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The Blazer

December 6, 2013 Volume 35, Issue 3



Musical Mindset Head to page 11 to read about Joey Quigley’s musical talent.



Is PDA too personal for school? For a look at how students and teachers feel about PDA, turn to page 6.

Mr. GEHS News

FINAL Countdown

Go to page 10 to read tips from students on how to be successful for finals.

Skip to page 8 to see the final winners of the annual Mr. GEHS pageant.

A Helping Hand As the season of giving community whenever she can. “It makes me feel like I did draws near, many people get into the holiday spirit by something for someone else giving back to the community. that is worthwhile,” Kuhn said. Students have the “There’s so many families that opportunity to get involved with come together for the same community service projects at cause and you can see how much it means GEHS. Clubs like to them.” National Honor Natural Society (NHS) H e l p e r s and Natural m e m b e r s Helpers — a also do club for anyone projects such interested in as watching volunteer work kids at the — are great elementary opportunities schools while for students to meetings are in come together session, buying to help those for in need. Students gather in the lecture hall for a presents S e n i o r Natural Helpers’ meeting. Photo taken by kids over the holiday season, A m a n d a Abby Sola Kuhn participates in both and collecting earrings for Natural Helpers and NHS the Lobes of Love foundation. Volunteer work does not have volunteer activities. Recently volunteering in the SMA Race to be an everyday thing. Just n’ Roll fundraiser and the Boo giving a few hours of time each Bash, Kuhn gives back to the month can influence someone

for the better in surprising ways. These good deeds do not have to stop outside the doors of GEHS though. Sophomore Maddy Sylva participates in the Johnson County Public Safety Food and Toy Drive every holiday season. Handing out toys and food to those who cannot always afford it can be very gratifying for Sylva. “Distribution day [is a very influential experience],” Sylva said. “Getting to see all the kids’ faces when we give them their toys is so rewarding.” Most students are not aware of how many people do not have someplace to call home. As it gets colder out, more and more people struggle to find a place to stay warm. “I’m usually around people who have a sense of home and to see people who aren’t as fortunate as I am just makes me want to help out,” Sylva said. Seeing just how many people are homeless or go

Abby Sola Staff Writer

hungry surprises many students. “At the plaza is where I see a lot of [homeless people],” Kuhn said. “ It surprises me that they can live on so little.” That is why when students volunteer and help out, they are not only helping someone else, but they are helping themselves because they come to appreciate what they have and they can come to realize the difference they can make in the world. “Everyone comes from a family,” freshman Madison Edmisten said. “They should be able to talk to someone.” Although the winter season is a great time to get back into the habit of volunteering, people all over still need assistance year-round. Volunteering just a few hours of your time can help someone in unimaginable ways and the gratitude they show will pay off in the end.

Editors-in-Chief Alexandria Howard Shelby Simpson Copy Editors Kenna Douglass Photo Editor Kyle Stubler Staff Writers Bailey Prigel Sydni Haen Abby Sola Kari Porter Dylan Schultz Lauren Stephenson Adviser Diana Klote

Madison Reed Kracinda Mitchell

Starla Stephens Brittney Orwick Allie Weber Jenna Goetzmann Abby Buie

The Blazer is the official high school publication of Gardner Edgerton High School, printed by Osage Graphics in Burlingame, Kan. This is a student publication and may contain controversial matter. Gardner Edgerton School District No. 231 and its board members, officers and employees disclaim any responsibility for the content of this student publication; it is not an expression of the school district policy. Students and editors are solely responsible for the content of this student publication. Editorial opinions represent the views of the individual writer, not the staff as a whole. All submitted letters to the editor must be no longer than 300 words, typed and signed by the author. Letters will be considered and published on a space-available basis. The Blazer staff reserves the right to edit all submitted material for content and libel. For advertising or other information, please call or write: Gardner Edgerton High School Journalism 425 N. Waverly Gardner, KS 66030 (913) 856 - 2640

schoology session is in

Sydni Haen Staff Writer

Last year many teachers began to use Schoology for turning in assignments, uploading class notes and keeping students updated on when the next test was. Many students like using Schoology; it has a layout, similar to Facebook, that is easily accessible and with which many students are familiar with. “[I use Schoology a lot] because most of my teachers use it,” junior Haley Keehn said. “I think it’s nice because it’s a setup we all know how to use and are accustomed to.” Others may disagree and say that Schoology can be a bit problematic at times. Without a solid paper assignment needing


to be done, it could be easy to forget about assignments. “It helps me access things at home, but I often forget about assignments on it,” senior Tyler Sonneveldt-Gragg said. “It’s kind of cool but also kind of a hassle.” Many teachers such as Kelly Peterson Miranda, Walt Cochran, Stacy Audsley and Brian McGee use Schoology frequently. Many college universities have switched over to using websites similar to Schoology. “[Schoology is] a student management software. It’s a good preparation for students [because] a lot of universities are going paperless, [and] if you can use one, you can use all of them,” library media specialist Robin Schrack said. “It’s kind of a responsibility for students to access it.” One reason GEHS has converted to using Schoology is to help save paper, by turning in assignments online.

“I like turning them in online; it takes off the time of wasting paper for printing your assignment,” senior Crystal Stoker said. “But I would improve putting your stuff on there to access at home because personally I think that part is difficult.” Some students do not have access to a computer, Internet or a printer at home. This could cause problems, such as not being able to turn in assignments on time. “Without having a printer at home you either need to bring the project into school and print it, which you don’t always get to use a color printer if needed, or go out to town and try to print it of which it will cost money,” senior Sami Johnson said. “Not having a printer has caused many problems with turning in projects or even just completing them. When Schoology was introduced it helped me so much, well, for

Sophomore Marie Kilgore uses Schoology frequently for assignments. Photo taken by Sydni Haen

the teachers that actually use it.” Improvements could be made to Schoology, such as being able to communicate with teachers better or making it easier to upload assignments that can be accessed at home. “I would like to see our grading system and attendance to be through Schoology. I think it would be very helpful,” Schrack said.

GEHS uses Family and Student Access for grades and attendance records. Students and teachers currently have to check both websites for classes. If everything went through Schoology, teachers would only have to update one site. With more assignments being converted to online, many students and teachers adjust to using Schoology more.

Drum Set Dynamo Lauren Stephenson Staff Writer If passion had a sound, it would be heard in the music played by GEHS’s talented musicians. They can be found down the Performing Arts hallway where the band, choir, and orchestra rooms are located. There are several different bands, and in each of them it is critical that each student works hard to have a good concert. There are some students in band who go above and beyond in dedicating themselves to music, and one of those individuals is sophomore Joey Quigley. “He was very motivated,” band director Will Biggs said. Quigley began band in fifth grade and completed an entire year’s worth of band homework by November. Band homework is just like any other kind of homework; students are required to complete it by a certain date to test how well the student understands the work. Basically, Quigley’s completion of a year’s worth of homework in a couple of months is equivalent to if a math student were to complete all of their math

homework for the entire year. A percussionist has hundreds of unique instruments to choose from, and the ones Quigley plays most often are drum set, snare drum, and marimba. The marimba is a type of xylophone. He learned how to play by taking lessons during his first years of band at Wheatridge Middle School. He practices two hours every day. “I’ve always felt like I was just meant to play music,” Quigley said. This year Quigley is in Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble. Wind Ensemble is the highest level band that a student can be in at GEHS. The first GEHS musical this year was Guys and Dolls, and something that every musical needs is a Pit Orchestra. During the musical numbers of the play somebody needs to be making the music that the actors are singing or dancing to, and Pit Orchestra is the group that does it. Quigley was the drummer in Pit Orchestra, and his main role was keeping the beat for everyone and holding the music together. He also performs outside of school in the community band. The community band is an organization that is dedicated to playing all

different kinds of music during the summer at various locations. The group is composed of primarily adults, but Quigley is one of the few teenagers who participated. Several GEHS students this year prepared for the Northeast District Honor Band auditions, which were held on Saturday, Nov. 16. “It’s really nerve wracking but I think if I do my best I’ll be fine,” Quigley said. These auditions are only available to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Quigley competed with every percussionist who tried out in a total of fourteen counties in northeast Kansas, including Johnson County. Out of 230 percussionists who auditioned, only 18 were accepted. The accepted students were split up into two equal-ability groups of 9 each, and in Quigley’s group he placed third chair. They will perform at Blue Valley High School on Dec. 7. Northeast District Honor Band is similar to the John Philip Sousa Honor Band auditions that are held annually for freshman musicians, which Quigley also participated in last year. He placed first out of every percussionist who tried out in the

Holiday Traditions Hanukkah

Senior Rachel Schuster said Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration for those who are Jewish. The meaning behind the eight days comes from when the Jews were under the control of the pharaoh. While trying to escape, a candle that was said to only burn for one day ended up lasting for eight days, which


Christmas is an annual Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ, held on Dec. 25. The exchange of gifts is a common tradition among many Americans for the celebration of Christmas, and can be traced back to the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the three wise men gave to the infant Jesus. Although the traditional exchange of gifts takes place on Christmas morning, many families

is the basis for lighting the menorah during the eight-day holiday. “We light the menorah statue that holds candles, each night you add a candle and at the end all nine will be lit,” Schuster said. Hanukkah has many traditions specific to that holiday, such as, of course, the

lighting of menorah, the giving of gifts and playing dreidel. “You gamble most of every night during Hanukkah. You play dreidel, a game where you gamble with gelt, which is chocolate money, and it’s in Hebrew and whoever walks away with the most gelt gets to keep it all,” Schuster said.

have their own traditions. “On Christmas Eve we open presents from our family and then on Christmas we open all our presents from ‘Santa’,” freshman Heather Culbertson said. Many traditions even span across the world, according to foreign exchange student and senior Amanda PueblaFernandes. “I have not been here for the holidays but I think they are not

too different. Family, presents, Christmas tree,” senior PueblaFernandes said. Holiday traditions also often involve volunteering to help the less fortunate. “Each year we do Hope for Christmas. We collect toys before Christmas and on Thanksgiving and we give them out on Christmas day,” junior Brittany Cowel said.

state. “[Performing has had an impact on me because] it’s made me a lot more confident,” Quigley said. Students that are in any of the bands at GEHS can try to complete the honor levels, a series of difficult music designed to test the limits of GEHS musicians. There are six honor levels, and Quigley focuses while playing the marimba. Photo by Lauren as a musician Stephenson. advances, each level increases in Hard Rock Café, spending the day at difficulty. Quigley will have to practice Six Flags and going to the Centennial in each level of music and perform Park where the 1996 Summer in front of several judges. If he is Olympics were held. “[What I’m looking forward to the successful he will be awarded with a letter as well as his name on the most is] Six Flags, definitely Six Flags,” plaque that is located in the GEHS Quigley said. Quigley explained that one of the band room. At the end of the year the band most challenging things he had to plans to take a trip to Nashville, Tenn. overcome was messing up when he and Atlanta, Georgia. The band will be was nervous. “I really want to feel complete touring the Coca Cola plant, recording in CNN studios, visiting the Country with my skill and just be really good at Music Hall of Fame, eating at the what I do,” Quigley said.

Students share their families’ traditions for the holiday season.


Thanksgiving is an annual national holiday commemorating a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621, according to However, some, including freshman Aaron VanVleet, think Thanksgiving nowadays has strayed from its original meaning. It is also common for the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, to be a huge shopping day due to significant sales by most stores. “Black Friday was crazy this year. I went to the mall and

Allie Weber Staff Writer

almost got in a fight with a girl,” sophomore Jesi Scott said. “Thanksgiving is pretty much just an excuse to eat good food and watch football,” VanVleet said. Of course, many traditional Thanksgiving celebrations involve the Thanksgiving meal, but other traditions have also developed. “Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the best movie ever. I watch it every year with my siblings, and we watch the [Macy’s Thanksgiving Day] parade,” junior Brittany Cowel said.

News 3

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Model Behavior Miley Cyrus twerking on live TV, Taylor Swift singing another break-up song, and Tiger Woods cheating multiple times-the role models of today may not be seen as the best people to look up to in the eyes of the general public. Even though celebrities will always have a scandal and there will always be drama in Hollywood, that does not mean that they cannot be role models. Many celebrities who are looked down upon are actually good people, who have just hit a rough patch in their life. A role model should not be defined by one mistake, especially when those mistakes are corrected. Everyone has a role model that inspires them, whether they are famous or someone they personally know. A role model is

someone others feel should be imitated, but oftentimes many feel that celebrities give the wrong idea. “Some kids don’t know right from wrong and celebrities tend to encourage the wrong,” freshman Madison Weber said. I think often times it has nothing to do with them encouraging what is morally wrong, but just that they got caught making a mistake. The media amplifies the mistakes of celebrities. Everything that celebrities do is in the media and they typically do not have any privacy. Everyone goes through stages in their life that they may not necessarily be proud of, but celebrities just get theirs broadcasted to the world. “Miley Cyrus is not a bad person; she is just in a bad

TIPSfor the TRACK The required Health class for sophomores goes over topics such as nutrition, drug abuse and abstinence, but some students debate whether the class is helpful to them. The curriculum, according to Health and aerobics teacher Lessie Diener, is an abstinence-based course, which means the course emphasizes it is scientifically proven that abstinence from sexual activity, drugs and alcohol is the only safe way. Although it is agreeable that abstaining from sex and drugs are the only 100 percent effective way to prevent health complications or diseases from

these, is the class effective by means of influencing students to remain abstinent? The course’s abstinence-only lessons over abstaining drug abuse and their side effects, teach that there is no way to use drugs safely, and to make students aware of pharmacy prescription drug abuse and how to use medicine safely. Senior Levi Kerr was taught how drugs can cause mental disabilities and drug use risks jail time. Kerr said the class helped him stay drug-free. Although its encouragement to abstain from drugs is a

Kari Porter Staff Writer

situation,” senior Lexi Naegele said. “Everyone goes through something at that age; she is just famous.” Society wants everyone to follow what is seen as “normal,” but everyone forgets that there really is no definition of normal. Role models do not always have to be who everyone thinks they are. They may not have a perfect life, but their struggles and how they overcome them can be a good example for the people that look up to them. Famous singer and actress Demi Lovato is most widely known for her Disney Channel days, but according to The Huffington Post, she went to rehab after battling an eating disorder and severe depression. Many may think that because she went to rehab, she is giving children the wrong idea, but I think that her struggles and her perseverance to overcome them

Bailey Prigel Staff Writer

positive force, if students are already addicted, the class isn’t going to change their minds. Senior Toni Casey said she was a methamphetamine addict of 3 ½ years and has been sober since January, and she said she didn’t remember anything that helped her with her addiction. “I just remember everyone looking at me,” Casey said. [At the time it became known that Casey was an addict.] Casey also said that the class should emphasize outpatient treatment, and to help students with addictions know that they are not alone, and addiction is a disease and not a choice. The class’s discussions over abstinence from sexual activity are similar to drug use discussions. In Pamela Kohler, Lisa Manhart, and William Lafferty’s 2008 study published in “The

are something that anyone can look up to. When celebrities make mistakes it does not mean that they should automatically be labeled a bad person and not a role model. It is the people who continue to make those mistakes and never try to correct them that young people should not look up to. “Society defines perfection by a certain standard,” junior Anthony Smartt said. “I believe everyone is perfect because everyone is different and special in their own way. People are like snowflakes in that they are all unique.” Celebrities should be allowed to go through stages because they are human. People need to stop judging them based on a single mistake. It is the celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes that are putting the wrong ideas in the minds of young people. Lohan was first arrested for a DUI in 2007 according to E Online and following that arrest she has been convicted of grand theft, assault, and many other criminal charges. It is extremely obvious why she is in no position to be a role model. As for Bynes,

once a child star on Nickelodeon, she now spends her time in and out of rehab according to the Hollywood Reporter, and she has had multiple criminal charges, as well. These repeated mistakes may not be so easy to redeem but that does not mean all celebrities who have strayed down the wrong path, should not be role models. A role model is someone that is honest and as long as these celebrities are being honest about who they are and correcting their mistakes, they are giving the right idea. Celebrities are living their lives and just because they get broadcasted does not always mean they should change their lifestyle. Like I said before, if these celebrities are making mistakes it does not mean they are setting a bad example. It is those who never realize their mistakes and continue making them, giving off the wrong idea. Young people can learn from the mistakes and the perseverance of the celebrities who change their lives; however, those who have put in no effort to be better should not be considered role models.

Journal of Adolescent Health,” entitled, “Abstinence-only and Comprehensive Sex Education and the Initiation of Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy,” the authors found that programs that were abstinence-only had no “significant effect in delaying the initiation of sexual activity or in reducing risk for teen pregnancy and STD.” However, in the same study, the authors discovered that whether in comparison to no sex education class or abstinenceonly programs, comprehensive sex education programs were “significantly associated with a reduced risk of pregnancy.” Data from the same study suggests students from abstinence-only classes are more likely to participate in higherrisk behavior, and may be less likely to use protection. Not only is an abstinence-only course ineffective in means of prevention, but students are more likely to take part in unsafe sex, increasing the likelihood of pregnancy. According to the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, in

comparison to abstinence-only classes, comprehensive programs have a 50 percent lower risk of teen pregnancy. “It’s not going to change anyone’s mind,” Kerr said. “[If they want to] they’re going to have sex no matter what.” Although our current curriculum has a good point that abstinence is the most effective and only 100 percent means of prevention, a broader approach could help more students. Even though the current health curriculum has prevented some complications for some students involving drug abuse and sexual activity, the curriculum should make adjustments to help sexually active teens or the already addicted because it could be more beneficial for our students. The class needs to realize that making these adjustments would actually be more preventive of health problems associated with sex, drugs and alcohol.

Opinion 5

Kissin’ Halls in the

Kracinda Mitchell Copy Editor

A debate still lingering in public schools is whether or not PDA should be allowed.

Walking down the hall, rushing to get to class, a student is slowed down by the couple ahead. They are arm in arm, giggling and strolling along. Meanwhile, on the other side of the hall, the student spots a couple leaning against the lockers kissing extensively. The student is then late to class due to the PDA in the hallway. Junior Tyler Norton has experienced this. “Two freshmen decided it was okay to stop in front of everyone in the halls and suck face,” Norton said. “I shoved my way through and told them to get a room, but I was still late to class because of it.” PDA is typically described as a public display of affection, but debates center around the idea of whether or not school is a public-enough place to carry out such explicit actions. Forensics and debate teacher Mike Zegers said PDA is disgusting. He said that there is a time and place for everything and that school is not the time, nor the place for making out. “What if my wife worked here,” Zegers said. “No student would

sees other couples kissing in the school, even though he, admittedly, takes part in it. “It is gross that people slobber all over each other in the hallway and have no respect for the personal space of each other or those around them,” social studies teacher Walt Cochran said. “A hug before you go [to class] and holding hands is 92 students were surveyed and the results show that 52 okay, I don’t have a of the students did not mind PDA but 40 of the students problem with that. wish it was not allowed. It is the extended lip lock that does want to see me walking down the halls with my hand in her back somewhat bother me and other pocket or making out with her students as well.” Nonetheless, GEHS is a public against the lockers.” Senior Makenna Miller said school and if PDA is meant for that she does not think it is OK public then who gets the final say to make out in the halls because in whether or not it is decent for it makes her feel uncomfortable. school? “The teachers,” associate “I think that public displays of affection should be kept personal principal Heather Peeke said, “the and special rather than thrown punishment for PDA is left in the teachers’ hands.” out in public,” Miller said. School policy, from the student Despite Miller’s beliefs that affection should be kept private, handbook, clearly states that PDA PDA is public. GEHS being a is a 30-minute detention. However, public school makes PDA in the the penalty increases along with hallways acceptable, according to the severity of the act and for sophomore Hannah Sutton, and repeat offenders. Cochran said he did not know she said a student should be able to show their affection for their that the policy is a 30-minute significant other without it being detention for a kiss on school grounds, but because he now a big ordeal “I kiss in the halls to say that I knows that’s the policy, he would like him,” Sutton said, “but I don’t enforce the rule. “I think it is our job to teach make out so that’s OK.” Senior Tony Drake said that as high school students what is long as PDA is not taken too far it and is not acceptable in society Above, a couple trolls along in the hallway during passing period. Photo by is appropriate; however, it makes and in professional workplaces,” Kracinda Mitchell. him feel uncomfortable when he FACS teacher Lindsay Posillico

6 Feature

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Above, acouple spends lunch period sitting next to each other. Photo by Kracinda Mitchell.

said. “Things like PDA, cursing “[When I see PDA in the and revealing clothes are not halls] I usually embarrass them acceptable, and therefore should by standing abnormally close to not be acceptable in school. Plus them,” Cochran said. “They look PDA is gross and nobody wants at me like I’m weird, but it’s really to see it.” weird, that they are displaying Many students think the their hormonal affection for each policy is a good one to have and other within three feet of me.” that more teachers should carry Embarrassing a student for out the rule more often. PDA, like Posillico said she does, “Yes, teachers should enforce may not be the ideal solution to the PDA rules more,” junior this problem. An email to staff Hannah Cook said. “If they do not sharing the actual verbiage of the enforce it then it’s not really a rule. policy would likely be enough It kind of defeats the purpose.” to help with this issue, Cochran According to Miller, the rules said. He may be on to something, should be imposed for those if teachers do not know what offences greater than a three- punishment to give for what second peck. Cook said that actions, then there may not be teachers should follow the rules an even policy throughout the in the policy because teachers school. cannot keep complaining about 52 out of 92 students surveyed PDA without giving the correct said it is appropriate for fellow punishment. students to make out in the “ E v e n hallways. Due if teachers to the majority enforced the I care about that my of students rules I would being for PDA, probably still teachers think of me, one might do it,” Sutton and if they see me in assume that the said. should be the hall making out rule Drake also revoked. agreed that with my boyfriend, I “ T h e if there was a feel like they would rule should rule against definitely not PDA, it would lose respect for me. be revoked — only make -junior Sadie Long we do need him want to a policy in do it more, leaving the debate place to enforce the rule — I open as to whether or not the just know that PDA makes me school should decide to make uncomfortable,” Cochran said. PDA a more strict policy practice. “I am willing to forgive a hug According to Cochran, he has or a peck on the cheek — but not given a detention for PDA anything beyond that usually in nine years — when he simply invokes me to act and enforce sent the couple to the office. the PDA rule.”

#Social MediA Junkies Social media sites are popular, drama filled, and are gaining popularity in use by older generations.

Jenna Goetzmann Staff Writer

Out of 121 students, 38 people found that Twitter was the most popular. Social media sites wax and wane in popularity, some are more drama-filled than others, and many age groups are now able to use and are using social media sites. Social media sites come and go. Just like when a new phone comes out, many people ditch their old one and go with the newest version, just like social media sites. “Society is really always into the newer and better thing,” freshman Lauren Haag said. Some people believe that high school is the time to discover who they are; social media sites can help them do that by providing them the means to express themselves. “I go to the more popular site once something new comes out because everyone else uses it,” senior Jacob Means said. Every few years a brand new social media app or site comes out, and the same situation


arises. Students must decide whether or not to delete their old social media site and sign up for the new. Some students also choose to stay with their current social media site rather than switching. It is purely up to the individual if they are going to switch or not. High school students lose interest in their current social media site and go to the leading site, because their friends are using it as well. “People lose interest in their social media site because the newer sites offer more capabilities,” Means said. While each site loses popularity, people still have their preferences. Most people prefer Twitter over Facebook and Vine over Instagram because each site has different capabilities. According to sophomore Tony Walker, “Twitter is the most popular because it is not boring like Facebook.” In comparison, Haag prefers Vine over Instagram “because

it’s entertaining to watch funny videos.” Each social media site has positive and negative aspects. Many people like how they can communicate with their former friends and their current friends. “I like social media because I can talk to everybody in one place,” Walker said. “I don’t have to go from different sites just to talk to many people.” A negative aspect that can come with social media is cyber bullying. Some students think that cyber bullying has become increasingly popular on certain social media sites. Bullying is one of the many consequences that can come with social media sites. “I dislike the bullying portion of social media because it is just plain wrong,” junior Haley Keehn said. Some adults do not even use social media sites because they do not want to see bullying. From grandparents to students, many of them have started using social media.

The majority of the teenage population has come to the conclusion that they are becoming less independent on social media sites because of the older generations. “Parents and teachers using social media sites are pretty odd because we are losing our privacy,” Means said. Some teenagers believe that one of the reasons that social media sites lose popularity is because of older users. Older users can monitor their children and their friends on social media. “Social media loses popularity once parents and teachers start using it because they monitor us,” Keehn said. Social media is becoming increasingly popular to most teenagers. Some sites are more popular than others, cyber bullying is remaining a problem, and all ages have started using social media.

Starla Stephens Staff Writer

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Above: Senior Jacob Means Snapchats a friend. Photo by Jenna Goetzmann



Suits Ties &

Above: Junior Kevin Medlin performs his talent, dancing at Mr. GEHS. Medlin won the talent portion of the event. Photo by Rachel Newburg. Above right: Jacob Beckner straightens his jacket during formalwear. Photo by Rachel Newburg. Right: Junior Brandon Barrero plays the guitar and sings for his talent in the Mr. GEHS competition. Photo by Rachel Newburg.

Brittney Orwick

Junior and senior students regaled the audience with their talents and humor Nov. 23 at the Mr. GEHS Contest. Mr. GEHS is a competition that mocks the process of a Miss Congeniality contest. It starts off with a group dance, then sportswear and talent, followed by a question round. The winner of the 2013 Mr. GEHS title was junior Cooper McGuire. His sport was a professional Polka-er, and his talent was a little lesson in chemistry, where he sang the elements song and played the piano. Senior Scott Coble

Staff Writer

Shelby Simpson Editor-in-Chief

shared his experience of performing on stage. “When I was up on stage I couldn’t see anyone’s faces because the lights were so bright. I had no idea how many people were there. It was kind of nerve-wracking but it wasn’t that bad,” Coble said. Along with McGuire, 14 other contestants competed: seniors Jake Weekly, Thomas Wyss, Tanner Snell, Will Cook and Scott Coble, as well as juniors Bryan Njogu, Brett Wright, Jacob Haywood, Jake Beckner, Logan Brooks, Brandon Barrero, Kevin Medlin, Jake Huppe and Connor McGuire.

Mr. GEHS Winners: Cooper McGuire (junior) Overall Winner Mr. Sportswear

Scott Coble

(senior)1st Runner-up

Brett Wright

(junior) 2nd Runner-up

Will Cook

(senior) Mr. Congeniality

Kevin Medlin (junior) Mr. Talent

Embarrassing Moments “I was trying to get the tennis rackets from off the top shelf in “At a track meet, I was about to run the 400, and my garage, and I stepped on a shelf, so I could reach the box “Four years ago I was on lunch duty, and when I was getting ready I was super nervous, but they were in, and to keep my balance I grabbed the bar we I bet a student that I could eat a chicken I kept on warming up. Just a little bit later, I had hang our coats on. When I got the box, the bar slipped and I sandwich in one bite. After getting to go to the bathroom, but I figured it was just started to fall, so I stepped off so I wouldn’t fall on my mom’s about half of the sandwich down, my pre-race jitters, so I kept warming up. I was getting car. I fell on my sister’s scooter and “racked” myself, and when I mouth was dry, and the second half of in my blocks ready to race and I still had to go to turned around, all my neighbors were in my driveway talking the chicken sandwich was stuck in my the bathroom, but again I just ignored it and was to my parents, and they all saw, and to this day won’t let it go.” throat. Mr. Cochran tried to give me the focusing on the race. The race started, and while –Abby Kessler Heimlich, but he was too short, so we “During college at basketball practice I was running, I still had to go to the bathroom, went to the nurse, and in the process the whole football team walked in after but this time I couldn’t hold it in, and while I was of walking, I was able to cough up practice to go put all their equipment up, running, I peed my pants, and when I realized and I was one of the two white guys on the the second part of the sandwich. Five it showed through my blue running shorts, I team and the black guys were dunking and minutes later, I went back to the lunch immediately ran to the bathroom and didn’t even my whole team was chanting my name, so I room to tell the kid I wasn’t dead.” –John finish the race.” –Karigan Kennedy tried it, missed and landed on my back, and Yockey when I looked up the whole football team “One time I was going somewhere for a was laying on the ground laughing.” –Scott volleyball competition, and we were flying Schaefer back, and I was really tired because we “Junior year all the cool kids slid just got done playing, and I had sweats “I had asked to go to the restroom and I walked down the railing, and when I was and a zip up hoodie on. We were going right into the boys restroom right out of the about to do it, the guy I had the physics classroom. When I walked in, I thought “I walked into a classroom, biggest crush on was walking up the through security and they asked me to take my jacket off because I guess they it was a little spacey and didn’t look normal and COMPLETELY the wrong stairs, and as I was sliding, I started thought I was hiding something, so I was class, and it was filled with as I continued to walk in, I was not the only one falling so I kicked my legs up to not in there. He didn’t see me and I didn’t see him upperclassmen. Everyone fall, and I ended up kicking my crush standing in security for a good 10 minutes wearing a sports bra.” –Katie because when I heard that someone else was in started laughing as I stood there, on accident.” -Amy Stubblefield Beaman there, I immediately ran out.” –Michaela Serrioz confused on where I was and where I needed to go.” –Gregory Stories collected by Abby Buie Beaumont

8 Entertainment

E x t r a , E x t r a ! Hot Off the Press! what is going on in the “I suppose you don’t have world. Every day people to be informed, but if you Kenna Dougreceive updates about want to be an active member Copy Editor something that took place. of the community [then Notifications from social you need to be updated on The United States media such as Facebook news],” Abromeit said. “If began with newspapers or Twitter play a large role you want to be an isolated as its main source for in rapidly spreading local little person in your closet, then I information. Over suppose time, the country has you don’t revolutionized the media have to be and produced other ways informed. of getting news. Radio Newspapers broadcasts, television are pretty and accessibility to the d a r n internet have skyrocketed important.” in society. Overall, Abromeit journalism has taken r e a d s flight. Many people multiple believe it is slowly coming A stack of newspapers waiting to be claimed newspapers to a stop, but media shows and read. Photo By: Kenna Douglass that it affects everyday life. and international news. because he thinks it is “Journalism isn’t Even if people choose to important to know what dying. it’s accelerating,” ignore the news, it creeps is going on in the world. government teacher up on them. Whether they They provide knowledge Derrick Abromeit said. overhear someone talking from different aspects and With the help of about a current event or a opinions about events. technological advances, broadcast interrupts their Newspapers today must journalism has expanded radio station, they will compete with other media different sources of somehow stay informed. sources. As technology media, rather than only Sandra Day O’Connor, advances, more people use printed news. Journalism Former Associate Justice it. Internet and televised has even gone to social of the Supreme Court of news have far surpassed media to help spread the the United States, said that printed news, popularityword. Unless someone it is important, especially wise. According to the Pew lives under a rock, away for young people, to be Research Center, 71 percent from people and have informed and educated of young Americans access no technology, they are in order to become active news on the internet. bound to hear about citizens in the future.

Read All About It! that take place and blow people believe the opposite them out of proportion because of how much crime by repeating information. is broadcasted on the news. “I feel like [the news According to The American has] been too corrupted by the people who control it,” sophomore Andrew Hubbard said. “They are not true to themselves a n y m o r e .” The internet Seniors Amanda Kuhn, Melissa Newton and Kayla Shear read the newspaper to has a multitude find out about current events impacting GEHS. Photo By: Kenna Douglass of users every of the story, not always Prospect, crime rates in the second of every day in accurate, but a play on United States were highest a large variety. Different words to gain attention. in the 1970s and have been opinions can hover over online topics decreasing current For example, television significantly influence people. often shows local crimes since 1990, but many and Many news sources often show flashy headlines and then focus on the most pivotal part

Some people leak false information to gain attention thus showing corruption. The Internet is an accessible tool for finding information about anyone and anything. Not all information online is accurate, but it is often believable. “[I prefer to read a] newspaper because if it is on the internet, I don’t think to check it [for accuracy],” senior Melissa Denning said. Many newspapers now put their articles online for people to read. Putting their news online does not always generate revenue, but it gets readers’ attention. Online newspaper articles can be trusted and used for accurate information unlike Wikipedia which is composed of amateur knowledge and is not always truthful. Using the Internet as a news source has increased and many places have diminished the use of paper. Denning says that she does not read articles very often because there are not very many printed newspapers anymore. Newspapers that are online often have video clips accompanying their articles to further explain events. News sources, whether they are online or not, must have accurate information to back up their stories. Without accuracy, chaos can arise and online sources go down the drain. A story must be written out before presented. The writers have to do fact checks to make sure they are right otherwise they could get into legal trouble for libel, false statements

that can ruin a reputation. As society progresses and changes, media must adapt to people’s likes and dislikes. Many people prefer visual things and tend to look at pictures more than words. “USA Today is the most ridiculous fluff and people love it,” Abromeit said. “It has lots of graphs and pictures and almost no content.”

“Newspapers are pretty darn important.” -government teacher Derrick Abromeit Design is a key element to capturing readers’ attention. A newspaper must not only have text but interesting pictures and infographics that draw a reader into reading more of the story. Hubbard thinks that it is sad that people would rather look at pictures than actual text. Different newspapers have different layouts to intrigue a target audience. Whereas “USA Today” is filled with graphics, “The Wall Street Journal” promotes more text. Having too many pictures lowers the standards of a paper and does not always fully explain the intentions of the story. A layout must be designed with a purpose otherwise it becomes

too abstract and hard to understand. Newspapers must have a way to draw a reader in and get them thinking about how the stories relate to them. “[Newspapers] affect people. It keeps democracy moving. It has to keep the free press and a republic. It keeps people in touch with the local community,” Abromeit said. Abromeit’s daughter, Lily Abromeit, is studying journalism at the University of Iowa. He reads his daughter’s online articles in the “Daily Iowan” every day. “Her goal is to be an international correspondent,” Abromeit said. “She wants to be the person you hear on the radio coming from Syria or Egypt. She wants to report on stories that people need to know about but they don’t hear about.” Overall, many people work very hard to put the news out there. Newspapers have in-depth, factual information for the public to read. Journalists and writers must capture the attention of the public eye with their stories and articles. They must inform people of events taking place and how they can affect society. Hubbard likes to see articles about events and creative reviews in the news. He also likes to see unusual stories that are not always brought to attention. Newspapers began as the main source of news and still continue to carry out their job while interacting with television, radio and internet.

Picture drawn by Kenna Douglass

Entertainment 9

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Proud supporter of Gardner Edgerton High School With the upcoming holidays, Gardner Pharmacy is a great place to go for gifts and decorations for your family.

131 E Main (913) 856-8106

The Gardner Pharmacy supports Gardner Edgerton High School.

How to prepare for


10 Ads • Feature

830 E. Main Gardner, KS 66030 Phone: 913-856-8380 Fax: 913-856-5686

A Family Tradition Kyle Stubler Photo Editor

One of the most stressful times of the year can be when it’s finals week. With winter and summer break just around the corner, it could be surprising to find the hectic, worried atmosphere. Senior Jacob McIntire said teachers tend to not explain their final until a week before only giving students that week to prepare for exactly what the final will be like. While some students, like junior Cooper McGuire, do not care to study much. “I devote about 15 minutes total per final that I study for,” McGuire said. “I study only 12 hours before each final actually happens, making it easier to remember because it was not so long ago that I studied for it,” Senior Rachel Newburg is just like McGuire, only studying the day before her actual final takes place. “Honestly, I study the night before. From the time I get home

from school to when I go to bed because I don’t like to study for short increments of time over a long period of time,” Newburg said. Most of the time, school is seven hours a day, five days a week, making the brain work overload. Senior Rachel Newburg likes to relax when she gets home, to give her brain a break. Newburg does not stay up that late to study because she wants to get a good nights rest. “[The] latest I stay up is probably around 11:30 which is my normal time I go to bed. I just begin studying earlier in the day than I usually would,” Newburg said. McIntire says teachers begin talking about their finals a week to a week and a half before the final. McIntire recommended to begin to study as soon as the students acquire reviews or notes over the final or just study general in class notes. McIntire says he studies a lot more for his English and math finals. “I always have to study a lot for my English final, especially since I’m in AP Literature. My math final

[too] because I have to remember formulas from the beginning of the year,” McIntire said. McIntire says although everyone must take their AP or honors finals, if students are content with their grade in a general education class and are eligible to opt out, there is that option. Deborah Osborn, AP European History and sociology teacher, gave some great tips for students on how to study for finals. “[First] I would say set aside time each night and make sure you follow through and actually study. Secondly, make sure you study by yourself or only two to three people. Thirdly stay away from electronic devices,” Osborn said. Some students study when the stress of finals comes, while others do not feel the need to prepare. Although some teachers pass out their study material for the final about a week before, some students would rather get it more in advance, so they have time to study. Whether students decide to study or not, the stress levels of finals are still high and the relief comes after they finish.

Is Three Enough? Dylan Schultz Staff Writer

Every team has one goal for the entire season. Typically, the goal is to win a championship. At the end of the year, every team wants to see their fans rush up to the middle of the field or the court. However, it takes a certain determination to get to that point. What a team does in the offseason and in practices up to game time is incredibly important, as well as how funding is spent towards the sporting programs. There are a few other factors that have a say in the season’s outcome, including what league

a team is in, as well as what city and state that team is located. In Kansas, there seems to be a lot of variety in popularity of sports, and schools in the Eastern Kansas League provide a wide range of these sports to participate in, creating incredible competition. For most sports, it is safe to say that the EKL is the toughest league in Kansas to play in. So is that why we only have three state championships? You could make that argument. However, GEHS only joined the EKL in 2010. So there has got to be another factor. Not to mention, all three of our state championships were won in years prior to joining the EKL, the most recent being the girls track team in the spring of 2010,

just months before officially becoming part of the new league. But prior to joining the EKL, GEHS was a smaller school. Our close knit community has let us become known as a small town. It wasn’t until recently that Gardner started expanding so quickly. We weren’t being fed all of these athletes like the more populated schools were in the past, and some still are. A lot of our struggles in the past could be due to population. Besides, location is key. In the offseason, it is important to train and become a better athlete. For certain sports, however, it is nearly impossible to train effectively in Gardner. Take baseball for instance, just to hit in a batting cage, players

must go to at least Olathe. For an indoor facility, players have to go nearly 20 miles to Overland Park for a facility with rooms that have enough space to throw and hit in the winter. Students in other schools in the EKL are much closer to locations like this, making it much more convenient to train. Gardner simply lacks the facilities for sporting activities. Location, is in fact, key. There are many factors that tie into the reasons as to why our school only has three championships. The league we are in, the size of our school, our facilities, budget and school spirit all relate to our state championship droughts. The biggest factor is off season

DefiningSports ESPN – the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. This acronym seems to imply that everything shown on ESPN must be a sport. A sport is defined as “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature,” according to A sport also needs a clearly defined set of rules. Unfortunately, poker, while having a clearly defined set of rules, does not require any physical prowess or athletic

activity, but is still shown on ESPN at many points throughout the year. But really, how exciting is watching a “sport,” where the biggest move made all day is the move from table to table. If poker is shown, why aren’t chess, checkers, and “Go Fish,” shown on ESPN? In order to be a sport, it needs more than to just be televised on ESPN. A sport needs physical activity, strategy, or competitive nature. So in that case, you can

11 Sports Opinion

argue that chess and checkers are sports, because they have activity and strategy. But they are not. The physical activity is not enough to consider these two games, a sport. The same goes for poker. However, the big debate is whether or not cheerleading or marching band are sports. The biggest difference between cheerleading and marching band compared to chess, checkers, and poker is that not everyone can immerse themselves into these activities and learn the concept quickly. Members of the marching band have been playing their instruments for a number of years by the time they are actually marching, and cheerleaders at least have some sort of athletic ability, especially some that not every male can have just after a day or two of constant work. This is the same for every other activity that America deems a sport, some being soccer, football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, wrestling, track and cross country. But for

cheerleading and marching band, does this necessarily mean that they are sports? By no means could the average athlete walk into band class or cheer practice, instantly know how to play a musical instrument, and be ready to march at an event, or be able to perform with the squad in unison. For most sports, there is a decided winner by the end of the game or match. For marching and cheer, the band or squad is simply judged. There’s no winner by rule. It’s a judgment call, meaning the judge could be very biased. If you throw the word “competitive,” into the mix, things seem to suddenly change. In competitive cheer, teams are given rankings and trophies. There is a winner, but that doesn’t make it a sport. “School cheer is just cheering for sports,” senior Audreona Bolin says. “Competitive cheer is a sport because you compete at competitions and receive trophies and titles.” Although high school

workouts, however. A lot of our programs do not do any off season workouts, and if they do, they are brief and not frequent. Our most successful teams, as of late, the football and the wrestling team, both put in endless hours of work in the off season. The track team also has workouts that challenge themselves to get better every day. If a team does not work out together, they do not get better together. Off season workouts develop team chemistry at the same time as strength and determination, all factors important to winning.

Dylan Schultz Staff Writer

cheer competes as well, they do not receive rankings or titles. Therefore, high school cheerleading, when being compared to competitive cheer, is not a sport. According to www., the Supreme Court, under Title IX, ruled competitive cheerleading not a sport, because the activity will only be a sport with “more organization and defined rules.” In other activities, there is a defined rule for everything a participant can and cannot do. In cheerleading, competitive or not, the winner is still determined by a judge, who uses his or her opinion to pick a champion. Other sports, such as football, basketball and baseball, are sports where the winner is determined by a set of rules. I am not saying I could walk into a gym and automatically be able to do a two-and-a-halfminute cheer routine, but I, as well as the Supreme Court believe that a sport is something that needs organization and a clear set of rules.


S F E I Kingdom H C This is...

The Kansas City Chiefs had a record start to the 2013 season. The only other year they started a season undefeated was in 2003 under the coaching of Dick Vermeil. In 2003, they began the season winning their first nine games and they ended the season 13-3, as the first in the American Football League (AFL). Before he signed a five-year contract to be the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Andy Reid coached the Philadelphia Eagles for 14 years. “As [Clark Hunt and I] talked, you got this feeling that this was right. This was the thing to do. It made this decision easy. I crossed

Alexandria Howard Editor-in-Chief

my fingers I’d be offered the job and I was,” Reid said at his first official press conference with the Chiefs, on Clark Hunt is the chairman and CEO of the Chiefs and was in charge of hiring a new head coach for the team. Hunt was named Chairman of the Board of the Chiefs in 2005. His father, Lamar Hunt, died in 2006, so his sister and two brothers inherited ownership of the team. “We did have more interviews scheduled for coach Reid but made the decision [that] we did not have to pursue them,” Hunt said in the first press conference, o n

Reid All About It Andy Reid was born in the year 1958 in Los Angeles, California He began coaching the Green Bay Packers in 1992 as an offensive line coach, then became the head coach in 1997 Reid was an offensive line A play for after a touchdown coach four different that the team who scored worth colleges including the two points University of Missouri, Texas in El Paso, Northern Arizona, and San Francisco State University His wife is Tammy Garret, and he have five children Information from “For Andy Reid, the work never stops” by Sam Mellinger and Dugan Arnett.

PTS: Total Points

The total number of points a team receives in a game.

FUM: Fumble Reid is not the only coach though. There are 23 total coaches for the Chiefs, who all focus on one specific group on the team. According to KCchiefs. com, these coaches range from the coaching quarterbacks to coaching strength and conditioning. Students such as senior Cassie Lee have a strong opinion about the loyalty of Chiefs fans. “Chiefs fans are fake because no one cheered them on until they started to be undefeated, and now that they are losing people are starting to cheer for another team,” Lee said.

Other students such as junior Jayden Jones have always had faith in the chiefs. “I have always been a Chiefs fan, even before they had all this luck,” Jones said. He believes that even after their recent losses, he is still proud of his Kansas City team. Quarterback and No. 11 Alex Smith leads the team with 2,736 passing yards for this season. Derrick Johnson, number 56, holds the top spot in terms of tackles. Johnson is a linebacker and has a

Talk of the Field TOT: Tackles

When a defensive player causes the offensive player with the ball to touch the ground

The act of losing possession of the ball while running with it or being tackled. Members of the offense and defense can recover a fumble

PD: Passes Defended

When a defensive player blocks a pass that the offence was making

total of 82 tackles for the season. He was the first rookie linebacker in 20 years to start the first 16 games of the season in 2005. Information from

TD: Touchdown

A score, worth six points, that occurs when a player in possession of the ball crosses the plane of the opponent’s goal line

INT: Interception

A pass that’s caught by a defensive player, ending the offense’s possession of the ball

YDS: Rushing Yards

To advance the ball by running, not passing

2PT: Two-Point Conversion A play after a touchdown that the team who scored worth two points

AST: Assisted Tackles

When a defensive player, with the help of another defensive player, causes the offensive player with the ball to touch the ground

Sports 12

Profile for GEHS Adviser

The Blazer, Volume 35, Issue 3  

The Blazer, Volume 35, Issue 3  

Profile for gehsnews