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HAGERTY HIGH SCHOOL

3225 LOCKWOOD BLVD. OVIEDO, FL 32765

INDEX

the

blueprint

FCAT Scores................2 Benedict to Germany.....4 Funding cuts...........6-7 Too much homework....8 Districts....................10

volume 7, issue 6

may 29, 2012

Upperclass unstressed about AP exams

I remember in freshman year, AP exams were so nervewracking. I felt like I had to study so much,” senior Katie Yoches said. “After my third exam, they started to feel like no big deal. There is no stressing over them because I’m so used to them.” The end of the year means the beginning of Advanced Placement exams. It means last minute studying and yearlong classes coming to an end. For many students, the second and third weeks of May mean exam after exam for the college-level classes that these students endured throughout the year. For underclassmen, these exams are a big deal. Students want nothing more than to pass, which often times means studying nonstop leading up to test day. They have to wake up early on their weekends to take mock exams and complete review projects that are meant to help them to better prepare. However, upperclassmen have a different feeling about it. “By my senior year, I have taken so many exams that it feels like nothing,” Yoches said. “I feel confident that my hard work paid off. I have taken so many tests that I know my teachers prepared me to the best of their ability.” The work that many students are assigned throughout the year seems to be given to prepare them for the worst. Teachers know what their students should know. “The exam always seems much simpler than the tests and homework that my teachers give me,” senior Jamie Gnan said. “When I

Taking it easy. Junior Eric Anschuetz plays on his Bameboy instead of studying for his AP exam. Anschuetz felt that as he got older his exams became less of a stress.

finally get to the exam, I feel like I know a lot of the information and am very prepared. There is not only a difference for students; teachers believe that after a point, there is not much left to do. “These students endure tons of prep work leading up to exam dates. After a year of work, they either know it or they don’t,” AP Language and Composition teacher Lauren Hamilton said. “If they aren’t stressed out, then they are well prepared for the exam. The stress level may decrease with age, but students feel like their scores increase the more tests that they take. “I took seven AP classes this year and have taken AP classes since freshman year, so after the first few exams I took, it didn’t seem like such a big deal anymore,” junior Eric Anschuetz said. Many students find that although the actual exams were not stressful, that does not mean that the classes are not. Many AP classes mean numerous teachers giving large amounts of work at the same time. “All year I have been stressing out over the large sums of work,” junior Taylor Scimeca said. “When you have numerous AP classes, it becomes very difficult to balance all of the work.” All of the nonstop work that students have put in all year and all of the stress that they have endured give the students a prepared feeling, enabling them to head into their AP exams without being nervous or stressed. -Darbi Filliben, News Editor

photo by Isabelle Sarnek

5

things to do this summer  Star Wars Weekends

[May 18-June 10] Meet Queen Amidala, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and other Star Wars characters at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

 Night Hike at the Zoo

[June 9] Explore the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens after dark. Starts at 7 p.m. and admission is $20.

 Summer Nights at Seaworld  Fringe Festival [June 23-August 12] Experience special nightly events such as Shamu Rocks, Summer Nights Central and a live fireworks show. The park will be open until 10 p.m. all summer long.

[May 26-27] Celebrate theater, art and music at various venues near the Orlando Repertory Theater and Loch Haven Park. Admission is $5 to $10 per show.

 Orlando Carnival

[May 27] Day of music, parades and live entertainment celebrating Caribbean culture, located at Festival Field across from the Citrus Bowl.


2 what’s new?

w AUDITIONS for the musical Aida will be on June 6-8

news

FCAT Writes scores fall below par

at the University Performing Arts Centre. It will be directed by Hagerty alumns. For more information email them at eternaltheaterproject3@gmail.com

w AP TEST SCORES will be released the third week of July. Students should have provided there adress when taking the exam. If you do not recieve your score please contact the front office.

w REPORT CARDS will be mailed home the first week of June. Contact the school if there have been any current address changes within the past year.

w BASKETBALL

SUMMER CAMP for people ages 5-14 will have sessions from June 11-15, June 1822, and July 2-6. The cost for one session is $80, two sessions is $150, and all three sessions is $200. A registration form is located on the school website. If you have any further questions, please contact Josh Kohn at josh_kohn@scps.k12.fl.us

w DEADLINE FOR 2012-2013 COURSE REQUESTS

due on June 1. Students wishing to change or drop a course must pick up a course request change form in their guidance house office or e-mail their counselor. Course requests can be viewed in Skyward Family Access or Student Access.

w SUMMER SCHOOL 2012 The first session of sum-

mer school will run from June 5-25, and the second session from June 25-July 15. The hours are 7:20 a.m.-1:18 p.m. The program schedule and/or student hours could change due to legislation or other factors. Summer school meets four days a week, excluding Fridays.

w SUMMER

GUIDANCE SERVICES have changed due to budget cuts and restrictions. Guidance counselors, starting June 1, will be available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from June 5-6, June 20-21, June 25-26, and July 17-18. Appointments should be made early.

photo by Isabelle Sarnek

FCAT Wrong. Freshman Kyle Haley practices for the FCAT Writes. The FCAT Writes had a lower passage rate this year so more emphasis is being placed on it.

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hen the 2012 FCAT Writes test scores became public, schools across the state learned that the pass rate for the test was shockingly low. Scores for the fourth graders, eighth graders and tenth graders dropped from about an 80 percent pass rate down to the high 20s. This left parents, students, teachers, and administrators all curious as to what went wrong. In order to fix the problem, the State Board of Education decided to lower the

passing score from a four to a three, on a scale of six. With this modification, writing scores would be close to those of previous years. For the school, the pass rate of tenth graders rose from 55 percent to 93 percent, considerably higher than the state average of 84 percent The reason for the decline in scores was due to the Department of Education’s changes in the state grading rubric for FCAT Writes, a focus on higher level synthesis and analysis writing by students

within the content of the written essay and a change in the scoring rubric that reflects more emphasis on grammar and conventions such as spelling, punctuation and sentence structure. “The writing passage was graded more as a ‘draft’ than a completed work; the new tougher standards graded the assignment as a ‘finished’ work,” Principal Sam Momary said. “Very little documentation or samples were provided to assist teachers in adequately preparing students for the grading rubric.” While FCAT Writes does not prevent a student from graduating, it does play a large role in the grading process of schools. However, the DOE has agreed to only drop a school’s grade by one letter so that schools can adjust to the changes. Teachers were very much surprised by the scores, as they had been working hard all year to prepare their students for the test. “I was concerned, disturbed in fact, by the FCAT Writes results, when I initially heard about them,” sophomore English teacher Christine Pierce said. “I suspected that the media would most likely put fear into parents’ mind about their impact.” As the state continues to deal with the outcome of the rubric change, teachers and administrators will be sure to try and prevent this from happening again in the following years. “The only action we can take at this point is learning from what the state explains as the issue and addressing it next year,” sophomore English teacher Lauren Hamilton said. “I am just thankful that here at Hagerty we have students who truly care about their performance.” -Matthew Neveras, Business Manager

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news

Griffin selected as superintendent

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he school board is undergoing a change in leadership. On April 11 Walt Griffin was chosen to be the next superintendent for Seminole County since the current superintendent, Bill Vogel, eill retire in June. As superintendent, Griffin plans to make changes such as encouraging homeschoolers to take Florida Virtual School courses. He wants to market Seminole County Public Schools in order to increase enrollment numbers and hopes to add more E-pathways, which present students and families with a variety of schooling options. “Not only will [summer programs] offer additional revenue, but people who have questions and people who don’t know about our schools will get to experience our quality facilities,” Griffin said in an interview with the school board. “It will also provide some great opportunities for students and certainly for the working parents.” Griffin will become the superintendent

after an extensive career in the seminole county school system. “I believe I’ve built good teams, and have my entire career been surrounded by dedicated, knowledgeable studentcentered adults,” Griffin said. “I think any leader that can surround themselves with the right people and has a clear vision, a clear mission, and is supportive of those that are around [them] can be successful.” Vogel has been superintendent since 2003. The board turned down his proposal to save money by closing certain elementary schools. His idea for an increase in property taxes was rejected by voters. Vogel also pushed for a pay increase, concerned about possible decline in morale of Seminole County teachers, but the board told teachers in early April that there is no longer enough money for any raises in pay. Griffin is already well known throughout the county and many teachers and staff members are eager to see what

his changes he will bring into their education departments. “He seems very much all about what’s best for the students,” said teacher Helen Reed. “He is definitely connected to the Seminole County student body and listens to teachers’ ideas and concerns.” His plans to improvements in communication include presence at more city council meetings, a more open invitation for elected officials into schools, and to keep good tabs on transferred information in order to decrease the amount of misunderstandings. He values making genuine relationships with the people involved in decision making. “I’m looking forward to us having a common vision, a common mission and having a few defined targets that we revisit on a regular basis and the core of our work resetting to what’s important to our students,” Griffin said. “It is very, very difficult to run an organization if everyone is not crystal clear on our vision.” -Amanda Ellard, Staff Reporter

Meet Walt Griffin w Unanimously chosen as su-

perintendent over two other finalists w Current Director of

Secondary Education

w Principal of Seminole High School from

2004-2007 w Principal of Millennium Middle School

from 1999-2004 w Assistant Principal of Lakeview Middle

School from 1997-1999 w Assistant Principal of Tuskawilla Middle

School from 1989-1997 w Teacher at Tuskawilla Middle School from

1984-1989 w Teacher at Lake Highland Preparatory

School from 1982-1984 w

Married for 29 years with one daughter compiled by Darbi Filiben and one son.

Looking to fulfill your dreams? E T A T S O G 407.708.2050 | seminolestate.edu/apply


4

lifestyles

Benedict to spend year in Germany

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t all started with a flyer plucked out of the college and career room. After it was thrown on a bed and ignored for a month, sophomore Jaime Benedict took a second look at it–and spontaneously decided to spend her junior year abroadin Germany. The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange is a program for motivated high school students who wish to study abroad and learn about the German language and culture. It runs every year for approximately 10 months and is funded by the U.S. State Department. Out of thousands of applicants, Benedict was one of the few chosen to receive a full scholarship and will leave in July to live with a host family in Germany for a year. In order to apply for the program, Benedict needed basic health records and information, six essays, a letter to her host family and two teacher recommendations in just three weeks. “Some people had like five months to do [the application],” said Benedict. “On Christmas break I worked on it all day and all night.” Benedict did not tell her parents about

her plans until a week after she made her initial application. Her mother, who also visited Germany as a teenager through an exchange program, helped her write her admission essays and encouraged her through the process. “[My parents] were really excited for me. They’re going from three kids to zero because my sisters are going to college,” Benedict said. “I think they’ll miss me but they’ll enjoy having no one home.” The CBYX runs from July 2012 to July 2013, although pre-departure preparation starts in May. Students travel to Washington D.C. and take a tour which includes a visit to Congress before departure from the airport. A unique feature of the program is that students are not required to be fluent in the German language. Upon arrival, Benedict will be enrolled in a three-week camp where she will go to classes and take field trips to learn the language and culture required to live in Germany. “It’s not a requirement to know German–they prefer it if you don’t,” Benedict said. “They want you to experience a new language and see that you can become fluent by immersing

yourself in the culture.” After the camp, she will be sent to live with her host family, whom she will be matched with through her application, and attend school at a gymnasium for collegebound high school students. Benedict will not receive any academic credit for her time abroad except for a foreign language credit. In order to compensate, she took Physics and American History through virtual school. “I’ve lived in Central Florida pretty much my whole life so it’ll be a bit of a culture shock,” Benedict said. She was born in Hawaii and has been to Mexico and Canada but she has never traveled outside of the continent. Despite the rigorous applications and interview process, Benedict looks forward to July, when she will board her plane in D.C. and say goodbye to Oviedo for an entire year. “Everyone asks me, ‘Are you scared? You don’t even know the German language. How can you survive over there?” Benedict said. “I haven’t really thought about it. I’m not nervous at all. I’m just really excited.” -Sarah Casagrande, Editor-in-Chief

The Death of Chivalry The high school epidemic: Multi-tasking that leads to near death occurences Matilda von Kalm, Managing Editor

T

here have been times when I look up from my phone, where my entire social life resides, and realize I am on a collision course not only with the nearest wall, but with my decreasing IQ. While I am usually able to veer out of the way before coming head to head with a very painful predicament, some are not so lucky. The first time I saw this up close and personal was when a girl, her nose about four centimeters away from her phone, fingers flying across the touchscreen keyboard, completely missed the first step of the main stairs in upperhouse and proceed to roll down the stairs in a fashion I thought only a volleyball could do. Everyone around her stared, probably wondering if she would ever come to a rest or just keep rolling. Eventually she reached the bottom, where she landed on her side with a great exhale of air and a chorus of “ouch” from the crowd. It seemed the entire school held its breath, waiting for this girl to prove she was still alive. Eventually she moved, but only to limp over to her fallen phone, wipe the grit and blood off its screen and continue to send that all important text. The other time I saw someone completely humiliate themselves due to phone absorption was right in front of the guidance hallway in building six when a guy, probably trying to guess the Toyota logo for Logos Quiz Game, looked up to make eye contact with the brick column he crashed into a split second later. Actually, it was more of a reenactment of Tom from Tom and Jerry hitting the rake Jerry sets out for him to step on, one leg still moving forward in a stiff fashion with the pancake face. The best part was when he moved on like nothing had happened. It was the best course of action for him, seeing as there was no way for him to recover from his run in with the solid object. I have seen others walk into closed doors, slide down stairs and trip over thresholds or cracks in the pavement, all while continuing to glue their eyes to the LCD screen of their smartphone. Sometimes I’ll catch a kid completely unaware of their surroundings, stop, peel their eyes away from Temple Run for a second and regain their bearings only to find out they have traveled in completely the wrong direction and swiftly turn around to head the opposite way to their next class. Sadly, we have come to treat this more as a conversation starter with our friends than an epidemic. “Hey, did you hear about that girl who almost died walking down the stairs in building 2 while playing Draw Something? She almost cracked her skull, it was hilarious!” These near death experiences are pretty funny to those watching, as long as you aren’t the one humiliating yourself in front of the entire student body. It’s the one time that people are allowed to laugh at you as you come face to face with death and narrowly miss breaking some important bone structure, like your spine. With that in mind, remember to surface for air every once in a while to make sure you are not about to walk off the balcony.


5

lifestyles

Hair colors to dye for

“I

photo by Morgan Allred

Highlighted. Sophomore Valentina Douse chats with her friend before the buses arrive. “Even after I started changing my hair color, I don’t think that my friends saw me any differently,” said Douse.

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thought it was a cool idea that you could put crazy colors in your hair,” said sophomore Valentina Douse. “I saw other people doing it so I thought it’d be a fun thing to try.” But after her first blonde highlight, Douse was hooked. Next, she experimented with dark blue, purple, and turquoise. For sophomore Ayse Bulbul, the color in her hair was just a way for her to keep things interesting. “Having the same hair color for a long time gets really boring,” said Bulbul. Sophomore Angela Sadat changed her hair color to get a chance to start over. “Dyeing my hair is just a feeling I get when I want to change something about myself,” said Sadat. “It’s a fresh start.” In addition to getting used to the new appearance herself, Douse’s family had to adapt as well. “My family’s pretty accepting of it,” said Douse. “They didn’t approve of it at first, but that changed. I think they still see me as the same person.” Douse’s friends also had to get used to the new look, but they quickly adjusted.

“My friends know me to be someone who likes change and new things,” said Douse. “So it wasn’t much of a shock when I started playing around with my image. And as long as people aren’t mean about the way I look, I’m okay with being viewed differently.” Although Sadat had dyed her hair 26 times, she did not feel any different from when she had natural hair. Bulbul had dyed her hair 20 times but never developed a method to picking what color to do next. “Most of the time the way I look is completely random,” said Bulbul. “But it makes me feel unique.” Even though she enjoyed standing out, Bulbul believed that she would not always have colorful hair, because after a while the hair starts to die and look bad, Along with trying new colors, Douse thought about a normal style. “I’ve considered going back to a regular look because my boyfriend likes how my hair is naturally,” said Douse. “In the future I probably will, but for now I’m just having fun with it.” -Morgan Allred, Journalism 1


6

middle

Budget

7

middle

Battle

Money trouble

Budget cuts will affect more than just teachers. Here are projected numbers for upcoming years:

$21 million

Predicted budget deficit for Seminole County’s 2012-2013 school year.

Teachers protest stagnant pay, the decline of school budgets

“H

ey, hey, what do you say, we deserve a raise today! Hey, hey, what do you know, three percent and not zero!” The over 300 Seminole County teachers and support staff chanted, who all wore red and carried bullhorns, clappers and angry posters. They circled around the Educational Support Center after school on May 15 and protested before the hearing about stagnant teacher pay and budget cuts. “All state employees have had three percent taken out of their paychecks this year,” Seminole Educators Association executive director KT Caldwell said. “We hope to put pressure on the school board so they realize that teachers should be first when they pay their bills.” Teachers have protested since April 3 when SEA declared an impasse on their yearly contract with the School Board Association. The outcome of the hearing on May 15 concluded that there would be no raises, but teachers would receive a onetime raise of $500 and support staff would receive $250. “At this point in time, the district has a reoccurring deficit of close to $4 million, and cannot afford to increase the deficit by adding a raise,” School Board Vice Chairman Karen Almond said. The School Board sets the pay wage standards, but the major source of funds is state money, which the State Legislature controls. In the last four years, the Legislature has cut over $100 million from the SCPS budget, and teachers are not the only ones who have been affected. “The class size amendment is out the window,” principal Sam Momary said. “Sports will be cut back and there will be less money for supplies.” The money the school receives is based

Not a Zero. Union Leader Kevin Norman leads the teacher protest on May 15. The teachers used bullhorns, streamers and hand-made posters to get their point across.

on the student population, and because student enrollment went down this year, the budget decreased. This resulted in the layoff of five teachers, as well and a decline in teacher moral. “We feel defeated and deflated; it’s been four years with no raise, and the cost of living keeps going up,” English teacher Helen Reed said. Other counties’ school budgets have fared better than Seminole’s because of passed property tax increases. Because the tax increase was voted down by Seminole County, there is no money to offset budget cuts. “The equivalent of $585 has been lost per student in the county,” Superintendent Bill Vogel said. “These teachers are very deserving, and I understand their frustrations and encourage them to express their concerns as professionally as possible.” There may also be another reason for the decrease in school revenues though— one that could change the school system. “It is clear from the state perspective that the political power structure is intent on breaking up public education, the biggest single expense in the state legislature,” Momary said. This would mean that schools would eventually be funded entirely by private vendors, which would cost the state less money, but parents more. Momary felt that this could cause students to have a cheaper education. “We have made so many cuts, and we are now at the tipping point of continued quality education,” Vogel said. “The community needs to make a decision to support SCPS schools.” -Matilda von Kalm, Managing Editor

78 degrees

Proposed school temperature for next year, the highest allowed by state law. It would save $500,000.

5 schools

may be closed down next year. Elementary schools are the primary focus, with 4300 empty seats in the county.

$130

Proerty tax increase for homeowners that was voted down by Seminole County. This money would have gone towards offsetting the budget crisis.

Unified Front. SCPS bus drivers and support staff show their anger at their dwindling paychecks. Like teachers, they had three percent cut out of their pay this year. Protest. (left) Teachers Romina Janotti and Kim Dansereau stand outside of the Educational Support Center with signs opposing the unfair cuts.

illustration by Sarah Casagrande

photos by Isabelle Sarnek

Student support

Teacher Appreciation. (left) English teacher Helen Reed instructs students on their assignment. Reed is worried about how pay decreases have affected teacher morale.

“If they don’t get paid a lot they won’t be motivated. They won’t try new learning techniques.” -Angela Sadat, 10

“The teachers need to determine what and when the school board raises. They work hard; they deserve a raise.” -Adam Jensen, 12

“They won’t get money and they might not want to work for us. They would want to look for a job with more money involved.” -CJ Rush, 9

“My mom’s a teacher, so I think it would make a difference in [teacher’s] work habits.” -Al Griffith, 9


8

opinions

Teachers should plan ahead for AP exams and EOC’s Teachers have come to accept that during FCAT students will be preoccupied with tests and will give out a light classwork and homework load. This, however, is not always the case for AP exams and End of Course exams. It is the staff’s opinion that teachers should better coordinate the days they plan on giving out tests and major assignments with AP and EOC exams so students do not have to miss these assignments. Because the math and biology EOC’s are newer than FCAT, teachers in other subjects do not give them enough respect. These tests count for more than FCAT as they determine if the student gets credit for the class they have spent 32 weeks in, rather than FCAT where a student is placed in a remedial course the following year if they fail. Also, becuase AP exams take up a two week period, teachers are reluctant to hold off on their class, and have asked students to come back after their exam to make up a test or assignment or risk losing points, even though students are field-tripped for the day. Instead of making students come back after their exams, teachers should schedule make up days in advance for the missed work so students can manage their time effectively. Students could chose what day works best for them and their teacher to be able to complete their make up work on time, without losing points. Administration also needs to clarify their exam policies, as teachers should not be able to force students to come in when they have been field-tripped, because it is unfair to ask a student to make a choice between their classes and exams.

blueprint

the

Our Take:

The Blue Print is a student-produced newspaper 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 views as a whole, the views of Seminole County Public Schools, or Hagerty High School’s administration and staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged, but cannot be anonymous. Please submit via email, Brit Taylor’s staff mailbox or to room 6-201. For more information about advertising in the paper, please contact the staff via one of the above methods. We reserve the right to reject any advertisement.

Hagerty High School 3225 Lockwood Blvd. Oviedo, FL 32765 Telephone: (407) 871-0750 Fax: (407) 871-0817 Email: hhsblueprint@gmail.com Principal News Editor Sam Momary Darbi Filliben Adviser Lifestyles Editor Brit Taylor Lexi Rossow Sabrina Chehab Editor-in-Chief Opinions Editor Sarah Casagrande Natalie Castle Sports Editor Managing Editor Sean Donovan Matilda von Kalm

Graphics Editor Catie Mason Photos Editor Isabelle Sarnek Business Manager Matthew Neveras Staff Reporters Wil Egan Amanda Ellard Quinby Mitchell Journalism 1 Morgan Allred Spencer Thompson

SGA, leadership efforts not acknowledged

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ll the blame and none of the credit — that describes the life of an SGA student. As Junior Class President this year and Executive Board President next year, I have firsthand knowledge about many of the complaints that people have about the Leadership and SGA at this school. Just like elected government officials, we were elected by the student body to make decisions that will be best for the school. We do have to make many decisions without talking to everyone. We are unable to ask everyone’s opinions on everything, there is just too much to do and not enough time. However, the major decisions that we make are not all by ourselves.

Anyone is welcome to class meetings where major topics are discussed. If you don’t like a T-shirt idea, go to the meeting. If you don’t like the dress up days for Homecoming, go to the meetings. Everything is discussed there. A lot of the people who go to these meetings and help with the decision making process for major events like Homecoming floats and Prom hold no leadership position at all. They simply arrive to have the chance to influence others and voice their opinions. We are aware that we cannot always please everyone. There will always be people who don’t like a song or disagree on a float idea. But instead of constant complaints about what decisions we make and the way events go, you should

try to join your class council and change the way these events occur. Classes meet every Tuesday to discuss upcoming events and make major decisions about them. We have intense debates to come to the best decisions possible and encourage others to join. If you want to change how things are, step up and have a voice. Do not complain after the events take place. Help to improve them from the start. We are just trying to make the school year the best for everyone anyway that we can. We try our hardest to make the best decisions that the most amount of people approve of. The only way that we can do that is to have as many opinions as possible from as many people possible. -Darbi Filliben, News Editor

Homework not as useful as interactive learning environment

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seems like schools expect students to be doing schoolwork continually. Also, homework often inhibits the vital social aspect to a student’s life; aster-school activities. Socializing helps provide variation and keep students from becoming too stressed out by their numverous classwork assignments. Students need to learn to study on their own to pass their tests and succeed in life. Homework does the opposite of this, however, and students put off their work until the last minute, just so they can copy it from a friend. Tests cannot be passed through last-minute study sessions and quick copies off another student. Assigned work in class and projects are a much better way to assess a student’s progress than homework, as it allows students to continue to ask questions and permits teachers to monitor work. While some students continue to be lazy and refuse to do their own work even on a

simple assignment, their improvement— if any—should be reflected in their test grades. With all the pressure that schools put on the importance of end of course testing, these tests should be the bulk of any student’s grade to successfully assess what they have learned. Buffer grades provide students with the ability to “fluff” their grade. Even if they fail tests and quizzes, this will enable them to be able to pass the class with a decent grade. This does not show how much a students learned and is a source of further frustration because students do great in class, but tank the tests that they are given. Buffer grades may help boost a student’s overall GPA, but they reflect a false sense of knowledge that vanishes once an actual test is put in place. While it is true that homework does help active students on their tests and in class participation, it should be an

individual decision to study rather than an obligation. A teacher’s responsibility of students resides primarily in the classroom, so it does not make sense that teachers should assign homework. They cannot force students to study. If they are motivated and wish to succeed in the classroom, they will do it themselves. For more diligent students, homework is a helpful tool, but to others it is simply a source of stress and academic pain. Homework is useless in school. With an additional workload outside of the classroom, cheating, anger and stress is promoted among students. It should be eliminated and replaced with other inclass assignments that are more engaging and interactive that will allow teachers to analyze a student’s academic growth. Students learn a lot better in an interactive environment and teachers should take advantage of that. -Wil Egan, Staff Reporter

illustration by Catie Mason

omework is one of the biggest sources of stress in a student’s life. Teachers who encourage homework argue that the extra assignments encourage independent study, builds up in-class skills, and allow for outside reading, all three of which help students develop strong study habits. But many students float through school without actually doing any work because of homework. Homework promotes cheating and provides buffer grades that do not actually reflect the learning curve of students. Homework is useless. Homework also creates a lot of stress for students who put forth actual effort; causing frustration, confuison and sometimes lack of sleep. Sparingly, homework can be beneficial to a student’s academic career, but often times, students are overwhelmed with profuse amounts of homework, which keeps them up and away from other activities. It almost


9

reviews Horrible

Decent

Good

Great

Outstanding

Avengers action-packed, awesome

striking a chord “Third British Invasion” threatens U.S. music industry Sarah Casagrande, Editor-in-Chief

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t started with the Incredible Hulk. Second was Iron Man, then Thor, and last was Captain America (ironically, the first Avenger). Four superheroes with their own movies, who seemingly had no connection except for a secret government organization called S.H.I.E.L.D. Who knew that when they met, they would break the record of highest-grossing opening weekend ever? For action junkies everywhere, The Avengers is the biggest fix yet. The movie pulls you in immediately with explosions, drama and fight scenes that leave viewers breathless. The first Avenger to be introduced is Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Things take an unexpected turn when his mind

photo from ifc.com

is taken over by Loki (Tom Hiddleton), who uses Hawkeye and fellow SHEILD agents to steal the Tesseract, an ancient Asgardian artifact of unimaginable power, and escape the SHEILD facility. Unlike most movies that center around a group, the plot does not revolve around one character more so than the others. The Avengers focuses on the team and gives each character their own screen time and action scenes. This made the team dynamics even more fantastic; each character gives something to make the team stronger. Unexpectedly, it was just as funny as it was action packed. Humorous scenes such as when Thor uses the excuse that Loki was adopted for his brother’s

actions are plenty. It was well done even in serious moments somehow you find yourself laughing at something that a character says or does. The movie was wrapped up well and stopped at a perfect time for a squeal. It ended as realistic as a superhero movie could get. All the team members had their own lives they had to get back to, though they had new connections and bonds with each other. It left you wanting more, not because the movie was incomplete or had plot holes, but because the amazing plot development, character interactions, and epic fight scenes that were just too good for it to be over. The Avengers PG-13 -Catie Mason, Graphics Editor

The Lucky One is an emotional story of love and fate

T

he Lucky One, Nicholas Sparks’s newest novel turned movie, is the best one yet; it managed to incorporate the sweet military romance of Dear John as well as the charming love story of The Notebook. The movie centers on Logan Thibault, a sergeant in the Marines, played by Zac Efron. After an intense night shooting, he finds a picture of a woman in the dirt. He tucks it into his pocket for safekeeping and concludes that it is his good luck charm. He then sets out on a journey to find the woman to thank her for keeping him alive. Zac Efron’s character is successfully different from his usual teenage musical singer. Taylor Schilling also does an outstanding job portraying Beth—a strong, single mom willing to give love a second chance. Beth’s ex-husband, Keith (played by Jay R. Ferguson), is the boss of the small town Hamden, where the movie takes place. Throughout the movie,

he is constantly threatening to take full custody of the son they share, making him a competitor. Logan’s soft, composed manner conflicts well with big headed, brutal Keith, which makes the two a perfect, classic combination of protagonist and antagonist. As most romances go, Beth and Logan begin a loving relationship. However, the best relationship is between Logan and Beth’s son, Ben. They play chess together and even start a musical group where Logan plays piano and Ben works up the nerve to play the violin for the first time in public. The Lucky One may seem like just another romantic movie, but it concentrates more on the fate and destiny of love. It shows how one simple thing, like a picture, can change a life forever and set you on the right path. It is full of happy moments but has a few action scenes to keep male viewers entertained. The Lucky One PG-13 -Natalie Castle, Opinons Editor

photo from screencrave.com

Getting Lucky. Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) brings Beth (Taylor Schilling) back to his place after their first date. The Lucky One contains the best elements of a Nicholas Sparks’s story—boy meets girl, in an unusual way.

e may have won our independence from them in 1776, but Great Britain has returned to invade again—this time in our music industry. As I watched the 2012 Grammy Awards I paid close attention to of the performances and noticed a strange contrast evolve. Nicki Minaj caught my attention, but not in a good way. Her lyrics were moaned in screeching wails while her costume had an almost sadistic quality to it. Adele’s much simpler performance also caught attention for her soulful voice. Unlike Minaj, she also walked away with six awards that night. Like Adele, many British-born artists have made their way overseas to invade American radios. This isn’t the first time the island nation has done this, or even the second, and it certainly won’t be the last. While I, along with many others, find the kitschy costumes, alter egos and flashy concerts of American singers amusing, their primary talent, their voice has to be able to compete with those found overseas. One thing I enjoy about music is the variety. It is innately satisfying to “discover” a new artist and listen to their songs. But when British artists become a mainstream part of American music, their novelty fades. A year ago, I listened to Adele on my iPod, before she became a U.S. icon. I found her music expressive and her lyrics well-crafted, but now I never want to hear “Rolling in the Deep” on the radio again. When we “Americanize” British music, we both devalue the music and make it more difficult for new American artists to reach the charts. Part of the issue is that over the past decade, the music industry has shifted its emphasis from vocal ability to celebrity image. Our society is fascinated by the unusual and the flamboyant. We focus on whoever stands out whether they have the vocal talent or not. British singers focus on their image as well, but do not consider every awards show a chance to parade around in a dress made of who-knowswhat the same way many American artists do. A major concern about recent British bands is that they have tried to imitate previous American hits. The boy band movement has returned to America with British-born bands such as One Direction and The Wanted. Critics claim that they could be as big as the Backstreet Boys or ‘N Sync with a little bit of guidance, which is concerning. When British singers try to copy our own styles, the state of U.S. music has clearly deteriorated. Flashy artists such as Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj’s use of autotune shows when they perform live. Mainstream U.S. singers portray their image as strongly, if not stronger, than their musical abilities. While image is important, the American obsession with it is what causes our own artists to fall off the charts. It may be amusing to watch mainstream pop singers perform their gaudy acts on stage, but in the end we still tune our radios to whatever pleases our ears— American or not.


10 sports shorts w REILLY WINS JUNIOR GOLF TOURNEY

Junior Kevin Reilly won a Citrus Junior Golf Tour tournament at the Royal St. Cloud Golf Links in Osceola County. Reilly shot a 2-under-par 70 Sunday, including a hole-inone on the par-3 17th hole, to finish with a two-day total of 142. He finished three shots ahead of Tyler Howes. Reilly qualified to compete in the Callaway Junior World Golf Championships in July in San Diego.

w VOLLEYBALL NOT ENOUGH AT BEST

Despite having their best season with a record of 14-10, the boys varsity volleyball team wound up on the losing end of a three-way tie to enter districts. With the worst away record of the other two teams, they were left out of the postseason. They finished their season on a two-game win-streak against Orlando Christian Prep with a 3-2 home victory and 3-1 away victory. Senior Jordan Mohamad was put on the Seminole Athletic Conference 2nd team.

w WATER POLO REPEATS SAD HISTORY

Both the girls and the boys water polo teams lost to Oviedo in the district finals for hte second time. The girls lost 9-8 and the boys lost 11-7. The girls finished sixth in the Orlando Sentinel Super Six. This makes it Senior Alex Gatlin two straight losses to Oviedo in the district final. Juniors Derek Daughtakes a shot. photo by DSP tery and Ricardo Nuskowski for the boys team scored the highest amount with four a piece. For the girls, sophomore Madison Gilbert scored the most amount of goals with five. Both teams finished the season with program best records, though.

w SOCCER CLUB WINS STATES Two mem-

bers of the varsity girls soccer team, juniors Darbi Filliben and Sam Collin, won the Florida Youth Soccer Association state championship game 2-0 on May 20 under their Central Florida Krush club team. This qualifies them for southern regionals, which will take place from June 13 to June 20. A fellow member of the team, sophomore Sydney Schilling, finsihed runner-up in the FYSA U-16 state championship game.

sports

Baseball bonds beyond record book

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he varsity boys baseball team headed into the regional finals with a number of strong playoff wins and only one tough loss. It just happened to be that the loss was to Spruce Creek, the eventual state champion. Despite another tough loss, 4-3, the team ended on a strong note with the closest game of the four times that the two met. Not a single player would trade the closeness of their team and the experience that they had throughout. They began their playoff run with two strong wins against Lake Brantley and Deland, which automatically qualified them for regionals. Then came the 4-1 loss to Spruce Creek in districts followed by dominant play by in the 4-1 win against Sandalwood. After putting hours of extra work and practices into their play, the team saw their hard work pay off with a strong start to the season. They won eight out of their first 10 games which helped lead the to the team to the most successful season in the program’s history. Filled with 14 seniors and much experience, the team ended their season with a 20-5 record. The senior leadership and team unity have been the main reasons as to why they have found so much success, according to the players. “We’ve had tough games throughout the season, but nothing compared to how it felt to beat Oviedo on our Senior Night,” senior third baseman Nick Laber said. “Beating our crosstown rivals on such an important day meant so much to us.” The team had to adapt to a new system and depend on their coach’s passion to strengthen and push them both

photo by DSP

Drive for victory. Senior Sam Bates hits a ball into the outfield in a game against Deland. He was a big contributor to the ongoing improvement of the offense.

individually and as a team. “Coach Goodwin knows how to make us better players while at the same time making us all better men,” senior second baseman David Howard said. “We trust the system that the coaches are teaching us, which has been a key to our success.” The players believe that the team mentality that encompasses each and every individual and the closeness of the players have benefited them as a whole. Their solidarity as a team has been a key to their success. Many of the players have been playing together for such a long time that they consider each other family. “This is the closest knit team that I have ever been a part of,” senior shortstop Sam Bates said. “Nothing beats the

chemistry that we have.” Growing off of the strength of their pitching and defense, the coaches stressed the importance of their hitting in clutch situations. “Our defense has been incredible all year and our offense started off good,” Bates said. “Throughout the season our offense became much stronger allowing us to win games.” With a team that is as close as this one is, the team has been able to find so much success both on and off of the field. By trusting each other and having such experienced players, the baseball team became more than just a team, they became a family. Filliben, News Editor -Darbi


11

sports The Word of Seanovan Putting the spotlight on some important sports characters

Sydney Schilling provides first-year boost to track Sean Donovan, Sports Editor

A

runner-up in the 2012 FHSAA state finals for women’s soccer and premiere player on her team, sophomore Sydney Schilling knows what it means to be in the spotlight. Having gathered major success in soccer, she decided to try out a new sport, track. Neither coach Jay Getty nor coach Matt Malkovich expected much, but Schilling delivered beyond expectations. Schilling was part of the jump and sprint team and made a big impact. During districts, Schilling took part in the longjump and triple jump, placing third in both events. She also passed through the preliminary round of the 100-meter dash and moved onto the final event to place seventh. Thanks to her placing in districts, she placed eighth in the long jump with a 5.01 meter jump in regional action. This, though, was not enough to move her up to the state level. For her, not making states was disappointing, but the path leading through the postseason was similar to the path she took on the soccer team—extremely exciting. Schilling attributes it being so fun to her teammates, but her teammates believe that she enhanced the experience for everyone else. “Sydney was always peppy at the meets,” sophomore teammate Kerstin Sosa said. “She kept us awake and ready for the meets we were at.” This, according to Sosa, happened at almost every meet, but especially in the postseason where energy levels were at an all-time high for everybody. Schilling was able to keep the team in focus, too, despite not being a main leader of the team. The postseason was not unfamiliar territory for her, either, having ridden through the postseason with the varsity girls soccer team. As a result, she felt confident in her ability to excel. Also throughout the postseason, Schilling would do the same warm-up before every meet. This behavior was also shared by soccer. “It was humbling to see how good the other runners were,” Schilling said. “The competition level was higher, so I had to push myself. I just kept my goal in mind.” Yet the season was not all about perfection—more of adjustment and improvement. In the early days of track, the girls were being tested as to where they would be placed on the team, or even if they would make it at all. They had to run 100 meter trial runs, something an inexperienced runner like Schilling was not accustomed to. As a result, she accidentally ran out of her lane, a huge mistake in track and can get a person disqualified in a meet. It was her first big rookie mistake and since she has learned to discipline her running. Even she is not the dominant runner of the team, she still proved vital in tight situations. The points she gets as an individual helps the team these situations and put them on top, such as the victory at the Seminole Developmental Meet, the closest victory of their season.

Athletic alumni active in Gainesville

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hen an athlete begins play in their childhood, they dream of playing in front of thousands of people on center stage. In high school they realize these dreams cvery rarely come true. Yet three Hagerty athletes, Jeff Driskel, Matt Curby, and Jacob Kurtz, managed to defy the odds and move onto a major college, the University of Florida, and play under the spotlight. Driskel graduated in 2011 as the highest ranked quarterback in his recruiting class, and number 11 overall in the ESPNU 150. Matt Curby graduated in 2011 as well, and was a state champion swimmer in 2009 and 2010. Jacob Kurtz graduated in 2010 and walked onto the Florida basketball team after being team manager his freshman year. “It is quite amazing to see these players move on to a big-time college,” athletic director Jay Getty said. In his freshman year, Driskel saw more playing time than expected. When then-starting quarterback John Brantley fell to a high ankle sprain, Driskel was in a fight for the starting job against Jacoby Brissett. He played in pivotal games against then-defending champion Auburn

and rival Alabama. “He’s one of the hardest working players I’ve ever coached,” head football coach Nate Gierke said. “He got rewarded for that. It was a dream of his, and he’s getting rewarded for that. Jeff was ready to compete as soon as he could adjust to college.” Curby found himself on a team that placed second in the SEC. At the NCAA championships, he and his 200 meter free-relay team placed seventh. Curby attributes his successes to the competitiveness that was demonstrated during the swimming season. For Curby, there was not too great an adjustment to make since he had been training with junior Olympians and top-level swimmers for a long time. “Working with Matt was awesome,” junior Jason Coombs, former teammate of Curby, said. “It really does not surprise me at all that he’s doing so well—he was always a dominant factor.” Kurtz had the most surprising story of the three. He did not have scholarships for basketball leaving high school and faced a long-shot chance of being on the team. He managed to walk-on this year and joined

the team that ventured to the Elite Eight, falling to Louisville. Kurtz faced difficulty adjusting to the new tempo of college as well as how to deal with scheduling conflicts. The level of play was also far higher than a previous standard, yet he gives credit to his high school coaches for preparing him. “They [the coaches] pushed me every day in practice and were always there to give me advice and to help me grow,” Kurtz said. The three have also affected those around them. Seeing members of their school play on a national scale is a surreal feeling for parents and close friends. “Whenever I see Jacob it just fills me up,” Jacob’s mom media clerk Lori Kurtz said. “It’s so cool to see him play on a national level.” For the three athletes, it is a dreamlike experience as they were given the opportunity that so many have dreamed of but so few have been allowed to do. They look forward to contributing to their team in the offseason during workouts or even on their own time. They are also eager to play again next season.

“When I’m on the mound, I always preach to myself ‘have the fire in your eyes’, be as good as you can be, basically you want to go out there and shove it,” Eflin said. “Zach has grown physically, mentally as a player, and as a leader,” said his pitching coach Derek Griffith. “I try not to set expectations for the kids before the season, but you always have them. Zach has more than exceeded the expectations I had for him.” Eflin has achieved an earned run average of 0.55, has only nine walks and has struck out 57 batters. Eflin recently signed with the University of Central Florida, turning down the University of Florida’s top-ranked baseball team in the process. As he explained, “I’ve always lived five minutes away from UCF and gone to the games. I’ve always wanted to play there.” Eflin considers himself “100 percent ready.” Coach Griffith believes Eflin will be playing baseball for a very long time. “He’s a very talented kid, he’s got his

head on straight, he’s grounded. He’ll have a successful college career and go from there.” While excited about college, Eflin will miss his friends on the team, many of whom he has been playing with since he was four. Eflin counts winning the district championship his sophomore year as his fondest memory, but describes the nohitter this season as “awesome.” “I always wanted a no-hitter in my high-school career. I just kept pounding the strike zone with three different pitches and had my defense working for me,” said Eflin. It was a sweet reward after missing six games his junior year because of a sprained ankle and wrist. Eflin credits his dad and his coaches for his perseverance. Eflin’s dad played college football at Temple University in Philadelphia. His dad and his coaches have emphasized the importance of transforming from a kid to a man. “That’s been the biggest lesson that I’ve learned,” Eflin said.

-Sean Donovan, Sports Editor

Pitching prospect Eflin chooses UCF

photo by DSP

Winding-up high school. Senior Zach Eflin warms up for the game against Deland.

H

e pitched six no-hit innings, striking out 12 batters in a victory against Lake Brantley, leading the team to a 21-5-2 record. He is, according to ESPN, the 14th best high school baseball player in the nation. With a pitch clocked at 96 mph, senior pitcher Zach Eflin is all about intensity.

-Spencer Thompson, Journalism 1


12 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

student�connection Readers complain about strict dress code and class temperatures

Dear Editors, Although I think our dress code has always been unfair, having to wear sweaters and knee length pants now that it’s May—I think it is especially unfair. By 9 a.m. it is already in the 80s and we are stuck wearing long pants and sweaters over our tank tops until we get home at 2:30. The fact that shorts have to be mid-thigh is controversial because tall girls (like me) are stuck wearing longer shorts than short girls because more of our thigh is showing. It is also hard to buy dresses because of the length they have to be—most stores do not even sell knee length dresses. Even though the shirt may not be revealing, I have seen girls get dress code because their shoulders are showing. I have even seen administrators telling girls to put jackets and sweaters back on during lunch when they are sitting at an outdoor table in the hot sun. Girls who don’t want to be in danger of getting dress code wear jeans and jackets to school almost every day. For next year, I think we should be able to wear tank tops and shorts during the hotter months. Sincerely, Mery Yanez, 10 Dear Editors, What is up with the classroom temperatures lately? Some of the hallways feel like they have a 10 degree difference. I always freeze in my math class and have to wear a jacket to school every day. When I go to my English class—which is only two hallways over—I feel like I am walking into a sauna. It is getting difficult to pick out my clothes in the morning and I have to plan my outfit around my schedule in order to be comfortable in each classroom. It is getting extremely annoying. I really hope they have this problem fixed by next year so I don’t have to go through the dilemma my whole junior year. Sincerely, Shelby Ward, 10

POLL:

YOUR SAY

Who is Your Alter Ego?

Based on a survey of 100 randomly selected students Compiled by Catie Mason

30%

graphic by Catie Mason

6% Justin Bieber

Betty White

9%

President Obama

13%

25%

Lady Gaga

Bill Gates

17%

J.K. Rowling

Have an opinion for The Blue Print staff? Send us an e-mail at hhsblueprint@gmail.com or come to 6-201.

EVERYONE HAS A STORY

Q A: Q: A:

Every issue, the newspaper staff creates a random task. Whoever completes it first is featured in the next issue. This issue we put a candy bar in the performing hallway. The first person to pick it up was freshman Heidi Winters. We discovered that as busy as she is with voice lessons, she has time for her creative outlet—sewing. When did you first start sewing? It was actually very recently, just a few months ago. It gives me something fun to do after school now that “The Wizard of Oz” is over and not taking up all my time. It gives me something to do when I’m bored and gives me work that I can be proud of. What is your favorite thing that you have made? My favorite thing to make is quilts. I have started to make my own now. My best one is this blue one I made with a whole bunch of mismatched pieces sewn together.

Q: A:

Where did you learn how to sew? The first person to teach me how to sew was my grandma. We made a pair of pants together. I still have them but they have a huge hole in them so I can’t wear them any more. I don’t think I’ll every get rid of them though, I think they’re the best pair of pants ever. I used to think I was so cool when I wore them, wearing a pair of pants I made myself. My mom also taught me how to sew and she helps me out now. My twin sister also sews; it’s kind of a family thing.

Q: A:

When did you get your sewing machine? I got my sewing machine for Christmas this past year. Every year I get one big present like an iPod or camera, but I definitely was not expecting a sewing machine. At first I was like “What the heck is this, when am I gonna use a sewing machine?” Then I started sewing and I actually really enjoyed. It has become something I really love to do. -Natalie Castle, Opinions Editor

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