The BluePrint - Volume 5, Issue 2

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News bites Spirit wear cart: The spirit wear cart is in the front office until December 18. The cart is open for purchases from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You can also purchase items online at, then the select merchandise tab. Bright Futures applications: On January 4, American Government and Economics classes will be in computer labs for Bright Futures Applications. If you do not have a Gov or Econ class, contact your guidance counselor immediately. Driver’s education: Next semester’s driver’s education course will be held at Lyman and Winter Springs High Schools. The deadline to turn in the application form is January 15, 2010. The course is free. The classes will start on February 1. Get the application form online and turn it in to the front office. Senior privileges: The next senior privilege day will take place on January 27. The senior breakfast will take place during periods 1 and 2. Exam schedule: Exams will take place on January 19 through 21. Periods 1 and 4 will be on January 19. Periods 2 and 5 will be on January 20. Periods 3, 7, and 6 will be on January 21. Dismissal will be at 11:45 each day. School will be closed for students on January 22. Winter Dance Showcase: The dance team and dance classes will perform their Winter Dance Showcase on December 18. The showcase will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium.

Husky poll

Based on a survey of 322 randomly selected students compiled by Eileen Dombrowski graphic by jem mason


BackTalk: Students discuss pros and cons of adding more days to the school year.




Key Club grows beyond expecations. Members welcome new record-breaking numbers. volume 5 issue 2 december 16, 2009

Re-dressed for success Seminole County proposes new dress code for students Megan Amend


co-lifestyles editor ext school year will bring for students more than just new teachers and schedules; a new dress code will also be introduced. The Seminole County Public School Board plans to implement a new dress code policy that will take effect at the start of the 20102011 school year. “The board members feel our [dress code] is outdated and hasn’t been revised in several years,” Director of Secondary Education Walt Griffin said. “[We had an] overall concern that people didn’t know what our dress code was.” The Seminole County discipline committee created the new draft of the dress code. Members recognized that the current dress code differs between multiple schools and felt it should be consistent throughout the county. The new dress code places restrictions on some apparel that is currently allowed and also gives schools the option to require uniforms. According to the draft, shirts must either have a collar or sleeves. Shorts, skirts and dresses will be required to extend to the mid-thigh. “This is a compromise between a strict uniform and the dress code we have had [in the past],” school board chairman Dede Schaffner said. The discipline committee also wants the new policy to be easier to follow and to enforce. For inspiration, the discipline committee turned to dress code policies from five other districts and used the parts that would be practical and enforceable. In the current student code of conduct, a matrix illustrates consequences for any student misdemeanor. The consequences

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news....................2 lifestyles..............5 middle.................8 opinions.............10 sports.................13


photo by shan

What’s inside


Freshmen Katie and Emma Ballantyne demonstrate the dos and don’ts of the dress code draft. for violations of the new dress code will be included in this matrix. However, the specific repercussions have not yet been decided by the discipline committee. Next school year it will fall on the school administrators to enforce the policy employed by the school board.

Because the punishments will be consistent throughout the county, the school board will be able to monitor the dress code infractions that occur at each school and use this information to review the policy and make revisions as necessary. The school board asked for student input on what should be included or excluded in the new policy to create harmony between the student and disciplinary committee’s desires. On Oct. 21 they held a press conference to which newspaper and student government members from each high school were invited. At this meeting, students were given the opportunity to learn, ask questions, and give suggestions on the new dress code policy. The school board also requested that each high school newspaper inform students about the new policy and ask for their personal opinions. According to Griffin, student input has already had an effect on the draft. “I’ve gotten a lot of input about shoes,” Griffin said. “[We noticed] that students and teacher are wearing a lot of sandals and flip flops.” In response to the negative feedback on the restriction of footwear, the school board has revised the draft to allow stuents to wear flip flops and sandals. However, the other footwear restrictions remained the same. With the draft still in progress, no final decisions about the dress code policy have been made. The school board intends to have the new policy finalized by the end of the first semester this school year. The second semester will be used to advertise the changes that will be implemented at the start of the 2010-2011 school year.

Student Bible study group discusses faith encourages the other members to open up Some non-Christians have a different staff reporter and speak about life situations that apply to viewpoint on this group. Although Bible eparation of church and state? Not each discussion. studies are not banned from school anymore. Some students attend every campuses, they are separated from schoolBeginning last year, a group of meeting while others come and go. The related activities and curriculum for Christian students created a Bible study usual attendance for each meeting is political purposes. that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays approximately 20 students. “Separation of church and state during second lunch at the amphitheater. Members feel the Bible study is not dictates that there is no room for religiousStudents discuss Bible verses and scripture merely a place to meet, rather, it is a method based groups in public schools because to see how God’s word applies to their to share their beliefs with other Christians public schools are a government-run everyday life. as well as non-Christians. organization,” junior Paul Jaskowski said. “The Bible study is for bringing heaven “God puts us there to meet the [spiritual] The Bible study meets outside the down to earth,” junior Ben Langevin said. needs of the student population,” Langevin classroom, during their free time, however, Founder of the group, Langevin, along said about why they began the group. religion is still separated from public with co-founder junior Kaileb schools to reduce conflict Hammontree, evolved the between science and religion. two-person Bible discussion “We should be able to meet into the first official Bible and discuss our beliefs because study on campus. we’re doing it during lunch, not “It’s about getting during a class,” junior Vanessa together with other people Markgraf said. who believe what you Although group members believe,” junior Xavier Moss deem the Bible study as a said about the Bible study. reasonable group, it still Members do not have faces criticism from peers. specific roles, but everyone As different versions and does play a part. Every translations of the Bible are session has a group leader found, agnostics and atheists who reads a Bible verse begin to question the accuracy and begins a discussion. of the Christian Bible. photo by elaine lam The group leader of the day Senior James Erikson and junior Kaleb Hammontree spend lunch BIBLE, cont. on p.16 with the Bible study group in the amphitheater. Elaine Lam


news You snooze, you lose

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Issue 2


Eileen Dombrowski


Kate Moore • Sophomore Kate Moore began her bicycling motocross (BMX) racing career while she lived in Wyoming. She describes the sport BMX as “…motocross track but with a bicycle, you have to pedal”. • In 2006, Moore injured her leg while competing in a state level race. Moore was unable to walk for five hours after sustaining her injury. She took an additional seven weeks to recover from this injury.

photo provided by kate moore

• In 2007, Moore won the state title of number one girl in Wyoming. Then in 2009, Moore won the state title of number one girl in Florida. •

Moore plans to start Olympic training in 2012 with the support of her parents and brother. Her parents help to fund her racing career by paying for the registration fees, buying equipment and covering travel expenses.

• Moore practices every Wednesday, Saturday, and sometimes on Sunday to increase her skill and endurance.

these distractions cause are not trivial. staff reporter According to psychology teacher Greg t was here before the first case of Vaughn, students need between eight-andswine flu. It was here before the block a-half and ten hours of sleep every night to schedule. It was even here before our fully function mentally and be considered school had a varsity football team. healthy. However, more than half of ‘It’ is sleeping in class, and ‘it’ has been American teenagers are severely sleepa part of high school life for years. deprived. In fact, on average, American Sleeping in class may seem common teenagers sleep less than six hours during and harmless, but it is actually a sign every night of the school week. of sleep deprivation, which is a serious “You can’t force your body to sleep, so problem for teenagers. it’s extremely hard for adolescents to fall High school students sleep in class out asleep between the hours of nine and ten of severe exhaustion due to the lack of during the night,” said Vaughn. sleep. Students often are able to catch a Adolescents have such a difficult few minutes of sleep in a class without any time getting adequate sleep because they kind of reprimand from their teacher; but undergo a shift in their sleep schedule when a student sleeps in class repeatedly, thanks to their biological clock. This they face disciplinary consequences that clock tells a person when he or she should may be serious. wake up and go to sleep. When their clock “The county policy recognizes sleeping changes, the teenager experiences a shift in class as in when their inattendant body tells behavior, and them to go to punishments are sleep, making “For sleeping in class, students given to students it difficult to can be punished with anything for anything sleep early in from a verbal reprimand to a from students the evening. putting their S l e e p Wednesday school...” heads down to deprivation - Dean Christy Bryce napping in class,” also can lead Dean Paula to health Cruickshank said. problems that affect students in more than According to Seminole County, one dangerous way. Without enough sleep after a student has received a referral for students’ immune systems are weakened, inattendant behavior, they can be punished they can get sick more often and their blood in a variety of ways. pressure is elevated, all of which can lead to “For sleeping in class, students can future heart conditions. Students are more be punished with anything from a verbal likely to cause an accident or fall asleep at reprimand to a Wednesday school, to even the wheel if they are sleep-deprived. being put on a behavior contract,” said Often, younger students lose the most Dean Christy Bryce. sleep simply because they have not fully Despite these daunting consequences, adjusted to early mornings full of work exhausted students and lessons. Senior Haley continue to sleep Slogar has mastered her in class. sleep schedule and One such manages to get student is approximately freshman eight hours of N i c k sleep a night Villamizar despite having who comes one to three hours to class sleepof homework every deprived almost night. every school day. “I’ve gotten better at “I sleep in class staying awake during class during my first and last because now I’m used to periods almost every waking up early,” said day,” Villamizar said. Slogar. Villamizar She also offers sleeps in class advice to students because he who are not adjusted frequently stays to an early work up late while and a changing sleep texting on his schedule yet. phone or watching “To any freshman, television during I would say try to get the night. your homework done S u c h as early in the day as distractions you can, especially if seem harmless you’re in extracurricular to students, activities. Going to bed but the health stressed can prevent you consequences and from sleeping well, or lower grades sleeping at all.”

“When I’m racing I hate [the competition], but the feeling of accomplishment from doing well boosts my confidence and makes all the practice worthwhile.”

compiled by elaine lam

illustration by justin moser

page 3 news Band loses founder, gains new director December 16, 2009

Todd Leighton replaces Mike Rice as Husky Band head director Robyn Smith


photo from

k rahman

“I think it’s affected the seniors the most because we’ve known him the longest,” senior Heather Burke said. “But he’s been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. So when he did tell us, I think we were more happy for him because we know how long he’s worked for it.” The freshmen, on the other hand, were not as attached to Rice because they had not spent as much time with him. “It’s affected [freshmen] a lot less because half of them don’t even care and the other half are sad but they didn’t really know Mr. Rice,” said freshman Ryan Morrison. “Definitely the upperclassmen [and] sophomores are more affected.” Although students are upset that Rice has left, most have found ways to stay positive about the change. The students’ excitement about the new band teacher photo by meha

co-news editor ne of the Huskies has left the pack for good. Mike Rice spent his last day as the Husky Band’s director on Nov. 6. Now the dean at Lake Mary, Rice left his teaching position to pursue a career in administration and to be work closer to his home and family. Five years ago, Rice created the band by himself. This made it especially hard for him to leave. “I think it’s a very hard situation,” Rice said. “I’ve grown to really like these students, so it’s even harder for me to say goodbye after five years. Rice led the band to straight superiors at the Florida Bandmasters Association as his final act as director. He is sad to say goodbye to his students and says the day he had to tell them he was leaving was the hardest day of his life. “The students will definitely be the single one thing that I’ll miss the most,” Rice said. “The relationships that I’ve built, the times we have spent together, the getting to know everybody, it’s just hard. It’s hard to get away from that, especially when that’s been your life. Despite Rice’s concern for his students, most band members felt upset over his decision to leave. The students felt abandoned and questioned his authority. “I think that it happening in the middle of the season caused everybody to get an attitude and nobody was really excited about band anymore because they were all disappointed that Mr. Rice was leaving,” sophomore Liz Lee said. “Everybody got sassy and I don’t think we worked as hard for a little while.” However, Rice left at the end of the marching season before concert band began. This way, his replacement could control all the decisions on concert band. Some students believed that making the change at this time reduced the effect. “I think in some ways it makes [the effect on the band] less,” senior Andrew Shoopman said. “If he announced last year that he wasn’t coming back this year I think people would’ve quit band.” The seniors in band were hit especially hard by the news. Although they knew Rice had been waiting for an administrative job, they still faced disappointment when he chose to leave.

Above: Mike Rice conducts the Alma Mater at the conclusion of a football game. Left: Todd Leighton became the new Husky Band director in November. and their acceptance of the change have helped them cope. “Mr. Leighton came and we were all anxious. But we’re all adjusting pretty well. He’s very chill, he’s relaxed. He’s already teaching us stuff that Mr. Rice didn’t know,” junior Connor Smellie said. “Even though Mr. Rice was a father figure to everyone, Mr. Leighton’s really adjusting to us. He’s very intelligent with music.” On Nov. 9, Todd Leighton officially replaced Rice as band director, and added an air of finality to the change. Leighton worked at Lake Howell High School for 16 years, and was the head band director for 10. However, he felt that he had given the Lake Howell band everything he had to offer. Once Leighton realized the Husky Band’s potential, he became interested in the new director position. This change gave him mixed feelings, though; while he would have to leave behind the band he helped to create, he was eager about his new job. “The thing that I’m most excited about is a change,” Leighton said. “I’m excited about getting to know the kids, community, building new relationships, and working with Mr. De Leon [the assistant director of the Husky Band].” Leighton doesn’t plan to make any

adjustments to the Husky Band, at least for this year. He does not want to change traditions or concepts that have been already started. “I want these kids to love playing their instrument more,” Leighton said. “I want to inspire them to put effort and energy in the instrumental music.” Lake Howell students were caught off guard when Leighton announced he was leaving, just as the Husky band members were when Rice told them. They saw Leighton as a smart band director and a funny person. Some students thought that the change brought the band closer together, although they were sad about his decision to leave. “I’m going to miss everything about Mr. Leighton,” Lake Howell freshman Alex Christodoulides said. “But most of all, probably just who he is. He’s just a funloving guy and he’s an amazing teacher. He’s never really negative; he’s always a positive guy.” Husky band members are excited about the possibilities that Leighton brings. His teaching style creates opportunities for students to excel and for the band program to grow. Leighton and the students have adjusted to each other with relative ease, despite their sadness about Rice’s departure. “The kids are great. The kids are really sweet and nice,” Leighton said. “They’re doing amazing under the circumstances.”

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Issue 2


Key Club membership reaches new heights

Expansion of service club’s member roster leads to expanded projects gain confidence working with people managing editor [and students] they’ve never met before, hey don’t know why, they don’t and putting together services that help the know how, and they don’t care. Oviedo community and beyond.” Key Club’s growth of over 400 The club’s current projects include percent (from 30 active members last year to volunteer work with the Save a Life the current roster of 120) may have shocked foundation that works with stores like the older members in the beginning, but PetSmart to adopt out sheltered dogs and now it is a welcome surprise. cats. The emotional nature of the project hit “We pretty much have no idea what home for some members, and the weekly happened,” senior and vice president Saturday visits became a quick favorite. Adam Singleton said. “We advertised a lot During the holiday season, members more this year, and worked all the shifts at will take part in a project called Cop Shop [freshman] orientation. But those are just at the Oviedo Marketplace where they will theories; we still aren’t sure [why we grew build bikes and wrap presents for children so much]; we’re just thankful for it.” whose families are less fortunate. In Despite their new rank as the largest January, they are set to work with Habitat chapter in the county, Key Club still operates for Humanity to build homes for families like any other student-run organization. struck by natural disaster or poverty. Senior Shannen Rivadeneira is the “It sounds cheesy, but I really just current president and has been a member wanted to help people,” senior and historian since her sophomore year. Alix Rogers said about joining the club. “I just [joined] on a whim,” Rivadeneira “We can be a better part of the community said. “It was my friend’s teacher and she and give other people opportunities they seemed nice, so I joined and I loved it. I didn’t have before.” became vice president my first year [in the Key Club].” English II and reading teacher Christine Rosa took over as the sponsor after interior design teacher Susan Higley stepped down last year. Since middle school, Rosa has maintained a continuous community service record. She felt that it was an important tradition to continue. “A lot of kids show up to Key Club not sure of how to be professional in front of organizations or their community environment,” Rosa said. “It allows students to Members of Key Club volunteered with the Save a Life foundation on Saturday, November 14 at the PetSmart on Red Bug Lake Road. Sarah Landers


all photos by sarah landers

Pictured: Seniors: Shannen Rivadeneira, Alix Rogers, Adam Singleton. Juniors: Miguel Carvajal, Alvaro Olmedo De Corral, Pablo Ortiz-Pabon. Sophomores: Kim Payumo.


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December 16, 2009

Family welcomes Japanese student to survive in an American high school. staff reporter Once accepted, Nishikawa’s mind ran n the busy city of Kyoto, students wild with worry. Her concerns ranged of Murasakino high school learned from new friends to her daily diet. about the Japanese student exchange “Before I was told who I was program to America. Intrigued by what her staying with, I was worried that classmates had to say about the program, I’d be stuck with a family that ate Tomoka Nishikawa’s interest was hamburgers every day,” Nishikawa said. enough to fly her all the way to America. Nishikawa has spent several months Nishikawa lived in Boston when in America and enjoys the differences she was in kindergarten, but then in culture from sleep to school. moved back to Japan. She has little “Students normally go to sleep [really] memories of her years in America. late in Japan, like midnight on average,” “I’m still in Nishikawa said. “I contact with one get more sleep here of my friends,” “I was worried that I’d be than I do in Japan.” Nishikawa said. When it comes stuck with a family that ate “She tells me about to the classroom, hamburgers every day.” her classes and told Nishikawa has -Nishikawa me about American noticed the openness electives which made between students me interested in American high schools.” and teachers. In Japan, there is little Although Nishikawa’s friend piqued student/teacher interaction. The students her interest in American schools, it was a only take notes and do not ask questions. translator who graduated from Nishikawa’s “Here, we can ask questions and high school that finalized her decision. that is really nice,” Nishikawa said. “I’ve bought her books and she Moreover, Japanese students inspired me. She says that while she’s have a limited number of electives to translating, it’s really enjoyable to compare choose from and most are academic. the cultures and learn the things you There are no electives for juniors wouldn’t in a classroom,” Nishikawa said. in Nishikawa’s Japanese school. Since Nishikawa’s grades fit the “I like the number of electives here. requirement of above a “3,” the American I am really enjoying dance and chorus equivalent of a “C,” she was able to class,” Nishikawa said. “I’m lucky take a test for the exchange program. to be missing the no-elective year.” However, that was not the end of the Nishikawa hopes to keep the language process. With the first test passed, she skills she has acquired so she can listen to needed to take another test that analyzed English news and read English magazines. her English skills to decide whether She also plans to introduce the American they were strong enough for Nishikawa culture to the students of her school. Jem Mason


Caption. Captions describe who is doing what in pictures.

photo by jem mason

Nishikawa shares her culture with her host family by performing a Japanese tea ceremony in a traditional yukata, a cotton kimono worn for summer festivals. • • • • • •

What is cram school?

Students in Japan go to cram school to keep up with their regular classes. Cram school consists of two types of cram school: tutoring and passing exams Tutoring helps students who are behind in regular school. Everyone takes the classes that teach exam strategies. Elementary students attend cram school from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and have five hour classes on Saturdays. Classes for junior high students are held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in addition to six hour classes on Saturdays.

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Issue 2

Get the skinny on jeans The skinny jean trend works its way into everyday fashion Some designer brands have incorporated a spandex material into the jeans to increase the jean’s flexibility and add comfort. Even though students participate in the skinny jean trend, they develop a preference for the jeans due to their individual interests. “I’m an artist so I like fashion,” Thomas said. “Skinny jeans are in fashion so I cleaned out my closet and filled it with skinny jeans.”



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photo by

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Megan Amend and Kristin Elias lifestyles co-editor and staff reporter n the last few years, skinny jeans have emerged as a fashionable style of pant for women; however more recently, men have stepped into this tight trend one leg at a time. Skinny jeans were originally stylish in the 1980s, but as of late, women have picked up a revised trend. Within the last year, designers have seen a noticeable increase in the sale of men’s skinny jeans. It is now commonplace to see both females and males sport this style around school. “They’re so fashionable,” junior Amber Thomas said. “They feel so comfortable when they snug my ankle ever so slightly.” For similar reasons, boys find this trend appealing. “I thought it was a cool trend,” junior Joey Bernstein said. “I think they’re really comfortable as long as they’re not too tight.” Even adults have picked up on this trend. Physics teacher Christopher Adams says he wears skinny jeans often because of their “appearance and feel.” However, other adults feel differently about the trend. “They’re uncomfortable and inappropriate,” economics and American history teacher Derrick Allen said. “I’m not a rock star, I’m not on MTV. I’m a role model for the Hagerty High School students.” Though the popularity of the jeans has grown, some boys feel as though the tight fit is uncomfortable. “I sacrifice comfort for looks,” junior Garrett Kessinger said. “They look raw on me.” In response to the tight-fitting nature of skinny jeans, designer companies have redesigned men’s skinny jeans to achieve a more practical style. The companies have increased the amount of material in the seat and thigh region of the jeans to attain a more comfortable fit.

Others find inspiration for their wardrobe from their choices in music. “I watch music videos from the genre of ambient new wave rock,” Kessinger said. “[The musicians] wear skinny jeans so I bought them.” Junior Mikaela Maensivu chooses to wear skinny jeans because they allow her shoes to remain visible at all times. For girls, the versatility of skinny jeans compliments a wider variety of seasonable footwear. Whereas other styles that end in a flare inhibit the view of shoes, skinny jeans allow for constant visibility. During warmer months, the tight snug around the ankles shows off the latest trend in sandals. Then in the winter, the same pair of jeans can be easily tucked into a stylish pair of boots. Despite the controversy over boys’ participation in the trend, skinny jeans have become more apparent in both men and women’s fashion. The appealing nature of skinny jeans cater to both boys and girls, causing this increasingly popular trend to run rampant within the streets of today’s society.

Pictured: Amber Thomas and Garrett Kessinger


How to: be cool Will Henken


staff reporter igh school, as defined by pop songs and coming-of-age movies alike, is a period of extreme social change. Everyone wants to fit in, yet be an individual. However, this leads to habits that teens develop in order to reach some predetermined image of cool. Once these behaviors start, they catch fire with the teen population. One example of this is dress. An athlete who dresses out for gym or a game is understandable, but why make running shorts and calf-long socks a main staple of a wardrobe? Under the same heading of senseless activities done in the name of sports, more and more males have begun to shave their arms and legs. It would be one thing if this was a personal choice, but to do it just to look like everyone else in the locker room makes no sense. Yes, shaved limbs increase speed for Olympic swimmers who rely on fractions of a second in order to win. But for high school football players, there is no reason to put up with the time, the effort and the arm stubble. Music is another label students use to promote some idea of cool. Today, musical tastes are rarely about what one enjoys. Instead they are novelties; people like indie bands because they have weird names and even weirder lyrics. It makes no sense that students today voluntarily listen to poor-quality music for the sheer ability to claim that they listen to it. Even the manner of conversation becomes less effective because of trends. A perfect example of this is the overuse of “you would,” especially when it gets used out of context. For example: “What class are you going to?” “Spanish.” “Wow, you would!” It’s okay to have a few catchphrases or quotes now and then, but why run meaningless phrases into the ground just because it’s a no-thinking-required way to add something to the conversation? All high-schoolers try to find their own way to satisfaction, and people go their entire lives walking the line between fitting in and being an individual. Since these are the few years left to experiment with a social persona until it becomes permanent, even the smallest of habits should be thought out before blindly adopting them. If, at the end, it is deemed logical and agreeable, far be it from anyone to warn against it. But giving in to any kind of senseless fad no different than pet rocks of the 1980s or goldfish swallowing of the 1940s is mindless. Development of the reverse type of thinking, the kind influenced by no one but yourself, should be what high school is all about.


December 16, 2009

page 7

Senior wins first international title Jem Mason


staff reporter leachers lined the illuminated dog show ring. As the contestants stepped in with their dogs, the crowd exploded with applause. The intense air of the International Dog Agility competition was unlike anything senior Tori Self had ever experienced. Six weeks ago in Arizona, Self participated in the International Dog Agility competition against 250 other contestants. She and her dog ran the fastest and cleanest course which earned them the title of national champions. “I didn’t believe them when I came out of the ring and they told me I just won,” Self said. Self became interested in dog shows from dog competition television shows on Animal Planet. When her dad’s dog passed

photo by tracy carter

Self with her border collie Rev.

away, they got a new puppy and Self decided to try dog showing herself. She hired a local trainer and Self discovered her passion. She has been involved in dog competitions for five years. She now owns four dogs: two labradors, Tobi and Rocky, and two border collies, Chase and Rev. Self took her border collie Rev to nationals. They participated in the agility competition where the dogs run through obstacle courses. “It can get intense in an everyday dog show,” Self said. “But a lot of time it’s like, ‘Oh hey, let’s go have fun.’” Of all the competitions Self has been a part of, the international competition was the biggest. The crowds were larger and the competition was fiercer. “Dog agility is the most exciting, most fun and most intense,” Self said. “I don’t have the patience for obedience.” Self has developed a special relationship with her dogs through working with them. “I’ve gotten so much closer to them through the ability to train and work with them in the ring,” Self said. “You need that connection with them on the course; it’s like a whole new level of communication.” Self’s participation in dog shows not only affects her relationship with her dogs, but her social life as well. Several of Self’s friends are from the agility community. “A lot of my friends are, like my mom used to call them, my ‘grown up women friends’ because you go to dog shows and there aren’t exactly kids your age there,” Self said. Self hopes to continue with her dog shows until she makes the world team and travels overseas to compete.

Components of the course Three contact obstacles: the A-frame, the dog walk, and the see-saw -Dog must climb, cross, and descend in order to execute obstacle One tire jump. -Dog must jump through the tire One set of 10 to 12 weave poles -Dog must weave down the line of poles without missing a pole Three winged hurdles, and one of the three is a spread hurdle. -Dog must complete hurdles in the correct sequence One collapsible tunnel and one pipe tunnel. -Dog must enter and depart in the specified direction information from

photo by tracy carter

Self’s border collie Rev completed the weave poles on the agility course to win a national championship at the International Dog Agility competition in Arizona.

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Issue 2


Unraveling th f

staff reporter


hort shorts, low cut tops, and tank tops will soon be ancient history. Tighter restrictions on the dress code proposed by the Seminole County Public School Board have caused mixed reactions among students and teachers alike. Most teachers and administrators feel that, despite students’ inclination to bend and stretch the rules, dress code is not a major problem among students. The majority of students claim to abide by the dress code. “We could spend all day, every day, chasing dress code issues, but I don’t believe it’s a major issue here,” Dean Christy Tibbitts-Bryce said. In relation to the presently small scale of dress code issues, most teachers and administrators feel the proposed draft offers additional clarity and distinction as to what is appropriate versus what is not. The aim is to minimize current dress code infractions, especially those seen among girls. “The worst infractions of the dress code are made by girls,” English teacher Maureen Warner said. “The tops which are abbreviated and the shorts which are abbreviated can look as if the girl is sending the wrong message of who she is.” Teachers and administrators anticipate that definitive limitations offered by the proposed draft may cut down on this defiance. The draft requires that upper garments must have a collar or sleeves, and lower garments must reach mid-thigh or below in length. “I like that all garments must have a collar or sleeve, which takes

away from being able to wear the thin straps,” Dean Paula Cruickshank said. “I think that cuts down on what’s acceptable and what’s not.” Male staff members also hope the draft will cut down on what is acceptable, as they find it especially difficult to enforce dress code among girls who make such violations. “It makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable if a female student is pushing dress code,” English teacher Brandon Hanshaw said. “I will find a female teacher to address the issue.” Boys tend to violate dress code less frequently than girls, and most boys feel the changes in dress code will not have any dramatic effects on the way they dress. “Guys will be fine with the new dress code,” sophomore Mitchell Fair said. “It won’t be a problem, but for girls, it’s another story.” Teachers and administrators sympathize with the difficulties girls face in finding clothing considered appropriate for school, especially in relation to the length of shorts and skirts. This sympathy does not lead them to excuse blatant violations of dress code, but it does display their understanding of the current issues students face when purchasing appropriate apparel. “It’s kind of hard when that’s all they sell in the stores: low pants and short shorts,” Tibbitts-Bryce said. Teachers and administrators expect that the specific guidelines set by the proposed draft will make it easier for consistent enforcement all around. Changes in the consequences of dress code violations will be a result of decisions made by Seminole County.

illustra tion by

Kristin Elias

sabrina chehab

Draft becomes reality

Do you feel the dress code needs to be changed?

Do you abide by the current dress code?









Do you support the proposed DRAFT dress code? Somewhat

Should there be a restriction on the length of shorts/dresses? Yes

No Yes Unanswered

All data compiled by Diana Barnett’s AP statistics classes.

No Unanswered

illustrated by sabrina chehab

Students participated in a school-wide dress code survey. The school board will use the results to revise the draft proposal. The graphs below show results of the survey.


I would prefer a stricter dress co the dress code w Not a dress code

Mandato body ve away th Uniform don’t k but onc should appropr

I feel that a great idea the class of students app keep the focu not what stud


page 9

December 16, 2009

he dress code

nts say...

mandatory school uniform over a ode, but I feel it should be either we have right now or a uniform. e that’s somewhat in between.

ory uniforms make the student ery plain and unoriginal by taking heir ability to express themselves. ms are good for small children that know how to dress themselves, ce you are in high school students be able to dress themselves riately.

mandatory school uniforms are for the school. It will increase the school. Uniforms will make pear more respectable and will us on the teachers and lessons and dents are wearing.

quotes from school-wide dress code survey

Businesses prefer professionalism Justin Moser


staff reporter

espite opposition to the changes, business is business when it comes to dress code. With a new dress code and the possibility of uniforms next school year, people wonder why the revisions were needed at all. The school board changed the dress code because most people did not know what the dress code was; it was not specific nor enforced. For example, the current dress code says that “unsafe footwear” is prohibited whereas the new version specifies cleats, slippers and wheeled shoes as being prohibited. Some businesses’ concerns about teenage dress also prompted the revisions. However, the school board was not specific with details about businesses’ involvement in the changes, only that the concerns and complaints of some businesses

influenced the change. Public opinion about the new dress code is torn between support and opposition toward the changes. Business opinion seems to be just as torn; several businesses supported the dress code, while others disliked the changes. Business and public opposition seems to come down to the topic of individuality, and the loss of it with the new dress code. “In junior high and high school age, people are trying to find their own individuality and find out who they are,” FYE store manager Rich Applegarth said. “It’s a little bit harder to do that with a uniform.” Although Applegarth feels that a dress code is necessary to limit inappropriate dress, he does not see the need for a full uniform. Businesses’ concerns about teenage dress come from teenagers not dressing appropriately for job interviews, according to Dre James,

one of McDonald’s managers. “I’ve seen kids that come in wearing baggy clothes and jean shorts, and I’m not going to hire someone that comes in wearing that. If you’re not in a button up shirt and dressed up, you won’t get hired [at McDonald’s],” James said. “It takes away from you being professional.” Professionalism is where most business support for uniforms comes from. A uniform would help high school students adjust to the working world, where most employers utilize a dress code or uniform. “Honestly, I think it would be good,” Kevin Dutra, Oviedo Marketplace AT&T store manager, said. “When you get up to the work force, the [business] that you work for has uniforms, too.” Dutra says that the dress code changes should be fine. “It just takes time to get used to new things.”

Parents address the dress code Jeff Howell


graphics editor

or the past few months, the Seminole County School Board has discussed changes for the dress code policy for the 2010-2011 school year. Parents have formed their own opinions on the changes included in the draft. The new draft gives schools the option to require uniforms. Parent Marie Masillo only partially supports the option. “Uniforms should be required for elementary and middle schools but, not so much for high schools,” Masillo said. “It would be difficult to enforce and students wouldn’t like it.” Masillo believes the cost effectiveness of uniforms would be beneficial to students and parents. “I spend about $1000 a year on school clothes,” Masillo said. “Back when my son Richie was in uniforms, I could go to Kohl’s and get a set of a week’s worth of uniforms for $75.” Based on a study conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF), families spend an average of $200 per student on clothing each year. A survey by The National Purchase Daily Group (NPD), a provider of consumer and retail information, found that parents

illustration by sabrina chehab

spend an average of $162 on uniforms per student each year. Parent Kerri Tubbs does not feel that uniforms would make back-toschool shopping cheaper. She also does not think uniforms would be beneficial to students. “If a student decides to wear a part of their personality, uniforms will take that away,” Tubbs said. Tubbs thinks uniforms will fail to increase students’ academic performance. She believes uniforms make every student look the same and it will be more difficult for students to find clothes. “Students will still want to look good, especially girls,” Tubbs said. “Uniforms would make it more difficult to find the right types of things for them to wear.” Despite their differing opinions, Tubbs and Masillo have questions about the new dress code. They are confused by the effects the new changes will have on students. For example, Masillo wonders whether the new changes will affect the way cheerleaders wear their uniforms. Tubbs and Masillo both voiced concerns on the restriction of spandex in the lower garments.

“I wonder about leggings,” Masillo said. “I make sure that when my daughter wears a short skirt that she is wearing leggings underneath.” Tubbs does not feel leggings should be prohibited in the new dress code. Masillo also feels that certain issues were not addressed in the new draft. “I’m wondering about piercings because I see kids with lip rings and tongue rings,” Masillo said. “If they’re hidden, I’m fine with it, such as in the ears.” Tubbs feels the piercing issue should be based on parent discretion. If the parents allow their child to get piercings, then the school should not interfere with this decision. In regard to the difficulty of enforcing the new dress code, Masillo and Tubbs have differing opinions. Tubbs feels schools will have few problems enforcing the new dress code. However, Masillo is concerned with parents’ attitude toward the changes. “I’m worried about the disgruntled parents,” Masillo said. “[They will] probably fight against the school board arguing [that] the school board is telling them how to dress their children.”

page 10

Issue 2

According to Kait Hagerty High School

3225 Lockwood Blvd. Oviedo, FL 32765 Telephone: (407) 871-0750 Fax: (407) 871-0817 Email:

The Blue Print is a studentproduced newspaper published six times a year in which the student editors make all content decisions. The newspaper belongs to the National Scholastic Press Association and the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Opinions expressed within the newspaper do not represent the staff’s view as a whole, and do not reflect the opinions of Seminole County Public Schools, the school board, or Hagerty High School’s administration and staff. Some material courtesy of American Society of Newspaper Editors/MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service. Letters to the editor are encouraged, but cannot be anonymous. Please submit to Helen Reed’s mailbox or to room 6-201. For more information about advertising in the paper, please contact the staff via one of the methods listed above. We reserve the right to reject any advertisement. Principal Sam Momary Adviser Helen Reed Editor-in-Chief Naveed Clarke Managing Editor Sarah Landers Lifestyles Editors Megan Amend Sabrina Chehab News Editors Sohani Kasireddy RobynSmith Opinions Editor Kait Moorman Sports Editors Kaitlan Aries Patrick McCormack Graphics Editor Jeff Howell Photos Editor Kaitlan Aries Business Manager Kristin Krawczyk Staff Reporters Jacob Calloway Aidan Coffey Eileen Dombrowski Shannon Dunne Kristin Elias Will Henken Elaine Lam Jem Mason Justin Moser Mehak Rahman Scott Strauss

Pledge unnecessarily altered Kait Moorman


opinions editor he decision has been made. The Seminole County Public School Board (SCPS) is unnecessarily changing some of its requirements for the Pledge of Allegiance and keeping some that should be changed. Currently, all students who attend an elementary, middle and high school in Seminole County are required to stand at the beginning of each school day and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Students who do not wish to recite the Pledge can opt out, but only with parent

permission. They are still required to stand out of respect for their country. This is the way it has been, without question, for the past decade. But according to the South Florida law suit of Frazier v. Winn in July 2008, the federal government finds our current system in violation of the Constitution. Concerning this case, a public high school student and his mother questioned the constitutionality of Florida’s requirement that students stand and recite the pledge. Upon review of the Florida law, the Court of Appeals concluded that the requirement is indeed unconstitutional. This being said, the federal government plans to change the SCPS Pledge requirements so that students are not required to stand during the Pledge but are still required to recite it, unless given parental consent that permits otherwise. This makes no sense. The reason Americans stand during the pledge is to show respect for their country. If students are no longer required to stand, that respect has vanished. Most students will


take advantage of the opportunity to remain seated and will think nothing of their lack of respect, but focus on comfort instead. In addition, the same students will likely refuse to say the Pledge without parental consent. The teacher could try to encourage their participation in the Pledge, but it is impossible to physically force someone to speak. This in mind, one must wonder how authorities will make students say the pledge if they refuse and how reluctant students will be punished for their silence. These recitation requirements are the Pledge requirements that should be challenged. Middle and high school students are old enough to make decisions for themselves. It should be their responsibility to decide whether or not they feel comfortable reciting the Pledge, no parent consent necessary. It is clear the SCPS Pledge requirements need to be reconsidered, but not in the way the federal government requests.

High school no musical in reality Mehak Rahman


staff reporter he boy stalls by his locker with grubby biology notes in his grasp. He pushes his black, wide- rimmed glasses up his nose and tries to recall the definition of photosynthesis. A football player clad in a game day jersey saunters up and shoves him into the lockers. Movies commonly show scenes involving similar students being harassed. Hollywood productions extend bullying to the point where the validity of the plot can be questioned. Hollywood portrays high school as a hostile habitat. The theater world’s description of high school may be comically appealing, but in reality this “Mean Girls,” released in 2004, implication may not earn laughs. depicts young teens as sly, manipulative Little additions to the high school personas. Characters like Regina George scene on the silver screen make a big embody roles of conspirators on the change. Movie producers and television movie screen, an act that should be meant directors use overdramatized movie for movies alone. However, through the plots to accentuate mundane high school exposure of “gossip queens” on television, routines forming misconceptions. these alternative high school scenarios Actual high schools do not burst into a paint false perceptions among students. spontaneous song and dance. Hollywood’s Students new to high school may producers may not have sufficient research expect shallow cheerleaders or comicto accurately represent high school, so obsessed techies so they mentally prepare for a makeshift their young, reference, they inexperienced exaggerate the selves for the points until worst. These “Even after exposure to they break the students come high school, students inaccuracy off abrasive and continue to think of it as a scale. immature to breeding ground for Exemplified older students. malicious student behavior.” through Disney The mentality musicals, of younger high school students perceptions among young students are regarding high school mirrors that of the skewed. Students who belong to closebig screen. knit high schools in suburban cities may Students who are unaccustomed to go through the same confusion. Distorted high school display ignorance towards views of high school cause some students actual high school life. This shows to confuse the myths for facts. the extent to which movies affect the

Our view:

illustration by justin moser

audiences. Hollywood overdramatizes high school life without consideration of the behaviors of students in reality. Accuracy has never been a crucial component of movie production. Even after exposure to high school, students continue to think of it as a breeding ground for malicious student behavior. This constant exposure to hypothetical television dramas affects student behavior to such an extremity that it becomes irritating. Cafeteria riots in television shows involving teens are expected. Cafeteria foods shown in high school-related shows resemble that of the food served to the inmates at Guantanamo. The image of impatient students in line to get smoothies might not be uncommon, but inhuman fights over cookies are highly unlikely. Apart from choreographed dances, physical comedy has a significant effect in plot defects. Hollywood has longtime had a flair for the dramatic when it comes to opening scenes. But when the opening of a movie involves a group of boys skateboarding down a school hallway, it is noted that someone did not go over school policies thoroughly.

Christmas is not overly commercialized.

It’s the same annual cliché: is the Christmas season too commercialized? Traditional answers to this question dictate that Christmas is a sacred season that has become destroyed by capitalism. Offering a new perspective, the staff agrees that the Christmas season may not, in fact, be commercialized enough. Christmas is the only religious holiday that is also federal. This means that the postal system, schools, stores, etc. are closed in a manner similar to Memorial Day. The special federal

distinction granted to Christmas sets it apart from its mere religious meaning, in a way, de-sanctifying it and adding a secular element that everyone can celebrate. If Christmas really was purely a religious season, the government could not recognize it above others. But by observing the holiday, the U.S. has created a religiously-unaffiliated part of the Christmas season. This is why commercialization of the holiday is justified. Stores profit from selling generic light-up reindeer or

Christmas albums sung by Jewish singers like Barry Manilow or Barbara Streisand. This reinforces the non-Christian aspect of the holiday. If corporations profited from tiny crucifixes or ad campaigns featuring the Virgin Mary, everyone would be understandably offended. However, the commercialization of the nonreligious, government-recognized aspect of the Christmas season is completely justified and a healthy part of capitalism which, in today’s economy, could benefit greatly.


page 11

December 16, 2009

the American school Back Talk: Should year be extended? YES


“American students may complain about the injustice of a longer school year, but our system is so inefficient that it demands more time.”

“Extending the year would not only be unwarranted, but would put stress on the American youth, which would be destructive for the nation.”

- Aidan Coffey

Aidan Coffey


staff reporter he easiest way to enrage teens is to suggest that they spend their summer days sitting in a classroom. No one likes the prospect of a shorter summer, which means fewer opportunities to sleep in until 11 a.m. However, this laziness may be our downfall because of how poorly American students perform academically compared to their international counterparts. Like it or not, studies show that a longer school year has positive effects on academic achievement and may be the only way to prevent our generation from becoming an embarrassment to our country. The state of American education is pathetic when measured against international standards. Every three years the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an organization backed by the U.S. government, conducts a comprehensive study of academic achievement in reading, math and science. After the OECD tested more than 275,000 15-year-old students from over 60 countries, they compiled global education rankings. The U.S. did not place in the top 20 in math, science or reading in 2006. The OECD categorizes our scores in all three categories as “below average” or “substandard.” It is particularly embarrassing when countries in war-ravaged Eastern Europe like Slovenia and Croatia manage to score better than the U.S. on these tests, even though their government can barely feed and clothe its citizens. A few decades ago, global educational rankings would only have been used for bragging rights by governments. But now with the globalized economy, more and more American jobs are awarded to foreigners. Even American corporations will not hesitate to hire a foreigner because his or her country provided a superior education. If Americans want to remain competitive on the new global marketplace, the government needs to take action. Unfortunately, most past

- Will Henken

Will Henken government attempts to staff reporter reform education have been a total disaster. For the past 40 onald Reagan once years, trillions of dollars have called America been funneled into education “a shiny city on a while test scores have hill.” Twenty years later continued to decline. this country has gone A longer school year and through some hard photo by elaine lam a shorter summer may be the only times, but that description still way to save the education system, rings true. America leads the even if it is unwelcome. The summer world in education and it is the academic break we enjoy is outdated and a remnant ideal that students from around the world of 19th century America. Back then, most flock to for learning. This superiority American children lived and worked on means that extending the school year farms. Kids would go to school in the fall would not only be unwarranted, but would and winter and then return home in the also put increased amounts of stress on summer to work on their family’s farm. the American youth, which would be But this is the 21st century and Americans destructive for the nation. are much more likely to be found behind a According to the 2009 listing of the desk than a plow. Academic Ranking of World Universities, A longer school year would be America has the top three universities pointless unless it has some impact on in the world, and eight of the top 10 academic achievement. The District are located in the U.S. If this doesn’t Administration Magazine reported that demonstrate superiority on the world Massachusetts experimented with an stage, consider that despite the economic extended school year in 26 public schools downturn, the number of students from in 2008 and concluded that the 300 extra other countries who apply to U.S. colleges hours in school had a huge effect on has steadily increased. student achievement. Teachers in the From an article printed in the Times of selected schools claimed the program India, the number of international students gave them more time to cover important at colleges and universities in the U.S. has material effectively. increased by eight percent to an all time The National Center on Time and high of 671,616 students in the 2008-2009 Learning conducted a similar study in low academic year. Even Japan, the country income schools in Houston, Texas. The that has the longest school year (210 days) low income students performed better has consistently sent its students to the than their middle class counterparts across U.S. to study. The number of Japanese town when a few weeks were added to the students in the U.S. has increased 20 school year. percent in the last decade, according to the American students may complain Japan-U.S. Educational Commission. about the injustice of a longer school Even other industrialized countries year, but our school system is so cannot match the education and prestige inefficient that it demands more time. of the United States. Clearly the country The National Assessment for Education with the best education system in the Progress estimates that American kids world is doing something right, and spend approximately 40 percent of their extending the school year will just disrupt total time in school on task. Compared the education rhythm that has developed with nations like France and Germany over the decades. who spend 70 percent of time on task, Additionally, more school days means American kids should feel grateful that the more work, which results in more stress. government would extend the school year No American student wants to find instead of taking a hatchet to electives. themselves in this predicament which


makes the change unjust and the added stress dangerous. According to the American Psychological Association, stress in children is at its all-time high. Kids are more worried now than those who grew up during the Cold War or during the Great Depression. The study stated that 44 percent of young people believe that doing well in school is a source of pressure, and an additional 10 percent listed schoolrelated extracurricular activities as a cause of anxiety. Increasing school hours would increase this strain, turning our nation’s bright future into unbalanced workaholics who will never be able to assimilate into adult society. If the U.S. government increases school days despite the high education rank, the message sent to its children is that no matter how much they succeed, they’ll never be good enough and will always have to work more. Man cannot live by bread alone, just as a healthy adult cannot be made from pure schooling. Students need to develop life skills outside the classroom in order to transform into well-rounded adults. Even if extra schooling increased a few standardized test scores, the price America would have to pay would be far greater. Students would become socially awkward adults who focus only on individual achievement and test scores. An example of this is Japan where, as previously stated, students have the longest school year. According to Finnish Researcher Pasi Reinikainen, Japanese students are stripped of a social life. Students are taught that “time [spent] with their family and friends has a negative effect on science achievement.” Japanese psychologist Takeo Doi says that “[The Japanese] don’t make new friends easily.” Education is important but no reason for America to turn its children into socially inept adults. America leads the world in education because the country has struck the ideal balance between school and social life. Upsetting this balance would be bad news for American students everywhere.

Tell it like it is...

“Yes, if the school year is longer we’ll have more evenly-spaced three day weekends.” - Emily Code, 10

“Yes, because school makes you a better-educated and worldready person.” - Garrett Mendelson, 12

“No, because we’re in school long enough and homework takes up our only free time as is.” - Krystal Dannerhoffer, 12

“No. I believe Americans need more than school to make them well-rounded.” - Dallas Daniel, 9

page 12

Issue 2

Are uniforms a good idea?


Uniforms will improve performance


staff reporter

chool uniforms exist only in nightmares for most public school students across the nation. However, the uniformed “nightmare” may soon spread this way. Many students have vowed to riot if the Seminole County School Board institutes a uniform policy, but the school board is not doing this just to make students’ lives difficult. Private schools do not require uniforms out of desire to appear superior to public school students. The true reason is that uniforms cause a measurable improvement in students. A report from the University of Notre Dame states that school uniforms improve student performance academically and result in an improvement in student behavior across the board. Students should step aside from their emotions and logically consider a switch to uniforms. Many students may enjoy their casual dress, but a switch to uniforms brings numerous benefits to students themselves. A fundamental part of high school culture is to stay up-to-date with all of the current fashion trends; however, the result is an atmosphere in which the students are concerned more with their outfits than their grades. Some families do not have the money to spend on that $40 top at Hollister, which makes their kids feel like social outcasts. Experts agree that school uniforms level what they call the “socioeconomic playing field.” In simple terms, those from less privileged households will not be ridiculed for what they wear once the proposed uniform policy is instated. What may happen in Seminole County is a part of a national uniform debate, and the facts back up the simple truth: uniforms improve student behavior. The city of Long Beach in Los Angeles was one of the first public school districts to switch to uniforms, which happened in 1995. Psychology Today studied the effects of the switch over 10 years and concluded in 2005 that the student crime rate dropped by 91 percent, suspensions dropped by 90 percent and student violence dropped by 88 percent. Student uniforms have also been linked to higher standardized test scores. The school board of Newark, N.J. believes that the switch to school uniforms is responsible for the increase in student’s standardized test scores. What happened in New Jersey is just a stateside example of what has happened all across the globe. Japan and South Korea are consistently rated as the best in public education, and school uniforms are universal in their schools. Compared to the blazers and ties many children throughout the world wear to school, a polo and khakis seems like a modest sacrifice. Unfortunately, last year’s FCAT scores were less than stellar, and dropped the overall grade from an “A” school to a “B” school. Administrators might see a uniform policy as a way to boost test scores, and in the long run, protect more privileges and luxuries.

illustration by sabrina chehab

Aidan Coffey

Clothes cause rifts in teens Sabrina Chehab


co-lifestyles editor o judge someone based on what he or she wears is unjustifiable. One might as well judge a book by its cover, and never bother to read the story. Clothing styles are an expression of individuality; however, they create unfair social barriers between students. The way a student dresses has an impact on how they act, as well as how they are treated. Students judge others based on looks whether they plan to or not. Aspects of stereotypes rarely prove true, and clothing styles may give misconceptions as to what a person is like. Skinny jeans seem to be synonymous with “emo,” Hollister and Abercrombie synonymous with “prep,” team jerseys synonymous with “jock,” etc.

Clothes do not always define the person and pre-judgment usually leads to a lack of empathy. Expensive clothes may cause some students to feel superior to others, and such superiority complexes lead to inflated egos. The problem is, social status cannot always be measured by brand-names. Just because a student can afford an expensive polo doesn’t necessarily mean they want to purchase one. The illusion seems to be the more expensive the outfit, the more popular the kid. The more popular the kid, the higher their place is in the school’s social hierarchy. High school resembles something along the lines of a caste system. To associate with anyone outside of your own caste is taboo. It’s almost forbidden

for someone considered “popular” to date someone considered “unpopular.” That would completely ruin the “popular” student’s reputation. This creates a major social barrier, and destroys the possibility of meeting an unexpectedly great person. Those who dress alike hang out together. However, membership to a certain clique limits friend variety, as well as accurate exposure to real-life experiences. Groups are too caught up in their own world to pay attention to the experiences of other students. Unfortunately, superficiality seems to dominate students during the teenage years. Acceptance will only come when students ignore the way others look and destroy the existing social barriers. It’s all a matter of perception.

students describe the method by which they arrived at the correct answer. When students perform this task, they’re expected to understand and remaster the material they originally missed on an assessment. However, most students complete test corrections only to boost their grade. They don’t spend their time in an attempt to understand where they went wrong and how to prevent a similar error from happening again. Upon doing test corrections, a significant portion of students see a drastic increase in their final test scores, such as jump from a low “F” to a high “C.” According to English teacher Lisa Gendreau, an astonishing 25 percent of her students’ averages increased by a letter grade or more after doing test corrections on just one assessment. When these student complete test corrections and receive a “C,” they do not relearn the concept – they only learn the method by which they can gain the most points back. Although they understand how to do the problems on the test, there is no evidence that the student has actually

mastered the entire concept. If a student were given a different problem using the same concepts they were supposed to “relearn” through test corrections, more than likely, they would be unable to answer the question correctly. Students only copy the right answers not realizing their grade does not represent their work ethic or intelligence. Consequently, students receive an inaccurate representation of their comprehension of the material via the utilization of test corrections and the inflated grade. If test corrections continue to weigh a large portion of students’ test scores, students will lose sight of the concept of studying. Students may get lazy and just not study unless illustration by sabrina chehab necessary. There will be an undeserved increase in test scores and decline in student comprehension of the subject material. Since students can earn just as many points with test corrections, there is no need for them to study. Assignments should be completed for a student’s personal learning gain rather than to boost his or her grades.

Test corrections skew averages Sohani Kasireddy


co-news editor n a dreary Monday morning, a classroom bustles with activity. A huddle of students gather around a desk, frantically copying from one another. Their heads snap suddenly in the direction of the teacher as she warns the class of the looming due date. Anxiously, the students look from the clock to the teacher and rush to find answers for their test corrections. Test corrections are designed to give students an opportunity to earn a few points back on tests to supplement their original grade. However, rather than studying to earn their grade, students notoriously copy the correct test answers from other students. With a few explanatory sentences and a bit of copying, the students are able to get better grades without actually learning any information. This act of copying undermines the original purpose of test corrections because students do not actually gain knowledge or grasp a better understanding of the material. In fact, test corrections create careless students who rely on a few bonus points to improve their grade, rather than diligent study and preparation for their exams. If test corrections were nonexistent, students would be more motivated to score higher on tests because they would not be able to gain extraneous points. And in order to perform better, they would need to study with more integrity. The general format of this assignment is comprised of two sections: an error column where students explain in a detailed sentence why they have made an error and a correction column where


page 13

December 16, 2009

Dazed and confused: an athlete’s nightmare

Kristin Krawczyk and Jacob Calloway studies the player and sees if he or she is business editor and staff reporter dizzy, has trouble concentrating, slurs his or her words, or has other indications that ountless athletes engage in high- are common signs of a concussion. At this speed, contact sports in which point, he calls over the athletic trainers. concussions are commonplace. The athletic training staff rushes over So what happens to athletes when they and learns of the various symptoms the receive a concussing blow? Athletes must athlete shows. follow a complex process on their journey Athletes who are affected by concussions to recovery. suffer from similar symptoms even though When a person takes a blow to the they may have received concussions head, shock waves pass through the brain from different events. The most common which causes the brain to strike against indication of a concussion is a headache. the skull. A concussion usually occurs on “[I felt] really dizzy and nauseous,” the opposite side of the brain from where Gaytan said. “I had to focus on one little the initial blow occurred. The impact can thing. I couldn’t focus on the big picture. cause bruising, swelling, tearing of blood It was kind of hard to talk because I forgot vessels, and nerve damage in the brain. what I was going to say.” As an injured athlete stays down while The athletic training staff is not play continues, a referee calls an official permitted to dispense medication directly time out. Junior Victor Gaytan, a varsity to athletes, but can treat them on the injured football player, was hit during a game area with ice. An athletic trainer looks over but didn’t realize he had a concussion the injured student and makes a diagnosis until after the game when he had trouble of his or her injury. swallowing water. Junior Gracie Berlin, a varsity “I remember getting hit, but I couldn’t cheerleader, demonstrated a stunt during remember anything past the third quarter cheerleading practice. On the way down [of the Seminole game],” Gaytan said. from the stunt, she fell to the floor and hit The coach rushes to the injured player her head. and may observe numerous symptoms. He “[The trainer] asked me weird


Side effects:

questions like what I wore today and who was in my stunt group,” Berlin said.“It was really scary and it felt weird because I didn’t know [what happened to me]. I only remember what people told me.” The athletic trainer on duty observes the athlete for 10 to 15 minutes because symptoms can arise sporadically and might not appear directly after the concussion. Sophomore Kaylee Sills played in a lacrosse game and was hit in the goggles during a pass to the goal. The injury resulted in a concussion. “I thought I was fine, but five minutes later I could not see out of my left eye,” Sills said. The athletic training staff follows a strict seven-day break following a concussion, but they advise the athlete and his or her parents to seek a physician. The doctor gives the final sanction on the amount of time a concussed athlete is to refrain from athletic activity. The injured athletes are evaluated at the doctor’s office. The doctor asks if they can recall common facts such as name, birthday or what school they attend. The doctor

may ask the athletes to do tests such as walk in a straight line, drink a glass of water to see if their stomach holds it and follow a light with their eyes to test pupil response and light sensitivity. Doctors direct students not to participate in any contact sports for at least a week. “I had to sit out [of football] until I went 48 hours without symptoms, but I ended up staying out for a week,” Gaytan said. “The trainers wouldn’t let me out of the training room because [it hurt to] see bright light or hear loud noises.” After a student gets a concussion, he or she is recommended to arrange specific amounts of time for doing homework and studying to refrain from long periods of continuous brain activity. This can be just as damaging as more physical contact. Continuous use of a recuperating brain can be extremely damaging.


Convulsions Severe headache Nausea Grogginess

Dizziness Loss of balance

Stiff neck

Lack of concentration Memory loss

Unusual sleepiness Sensitivity to light facts from:

illustration by sabrina chehab

Vision disturbance

Sports Shorts

Girls’ weight lifting sets new goals for season Patrick McCormack


sports editor

ith the opening of the new season, the girls’ weight lifting team has greater depth than ever. Despite the loss of key seniors and therefore experience, recruiting has led to

a much larger field. In addition, the team can fill all weight classes for the first time as a result of recruiting. “[Returning weight lifters] have matured and gotten a lot stronger,” Coach Nate Gierke said about his team’s best offseason improvement. The girls are led by four upperclassmen,

seniors Sandra Torres and Kelsea Porter, and juniors Kadie Tighe and Kaitlan Aries, the best lifter on team. In the first match of the season, the girls fell to Winter Springs but defeated Seminole. Aries benched 130 pounds, a personal record, and clean and jerked 125 pounds for a total lift of 255 pounds.

Prior to the first match, the girls practiced four times a week taking rest days to recuperate and gain strength. Practices are now three times a week. “We’ve got a couple of people who can qualify for the sectionals,” Gierke said. He expects the team to finish in the middle of the conference.

Returning wrestlers dominate in competitions Scott Strauss


staff reporter

he boy’s wrestling season began Oct. 26 with their first practice. The Black and Blue Brawl, an intersquad scrimmage, took place Nov. 12, to help prepare them for the season. The team’s first tournament was on Nov. 21 at Lake Brantley where they finished with three wins and two losses. They defeated Lake Howell 40 to 39, Seminole 42 to 40, and Atlantic 54 to 30. Lake Brantley and DeLand defeated them

in the tournament. The players finished with a combined score of 233 to 206. Sophomore Jamie Gnan won with pins in two of his four matches. The team had their second tournament at Timber Creek on Dec. 1 (the event was a four-way meet) between Hagerty, Boone, Bishop Moore and Timber Creek. They won two of the

three events defeating Bishop Moore 36 to 31, Boone 59 to 24. The team lost to Timber Creek 24 to 50. Junior Ryan Palmer finished with

Junior JJ Lopez wrestles his opponent from Atlantic High School.

photo by kaitlan aries

two pins, and sophomore Jake Rasberry won by a decision and a pin. Bob Donaldson had one pin in the loss to Timber Creek. In the Timber Creek tournament, Joey Wagstaff finished with a pin in all three of his matches. His fastest pin came at 1:01 into the first match. The team currently has won five of the eight tournaments they have attended this year. Their next tournament is the Bill Scott Memorial/Lyman Christmas Tournament on Dec. 18 and 19 at Lyman High, featuring 20 schools all across Central Florida.

page 14 Patrick’s picks Patrick McCormack

sports editor ow more than ever, college football is anyone’s game. Upsets are no longer farfetched; they are common. In week ten alone, teams ranked 4, 8, 20, 22, and 24 in the AP poll lost to unranked teams. Many never would have predicted four of the current top ranked teams. In fact, number five Cincinnati was not ranked on any of the major preseason polls. It currently is undefeated despite the firststring quarterback’s lengthy injury. On the other hand, preseason favorite Oklahoma finds itself unranked after the loss of star quarterback Sam Bradford to two shoulder injuries. This unpredictability is good for the game of football. Few want to watch a game in which the only variable is whether the underdog beats the spread. College football has long been a game dominated by big name powerhouse schools. Now those with relatively new football programs such as Boise State and South Florida influence the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings. Greater fan base and widened potential for success will hopefully continue this positive trend in the upcoming decade. The recent University of Central Florida homecoming game served as a perfect local example. The knights defeated the then 15 ranked University of Houston by 5 points in front of a crowd that filled less than three quarters of Bright House Networks Stadium. As the third largest university in the country with a very large alumni base in the Orlando area, this lack of attendance was nothing short of unsettling. However, this success will hopefully draw large crowds for the next few games. For the first time in years, Notre Dame climbed into the list of ranked teams. This traditional powerhouse has been lackluster lately, but it is good to see them with a talented team (Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate are both Heisman candidates). However, their recent loss to Navy, the second time in three years, is yet another testament to heightened competition in college football. Then again, one can barely criticize the now 7-3 Midshipmen who, in week one, nearly sank then number six ranked Ohio State. Though the team to team playing field seems more balanced, the conferences seem increasingly uneven. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) seems far in front of other conferences claiming three places in the BCS standing’s top ten, numbers one, two and eight. Other conferences may have more ranked teams, but none really compete with the SEC. Still, the perpetual question of who is the best team in college football remains. Does Florida, who only had one ranked team on its schedule, deserve to be higher ranked than Alabama, who had four? Does a 30-point victory over a no-name school outweigh a 3 point victory over a ranked team? Naturally, most of these questions are hard to answer and vary by case, but they make for an excellent season. The National Football League has even greater fluctuations in teams’ year to year performances. The worst team in the National Football Conference South last year, the New Orleans Saints, is now that division’s best team, undefeated through nine games. On the flip side, the Tennessee Titans, last year’s American Football Conference South champions (beating out even the Indianapolis Colts!), stands at 3-6: last in the division.


sports Kenney revamps soccer team Issue 2

New coach brings fresh outlook, a history of success to Hagerty Scott Strauss


staff reporter

team is generally defined by its success and stars on the field. However the coach, not the players, shapes the team. Rodney Kenney, the new girls’ varsity soccer head coach, brings much experience to his new job and is prepared to continue his history of excellence. After only five weeks of being the coach, Kenney feels this team is as good as any team that he has coached in his 13 years of high school soccer. The team also has some of the best players that he has ever coached. Kenney believes that this team can be very successful and includes some players on the junior varsity that could be on the varsity at other programs. This not only helps the present program but also looks good for the program’s future. “The players are phenomenal, and all I have to do is inspire them to give their best and we should go far. Overall, it’s a very young team, and we look forward to future years,” Kenney said. From coaching at both the college and high school levels, Kenney has developed a dynamic coaching style. Rather than adjust to the players, he lets the players adjust to him. “The kids were ‘Coach Getty did this and Coach Getty did that’ and I said well I’m the new coach and we are going to do some new things,” Kenney said. “They have fallen into line and done everything I hoped they would do.” Responsibility is crucial for any player on Kenney’s team. To prepare his players for the world and college, he holds them responsible for all of their actions. It is up to the players to show him that they are good enough and ready to play. “Words are easy. The hard stuff is the work you have to do on the field, and they

photo from

Coach Rodney Kenney gives a pep talk to his players at an away game against Seminole High School. have learned that,” Kenney said. According to Kenney, a team can’t win Kenney has coached at three different championships without having good senior schools in Florida including Orange Park leaders. High School (OPHS) and University “Coach Kenney has put a lot of of North Florida. At OPHS, Kenney’s responsibility on me being a senior and team won seven district titles in 11 years. a captain. I have to keep the team morale They attended regional playoffs ten times up while still concentrating on playing the making the Final Four twice and winning game,” senior forward Lyndsay Wainman two championships. said. “The coach expects all of the captains Kenney’s most recent coaching job to lead by example both on and off the field before returning to the high school level and to set an example for all of the girls on was at Stetson University in Deland, FL the team.” where he was the assistant women’s coach Since Coach Kenney has become the from 2002 through 2008. head coach, the team has won games, such “I had just resigned from Stetson as Winter Spring and Lake Brantley. So far University, and got a call from Coach in the season, the team has four wins, two Getty asking if I would be interested in losses, and one tie. coaching the girls here, and I said yes,” “We are really enthusiastic about Kenney said. playing,” sophomore midfielder Kristin To Kenney, a team is not complete Keenan said. “Coach Kenney tells us without seniors who are leaders on and stories of his former teams how we can off the field. He relies on them to set the be like them to encourage us. He is a very tradition here so that the underclassmen good coach and knows a lot about soccer.” follow this tradition in future years.

Needed hall of fame will bring outstanding athletes recognition Shannon Dunne

staff reporter he words “creating a tradition of excellence” are inscribed on our school crest. One way to preserve that excellence and begin those traditions is to create a Hall of Fame that would encompass all of our successes. “I think that [a Hall of Fame] is one of those traditions that bridges the gap between what was and what is,” Principal Sam Momary said. “It presents opportunities for present students to see what others did and try to match those achievements.” Momary foresees that either this or next year, a committee made of parents, students, and staff members will be created and will start to make plans for our own Hall of Fame. Momary has experienced the creation of a Hall of Fame before. When he became principal at Lyman High School several years ago, even though Lyman was 70 years old, they had never created a Hall of Fame. “We instituted a Hall of Fame, but we made it a general Hall of Fame that included athletes as well as non-athletes,” Momary said. Momary plans for our Hall of Fame to include all aspects of excellence as well. The process of induction will most


likely be a coach or administrator’s “Any connections that you can make nomination, then a vote by a selected to prior students helps solidify the sense group of school personnel. What will of [a] hometown community, thus creating happen from there will be determined by donors for programs,” Getty said. the committee, but usually a Hall of Fame Winter Springs Athletic Director, Ted is a matter of plaques or pictures that are Jones, is in the process of the creation of housed somewhere in the school. Winter Springs Athletic Hall of Fame. The school has only been open for “Winter Springs is now 12 years old so five years so it is still in the process of some tradition has been established,” Jones the establishment of a standard. The key said. “We will select our inaugural class this component in the opening of this Hall of May and then present the first inductees at Fame is time. a home football game next year.” The first graduating class has paved the Athletic Director Christy Tibbitts-Bryce way and set feels that our their marks. inductees should Now the also be present at “ is important to recognize question is some sort of event the accomplishments of whether their that will take place students who have grown up in marks survive. on campus. She a community...” “[The first plans for the press -Christy Tibbitts-Bryce graduating to be involved and class] is for the inductees basically the to be showcased standard that kids hold themselves against,” online as well. assistant athletic director Jay Getty said. “I think it is important to recognize the “But the standard changes as what was once accomplishments of students who have thought inconceivable becomes reality.” grown up in a community and be proud of Getty has experience in both the creation the people that they have become,” Tibbittsand application of the Oviedo High School Bryce said. “Many people go on to do great Hall of Fame. He finds a Hall of Fame things and it is always nice to let everyone important to a high school. know that they began as Huskies!”


page 15

December 16, 2009

of the Issue Athletes Bryce Seymour runs out front Kyle Geiger swims to states Shannon Dunne

Jacob Calloway, Scott Strauss and Robyn Smith staff reporters

staff reporter

• Freshman and state leader in the field of cross country. • Number one runner on the girls’ varsity cross country team and brings in the least amount of points for the overall team score. (In cross country the goal is to have the least amount of points possible.) • Has an unweighted 3.9 GPA. • Has been running since the seventh grade. • Holds a personal record of 19 minutes and 20 seconds for a 5K. • Finished third at the Seminole Athletic Conference which placed her on the first team allconference. • Placed fourth overall in the 4A District 1 competition even after breaking her foot during the race. • “Bryce’s ability to run proves that with complete dedication, even freshmen can be fast,” senior teammate Zavia Menning said.

• Kyle Geiger is one of the lead swimmers and cheerers on the swim team. He says his loud voice is one of his biggest contributions to the team. • One of the older kids on the team, helping them via his aura of support. • Best performance was 49.7 in the 400 relay. • Swims with the Blue Dolfins and plays water polo. • Has a 2.9 GPA. • Short term goal is to graduate high school. • Long term goal is to swim in college. • Hopes to get Oviedo recognized as a good swimming community. • Biggest challenge is waking up in the morning and going to practice.

“She is a very goaloriented individual that does not understand the words ‘no’ or ‘can’t’.”

“Kyle works very hard to make sure he does everything to the best of his ability.”

-Coach Jay Getty

- Wrestling Coach Isiah Cabal photo by allison dunne

photo from

page 16

layout by: Sarah Landers


Religion school in

Popular Christian group visits students on campus Kait Moorman

heads indoors to begin Club by singing opinions editor nonreligious songs popular among our college volunteers inhale the teenagers. Students then participate in scent of freshly made breadsticks diverse activities such as finger-jousting, and pizza as they enter the cafeteria sock wrestling, bear hugs, and brown paper during lunch to invite students to a once-a- bag hot potato. Club continues with a comical skit week religious gathering. These volunteers represent Younglife, performed by the college volunteers a nonprofit, non-denominational Christian followed by a religious song and a short organization that wishes to introduce message with a Biblical theme. “There’s always something new to learn “adolescents everywhere to Jesus Christ and [help] them grow in their faith,” and experience [at Younglife],” senior according to, the official web Andrew Acosta said. Generally, students say they enjoy the site of the group. College volunteer Britney Lamb says unique activities and sense of community that Younglife aims “to change the lives of Younglife offers. “New people high school kids come all the time and help them “There’s always something new and I love making start a relationship new friends. I to learn and experience.” with Christ.” [also] like learning The college -Andrew Acosta more about God,” volunteers visit junior Maddie lunches both to hang out with students they know and to Koo said. “The games are really creative invite students they do not yet know to and they make me laugh.” Despite its classification as a Christian attend a Younglife meeting. Known as “Club,” the meetings occur every Monday group all students, regardless of religious evening at 7:37 p.m. and is located at a beliefs, are welcome to attend the weekly meetings. College volunteers frequently different student’s house each week. As they arrive at the Club location, update Club information and communicate students socialize with college volunteers with student attendees via their Facebook and attendees. At [7:50], everyone group page.


BIBLE cont. from page 1 “With modern day translations, the Bible is not the exact translation of the original text, rather it is just an interpretation of what an author meant to say,” junior Sydney Taub said. Besides the accuracy of the Bible, moral values have also been questioned. Some students feel that since Christianity

photo by elaine lam

Junior Vanessa Markgraf sits in the amphitheater and flips through her Bible during the lunchtime discussions.

is so widely accepted in the United States, creating a Bible study group would be acceptable, but other non-Christian groups would be questioned. “It’s okay for a Bible study, but it’s a double standard, because if there was a Quran group they would get called out,” senior Jaime Miller said. A Quran group would be a group of Muslims studying the Islamic religious text. Despite criticism, the Bible study continues discussions each week. Group members use the word of God to defend and spread their beliefs. “Some people bash the Bible for being fiction, but if you look deeper into it, there is truth,” senior James Erickson said. Both Christians and non-Christians are welcomed into this group. As the group grows larger, more studies appear at various times during the school day to accommodate the students. First lunch sessions and morning sessions permit students with different schedules to attend and discuss their Christian beliefs. “We are open and we would love to talk to you, regardless of religion,” Langevin said. The Bible study does not discriminate against age, race, grade, sexual orientation, or even religious affiliations; the Bible Study opens itself to all students. Students from a variety of denominations are allowed to come together to discuss the one thing that each of them have in common: their beliefs.

FCA brings friends, food, and faith Elaine Lam


staff reporter o cliques, no friend circles, just a place where all students can go hangout. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), an internationally recognized Christian organization, gathers students every other Monday at 6 p.m. in the old gym to discuss moral issues from a religious standpoint and to socialize. “It’s a social gathering, just a time to have fun, to play games and build teamwork,” sponsor John Kohn said. Founded in 1954, FCA is a non-profit ministry that reaches out to Christian athletes all over the world. The goal of FCA is to use coaches as well as athletes from youth to professional levels to impact the world for Christianity. “[Members] don’t need to be a Christian or an athlete,” Kohn said. Here, each student has the opportunity to express his or her feelings about the meeting’s discussion topics. Although a Christian background is not required, FCA uses God and morals as a focal point for their discussions. FCA strives to gather a diverse range of students from every social group to allow students to mingle and meet new people. Old members are expected to include new members in order to bring the group close together. “It gives [the students] an outlet, an avenue to hangout and not be judged and [it makes it so that] everyone can let their guard down,” Kohn said. Around 30 to 60 students come to each session. All students are invited to join this congregation of students in their fellowship. Last year’s graduating senior class made up about three-fourths of the entire group.

FCA has begun to recruit more lowerclassmen in order to keep the attendance levels up, now that the former seniors have graduated. “In a sense, [FCA] is just starting all over again, but with a new group of students,” Kohn said. This year, the group has steadily grown, starting out with 18 students on the first day. Within the next three meetings the group nearly doubled to 37 students. At a typical FCA meeting, students first attend a teaching group session. These discussion topics are based on moral issues in society.

graphic from http://www. clubs/fellowhip/fca.jpg

The scripture readings and discussions encourage students to speak up about any issues they would be willing to discuss. In return, other students listen to their situations and are able to give their own input on the matter. Most discussions last about ten to fifteen minutes. One of the regular attendees, junior Katie Ballew, explains how more people would affect the entire group. “If more people showed up [at the

gatherings], then we could have a longer discussion because each person could share their own stories,” Ballew said. After discussion, the group eats dinner and the games begin. Students form teams and start games like dodge ball or capture the flag. The games encourage students to practice the basic values of FCA: integrity, service, teamwork and excellence. “I really love how I can connect with other kids through the games and have some fun,” Ballew said. As the basic values of FCA, service and integrity are expected from all members. Attendees receive guidance from other members during the teaching group sessions, where the students put in their own opinions about the current discussion topics. “I believe that FCA can help a student figure out [his or her] life and in return help others figure out their lives,” junior Kelsey Carpenter said. There are no plans to expand outside of school because FCA groups have already sprung up in many other high schools and middle schools all over the world. FCA hopes for more students to join the group.

book graphic by sarah landers apple graphic from