Issue 3

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5100 Jog Road Boca Raton, FL 33496 @The_Galleon Volume 31 Issue 3 of Spanish River Community High School’s award-winning student-run newspaper • December 2014 •

How safe is Spanish River? Max Kozlowski Staff Reporter The tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 raised awareness of the dangers that can happen at school. This awful event struck parents with a newfound sense of concern regarding their children’s safety. Unfortunately, these breaches in school security are not uncommon across the country. In fact, there have been at least 87 school shootings recorded since the one at Sandy Hook. Although gun violence is not the only dangerous activity that can occur on school

campuses, this statistic illustrates the general lack of school safety around the country. River’s safety structure revolves around the Safety Committee, composed of cafeteria managers, custodians, and many other school officials watching over the campus at all times. The head of the Saftey Committee is Doug Markwardt, who devotes his time and efforts to keep students safe. When asked about potential violence being brought inside River, Markwardt strongly believes River has taken proper measures to prevent crimes and break-ins.

Students walking around River without passes.

“We have administrators on patrol every period, and we also have a police officer as well as two police aides always on duty,” Markwardt said. “That’s the kind of thing we look for every day, all day long.” When asked about the importance of safety in today’s modern school system, Markwardt further emphasized how crucial safety is. “Safety has become our school’s primary concern,” Markwardt said. “Not education as you may think. It used to be, but right now our number one priority is safety.” Another reason to feel safe

Security guard keeps an eye on gate as students leave.

Is the campus protected?

River by the numbers Hall pass

No Hall pass Over half the students found roaming the hallways did not have a pass

at River is that it is one of the few schools in the county that has two police aides. Principal William Latson pays for an additional police aide out of the school’s budget, which definitely speaks to the argument that River puts safety first, and is much safer than the average high school. Police Officer Don Thrasher also warns students to come forward to him if they hear anything regarding dangerous activity, as violent acts that occur in school are usually premeditated. “I feel safe at this school considering that we live in a nice area,” junior Lexie Kaufman said. “Considering

other schools are dangerous, we don’t have many problems here. Things are pretty calm.” While school safety at River clearly is an important matter, Thrasher urges students to be cautious, but not over-worried, as the students of River are in good hands. “Enjoy your high school years, as we have your safety and security in mind at all times. College will be great, but high school and the years you spend here will be something you never forget,” Thrasher said.

Visitor getting a pass in Suite A.


The Galleon’s investigative reporters decided to collect data regarding the safety at River. The results were startling.

10% of the doors around the outside of campus were not locked

Out of the 135 cars counted in the teacher lot 81 had a parking pass 52 did not have a pass 2 were parent visitors

graphics courtesy google images


December 2014 The Galleon


Letter from the Editors

T’was the week before exams and all through the hall, the students were stressing, even the “Back Room” was on-call. These pages were sent to the printerwith care, in hopes that The Galleon soon would be there! Browse this isssue on your holiday break. We hope you enjoy it, relax and partake. We are back next semester with more stories to enjoy. Have a great holiday break all you good girls and boys! Happy Reading and Happy Holidays! Ashley, Kelsey, Lindsay, and Lauren The Editorial Board

Letter to the Editors

The paper overall was good. I liked it, but maybe next time add some more ideas on stuff that we as teens don’t really know about opposed to the iPhone 6. The “Let’s Talk About Sex” article was really good with the fact that it helps to educate people who don’t know about all the risks that go along with sex. I liked how most of the articles held my attention. It helps when the opening paragraphs are about things you can relate to. From, Amie Ritacco, 12

EXAM SCHEDULE Tuesday: 6th Wednesday:1st and 2nd Thursday:3rd and 4th Friday: 5th and 7th COngratulations pathfinder nominees! The Galleon would like to recognize two of our staff members who were selected to participate at the district level. Lindsay Mangines (Communications) and Michela Mugnatto (Art). ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE -ARYEH LEVIN BUSINESS-ALEXANDER DECKLER COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT-BETHANY MALZMAN












Project Graduation is coming!

January 2015 December 2014


December 2014 The Galleon


JSA inspires political Say NOPE to drugs awareness Noah Zylberberg Staff Reporter

In the beginning of this school year, the Junior State of America club at Spanish River won the best new chapter in the country out of over 500 schools. The head of this nationwide chapter, located in Washington D.C, collects notes from every meeting across the country from all the different high schools. These notes are submitted online, and of all the high schools with this club in the country, Spanish River’s Junior State of America was named the best new chapter. JSA is a club that focuses primarily on debating about different political issues, such as gun control in the Michael Brown shooting case in Ferguson, Missouri. Every other Thursday members meet in club advisor Kevin Turner’s room. Political humor is a key component of these meetings. Junior State of America has become very popular at River and is often standing room only. “My favorite part about the club is discussing the political issues due to how there are various diverse political opinions,” treasurer Dylan Levenson said. Many students in high school already appeal and lean towards Democrat or Republican. This creates an exhilarating atmosphere for debate among young high school students. It also helps create an awareness of the outside world and

the political issues of the time. It is a great way to get involved in informal political debates that speak to every student in one way or another. “I love being able to talk and debate about real world situations in a relaxed and fun environment alongside my friends,” vice president Lauren Uszinay said. Junior Jack Altman started this club last year and has experienced a dramatic growth in members throughout the past few meetings. This can be attributed to the vast amounts of community service opportunities available, as well as the wide appeal of debating on key issues in the lives of teens today. These issues are relatable to every student, which makes is very enticing to walk into room 8303 every other Thursday. “I wanted to start the club so that more people our age would be aware of the things going on in the world as well as help people with public speaking,” president and founder Jack Altman said. The meetings usually start off with a Jon Stewart (political satirist) clip about an issue such as Ebola, gay marriage, or marijuana. Later, students debate on that current issue. Junior State of America is a countrywide program and River has come out on top of other very competitive schools to take the title of best new chapter. With a growing amount of members and greater participation, the JSA chapter at Spanish River will be able to reach new heights in the world of politics.

I believe they should raise the minimum wage.

I disagree with that statement.

Speaker presents information on the NOPE assembly to freshmen

Rachel Horn News Editor On November 18th during 3rd and 4th period, freshmen at River attended the NOPE assembly. NOPE stands for Narcotic Overdose Prevention Education. It is a nonprofit organization that was formed in Palm Beach County to combat the illegal use of prescription drugs and narcotics, as well as other abused substances. NOPE’s mission is to diminish the frequency and impact of overdose death through community education, family support, and purposeful advocacy. There was a time when the NOPE assembly would only be presented to the senior class. But it is now known that if students have access to NOPE’s crucial information about the dangerous consequences of prescription drug misuse and substance abuse during their first year of high school, then students will have the tools they need to make the right choice when they are confronted with new and difficult drug related situations. “The NOPE assembly is important for students at River due to the many temptations that students encounter,” Assistant Principal Mara Goron said.“However, the power of a good choice can have a forever effect on a student’s life and educating them may turn around that possible bad decision.” The NOPE program encourages students to continue

their education after they attend their first assembly. Students can get NOPE certified by completing different projects pertaining to the information learned at the assembly. Certification awards students with 20 community service hours, a Letter of Recognition from the White House office of National Drug Control Policy, and eligibility for the NOPE Life Choices Award and Monetary School Scholarship. Students can register at A total of 8 NOPE Life Choice Award and Scholarships will be presented in the summer of each year. The submission deadline is June 1st. “I thought the event was pretty cool to gather everyone around and hear stories about the bad decisions that people made and to inform us to not do that,” freshman Tiara Jones said. “The most influential part of the assembly was when they asked the audience to stand up if you know anyone who has taken drugs and I know a lot of people who do drugs,” freshman Nixon Alfred said. “At the same time, I never told their parents which was a bad decision because I am supposed to be helping them and being there for them because they are my friends.” Due to the NOPE program, River freshman have gained some knowledge about the drug dangers that they may face, and they have learned that there are resources available to assist them.

art by michaela mugnatto

photo courtesy of kelsey spyker

The Galleon 2014-2015 Editors-in-Chief Ashley Roth Kelsey Spyker Lindsay Mangines

Features Editors Amanda Paige Lauren Villanueva Sydney Luntz

Associate Editor Lauren Villanueva

Sports Editors Sarah Grubman Michael Benrubi Lindsay Mangines

Feature Focus Editor Jack Altman

Art Editor Michela Mugnatto

Entertainment Editors Michela Mugnatto Olivia Schiffman

Photography Editor Carly Mackler

News Editors Rachel Horn Kelsey Spyker

Advertising Director Callie Schiffman Staff Reporters Noah Zylberberg Max Kozlowski Sam Budney Julia Artzi

Adviser Suzanne Sanders Principal William Latson

The Galleon is a public forum. The Galleon is a member of the Quill and Scroll Honorary Society for High School Journalists, the Florida Scholastic Press Association, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and the National Scholastic Press Association.

December 2014


December 2014 The Galleon


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FA C E - O F F

December 2014 The Galleon

Block around the cl block-tober



with the recent many students were left frustrated by having to go to class longer than 50 minutes due to testing. River is one of the few schools that have not switched to block scheduling in palm beach county. How do you feel about this possible change?\- TWEET @The_Galleon. Brad Daub US History Teacher Blockbuster

When a football player blocks another football player, he is preventing him from achieving his full potential. If someone is lost behind the Communist Block, his freedom is taken away. The term “blockhead” means a fool. I feel the same way about block scheduling for schools - it does not allow students and teachers to achieve their full potential, it takes freedom away, and it is a foolish idea. I was a substitute and a teacher under block scheduling. I had to teach for 1 hour and 45 minutes and it did make me a better teacher. I learned that I had to break the lesson up; it couldn’t be all lecture, every 20 minutes I would change it up with a video, current affairs or a small group project. It did show me that I could do other things beside lecture. Also, I learned to give more time for homework and give more tests that had broad essays. However, all of these lessons can be used with the current schedule. With the block schedule, I felt that I could not teach to my full potential because students would lose interest early in, about 45 minutes. It was hard to get them to learn anything after 45 minutes. Our current schedule is nice because students have each class in a small dose under 50 minutes when they start to lose interest they move on - it is like a cafeteria or buffet style of education, a little bit of every subject goes down just right instead of large doses. Some people have said Americans have liked everything fast - fast food, fast cars, etc. Each under- 50- minute class is fast and not too big, but just right. As a teacher, I have more options with shorter class periods. I can do notes for that period, group project or video. The block structure requires teachers to do all three and more everyday. Block scheduling takes away a student’s freedom. Block scheduling locks students down in the classroom for almost two hours. There is a lack of movement and less supervision for students. Seven different times during the day they are able to move around see their friends and socialize. In addition, most of our tests are over two hours or under and this would mean a special schedule anyway. I do not like block and the system does not allow students and teachers to achieve their full potential, it takes freedom away, and it is a foolish idea.

Brett Burkey Economics Teacher Block solid

Block scheduling should be implemented at Spanish River H.S. I am an advocate of a blended format of three traditional seven 50 minute periods, and two A/B blocks in which 5th period remains 50 minutes plus two thirty minute lunches (80 minutes) for all five days. I believe the two block days should be Tuesday and Wednesday so they don’t conflict with the tradition of Thursday LTMs. I will see my students four out of five days and can plan back to back activity days for periods 2, 4, and 6 on Tuesday and 1, 3, and 5 on Wednesday. For classes who feel it’s necessary to see students frequently and for subjects that need extended periods for labs, projects or activities this schedule provides a nice compromise. The common concern about block scheduling is the gnat-like attention span of today’s student being pushed beyond its limits. Also, the tendency of teachers to get lazy during block periods and use the time for students to complete what should be homework. If students can’t survive a two hour class without zoning out, then they should rethink their post-secondary plans. I’m tired of having to sacrifice challenging educational techniques for the cultural malformations of our youth. If teachers are incapable of innovation in providing a varied lesson capturing different techniques in delivering content, then they’re doing the profession a disservice. Too much of what we teach screams for real-time relevance and a weekly block could all of a sudden breathe life into some of these subjects. graphic courtesy of google images

December 2014


December 2014 The Galleon

A R T S & E N T E R TA I N M E N T

Spanish River Chorus Brings Holiday Cheer Julia Artzi Staff This school year, chorus has an exciting schedule full of small community performances and in-school show cases. River’s chorus consists of approximately thirty-five students that practice daily for their performances. In addition to this routine, the majority of students in chorus choose to take it as one elective or two electives in their schedule. Spanish River’s chorus has two professional performances that are held in the winter and spring. Chorus was practicing for their winter showcase. It was held in the Countess de Hornle Theatre at 7:00 on December 4th. Some of the songs they sang were “September,” “California Dreaming,” “Getting in the Mood for Christmas,” and “Man in the Mirror.” “I am excited to show off all the hard work everyone in the group has in to make this show possible,” co-president of chorus and senior Sydney Thabet said. Chorus has an extended family of singers that work diligently for their performances. “I am most excited to have two jazz choirs performing both together and separately this year. We have a lot of new talented singers in these groups and more boys than ever,” chorus teacher Rita DiDominic said. Additionally, chorus has an elite group of singers called “Spanish River Super Splash Jazz Ensemble.” This group of singers has already been performing in the neighborhood, as well as at school. “Super Splash” recently sang at the Academy Open House and the Art Show. On Veteran’s Day, they performed at the Boca Raton Community Hospital to commemorate all service men and women associated with the hospital. This performance was open to the public. Among the people attending this concert was the mayor of Boca Raton, Susan Haynie. Co-presidents Gena Smith and Sydney Thabet are excited for the upcoming chorus performances and are hoping for a great turn out at their future concerts. Photo courtesy google images

Pieces of Eight Submit Early! Space is limited! Deadline: February 6th Submit to Room 8122 “The magazine is an inspiring way for students to share their thoughts, perspectives, and creativity. I feel fortunate to be part of this important creative outlet,” -Pieces of Eight advisor and Creative Writing teacher Dr. Robbins

Sporting in Style Olivia Schiffman Arts & Entertainment Editor River is notorious for being one of the oldest buildings in Palm Beach County. While other schools have changed and remodeled, River embraces its aged architecture. Although the River facilities appear dated on the outside, the inner anatomy of the campus is receiving a major face-lift. Recently, the wrestling room wall was adorned with a graffiti mural stating “Sharks Wrestling” to bring a wow to the boring mono-colored walls. 2-D art teacher Ashley Giannangeli along with sophomore Ryan Nuntz and freshman Yitzi Batt created the wrestling room masterpiece in just under one week. The mural was requested by wres-

tling coach Bill Maher who wanted to put life into the wrestling room with a piece that popped. “We had a few inspiration pictures Mr. Maher picked but, thankfully he trusted me… and let us do our thing,” Giannangeli said. Once the mural was decided, Giannangeli picked two talented students in the art of graffiti to help her accomplish the mural. Both students have a special interest in graffiti. At the age of nine, Nuntz took her first glimpse of modern art in a magazine. Since then, Nuntz has been pursuing the art and has even taught Giannangeli some of his own techniques used for graffiti. For Batt it was not until Giannangeli’s early class this year that he expressed interest in graffiti though art has al-

ways been apart of his life. “I introduced them and they got to work immediately,” Giannangeli said. “I knew they both had the talent to create a great piece.” Giannangeli’s instincts paid off because she, Nuntz, and Batt ended up creating a masterful mural for the wrestling room. Not only did the mural brighten up River’s dull wrestling room wall, but also it allowed students to display their art. “It feels good to display my art in school because other people see it and admire it and appreciate it,” Nuntz said. The murals are a way for students to develop their artistic abilities and get their art out into the world. “The exposure our mural is getting shows River a form of visual art that

was previously regarded as a nuisance,” Giannangeli said. Hopefully, as different forms of contemporary art start to appear throughout River, the old infrastructure will become less noticeable. Giannangeli is now conversing with Coach Jones to create a mural for the boys’ basketball team. The new internal renovations will transform the school and encourage students to put their own artistic and modern stamps on River.

photo courtesy lindsay mangines

December 2014

A R T S & E N T E R TA I N M E N T

December 2014 The Galleon


Recycle to Runway:

River puts on a fashion Show Olivia Schiffman Arts & Entertainment Editor On December 11th, River hosted its first official fashion show promoting recycling, punned the “trashion show”. Students from various grades submitted fashion pieces made from recyclable materials. AP 2-D Art teacher Katia Martinez and head of the Environmental Concerns Committee junior Jordyn Hazan collaborated on the project. They hope to bring attention to the amount of waste that can easily be recycled. “I came up with the idea of the Trashion Show over the summer for my committee in leadership,” Hazan said. Hazan took her idea to Martinez in order to initiate the idea. Martinez knows people in the fashion business who create lines of clothing solely using repurposed items. She therefore thought Hazan’s idea was great and even had ideas or what materials students could use. “I want them to think past the traditional recycled items: past newspapers, candy rappers, and bottle caps,” Martinez said. “What other things do we consume that becomes garbage?” An example that Martinez gave is flowers. Flowers, though not recyclable, are organic waste. She stated how simple it is for students to use the petals in order to make art. She wanted unconventional waste to be the inspiration for this show for students. The same goes for the articles of clothing summited. A dress is typically the most common idea for

photo by kelsey spyker

Sports Editor Michael Benrubi struts down the runway.

shows you should binge watch over winter break Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere: Spring 2015 The Blacklist Season 2 premiere: January 2015 Gotham Midseason premiere: January 2015 Shameless Season 5 premeire: February 2015

a fashion show, so Martinez asked students to think outside the box. Accessories, such as bags and jewelry, were also submittable for the fashion show. “I will beenteringclothesonbehalfofLeadership.Weareplanning on doing a dress, poncho, and casual wear,” Hazan said. Leadership was not the only club that participated. Martinez had high hopes that all of the clubs at Spanish River would jump at the opportunity to do the fashion show in order to raise awareness for the environment. Individual students were welcomed to submit their own pieces to the show as well. “This project is very important to me,” Hazan said about her involvement in the show. “I want to help make a difference in our environment.” The show brought major attention to the environment through its recyclable-friendly mission. However, that is not the only concept the show will have brought attention to. “I want to raise awareness to the arts because we have some phenomenal art students who make art but are not considered art students,” Martinez said. “There is so much untapped potential when it comes to the art here at River.” Martinez unlocked students’ potential through the creative show. The trashion show successfully explored the recyclable options of fashion while exploiting River students’ true artistic potential.

Holiday Blues

Callie Schiffman Staff Reporter

The holiday and winter season are meant to be a time for joy and cheer. However, according to statistics it is inexplicably the saddest time of the year. According to the National Institute of Health, the holiday season sees the highest rates of severe depression. A disorder known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, (SAD), is a form a depression that is closely related to the winter season and increases during the holiday season. Due to colder temperatures, people do not spend necessary quality time outside, which reduces the amount of vitamin D their body receives from the sun. This lack of vitamin D is a direct cause of depression. Additionally, the highlighted conflicts of family and friends, the pressure of buying expensive gifts, and the possibly increased sense of loneliness are among the many other reasons people feel despondent during the holiday season. Despite the fact that most states experience depression during the winter, here at River, students tend to be happy for the winter season. “The cold makes me a lot happier especially since the hot can get tiring after a while,” sophomore Gustavo Nunes said. In Florida it seems that it is hot all year round, but during the winter to temperatures cools down, which makes students relieved to not be in the grueling heat.

“Winter is the only time of year where it gets slightly colder than usual,” junior Amanda Morracco said, agreeing with Nunes. The colder weather is not the only reason students love the winter time, students also love the holidays. “The holidays are just a fun time to enjoy!” sophomore Jenna Newmark said. Newmark is not the only one cheerful about the holidays, but the faculty at the guidence office at Spanish River decorates the office during the holidays. “We decorate the office to have some spirit in here. We decorate for every holiday, Hannukah and Christmas too.” Pat Golembe, Guidance secretary, said. Not only is the holiday season an unexpected time for sadness, it is also an unexpected time to commit crimes. Despite these present ideas, arrest rates are high during the holiday season. According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office, between December 23, 2013 and December 27, 2013 there were over 330 arrests made. Some of these criminals were charged with trespassing, DUIs, and burglary. One of the most highly committed crimes during this time is DUI, due to an abundance of holiday parties and festivities. Enjoy the holiday season, but remember to maintain a high spirit, as there are definite dangers associated with it.

Art by Michela Mugnato

December 2014

Life in Color

Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival

Jingle Ball

Lebron returns to Miami. Heat vs. Cavaliers

Boca Raton Bowl Fau Stadium EAU Palm Beach Marathon and Run Festival

35th Annual Boca 5k/10k Spanish River Park Delray Beach 100ft Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Atlantic Avenue

December 2014



December2014 The Galleon


With the year co The Galleon rewinds and takes a sneak peek at

RIVER RESOLUTIONS “I won’t waste time worrying”

“Lead a healthy lifestyle” “Stick to the decisions I make” “I quit quitting” “Do more community service”

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an s Ed m lt cu 2 0 1 4 A k e Fo d r a w s c Ja atur to a close, Fe The Galleon is

rewinding time for Spanish River. With all that has happened over the last year, 2015 has big expectations to live up to. Pop-culture in the United States, and around the world, plays a major role in every student’s life here at Spanish River. Some students are obsessed with a particular musician, actor or public figure, while others love to watch the drama that ensues in Hollywood throughout the year. This year, history was made when Jay Leno stepped down from hosting the Tonight Show, moving the show back to New York City with a new host, Jimmy Fallon. Leno hosted the Tonight Show for 22 years, so

passing it to a younger generation was a major move for television. Other notable pop culture events include the marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West this summer in Italy, Miley Cyrus’ infamous twerking around the world, as well as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. “My favorite story from this past year was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” senior Shayna Servillas said. “I loved being able to participate in such a huge trend that was for a great cause too.” On a more serious note, so much happened over the past year with respect to global and domestic events. Earlier this year, Colorado made history by legalizing Marijuana. This was a major step for the United States. Many say that the legalization has not only helped the people of Colorado, but that it has also dramatically improved the economy of the state. Over the summer, ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq, militant forces began their rapid takeover of Iraq. This is a world issue that still continues today and will most definitely continue into 2015. “It makes me so nervous to see our own citizens being beheaded in the middle east by ISIS, Media Center Specialist Debbie Siegel said. “ I hope that we can stop these terrorists as soon as

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possible.” Other notable events include the recordbreaking iPhone game, Flappy Bird that took the world by storm. By January, it was earning $50,000 each day from advertising. In sports related news, Donald Sterling was ousted as the owner of the L.A. Clippers after racist remarks he made on tape. Also, the Sochi Olympics proved to be a success when so many doubted Russia’s ability to pull off the winter games. 2014 has proved to be a year filled with both domestic and world events. There is something for everyone to reminisce about as River looks forward to a new and eventfilled 2015.

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December 2014


December 2014 The Galleon



oming to a close... t all the excitement that is in store for 2015! Julia Artzi Staff Reporter

New Year’s resolutions are different for everyone. Students tend to have the typical “get good grades” resolution, while teachers have the “to stay organized” resolution. Whatever it may be, teachers and students have their fair share of goals for 2015. Both sophomore Brooke Simon and junior Renata Sassarini agree that their New Year’s resolution is to stop procrastinating with their school work. “This has always been a resolution of mine and every year I try to reduce the amount of procrastinating I do during the school year,” Simon said. On the other hand, chemistry teacher Charlotte Eames has a completely different resolution. “One thing I am always trying to do and will hope to do this coming year is to read for pleasure,” Eames said. In addition, many students have become addicted to working out and are always looking for opportunities to go to the gym. “I work out often, but I am going to try to work on exercising a couple more times a week than I do already,” sophomore Allie Greene said.


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Likewise, it is not uncommon to hear that teachers and young adults want to exercise more. This is something that everyone is trying to do and it therefore applies to all ages. Also, everyone wants to save money. Every little bit counts and both students and teachers can agree on this. Generally, students who drive want to save money where they can because gas is expensive. Teachers also share the same opinion. “My New Year’s resolution is going to be to saving money whenever I can,” Algebra 2 teacher Renee Richar said. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, sometimes teachers’ and students’ goals can overlap. However, when they do not overlap, it is interesting to see how students’ and teachers’ resolutions differ.







all art and graphics by michela mugnatto

December 2014


December 2014 The Galleon


It’s the Best of’s the Worst of Times

Sydney Luntz Features Editor

It is the time of holiday festivities and all the gusto that follows them, the time when decorating the house with family and suddenly remembering the huge math test you have Monday that is the determining factor of your quarter average. Or when finally making that killer holiday playlist, but all at once realizing, two out of five hours necessary to study for an English final were just wasted. Students will never give up the aspiration of trying to allow holiday joy surpass final exam stress. This inescapable struggle hits students heavily because while holiday excitement surrounds them, final exam anxiety devours them.

“It’s a struggle,” sophomore Michelle Li said. “Focusing on family in town, focusing on my grades, and trying to do well on final exams.” Students must save their semester averages by conquering their split grades, all by doing well on never ending exams of 100 plus questions of accumulated material they have been absorbing since the first day they sat in those very classrooms. It is understood learning should be challenging and students should work for their grades, but it is the constant “holiday fever” encompassing their lives this time of year that they try so severely to balance with the pressure of receiving a desired GPA/ HPA at the end of the semester. No doubt, education is a priority to River

students, but the annual and notorious holiday stress is pure torture. “Holidays are the most stressful time of the year, I am always excited but at the same time teachers tend to pile on work near the end of the semester just as we are preparing for exams,” junior Bailey MacGillivray said. “Time management and prioritizing study time is the best way to cope with stress this time of year.” In contrary, this pandemonium during holiday time is a struggle for teachers also, “This time of year we really start getting more stressed,” environmental science teacher Craig Matthews said. “The stress starts piling on and everything has to be due before break, it is a short nine weeks because of semester exams, which

only adds on the pressure of getting everything graded in time.” While students are studying and suffering for the golden report card, it is probably in their best interest to smile a little as they hear the Christmas carols coming from the radio. It is vital to enjoy the holiday zeal, regardless of stress levels that will always be a constant struggle of students. “We can’t let the stress get to us this time of year because we all ultimately have a specific educational path to follow,” Li said. As students, they should never give up trying to prioritize school and enjoy the cliché traditions at the same time. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Images courtesy of Sydney Luntz

Drummer Boy Sam Budney Staff Reporter The Silver Sound Marching Band does not always receive the recognition it deserves. Not only are they the pulse of the pep rally, but they are always there to support our athletics department at every big event. They also have outstanding performances at competitions, ranking “superior” numerous times. This can be attributed to a great overall leader, junior Andrew Marques, who is the drum major for the band, and has been leading them to success all year. Marques has been involved with music for a long time. “I was first interested in band when my brother, Alex Marques, first joined band in the 6th grade,” Marques said. “My passion for it started in the 6th grade which is when I first volunteered for the Spanish River Band.” Marques is very talented, and aside from leading his fellow band members, he plays a multitude of instruments. “While I occasionally enjoy playing the bass clarinet, my primary instrument is the B flat clarinet,” said Marques. “At one point, I did play the alto saxophone, and I also used to play the piano.” While being in the band is enjoyable, being the drum major requires a

lot of time and responsibility. “My responsibility as junior drum major is to lead the marching band on and off the field,” Marques said. “I must act as the role model representing the band for the school and representing the school for the state.” Marques is thankful for being given the opportunity to be playing for a great band and for obtaining a high rank. He believes the opportunity could help him with his future endeavors. “My musical talent will probably just be a hobby for me,” Marques said. “However, the leadership skills acquired from this position are something that I will use no matter where my life takes me.” Marques does not take all the credit for the band’s success. He attributes most of it to his fellow band members, who, in his opinion, tirelessly work hard to be the best they can be. “The best part of band would be the circle of friends that I work with,” Marques said. “While there is pleasure in performing for others, nothing compares to the outstanding friendships started through band.” The members of the Silver Sound Marching Band have worked hard to become as prestigious as they are today, and they are well deserving of the recognition that is to come from their performances.

Photos courtesy of Andrew Marques art by michela mugnatto

December 2014


December 2014 The Galleon


THE HEROES Behind the scene

Stagecraft and actors to put on the production. Both help each other in various ways to make the show a success. “We totally work together as a team,” Drama teacher Holly Budney said. “From the beginning, we all sit down with stagecraft and brainstorm the ideas we have for the set.” Throughout rehearsals, Stagecraft is always playing a role. Stagecraft gives cues to actors waiting in the green room or the dressing room as some actors have less than a minute to change outfits during the show. “There is nothing that is more teamwork than putting on a show,” Budney said. Stagecraft also creates the props used by actors, in Little Shop of Horrors there were over 200 props used. The props are important as they help the actors get into character. Stagecraft and the actors are interacting off the stage too. The day before the first performance, there is a pre-show ritual. The ritual has been going on at River for several years. Although it is a secret, it is done outdoors and is quite large. As displayed, Stagecraft and the actors consider themselves as a large family. Both are necessary to put on productions for hundreds of people to enjoy. “We really like to consider ourselves as one unit,” Budney said.

Amanda Paige Features Editor

Spanish River’s Theatre department deserves more than just a standing ovation. Attendees of their shows thoroughly enjoy the two-hour productions that they put on. However, many audience members do not think about the countless hours many students contribute to make the play or musical production ready. The most recent production, Little Shop of Horrors, had rehearsals for three hours a day, five days a week, for approximately two months. When it came to a couple weekends before the show, there were also all day rehearsals on Saturdays for last minute perfections. While watching the production of Little Shop of Horrors, you may have only noticed 15 actors on stage, but every production River puts on requires the hands of many more students. Stagecraft, the students behind the curtain, has a major role in putting on the show. “They not only build the set, but they spend weeks getting together lighting, music, sound effects, the set, and positioning, which is a huge task,” junior Daniela Villansana said. “The show really could not go on without both the actors and stagecraft.” Although Stagecraft has its own specific tasks, the show needs both

Photos courtesy of Samantha Szekely

Holiday Essentials Your favorite ugly Christmas Sweater

Your own personal packaged snowman

Your nifty Hanukkah Harry costume


Your favorite holiday hits


Courtesy of Google Images

River’s T.V. Production Program gains advances in technology

Max Kozlowski Staff Reporter Historically, River has been home to one of the most successful TV Production programs in the country. Led by Randy Weddle, the TV Production program has been a pipeline to respected and highly ranked colleges as well as future careers in the industry. The TV Production program has become even better with new equipment being brought in this year to aid their projects. The new additions to the studio, most notably, include a new program called BoxinTV. This program has improved morning broadcasts in a multitude of ways. It allows the TV Production morning team to add special effects, such as visual overlays, which is a moving image that can be placed on top of another vid-

eo. Additionally, they use their green screen as well as a few other features that will be revealed as the school year continues. This new equipment is also responsible for the drawings that have been drawn on screen while the anchors are on air giving the daily news. Other than a couple minor technical problems, BoxinTV has allowed the WSRH staff to access more features while doing the morning announcements. Another key addition to their production is a VBrick Box in the control room. This now allows them to livestream their broadcasts over the Internet, to not only those within the school, but others outside of it as well. These new pieces of software will further educate an already technologically advanced group of students. In fact, students in TV Pro-

duction already have the opportunity to receive Adobe Certification. Once these students master Adobe video editing programs they can choose to take a challenging exam. If they pass this exam they will receive a certificate proving their Adobe Certification. This certification validates each student’s credentials, and can expand their future career opportunities. “WSRH strives to make the morning announcements not only a source of information, but also entertaining to our viewers,” senior WSRH President Zack Kampf said.” I think so far the reaction to what we have done with the new equipment on air has been great. I anticipate that we will have a wonderful rest of the year as we continue to look for new ways to make WSRH one of the most innovative high school TV Production programs in the country.”

In addition to WSRH morning news cast, TV Production students are also very excited to be granted an opportunity to work with this equipment. “There are more computers available this year which makes it much easier for the class to edit. There are also more cameras, which gives students the opportunity to film in smaller groups, as opposed to larger groups of 5-10,” junior Monica Aber said. “The new cameras provide much clearer footage, which is useful for bigger projects that we perform, such PBIFF (Palm Beach International Film Festival).”

art by michela mugnatto

December 2014


December 2014 The Galleon


December 2014


December 2014 The Galleon

F E AT U R E S Drugs 101

Lauren Villanueva Features Editor

By the 8th grade, 28% of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5% have used marijuana, according to Drug use has been glorified throughout the media and more recently, in the political spotlight. This constant attention has teenagers curious, without all the facts. Marijuana, or cannabis, is not just popular among teenagers. According to the World Health Organization, marijuana is the most common drug is the world. Whether featured on a clothing brand, like Huff socks, or the appropriately named television show, Weeds, marijuana is virtually found everywhere. Despite the fact that it's very unlikely to die from a marijuana overdose, the drug still carries serious effects that can greatly injure the user. Studies have shown that prolonged marijuana use on a developing adolescent brain poses serious health risks and can cause harm to brain, even slowing or stopping its growth. Marijuana's claim to fame is not just about calf socks or TV shows, but currently a political issue as well. In Florida's past congressional election, the most well known slogan was "Vote yes on 2." This referred to Amendment 2 which is the legalization of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is different than recreational marijuana, however. For example, a chemical found in types of medical marijuana is called cannabidiol. This chemical replaces the THC in the recreational drug and does not carry the psychoactive effect. This type of medical Mary Jane is often administered for children, patients with schizophrenia and forms of epilepsy. Overall, the vote to legalize marijuana in the state of Florida failed as the amendment did not pass. A new drug that is also becoming popular is prescription pills. More teens die from prescription pills than heroine and cocaine combined, according to Talk of using Adderall, a drug used to treat ADHD, is common whenever there are important upcoming tests, like the SAT. The use of Adderall has increased since 2009, jumping to 7.5% among high school seniors, shown in a study done by With all the attention surrounding drugs lately, it is no surprise that the topic is widely discussed. However, when it comes to teenagers, Drugs are, and always will be, a controversial topic.

Take a Closer Look all art by michela mugnatto Images Courtesy of Google Images

Nicknames: Weed, Pot, Mary Jane, Hash, Grass

Includes: Adderall, Oxycontin, Xanx, Valium, Ritalin

Effects: Disorientation, Rapid Heart Beat, Depression, Diminish mental functionality, hereditary defects

Effects: Increased Blood Pressure, Slowed Breathing, Nausea, Paranoia, and long term use can lead to addiction

Get The Facts


a Coc


t Ecs

Nicknames: MDMA, Molly, E, X, Beans, Adam, XTC, GHB

Nicknames: Snow, Coke, Blow, Dust

Effects: Muscle Tension, Impaired Judgement, Anxiety, Blurred Vision, Paranoia

Effects: Depression, irradic sleep, muscle spasms, hostile, anxious, heart attack, stroke

Information Courtesy of

Drugs by the Numbers

The Galleon surveyed students around River about their personal experiences with drugs



have been offered


have tried drugs other than marijuana like cocaine, LSD, and Ecstasy

have come to sc hool under the influen ce of drugs

have tried drugs


Drug influences can be seen in almost all aspects of society today, especially in song lyrics... “This is how it ends I feel the chemicals in my bloodstream Fading out again” “Bloodstream” -Ed Sheeran

What’s your addiction? Is it money? Is it girls? Is it weed? I’ve been afflicted by not one, not two but three.” “Addiction”-Kanye West

“I be crawling in your skin I be reason for your sin...I be the needle in your arm” “Voodoo Doll” -Fergie

December 2014


December 2014 The Galleon


River students bounce back after being cut Noah Zylberberg Staff Reporter Michael Jordan is regarded as being one of the greatest basketball players to ever live. However, Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Undoubtedly, this had a great impact on the rest of his career, wanting to prove not only his high school coach wrong, but also the rest of the world. Many athletes at River have experienced similar disappointment to that of Michael Jordan-being cut from a school team. Despite this setback, many students are able to learn from their mistakes and come back the next year better than ever. Junior Sami Greenfield knows this disappointment all too well, having not made the dance team her sophomore year. “I was upset, obviously, but then as the year went on I realized that everything happened for a reason and that I just wasn’t meant to be on it last year,” Greenfield said. This positive attitude helped shape her commitment and dedication to dance and the following year, she was able to make the dance team: a highly selective group. “This year after I made it I was so happy,” Greenfield said. “I had worked

towards it and now came back being a better dancer because of it.” Another athlete who experienced the same disappointment was junior Lauren Rosenthal. She missed making the varsity soccer team her sophomore year. “After my sophomore year tryouts I was angry because I felt like I had a lot more to show the coaches to prove I had been practicing since the previous year,” Rosenthal said. This is a big problem in athletics today. Students looking to make a school team only have one chance to prove themselves. Many students have problems or do not feel well the day of tryouts. In some cases, athletes feel as if they are not able show their true talent on the field or court that day even if they are better than that “other girl.” After some time, Rosenthal was able to reflect on her performance and train even better for the next year and it paid off. This year, Rosenthal is on the girls’ varsity soccer team. In the short term, it is true that many athletes are very upset after they realize that their efforts are not good enough for the team. Some turn to vulgarity and become enraged when they see the list posted on the wall, but for most it becomes disappointment. “I’ve had to cut 4 people who made varsity last year,” boys’ soccer

coach Kevin McEnroe said. “When student athletes are told they can’t do something they really want to do, of course they’re going to be upset.” For a coach, it is very hard to post a list and know that a student who tried their best was not good enough for the team. Some sports, however, are easier to judge than others. Making the swimming team versus the basketball team are two very different things. For one, fewer people try out for swimming than other sports because of its specialized skill set. Also, in swimming, times speak for themselves. Basketball on the other hand, requires a student to play well on those specific tryout dates. In both sports, however, coaches try to create the best team possible, even if it means letting go of certain athletes. No matter what team cuts a student athlete, it is important to remember that everything happens for a reason. Failure is able to fuel the athlete to train harder and better than the previous year. If an athletehopeful is cut from a school team it is important to remember that even the best fail. The best thing an athlete can do is pick him or herself up and try again. It is not about what someone fails at, but more importantly about how he or she reacts to that failure that determines whether a student will succeed or not.

Art By Michela Mugnatto

December 2014


December 2014 The Galleon


Sharks soccer starts the season strong

Michael Benrubi Sports Editor

Both the boys’ and the girls’ soccer teams at River not only want to score goals this season, but they also plan to achieve them. The soccer season kicked off this fall, and both teams have their sights set on improving upon their records from the previous season. Last year, the boys’ team lost in the district semi-finals. The Sharks play in a very competitive district against teams such as Park Vista, Palm Beach Central, and Boca High; however, they are picked as one of the top four teams going into this year. The team has already shown success, winning their first two preseason games 5-0 and 8-0, respectively. “We have a lot of momentum rolling into the season after winning our preseason matches,” boys’ soccer coach Kevin McEnroe said. “We are very excited to see what the season brings.” Due to better goalkeeping and more depth, the Sharks hope to improve upon their squad from last season. “We’re going to be stronger, deeper, and better in the goal than we have been in the past,” McEnroe said. As a result of losing almost half of their team to

graduation, the coaching staff has done a good job of encouraging young and fresh talent to play for them. Out of its eleven starters, the team now has five new starters. After being on varsity for two years, senior Jesse Blogg hopes to bring his leadership and soccer skills to t h e

t e a m in his third year. “Being on the team for a few years, I think some of the older guys and I can finally run the team the way we want and have a major presence on the field,” Blogg said. “We have been knocked out early in districts years in a row, so we’re hoping to finally make it past districts so our parents will love us.” Staying healthy is always another important part of a soccer team’s success. “My ultimate goal for this season

Winter Sports Schedule Boys’ Varisty Soccer

•1/7 Atlantic 6:00 pm home •1/12 Inlet Grove 6:00 pm home •1/14 Palm Beach Lakes 6:00 pm home •1/16 Boynton Beach 6:00 pm home •1/20-1/23 Districts at Palm Beach Central

Girls’ Varsity Soccer

•12/18 Miami Springs 7:00 pm home •1/7 Atlantic 8:00 pm home •1/12-1/16 Districts at Park Vista

Boys’ Varsity Basketball

•1/2-1/3 New Years Tournament home •1/16 Atlantic 7:30 pm home •1/20 Park Vista 7:30 pm home •1/23 John I. Leonard 7:30 pm home •1/27 Boynton Beach 7:30 pm home •1/30 Olympic Heights 7:30 pm home

Girls’ Varsity Basketball

•1/8 Santaluces 7:30 pm home •1/13 West Boca 7:30 pm home •1/15 Park Vista 7:30 pm home •1/21 Olympic Heights 7:30 pm home

first and foremost is that the boys stay healthy,” McEnroe said. “In addition, I hope for the boys to represent our school well and for us to compete at a very high level.” As impressive as the boys’ team has been, the girls’ team is also ready for another exciting and successful season. The team had an outstanding record last season, winning fourteen games, losing two, and tying three. Their second loss was their seasonending loss in the regional quar ter finals to West Boca in a very narrow victory. Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Sharks won districts for the first time in six years. “Our ultimate goal for this season is winning districts and possibly moving further in regionals,” girls’ soccer coach Kevin Turner said. “We have definitely shown improvement a n d

it will be interesting to see how things play out.” The road to districts will not be easy. The Sharks will be facing tough opponents including Park Vista and Boca High. “This year, I hope for our team to win and have fun while doing so,” junior Cammy Comiskey said. “Ultimately, our goal is to win districts and possibly states.” Senior and captain Sarah Grubman is an experienced player and leader who hopes to make those around her better. After playing on varsity throughout all of high school, Grubman hopes to ensure that her team does all it can to be s u c c e s s f u l . “I want our team to be the most dedicated and most hard-working team in the district,” Grubman said. “If this happens, we will not only win districts again, but we will have a good chance of winning regionals and moving on to states.” Clearly, there is a feeling of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming soccer season for both boys and girls. Both teams hope to improve upon their records and ensure that our school is represented well. Art By Michela Mugnatto

Hayden Wirzman: Star Hockey Player Q: What is your greatest accomplishment as a hockey player? A: My greatest accomplishment was when our team placed second at states. Q: What are your hopes for this season? A: I hope for our team to make it to states. Q: How long have you been playing hockey? A: I have been playing hockey for 13 years. Q: Who is your biggest inspiration? A: My dad inspires me the most because he taught me everything about the game since I was five. Q: How will hockey be a part of your life in the future? A: I want to play hockey in college. Hockey has always been such a big part of my life and I could never give it up. Q: Who is your favorite hockey player? A: Curtis Joseph is my favorite hockey player.

Boys’ Wrestling

•1/10 Varisty and JV at Wellington •1/23-24 Tournament at Olympic Heights •1/30 Conference Meet at Park Vista photo by lindsay mangines All Art By Michela Mugnatto

December 2014

BOYS' WRESTLING Photo By Carly Mackler

The Galleon SPORTS

December 2014