Issue 6

Page 1


Spanish River High School 5100 Jog Road Boca Raton, FL 33496 Issue 6 - May 2012

River wins second at Psych Bowl PERT testing introduced Lauren Villanueva Staff Reporter

Photo by Caroline Posner

Juniors Alex Marques, Sarah Darwiche, Dara Huggins, Bernardo Da Silva and Jaclyn Verity competed in the Psychology Brain Bowl at Lynn University on Saturday, April 21. They took home the second-place trophy, losing to Suncoast by eleven points.

Caroline Posner Editor-in-Chief Juniors Phil Esterman and Jordan Zeldin had high expectations for Lynn University’s Brain Bowl on April 21, and it lived up to their expectations. The final three rounds between River students Sarah Darwiche, Jaclyn Verity, Bernardo Da Silva, Alex Marques and Dara Huggins, all juniors, and five Suncoast students led River to take home second place out of the six

schools present, losing to Suncoast by eleven points. Psychology Society founders Esterman and Zeldin brainstormed for the interschool competition and took their plan to pyschology teacher Stuart Klager, who got in touch with Lynn’s psychology department coordinator, Debra Ainbinder. “My first thought was, ‘Sure!’” Ainbinder said. “I live here in Boca, and we love to give back to the community.” Ainbinder then met with Esterman

and Zeldin, who worked on the date, location, funding and schedule for the event. The River students wrote up a question bank using Advanced Placement (AP) and college-level psychology resources, while the Lynn College of Arts and Letters and the admissions office took care of financing breakfast, lunch, and other expenses. Ainbinder found Lynn students to run each competition session. The Brain Bowl was divided into five sessions, in which each of the six see PSYCHOLOGY on page 3

Between the FCAT, SATs and other standardized tests, it is no wonder student stress levels are at an all-time high. But now, a new standardized test has been thrown into the mix - the Post-Secondary Education Readiness Test (PERT). The PERT aims to replace the previous college-preparatory College Placement Test. Only juniors who scored a 2 or 3 on FCAT reading or a 2, 3 or 4 on FCAT math during their sophomore year are required to take the test. “About a quarter of the students in each of my classes will be taking the test,” English III teacher Lauren Gabay said. However, students can exempt themselves from PERT testing if they meet minimum SAT or ACT score cutoffs. PERT’s goal is to assign juniors to the proper English and math classes to prepare them for college. “Despite taking up school time and being another test, PERT is a good thing to prepare for college,” Assistant Principal Ira Sollod said. “It can’t hurt, and it’s proactive.” The reading PERT took place on see PERT on page 3

Biotech greenhouse rebuilds after accident Recently completed by AP Biology teacher Dustin Markwardt and Biotech teacher Mary Fish, a new five-system greenhouse now stands in the Biotechnology building. The aquaponic system, which provides nutrients to plants and other greenhouse organisms, centers around a 300-gallon fish tank. Both Markwardt and Fish researched and read about the system, an extensive task. Even though systems in the greenhouse were well prepared, an accident occurred one month ago. A twelve-hour power glitch turned off the main pump in the aquaponic system, which brings water to the fish tank. The water went through a drain in the floor instead of back into the tank, causing ten of the fourteen fish to die.

“Power outages are a potential problem in keeping live animals,” Markwardt said. “What happened here is no different from what can happen anywhere else.” The fish were taken from the canal outside Spanish River. As an invasive species, they were artificially introduced to this region and can cause harm to native species and the environment. Because of their “invasive” status, the fish would have either been given to FAU’s Invasive Species Research Facility or been put down once they were no longer needed. Markwardt decided to redesign the aquaponic system to prevent further accidents. He repaired the pump so that none of the water will be lost if it breaks. Currently, the greenhouse is only accessible to Biotech III juniors, who are learning about agrobiology (food biology). The greenhouse is home to many species of plants, including

Singing Sharks Read our exclusive coverage of the cast and crew of River’s spring musical. Page 12

Photo by Whitney Sha

Biotech teacher Mary Fish and AP Biology teacher Dustin Markwardt played major roles in opening the Biotech greenhouse, which will be available for Biotech III juniors to use.

tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Fish and her Biotech III students started by raising the plants from seedlings and moving them to the greenhouse when they were old enough. Organisms in the greenhouse are nourished by the five systems: drip, ebb and flow, nutrient film table (NFT), aquaponic (including the fish tank) and aeroponic,

Spring Breakers A few lucky students went international for their 2012 spring break. Page 9

Summer Plans Check out our suggestions on how to maximize fun this summer. Page 15

which mists the plant roots. “We’ll experiment with DNA extraction and maybe even protein analysis later,” Fish said. “But right now it’s so far, so good.” Fish and Markwardt hope to allow students from other classes, such as AP Biology and Biology Honors, to benefit from using the greenhouse next year.

Inside this Issue

Alexis Dlugos Staff Reporter

News.............................1, 3 Opinion...................4-5, 7 Features......................8-9 Feature Focus......10-11 Entertainment....12-13 Student Life..........14-15 Sports...............17-18, 20 .


SHARK ATTACK SHARKS in the Letter from the editors Spotlight

May 2012 The Galleon

It's been a tough academic year, and fourth quarter is no breeze. From keeping up our grades to prepping for AP Exams and finals, the home stretch of the school year is still a challenge. There's a light at the end of the tunnel though: for seniors, it's graduation (congrats, class of 2012!) and for the underclassmen, it's only a few more weeks until summer. Take a break from your studies and relax with Issue 6 of The Galleon. The 2012-2013 staff has put together a paper that should inspire and motivate you to finish the year off strong. Graduating seniors, we'll miss you; to everyone at River, we wish you a great summer!

Spanish River students have long been known for their academic and athletic skills, but students have proved that they are equally gifted in the arts.

Caroline, Ilana, Whitney & Josh, The (brand new!) Editorial Board

Letter to the editors

Five student rights you should know? You have got to be kidding me. Your lame excuses for not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance sicken me. I am the last person to be accused of being a flag waver, but the symbol of the flag represents the blood that has been spilled so that you spoiled brats can question “your rights.” Too tired to stand for 15 seconds of the Pledge? See a doctor because there is something drastically wrong with you. Don’t owe allegiance to this country? Why are you here instead of there? I was not too long ago condescended to by an assistant principal, “Really Rocco, you would walk over this?” about a student not standing for the pledge. Yes, over this. Yes, over the neurological effects my grandfather suffered when gassed in WW I. Yes, over the fear my father felt when his ship was sunk in the Pacific during World War II. Yes, over the brains and face of a friend I peeled off my hands and face in Vietnam. Yes, over the homeless veterans who suffer from their experiences of war. Yes, I will walk. So young people, do an old man a favor and just stand. It is true, I am old and cranky, but folks. Grow up. Tired of coddling spoiled brats, Rocco V. D’Attolico Photos by Xia Hernandez and Randy Weddle

The Spanish River show choir members shared their vocal talents at a recital on Thursday, April 26.

TV production students Zoe Hammond and Ellyn Snider took first place for their stop-motion animation video at the Palm Beach International Film Festival.

Students react to PERT testing PERT from front page April 2 and 3, and the math PERT continued on April 4 and 5. The test was administered on the computer and took only an hour, but students were given as much time as necessary. “I didn’t like the test at all,” junior Andre Miller said. “For one point in math, you couldn’t even use the calculator for the part you needed it most.” If students do not pass the PERT, they must take intensive English and math classes senior year. If they pass, however, they do not have to take intensive classes.

The winning school of Rack Room Shoes’s School Beautification Photo Contest will get $50,000 to improve its facilities. Michelle Falzone, the mother of junior Samantha Falzone, entered Spanish River in the competition. “I would like to see the money spent on beautifying the exterior of our school, including painting,” Falzone said in River’s description. “A little grass seed and trimming, a few plants, shrubs and trees would go a long way, and it would scream out the pride that our students are feeling inside.” Visit lp-contest/ and search for River under the “Florida” category. Voting ends by May 7.


May 2012 The Galleon

River to undergo changes 2012-2013 Whitney Sha News Editor Students returning to Spanish River during the 2012-2013 school year can expect some school policy changes in August. In efforts to improve school prestige and student performance, River will be introducing Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) classes, changing the volunteer hour submission deadline to December of junior year, and requiring students to take at least one Florida Virtual School (FLVS) class before graduating. River used to have the AICE program – which is similar to Advanced Placement (AP) – under Principal Constance Tuman-Rugg about eight years ago. School administration decided to reintroduce the program to stay competitive with other Palm Beach County schools that have AICE classes, such as Boca Raton Community High School. “AICE classes are perfect for students who are well-versed in subjects that don’t offer AP exams,” Assistant Principal Mara Goron said. “We hope

Photo by Whitney Sha

Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, students will have to turn in their required 20 hours of community service by December of their junior year.

[the classes] open doors and enhance students’ experiences.” The first AICE class to be offered will be in business, taught by current accounting teacher Deb Carter. The application process for the course, which is exactly like the AP application process, is taking place right now. “We had students who were capable of and interested in pursuing business at an AP level,” Carter said. “It’s exciting, and it’s simply the logical next step.” Additionally, students will be expected to turn in their 20 required community service hours by December of their junior year, instead

of senior year. Community service is mandatory for graduation, and the change aimed to make the graduation process less stressful for seniors, according to Goron. “We want to ensure that no one is held back from graduation,” Goron said. Starting with this year’s freshman class of 2015, students will also be required to take at least one online FLVS class before graduating. The rule, which was passed down from the Florida Department of Education, has not been clear on which FLVS classes are eligible and how the requirement will be enforced. “We haven’t heard much about the policy, and it might well change,” Assistant Principal Ira Sollod said. “It will be difficult to monitor, and FLVS will be bombarded [with course requests].” However, the policy’s goal of technology literacy may be helpful to students. “Many freshman college classes have an online component anyway,” Sollod said. “The mandate could help students prepare for college and technology in the world beyond.”

Psychology students organize competition PSYCHOLOGY from front page school teams competed against the other five. Five AP Psychology students made up each team and faced off against their opponents in shortanswer, fill-in-the-blank and freeresponse style questions. The teams had set time limits to discuss their answer, and the team captain had to ring a bell in order to respond. The

Photo by Caroline Posner

Esterman and Zeldin address psychology students before they compete.


scores from each round were combined to determine the winner. “As a first-time event it went well,” Verity said. “I was happy to be chosen as a member of our team, and I would love to do it again.” Esterman and Zeldin were impressed not only by their school’s performance but also general outcome of the event. They hope that the Brain Bowl will progress in future years, and want to expand their psychology society to include psychology students in all of Florida. “The students and departments have a lot of potential,” Zeldin said. “We did this to offer a chance for students to get involved and to really see their own capability.” One of Esterman and Zeldin’s ideas for this future psychology circuit is to have guest lecturers, hosted by local schools. They tested the idea out with two speakers at the Brain Bowl,

The senior graduation ceremony will take place on May 17 at 4:30 PM at the South Florida Fair. The school day will begin at the normal time but end at 11:34 AM.

who discussed their own experiences during breaks in the competition. Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Ted Wasserman spoke on upcoming changes to the practice of psychology; he engaged the student audience with questions about psychological terms and elaborated on aspects of the field, from Attention Deficit Disorder to regions of the brain. Following Wasserman, Psychology Professor Dr. Robert Riedel addressed the opportunities that students have to perform psychological research. Riedel, after discussing his own work on the Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education project, introduced a few of his own undergraduate students who had recently studied sexual activity and contraception use among Lynn students. They stressed the opportunity that students have to do similar research if they pursue psychology in college.

Congratulations to senior Noah Gardner for winning a $2500 National Merit Scholarship. Gardner will be attending University of California, Berkeley this fall.

The Galleon 2012-2013 Editors-in-Chief Caroline Posner Whitney Sha Ilana Weisman Associate Editor Josh Benrubi News Editor Whitney Sha Feature Focus Editor Jamie Brecher


Features Editors Lindsay Mangines Kelsey Spyker Entertainment Editors Ellyn Snider Nina van Maanen Sports Editor Josh Benrubi

Art Editors Andrea Hoenigsburg Ellyn Snider Photography Editors Jeremy Freiman Xia Hernandez Advertising Director Claire Dykas Technical/Web Editor Zachary Senz-Kammler

The Galleon is a public forum.

Staff Reporters Alexis Dlugos Stephanie Green Brooke Levy Lauren Villanueva Adviser Suzanne Sanders Principal William Latson

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

4 Goodbye!


May 2012 The Galleon

To a few great teachers- thank you for all of your dedication and enthusiasm! We’ll miss you!

Rich Guerra

Tom Difiglio

Jennifer Heldt

Years teaching at River: 13

Years teaching at River: 29

Years teaching at River: 3

Courses taught: Weight Training, Team Sports and Health, plus Physical Science, Earth Science and integrated Science classes.

Courses taught: Used to teach US History, Government and Economics, but AP Psychology for “most of those years”

Courses taught: AP, Honors and Regular Chemistry

Life after River: He’s interviewing for a job in South Carolina, where he’ll live closer to his 14and 11- year old daughters.

Life after River: Four or five months in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Then it’s either full metal jousting, ballet dancing or shrimp boatcaptaining.

Words of wisdom: “Think about the consequences before you take the action, life will be better off.” Favorite memory: 2003 state tournament for wrestling, where River brought home three medals.

Words of wisdom: “Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation of all your excuses for not doing what you should. “ Favorite memory: For the first five graduations, announcing all the seniors’ names.

Life after River: She’s headed to Miami University of Ohio to get a PhD in Chemical Education Research. “I’ll hopefully be a professor, but it’ll take five years.” Words of wisdom: “Life is about the number of hoops you are willing to jump through to get where you want to be. Life is determination.” Favorite memory: Performing a ridiculous impromptu impression of Lucas Peel and getting a standing ovation from the class

It’s not just teachers leaving; we’re all saying goodbye to the class of 2012. Here at The Galleon, we’re losing eleven senior staff members. The 2011-2012 Editorial Board shares a few final words:

Nicole Granet

Lee Ginton

Graduating Editor-in-Chief

Graduating Associate Editor

The Galleon has been my home since the moment I stepped onto River’s campus as a freshman. I was lucky enough to spend my first year as a staff reporter. When I thought it couldn’t get any better than investigative reporting, honing my writing skills and feeling the rush of story-edit deadlines, my sophomore year rolled around and I became a features editor. Since I’d been introduced to the thrill and intensity of “The Back Room” I knew there was no going back. I further immersed myself in the inner workings of The Galleon’s heart and soul – The Editorial Board. It didn’t take me long to realize that teaching the younger staff members was the best way for me to learn. From early LTM mornings of page production to late nights of editing – my hours in the back room increased, but so did my passion for journalism. This year, being coeditor with Joey Goldman and working with Phoebe and Lee, has been the climax of my Galleon journey. I can never thank Ms. Sanders enough for giving me this opportunity that truly guided me through my entire high school experience.

While newspaper deadlines, prom plans and class projects will be completely forgotten within the next few weeks, certain memories and mentors will stay with me throughout the rest of my life. Ms. Hoffman and Ms. Rosenberg in particular are a few of the teachers with classes that left me everyday inspired and motivated every day. I will be forever grateful to my friends who have helped me get through times I could never do alone. With their perfect balance of freedom, responsibility, trust and generosity my parents have done the impossible - conquered parenting. And finally, after three years on The Galleon, I have learned the most important lesson of all - Comic Sans is simply never the way to go.

University of Pennsylvania

Phoebe Dinner

Graduating Associate Editor University of Maryland

In my three years on the Galleon I have learned not to use contractions, start all my sentences with a bang and that drop shadows are great on any layout. That is not it of course, but instead of reflecting on me, I want to focus on thanking my staff who worked so hard and helped make the paper the best it could be, they made the year great. I especially want to thank Ms. Sanders for giving me the opportunity to realize my passion and Nicole, Joey and Lee for being a great editorial board and even better friends.

Boston University

Lee Ginton, Phoebe Dinner, Joey Goldman and Nicole Granet, the Editorial Board of 2012-2013: you’ll be missed!

Joey Goldman

Graduating Editor-in-Chief University of Florida

Sometimes cliches seem to be the only appropriate way of explaining things, so I apologize in advance for the bombardment of cliches I’m about to hit you with, starting with this one: time flies. It honestly feels like it was just last week I was writing my first article for the paper, a story about the school’s introduction of hall monitors. Now I find myself counting down the days until graduation, four years of working on The Galleon behind me. Our entire staff worked their butts off making this year’s paper the best that it could be, and I am proud to have worked with such a talented, creative editorial board. Let me just say, though, that the six issues we come out with every year would not even be remotely possible without Ms. Sanders, our superwoman advisor. She’s the wheel that keeps the operation spinning. Thank you, Sanders, for making these past four years awesome. It went too quickly, but time flies when you’re having fun.

The Galleon staff 2011-2012: Joey Goldman, Julie Bergman, Zach Schlein, Josh Benrubi, Jamie Brecher, Joey Birchansky, Phoebe Dinner, Emily Bergman, Whitney Sha, Claire Dykas, Nicole Granet, Caroline Posner, Ilana Weisman and Emma Grubman. Not shown: Lee Ginton, Shelaina Bloukos, Samantha Cohen, Gali Deutsch and Ariel Brown. Photos by Suzanne Sanders


May 2012 The Galleon



It’s the new big fad - HSMemes. After its discovery by River students, we rose to the number one spot on the meme-ranking website. Some think that the memes are hilarious, but others say that they are crude and cross the line. Check out what students - and teachers! - had to say. (One last thing - it’s pronounced “meem.”)


“Memes are just another way to hurt and bully other people anonymously.”

Ryan Berger, 10

“I think memes are bad because they are just another source of bullying. It’s a way for students to victimize other students without being caught. Students have taken advantage of the real purpose of the website, which is to highlight high school memories.”

Christina Aquilina, 10 “Memes simply constitute a novel form of cyberbullying that allows students to anonymously damage other students’ and teachers’ reputations irreparably, to discuss topics in a vulgar, harmful manner and to create a dreadful impression of our school in the eyes of students, teachers, parents, and colleges across the nation.”

Aaron Kupin, 11

“Memes can be funny at times, but they are starting to get out of hand and people are taking it too far.”

Abby Gefen, 9

“Overall, the memes became a bully pulpit. I think that the nature of them is supposed to be funny, satirical, but it’s turned into bullying kids and teachers. The fact that a kid would take the time to go online and bully someone is just sad. It’s pathetic. There’s a lot of other things to be number one at, but bullying shouldn’t be one.”

Eric Dybas, Science Department Chair


Call me a hipster, but when I encountered my first Internet meme, it was more than a year ago and I was on the humor site MemeBase. It didn’t take me long to figure out what exactly a meme was, and then to start creating my own whenever I felt angry, amused, creative or just plain bored. Some I shared with my friends to laugh over together; some I kept in a “Funny” file on my hard drive for my own entertainment. Either way, memes were a fresh and relevant way for me to comment on current events. And despite the rise of mass-market meme-making on HSMemes (my inner hipster is dying to scream out, “I made them before they were cool!”), I still think that memes have had a positive impact on readers and the diversity of Internet speech. First, we have to marvel at the sheer variety of expression that memes provide. Irritated with a Facebook friend who won’t stop posting song lyric statuses? There’s Annoying Facebook Girl. Tired of waiting for Netflix to load, and willing to mock yourself? First World Problems may be for you. Grateful to the stranger who returned your lost planner? That’s a classic Good Guy Greg. There’s a meme for every possible situation, every possible emotion. And on the off chance that you find yourself with a novel idea, the Internet is nothing if not welcoming. Meme database QuickMeme contains the choice to “create your own meme” with an original photo - an option I’ve often taken myself. I could go on and on about why the meme revolution has benefited us all: the supportive subculture, the sense of community, the innovation, the sharing, the laughs. But the real issue here is what to think of HSMemes, the spinoff meme-making site that became wildly popular within the last month. Spanish River recently ranked as its #1 high school, leading in memes created and Facebook links. Opponents claim that memes on HSMemes are badly made and, in serious cases, may constitute cyberbullying. I don’t argue that memes have the ability to be harsh - some of my friends have been referenced in personal attacks. But aren’t all technologies double-edged? Texting, Facebook, chat rooms, and e-mail can all be twisted into weapons by cruel people, but it doesn’t mean that these innovations don’t serve generally useful purposes. The risk of abuse pales next to the potential for good-natured fun. On the scale of one to disastrous, memes are relatively tame. Now, the quality of the memes that have been popping up on HSMemes - that’s a different story. Will school memes eventually rise to the level of those on Reddit and MemeBase? A hipster can only hope.

Mystery Mememaster


May 2012 The Galleon


No place for hate Whitney Sha Editor-in-Chief “Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous,” novelist Kurt Vonnegut once said. “He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.” If Vonnegut is right, then today’s consumers have donned more chainmail suits and smeared themselves with more caramel and whipped cream than ever before. As fandoms for various forms of contemporary entertainment have ballooned, so have “hatedoms” - groups of people who believe that a TV show, movie, play, song or book isn’t good quality. At their best, hatedoms can intelligently discuss why a piece of entertainment failed. At their worst, they can dissolve into a screaming mob that attacks everything from the artist’s cereal preference to his or her sexual orientation, a phenomenon that has me very concerned. Believe me, I’m the last person to embrace pop culture in its entirety. For example, I wholeheartedly agree that while the Twilight series may have been New York Times bestsellers, after Eclipse I had a hard time sympathizing with the annoyingly

whiny Bella. I’m glad that, for once, my opinion seems to be the majority’s: Twilight isn’t good. However, what worries me is how far some hatedoms go, beyond simply agreeing that a piece of entertainment was bad. Joking that concert-goers should be paid for having to listen to Nickelback? Repeatedly referring to Justin Bieber as a twelve-year-old girl? The culture has turned violently against these artists; people can honestly be laughed out of existence for admitting they read these books or listen to this kind of music, which is ridiculous. I also wonder how many people join the hatedom just because it’s “the popular thing to do,” and how many people can actually criticize the piece of entertainment. Those who snicker the loudest at Twilight are often those who have never read the books, and learn to mock the series only by word of mouth. That’s not elite and educated - that’s just ignorant. I’m all for acknowledging poor entertainment - and then letting the issue go. It’s a flimsy novel or a threeminute track on a CD. Rage or loathing for any of the above is way out of proportion.

OPINION 7 I’m not better than you because I’m a vegetarian. May 2012 The Galleon

I’m a vegetarian because I’m better than you (but not really). Caroline Posner Editor-in-Chief There is a stereotype that vegetarians talk compulsively about their vegetarianism, and it’s true. Accidentally offer me a hamburger? I might launch into a lecture on the benefits of a meat-free diet before the words no, thank you ever get out. Ask me the why I began this herbivorous lifestyle? I’ll summarize the horrors of the agribusiness documentary Food, Inc. for you. Inquire into the length of this beef-deficient diet? Sure, I can answer that. It’s been 1 year, 9 months, 23 days, give or take a few hours. In my defense, I rant about my eating habits to prevent unnecessary interrogation. Aside from the aforementioned basics, the questions range from the guilt-ridden Is it okay if I eat steak in front of you? to the medically analytical Aren’t you protein deficient? Anemic? Malnourished? (The answers, by the way, are yes and no, no, definitely no.) While I don’t aim to convert any omnivores, I do like to explain my lifestyle choice to those will-

ing to listen. My preference for leafy greens over red meat stems from my dislike of the modern food industry and all that it entails: large corporations, growth hormones, factory farms and animal abuse. Still, we live in a m e a t centric societ y. I’m not offended by your personal diet, so please don’t be embarrassed to eat your turkey sandwich. A bit of research through some vegetarianism-advocating organizations – namely, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) – reveals the more gruesome side of the American food industry. Plenty of these sources have

documented upsetting images and disturbing facts. I don’t feel compelled to relay many details, but the Internet is what you make of it: research agribusiness at your own discretion. Understand t h a t while m a ny organizations do report t h e i r w o r k from a biased p e r spective, the unappetizing truths of abused livestock and chemical engineering aren’t rare. Going into my new salad-oriented lifestyle, I was sure the hardest part would be resisting meat. I was always a fan of hamburgers, and I really couldn’t imagine a chicken-less taco.

But giving up those dinner basics was easier than I expected, and the real challenge was informing everyone that I would no longer eat any meat they served. It was embarrassing – numerous times, I’d have to turn down chicken and beef at friends’ houses, and I felt awful rejecting their parents’ cooking. Family members, including my own meat-loving household, were obligated to accommodate my vegetarian needs. Things have gotten better. Most of my close friends and relatives are accustomed to dietary choice, and I’m an expert at skimming menus for veggie-friendly meals. Sometimes I have to settle for coleslaw and corn at a barbecue, but that’s fine. I am proud that I am an informed eater, I have no nutrient deficiencies and I’m into tofu. Vegetarianism isn’t for everyone: that’s okay with me. What you eat should be your choice, but make it with some awareness of the ingredients, processing and production that go into your diet. Take a look at the back of the box. Do the chemical listings make you feel queasy? Maybe it’s time to go for some fresh fruit instead.

School should be optional, and I’m not kidding

With budget cuts and extra testing, the perfect schedule is none at all Ilana Weisman Editor-in-Chief Disclaimer: The Galleon does not support dropping out of school. Please continue to attend class. You’ve missed hours of class taking EOCs in biology and algebra, reading and math FCATs and PERTs - our wonderful State Department of Education has introduced new standardized assessments in the wake of budget cuts and educational downturn. And it’s not just the tests - there’s the Sunshine State Standards, the “mandatory” lesson plans, the lack of resources, the loss of curiosity in the classroom. If you’re anything like me, you may actually enjoy discovering new things and absorbing new information, but learning seems to take a backseat to State requirements for today’s students. So here’s my proposal: make school optional. Let’s forgo that outdated “compulsory education” idea - doing so would improve our education, it’s not like the state budgets enough for it, anyway. Governor Rick Scott proposed $3 billion worth in cuts to Florida’s education systems last year, and $1.3 billion has already been legally removed from the budget. (But that’s okay, because we still maintain an issuefree school with new books and enough computers in which teachers are definitely compensated enough

for their time and effort. No discrepancy there, especially when the state still funds ridiculously expensive academic competitions or unwatched school district television stations. No imbalance at all.) Economically speaking, making school open to just those who want to be in class would save millions from our budget; think of the security costs, electricity bills, staff paychecks and in-class expenditures cut. The advantages of opt-in school aren’t limited to the ridiculous and monetary - there’s saving real time and making true progress. This year, we have hardly been in class with all of the testing. Class of 2015, you’re looking at a dozen standardized tests over the course of your high school career. I got a hold of the list of testing dates for the month of April and it lists every other day as a test day, and sometimes it’s even more than that: Florida allots about 55 testing days a school year, and that’s not including SATs, ACTs, or APs. That means that you may give up at least 220 days of high school’s 720 to testing. That’s nearly one-third of your high school career affected by an ineffective test. And you’re not the only one making sacrificing your time and intellect by being in school. Teachers, who otherwise love teaching and are excellent educators, have to babysit students taking tests, while others need to give up their rooms so the tests can be

Photo by Caroline Posner

Look at the student falling asleep while listening to her iPod. I wonder why.

taken. With all the testing havoc, we lose valuable learning time. In the 220 days lost, we would be able to study all of Shakespeare’s plays, integrate inverse trigonometric functions, and splice the Biotech greenhouse plants’ DNA...can you imagine how much more material we would be able to cover if we chose when and how we went to school rather than listening to the State’s laughable legislation? If school was just optional, we could forgo the tests and actually learn for the sake of learning. More importantly, students would realize that with-

out an education, they cannot progress as successful adults and would choose to learn more. They could read for fun, explore subjects they find compelling and exciting. Teachers could fall in love with instructing all over again and become passionate about their subjects once more. Why not make institutionalized school optional? It’s not like we have the funds, time or governmental support to all be here anyway. If we only came in a few days a week, skip a class here and there, we’d be set. Maybe then we would be able to learn.


May 2012 The Galleon

FEATURES Students revisit the past on the March of the Living camps,” Vizner said. “But the camps were moving. In Treblinka has nothing there at all. The ground is uneven from the mass graves. In Maydanek, everything is still there, and it could be up and On April 19, 2012, seniors Gil Vizner, Max Egers, running in 48 hours. There’s 60 tons of human ash Lexi Weiss, Rachel Kaplan, Michelle Ginsberg and in a pit - it is most real, physical thing. The contrast Kira Silverman joined thousands of other students, is striking.” After somber visits to concentration camps and educators and Holocaust survivors on the March of the Living, a two-week Jewish educational modern Polish cities, the student group traveled trip to Poland and Israel commemorating the to Israel for Israeli Independence Day, celebrating the recovery of the Jewish both the tragedy of people. the Holocaust and “I have never been prouder the joy of Israeli of being a Jew, especially independence. after going to Israel straight Over ten thousand from Poland,” Egers said. “I’ve students began the been to Israel three other memorial journey times but going from the in Poland touring death camps in Poland, I concentration camps really got a sense of how the and ghettos, including state of Israel rose out of the camps Auschwitz, ashes of the Holocaust.” Birkenau, Treblinka His fellow travelers agree and Maydanek, and Students experience the harsh realities of the Holocaust that the Israel leg of the trip ghettos in Warsaw and while walking through Polish concentration camps. added onto the experience. Krakow. “The March experience completely brought me “The actual march was a three kilometer walk in touch with my Judaism, “ Silverman said. “Praying from Auschwitz to Birkenau,” Silverman explained. The March of the Living has been taking place in barracks and gas chambers was empowering; over the past 25 years, with this year’s theme of Hitler never though that all these Jews would go contrasts. Organizers tried to incorporate aspects back to these places [concentration camps]. And of modern Jewish life in Poland and Israel to being in Israel singing, dancing and praying with contrast life before the war. Vizner notes that he thousands of other Jews made me feel so at home.” Each River student described the March as “very saw contrast not only as planned, but within the intense,” but encourage others to attend the trip in concentration camps. “We went to Polish synagogues and cities near coming years.

Ilana Weisman Editor-in-Chief

March of the Living Southern Region participants smile from the streets of Poland. Spanish River senior junior Max Egers, far right, relaxes before the students get back to touring.

On April 21, the students took part in “March Day”, during which they traced the path of the Death March taken by thousands of Holocaust victims in World War II. The event was a celebration of life, and senior Michelle Ginsberg, far right, was happy to participate. photos courtesy of March of the Living Southern Region

Best Buddies organizes events for special needs students Kelsey Spyker Features Editor Finger painting, baking cookies and movies are just a few of the activities on the agenda for Spanish River’s Best Buddies club. Created by seniors Josh Brami and Ryan Berger, this is the organization’s first year at River. [Best Buddies is an international organization that pairs up mentally or physically handicapped students with a peer mentor, according to adviser Christine Walker.] “It has been a huge success!” “ [We] started the club because we have a passion for [helping] kids with intellectual disabilities and seeing them happy brings the greatest joy to us,” Brami said. “It is also great socially for the kids to do certain activities and meet new friends,” Brami said. Brami is especially close to the organization because his sister struggles with special needs. He says he strives to make other special needs kids enjoy whatever they do. His sister helps him understand the obstacles that come along with special needs, but Brami sees how happy she is when she accomplishes her goals. “Best buddies is all about mutual benefit,” junior Sarah Darwiche said. “The kids make new friends and students not only gain a new perspective on ‘special’ [needs], but meet some really funny, awesome kids.” Darwiche added that at the end of the day, the lines become blurred and it is just a bunch of people having fun.

The latest activity, organized by both members of the club and students from the leadership class at River, is a that special needs kids ages 14 to 22 with disabilities such as Down Syndrome and Autism from all over the district. It took place in the Spanish River cafeteria on April 13 at a ticket price of $3, which included pizza, drinks, chips and a great time, according to Brami. “The purpose of the dance is to provide a great social environment for all the kids to have a great time and interact,” Brami said. Brami added that he hopes everyone had a blast, and that people will host more dances next year. All in all, this club is beneficial for everyone involved in it. These experiences and activities create an atmosphere to change students’ perspective on people with special needs.

Senior Josh Brami and Michelle Pillai dance and smile in the Spanish River cafeteria on April 13.

Congrats, Josh Brami! Brami won the Spanish River Tradition Award for founding Best Buddies here at River. The award goes to a student who demonstrates what Spanish River spirit is all about.

"I feel so honored to have won an award that means so much to the school," Brami said.

Junior Libby Koolik and Pauly grin and pose for a photograph.

photos courtesy of Sarah darwiche, Art courtesy of google images


May 2012 The Galleon


Ryan Berger, Carter Main, Phoebe Dinner, Lila Stallone, Sydney Ellman, Danny Jaffe and Morgan Randle stand in the Vatican, in Vatican City, within Rome.

The entire student group, led by Kevin Turner, Barbara Borstler and Marcia Kunf, smiles during a visit to the Colosseum in Rome.

Zach Schultz, Aaron Kupin, Danny Jaffe, Lucas Feigenbaum and Ryan Berger wave from a gondola on the canals of Venice.

Lindsay Mangines Features Editor

and Greece,” Turner said. “When students travel, they get a totally different kind of education by seeing the world firsthand and experiencing a wide diversity of people, sights, foods and languages.” This group embarked on a twelve-day trip, during which time they rode gondolas in Venice and examined sculptures in Florence. The next stops were Rome, where the main attractions included the Coliseum and the Trevi Fountain; Vatican City, where the students toured the Vatican, catacombs and climbed St. Peter’s Cathedral; and Capri, which they toured by boat. Lastly, the students toured Sorrento before boarding an overnight ferry for the shores of Greece. While in Greece, the students visited the famed city of Delphi where they participated in a personal tour of the eternal street and then dined at a traditional Greek restaurant. In Athens, the students marveled at the Parthenon and capped the excursion with a bus tour of Athens. Unfortunately, travel complications on their return trip led them from Greece to Switzerland and

to New York, where they boarded a bus to New Jersey before they made their way back to Boca. Still, the students called the trip a huge success. “I would recommend this trip to others because it was so fun and also very educational,” freshman Julia Knight said. Not to be outdone, DECA instructor Deb Carter led an entourage of River students through China. Over a period of twelve days, they toured Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, viewing a number of incredible places. Touring the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and seeing Terra-cotta warriors were the main highlights of their trip. “The whole trip was incredible, but I’d have to say climbing the Great Wall and seeing the terra-cotta warriors were my favorites,” junior Sarah Weinstein said. Whether at home, in Greece or even in Beijing, Spanish River students never seem to fail at finding the perfect way to spend their Spring Break.

Junior Sarah Weinstein thought that the terra-cotta warriors of China were the highlight of her trip- “they were so cool.”

Students and their families toured China together over Spring Break.

Students adventure in Italy, Greece, China

Spring break provides students with a welldeserved vacation between the end of third quarter and the stress before final exams. While most spent their vacation at home enjoying local attractions like the mall, movies and the beach, others ventured beyond the sea with Spanish River faculty, namely to Europe and China. And although much can be said for enjoying Spring Break here in South Florida, there is also something special about spanning the globe. Spanish River students, led by AP Human Geography teacher Kevin Turner, AP Literature teacher Marcia Kunf and AP Art History teacher Barbara Borstler explored Italy and Greece. “Over the past decade, we have had the amazing opportunity to take Spanish River students on trips to such incredible places as China, Australia, Egypt

Students touring China explored the Great Wall.

Photos courtesy of Danny Jaffe and Sarah Weinstein

Missed the crazy election posters this quarter? Check out the signs that helped these students win.

Wall to wall

Photos by Caroline Posner

Congratulations to student council 2012-2013: Class of 2013... Class of 2014... Class of 2015...

Marcelle Dabbah, Arielle Vanon, Tyler Zuckerman & Danielle Stein Dalton Holody, Andrew Saraga, Caroline Romer & Ross Brenner Tiffany Eisner, Eliza Rosenberg, Jordan Tell & Sammy Boursiquot



May 2012 The Galleon

the foundations for improvement The Galleon explores the wide world of charities and how they impact the community. We examine how to research charitable organizations, what volunteering options exist at Spanish River and how students create clubs to boost their college applications.

Students choose charities with caution Jamie Brecher Feature Focus Editor

It is difficult to decide between the variety of charities and volunteer options given in today’s world. Charities can range from protecting the environment, helping out the needy and funding research aimed at preventing diseases. While there are contributors who donate to a certain cause due to a personal connection, others may donate to the same one just because they think it is a worthwhile purpose. “Personal donations, by helping one person at a time, can impact society for the better as a whole,” Sharmin Siddiqui, the future president of Habitat for Humanity, said. There are many different charities in the world today devoted to raising money or other items for their cause. However, an underlying issue is how

legitimate these charities really are. These organizations may not always work to solve the problem they are advocating. There are a number of things that can go wrong when sending money to an organization that seems to be a valid and genuine cause. One way to know that the funds raised for a cause are being put to proper use is to give to groups that are widely known. Junior Joey Birchansky, president of Key Club, chose the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization as the club’s current charity to donate to because he has volunteered at many of their events and knows its director personally. Donating to well know charities gives supporters confidence that their donations are being used properly. Siddiqui, familiar with Habitat for a number of years, is positive that her time and effort is being put to use. “I am confident in Habitat for Humanity because I know that my

hard work will impact others in a life changing way,” Siddiqui said. Another step to make sure that charitable efforts are not put to waste is to do research on the organization in question. By investigating charities, prospective donors are able to learn about who and where their money would go to. The recent KONY 2012 campaign has sparked a great controversy about the legitimacy of charities. Junior Jordan Epstein, a supporter of the movement, is having second thoughts about advocating this cause. “I was shocked to discover that only 30% of the donations given would be used to fund housing for African families,” Epstein said. “Looking back, I should have done more research on where the money was going.” Likewise, Birchansky investigates possible charities by meeting with their organizers and discussing where the donations will be going.

“I walk into places [charity offices] to make sure funding will be directly benefiting the people who the organization claims to be helping,” Birchansky said. After funding charities, it is important to check in on how they are operating. “After we [Key Club] donate money or items that we raised, one of us [officers] always visits that organization to make sure the money is being put to good use,” Birchansky said. By researching the goals and motives of charities, prospective supporters can be reassured that their donations are being used properly. Donating to well-known organizations is a plus in that the public has already established them as legitimate. The bottom line is to know where donations are going and what they are being used for. This way, possible patrons know that your support is only going to further advance our well being in the world.

Photo Courtesy of Samantha Shear Photo Courtesy of Samantha Shear

Habitat for Humanity members receive instructions for working on the house at hand.

Members take a break from their work to take a group picture.

Photo Courtesy of Renee Richar

Key Club members paint faces at the Levis JCC Buddy Bash, a carnival for children with special needs.

r? e e t n volu vating

to u e moti . h o t e y n i es ates hariti determ



iv t ts to g for c o n n e i d r m u e t e s hat volunt d 2 74

ts and n veye o r e t u s g m n n e ar t uir alleo onati e q e h r y The G r behind d fm ion t o a s u s facto e d ra dn

50% G t o f t h e k i n e n t s u 29% O b r e q u i r e m lu C % de 1 e a 1 r m g e a k r a 7% F o p a r e n t s m a j o b 2% M y e t t e r t h a n b 1% I t ’ s

29% 2%




11 River clubs strive to improve the community FOCUS

Brook Levy Staff Reporter With options including Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life and Key Club, Spanish River is full of opportunities to help out in the community. While the required number of community service hours to graduate is twenty, Spanish River students have gone above and beyond the requirements. A popular club at River is Key club, where students volunteer at events in the community such as fundraisers and trash clean-ups. Key Club has a wide variety of opportunities to fulfill volunteer requirements and help the community, which is the main reason it attracts so many students. For the students who feel that Key Club is not the right fit for them, there is an abundance of other clubs to better suit their interests. For example, Habitat for Humanity includes students who devote their time to building affordable homes for under-privileged people.

May 2012 The Galleon

“Our main goal is to get the Spanish River students involved in Habitat for Humanity and participate in as many builds as possible,” senior Carly Block said. An upcoming Habitat for Humanity event is the Women’s Build, which will be taking place on May 5, and will consist of mother-daughter teams helping to build homes in the community. Relay for Life is an event in which teams of participants camp out at a local school, park or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track. These relays are overnight, to signify that cancer never sleeps. This club is a way for athletes and other involved students to get involved and give back to their community. Whether its building homes, running relays or doing other community service projects, the important thing is to get involved. As River students have found, there are many ways to help out in the community and have fun in the process.


t at




e at

es s zin e h li a W oney ing pp ag h su m - m lot ool and t - c ch ks or f s - s oo f e - b ood etri nd e Key Club collects non-perishable food f l - oi e a items such as peanut butter and jelly. - t im Other clubs collect items - at the right -t is a list of things to bring in to donate.

Charities established for students’ resumes Photos By Xia Hernandez Art By Andrea Hoenigsberg

Hobie Hunter Guest Commentator

We’re all familiar with the advice guidance counselors give out each year at assemblies: keep up your GPA, start studying for standardized tests, get involved extracurricularly and maybe snag a leadership position by senior year. For most students at most schools, this is sufficient. But starting a charity so you can get into college? At Spanish River, our beloved bastion of privilege and ambition, this isn’t unheard of. Rather, it’s an idea bandied about quite frequently. One friend of mine, after the devasation in Japan, saw an opportunity: Pens for Yens. She’d sell pens with Japanese flags on them and donate proceeds to disaster relief. At the same time, she’d gain an edge in college admissions. Surprisingly, the overhead on pens was too high and the project never got off the ground. However, a question remains: does self-interest dilute selflessness?

If you’re in honors and AP classes at this school, you’re subject to a barrage of college. One day, I glanced around my Spanish class and saw that no fewer than a third of my classmates were wearing an article of clothing from an elite school. Among them: Georgetown shorts, Northwestern sweatpants, a Penn t-shirt, and two Harvard sweatshirts. In this environment, every decision of what to do with your time comes down to this question: “Will this help me get into college, or can I use the time to relax-or sleep?” With this atmosphere, can any decision truly be pure of the influence of college? It would be best if everyone were Mother Teresa, but this isn’t the case. Charitable acts often have selfish undertones. Recently, Tucker Max, a raunchy comedy writer, tried to rehabilitate his reputation. Max offered $500,000 to Planned Parenthood with the condition that a clinic be named in his honor. He framed it as win-win. His image would be improved while other donors would be encouraged.

He would relieve his tax burden while man once said, “Be the change you women’s access to reproductive ser- wish to see in the world.” Despite shady vices was maintained. Planned Parmotives, a high school student enthood declined his offer. Did who founds a charity has been they make the right decision? more change than Except in extreme circumstancnearly any of es, the ends justify the means. our peers. If the charity started for college does in fact perns o i t form its operations Op r instead of solely fille te n ing a line on an activu d Vol lks an s ity list, then that charcal i d n e a ity has made a positive - w ratho ng m i impact. The student ma port ns th e p h who founded it with c h u s ear itc g you k s selfish intentions may e r in up learn to genuinely be - so coach ts ves ers i r r involved with its operaspo ood d shelt ps tions. He or she may gain a - bl imal r cam newfound appreciation for - an mme g charity work and go into the ber su igs en o H nonprofit world after gradurea nd yA B ation. The charity may exist t Ar long after the student has been accepted into their dream school. A certain skinny, wise


May 2012 The Galleon


Drama department’s Sweet Charity wows audience Nina van Maanen Entertainment Editor The spring always brings something extra when it makes its way to River - the drama department’s spring musical. Though it has passed through many surprising and entertaining performances, this year the theater brings yet another noteworthy production. River Theater is preforming Sweet Charity written by Neil Simon. It is the story about a girl who, after falling for all the wrong suitors, decides to break free from her dance hall job and sets out to find her soul mate. Not only is the show a modern classic, but it is full of tunes. Set in 1960s New York the costumes are even vibrant. For this production, the cast including Lila Stallone as “Charity,” Dayton Seward as “Oscar,” Marcelle Dabbah as “Nickie,” Nicole Granet as “Helene,” and Jacob Abrams as “Big Daddy” - gets to work right after

school until around six on weekdays. It is not just the cast that puts in all the hours during the week. “Many people play key roles in the musical, it is not just the actors and the director,” junior Zoë Hammond said. Along with this team, the show also has help from choreographer Jerel Brown, a vocal director, dedicated parents who help with organization and publicity and stage craft students and staff. “Stagecraft puts in over 150 hours into this production,” said stage craft teacher Dianna Vacco. “My favorite part is the gratification of seeing the finished stage.” Sweet Charity is a chance for students to gain not only new friendships but also gain theatrical experience. “I hoped to form closer bonds with all the cast members, and really just make the experience memorable, which I have!” sophomore Dayton

Seward said. “I’ve always loved theater, and the role of Oscar feels tailor-made for my natural personality and acting style. “ Sweet Charity sold out their reserved seating and received rave reviews. Teachers, parents, and students alike commented on how the d y n a m i c between Lila Stallone and D a y t o n S e w a r d made them feel as if they we watching a Broadw a y show. “ At one point I forgot I watch watching a high school play ,” history teacher Barbara Jones said. “It was too good!”

Photos By Xia Hernandez

Photo By Xia Hernandez

Jacob Abrams plays “Big Daddy,” a “hippie preacher” in the production. Abrams said the part came naturally to him.

Photo By Jeremy Freiman

The Sweet Charity cast waves to standing ovation on the show’s opening night.

When the curtain closes:

Stagecraft students work hard behind-the-scenes

With over 150 hours dedicated to getting costumes, sound, lighting, sets and seating ready for Sweet Charity’s premiere, Spanish River’s Stagecraft classes and students were just as thrilled to see the show go on as the show’s actors were. “It’s great having my students be amazed by their skills,” stagecraft director Dianna Vacco said. Check out some exclusive Galleon pictures of stagecraft working behind-the-scenes of Sweet Charity. Top right: students working backstage adjust sets and scenery between scenes Bottom right: a student adjusts the spotlights in the Countess de Hoernle theater Top left: the soundboard in the balcony in the back of the theatre is set up before the show Bottom left: students load up background beams with colorful fabric for a scene of the show

photos by jeremy freiman and xia hernandez


May 2012 The Galleon


Despite setbacks, Rock the River benefits performers, WSRH Ellyn Snider Entertainment Editor After battling schedule changes and unpredictable Florida weather, Spanish River’s annual concert, “Rock the River,” showcased student talent the night of Thursday, April 5. Although the heavy rain may have washed away a portion of the expected crowd, the event still drew several students - many still sporting their black and red event shirts - into the gymnasium. Rock the River is a great opportunity for amateur musicians to perform at a professional event, alongside more practiced artists. Senior Lucas Feigenbaum, who performed for Rock the River in 2010, credits the school-run concert for providing him with the experience he needed as a beginner. “The strict set times and the stage, sound and light set up is a really cool way for bands to have a first or introductory legitimate playing experience. It’s something that most bands don’t usually have,” Feigenbaum said. This year, the bands were able to perform in a more professional and intimate environment as the concert was relocated to the gym. The indoor atmosphere gave the concert more control over lighting and sound. Junior Andrew Santos preferred the indoor scene: “It was definitely a different feel, in a good way. Anyway, it was a great time […] and a lot of

fun seeing how everyone enjoyed my music. You can bet I’ll be doing it again.” This year, local celebrity and American Idol contestant, Brett Lowenstern, joined his former classmates as he returned to the Rock the River Stage. Amber Leigh, a successful country artist, also took the stage beside her father and concert-coordinator, Randy Weddle. Other performers included Andy and Nishad, Casino Kid, Nicollette, and Seven 77. The concert’s planning begins months before the concert, with a class-wide brainstorming session in August. Weddle, TV Production teacher, enlists his students to help run the event. In the earliest planning stages, the students participate in a contest to design a Rock the River t-shirt. Closer to the date, students sell tickets for $10 and the custom shirts for $20, and help promote the concert by creating posters and signs to decorate the school. Television Production students receive hands-on experience during the concert when they help organize the stage and the musicians. Rock the River gives students the opportunity to manage an event and to act as stage and equipment managers. Rock the River also benefits TV Production students by acting as a great fundraiser for the program. This year, Rock the River made a profit of roughly $1000, which help to support TV Production classes and equipment.

Dominic Delaney, 11, leads Seven 77 toward the end of their performance.

Casino Kid singer and guitarist Adam Goldsmith, 10, plays in front of attendees. photos by jeremy freiman

River Reviews

Hunger Games: Arrived from the acclaimed trilogy by Suzzane Collins, the Hunger Games has garnered rave reviews. With rising actress Jennifer Lawerence as “Katniss Everdeen” and heartbreaker Josh Hutcherson as “Peta Mellark,” the story comes to life on the big screen. Set in a post-apocalyptic society, the Hunger Games deals with the sacrifice of two children from each of twelve districts from fictional country Panem. These children are sent to fight to the death in a controlled stadium, where they are watched by millions for entertainment -and by few out of hope for their survival. Though the actors are pleasing to look at on a big screen, the emotions they are supposed to portray do not always make the mark. If one has not read the books it may be a bit difficult to follow, but the futuristic effects and multiple explosions make up for the confusion. All in all, the movie leaves viewers excitedly waiting for the second movie.

5 out of 5 sharks!

Bully: This documentary by filmmaker Lee Hirsch follows five different children but mainly focuses on the bullying journey of one of them, twelve year old Alex Libby. Alex is just desperate for friends yet he is persecuted by classmates for the odd way they think he looks as well as acts. The film shows children beating and cursing Alex, and was able to be filmed due to the small camera used. The film is very uncomfortable for viewers to see, having to deal with listening to the parents of two children who committed suicide to do bullying as well as the accounts of the suffering these children and teens had to go through in school. Though the movie does not focus on the other children as much an parents try to blow it off, it portrays the deep pain and horrible experiences these children went through, hopefully shocking viewers with the reality of what can go on in school.

4 out of 5 sharks!

Photos Courtesy of Google Images Reviews by Nina van Maanen

Summer Concerts May 4 Beach Boys June 6 Bon Iver June 8 Avicii June 29 Coldplay July 1 One Direction July 20 Dave Matthews Band

Sunfest May 3 Wiz Khalifa / Snoop Dogg May 5 All American Rejects May 6 Matiyashu / Pitbull / The Fray



May 2012 The Galleon

A day in the life Do you ever wonder what other Spanish River students do each day? We decided to take our curiosity to the next level and follow up on four people from each grade - one freshman, one sophomore, one junior and one senior. All of the students interviewed below showed similarities and differences in their lives before and after school.

Samantha Kaplan, 9

Joaquin Goquiolay, 10

Marcelle Dabbah, 11

“Tennis is my life. There may be people out there that are working harder than you, but you have to keep going and prove to yourself that anything is possible.”

“When I’m an adult, I want to look back and know that I didn’t waste my time doing nothing. My fear is growing up thinking that I wasted my valuable time.”

“Being involved with school activities has always been important to me. They keep me involved and focused.”

Every day, I wake up at 6:00 A.M. and get ready for school. I’m not a morning person, so it takes some real effort to wake up.

The day starts off when I wake up at 6:00 AM and prepare myself for the day. I watch the morning news (CNN, Al-Jazeera).

I have four alarm clocks set for I wake up 6:45 A.M. every mornvarious times - 6:00, 6:07, 6:11, and ing for school... and I eat Cap’n 6:15 A.M. If I’m not up by 6:11, I’m Crunch everyday, too. late.

I usually play tennis with my coach for a few hours after school until about 6:30 P.M.

A seven-hour school day is tiring, so I take a quick nap to recover. Piano practice at 5:30 allows me to expose my emotions.

I’ve been involved with the school musical, Sweet Charity, every day after school until 6:00 P.M.

On Mondays and Thursdays, I am an active Key Club officer. I attend the board meetings and supervise club events.

My school work is also really important to me. I devote this time to homework and studying to maintain my GPA.

I work on my studies at around On Thursdays and Fridays, I prac8:00 P.M. It’s dreadful - no one tice with the dance team until enjoys homework. about 5:00 P.M.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually pretty busy days for me. I work from 5:00 to 9:30 P.M. at Chik-Fil-A.

The perfect way to end my day is to chill out and watch the Miami Heat play. If not I’ll watch anything on ESPN.

I try to avoid going on Facebook in between but let’s face it, it’s like trying avoid a Mongolian invasion in the 1200s.

I usually get home at 10:00 P.M. and spend some time on any homework that I may have.

got college? 52

Aside from my busy weekday schedule, I am class treasurer and the co-president of Teens Who Care with Nicole Granet.

University of Virginia: Gil Vizner Northwestern University: Emery Weinstein and Melissa Codd Duke University: Everardo Villaseñor



“I am a hard worker and independent in everything that I do. My education and goals are really important to me.”

Photos by Zach Schlein

Here are some of the schools that Spanish River seniors will attend this fall. Good luck to the graduating class of 2012! Washington University at St. Louis: Matt Spiezman


Kenya Black, 12

University of California, Berkeley: Noah Gardner and Adam Feldman

University of Maryland: Phoebe Dinner, Drew Sollins and Hayden Ginsberg Vanderbilt University: Nick French University of Pennsylvania: Nicole Granet and Max Morgenstern University of Michigan: Carter Main, Jordana Schrager, Josh Katzman, Sam Jacobs and Eric Kohn

STUDENT LIFE Students skip traditional college experience Ashley Roth Student Life Editor As society changes and students look for a way to experience life after high school differently, many have opted to forgo the traditional four-year college track. Spanish River students have enrolled in such programs as the Valley Forge Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy. Some, including junior Cara Berner, have even entered college early after eleventh grade. Although such programs may not be for everyone, they are growing in popularity among students here at Spanish River. The Valley Forge Military Academy is for students interested in serving America in either the army or the air force. Applicants take an English and mathematics placement test upon entry and are then placed into their military positions based on the results. The students acquire many leadership and responsibility skills during their time at the academy. Students who choose to attend the United States Naval Academy will follow the path to become a successful naval officer. The academy is a four-year program, much like other colleges; however, it focuses mainly on the concepts of integrity, honor, and respect. The program is academically based and offers a broad field of traditional classes. Physical fitness, acting on command, and the ability to give orders to others are just a few of the many qualities that are taught in this unique college alternative. On occasion, a student is given the opportunity to graduate from high school early and get a head start on college. Berner is just one of the many students at River who have taken full advantage of the opportunity. Berner will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute because of her keen interest in robotics, a special program offered at WPI. After taking numerous courses over the past two summers, Berner had an accelerated path to graduation by efficiently receiving the amount of credits needed to graduate River in only three years. “I’m sad that I am leaving River early,” Berner said. “However, I am excited to start college and experience the fall and winter programs!”

May 2012 The Galleon


SUMMERTIME for Spanish River students TRAVEL

30 % of students plan to travel this summer. It’s not too late to make plans, either. Lots of web sites exist for organizing travel plans. You can also check out low-fare flight deals through airlines like Southwest and Spirit.


7% of students will go to camp this summer. But camp isn’t just for kids: if you’ve outgrown sleep-away, you can still look for job opportunities and volunteer posts at City of Boca Raton camps around town.

STAY-CATIONING 13% of students are staying home this summer. Sticking around to relax? Make a list of goals! Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to juggle... or maybe it’s just time to get your room cleaned up. Post your list in your room and divide your goals over the nine weeks of vacation.

SUMMER CLASSES 20% of students will take classes over the summer. If you missed the dual enrollment deadline, you’ve still got a chance to gain some high school credit. Talk to your guidance counselor about registering for FLVS, and check out the course listings online.

WORK 40% of students will work or volunteer for the summer of 2012. If you haven’t secured a job yet, continue to check out shops and restaurants (fro-yo places are a classic teen employer). Need to stock up on community service hours? Libraries are always in need of volunteers. Check out the City of Boca web site for more info. Art by andrea hoenigsberg

Around school: Wasabi Wednesday

Junior Ryan Roth’s family owns Asia, an Asian-fusion restaurant, so on April 25 started to bring sushi with “special ingredients” to school. The first week had sushi filled with wads of wasabi, and May 2’s had wasabi and hot sauce. Students at Roth’s lunch table waved students - and Principal William Latson and AP Doug Markwardt - to try their crazy sushi.

From left, senior Reggie Love tastes the wasabifilled food, junior Zack Pollack takes a turn, junior Jason Queen dips his piece into hot sauce for an extra kick, senior Lex Weiner samples the special sushi. Photos by Josh Benrubi


May 2012 The Galleon




May 2012 The Galleon

Payne joins River as new football coach seen the game played at its highest level. Junior Ben Mogul understands the challenges that lie ahead playing for a new coach, but he knows that After a comprehensive search, with Payne, those challenges can be ­­­Spanish River has found its new head easily overcome. football coach. Rod Payne, a defensive “Having a new coach my senior line and strength/conditioning coach year will definitely represent some at Florida Atlantic University, has challenges, such as establishing a been hired to coach the Sharks in the relationship with the coach and more upcoming football season. importantly, trust,” Mogul said. “I’m Payne began his career not concerned about this at Miami Killian High with Coach Payne, though; School where he played as in his meeting he seemed an offensive lineman and completely approachable wrestled during off-seasons. and knowledgeable.” His talents propelled him to With many key seniors the University of Michigan leaving this year, athletic team where he competed director Kevin McEnroe all four years, played 37 knew that he needed to hire consecutive games, and was someone that knows how to named co-captain. Payne begin to rebuild. was named first team All “We are definitely losing Big Ten twice (meaning a few key seniors next year, one of the top players in his but what stood out to us conference), and in 1996, was about him [Payne] was that named the Most Valuable Photo courtesy of Google Images he had a passion to go out Player on the team. Payne River recently hired Payne, former defensive line and strength/ and find all current students was also voted a member of conditioning coach at Florida Atlantic University. who could be potential the first team All-American football players at River,” (meaning he was one of the best is coming into a new system, but he McEnroe said. “He [Payne] even players in the nation) by the American hopes to use his experience to his stressed the idea of walking through Football Coaches Association. advantage. the halls to possibly find talent in the Payne was selected in the third “My experience as a former player River student body.” round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the and strength and conditioning coach With the combination of talent on Cincinnati Bengals, for whom he allows me to develop kids from the the field and the experience of a new played for two years. He then signed ground up,” Payne said. coach, River football hopes to build with the Baltimore Ravens, where Many returning players on the River on the momentum from last year and he made their practice squad and football team are also excited to be reach the top of the standings. won a Super Bowl ring with them in able to work with a coach who has

Josh Benrubi Sports Editor

Super Bowl XXXV. Payne suffered many knee injuries and experienced 12 football-related injuries during his career. Payne enters the Spanish River program with much excitement and anticipation after the resignation of former coach Ray Berger, who snapped a 26-game losing streak and led River to a surprising 4-6 record this past season. Payne knows he

Sharks swim their way to states Jake Wasserman Sports Editor Going to States to compete in sports is an honor not many high school athletes achieve. Four Spanish River swimmers—juniors Daniel Schneiderman and Adam Reiser and sophomores Shawn Zylberberg and Austin Reiser---made States for the first time in December of 2011. “My goal itself was to make it to states,” Zylberberg said. “When I got there I just wanted to have fun and see what I had left at the end.” To make states, a swimmer needs to rank in the top 24 in an individual event and the top 16 in a relay at regional finals. Schneiderman, Zylberberg, Reiser, and Reiser qualified 15th at their regionals relay. Zylberberg ranked 24th, just making it, and Schneiderman ranked 15th. At the State competition, they placed 14th out of 16th. The team’s state qualification did not come overnight; the swimmers put in months of hard work. Zylberberg and Schneiderman were both members of a club team at St. Andrews High School, pushing each other at every practice. Similarly, the Reiser brothers practiced with a club team at Florida Atlantic University, where their coaches trained them

with sets specially designed to prepare them for competitions. Adam Reiser had an intriguing story about his training. During the end of summer and heading into the high

almost two months, but that did not stop him from being ready for swim season. “I worked extremely hard to stay in shape so that I wouldn’t let my

Photo courtesy of Shawn Zylberberg

River’s swim team made it the state level during the 2011-2012 swim season.; above, they show off their plaques and trophies.

school season, Adam Reiser had a pair of disastrous injuries. One was a bad ATV (all-terrain vehicle) accident and the other was a ruptured eardrum. As a result, he was out of the water for

team down. When I got back into the water, everything was looking pretty grim, but when you have friends like Daniel Schneiderman, Shawn Zylberberg, and Austin Reiser getting you





Photos Courtesy of Google Images

pumped, you feel like you could do anything.” At the end of the season, their relay made it to States by less than a second, out-touching the team that beat them that morning in the preliminaries. In this motivating story where Adam Reiser suffered from two injuries, he sets an example to all athletes, showing that nothing can get in the way of reaching a goal. “They [the swimmers who made it to States] are just very motivated and extremely committed to swimming,” fellow swimmer and junior Hobie Hunter, who qualified for Districts, said. Team coach Nathan Hesse, who swam four years in high school and two years in college, said there was a “fire” in the swimmers who qualified for States. “Usually our kids just aren’t that focused on going to States, but this year they knew it was something they were going to be able to do,” said Hesse. “So they made it their goal, and they succeeded.” “It [States] has motivated us to work even harder so that we can be a team that people look forward to watching,” Schneiderman said. “We also set goals to break school records and to place at States next year.”



May 2012 The Galleon

Special olympics team sprints to victory

Jeremy Freiman Staff Reporter Still unknown to many students, a new team made its way to River this year. But unlike some other new sports, it is not obscure. It is the Special Olympics team. Spanish River’s Special Olympics team made its first appearance at a recent county-level meet, and the program has already gained attention from state-level organizers. The Special Olympics, started in 1968 by Eunice Shriver, is an international organization that holds Olympic-style athletic competitions for people with special needs. The team, composed of three River students, competed in county level track and field activities at John I. Leonard High School against surrounding counties’ teams. If a competitor wins counties, the

Alexandra Petrocelli and Emily Elsken enjoy friendly competition and success at the Special Olympics.

student moves on to the area meet, which is five counties. If the student then wins counties, they move on to states. Excitingly for the River team, Emily Elsken was named county winner for the 25 meter walk, and qualified to attend the state level of competition. However, no matter what the results are, the team sees any meet as a success. “Even if it’s not first place, just that they finished, it’s just moving,” said program coordinator and math teacher Crystal Ranfone.
 The program aims to give the students the opportunity to feel that they are part of something, while having fun at the same time. When the team was founded, the new team members did not know what any of events entailed. Members of the River Track Team offered their help by prepping the aspiring Special Olympians for track and field events. Despite the fact that the team has only three members, the results from the track and field

The Spanish River Special Olympics team members take pride in their accomplishments after competing in the county event.

Claire Dykas Staff Reporter When Athletic Director Kevin McEnroe appeared on the announcements to present junior Bryan Slootsky, senior Zach Gross, and sophomore Tate Allwardt as tennis state finalists, the amount of hard work and struggling the boys experienced could only be lightly touched upon - but the students’ effort was immense. After rigorous daily practice sessions, the Spanish River Tennis team was in the regional finals against Boca High, of which the winner goes to States. But the finals did not come easily to the team: one of River’s players, Aldwart, was in California playing in a national tournament right before the finals. Allwardt had to take a redeye flight the night before the match, yet still managed to High the first match o f t h e season beat River. Complications continued at states, where each of River’s players drew tough draws. Four of the first matches were against Cypress Bay, the eventual team state champion. Junior Aaron Kupin played Cypress Bay in his first round match. Down a set, Kupin lost 5-2 in the second set but fought back in his match to 5-5. At 5-5, though, h e cramped up and was forced to take a ten minute injury timeout.

Alexandra Petrocelli celebrates her participation in the athletic competition. Photos Courtesy of Crystal Ranfone

Boys’ tennis continues to dominate

Above, junior Bryan Slootsky plays in his final match.

competitions were positive, and Ranfone feels confident that the team will gain more members this fall when the team will participate in other indoor events. “They are really looking forward to bowling,” said Ranfone, who also noted that the indoor bowling environment is more comfortable than hot, outdoor track events. The Olympics team at River may not be the one seen on TV, but according to Ranfone, the team turned out to be a success, and she hopes that her program can continue for the years to come.
 The team is also looking for volunteers to assist the team in practicing for more track and field events, such as the shot put and the long jump. Anyone who is interested in volunteer work can contact Ranfone for more information at crystal.ranfone@

After the timeout, Kupin ended up winning the second set. Between the second and third sets there is a mandatory ten minute break in which the players can leave the courts. Kupin ended up sitting down, but after the break he was unable to walk with full body cramps. He was rushed to the hospital but came back later in the afternoon to play a doubles match with Slootsky against Cypress Bay in which they won. Allwardt, Slootsky and Gross all made it to their respective finals draws and we all played Cypress Bay. Tate lost the first set in his match, but then shocked everyone by taking the second set. However, Tate ended up cramping when it was 3-2 in the third set and ended up losing the match. Bryan Slootsky played two three-set matches the day before his final. Although Slootsky had more “talent and athleticism” than his opponent in the final, he was too physically drained by his previous matches to perform well and ended up losing the final. Gross too had an intense final against CypressBay. It was the last match in Gross’ high school tennis career and he had already lost the first set and was down 4-1 in the second but Gross was determined. “There was no way I was going to lose that match,” Gross said. In the end, Gross came back to win the second and third sets 7-5. The tennis team came in third overall in the state with sophomore Allwardt being a state Finalist at the #1 position, Slootsky being a state finalist at the #5 position and Gross, a state champion at the #4 spot. Photo Courtesy of Sun-Sentinel


VOLLEYBALL The boys’ volleyball sharks are continuing their winning season (Ranked #43 in ESPN Fab 50). Here are some statistics of the three senior captains:

Brad Thele (#10) -all tournament team member

*160 kills *19 aces

*23 blocks *43 digs

Maher Khazem (#17) -all tournament team member

*198 kills *12 aces

*43 blocks *67 digs

lex Weiner (#2) *20 blocks *27 digs

*506 assists *26 aces Information Compiled by Claire Dykas



May 2012 The Galleon


Accredited Summer School All Subjects • Grades 1-12 Regular • Honors • AP • Make up a failed course • Improve your GPA • Strengthen your curriculum • Prepare for next semester


Small Group Workshops

NCAA Approved & AP Certified

Private SAT & ACT Prep also available



• Classes meet for 3 hours, twice/week for 4 weeks • 2 simulations in the fall • $795 (20% discount if you register for 2 workshops)


Mon & Wed June 18 - July 18 5:30 - 8:30 pm

Tues & Thurs or June 19 - July 19 11:30 am - 2:30 pm


Mon & Wed June 18 - July 18 or 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Tues & Thurs June 19 - July 19 5:30 - 8:30 pm


Mon & Wed July 23 - Aug 15 or 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Tues & Thurs July 24 - Aug 16 5:30 - 8:30 pm


Mon & Wed July 23 - Aug 15 5:30 - 8:30 pm

Tues & Thurs July 24 - Aug 16 or 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Available All Summer Long! Academic tutoring Academic jump starts College counseling College application essay help

Become our fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Tour our centers on YouTube

Boca Raton


Coral Springs




Palm Beach Gardens




West Palm Beach




TheGalleon Sports Spanish River

girls lacrosse

Who said what?


Jessica wilbor, 12

Claire Dykas, 11

Mallorie Shaw, 12

Maggie Lago, 12 ANSWERS dykas: 1. wilbor: 2. shaw: 3. lago: 4.