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Thursday, September 30, 2010
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Spirit on the rise as teachers and students become more involved By Nicole Foerstner
As you progress through high school, the spirit within your class and yourself shows through attendance to pep rallies and other related events. To raise spirit in the school, this year the Executive Board has brought back many things, including ‘Spirit Points’ to get the student body more involved. The Student Activities Coordinator, Walter Sologiastoa thinks that spirit is key to having a good school. “I think all the grades are spirited, but overall spirit has a lot to do with this year’s senior class. They are something to look up to. It’s not as much as a competition anymore.” When you think of Rummel and Jesuit, you think of pure school spirit when it comes to sporting events, but with schools like Riverdale, spirit is not the first thing that comes to mind. Jennifer Hill, a junior at Riverdale High School said, “Spirit at my school is extremely high. When we have a game, the stands are totally filled and we really stand out.” Jonny Fitzjarrell, class of 2002, was the Vice President of School spirit and on the cheerleading team while at King. “My senior class had a different kind of spirit. We always went away from tradition and did our own thing. We had a ‘senior couch,’ where at each pep rally, three or four of the most spirited seniors were chosen to sit on the
couch and have a front row view of the pep rally,” Fitzjarrell said. Curtis Sibley, q Many of the students that are spirited uarterback, breaks fo also go to dances. The most popular r the dances of the year are Homecoming and end zone durin g th Winter Formal, though in Fitzjarrell’s Newman game e o n year, the most popular were the Back to Sept. 10. The Fi ghting School and Sadie Hawkins dance. Irish lost to the New “We had themed dances, and it was man Greenies b ya so fun because everyone had some sort score of 42 to 12 of costume,” said Fitzjarrell. Grace King . has not had any sort of “themed” dances since that year. With the return of Spirit Points, spirit is expected to become important once again at King. These points are awarded to each grade, depend on how many students from that particular grade attend a sporting event. The points will be combined at the end of each month and put in the Spirit category at that month’s pep rally. up Sologiastoa said, “We want everyone to be During a gro n a h ro involved, and we are really trying to include activity in S logy I the more academic based students with spirit io Johnston’s B familactivities.” ts n e d u st class, The main thing that pulls students together at lves with se m e th iarize King is the spirit we all have. No matter if we win s during microscope or lose our sports, or if we are one of the smartest a lab. schools in the district, King will always have spirit as a backbone.
defines a school?
The Ba c pep ra k to School l in the ly was held g 3. The ym on Sept s “0-1-1 eniors chan . !” t t spirit f o show their or t schoo he new l year.
Athletes play hard to get into spotlight By Sean McGuire Sports Editor
Every high school has its own sport that unites its student body. Whether it is baseball, basketball or football, an underlying sport can maintain a high school’s spirit and unity. Although King is not known for doing well in sports, a team’s success can be seen through the halls of King. “To make a well rounded school you need a balanced emphasis on sports, academics and other activities,” head baseball coach Bobby Ledoux said. “If one of these three goes down, the other two will suffer all the same.” Whether a sports team here at King is successful or not, the overall morale of the student body is affected. “If a team wins or has a good game, the next day at school you can hear everyone talking about it,” senior football player Carlos Gindi said. “The atmosphere at school is different on those days.” King sports and spirit are a two way street. If a team does well, more students are attracted and spirited. Conversely, if the students are more spirited then the players tend to perform on a higher
level from the support. Having a sports team that represents King gives students and teachers something to cheer for. Regardless of whether students think the team will win or not they still show support by painting their bodies, making spirit signs, and tailgating in hopes to raise the players self-confidence as well as have a good time. Along with positively affecting the players, this unifies students as one, bringing them together as a school. Senior volleyball player Maddie Clarke said, “Success within a sport gives the students something to be proud of and lets others know that we are competition to them, putting Grace King on the map for sports. Success gives me confidence on the court and brings the team together.” Being unified plays a major roll in the success of a team and seems to be a constant factor throughout King sports. Having a close bond within the team and coaches can play a big part in a successful season. Swim Coach Gerald Fischziur is Grace King’s Athletic Director. “I think our school is overall well rounded for a high school,” Fischtziur said. “Our school offers golf and swim team which many other schools don’t even offer. Anytime these teams have success, it brightens the outlook from everyone at school.” Being a school without a defining sport, King pulls together with a combination of spirit, sports and extracurricular activities to keep life within school alive.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Academics still a priority at King By Ryan Sartor Copy Editor
When someone hears the name of a high school, there is usually one thing about that school that stands out in the person’s mind. For some schools, such as St. Augustine High School, it’s the school band. Other schools put all their energy into a sports team, as Jesuit does for baseball or John Curtis does for its football team. Others still, like Benjamin Franklin High School for instance, are known as being home to a myriad of highly intelligent students. What do you feel defines Grace King as a school – its school spirit, its sports or its academics? Can King be defined by its academic achievements? Some may find that this is a difficult question to answer due to the large discrepancy between the low and high ends of its academic success. King has recently been placed in “School Improvement I,” a form of corrective action, due to its below-par GEE scores. An astonishing 54 percent of students who took the English portion of the exam last spring scored below the “Basic” level, well below the state average of 38 percent. Likewise, 45 percent of King students that took the Math portion of the test scored below “Basic,” as compared to the state average of 31 percent. y SanWhy then do students Juniors Cind niela a that have been accepted abria and D sing cu into schools that are more Castro are fo n “The o st clearly defined by and te ir on the as m o h T known for their academics, in ” le Crucib III sh li such as Haynes Academy g n E ’s n Curra . ss for Advanced Studies, la c r u fo k bloc choose to attend Grace King instead? For some, it is our strong academically based clubs. Our Mu Alpha Theta team has accumulated a plethora of awards over the years in every category of competition. Our Irish Eyes newspaper has also been nationally recognized by a number of organizations, including the Quill and Scroll National Honors Society and the Scholastic Press Association. Students may also be attracted by our expansive catalog of Advanced Placement (AP) classes. King has the largest AP program in Jefferson Parish, and the second largest in the state. King offers over a dozen of the 30 existing Advanced Placement courses, including Biology, Calculus AB, Psychology and Art History. Furthermore, most of those that it does not can be taken as an “Independent Projects” class with a College Board-approved syllabus written by gifted social studies teacher Kirk Steen. Although King may have an advantage over other schools in terms of AP courses offered, schools like Benjamin Franklin exceed King in important ways that apply to a wider base of students. For example, Benjamin Franklin offers courses in Latin and German in addition to Spanish and French, in contrast to King’s only two foreign languages and fewer teachers. Sophomore David Dobie, who previously attended Haynes Academy but quit to go to King, had an alternative reason. “There was so much pressure put on us there,“ Dobie said. “I just wanted to be a normal kid.” While King may not be the best high school academically, it offers a balanced high school experience more valuable to teens’ development than pure education alone.
What defines a school?