The Galleon Issue 6 (2020-2021)

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


Au Revoir, Madame Fitz Lyndsey Roth

Her career in the school system began at about the same time she was teaching evening French classes to adults. At some point, Fitz believed her knowledge should Spanish River’s be exchanged for dedicated teacher, friendship and Ms. Lorraine Fitz, experience within has made the the school system. decision to retire “I loved it and and complete her I decided that the teaching career. classroom was She began her where I belonged, ” River journey said Fitz. about 10 years ago Fitz says she and says she began loves the human engaging with her interaction this students to teach occupation entails. them how to speak Throughout her different languages career, she has done as well as introduce many different diverse cultures to things involving whoever makes the just that. astute decision Ms. Fitz taking in her last days of Spanish River “Since I began to take her class. Fitz has taught multiple languages such working for the PBC School District, I as Italian and Spanish, as well as French. have taught World Languages, been She has a very impressive resume and the Director of Arts, Admissions, and has taught these languages all at once. Activities at Dreyfoos for 10 years, With her personal experience with helped open the Middle School of the each culture, she decided to become Arts, and became the IB Middle Years a teacher. Upon an interview with Coordinator at two different middle Ms. Fitz, her admiration towards this schools,” Fitz explained. In correspondence with her curriculum shows what an amazing decision to retire, she will miss all the teacher she is.

Currents Editor

friends she has made at Spanish River. Also, she began to explain that every student has left a mark on her, despite the hardships in her position. Every student she has worked with, good or bad, has taught her valuable lessons such as acceptance. “I have done my best to accept them for who they are, and I would like to believe they have done the same with me,” said Fitz. Once retired, Fitz would like to spend more time involved with the Black Lives Matter Movement, spending quality time with her cats, possibly adopting a dog, and using her spare time to visit her family and friends in France. “The most pressing plan that I have is to become actively involved in the movement to end systemic racism,” said Fitz. “I’ve begun researching an avenue where I could be most useful but the plan is still unclear.” Ms. Fitz is a dedicated teacher, friend, mother, and educator and will be missed by many. PHOTO COURTESY OF LORRAINE FITZ

Changes to be Made at River Duru Boranalp Features Editor

The gym also has new bleachers and it will continue to be improved by next fall, as well as other improvements. “The student parking lot will be repaved and get new parking spots,” said Castellano. Another additional improvement

Spanish River Community High School has noticably been making some critical changes around the campus. Students and staff can anticipate more changes throughout the summer being implemented. Principal Allison Castellano has been working vigorously to make sure these changes are properly executed. “This summer, there is a lot on the schedule to finish at Spanish River,” said Principal Castellano. The new and improved bleachers. A good amount has already been changed at Spanish River this year, will take place in the student parking lot due to the great number of stuand more change is to be expected. “The gym floor will be resurfaced dents at River. This is expected to be and repainted.” “Another change that improved next fall. “Water fountains have been rewill be carried out are the doors being placed, and in some areas, refillable refinished and polished in the gym water bottle stations will be put in and the 2000s building,” says Castelplace of a water fountain,” lano. @Galleon_News

said Castellano. Refillable water stations will be very useful for students, and putting in new water fountains will be very sanitary. “The PA system will be updated to ensure that students can hear code red calls in the gym, courtyard, and hallway corridors,” states Castellano. This is one of the most crucial changes that is being carried out by Castellano. Students must be able to hear important information and codes. “All bathrooms on campus will have new plumbing, new tile, [be] gutted, [be] painted, and new toilets,” said Castellano. Many students have complained about the state of River’s bathrooms for years, and the renovations have already been praised. Another profound aspect of River’s renovation has been the addition of motion-sensored LED lights in all classrooms. This is a great energy saver. Castellano is determined to improve Spanish River in the best way possible. She has made significant improvements and continues to carry on changes every day.

May 2021 - Issue 6

Bon Voyage Thank you for all of your hardwork and dedication. A couple farewells from the Spanish River Staff: “Ms. Fitz always goes above and beyond to help all students. We will miss you. Good luck on your retirement.” -Ira Sollod “Ms. Fitz is one of the kindest, sweetest people I’ve ever met. She’s passionate, funny, and is amazingly artistic. Ms. Fitz is a bright spot in our Shark family & she will be greatly missed!” -Faith Collins “I will always cherish our conversations about the important things in life; clothes, shoes, handbags, and nail polish colors.” Jennifer Carril “With her conviviality and hearty laugh, Lorraine can bring a smile to anyone’s face. I will miss her wisdom and the esprit de corps we have de veloped over the years. Good luck on your new journey, mon amie.” -Señor Medvedeff continued on page 2...




NEWS Continued from page 1..... “Madame. Fitz is the kind of teacher that I would want to teach my child, but also I would like to be a student in her class. Her passion for her subject and her students is infectious. But it is her sense of compassion which she shows on a daily basis that is perhaps her most admirable quality. Madame Fitz has the ability to make people feel valued. I appreciate her sharing that gift with me. “ -Deborah Lewis

“Madame Fitz est une merveilleuse enseignante et une source de joie et de bonheur à Spanish River”--Joshua Wade



Senior Information Senior Award Night:

May 25th, 2021 5-8 pm Location: Countess de Hoernle Theatre.

Graduation Rehearsal:

Monday, June 14, 2021 ALL students must be punctual at rehearsal at their designated time on their google meet. If any student does not attend the rehearsal they will not be participating in the ceremony.

Graduation Ceremony:

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 1:00 Location: South Florida Fairgrounds. All seniors must be in the staging area by 11:30 a.m

Graduation Attire:

Male seniors are required to wear a solid color, collared shirt or tie, dark dress pants, dark socks and dark dress shoes for graduation.Female seniors are required to wear professional attire and dress shoes.

“On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Quel trésor d’avoir travaillé avectoi à Spanish River ! Merci d’être ma bonne amie. De tout mon cœur” -Kris Earle


“Madame Fitz is a wonderful teacher and friend. She cares about others and is always willing to help and listen. I will miss her laugh and love! Happy Retirement!“ -Dawn Russell

“I feel that it has been a blessing to have you a part of my life not once but twice. Thank you for the continued support and always seeing the best in me!! Congratulations on your well deserved retirement!!” -Kia Allen

SGA Positions 21-22 SGA President: Aly Avrach SGA Vice President: Ioanna Copulus SGA Recording Secretary: Reese Marcus SGA Corresponding Secretary: Elaine Balsam SGA Treasurer: Samantha Eisenberg Mr. Spanish River: Sam Chaskin Miss Spanish River: Mia Simon County Council Secretary: Hali Leeds

“Mme Fitz - Merci pour vos nombreuses années de service dans le domaine de l’éducation. Que vos années de retraite soient aussi enrichissantes que votre carrière d’éducateur!”-Mrs. Goron Ioanna Copulus and Aly Avrach.

Photo Courtesy of @hailtheriver




Maria Viloria Garcia Artist

The last four years have been a rollercoaster of emotions. From starting a completely new school, meeting new people, joining advanced classes, and then experiencing a global pandemic, I can say that my high school experience was an interesting one. I started high school thinking that I had to be number one, take every single AP class presented to me and shoot to be at the top of my class. As time went on, I realized that you do not have to be number one to succeed, and that you do not have to stress yourself out with insanely difficult classes just because you want a higher GPA. Something I learned in high school that I will forever take with me is to be a well-rounded person. Focus on your studies, but do not let your studies take you away from doing the things you love and spending time with your family and friends. However, do not let your family and friends take you away from your studies and keep you from achieving as much as you can in high school. I am insanely grateful for the opportunities that Spanish River High School was able to offer me; such as being able to join the amazing staff of The Galleon, being able to participate and compete for our theatre department, and all the teachers that truly helped me become a better person. I want to send a huge thank you to Ms. Altamirano, who taught me to find joy in the things that I do and to look at life through a more positive lens. To Mrs. Delaney, for being someone easy to talk to and being a guide for me for the last three years. To Mrs.

Art by Maria Viloria Garcia

Gray, for giving amazing tips on how to be more confident with my writing and being an aid in such tough times. I do not regret any decision that I have made -- even the more questionable ones -- and I am leaving high school with some amazing memories. Thank you for the last four years, and I will forever be a shark!

Elijah Levine

Sports Reporter

Art by Maria Viloria Garcia

Kylie Brooks

When I first heard there was a newspaper class, I did not think it was a fit for me, nor did I think I would enjoy it. Because of my initial hesitation, I decided against joining in 9th grade and decided to wait another year. During my junior year, I was lucky enough to become a sports editor; I was nervous but also excited. Thankfully, I had a great friend and co-editor who helped me become the writer I am today. Harrison Vapnek helped me learn the basics of writing, and, although we might not have always agreed on the same things, we still enjoyed our time together. I also owe a huge thank you to Ms. Delaney for giving me an opportunity to showcase my writing skills and work with a bunch of other fantastic writers on staff. Although my senior year has been filled with ups and downs, one of these downs being able to speak face-to-face with any members on staff, I still believe I have grown as a better writer and listener. Being in this class allowed me to open up about my opinions and beliefs around the various sporting events at our school and around the country. I have been able to interview numerous students and coaches, which helped my communication skills grow throughout these awesome two years on staff. My final two years of high school were not always perfect, but one thing I would never change was being a part of the Galleon staff. Other than Galleon, my high school experience has been pretty good. One of the most important things I have learned from my experience was to try your hardest in freshman and sophomore year. These two years changed my perspective about school and what I plan on doing in the future. As I got into junior year, school became easier as time went on, and with hard work comes success. Senior year hasn’t been easy, but thanks to all my teachers and their flexibility around tests and homework, I have been able to end my high school career in a great way.

Sports Editor

My first piece of advice to underclassmen is this: grades do not define who you are. As long as you try your best, you should be happy. My next piece of advice is to try new things. Constantly try your hand at hobbies or talents because you never know what you may or may not like. When trying new things, you will meet new people who might just become some of your closest friends. Another piece of advice is to learn time management before graduating. The earlier you get in the habit of doing assignments before the last minute, the easier things will go for you for the rest of your life. When you learn to be punctual, the rest of your schooling and life will go much more smoothly, and time management is a great skill to have, whether you’re working or furthering your education after high school. Like time management, diligence is another great skill that will serve you in high school and beyond. If you work hard, it will always reward you in anything you do. My last piece of advice is to enjoy every moment. These years will fly by before you know it. Do not take anything for granted. If you want to do something, DO IT. You are the only person holding yourself back from great life experiences. I would like to thank all the teachers who believed in me and pushed me to be the best student-athlete I can be. I would also like to thank Coach McEnroe for everything that he has done for me these past four years. Spanish River was one of the best experiences of my life, and I hope that you enjoy Spanish River as much as I did. My advice to any student is to enjoy every second of high school. It is a rollercoaster, but it does not last forever. High school is meant to be enjoyed, so do not forget to enjoy it; do not stress over the little things as they will not amount to much in the big picture of your life. This is one of my favorite life quotes and I feel it is very fitting: “Life moves pretty fast. If you do not stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” (Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.) I hope I served as a role model for others. I am so proud and excited to be attending college next year at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, where I will major and earn a master’s degree in Sports Communication. I chose this school because it will give me the best opportunities after college, as the alumni community helps college graduates find employment opportunities. The small college atmosphere, as well as the sport teams and events, make this school the perfect choice for me. I could not have attended this school without my teachers, staff, and fellow students pushing me to be the best I can be, and I could not have chosen a better school community to be a part of for the past four years.

Art by Maria Viloria Garcia




Brayant Out: The Panic of High School, and Who to Thank Brayant Polanco Editor-In-Chief This was way harder than I thought it would be - not just writing this, but high school as a whole. Although my high school experience has not been as epic as high school is made out to be in TV shows or movies, I am extremely proud of what I accomplished and who I am today. I remember freshman year when I walked through Spanish River Community High School’s gates and wandered into the gigantic courtyard by myself, both confused, scared and excited to start high school. Truth be told, I had no idea what I was doing I didn’t know anything about college, I didn’t know anything about AP classes, and I certainly didn’t know anything about the SAT or ACT. When I began to get a hold of all this information in sophomore year, I began to panic. I became increasingly anxious; worrying about my grades and extracurriculars, and whether or not I would be good enough to achieve my dream of going to Harvard - as most of us did at least once. However, as we all know - or rather, should know, this mentality is toxic. Luckily, I had someone, specifically here from The Galleon, that was able to

snap me out of it. I do not have enough words to describe how The Galleon has been the best experience I could have asked for. Not only did I receive constant guidance and encouragement, but I was also part of this amazing staff that eventually became a - slightly dysfunctional - family. I became who I am today because of the constant support of everyone around me, so I want to take this opportunity to thank e v e r y s i ng l e person that made a difference in my life and offered me guidance when I needed it most. First and foremost, I have to start with my advisor and confidant, Mrs. Delaney. I have had the privilege of having Delaney as my teacher for the past four years, and throughout every single one of those years, she inspired me and taught me new life lessons. Your advice got me

through some of my most difficult times, and I am sure that I would not be the person I am today if it were not for you. I will forever be grateful to you for allowing me to form part of the amazing experiences that are The Galleon and Pieces of Eight, and I consider myself lucky to have met you. Another person at River who has had my back since day one is Ms. Fish. I still remember the day when I walked to that small table with the blue poster during club rush asking what HOSA was exactly - only to find Fish with an orange wig and a guitar, of course. Since then, you have allowed me to dive deeper and deeper into my love for science, and I will always thank you for that. Mrs. Lewis, you were the teacher that inspired and nurtured my love for writing, and you are the reason I

am writing this editorial right now. Thank you so much for giving me the foundation that allowed me to thrive in journalism and writing. Mrs. Kalman, thank you for putting up with my countless emails during these past three years about dual enrollment, college, or anything in between. I want to thank my friends for always having my back and listening to my daily rants - I really appreciate your support throughout these years and I wish you all the best of luck following your dreams. Finally, thank you to my parents, who have loved me unconditionally, and who sacrificed everything with the hope of giving me and my brothers limitless opportunities. In the fall, I will be attending Rice University where I plan on majoring in neuroscience in the pre-medical track. As cliche as it sounds, time does really fly by - so treasure it. I know most of us are more than ready to be leaving high school, but sometimes, when you look back through the rose-tinted perspective of the future, you will realize that you really did have some of the best years of your life. And with that said, Brayant out.


Sound the Horn: Goodbye Sharks, Hello Bears

Julia Horn

Editor-In-Chief High school is nothing like the movies. I can honestly say, after these four years, that Mean Girls, Clueless, and The Breakfast Club were quite misleading. Nevertheless, my time in high school was not only valuable for my personal growth, but it set me on the path to someday attend the Ivy League institution, Cornell University (which still seems unreal to be typing). I was certainly an entirely different person in my freshman year, although I am still as bubbly and optimistic as ever. As a 4’11” ninth grader, I was entirely clueless in regards to my academic potential. If you had asked me then where I was going to college, I probably would have stood there thinking for too long. I came into high school with the expectation that my classes would be absolutely impossible and that I had to prepare myself for the possibility that I would not be able to handle the rigorous schedule that was set out for me. However, not only did I successfully make it through my tough schedule over the past few years, but I thrived under the challenges that my classes brought. Don’t get me wrong, high school was hard and it was a lot of work, but I learned that I can handle more than I think and that with the

right teachers, even the hardest material is learnable. As I get ready to leave for college and reflect on my time in high school, I realize that it was my teachers that made this entire academic chapter in my life so valuable. Having a teacher like Mrs. Delaney for all four years has definitely shaped my character and helped me develop my passion for writing. Although I am planning on studying engineering, being a part of The Galleon has provided me with a creative outlet separate and apart from my rigorous AP math and science classes. Through each year on the newspaper, I was able to write about things that interested me and design pages through graphic design that I did not even know I was capable of. Mrs. Delaney is the reason for all of this and I have her to thank for the growth that Galleon provided me with. I learned about leadership and what it means to collaborate with an entire class of students. I am so grateful to have been part of such an amazing staff each year. Many of my other teachers have helped me develop my passion for STEM and grow as a student. While she may no longer teach at River, Mrs. Cangelosi turned me into the science nerd I am today. Her passion for biology and her ability to make learning so easy helped me

realize that this was where my future career was. Additionally, Mr. Dybas inspired me to apply to chemical engineering programs across the country. Some of my math teachers like Mr. Tufo, Ms. Kuluslu, and Mr. Cochran have prepared me so well for the higher-level math classes I will be taking. And of course, I cannot forget about Mr. Daub, who made my extremely stressful junior year that much more enjoyable! In addition to my academics, my time on the cross country and track team is something I am forever thankful for. The friends I have made and the lessons I have learned through my commitment to my team are invaluable. Being able to run on such an incredible team with my dad coaching me is something I could not find anywhere else. And while the track and XC program at Spanish River is one of the best, so is our DECA chapter. DECA was another way for me to

break away from the STEM path and explore my other passions, like business. I am proud to have competed for Spanish River DECA and to have worked with such amazing teachers including Mr. Bazile, Ms. Calenzani, and Mrs. Berke. Now with graduation quickly approaching, I am so fond of my time here at Spanish River. While I may now be a bear, I will always be a shark!





Bye By Bri: Advice to Underclassmen

Brianna Levine Editor-In-Chief

What seemed like an endless obstacle is now something I wish I was able to cherish more as one of the most important chapters of my life, and it’s coming to a close. Now I am here to reflect upon my high school experience and relay the information I wish I had known prior to entering high school. First, the most important lesson I have learned is that balancing school and social life is of the utmost importance. Do not stress over school and devote every minute of your life to it -- whatever has your mind running in circles is most likely temporary. On the other hand, it is important to maintain a stable social life -- hanging out with friends and spending time with family. These social interactions have kept me on my feet, and without them, my anxiety over school would skyrocket. While both school and social life are important, balancing them is crucial because devoting too much time to one or the other can offset one’s mental health. So, the important note to take away from this is to not let social life distract you from school, but do not let school distract you from having a social life. Next up, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. IT IS BAD. DO NOT DO IT. This bad habit has resulted in many late nights

of cramming assignments and not retaining the information I need. The key is to properly pace yourself and start assignments as soon as possible. Organizing both notes and assignments will prove to be extremely beneficial to anyone’s education. Another lesson I would like to add is to not base every decision off of your friends. For starters, my high school decision was based off of where my friends were going. Needless to say, I am glad I went to Spanish River and o bt ai n e d a good education, but I passed up other opportunities such as participating in the IB program at a different school in the process. It is important to keep in mind that not every friend you make in high school will always be there, so do not allow anyone but yourself to influence your future. Another thing, do not succumb to

peer pressure. The best word of advice I can give is to just be yourself regardless of what opinions others hold. The ones who stick by you even at your worst are the ones that will most likely support you and stay by your side in the future. Lastly, I would like to express the importance of finding one’s passion. It is always good to be involved with your school and its extracurriculars, but do not overwhelm yourself. When I entered high school, the concept of doing journalism o r any t h i ng of the sort never crossed my mind. It was not until realizing how much I enjoyed writing that I decided to apply for The Galleon. I did not know what to expect, but the class was a very enjoyable experience. I ended up applying for an editor position following my first year on staff and took on the responsibility of laying out pages and co-operating with my co-

editor. This experience brought me to my decision of applying for the position of editor-in-chief, which I believed was a long shot. Evidently, I made it --- I was granted the opportunity to expand my roots into journalism and finally realize my passion and desire to pursue it even further. All in all, my high school experience is definitely one for the books, especially since COVID-19 rained on my senior year parade. Along the way I have gained a valuable education, made unforgettable friends, and found new passions. This experience will help guide me into the next chapter of my life: college. My decision is to attend the University of Central Florida. At first, I planned to major in journalism, but I have decided to change my major to english. An english degree is much more versatile and can still be applied to a journalist position, as well as grant me numerous other opportunities such as abroad travel and teaching. This decision was very difficult to make due to family pressures and the fact that I had eight other great options to choose from. There is a possibility that I will decide to transfer after my first two years to expand upon my major. Regardless, I am proud of my decision and gladly anticipate what is to come in the next four years and beyond. ART COURTESY OF MARIA VILORIA GARCIA

Nashki’s Nuggets: A Letter to My Past Self Nashki Joseph Associate Editor

If high school can be compared to a marathon, then I believe you could say that I’m approaching the finish line. I’ve gone through nearly every mile, and it’s been a long journey. I’ve learned quite a lot since then, and if I could, I would go back and teach the boy who entered high school almost four years ago all of it. He was not quite ready for what he was about to begin. The most important thing would have been this: school isn’t everything. Above anything else, I wish I could go back and tell my past self to find more things that made me enjoy life, rather than devoting pieces of myself to my GPA, to my dreams of academic success, to my desire to be recognized. Looking back, that was a contributing factor to the burnout I’ve been feeling for quite some time now. I would tell him to keep those pieces of himself and put them into places more secure than academia. I would

have told him to focus a bit more on his friends, his close family, and his happiness. And I did do a bit of that, albeit not enough at times. I joined The Galleon and made some very good friends that helped me make some of my most memorable high school memories. I tried new things, and explored my passion for writing poetry. I would also tell myself that some questions don’t have immediate answers. A lot of people normalize the idea that high school students are supposed to have their lives planned out. It’s very unreasonable, though, to expect a senior to know their future career and make decisions regarding college based on that career, all while that student is struggling through the last miles of high school in the name of maintaining “academic rigor.” I would let him know that even by senior year, when he has decided what college he’s going to and what major to pursue, he will still be confused. He

will not know exactly where the future is taking him or what his life will be like in five years. And I would tell him that that’s okay. He’ll live. I would also tell him to build some better study habits because not doing so will bite him in the very near future. Several times, actually. School has consumed my life for the past four years, and it will consume it for the next four, and probably several more after that. Senior year was already going to be difficult, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the compounding set of issues it brung to academia have only tired me more. I can say, without a single shadow of a doubt, that the feeling I have felt the most in the last year is simple exhaustion. To be honest, I don’t know if telling my past self all of those things would’ve made things any better. But I can confidently say that being happy would’ve been much easier throughout the last four years. As I prepare to go to the University of Central Florida in the fall to study political science (pre-law), and take all of my experience and knowledge with me, I can only hope that all of my underclassmen can take something from my experience in order to make high school slightly less of an ordeal. I wish you all the best of luck, and hope you do what’s best for you. ART COURTESY OF MARIA VILORIA GARCIA


Dr. Keller has created a Google Classroom class where he frequently posts scholarship information and career information. The sign-up code is:

HIONKVS Scan this QR code for Keller’s master doc of scholarship information:




Asian Actresses Break Barriers Ana Perez News Editor

Despite what Hollywood portrays not every actress is white, blond haired, and blue eyed. This mold has been broken by four asian actresses: Sandra Oh, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan. Sandra Oh is an actress known for her role as Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy and Eve Polastri on Killing Eve. Oh was born in Ontario, Canada to South Korean immigrants. She has won two Golden Globes, four Screen Guild Actor Awards, and numerous other awards for her work. On March 20th, 2021, Oh gave a speech at an antiasian hate rally in Pittsburgh in which she declared how she was proud to be asian while condoning asian hate crimes. Sandra Oh is not only an incredibly, talented, and renowned actress but she speaks out for what is right. This is something that resonates with many Spanish River students. “She is an amazing actress and person,” said junior Sammie Wolfe. “Her character on Grey’s Anatomy demonstrates how a woman can do literally anything.” Awkwafina is a comedian, actress, and rapper. Awkwafina was born in New York City and is of Chinese and Korean descent. She is also an accomplished musician, and she released her first song in 2012 and has

since released numerous albums that have gained popularity. She started acting in 2014 when she appeared on Girl Code. Recently, she starred in Raya and the Last Dragon as Sisu. She has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress- Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for her acting in The Farewell, and she was awarded t h e

Kore Asian Me d i a’s Female Breakout of the Year 2017. She has audiences across all ages including teenagers. “I love Awkwafina,” said junior Melissa Babinecz. “She’s so funny and cute. She was super good in Crazy Rich

Asians. That was such a lovely movie it was a fun time.” Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is the actress that starred in Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever. Ramakrishnan was born in Mississauga, Ontario and her family is from Sri Lanka. She might be a less known actress but she is no less talented. She made her debut role starring a s Devi

Vishwakumar, a fifteen year old American Indian girl trying to navigate her way through the world of highschool. For her role as Devi she was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Performance in a New Scripted

Freaky Friday Switches It Up Aiden Rubinstein Staff Reporter

Premiering on March 26th, March 27th, April 2nd and April 3rd, Spanish River’s Theatre Department streamed its production of Freaky Friday the musical. The play was directed by theater teacher, Patrick Watkins, alongside senior student, Morgan Rotman. The main cast consists of Valeria Illan as Ellie Blake, Jhaila Diaz as Katherine Blake, Kaitlyn Harris as Fletcher Blake, and Thomas Maher as Mike. The ensemble cast consists of Leah Davidowitz, Shaiden Tamim, Haley Cohen, Jayda Lipstein, Lucas Tomulescu, William Folchetti, Amelie La-Branche, Mia Vitale, Ben Swift, Kayli Klement, Lawrence Montoya, Ava Schneiberg, and Ana Perez. Freaky Friday is a classic Disney musical movie, which focuses on a not-so-perfect family. The play is about Ellie, a young, rebellious teenage girl and Katherine, her overprotective, perfectionist mother. In the beginning of the play, Katherine is preparing to marry Mike, her fiancé. All was going well until everything took a turn for the worst, and Katherine

and Ellie magically switched bodies. The two girls have to live each other’s lives for a full day, which was beyond difficult since they are polar opposites. Katherine, in Ellie’s body, had to go to school, and partake in the legendary hunt, which is an annual event put on by Ellie’s classmate, Adam. Adam is considered the cool kid of the group, as well as everyone’s crush, including Ellie’s. Ellie, in Katherine’s body, had to finish preparing for the wedding, and had to partake in an interview. Throughout the play, both Katherine and Ellie face many challenges head on, yet at the end learn valuable lessons and learn to appreciate each other. The play ends with Katherine and Ellie magically switching back to their original bodies, with Katherine finally marrying Mike, and with Ellie growing closer with Adam. One thing I really enjoyed about the play was the cast. The cast seem to have worked very well together, and came together perfectly to execute an astonishing play. The cast was also full of some amazing singers. Speaking of singers, I also really enjoyed the songs and musical composition because they were funny, yet fit the scenes well. One

song I really liked was “One Day”. The song is about how the characters just want one decent, normal day. I think this theme perfectly relates to a lot of kids during COVID-19 times, as many students are stuck at home wishing for just one normal day. In regards to COVID-19, the Theatre Department took many precautions and safely followed the rules and restrictions established by the CDC. For example, the whole cast wore face shields throughout the play. All in all, Freaky Friday was an amazing musical, and was very enjoyable to watch. It was very entertaining and took many unexpected turns, making it suspenseful and thrilling. I also enjoyed how it was live streamed similarly to Ghouls Night Out, Spanish River’s last play, and how it was recorded and uploaded to YouTube.. Since Freaky Friday was live streamed, it felt like I was really there watching it, even though I was at home. Freaky Friday was organized together perfectly, and I cannot wait to see what the Theatre Department has to offer next!

Series. Ramakrishnan was also named Breakout Actor in Time 100’s most influential people. With Ramakrishnan being only nineteen years old, it is hard to argue she does not have a very bright future ahead of her. Mindy Kaling is a writer, comedian and actress. She is best known for playing Kelly Kapoor on The Office - as well as writing for the show. Mindy Kaling was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Indian parents. Growing up, she never saw people that looked like herself and her family on television which inspired her most recent work was a Netflix show which she wrote called Never Have I Ever. Never Have I Ever won the People’s Choice award for the Comedy Show of the Year in 2020. She continues to write and produce for the show Never Have I Ever as it moves forward into its second season. The Office’s fame and comedy has earned it many fans, including some of those at Spanish River. “She was a good addition to the [The Office] and really completed the show and helped the comedy,” said junior Kat Woods. The rich culture of the Asian community has blessed the world with amazing entertainment from Crazy Rich Asians to Never Have I Ever. These four actresses have broken barriers in entertainment and will inspire generations to come. ART COURTESY OF MARIA GARCIA VILORIA

Cast Confessionals “It was amazing! I had such a fun time and I feel so lukcy to have been able to do s show my senoir year. It was really challenging at first but wth everyone’s help we really made a show that I am extremely proud of. I rememeber one time we were testing all our microphone and we all sat on the dege of the stage and sang through the show, and that was the first time all our harmonies sounded ice and cohesive and I was overjoyed” -Valeria Illan, Ellie Blake “Being a part of this show made me beyond happy, and we’re all lucky we got to perform it” -Kaitlyn Harris, Fletcher Blake “Being a part of Freaky Friday has been so much fun! It was super exciting to be able to get back on stage with all of my friends!” -Thomas Maher, Mike




D.C. Doesnʼt Do It Justice Brianna Levine Co-Editor in Chief

The 2017 release of DC’s Justice League received a lot of backlash due to the final production not meeting the expectations of many fans. This was primarily due to director Zack Snyder stepping down from his role when his daughter passed away and being replaced with director Joss Whedon. The directors’ conflicting styles, along with a few other factors, resulted in an upset audience and poor ratings. On March 18, 2021, a whole new Justice League was released. The title Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Justice Is Gray is the first step taken towards redemption --adding Snyder’s own name due to his return and a secondary title to draw more attention than the previous version of the film. One major turn-off of Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Justice Is Gray is its duration. Sitting down for a fourhour movie can be a challenge (I had to stop in the middle to eat some dinner), and not in many people’s interest. What is surprising, however, is that this film is only part one of the Justice League franchise, yet still exceeds the duration of numerous Hollywood

movies including its disappointing predecessor. Another aspect of the movie that a lot of viewers - including myself - have easily pointed out is the similarity to its rival franchise, The Avengers. The plot and characters a l o n g with their archetypes resembled that of the recent Avengers conflict. The presence of space technology boxes being spread around different areas of Earth while an evil character (oddly resembling The Avengers ultimate villain, Thanos) sets out to collect them, sounds an awful lot like the concept of the infinity stones. In addition, characters such as Barry Allen, AKA the Flash, can be categorized into the same archetype as say, Peter Parker, AKA Spiderman - the inexperienced kid that brings comedic relief. When reflecting on the similarities, the originality is not the best it could have been. An additional element of Zack Snyder’s Justice League that should be taken into account are its special effects and editing. To start, it is important to note that this film was released during

Rating 3/5 SHARKS

a global pandemic. This meant a lot of CGI (computer-generated imagery) was utilized, which was as impressive as it was prevalent. The editing and effects, on the other hand, were a little overdone, which resulted in a less realistic output. The gore element in Snyder’s J u s t i c e L e a g u e was also over the top by including a f e w different accounts of blood smearing on the wall after a character was thrown against it, so the R rating makes sense, but also limits the audience. In regards to the plot, overlooking the similarities to The Avengers Infinity War, it is decent. There is a good combination of action and nonaction scenes that works to keep the audience on the edge of their seat. There are multiple scenes that had the potential to be cut a lot shorter, especially since the movie is four hours. The film was split into six parts and included an epilogue. This contributed to the feeling that this movie could have been a separate movie for each individual character -- including background stories for each one. There are numerous times

throughout the film that I found myself in a state of confusion and had to figure out what was going on. All in all, the plot held my attention and was a great improvement from the 2017 Justice League. The characters are an important detail in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The heroes that are primarily featured include Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, the Flash, and surprisingly, Superman. Yes, Superman. They cannot allow the poor guy to rest in peace. The characters were portrayed by the brilliant actors Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, and Henry Cavil. The diversity was lacking, but it could be due to the fact that the original comic books also had this characteristic. As the final verdict, I give this movie a three out of five sharks. The duration is too long, the plot immensely resembles a Marvel plot, and the special effects are slightly overdone. But, the acting is phenomenal, the action was eyecapturing, and the characters are enjoyable. So if you have four hours to spare one day, I recommend gathering the (age-appropriate) family members around to watch this action-packed film.


Pieces of Eight is Available Now! “My experience on PIeces of Eight was amazing! I not only learned more about design and the hard work creating a magazine requires, but also learned more about myself and others as I read so many different interpretations of the word unmasked”- Amelie La-Branche, Pieces of Eight Staff member

You can pick it up in room 8111 (Mrs. Delaney’s room)

Buy your very own copy at School Cash Online! “It was beautifully put together and it felt like every piece of artwork came from a creator’s heart. Really well done!” -Coach Abbey, history teacher





Earth Day,

Brooke Styka Features Editor

DENMARK Denmark, a country located in Northern Europe, specifically prioritizes sustainability and therefore has implemented measures to support their environment-friendly society. Considering that the agricultural industry covers more than 60% of Denmark’s total land area, fertilizer and pesticide contaminants have made their way into nearby waterways. As a result, pollution has become a crucial issue in Denmark’s ecosystems. In efforts to reduce the pollution crisis, Denmark has introduced several agricultural-related policies, including one that requires farmers to monitor their fertilizer use. Additionally, the Denmark government strives to recycle at least 70% of all waste by 2024 and has begun converting their waste into reusable items, such as biogas and fertilizer. In response to air quality concerns, Denmark has placed a tax on nitrogen emissions and has set aside government funds specifically for cleaning their public transportation system. Through embracing renewable energy sources, setting a path to achieve fossil fuel independence, and overall recognizing the crucial role they play in the environment’s prosperity, Denmark is on its way to a clean future.

Denmark has pollution to le fifth of their ra late 1

Earth Day, c annually on the 22 serves as an incentive the globe to truly recogn environment and advocate day is a way for society to rai climate change and it is an op of contribution toward the env However, everyday action is ne positive change and lessen the world, countries have proceed setting goals towards cleaning

FRANCE France has eager ecological initiatives that predominantly focus on diminishing greenhouse gas emissions, managing air and water contamination, as well as minimizing wastage, and preserving biodiversity. In order to fulfill their goals, France has enforced several regulations along with promoting more sustainable habits that pursue a “greener” climate and society. For instance, a “bonus-malus” cost system has been implemented that puts a higher tax on the purchase of vehicles with greater carbon dioxide emissions, while individuals who purchase fuel-efficient cars are rewarded a generous remittance, encouraging their nation to purchase more eco-friendly products. Additionally, France was the first to prohibit supermarkets from trashing outdated or spoiled products that could be donated to charities or shelters, or else they would face a fine, in order to avoid food wastage. In regards to boosting their renewable energy sources, France is working on the development of a “floating wind farm” that will have the potential to generate 160,000 megawatts of energy, according to l’Agence de la transition écologique (Ademe). Generally speaking, France is genuinely attempting to progress in manners that will permit them to be a more economical country to serve our current circumstance. ART COURTESY OF MARIA VILORIA GARCIA

Japan striv their share o energies to 2 203




, Every Day

s reduced air ess than one ates during the 1950s

celebrated 2nd of April, for people across nize our impact on the e for its protection. This aise awareness about mass pportunity to make any type vironment’s conservation. ecessary in order to influence problem. Throughout the ded with taking action and g their own environments.

ves to raise of renewable 23 percent by 30

SWITZERLAND Switzerland itself is known as one of the most “green” nations worldwide. Switzerland has not only integrated a green economy, making them the first across the globe, but the country has high hopes of employing 100% sustainable energy as well as converting their agricultural systems to carbon-negative by 2050. In order to achieve its ecological objectives, Switzerland puts its mountains and rivers to good use by using them to create hydroelectric power that serves as the source for 56% of its renewable energy. Switzerland also heavily encourages their nation to recycle reusable items and travel by train or their Mobility system. SwitzerlandMobility acts as a car rental organization that allows an individual to pick up a car and drive to their destination, where another user will then put it to use. Furthermore, Switzerland is a solar and geothermal energy devotee, using heat pumps and wind turbines as additional energy outlets. Switzerland’s appreciation for the significance of the environment serves as a major positive influence on the global community.

JAPAN Japan, a highly populated island located in East Asia, has tackled environmental issues head-on through a series of eco-accommodating approaches. Japan formulated a Basic Act on Biodiversity in 2008, and adopted the Cartagena Protocol in 2000, to conserve wildlife habitats and specify import and export procedures for living modified organisms (LMO). Since then, Japan has made severe environmental progress due to stern policies, including the New Growth Strategy. This proposition advocates the investment of renewable energy sources and cleaner technology. In response, Japan began to shut down several of its nuclear reactors and replace them with solar panels. As a result, Japanese businesses have been able to reduce electricity consumption by 40%, save on energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In honor of Earth Day, Japan’s capital, Tokyo, holds a weekend-long annual festival that consists of live music, healthy foods, open-air markets, and lectures regarding topics such as sustainability or world peace. Japan has long been advocating for environmental protection in ways such as establishing international joint committees to identify solutions for pollution and other relevant issues, and creating more sustainable energy alternatives.




First Ever Kindersharks Become Graduates Brooke Styka Features Editor Around 13 years ago, Kindergarten students were zipping their backpacks and shuffling throughout the bus loop at Calusa Elementary School to prepare to make their next stop at Spanish River High School. Now, that first class of Kindershark students who started their education at River will soon be lining up in their caps and gowns to graduate in May as part of the Class of 2021. The kindergarten program offered at River provides its Kindersharks with one-onone interactions that ensure a strong start to their education - all while giving Early Childhood Academy students insight on a classroom setting. A typical day for the Kindersharks was unlike any other, however, as River’s high schoolers often guided lessons and assisted throughout daily classroom activities. The age difference between the Kindersharks and the regular River students had not spoiled their experience, but made them feel as if they were a part of something bigger than themselves. Mr. Spanish River in particular, senior Blake Smythe, shared his experience as a Kindershark and acknowledged how things have come full circle. Smythe began his educational journey in one of River’s classrooms, and is now proudly known as Mr. Spanish River, where he can contribute to River’s positive energy as a whole. “It’s funny how it all turned out, but

I’m glad it did,” said Smythe. “I used to love when the Kindersharks got to

weeks.” Smythe added that he still maintains

Blake Smythe as a Kindershark and now as a senior.

Diego Reyes as a Kindershark and now as a senior.

dress up for Halloween and go into a few classrooms to get candy from the teachers, but now I get to look forward to pep rallies, hosting games, and spirit

close relations with a student he met in the Kindershark program, senior Diego Reyes. Reyes explained how welcomed he had felt at River despite the age gap between him

and River’s teenagers. “My favorite memory from Kindersharks was being in the Wizard of Oz play that River chose to have that year,” said Reyes. “I was on stage with all the high schoolers, which gave me a feeling of significance, like I was equal to the rest of the students on stage.” Reyes further mentioned how nostalgic it has been to roam the same halls that he had travelled through almost 13 years prior, which often reminds him of warm childhood memories. Senior Savannah Johnson also spoke about how amusing her time as a Kindershark was aside from the learning aspect. ‘’Being able to interact with the high schoolers and creating bonds with the other kindergarteners truly enhanced my journey at River,” said Johnson. “To me, it’s crazy to think about how I got the opportunity to begin and end my education in the same place.” As the Class of 2021 wraps up the end of the school year and prepares to advance to the next chapter of their life, reminiscing about their beginnings at River’s and how it has added to their success and influenced their future dreams makes for a nostalgic ending to this chaotic school year.


Girls Who Code Empower the Keyboard on teaching female students from a young age how to code and why it is important. Spanish River is one of the many Girls Who Code is a national that have joined this movement. program founded to help close the gender gap of working in The club is run by biotechnology tech, specifically coding. Girls and biology teacher Mary Fish and Who Code is a vital part of our school, community, nation, and future generations as it shows young women they can achieve change in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field. Statistics show that most science, technology, and engineering jobs, which include coding, are predominantly male occupied. For senior and club president, Samara example, in 1995, roughly 37% of Cohen. From a young age, Cohen computer scientists were women, was always interested in coding. whereas today only 24% of computer She took part in coding in school, scientists are women. The change through extracurriculars, and at shows how as time goes on, fewer home. As time went on, Cohen and fewer women are interacting grew a love for coding, hence with technology. While it may be a why she decided to join the club challenge, Girls Who Code believes as a freshman. She later became that by 2027 the gender gap in president of the club due to her technology occupancies will be interest and love for coding, as well slim to minimal. Girls Who Code as being able to implement her has over 8,500 programs focusing visions of opportunities for present and future coders.

Aiden Rubenstein Staff Reporter

“I wanted to make the club better by emphasizing teaching and broadcasting opportunities for members to grow as coders and in their strength as college applicants,” said Cohen. As president, Cohen has

many responsibilities such as facilitating meetings amongst leadership, general club meetings, and planning/teaching lessons in JavaScript. Cohen is also responsible for finding and introducing the members to more opportunities such as lectures, guest speakers, and competitions. Girls Who Code is currently in the works of one of their biggest projects yet. The club is currently working on a new and improved website which will serve as a directory for Spanish

River’s many clubs. “As an underclassman, I felt bewildered when it came to the vast club offerings of Spanish River,” said Cohen. The goal of the website is to create one place where students can find all the clubs that Spanish River has to offer. The website will be clearer, easier to navigate, and not as confusing. While it will take some time, the website will be a great service for Spanish River and an even greater accomplishment for those in Girls Who Code. Girls Who Code is one of the most interesting yet important clubs that Spanish River has to offer. Girls Who Code requires absolutely no previous experience in coding, meaning anyone can join, whether there an expert or a rookie coder. The club meets every Monday after school at 3:45 pm. For more information about the club, Email Ms. Fish at, or join the next club meet. PHOTO COURTESY OF GIRLS WHO CODE



How Has COVID-19 Impacted Us Louise Wyler News Editor

COVID-19 has forced individuals around the world to reconstruct their daily lives. While the virus has medically affected over 125 million people around the world, the number of people that have been impacted by the virus’ collateral is much higher. COVID-19 has placed a number of obstacles in students’ and teachers’ lives -- including their life plans, mental health, and occupations. The pandemic has led to increased rates of mental health issues around the world. Some students that have switched to learning from home have found online school to be more stressful; they are having trouble finding the motivation to study and pay attention. Going from brick-and-mortar to virtual learning is a large transition that some students struggle with more than others. Sophomore Daniella Asseraf shared how the virus personally affected her life and mental health. “The virus has impacted my mental health negatively, especially because of online school,” Asseraf explains. “Now more than ever, teachers are giving enormous amounts of work assuming that online school is easier, but for

most students that isn’t the case. On the bright side, I do get more sleep, and I have time to focus on things that I wouldn’t normally be able to. However, the amount of work I receive combined with not being able to see a majority of my friends for over a year is definitely saddening and I wish it could be different.” Many students are conflicted in

the same way that Asseraf is. They enjoy virtual learning because they get more sleep and more spare time, but they dislike the workload and the difficulty to focus. In addition, social life is an extremely important factor in both students’ and teachers’ daily lives. Friends give people the


chance to have someone to lean on, especially in difficult situations like a pandemic. Unfortunately, due to the extent of the virus, many people are not traveling or gathering in groups in order to prevent any additional spread. While this is considered appropriate for the current situation, it has left many without friendships and has led to increased amounts of anxiety and depression - especially

been as close to due to the barrier that [COVID-19] has put between a lot of us students.” It is definitely true that the virus has impacted many social lifestyles. Not only is this true for students at River, but it’s true for teachers too. Mr. Deecken shared how the virus has changed his life. “[COVID-19] certainly affected my plans when it comes to traveling,” said Mr. Deecken. “For someone that really enjoys his trips, of course, I have had to put that on hold for quite some time. In regards to my job, it has certainly changed things since many students are learning from home. Not being able to see all of my students and form relationships with them like I normally would has been extremely difficult. With that being said, I know brighter days are ahead and I am looking forward to getting back to some normalcy soon!” It is apparent that COVID-19 has altered the mindsets and daily lives of people around the world, and more specifically, among students. Sophomore Emily students and teachers at Spanish Baris explained why she misses River. Keeping a positive attitude going to school in person. and outlook for the future is “Online school is fine,” Baris says. definitely one good tactic students “I just miss being able to see all of and teachers can use in order to my friends around school - it made boost morale before we return to the days go by faster. I feel like many normalcy. of the people I used to talk to haven’t ART COURTESY OF MARIA VILORIA GARCIA


“ “

Advice that I would give to underclassmen would be to not grow up too fast and stress about the future because it can really take a toll on you in school and mentally if all you do is future trip. Live your life, but also be sure to maintain a balance between priorities and having a good time.

-Kaylin Gillespie, 12th

I would tell them to enjoy it because it goes by really fast, but work hard so you can get what you want and get good classes to get into the best college you can and do everything on time do not procrastinate and have fun you have the power to make it the best four years with the best memories.

-Valeria Nigaglioni, 12th

The advice I would give is, make sure you don’t get distracted by things that aren’t important. That is the reason why I didn’t do well in math because I never paid attention. Another piece of advice would be, if you struggle in your important classes, never be shy to speak up and ask questions. You will understand any material you don’t know if you ask questions. I would also like to say, just actually care about your work. It doesn’t matter if it’s the most boring thing on the entire planet or if you don’t understand it. Just care about your work, you will use a lot of it in real life. EXCEPT for a few things in math because you don’t need to know about finding the degrees in a triangle or square roots of numbers. But school teaches you a part of life without you knowing it.

-William Horky, 12th




NFT’s: A New Medium of Exchange Amelie La-Branche Guest Writer From an SNL sketch explaining NFTs in an Eminem-style rap to an NFT by Beeble receiving a bid for $69 million through Christie’s Auctions, this trending cryptocurrency has become an overnight sensation. Some hail NFTs as the future of digital art, others see them as ecological hazards, and still others see them as a bubble that will eventually burst; all of these conclusions are befitting, but NFTs are as complex as their influence on society. In order to understand how NFTs have begun to impact today’s world, the basics must first be established: namely, what is an NFT? NFT stands for non-fungible token, but what does “non-fungible” mean? Well, a fungible asset is one that is interchangeable. For example, one $5 bill carries the same value and is interchangeable with another $5 bill. NFTs, however, are not interchangeable, as they are all unique and have original properties, and their value is set by the highest bidder. They are digital assets or tokens that can be attached to virtual or physical assets, such as digital artwork, videos, music, and basically anything else. In essence, NFTs are a digital certificate of ownership, representing the buyer’s ownership of the original artwork. Much of the confusion with NFTs is created by misconceptions of what this ownership entails. The purpose of NFTs is not to provide access to an artwork or the mere possession of an artwork. Instead, NFTs provide the buyer with the bragging rights of being the only person in the world to own the original artwork; the satisfaction comes not from having exclusive rights to the artwork (like royalties or copyright ownership), but from having a special ownership of the artwork.

Though NFTs provide buyers with significant satisfaction, they provide artists with even greater benefits. During today’s availability of digital art that can be freely downloaded, copied, and shared, artists are not properly compensated for their work. NFTs are part of the solution, as they create the

Foster, the co-founder of Nifty Gateway (an auction site for NFTs) points out, “We have systems for collecting paintings, and we have systems for collecting sculptures. But until now, people hadn’t figured out a good way to collect digital art -- and NFTs allow you to do that.” Many artists and collectors

they use in the process, making it less profitable for someone to forge the ledger. According to the Ethereum Energy Consumption Index, Ethereum’s power consumption in electrical energy is comparable to the entire country of Nigeria, and its carbon footprint is comparable to that of Slovenia. Though NFTs’ role in this energy consumption is unknown and NFTs are a small portion of all of Ethereum’s transactions, this major environmental concern needs to be addressed, and some creative solutions have surfaced. One of such solutions is for Ethereum to use an alternative system: the “proof of stake” system. Instead of using energy inefficient puzzles that use up huge amounts of electricity, this system requires users to lock up some of their own cryptocurrency tokens into the network, so they have a “stake” in keeping the ledger accurate. If users engage in any suspicious behavior regarding the ledger, they will be penalized with a loss of tokens. According to Michel Rauchs, a research affiliate at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, if Ethereum were The digital collage by Mike Winklman, otherwise known as Beeple, that sold for 69.3 million dollars. to switch to a proof of stake system, scarcity necessary for artists to gain see NFTs as a cause for the emergence “that would essentially mean that financially from their work. After all, of a new digital art movement and Ethereum’s electricity consumption there is only one original artwork, and digital art boom that will transform the will literally over a day or overnight if art collectors and enthusiasts are art world. drop to almost zero.” willing to expend millions of dollars for However, NFTs also carry an From a digital art boom to a climate an original, they are not only financially environmental cause for concern. change controversy, NFTs are worthy of supporting artists they like, but also Ethereum, the blockchain technology inquiry, as through these digital tokens, granting legitimacy to the undervalued that NFTs use, is tied to a large quantity the evolution of a digital era is reflected. digital art form. The “digital” and the “real” have never of greenhouse gas emissions. “Artists put so much of their time— Ethereum is built on a “proof of work” been two separate realms, but are as and themselves—into their work, said system, a security system that prevents interconnected as can be, and with an Jasmine Boykins, who has recently the hacking or forging of the digital item that is not tangible, that does not seen success selling her animations on ledger. To keep financial records secure, and has never “existed” having such Black life through NFTs. “To see them the system uses energy inefficient a great impact on so many aspects of compensated on an appropriate scale, puzzles that use up inordinate amounts society, it is imperative now more than it’s really comforting.” of energy. Consequently, users who try ever to understand the technology used NFTs are also hailed as the “future to hack into the ledger will have to pay today, to correct its errors and reap its of fine art collecting,” as Duncan Cock for the inordinate amounts of energy benefits. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GUARDIAN

Missing Woman Sparks Discussion About Sexual Harrasment

Elle Borstelmann

Arts & Entertainment Editor On March 3 2021, 33 year-old Sarah Everard went missing while walking from a friend’s house to her home in London. A week later, it was discovered that Everard was abducted and murdered by police officer Wayne Couzens. The tragic news of Everard’s story spread throughout the United Kingdom, bringing attention to violence against women and concerns regarding their safety. Globally, women took to social media to express their anger and sadness for Everard and all women who have endured fear of sexual harassment and violence. These women were able to share stories of walking alone in fear, and said that they had to take precautions in order to ensure safety when walking alone. Everard took every precaution by walking on a well-lit road with her boyfriend on the phone and wearing brightly-colored clothes. Despite her efforts, a tragic, horrifying fate still fell upon Everard as she walked home. Following Everard’s murder, police

advised women, especially in areas such as Clapham and Brixton, to not go outside alone if it is necessary to go outside at all. As an alternative to women staying home, Jenny Jones, former Baroness and a member of the

woodland in Kent, I would argue that, at the next opportunity for any bill that is appropriate, I might put in an amendment to create a curfew for men on the streets after 6 p.m.,” said Jones. “I feel this would make women a lot

born as a result. It is known that not all men sexually harass women, but 97 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 24 have experienced sexual harassment in public. The study did further research and also found that only 4 percent of women report the sexual harassment they have experienced to the police while 45 percent of women do not report sexual harassment because they feel that no results will be produced. The alarming result of the study sparked discussion on popular social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok where women openly shared their personal, heartbreaking “97 percent” stories. The realization as to how prominent sexual harassment is in society is a wake-up call. Women have been fighting for fair treatment A woman holds up a protest sign about the #97percent movement. A missing poster displays Everard’s for a long time with previous information and a plead for help. safer, and discrimination of all kinds movements like #metoo and now the U.K’s Green Party, suggested that men would be lessened.” #97percent. With the distressingly high should be the ones to stay home instead The statement made by Jones statistics, it is important to educate and of women. caused an outrage among men who to bring awareness to the harsh reality “In the week that Sarah Everard felt that they were being punished for of living as a woman. was abducted, and we suppose killed a single man’s actions. The defensive because remains have been found in a countermovement #notallmen was PHOTO COURTESY OF FLIPBOARD AND THE INDEPENDENT




Violence Breaks out in Haiti over Presidential Decree

Nashki Joseph Associate Editor

For over a year now, Haiti has been engulfed in political unrest due to President Jovenal Moise’s ruling by decree following the dissolving of the Haitian parliament in January of 2020. Protests in major cities are consistently being held against the entrepreneurturned-politician. The opposition movement has emerged as a strong indicator that many Haitians are not pleased with the state of their nation’s leaders. In October of 2019, Moise failed to organize legislative elections due to violent turmoil and political gridlock, leading to the collapse of parliament. Since then, he has issued many decrees. Some have been considered reforms that many Haitians approve of, but there is a deep political divide over the nature of his presidency. To begin with, ruling by decree has caused the opposition movement to label Moise a dictator. Dictators are something that Haiti is very familiar with -- the country was under a brutal and corrupt dictatorship from 1957 to 1986, during which over 30,000 citizens were murdered by the government. There is also an intense constitutional argument over whether or not Moise should still be in office. The Haitian constitution says that a president’s term begins when they are elected. However, there is a one-year gap between his election and when he took office due

to chaos in the election process. From a constitutional standpoint, Moise’s term ended in February. In his eyes, and in the eyes of his supporters, it ends next year. The newest area of content in the nation’s political unrest is President Moise’s decision to hold a national

expressly forbids holding a referendum -- the Duvalier dictatorship arose as a result of one. But Duvalier has proposed that restructuring Haiti’s government is necessary in order to fix its profound economic, social, and political issues. According to him, increasing the power of the presidency is a necessary

Protester holds the Hatian constitution while advocating for the removal of President Jovenel Moise.

referendum to overhaul the country’s current constitution. The changes that Moise has proposed restructures the government and concentrates much more power in the presidency. Opponents have warned that this could be a precursor for dictatorship and have accused him of propping up a powerful position of power for himself or his party, known as the Tet Kale Party. The national referendum is exceedingly controversial due to the fact that the current constitution

step. Of course, his opposition holds a dim view of the referendum and has increased calls for him to step down from the presidency. In response to the protests, Moise has declared acts such as “robbery, arson and blocking public roads” (Associated Press) subject to terrorism charges and heavy legal consequences. Additionally, he has established a secret police force that is only accountable to the president and ordered Supreme Court justices to retire. Heavily-armed police officers

are placed along every protest route and violence has erupted several times. Opponents have also made accusations that Moise is using gangs to carry out massacres in neighborhoods that oppose his tactics -- accusations that Moise denies. The opposition movement has also called for foreign governments to denounce Moise’s presidency. Particularly, many have called upon the American government to take action against him. However, the Biden administration, among many in the international community, has drawn ire from many for supporting Moise’s decision to stay in power until 2022. More recently, though, his handling of the protests and other controversial acts have drawn criticism from some American politicians and activists. “I am alarmed by recent authoritarian and undemocratic acts -- from unilateral removals and appointments of Supreme Court judges to attacks against journalists,” said Julie Chung, Acting Assistant Secretary for the US State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in a February tweet. As legislative elections are scheduled towards the end of the year, the world will watch as the small island nation of Haiti deals with profound political division and accusations of corruption.





Game. Set. State Champion. Murray Littman Sports Reporter

River’s tennis team had a stellar season last year, only giving up two losses. However, due to COVID-19, the entire season was ruined -- as were the team’s chances of going to states. This season, both the girls and boys teams had the exciting experience of the playoffs and playing on a big stage for River. In 2021, the team has bounced back and has returned stronger than ever before. Its losses last year against Wellington and Boca High have turned into the team’s most dominant wins this season. The team has been motivated more than ever to constantly improve each day. What’s most special about the team is how they have developed an amazing chemistry and bond, as four of the nine players on the team are new to the team and have made their own contributions to make the team even better. “It was pretty easy to integrate into the tennis team,” said junior Leonardo Wurth. “I’m very happy to be able to contribute my skills to the team so we [may] have the possibility to make a ‘deep playoff ’ run. Even though tennis is an individual sport I feel like we grew up as a team these past months.” The team also had great leadership under senior captain, Kobe Francis. “COVID-19, unfortunately, [stopped ]me from playing the sport I love for

over six months,” said Francis. “When played on the tennis team,” said senior I was able to play again, it was a relief, captain Katie Heller. “I’ve met so many but it was also stressful because I was friends and made such good memories not playing well and felt I would have to on and off the court. I really like our quit.Tennis season came back around team this year and I look forward to again this year, and fortunately, we were finishing my high school tennis career given the all-clear in February. This strong with us hopefully playing at year I am states.” delighted In the to lead my postseason, team as cothe boys captain and p l a c e d even more second at appreciative the District to be tournament playing at home, the sport I only losing love.” to Boca Similarly, High by the Girls’ one match. team was Despite off to a the loss, dominant the boys run this earned a season also ticket to the giving up Regional just one S e m i loss as they finals away girls tennis team with the state title in Seminole County approachedThe a g ai nst (From left to right: Maya Shanok, Alina Kargin, Layken Thau, Coach Jones, Emma Roeck, and D i s t r i c t s .Katie Heller) Jupiter. When COVID-19 ended the season “Mostly they were the times when in March last year, they remained the team really felt like a team, getting undefeated. This year, the top three along and supporting each other and singles players, Sam Grosjean, Emma showing camaraderie. I think the Roeck and Maya Shanok ranked team needs to cut down the number of nationally in the top 300 for their unforced errors that they make [such respective classes. as] keeping the ball in play, moving “I’ve really enjoyed the three years I your opponent around and making

them work…” says Boys Head Coach, Robert Heinrichs. “I really enjoyed this season. It was a great group of guys, I really enjoyed the way the team came together. Having an undefeated season was really exciting. We did not win regionals but we played our hearts out so I can’t ask for any more.” The boys ended up losing to a strong Jupiter by a close score of 4-3. Nonetheless, the boys had an outstanding season. On the Girls side, River won Districts, easily rolling through the competition. In regionals, the girls faced Jupiter and then Dwyer beating both teams by a dominant score of 4-0. This means that the girls qualified for states in Seminole County. In the team competition, the girls won all three of their matches to be crowned 4A Florida state champs. En route to their title, they beat East Lake, Plant, and Miami Palmetto. “This year’s Girls Tennis team will always have a special place in my heart…,” says girls tennis head coach, John Jones. “A talented, smart, humble group, there has never been a down day. It has been a complete joy to be around this team, as they have brought value to the school, program, each other and myself.”

teammates, family, and coaches. “It helps motivate me to keep going and actually makes me go faster as I run,” said sophomore Emmy Meneghini. “Positivity, in general, helps someone perform at their best. Even if the runner doesn’t believe they did their best, encouragement means a lot and can change someone’s entire mood.”

brings many students of all different ages together; they run together, practice together, and compete with each other. Each and every athlete participating uses every last ounce of energy to get better results every time they compete. With COVID still looming around, one might say that this year’s team may not be at the mark of teams in the recent past; the Sharks would beg to differ. “This year has brought us together and allowed us to perform better than in previous years because of the time and effort we put into this great sport,” said senior Bodey Miller. “We have had great success and won almost every single race with both the boys and the girls.” Spanish River has won seven state championships, and this year will be searching for number eight. Many of the athletes on the team believe this team is destined for greatness and are capable of doing really well if given the opportunity to make states.


River Track Sprints To Success Elijah Levine

Sports Reporter Spanish River’s boys and girls track team has a storied history, fielding competitive teams year after year, and this year’s team does not disappoint. Both the girls and boys have strong teams this year and have been performing well in recent meets. Throughout the events performed in track and field, River thrives in almost all of them. From relays to shot put, River almost always is in the top three. The team is led by Coach Doug Horn and Coach Charlie Babb, who motivates each and every athlete to do their best at each meet and in practice. One of the more under-appreciated events is the hurdles. The hurdles are an event in which a student must run full speed at the hurdle and as they get close they perform a swift, fluid jump over the hurdle and continue to sprint and repeat the process over and over again. The event can be very intimidating and scary when sprinting head-on with a hurdle. One thing that helps the students get over the intimidation of the hurdle is the support from

Girls track team celebrating win at Park Vista.

Another event that goes unnoticed a lot is the 4x4. This event is a relay where four people each run 400 meters around the track. This event is especially hard because the 4x4 is usually the last event and the 4 people running might be burnt out

by the time this event comes up. This year the team has had to fight through numerous injuries and has never been at full strength. With a full-strength team, it is capable of placing in the top ten in states, if not better. “The 4x4 really forces you to find your willpower and finish the meet with everything you have left, which

I think the other events lack,” said sophomore Nicolas West. Although this year has been filled with uncertainties, the track team has remained focused and grew stronger throughout practices and meets. The sport





Asian-Americans Dominating Sports Dominic D’Arelli Galleon Editor There are many Asian-American athletes in sports, and whether they are currently playing or have retired, many have even begun to speak out against Asian discrimination. Jeremy Lin played on the Toronto Raptors during the 2018-2019 season, being the first Asian American to win an NBA championship. In February

Miki Gorman winning the 1977 New York Marathon.

of this year, he made an Instagram post addressing the absurd amount of hate the Asian community was facing due to the spread of COVID-19. During his basketball career, he constantly made it known that he was facing racism on and off the court; he told the press that he was called “CoronaVirus” by players of opposing teams while playing on the court. Korean American football star, Hines Ward, dominated the field during his career. In 1998, he was drafted into the Pittsburgh Steelers and played 14 seasons with them, winning the 2005 Super Bowl XL. He was later crowned the MVP of the 2005 Super Bowl. After his football career, he served as an intern for the offensive players on the Steelers, he then was given an opportunity to serve as a full-time coach for the New York Jets - which he is currently still coaching. Masahiro Tanaka is a Japanese American baseball player who has been pitching for the New York Yankees since 2015. When Tanaka first began playing for the Yankees, they were 102, and he proved to be a great addition to the team. Some have even said that Tanaka is one of the most talented Asian players the MLB has ever seen. Ji-man Choi has previously played

Jeremy Lin playing for the New York Knicks.

for the Los Angeles Angeles in 2016, the New York Yankees in 2017, and the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. He is currently playing for the Tampa Bay Rays as a designated hitter, outfielder, and first baseman. Although Choi is currently out for a knee-related injury, the seasons he played so far have proved that he is a great addition to any team. Miki Gorman was one of the top female runners of the mid-1970s, she is the only woman to win both the Boston Marathon and the New York City

marathons twice in the same year. She grew up in Japan and later moved to the United States in 1964 where she took up running as a way to gain muscle. Gorman had the second-fastest speed for the Women’s Marathon in history, just a minute under the fastest speed. All of these athletes had a major impact on the sports they played, they set the foundation for other Asian American athletes and showed them that anything is possible, no matter your race. PHOTO COURTESY GOOGLE IMAGES

Female Coaches Changing The Game Kathryn Smith

Pat Summitt

Nancy Lieberman

First female coach in the history of the NFL.

Coached the Tennesse Volunteers Women’s Basketball team from 19742000.

Was the coach of the Dallas Mavericks from 1998-2000.

Coached the Buffalo Bills for the 2016-2017 season.

Her total of 1,098 wins currently holds the record of most wins while coaching.

Played in the WNBA as a point guard and was nicknamed “Lady Magic”.

Dawn Staley

Bianca Smith

Coached the South Carolina Gamecocks Women’s Basketball since 2018.

She began coaching the Red Sox this year and became the first Black, female coach in the MLB.

She has won ten Olympic gold medals as an athlete and was inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame in 2013.

She played softball at Colleyville Heritage High School and became co-captin of the team during her senior year.



MAY 2021 Volume XXXVIII Issue VI

Girls Flag Football Crowned District Champions