The BluePrint - Volume 13, Issue 2

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Issue 2 Volume 13 Nov. 15, 2017 Hagerty High School Oviedo, Florida

SENIORS TRUMP JUNIORS The seniors defeated the juniors in the 12th annual powderpuff game. The final score was 12-8. page 8 Gabrielle Mathre, 12










Six-day Party MONDAY






Design by Sydney Crouch, Melissa Donovan and Ahilyn Aguilar

Replaying history


Staff Reporter

n the Annex, a simple room with two tiny bedrooms and a bathroom, everyone enjoys their strawberries for the first time in over a year, feasting on the fruits and laughing in a hearty mood without a care in the world. With World War II approaching, relief washed over those staying in the make-shift home, until there was a knock on the door. The door is flung open, and the Nazis marched in, taking hostage of the Jews in the cramped space. Among those captured was 13-year-old Anne Frank, played by junior Emily Canamella. Showcasing from Oct. 26-28, the drama department presented “The Diary of Anne Frank,” newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman. The play is about a Jewish girl, Anne Frank, who goes into hiding with her father Otto Frank, played by junior Vangelli Tsompanidis, her mother Edith Frank, played by junior Abby Wilhelm, and her sister Margot Frank, played by freshman Kelsey Curley. Hiding with them are the van Daans, played by junior Logan Reynolds, junior Cassidy Smith, and sophomore Adam Johnson, and Mr. Dussel, played by sophomore Jake Lippman. The play portrays what Anne Frank went through and what she witnessed while hiding. Writing everything down in her diary, Anne Frank reveals the persecution she and her family faced during World War II and describes the horrors of war she heard outside “the Annex.” “It was an honor to play such an important person and an amazing character,” Canamella said. “Especially because she was a real person that had to go through the horrible things portrayed


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Drama department showcases “The Diary of Anne Frank,” bringing adapted play to life Sarah Dreyer

This year’s homecoming was Mardi Gras themed and had dress-up days from Frat Tuesday to Duck Calls and Overalls, representing the southern culture where the celebration came from. Outside of the school day events like powder puff, the talent show and Paws on the Wall allowed students to enjoy the week leading up to the game and parade on Friday and the dance on Saturday. To see stories, photo galleries and this interactive graphic, go to www.

COMING TO LIFE In the production of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” actors recreate the scene of the celebration of Chaunaka, lighting the menorah and handing out gifts during war. photo by Katie McClellan

on stage.” “It was my favorite role I’ve ever played in,” Tsompanidis said. “It was a show I walked into not expecting it to be what it was and as rehearsals went on, I ended up falling in love with the stories and the characters.” He also said how by playing Otto Frank, he taught him how to be a better person and how “he almost felt real in him.” For the role, Tsompanidis had to grow a beard to get into character. Curley, playing Margo Frank, thought it to be “kind of scary” because of the pressure to do justice to Margot’s character. To prepare for the role of Margot Frank, Curley had to do character analysis, including reading the actual diary and searching on the internet to see what historians thought of her character. The actors may have been a major part of the play, however, the construction of “the Annex” was one major factor of making the play what it was. To read the rest of the story, visit

MARC POOLER NAMED TEACHER OF THE YEAR Marc Pooler’s hard work and entertaining personality pays off, making him teacher of the year. To find out more about how he was chosen for the award, check out the story at STUDENTS PREPARE FOR REFLECTIONS ART SHOW Last year junior Da’Zhaun Hicks won big in PTA Reflections Program. To find out prompts, submission dates and other details about this year’s contest, check out



H Factor puts talent mix on display Sydney Crouch


Staff Reporter he H Factor’s second place winner, Kara Brizendine, performed an act with a twist. She used the talent show as a platform to creatively expose the audience to a genre of music not commonly chosen by students: musical theatre. She performed “Miss Marmelstein” from the musical “I Can Get it For You Wholesale,” which combined singing and acting in one enjoyable comedic performance. “I was excited to perform for an audience who might not be very familiar with songs that aren’t pop or on the radio,” Brizendine said. The school’s annual talent show, the H Factor, included singing, dancing and acting. These performances were not only a form of entertainment for audiences, however. They held deeper meaning for each performer. Within the wide variety of talent, the acts had a valuable purpose. This is part of why the show was created: to give students an opportunity to come together and express their talents to an audience as well as venture out of their comfort zone. “The show highlights Hagerty’s many talented students, many of whom do not have time in their schedules to take part in one of our fine arts classes.” TV Production teacher Donna Parker said. Not only did they get a chance to perform for friends and family, they were able to compete for a prize. First place winners Dorian Beaupierre and Bakari Broadus worked together to put on an emotional performance after five years of dancing with one another. Because this is their last year together in high school, they wanted to go out with a bang. “It was very heartwarming to know that we won first place,” Broadus said. “There is a huge meaning behind the dance.” “We’ve been waiting for this moment since the last show we did together,” Beaupierre said, “Being on stage with him makes everything a million times better.” The audience was a part of the show just as much as the performers were. Audience

Seniors Sydney Fouche and Ezequial Almonte hosted the show with humorous commentary between performers. COMEDIC COMMENTARY

DAZZLING DANCING Freshman Fallon Chap-

man performs a dance routine, winning third place.

DYNAMIC DUO Five-year dance partners participate in a breathtaking performance. Dorian Beaupierre and Bakari Broadus won first place for this routine. photo by Shayne Watson

members clapped along to singers, for example, to show their support. “It’s always fun getting verbal input from the crowd during a performance,” Beaupierre said. This input is what strengthened the emotional aspect of the show and brought everyone closer as they enjoyed the performances. While the judges decided the winners of the show, the house lights went up, and hosts Sydney Fouche and Ezequial Almonte chose audience members to display their own talents.

club corner

by Sarah Dreyer

JROTC SALUTES VETERANS IN SCHOOL CEREMONY Between Nov. 6 and 12, the JROTC cadets held events to thank veterans for their service. During school hours, two cadets held rifles in the front of the school, guarding all the state flags and the American flag. Cadets traded off rifles during the end of each period, taking turns guarding the flags to show their appreciation for those who have served. On Wednesday, Nov. 8, the band and cadets teamed up and performed the raising of the American flag, Prisoners of War flag, and the state flag. The band played the national anthem, while the Honor Guard raised the flags. Behind the Honor Guard were four other cadets holding rifles, guarding the Honor Guard and the flags. Col. Calvin Wimbish and 1st Sgt. Jose Vazquez, along with other staff and faculty who had served in the military, were also present. PRE-MED CLUB EXPLORES MEDICAL FIELD Every second Monday of the month, the Pre-Med club meets in sponsor Jennifer Thomas’ room, in 7-122. The club exposes members to careers in the medical field, and every month a speaker comes and discusses their profession in the medical field. Their goal is to help people in the community with diseases and raise money for them. They also raise money for different organizations, like Talia’s Legacy, a cancer organization. Their next organization to help raise money for is Rise Against Hunger for next semester. The International Medical Outreach Club from UCF will present guest speakers for the next meeting. CELEBRATING JAPANESE CULTURE WATCHING ANIME Meeting in teacher Christina Slick’s room, the Anime Club celebrates Japan’s culture. Watching anime every Tuesday, the club enjoys the classic Japanese cartoons. After watching anime, they vote for which anime to watch next week. Last time Anime Club met, they watched “Mirai Nikki”, or “Future Diary”, which is about 12 people fighting to become a God. The club meets every Tuesday in room 3-222 after school. “It’s a constructive environment where everyone can hang out,” senior Preston Joyner said.


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The hosts also introduced each act and entertained the audience while switching gears. This comedic duo worked to keep things running smoothly throughout the show. Coordinated by Parker and TV Production, the H Factor brought a sense of pride to those who participated in the show and the friends and family surrounding them. “It was a great experience, all of the contestants were very supportive. I’m so thankful to have placed at all,” Brizendine said.

MEANINGFUL MUSIC Senior Kara Brizendine

performs a musical theater piece, “Miss Marmelstien” from “I Can Get it For You Wholesale,” winning second place.

Jannotti wins Hispanic Heritage Award Sarah Dreyer


Staff Reporter

n Monday Oct. 30, science teacher Dr. Romina Jannotti earned the Hispanic Heritage Award for her “Excellence in Education.” The award was sponsored by Volunteer Florida, a non-profit organization, Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott. Jannotti was recognized at Scott’s mansion during the annual Hispanic Heritage Month reception. Every September, the current governor begins the nomination process which results in three teaching awards and six student awards. In the elementary, middle and high school levels, students are given an opportunity to participate in an essay and art competition. Teachers are nominated by student essays, and Jannotti was the state’s high school winner. “It was a surreal experience,” Jannotti said. “I wasn’t expecting to get the award.” Jannotti came to America as an immigrant who could not speak English, and the award has made the self-educated teacher reflect on how far she has come and the people she has impacted. One of the reasons she teaches, and a reason she won the award, is because she is “able to share her education with everybody else,” and because of this, many of her students are in the science industry holding high-paying jobs.

Former student Aadit Vyas took the time to nominate her for the Hispanic Heritage Award. “It was his nomination and what he said about me that I think did the trick,” Jannotti said. Jannotti especially works to empower women and students of color, opening doors for groups who do not traditionally have as much opportunity in science-related fields. “When I work, I always try to do my best,” Jannotti said.

AHEAD OF THE GAME Science teacher Romina Jannotti poses with Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Anne Scott. Jannotti won the Excellence in Education Award for high school teachers across Florida.




Step up and speak up

blue print



ach year more than 321,00 people, age 12 and older, become victims of rape and sexual assault in the United States. However, according to the Department of Justice, only 344 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. Sexual assault has always been an issue, and even though it is a hard topic to discuss, the time to end the silence is here. On Oct. 5, the media’s attention was set on film producer Harvey Weinstein, who was accused of sexual assault by actress Ashley Judd in a New York Times story. Judd’s story inspired 60 women to come out and share their stories, making the topic into a media spotlight. As October continued, public cases of actors and actresses being sexually assaulted hit the news every day, not only bringing light into molestation but also issues like non-consensual exposés. When actress Ellen Page charged director Brett Ratner for outing her as “gay” as a teenager, and actor Anthony Edwards blamed producer Gary Goddard for sexually assaulting him “for years,” among many others, the public started realizing the magnitude of the issue. Politics has not been immune either; this week, Alabama’s Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of sexual abuse by two women, including Beverly Nelson, one of Moore’s most seen acquaintances. This issue is connected with public figures, but, everyone is vulnerable. These occurrences do happen locally, with family, significant others or even adults connected with the school system. In a study conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it was determined that in cases of sexual abuse, it is 93 percent probable that the victim has some connection with the abuser. The study also determined that 59 percent of these abusers are the victim’s acquaintance. The more attention sexual assaults get, the harder it becomes to ignore the topic. Sexual misconducts cases are not rare, instead, they are an issue that it is seen too often. However, by not making it an isolated issue, the stigma of saying something is disappearing with every case that comes to light. So, what’s our play in all of this? First, we must recognize that sexual assaults do happen, and it happens too often. Second, people need to speak up, whether for themself or for someone they know, even if they are just an acquaintance. Finally, do not discredit victims just because the issue has developed into a media trend. We must remember that there is safety in numbers and it might take a flood of similar stories for an individual to tell their story. So, accept the issue and be part of the solution.

Hagerty High School 3225 Lockwood Blvd. Oviedo, FL 32765 Phone: (407) 871-0750 Fax: (407) 871-0817

The BluePrint is a student-produced newspaper in which the student editors make all content decisions. The newspaper belongs to the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, the National Scholastic Press Association and the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Opinions expressed within the newspaper do not represent the staff’s views as a whole (except for Our Take), the views of Seminole County Public Schools or Hagerty High’s administration and staff. For information about advertising in the paper, please contact us via one of the above methods. We reserve the right to reject any advertisement.

Editor-in-Chief Ahilyn Aguilar Managing Editor Melissa Donovan Sports Editor Michael Gibson News Editor Emily Cosio Opinions Editor Katarina Harrison Business Manger Melissa Donovan

Online Editor Bryson Turner Staff Reporters Sydney Crouch Sarah Dreyer Noah Kemper Jessica Maldonado Tara Routie Adviser Brit Taylor Principal Dr. Mary Williams

Tests testing our patience Emily Cosio News Editor


onday - Physics test, Tuesday - math midterm, Wednesday- English exams, and the week continues to follow this pattern. This repeats throughout the year. As the year continues to drag on, the classes get harder and time seems to be disappearing. But tests always seem to be happening, as if teachers, the state and College Board had diabolically planned to ruin the lives of their students. In the perfect school, teachers would find a balance between tests and points. They should give students the whole quarter to earn as many points as possible before a test comes around and kills their grade. If a test is worth 100 points, students should be given the opportunity to earn 100 points by doing classwork and homework. An imbalance in the gradebook gives unfair advantages to those students who are great at test taking, leaving behind the students who may struggle. But teachers can be set in their ways, which is not always a bad thing, but giving work to students will help them on the test. Some teachers may give five point worksheets once or twice a week, and then they give 100 point tests. Even if a student does all of their work and studies throughout the quarter, their grade is in the hands of a single test. There are too many factors that could go wrong on a test day that would make it unfair for a test to be heavily weighted. Students may be exhausted from the sport or club they are involved in, or a student may feel extremely sick that day. When deciding how many points a single test should be worth, it would be nice for teachers to consider these factors to make Skyward equal in points. Not just everyday tests have this problem, the quarter exams at the end of the year are also detrimental. The most devastating feeling in school is watching a hard earned 86 percent in the class drop to a 76 because of a bad quarter exam grade. Students put

hours into their work for 9 weeks, but a test worth 20 percent can make that time and energy fade away. The pressure that the school puts on students to get perfect grades makes the stress even worse as good grades crumble. When teachers give heavily weighted tests, they are favoring those students who are better test takers than those students who do not perform well under pressure. Testing environments, the silent and drab classrooms, can be extremely uncomfortable for some students. Accommodations should be made for those students who may get testing anxiety. Poor test takers often have to stare at a difficult question for what feels like an eternity while the idea of their grade dropping 30 points flashes through their mind. Sometimes they are forced to leave half of a test blank because they are too worried about their answer to question six to keep working. A poor test taker can easily crumble under the stress and forget the answer to a simple question. Students can get so worried about how a single test will destroy a grade that they spend the entire test calculating the minimum score needed to keep their grade afloat. Good test takers are rare, so most students have to struggle with testing. Most students would agree that the best solution would be to get rid of tests all together. But in reality this is not the answer. Teachers argue that tests help students prepare for college. Although grades in college are composed of just tests, it is supposed to be preparing students for the real world. The majority of careers that students go into are not testing their employees on a daily basis. Tests are not preparing students for life after graduation. While assessments are needed to test the knowledge of students, tests can be made in a way that would cause less stress for students. Better testing environments would put students on a more equal level. It is very difficult for students to go through the same routine of school when dreaded tests are always are around the corner. Adding pressure for students who cannot handle can be extremely unfair, especially when tests are as important as they are.

Do some research: Twitter trauma unneeded Tara Routie


Staff Reporter

n October, President Trump was accused of disrespecting a deceased soldier’s family during his phone call with the widow, and regardless of whose side you are on, we will never know what actually happened unless the phone call is released. That did not stop the topic from blowing up on Twitter though. While one side accused Trump of being insensitive, the other side thought that nothing went wrong with the phone call, and this whole ordeal was blown out of proportion.

Tweeting right after an event is the equivalent of writing a research paper for English, but without the research. Tweets should go through the drafting process; people are so quick to jump into an argument about something they don’t even know. It is so common to see people commenting about politics or some other controversial topic on social media. Many people love to go to twitter to express their opinions in 280 characters and meet some people who share the same opinion, or argue with the other side. Twitter is one of the easiest social media outlets to use for opinions since it is easy and very public. While scrolling through the tweets commenting on Trump disrespecting a soldier’s family, you begin to think that they are right, or wrong, for calling it absurd or corrupt. So you decide to tweet about the situation, without looking up any facts, and you decide to voice your strong opinion on something you haven’t even researched. Is this really your opinion? Countless tweets swarm Twitter about Trump and the White House. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, many feel the need to constantly comment on his actions. Trump is far from a saint, but I whenever I see these tweets, I


Barking Mad is a collection of short submissions about things that tick students off around school. If something at school makes you mad, go to and submit your entry to Ask the Editor, and it may be featured here.

always stop and question if the person tweeting actually looked into it, or if they saw a bunch of angry tweets on their time line and decided to join the fun. Before you start complaining about my view

politics and are not afraid to voice their opinions, which is a good thing. We are the ones who are going to take over and run the country, so it is important for us to be aware and understand what is going on. I have seen so many insightful tweets about today’s world from teenagers, and it is great that teens are taking the initiative to get involved in situations that they will eventually have to deal with. There comes a point, however, where opinionated tweets from a teen, or adult, who doesn’t know anything about the topic become annoying. Before you tweet or voice your opinion about an important topic, conduct some research. If you feel passionate about a topic and want to comment, go for it. Make your opinion valid and insightful, however. Most adults already do not us seriously, so by tweeting something accurate on twitter, not every opinionated tweet is wrong. and intuitive, maybe it is possible that adults will Many are valid, and everyone has the right to take our opinions seriously, and not pass us off as speak. One of the main points of Twitter is to be some teenager who is speaking mindlessly. able to communicate ideas and opinions on one platform. In fact, Twitter is a great place to engage in conversations about important subjects, yet it people voice their opinion mindlessly about a topic they know little about. Today’s teenagers are very involved in

“I would change the tardy policy, I would focus on other things instead of making the tardy policy stricter.” - Brody Ruff, 11 “I don’t like how a lot of people can get away with wearing certain things.” - Jocelyn Rivera, 12 “I would love if we could be released earlier.” - Yarivelis Cintron, 10 “Definitely how early school starts.” - Serenity Anderson, 11

“I would change the amount of homework because there are so many clubs I want to join but way too much homework to do.” - Laila Viator, 9 “I hate how some kids can be so annoying.” - Lexi Groenick, 11 “I’m graduating so at this point I don’t care, but when I was an underclassmen I used to hate how rude people can be sometimes.” - Sydney Fouche, 12

“If I could change one thing it would be to have more pep rallies.” - Nazli Castro, 10 “I love this school but the thing I would change is to having breaks on Wednesdays too.” - Jessica Odimegwu, 9 “I wish we had more school spirit.” - Andrea Lemus, 11 “I guess I hate how every time I go into the bathroom it’s always a mess.” - Ryan Pate, 12



NOT ALWAYS BLACK AND WHITE Katarina Harrison Opinions Editor


iscrimination is a powerful word, one that can cause as much division as it describes. On local and national scales, it permeates discussions, and people on both sides argue with passion over whether or not it still exists today, in what amount, and what forms it exists in. In such turbulent times, many students are driven to reflect on their own community and the way it handles discrimination in different forms, including racism, sexism and homophobia. While local attitudes toward race might have little impact on the nation as a whole, they can have a large effect on the day to day life of any student. Students spend most of their time in school, and even their out of school interactions are shaped by the relationships and tasks formed and assigned inside of school hours. Positive and negative interactions within school can shape a student’s perception of themselves and the world as a whole. According to Carla Shedd, Associate Professor of Urban Education at CUNY Graduate Center, a person’s perception of inequality is shaped by their school environment, even into adulthood. In a circumstance that is so integral to a person’s perception of the world, it is important that equality and fairness are present within the school. Some students see the school as a fair environment. Laws preventing discrimination apply as much to schools as to the rest of the world, and while discrimination can still persist, major forms of it are forbidden under the threat of harsh punishments. School officials have the ability and responsibility to report any discrimination that they see. “They don’t try as hard as they should, but they have laws and rules set in place.” sophomore Breanna Chery said Chery is one of the students who believe that the school handles discrimination well. Despite minor infractions and occasional apathy, she has never felt or witnessed discrimination within the school. Others do not think the laws do enough to protect students. While willful and institutionalized discrimination are often forbidden, smaller and unrecognized forms may persist. “I see a lot of people being discriminated against,” Bullard said. “Not just color, but because of their sexuality, or because maybe they don’t have the lavish lifestyle everyone else has.” When senior Jasmine Sherfield talked to a guidance counselor about college, it was not advice that she walked away remembering. Instead, she remembered the way her guidance counselor had reacted when she brought up the possibility of private college. The guidance counselor, who was meant to help Sherfield make decisions to achieve her goals, instead dismissed the idea as unlikely, and brushed away the possibility. One of the most persistent forms of discrimination can be seen in the way students treat other students, and the subsequent reactions of administration and authority figures. For most of his freshman year, junior Shawn Tluzek was referred to as “black Shawn” by many of his peers, even though it annoyed him. One of his teachers, after finding out about the nickname, decided to

"I see a lot of people being discriminated against."

take part in it, rather than putting an end to it. “I kind of just had to get used to it,” Tluzek said This was not the only incident regarding race that Tluzek experienced. In his sophomore year, a boy compared Tluzek’s appearance to that of an ape, based solely on Tluzek’s race. Tluzek slammed the boy’s head into the wall, and faced two days of out-of-school suspension. The boy who insulted him faced no consequences for his remark. Although Tluzek admits that his own punishment was justified, he finds it unfair that the other students received no punishment for his comment. Discrimination is not solely based on race. Gender, sexual preference and other characteristics can lead to students being and feeling discriminated against. For junior X’zaria Bullard, her sexuality led to a confrontation with a teacher. “[She] basically yelled at me because somebody that she knew and was very close with is gay, just as well as I am.” Bullard said. “She thought that was a sin, that I was going to hell, and that I was a bad person because of it.” Bullard’s race has also cause her to feel discriminated against. Because of her grammar and the way she speaks, she has at times been called “not black enough.” Others with different perspectives may call her “too black”. Despite instances like this within the school, discrimination remains remote to some students. Like Chery, junior Lokelani Grunwald believes the various clubs and organizations within the school have helped keep discrimination to a minimum. Although Sherfield agrees that clubs, activities and interactions between students of different groups can help decrease discrimination, she ultimately believes that discrimination is inevitable and that the way people are raised causes the discrimination within the school “I don’t think you can stop that. It’s just how people were raised,” Sherfield said. “Maybe if they were reprimanded more than they would see something’s wrong with their actions.” Unlike Sherfield, Bullard believes that discrimination can be solved, if properly addressed. Through education and discussion about discrimination, she believes the problems can disappear. Meetings, seminars and fundraisers were just a few of the ideas she had. “I don’t think that sometimes they know that the things that they’re saying are wrong. They think they’re funny, but it actually does hurt,” Bullard said. Many of these solutions are beyond the student level, but students still have the power to stop themselves and those closest to them from hurting other people. With 86 percent of students who have witnessed discrimination claiming that it came from other students rather than authority figures, students have the true power in the school to end discrimination. Although in many ways the school has avoided the violence and hateful rhetoric that defines the nation at this time, there is always more that can be done to help those who feel unsafe in the school environment.

"I don't think that sometimes they know that the things that they're saying are wrong."

Do you feel discrimina exists he

respondents could more than one a

How well does Hagerty handle discrimination?



From the survey comments section...




“I haven’t seen it.”

“Kids make gender and racist jokes.”






“Even though I have witnessed certain things that can and need to be improved, I feel that this school is good overall.”

“There’s this kid that shows me very racist and rather unfunny ‘memes’.”

“Discrimination isn’t handled well.”

“(It’s) mainly (an) Teachers do n

“It’s just high school.”

“Hagerty do or dealing w personally n

“The dress code is what I felt discriminated for... it was only aga the girls.”




have not seen nor witnessed discrimination

l that ation ere?

36% have not seen

nor witnessed discrimination

nor witnessed discrimination



have not seen nor witnessed discrimination


47% have witnessed

d choose answer



have witnessed discrimination

have witnessed discrimination

22% have personally experienced discrimination


have personally experienced discrimination

Design by Katarina Harrison, Emily Cosio and Ahilyn Aguilar

oes a good job... of preventing with discrimination, and I’ve never seen or experienced it.”

From national studies on discrimination (Pew Research from 2016)

56% have witnessed discrimination


) issue with students. not discriminate.”


38% have not seen

have personally experienced discrimination

38% have personally experienced discrimination

ABOUT THIS SURVEY 245 students answered a nine-question Survey Monkey poll. Staff members solicited responses through several classroom teachers as well as the school journalism Twitter account, @hagertyjourn

About half of Hispanics in the U.S. (52%) say they have experienced discrimination or have been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity. At Hagerty, less than a third (30%) say the same.

A majority of blacks (71%) say that they have experienced discrimination or been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity. At Hagerty, 37% report experiencing discrimination.



Storm surge

lifestyles Transfer students from Puerto Rico deal with life after Hurricane Maria

Florida school districts have enrolled more than


STARTING OVER Junior Claudia Montes gets help from Spanish teacher Nitza Ariza. Montes arrived on Oct. 6 and officially moved in on Oct. 14.

displaced students from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

Since Oct. 3 more than


people have arrived in Florida from Puerto Rico through Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport and Port Everglades. all statistics from

50 percent

GETTING TO IT Junior Rodrigo Alamo works on his Spanish assignment. Alamo adapted quickly to the change because he used to attend a public school. photos by Michael Gibson

Ahilyn Aguilar


Editor-in-Chief After Maria hit Puerto Rico as a category 4 hurricane, junior Rodrigo Alamo was stuck in a neighborhood filled with fallen light poles and debris in his hometown Aguadilla. Even after Maria’s landfall, things were going okay for Alamo since unlike most Puerto Ricans, his family had a generator. However, after a few days, the generator started failing, and without resources or power and a flooded house, Alamo and his family knew their only option was to move out of the island. Since his mom works alongside U.S. Customs, a flight was offered to Alamo’s family and they were forced to choose between moving to the United States or to stay in Puerto Rico. Feeling like there was no other option, Alamo and his family decided that it was best for them to move to Florida, arriving in late September. “It sucked because I did not have any time to say goodbye to my family or my friends,” Alamo said. “It was something I had to do for myself, I just had to get out.” Like Alamo, juniors Alannis Algarin and Claudia Montes were also was forced to leave family and friends without saying goodbye due to the hurricane. All three families plan on going back to Puerto Rico to visit during the summer. Algarin will visit her grandmother and Montes, her father, who both stayed in Puerto Rico because of their jobs. “Living without him has been weird because we are not used to being apart from each other,”

of the island still has no electricity or has been living off a generator. Montes said. Both Algarin and Montes, who lived in the countryside of Puerto Rico in Carolina, witnessed their neighborhood get destroyed, leaving no trees and covering the entire area with mud. “I found out I had neighbors uphill I did not know I had since all the trees were gone,” Algarin said. Seeing the extended damage, Algarin’s mom decided it was best for them to leave the island. At first, the plan was not to leave Puerto Rico permanently, however, after her mom talked to family and friends, she decided that moving to Florida was their best option. For Algarin’s best friend, Montes, the reason why her family decided to move had to do more with the resources than the living conditions. Since basic necessities were hard to find, and food as well as water were contaminated because of the damage, Montes, her brother and mom decided to move out of Carolina. Forced to leave Puerto Rico because of the conditions, Alamo, Algarin and Montes have struggled during the transferring process. The first week, Algarin and Alamos had to stay in relatives’ houses and hotels while their family looked for an apartment. After settling, Algarin and Montes’ families had problems with transportation since they could not bring their cars with them. This caused Montes’ mom to rent one temporarily until their cars get shipped from Puerto Rico. “My mom has been frustrated about how to get around,” Algarin said. Starting school in the middle of the first

semester has been another struggle for all three. For Montes and Alamos, their biggest struggle has been to get a sense of how things work when it comes to making friends and getting involved. However, for Algarin, altering her daily routine has been the hardest change. “I’m not used to coming back to the apartment, [doing] homework and [being] done for the day,” Algarin said. “Back home I used to be in different clubs, dance and hang out with my friends. It’s all so different now.” Back in Puerto Rico, Algarin and Montes attended the same school. Since it was private, the school had a low number of students and classes had a maximum of 16 students. But, now in a public school, Algarin and Montes have new electives, move classrooms and deal with more students in one class. Alamo has adjusted better since he has moved twice before and used to attend a public school in Puerto Rico. Even though Alamo and his family had to use a GPS to get around for the first couple of weeks, they adapted to the change quickly. “Honestly, it already feels like we never even left Puerto Rico,” Alamo said. “It feels like we have been here the entire time.” Though the change has been different for each, all maintain a positive attitude. Both Algarin and Alamo see it as a new opportunity to succeed. They the change as a sacrifice they had to make in order to heir future better. “I did not want to move at first,” Alamo said. “But looking long-term, it was the best decision I could have made for my future and my wellbeing.”

Original Opinions The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Netflix: ***** “The Meyerowitz Stories” is a series of interconnected vignettes about a family, reconnecting after certain events force them to reunite. The film focuses on stepbrothers Danny (Adam Sandler) and Matthew (Ben Stiller), whose lives have led to different paths. Both Stiller and Sandler give amazing performances that balance drama and comedy. Each member of the family has at least one laugh-out-loud moment, but Meyerowitz patriarch, Harold (Dustin Hoffman) easily gets the most. The Meyerowitz Stories is a funny, relatable, yet moving look into the life of a dysfunctional family. 1922 Netflix: **** The fourth adaptation of a Stephen King work released this year, “1922” is about Wilfred James (Thomas Jane), a Nebraskan farmer that murdered his wife, Arlette (Molly Parker), who is convinced her soul is haunting him. Most of the film is spent without dialogue, so all the viewer has are eerie and, at times, horrifying visuals that match the haunting score by Mike Patton. Jane turns in a respectable performance, highlighted by his spot-on Southern accent and some incredibly nuanced facial expressions. “1922” is a chilling film that explores the concept of choice and guilt while wrapped in an eerie package that any horror fan would enjoy. Alias Grace Netflix: *****

Before the beginning of each episode, “Alias Grace” quotes Gothic authors like Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Edgar Allen Poe. These serve as great preparation, and this Canadian miniseries based on the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, has a feel to it that is similar to their work. Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) is being interviewed by Dr. Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft) to see if she should be released from prison 30 years after she was convicted for the murder of Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross). The ordeal of Marks’ life is compelling from beginning to end, yet, despite different viewpoints, her nature remains a mystery, thanks to a masterful performance from Gadon. Alias Grace succeeds in keeping its audience guessing through six episodes that are not only an excellent story, but also keep its audience guessing even after the final credits roll.



A football life Pop Warner experience serves as varsity training

Bryson Turner


Online Editor .J. McCunney remembers his first touchdown in Sam Momary Stadium. It happened in 2009 under the August morning sun, during his first ever game in the Pop Warner program, with the young Tiny Mites, against Celebration. The ball was snapped, the play, a quarterback sneak. McCunney received the ball from the center and rammed his way into the end zone for the first time. “It was a different feeling from a sport than I’ve ever had before,” McCunney said. “I had my strikeouts and my big hits in baseball, but it was just so different to me. It meant more.” McCunney, coming off the field after the game, was embraced by his father Jim McCunney, a big source of motivation as well as a coach for his son in Pop Warner, the largest youth football program in the nation. “Football is the ultimate team sport,” Jim said. “Everyone has to do their job well for one single play to work.” McCunney went through the program playing a variety of positions, learning the many different facets of the game, including the importance of being there for his team. “[During] Midget year, I got my arm knocked out of socket after being hit and my team needed me,” McCunney said. “So, I went to the trainer, she popped it back in and the next play I threw a touchdown pass to my friend Trent Redding.” McCunney has only recently joined Redding on varsity, finally realizing the dream they had about playing on the team together. “It’s been a feeling that we’ve always wanted as kids, we always talked about the high school team and what it’s going to be like when we’re up there,” McCunney said. “It came to us a little earlier than we expected.” Forty-seven percent of Pop Warner football players go on to play at the high school level, and one who desired to be a part of that figure was Caleb Lowe. After the McCunneys’ game ended that day, Lowe took the field with the Mitey Mites to begin his second Pop Warner season. His brother, AllSAC tight end and defensive end Kevin Lowe, watched from the bleachers, and he was ready to follow his example. “At the time [my brother] was playing high school football,” Lowe said. “He’d be tight end and defensive end of the county every year in a row and I just wanted to be like that.” It would not be easy though. Unlike some youth football leagues, Pop Warner sorts its team divisions based on weight, not age. While this does lead to a more level playing ground within the team, sometimes there would be a team that has a majority of larger players. Lowe’s time in Pop Warner was littered with instances where he and his team were not able to win, not for lack of talent, but due to being outmuscled by the competition. “I wasn’t that big of a kid. I was still in that mid-range and we were playing a lot of bigger teams,” Lowe said. “It was hard because I was so physically smaller and weaker.”

Despite this, Lowe and his teammates worked to become just as physically imposing as those kids. This would pay off as Lowe would go on to thrive playing at defensive end, where he proved his physicality by forcing and returning a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown against Wekiva during his season in the Unlimited level. He also played running back and wide receiver, a position he would go on to play on the varsity team. Years before the Wekiva fumble return, Lowe advanced with his Pee Wee team to a Pop Warner postseason event at the Citrus Bowl, where they beat Winter Park and University to win the tournament. Also on that team was Oviedo Pop Warner transfer Nik Wiggins. He and the team established the classic Pop Warner comradery immediately. According to, 65 percent of youth sports players participate to play with friends. “Our team was close together,” Wiggins said. “We all motivated each other to be the best that we could be.” Wiggins and Lowe played three years together in Pop Warner before entering high school, which Lowe thinks creates a special relationship between the two. “We have a connection on the field… like back at Pop Warner, because we know each other,” Lowe said. Wiggins spent most of his Pop Warner career being coached by his father, Ed. Coaches like Nik’s father, used the sport to teach the players discipline, and per, 85 percent of youth coaches are fathers coaching their own kids. However, this did little prevent some unruly behavior. Linebacker Jackson Scott recounts one certain incident with Coach Wiggins. “This one time, a few of my teammates thought it was a good idea to have a wrestling match during [a] water break, ” Scott said. “And when Coach Wiggins saw what was going on, we ran laps around the practice field for the last hour of practice.” Single instances aside, like McCunney and Redding, Wiggins and Scott have played together in youth football for a long time—10 years—which Scott believes to be an advantage on the field when it comes to trust. “[It] allows you to put all of your trust in them and believe in each other,” Scott said. “They’ll have your back which allows you to play to the best of your ability.” Many other players took part in Pop Warner and are now on the varsity team, continuing their journey playing the sport they love, but instead of playing Saturday mornings, it is now Friday nights. They all may have had different experiences, but they all started young in a program that allowed them to grow and appreciate the game for what it was, no matter who they were, and be themselves. “[Football] gives me a chance to be who I truly am, cause when you’re on the field it shows your true character,” McCunney said.

1 3 2


Ian Watts photo illustration by Bryson Turner

4 6 7

1: Wide receiver Caleb Lowe tries to avoid a Lake Mary defender during a preseason game on Aug. 18. photo by Chatham Farrell

2: Caleb Lowe avoids incoming Wekiva defenders during a game against them during his 8th grade year in Pop Warner in 2014. photo by Sharon Sheridan

3: Running back D.J. McCunney carries the ball against Lake Minneola in his second-ever varsity game on Oct.10. The team went on to win, 33-26. photo by Sharon Sheridan

4: Defensive back Nik Wiggins chases down a Lake Brantley ball carrier on Aug. 25. The team beat Lake Brantley, 22-12, to start the season at 1-0. photo by Chatham Farrell

5: D.J. McCunney breaks for the end zone during a Tiny Mite game against Lake Howell in 2009. photo provided by Jim McCunney

6: Nik Wiggins has his photo taken before his first game of the season at the Pee Wee level in 2011. photo provided by Edwin Wiggins

7: Linebacker Jackson Scott (22) runs out with the varsity team before a game at Oviedo on Sept. 7. The team lost the game, 48-27. photo by Chatham Farrell 8: Jackson Scott has his photo taken before a Tiny Mite Oviedo Pop Warner game in 2007. photo provided by Jackson Scott




Volleyball top four in state Michael Gibson


Sports Editor

his time last season, the girls volleyball team was trying to get to the final four, before falling short to Plant in a game that stuck in the minds of the returners. This season, after making short work of many of their opponents, the team faced Plant in a regional finals rematch, where they won 3-0 and advanced to the final four. The girls volleyball team made history with a third straight district championship and first-ever regional title. The team finished 21-3 overall, sweeping 19 of the 21 wins, 3-0. After another sweep against Plant in the regional finals, on Saturday, Nov. 1, the team advanced to the state final four where they lost to Leon 3-1. “We have been able to play together as a team,” middle Audrey Douglas said. “It has been fun because we have been successful and we have been rewarded for all of our hard work.” The team was able to win regionals this year, but last year was a different story. Due to the team’s record and alternating home sites in different years, they gained home-court advantage this season and they swept Plant, 3-0, off of a strong performance by hitter Sydney Conley who finished with nine kills. From the first set, both teams seemed even and the team was able to squeak by with a 2523 win. Using the momentum from the first set the team was able to go on a 4-1 run at the end of the second set to win, 25-22. Hitter Leandra Mangual, who did most of her damage in the first two sets, also had nine kills and 14 digs. The team was now up 2-0 in the match score and Plant started to crumble. Douglas and Conley barraged Plant with kills as the team won the third match 25-18, and ended Plant’s season. “[My favorite game] was definitely Plant because we had a huge crowd,” Mangual said. “It was a revenge game because they knocked us out of the playoffs last year.” Though the record made the season look smooth for the team, they had to deal with the absence of their head coach Juanita Hitt through the first few games because of medical issues. The team remained undefeated throughout her absence as assistant coach Sarah Jarem stepped up to coach the team.

“It’s been great to be able to come back and pick up where we left off when I was out,” Hitt said. “We worked on a few things and have focused on getting better each day.” Despite the changes, the team won a third straight district title by defeating Harmony, 3-0, whom they would sweep again in the regional semifinals. The district championship gave the team a lot of momentum and the hope of going to states for the first time. “We have several girls who can play and compete at a high level and that is huge for us,” Hitt said. “They bond great together on and off the court and they are just great all around kids.” The team is young this season, consisting of only three seniors and three juniors, including Mangual, hitter Morgan Romano and setter Corina Dos Santos, who are also team captains. Mangual leads the team in total kills with 207 and also in total digs with 273, while Dos Santos leads the team in total assists with 479. The team captains were also tasked with bringing the team together during the absence of Hitt. “Our captains have done a great job with team bonding,” Hitt said. After school the players would often hang out and they even had a Halloween party which all contributed to the chemistry of the team. The team’s only two losses of the regular season came to rival Oviedo, both times 3-1. Oviedo ranked first in 9A while Hagerty was ranked seventh in 8A. Oviedo was later eliminated from the playoffs, losing in the class 9A regional finals to West Orange. Even though the team lost both times to Oviedo, they believe they could beat them if they played them again. “Our team dynamic has improved a lot,” Mangual said. “Our passing is a lot better now too.” The team ended their season at the state final four in the loss to Leon. This team was the most successful in school history and is hoping for even more next season. The team will have nine confident returners who know what it takes to get to states. The returners are also looking forward to a potential fourth straight district title, what would be the longest streak of any sport in school history. “[This season] has meant a lot to me because it is the best team we’ve had in the last three years and this is the farthest we’ve gone,” Dos Santos said.

Seniors win Powderpuff

ON THE RUN Senior Megan Sweat runs past junior Jamie Nordahl in the powderpuff game on Nov. 1. The seniors won the game 12-8.

Tara Routie


Staff Reporter

he girls bring on their athletic ability and the boys bring out their peppiness. On Wed., Nov. 1, the annual powderpuff game was held as one of the evening activities during homecoming week. Juniors and seniors participated in the actual game, and the roles of a typical football game switched for one night. Many juniors and seniors love to participate and get involved since this is a once-a-year event. Senior Courtney O’Dea chose to participate since she could not last year. “I’m a very athletic person so playing powderpuff against the juniors was something [I’ve always] wanted to do,” O’Dea said. The juniors started off strong with a 20-yard catch on the first play of the game, followed by a 50-yard run by Julianne Souza. They soon took on an 8-0 lead with a five-yard touchdown

by Souza, but senior Rachel Robbins responded with a 22-yard run, and brought the score to 8-6 with juniors still in the lead. “Anytime I got the ball, all I thought to do was run because that is one of my biggest strengths and that is how I scored,” Souza said. The seniors had two turnovers in the second quarter, which prevented them from a possible touchdown. Robbins tried to score, but was unsuccessful, and the juniors still held the 8-6 lead over the seniors at halftime. “The original plan was to do a few more scoring passes,” Robbins said. “We had some really good wide receivers, but it didn’t turn out in our favor for this game.” While the girls were playing, the senior male cheerleaders led familiar cheers on the sidelines, such as the “Husky Rumble” and “Fight” cheers, as well as some other unique ones such as “Strawberry Shortcake” and “Dynamite.” The senior cheerleaders’ halftime performance included a mix of songs, like “Anaconda” and “We’re all in this Together.” Many students came out just to watch the cheerleaders, and a roar of cheers from the crowd were heard once the performance concluded. “[The cheerleaders] are always so fun to watch,” Souza said. After the legendary halftime performance concluded, seniors attempted to make a strong comeback and take the lead by rushing every play in order to wear down the junior’s defense line. The drove it to the 10-yard line, and Robbins scored her second touchdown of the night, giving them a 12-8 lead in the third quarter. As the game entered the fourth quarter, the juniors came up with a crucial second down stop while the seniors were on the 18-yard line, but they could not score in time, and the game ended with the seniors taking a 12-8 victory. Both Robbins and Souza were the only ones to score touchdowns for their team, respectively. “I had so much fun and I can’t wait for next year,” Souza said.


by the numbers Records Set •

Most wins: 21 • First ever regional title • Third straight district championship • First final four appearance • 19 sweeps (3-0 matches) • 14 game win streak

Season Leaders


Leandra Mangual - 273 Alina Carrillo - 211 Corina Dos Santos -173


Leandra Mangual - 207 Audrey Douglas - 197 Morgan Romano - 187


Corina Dos Santos - 479 Madison Coates - 309 Emily Lawrence - 85 Blocks

Corina Dos Santos, 11

Audrey Douglas - 35 Sydney Conley - 16 Cierra Gibson - 12

sports shorts

by Noah Kemper

SWIMMING COMPETES IN REGIONAL FINALS; DILULLO ADVANCES On Wednesday, Nov. 1, boys swimming competed at the O’Connell Center for the region championships, including the 200 freestyle relay team of sophomore Conall Crossan, freshman Samuel Perez, and seniors Joshua Clarke and Devin Bracci. Crossan and Perez also competed in 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke and the 200 individual medley. For the girls team, freshman Gina Dilullo advanced through regionals to the state meet, where she placed 13th in the 100 yard backstroke.

CROSS COUNTRY SENDS O’MALLEY TO STATES Through the season, both the boys and girls cross country teams ran for an opportunity at states. Both teams finished strong as the boys finished fifth place in conference and in districts, and finally finished seventh at regionals. On the other side, the girls finished fourth place in conference and districts and took eighth in regionals. Neither team qualified for states. Top runners at regionals included senior Maria Ball (19:48) and senior Garret O’Malley (16:17) who ran his fastest time of the season. O’Malley was 40th at the state finals on Nov. 11. “My favorite part about the team is the family atmosphere of the program and the energy of the runners,” coach Jay Getty said.

GIRLS BOWLING FINISHES SEASON AT STATE TOURNAMENT The girls bowling team qualified for the state championships as the 14th seed but lost to third-seeded Coral Springs in the first round and 11th-seeded Cambridge in the second, ending their season. The top bowler was junior Maya Paiva who bowled a 696 series. The boys bowling team finished fourth in the Seminole Athletic Conference with a record of 12-4. The team suffered two close losses against Oviedo, while the others came against Lyman and Crooms. Junior Logan Furlong led the way, bowling a match high 254 game. “My favorite part about bowling is our team, they are so positive, and supportive,” head coach Keith Coville said. “They win as a team, and they lose as a team.” The team fought through close games, including a 30 pin win against Lake Mary, and squeaking out game two of the season with a 13 pin victory.

BOYS GOLF TAKES FOURTH AT CONFERENCE The golf team was able to finish off the season with only three losses and finished fourth in conference, losing to Lake Mary and Winter Park. The team consisted of a small roster of golfers including seniors Aidan Kramer and Keaton Reidy, junior Marc Anthony, and freshman Hayden Turner. The team score for 18 holes in the conference championship was 303, with scores of 73, 76, 77, and 77. “The team came together toward the end of the season and they play their best when it counted,” head coach Brandi Malkovich said.

FOOTBALL FINISHES 7-3, BARELY MISSES STATE PLAYOFFS On Nov. 3, varsity football beat Timber Creek 14-12 to finish the season at 7-3. While a win seemed likely to earn the team a spot in the newly created FHSAA playoff system as the eighth seed in an eight-team tournament, when the scores were revealed on Sunday, both Hagerty and Edgewater were in the final spot with a 35.50 rating, and Edgewater advanced because of the win over Hagerty earlier in the season.