Standing in front of red smoke and lights covering the stage, Bishop Briggs performs at Bullstock on April 7. | PHOTO BY JULIANA LECHNER
Florida’s first high school newspaper | Hillsborough High School 5000 N. Central Ave. Tampa, FL 33603 | April 2017 | hhstoday.com | @HHSTodayOnline | Volume 118, No. 5
THE BULLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC USF’s annual free music festival on April 7 attracted college and high school students alike PHOTOS on page 10 | REVIEW on hhstoday.com
TREBLE ON THE FIELD: The addition of a color guard to Hillsborough’s band proves controversial with those already on the field; more on page 3
IT’S ABOUT TIME: Even though the plan is scrapped for next year, our editorial board hopes they’ll make the change soon; more on page 4
LET’S EAT: For the supremely lazy
amongst us, UberEats coming to Tampa has been a blessing; read our guide to the app on page 8
2 April 2017
CUTTING AP CLASSES Due to lack of requests from students, some AP classes won’t be available to traditional students next school year, but will still be for IB students AP European History will not be available to traditional students next year. AP Euro was first introduced this school year for traditional students after it had been only taught to IB students. But after only a year being taught to traditional students, it is now being cut. After students selected their elective classes, AP Euro had a poor sign-up among traditional students. Because of this, it will not be listed on next year’s schedule options. Principal Gary Brady explains why these AP classes are cut from schedules. “Any classes are based on the number of requests that we get from the students so you know we change those from year to year,” he said. “Sometimes we get 50 requests and there may be two classes and if you have five requests, we may not have enough for one class.” “I’m disappointed,” AP Euro teacher Sandi Ancona says. “Because after the AP fair that was held,
we had over 20 students sign up for both AP world and Euro.” After only teaching AP Euro for a year, she said it was as a result of students not taking AVID. “Students who weren’t in the AVID program here on campus got pulled out of the class. We lost over five or six students each period.” “I’m most disappointed on the traditional side because I feel like that AP World and Euro should be offered the same opportunity to earn college credits as IB students. If you passed the exam, you could’ve earned over $1,200 on college.” “We want to offer as many AP classes as possible so that’s kind of the way we look at it. So any class we don’t have to offer is because we don’t have enough kids [to] sign up for it.” STORY AND GRAPHIC BY FERNANDO ROSAS
DOCUMENTING THE YEAR Over the next several weeks, as students prepare for summer vacation, many will reflect upon their year. The yearbook serves as a memento, even helping students learn about the personal lives of classmates they don’t know. The yearbook staff spent months working towards making the book A preview of the representative of the campus. "The 2016-17 yearbook cool thing about the yearbook is that cover. I IMAGE what we try to do is just document COURTESY OF what happened in the year, and it's alHILSBOREAN ways fun looking back to see all that you’ve accomplished and all that you’ve done," senior and coeditor-in-chief Caroline Suddath of the yearbook staff said. Suddath believes that students will be most excited about seeing their own picture in the yearbook, and despite the stress of the work, she thinks that "getting to know all of the different people on campus is really cool and exciting and it's a unique opportunity." After months of attending camps and brainstorming, the staff arrived at the theme of the 2016-2017 yearbook: We Don't Do Much. "We were trying to capture the personality of our campus because I think that we have such a unique personality and a vibe that's so different from other schools," Suddath said. "[What’s] cool about the theme is that it's more about our personality as a whole and how diverse we really are." Yearbooks cost $80 and can be purchased in Room 506. Once they sell out, no more will be printed. STORY BY JADEN SHEMESH
Red & Black
HELM FOR SALE SOON The Hillsborough Esthetic Literary Magazine, or HELM, is a magazine made up of poetry, artwork and other creative pieces submitted by students from around the school. Every year, a group of students come together, teach lessons about The cover of the Chroma HELM art and literzture, and HELM contains the image of a multicolored beetle. It was designed is the product of that. by HELM member Michelle The editor in chief Nadia Quevedo. | IMAGE COURTESY Uthayakumar, literary editor HELM Denzel Pierre and art editor Samantha Majchrzak are in charge of this year’s edition. “It’s probably going to come out really good this year,” Pierre said. The theme for this year is Chroma. “I chose Chroma because color is very important and I think it can encompass a lot of things” Uthayakumar. The day of its release this year is still being determined, but it will definitely be out before school ends, most likely around April 20. Presale price are $10. STORY BY SIRIN BEKTAS
JOURNALISTS WIN KEY AWARDS Journalism students achieved a major milestone this month by earning an Online Pacemaker award from the National Scholastic Press Association. NSPA awarded a Pacemaker, considered the Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism, to the staff of HHSToday.com for overall excellence. Amber Shemesh edits the website. “This is the big prize,” said Joe Humphrey, who has advised HHS student media for 13 years. “We’ve been a finalist twice for newspaper, but this is the first Pacemaker for our staff.” The award was given at the spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle, where the newspaper also placed in Best of Show in its category (eighth place) and in special edition (fourth HHSToday.com received its first ever Pacemaker this month in Seattle place). Journalists also achieved at the state level. Thirty-one All-Florida awards were given for individual work, with 16 of those entries also being finalists for the top spot in each category. Senior Annie Aguiar finished as runner-up for the Todd C. Smith Student Journalist of the Year award. She’s also a finalist for the Writer of the Year contest, while Shemesh is a finalist for the Multimedia/Web Journalist of the Year award. Sophomore Katie Delk is also a finalist for the Tampa Bay Times Fund’s Emerging Young Journalist Award. They’ll be recognized at the Florida Scholastic Press Association’s state convention at the end of April along with Red & Black, Hilsborean and HHSToday.com, which each received All-Florida publication awards. STAFF REPORT
CLUB HOSTS ANNUAL EARTH DAY CELEBRATION The Environmental Awareness Club will be hosting its annual earth day celebration in Positive Park on Friday, April 21. Throughout the day, club members will participate in presentations revolving around topics like global warming, endagered species and invasive plants. The celebration will end with the traditional release of the butterflies. Each person who attends will be given a little packet containing a live butterfly, to be released into the park. This year the butterflies will be released in honor of Ashley Perdomo and her family. Perdomo died in a hit-and-run crash last fall. The attendees will include alumni and a special guest appearance from the Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward. The event will run from 10 a.m. to noon. Any student who receives permission is able to attend the celebration. STORY BY MADISON FORBIS GRAPHIC BY JORGE GARCIA
COLOR GUARD COLLABORATION
LEFT Senior Daniel Posada leads the trumpets and clarinets during a home football game. RIGHT Senior Liz Linton, alongside her fellow Dancerettes, waves to the student section as they cheer loudly in the bleachers. | PHOTOS BY HARMONY TARPEIN As of next year, the band may look a lot larger and even a bit more colorful. This is due to the new addition of a group of dancers carrying military equipment such as flags, banners, mock rifles or sabers. They’re called the color guard and they’re not receiving the warmest welcome. Usually, marching bands and color guards perform at halftime during football games; however, the typical halftime performance at Hillsborough consists of our Big Red Band and the ruby red Dancerettes. Together, they receive various sets of scores at annual competitions that determine their skill at different levels. Band Director Michael Lebrias, who is organizing the color guard, hopes the introduction of a color guard will provide students with the opportunity to “join our family” regardless of musical talent. “It’s a good opportunity for people to come in and learn a brand new thing that hasn’t been around for thirty-plus years,” he said. “It’s not necessarily a music-based thing. You don’t have to pick up an instrument or anything, but you still perform with the band.”
Treble on the field The addition of a color guard is an exciting new feat for the band as it is expected to increase the band’s overall score at competitions. While some competitions score a category called “Auxiliary”, others may split that section into separate categories such as “Equipment” and “Dance”. In the initial case, the band receives an overall positive score due to the Dancerettes’ performance; in the latter, the band lacks in the “Equipment” category because the Dancerettes don’t usually dance with the equipment the judges are looking for. “When they say equipment on those sheets, they’re talking about flags, rifles, sabers, things that are manipulated into the air,” Lebrias said. The props used by the Dancerettes, on the other hand, are usually “ribbons, fans and hoops.” A color guard is expected to remedy the situation by providing them with the equipment score, raising
their general effect rating and consequently improve the band’s overall grade. However, the color guard will also contribute to the Dancerettes’ auxiliary score as they are also considered auxiliary – a fact that has become a threat to some Dancerettes. When Lebrias decided to introduce the idea of color guard, he spoke to sponsors as well as the administration about it. Afterward, he presented it to the boosters and made sure to communicate with the Dancerettes’ Coach Daniel Reid of his plans for next year. However, he never spoke to the Dancerettes directly, making the entire notion of a color guard a shock.
Dancerette dispute “They’re upset [because] it would’ve been nice for Lebrias to come to us directly to just inform us. It was kind of like all of a sudden,” Dancerettes’ Senior Officer Sonya Veerjee said. “They’re just really concerned about how everything is going to happen.” Veerjee even mentioned a rumor that suggested the Dancerettes would be replaced. She explained that due to miscommunication, many girls wondered where they fit into Lebrias’ plans. Many felt insecure that Lebrias didn’t believe they were good enough for the band, despite their many superior scores. However, Lebrias insists he understands the tradition that ties the two together and he simply hopes to improve his team. “Hillsborough High School has been around for over 100 years and the Dancerettes and the band have coexisted for a really, really long time. I don’t plan on ruining that relationship,” he said. “There is no ulterior motive. I just wanted to add another part to my band just like I did this year with the front ensemble.” Despite his assurances, however, some Dancerettes are still opposed. “The Dancerettes are consistently getting superiors and score very high at competition, but the band is not making straight superiors,” said Senior Dancerette Odessa Churchill. “I feel that Lebrias should focus on improving the band’s marching and music before he worries about his auxiliary.”
Coming together According to Lebrias, marching band is “the marriage of audio and visual” and by improving his score in general effects, or the visual portion, he is improving the band overall. The band lacks visuals during “impacts”, which are the parts of the music that grow in power. If the music grows, it is expected that something visual occurs along with it. Lebrias hopes the color guard will provide those visuals he needs. Senior Dmitri Brunelle also believes that the band needs to add an enhanced visual element in order to improve their scores. “I feel like ever since I’ve been here, we’ve always needed some extra pizazz to get us better scores at competitions and just – to make it more official and professional,” Brunelle said. “I think a color guard will add another element to our already great sound and our Dancerettes.” Overall, he isn’t worried and believes the Dancerettes, color guard and band will be able to work in harmony. “The band has existed with three auxiliary teams and it can exist with two,” he said. “They both have different roles: The color guard’s primary role will be equipment manipulation and the Dancerettes will be responsible for providing solid and clean dance and that’s going to add to their score, so if they both act cohesively then they’ll get a superior like they’ve continued getting superiors in the past.” STORY BY BIANCA CEGATTE
Students interested in trying out for the color guard can contact Michael Lebrias in Room 178. He will provide additional information about the ice breaker and tryouts. No experience necessary.
Red & Black
TURNING BACK THE CLOCK A tabled-for-now district proposal could move the school day up in 2018-19 7:35 a.m. is a time that Hillsborough students are all too familiar with. The routines leading up to the minute vary from person to person; some eat breakfast and prepare their lunch, some wake up early to finish homework due in a few hours. Others sleep in and leave at the last possible moment. Either way, school starts at the same time it starts every day. However, a district proposal would’ve changed this, moving the high school day up, starting at 7:15 a.m. instead of at 7:35 a.m. and ending at 2:10 p.m. instead of 2:55 p.m. The change would’ve saved the district $2.7 million in transportation, as it allows buses to come earlier, at the cost of 32 minutes of instruction a day. However, following an outpouring of dissent from concerned parents districtwide, the proposal was tabled, potentially to be brought up again for the 2018-19 school year. The editorial board of Red & Black is fully in favor of this proposal. Both the teachers and students can use the earlier start and end times to their advantage; teachers have more time to plan their lessons and curriculum. We’re sad to see it go (for now), and hope it’ll be enacted sooner rather than later. Students can focus more of their energy on homework and extracurricular activities as they get out of school earlier, giving them more time to prepare for the next day’s challenges. The new schedules earlier time would most likely be implemented into sports games as well. For student athletes, this could mean better rest and performance in their classes and in their sport. Currently, sports games start very late, anywhere from 7-8 p.m. to 10 p.m. If a student athlete has a competition and has to attend school the next day they might go home as late as 11 or midnight, and then still have to finish the schoolwork they have for the next day. The same sentiment goes for band or any
other extracurricular activity that has competitions or events on weekdays. The schedule is draining as these students struggle to fit everything into the day’s agenda; the earlier start and end times are a handy solution to this issue. The proposed change could also help cut problems with the morning commute. While students on the traditional side of Hillsborough live in the school’s surrounding neighborhood, students in the International Baccalaureate program have a different story; the district’s IB zoning divides the entirety of Hillsborough County into quadrants. As a result, IB students can live as far away as Lutz or Odessa and still need to make the morning commute. Driving earlier in the morning could actually allow drivers to avoid traffic, providing a potential benefit for IB students driving themselves or parents dropping off their children to school.It’s undeniable that there are problems with starting earlier. It provides a shift for parents and students already used to the old system, a difficult adjustment for anyone to make. Scientific studies consistently show that teenagers are naturally predisposed to sleeping later, meaning waking up earlier will give them less sleep, making them groggy and inattentive. However, 20 minutes isn’t that much of a significant change. Sure, it’ll take some time to adjust to, but it won’t make anyone’s sleeping schedule go haywire. Getting to school 20 minutes earlier to get out nearly an hour earlier is a trade that we’re fine with making. As written above, this initiative would save the district $2.7 million. This amount of money could be used to fund the district with a history of budget problems; back in late 2015, the school board moved towards an audit of the entire system as the problem of rapid spending from the district’s reserve fund drove them to try to stabilize. Thinking on a larger scale, the money alone saved by this proposal is worth it. We’re sure no one would mind the extra time off of school, either.
GRAPHIC BY ANNIE AGUIAR
What do you think of the proposed bell schedule change? “It’s kind of pushy because people barely make it [to class] at 7:35.” DAVARIUS MORENO, 10
“Honestly, it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re getting your education.” DAVID RODRIGUEZ, 10
“I think it’s better because we’re going to get out a lot earlier and start not that much earlier.” NATHAN VASQUEZ, 11
“I don’t know. It’s more education, and then you get to go home and sleep.” ARIANNA MAISONET, 10
TO TWEET OR NOT TO TWEET?
Are announcements of university acceptances and scholarship awards on social media annoying or justified? STAY HUMBLE + DON’T BRAG
It doesn’t matter if you got in to your first choice school or your 12th, for some reason, when it comes to declaring what college the graduating seniors will be attending, every student somehow transforms into a Twitter athlete. The most anti-religious are suddenly “incredibly blessed” COLUMN BY that the man upstairs has been “lookin’ out.” JULIANNA It’s a rite of passage for most seniors to send some preALTHAUS tentious tweet bragging about finally getting out of their hometown high school and into the so-called college of their dreams. For a lot of people, it’s one of the moments that makes them realize that this is all actually happening. The legendary senior year is coming to an end, and the excitement of college is right around the corner. Getting into college and going to college is a feat within itself, especially when so many kids our age are first generation college students. But here I am, going on Snapchat and seeing your 40-second story on it, then your three Instagram posts and five tweets. Don’t get me wrong. The decision to further your education at any college is an incredible milestone that deserves recognition. But for some of you, I can almost hear the smiling purple devil emoji. Blessed to bring your talents to such and such university? Dude, you’re on an academic scholarship that barely covers your meal plan because you’ve been sleeping through math for the past four years. Let’s be serious. I’m tired of seeing four photo set tweets of whatever random stock photos you could find that MIGHT be of your school. You don’t need to put out an “official” screenshot of your Apple notes announcing your acceptance to your “dream school” with an illegible signature at the bottom. You’re going to community college. If you are a well-known Twitter athlete, what is the point of tweeting all 50 of your scholarship opportunities? Did you really find and save every college seal and then some off the internet that many times? You send so many tweets about how grandma and “the fam” helped you stay humble and still gloat about every call you get. If you worked hard for four years and get into your dream school after hard academic and athletic work, I’ll toss a retweet AND a favorite your way. After all, you’re entitiled to SOME bragging rights. But hyping up every college that browses your Hudl oozes with extra. Stop tweeting about how you’re ‘grinding hard’ with your 2.03 gpa; the bare minimum doesn’t deserve the same treatment as a top recruit. Just post your tweet and go.
A DISHWASHER? REALLY? Throughout childhood, we are taught that we can be anything we want if we work hard enough and follow our dreams. Yet, according to the COLUMN BY Florida Future Plans career KATIE DELK aptitude test, this is a lie. As the juniors took their SATs, sophomores took a career aptitude test intended to discover their talents and career options. After several hours of solving math problems, deciphering shapes, editing misspelled words and more, I was excited to find out what my perfect career was. I couldn’t wait to see my destiny right there on the screen, calling to me.
LET THE PEOPLE POST
As a student athlete, I will never understand why people knock others down for things they accomplished and worked tremendously hard for. If you earned everything you have, then I believe you can be as excited as you please. People expect us to just be quiet about offers and college decisions, but I love when COLUMN BY people express their excitement on social media. It’s an ZACHARY effective way to tell family and peers as well as celebrate L CARTER your achievements. When I post on social media, I know some people think I’m trying to boast, but those aren’t my intentions at all. All of my peers that I have spoken to about sharing college news say it’s just out of excitement. You can be excited, but it is important to stay humble. When I think back to my sophomore year, I remember when I began to receive scholarship offers for football. When I got the news, I immediately went on Twitter to share my excitement because it was life changing. Then, I began to receive more week by week and I figured people started to get tired of it. Any time I received an offer, I would send out a tweet “blessed to receive an offer from [insert university]” because I thought it was the humble thing to do. I have the right to post college news on social media as well as other students and student athletes who simply just want to share exciting news. After a certain point, the number of offers you have is unnecessary to share with others. I stopped counting my offers at a certain point to help me stay grounded. However, although some student athletes overdo it, I still think we have the right to share our accomplishments if we feel like it. While humble to some is to keep quiet on social media about offers, to me it’s about appreciating the opportunities I’ve been given and giving God the recognition he deserves. Not acknowledging your accomplishments means you didn’t put your heart into what you do and I believe everything should be done whole-heartedly. To you, it’s a tweet you have to scroll past. To me, it’s years of work. People are small-minded and tend to ignore the fact that you get what you deserve. There are many students that go to school and don’t even put themselves in a place to graduate; the ones who have accomplishments have every right in the world to celebrate them. It really is a blessing to go to college or play sports in college. You can share your accomplishments on whichever social media you choose. These are life changing experiences for students and athletes; they’ll continue to share their achievements whether you like it or not. If you don’t like it, just unfollow.
We should be encouraged to strive for more in our careers, not settle for less
Dishwasher. I couldn’t believe it. A dishwasher? After putting forth my best efforts in my studies, I was reduced to being a dishwasher as a career. Sure, you’re told you can be president or an astronaut when you’re a kid, but apparently all I’m meant to be is a dishwasher. Yeah, right. I’ll admit I’m not the best at math. But if a student is not good at math does this really limit their career options? This examination measured diagnostic reading, analytical reasoning and vocabulary skills — all of which I scored midrange-to-high in — but did not offer careers with communication, only focusing on medical positions.
While my future is not concrete, my hope has always been to help people. My current plan is to study communications and pursue journalism, but as a top three career choice among the options, I settled on Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor. However, according to the test it “does not match [my] abilities.” It’s baffling that this test would tell me my capacities based on a score. I love diving into a piece of literature, interviewing people and discovering history. I feel that this was all overlooked. So, thank you, Florida Future Plans. Because of you, I’ve found a great career motivation heading into the future: Proving you wrong.
RED&BLACK VOLUME 118, ISSUE 5
EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Annie Aguiar, Bianca Cegatte WEB EDITOR Amber Shemesh DEPUTY WEB EDITOR Maddie Dhondt PAGE EDITORS Katie Delk, Madison Forbis, Jorge Garcia, Lauren Komar, Juliana Lechner, Matt Lutton, Tegan Smith, Michael Strobl, Mercy Tsay STAFF WRITERS Julianna Althaus, Zachary L Carter, Jubilee Gonzalez, Carolin Hearne, Denzel Pierre, Fernando Rosas, Yesha Shukla, Anthony Suarez ADVISERS Joe Humphrey, MJE Jill Burns, MJE PRINCIPAL Gary Brady ABOUT Content decisions are made by student editors MEMBERSHIP Red & Black belongs to the Florida, National and Columbia Scholastic press associations AWARDS 2016-2017 FSPA All-Florida 2016-2017 NSPA Online Pacemaker 2015-2016 NSPA All-American 2015-2016 CSPA Hybrid Silver Crown 2016-2017 3x NSPA Best of Show awards The EDITORIAL reflects the view of student editors and can be found in the opinion section Bylined COLUMNS represent the viewpoints of their authors We welcome your LETTERS, which may be edited for brevity and clarity. Submit via email, deliver to Room 506 or mail to Red & Black, 5000 N. Central Ave, Tampa, Florida 33603. ADVERTISING content is subject to approval of the editorial board Visit us online at HHSTODAY.COM CONTACT Phone: (813) 276-5620 Fax: (813) 276-5629 Email: email@example.com Twitter: @HHSTodayOnline
SENIORS IMPROVE GRADUATION RATES With a red cap and gown, holding a freshly printed diploma, the class of 2017 will get to leave high school in the past. But not all 428 of them. As of April 6, three in every ten seniors will not be able to graduate with the rest of their class because they have not yet met the necessary requirements. It takes a minimum of 24 credits and a 2.0 unweighted GPA in order to achieve this milestone, as well as the completion of several other requirements. Through their high school careers, students are expected to complete tasks such as taking an online class and a physical education credit. However, not all students are able to complete these goals. Some do not get to graduate on time and have to complete credit recovery during the summer or complete another year of high school. “[The state] gives you criteria and if you don’t meet that criteria you don’t walk,” Principal Gary Brady said.
Dire consequences One of the most common obstacles seniors face is the need for credit recovery. If a student fails a class that’s a graduation requirement, like Biology 1, they must take the class again and pass it to graduate. If a student fails Biology 1 again sophomore year, it jeopardizes their opportunity to meet the three science course requirement. “Some students don’t take their freshman year seriously,” biology teacher Julia Pafunda said. “And by the time they realize the consequences of their actions, it’s too late and they have to dig themselves out of a hole.” Credit recovery teacher Denzel Singleton claims that English and mathematics are the most common courses people make up. If seniors are able to make up all of their classes by May 26, they will be able to graduate. “The student has to put in the same amount of work they were supposed to put in in the first place,” Singleton said. “They need to do remediation as soon as possible.” The ability to retake classes has been beneficial for many students. Senior Lincoln Campo had to make up four classes through credit recovery. When Campo found out at the beginning of the year that he might not graduate, he became more focused on his school work. Now, because of credit recovery, Campo is on track to graduate. “It was all up to me. I’m
the only person who will make me graduate,” Campo said. “It was all in my hands.”
Algebra 1 Another graduation requirement, the Algebra 1 test, has seen the most improvement since the class of 2016. Last year’s graduating class ended the school year with a 94 percent completion of the requirement. The current group of seniors has already matched that percentage of completion, with only 22 students left to complete it. There is still an Algebra 1 retake and two more PERT tests this year, so the pass rate will likely continue to increase. Math department head Yolanda Driskell thinks that some students fail to meet this requirement due to lack of preparation. “Some struggle because they need to remediate their basic math skills such as adding, multiplying and dividing signed numbers without a calculator,” Driskell said. In order to resolve this issue, students are provided with tutoring, Saturday school and practice material.
FSA Requirement As of April 6, 14 percent of seniors still have to meet the FSA Reading Requirement. If they do not pass the most recent FSA, students have the ability to get a comparative passing score on the SAT or ACT. Students who have not met the reading requirement must earn either a 430 on the New SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing or a 19 on the ACT. Students will be given the opportunity to take the upcoming FSA or April ACT for an additional attempt to meet the requirement. This use of the concordant score has benefited 12 seniors. With the March SAT, they were able to fulfill the FSA Reading Graduation Requirement, the only standardized testing requirement they had left to meet. This means that if they pass their current classes, they will be able to graduate.
Switching districts Some students who move to a new school district their senior year struggle with meeting the requirements. Other districts have different requirements, so students who change schools their senior year need to
pass all of the required classes in one year. There are currently several seniors taking Biology 1 because they moved into the district late and it was not a requirement at their previous schools. Some teachers believe that the districts should work together to create a curriculum with all of the same requirements. “I think it would be a lot easier if every state required biology as a freshman,” Pafunda said. “It makes it hard when students move to new districts or states.” One student who had to meet all of the graduation requirements in one year is senior Kathy Dinarte. She went to a private school for three years and previously didn’t have to meet the Algebra 1 requirement. However, once she entered the public school system, she needed to meet it. After several attempts, months of after school tutoring, watching YouTube videos and practice problems, she passed her test. “I was relieved and very excited,” Dinarte said.
Required amount of credits in science, as well as in social studies
Required number of credits in virtual courses, as well as in fine arts and physical education
Minimum amount of credits in English courses
FAST FACTS Senior exams take place on: MAY
10 11 12
FLVS Along with the emphasis on standardized testing, students also have to take a Florida Virtual School (FLVS) course. For a full credit course, a student must be enrolled in the class for at least 28 days. This means that if any seniors have not yet enrolled in an online class, they will not be able to leave school with the rest of the seniors on May 5. An additional concern for administration is the number of seniors who are failing their current classes. Each student needs four years of English, so if a senior is failing their current English class and does not pass the exam, they will not graduate. “I don’t care if you have a 4.0 GPA,” Brady said. “If you don’t pass your senior year English class you don’t graduate.” If these students fail their semester exams, they will have to do credit recovery during the summer and graduate late. Brady advises future seniors to simply listen to his announcements every morning if they want to find out what they need to graduate. “You have got to get a 2.0 and pass all your classes from 9th grade,” Brady said. “If you can do that the statistics say you have over a 90 percent chance of graduating.” STORY BY TEGAN SMITH
GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS: BY THE NUMBERS Amount of graduation requirement classes that seniors could have failed
Red & Black
Amount of EOCs that current seniors are required to pass Note: these requirements are Required number for the 24-credit of elective credits graduation option
This year, in every 10 seniors,
WHY MR. BRADY CONSTANTLY TALKS 2.0 GPA We hear about it on the intercom every day, but do we really know what it means? Here’s a look into the infamous freshman GPA Freshmen are the focus for this year’s administration; they’ve made improving the success rates of these newcomers their priority, and Principal Gary Brady has been the face of these efforts. Everyone hears it. It’s Brady’s voice over the intercom reminding students to attend school and work hard. But has the freshman class taken it to heart? It hasn’t been easy, but Brady and the administration have made an effort to use last year’s success at graduation as momentum to improve. “Last year [the graduation rate] was at 77.7 percent, which is the highest we’ve been in five of six years,” Brady said. One of his major goals was to translate this success to the freshman class. Despite initial difficulty in maintaining a strong average, Brady has seen significant improvement. “The good thing is that cumulatively, we’re about eight points ahead of last year,” he explained. This transition has been all about accountability. Throughout the year, Brady has encouraged student and teacher communication through a report showing all the students with a 2.0 GPA or below. “It’s kind of eye-opening for the teachers to see. They like to have the information to talk to people in their classes,” Brady said. “You have to strategically look for the kids under a 2.0 and try to reach them.” But for Brady, it’s not just about improving graduation rates and overall GPA, it’s about ensuring a student graduates with the best chance to succeed in the future. “The worst thing is if someone wants it when they’re 17-18 but couldn’t figure it out when they’re 14-15 and now it’s too late,” he said. “We have to do everything we can to get them to a point where they have a shot.”
3 are not on track to graduate*.
*As of April 6
23% of seniors last year did not graduate
GRAPHICS BY MADISON FORBIS
The administration has made Saturday school an alternative option for students who have not met their grade requirements, and those who just need extra help. Incentives like assemblies, attendance rewards and random 2.0 GPA and above drawings also have been implemented to help expedite student success. “You hope that these [incentives] work but what I’m never going to do is just sit around and hope kids start passing, they need some encouragement,” Brady said. These opportunities for incentives provided students with additional motivation when their efforts were recognized. “Since we won the ninth grade attendance award, I think it has helped people realize that we need to graduate,” freshman Shaelyn Fleming said. Some teachers have seen the attitudes of their students change with the introduction of incentives like the random 2.0 GPA and above drawing. “I think the kids I teach are definitely aware that the expectations are high so I think with the randomness of it, it kind of keeps them on their toes,” freshman math teacher Michael Welch explained. These incentives have been a source of motivation in Welch’s classroom. “You need to give them a real, physical incentive because the idea of doing a good job is
Current freshmen have a projected graduation rate of :
Compared to current sophomores’ projected:
not always enough for some people,” Welch said. Brady’s hands-on approach didn’t go unnoticed by the students. “He’s really trying to improve the school, which makes kids want to put more effort in too,” freshman Samantha Champion said. Other freshmen have also arrived at school earlier and worked harder as a result of Brady’s daily reminders. “It helps us encourage ourselves to perform better,” freshman Norman Bukingolts said. To Bukingolts, Brady’s constant encouragement has been a motivator for his success this school year. “It serves as a reminder for us that we need to strive for achievement and that we will be successful if we try,” he said.
Future plans Looking forward, Brady feels that the possibility of continuous improvement in academics and attendance for the freshman class is in reach. “We’ll look at the data and figure out what worked and what didn’t work and go from there,” he said. There’s always room for improvement, however. Freshman AP American Government teacher Laura Wells has expressed the need for a systematic change to the way we look at student attendance. “It does need to be a larger conversation at the community level as to why kids aren’t getting to school,” Wells said. “We have an industrial sort of model where you have to come at these times and on these days but it’s going to take a systematic change and that’s nothing that we can do at this level without district buy-in.” For now, Brady has assured he will not stop working. “I’m always going to be trying to spread an academic culture,” said Brady. “Attending school is what we do here, behaving is what we do here. Try to send the message that we don’t want to be what people out there sometimes think of us.” Although they will continue working towards improvement, Brady and the freshmen teachers celebrate the progress that’s been made. “I’m happy that the culture here seems to be better, but I’m never happy that 20 percent or 30 percent are failing. But you have to stop and celebrate it, otherwise it becomes pretty hard to do because it never stops,” he said. “It’s never going to stop.” STORY BY MARIN FEHL GRAPHICS BY MADISON FORBIS
Do you think Principal Brady’s freshman GPA announcements are effective? “I think they motivate freshmen to do better in their classes because of the various rewards he offers.” NIVEDAN DHARMAVARAM, 9
“Most freshmen don’t even listen to the announcements. They’re usually just talking away.” JOCELYN HERNANDEZ, 9
“It’s not just that he says it over the intercom, it’s that he holds events for those that want to be better.” MALEIGHYAH COPELAND, 9
Red & Black
UBER EAT YOUR HEART OUT, TAMPA Now that Uber Eats is in Tampa, the lazier among us can order every meal from restaurants around town. Here’s your guide to a day of nothing but hand-delivered fare BREAKFAST - Blind Tiger Cafe An Ybor City coffee house that recently opened up a Seminole Heights location, the Blind Tiger Cafe is a 1920s style speakeasy-inspired restaurant located at 4304 N. Florida Ave. Start your Uber Eats-catered day with a macchiato and a guava and cheese turnover.
DINNER - Acropolis A popular Greek restaurant located in Ybor City, Acropolis Greek Taverna on Uber Eats lets you savor a taste of the Mediterranean wherever you are (provided you’re within the delivery range). We recommend the grilled octopus with cilantro, zucchini and diced tomato in a lemon and olive Subtotal: $14.50 oil vinaigrette.
LUNCH - The Independent A Seminole Heights hipster staple, The Independent offers a variety of sandwiches, snacks and salads, but we reccomend the turkey croissant sandwich with creamy Brie and sliced Granny Smith apples with a side salad in the restaurant’s special Subtotal: $7.50 Indie house style.
DESSERT - Revolution Ice Cream Co. The Seminole Heights location of The Revolution Ice Cream Co. is known for their creative flavors and quirky names, like “That’s my Jam” or “Porky’s Delight.” We recommend a scoop of the latter, vanilla ice cream with bacon and bacon brittle thrown in the mix; upgrade to as many extra scoops as you Subtotal: $3.25 for one scoop want or even a milkshake, if you’re feeling adventurous.
GRAPHIC BY ANNIE AGUIAR, PHOTOS COURTESY UBER EATS
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DECA PLANS FASH ONABLE FRIDAY LEFT: Senior and DECA president Jacquelina Martinez works on advertisements for the show. LEFT: Senior ReiAnna Graves paints posters promoting the DECA fashion show.
BY MORYAH WELLS
Feeling fashionable? Get ready to strut your stuff in DECA’s upcoming annual fashion show, held during sixth period Friday, April 28 in the Auditorium Roll out the red carpet! Fashion won’t be the only thing on display at this year’s DECA fashion show. The club’s marketing and business skills will be more glamorous than any runway. The club emphasizes the different styles of marketing and business in the whole production, rather than just the fashion. This year’s third annual DECA fashion show will take place April 28 during sixth period in the Auditorium. This year’s theme is Hollywood; DECA will be handing out Golden Globes for the best actors and actresses. The show will end
on a red carpet, where models can show off their outfits all at once. Past themes have included the faces of love (partially due to the show taking place on Valentine’s Day that year) and passport to fashion, which transported the audience to Paris, New York, Milan and California. Every year, DECA showcases four different scenes on their runway: modern, avant-garde, formal and movie themed. “The turn out [is] pretty well,” said DECA’s president, senior Jackie Martinez. This year, DECA’s fashion show will have a great-
er number of male participants. This gives participants a greater variety of choices regarding which scene they want to do and, as a result, puts less pressure on them. Anyone who wishes to is allowed to participate. Participants must provide their own clothes based on their scenes. For more information, contact Andrea Ellis in room 307. STORY BY CAROLIN HEARNE
TERRIERS PREPARE TO SHOW OFF THEIR TALENTS
Students all around campus are ready to show their peers all they’ve got in the annual talent show. On April 21 at 7 p.m. for $5 in the auditorium, Terriers will be showcasing their skills for the school to see. Whether it’s singing, dancing, acting or playing an instrument, each contestant gets a spotlight and chance to win over the judges and crowd. Some students are returning from last year’s talent show while others are new to it. “I want the talent show to be fun. I don’t want things to be too stressful or scary. I was really nervous and didn’t prepare for [the auditions] like I should’ve,” sophomore and singer Mary Cabalan said. Cabalan is going to be in the talent show and performing publicly for the first time. Although the talent show is a competition, not everyone competes to win. Some share their talents just for the fun of it. “I don’t expect to win but I expect to see everyone’s reaction when I dance,” sophomore and dancer Tevin Jones said. “I do it for fun, not to compete.” This will be Jones’ second show. Each year the show is filled with new and old talents, a packed audience and an engaging atmosphere. STORY BY JUBILEE GONZALEZ
In last year’s talent show, junior Claudia Berroa performs a song for the judges. | PHOTO BY ANNIE AGUIAR
Read the full concert review at hhstoday.com!
TOP Concert-goers paint an art piece in the middle of the lot. BOTTOM The Aussie band The Griswolds kicks off the night | PHOTOS BY JULIANA LECHNER
Spotify recently announced that, as part of a deal it has struck with Universal Music Group (UMG), some new albums by UMG artists may be accessible to solely premium Spotify users for up to two weeks after their release. Reports indicate that is likely that similar deals will be struck between Spotify and both Warner Music Group and Sony Music Group in the near future. These deals seem to be in response to other streaming services’ efforts to make certain artists’ projects exclusive to their platform for a period of time following release. Apple Music, especially, has been successful at this with Drake’s Views and Frank Ocean’s Blond, both remaining exclusive to Apple Music in the two weeks following their initial release. Although Spotify remains in the lead of other streaming services, boasting a subscriber base of over 50 million, Apple Music has experienced fast growth since its launch in June of 2015, with
USF Week concluded with a music festival headlined by poprock group Echosmith. Read more about this USF tradition online.
Red & Black
‘S-TOWN’ TRIUMPHS From the producers of National Public Radio shows Serial and This American Life, a new podcast “S-Town” introduces a real-life crime investigation and deep-dives into the life of one man from smalltown Alabama: John B. McLemore. The story begins with John B.’s phone call to Brian Reed, the reporter and host of S-Town. In his call, John B. asks Brian to come down to small town Woodstock, Alabama, in order to investigate what John believes to be a murder committed by the son of an affluent local business owner. John B. lives in Woodstock with his aging mother and spends his days ranting about what he sees as the deplorable state of modern society and restoring old clocks and other time-measuring instruments. Although the podcast is initially presented as a murder mystery and contains shocking and curiosity-piquing events, it eventually serves to examine the complicated duality of John B. The mystery is what draws the listener in, but John B.’s recorded phone calls with Brian and learning details about him are what keeps the listener. John B.’s worldview and the influences of such are intriguing. John B. goes on long rants about modern-day mistreatment of minorities, the failures of international diplomacy, the attention-consuming nature of modern technology and the effects of climate change. John B. sees all of these issues as evidence
of an irreversibly damaged society and laments his own town’s role as a microcosm rich with them. Listening to John B. deliver these rants and other musings about the deplorable state of his own home gives the listener insight into the mind of a genius and a nihilist. John B. is a man who both criticizes the Southern small-town stereotypes that he observes and also embodies them. He admonishes the use of racial slurs and is disgusted by the institutionalized disadvantages which minorities face, yet uses racial slurs himself. He hardly understands why people still live in Woodstock, yet has lived there for his entire life. His intricate, technical-statements about dense scientific concepts are riddled with profanity. This duality is fascinating for the listener. It presents John B. as a nearly unfathomably intelligent man who possesses incredible insight into the world around him, but nonetheless reveals his humanity through his flaws. John B.’s relationship with a young man named Tyler Goodson clues the listener in to his complicated character. Their relationship, which is nearly that of a father and son, is hard to understand- even sometimes by them. However, it’s deeply revealing and relays how equally troubled people have a unique ability to help each other. S-Town is a triumph of modern podcasting, modern reporting and modern story-telling. REVIEW BY ANTHONY SUAREZ
Spotify recently announced that premium users will receive a first look on various new albums and it seems multiple new streaming services are following down the same path
a current subscriber base of over 20 million. This can largely be credited to the aforementioned exclusives that it has managed to secure, as well as the weekly radio shows which many artists and organizations have been given. This includes artists such as Drake, Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and organizations such as Noisey. These artists typically use their radio shows to function as “tastemakers”, sometimes introducing obscure music to listeners or premiering something new of their own. Drake, for example, premiered his long-awaited and widely-acclaimed project More Life last March on his OVO Sound Radio show. Despite Spotify’s virtual dominance of the music streaming industry and Apple Music’s rapidly-rising appeal to users, a third streaming service is attempting to grow its own user-base: Tidal. Founded and majority-owned by JAY Z, Tidal has experienced a slew of growing pains, including reported quarterly losses and widespread disinterest by consumers. Even exclusives like Beyon-
cé’s Lemonade and Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo have hardly aided in its growth. JAY Z has taken significant measures to increase Tidal’s appeal to potential users, including removing nearly all of his discography from other streaming services and hosting a charity concert dubbed “Tidal X” in October 2015. This concert, with performances from artists including Beyoncé, Lil Wayne and JAY Z himself, sold out and raised over $1 million for the New World Foundation Charity. There have been rays of hope for Tidal recently, including a 200 million dollar investment by Sprint and the achievement of over 3 million subscribers. That being said, Tidal will still encounter countless difficulties in the face of the increasingly competitive music streaming market. STORY BY ANTHONY SUAREZ
W H I T E WA S H I N G IN HOLLYWOOD Studios increasingly hire white actors to play ethnic characters at the cost of diverse representation
Enraged fans rant on Twitter about boycotting Ghost in the Shell and others are agitated over the choice for actors in the new live action Death Note. Whitewashing has gone on for decades but has recently become a more discussed topic. Large award ceremonies in Hollywood such as the Oscars have been accused of partaking in the act in recent years. Whitewashing is generally known as making ethnic characters in movies and TV shows more European or “white” looking. Recently movies and TV shows have portrayed different ethnicities and races in media. Media like Moana, Get Out, ABC’s Fresh off the Boat and Dr. Ken, Quantico, Moonlight, Hidden Figures and the upcoming live action Mulan are seen by some as more diverse.
Ghost in the Shell is a live-action remake of an anime classic. Many were excited to see it come to life but were disappointed by the screenwriter’s decision to cast white actress Scarlett Johansson as the lead, based off of a Japanese character named Motoko Kusanagi. Many streaming services have tried to jump on the bandwagon by recreating a Japanese manga. Netflix has recently released the first trailer for their live action rendition of Death Note. Death Note is a Japanese manga released in 2003, later adapted into an
anime series due to its growing popularity. Current controversy around the new iteration is that they made the main character, a Japanese teen named Light Yagami, into Light Turner, a young American played by Nat Wolff. Numerous fans have been upset at this change and have discussed boycotting the show.
Embracing Entertainers There have also been new and different organizations that support diversity in all sorts of media. ISAtv, International Secret Agents and CAPE, the Coalition of Asian Pacific Islanders in Entertainment, are groups that aim to cover and promote those who are making a difference in media. ISA is a platform that aims to promote Asian Pacific American stories, their culture, entertainment and community. Similarly, CAPE is one of Hollywood’s firsts groups that promote the empowerment of Asian American and Pacific Islander artists in media. Both of these groups have quite a diverse following. Studios claim that these casting choices are merely a matter of business, and that putting bigger names in movies is the logical thing to do. But to those demanding representation in media, that simply isn’t enough. STORY BY MERCY TSAY
Here are some recent cases of hollywood whitewashing: Scarlett Johansson
The actress portraying Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg human who works for the government. Given a different story in Ghost in the Shell, she becomes Major, a girl made into a cyborg after being rescued from an accident.
The actor behind the character Light Turner in the new live action Death Note, replacing Japanese teen Light Yagami
The actress who plays Allison Ng in the movie Aloha. She is meant to be showing a part Chinese, part Hawaiian, and part Swedish girl. PHOTOS COURTESY CREATIVE COMMONS
NEW ON NETFLIX Here are some new and upcoming releases to check out on Netflix
Now showing Season 3 of Better Call Saul The Breaking Bad spinoff continues as lawyer Jimmy McGill, a former scam artist who has become involved with the criminal underworld, continues on his path to becoming crooked defense attorney Saul Goodman.
Now showing Mystery Science Theater 3000
Back by popular demand, the beloved cult classic returns for 14 episodes. A human and his robot companions are forced to watch a series of B movies by an evil mad scientist. How do they get through this torture? By ruthlessly (and hilariously) mocking each movie they’re forced to sit through.
Starts April 21 Bill Nye Saves the World
Beloved scientist/comedian Bill Nye returns for a new Netflix talk show series where Nye, along with five correspondents, will take a look at science and its relationship with modern culture, as well as myths and anti-scientific standpoints. STORY BY MICHAEL STROBL
a look at the queens of television show RuPaul’s Drag Race and their talents such as lip-synching, LAGS BEHIND Take acting, costume-designing, comedy and more in this review of their newest season Three episodes into RuPaul’s Drag Race’s ninth season and there’s already been a sewing challenge, a legendary lip sync, enough of the word “cucu” to make the show almost unbearable, all the tea and all the shade. Drag Race is a reality show based around a group of drag queens as they compete to be crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar. The queens go through a series of challenges testing many of their different talents. Each episode showcases a themed runway and a Lipsync For Your Life between the bottom two queens, to determine who gets to stay in the competition. Season nine aired on March 24, and has already showcased 14 new queens in its first three episodes. The season kicked off with an appearance by debatably the drag icon, Lady Gaga herself. However, it was an uneventful season premiere – no mini challenge, no lip-sync for your life, and no queens going home.
While mama Ru did provide a nice sentiment by wanting to see what every single queen has in store before sending one home, isn’t the most fun part seeing who gets booted first? There will be no legendary season nine incarnation of Victoria Porkchop Parker or Magnolia Crawford. (Come to think of it, maybe this was just an homage to Magnolia Crawford quitting drag). Yet sadly, a fatal editing flaw this season seems to be lack of screen time some queens are garnering. Farrah Moan’s constant whining and Cynthia Lee Fontaine’s incessant screeching about her “cucu” have been hogging screen time from queens who could really be front-runners if producers actually edited them into the show. While queens like Aja and Alexis Michelle have been given the short end of the screen time stick as well, they more than make up for it in Untucked, the behind the scenes show released on YouTube the morning after VH1 airs the main episode. Despite seemingly unfair judging, this season has managed to
do a remarkable job of discussing issues that are important to their largely LGBTQ+ fanbase. Episode three discussed the Pulse Orlando shootings, with queens Cynthia and Trinity Taylor sharing their experiences with the incident. For a show based mostly on men in wigs making shady jokes at each other, Drag Race always manages to talk about pressing issues in their community in a serious, heart-wrenching way. These discussions seem to have resonated with the fanbase. “Being gay, it’s hard to find quality television and film that’s unapologetically queer and proud of it,” junior Dayan Visozo (whose personal top three prospects are currently Valentina, Aja and Farrah) said. “This show is doing so much to help people around the world accept each other and themselves”. REVIEW BY JULIANA LECHNER
KICKING IT UP A NOTCH
Red & Black Hillsborough may have its first female football player next year in sophomore Michie Guzman, who plans on switching from flag football
Sophomore Michie Guzman stands ready for a play at a flag football practice. Guzman is a leader on the flag football team, but she hopes to kick on the boy’s football team next year. | PHOTO BY JORGE GARCIA
Sophomore Michie Guzman is looking to make history next year by becoming Hillsborough’s first female football player. A soccer player by trade, Guzman has been a leader on the girls flag football team. Now, however, she hopes to play in pads. Guzman plans on becoming a kicker for the football team. Being a soccer player, she realizes how much she loves to kick and she wants to take this love of kicking to another level. “One day I just went kicking field goals and thought it was really fun,”Guzman said. “I thought to myself ‘Hey, why not have a girl football player?’” In order to take her interest in kicking into the Friday Night Lights, Guzman had to propose her plans to head football coach Earl Garcia. “One morning I went to him in the lunch room and told him I wanted to kick,” Guzman said. “He looked at me with a confused look and said ‘a football?’” Guzman was taken aback by his reaction, not realizing that her gender would be an issue. “I guess having a girl on your team is a concern, but I didn’t really think it would be much of a problem,” Guzman said. “I guess there’s much more that goes into it than what I expected.” The move could present some logistical questions. “I’m supposed to sit down and speak with [Garcia] in two weeks about everything that comes along with being a girl on the team,” Guzman said. “Probably about stuff like locker room situations, tackling and how it differs from flag football.” “I am 100 percent against it,” Garcia said. “She weighs very little so it’s very dangerous for her. If she were my daughter, I would not let her do it.” Guzman hopes that playing with boys on the football team will motivate other girls. “I think other girls are really excited, I really think that it will change how people see football.” Guzman said. “They’ll know that girls can do it too.” STORY BY JORGE GARCIA
CREW TEAM ADVANCES TO NATIONALS Before the sun began to peak over the horizon, rowers shuffled slowly up to the boat trailer to begin a long weekend of intense competition. At 6:30 a.m., the work began. Over the next two days, the HHS crew team would compete against schools who fought to take titles and national qualifying spots away from them, but in the end they would prevail. The women’s junior 4x went on to grand finals and qualified for the national competition that takes place in May at Rutgers University in New
Jersey. The men’s junior 4x placed first in their finals and are in the running to be petitioned into nationals by head coach Jesse Tate. Overall, for as small as the team is, they compete well against some of the bigger and most intense teams on the water. At the end of the day, the HHS crew headed back home and began its preparation to do it all again in two weeks at the FSRA Sweep Championships. STORY BY HARMONY TARPEIN
We’re in the bright green building at 5127 N. FLORIDA AVE. in Seminole Heights! We have our handcrafted ice pops, plus house-made gelato, superfood açai bowls and locally roasted coff ee. Come on in; IT’S ALL GOOD! whateverpops.com
Sophomore Savion Fordham and junior Rafael Carrion rigged a white quad the first morning of racing as the sun rose behind them. | PHOTO BY HARMONY TARPEIN
Congratulations to Delores Battle, winner of last month’s Crossword Contest! Stop by Room 506 to pick up a $20 Whatever Pops gift card.
Red & Black newspaper, Hillsborough High School (Tampa, Florida)