creating peace on Earth. I was disgusted w i t h how fake ever ything felt. And when I applied for the Questbridge National Match Scholarship, I did it again for a set of 10 other colleges. I told them that I was passionate, determined, and completely sure of myself, and that they should admit me because of that. And when I didn’t win a scholarship to a single one of those colleges, I picked up my shattered expectations and kept on applying and writing to other ones, all while feeling more unsure of

where I was going. This brings me to my current state of enlightenment. While all this was happening, I certainly didn’t feel like there was a lesson to be learned in any of it. But looking back I feel like I have the responsibility to tell you a bit about what I learned. To my underclassmen: that B won’t sink your chances of getting into a good college. But taking a horrid number of AP classes won’t guarantee it. And frankly, a committee of people who won’t ever speak to you don’t have the final verdict on your worth as a person. I regret not enjoying high school as much as I could have, and I think that you, my younger classmates, should try to break the endless cycle of aiming to please institutions who view you as some numbers and letters on paper. You are a human being. You deserve good memories and you deserve happiness, both of which are hard to attain while single-mindedly charging forward to Harvard or Princeton. Take a moment, breathe, and do what you think is best for you -- not a faraway committee.





Anime Increases in Popularity Brianna Levine

Arts & Entertainment Editor Pop culture has increasingly embraced anime, which are Japanese hand-drawn and computerized animations geared towards a wide age range of audiences. In 1963, Astro Boy premiered in America, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the presence of anime and manga began to increase, especially due to the release of popular anime such as Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z. Japanese culture as a whole has gained traction in recent years and is only going to continue on this trend. “I like anime because it shows the human potential that we all have inside of us to make things happen,” said senior Juan Hoyos. “The energy and vibes it gives are nothing short of inspiring. Anime also contains cool graphics with very different, unconventional story plots.” Anime is also a widespread inspiration for numerous clothing brands, the music industry, food trends, and TV productions. Brands such as Adidas, Bape, and Supreme have participated in anime collaborations, which succeeded in gaining the target

group as new consumers. Pokemon and Hello Kitty are two of the largest media franchises originating in Japan. Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Sailor Moon, Naruto, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Bleach, and Hunter X Hunter are some anime franchises that have become popular throughout the world. In regards to the food industry, anime is not lacking in delicious recipes either. Fans of anime are constantly on the lookout for foods that resemble the glamorized foods illustrated in anime. These foods include boba tea, flavorful milk tea with tapioca pearls; matcha products, which are made of a japanese green tea powder; mochi, which is a soft rice cake occasionally filled with ice cream; taiyaki, which is a fish-shaped cake that contains various different fillings; and ramen, a japanese noodle soup. Restaurants that serve similar selections attract “anime food connoisseurs,” but the most common occurrence is the opening of more and more bubble tea (boba tea) shops that serve a wide variety of teas

and other sweets. “Staples in the anime community, such as ‘Giorno’s theme’ and ‘Caramelldansen,’ are part of the reason why I have been watching anime since 2014,” said senior Madelyn Wertheim. “I love visiting conventions, hunting down anime-themed merchandise, screaming the iconic Pokémon theme song, cosplaying as my favorite characters, and eating Japanese snacks with my friends as we discuss our favorite manga and anime.” Renowned celebrities such as Michael B. Jordan, Ariana Grande, Avril Lavigne, Chris Brown, Elon Musk, Keanu Reeves, Kanye West, and Zac Efron have demonstrated an interest in anime. A common reason for their appreciation of these japanese animations is due to their ability to bring back fond childhood memories of watching American cartoons. Regardless of how popular anime has become, there are still numerous people who oppose the concept of watching these foreign productions. Some argue that they appear to be silly cartoons that impose the annoyance of

having to read subtitles even though the majority of anime titles are available in dubbed versions. In general, the wide variety of genres enables anime to gather a wide audience, but it is not for everyone. One aspect of anime that stands out is how a cartoon could be primarily aimed towards teens and adults and in no way be appropriate for young children. A few examples of common anime genres include romance, mystery, and action. “My favorite genre is seinen,” said junior Xavier Brooks. “It appeals to a slightly older audience than shounen and often has heavier, more mentally engaging subject matter. My two favorite shows from this genre would be Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Code Geass.” While, in the past, watching anime was viewed as an oddity, nowadays it is a widespread trend that has become popularized by name brand, franchises and celebrities who enjoy anime and Japanese culture.


A Look into Astrology Horoscopes are the part of astrology that focuses on a forecast of one’s future according to their star sign, or zodiac, which depends on the date they were born. The positions of the planets and stars play a role in developing these horoscopes. Here are horoscopes for 2021 that are based on the ones provided by www.horoscope.com. With Saturn in your midst, embrace that intuitive side and remain appreciative of what the universe has in store for you. Anticipate surprises.

This year may present challenges, remaining on a grounded path will be helpful. Focus on communication and surround yourself with those who support you.

The lunar cycle will play an important role this year for you. Some aspects of yourself you avoid could be brought to light, and self-acceptance can come to follow.

Due to your creativity and reliability, you will gain many new friends and improve in your most gifted areas.

This year will relieve you from the judgment of others. You may be trying to determine your own communication patterns and subsequently learn new truths.

This is the year of letting go and learning how to deal with the unknown. Emotional tests and changes will come your way but persevering will leave you at ease.

It is important to understand that the hard work will help put you on the right track towards making your dreams come true but there will also be challenges.

As an air sign, you have a grasp for knowledge and creative forms of expression. Be on the lookout for resolutions involving love and investigate relationships deeply.

You are generally a powerful sign; this year might challenge you in that aspect. It is important to build self-confidence and not lose sight of the bigger picture.

This year brings reflection that might reopen past wounds, but can also be met with new beginnings in friendship. Open up your heart and let appreciate life.

You are naturally unique, wise, and a free spirit. This year brings many new lessons that can open your eyes to a new world. Remember to be open about your feelings.

Expect to be more aligned with your intuition, and continue to strive towards your goals even if you encounter bumps in the road.

MINDFULNESS TIPS To relieve stress, focus on where your breathing is coming from. Inhale to embrace the negativity and exhale to distinguish it. Lighting incense is a great way to calm the nerves and mind (use caution) Meditation can help relieve anxiety Set goals for yourself and appreciate life, even its minor moments. ART COURTESY OF GOOGLE IMAGES AND MARIA VILORIA GARIA

Arts and Entertainment



Make MakeWay WayFor Forthe theNew NewPlay Play Freaky Freaky Friday Friday Synopsis: Synopsis:

Freaky Friday, the musical based off the 1972 novel by Mary Rogers that was then adapted into a Disney film, is now Spanish River’s next big theatre production. An overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies and only have one day to figure out how to return back to normal. As the day goes on, they learn to live life in each other’s shoes and see life through another perspective. Katherine and Ellie learn to realize the struggles of one another and create mutual respect for each other in this heartfelt, comedic classic.

Streaming Streaming on on March March 28 28 -- 27, 27, 2021 2021 & & April April 22 -- 3, 3, 2021 2021 ART COURTESY OF MAYA FOX

Album Review of Man on the Moon III: The Chosen Elle Borstelmann

The first song of the act was “Sad Act 2, titled: “The Rager, The Menace,” contained the tracks “Damaged,” people,” which turned out to be an Arts & Entertainment Editor “Heaven On Earth,” “Show Out,” and, average song, but Cudi’s legitimate On December 11, Kid Cudi released “Solo Dolo, Pt. III.” This act was a voice and distinctive humming were Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, his continuation of the disappointment more apparent compared to the seventh album and long awaited third collected from act 1. Out of these four previous two acts. “Elsie’s Baby Boy edition to the iconic Man on the Moon series. The first two albums: Man on the Moon: The End of the Day and Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager were hit albums that boosted his popularity because he managed to touch the hearts of his listeners. Fans were especially excited for the addition of the third album in the series after waiting for 10 years. The album contains 18 tracks sectioned into four acts with features from artists Skepta, Pop Smoke, Phoebe Bridgers, and Trippie Redd. The first act is titled: “Return to Madness” which contains the songs “Beautiful Trip,” “Tequila Shots,” “Another Day,” “She Knows This,” and, “Dive.” The first act of the album started off with a 37 second introduction to the album called “Beautiful Trip.” “Beautiful Trip’’ then transitioned into Man on the Moon III: The Chosen album cover by hip-hop artist Kid Cudi. the song “Tequila Shots’’, which felt tracks, not one felt like the Kid Cudi (flashback),” was interesting due to like an adequate start to the album. everyone knew and loved from the how it stood out in comparison to After “Tequila Shots” everything went previous Man on the Moon albums. the repetitive songs from the entire downhill in act 1. Cudi’s voice was The feelings of disappointment were album. In addition, “Lovin’ Me” was an almost unrecognizable due to the soon dissolved with the incoming third unexpected hit. Act 3 definitely stepped heavy use of auto tune. After listening act which was titled: “Heart of Rose up its game from act 1 and act 2, which to “Dive,” the last song of the first act, it Gold.” The tracks on act 3 were “Sad was surprising because the first half of was clear that Cudi was trying to create People,” “Elsie’s Baby Boy (flashback),” the album seemed to have flopped. a new, modern sound. The final act, “Powers,” continues the “Sept. 16,” “The Void,” and “Lovin’ Me.”

stable pace that was created in act 3 all the way into the end of the album. The tracks in Act 4, “The Pale Moonlight,” “Rockstar Knights,” “4 Da Kidz,” and “Lord I Know” were not unpleasant. However, they did not bring a strong enough ending to the album. The four mediocre songs were not in the least bit memorable, and compared to act 3, this act was just average. Overall, Kid Cudi disappointed with Man on the Moon III: The Chosen. Cudi’s voice was unrecognizable for half the album and sounded too similar to other music artists that utilize autotune audio processing Cudi’s music is known for being catchy while having feel-good lyrics, but this album was lacking in both. It felt that Cudi was attempting to conform to modern hip-hop standards and change his music to fit what most people are listening to these days. Considering his old music made him stand out from the crowd, with this new album Kid Cudi has lost that distinctiveness and that is where he went awry. Man on the Moon III: The Chosen feels like an average album that does not have that special “something” that puts it over the top. It is just average; it is not inept, but it brought about feelings of disappointment because of how iconic and adored his old albums were. IMAGE COURTESY OF GOOGLE IMAGES




Brayant Polanco Co-Editor-in-Chief, Head Features, & Feature Focus Editor


HiGH-iNCOME STUDENTS ARE 85.8% More likely to use online resources compared to 65.8% of low-income students - US CENSUS BUREAU

“ I kind of like it, but I think it’s hard-

er than regular school because they give us more assignemtns and cannot teach us as well since we are not in person. However, it is a less distracting environment and I can take naps between classes.

As businesses all across the world started to close their doors in March of 2020, schools ac unprecedented transition to virtual learning. Virtual learning imposed challenges on teacher promptly cancelled altogether, teachers had to begin learning how to utilize new technology from their home. It is safe to say it was a mess - and still remains so. Although it is undeniable that teachers have stood up to the challenges of virtual learning ing home environments, lack of motivation, and technological issues are all uncontrollable p parents are scared of their children contracting COVID-19. So what are some potential solu With a lack of in-person interaction and the introduction of difficult material through a v vation to do any school work. In fact, over 22,000 Palm Beach School District students are b ments in a virtual format. Many teachers at Spanish River have voiced their concerns regard ing, and even cheating in their classes. Some potential solutions to these issues are making the classes more interactive and intere learning technology such as Quizizz and breakout rooms, is an effective way to get students However, this does not mean that students are innocent either. Many students chose to b Other students also deliberately turn off their cameras, blame it on technical issues, and the order to have an optimal virtual learning experience there needs to be effort from both sides But with that being said, it is also important to recognize that many students may get bur to interact with their classmates like before, extracurricular activities facing cancellations, an many student’s mental health. In fact, a study by psychology professors, Jessica E. Kilday and Allison M. Ray, confirms t often more confident in completing their classwork than those who are not. This suggests th time adjusting to the transition, are even more likely to fail their classes as they may not have Many students with difficult home environments are also more likely to perform worse ac children in the household, the oldest child usually takes care of their siblings, which may lea This is why having a strong support system at home is essential to virtual learning success can be severely detrimental, which is why many low-income students struggle with virtual le Although the end of virtual learning seems to be near with COVID-19 vaccines being adm ant to recognize ways in which virtual learning can be better for teachers and students alike.


TEACHER ADVICE “ Eliminate distractions like TV, music,

and your phone. Communication is key! If you do not want to type a question in chat then send an email to the teacher right away! Try to discuss the concepts you are learning with friends and family to check your own understanding.


This school year is not easy for teachers and students alike, so everyone needs to have goodwill and empathy. Work with your teachers, and meet them halfway. Your teachers want to help you and want what is best for you. - MARY SHONTY, AP LITERATURE TEACHER

“Stay en

and sta still lea likely to your ca how mu helps c

- AN




cross the United States decided to do the same. This resulted in the quick, rs and students alike. Classes with laboratories or physical activity had to be y such as Google Meets, and students had to adapt to learning new material

g, there are issues that are impossible to combat. The difficult and distractproblems. Even so, virtual learning still remains a fairly popular practice as utions to the challenges imposed by virtual learning? virtual format, many students decided to stop trying as they had no motibeing asked to return to campus as they are not meeting the grade requireding students in a virtual format often not paying attention, not participat-

esting rather than just constant lectures. For instance, utilizing new virtual engaged in the classroom even in a virtual format. be on their phones during class, often not paying attention to their teachers. en proceed to just ignore their classwork. It is important to recognize that in s, not just teachers. rned out from constantly being in front of a screen. With students unable nd drastically different learning styles, virtual learning has taken a toll on

that students who have direct interaction with teachers and friends are hat new students to high school or middle schools, who already have a hard ve a support system. cademically than previously. With parents having to work and leaving their ad to distractions as they are trying to learn the material. s. If parents are not actively forming a part in their children’s education it earning. ministered to essential workers and the rest of the population, it is import.

57% of students at River have experienced their mental health worsen since virtual learning Started


of river students WERE VIRTUAL DURING 2nd QUARTER

“ Sometimes, just sitting alone at my desk every single day gets to me. It can get repetitive just doing the same thing every day. - BAYLEE MATERIA, 12th

Virtual Learning Tips - Set up a workspace. Make sure that you will not be distracted and that there is clear lighting. - Silence your phone and leave your phone in a separate room or table. Cellphones will be a distraction in class!

ngaged, participate, ask questions, ay focused. It is not easy but you can arn and the teachers will be more o help you and work with you. Keep ameras on! It helps teachers gauge uch the student understands and it create a connection.


- Organize all of your classes! Have a planner and manage your time. Have dedicated times to study where you will not distracted and follow them every day. - If you do not understand something, ask your teachers! Stay afterclass to ask or email them to meet during lunch or afterschool if they are too busy.





Sharks Strive to Save the Seas Brooke Styka Features Editor

since they depend on the ice caps to do so. Concerned people across the globe are turning to social media in order to shine light upon the Arctic Ocean crisis. Considering how widespread social networks are, it has become an effective method for

The Arctic Ocean, a home to a stunning array of life, is in peril as a result of climate change and the catastrophic consequences of human activity. Pollution caused by oil extraction, fossil fuel burning, and other factors has been a major component of the Arctic crisis. Since 1979, the Arctic Ocean has been experiencing temperature fluctuations that have led to rising air and water t e mp e r at u re s , losing sea ice, The average and melting air temperature of of the Greenland ice sheet.

Arctic sea ice dropped to its lowest extent in the satellite record on 17 September 2012—3.39 million square kilometers (1.31 million square miles).

The Arctic has increased nearly 4 degrees Celsius over a highlighting relevant global 60 year period. troubles that society can

survival. P o l a r bears are one of the prime examples of animals who have been severely affected by this dilemma. Polar bears are now virtually unable to raise their young, and they have had difficulty finding their prey

work to mend. Many petitions have been formulated to stop oil extraction in the Arctic for offshore oil exploration and drilling, all which pose a great threat to marine life that affect ecosystems providing for larger mammals, like polar bears and Indigenous people. Numerous petitions varying from “Save The Arctic!” to “NO Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!” are circulating across popular social networks, such as Twitter and Instagram. Some River students have taken it upon themselves to spread awareness for this cause, sign petitions, and share Instagram posts via their Instagram stories that provide informational graphics. Although many students have not experienced the effects of Arctic drilling directly, some are able to share how their first-hand experiences with poorly treated environments has allowed them to better understand how critical the situation is.

warmed at roughly double the rate as the entire globe.

sophomore O l i v i a Robbins. “That encounter truly opened my eyes about how our actions as humans cause detriment to the environments surrounding us. After seeing so many posts on social media that show the suffering of polar bears and other animals, I knew that I had to partake in drawing attention to how we have harmed them.” Furthermore, students have recognized that our excessive use of fossil fuels, which contributes to pollution, has played a key role in the rising temperatures that have had adverse impacts on the Arctic’s ice caps. Considering the fact that the air in the Arctic is extraordinarily sensitive to pollution, extensive oil excavation processes are no help in slowing the melting process of the Arctic’s ice. “Although I’m aware of how minimal of an impact on such a major issue just myself can make,” explained sophomore Emily Baris. “I try my best to refrain from using great amounts of energy at a time, because knowing that I can play a part in bettering the environment for others, especially the Arctic, is

very gratifying to me.” Students like Robbins and Baris illustrate how easy it is to make a difference in a world in need of fixing. By making slight improvements on the way we treat our environment, society as a whole can positively influence the preservation of the place many of our animals call home.

PETITION SITES https://www.change.org/p/major-oil-companiessave-the-arctic https://www.change.org/p/no-drilling-in-thearctic-national-wildlife-refuge https://actionnetwork.org/forms/petition-to-save-the-arctic-national-wildlife-refuge?source=direct_link https://www.protectthearctic.org/take-action-toprotect-the-arctic-national-wildlife-refuge


Consequently, disruptions in normal ocean circulations are taking place, along with rising sea levels. Interference with typical oceanic patterns can cause devastating impacts on coastal habitats farther inland, including erosion, wetland flooding, as well as soil contamination. The melting of Arctic ice has also taken a toll on the success o f wildlife

“In the past, I’ve participated in beach cleanups, where I’ve seen an immense amount of garbage scattered across the home of all our pre c i ous mar i ne Over the past 30 l i f e ,” years, The Arctic has said

Congratulations Alexa Haber! For Being Selected Out of 10,000 Applicants as a Coca-Cola Scholars SemiFinalist



Early Decision Eases Students Stress Duru Boranalp Features Editor

Many students have sent early decision applications to their dream schools. Students who are accepted for early decision, more commonly known as ED, must enroll in their college. It is a binding process in which the applicants are required to attend. Early decision can increase your chances of getting accepted depending on the school you are applying to. Applying ED indicates to colleges that the applicant is committing to them without even being accepted, marking significant demonstrated interest in the college. On the other hand, there is also restricted early action (REA) is also another type of application in which you indicate that the college is one of your top c h oi c e s ; however, this is a nonbinding process. Students sign an agreement stating that they are not going to apply to any other college for early rounds.

Some students here at Spanish River have been accepted through early decision and restricted early action. For example, senior Eliana Pollay applied to Emory University through early decision and was accepted. “I applied early for Emory because I knew it was the best fit for me,” said Pollay. “I fell in love with the school because of its academics, opportunities, and location. I wanted to give myself the best chance I could at a school that I love.” Finding the perfect school to commit may be challenging. It is important to make sure you really want to commit to a school before you send a binding early application. Once an applicant is accepted ED, they must withdraw all of their other applications and enroll after receiving verification of sufficient financial aid by the college. “The most challenging part of the process was waiting,” said Pollay. “Even though the application was stressful and a lot of work, pressing submit and waiting to hear whether my hard work paid off was the most difficult part.” The process of an early decision takes a lot of work and preparation. Early decision allows you to

concentrate on high school senior year activities without having to spend so much time on college admissions as decisions are usually released in December compared to March for the regular decision process. Another student that applied with an early application and was accepted is senior Pierre Louis. He applied through restricted early action to Harvard University and was accepted in December. “I applied through REA because it afforded me the flexibility of the regular decision round, in that the decision was not binding, but also allowed me to receive my decision earlier than I would have otherwise,” said Louis. Applying early to colleges can hold many benefits for seniors and their families. “For current juniors, I would suggest spending the summer working on your essays,” said Louis. “It will provide you with a great advantage as most students procrastinate their essays throughout the college admissions process.” Making sure you are on top of everything and preparing at an early time is very important for your


college process. You want to make sure not to procrastinate and to try the best you can in your college applications. “The most challenging thing about the college admissions p r o c e s s was staying resilient during the moments of doubt when I thought my hard work wouldn’t pay off,” admitted Louis. “I leaned on friends and family for support.” Having a strong support system is an important part of staying motivated and strong. Although the waiting time may be challenging, the people around you can help you through it. Applying to early decision can be a challenging process that takes time but it is a great way to commit to your dream school and prepare at an early time.


Shark Alumni Swim into the Spotlight Aiden Rubenstein Staff Reporter

To all universities, organizations, and Spanish River alike, alumni are beyond important. Being an alumni does not only mean that one has graduated or worked at a certain place, but it means that one is forever part of a community, a family. Spanish River Community High School, founded in 1983, has been the home of many brilliant and talented students, all of which have gone on with their lives while still remaining a part of the River community. Joe Ballarini, graduated in 1995 and is now a proud River alumni. Ballarini attended the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts with a bachelor’s degree in film production and a minor in Creative Writing. He is now a loving husband and father of two.

After graduating, Ballarini went on writing and producing movies, such as “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting”. This was one of his greatest, most well-known books as well as one of his best accomplishments, which he later produced into a movie on Netflix. Ballarini has also written other works such as “Zombie Prom”, and “Dance of the Dead”. He assisted in animated films such as “Ice Age” and “My Little Pony”. Ballarini is currently writing a true story called “We Carry Kevan”, one that he is very proud of and will publish in the near future. As a River alumnus, Ballarini has many recommendations and advice to current students. For starters, he believes that all students should develop a habit for reading, and most importantly, to never stop. “Reading old and new books can open your eyes to the world and allow you to not just follow one narrow path,” said Ballarini. He also believes that kids should

stay safe, and refrain from using alcohol and drugs -and especially vaping. In addition, Ballarini recommends that kids, especially in high school, should take advantage of the time they have, and spend lots of time with friends and family. Another prominent River alumna is Danielle Schneider who graduated from Spanish River in 1993, and then went to New York University for her college years. Schneider, similar to Ballarini, earned a bachelor’s degree in film writing, and now writes movies and TV shows. Schneider has assisted in writing popular shows such as “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “I’m Sorry”, both of which are popular comedies that have received tons of praise from the public. She is also currently partaking in a podcast with Casey Wilson, another actress/ comedian.

“Find people that laugh at the same things that you laugh at and are kind to you, you’ll be friends with them forever” said Schneider, as her main recommendation to current students. Both Danielle Schneider and Joe Ballarini have many wonderful memories from high school. One reoccurring memory that they both shared and enjoyed was being with friends. Both shared how they truly enjoyed spending so much time with their friends, how they laughed all the time, and how they still talk to their friends to this day. They also cherished the River school spirit, being involved in pep rallies and school leadership. While both Schneider and Ballarini may have moved on and are no longer students at Spanish River, both have made wonderful friends, memories, careers, and will forever be a part of the Spanish River community. PHOTOS COURTESY OF GOOGLE IMAGES




Rioters Storm Capitol In Violent Attack Lyndsey Roth Curents Editor

12:53 p.m., the rioters broke through the gates that were meant to close off and protect the Capitol. Within minutes, rioters outnumbered the Police and swarmed the area. Eventually, Capitol Hill was on lockdown and everyone in the building was advised to

said The New York Times. If the electoral ballots were to have been vandalized, there would be no problem as there are copies of each vote. The ballots that sit in the Senate are more to symbolize the written votes as proof of Joseph Biden’s win. Quick

On January 6, what initially started as a protest initiated by President Donald Trump, deemed the “Save America” rally, quickly turned into an insurrection against the United States government. Federal property at the US Capitol was destroyed, stolen, and vandalized as the rioters, also labeled as domestic terrorists by many government officials and the media, sat in the chairs of historical figures and stormed the Capitol. While many Republicans were reluctant to acknowledge Trump’s involvement in the insurrection, some Republicans such as Senator Mitt Romney, were quick to condemn Trump’s actions after the incident. “We gather due to a selfish man’s injured pride, and the outrage of supporters who he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning,” said Romney. Rioters gathered to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. The initial goal of the rioters was to protest and disrupt the finalized stay away from windows or doors. By thinking staff members were able to election results due to a firm belief that 2:30 p.m, the rioters breached security transport the ballots to safety as the Senate lockdown began. the election was stolen. However, nu- and entered the building. After these events, Trump became “Electoral college ballots [were] resmerous politicians have confirmed that to undergo cued from the Senate floor,” said Senathe possibility of a fraudulent election the first president the impeachment process twice. It is in tor Jeff Merkely. “If our capable floor is a false and dangerous theory. “To date, we have not seen fraud on fact, the most bipartisan impeachment staff hadn’t grabbed them, they would have been burned by the mob.” a scale that could have effected a differ- to date. “Mitch McConnell, the Republican Vice President Mike Pence also ent outcome in the election,” said Barr Senate leader, has put out word that contended President Trump’s rhetoric in an interview with the BBC. By the afternoon of January 6 at he is glad impeachment is happening,” of spreading false information to the

public. “The Presidency belongs to the American people, and to them alone,” said Pence in his statement addressing the election after the attack at the Capitol. The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, have revealed that these domestic terrorists will be prosecuted despite how difficult that process may entail. There is already a vast amount of self-incriminating evidence against these rioters, and more than 70 people have already been charged for acts of insurrection. For example, Florida resident Adam Johnson was arrested for stealing Nancy Pelosi’s lectern after pictures of Johnson showing him smiling with the lectern circulated most media platforms. At least 170 cases have already been investigated as well as a hotline provided by the FBI to inform them with tips to guide them in charging as many rioters as possible. After these chaotic events, Pence confirmed that Joe Biden’s win is rightful despite Trump and his supporters’ conspiracies. Although it is unclear what the ramifications of these events will be, it is clear that this is an extreme event that will live on throughout history. “This is a day that will live in infamy. The very people who believe they are protecting our democracy have succeeded in destroying it.” said Representative Maria Fudge. PHOTO COURTESY OF CNN

Nashville Bombing Shocks Nation on Christmas Day Dominic D’Arelli Currents Editor

and char, a man’s body was discovered. This man was identified as 63-year-old Anthony Q. Warner; Warner is said to be the perpetrator who set off the bomb. The media is still unclear of Warner’s motives on why he set the bomb off; the FBI is currently still investigating

Local news crews and helicopter footage revealed a visible cloud of smoke throughout downtown Nashville. Although no one, other than the bomber, was killed, over 41 businesses were affected by the blast, and 400 nearby residents’ homes were

On Christmas morning the city of Nashville, Tennessee was struck with terror as a suicide bomber exploded an RV in the downtown area. Many nearby residents reported hearing around 20 gunshots that same morning, a security camera from a building nearby recorded the gunshots between 5:11 am and 5:26 am; police responded to the calls immediately and began investigating the events that took place. The RV was seen on a nearby security camera driving into the location of the blast at 1:22 am the same day. As more police arrived at the scene, a very loud recorded audio began to play over the speakers of the RV. The phrase “Stay clear of the vehicle. Do not approach this vehicle. Your primary objective is to evacuate” repeated on the RV speakers, then a countdown from 15 The destruction caused by the bombing on Christmas day. minutes began and people started to panic. Police surrounding the area the case. It was recently revealed that destroyed. The Washington Post began evacuating nearby business in 2019 Anthony’s former girlfriend reported that residents were able to warned police that Warner might be return to what was once their homes owners and residents. The blast occurred at approximately building a bomb but nothing serious and retrieve valuable items. When one resident returned all of his family 6:29 am, and later, from the pile of ash was done regarding the warning.

photos were lying on the ground and he was able to retrieve them from the rubble. An owner of a business in the area stated that he now has no source of income and is unsure what to do next, but will not be returning to the area where the blast occurred. In an article by The Washington Post titled “Gunfire, warnings, then an explosion: What videos show about the Nashville bombing” security camera footage from nearby homes and businesses. In these videos, one can see a peaceful night in Nashville, and no more than a second later it was all destroyed. One street security camera picked up footage of a man walking his dog in the area of the blast, a police officer is then visible and tells the man he must evacuate, seconds later the bomb detonated, all three survived including the man and his dog. The tragic incident shocked many, especially as it occurred during the holiday season; although some businesses are set to reopen soon and make a full recovery from the bombing, many of the businesses around the area now lack the funds to relocate and are left with nothing but rubble and ash. PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW YORK TIMES




Stimulus Checks Aid Americans In Time Of Need

Nashki Joseph Associate Editor

programs would have expired the day after Christmas, abandoning over 10 million Americans. Second, a federal moratorium on evictions would have also expired, leaving tens of millions liable to losing their homes. Following the bill’s passage, however, then-President Donald Trump posted a video on Twitter calling on Congress

Poll suggested that 78% of likely voters supported the $2,000 direct payments. But whether or not enough Republicans would support the bill was unclear. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont vowed to object to voting on overriding President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, effectively delaying the process and

In December of 2020, Congress passed an economic relief package and government spending bill that promised $600 stimulus payments to millions of Americans. Many opponents argued that the bill should have included more funds for larger payments, but many Americans have already received their direct payments. The last stimulus bill was passed last March and included $1200 in direct payments to qualifying Americans. It also included funds for several federal unemployment assistance programs and a moratorium on evictions. At the time, the U.S. was adding roughly 20,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. While Congress debated the second stimulus bill in December, the country was adding over 200,000 new cases per day. This difference is The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service began to deliver payments in late December. a main reason why opponents argued to increase the payments in it to $2,000, complicating matters for his Republican that the bill should have included more calling the $600 “ridiculously low” and colleagues -- especially Senate Majority funds for direct payments and federal “a disgrace.” House Speaker Nancy Leader Mitch McConnell. unemployment assistance programs Pelosi quickly moved to bring a revised “I’m going to object until we get a -- the state of the pandemic has bill to the floor of the House through vote on legislation to provide a $2,000 objectively worsened since then. unanimous consent. direct payment to the working class,” Congress rushed to pass the bill, But beyond that, the bill’s fate was Sanders tweeted after the House passed albeit bitterly, for two reasons. First, mired in uncertainty. The bill had wide the bill to increase the payments. federal unemployment assistance public support -- data from Progress Senate Minority Leader Chuck

Schumer moved to increase the payments through a unanimous consent request to expedite the process and immediately bring the bill to a vote, but McConnell blocked it. Although President Trump and Senate Democrats were pushing for the increase in payments, many Republicans argued that the bill would simply cost too much. However, some Republicans signaled support for the increase. Blocking the bill from coming to a vote allowed McConnell to keep it from dividing his party even further. Despite Sanders’ efforts, the Senate overrode President Trump’s veto just days later, with the fate of increased stimulus payments left in limbo. Now that President Joe Biden has assumed the executive mantle, a new bill to send direct payments to Americans is more likely than ever. Biden called for increased payments while Trump was still in office, and was handed a slim Democratic Senate majority just weeks before he took office. He stands poised to sign an array of economic relief packages in the coming weeks as the pandemic rages on.


14 SPORTS Girls Basketball Travels into the Alabama Rolls to 18th National Championship New Season THE GALLEON FEBRUARY 2021

the players’ game. The Sharks began the season 1-2 -- although all games Sports Reporter were close -- and then proceeded to have their next game canceled due to As 2020 woundtowards its end, COVID. With a sports season unlike Spanish River Girls Basketball was just any other, this was almost inevitable. getting started. Coming off of a solid “COVID has definitely impacted our 14-9 season, the girls seek to improve season,” said Avrach. “We have about upon that record this year. The Sharks half of the games we normally would in lost their two senior captains this past a season, and we are playing completely year, placing much more pressure on different teams than we’ve played in the incoming juniors. This year, the years prior. As a team, I think we’ve team is led by Aly Avrach and Sophie adjusted well to the circumstances, and Levine, team captains, though they are made the best of the situation.” only juniors. The Sharks have not had the best The Sharks are very young this start to their season, going 2-5, but year with no seniors on the team, but still believe this team can blossom into a winner, consistently putting up high scores. As the season moves forward, the girls are only going to improve. Despite its losing record, the Sharks had a shining moment when Avrach committed to Palm Beach Atlantic University to further pursue her athletic career. Avrach has been a star throughout her high school career and has always had dreams of playing basketball at a Aly Avrach hit a milestone at Spanish River gettting 1000 career higher level. Avrach largely points. made her decision on inexperience is notwithstanding. These location and the opportunity to play in Sharks believe each and every player college right away as a freshman. has value and provides leadership. “PBA has always been one of my In high school sports particularly, top schools,” Avrach said. “I love the not many teams play without seniors West Palm Beach area, and the fact that on the roster. This team is an exception. I am close to home is a plus because my The girls use the bond they share, both family is very important to me. I also on and off the court, to help each other know that I will be able to go and make grow and improve each day. Although an impact right away which is very some might think a team composed of exciting.” juniors is a disadvantage, the ability to As the Sharks continue their season continue working with the same team and develop as a team, they will use this for multiple seasons is special and does year as a learning experience and come not happen often. back strong next year with a roster “Our whole starting five is all juniors stacked with returning, experienced and I think that it’s a great thing,” Levine seniors. said. “It helps us a lot because we now get to keep the same team for the next year and we can grow and work with each other as a team. I think it’s a great advantage.” With an ongoing pandemic, there are still many concerns regarding the season in general and the impact on PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN JONES

Elijah Levine

Kylie Brooks Sports Editor

DeVante Smith left the game with an hand injury early in the third quarter. Alabama kicked a field goal in the third quarter. Ohio State struck late in the third quarter with a 20 yard touchdown pass from Justin Fields, Ohio State’s quarterback to Garret Wilson who is

The stage was set for the Number one seed the University of Alabama to play the number three seed the University of Ohio State for the biggest game in college football of the 2020-2021 season. The University of Alabama is ranked number one for college football with a record of 12-0. Ohio State University is ranked number 3 for college football with a record of 7-0. Alabama beat the number 4, Notre Dame, in the Fiesta Bowl to get Alabma’s Head Coach, Nick Saban, celebrationg with team after into the CFP National National Championship win. Championship game. Ohio State’s wide receiver. Mac Jones Ohio State beat the number two seed passed a five-yard touchdown to Slade ,Clemson University, in the Sugar Bolden to increase the score to 45-24 at Bowl to get into the CFP National the end of the third quarter. Championship game. In the very early minutes of the Alabama kicked off to start the game fourth quarter, Alabama scored a and Ohio State did not score on its first rushing touchdown. Mac Jones handed drive of the game. Alabama scored the ball off to Najee Harris for his third first on their first drive of the game to touchdown of the night rushing for a take an early lead. Mac Jones Alabama’s one yard touchdown bringing the score quarterback handed the ball off to to 52-24. Mac Jones was taken out of Najee Harris who is the running back the game with three minutes left in for Alabama for a one yard rushing the game allowing Bryce Young to get touchdown. Ohio State answered with some time in the game. Alabama won a touchdown on their next drive tying the game 52-24. the game. Justin Field handed the ball Justin Fields, Ohio State’s to Master Heague III for a eight yard Quarterback, passed for 194 yards rushing touchdown for Ohio State. in total, had one touchdown pass, The next touchdown was by Alabama and rushed for 67 yards with no interceptions. Chris Olave, Ohio State’s WR, had 69 yards and no touchdowns. Master Teague III, Ohio State’s RB, rushed for 65 yards and had two rushing touchdowns. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State’s WR, had 50 yards and one touchdown. Mac Jones, Alabama’s DeVonte Smith, Alabama’s Wide Reciever, with the Heisman quarterback, passed for Trophy. 464 yards in total and in the beginning of the second quarter had five touchdown passes with no making the score 14-7. Mac Jones threw interceptions. Najee Harris, Alabama’s the ball five yards for a touchdown pass RB, rushed for 79 yards with two to DeVante Smith. After an Alabama rushing touchdowns and one passing fumble, Ohio State scored on the next touchdown. DeVante Smith, Alabama’s play to tie the game. Mac Jones handed WR, finished with 215 yards and three the ball off to Master Heague III for a touchdowns. four yard touchdown. Alabama scored Despite DeVante Smith not playing as an answer to the tying touchdown. most of the second half, Smith won Mac Jones lobbed the ball to Najee the MVP of the game. He also set the Harris for a 26 yard touchdown. championship record for yards in the On the next drive, the Alabama first half, broke the SEC record for defense held Ohio State’s offense to just receiving yards, as well as leading this a field goal making the score 21-17, year in FBS in receptions, receiving with Alabama winning. In response yards and receiving touchdowns. He to Ohio State’s field goal, Mac Jones, was an unanimous All-American, Alabama’s Quarterback moved down Heisman winner, Maxwell Award and the field quickly and passed a five yard Walter Camp Award Winner (Best touchdown to DeVante Smith. DeVante Player), and the Biletnikoff Award Smith recorded his third touchdown of Winner (best wide receiver). He is a the night with a touchdown pass from game changer and is expected to go in Mac Jones for 42 yards. DeVante Smith the first round of the NFL draft. had 215 yards in just the first half. The score at halftime was 35-17 with Alabama winning. PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOGLE IMAGES




Girls Flag Football is Off to a Running Start Murray Litman Sports Reporter

The Girls Flag Football team at Spanish River is preparing to get back into action later in the month of January, as their season was cut short due to the surge of COVID-19 cases

Jenna Rothberg getting ready for the snap.

in March of 2020. In 2019, the Sharks were the runners-up in their district. In addition to this, the Girls Flag Football

team also received a ranking inside the top 20 on Florida High School Football’s all-state list for the past two seasons. This year, the Sharks are looking to build onto their impressive resume. “We were very disappointed that our 2020 season was cut short, but look forward to new opportunities in 2021,” says Head Coach Drew Immler. ”Our immediate team goal is to win our district and in order to accomplish this, we must play together as a team and practice extremely hard.” During the fall of 2020, the Sharks played tournaments in Tampa, Lakeland, and Loxahatchee to warm up for their season coming up in the months ahead. For this season, Coach Immler wants his team to focus on their game and the circumstances that they are able to control (such as technique and chemistry) throughout this season.

“We had a bunch of seniors leave us [last year] who were amazing people and now it’s time for our team to step up and win it all,” says senior wide receiver and defensive linebacker, Jenna Rothberg. “It just stinks that this pandemic is still going on and not as many fans can come to the games like my prior seasons being on the team. It’s always The River girls flag football team at a tournament in Tampa during fun when friends the fall of 2020. and family come and end to spring sports, and a second place [provide] support. I hope we get a full finish at Districts the year prior. With season this year and win. the new season around the corner and a It will not be the same playing great amount of motivation, the Sharks without the 2020 senior class knowing are hungry and will fight to make their the team did not finish the season last journey back to the District Finals. year. However, the Sharks have big goals for this season and are planning to do what they do best, in spite of the ongoing pandemic. The Sharks look to start fresh in 2021 after last year’s disappointing PHOTOS COURTESY OF JENNA AND TARA ROTHBERG

Bucanneers and Chiefs Are Super Bowl Bound Elijah Levine

earning home-field advantage for its first playoff game. Although stadiums Sports Reporter with no fans have become the norm in these uncertain times, for the first time A year full of tragedy, violence, all season, Buffalo allowed 6,000 fans and racial discrimination places 2020 for the playoff game. Just one year after in the category of “Worst Year Ever”. losing in the first round of the playoffs, Notwithstanding, there were still some the Bills learned from past mistakes silver linings; the NFL endured, with and defeated the Indianapolis Colts 27a season that brought together players 24, led by quarterback Josh Allen and and fans to enjoy the game they love. wide receiver Stefon Diggs. It was a strange season, filled with “We were able to take what we cancellations, zoom practices, and learned last year and take it into this social distancing from the players’ own game”, Allen said. “Obviously, we families. started off a little slow and we were able As 2020 wrapped up, the NFL playoffs to get into rhythm late. Made enough were just getting started. With a new plays to win.” format created by the league, much As for the Browns, Cleveland’s last to the fans’ pleasure, the Wild Card playoff appearance was 2004. This year weekend featured six games instead the Browns earned a playoff spot after a of the normal four. The first weekend strong first half of the season, receiving featured both the Cleveland Browns some help from other teams late in the and the Buffalo Bills -- teams that have season in order to advance. For the had long playoff droughts. Browns’ fan base, this moment was long overdue, and the team did not disappoint. The Browns dismantled the rival Pittsburgh Steelers 4837, advancing to its first divisional round game since 1994. The Browns Chiefs fans and players watch fireworks as they head to their second consecutive Super Bowl. got off to a hot start, The Bills were crowned AFC East establishing a 28-0 lead, in large champions for the first time since 1995, part due to the great rushing attack

of running backs Nick Chubb and stands.” Kareem Hunt. On the other side of the bracket, As the second weekend wrapped up, the last game of the divisional round the major storylines were in the NFC. featured 43 year old Tom Brady and the The first game featured the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers. This game was especially important for both Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Packers receiver D avante A d a m s . Both players Quarterback Tom Brady celebrates his 10th Super Bowl appearance with the led their Buccaneers. respective positions in almost every major Buccaneers versus 42 year old Drew statistical category. The game began Brees and the Saints. This game was the with a slow first quarter with each third matchup of the season between team capitalizing on field goals to tie these two teams, with the Saints the game at three. Things then began handling the Bucs with ease in their to heat up in the second quarter. On first two clashes. Sunday had a different the first drive of the quarter Adams storyline. Brady and the Bucs defense beat Ramsey in the endzone for the led Tampa Bay to a 30-20 victory. The first touchdown of the game, which left stage is now set for one of the most Ramsey visibly upset on the sidelines. anticipated matchups of the year, the The Packers maintained a solid lead for Bucanneers and the Chiefs in Super the rest of the game and won by a final Bowl LV on February 7th in Tampa. score of 32-18. “It was just a great team win — not only against a great opponent, but just the amount of fans in the stands, it definitely added a whole new level of energy out there”, Packers head coach Matt Lafleur said. “It was great to be back out there with all the people in the PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOGLE IMAGES


February 2021 Volume XXXVII Issue IV

Senior Night was a Success for Girls Volleyball


Profile for Galleon News

The Galleon Issue 4 (2020-2021)  

The Galleon Issue 4 (2020-2021)