Issue 2 2022-2023

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Holiday Traditions Found on
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OF www displate com THE GALLEON DECEMBER 2022 Spanish River High School ISSUE 2 - VOLUME XLI HOT OFF THE PRESS: Spanish River x Holiday Fun PHOTO COURTESY OF www iheartprimarymusic com

The Exchange Program Est Tres Bien

As of October 18, 2022, Spanish River opened their arms to 20 French students and 4 French teachers for a 10 day period focused on learning, opportunity, and a diversified cultural experience. While here, the French foreign exchange students are offered ample time in the morning to complete their own lessons, to which they will then shadow students from 3rd to 6th period and return to their host families, where they are free to make further supervised adventures.

While the event may have spurred quickly on campus to us Sharks, the official Franco-American exchange has long been in the works, with greatest courtesy to River’s French and Spanish teacher, Ms. Kris Earle, and literature teacher at Lycée Léonard de Vinci, Mrs. Lydie Camus. Ms. Earle and

Mrs. Camus have made great strides to ensure this experience guarantees much more than just attending school and engaging in a culture truly distinct from their own. From this mission, they hope their participating students “develop insights into the challenges each community faces by investigating programs working to restore and improve the environment.”

Over the course of two years, often via web conferences, Ms. Earle and Mrs. Camus have been working handin-hand with their students in order to conduct research founded upon biodiversity, environmental protection, richness of identities, getting around our communities, as well as spanglish. Simultaneously, students of Léonard de Vinci who were selected for the program were fulfilling projects aimed at environmental protection in their communities and offsetting the

carbon footprint linked to air travel. To further these investigations, each party of travelers have been issued a series of cultural and environmental excursions: for the American students, a day in the medieval town of Laon, and for the French students, a visit to the Everglades: Arthur Marshall Loxahatchee Refuge natural park.

Amid balancing their schoolwork from home and engaging in American culture, River’s French foreign exchange students and staff were able to offer learning experiences for those shadowed as well.

“Meeting Raphaël was a once in a lifetime opportunity I’ll never forget,” explains senior Alex Rosenthal. “Learning about our cultural and social differences helped open my eyes up to a view, I had yet to unlock, of our world. The similarities between our school life was a surprise; our systems’ are

parallel in structure of the classroom and in coursework. Our conversations about life after high school, his hopes to become an astrophysicist and work for the French equivalent of NASA, connected both of our scientific compassion.”

Rosenthal describes how his experience with Raphaël has served as an inspiration for him to be more active and engaged in his education, as well as expresses gratitude for having been a part of this opportunity.

Over our Thanksgiving break, Léonard de Vinci is to welcome some of River’s own Sharks onto their campus for an enlightening experience as well. Thanks to the endeavors of Ms. Earle and Mrs. Camus, this exchange can spark a “cross-cultural understanding and friendship” along with an understanding of “the natural beauty and culture of the students’ respective communities.”

Chic-Fil-A Academy is A Okay

Spanish River introduces a new academy program to their students this year.

the Chick-fil-A Academy offers students the opportunity to positively impact their community with various projects and activities. As a current worker at Chick-fil-A, Torres has witnessed the benefits posed by the business first hand.

“I have seen the company sponsor this academy at other schools and I saw the impact that it had on the students that participated in the program,” said Torres. “I am so honored to be able to see it happen today at Spanish River.”

Since the academy has a limited amount of availability, students were able to apply for a position in the program earlier this year, and were informed as to whether or not they were selected. Now that the academy has started to take course, Spanish River students learn to use their leadership and teamwork skills to organize and develop community projects.

“The academy has been successful in teaching students about how to plan for a community outreach project,” said Torres. “While doing so, we have helped students connect with students outside of their friend groups.”

Spanish River students showed an immense interest in taking a leadership position in the Chick-fil-A Academy.

“Originally the plan was to select 30 students for this program,” Torres continued. “But the Town Center Mall Chick-fil-A graciously offered to sponsor a 2nd group, and paid for 60 of our students instead.”

As the academy continues with their outreach throughout the year, Torres has future plans in mind for the group to contribute to their community: “Future goals I have for this academy is for it to be something that every student wants to join to the point that we have to beg for more sponsor spots,” Torres said. “It is very important for our students to learn about the community and I want our students to feel the impact that they can have in Boca and other surrounding areas.”

The Spanish River Chick-fil-A Academy has plenty more in store for their students this year, and will likely have much more success in the progressing years.

Sponsored by history teacher, Frank Torres, PHOTO COURTESY OF MS. KRIS EARLE AND ALEX ROSENTHAL PHOTO COURTESY OF MR. TORRES Chick-Fil-A Academy Photo Chick-Fil-A Academy members observe presentation. Alexander Rosenthal poses with Foreign Exchange student, Raphael. French students take on the Everglades. French students participate in a beach cleanup. French students tour the waters of the Everglades.

Three Clubs Make a Difference and Inspire

Best Buddies

Best Buddies is a club that provides an all-inclusive, welcoming environment for students that enables those in the InD program to feel more included in the high school setting. Recently, Best Buddies has had various events that allow for students to engage with those in the Intellectual Disabilities (InD) program. As a non-profit volunteer movement, Best Buddies is globally recognized and creates various opportunities for friendships, employment, leadership, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Angela Donnino is the Special

Classroom: dgmsvwe Remind: 3bf2h9


events that Best Buddies has had:

This past October, Best Buddies was joined by “Negan, a Golden Retriever therapy dog,” said Donnino. “Therapy dogs make our

students feel safe and happy, and provide comfort and companionship. It was a real treat to have Negan visit, and everyone loved him.”

For Thanksgiving, Best Buddies also had a special event planned. During both lunches, they had a Thanksgiving feast where all of the “buddies” got to socialize and enjoy their time together during the special holiday.

Ms. Donnino hopes that more and more students become involved in this club and continue to make high school a memorable time for those in the program.

Friends Forever

Friends Forever, formed by English teacher Ana Prisco, is a new club here at Spanish River that has provided a space for English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students to feel more welcome and acclimated to the new environment of Spanish River and the American school system.

At meetings, members of Friends Forever give tours of campus to new ESOL students in their native language.

Another opportunity that Friends Forever provides is the ability to form new friendships and allow for ESOL students to feel more comfortable and welcomed in a new environment. Freshman Sophia Sobral and sophomore Daniella Navarro Araujo are just one example of two students that met through Friends Forever and have been able to cultivate a friendship.

Araujo explains how she first met Sobral, who is part of the ESOL program, this past September:

Google Classroom: ykwbvm5

“In Friends Forever’s first meeting, Sophia and I met. We both spoke Portuguese and clicked immediately,” said Araujo.

“Meeting Daniella at the first Friends Forever meeting allowed for our friendship to flourish. I look forward to future meetings and being able to engage in the different opportunities that the club provides,” said Sorbal.

Sobral has also been able to acclimate to her first year here at Spanish River well.

“My first year has been going great. I am glad I have made so many new friends both inside and outside of Friends Forever,” said Sobral.

Both Sobral and Araujo are appreciative of the opportunities that Friends Forever has provided for them and are looking forward to being able to continue participating in this club. This friendship is just one example of

how Friends Forever has been successful in providing a welcoming environment to students in the ESOL program and will continue to do so in the future.

Animal Adoption Association

Community service hours are provided to students, mainly through donating to supply drives and helping to make supplies needed by local shelters. Although the club is fairly new, the Animal Adoption Association has had various opportunities to get its members involved, the first one being a meeting that took place on October 13 where they made blankets for local animal shelters. With supplies needed to create the blankets offered by Angela Donnino, Special Education teacher, the Animal Adoption Association was able to have a very successful meeting.

“I have been fostering animals for the past couple of years now and I wanted to create this club in order to educate my peers on the difference they can make in the community, big or small. I enjoy seeing everyone participating and engaging in the different activities the club offers when we hold meetings,” said Armistead. “I hope this club continues to expand and brings more awareness within our local community regarding the animal foster care and adoption system.”

Joining this club will allow for members to have a positive impact on the community and make a difference when it comes to our local animal rescue and foster care system.


Best Buddies at their Thanksgiving feast event during lunch. Best Buddies with Negan, a Golden Retriever service dog. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANGELA DONNINO Google Daniella Araujo and Sophia Sobral have formed a friendship due to this wonderful club.
Google Classroom: lafb4cl Instagram: @srhsanimaladoption
Animal Adoption Association members making blankets for local animal shelters. The Animal Adoption Association, administered by sophomore Anna Armistead, has created opportunities for students to get involved in spreading awareness on limiting the amount of homeless animals. As a partner with the Chesed Animal Foundation in Boca Raton, this club allows for students to learn more about what is going on in our community when it comes to animal fostering and adoption. The Chesed Animal Foundation is a non-profit organization that aids in allowing individuals and families to adopt special needs animals as well as animals who have been abandoned. Education teacher and sponsor of Best Buddies here at Spanish River. Donnino explains some of the recent


River Makes the Most of the Holidays

As the holiday season nears, Spanish River students and staff have been preparing for their yearly holiday traditions to fulfill with friends and family. With such diversity represented among individuals on campus, Spanish River is guaranteed to have a busy time celebrating this season.

Thanksgiving being the first holiday this season poses several traditions celebrated by students to be discussed. Many students looked forward to making plans with their friends and family during Thanksgiving break; in fact, numerous planned out their travel schedules to go visit those who do not live nearby.

“Every Thanksgiving break, my family goes to visit some close friends who do not live in Florida,” said sophomore Rylie Heck. we don’t get to see often because of our busy schedules, it’s nice to be able to relax and catch up during this time.”

Christmas, one of the most popular holidays of the year, is celebrated by countless students on campus. Although it is widely identified as the day in which we recognize the birth of Jesus Christ, certain celebrations have evolved into traditions that occur on a yearly basis. Such traditions include the exchange of gifts, decorating a Christmas tree, and hosting large gatherings with close friends and family.

“Each year, my family records a video of us hanging ornaments on the tree,” said sophomore Alyssa Perez. “That way, we can look back on the videos the following year and reminisce together.”

Smaller customs have stemmed from these traditions, which are more personal and may include a special meaning to those involved.

“For the past four years, my friends and I have held a secret-santa gift exchange with each other,” said sophomore Connelly Wallace. “Each year, as our friend group expands, we have more fun as we invite more and more people to join us in our gift exchange.”

Sentimental traditions such as these often go on for years, which make them incredibly meaningful to participate in, especially while in high school. Gift giving activities are not limited to only those who celebrate Christmas either; during the holidays, it is common for friend groups to organize parties and exchange gifts, regardless of one’s religious beliefs.

Hanukkah, another vastly recognized and celebrated holiday, is immensely popular at Spanish Celebrated by Jewish individuals, Hanukkah involves an eight day celebration revolving around the declaration of the Second Temple established in Jerusalem. A key feature of the Hanukkah holiday is the lighting of the Menorah; each night, a single candle is lit to represent another night that the temple lantern remained ignited. Similar to Christmas, Hanukkah has numerous holiday traditions that Jews follow while celebrating. These include reading and singing religious scripts, gift exchanging, and large meal gatherings.

“Every Hanukkah, I light the menorah with my family and make latkes with my mom, it’s our tradition” said sophomore Jacquie Levine. This holiday season is guaranteed to be packed with festive fun for all of the students, teachers, and staff at Spanish River. Be sure to participate in the seasonal activities planned for the school this year!

Top 10 New Years Resolutions ☆ Create better study habits ☆ Get more sleep ☆ Reduce caffiene intake ☆ Prioritize your mental health ☆ Stop procrastinating ☆ Excercise more ☆ Look for a Job ☆ Get more organized ☆ Develop healthy eating habits ☆ Spend time with family and friends PHOTO COURTESY OF MONIQUE CAPILLE, JACINDA KOSIER AND JACQUIE LEVINE


Keeping Up With Tradition Or

Decorating for the winter holidays has sparked a divide over which aesthetic to follow: traditional red and green, cozy decorations versus modern white and beige, elegant decorations. With that, why is there such a fuss over which decorations to choose? The reasons behind our decorative choices are as different as the way we all celebrate. Tradition typically roots itself in how people honor the holidays, creating a more pleasing and festive aesthetic during this time of year.

Traditional holiday colors are red and green -- two colors that symbolize festivity, mistletoe, and the coziness felt when bundling up near a fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. Meanwhile, the modern white and beige colors that the elegant aesthetic utilizes shuts out those colors in an attempt to create a “clean” feeling. Instead, though, the whites and beiges take away the happiness and nostalgia that the original reds and greens bring to families that have fallen in love

with tradition.

“Personally, I like the traditional aesthetic more as it reminds me of my childhood and fills me with happy memories,” said junior Tristin Dasse. “I feel that the modernized aesthetic mutes the happy colors of the season which does not make it feel like the holidays.”

As Dasse said, the traditional aesthetic sparks happy memories. When decorating for the winter holidays, seeing color schemes of red, green, and gold will remind anyone of a time when they saw those colors during the season previously -- whether they saw

a Christmas tree being lit up, garland strung along street lights, or wrapped presents in a store window. And for many, religion can also play a role in the way people decorate, but it all ties into tradition. Personally, the way I deck out my house for the holidays is done traditionally as it brings a sense of togetherness to my family. We bring out the snug, cheerful smelling candles and put up the same twinkling lights around the house that we have had for years. Some teachers at Spanish River High School feel the same way.

“It reminds me of my childhood and memories of my dad who

passed away five years ago,” said AP English Language teacher Amy Macleod, when describing her preference for the traditional style of decorating.

“I love thinking about holidays and events and how they looked in history. The idea of historically what the holidays looked like has always been intriguing to me,” said U.S. History and Holocaust Studies teacher Patrick Abbondandolo. “As a family, we always celebrated Christmas Eve as most traditional Italian-American families did, with a Feast of the Seven Fishes and going to midnight mass,” he continued.

The traditional aesthetic of the winter holidays is far more recognizable and inviting than the newer, elegant aesthetic. It creates a sense of nostalgia, warmth, and familiarity that people love to see during the holiday season -- a time of year that is looked forward to for many families. It’s clear to see that this style “lights people up” much more.

Updating Christmas with Elegance

Tiktok and its viewers are eager to know which Christmas aesthetic is more desirable: a white Christmas or a traditional Christmas? In order to close the gap of confusion for some, a white Christmas can be defined as elegant, classy, and tasteful. Imagine the decor obtaining a color scheme adhering to shades of gold, red, and emerald green. In contrast, there is a traditional Christmas, which seems to be mostly favored by the younger generations. This aesthetic can be defined

as nostalgic, colorful, and flashy. When part-taking in a traditional Christmas, viewers will notice all types of colored lights, the standard (but yummy) cookies with the snowman icing, and lots of differing color schemes that do not necessarily have a common theme.

I personally favor the aesthetic of a white Christmas. However, that is mostly due to my upbringing. Those of us who enjoy an elegant Christmas are used to a more mature setting. This style is sophisticated rather than simple.

Biology and Marine Science teacher, Ms. Alexandra Lehner, is a fan of the holiday.

“While I enjoy lights, I prefer elegant lights over the multicolored ones.” With that being said, Lehner loves

to decorate with “a modern style dress up compared to the traditional overcrowded table.”

A notable mention regarding Lehner’s statement would be the word: overcrowded. Overcrowded is a good example of why some may not necessarily love the idea of a traditional Christmas, as the decor and overall look of things can get messy since there is no color scheme. Nevertheless, the childlike ornamentation is perhaps the reason people tend to favor Christmas as much as they do-- because it brings back memories of a better time, childhood.

Without getting too psychological on the preferences of decorum, the traditional Christmas lovers may want to hold onto their childhood era as long as possible, which is

understandable in a today’s world! Nonetheless, those who prefer a fancier Christmas may simply like to keep things orderly and aesthetically pleasing.

All in all, Christmas-or any holiday for that matter--is meant to be enjoyed without the expectations of others’ style influencing it. If you love the colorful lights, keep them! If you would rather keep your home aesthetically pleasing and modernesque, feel free to do so as well.

The holiday season is supposed to be enjoyed, and everyone should do just that regardless of the ornaments on their tree.


Ignorance is Fought Through Education

History is the basis of any society. In order to understand where to go, we need to understand where we have been. History gives us our culture and identity, it is the perfect way for any country to instill patriotic pride or solemn reflection on the past. Now in the United States, we generally have fairly good history classes. But one area in which they lack is the history of the minorities of this country. In particular the LGBT community, a community whose history no one knows including members of the community itself.

When I took US History last year, the only thing we learned about The Gay Liberation movement was the Stonewall Riots of 1969. The only thing. There were riots and they occurred in 1969,and it started the Gay Liberation movement. That was it. But it wasn’t enough for me. As I said before, history creates who we are and,because the LGBT communities’ history is never taught, it becomes easier and easier to ostracize a people who do not have an identity. Simply put, to not teach our history is to dehumanize us.

So over the summer, I took it upon myself to learn. I took a Queer Studies course at Barnard College. And on the first day of that class, my professor told us that LGBT people were the only disenfranchised group that didn’t know they were a group. That’s the

thing about the LGBT community, a lot of times we are invisible. We have to make ourselves be seen. That starts with history.

Queer History should be taught as part of US History.

Now of course the first argument against teaching Queer history is that it is indoctrination of children. But do we not indoctrinate our kids to believe the United States is the greatest country in the world, for god’s sake, has anyone who makes this argument even heard the Pledge Of Allegiance? To be clear, I am not against having patriotism be a part of the classroom. But it is a bit hypocritical to look at one thing as indoctrination and not the other.

My second rebuttal to the indoctrination argument is that the definition of “indoctrinate” is to teach a group of people to accept beliefs uncritically. But schools teach us to analyze and question: why would introducing Queer History into a curriculum change that? Students would still be encouraged to think critically, any good history class teaches you that. Queer History would be no different, our history is not entirely pretty, no one’s history is, and it should be taught as such. Yes, the Stonewall Riots were riots that were violent and caused damage, but what is rarely mentioned it the decades of police brutality toward anyone seemingly queer. What is rarely taught is the

everything should be taught in context, with students encouraged to look at events from all angles.

Another argument often used when debating the LGBT topic, is that kids are too young to learn about it. That argument reduces the queer community into a box that labels them as purely sexual beings without conscience. It is purely dehumanizing and untrue and is exactly why we need education. People think that the LGBT community are deviant and corrupt because that is all they know. If we were to teach Queer History, it would give people the full picture.

As I mentioned earlier,history is

intertwined in our identity. As an American, I can point to the Bill of Rights, something tangible and be proud of as I have done since I was young. But as a lesbian women, I have only just begun to discover the amazing things to be proud of in our community. How we have taken the labels meant to harm us and reclaimed them as our own. I bet if you are an adult reading this article you probably have cringed at my using the word “queer” but as a teenager I’ve never seen that word as harmful, only as a synonym for an LGBT person. The fact we changed the entire connotation of a word once used against us within a generation is incredible.

The unheard stories of our community deserve to be taught.

Art Vandalists Lack Renassiance

While society progresses to accommodate changes in humanitarian ideals, values, and means of expression, modern civilization is encouraged to address disparities within the public now more than ever. Whether it pertains to racial injustice, climate change, gender biases, healthcare, or other social injustices worthy of attention, the practice of protesting has, in some instances, transformed from a civil means of making a difference to an excuse for erratic destruction. In the name of advocacy, how much is too much? To what extent is your means of protest a setback to your cause?

Activists of the Just Stop Oil organization are the epitome of possibly doing more harm than good with active demonstrations.

Just Stop Oil, founded in February of 2022, is a union of campaign groups striving to prevent further legislation that enables the “exploration, development, and production of fossil fuels” in the United Kingdom. The rapidly growing movement is fulfilling its mission to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels through public outcries, several of those protests involving the obstruction of the art of notable Impressionist painters, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh.

As mash potatoes conceal Monet’s Meules work at the Potsdam’s Barberini Museum, and tomato soup oozes from Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London, the media expunges the desire for environmental security, replacing it with horror and disapproval.

While Just Stop Oil activists glue their hands to the walls of the

homes of these valuable pieces in attempts to incite change in the United Kingdom’s excessive dependence on nonrenewable energy sources, the tabloids glue themselves to the mayhem sparked from their actions. These protests pose several moral questions: “Did it help win much-needed attention, or did it turn public sentiment unnecessarily hostile?” “Suppose the work had been irreparably damaged – wouldn’t this have triggered a backlash, that would have hindered the group in its aims?”

Regardless of the intent behind such actions, the media, politicians, and critics are not focusing on the mission of the Just Stop Oil organization, they are focusing on the detriment of destroying artwork for attention. More specifically, concerns arise regarding how this vandalism can potentially escalate means of

protests, encouraging violence to become commonplace and activists to go to excessive lengths to send a message. Though the Sunflowers and Meules stunts have attracted ears to the cause, in actuality, these actions can be considered more barbaric than influential, as its likelihood of provoking significant change is slim.

Van Gogh’s art is distinguished for not only the beauty of his expression, but for its distorted depictions of reality. In vandalizing valuable works of art to create new, undermining art, these activists prove Van Gogh’s distorted, implausible reality to be applicable to the chaos that scorns reality, a reality where these protests are ineffective.

“Protest is one thing, destroying art is another.”



Education is a Competition, But Who’s Winning?

Many students have logged onto their student portals at some point during the school year, eyes hesitantly glancing at certain numerical values, like GPAs and class ranks. These numbers, like many in a student’s life, seem to decide our future: our colleges, careers, and lives. However, for the sake of our well-being, it is important to view these numerical values that quantify our abilities and achievements as pieces of our identities as students, not as the full picture.

The competitive nature of education is not necessarily negative; it means to inculcate an admirable ambition and drive to improve in students. A class rank and GPA are both measures of a student’s academic performance, and both can be a source of pride or a catalyst for further effort or attention in a struggling area. Academic honors, like valedictorian and salutatorian, are meant to commend high-achieving students while encouraging other students to reach their full potential. Competition in education, when practiced to a healthy degree, can be a rewarding way to foster a hunger for achievement and knowledge.

The problem arises, however, when this competition either detracts from a student’s commitment to learning or is detrimental to a student’s well-being. The core purpose of an education, regardless of the career it begets or colleges it gains acceptance to, is the acquisition of knowledge. Ideally, education should encourage students’ hunger for knowledge; however, because of the competitive nature of education, the sincerity and authenticity of this noble venture have declined. Instead of learning for the sake of it - for the sake of the answers we have and those we do not have yet - we now learn for the sake of status, of the recognition these achievements will merit. This may take the form of enrolling in Dual Enrollment courses that will boost our class rank, although we have no interest in the topic. In a more unethical light, we may cheat on assignments or tests in a class in which we want a good grade but do not care if we acquire knowledge. Both of these occurrences demonstrate that the knowledge we acquire in a course is no longer the focus of our education; there is no drive to our learning, rather, we want to “win” at high school, to be victorious in securing our diplomas through the path of least resistance. However,

I would argue that knowledge should be of more value than a diploma. Only once we take a step back from this air of competition and analyze the reasons behind our learning, for what we plan to use the knowledge we acquire, can we begin to appreciate the acquisition of knowledge for what it is.

When the outcome of this competition

essential to take time to rest from the fast-paced and hectic environment school can become. It is especially important not to view one’s measure of intelligence or success as tied to an SAT score, a GPA, or a class rank. These are measures of our academic performance, yes, but they are not all that we are. They do not measure our kindness or love for our family or friends or the things that bring richness and fulfillment to our lives. We should not allow these scores to define us; instead, they should guide us to areas that may require more attention or outside assistance.

arrives, another question arises: who is the winner? The drive to succeed can be a powerful motivation for accomplishment and self-improvement; however, the pressure it creates can likewise be powerful. Getting one’s education should be a healthy endeavor, and though that is often not the case, it is

Perfect Recipe for Sanity

Having a bad day can sometimes make me feel like there are no good days. Without pulling ourselves out of the depths of our own despair, we end up chronically stuck under the covers. When this occurs in my own life I usually will turn to food. Drowning my sorrows in carbs tends to do the trick. This way, rather than whipping up a recipe for disaster in my routine, I am found making banana bread, matzoh ball soup, focaccia bread, etc.

Baking may seem to be a very intricate activity, causing most of us to steer clear of doing so. However, sticking to a recipe has led me to not only enjoy my time alone, but has also become a productive hobby for me that can be beneficial to any household. Nonetheless, baking for me started as a distraction, as specific instructions makes me focus on something other than my own problems. By the time

my creation is in the oven, I have either forgotten why I am so upset, or I am still sad with an enjoyable treat in hand! Its really a win-win situation for everyone.

Self care is important during these “colder” Florida months, considering seasonal depression is common amongst high school students. Even if baking is not your forté, doing something to get you out of bed is essential. In my opinion, when we allow ourselves to let our emotions take control, we miss out on all the finer things in


As researched by Better Homes & Garden Magazine, mindfulness-- to be mindful and present in our daily lives-- is necessary to combating seasonal depression. This is why baking is such a successful strategy in doing so, as we must be present to ensure no egg shells snuck in the batter.

They say baking “takes focus to follow the step-by-step instructions, and compared to other activities, it requires a lot of attention.”

When focusing on something that is inevitably going to grant us a

Regarding the competitive nature of education, we should endeavor to take the good that may come from it but leave the bad. We can strive to reach our full potential without sacrificing our health; we can be ambitious without losing our genuine inquisitiveness. We may be in a competition, but there does not have to be a definitive winner or loser. We can each achieve our own definition of greatness in a race against our past selves, improving and learning for our own sake.

positive reward (like a snack), we stop sweating the small stuff and instead focus on what really matters, food!

For me at least, baking is where I get to take control. When I cannot seem to get anything right, at least I know I can do something as simple as follow a recipe.

Overall, any activity that can act as an outlet outside of our daily lives is important for anyone under the stressors life has to offer. Maybe your outlet is not baking, but students should be proud of themselves for taking that extra step today, whether it be significant or not, rather than allowing their emotions to get the best of them.




Christianty is based on the teaching and life of Jesus and the book of the New Testament. It has become the largest religion in the world with the most followers and the largest geographical diffusion. Christian holidays follow significant events in the life and death of Jesus and celebrate in his honor.

Source: Britannica

“Being Catholic to me means trying my best to be a good person and be good to other people on a day to day basis. I always try to do a good deed a day and that’s something that most Catholics believe in. My favorite church tradition during the Christmas season is an annual Christmas concert then band at my church does. It’s beautiful and a newer tradition but it’s such a good event and makes me so happy. ” - Kayla Hager, senior

World Religions and Their Holidays


Diwali also known as the festival of lights is a major holiday in Hinduism. It is a celebration of light over darkness and a time for family and friends to be together. Source: Britannica

“A lot of Indian celebrations can be confusing because they are all religious at the sametime as not being religious. My favorite is Diwali because you can light fireworks for fun, my family usually buys a bunch of fireworks and lights them up in our backyard. Sometimes we will invite friends over too. It’s a pretty close knit community and people like to meet other like them. There’s always some gathering going on especially during the festivities.” - Ankita Narayan, senior


The basis of the Muslim faith are the five pillars: Profession of Faith, Prayer, Alms, Fasting, and Pilgramage. Muslims are required to pray five times a day. Another key aspect of the Islam is the Pilgramage to Mecca a tribute to the Prophet Muhammad who also took that same journey. Another important part of Islam is fasting and that goes hand in hand with their holidays.

Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

There are two major Holidays in the Muslism calendar Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan as when Muslisms break their fast. There are often decorations put on homes and holiday prayers spoken. Often Muslims will donate to charity on these holidays.

Source: Congressional Research Service: Muslim Holidays Fact Sheet


“Basically, be’av is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the falling/destruction of the 2nd temple. It’s a day when you fast and pray to mourn what the Romans took from us. And the destruction of the first temple by the Babylonians. It stands out because it isn’t a holiday that many people celebrate in America anymore but it’s really important to remember the people who fought against our oppressors to keep Judaism alive.” - Raina Hanapole, junior

“For me being Jewish isn’t just a religion but a gateway to my past. My ancestors and their ancestors all had similar traditions and practices, sometimes it’s in service of a god and sometimes it is a service to other people. In that way Judaism is less of a religion and more of a set of morals and values. I learned basic ideas like: “it is always okay to question the world” and “being who you are is not something to be afraid of, everyone is different yet it is those differences that we should celebrate.” -Joey Feinberg, senior


When Politics Are Taken Too Far

On Friday, October 28, the husband of the Speaker of The House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, was violently attacked in their San Francisco home at around two thirty in the morning. The 82 year old man was assaulted with a hammer, sustaining a skull fracture along with other significant injuries to his hands and right arm. The intruder broke in through the backdoor and was said to have hoped to interrogate Mrs. Pelosi who was away on business at the time. With him, he carried white rope, a hammer, both rubber and cloth gloves, a roll of tape, and zip ties. Although the assault weapon was the hammer that Mr. Pelosi grabbed for defense.

David DePape, a 42-year-old male, is suspected for this break in,

and has been charged on 6 accounts. His charges include: residential burglary, attempted murder, elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment of an elder, and threatening of a family member of a public official. Information from immigration officials state that Mr. DePape is thought to be an illegal immigrant overstaying his welcome here in the US on an expired VISA from Canada.

After some investigation DePape was seen to have a very prevalent online presence. For 3 months leading up to the night of the attack, he had a running blog with content that showcased antisemitic views, anti-white racism, an idea of “elite” control of the internet, and signs that he may be a pedophil.

It has later come to light that the true aim of DePape was to kidnap Mrs. Pelosi. His goal was torture her, break her kneecaps, and then see she rolled into Congress in a wheelchair. His other materials would have been used to restrain Mr. Pelosi during the interrogation of his wife. His motive was to punish the Speaker for what he said to be her lies about the Democratic Party.

AP Government Teacher Mr. Marks, commented on attacks on public officials and said, “Attacks DIRECTED at public officials is nothing new, as was the case with Pelosi’s husband. Other victims, such as family members, security details, staff and innocent bystanders are usually secondary or incidental. There has been

an increase in political violence during the last five years, especially during election time. Big and comprehensive government policy reform, like gun control, is rare. However security for public officials and voting places has dramatically increased in recent years. Congress is looking at increasing security for the families of the Congressional leadership. Security for federal government officials is often reactive, not proactive - that is increasing security AFTER a threat is made to a public official.”

DePape has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Mr. Pelosi has undergone surgery, and is said to make a full recovery. He has a long road ahead of him, but he was released from Zuckerberg San Francisco Hospital on November 3.

Midterm Elections Spark Changes

Most Americans are aware of the Presidential election that occurs every four years, but many tend to be unaware when it comes to the midterm elections that take place every two years. Though it does not nearly receive as much attention from the media, it is equally important in America’s democratic system.

Midterm elections are held in order to elect legislators for both the Senate and House of Representatives, which are responsible for creating and passing our country’s laws. When it comes to Congress, citizens get to directly vote for their legislators, which can have a major influence on the dynamic of the government system.

Those elected to Congress will vote for or against bills regarding anything from highways to health, severely affecting Americans everywhere.

However, voting turnout for the midterm elections swoops to about forty percent, while presidential elections have approximately sixty percent of voters.

Prior to the midterm elections, we have a democratic

president, democratic Senate majority, democratic House majority, and a more conservative cour, but this can change drastically when the midterms come to an end. There are two main political parties in America, The Democrats and The Republicans, who have varying opinions on a wide range of issues facing our country from healthcare to gun control. People from both parties want to see their party in the majority turnout, which is why these elections are so crucial to our government. Since Congress is responsible for making laws for our country, it is pivotal that people vote for representatives that will reflect and fight for the people’s best interests.

Democrats in Florida as well as other states are extremely worried about this election specifically because of the conservative manner in which the Supreme

Court has been making decisions recently. Two of the main issues voters have been looking into this election is abortion and inflation. It is no surprise that Democrats (typically pro-choice) and Republicans (typically pro-life) have differing opinions on these topics, which is why each side is worried about the other having the upper hand.

In Florida, Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Ron DeSantis, candidates for the Republican party, took the win over Democratic candidates Val Demings and Charlie Christ. In this election alone, Florida gained twenty Republican and eight Democrat seats in the House of Representatives. Meanwhile at a global scale, Democrats have maintained control of the Senate while Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, showing how much can shift after the midterm elections.


Taylor Swift Ruins Wildest Dreams

After releasing her brand new album, Midnights, Taylor Swift recently announced that she will be going on tour in 2023 for the first time in nearly five years. Considering that she is one of the biggest names in the music industry today, with a grand total of ten original and two re-recorded albums, Taylor Swift fans across the globe are willing to do almost anything to secure tickets to her Eras tour, where she will be reflecting on each album she has released.

Ticketmaster is the top source for Swifties to get their tickets as it will be having a pre-sale for the tour. After this announcement, fans raced to sign up for the pre-sale to obtain their tickets as soon as November 15th hit. With such a vast fan-base, it is not surprising that the website crashed with all of the people trying to register. However, this is not the first time something like this has happened. Ticketmaster has crashed multiple times when it comes down to buying tickets for big-name artists like Harry Styles, Blink-182, and Olivia Ro-

drigo. The site is facing criticism not only due to its low quality system, but also their

that tickets on the site can be as much as seventy-eight percent of normal price. These

admission, but we will see how far Ticketmaster goes with it.

As if the increasing prices aren’t already an immense problem, once news broke out of the tour, fans quickly began to book their hotel rooms, despite not even having tickets yet. It did not take long for nearby hotels to notice an opportunity to make a large profit from upping their room prices during the times of the shows. One Hilton hotel in Boston even went as far as canceling a future bride’s room reservation, for which she paid approximately $170 for, to increase the price to an estimated $1,000 because of the tour.

Similarly, the Renaissance hotel wants to raise the price for another bride-to-be since they could make a higher profit by opening up the rooms to Taylor Swift fans.

extreme price gouging on tickets.

Price gouging is not a new problem in today’s society, but Ticketmasters high service fees are becoming outrageously excessive. It has been calculated

increasing prices are enraging all types of music fans to the point where a “Break Up Ticketmaster” campaign bagan in an attempt to combat the issue. In the case of the Eras tour, tickets are supposedly going to range from $49 to $449 for general

Taylor Swift is evidently having a significant impact on both the internet and scheduling complications. If Swifties want any chance at attending any of the Eras shows, it is strongly recommended that they get their tickets and hotel rooms before prices continue to skyrocket.

Take off Murder Shocks World

On November 1, 2022, an icon in the rap industry was met with a gunshot to the head during a private party at 810 Billiards & Bowling in Houston. At around 2:30 in the morning, an argument ensued, leading to open fire, which left the 28-year-old rap artist dead and two other guests injured.

Kirshnik Khari Ball, otherwise known as Takeoff, was a member of the influential rap group, Migos, that originated in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. This family group -composed of Takeoff, Quavo (his uncle), and Offset (his cousin)- came into the scene in July of 2013 with their first hit “Versace”. In 2017, the group really made a name for themselves in the industry with the release of Bad and Boujee, making US Billboard Hot 100

and certifying platinum. The group made a signature sound for themselves with the use of triplet flow (piling three syllables on to a beat rhythmically in order to create a hypnotic effect on the audience) that had a large influence on current rap music.

Takeoff was a private man, but his choruses were impactful, showing his character and mentality. Those who were close to him said he was a peaceful presence as well as quiet and reserved. He was an artist who truly loved the joy and laughter that his music brought to people. He wasn’t in the game for fame, rather for his love of rap.

Spanish River students are among many of Takeoff’s fans, feeling the grief of the loss of this amazing artist.

Senior Connor Lean said, “Takeoff was an icon in the industry and it is sad to see him gone so early in both his life and career.”

This tragedy brings the topic of violence in the media into conversation. With the release of the details of Takeoff’s death, media platforms are also releasing a video showcasing the final moments of his life. These outlets are being criticized for exploitation of a celebrity’s tragic death for views. The posting of this video is just one of many, videos of similar caliber have spread across the internet like wildfire, being a part of the epidemic of violence in the media that leaves an

impact on society. The posting of live-streamed shootings, videos of robberies, and photos of crime scenes to social media for entertainment and views is increasing, and it has been said that such exposure has deep impacts on the mental health of individuals. Critics say the internet has become desensitized to death, bringing light to the criminal and detracting from the idea that a life is being taken.

“Us and Them“ cover
Taylor Swift taking on each era PHOTO COURTESY OF deezer. com

The Spanish River Theater Department’s performances of Shrek: The Musical, which ran from October 21 to October 30, amazed its audiences with an unconventional happily ever after. With Director Patrick Watkins and Student Director Ana Perez leading the production, both casts put on incredible performances.

Behind the stage, Technical Director Christina Anderson-Lauar, Assistant Technical Director Mia Jones, Stage Manager Sophia Rocha, and Assistant Stage Manager Joey Feinberg made the show a stunning success. Musical Director Valeria Illan, Choreographer Micaela White, and Assistant Choreographer Kayli Klement enriched the performance of the cast by preparing exceptional dances and vocal performances.

The Brown Cast had student stars

Lord Farquaad in order to get the peace and solitude of his swamp back from the various evicted fairytale creatures. However, not everything is as it seems when it comes to the

played by Victoria Lundi. Dragon’s performance of “Forever” was an unforgettable display of smooth and silky jazz vocals. The cast’s performance of “I’m a Believer” was an exhilarating, high-energy finale to the musical and nostalgic homage to the movie.

frightening Shrek or the enchanting Princess Fiona.

One of the most impressive aspects of the performances was the vocals of the cast. Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey’s performance of “Who I’d Be” was a touching ballad about each character’s deep-seated desires with pleasant harmonies. The three Fionas and their performance of “I Know It’s Today” were a noteworthy testament to each actress’ vocal and acting talent and portrayed the progression of Fiona’s imprisonment seamlessly. The duet between Fiona and Shrek “I Think I Got You Beat” was not only so catchy I found myself humming its lyrics for the next week, but introduced the commonalities and chemistry between the characters with hilarious sound

of the likes of Joseph Alkon as Shrek, Rylie Nicolas as Donkey, and Addison Goldstein as Fiona. The Green Cast also had terrific talent, with Matin Namirisa as Shrek, Christal Casimir as Donkey, and Micaela Domine as Fiona. Other larger-than-life roles were Jeric Lubag, who played Lord Farquaad, Parisa Lewis who played Dragon and the Fairy Godmother, Sawyer Miller who played Pinnochio, and Colin Dech who played Gingy.

Shrek: The Musical follows the journey of the titular character, a green ogre who, with his sidekick Donkey, must rescue a lovely princess from a dragon-guarded tower in a deal with

effects. The fairytale characters also took the spotlight during “Freak Flag,” especially the stand-out vocals from Gingy, the distinctive, high-pitched voice reminiscent of the movie from Pinnochio, and the confident performance of Humpty Dumpty,

The crew’s efforts were also remarkable, especially the unique set design. Lowering a forest backdrop onto the stage at the beginning of the show earned various gasps of amazement from the audience, and the use of the curtain as a backdrop for the scene in which Lord Farquaad interrogates Gingy was a novel choice. The massive Dragon puppet

operated alongside the actress was not only impressive in its design but also in the seamlessness of its use in the “Forever” scene and when Lord Farquaad was eaten.

The Theatre Department has outdone itself once more with the Fall Showcase, which premiered on November 19th at 7 PM and was led by director Patrick Watkins and student directors Sophia Rocha, Jonathan Paez, and EmJ Pollack. Technical Director Christina Anderson-Lauer, Student Technical Director Joseph Feinberg, Stage Managers Mia Jones and Neha Masud, and Choreographer Helena Parada toiled behind the scenes to bring each performance to life.

One of the highlights of the night was the first performance, “Relativity” from the musical Theory of Relativity The original lighting design, with

a backdrop of moon and stars spread across the stage, along with the ensemble’s impeccable vocal harmonies, created an awe-inspiring moment. Grace Avery maintained a captivating stage presence during her performance of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” from Grease and perfectly captured the sassy yet vulnerable nature of her character. “It Only Takes a Taste” from Waitress was a charming duet between Matin Namirisa and Micaela Domine, in which the interaction between both characters was genuinely sweet. The smooth transition to “History of Wrong Guys” from Kinky Boots, as well as Domine’s humorous and passionate performance made both scenes stellar successes. Parisa Lewis’s performance of “Colored Women” from Memphis was a smooth jazz sensation with extraordinary vocals, and Jeric Lubag’s duet in “Music of My Soul” was a soulful masterpiece that captured the tender emotions of both characters vividly.

Addison Goldstein’s performance of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl was exhilarating, with powerful vocals that filled the theatre. At the end of the showcase, the spring musical was revealed to be

The Sister Act. After the Theatre Department’s impressive track record on the stage this fall, students can eagerly await another success this spring.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT The Theatre Department Dazzles This Fall Music Picks for the Winter Staff Picks: New Albums to Cozy Up To: Jacinda’s Pick: Phoebe Bridgers’ Christmas Covers: “Phoebe’s Christmas covers are comforting and express the melancholy feeling that accompanies some during the holiday times in a perfect way.” Colleen’s Pick: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” brings back good memories from when I was a cheerleader and I dasnced to this song.“ Amelie’s Pick: “Above the Chinese Restaurant” and “Let You Break My Heart Again” by Laufey “Neither are really holiday songs, but they both feel right for a cold night in December.” The Arctic Monkeys’ “The Car” Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” Meghan Trainor’s “Takin’ it Back”, www.housebeautiful. com,

Vinyl Never Skips A Beat

Music has been constantly evolving as years pass. From The Beatles in the ‘60s to David Bowie in the ‘70s to The Smiths in the ‘80s to Nirvana and Deftones in the ‘90s and so on. Not only have extraordinary artists arisen, but so have new technologies, therefore changing the way we listen to and consume music. Vinyls was an invention that dominated the ‘50s and allowed music to be spread. But then cassettes came into the picture and afterwards, CDs. All of these were what allowed people to listen to music in the later half of the 20th century, until music got a taste of the digital age. People leaned towards MP3 players, then iPods, and now what we have today, streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Music.

Even though many still take pride in their CD and vinyl collections, they are slowly starting to fade from the picture as technology takes the limelight. This poses the question: Is technology going to completely

take over the way music has been listened to for the past 70 plus years, or do some still prefer the physical way of listening to music through vinyl and CD? This question was asked to musicenthusiasts here at Spanish River High.

Sophomore Robyn ComberWilen was one of the first to be asked this question, stating to prefer to consume music through physical copies.

“I prefer vinyl because you get to own the material version of the music instead of having it downloaded, and you’re more compelled to appreciate the whole of an album, rather than skipping through it,” Comber-Wilen said.

A math teacher and one of the biggest music-enthusiasts here at Spanish River, Bob Tufo also agreed vinyls and CDs can be a great way to consume music and appreciate it.

“I did grow up on vinyl, cassettes and CD’s. And in 1982, I thought CD’s were the best invention since the discovery of the turntable, and that no physical format could surpass CD’s,” Tufo said.

Tufo continued that even though he grew up with music in its physical form, as time passed and digital was an option, his opinion changed.

“I can arrange the songs in the order I prefer and fast forward and rewind conveniently also. So, digital is the way to go today. For me anyway,” He said.

AICE Language and ESOL teacher Ana Prisco held a similar response to Tufo, having first consumed music through physical copies as well.

“Growing up, cassettes and CDs were popular ways to listen to music. When I was very young I had the Britney Spears’ ‘Baby One More Time’ album on cassette, and when ‘Oops!... I Did It Again’ was released, it was one of the first CDs that I owned,” Prisco said.

But as new ways of listening to music were introduced, Mrs. Prisco’s preference changed, like Mr. Tufo’s, following the advances of technology.

“Now I have a Spotify subscription because I love being able to listen to music the day that it comes out. I enjoy listening to podcasts, which I can do in the

Spotify app too. I like all kinds of music, and streaming allows me to have access to all of the genres I enjoy: alternative, pop, reggaeton, hip hop, jazz, classical and meditation,” Prisco continued.

Unlike Tufo and Prisco, Sophomore Sophie Zalewski has always chosen digital music over physical music.

“I prefer listening to music digitally because it’s more easily accessible and less costly with a larger variety of options than something like a CD can provide,” said Zalewski.

AICE Global Perspectives teacher Joshua Mendez also agreed, alongside Zalewski, that digital is just simply more convenient.

“I think digital music is the new rave of music so we don’t have to rely on physical copies,” Mendez said.

All in all, most of the community here at Spanish River seem to agree that listening to music physically can be enjoyable at times/in the past, but with the influence and benefits of technology, digital music is the better option to migrate to for accessibility and convenience.

Deck The Halls With Feel-Good Films

Every year, as holiday season approaches, bundling up in warm blankets on the couch with a bowl of popcorn or plate of cookies and watching holiday movies is a tradition for many. For years, families have watched classic holiday movies that bring them joy and memories that will last a lifetime. However, since the year 2000, a channel on TV called the Hallmark channel has been releasing cheesy, love story Christmas movies that many have fallen in love with.

Since Hallmark channel started releasing their holiday classics, part of society’s preference for Christmas movies has shifted in this direction. Hallmark movies may be known for their mediocre acting, but many still have a love for the movies.

“Hallmark is a staple that many people stick around to watch.” said student Mariana Stojanov “Sure

they’re known for their niche acting and cheesy romance that’s aimed at their older demographic,” she continued.

As she states, Hallmark Christmas movies definitely have a corny aspect to them but they are so fun to watch in so many ways!

Stajanov says that Hallmark Christmas movies allow you to “[Gather] around the TV and [share] a laugh while also bringing the wonderful love of families together.”

Making memories with family can be difficult a lot of the time, especially when kids start to get older, and these movies are an easy way to make fun memories for a family.

However, another part of society still prefers traditional Christmas movies. Classics such as Home Alone (1990), which many grew up watching, will continue to be the tradition for years to come. All of the classics that many have watched

became traditions in the homes of many families.

“I definitely prefer traditional Christmas movies,” said English teacher Ana Prisco. She also shares that she and her husband “have a Christmas Eve tradition of watching A Charlie Brown Christmas together.”

Mrs. Prisco’s example of her tradition furthers the point that these Christmas movies create new customs in many homes that will last for many decades in a family. Many of these classics give people the chance to think back to some good times in their lives.

“Traditional holiday movies,” said Mrs. Amy Macleod when I asked which she preferred. “Movies like the Grinch, Rudolph, and ChristmasVacationbring back good memories,” Macleod continued.

As stated before, the classics bring back good memories, especially memories from a lot of people’s childhoods. The Hallmark movies

seem to be a one-time watch movie, not like how the classics such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer could be watched every single year without people getting sick of them.

“No doubt about it, it is all about the traditional movies,” says Mr. Sean Deecken.

“Traditional movies are the best. Elf is the greatest Christmas movie of ALL TIME,” says Mr. Nicholas Carney.

With all of these opinions in mind, we can see that so many people will choose the original Christmas movies over the Hallmark Christmas movies that most will refer to as cliche. Hallmark and original movies both have many positive aspects to them that make many people fall in love with them both.


Racing Swiftly to Regionals

As Fall sports come to an end, we reflect on our Fall teams’ most recent success. Two of our very own: the swim team, and the cross country team, secured a welldeserved spot at Regionals. Within Regionals, both teams played against other schools and competed for a spot at States. Attaining a place in both Regionals and States is a huge accomplishment, and nothing short of impressive.

The swim team, led and directed by Coach Stephen Riedel, participated in Regionals towards the end of October in Orlando, where they achieved much success. During their district meet, the girls finished in 2nd place with two district champions in the 100 Fly relay and the 200 Medley Relay, while the boys finished in 3rd place overall. With such an excellent performance at Districts, the swim team had 17 swimmers qualify to take part in Regionals. At Regionals, the girls came in 6th place out of 24 teams and broke a plethora of personal records. Lelah Lewis cut more than

20 seconds off of her entry time in the 500 Free, Ava Balsam cut more than half a second off her entry time, and Alexandra Katz set a new personal record in the 200 Free. In the women’s 200 medley relay, members: Lelah Lewis, Ava Balsam, Brooke Gonzalez, and Jordyn Lewis qualified for the State Championships meet.

“Being at Regionals and having the opportunity to represent our school at the highest level was such an amazing experience,” said junior Ava Balsam. “Overall, this season was amazing. I dropped time in my best event which I am really proud of. I’m so happy to see what amazing progress has happened and I can’t wait until next year.”

On the boys’ team, there were a handful of heat winners. Both Michael Valverde and Josh Gluzman won their heat of the men’s 100

breaststrokes. Josh Gluzman, Alex Frutkin, Nico Gonzalez, and Adam Gluzman also won their heat of the event during the Freestyle relay. Further, Quinn Gehring set a personal record and cut 10 seconds off of his entry time.

“Going to Regionals was a great experience,” said junior Michael Valverde. “I was able to drop 4 seconds on the 100 breaststrokes making it my new personal record. Many of my teammates achieved similar results which I’m very proud of.”

The cross-country team, run by Coach Douglas Horn, shared similar accomplishments in districts. The girls went into Regionals ranked 9th, while the boys went into Regionals ranked 8th. By running a 7-person pack, the boys placed 6th in Regionals and will be moving on to States in Tallahassee later this

year. Preston Sangely, Jacob Garrett, and Maccabee Harad all earned District honors. Ryan Wilson beat his personal best and David Falkins secured the win on an intense tie-breaking finish. For the girls, Katelyn Sadorf ran a phenomenal race and beat her personal best, earning her a well-earned spot at the State Championships.

“I am very proud of my race at Regionals,” said junior Katelyn Sadorf. “I feel like I was more than comfortable enough to really push my limits and ran my personal best.”’

With the season coming to an end, it’s easy to say that both the swim team and the cross country team did not disappoint. Getting to Regionals and especially States is a massive achievement that all those involved should be proud of.

Submerged in New Records

Our Spanish River Swim team has been putting up amazing times and records these past few competitions. One team member in particular, Jordyn Lewis, broke a record, which has evoked a deeper meaning than just that of an award. It has been acknowledged that Lewis “recently broke a longstanding 100m backstroke swim record for the river team.”

Better yet, this record was the same one her grandfather broke when he was a swimmer in high school as well, making it a bittersweet victory. As Lewis continues in her grandfather’s footsteps, it is amazing to see the exceptional year Lewis has had so far. In the individual as well as the group competitions, Lewis and her teammates all qualified for the state competition for relay, and there are many more of these awards and qualifications to be won.



9.55. She was also a part of Florida’s gymnastics state team, and overall finished fourth in the all around for the SouthEast region.

One of our very own Sharks has been making tremendous waves in the gymnastics community. Her hard work and love for this sport is why she is now committed to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Now a senior at Spanish River, her name is Gabrielle Linden. Gabrielle has honed her craft while working with her coach, Christiana Ramierez, for the last 10 years.

“I have sacrificed a lot for this sport but I love it and wouldn’t want it any other way” said Linden.

Gabrielle’s success in this sport has not come from nothing, but from training 6 days a week for 5 hours each day, She works incredibly hard to perfect her skills.

When it came time to choose a university to spend her days at, the decision was a difficult one. But after stepping foot onto Temple University, she says that she knew it was the “perfect place” for her. Temple University had everything that she was looking for: between the amazing coaches, academics, a great team atmosphere, and a vibrant city life.

“The drive and enthusiasm from this team was one of a kind, and I knew I had to be a part of it” said Linden

But she didn’t just get to where she was by doing nothing, she racked up an impressive amount of acccomplishments that made her the decider of her own fate. To start off, she was third in the state for vault, with an impeccable score of a 9.650 out of 10, only in her junior year. Not only that, but her gymnastics team as

a whole became the number one team in the state, as well as the club of the year in 2022.

That is not the only place where she landed in the top three. Gabrielle’s other past accomplishments, include finishing first place on the Floor exercise event with a 9.7 at the Presidential Classic, a first place floor exercise finish at the Tim Rand Invitational, and last but certainly not least, a second place finish at the Sand Dollar Classic with a score of a

Boys Hockey Skates to Perfection

The Spanish River boys’ hockey team, the Bullsharks, has taken the ice by storm. With a combination of players from schools such as Olympic Heights, Dwyer, and West Boca High School, the boys have put on an outstanding show this season. So far the Bullsharks have an undefeated record of 7-0-0 and the team has thrived with captain Zayn Haddon-Harris leading the way. The team is hopefully one of the shoe-ins for the district championship. The boys have such a high record that they are standing at first in their division so far and are looking at a topplace finish, with Boca High trailing behind.

The boys have proven their immense strength with 2 wins exceeding 10 points a game. One of these wins was against FPSHL Panthers with a score of 11-2. Another one of these wins being 12-0 against the MSD eagles. The Bullsharks have also had 3 shutouts against Archbishop McCarthy, American Heritage and the MSD

Eagles, which has shown the true capability of the team.

Last year the team placed second in the division. But this year, they are going for gold! The Bullsharks play in a league called FPSHL and play against other high schools in our area. The Bullsharks play in the Panthers Ice Den Arena in Coral Springs and travel throughout Florida to play their games.

The sharks have done extremely well in all of their games. On top of that, some players have even had multiple

goals, which helped secure wins and keep the undefeated streak alive.

Haddon-Harris, the captain of the Bullsharks has said “Last year we made it to the state semifinals. I absolutely love playing for the team” and that he is so excited for the Bullsharks to get to districts and states this year. Haddon-Harris has “ been on the team for three years now and is the captain of the team.” He is hoping that he can lead the team to success at all of the competitions the team faces.

Another honorable mention

All of her elaborate accomplishments are part of the reason why verbally committing to Temple University was possible for Gabrielle. Her official signing day was set for November 9th 2022, where she signed her NLI, a binding agreement between a student-athlete and an academic institution, which will then make her commitment 100% official.

Gabrielle is still in her senior season of her gymnastics career and is more than excited for what this year has in store. She absolutely cannot wait to begin her college gymnastics career at Temple University.

“I cannot wait and I am looking forward to my senior season of gymnastics” said Linden.

Gabrielle’s ongoing commitment and dedication towards the sport that she loves is why she has had the success she has and why she will continue to be successful for years to come. Her new path ahead may be a long one, but it is definitely something to be proud of. The once Spanish River shark will now become a Temple University owl come fall.

is to Senior Ramsey Gale who has, “lead the team to get to the spot they are in now”. Gale also expressed that the team has gotten so close over the years and will only become better as a group.

Senior, Nick Volkert, from Dwyer High School, introduced me to a shark tradition. Before every game, Volkert said the team says this quote before every game, “Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships!”

On December 11th, the boys’ team will be playing one of the biggest games of the season at the FLA Live Arena, which is where the Florida Panthers play in Sunrise. This game will be against the Boca High Bobcats, and it is considered a rivalry for many of the players on the team. The last time these two teams faced each other, our Bullsharks won 5-1, and this game will be one of the toughest yet. Hopefully, the team will pull out of the match with a victory. So far, the future for our Bullsharks is looking bright, and we hope that they will bring back some championship trophies to Shark Country.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GAbRIELLE LINDEN Gymnast Gabby Linden excitedly commits to Temple University. The Bullsharks face off toward another victory.


Student Predictions for World Cup Final:

“Argentina and Portugal will play in the final, Portugal will win 2-1.”Emma Iovene

“ I think that Brazil and France will play in the final and Brazil will win 2-1.”Joseph Santone

“United States and Brazil will be playing in the final, with Brazil winning 2-1.”Gavin Blythe

“France and Spain will play in the World Cup Final. I think that France will beat Brazil win 2-1.”

- Dylan King

Some of the Best Matches So Far:


Key part of the match: In the 72’ minute, Richarlison for Brazil scored a bicycle kick to seal the game 2-0.


Key part of the match: Christian Pulisic for the US scored in the 38’ minute against Iran to push the US into the sweet sixteen.

Monumental Moments in World Cup History:

Lionel Messi plays for the Argentinian national team. It is speculated to be the last Wolrd Cup of his career. Argentina is one of the favorites to win the Cup and Messi is only missing this cup in his outstanding list of trophies.

Christiano Ronaldo, a forward for Portugal’s national team, became the first man to ever score in 5 different World Cups after his penalty kick against Ghana.

Canada was finally able to play in the World Cup after 36 years since they last qualified in 1986. Alphonso Davies scored Canada’s first goal in their world cup career, unfortunately they were eliminated in the group stage.

PHOTO COURTESY OF Googleimages Compiled by Peyton Blythe